11 September 2018

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Dickensen Academy by Christine Grabowski

Title: Dickensen Academy
Author: Christine Grabowski
Publication Date: Sept. 12, 2018
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This school may be her dream come true...or her worst nightmare.

Dickensen Academy isn’t a typical boarding school. The faculty is hiding an unbelievable secret within their fine arts program. When Autumn Mattison receives an invitation to attend the high school, she yearns to escape her overbearing father yet remains reluctant to leave her mother and brother. Her doubts fade away when a vivid dream convinces her she belongs there. Away from home, Autumn discovers a unique school environment that awakens her creative potential, and her new friends become like a second family. However, as she uncovers more about the dark side of the school and struggles with its curriculum, she questions whether Dickensen Academy is truly where she belongs. When tragedy strikes, Autumn must learn to believe in her own power and stand up to her greatest fear or risk having her memories destroyed to protect the school’s secrets. Caught between secrets and dreams, can she find her true self?

Dickensen Academy is Christine’s debut YA novel. After graduating from the University of Washington, she earned her MBA at the University at Albany. She honed her technical writing skills in marketing and consulting but attributes the creative part of the process to her passion for reading. When she isn’t reading or writing, Christine can often be found running, skiing, or hiking. She lives in Newcastle, Washington, with her supportive husband, two avid teen readers, and their energetic wheaten terriers.

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03 September 2018

Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Lantern's Ember by Colleen Houck

Title: The Lantern's Ember
Author: Colleen Houck
Publication Date: Sept. 11, 2018
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Welcome to a world where nightmarish creatures reign supreme.

Five hundred years ago, Jack made a deal with the devil. It’s difficult for him to remember much about his mortal days. So, he focuses on fulfilling his sentence as a Lantern—one of the watchmen who guard the portals to the Otherworld, a realm crawling with every nightmarish creature imaginable. Jack has spent centuries jumping from town to town, ensuring that nary a mortal—or not-so-mortal—soul slips past him. That is, until he meets beautiful Ember O’Dare.

Seventeen, stubborn, and a natural-born witch, Ember feels a strong pull to the Otherworld. Undeterred by Jack’s warnings, she crosses into the forbidden plane with the help of a mysterious and debonair vampire—and the chase through a dazzling, dangerous world is on. Jack must do everything in his power to get Ember back where she belongs before both the earthly and unearthly worlds descend into chaos.

New York Times Bestselling author Colleen Houck is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, paranormal, science fiction, and romance. When she’s not busy writing, she likes to spend time chatting on the phone with one of her six siblings, watching plays, and shopping online. Colleen has lived in Arizona, Idaho, Utah, California, and North Carolina and is now permanently settled in Salem, Oregon with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers.

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I've been a long-time reader of Colleen Houck's and she has never failed to produce a book that I have LOVED. Ever. And, the streak continues.

This book, however, seemed to me a little different that her usual works. It still had the romance, adventure, and intrigue of her stories--as well as her standard well-planned plotline...But, this book had an entirely different feel... If that even makes sense.

I honestly felt like fall was here, reading this story. It made me think of fall leaves, pumpkin-spiced things, warm blankets, and Halloween! All things that make me happy!

The characters were endearing. Ember, she may not be my favorite heroine that Colleen has written, but she rang of innocence and sweetness. And she most definitely was a character that grew throughout the story.

My favorite of all the characters would be Jack, however. A true moral compass, admirable loyalty, and a kind heart--yet, also full of surprises!

I'm fairly certain this is a stand-alone. However, I'm sincerely hoping it's not. I would love to get a look at some of the side characters in the future. Either way, I will be reading this one every year around this time to bring me that fall feeling.

Another excellent work from Ms. Houck! I can't wait to see what she'll bring next!

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10 August 2018

Cover Reveal: Toxic by Lydia Kang

Title: Toxic
Author: Lydia Kang
Publication Date: Nov. 6, 2018
Find: Pre-Order Here
Cyclo, the first and largest biological ship of its kind, is dying. A small crew of mercenaries have handed over the rights to their life to document the death of the ship, but the abandoned ship is anything but abandoned—one girl has been left behind.

Hana has known nothing but the isolation of a single room and the secret that has kept her there for seventeen years. When she meets Fennec, the boy assigned to watch her, she realizes that there is a world she has yet to experience but she is doomed to never meet.

When crew members begin mysteriously dying, Hana and Fenn realize that they are racing against the death of the ship to find a way to survive—unless someone kills them even before Hana’s truly had a chance to live.

Lydia Kang is an author of young adult fiction, poetry, and narrative non-fiction. She graduated from Columbia University and New York University School of Medicine, completing her residency and chief residency at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. She is a practicing physician who has gained a reputation for helping fellow writers achieve medical accuracy in fiction. Her poetry and non-fiction have been published in JAMA, The Annals of Internal Medicine, Canadian Medical Association Journal, Journal of General Internal Medicine, and Great Weather for Media. She believes in science and knocking on wood, and currently lives in Omaha with her husband and three children.

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20 July 2018

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Sanctuary by Caryn Lix

Title: Sanctuary
Author: Caryn Lix
Publication Date: July 10, 2018
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Alien meets Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds in this thrilling debut novel about prison-guard-in-training, Kenzie, who is taken hostage by the superpowered criminal teens of the Sanctuary space station—only to have to band together with them when the station is attacked by mysterious creatures.

Kenzie holds one truth above all: the company is everything.

As a citizen of Omnistellar Concepts, the most powerful corporation in the solar system, Kenzie has trained her entire life for one goal: to become an elite guard on Sanctuary, Omnistellar’s space prison for superpowered teens too dangerous for Earth. As a junior guard, she’s excited to prove herself to her company—and that means sacrificing anything that won’t propel her forward.

But then a routine drill goes sideways and Kenzie is taken hostage by rioting prisoners.

At first, she’s confident her commanding officer—who also happens to be her mother—will stop at nothing to secure her freedom. Yet it soon becomes clear that her mother is more concerned with sticking to Omnistellar protocol than she is with getting Kenzie out safely.

As Kenzie forms her own plan to escape, she doesn’t realize there’s a more sinister threat looming, something ancient and evil that has clawed its way into Sanctuary from the vacuum of space. And Kenzie might have to team up with her captors to survive—all while beginning to suspect there’s a darker side to the Omnistellar she knows.

Caryn Lix has been writing since she was a teenager and delved deep into science fiction, fantasy, and the uncanny while working on her Masters in English literature. Caryn writes novels for teens and anyone else who likes a bit of the bizarre to mess up their day. When not writing, Caryn spends her time obsessively consuming other people’s stories, plotting travel adventures, and exploring artistic endeavors. She lives with her husband and a horde of surly and entitled animals in southern Alberta.

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I almost didn't request to read this book. Between all the things going on in my life right now, I didn't really know if I'd have the time to read it.

I can't tell you how elated I am that I went ahead with this one. Truth be told, I really didn't have the time to read it. But, I made the time. I made the time by staying up into the wee hours of the morning. It was that riveting.

Let's start with the main character! I LOVED her! Kenzie is extremely loyal and intelligent but goes through a bit of a transformation throughout the story! My goodness!

Also...aliens. Yes, there were aliens. There was action and a tad bit of romance to go along with those said aliens, too.

The only reason this wasn't a "perfect" read for me is because I like my stories with just a little bit more romance. But, I'm hoping for some of that in the sequel.

Ms. Lix is an amazing writer! I can't wait to read more from her!

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Nerd Blast & Giveaway: Heart of Mist by Helen Scheuere

Title: Heart of Mist
Author: Helen Scheuere
Publication Date: Aug. 31, 2017
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In a realm where toxic mist sweeps the lands and magic is forbidden, all Bleak wants is a cure for her power.

Still grieving the death of her guardian and dangerously self-medicating with alcohol, Bleak is snatched from her home by the Commander of the King’s Army, and summoned to the capital.

But the king isn’t the only one interested in Bleak’s powers.

The leader of an infamous society of warriors, the Valia Kindred, lays claim to her as well, and Bleak finds herself in the middle of a much bigger battle than she anticipated.

Heart of Mist is the gripping first book in The Oremere Chronicles, a fantasy series of epic proportions.

Helen Scheuerer is a YA fantasy author from Sydney, Australia. Heart of Mist is the first book in her high fantasy trilogy, The Oremere Chronicles. It explores themes of identity, belonging, loyalty, addiction, loss, and responsibility.

Helen is also the Founding Editor of Writer’s Edit (www.writersedit.com), an online literary magazine and learning platform for emerging writers. It’s now one of the largest writers’ platforms in the world.

Helen’s love of writing and books led her to pursue a Bachelor of Creative Arts, majoring in Creative Writing at the University of Wollongong and a Masters of Publishing at the University of Sydney.

Helen is now a full-time author living by the beach.

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