Friday, July 31, 2015

Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman - Ashley's Pre-Reading

*I received this book as an eARC from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group / HMH Books for Young Readers on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: Vengeance Road
Author: Erin Bowman
Publication Date: September 1, 2015

Synopsis: When Kate Thompson’s father is killed by the notorious Rose Riders for a mysterious journal that reveals the secret location of a gold mine, the eighteen-year-old disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers and justice. What she finds are devious strangers, dust storms, and a pair of brothers who refuse to quit riding in her shadow. But as Kate gets closer to the secrets about her family, she gets closer to the truth about herself and must decide if there's room for love in a heart so full of hate.


In the spirit of True Grit, the cutthroat days of the Wild West come to life for a new generation.

Why?: I've heard really good things about this book, so I knew I wanted to read it ASAP! Plus, throw in the Wild West and I'm hooked! Basically everything about this book just sounds fantastic, and I'm so excited to have it in my greedy little hands.


Expectations: I have really high expectations for this book. Between the synopsis and the crazy amounts of press it's been getting, I think Vengeance Road has the potential to be an incredible book. I just hope that my expectations aren't too high, because that's pretty much the worst. 


Judging a book by its cover: I really like this cover! I love the colors, and I love how it definitely has a wild west feel without being too cheesy. I love all of the little details too, and I can't wait to find out their significance. One of my favorite things about this cover though is how unique it is - I'm glad there's no people on the cover. I would be pretty likely to pick this up based on the cover alone, and I'd love to have it on my shelf! 



--Ashley

M9B FRIDAY REVEAL: Strange Country Day by Charles Curtis - Author Spotlight + GIVEAWAY!

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Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are spotlighting

Charles Curtis

author of

Strange Country Days

a Middle Grade title from Tantrum Books, coming August 2015!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!


Charles Curtis


Twitter or Facebook?
I use both, but I'm plugged into Twitter every day for eight hours (I swear, it's for my job as a sportswriter! - http://connect.nj.com/staff/CharlesCurtis/posts.html).


Favorite Superhero?

I was hooked on Wolverine as a kid. Who doesn't love a sarcastic hero with a murky origin tale, claws and all the best one-liners?


Favorite TV show?

Current: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. All-Time: Seinfeld. Guilty Pleasure: Food Network Star


Sweet or Salty?

I will eat something sweet like a peanut butter cup and follow it up with a salty snack. It's a yin/yang thing I started doing as a teenager.


Coke or Pepsi?

Coke and it's not even close.


Any Phobias?

Three words: Big hairy spiders.


Song you can’t get enough of right now?

I just discovered an artist named Jacob Collier who does these incredible, mostly a cappella arrangements of songs and I'm hooked on his take on the jazz standard "Fascinating Rhythm." Amazing! [link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K28H04Y2IdE]


What are you reading right now or what's on your TBR?

I just started "The Maze Runner" and plan on reading Andy Weir's "The Martian" next.


Fall Movie you’re most looking forward to?

I've watched the Star Wars trailers about 80 times each and geek out. Every. Single. Time.



Charles Curtis is a writer and journalist based in New York City. He has reported and written for publications including NJ.com (where he is currently the site’s sports buzz reporter), The Daily, ESPN.com, ESPN the Magazine, Bleacher Report, TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly. Charles has covered the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, golf, tennis and NASCAR. He has also written about television, film and pop culture.
In addition, Curtis has also written, produced and was featured in videos for ESPN.com and The Daily. He has made radio appearances on stations including 92.9 The Ticket in Bangor, Maine, WLIE 540 AM in Long Island and on morning shows across Canada via the CBC.
He can be reached on Twitter: @charlescurtis82.


Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Strange-Country-Day-Cover



Alexander Graham Ptuiac, the son of an inventor, wants to play for the school’s football team. During tryouts, and under the watchful eye of the team’s coach, he suddenly manifests mysterious superhuman powers. Alexander makes the team, but not before the some ill-intended adults take notice, putting his life in danger.

Alex struggles to suppress and control his strange new abilities, worried about exposing his secret and being kicked off the football team. Then he befriends Dex, a diminutive classmate who can somehow jump as high as ten feet in the air. Seems Alex isn’t the only one at school with a secret.

As the school year unfolds, Alex will find himself the target of bullies, holding hands with his first crush and discovering the shocking truth about himself and his parents.

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Engage (Ignite #2.5) by Erica Crouch - Ashley's Review

*I received this book as an eARC from Patchwork Press on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Amazon | Goodreads | Series Bundle | Barnes & Noble

Title: Engage (Ignite #2.5)
Author: Erica Crouch
Publication Date: May 5, 2015

My Reviews:  Ignite (#1)Entice (#1.5)Incite (#2)Infinite (#3)

Synopsis: Kalaziel is a terrible guardian angel: her temper’s shorter than she is, she swears, she’s missing a wing, and she sees no problem with letting man make their own choices—no matter how questionable. That’s what free will is all about, right? Her overseers disagree. 

After she mishandles an assignment, Heaven strips Kala of her title and throws her back into training, hoping to reinforce the covenant of vows she swore to uphold as a guardian. But the angels’ motives aren’t as pure as they appear: they want to eradicate any opinions that conflict with Heaven’s code. 

With a mass cleansing on the horizon, Kala discovers she is not alone in her insubordination; there are other angels who are restless with the stasis of Heaven and ready for change. Progress doesn’t come easily, though, especially when it means uniting ancient enemies to fight for a common cause. 

Engage is a novella that prequels Kala and Ana’s story in Incite


--------------------------------------------------


Review: I love this series, and I love Kala, so I was so excited to find out the second novella would be about Kala and Ana's relationship before we meet them in Incite! I'm a sucker for backstories, and this one did not disappoint. Well, maybe a little bit - I do wish it had been longer because I could totally read a full-length novel about Kala! 

Kala is stubborn, brash, and willing to break the strict rules as long as she believes her way is the right way. It was fun to watch her as a guardian angel, especially since we learn why she ends up back in training. I honestly agreed with Kala's actions, but obviously the angels in charge didn't. But this incident leads to Kala meeting Ana, which is pretty much perfect.

Ana and Kala might be my favorite couple in this series, and how they meet and end up in a relationship is perfect for them. Ana agrees with Kala but can't openly speak her mind, and Kala doesn't really care what anyone else thinks of her. Even though the two angels are opposites, their love story is adorable and watching Kala fall in love with Ana was so sweet. Things do happen quickly, but it makes sense in the context of the book and doesn't feel like instalove. 

As always, Erica's writing is beautiful and had me hooked from the first page. If you've read any of the other books in the Ignite series, you definitely want to read this novella! Kala is one of my favorite characters, and I loved learning more about her and Ana and even seeing what Heaven was like before all of the angels fell and before New Genesis. 5/5!


--Ashley

M9B/Tantrum Books TWO FOR THURSDAY BLITZ: Boneseeker by Brynn Chapman & Endless by Amanda Gray + GIVEAWAY!

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Welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday Book Blitz #T4T
presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books!

Today, we will be showcasing two titles that may tickle your fancy,
and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles!

You just might find your next read!

This week, #T4T presents to you:
Boneseeker by Brynn Chapman and
Endless by Amanda Gray


Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!


Boneseeker
Arabella Holmes was born different and raised different. After it became apparent she wouldn’t fit the role of a proper 1900′s lady, her father, Sherlock, called in some lingering favors, and landed her a position at the Mutter Museum. The museum was Arabella’s dream; she was to become a purveyor of abnormal science. What her father called a BoneSeeker.
Henry Watson arrives at the Mutter Museum with a double assignment–to become a finder of abnormal antiquities and to watch over and keep Arabella Holmes. An easy task, if he could only get her to speak to him instead of throwing knives in his general direction.
But this is no time for child’s play. The two teens are assigned to a most secret exploration, when the hand of a Nephilim is unearthed in upstate New York. Soon, Arabella and Henry are caught in a fight for their lives as scientific debate swirls around them. Are the bones from a Neanderthal … or are they living proof of fallen angels, who supposedly mated with humans according to ancient scrolls?
Sent to recover the skeleton, they discover they are the second team to have been deployed and the entire first team is dead. And now they must trust their instincts and rely on one another in order to survive and uncover the truth.

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WHAT READER’S ARE SAYING:

For the love of all things Sherlock!  I loved this book to bits. I felt like I was seeing old friends.” – Kristie, Lost in Ever After

“Boneseeker is one that fans of historical mysteries and a little bit romance along the way will enjoy.”Jenea, Reviewer

"a fab idea to take Holmes and Watson to the next generation and to have them on a kind of steampunk/ science adventure” – Nicky Peacock, Author


about-the-author
Brynn Chapman
Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, Brynn Chapman is the daughter of two teachers. Her writing reflects her passions: science, history and love—not necessarily in that order. In real life, the geek gene runs strong in her family, as does the Asperger’s syndrome. Her writing reflects her experience as a pediatric therapist and her interactions with society’s downtrodden. In fiction, she’s a strong believer in underdogs and happily-ever-afters. She also writes non-fiction and lectures on the subjects of autism and sensory integration and is a medical contributor to online journal The Age of Autism.

Author Links:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest





Endless
IN A RACE AGAINST TIME, HOW DO YOU KEEP THOSE YOU LOVE SAFE?
Jenny Kramer knows she isn’t normal. After all, not everybody can see the past lives of people around them. When she befriends Ben Daulton, resident new boy, the pair stumbles on an old music box with instructions for “mesmerization” and discover they may have more in common than they thought.

Like a past life.

Using the instructions in the music box, Ben and Jenny share a dream that transports them to Romanov Russia and leads them to believe they have been there together before. But they weren’t alone. Nikolai, the mysterious young man Jenny has been seeing in her own dreams was there, too. When Nikolai appears next door, Jenny is forced to acknowledge that he has traveled through time and space to find her. Doing so means he has defied the laws of time, and the Order, an ominous organization tasked with keeping people in the correct time, is determined to send him back. While Ben, Jenny and Nikolai race against the clock -- and the Order -- the trio discovers a link that joins them in life -- and beyond death.

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WHAT READER’S ARE SAYING:

“I thought this book was pretty amazing – the characters, the setting and the adventure all came together to create this romantic yet ultimately dangerous story with a perfect time travel twist!”Hannah – Lemonade Library

“I started reading this not knowing completely what the story was about but there's an amazing love story as well as a bit of history thrown into the mix along with some time travel and a soul mate and reincarnation!” – Anna – Bound in Ink Books

“This book is a very interesting twist on time travel, history and romance, something I would love to see adapted on the big screen in the future.” Lyn - Reading Tsinoy

about-the-author
Amanda Gray believes in magic and fantasy and possibilities. She is a team of two bestselling authors who live only miles apart but have never met in person. They talk on the phone and are the best of friends and between them have written more than a dozen novels and novellas and have had their work appear on television.

Giveaway
Complete the Rafflecopter for your chance to win!


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COVER REVEAL: House of Grimm by Ashley Dawson


Title: House of Grimm
Author: Ashley Dawson
Publication: 2015
Publisher: Booktrope

Synopsis: After her best friend is the victim of a grisly murder, Dora is dragged unwillingly into a frenzied hunt for answers in this riveting young-adult debut from Ashley Dawson.

The town of Grimsby is home to horrid secrets, including the true identity of the homicidal book writers in the old estate on the hill–the Brothers Grimm. And Dora is only the latest in a long line of their fairy tale characters destined for an untimely end. With the youngest brother taking a liking to her, she must figure out how to rewrite her story with his help, before the eldest brother writes her off for good.



Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Spelled by Betsy Schow - Ashley's Review

*I received this book as an eARC from Sourcebooks FIRE on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Amazon | B&N | BAM | !ndigo | IndieBound | Kindle | Nook | Goodreads
Title: Spelled
Author: Betsy Schow
Publication Date: June 2, 2015

Synopsis: Fairy Tale Survival Rule #32: If you find yourself at the mercy of a wicked witch, sing a romantic ballad and wait for your Prince Charming to save the day.

Yeah, no thanks. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks—like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the brooding prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future.

Talk about unhappily ever after. 

Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving the kingdom in chaos and her parents stuck in some place called "Kansas." Now it's up to Dorthea and her pixed off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse...before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.

---------------------------------------------------------------


Review: I am always up for reading a book that takes classic, popular fairy tales and twists them into something fun and new. Especially when so many fairy tales are combined into one! Betsy Schow takes stories that have absolutely nothing to do with each other, melts them all down, and forges something that's a mix of old and new and left my sides aching from laughing so hard!

Dorthea is not at all your typical fairy tale princess. In fact, she's kind of a brat. A brat with killer shows, bu a brat nonetheless. I understand that she's been trapped in the castle her whole life and her parents keep trying to marry her off, but I did not like her attitude at all when I first started this book. But then, things change. Dorthea (kind of) changes. And her bad attitude and selfishness make for such a hilarious story that I couldn't help but (mostly) forgive her. 

One of my favorite things in this book was all of the "Fairy Tale Survival Rules" sprinkled throughout. They're all things that are so common and overdone in fairy tales, and I loved how Betsy made fun of them and placed them in exactly the right places. It was a lot of fun to try and figure out which fairy tales the rules are referring to, and to see the situations where maybe the rules aren't such a bad idea after all. Especially when Dothea scoffs at them and then gets herself into more trouble because she didn't heed them.

Another really fun part of this book is seeing all of the fairy tales smashed into one book. It's done really well, and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting all of my favorite characters from popular stories, and even a few from more obscure stories. The Wizard of Oz is definitely the main one, and there are the most references from and nods to those books, but we also get too see people from stories like Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, and more. There are also all kinds of magical beasts and creatures and objects, and I'm sure that I missed just as many references as I picked up. 

Overall, this is a really fun book, and I'm so glad that I read it. There are so many books based on fairy tales and fairy tales characters out there right now, and Spelled was a really nice change of pace. I can't remember the last time I laughed so much while reading a book (that I wasn't even really expecting to be that funny!), so that was a really pleasant surprise. I'd totally recommend this book to all of my fairy tale-loving friends! Especially the ones who appreciate a nice pair of heels. 4/5!


--Ashley

Dead Lucky (Lucky Clover Romance Series #2) by RaShelle Workman - Ashley's Review

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Amazon | Goodreads

Title: Dead Lucky (Lucky Clover Romance Series #2)
Author: RaShelle Workman
Publication Date: July 21, 2015

My Review of Not So Lucky (#1)

Synopsis: Lucky Clover Green is goal-oriented, despite her hippy parents. She has plans for her life and knows how to make them happen. There’s even a list to prove it.


1.Graduate from prestigious law school. Check.
2.Find an apartment in New York. Check.
3.Get engaged to the man of her dreams. Check.
4.Become partner at a law firm. Ch—Well, she’s still working on that. First she needs a job.

On impulse, she goes to a club with her roommate and meets the lead singer of the band, Toxic Suspects. His name is Maxwell Legend. He’s hot, gorgeous, and soooooo doesn’t fit into her plans.

And then her fiancé is murdered.

Turns out Lucky might not be so lucky...

----------------------------------------------------------------


Review: Not So Lucky was really fun, so I was looking forward to reading Dead Lucky to learn more about Lucky, her friends, and the crazy situation she finds herself in. This installment gave me all of that, and more!

In Dead Lucky, we learn a little bit more about Max, Birdy, and Edward and their history together. Not quite all of it yet, but enough that now I'm even more curious than I was before! I have so many questions about them, and at this point I definitely feel like I have more questions than answers. I'm ok with that right now though, since this is only book two. But I need the next volume so I can get to know them better! 

It was really fun to get to see Lucky put some of her lawyer and amateur PI skills to use in Dead Lucky. She's really a smart girl, and it's nice to read a romance where the girl isn't dumb and annoying. Lucky is writing her own story and is determined to make sure her friends aren't wrongly convicted of things they didn't do. I did think it was a little frustrating that Lucky is considering giving up on her values and taking a little bit of charity in order to find a job, but we'll see if that actually plays out or not. 

We're introduced to Ares in this book, and I have to admit that I'm not really a huge fan. I mean, sure, he's good looking and intelligent and suave, but he's also arrogant I'm not entirely sure I trust him. I was just getting into the whole Lucky/Max romance, and I don't think introducing Ares into that mix was really necessary. I hope we find out more about him in Lucky in Love, but I'm still firmly a member of Team Max. 

Although I did enjoy Dead Lucky, I also think it was a little slower than Not So Lucky and the characters were a little more frustrating than they had been previously. If you've read Not So Lucky, you'll definitely want to pick up this book though! I'd give it a 3.5/5, but will be anxiously waiting for the next volume to find out what happens next!

--Ashley

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Not So Lucky (Lucky Clover Romance Series #1) by RaShelle Workman - Ashley's Review

*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Amazon | Goodreads

Title: Not So Lucky (Lucky Clover Romance Series #1)
Author: RaShelle Workman
Publication Date: July 7, 2015

Synopsis: Lucky Clover Green is goal-oriented, despite her hippy parents. She has plans for her life and knows how to make them happen. There’s even a list to prove it. 


1. Graduate from prestigious law school. Check. 
2. Find an apartment in New York. Check. 
3. Get engaged to the man of her dreams. Check. 
4. Become partner at a law firm. Ch—Well, she’s still working on that. First she needs a job. 

On impulse, she goes to a club with her roommate and meets the lead singer of the band, Toxic Suspects. His name is Maxwell Legend. He’s hot, gorgeous, and soooooo doesn’t fit into her plans. 

And then her fiancé is murdered. 

Turns out Lucky might not be so lucky... 


-----------------------------------------------------------------------


Review: Contemporary romance books are not usually my thing. I mean, I enjoy a cute little romance every once in a while, but they're not typically something I seek out. I like my romance embedded in an epic fantasy or a crazy sci-fi, where other exciting things are taking place and the romance is secondary. But when I heard about RaShelle's Lucky Clover series, I knew that I just had to read these books. And I'm so glad I did! 

This first installment, Not So Lucky, is a really nice introduction to the characters and their lives. There's no magic or crazy science or supernatural creatures, but there are real people dealing with real world problems. Lucky thinks she has her whole life figured out, and she's so close to checking everything off of her list. But life has this funny way of never working out how you plan, and Lucky gets to learn this lesson all at once. 

I think this book might have given me a little case of schadenfruede, because I was really enjoying reading about all of these ridiculous things happening to Lucky. They're not all bad! But there are some pretty terrible things that happen, especially involving her fiancé and I found that I wanted to keep reading so that I could find out what could possibly go wrong next.

Then there's the new love interest, Maxwell Legend. And sure, he's super attractive and has his own rock band, but he's actually a genuinely nice guy when you get to his core. He cares about his friends and his bandmates, and even about Lucky. I'm really interested to learn more about him and his past, and see if he can live up to his father's ridiculous demands. 

Overall, I think this book was a really nice summer read. I'm definitely looking forward to reading the rest of this series to learn more about the characters and to find out what's going to happen next! If you enjoy fun, contemporary romances with just a little steam and some mystery thrown in for good measure, Not So Lucky is definitely the book for you! 4/5.


--Ashley

PAPERBACK RELEASE BLITZ: The Last Siege of Haven (Undertakers #4) by Ty Drago + GIVEAWAY!

Undertakers-4-blitz-banner


Welcome to the Paperback Release Blitz for
Last Siege of Haven (Undertakers 4) by Ty Drago
presented by Month9Books!

Looking for a great zombie read?
Enter the giveaway at the end of the post for your chance to win!

Undertakers-4-cover
While away on an undercover mission, Undertaker Will Ritter has made an unthinkable alliance...with a Corpse! But though Robert Dillin (aka 'The Zombie Prince') is indeed one of those alien invaders who animate and possess the bodies of the dead -- unlike the rest of his kind, Dillin isn't evil. In fact, he wants to help. And Will needs that help, because the Queen of the Dead has learned the location of Haven, the Undertakers' secret HQ, and is planning a massive and deadly assault.
With the last day of the Corpse War finally upon them, Will and his friends find themselves in a desperate race to close the Rift between worlds and forever kill the Corpses. But can they do before Haven is overrun?
For that matter, can they do it at all?
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Title: Last Siege of Haven (Undertakers #4)
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Ty Drago


Read an Excerpt!

Tom had pulled a chair to the front of the room and climbed onto it. It was something he’d done before. It helped him to be seen by as many of the kids under his command and protection as possible. Well, seen and heard.

He said loudly, “She’s been plannin’ this for at least a month, scheduling three different police events all around City Hall, all around us, and all for this evening. The media’s been callin’ ‘em ‘urban peace-keeping simulations’ or ‘training exercises.’ The Queen ain’t been settin’ them up herself, of course. Lilith Cavanaugh’s dead as far as the world’s concerned. She jumped out her sixth-floor office window almost two months ago.” He managed a grin. “I know, ‘cause I was there.”

That actually earned him some laughs and applause.

Standing nearby, Helene and I swapped glances. We were thinking the same thing: those were likely to be the last laughs he got today.

I flexed my right hand. It felt good. The Anchor Shard had done its job.

I glanced over at Sharyn. She’d been healed up too, and now stood at her brother’s side—though, from her expression, I could tell that, right now, she wanted to be somewhere else, with someone else.

The only Undertaker who wasn’t here.

The chief continued, “But she’s got cronies positioned in just the right spots in city government, and they’ve been settin’ this up. Just today, she brought in two new Corpses to be co-police chiefs, since the last one got iced by Helene.”

A few more cheers and applause. Helene blushed uncomfortably.

Tom said, “Both these chiefs are somethin’ called ‘Specials,’ a particular breed o’ Malum that’s hardwired for combat. They’re tough. Very tough. But they ain’t unbeatable. Will already managed to waste one, the one called Parker, this afternoon at the Philly Water Works.”

Still more cheers. I ignored them. I hadn’t taken out Parker.

Dillin had.

“But that still leaves Cole, who’s gonna be commandin’ the Malum attack. Undertakers, they’ve gathered up at each of Haven’s entrances … and our best guess puts their numbers at close to fifteen hundred. They’ve already closed ranks and sealed off the exits, trapping us in here.”

No applause this time. No laughter. Just graveyard silence.

“They’ve found us,” the chief said. “It don’t matter how. Cavanaugh’s been biding her time, waitin’ for the right moment to hit us. Well, that moment’s here, ‘cause school just got out. All through the area, the last middle schools’ve shut down for the summer. So every Schooler, more’n seventy of them, are back home. ‘Course, in a week’s time, some of y’all would’ve gone back out, taking up spots in summer camps and such, always on the lookout for more Seers. But for now, for this tiny window, all of us … all of us … are here. And the Queen of the Dead knows it.

“Bottom line, Undertakers. She’s comin’ for us. Tonight.”


about-the-author

Ty Drago
Ty Drago does his writing just across the river from Philadelphia, where the Undertakers novels take place. In addition to The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses,The Undertakers: Queen of the Dead, and The Undertakers: Secret of the Corpse Eater, he is the author of The Franklin Affair and Phobos, as well as short stories and articles that have appeared in numerous publications, including Writer’s Digest. He currently lives in southern New Jersey with his wife and best friend, the real Helene Drago née Boettcher.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Giveaway
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!



Monday, July 27, 2015

Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell - Ashley's Pre-Reading

*I received this book as an eARC from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group/Clarion Books on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: Mechanica
Author: Betsy Cornwell
Publication Date: August 4, 2015

Synopsis: Nicolette’s awful stepsisters call her “Mechanica” to demean her, but the nickname fits: she learned to be an inventor at her mother’s knee. Her mom is gone now, though, and the Steps have turned her into a servant in her own home. 


But on her sixteenth birthday, Nicolette discovers a secret workshop in the cellar and begins to dare to imagine a new life for herself. Could the mysterious books and tools hidden there—and the mechanical menagerie, led by a tiny metal horse named Jules—be the key to escaping her dreary existence? With a technological exposition and royal ball on the horizon, the timing might just be perfect for Nicolette to earn her freedom at last.

Gorgeous prose and themes of social justice and family shine in this richly imagined Cinderella retelling about an indomitable inventor who finds her prince . . . but realizes she doesn't want a fairy tale happy ending after all.

Why?: I love a good retelling/reimagining, and I never get tired of reading stories based on Cinderella. I mean, I know it's over done. And I know there's not much more anyone can do with such a popular story. But Mechanica sounds like it will actually be unique and exciting, and I can't wait to find out why Nicolette decides she doesn't want a fairy tale ending. I'm also really excited about the steampunk element to this book!


Expectations: I've never read anything by Betsy Cornwell, but I have pretty high expectations for this book. Fairy tale retellings are pretty popular right now, so I think there has to be something really special about this book for it to be pretty much everywhere I look. I've also heard pretty good things about it, so I think that raises my expectations even more than they normally would be.


Judging a book by its cover: I absolutely love everything about this cover! The colors are gorgeous, and I love all of the little details. Every time I look at it, I find new things that make me even more excited to read the book. The gears and the steampunk feel of the title are pretty obvious, but I'm so excited to find out why there are so many little dragonflies around Nicolette. I want to know about the glass slipper she's holding and how it comes into play. I love the mechanical feel of the castle in the background, and how all of the vines and everything underneath her are chains or gears or other pieces of machinery. I really just want to hold this cover and stare it at forever. I would 100% pick this book up off of the shelf based on the cover alone!



--Ashley

COVER REVEAL: Antidote (The Antidote Trilogy #1) by Taylor Hondos


Title: Antidote (The Antidote Trilogy #1)
Author: Taylor Hondos

Synopsis: 
Life sucks, and then you rot. No one knows how Dermadecatis is contracted, but its existence has changed everything for 18-year-old Lena, in this riveting debut from Taylor Hondos.

No contact with other people.

Masks must be worn at all times in public at all times.

Four months ago men, women and children alike began to rot from the inside out, and the world as we know it changed forever. Life goes on, but now everything revolves around the need to survive and find a cure for Dermadecatis, the disease that Lena Alona’s father discovered. 

Unfortunately for Lena and everyone else who is desperate to survive, her father's secrets died when he did.



Friday, July 24, 2015

M9B Friday Reveal: Month9Books Fall Books Preview + GIVEAWAY!

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Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are sharing the
Month9Books Fall Books Preview!

Check out these amazing titles coming from Month9Books this Fall!.
They look amazing!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!


SerpentineEbook
SERPENTINE is a sweeping fantasy set in the ancient Kingdom of Xia and inspired by the rich history of Chinese mythology.
Lush with details from Chinese folklore, SERPENTINE tells the coming of age story of Skybright, a young girl who worries about her growing otherness. As she turns sixteen, Skybright notices troubling changes. By day, she is a companion and handmaid to the youngest daughter of a very wealthy family. But nighttime brings with it a darkness that not even daybreak can quell.
When her plight can no longer be denied, Skybright learns that despite a dark destiny, she must struggle to retain her sense of self – even as she falls in love for the first time.
“Vivid worldbuilding, incendiary romance, heart-pounding action, and characters that will win you over–I highly recommend Serpentine.” Cinda Williams Chima, best-selling author of the Seven Realms and Heir Chronicles fantasy novels
“Serpentine is unique and surprising, with a beautifully-drawn fantasy world that sucked me right in! I love Skybright’s transformative power, and how she learns to take charge of it.” ~Kristin Cashore, NYT Bestseller of the Graceling Realm Series
“Serpentine’s world oozes with lush details and rich lore, and the characters crackle with life. This is one story that you’ll want to lose yourself in.” ~ Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of Legend and The Young Elites
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About-the-Author

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Cindy Pon is the author of Silver Phoenix (Greenwillow, 2009), which was named one of the Top Ten Fantasy and Science Fiction Books for Youth by the American Library Association’s Booklist, and one of 2009′s best Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror by VOYA. The sequel to Silver Phoenix, titled Fury of the Phoenix, was released in April 2011. Serpentine, the first title in her next Xia duology, will be published by Month9Books in September 2015. She is the co-founder of Diversity in YA with Malinda Lo and on the advisory board of We Need Diverse Books. Cindy is also a Chinese brush painting student of over a decade. Visit her website at www.cindypon.com.
Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Goodreads



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Four clans have been at war for centuries: the Kodiak, the Raven, the Wolf and the Ram. Through brutal war tactics, the Ram have dominated the region, inflicting death and destruction on their neighbors.

Seventeen-year-old Zo is a Wolf and a Healer who volunteers to infiltrate the Ram as a spy on behalf of the allied clans. She offers herself as a Ram slave, joining the people who are called the “nameless.” Hers is a suicide mission – Zo’s despair after losing her parents in a Ram raid has left her seeking both revenge and an end to her own misery. But after her younger sister follows her into Rams Gate, Zo must find a way to survive her dangerous mission and keep her sister safe.

What she doesn’t expect to find is the friendship of a young Ram whose life she saves, the confusing feelings she develops for a Ram soldier, and an underground nameless insurrection. Zo learns that revenge, loyalty and love are more complicated than she ever imagined in the first installment of this two-book series.
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"Jenkins brings edge-of-your-seat adventure to this intriguing new world. I can’t wait to read more!”~ New York Times bestselling author Jessica Day George

"Wow....WOW, WOW, WOW! I have no words to describe how much I love this book. Jenkins writes characters who are just so easy to love, and when you love a character it makes the book so much better. And I loved all the characters. Zo, Tess, Joshua and Gryphon. Gryphon is definitely my favorite - but who wouldn't love Gryphon? Of course I do have a soft spot for our heroine, Zo." ~Bri, Blogger @ Once Upon A Twilight

"Nameless destroyed me in the best way possible. The romance was subtle, but written beautifully. The plot was very intriguing and the pacing was spot on. I loved the entire cast of characters, every single one of them added to the story. Trust me when I say you should preorder it, add it to your TBR, request it from your library, do whatever you have to do to get this book in your hands because if you are a YA fantasy fan like me you need this book in your life!" ~Bridget, Blogger @ Dark Faerie Tales

"NAMELESS is epic storytelling at its best. My mind is still reeling from the world that I have just been immersed in and I don't want to leave it. Can I please have the sequel NOW? Because I need to know what happens next but in the meantime I'm just going to re-read it again and again. Is it that good, you may ask? Hell yes!!! And you will think so too. Trust me." Nancy, Blogger @ Tales of A Ravenous Reader

"To say that I love this book is an understatement. It completely blew me away! I am so happy that I took a chance on it. NAMELESS is one book that you can re-read over and over again and it will still feel fresh! I cannot wait for the world to read it and fall under the NAMELESS spell. Because that’s what I feel like I am under, a spell that has me trapped in Zo's world and won’t let me out! I don’t want out!"~Damaris, Blogger @ Good Choice Reading


About-the-Author

Jennifer Jenkins
With her degree in History and Secondary Education, Jennifer had every intention of teaching teens to love George Washington and appreciate the finer points of ancient battle stratagem. (Seriously, she’s obsessed with ancient warfare.) However, life had different plans in store when the writing began. As a proud member of Writers Cubed, and a co-founder of the Teen Author Boot Camp, she feels blessed to be able to fulfill both her ambition to work with teens as well as write Young Adult fiction.
Jennifer has three children who are experts at naming her characters, one loving, supportive husband, a dog with little-man syndrome, and three chickens (of whom she is secretly afraid).
Visit her online at jajenkins.com

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest |Instagram



Minotaur.v3
“Where shall I start?” asked Minotaur.

Ovid made an expansive gesture with both hands. “Where else but the beginning of course.”

Minotaur nodded his huge head. “Yes,” he said. “Yes,” his eyes already glazing over with the weight of thousand year old memories. And then he began.

So begins the story of Asterion, later known as Minotaur, the supposed half bull creature of Greek legend. Recorded by the famous Roman poet, Ovid, Asterion tells of his boyhood in Crete under the cruel hand of his stepfather Minos, his adventures with his friend, Theseus, and his growing love for the beautiful Phaedra.And of course what really happened in the labyrinth.

This is the true story of the Minotaur.
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Lovers of mythology will enjoy this coming-of-age adventure and be surprised by the believable, "true story" of the Minotaur.”~ School Library Journal

About-the-Author

Phillip W Simpson
Phillip W. Simpson is the author of many novels, chapter books and other stories for children. His publishers include Macmillan, Penguin, Pearson, Cengage, Raintree and Oxford University Press.
He received both his undergraduate degree in Ancient History and Archaeology and his Masters (Hons) degree in Archaeology from the University of Auckland.
Before embarking on his writing career, he joined the army as an officer cadet, owned a comic shop and worked in recruitment in both the UK and Australia.
His first young adult novel, Rapture (Rapture Trilogy #1), was shortlisted for the Sir Julius Vogel Awards for best Youth novel in 2012.

He is represented by Vicki Marsdon at Wordlink literary agency.

When not writing, he works as a school teacher.
Phillip lives and writes in Auckland, New Zealand with his wife Rose, their son, Jack and their two border terriers, Whiskey and Raffles. He loves fishing, reading, movies, football (soccer) and single malt Whiskeys.
Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Giveaway

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

M9B/Tantrum Books TWO FOR THURSDAY BLITZ: Tracy Tam: Santa Command by Krystalyn Drown & Lucas Mackenzie and the London Midnight Ghost Show by Steve Bryant + GIVEAWAY!

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Welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday Book Blitz #T4T
presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books!

Today, we will be showcasing two titles that may tickle your fancy,
and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles!

You just might find your next read!

This week, #T4T presents to you:
Tracy Tam: Santa Command by Krystalyn Drownand
Lucas Mackenzie and the London Midnight Ghost Show
by Steve Bryant

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!


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Tracy Tam doesn't really believe in Santa Claus, at least not like the rest of us do. She also doesn't believe that Santa can possibly deliver all of those presents in one night, to children around the world, without a little help from science. A flying sleigh can only be powered by jet engines, after all, and Santa’s magical abilities can only be the result of altered DNA. How else could he know what every little girl and boy wants for Christmas and who has been naughty or nice? In order to test her theories, Tracy sneaks onto Santa’s sleigh then ends up at Santa Command, where a team of (gasp!) humans monitor Santa’s big night. When Tracy attempts to hack into their computers, she accidentally introduces a virus into the system. As a result, three states get knocked out of sync with the rest of the world (oops!). Santa won't be able to deliver all the presents in time! Now, Tracy must fix time and help Santa, but she has no idea how. How can a girl who doesn't believe help Santa and save Christmas before it's too late? With a little Christmas magic, of course!
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WHAT READER’S ARE SAYING:
This is an adorable story and took me back to my childhood when i would stay up late and see if could catch Santa.” – Jan, Jrs Book Reviews

“Tracy Tam is an entertaining holiday read with a stubbornly scientific protagonist…”Dianne, Author

“…packed with fun surprises and zany flips that turn expectations into wonder.” – Kim, Kim's Critiquing Corner
about-the-author
Krystalyn Drown
Krystalyn spent thirteen years working at Walt Disney World in a variety of roles: entertainer, talent coordinator, and character captain. Her degree in theatre as well as many, many hours spent in a dance studio, helped with her job there. Her various other day jobs have included working in zoology at Sea World, as an elementary teacher, and currently as a support technician for a website. In the evenings, she does mad writing challenges with her sister, who is also an author. Krystalyn lives near Orlando, Florida with her husband, son, a were cat, and a Yorkie with a Napoleon complex.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram | YouTube



Lucas MacKenzie eBook Final
Lucas Mackenzie has got the best job of any 10 year old boy. He travels from city-to-city as part of the London Midnight Ghost Show, scaring unsuspecting show-goers year round. Performing comes naturally to Lucas and the rest of the troupe, who’ve been doing it for as long as Lucas can remember.
But there’s something Lucas doesn’t know.
Like the rest of Luca’s friends, he’s dead. And for some reason, Lucas can’t remember his former life, his parents or friends. Did he go to school? Have a dog? Brothers and sisters?
If only he could recall his former life, maybe even reach out to his parents, haunt them.
When a ghost hunter determines to shut the show down, Lucas realizes the life he has might soon be over. And without a connection to his family, he will have nothing. There’s little time and Lucas has much to do. Can he win the love of Columbine, the show’s enchanting fifteen-year-old mystic? Can he outwit the forces of life and death that thwart his efforts to find his family?
Keep the lights on! Lucas Mackenzie’s coming to town.

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WHAT READER’S ARE SAYING:
“It's a fun story with wonderful, unique characters.”Lisa Cresswell, Author

“a great twist on the usual paranormal novels.”Erika, WS Momma Readers Nook

“The characters are lovable, the adventure is great, with some comedy mixed in.” – Sarah, Aphonic Book Reviews


about-the-author
Steve Bryant
Steve Bryant is a new novelist, but a veteran author of books of card tricks. He founded a 40+ page monthly internet magazine for magicians containing news, reviews, magic tricks, humor, and fiction; and he frequently contributes biographical cover articles to the country’s two leading magic journals (his most recent article was about the séance at Hollywood’s Magic Castle).
Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway
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