Cover Reveal! Soulmated: Fighting Fate by Shaila Patel

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ENTER TO WIN: ARC of FIGHTING FATE & $25 Amazon Gift Card

 

FIGHTING FATE Summary

Empath Liam Whelan is determined to protect Laxshmi “Lucky” Kapadia, the girl he loves, at all costs–even if it means breaking her heart to keep her alive. Stopping the joining cold means Liam’s life is in danger from the Soul Seekers and the ruthless Minister Gagliardi who now has designs on Lucky. Liam has no choice but to find the strength to fight his desires, fight the joining, and fight fate.

After the unthinkable happened, Lucky’s “hallucinations” have been working double-time. Heartbroken and plagued by doubts, she meets a man who gives her a mind-blowing explanation for her predicament. Her apparent savior provides her with an escape from her hell: run away with him or return to her drab existence and watch Liam move on with her heart in his hands. All Lucky ever craved was to be in control of her own fate, but when her only choices fight against her heart, can she find the strength to battle for what she wants?

SOULMATED: FIGHTING FATE – EXCERPT

(Joining of Souls Book 2)

Under the cover of her porch, I returned her bag to her. We moved apart. With the connection broken, she let out a shuddering sob. The pain of separating from her hit me square in the chest. I wanted to hold and comfort her, but I was already making a dog’s dinner of this just by being here. This would set her back—set us both back.

She turned away from me. Her hand shot up to her mouth, and her shoulders shook. I instinctively stepped forward, but all I could do was curl my fingers into my palms to keep from touching her.

“I miss you so much, Liam,” she said, the words choked out between hoarse cries. “I’m sorry. I know I’m not supposed to be weak.” She slapped away her tears and turned to face me. A bolt of lightning cracked nearby. I couldn’t stay. The tingling was pulling us together like it was some sort of magnetic current.

“You’re not weak. I miss you too, Lucky.”

Her eyes grew cold in an instant. The fury of the sandstorm I sensed from her made me gasp, and I stumbled back. “Jaysus, Lucky.” We were crossing interpretations again. I was reading her emotions as air metaphors instead.

She barreled toward me, her hands balled up, apparently unaware of the effect her anger had on me. “You have no right to miss me. You left me!” She beat her fists against my chest, and I had to grab her by the wrists to stop her.

“Are you thinkin’ this has been easy for me?”

She wriggled free from my grip. “Whose fault is that?” she yelled above a roll of thunder. I didn’t want her to see the pain on my face, so I turned away, holding myself up on the white, wooden railing. The whirlpool of her anguish surrounded me, making my head ache.

I took a deep breath and lowered my voice. “Lucky, I broke my promises to you. For that, I’m truly sorry. But I had little enough choice. None of that changes my feelings for you.”

“I’m not The One, so it’s time to move on. Is that it? Regardless of how you feel? Of how I feel?” Her voice cracked. “You’re a coward.”

I heard her fumbling for her keys. She’d be inside soon, and I’d rather be fighting with her on the porch than be without her.

“So where next, hmm?” she asked. “North Dakota? Vermont? Ooo, I know. You should go to India. You could play this game for the rest of your life!”

I turned to face her. Her sarcasm was brutal, but I deserved all that and more.

She tried to unlock her door, but the keys slipped from her grip. She stooped to pick them up, but her fingers were shaking so badly, she dropped them again.

“Dammit!” She crouched a second time and sucked back another sob.

I swept down and set my hands over hers to steady them. Taking the keys, I unlocked the door, followed her inside, and bundled her in a blanket from off the sofa. Lucky didn’t protest. We stood there, dripping water on her mum’s carpet, staring into each other’s eyes. Grabbing fistfuls of the covering around her neck, I gently rocked her, tugging her closer, fighting the craving to kiss her. My breaths came out fast and shallow, and only clinging to the material with both hands kept me from sneaking a touch of her soft skin. If I didn’t leave now, I’d stay because I didn’t have an ounce of the strength she had. Maybe I was the coward she’d accused me of being.


About the Author: Shaila PatelShaila_Patel_3x4.5[5776]

As an unabashed lover of all things happily-ever-after, Shaila Patel’s younger self would finish reading her copy of Cinderella and chuck it across the room because it didn’t mention what happened next. Now she writes from her home in the Carolinas and dreams up all sorts of stories with epilogues. A member of the Romance Writers of America and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, she’s a pharmacist by training, a medical office manager by day, and a writer by night. SOULMATED, her debut novel and the first book in the Joining of Souls Series, was the winner of the 2015 Chanticleer Book Reviews Paranormal Awards for Young Adult. Book 2, FIGHTING FATE releases April 2018. She loves craft beer, tea, and reading in cozy window seats—but she’ll read anywhere. You might find her sneaking in a few paragraphs at a red light or gushing about her favorite books online.

Represented by: Agent Amanda Leuck of Spencerhill Associates

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Start Reading Book 1, SOULMATED, today!

Given a 5-Star Book Review by H.A.LYNN

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All eighteen-year-old Liam Whelan—an Irish royal empath—wants to do is stop the frustrating search for the elusive girl destined to be his soul mate. The rare union will cement his family’s standing in empath politics and give the couple legendary powers, painting a bullseye on Liam’s back—and hers.

All Indian-American Laxshmi Kapadia wants is to free herself from her traditional mother’s ultimatum: graduate from high school early and go to medical school, or have her marriage arranged. Neither allows her to pursue her dreams of a career in dancing or of falling in love.

When Liam moves in next door to Laxshmi—a non-empath, he’s immediately drawn to the purity of her emotions, and she sees in this charming Irish boy a future with the freedom to follow her heart. But Liam’s father will never consent if she’s not The One. And Laxshmi’s mom won’t even let her talk to their handsome new neighbor. But hiding their relationship can’t keep them from becoming targets of a dark and ancient group determined to destroy the soulmated.

What will these two risk to choose their own fate?


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Would you risk death to join (I mean metaphysically, of course!) with your soul mate?

 

A Kingdom of Exiles by S.B. Nova

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My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Short Summary via Goodreads: “Serena Smith is unusual. Growing up as an outcast in her backwoods village, her life is grim and hard and lonely. Then, on her eighteenth birthday, she is given a magical heirloom and suffers a heartbreaking loss. Still reeling, she is forced into exile, snatched by slavers and condemned to a lifetime in chains.

Dragged to Aldar, a fae kingdom ruled by a tyrant witch, Serena soon discovers the embers of a forbidden love, and meets fellow exiles, each with their own secrets. As the lives of warriors, rebels, and witches clash, they discover a shared destiny. For only together, and with Serena’s newfound gifts, can she and her companions escape a cruel master and survive a realm of monsters and spies while building the flames of a revolution.”

My Review: Fantastic Fae Fantasy! I was pleasantly surprised at the turn this story took. I read the first two chapters when I was asked to beta read, so I knew I’d be hooked when I picked up the published copy. But, I had no idea what kind of action-packed adventure I was getting myself into. Just when I thought things couldn’t get worse, they did. When I thought the characters would get a break, the stakes rose, keeping me enthralled.

S.B. Nova did a brilliant job of weaving in characters, twists, and detailed backstory without overwhelming me or dragging the pace. Each character (and there are a lot) is unique with their own voice and motives, adding to the overall tension and conflict.

I love Frazer most–a brooding, darker Fae you don’t anticipate to take on such a huge role in Serena’s life. Their vulnerability as individuals is intensified by their friendship and their characters strengthened by it. This is so well done! I was taken completely off guard by the uniqueness of their relationship.

There are a few instances I thought I might be able to predict, but a kink in the characters’ plans or their reactions threw me off every time. I do think I know what will happen with Serena’s love interest issue, though. However, I’m glad the book ended the way it did, and that the issues of romance are stalled in more ways than one.

I’m anxious to continue this story, and will have a book hangover for a while!

Wild Horse Heart by Katrina Ariel

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My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Short Summary via Goodreads: “With a soft belly and thick thighs, Ria isn’t Hollywood’s version of beauty. But when award-winning director Ben Crawford hears her sing, he casts her as his lead, a move that wins more of Ria’s heart than she wants to admit. Then she learns her co-star is Gregory Finn, a man she’s had a crush on for fifteen years . . . a man notorious for romancing his leading ladies and leaving them when production wraps up. Ria is sure Finn won’t want her, but their chemistry is off the charts. She guards herself against the inevitable end, but even Finn’s emotions get tangled…”

My Review: Relatable and heartfelt, Wild Horse Heart is a pleasant read with a thrilling ending.

I’m impressed with how this storyline follows not only Ria but also her on-set character, Josie. The book has a story-within-a-story feel to it, which can be a challenge to write.

The wrap up of tension and conflict between Ria and her ex-husband, Mark, had me on the edge of my seat, cheering by the end. Gotta love horses! And, though I avoid love triangles, I’m pleased with the choice Ria made between Ben and Finn.

My only pet peeve is redundant past tense usage throughout the book. It’s hard for me to concentrate and enjoy a book when I feel the urge to point out this error, but I overlooked it the best I could and let myself be swept away by this triumphant romance.

This is definitely one you need to add to your beach TBR list! Thank you, Katrina Ariel, for giving me the chance to read and review your book for free. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Roko’s Basilisk by Michael Blackbourn

My Rating: 5/5 stars

Summary via Amazon:  

Civilization is poised on the edge of technological collapse. Thomas Kirby, employed at a floundering company endures life on the brink, plagued by recurring nightmares and the fear of losing his job. He wants nothing more than to provide for his family and bring some stability into their lives. 

Salvation seems to be at hand. His friend Roko Kasun, an artificial-intelligence researcher, shares a world-shattering secret. He’s on the cusp of launching a super-intelligent AI – a guardian-angel that promises to usher in a new world order. But only after Thomas teams up with his ambitious friend does Roko reveal the catch: his preparations to summon this god-like savior have not gone unnoticed. Roko has drawn the gaze of the Basilisk – a shadowy power capable of ensuring, or extinguishing humanity’s only chance at survival.

My Review: Quick, but intriguing sci-fi short. Thrown between what’s presently happening in the story and what conversation took place prior, I was pleasantly surprised to be hooked into this terrifying breakthrough of artificial- intelligence. 

This is the second work I’ve read by Blackbourn. “Cursor Blink,” another short, was just as gripping, and I recommend it as well. 

The Rise of Ersyla by J.M. Sullivan

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My Rating: 5/5 stars

Short Summary via Goodreads: Before she was the sea witch, Ersyla was a simple girl with an unfortunate secret.

It wasn’t her fault magick was a part of her, or that the King’s heartache turned the world against her. Struggling to understand how she could be put to death just for living, Ersyla must learn who to trust before her dark secret turns her heart even darker.

My Review: This gripping, emotional short is a new spin on a classic favorite. It gives a glimpse into Ersyla’s past, the beginning of her magic, and the unfortunate events leading up to her turn from witchling to the dark sea-witch we know her to be.

Sullivan stuck true to the underlying darkness in the heart of Ersyla’s character, which is what drew and hooked me in. There are moments of childish wickedness, defiance, jealousy, and envy Ersyla feels toward her friend, Bryony, and her familiy. These relatable emotions helped build to the inevitable hate, distrust, and revenge Ersyla feels by the end of the story. It also encourages the reader to sympathize with Ersyla as she struggles to overcome the poor, unfortunate outcome of her actions.

As always, Sullivan’s writing style, pace, tone, and the tension throughout the story kept me glued to my kindle screen. I’m so glad she’s decided to continue writing re-tellings. After reading Alice: The Wanderland Chronicles, I was anxious to get my hands on more of her work. I wasn’t disappointed!

I read and reviewed this book for my own enjoyment.