Tuesday 31 January 2017

Journey to the Rift by Cathi Shaw Book Blitz and Giveaway!

Journey to the Rift
by Cathi Shaw
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: November 3rd 2016
Ink Smith Publishing

Summary for Goodreads:A dangerous quest into a forbidden land wasn’t exactly what Brijit Carnesîr was planning after her graduation from the Academy. For years she has looked forward starting her life as a member of the Coimirceoirí and she is thrilled to discover that she has been chosen as the Academy Apprentice of her year. But despite the fact that she has been longing to go to Séreméla and work with the Elders, it soon becomes apparent that her fate isn’t as rosy as it appears to be. First, she is paired up with a grumpy male apprentice from Stone Mountain, Weylon Forborrow. Second, it doesn’t take her long to discover that the Elders are not taking her to Séreméla, as tradition dictates. Instead, Weylon and her are sent to The Rift, a dead land tainted with evil. Even before they join the Elder royalty at Tèarmann, an ancient fortress on the cusp of the Rift, Brijit discovers that the Elders are hiding too many things. She is given the task of helping the Princess in birthing the long awaited Queen of the Elders but nothing is as it seems. There is talk of an old and forgotten Prophecy, Weylon is attacked by a creature from the Rift and her grandmother is killed, after revealing a secret that rocks everything Brijit knows about her past. Soon Brijit questions everything she had been led to believe and, worse, she realizes that the future of Séreméla and all of Five Corners is in jeopardy, unless she can find a way to save it!  

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The Elders took the known pieces of the Prophecy as law. But a complete copy of the ancient text had not been found, and much of the writing on the scraps had never been translated. At first this was because it wasn’t seen as important to modern-day Séreméla but later, as the Prophecy’s following grew, the Elders found they were unable to translate the bits of the document in their possession because it was written in an ancient Elder dialect that was almost completely forgotten today. Only the Draíodóir and a few ancient Elder scribes knew anything about the dialect, and none of them were fluent in it.

It was due to their devotion to the mythical writings that the Elders had been waiting for a female ruler for twelve generations. Of course if the first child born to the current royal family was a boy, he would be much loved, but it was understood that he would only be a Crown Prince, like his father. The Elders had been without a queen for many years, and their hopes lay with the child sleeping in the princess’s womb. Only a queen could make decisions for the Elders without needing guidance from the Elder Council.

As Weylon understood it, not everyone wished this girl-child would come. There were some who wanted the princess to give birth to a son. Then there would be no official ruler, just another Crown Prince who would be guided by the council. The Elder Council was split between wanting a queen and wanting to continue to make most of the decisions for the people.

It was more than politics behind the Elders’ wish for a queen. Weylon did not understand it all, but he sensed the growing desperation in the Elder Council members who had met with Gregor and the other senior Coimirceoirí. There had been many closed-door meetings that Weylon could not access, even with his abilities. Those meetings had been carefully shielded, which was suspicious. He had heard snippets of the Prophecy mentioned as well, but when he had pushed Gregor on the topic, his mentor had become angry and silent.

There was so much Weylon did not understand, but he knew enough about politics to know that he and the Coimirceoirí female apprentice were stepping into a potentially dangerous situation.

Finn shifted beside him, sensing his dark thoughts. But Weylon kept them to himself. The less his friend knew, the safer he would be.

“Do you know where you will be sent?” Weylon asked, changing the topic abruptly.

Finn nodded slowly. “The Wastelands.” His tone was flat.

Weylon looked at his friend closely. Finn looked miserable. “Why would they send you there?”

It didn’t make sense. The Wastelands were on the outer reaches of the Outlands. While they were farther south than The Rift, the land there had been touched by the evil, long ago. Nothing grew in that part of Five Corners and as a result, almost no one lived there. It was unheard of for the Elders to send two Coimirceoirí there.

“I don’t know,” his friend answered with a dark expression. Finn was a gifted Coimirceoirí, not as talented as Weylon, but, in any other year, he would have been one of the top picks of the class. He just had the misfortune of being Weylon’s peer.

“Who are they sending with you?” Weylon couldn’t help asking, trying to imagine which of the silly girls would be accompanying his friend.

“No one.”

Weylon stared at him in disbelief. “They never send Coimirceoirí apprentices on assignments alone.”

Finn gave him a bitter smile. “I guess they do now.”

About the Author
Cathi Shaw lives in Summerland, BC with her husband and three children. She is often found wandering around her home, muttering in a seemingly incoherent manner, particularly when her characters have embarked on new adventure. In addition to writing fiction, she is the co-author of the textbook Writing Today and the true story, Surviving Logan.

Author Links:
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Audiobook Review: A Haunting Tale by Bill Stokes!

    A Haunting Tale Audiobook
  • Written by: Bill Stokes
  • Narrated by: Jeff Hays
  • Length: 11 mins 
  • Unabridged Audiobook

  • Release Date:11-04-16
  • Publisher: Paul Stokes
  • Buy: Audible   Audiobooks.com  

  • Do you believe in ghosts? No? How about you visit this house and then decide?
  • There is a haunted house up there that squats like a huge wooden toad behind a thick grove of pine trees on the end of a dead end road. Maybe once it was painted, but now it has a gray cadaver-like complexion, and its siding is sagged and splintered as if the devil had been poking at it with his pitchfork. Its windows are streaked and stained, and trying to see through them from the outside is like trying to look a skull in the eye.
  • If this doesn't get you to believe in the supernatural, listen to the rest of this short story and you will believe; just like I did!
  • Warning: Don't listen to this story if you have a weak heart or are subject to night terrors or nightmares! Bill Stokes richly tells the tale of the haunted house in vivid and almost poetic words; you cannot help but be sucked in. Listen if you dare!

  • My Thoughts:

  • I don't read many short stories as they can feel too rushed, or not enough development in the story. Yet this one, being at only a mere 11 mins in length, doesn't come across like this. This tells the tale of a man who doesn't believe in Ghosts. He knows the story of the abandoned house but decides to prove everyone wrong and spends a night there. What happens to him?  Well read it and see!!

  • I have to applaud the author of this because for such an extremely short story, it's extremely well written. The author's descriptive writing really packs a punch and brings the book alive. He very eloquently describes the house and makes it incredibly creepy when the man goes in. This is a tale suitable for all ages and one to be enjoyed again and again. 

  • Jeff Hays is a very strong narrator. Every book I've listened to that he narrated, has always been a pleasure to listen to. He is always clear and concise and knows how to tell a good story. Here he brings the creepy atmosphere to life makes the story more enjoyable. 

Monday 30 January 2017

The Dragon's Gate by Barry Wolverton Blog Tour and Giveaway!

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Title: The Dragon's Gate
Author: Barry Wolverton
Series: Chronicles of the Black Tulip (Book 2)
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Walden Pond Press (November 1, 2016)

An engrossing fantasy, a high-seas adventure, an alternate history epic—this is the richly imagined and gorgeously realized second book in acclaimed author Barry Wolverton’s Chronicles of the Black Tulip, perfect for fans of The Glass Sentence and the Books of Beginning series.
A magical white jade stone and a map inscribed in bone that may be the key to an even greater mystery—this is the treasure Bren and Mouse have found buried on the Vanishing Island.
Mouse is determined to follow the map to a place called the Dragon’s Gate, convinced it will explain who she really is and the powers she possesses. Bren has had enough adventure for one lifetime and would like nothing more than to return to his father in Map. But nothing goes according to plan when the survivors of the Albatross are rescued by Lady Jean Barrett, a charismatic archaeologist with a sense of destiny.
Barrett is on a quest for the Eight Immortals, ancient artifacts she believes are buried in the tomb of China’s first emperor—the location of which has been hidden for nearly two thousand years. The only way for Bren, Mouse, and Barrett to all get what they want is to work together on a dangerous journey into the heart of China, a kingdom long closed to outsiders, where the greatest secrets about Mouse and Bren are waiting to be unveiled.

Praise for The Dragon's Gate:

"In his signature style, Wolverton cleverly overlays intricate plotting with ancient Chinese legends and history (including the Dragon Boat Festival and the Terracotta Warriors) and creates a thrilling, fast-paced story that flies by. Fans will wait with bated breath for the third book in the trilogy." -- Kirkus

"More mystical artifacts, wild things, and mysteries more puzzling than ever. This second installment picks up right where The Vanishing Island left off, and fills in enough blanks to remind readers of Bren's last perilous adventure. Pick this up to keep readers on the hook for the upcoming third book."-- Booklist

Guest Post:

10 characteristics of a great friend

Compatible sense of humor
You respect them
They respect you
Book lover (or at least, book liker)
They make you feel safe being yourself
They give you ice cream
You like them almost as much as you like your dog

Displaying Barry-Wolverton.jpgABOUT THE AUTHOR
I have been writing for children for 20 years, helping create books, documentary television, and online content for Discovery Networks, National Geographic, the Library of Congress, Scholastic, and Time-Life Books, among others. Inspired by authors such as Lewis Carroll and Mark Twain, as well as folk tales and mythology from around the world, I love to combine wordplay and humor with dramatic plots to create rich narrative worlds for readers.
My debut novel, NEVERSINK, was named the Children’s Book of Choice by Literacy Mid-South for their Read Across America program in 2014. The first book in THE VANISHING ISLAND trilogy is available now.
INSTAGRAM: @wolvertonhill

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--Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

- 7 Winner's will Receive a Copy of The Dragon’s Gate  (The Chronicles of the Black Tulip #2) by Barry Wolverton

Audiobook Review: Zombie Team Alpha by Steve R. Yeager!

    Zombie Team Alpha Audiobook
  • Written by: Steve R. Yeager
  • Narrated by: Johnny Mack
  • Length: 6 hrs and 22 mins 
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release Date:11-22-16
  • Publisher: Steve R. Yeager
  • Buy: Audible   Audiobooks.com  
  • When a mysterious artifact is unearthed at a remote mining facility in Russia, those who come in contact with it are infected by something beyond imagination, something terrifying, something that has but one burning desire - to feed on the flesh of the living as a way of spreading the infection.
  • Jackson Cutter and his team of recovery and security specialists have been called upon before to put down such an outbreak, but it cost them dearly. Now Cutter lives on a boat in Barbados, lost in a fog of rum and tequila. When remaining team members Kyle Gauge and Morgan Crow find him, they seek to persuade him to leave his extended vacation and return to the land of the living, because if he doesn't, it will quickly become the land of the walking dead.

My Thoughts:

Deep in the mines of Russia, a mysterious artifact was unearthed. Those who came in contact with it, become infected with something terrifying! While the outbreak is contained to the remote place for the time being, their are certain people who would love to get their hands on this artifact. So they hire an elite team of recovery and security specialists to retrieve the item. Jack Cutter and his team had already attempted to retrieve a similar thing before but things went horribly wrong and Jack lost someone close to him. Will this mission be a success or will the outbreak spread before they can retrieve the only thing that can help?

I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this! The book starts with seeing the miners find the artifact and from the second they touch it, they are infected. It was a very novel and unique way for the outbreak to begin. I also liked how the book wasn't really focused too much on the Zombies, but on the groups struggle to get the artifact. The plot was well written and fast paced and moved along steadily. 

Character wise, Jack was a strong main character. He is deeply affected after they attempted to retrieve the first artifact and he lost someone he loved, but with a pay out of 4 million dollars, he can't turn it down, and he reasons that since they know what to expect, they won't make the same mistakes again. All the characters well written and developed and easily likable. 

In all, this was a fast paced and engaging read. It's a unique and enjoyable take on the Zombie outbreak and I can't wait to see more from this world and these characters. 

Johnny Mack did a really good job bringing this to life. He had a different variety of tones and knew when to ramp up the tension when needed. 

*I received a copy of this via Audiobookboom but voluntarily reviewed it. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.* 

Sunday 29 January 2017

Halfway Bitten by Terry Maggert Audiobook Tour and Giveaway!

Author: Terry Maggert
Narrator: Erin Spencer
Length: 7h 19m
Publisher: Terry Maggert⎮2016
Genre: Paranormal
Release date: May 23, 2016

The circus came to Halfway, and they brought the weird. When clowns, vampires, and corpses start piling up in town, Carlie has to break away from her boyfriend, Wulfric, to bring her witchy skills to the table- or grill, as the case may be. When the body of a young woman washes up in the lake, it unleashes a spiral of mystery that will bring Carlie, Gran, and Wulfric into a storm of magical warfare. Spells will fly. Curses will rain. Amidst it all, Carlie will make waffles, protect her town, and find out if a man from the distant past can join her in happy ever after. With love and honor at stake, Carlie has no peer.

Buy on AudibleAmazoniTunes

My Thoughts: 

So Carlie is back and as sassy as ever!! In this one, a circus comes to town and body count starts to rise! Could the two be connected? Well, that's something Carlie, Gran and Wulfric have to find out! Along the way they encounter vampires, ghosts, shifters and did I mention... clowns!!! Out of all the bad, I still think clowns are the worst!!! Ugh! 

Carlie is such an amazing character! She is strong, sassy and snarky, all of which make her a strong and likable lead. I love how she is so sure of herself and her abilities. She knows what she has to do and isn't afraid to do it! I also love her relationship with Gran. She respects and looks up to her. They do so well as a team. One thing I love about these books is the characters! They are all extremely well written and developed, and I love that the author isn't afraid to make such strong female heroines! Wulfric may be there, but he doesn't hold a candle to Carlie or Gran!

Plot wise, this was fast paced, entertaining, action packed and kept my attention till the end. The author has created a magical world filled with all types of things. The idea of the circus and what it holds was awesome!! A circus is a mysterious place anyway but add in the author's imagination and you have Halfway Bitten ;) 

In all, a great second book and one I thoroughly enjoyed. I can't wait to see what's next for our two leading ladies, and what happens to Wulfric!! Bring on book 3!!

Erin Spencer makes for a brilliant Carlie. She brings across her spirit and sassiness perfectly! She also makes for an awesome Gran!! She was easy to listen to and read the book great. I hope she is narrating book 3.

   About the Author:
  Left-handed. Father of an apparent nudist. Husband to a half-Norwegian. Herder of cats and dogs. Lover of pie. I write books. I've had an unhealthy fascination with dragons since the age of-- well, for a while. Native Floridian. Current Tennessean. Location subject to change based on insurrection, upheaval, or availability of coffee. Nine books and counting, with no end in sight. You've been warned.

About the Narrator:
Erin loves audiobooks! As an actress, they have allowed her to creatively stretch by playing all kinds of characters, all kinds of ages and all kinds of accents! She voiced roles in the Audie award winning title, Illuminae and was also nominated for a Voice Arts Award in the romance category. She has narrated over 100 titles and as an audiobook director has worked on at least 100 more. She has worked for most of the major publishers and also enjoys working with indie writers who are some of the most talented writers out there! Follow her on Twitter @ErinSpencerLA or find her on Facebook, Erin Spencer Actress.


Audio Excerpt:



Halfway Bitten Giveaway #1 

Halfway Bitten Giveaway #2 

Halfway Bitten Giveaway #3 

Follow the Tour:
Jan. 16: terrilovesbooks (Review & Author Interview) 
Jan. 17: Just Us Book Blog (Spotlight)
Jan. 18: Jorie Loves A Story (Review)
Jan. 19: The Bookworm Lodge (Spotlight)
Jan. 20: Que Sera Sara (Review, Audio Excerpt) To Read Or Not To Read (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)
Jan. 21: The Desert Bibliophile (Review, Spotlight, Audio Excerpt)
Jan. 22: Lynn's Romance Enthusiasm (Review, Spotlight, Audio Excerpt)
Jan. 23: Dab of Darkness (Review) The Book Junkie (Spotlight & Interview)
Jan. 24: Chapter Break (Review)
Jan. 25: Holed Up In A Book (Review) Totally Addicted To Reading (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)
Jan. 26: The Book Junkie (Review)
Jan. 27: Mama Reads (Review)
Jan. 28: Avid Book Collector (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)
Jan. 29: Book Lover's Life (Review & Audio Excerpt)

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Audiobook Review: The Cryptic Lines by Richard Storry!

    The Cryptic Lines Audiobook
  • Written by: Richard Storry
  • Narrated by: Jake Urry
  • Length: 4 hrs and 13 mins 
  • Unabridged Audiobook

  • Release Date:03-16-16
  • Publisher: Richard Alan Storry
  • Buy: Audible    Audiobooks.com  

  • In a remote, crumbling, gothic mansion the aged Lord Alfred Willoughby writes his Last Will and Testament, and deliberates over what is to become of his vast fortune after his passing. The obvious thing is to leave it to his only son, Matthew, but the boy has grown up to become a wastrel, unable to hold down a job and constantly relying on hand-outs from his father. So what to do? He finds himself torn. His head tells him to leave Matthew nothing at all; but his heart feels differently. After all, he is still his son... 

  • Finally, he settles on the solution: In one last-ditch attempt to show his son that nothing worth having is gained without effort he sets a series of enigmatic puzzles. If Matthew can successfully solve them he will inherit the entire estate. If he fails, he receives nothing. 

  • However, it emerges that Matthew is not the only interested party. The mansion hides many secrets, and things are not at all as they first appear... 

My Thoughts:

Lord Alfred Willoughby is dying! He has written multiple wills but with the way his son Matthew is, he decides to write on last one. In it he stipulates that he will leave his faithful Butler 5 million, and the rest of his sizable fortune would be left to either of two contenders. But, nothing is ever easy and Lord Alfred sets a treasure hunt in place. The first to solve the clues and find a certain object, will inherit everything. All they have to do is solve The Cryptic Lines!

I absolutely flew through this suspenseful mystery! The authors descriptive writing really brought the scenery and atmosphere to life. You could just imagine the big sprawling manor house that they are searching, as well as the amazing land it's on! I also loved the whole treasure hunt and mysterious clues thing. It was awesome figuring things out along with the characters and trying to see was I right! You think you know what's going to happen but the author throws in twist after twist and the ending was brilliant!! 

Character wise, their are only a few, but all were extremely well written and developed. James, the butler, was a typical English butler you see on the TV. The attorney was another awesome character. Such a nice person. Matthew is a money hungry man, who only wants his fathers vast fortune and will stop at nothing to get it. All of these, as well as the other characters, added up to a really enjoyable and thoroughly entertaining listen! 

In all, this was a quick, fast paced, entertaining and suspenseful read. 

Jake Urry was the perfect choice for this. He had an array of tones and cadences that really suited the feel of this story. He portrayed James and Lord Alfred perfectly with a really posh English voice and even did a perfect Matthew! He really brought this book to life and made it 10 times more enjoyable! I went looking for information on Jake Urry to see what else he has narrated and was shocked to see that he is so young!! I thought he was an older gentleman with the way he read this book!!! Brilliant narrator.

*I received this via Audiobook Boom but voluntarily reviewed it. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.*