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


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.

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**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 Visit her at 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 11, 2018

Read an excerpt from Wolf of the Tesseract by Christopher Schmitz

Welcome to the blog tour for Wolf of the Tesseract by Christopher Schmitz! I have an excerpt to help entice you to download your own copy today. Then please follow the rest of the tour for interviews, reviews, and more!

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

Wolf of the Tesseract (Wolves of the Tesseract #1)

Release Date: July 2016
Black Rose Writing


In a world underneath our own reality, magic & science are two sides of the same coin. After merging with her copy from an alternate reality, college student Claire Jones is thrust into a setting beyond imagine and must fight alongside Zabe, an inter-dimensional guardian. Together they must stop an evil warlock from shattering the laws of existence who, above all else, seeks Claire's blood as the key to controlling the all-powerful Tesseract.

As they flee his wrath, Claire must decide what her romantic feelings for her protector mean... apocalypse-bringing sorcerers aside, Claire's mission is to rescue the woman Zabe loves... even if Claire has likewise fallen for the selfless soldier.

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Read an excerpt:
“What am I looking at,” Jackie asked.
Claire took her phone back. “It was the original listing for the property, complete with blueprints, floor plans, photos, you name it. Whoever this Heptobscurantum Group is, they bought the agency, the content, everything, and shut it all down. The records are even unavailable through other channels like public works.” She tapped through a few screens on her device and turned it back to Jackie. “But not before I got this screenshot.”
Jackie cradled the LCD screen and stared at the picture. Clearly, the room had only one door. She handed the phone back. “What does this mean?”
Vivian started walking back. With her almost in range, Claire muttered under her breath, “It means someone is lying to me, and I don’t know who else I can trust anymore.”
Instantly changing her demeanor like a chameleon, Vivian switched from a dour expression to her happy sister-in-law face she’d been wearing since the fiery incident. “I like this spot for the reception,” she gushed. “Lots of natural light and plenty of space for guests. Plus there’s a nearby pavilion for the band to set up in.”
The three ladies simultaneously turned to look at the covered pavilion. A skinny man wearing a hood pulled low over his face sat at one of its shaded picnic tables. Something about him unnerved all three of them.
“He looks more like a washed-up hip hop artist than a band member,” Jackie tried to defuse her nerves with humor.
“Yeah,” said Vivian. “Let’s go check out the other side of the park. Maybe see how far we are from the guests’ parking.”
They moved as a small unit. Claire looked back to the pavilion and spotted the mysterious man. He followed them from a distance, walking intentionally, urgently, as he pursued. All three picked up the pace, speeding to a brisk walk.
Continuing to shoot furtive glances backwards, they barely noticed the other man in the ratty, thrift store poncho. He leaned suspiciously against the concrete block restroom building along the walking path. They rushed past him, almost jogging now, while he ducked around the corner, keeping hidden from the trail. 
The skinny hood broke out into a sprint. Jackie squealed and the girls tried to accelerate.
From around the corner of the utility building the second man launched out and tackled the skinny one, dropping him with a shoulder spear. The cowl of his poncho flung back to reveal Rob’s face.
“Run, Claire!” He urged her forward while the lithe stalker grappled him.
None of the girls moved. They stood riveted by the brawl.
The skinny one kicked free from Rob. He pulled his arms back and stiffened, contorted them before clapping his hands together. Flames sprang to life between his palms and he shot a column of fire at the girls’ protector, blasting Rob across the lawn and knocking him over a grassy berm.
Turning back to the girls, the fire in his eyes burned as intensely as the flames flickering between his tightly balled fists. For a moment, his eyes shimmered animalisticaly, like a reptilian blink.
A roar snarled from the other side of the lush knoll where Rob had been thrown. The air seemed to crackle, like the oxygen vibrated at a molecular level under the stress of so much supernatural power colliding in such close proximity.
Streaking across the green like an arrow, the massive lupine charged the slender man who had fixed his evil gaze upon the girls. Seizing him by the torso, he suplexed the fire wielder caught in his massive paw, smashing him into the concrete of the walking path, shattering the cement tiles below. The beast stuck his snout down into his prey’s face and bellowed a warning. His hot breath blew his victim’s hair backwards, flecking him with spittle.
Claire could barely see the skinny one’s face, but she could swear that the cheek where he’d been hit was covered with scales; his pale, pasty makeup had been scraped away by the werewolf’s fist. She cringed as  the thin man screamed back at the werewolf’s face, spewing a wave of caustic heat.
The wolf snarled, his face singed, and he flung the man the entire distance back to the pavilion. Skinny heat-miser crashed into the wooden structure and it collapsed upon him while the beast turned his face to the girls. He bellowed again and launched into a sprint towards their position.
Vivian drew a semi-automatic handgun and began firing rounds into the lycanthrope. Claire watched in horror as the beast closed the gap; Vivian practiced her marksmanship with cold, hard precision. Claire spotted something in the monster’s eyes and she instantly knew that he was Rob—not a doubt remained in her—but his eyes contracted with terror, and not from the hollow point rounds which barely seemed to phase the beast. A split second later, Claire was yanked off her feet from behind!
Claire could barely hear her own screams over the ringing gunshots and the sounds of the other fleeing park-goers. Tipped sideways, before she could spot her attackers, she saw the rubble of the pavilion explode in flames and the skinny man walking from the pyre.
Rob, the wolf, peeled off in another direction, crashing through the brush nearby. Vivian leaned into a shooters stance and squinted down her sights, firing hot lead at the fleeing lycan.
Jackie shrieked, pointing to the approaching pyromancer.
Vivian paid him no mind, but pushed Jackie back. “We’ve got to go!”
“But where’s Claire?” She turned and spotted two burly, well dressed men in the distance. One had Claire under an arm, barely containing her as she fought and writhed to escape. The other held a pump action shotgun in his grasp. He looked ready for anything; walking backwards, he provided cover for his occupied partner.
“They’ve got her!” Jackie insisted.
“Yeah. I see them.” She paid them little attention, instead focused on retreating to the car. In a rare display of bravery, Jackie broke with Vivian and rushed towards her friend.
Rob burst out of the underbrush nearby. He leapt over the first blast of shotgun fire and pounced towards the backpedaling mercenary. He ducked under a second blast that tore through the space above his head. The acrid, sulfuric smell of gunfire hung in the air; Rob leapt past his enemy, dragging his razor-sharp claws across the man’s midsection as he pursued Claire’s handler. They’d almost made it to the white cargo van that waited for them in the parking lot with doors open.
Claire screamed for help just as Rob caught her kidnapper and dashed him to the ground with a sickening thud. He gingerly lifted Claire to her feet, even as he shielded her from the small arms fire: Vivian continued to approach with extreme prejudice.
Jackie shrieked as she almost reached her friend, but both were thrust to the ground under the shockwave from a nearby explosion. The white van detonated with a colossal fireball, throwing flame and broken glass everywhere.
Rob turned and growled. Vivian stood only fifty yards in the distance, another fifty beyond was the skinny pyro fiend. He dashed forward as Jackie helped her friend to her feet. They fled to the parking lot, watching over their shoulders.
The werewolf slugged Vivian as he sped by. The force of the blow tossed her twenty feet away where she crumpled like a ragdoll. Jackie was in shock and barely managed to find her car keys while tracking the battle just beyond the lot.
As she watched their lupine savior fall upon the fire wielding maniac she tore out of the parking lot, spraying gravel behind her as she turned the corner faster than common sense dictated. Both girls hyperventilated uncontrollably; tears streamed down their faces as they hit the freeway. Neither had any plan beyond simply drawing their next breath.

Purchase Links: Book 1Book 2

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Read an interview with Christopher Schmitz here.

About Christopher D. Schmitz

Christopher D. Schmitz is the traditionally published and self-published author of both fiction and nonfiction. When he is not writing or working with teenagers he might be found at comic conventions as a panelist or guest. He has been featured on cable access television broadcasts, metro area podcasts, and runs a blog for indie authors.

Always interested in stories, media such as comic books, movies, '80s cartoons, and books called to him at a young age—especially sci-fi and fantasy. He lives in rural Minnesota with his family where he drinks unsafe amounts of coffee. The caffeine shakes keeps the cold from killing them. His entire family is musically gifted, although he is, sadly, their only bagpiper.

Education: Schmitz also holds a Master’s Degree in Religion and freelances for local newspapers. He is available for speaking engagements, interviews, etc. via the contact form and links on his website or via social media.

Author Links:

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


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

Add to Goodreads

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

Author Indie Gantz's Top 10 Fictional Characters

Welcome to the blog tour for Passage by Indie Gantz. Today she is sharing her top ten fictional characters, as well as sharing about her new book. Be sure to follow the tour for reviews, excerpts, and more!


My Top Ten Fictional Characters

10.) Ender Wiggins, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

9.) Neville Longbottom, Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling

8.) Arya Stark, Song of Ice and Fire by JRR Martin

7.) Jane Eyre, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

6.) Lord Henry Wotton, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

5.) Hermione Granger, Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling

4.) Sherlock Holmes, Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

3. )Lisbeth Salander, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Steig Larsson

2.) Jack Torrance, The Shining by Stephen King

1.) Jo March, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott


Passage (The Akasha Series #1)

by Indie Gantz

Genre: YA Scifi Fantasy
Release Date: March 2018


Uncover a Lifetime of Lies in this Fantasy Adventure!

On day one, Charlie Damuzi and her mute twin brother Tirigan are blissfully unaware of the dangerous world they live in. They may be aliens living on Earth after the extinction of humans, but to Charlie, life is pretty mundane.

On day two, the Damuzi family is ripped apart by a family secret that forces the twins to flee the only home they’ve ever known.

Determined to find a way to reunite their family, Charlie and Tirigan travel to uncharted territory in search of their salvation.

But that’s just Charlie’s side of the story.

In the future, forty days from when we first meet the Damuzi twins, Tirigan is on the move. His destination is unknown, as are the people he’s surrounded himself with, but his mission is still the same. Keep his sister safe and reunite their family.

However, as Tirigan attempts to navigate the complex bonds he’s formed with his companions, he’s forced to confront the one thing in life he has yet to fully understand.


Family. Deception. Power. Destruction.

It all begins on day one.

Purchase links

If you’ve recently finished Passage, the first book in The Akasha Series, chances are you’re desperate to start the second book! Picking up right where Passage left off, Kindred: Book II of The Akasha Series will see Charlie and Tirigan’s timelines merge. By the end of the second book, a burning mystery will be solved and more than one relationship begins to unravel.

Friendship. Trust. Dependency. Lies.

The Damuzi Twin’s Story Continues

About Indie Gantz

Indie Gantz grew up in Northern Virginia and received her Psychology degree at George Mason University. Despite her passion and curiosity for the human mind, Indie left her chosen field of study to finally give voice to the many imagined minds she has created.

Indie lives with her family in North Carolina. She spends her days drinking tea and clacking keys.

Author Links:

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


“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.







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