Sunday, May 27, 2018

Happy Book Birthday, Moonlight And Midtown by Christina Bauer with Giveaway!





Moonlight And Midtown 
Fairy Tales of the Magicorum #1.5
by Christina Bauer 
Monster House Books
YA Fairy Tales, Fantasy





After battling werewolves and evil aunties, Bryar Rose is ready to enjoy her new life. No more crazy aunties. Her curse is toast. And Bry’s new man, Knox, is literally a dream come true. Best of all, Bry will soon attend a regular high school. Forget those sketchy tutors! To get ready, Bry is dedicating the rest of her summer to some serious back-to-school shopping with her best friend, Elle. It’s a blast, except for one thing:
Mysterious strangers are following Bry across Manhattan.
All these stalkers have oddly familiar scents and an uncanny ability to slip into the shadows whenever Bry tries to confront them. Even worse, their presence is making Knox act crazy with a capital C.
But Bry’s having none of it. Enough of her life has already been ruined by secrets. With Elle’s help, Bry plans to confront these strangers, find out what they want, and send them packing. Trouble is, the truth about their identity won’t be so easy to manage, especially when Bry finds out how these stalkers could change her future with Knox…and not for the better.
***An interim novella between WOLVES AND ROSES and SHIFTERS AND GLYPHS***




About The Series The Fairy Tales of the Magicorum series includes WOLVES AND ROSES (Book 1), MOONLIGHT AND MIDTOWN (Novella 1.5) and SHIFTERS AND GLYPHS (Book 2, Fall 2018). Eight full novels are planned in total.


SNEAK PEEK

“That’s why packs have Alphas,” says Knox. “You need to set her loose, and then, let her attack me.”
Every inch of my body goes on alert. “Attack you? Why?”
“Your wolf has been through a lot. Ritual fighting is how wolves work out their place in the pack. Your wolf needs a firm hand.”
I stare at my palm. “Firm hand?”
“I’m not talking about physical power here. I’m talking magic. My power is Alpha energy, but you’ve got your own magic. Once I subdue your wolf, I think you’ll get the idea.”
My head feels woozy. “Ritual combat? Really?”
“Yes. Release your wolf and attack me. Now.”
I hug my elbows. “I’m not sure. If I’m patient, my inner wolf might just calm down on her own.”
“That’s not how wolves work, even when they aren’t of the magical variety. And a werewolf? Our animals are far more intense. I’m your Alpha, and if I let this go on for one more minute, I’m putting you at risk.”
Something in his tone sets my nerves on edge. “Meaning?”
“Your wolf will go feral. When it happens, it’s fast and intense. Your wolf will take over and you’ll disappear.”
I suck in a shaky breath. “She wouldn’t.”
My wolf’s voice sounds in my head. “We will run! I demand we shift NOW!
That manic tone to her voice is now higher than ever before. Every inch of my body trembles with the urge to shift. I reply to my wolf in my mind.
Didn’t you hear what Knox said?” Normally, my wolf can’t help but listen in on most of my conversations. “Our mate thinks you’re going feral.
Mate?” The manic tone to her voice hikes up an octave. “We have no mate. All we have is the need to run.
A chill runs up my spine. “You don’t remember our mate?
No mate! Run, now!
My blood chills. No matter what happens, my wolf always knows her mate. In fact, my usual complaint is that she won’t shut up about him.
This is really happening. My wolf is going feral.
All of a sudden, it’s like I can’t pull in enough air. “You’re right. My inner wolf is losing her mind.”
“Hey, I won’t let that happen.” Knox rests his hands on my shoulders. “Breathe, Bry.”
It takes serious concentration, but I slow my racing pulse a little. “Okay.”
“Now, you need to set your wolf loose and trust me. Can you do that, yeah?”
“I can try.”
“Good.” Knox pulls off his dress shirt over his head and tosses it aside. “Set her loose.”
Normally, the urge to shift is a constant tug of war between me and my wolf. Most times, all it takes is for me to stop fighting the urge to shift. After that, I turn furry. So that’s what I do now—I drop my guard and let my wolf take over.



And here she is. . .
Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. The first three books in the series are now available as audiobooks on Audible and iTunes.
Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.
Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby. 


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Friday, May 25, 2018

Review: Brain Teasers by Lonely Planet Kids


BRAIN TEASERS
by Lonely Planet Kids
Children's Non-Fiction / Riddles / Puzzles
160 pages
 ages 6 and up


Who's the smarty pants in your family? Packed with number and logic puzzles, riddles, dingbats, codes and much more, this fun and challenging travel-themed activity book is perfect for car journeys, vacations and rainy days-and provides a great test for both kids and adults.

Brain teasers include:

Scrambled Cities - anagrams of famous places
Code breaker - morse code messages to decipher
Flagtastic - match the country to its flag
World traveler, desert and jungle word searches
Say what you see - solve the visual word puzzles
Flag finder - crack a series of semaphore messages
Riddles of the Sphinx - crafty cryptic questions
Arctic explorer crossword and airport sudoku
Other Lonely Planet Kids family activity books also available:

-Boredom Buster 


 MY TIDBITS

These pages are packed with puzzles, riddles and games, insuring there's something for everyone.

Designed especially for traveling, this book holds 151 pages of riddles, puzzles, games, questions and all sorts of other activities. Although sold for ages six to eight, many of the activities work wonderfully for older kids and some even lure parents to get involved. Each one is different—not a collection with 10 mazes or a dozen word searches—and they vary from mind-benders to word play to comparisons and more. Some are more challenging than others, and there's definitely a huge variety.

There's no rhyme or reason for how the puzzles are arranged—each page is a surprise. The descriptions are short but enough so that the reader knows what to do. The book invites to be used and the pages are sturdy enough to handle a longer travel. The answers are in the back of the book, organized by page number.

I've had this one laying on my cabinet, and my kids keep picking it up to try some of the puzzles again and again. There's enough inside to keep it interesting even after looking at it a dozen times, and they love to try to see if I can solve the puzzles too. In other words, it's something kids can do on their own, but also something which can be used to add a little fun for the whole family.


About Lonely Planet Kids:
Lonely Planet Kids - an imprint of leading travel media authority Lonely Planet - published its first book in 2011. Over the past 45 years, parent company Lonely Planet has grown a dedicated global community of travelers, many of whom are sharing a passion for world exploration with their children, inspiring the next generation of global citizens. Lonely Planet Kids educates and encourages young readers to learn about the world around them with engaging books on culture, sociology, geography, nature, history, space and more. Find out more on lonelyplanetkids.com, and join us on Facebook (facebook.com/lpkidstravel), Twitter (@lpkids) and PopJam (@lonelyplanetkids).






Cover Reveal: Awakened by Dot Caffrey





Awakened
The Power Trilogy, #1
by Dot Caffrey 
Acorn Publishing
YA Fantasy

COMING. . .
AUGUST 31st, 2018!!!



Power and Prophecy!
Seventeen-year-old Regnaryn grew up in an idyllic land among mythical beings. She believes she is the last surviving human.
Her world begins to shatter when Evil invades her dreams, demanding she relinquish unknown powers foretold by her long-deceased mother. When Graeden, a young human male, arrives, he further disrupts her once-orderly life. Her emotions in chaos, Regnaryn flees the only home she’s ever known, only to be captured by the servants of Evil from her dreams. Now she must take a stand, confronting her late mother’s prophecy while also attempting to survive and protect those she loves.

And here she is. . .
I was born and raised in New York, mostly on Long Island not “The City”. After high school, I moved to California and then did a three-year stint in the Navy before going to college and getting a Microbiology/Medical Technologist degree.
According to my Dad, I’ve been a storyteller from the time I began talking (which was at a very young age). But, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I decided to take my passion for writing and my love for all things magical or mythical seriously and set out to write fantasy novels.
When I’m not at my day job or writing, I enjoy creating and wearing costumes (cosplay), playing video games (though, I’m not very good at it) and watching NHL hockey and assorted other things many of which are merely time wasters. Of course, hanging out with my friends and my cats also pleasantly fills my time. 

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Review: Earth to Dad by Krista Van Dolzer


EARTH TO DAD
by Krista Van Dolzer
Capstone
Middle Grade Science Fiction / Dystopian
322 pages
ages 9 to 12

COMING. . .
AUGUST 1st, 2018!!!


Eleven-year-old Jameson O'Malley's dad is on Mars. The only way to see him, other than squinting into the night sky, is through the JICC - short for Jameson's Interplanetary Communication Console. Jameson thought the JICC would help shorten the millions of miles that stretch between Base Ripley and Mars, but he's is starting to realize no transmission can replace his real, actual father. When a new family moves onto Base Ripley, Jameson makes an unlikely friend in Astra Primm, daughter of the country's leading climatologist, who died in an explosion on Mars. But as Jameson's friendship with Astra grows stronger, he begins to notice the flaws in his own family. Mom is growing distant, and something is wrong with Dad. He's not sending transmissions as frequently as he used to, and when he does there are bags under his eyes. Jameson begins to realize there's more to the story than he knows - and plenty people aren't telling him. Determined to learn the truth and discover what happened to their parents, Jameson and Astra embark on a journey exploring life, loss, and friendship that will take them to the edge of their universe.




 MY TIDBITS

While taking a ride to futuristic Earth, this book battles the questions surrounding a dying world, people's hopes, and, most importantly, learning to live with the loss of a loved one.

Eleven-year-old Jameson lives on an Earth, which has been forced out of its orbit and is slowly approaching the sun. While his father is one of the heroes selected to head for Mars to work on a plan to save the human race, Jameson and his mother live in a governmental supported community. Although Jameson attends a normal school, he's a bit of a loner. The most important thing in his life is his JICC, a device his father built with him shortly before he left, which allows Jameson to send and receive communications from his father on Mars. When a new girl moves into the house next door, one whose mother recently died on a similar Mars mission, Jameson decides its time to make his first friend. The results change his life, especially when his JICC breaks and she agrees to help him repair it.

This is a story which requires a box of tissues. . .maybe even two. The setting itself already sets a melancholy atmosphere; the Earth is on a crash course with the sun. Although life is fairly similar to our own modern world, there are distinct differences—dying vegetation, deadly UV rays, hoverboards, and more. The author does a fantastic job at building a realistic world, which is easy to settle into and picture the surroundings through every scene. It's futuristic but still familiar enough for readers to easily identify with.

The characters are true to life, each one taking on a distinct role and personality. They act realistically, carry their own flaws, but still, are very supportive and kind in their own way. This secure foundation lays the perfect buffer for the tough topics addressed in the book and keeps it from growing too depressing.

Jameson is a great kid. He's pretty separated from the rest of society, although he lives in the middle of the compound and attends school. At first, this appears to be a result of him trying to remain off the radar, since his father is very well known. But as the story progresses, it becomes clear that much of this has to do with his mother's over-protectiveness. While Jameson comes across very natural, at times, he behaved younger than eleven. Still, his other genius side balances it out and makes him easy to connect to.

This is not a happy story. While there are many adventurous moments, a sad tone hangs like a nearing storm. There is hope, friendship and many, many emotional moments that make a reader sigh. It's well written. Very well and, for most of the tale, flows smooth and holds the reader in the pages. But as the last chapters roll through, the pacing changes a little. Jameson is very naive when it comes to the world outside, which could be a result of his overly protective circumstances. Still, he's slow to take obvious hints. When the moment of his big action strikes, the ending is a little rushed. It also becomes clear that information surrounding the Mars project and background is still missing to make things clearer.

This is a touching read, and extremely well done. While entertaining, it's one that will make readers think and leave a touch of sadness behind. The ending wraps things up nicely, but there is still many things left open to let the mind wander with its own fantasies.

Review: Isosceles' Day by Kevin J Meehan


ISOSCELES' DAY
by Kevin J. Meehan
Isosceles' Holdings LLC
Picture Book
32 pages
ages 4 and up





From being awakened by friend Mole, to a breakfast of dancing eggs, howling and grunting with Moose, time spent with Frog and Platypus, lunchtime with Lizard, playing it cool with Mouse, listening to drums with Prairie Dog, riding in a wagon with Rhino, drinking from a hose with Goose, and a lullaby with Frog, come share a fun day with Isosceles, a happy rescue dog, and his animal friends! 



MY TIDBITS

Jumping into a fantasy world all of it's own, this book combines ridiculousness and amazing illustrations into a dreamlike world.

Isosceles is a dog and is woken up by his friend, Mole, to experience a day like no other. Together with other friends, Mole presents everything from dancing eggs, lunch with Lizard, and so much more. By the end of the day, Isosceles has many experiences to dream about.

This book is a little more off-beat from the average picture book with its deliciously, quirky humor and twists which stray a bit out of the box. The story isn't told through a traditional plot form, but rather jumps from one moment to the next. The style hits a little peculiar but is somehow endearing at the same time. Each animal friend presents their day's spotlight of fun through a whimsical, four-lined rhyme—some flowing better than others. Each one hits with fantasy pure in its own, original way.

The illustrations are a real treat. With amazing details, they snuggle close to realistic while incorporating nonsensical silliness. For example, a very true to life frog balances along a thread while wearing a thimble on his head and wielding a sewing needle. Young listeners (and adults) will enjoy these pictures alone.

This isn't the usual picture book but invites to a different sort of fantastical journey, one which will grab readers or leave them wondering what just hit them.



And here he is. . .


As a child, the author experienced a similar life condition as Isosceles. Not having much of a home, love or sense of protection and safety, he has a very special understanding of Isosceles' early years. As a diplomat of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and an integrative health care practitioner for almost three decades, he recognizes the importance of the compassion essential in helping others; people and animals. The author's commitment to helping animals and humans, coupled with his passion for biochemistry, lead him to design a unique, patented, line of canine orthomolecular supplements to nurture dogs back to health in a natural way. One of his favorite quotes is, "With the eyes of a child we learn how to see"!






Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Sneak Peek: The Forest Beyond the Earth by Matthew S. Cox with Giveaway!




The Forest Beyond the Earth 
by Matthew S. Cox
February 6th 2018
YA Post-Apocalyptic





Under the watchful eye of the Mother Shrine, twelve-year-old Wisp ekes out a simple, but challenging life with Dad, foraging for food and losing herself in old books from the world that came before. She loves the Endless Forest ― except when the Tree Walkers come for her.
In ages past, the great rain of fire and ash destroyed the Earth, wiping out the ancients and everything they had made. Nature has reclaimed much since then, spreading out in a vast forest full of wonder and dread. Ever in fear of being taken away, she follows Dad’s rules without question while learning to survive off the land.
No longer a small child, she accompanies Dad on one of his treks, her first time more than a few steps away from the cabin. A day exploring with him is the happiest time of her life, but joy is short-lived.
A monster follows them home.
Safe in her Haven, she hides while Dad goes outside to confront the beast. She wakes alone the next morning, and waits. Alas, her hope of his return fades with the daylight. Desperate, she breaks his strictest rule and goes outside alone. Not far from the cabin, she discovers his rifle abandoned next to the monster’s strange footprints.
Afraid but determined, Wisp sets off on her own into the Endless Forest to find Dad ― before the Tree Walkers catch her.


SNEAK PEEK

Moonlight painted the landscape in a deep blue shade. The woods more than fifty yards in any direction had become a dense murk of nothingness. Wherever leaves fluttered in the moonlight, she cringed away, from the lurking Tree Walkers she expected. Wisp clung to Dad’s arm with both hands, her pale fingers all but glowing against his deep brown tan.
“It’s all right,” said Dad in a near whisper. “We don’t have far to go.”
She nodded. It hit her that acting like a little kid might cause him to leave her in the Haven next time he went out to hunt. Except for right now, the journey had been amazing and fun. Wisp straightened her posture and let go of his arm, attempting to appear brave. At least in the dark, he couldn’t see her wide eyes and shivering hands.
A rippling cascade of snapping echoed out of the forest, like a bear crushing an entire bundle of twigs at once.
Or a Tree Walker rising up from the ground.
She held back a startled yelp that echoed in her brain and snagged the pistol from the holster on Dad’s belt, clutching it in both hands. Within a second of her pointing it at the woods where the sound came from, Dad grasped her by the wrists and pushed the weapon down.
Wisp shifted her eyes to him, asking ‘why’ with a stare.
“You cannot kill the Tree Walkers with a bullet,” whispered Dad. “A gun will only make them angry… and the loudness will tell them where you are.”
“I understand.” She fidgeted her grip on the pistol. “It might not be one of them. What makes that noise?”
Dad let go of her and grabbed the front of his rifle, training it generally in that direction. “Sounded like a big person stepping on branches. Down.”
Wisp sank into a squat, staring at the forest. Her mind played evil games by making her think every shadow held a creature of living vines coming to take her away from Dad. Mother, please protect us.
Another crunch came from ahead and a little farther to the left. She shifted her facing toward it, but didn’t raise the pistol. Dad took a knee beside her, a little in front to shield her from arrows.
A chill wafted by on the early evening breeze. Leaves rustled overhead. Cricket song surrounded them and the rapid skittering of a squirrel zipped by overhead.
Her toes dug deep into the rain-damp soil. The pistol wobbled in her hands. She swallowed hard, trying to be brave, trying to show courage so Dad would take her on a hunt again. He would do anything to protect her, and he didn’t like seeing her frightened. If he thought going out scared her too much, he’d keep her safe in the Haven. She thought back to how nice it had been relaxing beside the stream, watching birds and eating fish with Dad. If every day could be like that, she’d be the happiest girl in the world.

And here he is. . .


Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.
Hobbies and Interests:
Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour  

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Castles in the Air by Sangeet Sharma



CASTLES IN THE AIR
by Sangeet Sharma
Rumour Book India
 Fiction
234 pages





Laughter is said to be the best elixir and the book is a satire on architecture written by one who knows the bricks and concrete of the profession by heart.

The author, an architect himself, delves into the journey of a professional practice. The book is witty with acerbic humor.

Word by word, sentence by sentence, page by page, every scene unfolds like a screenplay, leaving the reader amazed with the brutalities of life in architecture, and life itself.









And here he is. . .


Sangeet Sharma is a practicing architect in Chandigarh. He is a partner in SD Sharma & Associates, a well-known firm of the region founded by his father Ar. SD Sharma, an eminent Architect. Widely acknowledged and awarded Ar. Sangeet Sharma commands an undisputed international reputation in profession. Carrying forward the legacy and vocabulary established by his father he is fascinated by geometrical forms. 
By looking at every drawn line as built spaces he follows a certain rationale to his reflective practice. His buildings are based on sustainable applications.

He is a multifaceted personality. He is a poet, Architectural critic, writer, artist and author. He has authored Architecture, Life and Me, published by Rupa and Co., a memoir that takes an all-round view of the profession.