Sunday, June 25, 2017

Blog Tour & Giveaway: All the Stars Left Behind by Ashley Graham

Book Blurb:

All the Stars Left Behind by Ashley Graham

Published by Entangled Teen

Release Day: June 6, 2017

Relocating to Arctic Norway would put a freeze on anyone’s social life. For Leda Lindgren, with her crutches and a chip on her shoulder the size of her former Manhattan home, the frozen tundra is just as boring as it sounds. Until she meets her uncle’s gorgeous employee.

Unfortunately, no matter how smoking hot the guy is, Roar comes with secrets as unnerving as his moving tattoos. And Leda doesn’t trust him.

Roar shouldn’t be drawn to the moody human girl with eyes that leave him weak in the knees. But when Leda gets shot by one of his enemies and survives, Roar finally understands why he’s drawn to her: Leda is exactly what he was sent to Earth to find. A weapon of immense power capable of saving his planet.

She just doesn’t know it yet.

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My Review:

3.5 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Aliens, Another-World, Mystery, Romance, Space, Supernatural, Teen--

Leda has just lost her beloved father to cancer and now her whole life has been uprooted by her distant mother, dropping her with her Grandmother and uncle, who she did not even know existed. While living with her newly discovered family, she meets her uncles employee Roar, a strange boy that she is instantly drawn to. Strange things keep occurring to Leda, like seeing things that nobody else sees like shadow people, and the odd encounters between her and Roar, where time goes missing whenever they touch. Just when she feels like she is starting to get a grasp on her new life, a bomb is dropped and nothing is what Leda thought it was.

I love alien stories and pretty much anything with space travel so I was really interested in reading this version. It did not hurt that the cover was eye catching, and we all know I am a sucker for a good cover. I can honestly say this book was a very unique plot with an alien search party, pretending to be refuges from another planet seeking shelter on earth, but in actuality they are searching for a weapon to save their people. The book took place on earth as well as outer space, with the crew facing one challenge after another from all kinds of space attacks and human surprises. This story was a nice mix of space/supernatural technology and adventures, mystery, danger (creepy space tentacles? yes please) and a forbidden love thing going. I could not predict what would happen next, Ashley Graham kept me on my toes with each dangerous turn thrown at Leda.

The story alternated between Roar and Leda, both so important to the mission and the story. I am such a fan of dual narration in my romance books, and this was no exception. My favorite part of Roar was the fact that Leda was disabled never even was a thought. To Roar, she was a beautiful, competent and smart girl who he wanted to get close to at any opportunity- her crutches and spina bifida did not exist to him. So sure, Leda had a physical disability, but nobody treated her as such (except for herself at times) instead they expected her to be capable of great things and brushed off what she felt she was not capable of. I was not sure how her physical status would play into the storyline, but it was well played where a girl with a disability can save the world- no haters here. Both Leda and Roar are well developed characters, enough so that I could connect and empathize with everything they go through. The side characters were just as important to the story, such as Leda's family and Roar's crew, helping to create a fully fleshed out world.

The one thing that I struggled with a little was the transitions in the story, especially at the beginning of the book. The narration of the book alternates between Roar and Leda, but it never indicated when, so it would switch randomly during a chapter and took a few sentences for me to catch up. Also, the story jumped around, like things were missing, so I would re-read parts to see if I accidentally skipped it, but nope, it was just not there. For example, Leda was about to finish making dinner for everyone, had an intense confusing moment with Roar, and then went to bed... I guess dinner was over? Did time jump too, and the people she was cooking for did not feel the need to eat or come look for her if she was missing for hours? And she disappeared in front of her uncle, who didn't notice she physically vanished (if that is what happened...I really am not sure). There were some other times like that where things did not match up with what was previously happening or other things just were left out making me feel like I was missing parts of the book. Sure, they were not the most needed or interesting parts, but it drove me a little insane with how choppy the delivery was near the start of the story.

This was a great first book by this author, and I would gladly read whatever else she creates and releases on the world. The way the story ended wrapped up the book, but it left plenty of wiggle room for more Roar-Leda adventures to come, so I look forward to another space adventure to really end the war...and for them to be together... Hope that was not too spoilery, but I have hopes for what will come next. I enjoyed the story regardless of the choppy transitions at the start of the book and I flew through the pages in a single sitting. This is the perfect read for anyone who likes aliens, space and space-technology, forbidden romance and adventure.

I received this title in return for my honest review.

Author Bio:

Ashley Graham was born in Ontario, Canada, and has since lived in five countries. Before writing her first manuscript in 2015, she worked as a clerical assistant, quality assurance officer, chef, and stay-at-home mom/homeschool teacher. When she isn’t writing or reading every book she gets her hands on, Ashley enjoys online window shopping, Netflix binges, and spends way too much time thinking about space travel. ALL THE STARS LEFT BEHIND is her debut novel.

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Blog Blitz & Giveaway: Amber Sky by Claire Warner

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Blog Blitz & Giveaway: Shades of the Gods by Erin Hayes

Shades of the Gods
Erin Hayes
(Elysium Legacies #1)
Publication date: September 27th 2013
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Mythology

Caught between life and death, all Callie wants is to live again.

Homicide detective Callie Saunders knows that death isn’t all pearly gates and angels. After being hit by a bus, she finds that it’s the ancient gods and goddesses of Greek mythology who are in charge of everything.

So when Hades offers her a deal, she accepts. If she wants to be brought back to life, she’ll have to figure out who is trying to kill his son. But if she fails, both her soul and the world will be destroyed.

With the odds mounting against her, it’ll take everything she has within her to wake up from death. But the rules are constantly changing. And someone wants her to stay dead.

(This book was formerly titled Death is but a Dream. The covers and titles have changed for The Elysium Legacies, but the content is still the same.)

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EXCERPT:

“You’re blackmailing me,” I sneered at him, fury raging within me at the realization. “You want me to do something in return before you allow me to wake up.”

He raised his hand in a gesture of supplication. “Not blackmail,” he assured. “I’m looking to employ you for a time.”

I recoiled. “Employ me? As what? Muscle? Is this the Underworld’s version of the Mafia?” Now that I thought about it, Hades did remind me of a mob boss. He even looked like some I knew. “I don’t play that, sorry.”

Hades grinned. “I want to make a deal with you, Callista. You find out who is trying to kill my son. Give me a name and a motive. And I’ll restore you to life.”


Author Bio:

Sci-fi junkie, video game nerd, and wannabe manga artist Erin Hayes writes a lot of things. Sometimes she writes books.

She works as an advertising copywriter by day, and she's an award-winning New York Times Bestselling Author by night. She has lived in New Zealand, Hawaii, Texas, Alabama, and now San Francisco with her husband, cat, and a growing collection of geek paraphernalia.

You can reach her at erinhayesbooks@gmail.com and she’ll be happy to chat. Especially if you want to debate Star Wars.

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Rise of the Sea Witch by Stacey Rourke

Rise of the Sea Witch
Stacey Rourke
Publication date: June 19th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Details of the sea witch’s banishment have been exaggerated. The body count that preempted it was not. Once an illustrious princess, her hands and tentacles were stained with the blood of thousands. No one could comprehend how the hooks of madness dragged her down from her life of privilege.

Born Princess Vanessa of Atlantica, the ambitious young royal was one of two children born to the great King Poseidon. She and her brother, Triton, were groomed from birth to rule. Yet only one would ascend that coveted throne. While carefree Triton flits through his training with a cavalier demeanor and beguiling charm, Vanessa’s hunger for her father’s acceptance drives her to push herself to the limits of magic, and combat to become a leader worthy of her people.

When war against the humans ravages their once regal kingdom, political sides are chosen. Factions from the seven seas challenge the existing leadership, pitting Vanessa against her brother in a vicious battle for the crown. Traitors are exposed, darkfamily secrets revealed, and a once strong sibling bond is strained to its breaking point.

Only when the ink black waters from the ultimate betrayal rescind, will the truth be known of how the villainous sea witch rose with one name on her vengeful lips–Triton.

Goodreads / Amazon


My Review:

4 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Another-World, Heart-Wrenching, Royal-Court, Supernatural, Witches--

Vanessa has only had one dream and that is to be Queen of Alantica. Her every move has been designed to try and win her father's affection and approval, when it is so easily given to her younger playful brother Triton, who wants nothing more than to play. It seems that fate may not be on Vanessa's side though, and her path to the crown has more challenges that she may be able to handle.

Oh my geez, this was a great book, but is was so hard to read (in my opinion because of the life of Vanessa)! I will admit that I did not realize that this was the back story to the evil sea witch from the Disney movie The Little Mermaid, I just thought that this was a new mermaid book (with a completely gorgeous cover which I am drawn to regardless of content). Well, I found out pretty quick that this is Ursela's backstory and I loved how Ms. Rourke was able to create this history that made me love this terrible villain. Rourke was able to create depths and motivation, causing me to empathize with Vanessa and understand her in a way I never expected- her misdeeds seemed reasonable and just herek. Can I just say, that hands down, Poseidan was an epic Tool and needed to be punched, even to the end (but let's not get into that). The way he treated Vanessa was so awful, and sure it was not physical abuse and she did not want for any physical possession, but she was abused by neglect and contempt. I wanted to stage an intervention at multiple times in the story and whisk her away, and even her evil deeds I felt more ambivalent about.

​My favorite part of the story was the offhand references to the Disney movie The Little Mermaid. For example, the phrase poor unfortunate souls (hint hint the title?) was thrown around the book, made famous from Ursela in the movie. Also, "little mermaid" was what Vanessa was called a few times as a snarky put-down, "body language" was referenced (which made me chuckle to myself and want to break out in the song from the movie), a helpful seagull was mentioned, and Vanessa ends up having her voice taken away at one point just like Ariel did (but much more gruesome). I loved seeing these tidbits incorporated into the book's plot to make a seamless connection between the beloved Disney movie and this entirely new back story. I think it helped to draw me in more, making me engaged in actively finding more connections to tie the stories to together.

I found this book to be a pleasant surprise that kept me reading and anxiously invested to see what would happen next. I honestly wanted nothing but happiness, or at least love and acceptance and perhaps some contentment for Vanessa, even though I know how this story ended. I also found interesting the transition from pretty little mermaid Vanessa to full figured Ursela (and the name Ursela now makes perfect sense) to be well done and matched the expectations for the character very well. I have so many concerns for her future as well as what will happen between her and Triton that I would love to get my hands on the next book in the series to continue the journey. This is perfect of fans of The Little Mermaid, villains backstories like the Maleficent movie, general mermaid stories and anything else different you may be looking for. Pick it up, you will enjoy it.

Author Bio:

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 totravel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a careerout of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head.

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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 thelast 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 SanJose. 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 withguns. 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 meanlosing her forever.

Ultimately it’s their bond with each other that holds them together, in a true test of love, loss and survival.

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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 passionfor 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 sheattended 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.

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