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Blog Tour – Excerpt – BABY BLUE (Corrington Brothers Series) by Leesa Wright

 

Welcome to the blog tour for BABY BLUE, the second standalone book in the the historical romance series, Corrington Brothers, by Leesa Wright

Welcome to the blog tour for BABY BLUE, the second standalone book in the the historical romance series, Corrington Brothers, by Leesa Wright. See below for information on the book and series, preorder links, an exclusive excerpt, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

BABY BLUE, the second standalone book in her adult historical romance series, Corrington Brothers, by Leesa Wright

BABY BLUE (Corrington Brothers Series #2) by Leesa Wright

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: BABY BLUE
Series: Corrington Brothers Series, #2
Author: Leesa Wright
Release Date: August 1y, 2021
Genre:
Adult Historical Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR

Synopsis
The saga of the Corrington brothers continues from the heart of San Francisco to Woodstock. Baby Blue takes the reader from the hippy movement through the post-war trials of returning Vietnam veterans.

Captain Donall Corrington: A Naval fighter pilot recovering from the physical and mental wounds from his time as a prisoner of war. Sitting on the dock of the bay, Donall meets Anablue Baker: A quirky flower child, alone and lost in the world. The Daughter of a vengeful admiral who has no problem using her for his gain. Anablue grieves for her twin brother lost to the horrors of war. Torn from the arms of the man she loves, terrified for her life, and to save her lover, Anablue flees to face her future on the run.

Captivated by her sky-blue eyes, nothing will stop Donall from righting the wrong of forbidden love. Returning to his arms the one woman he’s waited a lifetime to find.

Leesa Wright has again brought her love of history to life in this new 20th Century Historical Fiction Romance. Baby Blue is available now.

Come and be swept up in this romantic saga set amidst the tumultuous sixties. When a nation at war cries for peace and star-crossed lovers go on the adventure of a lifetime.

 

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Excerpt
“L Ü’â get out of here. That’s the second time some strange guy walking by has sneered at me,” Elijah said.

“You’ve got military written all over you. We both know they are not nice to our returning troops,” Elyse said, a shimmer of tears in her eyes.

“Yeah,” Elijah gruffly replied. “Any little piss-ant that spits at me will find himself pounded into a puddle.”

Concern in her eyes, “Elijah. Please. They have no clue what our troops go through.”

Elijah nodded his head. “Lets’ go before Bunker falls asleep.”

“Yes, I need to get to class,” Elyse replied.

“Be careful driving home afterward, brat. It’s a long drive.” “I’m sorry you have to adjust your schedule and drive down here so often,” Elyse said.

“Don’t be silly. This is what we both wanted,” Elijah replied.

Kissing his wife goodbye, Elijah watched the swing of Elyse’s hips as she walked down the sidewalk toward the dance studio a few blocks away. Looking at Bunker. “Let’s go pick up your hot mama’s birthday present, then go get some sheet music.”

A plain young woman named Kim was at the cash register as Elijah went into the bookstore. He asked for his French poetry book on order. She called down an aisle to a co-worker, asking where the copy had been placed. Another youthful- sounding woman called back; it was under the register. Paying for his book, he left and headed up the street to the music store.

Once inside the store, Elijah headed for the sheet music section. Flipping through the composers, not looking for anything in particular. An aroma drifted up, and he looked down at Bunker. “Oh no, not here, buddy.” Pulling back the diaper so he could peek inside. Coughing and gagging, he looked around for the head. He didn’t see it, so he went up front. A hippy worked the register, his shoulder-length long brown hair swinging back and forth as he moved his arms to clear the air.

“Dude, your kid stinks,” the hippy said. “Where’s the head?” Elijah asked.

Confused. “What’s a head?” the hippy asked. “The men’s room,” Elijah growled.

“Oh, go through those double doors in the back, the last door on the left.”

Elijah pushed the stroller into the head. Lifting Bunker out of the stroller, holding the baby up. “Next time, save it for mama. And that’s an order.” The baby gurgled and laughed, flopping his chubby little arms while kicking his feet.

“Just so you know. A full diaper is considered insubordination,” Elijah said, smiling as he looked into his son’s amethyst- colored eyes. Looking at the black curls covering Bunkers head.

“You need a haircut soon. But first, let’s figure out how to clean you up.”

He stripped the baby’s cloth diaper and plastic pants off, throwing them both in the trash.

He miraculously cleaned and diapered the tiny tot, lathering him with diaper cream. Holding the baby up. “I have had hundreds of troops under my command. Crawled through mud and swill, I’ve been waist-deep in a leech-filled swamp and lived through the worst possible conditions. And none of those experiences come in any way close to the mess you just made.” The baby gave him a sweet half-smile, and Elijah’s heart melted as it had a thousand times before. “You have your mama’s guilty as charged smile.”

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BABY BLUE, the second standalone book in her adult historical romance series, Corrington Brothers, by Leesa Wright out now!

 ————————————————————————————–

Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: OPERATION AMETHYST
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR

 ————————————————————————————–

Author Leesa Wright

Author Leesa Wright

About the Author
Leesa makes her home in the Twin Cities metro area with her husband and her two dogs Rosie and Jax.

When she isn’t writing she enjoys gardening, painting, and reading romance novels. She and her husband also enjoy movies, traveling, and entertaining their two grown children along with several beautiful grandchildren.

Leesa’s favorite romance authors are Kathleen Woodwiss, Christine Feehan, and Johanna Lindsey.

The book’s inspiration came one night from a dream about the characters, a song, and the story around them.

 

 

 

 

Where to find Leesa Wright
Goodreads Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Release Day – BABY BLUE (Corrington Brothers Series) by Leesa Wright

 

Today is release day for BABY BLUE, the second standalone book in her the historical romance series, Corrington Brothers, by Leesa Wright

Today is release day for BABY BLUE, the second standalone book in her the historical romance series, Corrington Brothers, by Leesa Wright. See below for information on the book and series, preorder links, an exclusive excerpt, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

BABY BLUE, the second standalone book in her adult historical romance series, Corrington Brothers, by Leesa Wright

BABY BLUE (Corrington Brothers Series #2) by Leesa Wright

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: BABY BLUE
Series: Corrington Brothers Series, #2
Author: Leesa Wright
Release Date: August 1y, 2021
Genre:
Adult Historical Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR

Synopsis
The saga of the Corrington brothers continues from the heart of San Francisco to Woodstock. Baby Blue takes the reader from the hippy movement through the post-war trials of returning Vietnam veterans.

Captain Donall Corrington: A Naval fighter pilot recovering from the physical and mental wounds from his time as a prisoner of war. Sitting on the dock of the bay, Donall meets Anablue Baker: A quirky flower child, alone and lost in the world. The Daughter of a vengeful admiral who has no problem using her for his gain. Anablue grieves for her twin brother lost to the horrors of war. Torn from the arms of the man she loves, terrified for her life, and to save her lover, Anablue flees to face her future on the run.

Captivated by her sky-blue eyes, nothing will stop Donall from righting the wrong of forbidden love. Returning to his arms the one woman he’s waited a lifetime to find.

Leesa Wright has again brought her love of history to life in this new 20th Century Historical Fiction Romance. Baby Blue is available now.

Come and be swept up in this romantic saga set amidst the tumultuous sixties. When a nation at war cries for peace and star-crossed lovers go on the adventure of a lifetime.

 

 ————————————————————————————–

Excerpt
“Where’s the kid?”

“What kid?”

“The little shitty one.” The hippy said.

“I don’t have a kid, shitty or otherwise,” Donall replied. The hippy looked at him, then leaned over the counter to look at the floor.

“Same blue shirt, no kid,” he mumbled. “You’re sure?”

“Yeah, I’m sure,” Donall replied as he picked up a bottle of strawberry oil, opened it, and sniffed the fragrance.

The hippy, a little wild-eyed now. “And the patchouli oil for your old lady?”

“She’s not old, and trust me, she doesn’t need it,” Donall replied.

The hippy scratched his head and gave him a strange look. “That’s exactly what you said before.”

“You okay, man?” Looking at his name tag. “You been sniffing glue on break, Mike?” Donall asked.

“Wow, this is far out, man. Maybe I dropped too much acid last night,” Mike replied.

Donall nodded his head, “Yeah. You might want to consider saving some brain cells, dude.” and he turned to leave.

“Peace out, man, power to the people,” Mike said as he raised his hand and gave him the peace sign.

“Yeah, peace,” Donall replied. Donall noted the red Camaro was gone. He climbed on his bike, revving the engine. He pulled away from the curb. Maybe I should take Anablue on a bike ride this weekend. We’ll see how tomorrow goes.

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BABY BLUE, the second standalone book in her adult historical romance series, Corrington Brothers, by Leesa Wright out now!

 ————————————————————————————–

Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: OPERATION AMETHYST
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR

 ————————————————————————————–

Author Leesa Wright

Author Leesa Wright

About the Author
Leesa makes her home in the Twin Cities metro area with her husband and her two dogs Rosie and Jax.

When she isn’t writing she enjoys gardening, painting, and reading romance novels. She and her husband also enjoy movies, traveling, and entertaining their two grown children along with several beautiful grandchildren.

Leesa’s favorite romance authors are Kathleen Woodwiss, Christine Feehan, and Johanna Lindsey.

The book’s inspiration came one night from a dream about the characters, a song, and the story around them.

 

 

 

 

Where to find Leesa Wright
Goodreads Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Cover Reveal – BABY BLUE (Corrington Brothers Series) by Leesa Wright

 

Author Lessa Wright is revealing the cover to BABY BLUE, the second standalone book in her adult historical romance series, Corrington Brothers, releasing August 17, 2021. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, preorder links, an exclusive excerpt, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

BABY BLUE, the second standalone book in her adult historical romance series, Corrington Brothers, by Leesa Wright

BABY BLUE (Corrington Brothers Series #2) by Leesa Wright

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: BABY BLUE
Series: Corrington Brothers Series, #2
Author: Leesa Wright
Release Date: August 1y, 2021
Genre:
Adult Historical Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR

Synopsis
The saga of the Corrington brothers continues from the heart of San Francisco to Woodstock. Baby Blue takes the reader from the hippy movement through the post-war trials of returning Vietnam veterans.

Captain Donall Corrington: A Naval fighter pilot recovering from the physical and mental wounds from his time as a prisoner of war. Sitting on the dock of the bay, Donall meets Anablue Baker: A quirky flower child, alone and lost in the world. The Daughter of a vengeful admiral who has no problem using her for his gain. Anablue grieves for her twin brother lost to the horrors of war. Torn from the arms of the man she loves, terrified for her life, and to save her lover, Anablue flees to face her future on the run.

Captivated by her sky-blue eyes, nothing will stop Donall from righting the wrong of forbidden love. Returning to his arms the one woman he’s waited a lifetime to find.

Leesa Wright has again brought her love of history to life in this new 20th Century Historical Fiction Romance. Baby Blue is available now.

Come and be swept up in this romantic saga set amidst the tumultuous sixties. When a nation at war cries for peace and star-crossed lovers go on the adventure of a lifetime.

 

 ————————————————————————————–

Excerpt
Anablue stood on the dock next to Donall’s sailboat. The string of profanity coming from inside the cabin burnt her ears. A cloud of choking, acrid, diesel exhaust poured from the galley as Donall made an exit coughing, choking while waving his arms to clear the air. He stopped, his loud and descriptive curse dying on his lips.

Her eyes wide and a half-smile on her face. She bit her lip. “Hmmm. Engine trouble?” she ventured. Donall’s frustration was apparent as he snarled, pointing inside the cabin. “That beast. That beast should be taken out, shot, burnt, and sunk to the bottom of the bay.”

“Well. Let me look at it first,” she said.

“You? You want to take a shot at it? A girl.”

“You doubt me?” she asked.

Nodding his head, regarding her with amused skepticism. “Okay Baby blue. Take your best shot.”

Anablue set her things down. Buttoning up her pink painting shirt, she climbed down onto the deck of the boat.

Pulling her hair back and tying it into a messy bun. Taking the wrench from his hand, she walked into the cabin with a sassy “just watch me” swing to her hips.

The engine was tucked under the floorboards of the cabin. Lying next to him on her tummy on the floor, she worked while he handed her the various tools she needed.

“I didn’t know sailboats had engines,” she said. “Kind of odd, don’t you think?”

“I think the previous owner added it. You need one if you end up adrift somewhere. I would hate to have to paddle back to port,” Donall said.

“Oh yeah. That would not be fun.”

“So, tell me how a girl like you knows how to fix an engine?” Donall asked.

“It goes back a while. First, it’s time for a secret.”

Donall chuckled. “Tell away.”

“I’m afraid of horses,” she said. “They’re big and intimidating. Mind you, I lived on a ranch. I never quite mastered the art of horseback riding like my brother and just about everyone else did. For me, just getting on the horse was like a clown show, let alone getting the horse to go where I wanted it to go.

“Your secret is safe with me,” Donall said.

“Anyhow, when I was fourteen I was always tinkering on my Gram’s old tractor, along with old engines in the pole barn. I used it as an excuse not to ride. I was too busy. Eventually, I talked the old mechanic, Bud, into hiring me to work at the gas station in town.”

A wide grin split his face. “A mechanic, you’re a mechanic.”

“Don’t laugh. I started out pumping gas and changing oil. Bud finally let me help him work on cars and trucks. He was getting old, so he retired and sold the gas station. The new owner didn’t want a girl working for him. I lost my job. So, you see I’ve been dealing with sexism for a very long time.”

Donall nodded. “You’re right. I was out of line. I am sorry.”

She nodded her head. “It hurt at the time, but then I was off to “see the world” with a new job.

After a couple of years, Gram got sick and I couldn’t leave her alone, so I had to go home. Even after she died, I never went back. Being a woman mechanic, they didn’t want me back. I was a bit of an embarrassment for them. I am, however, a certified mechanic.”

“How did you manage that?”

“In high school, I took night classes. I stuffed my hair up into a hat and wore my brother’s baggy clothes. They thought I was a boy.”

“They had to be blind. Even covered in grease I can see you’re a girl.”

“My dream when I was growing up was to own that little gas station.”

“And now?” Donall asked.

“I don’t know right now. The funny thing is, dreams change,” Anablue replied.

Donall reached over and ran his finger down her cheekbone to her neck. Snuggling into her, he placed soft kisses on her neck.

“No canoodling the mechanic,” she said, with a shiver.

Donall’s muffled laughter as he nuzzled her neck sent desire coursing through her body. She dropped the wrench and turned to him. He pulled her into his arms as his lips found hers. Tasting, exploring, he plundered her mouth and her neck, moving to the hint of cleavage at the V of her shirt. His hands roamed her body. From the curve of her back to her waist, and up to cup her breasts. She returned his fervent kisses, lost in his touch, an unknown need grew inside of her.

“Eight bells, Anablue.” Capt. Jack’s call brought her out of her passion-filled trance. Sitting up, she traced his lips with her finger leaving a trail of grease.

“You’re a dangerous man, Donall with two L’s.” She rose to her feet and left the cabin.

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BABY BLUE, the second standalone book in her adult historical romance series, Corrington Brothers, by Leesa Wright release on August 17

 ————————————————————————————–

Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: OPERATION AMETHYST
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR

 ————————————————————————————–

Author Leesa Wright

Author Leesa Wright

About the Author
Leesa makes her home in the Twin Cities metro area with her husband and her two dogs Rosie and Jax.

When she isn’t writing she enjoys gardening, painting, and reading romance novels. She and her husband also enjoy movies, traveling, and entertaining their two grown children along with several beautiful grandchildren.

Leesa’s favorite romance authors are Kathleen Woodwiss, Christine Feehan, and Johanna Lindsey.

The book’s inspiration came one night from a dream about the characters, a song, and the story around them.

 

 

 

 

Where to find Leesa Wright
Goodreads Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – PIECES OF EIGHT (Lost Souls’ Treasure Series) by Tricia Leedom

 

Welcome to the blog tour for PIECES OF EIGHT, the first book in the adult romantic adventure series, Lost Souls' Treasure, by Tricia Leedom

Welcome to the blog tour for PIECES OF EIGHT, the first book in the adult romantic adventure series, Lost Souls’ Treasure, by Tricia Leedom. See below for information on the book, buy links, the book’s playlist, and details on her giveaway.

PIECES OF EIGHT, the first book in the adult romantic adventure series, Lost Souls' Treasure, by Tricia Leedom

PIECES OF EIGHT (Lost Souls’ Treasure Series #1) by Tricia Leedom

About the Book
Title: PIECES OF EIGHT
Series: Lost Souls’ Treasure Series #1
Author: Tricia Leedom
Publisher: Firefly Hill Press
Release Date: July 13, 2021
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
From the author who whisked you away on a wild escapade in The Key West Escape Series comes a sexy, adventure-packed spin off. Follow Mitch Thompson and his team of misfits as they find danger, intrigue, and romance on the hunt for the legendary Lost Souls’ Treasure…

Former special ops aviator Griffin Dodge hasn’t been the same since he disobeyed a direct order and totaled a Blackhawk helicopter. After being separated from the military, he recovered from his injuries and took a job on a marine salvage crew based out of Key West. The only person he let himself get close to on the boat was a woman called “Bug” Martin, a waifish tomboy with a mean streak. They couldn’t have been more different – a former all-star golden boy from the mid-west and a French circus performer turned salvage diver – but they became best friends up until the day Griff’s high school sweetheart decided she wanted him back.

A year later, Bug still resents Griff for running off to Missouri and ghosting her and the crew. When her boss calls Griff into town for a favor, Bug wants to hit something. She settles on sucker-punching the selfish a-hole himself when he walks through the door. It doesn’t matter that he’s single again or that he’s sorry, she hates that she’s stuck flying shotgun to Martinique beside the guy who used to claim “quitting wasn’t in his vocabulary” before he abandoned their friendship and betrayed her trust.

The trip was supposed to take two days tops. Just enough time to retrieve the missing pages of a diary that could help lead the crew to The Lost Souls’ Treasure, but nothing is ever easy in Bug’s world. When the deal with the artifact collector goes south, Bug and Griff are forced to flee up the side of a volcano where the lava isn’t the only thing about to bubble over. The tension between them erupts into an unexpected night of passion that leaves them both questioning what comes next.

Griff starts to wonder if settling down in the suburbs still fits the man he’s become, while Bug isn’t sure if she’s willing to open her guarded-heart to the only man who’s ever broke it.

When a rival treasure hunter hellbent on finding the treasure first nabs Bug and another crew member, Griff realizes the future won’t matter, if he can’t bring his best friend home alive.

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Playlist
Piece of Eight (The Lost Souls’ Treasure Series Book One) is the first book my new contemporary romantic adventure series. I like to describe my books as sexy, funny, romantic action/adventure movies in print form, so I had a lot of fun creating a soundtrack for my novel.

1. Castaway by The Zac Brown Band – This song sets the tone of this book and the series. The opening lyrics capture what I want my readers to experience when they read one of my books… You’re “gonna have some fun tonight.” If you “wanna be a castaway and leave the world behind. Take a tropic holiday, say goodbye to keeping time…” then escape inside one of my adventures.

2. Waste of Lime by Ingrid Andreas – At its core, Pieces of Eight is a story about unrequited love. Griff and Bug (yes, that’s the heroine’s name) worked together on a marine salvage team out of Key West and were best friends up until the day Griff bailed on Bug to get back together with his ex. Bug, who had a secret crush on him, was heartbroken and angry. A year later, Griff returns, single again, but Bug still hasn’t forgiven him.

3. Desperado by Eagles – Griff’s theme song. Deep down, the sexy ex-Navy SEAL is lost and living with a lot of regrets.

4. Creep by Kina Grannis – Bug’s theme song. The former Circus performer turned salvage diver is a little different. She’s definitely not your typical heroine, but that makes her such an interesting character in my opinion.

5. Complicated by Carolyn Dawn Johnson – She hates him. She loves him. He still loves someone else. It’s complicated.

6. Kokomo by The Beach Boys – Tropical music interlude as our hero and heroine hop a flight to the Caribbean.

7. I Want You to Want Me by Letters to Cleo – What would you do if the man you were madly in love with—who also happened to be your best friend—came back into your life for just a few days? Would you take a shot and risk your friendship, or say nothing and pine for him after he was gone?

8. Somewhere on a Beach by Dierks Bentley – What if he kissed you and things went further than you ever expected?

9. Falling in Love (with my Best Friend) by Matt White – What if he started to have feelings for you?

10. Life is Better with You by Michael Franti & Spearhead – What if, just when he admitted how much he needed you, his ex called? (No spoilers from here on out.)

11. “The Man”- by Taylor Swift – I included this song because it’s an important secondary character’s cell phone ringtone. The song says a lot about this career-driven character who will make another appearance later in the series.

12. Shake Senora (feat. T-Pain and Sean Paul) by Pitbull, T-Pain, Sean Paul – Every adventure has a big, climatic action sequence. Insert this fun song here, and play it loud so you can hear it over the explosions.

13. If It Kills Me by Jason Mraz – *sigh*

14. You Are My Home by Man of Leisure – Double *sigh*

15. Lucky by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat – Roll the end credits. 😉

You can listen to the playlist I created for Piece of Eight here on Spotify.

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Author Tricia Leedom

Author Tricia Leedom

About the Author
TRICIA LEEDOM enjoys traveling to exotic destinations and having torrid love affairs with hot, dangerous men… even if it’s only in her own mind. When she’s not writing romantic adventure novels, she reads voraciously, tweets compulsively, and fangirls over a TV show based on her favorite book series. Tricia earned her BA in Creative Writing from The University of Tampa and her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. Her favorite authors include Diana Gabaldon, J.R. Ward, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Karen Robards, and Johanna Lindsey. She lives in Southwest Florida with two very spoiled dogs. Follow Tricia on Twitter and Instagram @tricialeedom

 

 

 

 

 

Where to Find Tricia Leedom
Goodreads Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Book Review + Giveaway – PLAYING WITH FIRE by April Henry

 

Welcome to the blog tour for PLAYING WITH FIRE, a stand-alone young adult thriller by April Henry

PLAYING WITH FIRE, a stand-alone young adult thriller by New York Times bestselling author April Henry

PLAYING WITH FIRE by April Henry

4 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
When a fire cuts off a popular trail in the Oregon forest, a small group trapped by the flames must find another way out―or die―in Playing with Fire, an unrelenting teen-vs-nature YA thriller by New York Times bestselling author April Henry.

Natalia is not the kind of girl who takes risks. Six years ago, she barely survived the house fire that killed her baby brother. Now she is cautious and always plays it safe. For months, her co-worker Wyatt has begged her to come hiking with him, and Natalia finally agrees.

But when a wildfire breaks out, blocking the trail back, a perfect sunny day quickly morphs into a nightmare. With no cell service, few supplies, and no clear way out of the burning forest, a group of strangers will have to become allies if they’re going to survive. Hiking in the dark, they must reach the only way out―a foot bridge over a deep canyon―before the fire catches them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Review
PLAYING WITH FIRE is a page-turning thriller set against the majestic falls, deep canyons, and lush landscape of the Pacific Northwest. During fire seasons, Natalia and her friends-to-more co-worker, Wyatt, are out for a hike when a new fire breaks out, trapping them and independent groups of strangers as night approaches. Without a phone signal and no way to call for help, they retreat from the punishing flames, hoping to outrun the fire in time to be rescued. At nearly every turn, something impedes their odds of success, from someone missing from their ranks, a blocked bridge, a precarious ledge to cross, and someone within their group working against them.

Plot
This is primarily a survival story, and the action moves at a steady pace. There is a romantic subplot between Wyatt and Natalia, and a very small change arc on Natalia’s part. The story is well plotted and crafted to keep me turning the virtual pages on my Kindle. Even though we know from the opening pages how the fire started, that is the only thing we are sure of. Because this is a standalone and a thriller, there is no way to know if our favorite characters will all make it out alive, which is the hallmark of excellent storytelling.

The Characters
The characters were where I felt the story lacked. Natalia and Wyatt never felt like authentic teens to me. They were far too level-headed, prepared, and unemotional to be like any teens I live with, or happen to have met. But they were likable, and the supporting characters were fascinating, like the cast from an early season of Survivor, making me want to pull for all of them. Natalia is the victim of a home fire when she was younger, and is understandably terrified of the wildfire. The flashbacks to that event are hard to read, but really well done.

Top Five Things I Enjoyed About PLAYING WITH FIRE
1. Setting. The wilderness provides so much opportunity to throw curveballs at the characters, and left the reader on edge, never knowing what was coming next.

2. Survival. I love a good survival story and this one really shines.

3. Surprises. Nearly ever chapter ends with a cliffhanger which kept me reading late into the night.

4. Fire. Okay, I don’t love wildfires, having had to evacuate more than once in recent years, but I love the unpredictability of fire as an antagonist.

5. Thriller. Taking this beyond just a story of man vs. nature and adding the bad seed among them was a delicious twist.

Bottom Line
A gripping survival tale of man vs. nature and man vs. man.

Disclaimer
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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About the Book
Title: PLAYING WITH FIRE
Author: April Henry
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Release Date: January 19, 2021
Pages: 233
Genre: Young Adult Thriller
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Barnes & Noble

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New York Times Bestselling Author April Henry

Author April Henry

About the Author
April Henry is the New York Times–bestselling author of many acclaimed mysteries for adults and young adults, including the YA novels The Girl in the White Van; Girl, Stolen; The Night She Disappeared; The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die; The Girl I Used to Be, which was nominated for an Edgar Award and won the Anthony Award for Best YA Mystery; Count All Her Bones; The Lonely Dead; Run, Hide, Fight Back; and The Body in the Woods and Blood Will Tell, the first two books in the Point Last Seen series. She lives in Oregon.

 

 

 

Where to Find April Henry
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Young Adult Book Review + Giveaway – THE CON CODE by Shana Silver

 

Welcome to the blog tour for THE CON CODE, a stand-alone young adult thriller, by Shana Silver

THE CON CODE, a stand-alone young adult thriller, by Shana Silver

THE CON CODE by Shana Silver

4 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
A teen forger and thief forms a criminal crew from her high school friends (and crush) to perform a series of heists leading to the location of her missing mother in this action-packed contemporary YA novel.

By day, seventeen-year-old Fiona Spangler runs small cons for her ritzy prep-school classmates: getting them out of tests and forging fake hall passes. But by night, Fiona joins her dad on riskier heists: stealing back the clue-filled forgeries her mom scattered across the country before she disappeared. Fiona desperately hopes that her mother will be waiting at the end of the scavenger hunt she left behind.

And they are SO close. Just three more heists remain, but then disaster strikes when Fiona’s dad is captured by the FBI. Desperate to finish the job and save what’s left of her family, Fiona assembles of crew of teen criminals: a master of disguise who can transform into anyone, a talented hacker who only communicates in glares, and a rival con artist with a vendetta against—and possible crush on—Fiona.

All they have to do is perform three nearly impossible heists, solve her mother’s incredibly complex clues, and evade the FBI. Easy, right?

 

 

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My Review
This was a nice diversion from real life, and just what I needed. Seventeen-year-old Fiona is the daughter of con artists. Her entire life has been devoted to learning the craft of the con. A talented artist and impeccable forger, she and her family have been pulling cons as long as she can remember. But when she was ten, her mother disappeared and left clues on how to find her in her forgeries. Fiona and her dad have been working to retrieve the forgeries and the clues so the family can be together again. At least until her father is caught pulling a job. Now Fiona must complete the mission herself. She pulls together a ragtag crew of high school friends, including a tech genius, a former cosplayer turned master of disguise, and her arch nemesis, but charming classmate she may or may not have a thing for,

Plot
The story centers around Fiona finding her mother and the heists she needs to complete to gather all the clues to find her mother. The heists were well-planned and executed, and added such an entertaining thread through the book. There is a subtle romantic element with Colin, the son of the FBI agent who arrested her father and a number of twists; some I saw coming, others I didn’t, making this a well-plotted fun read.

The Characters
The characters are what really makes this story. Fiona is a fully-engaging anti-hero as a con artist. At no point did I not pull for her. She’s a criminal, but she was so lovable and relatable, I wanted her to succeed at every turn. Her dad, while singularly driven, still clearly loves his daughter and puts her needs above his own. Her best friend Natalie and her tech guru, Tig, are both interesting in their own ways. And Colin, as the potential love interest, is just as complex as Fiona.

Top Five Things I Enjoyed About THE CON CODE
1. Heists. We’ve been rewatching the Ocean’s Eleven movie franchise and I forgot how fun a well-developed con can be.

2. Fiona. She is so dedicated to finding her mom, but her loyalty to her crew at all costs makes her a hero to root for to the very end.

3. Action. The story moves with a lot of action and edge-of-your-seat suspense.

4. Loyalty. Fiona is loyal to her family and her friends and those loyalties are tested, making her even more relatable.

5. The Ending. I wasn’t sure how things were going to end up, but the author did a great job of wrapping everything up in a satisfying ending that wasn’t predictable.

Bottom Line
A thrilling escapist read with fantastic characters and lots of action.

Disclaimer
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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About the Book
Title: THE CON CODE
Author: Shana Silver
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: August 25, 2020
Pages: 336
Genre: Young Adult Thriller
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT |Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

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Author Shana Silver

Author Shana Silver

About the Author
Shana Silver studied creative writing at Syracuse University. She’s been a computer animator, an e-book creator for a major publisher, and now works as a Project Manager in digital and TV advertising where she enjoys telling people what to do. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, young daughter, and the characters she dreams up. MIND GAMES is her debut novel. THE CON CODE comes out in Summer 2020.

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Where to Find Shana Silver
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Young Adult Book Review + Giveaway – STING by Cindy R. Wilson

Blog Tour for STING, a young adult dystopian adventure, by Cindy R. Wilson

Welcome to the blog tour for STING, a young adult dystopian adventure/romance by Cindy R. Wilson. See below for information on the book, buy links, my five-star review, and details on her giveaway.

Cover for STING, a young adult dystopian adventure, by Cindy R. Wilson

STING by Cindy R. Wilson

5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
They call me the Scorpion because they don’t know who I really am. All they know is that someone is stealing from people with excess to help people with nothing survive another day.

But then a trusted friend reveals who I am―“just” Tessa, “just” a girl―and sends me straight into the arms of the law. All those people I helped…couldn’t help me when I needed it.

In prison, I find an unlikely ally in Pike, who would have been my enemy on the outside. He represents everything I’m against. Luxury. Excess. The world immediately falling for his gorgeous smile. How he ended up in the dirty cell next to mine is a mystery, but he wants out as much as I do. Together, we have a real chance at escape.

With the sting of betrayal still fresh, Pike and I will seek revenge on those who wronged us. But uncovering all their secrets might turn deadly…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Review
This is a fun thrill ride from the opening pages through the pulse-pounding conclusion. Cindy R. Wilson creates fascinating characters and throws them into impossible situations against a rich dystopian backdrop. Scorpion is just a teenage girl who was unfortunately on the wrong side of the bride when the world came tumbling down. Living in a “bunker” in an abandoned gaming center, Tessa, aka the Scorpion, shares her “home” with Cass, a twelve-year-old orphan. The two form a tight family unit, which not only do whatever it takes to survive, but also helping others who live in the Dark District get what they need. This makes her public enemy number one of the Light Sight, which is under the control of Campbell, who also happens to be the father of her best friend, Elle. But when someone betrays her, Tessa is thrown into prison where she meets Pike, a former enforcer in training who wants to take down Campbell almost as much as Tessa does. The two form a friendship that borders on something more as they plan to escape and help the Dark Side and exact revenge on Campbell. But Tessa’s hate for Campbell is powerful and may get in the way of what she needs to do.

There are a lot of similarities between STING and THE HUNGER GAMES. So if you enjoy a good dystopian adventure of the oppressed rising up against their oppressor, a badass heroine with a younger sister figure she’ll do anything for, and a couple of swoony boys fighting over the protagonist, this is right up your alley!

Plot
The main plot centers on Tessa and her quest for revenge against Campbell, the man who has kept the Dark District in the dark. There are strong subplots involving Tessa’s search for Cass, and her relationships with both River, another darksider, and Pike, the lightsider she meets in prison. The story shines in all of these areas. The action is well-spaced ensuring perfect pacing and twists and turns kept me engaged. Some I saw coming, others not so much. Everything is expertly woven together to create a compelling story that is nearly impossible to put down.

Characters
The characters are superb! Scorpion will go down in history as one of my all-time favorite heroines. River, Pike, Cass and the rest are all deep, complex, compelling. Even the antagonists are more than just shallow stereotypes for the most part. Mongo and even Elle at times seemed sort of trope-y, but they served a necessary purpose. I love Tessa so much. She’s tough but vulnerable. Her inexperience with romance makes her stumble over her feelings for those around her, but her fierce loyalty is what endears her to me from the very beginning. Pike is my Peta. He’s also loyal, brave, smart, and he gets Tessa on a deep level. River is my sweet, sweet Gale. He loves Tessa so much, he’d do anything for her. Elle is complex and conflicted as the best friend and daughter of Tessa’s rival, and Campbell, well, he’s easy to believe these days as a greedy bastard who sees the poor people of the world as a drain on his power and wealth.

What I Loved About STING
1. Tessa.
She’s the perfect blend of strength, fearlessness, loyalty, and vulnerability.

2. Pike. He’s wonderfully patient, brave, and would do anything for Tessa.

3. Action. There is a lot of it and it’s pulse-pounding and intense.

4. River. Another great guy who will risk everything for the people he cares about.

5. Twists and Turns. Really well done and caught me by surprise more than once.

What Didn’t Quite Work for Me
Nothing! Though I hope this is the first book in a series. It doesn’t end on a cliffhanger and I have no idea what the author would do in a second book, but I love this world and these characters so much, I don’t want to let them go.

Bottom Line
A thrilling dystopian adventure with plenty of romance!

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About the Book
Title: STING
Author: Cindy R. Wilson
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: March 3, 2020
Pages: 400
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian Romance
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon ITBarnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

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Author Cindy R. Wilson

Author Cindy R. Wilson

About the Author
Cindy lives at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and loves using Colorado towns and cities as inspiration for settings in her stories. She’s the mother of three girls, who provide plenty of fodder for her YA novels. Cindy writes speculative fiction and YA fiction, filled with a healthy dose of romance. You’ll often find her hiking or listening to any number of playlists while she comes up with her next story idea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Where to Find Cindy R. Wilson
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – RUNE’S FOLLY (Tower of Shells) by Garen Glazier

RUNE'S FOLLY Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for RUNE’S FOLLY, the first book in the young adult fantasy series, Tower of Shells, by Garen Glazier. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

RUNE'S FOLLY (Tower of Shells #1) by Garen Glazier

RUNE’S FOLLY (Tower of Shells #1) by Garen Glazier

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title:
RUNE’S FOLLY
Series: Tower of Shells #1
Author: Garen Glazier
Publisher: Only Child Press
Release Date: February 1, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
By day, Tansy McCoy is a florist making charmed bouquets for the citizens of Junonia, capital of the Kingdom of Terranmar. By night, she’s an assassin and the keeper of the Dangerous Garden where deadly blooms grow. Together with the town tailor, butcher, baker, and metalsmith (just don’t call her a candlestick maker), she is part of the Guild, a secret group of spell-wielding thieves and mercenaries. Their task: consolidate all that remains of the realm’s fading magic under the ruthless King Zeno’s control.

Impetuous loner Tansy chafes under her Guild demands. She longs to quit her town and trade and head for the hills. Unfortunately, King Zeno has other plans. He wants to marry off his daughter to Terranmar’s famously reclusive wizard, Rune Hallows, and he’s willing to have the Guild kidnap him to make it happen. Fail to deliver the wizard and the consequences will be swift and deadly.

Reluctant but determined, Tansy sets out on the long journey to faraway Wentletrap and Rune’s desolate tower by the sea. To get there she must cross a swamp full of sinister surprises, battle a werewolf, and outrace a bloodthirsty band of revenants, while she wrestles with her own magical powers that seem to be expanding in unpredictable ways.

But reaching Rune’s tower is only the beginning. When Tansy learns the real reason behind the king’s contest, she’ll need to decide whether to give in to the growing forces of magic ready to reclaim Terranmar or embrace her newfound powers to save the kingdom.

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Excerpt #1
“Good afternoon, sir,” said Tansy.

“Afternoon,” he said as he made quick work of the short distance between the door and Tansy’s workbench near the back of the shop, the old floorboards creaking. He looked relaxed but expectant.

“Is there something I can help you with?” she asked. “I do flowers both traditional and magical here at The Flax & Fern.”

“Mina sent me.”

Tansy’s eyes narrowed as she assessed the stranger. The palace seal was stitched onto his breast pocket. An official on royal business.

“Where’s Robbern?” Tansy said, referring to the usual palace agent.

“He’s been removed from the employ of the House of Neberon. I am Denal. I’ll be taking Robbern’s place.”

“Has he now, and will you now? Hmm.”

Tansy made a mental note to burn a little incense for poor Robbern. No one was ever simply fired from the House of Neberon. All the people that worked for the House were what Ms. Caraway would have called ne’er-do-wells. Tansy could think of a few other choice terms for their ilk, but she’d liked Robbern well enough. He wasn’t as bad as the others and that was probably why he hadn’t lasted long.

“Indeed,” Denal sniffed. “Now, if you’d be so good as to fill this list of requests, I’ll be on my way presently. I have other business to attend to this afternoon.”

He proffered her a list written in Mina’s ornate script, pinched between his index and pointer fingers in an affected manner.

Tansy took it with a sigh and quickly scanned the requested items.

10 belladona berries

2 bunches digitalis

5 taxus cones

1 levantus bloom

“Wait here,” she said, as she grabbed her basket.

She stepped through the red door at the back of the shop and locked it behind her, then strode quickly through the kitchen and down the hall until she reached the tiny sunroom at the back of the living space she shared with Ms. Caraway.

It was a fine day and the sun was high in the sky. Tansy let its bright rays warm her skin for just a moment before she crossed the threshold into the walled garden beyond. The pungent scent of rosemary and clove was on the air and, looking down, Tansy saw the herbs mixed with the rough, white grains of salt that Ms. Caraway preferred. The old witch must have sensed that a new visitor would be crossing their path today. Taking another deep breath Tansy noted that the protection spell could have marinated in the moonlight a bit longer before it was spread on the ground, but she was comforted by the sight and smell of it nonetheless.

It was early summer and the garden was in full bloom. A bounty of roses in every hue spilled across the narrow path. Cornflowers in white, pink, and blue swayed gently in the breeze, while henlias sprouted in vibrant reds and oranges near the garden walls. Tansy hoped that the sight of the cheerful flowers would bolster her spirits, but the new arrival had raised her guard. And while she knew it was her duty to provide the House with plants from the Dangerous Garden, the requests were coming at increasingly close intervals and for increasingly opaque reasons.

The path ended at a black, ironwork gate. At its center, an ornate skull fashioned from the metal grinned a warning. Retrieving a key from a string around her neck, Tansy slipped it into the bolt and turned. The gate swung backward without a sound and she stepped through into her own secret garden.

It was small but verdant, and, in many ways, more beautiful than the one that provided the traditional blooms for her florist shop. It did seem strange that beauty and death could be so inextricably linked in the plant world. But, then, that was often the case with humans as well.

She donned a pair of gloves that she kept in her apron before gathering the jet-black belladonna berries, then frowned in concentration as she plucked five cherry-red taxus cones. Taking a pair of shears from her pocket, she severed the stems of the vibrant digitalis before turning her attention to the bush bearing the cerulean petals of the levantus flower.

Still mulling over the unwelcome arrival of the Crown’s new agent, she snipped the bloom off before realizing it was the last one on the bush. She was glad that Mina’s list had only called for one as a quick check revealed just shiny green-black leaves and not even the beginnings of a bud. She made a mental note to mention it to Ms. Caraway. The witch was old and slightly bent, but she was still the best at encouraging the plants to produce their various flowers, fruits, roots, bulbs, and seeds. When she talked, green things listened.

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Author Garen Glazier

Author Garen Glazier

About the Authors
I have always called Seattle home and find the perpetual gloom to be a wonderful writing ally. I like coffee shops, bookstores, dancing in my living room and singing in my car. The opening scene of Up makes me cry. Three Amigos makes me laugh. Fashion magazines, croissants, and long, long baths are my guilty pleasures. They might occur separately or together. I prefer boxing classes to yoga, and I get some of my best ideas when I’m running. I loved school and spent more time than one really should getting a business degree in marketing and a master’s in art history. In an ideal world I’d go to bed at 2am and wake up at 10am. I’ve never been an early bird, and I feel strongly that alarm clocks kill dreams.

 

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Where to Garen Glazier
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Book Review + Giveaway – EXTINCTION OF ALL CHILDREN (Extinction of All Children) by L.J. Epps

EXTINCTION OF ALL CHILDREN (Extinction of All Children #1) by L.J. Epps

EXTINCTION OF ALL CHILDREN (Extinction of All Children #1) by L.J. Epps

4 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
A young adult, fantasy novel about a teenager who is the last eighteen-year-old in her territory. There will never be another child; every baby born after her has been taken away. Everyone wonders why she survived.

Emma Whisperer was born in 2080, in the small futuristic world of Craigluy. President Esther, in charge for the last twenty-two years, has divided their world into three territories, separated by classes—the rich, the working class, and the poor—because she believes the poor should not mingle with the others. And, the poor are no longer allowed to have children, since they do not have the means to take care of them.

Any babies born, accidentally or willfully, are killed. Emma is the last eighteen-year-old in her territory; every baby born after her has died. Somehow, she survived this fate.

During the president’s Monday night speech, she announces a party will be held to honor the last child in the territory, Emma Whisperer. Emma must read a speech, expressing how happy she is to be the last eighteen-year-old.

Emma doesn’t like the rules; she doesn’t believe in them. So, she feels she must rebel against them. Her family doesn’t agree with her rebellion, since they are hiding a big secret.

If this secret gets out, it will be disastrous, and deadly, for her family.

During Emma’s journey, she meets—and becomes friends with—Eric. He is one of the guards for the president. She also befriends Samuel, another guard for the president, who is summoned to watch over her. As Emma meets new people, she doesn’t know who she can trust. Yet, she finds herself falling for a guy, something which has never happened before.

After doing what she feels is right, Emma finds herself in imminent danger.

In the end, she must make one gut-wrenching decision, a decision that may be disastrous for them all.

“Fans of dystopian fantasy will devour this book. L. J. Epps writes a story that, while dealing with heavy subject matter, is still a light, enjoyable read. This dystopian fantasy novel ignites the imagination, and is a must read for fans of The Hunger Games and the Divergent Trilogy.”
—Kristina Gemmell, Beta Reader

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My Review
I’m a sucker for a good dystopian tale, and one involving the extinction of children has such incredible possibilities, I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into this. Emma Whisperer is the last child born in Territory L (lower class). Someone had to be the last child born when the president decrees that those in the lower class do not have the resources necessary to raise children. But that doesn’t stop those who lost children or younger siblings from hating Emma for something she had no control over. Because if a woman happens to get pregnant even after all the precautions and birth control provided by the government, the woman is forced to carry that baby to term, only to have the baby executed and the woman send to prison. It seems over-the-top cruel at times, until I remember all the horrors I read in THE HUNGER GAMES and THE HANDMAIDS TALE. There are a lot of similarities to both of those stories as well as DIVERGENT. In addition to Territory L, there is Territory M (middle class) and Territory U (upper class) where people aspire to move to, though it’s not rare and not easy to qualify. As time goes by, Emma discovers she was the last child allowed to be born for a reason. As she uncovers even more secrets, she is more determined than ever to change things in her world. For everyone.

Plot
While not action-packed, the plot does move at a steady pace. There were a few intriguing twists that kept me turning the pages despite the lack of action. Even the climax seemed to wrap up too quickly, and that’s one of my only real complaints with the pacing. The main plot centers around Emma and her place in Territory L. Her inability to go with the flow and buck the system at every turn lands her in jail for 30 days where she discovers a lot more than she ever realized about the inner workings of her government. She also meets several young male guards who challenge her in different ways, all of which she is ill-equipped to handle. The first of a trilogy, THE EXTINCTION OF ALL CHILDREN ends with a satisfying conclusion to the book, but with enough anticipation for what comes next, that I’ll be reading the next book in the series for sure.

Characters
The story is more plot driven than character driven and that shows up in the character development. The themes are dark and the characters have a hopelessness about them that carries through the story. No deep flaws are overcome at this stage and no real growth happens yet. But I suspect we’ll get that in the next couple of books in the series.

What I Enjoyed About THE EXTINCTION OF ALL CHILDREN
1. The Concept.
 What a great idea for a story. It has all the elements of the worst dystopian world, including a protagonist I can root for and an antagonist I love to hate.

2. Twists and Turns. More than a few surprises caught me off guard and in several times I was sure I knew what was going to happen, but it turned out I was wrong.

3. Emma. There’s nothing lovable about her, but Emma’s rough edges and harsh exterior are exactly what she needs to survive in her world. She’s part Katniss, part Tris, and part Offred.

4. Theodore. Emma’s brother is both annoying and sweet. The way he respects authority, even an evil regime, is excusable when you realize his family is the most important thing in the world to him.

5. The Settings. The entire Territory L is drab, bleak, grey, and you never lose sight of that through the author’s scene settings.

Bottom Line
A solid start to a dystopian adventure

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About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: EXTINCTION OF ALL CHILDREN
Series: Extinction of All Children #1
Author: L.J. Epps
Release Date: June 3, 2016
Pages: 250
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Rating:
4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

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About the Author
L.J. Epps is a lover of all things related to books: fiction and nonfiction novels, as well as biographies and autobiographies. She has also been known to sit and read comic books from cover to cover, several times over.

Over the last few years, L.J. has written several manuscripts; her mission is to publish all of them. She enjoys writing fiction in several genres, including contemporary romance and women’s fiction, as well as young adult dystopian, science fiction and fantasy. She loves to write because it immerses her into another world that is not her own.

Where to Find L.J. Epps
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Young Adult Book Review + Giveaway – A SOLDIER AND A LIAR by Caitlin Lochner

A SOLDIER AND A LIAR Blog Tour

A SOLDIER AND A LIAR by Caitlin Lochner

A SOLDIER AND A LIAR by Caitlin Lochner

4 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
In a world on the brink of war, four superpowered teens must learn to work together for peace in Caitlin Lochner’s action-packed debut novel, Soldier and A Liar.

Lai Cathwell is good at keeping secrets. As a Nyte, a supernaturally gifted teenager who is feared and shunned by the ungifted, this skill is essential to survival. Orchestrating her own imprisonment to escape military duty has only honed her ability to deceive others. But when rebels start attacking the city, Lai is dragged back into the fight with a new team of Nytes.

Thrown together with Jay, a self-conscious perfectionist consumed by the desire to be accepted; Al, a short-tempered fighter lying for the sake of revenge; and Erik, an amnesiac hell-bent on finding his memories and his place in the world, Lai realizes she’s facing an entirely different kind of challenge–one that might just be impossible. But if this team can’t learn to work together, the entire sector will be plunged into war.

 

 

 

 

 

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My Review
I wasn’t sure what to make of A SOLDIER AND A LIAR at first. It starts off slow and the characters are difficult to relate to, but I’m glad I stuck it out. The story and character development really picks up at about the 50% mark and takes off after that. Lai Cathwell is 17-year-old superpowered soldier. She and fellow young adults, Al (Johann), Erik (Mendel), and Jay (Kitahara) form an unlikely team of enhanced humans known as Nytes, on a mission to take out an elite squad of rebel Nytes determined to overthrow the Etiole government. While Nytes have powers, they are shunned for them, treated as second-class citizens at best. Lai wants acceptances and equality for Nytes, while the other three each have their own reasons for accepting the mission. With four different motivators, to say they’re a team would be a massive overstatement. Trust is hard to come by and suspicions run high. As their leader, Jay wants cohesion and solicits Lai’s help to make that happen. The more Lai learns about her teammates, the more she both likes them and distrusts them. But they’ll be forced to work together, whether they like it or not, to prevent all out war.

Plot
I think the primary plot is about the mission and stopping the war, but it feels more like it’s abut the relationships between the four Nytes as they get to know each other and grudgingly begin to trust one another. The action scenes are really well done, but they don’t drive the plot as much as the interpersonal scenes do. And it’s those scenes that made me care about the outcome of the action scenes. There’s also a budding romance between Jay and Lai always simmering just below the surface. This relationship came across as forced initially, but as with the rest of the book, it hit its stride about halfway through.

The Characters
The characters are my favorite part. Watching shy, socially awkward Jay try to navigate his attraction to Lai, Lai’s heavily armored exterior giving way to friendships, Erik’s selfishness giving way to something more, and Al’s standoffishness meld into someone I could identify with was what made this story really work for me. The author has created deeply authentic characters that are initially tough to get to know, but evolve with time at the same pace for us as they do for Lai. By not trying to force us to care early on, the author does us a favor and allows the reader’s feelings to grow organically as the story progresses. There are a lot of secondary and tertiary characters, who only make sporadic appearances, so I found myself flipping back to reread the scenes where they were first introduced.

Top Five Things I Enjoyed About A SOLDIER AND A LIAR
1. Scene setting. The author has a way of bringing her settings to life in this world where people live in underground sectors to protect them for dangers above ground that only Nytes can survive. The descriptions are so vivid, I had no difficulty immersing myself in this world.

2. Friendships. The relationships between the characters develop over the story, so that the reader builds the same relationship at the same time as the narrator.

3. Super powers. This isn’t your typical superhero story, but the powers the Nytes possess are no less fun and shape the story as much as anything else.

4. Equality. Whether it’s Sneetches with stars upon thars, the color of one’s skin, or being a Nyte or Etiole, everyone wants to be seen as equal, and this classic theme is well done.

5. Lai. She’s fierce, independent, and just vulnerable enough to make her a heroine worth rooting for.

Bottom Line
A different take on superheroes and dystopian adventures with strong characters.

Disclaimer
I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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About the Book
Title: A SOLDIER AND A LIAR
Author: Caitlin Lochner
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: February 19, 2019
Pages: 301
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian/SciFi Romance/Adventure
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

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Author Caitlin Lochner

Author Caitlin Lochner

About The Author
(Um, so, wow bios are hard.) I studied creative writing at the University of South Florida and used my BA in words to become an English teaching assistant in Tokyo. I’m in love with storytelling of any kind, but especially in the form of books, manga, and video games. If you ever want to talk nerdy, I am VERY down.

 

 

 

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Where to Find Caitlin Lochner
Goodreads | Website | TwitterInstagram

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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – LOSING NORMAL by Francis Moss

LOSING NORMAL Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for LOSING NORMAL, a stand-alone young adult dystopian adventure, by Francis Moss. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on his giveaway.

LOSING NORMAL by Francis Moss

LOSING NORMAL by Francis Moss

About the Book
Title: LOSING NORMAL
Author: Francis Moss
Publisher: Encelia Press
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian Adventure
Release Date: November 5, 2018
Link: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Everyone we love, everything we know, is going away… and only an autistic boy can stop it.

Alex knows exactly how many steps it takes to get from his home to Mason Middle School. This is normal.

Alex knows the answers in AP math before his teacher does, which is also normal.

Alex knows that something bad is coming out of the big screen in his special needs class. It’s pushing images into his head, hurting him, making him forget. Alex pushes back, the screen explodes, and nothing is normal any more.

Giant screen televisions appear all over the city. The programming is addictive. People have to watch, but Alex cannot.

Sophie, the sentient machine behind all this, sees the millions and millions of eyeballs glued to her and calls it love. To Sophie, kids like Alex are defective. Defectives are to be fixed…or eliminated.

 

 

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Excerpt #3
Chapter Ten: Alex

Even inside the abandoned old house, we smelled the fires. Sara and I would go out walking, early in the morning, before the Calliope Guardians started patrolling. Yesterday at 7:38 AM, I saw three firemen in the fire station on the boulevard, sitting on a red GMC 3500 EMS truck, watching a Calliope television broadcast on the wall. Sixty-one meters down the street, smoke was coming from the front windows of a little white and blue house. This was normal now.

Later that afternoon, Sara and I walked the four hundred and five steps down to the little convenience store, which was still open. We pulled down our baseball caps when we passed under the big Calliope screen on the roof, which has video surveillance in it. I felt it, probing, looking, but it mostly doesn’t bother me now, unless I get too close. Sara just walks faster. I think she’s dealing with it better than me.

“…incidents of vandalism have decreased markedly, according to reports from across the country. The President, seen here at a Rose Garden press conference, announced today that he intends to lift the state of emergency as soon as next week.”

There was no one in the store, and almost nothing on the shelves. We found two overripe apples and a squished package of bread. I wanted to leave some money, but Sara looked at me with her right eyebrow raised, which I knew meant I’m acting stupid or crazy. We went back to the old house. On the porch of the yellow house at the corner, a woman in a black tee-shirt was sitting on one of the raggedy easy chairs, looking at a picture book, then looking up. She saw us walk by, but didn’t say anything. Like me and like everyone, she was probably trying to remember who she was, who she used to be. This was also normal now.

When it got dark, Sara lit candles and the one lantern we have, because the electricity goes off a lot. We each ate one apple and I had two slices of bread. Then Sara locked the doors and fell asleep on the couch. I laid down on the cot. I dreamt that I was flying, and I heard a woman’s voice that sounded like my mom. “It’s time to come home.”

The next morning, there was an engine noise outside on the street, and I peeled back the newspapers that covered the front window to look. A white van with the Calliope logo moved slowly down the block. I woke Sara and we went out the back door and down the alley.

We walked on the dirt middle section of the boulevard where the trolley tracks used to be. It’s twelve blocks, which is three thousand four hundred sixty-seven steps away from the house. The red brick library, which I had been to a few times, was closed. The broken glass front doors had plywood on them, where someone had spray-painted, “Help Us.” Above the doors was a giant Calliope video screen, ten meters tall, eighteen meters wide. I pulled down my blue baseball cap with the New York Yankees logo and looked down at the cracked sidewalk; Sophie was looking for me.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the giant screen.

“The Melonian army is four parsecs away, and traveling at twice light.”

“That doesn’t give us much time, Jim. We’ve got to move the fleet now.”

Fifteen people stared up, gape-jawed, watching. When I looked at it, the images dissolved into colored lines and shapes coming at me, washing over me, trying to make me forget. I looked away.

A gray-haired man, wrapped in a dirty green blanket, walked toward us, playing a sad tune on a soprano saxophone hanging from a colored strap around his neck. A pony-tailed man turned away from the screen and frowned. He put his finger to his lips and made a shushing sound. The old man ignored him, walking closer. Other people turned away from their dreams to look.

“Quiet!” someone said. The old man stopped playing, picked up a piece of asphalt, and hurled it at the screen. The asphalt bounced off, leaving a square of dark black pixels in a bottom corner of the screen. People yelled, dodging the rock as it fell to the ground. The old man stood in front of the screen and began to play his sad tune.

The movie stopped and a card appeared on the screen: ATTENTION. A woman’s voice said: “Attention. Public safety violation. Public safety violation. Under Emergency Order 56, you are required to stay where you are. Remain calm.”

We walked away.

A white van screeched to a stop at the curb. Two men wearing black jump suits got out, grabbed the old man, took the saxophone from him, and threw it in the street. They tossed him in the back. The van drove off. Another white van pulled up and two men stepped out of it, holding shiny black devices with antennas. They were looking for me and Sara.

We ran.

I am trying to remember who I am. I am Alex. I am Alex.

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Author Francis Moss

Author Francis Moss

About the Authors
Francis Moss has written and story-edited hundreds of hours of scripts on many of the top animated shows of the 90s and 00s. Beginning his television work in live-action with Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, he soon starting writing cartoons (“a lot more jobs, and also more fun”), staff writing and freelancing on She-Ra, Princess of Power, Iron Man, Ducktales, and a four-year stint on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, writing and story-editing more episodes than you can swing a nuchaku at.

One of his TMNT scripts, “The Fifth Turtle,” was the top-rated script among all the 193 episodes in a fan poll on IGN.COM. A list of his television credits is at IMDB.COM.

Francis, in partnership with Ted Pedersen, also wrote three middle-grade non-fiction books: Internet For Kids, Make Your Own Web Page, and How To Find (Almost) Anything On The Internet. Internet For Kids was a big success, with three revised editions and twelve foreign language versions. He’s the sole author of The Rosenberg Espionage Case.

After high school where he grew up in Los Angeles, Francis had one dismal semester at a junior college, and then enlisted in the Army. He became a military policeman and served in Poitiers, France, falling in love with the country, taking his discharge there and traveling around Europe (including running with the bulls in Pamplona) until his money ran out.

He attended the University of California, Berkeley and became active in the civil rights and anti-war movements, still managing to earn a BA and an MA in English lit (“the major of choice for wannabe writers”).

Francis is married to Phyllis, a former music teacher and active viola player. They have a son, a daughter and one grandson. They live in Joshua Tree, California.

Where to Find Francis Moss
Goodreads │ Website | Facebook

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – RUNE’S FOLLY (Tower of Shells) by Garen Glazier

RUNE'S FOLLY Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for RUNE’S FOLLY, the first book in the young adult fantasy series, Tower of Shells, by Garen Glazier. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

RUNE'S FOLLY (Tower of Shells #1) by Garen Glazier

RUNE’S FOLLY (Tower of Shells #1) by Garen Glazier

About the Book
Title:
RUNE’S FOLLY
Series: Tower of Shells #1
Author: Garen Glazier
Publisher: Only Child Press
Release Date: February 1, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
By day, Tansy McCoy is a florist making charmed bouquets for the citizens of Junonia, capital of the Kingdom of Terranmar. By night, she’s an assassin and the keeper of the Dangerous Garden where deadly blooms grow. Together with the town tailor, butcher, baker, and metalsmith (just don’t call her a candlestick maker), she is part of the Guild, a secret group of spell-wielding thieves and mercenaries. Their task: consolidate all that remains of the realm’s fading magic under the ruthless King Zeno’s control.

Impetuous loner Tansy chafes under her Guild demands. She longs to quit her town and trade and head for the hills. Unfortunately, King Zeno has other plans. He wants to marry off his daughter to Terranmar’s famously reclusive wizard, Rune Hallows, and he’s willing to have the Guild kidnap him to make it happen. Fail to deliver the wizard and the consequences will be swift and deadly.

Reluctant but determined, Tansy sets out on the long journey to faraway Wentletrap and Rune’s desolate tower by the sea. To get there she must cross a swamp full of sinister surprises, battle a werewolf, and outrace a bloodthirsty band of revenants, while she wrestles with her own magical powers that seem to be expanding in unpredictable ways.

But reaching Rune’s tower is only the beginning. When Tansy learns the real reason behind the king’s contest, she’ll need to decide whether to give in to the growing forces of magic ready to reclaim Terranmar or embrace her newfound powers to save the kingdom.

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Excerpt
The tower was his retreat, the night his refuge.

During the day he was the subject of ridicule. The children stared. The old women whispered, shaking their heads as he passed by. He would curse them under his breath and pull his hood down.

Rune’s days were harsh, soured by the small minds and cruel tongues of the villagers that called Wentletrap home.

But the nights were his.

And most nights, by candlelight, he would shape with knowing fingers a crude little figure, a man, out of the red clay he gathered from the rolling hills just beyond the shore. He would thrust two arched sticks into the clay man’s back, and to these he carefully attached feathers. Albatross, gull, and osprey.

His ancient books kept him company, and they had taught him the right words. Whispering them into the sour-salt air, the wings of his creation would beat once, twice, and then the clay man, his homunculus, would fly. It would soar over the moonlit ocean until the morning came and the cruel sun cracked the clay, wilted the wings, and stole the magic away.

But before the blasted rays of daylight destroyed them, the homunculi would return to Rune’s tower bringing back ingredients from their journeys. Leaves, hair, teeth, sand, among other things. Most common enough, some rarer than rare. Occasionally, if Rune was lucky, clutched in one of the creatures’ tiny fists would be a shell. Always white, but of different sizes, shapes, and textures.

When the shells came back to the tower, Rune’s stern face would soften just a touch, and the barest hint of a smile would play across his lips.

Last night had been one of those delicious evenings.

And so, from his day amongst the rabble, he had recalled the particularly hateful sneer of Old Lady Turnbull, the baker’s wife. He hadn’t forgotten that brat Bilga and the mud she’d kicked across his shoes either.

With his lips nearly pressed against the chest of his little winged man, he’d given it one last set of instructions, breathing mischief into its heart. Then, as the homunculus zipped not east out to the sea but west into the village, Rune had walked down the spiral steps that ran along the curved wall of his tower.

At the bottom he repeated his route, but this time slowly. His fingers bumped along the shells that covered every inch of the wall, the intricate patterns glowing softly at first and then more brightly the further up his keep he went. From floor to floor he climbed until he stood once again on the uppermost story.

To the casual observer it would appear that here, too, the wall was carpeted with shells, but just above the casement of the large window overlooking the dark sea, a space no longer than a finger remained.

He held the shell to the wall and spoke the words he knew so well. When he took his hand away the shell stayed put, glowing so brightly along with the others that Rune could hardly bear to look.

The shells’ light reached its zenith and then dimmed, but an afterimage of the swirls and whorls Rune had so carefully rendered on his tower walls remained, dancing across his vision and filling the rest of his night with reveries of years past and lost love.

Now, as the first tepid rays of sun slid through the perpetual fug that surrounded his tower and the sorry little village nearby, he crossed to the western facing window and opened it wide.

Directly below him the curve of his tower plummeted to a rocky piece of land. As the tide was in, the sharp rocks and weather-beaten keep formed a tiny island half a mile or so from the shore.

High tide was Rune’s favorite time of day. He could rest peacefully knowing that none of Wentletrap’s citizens would disturb him. During low tide the swirling eddies of the black ocean would recede, revealing a greasy spit of land just wide enough for a single footpath. More often than not a shucker or fisherman or some other human flotsam would shuffle out of the godsforsaken village to cross the spit and stand at the bottom of his tower, shouting out in graceless tones for assistance, occasionally, or retribution, more commonly.

He expected Old Lady Turnbull or Bilga’s father would be paying him a visit later, dirty and grey and cursing his existence. Although it might be difficult for Old Lady Turnbull to make the trip herself, what with the swelling and the stink, not to mention the boils, so perhaps it’d be the baker himself. Rune might even give him the antidote if he came bearing a conciliatory basket of scones. Bilga’s father, on the other hand, was on a fool’s errand, for while baked goods might temporarily melt Rune’s cold heart, nothing could move him to offer a cure for the terminally obnoxious teen.

Smiling now, Rune stepped away from his territorial view of Wentletrap and its miserable environs. He was about to descend the stairs for a well-deserved cup of tea and early morning nap when a strange movement caught his attention out the opposite window. Quickly crossing the floor he tore open the casement and leaned out, certain he was seeing things. But no, there it was, flapping its smoking wings erratically as pieces of its legs and torso began to break off and plummet into the sea below.

It was a homunculus he’d sent out a few days prior. It hadn’t returned, which happened occasionally, and he’d given it up for lost. It should have been ashes by now, turned to dust beneath the sun’s merciless rays. Rune’s face hardened with concern.

As he watched, the little creature gave one last flutter of its wings and disintegrated, red dust and feathers blowing out to sea, but not before Rune reached out and caught the bundle the homunculus had been clutching in its tiny hands.

Wrapped with a black ribbon was a nosegay of purple flowers. Examining the sweet-smelling bouquet at a safe distance he saw the dusty spears of lavender, the dark hoods of wolf’s bane, and the round petals of oleander.

“Troubling,” Rune muttered to himself. “Quite troubling.” Then, “I wonder.”

He turned from the window and crossed to the stairs, holding onto the ominous flowers with just his finger and thumb pinched around the ribbon.

Leaving the uppermost floor, Rune circled round the stairs to his library. He quickly bypassed seven of the eight tall, double-sided bookcases that bisected the circular floor at regular intervals. Stopping in front of the last, he crouched down and used his index finger to pry a slim volume covered in red velvet from the bottom shelf.

Carefully he cracked open the cover of A Compendium of Flowers and flipped the pages, coming first to lavender. When Rune saw its traditional meaning his brows furrowed. When he got to the symbolism of oleander he gritted his teeth. And when he turned with dread to the page describing wolf’s bane he snapped the book shut, strode up one flight of the curving stairs to the kitchen and tossed the nosegay into the fire smoldering under a crusty pot of stew or potion. He couldn’t remember which.

As he watched the blooms crackle and blacken, his mind buzzed with the message his homunculus had delivered. Caution, beware. Future misfortune. All in the color purple for royalty.

Had the king discovered his plan? Rune was sure he’d been discreet, but Zeno had eyes everywhere, the suspicious bastard. Then again, the message was rather oblique, and subtlety was definitely not his majesty’s strong suit. As a rule, he skipped warnings altogether and went straight for punishment, harsh and swift.

No, this didn’t seem like the king’s doing. Maybe the color was just a coincidence, but something told him that whoever decided sending a message via flower would be the best means of communication would certainly never ignore their shade in terms of conveying intent or meaning.

Rune went through the names of the king’s various associates in his head, dismissing all of them as either too brutish or too dull to be the origin of the troubling flowers. He was still pondering the odd dispatch when a harsh voice calling his name blew in on the dank ocean breeze filtering down from the still-open window upstairs.

“Rune! You bloody mongrel! Show yourself!”

Ah, Bilga’s father. Was the tide out already?

Rune tossed A Compendium onto the podium that stood near the base of the stairs before vaulting them two at a time. Never one to back down from a colorful exchange, he didn’t want to keep the man waiting.

“What do you want?” Rune bellowed on his way up. “I hope it’s to apologize for afflicting the world with your brutish progeny.”

Mysterious messages would have to wait; verbal abuse heavily peppered with colorful insults was what passed for entertainment around here. Besides, he was almost done with his shells. One more and he could leave everything behind: the tower, Wentletrap, the whole stinking kingdom along with any and all parties dealing in floral threats.

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Author Garen Glazier

Author Garen Glazier

About the Authors
I have always called Seattle home and find the perpetual gloom to be a wonderful writing ally. I like coffee shops, bookstores, dancing in my living room and singing in my car. The opening scene of Up makes me cry. Three Amigos makes me laugh. Fashion magazines, croissants, and long, long baths are my guilty pleasures. They might occur separately or together. I prefer boxing classes to yoga, and I get some of my best ideas when I’m running. I loved school and spent more time than one really should getting a business degree in marketing and a master’s in art history. In an ideal world I’d go to bed at 2am and wake up at 10am. I’ve never been an early bird, and I feel strongly that alarm clocks kill dreams.

 

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Where to Garen Glazier
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – FLYGIRL by R.D. Kardon

FLYGIRL Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for FLYGIRL, a stand-alone adult adventure/suspense, by R.D. Kardon. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

FLYGIRL by R.D. Kardon

FLYGIRL by R.D. Kardon

About the Book
Title: FLYGIRL
Author: R.D. Kardon
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Release Date: January 3, 2019
Genre: Adult Adventure/Suspense
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
It’s 1997. Women stand beside men in combat and fly fighter jets. Pilot Tris Miles is not content with her job as a First Officer for tiny Clear Sky Airlines. She wants to be a Captain—the only way she knows to prove her worth as a pilot and atone for a deadly mistake.

To further her career, Tris accepts a prestigious job with Tetrix, Inc. But her dream of becoming pilot-in-command twists into a nightmare.

As the company’s first woman pilot, she encounters resistance, marginalization and harassment on a daily basis. Fortunately Tris has one thing her co-workers can’t deny—skill.

When Tris finds herself in a crippled airplane thousands of miles from home she must prove she can lead. With her career on the line, can Tris earn the respect she’s been craving? And if this is the end, can she find the strength to forgive herself?

 

 

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Excerpt
TRIS LOST ALL visibility as the airplane pierced a thick slab of fog. She slid her focus from the miasma outside the cockpit window to the flight instruments in front of her. They were her eyesight now. She trusted them. They told the truth.

She scanned the gauges and smiled. Tris heard their silent language; woman and machine entwined in the exceptional conversation of flight.

“Clear Sky Two-Five-One, cleared for the approach,” the Columbus, Ohio approach controller announced over a scratchy connection. Tris nodded to Captain Danny Terry, sitting two feet away in the left seat. His jaw clenched as he worked the radios on their last flight of the day.

“Gear down,” Tris commanded.
The landing gear groaned and clicked as they lowered into position. Locked on final approach, the turboprop glided toward the runway, a concrete slab somewhere below them. Its twin engines spun in sync on the airplane’s wings. Tris monitored every bump and twitch of the plane. She answered each with a tap of the controls.

Tris nudged the yoke to bank the airplane left, the plastic coated steering column cool beneath her hands. She thought of all the ways pilots measure movement: degrees of heading, feet of altitude, ticks of the clock. Always counting up, down, until the next critical moment. As Clear Sky 251 slid toward the ground, Tris counted down.

Then she saw the flash. Just for a second, an amber warning light flickered.

“Danny, check the gauges. We had a caution.”

“Five hundred,” the airplane’s synthesized altitude alert announced. Tris checked the altimeter. So close to the ground and they still had zero visibility through the late-summer glare.

“I don’t know,” Danny said as he scanned the gauges. “Wait. It’s the oil pressure on number one. The needle’s going crazy. It could be nothing, just a blip.”

Or the number one engine could be about to fail.

“Ok.” She’d need full power on both engines to climb if they couldn’t land—and she might not have it.

“Nothing in sight.” Danny squirmed

forward in his seat to catch the first glimpse of runway lights. His breath grew more labored with every foot of altitude they lost. He wouldn’t see the runway until the very last second, if at all—right when Tris would decide to land the plane or thrust it back up into the soup.

“Roger.” Tris stayed focused and in control. As seconds passed, the plane slid lower, lower, in a stable descent. The only sounds were the whir of spinning dials, the click of needles, the white noise of flight. Tris eyed the altimeter, her hands soft but firm on the power levers.

Danny’s hand twitched behind hers; a backup. He strained to see the runway. Decision time loomed a few feet away.

The caution light blinked again. Tris had to keep her eyes on the navigation gauges. The closer the airplane got to the ground, the more sensitive those indicators became. If she strayed off course, even a little, she’d lose all guidance and have to climb, or else there was no telling where they’d hit the ground.

She felt Danny’s hands move closer to the controls, protecting them in case she faltered.

She didn’t. Tris saw the runway, dead ahead.

“I’ve got it,” Danny said quickly as he keyed the mike. “Columbus Tower, Clear Sky Two-Five-One, runway in sight.”

“Roger, Clear Sky Two-Five-One, Runway Two-Four, cleared to land, wind two-five-zero at three knots.”

“Landing,” Tris said. She looked outside, blinked to focus, and kept the plane moving straight along the runway centerline, edging toward the earth. The altimeter registered field elevation just as the plane’s rear wheels softly touched the ground.

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Author R.D. Kardon

Author R.D. Kardon

About the Author
Robin “R.D.” Kardon had a twelve-year flying career as a corporate and airline pilot. She holds an Airline Transport Pilot certificate and three Captain qualifications. Her travels took her all over the world in every type of airplane from small single-engine Cessnas to the Boeing 737. Robin earned her B.A. in Journalism and Sociology from NYU and J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law. A native New Yorker, Robin now lives in San Diego, California with her beloved rescue pets.

“Flygirl,” a work of fiction inspired by her own aviation experience, is her first novel.

 

 

 

Where to Find R.D. Kardon
Goodreads Website | FacebookTwitter

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Young Adult Book Review + Giveaway – WAYPOINT (Waypoint) by Deborah Adams and Kimberley Perkins

WAYPOINT Blog Tour

WAYPOINT (Waypoint #1) by Deborah Adams and Kimberly Perkins

WAYPOINT (Waypoint #1) by Deborah Adams and Kimberly Perkins

5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
How far will they go to restore the power?

It’s been lights-out for three months and society is already falling into chaos.

Teenage tech-genius Simon Harper and his team of fellow gamers have been searching for the cause of the outage since it went down. Simon and his twin brother West are often at odds, but when the key to restoring power drops into their hands, they’ll risk everything and join forces to bring it back.

Descend into an epic, young adult adventure, featuring family and friendship with a heart-skipping side of romance by debut authors Deborah Adams and Kimberley Perkins.

Mysterious deaths and disappearances are piling up, and unknown enemies are everywhere. As the brothers make their 500-mile journey to Waypoint they’ll have to decide who they can trust, and which secrets can be told.

“Thanks to its tantalizing pace, well-established consequences, and complicated character development, this novel is worth writing home about. I didn’t feel ready for it to end.” -Independent Book Review

 

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My Review
I need to start off by saying this is the first book in a series. It wasn’t obvious from the description, so I wasn’t expecting the ending, but now that I know, I’m anxiously awaiting the next installment. Told from four third-person points of view, this is a little different than most young adult dystopians. Instead of a single protagonist, we have four, although Simon seems to be the main character. Twin brothers Simon and West inhabit a world without power, similar to the TV show Revolution from a few years back. West is a classic player with good looks and swagger to match. Simon is a nerd among nerds, living inside a role-playing game he accesses through power he generates with solar panels, something that must remain a secret. When a mysterious man is killed in front of Simon, he’s given information that may allow him to turn the power back on. He and West embark on a journey to Washington DC, only to be separated almost immediately. While West is at home in the wilderness, Simon is out of his element. Each winds up with a traveling companion, Riya for Simon and Alex for West. Both girls provide a romantic element as well as the foil that each boy needs. Along the way, all four encounter danger and learn a lot about each other and themselves.

Plot
The plot centers around Simon and West meeting up in DC to turn the power back on. Several subplots feed the main plot, but they’re minor. With four points of view, we get a lot of insight into their journeys. The authors throw everything at them, one setback after another, at a pulse-pounding pace that kept me turning the pages long past when I should have been doing something else. While this is primarily a plot-driven tale, the authors do a good job with character development which feeds into the story well.

The Characters
The characters are where this story really shines. All four main characters are deeply-drawn and complex in ways that enhance the plot. I loved all four of them, and even though at times their goals conflicted with one another, I never stopped rooting for all of them. West and Simon couldn’t be more different as twins, and yet that bond is strong, making them realize how important they are to one another. Alex and Riya were as different from one another as Simon and West, but they each bring something to the relationship that the brothers desperately lack, rounding out this foursome to perfection.

Top Five Things I Loved About WAYPOINT
1. The plot. Young adult dystopian is my favorite genre. I love dark worlds that are recognizable, peppered with characters who are still trying to figure out themselves much less the world around them.

2. Angsty love. Not one, but two romances with enough angst to satisfy even me.

3. The characters. I can’t pick a favorite; I love them all. Like two sides of a coin squared, they balance each other out.

4. Action. There’s plenty of action, adventure, and suspense to keep me riveted to the pages.

5. The ending. Normally I’m not a fan of cliffhanger endings, but the authors crafted a satisfying conclusion to this portion of the story while leaving me on the edge of my seat for more

Bottom Line
A wonderful young adult contemporary romance that examines how social anxiety can transform someone from the inside out.

Disclaimer
A pulse-pounding young adult dystopian page-turner!

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About the Book
Title: WAYPOINT
Series: Waypoint #1
Author: Deborah Adams and Kimberly Perkins
Publisher: Rocket City Publishing
Release Date: December 1, 2018
Pages: 296
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian Romance
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: GoodreadsAmazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUBarnes & Noble | Kobo

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Authors Deborah Adams and Kimberley Perkins

Authors Deborah Adams and Kimberley Perkins

About the Author
DEBORAH ADAMS and KIMBERLEY PERKINS are friends and coworkers. They share a love of coffee, literature, and teenagers saving the world. By day, they work for a defense contractor in Huntsville, Alabama as the HR Director and an Excel-wielding Analyst, respectively. By night, they build worlds with words and devour stories. For more information about Deborah Adams and Kimberley Perkins and their foray into writing, check them out on social media.

 

 

 

 

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Where to Find Deborah Adams and Kimberley Perkins
Deborah Goodreads | Kimberley GoodreadsWebsite | Kimberley Twitter | Deborah Twitter

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Giveaway

WAYPOINT Giveaway

 

Release Day + Giveaway – KNIGHT OF WANDS (Cards of Love) by Claudia Burgoa

Today is release day for KNIGHT OF WANDS, a short story in the adult action/adventure romance series Cards of Love, by award-winning, international bestselling author, Claudia Burgoa. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive teaser, and details on her giveaway. You can currently pick up the ebook for just $0.99.

KNIGHT OF WANDS (Cards of Love) by Claudia Burgoa

KNIGHT OF WANDS (Cards of Love) by Claudia Burgoa

About the Book
Title:
KNIGHT OF WANDS
Series: Cards of Love
Author: Claudia Burgoa
Release Date: October 3, 2018
Genre: Adult Action/Adventure Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo 

Synopsis
A chance for a sweet future, or a recipe for disaster? 

Kaitlynn
My dream was to cook my way to fame and fortune, not run myself ragged keeping my late parents’ quaint Savannah restaurant afloat. My sister is useless, I’m chronically short-staffed, and even Gertie, my antiquated oven, hates me.

Then in charges Oliver, like a Golden Knight. He’s hunky and charming and makes others feel at ease. He’s earnest and kind, optimistic and extroverted. My best friend. My sister’s ex. Picking up the slack like he never left all those years ago. Making my body shiver with the lightest touch, the slightest smile. It would be so easy to let him be my knight in shining armor. But I can’t let him, even though he makes Gertie purr like a kitten.

Oliver
I practically grew up waiting tables alongside KitKat. She’s a brilliant chef, but it’s clear she’s no manager. I’ve noticed other changes in her since her letters stopped coming to me in Iraq. There’s fire burning in her green eyes—and pain.

The kiss was meant to comfort. But it explodes into searing passion so white-hot, not even the tallest, iciest sweet tea can quench it. I shouldn’t try. She doesn’t want help, especially not mine. But a kiss like that is the beginning of a promise. A promise that won’t stop until I help her find her dream. 

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KNIGHT OF WANDS Teaser

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Author Claudia Burgoa

Author Claudia Burgoa

About the Author
Claudia is an award-winning, international bestselling author. She lives in Colorado working for a small IT company, managing her household filled with three confused dogs, two daughters wrought with fandoms and a son who thinks he’s the boss of the house. And a wonderful husband who shares her love for all things geek. To survive she works continually to find purpose for the voices flitting through her head, plus she consumes high quantities of chocolate to keep the last threads of sanity intact.

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Where to Find Claudia Burgoa
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook | Twitter | InstagramPinterestAmazon | BookBub | Book&Main

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – KISSED OFF by Tellulah Darling

KISSED OFF Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for KISSED OFF, a stand-alone young adult comedy/mystery/romance, by Tellulah Darling. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

KISSED OFF by Tellulah Darling

KISSED OFF by Tellulah Darling

About the Book
Title: KISSED OFF
Author: Tellulah Darling
Release Date:
 September 18, 2018
Genre: Young Adult Comedy/Mystery/Romance
Link: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
She’s hell-bent on revenge. 

He’s desperate for adventure.

Now the only question is: does this count as a date?

Sixteen-year-old Reiko Mori’s family has clashed with the Markows in a clandestine search for the famed Lover’s Kiss Ruby, ever since their ancestors killed each other over it centuries ago in Japan. Now, after pulling off a successful museum heist, Reiko’s finally going to be the one who finds the jewel. Even better? She’s just arranged a study date with hot-but-sheltered sculptor Levi Green to work on their English project. Things are looking good.

Until a mysterious third party attacks Reiko and Levi, intent on stealing her clues to the ruby. Until Reiko discovers the Lover’s Kiss is actually in Europe, an ocean away. And until goofy, affable Levi Green turns out to be Levi Markow, mortal enemy number one.

Plan B it is: reluctantly team up with Levi to find the priceless gem before the shadowy and deadly group on the jewel’s trail finds it first.

And if history is gonna repeat itself with the kissing, running, and screwing over, see which one of them comes out on top.

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Excerpt
Levi rubbed his arm, his expression wary. “Reiko Mori, I presume.”

“‘I presume?’” Reiko dropped into a fighter’s crouch. “You’re missing the British accent.”

Levi put his hands up in a pathetic imitation of defensive position. Her cat could have landed a punch through those gaps. “And you’re missing the reality where we aren’t about to have an MMA showdown.”

Reiko smirked but lowered her hands. “Because I’d wipe the floor with your ass.”

“Says Hit-Girl masquerading as the resident shy chick all these years. Nice James Bond alter ego you got going on.”

“I am shy.” She grabbed a dishtowel and whipped it at his head. It fluttered to the counter, far short of its mark.

Levi snorted.

“Being around my sworn enemies tends to knock it out of me. Besides, you’re one to talk, Artsy Boy. Had everyone fooled.” Including stupid me. She pushed him backwards out of the kitchen, shoving him again and again until his back hit the wall next to the front door.

Levi fended off her next blow. The sweep of his arm knocking her hands away left behind a familiar faint hint of rubbing alcohol. She’d watched him use it to remove clay from his hands at school many times. Could she be more pathetically tuned into this guy?

Levi held out his hand, palm up. “Hand over the locket, sweetheart. The real one this time.”

Sweetheart?” She pulled herself up to her full height. “Could you be more stereotypical bad guy?”

“He could have a mustachio to twirl,” Aviva said, from her avid spectator spot hanging over the bannister.

“True,” Reiko said.

Levi rubbed the back of his neck. “I’m not the one blowing kisses before screwing people over. That a move passed down through the generations with you chicks? Think that adds weight to my family being the wronged party here, Mata Hari.”

“Mata…? Argh!” She snatched up the poker.

“Go ahead, brain me.” Levi turned out his pockets in a huff. “No ruby. Just lint. I’d hate you to pointlessly commit murder except, oh yeah. You Moris are bloodthirsty!”

“Better a bloodthirsty Mori than a cowardly, backstabbing Markow!” Reiko jabbed the poker at him.

Levi grabbed the other end, the two of them engaged in a furious tug-of-war for possession. He let go suddenly, sending Reiko staggering back a few steps

Reiko flung open the door and pointed outside. With the poker. “Get. Out.”

Levi held his ground for a minute but must have decided she meant business because he grabbed his shoes. “This isn’t over.”

“You’ll get the locket over my dead body, Lion Cub.”

“Great! Can’t wait to pry it out of your cold, rigor-mortised hands,” he snapped, and stomped out of the house, slamming the door behind him.

“Shit,” said Aviva, “this is really gonna put a crimp in your dating plans.”

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Author Tellulah Darling

Author Tellulah Darling

About the Author
Tellulah Darling
noun

1) YA & New Adult romantic comedy author because her first kiss sucked and she’s compensating.

2) Firm believer that some of the best stories happen when love meets comedy and awkwardness ensues.

3) Sassy minx.

Both a hopeless romantic and total cynic, Tellulah Darling is all about the happily-ever-after, with a huge dose of hilarity along the way. Her romcoms come in a variety of heat levels and flavors; straight up romantic comedy, shaken with Greek mythology or stirred with urban fantasy.

Sassy girls. Swoony boys. What could go wrong?

.Where to Find Tellulah Darling
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook | Twitter | Google+ | Amazon

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Young Adult Book Review + Giveaway – EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN by Jessica Redmerski

EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN Blog Tour

EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN by Jessica Redmerski

EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN by Jessica Redmerski

4 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
Thais Fenwick was eleven-years-old when civilization fell, devastated by a virus that killed off the majority of the world’s population. For seven years, Thais and her family lived in a community of survivors deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. But when her town is attacked by raiders, she and her blind sister are taken away to the East-Central Territory where she is destined to live the cruel and unjust kind of life her late mother warned her about.

Atticus Hunt is a troubled soldier in Lexington City who has spent the past seven years trying to conform to the vicious nature of men in a post-apocalyptic society. He knows that in order to survive, he must abandon his morals and his conscience and become like those he is surrounded by. But when he meets Thais, morals and conscience win out over conformity, and he risks his rank and his life to help her. They escape the city and set out together on a long and perilous journey to find safety in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Struggling to survive in a world without electricity, food, shelter, and clean water, Atticus and Thais shed their fear of growing too close, and they fall hopelessly in love. But can love survive in such dark times, or is it fated to die with them?

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My Review
Set after an illness and the events that followed wiped out half the country’s population and civilization as we know it, Thais and her family manage to survive in a rural town in what used to be Kentucky. But lawlessness and greed are everywhere and soon raiders upend an already upended life and send Thais and her sister into the wilderness. They’re soon caught by raiders and taken to Lexington City where women are more prized than gold. They are ranked according to looks and worth and sorted for a life as workers, wives, or whores. There is no equality and no freedom. Thais is desperate to get her sister out, although to where is still huge unknown. But remaining in Lexington City will be a hell all its own.

Atticus is a soldier in Lexington City responsible for sorting Thais and her sister. He’s filled with self-loathing and a desire to change things for the better. His views on the new fallen world are best summed up in his inner thoughts.

But in every good person there is something dark waiting to take the reins. Now here we were, Evelyn and Atticus, a whore and a murderer, succumbing to that dark part of us, because that’s how life was.

Something about Thais sparks a desire in Atticus to battle back against that darkness and maybe redeem his soul. If he can protect her and her sister, maybe he’s not the animal he believes himself to be. When things spiral out of his control, he has no choice but to get Thais out of the city where survival is even more precarious and betrayal is everywhere. Somehow these two find mutual respect in one another that gives way to something more.

Plot
The plot moves at a fast pace from the opening chapter. Scenes are short, and alternating points of view keep suspense high and prevents the story from stalling. However, starting in Chapter 24, the author throws in the alternate point of view in bold parenthesis. This practice is jarring, ripping me from the story each time. These points of view are completely unnecessary to the flow of story, so I began to ignore them when I came across them.

The Characters
While I’m sure this was written as a plot-driven story, the characters steal the show. Atticus is a fascinating, intense character who I felt the author was much more comfortable writing than Thais. Thais is also well-developed, but she comes across as almost two people as the story develops. She’s tough and determined early on, but slowly becomes dependent upon Atticus for her survival, losing some of that grit that made me love her in the beginning.

Top Five Things I Enjoyed About EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN
1. Atticus. He’s brilliantly crafted.

2. Dystopian. I do love a good fallen civilization.

3. Unhurried love. I love how the author doesn’t rush anything between Thais and Atticus.

4. Character development. Both Thais and Atticus undergo tremendous development throughout the story that is a direct reflection of the circumstances they’ve been put in, making it very organic.

5. Realism. While this is a young adult novel, the author doesn’t sugar coat the realities of life in a post-apocalyptic world, from rape, cannibalism, violence, and prostitution, a dark world is not made less dark just because the characters are young.

Bottom Line
A character-driven dystopian in the best sense of the word with remarkable characters and a solid plot.

Disclaimer
I was provided a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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About the Book
Title: EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN
Author: Jessica Redmerski
Release Date: August 28, 2017
Pages: 657
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian Romance
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble

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Author Jessica Redmerski

Author Jessica Redmerski

About the Author
Jessica Redmerski is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and award winner who juggles several genres of fiction.

She also writes as J.A. Redmerski.

 

 

 

 

 

Where to Find Jessica Redmerski
Goodreads | Website | FacebookTwitter

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Giveaway
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Blog Tour – Teaser – BLOOD CURE (Blood Type) by K.A. Linde

BLOOD CURE Release Day

Welcome to the blog tour for BLOOD CURE, the third book in the adult paranormal romance series, Blood Type, by USA Today bestselling author, K.A. Linde. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and a couple of exclusive teasers from the book.

BLOOD CURE (Blood Type #3) by K.A. Linde

BLOOD CURE (Blood Type #3) by K.A. Linde

About The Book
Title:
BLOOD CURE
Series: Blood Type #3
Author: K.A. Linde
Publisher: Loveswept
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
Release Date: August 21, 2018
Links: Goodreads | AmazonAmazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
The stunning conclusion to the Blood Type series finds the world in chaos and turmoil with one final battle left to determine who will survive—humans or vampires.

She had the world on her shoulders. Now she has nothing.

Reyna Carpenter was twenty-one when she became a live-in blood escort for the ruthless and darkly handsome vampire Beckham Anderson. She thought this was just a small price to pay for feeding her brothers back home.

But nothing went as planned. Not even her tumultuous relationship with Beckham. And now she wonders if anything will ever be the same again.

As she finds herself in the midst of a losing rebellion, she and her trusted friends must flee from a city conquered by the vampire elite. With their plans blown to pieces and everything they knew and loved gone, their future hangs in the balance.

Despite all she has lost, Reyna must rise from the ashes, reclaim the life that was stolen—and complete her mission, once and for all.

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BLOOD CURE Teaser 1

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Blood Type Series

Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: BLOOD TYPE
Goodreads | AmazonAmazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Book 2: BLOOD MATCH
Goodreads | AmazonAmazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

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BLOOD CURE Teaser 2

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Author K.A. Linde

Author K.A. Linde

About the Author
K. A. Linde is the USA Today bestselling author of the Avoiding series and the All That Glitters series as well as seven additional novels. She get up as a military brat traveling the United States and even landing for a brief stint in Australia. She has a Masters degree in political science from the University of Georgia and is the current head coach of the Duke University dance team.

An avid traveler, reader, and bargain hunter, K.A. Linda currently lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with her husband and two super adorable puppies.

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Where to Find K.A. Linde
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | InstagramPinterest

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BLOOD CURE Now Available

 

Release Day – BLOOD CURE (Blood Type) by K.A. Linde

BLOOD CURE Release Day

Today is release day for BLOOD CURE, the third book in the adult paranormal romance series, Blood Type, by USA Today bestselling author, K.A. Linde. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and a couple of exclusive teasers from the book.

BLOOD CURE (Blood Type #3) by K.A. Linde

BLOOD CURE (Blood Type #3) by K.A. Linde

About The Book
Title:
BLOOD CURE
Series: Blood Type #3
Author: K.A. Linde
Publisher: Loveswept
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
Release Date: August 21, 2018
Links: Goodreads | AmazonAmazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
The stunning conclusion to the Blood Type series finds the world in chaos and turmoil with one final battle left to determine who will survive—humans or vampires.

She had the world on her shoulders. Now she has nothing.

Reyna Carpenter was twenty-one when she became a live-in blood escort for the ruthless and darkly handsome vampire Beckham Anderson. She thought this was just a small price to pay for feeding her brothers back home.

But nothing went as planned. Not even her tumultuous relationship with Beckham. And now she wonders if anything will ever be the same again.

As she finds herself in the midst of a losing rebellion, she and her trusted friends must flee from a city conquered by the vampire elite. With their plans blown to pieces and everything they knew and loved gone, their future hangs in the balance.

Despite all she has lost, Reyna must rise from the ashes, reclaim the life that was stolen—and complete her mission, once and for all.

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BLOOD CURE Teaser 1

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Blood Type Series

Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: BLOOD TYPE
Goodreads | AmazonAmazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Book 2: BLOOD MATCH
Goodreads | AmazonAmazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

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BLOOD CURE Teaser 2

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Author K.A. Linde

Author K.A. Linde

About the Author
K. A. Linde is the USA Today bestselling author of the Avoiding series and the All That Glitters series as well as seven additional novels. She get up as a military brat traveling the United States and even landing for a brief stint in Australia. She has a Masters degree in political science from the University of Georgia and is the current head coach of the Duke University dance team.

An avid traveler, reader, and bargain hunter, K.A. Linda currently lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with her husband and two super adorable puppies.

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Where to Find K.A. Linde
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | InstagramPinterest

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BLOOD CURE Now Available

 

Young Adult Book Review + Giveaway – ECHOES by Alice Reeds

ECHOES Blog Tour

ECHOES by Alice Reeds

ECHOES by Alice Reeds

5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
“Fast-paced and thrilling. ECHOES is a heart-pounding and addictive love story.” —Mia Siegert, author of Jerkbait

They wake on a deserted island. Fiona and Miles, high school enemies now stranded together. No memory of how they got there. No plan to follow, no hope to hold on to.

Each step forward reveals the mystery behind the forces that brought them here. And soon, the most chilling discovery: something else is on the island with them.

Something that won’t let them leave alive.

Echoes is a thrilling adventure about confronting the impossible, discovering love in the most unexpected places, and, above all, finding hope in the face of the unknown.

 

 

 

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My Review
Two parts LOST, one part THE HUNGER GAMES, ECHOES is intriguing, complex, at times confusing, but a fast, fun, satisfying read. The story opens with a plane crash on a deserted island before flashing back to a trip to Germany seventeen hours earlier. At first, it seems like two separate storylines, and I wasn’t sure which one was real, but it ultimately resolves clearly, so stick with it. High school students Fiona and Miles are recipients of a swanky internship for tech-giant, Briola, in Germany. They’re flown on a private jet and set up in an expensive hotel, but it all falls apart when they take a cab to Briola only to find an empty warehouse with every physical and online trace of Briola wiped from existence.

On the island, Fiona and Miles struggle to survive. Their own relationship is fraught with distrust and animosity. Miles is a trust-fund kid and Fiona is a scholarship recipient at his private academy. They have nothing in common except this internship, which doesn’t make sense to Fiona since she doesn’t see herself as being nearly as qualified as Miles. While the two of them work to remain alive, they have to first learn to trust each other. Surprises and mysteries lurk around every corner, and the more they learn, the more dire their situation becomes.

Plot
The plotting is flawless, with heart-pounding tension, plenty of twists and turns, and unexpected surprises. The relationship development between the two characters is woven through the story so that it’s an extension of the plot rather than the main focus. The author kept me guessing until just the right moment.

The Characters
Both Fiona and Miles are complex characters. Told only from Fiona’s point of view, we see Miles evolve through her eyes. Their assumptions about each other fall away as they’re forced to work together to live another day and get off the island. Fiona is a tough-as-nails kickboxer with a string of trophies to show for it. Miles is a spoiled rich boy with far more to him than just that. Both will learn there is more to themselves and each other than what’s on the surface.

Top Five Things I Loved About ECHOES
1. Twists and turns. I love when I reach the end of a chapter and NEED to turn the page to find out what happens next. Alice Reeds ended nearly every chapter with something that made me not only want, but need, to read on.

2. LOST-ness. The similarities to LOST were an homage to the groundbreaking television show. It both grounded me in the story as well as intrigued me. The parallels begin and end at the setting, though. ECHOES is very much its own story.

3. Fiona. She’s determined and brave, but with a believable vulnerability that suits her character.

4. Miles. He defies stereotype and is a swoonworthy romantic lead.

5. The writing. Author Alice Reeds does  phenomenal job of pulling the reader into the world she’s created so you can breathe in the humid ar, taste the salty air, feel the grit of sand on your skin.

Bottom Line
A perfect blend of terrifyingly thriller elements mixed with a swoony teen romance.

Disclaimer
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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ECHOES Teaser

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About the Book
Title: ECHOES
Author: Alice Reeds
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: August 7, 2018
Pages: 400
Genre: Young Adult Romantic Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo | Entangled

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Author Alice Reeds

Author Alice Reeds

About the Author
Alice Reeds was born in a small town in Germany but spent her first eight years in Florida, USA. Later on, she moved back to Europe, where her family moved around a lot. She was raised trilingual and has a basic understanding of Russian, read and spoken. After getting her International Baccalaureate Diploma, Alice is studying English Language and Literature at University. In her free time Alice mostly writes, reads, figure and/or roller skates, or watches countless let’s plays and figure skating videos.

 

 

 

Where to Find Alice Reeds
Goodreads | WebsiteTwitter | Instagram | Amazon | Entangled

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