[#BlogTour] True East by Raymond Ahrens #Fiction

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Tasora Books

Publication Date: July 15, 2017

Book Blurb

Katy Givens, thirty and brilliant, learns in a static-filled phone call that her husband Andrew is missing in the Amazon and possibly dead. Although still mourning the death of their infant son, Katy flies to Brazil in search of Andrew, discovering that the man she married has secrets. As the mysteries surrounding Andrew’s disappearance mount, so does the list of shadowy forces benefitting from the recent discovery of oil in the Amazon.

Katy’s field of genetic anthropology proves useful when accounts of the Unnamed Ones, a primitive and possibly pre-human tribe, are rumored to exist in the same valley as the oil reserves. Katy tracks Andrew through the jungle, deciphering riddles he left before disappearing. Along the way, she barters with a Jewish coin merchant, challenges chance with a fortune teller, and argues the merits of prayer with a Jesuit priest, before placing her faith with the indigenous Tadi.

Purchase Link

Amazon

About the Author

Raymond Ahrens is curious. As a scientist, father, and novelist, he peers under the surface to discover what contradictions lie beneath. His genre of “mythic-realism” synthesizes both the rational and the mythic to arrive at a different way of seeing. His first novel, Drive, explores an old man’s perspective in both a real and imagined world filled with mysteries, myths, and memories. He lives in Newton, MA and Del Ray Beach, FL.

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[#BookReview] MOXIE by Jennifer Mathieu @RaincoastBooks

I’d like to thank Raincoast Books for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Genre:  Young Adult, Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Roaring Book Press

Publication Date: September 19, 2017

My Rating: ❤❤❤

Book Blurb:

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes and hallway harassment. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mom was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, so now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. Pretty soon Viv is forging friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, and she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution

My Thoughts

DNF.  So let me explain..if you haven’t already noticed, I’m a HUGE psychological thriller/suspense & horror fan.  However, every now and then I like to switch things up and read something out of my norm.  So when the opportunity arose to read a book about girl power, I was intrigued and wanted to give it a try.  Not only did it receive a great review from Amy Poehler (Hello!), but it also got rave reviews on Goodreads.

Let me just say, I tried.  I really tried! But I just couldn’t get into it like everyone else.  I loved the message and appreciate that the author wrote this book to help empower young women.

It may not have been my cup of tea, but a book like this should be included in the high school curriculum if you ask me.  I feel like some of the issues covered would spark some really good discussions and for that reason, I gave this book a 3.

Have you read this novel?  Thoughts?  Have you ever read a book that wasn’t quite your taste, but felt it was still worth talking about because of its message/content?

 

 

 

[#TVSeries] Big Little Lies: Book vs Show #BigLittleLies #HBOSeries 

My Rating: 3/5

This was a show I had been wanting to watch ever since it aired, but never got around to until now.  I figured I should read the book first, then watch the show.  Which I did..last week.  Right now, I’m on season 1, episode 5 (almost done).  Let me just start by saying that reading the book first, is like a double edge sword.  Had I not read it first, I might not have wanted to read it as much cause then I would have felt like I already know what happens.  However, having already read the book, the book was hands down much better than the show.  Don’t get me wrong.  The show is good…just nowhere near as good as the book.  The book, literally left me speechless.  It was so good, it deserves a standing ovation.

To be honest, if it hadn’t been for the stellar Hollywood cast, I don’t think this series would have done as well as it had.

My issues with it:

• I feel like the portrayal of Madeleine & Renata’s rivalry was lacking.  If I hadn’t read the book, I would have looked at Madeleine’s character in the show and thought “what the fuck is her problem?”

• They totally missed the boat with the struggle between Madeleine & Chloe, and why Madeleine hates her ex-husband (Nathan) so much.

• The tone..the tone throughout the show is quite melancholic.

My Likes

• The cast (duh!)

• I love the light that is shed on domestic violence.  In the show, Celeste & Perry’s relationship is the focal point of the story.  A big round of applause to Nicole Kidman and Alexander Skarsgard for bringing these characters to a new level by allowing yourselves to go through the emotions, and doing the physical scenes for real.  Words can’t even express the appreciation.

For those who have seen the show, thoughts? How do you think it compares to the book?

Do you feel watching motion picture detracts from reading the book?

[#BookReview] The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich @alexandriaml @Flatironbooks #nonfiction #thefactofabody

The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a MemoirThe Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

She pushes the videotape into the player and steps back. The screen on the old box television flickers. A seated man slowly comes into view. Pale face, square jaw, jug ears. Thick, round Coke-bottle glasses. An orange jumpsuit. Hand bound in cuffs in his lap.
“State your name,” a deep off-screen voice instructs.
“Ricky Langley,” the man says.

This was my first introduction to non-fiction. I don’t typically read this genre, but received an advanced copy for which I am incredibly thankful to Flatiron Books
To be honest, I am quite surprised at how well this was written. There were times I had forgotten I was even reading a memoir.

I particularly enjoyed the chapters regarding Ricky’s trial. His case was quite intriguing. However, some parts rather slow and I found myself skipping ahead. I appreciated the author’s inclusion of her own personal experiences with abuse and molestation, as these parts were especially difficult to read.

Overall, it was an enjoyable and powerful story.

View all my reviews

[#BookReview] Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty @BerkleyPub @BerkleyMystery #lianemoriarty #biglittlelies

Big Little LiesBig Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It shouldn’t matter.  She knew it shouldn’t matter.  But the fact was that some people were so unacceptably, hurtfully beautiful, it made you feel ashamed.

SOO..much better than The Husband’s Secret! I was surprised at how addictive this novel was and gobbled up every page! I felt like I was playing a game of Clue, trying to figure out who died and whodunit. It was like I couldn’t read fast enough to get to the end.  Bravo to Moriarty for keeping me on my toes! I had no idea until the end, despite my own conclusions (which were way off).

I had read The Husband’s Secret and was not a fan. However, I believe in second chances, and this just proved it was worth giving this author another chance.

I’m looking forward to watching the series!

My two cents: If you haven’t read the book yet, don’t get to caught up with who’s who in the first chapter.  They reappear throughout the story.  Just sit back with your cup of whatever and enjoy the ride!

Have you read the book or watched the series?

View all my reviews

[#BookReview] The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, General Fiction

Publisher: Doubleday Canada

My Rating: ❤❤ 1/2 (2.5 Stars)

Book Blurb

You never know what’s happening on the other side of the wall.

Your neighbour told you that she didn’t want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn’t stand her crying.

Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You’ll have the baby monitor and you’ll take it in turns to go back every half hour.

Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She’s gone.

You’ve never had to call the police before. But now they’re in your home, and who knows what they’ll find there.

What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?

My Thoughts
The first time I saw this book in the book aisle, I thought it was kinda cheesy.  But then my friend raved about it, shoved the book in my hand and told me I HAD to read it.  It saddens me to say..my initial instincts weren’t too far off!

Believe me, I wanted to like this book as much as those who raved about it did.  But unfortunately, it missed the mark for me.

The story was off to a great start.  In fact, it had me so immersed that I was tempted to skip right to the end just to see whodunit.  However, after around the 4th chapter, things started falling apart in my opinion.  It felt like I was reading a case file or play, with parts that were predictable (which I hate).  I didn’t see the twist at the end coming, but on the same note, I found it a bit ridiculous.

*Sigh* as a proud supporter of Canadian authors, I was really rooting for this to be a good read! 😦

Have you read it? What did you think?

 

 

[#BlogTour] Night Court by Erica Goss #Poetry

Night Court by Erica Goss

Genre: Poetry

Advance Praise:

Night Court leaves us hungry for more of the poet’s open, probing, leaping intelligence, her ‘wild associations’ and surprises in the unexpected ‘shivering’ sweetness of a love story where ‘joy scrambles sadness.’ We hear ‘the clatter of souls entering bodies’ and experience ‘spring’s lizard stealth’ as sadness, longing and reluctance are transformed by breath-stopping beauty. Like a creature in the forest, the poet will ‘rub my cheek against the night.’ And she reminds us a prince waits, perhaps for centuries, until we wake.”
—Susan G. Wooldridge, author of poemcrazy: freeing your life with words

“’No more / mindless syrup blunting / raw edges, // no more disguising things / with bland counterparts.’ The poems in Night Court are often starkly rendered, tough yet sensitive. Deeply imaginative, the poems describe a feral world also experienced by children, a world of hungry ghosts, magic, beasts and violence. ‘There’s a crack at the edge / of the world where the dark // and comic leak through’ Goss takes us to this illuminating place.”
— Robert S. Pesich, President, Poetry Center San Jose

About the Poet

Erica Goss is a poet and freelance writer. She served as Poet Laureate of Los Gatos, CA from 2013-2016. She is the author of Night Court, winner of the 2016 Lyrebird Award, Wild Place and Vibrant Words: Ideas and Inspirations for Poets. Recent work appears in Lake Effect, Atticus Review, Contrary, Eclectica, The Red Wheelbarrow, Main Street Rag, Pearl, Rattle, Wild Violet, and Comstock Review, among others. She is co-founder of Media Poetry Studio, a poetry-and-film camp for teen girls.

Links

Website  Facebook LinkedIn

Video poem: https://vimeo.com/214537057

Available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2uzK6ne

 

 

[#NewRelease] Sleep, Savannah, Sleep by Alistair Cross @CrossAlistair @BAMLiterature #MysteryAndThrillers #Paranormal

Sleep, Savannah, Sleep by Alistair Cross

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Paranormal

Publisher: BAM Literature

Publication date: Sept 25, 2017

BLURB

The Dead Don’t Always Rest in Peace

Jason Crandall, recently widowed, is left to raise his young daughter and rebellious teenage son on his own – and the old Victorian in Shadow Springs seems like the perfect place for them to start over. But the cracks in Jason’s new world begin to show when he meets Savannah Sturgess, a beautiful socialite who has half the men in town dancing on tangled strings.

When she goes missing, secrets begin to surface, and Jason becomes ensnared in a dangerous web that leads to murder. But who has the answers that will prove his innocence? The jealous husband who’s hell-bent on destroying him? The local sheriff with an incriminating secret? The blind old woman in the house next door who seems to watch him from the windows? Or perhaps the answers lie in the haunting visions and dreams that have recently begun to consume him.

Or maybe, Savannah herself is trying to tell him that things aren’t always as they seem – and that sometimes, the dead don’t rest in peace.

** Excerpt **

“This is it? Seriously? It’s like we’re moving into Hill House.” In the passenger seat, Brent looked uneasy.

Jason Crandall turned to his son. “It has character.” He looked up at the old Victorian. But he’s right. It’s creepy. Surrounded by mid-century houses, the decrepit Victorian seemed like a flaw on the neighborhood, a stain on something otherwise clean. The cat’s claw vine climbing the walls seemed to shroud the house, as if trying to hide it, the violently yellow blossoms creating a diversion from the faded wood siding – as did the bowers of honeysuckle that accented the yard, draped the veranda, and sweetened the air. Two second-story windows peered out from between the lush vines, looking like the eyes of a hunted beast. 

Surrounded on both sides by white split-rail fences coated in spindly climbing roses, the property was spacious, with a small courtyard beyond a wisteria-choked arbor that lead to the back yard. “I don’t know. I think it’s charming.” He offered his son a grin, and shut off the silver Legacy. The annoying squeal – probably a fan belt – went silent and Jason made a mental note to hunt down a local mechanic. 

“It’s creepy, Dad. Seriously creepy.” Brent leaned back and assumed his usual air of annoyed indifference. 

“But creepy in a cool way, right?” asked Jason.

Brent’s eyes, the color of seawater, looked unimpressed. “Only if you like haunted houses.” 

“It’s haunted?” In the back seat, Amber sat up, rubbing sleep from her eyes. Even Ruby, the blond, blue-eyed doll that never left her arms, looked alarmed.

“Of course it isn’t haunted.” Jason shot Brent a warning look. “It’s just old.”

The three of them stared at the house and it seemed to stare right back. All in all, it didn’t appear pleased to meet them. 

“Let’s go have a look around.” Jason undid his seatbelt. “After that, you two can help me unload.” A large moving van was a day or two behind them; the small trailer they’d pulled contained only the essentials – and most of Jason’s massage equipment. He knew he was being optimistic about how quickly he could get his studio up and running, but he couldn’t help it. His new business was the entire reason he’d bought the house. It had a basement complete with its own entrance, so Jason could work without having strangers traipsing in and out of the family’s living space. Overall, the old Victorian was pretty ideal, even if it was a little spooky. 

Then again, the whole town – or what he’d seen of it so far – was pretty spooky, too. Quaint and quiet, Shadow Springs was a startling contrast to the buzzing pace of Los Angeles. Jason told himself this would be good for him – good for all of them. 

Here, just outside of Ojai in Ventura County, they’d begin their new lives, free of bad memories. That was what Jason had told himself a hundred times in the past weeks – it was what he had to believe.

Preorder Link

Amazon

Author Bio

Alistair Cross’ debut novel, The Crimson Corset, a vampiric tale of terror and seduction, was an immediate bestseller earning praise from veteran vampire-lit author, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, and New York Times bestseller, Jay Bonansinga, author of The Walking Dead series. In 2012, Alistair joined forces with international bestseller, Tamara Thorne, and as Thorne & Cross, they write – among other things – the successful Gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their debut collaboration, The Cliffhouse Haunting, reached the bestseller’s list in its first week of release. They are currently at work on their next solo novels and a new collaborative project.

In 2014, Alistair and Tamara began the radio show, Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE!, which has featured such guests as Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of HELLRAISER 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore.

Visit Alistair at: Website | Facebook | Goodreads

[#BlogTour] Mighty Jack and the Goblin King by @BenHatke @01FirstSecond #ComicBooks #GraphicNovels

Mighty Jack and the Goblin King by Ben Hatke

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤

Genre: Graphic Novels, Comics 

Publisher: First Second Books

Publication Date: September 5, 2017.

Blurb

Like a bolt from the blue, Jack’s little sister Maddy is gone—carried into another realm by an ogre.

When Jack and Lilly follow Maddy’s captor through the portal, they are ready for anything . . . except what they find waiting for them in the floating crossroads between worlds. Even the power of their magic plants may not be enough to get them back to earth alive.

Alone and injured, Jack and Lilly must each face their own monsters—as well as giants who grind the bones of human children to feed their “beast” and a fearsome goblin king in the sewers down below.

But when Jack finds himself in a tough spot, help comes from the most unlikely person: the goblin king!

My Thoughts
Being a fan of fairytales and comics, Mighty Jack offers the perfect combination. I’ll admit, it’s been a reeeally long time since I’ve read a comic book, and just started getting back into it.  But this is a fun twist on the classic story of Jack and the Beanstalk, which takes you on a magical journey to another world filled with goblins, giants and plants with special powers.

In Mighty Jack and the Goblin King, Jack and Lilly must save Maddy from human-eating giants and beasts.

I quite enjoyed this series so far..one that can actually be enjoyed at any age!  Even my 11 year old got into it, and she’s not much of a comic book reader. Since this is a continuation, my only suggestion would be to read the first book before diving into this one.

Author Bio

Ben Hatke is the author and illustrator of the New York Times–bestselling Zita the Spacegirl trilogy, the picture books Julia’s House for Lost Creatures and Nobody Likes a Goblin, and the graphic novels Little Robot and Mighty Jack. He lives and works in the Shenandoah Valley with his wife and their boisterous pack of daughters.
Website | Twitter
Have you heard or read this series?  Do you enjoy graphic novels? If so, which ones?


 

 

 

 

[Book Promo & Giveaway] Rotten Magic by Jeffrey Bardwell #Steampunk #Fiction

Rotten Magic by Jeffrey Bardwell

GENRE: fantasy/steampunk

SERIES: The Artifice Mage Saga, Book 0.5

BLURB:

Devin will do anything to win. Even resort to magic.

Devin competes to become the best artificer in the mage phobic Iron Empire. Who needs magic when you can master the art of machinery? The other apprentices envy his genius and skills . . . especially Benson. Every apprentice hones their craft building and fighting in crude prototypes of powered armor. Some add frills, others barbs or horns. When Devin transforms himself into a mechanical dragon to slaughter the competition, Benson steps into the role of dragon slayer.
But Devin harbors a secret as he claws his way to the top of the Artificer’s Guild: he’s a mage. These new abilities are thrilling and frightening, and the voices more so. How long can Devin be content wearing a steel dragon mask when the seductive promise of true arcane power whispers in his ear?

Experience the prequel to the Artifice Mage Saga: a fantasy steampunk brawl of metal vs. magic where sorcery is bloody, science is greasy, and nobody’s hands are clean.

LINK:

http://twigboatpress.com/rotten-magic/

AUTHOR BIO: 

Jeffrey Bardwell is an ecologist with a Ph.D. who loves fantasy, amphibians, and reptiles. The author devours fantasy and science fiction novels, is most comfortable basking near a warm wood stove, and has eaten a bug or two. The author populates his own novels with realistic, fire breathing lizards. These dragons are affected by the self-inflicted charred remains of their environment, must contend with the paradox of allometric scaling, and can actually get eaten themselves.

The author lives on a farm, is perhaps overfond of puns and alliterations, and is a gigantic ham. When not in use, he keeps his degrees skinned and mounted on the back wall of his office. 

Email at: jhbardwell@gmail.com
** GIVEAWAY **

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