Tuesday, September 20, 2016

TOUR: Blood of the Prophet

ISBN: 099723623X
Pages: 337
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Publication Date: September 12, 2016
Initial Reaction: 
The Little Mermaid - Official Stickers:  
Visionary. Alchemist. Savior. Saint.
The Prophet Zarathustra has been called many things. Now he spends his time drawing pictures of weird-looking goats. That's what happens when you've been stuck in a prison cell for two hundred years. But the man who might be mad, and is definitely supposed to be dead, has suddenly become very valuable again…
It's only been a few weeks since Nazafareen escaped the King's dungeons with her daēva, Darius. She hoped never to set foot in the empire again, but the search for the Prophet has led them to the ancient city of Karnopolis. They have to find him before Alexander of Macydon burns Persepolae, and Darius's mother with it. But they're not the only ones looking.
The necromancer Balthazar has his own plans for the Prophet, and so does the sinister spymaster of the Numerators. As Nazafareen is drawn in to a dangerous game of cat and mouse, her newfound powers take a decidedly dark turn. Only the Prophet understands the secret of her gift, but the price of that knowledge may turn out to be more than Nazafareen is willing to pay…

Purchase The Midnight Sea (Book 1)
This book is probably one of my most anticipated releases for this fall ever since I read The Midnight Song (Review) earlier this year and to actually have the opportunity to read it right as it comes out was amazing. The Midnight Sea leaves off with so many possibilities and an endless amount of questions that were just left burning. Blood of Prophet continues with Nazafareen, Darius, Tijah, and Myrri journeying to the city to find the Prophet to find some answers. Like the first book, the sequel is action packed and full of new adventures that pull you right in.

There are so many amazing things that happen in this book, I can't quite pick a favorite moment. It was so interesting to see how Kat Ross incorporated different social issues from prostitution and slavery to religion and politics and just mixed them together. Since it's been a while since I read the first book, some of the different positions were a bit confusing but it was cleared pretty quickly. The story itself is just so incredibly diverse, it's absolutely impossible not to get sucked in.

Nazafareen continues to blow me away. She's such a strong female character who is not afraid to stand up for what she believes in even though the world she lives in isn't exactly the friendliest and saying the wrong thing could end up with your body hanging from the walls. (Such a lovely image...) Despite that, she doesn't back down and faces all the challenges head on. The only downside is that she'll sometimes act rather impulsively but that's where Darius steps in and balances out her fire with his calm. I can't talk about one bonded pair and not talk about Tijah and Myrri who have such an awesome relationship. Tijah is so fun and seeing her interactions with Myrri is so precious. 

One of the things I found really surprising but loved was how we also got the POVs of the bad guys. Usually, stories will focus on the perspectives of the good but being able to see from the eyes of the antagonists was really cool cause you get to see their schemes and thought process about everything. It also gives insight into their positions in society which obviously differ from the main four's status of criminal Water Dogs and bonded daeva. 

If it's possible, I think I loved this book more than the first book. It was full of all the right elements that made it such an awesome read. There was everything from heartbreaking scenes to happy ones. Honestly, this book has everything and I'm now dying for more.
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Author Bio:

Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She lives in Westchester with her kid and a few sleepy cats. Kat is also the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day (Skyscape, 2014), about a world where the sea levels have risen sixty meters. She loves magic, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Preferably with mutants.

4 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

First Look: Red Winter

A New Series from Amazon Best-Selling Author Annette Marie, RED WINTER is coming 
Image“Her entire life had been forged by a terrible lie, and there was nothing she could do to change her fate.” 
In the enchanting new fantasy RED WINTER by Annette Marie, Emi Kimura has been preparing her entire life to become the mortal host of a goddess. When she discovers the lies surrounding her true fate, she makes a dangerous bargain with a fox spirit to seek out the truth. As her final days as a mortal approach, she must choose whether to bow to duty ... or fight for her life. 
Emi is the kamigakari. In a few short months, her life as a mortal will end and her new existence as the human host of a goddess will begin. Carefully hidden from those who would destroy her, she has prepared her mind, body, and soul to unite with the goddess—and not once has she doubted her chosen fate. 
Shiro is a yokai, a spirit of the earth, an enemy of the goddess Emi will soon host. Mystery shrouds his every move and his ruby eyes shine with cunning she can’t match and dares not trust. But she saved his life, and until his debt is paid, he is hers to command—whether she wants him or not. 
On the day they meet, everything Emi believes comes undone, swept away like snow upon the winter wind. For the first time, she wants to change her fate—but how can she erase a destiny already wrought in stone? Against the power of the gods, Shiro is her only hope … and hope is all she has left. 

Releasing October 21, 2016.  

Pre-order Red Winter Now: 

Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon AU |  Amazon CA 

Add RED WINTER to Your TBR List on Goodreads! 

Excerpt for RED WINTER (Red Winter Trilogy Book 1) 
The yokai didn’t move, just held her in place with a strength she couldn’t fight. She tipped her head back to see his face, to gauge his intent. His gaze traveled across her room, intent and analyzing. Then his eyes flicked down and he appeared almost surprised to see her staring up at him. His mouth curved into a sly grin, flashing pointed canines. 
His amusement at her terror sparked a tiny surge of anger. “Let me go!” 
“Ah, little miko, didn’t anyone ever tell you not to run from yokai?” His deep, purring voice sent a shiver across her skin. He leaned down as his hand on her throat forced her head back. He brushed his nose along her jaw, from her chin up to her ear. “It’s the surest way to make us pounce,” he whispered, his breath tickling her ear. 
Goose bumps raced down the back of her neck and she clenched her jaw. “Get your hands off me.” 
He hummed as he pushed his face into her hair, inhaling through his nose. “But didn’t you put your hands on me first?” 
“I was treating your wounds.” She summoned her most commanding tone, desperately hoping her voice wouldn’t quaver. “You’re proving that your kind’s reputation is well deserved with such disrespect and ingratitude toward the person who saved your life.” 
His head came up and fear shot through her that she’d offended him, that he would surely kill her now. Instead, he made a thoughtful noise, and his hands fell away, releasing her. 
She almost leaped out of his lap but remembered his comment about running from yokai. With more self-control than she’d thought she had, she carefully stood, walked four steps, and turned to face him. He stayed where he was, lounging on the bed with his feet on the floor, casually propped up on one arm. His head tilted to one side as he watched her, and that slight, knowing grin played about his lips. 
She sank down to kneel on the floor, mostly because her legs were shaking so badly she was afraid he’d notice. As nonchalantly as possible, she slid her hands into the opposite sleeves of her kimono and pinched her hidden ofuda between two fingers, ready to pull the paper talismans out. 
“No need for that, little miko,” he remarked, each word almost caressing her. How could he have such an otherworldly yet still human voice? “I will not harm you.” 
She flushed, embarrassed she’d been so obvious, but didn’t let go of the ofuda. “What was that—that assault then?” 
“Assault, you call it? That little embrace?” 
“You—” She broke off with a small shake of her head. If he was determined to ignore the inappropriateness of forcefully holding a woman against him and rubbing his face on her, nothing she said would change his mind. “You have the manners of a dog.” 
“What did you expect? The ritual greetings of the imperial court?” 
“Some respect for the person who saved your life would have been welcome.” 
“Ah, yes, you did save me, and I am very grateful.” He idly tugged at a lock of his hair as his gaze slid down her and back up again. “I am in your debt. Tell me your desire and I will fulfill it.” 
“My—my desire?” she choked. 
He smirked again. “A favor, little miko. I am saying I owe you a favor.” 

Celebrate the First Look with a Giveaway!  
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Grand Prize: 1 Winner will Receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card 
Runner-Ups: 3 Winners will Each Receive one $10 Amazon Gift Card Each 

ImageAuthor Bio:  
Annette Marie is the author of the Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy seriesSteel & Stone, which includes the 2015 Goodreads Choice Award nomineeYield the Night. Her first love is fantasy, a limitless realm of creativity where she can break all the boring rules of real life, but fast-paced urban fantasy, bold heroines, and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She proudly admits she has a thing for dragons, and her editor has politely inquired as to whether she intends to include them in every book. 
Annette lives in the frozen winter wasteland of northern Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad). She shares her life with her remarkably patient, comparatively sensible husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities. 
To find out more about Annette and her books, visit her website atwww.authorannettemarie.com 
Find Annette Marie:Website | Facebook |Twitter |Amazon |Goodreads