Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Review: Enchanted Revenge by Theresa M. Jones with Giveaway

Enchanted Revenge
Empyrean Chronicles # 1
by Theresa M. Jones
Luftmensch Press
YA Fantasy
437 pages

When seventeen year old Lily finds her parents brutally murdered, leaving her broken and alone, she is determined to bring justice to the fairies responsible. Her quest leads her to infiltrate The Empyrean, the land of the Fae where terrifying creatures lurk in every shadow. But with a political rebellion mounting, bloody battles and foreign enemies stand in her way. Alec, a mysterious and secretive fairy, gradually becomes her guide and dear friend in the unfamiliar world, and restores her faith in love.

Disturbing secrets about her parent’s true identity are revealed, causing her to be more involved with the devastating fairy war than she can afford. Her vengeful mission becomes compromised and her growing romance with Alec wavers. She must conquer her fear of the unknown, ignore her grief, and overcome her growing list of enemies if she is to succeed in avenging her parents’ death. Or ever make it out alive.

Enchanted Revenge will appeal to fans of Jennifer L. Armentrout and Julie Kagawa.



The opening scenes of this novel are exciting and a little brutal (which really start it off with a bang!), but it does include some graphic violence (so this is not I'd necessarily recommend to anyone in the lower teens). That said, the murder scene of Lily's parents and her discovery of their bodies is a definite grabber. I felt her anger, her loss and her need for something to fill a sudden void--even if it's revenge. I really appreciated the way Lily tackles this life-shattering experience. Although she's sought out on revenge, it's not hateful but rather more confused and hesitant. This gives her a great sense of humanity and makes it even easier to like her and hope she finds the people who did this.

Lily, of course, doesn't have to go this journey alone, but has a strong and fearless companion. The introduction of Alec is well done: mysterious, somewhat dangerous and not necessarily a person who earns instant trust. It doesn't take long to have this facade melt away, little by little. And as he develops, so does the relationship, giving a perfect balance. The romance remains sweet and is built on trust, and although it felt a little jumpy and sudden at times, in general, it was enjoyable.

Although engaging, this book was at times a little hard for me to read. The writing is fine, but not always as smooth and connected as it could be. There were a couple moments where I thought about putting this book down but never could really get myself to do it. I wanted to hang in there a little longer to see what would happen next. And as the book went along, I became more and more invested in Lily's story until I ended up reading this in one sitting and could first leave when I reached the last page. 

The world Lily enters is vibrant, some things familiar and some very new. Not only were the surroundings easy to dive into, but we get a glimpse at the daily life of the fairy's--their food, their customs and how they inter-act. This added a nice depth to the world and I had no trouble picturing this unique life as Lily learned about it herself. It's a lovely world!

I can recommend this to fantasy lovers. Despite hiccups, the story still swept me away and had me hoping Lily would make it through. And that's exactly what a good story should do. 

Book 2, Enticing Violence, will be available on November 2nd, you can pre-order your copy now!

Cover Reveal: Thizz, A Love Story by Nicole Loufas

Thizz, A Love Story
Genre- Contemporary YA with mature content
By- Nicole Loufas
Expected Publication Date- November 1st

In 2006, while the San Francisco Bay Area was immersed in the Hyphy Movement – Dani was fleeing the city for the small coastal town of Eureka. With a past she wants to forget and a future that may be out of reach – Dani finds Thizz and her world turns inside out.
Dani has a plan.  Get into CAL Berkeley.  All she has to do is survive six months in Eureka, California.  Her plan seems to be working until Matt, the boy she’s secretly crushing on, sets her up with his best friend.
Nick Marino is the star of the basketball team, grandson to the wealthiest woman in the county, and the town drug dealer. Nick introduces Dani to Thizz on their first date and suddenly smiling becomes easy, conversations are comfortable. Now if she can just figure out if the tingles she’s feeling are caused by Nick or Thizz. After a few weeks of both – she doesn’t care.
With Nick by her side, thizz flowing through her veins, and Matt keeping all her secrets – Dani settles into her new life; forgetting about the tragedy that drove her there, and the plan she had to escape.
Matt fell in love with Dani the first time he saw her.   He also knew whatever drove her from San Francisco to Eureka in her last semester of high school wasn’t something she wanted to share.  When she finally started to open up, Matt hesitated just long enough for his best friend Nick to swoop in. Forced to sit and watch their relationship grow, Matt also learns of Dani’s obsession with Thizz.  He secretly feeds her addiction in a desperate attempt to win her heart.

Pressured into joining Nick’s crew, Matt finds himself in the middle of Eureka’s own hyphy movement and the hit list of a local biker gang. When a school project uncovers a disturbing link between Dani’s parents and Nick’s uncle, Matt is torn between his loyalty to Nick and his feelings for Dani as he tries to convince Dani that her life is in real danger; while persuading Nick to turn on his uncle to save the girl they love.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Cover Reveal: Fright Before Christmas with Giveaway

13 Tales of Holiday Horror
Leap Publishing
Middle Grade Horror

It's the most wonderful time of year...or is it? 

Christmas Eve is a night of mystery and magic, but not always in ways we expect. Things lurk in the shadows and they're not the least bit jolly or merry. Let's just say some presents are better left unopened.

‘Tis the season to be screaming along with our thirteen tales of holiday horrors. Ghosts. Monsters. Demons. And more! 

This Christmas, be careful what you wish for... 
Author List:
Richard Ankers  
Jackie Horsfall
Boyd Reynolds
Lea Storry
Ally Mathews
Laura Pauling
Ty Drago
Jessica Bayliss
Judith Graves
Andrea Stanet
Patrick Hueller
Dax Varley
Medeia Sharif


Pre-Order ebook sale for $1.99 – regular price $3.99

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Fright Before Christmas by Shannon Delany

Fright Before Christmas

by Shannon Delany

Giveaway ends December 05, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Monday, September 28, 2015

Review: Abbeyloo and Gus the Talking Toad by Tammy Cortez

by Tammy Cortez
Illustrated by Noemie Gionet Landry
Waldorf Publishing
Picture Book 
Ages 3+

AbbeyLoo is a curious little girl with a BIG imagination. This imagination takes AbbeyLoo to some very exciting and often unexpected places. AbbeyLoo loves exploring her backyard. There is always something new to see. Her favorite find is the many toads that roam her backyard. AbbeyLoo loves to carefully catch the toads and pet them and talk to them. Normally they don't talk back, but today is totally different. Follow along with AbbeyLoo on her latest adventure as she meets Gus, the talking toad.


This is a sweet story about a girl's amazing backyard adventure and what an adventure it is! While playing and discovering her backyard, Abbeyloo runs across a talking toad. 

My kids loved this and easily found themselves in Abbeyloo's shoes, wishing they could find a talking toad too. They were sucked into the story and listened closely to the very end. Although this is a fun book, I wouldn't recommend it to kids under four, simply because it's a bit longer adventure than the smallest will have the patience for. And the beginning is a bit slower than younger ones would like, since the story takes the time to set a peaceful and pretty scene. But mine, being a little older, enjoyed it to the very end and my daughter ran off with it to go through it again by herself.

The illustrations are lovely and captured my children's interest. They went through the book several times simply to look at them. In other words, it's everything a picture book for a slightly older group should be, and we hope there will be a second book coming someday.

Excerpt: Hookah by Cameron Jace

Insanity Book 4
by Cameron Jace
YA Fantasy/Fairy Tales

A Plague Scarier than Death
Alice and the Pillar have to stop a Wonderland Monster who’d lashed out an incurable disease onto the world. Their biggest challenge is that the world loves this monster so much.

A Cure Larger than Life
The only way to save the world is to travel to the other side of the globe, and peek into one of Lewis Carroll and the Pillar’s darker pasts.

A Truth Madder Than Fiction
This time, the price of saving the world is too high. Alice will have to live with the consequences of the maddest logic of the world surrounding her.

Will Alice find who the Pillar really is? What he wants? Is she brave enough to handle the one Wonderland Monster she’d thought was a good friends? And even so, is the world ready the truth?


“She’s not my daughter.” The Pillar purses his lips. He’s pissed at me. I know it. But you know what? I love the mushrooms’ effect. Because I don’t freakin’ care. “Don’t pay attention to her.”
“I’m beginning to lose my patience,” the machine gun man says. “You don’t know the password, and your daughter is a lunatic.”
“I told you she isn’t my daughter,” I hear the Pillar say while I’m trying to catch a diamond from the sky. “And I don’t know the answer to your puzzle. Divide a loaf by a knife? What kind of mathematical question is that?”
“Wrong answer.” The man is about to shoot the Pillar while I’m chasing stars.
This is when I find myself standing before the Pillar to protect him. “You will not shoot my father!” I have no idea what I am saying, or why I am saying it. It’s strange that in the middle of my hallucination I care for the Pillar.
“Tell her to move, or I will shoot you both,” the machine gun man warns.
Then another totally bonkers thing happens. This time it’s too insane to swallow.
“Tell you what? You look like you’re itching to shoot someone today,” the Pillar says, pushing me away toward the man. “Why not shoot her, and let me pass?”
Suddenly, I am two feet away from the machine gun itself, unable to determine if what I just heard was part of my hallucination or for real.
My attempt to turn back and confront the Pillar goes out the window when the machine gun man decides he’s had it with me.
He shoots me straight in the chest.


Expert 2:
"Have you ever jumped out of a plane in a parachute, down to meet up with people who’d take selfies of your blood on their faces for breakfast?
I am doing it right now. And guess what, it’s nighttime, so not only am I free-falling, but I am also doing it in the dark. That’s what I call a bonus.
Throwing away the Pillar’s goggles, I hear the plane explode in midair above me.
Oh my god, this is for real!
“I’ve always wanted to blow up my employees,” the Pillar shouts all the way down. I am not sure how I can hear him. “But you’ll be fine. Just pull the red lever when I tell you to.”
In spite of all the madness, I feel unexpectedly fine up here in the air. Fine is an understatement. I feel euphoric. I want to feel like this every day. It’s ridiculous how much I am enjoying this, although I may get face-palmed by the earth in a few seconds.
Mary Ann, also known as Alice Wonder, 19 years old, dead and gone. I imagine the scripture on my grave says. But who cares? She was mad anyways.
Suddenly I realize that the madness hasn’t started yet. Not at all.
Down below, I can see something glittering. The vast land where we’re landing is nothing but an endless field of ridiculously over-sized mushrooms.
Big mushrooms growing everywhere, whitening up the black of the night.

Get Insanity Book #1 for FREE!

And here he is. . .

Insanity 4 is available for pre-order

Cameron Jace is the bestselling author of the Grimm Diaries and Insanity series. A graduate of the college of Architecture, collector of out-of-print books, he is obsessed with the origins of folk tales and the mysterious storytellers who spread them. Three of his books made Amazon's Top 100 Customer Favorites in Kindle 2013 & Amazon's Top 100 kindle list. Cameron lives in California with his girlfriend. When he isn't writing or collecting books, he is playing music.

Sign up for his mailing list here:

Author links:

Cover Reveal: Jane Blond by Brianna Schatt and Stan Schatt

Jane Blond International Spy
By- Brianna Schatt & Stan Schatt
Genre- Middle Grade
Expected Publication Date- October 19th

Fourteen year old Jane thought getting through high school was difficult enough with her dad in prison and her mother dating. Throw in being bullied by the popular girl who has everything- it’s completely unbearable. But when terrorists kidnap a boy she cares about, she knows she is the only one who can save him. International Spy, Jane Blond, must prevent terrorists from blowing up her school during the President’s visit. She’ll need all of her courage along with the help of a teen with CIA secrets, a friend with Asperger’s and a parrot with an attitude.

Happy Book Birthday! Rise of the Sidenah by C.M. Story


About the Book

riseofthesidenah_96Title: Rise of the Sidenah
Author: C.M. Story
Genre: YA Fantasy
Adrienna Vedica longs to build the creatures living in her imagination. One day, she hopes to sculpt them out of stone, creating great statues like those that guard the Celany village.
She doesn’t understand why everyone seems to disapprove.
It’s only when Tishaan, a powerful man in the high council, agrees to help her sculpt that Adrienna is finally able to pursue her passion. She dives into her work, but creates with such energy she collapses from exhaustion before seeing the final results, giving Tishaan time to hide her masterpieces away.
Her mentor, Sreng—the man she secretly loves—tries to convince her that Tishaan is using her, but she can’t abandon her art. Only when people start showing up dead does she think again. There’s something off about Tishaan…and then Sreng shows her one of her early works.
But something is wrong.
It’s alive. And it’s digging a grave.

Author Bio

C M StoryC.M. Story has always been a fan of fantasy in all its many forms, including the kind she frequently indulged in during boring lectures in school. She didn’t try her hand at penning her own stories, however, until long after she’d gotten her Bachelor’s degree in music.
Once she sold her first short story, she got a writing job and never looked back. Today she runs a successful freelance writing and editing business out of her home in Idaho, and frequently travels to other inspiring places with her trusty laptop in tow. And yes, despite rumors to the contrary, “Story” is her real last name.
“Rise of the Sidenah” was inspired by gothic architecture, a tune by “The Calling,” and the idea that following the heart may cause pain, but is the only way to truly fulfill one’s purpose in life.
Find more at


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Review: Mist on Water by Shea Berkley

by Shea Berkley
Thursday Publishing
YA Fantasy
222 pages

Long ago, in a far off land, there rose a tale as old as the earth.

As long as Ryne can remember, his parents told him to beware the nix in the lake. From the day he was born, the tale of the nix and how she demanded Ryne as her prize for setting his captured father free has defined Ryne’s life. No matter what he does, he can’t shed its curse…in everyone’s eyes, Ryne is doomed to die.

Nari is the only one who befriends Ryne, and loves him without fear despite the villagers’ relentless jeers. But when Ryne disappears beneath the cold waters of the lake, everyone believes he’s dead. Everyone except Nari.

Now it’s up to Nari to defy her family, her village and the legend of the nix to bring Ryne back from his watery prison or they’ll both be lost. forever.



This is one of those books which grew on me the deeper I went into the pages and had me holding my breath by the end. It starts out with Ryne and Nari as children. The first chapters dealt with the story behind Ryne's curse, and although this information is vital to the rest of the plot, I'll admit that I had a rough time being felt drawn in. I almost laid the book aside but didn't, which was good because as soon as Ryne takes over and we see the world from his point of view, I was hooked.

Ryne is a loving but sometimes mischievous boy, who's in a bad spot by no fault of his own. Under other circumstances, he would be a normal kid and probably grow up to be respected by the entire town. His past...or rather his parents'...makes a normal life for him impossible. This plight, the friendships he forms despite it, and his undeserved fails at attempting to fit in make him a character that one can't help but liking.

Nari, Ryne's best friend and later heart's desire, is the kind of girl I couldn't help but love. She's a tom-boy in the best way possible. Even when she grows, this independence and adventurous spirit is something one can't help but root for.

There's a lot hit on in the story. There's a fight between good and evil, a lovely coming of age, a true love romance, a message about not fitting in, the hope of never giving up, friendship, and even the message of the dangers of gossip and not looking at the people for who they really are. In other words, there's a lot to like along with action and scenes which made me wonder if the heroes could really win.

This book is broken down in three sections, each told from a different character's point of view. While allowing for a great chance to dive into each character's head and understand the exact reasons for their actions, I found the change a little jarring, especially when this head change included a small rewind in the plot itself. But this might not bother others as much as me.

All in all, this is an enjoyable read, and I couldn't wait to see how it all turned out. . . and the ending was wonderful and everything an ending should be.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Review: Chocolate Mixer by Jason Armstrong

by Jason Armstrong

Waldorf Publishing
Picture Book
Ages 0+

While making her favorite snack with her Daddy, little Sofia makes an amazing discovery about herself! Her realization changes the way she sees this colorful world. Filled with wonder and questions, Sofia journeys into a world that isn't just black or white, but a beautiful rainbow of colors. This book is the story of a little girl learning that she is Multiracial. Chocolate Mixer addresses the common questions our children may ask about a world filled with different cultures, skin-colors and ways of life, and how even our own parents can look so different from one another.


Anyone who's been paying a little attention to the literary world this last year might have noticed the call out for diverse books. There's so little literature about different races and cultures out there, and so I was happy to get a hold of this one.

And what a lovely book it is!

Sofia, like many children these days, comes from mixed heritages, and what better way to describe this than like a mixed chocolate drink - things mixed together and be oh so good! I enjoyed the way this book approaches a sometimes difficult topic for kids to understand and makes it clear how it only expands on the wonder of life.

The illustrations are vibrant and add to the story nicely, while the writing itself is very easy even for the youngest kids to understand. By pulling in the special relationship between family and friends, children can easily sympathize with what's being said and will be able to relate it with their own families and surroundings.

I especially enjoyed the rainbow idea--how the multiracial and mixture of cultures reaches into all corners of the family. My own children used this as a chance to talk about our family members, and they were happy to discover mixtures of their own.

And here he is. . .

Jason Armstrong was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. While going to school to pursue a degree in physical therapy he was recruited and hired by a communications company as a specialist. He quickly rose through the ranks to become an acting team leader and corporate reinvention leader. While still employed in the corporate world, his interest in health & wellness lead him to pursue a career in personal training.

Being an entrepreneur at heart and not wanting to stop there, he went on to join the U.S. Air Force reserve to be trained in nutritional medicine while still attending school to get a degree in occupational sciences. This enabled him to work as a massage therapist and shortly after that he began teaching massage at a school in New York, NY.

Jason then decided to pursue his dream of opening his own wellness center, which led to him moving to Italy. It was here that he started to develop his love for photography, the saxophone and wine. While living in Italy with his two children, his love for writing which had been dormant for years, resurfaced when his daughter innocently had an epiphany over some chocolate milk.

Up until this time his writing had mainly consisted of poetry, of which a few poems were published in local corporate newspapers. After successfully opening up a wellness center in the Tuscan region of Italy, his love of wine met with an opportunity to launch his own startup importing wines and spirits into America, which lead him to moving back to New York, NY

While focusing on his start-up and returning to teaching, the thought of publishing this one particular book still sat in his head. Although by no means a professional author, he felt the message was important, but mostly he wanted to do it as a tribute and out of love for his two children.

Jason Armstrong currently lives in Brooklyn, New York and spends his time pursuing his passion for teaching, running his wine importing business and publishing his first children’s book.

For more information:

Friday, September 25, 2015

Excerpt: The Fire Sisters by A.G. Henley

Brilliant Darkness Book 3
 by A.G. Henley 
YA Fantasy
256 pages

Fennel and Peree are finally where they’ve worked ceaselessly to be: together and safe from the Scourge in the protected village of Koolkuna. But on the day of their partnering ceremony the children of the village are stolen away—Fenn’s loyal companion, Kora, among them.
Fenn wants to bring the children home, especially as the villagers seem to blame Peree and her for the tragedy. Only since the death of her own family, she’s terrified that a wrong move on her part will lead to the loss of others she loves.
Despite her apprehension, Fenn and Peree join a small search party led by rival Kaiya, the one person who stands a chance of finding the children thanks to her mysterious past. As they travel away from the safe waters of Koolkuna and into the Scourge-infested wilds, Fenn endures Kai’s scorn, her subtle designs on Peree, and the squabbling of the group. But nothing in her life so far has prepared her for the fierce warrior women who will steal others’ children to preserve their own existence—the Fire Sisters.
If Fenn is to survive the threat of the Scourge, rescue the children from the Sisters, and have a hope of making a life with Peree in Koolkuna, she must face her fear of failure and loss and become the leader she’s destined to be.
Read THE FIRE SISTERS, the thrilling conclusion to the bestselling young adult fantasy Brilliant Darkness series! There are three novels and two short stories in the series. The first novel, The Scourge, was a finalist for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Award.

The Scourge
The Keeper (novella)
The Defiance
The Gatherer (novella)
The Fire Sisters


Excerpt #2 from
(Brilliant Darkness, #3)
by A.G. Henley

“The Sisters were something else, Fenn,” Peree says. “All painted white. Armed to the teeth. And that scream… Thrush went white as a stone.”
I won’t forget the Sisters’ battle cry any time soon. “Why didn’t the children cry or shout? Why couldn’t I hear them at all?”
He lets out a long breath. “I don’t know. They weren’t gagged or anything. But they looked odd. Kind of… slack-faced.”
I shiver, and he rubs my arms.
“It reminded me of a story Kadee told me once," he says, "about a man who came to a village and, at the request of the people, played his pipes to lead all the rats that had been bothering them away. But once the rats were gone, the people wouldn’t give the piper what they promised him in return. So the next night, he came back, played his pipes, and took all their children away. Only three children remained behind to tell the villagers what had happened. One was lame, and so couldn’t follow the other children. One was deaf, and so couldn’t hear the music. And one was blind and couldn’t find her way.”
I make a face at that. “What did the people do?”
“They begged and pleaded with the piper to give their children back, but he was angry, and he wouldn’t.”
I sigh. “Peree, I wish Kadee would teach you some new stories. Ones with happy endings.” I start to move away. “We should get ready.”
“Wait.” He draws me back into his arms. “The timing could be better, but… I don’t know when I’ll have you to myself again.”
He kisses me.
We’ve shared a lot of kisses now—sweet, soft, tender, steamy, seductive, intense. I never knew there were so many kinds. This one starts slow and builds, like a fire catching. My legs go weak, and my insides turn to liquid.
I press myself against him, wanting no distance between us. His back is muscled under my hands, and his slim hips fit well against my own. His sweet honeysuckle scent makes me dizzy. If only we could lose ourselves in each other, forget everything and everyone else… let it all slip away in the heat of our passion.

For a moment, I let myself pretend we can.

And here she is. . .

A.G. Henley is the author of the BRILLIANT DARKNESS series. The first novel in the series, THE SCOURGE, was a finalist for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Award.

A.G. is also a clinical psychologist, which means people either tell her their life stories on airplanes, or avoid her at parties when they've had too much to drink. Neither of which she minds. When she's not writing fiction or shrinking heads, she can be found herding her children and their scruffy dog, Guapo, to various activities while trying to remember whatever she's inevitably forgotten to tell her husband. She lives in Denver, Colorado.

Author Links:

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Review: One Dream Only by Elodie Nowodazkij

Broken Dreams Volume 0.5
by Elodie Nowodazkij
YA Contemporary
90 pages

Sixteen-year-old Natalya Pushkaya has one dream and one dream only: becoming the best ballerina ever. Dancing's always been who she is and she's working her hardest to land the main role of the School of Performing Arts' end-of-the-year showcase. But...will she make it? 
Within a week, Natalya's life will be changed forever.


A short but fantastic read! I've already read the book which follows this one, ONE...TWO...THREE, and can honestly say that I found this one even better.

This novella was written after the first book, but that doesn't make it an after-thought. Although some books written like this often feel as if they're the authors way of stacking up a series, ONE DREAM ONLY not only explains the events leading up to the first book but bring depth and understanding which enriches the entire story. I gained a much better insight into Natalya's character and even though I've already read the continuation of her story, sympathize with her more than before.

I was especially impressed with the way the book is put together. The chapters don't follow a chronological order but jump back and forth around the day of the big accident. The author managed to make this time shifting not only easy to follow (it's exactly stated at the beginning of the chapter) but arranged them in a way that brought tension and emotions to their peek. It was a sheer joy to read.

Emotions and depth are one of the best parts of this series, and especially this book. I had no trouble being pulled into Natalya's world, fevered for her auditions, felt her confusion, and wished hope would turn out to be more than a light at the end of the tunnel. Her story pulls at the heart strings and the characters around her help create a believable world. But even when the world crumbles around her, it's great to see Natalya's strength (and weaknesses).

I definitely can recommend this, either before or after reading book one...or even as a read on its own. It's length makes it easy to read in less than an hour, but it leaves the reader craving for more.

Want to know more about the author, Elodie? Or about Natalya?