Tuesday, October 31, 2017

First Crush, Last Love Spotlight



Book Details:

Book Title: First Crush, Last Love by Elizabeth McKenna
Category: Adult Fiction, 314 pages
Genre: Romance - Contemporary
Publisher: Elizabeth McKenna
Release date: Aug 1, 2017
Tour dates: Oct 16 to Nov 3, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (There are a few short, mild sex scenes - nothing too graphic. There is swearing by certain characters. Mature themes include drinking/alcoholism, verbal abuse with some physical pushing, AIDS (a minor character is gay), stalking, brief descriptions of child abuse by a step parent, and suicide attempt (overdose).

Book Description:

Remember your first crush? How your heart raced and your cheeks flushed whenever you saw him? Jessie Baxter does, and it’s happening again. Ten years ago, despite her best efforts, Lee Archer wanted to be just friends. Now, he wants more, but Jessie's still recovering from a psycho ex-husband. Can she learn to trust again and make her first crush into her last love?

Elizabeth McKenna’s latest novel will have you remembering the angst of high school, the grief of a failed relationship, and the happiness of true love.

To read reviews, please visit Elizabeth McKenna's page on iRead Book Tours.

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Meet the Author:



Elizabeth McKenna works as a full-time technical writer/editor for a large software company. Though her love of books reaches back to her childhood, she had never read romance novels until one Christmas when her sister gave her the latest bestseller by Nora Roberts. She was hooked from page one (actually, she admits it was the first love scene).

She had always wanted to write fiction, so she combined her love of history, romance and a happy ending to write Cera's Place and Venice in the Moonlight. Her short story, The Gypsy Casts a Spell, is available for free on her site http://elizabethmckenna.com/. She hopes you will enjoy her first contemporary romance novel, First Crush Last Love, as much as others have enjoyed her historical romances.

Elizabeth lives in Wisconsin with her understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and a sassy Labrador. When she isn't writing, working, or being a mom, she's sleeping.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

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Monday, October 30, 2017

The Painter's Apprentice Spotlight



Book Details:

Book Title: The Painter's Apprentice: A Novel of 16th-Century Venice
Author: Laura Morelli
Category: Adult Fiction, 482 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: The Scriptorium
Release date: November 15, 2017
Tour dates: Oct 16 to Nov 17, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (some adult situations but no sex or explicit violence)

Book Description:

Would you rather sacrifice your livelihood, your lover, or your life? When the Black Death comes knocking on your door, you’d better decide quickly.

Venice, 1510. Maria Bartolini wants nothing more than to carry on her father’s legacy as a master gilder. Instead, her father has sent her away from the only home she’s ever known to train as an apprentice to Master Trevisan, a renowned painter.

When the painter’s servants uncover the real reason why Maria has been sent away, they threaten to reveal a secret that could tear down her family and the future of their trade. She is forced to buy the servants’ silence, but as their greed steadily grows, Maria resorts to more desperate measures. She questions whether her heart’s desire is worth risking her family, her trade, and her future, but Maria’s sacrifices may amount to nothing if the plague arrives on her father’s doorstep before she is able to get back home.

From the author of the award-winning The Gondola Maker comes a rich tale of Renaissance Venice, a heroine with a lust for life, and love against all odds.
Pre-Order Campaign:
Laura Morelli's new book, The Painter’s Apprentice, is out on November 15, and she is offering a set of great bonuses exclusively to her readers. If you like to delve deeper into the “story behind the story,” you’ll want to take advantage of Laura’s pre-order package (ends Oct 31st), which takes readers behind the scenes of The Painter’s Apprentice with videos, pictures, commentary about Renaissance Venice, and other exclusive content. Learn more here and order your copy today!


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Meet the Author:




LAURA MORELLI holds a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University, has taught college students in the U.S. and in Italy, and currently produces art history lessons for TED-Ed. She authored a column for National Geographic Traveler called “The Genuine Article” and has contributed pieces about art and authentic travel to CNN Radio, The Frommers Travel Show, and in USA TODAY, Departures, and other media. Laura is the author of the Authentic Arts guidebook series that includes the popular book Made in Italy. Her fiction brings the stories of art history to life. Her debut novel, The Gondola Maker, won an IPPY for Best Historical Fiction and a Benjamin Franklin Award.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Space Between


Author Susan Rooke dedicates this contemporary fantasy novel to Katie, Glen, and especially Denise, the last who read the book first and “believed.” Opening the story is a prologue with a mysterious unidentified narrator who thinks that his fall is going on forever, although he doesn’t fall alone. The main chapters begin with the female protagonist, Mellis, with her dog Orlando in the park. Mellis has three semesters of college under her belt, and has worked the kitchen at Goodwin’s Permanent Care part-time since high school. Mellis quickly finds herself in an otherworld thanks to an old woman named Deidre, who has her companions Fetters and Feldspar.

The mentioned unidentified narrator, later titled the Son of the Morning, gets his own chapters in between the main ones, known as interstices, the first of which describes him as being broken from the fall in the prologue, recovering. The story fuses Christian and Greek mythology, with Satan ultimately mentioned later in the story, and the Titans from the latter towards the end. Another significant piece of backstory is the expulsion of two different sects of angels from Heaven, the first of which are the Evil Fallen, and the second of which are the remorseful Penitent.

Other characters introduced include the talking cat Kindle, not to mention Fellson, who seems to be a person of interest to the Son of the Morning. This story overall will likely please enthusiasts of modern fantasy stories, although it does a tad too much setting up for future installments, particularly regarding the enigmatic interstices, and has several confusing portions, particular regarding the fact that Kindle is actually a talking cat. This reviewer further had difficulty imagining the appearances of the sundry characters, given their general lack of descriptions, although it’s by no means a bad read.


Book Details:

Book Title: The Space Between: The Prophesy of Faeries by Susan Rooke
Category: Adult Fiction, 452 pages
Genre: Fantasy, Fairy Tale
Publisher: Holynok Press
Release date: September 12, 2017
Format available for review: ebook (mobi, ePub, PDF)
Tour dates: Oct 23 to Nov 17, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (For some violence. There is no sex or bad language)

Book Description:

Mellis, a courageous and resourceful young woman, is kidnapped from the human world and taken to the Space Between by a tribe of faeries called the Penitents. Because of guilt over an ancient sin committed by their angel ancestors against the Maker, the Penitents have cursed themselves with grotesque physical disfigurements. Mellis can help them reunite with the Maker and find their way back to redemption, but she would need to give up the life she's always known to remain in the Space Between.

As she struggles with this heart-wrenching decision, one of the Penitents, bent on revenge, commits a gruesome attack against the tribe, and they learn he has taken Satan--the Maker's greatest enemy--as his ally. All in the Space Between are facing grave danger. Will a long-awaited act of vengeance save them?

Susan Rooke builds a rich and fantastical world of angels and demons, monsters, faeries and dragons. Abounding with spirituality and humanity, this faery tale for adults has a cast of vivid characters you won't soon forget.

To follow the blog tour and read reviews, please visit Susan Rooke's page on iRead Book Tours.


Meet the Author:



Susan Rooke is a Pushcart-nominated poet and author of the forthcoming The Space Between Series. Her short stories and poems have appeared in publications such as The Christian Science Monitor and The Twilight Zone Magazine, among many others. She resides on a square of green, peaceful country not far from Austin, Texas, with her husband Glen, who runs a small cattle operation while Rooke writes fiction about angels and demons, monsters, faeries and dragons. Look for her fantasy novel, The Space Between: The Prophecy of Faeries on Amazon.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ facebook


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Monday, October 23, 2017

Tribal Affairs


One could definitely describe this contemporary fantasy novel an odd duck. Several chapters an unidentified female character narrates, who has a husband named Alexander. For most of the story, chapters appear to be in third-person, with the main character being Liana, daughter of the magician Jamison the Great, one of whose performances has a misfire early on. In another dream-dedicated chapter, Alexander hangs beaten and upside-down from a tree, with the narrator soon saying that she has influence over Liana’s dreams.

Liana is still a student in grade school, with a few classmates pranking a slide presentation by including pictures of her father’s failed performance. She is a troubled pupil, under the care of a psychiatrist named Dr. Rattner, who suggests medicating her. Liana quickly finds herself thrust into a fantastical world inhabited chiefly by genies, with one named Stefan serving as something of an antagonist later on. The author divides genies into a few tribes, such as the Marid and Ifrits in a reflection of real-life djinn mythos that adds well to the narrative.

Liana and a friendly genie, Taffi, male, set off on a ship called The Drunken Maiden, with Liana urged to keep control of her supernatural abilities, and while the action isn’t exactly on an epic scale, there is some revelation towards the end, such as who exactly is narrating the story, which accounts for an overall satisfying yarn. There are some derivative aspects such as an apparent inspiration by the Star Wars franchise, and the author does err in mentioning witch burnings regarding the Salem Witch Trials (where no alleged magicians were incinerated), but the book is otherwise recommended.



Book Details:

Book Title: Tribal Affair by Matt Dallmann
Category: YA Fiction, 277 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Matt Dallmann
Release date: July 2017
Tour dates: Oct 9 to 27, 2017
Content Rating: G (No bad language or sex)

Book Description:

Dahlia, a centuries-old genie, lies hopelessly trapped in a damaged golden locket charm attached to an ankle bracelet. Its owner, sixteen-year-old Liana, wears it for the first time during her father Jamison’s opening night illusion spectacular. Not only does its presence cause Jamison to folly his performance, but it also starts a chain of bizarre events that lead to a showdown with Dahlia’s mortal enemy, Stefan, and an unsuspecting romance between Liana and his son.

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Meet the author:


Matt Dallmann has a background in acting and holds a BFA from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. His films and screenplays have been featured at film festivals across the United States including Cinequest, Big Apple Film Festival, Seattle’s True Independent Film Festival, DragonCon and Zero Independent Film Festival. His piano compositions have been published for commercial use and he is a member of ASCAP. Matt is also the Co-Founder and Vice President of the boutique medical billing firm VGA Billing Services, Inc. in New York City. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and two daughters.

Connect with the author: Website

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Appointment With Yesterday Spotlight



Book Details:

Book Title: Appointment with Yesterday: A Novel in Four Parts with a Prologue and an Epilogue
Author: Christopher Stratakis
Category: Adult Fiction, 334 pages
Genre: coming-of-age / WWII / immigrant experience
Publisher: IndieReader
Release date: January 2017
Tour dates: Oct 2 to 20, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (There is no bad language or violence, but there are references to sex and sexual situations (including between a pre-teen and teen)


Book Description:

A poignant and compelling first novel, Appointment with Yesterday tells the story of Yanni, a cheeky and delightful Greek boy growing up in a small town on an island in the eastern Aegean.

Left in the care of his loving grandparents, Yanni endures the deprivation and terror of the German occupation during World War II and finally leaves his beloved homeland and family to rejoin the parents who had left him behind to make a better life for themselves in America.

Filled with heartbreaking and heartwarming stories of love, devotion, disenchantment, and dashed dreams, Appointment with Yesterday is, ultimately, the story of hardships overcome and a determined boy’s journey toward finding his destiny.


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Meet the Author:




Christopher Stratakis was born and raised in Greece. After moving to America, he graduated from Drexel University in 1951 and New York University School of Law in 1955. Shortly after joining the law firm of Poles, Tublin & Patestides in 1960, he became a partner, specializing in admiralty and corporate law.

He has written and published several articles, lectured on professional and historical subjects, served as Legal Advisor to several non-profits (pro bono), and was an arbitrator in maritime disputes. He is the author of Mnimes “Memories” (2010), a book of essays, short stories, and poems that he wrote as a teenager. In 2015, he co-edited Chains on Parallel Roads, a book published by Panchiaki “Korais” Society of New York. In recognition of his extensive community involvement, he has been the recipient of several awards from religious, governmental, and educational institutions.

Mr. Stratakis lives with his wife in New York City. He is the proud father of three and grandfather of three. This is his first novel.

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Monday, October 2, 2017

Awoke




Book Details:

Book Title: Awoke (The Want Series) by K.T. Conte
Category: YA Fiction; 324 pages
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Publisher: SugarCane Publishing
Release date: October 2017
Format available for review: print & ebook (mobi, ePub, PDF)
Will ship print books to: Internationally
Tour dates: Sept 25 to Oct 27, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (mainly bad language)

Book Description:

Katya leads a normal life any teenager would be envious of – popular, pretty and dating the high school elite. Not she enjoys the spotlight, mind you. She wants everyone to believe she is normal.

But when Katya sees the real reason behind the earthquakes plaguing everyone in Boston, the truth rattles and shatters the perfect normal illusion Katya created for herself. An ability to see unearthly creatures and manipulate waves of life energy labels her as anything but normal. And it’s an ability that attracts unwanted and dangerous attention.

She reluctantly finds herself in the company of Gregor, a handsome member of an international spirit military team called the Kyrios. Her simple decision to help thrusts Katya in a world of the undead spirits, betrayal and a perpetual battle between undead monsters and the wardens that keep them in their place.

Katya must decide whether she values the simple and easy life she created for herself over the complex and difficult world now asking her to stand and fight.


Review

This contemporary fantasy and paranormal romance novel opens with protagonist and first-person narrator Katya Stevens intending to have a normal night devoid of the visions that have been plaguing her for some time, and she goes to her friend Amie Espinosa’s eighteenth birthday party at a bowling alley in Boston. A little backstory is exposed in the first chapter about tremors that have been occurring around the world, particularly in unusual locations such as the capital of Massachusetts. Kat is African-American, and has a Caucasian boyfriend named Roger Simmons, a high school basketball player.

At the birthday party, Kat encourages Amie to hook up with a mysterious Scotsman later identified as Gregor, although he rudely rejects her, and Kat consequentially tries to track him down so she can confront him. Oddly, she finds a man kneeling and pleading with the Scot, whom he addresses as a Kyrios, with Gregor indicating that an entity known as a Craver is coming, and Kat having a sensation accompanied by a malevolent force. The narrator ultimately awakes at home, with the Scotsman by her side, who reveals his background.

Kat ultimately finds herself thrust into a world of the supernatural, with the normal human domain being the Live Realm, with occasional further backstory and Christian mythology playing part in the story. She discovers that she has a latent power called the Vis, similar to the force from the Star Wars film franchise, and receives training to hone her abilities. Despite the derivative nature of the novel, it’s still a good start to a new series, although there is slight confusion towards the end, and an oddly out-of-place reference to a character codenamed Mini-Me. Even so, fans of modern fantasy will most likely enjoy this yarn.

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Meet the Author:




K.T. Conte is a lover of books, people and all things wild and crazy. She received her B.A. in English from Boston College and her law degree from Suffolk University Law School. While she has and continues to be a licensed attorney, her first love has always been books from the tender age of 2. Originally from Massachusetts, K.T. currently lives in New York City with the monsters in the closet, her husband Everett, a couple of building fairies and her dog, Champ.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Carbon



Book Details:

Book Title: Carbon - Book Two in the Watcher Series by AJ Eversley
Category: YA Fiction, 300 pages
Genre: Sci-fi Dystopian
Publisher: Self-published
Release date: Sept 26, 2017
Tour dates: Sept 4 to 29, 2017
Content Rating: PG (No swearing and PG kissing scenes)

Book Description:

Sawyer has lost everything. Her family, the man she loves...her humanity. No longer a Watcher, Sawyer must now begin a journey to understand her new identity. Carbon.

With no where left to call home, and no one left to guide her, Sawyer must rely on the help of a stranger to learn who she really is now, and how to use it to her advantage. In a world where nothing is as it seems, and who to trust is a thin line between friend and foe, Sawyer will turn to the stars that have shaped her destiny long before she even knew she had one. And the man who fate has sent her.

Book two in this epic series, Carbon will answer questions you didn't even know you had. And strangers will become the only ones who can help her. Join Sawyer as the journey to save humanity continues.

Review:

*possible spoilers for Watcher*

Like its predecessor, Carbon, the sequel to Watcher, is a dystopian science-fiction novel set in the future, with most chapters narrated by the female protagonist, Sawyer, with occasional third-person chapters that again feature another important character, Kenzie. In the beginning, she indicates that she is largely unable to move on from death, and is sailing from Kuros to the United Isles. Throughout the story, Sawyer has a mostly love-hate relationship with Max Murray, son of Commander Murray, although he does occasionally attempt to comfort her aboard the ship where the action begins.

As mention, Kenzie returns, his scenes commencing in a space station, with a fortnight having elapsed since he fled Kuros. Kenzie’s superior Coleman interrogates a prisoner for location of a special girl, and suspects a traitor among his ranks. Also introduced early on is the leader of the United Isles, Princess Lena, who has a childlike appearance but is in reality much older. Overall, this is an enjoyable sequel, even if a tad derivative of other dystopian works, but those that enjoyed the first book in the series will most likely enjoy the second.


To read more reviews, please visit AJ Eversley's page on iRead Book Tours.

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Meet the Author:




AJ Eversley is the author of the WATCHER series. A true north Canadian girl, AJ currently lives in Central Alberta with her husband and dog. When she’s not writing, she can be found binge watching Harry Potter, quoting various movies in every day conversation, and eating copious amounts of candy.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram


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