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SPOTLIGHT! Vampire Down by Steven Montano (BLOG TOUR!)

Published July 1, 2014 by katheryn13

 

Vampire Downbanner2

SPOTLIGHT

on

Vampire Down:

Blood Skies, Book 7

By Steven Montano

Coming June 27th!

Who ever knew the end would come so soon?

In this final volume of the BLOOD SKIES series, Eric Cross and Danica Black find themselves facing impossible odds in the desolate ruins of the world they once knew. Hunted by the mercenary forces of the newly formed East Claw Coalition and desperate to find the elusive White Mother, the two refugees will be pushed to the limits of their abilities and sanity as they struggle to survive.

Meanwhile, in the near future, the undead hunter called Reaver searches for the lost city of Bloodhollow, the place where humankind will make its final stand, while the undead of New Koth and the rebellious White Children make their push to end the reign of the Ebon Kingdoms once and for all.

As timelines collide and the spider weaves her web, the battle for the fate of the riven world will come to its violent conclusion in the depths of a forgotten city, where unlikely heroes will emerge and hidden evils will finally be revealed…

Available Friday June 27th in Ebook and Print format.

Add it to Goodreads

Other books in the series:

Blood Skies 1BLOOD SKIES

Blood Skies, Book 1

In the time after The Black, human survivors of the Southern Claw Alliance clash with vampire legions of the Ebon Cities in a constant war for survival. Earth as we know it has been forever damaged by an arcane storm that fused our world with distant realms of madness and terror. Things that once existed only in our nightmares stalk the earth.

Now, humanity is threatened by one of its own.

Eric Cross, an enlisted warlock in the Southern Claw military, is part of an elite team of soldiers and mages in pursuit of a woman known as Red — a witch whose stolen knowledge threatens the future of the human race. The members of Viper Squad will traverse haunted forests and blighted tundra in their search for the traitor, a journey that ultimately leads them to the necropolis of Koth.

There, in that haven of renegade undead, Cross will discover the dark origins of magic, and the true meaning of sacrifice…

Experience a dark and deadly new world in the debut novel of the “Blood Skies” series from author Steven Montano.

Book 1, Blood Skies is currently FREE on Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

BLACK SCARSCity of Scars book 2

Blood Skies, Book 2

Something ancient has awoken. Primordial and wholly evil, a living shadow emerges from a prison made weak by the magical cataclysm called The Black. Now the Sleeper stalks the land in search of its old enemies, leaving a trail of madness and destruction in its wake. Eric Cross, a Southern Claw warlock, has been sent to find the Woman in the Ice, the only known means to stopping this evil.

Aided by a grizzled ranger and a band of wardens and inmates from a sadistic prison, Cross’ mission will bring him into conflict with an array of foes: the barbaric Gorgoloth, vampire shock troops out of the Ebon Cities, and a cadre of mercenary nihilists called the Black Circle.

On a mission that will take him from a lost temple once ruled by insidious wolf sorcerers to the vicious gladiator games of the vampire city-state of Krul to the deadly ruins of an ice city, Cross will play a pivotal role in an ancient conflict whose outcome will determine the future of the world. Return to the world of Blood Skies in this exciting military fantasy adventure!

 Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Soulrazor book 3SOULRAZOR

Blood Skies, Book 3

The war continues…

Eric Cross and his team of elite mercenaries are the bane of the Ebon Cities. Armed with the cutting-edge arcane weaponry of the Southern Claw, Cross and his crew – Black, Kane, Ronan, Maur, Grissom and Ash – have become a veritable thorn in the side of the vampire armies.

Now the team is tasked with halting vampire activity near the remote city-state of Fane, where the Ebon Cities have teamed up with a former Revenger in search of a deadly weapon called Soulrazor.

To make matters worse, something sinister has happened to Cross, and the key to his salvation is somehow directly tied to the Ebon Cities’ new soldiers: a host of necrotic angels who bear traces of divine power.

Cross and his team must travel across a blighted wilderness and do battle with a vile array of enemies as they race not only to save the city of Thornn from total annihilation, but to rescue Cross’ very soul from an enemy more powerful than he could ever imagine…

 Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

CROWN OF ASHCrown of Ash book 4

Blood Skies, Book 4

Eric Cross and his team have been to hell and back, but their journey isn’t over yet.

Marooned in the remote criminal city of Blacksand, the only way for the mercenaries to get home is to help a local crime boss protect his territories from the Ebon Cities.

To complicate matters, Danica Black is also being hunted by The Revengers, a powerful band of corrupt prison wardens, while Cross himself is trapped in the Whisperlands, a realm of darkness controlled by a cadre of evil mages known as the Shadow Lords.

The team will battle their way through corroding wastelands and deadly vampire outposts, but even their considerable skills might not be enough to save them from the cruel machinations of the Shadow Lord’s mysterious master, a malevolent creature who has manipulated their destinies right from the beginning…

Return to the world of The Black in Book 4 of the BLOOD SKIES saga!

 Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The Witchs Eye book 5THE WITCH’S EYE

Blood Skies, Book 5

A new evil is born.

The Ebon Cities have created a deadly new breed of undead called the Witchborn, whose very existence spells doom for the entire continent.

To make matters worse, a nihilist cult called the Black Circle has learned of the Witch’s Eye, the source of the Witchborn virus and an item capable of opening a portal to The Black.

Eric Cross’s scattered and war-weary team must find the Eye before it’s too late. With the aid of some unlikely allies, the mercenaries will fight their way across the wastelands and challenge the horrors at the edge of oblivion.

And before the battle is won Cross and his team will make the ultimate sacrifice, and face one of their own…

Return to the world After The Black in Book 5 of the BLOOD SKIES saga!

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

CHAIN OF SHADOWSChain of Shadows book 6

Blood Skies, Book 6

The barrier between worlds has been broken, and the invasion is about to begin.

Eric Cross, burdened by the loss of those who’ve died under his command, must lead his recently reunited mercenary team against the shadow wolf sorcerers known as the Maloj. Bound to dire artifact blades and charged with protecting the Kindred, Cross seeks help from the enigmatic White Mother, leader of the Southern Claw.

But sinister forces bring his vessel down in a strange and distant land, and soon Cross and his allies are beset by undead armies vying for control of the deadly region called the Chain of Shadows. Trapped in a desert waste where wielding magic is dangerous and nothing is as it seems, Cross’s team will pay the ultimate price in their battle to finally get home…

Return to the world After the Black in this pivotal 6th book of the BLOOD SKIES saga!

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Steven Montano was something terrifying in his previous life. Now he’s an accountant, so not much has changed.

An avid hiker, reader, San Antonio Spurs fan, goofball husband and father of two, Steven writes novels (the seven volume Blood Skies series, the Skullborn Trilogy, something black…, and the upcoming thrillers Blood Angel Rising and Colder) and drinks a lot of wine when he isn’t busy pulling his hair out over payroll or trying to balance the company books.

Visit the author’s website and check out the Vampire Down page on Goodreads!

Full ‘Vampire Down’ Tour Schedule

June 25th – Kelly at Paperback Cowgirl Reviews – Review Blood Skies

June 26th – Jasmine at Book Groupies – Soundtrack, Spotlight, Dreamcast

June 27th – Danielle at Consuming Worlds – Character Guest Post

June 28th – Toni at My Book Addiction – Guest Post

June 29th – Megan at Megan’s Blog – Author Interview

June 30th – Meg at Heart on Fire – Guest Post

July 1st – Scott Moon at Scott Moon Writer Blog – Review Blood Skies

July 1st – Katheryn The Perks of Being a Book Nerd – Spotlight

July 2nd – Lou at Relaxed Reads – Review Crown of Ash

July 3rd – Stephanie at The Book Hipster – Author Interview

July 4th Michelle at In Libris Veritas – Top Ten

 

4 stars to This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers

Published June 19, 2014 by katheryn13

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review

Well this was different to what I usually read, but I think that was part of the appeal. I had heard about This Is Not A Test for so long, but when I first opened the book, I had no idea zombies were involved.
Many on reviews say this is not strictly a zombie apocalyptic story, because while they are apart of the plot, they are not CENTRAL. The story is about the teenagers and their survival. They don’t know how long they’ll be alive for before the zombies fight their way through. It was definitely gruesome in parts, but I have read some pretty gruel stories and this was tame in comparison. The characters were intriguing and tough. Some were more central than others, and Sloane was the main character. Since her twin left her to her abusive father, Sloane has just wanted to end her life. But then she runs away when the dead come to life and start attacking, and her reasons to die become less coherent. It’s quite a powerful story, and at times I thought: this is it. She’s going to kill herself. But you gradually see she’s getting stronger and finding a reason to live, even if it takes time.

I’m really glad I picked this up from the library and will look out for more books by this author.

–Kat

!!Teaser post!! Crane by Stacey Rourke

Published June 17, 2014 by katheryn13

 Howdy! 

We have some fun things for you today. As part of the blog tour, we’re pleased to give you some deadly goodies from:

Crane by Stacey Rourke

(Legends Saga Book 1)
The Horseman is unending,
his presence shan’t lessen.
If you break the curse,
you become the legend.Washington Irving and Rip Van Winkle had no choice but to cover up the deadly truth behind Ichabod Crane’s disappearance. Centuries later, a Crane returns to Sleepy Hollow awakening macabre secrets once believed to be buried deep. What if the monster that spawned the legend lived within you?Now, Ireland Crane, reeling from a break-up and seeking a fresh start, must rely on the newly awakened Rip Van Winkle to discover the key to channeling the darkness swirling within her. Bodies are piling high and Ireland is the only one that can save Sleepy Hollow by embracing her own damning curse.

But is anyone truly safe when the Horseman rides?

Purchase
available now

How about an excerpt?

The plush terry cloth robe slipped from Ireland’s shoulders with a whispering caress before pooling in a heap around her ankles. Marble tiles chilled her bare feet as she stepped into the walk-in shower. The tips of her fingers slid across stainless steel. With a flick of her wrist, the trio of showerheads flowed to life. Welcoming heat came at her from all angles, pulsating over her curves with a rhythmic seduction. Ireland turned, a groan escaping her as the streams massaged all the right places. Steam rose, fogging the handle and creating a cloud of humidity that hugged her frame. Tipping her head back, she let the droplets rain down on her face and across her closed lids. Her lips parted, welcoming the rush of warmth that flooded between them. Until it assaulted her tongue with a rush of coppery warmth that clamped her throat shut with a wretched heave. Her hands cupped to catch the droplets, her eyes widening as thick crimson pooled in her palms, seeping between her ivory fingers. Formerly white tiles were now smattered and smeared with blackish-red gore that sprayed from the nozzles. Ireland threw herself from the shower, her feet slipping beneath her. She reached out to steady herself, but found nothing to hold on to. Nothing there to pull her back from the brink, except her own need for self-preservation … and a shadowed silhouette in the corner. Instinctively, she covered herself with her arms. Squinting, she craned her neck to see the figure that was slowly turning to face her.

Mason?” Her voice echoed around her before she could even speak it.

He stared straight ahead with fixed, unseeing eyes. Blood trailed down his face from various points of origin, soaking the front of his shirt. “Cloak of night, brings Horseman’s plight. His pricy toll, will be a soul.”

Mason? Are you okay?”

A hard blink and his eyes found focus on her. A desperate panic flared his nostrils, forcing his breath to come fast and ragged. “Help me, you have to help me,” he pleaded, his teeth pink with the blood that streamed past his lips.

Her trembling hand reached for him, then recoiled at her own inept state of confusion. “H-how? What do I do?”

You have to save us,” Mason’s words became more garbled by the fresh rush of gore that bubbled up the back of his throat. His once handsome face contorted in rage. Leaning forward he balled his fists and screamed with a force that bulged the tendons of his neck, “Save us!

 

About the author:
There is nothing worse than being put on the spot and asked to talk about yourself. For me it brings back that inevitable moment in a new school when the teacher would ask me to stand up, introduce myself and tell the class something about myself. I was always worried I would blurt out something stupid that I would get teased for. Something like, “My name’s Stacey and I like pickles!” Then for the rest of the school year I’d be known as the Pickle Girl and let’s be honest, no one wants that. So to avoid such a faux pas I will simply say that I love to write. It allows me to get my crazy out just enough that I can function as a normal member of society.
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

4 stars to City of Heavenly Fire (Mortal Instruments #6) by Cassandra Clare

Published June 2, 2014 by katheryn13

Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world changed in the sixth and last instalment of the internationally bestselling The Mortal Instruments series.

Erchomai, Sebastian had said. I am coming.

Darkness returns to the Shadowhunter world. As their society falls apart around them, Clary, Jace, Simon and their friends must band together to fight the greatest evil the Nephilim have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in this world can defeat him – must they journey to another world to find the chance?

Review:

Let me just clear this up: I was going to rate this book 3.5 stars. That was before the epilogue. I’ll just call this my “disclaimer” :P

So the end has come, and I guess we all knew it would happen. Would Sebastian aka Jonathan Morgenstern win the war? Would he rule all of hell and earth and whatever else he was planning?

A little part of me hoped he’d redeem himself. But alas it was not to be. I won’t say any spoilers, though that is going to make reviewing damned difficult because SO much happened.

I’ll get the negatives out of the way. I felt for the first half or three quarters of the book not a lot actually HAPPENED. Oh don’t get me wrong, lot’s went on, people did stuff and said stuff that were both bad and good, but the phrase “you say a lot without actually saying anything” comes to mind. Lots went on but not a lot actually happened. As in, I felt like I was being dragged around a playground for hours until suddenly there was a bump in the road. I dunno, bad analogy. Edit: I just remembered to add there were a couple of continuity problems and also the pacing…I don’t know if it was just me, but it felt off.

Then about half way, things started to get real. The ‘gang’ as I like to call them, travel into an unknown realm, which is basically…hell. They roam hills and vast desert, and encounter demons. This was the most interesting bit in this section for me, when they first arrive, and they each fall into a dream where their hearts desire come true. Although it’s not really their desire, as they each find out. I thought that added a nice twist, as opposed to just entering hell and it being a bit anti climactic.

As much as I hated Sebastian…I still kind of liked him. I understood (although not in a personal way) that he just, ultimately, wanted to be loved. The problem was, he didn’t understand that that other person needs a good reason to love back and it can’t be forced. He thought by threatening and practically forcing Clary to love him, it would happen. Which is what made me like him, despite the crazy shit he did, he was deep down lonely.

Now, we all knew that two new characters (well a whole family, really) would be introduced into this book. Emma and Julian being the centre pair. I understood why Cassie did this, because of her releasing a new Shadowhunter series in 2015. But…now here’s where my opinion might be unpopular. I didn’t particularly like how much they were in it. I get that you can introduce them, maybe have them in a couple of scenes, but in my view, that should have been it. They took up too much room and imo were quite boring. I felt zero feelings towards them, and it really bugged me. More because I had to drag myself through the long chapters they were in just to get to good stuff. I realise that I don’t have to read the next series, and I may not, but for an end of series book for the characters we already know and love, adding these new people for as much as she did, was a bit unnecessary.

Shoot pellets at me if you like.

Magnus as always was someone I hoped survived. Although in contrast to other books in the series, his part wasn’t that big. The wolves seemed to be more of a focus, which I guess yeah is okay, but I’ve never been a big lover of werewolves (long story) and so this put me off, but I was sad when a certain thing happened. Actually, two certain things, but that’s unrelated to the pack. *remembers not to spoil*

Onto the epilogue and this is where the dull parts of the book are redeemed because what happened at the end of the book broke me. I was sad, no tears though. Just…sad. Until epilogue and dammit, you got reminders of the Herondale family and a certain blue eyed boy and I’m like “WILLLLLLL I MISS YOU!!!” but yknow, that’s another story. Literally. hehe.

I just loved (and hated) all the references to the characters in TID and especially mentions of  certain ghost in the London Institute. (if you’ve read that series, you’ll understand.) but this is what made me cry. In some ways, I felt a stronger attachment to them than the Mortal Instruments crew.

I guess there’s not much else I can say. I enjoyed this book…well, most of it. Despite the whines and complaints, it was a good ending to a very good series. I’m glad nothing major happened, although some things were pretty scary. There were so many laughs, which was nice, it lightened the tension, and many twists and turns.

Looking forward to what Cassie next has in store for us…

Kat

TWO mini reviews: 3.5stars to Maximum Ride #3 by James Patterson & 4stars to The Death Cure by James Dashner

Published May 22, 2014 by katheryn13

 

In the third installment of James Patterson’s Maximum Ride series, the time has arrived for Max and her winged “Flock” to face their ultimate enemy and discover their original purpose: to defeat the takeover of “Re-evolution”, a sinister experiment to re-engineer a select population into a scientifically superior master race…and to terminate the rest. Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman, and Angel have always worked together to defeat the forces working against them–but can they save the world when they are torn apart, living in hiding and captivity, halfway across the globe from one another?

 

Review:

I have enjoyed the previous two books in this series, but this one has to be my favourite. Funny, full of adventure and kicking ass, there’s plenty to love. Max’s smart-aleck comments always amuse me.

The twists and turns throughout this book, though, they were something to take in. Although some of this is really cheesy, I realise the series is for kids, and I mean, it’s obvious in the writing style and the language, but even so, I’m way older than the demographic, I’m sure, and I loved it.

Not sure about continuing the books, though, as I’ve heard questionable reviews. But as a trilogy, it works for me and I’d be happy to stop now.

Kat


 

 

 

The Trials are over. WICKED is planning to restore the survivors’ memories and complete the final cure for the Flare.

But Thomas has already remembered more than they think. And he knows WICKED can’t be trusted…

The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine. Will anyone survive the Death Cure?

 

Review:

I have enjoyed this series completely, even if at times I have been thoroughly grossed out and have taken long breaks because yes the font is small and the context is heavy (for me.) but I have always finished. And this was no exception.

Now that the trials are over, WICKED has plans. Plans that involve Thomas and his friends. But Thomas has other “plans” and this time he means business. On a whirlwind journey across several parts of the USA (mostly Denver), we’re introduced to more of the Cranks, and where they live, and an underground (not literally) rebel group who plot to destroy WICKED.

The ending, as so many people have said, was a little…basic. It felt to me a little rushed, but in the end I just felt glad the torment of their story was over and they could have a somewhat peaceful life.

If the movie producers decide to do the whole trilogy as movies, this one will certainly take a lot of energy and devising. I can’t wait!

Kat

 

 

 

 

4 stars to Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Published May 15, 2014 by katheryn13

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil held a wishbone between them.

And its snap split the world in two.

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living – one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mothers’ arms to take their turn in the killing and dying.

Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon’s secret temple and dreamed of a world that was a like a jewel-box without a jewel – a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness.

This was not that world.

 

Review:

I was completely blown away with how GREAT this book is. In fact, I’d go as far as say it trumps the first book by miles. I read it faster, that’s for sure. And that usually only happens when the story flows well, the writing is great and I get sucked into the world of angels and whatever else there are.

I instantly felt bad for Karou. She’d lost her family, the only people she loved and could trust and after finding out Akiva was connected to destroying their world, she couldn’t bare to be in his presence. I wanted to hug her and also…maybe slap her? I mean, come on! Give the guy a break.

He didn’t single handedly destroy Karou’s former home.

Of course, now she’s run away. She discovers other chimaera that she thought were gone. Karou goes on a mission to build back an army and avenge Brimstone, whom had been killed.

This…not such a good idea.

I loved how the chapters didn’t seem to struggle, and I didn’t find myself pausing on the edge of boredom. Akiva and Karou are probably two of my favourite characters ever, and their strength and determination is one of the reasons.

We also see a LOT more of Mik and Zuze. I love these guys. They’re great.

I look forward to book three, and hope things work out. Because that was one hell of a set up for a battle at the end.

-Kat

4 stars to The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Published April 20, 2014 by katheryn13

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

 

 

THERE ARE SPOILERS REGARDING THE RAVEN BOYS!! 

 

Review:

The Dream Thieves continues on from The Raven Boys. Gansey and his friends are still searching for Glendower and Cabeswater is still as mysterious as it ever was. Also, it’s missing. Whatever happened to Adam in book 1, has changed things drastically.

This book is more about Ronan and his past. It’s nice that the chapters are split between different characters, but I find it confusing sometimes, especially when the chapters have no titles. And with the POVs being fairly…omnipresent, it’s hard for me to really get focused. But never-the-less I enjoyed this, despite it taking me a while. Ronan is such a deep and unknowable character in that there is so much about him that isn’t on the surface. He hides so much of himself from his friends and even his family. We find out he’s able to pull things out of dreams and this causes chaos with the ley line.  We’re introduced to his younger brother, Matthew, who is completely different from the hard as nails approach that both Ronan and Declan have. He’s relaxed and fun, but perhaps more ignorant to what is going on around him.

There’s certainly more of Gansey, which I will always love. I just love him. He’s just…*sigh* And his closeness with Blue (Or Jane…lol) is heartwarming. Adam and Blue never seemed to be a ‘couple’ so much as two friends with mixed emotions and never really paying much attention to each other until randomly they are together and start questioning things. But they’re only 15/16/17 or whatever and they act like it’s the end of the world if they don’t have boyfriends/girlfriends. It baffles me.

Anyway, Blues’ family  centre more in this sequel and also a man named simply ‘the grey man’ who seems to take precedence within the story. He’s been sent to Henrietta to find the Greywaren, which he doesn’t know what form it comes in, so that makes his task difficult. It was a little confusing with all the different names for things but I got there in the end.

Mr Grey became a character I could have gotten used to and maybe even liked. Creepy but with a sense of morality despite his job.

The final chapters are like something out of a movie, epic and frightening.

I can’t wait to read the 3rd instalment and find out if they get any closer to finding their King.

Kat