Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Review: The Tournament of Ruses by Kate Stradling

Book Blurb:

Flora Dalton wants nothing more than a quiet life in the countryside of Lenore, but her father's promotion to the Parliament of Lords has uprooted her and planted her smack in the middle of a mess. Not only must she adjust to a new home, a new city, and a new circle of friends, but she also gets to endure a whole country gone mad with excitement: the Eternal Prince of Lenore—their famed and fabled protector—has decided at long last to take a consort! Rumor says he's going to marry the Prime Minister's daughter, Viola Moreland, but the lords have petitioned him to consider each of their daughters in turn, and that includes poor Flora. Against her wishes she must navigate a sea of scheming females in a laughable tournament of feminine graces, even as deathly shadows encroach upon her doorstep. For while most everyone is fixated on the Eternal Prince's love life, something much more sinister is afoot in Lenore, and Flora happens to be at the very heart of it.

Author Bio:

Kate Stradling received her BA and MA in English. She is a language-structure junkie. She works as a freelance technical and developmental editor and has published five novels in the fantasy spectrum. Her sixth novel, The Legendary Inge, framed on the Old English epic Beowulf, will be released in Summer 2016. She is a native of Mesa, Arizona.

 You can find this fabulous author here:
Twitter: @katestradling

My Review:
I actually won this book back in February, at the ANWA Conference. In all the hustle and bustle of coming home, it some how got lost in the disaster I call home. On Friday I happened upon it, and snagged it as my boys hauled me out of the house for a fishing trip. 
This book is instantly engaging, as it takes you into world that feels slightly regency era, but more so incredibly unique. As the reader you will instantly feel bad for poor Flora as she suffers through this life that is nothing like she'd ever wanted for herself. Then when magic is introduced... hold onto your socks ladies and gentlemen! There are so many fantastic twist and unexpected turns, I could barely put the book down! As it is, it only took me about 12 hours to devour the entire thing.
There is a book that comes before this one, called Kingdom of Ruses, but as the author so kindly informs us in the preface, you do NOT need to read it before diving into this one. I completely agree that while it's a sequel it also works FABULOUSLY as a stand alone. I want to read the first book, purely because of how much I adored Author Kate Stradling's world that she has created.
The only thing I can say, is I wish that this amazing book had an equally amazing cover. I'd never expected such a dynamic, magical book to be encased in something so simple.
Regardless, I give this book an easy 5 STARS!!!

I highly recommend you grab a copy today!!!


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Release Day Blitz: Through Fire & Sea by Nicole Luiken

Through Fire & Sea
Release Date: 05/05/15

Summary from Goodreads:
Mirror mirror, hear my call…

In the Fire world, seventeen-year-old Leah is the illegitimate daughter of one of the realm's most powerful lords. She's hot-blooded—able to communicate with the tempestuous volcano gods that either bless a civilization or destroy it. But then Leah discovers she's a Caller, gifted with the unique—and dangerous—ability to “call” her Otherselves in mirror worlds. And her father will do anything to use her powers for his own purposes.

In the Water world, Holly nearly drowns when she sees—and interacts with—Leah, a mirror image of herself. She’s rescued by Ryan, a boy from school with a secret he’d die to protect. Little do they know, his Otherself is the son of a powerful volcano god at war in the Fire world…and he’s about to fall.

As Leah and Holly's lives intersect, the Fire and Water worlds descend into darkness. The only way to protect the mirror worlds is to break every rule they've ever known. If they don’t, the evil seeping through the mirrors will destroy everything—and everyone—they love…

Buy Links:
AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo BooksiBooks

Parallel Worlds: Guest blog by Nicole Luiken
My fantasy novel Through Fire & Sea features a number of parallel worlds. There’s the True World from which the four other worlds were copied and the Mirror Worlds themselves: Fire, Water, Air and Stone.
Parallel worlds are a favorite trope of mine. Here are some other fictional parallel worlds that I really enjoyed:
  •  Sliders This ‘90s TV show dealt with a group of students and their prof who ended up "sliding" between various parallel Earths in an attempt to find their way back to their own universe. Each universe looked mostly like ours but proved to have a subtle difference. The physics prof was played by Rhys-Davies, who is actually rather tall when not shrunk down to dwarf size for his role as Gimli in LOTR
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer featured a parallel universe, in which most of the regular cast were either dead or vampires in the episodes “The Wish” and “Doppelgangland”. My husband and I are rewatching this series with our fifteen-year-old son.
  • Fringe. This popular SF TV show followed FBI agent Olivia Dunn as she investigated strange paranormal and fringe science phenomena with the help of Walter Bishop and his son Peter. In later seasons, it featured several different versions of Earth. In the main Earth Walter Bishop was a crazed genius, his so-called ‘Walternate’ was the Secretary of Defense. Big difference.
  • Once Upon a Time TV show. The Evil Queen’s curse removed all the fairy tale characters from their magic lands, gave them amnesia and placed them in an ordinary American town of Storybrook. I loved how each episode featured a flashback retold fairytale storyline as well as the main Storybrook plot.
  • Awake TV show. This one’s a little more obscure and only lasted a season, but I really liked it. Jason Isaacs (otherwise known as Lucius Malfoy) played a cop who’d been in a car accident with his family several months before. In one world, his son had died, but every time he went to sleep he would wake in a subtly-gray world in which his son had survived but his wife had died instead.
What are some parallel world stories in books, TV or movies that you’ve enjoyed?

About the Author
Nicole Luiken wrote her first book at age 13 and never stopped.
She is the author of nine published books for young adults, including Violet Eyes and its sequels Silver Eyes and Angels Eyes, Frost, Unlocking the Doors, The Catalyst, Escape to the Overworld, Dreamfire and the sequel Dreamline. She also has an adult thriller, Running on Instinct, under the name N.M. Luiken and a fantasy romance series, Gate to Kandrith and Soul of Kandrith.
Nicole lives with her family in Edmonton, AB. It is physically impossible for her to go more than three days in a row without writing. 

Author Links:
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Book Blitz Organized by:

Book Blitz: Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance by Danielle Younge-Ullman

Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance
by Danielle Younge-Ullman
Release Date: 05/05/15

Summary from Goodreads:

Lola Carlyle is lonely, out of sorts, and in for a boring summer. So when her best friend, Sydney, calls to rave about her stay at a posh Malibu rehab and reveals that the love of Lola’s life, Wade Miller, is being admitted, she knows what she has to do. Never mind that her worst addiction is decaf cappuccino; Lola is going to rehab.

Lola arrives at Sunrise Rehab intent solely on finding Wade, saving him from himself, and—naturally—making him fall in love with her…only to discover she’s actually expected to be an addict. And get treatment. And talk about her issues with her parents, and with herself. Plus she has insane roommates, and an irritatingly attractive mentor, Adam, who’s determined to thwart her at every turn.

Oh, and Sydney? She’s gone.

Turns out, once her pride, her defenses, and her best friend are stripped away, Lola realizes she’s actually got a lot to overcome…if she can open her heart long enough to let it happen.

About the Author

Danielle Younge-Ullman is a novelist, playwright and freelance writer. She studied English and Theater at McGill University, then returned to her hometown of Toronto to work as professional actor for ten years. Danielle’s short story, Reconciliation, was published in MODERN MORSELS—a McGraw-Hill Anthology for young adults—in 2012, her one-act play, 7 Acts of Intercourse, debuted at Toronto's SummerWorks Festival in 2005, and her adult novel, FALLING UNDER, was published by Penguin in 2008. Danielle lives in Toronto with her husband and two daughters.

Author Links:


In this scene, Lola finally gets the chance to spend some time on the beach with her crush, and the boy she faked her way into rehab to rescue/forge a love connection with.

We both laugh, and water swirls around my ankles.
“But Carlyle, what happened?” he says, his expression getting serious again. “Last I knew, you were a kid and now you’re here. What’s the deal?”
“Oh,” I say with a dismissive wave, “just a bit of a drinking thing. You know how it goes.”
“I wondered about something,” he says, coming closer.
“You, ah, you kissed me, Carlyle.”
“Oh, you noticed,” I say, trying to be nonchalant even as my heart rate increases.
“Yeah, I noticed. Hard to miss.”
“Well then, so I did.”
“So…? What was that about?”
“Poor impulse control?”
“No.” I swallow. “Actually, I always wanted to kiss you. Figured I’d check it off the list.”
“Off the list?”
“Yep.” I shrug like it’s no big deal, even though my legs feel like Play-Doh. “So, now I have.”
“And it was fun,” I say, and then turn and start walking back along the shore toward Talia.
Wade follows, half walking, half paddling in the shallow water.
“Wait, wait! So…you had a crush? During the movie? Are you saying you had a crush on me?”
“I wanted to kiss you, that’s all,” I say over my shoulder.
“That’s a crush, Carlyle. I call that a crush.”
“Why didn’t you say something? I know we lost touch for a bit, but you could’ve called me. Or friended me on Facebook, followed me on Twitter,” he says, all the while struggling to get out of the water and balance his board.
“Followed you on Twitter? Please. I’m not some cheesy fangirl.”
I searched Facebook early on, but he wasn’t there. By the time I looked again he had three thousand “friends,” most of them female. And I do follow him on Twitter, but not as me and not that I’d admit it, ever.
“But you’d have been my cheesy fangirl.” He comes up beside me, carrying the board by his side. “I’m very fond of cheesy fangirls.”
“You have enough of those.”
“My loss.”
“I’d be a bad cheesy fangirl. I’d get bored. I’m too fickle, I’m crap at the adulation thing, and I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing you on a T-shirt.”
He howls with laughter.
“Plus, I have trouble sharing.”
He stops laughing and looks at me. “Sharing, huh? You sure?”
I feel a moment of eww, but brush it away. “Very.”
We get closer to Talia on her rock and the lifeguard station, and our walking slows almost to a stop, as if by silent agreement.
“By the way,” Wade says, “I’m sorry about your parents.”
“Aw, no big deal.”
“Of course it’s a big deal. It’s your parents.”
“Sure, but it happens all the time, right?”
“Not where I’m from. Well, not as much.”
“That’s why you started out sweet, W.A.D.E.”


Book Blitz Organized by:

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Paper Roses by Amanda Cabot

Paper Roses by Amanda Cabot

I was not gifted a copy of this book, nor was my review requested by the author. I just happened upon it, and fell absolutely in love, so I felt the need to share it with you! 
*All book information and author info has been copied from Amazon.*

Her future stretched out like the clear blue Texas sky.
But a storm is coming.
Leaving the past behind in Philadelphia, mail-order bride Sarah Dobbs arrives in San Antonio ready to greet her groom--a man she has never met but whose letters, her paper roses, have won her heart from afar. But there is a problem--Austin Canfield is dead, and Sarah cannot go back East.
As Sarah tries to reconcile herself to a future that is drastically changed, Austin's brother Clay wants nothing more than to shake the Texas dust from his boots, but first he must find his brother's killer. And then there's Sarah.
Something is blooming out in the vast Texas landscape that neither Clay nor Sarah is ready to admit, and the promise of redemption blows like a gentle breeze through the prairie grasses.
Book 1 of the Texas Dreams series, Paper Roses will sweep you away with a tale of love, loss, and tantalizing possibilities.
Amanda Cabot is an accomplished author under various pen names. She is a charter member of Romance Writers of America, the co-founder of its New Jersey chapter, and an avid traveler.

Author Bio:

With both parents avid readers, it's no surprise that Amanda Cabot learned to read at an early age. From there it was only a small step to deciding to become a writer. Of course, deciding and becoming are two different things, as she soon discovered. Fortunately for the world, her first attempts at fiction, which included a play for her fifth grade class entitled "All About Thermometers," were not published, but she did meet her goal of selling a novel by her thirtieth birthday. Since then she's sold more than thirty novels under a variety of pseudonyms. When she's not writing, Amanda enjoys sewing, cooking and - of course - reading. 

 For sale here on AMAZON


I actually purchased this book a couple years ago. Read it and was left with a fabulous book hangover. Back then I'd never thought of writing reviews, but having just re-read it, I couldn't help but hope that the author will someday see my review and know what a fantastic job she did with this book. It's a beautiful story of forgiveness, overcoming the most heart wrenching of challenges, and giving over your troubles to your Heavenly Father. The characters are beautiful people that instantly have your heart wrapped around their fingers, and you turning pages to watch them grow spiritually. A fabulous read that I can't wait to share with my friends and family. Fabulous job!!!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Cover Reveal: The Secret Keeper by Angela Carling

It's a COVER REVEAL!!!! When my friend Angela Carling asked around to see who would be interested in helping to reveal the cover of her brand new book, The Secret Keeper, I just KNEW I had to get in on that action!!! First, let me introduce you to my fabulous friend Angela.

 Author Bio:

Ways to connect with her:
Barnes and Noble
Stalk me on Instagram too!

Now, ready to hear what her book is all about? Here is the blurb:

When Seventeen year old Winter Merrill was driven to make a bargain with the mysterious Secret Keeper, she knew there were rules.  The most important one, the next time you have a secret, you will not be able to tell it….even if you try. What she didn’t know is that her next secret if not told, would destroy her life and the life of Liam, the only boy she ever loved. Can Winter find a way out of the dark bargain that binds her tongue or will her deal with the Secret Keeper bring devastating consequences unimaginable even to her?

GOOSEBUMPS, right!?!?!? 
I can't wait to get my hands on this one! Now, are you ready for the cover? I know we always say "don't judge a book by its cover." But ya'll know if the book doesn't have a beautiful, eye catching cover we aren't quite as quick to snag it. I'm sure I've said this a hundred times over the year, but I LOVE THIS COVER!!!!

What do you think!?!? Leave some kind comments for the author below!