Category Archives: book tour

BOOK TOUR SPOTLIGHT: Night Terrors by Jeff Gunhus

 Night Terror

by Jeff Gunhus

Supernatural Thriller

Book Description

Ten years after her abduction and near-sacrifice to the Source, Sarah Tremont struggles to be a normal teenager. As much as she’s tried to suppress the power inside of her, it’s grown dangerously strong and has drawn the attention of those who want to possess her power for themselves.

The nightmare that she thought was long over starts again as powerful forces descend upon Prescott City to seek her out. With her parents and Joseph Lonetree’s help, Sarah must stand up to an evil much more powerful than the one she faced in the caves a decade earlier. But in the end, she discovers the greatest danger might come from the power living inside of her.

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First Chapter:
Charlie Winters didn’t scream. Not because the pain had stopped, because it hadn’t. Every nerve in his body was still on fire, bursting with electric signals to his brain that the bag of meat, sinew, and bone that was supposed to protect it was being systematically destroyed. Pound by pound, his flesh was eaten. Ounce by ounce, his blood was guzzled down.
His screams stopped only because his vocal cords were raw and bloody and had ceased to function. None of the dozen or so attackers had bothered to silence him when they started the feast, and Charlie had screamed and screamed until he could do so no more.
Even with his throat filled with blood, he still tried to cry out, expelling a spray of red mist. The men feasting near his head enjoyed this and breathed in the vapors of his bloody exhalation. One of the men’s thick fingers dug into Charlie’s left eye socket and scooped out his eyeball, giving a quick yank to pop it loose from the strand of nerves attached to it. Charlie felt another man put his lips around the empty socket and suck hard at the juices inside his head. Nails clawed at and then ripped off the small pad of meat on his cheek, a delicacy on ten-year-old boys as much as it was on suckling pigs.
Charlie closed his eyes and begged for death.
An hour earlier he had been a regular boy, just like anyone else.
But then again, he knew that wasn’t really true. He’d never been like anyone else. And now it had finally cost him.

 

About the Author

Jeff Gunhus is the author of both adult thrillers and the Middle Grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His book Reaching Your Reluctant Reader has helped hundreds of parents create avid readers. As a father of five, he and his wife lead an active lifestyle simply trying to keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel.

His latest book is the thriller/horror novel, Night Terror.

For More Information

Visit Jeff Gunhus’ website.

Connect with Jeff on Facebook and Twitter.

More books by Jeff Gunhus.

Contact Jeff.

PURCHASE:

Night Terror is available at Amazon.

Pump Up Your Book

BOOK TOUR REVIEW: The Heart Does Not Grow Back by Fred Venturini

The Heart Does Not Grow Back

by Fred Venturini

Literary/Science Fiction

Book Description

EVERY SUPERHERO NEEDS TO START SOMEWHERE…

Dale Sampson is used to being a nonperson at his small-town Midwestern high school, picking up the scraps of his charismatic lothario of a best friend, Mack. He comforts himself with the certainty that his stellar academic record and brains will bring him the adulation that has evaded him in high school. But when an unthinkable catastrophe tears away the one girl he ever had a chance with, his life takes a bizarre turn as he discovers an inexplicable power: He can regenerate his organs and limbs.

When a chance encounter brings him face to face with a girl from his past, he decides that he must use his gift to save her from a violent husband and dismal future. His quest takes him to the glitz and greed of Hollywood, and into the crosshairs of shadowy forces bent on using and abusing his gift. Can Dale use his power to redeem himself and those he loves, or will the one thing that finally makes him special be his demise? The Heart Does Not Grow Back is a darkly comic, starkly original take on the superhero tale, introducing an exceptional new literary voice in Fred Venturini.

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MY THOUGHTS: 4 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS

 

The Heart Does Not Grow Back: A Novel by Fred Venturini

I can’t really say this book is ABOUT any one specific thing. The best way to describe it is that it chronicles the life of main character Dale Sampson from childhood to early adulthood. In middle school, he meets the guy who is to become his best friend and shape his life in unimaginable ways, Mack. Mack is a popular ladies man while Dale is the polar opposite, awkward and quiet. Mack is persuasive, especially so on his friend, and so he drives Dale to make a decision one night that changes everything–and leaves Dale with an inexplicable new ability–he can regenerate.

Dale is somewhat boring as a main character. He is in love with a single woman for most of the book, then when things are revealed to him he moves quickly to another. To me, it was as if he was in love with the idea of being in love. Even though he’s morose most of the time, you can’t help liking him and feeling for him when bad things happen, even though he seems to be responsible for most of them.

The friendship between Dale and Mack is central to the story, and sounds as if it is one sided most of the time. Dale is always there while Mack is womanizing, traveling, and trying to become famous. They even drift apart for a few years, but when Mack learns about what Dale can do they come back together. They seem to truly like each other, and I’m not sure why; each of them has characteristics that make them somewhat horrible.

I have to say I enjoyed the first half of the book a lot more than the second. Seeing Dale discover and test his ability, while coming to terms with how his life had changed, was absolutely beautiful. I couldn’t turn the pages quickly enough to see how he would make it through the earth shattering trauma that had happened to him. But once he got into show business, Dale became a completely different person, and he wasn’t as pleasant to get to know anymore. I just didn’t really love the whole reality show thing.

The ending of the book was definitely unexpected, and I’m not sure if I can say definitively that it was happy or sad…but it seemed to be the only way things COULD end. In the end, Dale learned that having himself would have to be enough, and that is a moral we all can take to heart.

View all my reviews

About the Author

Fred Venturini grew up in Patoka, Illinois. His short fiction has been published in the Booked Anthology, Noir at the Bar 2, and Surreal South ’13. In 2014, his story “Gasoline” will be featured in Chuck Palahniuk’s Burnt Tongues collection. He lives in Southern Illinois with his wife and daughter.

 Connect with Fred

Website | Twitter

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

BOOK TOUR GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY: The Last Changeling by Chelsea Pitcher

 The Last Changeling

by Chelsea Pitcher

Faerie Revolutions Series, Book One

Book Description

A Kingdom at War . . .
Elora, the young princess of the Dark Faeries, plans to overthrow her tyrannical mother, the Dark Queen, and bring equality to faeriekind. All she has to do is convince her mother’s loathed enemy, the Bright Queen, to join her cause. But the Bright Queen demands an offering first: a human boy who is a “young leader of men.”
A Dark Princess In Disguise . . .
To steal a mortal, Elora must become a mortal—at least, by all appearances. And infiltrating a high school is surprisingly easy. When Elora meets Taylor, the seventeen-year-old who’s plotting to overthrow a ruthless bully, she thinks she’s found her offering . . . until she starts to fall in love.
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Why I Chose to Write About Faeries

by Chelsea Pitcher

I’ve always loved faeries. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been reading stories about the different kinds of fae. Tall, elegant, soulless faeries. Elemental beings who resided in the petals of flowers and the trunks of trees. I read old, epic poems and modern interpretations. I read urban fantasy and magical realism and paranormal romance.  And somewhere along the line, I started to get an idea of what faeries really were—I mean, if they did exist, I started to understand the “who” and the “why” of it.

Their origin story, if you will.

I also started to accept that some faerie stories made more sense to me than others. For example, the idea of faeries-as-elemental-beings resonated with me much more than faeries who didn’t have souls. And, in all of my readings, there was one theory I just couldn’t make sense of no matter how hard I tried: the high faerie courts.

Now, don’t get me wrong; the idea of faerie courts is incredibly compelling. But I never understood the reason for them. If faeries are anarchic, the physical embodiment of nature, why would they need rules? Why would they need courts?

In my idea of Faerie, the creatures are wild, streaking through the trees, eating, dancing, and making love as they please. To me, this was much more exiting than the idea of courts. Certainly, the gowns would be beautiful, but why bind yourself up when you could run naked through the forest? Why sit, with a rigid back and a stony face, in an uncomfortable throne, when you could be diving into icy waters and soaring through the sky? Why confine yourself when you could be free?

These were the questions that raced through my mind as I sat down to write THE LAST CHANGELING. On the one hand, I could’ve just written about these chaotic, free-spirited faeries from the start. But I didn’t want to discard hundreds of years of literature that spoke of faerie courts. I didn’t want to be disrespectful to the mythology. I wanted to understand it.

And so it went. Instead of writing about a faerie realm without courts, I started to ask myself questions: why did the courts come into being? Who did it benefit? Was it a communal decision, or were a few corrupt players pulling the strings? Soon, answers began to blossom in my mind, and my story unfolded. The courts were in place, and I understood the deep, dark secret that led to their creation.

After that, I just needed a faerie who wanted to take them down . . .

About the Author

Chelsea Pitcher is a karaoke-singing, ocean-worshipping Oregonian with a penchant for wicked faerie tales. She began gobbling up stories as soon as she could read, and especially enjoys delving into the darker places to see if she can draw out some light. She is also the author ofThe S-Word (Simon and Schuster, 2013).
LINKS:
PURCHASE :
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Be sure to enter the tour wide giveaway to win a copy of the book! US/CAN only.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

 

Itching For Books

BOOK TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Tracy Tam: Santa Command by Krystalyn Drown

 Tracy Tam: Santa Command

by Krystalyn Drown

Middle Grade Fantasy/Christmas

Book Description

Tracy doesn’t believe that Santa can deliver all of those presents in one night with out a little help from science. A flying sleigh can only be powered by jet engines, and Santa’s magical abilities can only be the result of altered DNA. In order to test her theories, she sneaks onto Santa’s sleigh and ends up at Santa Command, the place where a team of humans monitors Santa’s big night. When Tracy attempts to hack into their computers, she accidentally introduces a virus to their system. As a result, three states get knocked out of sync with the rest of the world. Before the night is over, Tracy has to fix time and help Santa finish his deliveries. And she has to do it all with Santa’s magic, which she doesn’t believe exists.

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MY THOUGHTS: 4 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS

Tracy Tam: Santa Command by Krystalyn Drown

This was a short and sweet middle grade story that is bursting with Christmas spirit.

The main character, Tracy Tam, is a logical girl who not only believes that Santa isn’t real–she’s going to prove it and make enough money to help her cousin with an operation. But when Tracy sneaks into the back of Santa’s sleigh, she finds that the North Pole isn’t what she expected and nothing is what it seems.

I thought Tracy was a smart, tough girl who was clever but was so single minded she couldn’t see the mistakes she was making. She did come to her senses though, and realizes how she may have been hurting others even when she was trying so hard to help someone she loved.

The Santa mythos is given a cool, unique twist in this book, and that is pretty hard to do. I enjoyed hearing about the original Santa’s backstory and all the magic surrounding him and Christmas.

I think this book will help get young readers into the Christmas spirit in the coming months!

View all my reviews

About the Author

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

Available for Purchase:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | TBD | IndieBound | iBooks

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Be sure to enter the tour wide giveaway to win one of 5 ebook copies of the book!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

 

Chapter by Chapter

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Little Dead Riding Hood by Amie & Bethanie Borst

Little Dead Riding Hood

by Amie & Bethanie Borst

Middle Grade Supernatural/Fairy Tale Retelling

Book Description

You know things are going to suck when you’re the new kid. But when you’re the new kid and a vampire… well, it bites!

Unlike most kids, Scarlet Small’s problems go far beyond just trying to fit in. She would settle for a normal life, but being twelve years old for an entire century is a real pain in the neck. Plus, her appetite for security guards, house pets and bloody toms (tomato juice) is out of control. So in order to keep their vampire-secret, her parents, Mort and Drac, resort to moving for the hundredth time, despite Scarlet being dead-set against it. Things couldn’t be worse at her new school, either. Not only does she have a strange skeleton-girl as a classmate, but a smelly werewolf is intent on revealing her secret. When she meets Granny—who fills her with cookies, goodies, and treats, and seems to understand her more than anyone—she’s sure things will be different. But with a fork-stabbing incident, a cherry pie massacre, and a town full of crazy people, Scarlet’s O-positive she’ll never live to see another undead day.

Not even her Vampire Rule Book can save her from the mess she’s in. Why can’t she ever just follow the rules?

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MY THOUGHTS: 3.5 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS

Little Dead Riding Hood by Amie Borst

I do enjoy a GOOD retelling of a story, as they are often hard to get right or have so little to do with the source tale that they are unrecognizable. For the most part, LDRH succeeded as a retelling. But to me, it’s almost as if it could have been two separate stories.

Our little dead riding hood is vampire and unfortunately perpetual sixth grader, Scarlet Small. She has to move often, due to her dad’s military job and the fact that vampires just can’t stay in one place for very long. Just when Scarlet believes she is finding friends and fitting in at this new place, her secret is nearly exposed. It’s then she finds comfort at the home of a kindly old granny in the woods. But are granny–and her sweet treats–all what they seem?

As I read, I discovered that this book is the second in a series of fairy tale retellings by this mother and daughter team. I wish I would have known this–I don’t think it has any effect on my understanding of the plot, but characters from the first book are present in this one and I would like to know their backstories. Also, I’m just REALLY anal about reading books in the right order :/

Scarlet is a smart girl, but being a teenager forever does wear on a person. She’s moved around so many times, that she doesn’t really go out of her way to make friends, and she’s actually surprised when someone does act nice to her. Still, even though she’s over 150 years old, she makes some childlike decisions and doesn’t trust her gut when it matters.

The “red riding hood” part of the story doesn’t come into play until well over half the book is done. The first half focuses on Scarlet in school trying to hide her vampire existence, and her relationships with her family and friends. It’s not that this wasn’t interesting, but I think huge chunks of it could have been cut to get to the meat of the story sooner.

I definitely didn’t expect that the granny would be what she was revealed as, though I knew something was up with her. The villain of the story isn’t really explained at the end, and I wish that part would have been fleshed out more.

The authors have definitely created some original characters and they fit nicely into the fairy tale world.

View all my reviews

About the Authors

Amie Borst still believes in unicorns, uses glitter whenever possible and accessorizes in pink. She enjoys eating chocolate while writing and keeps a well-stocked stash hidden away from her family. A native New Yorker she currently resides in Northern Virginia with her husband, three children and a cute dog named Lily. She wishes she had a hot-pink elevator with carnival lights to travel the world. But for now, her minivan will have to do.

Hi! I’m Bethanie. I’m 13 and enjoy archery, bike rides, swinging, climbing trees and studying plant life. My mom and I write books together. The Scarily Ever Laughter series features our first book, Cinderskella, and our soon to be released second book, Little Dead Riding Hood.

You can find Amie and Bethanie Borst online here:
Facebook
Twitter
Website

PURCHASE:

Amazon

B&N

Goodreads

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You could win a signed copy of the book!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

The author is also hosting a scavenger hunt giveaway all week on her own blog!

Go here to check it out.

SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: The Divinicus Nex Chronicles by A & E Kirk

 The Divinicus Nex Chronicles

by A & E Kirk

YA Paranormal

Book One: Demons at Deadnight

Book Description

For seventeen-year-old Aurora Lahey, survival is a lifestyle.

DEMONIC DESTINY

Aurora has the crappiest superpower on the planet. And it’s just unleashed a hit squad from hell. Demons are on the hunt, salivating to carve her carcass into confetti.

CHARISMATIC KILLERS

The Hex Boys—mysterious, hunky, and notorious for their trails of destruction—have the answers Aurora needs to survive. But their overload of deadly secrets and suspicious motives makes trusting them a potentially fatal move.

LETHAL ALLIES

The battle to save her family, herself, and stop demonic domination may cost Aurora everything worth living for, and force her to reveal her own dark secrets. But no worries. She needs the Hex Boys to pull this off, and, chances are, teaming up with these guys will get her killed anyway.

Book Two: Drop Dead Demons

Book Description

Survival. It’s an on-going battle.

 GOING ON A TREASURE HUNT…

Aurora Lahey finally knows why supernatural slayers salivate to slaughter her, but how to stop them? Not so much. Sure, she’s discovered her own lethal powers, and has six sexy, super-charged, demon hunting Hex Boys watching her back–the hottest one watching every part of her. But when a seductive stranger delivers a deadly ultimatum, Aurora and the Hex Boys plunge into a do-or-die hunt for a legendary Mandatum treasure, which will finally shift power in their favor. Or unleash hell on earth.

 

NEX MARKS THE SPOT…
Pursued by demons of mythical proportions, Aurora and the Hex Boys race deeper into the shadowy world of a centuries-old mystery and brutal conspiracy, where no one and nothing is what it seems. Where love and betrayal go hand-in-hand, and trusting the wrong person not only breaks your heart, but gets you killed.

 

DEMONS ON YOUR TAIL…
Uncovering shocking secrets from the Hex Boys’ past, hiding her Divinicus Nex identity, lying to her pretend-wish-he-were-real boyfriend, dodging demons, breaking into ancient tombs, taking the unexpected side trip to the dark depths of the Waiting World, tracking a traitor, and passing Physics…Aurora could do that in her sleep. Or more likely, die trying.

DON’T GET CAUGHT!

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From DEMONS AT DEADNIGHT:

Like a mini-firework, a glittering orb of pale purple burst above Tristan’s head. From the sparkling puff, a lavender fairy materialized and flitted in spastic figure-eights, dust flying, tiny wings humming a nervous beat.
“Her dad’s coming,” she said, voice shrill.
“What?” we all said in unison.
Tristan, Ayden and the fairy looked at me and said, “What?”
“What?” I repeated, panicked and irritated at my lack of control in responding to a fairy I wasn’t supposed to see or hear.
“What?” came their reply.
“What?” I continued the theme of repetition because I lacked any form of explanation.
Ayden held up a hand for silence. “Why are you ‘whatting’?”
“What?”
The hand again. “Okay, stop that,” Ayden said. Tristan smirked. “Why did you just say ‘what’?”
“Beeeecaaause,” I stalled. “I want to knoooooow,” pause, “whaaaaaat,” another pause, “you thought I saw?” The last came out in a rush as I finally thought of a sensible thing to say.
“Aurora, dinner!” Dad called from the garage. He saw our group and headed our way before I could stop him. “Oh, hi, Tristan.”
Super. “Nothing about the…thing,” I whispered.
Dad shook Tristan’s hand and Ayden offered his. “Hi, Mr. Lahey. I’m Ayden Ishida. You probably don’t remember me.”
Dad took his hand. “Of course I do. You’re one of Aurora’s old boyfriends.”
Oh, just tie on the anchor and throw me overboard.
To his credit, Dad quickly discerned my embarrassment and did his best.
“Well, not boyfriend-boyfriend.” He twirled his hands in a backward rotation like he could erase his error in word choice and my mortification. “You know, just a friend. Just an old friend.” He clapped his hands and rubbed them together. “So what’re you guys up to?”

 

About the Authors

This mother-daughter duo were in and out of inter-dimensional paranormal prisons until they finally quit making up cover stories for secret societies and started writing novels. The Supernatural Continuum Warlords of the Supernatural Continuum Warlordian High Command had pity upon them, and instead of having them slaughtered by the slow, tortuous flesh eating underwater, earthworm squid, they transported them into a habitationally friendly dimension called OOARCHTOHUTHLAMADILFRUMP, also known as 21st Century Earth.

Due to a demon infestation in their sleepy mountain California town, and a lack of sexy Hex Boys to stop them, Alyssa and Eileen were forced to relocate to Los Angeles. The Amazon best seller, DEMONS AT DEADNIGHT, is book one in the DIVINICUS NEX CHRONICLES series, and the first of their exclusive re-creations of supernatural society secrets. You can uncover more paranormal, inter-dimensional classified information at AEKIRK.com and Facebook.com/AandEKirk.com.

Citizens of Earth, you are welcome.

Website | Twitter Alyssa | Twitter Eileen | Facebook | Pinterest

PURCHASE:

Demons at Deadnight:
Drop Dead Demons:
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Be sure to enter the tour wide giveaway for the chance to win books, an Amazon gift card, or even a character named after you in the next book!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

Daily Question:

Logan, dancer Hextraordinaire, is the new pro on the Dancing with the Stars TV show and you are his partner! What is the dance you most want him to teach you?

 

 

 

Kismet Book Touring

SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: Curse of the Granville Fortune by Kelly Hashway

 Curse of the Granville Fortune

by Kelly Hashway

Middle Grade Adventure

Book Description

Find the fortune, break the curse!

The hunt is on for an ancient treasure tied to nine-year-old J.B.’s family history. He’s been having visions that make him sweaty, lightheaded, and certain he’s turning into some kind of freak—or worse, going insane. But things are worse than he imagined. The visions stem from a family curse. An ancient ancestor was accused of stealing the massive Granville fortune, and now J.B.’s entirely family will suffer.

To break the curse, J.B. must find and return the Granville’s stolen property. But he’s not the only one searching for the treasure. As he sets out on his journey through a dark and foreboding forest, he’ll battle his worst fears and fight terrifying creatures along the way. And when he meets two others who share the missing pieces of his visions and suffer from the same curse, the three soon realize they need to work together to break the curse before it’s too late.

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“What was that?” Holly stepped behind me and buried her head between my shoulder blades.

I was afraid to think of what it might be. I didn’t know if the forest only made the things said out loud come to life or if it could read thoughts, too. I moved the branches of the bush to get a better look. A deer ran through some fallen trees. I let go of the breath I’d been holding.

“Is it bears?” Holly asked.

My whole body tensed. Holly had volunteered another scary suggestion to the forest. I looked around, but I couldn’t see a bear anywhere. Leaves rustled and another cracking sound came from high in a tree. Three large branches fell to the ground in front of us. Only these weren’t normal tree limbs. They were shaped like bears. Big green, leafy bears! Once again, our imaginations had turned the forest into living creatures ready to devour us.

 

About the Author

Kelly Hashway grew up reading R.L. Stein’s Fear Street novels and writing stories of her own, so it was no surprise to her family when she majored in English and later obtained a masters degree in English Secondary Education from East Stroudsburg University. After teaching middle school language arts for seven years, Hashway went back to school and focused specifically on writing. She is now the author of three young adult series, one middle grade series, and several picture books. She also writes contemporary romance under the pen name Ashelyn Drake. When she isn’t writing, Hashway works as a freelance editor for small presses as well as for her own list of clients. In her spare time, she enjoys running, traveling, and volunteering with the PTO. Hashway currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and two pets.

 Author Links:

Website  | Twitter Facebook | Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | TBD | iBooks

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Winner will be drawn November 21, 2014

·        Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Curse of the Granville Fortune by Kelly Hashway (INT)

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

Chapter by Chapter

REVIEW: The Girl Who Came Back to Life by Craig Staufenberg

The Girl Who Came Back to Life: A Fairytale

by Craig Staufenberg

Fantasy/Fairy Tale

Book Description

When you die, your spirit wakes in the north, in the City of the Dead. There, you wander the cold until one of your living loved ones finds you, says “Goodbye,” and Sends you to the next world.

After her parents die, 12-year-old Sophie refuses to release their spirits. Instead, she resolves to travel to the City of the Dead to bring her mother and father’s spirits back home with her.

Taking the long pilgrimage north with her gruff & distant grandmother—by train, by foot, by boat; over ruined mountains and plains and oceans—Sophie struggles to return what death stole from her. Yet the journey offers her many hard, unexpected lessons—what to hold on to, when to let go, and who she must truly bring back to life.

4fleur

MY THOUGHTS: 3.75 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS

The Girl Who Came Back to Life: A Fairytale by Craig Staufenberg

When 12 year old Sophie loses her parents suddenly, her entire life is flipped upside down. She is forced to live with her cold grandmother, who barely acknowledges her existence. In the midst of this, Sophie knows she has to take on the monumental task of being the one to make the perilous journey North to lay her parents’ spirits to rest.

Sophie is a strong girl. Once she sets her mind to something, she sees it through, no matter what stands in her way. Though she makes some not so smart spur of the moment decisions, she is mature enough to deal with the consequences and set things right as best she can.

One thing I found intriguing about this story is that the only character who has an actual name is Sophie. Everyone else in her world is referred to as what they are: “the baker,” “the soldier,” “the grandmother.” They are also sort of anti-stereotypical of what you’d think the characters would be. Though you don’t get to know most of the other characters very deeply, you get to know enough to learn that everyone has more than one side.

There were some very touching moments towards the end, and though the story didn’t have a traditional happily ever after, you get the sense that everything will be OK for Sophie.

View all my reviews

 

About the Author

Craig Staufenberg is a writer and filmmaker living in NYC.

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Buy ‘The Girl Who Came Back To Life’:

Amazon
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Book Depository

BOOK TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Charming by Krystal Wade

Charming

by Krystal Wade

Upper YA Thriller

Book Description

Sixteen-year-old Haley Tremaine had it all: top-notch school, fantastic family, and a bright future, but all of that changed when an accident tore her family apart. Now, an alcoholic father, a bitter younger sister, and a cold headstone bearing her mother’s name are all she has left.

Chris Charming has it all: a powerful CEO for a father, a prestigious school, and a fortune at his fingertips, but none of that matters when he lands a reputation as a troublemaker. Struggling to follow in his father’s footsteps, he reaches out to the one person he believes truly sees him, the one person he wants: Haley.

Little do they know someone’s determined to bring the two together, even if it means murder.

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Chapter 1, part 1

Thirty-two steps until Haley Tremaine entered hell. Thirty-two steps until she walked into the smell of alcohol and burned microwaveable meals, into a place where fear overwhelmed. Fear of whether Dad would go on a rampage and hit her, or maybe even her little sister Jocelyn, the girl Haley protected at the expense of her sanity, her safety. Even if that sister didn’t appreciate it, or have a clue.
Before Mom died, Haley would have called this home.
But not anymore.
Now? Now, this was definitely hell.
“You punishing your palms with that anger, or are you having a stroke?” Even in the darkness blanketing the empty streets, Haley couldn’t mistake the slight smile toying up the side of Christine’s long, slender face. She walked home with Haley every day after their shifts ended at the Berkshire Candle Company and knew all the horrid details about the broken family life inside the Tremaine household.
Haley unclenched her fists and shook them out, allowing the chilly October air to whisk the sheen of sweat into the night. Nothing more nerve-wracking than going to hell. “Sorry.”
“Since you’ve refused all offers to run away and leave this town behind, you could try this.” Christine took a hit of her thinly wound joint, winked, then held it out for Haley. Like tonight would be any different from the other five hundred times Christine had offered.
“Not happening.” But maybe, just maybe, being high would make walking through the squeaky front door hurt a little less. Maybe the pot would snuff out the anger and fear that burned and spread like uncontrolled wildfires in Haley’s head when Dad yelled, when he grunted disgusting noises because she took too long to clean his mess or get him another beer, and when Jocelyn just sat there and watched.
Dad’s favorite. Dad’s favorite because he thought she chose him instead of Mom the night she decided to leave. Dad didn’t know the truth.
Jocelyn didn’t either.
“Not today, anyway.” Hopefully that day never comes.
“Always helps me get over my issues, but suit yourself.” Tucked into her too-large, red and black flannel jacket, Christine finished off the awful-smelling joint with a shrug, then jogged across the cracked asphalt, hundreds of jagged tar lines holding the road together like band-aids. She forgot to say goodbye. As usual.
Haley stood on the side of the street between the power lines and her yard covered with a thick layer of pine needles and red leaves, the closest thing Deerfield Massachusetts had to a sidewalk. She stared through the yellow glow of the streetlamp Christine ran under, waiting for her to walk into her house. Once she did, Haley jogged up the few steps to her front porch, pulled open the screen door, took a calming breath, then walked in.
No one was waiting. The only greetings she received were sounds of the late-night news reporting the most recent murder, the smell of stale beer, and that ever-unsettling panic in Haley’s chest, the panic that never went away while under the same roof as Dad.
Backpack slung over one shoulder, she ditched her plain black work shoes next to the pile of others by the door and crept through the house that didn’t appreciate anyone creeping around. The worn floorboards rattled with every step, despite Haley’s efforts to place each foot gently in front of the other. She passed the kitchen on her way down the long hallway. The cramped space was a mess of dirty pots and pans sitting and crusting on the stovetop, trash overflowing the can and spilling onto the floor, empty plates scattered on the table. All left for Haley to clean. All left for Haley to worry over.
On the way to her room, Haley paused by the arched opening leading to the den. Dad and Jocelyn sat in each other’s company, watching TV as so many normal families would. But did all those families take advantage of one member? Did they pretend like that member didn’t exist unless they needed help with something? Or was Haley the only lucky one?

 

About the Author

Krystal Wade is happily married to the love of her life (don’t gag) and raising three beautiful children in the gorgeous state of Virginia. They live just outside Washington, D.C., and every day she wakes up to find herself stuck in traffic trying to get there.

The horrid commute gives Krystal plenty of time to zone out and think about her characters in full, brilliant details (she’s a safe driver; don’t worry). Stories give her a way to forget about the sometimes smelly strangers sitting next to her on the fifty mile trek into town (she picks up hitchhikers every day. True story. Check out http://www.slug-lines.com if you don’t believe us).

Krystal has been a part of organized hitchhiking for nearly fifteen years, but that’s just one small aspect of her oh-so-large life. When she’s not working, commuting, or chasing after her three children (four if you count the man), you can usually find Krystal outside talking to her chickens like they’re the cutest things in the world (they are), or training her amazing dogs how to herd said chickens (which they love), or curled up on the sofa with a good book (why can’t that be 100% of the time?).

 

Xpresso Book Tours

REVIEW: Made for You by Melissa Marr

Made for You

by Melissa Marr

YA Thriller

Book Description

When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused – who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? Before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her.

As she recovers from the attempt on her life, an old flame, Nate, turns up. Eva must traverse their rocky past and figure out how to use her new power – while the killer grows increasingly frantic. Can she stop him, or will he claim her?

3 fleur

MY THOUGHTS: 3.5 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS

 

Made for You by Melissa Marr

Made for You was a nice combination of a thriller with a little paranormal. The main character, Eva, darling of southern society, gains the ability to foresee people’s deaths after she is struck by a car one night. This new skill comes in handy as her friends start turning up dead after her accident.

The killer/stalker, Judge, was definitely creepy, especially for someone so young. I knew he had to be someone in Eva’s circle of friends, but that circle is so large that I didn’t really predict him until just before his identity was revealed. He has a singular fixation on Eva and believes what he is doing was told to him by God. His creepiness lies in his total belief that what he is doing is right and his calmness as he murders one girl after another.

Eva is alright as a main character. In the beginning of the book, right after her accident, I didn’t like her very much because she only seemed to be concerned about the fact that she was “not going to be pretty anymore.” She’s very vain and this continues throughout the book, even after several people tell her she’s still beautiful. As the book goes on she started to grow on me, and I like that she didn’t need a guy to fight for her.

There is of course a romance that blooms very quickly. Though Eva has a popular boyfriend when she is hit by the car, he doesn’t come see her in the hospital even though she is there for several days! But her old childhood friend Nate happens across her while visiting his little brother, and before long it’s the two of them together. I did feel this was sort of fast considering that they hadn’t spoken to each other in years. Not to mention the fact that she kept insulting him, calling him a “man-slut” over and over. I can only assume that he was giving her some leeway because of her brain injury, because she was pretty mean to him sometimes and he never really said anything to her about it.

I wish the book would have explored Eva’s death foreseeing ability more. The reader learns nothing about why she got it or if it will continue. I also felt the story presented some characters as rather one-sided. I definitely would have liked to learn more about Nate’s background and current family dynamics.

If you enjoy a thriller with a villain that will make your skin crawl, as well as a side of romance, you should give Made for You a try.

View all my reviews

About the Author

Melissa Marr is the author of the internationally bestselling Wicked Lovely series (currently available in 26 languages). In adult fiction, she is the author of the award-winning novel, Graveminder, and the newly released, The Arrivals. With Kelley Armstrong, Melissa is the co-editor of two anthologies and co-author of the Blackwell Pages trilogy (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers), a children’s series about the Norse myth of Ragnarök. Her upcoming HarperCollins 2014 release, Made For You, utilizes both her graduate degree in Southern Literature and her personal experience with stalkers in a story about a killer who terrorizes a small North Carolina town.

Melissa lives in Virginia with her family. You can visit her online at www.melissamarrbooks.com or on Twitter (@melissa_marr), Tumblr, or Facebook.

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