Saturday, January 14, 2017

Excerpt: A Tangled Web

Book Blurb:
Japan, 2011

Taiyo is a normal high-school girl living with her Grandmother in Sendai. She goes to school, partakes in club activities and hangs out with her two best friends, twin brothers Ryuu and Kairi. However, her perfect world is shattered when she begins dating Kairi but quickly discovers she's already in love with Ryuu.

A tangled web of lies surrounds the pair, but everything is suddenly knocked into perspective on March 11thwhen they are caught up in a natural disaster that devastates the country and robs thousands of their homes, their possessions and their lives…

Author Bio: 
M L Sparrow is currently the author of four full length novels, a novella and a slew of short stories published in various anthologies. She will write pretty much anything that pops into her head, no matter the genre, and enjoys keeping her readers guessing as to what she will write next, though you can pretty much guarantee that there will be some degree of romance! 

As well as writing, she enjoys travelling and has been to some amazing countries, where she never fails to gather inspiration and has an endless supply of ideas for future novels…

To find out more check out her website – - or stalk her on Facebook @MLSPARROWAUTHOR 

Everything was perfect until the ground began to shake. There was no warning. The warning system on their mobiles didn’t begin to sound until after it had begun.
Jishin!” people shouted above the low, grumbling roar beneath them. Earthquake.
A red car skidded into a blue one at the top of the road, both of them trembling and bouncing.
Dropping her school bag, she grabbed Ryuu’s hand and tried not to fall. He dropped into a crouch to keep his balance, taking her down with him. She kept thinking it would be over in a minute, but it never seemed to end. Someone screamed and across the street a man lost his footing and fell to his knees. A crack appeared in the pavement, inching towards them. They scrambled away and her heart jumped in her chest as the road split open.
Roof tiles rained down, shattering on the ground and another crack appeared, this time in the wall of a small shop. Dust and plaster billowed from the crack and the wall began to buckle.
Taiyo didn’t know how long it lasted, it must have been minutes at least, but it finally subsided to a shivering tremble before petering off all together. Everyone looked around, holding perfectly still, afraid to move.
“That was a big one,” a lady near them, clutching a little boy, said fearfully, glancing in the direction of the sea, “should we move to higher ground?” Around the coast there was always the risk of a tsunami after an earthquake and they’d learnt about their country’s devastating history with the huge waves in school.
“It’s all right, the seawalls will protect us,” someone else answered.
Taiyo glanced at Ryuu nervously. In turn, he looked around at the locals, many of whom were gathering in little clusters.
Anxiously she bit her lip, her stomach twisting itself into knots; something didn’t feel right. Like all Japanese people, she was used to earthquakes, however, she couldn’t remember ever experiencing one quite like that.
Several people rushed into houses and reappeared with bags, chivvying along children or their elderly parents, before getting into their cars and driving away, but the majority of people remained.
A few houses and shops had crumbled, but looking around no one that she could see appeared to be seriously hurt. One man had been hit by a falling roof tile and was bleeding from a gash to his forehead. Sitting on the pavement, he was being attended to by neighbours.
It looked like the worst was over, but then someone shouted and they all turned to look out over the grey-blue sea. At first Taiyo didn’t know what she was seeing, but then the breath caught in her lungs.
The alarms began to blare. 

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

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Review: Sojourn - The Wildlands

Title: Sojourn - The Wildlands (Rayn Mirago #1)
Author: B.D. Messick
Page Count: 420
My Rating: 3.5 TURTLES: A very enjoyable read, I recommend you check it out.
*I was given this book in exchange for an honest review

Rayn Mirago's seventeenth birthday is tomorrow, but there will be no party, no gifts, and no celebration. Like every other child in this world where humanity is on the brink of extinction and resources are at a premium, she must make her Sojourn across the former United States to prove her worth. The human race has nearly been wiped due to overpopulation, global warming, and our own ignorance and conceit. The coastal cities of the U.S. have been reclaimed by the ocean and the Midwest is now a vast desert wasteland known as the Deadlands. The remaining fifty thousand or so survivors in the old United States now live in one of five walled cities, called Enclaves where they eek out a meager existence. 

Rayn's Sojourn begins when she steps through the gates of the Vegas Enclave and into the vast wilderness between the old city and Deadlands, an area known as the Wildlands. She will face many struggles and dangers that will challenge her, make her doubt herself, and force her to realize that she is stronger than she ever imagined. 

But first, she must overcome the burden of leaving her old life, everything and everyone she has ever known and loved behind.

I was drawn to “Sojourn” because of its interesting post-apocalyptic premise and the survivalist aspect that reminded me of “The Hunger Games.” I really enjoyed the attention to detail this book put into the geography. In preparation for her sojourn, Rayn memorizes maps and follows old highway routes on her way to her final destination, so even though civilization as we know it has been wiped out, the characters’ location is always grounded in something familiar. The book also does a great job describing what the landscape looks like and how it has been changed by disaster, so I could really picture the scenes I was reading.

While I thought Rayn’s romance with Luk was really sweet, some of their scenes felt redundant. What I mean by that is that even though the fact that they are shown telling each other that they love one another and cuddling with each other almost every day of the story is realistic, it didn’t really move the story forward. Their relationship is solid from pretty early on and they don’t fight a lot, so after that each scene where they talk about how much they love each other and how glad they are to be together was reiterating something that was already pretty clear and did not change the dynamic between the two of them.

One thing that I missed in this book was a big, final climax. Yes, it is part of a series so there is more to the story, but it felt to me like the story just stopped. The plot has a series of challenges that Rayn and Luk had to overcome, but the challenges at the end were no more drastic than earlier in the book. I felt that if I turned the page I would have more chapters to read, and it would have been nice to have a big, dramatic finish instead.

All things considered, Sojourn is an exciting, immersive novel that leaves many questions and possibilities open for subsequent books. I would definitely recommend this book to fans of Young Adult literature, especially those who enjoy dystopia/post-apocalyptic.

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

Monday, January 2, 2017

Release Announcement: Hair Suite

Dreaming Big Publications announces Piers Anthony's newest release, Hair Suite, sequel to Hair Power

Paperback: $8.00
Ebook: $2.99 (available free for Kindle Unlimited users)
Genre: Sci-fi/fantasy
Amazon Link
Publisher's Website
Author's Website

Quiti and the rest of the Hair Suits have just set up the Hair Suite, the embassy of the alien Hair Balls, when they learn they have competition. Alien cyborgs called Chip Monks want to win Earth for themselves. The two species must duel for control. 

These rivals discover a third alien species that threatens to destroy Earth, and have to join up quickly in order to protect the planet they are both seeking to win. Along the way, they get swept up in a world of intergalactic politics, wormholes, and role-playing. 

Will they be able to save Planet Earth in time? 

Piers Anthony, critically acclaimed author of the New York Times bestselling Xanth series, shows off his signature originality and wit in this entertaining and inventive sequel to Hair Power.

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