Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Welcome Madhuri Blaylock & Win an Amazon Gift Card

Please welcome author Madhuri Blaylock today and check out her top ten beach reads below. Remember to enter the giveaway at the end of the post for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card. You can also find all the tour stops HERE.

Top Ten Favorite Beach Reads

There’s really nothing better than when summertime rolls around and you can relax at the beach with a fantastic book, getting lost in a whole other world while being warmed by the sun and lulled by the sound of the waves.

Here are some of my favorite beach reads:

1.       Niko, by Kayti Nika Raet, is the first book in Raet’s The Outsider Chronicles. Taking place in a dystopia that has suffered an apparent cataclysmic environmental disaster, leaving its inhabitants fearing the acid rain that falls from the skies, dodging heart-eating Slithers and generally fighting to survive, Raet deftly creates a world full of despair and anger, with glimpses of hope interspersed throughout, setting up the reader for what I can only imagine is going to be an interesting ride.

2.       Game of Thrones series by George RR Martin really needs no introduction. Suffice to say, I lost myself for five months in Martin’s world of intrigue, violence, sex and deception and am now among the millions, trying to remain patient as we await the completion of book VI.

3.     The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, where Death is the narrator, WWII Germany is the setting, and the story is heartbreakingly good. A must read for readers of any age.

4.       Jade, by Rose Montgomery, opens up with Jade Smith joining her new shifter partner, Detective Rolfe, who very quickly learns that despite his initial misgivings, Jade kicks butt. But what is Jade? She is a shifter who keeps her shifter form secret. Where she came from and what she did in a prior life are mysteries, how she knows the secret of a weapon used by angels is an enigma. Readers are treated to twists and turns, conspiracies and betrayals as the plot unwinds and Jade’s secrets are uncovered.

5.       Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, by Laini Taylor, is one of my favorite fantasy trilogies and the inspiration for my own work. Taylor's writing is so rich and beautiful, her worlds and characters captivate and enthrall; you cannot help but get sucked into the lives of Karou and Akiva, their loves and battles.

6.       The Usual Rules, by Joyce Maynard, tackles the devastation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks from the eyes of thirteen year old Wendy as she learns her mother is one of its victims. Immediately afterwards, she leaves her brother and step-father and goes to live with her up-until-then absentee father in California, reimagining a life for herself as a means of coping with her loss. Central to the story is Wendy’s deep connection to her younger brother and surprising affection and love for her step-father. Maynard captures Wendy’s voice perfectly, mixing sarcasm, teenage angst and utter heartbreak seamlessly. Just thinking about Wendy and her brother brings a tear to my eye. This is a must read.

7.       The Light Who Shines, by Lilo Abernathy, is a paranormal novel set in the twenty-first century of the Red Ages, a time when Gifteds and Vampires help keep Norms safe from Dark Vampires. It centers around the brutal murder of a young boy and its investigation by Bluebell “Blue” Kildaire, an investigator for The Supernatural Homicide Investigation Unit. Abernathy’s writing style, her rich, detailed world-building, and her meticulous descriptions will keep you turning the pages of TLWS, wanting more of Blue’s story, her painful past, her interesting (and painful!) present and her intriguing future.

8.       The Passage and The Twelve, books I and II in Justin Cronin’s trilogy, are simply awesome. A horrifying government experiment and the subsequent collapse of society combine to create a vampire novel unlike any other. The Passage was easily my favorite book of 2010 and its follow-up, The Twelve, is just as enthralling. I can only imagine what Cronin has in store for his fans as a finale. I am certain it will be epic.

9.       The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot, tells the story of Henrietta and how she (unbeknownst to herself) played a major role in the medical history of the world. Hospitalized for cervical cancer, her cells were harvested and later played significant roles in developing the polio vaccine, uncovering the secrets of cancer, helped develop in vitro fertilization and gene mapping, and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Mrs. Lacks was buried in an unmarked grave and her family has never seen a dime of the money that has been generated off her body. Skloot brings to light the issues of race, medicine, and ethics of the time and how they intersected to create Henrietta’s fascinating and heartbreaking tale.

10.   And last, but most definitely not least, The Lord of the Rings trilogy by JRR Tolkien because it is simply the best fantasy series ever written. Ever. There is nothing like it and if you haven’t gotten lost in Tolkien’s Middle Earth, I highly recommened doing so. The movies are excellent, but nothing compares to these timeless books. I return to them again and again, never tiring of their brilliance and perfection.

The Sanctum: The Boy by Madhuri Blaylock

“Every now and again an excellent novel will come forth dealing with fantasy and magic that will just grab and hold my attention from beginning to end. That is exactly what THE GIRL did.” -- OOSA Online Book Club
In THE GIRL, Madhuri Blaylock introduced readers to the world of The Sanctum, one corrupted by greed and savagery and hellbent on achieving a single goal: destroying the prophesied hybrid. When one of its most celebrated warriors questioned his allegiances, age-old secrets were unveiled and violence erupted. The journey becomes more perilous and intense as the trilogy surges forward with


Can you cross the plains of death, collect every piece of your soul and make it back to the land of the living?

And if you complete the journey, will your loved ones welcome your return?

The Ramyan have been answering such questions since the creation of The Sanctum. A mysterious sect of Magicals, haunting the blank spaces of time and memory, they serve no one but themselves and their higher purpose. They exist on a plane removed from earthly matters, shifting easily between the living and the dead, moving in time to the beat of their own drummer.

At least they did. Dev and Wyatt change all of that when the prophesied hybrid lands on the steps of Rinshun Palace, seeking help for the wounded Class A Warrior. That decision alters lives and sets old agendas back on course. But at what cost to Dev and Wyatt? And does that really even matter?

“The characters in Madhuri Blaylock's novel...are well written and unique, and the story is just fantastic...I just loved every page of the story!” - Readers' Favorite

Teaser Excerpt:

The clearing in the park still hummed with magic. Her magic. And her scent. It was why he kept coming back to the same spot every night, just for a whiff. Then he could go about his business, whatever that might be.

Darvin Lucius Jefferson was one hundred and ten, going on seventeen. He was a wealthy, bored teenager who became a wealthy, somewhat bored vampire. There were a few things in this life that brought him joy, piqued his interest: from the very first day he saw her, Jools Clayworth, and as of nine days ago, that stunning thing her brother was running around with before he died.

Of course, Darvin had no idea whether or not Wyatt perished subsequent to his ministrations, nor did he care. He simply assumed the too-good looking, sanctimonious warrior was dead, for his wound was hideous and he seemed to be breathing on borrowed time. Darvin had told the pretty thing as much that night, then he'd returned to his perch atop the Dakota and watched her strap the warrior to her back and escape into nothingness.

What a feat that had been.

One moment she was there, in all her stunning beauty and tortured agony, the next she was gone.


As if she'd never been there at all.

Darvin went to the spot that night, less to follow her than simply explore. It was glamoured to avoid human detection but he found it easily, having watched the warrior and his beautiful best friend, Ryker Morrison, comb the area many a time over the past year. But try as he might, Darvin could spot nothing to hint at an escape hatch or portal. Whatever the pretty thing had used to vanish into thin air, it was long gone, hidden from prying eyes. All that lingered was her scent, that hypnotizing, intoxicating essence of her that Darvin wished he could bottle and keep hidden in his pocket. Away from Darby.

Darby Winthrop.

The one and only.

The dark queen of New York.

The southern belle from hell.

His maker.

About the Author

Madhuri is a Jersey City Heights girl via Snellville, Georgia, who writes paranormal fiction and is slightly infatuated with tattoos, four-inch heels, ice cream, Matt Damon, scotch, Doc Martens, Laini Taylor, photo booths and dancing like a fool.

She's currently working on The Sanctum trilogy and hopes one day soon, everyone is walking around with copies of The Girl and The Boy in their pocket or on their Kindle.

She wants to get a goat and a burro, but since she lives in the city, will settle for some chickens.

To learn more about her, you can follow her blog at madhuriblaylock.wordpress.com, follow her on Twitter at @madhuriblaylock or like her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thesanctumtr...

She's totally chatty so drop her a line any time.

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Mary Preston said...

Great list of books. Some I have read. Some I have added to my list.

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

madhuriblaylock said...

Thanks for hosting THE BOY this morning and allowing me to indulge in something I love to do - recommend books. I loved putting together this list and hope people check them out and while they're at it, add my books from The Sanctum Trilogy to their beach reading list.

madhuriblaylock said...

Thanks for stopping by, Mary. Just out of curiosity, which books did you add to your list?

Karen H said...

Interesting list of books. Some I believe I'll be adding to my list of books-to-buy.

Edgar Gerik said...

Good books to read, thanks

Elena said...

I like the except

bn100 said...

Nice teaser

collenga said...

Great list, thanks for sharing!