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Book Blitz, Excerpt, Teasers, and Giveaway: Lady of Sherwood

 

Lady of Sherwood
(Outlaws of Sherwood #1)

by Molly Bilinski
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 24th 2017
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult

Robin of Lockesly was neither the son her father wanted, nor the daughter her mother expected. When she refuses an arranged marriage to a harsh and cruel knight, the deadly events that follow change her destiny forever.

After a night of tragedy, Robin and the few remaining survivors flee to Nottingham. With a newfound anonymity, they start to live different lives. There, she and her band make mischief, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. But charity isn’t the only thing she wants–she wants revenge.

As the sheriff draws his net closer, Robin’s choices begin to haunt her. She’ll have to choose between what’s lawful and what her conscience believes is right–all while staying one step ahead of the hangman.

Lady of Sherwood is a unique young adult retelling of the beloved Robin Hood legend. Filled with action and romance, this new series follows a teenage heroine through her fantastic, yet dangerous adventures.

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EXCERPT:

Other girls—some of the youngest ones from the kitchen—came from the brush. Smoke clung to them like a shroud, and tears had run in rivers down soot-stained cheeks. Ginny, the youngest at six, ran to Jemma and attached herself like a limpet to the older girl’s legs.

“Where is everyone else?” Robin asked, glancing between them and then back at the flaming manor. “Where is—where’s—” Her face heated even as the rest of her body grew chilled, and she stuffed her first in her mouth to muffle her scream.

“We are the only ones.”

Robin looked up at Kitty, surprised to find herself on her knees in the damp grass. She curled her shaking fingers into fists, and then rested them on her thighs. “How—what happened?”

“That man,” the girl went on, absently twisting her skirt in her hands. “The one who’d been courting you… he came for you in the night. When he couldn’t find you, he gathered everyone in the great hall.”

“Except you lot?” Jemma inquired.

“He was hurting her.” Kitty’s eyes took on a glossy quality. “He had Maggie by the hair, and he was hurting her. She had Ginny behind her, protecting her. I—I hit him over the head with a candle stand.”

“We went through the old tunnel,” another voice piped up. Maggie slipped her hand into Kitty’s. “Me and Kitty and Ginny.”

“And my—my mother?” Robin took a deep, shuddering breath.

“She kept her secret. We heard ‘im, shouting. He wanted to know where you was.” Ginny, this time. She wandered away from Jemma, and Robin opened her arms for her to nestle into. She’d helped Jemma look after the younger servants on the sly for years. Whether they’d been orphaned at birth or left to the streets, Jemma had brought them each back to the manor, and she’d given them a home and a hope the rest of the world didn’t offer. “She didn’t tell, Robin. She didn’t tell him where you was.”

“I heard Charlotte say you were gone,” Maggie said quietly. “She’d gone to your mother’s chambers to tell her. Miss Jemma was gone, too, and so was your bow.” She shrugged, a delicate lift of her shoulders. “We all thought you had gone to the field.”

“And she said nothing?” Robin’s heart beat hard against her ribcage.

“Lady was very brave,” Ginny murmured.

“She was,” Robin agreed. “Like you are. You all.” She looked at each of the other girls, who stared back, clearly waiting.

It hit her then—they were waiting for her. With the only survivors of the manor in front of her, and her mother dead—God rest her soul, God hold them all in His hand—it occurred to her in that moment. She was the Lady of Lockesly.

Lady of Sherwood Teaser 3

Author Bio:

Molly is a 2013 graduate of William Smith College with a bachelors in chemistry. She puts her science powers to use by day and is a novelist by night (and weekend…and any five minutes she can find). When she’s not writing or working, she’s

scoping out coffee shops, exploring her new city (Buffalo, NY), taking day trips to Canada, and putting together puzzles.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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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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Netherfield Prep: There’s More to This than Pride and Prejudice

bookreview

Netherfield Prep

YA / Retellings / Romance / Contemporary
580 Pages
Sleeping Dragon Books
Publication Date:  April 6th, 2017
Get a copy here!

 

A modern reimagining of Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’.

When Lily Brewer’s mum dies, she’s shipped to the other side of the world to her step-sisters’ pompous English boarding school, Netherfield.

There, she meets Austin Cooper. Arrogant as hell but with abs to die for, Austin soon becomes the bane of her existence.

His twin brother, Jax, is the complete opposite. Kind and sweet, Jax soon strikes up a thing with Lily’s roommate, Anne.

Austin, though seems keen to keep them apart.

Will pride and prejudice ruin them all?

Or, will love win the day?

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4.5Penguins
Quick Reasons: P&P Retelling for the win!; I mean really, do I need any other reason to adore this?!; the characters are superbly individualized, with enough hints at the original to keep them straight in my mind; lovelovelove the modern day boarding school setting; a lot of weird comma usage?

Huge thanks to Elizabeth Stevens and Sleeping Dragon Books 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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Be still, MY beating heart! I know what you’re all thinking. “Really, Beth?! ANOTHER P&P retelling?! Haven’t you read enough of those yet?!?!?!?!” And the answer is….NEVER. I can never ever ever read enough P&P retellings for it to get old, so….get used to it and suck it up, beakers. You’ll be seeing a lot more of them to come; they’re here to stay! They’ve lugged their many suitcases out of the car, dragged them up the stairs, and perched themselves on my shelves –both the physical and the digital ones– in pretty little rows. They’re not going anywhere…except maybe to work with me, tucked into my purse.

That being said. Elizabeth Stevens brought a hint of the new along with the classic in this modern-day retelling, and I absolutely ADORED every step of the journey! The characters have all been given different names. The relationships in a lot of instances have been changed–for instance, not all of the Bennet sisters are ACTUAL sisters in this version. I adored how out of the box and creative Elizabeth Stevens decided to be with these characters; she gave them all such vibrant, loud personalities, while still maintaining the integrity of the original characters. It was both a refreshing change and a beautiful nod to the original content, I’m super impressed.

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There was, throughout, a weird issue with commas in random or wrong places that sort of broke me out of suspended disbelief…but these were such minor and easy to forget issues, I didn’t have trouble quickly falling back into the story and following the flow of the plot. In fact, I got rather used to the awkward comma placement, and learned how to ignore it whenever they popped up. The plot, the characters, and the entertainment were more than enough to make up for such a small grammatical problem, it didn’t subtract from my enjoyment of the read at all!

This was a super adorable, entertaining, modern-day P&P retelling and I will be on the lookout for more of Elizabeth Stevens’ works in the coming future. The characters are vibrantly written and imbued with their own unique quirks…while still maintaining enough of the original characters for readers to tell who’s meant to be whom. I definitely recommend this to lovers of Pride and Prejudice, boarding school romances, and bad-boys turned “good.” Don’t pass this ball down the field, penguins; run with it and score!

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Book Blitz, Excerpt, Teasers, Playlist, and Giveaway: Ensnared

 

Ensnared
by Rita Stradling
Publication date: May 23rd 2017
Genres: New Adult, Science Fiction

A Near Future Retelling of Beauty and the Beast

Alainn’s father is not a bad man. He’s a genius and an inventor. When he’s hired to create the robot Rose, Alainn knows taking the money is a mistake.

Rose acts like a human. She looks exactly like Alainn. But, something in her comes out wrong.

To save her father from a five year prison sentence, Alainn takes Rose’s place. She says goodbye to the sun and goes to live in a tower no human is allowed to enter. She becomes the prisoner of a man no human is allowed to see.

Believing that a life of servitude lies ahead, Alainn finds a very different fate awaits her in the company of the strange, scarred recluse.

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Playlist:

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EXCERPT:

December 2, 2026

Alainn woke knowing someone was in her room.

Whoever it was sat behind her. Quiet, even breaths rasped through the air. Alainn’s eyelids peeked open. Moonlight cast a grayish glow, cutting deep shadows into the space around her bed.

“Good morning, Alainn,” Rose said in a quiet voice. When Alainn didn’t respond, Rose said, “I can tell from the change in your breathing pattern that you are awake.”

“Rose?” she whispered, not quite ready to let out a sigh of relief. Alainn twisted to look at her. “What are you doing here? Did you break my lock?”

“I picked it,” she said. “It is now locked again.”

“Oh, uh—” Her heart pounded in her chest; she sat up and faced the robot. “Why—why would you do that?”

The moonlight lit half of Rose’s face as she watched Alainn, expressionless. “Do not be alarmed. You are obviously having a fear reaction, but I was simply waiting for you to wake up.”

“Don’t you need to sleep—recharge?”

Now that Alainn faced Rose, she smelled the faint odor of her exhaust. Rose continuously exhaled the lightest tang of something sweet and acidic. The air in the room felt used, like a plane cabin after a cross-country flight.

“I was not completely forthcoming with you today. While what I said was true, I have for a time now believed that having Father imprisoned would impede my potential. While I have far surpassed his skills in software, there are times when I need assistance. I am limited by my need to stay near my charging station. Your brother is often absent for days at a time—and you, months.”

“Okay, wait—you’re going to go tomorrow?” Alainn scooted forward on the bed. A dormant hope resurged through her. Alainn would do anything—she’d worship at the robot’s feet if Rose agreed to go.

“No, you are going to go tomorrow.”

Alainn froze, staring at Rose. “What?” she whispered.

“I have calculated one way in which all parties can achieve their desires.”

“I’m sorry—I’m not understanding.” Alainn shook her head. A hard knot formed in her stomach.

“I am not surprised.” Rose reached out to pat Alainn’s hand. “You are not as intelligent as the rest of your family.”

“Spell it out in really simple terms, then.” She just managed to not growl the words at Rose.

Slowly, Rose looked up to the ceiling, moonlight slashing up the curve of her neck, her chin, and the line of her nose. “Earlier tonight, I arranged for you to be picked up by Mr. Garbhan through e-mail, writing as if I was Father. In one hour, a car will arrive outside to take you to his building. I have designed and created hardware for your body. If you are scanned, a chip in the hardware will communicate to the scanners that you have an organic circuitry system rather than a human brain.”

Alainn shook her head, hoping to dislodge some of the grogginess there. “I’m still not following—you’re saying you want me to pretend to be you and turn myself over? That you already arranged it?”

“Yes, you are following. That is exactly what I am saying.”

“I—I—” Alainn shook her head again. The air thinned around her.

“I have a working plan for the transplanting. You can assimilate easily into a life of servitude as you are already accustomed to the labor you will be asked to perform.” Rose lifted a hand, ghostly gray in the low light, and ticked off the chores on her fingers. “Cooking, housekeeping, and bookkeeping. Unless . . . is your concern that he might use you for sexual gratification?”

“What? No.”

“I believe that this would be a particular concern of yours.”

“I never even considered that he would do that to you—I, of all people, would never have tried to push you into going if I thought you’d be used that way.” Alainn blinked furiously. “Rose, do you really think that I would have let myself be the model when my

dad printed your face and body if I thought Mr. Garbhan was going to do that to you?”

“It is highly unlikely that I was designed for this function. I have also been assured that there were documents signed to that effect addressed to Father.”

Alainn held out her palms to Rose. “Rose, it’s not just that. I can’t take your place. There’s no way that would work . . . and I can’t live in that tower for the rest of my life. I’m a human. I know that probably sounds callous to you, but you were created to not need sunshine and fresh air. And you don’t need exercise. Humans need those things, me especially. Everything I am,” she touched her chest, “is centered on being in the outdoors.”

“The duration will be seven to fourteen days, no longer.” Her head swung down, causing shadows to swallow her eyes. Two black hollows focused on Alainn. “When Mr. Garbhan pays Father, he and I will make the Rosette model; this process should only take a week, unless there are complications. And then I will devise a way to switch you with the new model.”

 

Author Bio:

Rita Stradling is the author of The Deception Dance series, the Dakota Kekoa series and The Fourteen Day Soul Detox Novella Serial. She has a BA in Art History and a particular love for modern and medieval art.

Rita lives with her husband and son in Northern California.

She has an insatiable novel addiction and mostly reads young adult and adult: romance, paranormal, urban fantasy and high fantasy.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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Book Blitz, Goodies, Teasers, and Giveaway: Bellamy and the Brute

 

Bellamy and The Brute
Alicia Michaels
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: March 13th 2017
Genres: Fairy Tales, Retelling, Young Adult

A fresh twist on a classic story, Bellamy and the Brute proves true love really is blind.

When Bellamy McGuire is offered a summer job babysitting for the wealthy Baldwin family, she’s reluctant to accept. After all, everyone in town knows about the mysterious happenings at the mansion on the hill—including the sudden disappearance of the Baldwin’s eldest son, Tate. The former football star and golden boy of Wellhollow Springs became a hermit at the age of sixteen, and no one has seen or heard from him since. Rumors abound as to why, with whisperings about a strange illness—one that causes deformity and turned him into a real-life monster. Bellamy wants to dismiss these rumors as gossip, but when she’s told that if she takes the job, she must promise to never, ever visit the third floor of the mansion, she begins to wonder if there really is some dark truth hidden there.

Tate’s condition may not be the only secret being kept at Baldwin House. There are gaps in the family’s financial history that don’t add up, and surprising connections with unscrupulous characters. At night there are strange noises, unexplained cold drafts, and the electricity cuts out. And then there are the rose petals on the staircase. The rose petals that no one but Bellamy seems to be able to see. The rose petals that form a trail leading right up to the 3 rd floor, past the portrait of a handsome young man, and down a dark hallway where she promised she would never, ever go…

As Bellamy works to unravel the mysteries of Baldwin House and uncover the truth about Tate, she realizes that she is in way over her head… in more ways than one. Can her bravery and determination help to right the wrongs of the past and free the young man whose story has captured her heart?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

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10 Things I Love About Beauty and the Beast

Boy meets girl. Boy is a total jerk (and a bit of an animal). Girl looks deeper to see that boy isn’t what he seems. Boy resists at first, but girl is too kind and inwardly beautiful … boy falls in love with girl. Girl realizes she loves boy even though he’s a beast.

The tale is a classic one, and the concept of a beauty falling in love with a beast, despite his falls, one that we can all identify with. There’s a reason that the tale of Beauty and the Beast continues to be retold through the ages. Something about it makes us believe in true love … because if Belle can learn to love the Beast, then it truly must be real … as well as undiscriminating.

In honor of the release of Bellamy and the Brute, as well as the movie remake of Beauty and the Beast, here are 10 things I love about one of my favorite movies of all time.

10. Gaston. Okay, so I know he’s the villain, and we’re supposed to hate the bad guy. But hear me out. Gaston is one of my favorite Disney villains, because you really don’t see him coming. Most bad guys make themselves known as the antagonists from the jump … they hate the hero or heroine for (fill in the blank) reason, and want to destroy them. But, really, all Gaston wants is for Belle to recognize his perfection. What starts off as a seemingly stupid and harmless annoyance, becomes dangerous by the time all is said and done. I think it’s a testament to how villains are made in real life … ignorance that gains strength over time.

9. The Music. Because, who doesn’t sing along to ‘Be Our Guest’ or cry when they hear ‘Beauty and the Beast’ In a movie like Beauty and the Beast, the music must be acknowledged, and these songs are truly iconic.

8. Maurice (Bell’s Dad). Because he was just so darn loveable and I couldn’t help but see a bit of my own father in him. I just wanted to give him a big ole hug!

7. Mrs. Potts. Because Angela Lansbury (voice of Mrs. Potts) is an angel from heaven and her rendition of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ brings tears to my eyes. Every. Time.

6. Beast’s House & Library. Sure, the castle of the beast is presented as sort of sinister when Belle first approaches. But, as an adult, I can’t help but watch the movie again and appreciate the architecture, as well as the décor and furniture. And that library? Yasssss!

5. Bell’s iconic yellow/gold gown. Because I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t wrap bedsheets around myself and twirl around pretending to wear that beautiful ball gown. Easily THE most iconic princess outfit of them all. Yes, more iconic than Cinderella’s. Sorry, Cinders.

4. The scene where all the talking furniture goes against Gaston and his gang. This was one of the most epic battles of Disney history, and possibly the funniest. The part where the talking armoire leaps down to crush someone while emitting an opera-like cry? Comedic gold, I tell ya!

3. The Waltz. One of the most romantic things I’ve ever seen was Belle and Beast waltzing in that beautiful ballroom. Le, sigh!

2. Belle. What’s not to like about a strong, smart heroine. Belle wasn’t just beautiful on the outside. She was truly kind and generous, while also reminding the people around her that she wasn’t to be trifled with. Gaston, especially. She was not weakling, and she checked Gaston on his B.S. every chance she got. Plus, she was a bookworm, giving me someone to relate to as a kid, being the girl with her nose always in a book and all.

1. Lumiere and Cogsworth. We all know the movie is about Belle and Beast and their epic romance … but I have to say I was also really into the bromance between a talking candlestick and talking clock. The banter, the arguing, the working together to get their mutual friend a girlfriend so they could all be human again … let’s keep it real. Those two were the real MVPs of Beauty and the Beast.

 

Author Bio:

Ever since she first read books like Chronicles of Narnia or Goosebumps, Alicia has been a lover of mind-bending fiction. Wherever imagination takes her, she is more than happy to call that place her home. With several Fantasy and Science Fiction titles under her belt, Alicia strives to write multicultural characters and stories that touch the heart. V-Card, the first book of the Sharing Spaces series, was her first Contemporary Romance.

The mother of three and wife to a soldier, she loves chocolate, coffee, and of course good books. When not writing, you can usually find her with her nose in a book, shopping for shoes and fabulous jewelry, or spending time with her loving family.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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My Fairy Godmother is a Drag Queen: A Snarky Reinvention of a Well-Loved Fairy Tale

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My Fairy Godmother Is a Drag Queen

Chris Bellows is just trying to get through high school and survive being the only stepchild in the social-climbing Fontaine family, whose recently diminished fortune hasn’t dimmed their desire to mingle with Upper East Side society. Chris sometimes feels more like a maid than part of the family. But when Chris’s stepsister Kimberly begins dating golden boy J. J. Kennerly, heir to a political dynasty, everything changes. Because Chris and J. J. fall in love . . . with each other.

With the help of a new friend, Coco Chanel Jones, Chris learns to be comfortable in his own skin, let himself fall in love and be loved, and discovers that maybe he was wrong about his step-family all along. All it takes is one fairy godmother dressed as Diana Ross to change the course of his life.

My Fairy Godmother is a Drag Queen is a Cinderella retelling for the modern reader. The novel expertly balances issues like sexuality, family and financial troubles, and self-discovery with more lighthearted moments like how one rogue shoe can launch a secret, whirlwind romance and a chance meeting with a drag queen can spark magic and light in a once dark reality.

YA / Contemporary / Romance / Fairy Tale Retellings
336 Pages
Sky Pony Press
Expected Publication Date:  May 2nd, 2017
Preorder a copy here!

4Penguins
Quick Reasons: just a bit stereotypical; love the humor and personality of the voice; entertaining, endearing, wholly recreated characters; I was sucked in from start to finish; tons of delicious angst, drama, and fun; the snark is on point; LOVE how David Clawson made this retelling wholly his own

Huge thanks to David Clawson, Sky Pony Press, and Edelweiss for sending me a free digital ARC of this read in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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By now, I’m sure ALL my loyal penguins know full well that I am all about retellings. They are the bread to my readerly sandwich, after all! I am ALSO all about snarky characters, uniquely individualized reads, and reinvented story lines (especially if it’s a retelling being reinvented)! There’s nothing quite like stepping into a world you’re pretty sure you’ve seen from every angle…and being proven wrong.

 

 

David Clawson did exactly this for me with this title. I’ll be honest with you guys–when I stumbled upon this title on Edelweiss and saw it was up for instant download, I didn’t think twice. I read the title, laughed out loud like a lunatic, and promptly hit “download.” I didn’t even stop to read the blurb, which means, when I picked this book up to read…. I had no idea it was a retelling. It took only a couple of pages for me to realize that’s exactly what I was reading…and only a couple more after that to realize it was going to be entirely different from the story I thought I already knew. David Clawson took this fairy tale, and molded it into his own witty, snarky, entertaining beast–and I ADORED every second of it!

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This was a fast-paced, entertaining read with some well-written, complex, and wholly unique characters. Trust me, penguins–this is not the Cinderella cast you know, but that doesn’t mean you won’t love them to tuna fish pieces. Honestly, I feel like the relationships sewn and nurtured in this book are SO MUCH BETTER than those I’ve been reading in the recent months. They are realistic, they grow and change as the characters do, and they’re all, in some tiny way, flawed…but they’re also easy for readers to relate to. In the original Cinderella story, and the subsequent retellings I’ve had the pleasure of reading/watching… I was never quite sure WHY the stepmother and sisters hated Cinderella so much. There never seemed to be an actual reason. David Clawson approached this in a new and unique way, and managed to wrap it up in the process!

 

 

I had a ton of fun with this book, and while it leans a bit heavily on certain stereotypes, I feel the personality and uniquely individualized characters really set this apart from other Cinderella retellings. The snark was heavy-handed, the morals (being true to yourself, feeling comfortable in your own skin) are handled with sensitivity, and I just ADORED me some Coco Chanel Jones–seriously, one of the best characters EVER! I recommend this to lovers of fairy tale retellings, diverse reads, and a strong focus on the sewing and building of familial relationships. If you’re seeking YOUR Prince Charming, maybe you should wear shoes that are much too big for you…you never know whose face you’ll kick one into!

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Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Illusionary

 

illusionaryIllusionary
by Desiree Williams
Publication date: April 4th 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Dorothy got sucked into a tornado.

Alice fell down a hole.

Wendy flew to Neverland.

Kamryn? She tripped down the stairs.

Now, Kamryn Kensington finds herself in a strange new world. Within minutes of her arrival, she dodges an archer’s arrow and avoids getting sliced up by a cosplay reject holding a dagger to her throat. And that’s before the storyteller’s breath brings stories to life.

Home is the mission—to return to her family and pursue her life’s dream of art and travel. Yet the longer she’s in the Land of Ur, the harder it is not to feel for the people she meets. Even her artistic side can’t help but breathe in the beautiful wonder and magic of this new world. So when the Oracle hands her a different quest, she takes it on the condition he sends her home afterward.

No one thought to warn her of a jealous queen and her dragon minions. Or that, by
helping her, the cute storyteller would go crazy. Or that her heart would rip in two when she left. Those would’ve been great facts to know ahead of time.

Considering that nothing in Ur is what it seems, the mission proves to be more than
she ever imagined. But more than her own future will be in jeopardy if Kamryn doesn’t succeed.

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desireeAuthor Bio:

Desiree Williams is a dreamer by day and chocoholic by night. She lives in the beautiful state of Kentucky with her husband and daughter, where she juggles life as a wannabe supermom. Desiree is a lover of food and avoider of dirty dishes. She delights in making people laugh and strives to bring hope and love with her wherever she goes.

You can find out more about Desiree and her books at
http://www.desireewilliamsbooks.com

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Book Blitz, Excerpt, Teasers, and Giveaway: Don’t Speak

 

dontspeakDon’t Speak (A Modern Fairytale)
by Katy Regnery
Publication date: February 27th, 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance

From  New York Times bestseller Katy Regnery comes a new twist on a beloved
fairytale.

A fisherman’s daughter.

The governor’s son.

Two very different worlds.

In this modern retelling of The Little Mermaid, a fisherman’s daughter from an
Outer Banks island untouched by time, meets the son of North Carolina’s governor at a fancy party where she’s working.

Laire, who wants so much more from life than her little island can offer, is swept
away by wealthy, sophisticated Erik, who is, in turn, entranced by her naiveté and
charm. The two spend a whirlwind summer together that ends on the knife-point of
heartbreak and forces them to go their separate ways.

Years later, when fate leads them back to one another, they will discover the
terrifying depth of the secrets they kept from each other, and learn that shattered hearts can only be healed by a love that willfully refuses to die.

All novels Katy Regnery’s ~a modern fairytale~ collection are written as fundraisers.
10% of the e-book sales for in March and April 2017 will be donated to P.E.O.
International, a non-profit organization that celebrates the advancement of women,
awards scholarships and grants, and provides motivation for women to make their
dreams come true.

**Contemporary Romance. Due to profanity, adult themes and very strong sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.**

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Don’t Speak is part of the ~a modern fairytale~ collection, which includes six standalone, completely unrelated novels inspired by beloved fairy tales:

The Vixen and the Vet (Beauty & the Beast) – available now

Never Let You Go (Hansel & Gretel) – available now

Ginger’s Heart (Little Red Riding Hood) – available now

Dark Sexy Knight (Camelot) – available now

Don’t Speak (The Little Mermaid) – available soon

Swan Song (The Ugly Duckling) – available late-2017

Love my fairytales? I’m always open to suggestions! E-mail me your favorite and
maybe I’ll reimagine it for you!

blank paper with pencil and compass on sea-shells background

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dontyouseeandnowwhereveryougo

EXCERPT:

“Hey!”

She heard his voice before she saw him.

Had she known the ultimate cost of that simple glance heavenward, maybe she
wouldn’t have stopped. Maybe she would have just kept on walking with her head down. But fate held no warnings for Laire Maiden Cornish.

Shielding her eyes, she looked up at a deck wrapped around the second floor of the
mansion, waiting a moment for her eyes to adjust as he came into view.

There, in the glittering sunlight . . . a boy.

No, a man.

A young man, a little older than she, tall and muscular, with jet-black hair and a
square jaw, dark brown eyes, and a deep tan. He wore a robin’s-egg blue bathing suit
with Kelly green palm fronds in a small repeat and a pair of sunglasses buried in his
thick hair. In one hand, he held a phone up to his ear, and in the other, he slowly swirled a glass filled with ice and clear liquid. He stared out at the sound, concentrating on his call.

“Hey!” he yelled. “Can you hear me now?” He huffed with annoyance, pulling the
phone away from his ear and squinting at it before trying again. “Pete? It’s Erik. Can you hear me?” He set the glass down on the balcony’s wooden railing and gave his phone his full attention. Staring down at it, he muttered, “Shit. No reception.”

It’s Erik.

Erik.

His name is Erik.

Feeling a sharp burn in her lungs, Laire realized she’d been holding her breath and
sucked in a huge gulp of air as she stared up at him, frozen in the moment, utterly
mesmerized.

She had never seen a more perfect, more handsome person in her entire life.

The sun glinted off his dark hair and wrapped his body in gold, making him appear
godlike so very far above her. Were she the type to swoon, Laire imagined she would
have been a puddle of goopy longing on the ground below him, content to sacrifice her
pride for a glimpse at his beauty.

haveherkisstheboy2beautifulgirl

 

katyAuthor Bio:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Regnery started her writing career by enrolling in a short story class in January 2012. One year later, she signed her first contract and Katy’s first novel was published in September 2013.

Twenty-five books later, Katy claims authorship of the multi-titled, New York Times and USA Today Blueberry Lane Series, which follows the English, Winslow, Rousseau, Story, and Ambler families of Philadelphia; the six-book, bestselling ~a modern
fairytale~ series; and several other standalone novels and novellas.

Katy’s first modern fairytale romance, The Vixen and the Vet, was nominated for a
RITA® in 2015 and won the 2015 Kindle Book Award for romance. Katy’s boxed set,
The English Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1–4, hit the USA Today bestseller list in 2015,
and her Christmas story, Marrying Mr. English, appeared on the list a week later. In May 2016, Katy’s Blueberry Lane collection, The Winslow Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1-4, became a New York Times E-book bestseller.

In 2016, Katy signed a print-only agreement with Spencerhill Press. As a result, her
Blueberry Lane paperback books will now be distributed to brick and mortar bookstores all over the United States.

Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her
writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children, two dogs,
and one Blue Tonkinese kitten create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories begin at home.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

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Blog Tour, Excerpt, and Review: Grimm Woods

gw_banner

 

Blurbgrimm

A remote summer camp becomes a lurid crime scene when the bodies of two teenagers are found in a bloody, real-life rendering of a classic Grimm’s fairy tale. Trapped in the wilderness, the remaining counsellors must follow a trail of dark children’s fables in order to outwit a psychopath and save the dwindling survivors before falling prey to their own gruesome endings.

Drawing on the grisly, uncensored details of history’s most famous fairy tales, Grimm Woods is a heart-pounding thriller about a deranged killer who uses traditional children’s stories as tropes in elaborate murders. Set against the backdrop of modern-day Michigan, it’s a journey through the mind of a dangerous zealot and a shocking glimpse into the bedtime stories you thought you knew.

 

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Exclusive to AMAZON

 

About D. Melhoff

D. Melhoff was born in a prairie ghost town that few people have heard of and

even fewer have visited. While most of his stories are for adults, he also enjoys terrifying younger audiences from time to time, as seen in his series of twisted picture books for children. He credits King, Poe, Hitchcock, Harris, Stoker, and his second grade school teacher, Mrs. Lake, for turning him to horror. For more information, visit grimmwoods.com.

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Follow the Grimm Woods tour HERE

Excerpt:

July 7th, 5:44 a.m.

One hacksaw. One hammer, six boxes of nails. Twelve Mason jars, four hunting knives, two pairs of handcuffs. Fifteen gallons of gasoline divided evenly among three dented jerry cans.

It’s time.

A work glove hovered over the table where the objects were laid out side by side and began ticking the air as though marking off an invisible checklist. The chamber reeked of mildew, and the walls had no windows or electrical sockets—no lamps, no wires, no switch covers. A single red candle provided the only light, its crimson wax dripping down its shaft like blood.

The hand picked up a piece of paper from the table and slipped it into a blank envelope. Below, a beetle scuttled across the floorboards. The insect—its gangly antennae tuned to some foul frequency in the gloom—raced past the sole

of a giant boot just as a drop of liquid fell through the air and struck it dead center, engulfing its body in a hot, gelatinous blob that filled its orifices and burned it from the inside out. Another droplet tumbled from the candle, plopping onto the envelope this time, and then a brass stamp came down and pressed the wax into a hardened seal.

Drawing in heavier, raspier breaths, the figure held the envelope up to a corkboard that was bolted to the wall. More than a dozen pictures of young men and women were tacked to the panel by their throats and foreheads, smiling in the shadows.

The figure pinned the envelope to the board and stepped back to take in the room again.

The table and the switchblade.

The book of matches.

The iron rods, the hatchet, the .22 Smith & Wesson.

The smiling faces.

Now, the figure mused, watching the photographs flicker in the bloodred light. Who’s the nicest, who’s the worst, who wants to hear a story first?


arcreview

4.75Penguins
Quick Reasons: well-rounded, complex, shady snark characters; SO MUCH BLOOD AND GORE I loved it!; horror that was actually horrifying; mix in a side of fairy tales for an interesting, unique tale; plot-focused novel that still manages to round out everything else; this read was intense!

Huge thanks to D. Melhoff, Bellwoods Publishing, and Worldwind Virtual Book Tours for sending me a free ecopy 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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OH. MY. PENGUINS. If you’d told me, last week, that I’d be reading a book that mixed horror and fairy tales into one gruesome mess–and done so in an entertaining and awesome way–I probably wouldn’t have believed you. I’ve read a few books pegged as “horror” recently and overall been vastly disappointed, so when I picked up this book, I didn’t let my hopes get TOO high. But GOOOOOODNESS, I underestimated this read!

So let’s talk plot first this time, because oh my, this book is TOTALLY plot-centric and I absolutely adooooored that! It’s not often you find a book that’s focused on plot yet still manages to implement and introduce complex, well-rounded, awesome characters…but this book?! This book manages to make everything seamless. The plot is action-packed and SUPER intense, to boot. Like seriously, penguins–I was clenching my fists, sitting on the edge of my seat, terrified about what was still to come. And that doesn’t happen to me often these days–usually I can see where things are going and puzzle out what the major “plot twists” are. D. Melhoff? You caught me totally by surprise, SEVERAL times, and I love that you did!

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Like I said, these characters are well-rounded and complex. I really enjoyed that we also get different varying perspectives from them (the better to watch you DIE, my dear!) It brought a fun and unique twist to the story, and helped to keep the air of mystery and drama at SUPER INTENSE instead of just chugging along like some other horror novels I’ve read. I really enjoyed the way this comes full-circle in a sense, too–and that ending! That ending will just…gah. It’s bound to haunt me, just as I’m sure it’s bound to haunt that specific character. GAAAAH! GAH! I need more horror novels like THIS, okay?! So…someone recommend me some maybe?

In the end, this was a super entertaining, gruesome, intensely satisfying read and I cannot wait to see what D. Melhoff does in the future! The plot is action-packed and blood-soaked, the characters are like balls of shady snark, and the read was SO so worth it! I recommend this to lovers of horror, murder mysteries, and varying points of view. If characters actually bled, this book would be dripping red–be sure to wear an apron while reading, and remember, even fairy tales have a dark side.

Tour Brought to You By:

Worldwind Virtual Book Tours

9

The Neverland Wars: Beautiful Prose, But Not Enough Plot

bookreview

The Neverland Wars

Magic can do a lot—give you flight, show you mermaids, help you taste the stars, and… solve the budget crisis? That’s what the grown-ups will do with it if they ever make it to Neverland to steal its magic and bring their children home.

However, Gwen doesn’t know this. She’s just a sixteen-year-old girl with a place on the debate team and a powerful crush on Jay, the soon-to-be homecoming king. She doesn’t know her little sister could actually run away with Peter Pan, or that she might have to chase after her to bring her home safe. Gwen will find out though—and when she does, she’ll discover she’s in the middle of a looming war between Neverland and reality.

She’ll be out of place as a teenager in Neverland, but she won’t be the only one. Peter Pan’s constant treks back to the mainland have slowly aged him into adolescence as well. Soon, Gwen will have to decide whether she’s going to join impish, playful Peter in his fight for eternal youth… or if she’s going to scramble back to reality in time for the homecoming dance.

The Neverland Wars (Book 1)
Retellings/Fantasy/YA
302 Pages
Clean Teen Publishing
Publication Date:  May 9th, 2016
Get a copy here!

3Penguins
Quick Reasons: super descriptive, beautiful prose; not much in the way of actual story; interesting, vibrantly written characters; a lot happens, but I didn’t feel like much of anything happened; love how much we saw of the fairies; the ending was sort of abrupt and weird

Look, penguins–ANOTHER book review! Are you all proud of me for actually sitting down and getting some reading done? I haven’t finished a book in so long, and today (or, rather, today for me, which….isn’t today for you all but still), I finished off two! YAY ME!

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Unfortunately, this retelling of one of my favorite fairy tales fell a bit flat for me overall. But let’s start with first things first: the prose. Audrey Greathouse wove some gorgeous, stunning imagery throughout this read. There were many times throughout these pages I found myself in awe of the beautiful, captivating AMOUNT of detail she managed to sneak into every sentence–it was as if every one of my five senses was awakened and heightened. I was transported into this world–or, at least, into Neverland, which is where Audrey Greathouse’s imagery really pays off.

However, I felt as if–while it seems a lot happens within the course of this journey–there wasn’t really a story taking place at all. While Gwen is both captivating and entertaining as a character, she is also stuck in the midway place between child- and adulthood. This makes for an interesting and complex point of view…but also a stifled, sometimes confusing one. Gwen is struggling to come to grips with a lot of things in this book, and I felt that the action was perhaps a bit lagging to focus instead on her relationship with her little sister…and her struggles to make peace with what’s happening around her. It was a fun, enthralling read–but I don’t feel like much story was told in the end.

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The characters were vibrantly written and complex, however. The relationships explored throughout–between Peter and the lost children, Peter and the mermaids, Gwen and the mermaids… All of them helped to mold and shape my opinions of them as individuals and as a cohesive group. It was especially interesting to watch Gwen interact, as sort of a hovering outsider–someone not quite on the inside, but not on the periphery either. Her reactions and interactions were both endearing and entertaining.

In the end, this was just an okay retelling for me. The prose is gorgeous and descriptive, but I felt the story fell very flat. The characters were intriguing, though, and Neverland came to life for me in a new and exciting way. I was curious about the war between reality and Neverland they kept alluding to…but unfortunately wasn’t given as many answers in this book as I’d hoped. I’d still recommend this to lovers of Peter Pan, retellings, and dystopian/fantasies. This was a fun and complex journey; I just wish I’d enjoyed it a little bit more.