Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Excerpt - Sapient by Jerry Kaczmarowski

 Hello Everyone! Today I have an excerpt from Sapient by Jerry Kaczmarowski. Sounds really interesting so make sure to check it out!



Sapient is a new techno thriller by Jerry Kaczmarowski. It was published in April 2015 and is available for sale on Amazon in eBook and paperback.

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Synopsis:


Abandoned by her husband after the birth of their child, Jane Dixon’s world is defined by her autistic son and the research she does to find a cure for his condition. She knows her work on animal intelligence may hold the key. She also knows that the research will take decades to complete. None of it will ultimately benefit her son.

All that changes when a lab rat named Einstein demonstrates that he can read and write. Just as her research yields results, the U.S. government discovers her program. The army wants to harness her research for its military potential.  The CDC wants to shut her down completely.  The implications of animal intelligence are too dangerous, particularly when the previously inert virus proves to be highly contagious.

She steals the virus to cure her son, but the government discovers the theft. She must now escape to Canada before the authorities can replace her son’s mental prison with a physical one.


Chapter 1


A young research assistant poked his head through the laboratory door and said, “We’re heading out to grab some beers. Want to join us?”

Dr. Jane Dixon brushed aside a strand of dark hair that had fallen from her ponytail. She waved the offer off without turning to face him and gave a curt, “Too much work.” I need to get out of here at a decent time to see Robbie, or I’m going to need to find a new nanny.

“Come on, Dr. Dixon. One quick drink. It’s Friday.”

She sighed and faced him, removing her dark-rimmed glasses. “How about a rain check?” She gave the younger man her best smile, but Jane knew she sounded insincere.

“Sure, a rain check.” The research assistant gave a perfunctory nod and let the door swing shut. Jane wouldn’t receive another invitation anytime soon, which was fine with her.

She put her hands in the small of her back and stretched, yielding a satisfying pop. Not for the first time, she congratulated herself on the regularity of her yoga workouts. They were one of the few distractions she permitted herself. With forty in the not-too- distant future, it was one distraction she couldn’t afford to forgo. She pulled her stool closer to her computer and checked her maze for the final time. She chuckled to herself. After all her years of education, she was reduced to playing video games with rodents. Using a virtual maze allowed her to create a level of complexity unrealistic with traditional animal intelligence testing.

Jane walked into an adjoining room with rows of cages where her subjects spent most of their day. She approached a cage adorned with a garish blue first-place ribbon. Her assistant had put it on the door as a joke. At first, it migrated back and forth as different rats outperformed others. For the past two months, it hadn’t moved.

She opened the cage and made a coaxing motion. “Come here, Einstein.” A fat, white rat dashed out the door onto her hand and scrambled up her right shoulder. His neon-blue eyes gave off an icy intelligence. The change in eye color was one of many side effects of her tests Jane still couldn’t explain. The rat whipped its tail into her hair for balance, hopping from paw to paw.

“Settle down, boy,” she said. She carried Einstein back into the lab with its virtual maze and extended her hand. He raced down her arm to the large trackball and made little jumps in anticipation of the race. As Jane clamped him gently into the metal rig that held him in place, he stopped jumping. Einstein differed from the other rats—he never struggled when Jane locked him in place. The other rats fought against the harness, making it difficult to complete the test preparations.

A two-dimensional overview of a simple maze flashed on the screen. Without hesitating, Einstein rolled through the maze on his trackball, completing the challenge in seconds.

“Too easy,” Jane said. “You don’t even deserve a prize.” Despite this, she stroked the rat’s head and gave him a small piece of cheese. Einstein snapped it up in his front paws. As soon as he devoured it, he pulled against his harness and chattered at Jane.

“Relax, big fella.” She tapped on her keyboard to reconfigure the course before bending down to eye level with Einstein. “Now the real challenge begins.” He stared into her sea- green eyes. The small rodent had the intense focus of a fighter about to get in the ring.

A second maze flashed on the screen. There was a straightforward solution that was long and twisting. A second solution existed, but so far, none of the rats had figured it out. The second path had two tiny virtual teleportation pads. If the rats stepped onto one of the pads, they were transported to a corresponding location in a different part of the maze. For this test, the pads would save precious seconds.

“Go,” Jane shouted, starting the timer. Einstein didn’t budge. Instead, he looked back and forth between the obvious path and the first teleportation pad.

“Clock’s ticking,” Jane said to herself in frustration.

Einstein shrieked as he noticed the decreasing progress bar. A tentative paw step forward cleared the maze overview and put him in a six-inch-high virtual hallway. He waddled straight to the teleportation pad but stopped short. He turned his gaze to Jane as his whiskers moved back and forth, up and down. Jane stared back, willing him to make the right move.

The rat rolled forward on his trackball across the pad. The screen flashed, and he teleported to within a few steps of the exit. With a final glance at Jane, he spun through the gate with twenty seconds left on the clock.

Jane clapped her hands. “You did it.” She reached toward him. He clambered up her arm, slower now that he was out of the virtual world. She gave him a piece of cheese and returned him to the steel table.

“Impressive,” she said to the empty room. At times like this she wished someone could appreciate her triumphs. Her coworkers were at the bar. And Robbie? Robbie is Robbie. The warm smile of a mother flitted across her face as she thought about her son.

Einstein broke her reverie as he scratched and clawed at an iPad on the table. “It’s like having a second child,” Jane sighed to herself. She obliged Einstein’s pestering by starting an old episode of Sesame Street. The classic show was his favorite. Most other children’s programming bored him. His second-favorite genre was as far from the Children’s Television Workshop gang as you could get. One of Jane’s more unsavory assistants had decided to play Rated R comedies on the screen in the evening when the animals were alone in their cages. The crass movies entertained Einstein for hours despite the fact he couldn’t understand any of them.

Jane’s mobile phone vibrated. A message from her nanny read, “WHERE R U!!!” She glanced at the time in the lower right of her screen and gave a sharp intake of breath. I did it again, she chided herself.

“Leaving now. Sorry.” She almost typed a sad face emoticon but caught herself. It wouldn’t be well received. She pushed Send and dropped the phone on the lab table. She pounded the results of today’s tests into her computer, not bothering to correct spelling errors as she raced to enter her observations while they were still fresh.

The phone buzzed again. Jane gritted her teeth at the unnecessary back-and-forth. These nastygrams would only delay her departure. She reached for the phone in frustration, but Einstein was perched over it, staring at the screen. She nudged the little rodent back and set her jaw as she read the text.

The screen read, “Who is Einstein?” As she struggled to make sense of the nanny’s text, her eyes scanned back to the previous outbound message. She juggled her phone, almost dropping it on the floor.

The screen read, “I am Einstein.”

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Praise for Sapient:


“The plot is fast-paced, thought provoking, funny at times, and kept me reading to find out what would happen next. I think that the YA audience will love it.” - Dana Bjornstad

“I loved this story and I especially liked its animal characters - Einstein the lab rat with the keen sense of humor and Bear, the one-eyed German Shepherd dog who seems to always be the butt of Einstein's jokes. And the human characters aren't half bad either.” - Cheryl Stout

“A timeless, engrossing and perfectly-paced techno thriller about the promise – and fear – of modern medical science.” - Best Thrillers

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About Jerry Kaczmarowski:


 Jerry Kaczmarowski lives in Seattle with his family. He writes techno-thrillers that explore the benefits and dangers of mankind's scientific advancement. His first book, Moon Rising, was released in June 2014.  His second book, Sapient, was published in April 2015.

Jerry spent the first twenty years of his professional life in the consulting industry on the West Coast. His fascination with technology is matched only by his love of stories. His books intertwine action with a keen insight into how technology will shape our lives in the coming years.


To learn more, go to http://www.jerrykaczmarowski.com/   

Connect with Jerry on:

 Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads.






Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Small Break

Hey Everyone! Some of you may have noticed that I haven't been posting any reviews or posts lately. I wish I had the time to post some reviews or even read for that matter. I did not have any time this month to read too much and therefore I don't have any reviews to post. This semester has been pretty hectic and it is just starting to die down. So I will have more reviews coming soon, on my blog and on Youtube, but not until the middle of May. Thanks for checking out my blog and I can't wait for a break and some reading time!

Vanessa

Friday, April 10, 2015

Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)

Red Queen (Red Queen #1)By Victoria AveyardPublished February 10th, 2015 by Orion

320 pages

4 stars - Interesting Read!!

The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?

Review:


Red Queen was an anticipated read for me this year. I absolutely loved and love the cover and it was admittedly a big part of why I wanted to read it. I had seen a few mixed reviews but I was eager to come up with my own thoughts. I didn't go in with too many expectations and I didn't really know what Red Queen would be about before I read it. That being said, I think rated Red Queen somewhere between 3.75 and 4 stars. I just finished the book and I'm trying to get all my thoughts together, but while I did enjoy the book there were still a few things lacking.


It was a little difficult for me to get into the book at the beginning and then I would gain interest and lose it. I'm not sure if this is because I was going through a small book slump while reading but it happened. :( I will say that once I got to the middle of the book I was totally captured and intrigued. The idea for Red Queen is an interesting one. 

There are the Reds and the Silvers. The Reds are people with red blood and the people that are ordinary human beings. The Silvers bleed silver and have extraordinary powers that make them superior and powerful compared to the Reds. This means that the Reds live a life of servitude and poor conditions while the Silvers live a life of luxury with rights. Mare Barrow is a Red and believes that her fate is a life at war just like her older brothers before her. She doesn't feel like she has any talent or purpose in her life until one night changes everything. Soon Mare realizes that things aren't always what they seem and anyone can betray anyone. There is a war going on and Mare must choose who to trust because many of the people she loves are counting on it. 

Mare was a complex character. I felt for her and the conditions that she had to live through and the shadow that she seemed to live in with her sister. Throughout most of the book Mare always seemed to be upset about her circumstances and was slow to trust anyone around her. Despite her attitude she tried her best to save and protect those close to her. She tried to stand up for what she believed in and put herself in danger for the chance to change things. 

The two brothers Cal and Maven were difficult for Mare to trust as well as for me to trust. I wasn't sure who the bad guy was and who the good guy was. I feel like we really didn't get to know too much about Cal and I wish that we could have seen a little more of him. Though, I'm guessing we will learn more in the next book. Maven was another complex character. He seemed to be the younger and weaker brother, the one that was always in his older brother's shadow. 

There are more characters that play a big part in the story but I don't want to say too much and spoil anything. There are the characters that you love and appreciated and there are the characters that are very annoying and evil. 

The powers that the Silvers had were very cool and I loved reading the scenes where some of them would duel. The ending was the most interesting and suspenseful part of the book and held a shocking twist of events that I didn't see coming. I thought I knew what was going on the whole time but I was wrong and I loved being shocked. I can't wait for the next book because I think that it will be even better than the first. Overall, Red Queen is an intriguing read and one I would definitely recommend you check out for yourself! 

Vanessa

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Book Spotlight: Disintegration by Jenna Newell Hiott

Hey Everyone! Today I have a book spotlight on the blog! Disintegration is the second book in The Todor Trilogy by Jenna Newell Hiot! Sounds pretty interesting so check it out soon!!


Disintegration: The Todor Trilogy, Book Two
By Jenna Newell Hiott
Genre: Epic Fantasy, Metaphysical Fantasy, Visionary Fiction

Book Summary

Aerie has fallen and the land of Todor is on the brink of war. Famine and decay have touched every corner of the land. If Todor is to survive, Gemynd, Numa and Soman must fully embrace their powers, even as they continue to uncover more secrets and lies. Can Soman survive the aftermath of his role in the destruction of Aerie? Will Numa’s love for Gemynd endure even after she sees the horrors of the Iturtian pit? And is Gemynd his father’s puppet or his protégé? The betrayals of the past weigh heavy, but can the three move beyond them in order to work for the good of Todor? Or will their inability to forgive propel them into war? Thundering toward an epic conclusion, Disintegration is the second book in the Todor trilogy. In it, author Jenna Newell Hiott paints a stunning portrait of humanity at its rawest, giving a revealing glimpse of how it fares when everything teeters on the brink of destruction.



Author Bio:

Author, healer, all-around kook, Jenna Newell Hiott boasts of having a limitless imagination, unless it’s nap time. While many of us had an imaginary friend as children, Jenna had an entire imaginary family—complete with a second set of parents and three siblings—all of whom lived in a make-believe world of Jenna’s own creation. One could say she’s been writing fantasy fiction since she was old enough to use words. And she never outgrew it. Out of this hyperactive imagination, Jenna created the land of Todor: a world of magic, intrigue, and power plays.

Links:




Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Cover Reveal: Every Last Breath by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Hey Everybody! I'm so very excited to be a part of this awesome cover reveal for Every Last Breath!!! EVERY LAST BREATH is one of my most anticipated conclusions to the Dark Elements trilogy from #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout!! 
EVERY LAST BREATH is a Young Adult Paranormal being published by Harlequin Teen and is a part of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s The Dark Elements Series.

 It is being released on July 28th, 2015. Pre-order EVERY LAST BREATH and then be sure to read the first books in this amazing series before its release!

I absolutely adored the first two books in the Dark Elements trilogy and definitely recommend to fans of Jennifer L. Armentrout or for those who haven't read her work yet! The characters and story line are awesome and I am totally in love with Layla, Roth, and Zayne! Pre-order your copy of Every Last Breath today!

Every Last Breath - Cover 















Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iBooks ** IndieBound ** Kobo ** BAM



EVERY LAST BREATH Synopsis:

Some loves will last 'til your dying breath

Every choice has consequences—but seventeen-year-old Layla faces tougher choices than most. Light or darkness. Wickedly sexy demon prince Roth, or Zayne, the gorgeous, protective Warden she never thought could be hers. Hardest of all, Layla has to decide which side of herself to trust.

Layla has a new problem, too. A Lilin—the deadliest of demons—has been unleashed, wreaking havoc on those around her…including her best friend. To keep Sam from a fate much, much worse than death, Layla must strike a deal with the enemy while saving her city—and her race—from destruction.

Torn between two worlds and two different boys, Layla has no certainties, least of all survival, especially when an old bargain comes back to haunt them all. But sometimes, when secrets are everywhere and the truth seems unknowable, you have to listen to your heart, pick a side—and then fight like hell…

“Armentrout is a major talent…I just can’t stop reading!”

--New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter

“Armentrout works her magic with swoon-worthy guys and a twist you never see coming.”

--#1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines on White Hot Kiss

And there is a surprise for you! The first books in the series have been given a new look too!!

Don't miss the previous titles in The Dark Elements Series-now with new covers! Readers interested in downloading the new cover jackets for their previously purchased Dark Elements Series titles, can download them HERE!

For best results when downloading the new cover jackets:
             

  • Print on 8.5x14" (Legal paper)
  •              

  • Use landscape or horizontal setting = 8.5" tall x 14" wide
  •              

  • Print at 100% scale or "actual size"
  •              

  • Print with the image centered on page
  •              

  • Fold and trim to fit   

  • White Hot Kiss - New Cover

    Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** BAM ** iBooks ** IndieBound ** Kobo ** Walmart



    WHITE HOT KISS synopsis:

    One kiss could be the last.

    Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she's anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

    Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she's crushed on since forever.

    Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she's not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn't an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

    But when Layla discovers she's the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.

    Stone Cold Touch - New Cover

    Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iBooks ** IndieBound ** Kobo ** BAM



    STONE COLD TOUCH Synopsis:

    Every touch has its price

    Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could.

    But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla’s powers begin to evolve, and she’s offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden.  Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay…

    "Constantly entertaining...the narrative sizzles with as much tension as romance."

    Kirkus Reviews on White Hot Kiss

     And the Prequel Novella, BITTER SWEET LOVE...


    Bitter Sweet Love - New Cover

    Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iBooks ** BAM ** Kobo



    BITTER SWEET LOVE Synopsis:

    In a sizzling prequel novella to her new series The Dark Elements, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout draws readers into the extraordinary, irresistible world of Wardens and demons.

    Dez wasn't just Jasmine's crush. A gargoyle Warden like Jas, he helped her come to terms with her destiny—fending off demons and maintaining the balance between good and evil. He was her everything…right until the moment he disappeared without a trace. It didn't help that Jas's father had just announced that she and Dez would one day be mated. Hard not to take that personally.

    And now he's back, three years older, ten times hotter, ready to pick up exactly where they left off. But Jas isn't taking that risk again. Dez has seven days to meet all her conditions and earn back her trust. Seven days filled with terrifying danger and sweet temptation. Seven days to win her heart—or shatter it all over again…

    "With her signature flare for combining humor, romance and action, Armentrout weaves a fast-paced read that will have readers' hearts racing in more ways than one. Like Armentrout's previous heroines, Jasmine is fun and full of attitude, while Dez is as snarky as he is sexy. This is a must read for new and old fans alike!" -RT Book Reviews




    Jennifer L. Armentrout/J.Lynn Bio:

    Author Photo# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

    Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

    She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.