Monday, February 19, 2018

Blast + Giveaway: Tombs by Deborah Schaumberg


Tombs by Deborah Schaumberg

Gangs of New York meets Cassandra Clare in this debut YA fantasy set in 1882 Brooklyn

New York, 1882. A dark, forbidding city, and no place for a girl with unexplainable powers.

Sixteen-year-old Avery Kohl pines for the life she had before her mother was taken. She fears the mysterious men in crow masks who locked her mother in the Tombs asylum for being able to see what others couldn’t. Avery denies the signs in herself, focusing instead on her shifts at the ironworks factory and keeping her inventor father out of trouble. Other than secondhand tales of adventure from her best friend, Khan, an ex-slave, and caring for her falcon, Seraphine, Avery spends her days struggling to survive.

Like her mother’s, Avery’s powers refuse to be contained. When she causes a bizarre explosion at the factory, she has no choice but to run from her lies, straight into the darkest corners of the city. Avery must embrace her abilities and learn to wield their power—or join her mother in the cavernous horrors of the Tombs. And the Tombs has secrets of its own: strange experiments are being performed on “patients”…and no one knows why. 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Deborah Schaumberg was born in Brooklyn, not far from where her novel The Tombs takes place. She grew up renovating dilapidated old houses with her family. She and her father would walk the rooms, floor by floor, making up stories about the inhabitants that were filled with dark secrets, monsters, and, of course, ghosts. Deborah is a writer and an artist whose work always has an element of fantasy to it, and since she also studied architecture, settings are equally important. It was on a trek to the Annapurna Sanctuary in Nepal that she imagined a girl with the ability to see energy, and the seed of The Tombs was planted. She collects old bottles, and her favorite holiday is, you guessed it, Halloween. Deborah lives with her family and two dogs in Maryland, just outside DC. Visit her at deborahschaumberg.com.






Photo Content from Deborah Schaumberg

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Review: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

25526296Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere... else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced... they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

Pages: 173
Format: E-Book
Published By: Tor
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Series: Wayward Children

Rating:
✮✮✮

Review:
I was really excited to pick up Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire. This book is about children traveling through doorways to other worlds, and then coming back to our world and going to Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children; and then when Nancy arrives, danger also comes knocking. And by the end of the book it had lived up to my expectations, but there were a few problems with getting into the book.

First problem, the pacing. It just felt slow for a good portion of the beginning of the book, which made it difficult to hold my attention for long. It took me much longer to read through this book than I would have thought when I first picked it up, because I just wasn't drawn into the story. It did pick up a little before the book was halfway done, and at that point, I was hooked by the book - definitely why sometimes pushing through is good.

Another downfall regarding this book initially were the characters. Initially, I didn't like Nancy, or a majority of the other characters, but I didn't dislike them either. I was very indifferent towards them because I was unable to connect with them, which may be due to the fact that I wasn't able to get into the book meaning I never really got the chance to connect. The only characters that really stood out to me from the beginning, and that I really liked, was Jack (whose story I am really excited to read even though I didn't love this novel). Although, after I was able to get into the book, I really enjoyed getting to know the characters, and at times sympathesized with what they were going through during the novel.

I loved the idea of the novel, and being able to travel to different worlds, and I did enjoy Seanan McGuire's writing style. I also liked that Seanan took time to describe the worlds even though you don't get to experience them within the novel. I can't wait to discover those worlds within the coming novels. I also loved that this book was able to evoke so much emotion for being so short of a story. I thought the conclusion was fitting for the story, and it tied it all together really well... and I was happy that I had figured it out earlier in the story (I was suspicious for a while).

I would highly recommend this novel because it was unique and different, and it's a fairly quick read once you get into it. I cannot wait to start the sequel for this series, and look forward to the other books planned for this series.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Cover Reveal: Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced by R.J. Garcia


Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced
R.J. Garcia
Publication date: May 1st 2018
Genres: Suspense, Young Adult
Mystery surrounds the town of Summertime, Indiana, where fifteen-year-old Tommy Walker and his little sister are sent to live with relatives they’ve never met. Tommy soon makes friends with his rebellious neighbor, Finn Wilds.
Finn invites Tommy to late night meetings in the woods, where Tommy gets to know two girls. He forms a special and unique connection with both girls. The meetings become a place where the kids, who don’t fit in at school, or home can finally belong. As the group of friends begin to unravel clues to a cold case murder and kidnapping— they learn the truth is darker and closer than they ever imagined. Even if they live to tell, will anyone believe them?


Author Bio:
R.J. Garcia is a wife and proud mom. She earned her MSW and worked with foster children and as a school social worker. Writing has been her other great love. She has published several non-fiction pieces. She has been writing short-stories for as long as she can remember. To her amazement, those short stories became novels! 

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Cover Reveal: Alive? by Melissa Woods


Alive?
Melissa Woods
(The Alive? Series, #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: October 30th 2018
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Young Adult, Zombies
Everyone knows the first rule of the zombie apocalypse: Don’t. Get. Bitten.
Too bad Violet has never been great at following the rules. Walking home after a night of partying, she manages to let one of the Dead take a chunk out of her only hours after they’ve begun walking again. Fortunately for Violet, she doesn’t die. Unfortunately for Violet—she’s not exactly alive, either.
Violet’s body is undergoing changes, and suddenly the taste of human flesh is not as revolting as it once sounded. Controlling her new urges will be hard. Living with survivors who have no idea will be even harder. And the real zombies? They still want to eat her, too…
Surviving the zompocalypse is tricky when you play for both teams.
New from author Melissa Woods, Alive? is a heart-pounding adventure with suspenseful plot twists, complex characters, and a dash of dark humor. Gritty and raw, Alive? is sure to keep you guessing, and will delight zombie apocalypse fans everywhere.

Author Bio:
Melissa is a Primary School teacher by day and a writer by night. She grew up in a small town in the UK, and spent of her time with her nose in a book. Her childhood was filled with R.L Stein, Jacqueline Wilson, and J.K Rowling, and they inspired her to begin creating her own worlds. Melissa has always been fascinated with stories about living through an apocalyptic event, and with characters who feel so real that they become part of the reader long after the book was put away. She wrote the first draft of Alive? at sixteen, and has been hooked on writing ever since.
When she's not writing, Melissa enjoys reading, playing video games, crocheting, and spending time with her two dogs (and occasionally her husband). 
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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Tour + Review: Romanov by Samaire Provost


Romanov
Samaire Provost
Publication date: January 24th 2018
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
In an abandoned warehouse in Manhattan, two enemies battle to the death, while outside, a malevolent entity watches and waits and plots, eager for blood. On an island in the heart of Seattle, an immortal princess struggles to lead a normal life just as a flood of terrifying creatures starts to pour in through a portal that should not be there. A young man meets a classmate while walking home from the college library, and embarks on the most dangerous adventure he’s ever known – will he survive? A deranged madman hunts the girl he’s lusted after for a century, in a relentless pursuit for vengeance. A prehistoric, mythical beast jealously guards a primeval land, which is leaking into present-day Seattle. A sweet, forbidden passion blossoms between two lovers who steal moments whenever they can, while unbeknownst to them, they’re hunted by a deadly creature.
A royal family threatened at its weakest – yet lethal in its own right – is stalked by an ancient evil that will not rest until they are utterly destroyed: a nightmare incarnate that has waited millions of years for revenge threatens the very existence of the young lovers and their family.
Will they prevail?

Review:
4 stars

Romanov by Samaire Provost would normally not be my go to read on account that it features vampires, which are my least favorite paranormal story to read, but there was something about Romanov that just completely sucked me into the story and the world. This book is unlike any other vampire book that I have read to date.

I just loved the concept of Vampires in Russia because I haven't read many books set in Russia, and there is just something unique about vampires in Russia - maybe because it's different from the usual vampires book that I have read in the past.

I loved getting to know Alix, Lexei, and Anna, and get to see a story that focused more on the family aspect like Romanov did. I also liked the additional romantic aspect with Anna and Eric, and getting to see how their relationship developed as the story progressed.

I would highly recommend this book if you are a fan of vampire novels, and/or paranormal novels set in Russia.

Author Bio:
Samaire Provost lives in California with her husband and son.
Her love of paranormal stories, odd plots, and unique tales as well as the works of Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Susan Cooper, Madeleine L’Engle and Stephen King has deeply influenced her writing. 


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Top Ten Tuesday: Popular Books/Authors I Have Still Yet to Read

So a few weeks prior to this post, I did a post about books that I need/want to read before the movies and tv show come out on the big screen. So because I have already mentioned that I haven't read those (some of which could apply to this post), I will not be mentioning those books again.

As I am writing this, I must say that there is apart of me that is somewhat ashamed that I have not read these books or anything by these authors. So without further ado, let's get to the books that I haven't read.

Since I actually had planned on posting a different topic this week, but I already had this one completed, and because I ended up having two exams today (due to an unfortunate event with one of my professors), I never got around to completing my planned topic. So instead, you get this topic instead, and next week I will plan what was initially planned for today.

#1: Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

This isn't the first time that I have mentioned that I haven't read the Harry Potter Series on my blog, and it's sad because I own the first three books in the series. My friend was disappointed that I hadn't read the books yet, so she actually got them for me as a Christmas gift.

And even though I haven't read this series, I have read the screenplay for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

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#2: Hobbit/Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

This one personally upsets me more than not having read Harry Potter, because I am obsessed with the Lord of the Rings movies, and everything to do with Lord of the Rings. One of the reasons that I never read the books is because I was like 6 when the movies came out, and 7 or 8 when I watched the first movie. I didn't even know these were books at that time, and so I haven't yet picked them up - and I actually own two sets of the books. One set I bought for myself and the other was a gift from a friend.

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#3: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Let me explain about this one - if it's even at all possible to really explain about it. So for this being a popular book that has been made into a movie, I didn't know anything at all regarding this book. Had no idea what it was about, and to be honest, I never really took the time to find out what it was about. I had seen the cover, and was it didn't catch my attention. I also knew it was contemporary, and until recently, I didn't really try to read contemporary. Not to mention, this was recommended to me on goodreads.

So funny story, last year, my friend invited me to see the movie Wonder, and I was like sure. Had no idea what the movie was about, but I knew she would recommend a movie to me that I wouldn't enjoy. I absolutely loved the movie - I probably sobbed the entire movie, my friend who does not cry, sobbed during the movie. It was a mess. I, after seeing the movie, still had no idea that the movie was based on this book by R.J. Palacio.

I apparently lived under a rock when it came to knowing anything at all about this book, so it's one that I haven't read, and definitely plan to get to soon because I know I will enjoy it. And this is a big part of why I am ashamed as a reader right now - and I should be.

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#4: Stephanie Perkins

I have not read any book by Stephanie Perkins. Not that Stephanie Perkins has a ton of books out there that I could have read, but I haven't read the Anna and the French Kiss trilogy, nor have I read her latest YA horror novel (which will actually be the first Stephanie Perkins book that I do get around to reading because I love horror more than contemporary). I looked at the books and was like I'd read those, but then just never got around to picking any of her books up.

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#5: Rainbow Rowell

Sticking with the theme going on right now of contemporary authors that I haven't picked up yet... which includes Rainbow Rowell. I have heard so about her as an author, and I am going to stick with the two contemporary books that she has written, because her YA fantasy, Carry On, didn't peak my attention as much as her two contemporary novels did. I do want to point out that I have borrowed Fangirl from my library, so hopefully, soon I can say that I have read a Rainbow Rowell novel.

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#6: Katie McGarry

So I don't know how popular in the sense of the world these books are, but I am including her on my list because a lot of people I know have read books by her, so they are popular in my circle of readers that I know. And these are another set of contemporary novels that I have wanted to pick up but just never got around to.

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#7: Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

This is a really popular series that I have heard a lot about from multiple people multiple times. I previously read Shiver, and at this point, I am probably never going to finish the series if I am honest with myself. And that was very influential in my decision to not read the Raven Cycle, but after hearing so much, I have decided that I will give this series a try.

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#8: Marissa Meyer

When the Lunar Chronicles first came out, I had no desire to read them, and if I'm honest, I still have a hesitancy in whether I want to read them or not. But I do want to give them a shot after hearing some good things from some people that I know that absolutely love the series. I am also really excited about Renegades which I haven't yet picked up.

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#9: Sarah J. Maas

There's really not much to say about this one. These two series are probably some of the most popular (in regards to what I personally hear about) out of all of the books on this list, of course with the exception of the first two which have been around forever. I have picked her books up before in the pst, but just never got around to actually reading it.

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AND FINALLY...

#10: Leigh Bardugo

Again, another very popular series that I hear about a lot. But it's even worse because I actually own the Six of Crows duology, and haven't read it yet. The reason I haven't yet read these books is because I want to read the Grishaverse trilogy before I read the Six of Crows duology, but I'm not as excited about that series as I am the duology.

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So what are some popular books or authors that you haven't yet read that you want to read? Are any of the books on my list on your list? I would love to hear more from you guys?