Book #60: Blood and Magic by R.L. Weeks

Kate’s is attempting to get back to normal following her dad’s unexpected death at the start of summer. Sleepless nights, numbness, and dreams of an abandoned house and a mystery boy forces Kate into isolation – cutting herself off from her friends and mom.
However, on the first day back she is forced to face reality in the form of Nicholas Nightshade – the school’s bad boy that everyone loves to hate – and he has plenty of secrets of his own.
Struggling to come around to her new-found powers, people are thrown into harms away until she is forced to deal with the magic inside of her.
Nicholas will do anything to keep the truth from her – even if it means distancing himself from Kate and leaving her to be a ticking time bomb of dark magic.

With students dying in freak accidents, two covens playing a tug of war with Nicholas and Kate’s souls, and a terrifying foresight between their relationship, shrouding her future with darkness – senior year will be more exciting than Kate could have ever anticipated.

Warning: This book is intended for adults. It has some scenes of a sexual nature, strong language and violence, with references to occultism. This novel is fictional, and all spells and rituals performed are not intended to be instructional. The references made to witchcraft are not accurate to the study and practice of modern-day witchcraft or the pagan religion.

I want to first state that I actually received a copy of this book from the author alongside a book box. At the end of this review is the link to my video on YouTube. You can follow it for future unboxings and writing/book related stuff. What follows is my opinion on the book itself and there was no compensation for this review.

I have read a few of R.L. Weeks’ books and she has a good imagination. Each story is better than the other. And though I prefer her short stories, her books aren’t bad. This includes Blood & Magic.

Blood & Magic follows the life of Kate Bathory, a senior in high school and a girl who pretty much secluded herself after the death of her father. Upon coming back into the real world, she learns something that was kept hidden. It is both something beautiful and dangerous, two sides of the same coin.

The magic part had to be the most interesting to me. The world is dark and beautiful and well thought out. I felt Weeks made her own witches, but was also understanding to the witches of today. They could coexist together in this world without really being an impact to one another, and I liked that. This world also made me think of Sabrina on Netflix, another witchy story where magic can be dark and beautiful at the same time.

The romance wasn’t bad. There were parts where I could see the chemistry between Kate and Nicholas, but I feel there might have been something missing. Maybe it’s more quality time? I’m not sure. They are well written and you could see how the romance grows. As for Nicholas being a bad boy, lies! He’s actually a cuddly teddy bear and intuited Kate’s needs. Dude, this guy isn’t a teenager, he’s closer to his twenties or thirties with the amount of presence he has with Kate.

I bet you can guess who I really liked in the book. Yep, it was Nicholas. Though you are seeing the story through Kate and she isn’t a bad character, it was Nicholas who I found to be a bit more interesting. You don’t get much about his personal background, but what you do know, you are interested in what he has to bring. He may have made some stupid choices, but I feel he was just an overall more thought out character.

All in all, the book wasn’t bad and it hasn’t pulled me away from supporting R.L. Weeks and her writing. If you like paranormal reads, but don’t want a series per se, you should check out the Supernatural New Order books. Each book is set in the same world, but all are standalones. Blood & Magic is the first and coming soon is Dead Girls.

Final Rating: 3/5

Want to see the unboxing? Look below! Be sure to find me and subscribe on YouTube!

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NERD BLAST: THE NIGHT WEAVER by Monique Snyman

Series: Shadow Grove (Book 1)
Paperback: 266 pages
Publisher: Vesuvian Books (October 15, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1645480062
ISBN-13: 978-1645480068

Praise for THE NIGHT WEAVER“With its boogeyman-like creature based in lesser-known folklore, the novel is unique, as well as creepy and unsettling. It also functions on a metaphorical level, growing stronger by feeding on the negative emotions of the townspeople … The Night Weaver introduces a world of myth, intrigue, and darkness with considerable technique.” Foreword Reviews

“Simultaneously refreshing and deeply unsettling, The Night Weaver weaves together small-town horror with an intricate otherworldly fairytale to deliver a blend of horror and fantasy that captures the essence of young adult terror seasoned with the stuff of grown-up nightmares.” The Nerd Daily

“… a very easy to read page-turner … As the mystery develops it moves deeper into dark fantasy … brimming with ideas.” Ginger Nuts of Horror

“I have been searching high and low to find a writer that could intrigue me with writing as witty and crafty as Cassandra Clare, and lo and behold I found one. HOLY HELL what a read.” Nadine Maritz, MY HEAD “IN A NUTSHELL“
2018 BRAM STOKER AWARDS® Final Ballot FINAL BALLOT
LOS ANGELES, CA, FEBRUARY 23, 2019

Named in honor of the author of the seminal horror novel Dracula, the Bram Stoker Awards® are presented annually for superior achievement in writing in eleven categories. Previous winners include Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, George R. R. Martin, Joyce Carol Oates, and Neil Gaiman. The HWA formed in 1985 with the help of many of the field’s greats, including Dean Koontz, Robert McCammon, and Joe R. Lansdale. The HWA is home to the prestigious Bram Stoker Award® and the annual StokerCon convention.SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN A YOUNG ADULT NOVEL
•Ireland, Justina – Dread Nation (Balzer + Bray)
•Legrand, Claire – Sawkill Girls (Katherine Tegen Books)
•Maberry, Jonathan – Broken Lands (Simon & Schuster)
•Snyman, Monique – The Night Weaver
•White, Kiersten – The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein (Delacorte Press)

Shadow Grove isn’t a typical town. Bad things happen here. Children disappear, one after the other, and nobody is doing anything about it. Parents don’t grieve, missing posters don’t line the streets, and the sheriff seems unconcerned.

Seventeen-year-old Rachel Cleary lives on the outskirts of Shadow Grove, next to the creepy forest everyone pretends doesn’t exist. Usually the forest is filled with an eerie calm, and unmistakeable graveyard solemnity. But the trees have started whispering, forgotten creatures are stirring and the night feels darker than ever.

Something is stalking the residents of Shadow Grove, changing them into brain-dead caricatures of themselves. It’s up to Rachel to find a way to stop the devouring of her hometown before all is destroyed and everyone she loves is forever lost.

 
Original cover art by Marcela Bolivar 
And title treatment by Michael J. Canales

You can purchase The Night Weaver at the following Retailers:

 

Photo Content from Monique Snyman

Monique Snyman’s mind is a confusing bedlam of glitter and death, where candy-coated gore is found in abundance and homicidal unicorns thrive. Sorting out the mess in her head is particularly irksome before she’s ingested a specific amount of coffee, which is equal to half the recommended intake of water for humans per day. When she’s not playing referee to her imaginary friends or trying to overdose on caffeine, she’s doing something with words—be it writing, reading, or fixing all the words.

Monique Snyman lives in Pretoria, South Africa, with her husband and an adorable Chihuahua. She’s the author of MUTI NATION, a horror novel set in South Africa, and Bram Stoker Award® nominated novel, THE NIGHT WEAVER, which is the first installment in a dark fantasy series for young adults.

        

 

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

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BLOG TOUR(REVIEW) : WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW by Merry Jones

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Filles Vertes Publishing (October 7, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1946802409
ISBN-13: 978-1946802408



Praise for MERRY JONES

“A nurturing and protective elementary school teacher is thrust into a web of unspeakable evil. Riveting, suspenseful and diabolical, Child’s Play keeps the reader anxiously and eagerly turning the pages.” ―Mary Jane Clark, New York Times best-selling author on Child’s Play

“…thrill ride…packs a wallop. By the end, the body count of Child’s Play adds up to eight (plus one rape), and delivers the shocking answer.” ―Mystery Scene on Child’s Play

“Surprising, dark, and even disturbing. A fragile and vulnerable young teacher faces a terrifying first day of school―and that is just the riveting beginning. Timely, provocative and sinister, this twisty story of family and friendship is not for the faint of heart.” ―Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony, and Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning author on Child’s Play

“What’s behind these horrors culminates in helter-skelter chaos. Elle’s home becomes the center of a tragic universe, since she ‘attracted tragedy and death.’ That combination is magnified many fold as bodies pile up. And readers are left enchanted by another ‘Elle-oquent’ thriller.” ―BookReporter on Child’s Play

“The murder of the principal and a teacher on opening day at an elementary school, a terrifying scenario. In Child’s Play Merry Jones showcases her unique skill in delivering this dark, very dark, thriller with a modicum of humor. The end, well, you won’t see it coming amid the tortuous twists and turns. Merry Jones at her best!” ―Patricia Gussin, New York Times best-selling author of After the Fall on Child’s Play

“In Jones’s fast-paced third Elle Harrison novel (after 2014’s Elective Procedures), the Philadelphia second-grade teacher believes that she failed Ty Evans, a former student who later confessed to killing his abusive father, but she hopes to redeem herself with his younger brother, Seth, now enrolled in her class. With Ty newly released from juvenile detention and clashing with their alcoholic mother, Seth’s home life is unstable. When the draconian school principal and a humorless teacher―both of whom treated Ty cruelly―are murdered, Elle is torn between belief in his innocence and her desire to protect Seth. Meanwhile, the realtor charged with selling her house becomes increasingly aggressive, and when someone drugs and rapes Elle, she doesn’t know whether to suspect the realtor or the killer. The identities of the rapist and murderer are obvious well before Elle or other characters identify them. Still, Elle’s complex feelings toward her late husband―who was murdered while they were separated―add nuance and depth.” ―Publishers Weekly on Child’s Play

Nora Warren hides her dark side well because she’s had years of practice.

The wife of a lawyer and mother of two girls, she slides under everyone’s radar, never revealing what she really is—a murderer.

At least, she feels like one.

Nora’s plagued by the secrets surrounding her older brother’s suicide decades earlier. Yet she lives as though he never existed.

Now, in her thirties, Nora suspects her husband, Dave, is having an affair with her friend, the wife of a leading US Senate candidate. When her friend’s body is discovered—another apparent suicide—Nora is left with haunting secrets and choices that dredge up her grim nature, the side of herself that no one ever sees. Will she act on her impulses? Mustn’t she?

How far will Nora go to protect the life she has built for herself?


You can purchaseWhat You Don’t Know at the following Retailers:
       
MY REVIEW
I received a copy of What You Don’t Know for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.
The first thing that grabbed me about this book is the interesting way the narration goes. The best way I can describe it is that this book is more of a character study than a mystery. You know there is a mystery and you are questioning what is happening, but everything revolves around Nora. It is Nora you are left really wondering about.
The book is written with the past and present interlocking. It is well written and grabs you. You are taken through her preteen years and the main thread of the story. That said, the story itself could seem a bit slow getting there. But that doesn’t bother me. It’s the way Nora is written that had me wondering who she really was and how she was going to interact with everything around.
Despite the possible slow feel at getting to the main plot, the book was hard to put down. It is very easy for the reader to get to the halfway point in one sitting. Merry Jones did a great job of engaging the reader, hooking them, and fishing along the river.
I honestly can’t say more about the book aside that even though the blurb feels like you will know the whole story, you won’t. If I say anything else, I would be seriously spoiling the book (which doesn’t bother me, but it might you).
All in all, I really liked how it was written and I found myself being sympathetic and understanding much of Nora, but still questioning everything.
Final Rating: 4/5

Excerpt from Nora’s preteen years:

Nora was on her bike, waiting while the high school bus struggled up the hill, sputtering to a stop.

The doors folded open and the driver yelled, “No more roughhousing, you two. Next time, you’ll walk home, the both of you.”

And, oh God, Tommy tumbled out backwards into the street, landing on his butt and scuttling backwards like a panicked crab as Craig Troeschler jumped off and followed after him, swinging Tommy’s empty backpack. Tommy raised his hands, protecting his head. The doors closed and the bus chugged away with a dozen noses pressed against the windows.

Nora tried to look away, but Craig’s voice boomed at Tommy.

“Don’t ever take my seat again! Hear me, you sorry piece of shit? Next time you see me standing on the bus, what are you going to do?”

Craig whapped the backpack at Tommy’s hands and head, and Tommy turned away, dodging and cowering. His face flushed crimson, even darker where black fuzz grew in unshaven patches along his jaw.

Tommy muttered something.

“What? I didn’t hear you.” Craig’s grin gleamed, vicious. He kept swinging the canvas bag.

“I said I’ll get up and give you the seat.” Tommy hunched, arms protecting his head.

“You’ll give me the seat?” Slap. “What else will you do?” Whap. “Say it.”

“I’ll go away.”

“Wrong!” Craig bent over him, growling. “What will you do?”

“Crawl. I’ll crawl away.” Tommy’s voice was husky. A swallowed sob.

Craig stopped smacking and jeered. “That’s right, crybaby douchebag. You’ll get on the ground with the rest of the dirt and crawl out of my sight.” He threw the book bag at him, spit at the ground, and sauntered off across the street.

Toward Nora.

Nora didn’t move, couldn’t. What had just happened? Craig Troeschler was an older kid who lived in a red brick house up the street. What did he have against Tommy? And the driver—he and all the other kids on the bus must have seen what Craig was doing. Why hadn’t they stopped him? Unless—

The realization hit like a slap. It appeared like a rewind, like scattered shards unshattering and reconnecting into an unbroken whole. In a short, silent moment, Nora knew why Tommy hid in his room and never invited anyone over. Why he slunk around without making a sound. She’d known he wasn’t popular or cool. But the truth was far worse: Tommy, her big brother, was the brunt of jokes. He was a wimp who got bullied. A loser. A freak.

Nora’s whole body went numb. She wished she hadn’t seen what happened. It wasn’t her business. She wasn’t part of it, had nothing to do with it, had stumbled into it by chance. What should she have done? Intervene? Stand up for her older brother and confront an even older, bigger Craig who had just acted meaner than anyone she’d ever seen before, who even on that warm spring day was wearing a black biker leather jacket that matched his greased-back shoe-polish-black hair?

Nora didn’t know what her role should be, how she should act, so she did nothing. Even when Craig walked right up to her, standing at the bus stop with her bike, she said nothing. For a flickering heartbeat, she thought, oh God, he was going to pick on her for just standing there, witnessing, or for being Tommy’s sister. Did he know she was his sister? But he passed her by without the merest glimpse, not even a grunt.

Tommy looked up, then, probably to make sure Craig was gone. For an endless, permanent, never-to-be-forgotten moment, brother and sister stared at each other in silent recognition of Tommy’s humiliation, his perpetual victimization, his tormented hopelessness.

Copyright © 2019 by Merry Jones

Photo Credit: Bill Eckland

Merry Jones is an award winning author who has written humor (eg. I LOVE HIM, BUT…), non-fiction (eg. BIRTHMOTHERS), and dark suspense (eg. the Zoe Hayes mysteries, the Harper Jennings thrillers, and the Elle Harrison suspense novels). Now, with her twentieth book,WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW, she’s entering the domain of domestic psychological suspense. Jones taught college writing courses for fifteen years, and leads seminars, appears on panels at writing conferences, and, with fellow members of the Liars Club, cohosts a monthly writers’ coffeehouse and the weekly Oddcast, a podcast devoted to writing and other creative endeavors. 

Jones’s work has been translated into seven languages and has appeared in magazines, such as American Woman and Glamour. Jones is a member of the Authors Guild, Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and the Philadelphia Liars Club. The mother of two and grandmother of one (so far) lives with her husband in Philadelphia, where she is an avid rower on the Schuylkill River and a member of Vesper Boat Club. Visit her at MerryJones.com.

       
PART ONE
OCTOBER 7th MONDAY JeanBookNerd GUEST POST
OCTOBER 8th TUESDAY Book Queen Reviews REVIEW & EXCERPT
OCTOBER 9th WEDNESDAY Crossroad Reviews REVIEW
OCTOBER 10th THURSDAY On My Bookshelf REVIEW
OCTOBER 11th FRIDAY A Court of Coffee and Books REVIEW 
PART TWO
OCTOBER 12th SATURDAY Movies, Shows, & Books REVIEW
OCTOBER 12th SATURDAY Casia’s Corner REVIEW
OCTOBER 12th SATURDAY Sabrina’s Paranormal Palace GUEST POST
OCTOBER 13th SUNDAY Two Points of Interest REVIEW
OCTOBER 13th SUNDAY BookHounds INTERVIEW
*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

 

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BLOG TOUR (REVIEW): THE GOOD LUCK GIRLS by Charlotte Nicole Davis

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Tor Teen (October 1, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250299705
ISBN-13: 978-1250299703



Praise for THE GOOD LUCK GIRLS

“Don’t underestimate the girls in the Arkettan welcome houses because you might just lose your life. Davis’ The Good Luck Girls is a dust-filled, bloody fairytale set in a menacing world haunted with the reminder―the price of freedom is high, but it’s worth fighting for at all costs. Rise up, teen readers!” ―Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Belles

“This dystopian debut is deeply connected to today’s social issues, and readers will feel that impact.” ―Booklist

 

Westworld meets The Handmaid’s Tale in this stunning fantasy adventure from debut author Charlotte Nicole Davis.

Aster, the protector
Violet, the favorite
Tansy, the medic
Mallow, the fighter
Clementine, the catalyst

THE GOOD LUCK GIRLS

The country of Arketta calls them Good Luck Girls–they know their luck is anything but. Sold to a “welcome house” as children and branded with cursed markings. Trapped in a life they would never have chosen.

When Clementine accidentally murders a man, the girls risk a dangerous escape and harrowing journey to find freedom, justice, and revenge in a country that wants them to have none of those things. Pursued by Arketta’s most vicious and powerful forces, both human and inhuman, their only hope lies in a bedtime story passed from one Good Luck Girl to another, a story that only the youngest or most desperate would ever believe.

It’s going to take more than luck for them all to survive.

You can purchaseThe Good Luck Girls at the following Retailers:
       
MY REVIEW
I received a copy of The Good Luck Girls for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.
Okay, I should probably say that this book deals with two heavy subjects. The umbrella term for the subject is Human Exploitation. The Good Luck Girls are girls who “give good luck”. If you aren’t sure what that means, in the plainest terms these girls are forced sex workers. And then you have the forced miners which seemed very similar to slavery or indentured servitude without the ability to be completely free. Two different types and heavy handed subjects, but both under the umbrella of human exploitation. If this is something that bothers you, you shouldn’t read the book.
That said, this was the reason I loved the book. Charlotte Nicole Davis handles this heavy subject in a well said way without being too delicate or too preachy. You feel the anger coursing through these girls, you want them to survive and thrive and kick ass. You become one of them or, at the least, one of their supporters.
I actually love Westerns and the world crafted around this story of runaways is very similar to the wild west. Add in spirits and scary men able to torture you with their minds, and you have the base of a good series. It felt like the wild west and it felt very dangerous.
As for the writing style, I mentioned it a bit above. Charlotte Nicole Davis’ writing voice is exactly what I like in a storyteller. It was to the point in the way that the language is very similar to our own and easy to be pulled in. The characters are well written, diverse, and all have secrets but they protect each other under a common thread. Like I said before, it was easy to be pulled in and that makes it hard to put the book down.
All in all, this is a different sort of YA fantasy and I am 100% on board with it. I already have book two on my TBR list and I am impatiently waiting for it.
Final rating: 5/5
Photo Credit: Brett Pruitt

Charlotte Nicole Davis is the author of The Good Luck Girls, a young adult fantasy novel releasing in Fall 2019 with Tor Teen. A graduate of The New School’s Writing for Children MFA program, Charlotte loves comic book movies and books with maps in the front. She currently lives in Brooklyn with a cat with a crooked tail.

      

WEEK ONE
SEPTEMBER 30th MONDAY JeanBookNerd INTERVIEW
OCTOBER 1st TUESDAY Twirling Book Princess EXCERPT
OCTOBER 2nd WEDNESDAY A Court of Coffee and Books REVIEW
OCTOBER 2nd WEDNESDAY Kait Plus Books EXCERPT
OCTOBER 3rd THURSDAY Bibliobibuli YA INTERVIEW

OCTOBER 4th FRIDAY Novel Lives REVIEW
OCTOBER 4th FRIDAY Movies, Shows, & Books EXCERPT 


WEEK TWO
OCTOBER 7th MONDAY BookHounds YA REVIEW
OCTOBER 8th TUESDAY Lisa Loves Literature REVIEW
OCTOBER 8th TUESDAY Pages Below the Vaulted Sky REVIEW
OCTOBER 9th WEDNESDAY Casia’s Corner REVIEW
OCTOBER 10th THURSDAY Lauren’s Bookshelf REVIEW
OCTOBER 10th THURSDAY Starlight Reads REVIEW
OCTOBER 11th FRIDAY Nay’s Pink Bookshelf REVIEW

 
*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

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BLOG TOUR (REVIEW): THE RIFT by Rachael Craw

Print Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Candlewick Press (October 8, 2019)
Publication Date: October 8, 2019
Language: English

ISBN1536211281/9781536211283
Young Adult Novel/Hardback



Praise for THE RIFT

“Thrilling … A fresh and original story; a standout in the fantasy genre. The romance between Cal and Meg blends envy, desire and uncertainty with a potent authenticity. Written with a sparse lovely poetry, The Rift demands an immersion that is intoxicating. I can’t recommend this enough.” ―Isabelle Carmody, author of The Obernewtyn Chronicles and The Gathering

“Gripping, brutal, tender. You won’t be able to put this book down.” ―Michael Pryor, author of The Laws Of Magic series and Gap Year in Ghost Town.

“Beautiful, dark and deliciously tense – an astonishing world that will hold you in its finely wrought claws.” ―Alison Goodman, author of the Lady Helen series and the Eon series.

“Masterful and brilliant! Beautiful world building, stunning writing, a cracking plot, perfectly paced and hot romantic tension. Craw has outdone herself.” ―Fleur Ferris, best-selling author of Risk, Black, Wreck and Found

Storylines Notable Book Award, 2019
Finalist, New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, 2019

As corporate greed is pitted against supernatural forces, two young friends must try to protect the precious Old Herd — and their island itself.

For generations, the rangers of Black Water Island have guarded the Old Herd against the horrors released by the Rift. And Cal West, an apprentice ranger, fights daily to prove he belongs within their ranks. But even greater challenges await with the return of his childhood friend Meg Archer and the onset of a new threat that not even the rangers are prepared for. Now Meg and Cal, while struggling with their mutual attraction, must face their darkest fears to save the island from disaster. In a possible near future where Big Pharma is pitted against ancient traditions and the supernatural, Rachael Craw’s gripping and brutal tale, inspired by Greek mythology, will immerse readers and leave them intoxicated by its richly imagined world.


You can purchaseThe Rift at the following Retailers:
       

MY REVIEW

I want to first thank the publisher for my copy of the book. What follows is an honest review and my opinion alone. There was no compensation given for this review.

What instantly pulled me into this book was the blurb. It seemed so different and interesting that I wanted to crack this book open. What kept me going was the ambiance and the world. I’m not sure if the Pacific Northwest was an inspiration for the book or not, but I got some serious PNW vibes with Black Water Island. And to top it off, I also got some Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle vibes. So, I was very much on board with this book.

In terms of story pacing, the story itself is a bit slow in the beginning. More so because you don’t really get what is going on in the Island and how Meg and Cal fall into the world. It’s not slow in the writing, just in the mental execution as a reader. That said, once you hit about 80 pages, you should know whether or not you are in for the story. I was in.

I absolutely loved Cal and Joss. Joss for his perky sidekick ways of doing things. He had a whole bunch of personality and just not enough time to keep him going. There is no restraining that boy and I would love to see more of him. As for Cal, he had that big broody kind of attitude with him. The silent type who won’t speak unless it’s very important. And I was very into it.

Note, it is rare for me to “fall” for a character and I definitely fell for Cal. I wanted to cuddle him and just hiss at all the others (except Joss, he can stay).

Meg wasn’t a bad character. She grew on me as the book progressed and I do like her as a character. The way she and Cal worked against or with each other was well done. She and the other characters had a great chemistry.

The world itself is so expansive that there doesn’t seem to be enough to talk about it. Even though this book is written as a standalone, I can definitely see the story and world progress. There is so much left to understand. Like the Rift, Fallon, the Hounds. . . so much more I want.

The story wasn’t predictable, but I can see where you would be able to guess what is going on. In my case, I was too inside the world to really try to theorize or guess what was happening. I just wanted to be immersed and stay in there for a little while. And, on a huge plus, I was able to read the book in three days (I’ve been having a big reading problem lately so this was a big win for me). I didn’t want to put it down!

Final Rating: 4/5

P.S. Ms. Craw (if you happen to read this), I would love more. I know you don’t have anything planned, but there is just so much with the world and how you set up the characters. Come on, you know Joss needs to be out more. Okay, I’m done being a bother, but really, I am definitely going to need more of your writing (though I still say more of the rangers please!).

Photo Content from Rachael Craw

Rachael Craw began her working life as an English teacher after completing a degree in Classical Studies and Drama at the University of Canterbury. She dabbled in acting, directing and writing for amateur theatre productions and small independent film ventures. Her passion for dialogue and characterisation finally led to long-form writing with the Spark series. Rachael’s enthusiasm for classical heroes, teen angst and popular culture informs much of her creative process. She enjoys small town life teaching, writing and mentoring at the top of the South Island of New Zealand where she lives with her husband and three daughters.

 
       
WEEK ONE
OCTOBER 7th MONDAY JeanBookNerd INTERVIEW
OCTOBER 8th TUESDAY Casia’s Corner REVIEW
OCTOBER 9th WEDNESDAY Movies, Shows, & Books TENS LIST
OCTOBER 10th THURSDAY BookHounds YA INTERVIEW 
OCTOBER 10th THURSDAY Sabrina’s Paranormal Palace REVIEW
OCTOBER 11th FRIDAY TTC Books and More EXCERPT
OCTOBER 11th FRIDAY Wonder Struck REVIEW
WEEK TWO
OCTOBER 14th MONDAY Nay’s Pink Bookshelf INTERVIEW
OCTOBER 15th TUESDAY Crossroad Reviews REVIEW 
OCTOBER 16th WEDNESDAY Gwendalyn’s Books REVIEW
OCTOBER 17th THURSDAY A Dream Within A Dream REVIEW & EXCERPT
OCTOBER 17th THURSDAY The Moonlight Library REVIEW & GUEST POST 
OCTOBER 18th FRIDAY Insane About Books REVIEW 
OCTOBER 18th FRIDAY On My Bookshelf REVIEW & EXCERPT
 
*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

 

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NERD BLAST: Speak No Evil by Liana Gardner


Hardcover: 314 pages
Publisher: Vesuvian Books (October 1, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1944109366
ISBN-13: 978-1944109363

Praise for SPEAK NO EVIL
Recommended for the INDIE NEXT LIST“… suspense and intrigue … Melody’s story is grim, but hope is weaved in throughout … highly emotional.” ―School Library Journal

“Gardner tackles difficult topics, including bullying and abuse of all types, in a way that is both artistic, respectful … [and] masterfully written.” ―BookTrib

“… a touching tribute to the power of love, faith and steadfast, patient kindness to heal the damage done by human cruelty and thoughtlessness.” ―IndieReader Approved

“… a very powerful novel that depicts the cruelty and injustice of the world while also highlighting the ever-present beauty that few see when struggling with dark issues. The book displays the power that love and music have even in the darkest of times. Gardner does an excellent job of portraying a teenage worldview while focusing on adult concepts.” ―US Review of Books

“There are too many Melody Fisher’s in our homes and schools who lock themselves away in a world where they are both desperate to be heard and afraid to speak up … Speak No Evil is their story. A brilliant and novel approach to addressing important social issues.” ―Viga Boland, Author of No Tears for my Father

“WOW! Just WOW! Gardner is a great author telling a story of death, sorrow, and so much more. You will fall in love with Melody … You will feel her sorrow … You will feel her shame … you will feel everything with this character. A MUST read that will make you sit and think well after you turned the last page.” ―Bookworm Tri-Cities, Bookstore

“… alternately beautiful and troubling–and a totally compelling read … Gardner’s characters are finely drawn and credible, and her plot is so relevant considering the thousands of children lost in the foster care system and at the mercy of those charged to care for them.” ―Jack Magnus, Readers’ Favorite

“… Melody’s silence signifies the way some women feel about sharing their stories with other people, and how difficult it is to overcome the desire to retreat. I urge others to read it; the story of Melody and her bravery will speak to you and stay with you for quite some time.” ―Tracy Young, Bulgarian Review

“Any victim of abuse, or those who blame themselves for events out of their control, needs to read this novel … This book should be in every school library and youth centre. I cannot recommend it highly enough.” ~Lesley Jones, UK authorbly with Noah’s grief, and readers will appreciate his return to the field.” ―Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

TRUTH IS THE HARBINGER OF HELL

What if every time you told the truth, evil followed?

My name is Melody Fisher. My daddy was a snake handler in Appalachia until Mama died. Though years have passed, I can still hear the rattle before the strike that took her from me.

And it’s all my fault.

Since then, I’ve been passed around from foster home to foster home. I didn’t think anything could be as bad as losing Mama.

I was wrong.

But I will not speak of things people have done to me. Every time I do, worse evil follows. Now, the only thing I trust is what saved me years ago. Back when I would sing the snakes calm …

You can purchase Speak No Evil at the following Retailers:

 

Photo Content from Liana Gardner

Liana Gardner is the award-winning author of 7th Grade Revolution and the Misfit McCabeseries. Daughter of a rocket scientist and an artist, Liana combines the traits of both into a quirky yet pragmatic writer and in everything sees the story lurking beneath the surface. Engaged in a battle against leukemia and lymphoma, Liana spends much of her time at home, but allows her imagination to take her wherever she wants to go.

She fostered her love of writing after reading Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and discovering she had a great deal in common with the character Jo. The making up of stories, dramatic feelings, and a quick temper were enough for her to know she and Jo would have been kindred spirits.

Liana volunteers with high school students through the International Trade Education Programs (ITEP). ITEP unites business people and educators to prepare students for a meaningful place in the world of tomorrow. Working in partnership with industry and educators, ITEP helps young people “think globally and earn locally.”

        

 

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

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NERD BLAST: The Other, Better Me by Antony John

ISBN: 9780062835659
ISBN 10: 0062835653
Imprint: HarperCollins On Sale: 10/01/2019
Pages: 272
Ages: 8 to 12
BISAC1: JUVENILE FICTION / Family / Parents
BISAC2: JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Bullying
BISAC3: JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Friendship

Praise for THE OTHER, BETTER ME“The characters are well drawn and believable. Cheerful Lola’s refreshing.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Lola is a strong, grounded character who might be temporarily shaken by fears or unhappiness but finds her equilibrium with the help of her extended, intergenerational network of friends. Her involving first-person narrative reveals insecurities known to many young readers and offers insights into the meaning of family.” ―ALA Booklist

From the critically acclaimed author of Mascot comes this heartfelt novel, perfect for fans of John David Anderson and Cammie McGovern, about a girl searching for the meaning of family.

Lola and Momma have always been a team of two. It hasn’t always been easy for Lola, being one of the only kids she knows with just one parent around. And lately she’s been feeling incomplete, like there’s a part of herself that she can’t know until she knows her dad.

But what will happen—to Lola, to Momma, to their team of two—if she finds him?

You can purchase The Other, Better Me at the following Retailers:

 

Photo Content from Antony John

Antony John was born in England and raised on a balanced diet of fish and chips, obscure British comedies, and ABBA’s Greatest Hits. In a fit of teenage rebellion, he decided to pursue a career in classical music, culminating in a BA from Oxford University and a PhD from Duke University. Along the way, he worked as an ice cream seller on a freezing English beach, a tour guide in the Netherlands, a chauffeur in Switzerland, a barista in Seattle, and a university professor. He lives in St. Louis with his family.

      

 

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Book #56: The Last Real Girl by L.C. Warman

Praise for THE LAST REAL GIRL:
“Warman’s taut prose is pitched perfectly for her subject matter, managing to make the high school drama feel high-stakes and creepy by turns… The author’s sharp senses of pacing and character make this a thoroughly enjoyable read. Readers will be waiting with anticipation for future volumes. A captivating teen mystery in a secretive lakeside town.” -Kirkus Reviews

Book Description:
When 17-year-old Reese first moved to the wealthy, lakeshore town of St. Clair over five years ago, she never expected someone like Charlotte Walters to take her under her wing. Charlotte is everything that Reese is not: rich, gorgeous, and carefree, living with her enigmatic older brother and her parents in a mansion at the top of the lake.

But when senior year starts, everything seems off. Reese notices that Charlotte’s older brother Aiden keeps coming back from college to hang around on weekends, stoic and grim. And Charlotte’s parents seem more distracted, almost lost. Meanwhile, Charlotte keeps insisting to Reese that nothing is wrong, and decides to host a Halloween party with the theme of “missing girls.”

That night, at the party, Charlotte goes missing.

Everyone who attended becomes an instant suspect, from Charlotte’s brother (who argued with Charlotte earlier that night), to Charlotte’s field hockey teammate (who wasn’t invited to the party in the first place), to Reese herself (who was the last person to see Charlotte alive, out near the lake).

With the clock ticking, Reese must unravel what happened to her best friend, and dig through the layers of secrets protecting people in St. Clair. Because now, being the quiet sidekick won’t cut it. And maybe only an outsider to St. Clair can truly confront all of the town’s dark mysteries.

About:
L.C. Warman is the author of spooky young adult mysteries. She grew up in New England, in a town where real estate contracts stipulated that you couldn’t back out if you discovered your new place was haunted. She currently lives in a Michigan lakeside town with her husband and two dogs.

I received a copy from the publisher via Audiobook Boom for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.

The Last Real Girl by L.C. Warman is definitely a mystery to start reading. Truthfully, I feel it could be joined with the other two books just from how this one ended, but I do say this book is a fully thought out book and a great introduction to something truly dark.

The first thing that caught my attention was the way Charlotte is described. It reminded me of how I would describe my own best friend. As something other, someone to aspire to, and a person I would probably set aside anything to make sure she was safe. It helped me feel connected to Reese and the mystery unfolding in front of her. The mystery behind her best friend’s disappearance.

You don’t get much in the reveal of the mystery (the bulk of the story unfolds in three books), but you do get a taste of the environment. And, in my opinion, environment is key in a mystery.

And boy does this town seem odd. Like, really odd. Shady Pines kind of odd. The kind of odd that you wonder if you are in the Twilight Zone. And yet, I don’t think this is all of the oddity around the town. I have a feeling that Charlotte’s disappearance and the disappearance of other girls is closely intertwined with the deeper mystery of the town.

It is inspiring, odd, and just gets the mental gears running. I am left trying to piece together what little information I have from book one. And no answers are given. We have only more questions.

I definitely say you need to read the second book after this one. I am going to have to.

As for the narration of the audiobook, the narrator is a good one. Her reading and voices pulled me into the world of the story. The narrator is a good mix of the teen we relate with and the ethereal feel to the strange town. A great choice for a moody mystery that leaves you wanting more.

Final Rating: 4/5

The Beginnings of Spoopy Month Mean BOOKS

Come on, I know you see it in the stores. The Dollar Tree has it. Michaels has it. The autumnal season is nearing. It’s getting closer and closer with every second that passes. Soon, the leaves will change and fall. Soon, Hocus Pocus will be on the television set. Soon, you will be passing out candy to the children.

What could make the season even better?

Obviously, it’s reading a book. And I happen to be in two books that have the spooky supernatural feels. Both books are also around for a limited amount of time. So, get them while you can!

A collection of paranormal stories by nine authors. What happens in the Forest of the Dark?

Even in the face of evil, there is nothing stronger than a mother’s love. ~ Rena Marin, Heart.
Being the first victim of a serial killer sucks….for him ~ M. Rain Ranalli, Demon’s Lullaby.
One kill was not enough to sate it, my vamp side yearned to make blood rain and play in the puddles ~ Jenee Robinson, Outcast.
If you chase after dark legends, don’t be surprised if you become one. ~ C. J. Laurence, Black Forest Gateaux.
The cry of a child is like a sirens call, but if you enter the woods, you will fall. ~ Ellabee Andrews, The Boy in the Blue Coat.
When a predator of the night finds they have become the prey.. Does she run? Or does she stay and fight for what is rightfully hers….. Her forest. Erica Andrews, Willow.
He’ll never go hungry again. ~ Casia Courtier, The God of the Forest
Many choose to dangle from the limbs but the limbs are what entangles. ~ J. V. Stanley, The Hanging Tree.
Don’t look for movement in the shadows, watch for the shadows that move. ~ Lorah Jaiyn, Shadow of the Trees

My story, “The God of the Forest” is inspired by the Slenderman creepypasta and Aokigahara, a forest in Japan that has a dark history. I absolutely love my Forest God and am definitely playing with the idea of a more in depth story with him involved.

And if my story is any indication, I know the others are just as dark and disturbing. A true paranormal anthology all set in a forbidden forest of darkness.

Available on AMAZON in kindle, kindle unlimited, and paperback

Ten amazing women authors.
Ten stories of paranormal powerhouses.
They’re bad, they’re bold, and they are beautiful!
And we’re not talking just about the authors.
Perfectly Poisoned Anthologies brings you ten stories of the paranormal featuring powerful, kick-ass heroines who take no prisoners. There’s no fight they won’t win, no argument they’ll back down from. Not to mention these feisty ladies of fiction are damn sexy. When these women get ready for action, you better stand back!

My story, “Love’s Cry”, is a twisted romance between a Banshee and the man she loves. Vivian was one of those characters I was pulled into from the first sentence. She had brought to life a spiritual system that I’m definitely going to revisit one day.

And if the Banshee isn’t your cup of tea, the anthology also has a story about a Hellish bar owner, one of the greatest bounty hunters of the universe, and a kitsune. Pick your poison and fall into the worlds of Bad, Bold, and Beautiful.

Available on AMAZON in kindle, kindle unlimited, and paperback

BLOG TOUR (REVIEW): MAYHEM, MURDER, AND THE PTA by Dave Cravens

 
Book Details:
Book Title Mayhem, Murder and the PTA by Dave Cravens
Category:  Adult Fiction, 434 pages
Genre:  Mystery / Thriller
Publisher:  Amazon
Release date:   May 20, 2019
Format available for review:  print, ebook (mobi, gifted Kindle copy, ePub, PDF)
Will send print books out:  USA & Canada
Tour dates: August 19 to September 13, 2019
Content Rating:  R (Rated R mostly for language. There are adult topics of conversation, a brief scene depicting two adults having consensual sex that becomes interrupted, a murder, and several themes that touch upon drug use, adultery, pedophilia and human trafficking.)Book Description:
Parker Monroe is a tough-talking investigative reporter used to writing headlines, not being the subject of them. When a key source vanishes on a politically toxic story, this single mother of three finds herself at the center of a media storm and out of a job. Ready to reset, Parker moves her family back to the rural town where she grew up. But a gossip-filled PTA, a tyrannical school principal and a gruesome murder make adjusting to the “simple life” anything but. Parker Monroe is about to chase the story of her lifetime…
MY REVIEW
I received a copy for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.
Now that’s out of the way, this book . . . well, it took a little bit for me to get into the flow of this book. First off, the size of the paperback felt a bit daunting. I mean this thing looks huge! Turns out, what you see isn’t always what it is. Nope, the print is actually a bit large. Which I have no complaints about! I can read it without my glasses and I know my sister (she’s dyslexic) or my best friend (she’s legally blind) could read it too.
But, what really made the book a challenge, in the beginning, was Parker Monroe, our main character. Right off the bat, I didn’t care for her. She is abrasive, argumentative, and cusses a lot. The last part doesn’t actually bother me, I do too. After a few chapters though, I could see that the first Parker I met was really just coping with something bigger. Yes, you find out what is causing the stress right away, but you don’t necessarily see the implications of it unless you push past the first ten chapters.
Don’t worry though, the chapters are quick.
There were characters that I liked (Parker’s mother is awesome) and there were others who seemed to be caricatures of what you would suspect (I’m thinking the PTA). That said though, it is the story that grips you. I honestly didn’t know what to expect or see and when the final reveal happened . . . . I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING!
The writing is easy to get into and again, once you get past the abrasive Parker (who I am now beginning to see similarities with me) you get a story that is part mom trying to fight for her children’s music program, part solving serious crime, and part navigating the world of single parenthood.
This was one of those reads that I did enjoy and reminded me that I shouldn’t judge a book by its physical exterior and not to judge the main character from your first impression.
Final Rating: 3/5

Dave Cravens

Meet the author:As a child, Dave Cravens planned to grow up to be a superhero, the first person to capture Bigfoot and Nessie on film, pilot experimental aircraft out of Area 51, develop cold fusion, and star and direct in his own blockbuster action movies so he could retire at the ripe age of twenty-five and raid tombs the rest of his life. Instead, he got a degree in journalism, which he hasn’t used at all other than to justify his incredibly insightful and valid complaints about the state of journalism. During his twenty-two years in the video game business, he’s written for award winning franchises, directed TV commercials and movies, sprained his ankles numerous times in ultimate frisbee games and published three original novels.

Connect with the author:   Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  

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