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Review: PATCHWORK

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Title: PATCHWORK
Author: Karsten Knight
Release date: February 28, 2017
Publisher: CreateSpace
Pages: 308
Formats: Paperback, eBook

Description…

Before I Fall meets Inception in this time-bending YA mystery from the author of Nightingale, Sing.

“My last thought before the black seas consume me is to wonder what morbid twist of fate allowed a prom, a proposal, an act of terrorism, 

Renata Lake thought her relationship would be the only casualty of prom. Then the bomb went off.

It was supposed to be a night to remember—a cruise through Boston Harbor, dancing beneath the stars. But when an explosion tears the ship apart, Renata wakes up in Patchwork, an ethereal world where all her memories have been stitched haphazardly together.

In order to catch the assassin who murdered her friends, she’ll have to navigate the twisted landscape of her mind and relive critical moments from her past in search of clues. Can she uncover the killer’s identity and find her way back to the man she once loved before it’s too late?

Don’t miss the twist ending of this dark, modern-day reimagining of the phoenix myth that will thrill fans of Passenger and A Thousand Pieces of You.

AMAZON eBook | AMAZON Paperback | GOODREADS

NOTE: This review is based on an eARC received from the author in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book. A finished Kindle eCopy was purchased for my collection.


The Review

PATCHWORK blends myth and mystery in a gripping and electrifying story of time travel, murder, heartbreak and loss, love and hope. Filled with twists and turns that will keep readers guessing, a character whose ability will make them wonder when to next, and an imaginative and fantastical world that will keep them hooked until the very end, this fast-paced, breathtaking read is not to be missed.

Renata Lake thought the worst thing that could ever happen in her life had already happened. But when tragedy strikes on prom night, she discovers just how much more she had to lose.

Reeling from the explosion, and the gunfire that followed, that killed her classmates, her friends, her boyfriend, and with no time to process what happened, she finds herself torn from one nightmare reality into another.

Except in this reality the danger to her and her loved ones isn’t over, it’s only just beginning. But unless she can figure out just what is happening to her and find out who or what is behind these violent attacks, she won’t be able to keep her friends safe. And if she isn’t able to defeat her demons, she won’t be able to even try.

Karsten Knight has delivered a unique and suspenseful read with PATCHWORK. His take on both the phoenix myth and the Osiris myth is original and interesting. He introduces key elements to his story in a way that is engrossing. He doesn’t pull any punches, making for a story that is at times shocking and at others heartrending, but he gives it balance with moments that are sweet, romantic, and heart-warming.

And once again he gives readers a strong heroine to root for, crafts a one-of-a-kind world to escape into, and doesn’t fail to surprise.

PATCHWORK is perfectly paced, exceptionally well-written, creative, moving, and incredibly exciting. And is a must for those who are looking for a read that offers a mix of genres, is different, unexpected, nail-biting, emotional.

The Rating


About the Author

Karsten Knight is the author of the historical mystery NIGHTINGALE, SING, the time-traveling thriller PATCHWORK, and the Polynesian volcano goddess trilogy WILDEFIRE (Simon & Schuster)–though some say his writing career peaked at the age of six, when he completed a picture book series about an adventurous worm. He is a graduate of College of the Holy Cross and earned an MFA in writing for children from Simmons College. Karsten resides in Boston, where he lives for fall weather, bowling, and football season. For more information on Karsten or his books, please visit www.karstenknightbooks.com.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS


FROSTBLOOD ‘Where Flame And Ice Are Mortal Enemies’ #Giveaway

Where Flame And Ice Are Mortal Enemies: Pick a side!

I am super excited to be able to host a giveaway for FROSTBLOOD, the very awesome first book in Elly Blake’s new series of the same name, thanks to Little, Brown & Co.

If you haven’t yet heard of this amazing new series, be sure to check out FROSTBLOOD’s description below (and it’s super cool – no pun intended – animated cover). You can also read the first chapter on TheNovl which will totally get you hooked!

There is also a super fun quiz you can play to find out whether you’re a Frostblood or Fireblood! (I’m a Fireblood – which comes as no surprise…)

CLICK HERE to take the quiz.

And if you’d like to learn more about the series, visit its official site (a.k.a. the place I plan on visiting regularly in hopes of catching sneak peeks at book 2!).

And if you’d like to join the conversation tag #Frostblood or follow @elly_blake and @TheNovl on Twitter.

FROSTBLOOD is one of my favorite reads of 2017 and I can’t wait to see what happens in the sequel, due out on September 12th.


About FROSTBLOOD

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Title & Series: FROSTBLOOD (Frostblood Saga #1)
Author: Elly Blake
Release date: January 10, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 384
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook

Read an EXCERPT

Description…

The Frost King will burn.

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.

Despite her unpredictable abilities, Ruby trains with the rebels and the infuriating—yet irresistible—Arcus, who seems to think of her as nothing more than a weapon. But before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to compete in the king’s tournaments that pit Fireblood prisoners against Frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her—and from the icy young man she has come to love.

Vivid and compelling, Frostblood is the first in an exhilarating series about a world where flame and ice are mortal enemies . . . but together create a power that could change everything.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | THE NOVLGOODREADS


The Giveaway

Courtesy of Little, Brown & Co. I have an awesome FROSTBLOOD Prize Pack for giveaway…

  • ONE (1) winner will receive a copy of FROSTBLOOD + branded nail polish duo in shades of fire and frost

Giveaway is open to US addresses ONLY. Prizing and samples are provided by Little, Brown & Co.

And..

  • You must be 13 or older to enter
  • There will be ONE winner
  • Giveaway ends March 6th at 12:00 AM Pacific
  • Winner will be announced in the Rafflecopter and contacted by email
  • Winner has 72 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen

There are no requirements to like or follow the blog. Extra entries are provided for following the author and publisher on social media, adding the book on Goodreads, sharing the giveaway on Twitter, and leaving a comment stating which side you’re on!

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway


About ELLY BLAKE

Elly Blake loves fairy tales, old houses, and owls. After earning a degree in English literature, she held a series of seemingly random jobs, including project manager, customs clerk, graphic designer, and reporter for a local business magazine before finally landing on her current job as a library assistant. She lives in Southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids, and a Siberian Husky mix that definitely shows frostblood tendencies.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | TUMBLR | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTERESTGOODREADS


Review: FROSTBLOOD

Add to Goodreads

Title & Series: FROSTBLOOD (Frostblood Saga #1)
Author: Elly Blake
Release date: January 10, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 384
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook

Read an EXCERPT

Description…

The Frost King will burn.

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.

Despite her unpredictable abilities, Ruby trains with the rebels and the infuriating—yet irresistible—Arcus, who seems to think of her as nothing more than a weapon. But before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to compete in the king’s tournaments that pit Fireblood prisoners against Frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her—and from the icy young man she has come to love.

Vivid and compelling, Frostblood is the first in an exhilarating series about a world where flame and ice are mortal enemies . . . but together create a power that could change everything.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | THE NOVLGOODREADS

NOTE: This review is based on a copy of the book received from the publicity agency in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book. A Kindle eBook copy was purchased for my collection.


The Review

A fascinating world, an intriguing prophecy, and awesome and deadly powers are just a few of the things that make FROSTBLOOD a thrilling and riveting one-sit read. Add in a curse, a quest for vengeance, epic clashes between fire and ice, gladiator-esque arena battles, dark forces, secrets, betrayal, tragedy, and a bit of romance, and you have a story that is unputdownable.

Ruby is a Fireblood living in a world where who she is could get her imprisoned or killed. Frostbloods fear and hate her kind and the Frostblood King uses Firebloods for sport. Born without the fiery red hair that would immediately identify her as an enemy, all she had to do was suppress her abilities and she could escape notice.

But her curiosity about her powers and her carelessness in concealing them meant discovery was inevitable. She just never imagined her mistakes would cost her the one person in the world that she loved.

Ruby was prepared to accept her fate – a quick death by the hand of the King or a slow death in prison. But when offered the chance to escape, to avenge her loss, and to attempt to take down the Frostbloods’ dark ruler, she accepted. Even if the chance of success was slim and even if it meant working with her enemies to do so. Because even if they ultimately failed, the alliance would help her master her fiery powers and help keep alive the flames of rage that burned in her heart.

Elly Blake penned an amazing start to her series. She gave readers a heroine who is powerful, flawed, interesting, and sympathetic. She created a world steeped it in myth, with a captivating and exciting history, filled it with citizens whose abilities are polar opposites, a bevy of exotic creatures, and a ruler whose cruelty knows no bounds, and set it at a time when battles to the death were entertainment, when prophecies and legends were more than just stories, and when being a ruler corrupted or killed.

FROSTBLOOD is a standout in a genre brimming with tales of evil rulers, dark magic, incredible abilities, and clashing clans. It reveals a past that is every bit as engaging as the story’s present. It introduces characters to root for. It builds a strong foundation for the story’s continuation in books to come. It leaves readers in anticipation of what’s next without leaving them dangling off a cliff. And it does all this in a way that makes for an enthralling and heartbreaking and absolutely extraordinary read.

The Rating

Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.


About ELLY BLAKE

Elly Blake loves fairy tales, old houses, and owls. After earning a degree in English literature, she held a series of seemingly random jobs, including project manager, customs clerk, graphic designer, and reporter for a local business magazine before finally landing on her current job as a library assistant. She lives in Southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids, and a Siberian Husky mix that definitely shows frostblood tendencies.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | TUMBLR | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTERESTGOODREADS


Review: BLACK DAWN

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Title: BLACK DAWN
Author: Mallory McCartney
Release date: February 14, 2017
Publisher: Clean Reads
Pages: 152
Formats: Paperback, eBook

Description…

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life that is until two mysterious, and dare I say handsome soldiers show up at her apartment doorstep and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Coming from the magical and ravaged world of Kiero, Emory is brought back not realizing that both men are darkly woven in her past. Discovering she is the long lost heir to the Royal Line Emory is thrown into Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne. With both lives clashing Emory uncovers hidden secrets from her past, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.

Some things are better left in the shadows.

AMAZON PB | AMAZON eBook | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

NOTE: This review is based on an eARC received from the tour hosts in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.


The Review

BLACK DAWN has a gorgeous cover and an exciting premise but the execution fell a bit short. At just over 150 pages, there wasn’t enough world-building or character development. The beginning, which quickly switched between different character’s points of view, was somewhat confusing and could have benefited from being fleshed out more.

The idea of a girl “savior” who is hidden in another world for her safety, whose memories are erased, and who is taken from that world into one that is in turmoil, where the rebellion is on the verge of collapse, and where the rebels and the villains have special powers, sounds incredible. But not enough history is introduced, the pacing is too quick, the writing is awkward, and not enough attention is paid to the development of story and characters or to the consistency throughout.

There are also problems with flow, imagery, syntax. And there are a number of instances where the characters’ reactions contradict their actions or where facts provided contradict other previously provided facts.

And instead of letting the reader experience certain emotions or actions, the author simply tells the reader. Instead of spending time building connections between the characters, or delving deeper into the characters’ thoughts and feelings about what’s going on, the author introduces unnecessary details.

Taking the time to smooth the transitions, expand the scenes, slow the pace, add more detail, make the grammatical fixes, would have allowed for a stronger bond with the story. It would have given readers a better sense of this new world and its citizens. And it might have made it a much more enjoyable and exciting read.

While some of the issues may be attributable to the fact that this is an advance readers copy, the story’s flaws are far too numerous to have been fully addressed in the finished version, as evidenced from the “look inside.”

BLACK DAWN has elements of fantasy, of a fairytale, of an X-Men superhero story. It has a diverse group of characters that are or could be rather interesting. It promises a sequel with potential that might introduce some or all of what was missing from this novel. Unfortunately, this first installment failed to meet expectations for an epic and thrilling read.

The Rating


Six Year [Belated] Blogoversary + Giveaway

It’s a few months past my actual six year blogoversary, but as I posted at that time, it didn’t feel like a time for celebrating. And while things haven’t improved all that much since then, I didn’t want to wait any longer to thank everyone who has been a part of my blog’s six year history, who has connected with me on social media, and who has shared their love of reading.

For the love of reading…

The reason I started my blog six plus years ago was because of my love of books. I wanted to share my thoughts online about the books I read. I wanted to connect with like-minded readers. I wanted to “meet” the authors of the books that made an impact on my life.

And over the past six years I have “met” some amazing bloggers and readers. I have “met” some incredible authors. And I have read a ton of phenomenal books.

While things haven’t always been easy – and keeping up the blog has sometimes been more than challenging – I have never been able to walk away completely. And I have never fallen out of love with reading – even if life has gotten in the way at times.

I don’t – and haven’t ever – blogged to get free books. I don’t blog for money – I’ve never earned one cent being a book blogger. I blog because I love discovering new books and authors. I love meeting new characters. And going on new adventures. I love visiting new worlds. And I even love getting my heart broken time and again.

I do this for the love of reading, even if I don’t always have as much time as I used to.

Times have changed…

But the blogosphere has changed. There are new ways to promote that are not quite my forte – YouTube, Instagram. There are thousands of new blogs I haven’t had the chance to visit and bloggers I haven’t had the chance to meet. There are so many new authors whose books I haven’t been introduced to.

I am overwhelmed by the magnitude.

I am also so happy to be a teeny, tiny part of things.

Ask the Eight Ball…

I don’t know what the future holds for me and my little blog. But I hope to be around to celebrate my 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th Blogoversaries. I hope to master the art of taking a really great picture so that I can become a somewhat interesting Instagrammer. And I hope to find a LOT more time to find and read new books and re-discover some of my old favorites.

I also hope to have more time to promote some of those upcoming releases I am so excited about like I used to do way back when.

For right now, though, I’m just taking things a day, week, month at a time, devouring as many books as I can.

And I wanted to say…

THANK YOU!

From the top, middle, and bottom of my heart I want to thank you all for being a part of my blog’s existence, for loving books as much as (or even more than) I do, and for making me feel that I am not alone in my love of the characters I meet.

Without you my blog would be just a compilation of words and images on the internet. It wouldn’t give me the joy it does. It would be absolutely meaningless.

And I certainly wouldn’t be celebrating…

So, as my thank you to YOU, I am offering up a bookish prize…


The Giveaway

What’s up for grabs…

  • Books of Your Choice (up to $75 USD) to ONE (1) winner – International

The deets

  • Must be 13 or older to enter
  • Giveaway is open to anywhere the Book Depository ships
  • Books will be ordered from Amazon or Books of Wonder (US) or The Book Depository (Int’l)
  • Giveaway ends on March 7th at 12:00 AM Pacific
  • Winner will be announced in the Rafflecopter and notified by email
  • Winner has 72 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen

There are no requirements to like or follow. Extra entries are available for leaving a comment and spreading the word on Twitter.

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway


BLACK DAWN Blog Tour: Spotlight + Giveaway

Welcome to one of today’s two stops on the BLACK DAWN Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. If you haven’t yet heard of BLACK DAWN by Mallory McCartney, details about this first book in the author’s new series follow below.

The story offers multiple character POVs, a fast pace, action, a world in turmoil, abilities that range from shape-shifting to siphoning, and more.

For a chance to win a signed finished copy and some swag be sure to enter in the Rafflecopter. And to check out the other stops on this tour scroll down to the schedule at the bottom of this post.


About BLACK DAWN

Add to Goodreads

Title: BLACK DAWN
Author: Mallory McCartney
Release date: February 14, 2017
Publisher: Clean Reads
Pages: 152
Formats: Paperback, eBook

Description…

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life. That is until two mysterious, and handsome soldiers show up at her apartment, and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster come from the magical and war ridden world of Kiero, and bringing Emory back she will discover she is the long lost heir to the Royal Line and is thrown into the Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne.

With both men being darkly woven in her past Emory uncovers hidden secrets, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.

Some things are better left in the shadows.

AMAZON PB | AMAZON eBook | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS


About Mallory McCartney

Mallory McCartney currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband and their two dachshunds Link and Lola. Black Dawn is her debut novel, the first in a series. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found dog grooming, book shopping and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS


The Giveaway

There is a tour-wide giveaway for…

  • Three (3) winners will receive a signed finished copy of BLACK DAWN + custom buttons – US & Canada only

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Tour Schedule

Week One

2.6.17 | Literary Meanderings – Interview
2.6.17 | Literary Dust – Review

2.7.17 | Daniel Riding – Excerpt
2.7.17 | Bibliobibuli YA – Promo

2.8.17 | Books, Dreams, Life – Interview
2.8.17 | A Dream Within A Dream – Spotlight

2.9.17 | Don’t Judge, Read – Guest Post
2.9.17 | Book Briefs – Review

2.10.17 | Kayl’s Krazy Obsession – Excerpt
2.10.17 | Taking it One Book at a Time – Review

Week Two

2.13.17 | Two Chicks on Books – Interview
2.13.17 | YA and Wine – Promo

2.14.17 | Margie’s Must Reads – Excerpt
2.14.17 | Lost in Ever After – Promo

2.15.17 | The Autumn Bookshelf – Interview
2.15.17 | Fiktshun – Spotlight

2.16.17 | Wandering Bark Books – Guest Post
2.16.17 | Mundie Moms – Spotlight

2.17.17 | Captivated Reading – Excerpt
2.17.17 | Owl Always Be Reading – Review


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