Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Review: Fire Devil by J.L. Bryan

Title: Fire Devil
Author: J.L. Bryan
Series: Book Eleven in Ellie Jordan Ghost Trapper
Published: January 19, 2019
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Source: ARC Provided by the Author (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
Ellie's pursuit of a possessed friend and her own worst enemy takes her across the United States into forgotten corners of the countryside through haunted hotels, ghost towns, and strange highways, and toward the site of a horrific fire haunted by hundreds of spirits. 

Together with her team, plus help from an eccentric exorcist from Texas, she prepares for the fight of her life, a fight destined since her own childhood. 

Ellie's past and present collide in a final confrontation that will give her a chance to finally be rid of her most dangerous personal demon—if he doesn't kill Ellie first, along with the people she cares about the most. 

With the agony that was the way the last book, Monster Museum, ended, I was so eager to get my hands on the newest installment. I had to know what happened next and I knew that it was going to be quite the adventure, both emotionally and physically for Ellie and all her friends and I couldn't of been more excited for it.

What I wasn't expecting was how much darker this whole book was going to be. Not only do we get dual point of views but one of those views, is from the very villain himself and I couldn't of been more thrilled about it. 

Oh boy, to be inside his head! The darkness, the rage, the pure horror of it all. Honestly, I loved it! It added such a wonderful touch to not only the book but the series as a whole. 

This really was an action packed read that had so many emotions to it. From the darker sadder aspects to the more heartwarming ones of friendship and true family. 

Truly a wonderful addition to the series and I'm hoping, even with all that transpired, we will still have many more volumes to come because I'm really not ready to say goodbye to Ellie and all her friends and the ghosts that thy hunt down. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Monday, January 28, 2019

Review: Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers

Title: Courting Darkness
Author: Robin LaFevers
Series: Book One in the Courting Darkness Duology
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published By: HMH Books (February 5, 2019)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4.5 Stars!

Book Description:
Death wasn’t the end, it was only the beginning…

Sybella has always been the darkest of Death’s daughters, trained at the convent of Saint Mortain to serve as his justice. But she has a new mission now. In a desperate bid to keep her two youngest sisters safe from the family that nearly destroyed them all, she agrees to accompany the duchess to France, where they quickly find themselves surrounded by enemies. Their one ray of hope is Sybella’s fellow novitiates, disguised and hidden deep in the French court years ago by the convent—provided Sybella can find them.

Genevieve has been undercover for so many years, she struggles to remember who she is or what she’s supposed to be fighting for. Her only solace is a hidden prisoner who appears all but forgotten by his guards. When tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to take matters into her own hands—even if it means ignoring the long awaited orders from the convent.

As Sybella and Gen’s paths draw ever closer, the fate of everything they hold sacred rests on a knife’s edge. Will they find each other in time, or will their worlds collide, destroying everything they care about?

I have loved the His Fair Assassin trilogy since the very gruesome, action packed beginning and as the series progressed, it only seemed to get better but not only was the writing better but but as the story grew, as the characters grew, so did the very heart of the story itself. I was so sad to say goodbye to all the wonderful daughters of Death. I felt like I grew with them. Became friends with them and most of all, I cared about them and wanted to see them all happy, in whatever way that meant for each of them. 

When I learned that the series wasn't over but would in fact, have two more books added in a spin-off, I was beyond thrilled.

 Courting Darkness was every bit as deliciously dark, enthralling and exciting as the first three books. With everything we have come to expect and love about LaFevers books, characters and her ability to weave a tale of gods and darkness and death that only she can do, it had me turning the pages and not wanting to put it down. 

Every bit as enchanting as the first three, Courting Darkness will have you on edge, eagerly turning pages wanting to both devour it and make it last forever. I can not wait for more!

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Friday, January 25, 2019

Promotional Post and Giveaway: The Simple Art of Flying by Cory Leonardo

Title: The Simple Art of Flying
Author: Cory Leonardo
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Aladdin (February 12, 2019)
Genre: Middle Grade

Book Description:
Quirky characters, plucky humor, and a heartwarming message come together in this big-hearted debut novel about friendship and the true meaning of family.

Sometimes flying means keeping your feet on the ground…

Born in a dismal room in a pet store, Alastair the African grey parrot dreams of escape to bluer skies. He’d like nothing more than to fly away to a palm tree with his beloved sister, Aggie. But when Aggie is purchased by twelve-year-old Fritz, and Alastair is adopted by elderly dance-enthusiast and pie-baker Albertina Plopky, the future looks ready to crash-land.

In-between anxiously plucking his feathers, eating a few books, and finding his own poetic voice, Alastair plots his way to a family reunion. But soon he’s forced to choose between the life he’s always dreamed of and admitting the truth: that sometimes, the bravest adventure is in letting go. 

About the Author:

Cory Leonardo grew up believing she’d replace Vanna White on Wheel of Fortune, but when that didn’t pan out, she decided she’d turn letters and phrases in a different way (but minus the glittery dresses, sadly). A born and bred upstate New Yorker, she currently lives in the Syracuse area with her husband and three plucky children.

I'm very excited to offer one US resident a finished copy of The Simple Art of Flying. This looks like such a cute and fun read and I can't wait to read it!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Release Day Spotlight: The Suspect by Fiona Barton

Title: The Suspect
Author: Fiona Barton
Series: Kate Waters Book 3
Published By: Transword (January 10, 2019)

Book Description:

The new must-read standalone crime thriller from the author of Sunday Times bestseller, The Widow, and the Richard & Judy No. 1 bestseller, The Child - featuring unforgettable journalist, Kate Waters.

The police belonged to another world – the world they saw on the television or in the papers. Not theirs.

When two eighteen-year-old girls go missing on their gap year in Thailand, their families are thrust into the international spotlight: desperate, bereft and frantic with worry. 

Journalist Kate Waters always does everything she can to be first to the story, first with the exclusive, first to discover the truth – and this time is no exception. But she can’t help but think of her own son, who she hasn’t seen in two years since he left home to go traveling. This time it’s personal.

And as the case of the missing girls unfolds, they will all find that even this far away, danger can lie closer to home than you might think . . . 

About the Author:

My career has taken some surprising twists and turns over the years. I have been a journalist - senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the Daily Telegraph, and chief reporter at The Mail on Sunday, where I won Reporter of the Year at the National Press Awards, gave up my job to volunteer in Sri Lanka and since 2008, have trained and worked with exiled and threatened journalists all over the world.
But through it all, a story was cooking in my head.
The worm of this book infected me long ago when, as a national newspaper journalist covering notorious crimes and trials, I found myself wondering what the wives of those accused really knew – or allowed themselves to know.
It took the liberation of my career change to turn that fascination into a tale of a missing child, narrated by the wife of the man suspected of the crime, the detective leading the hunt, the journalist covering the case and the mother of the victim.
Much to my astonishment and delight, The Widow is available now in the UK, and around the world in the coming months.
However, the sudden silence of my characters feels like a reproach and I am currently working on a second book.
My husband and I are living the good life in south-west France, where I am writing in bed, early in the morning when the only distraction is our cockerel, Sparky, crowing.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Review: Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry

Title: Only a Breath Apart
Author: Katie McGarry
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: YA Contemporary
Published By: Tor Teen (January 22, 2019)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4.5 Stars!

Book Description:
Bestselling author Katie McGarry’s trademark wrong-side-of-the-tracks romance is given a new twist in the gritty YA contemporary novel, Only a Breath Apart. 

Jesse Lachlin is cursed. 

So the town folklore says, but while Jesse’s had his fair share of tragedy, the only curse he believes is in his grandmother’s will: in order to inherit his family farm he must win the approval of his childhood best friend, the girl he froze out his freshman year, Scarlett Copeland.

Scarlett Copeland is psychic.

Glory Gardner tells Scarlett she has hidden psychic abilities, but Scarlett thinks Glory is delusional. What is real is Scarlett’s father’s irrational fears, controlling attitude, and the dark secrets at home. Scarlett may have a way to escape, but there’s a hitch: she’ll have to rely on the one person she used to trust, the same boy who broke her heart, Jesse Lachlin.

Each midnight meeting pushes Jesse and Scarlett to confront their secrets and their feelings for each other. But as love blooms, the curse rears its ugly head… 

Only a Breath Apart will have you wrapped up in its pages after the very first heartbreaking, heart wrenching, chapter and it will only get worse as the story goes. 

You will be consumed by it, not wanting to put it down for a moment. You will be wrapped up in the characters lives and need to know more, need to know that some how, some way, everything will be okay. That there will be a happy ending by the end. That these characters you have come to not only care about but truly love, will be more than okay, they will have everything they have ever wanted and everything they never knew they needed. 

McGarry has always stunned me with her writing but I think, with Only a Breath Apart, she has truly outdone herself. 

I didn't want to put this down and it hit so many emotions for me. From the tough subject matters, right down to the touching romance, it just did it all. 

Truly one that will not only leave you with a book hanger when you are done but will have you still thinking about it days later. One that stands out and one of her best stories yet. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Monday, January 14, 2019

Blog Tour Review: In Dog We Trust by Beth Kendrick

Title: In Dog We Trust
Author: Beth Kendrick
Series: Book Five in the Black Dog Bay Series
Genre: Contemporary
Published By: Berkely Books (January 8, 2019)
Source: ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Book Description:
From the author of Once Upon a Wine, a new novel set in the charming seashore town of Black Dog Bay, Delaware.

When everything has gone to the dogs . . .

When Jocelyn Hillier is named legal guardian for the late Mr. Allardyce's pack of pedigreed Labrador retrievers, her world is flipped upside down. She's spent her entire life toiling in the tourism industry in Black Dog Bay and never expected to be living the pampered life of a seasonal resident in an ocean side mansion, complete with a generous stipend. But her new role isn't without its challenges: The dogs (although lovable) are more high-maintenance than any Hollywood diva, the man she wants to marry breaks her heart, and she's confronted at every turn by her late benefactor's estranged son, Liam, who thinks he's entitled to the inheritance left to the dogs.

Jocelyn has worked too hard to back down without a fight, and she's determined to keep her new fur family together. As she strives to uphold the "Best in Show" standards her pack requires, Jocelyn finds love, family, and forgiveness in the most unexpected places.

About the Author:

This is the part where I’m supposed to brag about all my illustrious accomplishments, but honestly, I’d rather talk about my dogs and brag about some of the things I haven’t done:

I’ve never been to prison*, court-ordered rehab*, or splashed across the cover of a salacious weekly gossip tabloid with my ladybits on display**.

I’m a Leo, a middle child, and a formidable Trivial Pursuit opponent. I read everything I can get my hands on, from the classics to comic books. I don’t drink coffee because, frankly, I’m high strung enough without adding caffeine into the mix. Here is the true story of how I became a novelist:

So I had just started seeing this guy, and on our second or third date, he invited me to be his guest at a family wedding. Being young and free and a bit commitment-shy, I was about to decline until he casually mentioned that the bride was a successful romance novelist. Well, the second I heard that, I had to go. Being a writer had always been my dream job, and I’d never met anyone who’d actually beaten the odds and made the leap into big-time publishing. So I RSVP-ed, sidled up to the bar at the reception, waited until the bride and all her author friends uncorked the good champagne, and then peppered them with endless questions about writing, editing, and landing an agent. They were so funny and encouraging and generous with their time and advice. (And drunk!) Next thing you know, I had joined a critique group and was knee-deep in the manuscript that would eventually become MY FAVORITE MISTAKE. The open bar at that wedding changed my life forever.

Oh, and the guy who invited me to the wedding? I ended up marrying him. All together: awww…

I live in Arizona in a very cute fixer-upper that my husband and I bought in a burst of can-do, pioneering confidence. We thought it would be fun to embark on a series of do-it-yourself renovations. Yeah. I know. Turns out, replacing baseboard that’s been painted over 15 times since 1958 is not as easy as those Home Depot commercials would lead you to believe. Also, freshly-installed lawn drip systems and “helpful” dogs are a bad mix.

Friday and RoxieSpeaking of dogs, here we have the indefatigable canine lawn maintenance crew: Roxie and Friday. Both were rescued from the pound when they were puppies. I think they’re Rhodesian Ridgeback mixes. (Probably. Maybe? Anything’s possible.) Roxie is the brains of the operation and Friday is…well, he’s very sweet. And so indolent he could be mistaken for a piece of furniture, which I consider a very desirable trait in a family dog.

I absolutely love hearing from readers, so please feel free to email me, with the caveat that I am often on deadline/on the road/on the ragged edge of sanity, so it may be awhile before you get a reply. Just know that it’s not you; it’s me!

Have fun exploring the site, and if you have any questions about my new book, my backlist, or finding an agent…I’ll be right over there at the bar.


**That I know of.

This was my first Kendrick read and it certainly won't be my last.

From the quirky lovable town right down to the likable and fun characters, this story was just so much fun.

With a town every bit as lovable as the characters, it is definitely a place you wish you could visit if not live there too. 

A sweet lighthearted story that will grab your attention and leave you with a smile on your face, In Dog We Trust was just what I needed for a quick weekend read in front of the fireplace to warm me both in body and spirit.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Blog Tour Review: The Au Pair by Emma Rous

I'm so excited to be sharing this book with you today. It totally took me by surprise and I honestly loved every minute of it! 

If you are looking for a good mystery with a touch of that thrilling element that will make your heart pound and your blood pulse in your ears, this is a must. 

Title: The Au Pair
Author: Emma Rous
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Published By: Berkley Books (January 8, 2019)
Source: ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Book Description:
A grand estate, terrible secrets, and a young woman who bears witness to it all. If V. C. Andrews and Kate Morton had a literary love child, Emma Rous’ The Au Pair would be it.

Seraphine Mayes and her twin brother Danny were born in the middle of summer at their family’s estate on the Norfolk coast. Within hours of their birth, their mother threw herself from the cliffs, the au pair fled, and the village thrilled with whispers of dark cloaks, changelings, and the aloof couple who drew a young nanny into their inner circle.

Now an adult, Seraphine mourns the recent death of her father. While going through his belongings, she uncovers a family photograph that raises dangerous questions. It was taken on the day the twins were born, and in the photo, their mother, surrounded by her husband and her young son, is beautifully dressed, smiling serenely, and holding just one baby.

Who is the child and what really happened that day?

One person knows the truth, if only Seraphine can find her.

About the Author:

Emma Rous grew up in England, Indonesia, Kuwait, Portugal and Fiji, and from a young age she had two ambitions: to write stories, and to look after animals. She studied veterinary medicine and zoology at the University of Cambridge, and worked as a veterinary surgeon for eighteen years before starting to write fiction. Emma lives in Cambridgeshire, England, with her husband and three sons.

The Au Pair is her first novel. It will be published in ten countries, in nine languages. She is currently writing her second book.

I'm not ashamed to admit it's been awhile since I've been this excited to try not only a new author, but to start a mystery that sounded so compelling.

I was right to be excited about both. 

I. Could. Not. Put. This. Down. 

Every bit the page turner that the synopsis promised to be, it was tantalizing, intriguing, thought provoking and irresistible. I needed to know all the details of both the past and the present. In Short, I just needed it all.

The Au Pair was well written and flowed seamlessly through both the past and the present and each was just as entertaining and intriguing as the last. 
As the chapters went on and more and more of the mystery unfolded, I found that I was constantly guessing what was about to happen next and wondering if I was right about who exactly the twins were and in some instances, hoping I was wrong. 

With twists and turns that kept me on my toes and on constantly on edge, this truly has been one of my favorite mystery reads of 2019 and one I won't be forgetting soon.