Thursday, April 19, 2018

'Bones and Bourbon' by Dorian Graves

3.5 stars 

A well-written humorous action adventure! 'Bones and Bourbon' begins with two seemingly separate quests which reunite the Gallows brothers before long; though with opposing goals. Various supernatural creatures are featured in this hysterically funny tale of the brothers' misadventures.

Perfect for fans of Christopher Moore!

Look for 'Bones and Bourbon' releasing April 23rd.

I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s.

Monday, April 16, 2018

‘True North’ (True Born Trilogy #2) by L.E. Sterling

3.5 stars

True North’ is the second book in the ‘True Born’ dystopian trilogy.  Book 1, ‘True Born’ does an excellent job introducing readers to the characters, their societal hierarchy and history, and the overarching plot of the series.  Read my review.

Lucy spends half this book aiding True Born Nolan Storm with infiltrating and gathering information from the elite Upper Circle at various social functions while waiting for him to help rescue her twin sister, Margot.  She spends the later half of this book traveling to Russia to find her sister and discovering secrets of their blood and DNA.  This book ends with both girls back safely in Dominion City, with more information, but even more new questions that need answering.  Among them, the motives and intentions of two people close to them that seem to want to help them, but hold secrets close to their vest.

And then there’s her True Born body guard Jared Price and all the mystery and intrigue that follows.

Look out for the series’ conclusion, ‘True Storm’ on May 1st.  Look for this series at your local library!

I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book.  All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

‘True Born’ (True Born Trilogy #1) by L.E. Sterling

4.5 stars

This introduction to the True Born trilogy sets up the major players, a background of how the plague caused a dystopian society, explains the three castes of people and their rights and expectations, all while narrated by a smart sounding 17-year old girl.  The writing is great, the plot is full of twists and turns, and our narrator and her twin sister are easy to root for.  I’m happy to report that Sterling’s writing had me reaching for my dictionary a few times, and this book is blissfully love-triangle free.

Diving into ‘True North’ now, in anticipation for the release of ‘True Storm’ on May 1st.  Look for this series at your local library!

I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book.  All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Friday, April 6, 2018

‘Bloodcraft’ (The Cruentus Curse Duology #2) by Amalie Howard

4.5 stars – Gripping conclusion to this YA paranormal romance duology featuring witches and vampires.  All similarities to ‘Twilight’ should be abandoned.

Read the series from the beginning:

New characters are introduced and we discover even more about the supernatural world created by author Amalie Howard.  In ‘Bloodspell’ we learn the lore of witches and the history of the Cruentus Curse.  In its sequel, vampire legends are expanded upon beyond Le Sang Noir; we hear about the oldest vampires and their abilities, and what happens when an Ancient creates a new vampire.  We also learn more about Warlocks; their culture and their goals.

Though this book is slightly steamier than the last, I'm sorry to say that war is coming and allegiances shift in unexpected ways.  Friendships and relationships become strained as more and more secrets are revealed.

Bloodcraft’ is narrated by Tori, Christian, and Lucian, each offering different pieces of the puzzle as secrets and betrayals are uncovered.  Diving into the accompanying novella, ‘Bloodbound.’

#Bloodcraft #NetGalley  I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book.  All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s.  

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Q & A with Molly Lazer, author of ‘Owl Eyes: A Fairy Tale’

Talented author Molly Lazer shares her thoughts on ‘Cinderella’ stories and the motivation behind her own fairy tale re-tellings.

J:  What inspired you to mingle elements of Cinderella with your own creative and original story line?

Molly:  I wanted to answer a few specific questions by writing Owl Eyes. First, if he were not dead, drunk, or otherwise incapacitated, why would Cinderella’s father allow her to be a servant in his own household? (In the Brothers Grimm’s version, “Aschenputtel,” Cinderella’s father is not only alive but actively works against her.) And, second, why would Cinderella want the Prince? Once I came up with the answers to those questions, the plot started to come together. There were other elements of the Cinderella story that I didn't quite buy--for instance, why would the shoe fit on ONLY her foot? I know that the answer stems from the Cinderella story that originated in China, where small feet were seen as attractive, but I wanted to come up with a way to make the selection-by-shoe process make sense to me. I also am not a fan of the fairy godmother (or alternatively, the gifts from Cinderella's dead mother in the tree), as I think that Cinderella's just getting everything she needs to go to the ball from others takes away her agency. So I wanted to make it so that she, and only she, gets herself there and makes her story play out. 

J:  What is your favorite fairy tale?

Molly:  Cinderella is a favorite of mine, despite all my issues with it. The Brothers Grimm version is my favorite, with all the dark elements like the stepsisters cutting off parts of their feet and the birds pecking their eyes out at the end. I also love the really messed-up tales like Bluebeard and The Juniper Tree. I tend to go for the darker tales, as I think they're a lot more interesting. 

J:  Do you have plans for any other fairy tale re-tellings, or other stories within the world you created for Nora?

Molly:  I do! I already published my version of the Bluebeard story (coincidentally also called "Bluebeard," there's a link to it on my website), which takes place in Colandaria and is about Sir Milton's grandparents, and my own version of The Juniper Tree (called "TheJuniper Tree: A Love Story"), which takes place at the same time as Owl Eyes, during the drought. I am working on a second novel, very loosely based on The Little Mermaid, which takes place in the Ken and the Vale about six months before the start of Owl Eyes. Lady Bess, who we meet only briefly in Owl Eyes, will be a main character in that one.

Can't wait to read more fairy tales set in Colandaria!  Make sure to check out OwlEyes: A Fairy Tale’ and my Review

Thursday, March 29, 2018

‘Bloodspell’ (The Cruentus Curse Duology #1) by Amalie Howard

4.5 stars - Really enjoyed this YA paranormal romance featuring witches and vampires.  All thoughts of similarities to ‘Twilight’ should be abandoned.

When we meet Tori, she is a young witch just coming into her powers.  Far removed from the rest of the magic world and with no mentor to guide her, she struggles to understand her abilities and is blissfully unaware of the centuries-old mistrust and disgust between witches and vampires.  When she transfers to a new high school to complete her senior year, she is quickly mesmerized by the handsome and skilled violin player she keeps bumping into.

Christian is a refreshingly non-brooding vampire, though he does despise the death and destruction that comes with being undead.  By his own choice, he moved away from Paris and the Council of Vampires and settled into a quieter life in Middle-Of-Nowhere, Maine.  He spends time doing what he loves; learning, playing music, and conversing with humans at a combination high school/college campus.

Inexplicably drawn to Tori on account of her special blood (and its curse), Christian soon realizes she is the witch written about in a vampire prophecy, the very witch his brother, Lucian, is searching for.

Most of ‘Bloodspell’ is narrated by Tori, but every so often Christian takes over the narration and we get to see inside his head, and details of his past.  Their forbidden romance plays out differently than most YA paranormal romances, which was also refreshing.  Diving into the second book of this series now, ‘Bloodcraft.’

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

‘The Raging Ones’ (The Raging Ones #1) by Krista Ritchie and Becca Ritchie

4 stars - Futuristic, sci-fi fantasy YA novel with amazing friendships/relationships.

Authors Krista Ritchie and Becca Ritchie provide excellent world building.  The story takes place on a frozen planet, centuries into the future.  Over the course of many chapters, readers are slowly exposed to the religious beliefs, scientific explanations, social structure, norms and customs of this planet’s inhabitants.  I really enjoyed learning about this planet and appreciated the lack of info-dump.

‘The Raging Ones’ is told through alternating points of view of Franny, Court, and Mykal, which blend together to provide readers with a more complete picture of the story than any character has on their own.  When the story begins, Franny is working on plans for her upcoming deathday.  Court and Mykal, having both inexplicably dodged their deathdays, are making arrangements to lie, steal, and deceive their way into the highly coveted and limited positions aboard a space shuttle.

After the boys rescue Franny from nefarious thieves, she joins in their preparations.  Of the three, only Court has experience with the upper-class Influentials whom they need to imitate in order to gain positions on the space mission.  Lessons in etiquette, posture, speech, writing, reading, eating, and dressing help to bring Franny up to speed and reinforce Mykal’s understanding.  Meanwhile, all three teenagers adjust to various aspects of living with their new bond.

Once the trio arrives at the space mission training center, they must compete with over a thousand other applicants.  The connection shared between them differentiates ‘The Raging Ones’ from other YA competition books such as The Selection or Hunger Games.

The beginning of the book might seem a little slow to some readers, but I’m very glad I stuck with it.  These three characters are far more interesting once they meet up and slowly share their secrets.  The friendships/relationships that build between them are wholly unique experiences, and what really makes this book shine in my opinion.

Join Franny, Court, and Mykal on their adventure, starting August 14, 2018.  #TheRagingOnes #NetGalley

I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book.  All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s.  

Monday, March 19, 2018

Cover Reveal: 'Kiss of the Royal' by Lindsey Duga

About Kiss of the Royal:

In the war against the Forces of Darkness, the Royals are losing. Princess Ivy is determined to end this centuries-long conflict once and for all, so her new battle partner must succeed where the others failed. Prince Zach’s unparalleled skill with a sword, enhanced by Ivy’s magic Kiss, should make them an unstoppable pair—but try convincing Zach of that.

Prince Zach has spent his life preparing for battle, but he would rather be branded a heretic than use his lips as nothing more than a way to transfer magic. A kiss is a symbol of love, and love is the most powerful weapon they have—but try convincing Ivy of that.

With the fate of their world on the line, the battlefield has become a testing ground, and only one of them can be right. Falling for each other wasn’t part of the plan—but try convincing their hearts of that.

Want to read more? Pre-order your copy of Kiss of the Royal by Lindsey Duga today!

About Lindsey Duga:

Lindsey Duga is a middle grade and young adult writer with a passion for fantasy, science fiction, and basically any genre that takes you away from the real world. She wrote her first novel in college while she was getting her bachelor’s in Mass Communication from Louisiana State University.

Other than writing and cuddling with her morkie puppy, Delphi, Lindsey loves catching up on the latest superhero TV show and practicing yoga.

Website -- Twitter -- Instagram -- Goodreads -- Entangled Publishing

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Now Available: Vacant Voices (The Blind Barriers Trilogy #3) by Sophie Davis

The Blind Barriers Trilogy
Vacant Voices: Book Three
By: Sophie Davis
Release Date: March 16th, 2018
Genre: YA Mystery/Thriller

“Pretty Little Liars meets Gossip Girl”- Amazon Reviewer

Back Blurb:

If a stranger was begging for your help, would you answer?

Lark Kingsley had the perfect family, the perfect future, the perfect life.  Born and raised in affluent Manhattan society, she was bred for success. Lark had it all.  Until one day things go terribly wrong and she vanishes without a trace.

Raven Ferragamo is starting a new life.  Taking a year off High School, she moves to Washington, D.C., leaving her friends, her family, and her problems behind.  The clean break with her past starts off better than she could've dreamed.  For the first time in her short life, Raven really feels as though anything is possible.

In the midst of a nationwide hunt for the Kingsley Diamond heiress, Raven happens upon Lark's diary.  Without warning, she is drawn into the life of a girl with many secrets. Lark knew of the fate that would befall her before she ever disappeared.  Her desperate plea for help draws Raven in to a labyrinth of mysteries.   

Buy Link:
Available exclusively on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited

Author Bio:
"Sophie Davis" is the pseudonym for two best friends, roommates, and now writing partners. The pair met at Penn State's Dickinson School of Law in 2005 and instantly bonded over their love of great books and bad horror movies. After they graduated, when one longed for the ability to read minds so she wouldn't have to study for the bar exam, a Saga was born. When the Talented Saga went on to be an internationally bestselling series, the girls decided to throw caution to the wind and follow their shared life-long dream of being writers.

The duo currently is on the road touring US cities with a poodle and a rescued pup. The pups are their faithful companions—with frequent social media appearances—as the girls navigate the world of Indie Publishing.

Author Links:
Instagram: @seesophiewrite
Twitter: @SeeSophiesWrite