Friday, October 9, 2015

Abby and the Mystic Dancers by LC Miller Cover Reveal

Today, I'm sharing an awesome new cover by LC Miller. It's her debut novel! Congrats, LC.

About Abby and the Mystic Dancers

As the product of a forbidden alliance between the elemental Mystics and the wand carrying Wielders—two distinct, often feuding, magical realms—acceptance is something fourteen-year-old Abby has fought with for the last four years. When an alliance is formed between the Mystic Dancers and the Wielder’s, Abby is given the chance to live with a Wielder’s family and attend Wielders Academy of Magical Arts. In order to do so, she first has make three promises to the Mystic Dancers leader … Tell no one she's half Mystic, that her father is a Wielder who is also a wanted criminal, or that she can transform into anything she wants. 

Her day-to-day life of secrets, school work, and dancing is interrupted when her mother’s murder case goes to trial. The Mystics believe they finally caught the killer, who happens to be the father of one of Abby’s new friends. Abby has a choice to make – reveal her secrets, or let a man she knows is innocent go to prison.

Release date is November 9th, 2015.

Find out more about LC Miller on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Visitant by Megan Chance (4.5 stars)

About The Visitant

Paperback: 339 pages 

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (September 22, 2015) 

The shadows of Venice have long inspired writers—from Henry James and Thomas Mann to Daphne DuMaurier and Ian McEwan. Now, its Megan Chance’s turn, as the acclaimed novelist takes readers through the alleys and canals of this ageless and mysterious city in her compelling new book, The Visitant: A Venetian Ghost Story (Lake Union Publishing; September 22, 2015). 

Part haunted tale, part love story, part mystery, this riveting historical novel explores the truth behind a terrifying reality, as a young American woman, immersed in a strange foreign culture, encounters a world beyond her wildest imaginings. Buried secrets of a tragic past converge, threatening to destroy not just her hopes of redemption, but her very life. 

Set in 1884, The Visitant paints an unforgettable portrait of a decaying city and the secrets that lurk in its dark, crumbling corners. Elena Spira has arrived there to take up the duties of nurse to a young epileptic man who has descended to the depths both physically and psychologically. Samuel Farber wants none of Elena’s help as he wallows in a laudanum-triggered haze of hallucinations. Samuel speaks of visits from a spirit, seemingly wild claims that Elena first rejects as drug-fueled. But, the truth is far more sinister. When Samuel’s best friend and host, Nero Basilio, arrives, Elena finds herself drawn to this charming man as he shows her the hidden delights of Venice. But there are dark forces at play—forces that Elena cannot begin to comprehend. Casa Basilio possesses a tragic history, and a ghost whose presence may be driving Samuel to madness.

The Visitant finds Megan Chance working at the peak of her storytelling powers.

“Chance’s Venice is glittering, mysterious, sophisticated…” –The Seattle Times on Inamorata

“…provocative and haunting. Chance’s quietly powerful tale will appeal to fans of well-detailed, mysterious, and romantic historical fiction.” BookList on Bone River

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A man with secrets. A woman with a debt to repay. And a troubled man who will push them both to a revelation.

Elena Spira is determined to help an epileptic man overcome his condition, but the more she gets to know him the more she wonders about his true affliction. And whether she can help at all. Along the way, she uncovers a mystery bigger than her medical scope. 

Can she help Samuel without hurting herself?

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. It sounded intriguing, but I usually prefer character development to fast-paced mystery... action designed to distract you from poorly drawn characters.

But this book was a beautiful balance of characters, intrigue, mystery, paranormal, and emotions. I cared about the characters, which made the intricate plot development all the more enjoyable.

Adding to this... the another interwove historical elements (both in the time and the location) to amplify both the characters and the situations they found themselves in. 

And it never lowered to cheap tricks to shock me. From page one, I felt invested and hungry for what came next. 

The Visitant is a unique, captivating read, and I highly recommend it.

Rating: 4.5 stars

About Megan Chance

Unknown-2Megan Chance is a critically acclaimed, award-winning author of historical fiction, including Inamorata, Bone River, and City of Ash. Her novels have been chosen for the Borders Original Voices and Book Sense programs. A former television news photographer and graduate of Western Washington University, Chance lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two daughters.

Connect with Megan 
Website | Facebook Twitter

Thanks to TLC for my review copy.

Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own. 

Please visit other stops on The Visitant blog tour page.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom (3.5 stars)

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto (424x600)About The Magic Strings Of Frankie Presto

Hardcover: 512 pages 
Publisher: Harper (November 10, 2015)

Mitch Albom creates his most unforgettable character, Frankie Presto, the greatest guitarist ever to walk the earth in this magical novel about the power of talent to change our lives.

In Mitch Albom's epic new novel, the voice of Music narrates the tale of its most beloved disciple, Frankie Presto, a Spanish war orphan raised by a blind music teacher. At nine years old, Frankie is sent to America in the bottom of a boat. His only possession is an old guitar and six magical strings.

But Frankie's talent is touched by the gods, and it weaves him through the musical landscape of the twentieth century, from classical to jazz to rock and roll. Along the way, Frankie influences many artists: he translates for Django Reinhardt, advises Little Richard, backs up Elvis Presley, and counsels Hank Williams.

Frankie elevates to a rock star himself, yet his gift becomes his burden, as he realizes that he can actually affect people's futures: his guitar strings turn blue whenever a life is altered. Overwhelmed by life, loss, and this power, he disappears for years, only to reemerge in a spectacular and mysterious farewell.

With its Forrest Gump like journey through the music world, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto is a classic in the making. A lifelong musician himself, Mitch Albom delivers an unforgettable story. 

"Everyone joins a band in this life," he observes, be it through music, family, friends, or lovers. And those connections change the world.

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Since the book is so beautifully detailed above, I will skip straight to my review.

Frankie is a man with music flowing through his veins. Everything about him we learn from third party viewpoints, and all of those are lead by the voice of Music itself. For die-hard music fans, particularly of certain eras (think Elvis Presley, Tony Bennett), there are some cool chapters where these people's lives interact with Frankie.

I love the idea of music having power over souls and infusing them with greatness. There's a great description of music's power in the later part of the book. Something we can all relate to. Basically, Music suggests it absorbs our memories. So when we hear a particular piece, we relive them. Who hasn't had that moment? A song comes on, and a precious memory clearly replays in our mind and heart.

So many cool ideas with Music as an almost god. 

My biggest complaint was that I loved other characters in the book, but I felt like it took forever to really get to know Frankie. Maybe it's because the book starts with an event and then flashes back. And those flashes back are from other perspectives (several other). 

It took me almost one hundred pages to really get in the groove and start caring, and that was a bit too slow for me. But, by the end, I could appreciate the style and the characters.

Books are so subjective, so what took me one hundred pages might take another person twenty. So, if you love music, please give this a try. Also, I recommend it to fans of Mitch Albom. I've read a couple of his precious books, and he's a very stylized writer.

Definitely give it a chance.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Mitch AlbomAbout Mitch Albom

Mitch Albom is a bestselling novelist, a screen-writer, a playwright, and an award-winning journalist. He is the author of six consecutive number-one New York Times bestsellers and has sold more than thirty-four million copies of his books in forty-two languages worldwide. Tuesdays with Morrie, which spent four years atop the New York Times list, is the bestselling memoir of all time. Albom has founded seven charities, including the first-ever full-time medical clinic for homeless children in America. He also operates an orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He lives with his wife, Janine, in suburban Detroit. 

Find out more about Mitch at his website, connect with him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, and sign up for his newsletter.

Thanks to TLC for my review copy.

Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Wish Maker Series by Shawn McGuire Sale & Boxed Set

Some exciting news for what looks to be an amazing series (one that's on my TBR list and I've heard great things about). 

Today and tomorrow (through September 24, 2015), the latest book in the series will be on sale for only $0.99.

About Had a Great Fall

Everyone deserves happiness. Is Robin the exception? 

A cross-country move to a new state offers Robin Westmore the chance to get away from the relentless bullies and reinvent himself. But on the first day at his new high school Robin finds himself in front of Zane, the school’s star pitcher and chief tormentor, at the exact wrong moment and right back into the role of victim. Hopeless, he wishes for it all to stop. 

When Desiree, the new leader of the genies, grants Robin’s wish he’s sure things are finally going his way. But problems in the magical realm mean Desiree is distracted and unable to give Robin the attention he needs. 

As Desiree hides from her responsibilities, Robin disappears into the video game he’s created. There he finds excitement, adventure, and control. When the game presents him with a real escape from his tortured life, will he take it? 


But, wait, if you haven't started the series yet, there's some even more exciting news...

My name is Desiree, and I’m a genie.

When wishes are made, I’m the one who grants them. Most turn out fine. A few don’t. That’s not my fault. I always warn them to be careful what they wish for.

Granting wish after wish while never receiving my own has worn me down. I admit it, I’m jealous. 

Without realizing it, I started taking my bitterness out on my charges. I sent them on wish-journeys that twisted into darkness before ending in light. Then came Mandy’s wish followed quickly by Crissy’s. That’s when my life changed, too.

Sticks and Stones
Everyone has a dark side. Mandy’s just moved in with her.

Break My Bones
Everyone makes mistakes. Crissy’s just might kill her.

Never Hurt Me
Everyone has a wish. Desiree’s just got real.

Buy Links 

About the Author

Shawn McGuire is the author of young adult novels that blend contemporary settings and issues with a touch of fantasy and magic. She started writing after seeing the first Star Wars movie (that's episode IV) as a kid. She couldn't wait for the next movie to come out so wrote her own episodes. Sadly, those notebooks are long lost, but her desire to write is as strong now as it was then.

Her books deal with harder topics (dating violence, death of a sibling, divorce, substance abuse, runaways, bullying, teen suicide, etc.) because she believes it is important to talk about these things. Those kinds of topics can be hard to handle and a bit overwhelming, so she infuses a bit of humor in her work as well because she also believes that a sense of humor can help you get through just about anything.

Shawn lives in Colorado with her family where she loves to read, cook and bake, craft, practice yoga and meditation, and spend time hiking and camping in the spectacular Rocky Mountains.

Social Media Links 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Dead of Night by Carlyle Labuschagne Re-Release

Dead of night was first published in 2014 in the USA

Nominated by Best Kindle Hub for Best Dystopian 2014 
Nominated for UtopYAcon Best Dystopian book 2015
And has since been re-edited with new content for
Fire Quill Publishers

In a dark and desolated After Earth, love still does exist, but the cost of bearing such a flaw is death.

World War III has left Earth in utter turmoil. People’s beliefs are said to be the cause of the worldwide destruction. After The Clearing new laws are set about - to show certitude in anything besides the law is weak and chargeable as mutiny. To be illogical and have faith in religion is illegal, to be limitless is dangerous. And Illness is seen as a defect – all flaws that are inexcusable.
But to love is the greatest betrayal of all man kind. It is a fault the world has long forgotten and punishable by death, a fatal risk Aecker and Opel are fully prepared to take - because in love there is freedom. But how far can they push back before it claims their lives and of those they care about?

Buy on Smashwords. Amazon. Barnes & Noble 

Add the book to your Goodreads list
Check out DON creative page including the playlist
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Connect with the Author


Carlyle is an South African award winning author, with a flair for mixing genres and adding loads of drama to every story she creates. For now she is happy to take over the world and convert non Sci-fi believers.

Her goal as an author is to touch people's lives, and help others love their differences and one another by delivering strong messages of faith, love and hope within every outrageous world she writes about."I love to swim, fight for the trees, and am a food lover who is driven by my passion for life. I dream that one day my stories will change the lives of countless teenagers and have them obsess over the world literacy can offer them instead of worrying about fitting in. Never sacrifice who you are, its in the dark times that the light comes to life."

Carlyle used writing as a healing tool, and that is why she started her very own writers support event - SAIR book festival.

"To be a helping hand for those who strive to become full times writers, editors, bloggers, readers and cover artists - its a crazy world out there you dont have to go it alone!"
follow @CarlyleL for all the crazy updates on all things me.

Founder of 
SAIR Book Festival

Co-Founder of Fire Quill Publishing.
Founder of Help build a library in South Africa. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

When They Shine Brightest by Jordan Zhelyazkov (4 stars)

About When They Shine Brightest

A character-driven fantasy novel, exploring the theme of loss and how we try to deal with it even when there is no way to do so.

Korsak Dryshore, a middle-aged war veteran, is being held directly responsible for the invasion of his home town of Seten. Everyone in Seten, including his family, blames him for losing the last ditch defense against the aggressors. 

Utterly defeated, and mourning the loss of his eldest son in the conflict, he has spent the last months following the battle away from home. Upon his return, he has to confront the animosity of the populace, made even worse by his bringing a heathen girl back with him.

Beaten, downcast and in despair, he is resigned to merely spending the remainder of his days in meek quietude. That would prove impossible, however, as he's soon implicated in an escalating political and religious conflict within the city. To make matters worse, his youngest son and the foreign girl are dragged deep into the whirlwind of the crisis.

And in the meantime, they are about to set over Seten.

While a standalone, “When They Shine Brightest” is also a first book in a new and vast fantasy world and gives the start of events that are yet to reach all of its corners.

Find out more on Goodreads

Buy on Amazon


Since the book summary so well outlines the arc of the story, I thought I'd jump right into my review.

Sometimes I find fantasy books so detailed and descriptive that characters are lost. Thankfully, that's not the case with this story. Korsak is a multi-dimensional character with plenty of flaws and strengths. He loves his family, yet he's often sidetracked by duty and his own journey.

Even more of his character is highlighted through his relationship with a young girl. She's brought into his life through an interesting turn of events, and in the end, she manages to bring him closer to self-understanding and to his own family. 

This is an epic saga about families, duty, and struggle. There's a beautiful richness and depth to it, both in world-making and in character-building.

It's a captivating and fascinating read. I'm looking forward to future installments. 

Rating: 4 stars

About the Author

Yordan Zhelyazkov was born 1988 in Sofia, Bulgaria. Actively reading since he was 4 years old he had several attempts at writing while growing up but none of them was really serious. That changed in his early 20s when he decided to turn writing into a career, began his Creative Writing Masters degree in New Bulgarian University and also started working on When They Shine Brightest.

Soon after he finished his work on the novel he signed a contract for its publication with publishing house "Enthusiast" in Bulgaria. In the meantime he also gave the book for translation into English to professional translator Alexander Gurovski and made a successful IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign with which he funded the enterprise. He published and self-published the book in both languages in 2015.

At the moment Yordan is working on his next fantasy novel.

Note: I served as Proofreader for this novel through Indie Books Gone Wild. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Wrought-Iron Roses by Elizabeth Kirke Cover Reveal

Happy Friday!

Today, I'm sharing information about an awesome upcoming release by Elizabeth Kirke with a cover reveal.

Isn't it pretty?

Now for more about the book...

About Wrought-Iron Roses

Sisters Rachel, Angie, and Jo may have survived their first encounter with a curse, but hundreds more are lurking within their aunt’s antique shop. There’s just one problem: Peter, the apprentice, has no idea how to start teaching two untrained rune-casters and keep them safe at the same time.

It isn’t fair to Jo that she has no magic, but her sisters both do. She feels useless and left out. Worse yet, she knows that she’s a liability. She would leave… but, something in the shop is calling to her, reaching out … and she won’t leave until she finds it.

Every night, Angie’s dreams are haunted by a man who claims he was cursed, and she’s the only one who can save him. When she starts to get sick, Peter and her sisters are sure the cause is her mysterious dreams. How can they convince her that the person she’s determined to help could be the one killing her?

Rachel never expected to get a magic power and a boyfriend when she inherited the antique shop. Better yet, she’s actually good at curse-breaking. It seems as though she’s found exactly what she was meant to do. But, when a curse strikes two people she cares about, Rachel is faced with the harsh truth that she might only be able to save one.

Releasing October 30, 2015

Find out more, read a chapter, and get your own rune at: