blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Lycanthropy & Other Chronic Illnesses – Kristen O’Neal*

Teen Wolf meets Emergency Contact in this sharply observed, hilarious, and heartwarming debut young adult novel about friendship and the hairy side of chronic illness.

Priya worked hard to pursue her premed dreams at Stanford, but a diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease during her sophomore year sends her back to her loving but overbearing family in New Jersey—and leaves her wondering if she’ll ever be able to return to the way things were.

Thankfully she has her online pen pal, Brigid, and the rest of the members of “oof ouch my bones,” a virtual support group that meets on Discord to crack jokes and vent about their own chronic illnesses.

When Brigid suddenly goes offline, Priya does something out of character: she steals the family car and drives to Pennsylvania to check on Brigid. Priya isn’t sure what to expect, but it isn’t the horrifying creature that’s shut in the basement.

With Brigid nowhere to be found, Priya begins to puzzle together an impossible but obvious truth: the creature might be a werewolf—and the werewolf might be Brigid. As Brigid’s unique condition worsens, their friendship will be deepened and challenged in unexpected ways, forcing them to reckon with their own ideas of what it means to be normal.

My thoughts: as someone with several chronic illnesses (so much fun guessing what’s trying to kill me today) I totally related to Priya and her friends, life is no fun when everything hurts.

The book is laugh out loud hilarious as Priya and Brigid, with the assistance of their Discord server pals and hot animal control guy Spencer, attempt to cure Brigid’s lycanthropy, and help her stop wolfing out. I loved the scientific approach they tried to take and then abandoned for slightly mad “cures” from old folkloric books in the antique shop Brigid works in.

I also loved their friendship, the way that they bonded over old TV shows and stupid internet jokes and being let down constantly by your own body – cos hard same.

I can’t believe this is a first novel, it’s so strong and well written and enjoyable, can’t wait to see what the author does next.

And now I have to go take my meds. Fun.

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

Blog Tour: Jukebox Hero – Jason Stuart*

It’s Back to the ’80’s like never before!

Things aren’t all rainbows and cupcakes at the corner of Elm and E streets. Molly Slater just wants to forget everything she can’t remember and play heavy metal with her best friend in the garage. And maybe get a date for prom if he’s not a skeeze.

But someone in this ‘burb has been killing redheads, and Molly has the reddest hair of them all.

When a night of babysitting gone wrong gets her in the crosshairs of the local gang scene, Molly discovers fabulous secrets about herself.

The hunted becomes the hunter as she prowls the darkness that has crept into her sleepy town. But a far more sinister force, some thing from another world, has other plans in store for her…

Excerpt

“Sister Christian” 

—Night Ranger, 1983

Three standing grandfather clocks gazed down at her that morning, ten years to the day since they found her wandering alone with no memory—not even a name.

There, at the corner of Elm and E Street, Molly Slater (the name they’d given her) gripped her Fender Stratocaster like it were a weapon forged for her hands. Her fingerless gloves whispered at the strings, ready to saw down some serious noise. Jordache jacket with the sleeves ripped off at the shoulder. Purple lipstick and double-earrings. Corvette red hair. Bette Davis Eyes. 

The garage smelled like the early morning—no other sound but her Cons slapping the dewy concrete. She kicked away shorted out gizmos and various half-finished contraptions littering the cold slab floor. Hoyt, her foster dad, fancied himself the inventor. Any day now he’d invent their way into riches untold. Any day now.

Those grandfather clocks ticked at her as she plugged into the Peavey. More of Hoyt’s tinkering, thinking he could set his machines by them. Each triggered a different chain reaction every morning. One fed the dog. Another opened the garage to the day. A third…well it never worked anyway. She stared at them, as did they her in return. They held no judgment, only the looming doom of the impending hour. 

As the garage doors groaned, opening to the dim autumn light outside, she cranked up and twist-tuned her axe. She gave it a gooseneck and sliced right in. Mötley. Halen. Bowie. Duran. Whitesnake. Saxon. Maiden! Fluidly, she moved from one riff to another. She was totally, epically zoned. 

She lived in that fifteen minutes. 

Those granddads thundered their terrible news. 

The parentals shouted. 

“Shut that racket off! You’re gonna be late, I swear to every god,” the mother said. As if there were gods. Molly just shook her head, put up the guitar and grabbed her bag. “And put on a hat on that red hair. I don’t want you getting murdered by that maniac!” 

So dramatic. Like anything that interesting could ever happen. 

She always knew it would be like this.

Available on Amazon

Jason Stuart is from the ’80’s. He came through that cocaine-fueled fever dream and lived to tell this story. Find him on Twitter: @raiseaholler on IG @80sinsane and Facebook.com/raiseaholler. This is his 4th book. And, no, that’s not his real hair. 
Burnt Bridge

My thoughts:

This was a fun read, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect but between the 80s setting (and fashions), the music references, and Molly being absolutely kickass, whether fighting bad guys or rocking out hard, I really enjoyed it. Probably helps that I love 80s teen movies – especially John Hughes’ classics.

Molly’s friends, and her brother (and his friends) are a pretty cool bunch, I loved Lydia in her Goth get up driving her brother’s monster truck, that image really amused me.

Win a signed copy of the book plus two 80s movie nox sets (International) Enter by following the image link.

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

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Heir to the Darkmage – Lisa Cassidy*

Ambition drives her. Danger thrills her. But magic always has a price.
Twenty years have passed since the Darkmage was destroyed and the war between mages ended.

For Lira Astor, the single living heir to the Darkmage, escaping her name is impossible.

People still fear what is long dead, and they see in her the rise of another dangerous mage with deadly ambition. Desperate to claw her way free of her grandfather’s shadow, to make her own name amongst the world of mages, Lira is willing to do whatever it takes. Even if that means
joining the secretive rebel group looking to restore his vision.

Survival is a lesson Lira learned early and often, yet when she is abducted and held prisoner in a deadly game of cat and mouse, she finds herself facing a nemesis she may be no match for.

Forced to band together with unlikely allies who challenge everything she believes about what it means to be a mage, she will have to rely on every bit of ruthlessness she possesses.
Because the war may only just be beginning…

…and Lira Astor intends to come out on top.

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Lisa is a self-published fantasy author by day and book nerd in every other spare moment she has.

She’s a self-confessed coffee snob (don’t try coming near her with any of that instant coffee rubbish)
but is willing to accept all other hot drink aficionados, even tea drinkers.

She lives in the Australia’s capital city, Canberra, and like all Australians, is pretty much in constant danger from highly poisonous spiders, crocodiles, sharks, and drop bears, to name a few. As you can see, she is also pro-Oxford comma.

A 2019 SPFBO finalist, Lisa has published the YA fantasy series The Mage Chronicles, and is currently
working on her latest epic fantasy series A Tale of Stars and Shadow. She has also partnered up with One Girl, an Australian charity working to build a world where all girls have access to quality education. A world where all girls — no matter where they are born or how much money they have — enjoy the same rights and opportunities as boys. A percentage of all Lisa’s royalties go to One Girl.

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My thoughts:

A lot happens in this quite short novel, we meet Lira, the granddaughter of the notorious Darkmage, a man she’s never even met, but whose reputation causes her fellow students to cower away from her.

Her story, the death of her mother, a childhood spent first in an orphanage, then on the streets, joining a criminal gang just to stay alive, before becoming a student and learning how to control her magic.

When she and several other students are kidnapped, supposedly her supporters of her grandfather, she must escape and save her newfound friends, without looking too suspicious – she is a spy after all.

Fast paced, intelligent and darkly comic, this is a smart and engaging YA fantasy novel, with more to follow as Lira works to bring down the enemies of the state, without revealing her beliefs or becoming too much like her grandfather.

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

books

Cover Reveal: Judgement Day – Josie Jaffrey

I’m a big fan of Josie’s books so I’m thrilled to share her next book’s purple-licious cover. All the info and pre-order links are below.

RELEASE DATE: 6 May 2021

Vampires don’t get happily ever afters.

Jack Valentine finally has her shit together. She has a great job, great friends (well, one at least) and a girlfriend whom she loves, even if she can’t work up the courage to tell her that yet. Unfortunately, she also has an archnemesis who’s about to punish her crimes in the worst possible way: by making her spend time with him.

Which she could cope with, maybe, if she didn’t have problems at work as well. When the body of a human judge is found in a locked library, there’s no denying that she was murdered by one of the Silver – by a vampire – and the evidence points worryingly close to home. If that wasn’t bad enough, some of Jack’s least favourite people are opening a new blood bar in Oxford with questionable motives. For Jack and her team, it’s becoming increasingly hard to separate allies from enemies.

With conspiracies on every side, the simmering tensions in Silver society are about to come to a head. As usual, Jack intends to be right in the middle of it. She does like it when things get messy.

Judgement Day is the second book in Josie Jaffrey’s Seekers series, an urban fantasy series set in Oxford, England.

Pre-order Website Goodreads

blog tour, books

Readalong: Mer-May – Tenebrasco by Hannah Reed

mer may

I have a fun announcement for you all! 

Starting May 1st, there will be a read-along of Hannah Reed’s YA Fantasy, Tenebrasco! The read-along will last a month and each week there will be specific chapters to read. Of course, people can read at their own pace too. Starting today, you can download Tenebrasco for free until the 17th (April 15 – 17) from Amazon!

Each weekend one of the hosts will do an IG live to talk about the chapters of the book that week, themes within the book, mermaids and even interview the author. 

Throughout MerMay there will be competitions, prizes and a free giveaway! 

Anyone who joins will also receive a bonus epilogue to Tempus, the final book in the Pearl Wielders series!

Book Cover

Mermay Read-Along!

Tenebrasco 

Publication Date: July 2019

Genre: YA Fantasy/ Mermaids

Mer. Magic. Adventure.

Princess April Meridia is preparing for the long awaited Peace Treaty to unite the mer and legged after centuries divided. The most powerful mera under the sea her only instruction for the evening is to look ‘pretty and harmless’.

But when peace is threatened and April’s powers start acting strangely it is time for her to take control.

Amazon

About the Author

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Hannah Reed writes YA contemporary fantasy. Her latest novel ‘Essentia’ Book 2 of the Pearl Wielder Trilogy is out now (available on Amazon).

Her first novel ‘Tenebrasco’ was published in July 2019 and is the debut novel in the Pearl Wielder Trilogy.

Hannah grew up in Jersey, Channel Islands which was never more than 10 minutes away from a beach. She is addicted to ice cream, has an unhealthy relationship with chocolate and is trying to learn to love running.

Currently, Hannah is living in Canada and is waiting patiently to see a Moose!

Hannah Reed | Instagram | Goodreads 

Hosts: @fierymermaidbooks @tabz_talks_tales @thewritingsofhannah #mermayreadalong (Instagram)

Book Blitz Organized By:

R&R Book Tours

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Prison Healer – Lynette Noni*


Seventeen-year-old Kiva Meridan has spent the last ten years fighting for survival in the notorious death prison, Zalindov, working as the prison healer.
When the Rebel Queen is captured, Kiva is charged with keeping the terminally ill woman alive long enough for her to undergo the Trial by Ordeal: a series of elemental challenges against the torments of air, fire, water, and earth, assigned to only the most dangerous of criminals.
Then a coded message from Kiva’s family arrives, containing a single order: “Don’t let her die. We are coming.” Aware that the Trials will kill the sickly queen, Kiva risks her own life to volunteer in her place. If she succeeds, both she and the queen will be granted their freedom.
But no one has ever survived.
With an incurable plague sweeping Zalindov, a mysterious new inmate fighting for Kiva’s heart, and a prison rebellion brewing, Kiva can’t escape the terrible feeling that her trials have only just begun.
From bestselling author Lynette Noni comes a dark, thrilling YA fantasy perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, and Sabaa Tahir.

Click on the poster to buy tickets to Lynette’s only UK event.

My thoughts:

This was so, so good. I really enjoyed it, it reminded me of Brandon Sanderson’s The Final Empire series and Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series, all the amazing protagonists escape terrible prisons and fight their way to the top.

But this book takes place in the prison, you’re in Kiva’s suffering with her, the way she’s treated by both guards and other prisoners, her fears and hopes, her quiet days in the prison infirmary treating the sick and new arrivals.

But one of those new arrivals shakes up her existence – and offers new hope even if her family never come. But there are complications ahead, and inmates keep dying of a strange stomach virus.

I couldn’t put this down, it was so gripping and clever, enjoyable and I am so excited for book two, which I now have to wait for. If you want an epic new adventure series with a brilliant protagonist and excellent supporting characters, read this one.

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

blog tour, books

Book Blitz: The Demon of Yodak – Adria Carmichael

TheDemonofYodok

I’m happy to share YA Dystopian novel, The Demon of Yodok! Read on for book details and a chance to win a signed hardcover edition. Oh and for all of you book reviewers, you can request a copy of this exciting book from R&R Book Tours!

Juche part one - eBook - Copy

Demon of Yodok

Genre: YA Dystopian

A highly addictive Young Adult Dystopian Survival series that will keep you glued to the pages.

JUCHE [dʒuːtʃe]

Just when Areum, daughter of a privileged family in the totalitarian state of Choson, thought she was free from her personal prison, her world collapses around her as her family are taken away in the middle of the night to a hell-like camp in the mountains where people who have strayed from the righteous path are brutally re-educated through blood, sweat, tears and starvation.

There she has to fight for survival together with the family she hates and is forced to re-evaluate every aspect of her life until then – her deep resentment toward her twin sister; her view of her father in face of the mounting evidence he is a traitor with the blood of millions of fellow countrymen on his hands; and even her love and affection for the Great General – the eternal savior and protector of Choson, whom she had always considered her true father.

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Available on Amazon!

About the Author

AC Logo 2

Adria Carmichael is a writer of Young Adult Dystopian fiction with a twist. When she is not devouring dystopian and post-apocalyptic content in any format – books, movies, TV-series and PlayStation games – she is crafting the epic and highly-addictive Juche saga, her 2020 debut novel series that takes place in the brutal, totalitarian nation of Choson. When the limit of doom and gloom is reached, a 10K run on a sunny day or binging a silly sitcom on a rainy day is her go-to way to unwind.

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Giveaway: For a chance to win a signed hardcover edition of The Demon of Yodok, click the link below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveway will run from today until April 15th!

Book Blitz Organized By:

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blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Gifted – Andy Lewer*

The last thing Abigail Everett thought would happen over spring break was having her world shift into an entirely new perspective. Unfortunately for her, that’s exactly what happened.

Between struggling to master her newly-formed abilities, coming face-to-face with dark, deceiving mind tricks by those that seek her leadership, and learning of a mythical world that she never deemed possible, Abigail risks everything with the future of mankind and the safety of its’ people in her hands.

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Now Available on Amazon!

Andy is an urban fantasy/fictional writer that loves a healthy dose of character development. She’s a true Potter-head at heart with a deep love of nature, cooking, and comfy clothes. Andy is constantly plotting and pondering her works to come and has many exciting things in store.

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My thoughts:

This was an interesting take on the teenager discovers they have special powers trope, as Abby’s newly appeared heritage puts her in danger. There are two factions who both want her to lead, but for different reasons. Unfortunately she’s in the dark about all of this and makes mistakes.

The book was fairly short and sweet, setting up the conflicts to come – between the two sides but also within Abby, and between the bad boy who says he loves her and the best friend who’s loved her for years.


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

blog tour, books

Blog Tour: Lore of Prometheus – Graham Austin-King

John Carver has three rules: Don’t drink in the daytime, don’t gamble when the luck has gone, and don’t talk to the dead people who come to visit.
It has been almost five years since the incident in Kabul. Since the magic stirred within him and the stories began. Fleeing the army, running from the whispers, the guilt, and the fear he was losing his mind, Carver fell into addiction, dragging himself through life one day at a time.
Desperation has pulled him back to Afghanistan, back to the heat, the dust, and the truth he worked so hard to avoid. But there are others, obsessed with power and forbidden magics, who will stop at nothing to learn the truth of his gifts. Abducted and chained, Carver must break more than his own rules if he is to harness this power and survive

About the Author

Graham Austin-King was born in the south of England and weaned on broken swords and half-forgotten spells.

A shortage of these forced him to consume fantasy novels at an ever-increasing rate, turning to computers and tabletop gaming between meals.

He experimented with writing at the beginning of an education that meandered through journalism, international relations, and law. To this day he is committed to never allowing those first efforts to reach public eyes.

After spending a decade in Canada learning what ‘cold’ really means, and being horrified by poutine, he settled once again in the UK with a seemingly endless horde of children.

To date he is the author of five novels, drawing on a foundation of literary influences ranging from David Eddings to Clive Barker.

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blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Fall of Koli – M.R. Carey*

Read my reviews of Part One and Part Two of The Rampart Trilogy


M. R. Carey’s Rampart Trilogy is ‘an epic post-apocalyptic fable’ (Kirkus), set in a future where nature has turned against us. Now, in the breathtaking final chapter, the world that was lost comes back to haunt those who survived – as Koli’s journey comes to its astonishing close.

My thoughts:

Koli, Cup and Ursala have made it to The Sword of Albion, but all is not right there and they and their cyber pal Monono must pull out all the stops to escape from more danger.

Meanwhile in Mythen Rood, war with Half-Ax and the so-called Peacemaker is coming and all they can do is prepare to fight. Spinner really comes into her own as she plans and schemes to get the advantage. They may be few but they’re brave.

As the various plots and adventures start to weave towards the finale of this trilogy set in a possible future, Koli grows up and starts to see what he can accomplish with friends by his side and the good kind of tech (although Monono has her darker moments too).

This was probably my favourite of the three books chronicling Koli’s life and times, partly because he felt like a much more developed character, in keeping with the increase in his knowledge and the shedding of his naivetè. But Cup and Monono are still my favourite characters, both know who and what they are and are stronger for 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.