Book #10: Princess by Candace Ayers & Kathryn Kohler

Welcome to Fantasyland Park and Resort.
We put the ‘subpar’ in Park, and the ‘sort-of’ in Resort. 

I’m Lucy. I’m a princess… 
…or a tavern wench, depending on the day. 

Just a normal girl living a normal life, until three hot men enter it… 

There’s Julian, the brilliant doctor who skillfully treats all my aliments 
There’s Cole, the burly firefighter who rescues me when my apartment building mysteriously burns to the ground. 
And, there’s William, the enigmatic Black Knight who haunts my dreams when we’re not co-working at the Fantasyland theme park. 

I’m about to find out a few things… 

1. None of the men are who they seem.
2. Each is devoted to me, both as lover and protector.
3. An ages old spell binds us all.
4. I’m an enchantress with magical powers. 

Oh, and… 
5. There’s actually nothing normal about me or my life 

THIS BOOK IS INTENDED FOR ADULT READERS. 

This is a Reverse Harem, Paranormal Fantasy Romance. It is intended for adults only. It may appeal to fans of authors K.F. Breene, Ava Mason, Linsey Hall, G. Bailey, Sarah Piper and Alex Lidell. 

I was participating in a 24in48 readathon where you read for 24 hours in a 48 hour period. I didn’t make it to 24 hours. Really, I barely made it to 12. But, I did finish quite a few books. I wanted to kill off the short reads I had and this happened to be one of those books.

Unfortunately, it didn’t grab me.

The main character was decent and the love interests were as well, but in the case of an actual storyline, it kind of lacked. It was just a woman who finds three hot guys and ends up with three hot guys. The urban fantasy element to it was almost nonexistent. There was no battle against a bad guy. Really, there was no real conflict at all.

It was sort of boring.

I liked the characters enough and I wish there was more of a conflict in the story than what was given. But, yeah, I wouldn’t say this was a good read.

Final Rating: 2/5

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Book #8: A Temple of Forgotten Spirits by William F. Wu

A young guy named Jack Hong hitchhikes throughout America following the keilin, a mystical unicorn out of Chinese mythology. The keilin leads him to ten adventures with ghosts and other supernatural figures. These experiences reveal to him not only parts of American history he never knew, but also his own identity and the role he will choose for his life. 

~~~~~ Description ~~~~~ 

The moonlight was still strong, and Lo Man Gong still sat up on the overhead window, where few people and no old men could ever get. 

“Feel better, Chinaman?” he asked mildly. 

The night before, my resistance had been low, and his presence had somehow seemed tolerable, if not rational. Now I was more clear-headed … yet he was still here. I didn’t like him as much. 

I let my eyes drop closed again. Once I was cured of malaria, I’d be free of him. I had eaten twice today; now, if I slept well, I’d be in sound shape pretty soon. 

“You know the keilin, Chinaman Jack?” 

That was the Chinese unicorn, a mystical animal whose rare appearances were highly auspicious. In the Cantonese I normally heard, it was pronounced “keilun.” It wasn’t like European ones, though. This unicorn had the body of a deer, the hooves of a horse, the tail of an ox, and a fleshy horn. I knew that much. 

“The unicorn?” I opened my eyes and looked at him. As before, the moonlight glowed through his shape. 

“Ah, you know the keilin. He smiled and nodded thoughtfully. “The keilin means good things happen. It’s very powerful.” 

I watched him silently. 

After a while, he looked into my eyes again. “Nobody remember me, Jack. Some people remember, some of my frien’. A few of them. Most, nobody remember at all. No children, no relative. You, Jack. You like me. Unless you change.” 

Yes, I knew that. I had already come to understand that. And I knew that he had come for me, here in the middle of the country, away from his home as longtime Californ’. But I didn’t know why.

I received an audible code via Audiobook Boom for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.

A Temple of Forgotten Spirits is a full-length novel that is comprised of multiple short stories. It tells the story of a Chinese-American man and his journey across the United States on his search for a mythical unicorn. He is introduced to the history of the Chinese in America little by little.

I am a third generation Filippino-American (25% Filippino, if we get nitty-gritty). Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about that part of my family and what I do know is just the history that my grandmother remembers. I don’t know the culture and I’m still undecided about learning it. After all, is the history that rich in American culture?

So, I asked for this book because I already felt some kind of connection with the main character. He doesn’t know his family background or the culture. He doesn’t understand the intertwining history of being Chinese and Chinese-American. Just like I don’t know anything about that part of my family.

Now… I honestly didn’t start liking the book. The main character, though having a similar cultural ignorance as me, didn’t feel like there was any emotion behind him. I didn’t like him as a person. I did like the other characters we meet in each story. They had substance, there was a struggle with them. Jack was… a witness.

And in retrospect, I think that was Wu’s intention. He wanted Jack to be a blank slate. If Jack wasn’t, he would fight what is new to him just like we fight what is new for us. By making him into a blank slate, Wu not only made the reader into the character but was making a point that Jack was on a journey to a rebirth of sorts.

With each passing story, Jack grows a personality. We may not know the Jack of the past but we are learning about the Jack of the present and future. It is the past of Chinese America that is important, not the vehicle we are using to view it.

It was because of this that I needed to sit back and think. I couldn’t write a review right away because I would have made it into a 2 (because of Jack’s lack of personality) or a 3 (because the stories we learn). Now, I think a 4 is more appropriate.

The narrator does a decent job, though I did have trouble listening to him from time to time. The literary prose is good, it pulled me in and the minor characters meant something to me. But it is the emotional realization I have gained that seems to make a bigger impact for me. I’m growing more and more interested in learning about my own hidden culture after listening to this audiobook.

I recommend this for someone who doesn’t know as much as they think about Chinese American history and for the people who don’t know the history that is in their own blood and soul.

Final Rating: 4/5

BLOG TOUR: The Cold is in Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale

One girl must uncover secrets of the past to save her friend from a terrible curse in this dark and mesmerizing story of love, revenge, and redemption inspired by the myth of Medusa.

Milla knows two things to be true: Demons are real, and fear will keep her safe.

Milla’s whole world is her family’s farm. She is never allowed to travel to the village and her only friend is her beloved older brother, Niklas. When a bright-eyed girl named Iris comes to stay, Milla hopes her loneliness might finally be coming to an end. But Iris has a secret she’s forbidden to share: The village is cursed by a demon who possesses girls at random, and the townspeople live in terror of who it will come for next.

Now, it seems, the demon has come for Iris. When Iris is captured and imprisoned with other possessed girls, Milla leaves home to rescue her and break the curse forever. Her only company on the journey is a terrible new secret of her own: Milla is changing, too, and may soon be a demon herself.

Suspenseful and vividly imagined, The Cold Is in Her Bones is a novel about the dark, reverberating power of pain, the yearning to be seen and understood, and the fragile optimism of love.  

Praise for THE COLD IS IN HER BONES

“A dark and enchanting tale about friendship, pain, revenge, and the power of love, The Cold Is in Her Bones is the perfect read for Greek mythology fans and YA readers alike.” ―Bustle

“Fiercely written and beautifully feminist, The Cold is in Her Bones reminds us of the power of loyalty and love in the face of ignorance and fear. I loved this tale of dangerous girls with wild hair and tangled hearts.” ―Lisa Maxwell, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Magician

“A fresh, eerily compelling tale of betrayal, revenge, and the ties that bind. When van Arsdale paints a world, you can feel the fog against your skin.” ―Elly Blake, New York Times bestselling author of The Frostblood Saga  

MY REVIEW
I received an ARC for an honest review for this blog tour. Everything that follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation made for this review.
There are few books that hit you in the soul. The words and world just somehow sink into you, working its way into your psyche. They remind you of historical events, personal experiences, or even literary works that hit you just as hard.
The Cold is in Her Bones did that to me.
On the surface, this book is labeled as Young Adult, a retelling of the Medusa myth, a story about a group of girls forced out of their homes, feared, and tortured. All of this is true, but it is something more. This book is not just a Medusa retelling, it is the retelling of the witch trials, it is the retelling of the hardships of women who were just too strong-willed, and it is the retelling of the mental patients in past asylums.
All of these real events were going through my mind as I read this book. It makes it hard for me to properly grasp the emotions I’m trying to convey. This book isn’t a typical YA. I honestly feel that this book deserves to be featured in literary courses. It has so many parallels to our own history that I can’t help but think that this book could have some reality inside its pages.
Because of that, let me just describe the stories and events that came to mind with this book.
  • The Salem Witch Trials. This was during a time when people lived in constant fear. Women were supposed to remain docile and obedient. Those who weren’t could have been accused of witchcraft.
  • The short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is about the slow declining mental faculties of a strong-willed woman. It is about how a family member would lock away a female loved one for her “safety”. The story is also a take on postpartum depression.
  • The mental asylums that began in the 1700s and kept going up to 1970s and 1980s. We all have heard stories about the “treatments” these facilities were known for. But did you know that one of the first investigative reporters actually posed insane and went through the process of one of these hospitals was actually a woman? Nellie Bly was ahead of her time and though her experiences helped the system a bit, the system was still not great.

These were just some of the things going through my mind as I was reading. This isn’t a lighthearted book. It’s about inner strength, acceptance, and society’s way of hurting what they are afraid of instead of listening and learning. We are always fighting against one another. We should instead fight the fear and pain and learn from it.

That was the take away I had from this book and if I could rate it higher than a five, I would. I want to thank Peternelle van Arsdale for this book. It is like looking at a painting in an art museum; you have so many different things to look at that just one aspect unfolds another.

The only downside is that I feel all of this might go past some readers. I’m not sure they will see the historical parallels and I’m not sure they will go through the pages and feel a profound moment. This isn’t a journey where a chosen girl goes to find romance and saves the world. This is a girl who just tries to save the one person she was close to and learns to forgive.

Final Rating: 5/5 but so much more.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 

Peternelle van Arsdale grew up in Newark, New Jersey, where she attended public school through the eighth grade. After that she attended three high schools in three different towns in four years, was deeply unpopular, and counted the seconds until graduation. She majored in English literature at Bryn Mawr College, and then landed in book publishing, thinking it was a good way to be paid to do what she liked to do anyway (she was only partly wrong). She worked her way up from editorial assistant to executive editor of adult fiction and nonfiction, and eventually struck out on her own as an independent editor.

Her first young adult novel, The Beast Is an Animal, is being developed by Amazon Studios for a feature film produced by Ridley Scott’s Scott Free and directed by Bert & Bertie. Her essays have been published by LitHub, Hypable.com, and Culturefly, and her short fiction has been published by The Whitefish Review.

Her second novel, The Cold is in Her Bones , will be published in January 2019. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she continues to edit and is at work on her third novel.

PHOTO CREDIT: ELENA SEIBERT 

WEBSITE: http://www.peternellevanarsdale.com/

A GIVEAWAY!

 

GIVEAWAY ENDS AT FEBRUARY 13, 2019

  • Giveaway is open Internationally
  • Must be 13+ to enter

TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY CLICK HERE!

~CHECK OUT THE REST OF THE TOUR HERE~

 

Book #1 of 2019: Enhancer 2 by Wyatt Kane

Having superpowers can be awesome, but they always come at a price. 
Ty Wilcox didn’t really believe in superheroes before he became one himself. Now, he has an incredible power he’s just beginning to understand, lives in a mansion, and is in a relationship with two of the most amazing women alive.

But when a flying, teleporting demon-woman appears outside his work, the price of his new life becomes apparent.

There’s a supervillain after the device that gives Ty his power. This villain will do anything to get it, and has an entire army at his command.

The price of Ty’s new life is never-ending danger.

Warning and minor spoilers: Just like book 1, “Enhancer 2” is an 18+ book intended for mature readers. It contains sex, violence, and nudity. It includes very light gamelit elements, occasional bad language, and is set in a cyberpunk alternate future. Within its pages you will find threats, battles, destruction of property, evil plans, betrayals, wrongful imprisonment, major violence, death, and the unfortunate realities of living in a world dominated by mega-corporate greed. The malevolent boss from book 1 is still there, as is the monstrous bad guy. But so are the gorgeous superheroes who are comfortable with unconventional, polyamorous, harem relationships, and there might be someone new in that mix as well.

If you don’t enjoy a good time, this book isn’t for you.

I received an Audible code via Audiobook Boom for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. It wasn’t compensated in any way.

I had listened to the first book a while back and I did like it. It was a fun take on superheroes, had great geek references, and I like the relationship between Ty and the girls. So, when I saw that Audiobook Boom had Enhancer 2 in its list for books needing reviewers, I jumped at it. The first book was a fun and simple 3-star rating. Nothing too exciting but enough to keep me intrigued.

Enhancer 2 had pretty much the same feel. There were less geeky references but it closely follows the events of book one. In fact, it starts on the next day. I actually liked that tidbit. It gave a sense of how superheroes work. Their work is never done with and they are always on.

In this book, the main conflict is that the demoness we meet in book one is actually not the villain we first see. She needs Ty’s help.

To not get too far into the storyline, the book centers mostly on Ty working through his abilities and his relationship with Dinah and Tempest. There is the introduction of a crime boss as well as the theory of who the big baddie is.

In all, it is a fun book to listen to just like the first. I have no complaints with the chosen narrator (same as before) and was able to get into the world. There is a third book on the way and I hope to one day listen to that as well. I’d recommend it to someone who just wants to have fun with their reading.

Final Rating: 3/5

Book #104: Going Down in Flames by Chris Cannon

If her love life is going down in flames, she might as well spark a revolution.

Finding out on your sixteenth birthday you’re a shape-shifting dragon is tough to swallow. Being hauled off to an elite boarding school is enough to choke on.

Since Bryn is the only crossbreed at the Institute for Excellence, all eyes are on her, but it’s a particular black dragon, Zavien, who catches her attention.

Zavien is tired of the Council’s rules. Segregated clans, being told who to love, and close-minded leaders make freedom of choice almost impossible. The new girl with the striped hair is a breath of fresh air, and with Bryn’s help, they may be able to change the rules.

At the Institute, old grudges, new crushes, and death threats are all part of a normal day for Bryn. She’ll need to learn to control her dragon powers if she wants to make it through her first year at school. But even focusing on staying alive is difficult when you’re falling for someone you can’t have.

I want to begin this review by stating I received an Audible code via Audiobook Boom for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation made for this review.

Now, I want you to look at the cover. It doesn’t look very interesting, right? Just a girl who looks like she may have a skin issue. Well, this girl doesn’t need to speak with a dermatologist, she needs someone to keep her anger in check and this girl is angry. Bryn McKenna had a pretty normal life and didn’t have much to worry about. That is until a stalker comes into her life and she learns a few things. Turns out, she’s not human and when someone angers her, they can get burned.

Going Down in Flames starts pretty predictably. You get your normal girl turned powerful and you have your angry people who don’t like it. That said, It turned around close to the 15% mark. I found the story itself enjoyable and the world interesting. What I loved most about this book though was the main character.

Bryn McKenna is a strong and stubborn young lady. Despite most books with the “powerful girl” trope having a powerful girl who only seems to pretend to be stubborn, Bryn definitely felt like it. She is kicked hard and low but keeps coming back up and kicking hardcore ass. She holds her own in the world she is thrust into and I found her relatable.

The narration isn’t bad though I do think the narrator was a bit slow. This is easily taken care of if you just speed up the reading in the audible app. For me, it works at 1.05 speed. So, it didn’t take much to help it along. The narrator herself wasn’t exciting at first, but once the world really started going, so did the voice. I feel the narrator was a good match for this book because of that.

In the end, I found myself being disappointed that the sequel is not in audio yet. I want to fly into this world more and see Bryn’s evolution as a dragon. I would recommend this for young adult readers and readers of urban fantasy shifter fiction.

Final Rating: 4/5

Book Release! MIND by Mary Duke

Mind
Series: Of the Faye
by Mary Duke

BUY HERE

#YoungAdult #Paranormal #Fantasy #Dragons #Faye #Gods #Magic

Blurb:

Sno is no ordinary Faye, nor is she a mere daughter of the moon. She was born with birthmarks that mirror the Goddess Ayana herself. For some, the birthmarks represent a blessing, a savior of the Faye. But to those who fear her power, the marks are a sign of a curse. For Sno, the marks represent who she is and serve as a constant reminder of what she could become.

Sno finds herself at the center of a war. On one side are the Demons, led by a notorious Karter family. On the other side is every single race within their realm that ever stood against them.

Release Party and Live Reading 12/13 from 230-930 PM EST Live reading starting at 9pm

Book Tour: The Blue Witch by Alane Adams

Before Sam Baron broke Odin’s curse on the witches to become the first son born to a witch and the hero of the Legends of Orkney series, his mother was a young witchling growing up in the Tarkana Witch Academy. In this first book of the prequel series, the Witches of Orkney, nine-year-old Abigail Tarkana is determined to grow up to be the greatest witch of all, even greater than her evil ancestor Catriona. Unfortunately, she is about to fail Spectacular Spells class because her witch magic hasn’t come in yet. Even worse, her nemesis, Endera, is making life miserable by trying to get her kicked out. 

When her new friend Hugo’s life is put in danger by a stampeding sneevil, a desperate Abigail manages to call up her magic―only to find out it’s unlike any other witchling’s at the Tarkana Witch Academy! As mysteries deepen around her magic and just who her true parents are, Abigail becomes trapped in a race against time to undo one of her spells before she is kicked out of the coven forever!

Rich in Norse mythology, The Blue Witch is the first of a fast-paced young reader series filled with magical spells, mysterious beasts, and witch-hungry spiders! 

Praise for THE BLUE WITCH

“An enchanting new book full of magical mischief and adventure, Alane Adams’s The Blue Witch is guaranteed to please” ―Foreword Clarion Reviews

“Bright, brave characters star in this exhilarating tale of magic and mystical creatures.” ―Kirkus Reviews  

MY REVIEW
I received a copy of Blue Witch for an honest review. There was no compensation given for this review. Everything that I say is in my opinion and mine alone.
What drew me to request this book for review was the cover. I mean, look at that cover! It says excitement, magic, and dragons! And, really, it had two out of the three (possibly 3/3 except that what I thought was a dragon is actually called an Omera).
From the very beginning of the book, I was hooked to the story. The pacing is well done, the world is a fantasy world that is inspired and embraces Norse lore, and there is enough suspense that has me wanting to read more.
Blue Witch is actually the first book in a prequel series from the same author. The first series centers around Abigail’s son, Sam. You do not need to have read that series to understand this one. If anything, this book has me wondering what the other series is like.
All in all, I really liked this book and am definitely going to have Bug read this as well. The world is so interesting that there is no doubt that when a sequel comes out, I’ll be getting it.
Final Rating: 4/5
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alane Adams is a children’s author, professor, and literacy advocate. She is the author of the Legends of Orkney fantasy mythology series for tweens; she also writes Early American picture books for young children. Adams lives in Southern California.
PHOTO CONTENT FROM ALANE ADAMS

WEBSITE: https://alaneadams.com/

GIVEAWAY!!!

Giveaway is open internationally. Must be 13+ to enter the giveaway.

–  1 Winner will receive an Exclusive THE BLUE WITCH by Alane Adams Gift Box.

Giveaway ends January 3, 2018

– 1 Winner will receive an Exclusive THE BLUE WITCH by Alane Adams Gift Box.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

 

Book Tour: Jaclyn and the Beanstalk by Mary Ting

What fate awaits a girl who hears monsters at night…

Sixteen-year-old Jaclyn looks up to her father. An honest man who once fought for the king, he now teaches Jaclyn how to use her wits—and her sword.

But he has a secret. And his secret may have a connection to the one thing Jaclyn is hiding from him.

Upon hearing “monsters” are terrorizing the small villages around Black Mountain, Jaclyn’s father and his friends head out to hunt them … but they don’t return.

Armed only with her sword and three magic beans—a gift from a mysterious old woman—Jaclyn sets out for Black Mountain to save her father.

On her climb, one bean drops and grows into a beanstalk, catching her when she falls.

She isn’t the only one that takes the ride. Jack, her childhood friend and secret crush, is following her.

Jaclyn and Jack will have to work together to save not only their fathers, but the townspeople the beasts plan to lay waste to before it’s too late.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY

Praise for JACLYN AND THE BEANSTALK

A mash-up of “Jack and the Beanstalk” and “Lord of the Rings” … RECOMMENDED ―School Library Journal

“Keenly descriptive and eloquently written with touches of sixteenth-century language, the story takes the reader into the world of monsters controlled by a diabolical villain, and into a land of mystery and magic beans.” ―Readers’ Favorite Review

Mary Ting managed to surprise me at every turn, even though I must have read this story a million times as a kid. The most impressive surprise was the creation of a girl protagonist who is so much better than the original Jack. Then she brings in the boy, Jack, as the love interest. Sheer genius and a great idea. The writing is great. The plot is good, and the various themes woven throughout the story make it a very compelling tale.” ―Readers’ Favorite Review
Mary Ting writes with an adventurous heart, a clever pen, introducing young readers to a classic that meets fantasy, shedding light on the family devotion and a love story that buds to completion by the end. This short novel comes as a highly recommended read for parents and young adults that prefer fantasy fiction with a Christian-based theme and a creative perspective. Mary Ting is one of those writers to notice and watch. ―Kingdom’s Review

MY REVIEW

I received a free copy of this book for an honest review. Everything that follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.

Jaclyn and the Beanstalk is a YA retelling of the fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk. I requested to be a part of this blog tour and to review the book because of the gender role switch as well as being a retelling. There aren’t many Jack and the Beanstalk retellings out there, guys. It was new and refreshing and I was intrigued.

That said, the first thing I noticed when I started reading was the heavy influence of Christianity. Now, I myself am not Christian. You would think that I would begin to feel pressured or upset about what was going on in the story.

I wasn’t.

On the contrary, the religious tone to the book acted as a vehicle for the main plot. If anything, the Christian fiction moniker is a subgenre, just as the romance took a backseat for the rest of the story.

The religious aspect made sense given the time period of the book. And, even though every character could be assumed as Christian, it is the “good man/woman” who is celebrated and not the fervor of ones personal beliefs. It was the “good person” and the quote “Every woman has her own bravery” that was pushed over and over again to show the audience what this book was about:

To be good to your fellow man is the key to happiness and no matter what others think, no matter if you are female or not, there is a certain bravery that only you possess.

I could go on to the romance, but I don’t think it needs more than these few sentences. Jack and Jaclyn work well together. They don’t take over or fight for dominance and are a true partnership. There is a part in the end where Jack teases Jaclyn about her hurting the hand that will provide for her and she states simply that she can provide for herself. Too often a YA or romance book has a male lead encourage the aspect of being the provider and can seem to almost push that thought.

I found it refreshing and wonderful that these two were able to cultivate a partnership.

In all, the book has a strong message and one I try to display in my day to day life. I loved that I had an emotional response to the characters and situations. I felt encouraged that, despite not being Christian, I am still valuable as a good person. And, that here is another example of the type of relationship a person should strive to have.

I definitely recommend this to people who love retellings.

Final Rating: 4/5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mary Ting is an international bestselling, award-winning author. She writes soulful, spellbinding stories that excite the imagination and captivate readers around the world. Her books span a wide range of genres, and her storytelling talents have earned a devoted legion of fans, as well as garnered critical praise.

Becoming an author happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she had in high school. After realizing she wanted to become a full-time author, Mary retired from teaching after twenty years. She also had the privilege of touring with the Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book: No Bullies Allowed.
Mary resides in Southern California with her husband, two children, and two little dogs, Mochi and Mocha. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Being a huge Twilight fan, Mary was inspired to make book-themed jewelry and occasionally gives it away as prizes to her fans.

PHOTO CONTENT FROM MARY TING

WEBSITE: http://www.tangledtalesofting.com/
TWITTER:
@MaryTing
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4388953.Mary_Ting
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMaryTing
INSTAGRAM: http://instagram.com/authormaryting

Giveaway is open internationally. Must be 13+ to enter

Winner will receive a $25 Dollar PayPal/Amazon Gift Card.
Winner will receive a $20 Amazon Gift Card.

BOOK TOUR: The Journal of Angela Ashby by Liana Gardner

I have great power.
That’s what she told me. The old fortune-teller at the school carnival.
I thought I was doing the right thing … with the magic journal she gave me. But nothing could prepare me for what happened next.
Or, for what I unleashed.

At a school carnival, a mysterious fortune-teller gives twelve-year-old Angela Ashby a journal and warns her to use it wisely. Nothing prepares Angela for the journal’s power—when she pours her heart onto its pages her desires come true.  

She tests the journal by conjuring a gnome, a unicorn, and a farting fairy and then uses it to stop the school bullies in their tracks. But the unintended consequences alienate her best friend and puts her favorite teacher in danger of losing her job.

After she shares her deepest desire of all—that her parents get back together—her adversary steals the journal, and Angela fears she will use it to bring mayhem to the entire school if she doesn’t get it back.   

Praise for THE JOURNAL OF ANGELA ASHBY

Gardner has created a likable character in Angela, who faces off with the class bully in defense of herself and her best friend. Alternately full of sass and seriousness, Angela quickly learns that writing in her new journal may lead to some unintended consequences, some hilarious and some grave. An enjoyable tween romp about the familiar world of bullies mixed with a bit of magic, this one would be great for a class read or group discussion.” ―Seattle Book Review

“The Journal of Angela Ashby is a middle grade fiction by Liana Gardner and is perfectly written for the target audience. A combination of magic, childhood troubles, social messages, and the need to think before acting is prevalent, and a lesson well ingrained into the pages, There is some good tension building, injections of humour, and character development. Angela and Mallory make a great team, perfectly complementing each other in the way close friends do. This is certainly a book I will read with my son when he is older, as I think it instills some important lessons and values,much like the old 80’s and 90’s cartoons used to do. While the book itself has a clear beginning and end, there are hints that a sequel may follow, and it’s certainly something I would consider picking up. If you’re looking for a story of friendship, childhood problems, and a healthy sprinkling of magic in everyday life, then look no further.” ―K.J. Simmill, Award-Winning British Author

“The Journal of Angela Ashby by Liana Gardner is a charming story of action and consequence. Gardner presents her characters and their problems with an equal touch of magic and reality. This allows the message of the tale to come through while entertaining instead of preaching. Gardner does a great job of taking what could be a clichéd story and putting a few twists in it to keep it fresh and humorous.” ―Kris Moger, Readers’ Favorite

“The Journal of Angela Ashby is an engaging and fun coming-of-age story about a twelve-year-old girl who is suddenly the possessor of great power. I loved following as Angela began to appreciate her journal’s powers and realized the importance of carefully considering everything she wished for.Throughout the story, Gardner addresses the issue of bullies and bullying, which is something all kids and most adults have to deal with at some point, and she shows how Angela learns to differentiate between solving the problem and descending into bullying behavior herself.Gardner also admirably addresses the stress and confusion felt by kids and tweens when their mom and dad get divorced. The Journal of Angela Ashby is a marvelous fantasy that brings up real-life issues without lowering the magic and fun potential for a moment, and Sam Shearon’s illustrations really make it all come alive most brilliantly.” ―Jack Magnus, Author

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY

MY REVIEW

I received a copy of this book from the author via Jean Book Nerd for an honest review. There has been no compensation for this review. Only the pure enjoyment of a book in my hands and reading a story.

 

The Journal of Angela Ashby by Liana Gardner is a middle grade fantasy about a girl learning she has great power, but with it, she has to be responsible. I really liked this book. It’s adorable, has a good message, and I feel it would work for both boys and girls. I know I plan on giving it to my Bug when he’s old enough to read it (he’s six currently).

Now, for the lit nerd in me, the book has great character development. It isn’t just the main character who changes, but so do the minor characters. I do feel bit bad about the main antagonist, but I have a feeling there may be more about her in the future.

This book is a quick read and well written. It is definitely a book for both adults and children.

Final Rating: 4/5

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 

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.”

PHOTO CONTENT FROM LIANA GARDNER

WEBSITE: http://lianagardner.com/
TWITTER: 
@lkgg
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16959433.Liana_Gardner
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/lianakgardner
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/liana.gardner/

GIVEAWAY

Giveaway is open internationally. Must 13+ to enter. Ends December 3, 2018

– 1 Winner will receive an Award-winning 2017 MG, 7th Grade Revolution Swag (Mugs, Playing Cards, T-Shirts) by Liana Gardner. 

– 1 Winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

Book #97: Death Rites by E.A. Copen

Old gods die hard.
Professional necromancer Lazarus Kerrigan knows all too well that the Big Easy is anything but. Crime is up, business is down, and someone–or something–crushed an innocent girl to death on his doorstep.

After the search for the murderer brings the police to his front door, Laz must prove his innocence by hauling in the real killer with help from the dead.

When the sun sets in New Orleans, more than monsters go bump in the night… And what Laz awakens in his quest for answers might just get him–and everyone else in town–killed.

I received an Audible code through AudiobookBoom for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation made for this review.

I find the Urban Fantasy genre to be a very fun genre. You have your kickass hero who is usually solving a crime and using magic to do it. It is usually action-packed and the reader is almost always in for a good ride.

Death Rites by E.A. Copen isn’t that much different. Now, the concept of a wizard in a city solving a murder isn’t all that unusual. You have your Dresden Files for example. And really, Lazarus Kerrigan is very much a Harry Dresden-esque character. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if good old Harry wasn’t an inspiration for Laz.

That said, I feel this book does stand on its own. You have a basic feel of pantheon mythologies mixed into the Fae and shove in a dash of your Urban Fantasy stylized magic. Voila, you have the Lazarus Codex series.

Basically, if you like one, you are likely to like the other. That said, you may not like it if you have oversaturated yourself in Urban Fantasy. I haven’t done that, so this is me liking this series (I can just admit that there are similarities that go with the genre that could make this just another one of the batch).

All in all, this is a fun ride of an Urban Fantasy and I do want to continue with the series.

Final Rating: 4/5