Monday, January 21, 2019

Blog Tour & Giveaway: All Is Fair by Dee Garretson

All Is Fair
Dee Garretson
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: January 22nd 2019
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult

Lady Mina Tretheway knows she’s destined for greater things than her fancy boarding school, where she’s being taught to be a proper English lady. It’s 1918, and war is raging across Europe. Unlike her father and brother, who are able to assist in the war effort, Mina is stuck sorting out which fork should be used with which dinner course.

When Mina receives a telegram that’s written in code, she finally has her chance to do something big. She returns to her childhood home of Hallington Manor, joined by a family friend, Lord Andrew Graham, and a dashing and mysterious young American, Lucas. The three of them must band together to work on a dangerous project that could turn the tide of the war.

Thrilled that she gets to contribute to the war effort at least, Mina jumps headfirst into the world of cryptic messages, spycraft, and international intrigue. She, Lucas, and Andrew have to work quickly, because if they don’t succeed, more soldiers will disappear into the darkness of war.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo


It was long, far longer than most telegrams, and it made no sense.

April 2, 1918

Thomasina,

Your old father has a request. A friend has written that your cousin is ill. She needs you to come home to Hallington right away. Have your things sent as well. Get help from Mrs. Brommers if you need it. She will be glad to give it. To communicate with me, wire the Foreign Office if situation worsens. Best you don’t tell your cousin you are coming. We’re at Thornhill but don’t know for how long. Once home, let us know of your safe arrival. Play some of the old games with your cousin to keep you two challenged. Two are always better than one.

Father

First of all, even though I had a cousin who lived at Hallington, Cousin Eugenia, I didn’t know a Mrs. Brommers nor had I ever heard of a place called Thornhill. Second of all, who was the “we?” My mother was in America helping out my uncle, whose wife was ill. Third, my father would never refer to himself as an “old father.” People often commented on how Reese Tretheway still looked much as he had in the days he was a valued secret agent for the British government, tracking spies across Europe.

The next to the last sentence made even less sense. My cousin Eugenia loathed games, refusing to play cards or even word games, though she knew more words than anyone I had ever met. It was also almost impossible to imagine Eugenia ill. The woman walked miles a day on her “nature rambles,” her stork-like figure a common sight to everyone for miles around. She never took to her bed for any reason.

A thrill of excitement ran through me. The telegram was strange because it was a cipher. It had to be. There was no other explanation. It must mean my father wanted me to do something important. I ignored the little nagging voice inside that told me how unlikely that was. I was sure if I deciphered it, I would have a job to do for the war effort instead of just rolling bandages and waiting to be old enough to train as a nurse. I didn’t even want to be a nurse. Whatever this was, it had nothing to do with nursing.

“Yes, I need to go home,” I said to Miss Climpson. “Right away.”

-----------------------------------------------------

Author Bio:

Dee writes contemporary, science fiction and historical adventure stories for a wide range of ages. Her books have been chosen as Junior Library Guild selections, the Scholastic Book Club, and have been nominated for numerous state awards lists. In addition to books published under her own name, she also writes for the Boxcar Children series. Connect with her on twitter at @deegarretson or find out more about her books at deegarretson.com

Website / Goodreads / Facebook /Twitter


GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

Review: Merciless (A Born Assassin #1) by Jacqueline Pawl

Book Blurb:

"The Guild is my life. I didn't choose it, didn't want it for years. But when I stopped fighting it, stopped trying to resist all the ways they were trying to change me, I realized I enjoy it. All the teasing, all the mocking, all the quips about pointy ears and the girl whose parents didn't want her—they don't matter in a fight.

I'll be hated for the work I do—and I'll love every minute of it."

Merciless is a Young Adult fantasy epic perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas's Throne of Glass and George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones.

After being taken by the illustrious Assassins' Guild when she was one week old, Mercy has endured seventeen years of grueling training in the art of killing. She is covered in more scars than she can count—gifts from her cruel tutors and the human apprentices who do not tolerate being bested by an elf—and she's more than ready to prove her worth to the head of the Guild.

In the capital city of Sandori, elf-human violence runs rampant and a king mad with grief rules with an iron fist. All that stands between Mercy and her chance to become the greatest Assassin the Guild has ever trained is the handsome and kind Prince Tamriel. If she succeeds in killing him, she will earn the respect and admiration of her childhood tormentors and will be immortalized in the Guild. Faced with political tension, rampant disease, and strange supernatural occurrences, Mercy realizes that her actions not only affect her and Tamriel, but that the fate of the kingdom hangs in the balance.

Find out more about the series on Goodreads

My Review:

4 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Another-World, Faeries, Historical, Royal-Court, Suspense, Teen--z

Mercy wants nothing more than to be an Assassin, instead of just the initiate she has been for the last 17 years- her whole life, unlike the girls who are given the opportunity to test this year to be an Assassin. When Mercy gets the opportunity to participate in the competition, completely against the rules, she leaps at it with no regard for the consequences. What comes next is a dangerous mission that Mercy may actually come to regret taking part in because not everything is as it appears.

I have a total case of cover love going on here, it is just so gorgeous and I love it! I am interested to see what the next book in the series will have on the cover because I am a total cover snob.

There was a definite Throne of Glass meets The Lord of the Rings feel for me here. We have an abandoned girl training her whole life for this one (terrible, unethical?) goal of being an assassin, willing to do anything to achieve it. The world itself felt like an epic fantasy with elves and adventure, and a life altering (shattering?) quest. I will admit that I had a rocky start with Merciless, I had a hard time getting into the book for at least the first fourth. I was learning about the world right during the middle of a huge event for the Assassin's Guild, while trying to understand the guild AND get to know Mercy- I was overwhelmed and confused. It made it hard for me to connect to Mercy as a person since I did not know if I should root for her or want to hate her. Once I fully understood what was going on I was able to get invested in the story and all the twists and turns Mercy took. Even if I did not always agree with her choices, I cared about Mercy and her well being.

Side note here- I really loved Calum. When I first met him I thought he would be a great love interest for Mercy but then their relationship evolved into a snarky banter, almost as if they were siblings or life long friends and I liked the change between them.

The ending of the story was most certainly not the end but the beginning of more danger and hard choices for Mercy. I would love to see what happens next!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

Book Blurb:

TWO CAN KEEP A SECRET by Karen McManus

Pub. Date: January 8, 2019

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 336

Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery's never been there, but she's heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it's hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone's declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she's in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous--and most people aren't good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it's safest to keep your secrets to yourself.

Goodreads | Amazon | Audible | B&N | iBooks | TBD

My Review:

5 Out of 5 Stars

Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Teen--

Ellery and her twin brother Ezra are forced to move to the small town of Echo Ridge for their senior year of high school, the same town their mother escaped and never wanted to return to. Now they are living with their estranged grandmother while their mother is in rehab, but it seems like there is a lot simmering under the surface of the town. Threats keep showing up, hinting that another girl will go missing, living up to the past- and Ellery could be in danger.

This, folks, is no sophomore slump book! I loved Two Can Keep A Secret, maybe even more than Karen's first book (sorry, One Of Us Was Lying was good, don't get me wrong!) but I was so wrapped up in the mystery and characters with Two Can Keep A Secret that I was not sure how to function in real life until I got to the end and unmasked the killer. I am pretty sure that YA mysteries are one of my favorite genres to read because the suspense, the realness of the crimes, the jacked up situations, the guessing of who is the correct suspect...basically everything about them appeals to me and Two Can Keep was another prime example of why this genre is the best. A town that has a murder-themed amusement park should be a dead (ha, you like that?) giveaway that something terrible lurks in town. As per the rule, this will be a pretty short review (for me- I do like to ramble so deal with it) because I do not want to slip and spill any detail and potentially be spoilery.

I should probably preface this by saying...I think about crime a lot. Like, an abnormal amount. I get that. It's sort of a problem. So you have to take what I say with a grain of salt, because I'm just this...naturally suspicious person, I guess.

Told through two narrators eyes, Ellery the new girl who has tons of dark family history in town, and Malcolm the outcast who tries to keep his head down and survive his family name. I loved Ellery's intense-crime-investigation-mind and how everyone could be a suspect in some crime to her! It was like watching those true crime shows but in fast forward, how she kept coming up with theories and motives for people, even when she was so off base it was interesting. Her upbringing, the unsolved/unspoken nature of her aunt's disappearance and her reading hobbies makes for a great basis for crime obsession- and geez, it doesn't hurt that the town has a murder theme park, I mean really who does that. Malcolm was such a sweet, kind character, yet I kept wondering if evil could be brewing under the surface (Ellery might have been rubbing off on me!). He kept finding himself in the middle of mess after mess and it make me start to question what he was really doing.

And yes, a clown museum is creepy- I don't care who is asking!

(ps I creeped myself out with this gif- your welcome).

Karen does a fantastic job of presenting the reader with multiple options for suspects, keeping me on my toes and I love all the misdirection. I was 85% confident I knew who the killer was but I can honestly say that I was pleased to be wrong (now don't get my Mom started because she said she knew right from the beginning but doubted herself the whole way- and was yet still correct). So regardless of who you suspect, know that you will get a great mystery with tons of twists and surprising turns that will keep even the most astute mystery fan guessing (at least for motivations). I can't wait to see what messed up mystery Karen will provide for us next.

Author Bio:

As a kid I used to write books when I was supposed to be playing outside, and not much has changed. I'm a marketing and communications professional who also writes Young Adult contemporary and fantasy fiction in Cambridge, MA.

When not writing or working I love to travel, and along with my nine-year old son I've ridden horses in Colombia and bicycles through Paris. A member of SCBWI, I hold a bachelor’s degree in English from the College of the Holy Cross and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northeastern University. Which I have never, ever used professionally.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Week One:

1/1/2019- Lifestyle of MeReview

1/2/2019- Paper ReaderReview

1/3/2019- Adventures Thru WonderlandReview

1/4/2019- Here's to Happy EndingsReview

  ---

Week Two:

1/7/2019- Pink Polka Dot BooksReview

1/8/2019- Do You Dog-ear?Review

1/9/2019- Adventures and ReadingReview

1/10/2019- The Phantom ParagrapherReview

1/11/2019- Book Dragon LairReview

---

  Week Three:

1/14/2019- A Gingerly ReviewReview

1/15/2019- Confessions of a YA ReaderReview

1/16/2019- Sweet Southern HomeReview

1/17/2019- Simply Daniel RadcliffeReview

1/18/2019- The Hermit LibrarianReview

 ---

Week Four:

1/21/2019- Smada's Book SmackReview

1/22/2019- Owl always Be ReadingReview

1/23/2019- BookHounds YAReview

1/24/2019- Popthebutterfly ReadsReview

1/25/2019- Eli to the nthReview

 ---

Week Five:

1/28/2019- The Clever ReaderReview

1/29/2019- All the Ups and DownsReview

1/30/2019- Two Points of InterestReview

1/31/2019- EatingbetweenthelinesINCReview

---

Review tour provided by Rockstar Book Tours

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Audiobook Tour: Horizon (Horizon #1) by Tabitha Lord

Author: Tabitha Lord

Narrator: DW Draffin

Length: 8 hours 15 minutes

Series: Horizon, Book 1

Publisher: Wave Equation Media

Released: Oct. 25, 2018

Genre: Science Fiction

Caeli Crys isn't living - she's surviving. On the run after the genocide of her empathic people, she witnesses a spaceship crash near her hidden camp. When she feels the injured pilot suffering from miles away, she can't help but risk discovery to save his life.

Commander Derek Markham awakens stranded on an uncharted planet. His co-pilot is dead, his ship is in ruins, and he's only alive because a beautiful young woman is healing him with her mind.

As Derek recovers, Caeli shares the horror of her past and her fear for the future. When Derek's command ship, Horizon, sends rescue, Derek convinces Caeli to leave with him. But his world is as treacherous as hers - full of spies, interplanetary terrorist plots, and political intrigue. Soon the Horizon team is racing to defend an outlying planet from a deadly enemy, and Caeli's unique skills may just give them the edge they need to save it.

My Review:

3.5 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Another-World, Romance, Space, Supernatural, Survival--

When a space craft crashes near where she is currently surviving, empath and healer Caeli makes the choice to get involved and do what she can to save the survivor. Derek wakes to find a strange girl saved his life, a girl who has survived horrors and destruction, now on the run from the same people who killed everyone she loved. When Derek's people come find him, he urges Caeli to come with him and start a new life, but the life he offers is not as safe as he thought.

I will admit that I struggled for the first half of the book because the pacing of the plot was very slow and the content was pretty depressing. It was more a tell than a show/action, so we get a lot of backstory from Caeli and how she ended up on the run. There is also a lot of world building with tons of pain and destruction so it was a little bit of a downer. The pacing and action most definitely pick up and it was much easier to speed through the second half of the book.

The narrator did a nice job of enunciation and being very good with his word pacing but at times it felt a little bit emotionless. I love narrators that emote a lot so that way I feel more involved in the plot and connect to the characters better and I feel like that was lacking a little. And maybe it was done on purpose for the book, maybe that was what the author wanted, but it was just a little hard for me at times like when one of the main characters was describing the destruction of everyone she loved, it was very one note. Also, since there were two main characters that the book was narrated by, it was a little hard distinguishing between voices, I would not have know which character's view it was without the header that announced it.

I think I would have appreciated the book a little more if I had read it instead of listen in this situation. I ended up purchasing a copy of the ebook and I finished reading it that way and I am interested to see how the next book will play out.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Tabitha Lord. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Tabitha’s HORIZON series has won seven independent book awards including the prestigious Writer’s Digest Grand Prize in 2016. She has short fiction published by World Weaver Press, Electric Athenaeum Magazine, Grimbold Books, and more. Tabitha is also a partner and senior writer for Book Club Babble, and a managing editor for the Inkitt Writer’s Blog. She lives in Rhode Island and is married with four independent-minded and creative kids, two spoiled cats, and lovable black lab. She holds a degree in Classics from College of the Holy Cross and taught Latin for years at a Waldorf school where she now serves on the Board of Trustees.

WebsiteTwitterFacebookInstagram

Narrator Bio

DW Draffin is an actor and narrator in San Francisco. He has founded his own science fiction theater company, sold screenplays to New Line and FOX2000, and narrated the books of authors he idolizes.

TwitterInstagram

Jan. 13th:

Lilly's Book World

The Book Junkie Reads . . .

Jan. 14th:

Amazeballs Book Addicts

Jan. 15th:

Dab of Darkness Book Reviews

Jan. 16th:

Turning Another Page

Jan. 17th:

Notes from 'Round the Bend

Jazzy Book Reviews

Jan. 18th:

Haddie's Haven

Jan. 19th:

Smada's Book Smack

The Book Addict's Reviews

➜Sign up as a host here

Friday, January 18, 2019

Blog Blitz & Giveaway: False Start by Meli Raine

False Start
Meli Raine
(False #3)
Publication date: January 15th 2019
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

This isn’t how my life is supposed to end.
Then again, a case of mistaken identity got me here. No one is ever who we think they are. Especially my kidnapper, a man whose entire life is designed to deceive.
Powerful people want my rescuer to die. I’m just a lure. A pawn. An object.
But objects hold meaning. Emotions attach themselves without logic.
Like love.
I now know that Duff will do everything to protect me.
If he gets here in time. And if I can hold on long enough.
Because my body can only handle so much. Pushed to the limits, it’s finally giving out. Giving way.
Giving up.
I know Duff, though.
He never will.
Blink.

Read the stunning conclusion to USA Today bestselling author Meli Raine’s False series, told from both Lily and Duff’s points of view.

Goodreads / Bookbub / Apple Books Exclusive

FALSE MEMORY (Book 1)
Now Available
Apple Books Exclusive / Goodreads / Bookbub

FALSE HOPE (Book 2)
Now Available
Apple Books Exclusive / Goodreads / Bookbub

EXCERPT:

Being locked in a room with a dead body is not on my bucket list.

Being locked in a room with a faceless corpse, the dim light making his exposed, bloody skull bones gleam like rubies, is definitely not on my wish list.

The scream that wants to come out turns inward, helplessness stopping it somewhere in my chest, com-forted by my heart, which only wants it to go quiet. Screaming won’t fix this. I can’t find an escape by making noise.

Reality has a way of dominating.

I look down at the dead man.

Who is very, very real.

I move gently on the chaise, taking the deepest breath I can, holding it for too long. Suspending myself in time and space feels like the only out. I can’t actually leave. Second best is closing off my air supply, shut-ting my eyelids, not moving. Freezing in place gives me an illusion to grasp, the fleeting seconds im-portant.

My hand slides under a throw pillow. The cool haven of hidden fabric makes me shiver.

A black spider, all too familiar, comes off the pillow my hand is under.

That makes me shiver even more.

I jump up, shocked by the intrusion of another living being.

The door calls out to me.

The spider crawls down one leg of the chaise, then makes its way dispassionately along the tip of the dead guy’s shoe.

In order to get to the door, I have to go around the dead body. In order to move, I have to feel the sensa-tion of his blood on my skin. When I bend my arm, the dried blood on my shoulders and neck crackles. It puckers, like child’s glue spread over skin and allowed to dry for fun. For amusement.

This is anything but amusing.


Author Bio:

Meli Raine writes romantic suspense with hot bikers, intense undercover DEA agents, bad boys turned good, and Special Ops heroes — and the women who love them. Meli rode her first motorcycle when she was five years old, but she played in the ocean long before that. She lives in New England with her family.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Bookbub / Newsletter


GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1