Friday, November 30, 2018

Reading Right Now! (185)

What I'm Reading Right Now! is...

Title: Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (#1)
Author: Julie C. Dao

I don't really have that much to say about this one yet, because I've really only just started it. I think this is an evil queen origin story, which I am so excited for! I don't know which Evil Queen it's supposed to be though. And I think it's set in China, or an East Asian Country. The pronunciations of the names is probably going to cause me some pain, but it does give you a guide of how to say them. Knowing me though, I just going to pronounce them however they make sense to me.

So yeah, that's what I'm Reading Right Now! What are you reading?

Thursday, November 29, 2018

BLOG TOUR: The Lights of Time (#1) by Paul Ian Cross

I'm really excited to be on the Blog Tour for The Lights of Time by Paul Ian Cross. I was sent a copy for honest review. Thank you so much to Rachel's Random Resources and Paul Ian Cross for letting me be a part of this fun tour.

Title: The Lights of Time
Author: Paul Ian Cross

Synopsis: Engella Rhys is alone, adrift and on the run. Pursued by a secret agency, known only as the Hunters, she must stay ahead to stay alive. 

As she travels through space-time using dangerously experimental technology, she only has one wish: to be reunited with her lost parents. After a close shave with a Hunter on the streets of New Shanghai, Engella escapes to find herself on a deserted beach. When she meets a kind stranger, who offers her food and shelter, Engella feels safe and protected for the first time in years.

But who is this woman? And why did their paths cross at the most convenient of times?
Engella soon discovers their lives are intertwined in more ways than she could ever imagine.

My Thoughts: Thanks so much to Rachel's Random Resources and Paul Ian Cross for giving me the chance to read this for honest review. I thought The Lights of Time was fantastic! It's the first book in a new Middle Grade Series. It's got time travel, it's got action, and it has a girl named Engella who is on the run from Hunters. It was a lot of fun to read. I think Middle Graders will love it, and it worked for me as an adult reader too.
I love books about Time Travel, so I loved seeing it incorporated in The Lights of Time. It was a breathless ride of Engella having to stay one step ahead of the hunters and having to jump to different times to do that.
I really enjoyed the writing style. I was hooked to the story.
The Lights of Time was a whole lot of fun to read and I'd definitely recommend picking it up. If you like time travel and action, then this is the book for you.

Paul Ian Cross

Paul Ian Cross is a multi-award-winning children’s author and scientist from London, UK.

Paul works in clinical research (developing new medicines) and he’s also involved in science communication; presenting science to non-scientists. He enjoys his science career but he also has a real passion for writing stories! He likes introducing children to the wonders of science, especially reluctant readers. By introducing science creatively, he aims to spark their interest; allowing them to gain confidence with their reading. As a previous reluctant reader himself, he understands how hard it can be. But it’s all about making reading fun and interesting!

Paul’s nephew Hayden influenced his decision to become a writer. He loved seeing Hayden’s reaction when his sister Michelle first read one of Paul’s stories to him!

In his spare time, Paul likes to visit new and exciting places. One of his favourite places is Scotland, especially the Isle of Skye.

Paul’s debut picture book, Praxx and the Ringing Robot, won second prize in the ‘Picture Books 5 and Younger’ category at the Purple Dragonfly Book Awards 2017. The book trailer also won first place in the ‘book trailer’ category at the Royal Dragonfly Book Awards later that year.

Paul’s second book, Planet Scrabbage and the Vegerons, won an honourable mention in both the ‘Picture Books 6 and Over’ and ‘Health’ categories at the Purple Dragonfly Book Awards 2018.

And that brings us to now... Paul is currently working on several new books. Paul’s debut upper middle grade novel will be published in 2018. The Lights of Time is the first novel in a brand-new series: The Chronicles of Engella Rhys.

Paul hopes you enjoy reading his stories as much as he enjoyed writing them!

Thank you so much for stopping by my Blog Tour stop for The Lights of Time. And once again, thanks to Ian Paul Cross and Rachel's Random Resources for letting me be a part of it.

Giveaway for UK Residents only

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Review: A Bitter Winter (Silver Ninja #1) by Wilmar Luna

Title: A Bitter Winter (Silver Ninja #1)
Author: Wilmar Luna
Released: August 2018
Published by: Silver Pencil Books
Source: Review Copy Provided by Author

Synopsis: A disgraced cop takes matters into her own hands when the murderer who killed her partner comes after her family. To stop him, Cindy Ames fuses with a prototype suit and transforms herself into a superhero.

But the suit has a mind of its own and is determined to execute its hidden agenda.

The puppet has become the master, and the hero has become the monster.

Super powers can save a city but break a hero.

A Bitter Winter is book 1 of The Silver Ninja series. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

My Thoughts: I would like to thank Wilmar Luna for reaching out and asking me to give A Bitter Winter a read. It looked like a book that I would definitely enjoy. All thoughts and opinions on A Bitter Winter are 100% honest and 100% my own.
I enjoyed this quite a lot! I love superhero stories. I love powers, fights, villains, action, just all of it. A Bitter Winter really served as an origin story for our main character superhero Cindy. I really enjoyed following her story, her struggles.
I really enjoyed the concept for this book. It kept me very entertained, racing to the end so I could find out everything that was going to happen. I loved the action of the story, it was very fast-paced and fun.
I just really enjoyed A Bitter Winter. If Superheroes, Supersuits are your thing, I'd definitely recommend giving it a read.
Thanks again to Wilmar Luna for offering A Bitter Winter to me for honest review. It's a good one.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Fresh Releases: November 27, 2018 + An Excerpt!

This Release is Fresh, Fresh!
This book was previously published as an e-book and is now getting a brand new print edition. I also have an excerpt from it. Thanks so much to St. Martin's Press for providing me with the new cover and excerpt. So... Check it Out!

Title: Shacking Up
Author: Helena Hunting
Release Date: November 27, 2018 for brand new paperback version

Now the Awesome Excerpt!




I eat an entire Listerine PocketPak on the subway ride home to kill any lingering germs in my mouth from Awesome Kisser. I’m annoyed by the whole thing, but at least he apologized and seemed sincere about the accidental tongue invasion. Too bad the hotness of the memory is marred by raging Brittany and the hack in the face.
After getting home, I rinse with mouthwash, down six vitamin C capsules and some anti-flu holistic stuff, and then I go ahead and make myself my customary before- bed, pre-audition nighttime drink of hot honey-lemon water, and pray I’ve done a good enough job of ridding myself of cough germs.
I climb into bed, note my sheets lack a fresh scent, question when I last washed them, then I set my alarm and close my eyes. Behind my lids appears the hottiewhose name is apparently Banny, or maybe I misheard and it’s Danny. It’s not really a hot guy name. I’m going to stick with Awesome KisserNow that I’m past the shock-and-awe factor I can fullappreciate that man’s hotness in the shouty caps sense of the word. It’s unfortunate he dates vapid, self-absorbed model-y types and not starving artists. I have a feeling date isn’t the appropriate word anyway. It’s also unfortunate that he has poor coughing manners.
I consider that he was likely a guest at the engagement party and he very well may be a guest at the wedding as well. If I’m still dateless by then he could make an ex- cellent potential dance partner, depending of course on how tight he is with Armstrong. If they’re close friends I don’t think its advisable to get involved in any semi- unclothed dancing outside of the wedding celebrations, no matter how hot he is. I don’t want to run the risk of encountering him again should things not go as well as one hopesEventually I stop fantasizing about what’s under his suit and pass out. I’m about to find out exactly what’s in Awesome Kiss- er’s designer pants when a repetitive, annoying sound distracts me. I pause just before I smooth a hand over the amazingly prominent bulge while he tilts my head back, his soft lips brushing mine, his hot tongue sweeping . . .
The wisps of the dream fade and I crack a lid. The fantasy breaks with the obnoxious sunlight screaming its wake-up call, along with my stupid phone. Sometimes I’m slutty in my dreams. 
I reach for the phone, remembering that Amie promised me a morning call, just in case I messed up my alarm, which has happened in the past. I was on the ball last night, though. I set three alarms, all within five minutes of each other so I wouldn’t have an opportunity to fall back asleep.
Rise and shine, Ruby! I’m your wake-up call!” How she manages to sound so damn chipper at seven-thirty in the morning after her engagement party is beyond me.
A seal-like bark comes out when I attempt to grumble hello and tell her off for interrupting my dream.
Ruby? Are you there?
I make a second attempt at speaking but all I manage is another bark.
Do you have a bad connection? I told you not to go with the cheap provider. You know how terrible the reception is.
I clear my throat and immediately regret it, as it feels like knives are traveling up my esophagus.
Ruby? Amie asks again and then sighs. I’m hanging up and trying again.
Once the line goes dead I immediately hit the video call. Amie picks up right away. She’s wearing a white robe with her wavy hair pulled up into a ponytail, looking as fresh as baked bread out of the oven. I on the other hand, look like yesterday’s garbage based on the small image in the corner of my phone.
Oh my God. Are you okay?
I motion to my throat and shake my head. I give speaking another shot, just in case my inability to make more than random, audible sounds is a result of waking up. I usually don’t have to use words until after my morning coffee. All I get is another one of those squeaky moans and more sharp pain in my throat.
Amie sucks in a gasp and slaps her hand over her mouth. “You have no voice!” I nod.
How are you going to audition?
The final dregs of sleep slip away. I mouth oh God. A mime is the only part I can audition for with no voice, or one of the dancer roles with no lines. They don’t make
nearly as much money as central, or even secondary character, roles—which is what I’m hoping to score. The pay scale for that is far higher than for a lineless role. It definitely won’t cover the basics, like rent and food, let alone the minimum payments on my credit card. I’ve been banking on this audition to get me out of the hole I’ve dug for myself over the past few weeks.
The phone conversation is pointless since Amie can’t read lips and I can’t respond. She tells me she’s coming over. I try to tell her not to bother, but again, with the lack of words it’s impossible to convey. I wait until she hangs up and text her to tell her it’s not necessary. Besides, this thing I have is clearly contagious since I must’ve gotten it from Awesome Kisser, and I don’t want to pass it on to her. Damn Awesome Kisserruining the already questionable state of my life.
I roll out of bed, the full-body ache hitting me with the movement. I must be dying. And I’m not just being dramatic. Every cell in my body hurts. I drag myself to the kitchen and fill the kettle. Maybe a lemon-honey hot water toddy will help restore my voice. Based on my re- cent unlucky streak, I have my doubts.
I shuffle to the bathroom, turn on the shower, and root around in the medicine cabinet for some decent drugs. All I have is regular-strength Tylenol, so it’ll have to do. I climb into the shower without checking the temperature firstit takes forever to heat up and then fluctuates be- tween lukewarm and scalding. I step under the spray during a scalding phase and huddle in the corner until it’s bearable.
I’d like to say the shower helps me feel better. It does not. The warm water also does little to help my voice. Although I’m past just squeaking to barely audible one- word phrases, such as “ow. Im praying to the voice-miracle gods that the honey-lemon combo will further improve my ability to speak.
Once out of the shower I doctor up my water, adding extra lemon and honey. Not only do I burn the crap out of my tongue, it feels like serrated blades coated in acid sliding down my throat. Still, I get dressed in basic black tights and a black tank with a loose, gauzy gray shirt over top. I dry my hair and put on makeup in hopes that appearing put together will make it so. I have to double up on powder when the effort to prepare my face causes me to sweat.
I take a second hot lemon-honey toddy with me on the subway and arrive for my audition half an hour early. Not that my promptness matters. Im still unable to speak above a whisper. My despair balloons like a marshmallow in the microwave at the mass of people performing voice warm-up exercises around me.
I make an attempt to do the same, but the hoarse, croaklike sound is drowned out by the crystal clear voice of the perfectly gorgeous woman standing next to me. As I listen to the sound of a thousand soaring angels spew out of her mouth, I shiver with what I fear is the beginning of a fever. Sweat breaks out across the back of my neck and travels down my spine, along with a violent shiver. As if today could be any worse than it already is, my stomach does this weird, knotting thing.
Ruby Scott.”
I glance at the director, who’s thankfully still looking fresh, and not beaten down by hundreds of craptastic auditions. Those are yet to come. I shoulder my bag and follow him to the theater.
You’re auditioning for the role of Emma today, correct? He doesn’t give me a chance to confirm. I’d like you to start with the song at the beginning of act two.
Okay,” I croak feebly, cringing at the raspy sound. At least I can speak, even if I sound like a prepubescent boy with his nuts caught in his zipper.
The director looks up from his clipboard, his frown an omen.
I seem to have lost my voice. He has to strain to hear me.
He heaves a frustrated sigh. “You can’t audition if you don’t have a voice.
I didn’t want to miss it. Maybe I could audition for a dancer part?Fewer words are better.
He purses his lips. “Auditions for dancer roles aren’t until later in the week.
I understand, but I’m here and if you can’t hear me sing, at least you could see me dance? I fight the gag reflex as another wave of nausea hits me.
He sighs and relents, gesturing to the stage. I thank him, then drop my bag at the edge of the stage and get into first position. My brain is foggy and my body aches horribly, but I can’t pass up this opportunity for a mod- est, yet steady income for a few months. I can’t afford to rack up additional credit card debt, and I don’t want to ask my father for more money, because that will make him aware of how much of a struggle this is. Then he’ll make his case for me to come work for him, as is his master plan. I know I can do this.
The music cues up, and as I start to move my stomach does that rolling-heave thing again. There isn’t any food in it, but all of a sudden the honey-lemon water I consumed this morning decides to stage a revolt. I’m in the middle of a spin—not the best idea when nauseousand the next wave hits me; violent and unrelenting.
I attempt to keep my mouth closed, but the intensity of the spasm forces it open. I spray the stage with partially digested honey-lemon water, and what appears to be last night’s shrimp tarts and mushroom canapé appetizer dinner—in an Exorcist-like dramatic flair.
And thus ends my audition.

And that's my Fresh, Fresh Releases for this week. I know I missed some. Tell me what books you're excited for.