Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Spotlight: The Book of Songs

About the Book:
Anne has led a privileged life: she is a weaver, a magic user, in a world ruled by the extraordinary.
Yet one day it all changes. She is deemed too powerful by the aristocracy and is sent to a monastery for life. To avoid this fate she embarks on a journey, driven by a prophecy she doesn’t want to fulfill. But will she have any choice in the end?

The Book of Songs is the first stand-alone novel in The Weaver Trilogy. Written by Louice Svedin, it's a story about friendship and sacrifice, and how who we are often is shaped by those we meet.




About the Author:
Louice is a 23 year old psychology student who lives in Sundsvall, Sweden. She started writing The Book of Songs when she was 13 years old and in the year 2014 it was released in Swedish by Mörkersdottir förlag.
In her spare time Louice practices aikido, a Japanese martial arts (or budo as it's also called) in which she has a black belt.

Check out The Book of Songs on Amazon
Visit the Author's Website





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

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Book Blitz: Royal Attraction


Royal Attraction
Tiffany Truitt
Published by: Entangled Embrace
Publication date: September 18th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Alexandra Ryans's life has been anything but normal. Some might even call it a fairy tale. As the daughter of the former U.S. ambassador to England, she grew up within the palace walls, best friends with the three young princes. Adored by the press and the British people. What more could a girl want?
If only the press knew the real story behind her relationships with the Dudley boys. Then, they'd really sell some papers.
Oliver Dudley, youngest son and third in line for the throne, loves everything about his life. The fame. The parties. The women. The utter lack of expectations and responsibilities that come with being last in the line of succession. But while the world thinks he has everything he wants, there's one thing he was never able to call his own-the beautiful and spunky American Aly Ryans. But how can he convince her when she hates everything about his life? And what is he willing to give up to get her?
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EXCERPT:
"I'll only be here a little while longer, Ollie," I manage in between breaths. "Then everything can go back to the way it was. Like I never returned."
The lines in his forehead deepen. "You think that's what I want? To go back? Tell me your life has been better since you left," he challenges, raising an eyebrow.
I place my hand against his chest and attempt to push him out of my way, but he doesn't budge. Not even an inch. Instead, he places a hand against my cheek. I inhale sharply, caught off guard by the sudden gentleness of the action. "You tell me right now that since leaving here your life has been better, that you're happy, and I'll walk out of this greenhouse. I'll pretend that seeing you here doesn't drive me wild. I'll ignore all the things my body wants to do to yours. I'll forget the fact that you leaving without a goodbye wrecked me."
I open my mouth to argue, but he cuts me off. "You wrecked me, Ryans," he reiterates, his voice desperate.
I prepare to tell him that I'm happier. That life has been easier without being caught between him and Aiden. That I enjoy not having to worry the press is lurking around every corner. That I prefer being a normal girl. That the day we shared together was just that-a day. It didn't mean anything. It didn't define me.
But the words refuse to come out of my mouth. Instead, a small gasp breaks free, and I know that if I don't bolt soon, my resolve will shatter. Ollie's hand slowly trails down my cheek and across the length of my neck, stopping on the delicate skin above my collarbone. My breathing picks up.
Tell him to stop, Alexandra.
He tugs at the collar of my jersey, bringing my face dangerously close to his. I bite down hard on my bottom lip. Ollie's eyes travel down to my lips. My body gravitates toward his till it's nearly pressing against the length of him.
When did it become this? This need? Because need is coursing through me like wildfire.
"You said it, Ryans. You won," he reminds me, his voice all throaty and hoarse and incredibly sexy. "You want me to spend the rest of your time here ignoring all that's left unanswered between us? Say it. If you desire to go back to that emptiness, that life that you seem so anxious to return to, I won't stop you. Just say it's what you want. 'Cause I can't stand the indecision anymore, the what-ifs. I've lived three years of that. Wondering what could have happened if things had been different. "


Author Bio:
Tiffany Truitt was born in Peoria, Illinois. A self-proclaimed Navy brat, Tiffany spent most of her childhood living in Virginia, but don't call her a Southerner. She also spent a few years living in Cuba. Since her time on the island of one McDonalds and Banana Rats (don't ask), she has been obsessed with traveling. Tiffany recently added China to her list of travels (hello inspiration for a new book).
Besides traveling, Tiffany has always been an avid reader. The earliest books she remembers reading belong to The Little House on the Prairie Series. First book she read in one day? Little Woman (5th grade). First author she fell in love with? Jane Austen in middle school. Tiffany spent most of her high school and college career as a literary snob. She refused to read anything considered "low brow" or outside the "classics."
Tiffany began teaching middle school in 2006. Her students introduced her to the wide, wonderful world of Young Adult literature. Today, Tiffany embraces popular Young Adult literature and uses it in her classroom.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Spotlight: Onions

Book Description:
Onions has just been sent to his 16th foster home, Despondent, he steals the purse of Sandrine, a retired circus performer. Instead of turning him in to the police, Sandrine enlists the boy in her fight against City Hall. In the process, Onions learns the importance of reading, having a worthwhile life-goal, and how to play the trumpet, his ultimate redemption. Sandrine is a strong role-model for pre-teens through 18-year-olds as she helps Charles Wesley Onions find meaning in life. A tragic event leads to the powerful, uplifting, and inspiring ending. Finally, Onions is a modern-day Holden Caulfield .. without the swearing.

About the Author:

Cy Young began his professional career as a dancer at the Empire Room of the Palmer House in Chicago. One night the six member dance troupe (two guys, six ladies) was invited to a party by an habitual customer whose apartment was one huge bedroom. The customer; Hugh Hefner! Cy moved to New York where he performed on Broadway, in Upstairs At The Downstairs revues, recorded for Painted Smiles records, wrote several produced musicals, co-starred at London’s Globe Theater in “Divorce Me Darling,” played opposite Buster Keaton in “Once Upon A Mattress,” had three plays published by French, has a song on the Streisand Third Album (“Draw Me A Circle”), wrote a short story, “The Schitzle Connection,”which won first prize in an Oklahoma City Writers’ competition and was later published by Twit Publishing (Winter/Spring 2011 Edition), and has now written his first ebook, “Onions”. Check out the book’s trailer on Cy’s website, onionsbook.com. Or click here: https://youtu.be/pFOzFIetrg8


Check it out on Amazon!




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

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Review: The Blood of Kings

Title: The Blood of Kings (Phoebe Pope #2)
Author: Nya Jade
Page Count: 374
My Rating: 4.5 TURTLES: A really great read, I highly recommend!
*I received this book in exchange for an honest review
Amazon

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



Review:
This was a super action-packed, exciting sequel to The Year of Four. We learn so much more about the magic of Phoebe's world, who she is, and the politics of her world, but also leaves us with as many questions as it answers! I guess I'll just have to wait until book three!


The view of The Blood of Kings expands way out, giving a much wider range of the world and history of the Shapers and the Vigos. Just like the first book, I was impressed with the world building in this book, especially since there is so much more of it. I also loved seeing how the Hyphas powers started to develop and learning more about what Vigos are and what they can do. The Blood of Kings' plot is filled with twists, turns and shocks that I did not see coming at all - some exciting, and some devastating.

This definitely isn't a sequel that you can just pick up without having read the first book already. If you haven't read The Year of Four yet though, you can read my review. This series is definitely worth your time and I highly recommend you check it out





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

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Cover Reveal: Cradled


Cradled
Christina Bauer
(Beholder #4.5)
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: July 31st 2018
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
An Epilogue Novella
At last, Elea and Rowan are settling in to their new lives. Trouble is, Rowan is spending a lot of time cleaning up messes from his childhood. And considering the nightmare that was his mother, those are some ugly messes indeed. In fact, the experience is enough to make Rowan vow that he never wants children of his own.
Oops.
BEHOLDER
Cursed
Concealed
Cherished
Crowned
Cradled


Author Bio:
Christina Bauer thinks that fantasy books are like bacon: they just make life better. All of which is why she writes romance novels that feature demons, dragons, wizards, witches, elves, elementals, and a bunch of random stuff that she brainstorms while riding the Boston T. Oh, and she includes lots of humor and kick-ass chicks, too.
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.
Be the first to know about new releases from Christina by signing up for her newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/CBupdates

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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Book Blitz: Fierce


Fierce
L.G. Kelso
(A Whatever It Takes Novel)
Publication date: April 3rd 2018 (re-release)
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Sports
Three years ago, Tori beat the wrong man. Her MMA training partner, nursing a bruised ego, snapped-shattering her trust and confidence.
Now, she's putting herself through college, avoiding all things fight related, and keeping her fists to herself. That is, until her uncle's failing health draws her back to his gym and her old pounding grounds. With her demons still haunting the cage, she's determined to keep up the wall she's so carefully constructed between the past and present.
Until pro-fighter Max Estrada saunters into her life.
The temptation to go glove-to-glove with the sexy Columbian is too much, drawing her back into the world of MMA-a world where her ex-partner reigns as current Middleweight Champion. The secret they share is a liability to his career, and he'll do anything to keep her quiet. If she wants her old life back, and a future with the fighter she's fallen for, she'll have to do more than just survive. With her life on the ropes, she'll have to face her past and fight like she's never fought before.
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EXCERPT:
The alcohol probably wasn't helping. The side of the bathtub, cool against the back of my legs, felt as if it would fall out from under me as I stared at the water pouring from the bathtub's faucet and over the cuts on my leg.
I went to scrub the soap into the cuts, but my wet shirt kept getting in the way. Every time I moved, it stuck to my skin.
Wrapping the hem of my long shirt around my fingers, I lifted the shirt up, over my head-
"Woah, there, Tori. What are you doing?"
"It's in the way!"
"No, it's not," Max said as he yanked my shirt back down.
"It's wet."
"Well, yes, it is. You can go change in a second. Tori, put your shirt down."
"Why?"
He sighed. "Because you're drunk."
"You've seen me in a sports bra."
"Which you are definitely not wearing right now."
His reaction was making my skin burn again, but this time, I couldn't figure out why. Was it because he so didn't want to see me without a shirt? Was it that bad? I mean, compared to Cheyenne sure, but still.
"The idea of seeing me shirtless is that awful, huh?"
He tugged. I rolled forward, giving up the shirt.
"That's-no."
"I know I don't look like your lingerie model of a girlfriend, but jeez."
"Tori." The conviction in his voice made me stop blabbering like a damn idiot. His fingers found my chin and tilted my head. He was so close. The brown of his eyes were darker in this light, making his eyes look like black pools.
"Should you ever wish to yank your shirt off in front of me when you're sober, I definitely will not stop you. It would be the opposite of awful."
Had he gotten closer? And what did he mean by opposite of awful?
His lips were swollen; he must have taken one hit to the mouth before knocking the other guy out.
The alcohol didn't do as much to my brain as being around Max did. Everything about him teased me in some way. His adrenaline teased out my own. I wanted to pull him against me. I wanted to find someone to fight in an octagon. I wanted to be me again, whoever that was, and I wanted to be it with Max.
"Tori," he said again, and I tore my gaze away from his mouth and back to his eyes. A wave of shivers started at the top of my spine, my skin prickling as it passed through the rest of my body. The look in his eyes…it was quite possibly the best thing I had ever seen.
He continued a moment later. "But right now, you are drunk. So your clothes are staying on."


Author Bio:
L.G. Kelso writes authentic sports fiction about characters falling in love with combat sports and also each other. She's a fan of anything that bashes gender stereotypes, and she can be found in her MMA gym when not writing.
Visit her website at http://www.lgkelso.com for more information about her and upcoming projects, including another book in the Whatever It Takes universe.

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Why I Love Audiobooks and You Might Too

I was resistant to the idea of audiobooks for a long time.

I don’t know if it was because I had internalized some silly idea that it wasn’t “real reading” or if I just had never really listened to them growing up.

I remember once my family bought a book on tape (as they used to be called back in the dark ages of the mid ‘00s) but we weren’t committed to it and stopped listening part way through. I still don’t know how Cornelia Funke’s The Thief Lord ends.

This mentality began to shift sometime in high school. I’m not entirely sure what brought it about, but I think it was a combination of several things.

First of all, bookworm that I am, I wanted to have a way to read while walking that didn’t end with me stepping in a puddle or running into a pole, door or person. All those things had happened or nearly happened to me. I was like those confuddled people in infomercials who look directly into the camera and declare “there’s got to be a better way!”

The second reason, honestly, I started listening to audiobooks was that Google, in all its algorithmic, capitalist wisdom, had been showing me ads for Audible (an audiobook buying website for those of you who don't know) for some time and I finally caved. My walking-infomercial-self had found a problem and the internet had responded with “there’s an app for that.”


Although there are many places online where you can find audiobooks, I really like Audible because as a member I get one "free" book a month (I put "free" in quotations since there is the $15 monthly fee, but since many audiobooks cost most than that I usually come out ahead) as well as access to a member discount for any other book I may want to buy. (And, Audible does give you your first month of membership free so you can see if you like it). If you have never given audiobooks a shot, I highly, highly recommend that you do.

Most of the pleasure reading I’m able to get in during the school year is through audiobooks. I may not have much time to sit down and read a book for fun (because, let’s be real, I hardly even have that time to read books assigned for class) but I do have snippets of time between walking to class, eating and working out at the gym. That time adds up quickly and allows me to get a fair amount of pleasure “reading” in.

Listening to books can also be great for doing homework. For speed readers it may not be worth it, but as someone who is a slow reader, has a reading heavy course load and is prone to eye strain, it really is. Also, depending on the platform you are listening through, you may be able to speed up the narration to two to three times the recorded speed for when you’re in a hurry.

There is also a theatrical element to audiobooks, placing the experience of listening to one somewhere between reading a book and listening to a radio play. The voice actors will often do different voices and accents for the various characters and the inflections of their voices as they narrate will sometimes lead me to interpret a scene differently than if I had been reading the story and imagined the inflections differently.


Also, books that come from big publishers, especially books that have been heavily hyped, will often have a big name attached as the narrator. I imagine some people might find this distracting, but I really enjoy it.

Take the audiobook for one of my favorite books Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, for example.

The narrator of that audiobook, at the time I first listened to it was, from what I understand, well-respected and known among the Broadway community, but not particularly famous. Several years later, when I listened to it again, I was surprised and delighted to realize that the narrator was, in fact, Lin-Manuel Miranda. (This revelation made the scene in the novel where the main character is complaining about have to write a paper on Alexander Hamilton ten times funnier than it would have been otherwise).


In this current age, we have so many ways of sharing and consuming stories, yet the audiobook is often overlooked. Hopefully, if you have never listened to one before, I have piqued your interest enough to at least give this medium a try.


This piece first appeared in the Manitou Messenger, St. Olaf College's student newspaper.


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