Friday, August 18, 2017

Tour + Reviews and Giveaway: Rowan Wood Legends


Rowan Wood Legends (The Lost Clan #2)
by Olivia Wildenstein
Genre: Paranormal/Faeries
Release Date: August 14th 2017

SOME LEGENDS ARE BETTER LEFT UNTOLD

I wasn’t the sort of girl who believed in fairytales, let alone tales about faeries. But that changed the day Faeries came to my small town and Hunters rose from their graves.

On that fateful day, I received a book, a peculiar collection of myths and legends. Turns out it was so much more than stories. And just as I was on the verge of unlocking its secrets, it was stolen from me by someone I called a friend.

Now, I don’t know whom I can turn to, whom I can trust. All I know is that there are two sides, and I am straddling the great divide because I am both Faerie and Hunter. And although I swore I would never choose, I am slowly falling for one of those sides…

Fans of Karen Marie Moning's Fever series will adore Wildenstein's Lost Clan series.
Amazon


REVIEW:
4 stars

Rowan Wood Legends takes place right after Rose Petal Graves has concluded. I loved this book, maybe even more than the first book in the series, for a few reasons. The major reason being that Catori felt like she had matured between the first and second book, and her character seemed to be more developed than she had appeared in the first book in the series. 

This book was almost impossible to put down from the moment I started reading it. It was a nicely paced novel, with a handful of slow points. And I was very satisfied with how the book ended, and I cannot wait for the next book.

I would highly recommend this book if you loved or liked the first book, and if you haven't picked up this series yet, I would highly recommend that you do, especially if you love the world of the fae. The first book might be hard to get through, but I think that the second book is worth it - unless you really hate the first book.


Rose Petal Graves (The Lost Clan #1) on Goodreads

REVIEW:

3 stars

I did enjoy reading this book, but there were moments where I felt it was hard to get into the story. I'm not a huge fan of multiple love interests, and this book had three which for me was way too much - I don't even like when there's a second love interest.

There were moments that I really couldn't stand Catori, and some of the choices she makes. It was just hard to relate to her, and I think that she could really use some character development.

Overall, I did like the book. It definitely wasn't a favorite of mine, and I'm hoping that the second book is much better than this book was.
About the Author
Olivia Wildenstein grew up in New York City, the daughter of a French father with a great sense of humor, and a Swedish mother whom she speaks to at least three times a day. She chose Brown University to complete her undergraduate studies and earned a bachelor’s in comparative literature. After designing jewelry for a few years, Wildenstein traded in her tools for a laptop computer and a very comfortable chair. This line of work made more sense, considering her college degree.

When she’s not writing, she’s psychoanalyzing everyone she meets (Yes. Everyone), eavesdropping on conversations to gather material for her next book, baking up a storm (that she actually eats), going to the gym (because she eats), and attempting not to be late at her children’s school (like she is 4 out of 5 mornings, on good weeks).

Wildenstein lives with her husband and three children in Geneva, Switzerland, where she’s an active member of the writing community.


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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Blitz + Excerpt and Giveaway: Peculiar County by Stuart R. West


Peculiar County
by Stuart R. West
Genre: YA Paranormal/Ghost Mystery
Release Date: July 30th 2017
Books We Love

Growing up in Peculiar County, Kansas, is a mighty...well, peculiar experience. In 1965, things get even stranger for Dibby Caldwell, the mortician's fifteen year old daughter. A young boy's ghost haunts Dibby into unearthing the circumstances of his death. 

Nobody—living or dead—wants her to succeed. James, the new mop-topped, bad boy at school doesn’t help. Dibby can’t get him out of her head, even though she doesn’t trust him. No, sir, there's nothing much more peculiar than life in Peculiar County…except maybe death in Peculiar County.




Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo


EXCERPT:

I pushed through the doors. They swat at my backside, squeaking with mischief. Eee-hee, eee-hee
Down in the workshop, the cold really packed a wallop. I rubbed my arms, stamped my feet. I rode my hand along the wall, searching for the light switch.
Tik…tek…tik
Fluorescent ceiling lamps sprung to life, duller, deader than usual. Instead of providing warm luminescence, they cast everything in an odd light, everything touched in artificial tints.
Immediately, the strong, familiar odor of ammonia enveloped me. But I couldn’t place the other smell, couldn’t describe it. If pressed, I suppose I’d catalog it somewhere between sweet and metallic. Sorta the way blood tastes when you prick your finger and suck on it. I’d never smelled anything like it before, not in Dad’s workshop or elsewhere.
An overriding smell rode in like fog. A strong, wrong odor that brought to mind mold and rot. A primal scent from a different time or place.
Ching! Ding! Ting-a-ling!
Impatient as a hungry baby, the bell-ringer called.
Click.
The walk-in refrigerator door handle swung up.
Chumpf!
The door released its seal and opened, just a few inches. A pale blue—hardly blue, more like moon-white—cone of light fell across the floor. A swirl of frost slivered out, twirled in the bare luminescence.
Ding! Ding! Ching! Ting-a-ling-aling
Cut off in mid-ring, the bell silenced. Everything hushed. No sound, not a peep, a tick, a drop. Just the silent shroud of death.
Slowly, I crept toward the refrigerator. Which didn’t make a lick of sense as I knew Hettie waited for me. There didn’t seem to be any real sense in maintaining silence either. But any noise—even my own—made me want to scream.
Above me, the light flickered off, on, then sizzled like bacon before settling on dark.
My hand gripped the handle. Arctic cold, I wrenched my hand back. I flagged it ‘till the stabbing needles of cold left. With my shoulder, I nudged the door. It pushed open half-way, then stopped. I followed with a mighty mule kick.
The door opened about as far as its hinges would allow.
I took a deep breath, held it. When I exhaled, I spouted out a frozen, visible vapor.
“Hettie?” I whispered.
I entered. To the left, the metal shelves on the wall were unoccupied. On the opposite side, all but one sat empty. A rumpled plastic cloth lay across the bottom shelf.
The eerie blue light had no visible source, but it provided ample light to see by. Maybe too much, considering.
“Hettie?” I repeated a little louder.
In the back of the unit, where Dad housed his supplies, a hanging shower curtain billowed out. Plastic crinkled. Something moved, fluid behind the curtain’s rippling waves. Not exactly flesh-colored, not much of anything.
Tinggg!
My heart urged me to turn back. Traitorous feet wouldn’t comply.
White snails of fingers crawled around the plastic and gripped it. Slowly, the curtain pulled back. Rusty rings on a rustier rod squealed screeeeeee.
Hettie stood exposed, naked. Except for the black “X” stitching up her innards. Varicose veins twined her legs. Toes exploded into corns the size of thumbs. Her scrubbing pad of hair stood up on end, a static raised brush of black and white.
Clouds had moved into her eyes, milkier than when I’d found her, yet intently focused on me. She showed that awful cavernous smile again. Barnacle-like teeth jabbed out of her gums.
Her lower jaw wobbled, then dropped ajar. Not an involuntary movement caused by gas either, the way sometimes happened to corpses. She gasped, a hissing radiator.
She took a doddering step toward me.
Ding!
The bell tied to her toe tolled.
Ding-a-ling!
Each step forward took great effort. A kind of ghostly arthritis hampered her dead limbs, encased them in cement. When she moved, wood cracked. More wood splintered, her body falling apart. She raised an arm. Dark veins spiraled around it, swimming upstream with determination. They rode toward her sagging bosom, traveled north up her neck, snaked beneath her chin, and set up house on her face.
And still she kept coming.

About the Author
Stuart R. West is a lifelong resident of Kansas, which he considers both a curse and a blessing. It's a curse because...well, it's Kansas. But it's great because…well, it’s Kansas. Lots of cool, strange and creepy things happen in the Midwest, and Stuart takes advantage of them in his workCall it “Kansas Noir.” Stuart writes thrillers and mysteries usually tinged with humor, both for adult and young adult audiences.
Stuart spent 25 years in the corporate sector and now writes full time. He’s married to a professor of pharmacy (who greatly appreciates the fact he cooks dinner for her every night) and has a 25 year old daughter who’s dabbling in the nefarious world of banking.

    

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

8621462A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.









Pages: 216
Format: E-Book
Published By: Walker Books
Genre: YA - Fantasy

Cover Review:
I love the cover because it really sets the mood for the book, and it gives you a glimpse at how dark this story is.

Rating:
✮✮✮

Review:
To be honest, I didn't have a really high expectation for his book when I started it, because I wasn't a fan of Patrick Ness' Knife of Never Letting Go, and the synopsis just didn't really intrigue me or really catch my attention. I decided to go ahead and read it though, before I watched the movie.

And initially, it was exactly what I expected. It was slow and really hard to get into. But then I got hooked and I couldn't put it down. I was completely engrossed in the story. And I was pleasantly shocked that it was much better than I had initially expected it to be.

So first I want to mention how amazing the drawings were. I really feel like they added to the story, and captured the darkness of the story. And I felt like you miss out some of you don't read the book that includes the illustrations.

Secondly, this book had me sobbing. Crying in stories isn't something new to me, but this book didn't really give me a moment of reprieve from the pain and sadness. And not to mention the anger that I felt at points during the story.

This is one book that everyone should read. It was wonderfully written with a tragic story. I highly recommend it, and if you are like me, and you don't get into it in the beginning chapters, keep pushing through because this book is amazing.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Blitz + Teasers, Excerpt, and Giveaway: Masked by J.D. Wright


Masked
J.D. Wright
(Superheroes Undercover, #1)
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: August 15th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Superheroes, Young Adult
Vada’s To-Do List:
– Turn 18 (check!)
– Register super name
– Order supersuit
– Attend superhero indoctrination
– Graduate high school
– Start kicking criminal tail

Vada Lawson can’t wait to be a superhero. Born into a family with special powers, she’s been training to fight criminals and villains her whole life. But her indoctrination into the underground super community is derailed when normals start breaking out in superpowers themselves.
Not trained to control their new abilities, the normals are frightened and vulnerable. Then their mutilated corpses begin turning up all over town. What the heck?
Somehow, with the help—and hindrance—of an annoying newly-minted super named Orion, Vada has to stop the chaos before it destroys her and everything she holds dear…and ruins her superhero debut.


EXCERPT:
Nick couldn’t take it anymore.
The entire morning had been one shock to his system after another. The nice long weekend in his giant but silent house had made him all but forget about the weird run-in with Janet. He’d spent the entire time working on his homework and enjoying the peace and quiet.
But after only five minutes at school, he was rudely reminded that he must be losing his mind. The voices came like a whirlwind into his head, one after another. So many that he couldn’t decipher whose thoughts belonged to who. He couldn’t even separate his own thoughts from the others. There were so many, and every one of them was as loud as the other, washing over him like waves of pounding noise.
Being in class gave no relief, either. The other students may not have been talking aloud, but every one of them was thinking, loudly. Nick heard too many things that he never wanted to hear and a lot of mundane thoughts that no one cares about.
…I wonder if I forgot to lock the door this morning…
…Oh, man. I’m not sure if I’m ready to do this. What if I get pregnant? But Luke is so cute, though…
…Mrs. Yates has such nice tits…
Nick actually agreed with that last sentiment, but he couldn’t be sure who had said it.
…Only thirty minutes left. I really need to pee…
…Nick is too good for Scarlet. What does he see in her? She’s such a bitch…
…This class is about as useless as my stepmother…
There was just so much noise. Nick pulled his hood up, but it did nothing to block the sounds. Every single thought that crossed someone else’s mind entered his. He didn’t give a damn about someone’s new pet lizard. And while he appreciated the girl across from him’s glances and thoughts of admiration—at least, he was pretty sure those belonged to her from the way she watched him—he didn’t want to know what other people were thinking.
What had caused this? Was it some sort of mental illness? Was he imagining these things? He couldn’t be sure he was even hearing real thoughts. He considered quizzing someone, but he was almost too afraid to confirm what he suspected.
He was reading people’s minds. Hearing their thoughts. Without even trying.
And it was excruciating.




Author Bio:
J.D. Wright is a military wife, mother of four, and author of paranormal and fantasy romance books filled with strong-willed heroines, swoon-worthy heroes, and sprinkled with humor and adventure. J.D. creates artistry in many ways, as a baker and cake artist by day and author by night. You can usually find her typing away at the computer or covered in frosting.
Since discovering she has a knack for writing, J.D. has so far written and self-published eight books of the Everealm and Songs of Everealm Series and is now venturing into the world of paranormal with her new superhero-themed series. She is an avid reader and lover of all things romance so she always includes a good love story in her paranormal and fantasy novels. 



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Monday, August 14, 2017

Tour + Excerpt and Giveaway: Elemental Lies by Elle Middaugh


Elemental Lies
Elle Middaugh
(The Essential Elements, #2)
Publication date: July 24th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Valerie Moore is an Elemental, a person who commands one of the classical elements of wind, water, fire, or earth. She’s special, though. She controls two—fire and water—though sometimes it seems like they control her.
After the accidental exposure of Elementals to humanity, Valerie finds herself—and all of her kind—struggling to attain equality. Three different groups fight to secure leadership, and with all of their hidden agendas, she doesn’t know which side to choose. The balance between peaceful cohabitation and all-out war is precarious, at best.
When a chance meeting brings Val and earth Elemental Cade Landston back together, everything changes. She realizes what she knew in the beginning—that he’s the one she wants. Her desire to win him over draws her closer to him, and his vengeful mission to hunt down her murderous grandfather brings them both closer to trouble.
From mysterious doppelgangers to reckless rescue missions, scapegoat bombings, and evolving Elemental powers, Valerie strains to keep up.
All she knows is she must stop her grandfather at all costs. To do so, she has to figure out the truth, but how can she do so when almost everyone she knows has been telling lies?

Sequel to:

EXCERPT:
“You know what?” I said, smiling wide and fake. “Let’s just talk about something else.”
“I know!” Avvie blurted out, getting our attention. “We can play a newer version of ‘I Heard.’ It’s called ‘Have You Yet.’”
Cade raised a brow. He hadn’t been in our chemistry class last fall so the ‘I Heard’ game was unfamiliar to him. ‘Have You Yet’ was new to even me, but knowing Avvie, it wouldn’t be hard to figure out. She’d probably never move beyond her immature games.
She smiled wickedly at Cade. “Have you and Valerie made out yet?”
Holden growled and gripped the table. “Avenelle…”
Cade shot him a crooked grin. “I think I like this game. Yes, we have.”
Avvie clapped sadistically. “Have you met each other’s parents yet?”
Holden immediately burst out laughing, doubling over so hard his face hit the table.
Of course I’d met Cade’s parents—they’d tried to kill me.
Cade’s eyes narrowed into slits. “No, I have not officially met her parents.”
Avvie carried on, unfazed. “Have you told her you love her yet?”
He glanced at me. “Sort of.”
Seriously?” Holden complained, all laughter instantly gone. “You’re such a douchebag.”
“Have you gotten to third base yet?”
“Nope.”
Holden’s exhale was almost palpable.
“Second base?”
When Cade licked his lips, Avvie licked hers.
“Maybe earlier today,” he said. “It was kind of a blur of adrenaline.”
“Okay!” I shouted. “Game over.” I was done with feeling like we were back in high school.
Avvie leaned back in her chair with an elated look plastered to her face. She’d certainly gotten her fix. Stupid gossip junkie.
Sienna, Xavier, and the waiter all showed up at once.
“Thank God,” I muttered.
Holden smiled warmly. I supposed he had to keep up with his image. “Shall we order? Ladies first. Avenelle?”
Suddenly the floor vibrated and shook. It didn’t matter that we’d diffused one and the Modernists leaders had diffused the others, my mind immediately jumped to bombs. I whipped my gaze to Cade, who looked equally as panicked.
No one else seemed to think much of it, if they noticed it at all.
“Yes,” Avvie said, “I’ll have the grilled tilapia with virgin lemon, please.”
Another vibration rattled under our feet, this time accompanied by a muffled boom that sounded like thunder.
Cade and I jumped up at once.
“I have to get to the bottom,” he said quickly. “I’ll try to keep the integrity of the structure intact.”
I nodded. “I’ll trace the heat signatures to the detonation sites. Maybe I can contain the fire before it spreads very far.”
We tore off in different directions.
I had no idea where he’d made it to when the third bomb struck, but I’d barely gotten halfway across the dining hall. It shook the building with enough force to knock people over. Dishes rattled to the floor and shattered.
Chaos immediately ensued. People were yelling and screaming and scattering like mice, knocking into tables, chairs, and each other.
The sound of shattering glass suddenly echoed above the bedlam—bombs were being thrown into the restaurant from outside, at least six of them. One landed not five feet from me, ticking in slow motion as time threatened to stop completely.
Five…four…three…two…
One.

Author Bio:
Elle Middaugh lives in the Allegheny Mountains outside of Clearfield, Pennsylvania, with her wonderful husband and three beautiful children. Most of her time is spent raising kids, writing stories, playing video games, reading, and attempting to keep a clean house.
She’s a proud Navy wife, a frazzle-brained mother, a fan of health and fitness, a lover of hot tea and iced tea, and a believer in happily ever afters. 



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Friday, August 11, 2017

Blitz + Excerpt: Just Kylie by Monique Gooch


Just Kylie
by Monique Gooch
Genre: YA
Release Date: March 2015

Summary from Goodreads:

Kylie Bransford was all girl. She loved her long black hair that touched her lower back, and refused to cut it no matter how much her mother pleaded. She wore pink sneakers on the field when she cheered, her room was surrounded by mermaids, and her walls were decorated in pink and purple shades. She was "all" girl. Kylie loved to be on the go and in the know. The only thing that made not only her world, but her heart stop was Myles Russin. Myles was one of the cutest boys in the 8th grade. The night she invited him over to watch television was the night she knew for sure she’d receive her first kiss. Her tongue trailed the braces that shielded her teeth as Myles leaned forward with his eyes closed. With much disdain she pushed him away. Kylie had to come clean and reveal her secret. Kylie Bransford was biological born a boy, but lived as a girl. She just hoped Myles could see past her situation and like her for who she was and not what was in between her legs.



Buy on Amazon

Chapter 1 Excerpt
Kylie
“Just so you know, your friends are watching us,” Myles said with a meek smile, nodding toward the gaggle of girls behind her. Kylie glanced over her shoulder at her friends who were giggling. Kylie sank her teeth into her bottom lip, but closed her mouth quickly, embarrassed by her pink and silver braces. She couldn’t wait to get those things off, but that would be another two years. Kylie raked manicured shaky fingers through her thick raven locks that hung down her back.
She couldn’t believe it. Myles was actually talking to her. Myles Russin, the cutest boy in the 8th grade. Was this what flirting felt like? Her palms began to sweat.
Kylie beamed, practically melting into her locker. “No, they’re just being…goofy. They uh…they think you’re like, really hot.”
Myles turned ten shades of red and smiled a face-splitting grin. She grinned to herself. He couldn’t hide his excitement if he wanted to. “Th-they do?” He glanced at her friends again. They continued to snicker. “Wh-what do you think?”
Me? Well, I think you’re…” Play it cool girl, play it cool. “Okay.”
“Just okay?” Myles chortled.
Kylie suppressed her laugh and glanced down at her pink high top Sketchers. She stole a quick peek at him, and tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear, revealing her mermaid stud earrings. Myles was one of the tallest boys in the 8th grade, much taller than she was. His voice was starting to deepen, just like Mrs. Vance taught them in sex-ed class last quarter. Kylie thought he looked like a model or better yet, a movie star. The bell rang snatching her from her trance. She realized she'd been gazing into his hazel eyes. Awkward.
“Um, maybe we can hang out one day.” He cleared his throat as his voice squeaked slightly.
Kylie’s pulse quickened. “Really?”
“Yeah really,” he playfully nudged her shoulder. “I think you’re cool. We should hang out.”
“Okay um, well you could always come to my house to watch TV or something. My mom won’t mind.”
    “Cool,” he responded looking down at his feet. The blush in his cheeks gave him away. “Wh-what about this afternoon?”
She immediately pulled out her smartphone. The second bell rang, indicating they had two minutes to be in their seats. “Er—let me text my mom.” She began typing furiously.
“Okay, just let me know.” As he began his journey to class, her phone buzzed. The returning text from her mother said, Absolutely not! I will not be home until 6 o’clock. No boys unless I’m there.
She looked up from her phone and stopped him, “Myles.”
“Yeah?” He turned. His sneakers squeaked against the tile floor.
“My—my mom just texted back.” Kylie stuttered.
“Is it cool?” He looked hopeful and clutched his backpack tighter.
Kylie glanced at her phone again. The words on the screen stared back at her, “Absolutely! It’s totally cool.” She fired off her address and time to meet at her house.
***

About the Author
Monique grew up in the Bluegrass state and currently resides in Music City. She is the author of New Adult and Adult Commercial Fiction. Monique also hosts her own writer's critique group in Hermitage, TN. She also offers editing services and serves as a beta reader and critique partner to other aspiring writing and established authors. She recently edited her first screenplay, "Sunset Unseen" written by Reynard Martin. "Sunset Unseen" went on to win an award at the Atlanta FIlm Festival. To learn more about Monique Gooch, please follow her on social media.