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#Happy Publication Day, August 9, 2022 # Stay Awake by Megan Goldin #Thriller @St.Martin’s Press

Happy Publication Day to Stay Awake by Megan Goldin!

From the Blurb:

A murder she doesn’t remember committing. A killer she doesn’t remember meeting. Megan Goldin’s Stay Awake is an electrifying novel that proves memory can be deadly.

Liv Reese wakes up in the back of a taxi with no idea where she is or how she got there. When she’s dropped off at the door of her brownstone, a stranger answers—a stranger who claims to live in her apartment. She reaches for her phone to call for help, only to discover it’s missing. In its place is a bloodstained knife. Her hands are covered in scribbled messages, like graffiti on her skin: STAY AWAKE.

Two years ago, Liv was thriving as a successful writer for a trendy magazine. Now, she’s lost and disoriented in a New York City that looks nothing like what she remembers. Catching a glimpse of the local news, she’s horrified to see reports of a crime scene where the victim’s blood has been used to scrawl a message across a window, similar to the message that’s inked on her hands. What did she do last night? And why does she remember nothing from the past two years? Liv finds herself on the run for a crime she doesn’t remember committing. But there’s someone who does know exactly what she did, and they’ll do anything to make her forget—permanently.

A complex thriller that unfolds at a breakneck speed, Stay Awake will keep you up all night.


Publisher: St.Martin’s Press
Publication Date: August 9, 2022
ISBN 9781250280664, 1250280664

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About the author:

MEGAN GOLDIN worked as a correspondent for Reuters and other media outlets where she covered war, peace, international terrorism and financial meltdowns in the Middle East and Asia. She is now based in Melbourne, Australia where she raises three sons and is a foster mum to Labrador puppies learning to be guide dogs. She is the author of The Escape Room and The Night Swim.


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It’s Monday! What are you reading? August 8th, 2022

It’s Monday! What are you Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn from Book Date, a place to share and discuss what we’ve read in the past week and what we’re in the middle of or are planning to read this week.

What I read / listened to last week:

The Lies I told by Mary Burton

Quiet by Susan Cain

Confetti at the Hummingbird Hotel by Daisy James

Unjust Bias by Liz Mistry

What I am reading/listening to now:

Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Hail Mary Project by Andy Weir

What I’m reading /listening to next:

Someone Else’s Honeymoon by Phoebe MacLeod

Interworld by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves

How did your last week go and what are you reading this week?

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#Blog Tour #Book Review of Unjust Bias (D.I.Gus McGuire 8) by Liz Mistry #Police Procedural @rararesources

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Unjust Bias, the latest instalment in Liz Mistry’s series of police procedurals featuring D.I.Gus McGuire.

Unjust Bias

A murdered boy disowned by his family.

A teen terrified his past will catch up with him.

A girl with nowhere to go.

Men with rage so visceral they will do anything.

With the unsolved murder of a homeless boy still preying on his mind, DI Gus McGuire is confronted with a similar murder, a missing teen and no clues.

Does the answer lie with an illegal dark web site where ‘slaves’ are auctioned off? Or with an online forum for teens?

How can Gus keep people safe when unjust bias rears its head and being different could cost you your life…?

Purchase Links

UK / US

My thoughts:

‘Dark, gloomy, and forelorn’

My first book by Liz Mistry turned out to be a dark, absorbing, and compelling read and I can see now why this author and her D.I.Gus McGuire series has numerous fans.

The beginning of the book was intense (a desperate mother fleeing an abusive husband) and it set the overall pace of the book, which never relented. An emaciated body of a homeless teenager starts D.I. McGuire’s investigation, but, unfortunately, leads dry up, the boy’s family won’t accept him in death no more than in life, and it would appear the case is destined to go cold. Then another teenager pays with his life for his courage to bear witness to the way society fails to ensure safety of transgender teenagers. Another dark and disturbing case of an Online Slave Auction on the dark web threatens the life of two children who have already been through a world of suffering. When Gus’s team discovers that these two cases are connected, the race to get to the perpetrators of these sick crimes becomes even more urgent as it could mean saving innocent lives from criminally insane as well as one heartless criminal.

I would recommend reading this series in order. Gus has a very complicated private life (no spoilers- sorry!) and is considering some potentially life-changing decisions. Unlike other series, the focus here is on the cases, but the inclusion of these private details informs the reader and helps us see that in this world full of depravity and incomprehensible attitudes, there are people with steady moral compass, people who have their heart in the right place.

Liz Mistry creates a range of interesting characters, some of whom you will hate from the word go, some you will care about and mourn for. Gus’s team are more than a close-knit working group of talented professionals, they are caring individuals who do their job of protecting more vulnerable and serving justice.

I’m glad to have discovered a new gripping series and now can’t wait to read the next book!

Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources and the author for the review copy, provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

Author Bio –

Born in Scotland, Made in Bradford sums up Liz Mistry’s life. Over thirty years ago she moved from a small village in West Lothian to Yorkshire to get her teaching degree. Once here, Liz fell in love with three things; curries, the rich cultural diversity of the city … and her Indian husband (not necessarily in this order). Now thirty years, three children, two cats and a huge extended family later, Liz uses her experiences of living and working in the inner city to flavour her writing. Her gritty crime fiction police procedural novels set in Bradford embrace the city she describes as ‘Warm, Rich and Fearless’ whilst exploring the darkness that lurks beneath.

Struggling with severe clinical depression and anxiety for a large number of years, Liz often includes mental health themes in her writing. She credits the MA in Creative Writing she took at Leeds Trinity University with helping her find a way of using her writing to navigate her ongoing mental health struggles. Being a debut novelist in her fifties was something Liz had only dreamed of and she counts herself lucky, whilst pinching herself regularly to make sure it’s all real. One of the nicest things about being a published author is chatting with and responding to readers’ feedback and Liz regularly does events at local libraries, universities, literature festivals and open mics. She also teaches creative writing too.  Liz has completed a PhD in Creative Writing on Diverse voices in crime fiction.

In her spare time, Liz loves pub quizzes (although she admits to being rubbish at them), dancing (she does a mean jig to Proud Mary – her opinion, not ratified by her family), visiting the varied Yorkshire landscape, with Robin Hoods Bay being one of her favourite coastal destinations, listening to music, reading and blogging about all things crime fiction on her blog, The Crime Warp. 

Social Media Links:

Twitter: @LizMistryAuthor  

 Facebook: @LizMistryBooks   

 Website: lizmistry.com

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Book Blitz #Child of Etherclaw by Matty Roberts #Dystopian #Science Fiction #YA @Xpresso Book Tours

Child of Etherclaw
Matty Roberts
Publication date: August 2nd 2022
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult

The bonds of family go well beyond blood.
But can those bonds hold when the blood itself carries a devastating secret?

Fenlee’s opal necklace had always radiated a certain warmth since her mother’s death. But now, at sixteen, her world begins to unravel as the stone sparks to life, revealing itself to be an otherworldly artifact of untold power.

Between her mechatronics studies at the academy and scavenging expeditions beneath the sprawling city of New Cascadia, Fenlee and her adopted brother, Elliot, try to decipher the mysteries of her necklace and its link to events in Fenlee’s past.

But they’re not alone in their search.

Strange undercity dwellers offer cryptic warnings, drones track their movements, and deadly corporate agents lurk in the shadows. When tragedy rips Fenlee’s family apart, she must learn to use the artifact’s power to save those who are deeply precious to her. But nothing can prepare her for the dark truths that she will uncover on that journey…

“Lee,” Elliot mumbled. “I’m not who you think I am.”

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EXCERPT:

Thoughts of etherclaw and worries about her father had kept Fenlee up, so she’d spent almost the entire night installing and integrating the Elixir chip to keep her mind elsewhere. She got it working, but sleep still wouldn’t come, so she composed a message to her father. It’d be expensive to send, but she had to say something.

Hi, Dad. Hope you’re well. Me? I’m great. Except that I’ve been shitting myself because, you know, aer Mom died, we all promised we’d never leave each other. And that’s kind of what you’re best at these days. But, hey, it’s all fine because I found a chip that’s most likely stolen and worth probably half this apartment block, but in order to get it to work, I had to go into the Lunarinto Market for an adapter. But the adapter wasn’t exactly free, so I’m going to start working a part-time job while you’re gone to pay it off. In the Lunarinto Market. You know, the place you hate for me to even go near. One of my legs is just short enough to be constantly uncomfortable because I decided to wreck the one you gave me, my underwear is somehow still riding up my ass from the bike ride home yesterday, and I’m hyperaware of how bad my pits stink. Doesn’t matter because I got no sleep and I don’t have time to do much about it before academy. Also, Mom’s opal, which isn’t real, by the way, might actually be some kind of weird magic device from aliens. Woo! Oh, and your adopted son is smuggling a stray cat. Thought you should know. Don’t get yourself blown up. Love you!

She stared at the comm unit for an eternity before deleting it. Her opal felt cold on her chest in the morning gloom.

Author Bio:

Matty Roberts began their career in journalism where they earned an Emmy and had the privilege of working on several other award-winning projects. They hold an MS from Johns Hopkins University and are now an engineer in renewable energy in Denver, Colorado where they live with their wonderful partner, two extraordinary kids, and the best doggie ever.

In addition to writing, engineering, and parenting, Matty is a vegan enby nerd who is in love with this world and will forever be doing all they can to make it a better place. And they may be known to occasionally play in a punk band here or there.

For more information about Matty and their upcoming books, visit http://www.mattyroberts.io.

Website / Goodreads / Twitter

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#Book Blitz #A Coup of Tea (Tea Princess Chronicles 1) by Casey Blair #Fantasy @Xpresso Book Tours

A Coup of Tea
Casey Blair
(Tea Princess Chronicles, #1)
Publication date: August 2nd 2022
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

When the fourth princess of Istalam is due to dedicate herself to a path serving the crown, she makes a choice that shocks everyone, herself most of all: She leaves.

In hiding and exiled from power, Miyara finds her place running a tea shop in a struggling community that sits on the edge of a magical disaster zone. But there’s more brewing under the surface of this city—hidden magic, and hidden machinations—that threaten all the people who’ve helped her make her own way.

Miyara may not be a princess anymore, but with a teapot in hand she’ll risk her newfound freedom to discover a more meaningful kind of power.

A Coup of Tea is the first book of the Tea Princess Chronicles, a cozy fantasy series full of magic tea, friendship, and lifting people up even when the odds seem impossible.

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Author Bio:

Casey Blair writes adventurous fantasy novels for all ages, and her serial fantasy Tea Princess Chronicles is available online for free. After graduating from Vassar College, her own adventures have included teaching English in rural Japan, attending the Viable Paradise residential science fiction and fantasy writing workshop, and working as an indie bookseller. She now lives in the Pacific Northwest and can be found dancing spontaneously, exploring forests around the world, or trapped under a cat. For more information visit her website caseyblair.com or follow her on Twitter @CaseyLBlair.

Website / Goodreads / Twitter

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Book Blitz #A Royal Mistake (Royally Engaged 3) by Jennifer Bonds #Romcom @Xpresso Book Tours

A Royal Mistake
Jennifer Bonds
(Royally Engaged, #3)
Publication date: August 2nd 2022
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

Princess Philippa Stanley is over being the perfect royal.

The world’s got bigger problems than the color of her nail polish, but the tabloids insist on detailing her every royal faux pas. Like her bold new hairstyle and missing pantyhose. Freaking pantyhose. Things that don’t matter to anyone. Except her parents.

Their Majesties are desperate for her to settle down. So desperate they invite a dozen overzealous bachelors to compete for her hand in marriage. Now she’s living her own nightmare version of The Bachelorette: Royal Edition with suitors ambushing her at every turn.

No way is she participating in this farce of a courtship, but when her father makes her an offer she can’t refuse—take part in exchange for access to her trust fund—it’s the only way to get the money she needs to start her own charitable foundation.

Fine. She’ll play the game. There’s zero chance she’ll fall in love until she crashes into a sexy, down-to-earth philanthropist who can help her launch her charity and drive off the unwanted suitors. It’s like she’s met the perfect guy.

But what if he’s really the perfect lie?

What can you expect in A ROYAL MISTAKE?
✓ Awkward meet-cute

✓ Royal in disguise

✓ Virgin heroine

✓ Friends-to-Lovers

✓ Sexy, slow burn RomCom

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Author Bio:

Jennifer Bonds is the USA Today bestselling author of sizzling contemporary romance with sassy heroines, sexy alphas, and a whole lot of mischief. She’s a sucker for enemies-to-lovers stories, laugh-out-loud banter, and over-the-top grand gestures. Jennifer lives in Pennsylvania, where her overactive imagination and weakness for reality TV keep life interesting. She’s lucky enough to live with her own real-life hero, two adorable (and sometimes crazy) children, and one rambunctious K9. Loves Buffy, Mexican food, a solid Netflix binge, the Winchester brothers, cupcakes, and all things zombie. Sings off-key.

Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / Pinterest

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Blog Tour #Book Review #Confetti at the Hummingbird Hotel by Daisy Jones @rararesources

Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for Confetti at the Hummingbird Hotel by Daisy James!

Confetti at the Hummingbird Hotel
Welcome back to the Hummingbird Hotel!
When Abbie Coleman is asked to organise a Dance & Desserts retreat for a group of exhausted schoolteachers, she decides to pull out all the stops. With line dancing, flamenco and the Charleston on the agenda, along with a whole host of delicious themed desserts, it’s her chance to prove to everyone that she has – at last – gained the skills needed to be an accomplished hotelier. This time she’s determined there will be no “unfortunate incidents” that make the Hummingbird Hotel look like Corfu’s Comedy Central.

With her big fat Greek wedding to the gorgeous Nikos Angelopoulos only three weeks away, will she finally be able to deliver a retreat without the habitual chaos and calamity the hotel has become famous for? Can she turn a clunky chicken dance into a classy Charleston and a boogie-woogie into a beautiful ballet? Or will she be boot scootin’ it back to London and life as a floundering florist?

Let Daisy James whisk you away to gorgeous Corfu with a feel-good holiday read filled with sun, sea and a sprinkle of romance. Perfect for fans of Mandy Baggot, Sue Roberts & Sandy Barker

Purchase Links
UK / US

My thoughts:

Look at this sweet, gorgeous cover and tell me you’re not craving a lovely holiday in an exotic location of your choice? If you’re a fan of the Hummingbird Hotel series by Daisy James, chances are your thoughts will immediately go to the sun-soaked Corfu with its marvellous views and mouth-watering food…


If you’ve been following the series, you know this is the final instalment- all good things come to an end (no worries, Daisy James has a new series in the pipelines). Our hotelier by chance Abbie Coleman has come a long way from her first panic-filled days to realising what her strengths are (gardening, flower arrangement, viticulture) and now is looking forward to helping the love of her life Nicos to fulfill his dream of opening a restaurant. But first she must find the right kind of buyer for the Hummingbird Hotel…Could Simon Crabtree be the one to ensure the hotel’s retreats are run incident-free (no more ‘havoc’) like ‘a well-oiled’ machine? or will the multiple changes he is planning rob the hotel of its uniqueness? and should Abbie even be asking these questions- after all, she has her wedding to think about in a few weeks and one last retreat- Dances and Desserts…


Daisy James’s writing is truly enjoyable- she has a talent for making you feel you are indeed in a completely different place with its sunshine, a riot of colours, warm breeze, and fabulous desserts. The rhythm is different and, although life isn’t exactly worry-free, it’s a happy place where people smile, have fun, and support each other. Is it the famous magic of Greece and Greek islands where people sing, dance, and fall in love? or is it the magic of Daisy James’ writing that helps you feel at home in this gorgeous place?


A relaxing, enjoyable read and a great ending to a sweet, heart-warming series!

Author Bio – Daisy James loves writing stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines. She especially likes to create sunshine-filled settings in exotic locations – the Caribbean, Tuscany, Cornwall, Provence – so she can spend her time envisioning her characters enjoying the fabulous scenery and sampling the local food and drink.
When not scribbling away in her peppermint-and-green summerhouse (garden shed), she spends her time sifting flour and sprinkling sugar and edible glitter. She loves gossiping with friends over a glass of something fizzy or indulging in a spot of afternoon tea – china plates and teacups are a must.
Daisy would love to hear from readers via her Facebook page or you can follow her on Twitter @daisyjamesbooks, or on Instagram @daisyjamesstories.
 
Social Media Links –
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Website

Thank you for reading the post! Have a great weekend!

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#Thriller Thursday #Book Review #The Lies I told by Mary Burton @Montlake

From the blurb:

For a woman obsessed and a killer in her shadow, remembering the past becomes a mind game in a novel of psychological suspense by New York Times bestselling author Mary Burton.


Twin sisters Marisa and Clare Stockton were sixteen when Clare’s body was found in Virginia’s James River. No arrests were made. Fourteen years later, Marisa’s friends and dedicated career as a photographer help her to cope with the open wound of the past. But Marisa still feels the hurt—and the unsolved murder isn’t the only thing haunting her.

A recent car crash has erased ten days of Marisa’s memories—a black hole leading up to the accident that’s left her disoriented. Every text and phone call from that crucial missing time has vanished, along with her phone. A photograph she took of the river has disappeared. A new neighbor Marisa believes she knows introduces himself as if he were a stranger. And there’s the growing fear that her near-fatal accident was no accident at all. As dreams of Clare and nightmares of the crash begin to converge, so do two disturbing puzzles fourteen years apart.

Putting the pieces together could be fatal. As she struggles to remember everything, Marisa closes in on a killer—without realizing that he’s already closed in on her.

My thoughts:

I have only recently discovered Mary Burton’s books, although she is a very experienced (and prolific!) author.

You can tell it straightaway that The Lies I Told is well-written. Mary Burton even manages to pull off all the multiple POVs. The characters are intriguing, but we’re told just enough about them, only what we need to know for the sake of unravelling their secrets and solving the core mystery. Above all, where the author’s skill shows the most is the topic: a woman is still desperate to solve her twin sister’s murder fourteen years after the tragic event and, on top of it all, she is also suffering from amnesia following a sinister car accident! Our fascination with identical twins is endless, especially when one of them is missing and the other one keeps going on, living their life, growing old…

Clare Stockton was just sixteen when she went missing. Four days later her body was found in the river nearby. Fourteen year later Clare’s case is about to be re-classified as cold. The murderer has never been found and it seems that everybody has moved on and let the past go. Everyone, but Marisa, Clare’s twin sister. It is the twins’ thirtieth birthday and their older sister Brit has invited their old friends: BFF Jo-Jo (‘the airhead’), Brit’s ex-boyfirend bad boy Jack who did a couple years in prison and nowadays happens to be Jo-Jo’s husband, Clare’s boyfriend sad and serious Kurt, and Brit’s new man David. Marisa is still recovering from a car accident that left a ten day hole in her memory. Marisa is serious about her sobriety, having spent years struggling with alcohol and drug abuse, but not everyone thinks (or wants her to) she can turn her life round.

The plot was intriguing, but the pace was a bit too slow in the first third of the book. There was a lot of potential, and yet, something was missing. Marisa is a wedding photographer, but in her spare time she takes pictures of the place where her sister’s lifeless body was disposed of by the murderer(s)- imagine the suspense, the tension that could have been created by exploiting this detail, but no, this skittish reader’s nerves were spared. It was as if the introduction of all these points of view drew out the exposition unnecessarily. The pace picks up in the last third when we have already discovered the reason why Clare was murdered and it is more or less clear who did it. There are a few red herring male characters, but nothing to make you doubt that you’ve solved the mystery early on and are waiting for justice to run its course.

I found the fourteen year gap required a stretch of imagination. When Marisa wants to go over what happened on the day Clare went missing, her ‘friends’ are lying- well, everybody is lying in this book, this is the premise, it’s just not easy to understand what they are lying about and why– but would there be this level of detail after so much time has passed, unless ‘the memory’ takes on a life of its own and becomes a well-rehearsed story? but we also get a sense that nobody, apart from Marisa, really cares about the past anymore.

There is one incredibly unlikeable character and sometimes it felt a bit too much. We all love reading about dysfunctional families, but sometimes you really have to suspend your belief ( ‘And nobody noticed? And nobody suspected?!’). Marisa herself, on the other hand, is easy to sympathise with as she is the first one to admit her mistakes. She is also the most optimistic one, the one who believes in being able to become a better version of oneself. I would have liked more depth in the villain- we get a few hints about their past, but not enough.

I’m glad to have discovered Mary Burton’s books- better late than never!- and would love to read more from this talented author. Thank you to NetGalley and Montlake fo the review copy provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

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#Book Blitz #The Light After the Orange (The Tundra Stone Series 1) by Beverley J.Hall #Fantasy #Post-Apocalyptic @Xpresso Book Tours

The Light After the Orange
Beverley J. Hall
(The Tundra Stone Series, #1)
Publication date: July 18th 2022
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic

EVEN IN A DYING WORLD, IS SURVIVAL ENOUGH?

After the Orange and the catastrophic devastation of Earth, magic began to seep in—but will it help Alex Chegasa survive?

Hidden and protected by magic, she grew up embracing her gifts. After witnessing the only people she can call family being murdered, eighteen-year-old Alex must choose between her head and her heart in her search for a place to belong. But, her hunt for a home means having to hide her magic.

All the while, in the shadows, eight-hundred-year-old Fae Billey NicNevin, suffering from amnesia, is rediscovering her magic.

Are their fates intertwined?

What if the fantastical stories Alex’s mother told her as a child were true?

ALL MYTHS ARE BASED ON TRUTH

Sales Copy: Eighteen-year-old Alex Chegasa, one of the first generation to be raised on post-apocalyptic Earth, was taught to embrace her magical gifts.

After the Orange, as the planet burned, magic trickled in. The bombs that had wiped out most life ripped open the barrier between worlds. Can the next generation, connected to the magic, be the solution to mankind’s problems or are they destined to repeat the mistakes of their ancestors?

Did the Orange, the very thing that ravaged the planet, also provide the solution? Or is magic more than a coincidence?

While Alex searches for somewhere to belong, in Massachusetts, she questions if survival is enough when she comes to understand that magic, used by the wrong people, could be more dangerous than the power of the generations before her.

Meanwhile, in a parallel story, we meet eight-hundred-year-old Fae, Billey NicNevin. With a past she doesn’t remember, she struggles to fit into Nuadh Caled (New Scotland) as it rebuilds itself. When she meets a woman whose soul calls to her, will she find her missing piece or tumble into insanity?

Are their destinies connected?

WHAT IF THE FANTASTICAL STORIES FROM ALEX’S CHILDHOOD WERE TRUE?

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Author Bio:

Beverley J. Hall was born in Kent, England, and raised in Scotland. Most of her childhood was spent with her nose in a book, and her love of stories was born.

While studying Art and Design, she discovered her love of storytelling, whether with paint, sculpture, fabric, or words.

After completing an MA in Creative Writing, she is now living her best life, writing stories at the seaside with her son, her granddaughter, and her cat Bertie.

Head over to TikTok, Instagram, or Twitter to join her overthinking and daydreaming (she’s still hoping for a pet dragon).

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / TikTok

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#Can’t Wait Wednesday #The Stolen Heir by Holly Black #Elfheim #YA Fantasy

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. If you’re continuing with WOW, feel free to link those up as well! Find out more here.

And the book I am waiting for is…

From the blurb:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black returns to the opulent world of Elfhame in the first book in a thrilling new duology, following Jude’s brother Oak, and the changeling queen, Suren.

A reluctant prince. A runaway queen. And a quest that may destroy them both. 

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Expected Publication Date: January 3, 2023

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

YA Fiction / Fantasy

ISBN 9780316592703, 0316592706

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Holly Black is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of fantasy novels, including the Novels of Elfhame, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, the Spiderwick Chronicles, and her adult debut, Book of Night.  She has been a finalist for an Eisner Award and the Lodestar Award, and the recipient of the Mythopoeic Award, a Nebula, and a Newbery Honor. Her books have been translated into 32 languages worldwide and adapted for film. She currently lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret library.




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#Book Blitz #Storm and Flame (Enchanted 1) by Mallory Wanless #YA #Fantasy @Xpresso Book Tours

Storm and Flame
Mallory Wanless
(Enchanted, #1)
Publication date: September 22nd 2022
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Elena has always been a disappointment. Her magic is practically non-existent and now, on her sixteenth birthday, she is expelled from magic school by the strict headmistress–also known as her mother. Cast out into the world of the magically inept with only her familiar for company, Elena feels lost and alone until she meets a strange boy in the woods.

Quinn is a thief, a hunter, and a hothead. His unexpected friendship with Elena awakens a fiery side in him–quite literally–and uncovers new and surprising magical abilities. Except men aren’t supposed to be capable of magic.

With Quinn’s help, Elena carves a safe new life as a barmaid, but when she is attacked, her powers awaken with shocking ferocity. Elena’s explosion of magic creates a power surge that attracts the attention of magical investigators, sent to uncover and contain the source of the power surge.

But the awakening of their powers kickstarts an ancient prophecy. Will they be able to escape those that hunt them? Can they fulfill the prophecy, destroy the turmio and save magic from being destroyed once and for all?

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Author Bio:

Mallory lives in Texas with her husband and their two young boys. She spends her days homeschooling and full-time parenting. Her nights, and any free time she manages to carve out during the day, are devoted to reading and writing.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / TikTok

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#Book Blitz #Awaken by Vanessa MacLellan #Dark Fantasy #Horror @Xpresso Book Tours

Awaken
Vanessa MacLellan
Publication date: July 30th 2022
Genres: Adult, Dark Fantasy, Fantasy, Horror

Balin stands between two great Powers. One will shatter his mind; the other will destroy his soul. Only one of them can save his people.

Fort Resonbirg, a Norse stronghold in the New World, is besieged by the evil sorcerer Ursulard the Dreamspinner. Though their fields are scorched and homes destroyed, the residents and refugees do not worry, because Fort Resonbirg is Awakened with the power to provide, protect, and grow. But not all is as it seems when a wall of impenetrable mist surrounds the fort, and within the mist hunts the dragon, Nidhogg. Nidhogg hungers for more than flesh and bone. It instills nightmares on its prey, feeding on fear and pain, inevitably taking lives.

Balin Tremore, a commoner bound for the militia but hoping to stay by his noble love’s side, never expected to amount to grand things. When the great power of Cradleweaving is awakened within him, Balin unknowingly becomes the one person with the power to pierce the wall of mist and banish the deadly beast within before it destroys them all—if he can master the new power in time. But to master the power, he must sacrifice much. The question is, will it be his position, his Lady, or his very soul?

The Mist meets Nightmare on Elm Street in this classic tale of personal sacrifice.

Goodreads / Amazon

Author Bio:

Vanessa MacLellan was born and raised in the farmlands of eastern Washington, works as an environmental engineer, and is an avid birder, naturalist and hiker living in Portland, Oregon.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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It’s Monday! What are you reading? August 1st, 2022

It’s Monday! What are you Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn from Book Date, a place to share and discuss what we’ve read in the past week and what we’re in the middle of or are planning to read this week.

What I read / listened to last week:

The Summer I turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Blade of Secrets by Tricia Levenseller- a re-read of the first book- the blurb is spot on- it is indeed romantic and filled with magic and adventure. The best thing about it is of course its protagonist Ziva, a magic blacksmith with social anxiety.

Master of Iron by Tricia Levenseller

What I am reading/listening to now:

The Lies I told by Mary Burton

Quiet by Susan Cain

Hail Mary Project by Andy Weir

What I’m reading /listening to next:

Confetti at the Hummingbird Hotel by Daisy James

How did your last week go and what are you reading this week?

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#Book Blitz #Never Enough Cowboy by Jennie Marts (Creedence Horse Rescue 4) #Contemporary Romance @Xpresso Book Tours

Never Enough Cowboy
Jennie Marts
(Creedence Horse Rescue, #4)
Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication date: July 26th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

“A swoon-worthy, must-read romance.” –SARA RICHARDSON, National bestselling author

Fans of Carolyn Brown, Maisey Yates, and Jennifer Ryan will fall head over cowboy boots for this second-chance romance from USA Today bestseller Jennie Marts.

Single mom Jillian Bennett barely has a moment to herself between raising her ten-year old son, volunteering at the horse rescue ranch, and working her new job as head librarian of Creedence, Colorado. She doesn’t have time for romance either, even though she and the cute deputy, Ethan Rayburn, have been doing a lot of flirting the last few weeks. But when he also forms a bond with her son, Milo, Jillian falls hard, and Ethan soon realizes he would do anything for the feisty librarian who’s won his heart.

Praise for Jennie Marts:
“Full of hope, humor, and undeniable swoon.”–A.J. Pine, USA Today bestselling author
“Funny, complicated, and irresistible. Sometimes a cowboy isn’t perfect but you got to love him anyway.”–Jodi Thomas, New York Times bestselling author, for Caught Up in a Cowboy
“The perfect blend of humor, grit, and sexy cowboy spice. Delicious!”–Kari Lynn Dell, award-winning and bestselling author, for Wish Upon a Cowboy
“Deliciously steamy but still sweet, with a secret at its heart.”–Joanne Kennedy, award-winning and bestselling author, for Wish Upon a Cowboy

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

uthor Bio:

Jennie Marts is the USA TODAY Best-selling author of award-winning books filled with love, laughter, and always a happily ever after. Readers call her books “laugh out loud” funny and the “perfect mix of romance, humor, and steam.” Fic Central claimed one of her books was “the most fun I’ve had reading in years.”

She is living her own happily ever after in the mountains of Colorado with her husband, two dogs, and a parakeet that loves to tweet to the oldies. She’s addicted to Diet Coke, adores Cheetos, and believes you can’t have too many books, shoes, or friends.

Her books include the contemporary western romance Hearts of Montana series, the romantic comedy/ cozy mysteries of The Page Turners series, the hunky hockey-playing men in the Bannister family in the Bannister Brothers Books, and the small-town romantic comedies in the Lovestruck series of Cotton Creek Romances.

Jennie loves to hear from readers. Follow her on Facebook at Jennie Marts Books, or Twitter at @JennieMarts. Visit her at http://www.jenniemarts.com and sign up for her newsletter to keep up with the latest news and releases.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Newsletter / Bookbub

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#Book Review #Booked On a Feeling (A Sweet Mess, 3) by Jayci Lee #Romance @St.Martin’s Griffin

From the blurb:

An overachieving lawyer. A failing bookstore. A childhood friend. The chance of a lifetime.

Lizzy “Overachiever” Chung, Esq. doesn’t know the meaning of “can’t.” That is until she passes out from a panic attack during her first trial. Her law firm gives her paid time-off to “relax,” but she has no clue how.

Jack Park, her childhood friend, wants her to rediscover the iridescent joy she had pre-law school and college, and convinces her to stay with him in Weldon. He’s been planning to move away from his parents’ loving but overprotective gaze and more specifically away from Weldon and his family’s brewery, but that can wait a few more weeks until his friend finds her footing again.

But when an unexpected attraction flares between them while Lizzy tries to resuscitate a failing bookstore on Weldon, the two must choose between past dreams or their forever together.

Publisher: St.Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: July 26, 2022
ISBN 9781250621146, 1250621143
Purchase

My thoughts:

This is my third book by Jayci Lee and by now I can call myself a real fan! If you’ve read A Hot Mess and The Dating Dare, you’ll be delighted to come back to the fictional town of Weldon with the most creative desserts ever and weird, but hilarious beer names -No Joke!

Let me count the reasons why you should read the book:

  • Food, food, and food!!! Food for recharging after a hard day/week/year, food for a happy family reunion, food for a difficult conversation, and food for getting over a heartbreak. Lovers of Korean cuisine, don’t miss this ode to taste, flavour, texture, and comfort Korean dishes bring to weary souls all over the world.
  • Quite a large part of the book is set in a bookstore! actually, in two bookstores, one in LA, the other one in Weldon. Jayci Lee even includes a little tirade against people who don’t understand the importance of reading romance- human connection and guaranteed HEA, anyone?
  • Friends-to-lovers trope. It is one of my favourite tropes, although it isn’t easy to create the right kind of tension. Our protagonists Jack and Lizzy have known each other since they were ten, and at least one of them has had a massive crush on their BFF.
  • Likeable characters at a crossroads in their lives… Lizzy is an attorney and a litigator as well, so everyone expects her to be super-ambitious and thrive on fight and conflict, while she is struggling with anxiety and needs to think hard whether she is pursuing the right kind of career for her. What I liked about Lizzy was the way she took charge and acted, once she had a clear picture of a problem. She didn’t particularly strike me as a high energy person, but her excitement about ticking off ‘done’ items off ‘to do ‘ lists was positively contageous.
    Jack refuses to be a victim of his own insecurities- he might be the business mastermind behind the family brewery business, but it isn’t his passion that drives it, and it isn’t his dream, so, fair enough, Jack is ready to step out of his comfort zone and venture into a brave new world. What he doesn’t want is to lose his BFF- Lizzy…and we all know that going from friends-to-lovers is a journey that can be undertaken only with the right person and at the right time.
  • Romance. There a few scorchingly hot moments- yay, strong men with washboard abs and toolbelts…alternatively, strong men in sexy aprons who aren’t afraid to admit they don’t know much about cooking (despite having grown in a family restaurant, hmm), but everything is tasteful and full of passion.
  • steady-paced and low-angst- did you really want lots of drama and tears in this heatwave???

Sweet and entertaining, Booked on a Feeling is perfect for readers who love food descriptions, traditional tropes, small town setting, and HEA. Can’t wait to read Jack’s twin brother’s story!

Thank you to NetGalley and St.Martin’s Griffin for the review copy provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

About the author:
JAYCI LEE
writes poignant, sexy, and laugh-out-loud romance every free second she can scavenge and is semi-retired from her fifteen-year career as a defense litigator. She loves food, wine, and travelling and incidentally, so do her characters in books like The Dating Dare and A Sweet Mess. Jayci lives in sunny California with her tall-dark-and-handsome husband, two amazing boys with boundless energy, and a fluffy rescue whose cuteness is a major distraction.

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It’s Monday! What are you reading? July 25th, 2022

It’s Monday! What are you Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn from Book Date, a place to share and discuss what we’ve read in the past week and what we’re in the middle of or are planning to read this week.

What I read / listened to last week:

Redemptor by Jordan Iflueko

Booked on Feeling by Jayci Lee

What I am reading/listening to now:

Hail Mary Project by Andy Weir

The Summer I turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Quiet by Susan Cain

What I’m reading /listening to next:

Blade of Secrets by Tricia Levenseller

How did your last week go and what are you reading this week?

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#Book Blitz #A Little Wilder (Wilder Adventures, Book 4) by Serena Bell #Comedy #Romcom @Xpresso Book Tours

A Little Wilder
Serena Bell
(Wilder Adventures, #4)
Publication date: July 19th 2022
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

What happened in Vegas? Definitely didn’t stay in Vegas.

Gabe’s the oldest. Brody’s the bad boy. Clark’s the strong, silent warrior. Amanda’s the girl. And Easton—well, Easton’s the panty melter.

I’m Kane.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not a bad job. But usually, I’m not the one people are talking about.

That’s about to change. Because the woman I had a smoking hot one-night stand with in Vegas? The one I should have stayed far, far away from, since women like her are my kryptonite?

She’s the same woman my brother just hired to redesign his fancy new glamping RVs.

I haven’t seen her since Vegas, but the instant I lay eyes on her, I can tell my quiet role as the boy-next-door brother is about to change.

She’s pregnant.

And it’s mine.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

Author Bio:

USA Today bestselling author Serena Bell writes contemporary romance with heat, heart, and humor. A former journalist, Serena has always believed that everyone has an amazing story to tell if you listen carefully, and you can often find her scribbling in her tiny garret office, mainlining chocolate and bringing to life the tales in her head.

Serena’s books have earned many honors, including an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, Apple Books Best Book of the Month, and Amazon Best Book of the Year for Romance.

When not writing, Serena loves to spend time with her college-sweetheart husband and two hilarious kiddos—all of whom are incredibly tolerant not just of Serena’s imaginary friends but also of how often she changes her hobbies and how passionately she embraces the new ones. These days, it’s stand-up paddle boarding, board-gaming, meditation, and long walks with good friends.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook Page / Facebook Group / Twitter / Instagram / Newsletter

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#Can’t Wait Wednesday #Wildblood by Lauren Blackwood, the author of Within These Wicked Walls #YA Fantasy @Wednesday Books

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. If you’re continuing with WOW, feel free to link those up as well! Find out more here.

And the book I am waiting for is…

From the blurb:

A thrilling new fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Blackwood!

Eighteen-year-old Victoria is a Wildblood. Kidnapped at the age of six and manipulated by the Exotic Lands Touring Company, she’s worked as a tour guide ever since with a team of fellow Wildbloods who take turns using their magic to protect travelers in a Jamaican jungle teeming with ghostly monsters.

When the boss denies Victoria an earned promotion to team leader in favor of Dean, her backstabbing ex, she’s determined to prove herself. Her magic may be the most powerful on the team, but she’s not the image the boss wants to send their new client, Thorn, a renowned goldminer determined to reach an untouched gold supply deep in the jungle.

Thorn is everything Victoria isn’t – confident, impossibly kind, and so handsome he leaves her speechless. And when he entrusts the mission to her, kindness turns to mutual respect, turns to affection, turns to love. But the jungle is treacherous, and between hypnotic river spirits, soul-devouring women that shed their skin like snakes, and her ex out for revenge, Victoria has to decide – is promotion at a corrupt company really what she wants?

A fierce, lush fantasy by New York Times bestselling author Lauren Blackwood, Wildblood tells the story of a girl who must find the strength to defeat the demons of the jungle as well as her own to find where she truly belongs.

**************

Expected Publication Date: February 7th, 2023

Publisher: Wednesday Books

YA Fiction / Fantasy

ISBN 9781250787132, 1250787130

**************

LAUREN BLACKWOOD is a Jamaican American living in Virginia who writes Romance-heavy Fantasy for most ages. When not writing, she’s a musician and a tiramisu connoisseur. She’s the New York Times Bestselling author of Within These Wicked Walls and Wildblood.




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#Happy Publication Day, July 19th, 2022 #The Bodyguard by Katherine Center #Romance @St.Martin’s Press

Happy Publication Day to The Bodyguard by Katherine Center!

From the Blurb:

The Bodyguard is the feel-good, heartwarmingly romantic, deliciously witty binge-read of the summer!

She’s got his back.
Hannah Brooks looks more like a kindgerten teacher than somebody who could kill you with a wine bottle opener. Or a ballpoint pen. Or a dinner napkin. But the truth is, she’s an Executive Protection Agent (aka “bodyguard”), and she just got hired to protect superstar actor Jack Stapleton from his middle-aged, corgi-breeding stalker.

He’s got her heart.
Jack Stapleton’s a household name—captured by paparazzi on beaches the world over, famous for, among other things, rising out of the waves in all manner of clingy board shorts and glistening like a Roman deity. But a few years back, in the wake of a family tragedy, he dropped from the public eye and went off the grid.

They’ve got a secret.
When Jack’s mom gets sick, he comes home to the family’s Texas ranch to help out. Only one catch: He doesn’t want his family to know about his stalker. Or the bodyguard thing. And so Hannah—against her will and her better judgment—finds herself pretending to be Jack’s girlfriend as a cover. Even though her ex, like a jerk, says no one will believe it.

What could possibly go wrong???
Hannah hardly believes it, herself. But the more time she spends with Jack, the more real it all starts to seem. And there lies the heartbreak. Because it’s easy for Hannah to protect Jack. But protecting her own, long-neglected heart? That’s the hardest thing she’s ever done.


Publisher: St.Martin’s Press
Publication Date: July 19, 2022

************************************************************

About the author:

KATHERINE CENTER is the New York Times bestselling author of over a half dozen novels, including What You Wish For, Things You Save in a Fire, and How to Walk Away. Katherine has been compared to Nora Ephron and Jane Austen. The Dallas Morning News calls her stories, “satisfying in the most soul-nourishing way.” Katherine recently gave a TEDx talk on how stories teach empathy. Her work has appeared in USA Today, InStyle, Redbook, People, The Atlantic, Real Simple, and more. She lives in Houston with her husband and two kids.


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It’s Monday! What are you reading? July 18th, 2022

It’s Monday! What are you Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn from Book Date, a place to share and discuss what we’ve read in the past week and what we’re in the middle of or are planning to read this week.

What I read / listened to last week:

Book of Night by Holly Black

Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko- another fabulous buddy read with Yesha. We both loved the book and can’t wait to start the sequel!

What I am reading/listening to now:

Redemptor by Jordan Iflueko

The Dead Boyfriend by R.L.Stine

What I’m reading /listening to next:

Booked on Feeling by Jayci Lee

Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan

How did your last week go and what are you reading this week?

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#Book Blitz #One Kind Hero (Heart of a Wounded Hero) by Christine DePetrillo #Contemporary Romance @Xpresso Book Tours

One Kind Hero
Christine DePetrillo
(Heart of a Wounded Hero)
Publication date: July 14th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

What do you do when your life plan goes up in flames?

Army sniper Reid Colborn has nothing left. His last mission was technically a success. Enemy hit. Boy rescued. Day saved. Getting trapped in a burning building, however, wasn’t part of the plan. Now Reid doesn’t have a steady shooting arm, and his military career is over. Heading back to his hometown of Maplehaven, Vermont is not the next target he’d hoped for, but he’s out of choices.

Until architect Valerie Bellerose gives him another option.

When Valerie sees Reid, every detail of their one night together as teens nearly ten years ago comes flooding back. Not that the memory had ever died. Reid had given her something that had made it impossible to forget him. Now that he’s back, can they have a second chance to hit their mark?

Is one kind hero high enough caliber to build the family they’ve always wanted?

One Kind Hero is a second-chance, small-town, steamy contemporary romance novella with a wounded military hero searching for what comes next after losing everything. For more romances set in Maplehaven, check out the One Kind Deed Series also by Christine DePetrillo.

The Heart of the Wounded Hero series was created to pay tribute to and raise awareness of our wounded heroes. Each of the over eighty authors involved have contributed time, money, and stories to the cause. These love stories are inspiring and uplifting, showing the sacrifice of our veterans but also giving them the happily ever after they deserve.

By increasing awareness through our books, we believe we can in a small part help the wounded heroes that have sacrificed so much. Thank you for reading.

Goodreads / Purchase

Author Bio:

Christine DePetrillo can often be found hugging trees, conversing with dragonflies, and walking barefoot through sun-warmed soil. She finds joy in listening to the wind, bathing in moonlight, and breathing in the fragrances of things that bloom. If she had her way, the sky would be the only roof over her head.

Her love of nature seeps into every story she tells. As does her obsession with bearded mountain men who build, often smell like sawdust, and know how to cherish the women they love. Today she writes tales meant to make you laugh, maybe make you sweat, and definitely make you believe in the power of love.

She lives in Vermont with her husband and cat who defend her fiercely from all evils.

Visit her and sign up for her newsletter at http://www.christinedepetrillo.weebly.com anytime.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

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#Stacking the Shelves 25 (July 17th, 2022)

Image Credit:Michelle@Because Reading

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Marlene of Reading Reality. It’s all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books (directly from their authors or Netgalley and Edelweiss, books you’re given as gifts, physical copies, ebooks and audiobooks.

Library:

NetGalley/Edelweiss/ Blog Tours:

Purchased:

Fingers crossed none of these will spend long time on my gigantic tbr and will quietly move to the read shelf very soon! Here is to wishful thinking 🙂

Happy Reading to all of us!

What did you add to your shelves this week? Do any of these books appeal to you?

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#Book Blitz #The Crash by Skye Warden&Amelia Wilde #Suspense #Contemporary Romance @Xpresso Book Tours

The Crash
Skye Warren & Amelia Wilde
Publication date: July 12th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Suspense

Carter Morelli works alone, but his orders are clear. Pilot the small aircraft carrying the renowned geologist to a remote island. Except the plane malfunctions at a crucial moment.

June Porter wants to stay on solid land. She doesn’t want to fly, but it’s the only way to get to the dig site. Then her worst fears come true.

A heavy storm. A swift fall from the sky. And a heart stopping crash.

An emergency landing leaves them stranded.

A shadow moves through the trees. They aren’t alone in the jungle.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

Author Bio:

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance. Her books have sold over one million copies. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, sweet dogs, and evil cat.

Author links:
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Newsletter

Amelia Wilde is a USA TODAY bestselling author of steamy contemporary romance and loves it a little too much. She lives in Michigan with her husband and daughters. She spends most of her time typing furiously on an iPad and appreciating the natural splendor of her home state from where she likes it best: inside.

Amelia is a USA Today best selling author from northern Michigan. Be her friend!

Author links:
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Amazon / Bookbub

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#Book Blitz #Orb and Arrow by V.L. Stuart #YA Fantasy @Xpresso Book Tours

Book & Author Details:

Orb and Arrow
by V. L. Stuart
(Exploration, #1)
Publication date: May 15th 2022
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis:

Brillar was expected to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a healer but she was headstrong and impetuous and took the Way of the Bow. Now a highly skilled hunter, she has been forced to kill to release a mage, bound in enchanted chains. It was self-defense, but that is no excuse for a healer.

Releasing a Master War Mage from bondage could get you killed . . . or apprenticed. When Master Elden insists on the latter, Brillar finds herself on a journey not of her making. When it doesn’t end well, she insists on directing a new journey where her healing skills will find newer and greater challenges.

Settled lands are one thing, but in the Wild, she will have to rely on her Master’s knowledge of the terrain and the people. And the Rovers are not always friendly.

Goodreads / Amazon

AUTHOR BIO:

VL Stuart is a journalist and author living in Costa Rica with her husband and a small comical dog.

She is a long-time reader – usually of science fiction, historical mysteries, and epic fiction. As a teen, she cut her teeth on Heinlein and found the delightful worlds of McCaffrey as an adult. Her first genres were poetry and essays, and she won awards in both. Her ‘Orb and Arrow’ trilogy has been well-reviewed and is available on Amazon. Her work in progress, ‘Warriors of the Kalahn,’ is in progress and she recently completed ‘Master of Magic,’ another book set in the world of Orb and Arrow. As for her writing process, she is a pantser – “May all the gods bless grammarly.com. Even with an English degree, my errors are legion.”

At present, she lives between two volcanoes, “But no worries, only one of them is active.”

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#20Books of Summer 2022 #Book of Night by Holly Black #Fantasy @Tor Books

From the blurb:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black makes her stunning adult debut with Book of Night, a modern dark fantasy of betrayals, secret societies, and a dissolute thief of shadows, in the vein of Neil Gaiman and Erin Morgenstern.
Charlie Hall has never found a lock she couldn’t pick, a book she couldn’t steal, or a bad decision she wouldn’t make.

She’s spent half her life working for gloamists, magicians who manipulate shadows to peer into locked rooms, strangle people in their beds, or worse. Gloamists guard their secrets greedily, creating an underground economy of grimoires. And to rob their fellow magicians, they need Charlie Hall.

Now, she’s trying to distance herself from past mistakes, but getting out isn’t easy. Bartending at a dive, she’s still entirely too close to the corrupt underbelly of the Berkshires. Not to mention that her sister Posey is desperate for magic, and that Charlie’s shadowless, and possibly soulless, boyfriend has been hiding things from her. When a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie descends into a maelstrom of murder and lies.

Determined to survive, she’s up against a cast of doppelgangers, mercurial billionaires, gloamists, and the people she loves best in the world—all trying to steal a secret that will give them vast and terrible power.

My thoughts:
Rightly or wrongly, readers have and will be comparing Book of Night to The Folk of Air trilogy and many will find this dark and gloomy adult world lacking the sweet excitement and irresistible pull of the Cruel Prince.
Don’t be hasty to judge Book of Night for not being as good as Holly Black’s much loved YA gems: the world-building is excellent and the writing is still as beautiful and compelling as ever. As for the main character Charlie…well, Jude wasn’t flawless, but we all loved this second generation immigrant for her drive, determination, and dedication to loving her damaged prince… Charlie Hall is impulsive (an adrenaline junkie), but she is also kind and loyal- she would do anything for her sister Posey who would love nothing better than to join the mighty and powerful magic elite. She is also in love with her ‘broken’, shadowless boyfriend Vince. Sounds familiar?

The tone and the themes are different, of course. Instead of fighting for acceptance, here we have the very adult, very boring topic of taking responsibility for our past decisions and mistakes and owning them. For some people Past is their foundation, something to look back and smile in satisfaction and pride, for others it’s something to run away from, suppress, ‘erase, rewind’, and Charlie, like most of us, is somewhere in between.


A con artist extraordinaire and notorious thief of magic paraphernalia (mostly books), Charlie has been on the straight and narrow for a couple years. It wasn’t just her narrow brush with death, it was her own emotional and ethical epiphany that made her say ‘enough is enough’. The problem is that being a con artist and stealing was something she was brilliant at and it isn’t easy to give up ‘the capable’ part of your identity when you’re struggling with the rest.

The world-building is as complex and brilliant as we’ve come to expect from Holly Black. The magic system is based on people’s shadows and there are various categories of gloamists/shadow magicians who can alter, use, and misuse them. Yes, even your shadow can be stolen in this world and with it a huge chunk of your memories and your emotions. Since we follow the events mostly from Charlie’s point of view and she is well-versed in this arcane world (given her professional expertise), there’s no easy and natural way to explain things to the reader. We learn on the go through meeting various characters and seeing them in action (there are quite a few, so it isn’t easy to keep track of them). There are also two timelines- Present is interspersed with Past chapters that slowly and gradually allow us to get to know and understand Charlie better.

Romance…There’s less of it…To be honest, I’m glad that Holly Black didn’t go the way other authors switching from YA to Adult went by including too many graphic scenes. I’m still in favour of her closed door, off the page descriptions ofintimacy, but just a bit more tension, more emotional build-up would have made it perfect and would have made me appreciate the last words in the book even more. Trust me, they are beautiful.

What we’re lacking in romance, we’re getting in mystery and suspense. Starting from the Liber Noctem itself, Blights and Blight Hunters, staged murders, gloamists, Charlie’s heists, and twists…including the major one…which you won’t have any trouble seeing coming. Despite all this action, something was missing and the pace felt too steady.

Then again, some of these narrative choices made by Holly Black must be interconnected. This is a spoiler, so read at your peril. Just before the climax, we get a chapter from someone else’s point of view and gain a valuable insight into their feelings, but Charlie doesn’t know any of this. My guess is Holly Black decided to diffuse/diminish the shocking twist value in order to give Charlie a chance to make a leap of faith. Action traded for more emotional subtlety?

I liked the climax and the ending. While the first one had all the drama we had been missing up to that point, the ending was quiet, sweet and almost too simple. It also followed the logic of the narrative and character development, hopefully, taking the story to the next level of adventure …in the sequel. Can’t wait to read it!

  • Have you read Book of Night or is it on your tbr?
  • If yes, what did you think of it? Where do you think the author could take the story in its sequel? Did you like Charlie and Vince?

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#Book Blitz #Mermaid of St.Moritz by Jincey Lumpkin #Fantasy #Romance @Xpresso Book Tours

Mermaid of St. Moritz
Jincey Lumpkin
(Mermaid of Venice, #5)
Publication date: July 11th 2022
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Billionaire mermaid Gia Acquaviva is back for the riveting fifth installment of the Mermaid of Venice series. Gia struggles with intense feelings for a man from her past, while her passionate love affair with a Hollywood actress threatens to ruin it all.

The Mermaid Civil War unleashes Ancient Magic, putting both mermaids and mankind in danger. Caught in the middle of warring factions is Gia’s daughter, Serena. Will the child master her magical powers, or will she become a casualty of war?

Everything’s on the line for Gia. Will her risky behavior cause her to lose everything she’s worked so hard to regain?

Tropes:

• Love triangle

• Enemies to lovers

• Secret affair

• Billionaire romance

• Paranormal romantic suspense

Goodreads / Amazon

Author Bio:

Jincey Lumpkin is a writer who splits her time between NYC and Lisbon. She has been profiled by Dateline NBC, Vice, and GQ, among others. Out Magazine listed her in its “OUT 100,” naming her as one of the world’s most influential LGBTQ+ people, alongside celebrities like Laverne Cox and Ricky Martin. Sign up for free stories at JinceyLumpkin.com

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Newletter

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#Can’t Wait Wednesday #Make a Wish by Helena Hunting #Romance @St.Martin’s Griffin

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. If you’re continuing with WOW, feel free to link those up as well! Find out more here.

And the book I am waiting for is…

From the blurb:

With her signature charm and sense of humor, bestselling author Helena Hunting creates a novel about love, family, and second chances.

There are a few life events that Harley Spark would like to erase from her memory. At the top of that list is the time she almost kissed the widowed father of the baby she was nannying for. Soon after the incident-that-shall-not-be-discussed, they moved out of town and Harley never heard from them again. Since then, Harley stopped nannying and began working with her sisters at Spark House, but she never got over what happened.

Seven years later, she comes face-to-face with Gavin Rhodes and a now nine-year-old Peyton while hosting a birthday party. Despite the initial awkwardness, Harley ends up reconnecting with Peyton and Gavin. What begins as a tentative friendship, soon morphs into something more.

Having finally moved away from his overbearing mother-in-law, Gavin is happy to have Harley back in his and Peyton’s life. Only he doesn’t expect to develop feelings for Harley, or to feel territorial when he meets the guy she’s dating—and subsequently breaks up with. But just as a happy-ever-after is on the horizon, past hurts and fears resurface. And Gavin finds himself holding onto a history that could prevent them from building a future together.

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Expected Publication Date: January 23rd, 2023

Publisher: St.Martin’s Griffin

Romance/RomCom

ISBN 9781250624741, 1250624746

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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author HELENA HUNTING lives outside of Toronto with her amazing family and her two awesome cats, who think the best place to sleep is her keyboard. She writes all things romance — contemporary, romantic comedy, sports and angsty new adult. Some of her books include Meet Cute, Pucked, and Shacking Up. Helena loves to bake cupcakes and has been known to listen to a song on repeat 1512 times while writing a book, and if she has to be away from her family, she prefers to be in warm weather with her friends.




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#Book Blitz #Accidentally Working Class by Karly Lane #Chicklit @Xpresso book Tours

Accidentally Working Class
Karly Lane
Publication date: July 1st 2022
Genres: Adult, Chick-lit, Women’s Fiction

Socialite Quinn Appleton knows how to live life—at full speed and with no limits. She has the perfect life, an amazing boyfriend, friends by the bucketload and an eye for fashion. Life is good.

The Appletons are a household name, their eponymous biscuit empire having been in the family for over one hundred and fifty years, making them one of the country’s richest families. They are no strangers to controversy either, constantly gracing the covers of gossip magazines, caught in compromising positions at outrageous parties.

But CEO and matriarch Lady Elizabeth Appleton has had enough. Tired of her children and grandchildren not pulling their weight and dragging the once respectable Appleton name through the mud, she decides to cut them all off financially.

With her life in ruins, Quinn is just one Jimmy Choo heel away from living in a cardboard box when Gran gives her an ultimatum: take a job at the company for six months and her trust fund will be reinstated. The catch? She must do it under a false identity and work her way up—no one can know she’s an Appleton.

Surely it can’t be that hard to hold down a lousy job? After all, millions of other people seem to do it. But Quinn is about to learn just how different the world is when you find yourself suddenly working class.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

Author Bio:

Karly Lane lives on the beautiful Mid North Coast of NSW in Australia. A certified small town girl, she is most happy in a little town where everyone knows who your grand parents were. She writes women’s fiction – everything from romantic suspense to family sagas and life in rural Australia. She has romantic suspense titles published under Karlene Blakemore-Mowle and her latest release, Third Time Lucky is available now.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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#Happy Publication Day #July, 12th, 2022 #A Prayer for The Crown-Shy by Becky Cambers #The IT Girl by Ruth Ware #All the Dirty Secrets by Aggie Blum Thompson #Bet On It by Jodie Slaughter #Wake the Bones by Elizabeth Kilcoyne

So many great new releases today! Happy Publication Day!

A Prayer for The Crown-Shy by Becky Cambers

From the Blurb:

A story of kindness and love from one of the foremost practitioners of hopeful SF.

After A Psalm for the Wild-Built comes this tale of hope and acceptance in the second volume of the USA Today bestselling Monk and Robot series.


After touring the rural areas of Panga, Sibling Dex (a Tea Monk of some renown) and Mosscap (a robot sent on a quest to determine what humanity really needs) turn their attention to the villages and cities of the little moon they call home.

They hope to find the answers they seek, while making new friends, learning new concepts, and experiencing the entropic nature of the universe.

Becky Chambers’s new series continues to ask: in a world where people have what they want, does having more even matter?


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Publisher: Tordotcom

ISBN ISBN 9781250236234, 1250236231

The IT Girl by Ruth Ware

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the “claustrophobic spine-tingler” (People) One by One returns with an unputdownable mystery following a woman on the search for answers a decade after her friend’s murder.

April Clarke-Cliveden was the first person Hannah Jones met at Oxford.

Vivacious, bright, occasionally vicious, and the ultimate It girl, she quickly pulled Hannah into her dazzling orbit. Together, they developed a group of devoted and inseparable friends—Will, Hugh, Ryan, and Emily—during their first term. By the end of the year, April was dead.

Now, a decade later, Hannah and Will are expecting their first child, and the man convicted of killing April, former Oxford porter John Neville, has died in prison. Relieved to have finally put the past behind her, Hannah’s world is rocked when a young journalist comes knocking and presents new evidence that Neville may have been innocent. As Hannah reconnects with old friends and delves deeper into the mystery of April’s death, she realizes that the friends she thought she knew all have something to hide…including a murder.

“The Agatha Christie of our generation” (David Baldacci, #1 New York Times bestselling author) proves once again that she is “as ingenious and indefatigable as the Queen of Crime” (The Washington Post) with this propulsive murder mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

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Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press

ISBN 9781982155261, 1982155264

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All the Dirty Secrets by Aggie Blum Thompson

Perfect for bookclubs or the beach, a page-turning, gripping story of friendship, secrets, and betrayal

One warm summer night twenty-five years ago, Liza Gold and her friends celebrated their high school graduation with a party on the beach. It should have been the best night of their lives, only one of them never came back out of the ocean.

The tragedy haunted Liza Gold for years. Now, Liza is a recently-divorced, working mom struggling to connect with her standoffish teenager daughter, Zoe, when history repeats itself. Another young woman has drowned at Beach Week, and this time the victim is Zoe’s secret best friend.

Liza begins to suspect that the two deaths are somehow related, which causes her to face hard truths and take an unflinching look at the people she’s called her closest friends for the past two decades. She must discover what really happened to both women before it’s too late.

Set in the upscale DC private school scene, where silence can easily be bought, All the Dirty Secrets asks how far you would go to protect your status and your family, and if some secrets should ever be revealed.

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Publisher: Forge Books

ISBN 9781250773982, 1250773989

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Bet On It by Jodie Slaughter

After striking up a bingo-based sex pact, two lonely souls find winning has never been more fun – and falling in love has never felt more complicated.

The first time Aja Owens encounters the man of her dreams, she’s having a panic attack in the frozen foods section of the Piggly Wiggly. The second time, he’s being introduced to her as her favorite bingo buddy’s semi-estranged grandson. From there, all it takes is one game for her to realize that he’s definitely going to be a problem. And if there’s anything she already has a surplus of, it’s problems.

In Walker Abbott’s mind, there are only two worthwhile things in Greenbelt, South Carolina. The peach cobbler at his old favorite diner and his ailing grandmother. Dragging himself back after more than a decade away, he’s counting down the days until Gram heals and he can get back to his real life. Far away from the trauma inside of those city limits. Just when he thinks his plan is solid, enter Aja to shake everything up.

A hastily made bingo-based sex pact is supposed to keep this…thing between them from getting out of hand. Especially when submitting to their feelings means disrupting their carefully balanced lives. But emotions are just like bingo callers—they refuse to be ignored.

Jodie Slaughter’s Bet on It is a heart-stoppingly fun, emotional romance that will have readers falling in love until long after the last page is turned.

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Publisher: St:martin’s Griffin

ISBN 9781250821829, 1250821827

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and finally, something darker…

Wake the Bones by Elizabeth Kilcoyne

Melissa Albert meets Laura Ruby in this magnetic Southern Gothic debut inspired by Appalachian folklore.

The sleepy little farm that Laurel Early grew up on has awakened. The woods are shifting, the soil is dead under her hands, and her bone pile just stood up and walked away.

After dropping out of college, all she wanted was to resume her life as a tobacco hand and taxidermist and try not to think about the boy she can’t help but love. Instead, a devil from her past has returned to court her, as he did her late mother years earlier. Now, Laurel must unravel her mother’s terrifying legacy and tap into her own innate magic before her future and the fate of everyone she loves is doomed.

Elizabeth Kilcoyne’s Wake the Bones is a dark, atmospheric debut about the complicated feelings that arise when the place you call home becomes hostile.

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Publisher: Wednesday Books

ISBN 9781250790828, 1250790824

Genre/Age Category: YA Fiction/Fantasy

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Have you read any of these books? If yes, did you like them?

If no, are you looking forward to reading them?

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#Top Ten Tuesday #Book Covers That Feel Like Summer

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

How it works:

Jana from That Artsy Girl assigns each Tuesday a topic and then posts her top ten list that fits that topic. Anybody is welcome to join and create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. You can put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! 

Today’s Topic:

Book Covers That Feel Like Summer

Here is my list (in no particular order):

1 The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

2 Malibu Rising and Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

3 He Started It by Samantha Downing- anyone said it only had to be romance? try this unforgettable road trip with the most dysfunctional family ever

4 Written For You by Robin Bielman

5 The Bodyguard by Katherine Center

6 She Gets the Girl by Rachael Lippincott and Alison Derrick

7 Float Plan and The Suite Spot by Trish Doller

8 The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

9 APrayer for the Crown-Shy by Becky Chambers

10 An Invincible Summer and Goodbye Again by Mariah Stewart

Have you read any of these books? If yes, did you like or hate them?

Upcoming Top Ten Tuesday Topics:
July 19: Freebie (Come up with your own topic!)
July 26: Books From My Past Seasonal TBR Posts I STILL Haven’t Read (Submitted by Dedra @ A Book Wanderer)
August 2: Books Set In a Place I’d Love to Visit (real places or fictional)
August 9: Hilarious Book Titles
August 16: Books I Love That Were Written Over Ten Years Ago
August 23: Completed Series I Wish Had More Books
August 30: School Freebie (In honor of school starting up soon, come up with a topic that somehow ties to school/education. The book could be set at school/college, characters could be teachers, books with school supplies on the cover, nonfiction titles, books that taught you something or how to do something, your favorite required reading in school, books you think should be required reading, your favorite banned books, etc.)

Thank you for stopping by and reading the post! Have a wonderful Tuesday!

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It’s Monday! What are you reading? July 11th, 2022

It’s Monday! What are you Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn from Book Date, a place to share and discuss what we’ve read in the past week and what we’re in the middle of or are planning to read this week.

What I read / listened to last week:

The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St.James- one of those rare occasions when I didn’t want to skim-read or peek at the last page to see how it all ends. The supernatural elements in the book are as chilling as ever – the book would be worth reading just for them, but, of course, there’s more-the topic Simone St.James chose for this mystery is one of the big ones- nature or nurture? what makes someone a murderer or a even more generally a criminal? you’ll just have to read the book to make up your mind on how successful she is in tackling the question and what her answer is 🙂

What I am reading/listening to now:

Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko- starting our new buddy read with Yesha

Book of Night by Holly Black- I think I’m going to be an outlier on this one. A lot of my friends complained about this one not living up to their expectations based on the Folk of the Air. So far it’s good and you can tell the general tone and the themes aren’t YA, there’s less optimism, more life experience and disappointment. The magic system and world-building are dark and complex, as you would expect from the title.

What I’m reading /listening to next:

One by One by Ruth Ware

The Maid by Nita Prose

Booked on Feeling by Jayci Lee

How did your last week go and what are you reading this week?

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#Book Blitz #Committed (Atlanta’s Finest Series) by Sharon C.Cooper #Romance #Suspense @Xpresso Book Tours

Committed
Sharon C. Cooper
(Atlanta’s Finest Series)
Publication date: July 8th 2022
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

Even when he does good, he’s still bad…

Lazarus “Laz” Dimas made plenty of enemies as an Atlanta police detective. Now that he is a security specialist and married with a family, he does everything by the book…mostly. It’s not until someone threatens his family that he falls back into his old, lethal behavior and resurrects his former mantra: By Any Means Necessary.

Journey has it all—an amazing husband, a rewarding career as an assistant district attorney and the most adorable baby girl. Yet, she wants more. She wants to be elected Atlanta’s next district attorney.

Laz is always supportive and makes sure she wants for nothing, but not this time. He insists she choose—their marriage or the job she desires. It should be an easy decision, but it takes almost losing everything she holds dear before Journey checks her priorities.

And when tragedy threatens to rip her and Laz’s relationship apart, they must fight to keep it together…but is it too late?

Goodreads / Purchase

EXCERPT:

Laz had just started up the stairs when Journey came from the living room area. Just as she reached him, Kenton and Angelo strolled into the house.

“Guys, thanks so much for everything you’ve done for us today,” Journey said. “I know you’re probably tired and ready to head home. We can take it from here.”

“They’re not going anywhere,” Laz said with more bite behind his words than intended. This was why he had to get the hell out of there before he made the tension between him and Journey even worse. “You’re going to have a security detail until further notice. At least two guys at all times.”

“Laz,” she started.

“This is not up for negotiation.” He didn’t care how pissed she made him at times. Her safety was at the top of his list of priorities, and until he knew who or what they were dealing with, he wanted her protected. “I especially want someone around since I won’t be here.”

Journey’s perfectly arched brows scrunched together, and she jammed her hands onto her hips. “What are you talking about?”

“I’ll be staying in one of the crash rooms at work for a few days.”

When his boss, Mason Bennett, had purchased an old warehouse to house Supreme Security, he had converted it into a state-of-the-arts facility. In addition to tech-smart meeting rooms, a cook’s kitchen, a gym and weight room, he’d had the foresight to include several rooms that were like studio apartments. Some of the security specialists, especially those who lived outside of Atlanta, used the spaces to grab a nap in between assignments instead of going home.

“Whenever you’re at work or too busy for our daughter during that time,” Laz continued, knowing he was being an ass, “one of the guys will bring Arielle to me.”

“First of all, how are you making these decisions without discussing them with me? Secondly, Arielle is going to Florida with my parents as planned.”

“Like hell she is,” he roared. “Plans have changed.”

Journey moved closer to him, and her I’m-not-taking-your-shit-tonight demeanor was fully in place. He loved this woman like crazy, and she was sexy as hell when she was angry. Any other time, he could appreciate the can of verbal whoop-ass she was about to unleash, but he wasn’t in the mood.

“I know you’ve been through hell today,” she said with controlled fury, “but what you’re not going to do is come in here and start telling me how things are going to be.”

From his peripheral, Laz saw the moment when Kenton and Angelo eased into the living room, which was probably for the best. He had a feeling this argument was going to blow up at any minute.

“I’m done talking to you.” Laz started up the stairs to their bedroom.

“Good, then you can do the listening,” Journey said and stomped up the stairs and shoved passed him. “I’ll meet you in the bedroom.”

A smart man would do a one-eighty and head back down the stairs, but Laz never claimed to be smart. He wasn’t in the mood for a drag-down, blow out with Journey, but it was safe to say that’s exactly what was about to happen.

Author Bio:

USA Today bestselling author Sharon C. Cooper loves anything involving romance with a happily-ever-after, whether in books, movies, or real life. She writes contemporary romance, as well as romantic suspense and enjoys rainy days, carpet picnics, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Her stories have won numerous awards over the years, and when Sharon isn’t writing, she’s hanging out with her amazing husband, doing volunteer work, or reading a good book (a romance of course).

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

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#Stacking the Shelves 24 (July 10th, 2022)

Image Credit:Michelle@Because Reading

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Marlene of Reading Reality. It’s all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books (directly from their authors or Netgalley and Edelweiss, books you’re given as gifts, physical copies, ebooks and audiobooks.

Library:

NetGalley/Edelweiss/ Blog Tours:

Purchased:

Fingers crossed none of these will spend long time on my gigantic tbr and will quietly move to the read shelf very soon! Here is to wishful thinking 🙂

Happy Reading to all of us!

What did you add to your shelves this week? Do any of these books appeal to you?

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#Book Blitz #Lake Bride (Holiday Brides 5) by Shanna Hadfield #Contemporary Romance @Xpresso Book Tours

Lake Bride
Shanna Hatfield
(Holiday Brides, #5)
Publication date: June 23rd 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Fall in love with a soldier, a nurse, and a small-town adventure brimming with delightful characters, amusing animals, and abiding hope.

Twenty-one steps. The past two years of Bridger Holt’s life have centered on the twenty-one steps he repeatedly walks back and forth as one of the sentinels guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Now that his duty is coming to an end, Bridger has no idea what to do with the rest of his life. Guilt from his past and trepidation about his unknown future drive him to the mountain cabin he inherited from his beloved uncle to gain clarity and direction. The quirky residents in the nearby town of Holiday, the assortment of wildlife that adopts him, and the woman who shines a light into his tattered soul might be what Bridger needs to find the redemption he seeks.

Outgoing, upbeat Shayla Reeves spreads sunshine wherever she goes. Holiday has become her home, and she enjoys spending time in the mountains around town. She adores the patients in the dementia facility where she works as a nurse. But something is missing from her mostly joyful world. When she mistakenly camps on private land owned by the mysterious and brooding Bridger Holt, she realizes what her life is lacking isn’t adventure but love.

Will two opposite personalities overcome their challenges and figure out a way to build a future together?

Find out in this sweet love story full of hope, small-town humor, and the wonder of falling in love.

Goodreads / Amazon

Author Bio:

USA Today Bestselling Author Shanna Hatfield writes sweet romances rich with relatable characters, small town settings that feel like home, humor, and hope.

Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”

When this farm girl isn’t writing or indulging in rich, decadent chocolate, Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller. She also experiments with recipes, snaps photos of her adorable nephew, and caters to the whims of a cranky cat named Drooley.

To learn more about Shanna or the books she writes, visit her website http://shannahatfield.com or find out more about her here: linktr.ee/ShannaHatfield

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub / Pinterest / Newsletter

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#Book Blitz #One Bossy Dare by Nicole Snow #Contemporary Romance @Xpresso Book Tours

One Bossy Dare
Nicole Snow
Publication date: June 30th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Nicole Snow returns with a howling funny office romance where two bitter insta-rivals stumble into the sweetest love.

It was one little dare with razor-sharp teeth–work for him.
Yes, he’s a fire-breathing grump and gazillionaire bachelor.
Yes, I just gave him an ego check he’ll never forget.
Yes, he’s still offering me the job dreams are made of.

But Cole Lancaster is the stuff of bossy nightmares.
Too handsome for real life. Big Coffee kingpin. Guarded papa bear.
His precious daughter is the only reason he ever stops grumping for five seconds.
I’m sure I can deal with his scowls and cutting glances for one huge payday.

Only, sometimes your best assumptions are dead wrong.
Like the business trip to paradise that shows me a different Cole.
A man with a beating heart and a billion-dollar smile.
A master of soul-stealing kisses.
A mess of secrets that leave me reeling.

I wish my taste in men didn’t match my coffee.
Strong, steamy, and unspeakably complicated.
When I took the job, I didn’t know the risks.
What if one crazy dare means falling in love?

Full-length enemies-to-lovers office romance with slow-burn sizzle. Witness one commanding single dad become so enchanted with the hellion he can’t stand that he’ll do everything to keep her forever.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Before I even turn around, I know.

I can smell him. Earth, citrus, a hint of espresso, and overpowering alpha male.

“You just can’t sit still, huh? You had to take over the flight attendant’s job?” His voice is a low rumble, a purr that plucks at my nerves.

The attendant rounds the corner and gasps. “Oh, I’m sorry, sir! I offered to do it, but she said she wanted the experience. I didn’t see the harm…”

“Guilty,” I say without looking at him. “I couldn’t pass up a chance to join the coffee mile-high club.”

His eyes flash with a wicked gleam when I realize my mistake.

“Are you done bothering me, Mr. Lancaster?”

He smirks at the flight attendant. “It’s fine. I know how Eliza gets.”

What? He doesn’t even know me.

Why is he acting so familiar?

First the flirting, and now this?

Did he really bring me on this trip for the sake of coffee science? What do I know about Kona beans, anyway? I’ve never picked them by hand.

The sudden crisis of confidence hits like a Mack truck.

“Why don’t you sit down? I’ve got this. I think we’re the only people left without coffee,” I say, ignoring how he squeezes into the tight space next to me.

Lancaster doesn’t move. If anything, he inches closer, watching how I tremble every time he brushes me and–oh, God. He’s enjoying this, isn’t he?

When I grab the new carafe, I almost elbow him in the gut on my way out.

“Do you mind? Like I said, I’ve got this.”

His look reminds me how very little I’ve got anything when it comes to self-control. I almost drop the coffee container on the floor.

When his hand darts around my wrist, I almost hit the ceiling.

I’m barely breathing as he moves his fingers slowly up my hand, gently lifting the carafe away from me.

“You’re shaking like a leaf with a container of hot liquid. Are you sure you don’t need a hand? Serving coffee isn’t below my pay grade, sweetheart,” he whispers.

Dear Lord.

I shake my head fiercely, until he gives up the carafe again when I reach for it, touching his fingers.

For the faintest second, my hip brushes his.

“I can handle my coffee, Mr. Lancaster, but…but thanks.” And because I can still feel his breath when he’s so achingly close, I add, “It’s not as hard as I thought it would be.”

He clears his throat loudly.

At first, my mangled words don’t register.

Shocked that this self-possessed man seems so flustered, I replay the last two lines in my head.

It hits me what that must have sounded like.

Double entendre? More like death warrant.

Author Bio:

Nicole Snow is a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author. She found her love of writing by hashing out love scenes on lunch breaks and plotting her great escape from boardrooms. Her work roared onto the indie romance scene in 2014 with her Grizzlies MC series.

Since then Snow aims for the very best in growly, heart-of-gold alpha heroes, unbelievable suspense, and swoon storms aplenty. With over a million books sold, she lives for the joy of making two people fight with every bit of their soul for a Happily Ever After.

Current fan favorites include her Enguard Protectors series, accidental love novels, plus long beloved MC romance thrillers like the Grizzlies and Deadly Pistols.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub

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#Book Blitz #Heated by Naima Simone #Contemporary Romance @Xpresso Book Tours

Heated
Naima Simone
(Burned, Inc., #1)
Publication date: July 5th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

From USA Today bestselling author Naima Simone comes Heated, a sizzling novel about a breakup professional who embarks on a fake relationship with a client’s ex—the one person she wasn’t supposed to fall for.

Zora

I’m Denver’s unmatchmaker. Every city needs one.

Why? Because people break up—and sometimes they should. But when I learn that entertainment attorney Cyrus Hart is someone else’s mistake, I can’t believe it. He’s smart, successful, and sexy as hell.

When a chance encounter with Cyrus turns into something more, I can’t help but fall for him. Our chemistry is undeniable. But his ex used my company to send him that letter—and that’s a problem. Especially since he doesn’t know I own the company.

How can this possibly work? I know from experience that the riskiest ventures are the worthiest ones…but falling for Cyrus Hart may be my biggest gamble yet.

Cyrus

I’m a man with a plan—college, law school, a great career. So far, so good.

Until a stranger shows up on my doorstep and reads me a breakup letter from my girlfriend. My carefully laid plans unravel.

But then I meet someone new. It’s spontaneous. It’s electric. And it’s not according to plan.

Goodreads / Amazon

Author Bio:

Published since 2009, USA Today Bestselling author Naima Simone loves writing sizzling romances with heart, a touch of humor and snark. Her books have been featured in The Washington Post and Entertainment Weekly, and described as balancing “crackling, electric love scenes with exquisitely rendered characters caught in emotional turmoil.”

She is wife to Superman, or his non-Kryptonian, less bullet proof equivalent, and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, sometimes domestically-challenged bliss in the southern United States.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Newsletter

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#Can’t Wait Wednesday #The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth #Thriller @St.Martin’s Press

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. If you’re continuing with WOW, feel free to link those up as well! Find out more here.

And the book I am waiting for is…

From the blurb:

From New York Times bestselling author Sally Hepworth, comes a twisty new domestic suspense novel.

Gabe and Pippa Gerard have just moved into their dream house: a cliffside cottage in a sleepy coastal town outside Melbourne. It’s a fresh start to their marriage, and the perfect place to raise their two young daughters. But the house’s perfect façade hides something more sinister: The Spot, where the tall cliffs have become a popular place for those wishing to end their lives. After talking someone down from the ledge, Gabe becomes a local hero, saving person after person… until one night, he doesn’t. And Pippa sees Gabe the moment after it happened, standing alone at the cliff’s edge, arms outstretched, palms facing out.

The death is ruled a suicide— Gabe said it was a stranger devastated over her husband’s infidelity. But when Pippa discovers that Gabe knew the victim, she has more questions than answers. Plus, the woman’s husband swears she wouldn’t have jumped. Why would Gabe lie about not knowing her? Why would she have been at The Spot, if not to jump? And did she really jump… or was she pushed? As Pippa works to uncover the truth, the foundations of the life they’ve built begin to crack and their deepest secrets start to unravel.

The Soulmate is a twisty domestic suspense novel that proves nothing—and no one— is ever as it seems.



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Expected Publication Date: April 4th, 2023

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Thriller

ISBN 9781250229700, 1250229707

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SALLY HEPWORTH has lived around the world, spending extended periods in Singapore, the United Kingdom and Canada. She is the author of The Secrets of Midwives, The Things We Keep, The Mother’s Promise, The Family Next Door, The Mother-in-Law, and The Good Sister.




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#Top Ten Tuesday #Most Anticipated Books Releasing In the Second Half of 2022

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

How it works:

Jana from That Artsy Girl assigns each Tuesday a topic and then posts her top ten list that fits that topic. Anybody is welcome to join and create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. You can put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! 

Today’s Topic:

Most Anticipated Books Releasing In the Second Half of 2022

Here is my list (in no particular order):

1 The Luminaries by Susan Dennard- November 8 2022

2 A Restless Truth by Freya Marske – November 1st, 2022

3 All Of Our Demise by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman -August 30th

4 Defend the Dawn by Brigid Kemmerer – September 20th 2022

5 A Hard Day for Hangover by Darynda Jones -Dec 6 2022

6 The Golden Enclaves by Naomi Novik- Spetember 27th 2022

7 Bloodmarked by Tracy Deonn-11/8/2022

8 Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney -August 30, 2022

9 APrayer for the Crown-Shy by Becky Chambers-July 12, 2022

10 Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid-August 30, 2022

Have you read any of these books? If yes, did you like or hate them?

Upcoming Top Ten Tuesday Topics:
July 12: Book Covers That Feel Like Summer (Submitted by Ellie @ Curiosity Killed the Bookworm)
July 19: Freebie (Come up with your own topic!)
July 26: Books From My Past Seasonal TBR Posts I STILL Haven’t Read (Submitted by Dedra @ A Book Wanderer)
August 2: Books Set In a Place I’d Love to Visit (real places or fictional)
August 9: Hilarious Book Titles
August 16: Books I Love That Were Written Over Ten Years Ago
August 23: Completed Series I Wish Had More Books
August 30: School Freebie (In honor of school starting up soon, come up with a topic that somehow ties to school/education. The book could be set at school/college, characters could be teachers, books with school supplies on the cover, nonfiction titles, books that taught you something or how to do something, your favorite required reading in school, books you think should be required reading, your favorite banned books, etc.)

Thank you for stopping by and reading the post! Have a wonderful Tuesday!

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#Book Blitz #The Sisterhood of Secrets by Winnifred Tataw (The Gods’ Scion 4) #Fantasy @Xpresso Book Tours

The Sisterhood of Secrets
Winnifred Tataw
(The Gods’ Scion, #4)
Publication date: July 1st 2022
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy

Author Winnifred Tataw explores kingdoms and worldbuilding in this fantasy novel full of secrets and twists in her latest book, The Sisterhood of Secrets.

The story follows Arcelia, her flawed family, and Prince Rodrick, as they tumble through the deserts and underground city of Siesa Arid. Everything has been off since she found out her mother could be a murderer with the whispers of lies and broken promises hanging over her head. She hopes that a visit to her twin cousins’ homeland of Siesa Arid may be the kind of family reconciliation she’s been hoping to have. Arcelia and Rodrick are troubled by threats from a criminal organization; they become overwhelmed with moral questions of right and wrong. All with the help and under the watchful eye of the Archangel and God of Life.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

Author Bio:

Winnifred or Winnie, as most know her by, is an artist, writer, and author of her debut novel: The Gods’ Scion: Child of Tempus. As a military child, Winnie has traveled extensively around the US East Coast and Germany, learning about the history, lore, and culture of each region. Winnie has spent the last two years writing and expanding the world of The Gods’ Scion trilogy series. Winnie has had a lifelong love of literature and art. As a new writer she wants to create beautiful fantasy world with compelling and intriguing characters. Winnie resides in South Carolina and is an undergraduate at the College of Charleston. She loves to spread positivity and joy to those around her, and look at the world through a glittery pink lens.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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It’s Monday! What are you reading? July 4th, 2022

It’s Monday! What are you Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn from Book Date, a place to share and discuss what we’ve read in the past week and what we’re in the middle of or are planning to read this week.

What I read / listened to last week:

House of Sky and Breath (Crescent City#2) by Sarah J.Maas- it took up most of my reading week, but I really enjoyed it…The plot and world-building are complex and there are new characters to explore as well as unearthing more of the protagonist’s dead best friend’s secrets. I would have prefered more depth in the protagonists as opposed to action, action, and more action (including that of a steamy kind), but if you like New Adult and Sarah J.Mass books in general, you won’t complain. House of Earth and Blood ended with everything tied up, while this one ends with a major twist which means it won’t be easy to wait for the next book.

Mates: Minerva by Bridget E.Baker- this is a new subgenre for me- a fantasy sitcom. Would love to find out what happens next and which mate/friend the author is going to focus on.

What I am reading/listening to now:

The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St.James

What I’m reading /listening to next:

Booked on Feeling by Jayci Lee

Book of Night by Holly Black

How did your last week go and what are you reading this week?

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#Book Blitz #Spells and Slip-Ups (The Wrong Witch 1) by Annie Anderson @Xpresso Book Tours

Spells and Slip-ups
Annie Anderson
(The Wrong Witch, #1)
Publication date: July 5th 2022
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

I suck at witchcraft.

Coming from a long line of famous witches, I should be at the top of the heap. Problem is, if there is a spell cast anywhere in my vicinity, I will somehow mess it up. As a probationary agent with the Arcane Bureau of Investigation, I have two choices: I can limp along and maybe pass myself off as a competent agent, or I can fail. Miserably.

Worse news? If I can’t get my act together, I may not only be out of a job, I could also lose my life.

Whose idea was this again?

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“Get out,” he barked, crossing his beefy arms over his substantial belly. “Ain’t no way I’m gonna let a Bannister tromp all over my shop. Who knows what you’ll break?”

Not that half the shit in this hovel wasn’t broken already, but still, tears prickled at my eyes. Gritting my teeth against the sting, I managed to stand my ground. This wasn’t the first time I’d been kicked out of a witch shop, and given my history, it wouldn’t be the last.

“Please,” I begged, reaching inside my bag for the wad of cash. Ellie and I had planned on moving in together after college, but here we were two years post-graduation, with no apartment in sight. Unearthing the fistful of bills, I held them in front of me to ward off my ousting. “I can pay.”

His gaze snagged on the money in my hand, and he licked his chops. By the looks of this place, Mr. Jones hadn’t seen a paying customer in longer than I’d been alive. “What? You stub your toe or somethin’? I ain’t wasting my time on no silly girl with a hangnail.”

Don’t back talk the healer, Wren. Don’t do it.

“It’s not for me, you judgmental ass. It’s for my best friend’s mom. Do you really think I’d be tromping through here looking for you if it was something I could fix with a nail clipper and a manicurist? I’m liable to get tetanus in this heap.” Gnashing my teeth, I took a deep breath, doing my damnedest to not start screaming. “It’s systemic organ failure. Can you fix that?”

Carmichael narrowed his eyes. “Your friend’s mom. Not your mom?” A slow smile pulled across his lips, exposing yellowed teeth and a fair amount of tooth decay. “You have my interest. What class is your friend’s mother? She a witch like you or…”

This was the sticking point. If I couldn’t get him to agree, Alice had no hope. It wasn’t like I could bribe my way into my mother’s good graces or beg my father.

“Human,” I breathed, praying he wouldn’t make a fuss.

He simply blinked at me for a solid thirty seconds. “I’m sorry—what was that?”

Stomping through the piles of junk, I slapped the money on the counter before reaching into my bag for the second roll of bills. It was my entire savings. Everything I’d squirreled away to set myself up. It wasn’t just an apartment I was getting. It was a chance.

But it meant nothing if Alice wasn’t breathing.

“She’s human,” I hissed. “Are you gonna help me or not?” The bank teller had audibly squawked when I’d pulled every dime from my account, her face purpling when I’d asked for it in cash.

Carmichael reached for the bills, but I slapped his hand before he could get within an inch. “Are you helping, or am I going to have to go down to the River Walk and deal with them?”

The “them” in question were the Fae, and I had no intention of dealing with that sort at all. Ever. Making deals with fairies was tantamount to jumping off a cliff with piranhas, sharks, and razor-sharp rocks at the bottom. Anyone who had ever made a fairy deal regretted it, and I wouldn’t be making the same mistake.

Luckily, my poker face was top-notch—otherwise Carmichael would have seen right through my bluff.

“What you’re asking for is illegal, you know.”

Author Bio:

Annie Anderson is a military wife and United States Air Force veteran. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she is a southern girl at heart, but has lived all over the US and abroad. As soon as the military stops moving her family around, she’ll settle on a state, but for now she enjoys being a nomad with her husband, two daughters, an old man of a dog, and a young pup that makes life… interesting.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

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#Can’t Wait Wednesday #Strike the Zither by Joan He #YA Fantasy @ Roaring Brook Press

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. If you’re continuing with WOW, feel free to link those up as well! Find out more here.

And the book I am waiting for is…

From the blurb:

In this epic YA fantasy about found family, rivals, and questions of identity, New York Times–bestselling author Joan He reimagines the Three Kingdoms, the first of the Four Classics of Chinese Literature.

The year is 414 of the Xin Dynasty, and chaos abounds. A puppet empress is on the throne. The realm’s fractured into three factions and three warlordesses hoping to claim the continent for themselves.

But Zephyr knows it’s no contest.

Orphaned at a young age, Zephyr took control of her fate by becoming the best strategist of the land, serving under Xin Ren, a warlordess whose loyalty to the empress Xin Bao is double-edged; her honor draws Zephyr to her cause, but it also jeopardizes their survival in a war where one must betray or be betrayed. When Zephyr is forced to infiltrate an enemy camp to keep Ren’s followers from being slaughtered, she encounters the enigmatic Crow, an opposing strategist who is finally her match. But there are more enemies than one—and not all of them are human.



**************

Expected Publication Date: October 25th, 2022

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

YA Fiction/Fantasy

ISBN 9781250258588, 1250258588

**************

Joan He was born and raised in Philadelphia, and now lives in Chicago, IL. At a young age, she received classical instruction in oil painting before discovering that stories were her favorite kind of art. She studied psychology and Chinese history at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the bestselling author of The Ones We’re Meant to Find and Descendant of the Crane, her young adult debut novel.
joanhewrites.com@joanhewrites




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#Happy Publication Day, June 28th, 2022 #Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert #Fantasy @Flatiron Books

Happy Publication Day to Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert!

From the Blurb:

Secrets. Lies. Super-bad choices. Witchcraft. This is Our Crooked Hearts, a darkly gripping contemporary fantasy from Melissa Albert, the New York Times bestselling author of The Hazel Wood

The suburbs, right now . . .
Seventeen-year-old Ivy’s summer break kicks off with an accident, a punishment, and a mystery: a stranger whose appearance in the middle of the road, in the middle of the night, heralds a string of increasingly unsettling events. As the days pass, Ivy grapples with eerie offerings, corroded memories, and a secret she’s always known—that there’s more to her mother than meets the eye.

The city, back then . . .
Dana has always been perceptive. And the summer she turns sixteen, with the help of her best friend and an ambitious older girl, her gifts bloom into a heady fling with the supernatural. As the trio’s aspirations darken, they find themselves speeding toward a violent breaking point.

Years after it began, Ivy and Dana’s shared story will come down to a reckoning among a daughter, a mother, and the dark forces they never should’ve messed with.

Publisher: Flatiron
Publication Date: June 28, 2022
Fantasy

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About the author:


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#Book Blitz #Etude (The Dark Nocturne 2) by Morgan Shamy #Paranormal #Mystery #YA @Xpresso Book Tours

Etude
Morgan Shamy
(The Dark Nocturne, #2)
Publication date: June 28th 2022
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Young Adult

For November Huntington, the past haunts worse than any ghost.

After spending a summer without Vincent, a tortured pianist who also happens to be immortal, November tries to move on. When kids begin to fall into comas, November is thrust back into the haunted, musical world. Except, this time, more danger lurks.

Vincent is powerful. Dreams are causing these comas, and November believes he’s the one behind the attacks. To stop him, November must find the Blood Magic—the only power capable of helping her save these kids. But in doing so, she awakens a horrific group who live off of blood and kill for sport. What’s worse? A brood of witches con their way in, hungry for the power at hand.

One by one, November finds all her loved ones being wrenched away. Fear grips her, and she’s worried she might lose her mind, her sanity slowly fading, until she must face Vincent alone.

Is he her true love? Or is he out for her blood?

Only her dreams will tell.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

The group edged back toward the exit, their footsteps quiet in the large cavern, when a deep pounding reverberated from within the walls. The sound was slow, heavy, and with each pound, the ground vibrated beneath them. Conroy motioned everyone to stop, his head cocked to the side.

“What’s that?” Margaret whispered, her arm still linked through Cam’s.

“Stay calm,” Conroy said. “Whatever it is, we’ll be gone before we see. Let’s go.”

The group started to head out once more, feet shuffling quick, but the pounding continued. The pools of water on the ground rippled, the deep sound jarring November’s teeth. They continued to hurry through the dark cave when a large blast rocketed through the area. White light seared November’s eyes, and she blinked back, waiting for her vision to clear. The group paused again. The pounding continued from the walls, vibrating her bones, and everyone scrambled back in confusion.

“Keep going!” Conroy yelled, but everyone seemed frozen.

The walls began to shimmer as the pounding intensified. November placed her hands over her ears, clamping her teeth down together tight. The noise had taken over her brain, it was hard to focus on the present.

Move your feet, November thought. Run. But she seemed to be as paralyzed as the rest of them.

Very slowly, faces began to appear on the rocky walls. Eyes. Lips. Noses. Cheeks. The faces solidified, pushing outward from the rock, until their bodies also surfaced, pushing outward. They looked skeletal in the dim light, and the pounding continued on. November’s eyes were glued wide. None of the group moved. They couldn’t breathe. It was as if their lives were tied to these men—if such they were—who were peeling themselves from off the rock.

Author Bio:

Morgan Shamy is an ex-ballerina turned YA writer. She has been immersed in the arts since the young age of 4, where she performed various roles alongside a professional ballet company for over seven years, and has danced on prestigious stages like soloing at Carnegie Hall in New York City. She has taught hundreds of girls in her fifteen years of teaching, where some of her students have received full-ride scholarships to schools like School of American Ballet, the Harid Conservatory, Kirov Academy of Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, to name a few.

Morgan discovered writing when her three-year-old son was diagnosed with cancer. It was through that experience which instilled the need to share art and magic with children through words on the page.

Morgan is also an accomplished concert pianist. She was the first girl in Utah to receive the 75 pt. Gold Cup in the Utah Federation of Music in piano solo/concerto competition. Morgan currently lives with her X-Games gold-medalist husband and four children in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub

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It’s Monday! What are you reading? June 27th, 2022

It’s Monday! What are you Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn from Book Date, a place to share and discuss what we’ve read in the past week and what we’re in the middle of or are planning to read this week.

What I read / listened to last week:

It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey -another fabulous buddy read with Yesha. We both loved this heartwarming, emotional book and now can’t wait to read the sequel.

Reasons why not to Date Public Enemy CEO by Melanie Mutton

Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert

What I am reading/listening to now:

and of course I just couldn’t stay away from this one:

What I’m reading /listening to next:

The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St.James

How did your last week go and what are you reading this week?

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#Book Blitz #Maddie Bloom & the Fae Academy by Emily Jenkins #Paranormal#YA @Xpresso Book Tours

Maddie Bloom & the Fae Academy
Emily Jenkins
Publication date: June 21st 2022
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Welcome to Fae Academy, where if the Sluagh Sidhe lurking in the woods doesn’t get you, the homework just might…

Maddie Bloom is dreading sophomore year. Not only is her mom’s mysterious illness getting worse, but it’s also a brand-new year of her longtime bully to look forward to. Because who doesn’t love getting swirlies in the newly renovated girls’ bathroom? But then the accident happens. The one where she’s escaping said bully and accidentally summons a magical portal that drops her right into the foyer of a literal castle.

That’s when the big reveals start…

  1. Faeries exist.
  2. Maddie is half-fae. Which is how she ended up in Figstern’s Academy for Excellence, aka Fae Academy.
  3. And Maddie’s uncontrolled magic? It’s slowly poisoning her mom.

When she’s given the chance to stay and learn to control her gifts to save her mom, the choice is clear. But Maddie’s not exactly welcome at Fae Academy. Bullies exist even in the magical world, and don’t get her started on the vindictive hobgoblin or the disgraced prince of the Autumn Court.

Still, not all is what it seems at Fae Academy. And the more Maddie digs, the more secrets she uncovers. Secrets that could threaten her life, her mother’s life, and the future of the fae world itself.

Goodreads / Amazon

Author Bio:

Hi, my name is Emily Jenkins. I’m a high school student and wrestle, and I also happen to be the USA National East Coast Jr Teen! After writing a children’s book about bullying in 2020 (Wrestling Girl Takes Down Bullies), I was inspired to keep creating stories—which is how the Maddie Bloom series was born.

In my free time, I love collecting socks, cooking, and sewing clothes for my dog.

He tears them up. It sort of breaks my heart. I sew more.

Yep, it’s a vicious cycle. 😀

Wanna keep up with my updates?

Sign up for my newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/h3oXtL

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#Book Blitz #The Starburst Effect by Kelly Oram #Contemporary Romance #YA @Xpresso Book Tours

The Starburst Effect
Kelly Oram
Publication date: June 20th 2022
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Lily Rosemont lives next door to the biggest jerk in high school. Noah Trask has bullied Lily for years, and now he’s ruined her senior year by making her a target and turning the whole school against her. On top of that, her parents are getting divorced, and her world is falling apart around her.

After an accident on the football field leaves Noah with a traumatic brain injury, shattering his life as he knew it and leaving him with a whole heap of new disabilities, he’s no longer at the top of the high school food chain. In fact, he’s right down at the bottom with Lily.

In a cruel twist of fate, if Noah wants to graduate high school on time, he needs Lily’s help to complete a project—a book he wants to write about his experience. Lily’s not sure she can put aside her anger and hate for the boy who destroyed her senior year, but she desperately needs this project to get a scholarship to college.

It doesn’t take long for Lily to realize that the Noah who got injured is not the same Noah who survived the accident. He’s different. Way different. Slowly, Lily softens to this new Noah, but can she find it in her heart to forgive him? Can the two most unlikely people find friendship in adversity and help each other pick up the pieces of their broken lives?

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Authors Note: Noah suffers from a Traumatic Brain Injury which effects a lot of his speech abilities. He often mixes up words or can’t get them out correctly. If you see a wrong word in his dialogue, it’s not a typo, I promise. You’ll have to read the book to see how it all comes together!

Noah falls to his bed, lies back, and puts his hands behind his head, looking up at the faded glow-in-the-dark stars that have probably been on his ceiling since he was a little boy. “I like music,” he admits. “Can’t really follow lyrics anymore, but…” He struggles for a moment, then sighs.

“But you can still enjoy the music?” I guess.

“Yeah.”

There’s a hint of melancholy in his voice that makes me sad. How many things in his life have been affected, or even taken from him, because of his injury? His inability to follow a fast conversation or stay focused for long periods of time must make him miss out on so much.

Wanting to take his mind off of whatever’s got him down, I cross the room and push his arm, forcing him to make room for me on the bed. He scoots over, and it feels natural to lie down beside him as if we’re just two friends hanging out for the millionth time. “What else do you do?” I ask, staring up at the stars with him. “What are your hobbies now, besides listening to awesome music?”

He opens his mouth, then shuts it again. His brow furrows. Whatever he wants to say, he can’t come up with the answer. “I can’t remember the name,” he says with a grunt of frustration.

He leans up and reaches over me to grab a TV remote off his nightstand. My breath catches. I don’t think he meant to practically lay on top of me, but my body seems to come alive from his nearness. And have I mentioned before how good he smells? I need to find out what cologne he uses and then spray my pillow with it or something.

Oblivious to the chaos he’s just put my body through, he sits back, placing his pillow up against the headboard. I sit up with him, attempting to get my heart rate back to normal, while he finds whatever it is he’s looking for. Once the TV and a Netflix menu comes up, things seem to click back in place for Noah. “There it is.” He finds what he’s looking for in his Continue Watching list.

I grin at the show he pulls up. “You watch Bob Ross?”

He acts offended by the teasing tone in my voice. “Bob Rock is cool.”

I hold my hands up. “I don’t disagree. I just didn’t figure you for the type.”

He shrugs. “I like art. Plus, he talks slow enough, and it’s not over…over…”

“Overstimulating?”

“Yeah. Doesn’t hurt my head.”

It makes sense. Bob Ross is very slow and soothing. I’m sure it’s one of the few shows he can follow fairly well. He clicks on an episode and leaves the show on mute. For a minute, we watch Bob Ross paint the beginnings of a mountain landscape while The Mad Hatters jam out softly in the room. It’s nice. “You ever painted along with him?” I ask, pointing at the screen. “I’ve always wanted to try it. I bet you could follow along. Or at least you could pause and rewind as much as you needed.”

His eyebrows climb his forehead. He watches the screen, and after a few seconds, nods his head. “Maybe.”

“Could be fun.”

He perks up the tiniest bit, and there’s a touch of excitement in his voice when he says, “Let’s tire it. My mom will get us the…the…” He mimes painting. “She always wants me to try new things.”

“Sounds good. You, me, and Bob Ross.”

Noah nudges my shoulder with his. “Next weekend. It’s a date.”

I smile to myself. Painting with Noah sounds fun. I could play it off as a “friends” thing, but something stops me. Taking a breath, I force myself to take a chance on something that might be strange but could also be amazing. “It’s a date,” I agree.

Author Bio:

Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen–a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which her family and friends still tease her. She’s obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and likes to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and four children.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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