Tag Archives: fantasy

Book Tour + Guest Post: Year of the Knife

Welcome to The Year of the Knife Book Tour, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!

Title: The Year of the Knife
Author: G.D. Penman
PublisherMeerkat Press
Publication Date: November 28, 2017
Genre: Adult Thriller and Urban Fantasy
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Agent -Sully- Sullivan is one of the top cops in the Imperial Bureau of Investigation. A veteran witch of the British Empire who isn’t afraid to use her magical skills to crack a case. But Sully might need more than a good education and raw power to stop the string of grisly murders that have been springing up across the American Colonies. Every one of them marked by the same chilling calling card, a warning in the form of a legion of voices screaming out through the killers’ mouths: -It IS tHe YEAr oF the KNife.-

Sully’s investigation will drag her away from the comforts of home in New Amsterdam, the beautiful but useless hyacinth macaw that used to be her boss, and the loving arms of her undead girlfriend, in a thrilling race against time, demonic forces and a shadowy conspiracy that will do anything to keep its hold on power and ensure that Sully takes their secrets to her grave, as soon as possible.

G.D. Penman’s imaginative The Year of the Knife is a fun, fast-paced urban fantasy mystery with an engaging set of characters, most notably Agent Sully of the Imperial Bureau of Investigation.

Guest Post by G.D. Penman – A Few of our Favourite Things

I am not saying that every single one of these characters is an unrepentant liar, but they live in a slightly oppressive Empire and they aren’t always free to wear their hearts on their sleeves. Which is why instead of each character telling you their favourite thing, we are going to have to pry open their brains a little bit and steal the real answers.

Sully would tell you her favourite thing is: A nice Sloe Gin, a pub with wooden panels on the walls, something deep fried and nobody trying to kill her for five whole minutes.
But her favourite thing is actually: Marie.

Marie would tell you her favourite thing is: The unparalleled majesty and wonder of musical theatre.
But her favourite thing is actually: Sully.

Raavi would tell you his favourite thing is: Whatever magical monstrosity is on the table in front of him awaiting vivisection at any given moment.
But his favourite thing is actually: Bowling night.

Colcross would tell you his favourite thing is: Peace, quiet and order across the colony.
But his favourite thing is actually: Nobody calling him all day so that he can smoke his pipe without being disturbed.

Pratt would tell you his favourite thing is: Fine dining, fine wine, tasteful music and good company.
But his favourite thing is actually: The exact moment that he can see the spark of sedition planted in the mind of one of the students that he is lecturing.

Chloe would tell you her favourite thing is: The beautiful diamond engagement ring that her fiancé gave her.
But her favourite thing is actually: The seven seconds a week that she gets to stare at Sully as she walks across to the director’s office.

The Director would tell you his favourite thing is: Grapes
But his favourite thing is actually: Not being magically transformed into a Hyacinth Macaw.

Ceejay would tell you his favourite thing is: Rock and Roll.
But his favourite thing is actually: Mongolian Barbecue

Axis would tell you that their favourite thing is: Bluegrass
But their favourite thing is actually: Axis

Eugene would tell you its favourite thing is: TO WATCH THE PAINFUL DEATH OF ALL MANKIND, TO TEEACH THEM NEW WAYS TO PERCEIVE THE PAIN THAT THE WORLD WILL BE WRACKED WITH
But its favourite thing is actually: Pornography.

About the Author:

G D Penman writes Speculative Fiction. He lives in Scotland with his partner and children, some of whom are human. He is a firm believer in the axiom that any story is made better by dragons. His beard has won an award. If you have ever read a story with Kaiju and queer people, it was probably one of his. In those few precious moments that he isn’t parenting or writing he likes to watch cartoons, play video and tabletop games, read more books than are entirely feasible and continue his quest to eat the flesh of every living species.

Author Links:
Website | GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter

Giveaway:

Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card! Open internationally. Ends Nov 23, 2017.

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Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Young Adult/New Adult Fantasy Romance
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
GoodReads

Synopsis:

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Review:

UNPOPULAR OPINION ALERT… I didn’t like it. At this point, I’ve read up until ACOWAR and I still didn’t like it…

Let’s start with the writing. Chapter 1 – we get it, it’s winter. Not only does Maas have the description of the crunching snow, how hungry Feyre is, and how cold she is, it is stated that it is winter, explicitly, three to four times. This was my first impression of the book and I wasn’t impressed to be honest.

Then there’s the story – comparing it to Beauty and the Beast is like comparing my foot to my dog’s foot. Yeah, sure they both have the same functionalities, and maybe some of the bone structure is the same (idk anatomy, so I can’t tell you how accurate that is), but at the end of the day if you swap ’em neither of us will be content. It’s the same thing here. Sure – there’s the father disappearing and the girl taken away by these supposedly dangerous creatures who are kind of cursed (honestly, there are worse things that can happen…), but that’s where the comparison ends really.

Now that we’re on the fae… Tamlin… oh Tamlin. There’s grass more interesting than Tamlin. He’s just there. Being silent and grumpy, and I can’t find anything to love about him. He’s an alright fellow if you like boring guys, but there’s not much there for ya. Lucien was more interesting to me than Tamlin. Her maidservant… Alice? I think her name was…. is also more interesting than Tamlin…

Side bar comment – HER SISTERS ARE SO ANNOYING LIKE HOLY. NOPE. (They get better, but ugh.)

That being said then, how on earth does Feyre come to love him? It’s so forced that I just could not deal with their romance and what triggers the latter section of the book.

On that note, I’ll tell you now that you’ll need to get through about two thirds of the novel to get anywhere with this book. Even Rhysand didn’t save this for me, but he’s a lot more entertaining than Tamlin. In the end, his character’s presence in the next two books is the only thing that kept me reading this series, but even then I can’t say I loved the other two book either…

I’d say this series is just over-hyped. There’s no other way to describe it. Like you have to love it ’cause everyone else does, but I couldn’t. It wasn’t even just me. My roommate and my sister tried reading this book and they were both left wondering how it was as popular as it is… We’ll see what else she has in store, but I can’t say I’m quite sold on the Maas hype.

Plot: 3/5
Characters: 2/5
Writing: 2/5
Pacing; 1/5
Overall: 2/5
GoodReads Rating: 4.28/5

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Book Tour + Review: The Waterfall Traveler

Welcome to the The Waterfall Traveler Book Tour, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!~

Title: The Waterfall Traveler
Author: S.J. Lem
Publication Date: April 19th 2017
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
GoodReads

Synopsis:

All eighteen-year-old Ri wants is to cure her adoptive father Samuel from his hallucination-inducing illness. Everyone in her village tells her it’s impossible. But when she meets two newcomers in the forest—a gruff rogue with a vendetta against the gods and a charming fugitive who saves her life—she’ll be torn away from Samuel and swept across the sea to an oppressive city governed by a ruthless tyrant. Once there, she’ll not only have to confront Samuel’s unlawful past, but a vicious evil that threatens all mankind.

In this tale of bravery, friendship, and unforeseen love, Ri risks it all to save those she cares for. But if she prevails, she’ll find the one thing she yearns for most—a cure for Samuel.

Buy Links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Review:

The Waterfall Traveler surprised me. I thought it’d be a little lighter, but this book was intense. There were a lot of dark scenes and a lot of death, and it was definitely an adventure/thrilling sort of read.

The book starts off running. We meet Ri and Samuel in the first few pages, and after the first couple chapters there’s an attack and then we’re off. It was fast-paced and intense, but not so much so that you didn’t have a chance to catch your breath.

I really like the intricacies of the book – a lot of the characters were connected to each other in unexpected ways and I was always surprised as to how. The development of the characters is pretty good too – each character has a chance at telling their story and what happened to them, and we as readers get to understand why they are how they are. I liked Ri’s independent and fighting spirit, even when it got them in trouble, and Bryce’s loyalty, and Carter’s sassiness, Katie’s sweet heart. That being said, I kind of really wanted to kick them all. Despite all their differences, every character was pretty self-sacrificing and overprotective. It was both admirable and irritating.

One thing that bothered me was that at the beginning there were a lot of “we’ll tell you later” sort of things. I get that they didn’t want to do an information dump, but there are less obvious ways to do that. I guess, in part, it was due to Ri’s bullheadedness, but it made the beginning kind of frustrating.

The end, however, was stellar. I was so surprised, I sped through the pages in excitement. There was a lot to digest, but it was worth it. I was really surprised, and kind of heart broken.

My next question would be whether this book has a sequel or not, as the end seems to hint at something of the sort!

Overall, an enjoyable read, but you really have to be willing to push through the first few chapters of the book!

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
World Building: 5/5
Writing: 3.5/5
Pacing: 4/5
Overall: 4/5
GoodReads Rating: 4.45/5

ebook obtained via Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Buy Links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

About the Author:

S.J. Lem is a digital art director gone writer in hopes of expanding her creative aspirations. Whether it’s introducing dimensional characters, crafting imaginative worlds, or transporting readers into high-stakes adventures, she strives to deliver an immersive experience.

She lives in Chicago with her husband and son. When not writing, she enjoys pottery, gardening, and volunteering. Connecting with readers and fellow writers is one of her greatest joys.

Author Links:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

Giveaway:

Open internationally! Enter to win:

  • A print copy of The Waterfall Traveler
  • $50 Amazon GC

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Review: Before I Fall

Title: Before I Fall
Author: Lauren Oliver
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: October 25, 2010
GoodReads

Synopsis:

For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.

However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.

I wrote this review for a media class, and I figured I’d post it since a) I already wrote it, and b) the movie just released recently. Let me know if you want more reviews like this in the future. Here it is:

I turned the last page of Before I Fall expecting one more line, a funny quip, or even an epilogue. All I got were the Acknowledgements, and I sat there for a moment stunned. How could it just end like that?

Originally published in 2010, the novel Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver is gaining worldwide attention due to the upcoming release of its movie adaption by the same name. The movie stars Vampire Academy actress Zoey Deutch as Samantha Kingston. According to the synopsis, Sam is popular, has the perfect boyfriend, and dies on Friday, February 12, only to wake up the next morning and relive the day of her death six more times.

I decided to take a chance on the book before watching the movie. As they say, the book is always better.

Without spoiling anything, I have to say that Samantha’s character undergoes a huge transformation throughout the story. Although we only see seven days of her life, her character develops exponentially. Sam plays by the rules of her friend group without really questioning why they do the things they do. As the book progresses, we see Sam become herself, living her life authentically and being more accountable for her actions.

Each relived day is spent differently – the first two are slightly similar, then she spends a couple full of angst, and then another day is spent solely with her family. Each day is a testament to how multifaceted our lives are, and how easily we neglect different aspects of them.

Something I often didn’t think about during high school was that my friends were basically my family. I saw them eight to nine hours a day, spoke to them when I was home, and hung out with them during the weekend. My family was on the backburner. This is true in Sam’s story as well. Her friends have become such a large part of her life that her family is neglected as a result.

That being said, there is more to it than that. With friends, there is the potential for judgment and shame for saying or doing the wrong things. There is also a certain amount of scrutiny that you are under when you are popular. Sam reflects on this as she watches her friends bully people, her boyfriend belittle her, and people’s reactions to her being nice. It is fascinating how much is missed when focusing on oneself.

Before I Fall encourages readers to examine their everyday choices. A couple changes here and there lead Sam to learn things about her friends, family, teachers, and classmates that she would never have known otherwise. Her relationships were superficial, and she drifted through life with ease. When push came to shove, however, she began to see people for who they were and began to challenge the status quo.

Before I Fall is a very easy book to lose yourself in – the plot is well developed, the characters are thoroughly fleshed out, and the story feels real, relevant, and heartbreaking. In the end, I gave Before I Fall four and a half stars of five.

Plot: 4.5/5
Characters: 5/5
World Building: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Cover: 4/5
Overall: 4.5/5
GoodReads Rating: 3.92/5

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Book Tour + Review: A Mortal Song

AMortalSongRevealBanner

Welcome to the reveal for Megan Crewe’s new project – A Mortal Song, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!~

SONG-finalcover

Title: A Mortal Song
Author: Megan Crewe
Publication date: September 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Sora’s life was full of magic—until she discovered it was all a lie.
Heir to Mt. Fuji’s spirit kingdom, Sora yearns to finally take on the sacred kami duties. But just as she confronts her parents to make a plea, a ghostly army invades the mountain. Barely escaping with her life, Sora follows her mother’s last instructions to a heart-wrenching discovery: she is a human changeling, raised as a decoy while her parents’ true daughter remained safe but unaware in modern-day Tokyo. Her powers were only borrowed, never her own. Now, with the world’s natural cycles falling into chaos and the ghosts plotting an even more deadly assault, it falls on her to train the unprepared kami princess. As Sora struggles with her emerging human weaknesses and the draw of an unanticipated ally with secrets of his own, she vows to keep fighting for her loved ones and the world they once protected. But for one mortal girl to make a difference in this desperate war between the spirits, she may have to give up the only home she’s ever known.

Buy Link:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Indigo

Review:

Okay, just to get it out of the way – there are characters named Haru and Jun – I actually grow to like Haru, and Jun is just a name mentioned in passing. That’s right, this is a book about Japan where the characters are Japanese (and Japanese spirits) AND they aren’t named Jun. Rare, right?

This story is about Japanese “spirits” called kami, who are trying to save their kind from an evil spirit. In order to do so, Sora and Takeo need to find the true heir to the kami throne to help defeat the evil spirit. On top of this, Sora needs to come to terms with the shocking news that she is in fact human, and what that means in terms of her relationship with Takeo, and her new band of human friends.

I found this to be a fantastic book about adventure, friendship, love, and self-discovery.

Although Sora has to learn how to cope with being a mere human, she doesn’t get too angsty about it – instead she is strong, resourceful, and open to seeing the world from a different point of view, a human point of view. An honestly, even without the powers, she is absolutely kickass throughout the novel.

To be honest, Takeo as a character was meh to me. He was like wallpaper, and I honestly didn’t see what Sora could be attracted to, save for their childhood history. His character could have also been like this because he was kami. Honestly, I loved Haru and Keiji so much more. As humans, they had more personality and more diversity in responses than Takeo, and they stole the show from him. I loved the characters, overall – they all really complimented each other well, both in skill and wit, and that really helped keep the story moving.

This book got a lot of things right – there was no instant love, but a beginning to something; there wasn’t a special snowflake, but an “oh-crap-I’m-not-actually-special-what-do-I-do-now!?” story line; and there was a lot of culture and time put into world building for the book. Granted, I found that the end was very abrupt and cheesy, the story itself is well worth the read.

The overall concept of the book was fascinating to me, as I’ve never heard of kami before. The concept was new to me, but I loved how it was executed and how it was brought back to the human level of understanding. There was a lot of introspection throughout this book, mainly done by Sora, and I found it to be pretty insightful.

Overall, definitely would recommend!

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
World Building: 5/5
Writing: 4.5/5
Cover: 5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5

eARC obtained via Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Buy Link:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Indigo

About the Author:

Megan

Like many authors, Megan Crewe finds writing about herself much more difficult than making things up. A few definite facts: she lives with her husband, son, and three cats in Toronto, Canada (and does on occasion say “eh”), she tutors children and teens with special needs, and she can’t look at the night sky without speculating about who else might be out there.

Join her newsletter for book news, recommended reads, and exclusive giveaways: http://eepurl.com/btE8mH

Author Links:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

Giveaway:

Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
  • Japan Media & Treats Prize Pack

ENTER HERE!~

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Megan Crewe’s Secret Project Reveal

AMortalSongRevealBanner

Welcome to the reveal for Megan Crewe’s new project – A Mortal Song, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!~

SONG-finalcover

Title: A Mortal Song
Author: Megan Crewe
Publication date: September 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Sora’s life was full of magic—until she discovered it was all a lie.
Heir to Mt. Fuji’s spirit kingdom, Sora yearns to finally take on the sacred kami duties. But just as she confronts her parents to make a plea, a ghostly army invades the mountain. Barely escaping with her life, Sora follows her mother’s last instructions to a heart-wrenching discovery: she is a human changeling, raised as a decoy while her parents’ true daughter remained safe but unaware in modern-day Tokyo. Her powers were only borrowed, never her own. Now, with the world’s natural cycles falling into chaos and the ghosts plotting an even more deadly assault, it falls on her to train the unprepared kami princess.As Sora struggles with her emerging human weaknesses and the draw of an unanticipated ally with secrets of his own, she vows to keep fighting for her loved ones and the world they once protected. But for one mortal girl to make a difference in this desperate war between the spirits, she may have to give up the only home she’s ever known.

Buy Link:
Amazon

Pre-order Deal:

Everyone who pre-orders A MORTAL SONG (in any format) and submits their receipt at http://bit.ly/SONGpreorder will receive an exclusive gift package including a digital booklet following Sora’s journey through Japan with behind-the-scenes travel photos and author commentary, a 25-page story giving a look at a key sequence in the book from another character’s POV, and a high-res digital poster of the cover signed by the author. They’ll also get access to a bonus content area with deleted scenes and a chance to earn bigger prizes. And for the entire pre-order period, the ebook is only $0.99!

preorderimage

About the Author:Megan

Like many authors, Megan Crewe finds writing about herself much more difficult than making things up. A few definite facts: she lives with her husband, son, and three cats in Toronto, Canada (and does on occasion say “eh”), she tutors children and teens with special needs, and she can’t look at the night sky without speculating about who else might be out there.

Join her newsletter for book news, recommended reads, and exclusive giveaways: http://eepurl.com/btE8mH

Author Links:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

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Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Party

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Hi, there! Rebecca Hamilton here to tell you how SUPER excited we are to bring you this MEGA giveaway! First place prize is a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card, but we also have 12 runner up ebook and paperback prizes! Entering will connect you with 21 paranormal romance and urban fantasy authors for more great deals, freebies, and giveaway, so in a way, everyone wins!

Before you enter the giveaway, check out an interview with Emily Mitchell from the Middlemarch Shifters series by Shelley Munro, one of the authors sponsoring the giveaway!


Hi! Greetings from New Zealand, and a big thank you for hosting me and helping to spread the word about My Scarlet Woman and the Middlemarch Shifters series. I’ve brought a friend with me today—Emily Scarlet.

EMILY: Excuse me, Shelley. It’s Emily Mitchell now.

SHELLEY: Right! Pardon me. I thought I’d start from the beginning. Why don’t you tell everyone how you decided to visit Middlemarch?

EMILY: Sure. It was an emotional time in my life. My first husband changed after our marriage. I was happy playing wife and homemaker, cooking for him and making sure everything was just so while he concentrated on his career. What I didn’t know was that Michael was having an affair with his secretary. Color me stupid! I didn’t have a clue. The first I learned of the affair was at breakfast when he told me I was boring and he was leaving me for Tessa. Then, a few hours later, the police were at the door telling me Michael was dead. A car accident.

For six months I brooded and one day I decided, enough. The cheating louse wasn’t worth it. I went shopping, changed my hair and swapped my glasses for contacts. A poster for the Middlemarch Singles dance caught my eye, and I decided it was fate. The perfect place to find a man for one night of naughtiness. My girlfriend Maggie, who was also my sister-in-law, just about had a cow when I told her what I intended to do. She insisted on going with me and kept telling me I needed medication. She was wrong. It was the best decision ever!

SHELLEY: Emily, the special man you met that night swept you off your feet, and you ended up marrying him. We won’t spoil the story for readers, but tell me more about Middlemarch. It’s a small country town. Don’t you miss the city?

EMILY: I adore Middlemarch. It’s home. Why don’t I give you a list of the reasons I love living in Middlemarch? Besides, the next Middlemarch Singles Ball is soon. The ladies reading this might enjoy attending. http://www.middlemarch.co.nz/events/singles-ball.html

SHELLEY: Thanks, Emily! That would be great.

Emily Mitchell’s Top Reasons to Visit Middlemarch, New Zealand

  1. The ratio of men to women. There are eligible bachelors in every direction you look. That’s the reason the ball started—to bring more women to the Middlemarch region.
  2. A large majority of the men have special abilities. *glances over shoulder* Sorry, I can’t tell you more, but if you spend any length of time with one man and love is in the air, he’ll let you in on the secret.
  3. There is a real sense of family and community. The Mitchells are a big family, but their friends are an extended family too. Trouble brings them circling the wagons, I can tell you!
  4. The scenery is gorgeous in all seasons and the air is crisp and clean.
  5. The town is safe, a good place for kids. *pauses* We’ve had a problem…no, Middlemarch is a safe place.
  6. The city isn’t far away. We can drive there in an hour if the need for a fancy dinner or culture strikes.
  7. The Middlemarch Rail Trail and the Taieri Gorge Train bring lots of tourists. They’re both fun activities, even for locals.
  8. The local café, Storm in a Teacup, makes brilliant coffee. The meals are excellent too. Of course I’m biased since I own the place.
  9. The local pub is rough and rustic, but they serve a good beer. Excellent on a hot summer’s day like today.
  10. It’s where my husband Saber was born, and he’s a man in a million.

SHELLEY: Thanks for telling us about Middlemarch, Emily.

Readers, if you’d like to learn more about Middlemarch and the Middlemarch Shifters series, please download your FREE copy of Welcome to Middlemarch here. https://www.instafreebie.com/free/i9fGK

 


Don’t forget to also check out the complete list of books included in this promotion! Some of the authors have even put their books on sale just for you! Click any book to check it out on Amazon!


A4 A3 A2

A B B2

B5 B4 B3

C5 B6 C2

C3 C C4

D4 C6 D

D2 F D3


Enter the Giveaway – Click Here!

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