Thursday, August 28, 2014

#Giveaway Alien Invasion Throwback Thursday with Inside (Insiders #1-2) by Maria V. Snyder ~ Review by Fallon

4 Out of 5 Stars

Author Description:

The world of Inside is simple. Do your job, stay out of the way and don't dream of anything better. Because as every Scrub knows, there are no other options.

Until Trella—the Queen of the Pipes, as some call her—gets involved with a revolution that will rock her world….

Trella was just doing a favor for a friend—her only friend. Hiding an injured man from the Pop Cops seemed easy enough—though dangerous. But then she discovered that the myths of Outside might be real….

Being Inside's hero only left Trella with more work. Ducking those responsibilities, she continued to explore her stark world—and found something she never expected. Strangers. From Outside…

Fallon's Review:

Trella is a scrub in this dystopian maze cubical type world. She works in theses pipes all day long. Trella is not very social and loves the company of her cleaning troll. This does not always go over very well with her other fellow scrubs. Trella lives on the bottom levels and lives a life of hard work. Not everyone lives this life. There are 4 levels total and the two higher levels are levels of privileged where residents are called uppers.

Riley is an Upper who lives the opposite life that Trella lives. Trella learns so much from Riley and they become great friends. Riley helps Trella learn trust and the discovery of who she is. I loved this space Dystopian. Maria's world building was great. This book was also well written and will entertain any adult, while being clean and age appropriate for any younger children. I loved this book and am giving it 4 out of 5 stars. This is a must read.

We got to meet Maria at Indie Bookfest this month and we could not have been more excited. Here is our pics with Maria and she generously is donating a signed PB of Inside books 1-2 of Insiders which is the complete series in one book. You will want this it is fantastic.

 Maria V. Snyder's table at Indie Bookfest

 Seeing Double In Neverland with Maria V. Snyder!

Maria signing all our books and we had alot!

Giveaway Inside PB signed by Maria V. Snyder

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Alien Invasion The Revenge of Seven by Pittacus Lore is here! ~ Watch the Trailer now!

If you are like me then you have been screaming inside while waiting for the release of The Revenge of Seven by Pittacus Lore available in stores now! Watch the official trailer below

In Stores Now

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

#Giveaway Alien Invasion Teaser Tuesday with The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2) by Rick Yancey

Book 1 The 5th Wave in stores now!                                                 Book 2 The Infinite Sea out Sep. 16th

Giveaway Courtesy of Rick Yancey 1 Signed copy of The 5th Wave

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Alien Invasion Month with Gravity (The Taking #1) by Melissa West ~ Review by Fallon

5 Out of 5 Stars

Author Description:

In the future, only one rule will matter:

Don’t. Ever. Peek.

Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed — arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know — especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.

Fallon's Review:

Melissa did such an incredible job in Gravity with building this Dystopian world. What does it mean to be human? Is it our DNA or species, or our actions that make us human. Melissa West really gets to the heart of this. You have this future world where humans destroyed the earth in world war 4 and called upon an alien race called Ancients to help rebuild. Humans made an alliance for coexistence in the future.

This book was so fast paced and kept me on my toes. This book had just the right amount of romance. It was a very background story the human nature and unraveling all the lies and secrets kept was the forefront which I found very refreshing. This book will leave you wanting more and now I can not wait to read Hoover and then soon will be coming Collide. This is a must read 5 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

#International #Giveaway Alien Invasion with How to Date an Alien (My Alien Romance #1) by Magan Vernon ~ Review by Fallon

4 Out of 5 Stars

Author Description:

High school senior Alex Bianchi's estranged father gets her an internship at Circe Operations Center to pad her college applications. But Circe isn't your typical military base. It's an alien-run operation center and not all of the aliens are friendly, especially the one that tries to kill Alex on her first day. When Ace, a dark-eyed Caltian, enters and saves the day, she can't help but be drawn to him. Can these star-crossed lovers survive when they're on the brink of intergalactic war?

Fallon's Review:

Alex is the smart girl who always felt awkward. Summer internship at her dads company proves to be an adventure Alex will never forget. First day and she is almost killed until a handsome man with dark ink eyes saves her. Getting the grand tour and now finding out her assignment and guess who her new partner to work with is. None other then her rescuer Ace.

Ace looks human but the gorgeous Greek God chiseled type of human. He is faster and stronger. Everyone around Alex starts to notice the protective stare Ace always seems to posses over her. This has all the interns in a tizzy. Relationships with other species is unheard of and considered gross by the masses.

I loved this fun cheeky story. I was glued after diving in a bit. I found Ace and Alex's attraction adorable. Alex finally finds her backbone and becomes stronger then she realized. I love Ace's complete confidence in Alex's abilities even if she is a weaker species.  I also liked the side story of Alex and her emotional relationships with each of her parents. I can not wait to finish reading this series. I am giving this book 4 out of 5 stars just because it started a little slow.

International Giveaway My Alien Romance entire series in e-copy

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

#Giveaway Alien Invasion Throwback Thursday with Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer ~ Review by Fallon

5 Out of 5 Stars
Throwback Thursday is dedicated to my favorite Lunar Chronicles book so far. I <3 Scarlet and Wolf

Fallon's Review:

didn't think Marissa Meyer could do better then Cinder but I was wrong. I loved this book so much. It did start a little slow but once you get reading it you wont be able to put it down. You had 3 perspectives although towards the end she had a chapter from the Lunar Queen but the main points of view were Cinder, Kia and Scarlet. Can I just say though I love Wolf I think he made this book, he was the missing piece to Cinder you didn't realize was missing. Scarlet and Wolfs chemistry sizzles. This is a must read. 

Giveaway courtesy of Marissa Meyer! Lunar Chronicles swag pack.

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#Giveaway Starstruck (Starstruck #1) by Brenda Hiatt ~ Review by Fallon

4 Out of 5 Stars

Author Description:

Nerdy astronomy geek Marsha, M to her few friends, has never been anybody special. Orphaned as an infant and reluctantly raised by an overly-strict “aunt,” she’s not even sure who she is. M’s dream of someday escaping tiny Jewel, Indiana and making her mark in the world seems impossibly distant until hot new quarterback Rigel inexplicably befriends her. As Rigel turns his back on fawning cheerleaders to spend time with M, strange things start to happen: her acne clears up, her eyesight improves to the point she can ditch her thick glasses, and when they touch, sparks fly—literally! When M digs for a reason, she discovers deep secrets that will change her formerly humdrum life forever . . . and expose her to perils she never dreamed of. Yes, the middle of nowhere just got a lot more interesting!

Fallon's Review:

Marsha is not what you would call the popular girl. In fact Marsha is just the opposite. Geeky and acne prone with bad eyesight. Marsha never knew her parents and was raised by her aunt and uncle. Her and her aunt always seem at odds. Marsha has two best friends Bri and Deb and they are loyal friends. 

Marsha has always had a crush on Jimmy, till a new guy walks into class and Marsha can not even think. His voice pulls her in and she can not even focus on anything else. Marsha knows he could never be interested in her. Rigel is gorgeous popular and the new star quarterback and every girls dream. One touch changes him and Marsha forever.

Weird things start to happen to Marsha her acne clears up, she can now see with out glasses. Riley starts throwing harder and running faster. Their chemistry is magnetic and every time they touch electricity flows through them. Marsha goes from not knowing her past to really finding out who she is, what she is made of and what she will become.

Starstruck was so detail oriented. I felt like I read a book that if turned into a TV series would be two seasons long. The writing and story was so good I could see it as a TV show. I absolutely loved watching Marsha grow through his book. She never changes who she is and never compromises her values but becomes the best version of herself. I can not wait to read Starcrossed. This is a must read Alien book. Fans of Alienated will love this book.

Giveaway 2 Winners of Starstruck e-copy! This Giveaway is International

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Giveaway Alien Invasion Teaser Tuesday ~ Celebrating One of my Favorites ~ Lux Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

To Celebrate Alien Month and the end of one of our favorite series.  LUX Series by one of my FAVORITE Authors Jennifer L. Armentrout we are sharing some of our favorite quotes with our memes and doing a Giveaway! We will be giving away our favorite book from the Series signed by Jennifer with a special quote included inside!

Signed Copy of Origin w/ Quote

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Alien Invasion 3 Days of J. Barton Mitchell ~ Day 3 Exclusive Excerpt first Chapter of Valley of Fires

Valley of Fires ~ Chapter 1

Holt Hawkins had to admit, the Wind Maker was a beautiful ship. Three masts, salvaged from fishing boats on Lake Michigan stretched into the sky, and a hull shaped from the wood of several old barns, the faded grays and reds of the paint still visible. She sat in the middle of the plains of what had once been southwest Idaho, about five miles from Currency, the Wind Trader capital. Like everyone else on board, he had his attention on something in the distance: an old tractor, sitting where it had been abandoned years ago, buried in weeds and overgrown corn, but still solid. It would make an excellent target.
If they ever got the cannon to work, of course.
Arrayed around him were almost two dozen Captains who had come to observe the test firing, and they were studying the proceedings with a great deal of skepticism. Holt didn’t blame them.
On the shoulders of one of the Captains nearby perched a large cat, his coat marbled orange and beige, wrapped around the kid’s neck and perfectly comfortable. Max, Holt’s Australian cattle dog, stared up at the cat eagerly, though whether he wanted to jump the feline or be its friend Holt wasn’t sure.
Holt nudged the dog, breaking his concentration. “Don’t fixate,” he whispered. Max whined and looked back at the cat.
The test cannon was refusing to fire, after numerous assurances that it had finally been figured out. It had been fashioned in a joint effort by both Wind Trader engineers and what the White Helix called Adzers, those trained for the dangerous tasks of carving and shaping the powerful Anti-Matter crystals from the Strange Lands into the Helix’s rings and spear points. It was a dangerous job; do it wrong and you’d unleash the crystals’ energy and incinerate everything nearby.
The cannon itself was out of sight below, aiming through one of the ship’s brand new gun ports. Until this week, Landships had no need of gun ports, because none of them were armed, but that was just one of many things that was changing.
The representatives from both camps were on deck and, as usual, arguing heatedly. 
“The crystals spark when it’s activated, so it’s not a power issue,” said Caspira, the White Helix’s principal Adzer. She was a tall girl, with a lithe and agile build like all White Helix, and her brownish hair hung down her back in a tight braid. Her voice was always calm, and always laced with ice. “It’s the cannon barrel, like I told you, it’s too constrictive.” 
“Just because they spark, don’t mean they work, honey,” Smitty said back, decidedly less calm. He was a big, heavyset kid, mostly muscle, closing in on twenty, judging by the Tone in his eyes, and he was the Wind Traders’ head engineer, a position that involved overseeing the design, construction, and repair of its Landships. His hands were stained a permanent shade of charcoal from his work at the Shipyard forges. He was heated and volatile, the exact opposite of Caspira, and anytime they were within ten feet of one another, it was like gasoline and matches. “It’s a power issue, the barrel’s perfectly proportioned, I honed it myself.”
“Maybe that’s the problem,” Caspira replied.
Smitty’s face reddened, but a commanding voice stopped him from exploding. “Stop it! Is it gonna work or did we waste an entire day coming out here?”
Both Caspira and Smitty turned to the tall, lanky kid who’d spoken. His name was Conner, and he was more than just another Landship Captain, he was the Consul of the Wind Trader Cooperative. It sounded fancy, but the position was mainly reserved for tie breakers within the Co-Op, so that no decision could go unresolved. The Consul also negotiated deals which affected the Wind Traders as a whole, called Grand Bargains, and it was why Holt and Mira had approached Conner when they’d first arrived. It was he who had accepted their deal, much to the Co-Op’s displeasure, and that displeasure was increasing every second the cannon didn’t fire.
“It’s fired twice before,” Smitty said in annoyance, “something probably shifted when we mounted it, the girl here and I will…”
“It’s Caspira,” the Adzer replied frigidly.
“…go down and give it a once over.”
“A fast once over,” Conner told him with a glare. Holt could feel the growing impatience spreading through the assembled Captains. It was an on-going dispute that threatened more and more every day to destroy the deal Holt and Mira had built, the one which would get them and the White Helix to San Francisco, where the Citadel sat, and where the seemingly impossible task of rescuing Zoey waited.
“You made a Grand Bargain without consulting any of the other Captains…for this?” The impatience had finally spilled over. The Captain was a girl, maybe eighteen, and, oddly, she spoke with a British accent, something Holt hadn’t heard since he was a kid.
“It’s within my rights to do so,” Conner stated.
“Rights or no,” the girl continued, “a Grand Bargain affects everyone, and what you’ve agreed to—“
“Is worth the price,” Conner cut her off sharply. “You’ve seen the Helix weapons. Imagine the fleet armed with them.”
“Our ships have never been armed,” the British girl argued back. “We’ve always relied on other things to get us through.” 
“And what has that gotten us?” Conner retorted. “How many ships have we lost to the Menagerie? Last year we were one hundred and seventeen vessels strong…today it’s ninety three. With these weapons, the shipping lanes will belong to us, and the profit will be more than anything we’ve ever seen.”
“In exchange for what?” It was the voice of the Captain with the cat, a calm, masculine voice, but skeptical, and Holt recognized it. 

He was somewhere around nineteen, with an assuredness beyond his years and a brash smile. Dark hair was layered back in textured waves, and he wore a white shirt tucked into black cargo pants with a gunbelt around his waist, and as he stood near the edge of the ship’s deck, he placed a silver tipped boot on top of a railing and scratched the cat’s ears. “Two weeks is the answer. Two weeks and they have full control of the fleet. Every. Last. Ship.”

Something about Dresden had always bothered Holt. He’d only met the Captain once before, months earlier back at that trading post when he’d helped them escape with Zoey. He was cocky. And an opportunist. In Holt’s experience, it was a bad combination, but there was no doubt he was one of the best skippers in the fleet. He was also Conner’s brother, and there was no love lost between the two. They stared at one another intensely.
“Yes,” Conner answered. “For transportation of their army to San Francisco.”
 “The most guarded and heavily fortified Assembly ruin in North America,” Dresden stated back. “And fighting too, don’t forget that. Wherever we’re needed. I guess the idea is that a hundred Landships with Anti-Matter weapons is enough to give the Assembly a little pause, but I’m not sure how much I really buy into that. Oh, and speaking of the Assembly, now we’ve got a couple dozen of them sitting outside the Shipyards.” He meant Ambassador and the silver rebels that had joined them after the battle of the Severed Tower, another point of contention, for obvious reasons.
“He’s right!” the British girl spoke up again. “Mantises! Spiders for God sakes! Other kinds of walkers I’ve never seen before, and—”
“Can I say something here?” Holt interjected, and everyone looked at him in surprise. Clearly, they’d forgotten he was on board. “We’ve made some…strange alliances, it’s true, but those Assembly you’re talking about are different from the others. They’re fighting their own kind. Now maybe that’s not something you particularly care about, and I don’t blame you, but at the very least you need to recognize that things are changing, and you ought to be concerned about a lot more than just arming your ships. The Strange Lands are gone. The Assembly are fighting each other, and whatever their agenda is, it’s reaching its end. Six months from now I think the world is gonna be a very, very different place. That’s what this deal is all about: embracing change. What is it you say? ‘The wind takes you where it will, not the other way around?’ The winds are changing course people, and you all need to start taking your own advice. Getting left behind is not where you want to be.”
Silence gripped the deck of the ship. They stared at him in a combination of different ways, some unsettled and angry, others hopeful and resolute. The truth was he didn’t particularly care if they liked the deal, only that they got them to San Francisco. And then, Holt thought glumly, the real fun would begin…
The deck of the ship shook under their feet as a loud, harmonic ping echoed sharply below. A giant, glowing blue crystal spearpoint arced through the air.
The Captains gasped as it impacted the thick metal body of the old tractor, blowing the whole thing to pieces, punching straight through it in a shower of colored sparks and digging itself into the ground on the other side.
No one spoke. Everyone’s eyes were wide.
Holt had seen White Helix Lancet crystals do some extensive damage, but these cannons were on a whole other level.
“Well,” Dresden remarked. The cat on his shoulders stared around warily. “I’d call that a successful test.”
Everyone moved off, heading for the stairs to the lower decks to congratulate Smitty and Caspira, but Holt stood staring at the smoking remains of the tractor in relief. It was the first time something had gone right in…well, who was keeping track?

“Two weeks,” a voice said and Holt looked to his right. Dresden stood there, staring at the tractor with him. “Use it well. This little coalition you’ve built is gonna fall apart at the first sign of trouble, and when it does…complications will ensue.” Dresden looked at him and smiled. There was no maliciousness in it, he was just being honest, and he wasn’t happy about his people being forced into a war none of them had signed up for.
Holt could relate.
“They usually do,” he said.
Dresden moved away, and as he did the cat on his shoulders hissed down at Max. The dog whined again and started to follow, but Holt held him in place until they were out of sight. The Captain was right about most of it, but the truth was it wouldn’t be him holding it all together, it would be someone else, someone he cared about more than anyone else on this broken planet.
It would be Mira.


Currency was the Wind Trader capital, as well as the second largest population center in North America, next to Midnight City. The breadth of it stretched out over the green and yellow rolling hills of the very northern tip of the Barren, shining in the sun, and, as always, it was beautiful.
The design of the city had integrated Landships almost seamlessly. Broad avenues of green fields crisscrossed the city, large enough for the giant ships to reach their berth. Each ship had its own in the city, and looking out over it, Currency was full of rippling, shuddering color from their patchwork sails. Orange and red, purple and yellow, blues, greens, they looked like huge pieces of art fluttering in the wind. It was easy to see how Currency earned the nickname “City of Sails”.
As beautiful as it was, Holt didn’t pause to admire it, he only wanted to get away.
When the gangplank of the Wind Maker lowered, he and Max were the first off, leaving the others behind. All he could think about right now was getting back to Mira. Who knew how many days they had left before they were forced apart? The sad part was, it was a separation of their own design.
Mira couldn’t attend the test firing, she’d been pulled away to deal with some new flareup regarding the Assembly and the White Helix, which was becoming more and more normal. The Helix had been honed in the Strange Lands as weapons to fight the invaders, and they were starting to get restless, and restless White Helix were a bad combination. 
The Assembly, for their part, didn’t seem to take it personally. In fact, they rarely seemed to notice the hostility at all. Regardless, because Mira was the only one who could communicate with them, she was always brought in when things went south. That was Zoey’s last gift, the granting of one of her abilities to Mira, and as much as Holt didn’t like what that power was slowly doing to her, he saw its necessity, saw why Zoey had done what she’d done. Still, it was a steep price to pay.
“Hey, killer,” said a feminine, yet decidedly not soft voice, and Holt’s reaction to it was the same as always: apprehension mixed with warmth. That was the effect Ravan always had, in varying degrees.
Ravan was beautiful in a hard edged way, olive skin and obsidian black hair that trailed down her back. She wore black pants, a tee shirt, and a single utility belt across her waist. On her left wrist was the tattoo of an eight pointed star, with four of its points colored in, the symbol of the Menagerie. On her right was a black raven, her namesake. All Menagerie took two tattoos when they joined, the star and one of their own choosing. Holt had a near identical tattoo on his right wrist, though it had never been completed.
She waited for him ahead, near the gate that led into the crowded streets, smiling. Like everything about her, the smile was a contradiction. Warm, inviting, yet predatory.
Holt smiled back nonetheless. “Hi yourself.”
Max’s tail began to wag. Ravan knelt down and scratched the dog on the head, and he put up no resistance at all. Holt studied them, perplexed.
“I don’t get it,” he said. “He never warms up to anyone that fast.”
“Some dogs are like people,” Ravan said, “They don’t whore themselves out, they wanna know what’s in it for them. That’s where he and I have a lot in common.”
Ravan pulled something from her coat. A piece of jerky, and when she offered it, Max gobbled it up greedily.
Holt studied Ravan. The girl had a hardness and a self sufficiency that was rare, even in the world as it was now. She’d been through a lot. Ravan had told him some of it, the rest he’d guessed. Holt still felt close to her. If not for Mira, he often wondered what might have been.
“This came while you were gone,” Ravan said, handing him an envelope. Max chewed blissfully on his jerky as Holt studied the envelope. It was red with a white eight-pointed star on the front, just like the one on Ravan’s wrist, and at the sight Holt felt his pulse quicken. He pulled out the letter inside.

I am pleased that you are alive and unsurprised that you have succeeded. I knew sending you was the right choice. We all eagerly await your arrival, myself most of all. Circumstances at Faust have complicated in your absence, and the news of your return, with my daughter, will raise spirits immensely.
As for Hawkins, the least you have earned from me is my trust. I will hear him out. He will receive amnesty for his crimes against the Menagerie and against me personally, on the condition that he return to Faust immediately and that the deal we negotiate be deemed acceptable.
Hurry home, Commandant. Power and profit…
“Looks like you got what you wanted,” Ravan said. “Could at least smile a little.”
“I’m not sure I’d say it’s what I wanted,” Holt replied darkly. In a way, of course, it was. They were going to need the Menagerie if they hoped to have a chance against the Assembly. It had been decided, between he and Mira, that Holt was in the best position to secure that alliance. He knew the Menagerie, knew Tiberius. After all, Holt had killed his son, Archer. It had been why he’d fled Faust and left everything behind, including Ravan, a long time ago. All the same, he wasn’t in any rush to get back. Tiberius’ words in the letter were without menace, but…the man had a long memory.
“Does that mean you’ve changed your mind?” Ravan asked back.
“No,” he said. “I’m coming. Like I promised.”
“Well, your promises haven’t always meant a whole lot, have they?”
Holt sighed. “Is it going to be like this the whole way back?”
“You mean my brutal honesty? Most likely.” Ravan studied him. “You know, even without everything you’ve got going on, coming back to Faust is still your best option. Getting Tiberius’s buy in on helping rescue your little girl is the king of delusive ideas, but you can still settle things with him.”
“So long as the deal we negotiate is ‘acceptable’,” Holt recanted from the letter. “Wonder what that means.”
“Means play your cards right, and you can get him off your ass forever.”
“I killed his son, Ravan,” Holt reminded her. “That’s not the kind of thing you wipe away with a bargain.”
“You know Tiberius. Power is everything, and that’s what you’re offering. A lot of it. Plus I told him you were instrumental in finding Avril, that you agreed to help out of your deep and heartfelt guilt over the death of his only begotten son.”
Holt frowned as he thought it through. What choice did he have? They needed the Menagerie, and Ravan was right. Tiberius valued power more than anything, and that gave Holt real leverage.
“Cheer up.” Ravan punched him hard on the shoulder. Holt winced. “You get me for company the whole way, and I’m almost fifty percent sure I’m not going to put you in leg irons.”
Holt studied her skeptically.

About the Author

J. Barton Mitchell is a creator and writer of speculative fiction, and the author of the science fiction YA novel seriesCONQUERED EARTH published by St. Martin’s Press. He has sold screenplays to Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox, and created the comic book series POE for ‘Boom! Studios’.
Or at least that’s what someone wants you to think…
The truth is, J. Barton Mitchell doesn’t exist. He’s a shadow persona created by another shadow persona dreamed up by an even more shadowy persona. Who is he really, you ask? A super villain named Dr. Sinister? Maybe. The world’s most daring thief, desperately trying to save the world from a hidden alien menace only he can see? Who’s to say? A master assassin trained by an ancient crime syndicate in Myanmar? We’ll never know. All we can know is that you take your life in your hands every time you look at this site. And that’s why you keep coming back…
Just one more page, you tell yourself. Just one more blog entry. And each click of that little wireless, bluetooth mouse of yours (that’s right, he even knows what kind of input device you use) is more exhilarating than the last.
Yeah. Now you see his master plan. Now he’s got you…
J. Barton Mitchell lives and writes somewhere in Los Angeles. Or…does he?
J. Barton Mitchell

Saturday, August 16, 2014

#Giveaway Midnight City and The Severed Tower by J. Barton Mitchell ~ Review by Fallon

Day 1 Ten Obscure Alien Tales

Day 2 Review and Giveaway of Midnight City and The Severed Tower

Day Exclusive New Excerpt of the first chapter of Valley of Fires

5 Out of 5 Stars

Author Description:

In a post-apocalyptic world controlled by alien invaders, two teens and a young girl with mysterious powers embark on a dangerous journey. What they find will change everything...

Earth has been conquered. An extraterrestrial race known as The Assembly has abducted the adult population, leaving the planet’s youth to fend for themselves. In this treacherous landscape, Holt, a bounty hunter, is transporting his prisoner Mira when they discover Zoey, a young girl with powerful abilities who could be the key to stopping The Assembly. As they make their way to the cavernous metropolis of Midnight City, the trio must contend with freedom fighters, mutants, otherworldly artifacts, pirates, feuding alien armies, and perhaps most perilous of all: Holt and Mira’s growing attraction to each other.

Midnight City is the breathtaking first novel in the Conquered Earth series, and a stunning work of imagination from debut author J. Barton Mitchell.

Fallon's Review:

Midnight City reminded me of war of the worlds for young adults. Except this book had a lot more elements to it. I felt like it was darker then War of The Worlds. I love the fact Mira and Holt are both strong enemies who are evenly matched. Holt, is immune to the Tone. He is a bounty Hunter and hunting Mira.I love Mira's spunk and how she keeps Holt on his toes. I really enjoyed Max, Holt's dog and his distrust of Mira. I the world J. Barton Mitchell created distrust is exactly the right course.

Then there is the little girl Zoey, a complete mystery. She fell straight out of the sky in an Assembly Airship. The end makes you want to jump straight into the next. I also like the way the tone did not effect everyone the same. Most succumb to it but there were a few that resist and then there are the ones it changes and makes them crazy. 

This was a very face paced intense book and that was one of my favorite things. I also liked the strong characters. No one seemed weak. I am giving this book 5 out of 5 stars and I would read this over and over again and probably discover something new each time.

4 Out of 5 Stars

Author Description:

Holt, Mira, and Max have fled Midnight City with Zoey after watching her repel an entire Assembly army. Zoey's powers are unlocked, but who and what she is remains a mystery. All she knows is that she must reach the Severed Tower, an infamous location in the middle of the world's most dangerous landscape: The Strange Lands, a place where the laws of physics have completely broken down. But the closer they get to the Tower, the more precarious things become. The Assembly has pursued Zoey into the Strange Lands. Among them is a new group, their walkers and machines strangely bereft of any color, stripped to bare metal, and whose agenda seems to differ from the rest. To make matters worse, the group hunting Holt are here, too, led by a dangerous and beautiful pirate named Ravan. So is Mira's first love, Benjamin Aubertine, whose singular ambition to reach the Tower threatens to get them all killed.

Then there's the Strange Lands themselves. They have inexplicably begun to grow, spreading outwards, becoming more powerful. Somehow, it all seems tied to Zoey herself, and the closer she gets to the Tower, the weaker she becomes.

Fallon's Review:

I have to say there were so many directions this book could have gone. Severed Tower Was not as predictable as Midnight City. I love the fact the Assembly reminded me of one of my favorite anime cartoons Robotech. I got that vibe very strong from this book.

In Midnight City Mira seemed such a strong character and in Severed Tower I felt like she second guessed herself more. It took me longer to complete this book then any other book because it did not feel as fast paced. I do think there was so much that happened and details that helped build this world. I love the creep factor in the first and am hoping I get that intensity in the conclusion Valley of Fires. I really liked the new character Raven introduced in this story. Also even though Mira seemed to be weaker Holt still remained very strong. The White Helix were an interesting addition.

J. Barton Mitchell always keeps you guessing. There is always so much aspects to his book that you can read them more then once and each time might be a new experience. There were also great supporting plots and characters. This book did leave me with a lot of questions that I can not wait for Valley of Fires to answer. I am giving this book 4 out of 5 stars. 

Giveaway Signed Hardcovers of Midnight City and The Severed Tower Courtesy of J. Barton Mitchell

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Alien Invasion 3 days with J. Barton Mitchell ~ Top Ten Obscure Alien Tales

Day 1 Top Ten Obscure Alien Tales

Day 2 Reviews and Giveaway of Midnight City and Severed Tower

Day 3 Exclusive New Excerpt of the first chapter of  Valley of Fires

MIDNIGHT CITY, book one of my science fiction series CONQUERED EARTH, is set on a near future Earth conquered by a powerful, technological alien race called the Assembly. For most of my life I've had a love affair with stories dealing with aliens and alien invasion, so I thought I would list of some of the more obscure ones you may or may not have seen or read before. Anyone can list ALIEN or THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL or CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, but I always like hearing about things I wasn't previously aware of so I can try them out. To that end, here are my Top Ten obscure (depending on your viewpoint) alien stories. And please list your own favorites in the comments, if you have any you think I might dig.


One of the first Anime TV show imports from Japan back in the early 80's, Robotech, I have no doubt, inspired a whole host of creators from my generation. It was actually three separate Japanese TV shows, re-dubbed (and in many cases rewritten) to be one large story line, encompassing the invasion of Earth by mechanized aliens, its liberation...and subsequent reinvasion. Probably dated now, and the dialogue and characterizations were somewhat juvenile, but in spite of that, the overarching storyline for all three “generations” is pretty epic and well conceived. Taken as a whole it's well worth a watch, especially if you remember it as a kid, like myself. The alien “mecha” in Robotech, especially the first and third generations, were a big influence on the Assembly's walkers in CONQUERED EARTH.

Roadside Picnic

Fairly well known Russian cult sci-fi novel by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, published in English back in 1977. Set in Russia, with the fascinating concept that aliens visited the planet in a variety of locations. They landed, spent two days time, and then vanished, but the debris and refuse they left behind created areas of strange properties and effects called “Visitation Zones”, most of which are very dangerous. These zones are highly regulated areas, where only certain people are allowed in, called Stalkers. Roadside Picnic was the basis for Russian film maker Andrei Tarkovsky's movie STALKER, and it has influenced numerous creators since, including myself. The Strange Lands, it will come as no surprise, while quite different, is still inspired by the Strugatskys' “Visitation Zones”. The book goes in phases of being somewhat hard to find, but it's well worth the effort.

At the Mountains of Madness

H.P. Lovecraft, one of my favorite authors, is generally considered a horror writer, and that distinction is well earned. Most of his works are incredibly atmospheric monster stories, but if you look closely, you'll see that many of them are, in reality...alien stories. When you delve into his “Mythos” (a grouping of tales all interconnected by a similar, creepy, epic mythology), you see that his “old gods” and ancient evil races are really just aliens from outer space, which is pretty damn cool. AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS is my favorite Lovecraft piece, and is presented as a letter from a former member of an Antarctica expedition who recounts his terrifying experiences on the continent when his group finds the remains of a lost alien civilization frozen in the ice. Atmospheric and genuinely frightening, with an amazing level of realism (due to the author's tense, first person writing style), the entire thing fills energized with an aura of grim foreboding...which turns out to be very appropriate. I'm still sad about the loss of Guillermo Del Toro's film version, though I have heard rumblings it might be back on.

War of the Worlds (Orson Welles Version)

While H.G. Wells' WAR OF THE WORLDS is anything but an obscure choice, Orson Welles' 1938 radio play version might be. Not because of its lack of notoriety (most people are aware of it), but because, sadly, not many actually seek it out for a listen. A fascinating example of both Welles' ingenuity and vision, and of an early (maybe the first?) attempt at electronic, post-modern story telling. It might feel a little dated, but once you adjust to the language and style, it really is a gripping retelling of the science fiction classic, and it's easy to see why so many people were fooled by its inherent realism.

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Episode II

Continuing with the revisionist angle of WAR OF THE WORLDS, comic book legend Alan Moore's second League of Extraordinary Gentlemen storyline follows its group of heroes repelling H.G. Wells' alien invaders. The comic series, with art by Kevin O'Neill, manages to feel truly apocalyptic as the narrative unfolds, and Moore and O'Neill's interpretations of Wells' aliens is inspired and terrifying, as is the exciting plot featuring a host of Victorian era literary “heroes”, such as Alan Quartermain, Mina Harker, Dr. Jekyll, Captain Nemo, John Carter, and Dr. Moreau among others. This series, like most of Moore's work, contains adult themes, and is probably not for younger readers.


Larry Niven is probably most well known for the milieu-style storytelling of his KNOWN UNIVERSE series, but in FOOTFALL, he and co-author Jerry Pournelle set their sights on something a little more plot oriented: an alien invasion of Earth. With a unique narrative, a large host of interesting characters, and a very well conceived, very original alien race called the Fithp, FOOTFALL is a fun and engrossing read. On top of it all, the aliens themselves look like giant, four trunk elephants with spaceships. How do you beat that?


Another in the “fun read you may not have known about” category, John Steakley's ARMOR is an exciting novel clearly inspired by Heinlein's STARSHIP TROOPERS, following a soldier drafted into a war fought with mechanized, powered armor against an overwhelming and mindless alien threat. An interesting analysis of the psychological ramifications of war and violence, combined with gripping action scenes, ARMOR is more adrenalized than TROOPERS, yet still has a lot to say. Steakley is probably more well known for his novel VAMPIRE$, which was made into a movie by John Carpenter in the 90's. Sadly, Steakley, who grew up in my home town of Cleburne, Texas believe it or not, died while working on the sequel to ARMOR.


An interesting, low budget, yet slick science fiction movie that might have slipped under the radar of many film goers, MONSTERS is set in the U.S./Mexico border region, where strange lifeforms sprang to life after the crash of a NASA space probe carrying alien bacteria. These lifeforms are big, mean, and now inhabit the landscape, making travel through the zone almost impossible. The story follows a man hired to escort a woman through the infested wilds in order to reach the United States. While the aliens themselves are well conceived (and deceptively complicated), the film is really a well done character study of the two leads' growing relationship as they try and safely pass through a dangerous wasteland. An original and tense alien movie all fans of the genre should check out.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

It's hard deciding whether or not to label this incredibly quirky movie “obscure”. While BUCKAROO BANZAI was not a box office success in 1984, it did eventually grow to have a gigantic cult following in the years after its release. The story follows the efforts of the multi-talented Dr. Buckaroo Banzai (neurosurgeon, physicist, test pilot...and rock musician) and the Hong Kong Cavaliers (his team of eccentric geniuses) to save the world from inter-dimensional aliens called Red Lectroids from Planet 10. Over the top, non-sensical at times, yet thoroughly engrossing with a huge, well layered mythology, BUCKAROO BANZAI is as unique and fun a popcorn movie experience as you can have, and one of my favorite films ever. I've seen this movie countless times and I'm sure I'll see it countless more, it really couldn't be more special to me. If only we had gotten BUCKAROO BANZAI AGAINST THE WORLD CRIME LEAGUE. If you dig the movie, try reading the novelization by Mac Rauch. The same outlandish story, but Rauch (to his credit) takes the subject matter completely seriously, and elevates it into something special.

The Abyss

Also probably not necessarily “obscure”, but I am continually surprised by how many people I meet who have never seen this movie, which, arguably, is filmmaker James Cameron's greatest achievement, not just technically (and it is incredibly technically impressive), but also from a writing standpoint. Cameron's best  script deals with the sinking of a U.S. Naval submarine after it collides with an unidentified object, and the group of underwater oil workers tasked with recovering it. As they set out to do so, under duress, they gradually start to figure out that what the submarine collided with was not of this Earth. Gripping in every way, with complex characters, exciting action sequences, a cool alien race, and the benefits of what turned out to be the most ambitious (and grueling) underwater film making experience in history, the Abyss is a must see, if for some reason you never have.

J. Barton Mitchell