Monday, December 18, 2017

Happy Book Birthday, HeartBREAKER by Lila Felix with Giveaway!





HeartBREAKER 
by Lila Felix
AnguiSH, #2
Clean Teen Publishing

YA Contemporary, Romance




Breaker James is no longer the boy locked in a prison of his own making. He’s not afraid to leave his house, and he doesn’t need Ash twenty-four hours a day, just to function—just to breathe.
Hell, lately it feels like he might not need her much at all anymore.
He’s a heart breaker, pure and simple. Turns out love is easy when you’re secluded from the outside world. Maybe Ash is the one who is afraid now…afraid she’s done her job a little too well. Can she learn how to let Breaker love her, now that he doesn’t need her to be his crutch?
HeartBREAKER is the endearing companion story to Lila Felix’s best-selling AnguiSH novel. Fall in love with Breaker James all over again!

Get book 1 – Anguish – for 99¢ for a limited time!



SNEAK PEEK

In most instances, I was strong—I could handle anything. But something about Breaker James—well, broke me. I guess that’s the other tough thing about love—it exposes your weaknesses and shines a spotlight on them.
Apparently one of my weaknesses was feeling like Breaker didn’t need me anymore.
That his need for me in his life had come and gone.
Expired.
Fizzled to nothing.
Breaker was breaking me again.
God, it felt beautiful to be broken.


And here she is. . .
Lila Felix is full of antics and stories. She refused to go to Kindergarten after the teacher made her take a nap on the first day of school. She staged her first protest in middle school. She almost flunked out of her first semester at Pepperdine University because she was enthralled with their library and frequently was locked in. Now her husband and three children have to put up with her rebel nature in Louisiana where her days are filled with cypress trees, crawfish, and of course her books and writing. She writes about the ordinary people who fall extraordinarily in wild, true love. 


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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Review: The Fourth Ruby by James R. Hannibal


THE FOURTH RUBY
Section 13, Book 2
by James R. Hannibal
Simon & Schuster Kids
Middle Grade Fantasy
405 pages



Jack and Gwen are back in this dynamic follow-up to The Lost Property Office.

The chase to recover some of the Crown Jewels, specifically the infamous cursed ruby named for Edward the Black Prince, son of King Edward III, leads Jack and Gwen deep into the strange world of tunnels, cathedrals, and river systems beneath London to find the Thieves Guild, then back along the jewel’s journey through the royal houses of Europe to its origin at a forgotten mine in India.



MY TIDBITS

Although I didn't read the first book in this series and had little trouble settling into the story with this second tale, I would highly recommend starting the series at the beginning.

Packed with fast-paced adventure, interesting twists and magic around every corner, this story reminds a bit of Harry Potter while carrying more tension and a tiny dash of steampunk atmosphere.

Jack Buckles is training to be a Tracker, but being a section 13 still hangs on him like a layer of stinky, sticky goo. To make matters worse, he's afraid his powers aren't working quite right—something he's trying to hide. When his professor wants to meet him, the situation rocks into chaos and Jack finds himself as the main suspect in the theft of the Crown Jewels. Jack must prove his innocence before he's captured by authorities but ends up in the middle of something larger than he might be able to handle.

From the first page, a rich world opens up and sucks the reader in. The author melds character sympathy, world building and tension into a perfect balance from the very first chapter. Mystery hits right away in a curious, unsolved event, and then leads right into Jack's first problematic situation—one which shows his determination and frustration, making him a character easy to identify with and root for. He's an underdog thanks to his past, much he couldn't do anything about and isn't his fault, but luckily, pity doesn't cling too thick. He does what he has to do, no matter what the villains bring against him—and what horribly evil villains these are!

The adventure is fast, exciting and constantly hits with explosions, near escapes and tension pure. But the author also builds in clever twists and turns, which enrich the mystery and intrigue. The puzzles and riddles mix in nicely with magic and intrigue. Add the morsels of pure fantasy like buildings with gravity sometimes up and sometimes down, and it's simply a fun read. 

Summed up, this is a wonderful series for fantasy friends who love non-stop adventure and action, but enjoy a magical world full richness and clever innovations throw in. At 400 + pages, it might seem like a heavy read, but the tale grabs up and guarantees excitement the whole way through.



And here he is. . .

James R. Hannibal is no stranger to deep dark secrets or hunting bad guys, having served in US Air Force as stealth bomber pilot and a Predator mission commander. Like Jack Buckles, James "suffers' from synesthesia, an intersection of the senses that was once considered mental illness and often causes hyperobservance. If you bake him a cake, he might tell you that it smells blue and sticky—and you should take it as a compliment. He is also the award-winning author of adult military thrillers.









Sneak Peek: Ice Kingdom by Tiana Warner with Giveaway!





ICE KINGDOM

byTiana Warner
Mermaids of Eriana Kwai, #3
December 11th 2017
YA Fantasy





The final adventure in the Mermaids of Eriana Kwai trilogy …
Meela and Lysi have unleashed Sisiutl, legendary two-headed serpent of the Pacific Northwest. It was supposed to be an ally that would help them win the war. Instead, it has fallen under the control of King Adaro, ruler of the Pacific Ocean. If Meela and Lysi can’t stop him, Adaro will use the deadly serpent to rid the oceans of mankind.
With the American military using catastrophic weapons of their own to retaliate, Meela and Lysi must make peace between humans and merpeople before one race destroys the other. The journey will risk their lives and put their relationship to the test—but the vengeance that has been consuming Meela’s thoughts, day and night, might prove even more dangerous.

**Read the first book in the trilogy for FREE: download at http://bit.ly/siandmeela until Dec 25th!**


SNEAK PEEK

Somewhere on the Pacific Ocean
The young man aimed his crossbow at the water, ready to fire a bolt of solid iron at the first glimpse of flesh beneath the surface.
“Sir,” he said, “shouldn’t we have seen one by now?”
The captain turned his back to the salty wind, jaw tight. “They know we’re here.”
“So what are they doing?”
He followed the captain’s gaze. Blackness merged with the empty grey horizon in every direction. A long silence passed, filled only by gentle swells lapping against the ship.
The captain drew his own crossbow.
“Forming a plan.”
All twenty men aboard the ship readied their weapons, reacting in a chain until the last man at the stern took steady aim at the waves.
“Make ready your iron, men,” shouted the captain. “We have ripples approaching off the port side.”
A handful of places in the water puckered, as if something lingered just below the surface. The sea was too black to tell.
Then it happened. Fifty, maybe sixty sea demons burst from the water and slammed against the ship. The men wasted no time. They reacted with trained speed and agility as the demons thrust stones and jagged shells into the wood, both to break holes in the ship and to scale the sides. The men picked them off with bolts of iron and watched them fall one by one back into the sea.
But they were outnumbered. Soon the demons were upon the ship, pulling themselves across the deck with bony arms.
The young man had already shot a dozen and the water reddened with each passing second.
Slow scraping sounds threatened him from behind. He whirled around, crossbow ready. Burning eyes met his, and sharp teeth, bared to rip into his flesh. He gripped the trigger, felt the bow tighten—
And the demon was gone. The young man stared into the wide gaze of a girl his own age. With a startled cry, he jerked his aim so the bolt barely missed her.
She held a black shell in her hand, sharp at the edges and ready to use as a club. But she didn’t raise it. She just looked at him.
He lowered his crossbow.
Her blonde hair fell heavily over her shoulders, dripping beads of water down her naked chest and stomach, pooling where her torso joined her tail.
He blinked, but made no other motion—where her torso joined her tail. Scales faded into flesh like some sort of beautiful, green and tan sunset.
She pulled herself closer.
“Stay back,” said the young man, unsure what prompted him to hesitate.
He looked into her eyes—emeralds surrounded by pearl white—where moments ago they had burned red. Her sharp teeth had retracted behind rosy lips. The seaweed-coloured flesh of her upper body was now olive and raised with goose bumps from the icy wind.
“Hanu aii,” she whispered. Do not fear. She spoke his language.
He loosened his grip on the crossbow, studying her. She lifted a frail arm and pushed the hair from her eyes, then motioned him forwards.
His pulse quickened as he stared at the beautiful girl.
“Hanu aii,” she said again, her voice resonating sweetly, as if she sang without singing.
Suddenly, he was kneeling in front of her, level with her luminous eyes. The sounds around him faded but for the soft purr in the base of her throat.
She reached up and held an icy hand to his cheek, not for a moment breaking eye contact. The hand slid behind his head and pulled his face towards hers, slowly but firmly. He inhaled her sweet breath.
“No!”
He flinched. He turned to see the captain racing towards them, aiming his crossbow at the maiden.
The young man grasped the scene around him. The ship was empty. A few stray weapons and barrels bobbed serenely in the water. Blood soaked the deck in places, and even the main mast had a splatter across the bottom.
The captain fired wide. Before he could reload and aim again, the sea demon put a hand on the young man’s chin and pulled his gaze back to hers.
Her eyes blazed red. Her skin rippled into the rotten colour of seaweed. Her ears grew pointed and long like sprouting coral. She opened her mouth to reveal a row of deadly teeth.
The young man screamed.
The demon pulled him against her with more strength than three men combined, and they dove headfirst off the side of the ship.
They disappeared into the blood-red water.



And here she is. . .
Tiana Warner is the best selling author of the Mermaids of Eriana Kwai trilogy. Her books have been acclaimed by Writer’s Digest, Foreword Reviews, and the Dante Rossetti Awards. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of British Columbia. Tiana enjoys riding her horse, Bailey, and is an active supporter of animal welfare. 





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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Sneak Peek: The Rising Series Box Set by Holly Kelly with Giveaway






The Rising Series
Box Set 
by Holly Kelly
Clean Teen Publishing
December 12th 2017
YA Fairy Tales, Fantasy






A magical underwater realm awaits! Own books 1-3 of the Best-Selling Rising series by acclaimed author Holly Kelly.
This value-priced boxed set includes the first three novels in the best-selling Rising series: Rising (with an exclusive bonus scene), Descending, and Avenging. Beautifully packaged with brilliant new cover art, this set is perfect for any fan of Greek Mythology and Mermaid Romance stories. Order the Rising series today and submerge yourself in an underwater world full of passion, romance, intrigue and adventure.
Rising: Contains a newly released scene! In a war between the humans and the inhabitants of the sea—humans will lose. Xanthus Dimitriou—the most lethal Dagonian to rise from the ocean—is on a mission to save mankind from annihilation. There’s just one thing standing in his way: the life of a beautiful young woman…
Descending: When Xanthus cashes in a long-standing favor, Kyros is faced with doing two things he thought he’d never do—protect a mermaid and live on land.
Avenging: Two thousand years ago, King Triton witnessed the slaughter and total annihilation of his merchildren. Devastated by the loss, he vowed to never again father a child. Powerful, handsome, and eternally youthful, Triton was no stranger to seduction—yet his resolve was unwavering…until he met Nicole.




SNEAK PEEK

He knew what he had to do, what he’d done countless times before. As a trained soldier, he had a sacred duty to protect his people, guard their secret, and uphold the law. This female’s presence here was not only a criminal act, but it also presented an imminent threat. And because of that, his course was clear.
He had to kill her.
His plan lay clearly before him. Blanketed in the shadows, he’d enter her apartment window. Moving silently, he’d strike fast. Before she could cry out for help, he’d have her throat slit wide open. With her blood flowing swiftly, she’d be dead in mere seconds. The fact that she bathed at this time added to the ease of the execution. Clean up would be simple. Before the night ended, it would be as if she’d never existed. The Dagonian threat of exposure would be wiped clean from the human world.
Xanthus stood, his feet rooted in place under her window. Her sweet scent surrounded him as he listened to her pitiful sobs. Then, in that moment, he did the most shameful thing he’d ever done in his life.
He hesitated.
No, he didn’t merely hesitate. He halted. Fingering his blade in his holster, he willed his feet to move, but they seemed unwilling to obey. Then his mind latched onto a thought. It was no crime to wait for a more opportune time or a more secluded place to strike. He didn’t need to act rashly. True, finding her here in the human world shocked him, but he needed to be clear-headed and sure when he killed her.
He made his way back to his vehicle and climbed behind the wheel. He leaned his head back against the seat, closed his eyes, and attempted to clear his head.
He’d be back and she would die. She deserved to die. She may have the voice of an angel, but that was a lie. She was a traitor, a threat to their people. No other explanation made sense.
Xanthus looked toward the little female’s apartment building across the street. Could she have found a more dangerous place to live? This Dagonian female probably felt at home with these bottom-feeders.
Probably? Aw Hades. He cursed himself and the doubt in his mind. He doubly cursed that he couldn’t seem to stop himself from caring about her welfare. He’d be killing her himself, after all. The traitor had to die, regardless of his feelings and no matter how appealing she was. Of course, if she died by a human’s hands then he wouldn’t…
No.
He shook his head at his own idiotic thoughts. If a human killed her, then her body would be taken to the morgue, for the humans to see. He couldn’t let that happen. He had to be the one to kill her and carefully dispose of her body. And he would, soon.
Just not tonight.




And here she is. . .
Holly Kelly is a mom who writes books in her spare time: translation--she hides in the bathroom with her laptop and locks the door while the kids destroy the house and smear peanut butter on the walls. She was born in Utah but moved around a bit, living in Kansas, Texas, and Hawaii where she studied marine biology. She's now back in Utah--"happy valley". She's married to a wonderful husband, James, and they are currently raising 6 rambunctious children. Her interests are reading, writing (or course), martial arts, visual arts, creating Halloween props, and spending time with family.


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Friday, December 15, 2017

Review: The Incredible Cabinet of Wonders from Lonely Planet Kids





THE INCREDIBLE CABINET OF WONDERS
from Lonely Planet Kids
Picture Book/Non-Fiction
28 pages
 ages 8 to 12





It’s time to peek inside the world’s most famous museums. Welcome to Lonely Planet Kids’ Incredible Cabinet of Wonders – the greatest little museum in the world! 12 collectors, from toy makers and monster hunters, to sailors and archaeologists, have created their own themed cabinets and filled them with their favourite things. 
Kids can lift the flaps and open the cabinet doors to discover 100 extraordinary objects from our planet’s weird and wonderful past and present, then read fascinating stories behind each one and find out where to see them in real life. 
What objects will they find? And what stories will they tell?
The 12 themed collections are:
  • Toy Maker’s Cabinet
  • Sailor’s Cabinet
  • Monster Hunter’s Cabinet
  • Naturalist’s Cabinet
  • Miniaturist’s Cabinet
  • Doctor’s Cabinet
  • Treasure Hunter’s Cabinet
  • Archaeologist’s Cabinet
  • Costume Maker’s Cabinet
  • Musician’s Cabinet
  • Scientist’s Cabinet
  • Make Believer’s Cabinet

Each cabinet is illustrated by a different artist and features photos of every astonishing and unusual artefact.



MY TIDBITS

With all of it's hidden doors and secret corners, this book isn't only a ton of fun for flipping through but plays treasure chest to all those fans of interesting yet quirky information.

In some ways, this reminds of a Ripley's Believe It Or Not but takes with a historic twist. The high quality book is divided into twelve two-page spreads, each with a certain theme and fitting 'cabinet'. There's a short explanation of the theme planted between detailed illustrations, which makes curious hearts beat faster. The word cabinet fits perfectly as each exploration includes numerous doors, which hold a treasure inside. Odd and amazing artefacts are depicted with short explanations as to their purpose and origin as well as where the object was found, when it is believed to have been created and where it can be seen today. 

This isn't a book to necessarily read from front to back in one sitting but will be picked up again and again to discover something new. The descriptions are written in manner kids ages eight and up will easily understand, and these explanations stick to the facts. Each is short and concise with the feel of walking through a museum and reading the small, description signs. But that's all that's needed because these objects speak for themselves and invite to thought and speculation. While a couple items might be familiar, most objects offer something new. All of them demand a reaction, whether interesting, quirky, creepy or just plain odd, and give readers a new glimpse at some moments in history.

My kids loved this one. They sat together, pointing things out, giggling or wrinkling their noses with every new find. They even took it to show their friends, who also cringed and laughed as they flipped through the doors. So this one is getting a high, two-thumbs up recommendation from this bookworm!


All about Lonely Planet Kids:

Come explore! Let's start an adventure. Lonely Planet Kids excites and educates children about the amazing world around them. Combining astonishing facts, quirky humor and eye-catching imagery, we ignite their curiosity and encourage them to discover more about our planet. Every book draws on our huge team of global experts to help share our continual fascination with what makes the world such a diverse and magnificent place—inspiring children at home and in school. Find out more by visiting www.lonelyplanet.com/kids/, and join us on Facebook (facebook.com/lpkidstravel) and Twitter (@lpkids).


Cover Reveal: Angel of Hope by L.L. Hunter





ANGEL OF HOPE
by L.L. Hunter 
 YA Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Cover Designer: KILA designs

COMING. . .
JANUARY 31st, 2018!!!

Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR



Gabriel Daylesford thought he had escaped a fate worse than death after the battle with Lucifer and his demons.
He knew one day Samson would seek revenge for killing his father.
But until then, Gabe has to navigate the halls of Michael Academy and learn what it means to be Nephilim.
At least he has Eden and Asher for company.
When he starts receiving frightening visions, and a warning from his human grandmother to stop using his trait, he realises he is in more danger than he thought.
He has to decide who to trust if he wants to save the world from being overrun by demons once more.
And with the sudden appearance of two mysterious girls added to mix,
Gabriel knows this won’t be easy.
He always knew he was fated for something much bigger than himself. He just doesn’t know what that is yet.
Angel of Hope is the exciting first book in an all new spin off series set in the same universe as The Legend of the Archangel series and The Eden Chronicles.



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.

Pre-Order Links: 
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2j2CIcI
Amazon UK: http://amzn.eu/5M3n4Ms
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B077XY96W7
Amazon CA: http://a.co/2zJ46PJ
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/do/book/angel-of-hope/id1193302213?l=en&mt=11
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/au/en/ebook/angel-of-hope-2
Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/an-angel-of-hope-ll-hunter/1125461352?ean=2940153952086


Thursday, December 14, 2017

Review: Ethan and the Key by Dennis Canfield



ETHAN AND THE KEY
by Dennis Canfield
Middle Grade Fantasy
215 pages
ages 9 and up





Twelve-year-old Ethan Mason is focused on baseball, math tests, and staying out of Howard Russman’s way. That is, until a mysterious puddle of green light appears in the upstairs hallway of his home. The light brings Ethan to the kingdom of Abentur, a beautiful world defended by a dragon against vicious invaders and Draykik, their brutal leader. Ethan can’t tell his parents or friends or anyone else about the new world he’s discovered, because he has no way to prove, even to himself, that it really exists. When the invaders capture the castle and take him and the royal family prisoner, Ethan learns that he alone may be able to save Abentur. But should he risk his life for the kingdom?

Ethan and the Key is appropriate for ages nine and up, and is especially written for parents who love reading with their children.



MY TIDBITS

This adventure rides as smooth and as thrilling as the flight through the clouds on a mystical dragon.

Ethan loves baseball, actually doesn't mind math and can't stand the biggest jerk at school, Howard. He's as normal as normal can be and totally satisfied with life, but when a green light in his hallway transports him to the forest outside of a castle, normality disappears. Ethan soon finds himself wrapped up in an adventure, where horses fly, dragons breath fire and evil men plan to destroy a peaceful kingdom. . .and him.

The first page plants foot in a very real, easily recognizable situation—a baseball game. Ethan and his friends come across as normal as the kid next door and it's no problem to connect with them right away. Ethan isn't overly daring or brave, but he doesn't back down from things simply because they're difficult. He's got a good head on his shoulders, knows right from wrong, and takes on things as best as any kid could. Readers can easily slip into his shoes and cheer him on every step of the way.

There's no time for boredom in these pages as the fantastical world, and it's challenges comes to life. Something is always happening. Still, it's not high-tension with jerking abruptness, but rather takes on a smoother pace, making an enjoyable read.

Ethan is caught up in a flip-flop between two worlds, the kingdom and real life. The author sets up the mechanics masterfully, making it believable while adding a bit of humor. While the fantasy world is rich and exciting, the real world borders on obsolete during most of the tale. Ethan does have clever interactions with his 'real' friends, but these are short, sporadic and miss a bit more depth. Still, this doesn't hurt the main plot in the fantasy world in the least. The adventure remains strong the whole way through, holds many surprises and is sure to lure readers in.

Summed up, this is an exciting, well-written adventure for ages 9 and up. It comes across smoother than many adventures for this age group, while still holding all the elements necessary for a terrific read. And at only 200 pages, it's a fantasy even more reluctant readers can dive into and enjoy.


And here he is. . .


Dennis is a lifelong Mid-westerner, growing up in suburban Chicago. He graduated from the University of Illinois College of Commerce and the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He and his wife and their two daughters lived in downtown Chicago for fifteen years before moving to the western suburbs several years ago.

His interest in writing started when his older daughter was cast as Wendy in the local community theater's production of Peter Pan. Dennis was the one pulling the ropes to make her fly over the stage. The experience was so much fun, it inspired him to try his hand at writing  a play. But, having no training in writing for the stage, it wasn't long before he decided to start with a book instead, and published the Christmas noveletta, "Silent Night," in 2011. He took what he learned from that experience and wrote the novella, "Back to Christmas," published the following year. Over the next few years, he talked with several professionals who know a lot about writing plays, and now has the book and lyrics for a stage musical version of "Back to Christmas." Most recently, he finished "Ethan and the Key, a full-length middle grade novel.

"I think 'Ethan and the Key' may have been the first story I ever wrote, pre-dating even 'Silent Night.' The original idea for 'Ethan' was based on Puff the Magic Dragon, and told the story of Jackie Paper, now a middle aged- man, being called back to Honah Lee to rescue Puff. But I couldn't find a way to write that story that I liked, so I put is aside for several years and only returned to it in early 2017. Ethan and the Key is quite different from my original vision for the story, but I'm very pleased with the way it turned out.


Links for Ethan and the Key: