Monday, September 17, 2018

Review of Love Spell by Mia Kerick with Giveaway


Welcome to the blog tour for Love Spell by Mia Kerick. Dive into the mind of Chance Cesar as he navigates the muddy waters of teenage love. I have an excerpt for you to check out, as well as my own reaction to the book. You can follow the tour for even more reviews. Leave a comment or a question for the author and be sure to enter the giveaway for a $10 gift card at the end!

This post contains affiliate links. Should you make a purchase through one, I may earn a small commission to support my websites at no additional cost to you. I also received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.



Love Spell

by Mia Kerick

Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction (LGBTQ)
Re-Release Date: September 2018

Summary:

Having come to terms with being gay, Chance C├ęsar is still uneasy with his gender identity, or, as he phrases it, “being stuck in the gray area between girl and boy.” This concern, however, doesn’t stop him from strutting his fabulous stuff on the catwalk in black patent leather pumps and a snug-in-all-the-right (wrong)-places orange tuxedo as the winner of this year’s Miss (ter) Harvest Moon Festival at the local Beans and Greens Farm’s annual fall celebration, serenaded by the enthusiastic catcalls of his BFF, Emily Benson. Although he refuses to visually fade into the background of his rural New Hampshire town, Chance is socially invisible—except when being tormented or beat up by familiar bullies. But when Chance, the Harvest Moon Festival’s mockingly-elected Pumpkin Pageant Queen, meets Jasper Donahue (Jazz), the legitimate winner of the Pumpkin Carving King contest, sparks fly. Chance wants to be noticed and admired and romantically embraced by Jazz, in all of his neon orange-haired glory.

And so at a sleepover, Chance and Emily conduct intense research on their laptop computers, and come up with an article in an online women’s magazine called “Ten Scientifically Proven Ways to Make a Man Fall in Love with You.” Along with a bonus love spell thrown in for good measure, it becomes the basis of their strategy to capture Jazz’s heart.

Quirky, comical, definitely “sickening” (this is a good thing), and with an inner core of poignancy, Love Spell celebrates the diversity of a gender-fluid teen. 




Read an excerpt:
At the end of the catwalk, I indulge the audience by providing them with their deepest desire. I stand there, still as a scarecrow—for ten seconds, give or take—so they can drink in the sight of me, from spiky glittering head to pointy patent leather toes. I allow them this rare opportunity for freeze-frame viewing pleasure. Whether they admire me for having the balls to strut around ultraconservative Fiske wearing a scandalously snug-in-all-the-wrong-(right)-places orange tuxedo and four-inch black pumps—which I will admit is a public first for me—or they wish the shining harvest moon would fall on my house and crush me while I sleep, what they all really want most is a good long moment to study me.

To twerk or not to twerk, that is the question.

Buy on Amazon!

**My thoughts**
I have read a couple of Mia Kerick's other novels and was excited to have the opportunity to check out this one as an ARC. I always feel like her characters are REAL and can completely envision the situations that they find themselves in. This story was no exception.

I will admit that Chance can be hard to take at times. He is super flamboyant, reminding me of some of my friends back in college. But this is also how he seems to try to have some control over a chaotic life where he is struggling to find his own identity. He doesn't identify as any of the specific categories that the community uses, so it is almost like he lacks definition. But at the same time, he doesn't want to belong to a pre-defined category. He wants to be himself, Chance Cesar. I admire his ability to stand up against the a-holes who relentlessly taunt him, even if it costs him. I hate that this kind of bullying persists in schools, but it's real.

When it comes to love, Chance struggles to find an identity that will help him land the guy of his dreams, Jazz. A traditional male-seeking-male approach doesn't quite work. So he and his best friend Emily turn to those lists that we women are encouraged to follow, thanks to Cosmo and all of those other magazines. Raise your hand if you ever followed one of those rules lists to try to land a man. (And if you didn't raise your hand, I don't believe you were ever a teenager seeking love.) 

As an adult, we know that those lists are a bunch of crap, yet they persist in publications and lovesick people keep trying to follow them. Chance is no different than any of us. So despite his status as a gay male teenager, I think a lot of people can relate to him and his plight. It doesn't help that Jazz is acting like that guy who can't seem to make up his mind about he feels, either. Then again, Jazz has a lot of baggage in his life with a single mom who has to work two jobs and a younger sister, both requiring a lot of his attention. I can totally see why Chance wants to land him.

Emily has her own issues. She is super attached to Chance and will do anything for him. Her penchant for creating her own vocabulary reminds me of the girl in Mean Girls who is always trying to get everyone to say, "fetch." It's likely not going to catch on, but you may find yourself dropping a word or two in your own daily conversation. The two of them have a beautiful friendship and really do need each other. I'd almost like to see a spin-off story in Emily's world to see how she can cope with life and for her to explore her own low self-esteem issues and dreams of Julliard. 

They go through a ridiculous array of rituals and schemes to try to make Jazz fall in love with Chance. The first-person narrative really takes you deep inside Chance's head and helps you really feel what he is feeling, and then some. You'll laugh, cry, wince, and be embarrassed all along the way as these teens try to navigate young love with some extra obstacles placed in their way. So I say take a chance (ba-dum-dum) on this book and others in Mia Kerick's library. It reads well and fast and really does seem to give some insight into the mind of one of today's teenagers.



About Mia Kerick


Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—a daughter in law school, another a professional dancer, a third studying at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son off to Syracuse. She writes LGBTQ romance when not editing National Honor Society essays, offering opinions on college and law school applications, helping to create dance bios, and reviewing English papers. Her husband of twenty-four years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about this, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on emotional growth in turbulent relationships. As she has a great affinity for the tortured hero, there is, at minimum, one in each book. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of said tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to her wonderful publishers for providing alternate places to stash her stories.

Her books have won a Best YA Lesbian Rainbow Award, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, an Indie Fab Award, and a Royal Dragonfly First Place Award for Cultural Diversity, a Story Monsters Purple Dragonfly First Place Award for YA Fiction, among others.

Mia is a Progressive, a little bit too obsessed by politics, and cheers for each and every victory in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

Contact Mia at miakerick@gmail.com. Visit her at www.miakerickYA.com for updates on what is going on in Mia’s world, rants, music, parties, and pictures, and maybe even a little bit of inspiration.

Author Links:




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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Seventh Born by Monica Sanz with Giveaway


Welcome to the blog tour for Seventh Born by Monica Sanz! I have a couple of teasers for you today to whet your appetite for grabbing your own copy today. Be sure to follow the tour for even more peeks into the book and Monica's life. And of course enter the giveaway at the end!


Seventh Born

Genre: YA Paranormal/Mystery & Suspense
Release Date: September 4th 2018
Entangled Teen


Summary:

Abomination. Curse. Murderer. All names hurled at eighteen-year-old Seraphina Dovetail. As the seventh-born daughter to a witch, she’s the cause of her mother losing her powers and, in turn, her life.

Abandoned as a child, Sera dreams of becoming an inspector and finding her family. To do that, she must be referred into the Advanced Studies Program at the Aetherium’s Witchling Academy. Her birth order, quick temper, and tendency to set things on fire, however, have left her an outcast with failing marks…and just what Professor Nikolai Barrington is looking for.

The tall, brooding, yet exceedingly handsome young professor makes her a proposition: become his assistant and he’ll give her the referral she needs. Sera is quickly thrust into a world where witches are being kidnapped, bodies are raised from the dead, and someone is burning seventhborns alive. As Sera and Barrington grow ever closer, she’ll discover that some secrets are best left buried…and fire isn’t the only thing that makes a witch burn.




Available from Entangled Publishing

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About Monica Sanz


Monica Sanz has been writing from the moment she could string together a sentence. Her stories have come a long way from mysterious portals opening in the school cafeteria, transporting classmates to distant worlds. A classic by the name Wuthering Heights is responsible for that. She's been lost to dark romances and brooding fictional men ever sense. Now she writes about grumpy professors, cursed ringmaster, tortured soul collectors, and the girls they fall in love with. Monica’s books have received many accolades on the social writing website Wattpad. She’s accumulated over six million reads, eighty thousand votes, and fifteen thousand comments since posting her books on the website. She is also a member of the Wattpad4, a group of writers who host weekly Twitter chats on the subjects of writing and publishing.

Author Links:

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Monday, September 3, 2018

Read an excerpt from Keeper of the Bees by Meg Kassel with Giveaway


Welcome to the blog tour for Keeper of the Bees by Meg Kassel. I have an excerpt for you to read today of this young adult paranormal book, that looks like none other I have ever seen. Please enjoy it and then follow the tour for even more excerpts, reviews, and more. Be sure to enter the giveaway at the end!





Keeper of the Bees

by Meg Kassel
Genre: YA Paranormal
Release Date: September 4th 2018
Entangled Teen

Summary:

“Beauty and the beast like you’ve never imagined!” —New York Times bestselling author Pintip Dunn

KEEPER OF THE BEES is a tale of two teens who are both beautiful and beastly, and whose pasts are entangled in surprising and heartbreaking ways.


Dresden is cursed. His chest houses a hive of bees that he can’t stop from stinging people with psychosis-inducing venom. His face is a shifting montage of all the people who have died because of those stings. And he has been this way for centuries—since he was eighteen and magic flowed through his homeland, corrupting its people.

He follows harbingers of death, so at least his curse only affects those about to die anyway. But when he arrives in a Midwest town marked for death, he encounters Essie, a seventeen-year-old girl who suffers from debilitating delusions and hallucinations. His bees want to sting her on sight. But Essie doesn’t see a monster when she looks at Dresden.

Essie is fascinated and delighted by his changing features. Risking his own life, he holds back his bees and spares her. What starts out as a simple act of mercy ends up unraveling Dresden’s solitary life and Essie’s tormented one. Their impossible romance might even be powerful enough to unravel a centuries-old curse.







Read an excerpt:
“Will I see you again, Dresden?” 
My throat goes dry and raw and aching. “Do you want to?” 
However she answers will be excruciating. There will be no recovering from this encounter. From the memory of her touch and her wide, trusting eyes. Good gods, from her embrace. 
She nods. 
I am doomed. “I’ll find you later. I’ll…” What? Knock on her door and ask her aunt if I can invite her to the movies? Not in this universe. “I will see you again, Essie. I’m not sure when.” 
“I’ll look for you,” she says, finally releasing her hold on my T-shirt. “Be careful.” And she’s gone, disappearing into the woods, back toward the trail.


About Meg Kassel


Meg Kassel is an author of fantasy and speculative books for young adults. A graduate of Parson's School of Design, she’s been creating stories, whether with visuals or words, since childhood. Meg is a New Jersey native who lives in a log house in the Maine woods with her husband and daughter. As a fan of ’80s cartoons, Netflix series, and ancient mythology, she has always been fascinated and inspired by the fantastic, the creepy, and the futuristic. She is the 2016 RWA Golden Heart® winner in YA and a double 2018 RITA® finalist for her debut novel, Black Bird of the Gallows.


Website: http://megkassel.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/megkassel

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

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8353652.Meg_Kassel

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Meg-Kassel/e/B0756Q8N2L/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1524085261&sr=1-1




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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Read an excerpt from Butterfly Blood by Rebecca Carpenter


Welcome to the blog tour for Butterfly Blood by Rebecca Carpenter! This is the second book in the Metamorphosis Series. Check out an excerpt as well as a peek into the first book in the series.

Please note that affiliate links are present within this post. Should you make a purchase through one, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.



Butterfly Blood (Metamorphosis #2)

by Rebecca L. Carpenter

Genre: YA Sci-fi
Release Date: August 2018
Lakewater Press

Summary:

A sixteen-year-old girl who cheated death continues her fight for survival as she goes up against real-life monsters, desperate for her unique blood, while risking everything to reunite with the love of her life, who is battling his own soul-sucking demons.



Read an excerpt:
Darkness consumes him.
Choking.
Suffocating.
His lungs burn as if they’ve been lit on fire.
He reaches out for something.
Anything.
But nothing is familiar.
The smells.
The sounds.
The voices.
And he can’t feel anything.
Except numbness.
Someone speaks.
But it’s a foreign language.
Foreign and muffled.
Light enters his brain, blinding and as painful as staring into the sun.
The brightness grows, with it the sharpness of a thousand needles.
He wants to scream.
He opens his mouth to scream.
But only a weak cry slips over his parched lips.
So dry.
So dry.
The light retracts.
Darkness slithers toward him, coiling up his leg …
Moving ever so slowly until it reaches his mouth and slips inside.
And all he wants to do is drink it up.
So thirsty.
So thirsty.



Butterfly Bones


HER BONES. HER FUTURE. HER SACRIFICE.

“I wish I was a normal fifteen-year-old. I have dreams that I am.”

Fifteen-year-old Bethany Keatley’s life is anything but perfect. Yet despite a rare bone disorder cursing her with the body of a ten year old, a dead mom, and being a target for the school bullies, things could be worse.

She owes her life to her scientist father and the butterfly hormone racing through her blood.

But the discovery of unexpected and horrifying side effects means her dreams of leaving the small-minded town of Springs, Georgia to become a scientist have all but shattered.

Her world becomes a prison and her existence a life sentence.

The only thing keeping Bethany fighting is her true love, football star Jeremiah Wright—if only he felt the same way. And now, with the clock ticking and her future uncertain, courage and the determination to survive must drive her decisions.

But nature has other plans, a sacrifice for Bethany's life.

In this award-winning incredible debut, Rebecca Carpenter brings to life the “haunting and twisted story” of one girl and an ending that will blow your mind.






About Rebecca Carpenter


Rebecca Carpenter is a native of western Colorado. She is married with two grown children and has been blessed with four amazing grandchildren. She owns and directs a large childcare center where she shares her love for books. In her spare time, she freelances as a copy editor, helping others attain their writing dreams. She finds solace and clarity while spending time with her husband exploring the beautiful mountains of Colorado.



Author Links:

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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Meet Shannon and Hades from Project Prometheus by Aden Polydoros


Welcome to the blog tour for Project Prometheus by Aden Polydoros! As you follow along the blog tour, you're going to find all kinds of treats along the way, such as the character interview below, excerpts, reviews, and more. Be sure to check out the giveaway at the end!

Meet Shannon and Hades:

Shannon: I can't believe I'm doing this. Of all people, I think the last one anyone wants to hear about is...you.

Hades: You don't mean that. I thought you love the sound of my voice.

Shannon: More like the opposite. Let's just get this over with. First question: if you could go anywhere, where would you go?

Hades:
Honestly? The Academy. The only thing I care about right now is getting to the Project overseers, and the only way that's going to happen is if we go back to the source.

Shannon: This went dark fast. What kind of music do you like?

Hades: I don't like music. If I'm driving, I'll roll down the windows and listen to the noises outside. Otherwise, I just want silence. Music makes me feel like I'm in a movie, like I'm...like I'm not the one in control.

Shannon:
Well, brainwashing will do that to you. Next question: What's your favorite animal?

Hades: Dogs. They're loyal and they listen to you.

Shannon: Weird. I always figured you'd be a cat person. Do you ever want to have a, you know, real name.

Hades: You don't like Hades?

Shannon: Don't avoid the question.

Hades: I don't care about names. Before I was Hades, I was A-02, and that was enough. If I go back to any name, it will be Two.




Project Prometheus (Assassin Fall #2)

by Aden Polydoros

Genre: YA Thriller
Release Date: August 28th 2018
Entangled Teen

Summary:

The Academy stole everything from Hades, their perfect assassin. Angry and leaving bodies in his wake, he finds two other ex-assassins doing the exact same thing.

Tyler and Shannon once killed for The Academy. Now they’re tracking and hunting down its scientists. So why is The Academy only after Hades?

Shannon will do whatever it takes to protect Tyler, even if it means teaming up with a former rival. While she seeks answers to her past, Tyler wants to learn the truth about the mysterious white room, which no one has ever seen except him.

As for Hades? He simply wants revenge.

They all need answers, even if it means returning to the organization where it all started.






Book One:
Project Pandora (Assassin Fall #1) by Aden Polydoros

Release Date: August 1st 2017

Summary:

Tyler Bennett trusts no one. Just another foster kid bounced from home to home, he’s learned that lesson the hard way. Cue world’s tiniest violin. But when strange things start happening—waking up with bloody knuckles and no memory of the night before or the burner phone he can’t let out of his sight— Tyler starts to wonder if he can even trust himself.

Even stranger, the girl he’s falling for has a burner phone just like his. Finding out what’s really happening only leads to more questions…questions that could get them both killed. It’s not like someone’s kidnapping teens lost in the system and brainwashing them to be assassins or anything, right? And what happens to rogue assets who defy control?

In a race against the clock, they’ll have to uncover the truth behind Project Pandora and take it down—before they’re reactivated. Good thing the program spent millions training them to kick ass...



About Aden Polydoros


Aden Polydoros grew up in Long Grove, Illinois, and now lives in Arizona. He is a writer of young adult fiction. When he isn’t writing, he enjoys reading and going on hikes in the mountains. Aden Polydoros is a 2015 Gold Medalist in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and has published two short stories in Best Arizona Teen Writing of 2015. PROJECT PANDORA (Entangled, 2017) is his debut novel.

Author Links:

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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Read an excerpt from Queen of Iron and Blood by Melissa Wright with Giveaway

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Welcome to the blog tour for Queen of Iron and Blood by Melissa Wright. Today I have an excerpt for you to enjoy before you download your own copy. Please enjoy and then remember to enter the giveaway for a great prize pack at the end!

Please note that affiliate links are present within this post. Should you make a purchase through one, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.


Queen of Iron and Blood
(Shattered Realms #2)
By Melissa Wright
YA, NA Urban Fantasy, SciFi
ebook, 148 Pages
August 20th 2018

The storm was only the beginning…

Mackenzie Scott is trapped in another realm, but that’s the least of her problems. Magic runs through her veins, and even now she can feel herself changing. She’s managed to help her brother, but in exchange, she’s turning into one of them. Worse, Mackenzie’s not just a monster. She’s their queen.

Hunter had one job: open the gateway between worlds to keep his realm alive. He hadn’t counted on betrayal. He hadn’t counted on being saved by a human girl. And he’d never guessed he couldn’t trust his own king. Now he’s trapped in a world to which he can never truly belong.

Separated by realms, Mackenzie and Hunter must save the other’s world. But the divide isn’t the only thing working against them. Beasts and men fight a dangerous battle that pits Hunter and Mackenzie against those they’re trying to protect.

And the clock is ticking.


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Read an excerpt:
Weeks after the original invasion, after the Breach and all that followed, Hannah had been in one of the trucks sent to ground zero. She had known the other soldiers for only a matter of days, but they were not easy days. She and a seventeen-year-old redhead named Riley had become close. She’d relied on him, she realized later, in a way she’d never meant to. And when Riley had told her what happened, when it had turned out he needed her, Hannah could not keep herself from promising she would help. She didn’t think she regretted it, but it was hard to be sure. 
She’d followed Riley across the storm-beaten land, home after home destroyed to the point they were no more than lumber strewn over pads of concrete, and into the one house that had weathered the Breach. It stood, albeit marked by the event and missing half a roof over the upstairs bedrooms, and they’d walked in to search for Riley’s sister Mackenzie. They’d found her. With a creature. 
Hunter, she’d called him, as if he were merely a man. And he did look more like a man than a beast—he’d no wings or horns like the others who had attacked. He’d been dressed in jeans and tee shirt, not capes and furs and war paint. But Hannah had seen the marks glowing through his skin. She’d felt the energy radiating from him. 
Hannah had shot him.


Other Books in the Series

King of Ash and Bone
(Shattered Realms #1)
By Melissa Wright
YA, NA Urban Fantasy, SciFi
Paperback & ebook, 216 Pages
February 2nd 2015

When flying monsters break through the veil into her world, Mackenzie Scott has nothing left to lose. Her brother has been taken, her future has vanished, and all that remains is a desperate need for revenge. After discovering the breach the creatures used as a gateway, Mackenzie devises a plan to stop them, whatever the cost.

When she finds an injured stranger in the street, he just might be the key she needs to succeed. What Mackenzie doesn't know is that this stranger isn't the helpless boy he appears to be. He's one of the monsters. And he's got plans of his own.

Thrown into a dying city in another realm, Mackenzie is powerless to get back. With the gateway closing, time is not on her side. But the stranger is, and if they can escape execution, this girl and her monster might be able to save both their worlds.


Grab an ebook of the first book in the series for FREE!
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About the Author

Melissa Wright is the author of the Frey Saga, Descendants Series, and Shattered Realms Series. She is currently working on the next book, but when not writing can be found collecting the things she loves at Goodreads and Pinterest. Contact her through the web at www.melissa-wright.com.

Tour Schedule

August 20th:
It's All About the Romance
SilverWoodSketches
An Indie Adventure
Mythical Books
August 21st:
Declarations of a Fangirl
My Life, Loves and Passion
Letters from Annie (Douglass) Lima
August 22nd:
Andi's Young Adult Books
Wishful Endings
Angel's Guilty Pleasures
August 23rd:
Reading On The Edge
Getting Your Read On
Colorimetry
August 24th:
Stacking My Book Shelves!
Nicole's Book Musings
August 25th:
Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway


1 winner will receive an awesome prize pack with "survival" gear: print copies of The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, Angelfall by Susan Ee, and King of Ash and Bone by Melissa Wright, plus Be Your Own Hero bracelet, lip balm, compass, playing cards, emergency blanket, and other fun stuff 
US only
Ends August 29th

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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Life in the Atmosphere by Anthony Wilson



Welcome to the blog tour for Life in the Atmosphere by Anthony Wilson. Check out this YA urban fantasy and then be sure to download your own copy!

Please note that affiliate links are present within this post. Should you make a purchase through one, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.


Life in the Atmosphere

by Anthony Wilson

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Release Date: January 19th 2018

Summary from Goodreads:

Jahlil Adams is just a regular teenager. In fact, you could say that he is “super regular” with his glasses, comic books, and cheap fashion sense. He doesn’t want popularity. He doesn’t want a pretty girlfriend. He wants to just be who he is. Well that and not to be bullied by Max Maniac.

Yet, everything changes once Mr. Malachi gave Jahlil a necklace that he didn’t even want.

After that, everything was not the same. In fact, Jahlil began to realize that there was much more to who he was. There was much more to who Mr. Malachi was. There was much more to his existence. The lid of limitations was lifted from Jahlil’s life.

Now, all that mattered was the limitations that the sky had to offer.






Author Links:



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