The Library Lover’s Book Tag

Mandy and Sha at Book Princess Reviews did a super fun tag about libraries recently and I wanted to join in. Be sure to check out their answers on their blog.

Libraries are a huge part of my life, so how could I pass up the chance to do this tag?

 

QUESTIONS

How often do you visit your local library?

I try to go at least once a week, though sometimes it’s every two weeks. It mostly depends on my work/activity schedule or if I have something checked out that has a shorter loan period.

 

Are you the type of person who checks out more books than you can read or are you someone who checks out the exact amount of books you intend to read before they are due?

 

I almost always end up checking out more than I can read in one go. Oops! It’s typically a result of my requests all coming in at once. ^^;

 

How old were you when you got your first library card?

 

I have no idea. I’d assume fairly young because we can get them as soon as we can sign our name in the provided space on the card, but I can’t remember the first card.

 

Do you go to your library for a particular book or do you check out anything that piques your interest?

 

90% of the time it’s because I have holds, so they’re books I already have in mind. There are times, though, when I’m there to pick up holds that I’ll also wander around the library and pick up something that catches my eye.

 

Do you only check out books or do you also get DVDs, audiobooks, etc.?

 

Usually I stick with physical books and DVDs. On occasion I’ll pick up a video game as well.

 

From what section of the library do you check out most of your books?

 

My most visited sections are either the Teen section or the Juvenile section. There are graphic novels in both that I also read, but they fall under those headings for the most part so they don’t get their own section.

 

What is your favourite part of using your local library?

I’ve been going there for so long that pretty much everyone knows me, so it’s like a home away from home. I also get to help pick young adult titles for my branch to order, which is a lot of fun. 😀

 


 

Do you like your library or just doing tags? I’d like to see what other answers are to these questions. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

A Rockstar Book Tour Cover Reveal: Scales by Nicole Conway – With Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway

Today Nicole Conway, Owl Hollow Press, and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover and an exclusive content for SCALES, book one of the Spirits of Chaos series. Nicole’s new MG/YA Fantasy Book releases in 2019, so there’s plenty of time to add it to your Goodreads to-be-read shelf and keep an eye out for those preorder links!
For now, there’s the amazing cover and a giveaway for an early copy of SCALES. 
 
 Title: SCALES (Spirits of Chaos, #1)
Author: Nicole Conway
Pub. Date: 2019
Publisher: Owl Hollow Press
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Find it: Goodreads
When New York City faces the threat of an ancient evil, a teenage boy must use a magical bracelet to transform into a monster-slaying dragon superhero.
Koji Owens is the new kid … again. As the only son of an Air Force F-16 pilot, he’s learned to adapt and survive every time they move. It’s not easy starting over with new friends and schools every two years, but when the Owens family makes their final move to New York, Koji finally has hope for a normal high school life—that is, until he finds a strange bracelet in his locker.
Transformed into a storm-summoning dragon warrior, Koji finds himself caught up in a world of ancient powers, secret identities, and colossal monsters threatening to destroy his new home. But these awesome powers come with strings attached, and revealing his true identity could mean losing everything he loves. With his family and friends now in mortal danger and New York City in flames, Koji must find the courage to become the hero they need and face down an enemy hiding in plain sight.
A comic-obsessed teenage misfit embraces his inner hero in this action-packed adventure that will leave you ready to get your scales on!

 

Exclusive Excerpt!

 

Piercing light bloomed from the totem scale. It swept over me and took away my pain, molding and stretching me into my full dragon form. The instant the searing energy coursed through my body, I launched myself into the sky.

I didn’t have a single second to waste.

Now that I was a beast of comparable size, I crested the skyscrapers in a few powerful beats of my wings. From a few blocks away, the wyvern spotted me. It let out a howl of fury as it surged straight for me. I answered with a battle cry of my own, driving more and more power into every beat of my mighty black wings.

Two F-22 fighter jets rolled in on either side, joining me in aerial formation. Their engines roared, and both pilots gave me a confirming thumb’s up. They were following me in for the attack.

I’d never felt so cool in my entire life.

I clashed with the wyvern in the air over Central Park, clamping my jaws around his throat. I prepared to give him a taste of my lightning, the same way I had the crocodile monster. One good jolt and maybe I could bring him down.

Before I get a good grip, he swung his spiked tail and whacked me across the eyes. I let go, snatching back with a roar.

He dove at me; his toothy mandible jaws open wide to rip my throat out.

A sudden plume of fire scorched his hide and sent him reeling. I drew back, wary of the blistering flames.

Another giant dragon clashed in battle, had scales as red as fresh blood and a ridge of tall, slender black spines all the way down her back. My breath caught. Madeline? She’d gone full-form, too?

She attacked the wyvern mercilessly, pinning him under another blast of her fiery breath.

Shaking off the blow to my head, I charged headlong back into the fight, lightning sizzling and popping off my open jaws. We had to get him on the ground. If we could pin him there, he’d be within range of ground fire and an easier target for our air support. We could contain the damage to the rest of the city, too.

So I went for one of the wyvern’s wings full-force.

Fyurei had him distracted. He never saw me coming. I swooped in to break one of his wings at the shoulders with a single powerful crunch of my jaws and sharp jerk of my head. The creature screeched and kicked, floundering with his one good wing and swinging his tail like a medieval mace. The bulbous, spiky tip struck one of the F-22 jets and sent the aircraft flipping through the air end over end. Not good. I watched the aircraft fall, waiting for the pilot to eject.

He didn’t.

I didn’t hesitate—I dove straight after the jet, summoning every bit of speed I had. The jet spiraled, smoking and streaking toward the ground. I threw myself the final distance with a desperate cry, jaws open wide.

I caught the tail of the jet in my teeth about a hundred feet shy of the ground. As soon as my jaws clamped onto the metal, I reared back, kicked my legs out, and flared for an emergency landing right in the middle of the park.

It took a second for the dust, snow, and trees to settle.

Picking the jet carefully out of my mouth, I held it up to my huge dragon eyeball like a little kid’s toy. Inside the cockpit, the tiny pilot was giving me a shaky thumb’s up. He was okay.

I gave him my best dragon smile, terrifying as it probably was, and placed his jet, right side up, on a grassy spot in the park. Then I turned around to get back to business. I still had some wyvern rear end to roast and an evil headmaster in dire need of reeducation.

 

About Nicole:

MY NAME IS NICOLE CONWAY and I love to write stories! I’ve been writing books since I was very young, and am blessed beyond measure to be able to do it now as a full time career. Although I sometimes step out into other genres, I primarily write Fantasy for teens and middle graders.
I graduated from Auburn University in 2012, which is also where I met my husband. As a military family, we move frequently and have lived numerous places all around the world. We have one very energetic son, Ethan. We also have two dogs (French Brittanys) named Joey (currently 5 months old) and Phoebe (4 years old) and a ball python named Noodle Nagini.
For inquiries on how to book me for a school visit, presentation, or interest in my future or current projects, please contact my amazing literary agent, FRAN BLACK, of Literary Counsel.

Giveaway Details

 

One lucky winner will win an ARC of SCALES, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

Cover Reveal: Vortex Visions (Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles #1) by Elise Kova

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Elise Kova’s newest title, Vortex Visions (Book One of the Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles), finally has a cover! Revealed 11.8.18, it is eye catching not only by style but by subject. Many congratulations to Livia Prima on brings the new protagonist, daughter of an original Air Awakens character, to life. She’s all ready for her own adventure including fighting a villain, all within a familiar-to-fans universe.

Vortex Visions Final v1 72dpi

A desperate princess, a magical traveler, and a watch that binds them together with the fate of a dying world.

Vi Solaris is the heir to an Empire she’s barely seen. Her parents sacrificed a life with her to quell a rebellion and secure peace with a political alliance. Now, three years past when her wardship should’ve ended, Vi will do anything to be reunited with her family.

The Empire is faltering beneath the burden of political infighting and a deadly plague. Yet, Vi can’t help but wonder if her inability to control her magic is the true reason her parents haven’t brought her home. Suspicion becomes reality when she unleashes powers she’s not supposed to have.

Powers that might well cost her the throne.

As Vi fights to get her magic under control, a mysterious stranger appears from across the world. He holds the keys to unlocking her full potential, but the knowledge has an unspeakable price — some truths, once seen, cannot be ignored.

All eyes are on her and Vi must make the hardest choice of her life: Play by the rules and claim her throne. Or, break them and save the world.

Vortex Visions releases February 4, 2019 and is available to preorder now here. Until then, the first book in the Air Awakens series will be on sale from November 11th-26th. From there you’ll be able to get a good idea of the world Vi lives in and the history between her parents, especially her mother Vhalla. It isn’t necessary to read the Air Awakens prior to Vortex Visions, but I think it will help introduce readers to the Empire and the magic of that world.

 

Looking for a new epic fantasy filled with magic and slow-burn romance?

 

There is a pre-order giveaway for those interested. It’s very exiting because the art on Elise’s promo material is always gorgeous. For anyone that pre-orders Vortex Visions, they can forward proof of purchase + their full name + their mailing address to ElisePreOrder[at]Gmail[dot]com to get a free signed postcard (while supplies last) AND be entered to win a special swag box including a signed hardcover. The giveaway is open internationally, yay!

Have you read any of Elise’s books before? Let me know what you think and if you’re excited for Vortex Visions.

 

 

 

 

 

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

Xpresso Book Tours Blitz: The Fever King by Victoria Lee – Excerpt & Giveaway

This week, Xpresso Book Tours is celebrating the upcoming release of The Fever King by Victoria Lee. A young adult fantasy novel that tells the story of Noam Álvaro, the only survivor of a magical plague that killed his family and granted him the ability to control technology, this book will surely fascinate readers of The Darkest Minds and other dystopian visions of a future in an alternate/former U.S.

Today on The Hermit Librarian, I’m pleased to share not only the chapter one excerpt from The Fever King, but also a giveaway that will enable five winners (open US/CAN) to read the book early with their own advance copies! Scroll to the link below to check out the Rafflecopter giveaway.

 

The Fever King by Victoria Lee
Published by: Skyscape
Publication date: March 1st 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.

The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.

Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.

 

Excerpt

CHAPTER 1:

Outbreaks of magic started all kinds of ways. Maybe a tank coming in from the quarantined zone didn’t get hosed down properly. Maybe, like some people said, the refugees brought it up with them from Atlantia, the virus hiding out in someone’s blood or in a juicy peach pie.

But when magic infected the slums of west Durham, in the proud sovereign nation of Carolinia, it didn’t matter how it got there.

Everybody still died.

Noam was ringing up Mrs. Ellis’s snuff tins when he nearly toppled into the cash register.

He all but had to fight her off as she tried to force him down into a folding chair—swore he’d just got a touch dizzy, but he’d be fine, really. Go on home. She left eventually, and he went to stand in front of the window fan for a while, holding his shirt off his sweat-sticky back and trying not to pass out.

He spent the rest of his shift reading Bulgakov under the counter. He felt just fine.

That evening he locked the doors, pulled chicken wire over the windows, and took a new route to the Migrant Center. In this neighborhood, you had to if you didn’t want to get robbed. Once upon a time, or so Noam had heard, there’d been a textile mill here. The street would’ve been full of workers heading home, empty lunch pails in hand. Then the mill had gone down and apartments went up, and by the 1960s, Ninth Street had been repopulated by rich university students with their leather satchels and clove cigarettes. All that was before the city got bombed halfway to hell in the catastrophe, of course.

Noam’s ex used to call it “the Ninth Circle.” She meant it in Dante’s sense.

The catastrophe was last century, though. Now the university campus blocked the area in from the east, elegant stone walls keeping out the riffraff while Ninth and Broad crumbled under the weight of five-person refugee families crammed into one-room apartments, black markets buried in basements, laundry lines strung between windows like market lights. Sure, maybe you shouldn’t wander around the neighborhood at night draped in diamonds, but Noam liked it anyway.

“Someone’s famous,” Linda said when he reached the back offices of the Migrant Center, a sly smile curving her lips as she passed him the morning’s Herald.

Noam grinned back and looked.

Massive Cyberattack Disables Central News Bureau

Authorities link hack to Atlantian cyberterrorist affiliates.

“Haven’t the faintest idea what you’re talking about. Say, have you got any scissors?”

“What for?”

“I’m gonna frame this.”

Linda snorted and swatted him on the arm. “Get on, you. Brennan has some task he wants finished this week, and I don’t think you, him, and your ego can all fit in that office.”

Which, fair: the office was pretty small. Tucked into the back corner of the building, with Brennan’s name and Director printed on the door in copperplate, it was pretty much an unofficial storage closet for all the files and paperwork Linda couldn’t cram anywhere else. Brennan’s desk was dwarfed by boxes stacked precariously around it, the man himself leaning close to his holoreader monitor with reading glasses perched on the end of a long nose and a pen behind one ear.

“Noam,” he said, glancing up when the door opened. “You made it.”

“Sorry I missed yesterday. I had to cover someone’s shift at the computer store after I got off the clock at Larry’s.”

Brennan waved a dismissive hand. “Don’t apologize. If you have to work, you have to work.”

“Still.”

It wasn’t guilt, per se, that coiled up in Noam’s stomach. Or maybe it was. That was his father’s photograph on the wall, after all, though his face was hidden by a bandanna tied over his nose and mouth. His father’s hands holding up that sign—Refugee rights are human rights. That was in June 2118, during the revolt over the new, more stringent citizenship tests. It had been the largest protest in Carolinian history.

“Linda said you had something for me to work on?” Noam said, tilting his head toward the holoreader.

“It’s just database management, I’m afraid, nothing very interesting.”

“I love databases.” Noam smiled, and Brennan smiled back. The expression lifted the exhaustion from Brennan’s face like a curtain rising from a window, sunlight streaming through.

Brennan oriented him to the task, then gave up his desk chair for Noam to get to work. He squeezed Noam’s shoulder before he left to help Linda with dinner, and a warm beat of familiarity took root in the pit of Noam’s stomach. Brennan might try to put up boundaries, clear delineations between professional life and how close Brennan had been to Noam’s family, but the cracks were always visible.

That was pretty much the only reason Noam didn’t tell him up front: database management was mind-numbingly boring. After you figured out how to script your way past the problem, it was just a matter of waiting around. He’d have once maybe emailed Carly or someone while the program executed. But they were all dead now, and between the Migrant Center and two jobs, Noam didn’t have time to meet new people. So he sat and watched text stream down the command console, letters blurring into numbers until the screen was wavering light.

A dull ache bored into Noam’s skull.

Maybe he was more tired than he thought, because he didn’t remember what happened between hitting “Execute” and Brennan shaking him awake. Noam lurched upright.

“You all right?” Brennan asked.

“What? Oh—fine, sorry. I must have . . . dozed off.” Noam seized the holoreader, tapping at the screen until it lit up again. The script was finished, anyway, and no run-time errors. Thankfully. “It’s all done.”

The thin line between Brennan’s brows deepened. “Are you feeling okay? You look . . .”

“Fine. I’m fine. Just tired.” Noam attempted a wan smile. He really hoped he wasn’t coming down with whatever it was Elliott from the computer store had. Only, he and Elliott had kissed in the back room on their lunch break yesterday, so yeah, he probably had exactly what Elliott had.

“Maybe you should go on home,” Brennan said, using that grip on Noam’s shoulder to ease him back from the computer. “I can help Linda finish up dinner.”

“I can—”

“It wasn’t a request.”

Noam made a face, and Brennan sighed.

“For me, Noam. Please. I’ll drop by later on if I have time.”

There was no arguing with Brennan when he got all protective. So Noam just exhaled and said, “Yeah, all right. Fine.”

Brennan’s hand lingered a beat longer than usual on Noam’s shoulder, squeezing slightly, then let go. When Noam looked over, Brennan’s expression gave nothing away as he said, “Tell your dad hi for me.”

Noam had arrived at the Migrant Center in the early evening. Now it was night, the deep-blue world illuminated by pale streetlight pooling on the sidewalk. It was unusually silent. When Noam turned onto Broad, he found out why: a checkpoint was stationed up at the intersection by the railroad tracks—floodlights and vans, police, even a few government witchings in military uniform.

Right. No one without a Carolinian passport would be on the street tonight, not with Immigration on the prowl.

Noam’s papers were tucked into his back pocket, but yeah, he didn’t need to deal with Chancellor Sacha’s anti-Atlantian bullshit right now. Not with this headache. He cut through the alley between the liquor store and the barbecue joint to skirt the police perimeter. It was a longer walk home from there, but Noam didn’t mind.

He liked the way tonight smelled, like smoked ribs and gasoline. Like oncoming snow.

When he got to his building, he managed to get the door open—the front latch was ancient enough it probably counted as precatastrophe. Fucking thing always got stuck, always, and Noam had written to the super fifty times, for what little difference that’d made. It was November, but the back of Noam’s neck was sweat-damp by the time he finally shouldered his way into the building and trudged into his apartment.

Once upon a time, this building was a bookstore. It’d long since been converted to tenements, all plywood walls and hung-up sheets for doors. The books were still there, though, yellowing and mildewed. They made him sneeze, but he read a new one every day all the same, curled up in a corner and out of the way of the other tenants. It was old and worn out, but it was home.

Noam touched the mezuzah on the doorframe as he went in, a habit he hadn’t picked up till after his mother died but felt right somehow. Not that being extra Jewish would bring her back to life.

Noam’s father had been moved from the TV to the window.

“What’s up, Dad?”

No answer. That was nothing new. Noam was pretty sure his father hadn’t said three words in a row since 2120. Still, Noam draped his arms over his father’s lax shoulders and kissed his cheek.

“I hope you want pasta for dinner,” Noam said, “’cause that’s what we’ve got.”

He left his father staring out at the empty street and busied himself with the saucepans. He set up the induction plate and hunched over it, steam wafting toward his face as the water simmered. God, it was unbearably hot, but he didn’t trust himself to let go of the counter edge, not with this dizziness rippling through his mind.

Should’ve had more than an apple for lunch. Should’ve gone to bed early last night, not stayed up reading Paradise Lost for the fiftieth time.

If his mother were here, she’d have dragged him off to bed and stuck him with a mug of aguapanela. It was some sugary tea remedy she’d learned from her Colombian mother-in-law that was supposed to cure everything. Noam had never learned how to make it.

Another regret to add to the list.

He dumped dried noodles into the pot. “There’s a checkpoint at the corner of Broad and Main,” he said, not expecting an answer.

None came. Jaime Álvaro didn’t care about anything anymore, not even Atlantia.

Noam turned down the heat on the stove. “Couldn’t tell if they made any arrests. Nobody’s out, so they might start knocking on doors later.”

He turned around. His father’s expression was the same slack-jawed one he’d been wearing when Noam first came in.

“Brennan asked about you,” Noam said. Surely that deserved a blink, at least.

Nothing.

“I killed him.”

Nothing then either.

Noam spun toward the saucepan again, grabbing a fork and stabbing at the noodles, which slipped through the prongs like so many slimy worms. His gut surged up into his throat, and Noam closed his eyes, free hand gripping the edge of the nearest bookshelf.

“You could at least pretend to give a shit,” he said to the blackness on the other side of his eyelids. The pounding in his head was back. “I’m sad about Mom, too, you know.”

His next breath shuddered all the way down into his chest—painful, like inhaling frost.

His father used to sing show tunes while he did the dinner dishes. Used to check the classifieds every morning for job offers even though having no papers meant he’d never get the good ones—he still never gave up. Never ever.

And Noam . . . Noam had to remember who his father really was, even if that version of him belonged to another life, ephemeral as footprints in the snow. Even if it felt like he’d lost both parents the day his mother died.

Noam switched off the heat, spooning the noodles into two bowls. No sauce, so he drizzled canola oil on top and carried one of the bowls over to his father. Noam edged his way between the chair and the window, crouching down in that narrow space. He spun noodles around the fork. “Open up.”

Usually, the prospect of food managed to garner a reaction. Not this time.

Nausea crawled up and down Noam’s breastbone. Or maybe it was regret. “I’m sorry,” he said after a beat and tried for a self-deprecating grin. “I was . . . it’s been a long day. I was a dick. I’m sorry, Dad.”

His father didn’t speak and didn’t open his mouth.

Noam set the pasta bowl on the floor and wrapped his other hand around his father’s bony wrist. “Please,” Noam said. “Just a few bites. I know it’s not Mom’s cooking, but . . . for me. Okay?”

Noam’s mother had made the most amazing food. Noam tried to live up to her standard, but he never could. He’d given up on cooking anything edible, on keeping a kosher kitchen, on speaking Spanish. On making his father smile.

Noam rubbed his thumb against his father’s forearm.

The skin there was paper thin and far, far too hot.

“Dad?”

His father’s eyes stared past Noam, unseeing and glassy, reflecting the lamplight outside. That wasn’t what made Noam lurch back and collide with window, its latch jabbing his spine.

A drop of blood welled in the corner of his father’s eye and—after a single quivering moment—cut down his cheek like a tear.

“Mrs. Brown!”

Noam shoved the chair back from the window, half stumbling across the narrow room to the curtain separating their space from their neighbor’s. He banged a fist against the nearest bookshelf.

“Mrs. Brown, are you in there? I—I’m coming in.”

He ripped the curtain to one side. Mrs. Brown was there but not in her usual spot. She was curled on the bed instead, shoulders jutting against the ratty blanket like bony wings.

Noam hesitated. Was she . . . no. Was she dead?

She moved, then, a pale hand creeping out to wave vaguely in the air.

“Mrs. Brown, I need help,” Noam said. “It’s my dad—he’s sick. He’s . . . he’s really sick, and I think . . .”

The hand dropped back onto the blanket and went still.

No. No, no—this wasn’t right. This wasn’t happening. He should go downstairs and get another neighbor. He should—no, he should check on his dad. He couldn’t. He . . .

He had to focus.

The blanket covering Mrs. Brown began to ripple like the surface of the sea. Outside, the hazard sirens wailed.

Magic.

Dragging his eyes away from Mrs. Brown, Noam twisted round to face his own apartment and vomited all over the floor.

He stood there for a second, staring woozily at the mess while sirens shrieked in his ears. He was sick. Magic festered in his veins, ready to consume him whole.

An outbreak.

His father, when Noam managed to weave his way back to his side, had fallen unconscious. His head lolled forward, and there was a bloody patch on his lap, yellow electricity flickering over the stain. The world undulated around them both in watery waves.

“It’s okay,” Noam said, knowing his dad couldn’t hear him. He sucked in a sharp breath and hitched his father’s body out of the chair. He shouldn’t—he couldn’t just leave him there like that. Noam had carried him around for three years, but today his father weighed twice as much as before. Noam’s arms quivered. His thoughts were white noise.

It’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay, a voice kept repeating in Noam’s head.

He dumped his father’s body on the bed, skinny limbs sprawling. Noam tried to nudge him into a more comfortable position, but even that took effort. But this . . . it was more than he’d done for his mother. He’d left her corpse swinging on that rope for hours before Brennan had shown up to take her down.

His father still breathed, for now.

How long did it take to die? God, Noam couldn’t remember.

On shaky legs, Noam made his way back to the chair by the window. He couldn’t manage much more. The television kept turning itself on and off again, images blazing across a field of static snow and vanishing just as quickly. Noam saw it out of the corners of his eyes even when he tried not to look, the same way he saw his father’s unconscious body. That would be Noam soon.

Magic crawled like ivy up the sides of the fire escape next door.

Noam imagined his mother waiting for him with a smile and open arms, the past three years just a blink against eternity.

His hands sparked with something silver-blue and bright. Bolts shot between his fingers and flickered up his arms. The effect would have been beautiful were it not so deadly. And yet . . .

A shiver ricocheted up his spine.

Noam held a storm in his hands, and he couldn’t feel a thing.

 

About the Author

 

Victoria Lee grew up in Durham, North Carolina, where she spent twelve ascetic years as a vegetarian before discovering that spicy chicken wings are, in fact, a delicacy. She’s been a state finalist competitive pianist, a hitchhiker, a pizza connoisseur, an EMT, an expat in China and Sweden, and a science doctoral student. She’s also a bit of a snob about fancy whiskey. Lee writes early in the morning and then spends the rest of the day trying to impress her border collie puppy and make her experiments work. She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her partner.

For exclusive updates, excerpts, and giveaways, sign up for Victoria’s newsletter at https://victorialeewrites.com/newsletter/

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

Giveaway Details

 

5 winners will receive advance copies of The Fever King (open US/CAN)

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

 

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All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

Review: Loading Penguin Hugs: Heartwarming Comics from Chibird by Jacqueline Chen

When the day isn’t feeling too good or you just want to see a cute cast with inspirational quotes backing them up, Loading Penguin Hugs is a surefire sweet book that’s a perfect gift whether to someone else or yourself!

For a variety of situations, whether work, school, or everyday life, Jacqueline Chen seems to have included a message for a lot of them. With versatility like that as well as a bright, adorable style of drawing, this book was soothing to read.

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Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Goodreads | Indiebound

Published: 13 November 2018

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Category: Sequential Art/Non-fiction

Includes two bonus pages of cute exclusive stickers!

Where do you turn to when you need a pick-me-up on a bad day? Loading Penguin Hugs is here to add a big boost of positivity to your life. The book is loaded with Jacqueline Chen’s motivational Chibird comics and illustrations. Every page offers cute and creative perspectives on topics, such as self-esteem, mental health, and getting through tough times.

Loading Penguin Hugs combines adorable illustrations with wholesome messages to cheer you on. Expressions like “You are not a failure. You are still growing!” provide encouragement and promote healthy mindsets. Chen’s chubby penguins, hedgehogs, Chibirds, and friends of all shapes put a smile on anyone’s face, and they’ve already made millions smile on Instagram, Tumblr, and GIPHY.

Loading Penguin Hugs is full of brand-new Chibird comics alongside popular favorites. The book comes with two bonus pages of cute exclusive stickers, and the cover features a special silver foil detail!

This inspiring book is perfect for new and old Chibird fans. Chen and her animal friends are ready to brighten anyone’s day, one comic at a time.

Rating: 4 Stars

As much as I liked the art and I think that most of the messages would be great to flip to in times of need, I also thought that some seemed a little canned. The illustrations accompanying them might have brightened up the sentiment, but it was still a bit lacking behind the colorful picture.

The book is fairly short so if you decide to read it in one go, you’ll have it done fairly soon after starting. Hopefully it’ll bring a smile to your face long before the last page turns.

 

 

 

 

 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Quotes included are from an advanced reader copy and may not reflect the finalized copy.

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

 

 

 

 

A Rockstar Book Tour: A Review of The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

Frankenstein is one of my favorite stories, but not because of the titular character. He is, in fact, one of the characters I most despise in literature. Originally I based this opinion on film portrayals, but ever since reading Mary Shelley’s book last year, I’ve realized his character really does go back to his birth on the page and reach forward in time through every iteration I’ve seen since.

What, then, would interest me in The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein? Elizabeth’s character is underutilized in Shelley’s book and could’ve offered so much, a potential which is fully realized under Kiersten White’s powerful writing acumen.

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AmazonAudible | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Goodreads | Indiebound

Published: 25 September 2018

Publisher: Penguin Randon House Audio

Category: Historical Fiction/Young Adult/Retellings/Horror

Elizabeth Lavenza hasn’t had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her “caregiver,” and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything–except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable–and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.

But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth’s survival depends on managing Victor’s dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.

Rating: 5 Stars

CW: (highlight to reveal content warnings)   

abuse (parental/care giver; spousal), unwillingly restraint, death of a child, violence

Elizabeth is a fascinating character. Her survival instincts and adaptability to her situation, even at a young age, is tragic but interesting. The way her mind works as she grows form her into someone that is not quite lovable, exactly, but intriguing.

Her journey was a difficult one because it was easy to see how much of herself she was putting out there for others, whether it was Victor, Madame Frankenstein, Henry, or anyone else. Whenever a choice came up, when she would have to reflect on all the hard work she’d done up to that point to survive, it was difficult to figure out who Elizabeth really was. Was there a real Elizabeth or was there just a series of them depending on who she was with? There were times when that realization hurt, but that realization came with the acknowledgement that it was necessary in order for her to remain alive and comfortable, rather than cast aside and possibly back in the abusive household or similar of her childhood.

Her machinations, whether simple or more intricate, were in turns innocent and dark, as the title suggests. Considering both the time period and the circumstances of her birth & living situation, both before & and during the Frankenstein household, these actions are understandable, if not entirely pardonable (for example: a scene with Ernest Frankenstein, his nursemaid, Victor, and the scissors).

Victor was built upon in this story to become someone even more loathsome and terrifying that he was in the original story. While he was allowed much leeway to disguise his nature in that story, Elizabeth saw more of his true nature in this book and was able to interpret that for the reader. It was hard to imagine whether she knew, though, with all the things she does to protect Victor and the effort she puts into protecting her future, how much she also puts at risk such as her own sense of self, what little she has of her own life to love wholeheartedly and without cause to fear it being snatched away.

Allowing Victor to contain his multitude of secrets, which the reader will discover in this eerie, dark story, and the abilities & depravity that lead Victor to enacting these secrets it, so that she could continue to love him, whatever that means to her…that is part of Elizabeth’s own darkness, though perhaps not the whole and extent of it.

What I and anyone who endeavors to read this fascinating story, perfect of the atmosphere of Halloween will find out, is that there are multitudes to the darkness. Turn the page and find out how far down that path Elizabeth is going to go to find hers.

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One last thing I want to share: when I attended a signing last month for this book, the designer of the cover was also in attendance and she brought with her the original embroidery piece used to photograph the cover. It was so cool to see a piece of behind the scenes memorabilia like that and I’m glad I snapped a picture.

 

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About the Author

Kiersten White

KIERSTEN WHITE is the New York Times bestselling author of The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, the And I Darken series, comprised of And I Darken, Now I Rise, and Bright We Burn; the Paranormalcy series; Slayer, and many more novels. She lives with her family near the ocean in San Diego, which, in spite of its perfection, spurs her to dream of faraway places and even further-away times. Visit her at http://www.kierstenwhite.com.

 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

 

Giveaway

 

3 Winners will receive a finished copy of THE DARK DESCENT OF ELIZABETH FRANKENSTEIN, US Only.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Tour Schedule

 

Week One:

10/15/2018- Under the Book Cover– Review

10/16/2018- Simply Daniel Radcliffe– Review

10/17/2018- Novel Novice– Review

10/18/2018- My Fangirl Chronicles– Review

10/19/2018- Pandora’s Books– Review

 

Week Two:

10/22/2018- Jessica Writes– Review

10/23/2018- Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews– Review

10/24/2018- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review

10/25/2018- Savings in Seconds– Review

10/26/2018- Vicky Who Reads– Review

 

Week Three:

10/29/2018- Smada’s Book Smack– Review

10/30/2018- YA Books Central– Interview

10/31/2018- For the Lover of Books– Review

11/1/2018- Malanie Loves Fiction– Review

11/2/2018- Oh Hey! Books.– Review

 

Week Four:

11/5/2018- The Hermit Librarian– Review

11/6/2018- Tales of the Ravenous Reader– Interview

11/7/2018- BookHounds YA– Review

11/8/2018- Eli to the nth– Review

11/9/2018- Portrait of a Book– Review

 

 

 

 

 

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

Review: Auntie Agatha’s Home for Wayward Rabbits #1 by Keith Giffen (Writer) & Benjamin Roman (Artist)

With a title reminiscent of Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends and cast of characters that doesn’t seem too far off from those creatures that spring from the imagination, Auntie Agatha’s Home for Wayward Rabbits #1 is the first in a limited series that features Julie, niece to the titular Auntie Agatha, and a band of rabbits (and rabbit-like animals) that must protect the home from a mysterious enemy.

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Amazon | Goodreads | Image

Published: 7 November 2018

Publisher: Image

Category: Comics

Auntie Agatha’s Home for Wayward Rabbits is in danger. Run by the titular Agatha and her niece, Julie, this peculiar shelter cares for damaged and dysfunctional rabbits—and now it’s being threatened by a wealthy businessman who will stop at nothing to tear it down. This charming series marks the return of critically acclaimed writer KEITH GIFFEN to creator-owned work.

Rating: 4 Stars

The artwork in Auntie Agatha has a nice touch to it, with little things that I didn’t notice at first glance, like the heart shaped patch of fur on one of the primary rabbits. Each character has care taken with their appearance and I feel like the backgrounds are ones that you could go back to and find something new going on each time you read the issue.

Character wise, for a first issue I think we got a fair introduction to the main cast while being intrigued by the outliers. There are several bunnies to contend with and at least one creature that is a dog wearing a bunny mask. I’m not sure what to make of the fact that the animals can apparently talk. Do they talk to all humans or just Julie? Is Julie magic or are they just super selective?

The cliffhanger, regarding two secretive women that barge into the home looking for Auntie Agatha, had me a little upset that this was only issue one because I had so many question! That was definitely a good choice on the part of the writer because I’ll be looking forward to that (December can’t come soon enough!).

 

 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Quotes included are from an advanced reader copy and may not reflect the finalized copy.

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

 

 

 

 

A Rockstar Book Tour Cover Reveal Blitz: Zero Repeat Fover by Gabrielle Prendergast

Today is the day! The cover reveal for the paperback release book that has been comped as THE FIFTH WAVE meets BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is being shared, thanks to Gabrielle Prendergast and Rockstar Book Tours.  This Sci-Fi novel will release July 3, 2019. It’s a long way off, but the wait will be worth it for such a stunning novel.

For now, all visitors to the blog can check out not only the cover, but also the book trailer, an author bio, and at the end follow the Rafflecopter link to an awesome giveaway (open to US & Canada only).

his res paperback

ZERO REPEAT FOREVER by Gabrielle Prendergast

Pub. Date: July 3, 2019

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Pages: 496

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Amazon  | B&N  |  Audible  |  iBooks  |  TBD  |  Goodreads

The 5th Wave meets Beauty and the Beast in this fast-paced and heart-stopping novel about an invasion of murderous creatures and one girl fighting for her life at the end of the world.

He has no voice, or name, only a rank, Eighth. He doesn’t know the details of the mission, only the directives that hum in his mind.

Dart the humans. Leave them where they fall.

His job is to protect his Offside. Let her do the shooting.

Until a human kills her…

Sixteen year-old Raven is at summer camp when the terrifying armored Nahx invade, annihilating entire cities, taking control of the Earth. Isolated in the wilderness, Raven and her friends have only a fragment of instruction from the human resistance.

Shelter in place.

Which seems like good advice at first. Stay put. Await rescue. Raven doesn’t like feeling helpless but what choice does she have?

Then a Nahx kills her boyfriend.

Thrown together in a violent, unfamiliar world, Eighth and Raven should feel only hate and fear. But when Raven is injured, and Eighth deserts his unit, their survival comes to depend on trusting each other…

 

Book Trailer

 

 

About Gabrielle

 

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Gabrielle is a writer, teacher and designer living in Vancouver, Canada.  You can read about her books here. She is represented by Barbara Poelle at the Irene Goodman Literary Agency.

In 2014 she was the Writer in Residence at Vancouver Public Library. In 2015 she was nominated for the BC Book Prizes and chosen to tour the province to promote BC Books. In 2017 Gabrielle took part in the TD Canada Children’s Book Week Tour. She has also been nominated for the White Pine Award and the CLA Award.

Gabrielle won the Westchester Award for Audacious. Audacious was included in CBC’s list of 100 YA Books That Make You Proud to be Canadian. A poem from Capricious was chosen for the 2014 Poetry in Transit Program. Pandas on the East Side was chosen as an Ontario Library Association Best Bet for Junior Fiction in 2016. It was also nominated/shortlisted for the Chocolate Lily Award, The Red Cedar Award, the Diamond Willow Award and the Myrca Award.

 

Website |  Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads

 

Giveaway Details

 

5 winners will receive ZERO REPEAT FOREVER Swag Packs (stickers, signed bookplate, tattoo, and bookmark), Open to US & Canada ONLY.

 

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

 

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.