#BlogTour Vampire Weekend by Mike Chen #scifi #comingofage

Being a vampire is far from glamorous…but it can be pretty punk rock.

Everything you’ve heard about vampires is a lie. They can’t fly. No murders allowed (the community hates that). And turning into a bat? Completely ridiculous. In fact, vampire life is really just a lot of blood bags and night jobs. For Louise Chao, it’s also lonely, since she swore off family ages ago.

At least she’s gone to decades of punk rock shows. And if she can join a band of her own (while keeping her…situation under wraps), maybe she’ll finally feel like she belongs, too.

Then a long-lost teenage relative shows up at her door. Whether it’s Ian’s love of music or his bad attitude, for the first time in ages, Louise feels a connection.

But as Ian uncovers Louise’s true identity, things get dangerous–especially when he asks her for the ultimate favor. One that goes beyond just family…one that might just change everything vampires know about life and death forever.

I’ve read a few of Chen’s other books, so I assumed this would be similar. Vampirism is only the backdrop for what the story is truly about.

Meet Louise Chao – hardcore punk rock fan, guitarist, night shift hospital janitor, vampire. Since the deaths of her aunt and best friend, she’s led a pretty secluded life. The exception is her french fry-loving corgi, Lola (she’s named after The Kinks song that kept playing in my head while reading). Louise wants to be part of a band and has auditioned for some, but when you can only perform at night – because vampirism – options are limited.

Enter Ian – thirteen-year-old music fan, aspiring musician, tech genius, and long-lost relative. He discovers what Louise is, but is pretty disappointed to learn being a real life vamp doesn’t align with movie/TV vamps. No biting humans (it’s actually pretty gross), no superhuman speed/powers, no special permission required to enter homes, no turning humans, and romantic relationships are a thing of the past. The equipment no longers works in that capacity. Nothing at all like the Anne Rice books. Louise’s life is focused on secrecy and knowing where her next meal is coming from – primarily the nearly expired blood bags she takes from the hospital. But Ian still asks her for a life-changing favor.

If you’re looking for the more typical vampire tales,you won’t find them here. This story is mainly about family – the good, bad, and the ugly – and paying it forward. About listening objectively to observations about your life – especially if they come from very insightful teenagers. About making connections and finding a community. And about music. Music fans will adore all the references, and I love that characters are named after musical influences in the author’s life. He also leaves vampire-related Easter eggs for vamp fans. A slow burn, enjoyable read from start to finish.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Vampire Weekend : A Novel 

Mike Chen

On Sale Date: January 31, 2023

9780778386964

Trade Paperback

$17.99 USD

368 pages

About the Author:

Mike Chen is a lifelong writer, from crafting fan fiction as a child to somehow getting paid for words as an adult. He has contributed to major geek websites (The Mary Sue, The Portalist, Tor) and covered the NHL for mainstream media outlets. A member of SFWA and Codex Writers, Mike lives in the Bay Area, where he can be found playing video games and watching Doctor Who with his wife, daughter, and rescue animals. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @mikechenwriter

SOCIAL LINKS:

Author website: https://www.mikechenbooks.com/ 

Twitter: @mikechenwriter

Instagram: @mikechenwriter

BUY LINKS:

Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/p/books/vampire-weekend-mike-chen/18536153?ean=9780778334316

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/vampire-weekend-mike-chen/1141227912

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Vampire-Weekend-Novel-Mike-Chen/dp/0778386961/ref=monarch_sidesheet 

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780778386964

#BlogTour The Necromancer’s Daughter by D. Wallace Peach #fantasy #dragons #magic

I’m so excited to participate in the blog tour for Diana’s new release, and it’s always a pleasure to host her. Make sure to read my review of The Necromancer’s Daughter at the bottom of the post.

A healer and dabbler in the dark arts of life and death, Barus is as gnarled as an ancient tree. Forgotten in the chaos of the dying queen’s chamber, he spirits away her stillborn infant, and in a hovel at the meadow’s edge, he breathes life into the wisp of a child. He names her Aster for the lea’s white flowers. Raised as his daughter, she learns to heal death.

Then the day arrives when the widowed king, his own life nearing its end, defies the Red Order’s warning. He summons the necromancer’s daughter, his only heir, and for his boldness, he falls to an assassin’s blade.

While Barus hides from the Order’s soldiers, Aster leads their masters beyond the wall into the Forest of Silvern Cats, a land of dragons and barbarian tribes. She seeks her mother’s people, the powerful rulers of Blackrock, uncertain whether she will find sanctuary or face a gallows’ noose.

Unprepared for a world rife with danger, a world divided by those who practice magic and those who hunt them, she must choose whether to trust the one man offering her aid, the one man most likely to betray her—her enemy’s son.

A healer with the talent to unravel death, a child reborn, a father lusting for vengeance, and a son torn between justice, faith, and love. Caught in a chase spanning kingdoms, each must decide the nature of good and evil, the lengths they will go to survive, and what they are willing to lose.

Diana’s Bio:

A long-time reader, best-selling author D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life when years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books. She was instantly hooked.

In addition to fantasy books, Peach’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of the arts in her local community, organizing and publishing annual anthologies of Oregon prose, poetry, and photography.

Peach lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two owls, a horde of bats, and the occasional family of coyotes.

Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Website/Blog: http://mythsofthemirror.com

Website/Books: http://dwallacepeachbooks.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dwallacepeach

Purchase Links:

US: https://www.amazon.com/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach-ebook/dp/B0B92G7QZX

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach-ebook/dp/B0B92G7QZX

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach-ebook/dp/B0B92G7QZX

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach/dp/B0B9FY6YZJ

IN: https://www.amazon.in/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach-ebook/dp/B0B92G7QZX

My Review:

This isn’t my first rodeo with this author’s books. I know to expect writing that reads like prose, beautiful imagery, and top-notch world-building. My expectations were exceeded.

Diana’s done it again. She’s created wonderfully flawed characters who wormed their way into my heart. I cheered for them, nearly cried (seriously, I was close to needing a tissue), and sincerely hoped Teko found a good woman to make strange or magical babies with (you need to read the book to understand, but I promise you’d wish the same for him). It began with Barus, a disfigured orphan taken in by a healer, and then he held the door open for the rest of them (Aster, Joreh, and Teko especially) as they entered my heart. The father/daughter relationship and incredibly strong bond between Barus and Aster is one of my favorite things about this novel. The author certainly knows how to place her characters between a rock and a hard place, and she forces them to make gut-wrenching decisions. Each had their share of difficulties, but I felt Joreh in particular grappled with his beliefs.

There’s no shortage of deadly battle scenes between warring countries and tribes and a bloody struggle for power after the king is assassinated. And dragons! Somehow I missed in the description that they’d be a part of the story, but as a dragon lover I was thrilled and intrigued by Aster’s unique connection with them and how that factored into her identity.

The Necromancer’s Daughter is an exciting adventure filled with magic, epic battles, strong friendships, warring kingdoms, and a bit of romance. Find yourself a comfy chair to curl up in, make sure you’re not interrupted, and then fully immerse yourself in this world.

#BlogTour With Fire in Their Blood by Kat Delacorte #YA #fantasy

With Fire In Their Blood by Kat Delacorte

Ultimate Tour

Book Info

Genre: YA Fantasy

Length: 416 Pages

Publishing: 1st September 2022

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09LLTRMR4/ 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61267819-with-fire-in-their-blood 

Blurb

‘Startingly original… Readers will be lured into this tumultuous world of warring families, forbidden power, and heart-searing romance’ – Lyndall Clipstone (Lakesedge, Forestfall) 

From the word-of-mouth fantasy sensation Kat Delacorte – the standout debut star of 2022 YA Lit Con (YALC) – comes the first instalment in a new YA fantasy duology. 

Packed to the brim with bisexual and queer representation, With Fire in Their Blood is a simmering supernatural romance set in the crumbling Italian city of Castello, where mafia clans make the rules, dark magic pulses the streets and the sins of the past threaten to consume the present. . . 

When sixteen-year-old Lilly arrives in Castello, she isn’t impressed.
A secluded town in the Italian mountains is not where she saw her last years of high school playing out. 

Divided for generations by a brutal clan-family war, the two halves of Castello are kept from destroying each other by the mysterious General, a leader determined to maintain order and ‘purity’. . . whatever the cost. 

Lilly falls in with the rebellious Liza, brooding Nico and sensitive Christian, and sparks begin to fly. But in a city where love can lead to ruin, Lilly isn’t sure she can trust anyone — not even herself. 

And then she accidentally breaks Castello’s most important rule: when the General’s men come to test your blood, you’d better not be anything more than human… 

Perfect for lovers of Chloe Gong, Renée Ahdieh and V.E. Schwab, With Fire in Their Blood is quality YA storytelling at its best by an exciting new voice in YA fantasy. 

About the Author

Kat Delacorte was eleven years old when her family moved from the United States to a small town in central Italy. She soon began writing stories about her new friends developing superpowers, and she hasn’t looked back since. She graduated with a BA in History from Columbia University, and lives in Venice, Italy.

#BlogTour The Witches of Moonshyne Manor by Bianca Marais #bookreview #urbanfantasy

A coven of modern-day witches. A magical heist-gone-wrong. A looming threat.

Five octogenarian witches gather as an angry mob threatens to demolish Moonshyne Manor. All eyes turn to the witch in charge, Queenie, who confesses they’ve fallen far behind on their mortgage payments. Still, there’s hope, since the imminent return of Ruby—one of the sisterhood who’s been gone for thirty-three years—will surely be their salvation.

But the mob is only the start of their troubles. One man is hellbent on avenging his family for the theft of a legacy he claims was rightfully his. In an act of desperation, Queenie makes a bargain with an evil far more powerful than anything they’ve ever faced. Then things take a turn for the worse when Ruby’s homecoming reveals a seemingly insurmountable obstacle instead of the solution to all their problems.

The witches are determined to save their home and themselves, but their aging powers are no match for increasingly malicious threats. Thankfully, they get a bit of help from Persephone, a feisty TikToker eager to smash the patriarchy. As the deadline to save the manor approaches, fractures among the sisterhood are revealed, and long-held secrets are exposed, culminating in a fiery confrontation with their enemies.

Funny, tender and uplifting, the novel explores the formidable power that can be discovered in aging, found family and unlikely friendships. Marais’ clever prose offers as much laughter as insight, delving deeply into feminism, identity and power dynamics while stirring up intrigue and drama through secrets, lies and sex. Heartbreaking and heart-mending, it will make you grateful for the amazing women in your life.

This book hooked me with “five octogenarian witches” and “magical heist-gone-wrong”. It was just too tempting, and I was in the mood for a change of pace in my reading. It certainly didn’t disappoint.

I’ve seen several comparisons to The Golden Girls and Practical Magic, and they’re pretty accurate. These five witches may not be blood-related, but they’re most definitely a family and have been together since they were children. With five different personalities, a couple of them very strong ones, the women occasionally clash and go head to head, but love each other unconditionally. Their quips and banter (especially Jezebel’s comments and antics) kept me laughing throughout the book. With multiple POVs, I was never confused, and the recipes for potions at the end of some chapters are nice additions and cleverly written.

When the women are on the verge of losing their home, a magical heist and a dangerous deal seem to be their only solutions to staying off the streets, but it may be more than they bargained for. I was enthralled by the descriptions of their quirky house that included so many rooms – a lab, greenhouse, and very unusual fireproof gameroom among them. Persephone, teen daughter of the mayor and an ambitious young feminist, is a wonderful addition to the story and teaches the witches about the wonders of the internet and social media. She’s accompanied by her Italian Greyhound, Ruth Bader Ginsberg. I loved the way the witches bring her into their circle and become kind of surrogate grandmothers.

This is a light-hearted read I thoroughly enjoyed that also contains a bit of a mystery. I adored each of these women, and this quote from the novel describes them perfectly – “Aging Gracefuly is a bore. Aging disgracefully is something to be proud of.”

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About the Author:

Bianca Marais cohosts the popular podcast The Sh*t No One Tells You About Writing, aimed at emerging writers. She was named the winner of the Excellence in Teaching Award for Creative Writing at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies in 2021. She is the author of two novels, Hum If You Don’t Know the Words and If You Want to Make God Laugh, as well as the Audible Original The Prynne Viper. She lives in Toronto with her husband and fur babies.

Social Links:

Author website: https://www.biancamarais.com/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/biancamaraisauthor 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/biancam_author/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/biancamarais_author/ 

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Witches-Moonshyne-Manor-witchy-rom-com/dp/0778386996/ 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-witches-of-moonshyne-manor-bianca-marais/1141674843?ean=9780778386995 

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/books/the-witches-of-moonshyne-manor/9780778386995 

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780778386995 

Books-A-Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/9780778386995 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-witches-of-moonshyne-manor 

AppleBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-witches-of-moonshyne-manor/id1609763913 

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Bianca_Marais_The_Witches_of_Moonshyne_Manor?id=WKteEAAAQBAJ 

Libro.FM: https://libro.fm/audiobooks/9781488215506-the-witches-of-moonshyne-manor 

Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-witches-of-moonshyne-manor/9780778333920-item.html 

Target: https://www.target.com/p/the-witches-of-moonshyne-manor-by-bianca-marais-paperback/-/A-85998293 

Haunted Hotel and #BlogTour

Over Memorial Day weekend, hubby and I spent a few days at West Baden Springs Hotel in French Lick, IN (sports-obsessed Son #1 informed me this was the hometown of Larry Bird). It was originally built in 1855 to capitalize on the many mineral springs in the area, and there are several bath houses still standing on the property. As you can see from the pictures below, it’s a stunning hotel and has quite a history – fires, changes in ownership and purpose. You can read more about it HERE. It’s also the setting of the supernatural thriller novel So Cold the River by Michael Koryta, and the movie of the same name was filmed on site and can be rented on Amazon Prime or Apple TV. Hubby and I plan on watching it sometime this summer. With such a history, I was sure the hotel would be haunted, but it’s actually the other hotel on the property, French Lick Springs Hotel, that is rumored to be haunted by the original owner, Thomas Taggart. He frequently smoked a pipe, and guests and employees have reported the strong scent of pipe tobacco near the service elevator (it’s a non-smoking hotel) and have also encountered his ghost. Read more about that HERE.

One of the days there was spent by the pool – with a book, of course. I noticed a spider crawling across my bag lying on the table and flicked it off to the ground. I’m not afraid of them (but if it’s snakes, I’ll shove you in front of me as an offering and run in the other direction), and if I see them in the house, I’ll catch and release them outdoors. While reading I felt something on my neck and assumed it was a fly. Wrong – the spider bit me and was trying to build a web that connected me to a nearby railing. Some thanks I got for not killing him. I told hubby I was sure to wake up with super powers the next morning. Sadly, it didn’t happen, and I’ve been waiting for them to manifest for over a week.

The Insurgent (The Colony #2) is on tour this week! A big thanks to R&R Book Tours and all the hosts who signed up. Below is the tour schedule – hope to see you at some of the stops!

Book Tour Schedule

June 6th

R&R Book Tours (Kick-Off) http://rrbooktours.com

John H. Howell (Spotlight) https://johnwhowell.com

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Review) https://lshadowlynauthor.com/

@mels_booksandhooks (Review) https://www.instagram.com/mels_booksandhooks/

Shari Sakuri (Review) https://sharisakurai.com/

June 7th

Riss Reviews (Review) https://rissreviewsx.wixsite.com/website

Staci Troilo (Spotlight) https://stacitroilo.wordpress.com/

I Smell Sheep (Spotlight) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

Books + Coffee = Happiness (Spotlight) https://bookscoffeehappiness.com/

@bookscoffeehappiness –  https://www.instagram.com/bookscoffeehappiness/

June 8th

Lecari’s Live Journal (Review) http://www.lecari.co.uk

Not a Bunny Blog (Review) https://notanybunny.wordpress.com/blog

@gryffindorbookishnerd (Review) https://www.instagram.com/gryffindorbookishnerd/

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

June 9th

Cheryl’s Book Nook (Review) https://cherylsbooknook.blogspot.com/

 @takealookatmybookshelf (Review) https://www.instagram.com/takealookatmybookshelf/

Robbie Cheadle (Review) https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/author/robertalouisecheadle/

Bunny’s Reviews (Review) https://bookwormbunnyreviews.blogspot.com/

June 10th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

   @amber.bunch_author (Review) https://www.instagram.com/amber.bunch_author/

Jonathan Pongratz (Review) https://jonathanpongratz.com/

Misty’s Book Space (Review) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

#BlogTour If You Change Your Mind by Robby Weber #bookreview #YA #LGBTQ #romcom

In this hilarious and heartfelt debut novel, an aspiring screenwriter learns sometimes love has its own script.
 
Harry wants nothing more than to write Hollywood screenplays. He knows the first step toward achieving that goal is winning a screenwriting competition that will seal his admission into the college of his dreams, so he’s determined to spend his summer free of distractions—also known as boys—and finish his script. After last year, Harry is certain love only exists in the movies anyway.
 
But then the cause of his first heartbreak, Grant, returns with a secret that could change everything—not to mention, there’s a new boy in town, Logan, who is so charming and sweet, he’s making Harry question everything he knows about romance. As he tries to keep his emotions in check and stick to his perfect plan for the future, Harry’s about to learn that life doesn’t always follow a script.

A beachy rom-com set during the summer? The beach is my happy place, and rom-coms can be pretty entertaining.

The excitement of summer before senior year, piers, surfing, carnivals, cotton candy, parties, walks on the beach – all of these set the tone for this novel. Harry is finally getting over last summer’s crush who ghosted him when he moved away and is set on putting all his energy into working on the screenplay he’s hoping will get him into USC. Sounds like he’s got his priorities set, right? Not so much. Enter a new cute guy and the return of the ex-boyfriend, and the priorities become a little muddled. He’s also wavering between giving his best friend bad news that would crush her or letting her continue in her bubble of happiness. On the side he referees fights between his two younger sisters and works part time in a book store. He’s a busy guy.

Each chapter is named after a rom-com movie (so adorable), and they seemed to fit the theme of that particular chapter. Every character is flawed, and I cringed each time Harry made a bad choice (he’s obliviously self-destructive), but that’s what humans do. The supporting characters are well-drawn, but I have to give a shoutout to Foster, Harry’s friend who’s deeper than he initially appears, and his little sister Lottie, a cunning scene-stealer.

Several of the chapters are snippets of Harry’s superhero screenplay that somewhat mirror what’s going on in his life. I understand why they were added, but for me they interrupted the flow of the story.

I like the way the story wraps up and the decisions Harry makes. Sometimes self-realizations can be a shock, but they help us learn and grow. If you’re looking for a light read with beachy vibes and surfer dudes, this one delightfully checks the boxes.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Robby Weber is a Florida-based writer who loves sunshine, summer, and strong-willed characters. He can normally be found as close to the ocean as possible with his dog, Arthur, and a novel from Reese’s Book Club.

SOCIAL LINKS:

Author Website: http://www.robbyweber.com/

Twitter: @robbyreads

IG: @robbyreads

BUY LINKS:

Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/books/if-you-change-your-mind/9781335425904

Indie Bound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335425904

Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/if-you-change-your-mind/9781335425904-item.html?ikwid=If+You+Change+Your+Mind&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0#algoliaQueryId=d9924bcb8b279cb4da06ed0c26e0afd1

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/if-you-change-your-mind-robby-weber/1139818441?ean=9781335425904

Books A Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/9781335425904?AID=10747236&PID=7310909&cjevent=59c4bf22bf5f11ec80dde16c0a82b820&cjdata=MXxOfDB8WXww

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/If-You-Change-Your-Mind/dp/133542590X/ref=sr_1_3?adid=082VK13VJJCZTQYGWWCZ&campaign=211041&creative=374001&dchild=1&keywords=If+You+Change+Your+Mind&qid=1627133811&s=books&sr=1-3

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/If-You-Change-Your-Mind-ebook/dp/B0992F6H2Q/ref=sr_1_13?dchild=1&qid=1625938908&refinements=p_27%3AWeber&s=digital-text&sr=1-13

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/if-you-change-your-mind

On Sale Date: May 3, 2022

9781335425904

Hardcover

$18.99 USD

#BlogTour Killing Time by Brenna Ehrlich #bookreview #YA #mystery

Summer in Ferry, Connecticut, has always meant long, lazy days at the beach and wild nights partying in the abandoned mansions on the edge of town. Until now, that is.
 
Natalie Temple, who’s never been one for beaches or parties in the first place, is reeling from the murder of her favorite teacher, and there’s no way this true-crime-obsessed girl is going to sit back and let the rumor mill churn out lie after lie—even if she has to hide her investigation from her disapproving mom and team up with the new boy in town…
 
But the more Natalie uncovers, the more she realizes some secrets were never meant to be told. 

Ferry, Connecticut sounds like an idyllic, seaside town filled with lazy summer days by the ocean, kids riding their bikes on the sidewalk, and ice cream from the local parlor. Until the body of a beloved teacher is discovered after she’s murdered, and the rose-colored glasses are officially shattered.

The novel actually focuses on two cases – the murder of Natalie’s teacher and a missing college student several years prior. It’s told from alternating chapter POVs between Natalie and her mother Helen, owner of the local diner and a former college journalism major. Natalie also dreams of becoming a hard-hitting journalist and devours true crime books and shows. She and her best friend Katie even host a true crime podcast – which is all kept secret from Natalie’s mother, who forbids her from reading or watching anything crime-related. Headstrong and determined, Natalie decides to begin her own investigation on the sly after her teacher’s murder.

If you think it’s naive of a teenager to take on a murder investigation, you’d be right. Against the advice of Katie (a voice of reason), Natalie makes one bad decision after another without regard for the consequences. It’s not difficult to figure out who’s involved with the murder, but the why may keep you guessing and come as a total surprise. The missing college student from Helen’s college days is also an intriguing story and explains her distaste for journalism and true crime stories.

I was satisfied with the ending – it wraps up all the loose threads, and the plot moves along at a brisk pace. If you’re a fan of true crime podcasts, don’t expect many details in this novel. Other than hiding it from Natalie’s mother, it’s not explored further, but this is a book true crime buffs will enjoy.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About the Author:

Brenna Ehrlich is a journalist, YA author, and editor who has worked everywhere from MTV News to Rolling Stone. She resides in New Jersey with her husband Morgan and their two cats, Nimbus and Hazel. She enjoys horror movies and romcoms in equal measure.

Social Links:

Author website: https://www.brennaehrlich.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrennaEhrlich

IG: https://www.instagram.com/brennaehrlich/

Buy Links:

Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/books/killing-time-9781335418678/9781335418678 

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/killing-time-brenna-ehrlich/1139262919;jsessionid=77463C2A28F769B395869EB9A2D55A2B.prodny_store02-atgap11?ean=9781335418678&st=AFF&2sid=HarperCollins%20Publishers%20LLC_7310909_NA&sourceId=AFFHarperCollins%20Publishers%20LLC 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1335418679?tag=harpercollinsus-20 

Books-a-Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/9781335418678?AID=10747236&PID=7310909&cjevent=7996a3e08f9311ec82814d540a82b824 

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335418678 

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Killing_Time?id=8JEpEAAAQBAJ&hl=en_US&gl=US 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/killing-time-87 

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/ch/book/killing-time/id1563212004



The Iron Sword (The Iron Fey: Evenfall #2) by Julie Kagawa #bookreview #YA #fantasy #BlogTour

As Evenfall nears, the stakes grow ever higher for those in Faery…

Banished from the Winter Court for daring to fall in love, Prince Ash achieved the impossible and journeyed to the End of the World to earn a soul and keep his vow to always stand beside Queen Meghan of the Iron Fey.

Now he faces even more incomprehensible odds. Their son, King Keirran of the Forgotten, is missing. Something more ancient than the courts of Faery and more evil than anything Ash has faced in a millennium is rising as Evenfall approaches. And if Ash and his allies cannot stop it, the chaos that has begun to divide the world will shatter it for eternity.

Although I haven’t read Kagawa’s Iron Fey series, I fell hard for this spinoff. Reading the original books isn’t required – the author sprinkles backstory throughout that makes it easy for readers to connect the dots.

The first book in this series, The Iron Raven, was told from Puck’s POV, and I was a little disappointed the author didn’t stick with that snarky prankster this time around. In this sequel, the reader spends time in Ash’s head. It’s a frightening place to be at times, but I was glad to get to know him better. He’s fiercely protective of his family and friends and will do anything to stop the evil threatening them and their world. Including unleashing his dark unseelie side he’s kept contained for so long. If he thought the journey to the End of the World to earn his soul was difficult, what he faces now makes that experience pale in comparison.

This author is brilliant at world-building. The foes/monsters Ash and company face are wildly creative and dangerous, and I have to wonder if they came from the author’s own nightmares. Battle scenes are skillfully written, easy to picture, and highly perilous – I felt these characters could meet their death at any time. They walk a tightwire throughout most of the story.

I was happy more of Nyx’s backstory is revealed and enjoyed seeing her relationship with Puck develop. I have a feeling she’ll play a pivotal role moving forward. With a big showdown looming in the next book, I’ll be excited to see how this series ends.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Born in Sacramento, CA, Julie Kagawa moved to Hawaii at the age of nine. There she learned many things; how to bodyboard, that teachers scream when you put centipedes in their desks, and that writing stories in math class is a great way to kill time. Her teachers were glad to see her graduate.

Julie now lives is Louisville, KY with her husband and furkids. She is the international and NYT bestselling author of The Iron Fey series. Visit her at juliekagawa.com.

Social Links:

Author website: http://juliekagawa.com/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jkagawa 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/juliekagawaauthor/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100045094913658 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/52735443-the-iron-raven 

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2995873.Julie_Kagawa

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Iron-Sword-Fey-Evenfall/dp/1335418644/ref=sr_1_1?crid=ODO771R8MYH6&keywords=the+iron+sword+julie+kagawa&qid=1639522042&sprefix=the+iron+sword+%2Caps%2C159&sr=8-1 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-iron-sword-julie-kagawa/1139262916 

Books a Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Iron-Sword/Julie-Kagawa/9781335418647?id=8395218972605 

IndieBound:  https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335418647 

BookShop.org: https://bookshop.org/books/the-iron-sword/9781335418647?aid=21512&listref=the-iron-fey-evenfall-julie-kagawa 

AppleBooks: https://books.apple.com/nz/audiobook/the-iron-sword/id1590601934 

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Julie_Kagawa_The_Iron_Sword?id=FZIpEAAAQBAJ&hl=en_IN&gl=US 

The Kindred by Alechia Dow #bookreview #YA #fantasy #BlogTour #scifi

To save a galactic kingdom from revolution, Kindred mind-pairings were created to ensure each and every person would be seen and heard, no matter how rich or poor…

Joy Abara knows her place. A commoner from the lowly planet Hali, she lives a simple life—apart from the notoriety that being Kindred to the nobility’s most infamous playboy brings.

Duke Felix Hamdi has a plan. He will exasperate his noble family to the point that they agree to let him choose his own future and finally meet his Kindred face-to-face.

Then the royal family is assassinated, putting Felix next in line for the throne…and accused of the murders. Someone will stop at nothing until he’s dead, which means they’ll target Joy, too. Meeting in person for the first time as they steal a spacecraft and flee amid chaos might not be ideal…and neither is crash-landing on the strange backward planet called Earth. But hiding might just be the perfect way to discover the true strength of the Kindred bond and expose a scandal—and a love—that may decide the future of a galaxy. 

The words “save a galactic kingdom from revolution” were all I needed to read to request this book from NetGalley. And that cover is stunning.

Kindred mind-pairings are pretty cool. The bond occurs at birth and is usually shared by people from different walks of life and even different planets. Kindred are in each other’s minds constantly – they can see, hear, and sometimes feel everything that happens to the other. Sounds kind of intrusive, right? The bond ensures the “haves” are aware of how the other half lives and the struggles they endure, with the overall goal of making sure every person is seen and heard. Hopefully the inequalities that exist will be righted, but no one seems to be in a hurry to fix those particular problems. With Joy being a commoner from an impoverished planet and Felix being royalty, they were never meant to bond, but for some reason it happened. And their connection is just about the sweetest thing ever.

Although in line for the throne, Felix really just wants to write music and sing. He’s also kind of a party guy who tends to make impulsive decisions that don’t turn out so well. Joy works in a bookstore to help put food on the table and longs to write children’s books, a profession that isn’t possible with her station in life. She’s a voice of reason and stability for Felix, and the only one who really knows him. Despite never meeting in person, they “played” together as children and are each other’s best friend – and maybe more.

“We need to give more than we take, help more than sit idle. It’s time for change.”

This quote is the overall message conveyed by the novel, and it’s a worthy one. Even a creed to live by. It may not have had the galactic setting I’d expected since much of the story takes place on Earth, but with action scenes, a bit of mystery, humor, strong supporting characters, and a little romance, The Kindred kept me flipping pages so fast I finished it in two days.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About the Author

Alechia Dow is a former pastry chef, teacher, and librarian. When she’s not writing, you can find her having epic dance parties with her little girl, baking, reading, or traveling.

Social Links:

Author website: https://www.alechiadow.com/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/alechiawrites 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alechiadow/ 

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18493747.Alechia_Dow 

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Kindred-Alechia-Dow/dp/133541861X/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=the+kindred&qid=1639521830&sr=8-3 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-kindred-alechia-dow/1139312509 

Books a Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Kindred/Alechia-Dow/9781335418616?id=8395218972605 

IndieBound:  https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335418616?aff=PublishersWeekly 

BookShop.org: https://bookshop.org/books/the-kindred-9781335418616/9781335418616 

AppleBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-kindred/id1568479194 

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Alechia_Dow_The_Kindred?id=mIMvEAAAQBAJ 

#BlogTour You Can Go Your Own Way by Eric Smith #YA #contemporary

YOU CAN GO YOUR OWN WAY by Eric Smith

On sale: November 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1335405685

Inkyard Press

Teen & Young Adult; Romance

$18.99 / $23.99 CAN

336 Pages

ABOUT THE BOOK:

A sweetly charming love story that leaves the reader with a lasting sense of hope.” —Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything and The Sun Is Also a Star

“The perfect novel to snuggle up with.” —Emily Henry, New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read

No one ever said love would be easy…but did they mention it would be freezing?


Adam Stillwater is in over his head. At least, that’s what his best friend would say. And his mom. And the guy who runs the hardware store down the street. But this pinball arcade is the only piece of his dad that Adam has left, and he’s determined to protect it from Philadelphia’s newest tech mogul, who wants to turn it into another one of his cold, lifeless gaming cafés.

Whitney Mitchell doesn’t know how she got here. Her parents split up. Her boyfriend dumped her. Her friends seem to have changed overnight. And now she’s spending her senior year running social media for her dad’s chain of super successful gaming cafés—which mostly consists of trading insults with that decrepit old pinball arcade across town.

But when a huge snowstorm hits, Adam and Whitney suddenly find themselves trapped inside the arcade. Cut off from their families, their worlds, and their responsibilities, the tension between them seems to melt away, leaving something else in its place. But what happens when the storm stops?

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/You-Can-Your-Own-Way/dp/1335405682 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/you-can-go-your-own-way-eric-smith/1138256191 

Books a Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/9781335405685?AID=10747236&PID=7651142&cjevent=c39c9d3b5dee11eb83ba01ab0a240614 

IndieBound:  https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335405685 

BookShop.org: https://bookshop.org/books/you-can-go-your-own-way/9781335405685 

AppleBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/you-can-go-your-own-way/id1540270939 

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Eric_Smith_You_Can_Go_Your_Own_Way?id=9soIEAAAQBAJ 

MY REVIEW

Contemporary fiction isn’t my first choice when it comes to genres, but if it’s written by this author, I don’t even need to read the description. I’ll grab it immediately.

Adam and Whitney are dealing with some heavy issues. Adam is still grieving the loss of his father, who passed away just before Adam started high school. He keeps him close by wearing his vintage concert t-shirts and REM jacket and working on a pinball machine designed by his father. He and his mother are struggling to keep their pinball arcade afloat, and Adam is determined to hang onto the business his dad started. Whitney is still adjusting to her parents’ divorce and spends hours every day handling social media for her father’s company. Although her heart lies with the plants at her mom’s shop, she believes working for her dad is the only way to spend time with him. Despite her efforts, he’s laser-focused on his business and unaware of what’s going on in her life. Adam and Whitney were childhood best friends, but grew apart the summer before high school when Adam lost his father and Whitney found new friends. Their dynamic now is combative at best, but their mothers push for them to patch up their relationship.

Smith’s characters generally fall into the nerd category, something that’s made me a confirmed fan. He mentions several bands I’ve seen in concert, and although many of them wouldn’t be recognized by teens this age, Adam’s dad introduced him to their music – as any cool parent would. In their small slice of Philadephia, I adored the strong community among the small businesses surrounding the pinball arcade and how they supported each other. Their comedic social media comments gave me plenty of laughs. I was delighted when two characters from Don’t Read the Comments (Smith’s previous book) made an appearance.

Because at the end of the day, it isn’t about the place. It’s about who you shared it with.

The above quote is something that stuck with me, and it’s perfectly suited for this story about dealing with loss, learning to heal, and rekindling relationships. If you’re a fan of well-developed characters, offbeat plots, heartfelt moments, and YA books without the typical high school drama, I can’t recommend this author enough.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

ERIC SMITH is an author and literary agent from Elizabeth, New Jersey. When he isn’t working on other people’s books, sometimes he tries to write his own. He enjoys pop punk, video games, and crying during every movie. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife and best friend, Nena, and their son, Langston. WWW.ERICSMITHROCKS.COM

Social Links:

Author website: https://www.ericsmithrocks.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ericsmithrocks

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/ericsmithrocks 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/55920774-you-can-go-your-own-way