Tag Archives: Xpresso Book Tours

December 2016 Book Pick-Ups

December 2016 Pick-UpsThe Deliberate Reader

Christmas is always a great time for new books. Most of the year I get books through Kindle deals, and thrift stores. But December is a time where I can count on getting a few new physical books. The last couple of years this means coloring books too. Although, it’s a big fad now and every publisher is trying to get one out for all their IP’s, I never gave up on coloring and have enjoyed it as a hobby since I was a child.

For Kindle:

The Destroyer
Why I got it: I’m on the author’s email list and he said the book was being offered for free so I thought I would check it out. Sounds like it has a lot of graphic sex in it though, and I may decide to abandon it, because that’s not really something I like in books.

The Missing
Why I got it: My Kindle First selection for the month. Which I now regret because most of the reviews are bad, and a mystery without a likable lead is not my cup of tea.

Ocean’s Justice: The Little Mermaid Retold
Why I got it: The Little Mermaid retold sounds awesome, and it was free.

Ocean’s Trial
Why I got it: The follow-up to Ocean’s Justice, it was also free. I found out about both through the author’s newsletter.

eARCs:

Mirain
Why I got it: This sentence “The princess drags her unwilling guards to investigate the reports of monsters in the far off corners of the realm.” That and it’s from Ravenswood Publishing and I have really enjoyed the experience of being part of their reviewer team.

Queen of Chaos
Why I got it: The 3rd book in the Forth Element Series. I read books 1 and 2 earlier in the year (read my review), and was offered the third as an ARC. I can’t wait to finish this exciting series.

ARC:

A Morning with Grandpa
Why I got it: I won it in the November batch of Early Reviewers books from LibraryThing.com. It’s a children’s book from a publisher that specializes in multicultural books for children. I haven’t had a chance to look it over, but it sounds interesting.

Book Fair:

I bought several of these book as gifts.
I bought several of these book as gifts.

A Bad Kitty Christmas
Why I got it: We love Bad Kitty, maybe a little too much. But well the book fair was right before Christmas, so we had to get it. Right?

Avatar The Last Airbender: Smoke and Shadow Part One
Why I got it: We also love Avatar, and I enjoy a graphic novel from time to time. But seriously if you haven’t watched Avatar the Last Airbender you are missing out.

 

Coloring Books:

Serenity Adult Coloring Book
Why I got it: A gift from my sister. 🙂 Was the only Firefly themed gift I got this year, despite having the card game and Yatzee on my wishlist.

Dot-to-Dot for Grown-Ups
Why I got it: A gift from my mother-in-law. While Dot-to-Dots aren’t really my thing this was it pretty interesting.

Misc:

Thou Spleeny Swag-Bellied Miscreant: Create Your Own Shakespearean Insults
Just a couple of the Shakespearean Insults.

Heart and Brain: An Awkward Yeti Collection
Why I got it: I love Heart and Brain, and my husband knows what I love, so he got it for me as a Christmas Present.

Thou Spleeny Swag-Bellied Miscreant: Create Your Own Shakespearean Insults
Why I got it: Actually this was a present for my husband, but he’s doesn’t really enjoy Shakespeare the way I do.

The Wise Man’s Fear
Why I got it: Because I needed it… I have been waiting to read this book for an eternity, and finally just decided to buy it for myself.

2017 Inspire Daily Desktop Calendar
Why I got it: My MIL gave it to us for Christmas.

Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book Party! (The Source of Magic: Excerpt)

I’m participating in the genreCRAVE Science Fiction and Fantasy $1200 Giveaway! They are having a party and have something really exciting things going on. First, some great Science Fiction and Fantasy books are on sale at bargain prices, and after that, a chance to enter our $1200 Gift Card Giveaway! (Plus bonus giveaway on the Facebook Event Page.) Read on for more information, but first, check out the books from our sponsors at the link below!

VIEW BOOKS FROM THE SPONSORS HERE!

The Source of Magic: A Fantasy Romance

by Cate Rowan (Excerpt)

the-source-of-magic-200x300For a moment there was quiet, and peace. Jilian couldn’t hear or move, but she could see Alvarr’s eyes, gray and deep. Then, with a tremendous roar and a jolt through every nerve, the world reappeared.

Cries of struggle buffeted her ears. She twisted toward them and Alvarr set her down, but kept her corralled in his arms, her back to his chest.

They stood in a round room of mortared stone and blazing torches, and they weren’t alone. Two men and a woman in sapphire-blue cloaks battled soldiers in black tunics slashed with red belts. Three soldiers attacked each person in blue. The blues fought awkwardly, as if unused to combat.

Jilian jerked back, knocking her spine against Alvarr’s solid form. Where am I?
The heat of his broad chest seeped through her nightgown. He leaned down to be heard above the clamor, his lips brushing her ear. “Please, send me your kyrra!”

Kyrra? Her brain scrambled for a meaning.

His left hand gripped her ribcage and he reached for her right hand.

“What are you DOING?” No, this is only a bad dream. And I’ll end it. Just as she was preparing to ram her elbow into Alvarr’s ribs and wake up in her study, a soldier hurtled toward them swinging a wooden quarterstaff.

She recoiled, slamming against Alvarr.

“Takerran!” Alvarr shouted. Green fire streaked from his raised palm to his opponent’s chest. The soldier sank in a heap and his staff clattered to the ground.

The world thinned and condensed into the soldier’s murderous sneer, frozen at the moment of the fire’s impact. The glare in his eyes iced her gut.

A dream! Wake up!

But his cruel gaze was too real—as were the frantic shouts, the acrid burn of torch-lit air, and the strong hand on her hip.

A familiar ring of light encircled their feet, and from it Alvarr yanked up a crackling wall of jade fire. It surrounded them and he twisted to his right, hauling her with him. “Rokad, look out!” he yelled to one of the cloaked men.

Jilian shoved against Alvarr’s grip, unable to budge even one powerful finger. She saw the dark-haired Rokad vault to the side, panic flooding his face. A glinting spear whistled through the air but caught only the edge of his cloak. He spun and lobbed a green fireball at his attacker, who crumpled to the ground. But he didn’t escape the second soldier, or the rope in the enemy’s hands that cut off his breath.

“Rokad!” Alvarr started toward him, dragging Jilian with him once more. The wall of fire flickered erratically.

“No, the FireRing—keep her safe!” Rokad gasped, clawing at the rope around his throat.
Jilian flinched as the butt of a sword crashed into Rokad’s temple.

Alvarr grabbed her hands. “The kyrra—hurry, send me your power!”

WHAT power? A scream pounded on her tongue, but the consequences it might bring clamped her teeth.

Within moments, the soldiers knocked out the three figures in cloaks and the sapphire mantles pooled on the stone floor. A brawny man with a red circular badge stepped forward, pulling a clear cylinder from a pouch at his waist.

A scarlet glow flared within the cylinder and the officer aimed it at Rokad. Rokad’s body paled. Even the sapphire of his cloak faded to a dull slate gray. Alvarr’s furious breath rushed across Jilian’s cheek.

Through the wall of fire, she stared in horror at Rokad’s ashen face.

Get the book!

GIVEAWAY!

Entering is easy! Directions are on the Rafflecopter, but as an overview:

  1. Subscribe to genreCRAVE and confirm your subscription when you receive the confirmation. You must confirm via the confirmation email to get entry for the $1200!
  2. Select what other newsletters you would like to join. Each newsletter = 1 entry. Enter your email to confirm. This email must match the email you used for confirmation in step 1!
  3. You may unsubscribe at any time, but reporting as Spam will get you disqualified from all future giveaways.
  4. Winner will be announced at our Facebook Party and contacted via Email. We will have other prizes at the Facebook Party as well!

NOTE: THIS GIVEAWAY IS FOR SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY FANS ONLY. IF YOU ARE NOT AN AVID READER OF THOSE GENRES, YOUR ENTRY WILL BE DISQUALIFIED. Please do not try to find a way around this. There will be other giveaways, Enter this one if you love SCIENCE FICTION and FANTASY! Thank you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book Party!

I’m participating in the genreCRAVE Science Fiction and Fantasy $1200 Giveaway! They are having a party and have something really exciting things going on. First, some great Science Fiction and Fantasy books are on sale at bargain prices, and after that, a chance to enter our $1200 Gift Card Giveaway! (Plus bonus giveaway on the Facebook Event Page.) Read on for more information, but first, check out the books from our sponsors at the link below!

VIEW BOOKS FROM THE SPONSORS HERE!

Here are a couple of sneak peeks! (Click on a cover to read an excerpt)

rebels-honor-188x300   lord-of-the-black-land-200x300   shadows-for-princess-194x300

GIVEAWAY!

Entering is easy! Directions are on the Rafflecopter, but as an overview:

  1. Subscribe to genreCRAVE and confirm your subscription when you receive the confirmation. You must confirm via the confirmation email to get entry for the $1200!
  2. Select what other newsletters you would like to join. Each newsletter = 1 entry. Enter your email to confirm. This email must match the email you used for confirmation in step 1!
  3. You may unsubscribe at any time, but reporting as Spam will get you disqualified from all future giveaways.
  4. Winner will be announced at our Facebook Party and contacted via Email. We will have other prizes at the Facebook Party as well!

NOTE: THIS GIVEAWAY IS FOR SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY FANS ONLY. IF YOU ARE NOT AN AVID READER OF THOSE GENRES, YOUR ENTRY WILL BE DISQUALIFIED. Please do not try to find a way around this. There will be other giveaways, Enter this one if you love SCIENCE FICTION and FANTASY! Thank you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

Review: Elemental Secrets

Pages: ES368

Date Finished: Aug 20, 2016

Book Reviews- It Was OkayIt Was Okay

Synopsis:

Valerie Moore was a beautiful, headstrong girl with below-average social skills and above-average anxiety (including a flair for over-analyzing).

With her mother long deceased, and her father recently deployed, she ends up being sent to live with her eccentric aunt in a tiny town nestled in the mountains of Pennsylvania. But, being a Navy brat had made her into a bit of a loner, and making friends certainly wasn’t her strongest suit. As if the life of a typical teen wasn’t hard enough.

But Valerie soon discovers she’s not a typical teenager. Not by a long shot.

SECRETS are revealed…

…About her family, about her newfound friends and relationships, and about her whole world… Things that have been kept from her for her entire life…

But the biggest secret of all is revealed when Valerie discovers that she has Elemental powers, and a chain of inexplicable and irrevocable events unleashes throughout the little town…

Review:

This story is 8 parts high school drama and 2 parts super natural. The high school drama is that of a Navy brat who is living with her Aunt while on her dad is deployed. She trying to fit in as the new kid at the high school, although she’s not too new because she was with this same group of students for 8th grade during another of her dads deployments.

It has the typical love triangle with the new girl having to choose between the hot, loud mouth, popular jock and the quiet guy she just can’t get out of her mind. The drama part is only made interesting because you are kept guessing at the motivation of a couple of the characters.

Soon you find out that there are two factions in the town and that Valerie has accidentally gotten caught between the two.

As she discovers more about what is really going on in the town the action finally begins to ramp up, but the transitions between scenes begin to fall apart. There are times when things have happened in one scene which should be game changers, but have NO bearing or impact on the next one. For example she gets shot, twice, and the next day goes out to breakfast and then to school. Seriously, it was like nothing happened. Like you would expect getting shot to be a major event in her character arc, but the day afterward it has had no effect on her.

It’s really on the transitions that the story lost me. It felt like it could have been a good read, but that it wasn’t tied together well enough.

Bottom Line:

I have had so many mixed feelings about this book that it’s taken me a long time to post this review. It has some compelling elements but jumps around too much and some of the transitions between settings are so jolting they take you out of the story. I wanted to like this book. I hope that it will see a cleaned up second edition.

Purchase:
Amazon

Review: Blood of the Prophet

bloodprophetThe Midnight Sea and The Blood of the Prophet 
by Kat Ross
Pages: 326 and 337
Date Finished:  Aug 24, 2016 and Sep 04, 2016

LoBook Reviews - Loved Itved It

  • I received this book free from the Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for my honest option.

Synopsis:

Visionary. Alchemist. Savior. Saint.

The Prophet Zarathustra has been called many things. Now he spends his time drawing pictures of weird-looking goats. That’s what happens when you’ve been stuck in a prison cell for two hundred years. But the man who might be mad, and is definitely supposed to be dead, has suddenly become very valuable again…

It’s only been a few weeks since Nazafareen escaped the King’s dungeons with her daēva, Darius. She hoped never to set foot in the empire again, but the search for the Prophet has led them to the ancient city of Karnopolis. They have to find him before Alexander of Macydon burns Persepolae, and Darius’s mother with it. But they’re not the only ones looking.

The necromancer Balthazar has his own plans for the Prophet, and so does the sinister spymaster of the Numerators. As Nazafareen is drawn in to a dangerous game of cat and mouse, her newfound powers take a decidedly dark turn. Only the Prophet understands the secret of her gift, but the price of that knowledge may turn out to be more than Nazafareen is willing to pay…

Review:

I loved both of these books. Because I read them back-to-back so I’m going to review them as one here.

The Forth Element Series is a great example of a fantasy series that uses existing mythology to build its fantasy world, but does it in a really exciting new way. I don’t believe I’ve read another fantasy book set in the ancient empire of Persia, using some of the mythology of the area and weaving in the origins of Zoroastrianism. The setting alone is something to love!

I recently read the Greek play The Persians, and that perhaps was the perfect build up for a fantasy story set in the same empire. (Although the author does make note that the story is not an alternative history, it just borrows heavily from history.)

The stories center on Nazafareen, the The Midnight Sea starts out being a fish-out-of-water story about her leaving her nomadic tribe and coming to live in the palace of a Satrap while learning how to be a Water Dog (a warrior bonded to a deava, a being who can control the 3 elements of water, air and earth.) Each Water Dog is able through their bond to control the deava, so that they only use their powers when needed to fight demon called the Druj.

When the old deava’s break out of their prison Nazafareen, her bonded Darius, and their squad are sent after them turning the story into a fantasy quest that continues into Blood of the Prohpet. Things are not as they seem however and as the world around her begins to unravel Nazafereen experiences betrayal, love, loss, and finds in herself an inner magic she never imagined.

Between the two books there are lots of twists and turns and mysteries that lead into deeper mysteries as the lies that held the empire together unravel and enemies close in on every side.

Bottom Line:

It’s EPIC! I can’t wait to see what the next book brings. I love the rich and exotic world and characters. I am very excited to learn more about Bactra and the origins of the daevas. If you want a great original epic fantasy read pick up The Forth Element Series.

Purchase:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’m Going On Tour…

Xpresso Book Tours

 

I found out about Xpresso Book Tours via Functioning Insanity Reviews and betwixtthesepages, two book bloggers who I enjoy. Just this week I’ve been notified that I was chosen for not one, but two upcoming blog tours.

The first is Elemental Secrets by Elle Middaugh.

ESValerie Moore was a beautiful, headstrong girl with below-average social skills and above-average anxiety (including a flair for over-analyzing).

With her mother long deceased, and her father recently deployed, she ends up being sent to live with her eccentric aunt in a tiny town nestled in the mountains of Pennsylvania. But, being a Navy brat had made her into a bit of a loner, and making friends certainly wasn’t her strongest suit. As if the life of a typical teen wasn’t hard enough.

But Valerie soon discovers she’s not a typical teenager. Not by a long shot.

SECRETS are revealed…

…About her family, about her newfound friends and relationships, and about her whole world… Things that have been kept from her for her entire life…

But the biggest secret of all is revealed when Valerie discovers that she has Elemental powers, and a chain of inexplicable and irrevocable events unleashes throughout the little town…

The second is actually a two book set! I’m so excited, two books! The Midnight Sea and it’s sequel Blood of the Prophet by Kat Ross.

BloodOfTheProphetTourBanner

Visionary. Alchemist. Savior. Saint.

The Prophet Zarathustra has been called many things. Now he spends his time drawing pictures of weird-looking goats. That’s what happens when you’ve been stuck in a prison cell for two hundred years. But the man who might be mad, and is definitely supposed to be dead, has suddenly become very valuable again…

It’s only been a few weeks since Nazafareen escaped the King’s dungeons with her daēva, Darius. She hoped never to set foot in the empire again, but the search for the Prophet has led them to the ancient city of Karnopolis. They have to find him before Alexander of Macydon burns Persepolae, and Darius’s mother with it. But they’re not the only ones looking.

The necromancer Balthazar has his own plans for the Prophet, and so does the sinister spymaster of the Numerators. As Nazafareen is drawn in to a dangerous game of cat and mouse, her newfound powers take a decidedly dark turn. Only the Prophet understands the secret of her gift, but the price of that knowledge may turn out to be more than Nazafareen is willing to pay…

The Blood of the Prophets tour will be stopping by my blog on Sept 21st, and Elemental Secrets on Oct 20th. So stayed tuned to hear about these exciting books.

Have you done a book tour? I’d love to know some of your thoughts and maybe a hint or two for how to make them rock. Leave me a comment to let me know.