February 25, 2015

Shadow Study Deleted Scene - Tour Stop + Giveaway!

About the Author

Maria V. Snyder changed from being a meteorologist to a novelist in 1995, when she began writing to keep her sanity while raising two children. Since then, she has published numerous freelance articles in magazines and newspapers, and teaches fiction-writing classes at the local college and area libraries. The classes give her the wonderful opportunity to encourage fellow writers, and to keep improving her craft.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Maria always had a fascination with big storms. Dreaming of chasing tornados, Maria earned a bachelors of science degree in meteorology at Penn State University. But she discovered, much to her chagrin, that forecasting the weather wasn't one of her skills. In order to chase tornados you had to predict where they might form. Creating fantasy worlds where she has complete control of the weather was more agreeable to her.

Maria's research on food-tasting methods with an expert chocolate taster, her husband, turned out to be a delicious bonus while writing Poison Study.

Maria has a brown belt in Isshinryu Karate, and enjoys playing volleyball and the cello. Traveling in general and via cruise ship in particular are her biggest distractions from writing. Maria has traveled to Belize, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean and through the Panama Canal.

Maria lives with her husband, son, daughter and yellow lab, Hazelnut, in Pennsylvania where she is at work on more LUNA novels. She is also pursuing a master's degree in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University.

Readers are welcome to contact Maria at the following email address: maria@mariavsnyder.com.

☆ How to find Maria ☆

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About the Book

New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder wowed readers with Poison Study, the unforgettable story of poison taster Yelena. Now she's back with a new tale of intrigue.

Once, only her own life hung in the balance.

Oddly enough, when Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. But she'd survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia. Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands and protect her relationship with Valek.

Suddenly, though, they are beset on all sides by those vying for power through politics and intrigue. Valek's job - and his life - are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover the scope of these plots, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. She must keep that a secret - or her enemies will discover just how vulnerable she really is - while searching for who or what is responsible for neutralizing her powers.

Yes, the days of tasting poisons were much simpler. And certainly not as dangerous,

"Doing full justice to the plot of this original and entertaining epic fantasy is impossible. Suffice it to say that the action is nonstop. The many characters leap to life, particularly Yelena, whose first-person narrative is riveting."

~ RT Book Reviews on Fire Study

☆ How to find Shadow Study ☆
GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & Noble

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“Cahil.” I really didn't have time for this. “What do you want?” I [Yelena] asked.

“What? No hello for your old friend?” Cahil smiled, but the humor didn't reach his light blue eyes.

Cahil’s beard was cropped short and traced the line of his jaw. I'd once thought him handsome, but I couldn't look at him without remembering his betrayal and treachery. Even though he had realized his mistake and made amends by helping to defeat Roze and the Fire Warper, he still wished to unseat the Commander and “free” Ixia and become king—an action, that was one of my duties as Liaison to prevent.

“What do you want?” I asked again.

“I'm here because the Council believes you're in danger.”

Leif snorted. “And that's news?”

Cahil ignored him. “Seems an assassin is after you and we are to escort you back to the Citadel so we can provide you with additional protection.”

“Please tell the Council that I appreciate the concern, but I'm quite safe. And I'm not returning to the Citadel.”

“We're not here as a courtesy. We have our orders.”

“I don't care. The Council cannot order me.”

Cahil urged Topaz closer. Kiki rubbed cheeks with the horse. Traitor.

“Yelena, a word in private.” Cahil gestured and an opening between his riders appeared.

I considered refusing, but was too curious about what he had to say. Kiki followed Topaz until we were far enough away.

“Make it quick, Cahil, I plan to be in the plains by nightfall.”

“You don't seem to understand. The Council knows all about the danger you're in.”

Fear swirled and I gripped Kiki's saddle. Was he implying they knew about my magic? Impossible.

“And considering you're heading straight to the man who vowed revenge on you, it would be wise to return with us.”

“Quit dancing around the subject.”

“Brutal honesty?”

I stared at him.

He laughed—a humorless, course sound that grated on my frayed nerves.

“Nice to know some things haven't changed. Unlike your magic. The Council knows you're powerless, Yelena. You're a regular old girl who has finally pissed off someone who is powerful enough to take you down.”

His words burned into me like a red hot pontil iron, but I used every ounce of will to keep my face neutral. “Interesting rumor. Who started it?”

“Rumor? I think not. Now you can come with us, or I can prick you with Curare and drag you back to the Citadel.”

I shrugged. “Go ahead and waste the Curare.” As I glanced back at Leif and Hale, I tapped my fingers on Kiki's neck, signaling her. “Come on guys. We're done here.”

When Cahil turned to order his people to stop them, I leaned close to Kiki's ear and whispered, “Ask the others to dump their riders and go home, please.”

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This is a tour hosted giveaway!
10 finished copies of SHADOW STUDY! International

a Rafflecopter giveaway

☆ The Tour ☆

Week One:
2/16/2015- a GREAT read- Guest Post
2/17/2015- Alice Marvels- Review
2/18/2015- Reading YA Rocks-Guest Post
2/19/2015- Tales of the Ravenous Reader- Interview
2/20/2015- Read Now Sleep Later- Review

Week Two:
2/23/2015- Two Chicks on Books- Guest Post
2/24/2015- Seeing Double In Neverland- Review
2/25/2015- Magical Urban Fantasy Reads- Guest Post
2/26/2015- Mundie Moms- Review
2/27/2015- Parajunkee- Interview

February 18, 2015

Sin Eater's Daughter Blog Tour Stop + Giveaway!

About the Author

Melinda Salisbury lives by the sea, somewhere in the south of England. As a child she genuinely thought Roald Dahl’s Matilda was her biography, in part helped by her grandfather often mistakenly calling her Matilda, and the local library having a pretty cavalier attitude to the books she borrowed. Sadly she never manifested telekinetic powers. She likes to travel, and have adventures. She also likes medieval castles, non-medieval aquariums, Richard III, and all things Scandinavian. The Sin Eater’s Daughter is her first novel, and will be published by Scholastic in 2015. She is represented by the amazing Claire Wilson at Rogers, Coleridge and White.

She tweets. A lot.

☆ How to find Melinda ☆

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About the Book

Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court.

She’s the executioner.

As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen.

However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

☆ How to find Sin Eater's Daughter ☆
AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
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So, these are my absolute favourite YA books, and why I love them so much!

Shadow and Bone/Siege and Storm/Ruin and Rising I can’t pick a favourite one, the whole series is absolutely stunning and I’ve already read it through three times. The world is like nothing I’ve ever read before, elegantly, intricately written, with a gorgeous, subtle nod to Russian culture. I love the way the small sciences work, and the divide between those who can and those who can’t. I love the way Alina grows over the series, becoming stronger and more assertive, and yet always retaining her essential Alina-ness. The supporting cast are amazing and the BOYS. Do not get my started on how painfully sexy the Darkling is, and how real Mal is. But the award for Best Boy goes to Strumhond. He’s sassy and he’s clever and I love him.

Anna and the French Kiss I didn’t read this for the longest time because I am an idiot. When I finally did read it, I ended up blushing on a train because Etienne St. Clair is SO HOT. My stomach was aching at times because the tension building between him and Anna was almost unbearable. When I finally finished I had a lot of difficulty understanding how I was on a train and not in Paris. So I ended up booking a trip to Paris and my best friend and I went around looking at all the locations and fangirling. I love both sequels/companion novels too, but it was AatFK that I really fell in love with.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone Again, an incredible world, unlike anything I’ve ever read before, or since. The first time I read it shivers ran down my spine at the strangeness of Karou’s life and the high stakes she was playing for, the plot unfolding like a flower, twisting and turning and shocking to the core. Again, I love the entire series, but for me it was this first book that absolutely blew me away with its premise and its execution. I’ve re-read this a fair few times too – I’d love to visit Poison Kitchen, and Zuzana is my favourite fictional best friend ever – loyal and entirely her own person.

Fangirl Cath is pretty much my spirit animal, so of course I loved this book. Rainbow Rowell was absolutely spot on with her rendering of fandom and fan-culture, and it was such a treat to read about it in a way that wasn’t dismissive, or disparaging, but instead embraced it and showed fans have lives outside of the Internet too. Also Levi. What a guy.

The Scorpio Races I absolutely love Maggie Stiefvater’s lyrical writing style, but this book made my heart beat strangely. It was beautiful and wild and unpredictable and I think about it a lot. It’s hard to say why this one most of all of her works, but this is the one that got under my skin.

Tiger Eyes This was the first real YA novel I can remember reading, and it’s still one of my favourites. Everything about it, from the heart-breaking opening, to Davey’s struggle with her grief, and meeting the mysterious Wolf, chimed with me in a way that made it seem almost cruel when the story finished. I could have kept reading about Davey for days.

The Hunger Games The first time I read The Hunger Games I couldn’t stop. I kept reading it while I made tea, I kept reading it when I answered the door to the postman. I quite literally couldn’t put it down, couldn’t step away from the brutal and bitter world of the Capitol and Katniss’s struggles. As soon as I finished it I started it again. I had never read anything like it before, and haven’t since. It’s an astonishing novel and I’m so glad that everyone else in the world thinks so.

I Capture the Castle I Capture the Castle is an absolute classic, a beautiful gem of a novel that is perfect for reading on rainy afternoons with a blanket over your knees and a huge mug of steaming hot chocolate. It’s the YA novel equivalent of a Weasley jumper. I end up re-reading it once a year, usually when I’ve got a terrible cold, because indulging in Cassandra Mortmain’s world is a real treat and I always feel better afterwards.

The Northern Lights Series Everything about this series is a work of art. While I’ve been writing this post I’ve realised just how important the world that a story is based in is to me, and this is one of the best ever created. Spanning alternate dimensions and incorporating religion and politics, Phillip Pullman’s Northern Lights trilogy is a soul-destroying, game-changing series. I read the whole thing over the course of three days the first time I read it, and by the end I was a mess. It’s one of those books that temporarily makes everything around it seem dull by comparison.

Ink Exchange Books about fairies – real, nasty, amoral, fairies draw me like a moth to a flame. So many have thrilled me to the bone; the rest of the Wicked Lovely series, Holly Black’s Tithe, Valiant and Ironside, Liz de Jager’s Blackheart Legacy series, The Falconer by Elizabeth May. But Ink Exchange is the one that holds my heart, because the king of the Dark Court is delicious and the story is unashamedly bleak and dangerous, and the fairies are the stuff of nightmares. This is a real walk on the wild side of fairy lore and I love it for it.

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This is a tour hosted giveaway!
5 finished copies of THE SIN EATER’S DAUGHTER US Only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

☆ The Tour ☆

Week One:
2/16/2015- Fiktshun- Interview
2/17/2015- Katie's Book Blog- Review
2/18/2015- Magical Urban Fantasy Reads- Guest Post
2/19/2015- Beauty and the Bookshelf- Review
2/20/2015- Novel Novice- Interview

Week Two:
2/23/2015- Fiction Fare- Review
2/24/2015- Supernatural Snark- Guest Post
2/25/201- YA Bibliophile- Review
2/26/2015- Dark Faerie Tales- Interview
2/27/2015- Two Chicks on Books- Guest Post

Dear followers, fans and peeps! Some of the books I review on Magical Urban Fantasy Reads are provided to me for free by either the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. Please know that I am in NO WAY compensated for my reviews. All opinions are mine and I am not required to give a positive review in exchange for a free book! But some of the purchase links on my blog are monetized through places like Amazon, Book Depository or Barnes & Noble.