#PennedCon2019, #HeartlandBookFestival, and #BadMoonRising

I’m back from Penned Con – and once again, behind on blog visits.  I’ll try to get there this week!  This was my second year at Penned Con (I’ve already reserved my table for next year) and it was a blast.  I met and talked with so many passionate readers, sold some books, hung out with fellow authors, and reconnected with some friends.  I was exhausted by the end of both days, but it was so much fun and well worth it.  My tablemate was unable to attend so I was able to spread out.  I really didn’t have enough for a whole table, but the extra room was nice.  The final count at the end of the weekend – over 26K raised for Action for Autism!

This Friday and Saturday, I’ll be attending Heartland Book Festival in Elizabethtown, KY.  This is a new book fest, with Friday being student day.  I love talking to kids about books, so I’m especially looking forward to this.  I’ll let you know next week how it went.

 

The info for Bad Moon Rising was due yesterday, so if you haven’t sent yours in, please get it to me in the next couple of days.  I still have one slot open!

Have a great week!

WWW Wednesday: What Am I Reading? #amreading

WWW Wednesday is a meme from Sam at Taking On A World Of Words

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m currently reading Fireborne by Rosaria Munda.  Look at these comp titles – GoT and Red Rising?  Dragons?  Your question should be why am I not reading this book?

Game of Thrones meets Red Rising in a debut young adult fantasy that’s full of rivalry, romance… and dragons.

Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone—even the lowborn—a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders.

Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn’t be more different. Annie’s lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee’s aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet.

But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city.

With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he’s come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves . . . or step up to be the champion her city needs.

From debut author Rosaria Munda comes a gripping adventure that calls into question which matters most: the family you were born into, or the one you’ve chosen. 

I just finished Slayer by Brittney Morris.  I’m not a big gamer (unless you count the arcade games I played in high school), but I still play some Xbox.  The thought of a high school student creating a game like this, keeping it a secret from everyone she knows, then having to deal with such heavy issues – I was intrigued.  This was a fantastic read, full of creative imagery within the game.

By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only Black kids at Jefferson Academy. But at home, she joins hundreds of thousands of Black gamers who duel worldwide as Nubian personas in the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. No one knows Kiera is the game developer, not her friends, her family, not even her boyfriend, Malcolm, who believes video games are partially responsible for the “downfall of the Black man.”

But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, news of the game reaches mainstream media, and SLAY is labeled a racist, exclusionist, violent hub for thugs and criminals. Even worse, an anonymous troll infiltrates the game, threatening to sue Kiera for “anti-white discrimination.”

Driven to save the only world in which she can be herself, Kiera must preserve her secret identity and harness what it means to be unapologetically Black in a world intimidated by Blackness. But can she protect her game without losing herself in the process? 

I started The Gate by D.L. Cross a couple of months ago, then had to put it on hold for other reading commitments.  I’m excited to get back to it and find out about these aliens.

He lost his job. He lost his girl. Now it’s all he can do not to lose his life.

Landon Thorne is a disgraced archaeologist, a laughing stock in his field because of his unconventional beliefs – he’s an ancient astronaut theorist. No one takes him seriously.

Until an alien armada targets Earth.

Now Landon’s in high demand – by the US government and someone far more sinister.

They race across two continents to the Gate of the Gods, the one place on Earth that might give humans an advantage over the aliens. But no one is prepared for what they’ll find.

And not everyone will make it out alive.

 

 

 

All the Love You Write by D.G. Driver #bookreview #TuesdayBookBlog #YA #RBRT

A story about young love, first love, true love, timeless love, and the power of love letters.

Mark and Bethany are two mismatched high school seniors in a new relationship.

It’s doomed to fail.

Mark has adored Bethany since middle school, and she’s finally giving him a chance. Only, he’s clumsy at romance and knows he’ll lose her because of it. Bethany thinks Mark is sweet. Only, she’s afraid to commit her whole heart to him because he’s going into the army and she’s headed off to college.

Fifty years earlier, a boy and a girl from the same high school shared an amazing but tragic love story. They have now returned as ghosts and are interfering in Mark and Bethany’s relationship.

Who are they? Why do they care what happens to Mark and Bethany?

I’ve read nearly every book D.G. Driver has written, and they’ve never disappointed me.  All the Love You Write is no different.

When I learned this story was the continuation of the author’s 2015 novella, Passing Notes, I couldn’t wait to read it.  As with the novella, this is a sweet, heartwarming tale, and I challenge anyone to read it and not have their heartstrings tugged.  The author does an excellent job at portraying the awkwardness of first relationships, especially in the case of Mark.  As the mother of sons, I saw several parallels and chuckled many times over his actions.

One of the characters frustrated me for a good portion of the book.  I wanted to tell this person they were doing it all wrong, but one of the ghosts took care of that for me.  I’m a fan of anything supernatural, so that aspect and the connection to Mark were some of my favorite things about the story.

The fact that Bethany excels academically and is on a college track, while Mark has struggled in school and chooses to serve his country in the army is a source of conflict between the couple.  It’s also an apt depiction of how college isn’t the path for everyone, while pointing out the many educational and career advancement opportunities within the military.

It’s clear the author did her research into the time period of the Vietnam War – not only historic events that took place, but also how relationships and opportunities for women were vastly different from today.

If you’re a fan of love stories – or even better, supernatural love stories, All the Love You Write is an inspiring tale with some some heartfelt messages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Rosie’s Book Review Team. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Book Signing, #PennedCon2019, and #BadMoonRising

Vacation was fabulous!  And I’m ready to go back.  Out on the beach by 9 am under the umbrella where I stayed, book in hand, until 5 pm.  Perfection.

Yesterday I attended Victoria Schwab’s book signing at Parnassus Books in Nashville, and it was a full house.  She’s one of my favorite authors, and I’ve often said I’d love to spend a day in her head to see how her mind works.  Marcia, if you’re reading this, I told her you had cats named Rhy and Kell, and she asked why I didn’t have their pics.  But I do have the pic you requested I take with her!

This week, I’ll be leaving on Thursday for Penned Con in St. Louis.  Last year was my first time signing, and it was one of most well-organized book festivals I’ve attended – plus, the organizers donate the majority of the profits to charity.  And the fans!  Folks who have a deep passion for books, and I enjoyed talking with so many of them.  This year’s theme is Going Back to the 80s, and Thursday night is a trivia contest.  Considering I’m a child of the 80s, I’m thinking I might have an advantage.  My Save Ferris shirt is already packed.  It’s going to be an awesome weekend.

During my downtime at Penned Con, I’ll be working on the Bad Moon Rising posts.  I still have one opening for October 31st, and I always like to have extra authors on the backburner.  Seems like every year a couple of authors don’t return their info, so I always have extra slots.  If all the info is returned, I’ll schedule a few posts for the same day to make sure everyone is included.  Tell your friends!

Have a great week!

 

#AuthorInterview and #BookReview of The Gemini Connection #YA #scifi #LGBT

Time for some shameless self-promotion.  Last week (while I was lounging on the beach under an umbrella reading), blogger and author Jonathan Pongratz posted an interview with me here, and a review of The Gemini Connection that had me doing a Snoopy dance on the beach (I’m sure there’s YouTube footage somewhere) here.

Jonny’s horror novella, Reaper, will be featured here during Bad Moon Rising on October 22nd.  Don’t you love that eerie cover?  If you can’t wait until then and want to go ahead and check it out, click here for Amazon.

Have a great weekend!

Chills and Creeps: Eight Scary Stories by Nick Clausen #bookreview #shortstories #RBRT

In this collection, you’ll meet …

Peter, who meets an upholsterer who really likes his skin. Mary, who gets a pet fish thatwill only eat human flesh. Daniel, who plays a game that becomes real in his dreams. Eagle, who has a disease that make birds attack him wherever he goes. Joseph, who plays tennis with a ghost. Nadia, who gets trapped in a house slowly filling up with water. Calvin, whose sister visits a hypnotist and becomes someone else. And Noah, who learns to control lights with his mind.

Eight stories spanning horror, dark fantasy and science fiction, all set in everyday life while exploring the dark, the evil and the supernatural. 

I haven’t read many short story collections, but for me, a horror/supernatural compilation is irresistable.

At the end of each tale, the author shares what sparked the idea – a nice personal touch.  I find story origins interesting.  All are eerie and enjoyable, but I have my favorites.

When I Snap My Fingers – The concept of reincarnation has always fascinated me, and the way it’s incorporated will give you chills down your spine.  And have you avoiding hypnotists.

Ghost Tennis – You might be lured into thinking this is a friendly ghost story – don’t be fooled.  The ending is wickedly perfect.

Drip-Drip-Drip – As someone who is slightly claustrophobic, I was uncomfortable reading this one.

Not all the stories worked for me.  Some had less plausible plots and character actions which I felt needed another tweak with a content edit.  Even though it’s fiction, it still needs to be believable.  Other reviewers have mentioned this book is suitable for children, but because of some language sprinkled throughout, I wouldn’t recommend it for readers under the age of thirteen.

Dark, evil, and supernatural tales may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for horror fans, this is creepy collection that can be read in a couple of hours.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Rosie’s Book Review Team.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

 

 

1920s Covers Revealed!

To get you over hump day, jump over to Teagan’s site – she has not one, but two cover reveals for new books!

Teagan's Books

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Welcome to Jazz Age Wednesdays and a double cover reveal!

That’s right not just one, but two covers — both for Roaring Twenties books.  

I’ve brought along a couple of 1920s musicians to liven up this celebration.

I love making book covers and promo images.  Today I’m double excited to reveal two of the designs I’ve created for my upcoming books.

First, and most importantly, the third book in my Roaring Twenties series will launch this autumn.  It continues the adventures about the flapper, Pip and her friends.  Here’s the cover for A Ghost in the Kitchen.  

A Ghost in the Kitchen by Teagan Ríordáin GenevieneA Ghost in the Kitchen by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Announcing my first non-fiction book!

During seven years of publishing stories with a Roaring Twenties setting here at my blog, in addition to the books about Pip, Granny Phanny, and their friends, I’ve done a lot of research.  That…

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