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Cover Reveal: Insidious Scars – Natalie J. Reddy

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How gorgeous is this cover? I’m thrilled to share the cover for Insidious Scars by Natalie J. Reddy! Coming next Spring!

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Insidious Scars 

Expected Publication Date: Spring 2021

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal Romance

This is what she’s been training for…

Jyoti has felt like an outcast all her life. Living among Psi with extraordinary power can be isolating and dangerous when you have no power of your own. But in weakness there is strength, a strength Jyoti’s mother has been training her to use to her advantage. When rumors of war begin circulating, Jyoti is offered an opportunity to help protect her people. However, it would mean giving up what she loves most. But when she finds out about a weapon that could cause the destruction of all mankind, she begins to question everything, even her own heart. 

What do you do when protecting the greater good means you’ll lose everything you love?

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About the Author

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Natalie J. Reddy is a Canadian Author who spends her days trying to escape reality by making up stories about the characters in her head.

Natalie realized at an early age that she had a passion for storytelling and that passion followed her into adulthood. There is nothing she loves more than to be pulled into a fictional world whether it’s in her own writing or the writing of others. Natalie is the author of the Scar of Days Forgotten series, a New Adult Urban Fantasy series with characters who have supernatural abilities and dark and sometimes unknown pasts to overcome.

When she’s not writing, Natalie can be found having all sorts of real-life adventures with her husband and daughter or curled up with a good book and a cup of tea. 

To keep up to date on upcoming books, subscribe to Natalie’s newsletter at nataliejreddy.com

Natalie J. Reddy | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

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Blog Tour: King of Battle & Blood – Scarlett St Clair

Danger. Darkness. Insatiable romance. Get ready for your new obsession.

Their union is his revenge. Isolde de Lara considers her wedding day to be her death day. To end a years-long war, she is to marry vampire king Adrian Aleksandr Vasiliev, and kill him. But her assassination attempt is thwarted, and Adrian threatens that if Isolde tries kill him again, he will raise her as the undead. Faced with the possibility of becoming the thing she hates most, Isolde seeks other ways to defy him and survive the brutal vampire court. Except it isn’t the court she fears most―it’s Adrian. Despite their undeniable chemistry, she wonders why the king―fierce, savage, merciless―chose her as consort. . . The answer will shatter her world.

Scarlett St Clair is the author of the Hades x Persephone saga, the Hades saga, King of Battle and Blood, and When Stars Come Out. A former librarian, she also has a master’s degree in Library Science and Information Studies and a Bachelors in English Writing. She is obsessed with Greek Mythology, murder mysteries, and the afterlife. You can find pictures of her adorable dog Adelaide on her Instagram (@authorscarlettstclair) and updates about her books at http://www.authorscarlettstclair.

My thoughts: Isolde agrees to marry the vampire king Adrian to save her father’s kingdom, a sort of Beauty & the Beast with royalty, she doesn’t intend on falling heavily in lust and then in love with him. But she does. The sex is quite graphic, and a reminder that not all fantasy is YA. As well as that, there’s an evil witch hellbent on destroying everything, monsters keep attacking people and even Isolde’s dear old dad can’t be trusted.

Isolde realises that she can only rely on a handful of people, and most of them drink blood. But she is loyal and fierce, a warrior before a queen. She will fight and she will get answers to what is happening in Revekka. The things she learns change everything. There’s lots of fighting and blood everywhere, nothing ever seems peaceful in the vampire kingdom, some of your enemies are your own council, and it’s getting worse. The undead seem to live at a faster, more frenetic pace and few mortals can keep up. Can Isolde hold the kingdom together and help Adrian deal with the evil in his past that’s determined to destroy it?

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: The Arcane – Andrew S. French

Orphaned science nerd and maths prodigy Alice Valentine wants to ace her studies. She’s spent all her life struggling to make friends, passed between foster families and care homes, isolated and lonely. Losing herself in academia from an early age, she becomes the first sixteen-year-old at her local university. Her whole world changes, but nothing can prepare Alice for the night she’s attacked by a werewolf.
But even that isn’t as strange as discovering she has an identical twin sister, Cassie.
And Cassie kills werewolves. And all the other monsters Alice didn’t believe existed.
Alice and Cassie set off to discover what happened to their parents, a journey that takes them from northern England to the edge of the apocalypse, unsure if they will save the world or destroy it.

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Andrew French is a man of no wealth and little taste. He lives amongst faded seaside glamour on the North East coast of England. He likes gin and cats but not together, new music and old movies, curry

and ice cream. Slow bike rides and long walks to the pub are his usual exercise, as well as flicking through the pages of good books and the memoirs of bad people.

My thoughts: this was a fun supernatural novel about sisters, monsters and finding out who you are.

After being raised in the foster system, Alice is sent to university at 16, she’s super intelligent and the organisation that has looked after her since childhood has sponsored her early admission. Having possibly made her first friend, she’s attacked by a werewolf and rescued by a girl who looks just like her. And that isn’t the strangest thing that happens to her.

Cassie, Alice’s doppelganger, fights monsters. She’s very aware that they exist and some aren’t human. Her experience of foster care isn’t quite like Alice’s, and she’s a lot more worldly wise. And now the two girls want to find out who they really are, and why all of monster-dom is after them.

Alice is a scientist, and keeps trying to rationalise everything, even a vampire, while Cassie just accepts that these things are real, and kills them. But as they travel to Whitby and beyond in search of answers, even Cassie is in for a few surprises.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: The Bone Shard Emperor – Andrea Stewart

The Emperor is Dead. Long live the Emperor.  
 
Lin Sukai finally sits on the throne she won at so much cost, but her struggles are only just beginning. Her people don’t trust her. Her political alliances are weak. And in the north-east of the Empire, a rebel army of constructs is gathering, its leader determined to take the throne by force.  
 
Yet an even greater threat is on the horizon, for the Alanga–the powerful magicians of legend–have returned to the Empire. They claim they come in peace, and Lin will need their help in order to defeat the rebels and restore peace.  
 
But can she trust them?  

My thoughts: Lin is now emperor, she’s stopped the cruel practices of her father, she’s trying to keep the empire together, find out her father’s secrets, rule fairly and not fall victim to her inherited enemies. As she plans a tour of the islands, an army of constructs is gathering and other threats are coming too.

I like Lin, I feel a bit sorry for her, she’s up against an awful lot and doesn’t have many people she can trust to have her back. Even her Captain of the Guard, Jovis, has reasons to betray her. But they have to work together to solve the Alanga mystery – are they both possessed of the powers of the ancient magicians?

I also really like Jovis, and his companion Mephi, I like their relationship and the way Jovis wants to trust Lin but isn’t sure he should. I also really liked Phalue and Ranami, I think they were really interesting as they tried to govern their island and support Lin from afar. Up against their own challenges, it’s a bit like the empire in miniature.

This series just gets better and better, it’s a really enjoyable fantasy world, there’s a lot of clever, interesting things going on, the magic system is really intriguing and I enjoyed all the politics and intrigue.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: The Gift Book One; Eleanor – R.A. Williams Plus: A Giveaway!

A lush historical adventure that’s equal parts Gothic horror as it is tale of lost love, The Gift: Eleanor is the first in an exhilarating new trilogy that takes you from the Titanic to the trenches of WWI, and Honduran shipwrecks to ancient crypts in the heart of London.

The North Atlantic, 14 April 1912. Amid the chaos of the sinking Titanic, a young Eleanor Annenberg meets the eyes of a stranger and is immediately captivated. As the ship buckles around them, she follows him down into the hold and finds him leaning over an open sarcophagus, surrounded by mutilated bodies. She catches but a glimpse of what lies within before she’s sucked into a maelstrom of freezing brine and half-devoured corpses.

Elle is pulled out of the water, but the stranger – and the secrets she stumbled upon – are lost. Unintentionally, however, he leaves her a gift; one so compelling that Elle embarks on a journey that pulls her into a world of ancient evils, vicious hunters and human prey to find the man who saved her that fateful night. From trench warfare at Cape Helles in 1915 to a shipwreck in the tropical shallows off the Honduran coast, from a lost mine beneath the towering Externsteine in a Germany on the verge of war to the gothic crypts of Highgate Cemetery in London, Elle gets closer to a truth she has sought for most of her life. But at what cost? Gifts, after all, are seldom free.

An immersive gothic story spanning decades, The Gift is a compelling read that weaves the supernatural of Dracula with the adventure of Indiana Jones.

My thoughts: this was a fun, adventurous romp through early twentieth century history, a lot of it terrible, following in the footsteps of a monster who kills his own kind and recruits others to his cause. Elle spends her life in pursuit of the mysterious Balthazar, hunting him across the globe, from Michigan to Folkestone, the Caribbean to German forests, she won’t stop looking.

Hidden in the relics and artifacts of ancient civilizations are clues to the creatures known as Crimen – the Guilty. Vampiric monsters who want only to feed on the flesh of the living, they wiped whole societies out, and few references to them remain. As a ethnologist, Elle has studied these traces, putting forward a theory about them that she slowly discovers might just be right.

She risks her life to find out more, especially as Germany edges towards the Second World War, her being American doesn’t stop her being Jewish making the increasingly violent state suspicious of her. But in being sent to Britain, a place she left in 1912, she might just finally get her answers.

Elle is a sort of scientific proto-Buffy. In love with a monster, and in need of her own Scooby gang (yes I spent my teens obsessively watching the show, yes I can still quote bits of it.) She’s incredibly smart and doesn’t care much about her personal safety. Balthazar has left clues all over the world as he wades through the trenches at Gallipoli, or hunts in the Belgian Congo, for the banshee Siobhan, carving a legend along the way. Setting everything up for an incredible series of exciting and hair raising adventures.

Who wants to win a book?

Fancy winning a copy of this fantastic tale? Then simply follow me on Twitter and tweet me this password: #TheGiftisGiving you have between right now and publication day on December the 9th.

UK/Ireland only, book will be provided by the publisher. ramblingmads is not responsible for safe delivery of your prize.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: The Soul Catcher – Monica Bhide

Set in modern India in a dimension where time and space are fluid, Monica Bhide’s The Soul Catcher, a novel in stories, is a mosaic narrative about destiny, grief, loss, faith, love, and sisterhood. It takes us on a magical journey that begins with an unspeakable tragedy, and concludes with a surprising resolution. It chronicles the life of Yamini Goins — the Soul Catcher — a woman who transports souls from one body to another to keep people alive. In Yamini’s India, one set in harsh realities and far removed from tourist traps and movie cliches, anguish and death battle second opportunities and powerful prayers in an eternal dance in which magic and the impossible are mere elements of everyday life. Is death the end? What are the consequences of prolonging life by supernatural means? How does pain shape our identity?

A violent, touching, unique narrative with a great sense of place, The Soul Catchers features a diverse cast of complex characters – pain healers and lovers, parents and broken souls – that bring life and death to the page. The Soul Catcher explores that which makes us human—the desire to live, the fear of death, the longing for love and the release that comes with the acceptance of fate. Throughout the dark overtones of the interwoven tales of this book, an electric current of transcendence echoes from every page as each character attempts to shift his or her destiny to the whims of their hearts. 

Monica Bhide is an award-winning writer, accomplished literary coach, gifted poet, storyteller, and educator with a lyrical voice and universal appeal. As a bestselling fiction and internationally renowned cookbook author, Monica is known for sharing food, culture, mystery, and love in her writing. 

A respected writing authority, Monica appears regularly on NPR and conducts sold-out workshops on writing, food, culture, and scheduled speaking events at prestigious venues as the Smithsonian Institution, Sackler Gallery, Les Dames d’Escoffier, Georgetown University, and Yale University. She has taught all over the world including conferences in London, Dubai, US etc. She has also been the “Writing Coach in Residence” for the annual conference of the Association of Food Journalists.

  • Monica’s short story collection, The Devil in Us, topped the list on Kindle as a bestseller in its category of Literary Short Fiction. Her memoir, A Life of Spice, was picked by Eat Your Books as one of the top five food memoirs of 2015.
  • Top Chef’s Padma Lakshmi picked Bhide’s Modern Spice (Simon & Schuster, 2009), as one of the “Best Books Ever” for Newsweek in 2009.
  • The Chicago Tribune named Monica “one of the seven food writers to watch in 2012”.
  • In April 2012, Mashable.com picked her as one of “the top ten food writers” on Twitter.
  • Her work has garnered numerous accolades and has been included in four Best Food Writing anthologies (2005, 2009, 2010, and 2014).

As a noted international food writer, Monica has built a diverse and solid audience through her books and articles in top-tier media such as: The New York Times, The Washington Post, Ladies Home Journal, AARP-the Magazine, Parents Chicago Tribune , Christian Science Monitor, Bon Appétit, Town and Country Travel, Food and Wine, Cooking Light, Coastal Living, Health, Better Nutrition, and many others.

Monica lives in Virginia with two sons.

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My thoughts: this was a lyrical and beautiful book about love, pain, and saving lives. A magical realist novel featuring people with special gifts, from the titular soul catcher, her healer sister, a little girl who can summon the rain, another who can see the truth. Each story builds into a larger narrative connecting the soul catcher to each character along the way, as she returns to India in time to save the life of someone important to her.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: Walnut Street: Phantom Rider – Sherrill Joseph

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Welcome to book tour for Walnut Street: Phantom Rider by Sherrill Joseph. Read on for more info and a chance to enter a fantastic giveaway!

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Walnut Street: Phantom Rider (A Botanic Hill Detectives Mystery)

Publication Date: November 9th, 2021

Genre: MG Mystery/ Middle Grade (For fans of Nancy Drew type mysteries)

Objects of value have been disappearing from the Mayfield family’s rural California horse ranch. The Botanic Hill Detectives—Moki Kalani, Rani Kumar, and twins Lanny and Lexi Wyatt—are hired to come for a week to investigate.

Legend has it somewhere on the Mayfields’ forty-acre property is a long-lost gold mine. It was supposedly staked by thirteen-year-old Ben Mayfield’s five-time great-grandfather, “Papa” Mayfield, in 1875.

Adding to the excitement, a nervous Ben reveals a frightening secret to the detectives. At the ranch, he alone has seen a threatening black-clad figure on horseback whom he calls the Phantom Rider. Who is this mysterious person? Is he responsible for the thefts? Where is the lost gold mine? And what’s going on in the nearby, snake-infested ghost town of Rainbow Flats? The four intrepid detectives aim to find out.

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About the Author

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Sherrill Joseph will be forever inspired by her beautiful students in the San Diego public schools where she taught for thirty-five years before retiring and becoming a published author.

The author has peopled and themed her mysteries with characters after her own responsible, role-model students, of various abilities, disabilities, races, cultures, and interests. She strongly believes that children need to find themselves and others unlike themselves in books if all are to become accepting, anti-racist world citizens.

Her gift of lexical-gustatory synesthesia enables her to bring richer imagination to her writing.

Sherrill is the recipient of two Gold Awards from Mom’s Choice Book Awards, two Gold Awards from Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards, three awards from Story Monsters Approved, and numerous other children’s book awards. She is a member of SCBWI, the Authors Guild, and Blackbird Writers. Watch for many more adventures with the Botanic Hill Detectives!

Sherrill Joseph | Newsletter | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Win a signed, personalized paperback copy of Walnut Street: Phantom Rider, some matching book swag (bookmark & sticker), and a $10 Amazon gift card (US ONLY).

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Book Tour Schedule

November 15th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

@inkspit.blog (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/inkspit.blog/

Bunny’s Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://bookwormbunnyreviews.blogspot.com/

Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

November 16th

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.com/

Stine Writing (Review) https://christinebialczak.com/

Read & Rated (Spotlight) https://readandrated.com/

November 17th

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

   @bookz.forever (Review) https://www.instagram.com/bookz.forever/

  @love2dazzle (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/love2dazzle/

November 18th

LoopyLouLaura (Review) https://www.loopyloulaura.com/

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

Latisha’s Lowkey Life (Spotlight) https://latishaslowkeylife.com/

The Faerie Review (Spotlight) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

November 19th

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Review) https://lshadowlynauthor.com/

@wraithreads (Review) https://www.instagram.com/wraithreads/

Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com

@louturnspages (Review) https://www.instagram.com/louturnspages/

Book Tour Organized By:

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Blog Tour: Theo & the Secret of Elshon – Melanie Ansley

A rabbit with the secret ability to read. An axe wielding bear. A warrior princess.

Together, they must find the fabled Library of Elshon, and fight the human empire bent on turning animals into mindless beasts of burden.

In the sequel to the award winning “Theo and the Forbidden Language”, Theo, Brune, and Indigo must find the infamous and feared muskrat, Orjo the Terrible. For only he can lead them to the legendary Elshon, a lost library in a land where reading and writing are punishable by death. At Elshon, Theo hopes to find the cure to Pacification—the empire’s power to make animals mute and mindless.

But can they find the Library and its hidden powers before Theo’s enemy, the vengeful human warlord Ornox, hunts them down? Can they even trust the notoriously conniving Orjo? It’s a race against time and overwhelming odds as Theo and his team must test their friendship, courage, and wits to uncover the secret to defeating the empire. For fans of Redwall, the Chronicles of Narnia and Watership Down comes a fantasy adventure about faith, self-acceptance, and the power of the written word.

Add to Goodreads Available on Amazon Both books are currently free to Kindle Unlimited members.

Excerpt
Theo and his friends, the warrior rabbit princess Indigo and the bear Brune, are forced to drink with Orjo (a sly muskrat) in order to persuade him to lead them to the fabled Library of Elshon.
***
“There now! I suppose we should toast.” Orjo raised his cup. “Last to drain has manure for brains.” At their stiff expressions, he sighed. “Mankahar is losing its sense of fun along with its freedom, is it? You’ll never get me to take you to the Library if you don’t drink.”
Brune and Indigo each took cautious sips, while Theo couldn’t get beyond the smell. He pretended to drink, but kept his lips closed. Even so, he immediately wiped an arm across his mouth. Indigo made a guttural sound and nearly spat it back up.
“It tastes better once your tongue goes numb,” Orjo said, refilling their cups. “That’s the way. Now, who else knows you’re here?”
“No one,” Theo said.
“The sea bats,” Brune blurted. He looked surprised, then grimaced, as if trying to get the taste of the drink out of his mouth.
Orjo drained his cup again. “Good. Anyone else?”
“An otter rowed us here in his boat.” Indigo frowned, as if confused by her own words.
The muskrat chuckled at her expression. “Like I said, brew loosens the tongue, doesn’t it? So it sounds like you’ve exposed my whereabouts, and more than once. Doesn’t make me want to help you.”
“Even if it meant defeating the Urzoks?” Indigo pushed her cup away.
“That’s a noble cause. But I’ve found noble causes tend to be bad for your health.”
“The stories say you’re immortal,” the bear growled.
“I can live forever, if that’s what you mean. But that’s assuming something like a blade, let’s say, doesn’t find its way into my neck.” Orjo raised his cup. “To life! And longevity.”
At his expectant look, Brune downed his drink, and Indigo reluctantly pulled her cup back for a sip.
“How did you become immortal?”
“That’s a long story.” Orjo brushed Theo’s question away. “And I’m doing the asking here. Tell me about you, Griffinrider.”
“I never rode the griffin.”
Orjo made a sour face. “Some free advice, from one legend to another? Never spoil your reputation with truth, lad.”
“So your advice is to lie.” Theo sniffed his cup. It definitely didn’t smell like any liquor he’d known.
The muskrat put his eye to the bottle, then shook it and listened. “There’s a difference between lying and letting others believe what they want to believe. And I’ve enjoyed all the stories about you.”
Orjo stood, teetered unsteadily, and half walked, half groped his way to the cupboard, where he began to rummage for another bottle.
“You’re not the one who has to survive the stories.” Theo thought back to the bats. The exaggerations about him were almost more dangerous than the Urzoks themselves.
“True! My favorite is the children’s song.” Orjo pushed aside a jar, then pulled out what looked like another bottle of liquor. Not satisfied, he put it back and kept searching. “Aha!” He pulled out a third bottle and returned to the table. “Have you heard the children’s song? No? The gulls sing it once in a while when they pass through here, it goes like this:
The omatje’s riding now
Riding now, riding now
Theo the Omatje’s riding now
On his wings of flame.
Hide your gold and lock the door
Lock the door, lock the door
Hide your gold and lock the door
For Theo the omatje rides tonight.

“Infantile,” Orjo said, setting the bottle on the table and fishing out a knife from his pocket. “But catchy.”
“We need you to find the…” Indigo frowned, as if trying to herd her thoughts. “Library. And then I can kill you.”
Theo and Brune stared at her. She glared at Orjo. “There’s something in this brew!”
“I told you, brew makes conversation flow.” Orjo leaned forward. “So you want me to take you to the Library, and then kill me. Is that your plan?”
“No!”
“Yes.”
Theo had never seen Indigo drunk. She had the occasional cup of ale, he knew, but she was too keen on control to ever let it get any edge on her. But she clearly had no control of her words and seemed to know it.
“Well, Theo,” Orjo commented. “Seems you don’t know your own friends’ intentions. Doesn’t make me trust you.”
“Orjo, no one is killing anyone! We just want to find the Library,” Theo insisted.
Now Brune was swaying a little, eyes glazed. Theo had a sudden, random memory of his best friend Pozzi from Willago, who’d always argued that drinking brew was like sport. You got better at it with practice. How practiced was Orjo? Could he possibly outdrink a bear ten times his weight?
Pop.
Orjo had managed to work the wood cork out of the bottle and began refilling the cups. “The cups don’t lie, Theo.”
The cups.
Theo cursed his stupidity, and snatched the drink from Indigo’s paw. But it was too late. She slumped over the table. Brune stared at her, blinking.
“The cups…” The bear managed a slur of words and tried to stand, but his legs wouldn’t cooperate. Bottles and sheaves of paper flew as the giant crashed into the wall, then slid to the ground, blinking.
“You poisoned them!” Theo scrambled to his feet and put a paw to Indigo’s nose. She was breathing. Brune tried to push himself up on the toolbox, but only managed to knock it over before succumbing to the brew and lying still.
Orjo calmly poured himself another serving. “I said the brew wasn’t poisoned. And it wasn’t.”
“What do you call this then?”
The muskrat smiled. “A very simple truth tonic that I dipped the cups in. I needed to know who you told about my island. But if you manage to kill me, they’ll wake up with nothing but nasty headaches and the thirst of a four-humped camel.”
Theo clumsily freed Indigo’s sword from her scabbard, trying to keep his paws from shaking. “And if I don’t?”
The muskrat wiped his lips with his sleeve and stood. His smile, unlike his stance, was disturbingly sober. “Then I kill all of you.”

Melanie was born in Windsor, Ontario to a Chinese mother and a Canadian father, and grew up in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Beijing. She spent grades one to three in a Chinese primary school with concrete floors and no heating, so when she moved to a school with carpets and its very own library, she thought she’d gone to heaven. She spent all her free time devouring books of every kind—including ones that most adults probably wouldn’t recommend for children. Animal Farm, Watership Down, and The Chronicles of Narnia became staples, with a generous helping of Stephen King thrown in. She is currently a producer and screenwriter, with an MFA from USC in film producing. Over her diverse career she has directed a zombie film, been held at gunpoint, and had the good fortune to work with some of her idols. She lives with her husband and two impossibly energetic children in Ballarat, Australia.

Melanie enjoys writing dark fantasy stories about the power of language, self-acceptance, and the courage to stand up for one’s beliefs. Her first novel, Theo and the Forbidden Language, was the winner of Best YA at the 2018 IndieReader Discovery Awards, and the sequel, Theo and the Secret of Elshon, will be released November 2021.

Want to know about future releases and get a FREE book? Sign up to her reader’s list at https://www.melanieansley.com/subscribe

Melanie Ansley | Facebook | Twitter

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Theo and the Forbidden Language (The Book of Theo #1)

For fans of Watership Down, Redwall, Lord of the Rings, and Dragon Riders of Pern comes a fantasy adventure about courage, friendship, and the power of the written word.

In the land of Mankahar, where reading and writing are punishable by death, a battle is raging. The human empire is robbing animals of speech using a poison called “pacification,” and is marching to the furthest corners of the land to enslave creatures large and small. The only thing standing against them is the Order, a society of free animals determined to defend their way of life. On the western fringes of Mankahar, the rabbit Theo hides a secret: he knows the forbidden language, the symbols used to “catch words”. When his village exiles him, he joins Brune, an axe wielding bear and loyal member of the Order, in the epic fight against the empire. But the Order’s cause proves dangerous. Whom can Theo trust, when the empire punishes those who read or write with death? Worse, his fellow animals view the written word as sacrilegious. As the war for Mankahar’s fate looms, Theo must risk everything to learn the full power of the forbidden language, or be silenced forever.

Available on Amazon

My thoughts: growing up most of my favourite books were ones with animal characters (Black Beauty, Narnia, Redwall Abbey, the collective works of Dick King-Smith, KM Peyton, The Animals of Farthing Wood, City Cats and many, many more, all of them rife with traumatic storylines in many ways) And of course I read Watership Down, another deeply traumatising book and one I was definitely a bit too young for (I think I was about 6 or 7). I still have the slightly tatty paperback copy I found in our house when we moved in.

So I was excited to read about Theo and his friends. I recommend reading the first book so you know all the ins and outs of the world Theo lives in and why he’s so special. It also helps to understand the world building and mythology underpinning the friends quest in this book.

In this installment of Theo’s adventures, the naive bunny and his friends, set off in search of the mythical library of Elshon, where Theo will hopefully be able to find a way to stop the Uroks (humans) and reverse the grim pacification process that robs animals of their speech and intelligence. Along the way they meet new friends and enemies, and Theo has be braver than ever.

This is a really fun series, although definitely not for children as it is violent and some scenes are upsetting – no one likes to think of animals hurt or killed, even by sword wielding animals! I like the magic system being words and Theo’s ability to read being what makes him so special – all the answers they need are in books. I like Theo, his journey towards being a hero is interesting and he uses his herb knowledge to help others as well as his “word catching”. His friends, Brune and Isabel are brave and supportive, they’re much more battle hardened than Theo is but they help him in other ways too. I hope there’s more adventures to come.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Book Release Blitz: Deadly Scars – Natalie J. Reddy

Happy publication day to Natalie J. Reddy!

Today we are celebrating the release of Deadly Scars, book 4 in her Scars of Days Forgotten series! Read on for more info!

eBook - Deadly Scars (2)

Deadly Scars (Scars of Days Forgotten Series #4)

Publication Date: November 16th, 2021

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal Romance

Nothing is as it seems. No one is safe. 

Wren is alive, but she’s not happy about it. Not when she’s in the clutches of The Council and soul-linked to Darshan, a man whose misplaced loyalties have gotten far too many killed. From the moment she wakes up in the Council’s fortress in the Mountains, she is desperate to find a way out and back to Misha and the Resistance. But this time there will be no rescue. Not when the Resistance thinks she’s dead. 

Now a Commander in the Psi Army, Darshan is determined to protect those he cares for and stop the Council. But he can’t do it alone. There are still so many secrets he doesn’t have answers to, and every choice he makes could be a death sentence to someone he loves. He and Wren soon realize that to get what they want they need to work together and play the parts the Council has set out for them. But can they trust each other? Or will one of them end up betraying the other?  

Misha believes he watched the woman he loves die the death that was meant for him and now he’s bent on revenge. But his revenge is put on hold when Psi begin attacking humans and draining them of blood. As he, Greta, and those left with the Resistance begin to investigate, things only get worse and more confusing. And soon the Psi attacks aren’t the only ones they have to worry about. 

Because something worse is coming. Something that might make monsters of us all.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

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Natalie J. Reddy is a Canadian Author who spends her days trying to escape reality by making up stories about the characters in her head.

Natalie realized at an early age that she had a passion for storytelling and that passion followed her into adulthood. There is nothing she loves more than to be pulled into a fictional world whether it’s in her own writing or the writing of others. Natalie is the author of the Scar of Days Forgotten series, a New Adult Urban Fantasy series with characters who have supernatural abilities and dark and sometimes unknown pasts to overcome.

When she’s not writing, Natalie can be found having all sorts of real-life adventures with her husband and daughter or curled up with a good book and a cup of tea. 

To keep up to date on upcoming books, subscribe to Natalie’s newsletter at nataliejreddy.com

Natalie J. Reddy | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

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Cover Reveal: Thine Eyes of Mercy – Danielle M. Orsino

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Welcome to the cover reveal for Danielle M. Orsino’s novel, Thine Eyes of Mercy (Birth of the Fae #2) which is the highly anticipated follow up to Locked Out of Heaven!

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Birth of the Fae: Thine Eyes of Mercy, Book Two

Expected Publication Date: December 2021

Genre: Fantasy

Queen Aurora, monarch of the Court of Light Fae and King Jarvok, Leader of the Court of Dark Fae are exhausted and battle worn after centuries of fighting. A war of attrition   had taken its toll upon their kin and power bases.

What happens when you have to give in to your enemy?

All wars eventually end even magical ones. The Dark and Light Fae have set their elemental magick and weapons down but, all is not quiet in the Veil…

King Jarvok was confident his army could win the war, but at what cost? It was time to act like a King not a power hungry megalomaniac. That was his Creator’s title not his. He reaches out to Queen Aurora, and the Treaty of Bodhicitta is signed.

The treaty promises the Fae will never spill each other’s blood again. Rules for their human worshipers are put into place. The Court of Dark must not interfere with humans in a malignant way, but they can act as gods and goddesses of atonement. The Court of Light can return to acting as advisors to the European royal families, as they have done for centuries.

However, Queen Aurora and King Jarvok will learn that while they were playing war games, their humans have changed and moved away from the old ways.

The two monarchs face unknown challenges in a world where Christianity not paganism is the new power.

Sometimes the devil you know is better than the one you do not.

Coming Soon!

Locked Out of Heaven (Birth of the Fae #1)

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Ride on the backs of fire-breathing dragons with the Dark Fae and watch the Light Fae play in the shadows of primitive humanity as they build their magical world.
Abandoned by their creator, two factions of powerful angels remain on earth after the Great War with Lucifer. They struggle to comprehend their Creator’s plan while their angel wings, a symbol of their angelic lineage, slowly and painfully decay. With no hope of returning to the Shining Kingdom, two groups of angels denounce their angelic lineage and develop into separate factions – the Court of Light, led by Queen Aurora, a former Virtue Angel, and the Court of Dark, ruled by King Jarvok, a former Power Brigade Angel. The two monarchs have opposing views on how to govern their kin, but the one belief they agree on is that human worship equals power.
Birth of the Fae: Locked Out of Heaven is an epic-fantasy adventure of heartbreak, rebirth, and hope that examines the bonds of family, friendship, and love. It is a fantastic tale of good versus evil in a beautiful world, where the Light Fae and their potent elemental magick are tested by the raw power of the dragon-riding Dark Fae warriors.
They are their own beings and masters of their own destiny. They are the Fae.

About the Author

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Danielle M Orsino, destined to be a writer from a young age, was working as a nurse and treating a patient who needed some distractions during long I.V. Treatment sessions. So, Orsino reached back to a forgotten skill, A childhood dream. Danielle had wanted to be a writer and so she decided to tell a story. Little did she know the seed would grow into a fantastically epic adventure of heartbreak, hope and rebirth — Birth of Fae: Locked Out of Heaven. Drawing from her passion for comic books, Cosplay and fantasy along with her expert martial arts expertise, Orsino brings forth an electric and hopeful debut.

Danielle is taking on her biggest challenge to date: taking the story born from the long treatment sessions with a patient into a fantasy book series-Birth of the Fae: Locked out of Heaven. Expanding her love of writing, comics and exploring the world of fantasy novels, she delves into the realm of fairies and retells their origins from a completely new perspective. Orsino has a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and Exercise science and is an LPN with a special interest in Lyme disease research. Orsino has been widely recognized from her influence and experience in martial arts realm, training for over 20 years and with over 500 tournament wins, and accumulating national and world titles. She has performed for former President of the United States Bill Clinton and has been featured on “Soap Talk, Fox Five news CBS, TLC and E! With this experience, she worked as a Fight Choreographer on ”Wonder Woman: Balance of Power” and has worked with the likes of martial arts legend Vincent Lyn and WWE marvel and action star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Nothing Danielle ever does is simple, look at what NY times Bestselling author Clete Barrett Smith has to say about her debut endeavor: “After summoning this world into existence through an imaginative force of will, Danielle has scoured every inch of the landscape several times over. Critics often praise a story’s world building by saying that it feels “lived in.” Well, the world of the Fae certainly seems like that because Danielle herself has happily lived there for years as she worked to put all of this together…My favorite part of this story is that it is gloriously depicted in vibrant images.

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