Cover Reveal: Fright Before Christmas - A Middle Grade Anthology

Book Blurb:
It's the most wonderful time of year...or is it? 

Christmas Eve is a night of mystery and magic, but not always in ways we expect. Things lurk in the shadows and they're not the least bit jolly or merry. Let's just say some presents are better left unopened.

‘Tis the season to be screaming along with our thirteen tales of holiday horrors. Ghosts.Monsters. Demons. And more! 

This Christmas, be careful what you wish for... 

Book Trailer:

Author List:
Richard Ankers 
Jackie Horsfall 
Boyd Reynolds
Lea Storry
Ally Mathews
Laura Pauling
Ty Drago
Jessica Bayliss
Judith Graves
Andrea Stanet
Patrick Hueller
Dax Varley
Medeia Sharif

Pre-Order Sale and Book Links:
Pre-Order ebook sale for $1.99 – regular price $3.99

GoodReads Giveaway Links:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Fright Before Christmas by Shannon Delany

Fright Before Christmas

by Shannon Delany

Giveaway ends December 05, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Cover Reveal: Jane Blond - Brianna Schatt & Stan Schatt

Jane Blond International Spy
By- Brianna Schatt & Stan Schatt
Genre- Middle Grade
Expected Publication Date- October 19th

Fourteen year old Jane thought getting through high school was difficult enough with her dad in prison and her mother dating. Throw in being bullied by the popular girl who has everything- it’s completely unbearable. But when terrorists kidnap a boy she cares about, she knows she is the only one who can save him. International Spy, Jane Blond, must prevent terrorists from blowing up her school during the President’s visit. She’ll need all of her courage along with the help of a teen with CIA secrets, a friend with Asperger’s and a parrot with an attitude.


Cover Reveal: Case of the Washed-Up Warlock - Patrice Lyle

Title: The Case of the Washed-Up Warlock (Poison Ivy Charm School #2)
AuthorPatrice Lyle
Publisher: Leap Books
Cover Reveal Posting Date: Sept 21, 2015
Release Date: October 5, 2015

Back-cover blurb
When thirteen-year-old Tulip Bonnaire’s super-cute crush, Dexter, is threatened with expulsion from Poison Ivy Charm School, she can’t help but take the case. Someone has put a spell on Garrett’s Levitation skills and all the evidence, including the testimony of a sea hag stone, points to Dex. Tulip can’t imagine Poison Ivy without him, so she’s intent on proving his innocence. But that means delving into an old secret to find out who turned Garrett into a washed-up warlock.

Author Bio:
Patrice Lyle has never met a ghost story she didn’t like. She’s been fascinated with the paranormal since childhood. She attributes this fascination to having heard old family stories of ghostly wreaths, ESP, and money hidden in the lining of antique purses. She grew up on the Oregon Coast and has a Master’s Degree in Writing Popular Fiction. Now she lives with her husband and two cats on Florida’s Space Coast, where she’s working on her next novel under an umbrella on the beach. For more information, please visit her website at www.patricebooks.com 


Book Review: Hawthorne & Heathcliff - R. K. Ryals

Title: Hawthorn & Heathcliff
Author: R. K. Ryals
Genre: Young Adult/New Adult

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Two names that didn't belong to us. Two shoes that did.

Intense and introspective, seventeen-year-old Hawthorne Macy knows all about being abandoned. She's felt the stark pain of being left behind by the people who are supposed to love her the most; her parents. Raised by her caring uncle on an old plantation, Hawthorne lives her life on the fringes of her small Southern town.

Until she meets his shoe.

Senior year, last period English class, and a pair of silent tennis shoes resting next to hers in the back of the room throws Hawthorne into a world she'd learned to stay outside of.

His name is Max Vincent, but in her mind, he’s Heathcliff. The handsome eighteen-year-old boy behind the shoes will pull Hawthorne into a passionate and unforgettable adventure of self-discovery during a time when love seems impossible.

Shoes can tell a lot about a person. The journey they take you on can tell a lot about how they'll hold up.

My Review:
Hawthorne & Heathcliff is the perfect example of social media advertising at it's best.  I have never read one of Ryal's books previously, and I'm not even sure how she started pulling up in my newsfeed - could have been a result of me liking random pages via one of those "post your page here" posts, who knows.  What I do know is that the cover for the book started showing up, and it appealed to me very much.  Sweet an simple, and more often then not, the kind of cover that appeals to me the most.  Once I read the synopsis of the book I kind of knew I would read it eventually.  It was during the H&H themed shoe contest when I finally pre-bought the book.  It just goes to show, you generate enough buzz an hype on a book, you will get people to bite.

What I Loved:  Although in many ways the writing is poetic, not in the rhyming way, but in verse, Hawthorne & Heathcliff is very real.  The reality seeped through the seams with love and grief.  My story is so different from Hawthorne's, but I can relate to how stand-offish she was, and the hesitancy to let people in.  I also relate to her being forced to grow up and understand the realities of life beyond the thoughts and cares of most teenagers, while simultaneously sort of wanting that kind of innocence/freedom to care about nothing more than your hair, clothes and the boy you like.  I was drawn to her just as much as Heathcliff (Max) apparently was.

I loved the growing relationship between her and her uncle, and how because she was afraid to ask, there were so many assumptions that Hawthorne made about herself that just weren't true.  This book was a different kind of 'coming of age' novel.  Normally the teens in this kind of novel are maturing and realizing the things that are important in life.  Hawthorne is discovering who she is, crawling out from under her issues and looking at life in a different light.  
Of course the relationship between her and Heathcliff was such a steady burning flame throughout the book, just the kind of romance I love to read.  I enjoyed how Heathcliff was both persistent and patient with Hawthorne, and how eventually the roles reversed.

Not So Much:  I'm not a huge fan of sex in novels, especially with teenagers.  This is not a surprise to any of my regular readers.  I wasn't sure if this novel would or would not have it, it's hard to say sometimes.  However, there was a little in this book, and it was mostly emotionally based in description, but there were a few visuals (which is where I sort of draw my line).  However, I will say that as teenagers, Hawthorne and Heathcliff were very mature about it, there was discussion and protection, and it was based in reality and not this all amazing, perfect experience.  I respect that much more than glamorizing the entire experience.

Rating: 5 Stars - Sometimes a beautifully written novel with words like lyrics is exactly what I'm looking for.
Rated: R - due to sex and cussing (remember, I try to do this based of movie standards! :) )

P.S. I still wish I would have won those amazing shoes!  I hope the winner loves them!  :)


Book Review: Cry of the Sea - D.G. Driver

Title: Cry of the Sea
Author: D. G. Driver

Synopsis (From Goodreads):
Juniper Sawfeather is choosing which college to attend after graduation from West Olympia High School next year. She wants to go to San Diego to be far away from her environmental activist parents. They expect her to think the way they do, but having to be constantly fighting causes makes it difficult to be an average 17 year old high school student. Why do her parents have to be so out there? Everything changes when she and her father rush to the beach after a reported oil spill. As they document the damage, June discovers three humans washed up on the beach, struggling to breathe through the oil coating their skin. At first she thinks they must be surfers, but as she gets closer, she realizes these aren't human at all. They're mermaids!Now begins a complex story of intrigue, conspiracy and manipulation as June, her parents, a marine biologist and his handsome young intern, her best friend, the popular clique at school and the oil company fight over the fate of the mermaids.

My Review:
I feel so bad because I was approached to review this book early last month. When D. G. Driver approached me I was just getting ready to leave on my cruise vacation, couple that with the fact that I've never read a 'mermaid' themed book, it seemed like it was the perfect read for the trip.  Then I get there, and reading inside seemed kind of silly since I was on vacation to be outside in the beautiful sun and heat, and reading on my iPad outside is nearly impossible - if nothing else, it's not good for my eyes.  So I didn't read this while on vacation.  And then it's taken me a few weeks in addition to get to it.  I just hope she didn't think I'd forgotten about her.

As I said, I have never read a mermaid book, mostly because I have a very difficult time with a half/half species relationship concept.  I know that there's the whole "they turn to humans when dry" aspect, but I don't know - I mean they are half fish, and the normal theme of mermaid with human just never really appealed to me.  (I feel a bit hypocritical because I do like werewolves and vampires and such, it's just a silly preference I suppose.) However, this book is not your typical "Little Mermaid" themed kind of book.  Imagine discovering a new species - one that is human-like as some apes and monkeys are,, and yet very much like a a fish too.  This appeals to me.

What I Loved:  The story-line if this book was great, we have a typical teenager trying to bust the seams of her parent's mold and do her own thing.  Juniper's making her way in life while not abandoning her upbringing.  I like that.  I like that her relationship with her parents seemed to be pretty realistic; once the dust settles from an argument, they are still a family and work through their issues.

Any kind of animal activism I can stand behind, even if this is based upon a mythological creature, a lot of things still stand true.  Do we ever stop and think about the emotions of animals that we treat as objects?  I don't mean your pets, but what about other animals.  Cows?  Goats?  Do you want to know what caused me to become Vegan?  People posting silly animal videos on Facebook - and watching them and realizing that these animals were expressing happiness, joy, love, at times compassion toward one another - sometimes toward animals that weren't even their own species.  Sometimes animals show more humanity than humans, I think.  So a book that has even a little hint of compassion and love towards animals - no matter what kind,  is good to me.

But that's not the only reason this book was good.  This is a well written young adult book with conflict and some action, some teen drama and a touch of romance.

Not So Much:  This is an opinion on a character rather than on the book itself, but I will say that I wasn't found of Juniper's mother, she was pretty over bearing and didn't have many redeeming qualities.  Near the end I was wondering what was going to happen with that relationship, because she was just a little over the top.  Then her dramatics were kind of shoved aside and never really revisited.

Rating: 4 Stars - A good book, great for teenagers!
Rated: PG - very appropriate for younger eyes.