Friday, September 23, 2016

Fall Into Books Giveaway!

Fall Into Books $250 Giveaway
September 23rd to October 15th
An awesome group of bloggers and authors has joined with me to bring you one fabulous prize!!
A $250 Amazon Gift Code or you can choose to receive $250 in Paypal Cash.
Sponsor List
Giveaway Details
$250 in Paypal Cash or a $250 eGift Card
Ends 10/15/16
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the authors, bloggers and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Manuscript Wishlist Roundup 9/22

Time for a #MSWL roundup from recent twitter posts.

Thao Le ‏@ThaoLe8  Sep 15
Would love a fantasy where the heroine is cursed into an animal, not a shifter story but like Howl's Moving Castle meets Lady Hawke #mswl

#2- Thao Le ‏@ThaoLe8  Sep 13
Old school style fantasy like Chrestomanci, Howl's Moving Castle, Enchanted Forest Chronicles, The Blue Sword, The Hero and the Crown #mswl

#3 Thao Le ‏@ThaoLe8  Sep 13
Ruthless heroines/anti-heroines with purpose. Think Lada (And I Darken), Adelina (The Young Elites), or Kate Thompson (Vengeance Road) #MSWL

Jim McCarthy ‏@JimMcCarthy528  Sep 13
I want any fresh LGBTQIA+ stories of any sort. A la my own AS I DESCENDED by @robin_talley or LOOKING FOR GROUP by @R0ryHarris0n #MSWL

Rena Bunder Rossner ‏@renarossner  Sep 13
I'm still waiting for badass religious characters who cover their hair. MG/YA/ADULT #MSWL

Christa Heschke ‏@ChristaHeschke  Sep 13
All the middle grade #MG !!! Heartfelt, funny, friendship or sister story, mystery, adventure, creepy. Any of these. #MSWL

Laura Zats ‏@LZats  Sep 13
Please, please, please send me Golden Girls in space #MSWL

#2  Laura Zats ‏@LZats  Sep 13
Give me fully-formed cultures that breed your plots. Not the other way around. Make your characters products of their environments #MSWL

Stacey Donaghy ‏@DonaghyLiterary  Sep 13
#MSWL I love a good psychological thriller think SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, GONE GIRL, SEVEN things that are really twisty and scary.

J. Johnson-Blalock ‏@JJohnsonBlalock  Sep 13
I love fierce feminism in everything, but I love it especially hard in YA and MG #MSWL

Emmanuelle Morgen ‏@EmMorgen  Sep 13
Fav genres include fantasy, science fiction, magical realism, paranormal, contemporary romance and suspense. Adult and YA. #MSWL

Stephanie Delman ‏@imaginarysmd  Sep 13
Hey, it's #MSWL day! Send me dark speculative fiction/literary prose with surreal or magical elements/a twisted society, rooted in reality.

Heather Flaherty ‏@HeddaFlaherty  Sep 13
#YA Horror, Penny Dreadful style.  (Madness, Era, Psychological trauma, asylums, experiments,  Gothic, myth and darkness and evil.)  #MSWL

Naomi Davis ‏@NaomisLitPix  Sep 12
#mswl - send me your romantic suspense! I want high stakes, heart-pounding romance and intrigue. Heat levels from mild to Habanero welcome.

#2 Naomi Davis ‏@NaomisLitPix  Sep 10
#mswl Fantasy in totally new and different worlds with fantasy elements I've never imagined b4. Worlds w/in worlds, colorful&intriguing.

#3  Naomi Davis ‏@NaomisLitPix  Sep 10
#mswl YA Sci fi that's heavy on the fi, light on the sci. Intricate characters. Teens take themselves seriously; keep humor non-blundering.

P.S. Literary Agency ‏@PSLiterary  Sep 12
"Science fiction that explores the future & past of the world, like REVELATION SPACE." @kurestinarmada #MSWL

Clelia Gore ‏@MadmoiselleClel  Sep 12 Seattle, WA
You know what would be a cool book? MG novel that takes place in the twisty turny quirky Pike's Place Market.  #mswl

Jess Dallow ‏@jldallow  Sep 10
Really interested in a novel about Stockholm Syndrome. The guilt and psychological effects that comes with living your life after. #MSWL

Carly Silver ‏@CarlyASilver
#MSWL: Black heroes and heroines who are in #STEM. Astrophysicists, scientists, engineers, and more.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Gears of Revolution by J Scott Savage

Middle Grade time! Today I am looking at book 2 in the Mysteries of Cove series, Gears of Revolution, by J Scott Savage. Right now it is avavilable for pre-order. It just released!

The Story- 
Trenton and Kallista are ready to explore the world outside of Cove and look for Leo Babbage, Kallista's father. Using their mechanical dragon they begin looking for clues he may have left as to his whereabouts. The outside world is dangerous, and the two must learn to use their dragon to both fly and fight.

After find a shimmering lake and parts to a compass, the two use the clues to head towards Seattle. When they arrive all they find is a blackened whole in the ground and a large green dragon whom they take down to survive. Further examination leads them to the discovery of an underground city with hundreds of survivors. Survivors who worship the dragons and think the green dragon is their protector!

Captured, Trenton and Kallista are saved by the dregs of the underground city, the Whipjacks. They are put to work as builders and engineers and discover that Kallista's dad was once there. Now they have to escape and follow him, but while planning, they learn that the dragon worshippers are planning an attack on Cove.

My Thoughts-
I was pleasantly surprised by this sequel. When I finished book one, I wondered how the author would be able to continue the series in a like manner. Book one was a treasure hunt through Cove with Trenton and Kallista finding clues left by Babbage, and eventually the plans to build the mechanical dragon. It was so much fun to discover the mysteries of Cove.

This book followed right along, yes! Trenton and Kallista use clues left by Babbage to first, discover where to travel, and then to figure out how to plan an escape from Seattle. The plot is well done, with clever puzzles and great tension. Plus, we are introduced to a great, new character- Plucky. A Whipjack girl with spring legs.

Great storytelling, another engaging mystery, and tons of action! 5 stars!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story by Nora Raleigh Baskin

A special Middle Grade post today, Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story by Nora Raleigh Baskin.

 The Story-
This is the story of four pre-teens and their involvement with Sept. 11th. Sergio, who lives in Brooklyn, is struggling to come to terms with the absentee father he hates and the grandmother he loves. Will’s father is gone, too, killed in a car accident that has left the family reeling. Nadira has never before felt uncomfortable about being Muslim, but at her new school she’s getting funny looks because of the head scarf she wears. Amy is starting a new school in a new city and missing her mom, who has to fly to New York on business.

Their lives intersect twice, at the beginning and the end of the story, but their tales are interwoven.

My Thoughts-
I wanted to share this story in honor of 9/11. The book itself focuses on the 48 hours before Sept. 11th and then 1 year later. The interweaving of Sergio, Will, Nadira and Amy is done exceptionally well and is a small peek into four lives that will allow kids to view different life styles and situations. Each character is well written, with deep emotions and voice.

I found it odd that no one involved with the children actually dies in the attack, but then when I read the afterward, the author says she did this on purpose, feeling it was the way to go with this particular story. It was nice to see that this was deliberate and not a flaw of the plot. Involving the actual 9/11 attack, the author does a great job in revealing it through the eyes of all four kids. It is written specifically for a middle grade audience.

My one critique, at the end of the story, one year after the attack, the four kids semi-intersect at the 9/11 memorial, and the focus is spotlighted on Nadira and her family. An angry, white male, carrying an American flag antagonizes them and people around them step up to support the Muslim family. My issue, the author has done a great job with not allowing stereotypes to take root. The whole theme focuses on America as a whole dealing with the tragedy, but then she uses a stereotype herself to be the villain. She could have easily gone with a grumpy man, but she had to make him an angry white man. Totally pressing into the minds of kids that the angry white man is what is wrong with America. It took the anger of the terrorist attack and suddenly moved it to the angry white male stereotype.

Anyhow, up until that point, I really enjoyed this story. It was open to many viewpoints and showed the 9/11 tragedy in several different ways. 4 stars!

Monday, September 5, 2016

The Dark Talent by Brandon Sanderson -Spotlight and GIVEAWAY!

Welcome to Middle Grade Monday! Today I have a new release with a giveaway, The Dark Talent by Brandon Sanderson, book 5 in Alcatraz vs. The Evil Librarians. To enter the giveaway fill out the rafflecopter form below. If you don't see it, click read more.

The Book-
Alcatraz Smedry has successfully defeated the army of Evil Librarians and saved the kingdom of Mokia. Too bad he managed to break the Smedry Talents in the process. Even worse, his father is trying to enact a scheme that could ruin the world, and his friend, Bastille, is in a coma. To revive her, Alcatraz must infiltrate the Highbrary–known as The Library of Congress to Hushlanders–the seat of Evil Librarian power. Without his Talent to draw upon, can Alcatraz figure out a way to save Bastille and defeat the Evil Librarians once and for all?

About the Author-

Brandon’s major books for the second half of 2016 are The Dark Talent, the final volume in Alcatraz Smedry’s autobiographical account of his battle against the Evil Librarians who secretly rule our world, and Arcanum Unbounded, the collection of short fiction in the Cosmere universe that includes the Mistborn series and the Stormlight
Archive, among others. This collection features The Emperor’s Soul, Mistborn: Secret History, and a brand-new Stormlight Archive novella, Edgedancer.

Earlier this year he released Calamity, the finale of the #1 New York Times bestselling Reckoners trilogy that began with Steelheart .

Brandon Sanderson was born in 1975 in Lincoln, Nebraska. As a child Brandon enjoyed reading, but he lost interest in the types of titles often suggested to him, and by junior high he never cracked a book if he could help it. This changed when an eighth grade teacher gave him Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly.

Brandon was working on his thirteenth novel when Moshe Feder at Tor Books bought the sixth he had written. Tor has published Elantris, the Mistborn trilogy and its followup The Alloy of Law, Warbreaker, and The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, the first two in the planned ten-volume series The Stormlight Archive. He was chosen to complete Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series; 2009’s The Gathering Storm and 2010’s Towers of Midnight were followed by the final book in the series, A Memory of Light, in January 2013. Four books in his middle-grade Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series have been released in new editions by Starscape, and his novella Infinity Blade Awakening was an ebook bestseller for Epic Games accompanying their acclaimed Infinity Blade iOS video game series. Two more novellas, Legion and The Emperor’s Soul, were released by Subterranean Press and Tachyon Publications in 2012, and 2013 brought two young adult novels, The Rithmatist from Tor and Steelheart from Delacorte.

The only author to make the short list for the David Gemmell Legend Award six times in four years, Brandon won that award in 2011 for The Way of Kings. The Emperor’s Soul won the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novella. He has appeared on the New York Times Best-Seller List multiple times, with five novels hitting the #1 spot.

Currently living in Utah with his wife and children, Brandon teaches creative writing at Brigham Young University.

Buy it Now-

This giveaway is for one finished copy of THE DARK TALENT and a special button to go to one winner from the US or Canada.

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Monday, August 29, 2016

COVER REVEAL- The Sapphire Blade by Dorine White

It's finally time to reveal the cover to my book, The Sapphire Blade, the fourth and final book in my middle grade fantasy series, Cleopatra's Legacy! Available at bookstores and Amazon Sept. 27th.

The final journey begins!
            Travel with past heroes and a new adventurer to the historical romps of London and the scorching sands of Alexandria. Fourteen-year-old Akmir, raised from birth to sacrifice everything in the pursuit of Cleopatra’s magic gemstones, holds within his hands the secret location of the fifth and final mystic gem: the blue sapphire.
            His quest leads him to England, where four other gemstone searchers: Sara, Melanie, Kainu and Claire, are on the hunt. A pawn of the Roman Brotherhood, Akmir must choose his own path, whether to follow in his father’s brutal footsteps or stay true to his mother’s Egyptian heritage. Clues, puzzles, and danger rule the day.
            What will happen when the power of all five gemstones are brought together? This is a battle for life and death, and only one side can win.

Did you miss the first three books in the series?

Friday, August 26, 2016

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child book review

Welcome to YA Friday! Today I am reviewing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Rowling, Tiffany and Thorne.

The Story- (blurb)

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

My Thoughts-
This tale was different enough to be a refreshing addition to the Harry Potter world. Told as a screen play, the story is written in four acts, two parts. It does lack the intensity of previous works, and the world building is all left to the readers imagination. Hopefully you already know the back story, so the images come in loud and clear.

What I liked the best was the way the story looks into the world of the now and the what if? The book starts 19 years after book 7. Harry and Ginnie have three children, and this story is about boy number 2, Albus. Even though written through dialogue, the reader gets a good feel of the angst that surrounds Albus' life as he is always compared to his amazing father. So here we have the present.

Albus is best friends with Draco's son, Scorpius. They are both in Slytherin and spend all their time together. As their years as Hogwart's pass, and they do, real quick, Albus becomes more and more disassociated with his father. When a time-turner is found, Albus thinks this is his moment to outshine his dad. Together, Albus and Scorpius set out to save Cedric Diggery.

So, now we come to the what ifs? The first world we glimpse is one where Hermione and Ron never married.That idea alone is enough to stir up loyal fans. The wrongness comes through in the relationships as Ron has no humor and Herminone is a mean, Defense Against the Dark arts teacher. Then it gets worse. Another fiddle with time brings the reader to a time where Harry died and Voldemort rules,  plus Delores Umbridge runs Hogwarts. Just these two peeks into alternate worlds is fabulous.

Then things get worse and wham, the author's throw in a twist and betrayal that I didn't suspect. Nicely done. I think Harry Potter fans will enjoy this look into Harry's life. The fact that it is written as a screenplay is odd, but okay. I give it 4.5 stars!