Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Tour + Review and Giveaway: Girl Without Magic by Megan O'Russell


The Girl Without Magic
Megan O’Russell
(The Chronicles of Maggie Trent, #1)
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: January 9th 2018
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Death would have been easier, but the Siren wasn’t through with her.
Seventeen-year-old Maggie Trent fell out of a battle and into the Siren’s Realm, a land where secrets hide in the shadows and pleasure comes at a price Maggie is unwilling to pay.
The time for the Siren’s reckoning has come, sweeping away all she deems unworthy to live in her realm. Those without magic are hunted by the Siren. Those with magic are hunted by the Stricken. Fighting or hiding seem necessary to survive. But there is a different way.
Bertrand Wayland, unaging and unrelenting in his determination for Maggie to accept her fate, slips in and out through the stitches that bind the Siren’s Realm to other worlds, gaining magic and having glorious adventures. When Maggie follows Bertrand out of the Siren’s Realm, seeking an adventure of her own, she finds instead a world of magic on the eve of war. To save innocent lives Maggie risks her heart, her life, and her only chance of returning to the Siren’s Realm.

Review:
4 stars

Girl Without Magic was an amazingly captivating story that I didn't want to put down after I started reading it. This was the first book by Megan O'Russell that I have read, so I wasn't expecting a lot from the story - and I absolutely loved it!

O'Russell had phenomenol world-building with very well-written characters, like Maggie, who is easy to relate and empathize with as her life changes around her. I thought she was a strong character, and you see her grow throughout the story. I also liked some of the other additional characters, but Maggie was, by far, my favorite.

I would highly recommend this book if you are a fan of paranormal novels, especially ones that feature witches.

Author Bio:
Megan is a native of Upstate New York who spends her time traveling the country as a professional actor. Megan’s current published works include YA series The Tethering and Girl of Glass, as well as the Christmas romance Nuttycracker Sweet. 2017 projects include The Tale of Bryant Adams: How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin’ Days, and The Chronicles of Maggie Trent: The Girl Without Magic.
For more information on Megan’s books visit MeganORussell.com. 


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Cover Reveal: Covet by Micalea Smeltzer


Covet
Micalea Smeltzer
(Enchanted #2)
Publication date: TBA
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
On the run from the Iniquitous, Mara feels lost and helpless. Without Theo by her side she’s left bare and vulnerable, but she’s a fighter and, with blood boiling in her veins, she vows to avenge him.
The Iniquitous have already taken so much from her, and she refuses to sit back and let them take anything else. She trains harder, preparing herself physically and mentally to take them on. As her magic grows stronger, so does the voice speaking to her from beyond the grave.
She wants to believe it’s real, to give in to what feels right, but if she does, her mind might be lost forever.

Sequel to:

Author Bio:
Hi. I’m Micalea. Ma-call-e-uh. Weird name, I know. My mom must’ve known I was going to be odd even in the womb. I’ve written a lot of books. Like a lot. Don’t ask me how many, I don’t remember at this point. I have an unhealthy addiction to Diet Coke but I can’t seem to break the habit. I listen to way too much music and hedgehogs have taken over my life. Crazy is the word that best sums up my life, but it’s the good kind of crazy and I wouldn’t change it for anything. 


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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Tour + Review and Giveaway: Stolen Secrets by L.B. Schulman



Stolen Secrets by L.B. Schulman

After an abrupt move across the country to San Francisco, sixteen-year-old Livvy discovers a grandmother who she believed was dead. Suffering from Alzheimer’s, Adelle shouts out startling details, mistakes her own name, and seems to relive moments that may have taken place in a concentration camp. When Livvy and her new friend Franklin D. find journal entries from the Holocaust in Adelle’s home, Livvy begins to suspect that her grandmother may have a shocking link to a notable figure Anne Frank.

















Praise for STOLEN SECRETS



“The author captures the desperate uncertainty of life with an alcoholic and having to parent a parent. Whip-smart Franklin has a uniquely drawn personality and his dialogue with Livvy sparkles…VERDICT An engaging coming-of-age novel recommended for libraries looking to highlight issues of alcoholism, Alzheimer’s, and family estrangement.' ―School Library Journal 



“Stolen Secrets is a solid mystery with family drama and teen angst. Livvy is a likable character who is smart and perceptive at times, yet, like most teens, naive and clueless at others. The novel is easy to read and would be a good companion read for students reading Anne Frank’s diary. Stolen Secrets will need some hand-selling to teens, but once they pick it up they will not be disappointed.” ―VOYA



“This is a well-written book that sympathetically examines the roles of Holocaust survivors on both sides of the war as well as guilt and forgiveness. The main and supporting characters are funny and engaging…a good addition to those who want to read more books with a Holocaust theme. Recommended.” ―School Library Connection



“A…contemporary story with a Holocaust secret at its core….a jam-packed narrative with a full complement of tropes and topical elements: new girl; friend issues; alcoholism; family secrets, neo-Nazis; predatory elder care; armed robbery—and a romance. The grandmother’s mysterious past intrigues…” ―Kirkus Reviews

REVIEW:
4 stars


This book completely hooked me from the very beginning. I absolutely love historical fiction, and novels that are centered around tragic moments in history like the Holocaust - which is what you get from the diary entries in the novel. The other part of the book is about a young teen named Livvy.

It was beautifully written with mystery and intrigue, and amazing characters that you won't forget. I really liked Livvy, and her grandmother, Adelle. I thought the plot of the story and the way this book tied everything together was phenomenal.

I would highly recommend Stolen Secrets by L.B. Schulman, because it is a great book to read at this time.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

STOLEN SECRETS is L.B. Schulman’s second young adult novel. Her debut, LEAGUE OF STRAYS, was published in 2012. She grew up in Maryland and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two daughters, and a pair of loveable mutts. When she isn’t writing, she’s visiting genealogy sites, trying to find famous people she’s related to. You can visit her online at LBSchulman.com.

Photo Content from L.B. Schulman

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: Inimical by Genevieve Iseult Eldredge


Inimical
Genevieve Iseult Eldredge
(Circuit Fae, #3)
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: September 18th 2018
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Being a fairy princess isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, especially when you have to choose between saving your people…And killing your girlfriend. Oh, and let’s not forget having to pass summer school, too.
Talk about a hot mess.
First, there’s Rouen, princess of the dark Fae, goth-rock star Euphoria, and soon-to-be senior at Richmond Elite High. Her world is all things ice, snow, and death. And that death will include her own people unless she can defeat her evil father in a Battle of Wits and War and seize the throne. Trouble is, taking the throne is a death sentence for the princess of the fair Fae. In other words, a quick death for Syl, Rouen’s girlfriend.
And that’s so not good.
Second, there’s Syl, princess of the fair Fae, geek girl mathlete, and also an incoming senior. Things aren’t any easier for her. Syl must save her people by battling her old nemesis, the fair Fae prince, and the same rules apply: taking the throne means a death sentence for the other court’s princess, Rouen.
Even worse, Syl and Rouen’s enemies have figured out they’re a couple. Now, both Rouen’s father and Syl’s archenemy are teaming up to ensure neither of them makes it till Midsummer’s Day never mind to the fall semester.
Looks like passing summer school is the least of their worries.
Grab book 1 – Moribund – for 99¢ for a limited time only!



Author Bio:
Raised by witches and dragons in the northern wilds, GIE writes angsty urban fantasy YA romance--where girls who are mortal enemies kick butt, take names, and fall in love against all odds.
She enjoys long hikes in the woods (where better to find the fair folk?), believing in fairies (in fact, she's clapping right now), dancing with dark elves (always wear your best shoes), being a self-rescuing princess (hello, black belt!), and writing diverse books about teenage girls finding love, romance, and their own inner power.
She might be planning high tea at the Fae Court right now.
GIE is multi-published, and in her role as an editor has helped hundreds of authors make their dream of being published a reality. 


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Cover Reveal: Touch by Camille Picott


Touch
Camille Picott
(Sulan, Episode 4)
Publication date: February 1st 2018
Genres: Cyberpunk, Dystopian, Young Adult
From a young age, Gun has trained in the way of Anderson Arms. He learns to manipulate, steal, blackmail, and kill—whatever it takes to accomplish the mission set by his father. But Gun despises the work he does and the wreckage it leaves behind.
His newest assignment is to befriend a Virtual High student and infiltrate Global Arms. His target is Sulan Hom, the daughter of a renowned Global scientist. Gun approaches the mission with detached coldness, the same method he uses for every assignment.
But it isn’t long before he finds a budding friendship with Sulan. The more time he spends with her, the more he begins to care for her. Soon, Gun avows that Sulan will not become one more mission casualty.
The more he delves into Global Arms, the more Gun realizes the true danger that awaits Sulan. Determined to keep her safe, Gun works behind the scenes to protect her. Will it be enough to keep Sulan safe? And will he ever be able to win her trust after deceiving her?
Only 99¢ during pre-order!

Previous books in the series:
Sign up for Author Camille Picott’s Newsletter and get a free copy of Sulan, Episode 1: The League!

Author Bio:
Camille Picott is a fifth-generation Chinese American. She writes science fiction and fantasy books with Asian characters and/or Asian settings. Camille grew up reading speculative fiction stories largely devoid of Asian characters and culture. This, coupled with a passion for her heritage, is the reason she strives to bring some aspect of Eastern myth, legend, culture, and ethnicity to all of her writings.


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Monday, January 15, 2018

Blast + Giveaway: Ellie, Engineer by Jackson Pearce


Ellie, Engineer by Jackson Pearce

The hilarious and smart start of a series about a girl who loves to build—STEM-powered, creative fun for girls.

Ellie is an engineer. With a tool belt strapped over her favorite skirt (who says you can’t wear a dress and have two kinds of screwdrivers handy, just in case?), she invents and builds amazing creations in her backyard workshop. Together with her best friend Kit, Ellie can make anything. As Kit’s birthday nears, Ellie doesn’t know what gift to make until the girls overhear Kit’s mom talking about her present—the dog Kit always wanted! Ellie plans to make an amazing doghouse, but her plans grow so elaborate that she has to enlist help from the neighbor boys and crafty girls, even though the two groups don’t get along. Will Ellie be able to pull off her biggest project yet?

Illustrated with Ellie’s sketches and plans, and including backmatter with how-tos, this is full of engineering fun!





Praise for ELLIE, ENGINEER

"A charming book featuring an engineer who makes mistakes when navigating the roads of friendship. In addition to spotlighting engineering, the narrative contains strong themes of friendship and working together toward a common goal. VERDICT A solid addition to chapter book collections." ―School Library Journal


"Charming. . . . In addition to spotlighting engineering, the narrative contains strong themes of friendship and working together toward a common goal." ―School Library Journal


"Pearce emphasizes Ellie’s persistence and individuality. . . . Mourning’s notebook-style images help give a sense of how Ellie’s brain works." ―Publishers Weekly


"Explicitly rejects the idea that activities and objects are gendered (e.g., boys and girls can both like engineering and tea parties). The twist ending is not what most readers will expect. A spirited, duplicable depiction of STEM fun." ―Kirkus Reviews

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jackson Pearce currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. After attending Brookwood High School in Snellville, GA, Jackson attended Georgia College & State University and later transferred to the University of Georgia, where she graduated with a major in English and a minor in Philosophy.

Jackson was an avid reader as a child—she loved the Boxcar Children and Indian in the Cupboard series, but really, she read anything she could get her hands on. This proved problematic when she got her hands on her mother’s paperback romance books from time to time.

It was her love of reading that spurred her to start writing—when Jackson was in her tweens, she was looking for a book that involved a smart girl, horses, baby animals, and magic. When such a book couldn’t be found, Jackson vowed to write it herself. She gave the story up after about ten pages, but the love of writing didn’t die as easily as the story. In her late teens, Jackson began writing for publication. Her first book, AS YOU WISH, sold to Harper Collins when she was twenty-two years old. There are currently four books in her series of retold fairytales—SISTERS RED, SWEETLY, FATHOMLESS, and COLD SPELL. She has also written a contemporary novel called PURITY, a historical fantasy under the pen name J. Nelle Patrick (TSARINA), and has two middle grade series forthcoming—THE DOUBLECROSS (AND OTHER SKILLS I LEARNED AS A SUPERSPY), coming July 2015, and PIP BARTLETT’S GUIDE TO MAGICAL CREATURES, co-written with Maggie Stiefvater, coming May 2015

Photo Content from Jackson Pearce


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Tour + Review, Excerpt, and Teasers: Vanishing Spark of Dusk by Sara Baysinger

 
The Vanishing Spark of Dusk by Sara Baysinger Published by: Entangled Teen
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Publication: January 8th, 2018


Stand up.

When Lark is stolen from Earth to be a slave on the planet Tavdora, she’s determined to find her way back home to her family, no matter the cost. Placed in the household of a notorious slave trader, Lark quickly learns her best assets are her eyes and ears. And if she’s brave enough, her voice.

Be heard.

Kalen is the Tavdorian son of a slave trader and in line to inherit his father’s business. But his growing feelings for Lark, the new house slave who dares to speak of freedom, compel him to reveal his new plan for the slave ships returning to Earth—escape. Together, they just might spark a change that flares across the universe.

Fight back.



Review:
3.5 stars

I absolutely love science fiction novels, and this one did not disappoint me at all. I really enjoyed the writing style of the author, and foud the world-building to be phenomenal - it felt like I was actually there as I was reading this story.

Lark, I found, to be a unique character, and overall likable. Although at times I found her emotions and actions to be contradictory. I thought she was complex, and I really enjoyed her character growth as the novel progressed. I loved her love interest, Kalen, after a while. Initially, I wasn't a huge fan of his personality and attitude. I liked how their relationship, for the most part, developed throughout the story.

All in all, a wonderful sci-fi novel that I would definitely recommend to other sci-fi lovers out there.

About the Author:

My name is Sara Baysinger and I write books. I was born in the heart of the Andes Mountains in Ecuador where I spent my early life exploring uncharted lands on horseback and raising chickens. I now make my home among the endless cornfields of Indiana with my husband and two children…and I still raise chickens. My dystopian novel BLACK TIGER was self-published in 2016, with books 2 & 3 published in 2017. When not getting lost in a book, I can be found gardening, devouring chocolate, and running off the sugar-high from said chocolate. I’m currently working on an upcoming science fiction romance novel that will release with Entangled Teen, an imprint of Entangled Publishing.

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Excerpt from A Vanishing Spark of Dusk

“What have we here. A runaway?” I can’t think. In my panic I can hardly breathe— “Easy there.” His voice is lucid and smooth, not rough and unkind like I imagined it would be. He releases me. “I’m not going to hurt you.” The first scattered thought that crosses my mind when I look at him is, he’s not really too different from Humans. I mean, apart from being exceptionally tall, he really could pass for a Human. His tanned face is clean-shaven, and when he smiles, dimples appear. Dark feathery hair the color of molasses curls around two pointed ears. Amusement flickers in his eyes—and for the first time I notice the strange color of them. They’re not crazy at all, the way Johnson described. They have a purple hue, soft and deep like lilacs. Never look them in the eye. One of Johnson’s many lessons. I avert my gaze. “What are you doing outside the plantation?” His voice is not accusing but slightly curious. “You shouldn’t be out here unless you have a death wish. Correct?” My stomach drops. Yes. He thinks I’m a slave. This could be good. Or really bad. I glance at the sky, think of something to say, but every Tavdorian word I’ve ever learned has decided to take a vacation. “The sunset,” I finally say in his language. “You can get the best view from here.” It’s the weakest excuse ever, but it’ll buy me some time. “The sunset?” He crosses his arms, and I notice how strong he is, his forearms corded in muscle.“You risked your life leaving the plantation…for a sunset?” One swallow. Two blinks. “It’s worth it, don’t you think?” I gesture toward the sky, now turning a deep shade of crimson. He swivels his eyes toward the sunset, then back at me. A confused smile forms on his two perfect lips, and I briefly wonder if all Tavdorians are this good-looking or if I’ve officially lost my mind. “Alno must be lenient. Not many slaves get the privilege of enjoying a sunset.” My heartbeat spikes. Look away. Johnson told me Tavdorians never speak civilly to Humans. It’s all orders and reprimands. So why is this one speaking to me? Why isn’t he reacting in anger at my “privilege”? “But you don’t have to worry about a lashing from me.” The Tavdorian steps closer, and my shoulders stiffen. He’s so tall my head barely reaches his chest. If he thought I was a runaway, he could easily swing me over his shoulder and carry me to the plantation himself. “What do you want with me?” The question comes out in a breathless whisper. I allow myself to peek up at him. He stares back, his eyes sparking with curiosity. “Simple conversation would be enough.” A conversation. With a Tavdorian. There’s nothing simple about that. “You don’t need to tremble so much. I’m not going to harm you.” He waves his hand in the air. “Or tell on you for running away.” “Thank you,” I manage to whisper, realizing after I speak the words that I just confirmed his suspicion. “I would suggest you run with more resources, though. Food. Water.” His eyes drift over my threadbare tunic, and he frowns. “Layers of clothing, perhaps.” “I’m fine, really.” “Do you know how to hunt?” I’m starting to wonder if this is an interrogation. He narrows his eyes and lowers his voice a notch. “Or are you meeting with other runaways? I heard there were two who ran from the plantation. Alno must have a terrible time keeping his fence intact.” I can’t speak. My mouth has been bolted shut, my fear threatening to choke me. He sighs and drags his hand through his hair. “This conversation is seriously getting boring. You can either speak to me like a civil…being. Or you can walk away and leave me hanging, wondering who the mysterious copper-haired runaway was that I met on the riverbank.” My brain screams at me to walk away, but this Tavdorian isn’t the only curious one here. 




The Giveaway: