Crossroads Academy: An Insider’s View

So you stumbled across Crossroads Academy on the web and now you’re dying to find out more? You think it just might be the school for you? An escape from annoying parents, backstabbing friends, and boring public school teachers you’d just as soon forget? A school graced with mystery, intrigue, and prestige? Well, think again. You wouldn’t last a day. In fact, you probably wouldn’t even get in.

Here’s the thing, if you don’t already know about Crossroads, they won’t be interested in you. No offense. Admission is pretty much by invitation only and even then, it is only offered to the most elite. It’s not your grades, your social class, or your looks that are holding you back– It’s your bloodline. Seriously, if you’re lucky, they might let you scrub the floors. Yeah, Crossroads is that kind of place.

But don’t feel bad. You aren’t missing much. To be honest, this place kind of blows. Sure the school looks amazing with its lush grounds and old stone façade, but inside? Inside it’s a breeding ground for social leeches, entitlement, and all the same cliquish drama you were probably hoping to leave behind. Bitchy girls abound and with a student body of only a few hundred, well, let’s just say it can be difficult to stay out of trouble.

Plus, there are loads of rules. No hunting (at all!), strict curfews (10pm – childish, right?), and limited off campus privileges (assuming you’re lucky enough to even have them). Oh, and I forgot to mention Headmaster Prick. I mean, Pratt. Get into trouble and you’ll be lucky to escape his office with work detail, which is far better than listening to one of his spastic, self-indulgent speeches.

To be fair though, it’s not all bad. There’s a kickass gym here with a weapons cache the likes of which I’ve been dreaming of for months. And some of the teachers and counselors are pretty cool. Oh, and there a lot of hot guys and lavish parties, if you’re lame enough to be into that sort of thing.

Anyway, you might as well forget about Crossroads Academy unless one of these little darlings shows up in your mailbox. And even then, I’d consider it carefully if I were you.

Crossroads (Crossroads Academy, #1)

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* Originally posted at http://moonlightgleam.com

Crossroads Excerpt #1

Welcome back to the ‘best of’ the Crossroads blog tour! Just a few more weeks until Red Dawn is released so if you haven’t had a chance to check out Crossroads yet, what are you waiting for? Need a little more Crossroads to whet your appetite? How about an exclusive excerpt?

I wake with a throbbing headache. The ground beneath me is cold and hard. Cement. My head is pounding. Can smoke do that? I crack my eyes and stare up at the ceiling. I can only see patches of the mottled paint through the smoke. It swirls around me, polluting my lungs and piercing my eyes. Smoke assaults me from all sides, blurring my vision, the acrid stench clinging to my clothes and hair. I roll to my left and grab the corner of a metal table. Using the leg for support, I drag myself into a sitting position and climb to my feet.

For the first time I notice the flames. They crackle all around me. The clinic is engulfed. But why am I inside? And where is everyone else? What the hell is going on? This isn’t right. I’m not supposed to be here. It’s not supposed to be me!

Panic stirs my gut, threatening to burst forth. The beginning of a scream makes its way through me, coiling up from my stomach and into my throat. If I don’t let it out, it will consume me. I imagine the fear ripping me to pieces from the inside out, leaving nothing but an unrecognizable and bloody mess. Not today. I slam my hand over my mouth, clamping it shut. I swallow my fear. I have to stay calm. I have to get out of here.

The overhead lights surge with power and short out. The bulbs explode, leaving a deluge of sparks to rain down on me. I smell singed hair and pat my sleeve where the fabric has burned through. Time is running out.

I stride across the room and slam my hands against the nearest window. The glass does not give under the force of my blow. I strike it again; this time with my fist. And again. Still, nothing. I am not meant to get out. I’m meant to burn as they did. As they always do in my nightmares.

In an act of desperation I grab a stool and smash it futilely against the unyielding glass. It clatters to the floor and is quickly swallowed by the flames. I fight the urge to cry. I will be strong. I will be brave. I watch the flames, as they creep across the floor, inching closer to me.

 The room is getting unbearably hot. The soles of my shoes grow warm and the rubber begins to melt. I wonder if I too could melt. It beats the alternative of burning. It’s a fitting death I suppose. I’ve long suspected there’s a ring of hell for those like me.

As the flames take hold of my pant leg, searing nerve endings and destroying flesh, my brave façade crumbles. I fling myself against the window and pound on it with every ounce of strength I have left. I hardly recognize the deafening scream that reverberates through the night as my own.

Crossroads (Crossroads Academy, #1)

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*Originally posted at http://www.crossroadreviews.com

Heading Back to Crossroads Academy

With the release of Red Dawn right around the corner, it’s high time we pay a little visit to Crossroads Academy. After all, what better way to dive back into the bloody world of vampires, betrayal, and a romance that’s heading for a smokin’ hot rating? Oh, you want more action? We’ve got that!

Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be posting the ‘best of’ the Crossroads blog tour! For those of you that are new to the series and missed the last tour, this is your chance to catch up!

Crossroads (Crossroads Academy #1)

As if high school isn’t miserable enough, try being uprooted and dropped fangs first into an uptight prep school where everyone knows your name and they’ll stop at nothing to uncover the secrets of your past.

When Katia enrolled at Crossroads Academy she knew things weren’t exactly going to be easy. The sole heir to the worlds’ most powerful vampire, her presence was bound to cause a stir. But nothing could have prepared her for this. Whispers follow everywhere she goes. So does trouble.

Bodies start turning up in nearby Rutland and Katia is sucked into a twisted web of danger and deceit. Haunted by nightmares she can’t explain and a thirst for blood that is never sated, Katia will do whatever it takes to keep her past buried.

Nothing at Crossroads is what it seems and Katia’s secrets may be the darkest of them all.

Crossroads (Crossroads Academy, #1)

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Feature & Follow Friday #107

FF 2012 Feature & Follow #107

Q: Summer Reading. What was your favorite book that you were REQUIRED to read when you were in school?

A. Hands down, my favorite assigned summer reading was ‘In Cold Blood’ by Truman Capote. Looking back, it was the start of my fascination with true crime, mysteries, and police dramas. I mostly read YA now, but I still enjoy watching these kinds of shows when I can find a few spare minutes.

And although I loved In Cold Blood, I have to be honest and say that I’m a little jealous of kids today. Rumor has it summer reading now includes The Hunger Games! How awesome is that? I can’t recall ever being *required* to read a best seller that also happened to be an international blockbuster movie. *sigh* Kids today have it so good! 😉

Red Dawn Cover Reveal

This may be a bit anti-climatic at this point since some very wonderful bloggers are blasting it all over the blogosphere, but for those of you who haven’t seen it yet…

*drumroll please*

Red Dawn (Crossroads Academy 2)

Isn’t it lovely? To die for? Completely swoonworthy? Need I go on? Can you tell that I absolutely love this beautiful cover? Once again, Rachel at Parajunkee Design has surpassed my wildest expectations!

And now that it’s out there for the entire world to see, I’m even more excited about the upcoming blog tour! Squee! *bounces up and down on big red (aka. my couch)*

Put it on your calendar because it’s going to be EPIC! The best part? Meeting new book lovers, talking about vamps, and sharing a little bit of Red Dawn with you guys! So if you haven’t had a chance to read Crossroads yet, well, you should probably get on that! 😉 Or at least enter one of my giveaways for a chance to win a copy!

Review: Fairy Metal Thunder

Title: Fairy Metal Thunder (Songs of Magic #1)

Author: JL Bryan

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Length: 194 pages

Publication Date: September 16, 2011

 Rating: 3.5/5

Description:

 A rock & roll fairy tale.

Jason plays guitar in a teenage garage band called the Assorted Zebras, but they have no fans, no gigs, and they’re going nowhere. Even worse, Jason has a crush on their lead singer, but she doesn’t seem interested in him at all.

Then Jason steals instruments from the fairy world. Soon the band is enchanting crowds, and Jason is a step closer to the girl of his dreams, but the new gear is brimming with dangerous and destructive magic they can’t control.

Their shortcut to success has cost a troupe of innocent fairies their livelihood and turned Jason and his band into enemies of the powerful Queen Mab, who sends supernatural bounty hunters to track them down, including one of the most dangerous horned creatures in Faerie…a small unicorn named Buttercake.

Review:

Fairy Metal Thunder was unlike anything else I’ve read. It was light, fun and refreshing! I’ll be honest, I had really high hopes for this book going in. I’m a big fan of JL Bryan’s The Paranormals series so I was sure that Fairy Metal Thunder would be a great read. It may have fallen a little short of my expectations, but it was a well constructed story and I’m curious to see where the Assorted Zebras go next. Will I be reading more? Definitely.

So what did I like?

The narration: FMT is told primarily from a male POV and that is pretty unique for YA (at least on my bookshelf). I found Jason to be a rather pleasant lead, although he was such a good kid that this book felt like it was targeted at younger readers which I wasn’t expecting. Still, I enjoyed seeing the world (especially first crushes) through the eyes of a teenage boy for once. Especially one that was actually a little immature and just flat out normal.

The imagery: JL Bryan does a phenomenal job of creating a faerie realm that’s understated and beautiful. I don’t read a lot of books on the fae, but it was easy for me to visualize the realm as Jason experienced it for the first time. As the story progressed, I also enjoyed seeing the realm in greater detail through the eyes of Aoide, the secondary narrator, and one of the faeries desperately trying to recover her instrument. I’m hoping Aoide plays a bigger role in book two of the series! I’m curious to see what kind of trouble she can get into with the queensguard at her side and what legths she’ll go to in order to recover her instrument and appease the queen. Besides, there could always be a little romance brewing. But I digress….

The plot: Rock n’ Roll? High school garage band? Magical instruments? Sold. It was a great summer read. You know the kind– you don’t have to think too hard and the overall feeling is warm fuzzy bunnies. The story is fast paced, easy to follow and unique.  Seriously. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing else like it on the market.

A kickass unicorn named Buttercake: Enough said!

And what left me wanting?

Not much. The story was a little simplistic for my taste (perhaps because it’s meant for younger readers). And while I’m not a stickler for editing, there was one glaring issue that hung me up as I tried to discern the authors intent.

Overall, I really can’t pick out too many things that I didn’t like about FMT. While it wasn’t my favorite JL Bryan book (let’s be honest– he’s got some great ones!), it’s a well crafted story and one I’d recommend if you’re looking for some light summer reading!

Next up as I continue with my indie TBR list? I’m thinking The Fallen Star. Or maybe Prince of Wolves. Decisions, decisions….

Announcing the Red Dawn Blog Tour!

Red Dawn by J.J. Bonds Cover Reveal Tour

Announcing the Official Red Dawn Blog Tour!

You didn’t think I was going to just stop at a cover reveal extravaganza, did you? Go big or go home, right? I am SO excited about the release of Red Dawn that Crossroads Academy is going on tour again (courtesy of PJV Blog Tours!). And this time it’s going to be even bigger and better!

Guest posts, interviews, twitter party, giveaways! There will be all kinds of fun stuff… So mark your calendars and put Red Dawn on your TBR list! It’s going to be an EPIC tour!

Crossroads will be taking over the blogosphere August 20th – September 14th! Tour stops to follow so be sure to check back soon!

Red Dawn (Crossroads Academy #2)


Cover Reveal: July 24th- 12pm CST!

Check out these amazing blogs for a first look at Red Dawn (Crossroads Academy 2)!

Firestarbooks

Cocktails and Books

Seeing Night Reviews

Magical Urban Fantasy Reads

Chapter by Chapter

Butterfly-o-Meter Books

The Busy Bibliophile

Letters Inside Out

What the Cat Read

Fictional Candy

A Soul Unsung

Insightful Minds Reviews

Little Hyuts

A Bibliophile’s Thoughts on Books

Bea’s Book Nook

Red Dawn: Crossroads Academy #2

The weekend is right around the corner and you know what? That calls for some good, no, GREAT news! You guys have been patiently waiting (and frequently offering words of encouragement– like hurry the heck up!) for book two in the Crossroads Academy series. Well, the wait is almost over!

I’m thrilled to say that Red Dawn, book two in the Crossroads Academy series, will be released on August 28th! (Go ahead. Squee your heart out… I did!)

Here’s the deal…

Cover Reveal: July 24th at 12pm CST!

Check out the the amazing blogs below for a first look! The cover is AMAZING! I can’t wait for you guys to see it. Rachel at Parajunkee design has once again created something so awesome I can hardly find the words to describe it. Need more? How about giveaways? Giveaways are good, right?

Firestarbooks

Cocktails and Books

Seeing Night Reviews

Chapter by Chapter

 Butterfly-o-Meter Books

 The Busy Bibliophile

 Letters Inside Out

What the Cat Read

I don’t know about you, but I will be counting down the minutes until the cover reveal so that I can share its awesomeness with you guys! See you on the 24th!!!

Follow Friday #105

FF 2012 Feature & Follow #105

Q: What drove you to start book blogging in the first place?

A. I wish I could say I had some great noble desire to share my love of books, but it didn’t exactly start out that way. I stumbled across GoodReads last year (I can’t even remember how I found it) and OMG! I coudn’t believe my eyes. A whole website dedicated to books? And book reviews? And these oh-so-friendly book bloggers who not only like to read, but actually talk about books? Oh, GoodReads, where have you been all my life? I quickly told my closest friends (who also happen to be avid readers) about this wonderful site where you could track all of your books, find new books, and get reviews for books you were thinking about buying. They quickly signed up as well, and long story short, my blog just sort of snowballed from there! I’ve met so many great people and have discovered books I might never had the opportunity to read otherwise!

Happy Reading!

Spreading the Love… Indie Style

There’s been a lot of chatter on the blogosphere this week about respect, common courtesy, author’s behaving badly, and, well, you get the idea. I have an opinion (don’t we all?), but I’ll keep it to myself (more or less). Why? Because there are some really smart folks who’ve said better. One of my fav’s is Lauren DeStefano. To be honest, this post, ‘The art of being a human being’ is the first thing I’ve ever read by DeStefano. But I’ve got to tell you, it won’t be the last. I think I’ll pick up one of her books because this post was just a little inspiring for me and I couldn’t agree more with her. Just treat me like a human being and I’ll do the same for you. In this awesome age of technology it’s just a little too easy to forget that the author/blogger/reviewer you’re talking to is a real, live person with *gasp* feelings. Just like you. Just like me.

So, enough about that… It’s easy to spread the nasty stuff, but what about the love? I’ve been trolling GoodReads, and Twitter, and a whole lot of blogs and I’m continually reminded that there are an awful lot of great books I haven’t had the chance to read, lots of them indie’s. So I’ve decided to commit the remainder of my summer to indie books and author’s I haven’ read in the past. I’m going to cheat a little with book one because I’m starting with JL Bryan’s Fairy Metal Thunder. (Why is this cheating you ask? Because I’ve already read Bryan’s The Paranormals and LOVED them!)

Next up (in no particular order): The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines, The Fallen Star by Jessica Sorensen, Prince of Wolves by Quinn Loftis and Dirty Blood by Heather Hildenbrand.

By the way, four of these five books are currently FREE on Amazon! So if you’re looking for a good indie read, you may want to check them out as well! I’ve heard great things about all of these authors from some very trusted bloggers and I’m thinking it’s about time I find out for myself what all the fuss is about! If the covers are any indication, these books are going to rock!

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