New Releases

Book Blitz: Silver Batal and the Water Dragon Races by K.D. Halbrook

Silver Batal and the Water Dragon Races
K.D. Halbrook
(Water Dragon Races, #1)
Published by: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date: June 4th, 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Middle-Grade

Set in a vivid, Arab-inspired world filled with friendly and fearsome water dragons, K.D. Halbrook’s Silver Batal and the Water Dragon Races is a middle-grade fantasy adventure, with illustrations by Ilse Gort, that’s perfect for fans of Tui T. Sutherland, Sayantani DasGupta, and Roshani Chokshi.

Silver’s dreams of becoming a legendary water dragon racer come true when she befriends a rare dragon that can swim and fly.

Thirteen-year-old Silver Batal calls the desert home, but her heart belongs to the waters. Although she’s expected to become a jeweler like her father, Silver harbors a secret and forbidden wish to race water dragons. Destiny comes calling when her friendship with a mysterious old woman leads her to Hiyyan, a baby dragon that can swim and fly.

Risking everything, Silver, Hiyyan, and her resourceful cousin Brajon set off across the desert to join the legendary races in the royal city. But the road to Calidia is filled with danger, and the trio must band together as they encounter ferocious cave beasts, clever desert foxes, and cutthroat competition.

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EXCERPT:

Nebekker whistled. “Come on out, pretty one. My turn to be your mama for a little while.”

Silver waited, pretending not to be watching. Who in the desert was Nebekker talking to? Surely there couldn’t be children down in the cavern.

Nebekker whistled again. Her teeth flashed as she grinned. Silver followed her gaze across the river. There was something moving among the stalactites. Crouched…or even slithering. Something that matched the blue light and pale silver of the cavern.

The thing across the river purred.

Purred?

The sound touched Silver to her very core. She got to her feet and moved toward the river without thinking, as though a string tied to her middle pulled her. There was no staying away if she’d wanted to. The need to meet the creature on the other side of the river was far too great. She stepped into the river.

The ice-cold water over her boots slowed her down for only a moment. But that was long enough for Nebekker to grab her arm and hold her in place.

“Of course this would happen.” Nebekker sighed wearily.

“Let me go!” Silver had to get to the other side of the river.

“Stay right here. He’ll come to you. The stars know it’ll affect the both of you.”

In the back of her mind, Silver wondered what the old woman meant, but she didn’t ask because the pull to cross the river was still so powerful.

“I have to…”

She struggled to free herself, but Nebekker was incredibly strong. Just then a shadow slipped into the river with a splash and made its way to Silver and Nebekker. Silver knelt into the water, waiting. She didn’t know what for or if she was in danger. She only knew that she had to open her arms and greet it.

When the creature finally burst from the water, it bowled Silver over. She landed on her back hard, rocks digging into her spine. Her arms and chest became even colder than before, soaking in the river water. But she didn’t care. She was awash with euphoria. Within seconds, the warmth of the creature bled into her skin. Its happy heartbeat thudded in time with Silver’s. It purred again and licked her face until the smell of fish and river weeds overwhelmed her nostrils.

Silver laughed and opened her eyes. A pair of obsidian-dark eyes looked back down at her from a sky-blue face ringed with white.

“Another Aquinder,” Silver marveled. “A little one!”

“If your definition of little means the size of a house.” Nebekker stood over them. Her hands were on her hips and she didn’t seem particularly happy. “Kirja’s son. Another troublemaker, if you ask me.”

“No, he’s perfect.” Silver’s heart swelled nearly to bursting. “And I won’t have you calling him names or else.”

Nebekker snorted. “Or else what?”

“I don’t know what. But I’ll think of something. I’d do anything for…for…what’s his name?”

The water dragon licked Silver some more, then rolled over and let his tongue loll out to the side, just like Kirja had. Silver rubbed his belly.

***

K.D. Halbrook is an author of Middle Grade and Young Adult novels (as Kristin Halbrook). Her debut Middle Grade book, SMOKE AND MIRRORS (Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books) was called “captivating,” “enchanting,” and “artful” in trade reviews and, in a starred review, the BCCB said, “The novel’s wistful prose and a relatable search for the Light will be rewarding for readers who can see in the Smoke any number of metaphors for the things that haunt us.”

K.D.’s next Middle Grade is the first in an exciting series: SILVER BATAL AND THE WATER DRAGON RACES, releasing in June, 2019 from Macmillan/Henry Holt BFYR.

K.D. is a graduate of the University of Washington and lives with her family and floofy goldendoodle in Seattle. When not writing and sharing her love of books with readers, she enjoys cooking and baking, running and triathlon training, yoga, gardening, painting, hiking, and travel. She would love a dragon that swims AND flies.

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New Releases

Blog Tour: CROSSLINE by Russ Colchamiro @AuthorDudeRuss @RRBookTours1 #CROSSLINE

Crossline

Welcome to the blog tour for Sci-Fi/ Adventure CROSSLINE, by Russ Colchamiro! I have an excerpt, book trailer, and a fantastic giveaway for you all today! Check it out!

NEWCrosslinefrontcover.jpg
CROSSLINE
by Russ Colchamiro
First Published: March 2013
Genre: Science Fiction/ Fantasy

“A high-flying adventure of a novel, filled with ambitious ideas and a breathtaking conclusion.” — The Leighgendarium

In the SciFi/Fantasy spirit of Firefly, Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, Stargate, and Escape from New York…

Hotdog pilot Marcus Powell has been selected to test Taurus Enterprises’ Crossline prototype craft and its newly developed warp thrusters, which, if successful, will revolutionize space travel as we know it.

But during his jaunt across the stars, Powell is forced into a parallel universe — including a parallel Earth — where he finds himself at the center of an epic battle he may have been destined for all along.

Meanwhile, back home, reclusive oil tycoon and Taurus CEO Buddy Rheams Jr. — who sent Powell on that very mission — has a mysterious past and a secret agenda, one that could prevent Powell from ever making it back to his wife and little girl.

From author Russ Colchamiro, Crossline is a psychedelic, action-packed romp across time, space, and dimension that asks the question: once you cross the line, can you ever really go back?

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Excerpt

The warp engines were ready for the first of six return blasts it would take to get him back to Earth, when a blip came across the screen. Powell shifted toward the incoming message, but his short-range sensor interrupted him. Something in the Saturn rings. Video amplification revealed that among a cluster of particles was an odd-shaped fragment, with sharper, more reflective edges than he would expect. But he supposed that after debris crashed around over millions if not billions of years, who knew what was really out there? He looked again. Probably nothing of consequence. Just some lagging hallucination from the multiple warps.

As suspected. Just ice particles swirling around the planet. Billions of frozen blue ice particles floating in space that—

Powell focused his monitor on the third ring layer. Studying it more carefully, his sensors revealed that the particle cluster wasn’t in the Saturn ring, but among it. The fragment wasn’t ran- dom, a collection of dust, or some anomalous asteroid fragment.

It was another ship. Looking just like Crossline. And headed his way.

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For your chance to win a print copy of this high-flying adventure in either print or digital, AND a $15 Amazon Gift Card, be sure to click the link below!

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Russ Colchamiro is the author of the rollicking space adventure, Crossline, the zany SF/F backpacking comedy series Finders Keepers: The Definitive Edition, Genius de Milo, and Astropalooza, and is editor of the SF anthology Love, Murder & Mayhem, all with Crazy 8 Press.

Russ lives in New Jersey with his wife, two ninjas, and crazy dog Simon, who may in fact be an alien himself. Russ has also contributed to several other anthologies, including Tales of the Crimson Keep, Pangaea, Altered States of the Union, Camelot 13, TV Gods 2, They Keep Killing Glenn, Thrilling Adventure Yarns, Camelot 13, and Brave New Girls.

He is now working on the first novel in a new series featuring his hardboiled private eye Angela Hardwicke, and the first of three collaborative novella projects.

Russ Colchamiro| Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Crossline

Blog Tour Schedule

May 27th
Reads & Reels (Excerpt) http://readsandreels.com
She Marie (Excerpt) https://shemarieblogs.com/
Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/
Didi Oviatt (Excerpt) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com
Tsarina Press (Excerpt) https://www.tsarinapress.com

May 28th
The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Interview) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com
Ity Reads Books (Review) http://www.ityreadsbooks.home.blog
The Book Dragon (Review) thebookdragondotblog.wordpress.com
Breakeven Books (Excerpt) https://breakevenbooks.com

May 29th
The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com
Audio Killed the Bookmark (Excerpt) http://audiokilledthebookmark.wordpress.com
Reading Nook (Excerpt) http://readingnook84.wordpress.com

May 30th
That Nerdy Girl (Review) http://thatonenerdygirlblog.wordpress.com
Triquetra Reviews (Excerpt) http://www.triquetrareviews.blogspot.com
Reviews by Nyx (Excerpt) https://nyxblogs.wordpress.com/

May 31st
Every Book Counts (Review) https://everybookcountsblog.wordpress.com/
Jessica Belmont (Review) http://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com
Dash Fan Book Reviews (Excerpt) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/
Sophril Reads (Excerpt) https://sophrilreads.wordpress.com
The Consulting Writer (Excerpt) https://theconsultingwriter.wordpress.com

Blog Tour Organized By:

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Reviews

Review: Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh

Review

Flame in the Mist.png
Flame in the Mist
by Renée Ahdieh
Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult, Romance
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Synopsis
The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.

So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.

The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.

What I thought

Let’s get down to business to defeat The Huns.

So this is literally what has been playing in my head since I finished this book I’m not complaining because I love Mulan.

This is a loose Mulan retelling that takes place in Japan.

I am really glad that I waited so long to read this book when it first came out there was a lot of hate because people expected a strict Mulan retelling. This story takes place in Japan so the culture is very different than the movie since it takes place in mainland China. I think that this might be why people felt let down by the retelling aspect.

The Mulan essence lives in our main character Mariko. Due to actions out of her control, Mariko has to dress like a boy to survive. Mariko fights for what she feels is right no matter the cost. Also, we have the hate to love trope that we all know I am such a sucker for.

There are some big thing that happens at the end of this book that really has me on the edge of my seat to see what happens. This book is told from a few different perspectives that should all come together in the Smoke in the Sun. Well, at least I really hope they do.

I am going to read the two short stories that came in between books 1 and 2. And just in case you did not know this but they appear to be free on Amazon.

This story is part of the duology so I’m super excited to pick up the second installment.

My Rating: /55 StarsFollow me on other platforms:
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Reviews

Review: Clock City by Rebekah Dodson

Review

Clock City
Clock City
by Rebekah Dodson
Steampunk, Fantasy
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Synopsis
Since Mom died and left me with my abusive, drunkard of a father I don’t have much of a life. My only sanctuary’s hidden in the woods. At least until I find a jeweled dagger and it transports me to somewhere called Elestra. I seriously can’t believe this isn’t some crazy dream, with mechanical horses, cat people, demons, and even metal dragons.

I just want to go home, but everything is a disaster in Clock City.

Who’s this mysterious girl who appeared in Elestra? Alayna wears strange clothes and keeps complaining about something called a “cell phone.” She even has a demon with her who’s sworn a life debt, and now I’m bonded to her to help save the kingdom.

I’m just Sebastian, a secret tinkerer. How am I supposed to help her, and the rebellion, save the city? My life has flipped upside down, and I don’t know if I have what it takes.

No matter what happens it’s up to us to show the world what freedom truly looks like.

What I thought
I read this book as part of the blog tour for it and I really wanted to love it, I really did, but, in the end, I DNF’d the book at 74 percent. 

First I want to thank Xpresso Book Tours for letting me be a part of their book tour. The concept of this book is amazing and I was so happy when they sent it to me, but the delivery was not what I was hoping for. I did not feel that I could connect with any of the characters. I did not like how their personalities just seemed to switch depending on what the author wanted to accomplish at that time.

My biggest issue with the book is that it read like a first draft. Now I am not one to complain about grammar and spelling normally but the sheer amount of things that were missed kept taking me out of the story at one point I started marking them all thinking I was just over exaggerating and afterward it made me realize there was more than I thought instead of less. Honestly, if this would have not been the case I would have finished the book because I really do like the concept and the characters could have balanced out in the end…maybe.

My Rating: /5

DNF

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New Releases

Book Blitz: The Lady Raven by Rebecca Henry

The Lady Raven: A Dark Cinderella Tale by Rebecca Henry
Publication date: December 5, 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

In The Lady Raven, Rebecca Henry tells the tale of Zezolla, a little princess abandoned by her father into the hands of her evil stepmother and wicked stepsisters. A familiar fairy tale you may think but all is not as it appears. The reader is soon drawn into a web of witchcraft, lies and deceit, and gradually realises that this is no typical fairy tale but a dark and macabre take on one. Zezolla is treated with the utmost cruelty, neglected and vilified, and left to live in the damp cellars of the castle. The only friends Zezolla has are her beloved raven and her pet wolf. Her only comfort lies in the loyalty of the creatures of the forest and her mother’s hazel tree. Will Zezolla have the power to escape her torment and ultimately save herself from the unscrupulous clutches of the king? The Lady Raven is a compelling tale and one that is not for the faint-hearted.

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EXCERPT:

Baldric bent down, whispering into his wife’s ear. “I am going to drown you in the river, my love. I want you to hear my words and know that it is I who will kill you. Do not think that I do not know what you did.” Before Avelina could protest, her face was plunged into the icy water. She tried pulling her head up, but Baldric was too strong. She began to buck her legs around like a mule, desperate to make contact with Baldric, anything to weaken his grip. Baldric climbed on top of her and pinned her body beneath his. “Die, Avelina.” he growled. Hands were flying all around him as he drowned his wife, the only woman he ever loved. Princess Avelina was a fighter and she determined to stay alive, but it was to no avail.

Baldric kept her head under the water well after her body stopped moving. Avelina’s betrayal caused Baldric’s love to turn to hate, just as water turns to ice in the frozen kiss of winter.

“Die, you lying witch. Die! You do not deserve the life you have. You do not deserve me. You have taken everything I’ve loved away and now I will take everything from you.” Baldric’s hands trembled with rage as he dismounted his wife’s limp body. Baldric arose, looking around the grounds to ensure that no witnesses could testify to his crime. Still, he would not suffer the consequence of murdering his wife. To seal his innocence, he gathered heavy rocks from the bank and shoved them in Avelina’s robes.

“They will think it a suicide and my hands will never be traced to her death.” He bent down to see her face one last time before kicking her corpse into the lake.

“I loved you mind, body, and soul. I would have loved you until my dying breath, but I will never think of you again. From this day forth, you no longer consume my heart. May you rest in hell, my love.” He watched her body sink; he was triumphant, sentencing her to the punishment that fitted the crime: death.

Before her body disappeared into the ultramarine water, he spat on her. One final act of defiance.


Rebecca Henry is a newly published author. Her debut novel is The Lady Raven, A Dark Cinderella Tale, which was published in 2017. The Lady Raven, is for those who have an affinity for fairy tales retold with a link to witches, magic and the macabre. Her second novel, Louisiana Latte, a chick lit comedy was released February 28th 2019. Louisiana Latte, is a feel good comedy that focuses on the bonds of sisters, and how audacious life can be when you have a diva for one! Both books are available on amazon as well as Barnes & Noble.

Rebecca Henry is a world traveler living abroad in England. Besides being an author of two published books, Rebecca is also a podcast talk host on the show The Latte Talk. The podcast was inspired by her latest novel, Louisiana Latte and her diva sister Deb. She is a serious vegan, gardener, crafter, wife and mom who practices yoga. She loves to laugh, her drug of choice and loves all things witchy with a hint of the macabre. Her favorite holiday is Halloween and her favorite movie of all time is Practical Magic.

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Reviews

Review: The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

Review

The Dark Days Club
The Dark Days Club
by Alison Goodman
Fantasy, Historical, Paranormal, Young Adult, Romance
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Synopsis
London, April 1812.

On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?

What I thought
I have no idea why when I know I am going to love a book that I “save” it. New Goal read all the books I know I am going to love. This book sat on my shelf for way too long.

This story checked so many of my boxes:

Regency area checkmark
Strong female character checkmark
Some hate to love romance vibes checkmark
Fantasy elements checkmark

So in the story, Lady Helen has lived with her aunt and uncle since her parent’s death when she was younger. Helen has long been told that her mother was a traitor to the crown, but this may not be the case. Helen soon learns that her mother was part of a secret society that fights demons.

I really enjoyed the character Helen and how she was a very strong female character even though this is it any regency time. Of course, Lady Helen’s views cause some problems because she is definitely not a product of her time, she is an educated woman and proud of it. She’s also very opinionated which seems to get her in more trouble than anything else.

I won’t lie I really want horrible things to happen to her uncle, I think he is just scum. Then you have Carlston I really want to see more happen there. And there is just something about the Duke of Selburn that I can’t quite like.  I think he has an ulterior motive and he does not have Helen’s best interest in mind at all. I think he showed interest just because he thinks Carlston has. 

I cannot wait to pick up the next book. I already have it pulled off my bookshelf and on top of a stack of books ready.

My Rating: /55 StarsFollow me on other platforms:
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New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday was a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Each Wednesday you got to highlight a book that you were really looking forward to. Unfortunately, the original creator is no longer able to host the meme and it has now linked up with Can’t Wait Wednesday over at Wishful Endings.

This week I’ve chosen: The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

The Girl the Sea Gave Back
The Girl the Sea Gave Back

by Adrienne Young
Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy

The new gut-wrenching epic from the New York Times bestselling author of Sky in the Deep.

For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.

Expected publication: September 3rd, 2019

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