Tag: magic

Blog Tour: Stormwielder by Aaron D. Hodges

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Hello Readers

Welcome to the Stormwielder Blog Tour. To see the full tour schedule, click on the banner above. Read on for my review and don’t forget to enter the Giveaway for your chance to win!

 

Stormwielder stormwielder_cover_for_kindle
by Aaron D. Hodges
Release Date: December 1st 2015

Summary from Goodreads:

For five hundred years the Gods have united the Three Lands in harmony.
Now that balance has been shattered, and chaos threatens.

A town burns and flames light the night sky. Hunted and alone, seventeen year old Eric flees through the wreckage. The mob grows closer, baying for the blood of their tormentor. Guilt weighs on his soul, but he cannot stop, cannot turn back.

If he stops, they die.

For two years he has carried this curse, bringing death and destruction wherever he goes. But now there is another searching for him – one who offers salvation. His name is Alastair and he knows the true nature of the curse. Magic.

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FOR A LIMITED TIME – STORMWIELDER IS ON SALE FOR $0.99 ON AMAZON!

My Review

Wow! Just Wow! Stormwielder has all the tried and true elements of fantasy which if done right scores time and time again with readers and which I am always excited to find when reading fantasy.

We have a young man with powers that he is afraid of, yet he has to learn how to harness before he destroys everything and eveyone who crosses paths with him.
Burdened with guilt, after incinerating a whole village, with bounty hunters on his trail, he is thankful that magicker Alistair found him before they do, for he will need his training if he is to control that beast called magic, which resides within him and would be master if it could, to the detriment of him and everyone around him!

I loved the elements of magic present in Stormwielder; that they’re linked to the elements, and how its wielded by the characters. Demons and dragons also make appearances which adds to that dark element that I love in fantasy and kicks the awesome factor up a notch.

The main character is Erik whose character development was interesting to see unfold as the story progressed. He went from being a young, insecure, uncertain man afraid of his magic and thinking it a curse, to one who becomes one with his magic is and is able to control it to an extent where he can now use itin defence of innocents.

The author writing style is perfect for keeping the reader engaged due to it being easy to read and well-paced; slower when necessary for worldbuilding/character development and fast-paced for action-scenes.  I especially loved that Hodges uses just the right amount of detailing to keep the novel imaginative and captivating without overwhelming the reader with mindless info-dumping. This, combined with his creative  storytelling capabilities makes Stormbringer a page-turner.

Overall, a really great fantasy with dark twists, intrigue, a dash of romance and a riveting plot to keep you turning the pages until the end.

My Rating

 4 hearts

 

About the Author

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Aaron Hodges was born in 1989 in the small town of Whakatane, New Zealand. He studied for five years at the University of Auckland, completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Geography, and a Masters of Environmental Engineering. After working as an environmental consultant for two years, he now spends his time traveling the world in search of his next adventure.

Author Links:
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Book Blitz: Elementals: The Prophecy Of Shadows by Michelle Madow

 

Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows
by Michelle Madow
Release Date: January 26th 2016

Summary from Goodreads:

Filled with magic, thrilling adventure, and sweet romance, Elementals is the first in a new series that fans of Percy Jackson and The Secret Circle will love!

When Nicole Cassidy moves from sunny Georgia to gloomy New England, the last thing she expects is to learn that her homeroom is a cover for a secret coven of witches. Even more surprisingly … she’s apparently a witch herself. Despite doubts about her newfound abilities, Nicole is welcomed into this ancient circle of witches and is bedazzled by their powers—and, to her dismay, by Blake—the school’s notorious bad-boy.

Girls who get close to Blake wind up hurt. His girlfriend Danielle will do anything to keep them away, even if she must resort to using dark magic. But the chemistry between Blake and Nicole is undeniable, and despite wanting to protect Nicole from Danielle’s wrath, he finds it impossible to keep his distance.

When the Olympian Comet shoots through the sky for the first time in three thousand years, Nicole, Blake, Danielle, and two others in their homeroom are gifted with mysterious powers. But the comet has another effect—it opens the portal to the prison world that has contained the Titans for centuries. After an ancient monster escapes and attacks Nicole and Blake, it’s up to them and the others to follow the clues from a cryptic prophecy so that they can save their town … and possibly the world.

 

BUY LINKS:

“Elementals is going to blow your mind!”
-Crossroad Reviews, ★★★★★

“Five glittery stars for being such a compelling read!”
-Andrea Heltsley, Goodreads Reviewer ★★★★★

“A perfect mixture of magic and mythology. An entrancing story of trust, friendship and well naughty boys. WITCHES are not the only thing walking the earth!”
– BenjaminOfTomes, BookTuber ★★★★★

Read And Except

“Run!” Blake yelled, grabbing my arm and pulling me off the merry-go-round.

It spun under our weight, and I held onto the metal bars, pushing off them to leap over the edge. The cedar chips on the ground cushioned my landing. The car was behind us, which would mean running towards the monstrous hound, so I bolted for the playground, hurrying up a ladder of rubber tires that led to the closest platform. Blake followed close behind. The second he was up he took the lighter out of his pocket and aimed a blue fireball at the tires. They melted to the ground seconds before the hound reached them.
It looked up at us and growled—a low, menacing sound that if I spoke dog I would have assumed meant “I’m going to have you for dinner”—and tried to jump onto the platform. It missed by only a few inches.
Blake flicked on his lighter and threw a fireball at its chest, but the hound jumped to the side to get out of the way. It turned all four of its eyes up at us, one head letting out a deep roar as the other snapped its teeth together, taking bites out of the air.
My hands shook, and I gripped one of the log posts behind me for support. “Have you learned how to fight these things in homeroom?” I asked Blake, my voice rising in panic.
He threw another fireball, and it missed the hound again. “No,” he snapped, the flames lighting up his face. “Fighting legendary creatures isn’t on the syllabus.”
“Maybe it should be,” I said as he launched another ball of fire, hitting the hound on its front paw. Both of its heads yelped in pain. The scorpion tail lowered between its legs, and it growled again before turning away from us and running around the side of the playground, woodchips flying behind it as it gained speed.
My heart pounded, and I looked around to figure how to get off the platform. The exit was a slide that dropped off at the monkey bars. I could get down and run to the car, but I didn’t know where the hound was, and leaving the platform could give it the perfect opportunity to pounce.
Then the hound growled again. I turned around, spotting it clamoring up a ladder of logs that led to a nearby platform. Only a wobbly bridge separated that platform from our own. My entire body shook, and I moved closer to Blake, grabbing his arm for support.
The hound reached the top of the platform, and its glowing eyes narrowed, ready to attack.
Not having anywhere else to go, I launched myself down the slide and hurried to the monkey bars, climbing up the ladder and hoisting myself on top of them. Gripping the sides, I crawled to the center bar, but the ground spun beneath me, my lungs tightening as I looked down. I had to take a few deep breaths to steady myself. A six-foot fall wasn’t deadly. Now wasn’t the time to let my fear of heights get to me.
Blake scrambled behind me, and I turned around to make sure he wasn’t hurt. Sweat dripped down the sides of his face from the flames, but other than that he looked okay. He took his lighter out again, holding it up in preparation to create another fireball.
I looked back at the hound in time to see it run along the bridge and hurl itself towards us. It bared its teeth as it flew through the air, its arms outstretched as it came closer to the monkey bars. But it must not have had enough force behind the jump, because it fell to the ground with a loud thump. It stood and shook the woodchips off its fur, a low growl coming from somewhere deep in its throat as it turned its heads up to look at us.
Before I could say anything to Blake about how completely screwed we were, he threw two balls of fire towards the hound, hitting both of its faces. It howled and collapsed, whimpering as it buried its snouts in its paws. The smell of burnt skin filled the air. My stomach swirled with nausea, and I lifted a hand to my nose to block out the smell.
Only a few seconds passed before it stood up again. The fur on its faces had changed into a charred grey. Its yellow eyes glowed brighter now, both snouts chomping madly in the air, strings of saliva dripping to the ground as it waited to devour whichever one of us lost our balance first.

About the Author

Michelle Madow grew up in Baltimore, graduated Rollins College in Orlando, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida. She wrote her first book in her junior year of college, and has been writing novels since. Some of her favorite things are: reading, pizza, traveling, shopping, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle has toured across America to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.


Author Links:
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Book Blitz: Curses & Ash by Tiffany Duane

Curses & Ash (Book Two)
Release Date:  January 2016
Jester Ink Press
Summary from Goodreads:
Discover the spellbinding sequel to Coral & Bone…
A demented twin sister, a demon hijacking her powers, and a mysterious journal filled with more questions than answers—Halen needs her Guardian Dax more than ever. But if she confides in Dax, she fears he will never forgive her, not after all he sacrificed to help her vanquish Asair.Halen drowned Asair in a tornado of wings—at least, she thought she killed him. Why then does his mocking voice snake through her thoughts, enticing her to surrender her power?
Maybe she screwed up—big time—but she will never allow Asair to control her magick. And when Etils’ fires threaten the Earth, suspicions surrounding Asair’s death rise, igniting restlessness within the realms. Her life in balance, Halen must race time, purge the demon’s soul before flames consume the Earth or the Tari strike first. 

Buy Links:

Book One:

(linked to Goodreads)

 

About the Author
I write stories about magick, love and dark creatures lurking in the shadows. When I’m not lost in Editland you can find me reading a book from my towering TBR pile or at the movie theater nibbling licorice. I don’t have a lucky number, but my favorite time is 11:11. I completely believe that the fortunes found inside cookies will come true and that you must be careful when wishing on stars. I live on an island, so if you want to visit you’ll need a boat, and if you want to survive the passage, be sure to bring candy for the mermaids.

Author Links:

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Release Week Blitz: Shearwater Part One (an Ocean Depths Mermaid Romance) by Derek Murphy with Giveaway

 

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Hello readers! Welcome to the Release Week Blitz for

Shearwater Part One (an Ocean Depths Mermaid Romance)

by Derek Murphy!

Do you love mermaids? Then this is the book for you!
And don’t get me started on the awesome giveaway found below.

Happy Book Birthday Derek!

Make some noise and celebrate!! Whoo hooooo!

 

Shearwater Cover

“I watched the colored lights and sparkles coming off of Sebastian in the dark water, as the ocean began the process of rebuilding his tail. I longed to join him in the water, to wrap my arms around him and let him carry me under the sea; but I wasn’t ready. For him, the ocean was a home; for me it was death. Without being able to transform, the ocean depths would suffocate me, the pressure collapse my bones and flesh.”

After her parent’s accident, Clara is shipped off to live with a grandfather she never knew, in a town she can’t pronounce. In Ireland, she soon discovers that her mother’s secret past is filled with tragedy. Trying to track down the truth, she begins going through changes of her own, until she’s not sure just who – or what – she is anymore.

Then she meets the mysterious Sebastian, who won’t leave her alone, and Ethan, who apparently can’t stand to be near her. Both of them seem to have supernatural powers, and she’s not quite sure whether they want to kill her or kiss her. Just when things are getting interesting, someone attacks her, and she gets a revelation that destroys everything she thought she knew about the world, humanity, and herself.

>>>Explore the magical coast of Northern Ireland, and an new interpretation of the Tuatha de Danann, the Fomorians, and mermaid mythology.

>>>An innovative paranormal romance with a brand new magical system, and a version of mermaid biology that actually makes sense.

This is PART ONE of the first book (Shearwater), of the Ocean Depths Series.

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Shearwater Part One (an Ocean Depths Mermaid Romance)
by Derek Murphy
Publication Date: January 26, 2016
Publisher: Urban Epics

Available for Purchase:
Amazon

 

About-the-Author2

Derek Murphy

Derek Murphy is a philosophy major turned book designer finishing a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature. He recently decided to stop studying and designing books, and start writing his own.

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Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win these mermaid bookends!

 

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Blog Tour: Fire by Belle Manuel

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Hello Readers

Welcome to my stop on the Fire Blog Tour. To view the full tour schedule click on the banner above and be sure to comment on as many stops as you can to increase your chances of winning in the Giveaway! Be sure to enter for a chance to win $50 Amazon /B&N Gift Card, because who doesn’t need more books? 🙂

Fire
by Belle Manuel

GENRE: YA (Fantasy & Magic)

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BLURB:

Chelsea and Chad are twin fire and water elementals, humans born with the ability to control the elements. Chelsea struggles to control her flames, while Chad finds himself under the control of dangerous people. War draws near, and brother and sister must choose a side, even if it’s against each other.

Buy Links:

Amazon * B&N * Kobo * Amberjack

EXCERPT

I watched as West sized me up, and I tried to do the same. Maybe his bulk could be his weakness, I told myself. With as much muscle as he had, there was no way he could run as fast as I could. I kept that in the back of my mind as I lit myself light up entirely. West laughed and lit up, too, but he burned hot, bright blue-white flames while I stood in cooler yellows and oranges. I didn’t let it shake me.

He charged, ready to tackle me. I looked quickly and saw an opening for me to run past him. I did, and as I passed him, our flames brushed together, and I pushed my fire through his. He groaned loudly and growled, pushing his flames out further. This time, I charged at him, taking advantage of his anger. He tried to grab at me, but I was too quick as I slipped through his opened arms. I had to leap up and back, fitting right up through the gap of his closing arms and beyond. As I was in the air, flying away from West, a knife thin tendril of fire lashed at my side. I hit the ground hard, but immediately shot a continuous stream of fire up at him. His flames may have been hotter, but mine were easier to control.

I didn’t let up as he ran at me and finally a breach in his flames appeared. I rolled over and kicked him with a fireball to increase the chances of doing damage. A cracking sound echoed as my foot met his rib cage and then West let out a horrible yell. He fell to his knees on the ground in front of me, his pained eyes shooting over to Blaze. I pushed myself away from him, worried that he was somehow faking the pain.

Blaze whistled loudly, signaling the end of the first round.

 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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Born in Louisiana, Belle Manuel spent her early years learning to be a good Cajun girl before moving to Texas. She visits Louisiana often, enjoying the quiet break from the active Texas life. When not writing, Belle enjoys crochet and crossword puzzles. Her debut novel, Fire, was released July 1st of this year.

Belle first began writing in middle school, where her first writing job was getting paid by other students to write stories for them. She enjoyed turning their random requests into interesting stories, and the money she made helped fund her reading habit.

Fire began with an idea, but quickly took on a life of its own and changed as Belle wrote it. With all the adjustments and improvements, it eventually evolved into The Elemental Series.

Links

Facebook * Goodreads * Amazon * Publisher

Guest Post:

The Trials of Publishing Your Book

Getting published is fun; you feel like all of your hard work, effort, and (temporary) self-loathing have all paid off. It’s a vindication that your writing isn’t just crap to be hidden inside folder OLD MUSIC FILES inside that VACATION PICTURES folder on your desktop. It is worth publishing! But the process of getting published is something you have to prepare for.
First thing you do is find agents, because you can’t submit your work to an agency without having an agent that works there. But you’ll find that almost all of those agents have secretaries that do the footwork for them because they’re constantly incredibly busy. So you get a few auto-sent rejection emails. Then you get a few personalized ones that tell you ‘you’re not a good fit for us’ or ‘this work isn’t quite our style’ and you keep your chin up. You knew a few would say no. But then those three become ten, and those ten become twenty, and you start to wonder ‘am I seriously still trying to get this crap published?’
The next eventual step is obvious: some will like your work. You get an email that sounds hopeful – they want to see five chapters of your novel! So you send it to them, with a thank you note in the email about them going out of their way. You get another auto-reply that says they’ll get back to you in six weeks or so. Now for six weeks, every moment is filled with the question of whether or not they actually read it, or if they’re going to pick it up. This is almost worse than the immediate no response, because you actually have true hope that you’re getting published.
Eventually, an agent sees something in your work, and by now you’ve not even gotten hopeful. You send them what they need and you forget you sent it, then they say they want to talk purchasing your manuscript. You’ve done it! You made it! You’re going to be published!!!! It’s a weird process, full of questions that you haven’t thought the answers to, so you feel dumb as your sitting there talking to the people who want to make you the next Stephen King (or whatever genre you write in).
Once you’ve signed your contract, sold your work, and set up the royalties portion, the editing begins. Again, your heart will sink because their job is to find all of those minute details that to you made sense – because after all it’s your world, you know what you meant – and tell you that it makes none at all. They find the plot holes, the scenes that aren’t needed, and the scenes you should’ve written. It kind of makes you feel like you didn’t write a good story – BUT YOU DID!! Editors are the unsung heroes of the publishing world. Their job is to take your piece of rough, dirty coal and shiny, and turn it into this gorgeous princess-cut diamond that’ll sparkle on a bookshelf one day!
All in all, if you want to get published, prepare yourself for rejection. It happens to every good author! But also be prepared for that feeling of ‘when will the other shoe fall’ because that still hasn’t worn off for me. I’m so happy that my dream has come true that I feel something small will happen next, but I still wouldn’t trade the whole emotional process for anything. It was worth every minute of worry and stress.

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

Belle will be awarding $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host.

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Blog Tour: Inked by Eric Smith

 

Hello Readers

Welcome to the Inked Blog Tour. To check out the full schedule, click on the banner above. Today for my promotional post I have for you a Guest Post about the Magic of Tattoos along with book info and buy links and a Giveaway. Be sure to enter!

Inked inked
by Eric Smith
Release Date: January 20th 2015
Bloomsbury Spark

Summary from Goodreads:

Tattoos once were an act of rebellion.

Now they decide your destiny the moment the magical Ink settles under your skin.

And in a world where Ink controls your fate, Caenum can’t escape soon enough. He is ready to run from his family, and his best friend Dreya, and the home he has known, just to have a chance at a choice.

But when he upsets the very Scribe scheduled to give him his Ink on his eighteenth birthday, he unwittingly sets in motion a series of events that sends the corrupt, magic-fearing government, The Citadel, after him and those he loves.

Now Caenum, Dreya, and their reluctant companion Kenzi must find their way to the Sanctuary, a secret town where those with the gift of magic are safe. Along the way, they learn the truth behind Ink, its dark origins, and why they are the only ones who can stop the Citadel.

Eric Smith takes you on a high-octane fantasy adventure, perfect for anyone who has dreamed of being different… only to discover that fate is more than skin deep.

Advance Praise:

“INKED is an action-packed read with a hero I could root for, magic I wanted to have, and a vivid fantasy world to back it all up. Smith’s prose had me turning pages way past my bedtime.” – Susan Dennard, author of SOMETHING STRANGE & DEADLY

“A fast-paced page-turner from Eric Smith filled with magic, mystery and mayhem.” – Kristi Helvig, Author of BURN OUT

“With a lively cast of characters and a captivating idea, INKED draws its readers into a world where magic lives on every page.” Kat Zhang, author of The Hybrid Chronicles series

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Buy Links:
AmazonBarnes and NobleiBooks

RUN by Blue of Colors
The Theme Song to Inked by Eric Smith

 

Guest Post: Why Tattoos Are Magical (Hold Stories)
Growing up, I always looked at my Dad’s Air Force tattoo with a mixture of awe and confusion. The tattoos I saw on television, movies, magazines, or you know, in-person on other people, were always bright, colorful, clear, and vivid. But my Dad, his tattoo was a pale blue, faded, the lettering barely readable. He never talked about it much, or the history of where he got it. It wasn’t until I was a bit older, and started talking about how I wanted my own tattoos, that he dished a little more on its history.
He’d gotten it while overseas, stationed in Japan, during the Vietnam War. It was a quick tattoo job, something he wasn’t terribly proud of years later as the ink faded and the quality washed away, but it held memories. Of that time him and his squad stole a jeep and drove around the city. Of the bar fight he got into over a girl. Of the time he spent in a hospital, getting his tailbone removed.
Talking to my Dad about his tattoo didn’t just let me know more about that piece of ink on his arm that raised so many questions for me growing up… it answered questions I didn’t even know I wanted to ask.
It was like a time machine on his forearm.
That’s why I think tattoos are magical. They all hold a story, and have the ability to take you back, sometimes really far, in time for a moment.
I look at mine, and I don’t just see the Nautilus from Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I see the first book I truly fell in love with as a child, and the first time I saw myself in a book. When I look at the quotation marks on my first, I don’t just see punctuation marks that I always screw up while writing (just being real here), but a reminder to write. To keep trying. To tell the stories I never heard growing up.
Next time you see a relative, a friend, an acquaintance… and notice they have some interesting ink, ask a question. See what they have to tell you.
All tattoos hold a story. Listen.

About the Author
eric smithEric Smith is the author of THE GEEK’S GUIDE TO DATING, out now via Quirk Books, and INKED, a YA novel out with Bloomsbury Spark.

His writing has appeared locally in the Philly Weekly, The Inquirer, and on Philly.com. He’s written for the Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Boing Boing, and is a regular contributor to BookRiot and Geekosystem.

His essays have appeared in the Bygone Bureau and The Apiary, and his first published piece will appear in THE ASTEROID BELT ALMANAC with the Hand & the Hand Press in April 2014.

He’s the co-founder of Geekadelphia, a popular hyperlocal geek blog in Philly, and the Philly Geek Awards, a ceremony honoring local geeks in his city.

Eric holds a BA in English from Kean University and an MA in English from Arcadia University. He currently lives in Philly. You can find him on Twitter at @ericsmithrocks and @geekadelphia.

Author Links:
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Week In Books #13 (Jan 11- 17)

Hello Readers

Welcome to my Week In Books. I got quite some reading done this week since next week promises to be all about my studies so even though I know I’ll squeeze in some reading, I doubt I would get to read more than two books.

I did haul just little over 5 books this week also ; I just can’t seem to stop collecting books and I’m shameless about it too! 🙂

Without further ado:

Ebooks I Read

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Average Joe and the Extraordinaires

Cogling

Darkhaven

Goldenfire (Darkhaven #2)

 

Received For Review

 

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Beautiful Carnage

Pariah

Soulless

Black Lotus

Broken Banners

 

Mini Book Haul

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Darkhaven

Duizend Stukjes Van Jou

Frail Human Heart

Henchgirl

The Killing Jar

The Summer Marked

There you have it guys! Thanks as always to NetGalley, Curiosity Quills Press, Harper Collins Uk and other publishers, Book Tour Hosts, and Authors who grant copies for review.

I have already reviewed Cogling as part of Curiosity Quills Press’ January Releases Review Tour ,so in case you missed it, you can find that review here.

How did your week go? Thanks for dropping by and see you next week for another Week In Books!

 

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Curiosity Quills’s January Releases Review Tour: Cogling by Jordan Elizabeth

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Hello readers

Welcome to the Curiosity Quills Press’ January Releases Review Tour! Today I have for you my review of Cogling by Jordan Elizabeth and an excerpt. Enjoy!!

COGLING, by Jordan Elizabeth Cogling

Genre: Middle-Grade fantasy
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Release¬¬: January 25, 2016
Cover Artist: Mandie Manzano

I received an eARC from the publisher Curiosity Quills Press for an honest review. This in no way influences my review.

Find Online:

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Pre-Order:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Description:

When fifteen-year-old Edna Mather tears an expensive and unfamiliar pocket watch off her little brother’s neck, he crumbles into a pile of cogs right before her eyes. Horrified, Edna flees for help, but encounters Ike, a thief who attempts to steal the watch before he realizes what it is: a device to power Coglings—clockwork changelings left in place of stolen children who have been forced to work in factories.

Desperate to rescue her brother, Edna sets off across the kingdom to the hags’ swamp, with Ike in tow. There, they learn Coglings are also replacing nobility so the hags can stage a rebellion and rule over humanity. Edna and Ike must stop the revolt, but the populace believes hags are helpful godmothers and healers. No one wants to believe a lowly servant and a thief, especially when Ike has secrets that label them both as traitors.

Together, Edna and Ike must make the kingdom trust them or stop the hags themselves, even if Ike is forced to embrace his dark heritage and Edna must surrender her family.

Review

Can I just say that Curiosity Quills Press’ book covers are the prettiest? Even the formatting is really nice!!

Cogling is one of those books whose characters take a piece of your heart and will stay with you long after you’ve finished the book. The author does such a great job building this world and crafting her characters and it really shows in their realness and depth.

I found myself totally riveted to my Kobo and immersed in this world where Edna, her brother and her mom are barely scraping together a living. At 15 years old she is already working along with her younger brother . Their dad is mentioned only briefly since he is hardly ever there, being a railroad worker. Edna is almost a mom to Harrison so she is the first to realise something is off about him after the hag has replaced him with a cogling. This ‘cogling’ is a doppelganger held together and operated by clockwork, which I thought was just ingenious. So, for all looks and purposes, it was supposed to imitate Harrison so that he wouldn’t be missed.

Anyway, without giving away too much, Edna finds out the cogling is not her brother when it disintegrates in front of her eyes into clockwork, gears and other bits and pieces. She then sets out to investigate and finds out the hags have kidnapped Harrison so of course she sets out to retrieve her brother and things only get more intriguing for there on.

Now, this is a world with magic but not everyone has it and those that do,the hags and the ogres, were once in control and wish to be so again. So they have hatched an evil plan to suppress the humans which Edna stumbles upon in her attempts to retrieve Harrison.

I loved all the characters, even the villains ,especially Mother Sambacus because they were so well developed, interesting and multi-faceted. The character development is done in such in way that I found myself relating on a deep and personal level with them especially Edna, Ike and Harrison. I couldn’t help but admire Edna’s strength and her love of family. She literally did everything in her ‘power’ to rescue her brother and others and refused to allow herself to let doubt cripple her ability to do so, even when the odds were stacked impossibly high against her!

Ike, the secondary character has earned a place in my heart too. Even though in the beginning his motives were ulterior, he kept his word and helped Edna to rescue her brother and didn’t just stop at that. The romance that developed is one that makes sense to me. I can imagine that going through danger and  uncertainty together could cause feelings to develop and mature, as a bond would form between the two.

Mother Sambacus lived up to the idea of a villain and added tension and suspense to the plot. The plot itself, though not overly complicated, was clever and the gripping  and with a few twists interwoven to add that element of surprise which just kicked it up a notch. The pacing is fast and steady and there is more than enough nail-biting tense moments to keep one’s eyes glued to the page.

The action and intrigue never let up! Seriously!! With impeccable narration and riveting , imaginative , well- thought out scenes and plot twists, the author was able to grab my attention and keep me enthralled! Cogling really was a page-turner that I had to force myself to read slowly, to savour every word and nuance, so as not to miss anything from this veritable feast of words!  It will tug on your heartstrings and have you rooting for Edna and Harrison and will leave you totally satisfied yet disappointed that it’s come to an end. I can’t wait for you to read it! Cogling has my stamp of approval and I highly recommend it to EVERYONE!!

My Rating

5 hearts

 

Cogling

Excerpt

clock

Prologue
Green smoke snaked up the side of the tenement and drifted over the sill of an open window. A breeze blew the vapor into a column before it solidified into the shape of a stout, young hag. She shook her crimson curls away from her face and straightened the hood of her cloak to keep her kohl-lined, silver eyes shadowed.
The scent of lavender clung to her robes, washing over the small room. Two brass-framed beds crowded the floor. Blankets covered sleeping children. A little boy wheezed against the head of his stuffed bear, drool dripping onto the wool.
The hag squinted to see the goldenrod dream cloud above his head—a dream about seeing his father again. She frowned at the other bed, where a sleeping teenager lay with a threadbare blanket tugged around her chin. Even squinting, the hag couldn’t make out a dream cloud. The girl was too old to be of any use.
The hag slithered to the boy’s bed and, from the folds of her cloak, drew out a rectangular box four inches long, with a circular indentation on one side. She set it on the floor to remove a vial and rag from her skirt pocket, the rough wool of the rag irritating her fingertips.
“Do it, Simone,” the hag muttered to herself as she willed her hands not to tremble. “Make the Dark Mother happy.” She couldn’t fail at her first mission.
Holding her breath, Simone dribbled three drops onto the rag, yanked the teddy bear away, and shoved the drugged cloth against the boy’s mouth. His eyes opened, his gasp muffled, and his body jerked. Simone stiffened.
The girl moaned. Her mattress rustled as she rolled over to face the wall, brown curls shifting over her pillow.
Simone’s heart thudded. By the seven Saints, she should’ve cast a sleeping spell over the girl. The Dark Mother preferred humans to think hags were harmless healers, not thieves who kidnapped children.
The boy writhed, squeaks emerging from behind the rag. Simone pressed harder. She needed his breath in the wool to disguise and fuel the machine.
The potion took hold and the boy collapsed. Simone’s thick lips curved over her broken teeth. She lifted a pocket watch from around her neck and positioned it into the crevice in the metal box. As the two pieces connected, a chime rang out. She set the box beside the limp little boy and draped the rag over it. Even though she should wait to make sure his breath stuck in the machine, she couldn’t risk waking the girl.
The metal stretched to become his replica as if it were made of putty. With a second chime, the metal shimmered and dulled into the pale peach of his flesh, becoming an exact duplicate of the child.
“Mine.” Simone hefted the little boy into her arms, leaving the duplication on the bed, and transformed to smoke before the chimes awoke the girl.

 

About The Author:
Jordan ElizabethJordan Elizabeth, formally Jordan Elizabeth Mierek, writes down her nightmares in order to live her dreams. With an eclectic job history of working as a college professor; historic costumed interpreter at Fort Stanwix, Victorian Leisure Fair, and Mayfaire on the Green; office specialist; sales clerk; election inspector; and trainer, she is now diving into the world of author.It happens to be her favorite one.
When she’s not creating art or searching for lost history in the woods, she’s updating her blog, Kissed by Literature. Jordan is the president of the Utica Writers Club and maintains JordanElizabethMierek.com.

She roams Central New York, but she loves to travel. A great deal of time has been spent in a rural town very similar to Arnn, the setting of her novel ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW.

Find the author Online:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Curiosity Quills Press (CQ) is a small hybrid publishing company specializing in genre fiction of the highest quality. With 150+ titles in our catalog already and approximately 6 new books coming out each month, there’s never a dull moment at CQ. We work with major retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Audible to ensure that you, the reader, can find whatever you are looking for at your convenience.
Founded in 2011 by Eugene Teplitsky and Lisa Gus, CQ was initially a resource portal for writing and publishing, created in an effort to help writers, like themselves, survive the publishing industry. After rapid success, CQ morphed into publishing press that over time has solidified its share in the market. Now we spend our days searching for the next great escape!

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Book Blitz: The Lost Heir by Allison Whitmore

The Lost Heir
Allison Whitmore (with Erin Virginia & Grace Arden)
Published by: Booktrope Publishing
Publication date: December 8th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Isabella Foxworthy was just another girl…until she learned she was an empath, able to read the energy of others. A secret world known as the Violet City lies beneath her family’s hotel in Los Angeles. Through this discovery, Isabella is catapulted into a whirlwind of magic, adventure, and danger. The Violet City holds the key to protecting her stability; her family hotel, her friends, and her very sanity.

With morphlings, empaths, and fair folk also comes a powerful entity that twists her mind into knots, threatening everything she loves. Now, Isabella and her new friends—a guitar-playing jock, his gifted but neurotic brother, and a set of over-indulged twins—have until her 16th birthday to save her world with the help of someone who’s been lost for a very long time…the lost Foxworthy heir. But will they find him in time? And will he be a friend or foe?

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EXCERPT:

The sun was beginning to set and the bright day had begun to dissipate as dusk slowly fell over the Culver Hills village center, if one could really call it a village in the middle of Los Angeles. The air grew dense and musty. All the street lamps were off except one, which flickered in a slow, steady beat. Only a small number of cars cruised the road as the kids walked down Main Street toward where the Foxworthy Hotel was perched at the top of the hill. This dark stillness was not usual for this time of day. Something was off.

“Get off me!” The voice filled Isabella’s ear a block away from the hotel trolley stop. Her gut tore in two with fear. ”Give that back.”

Isabella slowed down to see Cleo marching back toward the same two bullies she’d rescued Pythian from the other day, one of whom had Xander by the shirt collar as the other was rummaging through Xander’s backpack. Cleo’s shoes lay in a clump.

“There are so many goodies in here. Gum drops. Chocolate snatches. Debbie cakes. And my personal favorite—this camcorder. Oh, wait… no. There’s a little digital camera, too. Looks like Christmas came early for us. Isn’t that right, Sloane?”

“Put my brother down, or you’ll be sorry,” Cleo shouted.

As requested, the boy shoved Xander, sending him tumbling into a nearby thorn bush. “Ahhrrk!” Cleo went straight to his side.

It looked like the kid with Xander’s backpack might consider going for Cleo’s purse, but before that could happen, the other boy, Sloane, said, “Dude, let’s get outta here.” Seth, who was bigger and taller than both of them, and Isabella, whose nostrils flared like a lion, hustled after them.

“I know those guys,” Isabella told Seth.

“Go back and stay with Cleo,” he said.

“Watch me, Superman.”

They looped around the corner as the bullies flew up the service road that led to the back of the hotel. Before they could get too far, four figures in black appeared; from where, Isabella could not tell. Two grabbed the boys. Another took Xander’s backpack. Seth and Isabella both stopped. Cold licked Isabella’s heart. Not an eerie cold, but like a soothing glass of cold lemonade on a scorching day in July.

“What do we do?” Isabella whispered.

“I would tell you to go back, but you’d just make too much noise arguing with me, so I say just shut up.”

“If you tell me to shut up one more time…”

“Not now.”

“Right.”

The two figures holding the boys seemed to melt into the darkness of the trees.

“Where the hell did they go?” Seth asked, protectively pushing Isabella behind him.

She did not fight it. She was starting to become frightened, less of the situation and more of herself. Things had been off more than usual today. For the first time since her parents’ death, she’d felt completely protected, and she wasn’t sure it was all due to the necklace she had been wearing. It was so bizarre.

She was attuned to Cleo and Xander, who were usually never around at the holidays because, like her friend Lana, their parents traveled at that time. She’d felt everything from them: Xander’s exhaustion; Cleo’s boredom and overprotectiveness of her brother. The Logan brothers, however, were different. One minute, she felt Micah’s agitation with Xander, but the next, it would grow cold. And Seth—that boy, she couldn’t get a handle on at all. The only thing she got a sense of was fierce protection, particularly for Micah, but for her as well. She really did not know why.

That was never part of it; she had never felt the direction of a person’s emotions until now. She’d never felt so hot and cold about it. The five of them, connected by a string. It made no sense. Why would she be connected to these random kids?

The two figures in black who had stayed behind whispered to each other. Seth stepped to the side, taking Isabella with him. ”We should go back.”

But he was too late. The men had spotted them and were heading their way. Neither Seth nor Isabella dared to move. In an instant, the tallest of the figures, a young man of about twenty, stood before them. His skin was a beautiful caramel color, his eyes a startling green, and his hair—Isabella saw, as he pushed the hood off his head, he had a nest of shiny curls. He wore a goatee, and his eyes drooped with intellect.

“Declan Timothy. This is Max.” He thumbed at the guy behind him. “Just wanted to give this back to the kid.”

He pushed the backpack into Isabella’s arms. Her vocal cords decided to twist into a knot, so she was unable to say thank you.

“And to tell you to be careful. Tonight is going to change things for you.”

That did it. No more evil cats holding her tongue hostage. “What the heck does that mean?”

“You’ll see. If you need us, ask Theophilus where to find us.”

“Wait a minute,” Seth said, pinning Declan with a heated gaze. “Who are you guys?”

“The Midnight Brotherhood. Be careful, Isabella. And you—make sure she listens.”

“Sure,” Seth replied.

Then they, too, faded into the night.

Seth and Isabella looked at each other, not saying a word. For some reason, words did not seem appropriate at that moment.

When they returned to their friends, Seth spoke quietly as Isabella returned Xander’s backpack to him. “Let’s go home.”

The trolley was nowhere in sight, which was more evidence to Isabella that something was not right. From the bottom of the hill, the hotel was as dim and desolate as it had appeared from the center of the village. With heavy legs, they began up the hill. They climbed the front steps and walked into the lobby. Candlelight dotted the room. Elyse was the first person to approach them; her waitress apron was undone, her hair out of place.

“Thank God you’re all right.”

“What’s going on?” Isabella asked.

“I…” Elyse burst into tears.

“Elyse, tell us now! What happened?”

Elyse wiped her face. “I don’t really know. Everything blacked out for a while. It went cold, and I got really tired. It almost felt like I fell asleep for a while, but then when I woke up, I was standing in the same place I had been before. Right inside the Lily Field ballroom. And then—”

 

Author Bio:

Allison Whitmore was born in Los Angeles and loves to tell good coming-of-age stories with a hint of romance. You will find her characters going on an adventure or two as well. Outside of writing, Whitmore enjoys classic films, hiking and spending time with family and friends. She loves it when fans reach out to her. You can reach her at allisonwhitmoreauthor@gmail.com, follow her on Twitter: @alli_whitmore or join her on Instagram @allisonwhitmoreauthor.

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Blog Tour: Thief Of Lies by Brenda Drake

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Hello Readers

Welcome to my stop on the Thief Of Lies BlogTour! To check out the full tour schedule, click on the baner above. Today I have for you my review of the book and a Giveaway, so be sure to enter for your chance to win one of the cool prizes!!

Title: Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers, #1)
Release date: 1/5/16
Author: Brenda Drake

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About the book:
Gia Kearns would rather fight with boys than kiss them. That is, until Arik, a leather clad hottie in the Boston Athenaeum, suddenly disappears. While examining the book of world libraries he abandoned, Gia unwittingly speaks the key that sucks her and her friends into a photograph and transports them into a Paris library, where Arik and his Sentinels—magical knights charged with protecting humans from the creatures traveling across the gateway books—rescue them from a demonic hound.

Jumping into some of the world’s most beautiful libraries would be a dream come true for Gia, if she weren’t busy resisting her heart or dodging an exiled wizard seeking revenge on both the Mystik and human worlds. Add a French flirt obsessed with Arik and a fling with a young wizard, and Gia must choose between her heart and her head, between Arik’s world and her own, before both are destroyed.

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My Review

As soon as I read the premise of this book in an Entangled Teen newsletter, I wanted to read it immediately. I love books about books or libraries and this one promised to be amazing.

I liked the manner in which Gia descovers her talent, such a coincidental way, and loved visiting various libraries (however brief) and really enjoyed the descriptions and the thrill from being able to travel  through books like she and the other sentinels do. I mean, how cool is that?

The worldbuilding is slow but easy to follow and the creatures and magical abilities are introduced over the course of the books instead of all at once which I liked. There is a diverse set of characters both magical and non magical and some of them were a really cool, fresh take on common creatures like vampires for example. The pacing was at times slow, but I think that was often necessary to explain certain things or set up a certain scene. When it does pick up though, the action is intense and fun.

I thought the characters were interesting for the most part and there are a couple revelations which brought a sub-character to the fore and I’m hoping to hear more about that in the next book. I loved Gia’s character. She is no wimp and I like her practical nature plus she’s a book lover! Hello!

The story for me got really intense and riveting in the last few chapters which were filled with action and complots, betrayals and back-stabbing and discovery. I loved getting to know Gia and this awesome world of sentinels and wizards and so many other creatures. It has left me curious and wanting more which is always good in my book.

Overall a good start to a series, and after that ending I can’t wait to see how Gia’s character develops and how the prophecy will play out. Any book that has piqued my interest so that I’m intrigued about what is to come, has scored in my opinion and Thief Of Lies has done just that!!

My Rating

4 hearts

Author Bio

Brenda Drake Author Photo3Brenda Drake, the youngest of three children, grew up an Air Force brat and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When Brenda’s not writing or doing the social media thing, she’s haunting libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops or reading someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

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Giveaway Info:
Grand Prize of the Kindle Fire 7” Display Wifi 8GB + Coffee Table Book that inspired the Library Jumpers series, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL LIBRARIES IN THE WORLD + Swag Pack (US/Canada)

$50 Amazon Gift Card (INT)

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