Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Mid-Year Freak-Out Book Tag

Recently, I saw a post on Cornerfolds that introduced me to the Mid-Year Freak-Out Book Tag. I wasn't tagged, but I wanted to play along! Here goes!


Thank goodness we are starting out with an easy question!  Hands down, the best book so far in 2017 was A List of Cages.  That book played my emotions like a fiddle!


Yay! Another easy question!  This one goes to Queen of Destruction and A Bond of Blood and Fire.


This question is such a teaser!  I want to read Strange the Dreamer and it is sitting right on my desk looking at me!  ACK ACK ACK!!!!  I seriously need more hours in the day.


Oh I have been doing such a bad job keeping up to date with the up and coming books.  The biggest reason for that is that my TBR is so freaking long already!  OY!  Anyway, I can't wait for A Poison Dark and Drowning.


I was really disappointed by The Amaranthine Chronicles.  I saw so much room for character and world development that was just left behind!


Growth and Change are Highly Overrated has been the biggest surprise so far.  I hated the main character, but I felt like this book had the most important theme of all of the books I've read this year.


Calling Christopher Hansen and J. R. Fehr!  I am so in love with their The Magician's Workshop books and cannot wait to share them with my students!


Oh dear, don't let my man see this one....I'm going to have to go with Damon from A Kingdom Forgotten and Jorah from Queen of Destruction.


Everyone from Ahe'ey by Jamie Le Fay!  I fell so in love with everyone that it was hard to leave when the novel ended.


Without spoiling the end, I will just say that there is a part in A Bond of Blood and Fire that had me weeping so hard that my man actually had to console me.  And then, I was so freaking mad at Karen Tomlinson for what she did to my emotions that I had to start bawling again.  Ms. Tomlinson, I'm not going to be sure if I forgive you or not until the next book comes out.  :P


It Started with Goodbye was a terrifically enchanting read!  My emotions didn't stand a chance and my heart was pounding by the end.  Thank you Christina June!


Caraval has been on my TBR forever!  It's still there, but at least I own a copy now!


Ok, I'm pretty sure that I'm the only one who would want to read my extremely long list, but I'll share the top three.  None of these were mentioned in the answers above.  The Diabolic, The Graces, and The Bear and the Nightingale.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Promo Post! Veritas by Quinn Coleridge

Quinn Coleridge
Publication date: July 13th 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Historical
The ghosts are angry, thinking I’ve neglected them.
Do not forget us, they call out from the grave.
I won’t, I promise them. Upon my life, I won’t.

Being a demigoddess in 1892 Stonehenge, Colorado isn’t all one might suppose, especially when the dead are involved. Yet as Veritas of the Rocky Mountain sovereignty, it is Hester Grayson’s calling to help restless spirits cross over by bringing their killers to justice. Blind and pale as an albino, she dwells on the fringes of the nouveau riche, working with her telepathic beau Tom Craddock to catch the guilty.
When a young woman is brutally murdered, Hester and Tom are determined to solve the case as they have every other. But this one demands more. The killer wears many faces and wields greater magic than even Hester possesses. All sleuthing stops, however, when Tom is gravely wounded, and Hester is cast out of her parent’s mansion into the brutal squalor of an asylum.
At the mercy of an insane doctor, surrounded by agitated ghosts, Hester fights to maintain her own sanity by planning her escape and the downfall of her enemies. Can she achieve her goal and expose the madman who sent her to hell? Or will he continue his bloody reign in Stonehenge?
My prayer for relief goes unanswered, and faces flash through my mind. Those I saw in my last vision, the one initiated when the doctor touched my skin. Men, women, old, young—they appear and blur a moment later, shifting into the next person. All of Faust’s victims are deep-branded inside me. They are angry, thinking I’ve neglected them.
Do not forget us, they call out from the grave. I won’t, I promise them. Upon my life, I won’t.
The ghosts tell me to find the Book and steal it. Escape the asylum and expose Faust to the world. Let him answer for every crime, they say, condemned by his own words. If only these spirits could be a bit more specific. How exactly do I escape to do their bidding? Have they any suggestions? But the dead only wail and cry for justice. Blasted ghosts always leave the finer points of the plan for me to figure out.
Further enraged by my hesitation, they cause me to burn hotter. All right, all right, I reply through my psyche. As you wish, I so promise. Truth vibrates through the Pit, and the dead finally set my body free. They have accepted my vow, for the moment, but might be less forgiving tomorrow if I don’t take action. I work for a very impatient crowd.
Most people belong to another in some capacity, as a daughter or son, a sister, spouse, or neighbor, but the inmates of this place have been forgotten. They have no one to speak for them, or to avenge their wrongs. And so I’m here, dumb and blind, to serve as the mouthpiece of the wretched, whether I like it or not. That brazen hussy Fate does love a paradox.
Ironically, serving the dead gives me a reason to live, to go on breathing each day. It answers Hamlet’s eternal question of whether to be or not to be with an affirmative. That is why I crawl about the Pit on my knees, searching for a palm-sized piece of metal. It has been hidden and used many times by the inmates before me. I find the broken iron strip and turn toward the northern wall. The rough surface is covered with spider webs and dirt, but something else as well.
Hundreds of them have been scratched into the crumbling stone with this strip of iron. I trace the curves and the straight lines of the letters, as I did with my alphabet stencils at home. Of sound mind, one inmate wrote, never insane. In another place, I find Hungry, God Sees, and Died Alone. I scrape the iron against rock. Over and over, until each letter is formed, perfect and smooth. Wiping the sweat from my brow, I blow the dust away from my masterpiece, my call to arms.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Tom Starita on the Nature of People

Hey everyone!  I'm very excited to share a guest post from Tom Starita, the author of Growth and Change are Highly Overrated.  I truly enjoyed reading and reviewing his book and strongly urge you to do so!

Contrary to popular belief, money is not the root of all evil. In fact, I believe that money is the victim of an unfair smear campaign run by people who profit off of you not having said money. But that is another blog post for another time. No, I’m here to tell you the root of all evil is the failure to understand the essence of someone else.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a relationship, a friendship or a job, if you don’t understand the hows and the whys of that other person then you might as well pack up your stuff and start searching for higher ground. Far too often we get angry or frustrated with someone for being exactly who they are, instead of being who you want them to be.

The wisdom you just read isn’t a sudden realization, made by yours truly while sitting in a one man booth inside a faceless diner while the docile tones of Aimee Mann telling me how Voices Carry drift in the background. No, this is a truth I finally figured out in the wee hours of a snowy February weekend back in 2013. A truth given to me by a fully formed character who happened to appear at a pivotal point in my life. His name is Lucas James and I wrote a book all about him and his philosophies in my kind of but not really best selling book, “Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated.”

Lucas James is a dangerous combination of charm and selfishness. The kind of man who has no compunction in asking you for your last dollar just because he has a hankering for a Snickers. He’s driving down the highway of life and if you’re going to ride shotgun with him you have to accept that not only does he control the radio but he’s also driving your car. And you’re probably paying for gas and meals too.

I know I know, sounds like the kind of guy every girl wants to marry.

Ah-ha! And there lies the rub. Because there are lots of us out there who are attracted to the “bad boy” type. It’s not just girls who fall victim for this type of merciless personality type. Men are just as easily beguiled by some vixen with the right words and a tight blouse. And both sides endure the anguish because they believe they are special. And if you’re special, then surely this selfish individual sitting across from you will recognize your brilliance shining through and BING BANG BOOM PRESTO CHANGO, the selfish becomes the selfless and everyone lives happily ever after the end and ever and ever Amen.

Well I’m here to tell you I wrote, “Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated” to finally extinguish the flame of that horrible lie. People don’t change. They are who they are. Sure, there can be subtle improvements. A sloppy man can learn to pick up his socks. But does picking up his socks fundamentally change who that person is? No, no and no again.

I can already see the hair rising on the back of your neck. But people do change! My significant other changed/I changed for my significant other! Well I’m a man who never deals in absolutes, so sure I’ll believe there are cases here and there with the happy ending that stays happy. I also understand that for every happy ending there are houses being burned to the ground while someone stands outside cackling with glee.

At this point, even if you don’t necessarily agree with me you can at least see where I’m coming from. You would think that someone who wrote from that point of view would produce a book filled with too much negativity to make it an enjoyable read. And you would be wrong! It’s not just me saying that, Ms. J mentioned that too when she gave my book four stars! If she enjoyed it surely there must be something redeemable hidden in its depths.

“Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated” was the most fun I’ve ever had writing. Period. The time I spent listening to Lucas James speak to me were some of the happiest of my entire life, resulting in me rearranging my writing schedule so that I would be at Starbucks at 8am because I couldn’t wait to see what would be coming out of my fingers. I know this sounds insane but it's true. Lucas James, for all his faults, is a funny guy. A charming guy. The kind of guy you might not want living with you, but might enjoy at the end of the bar speaking loud enough so you can hear his stories from last weekend. That’s what this book is -- a way to keep him at arm’s length and enjoy his antics while still keeping your sanity.

So if you buy this book, what can you expect? Great question. You’re getting Lucas James, wannabe Rock God. A man who just lost everything when his fiancée Jackie, “My Apple Jack,” decides she’s had enough. When I say everything, I mean everything. From the apartment to food, from the checkbook to the knowledge of what having a checkbook means. For the first time in his life, Lucas James will have to stand on his own two feet.

Of course Lucas James is a master storyteller, so you get to hear stories from his past, about Jackie, about his family, about his stupid ideas and opinions, warts and all. You get to meet Ralph, a shining beacon of hope and friendship. You meet Lori, disinterested cashier. This book answers the question, have you ever wondered what the inner thoughts of an out of control Id sounds like? Well, wonder no more.

In my professional opinion you’re going to laugh. You’re going to be upset. You’re going to laugh again. You might get a little misty, perhaps even choked up at times. You will want to wring the neck of Lucas James but you will not want to put the book down.

And when you reach that last page, and read the final sentence all I want is for you to lean back and feel something. Happiness. Anger. Frustration. Whatever the emotion may be. There are trillions of books out there and the plots go zooming by. Books that go back on your shelf and are forgotten the next morning.

My only goal in writing this book is you remember mine.
Tom Starita wrote this post and the book, "Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated." And despite everything you may have heard or read he really is a decent fellow. A fellow with a dream. A dream to never hear an alarm clock go off for the rest of his life. Help him achieve his dream. https://www.amazon.com/Growth-Change-Are-Highly-Overrated-ebook/dp/B01N2SW2K8

Feel free to follow along:



www.Goppygots.com - my personal blog


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Growth and Change are Highly Overrated: A Review

About the Book

Growth and Change are Highly Overrated by Tom Starita

Genre: Fiction

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. I would not suggest this novel for anyone younger than seventeen due to language and sexual content.

GoodReads Description

Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated is a classic coming-of-age story that takes a unique and comic look at what we all fear— having to grow up and abandon our dreams.

For a charismatic man like Lucas James, life is a breeze because everyone else provides the wind. This man-child front man for a mediocre cover band has been mooching off of his fiancée Jackie for years until she finally decides she's had enough. Faced with the reality of having no income to support his carefree lifestyle, Lucas James abandons his principles and gets a job working in the stockroom at, “That Store.” How does he cope with this new found sense of responsibility?

He casually steals...

In a life spent bucking authority how will Lucas James deal with his manager, 'Victor the Dictator'? How long can he survive Ralph, a starry-eyed coworker who desires nothing more than to be best friends? Will Lori, a twenty-something cashier, be like everyone else and fall for his charms? Will he ever find a place to live? And is “growing up” just another way of saying “selling out?”

With this hilarious and engaging novel, author Tom Starita perfectly captures a character we have all met and perhaps some of us know all too well.

My Thoughts

It's time to review this book.  Oh, boy.  This will not be easy.  I have been trying to find the words for it since I finished the book on Sunday.  Did I enjoy reading it?  Yes!  Did I think it was a realistic novel?  Definitely!  Did it make me lose faith in humanity, want to tear my hair out, and cry?  Oh, yeah, that too.  

After hours of thought and headaches, I finally realized what Starita did with this book.  I could only conclude that the little stinker had forced his audience to see that no matter how badly we want others to make the correct decisions, they won't.  We have to do that.  I hated the ending of this book, until I figured it out.  Some people don't change.  Some people would rather screw over the other guy before ever following a moral compass.  And then, there are people (like the ones who choose to read this book) that would make the right decision.  Starita may choose a striking and unorthodox way to do it, but he is using an apathetic dick (his word, not mine) to encourage mankind to take a deeper look at their morals, values, and decisions.  

What I Liked

I loved Starita's conversational writing style.  There seemed to be no division between the words on the page and the character that I could so easily imagine was sitting in the room talking to me.  This shows not only the ability to write, but to write well.

Starita also had a firm grasp on characterization.  He knew what he wanted his characters to be doing and their choices always made sense.  This was true for every character in the book, no matter how large or small their role was.

What I Didn't Like 

Lucas James.  Mr. Starita, if you're reading this, I'm sorry.  I hated your main character with a burning passion.  I can't believe that anyone can be that rude, selfish, or evil.  Then again, I also know a few people like that.  I wish I could have seen a larger change in Lucas James, but I think that would have been an unrealistic option.

Although I enjoyed the flashbacks that allowed me to learn more about Lucas James' background, I felt that they were too often and sometimes lacked connection to the rest of the story.  The plot would have been much easier to understand if the story took on a more linear plot line.

My Rating

Monday, July 10, 2017

Top Three Items: My Ideal Reading Nook

Earlier this summer, I was approached by Arhaus who wanted to know what my ideal reading nook would look like.  This post is my answer to their question.  I could spend HOURS writing about this. In an effort to save time and get to my favorites, I decided that a reading nook needs to be cozy and comfortable while still providing good light and plenty of room for all of my books. Below, you will see the top three items that I fell madly in love with in my quest to answer Arhaus' question.

The Perfect Chair

The ideal reading nook must be a place to spend hours reading.  I have never been one to sit in a chair and read.  Why?  Because every time something happens in the book-I move.  If I'm happy, I curl myself into a big ball and get as close to the book as possible.  When I'm mad, I tend to kick my legs out and spread out to get as far away from the idiot characters as possible.  Therefore, a chair usually doesn't hold me for long.  My bed is typically the most amazing place to stretch out, curl up, sit up, kick out, and whatever other motion is necessary for my reading motion spree.  It's not graceful and it's not pretty.  That was why I was totally excited when I saw this chaise on the Arhaus website.

I can definitely see myself all wrapped up in a colorful afghan and stretched out!  This is especially perfect as it can fit easily beside a window or alongside a wall to fit easily into a more compact space.


Obviously, bookshelves can make or break a reading nook.  They need to be large enough to hold all of your books.  They need to be beautiful enough to fit with your ideas about decoration.  They need to be elegant enough to show off your personality.  I have always been a fan of the shelves from The Beauty and the Beast and heard the sound of my jaw hitting the floor when I came across this wall unit.

Now, I would definitely need something more than this unit to hold all of my books.  With it, I would be off to a tremendous start!  I love the sliding ladder!  I can easily see this wrapping around a corner and ending near a window with the chaise slid in front of the wall unit so I never have to leave my spot to pick up a new book!  

Mood Lighting

During the day, I would love to have the light of the sun to illuminate my pages.  At night, at least in Northern Minnesota, outside light is not enough to read by.  Therefore, I need a light soft enough to read by without encouraging me to stay awake all night long.  It took a long time for me to choose from all of their selections on the Arhaus lighting page!  What a collection!  Finally, I decided that this pendant lighting would do a wonderful job.  I love the brass color and believe that it would add a modern and colorful look to the beige of the chaise and the black wall unit.

It is so easy for me to picture these three items in my home. Now, I'm almost sad that I have to go back to a simple roller chair or my bed.

Let's Chat

What do you need in your ideal reading nook?  What would you like to get?  What do you think of my top three items?

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Sunday Short Report!

The #ArtOfTwitter by Daniel Parsons
Published by Octavo Publishing in September 2016
Genre: Non-fiction, Technology, Social Media

I purchased this book and chose to do an honest and unbiased review.  Daniel Parsons and Octavo Publishing neither requested nor are associated with this review.

GoodReads Description

In The #ArtOfTwitter, fantasy writer and Twitter coach Daniel Parsons explains how he grew a 90,000 strong army of loyal followers and gained real-world influence as an indie author. Breaking his tactics into short chapters and simple, actionable steps, he demonstrates exactly how any creative professional can achieve similar results.

Whether you’re a writer, artist, musician, or any other creative professional, The #ArtOfTwitter will show you how to:

- Understand the changing world of social media
- Avoid common mistakes
- Grow your popularity without being suspended
- Gain a bigger audience by using hashtags
- Build strong relationships with your followers
- Nurture follower engagement
- Save time with Twitter apps
- Implement a strategy for sustained growth
- Make money with Twitter ads
- Ensure every tweet is a hit
- Get real-world influence

My Thoughts
Before reading this book, I was intimidated by Twitter. It was so foreign!  I had no idea how to talk to people and if it was OK to talk to people I never met.  I know that sounds strange, but I am more of the "network in real life" kind of person.  A part of me will always worry that the connections I form over the internet are just people trying to be nice.  Parsons, however has completely convinced me to change the way that I see Twitter.  The techniques that he shared in this book helped me to feel more comfortable on this website, drive more traffic to my blog, and drive a larger audience to my Etsy page! 

My favorite things about this book are:

1. Parsons makes it so easy for any noob to follow. He even takes those extra moments to tell us what the terms mean and he reminds us what they mean again later!  
2. Each chapter ends in a recap. I used this so many times to go back and make sure that I understood every point in the chapter.
3. Parsons includes a section on how to grow a following.  After using the steps that he shows in his book, my Twitter following doubled in three weeks.  I went from 114 followers to 237! 

 Even if you feel like you totally understand Twitter, I would suggest reading this book to see how else Twitter can help you!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Humanity's Hope: A Review

Humanity's Hope by Pembroke Sinclair
Published by Stitched Smile Publications
Genre: YA, Fiction, Zombie, Horror, Dystopia

I received an eARC of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

GoodReads Description
Caleb, a 17-year-old boy, survived the zombie uprising, but he didn’t come out of the ordeal unscathed. He’s been scarred—both mentally and physically. The rest of humanity is trying to rebuild, to make the world normal again. Caleb is trying to return to a normal life also, but after all he’s seen, after the loss of his family and friends, the transition is difficult. The darkness that led him down a path of self-doubt and self-harm keeps trying to creep back into his mind.

Things only become worse when he discovers he’s immune to whatever makes a zombie a zombie. Fighting zombies was predictable. He knew what to expect. Fighting humans is volatile. They are malicious and treacherous. They won’t stop to get what they want, and Caleb has to figure out exactly what that is.

*Trigger warning: attempted suicide

Things I Loved

Caleb was a wonderful character!  I definitely felt the pain he carried with him.  His past was evident in the ways that he carried himself and considered his surroundings.  I don't believe that this story would have been nearly as scary in some parts if Sinclair had chosen a less intelligent MC.  Instead, we are given the wonderfully developed Caleb.  

The zombies were very vividly described! Usually, gross descriptions in books are something I can overlook as I am not actually faced with the picture.  Sinclair does away with her audience's ability to do that! I was forced to see them in my mind's eye and be faced with exactly the same things that Caleb was faced with.

Things I Didn't Love

The ending  was not what I expected.  I won't spoil it for anyone, but I REALLY think that could have been handled much better.  I felt that the ending was rushed and that Sinclair used a terrible ending on a terrific book.  There were small clues that it would end like it did, but nothing that was substantial enough to feel satisfying.

Several questions went unanswered. Why is he immune? Why is he actually running?  Why are characters that don't matter to the plot constantly brought up?

My Rating

Let's Chat
Do bad endings spoil a book for you?  What do you like about zombie books?  What are your thoughts on Sinclair's other works?

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Promo! The Last Dragon Rider

The Last Dragon Rider
Errin Krystal
(The Wild Realms of Véneanár, #1)
Publication date: August 9th 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Trained as an elite warrior from childhood, the elven crown prince Flintathriël fights to bring a stop to a war that began before he was born. With the aid of his betrothed Sairalindë, a skilled mage and dragon rider in her own right, they must find the Book of Souls – an ancient and mysterious tome rumored to have belonged to the god Hath’Raal.
When the missing book turns up in the hands of Mnuvae, the bastard child of the dead king, Flintathriël finds himself fighting to not only save his people from this new threat but also trying to keep Sairalindë safe when Mnuvae takes over the dragons in her attempt to win back the kingdom she believes is rightfully hers.
The love Flintathriël and Sairalindë share shines pure and true, but when the smoke of the battle clears, will their hearts survive the aftermath of war or will their love become a casualty that cannot be revived?

Author Bio:
Errin Krystal is a fantasy romance writer who has been writing since she was a small child. Her head has always been full of stories. She began work on her first novel when she was sixteen.
She lives with her family in regional Victoria, Australia, and works as a chef. In her quieter moments, she loves to indulge her passion for storytelling, basking in the joy that comes from creating vibrant characters, fantastical worlds and all manner of magical creatures. Dragons and elves, mages and warriors, troubled princes and beautiful princesses, romance, magic, and adventure can all be found in her writing.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Saturday Short Review (June 24, 2017)

Hi there!  I am so excited to chat about the Shifter Clans series by Tiffany Shand.  Because this is my Saturday Short Review, I will only be pointing out three things that I enjoyed about the book.  However, if you are at all interested in reading it, I do suggest you do so!  This series is comprised of three novellas and will not take you a long time to complete.  It's perfect for the car ride on your way to your summer vacation!  Start it out right!

I received an eARC of this boxed set from the author in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

GoodReads Description
The complete series: The Alpha's Daughter, Alpha Ascending and The Alpha's Curse.

After being kidnapped as a child, Christy Daine was sent away from her shifter clan to live among humans. For over a decade she has lived in fear of the people who tried to kill her. Living with her bodyguard, Ronan, the two embark on a secret relationship that could get them both killed.

When her father, the alpha of all the clans demands she return home to marry a man he’s chosen for her, Christy will finally have to face her past and her true nature. Danger lurks around every corner and even Ronan might not be the man she thought he was.
As the alpha’s daughter, can she really choose between the man she loves and the man she is supposed to be with? And who can she really trust?

My Three Favorite Things

1. I loved Ronan!  Not only is he one handsome gent, he is absolutely devoted to Christy.  I typically find characters in novellas to be very under-developed.  Ronan, however, was very well written.  I enjoyed the spice and power he brought to this series.

2. I have an absolute love of all things fem power.  Christy starts off this series as rather timid, but then grows up to be a foe no one would want to face.  And, who expects a well-behaved "princess" to threaten to burn someone's balls off?!

3. I think it's really important to commend Shand on her wonderful world building.  Too often, this gets neglected in novellas because the emphasis is placed on the story instead of the setting.  However, Shand was able to combine the two and truly make a wonderful story.

I hope to read a full-length novel by Shand in the future.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Cover Reveal: Carry Me Home by Jessica Therrien

Carry Me Home
Jessica Therrien
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: September 26th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Thriller, Young Adult
“A riveting page-turner… Jessica Therrien broke my heart into a million pieces — and then put it back together again. This book will haunt and uplift readers long after they turn the last page.”
-KAT ROSS, best-selling author of The Midnight Sea
CARRY ME HOME is a fictional novel inspired by the true story of a teenage girl’s involvement in several Mexican gangs in San Jose and Los Angeles. The members of her crew call her, Guera, Spanish for “white girl” and it doesn’t take long for her to get lost in their world of guns and drugs.
* * *
Lucy and Ruth are country girls from a broken home. When they move to the city with their mother, leaving behind their family ranch and dead-beat father, Lucy unravels.
They run to their grandparents’ place, a trailer park mobile home in the barrio of San Jose. Lucy’s barrio friends have changed since her last visit. They’ve joined a gang called VC. They teach her to fight, to shank, to beat a person unconscious and play with guns. When things get too heavy, and lives are at stake, the three girls head for LA seeking a better life.
But trouble always follows Lucy. She befriends the wrong people, members of another gang, and every bad choice she makes drags the family into her dangerous world.
Told from three points of view, the story follows Lucy down the rabbit hole, along with her mother and sister as they sacrifice dreams and happiness, friendships and futures. Love is waiting for all of them in LA, but pursuing a life without Lucy could mean losing her forever.
Ultimately it’s their bond with each other that holds them together, in a true test of love, loss and survival.

Author Bio:
Jessica Therrien is the author of the young adult paranormal fiction series Children of the Gods. Book one in the series, Oppression, became a Barnes & Noble best-seller shortly after its release.
Aside from her Children of the Gods series, Jessica’s work can also be found in a published collection of flash fiction stories called Campaigner Challenges 2011. Out of over 350 submissions her story, The Soulless, won first place for people’s choice and fourth place in the judging round of Rachael Harrie’s Writing Campaign Challenge. Her story, Saved, is also available as part of the anthology.
Jessica spent most of her life in the small town of Chilcoot, California, high up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In this town of nearly 100 residents, with no street lights or grocery stores, there was little to do but find ways to be creative. Her mother, the local English teacher, inspired her to do all things artistic, and ultimately instilled in her a love for language.
In 2003, Jessica attended California State University Long Beach where her passion for language found her studying Chinese, and in 2005 she moved to Taiwan to study abroad. From 2005 to 2006 Jessica was fully immersed in the Chinese language as she attended National Taiwan University, and in 2008 she graduated from San Diego State University magna cum laude.
Jessica currently lives in Irvine with her husband and two sons. She is working on an adult novel and a children's picture book.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Cover Reveal: An Impossible World by S. P. Cervantes

An Impossible World
S.P. Cervantes
Published by: Amber Leaf Publishing
Publication date: July 25th 2017
Genres: Adult, Dystopian, Romance
What would happen if terrorism spread and hate took over? What would the world become?
Isabella (Belle) Grey trained her entire adult life to protect those around her––training that would prove invaluable in her quest to make a new life. Forced to live in an impossible world, terror was not only outside the walls of her protected community but also raged behind the walls of her very own home.
No longer willing to put up with her husband’s drunken abuse, Belle made the desperate decision to run away from the safety of her community and escaped alone into the broken world beyond.
Chased by death as bombs exploded in the distance, her next decision could not only save her life but could potentially bring light back into her darkened soul.
When faced with the impossible, Belle found strength in an unsuspecting stranger who set her path in a new direction––one she never considered.
Fear. Love. Revenge. Strength … all come together in this epic tale of fate and survival.

Author Bio:
S.P. Cervantes is the author of the acclaimed contemporary romance A BROKEN FAIRY TALE series. The series allows you to connect with a group of friends and their triumphs over tragedy. "Dust to Dust" is a suspenseful stand-alone romance that introduces readers to this close knit group of loyal friends. "Wished Away" is an emotional romance that should be read before the Bad-Boy romance, "His Jar of Hearts".
S.P. highly acclaimed romance called "The Wife" is now available.
S.P. is also the author of the highly rated Young Adult Romantic Fantasy trilogy Secrets of Shadow Hill. "Always and Forever", "The Prophecy", and "War of Wizards" that has been described as "Twilight Meets Harry Potter". It's not your typical romantic fantasy.
S.P Cervantes lives in Orange County, California with her husband and three children, where she is a teacher. She enjoys spending time with her family, writing, reading, and running, but is always thinking of an idea for her next novel.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Review: A Bond of Blood and Fire by Karen Tomlinson

Title: A Bond of Blood and Fire
Author: Karen Tomlinson
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance, Adventure

I received an eARC of this novel from the author in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Description from GoodReads
A love bathed in fire. A destiny sealed with blood.

In a world ravaged by war, half blood fae Diamond Gillon must fight to survive.

Becoming a magical weapon for the fae queen is the only way to save her friends from execution, and the people of Valentia from the Wraith Lord and his army of the dead.

Commander Hugo Casimir has been ordered to train her, but Diamond struggles to trust him, and master the force of her own powerful magic. To complicate matters, the two share a rare, magical connection, a bond that will shape their fates and their hearts.

Love and loyalty will be tested as Diamond battles giants, shifters and an army of monsters in her quest to save Valentia. But will she defeat the Wraith Lord to avenge those she has lost, and triumph to save those she loves? Or will the Eight Kingdoms descend into chaos?

My Thoughts
I finished this book two days ago and I'm still trying to catch my breath.  I both love and loathe Tomlinson for her ability to pick up all of my emotions, put them into a tiny bag, and practice her mad kickboxing skills with her homemade punching bag.  I was definitely destroyed at the hands of this book.

After reading the first book, I was in love with Commander Hugo Casimir!  However, in ABOBAF Tomlinson spends the time to explain his past.  This adds a whole new layer of depth to him and it becomes very obvious why he has taken certain actions.  I love that no matter what he does, he puts Diamond before himself.  Even when whatever he's doing is going to hurt her.  He has a bigger goal in mind and definitely always tries to do the right thing.  

Diamond herself grows a lot in this book.  She moves from being a very confused, and somewhat whiny, individual to being a headstrong warrior.  Her strength shines out in this book as she begins to make choices for herself that may, or may not, be what are expected of her.

Despite the amazing character development, I was amazed by Tomlinson's description of each battle.  I was a bit afraid that the focus of this book would be on the romantic aspects and that the battles would simply be skimmed over.  I am so glad that I was wrong!  Tomlinson showed a new side of her artistic skills as each battle explodes into life.  Each scene was so well-written and included so much description that I felt like I was really there.  At one particularly heart-wrenching scene, I was crying so hard that my guy had to reach over and hold my hand.  

The sooner book 3 gets here, the better.

My Rating

About the Author
Karen has always been an avid reader. Her taste in books is eclectic but she likes nothing better than an exciting fantasy, set in a new and magical world. She lives in Derbyshire, England, with her husband, twin girls and her dalmatian, Poppy. Karen trained as a nurse and currently works as a resuscitation and clinical skills trainer, this involves training a wide variety of health care professionals and medical students in acute patient care. In addition to writing, and reading whenever she can, Karen likes to keep active. She has been training at Shotokan karate since being thirteen, likes walking, mountain biking and (for something completely different) cake decorating. She is currently working on book two in the Guardians of The Goddess series.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Gate of Air Cover Reveal

Gate of Air
Resa Nelson
(Dragon Gods, #1)
Publication date: July 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Frayka must find and convince the dragon gods of the Far East to appease the gods of her Northland heritage. If she fails, her own Northlander gods will destroy all the mortals who once promised to worship them.
The Far East is a mysterious place of legend to Northlanders like Frayka. Only an old map can show her how to get there. Once she arrives, all of Frayka’s sensibilities put her in danger. And every dangerous turn delays her from finding the dragon gods whose help she so desperately needs.
Although Frayka looks like a Far Easterner, she is a powerful Northlander warrior who is quick to voice her thoughts. She is trained to fight and won’t hesitate to do so.
But everything about Frayka puts her in deadly peril in the Far East, where the laws are strict and the punishment cruel.
Especially when the one being punished is a woman.

Author Bio:
Resa Nelson is the author of the 4-book Dragonslayer series: The Dragonslayer’s Sword (nominated for the Nebula Award, finalist for the EPPIE Award), The Iron Maiden , The Stone of Darkness , and The Dragon's Egg . Her 4-book Dragonfly series takes place after the Dragonslayer series.
Her standalone novels include the mystery/thrillers All Of Us Were Sophie and Our Lady of the Absolute .
Resa has been selling short stories professionally since 1988. She is a longtime member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America), and she is a graduate of the Clarion SF Workshop. Resa was the TV/Movie Columnist for Realms of Fantasy magazine for 13 years as well as a regular contributor to SCI FI magazine. She has sold over 200 articles to magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom.


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Legends of Deceit by Rebekkah Ford: A Cover Reveal

Legends of Deceit
Rebekkah Ford
Publication date: June 2017
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult
They know her.
They want her.
They’re poised to attack, but then a mysterious warrior with piercing green eyes saves her and nothing will ever be the same.
When Haven Evergreen was twelve, a witch cast a memory spell on her. Ten years later, Haven comes home and finds her mother murdered and two hooded beings lurking nearby.
Larkin Vestergaard is part of an elite team of soldiers. He’s on a special assignment to save the daughter of his king. When he sees Haven, he’s shaken to his core. Could she be the girl he lost long ago?
Larkin escorts Haven to a magical world where mythical creatures both beautiful and frightening exist. The truth of who she really is unravels, tearing the very fabric of her life. Despite her fierce attraction to Larkin, Haven longs to be back home where things are normal. But she’s forced to embark on a new journey of love, duty, and honor. Yet the pathway is paved with deceit, and it becomes a journey of life and death.

Author Bio:
Rebekkah Ford is an award-winning author who writes paranormal fiction. She believes her fascination with the unknown derives from her childhood. When her parents were married, they were the directors of the UFO Investigator’s League. They also investigated ghost hauntings and Bigfoot sightings in addition to extraterrestrial cases. Rebekkah’s upbringing, knowledge and experiences with the paranormal world, along with her colorful imagination, aids her in creating her stories.
Rebekkah has an irreverent sense of humor, is known to annoy her beloved cat, Church, by singing opera to him (Rebekkah is tone deaf, btw), and she believes having a dirty mind makes boring conversations more interesting.


Saturday, June 3, 2017

Saturday Short Review (June 3, 2017)

Title: Francesco Augustine Bernadone: A Brief History of Our Tomorrows (Love and Fear: The Future is Bucharest Book 1)
Author: Stan Faryna
Genre: Science Fiction, Post-apocalyptic, Futurism, Young Adult, Adventure 

I received an eARC from the author in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

GoodReads Description
In 2026, hundreds of millions of gamers hustle in an epic, virtual reality to win real cash prizes. Zombies, ruthless players, scarce resources and menacing artificial intelligence are just a few of the challenges in ‘Jacob's Trouble’, where less than one in a thousand manage to level up, grind for gear and avoid permadeath in order to loot hidden treasures and find life-changing wealth.

Recently unemployed, Francesco sells his father's legacy, a Rolex watch, for guidance in the game. Caught up in the naive hope he’ll win the prize money for an experimental, nanobotic cancer treatment for his wife, the ex-janitor begins an adventure that offers all the promise of redemption, but far greater challenges than he ever realized.

Can Francesco, an eighty-year-old non-gamer, find windfall and fortune in this dark and dystopic virtual reality game? Zombies, guns, machetes and death in a game might seem inconsequential, but the cost of failure is a reality this elderly man cannot bear.

My Thoughts
Wow!  I was really impressed by how much was explained and developed in so few pages!  But, because this is a Saturday Short, I will focus only on my three favorite pieces.

1. I am freaking in love with Francesco, which may be weird, because he's an old, married man, but oh well.  I'm not looking for loving, I just adore the idea of an MC who is so very much in love with his wife that he is willing to put himself in harm's way if there is even a chance of saving her.

2. As previously stated, Faryna does A LOT with the few pages he uses.  New world?  Built it!  Believable characters?  Creates them!  Whole new money and post-apocalyptic system?  Done.  And, the best part was that I lapped it out of his hands as a bird yanks away hunks of bread.  One big problem with this?  I NEED BOOK TWO.  I seriously need to know if Francesco helps his wife.  Does he succeed?  Does he fail?  Does Carl finally bite the big one?

3. When I started reading this piece, I was sure that I wouldn't like it.  I was so damned confused that I didn't think I could go on for another minute.  Yet, for some reason I felt compelled to.  I got to the middle of the book before things really started to make sense.  Now, typically this is not a good thing in my book.  By the time I'm half done, I should be sure as snot about what the heck I'm reading.  Faryna, however, broke this rule.  I got to the midpoint and WHAM the plot hit me upside the head and made total sense.  I have a lot of respect for an author who can use words to confuse the audience as easily as he can put the final pieces together for that same audience.

I look forward to reading more from Faryna in the future.

My Rating

Stan Faryna can be contacted at any of the links below.


Friday, June 2, 2017

Review: Ahe'ey by Jamie Le Fay

Title: Ahe'ey
Author: Jamie Le Fay
Publication Date: April 26, 2017
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Romance

I received an eARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Description from GoodReads
Morgan's feminist books didn't prepare her to deal with the dashing Gabriel and the land of Ahe'ey...

Ahe'ey: The Complete Collection

Morgan is a dreamer, change maker and art lover. She is a feisty, slightly preachy, romantic feminist full of contradictions and insecurities. Morgan uncovers a world where women have the power, and where magic is no longer just a figment of her wild imagination. Sounds like a dream, but it may, in fact, turn into a nightmare.

The world of the Ahe'ey challenges and subverts her views about gender, genes, and nature versus nurture.

The strong and uninvited chemistry between her and the dashing Gabriel makes matters even more complicated. His stunning looks keep short-circuiting her rational mind.

My Thoughts
I cannot think of a better introduction to Le Fay's wonderful writing style than Ahe'ey.  I instantly fell in love with her imaginative and detailed descriptions and her subtle way of stating her political opinions.  

Le Fay deserves praise for her characterization skills.  Each one felt so real that I was able to understand their motives and ideals as easily as I can understand my own.  The same can be said for her world building abilities.  Not only does Le Fay bring a whole new world to life, she explains it well and it truly makes sense.  It is very easy to understand the foreign concept that is Ahe'ey.

Additionally, Gabriel was such an easy character to fall in love with!  I love how multifaceted he is.  There is the side of him that he brings out around his family, at work, and around Morgan.  Although I'm not completely convinced by their romance, I can definitely see the underlying attraction there.

The only problem I had with this book is that Morgan accepts Ahe'ey a little too easily.  Personally, I would think that all of the people explaining their land and rules would be off their rocker if I was suddenly just there.  I understand that she can see everything in front of her, but I was really surprised that she never had an overwhelming fit of confusion.  She merely accepts it all.  I'm not sure if that was meant as a survival tactic or if that was just part of Morgan's personality that I failed to understand.  However, the more realistic approach would have been for her to have some form of freak out moment.

My Rating

About the Author
From as young as I can remember, I have soothed myself to sleep by imagining epic stories of heroes, heroines, sorceresses, dragons, angels, and demons. I based my stories on the books and movies I was watching and the narratives that moved and inspired me.

I was as excited and delighted with Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre as I was with Battlestar Galactica (the original TV series). The Mists of Avalon, an Arthurian legend retelling from the point of view of the female characters, had as much effect on me as Cosmos by Carl Sagan.

I imagined myself occupying the boots of the hero as much as I occupied the glass slippers of the damsel in distress. The first one was what I wanted to be; the second was what society wanted me to be, and I believed them, for a little while.

I am fascinated by my inner world when it comes to associating myself with the male hero. From childhood, I wanted to be him and marry him. He was my role model, the courageous, honourable, virtuous, humble, and sometimes conflicted hero that is so well expressed in Aragorn, Darcy, or Apollo from the original Galactica. I never had time for bad boys. I was always mesmerised by stories of brotherhood: two men that would honour and risk their lives for each other. How I wished at the time to see women portrayed in the same way.

My relationship with female characters was more complex, possibly reflecting my relationship with myself and mirroring the bare, deserted female landscape provided by the media at the time. My youth and my inner world were most influenced by Zimmer Bradley’s Morgaine Le Fay, the underdog, the magician, and the misunderstood and undervalued priestess of my childhood who painted a vivid picture that the world does not welcome powerful women, that they are rejected, vilified, and unloved. She was the character that made me want to be the powerful dark-haired, average-looking sorceress instead of the beautiful blond girl who got to marry the king.

As I grew into adulthood and discovered quite late in my life the welcoming arms of the feminist movement, I went through all stages of grief, including rage. Fortunately, rage does not last long in the body of a creative optimist.

As I gained the courage to write my own fiction, I was conflicted. I knew my imagination and power came from my truth, but I also knew I needed to honour the millions of voices that are screaming for better representation of minorities. I am one of those voices, dissecting each new book and movie, criticising the stereotypes, the common places, and the limiting depictions of gender, race, and sexuality.

This book was a great teacher that opened my eyes about how difficult it is to write engaging fiction and do justice to the people of the world. Can a Western, Caucasian, European woman really do justice to diversity beyond gender? Can she avoid creating stereotypical villains and heroes?

In the end, I have done my best to honour the world while being true to myself and to the characters and stories that inspire me. To be able to pour my heart out, I had to let go of what I should be feeling and writing. I had to embrace my flaws and my inner demons.

So that is all, what is left is a book that fully embraces everything I love: feminism, romance, friendships, social justice, environment, science, magic, and art. I found a big old pot, put in a few archetypes that have inspired people from the beginning of times, and mixed in the story lines and characters that have touched me throughout my life. I seasoned it all well with social consciousness and the life lessons that have made me grow as a human being. I fully embraced my geekiness and my romantic heart. I have submitted to my, sometimes overwhelming, idealism—the idealism that keeps my fire burning and gave me the courage to write Ahe'ey.

Much Love, Jamie

Thursday, June 1, 2017

TS901 Cover Reveal

Stacey Rourke & Tish Thawer
Publication date: August 1st 2017
Genres: Dystopian, New Adult
Tainted water for the good of the people. Fluoride and vitamins to sustain the health of the human race. Added ingredients to extend and elevate the quality of life. All good things, right?
Thia Kelly has been changed by the TS901 chemical in the world’s water supply. Now, forced into hiding with the other inflicted outcasts, she struggles to survive as her powers emerge.
Evan Daniels hunted for others like himself, and finding Thia suddenly brought meaning back into his life. Love blossomed between the strange couple while they searched for a way to reverse the effects. Unfortunately, the Government had something else in mind.
Super-soldier creation on a mass scale was their end goal, and thanks to an unfortunate family tie, Evan became Patient #1.
Good-guy? Bad-guy? The world isn’t sure, but Thia is left with only one choice––save the ass of the world’s first Anomaly who just happens to be her boyfriend.

Author Bio:
2017 – #1 Bestseller in Historical Fiction (Witches of BlackBrook)
2015 – Best Cover – Penned Con (The Witches of BlackBrook)
2015 – Readers Choice Award – Blogger Choice Awards (The Witches of BlackBrook)
Bestselling and Award Winning Author, Tish Thawer, writes paranormal romances for all ages. From her first paranormal cartoon, Isis, to the Twilight phenomenon, myth, magic, and superpowers have always held a special place in her heart.
Tish is known for her detailed world-building and magic-laced stories. Her work has been compared to Nora Roberts, Sam Cheever, and Charlaine Harris. She has received a RONE Award nomination (Reward of Novel Excellence), as well as nominations for Best Cover, Reader’s Choice, and Author of the Year (Fantasy, Dystopian, Mystery).
Tish has worked as a computer consultant, photographer, and graphic designer, and is a columnist for Gliterary Girl media and has bylines in RT Magazine and Literary Lunes Magazine. She resides in Colorado with her husband and three wonderful children and is represented by Gandolfo, Helin, and Fountain Literary Management.
You can find Tish on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorTishThawer

RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel
Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013
Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal Winner for Crane 2015
Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Reel Romance Series. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head.
Visit her at www.staceyrourke.com
Facebook at www.facebook.com/staceyrourkeauthor
or on Twitter or instagram at Rourkewrites.


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Review: Queen of Destruction by Gwynn White and Erin St. Pierre

Title: Queen of Destruction (Queen of Extinction #2)
Author: Gwynn White and Erin St. Pierre
Publisher: 4xOverland Ltd
Publication Date: April 23, 2017
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance, Fairy Tale

I received an eARC from the author in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Description from GoodReads
Aurora and her allies barely escaped Ryferia with their lives. With the help of her would-be husband Jorah, the princess must trust in unlikely allies to have a chance against her arch enemy. An oracle with a flare for the dramatic may hold the key to Ryferia’s survival…

Jorah has deep feelings for Aurora, but he doesn’t have the heart to take down the shrine to his lost love. Between Aurora’s distrust and a broken promise with the vengeful Sabrisia, Jorah uses dragon magic and trickery to buy himself time. But nothing will convince Aurora that he loves her…

But all is not lost. One of Aurora’s new allies may turn the tide in her fight against Raith. The only problem is that he may conquer her heart as well…

My Thoughts
As you may remember, I had the pleasure of reviewing the first Queen of Extinction book.  You can read that review here.  When I had the opportunity of reviewing the next book as well, how could I turn it down?  I'm so glad that I was offered the opportunity.  White and St. Pierre did not let me down!

I was surprised to find that I didn't hate the main villain, Raith, nearly as much as I hated his brother, Carian.  I wanted Raith to finally find compassion and possibly be released from his addiction to power.  Carian, on the other hand, I wanted to watch as he writhed in pain and despair.  How dare he be so cold and calculating!  The authors did a fantastic job writing such a despicable character.

Aurora has definitely grown since the first book.  No longer restrained by her Infirmity, she is beginning to understand how much personal, and magical, power she truly has.  Her greatest moments of strength are shown in this novel.  Not only is she forced to believe in herself, which can sometimes feel impossible, she is encouraged to assert herself to the friends that have always guarded her and she is able to be open and honest about her emotions.  While none of these seem especially action filled, the authors use them to make Aurora as realistic as possible.  After reading this book, I am able to identify with her so much more!  It feels like she is a living and breathing person.

In addition to the vast amounts of character building accomplished in this book, the world building is beautifully done.  Every question the first book left me with was answered in this sequel.  

While there was plenty of character and world development, the authors provide a ton of excitement and adventure.  I was so happy to see the detailed fight scenes.  Not only were they plausible, they captured the humanity of the emotions spurring on each fight.  

I think this is the point I'm supposed to say something critical, you know, something I didn't like.  I guess I'll close on this one thing.  I have to wait for the next book.  Not ok.

My Rating

About the Authors

                                                                                                   Gwynn White
I’m a New York Times bestselling author of epic steampunk fantasy novels set on distant planets. All my stories have an adventure at the heart, mixed with a liberal sprinkling of romance and intrigue. To confuse things, I also write adventure travel books set firmly on planet Earth. Weird, I know, but it makes me tick.

I live in Western Australia with my husband, Andrew, my three daughters, a yapping Toy Pomeranian, and a fantastic farm cat called Pixel.

When I’m not writing, I’m reading, traveling, herding kids around, taking dogs for walks, and avoiding all cooking. You can contact me via my contact form or my email: gwynn@4xoverland.com

                              Erin St. Pierre
Erin St. Pierre is a twenty-year-old author and world traveler. South African born, she has lived in three different countries on three different continents. Still, that is not enough. She wants to travel the world, writing, drinking hot chocolate, and eating cheesecake. She currently lives in Western Australia (who knows how long that will last) with the best cat in the world. She started writing at around fifteen or sixteen, and Queen of Extinction, co-authored with Gwynn White, is her first published work. And it will definitely not be her last.