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Blog Tour, Excerpt, and Review: Beware the Night

Beware the Night
by Jessika Fleck
Swoon Reads Publishing
320 Pages
YA / Fantasy / Romance
Publication Date: March 12th, 2019
Get a copy here!

BLURB

“The first in a series, this fantasy adventure is quickly paced with surprises at every turn and an ending that will leave teens breathless and awaiting more. Fleck has crafted a fully realized world complete with its own history and mythology to immerse her readers. Finely tuned and masterfully written, this is a must-purchase for all fantasy shelves.” —School Library Journal, STARRED review

When her world divides, pitting light against dark, Veda must join a dangerous revolution to save her grandfather and fight against injustice…even if it costs her the boy she loves.

On the island of Bellona, life is peaceful–as long as the citizens dutifully worship the Sun, which protects them from all harm. Seventeen-year-old Veda knows that keeping the Sun happy will protect her and her grandfather from the Night, the dangerous people who snatch innocent citizens from their beds under the cover of darkness, never to be seen again. As long as Veda follows the rules, she will be safe. 

But when Veda’s grandfather is offered up as the next sacrificial offering to keep the Sun’s favor, she starts to see that the safety she’s been promised comes at a dangerous price. Maybe there is more to fear above than there is below. 

With a mysterious young man, Dorian, at her side, Veda has to figure out if the scary bedtime stories she grew up hearing are real–or dangerous lies.

Jessika Fleck is an author, unapologetic coffee drinker, and knitter — she sincerely hopes to one day discover a way to do all three at once. Until then, she continues collecting vintage typewriters and hourglasses, dreaming of an Ireland getaway, and convincing her husband they NEED more kittens. Her YA debut, THE CASTAWAYS (Entangled TEEN), is now available. Her next YA novel, BEWARE THE NIGHT (Swoon Reads/Macmillan) releases March 12, 2019. More at www.jessikafleck.com.

EXCERPT:

He jumps. Despite knowing what he knows and despite his hands are tied, Vance jumps. He flails and sputters at the water’s surface.

The door, our window down the Offering Canal that leads to the Great Sea, is cranked closed. The ear-piercing scraping of metal on metal, overtakes the silent dome, accenting the small boy’s last moments.

Vance barely makes it past the edge of the island, his lifeless body carried by the current out to open water.

As the door closes and the canal drains, the crowd stands, applauding, praising the day’s Offering.

Forcing my eyes to swallow back tears, I stand out of respect, expectation, but can’t begin to bring my hands together. I scan the blurred faces across the dome from me, straining to find Nico. But it’s no use, there are too many to sift through.

This is the first Offering I’ve attended without him by my side in longer than I care to remember. I realize having Nico near had kept me calm.

An empty hopelessness consumes me, the weight of the world, or maybe just that of a five-year-old boy,folds my chest in on itself.

I glance up toward the High Regent’s balcony to gauge his reaction. He’s vanished.

Quick Reasons: gorgeous, atmospheric writing; intriguing characters and backstory; I was hoping for a bit…MORE…from this; mildly disappointed overall; there’s a love triangle, y’all–a bad one; this might have been a bit too predictable for me

HUGE thanks to Jessika Fleck, Swoon Reads Publishing, Netgalley, and Fantastic Flying Book Club for sending a free egalley of this title my way! This in no way altered my review of or opinions on this book.

This read is gorgeously atmospheric, I’ll be honest, though I had some trouble actually connecting to the world that Jessika Fleck was trying to create. While I adored the writing and LOVED the way she describes things, I had a hard time putting myself INTO this world in my mind’s eye–I had a hard time envisioning, imagining, seeing things as they were described. I think a big part of this was just that…I felt as if I’d read this story before.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some new and different things throughout this that made me catch my breath, that made me WANT more of this world. But overall, I felt as if I’d walked these same miles in these same shoes a time or two too many. And I don’t think that falls on the story itself, or the author, or anyone really… I just felt that overall, this story was a bit too predictable for me to fully immerse myself in it. And while I appreciate a great love triangle, I felt this one was overplayed. Veda was very wishy-washy on what she wanted–and while I TOTALLY understand why, I also felt like she flip-flopped enough to give me whiplash in the end. There’s a very fine line between “struggling to decide” and “changing your mind TOO much”…and I feel like Veda came very very close to crossing that line. Of course, this could just be my own personal opinion. And like I said, I do get it…I have been in similar situations, myself, and therefore know that it is possible to change your mind as rapidly about things as Veda does throughout this novel. I just felt as if, even at the end, she wasn’t fully committed to her decision. (Of course, there’s meant to be at the very least a sequel, so…it makes sense she might not be.)

Overall, I went into this read SUPER excited…and wound up mildly disappointed. While I really enjoyed some of the darker, more gritty atmospheric details of the world and these characters, I felt like it was really hard for me to connect to the story–and I had an even harder time not feeling as if I’d walked these trails already, in a myriad of other novels. I’d recommend this to lovers of dark world-building, fascinating characters, and motivations/worlds that are left a bit mysterious even at the end. Heed the title’s warning, Penguins…and Beware the Night!

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Book Blitz, Excerpt, and Giveaway: The Night Docket

The Night Docket
Michele Lang
Publication date: February 26th 2019
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

Praise for author Michele Lang:

“Lang is a writer to watch and is sure to have wide appeal to fans of Jim Butcher, Kat Richardson, and other urban fantasy A-listers.” -Booklist

“A groundbreaking, rich, enthralling series….stakes that couldn’t be higher. A tour de force!” – Rachel Caine, NYT best-selling author of the Morganville Vampire series (for the Lady Lazarus series)

“Michele Lang is a talented writer and gifted storyteller…one of the leading voices in historical urban fantasy.” — D.B. Jackson, author of THIEFTAKER

When you do your part to kill a necromancer, death isn’t the final goodbye.
No, it’s not the end.
Instead, it’s more like pouring gasoline on a dumpster fire…

By day, solo street lawyer Nicole Farmer represents the down and out in the tough town of Amistad, Connecticut. Bankruptcies, divorces, criminal defense, foreclosures…Nicole’s clients are the hardest-luck cases in a hard-luck rustbelt city.

Fighting the good fight, Nicole has to hustle just to make a living. And by night, unquiet spirits call to her on the dream plane, seeking revenge and healing…and demanding that she solve the coldest cases of all.

Powered by coffee and a sparkly pink cell phone with uncanny mojo, Nicole was made for trouble and badassery. But even she can’t go 24/7 without a break. Sooner or later, she knows she will crack.

Everything changes when Evangeline, the spirit of a murdered young woman, invades Nicole’s dreams. Her killer, a power-hungry and psychopathic warlock, wants to strike again.

Nicole commits to hunting Evangeline’s killer…and opening the Night Docket means all hell breaks loose in Amistad.

Attacked by enemies living and undead, Nicole must face her own past, call in all her favors, and find a way to achieve cosmic justice — without losing her own life and soul…

You will love Michele’s new contemporary urban fantasy series! Read it now, and instantly disappear into the otherworldly, dangerous landscape of Amistad and the Afterworld.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

Beware of the dead.

When you have the so-called “gift” of speaking through the veil, you open yourself up to a world of hurt when you dare to listen instead of talk.

I was listening to the girl apologizing to me in the groovy bedroom of death. And she was leading me down the rabbit hole to my own destruction.

The fact she felt bad about it didn’t make the danger any less.

I was a street lawyer, Nicole Farmer, Esq., no-holds-barred fighter for the down and out. That didn’t mean I was a shill for my clients. It just meant I was willing to listen to them.

Even the dead ones.

I took another look around. The room didn’t evaporate under my scrutiny…just like in waking life, the details got sharper the more I focused on them. The bloody handprints on the walls glowed in the weird light of the lava lamp, still erupting by the wrecked murder-scene of a bed. The sickly-sweet smell of death lingered in the air, like a satanic perfume.

“Forget it,” I told her. “You don’t have to apologize.”

The girl visibly relaxed.

“What’s your name?” I asked. “And how old are you, and where is this place? You’re obviously a grown woman, but I keep thinking you’re a girl. And that’s just freaking weird.”

“Well, I am a girl. I’m only, like, twenty-three years old.” She hesitated, for effect. “And my name is Evangeline.”

Evangeline.

The name didn’t sound real, it sounded like a dream name. I wanted to believe all of this was nothing more than a sliver in my brain, a crazy dream. Because if she was real, I was going to be chasing her problems in my dreams for months.

Her voice carried a slight Southern drawl, which surprised me, because I knew I was still in the shithole town of Amistad, Connecticut. I just knew it.

“This apartment is near my office, right?” I asked. “This place must be just down the street…the slant of the light through the window…”

I suddenly realized that it was daylight on the dream plane, and sunshine was streaming from behind the cracked venetian blinds. When it was day in the dream plane, it was night back in my ordinary world.

Looked like noontime here at the murder scene…I guessed it was something like midnight back in my own bed. The girl in black was flooded in light, backlit, and it was hard for me to make out her features.

“I better explain,” Evangeline said. “It’s the least I can do. Yes, this is Amistad, Connecticut. This is my place. The blood is mine. I mean…I didn’t splash it around or anything. I mean…”

I squinted, trying to look into her eyes. Trying to get to the bottom of her little speech.

“You were murdered in this room,” I said. “In 1973.”

She hesitated. “Well, it was almost 1973—really it was late 1972. But close.”

I sighed. Here I went again. “This is one of my serial killer dreams, isn’t it, Evangeline?”

“Well, yeah. But your dreams aren’t dreams.”

Author Bio:

Michele Lang writes fantasy, science fiction, crime, and romance, as well as non-fiction. Her Lady Lazarus WWII historical fantasy series was published by Tor Books, and her short fiction has been published by DAW, PM Press, and WMG Press, among others. Her story “Sucker’s Game” was included in the Anthony Award-nominated anthology, Jewish Noir.

Michele is a recovering lawyer who has practiced the unholy craft of litigation in both New York and Connecticut. She returned to her native New York shortly before 9/11, and now lives in a small town on the North Shore of Long Island with her husband, her sons, and a rotating menagerie of cats, hermit crabs, and butterflies.

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Book Blitz, Excerpt, Teasers, and Giveaway: The Aviary

The Aviary
Emily Shore
(The Uncaged Series, #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: March 5th 2019
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult

“Gentlemen, we have a special treat for you today. Feast your eyes on this pure-blooded beauty!”

Sixteen-year-old Serenity has spent her entire life in hiding to protect her from this exact moment. In a world where beauty is bought and sold on the streets like a corporate commodity, Serenity’s natural assets are more like liabilities. Despite her parents’ best efforts, she’s been taken—ripped from her home and the only life she’s ever known—to find herself on sale to the highest bidder. And that bidder? Enigmatic and dangerous, Luc is the director of The Aviary—an elite museum where girls are displayed as living art by day…and cater to the lascivious whims of the highest bidder by night. In this elaborate and competitive world, girls go by names like Raven and Nightingale, and will stop at nothing to become top Bird.

Luc comes to idolize Serenity’s purity and aims to turn her into his grandest exhibit of all time—The Swan. In no time, she becomes one of the most coveted exhibits in Aviary history. When she discovers Luc holds the key to finding her parents, she must learn to play The Swan to perfection…to win his heart and earn his trust. But she doesn’t anticipate falling for him in the process. Now she faces an impossible choice: escape The Aviary and lose her only chance at finding her parents—or become Luc’s Swan for good and lose her identity forever.

The Jewel by Amy Ewing meets Tricks by Ellen Hopkins in this gritty Young Adult Dystopian that tells of a fear-inducing future where the world of sex trafficking has become a social norm and where woman aren’t treated as humans and are no safer than they were than they were in The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

EXCERPT:

On the way over in his self-driving-limousine, which is Family-branded so they have immunity, Luc gave me a digital tour of his Aviary, but seeing the building from the vehicles one-way windows was completely different than up close. Against the darkness, it was like a diamond sitting in a bed of ash. Grand spotlights and high-tech holographic images of birds light the entrance.

Now, it just looks like a giant glass dollhouse. From the observation deck within the domed ceiling of the Aviary where I stand with Luc, I stare down at the men flooding the lobby as they stray to girl-encrusted exhibits. If they pay more, they will advance to the second level. The ones with deep pockets continue to the third where the highest-ranking girls are.

It shouldn’t impress me, but it does.


Author Bio:

Emily Shore is a MN author with a B.A. in Creative Writing from Metro State University and was a grand prize winner of #PitchtoPublication, which led her to working with professionals in the publishing industry. She is signed with Clean Teen Publishing for her anti-trafficking dystopian The Aviary, first in the Uncaged Series. For every sale, proceeds return to trafficking rescue and to Emily and her husband’s international adoption fund.

Throughout the years, Emily has connected with rescue organizations and survivors of sex-trafficking and injects the truths she’s learned into her books for youth. She loves motivational speaking on the issue of sex-trafficking and always hopes for more speaking events in schools, churches, and libraries. Please contact her on her website if you are interested in hearing her speak.

Emily lives in Saint Paul with her husband and two daughters. They are currently in the process of adopting a little girl from India.

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Cover Reveal: Mr. Fantasy

Mr. Fantasy
Cambria Hebert
Publication date: April 2nd 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Mr. Fantasy

Better than your reality…

A Caribbean island.

A rich CEO.

A woman thrown overboard.

A delicious one-night stand.

Want to know what happens next?

Find all the answers and more between the pages

of this sizzling standalone romance—Mr. Fantasy.

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

Author Bio:

Cambria Hebert is an award winning, bestselling novelist of more than twenty books. She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair.

Besides writing, Cambria loves a caramel latte, staying up late, sleeping in, and watching movies. She considers math human torture and has an irrational fear of chickens (yes, chickens). You can often find her running on the treadmill (she’d rather be eating a donut), painting her toenails (because she bites her fingernails), or walking her chorkie (the real boss of the house).

Cambria has written within the young adult and new adult genres, penning many paranormal and contemporary titles. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. A few of her most recognized titles are: The Hashtag Series, Text, Torch, and Tattoo.

Cambria Hebert owns and operates Cambria Hebert Books, LLC.

★ Never miss another Cambria Hebert Release:
Text ‘Cambria’ to 7606703130 to sign up for new release alerts

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Blog Tour and Review: To Best the Boys

To Best the Boys
by Mary Weber
Thomas Nelson Publishing
352 Pages
YA / Sci Fi / Fantasy
Publication Date: March 5th, 2018
Get a copy here!

BLURB:

Every year for the past fifty-four years, the residents of Pinsbury Port receive a mysterious letter inviting all eligible-aged boys to compete for an esteemed scholarship to the all-male Stemwick University. Every year, the poorer residents look to see that their names are on the list. The wealthier look to see how likely their sons are to survive. And Rhen Tellur opens it to see if she can derive which substances the ink and parchment are created from, using her father’s microscope.

In the province of Caldon, where women are trained in wifely duties and men are encouraged into collegiate education, sixteen-year-old Rhen Tellur wants nothing more than to become a scientist. As the poor of her seaside town fall prey to a deadly disease, she and her father work desperately to find a cure. But when her Mum succumbs to it as well? Rhen decides to take the future into her own hands—through the annual all-male scholarship competition.

With her cousin, Seleni, by her side, the girls don disguises and enter Mr. Holm’s labyrinth, to best the boys and claim the scholarship prize. Except not everyone’s ready for a girl who doesn’t know her place. And not everyone survives the maze.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Hi. I write books. I eat things. I kiss things. I believe in mermaids.

I’m also the author of the Storm Siren Trilogy, The Evaporation of Sofi Snow series, and the March 2019 release, To Best the Boys. When not working, I sing 80’s hairband songs to my three muggle children, and ogle my husband who looks strikingly like Wolverine. We live in California, which is perfect for stalking aging movie stars while wearing fanny packs and sweatpants.

For those who like to know such things (mainly my mom), Storm Siren was featured in the Scholastic Book Fair and my novels have been endorsed by such nice humans as Marissa Meyer, CJ Redwine, Shannon Messenger, and Jonathan Maberry (in fact, Marissa Meyer and I have a fun interview in the paperback of her book, CRESS). Also, Boba tea & sweatpants are life. {We can chat about life (in sweatpants over tea, obviously) in my Newsletter.

– Instagram
– Facebook

Prize:

Win 1 of 2 finished copies of

TO BEST THE BOYS by Mary Weber
(1 INTERNATIONAL winner & 1 US ONLY winner)

Start Date: 25th February 2019

End Date: 11th March 2019


Quick Reasons: SO. MUCH. WINNING.; I really enjoyed these characters and this story!; total boss girl power moves of epic proportions; I need more from this author, stat!; someone help me find my brain, it sort of exploded from the awesome

HUGE thanks to Mary Weber, Thomas Nelson Publishing, andFantastic Flying Book Club for sending a complimentary galley of this title my way! This in no way altered my review of or opinion on this book.

And OH, MAH PENGUINS, am I ever so glad they did! This book has a LOT of winning happening–and I cannot wait to pick up my next Mary Weber read, because y’all, she blew this out of the park completely! If I wasn’t worried about my brain being a splattered spatter of matter before, I should be now–that’s exactly what this book did to me. Please, please don’t get the wrong idea–I enjoyed every. single. moment!

These characters are well-rounded, multi-faceted, and so so easy to empathize with and feel for. I really enjoyed the gritty, dark atmosphere matched with the strong girl personalities and kick-Penguin-butt go-get-em attitudes. The amount of snark and “down to earth, say it like it is” from Rhen just put this above and beyond for me. Not to mention, HELLO, woman going out and fighting for what she wants instead of playing meager mouse? GIVE. ME. MORE. of this deliciousness, please! The fact that Rhen owns up to the whole, “Yeah, I may have had a crush on him at one point, but dude’s gross” thing didn’t hurt much, either. Just sayin’.

There were so so many good things about this read, I can’t possibly list them all–I’d be here for the rest of forever. So I’ll end with this: READ THE BOOK! The characters are awesome, Mary Weber knows how to rock a story, and I promise you won’t regret picking this up. And while you’re going out to buy yourself a copy, just imagine me, your Royal Penguin Extraordinaire, flinging fish in all my squeeing glory.

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Release Week Blitz and Giveaway: Of Wolves and Witches

I am so excited that OF WOLVES AND WITCHES by Elena Lawson is available now and that I get to share the news!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Elena Lawson, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a $10 GC courtesy of Elena and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

Title: OF WOLVES AND WITCHES (Arcane Arts Academy Book 1)
Author: Elena Lawson
Pub. Date: February 23, 2019
Publisher: Elena Lawson
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 200
Find it: GoodreadsAmazon

I messed up. I broke two of the Arcane Council’s laws in one day. I swear it was an accident—but try telling that to the Arcane authorities.

Before I could catch my breath, my simple gypsy life of peddling potions with my guardians is wrenched away. I’m forcibly enrolled into the prestigious and supremely snotty Arcane Arts Academy, given shackles under the guise of mercy for my crimes.

As if that weren’t enough, my volatile magic bound me to two infuriatingly overbearing shifters in the woods near campus, making me an instant pariah.

At least the history teacher is helpful—not to mention insanely gorgeous. And besides giving me a dangerous distraction, there’s something else he can provide—a way to finally find out more about my father and unravel the dark mystery surrounding his death… but some secrets have claws, and if I’m not careful, knowing the truth could get me killed.

Follow Harper Hawkins as she unravels more than she bargained for in OF WOLVES AND WITCHES, the first book in the Arcane Arts Academy series, an exciting new slow-burn reverse harem paranormal romance series perfect for fans of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Hex Hall!

Scroll up and One-Click today to start the spellbinding adventure!


Excerpt:
It wasn’t fair, I mused, pursing my lips from my seat at the back of the classroom. Having to watch him from his untouchable spot at the blackboard.

The sun decided to show up to work today, heating the academy through the many tall windows, creating a sort of greenhouse effect that left the air hazy and just a bit too warm for comfort. I was sure there was a spell, or sigil, or some sort of incantation they generally used to cool it. Some sort of witchy air conditioning.

But I was glad whoever was in charge of doing that hadn’t gotten around to it yet. Elias—er—Mr. Fitzgerald had removed his suit jacket, and I couldn’t help but notice the top button of his crisp white dress shirt was undone, showing off smooth tanned skin at the shallow dip of his collarbone. He didn’t look to be sweating at all. Which was so unfair.

Even though I’d put on the weird kilt-like skirt that morning and had opted for a short sleeve blouse, I was still sweating.
I brushed the hair from my neck, trying and failing to stare at what he was writing on the board instead of at him.

The sleeves of his dress shirt were rolled up to his elbows, settling in the crease there. His biceps—I didn’t think I’d paid enough attention to them before.

What a mistake that was.

The thin white cotton material was stretched taut against the bulge of his arms, making him look more like a bodybuilder than a teacher.

I licked my lips, suddenly wishing I’d stopped for a glass of water before class. One of these days I’d wake up in time for breakfast.

It’s so damned hot in here.

“Harper?” Elias said, pointing at something he’d written on the board. And I got the feeling it wasn’t the first time he’d said my name.

“Sorry I… I didn’t hear you. What was the question?”

Oops.
About Elena:
Elena lives in a small town in Canada with her family. She writes reverse harem fantasy romance stories full of feisty heroines, unforgettable heroes and spellbinding romance. When she comes out of her writing cave, she can be found obsessively rearranging her bookshelves, drinking wine somewhere sunny, or cooking overly fancy meals for her family and friends.

#WhyChoose

For news about upcoming releases, exclusive bonus content and freebies, sign up for author Elena Lawson’s newsletter!




Giveaway Details: All International
1 Winner will receive a $10 gift card, International.

Ends on March 1st at Midnight EST!


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Blog Tour and Review: Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced

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Find the TOUR SCHEDULE here!

Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced 
R.J. Garcia
The Parliament House Publishing
326 Pages
Publication date: May 1st 2018
Genres: Suspense, Young Adult
Get a copy here!

Mystery surrounds the town of Summertime, Indiana, where fifteen-year-old Tommy Walker and his little sister are sent to live with relatives they’ve never met. Tommy soon makes friends with his rebellious neighbor, Finn Wilds.

Finn invites Tommy to late night meetings in the woods, where Tommy gets to know two girls. He forms a special and unique connection with both girls. The meetings become a place where the kids, who don’t fit in at school, or home can finally belong. As the group of friends begin to unravel clues to a cold case murder and kidnapping— they learn the truth is darker and closer than they ever imagined. Even if they live to tell, will anyone believe them?

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Book Trailer:

Author Bio:

R.J. Garcia is a wife and proud mom. She earned her MSW and worked with foster children and as a school social worker. Writing has been her other great love. She has published several non-fiction pieces. She has been writing short-stories for as long as she can remember. To her amazement, those short stories became novels!

Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Website

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bookreview

3Penguins
Quick Reasons: great use of accents/vocal arrangements for the audiobook; enthralling, captivating mystery; loved the use of dual POVs AND dual time shifts; I had a hard time connecting with the characters and the writing

HUGE thanks to R.J. Garcia, The Parliament House Publishing, and YA Bound Book Tours for having me as part of the book tour and sending a complimentary copy of this title my way! This in no way changed my review of or opinions on this book.

This was a hard one for me, Penguins. I was super excited because, AHHH AUDIOBOOK YAAAAAS! because…there’s been a lot happening in my world, and I thought maybe this would help me be able to get a book read and still get other things done as well. And it DID do that…but I struggled, because I got suuuuuper bored pretty early on and just couldn’t connect with the story/writing/characters.

That’s not to say any of those things are bad, of course! While the writing itself seemed to do a LOT more telling than showing, to me, the use of dual POVs and changing time shifts were done really well and helped to pull this story together into an enthralling, captivating “mystery.” The characters were super intriguing–I kept wanting to further figure them out/get into their heads. And while there was a super intense air of mystery surrounding the story being told, I just couldn’t connect unfortunately–more my problem than the book’s, though, I promise!

That race to the finish line–and the missing links in the puzzle–was at turns entertaining and horrifying. I will put a TRIGGER WARNING here, for those who need it. If you’re easily triggered by physical, domestic abuse, PLEASE PLEASE take care while reading this title.

Overall, this was super intriguing, though probably not the best fit for me personally. The dual POVs and the shifting time lines really helped to pull in an air of mystery and suspense, while the multi-faceted characters helped back the story up. Please do remember, though–trigger warning. Keep yourselves safe, Penguins. And welcome… to Summertime, Indiana, where the night hosts secrets.

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Ayesha at Last: Diverse, Enchanting, Divine

Ayesha at Last

Ayesha at Last
by Uzma Jalaluddin
Berkley Books
368 Pages
Contemporary / Romance /
Retellings / Diverse Reads
Expected Publication: June 4th, 2019
Preorder a copy here!

BLURB:


A modern-day Muslim Pride and Prejudice for a new generation of love.

Ayesha Shamsi has a lot going on. Her dreams of being a poet have been set aside for a teaching job so she can pay off her debts to her wealthy uncle. She lives with her boisterous Muslim family and is always being reminded that her flighty younger cousin, Hafsa, is close to rejecting her one hundredth marriage proposal. Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn’t want an arranged marriage. Then she meets Khalid who is just as smart and handsome as he is conservative and judgmental. She is irritatingly attracted to someone who looks down on her choices and dresses like he belongs in the seventh century.

When a surprise engagement is announced between Khalid and Hafsa, Ayesha is torn between how she feels about the straightforward Khalid and the unsettling new gossip she hears about his family. Looking into the rumors, she finds she has to deal with not only what she discovers about Khalid, but also the truth she realizes about herself.





Quick Reasons: super adorable, intriguing retelling of a well-beloved classic; LOVELOVELOVE the dual POVs; the humor and snark are real with this one; believable, easy to love characters; I felt there were only a few “forced” moments; gorgeous purple prose

HUGE thanks to Uzma Jalaluddin, Berkley Books Publishing, and Netgalley for sending a complimentary egalley of this title my way! This in no way altered my review of or opinions on this book.

I know what you all are thinking, Penguins. I can just HEAR you all wondering when I’m going to give up my fanatic obsession with all things Pride and Prejudice and leave you all to enjoy your bookaholicism in peace. I have news for you. The answer is………. NEVER. Which is how we’ve found ourselves here, in the midst of yet another post where your Royal Penguin Princess fangirls her little heart over YET ANOTHER P&P retelling/adaptation. I take my bookish duties seriously, y’all. You’ll never catch me doing otherwise.

And this retelling might well be a favorite of mine, for several reasons. First and foremost: this is a DIVERSE retelling. The fact that I learned a little about a different culture in the process of reading…I don’t think it gets much better than that! The fact that the author is also a WOC…uggggggh, let me die happy now! The subjects tackled in this book were far-ranging and beautifully handled. Uzma Jalaluddin approached this novel with expert crafting and sensitivity, while still ensuring readers came out of the journey looking at the world with freshly-opened eyes. I tip my beak to her, y’all–she helped me see things in a WHOLE new light, which isn’t always easy.

I really enjoyed how much snark and witty banter flowed between these pages. It was a blast to see the world through Ayesha’s eyes, and experience several POVs that were distinct and easy to tell apart. There were only a few moments that seemed more “forced” for the sake of the original content/story line. I actually REALLY enjoyed how Uzma Jalaluddin managed to play in some of the more prominent characters–she took time to think outside the box in several instances, and caught me by surprise more than once.

This was such a fantastic read, filled with beautifully crafted prose and true-to-life situations. The lessons and growth these characters faced were believable and thought-provoking, if a small bit contrived in certain instances. I would definitely recommend to readers seeking their next diverse, witty retelling–especially those with a soft spot for all things P&P, like me! Are you ready to unveil these pages, Penguins?!

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Book Blitz, Excerpt, Teasers, and Giveaway: In to Her

In to Her
J.A. Huss
Publication date: February 19th 2019
Genres: Erotica, Romance

When AJ and Logan walked into Yvette Nightingale’s bar they didn’t expect to be there long. They certainly didn’t expect to be dancing with her, or having sex with her, or spending the night with her.

Because they were sent there to kill her.

Not fall for her.
Not feel sorry for her.
Not want to take care of her, or protect her, or be in to her.

But sometimes people enter your life for a reason. Sometimes they even enter at the very moment you need them most. And Yvette Nightingale needs AJ and Logan.

She needs them even more than they need her.

CAUTION: In To Her is 320 pages of dirty smut, fantasy scenes with erotic toys, MFM and MMF ménage, and an angst-y HEA that will leave you guessing until the very last page. (This is not a love triangle).

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

YVETTE

“She didn’t get off,” AJ says, looking at Logan.

“What?” he says, with some confusion.

“She’s pissed because we came without her.”

“No. Look,” I say, pushing AJ away with two firm hands on his chest. He takes a step back, but just a little one. “I’m fine, OK? I’m good. You guys can sleep down here and—”

“No,” AJ says, grabbing the edges of my partially buttoned shirt again. “We gotta make things right.”

“Really,” I say, trying to be firm. “You do not.”

But now Logan has come up behind me. “Oh,” he says, his tone somewhat softer than it was just a few seconds ago. “Shit. Well.”

“Seriously,” I start. But Logan is already reaching around my waist to slip his hands in my still-unbuttoned jeans.

“Relax,” he says, leaning his face into my neck. “It’s the least we can do.”

I close my eyes when his fingers slip between the lips of my still slick pussy.

AJ leans in and kisses me on the mouth. And even though every fiber of my being is telling me to put a stop to this—make them stop right now before it goes any further…

I can’t.

I just can’t.

I was so worked up a few minutes ago, so ready for the explosion that never happened, that my body reacts the exact opposite way my mind is telling it to.

I stop talking. I stop protesting. I kiss AJ back. I lean in to Logan’s chest to give his fingers better access.

“See,” Logan whispers into my ear. “Feels good, doesn’t it?”

I don’t reply, but my answer is yes.

Which is so fucked up.

So fucked up.

AJ’s fingers are busy unbuttoning my shirt. But he gets frustrated halfway through and just—

“No!”

—rips it open.

He laughs into our kiss. “Sorry, but I don’t like those buttons.” And then he grabs the top edge of my bra and yanks it down, freeing my breasts so he can play with them. “You won’t be needing it after today, anyway.”

OK. Weird. But…

Well… maybe…

Fine.

I’m in. This wasn’t at all what I wanted before they came into the bar. And for sure, it’s bizarre. Everything about this encounter is fucked up and strange.

But I’m here. And they’re here. And we’re…

Yeah.

We are doing this.

Again.

So I say, “OK.”

And they… holy shit. Everything the last time wasn’t, this time is.

Author Bio:

JA Huss is the New York Times Bestselling author of 321 and has been on the USA Today Bestseller’s list 21 times in the past four years. She writes characters with heart, plots with twists, and perfect endings.

Her books have sold millions of copies all over the world, the audio version of her semi-autobiographical book, Eighteen, was nominated for a Voice Arts Award and an Audie Award in 2016 and 2017 respectively, her audiobook, Mr. Perfect, was nominated for a Voice Arts Award in 2017, and her audiobook, Taking Turns, was nominated for an Audie Award in 2018. Five of her book were optioned for a TV series by MGM television in 2018.

She lives on a ranch in Central Colorado with her family.

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Top Ten Tuesday 2.8

toptentuesday

HOSTED BY: That Artsy Reader Girl–AKA Jana
DESCRIPTION:  Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Find their latest post here!

TOP TEN RECENT BOOKSTAGRAM POSTS

Because I just wasn’t feeling this week’s theme, I decided to come up with my own.  I’ve been trying my hardest to get back into the bookstagram scene lately, soooo…. I figured I’d show you all some of my favorite recent bookstagram posts of epic!

If you’re not already following me over on the ‘gram, PLEASE feel free to track me down and stalk my feed! You can find me at:

fishbreak
fishbreak

Have I convinced you to try YOUR hand at something artsy-fartsy bookishly awesome?  Do you own or have you made bookishly awesome artsy things before?!

Anyone want to buddy read with me?! I have so many other books besides these to read yet…feel free to shoot me a comment with ANY book and I’ll let you know if I own it, we can set up a buddy read thing!)

Feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comments, or link me to your own Top Ten Tuesday!

Until next time, happy book-ing!

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