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Geekerella: All that’s Missing Are the Mice

bookreview

GeekerellaGeekerella
by Ashley Poston
320 Pages
Quirk Books
Publication Date:  April 4th, 2017
Get a copy here!

BLURB:

Anything can happen once upon a con…

When geek girl Elle Wittimer sees a cosplay contest sponsored by the producers of Starfield, she has to enter. First prize is an invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. Elle’s been scraping together tips from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck behind her stepmother’s back, and winning this contest could be her ticket out once and for all—not to mention a fangirl’s dream come true.

Teen actor Darien Freeman is less than thrilled about this year’s ExcelsiCon. He used to live for conventions, but now they’re nothing but jaw-aching photo sessions and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Federation Prince Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the diehard Starfield fandom has already dismissed him as just another heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, closet nerd Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

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4Penguins
Quick Reasons: yet another CINDERELLA retelling!; I loved the nerdculture/comic con references happening throughout; awesome, entertaining voice; these characters are pretty rocking; LOVELOVELOVE the play on fandom; not so sure how I feel about a few of the relationships here

Huge thanks to Ashley Poston, Quirk Books, 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.

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As so often happens when I pick up a CINDERELLA retelling (or ANY retelling, honestly), I found myself swept up in the magic of the story…and yet, somehow, also questioning some of the relationships. Now, don’t get me wrong–I totally understand the whole “wicked stepmother, evil step-siblings” trope. By “understand” I mean I get why it has to exist. But recently, I’ve begun to question the REALITY of such relationships. In this book, for instance: it’s really unclear exactly why the stepmother is so determined to be so cruel to Elle. I get that the stepsister is really just “following by example” in this case, and can therefore wrap my head around her being so unnecessarily snotty. But the stepmom? While we get a bit of an explanation later on in the story, it just… it doesn’t really FIT for me. It doesn’t really make much sense, or explain anything. It’s an excuse, in the end–not a justification or explanation. So I’m not sure how much I believed that particular relationship–it just didn’t seem very realistic.  It felt, in fact, just a little forced to fit the fairy tale trope, in my opinion.

 

That being said, however–these characters shine! The personalities are all individualized; I absolutely adored watching Elle transform and grow from “shy girl who never says no” to “independent, strong young lady.” I also adored all the mini references/nods to the original Cinderella–such as the pumpkin/chariot, which I only JUST now realized and pieced together (oops!)

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The play on fandom and cons was super entertaining for this lover of all things nerdculture, and I so appreciated all the pop culture references laced throughout. It was so great to watch these characters react to and interact with others over their passion–and introduce a few specific special characters to the obsession, as well! I had a TON of fun watching the relationship between Elle and Darien evolve, as well–they’re so sweetly cute and tooth-rotting!

 

Overall, this was an entertaining read FULL of nerdculture/pop culture references. The characters are well-written, though a few of the relationships felt a bit too contrived to fit tropes for my taste. Also…I now wish that Starfield was an actual thing, because it sounds amazeballs. I definitely recommend to my fellow retellings fanatics, lovers of modern-day fairy tales, and other pop culture nerds. Roll up your sleeves and step on the gas, penguins; it’s time the masks came off.

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Book Blitz, Author Guest Post, and Giveaway: Darkest Days

 

Darkest Days
(The Last Orphans, #4)
by N W Harris
Publication date: May 22nd 2017
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Young Adult

The ancient slave mongers who killed the adults and enslaved the children have angered a more advanced species of aliens. Composed of pure energy, this superior race has attacked the Anunnaki home world and is now setting a course for Earth.

The energy-based aliens believe in a system of trial by battle. They seek to push Shane and his friends into the arena with the ones who killed their parents. The results will determine if humans deserve to live, or if they should be made extinct as well. It’s up to Shane to keep his friends—and an army of kids who look up to him—alive. They’ll be fighting not just for their own lives, but for the fate of the entire human race. Can the enemy of Shane’s enemy be his friend, or is this just another species determined to exploit and destroy them?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Smashwords

GUEST POST BY N.W. HARRIS:

What would I tell a new author?

What to tell a new author, hmmm… There is so much to tell, though every writer’s journey is different. First off, I’d tell them to write for themselves. If one writes just to get published and make money, I think they’ll go mad and/or quit before they ever get close. Why? It takes years to polish one’s craft enough to be published by a creditable

publisher. I think writing has to be looked at as a hobby that could become a career. A writer has to want to write because there is something that is inside them that needs to get out. Write for a creative outlet. Write like it doesn’t matter if anyone besides you ever reads it. Write almost everyday, but it is important to take days off too.

Much of the education for the profession comes from practical experience. Sure, a writer draws from their experiences and traditional education. My educational background is mostly based in science, biology and anthropology, and it provides a volume of information to draw upon. But, I had to learn the craft of writing by trial and error. Every writer has to find his or her voice. That can take years, and it can only be discovered by hard work.

I’d tell them to persist. It’s my favorite word. You have to write a novel. Destroy it. Rewrite it. Invest countless hours and sometimes even years. Then you have to be willing to let all that work go because it was just the classroom where you polished your craft. You have to swallow rejection after rejection and keep fighting. When you get criticism, you have to listen to it. I’m not saying a budding writer should try to oblige every critic, but growth is critical and growth comes from taking in criticism. Deal with any pain it might cause quickly, and then get into the game again by applying what you’ve learned.

 

Author Bio:

Born at the end of the Vietnam war and raised on a horse farm near small town north Georgia, his imagination evolved under the swaying pines surrounding his family’s log home. On summer days that were too hot, winter days that were too cold, and every night into the wee morning hours, he read books. He lives in sunny southern California with his beautiful wife and two perfect children.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Book Tour, Giveaway, and Review: It Had to Be You

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It Had to Be YouIt Had to Be You
by Lizzy Charles
YA / Contemporary / Romance
184 Pages
Entangled Teen: Crush
Publication Date:  May 15th, 2017
Get a copy here!

BLURB:

 James Parson has a problem. His military dad is going to yank him out of his expensive boarding school if James doesn’t prove he’s no longer hooking up, pulling pranks, and charming his way out of consequences. What better way to show he’s now responsible than becoming the committed boyfriend of a U.S. diplomat’s daughter?

Level-headed, book-smart Edelweiss may have traveled the world thanks to her dad’s job, but when it comes to friends and boys, she knows exactly nothing. Newly enrolled in boarding school, Edel is now on a mission to learn it all. James says he’ll help her experience the ultimate high school life—if she’ll be his fake girlfriend. And fake is perfect, because he’s exactly the kind of player she’d never date.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains red-hot romance, all the feels, and a soul-mate bad boy.

About the Author:

Processed with VSCO with q4 preset When Lizzy Charles isn’t scrambling to raise her two spunky toddlers or caring for premature and sick babies as a neonatal intensive care nurse, she’s in a quiet corner writing or snuggled up with a novel and a few squares of dark chocolate. Black tea keeps her constant and she loves guacamole. She married her high school sweet heart, a heart-melting musician, so it’s no surprise she’s fallen in love with writing contemporary YA romance novels.

Giveaway Details:

* Prize 1- $25 H&M Giftcard
* Prize 2- $25 H&M Giftcard

Open to US or International (if no H&M near them if international, they will receive a $25 amazon card)

CLICK RIGHT HERE to go to the giveaway!


bookreview

4PenguinsQuick Reasons: super cute, endearing romance; absolutely love the “fake to real” relationship trope; not sure I buy that they “love” each other after such a short amount of time, but I’m willing to overlook this; Edel’s character arc is well-rounded and entertaining

Huge thanks to Lizzy Charles, Entangled Teen Crush, Chapter by Chapter Book Tours, 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.

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There’s just something about contemporaries that, recently, have me falling head over feet to get through. I don’t know if it’s that I can “turn off my brain” and just enjoy the journey, or something else entirely…either way, contemporaries have been calling my name a LOT lately. It’s a good thing I’ve got a ton of them on standby for such occasions, I suppose?

 

Regardless–this was SUCH a cute, entertaining contemporary. I sat down expecting it to be just like all the rest…and instead found myself sucked straight into the story. There’s something adorable about Edel that I couldn’t look past, and something searingly steamy about the “fake to real” relationship.

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The character arcs are also entertaining and enlightening. I really enjoyed that we got front seats to both James’ and Edels’ changes over the course of just a few short months. Many of the side characters also step into their own, and I loved seeing how they each brought something new and unique to the table. Learning the intricacies of familial relationships–the the rules of boarding school–right next to Edel was a great way to bridge the gap between characters and readers, in my opinion. The fact we got to watch her interact with and react to the varying situations that crop up only helped to more vibrantly paint her across the page. This was, in fact, true of all the characters; due to this, they all were bright sparks of personality woven into the pages.

 

In the end, I had a ton of fun (as I usually do!) stepping out of the chaos of my own life and into the chaos of someone else’s for a little while. Lizzy Charles wrote these characters with intricate, vibrant personalities–and made me care for each of them as individuals. The plot, while not inundated with action, was fast-paced and entertaining all the same, and I cannot wait to pick up another Lizzy Charles novel in the future! I definitely recommend this to lovers of boarding school settings, bad boys struggling to change, and “fake to real” relationships. Care to redefine relationships? Pick up this book!

 

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Blog Tour, Teasers, Giveaway, and Review: The Upside of Regret

TheUpsideOfRegretTour

The Upside of RegretThe Upside of Regret
(Aimless Perfection #1)
by T.K. Rapp
YA / Contemporary / Romance
Publication Date:  May 17th, 2017
Get a copy right here!

BLURB:

 Brighton and Leah have been the best of friends since seventh grade. Where Brighton is the quiet one who is focused on school, Leah is the bold and daring one who craves the adoration of an audience. It’s always worked for them, until now.

Heading into their senior year, Brighton is challenged with an opportunity that can change the course of her future. The only problem? She just might have to step out of her best friend’s shadow.

But when Leah doesn’t support the choices she makes, Brighton is forced to reevaluate what true friendship is.

Brighton is changing and exciting doors are opening. A new world of music, friends, and even love are falling at her feet. But it’s hard to enjoy it when Leah’s life is spiraling out of control.

Now Brighton must try to not only save her friendship, but also her friend, before it’s too late.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

T.K. RappTK Rapp is an author living in Houston, Texas with her husband and two daughters.

Prior to writing, she spent over ten years as a photographer and photo editor, specializing in wedding album design. She left photography to pursue her dream of writing a story and it was in 2013, she self-published her first novel, Being There. It was a standalone story about long-lost friends finding each other. She has since written both contemporary and young adult novels.

Rapp grew up in Texas, but has lived in California, South Carolina, and Virginia, all of which serve as inspiration for her writing. With several more works in queue, she doesn’t anticipate stepping away from the computer anytime soon, especially since she makes friends with all of her characters.

Goodreads | Twitter | Website

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Giveaway Details:

· Prize #1 – $10 Amazon Gift Card
· Prize #2 – Ebook copy of TUoR
· Prize #3 – Signed Paperback copy – mailed out when the paperbacks are available. US Only (Should be soon after release date.)

 

CLICK HERE to go to the giveaway!


bookreview

4Penguins
Quick Reasons: cutesy contemporary with some heavy-handed subject matter; Brighton’s character ARC is so gorgeous and inspiring; I fell in love with these characters, and they smothered me with their vibrantly written personalities; I was NOT expecting that bombshell to drop

Huge thanks to T.K. Rapp and Chapter by Chapter Book Tours 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.

UR Quote1

First things first: the biggest reason I picked up this book? THAT COOOOVER. Just look at it, penguins–LOOK AT IT! I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty simple…but that blue with the red? The way it’s sort of split down the middle, a sort of warning that the read is a bit like fire and ice? The fact it’s a treble clef?! I just adore everything about this cover, and how it lends itself to the read ahead. I’m not ashamed to admit I drooled over it, penguins. I drooled over it HARD.

And these characters are sort of the personification of the idea behind “fire and ice,” when it boils down to it. Brighton and Leah are best friends…and are written so, so gorgeously. I could tell, almost immediately, that while they’re so super close, they’ve sort of fallen off the friendship path and into something closer to uncomfortable. I’d even go so far as to say that the plot and their interactions lend to this theory–where one is burning, the other is frozen. It’s actually brilliantly and subtly done, and looking back on it now, I can’t believe I didn’t think of it while reading.

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There are some heavy, mature subjects touched on throughout. Alongside things like personal growth, friendship, and relationships are things like molestation, rape, and underage drinking. T.K. Rapp approached these heavier topics with sensitivity and poise, while still leaving them prominent enough for readers to ponder on and think about.

This was an entertaining, if heart-wrenching, journey, and I cannot wait to pick up another T.K. Rapp novel in the future! The characters are vibrant and personify the “fire and ice” idea brilliantly; the plot is fast-paced and filled with gut-churning moments. I definitely recommend this to lovers of contemporary reads, personal growth, and mature subjects handled with sensitivity. Step into this book, penguins; don’t let it be something you regret missing out on!

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Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Review: Violet Grenade

VioletGrenadeTour

Violet GrenadeViolet Grenade
by Victoria Scott
366 Pages
YA / Contemporary
Entangled Teen
Publication Date: May 16th, 2017

BLURB:

Domino: A runaway with blood on her hands.


Cain: A silent boy about to explode.

Madam Karina: A woman who demands obedience.

Wilson: The one who will destroy them all.

Her name is Domino Ray.

But the voice inside her head has a different name.

When Madam Karina discovers Domino in an alleyway, she offers her a position at her girls’ home in secluded West Texas. With no alternatives and an agenda of her own, Domino accepts. It isn’t long before she is fighting her way up the ranks to gain the madam’s approval…and falling for Cain, the mysterious boy living in the basement.

But the madam has horrible secrets. So do the girls in the house. So does Cain.

Escaping is harder than Domino expects, though, because the madam doesn’t like to lose inventory. But then, Madam Karina doesn’t know about the danger living inside Domino’s mind.

Madam Karina doesn’t know about Wilson.

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VictoriaScott_Author PhotoAbout the Author:

Victoria Scott is the acclaimed author of eight novels for young adults including FIRE & FLOOD, THE COLLECTOR, and VIOLET GRENADE. She is published by Scholastic and Entangled Teen, and is represented by Sara Crowe. Victoria’s novels are sold in fourteen countries, and she loves receiving reader emails from at home, and across the world.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

* Signed paperback of The Collector, a signed paperback of Titans, and a signed galley of Hear the Wolves.*

CLICK HERE to go to the giveaway!


bookreview

5Penguins
Quick Reasons: darkly atmospheric; life-ruiner; heavy handed, mature topics; this read was a ticking time bomb just waiting to explode; intricate, complex characters; Domino and Cain are SO adorable, I can’t even; the snark is on point

HUGE thanks to Victoria Scott, Entangled Teen, Chapter by Chapter Book Tours, 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.

VG Quote1

Okay, penguins. I have FULLY INTENDED to pick up a Victoria Scott book for, like…several years now. There are several I’ve had my eye on. I have one on my kindle just waiting for me to look its way. So WHY, OH WHY, did it take me so long?! I just… I honestly don’t have an answer. But I’ll start with this: I am so, so glad that I decided to start with THIS book. Because this book?! is a gem, and I’m not sure Victoria Scott’s other books would have touched me quite so deeply as this one. I will warn you, though: there are some very heavy, mature subjects broached in this read. This is a very darkly atmospheric, bone-chilling read, so if you’re all about the butterflies and unicorns and rainbows…this book might not be the best fit for you.

That being said, this penguin? absolutely ADORED the journey. It’s been a while since I last picked up a book that promised darkness and angst and hushed secrets in forbidden rooms…and that’s exactly what I found waiting here. Victoria Scott twisted and tore every page with emotion, and I am so blown away with how much her words wrung me out and left me bleeding. There is a loud, vibrant talent seeping through every sentence: the power to ensnare and enthrall readers. The ability to mute the real world and push the imagination to the forefront. Victoria Scott took me on a roller coaster, whirlwind journey…and I fell in love from page one.

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These characters are complex and intricate. The balance of snark with sensitively handled, heavily mature subject matter was beautiful and well-done. While there are a few characters that fall to the very bottom of the “redeemable” pile in my mind, I feel as if Victoria Scott did a gorgeous job in rounding each personality fully and showing them in several altering lights–to allow readers a more completed picture of them, as individuals and as a whole. And penguins, did they leap to life for me; not only was I ensnared by the gorgeous writing, the dark atmosphere, the fast-paced and thought-provoking plot… I was also swept up by the characters. And not just one or two of them– ALL of them.

I am just so, SO happy the first Victoria Scott novel I picked up was THIS one. Victoria Scott wrote a darkly mysterious, intriguingly painful read–and she wove the heavy subject matter so beautifully and sensitively into the journey. I definitely recommend to lovers of shady characters, questionable motivations, and atmospheric reads. I officially cannot WAIT to pick up my next Victoria Scott novel; if the writing is as gorgeous as in this book, I’m in for a real treat. This read’s a ticking time bomb waiting to explode; why don’t you open the cover and start the countdown, penguins? You know you want to.

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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.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

Lady of Sherwood promoLady of Sherwood Teaser 1

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

Lady of Sherwood Teaser 4Lady of Sherwood Teaser 5

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Happy Book Birthday, Violet Grenade!

HBB-VioletGrenade

Guys, I am CURRENTLY reading this (about 40% in, review set to go live NEXT WEEK!) and I’m loving it so hardcore, I can’t even!  I just… GAAAAH!  Are you excited about this book?! BECAUSE YOU SHOULD BE, IF YOU AREN’T!  GET EXCITED!

Violet GrenadeViolet Grenade
by Victoria Scott
366 Pages
YA / Contemporary
Get your Copy:

BLURB:

 DOMINO: A girl with blue hair and a demon in her mind.

CAIN: A stone giant on the brink of exploding.

MADAM KARINA: A woman who demands obedience.

WILSON: The one who will destroy them all.

When Madam Karina discovers Domino in an alleyway, she offers her a position inside her home for entertainers in secluded West Texas. Left with few alternatives and an agenda of her own, Domino accepts. It isn’t long before she is fighting her way up the ranks to gain the madam’s approval. But after suffering weeks of bullying and unearthing the madam’s secrets, Domino decides to leave. It’ll be harder than she thinks, though, because the madam doesn’t like to lose inventory. But then, Madam Karina doesn’t know about the person living inside Domino’s mind. Madam Karina doesn’t know about Wilson.

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Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Review — Time Weaver: Heart of Cogs

 

Time Weaver: Heart of Cogs
(Time Collector #1)

by Jacinta Maree
Publication date: February 21st 2017
Genres: Steampunk, Supernatural, Young Adult

I have a clock for a heart…and the man who put it there tried to take it out.

Time Collectors are modern day genies capable of exchanging wishes for time. Elizabeth Wicker lives within a steampunk world riddled with the supernatural. Among the stories of witches, Bacts, and other monsters, Time Collectors remain as the greatest hushed secret among the noble families. They are temptation’s greatest tools. A contract with a Time Collector is a guaranteed death sentence, and for some the price isn’t worth the prize. But when Elizabeth is struck down by a fatal heart attack, she finds herself trapped beneath a Time Collector’s blade. With no time left to offer, she makes a desperate sacrifice for a second chance at life. If there’s only one truth, it is a Time Collector will always come back to collect.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

 

Author Bio:

Born in Melbourne Australia, Jacinta Maree considers herself a chocoholic with an obsession with dragons and Japan. Published in 2012 to USA publisher Staccato Publishing, Jacinta writes a variety of genres from YA paranormal, steampunk, horror and fantasy. Winner of 2014 Horror of the year and best selling author, Jacinta writes to answer all of her absurd questions and to explore themes and characters not often seen in main media.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


bookreview

4.25Penguins
Quick Reasons: welcome me back to steampunk!; awesome, thrilling adventure; these characters are complex and astoundingly vibrant; Elizabeth has a bit of the “special snowflake” happening, but I didn’t care; fun, whimsical, dark read akin to The Boy with the Cuckoo Clock Heart

Huge thanks to Jacinta Maree, Ragnarok 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.

TW Quote1

Steampunk, my love, I have missed you SO! I am so happy that you can overlook my unavoidable on the side relationships with other genres and accept me so quickly back into your life; I don’t know what I would do without you. Although I don’t seek you out very often, I want you to know that you still remain my FAVORITE genre…and it’s for this reason that I only read you once every few months. Don’t tell the others–I need to keep them in my world so I always know just how much better you are!

Okay, I know that might be going a LITTLE too far–don’t get me wrong, I love all the other genres I read equally. But steampunk… there’s just something special about steampunk that I cannot, for the life of me, bring myself to examine too closely or ruin by reading too much of it. I cannot risk going down the path of no return only to realize that the magic fades…which is why, while I ADORE steampunk so much every time I pick it up, I often go months between readings of the genre. The return is always SO much sweeter than I expect it to be, which is exactly the case with this title!

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These characters are well-rounded and so vibrantly written, I found myself living in their heads for the duration of the journey. Elizabeth almost immediately called to me–I mean, aside from the fact we share a name, there’s an edge to her that I wasn’t expecting going into this read. She is not as soft as you’re initially led to believe; she has spunk, and intellect, and knows how to fight for herself and her loved ones with aplomb. I admired her strength throughout this journey–especially in those moments when I might have otherwise simply given up. The rest of the cast are just as endearing and, in most instances, wholly redeemable.

The plot is fast-paced and enthralling. I found myself whisked away to another world and plopped down in the middle of the excitement. There’s a bit of a nod to The Boy with the Cuckoo Clock Heart, though this novel is a lot less whimsical and a whole lot darker. The world-building is so well-done, I didn’t find myself questioning anything or becoming confused. Jacinta Maree did an amazingly beautiful job of putting me into the heart (clock though it might be!) of this story, and I cannot WAIT to see what happens in the coming installments!

I definitely recommend this to lovers of steampunk, stories with a focus on time, and entertainingly stubborn characters! Jacinta Maree stuck me straight into the story and ensnared me there between the tocking hands with her vibrant personalities, fast-paced plot, and beautiful world-building. My heart ticks with steampunk, penguins; maybe you should take a chance to find out why with this gorgeous read!

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Cover Reveal: Ever After

 

Ever After
(Unfinished Fairy Tale Series, #3)

by Aya Ling
Publication date: May 20th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Kat has survived. She returns to Athelia as herself, Katherine Wilson. Edward, elated at learning she is alive, vows to bring her back to the palace. The obstacles, however, seem impossible to overcome. Marriage between a royal and a commoner is not recognized, not to mention that he is already legally bound to Katriona Bradshaw, who will do anything to keep her position as princess.

And there’s even more to worry about. Due to an uncommonly harsh winter, the people of Athelia have been suffering from inflated food prices, and are getting irritated at supporting the small, elite group of aristocrats. An uprising in a neighboring country only adds fuel to the fire.

Can Kat and Edward finally get a happily-ever-after?

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Previous books in the series:

 

Author Bio:

Aya is from Taiwan, where she struggles daily to contain her obsession with mouthwatering and unhealthy foods. Often she will devour a good book instead. Her

favorite books include martial arts romances, fairy tale retellings, high fantasy, cozy mysteries, and manga.

She is currently working on Ever After, Book 3 in the Unfinished Fairy Tales series, to be released in 2017. For exclusive bonus scenes, giveaways, and new release info, visit ayaling.com

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Book Blitz, Excerpt, Teasers, and Giveaway: July Lightning

 

July Lightning
(Bad Bloods #4)

Shannon A. Thompson
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: May 1st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

From best-selling author Shannon A. Thompson comes an exciting new duology in the Bad Bloods universe.

Sixteen-year-old Caleb has been called many things: a patient, a musician, even a prostitute…now he has a new name—son. After his identity is uncovered, Caleb bands together with the family he once rejected in order to save the city of Vendona. But it won’t be easy. Enemies wait around every corner—and so do harsh realities. With Violet and Kuthun by his side though, nothing seems impossible. As Vendona sits on the verge of an economic collapse and a massive hurricane threatens the city, Violet and Caleb must show its citizens how to overcome decades of hostility and division to save themselves.

Standing or not, a sea will rage, a wall may fall, and all will depend on immortal pain and sacrifice.

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EXCERPT:

Everyone in the Pits called the fifteen-year-old Skeleton, for obvious reasons. Supposedly, the bad blood had been born a normal, healthy baby boy, but, over time, his skin unraveled and revealed pieces of bone. Somehow, defying all science, the boy continued to live. The last time I’d seen him, his right arm and chin

showed bone, but now, half his face and all his fingers had contorted to the haunting shape. Even Adam cringed.

“You here to fight?” Skeleton asked, eyeing both Adam and me.

I attempted to answer, but Adam shouted over me. “You work here?”

The betrayal Adam felt was one I would never comprehend, even if I wanted to. Adam was a bad blood. To see a fellow bad blood protect the Pits that killed his kind went beyond my human pain. I volunteered to fight. Bad bloods often didn’t. Moments like this reminded me why Kuthun slapped me when I told him I wished I was a bad blood. Just because I sympathized with them and loved them, lived with them and listened to them, did not mean I would ever be one. I could never feel the same emotions Adam did, and Adam couldn’t comprehend mine.

“The humans aren’t the only ones who see value in bad blood.” Skeleton egged Adam on, and Adam fell for it.

“You mean, your blood.”

The boy’s bony fingers rattled against the door. “Of course,” he said, then smiled. The addition of teeth only made the bony boy look worse.

“You’re one of us,” Adam snapped. “How could you—”

I stepped in front of my cousin. Thankfully, my actions stopped him. “We’re here to talk to Connelly,” I said.

The lanky, crass kid looked me over and stepped aside, but as we passed, he gave in to temptation. “If you need a tag for the bad blood, let me know.”

Adam knocked the boy out cold before I could stop him. That was how fast his powers worked. And, for once, I didn’t feel the need to reprimand him.

“You know you have to fight if you hurt the workers,” I said.

“No one will know,” Adam said as he strode past me. “You’re good at keeping secrets, right?”

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Author Bio:

Shannon A. Thompson is a young adult author, avid reader, and a habitual chatterbox.

As a novelist, poet, and blogger, Thompson spends her free time writing and sharing ideas with her black cat, Bogart, named after her favorite actor, Humphrey Bogart. Her other two cats bring her coffee. Between writing and befriending cats, Thompson graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis on creative writing, and her work has appeared in numerous poetry collections and anthologies. Represented by Clean Teen Publishing, Thompson is the best-selling author of The Timely Death Trilogy and the Bad Bloods duology. When she is not writing, she is climbing rooftops, baking cookies, or watching murder shows in the middle of the night, often done with her cats by her side.

Visit her blog for writers and readers at http://www.ShannonAThompson.com.

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