Friday, June 29, 2018

The Book Knights by J.G Mckenney - Book Review and Author Q and A

When her parents are condemned to death by Morgan Fay for the crime of reading, Arti Penderhagen becomes a fugitive. Hunted by Mordred, the sadistic police captain who recites poetry to enhance his physical strength, Arti escapes to the Isle of Avalon, a sanctuary for outlaws. There she meets an old librarian named Merl who tells her about the Grail Tome, an ancient book in Morgan Fay's possession that can alter the course of history. Can Arti steal the book in time to save her family?

THE BOOK KNIGHTS is an Arthurian YA fantasy adventure in which knights wield words as weapons, librarians are wizards, and books can change the future.

Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I have read a lot of remakes of classic novels lately. I love this one! It has King Arthur's characters only with a twist. As Morgan Fey burns books, the magic tombs filled with the history. Once there is one page left, a scribe can write the future. Morgan has an evil plan for the future. Can Artie, Lance, Gwen, Gal, and Merle beat her to it?

I love the futuristic elements as well as the classic elements. Camelot is a used car lot called Camel Lot, Avalon is a river that runs through the town, Lance drives a white charger, Merl has an RV that has a roundtable, Excalibur is the magic pen that will allow Arti to write a better future if she can get to the tomb before Morgan. I love the depth of details in the setting, plot, and characters.

I really hope that the author either applies this unique POV to other classics or continues with these characters

Author Q and A:

Let me just start by saying "Wow!". What you did with the classic King Arthur tale was amazing and I have never read anything like that and I have been reading every chance I get since I was in the 3rd grade.
I’m glad you enjoyed The Book Knights, Felicia, and that you thought it was different than other books you’ve read. I tried to put an original spin on the Arthur legend, and it’s nice to know the effort’s been appreciated.

What inspired this particular story?
I wanted to write a story that, at its core, was about the power of words. We live in a time where pictures and video seem to dominate the social landscape, and I worry that the magic of written stories is gradually being lost. I got thinking that the written word is our Holy Grail, something we need to re-discover to protect ourselves from those who would take that power away from us. A light went off, and this retelling of the King Arthur legend was born.

How does your writing impact your teaching (or teaching impact your writing)?
Teaching has helped me understand young readers in a way that I wouldn’t have known without that experience. My job has changed in recent years, so I don’t get to talk about books with students as much as I used to. Having said that, I’ve learned a couple important things about writing for younger audiences through teaching: you can’t talk down to them, and they want to be challenged by what they read.

Are you planning on continuing the adventures of Arti Penderhagen and friends? If not, can we hope for your touch on any other classics?
I did outline a second book that continues the story of Arti and her friends, but I’m working on another book right now, an adult epic fantasy with a fun narrative twist that has me excited. But I’ll be honest, the book knights keep calling me back, and it’s hard to leave them.

Is there a specific place that writing comes easier or inspires you? Can you describe it?
I’m someone who must have total isolation when I write. I’m always thinking about my story, and I often jot down ideas no matter where I am, but to write I need to be in my study alone and with no distractions. My inspiration comes from all kind of places at all times of the day or night, but my writing time is very controlled.

What is something funny, interesting or unique about you that not many people know? (nothing embarrassing)
I love doing voices, impersonations, and sound effects. Most of my colleagues and friends would be shocked by my performances. My wife is the only one who gets to enjoy/suffer them, but they make her laugh.

Get your copy of The Book Knights available as paperback and e-book

Check out J.G. Mckenney's website and check out the awards he has been nominated for and won. Also see his other book as well as his bio! 

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Author Q and A with S.A. Larson and Review of Marked Beauty

Author Q and A

1. What inspired this book?
The simplest answer to this question is my love of reading and writing. I'm a curious person by nature, and have always had questions in my mind about life energy, where it goes after death, and how it might be harnessed during life or the afterlife. So science has always fascinated me. (I was a horrible science student, though.) Exploring this theme, which I do through the idea of Rifters, was a big attraction for me. And, of course, with my favorite story of all time being Pride and Prejudice I had to throw in some romance.đź’–
2. Some websites I have searched this book on have led me to believe that this is part of a series. Can readers hope that there will be more of Ana and Viktor?
Absolutely! My publisher has asked me to write a second book to dig deeper into The Realm and Ana and Viktor's story; it's tentatively titled Sinful Beauty, but don't hold me to that. Think a cross between the file LUCY and the subject of The Seven Deadly Sins.

3. Which character was your favorite to create?
I feel like I should say either Ana or Viktor because they are the main characters. Or even The Realm - the hidden world within the human world; it in itself is a character all its own. And, as much as I enjoyed developing these three, I really (really) enjoyed creating Justice. He's a secondary character along with his sister Mercedes, and together they have quite the backstory that didn't make it into the book. I wish I could have included a lot more about them as well as The Realm. (A few readers have told me they wanted to know more about it.) But word count matters in publishing, so I might just have to give Justice and Mercedes their own series. :) Brief hint: Justice (& Roxi) and Mercedes (& Donovan) both have full character and world backstories that readers might enjoy exploring.

4. Are there any deleted scenes that didn't make it into the book?
Yes. A few. Actually, more than a few. See, this book started out as a tomb. Remember that word count I just mentioned. Well, yeah. When I first started writing I didn't know that was even a thing. BUT . . . some of them will prove useful in book II and possibly a book III. Nothing wasted.

5. What is something unique or funny about you?
Unique - maybe that my main creative focus used to be dance, which had steered me to NYC during my junior/senior year in high school. But I never ended up pursuing that career because my mom was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and I chose to stay home to help out. Funny - my nose has been broken twice. Yup, two times. Not kidding. So any reader out there who's broken their nose, we are now connected. :)

About the book

Uncovering hidden secrets can sometimes kill you . . . or worse, steal your soul.

Anastasia Tate has a secret. She can feel the emotions of others through their life energy auras. Not a welcome gift for a teenager. Especially when a sinister presence begins stalking her. 

Viktor Castle also has a secret. He’s tasked with protecting humanity yet cursed by an ancient evil to destroy it.

After Viktor saves Ana’s life, her abilities grow stronger. Drawn together, she senses Viktor has answers to lifelong questions. Only he shuns her at every turn, knowing he has saved her only to put her in more danger. As Ana struggles with her attraction to Viktor, he tries everything to bury his unexpected feelings for her. But they must find a middle ground. For only together can they combat the dark forces threatening both their lives . . . and their souls. 

Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I received this book free for review from NetGalley

I loved the characters and the twists and turns. At first, I thought this was going to be another "teen girl gets sucked into a whole new world she never knew existed", while there is that element it is accomplished in a way that was totally unique and like nothing I have ever read before.

S.A Larson is an award-winning author and it is not hard to see why. I am really eager to read more of her books and I can't wait until the next books with these characters come out. 


Visit S.A Larson's website here. Join her newsletter and get a cool gift. I received character profiles that I am going ot print and hang up in my book room. You get to choose!

Get your copy of Marked Beauty from Amazon.

Follow the Amazon Author's Page here to stay updated and find her other titles.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Author Q and A With Jane Rosenberg Laforge author of The Hawkman: A Fairy Tale of the Great War

The Hawkman: A Fairy Tale of the Great War by [Rosenberg LaForge, Jane]

This is one Q and A session that I was dying to do. When I was in the sixth grade, my teacher had us do a unit on fairy tales. We had to compare and contrast tales from different cultures and see what we found. Bearskin is one that is not very well known but for some reason, it stuck with me more than Beauty and the Beast and other fairy tales of that nature. When I was approved to read this book through NetGalley, I was so excited. I knew right away that I was going to read this book one way or another. 

So I read the advanced copy. I was not disappointed one bit. The way Jane Rosenberg Laforge worked this tale was absolutely beautiful. I could not find one critical thing to say about it. As most of you know, I don't buy books brand new. I live in a good-sized town not as big as Seattle but a good sized one. NOT ONE STORE HAD THIS BOOK. I was so upset, I told my husband I was actually contemplating throwing a temper tantrum right in the store.  We compromised and instead of throwing an all out hissy fit right there in the bookstore, he bought it for me off of Amazon. I have one shelf (four feet long) that is dedicated to books that I will read more than once. That shelf is almost empty, but this book got a spot on "the golden shelf" (from my 12-year old).

Anyway, I am rambling, when Jane agreed to do a Q and A, I literally squealed in delight. I had to know more about the inspiration behind this book and more about the author. I am very excited to share it with you. Don't forget to check out the links below to the Author's website, my original blog post, and the link so you can get your very own copy. If you love retellings beyond role reversals and the obvious changes, you will LOVE this book.

1. What inspired you to write this story?
A: I've always been curious about World War I. I had two grandfathers, one of whom I knew quite well; he fought in WW2. I wound up learning a lot about that war. But my other grandfather, who was much older and died when I was about six, fought for the Russians in WWI. I didn't know much about that war other than conditions in the trenches were terrible. Writing about that war was one way for me to learn about it. I also have been stuck on the Grimm's Fairy Tale of "The Bearskin" ever since I read it in German during graduate school. I was fascinated by the prospect of getting someone else to do your penance for you. But I really didn't have a way to tie my ideas together until I took a trip to Ireland. I learned there about some of the experiences of Irish soldiers who fought for the British in WWI. Ireland was in the midst of a revolution during the war, and the Irish who returned from the war were considered traitors. They were much like "The Hawkman" in that they had no place to go. Some of them had to leave Ireland permanently. Once I was able to find a homeless and hated soldier in history, I was able to create one on the page I could believe in, and put all of these elements into action.  

2. Do you see yourself transforming any other fairytales?
A: At the moment, I don't see myself transforming another fairy tale, because I'm trying to write something that takes place largely in the 1970's, and I'm not sure that really lends itself to a fairy tale. But I heard a fascinating discussion on the radio last week about "Frankenstein," and I'm thinking that story might lend some support to what I'm working on now. It might not work out, though. Fairy tales sometimes tend to be about transformation, and like "The Hawkman," the story I'm working on now deals with transformation. But it's more of a Frankenstein-esque transformation that I'm dealing with now; it's more of a kind of human-made abomination, nothing magical. There are certain things you need to work with fairy tales, certain contrivances, or plot points; a certain sense of romance and possibility. The story I'm envisioning now doesn't have any of that. 

3. What was the hardest part about writing this story?
A: I haven't written a lot of fiction so most of the book was difficult! Perhaps the easiest part was the research; I could just read and read and read. Getting it down was an entirely different story. I had to be very careful about rendering the experiences of the characters in the proper language; I didn't want to be using modern language, expressions or sayings or idioms that were just not true to the time period. I wanted to write more about the Boer War, and I read several books about it, but I just couldn't picture how certain things happened in that war--I don't want to say what, because that might give away some of the plot--so I had to leave all that out. 

4. Are there any deleted scenes you left out of the book?
A:  I may have answered this question in the above answer, but I didn't write anything that I had to delete. I just gave up on a lot of ideas that I wanted to include, but couldn't make work. I wanted to write about a lot more wars, like the Crimean War. I got a tiny bit in about the Boer War but nothing like the scenes I envisioned. I have an ever-so-slight reference to the Spanish-American War in there. But if I wrote as I originally planned, those other wars may have dragged the book down, detracting from the plot. 

5. What is something funny or unique about you that not everyone knows about? (nothing embarrassing) 
A: I wrote a memoir; it was published in 2014. So I don't think there's anything new or unknown, or even funny or unique that I can reveal here. Certainly, there are plenty of embarrassing things, though most of my friends know all about those. They continue to happen almost every day! So stay tuned!  

I don't know about you all but that little hint of something Frankenstein-esque has me pretty curious. 

Check out Jane Rosenberg LaForge's website to check out what's new and find out more about her other books. 

In case you missed it here is the link to my original Blog post about the book and my review of it.

And last but not least, grab your copy of The Hawkman: A Fairy Tale of the Great War. It is available as an e-book or paperback.

Let Me Tell You.....

I have read a ton of good books over the last week and couldn't decide which one to do a blog post about today. So, instead, I am doing a "Let Me Tell You" post.

Netgalley is amazing and evil at the same time

Through Netgalley, I get to read a ton of books for free before they are even released. The only thing I used is my kindle. I think that they do nook books as well. The downside to Netgalley is that once they are on your Kindle, you can't transfer the files. You can only read them on that one device.

The other downside is that you get to read these books 6 months before they are released. Which means that if you are a person that loves series, sagas, duologies, and trilogies, like me, this sucks. You get the first part of the story and have to wait around 18 months before you get to read the second part. With that being said, I am one of those people that wait until the last book is published before I buy a series, then I buy it all at once. I am not a patient person.

NetGalley also awards you badges for different milestones you get to. Below are the ones that I have earned.

100 Book Reviews
I earned this one for submitting 100 reviews.

Frequently Auto-Approved
I earned this one because I got auto-approved by more than four publishers

This one is because I have submitted feedback for 80% of the titles on my list

Reviews Published
You get this one when three or more of your reviews have been added to the details page by the book publisher.

Professional Reader
I think that everyone gets this one. It just means that you are a reviewer.

Now let me tell about how I earned these amazing badges. 

I have an office job that allows me to listen to music or whatever while I work. With my Kindle text-to-speech feature, virtually every one of the 4,000 books into an audiobook without having to purchase an Audible subscription or by the audio CD's. Depending on the length of the book, I have read up to 3 a day this way.

Another thing I want to tell you about is Goodreads.

If you work a full-time job, have three kids, married, and have no bookish friends, you should totally sign up for a Goodreads account. Even if you don't have all those things, it is still a pretty cool site. You can join book clubs, play book-themed games, post book reviews, set reading goals, and my favorite enter giveaways. The more active you are on the site the higher the chances of winning a giveaway are. The other thing they like is when you are done reading a book you won, post a review. Even if it is something simple like "This book was awesome!"

While they don't have cool badges like NetGalley, they have a yearly reading challenge. You set the number of books you want to read in a year, read your books and it will automatically keep track of it for you. You just search for your title and change the status to "Currently Reading" and Voila!

The last thing I want to tell you is how much fun my blog is.

Through my blog, I have gotten to do things I never thought I would. I have gotten to do question and answer sessions with some amazing authors, I have gotten to be part of a virtual book tour, and most important, I have gotten to share my reading journey with you guys. I am always open to suggestions for questions that you want me to ask the author. I just ask that you think of questions that keep the author a person and not a product.

Well I hope you all will check out those two websites and let me know which badges you earn!

Monday, June 18, 2018

The Five Wishes of Mr. Murray Mcbride by Joe Siple



With all his family and friends gone, one-hundred-year-old Murray McBride is looking for a reason to live. He finds it in Jason Cashman, a ten-year-old boy with a terminal heart defect and a list of five things he wants to do before he dies. Together, they race against the limited time each has left, ticking off wishes one by one. Along the way, Murray remembers what it's like to be young, and Jason fights for the opportunity to grow old. But when tragedy strikes, their worlds are turned upside-down, and an unexpected gift is the only thing that can make Jason's final wish come true.

Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I received this book free from Net Galley. Make sure you have tissues ready when you read it.

Mr. Mcbride is a 100-year-old man that is tired of living, that is until he meets 10-year-old Jason. Moved by the fact that Jason has a terminal heart condition and a list of things he wants to do before he dies, Mr. Mcbride makes it his mission to grant them. The interactions between the two had me laughing out loud through a lot of the book. The ending had an unexpected twist that ripped out my heart but somehow put it back in again. This is definitely a book I would read over and over again.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Q and A with Nancy Springer Author of The Oddling Prince

I have to remind you all that this so far is one of my most favorite books of 2018, quite possibly of all time and that is saying a lot since I read all the time. I was super excited when Nancy agreed to do a Q and A with me.

1. This story reads like it could be out of a book of old fairy tales, what inspired this story?
Daydreams.  All of my life since I was fifteen, I have had the most vivid, obsessive daydreams, most of them about two heroes, one golden and great-hearted, the other dark, tormented, moody, musical, visionary.  At age 22 I started writing in an attempt to offload them and be rid of them.  It didn’t work, but that’s how I became a writer. I wrote about the two heroes until I succeeded in accepting my own “dark” side.  THE ODDLING  PRINCE is a throwback to my beginnings  as a writer, with one important change:  the musical, visionary prince may be shadowed but he is no longer “dark.”  Aric and Albaric are like the two sides of the same golden coin.

2. What was the hardest part about writing the story?
Stopping when it was finished.  I wanted to keep going, to write about Aric and Marissa’s wedding and how Albaric regained his strength and continued to heal people and all sorts of wonderfulness.   Actually, I had to cut a lot of surplus verbiage off the end.

3. Can we dare to hope for something in this same style in the future? 
I never say never, but not likely.  In writing THE ODDLING PRINCE I was returning to my roots.  I succeeded, and I feel no need to do it again.

4. You have quite a diverse collection of characters throughout your books, which character or series was your favorite to create and why?
Oh, heck, they are all my favorite when I am writing them, but – yes, I can answer this.  My current favorite character is Beverly Vernon, who is the protagonist of my down-home/mystery/paranormal fantasy novel GrandGhost, which will be released in the USA and Canada on the first of August, this year.  The reason she’s my favorite is that face it, she’s me, thinly disguised.  She’s dealing with my personal troubles – living alone, no grandkids, and fearful that she might end up as hopelessly senile as my mother did.  Which is her main problem when she encounters the ghost of a murdered child.  Is she going bonkers?  Is it crazy to try to help a phantom grandghost find love and peace while her own adult children think she’s going bonkers, and she half thinks so herself?

5. What is something unique or funny about yourself that not many people know? (nothing embarrassing)
I’m fascinated by radial symmetry and the symbolism of the sun/moon/circle, so after I crayoned my way through several mandala coloring books, I got out a compass and protractor and became obsessed with creating my own mandalas, “squaring the circle.”  Everything depended on which pencil lines I erased and which I left in place.  How cool. “What to leave in, what to leave out.”  A visual echo of writing.

I am happy to let all of you know that I was approved to read her new book GrandGhost on Net Galley and I can't wait to read it. In the meantime, check out the links below to see my original blog post about the book, Nancy's website where you can find more of her awesome books, and a link to get your own copy of The Oddling Prince.

Click here to see the synopsis and the review.
Purchase your own copy of The Oddling Prince here!
Check out Nancy Springer's website to see what is coming, connect with her, and see her books. There are links to follow her on Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter.

Also, comment below any questions that you would like me to start asking authors. I have noticed that a lot of Q and A's focus on the author as a product, not a person. I am more interested to get to know them as a person so no questions about marking, writing strategies, money, or anything like that. 

Stay tuned for more updates, awesome book reviews, and hopefully more Q and A sessions with authors!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Girl at the Grave by Teri Bailey Black



Valentine has spent years trying to outrun her mother's legacy. But small towns have long memories, and when a new string of murders occurs, all signs point to the daughter of a murderer.

Only one person believes Valentine is innocent—Rowan Blackshaw, the son of the man her mother killed all those years ago. Valentine vows to find the real killer, but when she finally uncovers the horrifying truth, she must choose to face her own dark secrets, even if it means losing Rowan in the end.


This is the story of Valentine. A girl haunted by the fact that her mother killed the son of one of the most prominent families in town. When someone kills the Richter, questions get asked and the more answers she gets the more questions she has. Soon she finds out that the mind can play tricks and the past is not always how you remember it.

The characters in this book are well written and the plot is amazing. I love the story and how all the little twists and turns keep you guessing.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris


A picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes the story behind the picture is worth a thousand more…

Philadelphia, 1931. A young, ambitious reporter named Ellis Reed photographs a pair of young siblings on the front porch of a farmhouse next to a sign: “2 children for sale.”

With the help of newspaper secretary Lily Palmer, Ellis writes an article to accompany the photo. Capturing the hardships of American families during the Great Depression, the feature story generates national attention and Ellis’s career skyrockets.

But the photograph also leads to consequences more devastating than ever imagined—and it will take jeopardizing everything Ellis and Lily value to unravel the mystery and set things right.

Inspired by an actual newspaper photo that stunned readers throughout the country, Sold on a Monday is a powerful novel of ambition, redemption, love, and family.

Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Historically accurate and amazing! This book is about a series of events that stem from a picture. After the great depression, many families still suffered. Ellis happened upon two boys standing behind a sign that said: "For Sale". He snapped a quick picture for himself but developed it at his newspaper office. The Cheif's secretary happened across it and gave it to him. The Chief liked the photo and wanted Ellis to write a story to accompany it. After a mishap in the developing room, Ellis's picture was destroyed. Eager to impress his boss, he drove back out to the house to hopefully take another. The family had moved, but across the street, there were two other kids. Using them as substitutes, Ellis uses their picture. This sparks a chain of events of ladder climbing reporters, children actually sold, a mother desperate to get them back, and the need to right wrongs. With sprinkles of the different mafia families of that time.

This story was amazing. The lengths that Lilly and Ellis go through to protect their secrets and fix what happened were a rollercoaster. I was on the edge of my seat, flipping through pages as fast as my kindle would allow me to. My heart broke for Geraldine. As a mother, I couldn't imagine having to go through what she did. Then my heart broke a little bit more to learn what had happened to the children. Then the author brought me back up with an amazing ending that tied everything up perfectly.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Ruthless Magic By Megan Crewe - About the author, book review and Q and A with the author!



Each year, the North American Confederation of Mages assesses every sixteen-year-old novice. Some will be chosen. The rest must undergo a procedure to destroy their magical ability unless they prove themselves in the mysterious and brutal Mages' Exam.

Disadvantaged by her parents' low standing, RocĂ­o Lopez has dedicated herself to expanding her considerable talent to earn a place in the Confederation. Their rejection leaves her reeling—and determined to fight to keep her magic.

Long ashamed of his mediocre abilities, Finn Lockwood knows the Confederation accepted him only because of his prominent family. Declaring for the Exam instead means a chance to confirm his true worth.

Thrown into the testing with little preparation, RocĂ­o and Finn find themselves becoming unlikely allies—and possibly more. But the Exam holds secrets more horrifying than either could have imagined. What are the examiners really testing them for? And as the trials become increasingly vicious, how much are they willing to sacrifice to win?

The first in a new series by USA Today bestselling author Megan Crewe, Ruthless Magic combines the magic of Harry Potter with the ferocity of The Hunger Games alongside a poignant romance. Fans of Cassandra Clare and Holly Black, look no further for your next urban fantasy fix!

Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for the review
This book was absolutely amazing. It had a Hunger Games feel to it without post-apocalyptic aspect. In this 16 year old's wait to get a letter to, see it they have been accepted into a Magic college. If they don't they can either loss their magic or appeal the Circle's decision by going through an exam. During this exam, the characters discover a dark secret. I really can't wait for the next book to come out.

Author Q and A

1. How did you get inspiration for Ruthless magic?

It's kind of a funny story... I was looking at new book announcements, which so often do a "This Title meets This Other Title" comparison, and I started thinking about what the most over the top comparison would be. I came up with "Harry Potter meets The Hunger Games," laughed to myself for a few minutes, and then my brain started working out all the interesting ways those two storylines could come together. Before I knew it, I had a new world I was excited to write about.

2. Which was your favorite character to create and why?

I love all my characters so I couldn't say I really have a favorite. But Finn was particularly interesting to write because of the struggle he goes through. There are so many heroes and heroines who have great talents and impressive skills and are mostly navigating how to deal with the power they can wield. Finn has to come to terms with his lack of power--with the fact that he's never going to have the skill he's always longed for--and to find other strengths in himself. I think an awful lot of us have gone through that, and I enjoyed exploring the feelings that come with it.

3. Out of all of the books you have written, which is your favorite and why?

Again, I don't really have favorites! I love all of them. I tend to be particularly fond of whichever book I'm working on at the moment since it's the one I'm most excited about right then. :) But I do have a special soft spot for The Way We Fall, since the heroine in that series is the one most like my teenaged self.

4. When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

I've loved storytelling and knew I wanted to make up stories and share them with people for as long as I can remember. Sometime in upper elementary school (grade four or five, maybe), one of my teachers read us a published book that had been written by a kid not much older than us, and that's when it occurred to me that maybe I could try to get my stories to a wider audience than just my friends and family.

5. What is something unique about yourself that not many people know? (nothing embarrassing)

I love singing (although I'm not especially good at it) and was in my junior high school choir, which was well enough received that we got to participate in a concert in one of the biggest music venues in my city. That experience and enjoyment hopefully gave my descriptions of music in Ruthless Magic plenty of realism. ;)

Author Bio-

Now all about this AMAZING Author. After the bio check out the links to get your copy of Ruthless Magic and check out the author's website!

Megan Crewe author photo
Photo credit: Chris Blanchenot
I was born in Toronto, Canada around the end of 1980, and I grew up there with my parents, my younger brother, and various cats. I've always loved stories--when I was little, I used to beg my dad to read my favorite books "with the voices," which meant he'd put on a different voice for each character. There was nothing better! Unsurprisingly it wasn't long before I started making up my own stories.

At first, they were My Little Pony tales dictated to my mom, who wrote them down sentence by sentence and stapled the pages into "books" that I then illustrated. Once I learned how to write, I scrawled out page after page of adventure stories, frequently involving cats and often magic. Fantasy, science fiction, and the supernatural have fascinated me all my life, which is probably why those genres are what most interest me today. There's so much freedom and possibility in pushing beyond the boundaries of what we know is real.

I finished my first (very bad) novel when I was 14, and started submitting short stories to magazines around the same time. I was lucky to have teachers who encouraged me, and resources to draw on getting started in the publishing industry. My first fiction publications were in a national magazine for young adult writers called In 2 Print. It's no longer around, sadly—it was so encouraging to me to take that first step toward becoming a professional author.

I kept writing, and I kept submitting, and around the time I was finishing up my degree in psychology at York University, I'd had several short story sales to ezines, print magazines, and anthologies. But all along I knew novels were what I really wanted to focus on, so I could not have been more excited when an agent offered to represent Give Up the Ghost and my book publishing journey really began.

I'm still living in Toronto, now with my husband, my son, and two cats of my own. At the moment I'm a full-time writer/cover designer. When I'm not writing, designing, or mothering, I'm reading everything I can get my hands on (about an equal mix of YA and adult fiction, with the occasional nonfiction title thrown in) and planning my next overseas exploration.

Buy your copy of Ruthless Magic today! It is free for Kindle Unlimited and available in E-book, hardcover, and paperback.

Check out more about Megan Crewe on her website here!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Hawkman by Jane Rosenberg LaForge


A great war, a great love, and the mythology that unites them. The Hawkman: A Fairy Tale of the Great War is a lyrical adaptation of a beloved classic.

Set against the shattering events of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, at the tale’s heart are an American schoolteacher—dynamic and imaginative—and an Irish musician, homeless and hated—who have survived bloodshed, poverty, and sickness to be thrown together in an English village. Together they quietly hide from the world in a small cottage.

Too soon, reality shatters their serenity, and they must face the parochial community. Unbeknownst to all, a legend is in the making—one that will speak of courage and resilience amidst the forces that brought the couple together even as outside forces threaten to tear them apart.

Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is an amazing retelling of the Grimm fairy tale "Bearskin". The author did an amazing job capturing details for the time period this book is set in. She is truly a gifted storyteller. This book is another one that I am going to buy new.

This is a book that I will be buying brand new. I will definitely be re-reading this book over and over.

Grab your copy of The Hawkman here.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

The Oddling Prince by Nancy Springer

In the ancient moors of Scotland, the king of Calidon lies on his deathbed, cursed by a ring that cannot be removed from his finger. When a mysterious fey stranger appears to save the king, he also carries a secret that could tear the royal family apart.

The kingdom’s only hope will lie with two young men raised worlds apart. Aric is the beloved heir to the throne of Calidon; Albaric is clearly of noble origin yet strangely out of place.

The Oddling Prince is a tale of brothers whose love and loyalty to each other is such that it defies impending warfare, sundering seas, fated hatred, and the very course of time itself. In her long-awaited new fantasy novel, Nancy Springer (the Books of Isle series) explores the darkness of the human heart as well as its unceasing capacity for love.

Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I received the book free from NetGalley.

Before I post the review, let me start by saying that I NEVER buy books brand new. Sure I get them as gifts, but it has to be an amazing, earth-shaking, unbelievably good book that I will read several times (which is also odd for me)  for me to buy it brand new. This one is one of the ones that I did.

This review is really short because I choose not to regurgitate the synopsis, and I don't post spoilers. This book was written in a style that I felt like I was reading some ancient fairy tale from long ago. It had a cozy, comforting feel about it. You actually felt the emotions that the characters felt whether it was the joy of long lost brothers or the heartbreak of a fathers unrequited love. At times, you can almost see the landscape experience the other senses of the characters. It was unique in the storyline, characters, conflicts and everything else. I can't find one thing to compare this book against.

Five stars are not enough. This is storyline is like nothing I have ever read before. The characters are well written, I love the period-style language the author used to write the entire book. This book had me hooked within the first few pages and ended by leaving me smiling. This could easily be a modern classic.

Get your copy of The Oddling Prince here.

Friday, June 8, 2018

A Reimagining of Mary Shelly's Frankenstein series by Merrie Destefano (Shade, Dusk, Dawn)

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I received all three of these books from the author in exchange for an honest review. I know this one is a longer post than you are used to me writing, I felt this series was best described together. At the bottom are links to the author's page and links to the Amazon books. All three are on Kindle Unlimited, available for e-book purchase, or paperback. Since this is definitely on my re-read as soon as I can list, I will be purchasing the paperbacks.


A broken heart. An infamous holiday gone wrong. A deadly curse brought to life.

A holiday in Switzerland is supposed to lift Mary Wollstonecroft Godwin’s spirits. She wants to forget the past and have fun. In fact, everyone in her party is running away from one indiscretion or another—from her fiancĂ© Percy Shelley to Lord Bryon to Mary’s stepsister, Claire. But from the moment Mary arrives at Byron’s villa, she knows something is wrong. He rushes her indoors and forbids all of them to go out at night, claiming that the horrible weather has driven wild animals down from the mountains.

The only person who doesn’t seem to be running away from anything is a handsome, young Italian doctor, John Polidori. Instead, he is fervently pursuing local folk legends and a new scientific theory that claims people can be raised from the dead.

But it’s not until they all challenge one other to write ghost stories that the real danger begins. In a nightmare, Mary envisions a patchwork man animated by Galvanism and she begins writing Frankenstein. Likewise, fueled by local legends, John writes The Vampyre—one of the first vampire stories ever written.

Inline imageWhat neither one of them knows is that they are conjuring a dark evil. Before long, all of their lives will be in danger—for neither of these characters are imaginary. Far from it.

A broken heart. An infamous holiday gone wrong. A deadly curse brought to life.

A holiday in Switzerland is supposed to lift Mary Wollstonecroft Godwin’s spirits. She wants to forget the past and have fun. In fact, everyone in her party is running away from one indiscretion or another—from her fiancĂ© Percy Shelley to Lord Bryon to Mary’s stepsister, Claire. But from the moment Mary arrives at Byron’s villa, she knows something is wrong. He rushes her indoors and forbids all of them to go out at night, claiming that the horrible weather has driven wild animals down from the mountains.

The only person who doesn’t seem to be running away from anything is a handsome, young Italian doctor, John Polidori. Instead, he is fervently pursuing local folk legends and a new scientific theory that claims people can be raised from the dead.

But it’s not until they all challenge one other to write ghost stories that the real danger begins. In a nightmare, Mary envisions a patchwork man animated by Galvanism and she begins writing Frankenstein. Likewise, fueled by local legends, John writes The Vampyre—one of the first vampire stories ever written.

What neither one of them knows is that they are conjuring a dark evil. Before long, all of their lives will be in danger—for neither of these characters are imaginary. Far from it.

A relentless winter has driven the sangsue down from the Swiss Alps. They’re hungry, they’re soulless, and they were once human.

And one of them in particular, the King of the Sangsue, has been searching for someone like Mary for centuries. All it will take is one bite and she will be his forever…

Frankenstein meets Dracula in this Gothic retelling of Mary Shelley’s classic tale.

A holiday in Switzerland is supposed to lift Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin’s spirits. She wants to forget the past and have fun. In fact, everyone in her party is running away from one indiscretion or another—from her fiancĂ© Percy Shelley to Lord Byron to Mary’s stepsister, Claire. But from the moment Mary arrives at Byron’s villa, she knows something is wrong. He rushes her indoors and forbids all of them to go out at night, claiming that the horrible weather has driven wild animals down from the mountains.

The only person who doesn’t seem to be running away from anything is a handsome, young Italian doctor, John Polidori. Instead, he is fervently pursuing local folk legends and a new scientific theory that claims people can be raised from the dead.

But it’s not until they all challenge one other to write ghost stories that the real danger begins. In a nightmare, Mary envisions a patchwork man animated by Galvanism and she begins writing Frankenstein. Likewise, fueled by local legends, John writes The Vampyre—one of the first vampire stories ever written.

What neither one of them knows is that they are conjuring a dark evil. Before long, all of their lives will be in danger—for neither of these characters are imaginary. Far from it.
First I am going to review the series as a whole because I feel that this more of a broken up novel than three individual storylines.

The series overall is not quite what I expected with a retelling. Usually when I hear "retelling," I think of the original storyline with new characters and similarities to the original storyline. Even though I have not read the original Frankenstein by Mary Shelly, I am fairly certain that Mary Shelley was not a character in her own book, and that there were no vampires. During this series, Mary Shelly is the main characters and told from her point of view. While they are fighting off the Sangsue (vampires), and Mary is trying to avoid the charms of the Sangsue King, she is writing the novel, Frankenstein.

With that being said, this series is amazing. I use my star rating system to match that of the sites that I post reviews on, but this is easily a 10-star book series.  I loved the depth of detail and the characters. The series is published in the old-fashioned serial fiction style of Anthony Trollope where a large work of fiction is broken up and published in small sections. The individual books in this series are not stand alone and each is a very quick read. 

Another reason this book would get bonus points is that it is completely original. I don't think I have ever read anything quite like this. I have read my fair share of vampire novels from Dracula to Twilight and can't find anything to compare to this series. If you love Frankenstein, Dracula (or any vampires) or paranormal historical fiction, I feel you would like this series. Now enough of me jabbering on and on. Check out the links below.
Sign up for the author's newsletter and get updates here
Check out the author's web page hereI checked it out and there is some pretty cool stuff on there for book lovers and aspiring writers!
Purchase books below:
Shade           Dusk          Dawn (kindle version available 06/27)

Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Lantern's Ember by Colleen Houck


A bold and ghostly stand-alone from New York Times bestselling author Colleen Houck, with all the moodiness of Sleepy Hollow and all the romance her fans love. 

Welcome to a world where nightmarish creatures reign supreme.

Five hundred years ago, Jack made a deal with the devil. It's difficult for him to remember much about his mortal days. So he focuses on fulfilling his sentence as a Lantern--one of the watchmen who guard the portals to the Otherworld, a realm crawling with every nightmarish creature imaginable. Jack has spent centuries jumping from town to town, ensuring that nary a mortal--or not-so-mortal--soul slips past him. That is, until he meets beautiful Ember O'Dare. 

Seventeen, stubborn, and a natural-born witch, Ember feels a strong pull to the Otherworld. Undeterred by Jack's warnings, she crosses into the forbidden plane with the help of a mysterious and debonair vampire--and the chase through a dazzling, dangerous world is on. Jack must do everything in his power to get Ember back where she belongs before both the earthly and unearthly worlds descend into chaos.

Colleen Houck, the New York Times bestselling author of the Tigers Curse series and Reawakened series, breathes new life into classic folklore in this wild, twisting adventure propelled by the spirit of Halloween. - From

Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I received this book free from Net Galley in exchange for a review.

5 stars are not enough for this book. The fantasy world that the author creates is flawless. There is a loch ness monster, Frankenstein, werewolves, witches, vampires, and several other creatures. Then add in a steampunk Otherworld!  The dialogue actually made me laugh out loud. Ember is one of my favorite literary characters ever.

Preorder your copy today from Amazon.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Good Demon by Jimmy Cajoleas


Twilight Then vs. Now - New Moon Review

“The bond forged between us was not one that could be broken by absence, distance, or time.  And no matter how much more special or beautifu...