Monday, January 30, 2017

Book Blitz: Curse of Stars by Donna Compositor


Curse of Stars
Donna Compositor
(Diamond Crier #1)
Publication date: February 19th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Sabi Perez is the last Diamond Crier, only she doesn’t know it. Not until a crazed ruler from another world comes to collect her priceless tears and won’t take no for an answer.
Living in New York, Sabi’s seen some nasty things, but the lengths to which her captor will go to keep his crown are things found only in the darkest nightmares. Afraid and alone, Sabi finds solace in her cellmate, Anya, and Cabal, a fellow Crier who also has powers, a rare combination that buys his favor from the ruler. Only it’s a favor he doesn’t want.
In a fit of rage, power erupts out of Sabi, the same power Cabal has, and a spark of hope ignites. Together they may have a chance at escape, something no other Crier has done. Except a ruler hellbent on draining them of every last diamond tear isn’t their only hurdle. If they escape they’ll be hunted to the ends of the earth, if they survive the trek to safety. If they stay the ruler will leech them dry. Sabi would rather die trying than lie down and die, even if that means running away into even more danger.
“. . . vividly imagined and deftly plotted dark fantasy . . .” BookLife Prize in Fiction
EXCERPT:
“You must be Sabina,” he said.
Her heart felt ready to explode. Ringing in her ears made it hard to hear but she could have sworn he called her Sabina. She didn’t know whether to answer him or not. She went by Sabi but her birth certificate said Sabina. He wasn’t wrong, but she wasn’t about to admit that.
“Sabina Petris.”
The sound of his voice was soft, almost welcoming. But the way he looked at her, how his gaze bored directly into her eyes, it sent goose bumps across her skin. All she wanted to do right then was leave.
“Sorry,” she choked, the word barely making it out. “You have the wrong house.”
The thin smile that sliced across his face like a paper cut cracked open to reveal gleaming teeth underneath. Sabi couldn’t help but think of a wolf and how he would eat her with his big teeth.
“I don’t think so. But maybe it’s Perez now, yes? At least that’s what my sources say.”
Every thought she had smashed together in her head. He had her name. Her name. But who was Sabina Petris? And why did he say Perez like that wasn’t her real name? Crap, she needed to get out. Now.
“Baby, you okay?”
Sabi jumped and nearly choked on her heart. Keeping her eyes on the man in front of her she called down to Mrs. Wexler in the steadiest voice she could muster, “Fine. I’m fine.”
Nothing about her cracking voice sounded fine.
“Why don’t you come on down? Come sit with me until your Mama gets home?”
Yes! That’s what she’d do. Nothing could happen if she stayed out in the open with Mrs. Wexler. She took a step backward, not daring to turn her back on the man, but she stopped when he spoke.
“Perhaps you shouldn’t. Or your sister, Matti is it? Could feel the effects of that poor decision.”
Bile burned Sabi’s throat and her vision swam. The man took a step closer.
“You are my property, Sabina. Your parents knew this. They knew this would happen. Come with me now and I’ll forgive their indiscretions. I can’t say the same for their people, of course. So many deaths piling up behind your parents. Something like that is hard for people to forgive.”
Everything in Sabi’s head cleared and one thing rang out above it all: Matti. Get to Matti. Whoever this guy was, whatever he was saying, he wasn’t right. In the head, in life, in anything. Except just looking at him Sabi knew he was far from harmless. He was too casual, too confident. He was the wolf and she the prey and she was getting too close to backing into a corner.
With every ounce of air she had in her lungs Sabi screamed Mrs. Wexler’s name and booked back down the stairs. Footsteps thundered up to meet her and Mrs. Wexler mumbled ‘outside’ and nearly pushed Sabi down the rest of the stairs. But she didn’t need any help. And she didn’t stop on the stoop or to see what her neighbor was going to do.
Guilt slowed her down, but the way Matti rolled off the man’s tongue made her pump her legs harder. It was blocks to the school, but Sabi wasn’t about to wait at a subway stop, sitting like a duck with a price on its head. She needed to get to Matti.


Author Bio:
Donna has been writing since she was in the single digits when she first realized she needed to do something about all the thoughts in her head. After a stint with bad poetry she finally found her way to novels, mainly of the young adult fantasy variety. When she’s not cranking out more stories she works a regular 9 to 5, reads anywhere from 2 to 3 books a week, drinks copious amounts of tea, eats way too much, and makes her own beauty products because her skin turns into a sentient hive if she uses anything else. This is mostly because she lives in the desert where the air siphons water clean out of her. She lives with a man named Steve and several quadrupeds: three cats named Renfield, Sam, and Dean; and a MinPin named Malfoy.

XBTBanner1

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Book Blitz: Court of Vampires by Megan Linski


Court of Vampires
Megan Linski
(The Shifter Prophecy #1)
Publication date: January 31st 2017
Genres: Mythology, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Vampires and werewolves shouldn’t fall in love.
Lysandra was born for one reason; to kill shifters. Princess of vampires, the heir to Vlad Dracula’s throne and the last descendant of Princess Anastasia, Lysandra lives in a castle of witches and human slaves,engaged to a dark vampire prince and prophesied as the one who will end the war between vampires and werewolves forever.
Everything changes when Lysandra finds a dying werewolf. She takes him into her care and quickly falls in love, unable to explain the magical connection between them. If she’s discovered, she will be put to death. But how can she stop the war when her worst enemy is her true love?
A heart-stopping love story filled with shocking twists, Court of Vampires is a thrilling young adult fantasy that readers will devour over and over again. The legend of what really happened to the Romanov family is retold in Megan Linski’s newest haunting paranormal romance.


Author Bio:
Megan Linski is the owner of Gryfyn Publishing and has had a passion for writing ever since she was a little girl. Her specializations are romance, fantasy, and contemporary fiction for teens and adults. When not writing, she enjoys ice skating, horse riding, and being outdoors. She is a passionate advocate for mental health awareness and suicide prevention, and is an active fighter against common variable immune deficiency disorder.
In December 2016, Megan signed a deal with Amazon's Kindle Press for her Kindle Scout Winner, Court of Vampires, due to be published 2017. You can find Megan at www.meganlinski.com, and receive a FREE book, The Witch's Curse, by signing up for her VIP List there.
Megan Linski also writes under the pen name of Natalie Erin for the Creatures of the Lands Series, co-authored with Krisen Lison.

XBTBanner1

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Book Blitz: Celtic Fire by Liz Gavin


Celtic Fire
Liz Gavin
(Highland Celts Series, #1)
Publication date: January 31st 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical, Paranormal Romance
This is a standalone, historical/paranormal romance. Its mature themes – violence, religious war, and pagan rituals – might not be appropriate for audiences under 18.
When ancient gods ruled and Druids kept Faith alive, the Celts thrived as a democratic, matriarchal society. Then savage Roman soldiers swept across Europe, killing and enslaving. The Celts did not succumb without a fight. Their Old Ways survived centuries of ruthless domain until another menace loomed: a tortured god worshiped in cold stone buildings. The sacred shores of Avalon began to drift away, the mists threatened to hide the island from mortal eyes forever.
Against the bleak backdrop of war, the gorgeous Scottish Highlands stood tall, sheltering its inhabitants from greedy invaders. Yet the reach of the eagle banners was long and the highlanders turned to the Goddess for protection. However, the sacred groves felt silent and grim as Avalon faded away. Once sad, pealing bells began to sound strangely comforting while the high walls of monasteries offered an alluring barrier from violence. Caught in the middle of this centuries-old war, a young High Priestess might be Avalon’s last chance.
Wise beyond her years and powerful like no other Priestess in her lifetime, Rowen had served the Goddess faithfully, forsaking her family and the company of her soulmate. When the Lady of the Lake asks for another sacrifice, it might be one too many for her scarred heart. How could she obey the Goddess without betraying Caddaric? Could she trust Eochaid, who embodied everything she despised and hated? Would she be able to fulfill her duties without losing her soul?
Caddaric had been Rowen’s companion in countless lives; but, now, they existed in different realms. Beautiful Rowen lived in the mortal world while sweet Caddaric remained in the sacred isle of Avalon, watching over her. Could he step aside to allow another man – a flesh and blood man – to become her protector?
Eochaid had sworn to protect the Old Ways. The rude warrior never quite understood his faith yet his loyal heart belonged to the Goddess. A gorgeous, fiery High Priestess was not in his plans. He would risk his life to protect Rowen; but, would the Goddess safeguard his heart? Could he defend the bewitching maiden from himself?
When stakes were so high that a simple mistake could cost their very world, a priestess, a Druid, and a warrior must learn to trust each other and the mysterious ways of the Goddess. Their success would save Avalon. Their failure would tear the island from the human realm forever, condemning it to oblivion.
Failure was not an option.
EXCERPT:
Rowen
Although my heart is heavy and my thoughts are gloomy, I take a deep breath and focus on the task at hand. I search for the sacred oak, the oldest tree in the grove. Finding it, I lie on the ground, face down, in front of the revered tree. Earth’s energy radiates from the ground, traveling through my body and limbs, filling me with a potent magnetism, and making my skin tingle as I say my prayer.
“Forgive me, Great Mother. I have failed you yet again. I am your vessel on this realm and as such I should never doubt your ways. Nevertheless, when the time came for Caddaric to go back to Avalon, I despaired and fought against the inevitable, as I always do.
Please, give me strength to control my weak heart, wisdom to understand your signs, and courage to do your bidding.”
The wind picks up around me making the dry leaves and little twigs swirl. Faint whispers come in the breeze. A thousand gentle fingers move over my body caressing, soothing me.
“Oh, Mother, you are too kind and never abandon me. I promise to serve you faithfully and perform my duties accordingly from now on.”
The wind blows stronger, molding my clothes to my body, covering me in dry leaves. I feel faint and when I open my eyes, I’m not in the sacred grove any longer. I’m lying on a sunny field, there’s a gentle breeze blowing from the distant line of apple trees, bringing the sweet smell of their flowers in full bloom. Recognizing my beloved isle of Avalon, I get up and look around. I see the Lady of the Lake standing just a few feet away. I go to her and offer a curtsy. The Lady gently holds me by my shoulders, smiles serenely and holds my gaze. Not for the first time, I wonder if her eyes can read my soul.
“Rise, Rowen, my child. And do not cry. You should rejoice over your successes instead of mourning what you perceive as failures. Your apprentices look up to you and seek your guidance, because your advice is wise and respectful. The villagers worship the Great Mother according to the old traditions, because they follow your firm yet kind leadership. Despite being so young, my beautiful Rowen, you are wise and your people respect you.”
I am touched by her words. I never expected the Lady of the Lake herself would answer my prayer and come talk to me, comfort me.
“You are too kind, my lady. I am honored and, although I think I do not deserve your comfort, I am thankful.”
“I speak only the truth, Rowen, as all true servants of the Goddess shall do. Now, you will not like what I need to tell you. You have always been loyal to your vows and I count on that loyalty to see you through the task I need you to undertake.”
“You frighten me, my lady. What do you need from me? You know I would never deny you, or the Great Mother, anything.”


Author Bio:
International best-selling author Liz Gavin, has accomplished much in her short career. Her books have made to #1 and Top Five best-selling ranks in her home country Brazil and others as diverse as Japan, the UK and the US; both in English and Portuguese, collecting 5 and 4-star reviews. Nominated for a Summer Indie Book Award in 2016, and again in 2017, this RWA member constantly seeks new opportunities to improve her craft.
This thirst for knowledge propelled Liz to leave the comforts of family and friends in Brazil and move to California to pursue a Master’s degree in late 2015. She lives in sunny SoCal, where she’s researching the writing process, for her thesis, in hopes to figure out why she creates in English instead of her native Portuguese.
Liz Gavin writes in contemporary, paranormal, and historical genres. In her sexy stories, one finds smart, independent women, who don’t need rescuing by knights in shining armor, but indulge in steamy action with swoony Alpha males with big hearts. She also writes about women discovering their sexuality and finding happiness in unconventional setups.

XBTBanner1

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Cover Reveal! The Unlikeable Demon Hunter


The Unlikeable Demon Hunter
Deborah Wilde
Publication date: April 18th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Urban Fantasy
Bridesmaids meets Buffy with a dash of the seven deadly sins.
The age-old story of what happens when a foul-mouthed, romance impaired heroine with no edit button and a predilection for hot sex is faced with her worst nightmare–a purpose. 
Ari Katz is intelligent, driven, and will make an excellent demon hunter once initiated into the Brotherhood of David. However, this book is about his twin Nava: a smart-ass, self-cultivated hot mess, who is thrilled her brother is stuck with all the chosen one crap. 
When Nava half-drunkenly interrupts Ari’s induction ceremony, she expects to be chastised. What she doesn’t expect is to take her brother’s place among the–until now–all-male demon hunters. Even worse? Her infuriating leader is former rock star Rohan Mitra. 
Too bad Rohan’s exactly what Nava’s always wanted: the perfect bad boy fling with no strings attached, because he may also be the one to bring down her carefully erected emotional shields. That’s as dangerous as all the evil fiends vying for the bragging rights of killing the only female ever chosen for Demon Club. 
Odds of survival: eh. 
Odds of having a very good time with Rohan before she bites it: much better.


Author Bio:
A global wanderer, hopeless romantic, and total cynic with a broken edit button, Deborah writes adult urban fantasy to satisfy her love of smexy romances and tales of chicks who kick ass. She is all about the happily-ever-after, with a huge dose of hilarity along the way.
“It takes a bad girl to fight evil. Go Wilde.” www.deborahwilde.com

XBTBanner1

Monday, January 23, 2017

Review: Heartborn by Terry Magert

Title: Heartborn
Author: Terry Maggert
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, YA
Rating: 4/5 "I really liked it."

Description from GoodReads
Her guardian angel was pushed.

Keiron was never meant to be anything other than a hero. Born high above in a place of war and deception, he is Heartborn, a being of purity and goodness in a place where violence and deceit are just around every corner.

His disappearance will spark a war he cannot see, for Keiron has pierced the light of days to save a girl he has never met, for reasons he cannot understand. Livvy Foster is seventeen, brave, and broken. With half a heart, she bears the scars of a lifetime of pain and little hope of survival.

Until Keiron arrives.

In the middle of a brewing war and Livvy’s failing heart, Keiron will risk everything for Livvy, because a Heartborn’s life can only end in one way: Sacrifice.

Fall with Livvy and Keiron as they seek the truth about her heart, and his power, and what it means to love someone who will give their very life to save you.

My Thoughts
I'll be honest.  I have really been putting off writing a review for this book.  Why?  I honestly don't know which way to take my review.  I mean, I loved the story.  I loved that it drew me in and I loved that it broke my heart.  However, it also really frustrated me.  I felt like it was lacking research and that there were a few parts that just weren't realistic.  I gave this book a 4/5 because of those lacking portions.  I think it demonstrates Maggert's ability to pull in an audience despite such inaccuracies.

One thing about this book that made me inordinately happy is that there was almost a complete lack of errors.  I hate reviewing books that are riddled with typos and grammatical mistakes.  I found five completely obvious ones in this book and only a few that were quite subtle and could have been stylistic details.  Another aspect of his writing that I took into consideration was the way that he flipped between POV's so much. When he wrote as Livvy or Cressa, the work was bright and brilliant.  However, why didn't Keiron have a part in that?  I would have loved to hear more from his point of view!

Maggert definitely delivers a romance that many will love to read about.  I LOVED Keiron *insert drooly face here* and I definitely kept wondering when/if she was going to leave him and go to Dozer or what was going to happen.  I could definitely feel the romance between them as they flirted, but would have loved to see that develop a little more organically.  It seemed forced in this book, but the ending makes that understandably so.

Speaking of the ending, that was my least favorite part of the book.  I mean WTF MATE?  I love how Maggert took all of the minor characters and made them into something major.  I just would like to be told what that major thing is.  There is almost no explanation and I'm a little bit confused about what happened there.  I'm really hoping that Book 2 will help me figure that out when it comes out!

Overall, I loved this book.  I did not want to put it down as I was so drawn in by the story and beautiful fighting scenes that I had to know what happened next and who died when.

I can't wait to see how this story develops.




About the Author
Left-handed. Father of an apparent nudist. Husband to a half-Norwegian. Herder of cats and dogs. Lover of pie. I write books. I've had an unhealthy fascination with dragons since the age of-- well, for a while. Native Floridian. Current Tennessean. Location subject to change based on insurrection, upheaval, or availability of coffee. Nine books and counting, with no end in sight. You've been warned.





Let's Chat!
Have you read Heartborn?  Did you love it?  Do research issues or other issues bother you or are you able to ignore them?

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Weekly Wrap Up 1/21/2017

Good Morning!

I am so happy that this week is over!  Between car trouble and the last week of the semester, this has been insane!  I deserve a bubble bath and an extra cup of coffee!

In other news, I am happy to report that an article I wrote will be posted on the Curiosity Quills Webpage on January 22.  Be sure to pop over there and check it out!  I am excited about this wonderful opportunity.

Other than that, there isn't a whole lot new up here in the freezing Northland, granted we have a high of 36 F tomorrow!

Here's what happened on Ms. J Mentions... this week. Click the captions to head to the pages!



Sunday: Dark Legends Book Blitz
Monday: Mini-Review The Snow Queen
Tuesday: Mini-Review The Illustrated Book of Sayings
Wednesday Morning: Cover Reveal Rose Petal Graves
Wednesday Afternoon: Kick-Ass Females Giveaway
Thursday: The Right Reasons to Read Left Hand Tree by Jay Gunter
Friday: Book Blitz: The Kingmaker by Gemma Perfect

Friday, January 20, 2017

Book Blitz: The Kingmaker by Gemma Perfect


The Kingmaker
Gemma Perfect
(The Kingmaker Trilogy, #1)
Publication date: January 1st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
“I am sixteen years old and I will die on the morning of my seventeenth birthday. As tradition dictates, I will be sacrificed and my life’s blood will determine which one of my two brothers will be King. My blood will kill one and crown one. My name is Everleigh and I am the Kingmaker.”
The legend of the Kingmaker goes back millions of years. Their magic chooses the rightful King of the Realm and they all die on their seventeenth birthday.
Except this one.
Everleigh is special.
She is the Kingmaker who will live, the Kingmaker who will rule, the Kingmaker who will be Queen.
But not everyone agrees with an age old prophecy that says that a girl will rule the Realm and soon Everleigh is locked in a deadly battle for the throne.
EXCERPT:
Halfreda
I have been sleeping so much more than normal. I believe the dreams are sending me messages. I have such a strong feeling about this one – stronger than I have ever had before; I think she might be the one.
I know what people think when they look at me, half of them revere me and half of them fear me.
I admit I exaggerate my persona but never ever my powers. My powers are real. I know things and I see things. I see things that haven’t happened yet but will happen. I know a person’s heart – I can see greatness and badness, trust or ill will. I know if someone is cursed before they tell me. I know if a woman is with child before she does. I know the private thoughts of people. Some people. Not everyone – some people are good at hiding their true self, blocking off the signals I pick up, but for the most part I can.
My persona is something else. I do have a little fun with the chanting – not all of which is strictly necessary. I enjoy staring at someone and then letting my eyes roll back in my head as if I have been overcome with some secret thing to do with them – that trick gets everyone in a fluster.
But I’m a good woman and a useful one. I do help the King. I use my powers to advise him. I use my knowledge to guide him and I have never shown him wrong. The Realm is peaceful and prosperous and I know that I have helped with that.
But my real purpose, the reason my teacher placed me here at the castle, has eluded me thus far. Through no fault of my own, I must add.
So, the blessing is over and here I am making up a future fire to see what I can see.
I’ve gathered the wood and started the fire, the flames licking upwards and warming my room. I’ve put all the necessary ingredients in to my bowl over the fire. The liquid is swirling. I’m trying to see if my hunch is correct. If I’m right about Everleigh.
Ah, I’m fed up of this puzzle. The fire will not show me anything, but does that mean I am wrong or that the future is too uncertain?
Where is my knowledge now?
Every time a Kingmaker comes to this final countdown in their life I intervene. Everleigh is the seventh Kingmaker I have known. That may give you an idea of my age I know, and yes, I am older than anyone I have ever met.
The teacher told me I will live until my life’s purpose is completed and my life’s purpose is to find the Kingmaker who is not the Kingmaker.
Does that even make sense?
When I met my teacher, I was only a teenager. I was rebelling against my power and trying to drown out my knowledge and gift with drink. Alcohol dulled the power and the voices inside me.
My teacher helped me, guided me and allowed me to live with my power, enjoying the help it gave me and embracing it fully. He also told me that I had been chosen for a special and important purpose.
He asked me if I had heard of the Kingmaker. Of course, I had – everyone had. The Kingmaker was a sacred tradition used to choose the new King of the Realm.
The teacher had been privy to a prophecy found years ago, which told of the one Kingmaker who would not die, she instead would rule as the Queen and the greatest ruler that the Realm had ever known.
I was to learn my craft and then go to the castle and work as a wise woman to assist the King. But every time the Kingmaker feast came around, I was to secretly meet the Kingmaker and test if she was the future Queen.
I have a feeling with this one that I’ve never had before. I’m more excited than I’ve been previously to test her. I’m nervous too. The one thing the teacher never told me was what happened next. If I found the Kingmaker who should be Queen, how did I convince anyone else?
My fire has let me down. I leave it to die and decide to finish for the night. After all, if she does as I’ve asked, I will meet Everleigh at the river at sunrise, which isn’t that far away.
I lay in my bed, watching the embers of the fire flicker away, and as I do I see a crown forming in the smoke. Is it a trick of my imagination or is it a sign?
I drift off to sleep pondering.


Author Bio:
Gemma Perfect loves to write. She’s been doing it since she was nine. After a few false starts – self publishing children’s books, and being traditionally published with her romance novella, she has finally found her feet writing young adult historical fantasy books. She is currently writing The Cursed Princess, set five years after The Kingmaker Trilogy finishes, following the adventures of Everleigh's sister, Addyson.
Gemma lives in Wales with her husband Craig and their three boys, Sam, Corey and Oliver. She is happiest when writing, day dreaming and eating smelly blue cheese.

XBTBanner1

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Right Reasons to Read Left Hand Tree by Jay Gunter

Title: Left Hand Tree
Title: Left Hand Tree
Author: Jay Gunter
Genre:  Horror                                  
Rating: 4/5 "I really liked it!"

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.


Description
“I LOOKED INTO DARKNESS . . . AND THERE I DID SEE.”
In these pages you will encounter strange stories of otherworldly evil, sent from a place eerily familiar, yet utterly bizarre, to deliver a stealthy sense of disquiet that will haunt your dreams.

LEFT HAND TREE
Tales like the title story, where an infant awaits a monstrous fate, and whose only salvation is a man with an ocean of blood on his hands.

LEFT HAND TREE
Tales like, “The Fourth Son of Adam,” where a skeptical reporter makes a pilgrimage of dark discovery that will threaten to poison his soul, his sanity . . . and even extinguish his humanity.

LEFT HAND TREE
Tales like “Triptych”, where a maestro of evil is haunted by an unthinkable revenant intent on delivering him to an unimaginable confrontation.

“THE DEAD ONES DANCING ROUND THE LEFT HAND TREE . . .”
All these and more you will discover when you read these pages and enter their world of horror and strangeness.
Come, if you dare, and be changed . . . perhaps forever . . .


My Thoughts
In my family, Halloween was the biggest holiday of the year. We started trying to scare each other at a very early age and watched horror movies as soon as we possibly could. My sister saw Freddy V Jason for the first time when she was seven years old. I tell you this, not to make you think that my family was insane, but so that you can understand the severity of my saying that this book scared the heck out of me. I am not exaggerating when I say that I had to bring my 72 pound dog with me to go out to my car at night right after I finished my book. And even with Rascal there, I was checking behind me each step of the way.

Let me start by talking about the writing. Gunter is afraid of neither adjective nor adverb. When the characters feel or see something, you see or feel something. This helped him bring the horror to a whole new level. It was especially terrifying and painful when he described the way that a child was harmed or the way that it felt as a main character was healing. I was so enthralled in his writing that I read this book in two long sittings. The first day, I read the first 150 pages. I finished the other 230 pages the next time. There were definitely parts of this book that almost made me want to put it down. At one point, a character talks about stealing money from his mother and harming her when she complained about the missing money. This bothered in me in so many ways that I had to remind myself not to fling my Kindle across the room. (That would only have ended in tears and curse words.)

I am still trying to figure out which of these stories scared me the most. The first one, "Left hand Tree" was terrifying because it included the most pain and the most qualities that went against my morals. The second one, "The Fourth Son of Adam," continued the Satanic ideas that were introduced in the first story, but introduced a vampire. This character was absolutely insane and seemingly impossible to kill. The third story, "Triptych," was arguably the least frightening of the bunch. This one was more intimidating in a spiritual way than it was actually scary. The final story, "Flowers" was the most stereotypical scary story of them all. However, it was also the most believable. It really made me consider what could be out there and it was this story that came to my mind as Rascal and I trudged through the snow to my car.

Unfortunately, I didn't have a favorite character in each of the tales. My favorite, Macklin, is only present in "Left Hand Tree." I loved that he was willing to endure whatever pain or torture came his way in order to find the missing boy. Yes, he could have turned down the job at any time or claimed that it was too difficult. Instead, he kept his word and found him. Macklin endured just as much, if not more, pain than the abused child but he still kept his wits about him as he went on his search. I admire his dedication.

I have every intention to read this book again after I have forgotten many of the stories inside it. I want to let them freak me out all over again. Gunter WILL give you the goosebumps you are looking for.


About the Author
Jay Gunter was born in Great Falls, Montana. He currently resides in the Spokane, Washington area
where he teaches Communication Studies at Eastern Washington University. His interests range from
action and horror films to supernatural and suspense fiction. He has enjoyed things outré and
frightening since he was a very young boy, although he may have disputed the fact at that young age. 

“I can remember sitting on my dad’s lap one Saturday afternoon, watching Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s monster on our television set. Karloff was doing his genius performance as the monster, howling and growling and battering at this door in order to escape, and it was so loud and scary and awful, that I sat and screamed my head off while my dad fruitlessly tried to get me to realize that it was all just a movie. But that monster was absolutely real to me, and I just wanted it to go away. Finally, my mom had to intervene from the kitchen; she told my dad to just turn the channel, and he did. After that, if I even saw a hint of a Frankenstein, or a Wolf Man or other old-fashioned monster on the TV, I’d either leave the room, or I’d stare at the screen and whimper like a bird hypnotized by a snake. I’m sure that warped me somehow!”


Click here for a chance to win the necklace shown!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Kick-Ass Females Giveaway

Kick-ass females .jpg Giveaway - Kick-Ass Females Authors: Aoife Marie Sheridan, Sharon Stevenson, M.H. Soars, Lindsey R. Loucks, Mary Fan, Kory M. Shrum & Alicia Michaels. Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy/Romance Dates: 16th - 18th of January Hosted by: Ultimate Fantasy Book Tours EDEN FOREST.jpg Blurb: FROM AWARD WINNING AUTHOR AOIFE MARIE SHERIDAN Sarajane Anderson is your regular twenty-one year old with family, friends and a normal job. She also happens to be the only person who can save Saskia, a parallel world to earth. When Sarajane is taken to Saskia, she could never have imagined the reality of the world that she is stepping into- a world where magical abilities are in everyone's possession. She must face a father she never knew, a world that is beyond her belief, a guardian who captures her heart; and a darkness that wants to take it. On her journey, Sarajane discovers her magical abilities, and realizes too that they come with a price. She is truly tested as her own loved ones are put at risk- the ultimate question she is forced to ask herself is, how do you choose who lives and who dies? https://www.amazon.com/Eden-Forest-Part-Saskia-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B01B1TQD5Y/ Blood Bound.jpg Blurb: Blood Bound is the Amazon bestselling Scottish urban fantasy novel that combines a breakneck plotline with flawed characters and a wicked sense of humour. "It's a read that grips you from the beginning, and keeps you enthralled until the very end." – Ashley, Fae Books 19-year-old twin demon trackers Shaun and Sarah Gallows are used to running into trouble—mostly the kind with fangs—but while Sarah embraces her powers to their fullest extent, trusting her instincts implicitly, Shaun distances himself from his abilities and can do little more than despair at his sister’s reckless nature and idly back her up. When they come across 17-year-old Melissa Carling, a demon tracker who’s been torturing innocent super-naturals, they know they have to stop her. Sarah is desperate to punish Melissa for what she’s been doing but Shaun’s instant attraction to the girl points to a soul-mate bond stronger than anything he’s ever had to fight before… https://www.amazon.com/Blood-Bound-Gallows-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B009JBKV96 The Prophecy of Arcadia.jpg Blurb: Being a teenager is tough, especially when you have to pretend to be something you’re not, and you’re in love with someone you shouldn’t. 115 years ago, a small planet called Arcadia was invaded by a vicious alien race and nearly destroyed. Cut off from their resources, the Arcadians turned to Earth for help. A group of Arcadian explorers discovered a Prophecy that claimed their salvation lay in the hands of two children from Earth. To ensure their safety, the Arcadian Council sent their most gifted youngsters to Earth to act as protectors. Samantha is one of them. To succeed in her mission she must learn to control her Arcadian powers and keep her true identity from her best friend, and the girl she swore to protect, Alexia. But Samantha will soon realize that nothing is as it seems. Someone is trying to prevent the Prophecy from taking place and the prophecy boy hasn't been found yet. There is also a new drug circulating at school that is turning students into freakishly strong menaces. To make matters worse, distractions keep getting in her way. Such as her love/hate relationship with her “cousin” Matthew. Or her confused feelings toward popular and mysterious Julian. She wants nothing more than to be free to live her life. But the survival of Arcadia depends on her and her friends. Free will is not an option. https://www.amazon.com/Prophecy-Arcadia-Arcadian-Wars-Book-ebook/dp/B00HX8UVXS petrified-city Blurb: Welcome to Petrified City, where the dead don’t stay in the ground. Ten years ago, an accident at the city chemical plant leaked toxins into the soil of the historic Brookwood Hill Cemetery. From the poisoned ground emerged the wraith – ghosts of the long dead who gorge on the energy sucked from the city’s dwindling population. Desperate to contain the threat, the government enclosed the city in a giant dome, trapping the wraith and the residents inside. Now, there’s almost nothing left. Sydney Cale – a thief with a strange and secret power – attempts to escape from the city’s jailers, only to find herself facing off against the wraith. She teams up with Alain, a raven shapeshifter who is a member of the Order of the Reapers, a powerful force who work to banish the wraith back to the underworld. Alain agrees to protect Sydney and her friend Diana in exchange for her help. She must enter the Citadel – the wraith compound in the center of the city – and steal back his kidnapped daughter. But what Sydney finds inside the Citadel will change everything. The wraith are evolving, drawing energy from the decaying city itself. Soon, they will be powerful enough to break free of the dome. Sydney and Alain must stop the wraith before they escape and infect the world, even if that means dooming themselves, and everyone they love, to petrifying inside the dying city. https://www.amazon.com/Petrified-City-Chronicles-Wraith-1/dp/1537648276 Artifical Absoloutes.jpg Blurb: Jane Colt is just another recent college grad working as an Interstellar Confederation office drone—until the day she witnesses her best friend, Adam, kidnapped by a mysterious criminal. An extensive cover-up thwarts her efforts to report the crime, shaking her trust in the authorities. Only her older brother, Devin, believes her account. Devin hopes to leave behind his violent past and find peace in a marriage to the woman he loves. That hope shatters when he discovers a shocking secret that causes him to be framed for murder. With little more than a cocky attitude, Jane leaves everything she knows to flee with Devin, racing through the most lawless corners of the galaxy as she searches for Adam and proof of her brother’s innocence. Her journey uncovers truths about both of them, leading her to wonder just how much she doesn’t know about the people she loves. https://www.amazon.com/Artificial-Absolutes-Mary-Fan/dp/194021503X Dying Breath.jpg Blurb: "I always knew I was going to die. I just didn’t know it was going to be today." Maisie won’t live to see her seventeenth birthday. Her mother and sister are locked in a war over the world, and Maisie is stuck between them. She must decide if she will join her sister’s cause, or defend her mother. In the face of her mother’s demands, Maisie doubts herself and what she truly wants. But her only alternative is to be murdered by the person she loves most. Jesse wants to find her father’s body and finish him before he can resurrect. If she succeeds she will save millions, if not billions, of lives. But first, Jesse must defeat the woman protecting him. Will Maisie stand with her? Or fight by her mother’s side? One decision will make all the difference in the world. https://www.amazon.com/Dying-Breath-Living-Book-ebook/dp/B01LY36SIL Daughter of the red dawn.jpg Blurb: On the outside, seventeen year-old Selena McKinley is like any other teenage girl. Yet, Selena has always felt as if she doesn’t belong and is counting the days to graduation and her freedom from the small town that makes her feel so out of place, when the arrival of a stranger turns her world upside down. Selena will learn just how different she is and the truth of where she comes from. A lost princess, they call her, the catalyst for a war involving a world that she was taken from as a child. An evil queen obsessed with her own beauty with a plan to enslave the human race.…the notion seems so silly, yet Selena knows in her heart that it is true. Then there is Titus, the shape shifter whose blue eyes and claims of destiny hold her heart captive. Can Selena find the strength to do what she must while following her heart? https://www.amazon.com/Daughter-Red-Dawn-Fantasy-Romance-ebook/dp/B00NFH0CLW giveaway.jpg Win a $35 Amazon gift card, three signed paperbacks and four eBooks! Totally Addicted to Books has teamed up with seven must-read authors to bring you our Kick-Ass Females Giveaway. These books feature amazing female characters in the fantasy, paranormal and science-fiction genres. ONE (1) lucky winner gets all of the following: $35 Amazon Gift Card A signed paperback of Artificial Absolutes by Mary Fan. A signed paperback of Daughter of the Red Dawn by Alicia Michaels. A signed paperback of Demon Divided by Sharon Stevenson. And eBook copies of: The Prophecy of Arcadia by M.H. Soars Dying Breath by Kory M. Shrum Petrified City by S.C. Green & Lindsey R. Loucks Eden Forest by Aoife Marie Sheridan http://www.totallyaddictedtobooks.com/?ks_giveaway=kick-ass-females-in-sci-fi-fantasy-book-giveaway

Cover Reveal: Rose Petal Graves

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Mini Review: The Illustrated Book of Sayings

Title: The Illustrated Book of Sayings: Curious Expressions from Around the World
Author: Ella Frances Sanders
Release Date: September 13, 2016
Genre: Language Arts, Linguistics
Rating: 4/5 "I really liked it!"

I recieved an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Description
From the New York Times bestselling author of Lost in Translation comes this charming illustrated collection of more than fifty expressions from around the globe that explore the nuances of language. From the hilarious and romantic to the philosophical and literal, the idioms, proverbs, and adages in The Illustrated Book of Sayings reveal the remarkable diversity, humor, and poignancy of the world's languages and cultures.
My Thoughts
This book is absolutely wonderful!  Not only are the explanations and descriptions of the sayings very easy to understand, the artwork is both charming and meaningful.  It really encourages the reader to think about what is being said and why.  I believe that is a wonderful way to begin conversations and research into other cultures!  I absolutely loved that the sayings were not arranged by country or by meaning.  This encouraged me to continue reading because I just had to know which saying would pop up next!

For the Classroom
I truly believe that this book would be a wonderful asset to any Language Arts classroom.  It is a wonderful way to show students the reasons behind the strange sayings we use daily.  It would be an especially useful book in a World Literature class as an introduction to culture.  I would love to have a few copies for my classroom!  This book makes learning fun!

Let's chat!
Do you have a favorite saying?  What makes it your favorite? Do you know its origins?

Monday, January 16, 2017

Mini Review: The Snow Queen

Title: The Snow Queen
Written By: Hans Christian Andersen
Illustrated By: Sanna Annukka
Release Date: October 4, 2016
Genre: Fiction, SciFi, Fantasy
Rating: 4/5 "I really liked it!"

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

Description
Gorgeously packaged with intricate illustrations from Finnish illustrator, Sanna Annukka, this new edition of Hans Christian Andersen's well-loved fairy tale, The Snow Queen, is the perfect holiday gift for adults and children alike.

Hans Christian Andersen's magical tale of friendship and adventure is retold through the beautiful and intricate illustrations of Finnish illustrator Sanna Annukka. Cloth-bound in deep blue, with silver foil embellishments, The Snow Queen is elevated from a children's book to a unique work of art. It is an ideal gift for people of all ages.


My Thoughts
I absolutely loved this book.  As the description explains, the illustrator took the original fairy tale, but added her wonderfully detailed illustrations. Without those illustrations, I probably would have rushed through it.  With them, I found myself stopping to admire the enthralling artwork.  Annukka's artwork definitely works to bring the original fairy tale to life.

Let's Chat!  
Do you like fairy tales?  What's your favorite one?  

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Book Blitz: Dark Legends


Dark Legends
Publication date: January 17th 2017
This Collection is packed with more than 20 full-length Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance reads from New York Times, USA Today, and International Bestselling Authors!

Don’t miss this collection of more than twenty unique twists in paranormal romance and urban fantasy, providing over one million words of supernatural suspense that will transport you to new worlds with smoking hot action and heart-throttling adventure!

The DARK LEGENDS boxed set includes: Mermaids, Sirens, Shifters, Vampires, Dragons, Sorcerers, Warriors, Angels, Faeries, Demons, Witches, Psychics, Ghosts, Mythology, Folk Tales, Legends, Dark Magic, Time Travel, and More!

T.F. Walsh with Demon’s Mark
Monica Corwin with Soulless
J.L. Weil with White Raven
Laxmi Hariharan with Redemption
JA Culican with The Keeper of Dragons,The Prince Returns
Muffy Wilson and The Para-Portage of Emily
GK DeRosa with Wilder: The Guardian Series
Marilyn Peake with Shade
Kevin McLaughlin with By Darkness Revealed
Carissa Ann Lynch with Midnight Moss
Vivienne Savage with Making Waves
Anna Hub with Beyond the Shadows
HJ Lawson with New Order
Emma Nichols with Blood Moon
Shelley Munro with Claimed & Seduced
J.A.Armitage with Two of Clubs
Leilani Love with Violca’s Dragon
Demelza Carlton with Ocean’s Gift
Xyla Turner with Broken Treaty
D.S. Murphy with Scarlet Thread
Jeremy Williams with Winemaker of the North

RELEASE DAY IS JANUARY 17, 2017
*B*U*Y* NOW
~*~ ONLY 99c ~*~
Murmurs around campfires, gossip in smoky taverns, discussions in towns and villages…
Everyone whispers of DARK LEGENDS, of supernatural creatures that walk the night…vampires and shifters, faeries and angels, dragons and sorcerers.
They whisper of danger. They whisper of adventure. They whisper of long-lasting love.
Preorder your copy of DARK LEGENDS today for 99c.
This Collection is packed with more than 20 full-length
Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance reads from
New York Times, USA Today, and International Bestselling Authors!

AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER NOW!
This First Edition is EXTREMELY limited – you can only get the full collection between NOW
and
JANUARY 24, 2017
~*~ ONLY 99c ~*~

Join the Facebook Release Day Party
Meet the Authors and Win Epic Prizes!
January 17, 2017
9am – 12pm PST


XBTBanner1

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Weekly Wrap Up 1/14/2017

Hey everyone!

What a wonderful week!  It was insanely cold here in Northern Minnesota but we seem to have gotten through it alive.  It was unfortunate that our after school activities were continuously cancelled due to the cold weather, but it is best to keep our kids warm and safe.

Rascal, my lab mix, had a rough time with this cold!  His poor feet were definitely bothering him.  But, I don't think he complained too much about me wrapping him up in a big blanket until his feet were warm again.  He is definitely a mama's boy.  Cathryn, my cat, seemed to deal with the cold much better than he did.  Granted, she has absolutely no reason to ever go outside.  She has loved picking on her "brother" as he attempts to warm up, however.

As far as things on the blog go, this week was pretty quiet. Because of the intense cold and the busy schedule that I held this week, I really did not have a lot of time to read or to write a review.  I hope that the blitzes were helpful as they were at least able to introduce you to some wonderful new pieces!

What have you been up to this week?  Was it cold for you too?  Let me know in the comments!


Tuesday: RoseBlood Blitz
Thursday: Blue Tide Blitz
Friday: Age of Order Trailer Reveal

Friday, January 13, 2017

Trailer Reveal: Age of Order by Julian North


Age of Order
Julian North
Publication date: February 2017
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
What if the people who thought they were better than you… really were?
In this world, inequality is a science. Giant machines maintain order. And all people are not created equal.
Daniela Machado is offered a chance to escape the deprivation of Bronx City through a coveted slot at the elite Tuck School. There, among the highborn of Manhattan, she discovers an unimaginable world of splendor and greed. But her opportunity is part of a darker plan, and Daniela soon learns that those at society’s apex will stop at nothing to keep power for themselves. She may have a chance to change the world, if it doesn’t change her first.
Age of Order is a novel that explores the meaning of merit and inequality. Fans of the Red Queen, Divergent and Red Rising will enjoy this world of secrets and deadly intrigue, where the downtrodden must fight                                                                           for a better future.



XBTBanner1