Book Blog Tour: Last Wish of Summer by Phillip Overton (Review + Giveaway)

Today I have for you an excerpt, a review and a giveaway to Phillip Overton’s contemporary YA novel, Last Wish of Summer. Ain’t it apt because I think summer has ended for those on the Northern Hemisphere. Anyway, sit tight and enjoy!

Last Wish of Summer

Title: Last Wish of Summer
Author: Phillip Overton

Genre: contemporary YA
Date Published: January 18, 2012

As the sun prepares to rise on the last day of summer, three friends find themselves totally unprepared for the events that are about to take place around them. For Tanya it is a chance to find peace three years after losing her parents in an auto accident. Deciding she simply can’t continue blaming God for her loss, she places a heartfelt poem in a bottle and throws it into the sea on the eve of her birthday, granting her birthday wish to whoever finds it.

Early the next morning, her best friend Anton and his buddy Johnno find the bottle washed
up on the shore and set about putting it to the test. When Johnno falls for the new waitress at the café where Tanya works, it stirs up feelings of jealousy in Tanya. Surely Johnno couldn’t be the man that God had in mind for her? Suddenly, strange wishes are beginning to come true, but is it all a coincidence? Or is God about to change people’s lives for the better?

Welcome to Kings Beach, where the forecast for the last day of summer promises to be hot,
hot, hot, with a definite change in the air.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N

Excerpt

Johnno grabbed the bottle and turned it upside down. The letter caught in its neck. Then with a bit of prying using his car key, he was able to gently pull the letter from the bottle and let it fall onto the table. It lay there wrapped only with a small hair ribbon tied in the centre. Anton reached across to untie it as Johnno stood the now empty bottle back in the centre of the table.

“Well here goes.” Anton said as he uncurled the two pages and held them up for his friend to see.

The pages were cream in color, decorated with a border of flowers entwined along the edge of each page in black ink. At the top of the first page before the letter began, was a small turquoise colored love heart someone had painted, again in what appeared to be nail polish. It left a slightly oily stain around the edges which only added to the letter’s charm. Around them, the air filled with the scent of women’s perfume that wafted up from the page. With their curiosity now firmly aroused, Anton and Johnno huddled in closely and began to read.

To whoever finds this,
If I’ve washed up on your distant shore,
From a land far over the sea.
Please tread carefully on the morning sand,
And know you’ve set me free.
Wrapped in my mother’s ribbon,
This letter is but a token.
A plead to let her see the world,
From a young heart torn and broken.
A turquoise heart that was my Aunt,
Left footprints in the sand.
Her magic just a memory,
You now hold in your hand.
So I light a candle for my Dad,
But this gift I give to you.
He always told me to make a wish,
So today may all yours come true.
It’s time to live, to find true love.
Before the winter’s scorn.
Somewhere it’s always summer,
May my true love’s arms be warm.

P.S. Please return me to the sea at sunset.

My Review

This is not like your usual contemporary YA. It’s clean, no profanity or even sex scenes, and it is a Christian romance through and through. Well, it’s a pretty spiritual novel in my opinion as Tanya, the main character, is a Christian who prays. This novel tackles loss and faith and it is refreshing to read something like this, especially with the landscape full of hormonal, act-before-you-think teenagers. Okay, I’m not judging American culture but it’s just really different here in the Philippines. I think that’s why I related to Savannah in the show Hellcats because she’s a Christian and I am. I am not overly devoted and I don’t really like the Church or religion for that matter, but I do believe in God and I think that’s what’s important. And I’m getting preachy here so let’s get on with the review!

So the romance is kinda sappy but I like it. Maybe because I’m pretty saturated with all the jumping-on-your-bones love I’ve read lately so it’s kinda cute (even though it’s corny) right now. Any other day I might barf. Hahaha!

All of the characters here developed by the end of the novel and I am actually impressed by that. Usually, side characters just tend to be that, side characters, but here, everyone gets the resolution they need and grows up a bit. Like I said, how refreshing. I enjoyed reading this and I think it’s a quick read for a lazy afternoon by the sofa. So I suggest you try it out because I don’t think you’d get put off by the mini Christian themes here and there if you’re not a Christian. It’s still a feel-good book and that’s what’s important with this types, isn’t it?

Thank you to Reading Addiction Blog Tours and to Phillip Overton for the chance to be part of this book’s blog tour! :D

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

About Phillip Overton

Phillip Overton’s writing has been compared to none other than Nicholas Sparks, and his latest novel Last Wish of Summer offers readers the perfect book to spend a summer’s day reading at the beach. In a book that reminds us to be careful what we wish for, it manages to weave the wholesome, virginal qualities of the main character Tanya with her band of misfit friends in their pursuit of being able to reason why a washed up message in a bottle is somehow granting their every wish come true. Often in a manner that is both coincidental and strangely bizarre.

Just as a movie adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel will appeal to people of all ages, so too will this story that follows the adventures of a group of twenty-something’s on the last day of summer. The book not only manages to cut through any pre-conceived ideas we hold on morals, body-image and social status, but delights in helping us discover what may already be right under our nose to begin with.

Website | Blog | Twitter

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Book Blog Tour: Midnight’s Cloak by Justin Geary (Guest Blog + Giveaway)

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Today, the Midnight’s Cloak blog tour is stopping by for a guest post by Justin Geary, the author, himself and an excerpt and an ebook giveaway. So come one and join in on the fun here at the Midnight’s Cloak blog tour. Commence!

About Midnight’s Cloak

Dark blood of the evil ten; drank by a son of the same brood. Possessed by the taint, he marches to different sections of the world, conquering and destroying everything in his path as a cloak of midnight pulls itself over all things. The great foretelling of LaStaudd the Wise, the age of the Rising Flame.

Genre – Epic Fantasy
Publisher – Outskirts Press
Release Date – May 30, 2012

Purchase at Outskirts Press or Amazon

Midnight’s Cloak is the first part of a ten book epic fantasy series. The series takes place within the timeframe of a decade. Midnight’s Cloak is world building Epic fantasy and contains maps an appendix and a glossary. As far as the type of fiction I write, i would say it’s similar to Robert Jordan, David Farland and Terry Goodkind. Midnight’s Cloak is 361 pages. There is a lot of charicter development early on in the story. Also there is romance and I write a lot of battle sequences. My map is rather small on the paperback so i always recommend a pdf ebook because you can zoom in on the map to see places. It is also cheaper and I earn a larger royalty for it. Midnight’s Cloak is edited and proofread. Outskirts Press E-book 5 dollars amazon search inside the book available soon.

Excerpt

After a half hour of travel Aramina woke up.

“You okay sweetheart?” Lot asked.

“I think so,” Aramina said. “I take it the Cael are dead.”

“Yes. Why didn’t you use your magic?” Lot asked.

“I started to, then one of them jumped me from behind. After that everything became hazy,” Aramina said.

“You’re not dizzy or anything?”

“I feel fine,” Aramina said softly. She looked to the right where Clophues rode the gelding and had Snowflake’s reins.

“His name is Clophues. I don’t think he would have shot you. He was just scared.”

“The Cael were chasing him?” Aramina asked.

“Yes.”

“Could you let me down so I can ride Snowflake. This saddle is a bit uncomfortable.” Lot stopped Tracker and Aramina climbed down. Clophues stopped his horse as well. She went to Clophues.

“May I have my horse back, please?” Aramina asked.

“Maybe I’ll give her back to you, but I’d like a kiss first,” Clophues said, simpering. Aramina stuck her hand out, expecting it to be filled with Snowflake’s reins. “I’d prefer a kiss on the lips,” the West woodsman said, perking up.

“I’d be careful with her?” Lot warned. Aramina dropped her hand and looked back at the samurai. Her look told him to shut up. Lot watched the two of them intently. She turned back to Clophues. “I can’t kiss you from up there,” Aramina said. Clophues bent sideways to get closer to her. When he got close Aramina grabbed his ear hard and yanked him from his gelding. The West woodsman hit the ground, grunting. Lot chuckled.

“Would you like another?” Aramina asked angrily.

Clophues stood up and brushed off his coat. “You’re mad,” he said.

Guest Blog

My Favorite Books and Why by Justin E. Geary

   This is a difficult topic for me to write about because I like a wide variety of genres, so I’ll only pick some of my favorites. Let’s start with Stephen King’s the Long Walk. This was an excellent novel about a competition held every year or so. The title gives you a good idea of what the book’s about. Every year a hundred children are drawn randomly to compete in a walk that does not stop until there is only one walker left. I will not give you any more information about this book because I think you should read it. It may be Stephen King’s very best and that’s saying a lot because he has written many good novels.

Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird is another one of my favorite novels. I liked the two duel stories of Boo Radley and Tom Robinson and the subtle comparisons made about them. The characters were interesting and it gave you a feeling of what it was like when they were a kid.

Robert Jordan’s The Eye Of The World was the novel that had the most influence on me as a novelist.

Mainly because I write Epic Fantasy myself and I was totally enchanted by the world that he’d created, practically from scratch, which most Epic Fantasy authors are unable to do.

Ayn Rand’s The Fountain Head was another novel I enjoyed. Its focus was more on being unique or different and what makes a person beautiful. The fact that they are unique and different is beautiful.

The Princess Bride without a doubt is what epic fantasy is all about. Not only was the book outstanding having adventure, romance and battles, it had a child like sense of wonder to it. The Lord of the Flies was a very dark book about what happens when children are left without supervision. It also delves deep into the psychology of the human mind. This was a very dark book, one of the darkest I’ve ever read.

The only novel that made me laugh and cry in one book was John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. This  is a novel I read many times. This represents some of Steinbeck’s best work and he’s the best literary writer I’ve personally ever read. He was not hard to read and his characters were truly captivating.

James A. Michener’s Centennial is a very different book compared to the others I’ve read. It breaks a lot of the rules of what I was taught about writing, but I have to admit I loved it. It’s about the geographical location of Centennial Colorado and goes through many characters. This novel is not character based but based on what happened since the beginning of time in Centennial and there is a good message to it. To readers curious about Centennial: it’s a long novel but it’s a smooth read.

About Justin Geary

Justin E. Geary lives in western Maryland where he spends his time reading various authors and exploring different subjects. In addition to fiction he enjoys history and some science. He is the nephew of 1942 Pulitzer Prize winner Laurence Edmond Allen. Justin’s hobbies are chess, pool and writing epic fantasy. He started reading Edgar Allen Poe with interest at the age of sixteen and started writing screenplays at the age of nineteen. Screenplays were unfulfilling for Justin because they lacked depth. Later on he wrote his first novel at twenty-one and Midnight’s Cloak his second at twenty-four. After finishing the rough draft Justin decided that Fantasy was his escape from the world. Without a college education Justin decided to seek editorial help sinking twenty-one hundred dollars of his own money into the editing and proofing of his manuscript. Justin calls the expense a small price for something he loves so dearly.

Author Links: https://twitter.com/#!/JustinEGeary

Giveaway

You can win an ebook copy of Midnight’s Cloak here and it’s so easy!

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That’s it! You can win with just a comment! Do indicate your Twitter and Goodreads username if you did some extra tasks. Good luck!

Book Blog Tour: Bayou Myth by Mary Ann Loesch (Review + Giveaway)

Today is my first tour ever with Innovative Online Book Tours! Yey! So here’s Bayou Myth, one fantastic YA horror fantasy novel, which I got free for my honest opinion. And honestly, I really like it. Having read this and having a copy exclusively from the author is prize in itself. So let’s get this tour stop started!

About Bayou Myth

Bayou Myth

As a sixteen year old voodoo queen in the making, Joan Renault just wants to be like all the other girls in the small town of Monte Parish, Louisiana—obsessed with boys and swamped with social lives. If the other kids would quit calling her “hoodoo hag,” she might have a small shot at normality. It would also help if Joan’s weekend outings with her secret crush, Dave, weren’t always being interrupted by her dead Grandmere, the legendary Marie Laveau. After all, it’s hard to make out with your best friend when your grandmother is watching! But when you come from a long line of voodoo priestesses with dried gator heads decorating the wall of their huts, normal doesn’t come easily.

When Joan witnesses the brutal sacrifice of a child to a tree Druid, she learns her Grandmere’s scandalous past has come back to haunt those living in the present. Hera, a vengeful voodoo priestess is determined to use the residual energy of Pandora’s Box to revive a sleeping voodoo god and declare war on the descendants of Marie Laveau, especially Joan. Suddenly, Greek myths are being re-enacted all over town, and Joan has her hands full trying to sort it all out. With the approach of Samedi’s Day—the voodoo day of resurrection—Joan must learn to accept her destiny in order to stop the approaching threat to her family and friends.

Free on Amazon! Come on and grab it!

Excerpt

A teenage girl stood in the hazy glow. Unlike the other spirits, her form held solid. I got the sense that she drew energy from the surrounding spirits. Her lowered head made it so I couldn’t see her face, but the style of dress she wore dated back at least a century. Not surprising, really. Monte Parish could trash its roots to the late 1700’s.

The ghost lifted her head. Her eyes were empty sockets and rotted flesh hung from her face revealing bone. She watched me, and the hatred pumping from her aura sucked my breath away. Her head moved as if she were looking at Dave. A sly smile formed on what remained of her lips, and the hatred crawling in the air multiplied. She moved towards us with an unsteady gait. The closer she got, the sicker to my stomach I felt.

She meant to harm Dave. But not because he’d done anything to her. It was because he belonged to me. Though she never said a word, her intentions spilt off her and my psychic conduit picked it up.

“Let’s go. We need to leave right now.”

“What’s wrong?” Dave asked, but he complied with my request and closed up the tailgate.

The girl continued our direction. She raised a hand, and the sleeve of her dress slid back. Even from the distance we were at, the long white scar on her arm could be seen clearly in the moonlight. She pointed a finger at me.

You saw…the words hissed across the cemetery, raising goose bumps on my arms.

My Review

Greek mythology. Voodoo. Voodoo priestesses. Best friend. Crush on a best friend. Secret-keeping best friend. Young adult. Kickass heroine. Oh yeah, Bayou Myth has it all.

Don’t get scared about the author mixing Greek myths and voodoo. I got excited by the blurb but then I took a double-take when I read ‘Greek myths’. Because, how can you mash two entirely different realms? But that’s where Mary Ann kicks ass like her heroine. Because she did it. She oh so wonderfully weaved them that you won’t know what hit you until you’re addicted. I couldn’t keep away from the book and that proved to be difficult because school is getting busy again but I just had to read it and finish it asap. And by the end, I scold myself for reading so much and not studying. But still, time spent reading is time well-spent. Screw school, I’ll just review less. Hahaha! I’m not exactly being a role model here. Uh-oh. Anyway, so you get how addicting this book is because I even foregone studying just to read it. Bad girl.

The plot and the writing were tightly woven, intricate enough to get sucked in to this world, but not that confusing. I love YA horror novels because I don’t see much of them. It’s usually paranormal or contemporary or dystopian or some other more common genre. So I’m really happy to have read this and have it in my “bookshelf”.

So thank you Mary Ann for writing a wonderful novel. But it’s unfair that this book is apparently the first of a series and so I still have to wait and wait for the next book. But the waiting will be worth it, I’m sure. Read it guys and let’s talk about it once you’re done. I need someone to share with!

Thanks to Innovative Online Book Tours and Vickie for setting me up in this tour!

About Mary Ann Loesche

Mary Ann Loesch is the author of Nephilim, an urban fantasy published by Lyrical Press Inc, and Bayou Myth, a young adult horror novel. Her short stories have been published on line with various magazines and in the anthology All Things Dark and Dastardly.  All three books can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords in both paperback and ebook form. An avid reader, Mary Ann finds herself a fan of many genres, including urban fantasy, mystery, horror, and even a bit of literary fiction.

Follow Mary Ann’s random thoughts at Twitter and Facebook, or check her weekly blog, Loesch’s Muse, for insights on life, writing, and dirty martinis.

Website | Goodreads

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Book Blog Tour: For Ever by C.J. Valles (Review + Giveaway)

Today, I have a review and a giveaway going on for the For Ever tour. Yey! For Ever is a YA paranormal novel by C.J. Valles, the first from the Ever series. I think that’s a cool way to name your book series. Props! Anyway, without further ado, here’s For Ever!

About For Ever

For Ever

For Ever starts now

Sixteen-year-old Wren Sullivan doesn’t want to know what other people are thinking about her because most of the time it sucks. Too bad since that’s what happens every time she looks into someone’s eyes.

When she moves to Portland, Oregon, after her parents’ divorce, Wren’s just hoping to get through the rest of her junior year unscathed. Instead, before the end of her second day in school, she wakes up in the hospital after her very own freaky demonic-possession incident. Wren can’t remember much. But soon she finds out that her episode happened right after she locked eyes with the one classmate who happens to have gone missing.

Wren starts digging through people’s heads for the truth about him, and finds nothing. Godlike hotness? Yep. But nobody knows who Ever Casey really is. Even weirder, they don’t seem to care that he just disappeared. So, when he randomly shows up again in her first period class, she’s determined to get some answers. He may be perfect on the outside, but with one look into his eyes, Wren discovers his mind is also perfect, perfectly empty.

Or is there something he doesn’t want her to see there that will put her and anyone near her in danger?

When For Ever ends, Never begins.

Never, the second book in The Ever Series, is coming soon.

My Review

We’ve always been told not to judge a book by its cover. But as a reader, that is so hard for me to do. What do you see first? The cover, right? So naturally, you gravitate to books with covers you like then you flip the book and read the blurb at the back. Then if it sparks your interest, you buy it or you put it in your Goodreads To-Read shelf. Haha! I, myself, am guilty of judging books by their cover. So when I saw that sign-ups are open for this tour, I almost passed. Good thing I had nothing better to do but read the synopsis. Then, BOOM, sold. I need to get on this tour. Have you read the blurb? Sounds good, huh? I’m telling you, YEAH IT IS.

I was wondering why the title is spelled For Ever and not Forever and so I got it, the guy’s name is Ever. Haha! Anyway, let’s get all the minor gripes I have out of the way before I give my praises. Hihi. Aside from the cover, I just had a little problem wrapping around the heroine’s name, which is Wren. It’s cool, I think it’s cool for a girl to be named Wren, but I kept thinking about Wren (play Julian Morris) from the show Pretty Little Liars while I was reading it. I was sort of distracted at first since I have a HUGE crush on Julian Morris and I am kinda thinking about naming my future son Wren. HAHAHAHA. Okay, that was SO not related to the review. With those qualms on the table, let’s get to the good stuff. So what does For Ever have it going for it?

For Ever is a paranormal romance or maybe a romance with paranormal elements. Even though I got distracted with Wren’s name, I liked her character. Sure, I love alpha females and kickass heroines but Wren’s shyness and laid-back attitude just endeared her to me. Maybe because I see a friend in her I dearly love. Ever is duh, hot and swoonworthy. Seriously, my list of book boyfriends is getting longer every single day. Haha! The characters were not one-dimensional and had a lot going on for them (yeah, because it’s a paranormal novel) so check, check, check on characters!

As for the plot, it just ate up my time! I barely slept, just reading until I finished. Seriously, these books take up more time than my academics, which I think is bad. Really bad. But I don’t get sleepy when reading fiction but even just one paragraph from my textbooks makes me yawn. It was intriguing, with twists you’d get tangled into. The writing was good and point is, you’ll just eat this book up.

However, sigh, the ending is a cliffhanger. I hate cliffhangers. Actually, I love them. If a book ended in a cliffhanger, I tend to love it. Because it makes me hate the fact that I can’t read the next book asap. Sigh. So good job on that one! Made me REALLY want to hunt down the author for an eARC of Never. I’ve mentioned that I love the titles right? But good news is that the author has just finished writing Never! Yey! I read it in her blog and Never is now in the editing/rewriting process. She plans to release it on Valentine’s Day of 2013 but attempts to release it sooner. Sooner please!

So I recommend this for any fans of paranormal romance. Join in the giveaway below to get a chance to win an ebook copy of For Ever so we can spazz together. Haha!

About C.J. Valles

I grew up in Southern California before moving to Northern California for college, where I majored in English and psychology. I’ve been a professional writer for more than a decade, but I just finished my first novel in 2008 — for fun and practice. Then I wrote the second one — For Ever — which is for sale on Amazon. When I’m not writing fiction, I work as a freelance public relations writer. I live in Portland, Ore., with my husband, the saint who spent an entire weekend reading For Ever.

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Giveaway

You can win an ebook copy of For Ever. Woo to the hoo!

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Extra Entries: (Please indicate in your comment what you accomplished.)

+1 Add For Ever to your Goodreads account. Please leave your username.
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+1 Add me on Goodreads (whoopeeyoo)
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Easy peasy! Good luck! Giveaway ends when tour ends. :D

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Book Blog Tour: Destiny’s Fire by Trisha Wolfe (Review + Giveaway)

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And as promised, I have another stop on the YA Summer Reading with Omnific Publishing Tour. Yey! So, Destiny’s Fire is the first book in the Kythan Guardians series by Trisha Wolfe. I was so excited to read this book and I will not babble that much so we can start. Let’s get on with the blurb! (There’s also a review and giveaway at the bottom so let’s go!)

About Destiny’s Fire

Destiny's Fire (Kythan Guardians, #1)

It’s the year 2040, and sixteen-year-old Dez Harkly is one of the last of her kind—part of a nearly extinct race of shape-shifters descended from guardians to the Egyptian pharaohs. Her home and her secret are threatened when the Council lowers the barrier, allowing the enemy race to enter the Shythe haven.

As the Narcolym airships approach, Dez and her friends rebel against their Council and secretly train for battle. Not only is Dez wary of war and her growing affection for her best friend Jace, but she fears the change her birthday will bring. When Dez’s newfound power rockets out of control, it’s a Narcolym who could change her fate… if she can trust him.

Dez’s guarded world crumbles when she discovers why the Narcos have really come to Haven Falls, and she’s forced to choose between the race who raised her and the enemy she’s feared her whole life.

Purchase at Amazon

Book Trailer

My Review

What’s with the weird goggles on the cover girl’s hair? Why? I could have loved the cover wholeheartedly if it weren’t for that. I still like the cover, the color, the girl’s pose, everything, except the goggles. Haha! Now that that minor gripe has been said, let’s get it on with the glowing review! <3

First, the plot. Woah. This is so FREAKIN’ ORIGINAL. Shapeshifters that descended from the guardians of the Egyptian pharaoh. Woah. It’s far off but shoot me if it doesn’t work. First of all, SHAPESHIFTERS. I love anything shapeshifters as much as I love anything mermaid. So my enjoyment of a novel goes up tons of notches if it’s about shapeshifters. But they’re not just shapeshifters, they descended from the guardians of the Egyptian pharaohs. Egypt, oh Egypt. Another one of my favorites. Hihi.

So from the get-go, I am poised to like this book and that’s why I chose it for my stop. And attagirl, what good choice I’ve made! Trisha Wolfe has crafted such a unique and rich setting for this novel that it’s hard not to get sucked in. It’s hard to get into it at first but after everything falls right into place, after you get the feel of the novel, when the pace picks up, resistance is futile. I did find some loopholes and I found myself asking a lot of things but since this is the first book to a series, I’m expecting and hoping that those would be answered in the sequel. I need more history, bring it on!

Oh the romance, the romance. This book had some makeout scenes that will make even the toughest girls blush. Haha! Sly, very sly, Trisha Wolfe. To quote Oliver Twist, “Please, sir, I want some more”. HAHAHAHA!

And Reese, oh Reese. Swoonsville.

However, I must warn you though that Dez, the main character, is not for everyone. She’s strong and she has the ‘tude, but as with boys, you might get irritated by her jumping ships left and right. She has made WTF-ARE-YOU-THINKING-GIRL decisions and had some BAD-BAD-GIRL-ARE-YOU-KIDDING-ME moments and so if you find yourself not invested in her, you might not enjoy the book. But still stick to it and just enjoy the ride if you’re just indifferent to her. (Like I did with Katniss after her wrongdoings to Peeta HAHA) But if you hate her, I’m sorry, maybe this is not for you.

Anyway, the action scenes were very vivid and full of life and while it is very much fiction, 2040 doesn’t seem so far away. That’s what, 22 years from now. I’d be 40 by then and okay, let’s not go into that #dark place. Haha! The futuristic setting is just awesome, gah, love it!

I think I’m getting incoherent here and I’m just typing away what comes into mind. I hope I can improve this review in the future. The take-away message from all my swooning and spazzing and squealing is that, Trisha Wolfe is awesome and Destiny’s Fire is fantastic and if you’re itching for a YA steampunk novel, you should definitely pick this up. Absolutely definitely must pick this up. You need to! I know you want to! Go! Enter the giveaway and you might just win! :D

About Trisha Wolfe

I’m the author of the YA Steampunk/Paranormal Romance DESTINY’S FIRE (Omnific Publishing) and the upcoming YA Sci-Fi Utopian FIREBLOOD from Spencer Hill Press, November 2013. My published short stories have appeared in YA literary journals, Fantasy magazines, and anthologies. I’ve written four books in the past two years, and I’m currently working on a new YA Sci-Fi project.

I’m the creator of YA Bound, a promotional blog for the Young Adult genre.  Also a proud  member of YALITCHAT.ORGSCWW, and The Apocalypsies.

And I’m also a business owner, partnered with my partner, my husband. When I’m not busy doing all of the above, I’m a wife and the mother of a gorgeous teen boy who’s the sounding board for my male characters.

Website | GoodreadsFacebook | Twitter | Tumblr | YouTube Channel 

Giveaway

You can go over HERE to enter the tour-wide giveaway with a prize ePack of Omnific’s YA catalogue. But you can also enter my giveaway for a Destiny’s Fire ebook! It’s so simple!

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Extra Tasks: (Please tell me what extra tasks you’ve accomplished. :D)

+1 Follow @whoopeeyoo on Twitter and indicate your username.
+1 For every tweet about this giveaway.
+1 Follow or subscribe to my blog!
+1 Follow @TrishWolfe on Twitter.
+1 Add Destiny’s Fire to your Goodreads shelf. :)
+1 Add me as a friend or follow my reviews on Goodreads (whoopeeyoo).
+1 Add or follow Trisha Wolfe on Goodreads.

Good luck!

Follow the Tour

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Book Blog Tour: Battlefield by J.F. Jenkins (Review + Giveaway)

Today, J.F. Jenkins’ Battlefield tour is here and I’m one of the lucky hosts to be in it! I’ll be blogging a review and giving away an ebook copy of the book so come on and join the fun!

About Battlefield

Battlefield (Battlefield, #1)

Cadence, JD, and Orlando couldn’t be more different from one another. Under normal circumstances, the three wouldn’t so much as say hi to each other if they could get away with it. Then an alien crashes through the roof of their local mall, and everything changes. Not only do the three teens gain new abilities, but they’re also chosen to help fight in an intergalactic war where the next chosen battlefield is Earth.

Reluctant at first, they change their minds when the fight hits close to home. Teenagers from school start to go missing, and some are dead. Together they must learn to work together and solve the mystery behind these disappearances before more lives are lost.

Purchase at Amazon

My Review

Movies, and any other story, book or TV show at that, generally has to deal with the focus problem. I just dubbed it the focus problem so I don’t know what it is technically called. Anyway, the focus problem is that you don’t know if you’re going to focus on the plot or on the characters. Are you going to slap the characters with plot and conflict every chance you get, making for an action-packed story or would you rather let the characters drive the story?

Some novels tend to focus on the characters and it’s usually in YA and contemporary novels that happen in the present day. Teen angst, self-discovery, redemption, all that themes. But when you have a more-fiction-than-truth plot, you tend to focus on the premise and the twists and turns and just let the characters ride that wave and react to that. This usually happens in sci-fi, dystopian and mysteries and thrillers. So I was surprised that Battlefield actually focused on the characters rather than on the plot. Having a title like “Battlefield” and being about an intergalactic war where three teenagers are drafted to help, you’d expect it to be all flash and all guns and superpowers. While this book did have that, its main focus was on the three teens, Orlando, JD and Cadence and their alien mentor, Alan. It was a nice change of style and pace for me. So much that I really enjoyed this novel.

Granted that it certainly has its flaws and shortcomings, but I think those might be answered in the next book as this is just the first book to a series of novels. If that’s the case, it’s alright with me. But if it were a standalone novel, we’d have words, Battlefield, we will.

I also loved the fact that the aliens portrayed here are not the gooey green-skinned aliens we all think of. They’re pretty much human, albeit having different hair colors and such. But they’re pretty normal, for an alien, in my standards. They have feelings and all that and J.F. Jenkins has crafted a world so believable.

I do thought about the film “Chronicle” while reading this. I haven’t watched that yet but heard it was awesome. It’s about three friends who get superpowers too. Although these three teens are not all friends, they ended up being friends. So this novel is not all battle,it’s also about friendship and *love*. Haha!

I did really like Orlando because he’s snarky and sarcastic. I love those book tropes, even if they’re overdone. What can I say? Nope, cannot defend myself here. Guilty as charged. Haha!

Overall, I did enjoy this book and for sure, I will be reading the next one. :)

About J.F. Jenkins

J.F. Jenkins lives in Minneapolis where she spends most of her time creating and plotting world domination – something that has been in the works for roughly 13 years.

In her free time she works as the local coffee wench and dominates the minions of the pixilated world on her PS3.

She’s also got a little man (J Walk) and a little man trapped in a big man’s body (J Dawg) to take care of along with her two fur babies Ushi and Tibu.

She is currently unrepresented by an agency. Email jfjenkinswrites@gmail.com with questions and comments.

Blog | Twitter

Giveaway!

You can win an ebook of Battlefield simply by commenting on this post! That’s one entry! Woo!

For extra points, you can do the following tasks: (Please include in the comment what tasks you did.)

+1 Add Battlefield to Goodreads (Please leave your Goodreads username)
+1 Add J.F. Jenkins on Goodreads
+1 Follow me on Twitter: @whoopeeyoo (Please indicate your username)
+1 Add me on Goodreads (whoopeeyoo)

Easy peasy! Giveaway ends on August 24 and I will email the winner. You have two weeks to enter so comment away! Good luck!

Follow the Tour!

Click on the tour banner at the top of this post to see the entire tour schedule. Enjoy hopping and hopefully, winning! :)

Book Blog Tour: Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons by Denise Grover Swank (Review + Giveaway)

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Oh yeah, the Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons Book Tour is here! The Rose Gardner Mysteries are awesome and Denise Grover Swank too and so, I will be reviewing both books for this stop. Yey! You can also win one of six (!!) $5 Amazon gift cards in the tour-wide giveaway so what are you waiting for? Hop now on this crazy tour and win!

About Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes

Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes (A Rose Gardner Mystery #1)

For Rose Gardner, working at the DMV on a Friday afternoon is bad even before she sees a vision of herself dead. She’s had plenty of visions, usually boring ones like someone’s toilet’s overflowed, but she’s never seen one of herself before. When her overbearing momma winds up murdered on her sofa instead, two things are certain: There isn’t enough hydrogen peroxide in the state of Arkansas to get that stain out, and Rose is the prime suspect.

Rose realizes she’s wasted twenty-four years of living and makes a list on the back of a Wal-Mart receipt: twenty-eight things she wants to accomplish before her vision comes true. She’s well on her way with the help of her next door neighbor Joe, who has no trouble teaching Rose the rules of drinking, but won’t help with number fifteen– do more with a man. Joe’s new to town, but it doesn’t take a vision for Rose to realize he’s got plenty secrets of his own.

Somebody thinks Rose has something they want and they’ll do anything to get it. Her house is broken into, someone else she knows is murdered, and suddenly, dying a virgin in the Fenton County jail isn’t her biggest worry after all.

Winner of The Beacon 2010 Unpublished Division, Mainstream Category

Book Trailer

Purchase at Amazon

My Review

If you’re looking for a fast-paced, amusing and fun read, this is it! You can’t help but root for Rose from the start and to see her succeed and be happy. Don’t let others get you down, girl! You deserve to be happy! You’d spent to time thinking if this book is worth reading or worth finishing because just from the start, you’d get spun around this whirlwind of a tale. You’re gonna get hooked so much you won’t stop reading. It’s so comfortable reading this, knowing that at the end of the story, you’d be happy and smiling. And that’s what I got! It’s Southern and who doesn’t love some ol’ Southern romance? And a Southern heroine? I finished this book in one sitting because it would be impossible to do otherwise. Can’t put it down! Though sure, you have to suspend disbelief at a lot of things to fully enjoy it but what’s that? Sometimes you just need to relax and not think too much and this is the one you should read at times like that! I loved how Denise Grover Swank tied in romance and mystery into one novel with all the laughs and little tears it elicited from me. Her writing just makes you gravitate to the next page, devouring the story as you go.

I definitely recommend you to pick this one up! You can purchase it at Amazon from the link I provided (so you can help this one out *wink*). Thank you to AToMR tours for setting this tour up and for giving me the chance to read this. I absolutely enjoyed it!

About Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons

Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons (A Rose Gardner Mystery, #2)

When Rose reports for Fenton County jury duty she figures she’s lucky to get out of a morning working at the DMV. Instead, despite a disastrous encounter with the new assistant district attorney, Mason Deveraux, she’s picked as a juror on a murder case. As the trial progresses, she realizes an ominous vision she had in the men’s restroom proves the defendant is innocent. And there’s not a cotton picking thing she can do about it.

Or is there?

As if things weren’t bad enough, Rose’s older sister Violet is going through a mid-life crisis. Violet insists that Rose stop seeing her sexy new boyfriend, Arkansas state detective Joe Simmons and date other men. Rose is done letting people boss her around, but she can’t commit to Joe either. Still, Rose isn’t about to let the best thing in her life slip away.

Purchase at Amazon

My Review

I absolutely adored the first book so I had high expectations of this one and it surely did not disappoint! High five, Denise Grover Swank!

This is the second book in the A Rose Gardner Mystery series but you can pick it up and read it independently. Sure, you’d know Rose so much better and you’d love her more if you’ve read Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes but Denise wrote this FANTASTIC sequel as if it can stand on its own. With that said, this is such a fun, fun, FUN sequel to the absolutely lovable TEaaHW. It is so funny and amusing and you’d really want to read this while lying around in your couch or your bed. It’s so comfortable and relaxing, just laughing your head off and falling in love with this novel.

Denise really writes well as the mystery is well played out, making me never wanna stop reading. It’s a pain to put this book down when I had to, sigh. Excited for the next book!

Thank you to AToMR tours and Denise Grover Swank for providing both copies at once. I’d flip out if I’d have to wait for this sequel after reading the first book. Haha! Congratulations to Denise for writing another winner! Much love and more power to her!

About Denise Grover Swank

Denise is a single mom who lives in Lee’s Summit, Missouri raising five of her six kids. (The oldest has gone off to live on his own.) She loves to embarrass her children whether it be spontaneous dance parties in the kitchen or making her teens’ friends think she’s funny/cool. *gasp* (Even if its in her own mind.) On rare occasions, she is known to post stories about her crazy life on her family blog There’s Always Room for One More.She keeps her sanity by creating worlds to escape to and characters to hang out with.

Giveaway

Click HERE to be one of the six winners of $5 Amazon gift cards!

Follow the Tour!

Click on the tour banner at the top of this post to see the entire tour schedule. Enjoy hopping (and winning hopefully!) :)

Book Blog Tour: Nocturnal & Nightmare by Chelsea M. Cameron (Review + Giveaway)

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Here it is! The Noctalis Chronicles is here! The first two books in Chelsea M. Cameron’s The Noctalis Chronicles, Nocturnal and Nightmare, is on tour with SupaGurl Book Tours and I am one of the lucky blogs to host! In my stop, you can read what I think about both books. There is also a scavenger hunt for this book tour and a whole lot more! So sit tight and lend me your eyes for reading and enjoy!

About Nocturnal (The Noctalis Chronicles #1)

Nocturnal (The Noctalis Chronicles, #1)

Seventeen-year-old Ava-Claire Sullivan’s mother is dying. Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that her greatest solace comes from someone who’s already dead.

Peter Hart saves her one night in a graveyard from an attacker just as strange as he is, and now Ava can’t stop thinking about him. She wants to see him again – even after he warns her he’s dangerous, and she begins to realize what he is. Her best friends don’t know anything about death, but Peter does, intimately. He’s waiting for her the next night she comes to the cemetery, and the next…

But their growing bond comes up against a promise Peter made a long time ago, a promise that could destroy them both. Now Ava has to decide just what she’s willing to give up to hold onto the one thing that could last forever.

Purchase at Amazon!

My Review

What a gorgeous cover! Now that I put that right out off the gate, let’s get on with the review.

If I haven’t said it enough, I’m not really into vampire stories and novels. I much prefer werewolves, angels and mermaids any day. Which is really weird because I pretty much gobble up anything The Vampire Diaries (the series though, not the book). I don’t know why but it’s just the way it is, I guess. So I was a bit wary going into this book but I trusted that Heather of SupaGurl Book Tours would not book a tour if said novel is short of amazing. And once again, I thank my blind faith on Heather. This is such a lovely book.

It wastes no time as we were smacked down with the news from the first chapter, Ava’s mom is diagnosed of cancer. Ava spends a lot of time in the book dealing with this news and that is made especially hard by his good-for-nothing father. But her mother is just an angel, a delight, and some of you might shed a tear or two (OR A LOT) with Ava and her mom’s relationship. So yes, this is full of teen angst rooted in family and death. Ava has two best friends, Tex and Jaime, whom she hasn’t confided with this news. Tex is a sassy girl while Jaime is a sweet jock. And of course, there’s Peter, spends-his-time-in-a-cemetery vampire Peter.

Ava knows better than to fall in love with a strange stranger but she can’t help getting interested and being drawn closer to Peter. She also unloads her problems on him, feeling like he understands her. Which I love. It’s not, we met and sparks flied and we kissed and we’re in love. Nope, it felt like a developing attraction and in turn, a developing relationship. Ava is trying to cope with her mother’s imminent fate with only six months to live and she’s trying to figure out Peter.

Overall, I deeply enjoyed this novel more than I thought I would given it’s a vampire novel. I just wished that Chelsea Cameron fleshed out Jamie’s character more and infused a compelling Peter-Ava-Jamie love triangle, or at least just even have a love triangle. But I guess that will make Ava’s plate too full to tackle so it’s okay. But Jamie is so sweet and sigh.

Ava felt like a real teen and I admire her equal parts courage and vulnerability shown in this book. Chelsea Cameron has written compelling characters that you’d want to see grow and have more novels revolving around them. Ha! As I finished Nocturnal, I immediately grabbed Nightmare to read. Good thing I also have a review copy for Nightmare or else I’ll be turning in my sleep. Haha!

Recommended to all YA paranormal fans. A great read!

About Nightmare (The Noctalis Chronicles #2)

Nightmare (The Noctalis Chronicles, #2)

Ava-Claire Sullivan’s first mistake was becoming vampire Peter Mackintire’s personal blood bank. Her second mistake was falling in love with him.

Now it’s Ava’s job to make sure he never loves her in return. A pact Peter made nearly a hundred years ago means loving someone will kill him. If she can figure out how to free him from his promise, it might kill her, make her immortal, or lead to the love she wants so badly.

But if she doesn’t, at best, her heart will break…and at worst, Peter will die.

Purchase at Amazon!

My Review

I had high expectations for Nightmare after coming right off Nocturnal and boy did it deliver! I was afraid that I’d just be disappointed because I set my expectation bars too high but that was not the case. Nightmare surprised me and had me flipping page after page, my intent on knowing what’s gonna happen not diminishing even for a second. Chelsea Cameron has written such a great sequel that I really want to read the third novel in the series. Which is not yet available. UGH. And to end this novel with a cliffhanger? WHY OH WHY CHELSEA? I’ve been so good, why punish me like this? HUHUHUHU. Anyway, let’s get on with the what I thought of the novel before I have some tantrums myself.

The cover was gorgeous and very eye-captivating once again. Now I wanna know who designed her covers because both are visually amazing. The novel had less of Ava’s mom’s cancer and the change was welcome as we spent the first book dealing with that. This book focused more on Peter and Ava and Tex and Victor too. I adore Peter and Ava and the wonderful world Chelsea Cameron has made for them to live in. Their interactions were so sweet and I was over the moon with all of it.

Great, just great. Can’t wait for the third novel in the series! Damn you, cliffhanger! Haha!

Announcement, Freebies and Giveaways!

Nocturnal and Nightmare will be free from August 10 to 14 on Amazon! WOOHOO!

Join us for Nocturnal Night on August 30th 8pm EST / 7pm CST for a LIVE Video chat with Author of Nocturnal and Nightmare Chelsea Cameron.

We will be chatting about everything from her books, the writing process, to Edward v/s Jacob *grins* There will be some giveaways going on too. Don’t have a webcam? No worries you can still totally join in with text chatting. You will be able to see everyone else. Shy? Don’t be we are all eager to meet you!! Join us for a night of Awesome.

http://nocturnalnight.eventbrite.com/

You can preregister at the above link. Which would be amazing or you can just show up…

On that night be sure to enter the chat with this link http://shindig.com/event/nocturnal

There’s a scavenger hunt ongoing for this tour! To know more about this AWESOME, FANTASTIC, giveaway, kindly go HERE HERE HERE!

About Chelsea M. Cameron

Chelsea M. Cameron is a YA writer from Maine. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world’s worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, singing in the car and tweeting. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is.

She has two books out now, Nocturnal and Nightmare, the first and second books in the Noctalis Chronicles about a girl with a dying mother who meets an immortal boy. The third book, Numb will be out this August, and the fourth in the winter. Her other book, Whisper, about a girl who is alive, a boy who isn’t and the complications that go along with their relationship, released June 16 and is the first in a trilogy. Follow her on Twitter: @chel_c_cam, her blog, or on Facebook.

Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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Book Blog Tour: Embrace by Cherie Colyer (Review + Giveaway)

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It’s here! My most awaited blog tour is here! For one week, novels by Omnific Publishing are getting read and reviewed across blogs. For this tour, I will be reviewing two books, Embrace today and Destiny’s Fire on Saturday. I will also be reviewing other books outside the tour and I’m so excited to do that too. So read along for a short teaser, my review and to enter the giveaway! Enjoy!

About Embrace

Embrace

How far would you go to save the people you love?

Madison is familiar enough with change, and she hates everything about it. Change took her long-term boyfriend away from her. It caused one of her friends to suddenly hate her. It’s responsible for the death of a local along with a host of other mysterious happenings. But when Madison meets a hot new guy, she thinks her luck is about to improve.

Madison is instantly drawn to the handsome and intriguing Isaac Addington. She quickly realizes he’s a guy harboring a secret, but she’s willing to risk the unknown to be with him.

Her world really spins out of control, however, when her best friend becomes delusional, seeing things that aren’t there and desperately trying to escape their evil. When the doctors can’t find the answers, Madison seeks her own.

Nothing can prepare her for what she is about to discover.

Dangerous, intoxicating, and darkly romantic, Embrace is a thriller that will leave you spellbound.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Omnific PublishingWebsite

Short Excerpt

He leaned in closer to me. His eyes were a shimmering, deep brown, but there was a speck of ocean blue at the edge of his right iris. I couldn’t remember what I was about to say. My heart did a pirouette in my chest, and my breath caught in my throat. I closed the distance between us. His lips were firm and warm, and I wanted to kiss him forever.

Book Trailer

My Review

So when I signed up for this blog tour, I couldn’t really choose what to review between Destiny’s Fire and Embrace. I ended up choosing Destiny’s Fire. But I told Julie that I can’t really choose and that I would love to review another one. So when she emailed me that Embrace needed more hosts and reviewers and that she remembered me having some (read: A LOT) difficulty over choosing what to review, she offered me to review Embrace. And I grabbed the chance like it’s water at the desert. Yeah, not exaggerating there, nope.

So what can you insinuate from the blurb? Almost nothing, right? I think the blurb is a piece of genius. It ropes you into reading the novel because it is mighty interesting and Isaac seems like some hot piece of man but mostly because of the premise. But it left out a lot of details for readers to be not just interested but to actually read the book to find out what the actual plot is.

And to keep the anonymity surrounding the novel’s plot, I will not divulge much info too except that this is a paranormal novel. And that it is great. Cherie Colyer writes amazingly, the flow never stopping and you can’t help being moved by the current of her writing, of this story. You can’t help but read and read and read, not stopping until you get what you want. I didn’t know what to expect of the book when I started reading it but I was surprised in a very, very good way with the direction it went. This is a YA paranormal novel and both aspects or both genres were shown effortlessly, not one overshadowing the other as in some novels. Cherie Colyer’s debut novel is such a great read, I can’t wait for her upcoming novels and see what she brings next to the table, or in my case, in my hands to read. Heehee.

This is such an amazing book as there is mystery and I am a mystery buff. Actually, you won’t know it’s a paranormal novel by the first few chapters though there are hints thrown here in there. It just feels and reads like a normal YA novel until it all starts. Love it!

I really really like this novel and I was actually in Swoonsville while reading it. Isaac, you, you, you, sigh, such a swoon-worthy hero. And their relationship? Fireworks! I know theirs was kind fast but still, I can’t resist a romance, how fast it may have formed, if it’s like this.

Overall, YOU HAVE TO READ THIS. Heehee. <3

About Cherie Colyer

Cherie’s imagination extends far beyond her Illinois roots through her love of books and reading. The discipline of her career as a Network Technician provides an opposing mindset for her fictional stories. Cherie combines her fascination of all things mythical with her passion for writing to weave together middle grade and young adult stories. Her young adult paranormal romance/thriller, EMBRACE, is now available.

She enjoys spending time with family and friends, meeting new people, writing, reading, and loves a challenge. While she has had many great experiences, her most satisfying experience is seeing her children and stories grow into their own exciting and distinct entities.

Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Goodreads

Giveaway

You can go over HERE to enter the tour-wide giveaway with a prize ePack of Omnific’s YA catalogue. But you can also enter my giveaway for an Embrace ebook! It’s so simple!

Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment! :)

Extra Tasks: (Please tell me what extra tasks you’ve accomplished. :D)

+1 Follow @whoopeeyoo on Twitter and indicate your username.
+1 For every tweet about this giveaway.
+1 Follow or subscribe to my blog!
+1 Follow @cheriecolyer on Twitter.
+1 Add Embrace to your Goodreads TBR shelf. :)
+1 Add me as a friend or follow my reviews on Goodreads (whoopeeyoo).
+1 Add or follow Cherie Colyer on Goodreads.

Good luck!

Follow the Tour

Click on the tour banner at the top of this post to see the entire tour schedule. Enjoy hopping and come back here on Saturday for my Destiny’s Fire review! :)

Book Blog Tour: Faerie Cake Dead by J.M. Griffin (Review + Giveaway)

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My first ever tour for Innovative Online Book Tours is here! Vickie, very very nice Vickie, has set me up with this review after a blogger pulled out of the tour. And call it luck but good thing I was asked to do it because I enjoyed this novel! So scroll down and you will find the whole first chapter of the book, my review and a giveaway. Enjoy!

About Faerie Cake Dead

Faerie Cake Dead

Tea, trust and trouble collide at Faerie Cake Junction. When divorcee, Luna Devere, owner of Faerie Cake Junction, meets general contractor, Devin Radford, chaos reigns. Devin instantly wreaks romantic havoc in Luna’s life after she finds a corpse sitting in her tea shop as though awaiting service. The shop is surrounded by faeries who have befriended Luna. They know who left the dead man, but they aren’t sharing. The sheriff is convinced Luna is daft and that she’s the culprit. Devin wonders just how odd Luna is…even though he’s drawn to her. And, Luna’s ex-husband tries to incriminate her for reasons and purposes of his own. Will Luna survive? Only the faeries know.

Amazon

First Chapter

Nine tables, dressed and ready for patrons, stood scattered about the room. Soft light behind Luna cast a pale glow across the darkness as she squinted through the doorway. The faerie cakes, all baked, frosted and ready to serve sat in the lower level of the building. As always, she’d managed it all in the span of a few wee morning hours.

She narrowed her eyes, adjusting to the gloom of the room beyond her. A shadowy figure sat at a table in the center of the room, his back toward the doorway.

“Hello?” Luna Devere’s voice trembled and echoed across the gloomy room. “C-can I help you?”

No answer.

Head bowed, the figure sat upright. Luna could see the outline of a man clothed in a dark suit. She reached for the switch next to the door and flicked on the overhead lights. Luna gasped, moving her hand to her throat. She stared at his thin gray hair lay scraped over his dome. He hadn’t moved or acknowledged her.

Questions slipped through Luna’s mind faster than the click of a camera shutter. What was he doing here? When did he arrive and from where? How did he come to be sitting in her teashop this early in the morning? How had he gotten in? Had she left a door unlocked yet again?

Luna crept closer. The elderly stranger’s wrinkled, parchment-like skin sagged under his chin. His pale hands rested on the table, a spoon clasped in one of them. A teapot huddled next to the empty cup and saucer before him.

She reached out and touched his shoulder. The stiff body slumped forward. With a gasp, Luna jumped back. Wiping her fingertips across the apron swathed around her, Luna backed toward the door. Nothing was out of place, other than the dead man sitting at a table set for tea.

Luna lifted the phone from the base and dialed nine-one-one.

“What’s your emergency?” the operator asked.

“T-there’s a d-dead man sitting in my d-dining room.”

“Ma’am, did you say you have a dead man in your dining room?”

“Yes,” she said. “My name is Luna Devere, owner of Faerie Cake Junction on the outskirts of Swanscott, Maine. The shop is number seven-one-one on Old Meadow Road.”

The calm voice asked, “Are you certain he’s dead?”

“He’s stiff and feels cold to the touch. He didn’t answer my questions, it’s just after four in the morning, and the shop doesn’t open until ten o’clock so yeah, I think he’s dead.” She swallowed hard, fighting back an overwhelming sense of panic.

“Emergency services have been notified and are on their way.”

She hung up and paced back and forth in front of the sparkling glass pastry cases. What should she do next? Nervous, a soft melody thrummed in her head and then issued from her throat. Never understanding why she did so, Luna just understood she would every time her anxiety mounted. Instead of bravery, never Luna’s strength, optimism topped the list of her attributes.

Luna believed in and saw things other people couldn’t see even though she’d heard the town folk considered her eccentric. Her trust in faeries caused many to scoff, but Luna knew they existed since she’d been born with the Sight. She could see faeries, and on the rare occasion she experienced clairvoyant visions while in their midst.

Faeries lived in the meadow and woods behind the shop. She spoke with them often. Their early tolerant relationship had turned into friendship over time. Rarely did  she  mention  them  to outsiders since it tended to make her look stranger than she was already perceived.

Walking onto the porch, she leaned against the handrail on the rear veranda of her building. Luna gulped deep drafts of fresh, crisp air. Nerves taut, she peered into the darkness. Tiny lights flickered on and off. People thought these mere fireflies, but Luna knew the colors meant the presence of faerie folk. Lights danced closer and closer until a small swarm gathered within the purple hydrangea bushes just off the veranda.

“What have you seen, Luna?” a tiny blue creature asked in a singsong voice. She swept closer to Luna, her translucent wings shimmering in the moonlight while she swayed in the faint breeze.

“I found a man in the tea room. He’s dead.”

Iridescent wings fluttering faster, the blue faerie jittered back and forth.

“We have seen movement of humans this night,” the faerie said and quivered toward the doorway.

Knowing the faerie would never enter the domain, Luna asked, “How many humans were there?”

“More than one, but no more than three.” The faerie darted away.

Luna’s gaze followed the light and she called, “Three? There were three humans? Were they walking or was one carried by the others?”

The tiny faerie flitted forward, fast like a hummingbird. A twitter of noise arose from the hydrangea bushes where other faeries watched the exchange.

“One carried another, one stayed behind. I must leave you now.” Her beautiful voice lilting, the faerie began to drift away. “Rest easy, the images will come.”

The entire mass gathered together, winging away into the night. Luna watched them disappear within a thick stand of wood as the sound of emergency vehicles arriving caught her attention. She returned through the back door, entering the shop. Lights flashed from the roof of the emergency vehicle rolling to a stop out front. Three paramedics strode up the steps. Luna rushed to unlock the double doors and flung them wide open. The sheriff parked his car alongside the rescue.

“Hi, Gus,” Luna greeted the first EMT, a wiry middle aged man with a dry sense of gallows humor. She pointed to the corpse. “He’s over there.”

“Hey, Luna,” Gus said with a nod, and strode forward, followed by his team. “He’s dressed up for a tea party, huh?” he murmured.

Luna contemplated him as she considered his distasteful remark before turning toward the dead man. Luna noticed his black suit was worn and his shirt cuffs frayed, but they were as clean and crisp as his jaunty red bowtie. The team checked the body while she waited for them to pronounce the stranger dead.

Heavy treads sounded behind her. Luna turned toward Sheriff Henry Tiddler while he clomped up the three steps of the oversized bungalow housing Faerie Cake Junction.

“Luna.” His gritty voice accompanied the dip of his hat when he nodded toward her.

“Sheriff,” Luna responded.

“Want to explain what happened?”

His clipped words left her feeling he was unhappy about the early morning call. She watched as he withdrew a small spiral bound notebook from a pocket and clicked the pen, awaiting her answer. A shiver ran through her as she pondered finding a corpse in the shop. It certainly wasn’t the way she’d ever choose to start her day.

With a deep breath, Luna said, “I’m not sure. I made the usual early-morning cupcakes and was about to return to bed for a few hours.”

“What time was that?”

“When I made the cupcakes, or when I was going to bed?”

“Both,” he replied with a light sigh and a raised brow.

“I got up at two and finished around four.” Luna’s head tipped toward the body. “I found him a little after four.”

“Who is he, do you know?” His voice cool, Sheriff Tiddler’s questions were short and to the point. His suspicious eyes squinted as he regarded her.

“Never laid eyes on him before, Sheriff.” She moved her hand toward her throat as the EMS team searched the body.

Sheriff Tiddler turned to them while he scribbled in his notebook.

“He’s a goner, Sheriff,” Gus said. “Call the medical examiner so he can take charge of the scene.”

“Any idea what he died from?” the sheriff asked after he radioed headquarters.

“There are no signs of injury. The ME will tell you more.” Gus glanced at Luna and then at the sheriff.

The sheriff pulled his attention from Gus and the dead and turned his dark eyes toward Luna.

Within minutes the dispatcher reported the medical examiner was on his way. Sheriff Tiddler’s shoulder radio crackled a second and went silent.

A portly man, Henry Tiddler stood around five-foot-eight, had pudgy hands and short legs. His bald pate held a fringe of light brown hair speckled with grey. Dentures ground in his mouth while he chewed on his words before speaking them. Sheriff Tiddler’s laugh always seemed a mocking one. Divorced early in his career, he now dated Dilly Perkins, a member of Luna’s wait staff. A former Boston cop, Henry Tiddler had retired from the force at age fifty. In an effort to get away from big city life and heinous crimes he had applied for the sheriff’s position in the seacoast village of Swanscott, where life remained quiet most of the time.

Until this morning. Luna stared into his wide face showing signs of oncoming flabby jowls. She noted the way his wide nostrils flared as though his large nose had picked up a nasty scent.

“How did the victim end up here, Luna?”

A sense of trepidation cloaked her. Luna didn’t answer right away, but wondered instead how this could have happened.

“I have no idea.”

“Were all the doors locked?”

Luna had a reputation among the locals for her inability to keep all the doors locked and stay in possession of her keys.

“I think so,” she said. “At least the front doors were ’cause I just undid them to let everyone in.” Luna recollected the unlocked rear door, but decided Tiddler didn’t need another reason to think her nuts or suspicious.

The sheriff’s bushy eyebrows rose while he watched her. Nervously she chewed on her lower lip. “Let’s check the remaining doors then.”

Sheriff Tiddler motioned Luna to walk before him to the doors in question.

The bungalow held a gift shop and a tearoom on the first floor. A galley-style kitchen with an opening lay off the tearoom. The gift shop held a reading area surrounded with gifts, books, wind chimes, and faerie-related goodies. Luna lived upstairs in a large, open-spaced loft. Baking took place in the basement.

They checked the entry door in the gift shop before entering the teashop through the wide-arched doorway. A side entry door in the tearoom opened onto a wide wrap-around porch. The lock remained securely bolted. Luna led the way along a wide corridor toward the rear door. Lights flicked on as she flipped switches.

She stopped to wait until the sheriff caught up to her. The sheriff gaped at the neat, compact, efficient galley kitchen where Dilly worked. Clearing her throat, Luna caught his attention.

Unlocked, the rear door stood ajar. It moved back and forth slightly on silent hinges, the way Luna had left it.

“Here’s your answer to how he got in. I must have left the door unlocked when I went to bed.” Luna turned toward the sheriff as he slowed and stopped beside her. “I could have sworn I double-checked all the entries.”

Unwilling to admit she’d gone out to speak with the faeries; Luna let the sheriff reach his own conclusions. After all, the door had been unlocked, if not ajar.

“Hmm, it doesn’t appear tampered with, so I guess you didn’t lock it after all.” Sheriff Tiddler checked the bolt and then scrutinized Luna.

Uncomfortable with his inquisitive stare, she shrugged and agreed with a nod of her head. She could have sworn she’d checked the doors. Maybe the sheriff wanted to wrap things up in a neat package in an effort to eliminate an investigation of a breaking and entering on top of the death of the old gentleman.

“We could dust for fingerprints, though I’m sure it won’t do much good,” the sheriff said.

He acted as if it was a waste of time, but Luna wasn’t so sure. She knew the doors had been locked.

Sheriff Tiddler returned to the tearoom with questions about the space upstairs. Appearing to be satisfied after Luna explained it was her living space, he simply nodded.

“Where do you bake the cakes?” he asked while his keen eyes viewed the neat dining room.

“Downstairs in the basement. I had a room outfitted when I first bought this place so I could cook there. It’s cool and away from the shop area.”

“Can I get a look?”

With a nod, Luna led the way toward the room where magnificent cupcakes were baked, frosted and beautifully decorated. Confections were created in the wee morning hours for customers who swarmed to Faerie Cake Junction from far and wide. From morning to night tea and cupcakes were served to people flowing in and out of the shop like the tide. The dining room remained busy all day, every day and the gift shop did very well. During the holiday season, Luna got no rest. Now in her mid-thirties, she often wondered if she’d lost her mind by starting a non-stop, year-round business.

As they neared the confectionery room, she watched the sheriff inspect each nook and cranny with great interest, seeming to note every single foot of the area.

Her thoughts wandered as the sheriff took stock of the faerie cakes and cupcakes. At the start of a cupcake day, she slid baking pans into enormous ovens along the back wall of the brick basement. She baked dozens upon dozens of cupcakes, frosted them and added embellishments to each batch. She did the job by rote, she knew it so well.

Every morning Luna mixed ingredients bought specifically for each flavor of cupcake. They baked, cooled and stood in line like soldiers, waiting for frosting. Ambling back and forth, she’d added a touch of something special here and there to make each confection a delight to the eyes and taste buds of her customers. Luna offered at least ten varieties of faerie cakes to patrons.

Faerie cakes, the British equivalent of the American cupcake, adorned with flavored glaze and silver nonpareils, were held in high-esteem by customers. Vanilla-bean cupcake batter mixed with melted chocolate created light chocolate-colored cupcakes covered with vanilla-buttercream chocolate-ganache topping. This morning, she had baked a batch of chocolate cupcakes with chunks of chocolate and cherry pieces mixed in. She’d then topped them with chocolate-cherry buttercream frosting and pure chocolate sprinkles. She stared at the trays of delights waiting to be brought upstairs and placed in the cases. Her glance strayed to the sheriff, who licked his lips and stared at the rows and rows of pastry.

“Do you think the shop can open today?” she asked.

“It’s a crime scene, but if the ME offers details on the victim’s death, then you might be able to.” Sheriff Tiddler licked his lips again.

“Would you care for a cupcake and a cup of tea, Sheriff?”

“If it wouldn’t be any trouble,” he said and walked toward the countertop.

Opening a cabinet, Luna pulled a plate from within and handed it to him.

“Choose what you’d like and meet me upstairs. I’ll make some tea.” She left him to choose his fare and hustled toward the upstairs galley kitchen.

My Review

Faeries! Mystery! Aaaccckk, this novel is so cute! It’s a mystery and a nice whodunnit is always welcome to me. I had such fun reading it. I also had MAJOR cupcake cravings. The novel was so descriptive, my mouth watered while reading. And the faeries were so cryptic, in how they speak and in what they do, I love it.

This was a light read and a fast one at that, one that you’d finish in one go sitting while the rain is pouring. Like what’s happening right now here. I also like Devin and Luna’s relationship and pretty much everything else about their characters. The novel opens with a dead man in Luna’s Faerie Cake Junction and woah, what better way to start a novel than a dead man?

Overall, a lovely read you will surely enjoy. :D

About J.M. Griffin

JM Griffin grew up in the Maine countryside. Inspired by the Nancy Drew mysteries, JM wrote her first story at age twelve.

With 5 books written and more in the works, JM’s first book in the Vinnie Esposito series published in February of 2009. The first and second Vinnie Esposito novels have been re-released through Lachesis Publishing. The third novel in the series, Dead Wrong, was released in ebook format in October 2010, and in paperback in April 2011. Stay tuned for more of the Vinnie Esposito series.

In addition to the Esposito series, JM has written a mystery featuring faeries, pixies, murder, tea and cupcakes. Lyrical Press, Inc. presented the ebook on August 16th of 2010. The paper edition was released in June 2011 and is available at www.amazon.com.

Murder on Spy Glass Lane, a novel filled with the antics of Sarah McDougall, a psychic artist, her Bassett hound Sparky, and their swashbuckling pirate-like neighbor was published as an ebook in January 2012. The paper version of this book will be available January 1, 2012 on http://tinyurl.com/82rs8s7.

JM and her husband John reside with two crazy cats who rule the roost in New England. Their home is surrounded by a forest, a nearby reservoir and natures creatures.

Website

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