Friday, 17 November 2017

Blog Tour / Book Musings - Spell Book & Scandal by Jen McConnel


Spell Book & Scandal
Jen McConnel
Publication date: October 31st 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Shelby King is tired of living in her sister’s shadow. Just because Christina is the most powerful caster in school doesn’t mean Shelby’s any good at magic; she’s a scribe, like her mom, and everyone expects her to write spells for her sister, the way her mom always has for her dad. But Shelby’s spells fail spectacularly, and by the time she’s a sophomore, Christina won’t touch them with a ten-foot-pole; their parents aren’t much better. Shelby is fed up, and she decides to show the world she doesn’t care if she isn’t as good as her stuck-up sister, or as talented as their powerful parents. In fact, she decides it’s time to break all the rules, magical and otherwise, and she starts sneaking out to meet Jeremiah Smallwood, the second-best caster in school at illegal pop-up spell battles around town. She may not be able to scribe for him, but she doesn’t mind letting him think that she could; Shelby’s been half in love with Miah as long as she can remember, but he’s never paid attention to her until now, and she’s not going to risk her chances worrying about a pesky thing like the truth. But when Christina rats her out to their parents, Shelby can’t control her anger, and words come pouring out of her that she can’t take back even if she wanted to, threatening Christina’s future…and Shelby’s own chances with Jeremiah. It’ll take more magic than Shelby’s ever dreamed of to set things right, but no scribe has that much magic…right?

My Musings :

At first glance, the implied conflict between siblings is what caught my attention. Then I was in the mood for some YA so everything together got me reading this book. When I started the book, the school part felt a bit routine inspite of the concept of normies and casters and scribes. But as the book went on, I got caught up in the life of Shelby and her family. I believe if you can get through the first few pages, you will enjoy the tale as much I did. 

The familial problems especially with Christina had me frowning a lot because it was outright favouritism. It all adds to the "flavour" of the book. Shelby grows in characters quite a bit according to me. In the beginning she is so unsure of her and towards the end, she comes into her ability. Miah had me suspicious from the starting because of his emphasis on Shelby scribing for him. His attitude at the end felt rather abrupt and quite a about turn change. 

The world building is an alternate reality with the base being our normal world with paranormal races like scribes and casters which form an unique and intriguing community. I felt that it wasn't fully explained for the readers. There's lot more to it and for that alone I look forward to the next book. Add to it that the ending had me asking a few questions inspite of being  a non cliffhanger end, I am eager for the sequel.

The pace rather picks up as I follow Shelby's challenges and the flow also is in sync with the writing. All in all, I enjoyed the fast read a lot and I recommend this to those who like YA with magic.

I received a copy for reviewing purposes which doesn't impact my review in any way.

My one line review : A cool magical system with a heroine who grows with the story.

My rating : 4/5

My reread factor : 3/5


Author Bio:
Award-winning author Jen McConnel writes NA, YA, and nonfiction. When she isn’t writing, she can be found on her yoga mat or wandering off on another adventure. Visit www.JenMcConnel.com to learn more!


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Book Blitz - The Jupiter Chronicles The Orb of Terra by Leonardo Ramirez


Steampunk
Date Published: November 17, 2017
Publisher: Leonardoverse Books

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In the tradition of “City of Ember” "Chronicles of Narnia" and "A Wrinkle in Time", this family adventure is a high stakes space race to save our world from an invading force before it is too late.

-Book 3-

Will Ian’s quest to find his destiny away from Jupiter lead to Earth's untimely demise?

As he struggles with his identity, Ian Castillo helps one of Earth’s greatest scientific minds, Dr. Nikola Tesla, make the scientific discovery of a lifetime: a strange mineral that can perhaps power our world for years to come! They discover it is not just an energy source, but something much more! When the device powered by the mineral is activated, it awakens a sleeping giant buried under the Earth by the Martians generations before. The beast known as “Gigantes” leaves behind a trail of destruction and calls out to a deadly enemy headed for Earth.

And the secret inside the mineral will change everything for Earth and the entire Jovian Realm…forever.

FIND YOUR DESTINY.

Cover by Eve Milady and Ben Fosselman with Magnetic Dreams Animation Studios (Iron Man:Extremis, Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers, Sesame Street)


About the Author


Leonardo Ramirez is an author, husband, a father, and a Karate instructor with a 4th degree black belt. His first novel, "Haven of Dante", is a supernatural Young Adult story centered on an ancient war between the Dante family and the nine circles of hell. "Haven of Dante: The Staff of Moshe" takes readers much deeper into the world of the family line with a prologue that begins with the plight of Dante Alighieri himself!

His follow up is a Science Fiction book called "The Jupiter Chronicles: The Secret of the Great Red Spot". It follows the adventure of two children as they are transported to the steam-powered cities of Jupiter where they find the secret of their long-lost father in the midst of a Martian attack.
Leonardo Ramirez lives with his wife Kristen, their daughter Mackenzy and their two dogs, Duchess and Tinkerbell in a suburb of Nashville, Tennessee.

Contact Links


Purchase Links



Reading Addiction Blog Tours

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Blog Tour / Excerpt - Twisted Truths by Rebecca Zanetti





TWISTED TRUTHS by Rebecca Zanetti


Part of the BLOOD BROTHERS series.



November 14, 2017 | Trade paperback: $14.99 | eBook: $5.99 | ISBN: 978145559431



"TOP PICK! 4 1/2 stars! Zanetti proves that when it comes to RS, she is in a class by herself!"
―RT Book Reviews


DESCRIPTION

One year ago, Denver Jones blew up his life and left everything behind. To stay alive, he had no other choice. But now, when video footage of the woman he could never forget goes viral, begging for his help, he has no choice but to go to her. Her niece has been kidnapped and Denver and his blood brothers are the only people she can trust.

But Denver isn't the only one watching that video. The deadly forces from his past see it too-and they'll use anything--and anyone--they can to lure Denver out of hiding to exact their revenge.

BUY THE BOOK
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Excerpt :


Slowly, numbly, she shrugged. “I knew you were dangerous and relentless in pursuing somebody,” she whispered. But a killer? Her search for him had held a romantic element, and she knew it. This guy was all edge—no romance. “Am I in danger?” Her voice quivered, but she had to know.

“Yes.” He didn’t move. Didn’t even seem to breathe.

She blinked. Rapidly. “From you?”

His eyes darkened. “No. The only thing I’m capable of breaking is your heart.”

Cold swam through her. The arrogance. “You think you broke my heart?”

His lip twisted. “I know I did.” His tone was low with what seemed like self-hatred. Dark and raw. “I’m sorry.”

Those words. She’d needed those words and hadn’t realized how badly. “Thank you,” she said, going on instinct. “Then how am I in danger?”

“I’m in danger, and anybody close to me is free game for an enemy who will keep coming until I’m dead. Until everything I care about, everything I dream about, is taken away and I want death.” He looked back down at the computer, intensity pouring from him.

Whoa. Okay. Denver didn’t have one bit of hysteria in him. His words scared her, but curiosity still rose up. “Who?”

“Irrelevant. As soon as we get Talia back, you have to forget me. Now. Back to Richie.”

She could live forever, and she’d never forget him. Not for one second had she been able to pretend he didn’t exist. But he was right. They had to find Talia, but he still needed to explain more. She had a right to know everything. “I have files on everything.” She threw her pack at Denver, and he easily caught it before it smashed him in the face.

He didn’t so much as frown. “Thank you.”

She swallowed. They were in the same room. After a year of hurting for him, he was right there in solid form. More than solid. She hadn’t imagined his hard body or intense charisma. He owned every room he walked into with no effort. She’d never met anybody like him, and here he was. Her body tingled, her heart ached, and her mind spun. Yeah. Denver was definitely there. “What now?” she asked, her eyes gritty and her throat scratchy.

“I’ll do some research.” Slowly, numbly, she shrugged. “I knew you were dangerous and relentless in pursuing somebody,” she whispered. But a killer? Her search for him had held a romantic element, and she knew it. This guy was all edge—no romance. “Am I in danger?” Her voice quivered, but she had to know.

“Yes.” He didn’t move. Didn’t even seem to breathe.

She blinked. Rapidly. “From you?”

His eyes darkened. “No. The only thing I’m capable of breaking is your heart.”

Cold swam through her. The arrogance. “You think you broke my heart?”

His lip twisted. “I know I did.” His tone was low with what seemed like self-hatred. Dark and raw. “I’m sorry.”

Those words. She’d needed those words and hadn’t realized how badly. “Thank you,” she said, going on instinct. “Then how am I in danger?”

“I’m in danger, and anybody close to me is free game for an enemy who will keep coming until I’m dead. Until everything I care about, everything I dream about, is taken away and I want death.” He looked back down at the computer, intensity pouring from him.

Whoa. Okay. Denver didn’t have one bit of hysteria in him. His words scared her, but curiosity still rose up. “Who?”

“Irrelevant. As soon as we get Talia back, you have to forget me. Now. Back to Richie.”

She could live forever, and she’d never forget him. Not for one second had she been able to pretend he didn’t exist. But he was right. They had to find Talia, but he still needed to explain more. She had a right to know everything. “I have files on everything.” She threw her pack at Denver, and he easily caught it before it smashed him in the face.

He didn’t so much as frown. “Thank you.”

She swallowed. They were in the same room. After a year of hurting for him, he was right there in solid form. More than solid. She hadn’t imagined his hard body or intense charisma. He owned every room he walked into with no effort. She’d never met anybody like him, and here he was. Her body tingled, her heart ached, and her mind spun. Yeah. Denver was definitely there. “What now?” she asked, her eyes gritty and her throat scratchy.

“I’ll do some research.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over twenty-five romantic suspense, dark paranormal, and contemporary romances, and her books have appeared multiple times on the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestseller lists. She has received a Publisher's Weekly Starred Review for Wicked Edge, Romantic Times Reviewer Choice Nominations for Forgotten Sins and Sweet Revenge, and RT Top Picks for several of her novels. She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat...and a huge extended family. She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off...and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out. Find Rebecca at: www.rebeccazanetti.com

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Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Blog Tour / Book Musings - Avishi by Saiswaroopa Iyer



AVISHI
by
Saiswaroopa Iyer



Blurb

Long before the times of Draupadi and Sita
Immortalised in the hymns of the Rig Veda
But largely forgotten to the memory of India
Is the Warrior Queen with an iron leg, Vishpala

Brought up in the pristine forest school of Naimisha, Avishi reaches the republic of Ashtagani in search of her destiny. When Khela, the oppressive King of the neighbouring Vrishabhavati begins to overwhelm and invade Ashtagani, Avishi rises to protect her settlement. But peril pursues her everywhere.

Separated from her love, her settlement broken, with a brutal injury needing amputation of her leg, can Avishi overcome Khela?

If stories about ancient India, especially those with strong women characters interest you, then Avishi is a story you must read!

Read an excerpt here:
The structure under the outcast control looked like an autonomous garrison. It was on the Southwestern corner of Vrishabhavati hidden by wild growth and as heavily guarded as the city square. Avishi counted two doors as Vyala carried her inside. From the inside, it did not look as dilapidated as from outside. The guards here were the ‘out-casts’ as the world called them. Unlike the guards of the city, they did not cover themselves with leather torso. Instead they wore loin cloth in various darker shades. Small and big weapons, strings made up of various animal teeth, tusk work and beads made up their ‘jewellery’. To Avishi, it looked atrociously out of proportion. But she also noticed the level of coordination with which the ‘out-casts’ functioned. Like they were trained to fight in an army.
“Untie her.” Vyala instructed Manduka, his forehead revealing wrinkles of dilemma. Manduka was happy to comply. Except for a few scars on his shoulder, the man had an enviable physique. But it was his nose that Avishi felt was the pronounced feature of his face. It was as though it was abruptly turned crooked by his right nostril. She could see that the Outcast Lord made no attempt to hide his displeasure about the predicament she presented him. What worried her more was that she found herself incapable of even walking to the closest stone seat and had to limp leaning on Manduka. The wound seemed deeper than she had imagined it.
“We don’t kill women.” He began and paused noticing her unimpressed glare.
“Is that supposed to impress me? Is that supposed to cover up the other crimes you commit for that monster Khela?”
Vyala shook his head, a resentful smile appearing on his lips, but for only a moment. “Whatever we, the outcasts do would be a crime in the eyes of others…you are?”
“Avishi, the Ganamukhyaa of Ashtagani.”
“But he said that you are a traitor’s...”
Avishi glared back at him showing no inclination to explain. She saw Vyala sit on the stone seat next to where she sat.
“If Khela does not find a proof of your death soon, we would have to incur his wrath! An atrocity against the outcasts would not even be seen as a transgression by anyone.” His lips pursed for a long moment.
Avishi wondered if he expected a solution from her. Something she would have to help him out if she had to escape alive. But before she or Vyala could speak, a sound of heavy anklets was heard. Avishi turned to her right and saw a young woman, not older than seventeen autumns scurry and then clutch at her bulging belly. Her arrival only seemed to increase the gloom on the faces of both the men.
“Brother Vyala, did he not come with you?” Her shrill voice made Avishi think she was even younger than she looked. And impregnated at this age?
“Go back to your room, Majjari.” Vyala hissed.
But Majjari was in no mood to heed her brother’s words. She eyed Avishi, her head tilted to left and brows knitting. Her eyes then brightened.
“So, he sent me a slave!”
“Majjari!”
“Slave, do you know how to groom my hair the way Queens do?” Majjari approached Avishi taking her arm. “And mind you, slaves don’t sit when their mistress stands!”
Avishi had decided that her patience was at its tail end when she saw Vyala hurry and pull Majjari away, making her wince at his grip.
“Listen, you disgrace! Nobody is going to slave for you! Scurry back to your room and dare not show that inauspicious face of yours again!”
Majjari shook his arm away with a hiss. “Wait till I become the Queen, you, worthless dog!” Her tone broke. “I shall make Khela punish you! I bear his prince! Mind you!” The fierce frown stayed on her forehead long after she countered her brother. Avishi saw Manduka intervene and lead Majjari away with endearments that one would use with a toddler.
Vyala’s shoulders slumped.
“You let Khela impregnate your own sister.” Avishi shook her head at Vyala. “Lord Vyala, where do I even begin?”
“You are nobody to judge us Ganamukhyaa. Khela promised us a slow integration with his military if…”
“You loot and kill for him? He gets the spoils hiding behind the dread of Dandaka?”
Vyala’s jaw clenched. “You’ve never been to Dandaka, Ganamukhyaa Avishi. If you did, you would… Why in the name of Mother earth am I even justifying myself to you.” Vyala gathered himself signalling at two other outcast followers. “Take her inside and treat her wound.” Turning to Avishi for a brief moment, he added with a tone of finality. “I shall do my best to not kill you, but I can’t afford Khela’s wrath on my people. Not now, Ganamukhyaa.”
Future still hung in balance. Avishi had to come to terms with the fact that any attempt to escape from here will only complicate things for her. And she truly needed her wound to be tended. The knife that wounded her might have rusted. Tears of frustration threatened to flow out of her eyes. She told herself to bide her time and regain her lost energy.

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My Musings :

This is the first book I have read by the author. I haven't read her first book. So I wasn't sure how it would be when I started reading. And I am a lover of Mythology but I confess I am more in love with Greek Mythology than Indian. This book has made me reconsider my stand. It has made me look deeply within our own mythology.

The cover was what caught my attention at the beginning and then the blurb had me thinking of reading of this book. This blog tour has only accelerated my reading the book. If not, I would have accessed it on KU.

From the starting, Avishi's strength shines through, from her training to her subsequent heading of Ashtagani to the finale. At the same time her character has the necessary courage to look beyond herself and see the bigger picture and this is what makes her a good ruler. Satya is sometimes shadowed by Avishi but he also is important since without him there would be no iron legged Queen.

The romance between the two is treated right with the correct balance and doesn't overwhelm the story. While it might take a while to orient oneself with the characters and the places, it all makes for a rather engaging read. The amount of research the author has put into it shines through. The language is simple enough to read fast and the pace doesn't let go till the end. One thing I was afraid of  before starting the book was that the language would be more poetic since it deals with a long forgotten era. But it was just my paranoia!

The author has a way of bringing life to the story and the feelings evoked are equal to that of the characters, from passion to fearlessness in fighting. I was carried along with the flow of the story and I find the book a resoundingly 5 star read. I am eager to sample the author's works further in the coming days.

I received a copy for reviewing purposes. This doesn't affect my review in any way.

My one line review : An engrossing mythological read with a strong heroine.

My rating : 5/5

My reread factor : 4/5

About the author


Saiswaroopa Iyer is an IITian and Venture Capital professional turned author. Her debut novel Abhaya, published in 2015, was a tale set in the Mahabharata period, exploring the legend of Narakasura Vadha. She likes to focus and expand on ancient Indian stories with strong female characters.

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