Weekly Wrap Up: October 27th through November 9th 2019

Books I’ve Read:

Awakening

Agent Jack

Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae

Death Among Us: An Anthology of Murder Mystery Short Stories

This Earl of Mine

Let It Be Me


Books with Pending Reviews:

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae—Review coming November 4th


Books with Published Reviews:

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae—Review Here

Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore—Review Here

The Brutal Time—Review Here

Fever—Review Here

This Earl of Mine—Review Here

Let It Be Me—Review Here


NetGalley Requests:

All the Best Lies—St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books

A Highlander in a Pickup—St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Wild, Wild Rake—St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Queen of the Unwanted—Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Ray

The Other People—Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Ballantine Books

No Mercy—Saint Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books

The Vanishing Season—Saint Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books


Author/Publisher Requests:

Been There, Married That—St. Martin’s Press


Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz/Cover Reveal:

Aces High—Book Blitz

Dark One’s Bride—Book Blitz

Forged by Fire—Book Blitz

My Path to You—Book Blitz

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae—Blog Tour

The Event—Book Blitz

The Brutal Time—Blog Tour

Angel Blue: Season One—Book Blitz

Death Among Us—Blog Tour

Dorothy in the Land of Monsters—Book Blitz

Princes of the Lower East Side—Book Blitz

On His Bended Knee—Book Blitz

Shopping for a Baby’s First Christmas—Book Blitz

All of Him Anthology-–Cover Reveal

This Earl of Mine—Blog Tour

Panic—Book Blitz

Disenchanted—Cover Reveal

Under His Skin—Book Blitz

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae—Excerpt

The Traveler—Book Blitz

The Assassin and The Soldier—Book Blitz


Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

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Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore by Birgitte Margen

Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore (A Twisted Fairy Tale: A Young Adult Fantasy) by [Märgen, Birgitte]

4 Stars

Publisher:

Date of publication: January 4th, 2019

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Where you can find Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore: Amazon

Book Synopsis:

A trailer park Alice. A hole that traps souls. The white rabbit’s a tricky hare. And the world is upside down. This fairy tale just got twisty . . .

Rule One: Don’t eat or drink.
Rule Two: Never, ever tell anyone your name.
If ya do – your soul will be lost there forever.

How do I know? I been there myself. This is my story.

There was a full moon brimmin’ that night, and that meant strange things could happen. As I walked through the woods, I reckon I shoulda known by the way my hair stood up on end like Uncle Red’s toupee —that I shoulda coulda stayed home. I call it the willies, but grandpappy calls it premonition. One thing I can tell ya as a girl from the wrong side of the tracks: If you’re fix’n to wander way over yonder —it’s important to know the right direction.

What direction ya ask? Well, ya have to read the story to find that one out.

* * *

AFTER FALLING INTO a dark hole when she was running through the forest, Evie finds herself trapped in a strange new world that mirrors our own. Her only guide is a compass stick given to her by an angry gnome who lives in an ancient knobby tree. As she travels through the lands of this upside-down world she happens upon creatures that are twisted versions of fairytale folklore. A place where fairies bite, unicorns charge, mermaids are menacing, and nightmares are more than dreams. A world where the souls of those who could not follow the unspoken rules are trapped forever.

As a southern girl born on the wrong side of the tracks, Evie relies on the wisdom passed down by her grandpappy and the haunting memories of her mama to teach her perseverance of the soul. She learns that things are rarely what they seem as her world is turned upside down.


First Line:

It was a peculiarly frigid October night, and a nippy chill was in the air.

Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore

My Review:

Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore is the story about Evie and the journey she takes through the world of Nevermore. Evie was at a bonfire with her best friend and three boys, one which is Evie’s crush. Towards the end of the fire, Evie hears her best friend and crush talking about her in a hurtful way. That upset Evie, and she takes off running through the woods. Tripping on a root, Evie hits her head and wakes up in a small cave. Seeing light, Evie digs until she falls through the hole she made. She ends up in Nevermore, a place where everything good is evil, and everything evil is good. With a compass stick, the warning of a friend, and the wisdom of her Grandpappy to guide her, Evie needs to navigate this dangerous world. Will she escape?

I didn’t know what to think when I started reading Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore. I did see the comparison of Alice and Wonderland from the beginning. But, the deeper I got into the book, the more I started to like it. It was so much like Alice in Wonderland, but at the same time, there were such glaring differences. It was those differences that I loved and made the book for me.

The flow of Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore was alright. I say alright because there were several times where I felt that it was interrupted by Evie’s flashbacks. Evie’s flashback to her Grandpappy’s words of wisdom was essential to the book. I believe that it could have been done a little better.

There are no dropped storylines in Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore. There were several storylines that I wish had more clarification (like the goat boy). Other than that, I was happy with it. Dropped storylines ruin the storyline for me.

The majority of the book takes place in the world of Nevermore. Nevermore was an unusual and scary place to read about. What I loved about it is that things were flipped. People/objects that are considered to be good were evil (the mermaids, the fairies). On the flip side, people/objects that are considered to be evil were good (the dragon, the goat boy). It made for an enjoyable read.

I liked how the world was broken up. To get to the next section, Evie had to go through the first one. She needed to use the compass stick to get through different areas. I loved it. By doing that, the author allowed me, as a reader, to get the full scope of what Nevermore was like.

I liked Evie. She adjusted to being in Nevermore better than I would have. I would have freaked out. Instead, she set out to find her way home. She used her mind to get herself out of situations. I did feel bad for her too. She didn’t have the best life back at home. She was looked down upon for living in a trailer; her father wasn’t around and other things. I wanted to hug her. Mainly for reasons revealed later on in the book.

I didn’t care for Evie’sfriends.” Her best friend was a witch with a b for talking about her like that. And her crush was a tool.

The characters in Nevermore were interesting. The hedgehog that kept showing up was cute. I was also intrigued by the white and black rabbits. I was surprised at what they meant and what they turned into. Talk about interesting!!

Evie and the Upside-Down World of Evermore fit in perfectly in the middle-grade category. I could see my tween and early teenager (12 and 14) reading this book and enjoying it.

My attention was held by the book while reading it. If it could hold a middle-aged woman’s attention, I have no issue believing that it would hold a tween/teen’s attention.

I enjoyed reading Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore. At first, I was afraid that it was too much like Alice in Wonderland. But, as I got into the book, my fears were put to rest.

Evie’s storyline was resolved in the book. I was surprised at how her storyline was resolved. It was magical!!

There are triggers in Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore. There are a cutting scene and talk of suicide.

Evie’s character did evolve throughout the book. Each section of the world she was in showed her exactly what she was capable of and what she can overcome. By the end of the book, she was a strong young woman who knew she was going to be alright. I wish the author had written about the inevitable confrontation she was going to her with her “bestie.” Absolutely. But I am glad that it wasn’t written.


I would give Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore an Older teen rating. There is no sex. There is mild language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Blog Tour: The Brutal Time (Angelbound Origins: Book 6) by Christina Bauer

4 Stars

The Brutal Time 

by Christina Bauer 

(Angelbound Origins #6) 

Published by: Monster House Books

Publication date: October 29th 2019

Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult

Goodreads


Book Synopsis:

“I love the Angelbound Origins world and just can’t seem to get enough of it!” – The Avid Reader

As the Great Scala, Myla Lewis is the only being who can move Purgatory’s souls to Heaven or Hell. It’s a big job. Too bad Myla goes through assistants faster than a hot knife through brownies. Not that it bothers her much; Myla’s always been a solo fighter.

Then comes the problem of the fading angels. Millions of Heavenly residents are dying. According to a prophecy, the only way Myla can save them is by traveling back in time, meeting King Arthur, and creating her own knights of the round table. The catch? Doing so might end the after-realms in a bloody demonpocalypse.

Yipes.

Myla and her main squeeze, Lincoln, aren’t afraid of taking a few chances (in between kisses). But with so much at risk, the stakes may be too high, even for them. And the biggest challenge of all? Finding those knights.

Because Myla Lewis doesn’t play well with others. At all.

“These books don’t just capture your attention, they straight up demand it. Christina Bauer has created a fascinating and unique world that you do not want to miss out on.” – Bookhalolic Brittany


Giveaway:

The grand prize is:

  • Tons of swag!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f7ec85e728/


Purchase Links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

iBooks

Google Play

BookBub


Christina Bauer thinks that fantasy books are like bacon: they just make life better. All of which is why she writes romance novels that feature demons, dragons, wizards, witches, elves, elementals, and a bunch of random stuff that she brainstorms while riding the Boston T. Oh, and she includes lots of humor and kick-ass chicks, too. 

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

Be the first to know about new releases from Christina by signing up for her newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/CBupdates

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First Line:

Time to kick some old lady butt.

The Brutal Time by Christina Bauer

My Review:

The Brutal Time captured my attention when I read the blurb. I was intrigued to see how the author would spin the legend of King Arthur and Camelot. Then I read that memorable first line and thought to myself, “I am going to love this book.” And guess what, I did.

The Brutal Time is the 6th book in the Angelbound Series. I was a little hesitant to read the book because of that. I am happy to say is that this can be read as a stand-alone book. The author explained Myla and Lincoln’s backstories without getting into the previous books, which I enjoyed. That left me able to focus on the craziness that was going on in this book. And yes, there was a lot of that.

I loved Myla. She was unbelievably snarky and found herself in situations that made me scratch my head. Take, for instance, going to Lucifer’s lab. That set off a chain of events that ended up with her going to the past to save the future (make sense…it didn’t to me at first either). She thought well on her feet too. She was able to come up with last-minute plans that worked. She was just plain awesome!!

I liked that Lincoln was more leveled headed than Myla. He was able to reign her in, well somewhat reign her in. During the fight with the archdemons, Lincoln was willing to do whatever it took to stall them so Myla could come up with a plan. Plus, add in that he was head over heels in love with Myla, and it just made him a complete package.

I loved the author’s retelling of the King Arthur legend. I had no issue imagining King Arthur as a slob. It also made me remember that most myths are usually more fiction than fact.

The storylines in The Brutal Time were well written and fast-paced. There were no dropped storylines or dropped characters. I enjoyed how the author was able to merge the secondary storylines with the main one. It made for a more exciting read.

I loved the secondary characters. They added an extra depth to the story. I also like that Myla’s tail got recognition in the book. That tail was as sassy as she was!!

The end of The Brutal Time was exciting. I say exciting because there was something revealed that made me look forward to the next book!!


I would give The Brutal Time an Older Teen rating. There is no sex. There is mild language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread The Brutal Time. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

WWW Wednesday: October 30th, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What I am currently reading:

The Brutal Time Special Edition (Angelbound Origins Book 6) by [Bauer, Christina]

“This author’s words were spellbinding, I was in absolute bliss. This book produced a fiery blaze that was pure Myla!” – Book Reviews by Shalini

As the Great Scala, Myla Lewis is the only being who can move Purgatory’s souls to Heaven or Hell. It’s a big job. Too bad Myla goes through assistants faster than a hot knife through brownies. Not that it bothers her much; Myla’s always been a solo fighter.

Then comes the problem of the fading angels. Millions of Heavenly residents are dying. According to a prophecy, the only way Myla can save them is by traveling back in time, meeting King Arthur, and creating her own knights of the round table. The catch? Doing so might end the after-realms in a bloody demonpocalypse.

Yipes.

Myla and her main squeeze, Lincoln, aren’t afraid of taking a few chances (in between kisses). But this time the stakes may be too high, even for them. And the biggest challenge of all? Finding those knights.

Because Myla Lewis doesn’t play well with others. At all.

“These books don’t just capture your attention, they straight up demand it. Christina Bauer has created a fascinating and unique world that you do not want to miss out on.” – Bookhalolic Brittany

I am loving this book. From the plotline to the characters, I can’t get enough of it!!

The Brutal Time is currently available for purchase. Be on the lookout for my review on November 1st (blog tour).


I recently finished reading:

Death Among Us: An Anthology of Murder Mystery Short Stories by [Bentley, Stephen, Alldredge, Greg, Artieri, Kelly, Kane, L. Lee, Spinelli, Michael, Cheadle, Robbie, Castaneda, Kay, Bauer, Justin, Locatelli, Aly]

Who knew death could be so eclectic? Relish this mesmerizing murder mystery mash-up of short stories.

The stories include the 2019 SIA Award-Winning Murder Mystery Short Story ‘The Rose Slayer.’

Murder and mystery have been the staple of literature and films for years. This anthology of short stories will thrill and entertain you. Some will also make you laugh out loud. Others will stop and make you think.

Think of this murder mystery short story anthology as a book version of appetizers or starters, hors d’oeuvre, meze, or antipasti. It can be read as fillers between books or, as is the case in some countries, as a bookish meze – in its own right.

These stories come from an international cast of authors; some with bestselling books, others are emerging or new talents. Their roots, cultures, and life experiences are as diverse as their writing styles.

But one thing binds them together: they know how to tell a story.

There’s murder mystery styles and locations to suit all tastes: detective fiction, serial killers, scifi, histfic, LA, England, The Great Lakes, Las Vegas, the Nevada desert and more in an exquisite exposition of the art of short story telling.

The ten authors who have contributed to the anthology are:

Stephen Bentley
Greg Alldredge
Kelly Artieri
Robbie Cheadle
Michael Spinelli
L. Lee Kane
Kay Castaneda
Aly Locatelli
Justin Bauer
& ‘G’ Posthumously

Each author introduces his or her stories and the theme that lies behind them.By the time you finish the book, you will agree the result is a mesmerizing murder mystery mash-up.

Get it now.

I normally don’t read anthologies. I find them hard to review. But I enjoyed this one!! This is the perfect book for Halloween!!

Death Among Us is currently available for purchase. Be on the lookout for my review tomorrow (blog tour)


What books I think I’ll read next:

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by [Butland, Stephanie]

Ailsa Rae is learning how to live.
She’s only a few months past the heart transplant that – just in time – saved her life. Life should be a joyful adventure. But . . .

Her relationship with her mother is at breaking point.
She knows she needs to find her father.
She’s missed so much that her friends have left her behind.
She’s felt so helpless for so long that she’s let polls on her blog make her decisions for her. And now she barely knows where to start on her own.

And then there’s Lennox. Her best friend and one time lover. He was sick too. He didn’t make it. And now she’s supposed to face all of this without him.

But her new heart is a bold heart.

She just needs to learn to listen to it . . .

Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore (A Twisted Fairy Tale: A Young Adult Fantasy) by [Märgen, Birgitte]

“We all need someplace to escape, and sometimes the mind is just as good of a place as any.”

A trailer park Alice. A hole that traps souls. The white rabbit’s a tricky hare. And the world is upside down. This fairy tale just got twisty . . .

Rule One: Don’t eat or drink.
Rule Two: Never, ever tell anyone your name.
If ya do – your soul will be lost there forever.

How do I know? I been there myself. This is my story.

There was a full moon brimmin’ that night, and that meant strange things could happen. As I walked through the woods, I reckon I shoulda known by the way my hair stood up on end like Uncle Red’s toupee —that I shoulda coulda stayed home. I call it the willies, but grandpappy calls it premonition. One thing I can tell ya as a girl from the wrong side of the tracks: If you’re fix’n to wander way over yonder —it’s important to know the right direction.

What direction ya ask? Well, ya have to read the story to find that one out.

* * *

AFTER FALLING INTO a dark hole when she was running through the forest, Evie finds herself trapped in a strange new world that mirrors our own. Her only guide is a compass stick given to her by an angry gnome who lives in an ancient knobby tree. As she travels through the lands of this upside-down world she happens upon creatures that are twisted versions of fairytale folklore. A place where fairies bite, unicorns charge, mermaids are menacing, and nightmares are more than dreams. A world where the souls of those who could not follow the unspoken rules are trapped forever.

As a southern girl born on the wrong side of the tracks, Evie relies on the wisdom passed down by her grandpappy and the haunting memories of her mama to teach her perseverance of the soul. She learns that things are rarely what they seem as her world is turned upside down.

Agent Jack: The True Story of MI5's Secret Nazi Hunter

This is the incredible tale of Operation Fifth Column, a Second World War MI5 operation so secret that its existence was only revealed by the National Archives for the first time in 2014.

It’s the true story behind Kate Atkinson’s “Transcription” and Anthony Quinn’s “Our Friends In Berlin”.

Throughout the war, “Jack King” – in reality, a bank clerk named Eric Roberts – pretended to be a Gestapo agent to whom hundreds of British-based Nazi sympathisers and informers passed their secrets, thinking that he was sending them back to Germany. Many were put on a salary by what they thought was the Third Reich and some were even ‘awarded’ Iron Crosses for their services to the Fatherland; they never found out the truth.

Among the secrets they tried to pass were: a tip-off about Bletchley Park; details of the deadly Mosquito bomber; complete plans of a highly effective anti-radar technology codenamed WINDOW. The larger-than-life characters who populate the book include Roberts himself, the deceptively ordinary-seeming bank clerk; Maxwell Knight, who recruited Roberts; Victor Third Baron Rothschild, Roberts’ spymaster, who did a sideline in bomb disposal using his Cartier screwdrivers; Theresa Clay, the distinguished biologist who co-ran the operation with Rothschild, but because she was a woman was only ever classified as an ‘assistant’; Marita Perigoe, possibly the most dangerous of the fascists, who despite having her suspicions about Roberts, continued to recruit spies for him and pass him secrets to the end of the war.

Win Big: A Wynn Hockey Novel by [Jamieson, Kelly]

When your name is Wynn, victory’s the only option…

Everly Wynn: As the only daughter in the Wynn family of hockey heroes, I never shared the ice with my brothers—or the approval they got from my father.
And that was before the scandal that ruined my life at sixteen.
Now that I’ve put all that behind me and built a successful career, the last thing I need is another hockey player in my life.
Especially one like Wyatt Bell.
He’s an arrogant, fast-living party boy. I hate how he gets by on his good looks and charm.
So why can’t I get him out of my mind?

Wyatt Bell: Life is short, and you’ve got to live it to the fullest. I learned that the hard way.
So on the ice, I always play to win, and on the town, fun and flirting are my game.
Because it’s better to laugh your way through the pain than to let them see you’re hurting—but I’ll never stop wishing I could find someone to share the real me with.
Something about Everly Wynn makes me think she could be the one.
But all she sees is a hockey jock hooked on good times.
If she didn’t take herself so seriously, maybe she would take a chance on being happy.

A Cowboy Like You (Heart of Texas Book 4) by [Grant, Donna]

In the Heart of Texas, a heartthrob cowboy may get his second chance at love…

Danny Oldman, the handsome Lone Star sheriff, is still single. He tells himself, and anyone who asks, that he is married to his job―and what matters most is keeping the people of his beloved Texas hometown safe. The truth? Danny still hasn’t gotten over his high school crush. She moved away after graduation and took Danny’s heart with her.

Skylar Long never thought she would have to flee Houston and return home―where it all began for her. But that’s what happened after the man of her dreams turned out to be an actual nightmare. Now, Skylar is desperate to escape her obsessive boyfriend. Nothing shocks her more than seeing Danny again and realizing that their long-ago attraction is more powerful than ever. But can she and Danny find a way to fight against Skylar’s wealthy, powerful ex who is dead set on tearing them apart?

Weekend Fling: A Crazy Love Novel by [Lynn, Stacey]

Fresh out of a long-term relationship, Willow Parks is working two jobs and caring for her mother, whose husband left her with nothing but a pile of bills. That’s why Willow made a vow: no men until she figures out her own life.

But while she may not need a man, she could use a break. And a weekend away at a California beach to clear her head? That’s appealing. Even if the offer comes from Trey Collins, the irresistible tech-mogul millionaire who visits her coffee shop every morning like clockwork—and needs a date for his best friend’s wedding. With an adorable, occasional stutter, he refuses to take no for an answer.

Once the weekend begins, Trey is intent on proving how good they can be together. Willow’s even feeling tempted to break her vow—until reality rudely interrupts her well-deserved getaway. There’s no way she and Trey have a future, not with the colossal amount of baggage Willow has to offer.

But Trey is used to getting what he wants. He just has his work cut out for him convincing her that they want the same thing.

Into the Inferno: Book #6 (The Legend Series) by [Stewart, Kylie]

To understand means to accept one’s own mistakes.

Alexandria is trapped in Hell’s Inferno. Can she accept Guinevere’s past and face Arthur’s sins while they are played out before her very eyes? In accepting her past, she will endure the devastation, betrayal, and passion stamped in time over thousands of years.To wander into Hell as a guest is to accept mortality.

Avalon is fated to fight his way through the nine levels of The Inferno. Every step is agony, and every level a trial, reminding him of his gravest mistakes. Will his self-loathing consume him and take those standing by his side? Or will they band together to save the queen and woman they love?Everyone’s demons will have to be faced. Old wounds will be torn open and bleed anew. Will faith and love be enough?

Book Blitz: Dorothy in the Land of Monsters (Oz ReVamped: Book 1) by Garten Gevedon

Dorothy In the Land of Monsters 
by Garten Gevedon 
(Oz ReVamped, #1) 
Publication date: October 11th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult

Goodreads


Shifters, Zombies, and Vampires? Oh my!

My name is Dorothy Gale, and I think I might be dead.

When my dog Toto and I got swept up in a twister, we landed in hell. A very colorful hell. Like a rainbow dripping in blood. Now it looks as though this dreadful underworld plagued with vampires, zombies, and shifters will be the site of my eternal damnation.

They say this terrifying land called Oz isn’t hell or purgatory and escape is possible, but first I must survive the journey down the blood-soaked yellow brick road to the only place in Oz where vampires dare not tread—The City of Emeralds. 

With enchanted footwear and the help of my three new friends—a friendly zombie, a massive shifter lion, and a heartless axe murderer of evil night creatures (who also happens to be the hottest guy I’ve ever seen)—Toto and I have a chance to make it to the Vampire Free Zone. When we get there, I must convince the most powerful wizard in this magical land of monsters to send us out of this radiant nightmare and back to the world of the living. They say he’s just as frightening as this monstrous land, that he detests visitors, and even the most horrifying creatures cower in his presence. But I must seek him out. And when I find him, I’ll do whatever it takes to make him send me home.


Excerpt:

Gray everywhere. As I stand on the porch of my aunt and uncle’s home, all I can see is the great gray expanse of prairie on every side. No trees, houses, buildings, people, nothing at all breaks the broad sweep of flat gray country that reaches to the edge of the gray sky in every direction. The sun scorched the plowed fields into a dusty, gray mass that expands to the horizon line, the endless gloom broken only by the little black shadows of the fissures running through it like the marbling of a corpse. 

Even the grass is dead and gray—the hot sun singed the blades until they were the same lifeless gray color that blankets everything. Years ago, the house was a pristine white, but the torrid summer sun burned and blistered the paint and the heavy winter rains battered it away, and now the house is as weathered and gray as everything else here. It’s fitting for what it’s like to live here in Middle of Nowhere, Kansas. It looks like what it is—bleak, leached of any color, any excitement, anything interesting at all—drained of life. Gray is gray is gray is my life. It surrounds me from all sides, all the time. And it sucks. Thanks a lot, climate change.

I came to live with my Uncle Henry and Aunt Emily on a crappy little farm when my parents died in a car accident. I was thirteen. Because Emily was the only family I had left, she got stuck with me. She could have refused me and left me as a ward of the state, but she was kind enough to take me in. Even though I don’t share the same connection with Emily and Henry that I did with my parents, they’re still family—the only family I have—so, I may complain about this being the middle of nowhere, but it’s better than being in an orphanage or foster care or some group home. Yeah, their place is tiny, and old, but at least it has four walls, a floor, and a roof. 

The two-bedroom farmhouse I live in is as weathered and brittle as the farm it’s set on. One story with no attic and no basement, the only feature it has is a cyclone cellar which we’ve had yet to use since I’ve lived here. It may lack color and any of the luxuries most people in America have these days—cable, wifi, consistent hot water to shower with—but I am grateful I have somewhere to live, even if life here is so gray that the grayness proliferates, turning everything in it to a gray as dry as dust.

When Aunt Emily came here to live with Uncle Henry, she was a young, pretty, vivacious woman with golden hair and bright emerald green eyes—or I thought I remembered her that way. Even she’s gray now. Just like it changed this once green land, the sun and wind have changed her, and her once sparkling green eyes are now dim and muted, tinged with a melancholy gray. Living here in this sweltering, exanimate world has stolen her radiance and left her ashen. It’s exhausted the red from her cheeks and lips, and now they’re pallid and gray too. Once she was curvy and a little plump. Now she’s gaunt and never smiles. Can’t blame her for never smiling, living in this dull, gray crap hole. 

When I first came to her, Aunt Emily would startle when I laughed. She’d scream and look at me like I was nuts, shocked I could find anything to laugh at in this gray place. Uncomfortable and bored out of my skull, I’d laugh trying to entertain myself, trying not to let the depression get the best of me, but after being here for four years, I get it now—what is there to laugh about when all that’s here is gray?

Uncle Henry never laughs either. Morning to night, all he does is work hard. If he knows what joy is, he doesn’t let on. From his gray beard to his rough boots, Henry is also gray, stern, and solemn. With a permanent stone face, he almost never speaks. It’s like he’s made of hard, gray stone. If he didn’t work so much trying to make this gray land yield something, I’d think he was stone—a gray statue of a man.

Sometimes I wonder if it’s me that’s gray, or the lens I see the world through. Before my parents died, my life was a bright white, like a pristine sheet of paper wishing for a colorful story to grace its surface. Then the black smear of tragedy struck, and it’s as though the thousands of tears I shed diffused the black that blemished my bright whiteness, spreading it over the unsullied parts like watercolor, leaving my world gray. But I don’t think I’m gray. Not yet. I don’t think it has spread to me yet.

“Dorothy in the Land of Monsters” Oz ReVamped #1

Chapter 1 – The Cyclone, pgs. 1-2


Giveaway:

Giveaway ends November 7th.

The grand prize is:

  • $50 Amazon gift card

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251233368/


Purchase Links:

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Garten Gevedon lives in New York City with her family. She’s a sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal author who loves taking fairy tales and turning them inside out. You can visit her online at www.gartengevedon.com.

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Fever (Dark Kings: Book 16) by Donna Grant

Fever: A Dark Kings Novel by [Grant, Donna]

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Date of publication: October 29th, 2019

Genre: Romance, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Series: Dark Kings

Dark Craving—Book 0.1

Night’s Awakening—Book 0.2

Dawn’s Desire—Book 0.3

Passion’s Claim—Book 0.4

Darkest Flame—Book 1

Fire Rising—Book 2

Burning Desire—Book 3

Hot Blooded—Book 4

Night’s Blaze—Book 5

Soul Scorched—Book 6

Dragon King—Book 6.5

Passion Ignites—Book 7

Smoldering Hunger—Book 8

Smoke and Fire—Book 9

Dragon Fever—Book 9.5

Firestorm—Book 10

Blaze—Book 11

Dragon Burn—Book 11.5

Constantine: A History—Book 11.6

Heat—Book 12 (Review Here)

Torched—Book 13

Dragon Night—Book 13.5

Dragonfire—Book 14 (Review Here)

Dragon Claimed—Book 14.5

Ignite—Book 15 (Review Here)

Fever—Book 16

Where you can find Fever: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

His kiss was fire and passion. She shivered, wondering how he knew just how to touch her, to send her spiraling into an abyss of pleasure…

For centuries, the Dragon Kings have lived among mortals, forsaking their true selves. But for Kelton, hiding in the realm of shadows—and existing only in the world of dreams—is no longer an option. A human woman claims to know that he, like other dark warriors of his kind, is real. That the legends about these powerful, seductive men with hearts ablaze are true. And that, with just one embrace, Kelton could destroy her…or love her until the end of time.

Bernadette Davies is an anthropologist who knows better than to fall into the arms of a Dragon King. But how can she resist Kelton when he’s so willing to share his secrets and bear his soul? He hasn’t met a beautiful, trustworthy woman like Bernadette in…forever. But once they give into their mutual desire, their worlds will never be the same. Soon Bernadette must face her dilemma: Should she expose the truth about Kelton in the name of science? Or join him in his battle with the dark forces—in the name of love?


First Line:

Dragons are real.

Fever by Donna Grant

My Review:

When I finished Ignite, I was curious about who the next book was going to be about. I knew it wasn’t Con, because Ub*tch had him, so I figured it was Kelton. As for the woman, that was left up in the air. So, I wasn’t surprised when Kelton was the first person mentioned. I was surprised at who his mate was and how he met her.

Fever was an exciting book to read. I was expecting more of a filler book, like Ignite. To my surprise, Fever ended up being so much more. Not only was it Kelton/Bernadette’s romance, but there was a progression with all the major storylines – Con/Ub*tch storyline, the storyline with Rhi, the Dark Fae storyline and the storyline with The Others.

I wasn’t too sure about Bernadette. Like the Dragon Kings, I thought that she was getting her information from someone. I figured it was a disgruntled someone. But I wasn’t expecting it to be Ub*tch. Her sudden decision to go to Dreagan also raised my red flags, as did her immediate attraction to Kelton. But after her heart to heart with him and seeing exactly how Ub*tch destroyed Bernadette’s life made any reservations I had towards her go away. What Ub*tch did to her in this book was awful. Which lead me to wonder, exactly what did Ub*tch know about Bernadette? I also wanted to know why Rhi was so drawn to her. I have a feeling I know why, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. All I will say that if I am right, that is a HUGE bombshell!!

I loved Kelton. He was willing to do whatever it took to find out who was leaking Bernadette. But when Bernadette showed up at Dreagan, he decided to be honest with her. He didn’t expect to fall in love. I loved how honest he was about his struggle with Con’s decision to send the dragons home. Once he determined that Ub*tch was using Bernadette, he was going to do anything to protect her, which included sending her back to that conniving evil witch. I did get a laugh over his complete denial of his feelings for Bernadette. Typical alpha male right there.

Bernadette and Kelton had major sexual chemistry and sexual attraction from the beginning. That translated into some seriously hot sex scenes. I did feel let down when they figured out that Ub*tch spelled Bernadette to attract a Dragon King (ie, Kelton). I had a brief moment of panic that those impressive sex scenes I read were magically induced. Thankfully, the author cleared that up fast.

I am glad that Rhi made more of an appearance in Fever. Like I said above, I have a theory of why she was so drawn to Bernadette. Also, her struggle with the dark was so much more pronounced in Fever. I felt terrible for her.

I couldn’t stand Ub*tch. What she did to Bernadette (the blood spell) was wrong. What she was doing Xanth was wrong also. That poor man. She tortured him!! What happened at the end of the book was terrific, but I wish there were closure!!!

I didn’t understand why Death and the Reapers weren’t getting involved with what was going on in Fever. I started to get irritated because Death made such a big deal about Ub*tch being taken down. But, there was a scene towards the end of the book that made me go “Hrrrmmmm.” Made me wonder what the author has in store for that storyline!!

The Dark Fae storyline (with Balladyn) surprised me. I was NOT expecting what happened to happen. I put the book down and said: “Holy crap, that just DIDN’T happen!!!

The storyline with Con and Ub*tch had me going. I didn’t know what to think about what was going on. All I could think was that it wasn’t good.

The storyline with Henry and Melisse fascinated me. Precisely who is Melisse, and what does she want with Henry? I cannot wait to read the next book.


I would give Fever an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Fever. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Cover Reveal: Disenchanted by Brianna Sugalski

Centuries ago, the flames of a terrible war engulfed the sprawling wildwood of Brittany, displacing hoards of monsters in its wake. These beasts fled to the remaining patches of forest, the largest known as Brocèliande—home to the elusive Fae, and within unsettling proximity to the mortal kingdom.

***

A Breton princess at the peak of the French Renaissance, Lilac lives prisoner in her parents’ castle after a wicked secret is revealed on the eve of her tenth birthday soirée. Years later, her coronation ceremony looms, and between the riotous townsfolk and scheming nobleman bent on snatching the throne, Lilac prepares for the worst… Until a mysterious letter arrives from The Witch of Lupine Grotto, detailing a curious offer to cure her darkness forever.

Lilac begrudgingly trades her coronet for a cloak and ventures into the forest Brocéliande in pursuit of the impious enchantress at the edge of town. With only the protection of an inherited dagger—and unsolicited help of the gregarious stranger who inserts himself on her quest—she must traverse Brocèliande and return in time to claim her rightful position as sovereign monarch.

This is the story of a cursed princess,
A crestfallen killer,
The town that wants them to burn,
And the witch that can save them both.


Disenchanted 
by Brianna Sugalski 
Published by: Parliament House
Publication date: March 10th 2020
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

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With an education in Mass Communication—and an engrossment in all that is curios, conundrum, and bewitching—Brianna Sugalski is a writer and blogger for The Parliament House Press. Previously, she was a contributor for Lifestyle & Fashion online magazine, Sarah Scoop, and also served as Copy Editor and Editor-In-Chief at her school publications. All this time spent writing paid off; her New Adult/ Dark Fantasy novel, DISENCHANTED, was recently acquired for publication, and is slated for release in Spring of 2020.

Brianna was born and raised on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, but now travels every few years with her husband and two children. As the first writer in a family whose majority works in the medical field, she also feels an important calling to heal others as an artist—though she is content doing so through the often underestimated power of communication. She admires many luminaries of the Victorian Era; the romanticism of period literature has inspired her to paint vibrant settings of nature and narratives that readers will hopefully enjoy.
 
Ultimately, she aspires to make readers laugh, to challenge their perspectives and to help them discover the magical meaning of their own powers within.

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