[Book Blitz] The Harvesting Series by Melanie Karsak – Excerpt + Giveaway


Title: The Harvesting

Series/Universe: The Harvesting Series

Author: Melanie Karsak

Publisher: Clockpunk Press

Publication date: January 8th 2014

Goodreads Page: The Harvesting

Purchase: Amazon


It’s all fun and games until someone ends up undead.

Layla Petrovich has spent her whole life running away from her hometown of Hamletville. Raised by the town’s medium, and dubbed the “weird” girl for her fascination with swords, the last thing Layla wants is to go home.

But when she receives a desperate call to return just as a mysterious outbreak sweeps the country, Layla’s instincts urge her to go. Good thing, because the dead are rising.Layla, however, isn’t entirely on her own. With her psychic powers growing, surely everything will turn out okay, right?

Not so fast. Just when Layla believes she might survive the apocalypse, a sinister and ancient force rises from the shadows to finish mankind for good.Because the truth is, we were never alone in this world.

Begin The Harvesting Series with The Harvesting, Book 1.




“If you ever need to slice someone’s head off, this is the blade you want,” I said as I lifted a curved sword off the table in front of me. “We’ve been practicing épée and foil so far, but tonight I want to introduce you to the sabre.” The practice sabre’s curved blade reflected the orange streetlight shining in through the window. A grant from the Smithsonian where I worked allowed me to teach my two passions: ancient weapons and their arts. “The sabre is a slashing weapon,” I continued and then lunged, showing the wide-eyed and excited students a few moves. “And in general, it’s my favorite,” I admitted with a grin.

The students laughed.

“Is that why you have it tattooed on your arm?” Tyler, one of my best fencers, asked.

My hand went unconsciously toward the tattoo. The ink was a sword interlaced with other once-meaningful symbols. “That’s not just any sabre,” I said, mildly embarrassed. “Here, let me show you. I brought something special tonight.” Setting the training sabre down, I lifted a rolled bundle. I laid it down on the table and unrolled it to reveal weapons in various elaborate scabbards.

“Some are épée, foils—you can tell by the hilt—a broadsword, a claymore, a katana, a scimitar, throwing daggers,” I said, pointing, “but this, this is a Russian shashka.” I pulled the shashka from the bundle. “It’s like a traditional sabre, but has no guard. She’s light, single-edged, wielded with one hand, and good for stabbing or slashing. Not awkward in close quarters like a Scottish claymore, but it will kill you just as dead,” I said with a smile. I unsheathed the weapon and gave it an under-and over-hand spin around my head, shoulders, and back.

The students grinned from ear to ear.

I put it back in its scabbard and handed the shashka to them. “Pass it around, but keep in mind it is sharp enough to cut a blade of hair in half.” I then turned my attention to Tyler. “Now, since you’re so interested, let’s see how you do with the sabre.” I tossed one of the training swords to him.

Tyler, already in his gear, jumped up and lowered his fencing mask. “But you’re not in gear,” he said.

I shrugged. “Hit me, if you can.”

We stood at the ready, made the ceremonial bow, and began. Tyler was not overly aggressive, which is partially why he was so successful. He waited for me, moving slowly. He was smart, quick, and often tried to over-tire his opponent.

I waited, dropped my sword a bit, and let him make the lunge. He took the bait.

The swords clanged together, and we clashed back and forth across the strip. He lunged and slashed while I dodged and blocked. He was fast. I was faster. When he lunged again, I ducked. With an upward movement, I went in.

“A hit,” Kasey called.

They clapped.

“Man, that’s what you get for taking on a former state champ—and the teacher,” Trey told Tyler with a laugh.

Tyler pulled off the mask and smiled at me.

Just then, my cell rang. I would usually ignore it, but something told me to answer.

“Everyone pair up and start working with the training sabers,” I said and pointed to the sword rack. I went to my bag and grabbed my cell.

Before I could say hello, she spoke.

“Layla, Grandma needs you to come home,” my grandmother’s voice, thick with Russian accent, came across through static. I was silent for a moment. My grandmother lived 500 miles away, and she never used her telephone. With the exception of her T.V., she hated technology. She’d cried and begged me to take away the microwave I’d purchased for her one Mother’s Day.

“Grandma? What’s wrong?”

“Come home now. Be here tomorrow,” she said. She hung up.

I lowered my cell and stared at it. Confused and worried, I dialed her back. The phone rang, but she did not answer. I had obligations: practice, bills to pay, groceries to buy, tons of work to do, and a date for god-sakes. But my grandmother was the only one I had left in the world.

“Sorry, guys. Emergency,” I called to my students.

Disappointed, they groaned.

“Sorry. Let’s pack it up for the night.” My hands shaking, I slid the shashka back into the bundle and rolled up the weapons. What had happened? Maybe Grandma was sick. Maybe she had some problem. Or maybe she had seen something.


Author Bio:

Melanie Karsak is the author of The Airship Racing Chronicles, The Harvesting Series, and The Celtic Blood Series. A steampunk connoisseur, zombie whisperer, and heir to the iron throne, the author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest


Enter for your chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter Here: a Rafflecopter giveaway


Posted in Adult, Adult, Books, Coffee, Horror, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy | Tagged | Leave a comment

Mega SciFi/Fantasy Party – Sworn To Raise Excerpt + $1200 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Welcome to the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book Party!

Welcome to the genreCRAVE Science Fiction and Fantasy $1200 Giveaway! We have something really exciting set up for you. First, some KILLER Science Fiction and Fantasy books at a steal, and after that, a chance to enter our $1200 Gift Card Giveaway! Read on for more information, but first, check out the books from our sponsors at the link below!



Sworn To Raise by Terah Edun

Ciardis Vane watched the townspeople jeering as the local Gardis strapped the highwayman into the stocks. Frowning Ciardis wormed her way closer to the front of the crowd, straining to get a peek at the criminal. She felt no pity for the condemned man; he would die tonight, regardless of her feelings. The nightwolves were already pacing, their shadowed forms just visible in the dense tree line, waiting for darkness to fall.

Without the protection of the house wards, the highwayman would be defenseless locked in the stocks. I wish I could say it will be a quick death, she thought with clinical detachment, but they’ll probably go for his guts first. The man deserved no less than death in any case; he had done nothing but steal from—and sometimes kill—those who traveled the Imperial coach roads. “Stand and deliver,” indeed!

Ciardis pushed back her heavy brown curls with a sun-bronzed hand. Turning slightly to the side she whispered about his crime with the other washer maids who’d come to see the spectacle. Suddenly, she felt a sharp pinch on her wrist. Turning to see who had interrupted her entertainment, she looked over and frowned down at the younger woman who now stood by her side.

Wringing her hands anxiously, Margaret looked up at Ciardis and gave a quick jerk of her head to the side to indicate they should speak outside the crowd. “You’ll want to hear this firsthand, Ciardis,” Margaret said with urgency.

“All right, all right,” Ciardis muttered as they made their way out of the crowd and down to the washer station with a few other girls trailing behind. The slight blonde woman who scurried next to her was a great source of village gossip, and Ciardis knew that whatever she had to say would be worth leaving the spectacle in the midst of the judge’s punishment. To Ciardis, a good piece of gossip was as welcome as spun gold…usually.

When they’d walked far enough from the crowds Margaret was quick to tell Ciardis the news that she’d heard from the weaver’s daughter who’d heard it in the apothecary the day before.

Practically bursting with the pent up news Mags bounced on the balls of her feet as she said, “Fervis and the caravan girl…they’re together Ciardis.”

“They’re together?” Ciardis said with disgust, “No, he’s with me.”

Mags shook her whole head, curls bouncing every which way, in denial.

“They were seen, getting in a big fight and then…” said Mags.

“So?” interrupted Ciardis in disdain. “That means nothing.”

Patiently the girl continued, ignoring the interruption, “And then the girl’s father came and threatened to kill Fervis. One thing led to another and now they’re bound.”

This bit of news hit Ciardis with all the weight of a lead brick.



Entering is easy! Directions are on the Rafflecopter, but as an overview:

  1. Subscribe to genreCRAVE and confirm your subscription when you receive the confirmation. You must confirm via the confirmation email to get entry for the $1200!
  2. Select what other newsletters you would like to join. Each newsletter = 1 entry. Enter your email to confirm. This email must match the email you used for confirmation in step 1!
  3. You may unsubscribe at any time, but reporting as Spam will get you disqualified from all future giveaways, and we run some pretty awesome giveaways (in the last 30 days, we’ve given away multiple books as well as a $2000 and $1000 gift card, and now this $1200 one!)
  4. Winner will be announced at our Facebook Party and contacted via Email. We will have other prizes at the Facebook Party as well!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS FOR SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY FANS ONLY. IF YOU ARE NOT AN AVID READER OF THOSE GENRES, YOUR ENTRY WILL BE DISQUALIFIED. Please do not try to find a way around this. There will be other giveaways Enter this one if you love SCIENCE FICTION and FANTASY! Thank you!

Enter Here: a Rafflecopter giveaway


Posted in Coffee | Leave a comment

National Coffee Day 2016 Coffee Freebies & Deals

National Coffee Day

Happy National Coffee Day! Below I’ve put together a list of tweets from places offering coffee freebies or deals today.

Have fun, and remember to drink responsibly :) Continue reading

Posted in Coffee, Coffee News | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

[Book Review] Come What May By A.M. Arthur & Mavericks Coffee Co. Absinthe Flavored Ground Coffee


Come What May By A.M. Arthur

  • Title: Come What May
  • Series/Universe: All Saints #1
  • Author: A.M. Arthur
  • Publisher: Carina Press
  • Publication date: May 23rd 2016
  • ISBN-13: 9781459293540
  • Format: ebook
  • Page Count: 320 pages
  • Age Rating: Adult (language, explicit sexual scenes, minor violence)
  • How I got my hot little hands on it: Received an ARC to review
  • Publisher’s page: Come What May


Jonas needs Tate. He just doesn’t know it yet.

Or at least, he doesn’t want to admit it. Because there is no way Jonas Ashcroft is gay. He’s a straight, carefree frat boy player, just like any good son of a conservative state senator. If only his struggle to convince everyone—especially himself—didn’t leave him so miserable. No matter how many girls or bottles he drowns himself in, Jonas can neither escape nor accept who he is.

Enter Tate. He’s smart, confident, and instantly sees right through Jonas’s surly exterior. Sure, he’s done things in life he’s not proud of, but he knows who he is and what he wants. And what he wants is Jonas. As their easy friendship intensifies into something more, Tate introduces Jonas to a life he’s never known. One filled with acceptance and sex and a love that terrifies and excites them both.

But some inner demons refuse to be shaken off so easily. When Jonas’s old life barges in, he faces a shattering choice, one that could destroy everything he and Tate have fought so hard for. Sometimes love just isn’t enough—and sometimes it’s exactly what you need.

Book One of All Saints, the brand-new series from A.M. Arthur.

My Review:

A.M. Arthur is back at it again with Come What May, the first book in the new All Saints series – Arthur’s third trilogy set in a fictional version of Wilmington, Delaware. This book can be read on its own, but if you’re a fan of Arthur’s Restoration or Belonging series (set in the same fictional version of Wilmington, Delaware) you’ll recognize a few familiar faces and landmarks.

Come What May is the story of twenty-one year old Jonas Ashcraft, who’s drowning under the expectations of society in general and his father in particular, and the lifeline he finds in the arms of street smart Tate Dawson.

Jonas has lived what others might see as a charmed life as the son of a state senator. College, frat, girls – Jonas is living the American dream set out for him by his conservative father – until he messes up and gets himself temporarily expelled from school. Now Jonas is living with an aunt and uncle he’s little more than strangers with and working at their thrift store as punishment for his sins. Although it seems like hell to the pampered college boy in the beginning, he quickly realizes it’s just the wake-up call he needs – and it all starts when he meets Tate.

Tate has never been handed anything in his life. Orphaned at a young age, he had to work hard to keep him and his sisters together and now runs a homeless shelter for LGBT teens. When Tate meets Jonas, he immediately endeavors to strike up a friendship for less than altruistic reasons, but as the two actually start spending time together he sees Jonas is in need of a real, genuine friend. For all Jonas’ “model gorgeous” looks, his self-esteem is crap and he’s in deep denial about his sexuality.

Things move quickly between Jonas and Tate and it’s fairly obvious from very early on that pretty deep feelings simmer just below the surface. The pair barely manages to stay “just friends” for a very short period before they can’t keep their hands off each other. Poor Jonas goes through a lot in his journey to come out, from under the shadow his soul-crushing, domineering father, as well as being comfortable in his own sexuality, and the deep bond the two guys forge really is a lifeline for them both –  it’s a pretty emotional ride, one that held my rapt attention and even had me crying at parts.

Emotional, captivating, romantic, and sexy – A.M. Arthur hit one out of the park once again with Come What May. I have honestly never read an A.M. Arthur book that disappoints and I can’t wait for the next book in the All Saints series, Say It Right (Coming September 12th).


In Come What May, Tate introduces Jonas to many new experiences – one of the more innocent of these is musicals, particularly Moulin Rouge, which goes on to have a special meaning for the couple. When they first watch it, Jonas confuses the green Absinthe fairy on the DVD menu with Tinker Bell before Tate sets him straight. Absinthe, as Tate explains to Jonas, was very popular during the Bohemian era in France, the setting for Moulin Rouge, and has some particular importance in the movie as well. I myself have never tried Absinthe, but for a safe alternative, without the famed (arguably over-exaggerated) hallucinogenic effects of the original, I recommend Mavericks Coffee Absinthe Flavored Ground Coffee – an intensely flavored coffee made with fennel, wormwood and anise flavors that give it a strong earthy licorice taste.

Posted in Books, Coffee, m/m, Reviews, Romance | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Coffee Coconut Sugar Scrub

Coffee Coconut Sugar Scrub

I love sugar scrubs – they’re inexpensive and easy to make at home and work beautifully to leave skin soft and gorgeous. The sugar scrub I want to share with you guys today is one of my favorites, not only because it utilizes used coffee grounds (I seem to accrue piles of used coffee grounds and I’m always on the lookout to for ways to recycle and re-purpose them), but because it’s so easy to make – it takes about 5 minutes to throw together and is composed of 3 simple, but extremely effective, ingredients:

Continue reading

Posted in Beauty & The Bean, Coffee | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment