blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Queen of Volts – Amanda Foody*

Return to the City of Sin, where the final game is about to begin… and winning will demand the ultimate sacrifice.

Only days after a corrupt election and brutal street war, one last bloodthirsty game has begun. The players? The twenty-two most powerful, notorious people in New Reynes.

After realizing they have no choice but to play, Enne Scordata and Levi Glaisyer are desperate to forge new alliances and bargain for their safety. But while Levi offers false smiles and an even falser peace to the city’s politicians, Enne must face a world where her true Mizer identity has been revealed… and any misstep could turn deadly.

Meanwhile, a far more dangerous opponent has appeared on the board, one plucked right from the most gruesome legends of New Reynes. As the game takes its final, vicious turn, Levi and Enne must decide once and for all whether to be partners or enemies.

Because in a game for survival, there are only losers…

And monsters.

My thoughts:

I had to go back and read the first two books before I read this because it has been a while and I couldn’t remember who all the players were. I’m glad I did as it reminded me what a great story this trilogy weaves.

Set in a Las Vegas/New York/New Orleans mash up city (New Raynes) replete with gangsters, gamblers, ruthless street gangs and eerie buildings, there are mysteries, conspiracies and deadly secrets around every corner and someone invariably wants you dead.

Enne and Levi have been through a lot and the newest deadly game they’ve been thrust into might just be the one that finishes them off.

With high speed cars, undrinkable cocktails, sky high heels, and death stalking their every move, the stakes have never been higher and even Levi can’t cheat his way out of this one.

Tremendous fun, fast paced, clever, funny and very enjoyable.

*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: Vultures – Luke Tarzian*

An enemy slain is not a conflict won…

After decades of war the demon Te Mirkvahíl is dead. But its progeny endure, spilling from the Heart of Mirkúr, sowing death across the land of Ariath. If the people are to finally know peace, the Heart must be destroyed. Theailys An believes he can do just that with The Keepers’ Wrath, an infamous power focus wrought in Ariath’s yesteryears–but the weapon first must be reforged.

War spares no one…

Serece never intended to get involved in Ariath’s war. But history and demons have a way of pulling strings. When she learns Theailys An, a man whom she abhors, bears striking similarity to the first creator of The Keepers’ Wrath, Serece departs her mountain world for Ariath to ascertain the truth.

From patience, hope…

For millennia Behtréal has walked the world alone. Rewriting history to resurrect his people is easier said than done. But Ariath holds the key–soon The Keepers’ Wrath will be remade.

Truth from madness…

As paths converge and a shadow falls across Ariath, one thing becomes increasingly and horrifyingly clear–these events have played out many times before.

Goodreads

My thoughts:

There is a lot happening in Vultures and it took me a little while to work out all the plotlines and players, but I could see how it all starts to come together and things fell into place as it went along.

The various characters all have things they want and goals they’re working for, often unknowingly against each other, there’s strange dreams, alliances that perhaps are terrible ideas and monsters lurking round assorted corners.

There’s a strong sense that all of this has happened before and that not everyone has all the details. Some of the characters are unwitting pawns in a conflict that started a long time ago.

I imagine that the story will flesh out more in books two and three, as the murky plot underpinning the events starts to come further into the light.

*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

Bookstagram Tour: A Clock of Stars; The Shadow Moth – Francesca Gibbons, illustrated by Chris Riddell*

Today I’m over on Instagram sharing my thoughts on a new book, come and follow the tour!

With all the magic of Narnia and the humour of Mary Poppins, this is a future middle grade fantasy classic – and the beginning of an unforgettable journey…

Imogen should be nice to her little sister Marie. She should be nice to her mum’s boyfriend too. And she certainly shouldn’t follow a strange silver moth through a door in a tree.
But then… who does what they’re told?

Followed by Marie, Imogen finds herself falling into a magical kingdom where the two sisters are swept up in a thrilling race against time – helped by the spoiled prince of the kingdom, a dancing bear, a very grumpy hunter… and even the stars above them.

Goodreads

Amazon

FRANCESCA GIBBONS worked as a copywriter at a marketing agency before leaving to focus on her career as a children’s author. The Shadow Moth is her debut novel. It was inspired by the gardens she visited as a child, and her love of folklore and monsters. It is the first book in the Clock of Stars trilogy.

Twitter

My thoughts:

This was a tremendously fun read, with excellent illustrations from the legendary Chris Riddell.

First in a new trilogy, this felt like the work of an accomplished writer, not a debut author, weaving elements of Narnia, folklore and fantasy together in a new and fun way.

While I am several decades older than the intended audience I can see this being a winner with readers of all ages, the three protagonists are engaging and the relationship between sisters Imogen and Marie reminded me of that between my own younger sister and me (little sisters are just so annoying!)

A fantastic new writer has entered the shelves of great fantasy writing and I can’t wait to see what book two brings.

*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: Twisted Beauty- Kristen Flood*

THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN LOSING EVERYTHING . . .

IS FORGETTING WHAT YOU LOST.

THE BEAST

Once the powerful prince of Renol, William is a shell of the man he once was. Living under the curse of a powerful witch, William has spent 100 years making deals on her behalf and mourning the loss of his first love.

THE BEAUTY

Belle has spent her life confined within the limits of her city, Paylor, and is now bound to a man she does not love. When she dares to venture outside the city’s gates in search of something she’s lost, she finds more than she ever expected.

As Belle and William embark on a journey of love and mourning, passion and forgiveness, they discover that sometimes what we lose isn’t as important as what we find.

This book is recommended for mature audiences and features adult content such as sex, language, and violence. If you are into that kind of thing, dive on in.

Kristen Flood is an Adult Romance and YA science fiction author and poet. At twenty-two, Kristen published her first book, The Museum: A Collection of Dark Poetry. Since she has released two more books. Her third book, Twisted Beauty, is awaiting its sequel this Winter. Kristen lives in Missouri with her husband, son, and newborn baby girl. When she’s not writing or chasing her toddler she spends her time playing board games, sword fighting and planning her next adventure. Kristen plans to release two more books in 2021.

Amazon

My thoughts:

Loosely inspired by Beauty & the Beast, with hints of other fairy tales, this is a dark and twisted story about love that survives and the cruelty we inflict on each other.

William lives under a curse and has to make deals on behalf of a witch, waiting for true love to break her spell, believing his beloved is long dead. When he meets Belle, they make a deal that sees her become his servant and moves to his hidden castle.

As they seek a way to break the curse, they begin to fall for one another, but Belle is having strange dreams and remembering things that seem to have taken place a hundred years ago.

*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: Vampires Never Get Old – edited by Zoraida Cordova & Natalie C. Parker*

In this delicious new collection, you’ll find stories about lurking vampires of social media, rebellious vampires hungry for more than just blood, eager vampires coming out―and going out for their first kill―and other bold, breathtaking, dangerous, dreamy, eerie, iconic, powerful creatures of the night.

Welcome to the evolution of the vampire―and a revolution on the page.

Vampires Never Get Old includes stories by authors both bestselling and acclaimed, including Samira Ahmed, Dhonielle Clayton, Zoraida Córdova and Natalie C. Parker, Tessa Gratton, Heidi Heilig, Julie Murphy, Mark Oshiro, Rebecca Roanhorse, Laura Ruby, Victoria “V. E.” Schwab, and Kayla Whaley.

Goodreads| Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Bookshop.org

Zoraida Córdova

Zoraida Córdova is the author of many fantasy novels, including the award-winning Brooklyn Brujas series, Incendiary, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: A Crash of Fate, and The Way to Rio Luna. Her short fiction has appeared in the New York Times bestselling anthology Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View, Star Wars: Clone Wars Stories of Light and Dark, and Come On In. She is the co-editor of Vampires Never Get Old. She is the co-host of the writing podcast, Deadline City, with Dhonielle Clayton. Zoraida was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador and raised in Queens, New York. When she’s not working on her next novel, she’s finding a new adventure.

Twitter | Instagram | Website | Goodreads

Natalie C. Parker

Natalie C. Parker grew up in a Navy family finding home in coastal cities from Virginia to Japan. Now, she lives surprisingly far from any ocean on the Kansas prairie with her wife where she writes and edits books for teens including the acclaimed Seafire trilogy.

Twitter | Instagram | Website | Goodreads

My thoughts:

This is a really enjoyable selection of vampire stories that play with the conventions of the mythology that starts before Dracula, exploring issues of race, sexuality and gender.

As a massive Buffy fan my favourite two stories dealt with slayers – Julie Murphy’s Senior Year Sucks and V.E. Schwab’s First Kill.

They were different from each other but explored the difficulties of juggling your secret identity and high school, getting a crush on inappropriately fanged hot girls, and not ending up friendless and alone as the “weird girl”.

I loved the twists on the genre and the interplay of various themes around identity and the ultimate outsider – the blood drinking, nightwalking vampire.

Click the banner to follow the tour!

*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: The De-coding of Jo – Lali A. Love*

When a demonic parasite turns her classmates into an army of sleepwalkers, sixteen-year-old Jo must confront her celestial identity and reveal the mystery of existence. Guided by the Galactic Council, a Galactic Compass and with the help of her best friends, Jo unleashes the cosmic powers of creation to prevent the Lord of Darkness from enslaving all of humanity into obscurity.

Will she be able to decode the artificial system in time to save her friends and the sacred Light?

Award-winning Author, Lali A. Love provides a supernatural thriller of metaphysical and visionary fantasy with her own revolutionary philosophy and unique narrative skills to produce this heart-wrenching and gripping tale.

Lali A. Love lives in the capital city of Canada with her husband and two beautiful children who are her greatest source of pride, joy, and inspiration. As a debut author, Lali loves to write stimulating, character-based novels that invoke an emotional response in her readers. She has done extensive research into epistemology and metaphysics to further her understanding of the Universal Laws of Energy.

In her spare time, Lali is committed to writing her visionary fiction trilogy about spiritual transformation. These mystical novels are based on the journeys of three incarnated Angels that have been brought together in the third-dimensional existence, to realize their Divine Feminine soul purpose. Each of them must experience unique self-realization to overcome the dark demonic entities that are determined to destroy their inner light to derail their Soul mission.

My thoughts:

Jo and her friends are just regular teenagers, dealing with issues about race, gender, sexuality and belonging, experimenting with drugs and alcohol, throwing parties and trying to work out who they are.

Then they accidentally release some demons from the school basement where the creepy janitor has been hiding them.

As more of the students become infected, it’s up to Jo, gifted with special abilities by the mysterious Galactic Council to try to rescue her classmates and reverse the damage before it’s too late.

There was a lot happening in this book, that adage that it has to get a lot worse before it gets better rings true, there’s death and serious injury, family problems and bullying; all of which serves to distract Jo and her allies from stopping the dark powers that are slowly taking over the school.

Jo spends a lot of time trying to understand her new abilities and how to use them to help others, her journal entries serve to guide the reader through her ideas and concerns.

There is a lot to unpack in this novel, and it probably requires more than one reading to get all the nuances straight, if you like your fantasy with a side of mysticism, then you’ll enjoy this.

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

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: A Curse of Gold – Annie Sullivan*

Curses and queens. Pirates and kings. Gods and magic. This highly anticipated sequel to Annie Sullivan’s enchanting A Touch of Gold, the story of the daughter King Midas turned to gold, is the gripping crescendo to this sweeping fantasy adventure. The final saga of a cursed queen, a vengeful Greek god, and a dazzling kingdom in the balance.

After barely surviving thieving, bloodthirsty pirates and a harrowing quest at sea to retrieve her stolen treasure, Kora finds readjusting to palace life just as deadly. Kora’s people openly turn against her, threatening her overthrow as heir to the throne—a cursed queen who has angered Dionysus. When Dionysus puts out a challenge to kill the girl with the golden touch and burn down her kingdom, it’s not just her future on the throne in danger. Kora’s life and entire kingdom are now on contract.

As bold and brave as ever, Kora sets out to find Dionysus, the very person who is trying to kill her, on the mysterious disappearing island of Jipper. Kora has no other choice. If she wants to save her kingdom and have any chance at reversing her father’s curse, she will have to enter into a deadly game with Dionysus, the greatest trickster the world, or the underworld, has ever seen.

Goodreads Amazon

Barnes and Noble Book Depository

Indigo

Annie Sullivan is the author of the young adult novels A Touch of Gold, Tiger Queen, and A Curse of Gold. She lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, and she loves fairytales, everything Jane Austen, and traveling and exploring new cultures. When she’s not off on her own adventures, she’s working as the Senior Copywriter at John Wiley and Sons, Inc. publishing company, having also worked there in Editorial and Publicity roles. She loves to hear from fans, and you can reach her via the contact form on this website or on Twitter and Instagram.

Website Twitter Instagram

Facebook Goodreads

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed A Touch of Gold – Greek myths, pirates, peril on the high seas, it was basically written for me, so I had high hopes for A Curse of Gold and they were thankfully not misplaced!

Kora, Royce and their friends set out on an epic quest to find Dionysius and get him to reverse the curse on her father, King Midas, and rescue the kingdom from ruin.

Accompanied by a sulky Triton, son of Poseidon, some amazing pegasi (flying horses, I think Pegasus was actually the name of one), a sea creature that behaves like a dog (almost as good as a ship’s cat, almost), and after defeating the gorgons, will Kora be able to outwit the god of ill-advised bets?

Adventure, monsters, romance, this book has it all. So dive in and learn that sometimes what appears to be a curse may actually be a gift.

Giveaway (US/Can)

Click the banner to follow the tour!

*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: The Trials of Koli – M.R. Carey*

Read my review of the first Book of Koli here.


The Book of Koli is the unforgettable story of a young boy struggling to find his place in a world where nature itself has turned against humanity: Everything that lives hates us…

Beyond the walls of the small village of Mythen Rood lies an unrecognizable landscape. A place where overgrown forests are filled with choker trees and deadly seeds that will kill you where you stand. And if they don’t get you, one of the dangerous shunned men will. Koli has lived in Mythen Rood his entire life. He believes the first rule of survival is that you don’t venture too far beyond the walls. He’s wrong.

My thoughts:

Koli and his companions, Ursula and Cup are on the road, trying to reach London and find whoever is sending out a signal, but the journey is dangerous.

I enjoyed this a lot more than the first book, it felt more fully realised and I liked that the perspective went back and forth from Koli and Spinner, back in Mythen Rood.

A lot happens in the pages of this second novel – Koli and his friends fight off attacks from old enemies and of course nature, which really has it out for humans, and who can blame it.

They do meet some good people though, ones who offer them help rather than threats.

Meanwhile Spinner is trying to find her place in Mythen Rood, having married Haijon in the previous book. She’s beginning to see some things about the all powerful Ramparts that leave her with questions no one wants to answer.

This was a really good book and I’m already looking forward to the third and final installment.

*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: Emily Knight I Am… Becoming – A. Bello*

Homecoming. Sacrifice. Family. Fire.
The Knights are finally reunited and ready to defeat Neci once and for all. But Neci is one step ahead and is targeting them one by one. When Neci takes one of Emily’s best friends hostage, Emily leads the elite team on a rescue mission but nothing can prepare them for what Neci has planned.

Buy

A. Bello is an award-winning author and publishing entrepreneur, born and raised in London, where she still lives and works. In 2018, Abiola was named ‘Trailblazer of the Year’ by London Book Fair.
Abiola wrote her first novel at the age of eight – when she fought monsters and dragons on a daily basis – and experienced her first taste of ‘being published’ after winning a school poetry competition at the age of 12. Seeing her words in print fuelled a passion for writing that remains to this day.
The first incarnation of the Emily Knight story can be traced back almost 20 years; Abiola wanted to fill the gaping hole in children’s fiction for an inspirational, strong, black, female, young protagonist. This ‘gap’ in publishing remains in today’s publishing world despite continued calls for more diversity in terms of the authors creating the books and the characters and plot lines within the stories.
She is the founder of The Lil’ Author School and co-founder of The Author School (shortlisted for The Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2016 and celebrating its fifth birthday in 2020). Abiola is also co-founder of The Diverse Book Awards and Hashtag BLAK.
Abiola is regularly asked to contribute to the media; she has been featured in About Time Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Female First, Daily Mirror, BBC1XTRA, The Bookseller, The British Blacklist, Melan Magazine, London Post, and many more.

Abiola is also a regular at literary festivals and gives talks to children in primary and secondary schools, as well as to young writers and people wishing to get into the publishing business.

Website Twitter Facebook

My thoughts:

This was a fun and enjoyable read, Emily and her family and friends are super powered humans who fight against evil versions led by a woman called Neci.

Emily is fifteen, and as well as dealing with teenage dramas, she’s dealing with being a warrior, and the return of her long lost father and brother, both of whom are seen as heroes and attract attention Emily would rather avoid.

I hadn’t read the previous books in the series and I think I might have got into this faster if I had, it took me a little while to understand what was happening and who everyone was.

I’ve recommended the series to a few friends raising daughters who read and who might enjoy having a female hero.

*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: May Day – Josie Jaffrey*


If the murderer you’re tracking is a vampire, then you want a vampire detective. Just maybe not this one.It’s not that Jack Valentine is bad at her job. The youngest member of Oxford’s Seekers has an impressive track record, but she also has an impressive grudge against the local baron, Killian Drake.

When a human turns up dead on May Morning, she’s determined to pin the murder on Drake. The problem is that none of the evidence points to him. Instead, it leads Jack into a web of conspiracy involving the most powerful people in the country, people to whom Jack has no access. But she knows someone who does.

To get to the truth, Jack will have to partner up with her worst enemy. As long as she can keep her cool, Drake will point her to the ringleaders, she’ll find the murderer and no one else will have to die.
Body bags on standby.

May Day is the first book in Josie Jaffrey’s Seekers series, an urban fantasy series set in Oxford, England.
Goodreads

My thoughts:

This was a good slice of crime noir, with added fangs. Vampire detectives investigating crimes potentially committed by their own crime, finding all kinds of creeps lurking in the shadows along the way.

Keeping their bloodthirsty secrets safe from the human population and making sure not too many bloodless corpses turn up is a full time job, so the last thing they need is a weird murder.

These vamps seem to be Daywalkers, blending in amongst the students and locals of Oxford as they carry out their investigation, problem is it all seems to loop back round to the people they least want to be guilty.

Riddled with pitch black humour, pop culture references and a healthy dose of old fashioned British irreverence, this is an excellent new addition to the vampire literary canon.

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