Monday, September 18, 2017

Cover Reveal: Liars Pact by Jacqueline Garlick


Liar’s Pact
Jacqueline Garlick
Publication date: October 17th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
What’s a Little Lie Among Friends?
A wild barn party. A disturbing sensation. A foolish prank. A near-fatal crash. Kyla Cooper wakes the next morning to find herself the center of an investigation, accused of triggering her estranged boyfriend’s attempted suicide.
Wrought with heartache and rocked by jealousy, she left the party early, haunted by formidable, telepathic-like visions of stolen kisses, speeding cars, twisting metal and breaking glass. Kyla now fears she may have ignored the warning signs of danger. Could the visions she was experiencing been a preview of what was to come?
Convinced what happened to her boyfriend is no accident, Kyla embarks on a dangerous journey to expose the truth. But the only one who knows what really happened, is her boyfriend Denver. And he’s trapped in a catatonic state unable to speak.
As Denver slips deeper and deeper into catatonia, Kyla rushes to embrace her newly-found powers in order to reach him, as all the while, a dangerous pact is forming, intent on making sure the truth is never unearthed. Navigating the landmine of the mean-girl cliques and runaway gossip that swirl the halls of her high school, Kyla’s fights against blame and time to free Denver from his catatonic prison, and expose the liars in their game.
Will Kyla’s power be enough to bring Denver back, or will the pact of liars get away with near-murder?
Add to Goodreads

I don't know about you, but this sounds like a great new story to check out next month. That cover is so eerie, I can't wait to read it. Happy Monday bookworms!



Jacqueline likes gritty stories with beating hearts, dislikes wimpy heroines and whiny sidekicks, and loves a good tale about an irresistible underdog.
Don't you?
Lumière—a steampunk-fantasy, romance adventure—is the award-winning Book One in her young adult Illumination Paradox Series.
Jacqueline is a graduate of Ellen Hopkin’s Nevada Mentoring Program, and has also studied under James Scott Bell, Christopher Vogler and Don Maass, where she was the 2012 recipient of the Don Maass Break Out Novel Intensive Scholarship.
Jacqueline is available to chat with book clubs and welcomes pod casts, guest blogs, Skype interviews and speaking engagements, as well as comments and emails from her readers.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Book Review + Giveaway: The Smallest Thing by Lisa Manterfield


Media Type: Ebook
Title: The Smallest Thing
Author: Lisa Manterfield
Publisher: Steal Rose Press
Pages: 272
Release Date: July 18, 2017
Source: Xpresso Book Tours/ Author
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HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy a coming of age story about appreciating the life you have

Add it: Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iBooks
The very last thing 17-year-old Emmott Syddall wants is to turn out like her dad. She’s descended from ten generations who never left their dull English village, and there’s no way she’s going to waste a perfectly good life that way. She’s moving to London and she swears she is never coming back.
But when the unexplained deaths of her neighbors force the government to quarantine the village, Em learns what it truly means to be trapped. Now, she must choose. Will she pursue her desire for freedom, at all costs, or do what’s best for the people she loves: her dad, her best friend Deb, and, to her surprise, the mysterious man in the HAZMAT suit?
Inspired by the historical story of the plague village of Eyam, this contemporary tale of friendship, community, and impossible love weaves the horrors of recent news headlines with the intimate details of how it feels to become an adult—and fall in love—in the midst of tragedy.

Don't forget to keep the tissues nearby, this story will leave you with a lot of emotions. This is such a heartfelt story about how tragedy can bring people together and tear them apart in the most dire circumstances. Emmott is every 17 year old growing up in a small town just waiting for the day she can start her "real" life, and then real life shows up in a very unexpected way.

There are so many roller-coasters in this telling tale about a small village impacted in a most severe way. I really enjoyed going through it with Emmott and watching her blossom with understanding as her preconceived notions of life are challenged in every way. 

I would highly recommend this to readers who don't mind facing the realities of life and death and enjoy a well crafted coming of age story. 


Author Bio:
Lisa Manterfield is the award-winning author of I’m Taking My Eggs and Going Home: How One Woman Dared to Say No to Motherhood. Her work has appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, Los Angeles Times, and Psychology Today. Originally from northern England, she now lives in Southern California with her husband and over-indulged cat. A Strange Companion is her first novel. Learn more at LisaManterfield.com.






FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Cover Reveal: Revolutions (Pendomus #3) by Carissa Andrews


Another Monday has arrived, bookish friends. Here's hoping that it's been a good one for you so far! I'm happy to share the latest book in Carissa Andrews' series. Yes, it's cover reveal time!

Book 3 of the Pendomus series is here!


Revolutions is the third and final conclusion of the Pendomus Chronicles Series. To see where it all began, be sure to check out Carissa's first novel, Pendomus: Book 1 of the Pendomus Chronicles.
As the timelines of Pendomus fray, one girl born with power has the ability to set things right.

Forcing her way into Videus’ vassalage may be the last thing Runa will ever do, but she knows she has to try. Not only are there others like her—others with powers—but they’re directly tied to her by blood. With Trae’s mental stability in question, and Kani missing, Runa can only rely on herself and the aid of her brother to fulfill her destiny. If she can embrace her role as the Daughter of Five, hopefully she can set things right and free Trae from whatever madness is taking over his mind.

There’s more than meets the eye to Videus’ obsession with Runa and her bloodlines. The only problem is, unraveling the mystery could unleash catastrophe on everything she holds dear, if she’s not careful. Can Runa stop Videus once and for all—or will the fate of Pendomus be locked forever my one man’s madness?

Step into Pendomus—a world that meshes mystery, magical creatures, and destiny—with science and technology.


Truth be told, I was over the moon when Carissa contacted me about doing this reveal. Pendomus, the first book in the series, kindled my imagination and I've been eagerly awaiting the finale so I can start from the beginning and read the whole way through. I can't wait!

The banner up at the top will take you straight to the pre-order page, but in case you're too lazy to scroll, let me help you out. You can pre-order it here.


"An author emerges from the depths of Minnesotan waters. Sci-fi/Fantasy is my pen of choice."

Carissa Andrews is a Minnesota-based genre bending author who writes a combination of science fiction, fantasy, and dystopia. When not writing her own books, she's busy reading them.

Her first novel, Pendomus, was the first of a three-part series and was published in 2013. Now, four years later, Polarities (Book 2) of the Pendomus Chronicles, and Revolutions (Book 3) will be released at the end of 2017.

For more information on their release, visit Carissa Andrews' author website: www.carissandrews.com and sign up for her newsletter notifications.

Carissa is also a freelance graphic designer, writer and content creator, social media manager, and marketing professional. She writes consistently on topics of science, technology, art, writing, photography, graphic design, health, self improvement, and more. Her articles can be found published across the interwebs. Carissa is also a Top Rated Freelancer on Upwork, and can be contacted for freelancing opportunities:https://www.upwork.com/o/profiles/users/_~011fb5962824326eaa/


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Book Review: Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman


Media Type: Ebook
Title: Those Across the River
Author: Christopher Buehlman
Publisher: Ace
Pages: Hardcover; 357
Release Date: September 6, 2011
Source: Library
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Genre: Horror

HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy slow burn reads, and don't have a problem with violence.

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon
Failed academic Frank Nichols and his wife, Eudora, have arrived in the sleepy Georgia town of Whitbrow, where Frank hopes to write a history of his family's old estate-the Savoyard Plantation- and the horrors that occurred there. At first, the quaint, rural ways of their new neighbors seem to be everything they wanted. But there is an unspoken dread that the townsfolk have lived with for generations. A presence that demands sacrifice.

It comes from the shadowy woods across the river, where the ruins of Savoyard still stand. Where a longstanding debt of blood has never been forgotten.

A debt that has been waiting patiently for Frank Nichols's homecoming...

Truth be told, this book read a little slow at the beginning. A lot of attention was paid to Frank's backstory and, although I felt like it was important, it started to feel a little drawn out after a while. Frank is a veteran, and Buehlman shows how much that still haunts him through the use of dream sequences. Which is actually a good idea! However there are a lot, and after a while they're repetitive. I felt like I could easily understand Frank's head space without the monotonous use of these dreams. Plus, and I'm not being a prude here at all trust me, there are also a LOT of references to sex is this book. If you're not comfortable with some steamy scenes, you might want to skim read. Let's just say that Frank and his beau have a very, very healthy sex life.

Now, to the part that made me whiz through this book! Buehlman puts a character into the mix that is fascinating, mainly because he's so secretive. As the book progresses, and he becomes more essential to the plot, you begin to realize what really lurks beyond the river. I do think he could have been used a little more heavily, but I was happy with his interactions with our main characters. He pushed the book forward, keeping things mysterious, and really upping the tension.

The other great part about this book is that once the action gets going, it is like a freight train! There are definitely some gory scenes in this book, just to warn you, but it all fits perfectly where it should. "Those Across the River" is an apt title, and all I kept wondering is why everyone didn't just run away and never look back. Yes, I know there wouldn't be a story then. That's what I'd do though. I want to live. LOL.

Overall, a solid book! Buehlman intrigues me, so I'll be searching out more of his work.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Book Review: Ann, Not Annie by Sage Steadman


Media Type: Ebook
Title: Ann, not Annie
Author: Sage Steadman
Publisher: MmHmm Books
Pages: 240
Release Date: September 20, 2017
Source: Xpresso Book Tours/ Author
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Content Screening: sex and alcohol

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy a coming of age story dealing with grief and other adult scenarios

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon
Ann, not Annie, is tired of her nominal existence and has vowed to turn things around by dating the hottest guy in school, Jacob Waters. Easier said than done since Jacob isn’t even aware she exists. The truth is, due to Ann’s lively temper she spends more time in detention with the rest of the school rejects than she does fantasizing about Jacob Waters wearing spandex.
Her best friend and devout alien believer, Lisa, doesn’t like the changes she’s seeing in her BFF. Neither does Danny Feller, a fellow detention inmate and resident lost boy who has started keeping an extra watchful and unwanted eye on Ann.
When a chance encounter in an empty hallway changes everything, Ann finds all her dreams coming true and she is well on her way to living the perfect life she’s always wanted. But appearances aren’t always what they seem and Ann is going to have to face not just cold hard facts, but also her past.
I have to say that the blurb is slightly misleading here, there are some heavy themes going on in this story that I think are most appropriate for an older young adult audience. That being said, I really enjoyed Annie's character. Friendship, family and grief are all strong themes and they blend together beautifully in this well crafted story.

Ann isn't quite sure where she fits in at her high school and we are taken on a journey with her through navigating the complexities of high school friendships and family drama. I really enjoyed Ann's quick wit and sarcasm and her character felt very real. Dealing with a tragedy that shakes up your whole world view is daunting and we learn a lot about Ann and her strength throughout, but of course no good coming of age story would be complete without some major bad decisions along the way.

There is much to be said about grief and the many forms it takes. The raw emotions that Ann and her brother Tommy share made me tear up. So many emotions running high and relying on each other was the best thing to do and it really showed a realistic view of siblings. The family drama that is ongoing in the background of story is heavy, but necessary. It was an important part of Ann's story and it was nice reading something that felt very personal.

All in all this was a well written story with a characters, don't let the romance tag fool you, this story is about a lot more than dating. I recommend this to readers older than 16 because of some of the content, but I definitely would pick up a copy today. 








FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Book Blitz + Giveaway: The Dark Mermaid by Christina L. Barr


The Dark Mermaid
Christina L. Barr
Publication date: September 5th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
“True love is not a myth. It’s mystic. It’s a force in the universe that draws two people together, resulting in incredible power, for either good or complete chaos.”
On the day Luna proves that she is powerful enough to be her father’s heir, she is banished for saving the life of an enchanting human boy. Her father, the king, gives her two options: kill Ian and regain her honor by the time she comes of age, or be destroyed.
Luna finds shelter in forbidden waters and comes under the protection of her father’s greatest enemy, the Sea Witch. As her ward, Luna becomes a fearsome warrior, but struggles with the fear of turning her powerful magic dark.
With only days remaining before her seventeenth birthday, Luna finds Ian sailing the seas in search of answers. Luna is determined to escape her father’s wrath, and the Sea Witch’s plot of revenge, but dark forces won’t allow her to live a human life without making an impossible sacrifice.

True Love
When I returned to the lair, the Sea Witch was much too distracted gutting her catch of shark to care much about my adventures. She had no idea that I had found Ian and kissed him. I wanted to keep it that way. For all she knew, I spent my day with Napa, and I most certainly didn’t fight my sister to the almost death. I made sure to heal my wounds before she saw me.
I hid the pendent, dagger, and lock of hair in a satchel and hoped the Sea Witch wouldn’t be able to sense the magic. I also had to hope that she wouldn’t sense any special magic in me. It was odd that I wasn’t fatigued from my battle. Instead, I felt energized. My magic was leaking out of my body. I tried to keep my movements limited and to remain completely calm.
Unfortunately, somewhere between the chewing of our dinner, the Sea Witch cocked her brow at me in suspicion. “Did Napa bring you a new gift?”
“Why do you ask?”
“I sense new magic.”
I panicked on the inside, but I would not allow that panic to the surface of my thoughts. Of course, she would have been able to sense the pendent. I reached into my satchel and handed it to her without any fuss, and I hoped she didn’t ask any questions about the other item of interest. “Napa didn’t know any better.”
“Interesting.” It only took a moment for the Sea Witch to analyze what it could do. I don’t know why I was so surprised when she disappeared. “This would be more useful on the surface world.” She tossed it back to me and became visible once more. “Quite interesting.”
“Very.” I grinned hard and continued feasting, but I had the sense that she knew I was hiding many details from her. It’s not that I didn’t trust her. I just wanted to make sure she would take the news well, so I didn’t have to worry about her killing everyone outside of our immediate sphere.
It wasn’t easy. I wanted to tell her about Ian’s infatuation with me. It was flattering after my father threw me away. I wanted to tell my mother how his smile enchanted me, and now, I was under his spell. I tried to get him out of my head, so the Sea Witch wouldn’t find out, but while I brushed my hair and stared into the broken mirror Napa gave me, I began to imagine that I was staring at myself from his point of view, and I knew I was truly as beautiful as he made me feel. The thought of never seeing him again was crushing my heart and suffocating my insides. There had to be a way to see him again beyond tricks, smokes, and mirrors.
“Luna, what’s wrong?”
I saw Ian’s face too clearly in my mind. She must have known that I was thinking about him, but that wasn’t so strange. I could still hide the truth for a little while. “Why would something be wrong?”
She floated in front of me with a furrowed and curious brow. “Because you never sing.”
I hadn’t even noticed. I was singing the same song I sang to Ian when I first said goodbye. If he had his hooks in me that deeply, was there truly any escaping him? “You’ll think I’m being a fool.”
The Sea Witch surprised me and held me by my shoulders from behind. “Out of the two of us, I’m the one that made a blood oath with your father. You could be foolish for a thousand lifetimes and not end up as foolish as I once was.”
Perhaps I was being unfair to her. If she were trying to be a real mother, she deserved a chance. As my elder, she might have sound advice to put my mind at ease. “Napa told me that humans believe in true love. I know it sounds childish, but I think I’m experiencing it. I’ve found true love.”
I was so embarrassed that I kept my eyes focused on the teeth of the comb in my hands. I was responsible for ruining Ian’s childhood, and I delayed his life afterward. I didn’t deserve to feel such a consuming joy, especially if Ian were the root cause.
“I’ve heard of true love.” The Sea Witch nicked my chin up with her finger to force her eyes into mine. “The humans teach it like a fairytale, but true love is not a myth; it’s mystic. It’s a force in the universe that draws two people together, resulting in incredible power, for either good or chaos.”
“Chaos?” I laughed. Frankly, it was difficult to believe that there was an actual explanation to how I felt. Napa referred to love as “irrational logic”. I wasn’t sure if having a legitimate reason was worse or better. “How can what I feel ever lead to destruction?”
“I’m not saying that it will, but true love is a dangerous magic.” The Sea Witch got uncomfortably close to my face. I tried to back away, but she swam around to observe me fully. Nothing about me had changed physically, but I’m sure she wasn’t seeing with her natural eye. “I can sense it on you. Your magic is stronger.”
I thought of how quickly I defeated my sister, but then, I quickly pushed that out of my mind. “How is that possible? Is it just because I have feelings for Ian?”
“No. That would be ridiculous, but it is possible that you’re drawn to each other for a reason.” She, once again, became agonizingly uncomfortable. I didn’t back away or cower from her glaring and curious eyes. I tried to be firm while I blanketed my mind with thoughts of training battles, meditation, and the past few lonely years of my life. I would not think of Ian, and I certainly wouldn’t think of the kisses we shared!
Except, I completely did.
I don’t know if my sudden memory of Ian’s kiss was vivid enough to burrow into her brain, but she certainly seemed more suspicious after I indulged in it. “You must have seen him again!” I covered my face. I would have hidden in my clam, but she was already inside of it with me. She grew impatient and pulled my hands away from my flustered face. “I did. Napa found Ian, and I went to see him. He gave me the dagger I had been searching for, and we spoke.”
“That’s not the only thing you did.”
I straightened out my body and tried to look a little taller and mature than I had been acting a moment ago. “We did share a kiss, yes.”
Instead of lecturing me, she twirled around the cavern, shrieking in delight. I hadn’t seen her genuinely happy or excited over anything, so I was a little terrified. “Did he have magic?”
“He didn’t seem to have knowledge of having magic.” “Perhaps he’s an amplifier,” she suggested with much intrigue. “What do you mean?”
“They are extremely rare, but an amplifier can increase your magic, even without being able to use it.” She swam to me and clasped onto both my hands and smiled. “If you were to mate, you could create new magic for your offspring and leave your own power intact. If that’s true, you should definitely mate him.”
“Uh…” My mouth opened in shock. The desire to feel and be more of an adult was ripped away from me. “I’m not ready for this conversation.”
“Why? Do you love him?” “It’s preposterous that I love him!” “But you do!” She chuckled. “I see it in your eyes. I feel it through your magic. He’s made you more powerful. If Fate is pulling you to love this man, don’t push back. There’s no sense in fighting what will be.”
Was it truly possible that Ian made me feel stronger? Was he the reason why I could use my magic to fight my sister so effortlessly? Even if it were true, what did it matter? I only wanted to control my magic so it wouldn’t accidentally go dark. I had no desire to be the greatest sorcerous in the world.
It was silly to think that I could take human form and live with Ian. I hardly knew him. But, for some reason, the thought of leaving to discover the world with him began to fill my chest and gut with a ticklish light that turned into a glorious rumbling. I clutched onto my chest as I felt it vibrating. My entire body was radiating heat. I tried to convince myself that I was merely embarrassed, but my hands were tingling.
“The thought of escaping with that human is causing your magic to burst from you,” the Sea Witch said. “You can’t deny what you want or may very well need.”




As the daughter of sci-fi enthusiasts and a pastor, Christina L. Barr has been taught to believe that anything is possible. She's been a serious composer as far back as twelve-years-old, and has had the opportunity to sing her songs around the world.
In 2007, she graduated from Holly High School number nine in her class and attended College for Creative Studies. She started a pop culture website called The Gorgeous Geeks with her two older sisters, and was even featured on Times Magazine.
Her addiction to writing emerged when she was eighteen and started her first novel. To date, she has nine novels published, fourteen completed, and her goal is to finish thirty books by her thirtieth birthday.
She is currently a Creative Director and spends her days making graphics and videos.


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Saturday, September 2, 2017

September 2017 Reading List

Ah, the dregs of summer. I'd love to say that it's going to be cool by the end of this month, but history tells me that it'll be well past Halloween before it's less than 80 outside during the middle of the day. So, I'll just embrace it and continue on with my summer theme!

September begins our BookLikes yearly "Halloween bingo", so you can expect to see my reading a ton of horror and thriller books! Here's a quick spotlight on what I'll be reading this month.

In Progress

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

I've been meaning to read this for years, but never took the plunge. This fits the "Gothic" space on my bingo card this year though, so I finally had a reason to start reading it! Happily, there's an amazing audio version of it out there so that's how I'm currently devouring it. I'm rather impressed, I must admit.





Summer of Night by Dan Simmons

Every year I pick a few horror books to read anyway, but since this fits my "Terror In a Small Town" bingo square and people have loved it, I was so excited to read this! I started it yesterday, and I'm already in love with the 1960's feel of it. With the wildness of childhood, and the innocence as well. I can tell I'm going to love reading this.





On Deck

'Salem's Lot by Stephen King

I love me some King at the best of times, but it's been over 5 years since I last read this book and I can't WAIT to read it again. This fits my "Vampires" square, and I'm ready for some gory, King fun. Bring it on.







Needful Things by Stephen King

Another one of my all time favorite books, and definitely in my top 3 favorite King books. This fits my "Supernatural" bingo square which gives me an excellent reason to read it all over again. Leland Gaunt, and his store of needful things, awaits me!


That's a quick look at my plans! I have another 2 books on deck as well, but we'll see how long it takes me to get through those King tomes. What are you looking forward to reading this month?



FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

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