Feb 20, 2017

Review: The Blue Moon Narthex by N.J. Donner


Review:
Fun, original, and exciting, THE BLUE MOON NARTHEX is a book I have been waiting for. N.J. Donner absolutely knocks it out of the park with this one.

There is a depressing shortage of upper MG/lower YA books with male protagonists. With the exceptions of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, books aimed at adolescent males seem in short supply these days, which makes me so happy that Donner has stepped in to fill that void with Cole McCarthy.

Cole is witty, energetic, and smart as he unravels the mystery of his father. Blending action with humor and a fast moving plot that kept my attention, Donner has put himself on the map. I can't recommend this book hard enough to those looking for the void Harry and Percy left behind. 

Rating: 


ABOUT BLUE MOON NARTHEX:
The balance of good and evil has been left in the hands of a thirteen year old...

Since the beginning of time, Karmanic matter worked silently and unassisted keeping good and evil in balance, until growing greed in the world meant Karma couldn’t keep up. As World War I rages, the secret Karmanic Sovereign Legion works behind the scenes to help Karma.

A suspicious train accident and an odd stone-shaped object that belonged to his father thrust Cole McCarthy and two schoolmates into the middle of this battle to keep dark forces in check. 

With only the powerful stone, a letter, and grandfatherly Norm to guide them, the trio must unravel clues and tap into unknown strengths to discover who Cole’s father really was and keep themselves and those they love safe.

Includes chapter 1 of book 2 in the Karmanic Sovereign Legion series!


LINKS: Amazon | B&N


ABOUT N.J. DONNER:
N.J. Donner is the author of the new Karmanic Sovereign Legion books. N.J. loves to explore. The world fascinates him and he wants to figure out why and how things work, including Karma.

College adventures took N.J. far from his small Nebraska hometown to the southern hemisphere and the inner city. This was the beginning of his wanderlust and today he loves to travel with his wife, Amanda, and their three children.

N.J. became the first person to graduate with a minor in international affairs from Nebraska Wesleyan University and spent the years right out of college building a successful steel company.




Tour Schedule:
Week 1:
Week 2:
Week 3:


Giveaway:
Blue Moon Narthex Swag Box (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Feb 13, 2017

Review: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones


Review:
Let's get this out of the way: WINTERSONG had me at Labyrinth. I'm a hue fan of the movie, have watched it countless times, and still quote it regularly. So a book about goblins and a goblin king (y'all know I pictured Jareth, AKA David Bowie the entire time), had me utterly intrigued, and I'm happy to say S. Jae-Jones didn't disappoint me.
Where Labyrinth always left me leaving more what the romance. What WINTERSONG gave me? THE ROMANCE.
*swoons*
Following Liesl down the rabbit hole as she tries to save her sister, Kathe, when Kathe is kidnapped. Now I gotta say, Liesl is a better girl than I am because I was content to let Kathe rot in the Underground (she's annoyingly selfish and vain). But Liesl saves her sister, by offering up herself, and thus becomes 'trapped' in the Goblin King's world where she absolutely flourishes.
I will admit that the beginning of the story was a bit sluggish, but something about S. Jae-Jones' writing and way with words kept me going, and I am so glad I did. This story is completely original and absolutely beautiful.

ABOUT WINTERSONG:
Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.



LINKS: Amazon | B&N


ABOUT S. JAE-JONES:
S. Jae-Jones, called JJ, is an artist, an adrenaline junkie, and the author of Wintersong, forthcoming from Thomas Dunne in February 2017.

Born and raised in sunny Los Angeles, she lived in New York City for ten years before relocating down to Dixie, where she is comfortably growing fat on grits and barbecue. When not writing, she can be found rock-climbing, skydiving, taking photographs, drawing pictures, and dragging her dog on ridiculously long hikes.




Tour Schedule:
Week 1:

Week 2:


Giveaway:
3 Finished Copies of WINTERSONG (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Feb 6, 2017

Bookburners Blog Tour: Excerpt

Welcome to the first day of the BOOKBURNERS blog tour! Thanks for stopping by. Here's a fun excerpt from the book:

An Excerpt from Bookburners Episode 1: Badge, Book, and Candle

He set his hand on the book’s cover. Sal hadn’t noticed before how the leather was discolored: most of it matched Perry’s skin, but a crimson bloom spread beneath his fingers. She heard a sound she couldn’t name: a footfall, maybe, or a whisper, very soft. Goose bumps chased goose bumps up her arms.
“Perry, who are the Bookburners? Do you think someone’s following you?”
“I thought you didn’t want to know.”
 She leaned over the couch, over his shoulder, and checked through the blinds. Street still bare. Red Toyota pickup. Honda Civic. Garbage. E-Z Carpet Cleaner van.
“Please, Sal. They would have nabbed me on the way. They did not. Ergo, I wasn’t followed.”
“What the hell is going on?”
Someone knocked on her door.
“Shit,” Perry said.
“Jesus Christ, Perry.” She grabbed her phone off the living room table. “Who is that?”
 “Aiden. Probably.”
 “Mister Brooks?” The man on the other side of the door was unquestionably not Aiden—too old, too sure, too calm. An accent Sal couldn’t place twined through his words. “Mister Brooks, we’re not here to hurt you. We want to talk.”
“Shit,” Perry repeated, for emphasis.
Sal ran to her bedroom and returned with her gun. “Who are you?”
“I’m looking for Mister Brooks. I know he’s in there.”
“If he is, I doubt he’d want to see you.”
“I must talk with him.”
“Sir, I’m a police officer, and I’m armed. Please step away from the door.”
“Has he opened the book?”
 “What?” She looked into the living room. Perry was standing now, holding the book, fingers clenched around the cover like she’d seen men at bay clutch the handles of knives. “Sir, please leave. I’m calling 9-1-1 now.” She pressed the autodial. The line clicked.
“Stop him from opening the book,” the man said. “Please. If he means anything to you, stop him.”
 “Hello. This is Detective Sally Brooks,” and she rattled off her badge number and address. “I have a man outside my apartment who is refusing to leave—”
Something heavy struck the door. Doorjamb timbers splintered. Sally stumbled back, dropped the phone, both hands on the pistol. She took aim.
The door burst free of the jamb and struck the wall. A human wind blew through.
Later, Sal remembered slivers: a stinging blow to her wrist, her gun knocked back against the wall. A woman’s face—Chinese, she thought. Bob haircut. Her knee slammed into Sal’s solar plexus and she fell, gasping, to the splinter-strewn carpet. The woman turned, in slow-motion almost, to the living room where Perry stood.
He held the open book.
His eyes wept tears of blood, and his smile bared sharp teeth.
He spoke a word that was too big for her mind. She heard the woman roar, and glass break. Then darkness closed around her like a mouth.


© 2017 Max Gladstone, with permission from Saga Press


About BOOKBURNERS:
The critically acclaimed urban fantasy about a secret team of agents that hunts down dangerous books containing deadly magic—previously released serially online by Serial Box, now available in print for the first time!

Magic is real, and hungry. It’s trapped in ancient texts and artifacts, and only a few who discover it survive to fight back. Detective Sal Brooks is a survivor. She joins a Vatican-backed black-ops anti-magic squad—Team Three of the Societas Librorum Occultorum—and together they stand between humanity and the magical apocalypse. Some call them the Bookburners. They don’t like the label.

Supernatural meets The Da Vinci Code in a fast-paced, kickass character driven novel chock-full of magic, mystery, and mayhem, written collaboratively by a team of some of the best writers working in fantasy.


Amazon | Indiebound | B&N



About the Authors:
--Max Gladstone:
MAX GLADSTONE has been thrown from a horse in Mongolia, drank almond milk with monks on Wudang Shan, and wrecked a bicycle in Angkor Wat. Max is also the author of the Craft Sequence of books about undead gods and skeletal law wizards—Full Fathom Five, Three Parts Dead, Two Serpents Rise, and Last First Snow. Max fools everyone by actually writing novels in the coffee shops of Davis Square in Somerville, MA. His dreams are much nicer than you’d expect. He tweets as @maxgladstone. Bookburners, which he wrote with Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty, and Brian Francis Slattery, is available from Saga Press in January.
--Margaret Dunlap:
Before joining the Bookburners, MARGARET DUNLAP wrote for ABC Family’s cult-hit The Middleman in addition to working on SyFy’s Eureka. Most recently, she was a writer and co-executive producer of the Emmy-winning transmedia series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and co-created its sequel Welcome to Sanditon. Her short fiction has previously appeared in Shimmer Magazine. Margaret lives in Los Angeles where she taunts the rest of the team with local weather reports and waits for the earthquake that will finally turn Burbank into oceanfront property. She tweets as @spyscribe. Bookburners, which she wrote with Max Gladstone, Mur Lafferty, and Brian Francis Slattery, is available from Saga Press in January.
--Mur Lafferty:
MUR LAFFERTY is the author of The Shambling Guides series from Orbit, including the Netfix-optioned The Shambling Guide to New York City and Ghost Train to New Orleans. She has been a podcaster for over 10 years, running award-winning shows such as I Should Be Writing and novellas published via podcast. She has written for RPGs, video games, and short animation. She lives in Durham, NC where she attends Durham Bulls baseball games and regularly pets two dogs. Her family regrets her Dragon Age addiction and wishes for her to get help. She tweets as @mightymur. Bookburners, which she wrote with Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, and Brian Francis Slattery, is available from Saga Press in January.
--Brian Francis Slattery:
BRIAN FRANCIS SLATTERY is the author of Spaceman Blues, Liberation, Lost Everything, and The Family Hightower. Lost Everything won the Philip K. Dick Award in 2012. He’s the arts and culture editor for the New Haven Independent, an editor for the New Haven Review, and a freelance editor for a few not-so-secret public policy think tanks. He also plays music constantly with a few different groups in a bunch of different genres. He has settled with his family just outside of New Haven and admits that elevation above sea level was one of the factors he took into account. For one week out of every year, he enjoys living completely without electricity. Bookburners, which he wrote with Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, and Mur Lafferty, is available from Saga Press in January.

Tour Schedule:

Jan 20, 2017

Snowbirds by Crissa Jean Chappell



And now for some Q&A fun with Crissa!

Last book you read:

The graphic novel adaptation of The Stranger by Albert Camus (illustrated by Jacques Ferrandez and translated by Sandra Smith).


Last thing that made you cry:

A box of old family Polaroids that my sister gave me for Christmas.


Last trip you took:

Train from New York City to Pennsylvania. I love to stare out the window at the “montage” of trees and graffiti-stained walls and the secrets hidden near the tracks.


Last thing that made you smile:

Waking up to rainsong.


Favorite quote:

I taped this quote above my desk: “If you're going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don't even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery--isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you'll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you're going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It's the only good fight there is.”  Charles Bukowsi, Factotum

Favorite memory:

My earliest memory = walking to the boat docks at Biscayne Bay with my dad…scooping up seashells and hermit crabs (I’d hide in my pocket to take home).


Favorite bookish moment:



In my childhood favorite--My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George—the main character, Sam, carves his home out of a tree. I dreamed about running away to the woods with a pet hawk.


Best moment as an author:

When a mysterious cardboard box appears on your doorstep. And you rip it open and there’s a big stack of books. At last…author copies! The first thing I do = sniff the pages. Then it feels real.


Last thing you treated yourself to:

A pamplemousse cocktail of grapefruit and champagne (on my birthday trip to Pennsylvania). Also: I really love the word pamplemousse.

Last person you hugged:

My boyfriend. <3 span="">


Favorite place in the world:

Home in Brooklyn.


Last emoticon you used:

This Florida girl loves the alligator, of course!




ABOUT SNOWBIRDS:
Every year, Lucy waits eagerly for the arrival of the "snowbirds," the Old Order Amish who come trundling into Florida on buses from the north, bringing Lucy's best friend Alice, with whom she's spent every winter she can remember. This winter is different. At sixteen, Alice is in the middle of "Rumspringa," a season in which Amish teens try out forbidden temptations, in order to get them out of their system. Lucy is part of a different sect, in which teens aren't allowed such bold experimentation, and she's fighting to keep up as Alice races from one wild party to the next. Then, one night after just such a party, Alice vanishes. Wracked by guilt, Lucy knows that she should have been watching out for Alice, but instead, she was kissing Faron, an Older Order boy shunned by his society. Now, Lucy plunges into a search for her best friend--while also hiding her own secret, which could put her in even more danger.

LINKS: Amazon | B&N






ABOUT CRISSA JEAN CHAPPELL:
CRISSA-JEAN CHAPPELL (crissajeanchappell.com) was born in Miami and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. Her debut young adult novel,Total Constant Order, is a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age and a VOYA Perfect Ten. Chappell’s second novel, Narc, is currently optioned for film. More Than Good Enough is her most recent novel, which Kirkus calls “compelling and emotionally nuanced.” Chappell holds a PhD and MFA from the University of Miami. She has taught creative writing and cinema studies for more than ten years.



Tour Schedule:


Giveaway:
1 Finished Copies of SNOWBIRDS with Crissa's notes & Doodles (US Only)

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