Friday, October 19, 2018

Cover Reveal: Whispers in the Lake by Brandy Nacole





 Whispers in the Lake
by Brandy Nacole
YA Paranormal Suspense
Cover Designer: Addendum Designs
Editor: J.K. Miller

COMING...
October 26th, 2018!!!

Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR



It had always been the two of them, Jada and her brother Cooper. Taught to hunt ghosts and send them on their way, Jada and Cooper were raised as a team by their mother and father. Now, Jada is on her own. That is until her friend Eliza calls needing her help.
On a lake in Maine, apparitions are seen and cries are heard across the smooth water’s surface. Many have died near a small island that sits in the center of the lake. The town claims they were all accidents, but Jada knows better.
However, the more she starts to uncover about the town and its dark history, the more her own past begins to catch up with her. And this time, running is not an option.





Whenever she’s not reading or writing, Brandy is spending time with her family and friends, throwing around crazy ideas, teaching, and singing like a rock star at a concert for no one else but herself. She loves plants, but unfortunately is a killer of anything that requires water but can’t voice (scream) their needs.

Author Links:
Buy Links:
Deep in the Hollow: https://amzn.to/2q52ssJ
Buried in the Bayou: https://amzn.to/2NKfDZl

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Review: Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Ghosts by Katie & Kevin Tsang


SAM WU IS NOT AFRAID OF GHOSTS
by Katie & Kevin Tsang
Illustrated by Nathan Reed
Sterling Children Books
Middle Grade Humor
240 pages
ages 7 to 12



Brilliantly funny new series about the bravest scaredy-cat in the world

Sam Wu is NOT a scaredy-cat (except he is). When a trip to the Space Museum goes terrifyingly wrong, Sam begins a mission to prove to the school bully, and all of his friends, that he is a fearless space adventurer. A truly laugh-out-loud, voice-led and madcap story of ghost hunting, snakes and mischievous pet cats called Butterbutt, perfect for fans of Tom Gates, Wilf the Mighty Worrier and Barry Loser, and readers aged six plus.
 



 MY TIDBITS

Ghostly silliness mixes with middle school adventure to make an exciting read which even reluctant readers are sure to enjoy.

Sam Wu knows what he likes and sticks to it—even when it means wearing his self-made Space Blasters outfit to the space museum when nobody else has heard of his favorite show. When a dare ends up in the most terrible way ever, Sam Wu is deemed as a scaredy-cat. Which he's not, and he's determined to prove it no matter what ghosts or man-eating snakes get in his way.

Just a flip through this book promises it's going to be a fun, quirky and never boring read. At 240 pages, it might sound a little longer, but the oodles and bounds of illustrations and artfully impressions in the text keep the word count light. This is a book which lives not only from the story, but the emotions and humor from the scribbles and illustrations. It's a great mix.

Sam Wu sticks out from the rest of his class. He loves a show no one else has heard about and has strange favorite foods. His little sister is pesky but at the same time, a great friend. This sibling portrayal hits spot-on and is fun to follow. But Sam has more friends. His parents have his back in as much as parents can. Plus, he has two good friends who stick with him even when they don't always agree with everything or unsure. In other words, Sam is a very normal kid.

Sam's adventures to prove he isn't a scaredy-cat are funny and take unexpected twists and turns. The ghosts are a sneaky turn, which adds a whole new level of adventure. But none of it ever leaves the realm of reality. Sam does learn his lesson. Somewhat. But mostly he discovers that he's not the only one who is afraid of something. The trick is in dealing with these fears.

This is a great read for kids ages 8 to 12 who enjoy a lot of fun in their reads. Especially reluctant readers will enjoy the wonderful amount of illustrations and see some of themselves in Sam Wu.



And here they are...

Katie and Kevin Tsang met while studying at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Ghosts is their first joint novel, and the second book int eh series, Sam Wu Is Not Afraid of Sharks, is coming in March 2019. Some of Sam Wu's experiences are based on Kevins' Childhood. He works as a healthcare technology consultant. Katie writes YA as Katherine Webber. Katie and Kevin live in London and are available of interview.

Visit Katie at www.kwebberwrites.com . Follow her on Twitter at @kwebberwrites and on Instagram at @kwebberwanders. Follow Kevin on Twitter at @kevtsang and on Instagram at @kevgtsang.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Review: Which Animal Is Fastest? by Brian Rock


WHICH ANIMAL IS FASTEST?
by Brian Rock
Illustrated by Carolyn Le
Arbordale Publishing
Picture Book
ages 4 to 8




After Cheetah wins a 100-yard dash, King Lion is ready to crown him the world's fastest animal but other animals, even turtle, claim they are fastest in their own realms. Includes activities, facts about animals, and information about habitats.



 MY TIDBITS

This book surprises with an intriguing mix from story to wonderful facts.

The lion, as the king of the animals, declares a race to see which creature may be deemed as the fastest. The cheetah is the first to cross the finish line, but before the lion can declare him the official winner, the other animals begin to complain. What if the race went on for several miles? Would the cheetah still win? And what about animals with two legs or those who are faster in the water than on land? A quarrel soon breaks out, one that the lion must somehow find a wise way to solve.

The first page bursts out with dry, savanna appeal and sets the perfect stage for the wild race. The illustrations portray the animals with a sense of natural beauty, while still incorporating a tad bit of human mannerisms to flow right in with the story. It's a treat to glance through the pictures, and young listeners are sure to find their favorites.

With a simple plot, the story delivers a bit of excitement while allowing the needed animals to come into play and hint at their own talents. The argument builds, some complaints more ridiculous than others, but it's this impossible atmosphere which adds a subtle humor. Especially the reaction of the lion with his paw over his face had me and my kids giggling. It's easy to identify with his predicament. The solution he comes up with isn't as amazing as it could be, but it works for the intention of this book.

While the story does add fun, the real grabber comes in the last pages as the fastest animals on Earth are identified in a graphic and almost scientific manner. And the list is surprising. While the cheetah might be the fastest sprinter, there are other creatures which hold records in their own areas. It's this type of information which kids devour, especially when enjoying a story first which they can then use to identify the information with.

The text in the story isn't difficult and, in many ways, appropriate for younger audiences as a read aloud, where as the information itself is more directed to slightly older audiences...ages 6 to 10. Even then, it's a great combination as readers can read through the tale easily like a light and fun introduction to the heavier and interesting material at the end.

As an extra bonus, the book is also available in Spanish, and there are several exercises at the end to help deepen the knowledge and understanding of the animals mentioned in the book. There is also a website mentioned, where readers can head to if they'd like more information.

Summed up, this is a wonderful combination of story and information, which easily draws even more reluctant readers in and opens them up to a few animals facts they probably didn't know before.


And here they are...

Brian Rock is not very fast. He can barely outrun a sloth. But he does enjoy writing children’s books at his own, measured pace. In addition to Which Animal is Fastest?, Brian has written The Deductive Detective for Arbordale, Martian Mustache Mischief, Don’t Play with Your Food!, Piggies, and With All My Heart. He received a master’s degree in Children’s Literature/Creative Writing from Hollins University. For six years, Brian worked in the Chesterfield County public school system teaching at-risk students. Visit Brian’s website at www.brianrock.net.

Carolyn Le was born in Vietnam and grew up in California. She dreamed of becoming an illustrator and, after graduating from Otis College of Art and Design with a BFA in Illustration, she illustrated her fi rst picture book, Clarence and the Traveling Circus. Carolyn’s watercolor paintings are a reflection of the beauty she sees around her, from the bright sunny Southern California days to the memories of the books she loved to read as a child. She has received numerous awards for her art and has shown her work in galleries in Los Angeles and London. Carolyn is living her dream (occasionally with a bunny roommate), sharing her love of art with her students, illustrating picture books and exploring writing and illustrating her own books. Visit her website at www.carolynle.com.


This Title...
is also available in Spanish!!!
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40591888-which-animal-is-fastest
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1607187515



Sneak Peek: Thetis by Greg Boose with Giveaway!




THETIS

The Deep Sky Saga Book 2

by Greg Boose

YA Sci-fi Fantasy

Pub Date: 10/8/18

Lost meets The 100 in this action-packed YA science fiction series.
Blind and broken, orphaned teenager Jonah Lincoln reluctantly boards a rescue ship bound for the planet Thetis, but not before it picks up a few more surprising and dangerous survivors from the massacre on the moon Achilles. After regaining his sight, Jonah sees the gated colony on Thetis is just as he feared–cloaked in mystery and under an oppressive rule with no one to trust–and that outside the walls, it’s even worse. Surrounded by terrifying new landscapes and creatures, Jonah and his friends fight to save the colony and restore order to the planet.



SNEAK PEEK

The gray grass under Jonah’s boots pops and shatters with every step. He follows the adults into the trees, stepping where they step, bracing his hands where theirs just were. It’s hot and sticky, and his gray jumpsuit clings to his skin like wet tissues.
“We found the yellow jacket right over there,” the woman says, pointing to the bottom of a large, twisted tree. “Showed up in our headlights while we’re headed back to camp.”

Jonah stares at the tree and the blood on its trunk, wondering why they didn’t leave the jacket where it was for evidence, or immediately investigate once they found it. He also wonders whose blood it is. Did Paul wake up and attack Dr. Z, ripping her jacket off and then chasing her into the forest? Or did Dr. Z carve up Paul’s skin with some new message to warn the others?
He stumbles past everyone, making his own path, and soon finds himself standing on the edge of a cliff. Half a mile below, thousands of geysers erupt in the valley, creating an enormous cloud of green mist that hovers overhead, blocking out the sun. The cliff Jonah stands on goes on for miles and miles, almost completely circling the valley. Way off on his right, a series of waterfalls descend the cliff into a giant pool that narrows and funnels into a twisting stream, cutting right through the geysers on the valley floor.
“You see those little black dots in all those waterfalls?” the woman asks as she comes up behind him.
Jonah thinks he might see some black specks in the water when he squints but can’t be sure.
The woman holds her sheaf out in front of Jonah’s face and turns on the camera. She raises her chin, triggering the zoom function, and suddenly it’s as if they’re hovering right above a waterfall halfway up the cliff. On her screen, small horned animals with squashed, pig-like faces bob up and down in the water above one of the falls. There are hundreds of them, maybe thousands. And they go over the falls seemingly without worry, plummeting with their short arms held above their heads. The woman zooms in even closer on a couple of the animals, following them all the way down the cliff, down waterfall after waterfall, and when they finally reach the giant pool at the bottom, they go underwater and never resurface, disappearing without a trace. Her sheaf scans the pool’s surface and then follows the stream cutting through the valley. Not one of the animals floats through. Thousands keep coming down the falls, and then they’re gone.
“Are they…Dying? Are they killing themselves?” Jonah asks.
“Maybe,” the woman answers. “But we don’t know for sure because we can’t find any bodies. They just,” she snaps her fingers, “go away. Even with our drones, we can’t figure it out. Yet.”
Jonah watches for a few more seconds before his eyes are drawn to a splattering of blood near his feet. There’s more to his left, and he quickly starts to follow it down a ridge that hugs the cliff’s edge.
“Yo, Firstie,” Vespa says behind him. “Wait up.”
The man with the ponytail suddenly pushes past Vespa and then Jonah, descending the ridge in a jog with series of loud, hacking coughs, his head still nodding, his rifle bouncing on his back.
“He lives for this kind of stuff,” the woman says as she drops in line behind Vespa. The bald man takes up the rear, whistling and clicking his tongue as if this is just a walk in the park.
“Does he keep nodding because of the…What’s wrong?” Vespa asks.
“It’s from the wormhole,” the woman says. “He hasn’t been able to stop moving his head ever since we went through two years ago. Even does it in his sleep, from what I’ve heard.”
The ridge continues to descend and curve left, ending at a large, circular space dotted with cave entrances. As Jonah comes down the final steps of the ridge, he doesn’t know where to look: at the half-circle of black doorways punched into the stone, or at the small sculptures all around him; rocks of all sizes and shapes are stacked on top of each other, balancing and wobbling in the swirling wind that sweeps through the area.
“Who the hell made those?” Vespa asks.

A low groan comes from one of the caves. The man with the ponytail whips his gun off his back and looks through his scope, nodding and bobbing the barrel of the rifle from cave to cave until pointing at one on the left. “He’s in there.”


Achilles
The Deep Sky Saga Book 1

Young colonists find themselves stranded on an unpopulated moon—and not as alone as they thought—in a series debut from the author of The Red Bishop.

The year is 2221, and humans have colonized a planet called Thetis in the Silver Foot Galaxy. After a tragic accident kills dozens of teenage colonists, Thetis’s leaders are desperate to repopulate. So Earth sends the Mayflower 2a state-of-the-art spaceship—across the universe to bring new homesteaders to the colony.
For orphaned teen Jonah Lincoln, the move to Thetis is a chance to reinvent himself, to be strong and independent and brave, the way he could never be on Earth. But his dreams go up in smoke when their ship crash-lands, killing half the passengers and leaving the rest stranded—not on Thetis, but on its cruel and unpopulated moon, Achilles.
Between its bloodthirsty alien life forms and its distance from their intended location, Achilles is a harrowing landing place. When all of the adult survivors suddenly disappear, leaving the teenage passengers to fend for themselves, Jonah doubts they’ll survive at all, much less reach Thetis—especially when it appears Achilles isn’t as uninhabited as they were led to believe.





The fourth of six kids, Greg Boose grew up on a large produce farm in northeast Ohio. He received his undergraduate degree from Miami University, and then later received his M.F.A. at Minnesota State University Moorhead where he focused on screenwriting and fiction. He lives in Santa Monica with his two young daughters.



Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!





Cover Reveal: Piper Prince by Amber Argyle




Piper Prince 
by Amber Argyle 
Forbidden Forest #2
YA Fantasy

COMING...
APRIL 2019!!!







All magic is light. If that light be darkened, shadow and punishment come.
Long ago, a curse fell upon the land—a curse of forgetting and wraiths, a curse that ensured no daughters were born to the pied pipers in over three centuries. The pipers were all that stood between the humanity and utter destruction, so they did the only thing they could: they stole the daughters of the nearby kingdom with their hypnotizing melodies. With the sons born from those unions, they continued to defend against the wraiths and fight the curse, even though they were slowly losing.
Larkin was one of those daughters. Stolen by Denan and married against her will, she found herself falling in love with the very man who had taken everything from her, the man who had made her a princess. Together, they discovered that she was the first woman in three centuries to possess the magic of the pipers, and therefore, the only person capable of breaking the ancient curse.
But breaking the curse means unraveling the very past the curse is intent on keeping secret. The answer lies buried in the crypts of the Black Druids, men who consider Larkin a traitor they’ll kill on sight. Embedded in the intrigues of their court, she unearths a dark conspiracy destined to hasten the destructive power of the curse—a conspiracy aimed at destroying her piper prince.

Sequel to:



And here she is... 
Bestselling author Amber Argyle writes young-adult fantasies where the main characters save the world (with varying degrees of success) and fall in love (with the enemy). Her award-winning books have been translated into numerous languages and praised by such authors as NYT bestsellers David Farland and Jennifer A. Nielsen.
Amber grew up on a cattle ranch and spent her formative years in the rodeo circuit and on the basketball court. She graduated cum laude from Utah State University with a degree in English and physical education, a husband, and a two-year-old. Since then, she and her husband have added two more children, which they are actively trying to transform from crazy small people into less-crazy larger people. She's fluent in all forms of sarcasm, loves hiking and traveling, and believes spiders should be relegated to horror novels where they belong.
To receive her starter library of four free books, simply tell her where to send it: http://amberargyle.com/freebooks/

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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Review: The Harbinger by Candace Wondrak


THE HARBINGER
A Reverse Harem Fantasy
by Candace Wondrak
YA Fantasy / Romance
175 pages

COMING...
NOVEMBER 5th, 2018!!!



The rules of the Second, a list by Faith Blackwell. 

One: technology doesn’t work. The Second doesn’t need electricity when it has magic. Two: don’t trust anyone. The Second’s races—the Elven, the Malus, the Ulen and the Dracon—are way too pretty to trust. Three: when someone tells you you’re the new Harbinger, believe them. Bad things happen if you don’t. 

Back in the sixties, the last Harbinger permanently opened the gateways between Earth and the Second. Humanity grew accordingly. Faith is in her fifth year at the Academy, with her sight set on joining the Division, the branch of government that enforces what most law enforcement can’t, like smuggling goods between worlds. Following her mother’s footsteps has always been the plan. 

Of course, she doesn’t want to follow them to a T. Her mother had awful luck with men, as did her grandma. Faith wouldn’t mind finding out what’s so special about a man that it has her quirky grandma swearing at them constantly. A field trip to the Second is just what she needs. 

Being the first female Harbinger in the Second’s history and having to face down the realm’s most dangerous Dracon, also known as the ridiculously-named Dread King? Not what she needs. 

Faith isn’t a hero. That sort of responsibility is not what she wants. The perks that come with it—like a sexy but infuriating Elf, a flirty Malus, and a quiet and pensive Ulen—well, maybe for them she’ll make an exception to her grandma’s no-man rule. 

Maybe she’ll have them all. 

The Harbinger is the first in a slow-burn, reverse harem fantasy series. Expect eventual hot and steamy scenes, coupled with the Chosen One trope, and a heroine who will reluctantly try to save a world that isn’t hers. 



MY TIDBITS

Set in a high fantasy world, this is a fast-paced story with much more than just romance.

Faith is a bit of a trouble-maker. As a pretty successful student at the Academy, she's on the right track to achieving her dreams of joining the Division one day and helping to keep smugglers at bay. But she's not exactly patient and oversteps the rules more often than she should, especially since her mother holds a very high position at the Academy. A field trip to another world, the Second, is supposed to help broaden her and her classmates understanding of the other realm, but instead, she finds herself caught up in a battle and possibly a war.

This is advertised as a slow burning reverse harem, and it is exactly that. Faith does have a potential love interest in this first book, but the relationship remains in a solid 'potential' area, keeping the romance at a very slow burner pace. I appreciated that. Faith isn't in this for romance. She isn't even really interested in becoming a hero or anything like that either. She has her goals already set and that is as a smuggler-snatcher. So when she suddenly finds herself and her friends victim to an attach and abduction, which ends with her being dibbed as the Harbinger, a type of re-generating savior to the elfs and other creatures of the Second, she's got enough on her hands to contend with.

Faith has an irritating personality, and that did turn me off on her quite a bit. She's snarky, arrogant, stupid and simply loud-mouthed. And she doesn't have the talent or extreme abilities to have the right to act better than anybody else. She's not at home in her own skin, and acts out. And this makes her hard to like. But she grew on my a little as the book progressed. At the end, she still isn't exactly wonderful as far as characters go, but there is a tiny bit of improvement. If this carries through the entire series, the character arc will be worth it.

Friends of epic fantasy are going to feel more at home than fans of paranormal or more urban fantasy tales. The world of the elves is rich and holds the high fantasy feel—something I loved. It snuggled a little strangely with Faith and her attitude, but in general, it makes for an intriguing mix...one high fantasy friends will appreciate.

And back to the romance—this first love interest, which is centered on in the first book, is definitely a building relationship and has absolutely none of the love-at-first-sight. There is a lot of trust to be built. And thanks to Faith's over-bearing personality, the 'sparky' scenes hit with awkwardness. It's not clear why the elf is drawn to her a little bit (because it isn't coming across as a tidal wave either). Yet, this odd romance fits the story and characters' quirky attributes better than a smoother romance would.

As to the harem, the last chapters finally give glimpses at the men it might include and hints at a direction the adventure could be going. But there are so many possibilities open and huge paths to be traveled before a real harem is underway, that it's hard to say exactly what adventures still await Faith. In any case, I'm curious to see what happens next and wonder if the next book will have me rooting for Faith more or not.

Sneak Peek: The Tissue Veil by Brenda Bannister




THE TISSUE VEIL
by Brenda Bannister
Brown Dog Books
YA Paranormal / Historical
426 pages





What if you discovered a hundred-year-old diary under your floorboards - and then found references in it to yourself? Or if you lived in 1901, yet kept seeing glimpses of a girl from modern times? And what if both of you had problems that only the other could really understand? Emily and Aysha live in the same Stepney house and an inexplicable link develops between them, fuelled by Aysha's discovery of a journal and Emily's sightings of a 'future ghost'. Each takes courage from the other's predicament - after all, what's a hundred years between friends?

Purchase Links:



SNEAK PEEK

Excerpt from Chapter 14 of The Tissue Veil.
Aysha hopes to go to a good university, but her mother and brother have an arranged marriage in mind. Derrick, a fellow 'A' level student at her college who is clearly interested in her, has arranged a group visit to an ice-rink...

Eight students – five girls, three lads, mostly from their history set – bundle onto the upper deck of the bus. Billie has brought her boyfriend Chris, from the photography course. Karen sits beside Aysha, while Derrick spreads himself across the double seat behind them, one hand gripping the rail in front so that when Aysha leans back his broad knuckles knead her shoulder blades. When the bus stops at the traffic lights, she catches sight of Mo amongst a group of white-capped men waiting to cross the road, presumably returning from Friday prayers. The upstairs window is grimy, but she still ducks her head.
            “When do we have to be there?” she asks Derrick. He unfolds a leaflet. “They close to re-do the surface after the midday session. We’re in plenty of time for the three till five slot.”
            Across the aisle, Billie has slung her skinny legs across her boyfriend Chris’s lap, while he is tracing the seam of the skin-tight jeans along her thigh. Billie reaches up and whispers something to him and they both glance in Aysha’s direction and smirk.
            “Reckon Del Boy’s in luck.”
            “Shut your face, Billie!” Karen snaps.
            Aysha leans forward and stares rigidly ahead; the other students in the party look embarrassed. As the bus swings around the corner towards Aldgate Station, Derrick gets up and gestures to the girls to go ahead of him. He stands as tall as the height of the bus allows, then turns to say something to Billie’s boyfriend before following them downstairs. The three of them cross the road, then hurry down Houndsditch towards Broadgate, leaving the others to follow. They are first in the queue for skates when the ice reopens at three.
            “Bit small, isn’t it?” Karen comments. The rink is situated in a raised circular enclosure, approached by wide stone steps. An outer ring of shops and restaurants surround it at a lower level and the whole complex is overlooked by tall office blocks.
            “Yeah, it’s nothing like the Lee Valley one, “ Derrick says.
            “The one at the Natural History Museum is bigger but it’d take too long to get there.”
            Had he chosen the nearest rink to make it easier for her to come? It seems plenty big enough to Aysha, who can’t imagine doing anything except picking her way around the side, holding onto the barrier. Figuring out how to move seems to require part of her brain she hasn’t used before. She tries a few shuffling steps, but then Karen and Derrick take one of her arms each and draw her forward.
            “Keep your feet on the ice or we’ll drag you over.”
            “Just glide.”
            She lets herself go and they pull her into the centre of the rink. The sun has come out and the ice sparkles. The other two change direction, but she doesn’t understand how to do this. She feels her legs shoot forward, certain she’s going to bring them all down, when an arm comes round her waist and holds her steady. Karen lets go her grip and Derrick alone guides her across the ice. Her cheek brushes against the cold zip of his hoodie and she catches a spicy waft of aftershave.
            “Try to bend your knees,” he says. “I won’t let you fall.”
            He crosses the ice still holding her and deposits her safely at the edge. She watches as he skates back into the centre, performs a figure of eight, then picks up speed and goes into an extended spin. A few city workers, sauntering back from a liquid lunch, send up a ragged cheer and Karen mouths a wow. Billie’s face shows grudging admiration and her boyfriend claps Derrick on the shoulder when he skates back to the edge.
            “Where d’you learn to do that, mate?”
            “I had lessons when I was a kid.”
            “Why did you stop?” Aysha asks.
            “Took up football instead,” he grins. “Got picked as goalie for the school team. Plus I knew there were plenty of skaters better than me. I haven’t forgotten it all though, have I?”
            He looks down at her, waiting for approval.
            “No, you were really good out there.”
            He beams, and takes both her hands, gliding backwards on the ice. This time she trusts him, follows his directions, begins to learn how to shift her weight and move her feet. If he lets me go, I’ll fall, she thinks, but I’m doing it, I’m skating! The cold air floods her lungs like a drug.




And here she is...

Brenda studied English at university and later qualified as a librarian, working in various educational settings from schools to higher education. Moving from London to Frome in Somerset in 2010 proved a catalyst for her own writing as she joined local fiction and script writing groups. She has had a number of short stories published, plus short plays produced in local pub theatre, but all the while was incubating a story based in the area of Tower Hamlets where she had worked for eighteen years.  This germ of a story became 'The Tissue Veil'.
Brenda is a founder member of Frome Writers' Collective, an organisation which has grown from a handful of members to over a hundred in the past four years, and helped set up its innovative Silver Crow Book Brand. She is also the current organiser of the annual Frome Festival Short Story Competition. A lifelong reader, Brenda rarely follows genres, but enjoys modern literary fiction, historical fiction, classics and the occasional detective novel. The latest Bernard Cornwell might be a guilty pleasure, but she'll be even more eager to get her hands on Hilary Mantel's final instalment of Thomas Cromwell's story.

Social Media Links –





Sneak Peek: The Fighter of Aldea by Kira Weston with Giveaway!





The Fighter of Aldea 

by Kira Weston 

October 15th 2018
YA Fantasy






It’s the year 2216, and ever since Lydia Humsworth was little, she’s heard stories about electricity that used to light up skylines and planes that soared through the sky like birds. There were also stories about The Shift, which plunged the world into darkness nearly two hundred years ago and gave some people magical abilities. These people came to call themselves sorcerers.
Now, in the small village of Aldea, sixteen-year-old Lydia is training to be a Fighter in hopes of one day protecting her village. Her best friend, Daniel, spends his days working long hard hours on the farm. Humans and sorcerers have always seemed to coincide peacefully, but when Leonardo Kinch–a deranged sorcerer who blames humans for the death of his family–starts a war against humans, nothing is as they believed.

When war rages across the country, Lydia and Daniel must do everything they can to stop the war and stay alive, or risk the human race falling into extinction.


SNEAK PEEK

LYDIA
I jump up and before I’m even back on the ground, I swing out at his face. I nearly get a tap, but Joshua manages to duck away. He groans angrily and jabs at my stomach. I suck it in and jump backward, but I’m closer to the edge than I’d thought and my back slams into the rope.
Joshua smirks. He knows he’s got the upper-hand.
He goes for my stomach again, but I slip out of the way, dive into a roll that takes me behind him, and spin around to face him.
He whirls around and slices his stick down toward the top of my head. I grab my stick with both hands and hold it above me. Block.
I realize he’s holding his vertically like a sword, as opposed to holding it horizontally above his head. Bad form. I push my stick against his, forcing it toward his body. A look of confusion crosses Joshua’s face. Then I give his stick a good shove with my own, thrusting him backward enough that he loses his balance and falls down onto the mat, flat on his back.
While he’s down, I jab my stick toward his neck and tap his throat. The fight is over.
Joshua looks up at me with wide eyes, probably realizing what the result of a full force hit like that would be, and I suddenly become very aware of the fact that I’m glaring down at him. Had I wanted to fight again for revenge? What if I had lost my cool? Then I wouldn’t have been any better than he was.
Except, I didn’t hit him, whether a part of me wanted to or not. And I certainly didn’t cheat. That’s not who I am, or ever want to be.
Finally, the blood from my scratches runs all the way down my face, and just as a single drop of blood falls onto the mat, I hear the whistle.
“Winner! Lydia Humsworth!”
The crowd cheers. I’m brought back to reality. During the fight, it was as if everything and everyone had melted away and become silent. Nothing existed but me, my opponent, and the ring. I look up at the crowd who’s roaring for me. Daniel, Lucas, and my mom are cheering louder than anyone else. It hits me: I won.
I put my stick down and look up at the audience, letting my victory sink in before turning back to help Joshua up. I hold out my hand, but he shoves it away and gets up on his own.
We bow. He looks mad again. So many remarks run through my head. I told you so. Sorry to burst your bubble. Apologies for deflating your ego… But I leave it alone. He’s probably punishing himself enough.
Instead, I bow my head and say, “Good fight, Joshua.”
He seems a little surprised at my humility, but he doesn’t return it. All he does is sneer and bow his head in return. Then we separate to have quick words with our instructors before the final winners are announced.
“Well done, Lydia,” Mr. Neil tells me, handing me a towel to wipe my face with. “You had the upper hand for most of the fight and you did some quick thinking with that final move. It was different, unexpected, and intelligent.”
“Thank you, sir,” I say politely. I’m surprised by his kind words, but I can also tell that he’s holding something back. I sigh. “What is it?”
He shifts his eyes to the side, then looks back at me. “You’re still too slow.” I purse my lips. Of course…






And here she is...
Kira Weston writes Young Adult fiction, often day-dreaming the what-ifs of magic and science fiction, and how they might affect the world. Her debut novel, The Fighter of Aldea, comes out October 15th, 2018. Kira grew up in Las Vegas, NV under the hot sun and the distant lights of the famous Las Vegas Strip, and now resides in Colorado, which is much cooler—most of the time.
Kira currently works in retail, but hopes to put her main focus on storytelling in the near future, whether it be through books, movies, or something in between. When she’s not writing, she spends her time befriending cats, hoping for rain, drinking mochas, and listening to music.

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Monday, October 15, 2018

Review: Wrath of the Dragon King by Brandon Mull


WRATH OF THE DRAGON KING
Dragonwatch, Book Two
by Brandon Mull
Shadow Mountain
Middle Grade Fantasy
416 pages

COMING...
OCTOBER 23rd, 2018!!!


War has come to the dragon sanctuaries of the world and nowhere is the danger more intense than at Wyrmroost. After a humiliating defeat at the hands of Kendra and Seth, Celebrant, King of Dragons, prepares to unleash his fury and take control of his native preserve. Armed with information from a new ally Ronodin, the dark unicorn Celebrant seeks a legendary talisman the dominion stone.

However, the powerful stone is protected by a cursed castle. Upon entering the castle fortress, an unyielding power strips all magical beings of their power and forces Celebrant to take his human avatar form. Kendra and Seth must enter the cursed castle as well. The race is on. Will the two young caretakers rally enough support from the creatures of Wyrmroost against the greatest threat the magical community has faced in ages? Can they foil Celebrant's plan and beat him to the mighty dominion stone? Or will all hope be shattered by the wrath of the Dragon King?
 



MY TIDBITS

Note: I did not read the first book in the series, which was a mistake. The story in book two takes off from where book one left off, and without reading book one, there is too much missing information to easily slide into the second one. In other words, read this one as a series.

Also, I only received the first 100 or so pages of this title to review. So, I can only review this first section. Whether or not the rest of the book holds up to these first pages, or whether or not the many upcoming twists and turns hold all they should/could, isn't something I can judge or comment on.

Seth is determined to overcome the magical and instant fear which strikes him and all other humans when faced with a dragon's stare, but things are going so well. Kendra might be doing better with her position with the fairies, but she's more than aware of the approaching war, which she and Seth must try to thwart off before it destroys the world. But there is not an easy way to hold off dragons, who have been living in, what they consider, prisons and now, want their freedom...and possibly to rule the world. When Seth and Kendra receive an invitation to the Dragon King's palace, they can't refuse but they can't agree either, since they know it is a trap. For the Dragon King wants to see Kendra dead.

This is a fast-paced, exciting adventure which lets dragons, fairies and magic flow with rich imagination. Each and every character is facing their own dilemmas, ones which make them sympathetic and easy to connect to. And it's these well woven sub-plots which support the main story and give it so much depth and intrigue. This is not a book to easily put down, but each page brings something new and adds to the excitement. There's hope, but it's only a shimmer which makes the characters to cheer for. They have their faults and they have determination as well as wonderful moral compasses. They know what's right and they will fight for it even when the odds are stacked against them.

While the danger is ever present, the author has built in a touch of humor and fantastical moments to keep it from growing to dark and to waken the imagination. The scenes are never overly described, but allow the reader to dive into the fantastical realm. There's moments of wonder, discovery and fascination, making this a tale found in dreams. 

These first pages definitely grab and set the stones for a great adventure. Whether the rest of the book holds up to it's introduction, I can't say. But I'd be more than willing to read the rest to find out. 




Want to meet Brandon Mull live?
Here's the tour:

And here he is...

Brandon Mull is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fablehaven series and Beyonders series. He travels the country visiting schools, promoting literacy, and sharing his message that "Imagination Can Take You Places." He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his family.

Dragonwatch, Book 2: Wrath of the Dragon King (Shadow Mountain Publishing) will be available everywhere books are sold on October 23, 2018.

Cover Reveal: The Dragon Heart Series by L.L. Hunter






The Dragon Heart Series
by L.L. Hunter
YA Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Illustrator: Arnild Aldepolla

COMING...
November 30th, 2018!!!

Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR





Framed for a crime he didn't commit, 18 year old Ash Brandon finds himself being whisked away to what he thought was jail. Until he wakes up the next morning feeling really strange. But what's more strange are the people he meets.
When Ash discovers he is going through a frightening new metamorphosis, he has no choice but to trust these people.
Until he meets their beautiful young daughter, Eva, his whole outlook on life changes and she helps him accept who he was destined to become.
For they are the Keepers, and he is a Dragon Heart.


Buy Links:


I remember excruciating pain.
I remember unimaginable heat.
I remember an undeniably beautiful young woman.
But I’m not sure whether these things are real.
One year ago, Ash Brandon was framed and sent to an unknown realm where he learnt his fate. A fate where he held the blood of an ancient line of Dragon shifters called Dragon Hearts. The thing is, he can no longer remember. All he knows is that he is a nineteen-year-old guy who wants to study architecture and one day, take over the family business.
Then two beautiful girls show up in his life — one who is sexy as hell and could be the woman of his dreams, while the other claims to have known him from a past he cannot remember. Only there is one thing he can’t wrap his mind around — Why does he crave each of the girls?
A now eighteen-year-old Eva, a powerful Dragon Heart Keeper from the Dragon Realm, is punished by her parents and sent to the earthly realm by her witch maiden. Her memories have all been wiped clean, but why can she still remember Ash, and the undeniable bond they once shared?
Emily is a Siren princess, and she always gets what she wants. When she sets her sights on Ash, all bets are off. She will make him hers — if only his Keeper weren’t in the way.
Will Ash discover who he truly is before it’s too late? Or will his deadly addiction to both girls get him killed?



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Eva and Ash thought they were safe.
What they don’t know is someone is watching their every move.
As the bounty on their head looms, Eva will do anything to protect Ash, even if it means trusting the enemy.
Ash must learn to work with Henry if he is to survive, and Eva must put up with both boys—and her feelings for them.
But their plan to escape the clutches of Eva's father is ruined when the trio is separated.
To find their way back together, they must all confront their own demons—in order for them to confront the Man with the Fire in his Eyes.
When you’re the last of the Dragon Hearts, everyone hungers for your blood.
Crave Love. Crave Blood. Crave Death.

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Ash and Eva have been reunited.
Henry has found his brother.
Happily ever after.
The end. Right?
Wrong.
They may be together, but all is not what it seems.
They soon discover everyone has their own goals.
Some want freedom. Some want blood. And most want answers.
Who will lose their life in the thirst for power?
Alliances will be forged, battles will be fought, and lines will be drawn.
In the thrilling conclusion to the Dragon Heart series, will Eva and Ash finally have their happily ever after?
Crave Power. Crave Blood. Crave Freedom.


Buy Links:



There is a place that is parallel to you and me, but yet it is not.
It does not have a name nor has it ever been mapped.
The only thing we know about this place is that it is filled with every creature you have ever heard of, but some you have not.
How do we know so much about this place you may ask?
Turn the page and discover for yourself.
For these are just a handful of stories from some of the creatures that live there…
Based on L.L. Hunter’s bestselling fantasy series,
This colouring book features scenes from all four books in the Dragon Heart world.
L.L. Hunter is the author of over 20 published works, including The Legend of the Archangel Series and The Garden of Eden. She has studied everything from veterinary nursing, forensic science, and dramatic arts, but has always known her true calling was to be an author. 

She has been writing since her teens - everything from fan fiction, to song lyrics, to plays and musicals. When not working on her next paranormal romance, she can be found at home in Australia, reading somewhere comfortable with one or both of her “fur babies.” 
Follow her on Facebook, Twitter @llhunterbooks, and her blog - http://llhunter.blogspot.com.au