BLOG TOUR | Finding Life on Mars – Jason Dias

Hi everyone!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Finding Life on Mars.


Finding Life on Mars
By Jason Dias
Genre: Science Fiction

Jaye struggles with her relationship with her neurotypical father. She can’t tolerate him, and can’t let him out of her sight. But when the last man on Earth targets them with a nuclear deadline, she has to learn to trust her dad. Together, they need to figure out not only how to survive, but why. Nothing on their failing Martian colony is ever going to change anyway.


Review:

I picked up Finding Life On Mars because I was looking for a good science fiction read, which I definitely got. Jason Dias knows his stuff, and has written a tight novel. What I didn’t expect was how deep this novel was going to be. It is a thoughtful examination of what it means to be human.

This is my first read from Jason Dias and now it definitely won’t be my last. His writing is gripping. He captivated my attention right from the beginning and was able to keep my attention all the way through. The book was tense, gripping, and action-packed, yet deeply emotional and I am still thinking about it.

I highly recommend checking this one out. I don’t think it will disappoint you!

Rating:

5/5☆


Excerpt:

I was six years old.

“Father, I think I am ill,” I said, in my tiny, piping voice.

“Oh?” Merlin said. He set aside the solenoid he was working on and turned his full attention to me. We were in the kitchen and my memory informed me it was identical then and now. “Why do you say so?”
“Look,” I said, and extended one hand, palm up. In the center of my palm lay a milk tooth. It had fallen bloodlessly out while I slept. When I awoke, my tongue found a gap in my gums, and I found the tooth on the floor under my sling.

“Oh, you have lost a tooth. How wonderful.”

“Then I am not sick?”

“No, baby, the farthest thing from it.”

“I am not a baby,” I said. “Please explain.”

“Well,” Merlin said, “it is normal for a child of your age to lose her teeth, slowly, over the course of a few years. New ones are growing in, beneath your gum-line where you cannot see them, and eroding the roots of the old ones. The old ones fall out, new ones grow in. Perfectly natural.”

“Why?”

“Well, because if you were born with a full set of adult teeth, your head would be too big to fit through the birth canal. And if your teeth were not replaced with larger ones, your adult jaw would be full of gaps.”

“Oh.”

If he had left it at that, it would have been better. Maybe a lot would have been different. But he did not.

“Now, where should we put the tooth? On Earth, we used pillows. You would leave a lost tooth under your pillow and the Tooth Fairy would find it, replace it with a few coins. Here we not only have no pillows but no beds. So where should we leave it?”

“What is a fairy?” I asked.

“My goodness, but we need some books to read to you. We never planned for children, you know. Let me see. Fairies are magical creatures that live in the woods and sometimes at the end of nice gardens. Mostly they are there for young girls to find beautiful, but sometimes they are mischievous. They steal or play tricks or cast naughty spells.”

“There is no magic,” I said.

“Can you be sure?” And Merlin reached behind my head, touched my ear, produced a solenoid. “If so, then how did this get behind your ear?”

“That’s a trick,” I said. “Not magic. There is no magic.”

“You mustn’t be so upset over it, baby girl. Magic is just something we talk about to have fun, to explain things we cannot otherwise explain, to wonder at the nature of the universe.”

“I’m not a baby and there is no magic.”

“Please, just calm down.”

But it was too late for that. I started to shout. “You’re a liar and there isn’t such a thing as magic. You shouldn’t lie to your children. Father Christmas is a lie and the Easter Bunny is a lie and God is a lie and the Tooth Fairy is a damned lie.”

Merlin sat back, narrowed his eyes, crossed his arms. I knew I had crossed some kind of invisible line and I didn’t know what it was, why it was. He didn’t say anything, though, and I couldn’t stop.
“If there is a God and if there is magic, then bring back my mother. Give her back to me!”


Jason Dias lives and writes in Colorado Springs, Colorado. His autism and experience as an existential psychologist give him a unique view of the universe.

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BLOG TOUR | One Flew Through the Dragon Heart – C.S. Johnson

Hi everyone!

I’m pleased to share this new book with you all today! One Flew Through the Dragon Heart is the first book in a new steampunk series by C.S. Johnson. Today I have my review, an exclusive excerpt for you to read, and a chance to win a paperback copy of the book!


One Flew Through the Dragon Heart

Publication Date: December 21st, 2018
Genre: Steampunk/ Fantasy

A Chinese Legend. A British Secret. Star-Crossed Lovers with Incompatible Magic.

Brixton Flew works as a professor of wielder instruction at Rembrandt Academy, hoping to erase the regrets of his youth along with the resulting debt. But when he comes face to face with his biggest regret—the woman who broke his heart, Adelaide Favan—Brixton soon realizes his troubles have only begun.

Unable to control her magic, Adelaide knew leaving Brixton was the only way to protect him when they were younger. Now she discovers he is the key to recovering the Dragon Eyes, a legendary treasure connected to her magic and her family’s disgraced legacy—and she knows the risk is great, to both his life and her heart.

With others seeking the power of the Dragon Eyes, Brixton and Adelaide must outwit their foes and face down their families to save London from an ancient legend that sleeps beneath the magic portal in their city.

But the renewed passion growing between them may prove to be the greater peril …

One Flew Through the Dragon Heart is the first book in a new steampunk series by C.S. Johnson, blending together history, romance, mecha-dragons and magic against the glittering backdrop of 1880’s Victorian London.

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Review:

Oh, how I love books by C.S. Johnson. This is my second read from her and once again she’s blown me away. I absolutely love steampunk when done correctly, and One Flew Through The Dragon’s Heart was captivating.

The romance between Adelaide and Brix is messy and beautiful. Everything I hoped for when I started reading this one. The characters are so relatable, they feel real. Their relationship feels real and it really makes this story that much more enjoyable.

I’m a huge fan of world building and it is done so well here. Elaborate descriptions of Gothic and Baroque cityscapes mixed with magic and danger! The plot was engaging and I had trouble putting this down.

I highly recommend checking One Flew Through The Dragon’s Heart out!

Rating:

5/5☆


Excerpt:

“Brixton.”

His sixteen-year-old self was scurrying past the materials room when he heard his name spoken with a soft, foreign lilt. The sound broke through him like a magic spell, disrupting his intellectual musings and forcing him into an uncomfortable position.

He was in a hurry; his professor would be upset if he was late for class. As a star pupil, Brixton knew he had a certain reputation to live up to, and he had learned well not to call any negative attention to himself.

But at the sound of Adelaide Favan calling for him, he felt helpless—helplessly nervous and helplessly intrigued. It was almost as if some part of him had been waiting for her to call, and he had been more than ready to answer.

Out of guilt, if nothing else.

He nearly lost his grip on the stack of books he carried as he stumbled to a stop and glanced back at the doorway to the materials room. He could see a slim shadow at the back, where her dark skirts whipped around as she moved between stations, pulling out supplies and looking for spare coils, cogs, or anything else she decided she needed.

He did not have the faintest notion why she would be calling him. Adelaide never seemed to talk to anyone unless it was out of necessity.

“Are you coming in or not?” Adelaide straightened, looking up at him from behind a thick pair of black-rimmed goggles, the kind that magnified her eyes behind the protective glass.

Brixton felt a quick twinge of regret. She always wore them when she was working on something. He had a sinking feeling he was going to be late for class—but he stepped into the room regardless.

“I’m surprised,” she said as he tentatively approached her.

“Why? You were the one who called me.”

“Is that what I need to do to get your attention?” Adelaide put her hands on her hips as she stepped back from the table, where a box full of wires and screws and other various building materials winked up at him.

Brixton felt his face turn red. “If you’re talking about earlier, I—”

“I don’t want to talk about earlier,” Adelaide said. “You know who my father is. Do you think your friends are the first people to make fun of me because of my family?”

“They’re not my friends. Not exactly.” Brixton sighed. “They’re just people we go to school with. You don’t have to be friends with them. You just have to get along with them until we graduate.”

“Is that your plan?”

He shifted his feet as the clocks chimed loudly, the pleasant ringing turning sour in his ears. He was officially late for class. Brixton glanced back at the door.

Adelaide did not pay attention to the clock. She saw to her work, fiddling with one of the gearshifts. Brixton noticed she was also still wearing her workshop gloves. Along with her goggles, they were a semi-permanent part of her wardrobe. They were thick and black, going up past her elbows. The school issued them as part of the engineering department; Brixton hated wearing them, since the synthetic material of the gloves interfered with his ability to use magic. Adelaide was the only one who consistently wore them.

“It’s mostly my plan,” he said, finally answering her.

“Seems like a silly plan, especially for the next four years.”

“Earlier, when those girls were picking on you, I didn’t say anything—”

“I said I didn’t want to talk about earlier. People have made comments about me all my life. Getting accepted into Rembrandt two years earlier than everyone else is merely another unearned privilege in their eyes.”

Her voice was calm, but Brixton saw that her fingers, even buried in her large gloves, shook ever so slightly.

“I don’t presume—”

“But you do.” Adelaide pushed up her goggles onto her forehead again, brushing back her long black hair.

Brixton hated how he stared at her. Up close, her eyes were cloudy gray, speckled over with a silver lining. He noticed they were slanted, ever so slightly; along with her flattened nose and full lips, there were plenty of hints at her Chinese heritage. He had heard the whispers of her family, especially her father, the famous Captain Favan who led Her Royal Majesty’s Airship Force.

That was one of the main reasons he had tried to befriend her before. Brixton had approached her when she was first introduced to their class, eager to talk about her father’s legacy and how it was his dream to be in the Airship Force one day, too. Adelaide had ignored him then, brushing off his introduction.

Remembering that, he frowned. She has some nerve, admonishing me for poor manners.

He cleared his throat to give himself a moment to recover. “You should know you’re presuming that I’m presuming something. I don’t know you well enough to presume anything.”

For the first time, Adelaide softened her expression. Brixton briefly wondered if he had hurt her feelings, or if it was possible he had successfully pointed out her double standards.

She tugged the goggles down over her eyes a moment later, returning to the project before her. She said nothing as she picked up a suturing iron and began to burn a twisted bunch of wires together.

For a long moment, Brixton watched her. Despite her gloves, her movements were very precise—so precise that they almost seemed awkward.

Just like the rest of her, he thought with a small smile.

Adelaide was fourteen years old, two years younger than everyone else at Rembrandt. She had transferred into the school during the middle of their second semester, and ever since their failed first meeting, Brixton kept his distance from her, even if he continued to watch her out of the corner of his eye. He knew the others in his class teased her for her youth, her connections, and her ancestry.

He could sympathize with her some in that regard, given he received plenty of his own mockery. He was only at Rembrandt because of his scholarship. Most of the students were from the aristocracy, and the idea of rich merchants or lower-class workers—such as his parents—sending their children to Rembrandt was nothing short of scandalous.

He easily dismissed those who badgered him; he was here for an education, and nothing more.

But as Brixton gazed down at Adelaide, he suddenly wondered if she was able to do the same.

She was such a small thing. She was not only two years his junior, but she was also at least a foot shorter. The Rembrandt Academy uniform nearly swallowed up her body. He could see her vest was pinned in the back, and her long skirt was clearly hemmed. Brixton had a feeling she liked to wear the goggles on her forehead if for no other reason than they lent her another two inches in height.

“Why did you call me?” Brixton asked, daring himself to speak again.

Adelaide bit her lip, and Brixton found himself staring again.

Finally, she sighed. “I need you.”

His breath caught and his body went still. He was only able to move after she added, “I need your help.”

The words came out with a ripe bitterness in each syllable, and Brixton almost laughed at her discomfort. It was clear she never asked for help if she could avoid it.

He cleared this throat again, swallowing the last of his laughter, and nodded. “Tell me what it is.”

“I need help assembling this,” Adelaide said, pointing to the neat array of metal scraps and parts before her.

“What is it?”

“A dragon heart.”

“Beg pardon?” Brixton dropped his books, missing the table and causing them to clatter to the floor. He was certain he had misheard her as he bent to pick them up, but he was even more surprised when she laughed.

Her eyes were pushed back into slits behind her goggles, giving her a wizened, animated look as her smile widened. Brixton stared at her as he picked up his books and stacked them neatly beside hers.

“I’m only kidding,” Adelaide said, before she arched her brow. “Or maybe I’m not. Either way, I need your help with this part.”

She opened the top panel and pointed to a small knot of wires lined with alloy and copper. “This is an energy loop I’ve been working on. It’s a special type of power source. The Board wants to develop more efficient batteries, especially since the Edison Project has shown promise. Now they want to see what the wielders can do to improve it.”

“I talked with Professor Ohm about this,” Brixton said. “He wanted to find a way to generate perpetual energy. He thought electricity could possibly be infused with magic.”

“I know. I overheard your conversation after class a few days ago.”

“You did?” Brixton took the suturing iron out of her hand.

“He was dismissive of the idea as an alternative life source, but he was interested in seeing if you could figure out how to make his own theories work.”

He bit down on his cheek. He knew which conversation Adelaide was referring to, and it was one where Professor Ohm spent several minutes admonishing him for his eclectic reading tastes.

“What?” Adelaide asked.

“It’s rude to eavesdrop.”

She jutted her chin forward. “It’s also rude to ignore people who need help.”

“I don’t know if you’re saying that to make me feel bad about before, or if it’s just to make sure I stay here and help you,” Brixton muttered. “Do you care to tell me which?”

“I have an extra pair of gloves if you need them,” Adelaide offered.

He rolled his eyes as she sidestepped his question. “I don’t use them if I can help it.” He called up the power that resided inside of him. He could feel it flowing from his heart down to his fingertips, filling his palm. “I like working with my hands better. It’s easier to conjure up my talent. That’s my magic, as you might have known already. I can build things. Anything, really.”

“Well, no wonder you’re so good at this.” Adelaide pouted as Brixton undid her work. “You’re using magic.”

“And you don’t? Why are you in school to be an engineering wielder if you’re not using magic?”

“I like working with machinery,” Adelaide said. “I’m here because Rembrandt produces the best engineers in London. The fact that it’s a magical school does nothing for me.”

“Do you even have magic at all? I thought that was a requirement for coming here.”

“It is.” Adelaide went silent, and for the first time, Brixton saw her blush. With the small patch of red on her cheeks, he could just make out a light trail of freckles across her nose.

“Ouch.” He flinched as the suturing iron slipped across his fingers.

“Pay attention to what you’re doing. You don’t have to worry about my talent right now. All you need to know is that it’s not helping me fix this.” She crossed her arms and looked away.

“Right.” Brixton turned back to the item in front of him.


C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me

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One lucky winner has a chance to win a paperback copy of One Flew Through the Dragon Heart, You just need to click HERE to enter! Good luck!


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Feb. 25th
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Tranquil Dreams (Review) http://klling.wordpress.com
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The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/
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Reading Nook (Excerpt) http://readingnook84.wordpress.com
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Where Dragons Reside (Review) https://kernerangelina.live/

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BLOG BLITZ | Justice Gone – N. Lombardi Jr

Justice Gone

By N. Lombardi Jr
Genre: Legal Thriller

Justice Gone, a mystery/legal thriller which publishes February 22, 2019, touches upon many topical, controversial issues in today’s society as well as being a thrilling and engaging read. The story encapsulates current social issues: police brutality, homelessness, the plight of returning war veterans, the frenzy of the press, and the mechanics of the US judicial system.

“When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down.

A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veteran’s counselor, is caught up in the chase.

Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa’s patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers gets there first, leading to Darfield’s dramatic capture.

Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge?”

Justice Gone is the first in a series of psychological thrillers involving Dr. Tessa Thorpe.


Excerpt

Chapter 1

Bruntfield, New Jersey, just another banal town in a part of the country that nobody thinks about, was about to become famous; or rather, more aptly put, infamous. People sauntered past lackluster shops unaware that in a few days, the lackadaisical streets would bear the rabid frustrations that divided the nation; a pus-like bitterness that was held in check by the demands of everyday survival and the distractions offered by obsessive consumerism and brazen media.
Some would inevitably blame the cascade of events on the weather, since the origins could be found on a hot summer day in 2006. Sure, just about all summer days are hot, but this one was close to the record, and humid to boot. By the end of July, the Northeast coast was suffering under a sweltering heat wave. Despite the humidity, no one could remember the last time it had rained. A hundred-year drought was predicted, they’d said.
Bruntfield, among the many places under this curse, had its water supply so severely depressed that the city authorities were forced to impose water rationing. As if that wasn’t enough, the excessive load on air conditioners led to incessant brownouts. With the weather nothing less than insufferable, suffocating, oppressive, even provoking, tempers flared along with the temperature. But the local situation, as bad as it was, was about to get worse.
In the heart of this small town, just a block up from the bus depot, sat Sliders, a rather successful drinking establishment catering to young adults, and noted for its ecstasy-fueled rave parties. At four in the afternoon, the owner, Joe Poppet, a burly man with a thick red beard and a well-developed beer belly, was staring out the large glass facade of his bar.
“Screw this heat, man.”
Joe was sweating because he didn’t want to turn on the air-conditioning; as a rule, he didn’t put it on until a half hour before opening. He possessed a rather cynical personality, considering himself continually persecuted by life’s little aggravations. Now it was the heat ramping up his electricity bill; soon it would be the freezing temperatures inflating his heating bill…always something. His worries constantly exceeded his hopes. He was sort of a “glass-half-empty” man.
Rudy Glum, the shaven-headed bartender, was an easygoing optimist, a “glass-half-full” kind of guy. He was whistling as he washed the glasses in the sink behind the bar. “Tell me about it,” he chuckled. “I hear ya, buddy.”
But Rudy’s sanguinity did not rub off on Joe. “There’s that guy again.”
“What guy?”
“That fucking guy we saw yesterday.”
“Oh, yeah, he’s probably from the bus depot. Lotta homeless hang out there.”
Joe continued to stare out the glass facade, feeling helpless. “For Chrissakes, why can’t the city do something and get rid of those bastards. They’re a fucking eyesore…it’s bad for business. Probably got diseases too.”
Rudy finished drying the glass in his hand and hung it up on the beer mug rack. “Yeah, it’s a goddamn shame,” he said noncommittally, trying to get these glasses done before the evening crowd surged in.
“He doesn’t have a shirt on.”
“Yeah, well it’s hot, ain’t it? Wish I could take mine off.”
“And we’re opening in an hour. Ladies Night tonight.”
Rudy said nothing while reaching for another glass from the sink behind the bar.
“Call the cops.”
The bartender froze with the glass still in his hand. “And tell them what?”
“I don’t know, tell ‘em there’s someone suspicious hangin out on the corner…trying to break into cars or something. That way they’ll come fast.”
Reluctantly, Rudy put down his dishrag, picked up the phone, and dialed 911, not feeling good about it at all.


Lombardi Jr, the N for Nicholas, has spent over half his life in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, working as a groundwater geologist. Nick can speak five languages: Swahili, Thai, Lao, Chinese, and Khmer (Cambodian).

In 1997, while visiting Lao People’s Democratic Republic, he witnessed the remnants of a secret war that had been waged for nine years, among which were children wounded from leftover cluster bombs. Driven by what he saw, he worked on The Plain of Jars for the next eight years.
Nick maintains a website with content that spans most aspects of the novel: The Secret War, Laotian culture, Buddhism etc. http://plainofjars.net

His second novel, Journey Towards a Falling Sun, is set in the wild frontier of northern Kenya.

His latest novel, Justice Gone was inspired by the fatal beating of a homeless man by police.
Nick now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

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BLOG TOUR | Whispers From The Depths – C.W. Briar

Hi everyone!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Whispers From The Depths.


Joyful and blessed are Voice-bearers, for the Heavens have set them apart.

As Whisperers gifted with the Voice, Betka and her people are enslaved. Only they can control the dangerous spirits that haunt the waters, but they are forced to serve under cruel taskmasters. Betka has little hope of freedom from her service or her own bitterness.

They toil for the goodness of others.

A powerful water spirit terrorizes the castle where Betka’s sister is serving. Betka is assigned to the crew sailing to face the foe, and she fears for the only family she has left.

Rage is found nowhere in them.

In the beleaguered, flooded castle, a new threat awaits—a magic more powerful and horrifying than anything they have ever seen. Loyalties will be tested, and enemies will become desperate allies.

Betka is their only hope of escape—if she can subdue the wrath that endangers them all.
She who wields the waters for revenge drowns herself tenfold.

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Review:

THIS. BOOK. Seriously. Just stop reading this review and go read this book. It is absolutely everything I wanted it to be and way more. I am going to re-read as soon as possible because I just want to go back into this world.

C.W. Briar has created a beautifully deep debut novel of friendship and love overcoming darkness. A very dark tale, but captivating and I just couldn’t put it down.

The characters…the world building…everything about this book was incredible. 5 stars for sure and it is definitely going in my top reads of 2019. Now, go pick Whispers From The Depths up and get reading!

Rating:

5/5☆


C.W. Briar writes fantasy that’s dark but hopeful, filled with wonder and humor along with the suspense and creepiness. His favorite stories are the ones that make him both smile and perch on the edge of his seat. By day, he works as a systems engineer, testing or even riding on trains, airplanes, and helicopters. At night, when not writing, he prepares fancy dinners and shows off his awesome corgis. He’s a graduate of Binghamton University and lives in Upstate NY with his wife, three kids, and secret stashes of chocolate.

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RELEASE BLITZ | Outliers Saga Boxset – Kate L. Mary

Title: The Outliers Saga
Author: Kate L Mary
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Dystopian
Publisher: Twisted Press
Editor: Lori Whitwam
Publication Date: February 22nd, 2019
Blurb:
“Fear is normal, Indra, it is what you do with that fear that determines if you are strong or weak.”
One set, three books! Get the entire emotionally gripping and action-packed Outliers Saga in one set!
Book One, Outliers, was a first place Winner in the 2018 Kindle Books Awards for Sci-Fi/Fantasy Fiction
Two worlds collide when Indra, a lowly Outlier, and Asa, a Fortis guard working in Sovereign city, embark on a friendship that defies everything their world is built around. With vile characters, brutal conditions, and vicious creatures, the Outliers Saga will take readers on an unforgettable journey. Follow Asa and Indra as they fight for justice in a brutal world while facing impossible choices that will test their limits and show them what sacrifice, forgiveness, and love really means.
Buy Link:

Kate L. Mary is an award-winning author of Adult, New Adult, and Young Adult fiction, ranging from Post-apocalyptic tales of the undead to Speculative Fiction and Contemporary Romance! Her YA book, When We Were Human, was a 2015 Children’s Moonbeam Book Awards Silver Medal winner for Young Adult Fantasy/Sci-Fi Fiction, and a 2016 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal winner for Young Adult Science Fiction. Her book, Outliers, was a Top 10 Finalist in the 2018 Author Academy Awards for Sci-Fi/Fantasy Fiction, and a First Place Winner in the 2018 Kindle Book Awards for Sci-Fi/Fantasy Fiction.

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BLOG TOUR.| The Seidr Cycle – Angela B. Chrysler

Hi everyone,

Today is my stop on The Seidr Cycle blog tour.


Dolor and Shadow
The Seidr Cycle Book 1
by Angela B. Chrysler
Genre: High Epic Fantasy

A great power has awakened within Princess Kallan.

To keep the princess hidden, she is taken to Alfheim; her abilities suppressed and her memory erased.

Years later, Kallan inherits her father’s war, and vows revenge on the one man she believes is responsible: Rune, King of Gunir. But soon, a twist of fate puts Kallan in protection of the man she has sworn to kill, and Rune in possession of powers he does not understand.

Lost in the world of Men, the two must form an unlikely alliance to make their way home and solve the mystery of their past – and of the Shadow that hunts them both.

Praise for Dolor and Shadow:

…a sweeping, epic novel… highly recommend it to all fantasy lovers.” – Erin S. Riley, author of Odin’s Shadow

Angela B. Chrysler has brought world building to breathtaking heights with ‘Dolor and Shadow’” – Jay Norry, Amazon Review

This is book one in a set that has the potential to become timeless” – Timothy Bateson, Amazon Review

Goodreads | Amazon | Video Trailer
Review:

Two words: World building. Oh my goodness, Angela B. Chrysler knows how to world build. Dolor and Shadow is the first book on the Tales of Drui saga, and it starts readers off in what is to be an incredible fantasy series.

The world is complex and compelling. It is everything a fantasy lover wants in a story. Philosophy, religion, geography, architecture, weapons, mythology…beautiful writing that drew me into this world and let me vividly imagine being there.

The characters are also so very well written. They were each so detailed andcompelling, that I would read a book dedicated to each one of them. That’s when you know an author has crafted realistic characters.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It has everything I could ask for in a fantasy novel and is definitely going on my list of favorites for 2019!

Rating:
5/5☆


Fire and Lies
The Seidr Cycle Book 2

War rips across the land of Alfheim.

As the Fae gods draw near, Queen Kallan’s strength is tested.

She follows King Rune, but the Shadow Beast caged within Rune’s body is writhing in hunger. Kallan’s newest companion, Bergen – the legendary Berserk – is determined to end the conflict in her life.

As the three come together, the truth buried in the past resurfaces. Now, Kallan must master a dormant power… or watch her kingdom fall to the Fae, who will stop at nothing to keep their lies.

Goodreads | Amazon | Video Trailer
Review:

Just when I thought I couldn’t love a book more than Dolor and Shadow, I read Fire and Lies. Angela B. Chrysler is remarkable at world building and she continues that in this novel. She creates this wonderful atmosphere and I just wanted to stay lost in this story.

The characters grew immensely in this second novel. They were already so compelling, but just continued to get more compelling as I read this novel.

I absolutely recommend Fire and Lies. It is also going on my favorite reads of 2019!

Rating:
5/5☆


Angela B. Chrysler is a writer, logician, philosopher, and die-hard nerd who studies theology, historical linguistics, music composition, and medieval European history in New York with a dry sense of humor and an unusual sense of sarcasm. She lives in a garden with her family and cats.

In 2014, Ms. Chrysler founded Brain to Books and the virtual trade show, Brain to Books Cyber Convention. A passionate gardener and incurable cat lover, Ms. Chrysler spends her days drinking coffee and writing beside a volume of Edgar Allan Poe who strongly influences her style to this day. When Ms. Chrysler is not writing, she enables her addictions to all things nerdy, and reads everything she can get her hands on no matter the genre. Occasionally, she finds time to mother her three children and debate with her life-long friend who she eventually married. Her writing is often compared to Tad Williams. Her influences are Edgar Allan Poe, The Phantom of the Opera, and Frankenstein.

Angela also loves writing, cats, reading, knitting, gardening, Tai Chi, Yoga, meditation, coffee, BBC, baking, cooking, dancing, singing, anime, and smiling.

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🌟🌟🌟Giveaway🌟🌟🌟

$20 Amazon, Signed copy of Dolor and Shadow

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BOOK REVIEW | Heir of Doom – Jina S. Bazzar

Hi everyone!

I’m very excited to be able to review Heir of Doom, which is book two in the Roxanne Fosch Files by Jina S. Bazzar. I read and reviewed the first novel and the prequel, if you would like to take a look at that: The Curse & Heir of Ashes.


Roxanne Fosch has joined the Hunters.

She no longer has to run and hide, but other problems have surfaced. Her clan has other plans for her, and even the combined might of the hunters might not be able to save her.

To survive, Roxanne will have to choose between being labeled a traitor and cast out as a rogue – or join hands with the darker powers to save her life, and the lives of her friends.

To achieve her goals, she’ll have to risk her life. But can she control the powers she’s still learning to use, and fears so much?

Amazon | Goodreads

Review:

Jina Bazzar has done it again! Heir of Doom blew me away, and as much as I loved Heir of Ashes, this new installment of Roxanne’s journey has made it to my favorite reads of 2019!

This story picks up right after Heir of Ashes, and continues the same action-packed writing Jina Bazzar is now known for. The magic, the relationships, the plot twists! When you read this one, prepare yourself for an all nighter, because you’re not going to want to put it down.

This is one of those instances where I could go on and on about this novel, but I’m taking up your reading time. Go grab this book and let it prove to you just how fantastic it really is!

Rating:

5/5☆


I’m a freelance writer, a blogger, a mother, a baker, a chocolate fiend, a coffee enthusiast, and sometimes a poet. A wanderer in this vast world, I’m just another body with a passion for the written word. There is no boundary I can’t cross, no limit I can’t push; my mind is my passport, my thoughts my mode of transportation.

I was born and raised in a quiet, small town in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where I’ve had a happy and fulfilling childhood.

Like most writers out there, my love of books began at a young age. Unlike most authors out there, I never aspired to become one.

Soon after high school graduation I developed a chronic disease that caused gradual vision loss. I was blind at the age of twenty-three, and reading became one of many things I could no longer do.
That is, until I started working for an organization for women with disabilities and learned about screen readers. After I quit my job, I picked up reading with vengeance, but soon realized it was no longer enough, and so I started writing, this time with an aim to pursue a career. Heir of Ashes is my debut novel, a creation born from my love of anything fairy, of action-packed stories and a touch of romance. Besides fiction, I’ve written dozens of articles for Conscious Talk magazine, on topics of health, food, poetry and the writer’s life.

When I’m not writing or networking on social media, you can find me in the kitchen, listening to loud music while baking (often misshapen) goodies, or cooking favorite dishes.

My inspiration comes from most anything, a discussion, a friend, an animal or plant, events, memories, music, etc – in other words, from life itself.

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A big thanks to Jina for allowing me to read Heir of Doom! Congratulations on the release day and here’s to many more!

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BLOG TOUR | Gap Years – Dave Holwill

Hi everyone!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Gap Years.


19 year old Sean hasn’t seen his father since he was twelve. His mother has never really explained why. An argument with her leads to his moving to the other side of the country.

Martin, his father, has his life thrown into turmoil when the son he hasn’t seen in nearly eight years strolls back into his life immediately killing his dog and hospitalising his step-daughter.

The one thing they have in common is the friendship of a girl called Rhiannon.

Over the course of one summer Sean experiences sexual awakenings from all angles, discovers the fleeting nature of friendship and learns to cope with rejection.

Martin, meanwhile, struggles to reconnect with Sean while trying to delicately turn down the increasingly inappropriate advances of a girl he sees as a surrogate daughter and keep a struggling marriage alive.

Gap Years is an exploration of what it means to be a man in the 21st Century seen from two very different perspectives – neatly hidden inside a funny story about bicycles, guitars and unrequited love.

Amazon UK | Amazon US

Review:

Gap Years is my second read from Dave Holwill and, as expected, a sharp, satirical novel full of very human experiences with false expectations.

Dave Holwill crafts real, relatable characters, with a bit of dark comedy. This is a story of a father and son, who grow and learn a lot about themselves and each other. It’s not always good news, but they manage to deal, which creates a very moving tale.

A dysfunctional family with beautiful writing and dark comedy, this is a quirky novel that I highly recommend giving a shot. Even if it’s not your style normally, I think Dave Holwill’s writing will draw you in and the characters will see you through to the end.

Rating:

4/5☆


Dave Holwill was born in Guildford in 1977 and quickly decided that he preferred the Westcountry – moving to Devon in 1983 (with some input from his parents).

After an expensive (and possibly wasted) education there, he has worked variously as a postman, a framer, and a print department manager (though if you are the only person in the department then can you really be called a manager?) all whilst continuing to play in every kind of band imaginable on most instruments you can think of.

Gap Years is his third novel – following on the heels of Weekend Rockstars and The Craft Room, and he is currently working on the fourth (a folk horror set in his native mid-Devon) and a sequel to Weekend Rockstars.

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BLOG TOUR | Kingdom if Ash and Soot – C. S. Johnson

Hi everyone!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Kingdom if Ash and Soot!


Kingdom of Ash and Soot (The Order of the Crystal Daggers #1)
Publication Date: July 3rd, 2018
Genre: YA/ Historical Fiction/ Adventure

“I want to be free.” The words came rushing out of me before I could think through their implications and consequences.

“There are two things you need to know about yourself if you want to be free—what you stand for, and what you stand against.” Lady Penelope held up her hands, brandishing a pair of daggers that had been hidden in her skirts. “This world lives enslaved to its destruction, and so long as you are living, as long as you are fighting, you will be free.”

I gazed at the daggers, transfixed. Each blade was clothed in a leather scabbard, but the silver and obsidian of the daggers’ hilts winked at me, as though it was calling for me.
PRAGUE, 1870.

For the last ten years, nineteen-year-old Eleanora Svobodová has worked as a servant in her stepmother’s household. Along with her older brother, she dreams of the day they will be free to live life on their own terms.

But everything changes when their estranged grandmother comes to Prague on behalf of Queen Victoria. Throughout Bohemia, a string of murders and secret whispers hint at a larger coup. As the leader of the Order of the Crystal Daggers, an ancient order of spies and soldiers that protect kingdoms and their rulers, Lady Penelope is determined to mete out the perpetrators. Now, Eleanora must make the choice between a life of intrigue and saving the lives of others.

Can Eleanora find a way do the right thing and still find freedom?

With a fun blend of historical fiction, true love, castle intrigue, and family dysfunction, The Order of the Crystal Daggers is the latest adventure series from C. S. Johnson.

Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Kobo | Indigo | Barnes & Nobel | Nook

Review:

Kingdom of Ash and Soot has shot right into my favorite reads of 2019! This is a fantasy first novel in a historical fiction series that takes the reader on a thrilling journey from beginning to end.

I love the political, romance and mystery entertwined in this novel. It is incredibly well written, with fabulous characters and an intriguing plot.

I love Eleonora. She is strong and feisty, and she dreams of a life of freedom. She is such a relatable and likable heroine. A strong female lead is always fun to read.

I can’t wait to read more of this series. I highly recommend checking it out!

Rating:

5/5☆


Excerpt:

“What is it?” I asked him, noticing that he was staring back at me. “It seems you have remembered your dancing quite well,” he said, and I shook my head at once, keeping my forced smile steady as we passed by Lady POW.

“The practice helps,” I replied neutrally. “And it did help that Karl was a good dancer last night. Some of the others I danced with were not as good, but fortunately they blamed it on their own poor performance.”

“They were likely distracted by your beauty.”

“You don’t have to talk to me like that.” I rolled my eyes. “Be- sides, you might distract me now with your false flattery.”

“Flattery is always false, mademoiselle. I was speaking truth.”

Amir smiled. “You may have that problem in the future, when other men are dancing with you.”

“I can learn to handle it later, then.”

“You can also learn it now. There is nothing efficient about wasting time, after all.”

“I’d rather not, thank you very much. There is no need for you to continue talking to me.” My tone was frosty and bitter, every part a perfect complement to the kindness in his eyes. “Unless, of course, you’d like to tell me why you stole my father’s book from me when we unfortunately met?”

“I would not say it was unfortunate.” “What would you say it was, then?”

Amir’s mustache curled around the corners of his mouth. “God’s humor at work.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” I asked, frustrated and infuriated. “Are you insulting me?”

“Never, mademoiselle.”

Before I could accuse him of lying in addition to insulting me, or before I could “accidentally” begin stepping on his toes, Lady POW began calling out instructions, making me feel even more insulted and infuriated—and even worse, isolated, and unable to do anything to escape.

“Hands up, Eleanora,” she called. “Yes, take a step closer. Now, remember to smile. Watch your timing; men are supposed to lead. And show your interest. Pretend you are dancing with a prince!”

Between Amir’s dancing and Lady Penelope’s snappy judgements, I felt trapped in a world of soft tyranny. It was a world where the truth was too impolite to be spoken, and even if it had to be, it had to be dressed up in clothes as strange and as ornate as the ones I was wearing, and it was likely as unrecognizable as I was in the end.

I certainly felt nothing like my usual self.

The others did not seem to believe it was me, either.

Amir held me at a polite distance as we danced, but I was still close enough I could see the pained delight in his eyes as he watched me, and recalling Lady POW’s earlier mistake of calling me by my mother’s name, I suddenly wondered if he was thinking of her, too.

The last note of the waltz rang out, and we finally slowed to a stop.

“Why did you take my father’s book?” This time, my question

was quiet but harsh against the growing silence. Amir seemed surprised, but he did not refrain from responding.

“It was not your father’s book, mademoiselle.”

I slowly dropped my hands from his. Already, I knew what he was going to say.

“When I saw you, it was like falling into a portal to the past, twenty-six years ago. I saw the book, and I knew it could only belong to my Naděžda.”

“You knew my mother.” The words were chunky and foreign to me as they came out of my mouth. I knew I had no reason to accuse him of something I already knew to be true.

“Yes. She was my dearest friend for many years before … ” Amir said quietly. I saw his gaze lower to the scar on his right hand. “And when she … left … I was angry.”

It plagued me, knowing that Lady POW was not the only one who seemed to prefer my mother to me.

“When she left the Order, you mean?”

“She did not leave the Order,” Amir whispered. “She left me.”

It took me a long moment to process everything. Amir and I were still standing in the middle of the room. Somewhere, a thousand moments and a million miles away, Lady POW clapped and praised us, telling us I was already much better at the waltz than before. She was calling for another song, but I barely heard any of it, as I watched while Amir’s eyes swam over with memories and emotion.

There was suddenly no denying the full truth of the matter. Amir had been in love with my mother.


C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles series, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me.

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⭐⭐⭐Giveaway⭐⭐⭐

I have an amazing giveaway for you all today! The author is giving away a print copy of each book in her new Order of the Crystal Daggers series, including a brand new companion novella about some of the other characters. A prequel to this book! Just click HERE to enter!


Blog Tour Schedule

Feb. 18th
Reads & Reels (Promo) http://readsandreels.com
Splashes into Books (Interview) http://splashesintobooks.wordpress.com
The Writer’s Alley (Review) https://www.jacobrundle.com
Christine’s Book Corner (Promo) https://christinesbookcorner.wordpress.com/
Tsarina Press (Promo) https://www.tsarinapress.com
Books, Teacup and Reviews (Promo) https://booksteacupnreviews.wordpress.com/

Feb. 19th
Adventures Thru Wonderland (Review) http://adventuresthruwonderland.blogspot.com/
Jessica Rachow (Review) https://jessicarachow.wordpress.com
Scarlett Readz and Runz (Review) https://scarlettreadzandrunz.com/
Dash Fan Book Reviews (Promo) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

Feb. 20th
I Smell Sheep (Promo) http://www.ismellsheep.com/
Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Promo) http://www.bansheeirishhorrorblog.com
Valerie’s Musings (Promo) http://valeriesmusings76.wordpress.com

Feb. 21st
The Bibliophagist (Review) http://thebibliophagist.blog/
Bobo’s Book Bank (Promo) http://bobosbookbank.com
Didi Oviatt (Promo) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Feb. 22nd
The Invisible Moth (Review) https://daleydowning.wordpress.com
J Bronder Book Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/
Cats Luv Coffee (Promo) https://catsluvcoffeez.blogspot.com


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BLOG BLITZ | Dark & Fluffy: Volume II – Janet Stock

Hi everyone!

Today is my stop on the blog blitz for Dark & Fluffy: Volume II.


Following on from Dark & Fluffy, this collection is a further nine short fiction pieces. The title Dark & Fluffy II, reflects the general styles of the stories/prose in the book. Some are a bit darker, and may be a bit uncomfortable to read, Death by Testing and The Broken Arrangement fall into this category. Others are happier, feel good pieces like The Disney Club. Whatever your preference, I’m sure you’ll find something that will grab your attention.

Amazon UK | Amazon US

Review:

Dark & Fluffy: Volume II can be read as a standalone, so you need not worry if you haven’t read volume 1. However, I really loved these short stories, so I am definitely going to read volume II when I can!

Janet Stock is fantastic and writing, short, punchy stories that leave lasting impressions. They are very short, but incredibly engaging and I love that! There are many different genres here so there is something for everyone.

If you enjoy short stories, I highly recommend checking this collection out!

Rating:

4/5☆


I am married with one teenage son and have always been a keen reader and writer since being young. I was born in Lancashire but have lived in Lincoln for over 30 years.

Several years ago I decided to take my writing seriously. I completed an OU course in creative writing and a Writers Bureau course. Initially I concentrated on short story writing, and when I turned fifty this year, I self-published my first book, Dark and Fluffy.

I love writing short stories, but my main goal is to have a novel published. Ten years ago, I started the first book of a trilogy of novels called The Little Servant (The Wait’s Son). I am still working on this, but now I have a serious intent to get this finished this year.

My favourite genre is medieval fiction, Bernard Cornwell is my favourite author. I also like to read Edward Rutherford, Stephen King, and Dean Coontz.

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