Tag: 2015

Review : A Curse Of Ash And Iron

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Title: A Curse Of Ash And Iron a curse of ash and iron

Author: Christine Norris

Publication Date: May 21, 2015

I received a copy of the book from YA Bound Book Tours for an honest review.

Goodreads Summary:

Benjamin Grimm knows the theater is much like real life. In 1876 Philadelphia, people play their parts, hiding behind the illusion of their lives, and never revealing their secrets.

When he reunites with his childhood friend Eleanor Banneker, he is delighted. His delight turns to dismay when he discovers she has been under a spell for the past 7 years, being forced to live as a servant in her own home, and he realizes how sinister some secrets can be. She asks for his help, and he can’t refuse. Even if he doesn’t believe in ‘real’ magic, he can’t abandon her.

Ellie has spent the long years since her mother’s death under the watchful eye and unforgiving eye of her stepmother. Bewitched and hidden in plain sight, it seems no one can help Ellie escape. Not even her own father, who is under a spell of his own. When she sees Ben one evening, it seems he is immune to the magic that binds her, and her hope is rekindled along with her friendship.

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My Review

First of all I want to say that Curiosity Quills Press’ (the publisher) book covers are always so gorgeous!

I am a lover of steampunk fantasy but a steampunk fairytale retelling was something which sounded really different and intriguing and  I just had to read it! I’m so glad that I was not disappointed or misled by the synopsis, the book delivered on its premise and more.

This mix of historical fiction with the steampunk world and magical elements centered around a Cinderella retelling. The main character , Ellie’s life has changed for the worst since her stepmother came into her life after the untimely death of her mom. When her dad’s health also start to deteriorate, Ellie soon suspects there is a curse involved and sets about to break it along with the help of her newly re-united friend, Ben.

I loved that we got to see and experience through both Ellie and Ben’s eyes the events taking place. I love Ben’s character, his absolute creative genius and his eagerness to help out Ellie even though he doesn’t really believe in magic.

Ellie is strong willed and I like that she goes all out to save her dad even at the risk of being captured or worst! She is not afraid to get here hands dirty and she is level headed enough to take advice even though it might go against what she normally would believe. I found her to be a very convincing Cinderella (with a twist, of course).

So, the characters were interesting, quirky and far from boring. I cared about them and wanted to get to know them. The pacing was slow in some parts but the story itself was interesting and engaging enough to offset that in my opinion. I found myself really rooting for Ellie and hoping all would turn out ok.

Overall, a fairly good retelling and the steampunk and magical elements , though subtle, elevated it to one with its own unique twist.

My Rating

4 1_2

Recommendation

Lovers of steampunk fantasies and fairytale retellings should definitely check this out!

 

About the Author
Christine Norris is the author of several works for children and adults, including the Library of Athena series and the Zandria duology. When she’s not out saving the world one story at a time, she is disguised as a mild mannered substitute teacher, mother, and wife. She cares for her family of one husband-creature, a son-animal, and two felines who function as Guardian of the Bathtub and Official Lap Warmer, respectively. She has also done several English adaptations of novels translated from other languages. She reached a new level of insanity by attending Southen Connecticut State University Graduate School’s Information and Library Science program, so that someday she, too, can be a real Librarian. She currently resides somewhere in southern New Jersey.
Connect with The Author: Website * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads

 

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Wrap Up: December 2015

Welcome to my December Wrap Up. I did get quite some reading done, a lot more than I thought I would have actually. Without further ado here is what my month looked like:

I read a total of  20 books! (Includes 2 audiobooks and 1 novella)

 

I must say I had a good reading month and year! I read a total of 198 books this year. Check out my Year In Books on Goodreads.

How many books did you read?

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Guest Post: Review of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Hello Readers

Welcome to the first ever Guest Review on my Blog done by Abby King. I have been struggling to read Six Of Crows, have picked it up several times and I’m presently stuck almost halfway through.So, when I saw a tweet from Abby offering to do a Guest Post, I immediately replied to her tweet, inviting her to my Blog. She PM’d me not too long after offering to do a review of a book and I chose Six Of Crows.

So without further ado, here’s what Abby had to say:

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Post by Abby King | http://www.abbyking.co.uk/blog

Review: Six of Crows | Leigh Bardugo

 

I grabbed my passport and grappling hook and headed to Ketterdam, a city loosely based on Amsterdam, via Leigh Bardugo’s fantasy novel, Six of Crows. I must admit, I have never ventured so deeply into the fantasy realm, so it was with a mixture of trepidation and curiosity that I did finally set foot inside.

 

Now, upon my return to civilisation, what do I make of the genre? Honestly, I thought I would be quickly bored, unresponsive to the characters so far removed from reality, so seemingly unlike people I know. Yet Bardugo’s sextet of young men and women, each with their distinctively separate histories, identities and powers have convinced me otherwise.

 

However, I didn’t feel that way when I began reading. Perhaps that was because I am not well-versed in the “Grisha-verse” and because I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The first chapter and you’re pushed into murky underworld of Ketterdam – the “grey milk fog” where the “air hung thick with the smell of fish and bilge water”. But, as Joost – the character in question for this chapter – questions the colour of Anya’s eyes, the beginning of this novel reads more like a romance than outright fantasy.

 

“How much blood will be shed tonight?”

 

We then learn that Joost is a guard and Anya is a healer, and by chapter two, we meet Kaz Brekker and Inej Ghafa. In the aptly-named “Barrel” of Ketterdam, the fantasy begins proper, with apparently no relation to the events of the first chapter. Before long, there are knives, lead pipes and guns in the mix, as Kaz, or “Dirtyhands,” quickly establishes himself as the ruthless lieutenant of his gang, the Dregs. Away from the violence, he is also extremely intelligent and articulate, for example, noting that “every man is a safe, a vault of secrets and longings.”

 

Initially, I felt unable to connect with the gang. Like Kaz, Inej, Nina, Matthias and Jesper seemed equally cold-hearted despite their backgrounds; their range of superhuman powers rendering them above my sympathies. Also, the novel repeatedly makes reference to their ages: 17 (or thereabouts). To me, they seemed much, much older, possibly even in their thirties. As Six of Crows is a YA novel, I question whether their unconvincing ages would affect its readership. Yet perhaps this maturity-beyond-their-years was deliberate; after all, with everything the gang had witnessed and experienced, they would have had to grow up quickly.

 

“I protect my investments”

 

The idea of growing up quickly leads me to another point. The turning point in the novel for me, in terms of connecting with the characters, was discovering Kaz’s past. Learning why Kaz is so unfeeling is ironically the very thing that humanises him. Throughout his story, Kaz suffers great loss – his money, family, home, and his ability to feel. To him, people become objects, investments, means of survival, in sickening ways. His brother Jordie acts “as a raft”, and he treats Inej as “one of the best investments” he had made. He distances himself from his feelings towards her, fearful he would lose her after she is stabbed.

 

“He was the same Kaz… but beneath all that anger, she thought she’d seen something else”

 

As Six of Crows progresses, two romantic relationships prominently emerge within the gang – Nina and Matthias, and of course, Inej and Kaz. It is this element that most connects the non-fantasy reader to the plot, going beyond the knives, guns and jurda parem (the substance that becomes the most dangerous weapon of all…). In terms of character development, these relationships, pivoting from hatred to love in rapid succession, are crucial in understanding their motives. For Nina and Matthias, the history of their relationship actually forms their personal identities: “they’d managed to be Nina and Matthias instead of Grisha and witchhunter.” They also provide a form of escapism from the sterility and harshness of the world around them, although instead of flowers, men would give weapons: “He’d gifted her with her blade, the one she called Sankt Petyr – not as pretty as wild geraniums, but more practical.”

 

Overall, without giving much more away in terms of the plot, for my first foray into the realms of fantasy, I think Six of Crows was a thrilling place to start. Despite my unfamiliarity with the conventions of the Grisha, the novel still welcomed me in as a newcomer and the all-encompassing nature of Ketterdam really pulled me in. While it took me longer than I initially expected to connect with the characters, by the end of the novel I felt I could sympathise with the gang and their struggles.

 

I’d definitely make a return trip to see what the future holds for the sextet, and recommend Six of Crows to other fantasy newbies! So thank you to Cover2Cover for your recommendation and the opportunity to guest post on your blog!

Thanks again Abby! I really enjoyed your review!!

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#SuperMGMondays: 2015 MG Wrap Up with Giveaway

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Welcome to this week’s Super Middle Grade Mondays presented by Tantrum Books/Month9books!

We hope you are having an amazing holiday season.

Today, we are wrapping up the new year and featuring the 2015 MG reads from Tantrum Books/Month9Books.

Ring in the new year with one of these titles!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

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Stay away from the window, don’t go outside when it’s storming and whatever you do, do not touch the orb.

Twelve-year-old Joshua Cooper’s grandpa has always warned him about the dangers of lightning. But Joshua never put much stock in his grandpa’s rumblings as anything more than the ravings of an old man with a vast imagination. Then one night, when Joshua and his best friend are home alone during a frightful storm, Joshua learns his grandpa was right. A bolt of lightning strikes his house and whisks away his best friend—possibly forever.

To get him back, Joshua must travel the Lightning Road to a dark place that steals children for energy. But getting back home and saving his friend won’t be easy, as Joshua must face the terrifying Child Collector and fend off ferocious and unnatural beasts intent on destroying him.

In this world, Joshua possesses powers he never knew he had, and soon, Joshua’s mission becomes more than a search for his friend. He means to send all the stolen children home—and doing so becomes the battle of his life.

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About-the-Author2

Donna Galanti

Donna is the author of the Joshua and The Lightning Road series and the Element Trilogy. She is a contributing editor to International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill magazine and blogs at http://www.project-middle-grade-mayhem.blogs…, a cooperative of published middle grade authors. Visit her at http://www.donnagalanti.com and http://www.ElementTrilogy.com. Donna wanted to be a writer ever since she wrote a murder mystery screenplay at seven and acted it out with the neighborhood kids. She attended an English school housed in a magical castle, where her wild imagination was held back only by her itchy uniform (bowler hat and tie included!). There she fell in love with the worlds of C.S. Lewis and Roald Dahl, and wrote her first fantasy about Dodo birds, wizards, and a flying ship (and has been writing fantasy ever since). She’s lived in other exotic locations, including her family-owned campground in New Hampshire and in Hawaii where she served as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives with her family and two crazy cats in an old farmhouse and dreams of returning one day to a castle.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

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Alexander Graham Ptuiac, the son of an inventor, wants to play for the school’s football team. During tryouts, and under the watchful eye of the team’s coach, he suddenly manifests mysterious superhuman powers. Alexander makes the team, but not before the some ill-intended adults take notice, putting his life in danger.

Alex struggles to suppress and control his strange new abilities, worried about exposing his secret and being kicked off the football team. Then he befriends Dex, a diminutive classmate who can somehow jump as high as ten feet in the air. Seems Alex isn’t the only one at school with a secret.

As the school year unfolds, Alex will find himself the target of bullies, holding hands with his first crush and discovering the shocking truth about himself and his parents.

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About-the-Author2

Charles Curtis

Charles Curtis is a writer and journalist based in New York City. He has reported and written for publications including NJ.com (where he is currently the site’s sports buzz reporter), The Daily, ESPN.com, ESPN the Magazine, Bleacher Report, TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly. Charles has covered the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, golf, tennis and NASCAR. He has also written about television, film and pop culture.

In addition, Curtis has also written, produced and was featured in videos for ESPN.com and The Daily. He has made radio appearances on stations including 92.9 The Ticket in Bangor, Maine, WLIE 540 AM in Long Island and on morning shows across Canada via the CBC.
He can be reached on Twitter: @charlescurtis82.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

 

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Thirteen-year-old Caroline is a freak. Her parents have uprooted her to a town full of Supernaturals. You’d think she’d be thrilled. But, with someone without a magical bone in her body, this daughter of tree sprites feels like even more of an outcast than she has ever before.

To make matters worse, her new home is cursed. But when Caroline takes to investigating the mysterious and strange happenings of Harridan House, her BFF goes missing. Seems someone doesn’t want Caroline sticking her non-magical nose where it most certainly does not belong. Determined to prove herself, Caroline uncovers a plot to destroy her new hometown.

Undeterred, Caroline can’t give up. But what’s a human without magical powers to do? Caroline better figure it out fast, before she loses everything she has ever loved and the whispers she’s heard all her life prove true: Caroline is a useless superfreak.

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About-the-Author2

Vanessa Barger was born in West Virginia, and through several moves ended up spending the majority of her life in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is a graduate of George Mason University and Old Dominion University, and has degrees in Graphic Design, a minor in Medieval and Renaissance Literature, and a Masters in Technology Education. She has had articles published in Altered Arts Magazine, has had some artwork displayed in galleries in Ohio and online, and currently teaches engineering, practical physics, drafting and other technological things to high school students in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She is a member of the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), the Virginia Writer’s Club, and the Hampton Roads Writers. When not writing or teaching, she’s a bookaholic, movie fanatic, and loves to travel. She is married to a fabulous man, and has one cat, who believes Vanessa lives only to open cat food cans, and can often be found baking when she should be editing.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest |YouTube

 

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Excerpt Tour: The Reader by M. Pax

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Hello Readers

Welcome to The Reader Excerpt Tour! See the full tour schedule by clicking on the banner above. Follow the tour and comment on each stop to increase your chances of winning the Giveaway!

THE READER
by M. Pax
GENRE: Fantasy

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BLURB:

With the rift closed for the season and no more monsters to fight, Daelin Long gets bored as librarian in the podunk town of Settler, Oregon. A job interview and her brother’s arrival present a tempting opportunity to escape, until her brother and her best friend, a ghost, disappear.

While Daelin searches for them, more mysteries pile up: dead people coming back to life, portraits of the town founders replaced with strange white trees, and people on the other side of the rift returning. It’s impossible. The portal that allows monsters from other universes to come to Earth is sealed until next summer.

The Rifters, a secret group protecting our world, believe the troubles are nothing more than the tantrums of an offended ghost. Daelin disagrees. If she’s right, the evil hell-bent on destroying Earth has new technology making the rift more deadly.

Before the monster summons the next apocalypse, Daelin must find it and destroy it.

Book 3 in the Rifter series.

 

EXCERPT (Exclusive Excerpt):

Before Earl Blacke could say a word, a monolith rose from the floor of the otherworldly workshop in which gadgets, machines, and weapons were invented. The boundaries of the room couldn’t be detected by any human sense. Endless shelves filled with indefinable materials and tools surrounded a large open space dotted with experiments and work surfaces.

On the chiseled and gleaming planes of the monolith, a woman he cared about, Charming, appeared. Her thin lips twitched in her delicate face. “We’re running out of time. I’ll do whatever it takes to get my hands on the research. The knowledge will get us far, but we’ll need an army to go with it.” Her blue eyes were a mirror image of his, and a wild breeze whipped her hair, the color of strawberries, in front of them. She pulled her tresses away, keeping a grip on them, and blinked with such hope.

“A war, Charming?” He sighed, raking his fingers over his close-shaven beard. “Certainly with beings from other universes, there’s a different way to resolve our conflict.”

“The conflict is we exist. Do you propose we we kill ourselves before they do? War is what our adversaries want.” A hardness glinted in her gaze. It hadn’t been there when she left to save the world.

Earl admired her spunk, but she was so naive. How could she bet the future on a human-centered plan? Different universes couldn’t operate the way Earth did. If they did, Earl wanted no part in saving them. “If our enemy wants a war, it’s very good reason not to do it. No war, no need for an army.”

“There’s no avoiding the inevitable. Destruction will come through the rift and take out Earth. Stop being so pig-headed about it.” She rolled her eyes, harboring the innocence of youth. The rift hadn’t swallowed her whole yet. How long until it did?

 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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M. Pax is author of the space adventure series The Backworlds and the urban fantasy series The Rifters. Fantasy, science fiction, and the weird beckons to her, and she blames Oregon, a source of endless inspiration. She ghost hunts for fun with a group of curiosity seekers, docents at Pine Mountain Observatory in the summers as a star guide, has a cat with a crush on Mr. Spock, and is slightly obsessed with Jane Austen.

Learn more at mpaxauthor.com.

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See what inspires The Rifters on Pinterest .

The first two books in the Rifters series can be read for free by becoming an M. Pax Reader .

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Bookcessories / iBook / Nook / GooglePlay / Kobo / Smashwords / inktera / Scribd

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION :

The author will be awarding a $40 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Book Blitz: Saven: Deception by Siobhan Davis

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This is my stop during the book blitz for Saven: Deception (The Saven Series #1) by Siobhan Davis. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 15 till 28 December, you can view the complete blitz schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours. Read on for my review and be sure to enter the Giveaway!

Saven DeceptionSaven: Deception (The Saven Series #1)
By Siobhan Davis
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: December 15, 2015

Blurb:
I’ve fallen hard for an alien, but he’s harboring secrets.
Massive secrets that threaten the very essence of humanity.
How can I give him my heart when his race plans on taking my future?

Sadie Owens has been slowly dying inside. Bit by bit, piece by piece, day by day. Trapped in a life she hates, she relies on only one person—herself.

Despised by her family and betrayed by an unscrupulous government, Sadie dreams of a different life. When she is chosen to participate in the government’s new social experiment, she is ecstatic at the prospect of spending six months in Thalassic City, the shiny new city under the sea.

Immediately drawn to Logan Chandler, Sadie is captivated by the beautiful boy with the ocean-blue eyes. Logan seems to embody everything that has been forbidden, but he isn’t all he appears to be.

Confused over Logan’s true intentions and concerned when best friend Jenna starts transforming in front of her eyes, Sadie partners with newcomer Jarod in a bid to uncover the government’s real agenda. The truth is more shocking than anything she could ever have imagined.

When Sadie finally understands why the Saven walk among us, will it be too late to save her heart and the human race?

Teaser Saven Deception - Sadie

You can find Saven: Deception on Goodreads

You can buy Saven: Deception here:
Amazon USA Amazon UK Amazon Canada Amazon Australia

Teaser Saven Deception - Couple Teaser 1

My Review

The first in a new Sci-fi series, Saven:Deception is sure to please fans of YA fiction.

With issues such as social inequality and oppression, we are drawn into this world where every part of one’s life is determined by your tattoo, which indicates your status as a citizen. Even the right ot bear children is based on this!

The main character Sadie is a headstrong young lady who seeks to improve her station in life. When given what seem to be the perfect golden opportunity to  to just that , she seizes it without hesitation. But, as the saying goes, “All that glitters, is not gold’ and it’s not long before she realises all is not as it should be. The hidden truths she will discover will have far-reaching implications, especially for her class of people, the bronze stars.

The worldbuilding was adequate, the characters were mostly well developed and interesting, the plot was intriguing and the pacing was steady without obvious lags. I was not a fan of the romance, if it can be called that, even after it was explained, it still felt too insta-love for me.

Overall, a really interesting premise and storyline in a futuristic world with political intrigue and sci-fi elements, Saven:Deception was a good read and one worth adding to yourr TBR!

My Rating

3 1_2

SiobhanAbout the Author:
I write young adult science fiction fantasy romance books, and I’m the author of the Amazon bestselling True Calling series. The first book in my new Saven series will be released in December 2015.

A self-professed teenager forever—at least when it comes to books, music, and films, I am totally addicted to teen fiction and superhero/blockbuster movies. I love baking, shoes, bags, makeup, anti-wrinkle cream, anything pink, Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry, and Robert Pattinson (definitely Team Edward).

Before pursuing a full-time writing career, I forged a successful corporate career in Human Resources over the last twenty years.

I live in the Garden County of Ireland with my husband and two sons.

You can find and contact Siobhan here:
Website Blog Facebook Twitter Google + Goodreads Amazon Newsletter

Sample chapters, quotes, reviews and book excerpts are all available to download from the authors website

Teaser Saven Deception - Available-Now-Teaser

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Saven: Deception. Below are the prizes the author is giving away:
– a 10$ amazon gift card
– 3 e-copies of Saven Deception by Siobhan Davis

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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To 10 2015 Day 4: Book Boyfriends

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Welcome to day 4 in the Top 10 2015 Challenge hosted by Fiktshun , and co-hosts Jaime of Two Chicks on BooksMindy of Magical Urban Fantasy Reads, and Nancy of Tales of a Ravenous Reader!

Today’s Top Ten takes us into Swoonland where hearts palpate and pulses race and the heat gets ‘turnt up’! Book boyfriends! Sounds simple right?

I struggled to find 10 book boyfriends. This one was a real challenge so forgive me if some of these guys turn out to be a total waste of time. Book Boyfriends coming right up!

  1. Rowan in Queen Of Shadows. He is not only handsome, he is smart, a warrior and experienced, after all he has had centuries to master and hone his ‘craft’ 😉
    queen of shadows
  2. Jason Moros in Fated. His confidence and experience makes his irresistible!
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  3. Loki in Hour Of Mischief. I like his mischievous character.
    hour of mischief
  4. Ambit in Broken Prophecy. Yes he might be a shameless womanizer but he is good for a few laughs and he is not afraid to go against convention which is pretty cool.
    Cover_Broken Prophecy
  5. Tamlin in A Court Of Thorns And Roses. I plan to re-read this for the retelling challenge 2016, since my first read was kinda rushed .
    a court of thorns
  6. Bruiser in Dark Heir. He is bad-ass and can hold his own in a fight. He is also romantic and knows how to woo his girl.
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  7. Cal from Red Queen. I was team Maven for a time but there’s just something about Cal!
    red queen
  8. Phillipe in The House Of Shattered Wings. He is a mystery and we only got to see snippets of his past and I’m already intrigued.
    the house of shattered wings
  9. Captain Grim in The Aeronaut’s Windlass. All I’m going to say here is ‘Aye, Aye, Captain!
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  10. Clark Treasure in Treasure Darkly. He sounds like he could be a lot of fun and I like his self-sufficiency and ability to think on his feet.
    treasure darkly

 

That concludes my Top Ten Book-Boyfriends. I think I did pretty good. Have you met and fallen for any of these?

 

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Blog Tour: The Question: If you could have the answer to only one question what would you ask? by R. Breuer Stearns

 

Welcome to The Question Blog Tour with Giveaway. To check out the full tour Schedule click here!

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Book Title:  The Question:  If You Could Have the Answer to Only One Question What Would You Ask? by R. Breuer Stearns
Category:  Adult fiction, 270 pages
Genre:  Fantasy / adventure / thriller
Publisher:  CreateSpace
Release date:  May 15, 2015

 

Book Description:

THE QUESTION invites readers to consider this premise:

If you could have the answer to one question, and only one question, what would you ask… and who would try to stop you from asking it?

To what extremes would they go?

THE QUESTION is a thriller that explores a new way of thinking, a method powerful enough to answer very complex questions . . . perhaps powerful enough to solve the universe’s most fundamental mysteries . . . perhaps powerful enough to resolve religions’ most beguiling unknowns.

THE QUESTION is an adventure story . . . fiction that you may wish, may believe, may know, is true. The narrative occurs in the present, with scenes in California, Washington, D.C., Paris, Shanghai, New York, and Afghanistan.

The story is aimed at high-school and older readers and contains some graphic violence and occasional sexual allusions. The plot is action-oriented with an element of scientific fantasy, similar to Jack Finney’s “Time and Again.” The prose is crisply written, professionally edited, and organized into movie-scene chapters.

THE QUESTION is ideal reading for anyone who is curious . . . for those who gaze into the cosmos at night and wonder . . . for those who look into the mirror and imagine . . . for those whose hearts beat faster when confronting the unknown . . . for readers who enjoy a fast paced, contemporary thriller that inspires them to think.

​Buy the book: Amazon ~ Book Depository

Author’s Bio:

R. Breuer Stearns is an investor and author. R. Breuer Stearns

Mr. Stearns graduated from Phillips Academy, Andover (1970), Harvard University (AB, 1974), University of Chicago (MBA, 1977), and DePaul University College of Law (JD, 1979). He rapidly ascended on Wall Street in the 1980’s, serving as Managing Director, Mergers & Acquisitions at Lehman Brothers and Head of Investment Banking (North America) at UBS Securities. While living in New York, he founded “Terrific Teachers, Inc.,” a foundation dedicated to identifying and rewarding the best of the best of the city’s public high school teachers.

Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Mr. Stearns launched a private investment bank in the former Soviet Union. He spent the early 1990’s seeking to marry emerging science, primarily emanating from Russia’s Defense sector, with Western capital. During this period, Mr. Stearns made a small fortune, albeit from a larger one. The venture provided a remarkable lesson in hubris, a tremendous reservoir of internal strength, and first-hand source material for Mr. Stearns’ first book, Winning Smart After Losing Big (Encounter Books, Beijing University Press).

Subsequently, Mr. Stearns served as Chief Financial Officer of The Dial Corporation, Chief Financial Officer of Columbia/HCA Corporation, Chief Financial Officer of PacifiCare, Inc., President and Chief Operating Officer of Vascular Genetics, Inc., and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Quepasa Corporation (QPSA:Amex).

Mr. Stearns is a Founder of VestaPoint Capital LLC, a family of investment funds focused on real estate development. He lives in Arizona with his wife, two dogs, two cats, and a horse. He travels extensively and is intensely curious.

Connect with the author: Website

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  • Win 1 of 10 copies of The Question (USA & Canada)

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Challenges: Top 10 2015 Day 3: Best Debuts

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Hello Readers

Today is the 3rd day in the Week- Long Top 10 2015 challenge. I have chosen to give you my Top Ten Debuts 2015.  Now, for the purpose of this post, ‘Debut’ here means not necessarily the first book written by an author but can be the first book in a series. I know I might be bending the rules a bit and hopefully I’m not offending anyone by doing this. Feel free to check out what the host Fiktshun and co-host,  Jaime of Two Chicks on BooksMindy of Magical Urban Fantasy Reads, and Nancy of Tales of a Ravenous Reader choices are.

Without further ado here are my picks for Top Ten Debuts:

Novice On Goodreads
I loved this and I am dying to read the sequel. This had all the elements I love in fantasy.

Walk On Earth A Stranger on Goodreads
This was interesting and I am hoping the sequel will be better. The abilities didn’t really come into play much and I’m hoping to see that in the sequel.

 

A Darker Shade Of Magic On Goodreads
Technically , this is not a debut since the author has other written works but it is the first in a new series :). I loved this too. Anything with magic will grasp my interest and the book was well written and entertaining and had enough action to satisfy my taste for fight scenes.

Red Queen On Goodreads
I loved this one too! Yes it has a familiar fantasy trope but it was enjoyable nontheless. I have the Glass Sword ARC waiting to be read as soon as I can find the time, hopefully very soon!

 

Sugar Skulls On Goodreads
Oh my word! I fell in love with the cover art, then the premise and when I finally read the book, it was amazing. I loved it and I’m hoping for a sequel.

Hour Of Mischief On Goodreads
Loki is the star of this book and I loved the concept of each hour of the clock representing a God. I can’t wait to read and see what what happens in the sequel.

 

Forget Tomorrow On Goodreads
This was a good dystopian read. Not having read many dystopian novels, this one was surprisingly easy to get into and I’m loking forward to reading more in this series.

The Deathsniffer’s Assistant On Goodreads
What a great debut! This was very interesting with it’s magical and steampunk elements. Also looking forward to the next book.

 

A Book Of Spirits And Thieves
I didn’t love this one but I liked it well enough that I’m looking forward to reading the next book .

The Stars Never Rise
This was such a fun read! Demons and exorcists and the a conspiracy with the church at the center. Hello! Loved it!!

 

Voila! That was my Top Ten 2015 Debuts! Cheers.

 

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Week In Books #11 & Mini Book Haul (Dec 15 – Dec 21)

Hello Readers

Welcome to my Week In Books.  I have been so ‘busy’ since my return to Belgium that I hardly can find the time to read and I have been forgetting stuff like this post! This is how my week went:

EBooks Read

 

Faith And Moonlight On Goodreads

Catch Me When I Fall On Goodreads

Find Me If You Dare

The Dreamer

Received For Review

 

A Reaper Of Stone On Goodreads

Rend The Dark On Goodreads

Best Left In The Shadows On Goodreads

Assassin’s Heart On Goodreads

Indestructible On Goodreads

The Defenders Of Blackspire Abbey On Goodreads

The Lure Of Fools On Goodreads

Glass Sword On Goodreads

Hauled

 

Cross Justice on Goodreads

Inked On Goodreads

Frozen Tides On Goodreads

That concludes my Week In books. Huge thanks to the authors, publishers, Book/Blog Tour Hosts who grant copies of books for reviews.

How did your week go?

 

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