Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Unwanted by Jean Nicole Rivers

About the book:
In the remote, eastern European town of Borslav there is St. Sebastian orphanage, a place where people discard their unwanted children. For the American, Blaire Baker, it’s the perfect place to volunteer her services. Paired with a cheerful volunteer nurse, Blaire is enthusiastic about the possibilities, but is quickly discouraged when she encounters the nefarious nature of the staff and the deplorable conditions of the facility and the children.

Upon arrival, one of the children informs Blaire, “There’s something in the basement.” It isn’t long before strange things begin happening, including Blaire’s flashbacks of the accident that killed her parents. The children soon suffer injuries that Blaire, first, fears may be the deeds of the callous workers but she soon thinks the abuse may originate from a source that is less than human, something unwanted.

The unwanted is coming but in order for Blaire to fight it, she must dig into St. Sebastian and herself in search of truth. Blaire wants nothing more than to help the children, but when discovers the tragedy that happened in the basement and learns that the same evil forces are still at work, it will be Blaire who needs help…There’s something in the basement.

Watch the book trailer.

You can get your copy of The Unwanted (Black Water Tales #2) via Amazon.

About the Author:

Jean Nicole Rivers is a great lover of reading and writing. Although she loves varied genres, the horror/thriller genre is her favorite. Jean Nicole has been writing poetry and short stories since she was a child, but has always aspired to master the art of storytelling through novels. The Unwanted is the second story in her series of Black Water Tales, following The Secret Keepers. Jean Nicole was awarded 3rd place in the National Black Book Festival’s 2013 Best New Author competition and she enjoys the honor of having written featured articles for popular reader websites and blogs, such as Digital Book Today and The Masquerade Crew. Jean Nicole Rivers graduated from Florida International University with a bachelor of arts in philosophy, and she lives in Houston, Texas. Become friends with her at www.facebook.com/JNicolerivers. Follow her on Twitter @Jeannicole19. Check out her Instagram @Jeannicole19 or visit her at www.jeannicolerivers.com.

*Content sent by the author for this blog's publication.

Wednesday Spotlight | The Unwanted by Jean Nicole Rivers

Thursday, April 6, 2017

      RISE AND SHINE, BENEDICT STONE by Phaedra Patrick
May 16th 2017 by MIRA

Moonstone for empathy. Azurite for memories. Lapis lazuli for truth… In the quiet village of Noon Sun, Benedict Stone has settled into a complacent and predictable routine. Business at his jewelry shop has dried up; his marriage is on the rocks. His life is in desperate need of a jump start…
And then a surprise arrives at his door. ~ Goodreads

Very much like her first book, Ms. Patrick created characters that are simply charming and attachable. I was instantly charmed by Benedict Stone, so, I was hooked into the story straightaway and read the whole thing in less than a day.

RISE AND SHINE, BENEDICT STONE follows the story of a local jeweler. Orphaned at eighteen, Benedict was left to raise his younger brother, Charlie, and run the shop. However, events estranged the brothers apart for many years. Until, his niece, whom he never met before, knocked on his door one rainy evening. Although unprepared and a bit overwhelmed, Benedict finds that Gemma’s presence brings him a certain awakening.

This is one delightful read. It tackles family and communal issues, childlessness, and one's sense of self-efficacy with a good sense of honesty and depth. It’s a bit magical, too, in some sense, but totally works for the whole premise. Maybe some parts happened a bit opportunely or sappy, but I find them all part of the charm that hooked me. I think it’s this kind of simple, but sparkling read, that this troubled world needs to have more.

I do recommend that you, guys, get a copy soon.

Book details:
Author:  Phaedra Patrick
Publication:  May 16th 2017 by MIRA
Genre:  Fiction
Rating:  ★★★★★

*Thanks to MIRA and Netgalley for the DRC in exchange for this honest review.

Book Review | RISE AND SHINE, BENEDICT STONE by Phaedra Patrick

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

TIAGO by Cátia Skye

About the Book:

Two shattered hearts. One unstoppable love.

New York, USA
Kezra, sixteen, dumped by her boyfriend of six months after he took her virginity, shocked by revelations about her father, falls into an abyss of panic and anxiety. On doctor’s orders, she is sent on a vacation to get away from pressures.

Lisbon, Portugal
Tiago, seventeen, has lost more than most lose in a lifetime, believes implicitly in the inevitable Portuguese Tragedy, has left the thug-life, has left school, is just trying to survive each new day.

Neither of them is looking for love…

  • Teen & Young Adult > Romance > Contemporary
  • Romance > Series
  • Teen & Young Adult > Literature & Fiction > Coming of Age
  • Teen & Young Adult > Literature & Fiction > Geography & Cultures > Europe

About the Author:

Cátia Skye is a New-York-born, Portuguese-American gal who now resides in the romantic heart of Lisbon, Portugal. She is the single mother of one rambunctious little boy, and pens romance novels between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. each night when her boy finally falls asleep.

Visit Cátia's website. 

Enter $25 Amazon Giveaway

*Contents were sent by the publicist for this blog's publication.

Wednesday Spotlight | TIAGO by Cátia Skye

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Last Year's Resolution by Robert Lampros

About the book:
Last Year’s Resolution is a novel about Edmund Stovender, a famous author who falls in love with Marie, a journalist who calls him for an interview just before the performance of his hit play.  Their lives accelerate through an epic adventure testing their faith, strength, and love for each other, as they discover that their story might pivotally influence the fate of the world.

You can get your copy of Last Year's Resolution via Amazon.

About the Author:
Robert Lampros is an author of Christian poetry, essays, and fiction who lives in St. Louis.  He earned a Bachelor's degree in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis.  His books include Fits of Tranquility, Illuminating Sidewalks, Om-Bork, Afternoon, Eleven Floors, and What Is Sacred.  His latest novel, Last Year's Resolution, is currently available as an e-book and is set to be released in paperback in Summer 2016.

Follow Robert’s blog and on Twitter.

*Contents were sent by the author for this blog's publication.

Wednesday Spotlight | Last Year's Resolution by Robert Lampros

Monday, March 20, 2017

     SEE YOU IN THE COSMOS by Jack Cheng
February 28, 2017;
Penguin Random House UK Children’s Puffin

A space-obsessed boy and his dog, Carl Sagan, take a journey toward family, love, hope, and awe in this funny and moving novel for fans of Counting by 7s and Walk Two Moons. ~ Goodreads

Eleven-year old Alex Petroski is Jack Cheng’s charming and peculiar half-Filipino narrator for his debut novel, SEE YOU IN THE COSMOS. Alex records his multitudinous thoughts and adventures –he records everything– on his golden iPod. He dreams of launching a rocket and taking his golden iPod into space, with the same intentions as his idol Carl Sagan, who launched his Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977. So determined, Alex went to the Southwest High-Altitude Rocket Festival in New Mexico with only his dog Carl Sagan (named after his idol, of course) to tag along.

SHARF is not Alex’s last stop, though. From there, he will take a leap of faith to find a man who may be or may not be his father, who also may not be dead yet, as he believed, in Las Vegas. Alex will experience disappointments and confusions throughout the journey. He will also meet plenty of people. They were not perfect or idealistic, but they certainly made a beautiful family together.

Cheng brings a poignant debut novel with a surprisingly refreshing structure –an unusual form that may appear confusing, but actually worked wonderfully in fleshing out his characters and deliver a message of resilience. 

At the beginning, I was skeptical that Alex will break my heart along the way, and that I’ll have no defenses against it. I’m glad that he did not break my heart, but he definitely hooked it. I do recommend that you grab a copy of this book.

Book details:
Author:  Jack Cheng
Publication:  February 28, 2017;
                        Penguin Random House UK Children’s Puffin
Genre:  Middle Grade, Children's Fiction
Rating:  ★★★★

*Thanks to Penguin Random House and Netgalley for the DRC, in exchange for this unbiased review.

Book Review | SEE YOU IN THE COSMOS by Jack Cheng

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Last Wife of Attila the Hun by Joan Schweighardt

About the book:
Two threads are flawlessly woven together in this sweeping historical novel. In one, Gudrun, a Burgundian noblewoman, dares to enter the City of Attila to give its ruler what she hopes is a cursed sword; the second reveals the unimaginable events that have driven her to this mission.

Based in part on the true history of the times and in part on the same Nordic legends that inspired Wagner’s Ring Cycle and other great works of art, The Last Wife of Attila the Hun offers readers a thrilling story of love, betrayal, passion and revenge, all set against an ancient backdrop itself gushing with intrigue. Lovers of history and fantasy alike will find realism and legend at work in Joan Schweighardt’s latest offering.

You can get your copy of The Last Wife of Attila the Hun via Amazon, B&N or iTunes.

About the Author:
Joan Schweighardt is the author of five novels, with a sixth well on the way and notes for number seven. In addition to her own writing projects, she writes, ghostwrites, and edits for individuals and corporations. Her business website can be viewed at www.greycoreliteraryservices.com.

Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

*Contents were sent by Booktrope Edition's Book Manager for this blog's publication.

Wednesday Spotlight | The Last Wife of Attila the Hun by Joan Schweighardt

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

       THE AWAKENING by Amanda Stevens
March 28th 2017, Mira
My name is Amelia Gray, and I'm a cemetery restorer who lives with the dead. An anonymous donor has hired me to restore Woodbine Cemetery, a place where the rich and powerful bury their secrets. Forty years ago, a child disappeared without a trace and now her ghost has awakened, demanding that I find out the truth about her death. Only I know that she was murdered. Only I can bring her killer to justice. But the clues that I follow—a haunting melody and an unnamed baby's grave—lead me to a series of disturbing suspects. 

I have been a fan of this series ever since I requested for the 1st book via Netgalley. I highly recommend that you pick a copy now, if you haven’t already. The Restorer completely hooked me and left me in agony for the next book, then the next, and then, the next.  Amelia Gray, the protagonist, was a huge curiosity for me.  I never imagined a cemetery restorer was an actual career until I met her. I’ve watched her evolve from book to book. Having her powers never excused her from being vulnerable, but her resilience is palpable and very admirable. And I have always rooted for her.

Ms. Amanda created a vivid atmosphere for this series. She captured Charleston for the readers and projected it into something we could actually breathe in and consume. Every book contains an escalating plot that would eventually boil into an eerie, yet satisfying read.

Again, THE AWAKENING is no exception. Amelia knew from the beginning that restoring Woodbine Cemetery would mean uncovering a secret. It may be a secret far darker from anything she had encountered before. And being in proximity with John Devlin and the Conge will not make anything easier for her. Death may even be inevitable this time.
Shush… lest she awakens…
Saying good bye to this series is like saying good bye to an old friend. Of course, mine is a mixed feeling of both happiness and sadness. I am still reeling from the ending, but I couldn’t see a more fulfilling way to end it. Years from now, I would look back and be reminded that The Graveyard Queen was the series that kept me from sleeping, made me stare at my window more than I should, check my walls and ceiling, and literally duck under the covers in hunt of that elusive sleep.

Congratulations, Ms. Amanda!

Book details:
Title:  The Awakening
Author:  Amanda Stevens
Publication:  March 28th 2017 by Mira
Genre:  Fiction / Paranormal
Rating:  ★★★★★

*Graveyard Queen Series:

* Egalley was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for this honest review. 
This review contains a quote from an uncorrected copy.

Book Review | THE AWAKENING by Amanda Stevens

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Blackbeard's Daughter by Diana Strenka

About the book:
Colonial dreams have become piratical nightmares. Margaret takes one disastrous turn after the other as she confronts the perils of murder, war, and revenge. When her father decides to pursue criminal mischief aboard a pirate's vessel, Margaret joins him in an effort to save his life. Will she weather the storms ahead, or will they destroy her?

You can get your copy of Blackbeard’s Daughter via Amazon or Smashwords.

About the Author:
Diana has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, and a Master's Degree in Education.  In addition to Blackbeard's Daughter, she has authored and self-published several short stories on Smashwords and Amazon.   One such title is Rescuing the Titanic, a fictional account of the Californian arriving before the Titanic sank. In the nonfiction realm, she has published several articles for HubPages on medieval and renaissance historical figures. She enjoys taking care of her cat, Moe, and drinking tea.

Follow her on Twitter.

*Content was sent by the author for this blog's publication.

Wednesday Spotlight | Blackbeard's Daughter by Diana Strenka