Thursday, 15 March 2018

Bookshelf Tour Announcement

        Interested in finding out what I have collected in my many years as a YA reviewer? Check out My Bookshelf Tour page! It has a glimpse into my Signed book, Advanced Readers Copies, general review copies and just my own purchases! Have fun :).  Keep checking in if you want to see what's new to my library, which is perpetually expanding. #TNSPLblog #BookshelfTour

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Reign the Earth (The Elementae #1) by A.C. Gaughen (Review)

    Shalia is an earth elemental, and she just got married to the king of the very people who want to murder all of her kind. She made this sacrifice to save her family and her people in the desert. If she doesn't, her now husband would wipe them off the face of the earth in war. As time passes, the evil in the King's heart becomes more and more apparent, as her attraction to his kinder and more noble brother grows. To survive she will have to walk a tight rope between truth and lies.
      I didn't love it. Reign the Earth was unexpectedly dark and depressing. It contained many uncomfortable topics like: domestic abuse, sexual abuse, murder, torcher, child killing, genocide and infanticide. Needless to say, I was not expecting the true level of how dark this story would end up being. I went into this expecting a romance and a take-no-prisoners kind of heroine. What I got was violence, fear and no real fight back on the behalf of the heroine. Really, for the most part she felt like she was there to get saved and to be nocked around, which was not what I signed up for. That aside, the writing as a whole is fine, just dark. So ultimately, I would give Reign the Earth the rating of THREE AND A HALF STARS OUT OF FIVE!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Olympian Challenger by Astrid Arditi (Review)

     In the modern day, the Greek gods are still around, and they want a new hero. Sucked into the insanity of Olympus against her will, Hope is a contestant to become said hero. She got sucked in while trying to save another contestant from drowning. Because of her good act, she gets chucked into the dangerous world of gods, demi-gods, heroes and monsters. To survive she will have to tough, determined, intelligent and quick-witted.
     Olympian Challengers could be described with one word; okay. It is nothing incredibly unique or exciting, but it was like eating candy: not good for you but fun to consume for consumptions sake. Hope was pretty generic, but was not a bad character per-say, she was just a cooky cutter character. As for the other characters, for the most part, Hope had two semi-interesting friendships, but one of the two still seemed pretty cooky cutter. I did enjoy the friendship with the self ship thief, since it allowed Hope to seem more moral and compassionate in comparison. Story-wise, the story did not really wrap up, making it obvious there is an intendend sequel. Because of this, the ending of the story did not really feel properly concluded and I was left feeling more like I had just finished a chapter, and had not been given a full book. In the end, Olympian Challenger was okay and I give it the rating of THREE AND A HALF STARS OUT OF FIVE!!!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Book Blitz: Sneaking Out by Chuck Vance!

Sneaking Out
by Chuck Vance
(Chased, #1)
Published by: Dunemere Books
Publication date: March 6th 2018
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult
    Could you sleep next to a murderer?
Luke Chase-yes, that Luke Chase, a modern hero ripped from the headlines-didn't mean to get caught up in Mrs. Heckler's murder. He just wanted to hook up with the hot new British girl at St. Benedict's, and if that meant sneaking out to the woods after hours, then so be it. But little did he know someone would end up dead right next to their rendezvous spot, and his best friend and roommate Oscar Weymouth would go down for it. With suspects aplenty and a past that's anything but innocent, Luke Chase reluctantly calls on his famous survival skills to find the true killer.
For fans of "A Study in Charlotte" and boarding school lit, "Sneaking Out" (book one in the "Chased" series) immerses readers in the privileged prep school world, with a mystery that exposes the dark side of life on a residential high school campus.
Luke stood up and held out a hand to help Pippa up. He didn't let go after she rose, and he clasped it firmly as they walked together. It didn't feel awkward-he'd already held her hand a couple of times. He felt protective. They walked along in silence.
They passed a mailbox, its hinge squeaking in the wind. The wind had picked up a plastic bag, which was scraping along the road, dancing with the fallen leaves. Every noise was amplified.
Luke pulled Pippa toward him to avoid a ditch. It was then that Luke sensed something. He glanced over his shoulder, and saw the flash of someone jump behind a tree. Luke's muscles tensed. They were being followed.
"Don't turn around, but someone is behind us," warned Luke. "On foot."
He saw Pippa's neck stiffen. "Who is it?" she whispered.
"Not sure, but let's speed up."
They started walking as fast as possible without running. Luke felt as if there was a bullseye on his back. Was the person who was following them crazy enough to do something to harm them? What if he had a gun?
They were about a block away from the nearest streetlight. Luke feared that if they walked under it, they would be completely exposed to whoever was following them. It seemed safer to remain in the shadows. He abruptly pulled Pippa diagonally across the street. They picked up their pace and stayed on course.
"We'll be able to see who it is when they pass the streetlight," said Luke.
"Do you think he crossed, too?"
Luke pricked his ears. He could hear a distant tap, tap. Footsteps. "No, he's on the other side."
They walked past the streetlight and up about thirty feet before stopping short and turning around. For a split second, they saw a figure bathed in the light, but then it darted to the side. It looked like a man, in a baseball hat. But he was too fast for them. Luke grabbed Pippa's hand tightly."
"We need to run."

Author Bio:
     Chuck Vance is a pseudonym for a bestselling writer of both adult mysteries and novels for young adults. Vance attended boarding school in Connecticut and graduated from Columbia University. Vance has lived in New York, Moscow, London, Paris and Los Angeles and is frequently on the move.


Monday, 5 March 2018

Defy the Worlds (Constellation #2) by Claudia Gray (Review)

    The second installment in the Constellation series, Defy the Worlds takes off where Defy the Stars left off. Noemi is alone, even thought she is on her home planet again, without Able she feels utterly abandoned. When an attack is launched against her home once again, she must return back into outer-space with a slight hope in saving her people. All the while, Able is uncovering a mystery that could change the entire universe and pose a problem for everybody within it. Once their paths re-converge, things are not simple and they will now have to fight to have even a moment of peace and quite... and to survive.
      In my opinion, Defy the Worlds was not great. I really loved Defy the Stars, but this story was not really on the same level. It had less romance, less personal development in the characters, less fascinating planet hopping, less fascinating dialogue and less world building. It was generally darker, more drawn out, and tragically... it was boring. I know this happens sometimes with middle filler novels, but it is always super disappointing when it happens. On the flip side, the narrative voice of the author was about the same, so I found no problem with that, as well as the fact that this novel did have some stakes and twists to it, making it bearable, just not enjoyable. Overall, Defy the Worlds were "meh", and I give it the rating of TWO AND A HALF STARS OUT OF FIVE!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Book Blitz: Duty Bound by Christina Bauer!

Duty Bound
by Christina Bauer
(Angelbound Origins 0.5)
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: February 27th 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
An Angelbound Prequel Novella by Christina Bauer
As the High Prince of the demon-fighting thrax, Lincoln knows he must marry for political gain. Not that he minds. For all of his eighteen years, Lincoln's been bound to his duty. Fighting demons is his life, and he's never given romance a second thought. Instead, the High Prince lives for the days when he leaves his hidden realm to fight demons on Earth.
Then, everything changes.
Lincoln and his nobles become forced to visit Purgatory, the home of quasi-demons (who are mostly human with a bit of demonic DNA). Here Lincoln spies Myla Lewis, a lady warrior who enflames his heart, ignites his interest, and inspires his respect. Trouble is, Myla's also a quasi. By thrax law, Lincoln must kill anything demonic-not date them. For the first time in his life, Lincoln wonders if he'll follow his duty…or heed the demands of his heart.
Grab Angelbound - Book 1 - for FREE:
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I am Lincoln Vidar Osric Aquilus, High Prince of the Thrax. My people are renowned as the greatest demon hunters across Heaven, Hell, Earth, Purgatory, and the Dark Lands. At eighteen years old, I've killed precisely one thousand four hundred and thirty-seven demons in hand-to-hand combat, more than any other thrax in history. All of which leads to a single inescapable conclusion.
I can make it through this breakfast with my mother.
At least, I think I can.
"You haven't touched your eggs, my son." Mother spears a strawberry off her plate. After many years of maternal encounters, I've learned to keep my mouth closed in situations like this one. Mother will bring up her true concerns when she's good and ready.
In reply, I merely maintain her stare. We've an odd relationship, but a close one. We're both natural schemers, so neither wants to pass up a test of intelligence and charm.
"Perhaps you dislike formal breakfasts," says Mother as she gestures to my tunic.
"I'm fine with wearing royal garb to meals. Rest assured, all my Batman costumes are safely packed away." As a child, I fought hard to dress as a human superhero. Unlike demon killing, that was one battle I ultimately lost.
"So you say." A small smile rounds Mother's mouth. "Those tunics hide quite a lot."
"True. I've a Bohemian Rhapsody T-shirt on under this thing."
"I have no idea what that is, but I'm pleased to see you turned out so well."
This morning, I'm dressed in a velvet tunic, leather pants, and tall boots. Meanwhile, Mother looks regal and lethal in her black velvet gown. She has porcelain skin, delicate features, and an all-knowing glare that reduces hardened warriors to mush.
Needless to say, I'm pleased that her glare has softened. I must remember to work Batman into our conversations more often.
For a few minutes, Mother and I continue our breakfast in silence. It would be pleasant, except for the setting. Our new feasting hall is located in Purgatory.
Yes, Purgatory.
This place combines the worst of a rundown human suburb with the best of a rotting Dumpster. The sky is constantly cloudy with two types of weather: rainy and about to rain. It's part of the magic of this realm that the weather is always dreary. Plus, the sky never reveals the sun or moon, and even if it did, those celestial bodies follow different patterns than they do in other realms.
Closing my eyes, I let my thoughts return to the glittering caverns of my homeland. As a rule, thrax live underground on Earth in the realm of Antrum. For some reason, the oracle angel, Verus, has demanded the royal family-and our noble entourage-move to Purgatory for a short period of time. This wasn't a popular idea, but the oracle's word is law, so we arrived here three months ago. Until Verus sets us loose, our days will be spent in tents and wooden halls like this one.
I scan the empty benches around me and sigh. It's hard being separated from the bulk of my people. Quiet breakfasts like this only make things worse. Usually our feasting hall is packed with thrax sharing breakfast at communal tables. However, today Mother insisted on having a family-only morning meal, which in this case translates into me, Mother, and a half-dozen terrified workers. Father should get here any minute now. I can only hope he arrives before Mother's temper returns.
As if in reply to my thoughts, Mother spears another wilted strawberry with a vengeance. Looks like her temper will resurface before Father does. Bugger.
"You never answered my question," says Mother. "You haven't touched your food." She spears a grape with such force the entire table wobbles.
"Careful there," I say. "You'll bring down the roof down."
"One perk of being queen. I can bring down roofs and no one says a thing."
At those words, the half-dozen servants in the room visibly shiver.
There's no question about the general topic of Mother's angst, either. It's always the same issue: the House of Acca. That tribe is the largest and most troublesome of all thrax.
At this point, problems with Acca could fall into one of two categories.
One, Mother might be worried about my impending marriage contract with Acca's most eligible noblewoman, Lady Adair. If Mother thinks there are problems on that front, she would be sorely mistaken. It's a business arrangement, nothing more. I'd regret that, but I'm a prince. I always knew I'd never marry for love.
Two-and far more worrisome-would be if Mother discovered my ongoing scheme against Aldred, the dreaded Earl of Acca himself. I've many issues with the Earl, but my largest is how Aldred keeps leading his warriors into ill-planned demon attacks on the Earth's surface. Thanks to the Earl of Acca, hundreds of good thrax meet bad ends every week. I meet with the families of the fallen, trying to provide comfort as their worlds fall apart. So many tears and ruined lives…and all so the Earl can prove his so-called prowess in battle.
It's outrageous.
Even worse, my parents have forbidden me from doing anything to stop Aldred's bloodshed. Per some ancient treaty, if I interfere with Aldred's rights to lead his troops, then the Earl has the unmitigated right to execute me on the spot.
And as every royal knows, execution threats and breakfast do not mix well.

Author Bio:
Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory's Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers.
Bauer has also told the story of the Women's March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release-the only one sent out on a major wire service-resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.
Christina graduated from Syracuse University's Newhouse School with BA's in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.


Sunday, 25 February 2018

Book Blitz: The History of Hilary Hambrushina by Marnie Lamb!

The History of Hilary Hambrushina
by Marnie Lamb
Publication date: May 31st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
     Hilary has one goal for her first year in junior high: to become popular. But her plans are turned upside down when her best friend leaves for the summer and a quirky girl named Kallie moves in next door. Kallie paints constellations on her ceiling, sleeps in a hammock, and enacts fantastical plays in front of cute boys on the beach. Yet despite Kallie's lack of interest in being -cool, - Hilary and Kallie find themselves becoming friends. That summer friendship, however, is put to the test when school begins, reigniting Hilary's obsession with climbing the social ladder. As Hilary discovers the dark side to popularity, she must decide who she wants to be before she loses everything.
I put on a sweatband and sneakers and brought down a water bottle. My plan was to pedal non-stop for an hour. I figured I could do it, since I was used to riding my own bike, and how different could this bike be? I should lose at least one pound that way, I told myself. So if I use the bike every day, in fifteen days I'll have lost the weight I want to lose.
I stepped over boxes and piles of books to reach the bike, which sat in a dark corner. This corner had a musty smell, like an old church that hadn't been dusted since Queen Victoria was my age. A fake raccoon-fur hat someone had given my dad as a joke hung on the wall nearby.
The bike seat was too high for me, but I couldn't move it because it was screwed in place. Gripping the handlebars for support, I tried to heave my leg over the seat several times without success. I was becoming angry and sweaty, so I started breathing deeply, like I was having a baby, to calm myself down. "Hoo hoo hoo."
"Hilary!" shouted my mom. "Why are you making monkey noises?"
I froze. I knew that if I said, "It's nothing," she'd come down, and I didn't want her to think I needed help getting on a stationary bicycle. So I called, "I'm just playing a game."
I managed to lift myself on to the bike. I had to stretch to reach the pedals, but I finally did and started pumping. It was O.K. at first, but soon, my muscles felt like some psycho was using them as rubber bands. And some people actually do this for fun! What's wrong with them, I thought. I reached for the water bottle and tried to squirt some water in my mouth. Nothing but air came out. I'd forgotten to fill the bottle! I threw it away and continued to pump furiously. Objects on the wall began rattling, and I was making so many strange noises my mother must have thought a whole pack of monkeys was performing a conga line in the basement. I began to have visions of monkeys in spangly pink bikinis
kicking up their heels (did monkeys have heels, I wondered) on stage at the Princess of Wales Theatre.
Suddenly my sweatband fell over my eyes. I didn't stop to fix it, though. You're going to pump for the full hour, not for fifty-nine minutes, I ordered myself. Instead, I tried nodding vigorously to get the sweatband to fall under my chin. It fell over my nose and I couldn't breathe. Then something dark and furry leapt on my head, covering my eyes and tickling my face like a bunch of feathers. I screamed, batting at the thing with one hand and pumping frantically, as if I could escape that way. I soon realized it was only my dad's hat, but I still couldn't get it off. Finally I stumbled off the bike and yanked the hat's tail away from my eyes.
I had no energy left to remove the hat, so I left it on and trudged upstairs. I passed my mom, who took one look at me and started to snicker. Ignoring her, I went into the kitchen to check the clock. I'd been on the bike five minutes.
So that was the end of my experiment with exercising.

Author Bio:
A Journey Prize nominee, Marnie Lamb earned a master's degree in creative writing from the University of Windsor. Her short stories have appeared in various Canadian literary journals. Her first novel, a YA book named The History of Hilary Hambrushina, is forthcoming from Iguana Books. When she is not writing fiction or running her freelance editing business, she can be found cooking recipes with eggplant or scouting out colourful fashions at the One of a Kind Show.