Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Book Blitz: Evading The Dark by E.M. Rinaldi!

Evading The Dark 
by E.M. Rinaldi
(The Cross Chronicles #1)
Published by: CHBB Publishing
Publication date: April 24th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
     High school sucks. It doesn’t matter who you ask; jock, cheerleader, computer nerd, or band geek, they will all say the same thing: It’s a nightmare. But Casey is still wondering how she got the short end of the stick. Just a Sophomore at the prestigious Luthos Academy for Magical Beings, Casey already knows more about heartache and fear than any almost-sixteen-year-old should. Orphaned and left to be raised by the Academy, she spends her days training to become a Guardian, but that dream is looking dimmer with every day that passes.Unlike the wand-waving heroines in all her favorite books, Witches in her world don’t cast spells, they are born wielding the power of nature: water, fire, earth, or air; powers Casey never developed. She’ll be lucky if they even allow her to take her final exams.
     She is top of her training class, but that doesn’t keep her from being looked down upon by every other being at her school. All Casey wants is to be given a chance, instead she finds the only life she’s ever known targeted by an unfathomable evil. Thrust into the center of an age-old prophecy, a war is coming with Casey at the reins.
Will relying on her hard earned training be enough for her to make it out alive?
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EXCERPT:
10 years earlier …
I should have known that something bad was going to happen, but at only six years old, I didn’t know how to put my feelings into words. At least, not those feelings. How was I supposed to tell mommy that something dark was following us; that I could feel its eyes on me while its hungry breath fogged up the window? I knew she wouldn’t understand, outside it was anything but dark. The sun was shining clear and bright and laughter trickled in from the barbeque next door. Why would she believe me, a kid, when what I felt was not reflected around us?
I should have told her anyway. I should have screamed it until she listened, because, as it turned out, she knew the darkness was there too.
Looking back, all the signs were there—blatantly so. It was a Sunday, the day that my mom always took me to the park. I loved those days. She would always have a new adventure planned for us: catching butterflies that we’d pretend were fairies or climbing trees that she made me believe were the tallest mountains.
But not that Sunday. I thought it was weird that she didn’t want to go outside, mommy loved being out with the trees, but I didn’t argue. I had my own reasons for not wanting to go out. And it wasn’t too bad in the house; true to form, mommy tried to play the night out like it was just another adventure.
“We’re really in a secret cave hunting for lost treasure,” she said.
She led me all around the house, making obstacles out of the furniture until we made it to the “treasure”—a fresh baked batch of brownies. The whole time I thought it was just a new game. It was my naivety that kept me from seeing how my mother moved a kitchen knife from its drawer to the counter, or how all the “obstacles” looked strategically placed.
I couldn’t tell then, but now it’s all too clear; she knew that something was coming. Or someone.
They came late in the night. We were halfway through The Lion King when there was a knock at the door. My mom turned off the movie and instantly knelt in front of me to quiet my cries of dismay. There was no explanation for why the movie was gone; she had no chance to give one. The knock at the door swiftly turned violent, with more blows sounding on the back door and surrounding windows.
I was ushered into the dark crevice where our couch met the wall. Almost too big to fit, I managed to squeeze in just as she ran to the kitchen and grabbed the knife. I heard her yell frantically into her phone as the harsh pounding became so vehement that it felt as if the whole house shook. Whether it’s because I was too young or unintentionally blocked it out, I can only remember bits and pieces of what she said.
“Eli, they’re here! Help! … 120 Huckleberry …”
At one point I heard a splintering crack as one of the doors started to break. I crawled further into the crevice as my mom spoke faster.
“… not enough time! … I’m so sorry. Take care of her.”
I never saw what happened next, but I remember every sound: the high pitch of our glass windows shattering, the harsh moan and crack as the already fragmented door gave way, followed closely by my mom’s scream. And I heard what I now recognize as the sound of a fight. I sometimes dream that my mom won that fight and came to get me and everything was okay. But that’s not how it happened.
The fighting ended in an eerie silence. I almost crawled out of my hiding spot, but even my undeveloped instincts could tell that I wasn’t alone. Whoever was still there was looking for something. Before I knew it, it was silent yet again, but this time it was real. This time, it was forever.

Author Bio:
E.M. Rinaldi lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her fiancé, Milz, and their slightly psychotic pup, Boone. She works as a Registered Radiologic Technologist,taking pictures of mangled bones for hours on end- then she writes about all the bizarre situations her characters get themselves into while she was away. She is a Second Degree Blackbelt and can’t write a story without at least one fight scene in it.
When she’s not writing or trapped at work, E.M. likes to read (obsessively), clear her DVR, and have all night Buffy marathons with her friends, complete with cookies and cinnamon rolls.
Her love for writing stems from an early age where she would create stories on an old computer program and force anyone within grabbing distance to read them. Not much has changed; be warned: stay out of grabbing distance.

E.M. is a new YA author and her debut novel, Evading The Dark, is available now.

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Sunday, 22 April 2018

As She Fades by Abbi Glines (Review)

     Vale Mckinley is a graduated coma patient? Girlfriend of a coma patient? Honestly I don't know. It hard to describe this book. If you care about spoilers, don't read further into this review, but I really don't recommend reading this book, so I don't think it really matters. 
     Starting off, my first issue with As She Fades is the fact that the plot makes no gosh darn sense, and it doesn't even try to. The first three fourths of the novel literally have no effect on the ending. Everything it establishes doesn't matter; it is not even addressed in the last bit. I got whiplash from it. The next biggest problem, ignoring the whiplash of a plot, the romantic lead is a toxic a-hole, but he's played off like this perfect guy. He sleeps around, including during the romance. With his exploits that are made very VERY through some pretty gross and unnecessary scenes, he, without a doubt, would have every STD and STI in the book. Gross. But somehow he is painted as the perfect match for the monogamous maybe coma victim. I hated his character. It felt unhealthy and unappealing to read. I could rant forever, but I'll end my review with this last complaint. As She Fades is NOT YA. It is an adult erotica. It has explicit sex scenes (of many verities), its plot revolves around sex and physical attraction and it takes place in university. I would not recommend this to anyone, especially not YA fans. All it has going for it is the main character's clear narrative voice, for which I give As She Fades the star rating of ONE AND A HALF STARS OUT OF FIVE!!!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Saturday, 21 April 2018

The Viking's Chosen (Clan Hakon #1) by Quinn Loftis (Review)

     The start of a new series by Quinn Loftis, The Viking's Chosen is great junk food to read. You know that it's not really good for you, but you love how it tastes. In the world of The Viking's Chosen, there are seers, healers, witches, Vikings and princesses; oh my! Torben is the military leader of a nordic Viking tribe, one that is about to attack the kingdom of Princess Allete. Allete is a healer, and is about to be forced to marry a monster of a man, also known as the King of the powerful kingdom of  Tara. With prophesies and espionage, The Viking's Chosen takes the readers on a fun and adventurous ride. 
      A fun read, The Viking's Chosen was a classic Viking romance but cleaned up for a YA audience. Torben and Allete, although not original characters, were fun characters that were both strong and loving. Torben is a hunky romantic and Allete is a soft hearted fighter. With Allete willing to sacrifice anything for her kingdom, and with Torben willing to sacrifice anything for Allete, they make quite a pair. Although I did have one peace of confusion, the first chapter in the book doesn't seem to tie in with anything in the story. I assume its meant for the overall series' story, but in the context of jus this book it made no sense. All in all, I give The Viking's Chosen the honest rating of FOUR AND A HALF STARS OUT OF FIVE!!!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

The Last Namsara (Iskari #1) by Kristen Ciccarelli (Review)

     The Last Namsara is a story of wonder and action. In a world of dragons and magic, Asha is a dragon slayer. No, she's THE dragon slayer. After dragons turned on the humans, burning down their homes and killing thousands of them, Asha has taken up the battle of dragon exterminator. She is known as Iskari to her people. Iskari is the name for a child of blood and moonlight. A destroyer. A death-bringer. An absolute terror. Even though she is the princess of the land, everyone fears her. In her attempt to eradicate the dragons, a deal is stuck with the king. If she kills the most powerful dragon, she can get out a marriage to a horrible monster of a man. That dragon doesn't stand a chance, not when it comes to Asha.
       I really loved reading The Last Namsara. It took me on a magical ride, and was absolutely action packed. I loved the main character Asha, with her many layers of vulnerability yet kick-butt-ery. She was a strong and dangerous character, yet she was able to maintain great vulnerability and weakness. Asha aside, the villains in this novel were fascinating. I won't say anything past that to prevent spoilers, but I really loved how things are not how they seemed in The Last Namsara. Last but not least, the dragons. The dragons in this story are awesome. They are really well done and are super exciting to read about. I definitely recommend The Last Namsara and give it the rating of FOUR AND A HALF STARS OUT OF FIVE!!!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol (Review)

    A middle grade graphic novel, Be Prepared is a cute story of a young Russian girl named Vera, attending a Russian orthodox summer camp and all the high-jinx that ensue. She runs into many empathize-able camp experiences, like rude older campers, like bad weather ruining the day and like the horrors of the camp toilets. I found myself often chuckling and outright laughing while reading Be Prepared.
       Vera is a sweet little girl. Her rough pre-pubesent experiences and feelings of loneliness tugs at the readers heart strings. As a female myself, there were a lot of experiences I empathized with, reminding me of the stuggles of being that age. I was very endeared to Vera. I would definitely let a younger girl read Be Prepared in a heartbeat. It has very pretty imagery and a nice art-style. I give Be Prepared my endorsement for younger to middle grade readers and give it the rating of FIVE OUT OF FIVE STARS!!!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Fluidus Rising (The Ardere Series #1) by Margo Ryerkerk (Review)

    Fluidus Rising is a story of a young woman named Sierra Reeves with special powers. She has telekinesis, but she didn't know about it until she graduated high school. When her powers emerge, she is taken by her grandmother to flee from those who would want to use Sierra for her special abilities. Sierra is a Fluidus, a special and incredibly rare cross breed of two other magical species. As she attempts to learn how to use her powers and stay safe at the same time, killers and kidnappers get closer and closer to her hiding place.
     Boring. I found Fluidus Rising incredibly boring. There was nothing a true substance in the story and the characters just felt incredibly underdeveloped and weak. It was incredibly difficult to care about anybody in the story, and none of the characters really rounded out or grew in anyway. Besides that, there is not much to say about this book. There is nothing really original in it, and the plot was all over the place (and not in a good way). I wouldn't really recommend this book and I give Fluidus Rising the rating of TWO AND HALF STARS OUT OF FIVE!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Between Frost and Fury (The Xenith Trilogy #2) by Chani Lynn Feener (Review)

      The second instalment in the Xenith trilogy, Between Frost and Fury continues the thrilling and romantic tale of Delaney being kidnapped by aliens to be alien royalty. I swear this isn't trash, its a true blast to read. Amid Stars and Darkness and Between Frost and Fury are like junk food, you know they are not good for you but you just can't stop eating! It tastes so good! Delaney has once again been abducted by aliens, but this time it was on purpose. Trystan is obsessed with the sassy human woman that decided him for so long and captured his heart, and decided to simply take her back home. This, to the absolute horror of Ruckus, who also loves Delaney. As Delaney plots her escape, Trystan plots their future and Ruckus plots to save Delaney. Who will succeed? You'll have to read to find out!
        Addicting and just plain fun to read, Between Frost and Fury was just plain fun to read. It kept me on my toes and fully engaged. I love both Ruckus and Trystan, and I have no idea who I want to win Delaney's heart in the end! The characters in this series are so distinct and fun that I couldn't put the book down. I finished in one solid sitting, I loved it immensely, so clearly I recommend this book and this series. I give Between Frost and Fury the honest and excited rating of FIVE OUT OF FIVE STARS!!!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*