Love and Longing in the Bright Lights of London — Swan Song by @BookishLotte #YA #books


Swan Song cover art

 

Title

Swan Song

 

Author

Charlotte Wilson

 

Genre

Young Adult

 

 

Book Blurb

LOVE AND LONGING IN THE BRIGHT LIGHTS OF LONDON

 

When iconic ballerina Beatrice Duvall died, a nation mourned – and a legacy was born. Sixteen years later, her daughter Ava comes to London to take part in a high-profile tribute to Beatrice, and to learn about the mother she never knew.

 

There’s just one snag: the tribute is a ballet, Swan Lake. Which is infinitely painful for Ava, because she can’t dance. Won’t dance. Not since she quit the Royal Ballet School last year and walked away from everything that defined her.

 

But this is London, colourful and crazy, and with actor Seb at her side, there’s so much to discover. Like Theatreland razzmatazz and rooftop picnics and flamingo parties. And a whole load of truths Ava never knew about her mother – and herself.

 

When the time comes to take the stage, will Ava step out of the shadow cast by her mother’s pedestal? And who will be waiting for her there, in the bright lights?

 

A coming-of-age novel about family and first love, in the city of hopes and dreams.

 

Excerpt

The Tube from Turnham Green is quiet, until we reach Earl’s Court, where it starts filling up. By the time we get to Victoria I’m in a scrum spilling out onto the platform. I find the Victoria Line platform and shoe-horn myself into a carriage; Seb would be proud of my elbow action.

 

At Oxford Circus I’m carried by a sea of shoppers up the escalators, across the foyer and up some steps to the street level. I’ve managed to come out the right exit, opposite the flagship Topshop. The massive store calls to me. Now that’s where to buy a dress for the tribute. Simple and trendy. I dread to think what Thisbe’s wardrobe department contact is going to make me. Something showbiz, I guess: long and loud and sparkly. Ugh.

 

But I don’t want to offend Thisbe, who’s called in a favour, apparently, to get me a dress sewn so quickly. So, with a sigh, I turn my back on Topshop and trudge down Argyll Street. When I see the Palladium, like a classical temple with massive columns, my mood lifts. At least I’m getting to visit one of London’s most historic theatres, where anyone who’s anyone has performed over the years, from Elvis Presley to Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra to Ella Fitzgerald, Elton to Adele – even The Muppets have taken to this stage. I wonder: will I get to stand on the stage?

 

Nope, is the answer. I don’t even see the auditorium. A security guard shows me from the foyer down into the underbelly of the theatre, to a small, windowless room made even smaller by its many contents: two dressmaker’s dummies, a hanging rail of costumes, shelves of fabric and haberdashery, and a desk for the sewing machine. I barely have time to make a mental comparison of this room and the wardrobe department at the Royal Opera House – in a big room overlooking the Piazza and flooded with light – before a girl springs out from behind one of the dummies and hugs me.

 

Hugs me?

 

Thankfully, it’s brief. She steps back and beams. I smile back automatically, and in a second I take her in: round, rosy face, electric-blue eyes, dark wavy hair. She’s a little older than me, maybe twenty, and wearing stylish jeans and a really unusual shirt covered with little embroidered seahorses.

 

“You’re Cara Cavendish?” I say, daring to hope that maybe my dress won’t end up being horrendously glitzy after all.

 

“The one and only,” she says cheerfully. “And you’re Ava-who-needs-a-dress. Thisbe explained. Sit, sit…” She pulls out a little stool from under the desk and I perch on it.

 

Cara walks around me in a circle, eying me up and down. “Easy-peasy,” she declares. “Dancers’ forms are so simple to dress.”

 

“Oh,” I say. “I’m not a dancer.”

 

She completes her circuit and leans on the desk, looking curiously at me. “But you’re Beatrice Duvall’s daughter,” she says.

 

The name gives me a jolt, but I manage to reply evenly: “That doesn’t make me a dancer.”

 

“’Course not,” says Cara. “I mean, my mum was an architect, and look at me! But I heard you were training to be a dancer like your mother. With the Royal Ballet.”

 

“I was. I… stopped.”

 

“Oh. Why was that then?”

 

I frown at Cara. She smiles back at me.

 

“Did Thisbe put you up to this?” I ask.

 

“Up to what?”

 

“All the questions.”

 

“Oh, no. That’s just me. My brother’s always telling me I’m blunt, because I don’t go in for all that evasive British crap – ignoring the elephant in the room. Better to lay it all out there and say, ‘My mum’s dead, and it sucks.’ You know?”

 

“Not really,” I reply honestly. I’ve never said those words in my life.

 

Cara nods like I’ve said something profound. Then, to my relief, she claps her hands and says, “Let’s talk dresses.”

 

After a quick-fire round of questions designed to establish my style, Cara hands me a scrapbook in which she’s pasted cuttings, photos and drawings of formal dresses, and she talks me through cuts, lengths, necks, sleeves and fabrics. Somewhere around the midi dress page I begin to come undone.

 

“What is it?” she says.

 

“Nothing,” I say.

 

“Something,” she says. “You look like you’re about to have a panic attack. Is it claustrophobia? This room is a little dinky.”

 

“It’s not that. It’s…”

 

She waits expectantly. I gesture to the scrapbook.

 

“It’s just all a bit real, suddenly, looking at these dresses. I mean, I’ve got to wear one and stand on a stage at the Royal Opera House in front of people. Lots of people.”

 

“Ah,” she says. “Yeah, I’d be a wreck doing that. But you’ve performed on stage before, right?”

 

“Sure. Plenty of times. But this isn’t a performance. I have to be myself. I mean…”

 

“You mean you have to be your mother’s daughter. And your mother was the legendary Beatrice Duvall.”

 

Startled, I nod. She gets it. I don’t even know this girl, but she gets it.

 

“So,” Cara says, plucking the scrapbook off my lap and leafing through the pages, “what you need, besides the strength to get on that stage, is a really kick-ass dress. A dress that makes you feel tall and powerful and goddam beautiful, like nothing can touch you while you’re wearing it. Ah-ha. Here. This one. What do you think?”

 

The dress illustration jumps right off the page. It’s bold, it’s simple, it’s glamorous, it shouts “designer”: a strapless bodice with criss-crossing satin ribbons and a flowing skirt with chiffon overskirt ending just on the knee.

 

“Wow,” I say. “You can make that? In time?”

 

She grins. “Hell yeah.”

 

“And you think I can pull that off?”

 

Her grin widens. “Hell yeah.”

 

Buy Links

https://www.amazon.com/Swan-Song-Charlotte-Wilson-ebook/dp/B075D4XH1V/

 

Charlotte Wilson

 

Author Biography

Once upon a time a little girl told her grandmother that when she grew up she wanted to be a writer. Or a lollipop lady. Or a fairy princess. ‘Write, Charlotte,’ her grandmother advised. So that’s what she did.

Thirty-odd years later, Charlotte writes the kind of books she loves to read: romances. She lives in a village of Greater Manchester with her husband and two children, and when she’s not reading or writing, you’ll find her walking someplace green, baking up a storm or embarking on a DIY project. She recently achieved a lifetime ambition of creating a home library for her ever-increasing collection of books. She pretends not to notice that the shelves are rather wonky.

 

Social Media Links

Website: http://bookishcharlotte.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BookishLotte

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15932269.Charlotte_Wilson

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Charlotte-Wilson/e/B00TDH4XLS/

 

 

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One Strike Will Bring Them Together – Thunderstruck by @brendadrake #YA #Mythology #Romance




 

Thunderstruck
Brenda Drake
Published by: Entangled Crave
Publication date: September 11th 2017
Genres: Mystery, Mythology, Romance

 

Stevie Moon is famous…at least to the subscribers on her comic review vlog. At school, she’s as plain as the gray painted walls in the cafeteria. So when Blake, the hot new guy at school, shows an interest in her, she knows trouble when she sees it. Been there. And never doing it again.

 

As the son of the god Thor, Blake Foster’s been given an important mission—to recover the Norse god Heimdall’s sacred and powerful horn before someone uses it to herald in the destruction of the entire universe. But while Blake is great in a fight, the battlefield that is a high school’s social scene is another matter.

 

Blake knows his only choice is to team up with the adorable Stevie, but she’s not willing to give him even the time of day. He’ll need to woo the girl and find the horn if he hopes to win this war. Who better to tackle Stevie’s defenses than the demi-god of thunder?

 

“Every page brims with captivating Norse mythology and deliciously creative worldbuilding.” Pintip Dunn, New York Times bestselling author.

 

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

EXCERPT:

After disposing of the troll, Blake rushed to May’s house and showered. His thoughts kept going to Stevie. After hearing what Jörd said to him, he wanted to see her. The pull to go to her was too strong. He had no choice but to give in to it.

He climbed the tree outside Stevie’s room and sat on the branch. A blue light blinked on and off inside the room. He lightly tapped on the window. Muffled voices from within the room hummed against the glassed pane.

The curtain pushed aside. Amira was close to Stevie’s back when the curtain slid to the side. Stevie said something to Amira that Blake couldn’t hear through the thick glass. Amira turned away and dropped onto the bed. Stevie flipped the locks and opened the window.

“You scared the shit out of us,” Stevie snapped.

Amira crossed her arms. “Yeah, we’re watching scary movies here.”

Blake tried not to laugh, but he couldn’t hold it in. “My apologies. Can I have a moment alone with you, Stevie?”

“With me?” She glanced back.

“No.” Amira heaved a sigh. “With the other Stevie in the room.”

“Where do you want to go?”

He reached his hand out to her. “Out here is fine.”

She narrowed her gaze on him. “I don’t think so.”

“Come on,” he said. “It’s perfectly safe. This branch is thick. Trust me.”

“Stop being a chicken and go already. I have to pee.” Amira shuffled off.

Stevie hesitated before grabbing his hand and letting him guide her out the window and onto the branch. “This is crazy, you know that?”

“If you never throw caution to the wind, you’ll never be rewarded.” He sat on the branch and held her hand as she came down beside him. Her hand was warm and soft in his, and he wanted to hold it forever.

The loose pajama bottoms she wore had cats on them. Her pink tank top rode up a little and exposed a bit of her midriff. Her light-brown hair, the color of the acorns he’d gathered with his grandmother when he was a boy, rose in the wind behind her. Wide, dark eyes met his, her full lips parted in a smile.

“What did you want?” She glanced at the ground. “Wow, this is pretty high.”

“Don’t worry. I won’t let you fall.” He slid his hand across her lower back and held her waist. She shivered. “Are you cold?”

“A little,” she said.

“Hold on.” He let her go, shrugged off his hoodie, and draped it around her shoulders.

“Thank you.”

She held it closed at the zipper. He returned his arm around her, grasping her waist. She shuddered, and he smiled at her response to his touch.

“You didn’t answer me,” she said. “What did you want to talk to me about?”

“Actually, I’m not here to talk,” he said. “Have you ever had an urge to do something, and once it’s in your head, you can’t sleep or think until you do the thing?”

“I guess.” When she looked over at him, they locked eyes and an intensity passed between them like the energy he felt in the handle of his hammer after catching lightning with it. He noticed a faint scar just above her cupid’s bow.

“How did you get the scar?” he asked.

“Scar?” She glanced down at her chest.

“Not there,” he whispered, lifting her chin to look into her eyes. “On your lip.”

She touched it. “Oh this? It’s an embarrassing story. Let’s just say, I learned to watch where I’m walking, especially when poles are around.”

He chuckled. “I can imagine what happened.”

She lowered her head again, her feet kicking back and forth.

He decided to take his chance and cupped her face in his hands, bringing her face to his and kissing her. It was a gentle, wanting kiss. Her lips were soft and warm against his. She tasted like May’s brownies. When Stevie hadn’t responded to his kiss, he was about to release her, but then her lips began moving with his. He cradled her in his arms and they balanced together on the branch.

 

Author Bio:

 

Brenda Drake is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. She grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When she’s not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

 

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!

 

Swag pack (US only)

 

$25 Amazon gift card (INTL)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Original Soundtrack Reveal — A French Girl in New York by @ADAMSANNA1 #YA #books


Continue reading Original Soundtrack Reveal — A French Girl in New York by @ADAMSANNA1 #YA #books

Masked by J. D. Wright @everealmbyjdw Spotlight + #Giveaway! #superheroes #YA


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Masked
by J.D. Wright
Genre: Upper YA Paranormal/Superheroes
Release Date: August 15th 2017
Limitless Publishing

MASKED Ebook

Summary:
Vada’s To-Do List:

  • Turn 18 (check!)

  • Register super name

  • Order supersuit

  • Attend superhero indoctrination

  • Graduate high school

  • Start kicking criminal tail

Vada Lawson can’t wait to be a superhero. Born into a family with special powers, she’s been training to fight criminals and villains her whole life. But her indoctrination into the underground super community is derailed when normals start breaking out in superpowers themselves.

Not trained to control their new abilities, the normals are frightened and vulnerable. Then their mutilated corpses begin turning up all over town. What the heck?

Somehow, with the help—and hindrance—of an annoying newly-minted super named Orion, Vada has to stop the chaos before it destroys her and everything she holds dear…and ruins her superhero debut.

No one ever said that being a superhero was easy…

Character Bio - VadaCharacter Bio - VictorCharacter Bio - Nick

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GIVEAWAY:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Buy Links:

Amazon – http://a.co/9P0AvL8

Barnes & Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/masked-jd-wright/1126934525?ean=9781640341791

JDWright

About the Author
J.D. Wright is a military wife, mother of four, and author of paranormal and fantasy romance books filled with strong-willed heroines, swoon-worthy heroes, and sprinkled with humor and adventure. J.D. creates artistry in many ways, as a baker and cake artist by day and author by night. You can usually find her typing away at the computer or covered in frosting.
Since discovering she has a knack for writing, J.D. has so far written and self-published eight books of the Everealm and Songs of Everealm Series and is now venturing into the world of paranormal with her new superhero-themed series. She is an avid reader and lover of all things romance so she always includes a good love story in her paranormal and fantasy novels.

Author Links:

Website – http://www.authorjdwright.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/authorjdwright/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/everealmbyjdw

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/authorjdwright/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9327703.J_D_W_

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/everealmbyjdw/

Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JDWrightAuthor

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The Ghost Chronicles, Book 1 by @MarloBerliner #YA #Paranormal #bookreview


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Title: The Ghost Chronicles, Book 1

Author: Marlo Berliner

Genre: Upper YA Paranormal with Adult Crossover Appeal

 

Book Blurb:

Can Michael get to heaven before the devil gets him first, and if it means leaving Sarah is he sure he still wants to go?

 

Michael Andrews had everything – a loving family, a great girlfriend and a promising basketball career. That was before the accident that took his life. Now, he’s a ghost, wandering among the living, struggling to understand why he’s stuck. All he wants is to move on.

 

That is until he meets Sarah, an attractive young girl who died just as tragically as he did. The only trouble is falling in love and binding oneself to another soul is forbidden, for it may keep one or both of the souls bound to earth for longer than they should be.

 

To make matters worse, there’s also a danger in going too far with Sarah, because the “joining” of two souls in the afterlife is also strictly forbidden and they don’t know what will happen if they do go that far. Each time they touch they can feel the boundaries of their energies slipping perilously into one another.

 

Things get even more complicated as Michael learns he’s being pursued. Demons are after him because he’s a marked soul, a soul the devil wants very badly for some unknown reason.

 

So, maybe falling in love in the afterlife isn’t such a good idea.

 

 

My Review:

Michael Andrews has a charmed life, that is, until his young life is cut short due to an accident. But contrary to popular belief, he doesn’t move on to Heaven or Hell; he’s roaming haplessly among the living. Not sure what to do or how to feel, he clings to the past and pines for the future he’ll never get. But then he meets Tom who becomes like a mentor to him. He discovers he’s got the Devil on his tail, hunting him down to drag him into Hell. Just when the afterlife was getting interesting…

 

Michael on the run when he bumps into Sarah, a ghost just like him, and they instantly connect. Can two spirits fall in love? Anything is possible but it’s against the ghostly rules. Is their love affair over before it starts and why does the Devil want his soul so badly?

 

I’m a huge paranormal fan and this ghostly tale, while not scary in any way, sheds light on what the afterlife might be like. Confusing, sad, overwhelming, happy, are some of the emotions portrayed which made me think long after I finished the book.

 

I took a full star off my rating for the abrupt ending. I know that this is book one in the series but for me to read the next one, there needs to be some kind of conclusion, a plot arc closed, something. Disappointing.

 

I loved the backdrop of New Jersey and the author’s descriptive narration transported me. The world-building in The Ghost Chronicles, while not 100% original, suspended my disbelief completely. I was completely taken into Michael’s head through his POV and his reactions made it an excellent read. The romance, while sweet, made me smile. Michael and Sarah are so cute together, exploring love and desire as ghosts.

 

If you love paranormal with a touching romance, pick this up today. I look forward to reading book two and seeing what happens next.

 

Favorite Character/Quote: “To be warm again, to tingle again, to feel again, these sensations were so familiar, yet already so forgotten.”

 

My Rating: 4 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon –

US – https://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Chronicles-Marlo-Berliner-ebook/dp/B017DWXPTA/

 

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ghost-Chronicles-Marlo-Berliner-ebook/dp/B017DWXPTA/

 

Barnes & Noble –

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-ghost-chronicles-marlo-berliner/1123052689?ean=9780996972413

 

Walmart –

https://www.walmart.com/ip/The-Ghost-Chronicles/54934980

 

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Author Biography:

Marlo Berliner is the award-winning author of THE GHOST CHRONICLES, her debut book which was released in November 2015 to critical acclaim. The book won the 2016 NJRW Golden Leaf Award for Best First Book, was named a FINALIST in the National Indie Excellence Awards for Young Adult Fiction, received the Literary Classics Seal of Approval, and was awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion. Marlo is represented by Eric Ruben of the Ruben Agency and she writes young adult, women’s fiction, and short stories. Marlo is also a freelance editor with Chimera Editing. Her second book, THE GHOST CHRONICLES BOOK 2, will be released in August 2017.

 

When she’s not writing or editing, Marlo loves reading, relaxing at the beach, watching movies, and rooting for the Penn State Nittany Lions. After having spent some wonderful time in Pittsburgh and Houston, she’s now back in her home state of New Jersey where she resides with her husband, two sons, and a rambunctious puppy named Max.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: www.marloberliner.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Marlo-Berliner/e/B017EVF4AS
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarloBerliner
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marloberliner
Instagram: https://instagram.com/marloberliner
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14560514.Marlo_Berliner

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

 

Shattering Truths by @KyrianLyndon is a Dark, Disturbing #Suspense! #YA #bookreview


Shattering Truths

 

Title: Shattering Truths (Deadly Veils #1)

Author: Kyrian Lyndon

Genre: Young Adult, Suspense

 

Book Blurb:

She was left fighting her demons alone . . .

 

For sixteen-year-old Danielle DeCorso, the old house in Glastonbury was an eerie place to grow up. Coping with mental health challenges exacerbated by a traumatic family dynamic, Danielle watches from the window for two men in a dusty black sedan who keep circling the house and harassing her with phone calls. The two predators drugged her and her cousin, Angie, and then lured them from Pleasure Beach in Bridgeport to a secluded cottage on Long Beach West. She remembers feeling dizzy, the room spinning. She recalls screaming, crying, fighting, and then slipping in and out of consciousness. Angie, however, has no recollection of the incident.

 

When Danielle attempts to jog Angie’s memory and convince their best friend, Farran, that the two strangers had victimized them, no one seems to believe her. Alone in her pain, Danielle remains guarded, obsessed, and withdrawn. Soon she is sinking deeper into a tumultuous world of adolescent isolation and change. Grief, guilt, and anger send her spiraling into an even darker place.

 

Tormented by terrifying nightmares, she fears she will lose her sanity, or possibly her soul. Is she having post-traumatic stress hallucinations, as one of her friends suggest, or are her recurring nightmares as real as they seem? Trapped in an unyielding emotional bondage, Danielle continues the fight to reclaim her power. Startling revelations awaken her newfound spirit, inspiring a once naïve girl to grow into a woman of defiance and courage.

 

My Review:

Danielle and her cousin, Angie, are spending the day at the beach. They meet two strangers who convince the two girls to come with them. Drugged and sexually assaulted, Danielle is the only one who remembers. When she tries to convince her cousin what happened to them both, Angie has no recollection and Danielle starts to question her own sanity. Did it really happen or did she imagine the whole nightmarish event? And who is stalking her in the dark sedan? The more she uncovers, the more isolated Danielle feels. She has a choice: sink into a pit of guilt and despair or gather inner strength to deal with what’s happening to her. Which path will she choose?

 

Shattering Truths is a dark, disturbing suspense that showcases the emotional turmoil a victim of sexual assault feels. I related instantly with Danielle and while she didn’t make the smartest decisions, she’s honestly portrayed. Her family dynamics made me cringe and at times, I wanted to wring their necks. Their lack of support angered me and I think that’s what the author intended.

 

Well-written with a strong character arc for Danielle, I found the narration a bit shocking. The transitions need to be smoother as I got lost a few times.

 

While this is a young adult, I know both teens and adults will enjoy this book. Fans of 13 Reasons Why will devour this book!

 

Favorite Character/Quote: What had those vile creatures unleashed in me? What beast had they awakened?

 

My Rating:  4 stars

 

Buy it now:

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Smashwords

 

Kyrian Lyndon

 

Author Biography:

Kyrian Lyndon is the author of Shattering Truths, the first book in her Deadly Veils series. She has also published two poetry collections, A Dark Rose Blooms, and Remnants of Severed Chains. Kyrian began writing short stories and fairy tales when she was just eight years old. In her adolescence, she moved on to poetry. At sixteen, while working as an editor for her high school newspaper, she wrote her first novel, and then completed two more novels at the ages of nineteen and twenty-five.

 

Born and raised in Woodside, Queens, New York, Kyrian was the middle of three daughters born to immigrants —her father from Campochiaro, Italy; her mother from Havana, Cuba. She has worked primarily in executive-level administrative positions with major New York publishing companies. She resides on Long Island in New York.

 

Social Media Links:

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Instagram / Tumblr / Google+

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

 

Top 10 Most Read and Raved About Young Adult Historical #Books #FridayReads #YA #YALit #hisfict


Friday Book Round Up

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. So, if you haven’t heard, Amazon has created a bestseller list called Amazon Charts: The Top 20 Most Sold & Most Read Books of the Week. It lists the fiction and nonfiction most sold and most read. It got me thinking about a genre I’m totally in love with: young adult historical. Over the years, I’ve read some incredible books and so, here’s my Top 10 Most Read and Raved About Young Adult Historical books:

 

The Du Lac Chronicles: Book 1 by Mary Anne Yarde

Winner — N. N. Light Award for Best Romance 2016.

 

Bronze Medal Winner — Circle Of Books Ring of Honor Award 2016

 

Finalist — The Golden Box Book Publishing Golden Book Award 2017

 

A generation after Arthur Pendragon ruled, Briton lies fragmented into warring kingdoms and principalities.

 

Eighteen-year-old Alden du Lac ruled the tiny kingdom of Cerniw. Now he half-hangs from a wooden pole, his back lashed into a mass of bloody welts exposed to the cold of a cruel winter night. He’s to be executed come daybreak—should he survive that long.

 

When Alden notices the shadowy figure approaching, he assumes death has come to end his pain. Instead, the daughter of his enemy, Cerdic of Wessex, frees and hides him, her motives unclear.

 

Annis has loved Alden since his ill-fated marriage to her Saxon cousin—a marriage that ended in blood and guilt—and she would give anything to protect him. Annis’s rescue of Alden traps them between a brutal Saxon king and Alden’s remaining allies. Meanwhile, unknown forces are carefully manipulating the ruins of Arthur’s legacy.

 

The Du Lac Chronicles has a recommend reading age of 16+

 

Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George

Two girls struggle with their dark family heritage in this fantasy perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare and Kendare Blake.

As debutantes in 1890s New York City, cousins Dacia and Lou knew little about their mysterious Romanian relatives, the Florescus. Now, upon turning seventeen, the girls must journey to Romania–a journey that seems to be both reward and punishment–to meet their cousins and their tyrant of a grandmother and to learn the secrets of their family. Secrets spoken of in whispers. Dangerous secrets known as the Claw, the Wing, and the Smoke.

But as dangerous as those family secrets might be, even more dangerous is the centuries-old bond between the Florescus and the royal Dracula family, and it seems that it’s time for Dacia and Lou to give up their life in New York society and take their place among the servants of the Draculas. When the devilish heir, Mihai Dracula, sets his sights on Dacia as part of his evil, power-hungry plan, the girls must accept or fight against this cruel inheritance. Do they have the courage to break the shackles of their upbringing and set the course of their own destiny?

 

A School for Unusual Girls: A Stranje House Novel by Kathleen Baldwin

A School for Unusual Girls is the first captivating installment in the Stranje House series for young adults by award-winning author Kathleen Baldwin. #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot calls this romantic Regency adventure “completely original and totally engrossing.”

 

It’s 1814. Napoleon is exiled on Elba. Europe is in shambles. Britain is at war on four fronts. And Stranje House, a School for Unusual Girls, has become one of Regency England’s dark little secrets. The daughters of the beau monde who don’t fit high society’s constrictive mold are banished to Stranje House to be reformed into marriageable young ladies. Or so their parents think. In truth, Headmistress Emma Stranje, the original unusual girl, has plans for the young ladies—plans that entangle the girls in the dangerous world of spies, diplomacy, and war.

 

After accidentally setting her father’s stables on fire while performing a scientific experiment, Miss Georgiana Fitzwilliam is sent to Stranje House. But Georgie has no intention of being turned into a simpering, pudding-headed, marriageable miss. She plans to escape as soon as possible—until she meets Lord Sebastian Wyatt. Thrust together in a desperate mission to invent a new invisible ink for the English war effort, Georgie and Sebastian must find a way to work together without losing their heads—or their hearts….

 

At the Publisher’s request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

 

Spindle’s End by Robin Mckinley

The evil fairy Pernicia has set a curse on Princess Briar-Rose: she is fated to prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into an endless, poisoned sleep. Katriona, a young fairy, kidnaps the princess in order to save her; she and her aunt raise the child in their small village, where no one knows her true identity. But Pernicia is looking for her, intent on revenge for a defeat four hundred years old. Robin McKinley’s masterful version of Sleeping Beauty is, like all of her work, a remarkable literary feat.

 

Johnny Tremain by Esther Hoskins Forbes

Johnny Tremain, winner of the 1944 Newbery Medal, is one of the finest historical novels ever written for children. As compelling today as it was fifty years ago, to read this riveting novel is to live through the defining events leading up to the American Revolutionary War. Fourteen-year old Johnny Tremain, an apprentice silversmith with a bright future ahead of him, injures his hand in a tragic accident, forcing him to look for other work. In his new job as a horse-boy, riding for the patriotic newspaper, the Boston Observer, and as a messenger for the Sons of Liberty, he encounters John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Dr. Joseph Warren. Soon Johnny is involved in the pivotal events shaping the American Revolution from the Boston Tea Party to the first shots fired at Lexington. Powerful illustrations by American artist Michael McCurdy, bring to life Esther Forbes’ quintessential novel of the American Revolution.

 

Robyn Hood: A Girl’s Tale by K. M. Shea

The ballads lie. Robin Hood, the Bold and Brave Outlaw of Sherwood Forest, is cowardly, spineless, and a girl.

 

Robyn unwittingly starts the Robin Hood farce when she is mistaken for a male while saving her friend, Marian, from two foresters. Forced into hiding, Robyn unwillingly collects “Merry Men” while grudgingly robbing from the rich fools that wander through Sherwood. What starts as small scale robbery blows up into complex heists when Little John and Will Scarlet join her team, and the idiotic Prince John and his legion of soldiers comes to town. However, Robyn can’t stop the theft—not when King Richard is being held ransom.

 

Cowardly Robyn’s best chance to raise money for King Richard’s release is to rob his brother, Prince John. Will she survive the heist, or swing in the gallows?

 

Soldier’s Heart: Being the Story of the Enlistment and Due Service of the Boy Charley Goddard in the First Minnesota Volunteers by Gary Paulsen

Gary Paulsen introduces readers to Charley Goddard in his latest novel, Soldier’s Heart.  Charley goes to war a boy, and returns a changed man, crippled by what he has seen.  In this captivating tale Paulsen vividly shows readers the turmoil of war through one boy’s eyes and one boy’s heart, and gives a voice to all the anonymous young men who fought in the Civil War.

 

Rebel Mechanics: All Is Fair in Love and Revolution by Shanna Swendson

It’s 1888, and seventeen-year-old Verity Newton lands a job in New York as a governess to a wealthy leading family—but she quickly learns that the family has big secrets. Magisters have always ruled the colonies, but now an underground society of mechanics and engineers are developing non-magical sources of power via steam engines that they hope will help them gain freedom from British rule. The family Verity works for is magister—but it seems like the children’s young guardian uncle is sympathetic to the rebel cause. As Verity falls for a charming rebel inventor and agrees to become a spy, she also becomes more and more enmeshed in the magister family’s life. She soon realizes she’s uniquely positioned to advance the cause—but to do so, she’ll have to reveal her own dangerous secret.

 

The Coffin Quilt: The Feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys by Ann Rinaldi

Fanny McCoy has lived in fear and anger ever since that day in 1878 when a dispute with the Hatfields over the ownership of a few pigs set her family on a path of hatred and revenge. From that day forward, along the ragged ridges of the West Virginia-Kentucky line, the Hatfields and the McCoys have operated not withing the law but within mountain codes of their own making. In 1882, when Fanny’s sister Roseanna runs off with young Johnse Hatfield, the hatred between the two clans explodes.

 

As the killings, abductions, raids, and heartbreak escalate bitterly and senselessly, Fanny, the sole voice of reason, realizes that she is powerless to stop the fighting and must learn to rise above the petty natures of her family and neighbors to find her own way out of the hatred.

 

Queen of Someday (Stolen Empire Book 1) by Sherry Ficklin

Before she can become the greatest empress in history, fifteen-year-old Sophie will have to survive her social-climbing mother’s quest to put her on the throne of Russia—at any cost.

Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophie has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome, but sadistic nephew, Peter. Determined to save her impoverished family—and herself—Sophie vows to do whatever is necessary to thrive in her new surroundings. But an attempt on her life and an unexpected attraction threatens to derail her plans.

Alone in a new and dangerous world, learning who to trust and who to charm may mean the difference between becoming queen and being sent home in shame to marry her lecherous uncle. With traitors and murderers lurking around every corner, her very life hangs in the balance. Betrothed to one man but falling in love with another, Sophie will need to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to become the empress she is destined to be.

In a battle for the soul of a nation, will love or destiny reign supreme?

 

Special Mention: I love this book and while it’s technically middle grade, I couldn’t help adding it to this list. – Mrs. N

The Callender Papers by Cynthia Voigt (Author), Suzanne Duranceau (Illustrator)

Think carefully. That’s the advice Jean Wainwright always gets from her beloved Aunt Constance, Jean’s guardian and headmistress at the boarding school where she lives. It’s advice that proves valuable when Jean finds herself spending the summer far from home, sorting out family papers for the reclusive Mr. Thiel, a trustee of Aunt Constance’s school and the widower of her childhood friend Irene Callender.

 

At Mr. Thiel’s isolated country estate, Jean is surrounded by bewildering questions from the past. Why is there such hatred between Mr. Thiel and his late wife’s brother? Was her death an accident? And what happened to their child, who disappeared after Irene Thiel’s death? Do the answers lie in the Callender papers? And will searching for the answers put Jean’s own life in jeopardy?

 

 

Have a favorite young adult historical book to recommend? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

 

For Beau: The Sarah Ashdown Story by @simongandossi Blog Tour #historicalfiction #YALit


For Beau tour banner

 

For Beau: The Sarah Ashdown Story
by Simon Gandossi

 

9781524519872_pap.indd
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: December 15th 2016

Summary from Goodreads:

The ground shook with each bomb that fell on London. The night sky lit up, and the sounds of gunfire overwhelmed the city as our brave men fought back. It took so many bombs to fall on this great city to make the Germans realize that England could not be defeated. It took just one bomb to make one woman realize her true destiny.

Sarah Ashdown’s insurmountable guilt and remorse over the death of a young girl sets in motion one of the most unbelievable stories of World War II. An ordinary housewife who defied the odds to become one of the most wanted women in occupied Europe, her story of determination and courage will shock and inspire those who read it.

 

 

Add to Goodreads

 

Inspiration Behind For Beau:

I remember like it was yesterday talking to a holocaust survivor during the writing of my first book “Elsa”. Talking to her and hearing how she wanted a different aspect to such a horrific time written inspired me to do just that. For Beau – The Sarah Ashdown Story my second book I took the same inspiration from a lady who experienced the horrors of WW2. I was privileged to be inspired by those who fought for freedom and who had to hold back tears when they spoke to me about their experiences.

 

When you watch a documentary on TV and listen to personal stories most of us feel something. However experiencing the emotion and sadness from hearing stories up close, I was inspired to take things one step further.

 

We all have definitions of heroes and they inspire us in so many ways. My heroes are slowly passing away but they will never stop inspiring me.

 

 

Book Trailer:

 

Buy Links:

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com.au/d/Beau-Sarah-Ashdown-Story-ebook/B01N6JGBQK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1494053900&sr=1-1&keywords=simon+gandossi

 

Author’s website

www.simongandossi.com

 

Barnes and Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/for-beau-simon-gandossi/1125360929?ean=9781524519872

 

Smashwords

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/for-beau-simon-gandossi/1125360929?ean=9781524519872

 

iTunes

https://itunes.apple.com/nz/book/for-beau/id1188273286?mt=11

 

simon gandossi

 

About the Author:

Simon Gandossi is a historical fiction author who was born and raised in Western Australia. From an early age, Simon discovered a passion for history and writing. It is that passion combined with his desire to bring to light the different aspects of the past that makes him a unique writer. There are a lot of people who give up so much to follow their dreams, and Simon is no different. To become a professional writer is difficult, but his hard work and determination has seen him develop from an amateur to a full-time writer in just a few years. To learn more about Simon, please visit www.simongandossi.com.

“I want everyone to take a step back in time when they read my books. Every book should take the reader on a journey. With my dedication to preserving history, I know that each and every person will begin that journey from the very first word” – Simon Gandossi

 

Author Links:

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

 

 

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Blog Tour Organized by:

YA Bound Book Tours

Lady of Sherwood by Molly Bilinski @MollyLouise10 #YA #fantasy #amreading @XpressoTours


Lady of Sherwood
Molly Bilinski
(Outlaws of Sherwood #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 24th 2017
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult

Robin of Lockesly was neither the son her father wanted, nor the daughter her mother expected. When she refuses an arranged marriage to a harsh and cruel knight, the deadly events that follow change her destiny forever.

After a night of tragedy, Robin and the few remaining survivors flee to Nottingham. With a newfound anonymity, they start to live different lives. There, she and her band make mischief, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. But charity isn’t the only thing she wants–she wants revenge.

As the sheriff draws his net closer, Robin’s choices begin to haunt her. She’ll have to choose between what’s lawful and what her conscience believes is right–all while staying one step ahead of the hangman.

Lady of Sherwood is a unique young adult retelling of the beloved Robin Hood legend. Filled with action and romance, this new series follows a teenage heroine through her fantastic, yet dangerous adventures.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

Other girls—some of the youngest ones from the kitchen—came from the brush. Smoke clung to them like a shroud, and tears had run in rivers down soot-stained cheeks. Ginny, the youngest at six, ran to Jemma and attached herself like a limpet to the older girl’s legs.

“Where is everyone else?” Robin asked, glancing between them and then back at the flaming manor. “Where is—where’s—” Her face heated even as the rest of her body grew chilled, and she stuffed her first in her mouth to muffle her scream.

“We are the only ones.”

Robin looked up at Kitty, surprised to find herself on her knees in the damp grass. She curled her shaking fingers into fists, and then rested them on her thighs. “How—what happened?”

“That man,” the girl went on, absently twisting her skirt in her hands. “The one who’d been courting you… he came for you in the night. When he couldn’t find you, he gathered everyone in the great hall.”

“Except you lot?” Jemma inquired.

“He was hurting her.” Kitty’s eyes took on a glossy quality. “He had Maggie by the hair, and he was hurting her. She had Ginny behind her, protecting her. I—I hit him over the head with a candle stand.”

“We went through the old tunnel,” another voice piped up. Maggie slipped her hand into Kitty’s. “Me and Kitty and Ginny.”

“And my—my mother?” Robin took a deep, shuddering breath.

“She kept her secret. We heard ‘im, shouting. He wanted to know where you was.” Ginny, this time. She wandered away from Jemma, and Robin opened her arms for her to nestle into. She’d helped Jemma look after the younger servants on the sly for years. Whether they’d been orphaned at birth or left to the streets, Jemma had brought them each back to the manor, and she’d given them a home and a hope the rest of the world didn’t offer. “She didn’t tell, Robin. She didn’t tell him where you was.”

“I heard Charlotte say you were gone,” Maggie said quietly. “She’d gone to your mother’s chambers to tell her. Miss Jemma was gone, too, and so was your bow.” She shrugged, a delicate lift of her shoulders. “We all thought you had gone to the field.”

“And she said nothing?” Robin’s heart beat hard against her ribcage.

“Lady was very brave,” Ginny murmured.

“She was,” Robin agreed. “Like you are. You all.” She looked at each of the other girls, who stared back, clearly waiting.

It hit her then—they were waiting for her. With the only survivors of the manor in front of her, and her mother dead—God rest her soul, God hold them all in His hand—it occurred to her in that moment. She was the Lady of Lockesly.

Author Bio:

Molly is a 2013 graduate of William Smith College with a bachelors in chemistry. She puts her science powers to use by day and is a novelist by night (and weekend…and any five minutes she can find). When she’s not writing or working, she’s scoping out coffee shops, exploring her new city (Buffalo, NY), taking day trips to Canada, and putting together puzzles.

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Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers #1) by @brendadrake is a 5 Star Gem! #books #YA #UrbanFantasy


Thief of Lies

 

Title: Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers #1)

Author: Brenda Drake

Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy

 

Book Blurb:

New York Times Bestseller

Gia Kearns would rather fight with boys than kiss them. That is, until Arik, a leather clad hottie in the Boston Athenaeum, suddenly disappears. While examining the book of world libraries he abandoned, Gia unwittingly speaks the key that sucks her and her friends into a photograph and transports them into a Paris library, where Arik and his Sentinels-magical knights charged with protecting humans from the creatures traveling across the gateway books-rescue them from a demonic hound.

Jumping into some of the world’s most beautiful libraries would be a dream come true for Gia, if she weren’t busy resisting her heart or dodging an exiled wizard seeking revenge on both the Mystik and human worlds. Add a French flirt obsessed with Arik and a fling with a young wizard, and Gia must choose between her heart and her head, between Arik’s world and her own, before both are destroyed.

 

My Review:

I always knew that libraries were magical places and in Thief of Lies, Brenda Drake makes all my dreams comes true. I’ve been wanting to read this book since months before the release (when the title was Library Jumpers). Last month, I finally had the chance to read it.

 

Gia and her friends are working on a summer project for school when she accidentally bumps into cute boy wearing a leather jacket. Curiosity gets the better of her and she follows him… right through a magical book to another library. Suddenly, Gia discovers a whole new world, one filled with magic and magical beings. The sexy boy’s name is Arik and he leads her on a wondrous adventure, filled with rival wizards/witches, sentinels, vampires and a deep dark family secret. Her feelings for Arik grow, no matter how much he tries to stay away from her. Then she meets her “fiancée” in the magical realm and sparks fly. Her heart wars with her head. Is she really the key to the end of the world or could that just be a typo? One thing’s for sure, she better learn magic quickly or else she could be dead before morning.

 

Thief of Lies is addictive, full of action scenes where magic rules all, not to mention a slow-burning romance between Arik and Gia. The world building Drake achieves is second to none. I mean, I wanted to transport in Gia’s place. The plot moves at a fast pace with several intriguing twists I didn’t see coming. Not all the characters survive and that’s the sad part. Gia’s past (who she is and what she must do) unfolds a little bit at a time so the reader discovers it as Gia does.

 

I can’t say enough good things about this book! If you love urban fantasy, please 1-click today. You’ll love the characters and the backstory, not to mention that there’s more to come in this series. I, for one, can’t wait to read the next book in the series!

 

Favorite Character/Quote: Arik. I love how protective he is of her from the very beginning. They have an instant attraction in the Boston library and while some readers/reviewers despise instant attraction, I really don’t mind. Arik connects with Gia on so many levels and when he tries to distance himself from her, he finds it most difficult. He’s a strong character and takes over scenes but I like that in my hero.

 

My Rating:  5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Thief-Library-Jumpers-Brenda-Drake-ebook/dp/B00YM6RD6M

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Thief-Library-Jumpers-Brenda-Drake-ebook/dp/B00YM6RD6M

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thief-Library-Jumpers-Brenda-Drake-ebook/dp/B00YM6RD6M

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17669243-thief-of-lies

 

Note: It’s available at all retailers so please don’t get discouraged if you don’t see your link here.

 

Author Biography:

Brenda Drake is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. She grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When she’s not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

 

Social Media Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/brendadrake
Facebook: https://facebook.com/BrendaLeeDrake/
Instagram: @brendadrakeauthor

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

Crowned (Beholder #4) by @CB_Bauer #CoverReveal! #Paranormal #YA


Crowned
Christina Bauer
(Beholder, Book 4)
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: November 28th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

 

Beauty. Romance. Power. It’s all in the eye of the BEHOLDER.

 

At last, Elea has found the love of her life. Unfortunately, the evil Tsar Viktor is about to unleash an army of twisted mages bent on killing everyone Elea cares about… including the man who’s stolen her heart.

 

So what’s a powerful witch to do? Why, organize a league of magical warriors, of course!

 

Elea recruits and trains a fighting force to take down the Tsar. That’s challenge enough, but on the eve of battle, Elea realizes that her true enemies may be far more powerful than even Viktor: The deities Oni and Yuri could be out to destroy her as well. With major battles brewing on two fronts, Elea’s not sure that she’ll win, but with true love to inspire her, she’s certainly ready to fight.

 

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

Previous books in the series:

 

Author Bio:

 

Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. It is now available as an audiobook on Audible and iTunes.

 

Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.

 

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

 

Be the first to know about new releases from Christina by signing up for her newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/CBupdates

 

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Bad Bloods: July Thunder by Bestselling Author @AuthorSAT & @CleanTeenPub #YA #Fantasy




 

July Thunder
Shannon A. Thompson
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 10th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

 

From best-selling author Shannon A. Thompson comes an exciting new duology in the Bad Bloods universe.

 

Fourteen-year-old Violet has been called many things: a bad blood, a survivor, an immortal…now she has a new name–citizen. But adjusting to a lawful life is not easy, especially when she must live under the rule of the same officers who justified the killings of her flock only eight months earlier.

 

Segregation of bad bloods and humans is still in effect, and rebellious Violet steps into a school where she is not allowed. When the police get involved, things deteriorate quickly, sparking a new revolution at the wall separating the Highlands from the outskirts.

 

That’s when Caleb steps in. He might appear to be an average sixteen-year-old bad blood, but he has secrets, and Violet is determined to figure them out. Caleb knows who’s attacking the wall and why, but his true identity remains a mystery–and how he relates to Violet could shake the threatened city to its very core.

 

Together or not, a storm will form, a rally will start, and shocking truths will be revealed.

 

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Smashwords

EXCERPT:

While the Northern Flock had to be quiet to survive, the herd played music in order to live.

Caleb’s hand found mine. “Dance with me?” he asked, but I hated my answer.

“I can’t.” My confession came with my wrecked knee. With one gesture, Caleb seemed to understand, but as he turned his eyes to his herd—to Britney prancing around with Plato, to Kat covering her ears, to Yasir holding Hanna with his protective gloves between them—Caleb pulled me up to my feet.

“Let me do it for you,” he said, and then, he lifted me up and placed me on the tops of his boots.

As he swayed, I saw the sunburn on the tops of his cheeks, the sand in his hair, the sea salt on his skin. Then, his chapped lips as he managed a shaky smile. For once, Caleb looked disheveled, and I had never liked him more.

“That’s some crew you have,” he said, but I hadn’t noticed anyone else in the world around us until he spun.

Life-sized shadows—dozens of them—danced all around us, and I recognized their shapes as people I would always know. Blake and his teddy bear. Floyd’s stretched limbs, and Ami’s swinging braids. Even Adam’s speed.

Alive or dead, the shadows of every member of my own flock joined in on the dance of a herd, and my heart fluttered at the sight.

Losing control had never felt so great.

Neither had a storm descending down upon us.

 

 

Author Bio:

 

Shannon A. Thompson is a young adult author, avid reader, and a habitual chatterbox.

 

As a novelist, poet, and blogger, Thompson spends her free time writing and sharing ideas with her black cat, Bogart, named after her favorite actor, Humphrey Bogart. Her other two cats bring her coffee. Between writing and befriending cats, Thompson graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis on creative writing, and her work has appeared in numerous poetry collections and anthologies. Represented by Clean Teen Publishing, Thompson is the best-selling author of The Timely Death Trilogy and the Bad Bloods duology. When she is not writing, she is climbing rooftops, baking cookies, or watching murder shows in the middle of the night, often done with her cats by her side.

 

Visit her blog for writers and readers at http://www.ShannonAThompson.com.

 

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Thirsty for Water is #99cents! #YA #paranormal #KindleUnlimited


thirsty-for-water

 

Title: Thirsty for Water: A Short Story

Author: N. N. Light

Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult, Short Story

 

Book Blurb:

Juliet can’t wait to graduate from high school and finally move on with her life. Five more days and she’s free. She gazes out the window while her history teacher, Mrs. Johnson, drones on about war, famine and lack of water in Africa.

A gong rings, startling Juliet out of her daydream. She looks around to see if it was one of her classmates pulling a prank when a little boy carrying a spear appears. Is he a ghost or something more? He pleads for her help and before she can argue, she is transported to a small village in Africa. History comes alive like never before and Juliet must decide how she can help Noko and his village before it’s too late.

Thirsty for Water tells the story of Africa and the need for water in an approachable way for children of all ages. A great learning tool for teachers, parents and libraries.

 

Excerpt:

“How do you know my name?” She gasped and tried to pinch her arm.

 

“I know all about you.  My name is Noko.” He paused and reached out to touch her arm. “Why are you hurting yourself like that?”

 

His hand felt cool on her arm and she stopped. If he was a ghost, I wouldn’t be able to feel him.  This must be real… but how?  She reached up and touched his thumb with her index finger.  His skin was dry yet very real.

 

“I was m-m-making sure you were real.”  She leaned forward and whispered, “Why are you here?  What do you want with me?”

 

He took his hand away and smiled.  “Your elder there is talking about my country and all you can think about is getting out of here.  Where I come from, there is no school.  Children like me hunt, fish and work in the fields.  You are lucky to sit here all day and not work.”

 

She leaned back in her chair and thought about it.  No school, only working to survive.  It was a sobering thought and she shivered.

 

Praise for Thirsty for Water:

“I loved it. I had no idea just how short short would be when I started it, but what a lovely tale to teach & inspire! I feel strongly a connection being made always holds the best potential to calm, comfort & nourish, to move & inspire hope, to insight change or instill lessons. And for me, I feel any kind of travel…time travel, dimension travel (I’m a big fan of the Twilight Zone!), or even a story with a “real” trip involved always helps to create that connection somehow. It was THAT quick…& true…once Juliet felt a connection to Noko…it was a done deal! So beautiful. The story simple…& short…yet so powerful.” – Amazon Reviewer

 

Buy Links:

FREE April 7 – 9, 2017

 

FREE on Kindle Unlimited all year long!

 

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Thirsty-Water-Short-N-Light-ebook/dp/B00O98EL3Q

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Thirsty-Water-Short-N-Light-ebook/dp/B00O98EL3Q

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thirsty-Water-Short-N-Light-ebook/dp/B00O98EL3Q

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30835342-thirsty-for-water

 

couple N N Light

 

Author Biography: N. N. Light is the husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N. Mrs. N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller.

 

They’re blissfully happy and love all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports, trains, history, cooking and baking. Their mantra is to spread the Light.

 

Most of the time you can find them on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. They’re a proud member of ASMSG and Independent Author Network.

 

Sign up for their author newsletter and get exclusive content and prizes ow.ly/jWec308TabL 

 

In addition to being authors, they’re also book promoters/reviewers, social media marketers/influencers and the owners of N. N. Light Author Promotions. They both love books, have ever since they were young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives them great pleasure.

 

They’d love to connect with you either via email or via these various social media sites:

 

Website: http://princessofthelight.com

Blog: https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/nnlight

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Of Glitter and Gold: A Canary Club Anthology by @AuthorSherry #historicalfiction #YA


Of Glitter and Gold: A Canary Club Anthology
Sherry D. Ficklin
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: March 27th 2017
Genres: Historical, Young Adult

Set during the flamboyant anything-goes era of 1920’s America, these three tales are filled with intriguing characters and rich imagery from the time period—with flappers, jazz music, gangsters, and lavish wealth. Escape to a different decade today with the compelling stories of the Canary Club Anthology.

 

Novelette 1- Gilded Cage

Masie, the flaxen-haired daughter of notorious bootlegger Dutch Schultz, returns home from boarding school to find her family in crisis. Her mother is dangerously unstable, her father’s empire is on the brink of ruin, and the boy she once loved has become a ruthless killer for hire. To keep her family’s dangerous secrets, Masie is forced into a lie that will change the course of her future—and leave her trapped in a gilded cage of her own making.

 

Novelette 2- All That Glitters

A dame with brains, moxie, and killer curves, June West isn’t your average flapper. She’s managed to endear herself to the son of one of the most powerful gangsters in New York, earning herself a spot in the limelight that she’s always longed for. With the infamous playboy at her side, June has become accustomed to living the high life. Lavish parties, expensive clothes, sparkling jewels—nothing is beyond her reach. But when her carefully woven web of lies finally catches up with her, she must make an impossible choice… come clean about her past and risk losing everything, or find a way to bury her demons—once and for all.

 

Novelette 3 – Nothing Gold

Dickey has been down on his luck since the day he was born. Flat broke and sick of being looked down on, he meets young socialite Lillian at a wild party. The connection is like a strike of lightning. From a wealthy New York family, this debutante is everything he’s been told he can never have—and the only thing he wants. Determined to win her, he knows the only way to get her parents approval is with cold hard cash. So when a shot at the biggest score of his life comes around, he just can’t refuse…

 

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NOTHING GOLD EXCERPT:

It’s easier than I imagined to sneak into the party. The music is so loud and the crowd so enormous that no one sees me wind my way through the shrubs on the outskirts. The massive estate is far enough away from the city that I had to hitch a ride to get here, and I’ll have to time my exit just right to make the train back to Manhattan.

Brushing off my secondhand suit coat, I enter the party via the back patio. A wide pool is filled with people, most still in their fancy evening wear. My eyes slide past them, searching for the one person at this shindig that I know. I scan past butlers with white gloves holding silver trays covered in champagne glasses, past gleeful dames in short skirts with blood-red lips, and past gents in their glad rags I can tell with one glance cost more dough than I make in a year working at the mill.

When I finally see him, his pinstripe suit, matching fedora, and red pocket square, he’s standing atop the massive staircase on the ledge overlooking the party. Deacon Brewer, the reason I’m here tonight. His hands are stuffed in the pockets of his trousers as he chats up a fella I don’t recognize, along with the dame hanging off his arm. Plastering on an easy grin, I wind my way through the people, helping myself to a glass of bubbly as I head for the stairs. The stone steps are covered in gold confetti, the whole place practically dripping with it. Long, red velvet drapes hang from arched windows, and leafless branches painted gold and draped with crystal beads sit in tall vases in every corner. Nothing has been left un-gilded.

I shake my head at the audacity. Might as well have a neon sign—someone, please rob the joint.

Deacon sees me coming and dismisses himself from his conversation, welcoming me with an open hand.

“Dickey Lewis, glad you could make it, boy,” he offers warmly.

As if I had a choice.

“Of course, Mr. Brewer,” I respond with more warmth than I feel. Truth is that I’m in deep to Deacon after a few bad bets at his club last month, and he opted to make me work it off rather than take it outta my hide. I suppose that makes him clever, but I can’t help the gnawing feeling that this is a debt I may never fully repay. “What’s the score?” I ask, lowering my voice.

Draping an arm across my shoulders, he walks me through the glass doors and into the house. Still crammed with people drinking, dancing, and generally wrecking the joint, he pulls a cigar from his vest pocket with his free hand.

“Upstairs in the den is a lovely Monet, behind which is a very large safe. Cash, some baubles, and a bankbook are inside. I don’t care about the rest; you take what you need. But the bankbook needs to find its way into my hands tomorrow morning by eight am.”

I take a deep breath, rolling my tongue over my teeth before answering, “How am I supposed to get into the safe?”

He barks a deep laugh, slapping me on the back. “Guess you’ll have to get a little creative. Just get in, get out, and don’t let nobody see ya, got it?”

All I can do is nod and watch him swagger away. Sure, I’ve boosted loot before, but always simple jobs, smash and grabs. Nothing like this. What have I gotten myself into this time?

Still, whatever else is in there is mine for the taking, I tell myself. Could be a big pay day, judging by the looks of the place.

I wander casually through the house, trying to look as if I belong while also counting the number of cops and guards watching the area. It’s not as many as I expected. I grab a dark-haired dame by the waist, offering her a charming smile and asking for a dance. We Charleston together for two songs, finally stopping to imbibe more champagne. When I ‘accidently’ stumble into her, she spills the contents of her glass on my jacket, fumbling a wide-eyed apology.

Waving her off with a smile, I hand her my glass, “You take this, and I’ll go find a place to wash up.”

“You could always take a dip in the pool, honey,” she says, batting her eyelashes.

Beside her, a gentleman points up a secondary set of stairs near the front door. “Washroom is up there, I think.”

I mutter a thanks and a promise to return, then make my way up the stairs, continuing to stumble around as if drunk, occasionally opening a door to find a couple necking or a room full of folks smoking the Indian hop in long pipes.

Finally, the thumping of the music fading below me, I make my way to the library. Beyond that, I find the only locked door on the entire floor. Digging into my pocket, I pull out my lock kit, a simple flattened iron jimmy and a hooked pick. Sliding both in the lock, I slide them back and forth, listening for the mechanism inside to release. It doesn’t take long and the door springs open, allowing me to step inside and close it quickly behind me. It’s dark except for the glow of a single lamp atop a massive oak desk, behind which is a tall arched window overlooking the front of the estate. From this spot, I can see the cars lined up along the circular drive, partygoers coming and going in wild abandon. Pulling the pocket watch from my vest, I wipe my fingers across the cracked glass face, checking the time. Only thirty minutes until the train. If I miss it, it’ll be two hours before the next one. Not the end of the world, unless someone notices the lift before I’m gone. That’s a long time to stick around with a pocket fulla stolen goods.

I glance around me, the blood chilling in my veins. Every wall except the one with the window is covered in framed paintings. And I have no idea which one is a Monet.

Scrambling, I begin lifting each, checking the wall behind for any sign of the safe. Finally, on the opposite wall from where I started, I find it. Carefully lifting the heavy canvas free, I set it on the floor and turn my attention to the wall safe. It’s not large, about the size of a bread box with a spinning combination dial in the center. Unsure what else to do, I pull the pocket knife free from my trousers and flick it open, trying to wedge it between the door and the frame. As soon as I do, I know it’s going to be futile. The thing is heavy steel; no way my knife is gonna bust it open. Putting it away, I begin spinning the dial at random, praying I’ll get lucky.

I’m so flustered I don’t hear the door open or the footsteps from behind me until it’s too late.

“It’s my birthday,” a voice offers, making me spin, hands balled into fists to fight my way free from the room.

The dame is tall, her garnet-red hair rolled into bouncy curls and pinned in a messy heap at the back of her neck. Her dress is green, almost the same color as her eyes, and it hugs her slender frame as if it were a second skin. Even the long strings of pearls twined around her neck seems completely natural, not just a decoration but an extension of her. I take a breath, blinking, momentarily stunned. She drapes one hand on her hip, her entire body listing to the side as she points to the safe.

“The combination,” she repeats. “It’s my birthday.”

Finally recovering my voice, I stammer. “I was, uh, just…”

The corners of her mouth turn upward. “Breaking into my father’s safe?”

I don’t know what to say. I feel her in the room, the way one might feel the air change right before a storm, a heaviness that settles in, leaving my soul with a sense of foreboding. My instincts battle inside me. Do I grab her and tie her to a chair, or do I flee? The weight of her gaze makes it impossible to think clearly.

“Relax,” she says, raising a glass I hadn’t noticed her holding to her lips and taking a slow drink. “I’m not calling the guards if that’s what you’re worried about.”

“Oh? You’re just gonna let me crack this safe and walk away with whatever’s inside?”

She shrugs. “It’s not my money. What do I care?”

I lick my lips, sizing her up. A spoiled little rich girl who wants to stick it to Daddy. I’ve seen a few of those in my day. I can work with this—if I can get my head back on straight. It’s not like me to get so flustered by a dame, not even a high-quality one like this.

“Besides…” She sets the glass on the desk and saunters toward me. “It’s not like we don’t have enough.”

I catch a hint of her perfume in the air when she brushes by me, lavender and something else I can’t quite place. Taking the dial in her hand, she spins the knob until the door finally clicks, then she steps back, giving me a go-ahead gesture.

I hesitate, flicking glances at the bare skin where her neck meets her shoulder, at the creamy whiteness of her skin, before settling my eyes on her face. “What’s your name, doll?”

She looks down, sheepishly at first, but then raises just her eyes to look at me with an expression of bold defiance. “I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours.”

I swallow, considering her offer. She’s already gotten a good look at me, enough to rat me out to the cops. The look on her face is one of challenge, I realize. She’s daring me to trust her.

“Dickey,” I say, pulling the flat cap off my head and holding it over my heart as I bow to her. “Dickey Lewis, at your service, Miss?”

“Lillian Rose Duke,” she answers. “But my friends call me Lilly.”

Replacing my hat, I grab the safe handle and twist, pulling open the heavy door. Grabbing a large wooden box first, I hold it out to her. Moving back, I grab two stacks of fresh bills and stuff them in the pockets of my suitcoat. Finding the bankbook last, I tuck it into the back of my pants before pulling my shirt and jacket over it.

I spin to Lilly, watching as she upends the box, spilling jewelry onto the desk in a pile. She picks through it, finally just scooping it all into her hand and sauntering over to me. Getting so close I feel the warmth of her, she grabs the lapel of my jacket, sliding the gold and stones into the inside pocket.

“Give these to your girl, Dickey Lewis.”

She releases my lapel, but doesn’t step away. Instead, she leans forward. Thinking she’s going to kiss me, I straighten in anticipation, but she just trails her fingers along my collar until she’s cupping the back of my neck.

“I ain’t got no girl,” I admit, my heart pounding behind my ribs.

“Well, isn’t that a shame?” she says, her lips a hair’s breadth from mine.

Unable to resist, I close the final distance between us, clutching her by the waist as I urge her lips to mine. I’ve never tasted gold before, but I imagine this is what it would be like—champagne, honey, and nerves of steel. When she finally pulls away, I’m gasping. Tugging tugs the white linen handkerchief from my pocket, she wipes my face, then hers, of her smeared lipstick before returning the hankie to its place.

“I hope to see you around, Dickey Lewis.”

With that, she spins on her heel and heads for the door, listening for a moment before pulling it open and stepping out. The room is instantly colder, the air thinner. I can finally breathe, can think.

As I slink from the party and disappear into the shadows, making my way down the street to the train station, I can’t force the sight of her from my mind, or the taste of her from my lips.

Even if it takes every penny in my pocket and every breath in my body, I will see Lillian Rose Duke again.

 

 

Author Bio:

 

Sherry D. Ficklin is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. A former military brat, she loves to travel and meet new people. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.

 

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Every Song is a Possibility… Chasing Eveline by @LHauser27 #YA #YALit #CoverReveal


Chasing Eveline
Leslie Hauser
Published by: Pen Name Publishing
Publication date: July 11th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

 

Sixteen-year-old Ivy Higgins is the only student at Carmel Heights High School who listens to cassettes. And her binder is the only one decorated with album artwork by 80s band Chasing Eveline. Despite being broken-up since 1989, this rock band out of Ireland means everything to Ivy. They’re a reminder of her mom, who abandoned Ivy and her dad two years ago. Now the music of her mom’s favorite band is the only connection she has left.

 

Even though Ivy wavers between anger and a yearning to reconnect, she’s one-hundred percent certain she’s not ready to lose her mom forever. But the only surefire way to locate her would be at a Chasing Eveline concert. So with help from her lone friend Matt—an equally abandoned soul and indie music enthusiast—Ivy hatches a plan to reunite the band.

 

The road to Ireland won’t be easy, though. And not just because there is no road. Along the way they’ll have to win over their Lady Gaga-loving peers, tangle with some frisky meerkats, and oh yeah, somehow find and persuade the four members to play a reunion gig. It’s a near-impossible task, but Ivy has to try. If she can’t let go of the past, she’ll never be able to find joy in the present.

 

Goodreads / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

 

Author Bio:

 

Leslie Hauser is a YA writer and middle school teacher. She has a B.A. in English from UCLA and a Master’s degree in Educational Administration. She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently resides in Los Angeles, California, with her dog Mr. Darcy.

 

When Leslie is not living in fictional worlds inside her head, she runs all sorts of distances, tortures her body at CrossFit, and DVRs entirely too many television shows. She dreams of one day returning to the Midwest to live on a farm. Or perhaps owning a cookie delivery service.

 

Her debut novel Chasing Eveline releases 2017 from Pen Name Publishing.

 

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#FridayReads: Aaden BlueStar by @authorGaughan #YA #scifi #bookreview


Aaden Bluestar

 

Title: Aaden BlueStar: The Awakening (Aaden BlueStar series Book 1)

Author: David Gaughan

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

At fifteen, Aaden Greene is imbued with extraordinary powers after a freak incident. Astounded by his powerful abilities he’s also confused by the terrifying vision of the monstrous apparition that appears before him at the time of his metaphysical awakening. Struggling to blend his ordinary life with visions of other lifetimes in extraterrestrial realms, he discovers his connection with an ET who has come to save our world. What amazes him most is the connection between the charismatic E.T. with whom he has been closely connected throughout the ages and his father, a Senator running for President on an environmental ticket. With each heart-pounding moment, the ensuing battle between the extraterrestrial BlueStar Beings and the formidable entity of Aaden’s earlier vision requires them to join forces to combat that negative energy. With an environmental backlash, the future of Earth and the survival of the human race depend on their success.

 

My Review:

In a flash of lightning, fifteen-year-old Aaden’s life is forever changed. Climbing a tree trying to get a prized baseball, Aaden gets struck by lightning. His friends worry but by some miracle, he’s not dead. Instead, he’s awakened latent powers and scary visions. His powers come in handy at school and home but trying to appear “normal” gets harder and harder.

 

Meanwhile, there’s an extraterrestrial war taking place just north of Earth, somewhere near Mars. A dark force is trying to infiltrate Earth and it’s up to the Bluestar beings to stop it. But they need help to avoid this environmental disaster so they call on Aaden and his family. The future of Earth is in their hands. Can Aaden use his natural abilities and skills to defeat the enemy or is the fate of humanity doomed?

 

I really loved this unique science fiction book. Who knew that lightning could “awaken” alien powers? Aaden and his friends are portrayed realistically yet in modern times. I loved the extraterrestrial dynamics and politics which added to the believability of the plot. Filled with all kinds of action, dramatic tension and meaningful messages, this is a fantastic read! While I found the environmental sub-plot a tad heavy-handed, it made sense considering the rest of the story.

 

I highly recommend this book to ages 12 and up for complexity of the English language as well as situations. Both teens and adults will enjoy this clean science fiction adventure.

 

Favorite Character: Aaden. He’s such a delightful character to read. His witty nature and honest inner thoughts make him come alive off the page. I enjoyed the way he dealt with his school rival (not quite a bully but close). Someone who anyone can relate to and a joy to read.

 

Favorite Quote: “There’s power in numbers,” said Adam. “The more people with the same positive thought, the more powerful the effect.”

 

My Rating:  4.5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Aaden-BlueStar-Awakening-Book-ebook/dp/B00RIMSS6G

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32141790-aaden-bluestar

 

Author Biography:

Born on the same day and month as Mark Twain, this Sagittarius has always been the explorer, not only in world travel pursuits but also alternative fringe subjects.

 

Having climbed the Great Pyramid of Cheops (and getting arrested doing so), some of his other world experiences included riding camels in the Sahara Desert, white-water rafting at the top of the Ganges river, fire walking on a weekend retreat, hot air ballooning in the Cappadocia Region in Turkey and visiting ashrams in Northern India. Much of David’s overseas travel has been fueled by his keen interest in metaphysical subjects. In his earlier years he witnessed, along with three other people, a sighting of a UFO mother ship and four smaller craft, and that was the catalyst for him to research that subject, also in connection with established world viewpoints and how ancient prophecies might hold the clue to our past and future. Having had close friends and relatives affected by ill health, David’s writing incorporates a wide variety of subjects, from natural healing techniques and alternative living guidelines through to fictional works for both young and older readers, his writing influenced by the rich tapestry of life experiences.

 

Social Media Links:

Twitter http://www.twitter.com/authorGaughan

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13428937.David_Gaughan

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KDZKOM

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

The Game Begins by Victoria Danann @vdanann #YALit #books #fantasy


The Game Begins
Victoria Danann
Publication date: February 27th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult

When it came to the attention of the old ones that their creations, the Earth gods, had been playing games at the expense of humankind for millennia, they put a stop to it. But the rebellious gods were far too addicted to their games to give them up. After several summit meetings, they voted to use their own children as players and locate the playing field in the most treacherous environment in the known universe. High school.

 

To make it even more interesting, they would strip their children of their memories and withhold the rules of the game. The players believed they were ordinary kids until they were transferred to R. Caine High School. When odd things begin to happen, the players gradually realize they have special gifts or attributes. But that doesn’t mean they can’t die.

 

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EXCERPT:

My name is Ever Moore.

I know. It makes me wince every time I say it. When I’m eighteen, I plan to have it legally changed to something that doesn’t make people laugh. But right now I’m stuck.

My dad thinks puns are the highest form of humor. He calls it ‘word play’. That’s right. I’m the spawn of nerds. My dad creates video games. My mother is an ethics professor at UCLA who thinks the battle between good and evil begins at home.

If you want to know just how weird it can get at the Thanksgiving table, I can go one better. My grandfather was a big deal rock star in the seventies. You wouldn’t know the name of the band. So there’s no point in name dropping. After a visit, he exits with a two-finger peace salute like all the other well-adjusted hippie grandparents, but he doesn’t say, “Peace.”

He says, “Rock steady.”

Ugh!

My family is big on manners. They’re too strict to let me say what I think, especially about Buzz’s love life. My grandfather doesn’t want to be called Grandpa or Grandad or Gramps or anything close to normal. Oh no. He wants to be called ‘Buzz’. I have no idea why. That is not his name.

Anyway, the best protest I can mount is rolling my eyes. I keep trying to get his attention and roll my eyes back further into my head when he does the ‘rock steady’ thing, but he will not be deterred.

Anyway I was leading a completely typical and deliciously angsty teenage life in Austin, Texas when my parents were suddenly offered jobs in the LA area at the same time. It was weird, but weird is part of my normal. Always has been.

Since my grandad, the rocker, still lives in LA with the latest girlfriend who’s barely legal – she’s two years older than I am and her name is Charmin, yes, like the toilet paper. If that was my name, I’d have the decency to go by something like Charm, which would really be making lemonade from lemmons. But not Charmin. I don’t think she’s bright enough to understand what people are thinking whenever they say her name. Anyway, with the jobs and the fact that ‘Buzz’ lives there, moving seemed like a good idea.

To them.

 

Author Bio:

 

New York Times bestselling author of seventeen romances including paranormal, scifi, fantasy, contemporary, and teen. Victoria’s Knights of Black Swan series won BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE SERIES and PARANORMAL ROMANCE NOVEL OF THE YEAR the past FOUR YEARS IN A ROW. This past year two of her series took the top two places and two of her books took first and second place Paranormal Romance of the Year category. – Reviewers Choice Awards, The Paranormal Romance Guild.

 

Victoria is co-host of the popular ROMANCE BETWEEN THE PAGES podcast.

http://www.romancecast.com

 

WEBSITE: → http://www.VictoriaDanann.com

FACEBOOK: → http://www.facebook.com/victoriadanannbooks

 

The rich characterizations come from being a lifelong student of behavior, casually, and a serious student of behavior academically. She has also studied comparative religion, myths, and Dark Ages history.

 

Victoria lives in The Woodlands, Texas with her husband and a very smart, mostly black German Shepherd dog.

 

 

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Chameleon by @zoekalowriter Book Blitz #YALit #Gothic #Giveaway @XpressoTours


Chameleon
Zoe Kalo
Publication date: February 2nd 2017
Genres: Gothic, Young Adult

An isolated convent, a supernatural presence, a dark secret…

17-year-old Paloma only wanted to hold a séance to contact her dead father. She never thought she would be kicked out of school and end up in an isolated convent. Now, all she wants is to be left alone. But slowly, she develops a bond with a group of girls: kind-hearted Maria, insolent Silvy, pathological liar Adelita, and their charismatic leader Rubia.

When, yet again, Paloma holds a séance in the hope of contacting her father, she awakens an entity that has been dormant for years. And then, the body count begins. Someone doesn’t want the secret out… Are the ghost and Paloma’s suspicions real—or only part of her growing paranoia and delusions?

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EXCERPT:

Madre Estela remained standing by the door. “Get a bucket and fill it with water.”

Her hypercritical eyes sliced through my self-worth as I grabbed one of the metal buckets, lifted it into the sink, and turned on the faucet. I watched, transfixed, as the water gushed like a torrent spurting from an open artery. The cold spray raised goosebumps on my arms.

Madre Estela snapped her fingers. “Move.”

As I hauled the bucket to the door, some of the water slushed over the edge and splattered to the floor.

“Add the detergent,” she said stiffly, irritated by my clumsiness.

I chose a green bottle, twisted the cap, and poured. The acrid pine smell stung my nostrils.

“Get a sponge and a brush from there. Get going. We don’t have all evening—unless you want to work in the dark.”

I gritted my teeth, but pretended not to be bothered. I suspected that the one thing that this nun couldn’t stand was indifference.

Outside, it was almost dusk. In spite of the intense screeching of the coquíes, the drum of the waterfall hit my ears. It was louder now than the last time I’d been here. How was that possible?

I felt a drop of rain. Great.

Madre Estela put one hand out, palm up. “My, my. What’s this?” She looked chagrined, and I suddenly realized why. If it rained, I would have to go inside, ruining her plans. “What are you standing there for? Start scrubbing.”

I was tempted to throw the bucket of greenish water at her face. Instead, I prayed for rain as I walked across the rose garden. Once at the gate, I glanced back at her.

“You’ll work until I come for you, understood?” she said, hands on hips in her usual stance. She pointed to one of the second-floor windows. “I’ll be watching from there.”

And that was it. She was gone.

For a moment I just stood there. If only my friends could see me now. They would never believe it.

I opened the gate and walked into the graveyard. The statue of Gabriel greeted me, its face fiercer in the dusk. The temperature must have been in the low seventies. I was glad I had my cardigan.

Suddenly, the garden lamp post lit up. I turned, startled. I wasn’t sure if it had automatically switched on or if someone, maybe Madre Estela, had done it from indoors. I glanced up at the second-floor window, expecting to find her face. I had the chilling sensation of being watched. There was nothing. The windows glowed with yellow light, a multitude of feral eyes keeping guard.

However, behind one of the ground-floor windows on the right, a figure appeared. Tall, blurred. Madre Superiora? I was sure that was her office. Yet, something about the shape of the head and the shoulders made me think of…Rubia. What was she doing in Madre Superiora’s office?

Just as abruptly as it’d appeared, the figure vanished from view.

The incident left me strangely unsettled.

Focus.

I splashed some of the water on one of the tombstones and got to work. The sound of hard bristles against stone blocked the hum of the waterfall. Almost.

Go away, damn it.

As I crouched to work on a second tombstone, doing my best not to get wet in the process, something shifted at the edge of my vision. I jumped to my feet, my heart thudding. Gabriel. Its wings had rippled with movement.

Dear God…what’s happening to me?

I rubbed my forehead and grimaced, my fingers shaking.

I felt another drop of rain. If it was going to rain, why didn’t it? The sky was playing with me, too. Mocking me.

I cursed the clouds and started scrubbing again.

I had another sensation of being watched and this time, yes, it was Madre Estela behind the window. I pretended I hadn’t seen her and tried to keep focused on the task at hand. The water had turned blackish with grime.

I don’t know how long I scrubbed. I lost track of time. But it was dark. My back and shoulders were sore and my hands stung from the harsh detergent.

Madre Estela was long gone from the window.

Half panting, I sat down on the edge of the tombstone and tossed the brush aside in disgust. I looked at the statue again, but it was motionless. I turned to the windows again, my eyes slowly moving from one to the other.

From one to the other.

Expecting to see the face. Wanting to see it.

Nothing.

Yet, that weird sensation of being watched, again.

My gaze shifted to the woods, to the exact place where the cemetery ended and the forest started. There was a path there. Narrow, obscured by the trees. For a long moment I sat, mesmerized. Then I stood up and began to approach it. The breeze picked up as I got closer, carrying with it the cool, slightly pungent smell of the waterfall.

I stopped at the very edge, the darkness enveloping me, the dampness seeping through my clothes.

The wind sighed, rustling the leaves and fluttering my hair.

Icy breath, on the back of my neck.

I’m in here… a voice whispered from the shadows.

I spun around in terror.

Then I hit something hard.

 

Author Bio:

A certified bookworm and ailurophile, Zoe Kalo has always been obsessed with books and reading. Reading led to writing—compulsively. No surprise that at 16, she wrote her first novel, which her classmates read and passed around secretly. The pleasure of writing and sharing her fantasy worlds has stayed with her, so now she wants to pass her stories to you with no secrecy—but with lots of mystery. She lives amongst cats and books in Belgium, and is the author of the Cult of the Cat young adult fantasy series and the Retribution novella series for adults.

 

Sign up for her newsletter at http://www.ZoeKalo.com and get her exclusive short story “Irkalla.”

 

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Announcing the N. N. Light Book Awards Finalists #books #bookreview #amreading


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Announcing the 1st Annual N. N. Light Book Awards, courtesy of N. N. Light Author Promotions.

 

We, Mr. N and Mrs. N, have read some incredible books this year and we thought it would be fun to have our own book awards. We gathered together the book reviews of every book we’ve read this year (over 200) and put together a ballot. Then Mr. N and Mrs. N sat down and discussed each entrant. After much consideration, we have narrowed it down to five finalists in the following categories:

 

Fiction

Childrens/Young Adult

Mystery/Suspense

Romance

Nonfiction

 

So, without further ado… drum roll please… here are the finalists…

 

Fiction:

Go Fast by Rod Humphris

Exordium of Tears by Andrew Weston

Pete’s Mighty Purty Privies by Aubrey Wynne

Raven’s Peak by Lincoln Cole

Dead Ground by Rod Humphris

 

Childrens/Young Adult:

Barking Madness by Ryan Hill

Lions in the Garden by Chelsea Luna

Withering Rose by Kaitlyn Davis

You, the Magician by Josh and Jodi Carothers

 

Mystery/Suspense:

Bring Your Own Baker by D. E. Haggerty

A Taste of Tragedy by Kim McMahill

Cries in the Wind by Judy Bruce

Anonymous by Christine Benedict

From a Poison Pen by B. P. Smythe

 

Romance:

The Guardian’s Witch by Ruth A. Casie

The Du Lac Chronicles by Mary Anne Yarde

Blame it on the Moon by Livia Quinn

The Guardian by Jacquie Biggar

Waltzing with the Earl by Alanna Lucas

 

Nonfiction:

The Power of Faith: When Tragedy Strikes by Chris and Terry Norton

Everything and a Happy Ending by Tia Shurina

A Long Walk with Sally by David Clark Jr.

Unearthing Venus: My Search for the Woman Within by Cate Montana

Notes from a Very Small Island by Anthony Stancomb

 

The winner in each category will receive a promotional package worth $50, courtesy of N. N. Light Author Promotions.

 

Congratulations to all of the finalists and the winners will be announced via email and on the POTL blog on Friday, December 23rd.

Guardian of the Way by @DianeMoatAuthor #YoungAdult #Fantasy #Books


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Title: Guardian of the Way

Author: Diane Moat

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

 

Tagline:

When eighteen-year-old Cass discovers that she’s part fae, a battle begins among supernatural  creatures to appoint her the new Guardian who’ll open up the Way between the worlds.

 

Book Blurb:

It’s been two centuries since someone murdered the last Guardian of the Way, closing off this world from the many realms of magic and fae.

 

Cassiopeia “Cass” Wilson is an eighteen-year-old living on her own for the first time. The only magic she’s interested in is the kind that will help her pay the bills on time. Little does she know that a trip to the hospital after a fainting spell will change her life forever.

 

Cass soon learns she may be fae, and everything points to her being the next Guardian of the Way. There’s just one problem: whoever—or whatever—killed the last Guardian wants Cass dead too.

 

Cass quickly runs into problems, and an attack by djinn is just the first. But Cass joins forces with a wrath daemon, were-creatures, and fae on a quest to reach the Lighthouse—the site of the Way.

 

Cass soon learns about wizards desperate to keep the Way closed to serve their dark purposes, and she comes to a crossroads: will she take the test to become the new Guardian and leave her normal life behind? Or will the Way remain closed to all who need it?

 

Hear what readers are saying about Guardian of the Way:

“Cass Wilson takes us right along with her in this journey, revealing a world she never knew existed, with a diverse new tribe of companions, protectors, and friends. A must read for anyone who wonders what else is out there beyond what we can see.” by C.S.

 

“A strong story, full of surprises. Getting there is half the fun, but is she meant for this challenging job between many worlds? Quite worth a read.” by M. Hayden

 

Excerpt:

A massive lighthouse sits off the coast of Maine near the town of Cutler. The building has stood empty for over two-hundred years. Those who can make out the edifice view a tower of stone and paned glass unlike any other lighthouse they have ever seen. The specific dimensions are hard to determine as this structure, unlike most lighthouses, is not a single tower. Instead, it has a broader base than usual, with what appear to be turrets at the top. The construction may even consist of two buildings connected at the middle. But not many people question this odd lighthouse, or even wonder why it remains vacant. 

 

This is because most Humans can’t actually see the Lighthouse. A few who have a drop of Fey, Were or “Other” blood may perceive an ordinary lighthouse. And some instinct guides these souls to avoid the building, though they wouldn’t be able to voice why if they were asked. True Fey, Were, Vampires, and other supernatural beings can certainly identify the building known to them as the Lighthouse, but none of them dare try to enter. Those genuine descendants know the Way is blocked, and has been for the two-hundred years the Lighthouse has stood dark. 

 

The place has sat empty since the most recent Lighthouse Guardian died one horrible night at the pinnacle. The Guardian had only been Guardian for four-hundred years and was killed well before his time. Inside the Lighthouse lies the only permanent causeway (the “Way”) between the worlds of magic and the world of the mundane. Fey, Were, Vampires and other non-Humans, despite the barrier to journeying across from inside the Lighthouse, could still travel between these two worlds using costly magic spells—but such a trip is difficult and dangerous. The entrance to the Way closed at the time of the Guardian’s death, and neither magic nor mundane had been able to open it since.

 

On one late evening in particular, a large man sat under a tree just outside of Cutler, eating the stew his mate had made earlier and placed in a storage dish. The season was early fall, but already the nights had a bite to them. The man was on his third shift of watch duty in a row. He had pulled this job ten months previously and was glad the rotations were only a year long. He would be back home in Louisiana before the truly bitter winter was well underway.

 

The man was suddenly blinded by a light coming from the very top of the Lighthouse. The man’s reflexes were frighteningly quick, but even so he dropped his stew. Flabbergasted, he stared directly at the light for a full twenty seconds, until he no longer cared about the meal. He turned away from the brightness, and shedding his clothes, he found his legs shortening and his arms lengthening. In less than a minute, a large dark-grey Wolf shook himself once, then again. Glancing back for a final look at the Lighthouse, the Wolf began running toward the town. 

 

He wouldn’t stop running until he was at his pack leader’s house. From there, word would spread like a virus. Everything was different now. For somewhere in this ordinary domain, two minutes before, a brand-new Guardian had been born. 

 

Buy Links:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Guardian-Way-Diane-Moat-ebook/dp/B01MFD7KNC

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32795260-guardian-of-the-way?from_search=true

 

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Author Biography:

When not creating fantastical worlds of young adult fiction, Diane Moat spends her time in Tennessee as an animal rescuer and nurse. Her various rescue dogs often assist her in the creative process.

 

Social Media Links:

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

Website http://www.dianemoatauthor.com/

Twitter @DianeMoatAuthor

Give Me Chaos (The Wolfegang Series #5) by @JillianAshe #YA #books #coverreveal


City of Wind by @Jordan_Rivet Cover Reveal #Fantasy #YoungAdult #books


City of Wind
Jordan Rivet
(Steel and Fire, #4)
Publication date: December 20th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Dara Ruminor is a serious young duelist in the mountaintop kingdom of Vertigon, a land of dramatic cliffs and misty peaks where mysterious Fire magic runs through the stones like blood. The secluded kingdom has been peaceful for a hundred years. Swords are used for sport, and successful athletes live like kings as long as the crowds love them.

 

Eighteen-year-old Dara needs to find a wealthy patron in order to duel professionally and avoid a lifetime working in her parents’ Fire Lantern shop. Her efforts are disrupted when her coach asks her to train with Prince Siv, an infuriating—if handsome—young man who refuses to take the sport as seriously as she does. But the prince’s life may be in danger, and soon Dara will discover that Vertigon isn’t as peaceful as she thought.

 

As threats emerge from the shadows, Dara will have to raise her sword to protect Siv—if he doesn’t irritate her so much that she decides to run him through herself.

 

From the author of the Seabound Chronicles comes a new fantasy series about sword fighting, cur-dragons, molten Fire magic, and one young woman’s effort to prove herself.

 

Add to Goodreads

Previous books in the series:

29749132 30175685 31793524

 

Author Bio:

Jordan Rivet is an American author of swashbuckling fantasy and post-apocalyptic adventures set at sea. Originally from Arizona, she lives in Hong Kong with her husband. She was a fencer for many years and hasn’t made up her mind about whether the pen is mightier than the sword.

 

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


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Can She Bring These Girls Together? Spies Like Me by @DougSolter #YA #POTLReads #Giveaway


Spies Like Me
Doug Solter
(The Gems, #1)
Publication date: October 4th 2016
Genres: Adventure, Young Adult

Can she bring these girls together?

 

When she discovers her father’s plane crash wasn’t an accident, sixteen year old Emma wants to punish those responsible. Even if it means becoming a spy. The mysterious organization known simply as The Authority wants Emma to join the Gems. This team of all-girl spies knows how to handle themselves on dangerous missions…like stopping an evil plan to incinerate the world’s food supply.

 

Meet the Gems…

 

Olivia, code-named Emerald, is seventeen years old. Half English and half Jamaican. Specializes in leadership, marksmanship, and is a rated pilot.

 

Miyuki, code-named Ruby, is sixteen and from Okinawa, Japan. She specializes in gymnastics and martial arts. Trained in jungle survival and deep sea diving. Once blew up her boyfriend’s motorcycle using a rocket launcher.

 

Nadia, code-named Sapphire, is sixteen and from Saudi Arabia. She’s a science and computer nerd. Nadia’s zero-gravity school agriculture project created interest from NASA and the European Space Agency.

 

Emma, code-named Black Opal, specializes in high school theater and shopping.

 

Each girl comes from a different background. Each girl comes with different skills. Each girl comes with their own drama.

 

The Authority thinks Emma is the missing link to make this team work.

 

Emma thinks The Authority is her only chance for revenge.

 

Goodreads / Amazon / Amazon Canada / Apple / Nook / Kobo / Google Play / Inktera

EXCERPT:

Emma led Ruby up the metal ladder inside the gigantic empty wine barrel. Both girls passed through the winery’s gift shop and went outside to the parking lot. Emma unlocked the doors of her car and the two girls climbed inside it.

“Mercedes AMG,” Rudy said. “How fast does it go?”

Emma pushed the start button. “I don’t know. I just got it a few months ago.”

“No speed?”

“I don’t like to drive like that.”

Ruby nodded. “Safety conscious.”

Emma rolled out of the parking lot and took California Highway 29 south out of Napa Valley towards Vallejo. As the car settled on a speed, Emma flipped on the cruise control. She gripped the leather-stitched steering wheel and exchanged a few glances at Ruby, who grinned. Normally Emma welcomed uncomfortable quiet over uncomfortable conversation, but Mrs. B was quite insistent that Emma should get to know this girl, so…

“Can you tell me your real name?”

Ruby shook her head. “Top secret.”

“Oh. Sorry. I’m new to all this spy stuff, so—”

Ruby covered her mouth as she laughed. “Only kidding. Messing with you. My real name is Miyuki.”

“Miyuki?”

“Mi-yu-ki. Yes, it’s Japanese for awesome girl from Okinawa.” She laughed again. “What is your name, Black Opal?”

“Emma.”

“What does Emma mean in English?”

“I have no idea.” Emma thought about it. “It’s English for normal girl who loves books and puppies, I guess. I’m boring.”

“You forgot to add pulls hair like a mother-trucker.” Miyuki laughed again. Her laugh was so rich and genuine. Something a person could get addicted to.

Miyuki talked all the way from Vallejo, through Berkeley, and over the bridge to San Francisco. She told Emma about the Gems and how they moved here from London, where they were stationed previously. About how much she looked forward to seeing America. About how Emma’s habit of not looking before changing lanes was a tad dangerous.

“I know. I keep forgetting there might be a car over there.” Emma checked her side mirror as they reached the end of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Miyuki’s eyes lit up like a little girl. “So beautiful. San Francisco is so beautiful.”

Emma focused on the traffic, which could get tricky heading into the city. Miyuki continued to point out every fascinating thing she saw out the window. There was no desperate need to be loved in Miyuki’s voice. No compromising herself in some attempt to get Emma to like her more. Miyuki said whatever she was thinking at the top of her head, and Emma found it refreshing.

Emma led Miyuki into the San Francisco Centre Mall and the girl’s eyes were dazzled by the five indoor floors of shopping.

 

Author Bio:

Doug Solter lives in Oklahoma where he writes young adult novels full of escapism. He’s also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Doug respects cats, loves the mountains, and one time walked the streets of Barcelona with a smile on his face.

 

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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A Forest of Wolves by @Chelsea_Luna_ #TuesdayBookBlog #YA #bookreview


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Title: A Forest of Wolves (The Uprising #2)

Author: Chelsea Luna

Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance

 

Book Blurb:

Prague, 1610

 

In a few short weeks seventeen-year-old Mila has gone from being Ludmila Novakova, pampered daughter of the High Chancellor of Bohemia, to becoming a traitor escaping the palace at midnight in her wedding nightgown. Her country is in chaos, an army is marching from Austria, and revolution is a breath away.

 

Mila is caught in the middle, between the man she loves—Marc, the son of a blacksmith and a leader of the rebellion—and the murderer the Church calls her husband. Even as she flees with Marc into the heart of the resistance, where the suspicions of angry citizens make her every palace-born habit a danger, she knows he hasn’t told her everything.

 

But Mila is keeping the biggest secret herself: she is the heir to the throne, the daughter of embattled King Rudolf and Princess of Bohemia. The truth will turn the fury of both sides against her, leaving Mila alone to win her country’s freedom—and her own . . .

 

“A realistic historical novel with a fairy-tale feel.” —School Library Journal

 

My Review:

The Rebellion in Bohemia has begun and Mila is on the run with her beloved Marc. He rescued her from the castle and the clutches of her murderous husband (at least in the eyes of the Catholic Church), only to find herself in the midst of poverty and untrusting peasants. It’s a harsh reality for Mila but this is only the beginning.

 

A letter from Ludmila’s mother reveals a shocking secret: she is the sole heir to the throne. She confides in Marc’s brother (Henrick) and he promises to protect her with his life. Her friendship blossoms with Henrick and when Marc confronts her about it, she’s torn. But everything comes crashing down when old enemies threaten everything Mila hold dear (including her life). Who cares about the future when you’re in the fight of your life?

 

While this is darker than Lions in the Garden, I understood why Luna set the tone of the book in bleary shades of grey. It’s a revolution and Mila is at the heart of it. We get to feel her loneliness, isolation and grief. So much death, so much torture, so much blackness.

 

The torture and graphic detail of beatings were a touch excessive for me. I had to skim over those scenes, so be forewarned.

 

Luna did her research and history is bleeding from these pages. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say I was reading an autobiography. The war between Catholics and Protestants was one of the bloodiest in history yet many believers have no idea. I’m telling every Christian to read this book because it’s that important.

 

I loved the tenderness between Mila and the two brothers. There’s an undercurrent that I hope Luna expands on in the next book. Yes, there’s a book three and I can’t wait to read it! I’m hooked on these characters and have to wait patiently for the next installment.

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Lyrical Press (Kensington Books) for giving me a copy in exchange for my honest review.

 

Favorite Quote:

“It was officially hunting season on anyone who considered themselves to be a Protestant. The Crown was no longer doing their evil deeds in private; they were now blatantly displaying their hatred for all to see. We had finally reached a point at which both sides would not, and probably could not, turn back.

 

The audacity of the warning infuriated the men. What did this person do — other than be a Protestant — that would warrant such a cruel death? Who would do such a thing?

 

I could name a few.” -Mila

 

My Rating:  4 stars

 

Buy it now:

Read on Amazon

Read with iBooks for iPad

Read with GooglePlay

Read with Kobo

Buy at Barnes & Noble

Goodreads

 

chelsea luna

 

Author Biography:

Chelsea Luna is the author of the bestselling NEW ENGLAND WITCH CHRONICLES, a young adult paranormal romance series comprising of four novels. Chelsea is also the author of the bestselling LOVE & THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, a young adult horror trilogy.

 

Chelsea received a Juris Doctorate from New York Law School in New York, New York in 2007, and a B.A. in Sociology, with a concentration in Criminal Justice, from the University of Tennessee in 2004. She lives in Tennessee.

 

Social Media Links:

Like Chelsea Luna on Facebook

Follow Chelsea Luna on Twitter

Visit Chelsea Luna’s Website

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

Ascenders: Skypunch (Ascenders #2) by @CLGaber #CoverReveal #YA #Paranormal


Continue reading Ascenders: Skypunch (Ascenders #2) by @CLGaber #CoverReveal #YA #Paranormal