Thursday, June 29, 2017

Spotlight: The Tattered Box

About the Book:
Eighteen-year-old John receives a peculiar gift from his elderly grandpa: a timeworn box filled with items from the past. John soon discovers what they all mean when he travels back to 1941 and suddenly finds himself the same age as his grandpa. They play baseball together, enjoy a double date, yet endure hardships and the imminent threat of war. As the items in the box become the ultimate storytellers, John hopes to appreciate his grandpa for who he is.




About the Book:
Paul Schumacher was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He currently lives in Colorado with his wife, Gail, and their three children. He has authored more than twenty technical papers and is an inventor on more than thirty patents. The Tattered Box is his first novel.

Check it out on Amazon!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Spotlight: Sons of Trillion

About the Book:
Sons of Trillion is set in a magical world called Talos, where the casting of magic is split into three trees. Spoken, Thought and Gesture. The race that resides on this world are much like humans in every way, except they have a lifespan that is ten-fold compared to that of our own here on earth, a factor balanced, as the chances of conceiving a child is extremely rare.

Though their magical abilities do not manifest till they turn of age, all children upon being born are suspended in the light from the well-of-souls. This is called the Reckoning. Depending on the colour the light changes, the reckoning foretells what a child’s magical tree will be so that the child can become a student of said tree before actually being able to cast from it.

However, there is an extremely old prophecy from the time of the Kularnarty; a dark and ancient race that once resided on Talos who could command all three magical trees. After their demise, those that followed could only cast from a singular tree, but the prophecy foretells the coming of a child who will fail their reckoning and re-awaken that same darkness that once riddled Talos; a darkness that threatened to extinguish everything based of light.

The first part to the story follows Trillion’s first born as he grows and evolves into the darkness that he is prophesied to become. The goodness and light within him slowly being eroded.

The series is set in six parts and is told from the perspectives of Trillion’s first born, then his second, but also switches to certain other key characters as the story unfolds. (The front covers denoting as to which son the story is primarily about.)

Parts 2 and 3 are already published.

The story is one of sorcery, love, revenge and redemption.

About the Author:
David J. Khan is the author of several books. Among his most recent are the Sons of Trillion series and The Red Door Chronicles. He lives in Nottingham, England.

If you would like to follow or Contact David J. Khan, please see the below links:

Twitter

Facebook

Buy the Book
Amazon



Disclosure: this post contains links to an affiliate program (Amazon), for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases.  

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Spotlight: A Merchant in Oria

About the Book:
Firion is a young merchant descended from generations of merchants. His first big break comes along when he sets out to trade with the wealthy dwarven kingdom of Oria. He has always dreamed of visiting this grand kingdom, having heard his father describe it in detail a hundred times while he was younger. But when Firion arrives in Oria, he is jarred by the details present that contradict with the image etched into his mind. Something dark and sinister seems to be afoot in Oria, but Firion knows he is no hero. He is just a simple merchant, and what can an ordinary person do in the face of danger and deception?







About the Author:
Emerging author of science fiction and fantasy. I've finished my first novel, which I am currently trying to get published via traditional methods. I am also an avid reader of the fantasy genre, ranging from MG through Adult, as well as Medieval Literature. I dabble in Science Fiction, both as a reader and as a writer, from time to time. Some of my favorite authors include J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Brandon Sanderson and Ray Bradbury.









Disclosure: this post contains links to an affiliate program (Amazon), for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases.  

Monday, June 26, 2017

Spotlight: Madam Tulip

About the Book:
Out-of-work actress Derry O'Donnell is young, talented, a teeny bit psychic ... and broke. Spurred on by an ultimatum from her awesomely high-achieving mother, and with a little help from her theatrical friends, Derry embarks on a part-time career as Madam Tulip, fortune-teller to the rich and famous.But at her first fortune-telling gig - a celebrity charity weekend in a castle - a famous rap artist will die.
As Derry is drawn deeper into a seedy world of celebrities, supermodels and millionaires, she finds herself playing the most dangerous role of her acting life.Trapped in a maze of intrigue, money and drugs, Derry's attempts at amateur detective could soon destroy her friends, her ex-lover, her father and herself.


Madame Tulip is the first in a series of Tulip adventures in which Derry O'Donnell, celebrity fortune-teller and reluctant detective, plays the most exciting and perilous roles of her acting life, drinks borage tea, and fails to understand her parents.

About the Author:
David Ahern grew up in a theatrical family in Ireland but ran away to Scotland to become a research psychologist and sensible person. He earned his doctorate and taught in major Universities but could never explain to his granny why he didn’t own a stethoscope.

Finding the challenge of pretending to know things exhausting, David Ahern shaved off his beard and absconded once more, this time to work in television. He became a writer, director and producer, creating international documentary series and winning numerous awards, none of which got him free into nightclubs.

For no particular reason, David Ahern took to writing fiction. Madame Tulip wasn’t his first novel, but writing it was the most fun he’d ever had with a computer. The second in the Madam Tulip mystery series, Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts, was published in autumn 2016. He is now writing the third Madam Tulip adventure and enjoys pretending this is actual work.

David Ahern lives in the beautiful West of Ireland with his wife, two cats and a vegetable garden of which he is inordinately proud.

You can learn more about David Ahern and Madam Tulip on his website www.davidahern.info. Why not subscribe to the Madam Tulip Newsletter? No spam or trivia, just news of upcoming releases and events.

Connect with David Ahern on Facebook
and Twitter

Check it out on Amazon!
Kobo 
iTunes
Goodreads




Disclosure: this post contains links to an affiliate program (Amazon), for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases.  

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Spotlight: Loading: Life

About the Book:
Everyone in Devi Omega has a special ability. Everyone except Hero Leander, the official troublemaker of Class 1B. But his life gets even worse when he is partnered with Annie Mei Fields on a history project. Not only is she a straight-A student and the top Charisma-user of the school, but she is determined to make him do his part of the work.

As they hit the books, though, they soon discover that an evil corporation is kidnapping teens in order to cure a deadly disease. Hero thinks the two shouldn’t get involved. That is until his only friend is also taken.

Hero and Annie Mei put their lives on the line in order to save their world. But with gang attacks, drug deals, twisted corporate goons, and a teacher that won’t get off their case, these two unlikely fighters have little time to think about their next step. Can they save the world and still get a passing grade?


About the Author:
E.N. Chaffin is an American author, born and raised on country cooking and Japanese anime. Aside from drowning herself in reading manga and sewing cosplay, she also enjoys making memories with her family, friends, and dogs. Chaffin spends her time writing short stories for her blog and researching for current and upcoming projects at conventions and on YouTube. She currently lives in Northwest Arkansas with her family and three dogs, Kahn, Scooter, and Annie LeonhardVisit her at enchaffin.com or follow ENChaffin on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more!






Disclosure: this post contains links to an affiliate program (Amazon), for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases.  

Friday, June 16, 2017

Review: The Year of Four

Title: The Year of Four (Phoebe Pope #1)
Author: Nya Jade
Page Count: 338
My Rating: 4.5 TURTLES: A really great read, I highly recommend!
Amazon
*I received this book in exchange for an honest review

Description:
The students of Green Lane Academy roam their halls unaware that below their manicured campus exists a prestigious school of an entirely different kind . . .
Sixteen-year-old Phoebe Pope has enrolled at the Campus Below: a spy academy for shape-shifters hidden deep beneath the grounds of a boarding school whose humans unknowingly protect it. There, thanks to a carefully planned schedule, she leads a double life: spy trainee Below and normal teenager Above.
As if two course loads, concealing a secret power she alone wields, and coping with her father’s recent death weren’t enough, Phoebe finds herself developing major feelings for actor and teen heartthrob Colten Chase, who attends the Campus Above and appears to be majoring in winning Phoebe’s heart. But when officials learn that Phoebe may be at the center of a startling prophecy, she becomes the target of shape-shifting assassins who will stop at nothing to suppress the truth.
Now Phoebe’s lessons about Shaper’s enemies and spycraft take on great importance as a menace stalks the campus, with Phoebe as its target. Meanwhile, what began as an unlikely relationship with Colten, quickly morphs into heartache when she suspects that something sinister lurks beneath this movie star’s glitter and fame. Suddenly, Phoebe’s caught in a mesh of lies, betrayals, and danger where she doesn’t know who to trust, and needs to rely on herself—and her secret power—to get to the truth and to stay alive.



Review:
This is one of the most memorable Young Adult books I've read in a while! It's definitely my favorite book I've taken on for review all year! There was so much good going on in this book that I almost want to stay up even later than it is as I write this review (2am) to see what happens next! I love Phoebe and her ability to be both kick butt and vulnerable. The author also does a really great job introducing the reader to the world of the story: I felt like I had a clear picture of this world, but I also wasn't inundated with too much information at any one time with info-dumps.

And even though this book does make use of some YA tropes (fancy boarding school, super hunky love interest) "The Year of Four" manages to make them feel fresh - and, who am I kidding, I love those tropes so who cares! If they're used well, I don't think they should have to have a bad name. Part of what makes them feel so fresh is that even though some plot points I was able to predict, other developments kept me completely on my toes!

The long and short of it is: I highly recommend this book! Especially for YA fans, read this book! I think you might find it is the next binge-able series you have been looking for. I know it had a lot of things that I look for in YA that keeps me coming back to the genre even though I'm not in the targeted age range anymore. I'm so glad I already have book two queued up on my Kindle, I would have hated to have to wait.



Disclosure: this post contains links to an affiliate program (Amazon), for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases.  

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Blog Tour: The Phoebe Pope Series!






The Year of Four

by Nya Jade
(Phoebe Pope, #1)
Publication date: October 28th 2012
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult


Synopsis:
The students of Green Lane Academy roam their halls unaware that below their manicured campus exists a prestigious school of an entirely different kind . . .
Sixteen-year-old Phoebe Pope has enrolled at the Campus Below: a spy academy for shape-shifters hidden deep beneath the grounds of a boarding school whose humans unknowingly protect it. There, thanks to a carefully planned schedule, she leads a double life: spy trainee Below and normal teenager Above.
As if two course loads, concealing a secret power she alone wields, and coping with her father’s recent death weren’t enough, Phoebe finds herself developing major feelings for actor and teen heartthrob Colten Chase, who attends the Campus Above and appears to be majoring in winning Phoebe’s heart. But when officials learn that Phoebe may be at the center of a startling prophecy, she becomes the target of shape-shifting assassins who will stop at nothing to suppress the truth.
Now Phoebe’s lessons about Shaper’s enemies and spycraft take on great importance as a menace stalks the campus, with Phoebe as its target. Meanwhile, what began as an unlikely relationship with Colten, quickly morphs into heartache when she suspects that something sinister lurks beneath this movie star’s glitter and fame. Suddenly, Phoebe’s caught in a mesh of lies, betrayals, and danger where she doesn’t know who to trust, and needs to rely on herself—and her secret power—to get to the truth and to stay alive.
--

The Blood of Kings
by Nya Jade
(Phoebe Pope, #2)
Publication date: April 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Synopsis:
According to the press, Phoebe Pope and teen movie star Colten Chase are no longer an item—which is just how the happy new couple like it. And yet there’s trouble in paradise . . .
Phoebe is haunted by dreams that show her things she can’t possibly know about—including a pact between Colten and a wanted assassin. In the daylight, she struggles to keep a newly emerging power hidden, even as her hands itch to wield it.
Meanwhile, in the wake of their escape from a Vigo crèche, Phoebe and her fellow Hyphas study under lock and key at the Campus Below. As the foursome wait to see who among them will fulfill the prophecy, someone dear to Phoebe is kidnapped by a powerful Vigo determined to use her to spy on the Shaper royalty. When the Hyphas are called to the Royal Court, Phoebe refuses to heed warnings of imminent danger for she will do whatever it takes to rescue her loved one.
But once at court, nothing is as it first appears. A sinister force controls some royals, while others whisper behind closed doors about forbidden alliances. And as Phoebe draws on her courage to complete the task set by her enemy, she makes a startling discovery—one that upends her father’s memory.
With dangerous conspiracies surfacing, Phoebe must uncover what the Royal Shapers really want from her, and decide whether there’s room for Colten in her unraveling life


Book trailer for The Year of Four

Purchase:


AUTHOR BIO:
Nya Jade has enjoyed a fun career as a singer-songwriter. Her music videos have aired on the Vh1, BET and MTV networks and she’s opened for some of the biggest names in music. Nya’s music has also received recognition in major publications, including USA Today and the LA Times. She took a break from writing and performing music to write The Year of Four, her first YA novel. When she isn’t writing, Nya can be found hanging out with family and friends, reading or bargain hunting for her next pair of funky shoes. Nya lives with her family in California.

Author links:

You can follow the tour HERE

My Review of The Year of Four:

4.5 TURTLES: A really great read, I highly recommend!

This is one of the most memorable Young Adult books I've read in a while! It's definitely my favorite book I've taken on for review all year! There was so much good going on in this book that I almost want to stay up even later than it is as I write this review (2am) to see what happens next! I love Phoebe and her ability to be both kick butt and vulnerable. The author also does a really great job introducing the reader to the world of the story: I felt like I had a clear picture of this world, but I also wasn't inundated with too much information at any one time with info-dumps.

And even though this book does make use of some YA tropes (fancy boarding school, super hunky love interest) "The Year of Four" manages to make them feel fresh - and, who am I kidding, I love those tropes so who cares! If they're used well, I don't think they should have to have a bad name. Part of what makes them feel so fresh is that even though some plot points I was able to predict, other developments kept me completely on my toes!

The long and short of it is: I highly recommend this book! Especially for YA fans, read this book! I think you might find it is the next binge-able series you have been looking for. I know it had a lot of things that I look for in YA that keeps me coming back to the genre even though I'm not in the targeted age range anymore. I'm so glad I already have book two queued up on my Kindle, I would have hated to have to wait.



Disclosure: this post contains links to an affiliate program (Amazon), for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases.  

Friday, June 2, 2017

Review: The Second Day

Title: The Second Day (Aurea #1)
Author: Lara Swanson
Page Count: 214
My Rating: 4 TURTLES: A great read, I definitely recommend.
Amazon
*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Description:
On the island of Ladria, 15-year-old Mithia lives in fragile peace, hemmed in by the constant presence of ominous guards and the cruel silence of unanswered questions—like why her mother is just one of many adults on the island succumbing to a mysterious illness.

When her homeland is attacked by the evil Nyx, Mithia is thrust into a dangerous world of vengeful queens, mythical beings and mysterious enchantment. After befriending a young spy named Tristan, Mithia begins to uncover her true identity. Unearthing the past forces her to confront perilous consequences as she unravels secrets that plunge her into the center of a world on the brink of war.

The Second Day is a young adult fantasy; it is the first book in the Aurea series.


Review:
First of all, I’d like to thank the author, Lara Swanson, for providing me with a copy of her book in exchange for an honest review. I met her at a fair that was taking place at my college a little over a year ago. I forget what it was for now, but several alums who are now published authors were there and she was one of them! I’m so glad I was able to connect with a fellow writing Ole and am sorry it took me so long to get to this review!

I really enjoyed this book. It is a fast read, and between the silkies, magic stones and harp songs, and prophecies, it felt like a modern fairy tale! I also love Mithia’s friendships that she cultivates throughout the story. The loyalty and trust she has for the people she cares about makes her a great character to root for. I was really intrigued about the magic in this story world and all the mythical creatures, so I really hope to see more of that in future installments of this series.

One things that seemed a little incongruous to me was that even though it is a young adult novel, and the characters are the right age for it to be YA, it still felt like I was reading middle grade for a lot of the time. Part of this could be because it is a very “clean” book. There isn’t a romance, which would make characters seem more mature, and the violence, while present, is not drawn out in a lot of detail. I couldn’t really put a finger on it though. Maybe it was the dialogue that made them seem younger? Either way, at times it was a little confusing for me because I would be picturing the characters as a certain age and then read something that reminded me of their real age and I’d have to reorient.

Also, because The Second Day is such a quick read, I felt at time that I wanted more world building than there was. The tricky thing about high fantasy is that the reader has no frame of reference for the land until the author gives it to them. A character can’t simply say they are in Paris and all of the sudden the reader has an immediate image of their surroundings, no matter how much or little the character says after that. There was a lot of world building, don’t get me wrong, but there is only so much anyone can cram into 200 pages, no matter how concise they are. That’s part of why The Song of Ice and Fire and The Lord of the Rings are so long. I wished that there was more time to “live” in this story world so it felt more natural and less relying on the occasional character who knew about the history of the land to give me more exposition. Hopefully I will get more in subsequent books!


The Second Day is an exciting fantasy adventure and appropriate, I’d say for older elementary aged students on up. If you have a young reader in your life, I highly recommend you pick up a copy for them (and then for yourself when they’re done)! 




Disclosure: this post contains links to an affiliate program (Amazon), for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases.