Book Spotlight: In The Shadow Of The Hanging Tree

Today I have something a little different for you! This blog tour is for two amazing novels by author, Michael McLellan. I will be sharing my review of “insert book title here”, in addition to excerpts from both books and a giveaway to enter!

32886177In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree

Publication Date: April 26th, 2017

Genre: Historical Fiction

In 1865 a shadow hovers over the nation: the shadow lingers still…

Born into slavery, Henry’s young life is spent working in tobacco drying sheds on Missouri plantations. Freed at the onset of the Civil War, he’s alone, starving, and on the run from Confederate militiamen.

Five years later, Clara Hanfield, the daughter of a powerful New York shipping magnate, escapes her tyrannical father and travels west in pursuit of John Elliot, the man she loves. John, a U.S. Army lieutenant, was sent to the Dakota Territory where he discovers a government conspiracy to incite an all-out war with the Indians; a war meant to finally eliminate them as an obstacle to the westward expansion.

Henry finds himself caught in the middle.

Aided by Clara, John, and his native ally, Standing Elk, Henry must battle hatred, greed, and the ghosts of his past during this turbulent and troubling time in American history

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Excerpt

Emmet Dawson pulled the crumpled sheets of Henry and Eliza’s free papers from his coat and held them close to his face, squinting. “…Samuel Cromwell.” He held the papers out. “Can you read these?”

Henry averted his eyes. “No, sir,” he lied.

“No, of course you can’t. It’s not only near to impossible to teach a nigger to read but it’s also against the law—God’s and man’s.” He lowered the papers to his side. “These jayhawkers are burning and pillaging their way across our great state. They’re murdering innocent Missouri families in their sleep, then setting niggers loose on the land like a pestilence. That boy’s an orphan. His father, his mother, and his little baby sister were inside the house when it was set fire. They were unable to escape. We found their niggers a few miles away, riding their horses and leading their pigs just like they had the right to. We are at war, Henry. We are at war to save our families and our way of life.”

Emmet turned and looked at Bob. “Hang him with the others.”

Eliza let out an anguished wail and dropped to her knees where she began screaming hysterically. Henry tried to kneel down with her but Bob yanked the rope tight and wrapped it on his saddle horn. This left Henry standing at an awkward lean as he tried not to drag Eliza.

“What about the woman?” Bob asked.

Emmet Dawson looked down at Eliza appraisingly. “Shut her up and tie her to my wagon…and here,” he handed Bob the free papers. “Pin these to his shirt. There aren’t any free niggers in Missouri.” He gave Henry a final stony look then walked into the camp.

Available on Amazon

35618158American Flowers

Publication Date: July 7th, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Drama

*Triggers: Addiction, Abuse, Sexual Assault

Nineteen-year-old Chris Shafer and seventeen-year-old Allie Laughton came from similar backgrounds of neglect and indifference. Chris spent his childhood desperately trying to gain his alcoholic parents’ love. Allie was dragged through an ugly divorce before narrowly escaping being molested by her mother’s new boyfriend.

A chance meeting draws the two together and Allie is quickly caught up in Chris’ new-found lifestyle. Plagued by poor choices, Chris sets into motion a chain of events that drags them deeper into the murky world of meth. Ultimately pursued by both the police and Chris’ volatile tempered drug dealer, Chris and Allie are forced to confront their only real enemy: themselves.

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Excerpt

“You’re poison to that girl. You do see that?”

“We love each other and don’t want to be apart.”

“What do you know about love?” Jan suddenly spat, leaning forward in the easy chair and staring angrily at Chris.

“You listen to me. The only truly unbreakable love is that of a parent for their child. All the other kinds of love, like the kind you and that beautiful young girl in there think you have is fragile and weak, and saddest of all, fleeting. That kind of love can be broken in an instant”—she snapped her arthritis twisted fingers for emphasis, making more of a dry papery sound than a snap. “It can be broken by the smallest of indiscretions, or nothing more than a few poorly chosen words. Mostly it’s just worn away over time like the banks of that creek out there. And it’ll happen so slowly that you never even feel more than a faint tickle at the back of your mind. Oh, it can burn as hot as blue blazes for a moment, but eventually it burns out and leaves something entirely different behind…like the bed of ashes in the bottom of a woodstove after the fire’s gone out. Some folks still insist on calling it love, but it isn’t, not really. It’s obligation, it’s responsibility, it’s apathy. Often it just becomes who you are…what you’re accustomed to. Sometimes it even becomes hate.

Available on Amazon!

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Click HERE for a chance to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

About the Author

Mike Author 1

Michael’s love of books began with Beverly Cleary’s The Mouse and the Motorcycle when he was seven-years-old. Later influenced by the works of John Steinbeck, Harper Lee, Stephen King, James Baldwin, and Cormac McCarthy, Michael developed his style of storytelling. A self-proclaimed blue-collar writer, he draws on his experiences and observations to bring relevant and compelling topics to life.

Michael lives in Northern California and when he’s not writing, he can usually be found wandering around the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges.

His body of work includes the 2014 novel After and Again, the 2015 novel American Flowers, and the 2017 novel, In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree, as well as various shorts and essays.

Michael McLellan | Goodreads| Twitter

Michael McLellan2

Blog Tour Schedule

September 16th

Reads & Reels (Review of American Flowers)

http://readsandreels.com

Audio Killed the Bookmark (Review of In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree)

http://audiokilledthebookmark.wordpress.com

Jessica Belmont (Review of In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree)

https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

September 17th

I’m Into Books (Review of American Flowers)

https://imintobooks.com

My Bookish Bliss (Review of In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree

http://www.mybookishbliss.com

September 18th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight – In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree/ American Flowers)

https://breakevenbooks.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight – In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree/ American Flowers)

http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review – American Flowers)

https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

The Faerie Review (Review of In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree)

http://www.thefaeriereview.com

September 19th

B is for Book Review (Spotlight – In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree/ American Flowers)

https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Al-Alhambra Book Reviews (Review of In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree)

https://alalhambrabookreviews.home.blog

Loopyloulaura (Review of In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree)

https://www.loopyloulaura.com/

September 20th

Reviews and Promotions by Nyx (Spotlight – In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree/ American Flowers)

https://nyxblogs.wordpress.com/

Entertainingly Nerdy (Review of American Flowers)

https://www.entertaininglynerdy.com

Didi Oviatt (Review of In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree)

https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Gwendalyn’s Books (Review of In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree)

https://gwendalynbooks.blog/

Inked and Blonde (Review – In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree/ American Flowers)

https://inkedandblonde.blogspot.com/


Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours


I recently became a part of the Harper Collins Book Blogger group and they sent me my first batch of ARC’s! Watch the video to see what I got!

ACTUAL NATURAL HEALTH & WELLNESS PRODUCTS, INC.

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Book Spotlight: A Different Time

I joined in on the “A Different Time” book tour for the Write Reads blogging group! This book has a beautiful cover and I was drawn to it right away. I am a huge fan of double exposures.

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Synopsis: Keith Nolan falls in love with a remarkable young woman from the past, talking to him on a home video she recorded in 1989. To keep their conversation going, he must find more of her tapes—while forces work against them both, and time is running out.

You buy this book on Amazon and find more info about this book on Goodreads!

Author Bio

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Beginning as a sketch comedy writer for American television, Michael K. Hill progressed to become an internationally published writer of fiction and non-fiction. His short story anthology, Anansi and Beyond, published in 2017, and his debut novel, A Different Time, is available now. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, kids, and 7 rescued animals.

Wanna stay up to date on Michael’s upcoming projects? Visit michaelkhill.com


I finally finished the NEWTS and did my wrap up where I discussed all the books I read over the month of August (spoiler: I read 9 books).

ACTUAL NATURAL HEALTH & WELLNESS PRODUCTS, INC.

Book Spotlight: Why She Lied

Welcome to the blog tour for a truly unique, true crime type thriller, written memoir style called, Why She Lied by Julie Coons. Please read on for an excerpt and a chance to win a copy of the book!

*Warning: This book has many extreme triggers including but not limited to, sexual assault, child abuse, violence, and various types of trauma.

44177430Why She Lied

Publication Date: March 3rd, 2019

Genre: True Crime/ Memoir

Will she have to lose her child to save her child?

The day she tells her boyfriend she’s pregnant, is the same day he tells her he’s been accused of molestation. His trial is set to begin the following day.

She needs answers…

To get them, she tricks her boyfriend into signing a release form, giving her full access to all of his legal documents. She uncovers the truth, he’s guilty.

To save her unborn child from this monster, she gets an abortion.

FIVE YEARS LATER and still rebuilding her life, Julie finds out her ex-boyfriend has just become the most wanted man in America, involved in human trafficking. When detectives ask for her help locating him, she gets drawn into a baffling mystery. What began as a seemingly simple search soon turns into a much darker reality.

Someone from her past is watching…

Bit by bit, the tapestry of her own secret childhood begins to unravel. What she learns about her past will haunt her forever: family isn’t always what it seems.

Can she help bring this predator to justice, or will she die trying?

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Excerpt

I wanted to throw up. It was so disturbing to hear her talk about a grown man trying to have sexual relations with a child. I expressed my deepest condolences to her.

Then she asked me the million-dollar question: “Are you still with James?”

“No way, of course not, but I have a problem. I found out the day before he told me about his court date that I was pregnant with his child.”

I could actually hear her gasp on the other end of the phone.

Without taking another breath she said, “You have to get rid of that baby.”

Available on Amazon

Giveaway: Print Copy for residents of the United States, and a digital copy internationally!

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About the Author

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JULIE COONS lives in a small town in Oregon. THIS DOES NOT LEAVE THIS HOUSE was her debut memoir. Amy’s bookshelf reviews awarded it the #1 position for top 10 books of 2018. Her second book WHY SHE LIED is based on a true story. Her books are written to lead a movement toward positive change. She tells the stories of her life with honesty and strength.

Julie Coons | Facebook| Twitter


WhyShelied

Blog Tour Schedule

September 2nd

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

LoopyLouLaura (Review) https://www.loopyloulaura.com/

September 3rd

Scarlett Readz & Runz (Interview) https://scarlettreadzandrunz.com/

Touch My Spine Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://touchmyspinebookreviews.com

LIBRORUM IN SEMPITERNUM (Review) http://libroruminsempiternumhome.wordpress.com

September 4th

Just 4 My Books (Review) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com

Shalini’s Books and Reviews (Spotlight) https://bookreviewsbyshalini.com/

Reviews and Promos by Nyx (Review) https://nyxblogs.wordpress.com/

September 5th

Kim Knight (Interview) http://kimknightauthor.wordpress.com

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://mybookishbliss.com

September 6th

Mermaid in these Jeans (Spotlight) https://mermaidinthesejeans.com

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

Misty’s Book Space (Review) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Entertainingly Nerdy (Review) https://www.entertaininglynerdy.com

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours


It is finally September and I completed my NEWTS TBR but until I make that video, here is my September TBR where I talk about the books I will be reading this month and announce my giveaway winner!

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Book Spotlight: Reaper

Who doesn’t love a good Boogeyman story? Well, I have a creepy little novella to share that will make you want to check your closet before bed!

Read on for more details about Reaper by Jonathan Pongratz, and a chance to win a signed copy of your own!

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Reaper: A Horror Novella

Publication Date: April 19th, 2019

Genre: YA Horror/ Novella

THE BOOGEYMAN IS REAL

Gregory and his little sister Imogen love spending Halloween with their parents. But this year is different. If he proves he can take care of Imogen all by himself, he’ll finally have the allowance he’s dreamed of.

That was before the basement door opened on its own. Before the strange door appeared in the basement and Imogen was taken from him by the monster.

Now everyone in town is blaming him for her disappearance, but no one is listening to his story. Where did the door come from? What was that creature? And most of all, can he find his sister before it’s too late, or will he bury his memories of her along with his parents?

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Excerpt

Call me a scaredy cat all you want, but there was always something about the basement that I didn’t like. It always made me feel like I was being watched, like there was some

thing in the shadows just waiting for me to make a wrong move. Even now, the frigid air crept over me, creating more goosebumps on my arms and legs. I quickened my strides up the stairs, Imogen dragging behind.

We were halfway up the stairs when the knocks stopped. For a moment, I stopped my climb. The house was eerily quiet, and for reasons I can’t explain I felt a sudden urge to hurry back upstairs. I charged forward, trying to pull Immy along with me, but she resisted.

“Too fast!” she whined.

“If you hurry, we can play dress up sooner, now come on!” I yanked on Immy’s arm, practically lifting her into the air. Seven steps. Just seven more steps and we could look back on this night and laugh it off. Seven, six, five. Almost there.

I was just three steps away from the door when I leaped for the landing. I’ll never forget that jump. Time seemed to stand still, as if those cold icy fingers in the air had somehow found a way to slow time down. I remember that I had a smile on my face, a smile that disappeared when the door slammed shut in my face.

Available on Amazon and at Barnes & Nobel

Giveaway!!!

For your chance to win a signed copy of Reaper (North America), or a digital copy (International), click on the link below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Reaper

Blog Tour Schedule

August 26th

Reads & Reels (Review) http://readsandreels.com

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Loopy Lou Laura (Review) https://www.loopyloulaura.com/

Dark Reads with Toni (Review) http://darkreads826573417.wordpress.com

August 27th

Misty’s Book Space (Review) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

August 28th

B is for Book Review (Interview) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Reviews and Promos by Nyx (Review) https://nyxblogs.wordpress.com/

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

August 29th

J Bronder Book Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/

Musings of a Final Girl (Review) https://musingsofafinalgirl.wordpress.com/

The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/

August 30th

Entertainingly Nerdy (Review) https://www.entertaininglynerdy.com

Shalini’s Books and Reviews (Review) https://bookreviewsbyshalini.com/

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Review) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

About the Author

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Jonathan Pongratz is a writer and author of captivating horror, urban fantasy, and paranormal stories. When he’s not writing, he’s busy being a bookworm, video game junkie, and karaoke vocalist. A former resident of Dallas, he currently resides in Kansas City with his halloween cat Ajax. By day he works magic in finance, by night he creates dark and mesmerizing worlds.

Jonathan Pongratz | Facebook | Goodreads | Tumblr

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours


Rapid Fire Book Tag you say? I tried to answer these questions on the fly! Thanks to Dominic from Reading Fandom for tagging me to do this.

Also for all you fantasy lovers out there, my friend Moud Adel (author of the War Remnants which I reviewed in July) has created this new game called Majority Rules where you get to decide what happens in his fantasy story. You will read the story and then vote in a poll for what you want the next scene to be. YOU take control and YOU make the decisions. Every Thursday, there will be new scene options so it is a continuous game! Check it out by clicking on the image below!

Join the game:

https://mastoperia.com/majority-rules/

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Book Spotlight: The Devil’s Apprentice

I’m very excited to share this book with you all today! The Devil’s Apprentice in the first book in the incredibly imaginative, and wonderfully entertaining, YA Fantasy series, The Great Devil War.

There will be exclusive content and a giveaway so be sure to read on!

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The Devil’s Apprentice (The Great Devil War #1)

Genre: YA Fantasy

Philip is a good boy, a really good boy, who accidentally gets sent to Hell to become the Devil’s heir. The Devil, Lucifer, is dying and desperately in need of a successor, but there’s been a mistake and Philip is the wrong boy. Philip is terrible at being bad, but Lucifer has no other choice than to begin the difficult task of training him in the ways of evil. Philip gets both friends and enemies in this odd, gloomy underworld—but who can he trust, when he discovers an evil-minded plot against the dark throne?

Even though the story (mostly) takes place in Hell and deals with themes like evil, death and free will, it is also a humoristic tale about good and evil seen from a different perspective. A tale that hopefully will make the reader – young or old, boy or girl – laugh and think. – Kenneth B. Andersen

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Excerpt

“You’re fairly young, aren’t you?” A forked tongue moistened his scaly fingers, and he flipped through more pages. “How old are you?”

“I’m thirteen.”

“Thirteen?” the beast mumbled, clearly impressed. “It’s not very often they come to us so young. You must’ve done something really horrific.”

“What do you mean?” Philip shook his head. “What is this place?”

“This place?” The monster raised an eyebrow. “Haven’t you figured it out yet? Oh well, evilness and stupidity often go hand in hand.” His crooked smile revealed pointed teeth, and his gruff voice lowered to a hiss. “This, my boy, is the outer court of Hell. That—” he directed a hooked nail at the black gate, “is Hell.”

“Hell?” Philip whispered, and he saw it all again in his mind. The cat that had spoken to him. The shove to his back that had sent him hurtling into the street. Sam’s triumphant howling. The sound of squealing brakes. The car and the elderly man behind the wheel. And the darkness that had followed.

A dream, he’d said as he stood at the top of the long stairwell, knowing deep inside that it was a lie. This was no dream.

The car hit me, he thought. It hit me, and I’m dead. I died, and now I’m in… in…

“Hell?” he repeated, totally confused. How could he be in Hell? Only evil people went to Hell. Right? “I’m in Hell?”

“You need to say that three times before it sinks in?” the demon said, skimming through his book. “But it could be worse. Plenty others have to say it many more times before it sinks in. Ah, here it is! Let me see.” From the breast pocket of his robe he drew out a pair of silver-framed spectacles and put them on. The demon scanned the page quickly, using his finger as a guide.

“Just like I said,” he shouted angrily, pounding the book with his balled fist. “No one was supposed to enter tonight! Not for a few hours anyway, when an entire troop of politicians were to arrive!” The creature shook his head resignedly. “Well, since you’ve already spoiled my night off, I might as well send you straight to your punishment. What is your name, kid?”

Philip didn’t reply, but stared at the demon, dumbstruck.

“Wake up! We don’t have all night. Eternity waits. Your name?”

Philip cleared his throat timidly. “Philip.”

“Philip, Philip, Philip,” the demon mumbled, riffling back and forth a few pages. He wrinkled his brow. “That’s odd. Last name?”

Philip told him his full name, and once again the demon searched in his book. The wrinkles in his brow deepened, and his yellow nails scratched at his scalp. Then he shook his head and clapped the book shut with a sigh. “That name isn’t in the registry. Some dumb fool has made a mistake, kid. You’re not supposed to be here.”

“I’m not?” Philip said and felt a warm relief spreading through him. Then his eyes fell on the inky, thick darkness that enveloped the walls of Hell, and his sense of relief vanished. “Then where should I be?”

Available on Amazon!

The Great Devil War Books 1 – 3

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For your chance to win a digital copy of The Devil’s Apprentice, click the link below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

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I WAS BORN IN DENMARK ON A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT IN NOVEMBER 1976 …

… and I began writing when I was a teenager. My first book was a really awful horror novel titled Nidhug’s Slaves. It didn’t get published. Luckily.

During the next 7 years, I wrote nearly 20 novels–all of which were rejected–while working as a school teacher. The rest of the time I spent writing.

In 2000 I published my debut fantasy book, The Battle of Caïssa, and that’s when things really took off. Since then I’ve published more than thirty-five books for children and young adults in genres ranging from fantasy to horror and science fiction.

My books have been translated into more than 15 languages and my series about the superhero Antboy has been adapted for film, which is available on Netflix. An animated tv series is currently in development.

A musical of The Devil’s Apprentice opened in the fall 2018 and the movie rights for the series have also been optioned.

I live in Copenhagen with my wife, two boys, a dog named Milo and spiders in the basement.

About THE GREAT DEVIL WAR: The Great Devil War was published in Denmark from 2005-2016, beginning with The Devil’s Apprentice.

Even though the story (mostly) takes place in Hell and deals with themes like evil, death and free will, it is also a humoristic tale about good and evil seen from a different perspective. A tale that hopefully will make the reader – young or old, boy or girl – laugh and think.

Welcome to the other side!

Kenneth B. Andersen | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram


TheDevils

Blog Tour Schedule

August 19th

Reads & Reels (Review) http://readsandreels.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Interview) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Gwendalyn’s Books (Review) https://gwendalynbooks.blog/

August 20th

YA/NA Book Divas (Excerpt) http://www.yabookdivas.com/

Ity Reads Books (Review) http://www.ityreadsbooks.home.blog

Reviews and Promos by Nyx (Review) https://nyxblogs.wordpress.com/

Quirky Cats Fat Stacks (Review) https://quirkycatsfatstacks.com/

August 21st

B is for Book Review (Excerpt) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

An Ocean A Glimmer (Review) http://anoceanglimmer.wordpress.com

I’m All About Books (Excerpt) https://imallaboutbooks.com/

J Bronder Book Reviews (Excerpt) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/

August 22nd

Jaunts & Haunts (Review) https://jonathanpongratz.com/

Shalini’s Books and Reviews (Review) https://bookreviewsbyshalini.com/

The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/

I Love Books and Stuff (Excerpt) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

My Bookish Bliss (Excerpt) http://mybookishbliss.com

Didi Oviatt (Excerpt) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

August 23rd

Breakeven Books (Excerpt) https://breakevenbooks.com

Entertainingly Nerdy (Review) https://www.entertaininglynerdy.com

Cats Luv Coffee (Review) https://catsluvcoffeez.blogspot.com/

Blog Tour Organized By

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R&R Book Tours


I know I said I was on a book buying ban but here are all the books I got for my birthday!

Also for all you fantasy lovers out there, my friend Moud Adel (author of the War Remnants which I reviewed in July) has created this new game called Majority Rules where you get to decide what happens in his fantasy story. You will read the story and then vote in a poll for what you want the next scene to be. YOU take control and YOU make the decisions. Every Thursday, there will be new scene options so it is a continuous game! Check it out by clicking on the image below!

Join the game:

https://mastoperia.com/majority-rules/

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Book Spotlight: Awakening

If you loved The Starlight Chronicles, then this graphic novel version of Awakening: A Christmas Episode, will make a really fun addition to your collection. You can also try an win yourself a copy below!

awakening

Awakening: A Christmas Episode

Illustrator: Eko Bambang

Publication Date: April 25th, 2019

Genre: Graphic Novel/ Urban Fantasy

Length: 72 Pages

Christmas is a time for miracles, but miracles have always bothered Hamilton Dinger.

This Christmas Eve, he has only two reasons to be cheerful: Rachel’s Café is open late, and he has a special present for Gwen Kessler. So even if he has to sit through a session of Grandpa Odd’s ramblings, he knows he’ll have some holiday mocha and a chance at finally telling Gwen how he feels about her. His fledgling hope is lost the moment when a new demon monster begins attacking the Star of Hope. Now, not only does Hamilton have to transform into his city superhero self to fight it, he has to deal with Starry Knight, too. Can Hamilton find a new reason for hope this holiday, or is it too much to ask for one more Christmas miracle?

Find out in this short story set between the Book 1 and Book 2 of the Starlight Chronicles from C. S. Johnson, now with illustrations by comics artist Eko Bambang.

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Sample

Available on Amazon

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For your chance to win a copy of this graphic novel, click the link below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

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C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me

CS Johnson | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours


I know I said I was on a book buying ban but here are all the books I got for my birthday!

Also for all you fantasy lovers out there, my friend Moud Adel (author of the War Remnants which I reviewed in July) has created this new game called Majority Rules where you get to decide what happens in his fantasy story. You will read the story and then vote in a poll for what you want the next scene to be. YOU take control and YOU make the decisions. Every Thursday, there will be new scene options so it is a continuous game! Check it out by clicking on the image below!

Join the game:

https://mastoperia.com/majority-rules/

Blooms Today 25% Sitewide Savings

Book Highlight: Station Fosaan

I’m thrilled to share with you all today, Station Fosaan (Book #1 of the Torch World series) by Dee Garretson. This exciting book is best described as Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan meets Jules Verne’s The Lost World. I have an excerpt for you to read and a chance to win all sorts of book swag AND a paperback copy of the book!

station fosaanStation Fosaan

Publication Date: February 14th, 2017

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/ Space Opera/ Post-Apocalypse

Scientists and their families stationed on the remote planet of Fosaan were promised a tropical vacation-like experience. But Fosaan, devastated from an apocalyptic event nearly 300 years ago, is full of lethal predators and dangerous terrain. Earthers are forbidden to go beyond the safety zone of their settlement and must not engage the remaining reclusive Fosaanians, native to the planet. 16-year-old Quinn Neen is about to do both of those things.

During an unsanctioned exploration of the planet, Quinn discovers a Fosaanian girl named Mira stealing food from his family’s living unit. But before he can convince her to show him around, scientists are taken captive, leaving Quinn and the other young Earthers at the mercy of space raiders.

Quinn must go from renegade to leader and convince Mira to become an ally in a fight against an enemy whose very existence threatens their lives and the future of Earthers stuck on Fosaan and at home.

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Excerpt

I turned to go back when a flash of white caught my eye. Startled, I dropped the stick and then tripped over it. A girl, a Fosaanian girl, stood clutching a wafer loaf to her chest, a cloud of long shimmery white hair quivering. In fact, all of her was shivering. She was soaked, water dripping off her. I could see her wet footprints all over the kitchen. Her silvery eyes held mine and I couldn’t think of a thing to say. I wasn’t usually so speechless around girls with incredible eyes, but I’d never encountered one I didn’t know in my own quarters.

“What are you doing?” I finally managed to croak, even though it was obvious she was taking the loaf, or more accurately, stealing the loaf. Fosaanians never came out onto the Earthers’ floating compound.

“I’m sorry,” the girl said, putting the loaf back on counter and edging to the door.

“No, wait!” I didn’t mean to shout, but my words came out too loud. The girl froze like I had issued an order, though I could tell she was ready to bolt. “It’s okay,” I said. “I mean, if you’re hungry, take it.” Picking the loaf up, I held it out to her, hoping it would convince her to stay for a little while. She would be the first Fosaanian I had talked to, if I could get her to talk. The small population of Fosaanians, the descendants of the few who had survived the planetary apocalypse, kept away from all of us Earthers, except for the ones who worked at the supply depot or who delivered the iridium sulfide. None of those could be called the least bit friendly.

She didn’t take the loaf, but she didn’t run either. Instead, she stood there looking around the room, clearly curious.

“I have an even better idea,” I said, trying to come up with one. “How about I fix us both something to eat? I’m hungry too.”

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Station Fosaan giveaway

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About the Author

garretsonauthorphoto

I write, and read, and then write some more. I live in Ohio with my husband, two children and two cats in a cluttered house surrounded by semi-wild gardens.

I grew up in Mt. Pleasant, a small town in Iowa, spending my time outside playing in the woods, or helping my father build his offbeat inventions, and writing stories. When it came time to decide on a college, I thought I would try out city life for a change, and so I moved to Massachusetts to attend Tufts University, where I obtained a degree in International Relations.

Degree in hand, I quickly realized I was not meant to work inside in an office, and because I had become obsessed with plants, I decided to get a degree in Landscape Horticulture, as a way to get back outside. I worked as a landscape designer and taught landscape horticulture classes for several years before returning to writing.

Dee Garretson

Twitter: @deegarretson

Facebook: @DeeGarretsonBooks

Instagram: @deegarretsonauthor


StationFosaan

Blog Tour Schedule

August 12th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

The Caffeinated Reader (Review) https://www.thecaffeinatedreader.com

August 13th

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

August 14th

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com/

Reading Nook (Spotlight) http://readingnook84.wordpress.com

Tsarina Press (Review) https://www.tsarinapress.com

August 15th

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

J Bronder Book Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/

August 16th

On the Shelf Reviews (Review) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

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August has arrived and with it the Magical Readathon!! It is time to take my N.E.W.T.S! Watch this video to see which books I will be reading for my exams!

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Book Highlight: Prowling The Darkness

Take a journey east with Rayden Valkyrie as she undertakes one of her most harrowing adventures yet! Prowling the Darkness is the latest release in the Rayden Valkyrie Tales!

A return to hard-hitting, gritty sword and sorcery with an iconic and inspiring main character, the Rayden Valkyrie Tales are a growing collection of stand-alone novellas that will elate fans of the genre!

The Prowling the Darkness Blog Tour features reviews, interviews, guest posts, video, and top ten lists! As a novella, Prowling the Darkness is a shorter and quicker read for reviewers too!

About the author:  Stephen Zimmer is an award-winning author and filmmaker based out of Lexington Kentucky. His works include the Rayden Valkyrie novels (Sword and Sorcery), the Rising Dawn Saga (Cross Genre), the Fires in Eden Series (Epic Fantasy), the Hellscapes short story collections (Horror), the Chronicles of Ave short story collections (Fantasy), the Harvey and Solomon Tales (Steampunk), and the forthcoming Faraway Saga (YA Dystopian/Cross-Genre).

Stephen’s visual work includes the feature film Shadows Light, shorts films such as The Sirens and Swordbearer, and the forthcoming Rayden Valkyrie: Saga of a Lionheart TV Pilot.

Stephen is a proud Kentucky Colonel who also enjoys the realms of music, martial arts, good bourbons, and spending time with family.

Book Synopsis for Prowling the Darkness:   Dark rumors and whisperings of unholy sorcery bring Rayden Valkyrie to the remote city of Sereth-Naga.

There she finds a populace cowering in fear of the city’s ruthless, mysterious rulers, who remain behind the high walls of their citadel.

An even greater mystery surrounds the city.

Something is prowling the darkness.

Something that has kept the enigmatic rulers for centuries from escaping Sereth-Naga to spread their wickedness to other lands.

Prowling the Darkness is a stand-alone novella that is part of the Rayden Valkyrie Tales.

Author Links:

Website: www.stephenzimmer.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/stephenzimmer7
Twitter: @sgzimmer
Instagram: @stephenzimmer7

Guest Post: Building the World of Rayden Valkyrie

 The world of Rayden Valkyrie is an exciting and diverse one, filled with a wide array of lands, cultures, creatures, and characters. More and more of this world is being revealed through the two collections of novellas featuring the Rayden Valkyrie and Ragnar Stormbringer characters.

It is a world that is distinct and different from the world of Ave portrayed in my epic fantasy Fires in Eden Series. I strive to have a more ancient world feel in Rayden’s tales, while also hinting of an even more ancient age, remnants of which make their appearances in the various adventures and tales.

My approach to world building focuses upon creating realistic and well-rounded cultures, some of them historically-inspired, and others original in nature. Each culture has a full history of its own, heroes and leaders, a religion, means of trade (whether barter, or coin-based), a geography that it inhabits (and that geography, hosting certain types of plants, wildlife, terrain, weather patterns, and natural resources, will have a significant influence on the kind of culture that develops within it), and an interrelation with other lands or elements of that world (which can be antagonistic or benevolent in nature).

I think that good world building embraces a comprehensive approach to each culture. The reader may not get to experience all aspects of a land or culture in a given tale, but the author needs to have the foundation in mind so that the dynamics of the culture, behavior of the characters from it, and other elements flow naturally through the course of the narrative and action. I recommend avoiding the urge to “info-dump”, though a little extra info may be useful in certain situations, when soaking in something major in the story like a large new city.

Having a solid understanding of the world and its various lands and cultures provides great fodder for storytelling. The conflicts between cultures/realms can be reflected in the interactions between characters, create dynamic encounters, and much more.

A good understanding of the world in the author’s mind can also be the source of inspiration for new stories. This is precisely how the novella Prowling the Darkness came about. It is a stand-alone tale, but it takes place right after the events in the novella Blood of a Queen. It features a remote city-state called Sereth-Naga ruled over by an enigmatic group of beings called the Sharir-Mord.

The people of Sereth-Naga are inspired by the people of ancient city-states and areas of Persia, while the Sharir-Mord’s inspiration is entirely original in nature.

The culture of the people in the city of Sereth-Naga has been strongly affected by the Sharir-Mord, to the degree that the people are almost like cattle to the Sharir-Mord “Farmer”. The presence of an even more ancient world is reflected in the entities lurking in the darkness in the land around Sereth-Naga, who become a very pivotal part of the story. Like the Sharir-Mord, these entities are derived from an original inspiration.

Rayden Valkyrie goes alone into this world, among the people, the Sharir-Mord, and the legendary entities prowling the landscape around the city. While I do not get to reveal everything about the culture of the people, the things in the darkness, or the Sharir-Mord, their cultures inform everything regarding the actions and decisions of the characters that Rayden meets and encounters.

I am confident that by the end of the story, the reader has a great feel for this part of Rayden’s world, and that Sereth-Naga has an organic and realistic atmosphere about it. Ultimately, I find that I am in a very good position for future tales that involving one of the groups encountered during Prowling the Darkness. All of that is made possible by comprehensive world building.

I invite you to read Prowling the Darkness for yourself and begin your exploration of Rayden’s dynamic and diverse world!


Tour Schedule and Activities

8/7      Armed with a Book    http://www.armedwithabook.com Review

8/7      I Smell Sheep  http://www.ismellsheep.com/        Guest Post

8/7      Fragile Winds http://mariadkins.blogspot.com      Guest Post

8/8      The Most Sublime      http://www.themostsublime.com   Review

8/8      Breakeven Books       https://breakevenbooks.com           Guest Post

8/9      Armed with a Book    http://www.armedwithabook.com Interview      

8/10    Horror Tree    https://www.horrortree.com          Guest Post

8/10    Sheila’s Guests and Reviews http://sheiladeeth.blogspot.com     Guest Post

8/11    Speculative Fiction Spot        http://specfictionspot.blogspot.com/         Guest Post

8/12    Literary Underworld http://www.literaryunderworld.com          Guest Post

8/13    Jazzy Book Reviews    http://bookreviewsbyjasmine.blogspot.com Video Interview

8/13    The Book Junkie Reads          https://thebookjunkiereadspromos.blogspot.com Guest Post

8/14    Stuart Conover’s Homepage https://www.stuartconover.com     Top Ten’s List

8/14    Bookish Valhalla  https://www.bookishvalhalla.com  Review

Links for Prowling the Darkness

Kindle Version:  https://www.amazon.com/Prowling-Darkness-Rayden-Valkyrie-Tale-ebook/dp/B07R75X26Z/

Barnes and Noble Link for Prowling the Darkness: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/prowling-the-darkness-stephen-zimmer/1131360526?ean=2940161456958

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/prowling-the-darkness

iTunes: https://books.apple.com/us/book/prowling-the-darkness/id1463010144


 

July was a busy month for me but I still managed to read 5 books! Check out my wrap up to see what I thought about them!

Book Highlight: Good Writing Is Like Good Sex

Welcome to the blog tour for Good Writing is Like Good Sex: Sort of Sexy Thoughts on Writing. This cheeky and handy writing guide is by C.S. Johnson, and if you read through to the end, you can try to win a copy of your very own!

Good Writing

Good Writing is Like Good Sex: Sort of Sexy Thoughts on Writing

Publication Date: March 31st, 2019

Genre: Non-Fiction/ Writing Guide

What makes a book sexy?

I’m not talking about erotica, per say, but what is the difference between a book you eagerly devour and a book you slum your way through?

While there are individual exceptions, the most objective difference between a good story and a downright terrible one is simple—it all comes down to the writing.

It’s either good writing, and we can forgive the technical flaws a little more easily, or it’s bad writing, and bad writing is just bad.

Good writing is more than just good writing.
Good writing is sexy.

If you’re a fiction writer looking to improve your writing skills, this is the perfect, provocative read to encourage you to get down to business and write your story.

Inside Good Writing is Like Good Sex, you will find:

• A titillating perspective on the writing process
• The secret to why your story is special, and how you can make it sexier
• Tips on romancing your readers
• How to write irresistible characters
• Basic writing and story concepts with advanced insights

… and all in a non-gratuitous fashion with a lot of innuendos.

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Click the link below for your chance to win a print copy of the book (U.S. Only)

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About the Author

Author-CS-Johnson

C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me

CS Johnson | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

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I finally got around to doing the Mid Year Book Freakout tag and talk about the best and worst books I have read in the first half of 2019.

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Book Review: The Serpent Bearer and The Prince of Stars

 

Serpent Bearer

Welcome to The Serpent-Bearer and the Prince of Stars blog tour! Read on to learn more about this beautifully illustrated graphic novel by C.S. Johnson, and a chance to win a copy for yourself!

The Serpent-Bearer and the Prince of Stars

Publication Date: November 7th, 2018

Genre: Manga Style/ Graphic Novel

Length: 30 Pages

A tiresome task.
A deceptive dragon.
A prince that changes everything.

Ophiuchus is a celebrated warrior of the Celestial Kingdom and a warrior among the Stars. He has been always been a dutiful servant of the Prince of Stars. So when the prince asks him to watch over the crafty serpent, Naga, Ophiuchus agrees. But as time passes and discouragement—both from Naga and others—Ophiuchus wonders if the Prince of Stars was right in asking him to take on the burdens of his task.

Will Ophiuchus honor his duty, or give into his heart’s weariness?

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Excerpt

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Book Review

It was quite quick and it was interesting to learn about the different gods of the zodiac as characters. I believe that at parts, there was too much speech in the bubbles and it could have been split up a bit into more graphics but the overall feel was fun.

I liked Cancer the most. He was an adorable little crab. I am not sure if I would continue with the series but I did enjoy this one.

About the Author

Author Pic

C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me

CS Johnson | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

For a chance to win your own copy of The Serpent-Bearer and the Prince of Stars, click the link below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Serpent-Bearer

Blog Tour Schedule

July 22nd

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

I Smell Sheep (Review) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

I Love Books and Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

Quirky Cats Fat Stacks (Review) https://quirkycatsfatstacks.com/

Perspective of a Writer (Review) http://perspectiveofawriter.com/

July 23rd

Breakeven Books (Review) https://breakevenbooks.com

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

July 24th

Books Teacup and Reviews (Spotlight) https://booksteacupnreviews.wordpress.com/

Graphic Novelty2 (Review) https://graphicnovelty2.com/

Bri’s Book Nook (Review) http://brisbooknook.wordpress.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

I’m All About the Books (Spotlight) https://imallaboutbooks.com/

July 25th

My Comic Relief (Review) https://mycomicrelief.wordpress.com/

The Bibliophagist (Review) http://thebibliophagist.blog/

Adventures Thru Wonderland (Review) http://adventuresthruwonderland.blogspot.com/

Where Dragons Reside (Review) https://kernerangelina.live/

July 26th

Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

Triquetra Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.triquetrareviews.blogspot.com

J Bronder Book Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Review) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours


Watch my Small Booktuber Tag video where I talk about what it is like to be a small booktuber and all the amazing people in the community!

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