Friday, January 20, 2017

Review: Jesper Jinx's Best Friend by Marko Kitti


JESPER JINX'S BEST FRIEND
Jesper Jinx, Book Six
Middle Grade Humor
ages 8+
150 pages



Jesper Jinx is eleven, and probably the unluckiest person in all of Puffington Hill. Everything he touches seems to end up in sweet disaster. Hence his nickname 'Jinx'.

Every great hero needs a sidekick who’s ready to laugh at their silly antics. And Oliver has been just that for Jesper on countless pranks since the day they were born. But now Jesper’s sister Melinda has set her sights on Oliver and even worse, he doesn’t seem to mind.

Add to this horrible dilemma the fact that there is a heatwave in Puffington Hill. The air is now so hot that birds are falling from the trees and grandpas and grandmas are forced to wear bikinis. It all adds up to sweet disaster for Jesper.

How far is he willing to go to save his friendship with Oliver?




MY TIDBITS

The Silly Old Scribbler devulges another glimpse into the hilarious life of Jesper Jinx, while sliding through topics which hit middle graders face on.

Jesper Jinx's best friend--one he's known since the first seconds of life--has turned traitor. Or so it seems to Jesper. Now, he has to decide if there's a way to deal with his best friend's decision or lose his co-heart in crime forever.

In this sixth book in the Jesper Jinx series, the Silly Old Scribbler (aka Marko Kitti) takes a deep dive into one of the most treasured things middle school boys have--their best friend--and one of a boy's worst enemies--their sisters. Oliver and Jesper have been through thick and thin. So the thought of 'treason' hits right in the gut despite the humor buffer packed around it. Oliver and Jesper's history finally comes to light. Of course, it's not a boring explanation but delivered in perfect Jesper style.

The author delivers the adventures in a very honest and straight forward style. Despite being a prankster, Jesper is a kid with real feelings. This mixture of side splitting humor and every day middle grade problems, makes these books a pure treat to read. But it's not only this mix which lures in. The books are short, only 150 or so pages, which guarantees not to chase away the more reluctant readers. All sorts of goodies are packed within the story--agreements to sign, illustrations, diagrams. Readers not only read the tales but participate as if the narrator was really sitting right in front of them.

Summed up, this is a great continuation of a wonderful series. And I can't wait to see what happens to Jesper Jinx next.


And here he is. . .



Marko Kitti is a Finnish writer.

Find more about Marko's children's book series, Jesper Jinx, at www.jesperjinx.co.uk

Marko's Finnish publications include two collections of short stories, two novels for adult readers and one novel for young adult readers. His Finnish novel Meidän maailma (Our World) was shortlisted for the Runeberg Prize in 2009.



Cover Reveal: Love on the Prairie by Ciara Knight





Love on the Prairie
by Ciara Knight
Historical, Western Romance
Cover Designer: Clarissa Yeo
Editor: Cora Artz and Emily Sewell

COMING. . .
March 2nd, 2017!!!

Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR


Abigail McKinnie refuses to allow her sisters to be dispersed across the nation as mail order brides. Despite the fact the union soldiers took everything from them during their march through Atlanta-their lands scorched, house burned, food stolen-she won’t give up. With a plan in place, she sets out for Kansas to her second cousin under the guise of marriage. But instead, she plans to convince him that the seven of them can help run the homestead for him. Her plan is full proof, until she makes the arduous journey to discover he’s dead.
Owen Baker vows to never have a woman in his life again after the death of so many in his life, but when Abigail McKinnie struts onto his land claiming ownership on behalf of her dead cousin, he’s dumbfounded by her drive and beauty. Despite her abilities and their attraction, he vows to throw her over his horse to deliver her to the first train home the minute she recuperates from her trip.
Faced with living in a small dugout through storms, Indian attacks, and violent gunmen, they realize they must work together to save the homestead, the last hope for the McKinnie sisters and Owen’s heart. But when their attraction becomes more formidable than the surrounding elements, they will have to overcome their fear or lose everything.





Ciara Knight writes with a ‘Little Edge and a Lot of Heart’ with her contemporary and paranormal romance books. Her most recent #1 Amazon bestselling series, Sweetwater County, has topped the charts and received acclaimed reviews. Her international best-seller, Pendulum scored 4 stars from RT Book Reviews, accolades from InD’Tale Magazine and Night Owl Top Pick. Her young adult paranormal series, Battle for Souls, received 5 stars from Paranormal Romance Guild and Night Owl’s Top Pick, among other praises.

Author Links:


Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Official Gryphon Series Coloring Book by Stacey Rourke

Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR




The Gryphon Series Coloring Book
by Stacey Rourke
Teen Fantasy
Cover Designer: Broken Arrow Designs
Illustrated by Crystal Ord and Robert Immings

COMING. . .
 Feb. 2nd, 2017!!!
Journey into the fantastical world of The Gryphon Series, written by Stacey Rourke, with original artwork that brings to life pivotal moments from the beloved Young Adult series!








RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel
Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013 
Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Adapted for Film. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. 

Visit her at. . .
www.staceyrourke.com
or on Twitter or instagram at Rourkewrites.
Buy Links to the Series:
#Free with #KindleUnlimited
Conduit (FREE): http://amzn.to/2acPikz
Descent (Novella): http://amzn.to/2eYdx6V
The Gryphon Series Coloring Book: Coming Soon

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Cover Reveal: Wolves and Roses by Christina Bauer





Wolves & Roses 
by Christina Bauer
Fairy Tales of the Magicorum #1
Monster House Books
March 28th 2017
YA Paranormal







Seventeen-year-old Bryar Rose has a problem. She’s descended from one of the three magical races—shifters, fairies, or witches. That makes her one of the Magicorum, and Magicorum always follow a fairy tale life template. In Bryar’s case, that template should be Sleeping Beauty.
“Should” being the key word.
Trouble is, Bryar is nowhere near the sleeping beauty life template. Not even close. She doesn’t like birds or woodland creatures. She can’t sing. And she certainly can’t stand Prince Philpot, the so-called “His Highness of Hedge Funds” that her aunties want her to marry. Even worse, Bryar’s having recurring dreams of a bad boy hottie and is obsessed with finding papyri from ancient Egypt. What’s up with that?
All Bryar wants is to attend a regular high school with normal humans and forget all about shifters, fairies, witches, and the curse that Colonel Mallory the Magnificent placed on her. And she might be able to do just that–if only she can just keep her head down until her eighteenth birthday when the spell that’s ruined her life goes buh-bye.
But that plan gets turned upside down when Bryar Rose meets Knox, the bad boy who’s literally from her dreams. Knox is a powerful werewolf, and his presence in her life changes everything, and not just because he makes her knees turn into Jell-O. If Bryar can’t figure out who—or what—she really is, it might cost both her and Knox their lives… as well as jeopardize the very nature of magic itself.




And here she is. . .

Christina graduated from Syracuse University's Newhouse School with BA's in English as well as Television, Radio, and Film Production. Her day job is in marketing for companies like Microsoft, Cisco, and Zerto. Back in the go-go 90′s, she founded her own software start-up, Mindful Technologies. Christina believes that, upon close examination of Tolkien's text, it's entirely possible that the Balrog was wearing fuzzy bunny slippers.

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Cover Reveal: Crossroads by Laney McMann




CROSSROADS
by Laney McMann
The CrossWorld Chronicles #1
Winter 2017
YA Urban Fantasy






Hawk Holland is dead—he just doesn’t know it.
At seventeen, Hawk is a professional Motocross rider. Hot, badass, smart—with a drug problem—and a death wish. Winning is what he does best. Being in the spotlight is second nature. But after his best friend dies of an overdose during a televised race, Hawk goes down a road that leads to a similar fate—and that’s just the way he wants it—or so he thought.
Fawn Marchat is a CrossWorlder. Her lineage stems from her greatest of grandmothers, the Goddess Hecate. Fawn has many gifts, including the ability to see into the Afterlife and save souls on the Crossroads of death. But between her over-bearing grandfather insisting she follow the path of her elders in Wiccan Craft and assume her birthright, her uptight private Catholic school, and her mom always on her case about the only positive diversion in her life—Fawn has no desire to save anyone but herself.
When the world of the living collides with the world of the dead, Hawk Holland realizes a choice he made while under the influence set him on the fast-track to the Crossroads, a waylay station for lost souls with a one way ticket to Hell—and Fawn is the only one who might be able to save him.


And here she is. . .

Young Adult Dark Fantasy Writer, Myths and Legends Believer, Voracious Reader, Music Snob, World Builder, Poet, Quote Junkie. My thoughts on Writing, Social Media, Reading, Books, Publishing, and Music. Generally. Author of The Fire Born Novels TIED, TORN & TRUE Author of The Primordial Principles CRYSTALLUM 2015, DAEMONEUM 2016 Author of The CrossWorld Chronicles CROSSROADS (2016) Pub'd by J. Taylor Publishing, Jagged Lane Books, and formerly by Booktrope Editions Publishing.

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Sneak Peek: The sun God's Heir: Return by Elliott Baker


Welcome to the Book Launch and Free on Kindle Promotion Tour for 
The Sun God's Heir: Return, Book 1.

From Jan. 18-22, 2017,  the Kindle version of The Sun God's Heir: Return, Book 1 will be FREE for everyone.


The Sun God's Heir: Return, Book 1
by Elliott Baker
Historical Fiction, Fantasy
January 2, 2017




The Sun God’s Heir is a swashbuckling series, set at the end of the seventeenth century in France, Spain and northern Africa. Slavery is a common plague along the European coast and into this wild time, an ancient Egyptian general armed with dark arts has managed to return and re-embody, intent on recreating the reign of terror he began as Pharaoh. René Gilbert must remember his own former lifetime at the feet of Akhenaten to have a chance to defeat Horemheb. A secret sect has waited in Morocco for three thousand years for his arrival.


Amazon Link:  

Visit the Blogs Participating in the Book Launch and Free on Kindle Promotion:

EXCERPT

“Do you know what a cat is, boy?” The veins in the man’s neck pulsed. His eyes were shot red with blood.
“A small animal?” René asked.
There was a laugh from the men standing around the mast. The boatswain’s gaze turned like a snake seeking prey. The laugh died. Only the sea continued to speak. In the presence of death, the men remained silent.
“You, James, bring me the cat. I don’t think this boy has ever seen a real one. Your education has been sadly incomplete, boy. You’ll be thankin’ me for this. I promise you.” The man’s voice was a rough whisper.
“Gob, there’s no need to add harm to the kid. ’Twill find him soon enough,” said James.
“Bring me the damn cat, Bailey.”
James walked over and handed the boatswain the cat-o-nine- tails. He caught René’s eye and shook his head. The cat had nine sinuous thongs of blood-encrusted leather dangling from a well-worn wooden handle.
“This here’s a cat, boy. As you can see, it ain’t no small animal. Now, there is a skill and a talent to usin’ a cat, both of which I am proud to say I have. You see, you need to take care the thongs don’t get all stuck together with blood and skin, which they’re wont to do. If that happens, the cat’ll take yer organs right out, and that’s always a bad thing. So you need to run your fingers between the thongs every couple of strokes, to keep ’em separate. I gotta tell you— as much pride as I take in usin’ the cat, sometimes I lose track. I try to keep count, but before I know it, I plumb forgot to clean the damn thing. I surely hope that don’t happen today.”
“I also have a skill and a talent, and I will kill you with it,” René said in a low voice.
The man hesitated, confusion written across his face. He laughed a quick bark followed by an angry shake of his head.
“Pay attention, boy.” He raised the whip before René’s face, separated the thongs of the cat, and petted it in a sensual way. “Turn him around, and chain him up. You there, strip off his shirt.”
A stroke cracked against René’s back, sending blood and skin flying. “It usually takes me ten or twenty strokes to get warmed up, so don’t get too excited yet.”
You have my attention now.
René centered himself and forced down his awareness of the pain. He counted on his estimation of the captain and Gaspard’s instructions. If he was wrong, he would be too hurt to try anything.
“Two.”
The whip cracked and pain sang along the bloody stripe down his back. René refused to cry out. He needed the respect of these men if he was to survive.
“Three.”
Crack.
Blood trickled down the back of his legs. Time wavered, and he faded in and out.
“Ten.”
Crack.
The force of the cat drove him into the mast.
“Enough, Boatswain.” The master of the vessel had a stern voice long accustomed to command.
“But Cap’n, I ain’t nearly finished. I was just gettin’ warmed up.” The boatswain’s voice was thick with frustration.
“Part of our bonus is to deliver this boy alive to his fate. I do not intend to lose money to satisfy your pleasure, sir.” The captain was a tall, somber man with sharp eyes. He did not seem like the type of man to brook dissent. He called out to the crew, “Do any of you wish to donate your share to the boatswain’s pride?”
A chorus of denials rang out, along with a few variations on “leave the boy be.” As the men dispersed one of them muttered, “That is one tough kid. Never seen a man take ten without makin’ a sound.”
“Mister Bailey, unchain the boy and see to his wounds. He needs to be alive and aware in order for us to meet our commission.” The captain turned back to his work.
The boatswain stood there seething. His hand twitched. Droplets of blood jumped from the sodden leather to land on the deck. He leaned close enough for René to smell his foul breath. “We have time yet, boy. You and I still have business before the sharks get ya.”
René’s eyes met those of the wielder of the cat. “I have made you a promise, sir, and I always keep my promises.”

The man was mute in response.


Book Buzz!

A great read! From the first sword fight I could not put it down. Adventure, romance, action with just the right amount of his history and mysticism. The main character Rene displays all the qualities a true hero should; loyal, smart, humble, and a ferocious warrior all opponents will fear before their end. I could not help but feel fully immersed in the story. One of the best reads I can remember, I am eagerly anticipating the next book in the series!! ~ Jason Battistelli

The Sun God’s Heir is a page turner. The development of the characters made you really care what happens next to each person, good or evil. The descriptions of the ships, homes and countryside transported me into the era and made me feel like I was one of the onlookers or a part of the story itself. The moment I finished I had to have the second book to see what happens next. Fabulous!” ~
Karyn Krause Cumberland, Esquire

The Sun God’s Heir is a fascinating combination of historical period fiction, sci-fi, and political intrigue. Elliott Baker weaves a tale that one would have to be catatonic not to enjoy. The character development ranks among the best I’ve read; truly, by halfway through the book I found myself thinking like Rene (the main character) in my own daily life. This is the sign of mastery of character depth which is so often lacking in contemporary fiction. And the pacing! Rarely does a book seem to move at the speed of a movie without feeling haphazard. I applaud Elliott for pulling that off, as only an experienced screenwriter or playwright could. If you like a quality story that bridges traditional genre boundaries, then the Sun God’s Heir is for you! ~ Joshua Bartlett



And here he is. . .

Award winning novelist and international playwright Elliott B. Baker grew up in Jacksonville, Florida but has spent the last thirty-five years or so living in sunny New Hampshire. With four musicals and one play published and produced throughout the United States, in New Zealand, Portugal, England, and Canada, Elliott is pleased to offer his first novel, Return, book one of The Sun God’s Heir trilogy. Among his many work experiences, Elliott was a practicing hypnotherapist for seven years. A member of the Authors Guild and the Dramatists Guild, Elliott lives in New Hampshire with his wife Sally Ann. 

You can find Elliott at the following places:





Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Review: A Thousand Salt Kisses Later by Josie Demuth with Giveaway





 A THOUSAND SALT KISSES
LATER
by Josie Demuth
The Salt Kisses Series, Book One
YA Urban Fantasy
384 pages




The spellbinding sequel to A Thousand Salt Kisses.

Four years ago, Crystal White fell in love with Llyr, a prince of the magical mer colony living off the coast of Starfish Island. For one summer, he enchanted her with stories of jeweled palaces and underwater gardens, but then he left, returning beneath the waves with her heart in tow.

Now, graduated and with no job in sight, Crystal is forced to go back to the island she thought she had left in the past. By the sea again, she realizes she is far from over her first love, and when an opportunity arises to contact the merfolk, Crystal can’t resist.

Once more with the mer, Crystal is forced to come to terms with the fact that Llyr has moved on, and also with her own magical secret that has endangered her life, his throne, and every mer kingdom. Working against all odds, she has to try to save the people she has come to love and—if she can—rekindle the romance of her first summer on Starfish Island.

Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble


MY TIDBITS

I did read the first book in this series and would suggest that the second book not be tackled as a stand-alone, since Crystal's background is needed to fully allow the story to develop.

After four years, Crystal returns to Starfish Island and meets Llyr to discover that he's moved on from their romance and is now, engaged. She also learns of her own magic and must discover how to deal with all of it as this last twist endangers the entire mer world.

This book has a slightly different feel to it than the first. The teenage Crystal from before has now matured into a fresh, college graduate. . .so this now hits the border of YA/NA. She returns with a little baggage this time too. She has a boyfriend of her own and no longer has the carefree life she did back in high school. Job troubles also plague her world. In other words, the sweet girl from book one is different as is the entire romance/fairy tale feel.

The world of the mer is more explored in this book, and the author does a lovely job of bringing the entire colorful, fantasy to life. The 'real' life aspects are still present but are shoved a little more to the side as magic gains much more importance in the plot. More characters are introduced and others slide into a more important role. Some are left a little unexplored, while others have interesting changes in views.

The pacing is a little quicker in this book and detours a bit from the intense romance in book one. The tension is fine, and there are enough twists and turns to keep it interesting--although some of these are on the predictable side. The fantasy side ups higher as Crystal discovers her own powers and is pulled into the underwater world. And the romance isn't as straight forward as before, but rather leans toward an unexpected love triangle.

New found magic and added layers of secrets allow a more complex plot in this book than was seen in the first one. While much of it is logical, some remains unexplained. Still, it makes for a light, fun read. Especially younger YAers will enjoy the fantastical story, and even though the character herself has just graduated college, they'll be able to sympathize with her plight.




And here she is. . .


Josie Demuth is an author based in London. First published on Wattpad, her Salt Kisses series has garnered nearly four million reads and are now serialised on Radish Fiction. The second of this series, A Thousand Salt Kisses Later is her fourth novel.

Connect with the Author:

Website  ~  Twitter ~  Facebook ~ Instagram ~ Goodreads





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