Saturday, 30 June 2018

Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag 2018

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Hi everyone! There are a few book tags that I have been wanting to do, so here is the Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag!

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2018: 
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder, an amazing read and I ended up reading the trilogy really quickly altogether!


2. Best sequel you've read so far in 2018:
I haven’t actually read very many sequels this year but I did enjoy Death Note Black Edition Volume 4, it made me want to read the next book straight away which is always a good sign!


3. New release you haven't read yet, but want to:
It’s not actually out yet but I really want to read Vengeful by V. E. Schwab, the sequel to Vicious. Vicious left on an interesting


4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year:
The same answer as above.

Superhero High by T. H. Hernandez

book reveal, new books, book releases, new book releases, books to read, superhero books, Superhero High
T.H. Hernandez
Published by: Soul Mate Publishing
Publication date: July 5th 2018
Genres: Adventure, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Sixteen-year-old Annarenee Stevens is the sole member of her family without a super power. The only time she feels powerful is in the pool. With her sights set on swimming for U.C. Berkeley, she’s ready to win it all at the State championship and secure her future.
When the government unexpectedly ends the secret Genetically Enhanced Asset (GEA) program, Annarenee is uprooted from Dayton, the only home she’s ever known, and relocated to San Diego with all of the other GEA families. Queen of her public school, Annarenee is just another zero at Superhero High, a school without any sports teams.
With the end of the program, her hero older brother now needs a college education, too, meaning the only way Annarenee is getting into Berkeley is on a scholarship. Her dream is slipping through her fingers, no matter how tightly she clings to it. To make matters worse, super hot superhero, Ren Gonzalez, is paying too much attention to her. The kind of attention that has Ren’s ex-girlfriend intent on making Annarenee’s life even more miserable.
But when heroes begin disappearing, zeros and heroes will be forced to team up in order to solve the mystery. If they don’t kill each other first.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Spotted Her First by Emma Dean

book reveal, new books, book releases, new book releases, books to read, fantasy books, new fantasy releases, new fantasy books, paranormal books
Spotted Her First
Emma Dean
Publication date: June 26th 2018
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Three hot leopard shifters? Yes please.
Piper is a librarian at Sacramento State working on her graduate thesis, but her quiet life turns upside down when three hot guys literally crash into her world. They move into her house and her life, telling her she’s wanted by a demon and a witch for her pharaoh’s blood. She just didn’t realize how much they would take over her life in the name of protecting her.
Piper is overwhelmed by the paranormal world and everything in it, including the fact that somehow all three of these guys are her mates. She has two weeks to find a way out of a demon contract and figure out how she’s going to deal with all three of these domineering shifters in her life and in her apartment. Will Piper be able to save herself and the pride she’s grown attached to before it’s too late?

We Told Six Lies by Victoria Scott Cover Reveal!

We Told Six Lies by Victoria Scott
Release Date: March 3rd 2019
Entangled Teen


Summary:
Remember how many lies we told, Molly? It’s enough to make my head spin. You were wild when I met you, and I was mad for you. But then something happened. And now you’re gone. 

But don’t worry. I’ll find you. I just need to sift through the story of us to get to where you might be. I’ve got places to look, and a list of names. 

The police have a list of names, too. See now? There’s another lie. There is only one person they’re really looking at, Molly. 

And that’s yours truly.

Just Jenny by Sandra Owens

book reveal, new books, book releases, new book releases, books to read, romance books, adult romance books, romance book recommendations, romance books to read, good romance books, good romances,Just Jenny
Sandra Owens
Publication date: June 27th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
The small mountain town of Blue Ridge Valley is the home of three best friends, Jenny, Autumn, and Savannah. Each woman believes she has her life perfectly planned, but there is a saying in the mountains… If everything is coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.
In Just Jenny, Jenny Nance has a plan—save enough money to tour the world. The desire to traipse the globe is a dream she once shared with her twin sister. Jenny made a deathbed promise to her sister that she would go to all the places they had fantasized visiting together. Nothing will entice her to break her vow to Natalie, not even the sexy new Blue Ridge Valley police chief . . . No matter how attracted she is to him.
Dylan Conrad left the Chicago Police Department to accept the position as Chief of Police in Blue Ridge Valley. Burned out and haunted by a tragedy of his own, he needs to get away from the memories tormenting him. He’s hoping to find peace in the small mountain town, but the quirky residents, an infamous moonshiner, an errant prized bull, and a feisty redhead by the name of Jenny weren’t quite what he had in mind.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Alpha by Jus Accardo (Win a Copy!)

Jus Accardo
(The Infinity Division #3)
Published by: Entangled: Teen
Publication date: July 3rdnes:Fiction, Young Adult
“A fun YA sci-fi story with a compelling cast of characters.” —Kirkus Reviews on Infinity
Sera is the obsession of a killer chasing a ghost. G is a soldier with too much blood on his hands.
Dylan lost the only person he ever loved—and will stop at nothing to get her back.
In a whirlwind chase that takes them back to where it all started, Sera, G, and Dylan will have to confront their demons—both physical and mental—and each other, in order to win their freedom.

Blog/Life Update


blogging, blogger, blog posts, blog post ideas,

Hi everyone! I feel like I have a lot to tell you about so I wanted to do an update post!

Book Reveals

So for the past few weeks I have been sharing book reveals for upcoming books or re-releases and although I love supporting authors, I have decided to stop doing these. They take up a lot of time and I want to dedicate more time to my creative writing.

Nightmare of the Clans (Chausiku #1) by Pamela E. Cash

Nightmare of the Clans (Chausiku #1)
by Pamela E. Cash
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Release Date: November 2012


Summary:
There are six secret clans across the world–Africa (Sakombi clan), Europe (Spencer clan), Asia (Qiáo clan), South America (Amaru clan), North America (Natosapi clan) and Australia (Gale clan). Each clan possesses supernatural powers. On her 16th birthday Chassie inherits powerful abilities and discovers she's a descendant of the Sakombi clan. She’s also in extreme danger.

John is ready to teach her how to fight but there isn’t much time. She must deal with her harsh new reality fast if she wants to stay alive…because her mother’s killer is looking for her.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Your Mind Is A Muscle, So Create That Mental Strength Inside!

mental health, mental health blog,

We all wish that from time to time we didn't have so much stress and anxiety in our lives, that it could all just go away so we can finally relax. But instead, let's view it from another perspective. Instead of wishing this stress and anxiety would go away, can you think of how you can better cope with it? This is all about developing mental strength, rather than wishing everything away, which is a negative mindset. Developing mental strength is something we should all do, no matter how strong or weak we perceive ourselves to be. But how can you give your brain a workout needed to build this mental muscle?

Wicked Uncle Big Kidz Range Review

Wicked Uncle are an established company of children’s presents who have recently introduced a new range for adults. I was fortunate enough to receive some products from Wicked Uncle’s new big kidz range. These include items varying from lighting, games and useful gifts. I ordered two products:

product review, sun light, light box, wicked uncle review, toys review, gift ideas, adult gift ideas, adult gift shop, gift shop, presents, fun toysSun Jar
This is a solar light in a jar. I placed it on the window sill and it charged up during the day and then produced a lovely glowing purple light in the dark. It uses a rechargeable battery which came with the light.






This is a little display that comes with emojis and letters. I am using it for photos for my blog and Instagram and to display quotes. It uses 6 AA batteries which you need to supply. It can stand up or be laid down for photos. I found this light box to be the perfect size for me; there is enough room to insert a few words in letters or a few sentences in emojis and it is compact enough to not take up too much space in your office or room.







Wicked Uncle really excelled with their customer service, they were friendly, informative and fast throughout. I received the delivery quickly and the products were amazing. I have really enjoyed using them so far. I would definitely recommend Wicked Uncle’s big kidz range.

*These products were sent to me in exchange for an honest review

Cardboard Castles by K. L. Young

Cardboard Castles
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release date: May 17th 2018
Graye Castle Press

Summary:
When seventeen-year-old Josilyn begins to see the fantastical world of her father's imagination, she can't help but wonder if he isn't insane at after all, or that she might be.

Living in a crumbling cardboard castle under the park bridge and struggling to care for her mentally ill father, Josilyn's life has been anything but regal since her mother's death. But when a former friend discovers Josilyn's secret and leads Child Protective Services directly to her, her father's visions of grand feathered dragons and treacherous dark knights become the least of Josilyn's problems.

Now separated from her father and terrified for his safety, Josilyn sees his imaginary world, forcing her to consider the possibility that someone may be desperate to see her father dead--and her in chains.

In a stunning twist of reality, survival may not be a matter of sanity, but who to trust, and who to kill.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

May Day Book Reveal!

book reveal, new books, book releases, new book releases, books to read, fantasy books, new fantasy releases, new fantasy books, urban fantasy books,May Day
R.R. Born
(A Gray Witch Novel)
Publication date: July 10th 2018
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Ari Mason is a shunned and exiled witch. She works as a bartender and reads tarot in the park. Neither of which requires her brand of black magic. Which is how she likes it. Ari’s powers have always left a trail of death and destruction in her wake. Now, she’s on a path of altruism, and by using herbs and positivity in her spells, instead of blood, she can help those around her.
As the temperature rises in Houston, so does the body count. But these aren’t regular murders, someone is using old magic to take out humans and witches.
Ari realizes that any witch is fair game and sends out a call for black magic and white magic witches to unite. They must put away old stereotypes to fight this ancient evil if any of them plan on making through this Beltane alive.

Author Bio:
I started writing short stories in fourth grade and continued to write screenplays & make short films while in film school at Long Island University. I worked as a Production Coordinator on court TV shows like Judge Alex & Cristina’s Court and has worked as a Second Assistant Director for local commercials and various cable shows. I worked many years in television, but never stopped writing. Never without a pen and pad, stories were always being composed.




Cover Reveal: Harbinger (Dragonrider Legacy) by Nicole Conway with Giveaway


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Victory is written in the blood of the brave.As the armies of the Tibran Empire continue to march across Maldobar, a path of scorched destruction and despair is left in their wake. Even with the formidable princess, Jenna Farrow, leading the charge, the strength of the dragonriders is waning. Tibran victory appears inevitable—especially after Princess Jenna and Prince Aubren are taken hostage by the infamous Lord Argonox. Separated from her brother and tortured for information, Princess Jenna refuses to bend to the iron will of Argonox. But her strength and resolve may only last so long. Held prisoner in his dark tower, it would take a miracle to set her free—or perhaps a pair of demigods and their dragons. With revived dragonrider legend, Jaevid Broadfeather, at his side, Reigh must now make a choice: face the truth about the origin of his dark powers, or turn his back on world in need. But throwing off a lifetime of shame and self-doubt is not so easily done—especially when the cost of failure means the destruction of the world. The long-awaited hero has awakened. The ancient spirits are stirring. The dark goddess has chosen her champion. But is he ready to embrace that rite and become the HARBINGER Maldobar needs him to be?

Galaxies and Oceans by N. R. Walker

book reveal, new books, book releases, new book releases, books to read, romance books, adult romance books, romance book recommendations, romance books to read, good romance books, good romances, lgbtq+ books, lgbtq+ romance books, lgbtq+ romances,
Galaxies and Oceans
N.R. Walker
Publication date: June 25th 2018
Genres: Adult, LGBTQ+, Romance

Seizing his one chance to escape, Ethan Hosking leaves his violent ex-boyfriend, leaves his entire life, and walks into the path of a raging bushfire. Desperate to start over, a new man named Aubrey Hobbs walks out of the fire-ravaged forest, alive and alone. With no ID and no money, nothing but his grandfather’s telescope, he goes where the Southern Cross leads him.
Patrick Carney is the resident lighthouse keeper in Hadley Cove, a small town on the remote Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia. After the tragic death of his lover four years ago, he lives a solitary life; just him, a tabby cat, the Indian and Southern Oceans, and a whole lot of loneliness. He’s content with his life until a stranger shows up in town and turns Patrick’s head.
Patrick never expected to be interested in anyone else.
Aubrey never expected to be happy.
Between Aubrey’s love of the stars and Patrick’s love of the ocean, these two fragile hearts must navigate new waters. If they can weather the storm of their pasts, they could very well have a love that eclipses everything.

Release Day Celebration: Superheroes Suck by Jamie Zakian



book reveal, new books, book releases, new book releases, books to read, fantasy books, new fantasy releases, new fantasy books,
Welcome to Gemini City, where super-battles disrupt rush hour, insurance claim adjusters rival rock stars, and villains stash the souls of murdered superheroes inside little children.
It’s been ten years since Shay Sinclair’s parents were murdered by a super villain, leaving she and her sister to fend for themselves. Now at age sixteen, Shay has something that villain wants. Something he needs. After a chance encounter with a superhero in a stairwell, something awakens in Shay, something that could get her killed.
Max Steel has spent the last ten years searching for one particular soul. Now, a coincidental run-in with Shay Sinclair leaves Max closer than he’s ever been to everything he’s ever wanted. But Max hits a brick wall when he goes after her. Unlike other girls her age, Shay isn’t into superheroes. So, if Max wants to win her over and be reunited with the soul inside her, he must get creative. He invites Shay into a seductive world of fame, glamour, luxury, and epic battles with villainous foes.
Now that Shay's in the mix with superheroes and crazed villains, everyone wants a piece of her. A super villain wants to devour her soul, a superhero wants to love her, and Shay just wants to go back to her normal life. It's not like in the movies. In real life, superheroes suck.

Monday, 25 June 2018

Kiss of the Royal by Lindsey Duga


Kiss of the Royal
by Lindsey Duga
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: July 3rd 2018
Entangled Teen


Summary: 

In the war against the Forces of Darkness, the Royals are losing. Princess Ivy is determined to end this centuries-long conflict once and for all, so her new battle partner must succeed where the others failed. Prince Zach’s unparalleled skill with a sword, enhanced by Ivy’s magic Kiss, should make them an unstoppable pair—but try convincing Zach of that.

Prince Zach has spent his life preparing for battle, but he would rather be branded a heretic than use his lips as nothing more than a way to transfer magic. A kiss is a symbol of love, and love is the most powerful weapon they have—but try convincing Ivy of that.

With the fate of their world on the line, the battlefield has become a testing ground, and only one of them can be right. Falling for each other wasn’t part of the plan—but try convincing their hearts of that.  

Destiny Calls by Phenice Arielle

Destiny Calls 
Phenice Arielle 
(The Phoenix Rising #1)
Publication date: December 26th 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

College student Kay Morowa goes up against warlords, poachers and human traffickers in The Phoenix Rising – Destiny Calls.

After Kay’s parents reveal that they haven’t been honest with her about her past, Kay flies to South Africa feeling bitter and anxious. Her excitement on arrival is cut short when she becomes a victim of a human trafficking ring operated by a large-scale poaching operation.

Kay flees and finds her way to a dazzling refuge called Ipharadisi. There, she meets the majestic, menacing Queen Zaina and a handsome doctor named Erec.

Although impressed by Ipharadisi’s beauty and noble reason for existence, Kay’s sole desire is to return home to her college beau (whom she has much unsettled business with) and to her mom and dad, whom Kay never thought she could miss so much.

If Kay can survive the hand-to-hand combat she’ll need to learn to survive, she may just become the kind of peace-seeking hero her classmates would never believe. However, Kay may never get to tell the story if she can’t find her way home, or if she is forced to stay, or worse, if in doing either, Kay dies.

Butterfly Blood Cover Reveal!

book reveal, new books, book releases, new book releases, books to read, science fiction books, new sci-fi releases, new science fiction books,

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Hidden Empire Book Reveal!

book reveal, new books, book releases, new book releases, books to read, fantasy books, new fantasy releases, new fantasy books, adult fantasy books,
Hidden Empire
Matthew Cerra
(Saga of the East, #1)
Publication date: July 1st 2018
Genres: Adult, Adventure, Fantasy
Tyrnor lies surrounded in storms. Its lands have been protected from the outside world for centuries by an ocean churned by winds, rain, and surf that no ship has crossed. Except Timothy has been sent to find exactly that, a ship never before seen from a land he didn’t know still existed beyond the wall. Accompanied by his faithful friend Telnor, their search for the vessel quickly turns into a fight for their lives. What they know of their people and their land is challenged, leaving them questioning what their loyalty to the emperor will cost them in the end.
The world is in chaos, the old order is no longer secure. Who will live and die, which nations crash or rise as battle lines are redrawn is not yet decided. A saga consuming all of Theron has begun.


bakerdays Personalised Birthday Cake Review




I recently had a birthday and bakerdays were lovely enough to send me a personalised birthday cake! They offer a range of flavours and I asked for chocolate chip. 



The cake came in time for my birthday in a small box that can fit through some letterboxes. When I opened the box, I was greeted by a beautiful tin. This cake is the small version and it is big enough for a couple of people.

They offer many different designs for different events, including birthdays, father's day, christenings, engagements and new baby. They make cupcakes as well as large cakes.

The cake was fresh and delicious and I would recommend bakerdays for any personalised cakes that you would like to get. 

Get 15% off of your order with discount code: LUCYISREADING15 (valid until 31st July)


*This cake was sent to me for review by the company, however all opinions are my own.


**

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Saturday, 23 June 2018

Dark Water by J. A. Armitage

book reveal, new books, book releases, new book releases, books to read, fantasy books, new fantasy releases, new fantasy books, fairytale retellings,

Dark Water
J.A. Armitage
(Reverse Fairytales, #4)
Publication date: June 19th 2018
Genres: Fairy Tales, Young Adult
You think you know the story of The Little Mermaid…
A tragic accident on the eve of her eighteenth birthday leads Princess Erica to a chance encounter with a mysterious man on the beach. When he turns up at her birthday party and whisks her off her feet, she knows she has to find out everything about him, but why won’t he speak and where does he keep disappearing to?
Ari knows he’s crossed a line by mingling with the land humans, but how can he resist the beautiful princess whose life he saved? He must decide whether to stay on land and become like her, or continue to live without her in the depths of the ocean.
Trapped in a centuries long battle between his kind and hers, his decision will rock both their kingdoms.
With a sea witch that needs repaying and the small matter of Erica’s engagement to someone else, Ari knows the odds are stacked against him.
Dark Water is the fourth in the Reverse Fairytale series and the first Little Mermaid retelling by USA Today bestselling author J.A.Armitage. Take everything you think you know about fairytales and turn it on its head.
EXCERPT:
CHAPTER ONE
“May God bless her and all who sail on her.”
I cleared my throat, hoping I’d said it correctly, and gripped the bottle of champagne, terrified of letting it go too early or, worse still, missing the ship entirely.
Beyond the ship, the ocean shimmered in the midday sun. Diamond-like sparkles of light bounced off the calm cerulean water—water that looked so inviting, I wanted nothing more than to jump in, to surrender to the balmy ripples. Of course, wanting it and doing it were two different things. First of all, I couldn’t swim, and secondly, my mother would pitch a fit if I took another step closer to the dock edge. She was already a bag of nerves from today’s event.
I looked behind me, needing reassurance from my parents. This was my first official royal engagement, and I was terrified of messing it up. My father beamed at me with pride while my mother gave me a thin smile. I could see the fear in her eyes although she was doing her best to hide it. I was amazed she’d come at all. The ocean positively terrified her. My father’s hand was almost white with how hard my mother was squeezing it. Next to them, my little brother, Anthony, was picking his nose and examining the treasure he found up there. Not for the first time I was reminded how fortunate it was that I was the first in line to the throne.
Beside me, my life-long best friend nudged me to let go of the bottle. Officially, his title was Sir Hayden Harrington-Blythe, but to me, he was just Hayden. He’d been my first crush since our first day in kindergarten when he’d pulled on my pigtails, and I’d stamped on his foot. Despite our unpromising start, over the years we’d turned into friends. My crush on him was long since over, and his pigtail pulling days were long gone, but somehow, our friendship had survived.
“You do know you are supposed to let go of the bottle right?” whispered Hayden in my ear. I gave him a look I only ever reserved for him and lifted the bottle. Letting go, I watched it swing on a length of string, arcing towards the majestic ship’s wooden hull. It made a tinkling sound as it smashed against the side of the ship, scattering glass all over the paved dock. I couldn’t help thinking it was a waste of good champagne and that it would be better served at the ball being held in honor of my birthday in a couple of days’ time. Still, I felt invigorated by the salty smell of the ocean, the atmosphere of a thousand happy people coming out to see the launch, and the fact that I now had a boat that bore my name. I was feeling as excited as I could hope to feel, second only to being allowed to actually go out on the damn thing.
The Erica Rose’s white sails flapped in the breeze below the official flag of Trifork as if she were eager to be off, out onto the ocean. I couldn’t blame her. To sail on the ocean was a lifelong dream of mine. Ever since I could remember, I’d looked out of my bedroom window toward the ocean and dreamed of the day that I’d be able to disappear beyond the rolling waves toward the horizon.
It was a dream that had never, and would never, be realized as long as my parents were in charge. For a kingdom so well-known for its naval and merchant vessels, my parents were ridiculously strict about letting me go near the ocean. This was the closest I’d gotten in the whole eighteen years of my life, and I had a full team of palace guards surrounding me, stopping me from taking one step closer to the water’s edge than I had to. It was all because of my mother, of course. My father might have been the one that ruled Trifork, but in the palace, my mother was the one that wore the pants, so to speak. If my mother said I couldn’t go near the ocean, then my father wasn’t going to argue with her. However, today was a special day, and not even my mother could come up with a good enough reason for us not to be here. She might have been absolutely petrified, but she was the queen, a duty she held above everything, even crippling panic.
Everybody clapped as the wooden ship began pulling up its anchor, its crew readying themselves to set sail.
I took a deep breath and inhaled the salty air. Above the excited chatter of the crowd, seagulls cawed to each other as they flew overhead looking for an easy snack. Oh, how I envied them and their freedom.
My father managed to extricate himself from my mother’s vice-like grip and joined me on the dock’s edge. My poor mother’s face turned even more ashen, and she had to grip a nearby railing instead to save herself from fainting. It was almost cruel, living so close to the ocean and being so frightened of it. I saw her eyes darting past my father and me to the ocean behind us as though it could somehow climb above the dock and swallow us whole. I don’t doubt it could on a stormy day, but today the skies were blue, and the sea was calm.
“We here in Trifork have a rich sailing heritage, one of which I am immensely proud,” began my father into the microphone that had been set up for the occasion. “Today is a big day for me, both as a king and a father. As you all know, my daughter, the princess Erica Rose, will turn eighteen in just two days’ time. Her first official engagement was supposed to be at the ball, but she begged me to be allowed to launch this ship. Being the dutiful father I am, I agreed.” He paused at this point waiting for a laugh. When he got it, he carried on. “This is my birthday gift to you, dear Erica. I know you’ve always had a fondness for the sea and so this ship not only bears your name but also belongs to you.”
I blinked a couple of times, unsure if what I was hearing was true. The ship was mine? I wasn’t allowed to dip my toes in the shallow waves at the beach, but I was allowed to own a ship?
I gazed up at the huge galleon. “She’s mine?” Hope rose in my chest that I might, for the first time in my life, be able to go out on the ocean. My parents had never so much as let me sail in a dinghy before now, let alone go on a ship.
“She’s all yours, sweetheart. As part of our fleet and a working ship, she will be taken out by her captain, Captain Jackson. But when she’s back in Trifork, you will be able to see her whenever you want.”
“See her?”
“Yes,” beamed my father, oblivious to the disappointment I was feeling. Only see her? I didn’t want a ship to look at. I’d spent my entire life watching the ships of Trifork sail in and out of the harbor. I wanted to sail to foreign lands, to feel the sea breeze upon my cheek. I wanted to know what it felt like to roll over the gentle waves with the vastness of the ocean the only thing in view.
My mother caught my disappointment though. She could read me like a book. An elegant woman with a sharp tongue and an even sharper sense of style, she swallowed her terror and took a few steps toward me, toward the ocean. She walked tall and calmly, but a slight tremor in her step gave her away.
“Aren’t you happy with your new ship?”
“Yes ma’am,” I lied. What was the point of having a ship if I wasn’t allowed on it?
She flicked her eyes past me, once again, toward the ocean. What was it she was looking for? Her eyes snapped back to me. “You know my feelings on you going near the sea, Erica. It’s a dangerous place. I nearly drowned when I was about your age.” She took my hand and pulled me a couple of steps toward her—away from the dock’s edge.
I’d heard the story a million times. Every time I even hinted at wanting to go near the sea, she’d dredge up the same story about how she nearly drowned when she was younger. I wasn’t in the mood to hear it again.
The ship was cast off, the gangplank raised. My ship was about to go on an adventure I could only dream of. The wind caught the sails and the majestic vessel began to move, her crew waving at us as she inched away from the dockside.
My father clapped me on the back, a beaming smile on his face. Even my mother, who usually had a face like a prune when it came to anything to do with water, had found her smile again. I glanced over at Hayden. He knew I was disappointed. I talked about nothing but the ocean with him. He loved the water as I did, but unlike me, he could go out onto it whenever he wanted. He even had his own boat. It was nowhere near as grand as the Erica Rose, but at least, he was allowed to sail in it.
He flicked his eyes almost imperceptibly towards the ship. I arched a brow.
“Do it,” he mouthed silently and cast his eyes towards the ship once again.
He wanted me to jump on the ship! He was actually daring me to do it. Thoughts of all the silly childhood pranks and adventures he’d led me into filled my mind. Hayden was the epitome of an irresistible bad idea. I followed his eye line to where the gangplank had been pulled up. The gate was still open, but it wouldn’t be for long. The ship was already a foot away from the dock and moving swiftly towards the open sea. I had seconds to make a decision.
My heart hammered, and adrenaline took over. Without thinking too hard, I ran from my parents, barged past the palace guards, and jumped as far as I could right off the dock. The ship had moved much faster than I’d anticipated, and I missed the gate by a long shot, and instead of landing on the ship, I plunged head first into the sea.
All I could hear were my mother’s screams as the water crowded in around me.
The water that had looked so warm and inviting when I’d been standing on the dock was actually a lot colder than I’d imagined, and as I scrambled for air, its icy grip took my breath away
Mouthfuls of briny water flowed into my mouth, causing me to choke as I tried desperately to keep above the water’s surface. In one terrifying instant, I realized what it was that my mother had been keeping me from for all these years. As I’d never been allowed in water deeper than a bath, I’d never learned how to swim. It occurred to me now that this wasn’t exactly my finest moment.
The dress I’d had picked out for me, a knee length cotton blue dress was perfect for looking smart and launching a ship. It was utterly useless as a floatation device. The heavy, waterlogged fabric weighed me down, making it even harder to try to keep my head above water.
Beside me, I heard a splash. I looked over to see a red and white life ring bobbing close by with a rope attached to it. On the other end of the rope, the Erica Rose’s crew shouted at me to grab hold. After I’d managed to pull myself through it, they heaved me up and pulled me over the side of the boat.
A group of worried faces peered down at me. One of the men reached a hand down to help me up. As I righted myself, my dress dripped ocean water all over the deck and tightened around me. I felt so uncomfortable in the soggy outfit, but when I saw how far from the dock we’d already moved, excitement flooded through me. The fear I’d felt just moments before dissolved, leaving me feeling exhilarated. I was on a ship for the first time in my life, and we were sailing away from the dock.
With giddy excitement, I gripped a railing. On the edge of the dock, my parents shouted and waved for us to come back. My heart fell as I caught the expression on my mother’s face. Her usual stern expression had contorted to one of absolute fear, and she wasn’t trying to hide it anymore. Her screams pierced the air, her usual stoic facade dropped completely as she tore at my father who was desperately trying to pull her back from the edge of the dock.
Her fear of falling into the ocean was obviously smaller than losing one of her children to it.
My stomach churned as I realized the severity of my actions. I’d only wanted to go out to sea. I didn’t want to hurt my mother in the process. I was going to be in the worst kind of trouble for this little stunt, and as we floated further and further out to sea, the more I realized that the adventure was not worth it.
Captain Jackson, a tall man with a perfectly groomed black mustache and oiled down hair greeted me with a salute. I’d never been saluted before. Bowed to and curtseyed aplenty, but a salute was new to me. I raised my hand and saluted back, unsure of the etiquette.
“I’m going to try to turn the ship back, your highness, but it may take a little time to adjust the sails. The wind is not optimal right now. There’s a squall coming, and I’d hoped to get far enough away to miss it.”
I glanced out to the horizon. The seamless blue sky was darkening, and the sea below it matched its threatening color. Where had that come from? Only seconds before, the weather had been as perfect as anyone could wish for.
“Yes, please turn around.” My heart dropped as I realized that my adventure was over before it had even started, and I’d gotten nothing out of it except to embarrass myself in front of thousands of onlookers and terrify my poor mother.
I looked back over to the shoreline. My parents and all the onlookers were barely dots on the horizon now. To my right, I could see the public beach to which people flocked in the summer months. Beyond that were magnificent white cliffs that I’d heard plenty about but never actually seen before as they were only visible from the sea. To my left, the coast was much rockier, and here was where the royal castle stood. Only a wide promenade separated the rocks from the castle. It looked so dark and imposing with its granite grey towers; I barely recognized it from this angle.
“Why don’t you go to my cabin and get changed out of those wet clothes. I’ll have one of my crew show you where it is.”
Captain Jackson swiveled on his toe and left me alone, feeling terrible. I’d not paused to consider the crew or the captain, and now they were going to have to abort their mission. I could chalk up a few more people to the list of those I’d disappointed. With a sigh, I walked to the other side of the deck to look out at the vast ocean. In the distance, the sea turned black and churned ominously almost as though that part of the ocean was alive and out to get us. It was a stark contrast to the crystal clear and calm water beneath the ship. Above me, the crew of the Erica Rose battled to maneuver the sails to turn us around.
“Your Royal Highness.”
I heard someone shouting at me above the wind that was now blustering fiercely. Lightning forked, splitting the sky in two, and the wind tugged my hair from the clip that had been keeping it in place. Strands of long red hair whipped around my face. I turned to see a young man heading toward me.
“I’m Joe, Your Highness, the second in command of the Erica Rose,” he said, giving me a quick bow. “The captain has asked me to escort you to his cabin.”
Joe was barely older than me, with short, dirty blond hair and a winning smile. I was surprised to see someone so young be the second in command of such a ship.
“It’s getting a little choppy,” Joe cautioned, his cheeks red as he took my hand. “They are going to struggle to get the ship back to shore. The forecast mentioned a little bit of turbulent water, but it looks to be shaping up to be a proper storm out there.”
I followed Joe to a big wooden doorway, which he opened for me and beckoned me inside. As I thanked him, a boom filled the darkening sky.
“Thunder,” Joe remarked, taking my hand and leading me down a corridor. I held on tightly to him as the ship listed violently to one side from the sharp turn of the wheel. He showed me to a large room with a writing desk on one side and a bed on the other.
“There will be some clothes in the wardrobe there,” he said, pointing to a small door. “I don’t expect the captain has any dresses, but I’m sure you’ll find something dry to wear.”
I watched the storm unfold through a small porthole as Joe left me to help the captain. It seemed no one was expecting the weather to be this bad and how could they? Only ten minutes earlier, there hadn’t been a cloud in the sky, and now there was barely any blue left, only the darkness of the sea and the sky. It was strange how quickly the storm had taken hold. I certainly had never seen anything like it before. Outside, the rain began to lash down, pitter-pattering on the round window. Thunder crashed as the waves became more intense with the roaring wind that whipped all around us. The storm had sneaked up on us quickly, and as far as I could see, we were getting further and further away from the coastline. Whatever Captain Jackson’s men were doing to turn the ship around, it wasn’t helping.
I hated admitting it to myself after dreaming of the day I could finally sail on the sea for so long, but I was beginning to get scared. My mother’s screams echoed in my head, although we had drifted too far to really hear her. The boat creaked with the strain, and from out of the window, I could see we were being pulled closer and closer toward the storm. A crash from behind me made me jump. I turned to find that some previously neatly stacked dishes had been flung from the cupboard and were now in hundreds of pieces on the floor. Holding on was almost impossible, the ship was lurching so much. I tried walking over to the wardrobe that Joe had pointed out, but the floor beneath me was rocking so much under the motion of the waves that I could barely stand at all. With a shock, I saw a stream of water pushing the remnants of the dishes across the floor. It was coming from the doorway. We were taking on water. I held on to the writing desk to keep myself upright, but the motion of the ship knocked me to the floor. Something sharp pierced my side, and when I looked down, I saw a sliver of broken plate had cut through my dress and into my flesh creating a bloom of fresh blood on the wet fabric.
I looked up to grab hold of the desk to pull myself back up and was shocked to see that the window was now partly submerged. We were sinking, and we were sinking fast. Pulling myself up, I ran to the door quickly. I had to get out, or I would drown. I yanked the door as hard as I could, and as it opened, a deluge of water rushed in knocking me over once again. The lights flickered out leaving me in complete darkness as the water engulfed me, sending me flying into something hard. Water filled my lungs as the blackness folded in around me, my mother’s warnings of the fierceness of the ocean echoing in my head.

book reveal, new books, book releases, new book releases, books to read, fantasy books, new fantasy releases, new fantasy books, fairytale retellings,Author Bio:
J.A lives in a total fantasy world (because reality is boring right?) When she’s not writing all the crazy fun in her head, she can be found eating cake, designing pretty pictures and hanging upside down from the tallest climbing frame in the local playground while her children look on in embarrassment. She’s travelled the world working as everything from a banana picker in Australia to a Pantomime clown, has climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro and the bottom of the Grand Canyon and once gave birth to a surrogate baby for a friend of hers.
She spends way too much time gossiping on facebook and if you want to be part of her Reading Army, where you’ll get lots of freebies, exclusive sneak peeks and super secret sales, join up here
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Somehow she finds time to write.
Reviews for J.A.Armitage's work.
"Endless Winter is a unique story that takes place in a beautiful world. J.A. Armitage's writing is lyrical and almost poetic." Janelle Fila for Readers' Favorite

"I devoured this book like a rich box of chocolates." Sara C Roethle