Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Summing up 2013, waiting up for 2014!!!

Hi everyone!

It’s nice that I can share this entry with you. Mostly I want to wish you a Happy New 2014 year. I wish you to spend it amazingly, with those you love and well to have some really interesting adventures and memories to cherish forever.

Okay first of all I want to list what had happened to me during this year. First of all I turned 18 (that’s a lot for me xD), I graduated from high school with all A-s. I started my freshman year at the university as a Finance and Economics major. I crossed the equator going to Indonesia and winning the gold medal in mathematics. I also had my childhood dream come true when my dad got me a ticket to Jurmala, Latvia where was the concert for funny and witty KVN. Also I got to go to Prague and well I drank real Czech beer. He he.

The last but not the least, I published my blog, which I am very happy that I took that chance. And I meat some awesome people out there. I’ve made lots of friends both bloggers and authors too. It was an awesome adventure, which I am going to try to maintain. Why? Because I just love reading books and I like to tell you what I thought about them. And now my top 20 of books which I have read this year and loved really much.  Some of them were published this year some, sometime in the past. Some are stand alones or just one a book from a series but some the whole series:

#20  Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather L. Reid

#19  Streaks of Blue by Jack Chaucer

#18  Runes Series by Ednah Walters

#17  Abandon Series by Meg Cabot

#16  Starcrossed Saga by Josephine Angelini

#15  Forgotten and the Originals by Cat Patrick

#14  Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

#13  House of Hades by Rick Riordan

#12  Clann Series by Melissa Darnell

#11  Savor by Kate Evangelista

#10  Under the Never Sky Series by Veronicca Rossi

#9  Unraveling Series by Elizabeth Norris

#8  Chosen At Nightfall by C.C Hunter

#7  the Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

#6  Angelbound by Christina Bauer

#5  Animal Farm by George Orwell

#4  Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

#3  Covenant Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout


#2  Sleepless by Tracey Ward

#1  Unearthly Series by Cynthia Hand

I really had a hard time choosing this books and series, 90% of what I have read this year had to be on this list, but well I chose those which I remember after reading them back in January or so, and well … tell me if some of those books are also on your best lists.

Happy New Year,



Tour Stop : Chasing The Star Garden by Melanie Karsak (The Airship Racing Chronicles #1)

Hi Guys!

Today I am hosting a Tour Stop for Melanie Karsak's book Chasing the Star Garden. 


Title:  Chasing the Star Garden 

Author:  Melanie Karsak

Publication Date:  4 December, 2013

Publisher:  Clockpunk Press

Goodreads – Amazon – Barnes & Noble


An opium-addicted beauty.
An infamous poet living in self-imposed exile.
An ancient treasure about to fall into the wrong hands.

Melanie Karsak's Chasing the Star Garden takes readers on a thrilling adventure from the gritty opium dens of gaslamp London to the gem-colored waters of the ancient world. Lily Stargazer, a loveable but reckless airship racer with a famous lover and shattered past, reluctantly plunges into a centuries-old mystery in a romantic adventure best described as Dan Brown meets Mary Shelley.

It all begins on one of the worst days of Lily’s life. She just lost the London leg of the 1823 Airship Grand Prix. To top it off, a harlequin fleeing from constables shoved a kaleidoscope down her pants, told her to fly to Venice, then threw himself from her airship tower. What’s a girl to do? For Lily, the answer is easy: drink absinthe and smoke opium. 

Lily’s lover, Lord Byron, encourages her to make the trip to Venice. Lily soon finds herself at the heart of an ancient mystery which has her running from her past and chasing true love and the stars along the way. 


Chapter 1

I was going to lose-again. I gripped the brass handles on the wheel and turned the airship sharply port. The tiller vibrated in protest making the wheel shake and my wrist bones ache. Bracing my knees against the spokes, I tore off my brown leather gloves to get a better feel. The metal handgrips were smooth and cold. My fingers tingled from the chill.
“Easy,” I whispered to the Stargazer. I looked up from my position at the wheelstand, past the ropes, burner basket, and balloon, toward the clouds. They were drifting slowly left in a periwinkle blue sky. There’d be an updraft as we passed over the green-brown waters of the canal near Buckingham House. I locked the wheel and jumped from the wheelstand onto the deck of the gondola and looked over the rail. The canal waters were a hundred feet away. I ran back to the wheel and steadied the ship. If I caught the updraft, it would propel me up and forward and give me an edge.
“Cutter caught it, Lily,” Jessup yelled down from the burner basket below the balloon opening. “Up he goes,” he added, looking out through his spyglass. The gold polish on the spyglass reflected the fire from the burner.
“Dammit!” I snapped down my binocular lense. I saw Hank Cutter’s red-and-white striped balloon rise upward. At the top, he pitched forward with great momentum, catching a horizontal wind. I could just make out Cutter at the wheel. His blond hair blew wildly around him. He turned and waved to me. Wanker.
I was not as lucky. Just as the bow of the Stargazer reached the water, a stray wind came in and blew us leeward. The balloon jiggled violently in the turbulent air. I missed the air pocket altogether.
“No! No, no, no!” I cursed and steadied the ship. I had chased Cutter from Edinburgh across the Scottish and English countryside. He had been off his game all day. I’d had him by half a mile the entire race. With the bottom feeders lingering somewhere in the distance behind us, I’d thought the London leg of the 1823 Airship Grand Prix would be mine. That was until St. Albans, where Cutter caught a random breeze that pushed him slightly in front of me. Cutter had a knack for catching favorable winds; it was not a talent I shared.
“We’re coming up on Westminster,” Jessup yelled down from the basket. “Lily, drop altitude. Cutter is too high. Come in low and fast, and you might overtake him.”
The airship towers sat at the pier near the Palace of Westminster along the Thames. A carnival atmosphere had overtaken the city as it always does on race day. Colorful tents were set up everywhere. Vendors hawked their wares to excited Londoners and international visitors. I could hear the merchants barking from their tents even from this far above. I fancied I could smell roasted peanuts in the wind.
I jumped down from the wheelstand, ran across the deck, and pulled the valve cord, opening the flap at the top of the balloon. Hot air released with a hiss. I kept one eye on the balloon and another eye on Tinkers’ Tower. At this time of day, the heat coming off of the Palace of Westminster and Tinkers’ Tower would give us a bump. I looked up. Cutter had started preparing his descent. It would be close.
I ran back to the wheel.
“Angus, I need more speed,” I yelled down to the gear galley, rapping on the wooden hatch that led to the rods, belts, and propeller parts below.
Angus slapped open the hatch and stuck out his bald head. His face was covered in grease, and his blue-lense monocle glimmered in the sunlight. He looked up at the clouds and back at me.
“Let’s giddyup,” I called to him.
“You trying the Tower sling?” he yelled back.
“You got it.”
He laughed wildly. “That’s my lassie,” he yelled and dropped back down, pulling the wood hatch closed with a clap. I heard the gears grind, and the propeller, which had been turning nice and steady, began to hum loudly. The ship pitched forward. Within moments, we were coming up on Tinkers’ Tower. The airship towers were just a stone’s throw away.
I aimed the ship directly toward Tinkers’ Tower. Just as the bowsprit neared the clock, I yanked the wheel. The warm air caught us.
“Whoa!” Jessup yelled as the balloon moved within arm’s length of the tower.
The sound of “Ohhs!” echoed from the crowd below.
A mix of warm air and propulsion gave us some go, and seconds later we were slingshotting around Tinkers’ Tower toward the airship platforms. Gliding in on warm air and momentum, we flew fast and low.
Cutter had kept it high, but now he was dropping like a stone toward his own tower. Damned American. I didn’t blame him; I would have used the same move. His balloon was releasing so much air that I wondered if he would be able to slow down in time, not that I would have minded seeing him smash to the ground in a million pieces.
“It’s going to be close,” Jessup yelled as he adjusted the heat pan.
I guided the helm. The Stargazer was temperamental, but we understood one another. A shake of the wheel warned me I was pushing too hard. “Almost there,” I whispered to the ship.
The Grand Prix Marshalls were standing on the platform. Cutter and I had the end towers. I was going to make it.
“Cut propulsion,” I yelled toward the gear galley. On the floor near the wheelstand, a rope led to a bell in the galley. I rang it twice. The propeller switched off.
A soft, sweet wind blew in from the port side. It ruffled my hair around my shoulders. I closed my eyes and turned the wheel slightly starboard, guiding the ship in. Moments later, I heard a jubilant cheer erupt from the American side and an explosion from the firework cannon signaling the winner had been declared. My eyes popped open. I tore off my goggles and looked starboard. Cutter’s balloon was docked. I threw the goggles onto the deck and set my forehead against the wheel.
The Stargazer settled into her dock. Jessup set the balloon on hover and, grabbing a rope, swung down to the deck. He then threw the lead lines and anchors onto the platform. The beautifully dressed crowd, gentlemen in suits and top hats and fancy ladies in a rainbow of satin gowns carrying parasols, rushed toward the American end of the platform to congratulate the winner.
I was, once again, a national disgrace. Lily the loser. Lily second place. Perhaps I would never be anything more than a ferrywoman, a cheap air jockey.
“Good job, Lily. Second place!” Jessup said joining me. He patted me on the shoulder.
I sighed deeply and unbuttoned my vest. The tension had me sweating; I could feel it dripping down from my neck, between my breasts, into my corset.
“You did great,” I told Jessup. “Sorry I let you down.”
“Ah, Lily,” he sighed.
Angus emerged from below wiping sweat from his head with a greasy rag. He pulled off his monocle. He frowned toward the American side. “Well, we beat the French,” he said with a shrug and kissed me on the cheek, smearing grease on me.
 “Good job, Angus. Thank you,” I said, taking him by the chin and giving him a little shake as I wrinkled my nose and smiled at him.
Angus laughed and dropped his arm around Jessup’s shoulders. They grinned happily at one another.
“You stink, brother,” Jessup told him.
“It’s a wee bit toasty down there. Besides, I pedaled this ship across the entire fucking country while you were up here looking at the birds. That, my friend, is the smell of success.”
I laughed.
“You pedaled the ship?” Jessup asked mockingly. “Like Lil and I were just up here playing cards? If I didn’t keep the balloon aloft, your ass would be kissing the ground.”
“Now wait a minute. Are you saying your job is more important that mine?” Angus retorted.
I could see where this was going. “Gents.”
“More important? Now why would I say that? Just because I’m the one . . .” Jessup started and then his mouth ran.
“ . . . and another thing . . .” Jessup went on.
“Gentlemen! Our audience awaits,” I said cutting them both off, motioning to the well-shod crowd who waited for us on the loading platform outside the Stargazer.
I grinned at my crew. “Come on. Let’s go.”
I patted the rail of the Stargazer. “Thanks,” I whispered to her, and we exited onto the platform.
A reporter from the London Times and several race officials stood waiting for me.
“Well done, Lily! Well done!” the British race official congratulated me with a pat on the back. “Second place! King George will be so proud. One of these days you’ll have it, by God.”
I was pretty sure that the last thing I needed was the attention of George IV, the extravagant, unpopular lush. But I bit my tongue and smiled politely.
“Lily, how did Cutter beat you? You led the entire race,” the reporter asked. She was a round woman wearing a very thick black lace collar that looked like it was choking her. Her heavy purple walking dress looked hot under the late afternoon summer sun, and the brim of her black satin cap barely shaded her nose. I noticed, however, that she had a small clockwork fan pin attached to her chest. The fan wagged cool air toward her face.
I pulled off my cap, mopped my forehead, and thought about the question. “Luck,” I replied.
“Lily, that was some move around Tinkers’ Tower. How did you learn to do that?” another reporter asked.
“My father,” I lied.
“Make way, make way,” one of the race officials called, ushering a Marshall forward.
The Marshall looked like someone who lingered an hour too long at supper. The gold buttons on his satin, marigold colored vest would take an eye out if they popped. His overly tall top hat was adorned with a ring of flowers that matched his striking orange colored dress coat.
“Miss Stargazer, congratulations,” he said, shaking my hand. “The Spanish airship is coming in now. Will you please join Mr. Cutter at the winners’ podium?” he asked politely as he guided me forward by the hand.
From below there was a commotion. A man dressed in an unusual costume rushed up the stairs. The London constables, a full squadron of the Bow Street Runners, chased him. When he got to the loading platform, the man pushed through a crowd of well-dressed ladies and gentlemen, many of whom were gentry. It was then I could see he was dressed as a harlequin. He wore the traditional red and black checked outfit and a black mask. He scanned the towers until he caught sight of me. He jumped, landing on the tower railing, and ran toward me. A woman in the crowd screamed. Moments later the constables appeared on the platform. The race Marshalls pointed toward the harlequin who was making a beeline for me.
I let go of the Marshall’s hand and stepped back toward the ship.
“Lily,” Jessup warned, moving protectively toward me.
Angus reached over the deck of the Stargazer and grabbed a very large wrench.
Was it an assassin? Christ, would someone murder me for winning second place? I turned and ran toward the Stargazer. A moment later, the harlequin flipped from the rail, grabbed one of the Stargazer’s ropes, and swinging over the others, landed on the platform directly in front of me. Any second now, I would be dead.
He panted and muttered “Lily?” from behind the mask.
“Stop that man! Stop him!” a constable yelled.
“Get out of my way!” Angus roared at the crowd that had thronged in between us.
The masked man grabbed me, tugged on the front of my trousers, and leaned into my ear. The long nose of the mask tickled the side of my face. “Go to Venice,” he whispered as he stuffed something down the front of my pants.
“We got you now,” a constable said, grabbing him, raising his club.
The man shook him off, took two steps backward, and with a jump, leapt off the tower.
Several people in the crowd screamed.
I rushed to the side of the tower to see the harlequin lying at its base. His body was twisted, and his arms and legs bent oddly, contorted into three distinct points. Blood began pooling around him.
“Miss Stargazer, are you all right?” a constable asked.
“A man just killed himself in front of me. No, I am not all right.”
“I mean, are you harmed? Did he hurt you?”
I shook my head and looked down at the mangled body which lay in the shape of a three-sided triskelion. It was the same symbol that was painted on the balloon of the Stargazer.

About the Author:

Melanie Karsak grew up in rural northwestern Pennsylvania where there wasn’t much to do but read books and go for hikes. She wrote her first novel, a gripping piece about a 1920s stage actress, when she was 12. Today, Melanie, a steampunk connoisseur, white elephant collector, and caffeine junkie, lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.

Find her at

Write her an email at :  melanie@clockpunkpress.com

Presented to you by Katie's Corner and Fangtastic Book Tours 

Happy New Year Eve, and Have a great year!!!!

Two Weeks + Tour Stop : Brink of Distinction Series by Jon Messenger


by Jon Messenger

Adult Sci-Fi Series Published Through Crimson Tree Publishing

Burden of Sisyphus

Between the alien Alliance and the Terran Empire, a neutral zone stretches between the galaxies, a demilitarized zone that was established 150 years previous, following the Great War. 
The peace accord granted a semblance of peace to the universe. The peace, however, is a facade, and it is the responsibility of Michael Vance and his covert operations team to maintain that illusion.

Recently, the Alliance lost contact with one of their outposts near the neutral zone. Surveillance scans show an abandoned city and no signs of life. The Alliance does what it always does: send in the best. But an unexpected betrayal leaves Vance and his team stranded. Worse, the city that was supposed to be dead is quite alive. And the monsters that now roam its streets are slaughtering his team, one at a time.

Fall of Icarus

The Terran Empire has broken the Taisa Accord and invaded Alliance space in this exciting second novel in the Brink of Distinction series.  Survivors of the Empire's first assault, Yen Xiao and Adam Decker swore vengeance against the Terrans.  Joining forces with the enigmatic Keryn Riddell, the three warriors must find a way to destroy the Terran fleet.  But the Terrans have a secret weapon: a biological agent sold to them by an renegade smuggler.  Now it's a race against the clock to capture the smuggler before the Terrans decimate the Alliance homeworlds.

When everything they do proves to be not enough to stop the Empire's violent invasion, the Alliance takes the fight directly to the Empire by invading Earth!  But Earth may not be the biggest threat to the safety of the Alliance.  The biggest danger may be one of their own.

The final confrontation between the Alien Alliance and the Terran Empire begins in this exciting conclusion to the Brink of Distinction trilogy.

One-by-one, the brilliant suns of Alliance space are disappearing, left cold and lifeless after exposure to the Terran biological epidemic.  Trapped on one of the sunless worlds, Keryn Riddell, the ruthless Wyndgaart warrior, fights against both a frozen landscape and her Terran captors.

As Keryn fights for her life, the psychic Yen Xiao leads the Alliance fleet in pursuit of the Terran Destroyers threatening the Alliance homeworlds.  Yearning for leadership of the fleet, Yen begins to wonder just how far he’ll go for the power he craves.

Excerpt from Burden of Sisyphus

Private Hicks’ body screamed in protest as he tried to stand.  His muscles ached and his lungs burned in the planet’s thin, dust-filled air.  Under his dark armor sweat soaked through his uniform.  Raising his head, he saw the looming plateau.  Nuzzled within the wedge of the plateau’s façade there was the Terran’s dark, stone, defensive wall.  Relief flooded through him.  Being able to see the bristling antiaircraft weapon platforms mounted atop the wall meant his destination was finally within reach.
Scrambling to his feet, despite resistant muscles, he ran the rest of the way to the wall.  He didn’t dare hope to make it that far without being spotted by his enemies but the reprieve gave him time to close the final twenty meters to the outpost.  Legs cramping, he limped the rest of the way to the wall.  Ignoring the large, arched vehicle entrance, whose heavy doors led straight to the courtyard between the wall and the building set into the plateau, he staggered to the reinforced personnel entrance to one side.  Shuffling past a set of thick windows he watched Terran soldiers within the wall move toward the door.
Sliding in the red sand he stopped in front of the door and pounded it with his open hand.  “Open the door!” he yelled, his voice raspy and dry.
When nothing happened he banged again, glancing over his shoulder in fear and frustration.
“Open the damn door!” he screamed, as much as his raw throat allowed, hitting the door repeatedly.
Finally, hesitantly, it opened.
A blast of cool air struck him as he was pulled into the comforting darkness.  The room was cast in deep shadows and he was momentarily blinded in the dim lighting.  He shivered as someone helped him to the far side of the narrow room, the cool air a stark contrast to the scorching heat outside.  Sliding down against the wall, he exhaled a loud, raspy breath.
“Hicks,” the closest soldier said.
His head swam with exhaustion.
“What happened out there?”
He peered through the gloom, barely able to make out the man’s rank and name.  “Alliance mercenaries.  They hit us while we were on patrol.”
A third soldier pushed past the others and bent over Hicks, who saw the officer epaulettes on his shoulder.  “Where’s the rest of your team, Private?”
He shook his head.  “They’re all dead, Sir.”
“All of them?” the lieutenant asked in disbelief.  “How did one group of Alliance mercenaries take out an entire patrol?”
A soft sound echoed through the room before Hicks could reply.  The thumping reverberated softly as he clambered to his feet.  Slowly, the others heard it and the room fell to hushed silence.  It was a series of soft thumps as if something struck the compound’s outer wall repeatedly.
“What the hell is that noise?” Lieutenant Hill asked, looking toward the thick, outer walls.
The sound continued unabated.
“Sir, I’ve got a visual,” a private said, watching from the window.
The lieutenant rushed to the window, pulling free the binoculars on his hip.  In the distance, a single massive form stood at the crest of the hill.  Thick, dark fur covered its body which ended in an elongated snout.  Sharp horns jutted from its temples, curving wickedly forward.
Lowering his binoculars, the lieutenant turned toward the rest of the soldiers.  “It looks like the Alliance found our outpost!  Let’s move, people!”  As he walked back to the middle of the room the soldiers exploded into action.
“On your feet, soldiers!” Lieutenant Hill yelled over the din of muttered conversation.  “Grab some ammo and find a wall to stand behind.”  Turning back toward the sturdy window he glared across the red field.  “If they want to bring their fight here, they won’t even know what hit them.”
“How true,” Hicks rasped, as a barbed tail erupted from under the back of his shirt.  Lashing out, the tail struck the base of Lieutenant Hill’s neck and erupted from his throat, nearly decapitating the officer.
Hicks extended his left hand, the fingers elongated into razor-sharp points, which he drove into a nearby soldier’s abdomen.  The soldier stared in disbelief, as the skin on Hicks’ face melted like wax, first running down toward his chin before being absorbed into his oily-black skin.  The face disappeared, leaving behind a featureless black oval.  Slowly, the rest of his skin melted away until all that remained was thick, black hide.
The creature that impersonated Hicks swished its spiked tail back and forth and turned toward the three remaining soldiers in the room.  Eyes wide with fright, one swung his rifle toward the creature and squeezed the trigger.
The window exploded inward as the first round tore through the thick glass and struck the soldier’s temple.  His scalp peeled away on the far side of his head as the high-velocity round passed through and struck the far wall, spraying the back of the room with blood.

About Jon Messenger

Jon Messenger (Born 1979 in London, England) serves as an United States Army Major in the Medical Service Corps. Since graduating from the University of Southern California in 2002, writing Science Fiction has remained his passion, a passion that has continued through two deployments to Iraq, a humanitarian relief mission to Haiti, and an upcoming deployment to Afghanistan. Jon wrote the "Brink of Distinction" trilogy, of which "Burden of Sisyphus" is the first book, while serving a 16-month deployment in Baghdad, Iraq.

Jon's books include Wind Warrior which was published through Clean Teen Publishing and quickly hit the best selling lists of Amazon. Jon Messenger has won a readers choice award as well as the Clean Teen Publishing writing contest for his Novella of Wind Warrior, which is also featured in Wonderstruck. Messenger's sci-fi series, Brink of Distinction, was picked up by Clean Teen Publishing's adult imprint: Crimson Tree Publishing in the Fall of 2013.