Blog Tour: Monochrome – H. M. Jones

18757452Release Date: August 1st 2015
Publisher: Booktrope
Pages: 289
Find It On: Goodreads. Amazon.

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How far would you go to fight for your life and all of your most precious memories?

Synopsis:

The cries of her new baby throw Abigail into rage and desperation. Frightened by foreign anger and overwhelming depression, the first-time mother decides to end her life to spare the life of her only child. But before she acts on her dark intuition, she is overcome by a panic attack and blacks out.

When she awakes, everything is blue: the trees, the grass, the rocks and still, scentless sky above her. Everything except the face of the man who stands over her. He is Ishmael Dubois and claims to be her Guide through the dangerous world of Monochrome, a physical manifestation of the depressed mind. But in a place where good memories are currency, nightmares walk, and hopeless people are hired to bring down those who still have the will to live, Abigail starts to wonder if she’ll ever make it back to her family. Despite her growing feelings for her handsome, mysterious Guide, Abigail must fight for the life she once wished to take or fade into the blue.

Review:

Hello and welcome to the blog tour for Monochrome, run by the lovely Sage’s Blog Tours. Monochrome struck me straight away as something a bit different and original, and it turned into a really intense and gripping read. The story deals a lot with the idea of identity, and explores Abagail’s identity as a wife and a mother. I really enjoyed the exploration into what makes a person who they are. The idea of a world between life and death that desperate people slip into – and must pay with their memories – is something I found extremely fascinating, it’s also not something I’ve come across before, so I enjoyed reading such a unique twist.

The idea of memories is explored in detail in the novel – the different kind of memories we have, the kind of memories we hold onto, and how precious these can actually be. There were several times when Monochrome really made me stop and think about my own memories, and how important they really are. It certainly makes for a fascinating, and slightly chilling story.

There isn’t a whole lot of action in the book, it mainly focuses on conversations between the two main characters – Ishmael and Abigail, but that doesn’t mean the story is boring. Monochrome is a very dark and haunting read. The world building is just fantastic, and it is easy to slip into the Monochrome world.

Both Abigail and Ishmael are both really likeable characters, and easily relatable – particularly that of the struggling young mother. Ishmael was probably my favourite – a young man who couldn’t escape Monochrome and so took a job attempting to help others free themselves. A dark and haunting story, Monochrome is definitely one that will stay with you long after you’re finished reading.

As a special treat during this blog tour, Monochrome is on sale for $2.99, so grab it now! The author is also hosting a giveaway, which you can enter here!

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Blog Tour: Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer – Melanie Card

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Series: Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer – Book One
Release Date: August 2011
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pages: 306
Find It On: Goodreads. Amazon.

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Synopsis
Twenty-year-old Ward de’Ath expected this to be a simple job—bring a nobleman’s daughter back from the dead for fifteen minutes, let her family say good-bye, and launch his fledgling career as a necromancer. Goddess knows he can’t be a surgeon—the Quayestri already branded him a criminal for trying—so bringing people back from the dead it is.

But when Ward wakes the beautiful Celia Carlyle, he gets more than he bargained for. Insistent that she’s been murdered, Celia begs Ward to keep her alive and help her find justice. By the time she drags him out her bedroom window and into the sewers, Ward can’t bring himself to break his damned physician’s Oath and desert her.

However, nothing is as it seems—including Celia. One second, she’s treating Ward like sewage, the next she’s kissing him. And for a nobleman’s daughter, she sure has a lot of enemies. If he could just convince his heart to give up on the infuriating beauty, he might get out of this alive…

Review

Hello and welcome to the blog tour for the Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer series, run by the lovely YA Bound Book Tours. This is a three part series, kicked off by Ward Against Death. In this opening book we meet Ward, a young man with powers to bring people back from the dead. From the outset I really liked him, he was an interesting character to follow and the idea of him having these abilities really fascinated me. He’s very honourable, doing the right thing and up for pretty much anything. The other protagonist is Celia Carlyle, who while was not my favourite character had an interesting dynamic with Ward and allowed for some pretty interesting dialogue. She’s a very kick-ass character, and I know plenty of readers will love her.

The story is very well written, and is excellently paced. The reader is never bored, but the world building and explanations of events aren’t rushed through either. I liked the mystery elements, trying to figure out who killed Celia, as well as unravel all the secrets. There are a lot of different characters and laws at play in the story, and although that can sometimes get confusing I enjoyed that aspect because for me it made the story easier to immerse myself in. After I got the hang of the different titles – like Innecroestri, Dominus etc – I flew through the book, enjoying all the different aspects coming together.

The one thing I wasn’t too keen on in Ward Against Death was the romantic elements in the story. While I wasn’t all that fond of Celia, I felt the romance between the two was a bit lacking. Most of the time they act like they hate each other, and at times it was a little frustrating. That however doesn’t get in the way of a really great story with lots of magic and mystery. If you’re looking for a new character to love and a new series to be completely addicted to, Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer is definitely one you should read.

That concludes my stop on the Reluctant Necromancer tour, be sure to stop by for my reviews of books two and three, and check out the other stops on the tour!

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Book Review: The Anonymous Source – A. C. Fuller

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Release Date: June 12th 2015
Publisher: Booktrope Editions
Pages: 352
Find It On: Goodreads. Amazon. 

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A shocking news story, buried evidence and witnesses turning up dead, who is behind this conspiracy?

Synopsis:
One year after the 9/11 attacks, Alex Vane–a brilliant reporter for The New York Standard–wants nothing more than to break into the flashy world of TV news. But when he uncovers the scoop of a lifetime, his tightly controlled world is rocked: his editor buries his story, a source turns up dead, and Alex finds himself at the center of a violent media conspiracy. 

As he receives tips from a mysterious source, Alex enlists the help of a captivating professor, Camila Gray. Aided by an Internet genius, a billionaire’s sexy widow, and a washed-up sports reporter, Alex and Camila discover a $500-million secret that could derail the largest media merger in history.
 
It’s a secret that unearths dark memories from Alex’s past. It’s a secret that leads back to the morning of 9/11. And it’s a secret that could get them both killed.

Review:

Hello and welcome to the blog tour for The Anonymous Source, run by the lovely Sage’s Blog Tours. This book is a really fascinating and exciting read. I must start off by saying that thriller books are not really my thing, but once in a while one crops up that just blows me away, and The Anonymous Source is definitely one of those books. Recently I’ve been reading a lot of fantasy and science fiction, so it was wonderful to read a book grounded in the here and now, and that was something that particularly struck me about this book. It feels real. I felt like I could be in New York at that moment. The detail is brilliant and the author paints a very vivid and real picture of the bustling city streets.

The plot is a pretty fast paced one, but it doesn’t skip over details and definitely keeps the reader entertained and itching to know more. Fuller’s writing is a pleasure to read and it’s easy to get completely immersed in his prose. There were several times where I sat down for a few minutes to read a chapter and before I knew it I’d been sitting for over an hour.The story is an exciting one, lots of clues are left and the reader definitely has to try and root out all the details behind the conspiracy. It’s an absolute pleasure to read and given its setting during the aftermath of 9/11, it adds another layer to an already intriguing and fascinating story.

The characters are also really fascinating ones. Alex Vane is an interesting character to follow around. He’s determined, something of a playboy but ultimately has a good heart.  While Alex is a great character, for me Camilla stole the show a little. Her and Alex make the perfect team and she’s such a great character. I won’t say too much about it so as not to spoil the story, but this one is definitely a book worth reading. If suspense thrillers are your thing, or your looking for something a little different this summer, add The Anonymous Source to your reading list.

Blog Tour: The Hypnotist – Gordon Snider

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Release Date: August 2009
Publisher: Helm Publishing
Pages: 324
Find It On: Goodreads. Amazon.

San Francisco’s golden age with a dark and exciting twist.

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Synopsis:

In 1906, San Francisco has reached the peak of its golden age. Fortunes have created a society that attracts European opera singers and cordon bleu chefs. It is a world defined by elegant balls, oysters, and champagne. But there are darker sides to the city as well. One of these darker places is The Mission district south of Market Street houses tenements where shanties huddle together and rats plague the streets. And nearby sits Chinatown, an endless warren of dark alleys that offers gambling, prostitution, and opium, all controlled by vicious gangs, called tongs.

Into these disparate worlds steps Marta Baldwin, a young woman who has shunned her own social background to help the poor. She is confronted by a hypnotist, a man who hypnotizes young women from the tenements and delivers them to the tongs in Chinatown to work in their brothels. Marta escapes his hypnotic trance, but when her assistant, Missy, disappears, Marta realizes she has been taken by the evil man who confronted her. She seeks the help of Byron Wagner, one of San Francisco’s most prominent citizens. Marta finds herself drawn to Byron but knows his high social standing prevents any possibility of a relationship between them. This is confirmed when Marta discovers Byron having an intimate conversation with Lillie Collins, the daughter of one of the city’s most elite families. Marta is flushed with jealousy.

However, Lillie defies social customs, and her rebellious nature fits naturally with Marta’s. Despite her envy, the two women become close friends. Marta is caught up in a whirlwind of opulent balls, opium dens and brothels, and police raids in Chinatown. She cannot deny her feelings for Byron, but she must save Missy and protect her new friends from harm. For lurking in the background is the hypnotist. He has become obsessed with Marta and will use all his guile to ensnare her. When he threatens those she loves, Marta is determined to stop him, even at her own peril. Will her boldness entrap her? If so, how can she hope to escape the man’s hypnotic embrace? Then the earth moves, and nothing will ever be the same again.

Review:

Welcome to the tour for The Hypnotist, run by the lovely TLC Book Tours. This book intrigued me right from the start, I don’t know if it was the striking cover or the idea of the darker side of 1906 San Francisco, but I knew I had to get my paws on this book, and you definitely should too, because it’s a really interesting and enjoyable read.

The thing that I liked most about The Hypnotist has got to be the setting. The fantastic detail that Gordon puts into the story really makes it come alive. There’s a great variation between the poor and the opulent parts of town and they really were fantastically depicted.

There’s also a great mix of characters featured in the book. Not just the main ones, but the secondary characters too are well written and interesting. I would maybe have liked to see more depth around The Hypnotist himself, but that doesn’t pull away from the overall story.

The one thing I wasn’t too keen on was the romance aspects of the novel. While I enjoy having a little romance in a crime/historical fiction novel, I felt a little too much importance was placed on the romance rather than the crimes going on. This may please other readers, but for me it was just distracting.

This is a really great read, it’s got great characters, a great story and a fantastic setting. It also concludes with a twist I didn’t see coming, which makes it all the more enjoyable. If you’re looking for a well-crafted piece of historical fiction, look no further.

Blog Tour: Wish For Me – A. Star

24301457Series: The Djinn Order – Book One
Release Date: April 27th 2015
Publisher: Self – Published
Pages: 155
Find It On: Goodreads. Amazon. 

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Synopsis:

When the snarky Glory St. Pierre discovers the gold mechanical vase in her deceased grandmother’s basement, she has no idea that she has uncovered a priceless treasure: a genie lamp. With a real genie inside. A very sexy genie with a not-so-sexy grudge against the entire human race.

Irving Amir hates being called a genie. He’s a Djinn, and he is none too happy to be in the service of Glory, who is as intolerable, and beautiful, as humans come. Now he owes her his gratitude for freeing him and three wishes. Damn his luck.

But an arrow through the shoulder alerts Irving to the fact that he is being hunted, and after a truce dinner with Glory ends with them both almost being killed, hating each other goes right out the window. As feelings change and love starts to develop, they must dig through the secrets and lies to find the truth…a truth neither of them will ever see coming.

Review:

This was such an interesting and fun book. As soon as I read the synopsis I was intrigued, a genie who grants wishes and then falls in love with a human? Straight away that sounded like something I wanted to read. Genies aren’t something I’ve read a lot about, but after this I definitely want to read more!

I really liked Glory as a character. She’s really likeable and I enjoyed seeing where her story went. There’s lots of witty dialogue between her and Irving that outright made me laugh, and I definitely enjoyed seeing their relationship come together. Glory is no meek character, she bites back and gives as good as she gets. It was really great to see her and Irving go up against each other, especially given his dislike for humans.

There were a few moments in the book that were a little predictable, but overall I really enjoyed the story and it kept me captivated till the end. As with all books I seem to read recently, there is a massive cliffhanger, but hopefully there won’t be too long a wait for book two.

Wish for Me is definitely not for children, and a word of warning for graphic sex and bad language. If however you’re looking for a light and fun read, this is definitely the book for you. It’s well written, exciting and has some wonderful characters that you’re definitely going to want to see again.

Thank you for checking out my stop on the tour, run by the lovely Xpresso Book Tours. Be sure to check out the other stops and enter the tour give away here!WishForMeTourBanner2

Blog Tour: Queen of Tomorrow – Sherry D. Ficklin

23006830Series: Stolen Empire – Book Two
Release Date: July 14th 2015
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Pages: 278
Find It On: Goodreads. Amazon.

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Book two of the Stolen Empire series will have you on the edge of your seat.

Sophie—now Catherine, Grand Duchess of Russia—had a tough first year at Imperial Court. Married at sixteen to Grand Duke Peter, heir to the throne, and settled in their own palace, things are finally looking up. As a new day dawns, she thinks only of securing her future, and the future of their country, during one of the greatest political upheavals of her time. Fighting desperately against forces trying to depose the Empress Elizabeth and put the young Prince Ivan on her throne, Sophie soon finds herself in the middle of a war brewing between her beloved Prussia, and her new empire. But even as she navigates the fragile political landscape, she quickly realizes that she has only begun to discover the tangled web of deceit and infidelity woven over the lavish court of Oranienbaum Palace.

When a strange and delicate alliance forms between the young couple, she glimpses a future of happiness, only to see it lost in a moment at the hands of those who still seek to end her life—and prevent her reign. Out of favor with the empress and running out of options, Sophie will have to sacrifice her own innocence on the altar of Russia if she is to save the nation, and herself. To survive, she will have to do the unthinkable, betray those closest to her and become something greater and more dangerous than she ever imagined she could be… a queen.

I absolutely love this series. There’s something about YA historical fiction that makes me want to instantly pick up the book. And this series is definitely one to read. Filled with romance, mystery, politics and drama, there’s never a dull moment with this book. Picking up right where Queen of Someday ends, you’ll be addicted to this book from page one.

Catherine is a fabulous protagonist. There’s so much character growth with her, she completely changes from being the innocent young girl of Queen of Someday to a more grown up, determined woman who will someday rule Imperial Russia. The baddies in the book are also very well explored and realistic – from the outset I disliked Peter and Elizavetta and I think such a strong reaction shows how interesting and complex the characters in this book are.

The setting is such an interesting one too, and Ficklin puts a great amount of detail into the book. Queen of Tomorrow is not the most fast-paced story in the world, but it does deliver a world that is intense, exciting and easy to immerse yourself in. Ficklin’s writing is wonderful, full of wonderful, interesting descriptions, as well as flowing exceptionally well.

If you haven’t tried the Stolen Empire series yet, it’s definitely one for all you young adult fans out there. My one caution would be to start this book on a weekend, because you are going to be avoiding people and abandoning pretty much everything to reach the dramatic ending of this story. And if like me you’re now patiently waiting the release of Queen of Always, take comfort in the fact that you only have a few short months to wait for the September release date.

As part of this tour Sherry is also giving away an Amazon Gift card and some goodies, which you can win by entering here!

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Blog Tour: The Blue Effect – Rose Shababy

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Series: Renegade Heroes – Book One
Release Date: September 8th 2014
Publisher: Smashwords
Pages: 296
Find It On: Goodreads. Amazon.

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Meet your new favourite heroine. Blue Brennan is witty, kick ass and you’re going to love her.

Blue Brennan is jaded and bitter despite her pinup girl looks and quick wit. Night after night, she scours the Seattle club scene looking for someone or something to fill the emptiness inside.

When she meets the mysterious Kasey, her world stops… literally. He claims she has the ability to control time and stuns her even further when he reveals his own gifts.

Blue is inexplicably drawn to Kasey and reluctantly enters his world filled with a new breed of humanity. They’re misfits like her, blessed or cursed with powerful abilities, struggling to hide their differences from the rest of society.
Then the group discovers a nameless, faceless sociopath with nightmarish powers; and he’s coming for Blue. She’s left reeling when they discover her gifts are the key to defeating his terrible evil and saving them all.

Now she must race against the clock to harness her own powers and save her new friends. Can she be more than a renegade? Can she be a hero too?

This book is fantastic. It has tons of action, it had my gripping my kindle for dear life on more than one occasion. I found this book a really different one to read, it’s urban fantasy but that also doesn’t feel like a complete fit. It mixes science fiction, adult lit and a few other things in between.

The cover is also a lovely one, and one I feel fits the book really well. Despite the fact that the story is about people with supernatural abilities, the whole book feels very realistic and believable. I really liked the characters and enjoyed getting to know them. I don’t want to give too much away, but they’re all very interesting and complex. Blue is probably one of my new favourite heroines. She’s quite witted and stubborn and a really fascinating character.

The Blue Effect is an exciting start to what I’m sure is going to be a fantastic series. If you’re a fan of young adult/urban fantasy, you’re definitely going to want to add this to your wish list.  Your only problem will be waiting for the release of book two.

Can’t wait to get reading The Blue Effect? Scroll down for an excerpt from the book!

“How do you do that?” I asked, finding my voice. I looked around the dance floor, at all the people frozen like 3D photographs. It didn’t make sense that I wasn’t scared by the situation at hand, but fear didn’t factor into my emotional state at all. I also wondered what it would be like to walk through the crowd and note all their bodily contortions and facial expressions, but I held back. At the moment I was more interested in hearing what this man had to say. “How did you make everything stop?”

“As to how I do what I do, I can only tell you that I do it. I know someone that can explain the how better than I. As to this,” he waggled a finger toward the still figures in the room, “this is all you. I can only help you … amplify what you had inside you to begin with.”

It was my turn to laugh, but it was humorless and harsh. “What are you talking about?”

“You have felt different all your life, no?”

“Sure. But doesn’t everybody?” I answered with an eye roll and looked around the room again. “Look at these morons. They’re all playing dress up, hiding their real selves from each other. But the truth is they’re desperate to find someone to love them. Hoping they’ll be important to someone, anyone, because they sure as hell don’t feel important to themselves. Hoping they’ll actually matter. Hoping that someone can take away the emptiness they feel every time they look in the mirror.”

He shook his head. “You are talking about yourself, not them. And they are not all like that. They are not the lifeless paper dolls you think they are, not even the ones trying so hard to stand out. And neither are you.”

His words confused me, and I felt myself growing angry. “Who are you?” I didn’t like the things he made me feel anymore, and I longed for the simplicity of the liquored-up daze I’d enjoyed earlier. I wanted to run away from him, but in the same moment I realized that nothing could have made me turn away from this strange man.

“My name is Kasimir Korsak. My friends call my Kasey. I would very much like to include you in that group.”

I shook my head. “If you know so much about me, you would know that I don’t have friends.” I put as much disdain into the last word as I could. I might want to find out more about the things that were happening, but that didn’t mean I trusted him. “Besides, what possible reason do I have to believe anything you say?”

His eyes were still steady on mine when he spoke. “You already trust me, Blue. You do not want to admit it because I am a stranger, but deep down you

believe me because you hear truth in my words. You look around the room and see truth. You are different. Special.” He held out his hands, palms up in a gesture of openness. “You are like me, only you have not learned how to use your abilities yet.”

Abilities? I gaped at him. What the hell does that mean?

We stood in the strange, echoless silence, neither of us taking our eyes off the other. I wanted his words to be true. I wanted the differentness I’d always felt to be something special, wanted it with an urgency that pierced through the numbness. In the few moments I’d spent with this man I’d felt more emotions than I’d felt in years.

The realization finally brought forth fear, but it also brought excitement, and I wanted more. If his words were true, and he and I were alike, maybe that meant I actually belonged somewhere.

“I can show you if you let me.” He smiled again and as we stared at one another, thoughts that weren’t mine raced through my head.

Give me a chance to show you. There are others like us. You do not have to be alone anymore.

“Why should I?”

“What are your options?” He smiled. “Someone once said, ‘I may never be what I want to be, what I ought to be, but how will I know unless I try?’ That is all I am asking you to do, try.”

“Who said that?”

He grinned wider. “A superhero.”

I rolled my eyes. “You’re kidding, right? This isn’t a fucking comic book.”

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