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Blog Tour, Giveaways, and Review: Cry Wolf

 

Cry Wolf
Greta Stone
Publication date: March 1st 2017
Genres: Gothic, New Adult, Paranormal Romance

Peter is a kitsune. Chaos follows him wherever he goes. Good intentions, bad intentions—it doesn’t matter. Even mimicking the howl of a friend he hasn’t seen in over a decade turns out to have disastrous consequences.

The wolf doesn’t have a name. For now, he goes by Luca. He has no past, and as an escaped slave, if he can’t stay hidden in the shadows, he’ll have no future. When someone steals his howl, he’s drawn to investigate, and ends up saddled with a mouthy fox who insists they used to be friends once upon a time.

Petty problems and a dubious reunion are pushed aside the longer they’re stranded together. The Underwood is a dangerous place.

They have two choices: work together or die.

Join Greta Stone in a dark paranormal MM romance retelling of Aesop’s fable, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, and David P. Mannix’s classic novel, The Fox and the Hound.

Goodreads / Amazon

 

Author Bio:

Greta is the unruly offspring of a tiger and a dragon. She spends most of her time reading, stalking her favorite musicians, and harassing other authors with pranks.

Underwood District Series (MM Romance/UF)

Cry Wolf – Book 1

Cry Wolf: Mating Season – Book 1.5

Take a Tour of New Gotham: http://www.brimstonepub.com

Sign up for GRETA STONE’S MAILING LIST and receive access to a bonus adventure featuring Peter and Luca.(Their fates might be changed forever.)

Copy and paste to join my newsletter: tinyurl.com/l99rh6m

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Newsletter

 

GIVEAWAYS!

eBook giveaways:

The first 5 people to comment on ANY tour post (given on each day) will automatically win a free e-book copy of Cry Wolf. Greta will keep tally and submit prizes at the end of each tour day.

Take a trip to New Gotham!

A paid vacation to New Gotham is an expensive affair. I found a witch who specializes in crafting gatestones. These magical pendants are used for traveling between dimensions. The bauble offered as a contest prize should take the winner to Avaline’s Trees. Keep in mind, gatestones are touchy things. It might not do anything at all. Or you might up in oblivion. Good luck with that. We’ll read about it in the papers, no doubt.

Elderstone Keys – What’s the big deal?

There is a house in New Gotham that is rumored to be haunted. No one has lived in it since the Great Depression, and no one can recall what its last occupants looked like, what they did for a living or where they went. Only one is fated to enter and learn its secrets. Anytime I host a contest, I give away keys to Elderstone. The person who collects ten of them is fated to own the house. Among their keys, they’ll have the mystical key that opens the door. (More information)

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bookreview

3.75Penguins
Quick Reasons: intriguing, entertaining takes on some well-known classics; vibrantly written, well-rounded characters; some awkward writing and grammatical mistakes; adorable, stubborn romance; whimsical, but a bit meandering plot-wise

Huge thanks to Greta Stone, Skeleton Key Publishing, and Xpresso Book Tours for sending me a free digital galley of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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So, okay. This was definitely an entertaining, intriguing read! The characters are vibrantly written and complex, each with their own defined struggles and inner demons. I really enjoyed being pulled along for this journey with Luca and Peter; their individual arcs and growths are only intensified when woven together, and I adored watching the transformation take place!

There’s a lot of the “oral narrative” vibe happening in this read, which I also really love. This being said, though, it felt as if the plot was a bit more meandering than anything. While there IS a story happening here, it seems to take place more in the background; we are, instead, at the whims of the characters, following blindly where they lead–which is in a lot of different directions at times. While this type of story-telling works for some journeys, I don’t feel it really did THIS journey much justice.

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The romance was slow-building but so super steamy, I was impatient for them to get past the walls entrapping them and just kiss already! And penguins, the fireworks when the walls finally got torn down?! I thought my kindle might go up in flames in my hands! It was a believable, endearing romance, and I loved watching them interact with and react to each other–and the world around them. There were, throughout, some awkward grammatical moments and missing words…but I was so caught up in the romance, I didn’t even care. Honestly, I was ALL ABOUT the love between these two.

This was a fascinating, whimsical read, and I adored every minute of the journey! The characters were vibrantly portrayed, the romance was believable and easy to root for, and the whole read had an air of the oral narrative to it. I definitely recommend this to lovers of the fantastical, to seekers of complex character arcs, and to those who adore whimsy. In this forest, the trees are purple and love abounds; step outside, won’t you?

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Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Review: Harmful Rush

 

Harmful Rush
(Remedy #3)

by Debra Doxer
Publication date: April 24th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

Harmful Rush is a standalone, full-length novel set in the Remedy world. You do not have to read the first two books to read this book.

Skylark Samuels has a secret.

She’s not a normal teenager, although she plays one in real life. Pretending to be something you’re not isn’t easy, especially in high school where gossip is gold. For years, Sky manages to hide her uniqueness, until one fateful day when she exposes her gift, her curse, and all her fears come to pass. Now instead of going to college near home like she planned, she has to leave town and go someplace where the rumors can’t follow. The plan when she gets there: keep to herself and stay under the radar.

But blending into the background is impossible when local heartthrob Dylan Parks notices her. Even though Sky keeps her distance and doesn’t act like one of Dylan’s adoring fans, he goes out of his way to talk to her. Her. The girl who wants to be invisible.

Sky isn’t immune to Dylan’s charm, but getting close to him is a bad idea. It goes against the promise she made to herself. Besides, if Dylan knew the truth, he wouldn’t want her. If he discovered her secret, he’d treat her differently and possibly fear her. It’s happened before. But the more Sky gets to know Dylan, the harder it is to resist him, until fate intervenes.

A tragic event forces Sky to reveal herself to the one person she’s come to care for, and his reaction is unexpected. For the first time, she doesn’t feel so alone. But what she doesn’t realize is that she’s never been alone. When she finally lets her guard down, someone comes along who threatens to unravel everything, because being normal was never Sky’s destiny.

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

 

Author Bio:

Debra Doxer was born in Boston, and other than a few lost years in the California sunshine, she has always resided in the Boston area. She writes fiction, technical software documents, illegible scribbles on sticky notes, and texts that get mangled by AutoCorrect. She writes for a living, and she writes for fun. When her daughter asks when she’ll run out of words, her response always is, “When I run out of time.”

Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


bookreview

3.5Penguins
Quick Reasons: just a bit of insta-love; interesting “coming of age/discovery of self” journey; I didn’t really connect with these characters; the romance was a bit unbelievable; the plot was intriguing and entertaining, but not filled with many answers

Huge thanks to Debra Doxer and Xpresso Book Tours for sending me a free digital galley of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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This was an interestingly bittersweet read for me. I became SUPER invested in the story pretty early on–the beginning of this hooked me, put me right into the action, and made me want to keep going. I wanted to know more–about Skylark, about her abilities, about the world around her and how such things came to be. Unfortunately, I felt a bit stiffed in terms of answers at the closing of this read–I don’t feel as if we really LEARNED much more about Sky than we start out already knowing, because she doesn’t come up with many answers on her journey either. It was a bit disappointing–I’d been hoping, I suppose, for a more complex story than the one I ended up being given.

That being said, this WAS an entertaining and thought-provoking read. While I didn’t necessarily feel a strong connection to the characters, I was also not wholly distanced from them–I cared about what happened, was rooting for them or disgusted by them in turn. I sat down to read this this afternoon, and finished it in a matter of a few short hours; the read is fast-paced and easy to fall into. I am intrigued by the world that I found myself residing in, and am interested in possibly picking up the other books in this series to see what else I’m missing out on. There’s a sense of…unfinished about this read, I guess–I’m not sure if the rest of the series holds the answers I seek, but I’m willing to at least try and find out.

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The romance was a bit of an insta-love moment, and parts of it felt disingenuous to me as a reader. While it’s realistic for the most part, I felt Skylark and Dylan moved a bit too quickly in other instances. I was, honestly, more invested in the romance between Trevor and Maggie. There was also a bit of a love triangle happening that I didn’t particularly care for. Still, Dylan and Sky were endearing and adorable in their own way, and I wouldn’t pass their romance off as wholly unrealistic.

Overall, I had a fun few hours stepping into this world, even though I feel like I was left with more questions than answers at the ending. The characters are complex and believable, and the romance only a little unrealistic. I’d recommend this read to lovers of fantasy, genetic quirks, and fast-paced plots. Duck and run, penguins; danger lurks in these pages!

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Book Tour and Review: The Married Girls

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Costeloe_THE MARRIED GIRLS The Married Girls
(The Girl with No Name #2)
by Diney Costeloe

Historical Fiction/Women’s Fiction
Head of Zeus Publishing
Publication Date: February 17th, 2017
420 Pages

BRAND NEW FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE SISTERS OF ST. CROIX, THE THROWAWAY CHILDREN AND THE GIRL WITH NO NAME.

Wynsdown, 1949. In the small Somerset village of Wynsdown, Charlotte Shepherd is happily married to farmer Billy. She arrived from Germany on the Kindertransport as a child during the war and now feels settled in her adopted home.

Meanwhile, the squire’s fighter pilot son, Felix, has returned to the village with a fiancée in tow. Daphne is beautiful, charming… and harbouring secrets. After meeting during the war, Felix knows some of Daphne’s past, but she has worked hard to conceal that which could unravel her carefully built life.

For Charlotte, too, a dangerous past is coming back in the shape of fellow refugee, bad boy Harry Black. Forever bound by their childhoods, Charlotte will always care for him, but Harry’s return disrupts the village quiet and it’s not long before gossip spreads.

The war may have ended, but for these girls, trouble is only just beginning.

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Costeloe 1_bwAbout the Author:

Encouraged by my publisher father, I have been writing all my life. When I was five, he took my first effort to his office and brought it back in a cardboard cover with the label, ‘Tom’s Party’written by Diney, published by Daddy. I’ve never looked back and always have some writing on the go. To date I have written 10 romantic novels under the name of Diney Delancey (I liked the shape of the name and it sounded like a romantic novelist) and four novels as Diney Costeloe. All are also in large print and several recently published as e-books.

See my reviews on Amazon and on my website, http://www.dineycosteloe.co.uk or http://castlehavenbooks.co.uk


bookreview

3.75Penguins
Quick Reasons: this book and I did not agree much; beautiful, evocative, atmospheric writing; I felt transported into the time period; realistic, flawed, but redeemable characters; the two main women seem to foil each other, almost; the juxtaposition was clever and well-done

Huge thanks to Diney Costeloe, Head of Zeus Publishing, and Netgalley for sending me a free digital galley of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

Okay, penguins, this might make me a terrible person, but… this book and I didn’t get along very well at all. I think the biggest issue was, I couldn’t find any ounce of CARE for these characters. While Charlotte was likable and her devotion to her family and husband obvious, she didn’t much leap off the page at me for a majority of the read. And Daphne… Well, to be honest, Daphne rubbed me the wrong way from the get-go. I wasn’t fond of her AT ALL–though looking back on it, I’m sure that might have been part of the point.

These two women, the married girls this story revolves around…they were cleverly and beautifully written foils. In fact, I found myself musing over their complete opposite-ness throughout most of the read. Diney Costeloe did a wonderful job of penning the two in different, individualized personalities…while still keeping them somewhat redeemable. Despite this, I unfortunately, as a reader, could not connect with either of them–I could not celebrate their victories or mourn their losses as I was hoping to going into this read.

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Still, the historical fiction aspect was well-written and transporting. I felt I’d taken a trip back in time and landed in this neighborhood to watch the events unfold. And as much as I disagreed with the book, I found myself intrigued regardless. There were small moments with Charlotte–seeing her with her kids, watching her interact with her husband, the strength she had hiding deep beneath her skin that flared in moments of upset–that made me admire her. There’s something to be said about the strength of a woman able to keep her head high in the midst of a flurry of rumors, like Charlotte does. Watching her confront the woman behind the rumors? was both entertaining and awe-inspiring for me.

So while I wouldn’t probably pick up another book in this particular series, I did find the adventure to be thought-provoking and emotionally challenging at times. I wish I had been more able to connect with the characters; they were written as such wonderfully complex foils, I feel I might have missed out just a little on something magical. I would recommend this to lovers of historical fiction, flawed but redeemable characters, and the exploration of human nature. This book transported me to a different time; maybe you should turn off the modern world and let it do the same for you!

9

Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Review: Forbidden Dance

 

Forbidden Dance
(Lover’s Dance, #1)

by Deanna Roy
Publication date: March 28th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

She was hidden from the world. Then he arrived.

An emotional new novel from six-time USA Today bestselling author Deanna Roy

For four years, I’ve lived in almost total seclusion. Homeschooled, forbidden from social media, seeing no one other than the dancers at Dreamcatcher Academy, where I teach ballet to little girls in wheelchairs.

Then Blitz arrives.

He’s the disgraced host of Dance Blitz, a bawdy reality show where Blitz sleeps with as many dancers as possible while looking for his perfect partner.

At least he was. A few weeks ago, he got kicked off his own show.

He’s at my academy for a publicity stunt, and my wheelchair ballerinas are his ticket back into the public’s good graces.

I intend to hate him and stay as far away as possible. But when he looks at me, I can’t resist. Before I realize what’s happened, we’re sneaking into back rooms, dancing, kissing, planning dates away from the cameras and the wrath of my family.

But I’m afraid. I have a secret at the academy, a small, wonderful, terrible secret, and if I stay with Blitz, the world will find out.

____________

Forbidden Dance is a full-length standalone HEA, although fans who fall in love with Blitz and Livia can continue the series to follow more of their love story

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iBooks

 

Author Bio:

Deanna Roy is the six-time USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction.

She is a passionate advocate for women who have lost babies. She has several books on the subject, including her bestseller FOREVER INNOCENT, a romance about a couple whose baby is taken off life support at seven days old.

She has run the website PregnancyLoss.Info for fifteen years, including many large spin-off support groups both online and in person.

To learn about new releases, sign up for her subscriber list at http://deannaroy.com/news. She has regular giveaways in conjunction with major pregnancy loss events.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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3.75Penguins
Quick Reasons: an unsolved mystery/plot hole; deliciously dramatic, believably human; I just cannot EVEN with that early plot twist; adorable, butterfly-inducing romance; steamy, sexy scenes; loved the addition of dance; cute, snarky banter

Huge thanks to Deanna Roy, Chasey Shay Press, and Xpresso Book Tours for sending me a free digital ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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Let’s start with the light and easy lifting first, shall we? These characters are SUPER adorable–especially together! I am, as I’m sure you all realize, a HUGE sucker for “bad boy turned good” stories. Unrealistic though this may be (I mean c’mon, a person only changes if THEY want to change) I find myself swooning on my penguin feet each time I run across this trope in my romances. I can’t help it, I suppose–I’m hopeless when it comes to love. BUT AS I WAS SAYING before I distracted myself… these characters are adorable and endearing and totally what I needed in a read like this. I loved falling in love with them, and contemplated more than once trying to shove myself into these pages to bask in the glory of their romance up-close and personal (I mean, seriously, who needs boundaries when love is involved?! Privacy?!?!?! What even IS that?! Let me just drool on you a little bit, okay?!)

The familial relationships were…interesting, to say the least. I was a bit confused, even at the end, about why her family–especially her father–reacted so harshly to her circumstances. It doesn’t make much sense to me that a grudge like this could be held onto for SO long–and with such determination! I mean, I get that perhaps her family at first would “crack down” on the rules a little and all, but…for four years?! To be holding on so hard?!?!?! When she’s older and officially an adult?!?!?! WHAT EVEN HAPPENED HERE?! It didn’t help that, in the end, I felt there was a bit of a plot loop or plot hole happening. We are told pretty early on WHY her family is so adamantly against her having a life…but…I don’t feel like we got the whole story. There seem to be moments where pieces almost fall into place…only to be ignored or shoved aside. Her father is pretty emotionally abusive and terrible throughout the entire read, but we’re never told exclusively what his problem really is. There were also hints that he somehow did something BEFORE “the issue” to upset the family, but…that’s also glossed over and not explained. Overall, I felt very confused about certain aspects of the backstory.

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The romance is believable and realistic, though, and made the butterflies dance in ALL the right places for this penguin reader (which is probably a bad thing. Have you seen penguins around butterflies?! It gets messy.) I fell in love with Blitz pretty early on, and adore the addition of dance into the drama. It made for a delicious, steamy, sexy love affair–and you all know how much I love my love, especially when it’s dramatic! The snark and sassy banter between the main duo was endearing and entertaining, to boot, which made this read even more enjoyable for this penguin’s fluttery heart.

This was, in the end, a dramatic, entertaining read…though a bit lacking on the answers front in certain instances. While I adored the main characters and their steamy love, I was a bit let down by the familial interactions and reactions. Livia has a TON of character growth throughout the journey, though, and I was tempted to applaud her when she finally stood up for herself and stopped backing down on what she wanted–you go, girl! I definitely recommend this to lovers of steamy contemporaries, complex and messy families, and realistic roMESSes. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for this duo in the future. Take your spot at the bar and point your toes, penguins; let the dance begin.

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My Viking Vampire: Lackluster Plot, Intriguing Characters

bookreview

My Viking Vampire (Sanctuary, Texas #1)

Bailey Ross’ world is crumbling around her. Her abusive ex, a human, is closing in on her again, and to make matters worse, a new enemy, a djinn, is stalking her. This supernatural being takes great pleasure in human pain, something Bailey has in excess thanks to her ex. If she’s caught by either, she’s as good as dead.

Backed into a corner and desperate to escape, she does something she swore wouldn’t ever be possible again –trusting a man. And he’s a vampire.

Protection via the sexy vampire Erick Thorson may prove to be a little more than she bargained for. Sparks fly between them and she finds herself agreeing to more than just protection. Though he has promised not to let anyone harm her, the small west Texas town is more than it seems and he may not be able to make good on his vow no matter how hard he tries.

Will Sanctuary be the home Bailey longs for or will she have to die to find out?

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Sanctuary, Texas #1
Paranormal / Romance / Fantasy
400 Pages
KS Publishing
Publication Date:  August 25th, 2014
Get a FREE copy here!

3Penguins
Quick Reasons: interesting premise; random POV shift at the very end?!; definite sense of insta-love; interesting exploration of BDSM and boundaries; some heavy, mature themes; the audiobook of this was entertaining and fun; intriguing, well-rounded characters

Okay, penguins. I am, once again, TRYING to read more books via my EARS and not my eyes. Therefore, this review will also include my thoughts on the audiobook, because…YAY audible listening!

Can I just take a moment to rant a little bit? Because… this book? Had a sudden POV shift at the very end, and it drove me absolutely BONKERS. Don’t get me wrong, okay. Sudden POV shifts are the best surprises ever sometimes–but…at the end of a book? Randomly? With seemingly no true purpose behind it? That just bothers me. In this instance, Erick’s POV I could have done without honestly. The language was different, his thoughts were a lot more…crude? and I just couldn’t get into his character. I’m not sure what it was, exactly, but something about him bugged me, and being thrust so suddenly into his head for only a few short pages did nothing for me but make my thoughts on this book drop a bit. It felt like Krystal Shannan switched up the language–made it harsher, more graphic, more crude–to make it fit her idea of what men think about…and that didn’t work for me. At all.

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Aside from that, I had fun listening to this audiobook! While the characters and plot felt a bit flat at times, there was plenty of action both in and out of the bedroom–though I admit I was much more into the action OUTSIDE of the bedroom than in it. Something about these characters just didn’t mesh well with me. Bailey, while scarred emotionally from an abusive past relationship, seemed TOO open–until it came to exploring BDSM. Erick, on the other hand… while his accent was sexy, I couldn’t get a real great sense of “him” from the read. This led to me not really being able to properly form a connection to the characters, or to truly believe them as a couple. Still, the read was entertaining, and Bailey had a few awesome moments of snark. A few of the other characters also stood out in my mind, and I’m curious to see if Krystal Shannan reintroduces them later in the series.

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I was a bit disappointed in the “insta-love” aspect of this read, though I suppose I should have expected it. Also, Bailey seemed like some sort of drug for the supernaturals–they all wanted her?! Which made close to zero sense to me, because…I mean…why would they all be fighting over ONE girl? The fact that she later has a sort of “special snowflake” destiny just irked me further. Authors, I promise, the world’s not going to end if your character isn’t the most perfect of perfect of perrrrrfect! The fact that there was very little explanation to or exploration of this theme in the book… Well, needless to say I sort of shoved that information to the back of my head until writing this review. So, yeah–that happened, too.

Overall, though, this was an entertaining book to listen to. There were some sort of steamy moments, I loved that BDSM was explored in a safe and consenting manner, and the characters were intriguing enough that I’m interested in picking up the next book in the series (which is good, because it’s already on my Kindle shelves). I’d recommend this to lovers of steamy reads, paranormal/supernatural elements, and a few heavy-handed subjects. This was a walk on the supernatural side, penguins; maybe you should see what the fuss is about!

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The Quest for Humanity: Slightly Confusing, though Intriguing, Narrative

bookreview

MUDMEN - The Quest For Humanity

What if you thought you could play a better god than God?

Mudmen is a story unlike anything you have ever seen before. It all starts with a half-crazed dwarf scribbling furiously on a piece of paper while the world outside his little cottage is ravaged by a great storm. There is an artifact in his possession which gives him power over all else, but that artifact is stolen by the very creatures that he gave birth to in his frustration – these creatures are what we come to know as the Mudmen.

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Mudmen #1
Science Fiction / Fantasy
88 Pages
Publication Date:  January 31st, 2017
Get a copy here!

3Penguins
Quick Reasons: intriguing, entertaining premise; I was a bit confused on some of the key aspects; definite feel of an “oral narrative”; this felt a little unfinished; I didn’t feel a sense of connection with the characters or the story

Huge thanks to Shitij Sharma for sending me a free galley of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

I have to admit, penguins–I was SUPER intrigued by the premise of this book. I thought there was perhaps a bit of something akin to Terry Pratchett happening here, and I was so excited for that. The idea of Mudmen, and of starting anew after the “cleansing” of the world, seemed like it might be right up my alley.

 

Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed with the execution in the end. As intrigued as I was by the premise and the stories being woven throughout, I felt at times that I was missing key pieces of information. I wasn’t able to “picture” what was happening–the scenery felt flat, the characters didn’t stand out or set themselves apart. There was something here, and I was intrigued…but I never really got the answers I wanted, either. I felt like I was thrown into the middle of a story that I should already have known the beginning of, instead of being taken on a journey.

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I was also unable to form any sort of connection to the characters or the adventure. There is quite a bit happening in this book, but I feel perhaps the timing of things was a bit off–instead of being able to take my time getting to know the characters and their quirks, figuring out where they were or what their goals were… I was thrust into the middle of a race to the finish. It felt rushed, in other words–instead of feeling as if I had all the information I needed for such a journey, I was left a bit confused and uncertain of what had just happened.

 

Still, the premise was intriguing, and I’m interested in the world that Shitij Sharma created for us. While I was confused about some of the finer world-building details, I loved the feel of “oral narrative” that was woven throughout the text, and would be interested in learning more about this world/these characters. I recommend this to lovers of origin stories, oral narratives, and interesting characters. Break out of your shells, penguins, and crack this journey open.

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Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Review: Secrets of a Reluctant Princess

SoaRPTour.png

soarp-coverSecrets of a Reluctant Princess
by Casey Griffin
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Blurb:

At Beverly Hills High, you have to be ruthless to survive…

Adrianna Bottom always wanted to be liked. But this wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. Now, she’s in the spotlight…and out of her geeky comfort zone. She’ll do whatever it takes to turn the rumor mill in her favor—even if it means keeping secrets. So far, it’s working.

Wear the right clothes. Say the right things. Be seen with the right people.

Kevin, the adorable sketch artist who shares her love of all things nerd, isn’t exactly the right people. But that doesn’t stop Adrianna from crushing on him. The only way she can spend time with him is in disguise, as Princess Andy, the masked girl he’s been LARPing with. If he found out who she really was, though, he’d hate her.

The rules have been set. The teams have their players. Game on.

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Purchase Links:

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N| Kobo | TBD | iBooks

casey-griffinAbout the Author:

Casey Griffin can often be found at comic conventions on her days off from her day job, driving 400 ton dump trucks in

Northern Alberta, Canada. As a jack of all trades with a resume boasting registered nurse, English teacher, and

photographer, books are her true passion. Casey is a 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel finalist, and is currently busy

writing every moment she can.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Giveaway Information: 

  • One (1) winner will receive a signed copy of Secrets of a Reluctant Princess + a Tiara!

Find the giveaway RIGHT HERE!


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3.75Penguins
Quick Reasons: Adrianna/Andy has a super entertaining, snarky, vibrantly-written voice; this was a roMESS if I’ve ever read one; that director is absolute slime; lots of angst and drama; the hilarious banter between the characters is SPOT ON; I could literally “see” each of these people in the pages

HUGE thanks to Casey Griffin, Entangled: Teen, Chapter by Chapter, and Netgalley for sending me a free digital ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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Hear ye, hear ye! On behalf of the Porcelain Princess (toilet thrones now 25% off at the door!) I present to you….my review! And what a grand thing it shall be, because… Wait, wait, cut. Okay, sorry penguins–my fingers got away from me. I just couldn’t help myself! But this is a great way to start off–because this book? FILLED with snark, attitude, and just the right amount of teenage drama and hysterics. Seriously, if you’re looking for an entertaining read with a HUGE personality, you need to pick up this one–I promise it won’t let you down!

Having skimmed a few other reviews on goodreads, I can tell you it seems a majority of the readerly population was a bit… put off? by Andy/Adrianna’s attitude and personality. HOWEVER…this was not the case on my end. I really enjoyed how snarky and strong-willed she is. While there were, admittedly, a few moments I cringed over (her decisions are, as the rest of humanity, rather flawed in some instances) I ADORED how much voice and spunk Casey Griffin managed to shove into each and every page. I found myself giggling aloud, dropping my jaw at some of the twists, and even raging alongside Andy as the world seemingly fell apart around her. I was thoroughly and immensely amused by her antics and her reactions to everything happening, and loved how much “growth” I saw in her throughout the read.

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The plot is fairly predictable in some places–I mean, it IS a YA Contemporary Romance, after all. There are bound to be a few tropes and cliches along the way, right? But Casey Griffin managed to tell this story in a unique and inventive way, in my opinion–the “Bathroom Business” and ensuing reality TV show turned roadside disaster made this a quick, entertaining read. The focus on “being true to yourself” really helped to tie the story together in a seamless, engaging way, as well.

In the end, I proclaim this an enthralling, snarky, angsty read! I cannot wait to see what Casey Griffin delivers in the future–the amount of unique voice and personality she packed into these pages has me begging my liege for more. If you’re seeking a quick, witty read with a ton of attitude, look no further than this one! Just promise not to drop it in the toilet, okay? Soggy pages are not good for reading.

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9

Pixie and the Green Book Mystery: Fast-Paced and Entertaining

bookreview

Pixie And The Green Book Mystery (Pixie Book Mystery 1)

Just like in the Never Ending Story, you’ll leap into a magical book filled with unforgettable characters on a quest to save their stories.

Pixie’s school day is an apple disaster, but a trip to the library changes everything. Fairytales have come to life out of their books and danger is lurking. It’s up to our book loving hero to get them out of the mysterious green book and back into their stories. The clock is ticking. Tick! Tock!

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Pixie Book Mystery #1
Children’s Books / Chapter Books / Fantasy
Wonder Bay Publishing
Publication Date:  November 19th, 2016
Get a copy here!

3.75Penguins
Quick Reasons: adorable, quick, light read; the pace is fast, but believable; love the play on fairy tales; interesting, unique characters; this book promises and delivers HUGE fun; I chuckled several times; even the easily-bored little readers will settle into this quickly

Huge thanks to Coraline Grace and Wonder Bay Publishing for sending me a free digital copy of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

 

This was a super cute, entertaining, fast-paced chapter book. I was sucked into the story from page one and kept enthralled throughout. There were several moments I even found myself giggling to myself, as the antics of some of the characters were so amusing. The action is pretty fast-paced, and while it seems that a LOT of things happen in a small amount of time, in the end it is also fairly believable–after all, the events take place (for the most part) in a quick trip to the library, and therefore happen in a very short sequence. This didn’t bother me, though; while a lot happens, it is in no way overwhelming, and I followed the story line very easily.

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Pixie and the cast of characters she meets in these pages are strong-willed and independent. I really enjoyed the way Coraline Grace played with fairy tales; the introduction of the Book Guardian brought about a sense of drama and mystery, and enabled her to explore options she might not have been in regards to “changing” the stories the way that this book does.

 

I had a TON of fun diving into this short chapter book, and am intrigued with how the rest of the series will unfold. The plot is fast-paced but believable, the characters are unique and entertaining, and I am so glad to have been given the chance to pick this book up! If you’ve a young reader who is easily bored or distracted in your life, you should try this book–it’s a wild, entertaining ride from start to finish, and is bound to capture even the most fussy of book penguins! The Green Book Mystery is taking over a library near you, penguins; how will the fairy tales YOU adore be changed? You’ll have to read this series to find out!

4

Blog Tour, Excerpt, Giveaway, and Review: A Ghostly Mortality

A Ghostly Mortality

by Tonya Kappes

on Tour February 28 – March 30, 2017

Synopsis:

A Ghostly Mortality

That ghost sure looks . . . familiar

Only a handful of people know that Emma Lee Raines, proprietor of a small-town Kentucky funeral home, is a “Betweener.” She helps ghosts stuck between here and the ever-after—murdered ghosts. Once Emma Lee gets them justice they can cross over to the great beyond.

But Emma Lee’s own sister refuses to believe in her special ability. In fact, the Raines sisters have barely gotten along since Charlotte Rae left the family business for the competition. After a doozy of an argument, Emma Lee is relieved to see Charlotte Rae back home to make nice. Until she realizes her usually snorting, sarcastic, family-ditching sister is a… ghost.

Charlotte Rae has no earthly idea who murdered her or why. With her heart in tatters, Emma Lee relies more than ever on her sexy beau, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross…because this time, catching a killer means the Raines sisters will have to make peace with each other first.

Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Mystery, Paranormal

Published by: Witness

Publication Date: February 28th 2017

Number of Pages: 336

ISBN: 0062466976 (ISBN13: 9780062466976)

Series: Ghostly Southern Mysteries #6

Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Read an excerpt:

Lawdy bee.” Granny scooted to the edge of the chair and lifted her arms in the air like she was worshiping in the Sunday morning service at Sleepy Hollow Baptist and the spirit just got put in her.

I sucked in a deep breath, preparing myself for whatever was going to come out of Zula Fae Raines Payne’s mouth, my granny. She was a ball of southern spitfire in her five-foot-four-inch frame topped off with bright red hair that I wasn’t sure was real or out of a L’Oréal bottle she’d gotten down at the Buy-N-Fly.

“Please, please, please,” she begged. “Let me die before anything happens to Emma Lee.” Her body slid down the fancy, high-back mahogany leather chair as she fell to her knees with her hands clasped together, bringing them back up in the air as she pleaded to the Big Guy in the sky. “I’m begging you.”

“Are you nuts?” My voice faded to a hushed stillness. I glanced back at the closed door of my sister’s new office, in fear she was going to walk in and see Granny acting up. I sat in the other fancy, high-back mahogany leather chair next to Granny’s and grabbed her by the loose skin of her underarm. “Get back up on this chair before Charlotte Rae gets back in here and sees you acting like a fool.”

“What?” Granny quirked her eyebrows questioningly as if her behavior was normal. My head dropped along with my jaw in the “are you kidding me” look.

“Well, I ain’t lying!” She spat, “I do hope and pray you are the granddaughter that will be doing my funeral, unless you get a flare up of the ‘Funeral Trauma.’ ” She sucked in a deep breath and got up off her knees. She ran her bony fingers down the front of her cream sweater to smooth out any wrinkles so she’d be presentable like a good southern woman, forgetting she was just on her knees begging for mercy.

“Flare up?” I sighed with exasperation. “It’s not like arthritis.”

The “Funeral Trauma.” It was true. I was diagnosed with the “Funeral Trauma” after a decorative plastic Santa fell off the roof of Artie’s Meat and Deli, knocking me flat out cold and now I could see dead people. I had told Doc Clyde I was having some sort of hallucinations and seeing dead people, but he insisted I had been in the funeral business a little too long and seeing corpses all of my life had brought on the trauma. Truthfully, the Santa had given me a gift. Not a gift you’d expect Santa to give you, but it was the gift of seeing clients of Eternal Slumber, my family’s funeral home business where I was the undertaker. Some family business. Anyway, a psychic told me I was now a Betweener. I helped people who were stuck between here and the ever after. The Great Beyond. The Big Guy in the sky. One catch . . . the dead people I saw were murdered and they needed me to help them solve their murder before they could cross over.

“I’m fine,” I huffed and took the pamphlet off of Charlotte Rae’s desk, keeping my gift to myself. The only people who knew were me, the psychic and Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, my hot, hunky and sexy boyfriend. He was as handy as a pocket on a shirt when it came time for me to find a killer when a ghost was following me around. “We are here to get her to sign my papers and talk about this sideboard issue once and for all.” Granny stared at me.

My head slid forward like a turtle and I popped my eyes open.

“I’m fine,” I said through closed teeth.

“You are not fine.” Granny rolled her eyes so big, I swear she probably hurt herself. “People are still going around talking about how you talk to yourself.” She shook her finger at me. “If you don’t watch it, you are going to be committed. Surrounded by padded walls. Then—She jabbed her finger on my arm. I swatted her away with the pamphlet.

“Charlotte Rae will have full control over my dead body and I don’t want someone celebrating a wedding while I lay corpse in the next room. Lawdy bee,” Granny griped. I opened the pamphlet and tried to ignore Granny as best I could.

“Do you hear me, Emma Lee?” Granny asked. I could feel her beady eyes boring into me.

“Don’t you be disrespecting your elders. I asked you a question,” she warned when I didn’t immediately answer her question.

“Granny.” I placed the brochure in my lap and reminded myself to remain calm. Something I did often when it came to my granny. “I hear you. Don’t you worry about a thing. By the time you get ready to die, they will have you in the nut-house alongside me,” I joked, knowing it would get her goat. The door flung open and the click of Charlotte Rae’s high-dollar heels tapped the hardwood floor as she sashayed her way back into her office. The soft linen green suit complemented Charlotte’s sparkly green eyes and the chocolate scarf that was neatly tied around her neck. It was the perfect shade of brown to go with her long red hair and pale skin.

“I’m so sorry about that.” She stopped next to our chairs and looked between me and Granny. She shook the long, loose curls over her shoulders. “What? What is wrong, now?”

“Granny is all worried I’m going to get sent away to the nuthouse and you are going to lay her out here.” The words tumbled out of my mouth before I could stop them. Or did my subconscious take over my mouth? It was always a competition between me and Charlotte, only it was one-sided. Mine. Charlotte never viewed me as competition because she railroaded me all my life. Like now. She’d left Eternal Slumber with zero guilt, leaving me in charge so she could make more money at Hardgrove’s Legacy Center, formerly known as Hardgrove’s Funeral Homes until they got too big for their britches and decided to host every life event possible just to make more money.

Excerpt from A Ghostly Mortality by Tonya Kappes. Copyright © 2017 by Tonya Kappes. Reproduced with permission from Witness. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Tonya KappesTonya Kappes has written more than fifteen novels and four novellas, all of which have graced numerous bestseller lists including USA Today. Best known for stories charged with emotion and humor and filled with flawed characters, her novels have garnered reader praise and glowing critical reviews. She lives with her husband, two very spoiled schnauzers, and one ex-stray cat in northern Kentucky. Now that her boys are teenagers, Tonya writes full-time but can be found at all of her guys’ high school games with a pencil and paper in hand.

Catch Up with Tonya Kappes on her Website 🔗, Twitter 🔗,
& Facebook 🔗

 

Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Tonya Kappes and Witness Impulse. There will be 1 US winner of one PRINTED set of The Ghostly Southern Mysteries #1-6 by Tonya Kappes. The giveaway begins on February 27th and runs through April 2nd, 2017.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours


bookreview

 

3.5Penguins
Quick Reasons: I was a tiny bit confused about some plot things; entertaining, snarky, head-strong character; love the setting and dialect; love that a loose end played on throughout is used as a mini introduction to the next book; I might just have to pick up the rest of this series!

Huge thanks to Tonya Kappes, Witness Publishing, Partners in Crime Tours, and Edelweiss for sending me a free digital copy of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

 

First things first: I went into this book KNOWING I hadn’t read any of the previous books in the series. I knew, going in, that this might potentially lead to some confusion about the world and/or characters. I warned myself the confusion might, at times, be more than anticipated. So I wasn’t blind or oblivious to the fact that there might, reading this, be problems waiting for me. This being said… I was pleasantly surprised when I managed to get through most of this read without a hitch! While some past events went unexplained or were left up to me to figure out for myself (the relationship between Emma Lee and Jack Henry, for instance)–I was able to piece them together fairly easily, and remain convinced of the world and characters. Of course, there was still a little bit of confusion about certain things…but in the end, I was able to dive into this story and remain curious and enthralled throughout. This basically boils down to this for potential readers: while I still recommend starting at the beginning (because I’m usually that type of reader) you could pretty easily slip into the story later on if you want or need to.

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The characters are realistic and entertaining. Emma Lee was a snarky and head-strong character throughout the read; not once did she allow anyone to talk down to her, or sway her mind once she’d set it, or tell her what to do. I really loved following her on her ventures to find her sister’s killer–while it’s clear from the get-go that she’s not a professional detective or cop, she made the journey quick and fun. The moments with her sister were mixed parts aggravating, endearing, and totally believable; the moments with Granny, who’s a spitfire all her own, were both hilarious and heart-wrenching.

 

I had such a fun time following the clues in this murder-mystery, I’m considering picking up the rest of the series (and starting from the beginning this time)! This was an entertaining, snarky, believable read with some wild and head-strong characters. I recommend this to lovers of cozy mysteries, sleuthy characters, and small towns with big hearts. Follow the clues, penguins, and see if you can figure out who the killer is before the big reveal! I promise you’ll be just as surprised as I was!

2

Piper Perish: Poisonous Family Dynamics, Open-Ended Ending

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Piper Perish

Piper Perish inhales air and exhales art. The sooner she and her best friends can get out of Houston and into art school in New York City, the better. It’s been Piper’s dream her whole life, and now that senior year is halfway over, she’s never felt more ready. But in the final months before graduation, things are weird with her friends and stressful with three different guys, and Piper’s sister’s tyrannical mental state seems to thwart every attempt at happiness for the close-knit Perish family. Piper’s art just might be enough to get her out. But is she brave enough to seize that power, even if it means giving up what she’s always known? Debut author Kayla Cagan breathes new life into fiction in this ridiculously compelling, utterly authentic work featuring interior art from Rookie magazine illustrator Maria Ines Gul. Piper will have readers asking big questions along with her. What is love? What is friendship? What is family? What is home? And who is a person when she’s missing any one of these things?

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Contemporary / YA / LGBTQIA+
Chronicle Books
Publication Date:  March 7th, 2017
Get a copy here!

3.5Penguins
Quick Reasons: realistic and true-to-life; I LOVE how open-ended the ending is; an interesting glimpse into family dynamics and sibling rivalries; a focus on opportunity, self-preservation, and personal sacrifice; Piper has an entertaining, strong voice, but she comes off a bit unreliable at times

Huge thanks to Kayla Cagan, Chronicle Books Publishing, and Netgalley for granting me free early access to an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

 

The first thing you need to know about this book: it’s written in diary form. Therefore, the only perspective we get is Piper’s–and while I adored how strong and unique her voice is throughout this novel, I also struggled a bit with seeing the world through her eyes. Don’t get me wrong–single perspective reads are not in any way a bad thing! However, Piper’s perspective is (as to be expected, with diary entries) very biased. A couple of times, I found myself wondering if she was more unreliable than honest. You know that saying, “there’s three sides to every story. His, hers, and the truth.” ? I felt it applied to a lot of this book, when perhaps it shouldn’t have.

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I really enjoyed the different themes that Kayla Cagan explored, though! One of the biggest focuses, sibling rivalry, was a new one for me to encounter in YA, and it was beautifully done. Growing up with a TON of half-siblings and one younger brother, I know just how volatile and dramatic such relationships can be. They are, at times, downright caustic. When you add in pregnancy and the additional hormones that come with it, it’s pretty easy to believe in Marli’s terrifying unpredictability.

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In fact, the entire family dynamic was never once sugar-coated or glossed over. Kayla Cagan did an awesome job of asking the right questions, and then employing the answers in ways that shifted the plot and changed my perspective as a reader. Both parents are fully present and realistically flawed, acting and reacting in predictable AND surprising ways. After all, who hasn’t done or said something out of character when stressed? Unlike a lot of YA reads with missing or “side-note” parents, I felt as if I got to know Piper’s mom and dad as fully as I did Piper and Marli. I felt as if all these characters came to life for me, honestly–and that’s a hard thing to do in writing, to make each character feel individualized and equally vibrant.

 

In the end, this was an entertaining and thought-provoking read. There are tons of moments filled with teen angst, family drama, and abstract philosophies or ideas. It is, at times, difficult to put yourself in Piper’s shoes and understand where she’s coming from. Marli is, throughout, downright terrifying–and, at times, emotionally abusive. Still, each character feels fleshed out and unique, and the ending is open-ended enough to let readers continue the story on their own, if they want. I recommend this to lovers of contemporary fiction, “differing” family dynamics, and the exploration of abstract ideas/human nature. This was an interesting read; I’ll be keeping my eyes open for the next project Kayla Cagan tackles.