Book Blitz: Splash By M.E. Rhines

Book Blitz: Splash By M.E. Rhines

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Splash

Title: Splash
Author: M.E. Rhines
Series: Mermaid Royalty #3
Release Date: June 12th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/iBooks/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

*Sink, Book 1, is currently FREE – Get your copy here!

Synopsis

Fawna is happy with the new life she has made for herself on land. She has her child and her youngest sister Pauline by her side—plus an amazing new human boyfriend named Randy. So when an old friend from Atargatis shows up, she immediately feels the weight of everything she stands to lose. But the news can’t be ignored – there’s been an attack on their kingdom; her aunt Myrtle is dead and her mother is missing. Angelique, their middle sister, is now ruling a kingdom to the north, leaving Fawna as the only royal left to help save Atargatis. Torn between responsibilities in two different worlds, the decision is made for her when the powerful sea witch who attacked the kingdom also takes Fawna’s son. Now she has no choice—to save her life on dry land, she’ll have to dive back into the ocean…

The final installment in the beloved Mermaid Royalty series, Splash is a heart-pounding fantasy romance that will have you feeling like you need to come up for air!

About the Author

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M.E. Rhines a southwest Florida native currently living in North Port with her two beautiful children and a third, much larger child whom she affectionately calls husband.
She writes young adult paranormal romance to feed her belief that fairy tales are real and nonsense is necessary.

Contact

Facebook/Twitter

Giveaway

Want a chance to win a Clean Teen Publishing Mystery Box?


Enter Giveaway Here!

 

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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3 Year Blog Anniversary – Hiatus is Over!

3 Year Blog Anniversary – Hiatus is Over!

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY CHARMED BOOK HAVEN REVIEWS!

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Wow, three years ago I never thought I’d be here, sitting at my desk writing this post. It’s been a wild ride for sure. I’ve met many bloggers, writers, readers, etc., since starting this journey in the beginning of the summer of 2015. Whether it’s bonding over our mutual love for Harry Potter or discussing the latest new releases – this community never ceases to make me feel at home both online or even in the outside world with the connections built.

I took a month and a half break from here to focus on reading. Well, that was the original plan until adulting officially took the wheel and my reading slump officially took hold. The month and a half passed rather quickly, but at the same time it felt like it dragged at an endless pace. The struggle to get back into reading after all that time was painfully real.

We all seem to go through reading slumps we can’t seem to break and when it comes to something you love the most – it’s even worse. I tried diving into genres out of my comfort zone (i.e. dystopian classics, contemporary lit), but nothing seemed to ignite my passion for it. It wasn’t until the last two weeks, though, when I picked up Three Dark Crowns By Kendare Blake from my local library that for the first time in quite awhile, I devoured a book in a mere couple of days. I recently downloaded the second book on my kindle and plan on begin reading it later this week.

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Since then, I haven’t been able to stop reading. At work, I’m currently drowning in these audiobooks:

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For those who have kept up since the beginning, from the bottom of my heart, thank you! I wouldn’t still be running my blog without your support. And also, shout out to all you writers out there. Keep writing! Never give up on your passion or your dreams. It’s your imaginations and your characters who bring us all together. Without you, there would be no joy in this world. No inspiration for future writers to pick up the torch and create new worlds. Thank you for your hard work and love you put into your stories!

What do you do to get over your reading slumps?

What are you currently reading?

Let me know in the comments below!

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Blog Tour & ARC Review: Suitors and Sabotage

Blog Tour & ARC Review: Suitors and Sabotage

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Title: Suitors and Sabotage
Author: Cindy Anstey
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: April 17th, 2018
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult
Available: Amazon/B&N/iBooks/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

**Disclaimer – I received an ARC via NetGalley, Xpresso Tours, and Swoon Reads in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review whatsoever.**

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Two young people must hide their true feelings for each other while figuring out who means them harm in this cheeky Regency romance from the author of Love, Lies and Spies and Duels & Deception.

Shy aspiring artist Imogene Chively has just had a successful Season in London, complete with a suitor of her father’s approval. Imogene is ambivalent about the young gentleman until he comes to visit her at the Chively estate with his younger brother in tow. When her interest is piqued, however, it is for the wrong brother.

Charming Ben Steeple has a secret: despite being an architectural apprentice, he has no drawing aptitude. When Imogene offers to teach him, Ben is soon smitten by the young lady he considers his brother’s intended.

But hiding their true feelings becomes the least of their problems when, after a series of “accidents,” it becomes apparent that someone means Ben harm. And as their affection for each other grows—despite their efforts to remain just friends—so does the danger. . .

In Suitors and Sabotage, author Cindy Anstey delivers another witty young adult historical fiction novel that is the perfect mix of sweetly romantic and action-packed.

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Whenever she is not sitting at the computer, throwing a ball in the backyard, gardening or reading, Cindy can be found–actually, not found–adventuring around the world with her hubby.

She has lived on three continents, had a monkey in her yard and a scorpion under her sink, dwelt among castles and canals, enjoyed the jazz of Beale St and attempted to speak French.

Cindy loves history, mystery and… a chocolate Labrador called Chester. Love, Lies and Spies is her debut novel.

Contact

Website/Goodreads/Facebook/Twitter

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Back during the regency period, comes a novel where love and mystery entangle to prepare you for Suitors and Sabotage. The love triangle aspect is turned up to a level 11 and you know how I feel about those. However, this one isn’t a true love triangle since two of the characters are obviously falling for one another and not their “suited” counterparts.
We open to the year of 1817 where Imogene Chivey’s family estate is being visited by her match, Ernest Steeple and his brother Benjamin. Her father immediately is taken with Ernest and believes the match will be prosperous while looking down upon Ernest’s brother Benjamin. Benjamin has a high interest in architecture, though, and is hired by Imogene’s father in order to restore a castle on the estate property. Benjamin has a secret, though, he lacks the ability to draw. Imogene jumps in and offers her help to teach him and their relationship takes flight from there.
Despite Ernest’s efforts, Imogene slowly begins to turn her attention to his brother Benjamin. The chemistry between these two are subtle and not overpowering like many “insta-love” literary couples. The development in their relationship takes time and it’s the PERFECT time. On the other hand, Imogene’s best friend, Emily, is falling for Benjamin as well and Ernest with Imogene, respectively. It feels a bit complicated at times and I found myself having to pause for a few minutes in order to let the idea of it all sink in.
The mystery component of this novel is gradually added into the novel. Several incidents take place, causing problems to arise for Benjamin and capture Emily and Imogene’s attention. The incidents are small and inconsequential but then they begin to escalate to where they could possibly kill someone. The reveal of the culprit needed a bit of work. I was surprised at the identity, but how they were caught is a whole other ballgame completely. It needed to be revealed in a different way, in my opinion.
I enjoyed this book. I positively enjoyed the awkward conversations and the dynamics the characters brought to the table. If you are looking for your next Regency-era YA read, I highly recommend you pick this one up!
Rating 8

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Blog Tour & ARC Review: Dreamer By L.E. DeLano

Blog Tour & ARC Review: Dreamer By L.E. DeLano

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Title: Dreamer
Series: Traveler Series #2
Author: L.E. DeLano
Release Date: April 10th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N
Add to Goodreads

About the Book

You’re still you no matter where you go.

Jessa has learned the hard way that traveling to alternate dimensions isn’t all delicious, glittering desserts and fancy parties: it also means accidentally running into people she thought she’d never see again. Still mourning a devastating loss, Jessa isn’t really prepared for the arrival of a reckless version of someone she once loved who is now bent on revenge. Add an increasingly complicated relationship with her best friend Ben, the reappearance of an old enemy, and the threat of the multiverse collapsing, and Jessa’s got a lot on her plate. She may be destined to help save an infinite multitude of worlds… but in the end, all Jessa really wants to do is save her friends.

About the Author

L.E. DeLano is a YA novelist rep’d by Barry Goldblatt Literary agency, author of the upcoming “Traveler” (Swoon Reads/MacMillan 2017) and lifelong writer. Her work has been featured on various online outlets and she lives in Pennsylvania with two very adventurous kids and two very ridiculous cats. In her spare time, she writes (of course) and binge-watches way too much Netflix.

Contact

Website/Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads

My Review

“If you could jump to any dimension, where would you go?”

This duopoly, both Traveler (First book) and Dreamer, bring the mystery of multiple dimensions to life through the eyes of teenage writer Jessa. One morning as she is attending a school function, she meets a mysterious teenager named Finn with important news. Jessa is a traveler aka one who can travel into various dimensions and change the lives of those in that dimension.

Finn reveals all of her different dimensional forms are being murdered, sending them on the hunt for the Traveler responsible and the reasoning behind them. It is later revealed the culprits are attempting to collapse several dimensions, causing the deaths of millions of people. The ending of the first book left me in tears, but also frustrated in the progression of the story.

The fact Jessa had no other friends reminded me of other YA novels. I get she’s a writer, but she has the ability to make other friends. On another note if you’ve been reading my blog for awhile then you know how much I loath the love triangle cliche. It’s getting old and needs to end. The first book had the capability to be better.

Rating 6

The second book picks up where the first left off. Jessa is still faced with the reality of the possible collapse of various dimensions. As much as she wants to focus on saving the world, she is still recovering the loss of Finn. She loses the drive to write and seeks to change her life to where she doesn’t want to be a Traveler anymore. Ben begins to grow closer to Jessa and things begin to finally look up until another Finn from another dimension shows up to change all of it.

The second book is a step up from the previous installment. Jessa jumps into different dimensions again and brings over more elements that foreshadows future events. It is interesting to see more versions of herself and the differences. It also proves that no matter who you are, you and your actions are important no matter what dimension you are in.

Rating 7

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Book Tour, Excerpt, & Giveaway: The Glass Blade By Ryan Wieser

Book Tour, Excerpt, & Giveaway: The Glass Blade By Ryan Wieser

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Title: The Glass Blade
Author: Ryan Wieser
Series: Hunterse of Infinity Book 1
Genre: Science Fiction/Space Opera
Available: Amazon/iBooks/B&N/Google Play/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

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The Hunters of Infinity have been protecting the Daharian galaxy for years, but there has never been a female Hunter—until now.

In a seedy bar in the shadowy corners of Daharia, Jessop comes to the rescue of young Hunter Kohl O’Hanlon. Impressed by her remarkable sword-wielding skills, the Hunters invite her to their training facility, the Glass Blade, though not all are pleased with the intrusion. But they soon discover that Jessop learned to fight from the rogue leader of the Shadow City of Aranthol—and escaped. Now they want to use her intimate knowledge of their enemy to destroy him. As Jessop grows closer to this elite brotherhood, their leader succumbs to a mysterious ailment, and Kohl learns that Jessop is hiding dark secrets, raising suspicions about the enigmatic woman who saved his life. Has the Hunters’ security been breached—or do they have a traitor in their ranks?

Allegiances will be questioned.

Loyalties will be betrayed.

Vengeance will be brutal.

 

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The tavern was dark and quiet, barring the muted voices that filled the corners with whispers of quiet corruption and deceit. Hushed sounds traveled on thick smoke to the ceiling and her eyes trailed over the dimly lit corners and over the musty cloaked patrons. Dirty exchanges took place everywhere, too-young girls being offered coins and despair by corrupt travelers, whose lies traveled like fire across the alcohol on their lips. This wasn’t a typical bar, this dark, underground dwelling in the heart of Azgul where there were more shadows than light, more smoke than air. It was a seedy, unsafe locale where illegal exchanges could occur. A place favored by those in the city’s most important positions, for in this underground dwelling they could act as they truly wished.

From where she sat, with her cloak draped low over her face, she could easily make out the group of Aren. They were more discreet than she had anticipated, but few could go unseen to her well-trained eyes. They were scattered about the bar, donning the civilian attire of common Azgul nomad passer-by. The Aren weren’t common travelers though; they were fatalistic believers who waited anxiously for a supposed impending end. A doom and darkness that would swallow the entire Daharian galaxy whole—their belief in some unimagined state of horror for the universe made her certain that not a man amongst them had ever laid eyes on Aranthol.

She scanned the room, counting twelve of the zealots. Without their robes they appeared as normal men, barring their brand, which could be seen on the base of several of their necks. The tender nape of the neck was where all in Azgul had their brands. She knew that their mark was not well-known though, not as well-known as they would have liked it to be. Thinking of the brandings nearly had Jessop reaching for her own neck, certain she could almost feel the hot iron against her still. The smell of burning, blistering flesh unnaturally recoiling from heated metal filled her nostrils. She shivered at the putrid memory and forced it back to the depths of her mind, where she kept all her locked-away thoughts and all her darkness.

Suddenly, the oddest sensation roused her, overcoming her senses. She could feel silk running across her skin, dragging her fine hairs on end, exciting her cells. The energy of the room had completely changed, thickening the air more than any smoke or liquor could do. She had only ever been around one other of her kind, and to feel the changing electromagnetic charge in the room without him present was as compelling to her as it was terrifying. The draw was a beast’s cry calling her in, feeding her need to find the one like her. It was a pull strong enough to grip her, strong enough to shoot adrenaline through her, to dilate her pupils and ready her muscles and tell her, without question, that Hunters were near.

She closed her eyes and narrowed in on their presence. She could smell the faintest scent of grease on one of them; it had an acidic air to it—like the oil slick found in the Western corner of the city. She could hear his voice though he did not speak. She could see the diminutive smudge of black slick over his boot though she did not open her eyes. Her senses—so refined—ensured she could see most of him without ever glancing his way.

And then she laid eyes on him.

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Ryan Wieser completed her B.A. in Sociology and Socio-Legal Studies before going on to complete her MSc. in Experimental Psychology. Having been raised in Africa and educated across multiple countries, Ryan has a passion for travel and an interest in diverse cultures. She currently resides in Wyoming with her husband, where she is writing her next book.

Contact

Website/Goodreads

 

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Want to Win a Ebook of The Glass Blade along with a $10 Amazon Gift Card?

Enter Giveaway Here!

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Blog Tour, Review, & Giveaway: The Emperor’s Seal By Amanda Roberts

Blog Tour, Review, & Giveaway: The Emperor’s Seal By Amanda Roberts

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Title: The Emperor’s Seal
Author: Amanda Roberts
Series: Touching Time Bk. 1
Release Date: March 2nd, 2018
Available: Amazon
Add to Goodreads

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Peking, 1902

The Emperor’s Seal – the divine symbol of the Emperor on earth – is missing. The Empress will do whatever it takes to get it back.

Jiayi has a gift – she can travel through time just by touching historical artifacts. More than anything, she wants to escape the clutches of the Empress and run away to a foreign land. Finding the Emperor’s Seal could be her only chance at freedom, but is she willing to risk the wrath of the Empress?

Historian and wannabe archaeologist Zhihao has no love for the Empress or the Qing Dynasty, but when the Empress orders him to find the Emperor’s Seal in exchange for funding China’s first history museum, he cannot refuse. It is only after he accepts the assignment that he realizes the key to finding the seal lies in the hands of a palace slave.

Civil unrest and encroaching foreign powers threaten Jiayi and Zhihao’s mission and lives as they hunt for The Emperor’s Seal.

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Amanda Roberts is a writer and editor who has been living in China since 2010. Amanda has an MA in English from the University of Central Missouri. She has been published in magazines, newspapers, and anthologies around the world and she regularly contributes to numerous blogs. Amanda can be found all over the Internet, but her home is TwoAmericansinChina.com.

Contact

Website/Amazon/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Goodreads

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This Empress, oh this Empress, man, she is full of herself. Especially for the fact she has no right to hold the throne due to her losing the Emperor’s Seal and finally realizes her line could lose succession if it is not found. She sets Jiayi, a young woman in her care, along with the archaeologist, Zhihao, on a mission to find the Seal.

I felt for Jiayi and rooted for her from the beginning. She has the ability to relive the moment in time the object was moved or touch by the mere touch of an object in her possession.  Then she is paired up with Zhihao who doesn’t care about the Dynasty at all, but wants the funds in order to find his own Chinese Museum.

Of course, our heroines cannot have a pleasant journey. We discover that British excavators are also in search for artifacts around the area the Seal is rumored to be hidden. Question is, who will uncover it first?

I felt Indiana Jones vibes with this and I actually got a kick out of them. Only, we are in the Chinese Dynasty. Different time, different rules, and a different set of characters you enjoy tagging along with. From the first to the last page, I am proud to declare, “Please give me more!”

Rating 10

 

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Want to Win a $20 Amazon Gift Card?

Enter Giveaway Here!

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Blog Tour & Review: Inn the Spirit of Legends By: Becki Willis

Blog Tour & Review: Inn the Spirit of Legends By: Becki Willis

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Title: Inn the Spirit of Legends
Author: Becki Willis
Series: Spirits of Texas – Cozy Mysteries
Release Date: March 2nd, 2018
Available: Amazon
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From the author of The Sisters, Texas Mystery Series and Forgotten Boxes, comes an intriguing new book series, the Spirits of Texas Cozy Mysteries. 

When the tiny hamlet of Hannah, Texas goes up for auction, Hannah Duncan’s fun-loving uncle sees it as the perfect gift for her thirtieth birthday. After all, what’s more fun than a town bearing your own name? 

Nestled in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, the ‘town’ isn’t much — a dozen or less buildings in various stages of disrepair—but it comes with a dedicated pair of caretakers, a menagerie of farm animals, a surprisingly generous trust fund, enough stipulations to make her head spin, and a handsome but maddening attorney to oversee the handling of the estate.

Originally a stagecoach stop, Hannah, Texas resolves around the historic and rather charming Spirits of Texas Inn. The old inn comes with a colorful past, the mystique of hidden treasure, loyal guests who still book summer vacations there, and three surprise residents: true spirits of the past, who didn’t cross over as expected. 

Now Hannah has her hands full, coming to terms with her unexpected status as an innkeeper, adjusting to life in the country, fighting her attraction to attorney Walker Jacoby, plus dealing with ghosts! 

To top it off, two fortune hunters arrive to search for the hidden treasure, and they don’t care who stands in their way. They’ll stoop to any means—including murder—to get their hands on the legendary stash of gold.

Don’t miss out on the excitement, right from the beginning. Book your visit to Hannah, Texas today!

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Becki Willis, best known for her popular The Sisters, Texas Mystery Series and Forgotten Boxes, always dreamed of being an author. In November of ’13, that dream became a reality. Since that time, she has published eleven books, won first place honors for Best Mystery Series, Best Suspense Fiction and Best Audio Book, and has introduced her imaginary friends to readers around the world. 

An avid history buff, Becki likes to poke around in old places and learn about the past. Other addictions include reading, writing, junking, unraveling a good mystery, and coffee. She loves to travel, but believes coming home to her family and her Texas ranch is the best part of any trip. Becki is a member of the Association of Texas Authors, the National Association of Professional Women, and the Brazos Writers organization. She attended Texas A&M University and majored in Journalism.

Contact

Website/Facebook/Twitter/Amazon/Goodreads

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Hannah is given the birthday gift of a lifetime! But it may be more than she bargained for. Her uncle who is notorious for lavish gifts, purchases an entire town for his niece. As Hannah goes to claim her gift, she is met with a huge debacle. In order for her to receive her trust fund, she must remain in the town for a full month. No going to the store, no leaving the city, nothing. Talk about a tough gig, eh?

She is met with a list of chores she needs to tackle including taking care of the animals kept behind the Inn, coming up with a business plan for the inn, and putting up with the lawyer handling her case. The banter between these two is pretty hilarious at times. Although, I could have done with the “he’s married, but not married” trope.

Suddenly, mysterious figures begin showing up at the inn. Turns out a few friendly ghosts haunt the Inn while the other figures are on the hunt for a rumored treasure stored in the town. I hope more of this part of the story will be explored further in the sequel.

The story unfolds organically in a way you want to learn more about the “spirits” of the inn. Hannah is an enjoyable character and Walker is an absolute sweetheart. The villains, though, could have used some work. This felt like a Hallmark movie set to the page. If it is ever made into one, it is sure to become a hit with viewers.

Rating 8

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Blog Tour & Review: Clowders By Vanessa Morgan

Blog Tour & Review: Clowders By Vanessa Morgan

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Title: Clowders
Author: Vanessa Morgan
Release Date: March 1st, 2018
Available: Amazon
Add to Goodreads

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Clervaux, Luxembourg. This secluded, picturesque town in the middle of Europe is home to more cats than people. For years, tourists have flocked to this place – also known as “cat haven” – to meet the cats and buy cat-related souvenirs.

When Aidan, Jess and their five-year-old daughter, Eleonore, move from America to Clervaux, it seems as if they’ve arrived in paradise. It soon becomes evident, though, that the inhabitants’ adoration of their cats is unhealthy. According to a local legend, each time a cat dies, nine human lives are taken as a punishment. To tourists, these tales are supernatural folklore, created to frighten children on cold winter nights. But for the inhabitants of Clervaux, the danger is horrifyingly real.

Initially, Aidan and Jess regard this as local superstition, but when Jess runs over a cat after a night on the town, people start dying, one by one, and each time it happens, a clowder of cats can be seen roaming the premises.

Are they falling victim to the collective paranoia infecting the entire town? Or is something unspeakably evil waiting for them?

Their move to Europe may just have been the worst decision they ever made.

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Vanessa Morgan is known as the “female version of Stephen King.” Three of her works (The Strangers Outside, Next to Her, A Good Man) have been transferred into films. When she’s not working on her latest book, you can find her watching horror movies, digging through flea markets, or photographing felines for her blog Traveling Cats.

Contact

Blog/Amazon/Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads/Google+

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I adore my fur child Josie with all my heart. But like almost every cat owner, you can’t help but wonder if your pet has notorious thoughts towards you….just me? Ok, but Author Vanessa Morgan takes our nine live furry friends and gives them a home where for each cat that dies, nine humans pay the price.

Husband and wife, Aidan and Jordan are ready to start a new life with their daughter Eleonore across the sea to a town called Clervaux in Luxembourg. They believe the place to be pleasant until Jess accidentally hits a cat on the road. Little by little, people begin to pass away at an alarming rate. Was it all worth the escape?

The whole storytelling aspect of this story seemed a bit awkward at times. It made me believe this story was perhaps translated from a different language due to how the characters were written. The idea behind the story is unique to itself, but it was hard to get past the way the author wrote. If you look beyond this, you will find this story will make you take extra care of your little furry companions.

 

Rating 6

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Want to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card?
Enter Rafflecopter Giveaway Here!

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Book Tour & Reviews: A Dark Glass Series By Barb Hendee

Book Tour & Reviews: A Dark Glass Series By Barb Hendee

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Titles: Though a Dark Glass, A Choice of Crowns
Series: A Dark Glass Series
Author: Barb Hendee
Release Date:
Available: Amazon/B&N
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Olivia Geroux knew her king was reluctant to marry her, whatever the negotiations had arranged. But she never expected to find handsome, arrogant King Rowan obsessed with his stepsister instead. And before she can determine what course to take, she overhears her greatest ally plotting to murder the princess.

Olivia must act quickly—and live with whatever chaos results. As the assassin hunts his prey, a magic mirror appears to show Olivia the
three paths that open before her.

 

If she hesitates only a moment, the princess will die—and she will become queen.

If she calls for help, she will gain great power—but she must also thrust away her own happiness. If she runs to stop the murder herself, she will know love and contentment -but her whole country will suffer.

As she lives out each path, her wits and courage will be tested as she fights to protect her people, her friends, and her heart. And deciding which to follow will be far from easy . . .

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Barb Hendee is the New York Times bestselling author of The Mist-Torn Witches series. She is the co-author (with husband J.C.) of the Noble Dead Saga. She holds a master’s degree in composition/rhetoric from the University of Idaho and currently teaches writing for Umpqua Community College. She and J.C. live in a quirky two-level townhouse just south of Portland, Oregon.

Contact

Website/Amazon/Goodreads/Twitter/Facebook

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Both of these books surround the lore of a mysterious mirror who is possessed by a witch who was murdered by a king whom she tricked. Since then, it is her duty to give to lay out three choices with different outcomes to their decisions.

In the first book, Megan must choose three suitors for whom would be best to be her husband. The mirror shows her three different perspectives with various results. In the end, she is given the choice: choose love, choose respect, or choose loneliness.

I absolutely adore this first part of the series and enjoyed the outcomes. My only complaint is the handling of the LGBQ character. I understand times were different in medieval times; however, it could have been handled more gently.

With the second tale, a young woman, Olivia, is sent to be the bride of the newly noble King Rowan who is fickle with whom becomes his bride. Olivia overhears a plot to murder her possible future sister in-law.

The mirror appears once again to give her the possible choices and outcomes of her choice. But which will she choose? She can become queen, cause her country to suffer, or gain power. This is a fantastic upgrade to the first book, for sure!

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

C.H.B. ARC Review: Just One Look By Deb Julienne

C.H.B. ARC Review: Just One Look By Deb Julienne

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Title: Just One Look
Series: Launching Love #1
Author: Deb Julienne
Published: September 20th, 2017
Available: Amazon
Add to Goodreads

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy via NetGalley and Kindred Ink Press LLC in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review whatsoever.*

Synopsis

On a secret mission for her entrepreneur father, Diana Tolliver (aka Diana Clay) finds herself unexpectedly alone on a singles cruise. She befriends another solo female passenger, and they play a game to make their would-be-boring cruise a bit more fun. Each woman must pick out a single male for the other to date for the duration of the cruise.

JJ Westbrook is working his final gig as band manager for his best friend, country singer Hunter Cross, leaving to pursue a new job. While on the deck of the cruise ship, JJ spots a blonde goddess and is captivated.

When mutual friends reconnect, Diana and JJ are set up and quickly become enamored with each other, but only have a few chances to sneak away together during their time on the ship. Will they be able go their separate ways after the cruise, or will romance—and careers—bring them together again?

My Review

Short, Sweet, and Oh so tantalizing! Despite being a little over ninety pages or so, this short story will leave you clambering for the sequel especially if you are into romances. It’s a hilarious yet loving romp about two unsuspecting people who have a limited amount of time to fall in love, but who will cave first?

Diana Tolliver is abandoned by her friend and assistant Liv on board a singles cruise. Originally, she was sent there on a mission by her father to scope out whether it was worth purchasing by her father. It was supposed to be an innocent business venture alongside Liv. That is, until Liv decided to skip out on her own rendezvous and leave Diana stranded to figure what she’ll do next.

Diana quickly rebounds and teams up with another solo girl on the ship and they both go on a mission. They both set up one another with a random male passenger. What could go wrong, right?

Loved the set up, execution, plus all of the characters in this story! Fell in love immediately and could not put it down. If you’re looking for a short romantic novel to dive into – pick this one!

Rating 9

Happy Reading,

~C.C.

Graphic Novel Review: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Issue #3

Graphic Novel Review: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Issue #3

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What happens when a group of writers take a classic character people know and love and completely change them and their world into a dark, dangerous entity? Welcome to the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina….

If you missed my reviews on the first two issues, you can check them out here…

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Issue #1 Review

 

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Issue #2 Review

But enough of the past, lets get on with the next issue!

 

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Twas the night before Halloween, Sabrina’s sixteenth birthday is looming upon the horizon, Madam Satan uses her influence as Sabrina’s substitute drama teacher to orchestrate a series of disastrous moves that will change the tide of the whole series, but that is not the only thing that is looming off in the distance….Harvey and Sabrina’s relationship is beginning to “turn up the heat”.

Ok, lame analogy, but this springs up a little bit of trouble for Sabrina due to the fact she cannot consummate anything due to her upcoming ritual where she shall either choose to embrace darkness and become apart of the Church of Night or become a human. But, there is only one catch. Her aunts constantly remind her she must remain pure or else her test/ritual will be no good. Kind of odd, isn’t it?

 

Oh, but the fun doesn’t stop there. Remember when Sabrina learned how to fly in the show? Welcome to Sabrina’s flying lesson 2.0! This has to me my favorite part of the whole issue if given the choice. Her cousin describes the events of her ritual when Sabrina goes to him for advice. Once he reaches the point of where she will be flying, I love it’s described to the audience and the visuals are ominously wonderful.

 

 

The ending reveals which side Sabrina chooses. Will it be darkness or be human? And also, Madam Satan sends Harvey on a mission to the woods where the ritual is taking place. What will Harvey see and what will happen if he stumbles upon the witches?

 

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Don’t worry, you won’t have to wait too long for my review of the Issue #4 of this series! I’m sorry it took this long for this to be released. More reviews to come for this dark turn on Sabrina!

Rating 7

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

C.B.H. Series Review: How to Hang a Witch Series By Adriana Mather

C.B.H. Series Review: How to Hang a Witch Series By Adriana Mather

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I’ve been holding off on reviewing this series for awhile now. I read How to Hang a Witch earlier last year and finished it’s sequel, Haunting the Deep, at the beginning of last month. They both follow the strange happenings surrounding a young Samantha Mather whose family has ties to both the Salem Witch Trials and the Titanic.

The first book sets the stage with Samantha and her step mother Vivian move to Salem, Massachusetts into Samantha’s grandmother’s former mansion. Right off the bat, Samantha notices a strange presence inside of the home. Turns out to be a ghost by the name of Elijah, who like most ghosts, dislikes the fact his home has been disturbed and wishes to be left alone.

Outside the house, the world doesn’t seem to treat Samantha any better. At her new school, a group of girls known as The Descendants, are out to get Samantha due to the fact she is related to Cotton Mather. The man who sent their ancestors to their deaths during the Salem Witch Trials. Then a curse springs upon The Descendants and those who are related to the Salem Witch Trials, leading Samantha and her recruiter Elijah, on the case to uncover the dark truth behind the curse before it’s too late.

This book has it’s ups and downs. One of the downs is the sort of love triangle among Samantha, her neighbor Jaxon, and Elijah. Samantha’s relationship with Elijah feels a cross between Casper and Thackery Binx and left me wondering whether how to properly imagine him in my head.

Jaxon has clearly been friend zoned in the first book, but there were moments where I wished Samantha would just be with him. I mean let’s face it, how can you have a proper relationship with a ghost? Never mind, don’t answer that or else I’ll be having Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze in my head.

Anyway, aside from the awkwardness of the threesome, the curse was pretty clever. The execution of the plot went smoothly. I figured out the perpetrator easily, but watching the events unfold was entertaining enough.

Rating 8

Now, the sequel!

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Get ready to sail upon the Titanic! Or at least a strange, cursed form of it. We meet up with Adriana a few months after the events of the first book. The Descendants barely remember the events of almost being murdered nor the culprit who cursed them in the first place. *coughs* Sorry, everyone, no spoilers here!

Anyways, Adriana’s school decides to host a Titanic themed dance along with changing up the student’s coursework to revolves around the event. Then strange things begin taking place once a mysterious looking dress from the 1900s shows up on the Mather’s doorstep. Adriana opens it up and with one touch of the dress, she is whisked away and wakes up aboard the Titanic with new memories and an identity, surrounded by ghosts of the past. Both ghosts of individuals who survived the sinking and those who did not.

Throughout the book, her and the Descendants team up to uncover the secrets behind why Adriana continually ends up on the old ship, but that’s not the only problem. Jaxon begins acting strange toward Adriana, and the ghost Elijah returns to help the girls figure out why ghosts from the ship are disappearing.

Comparing the second book to the first, I actually like the sequel better than the first book. But Adriana needs to be more responsible in her actions. I get she’s a teenager, but she’s extremely immature about handling the whole Jaxon and Elijah situation. Elijah needs to move on and her continually freaking out and getting pissed anytime he’s either around or disappears got on my nerves.

If Jaxon hadn’t have transformed into a complete jerk aside from telling Adriana off, I’d say he was the mature one in telling her how it was. She shouldn’t be messing around with a ghost. I understand he is important to the plot and all, but ghosts need to move on…haven’t you seen Supernatural?

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Rating 8

 

Have you read this series?

Let me know in the comments below!

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

C.B.H. ARC Review & Blog Tour: Wicked Soul By Nora Ash

C.B.H. ARC Review & Blog Tour: Wicked Soul By Nora Ash

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Title: Wicked Soul
Series: Ancient Blood, Book 1
Author: Nora Ash
Release Date: February 10th, 2017
Available: Amazon/B&N/iBooks/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

About the Book

He saved me… And then he blood-bonded me. Now I’m his.

My first meeting with a Chicago vampire went better than expected.

Up until that night, all I knew about vampires was limited to a few common facts: they drink blood, they get a mean sunburn and if you find yourself alone with one, you’re dead.

Except he didn’t kill me.

Sexy, broody Warin clearly had his own reasons for sparing my life and tying me with his blood, but if he’d known how much trouble I’d attract, I bet he wouldn’t have bothered. When he blood-bonded me, secrets even I didn’t know about myself came to light.

Secrets that will pull us both deep into the eternal war between vampires and the witches determined to rid the world of their evil.

We have only one choice now: fight the forces hell-bent on breaking our bond…

My Review

Soulmates, powerful couples whose souls were pre-destined to combine to create a strong bond no mere mortal (or vampire) can keep apart. Olivia and Warin are this kind of couple.

Not many paranormal romance books discuss soulmates in a way when Warin “discovers” his soulmate his vampire family feel the bond down the line. It’s always funny when people close to you realize you are completely whipped. But Warin is not any weaker, but stronger and this is only a sliver of what this book is about.

Vampires are known in this book’s world; however, they are still misunderstood to the masses. In addition, they are in a war against shapeshifters and werewolves. This puts a damper on Olivia and Warin’s story.

We first meet Olivia in the middle of her kidnapping. She is mistakened for being a vampire just for the fact she is reading a vampire paranormal romance. No, not joking. She is thrown in a cell alongside Warin and then their journey begins.

A fun twist on the vampire world and I can’t wait to tap into the sequel! Vampire romance lovers, need apply!

Rating 8

About the Author

Nora Ash writes the sort of books that have your toes curling and your blood pulsing. Her stories are often dark and always thrilling, with lots of sexy bad boys and the women who spur their desires. When not typing away at a story, Nora paints, eats chocolate or go for hikes around the English countryside with her very own bad boy.

Contact

Website/Goodreads/Facebook/Twitter

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Charmed Book Haven Reviews – The Candy Book Tag!

Charmed Book Haven Reviews – The Candy Book Tag!

It has been a super long time since I’ve done a book tag and I sincerely apologize! One of my goals the next few months is to do more of these. I came across this one on Emily’s Escapist Books and Reading so definitely go check out her blog!

It’s the day before the dreaded V-Day, now, time to sink our teeth into this bag of goodies!

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Apples – Ah. Healthy food. It is deep, meaningful, and probably won a lot of awards, but, umm, it really isn’t your thing.

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Read this in high school, but wasn’t as into it as my classmates. It foretells a dystopian future which coined the phrase, “Big Brother is Watching You.” You have zero freedom, constantly monitored, and all-around terrorizing. Sure, it’s deep and all, but I didn’t get into it much.

Milk Chocolate – This is a book you’d recommend to absolutely EVERYONE.

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I don’t even think I need to get into why I would recommend it for everyone. It’s HARRY POTTER!

Black Jellybeans – Why do these exist?

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Another one as to I don’t think I should have to explain why and do NOT get me started on the movies…*shivers*.

Chocolate Kisses – Awww, this novel had the best romance.

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Cat + Bones = Forever!

Gummy Spiders – Eek! You made sure to check under your bed every night for a week after reading this scary one.

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This book, written by Stephen King’s son Joe, is incredibly gut-wrenchingly creepy! It also  talks about mental illness and sexual assault, but discusses the effects it can have on the victim. The book is worth the read and creepy!

Jumbo Lollipop – This took you forever to get through, but hey! You did it!

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This took me FOREVER to read! I’m not a huge Sarah J. Maas fan if you can tell by my Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses reviews. I have a hard time with her lead female characters and their attitudes, mainly, but the fact there is sexual assault in ACOTAR and people overlook that in the sequel is a tad disturbing. That’s one of the reason why it took me so long to read this.

When I finally finished it, I ended up being angrier about the series than before. I’ll get into it in my review that’s coming soon for it. On top of it, I’m dragging my feet to read the last one. Sorry Maas fans, but I like smart characters who don’t fall for someone that assaulted them or don’t get an easy riddle that can save lives.

Cotton Candy – Admit it, you loved this when you were younger (you probably still do). Think children’s or MG fiction.

 

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Nancy Drew were what made me fall in love with mysteries! I actually still collect old copies anytime I go to a book sale. Nancy, Ned, and the rest of her group of pals have solved an insane amount of mysteries that could thrill any person no matter what age.

 

I officially tag you all to complete this tag!

Don’t forget to tag me so I may see your answers!

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

C.B.H. ARC Review: Banished (The Storymakers #3) By Betsy Schow

C.B.H. ARC Review: Banished (The Storymakers #3) By Betsy Schow

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Title: Banished
Series: The Storymakers
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Available: Amazon/Goodreads/B&N

 

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy via NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire in exchange for a review. This does not effect my review.

 

About the Book

 My Review

All the best people have a bit of madness. It’s a sign of brilliance. You just have to learn how to take control of it.

This is the third installment in The Storymakers series that follows Princess Dorthea of Emerald on her continuing quest to get back home and right the wrongs she did in the first book, Spelled. Now, she’s locked up in the psyche ward, slowly beginning to lose her memories of her home. She discovered her parents in the previous book to find they forgot their home and want Dorthea to “get better”.

On the other side of the fairy tale coin, Dorthea’s mind is linked to Rexi – making the story flip back and forth between the fictional and the reality. The moment Dorthea goes to sleep, she see’s Rexi, taking on the guise of King Arthur, wielding Excalibur while battling the villains of Camelot. With Rexi, she sees the devastation of Dorthea’s treatments in the hospital involving green sludge and constant lies of being incurable. Dorthea later escapes the hospital and goes on a mission, searching for a pair of magic shoes to get her to another realm. Rexi, on the other hand, seeks out to destroy the Wicked Witch.

The quirkiness from the previous novels shows up in droves in this book and the mashup of our favorite fairytale characters makes keeps the fun coming. The single downside I can only come up with is that this wouldn’t be for older YA readers. The characters dialogue and actions fall more along the younger YA reader group. But if you are looking for a new fairytale mashup series that’ll make you laugh – this could be the next one on your list!

 

Rating 7

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

C.H.B. ARC Series Review: Blog Tour: The Black Parade By Kyoko M.

C.H.B. ARC Series Review: Blog Tour: The Black Parade By Kyoko M.

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Jordan Amador. 21. New Yorker. Waitress. Mild alcoholic. Murderer.

Two years ago, Jordan accidentally shot and killed a Seer: a person who can see, hear, and talk to ghosts with unfinished business. Her crime came with a hefty price, too. She has two years to help a hundred souls cross over to the afterlife or her soul is bound for hell. Tough break.

As if that weren’t bad enough, two days before her deadline a handsome pain-in-the-ass poltergeist named Michael strolls into her life. His soul is the key to her salvation, but the cost just might be more than she can handle. Solving his death puts her right in the crosshairs of Belial: a vain, bloodthirsty archdemon who won’t rest until she’s his slave. Can she rescue Michael and save her own soul, or will they both be dragged down into the clutches of the eternal black parade?

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When I began this book, I felt sorry for Jordan. Being constantly searching and helping ghost solve their deaths and move on is a tough gig. The more I learned about her past, I understand why she is forced to help them. Not to mention being stuck helping a new poltergeist who throws her into an even deeper well of trouble.

Ok, I have to admit, I actually had a teeny-tiny crush on Michael the poltergeist. The moment he came onto the scene, he captured my attention and I wanted to help him as much as possible. The writing in this is impeccable and the characters are lovable. Jordan is not your average main character. She’s diverse, stands out, and brings her own personality to the table. Worth a read!

Rating 7

 

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Short stories from The Black Parade series.

Michael O’Brien. 24. New Yorker. Musician. Archangel in charge of Heaven’s army.

It’s been centuries since Michael stayed on Earth for an extended amount of time. Now he’s here because of Jordan Amador–a Seer who helped him restore his life and memories and thwart the archdemon Belial from taking over the city. With Jordan on Belial’s hit list, Michael decides to stick around and live out life alongside her as her friend and temporary bodyguard. But, as the days pass, he finds it harder to resist the seven deadly sins that tempt all men. Especially as he and Jordan grow closer fighting the demons that want her almost as much as he does…

This collection takes place in the two month period in The Black Parade between Book 2 and 3.

Happy(ish) Valentine’s Day – A humorous short story of the first couple months of Jordan and Michael’s marriage.

Matrimony – A short story that takes place between Chapter 37 and the epilogue of The Holy Dark.

Town Without Pity – A short story about the daughter of the Wolfman on vacation in Transylvania.

Reduction – A vignette about two friends who want more than friendship.

The Cage – A vignette from the perspective of Andrew Bethsaida from The Black Parade.

The Predator – A horror-centric short story told from the perspective of the archdemon Belial. Takes place during She Who Fights Monsters, so beware major spoilers.

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*Sigh* Michael, good ole Michael! These set of short stories fill in the blanks in between books and the backgrounds of secondary characters to pair alongside the seven deadly sins. It’s almost like you’re getting to know extended family through in-depth snippets of their lives while delving into the sins which plague humans and temptations toward the heavenly host.

I read each of these short stories in accordance to where they fit into the story line. It made things easier and less hectic. My favorite one of them all would have to be Happy(ish) Valentine’s Day. Jordan and Michael’s relationship is further explored and I can’t get enough of them together!

Rating 7

 

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The dynamic supernatural duo of Seer Jordan Amador and her husband the archangel Michael are in the middle of trying to solve a deadly case. Someone is methodically hunting down and murdering Seers one by one. After six months with no leads on the killer, Jordan and Michael are forced to work with their worst enemy—the archdemon Belial: a self-professed Prince of Hell who is dead set on stealing Jordan for himself. However, with the archdemon’s help, they pick up on the trail of the serial killer and plan to stop him no matter what the cost.

When the shocking truth behind the murderer’s identity is revealed, Jordan begins asking herself if she is still fighting for the good guys or has she become one of the monsters she is desperately trying to stop?

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Each of these books seem to get better. This time around, we are standing with Jordan and Michael on their quest to figure out who is murdering Seers. Also strangely enough someone from Jordan’s path appears and throws a kink in Jordan’s personal journey. Throw in the love triangle with Belial and you have yourself a thrilling sequel.

As you know, I despise love triangles, but Kyoko makes it work for this series. The excitement and tension between characters has increased ten-fold that you can’t put the book down. A sequel worth it’s placement in this series and much better than the first installment.

Rating 9

 

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Sarcastic demon-slayer extraordinaire Jordan Amador has been locked in a year-long struggle to hunt down the thirty silver coins paid to Judas Iscariot. The mere touch of these coins is enough to kill any angel.

Jordan’s demonic opposition grows more desperate with each coin found, so they call on the ultimate reinforcement: Moloch, the Archdemon of War. Moloch puts out a contract on Jordan as well as her estranged husband, the Archangel Michael. Now Jordan and Michael will have to find a way to work together to survive against impossible odds and stop Moloch’s plan, or else he’ll wage a war that will wipe out the human race.

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You never know how much you love and truly need a specific person in your life till danger is thrown in your way and they are the only one who can get you through it. Michael and Jordan are forced back together in order to survive a contract on both of them. Not only that, but Jordan is on a mission to uncover the pieces of silver Judas Iscariot was given in exchange for the betrayal of Jesus. Talk about a whole bowl of crazy in one book.

All tears shed for these two are well worth it. Jordan has made foolish decisions in the past without fully dealing with the consequences up until recently. Now, it’s time to pay the piper and Michael to unite with his soulmate in order to survive. Pack your tissues, you’re going to need them.

Rating 9

 

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Seer and demon slayer Jordan Amador has had it rough lately: separated from her husband the archangel Michael, hated by the angels who think she betrayed them, hunted by demons who want her dead or enslaved, and rejected by her friends and family for lying to them. Disgraced and miserable, she’s all but ready to lay down and die until another Seer named Myra Bennett saves her life. Myra gives Jordan a new mission: to wipe out a nest of demons that are terrorizing her family as well as the innocent people of Houston, Texas.

Jordan goes undercover to infiltrate the demons’ nest and figure out how to eliminate them. Meanwhile, she’s locked in a deadly game with the archdemon Belial, who constantly visits her night after night in her dreams to convince her to give him her soul. Between the insanely gorgeous, but dangerous archdemon poking around in her head and the vicious creatures surrounding her, she’s not sure how much longer she can survive.

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Oh man, again, Jordan finally pays the piper in this one. Consequences rise from the ashes for her, but she is given a chance to make a turn around. Belial, again, attempts to tempt her which at this I want to sock him. That guy is relentless and needs to shut up! But, I digress, things happen for a reason.

Will Jordan survive? Will she finally not jump before looking? No spoilers here, but you need to read this!

Rating 8

 

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kyoko

Kyoko M is a USA Today bestselling author, a fangirl, and an avid book reader. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Lit degree from the University of Georgia, which gave her every valid excuse to devour book after book with a concentration in Greek mythology and Christian mythology.

When not working feverishly on a manuscript (or two), she can be found buried under her Dashboard on Tumblr, or chatting with fellow nerds on Twitter, or curled up with a good Harry Dresden novel on a warm Georgia night. Like any author, she wants nothing more than to contribute something great to the best profession in the world, no matter how small.

Contact

Website/Amazon/Facebook/Goodreads/Twitter

 

Happy Reading,

~C.C.

C.B.H. ARC Reviews: Wicked Charm By Amber Hart

C.B.H. ARC Reviews: Wicked Charm By Amber Hart

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Title: Wicked Charm
Author: Amber Hart
Release Date: January 30th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/Goodreads

**Disclaimer: I received an ARC Copy via NetGalley and Entangled Teen in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my views whatsoever.**

Synopsis

Nothing good comes from living in the Devil’s swamp.

Willow Bell thinks moving to the Okefenokee area isn’t half bad, but nothing prepares her for what awaits in the shadows of the bog.

Girls are showing up dead in the swamp. And she could be next.

Everyone warns Willow to stay away from Beau Cadwell—the bad boy at the top of their suspect list as the serial killer tormenting the small town.

But beneath his wicked, depthless eyes, there’s something else that draws Willow to him.

When yet another girl he knew dies, though, Willow questions whether she can trust her instincts…or if they’re leading to her own death.

My Review

I’m not going to lie, I had a rough time reading this book. Willow could not stop thinking about Beau. Not even when people were dying around her did she even stop to think, “Hm, all of these girls were involved with this guy. This is clearly not a good idea to be around him.” But obviously romance was more on her mind than intellectual thinking.

This was pitched to be a contemporary suspenseful romance novel….was. Willow is warned by her grandmother in the beginning of the book to steer clear of Beau and his family, that they are of the devil. Kids at school warn her to stay away from him since he is a notorious player who goes through girls like water. Instead, she heads straight toward the snake and believes she will not get bitten.

The trope of the player falling for the new girl because she is “not like other girls” runs rampant through the novel while Beau and Willow grow closer together. I could not get into them. I couldn’t, no matter how hard I tried and believe me, I tried. But when a guy’s ex-girlfriends seem to be popping up dead in the swamp by his home, I’d run to the hills.

The book leans to more on the romance side than the suspense/mystery aspects. The writing style was alright, the descriptions were fantastic, but the execution of the mystery was lacking. If she would have focused more on it, I think it would have been a solid 10/10 for me. Now, however, I’ll be sure to steer clear of the swamps in Georgia. You never know what or whom may be lurking in the shadows.

Rating 5

Happy Reading,

~C.C.

TBR Challenge Review #1 – Cress By Marissa Meyer

TBR Challenge Review #1 – Cress By Marissa Meyer

Hello Everyone!

I reviewed the first two books of the The Lunar ChroniclesCinder and Scarlet,  what seems like forever ago on here. If you are interested in getting a refresher on my reviews, you can check out my review of Cinder HERE. And you can check out my review on Scarlet HERE.

I started Cress after beginning my TBR Challenge of the year. In addition to seeking to complete a higher book count by the end of the year, I also wanted to read as many books in my TBR as possible. One of the first books on me list I thought was long over due to be read was Cress. I’m part of the unpopular opinion when it comes to Scarlet. I was not impressed at all. It annoyed me more than anything to be completely obvious so it made me put the third book off for the longest time.

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Cress is on a different level than Scarlet was. There were a few less face palm moments than it’s predecessor, but there were still some nonetheless. This one mainly focused around the retelling of Rapunzel but gave the other perspective characters their personal “screen time” so to speak.

We learn more about the hacker in the Lunar space shuttle, floating above the Earth. Cress had been placed there under General Sibil in order to keep surveillance over Earth and report to Lunar anything suspicious or worthy of being used against them. Despite being a hacker and aware of Earth’s practices, Cress acted exactly like a sheltered child.

Yeah, I get it, she basically was but some of her actions throughout the novel were downright annoying. Her constantly fantasizing about Thorne kissing her grated on my nerves because there were more important things to worry about at the time than her receiving her first kiss from a Grade A player she just met.

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Cinder’s arc could not have come at a better time! We see her grow into her powers and finally use them in order to help her team gain the advantage. Watching her confidence grow made me enjoy reading about her more so than the Cress and Scarlet’s progression. This felt more like the part two from Cinder I expected when I read Scarlet. 

There was plenty in this novel that could have been trimmed from the length. Pointless dialogue and….Kai thinking Scarlet was the missing Lunar Princess….Could have done without. Cress’s parts could have been trimmed down as well. I get that this was supposed to be part of her story, but in the end quite a bit wasn’t needed. Aside from that, better than Scarlet.

Rating 6

What did you think of this novel?

Let me know in the comments below!

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

C.B.H. Reviews: Memories of Chronosalis By Ceara Comeau

C.B.H. Reviews: Memories of Chronosalis By Ceara Comeau

Title: Memories of Chronosalis
Author: Ceara Comeau

Release Date: November 17th, 2017
Available: Amazon/B&N/Goodreads

About the Book

It’s one thing to read about heroes saving worlds in far off galaxies, but to become one is an entirely different story. Sixteen-year-old Amber Oak wanted nothing more than to stay in her own world of music and solitude. But the inhabitants of Galaseya, a Utopian planet rooted in the past, had other ideas in mind.

According to them, only she wielded the power to stop the dark forces threatening their home. At first, Amber sympathized with the planet, but saw no reason to involve herself in the affairs of something outside her world. But the stakes have risen when she discovers that Galaseya is not only the world that has been invading her dreams, but also the place her estranged family originated from.

With this new knowledge, questions began to surface and secrets of Amber’s life come to light causing her to second guess everything she knows…

About the Author

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Contact

Blog/Facebook/Goodreads/Twitter

Ceara Comeau began writing stories when she was twelve years old. Her writing career began with Amber Oak, Volume 1 and Adventures of the Young and Curious. Both books were a compilation of short stories that were self-published when she was only fifteen years old.

Over the next few years, Amber Oak, Volume 2 was written and she became self-published by seventeen. During her college years, Amber Oak and the Missing Links and Amber Oak and the Master of Illusions were born. After they were self-published, Ceara wrote another story separate from her Amber Oak World entitled, The Lost Journal of Erika Traynor.

Later, she returned to the beginning and looked at her Amber Oak series and decided to go back to the beginning and rewrite her first series. What first started out as an eight book novella series transformed into a trilogy and finally into one book, Memories of Chronosalis.

My Review

Strange dreams haunted sixteen year old Amber’s life for months. Visions of dark creatures with sharp teeth and haunting imagery causes her to question her own reality the moment she awakes. Soon she discovers these dreams are not merely dreams at all but the key to her existence and purpose.

This is not your average female led YA Sci-fi/Fantasy. She is a “Chosen One”, but is not the common ones you see in YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy novels of today. Through her struggle to accept her purpose to save her families’ home planet of Galaseya to fight the monsters in the dark, Amber must learn to push her introverted ways aside to take on the armor of a warrior. Her growth from the beginning of the novel to the end is immense and a fantastic journey that you rarely see in books today.

Ceara does not skim on details in this novel. She brings her visions to life through colorful, in-depth depictions of the planet of Galaseya and the galaxies beyond our own comprehension. She deserves a spot amongst other writers of today and her characters will stay with you after the final page. If you are looking for your next YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy read, I highly suggest you pick this one up! You won’t regret it!

 

Rating 10

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

TBR 2018 Challenge

TBR 2018 Challenge

Hi Everyone!

If you’re like me, your TBR is a long, endless list of books you try to promise yourself you’ll conquer. The key word here is try. Let’s face it, we NEVER can conquer it! Or at least we have that frame of mind.

This year one of the Facebook book groups I’m part of challenged everyone to tackle their TBR and try to read as much as possible. Now, we have eleven more months to go in this new year. Eleven more months where we all know we will be adding onto our TBR. But you know what? I’m still tacking my TBR and my goal is to read half of my TBR this year!

Here is my starting point:

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Taking into perspective that’s over five hundred books! I’ll be honest it’s an insane idea, but you know what? This is a year of reaching new heights in everything! Instead of doing a “Down the TBR” Tag and weeding out books – I’m going to read them!

I’ve already placed a mix of audiobooks, ebooks, and regular books of over 30 of my TBR books this year. Right now, I’m in the middle of three of them and ready for more. It’s all about pacing. I’m not always going to go through an in-depth book review of each one, but I will be sharing my progress throughout the year and ratings of the different books.

 

If you are doing a new challenge in your life – what is it?

Let me know in the comments below!

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Blog Tour, Review, & Giveaway: Betting on Cinderella By Petie McCarty

Blog Tour, Review, & Giveaway: Betting on Cinderella By Petie McCarty

Title: Betting on Cinderella (Cinderella Romances Bk. 2)
Author: Petie McCarty
Release Date: March 18th, 2018
Available: Amazon/Goodreads

Garrett Tucker inherits his grandfather’s casino empire and steps into the reclusive billionaire’s shoes as the “Prince of Vegas.” His first act is to buy a bankrupt casino in Biloxi. When he discovers embezzling in his new operation, Garrett goes undercover. His prime suspect is the new finance supervisor—the spitfire brunette who stole his heart at first sight.

Andi Ryan moves to Biloxi to care for her godmother and takes a job as finance supervisor for the renovated Bayou Princess casino. She discovers someone is skimming from the till and starts her own investigation, worried she will be blamed for the theft when the new owner discovers her godmother has a gambling addiction.

A rival Vegas competitor has sent a spy in to ruin the Bayou Princess, and Garrett and Andi are forced to work together to prove her innocence and discover the identity of their casino spy.

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Contact

Website/Amazon/Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads

Petie McCarty spent a large part of her career working at Walt Disney World — “The Most Magical Place on Earth” — where she enjoyed working in the land of fairy tales by day and creating her own romantic fairy tales by night, including her new series, The Cinderella Romances. She eventually said good-bye to her “day” job to write her stories full-time. These days Petie spends her time writing sequels to her regency time travel series, Lords in Time, and her cozy-mystery-with-a-dash-of-romantic-suspense series, the Mystery Angel Romances.

Petie shares her home on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee with her horticulturist husband, a spoiled-rotten English Springer spaniel addicted to pimento-stuffed green olives, and a noisy Nanday conure named Sassy who made a cameo appearance in Angel to the Rescue.

My whole life I’ve been a huge lover of the fairy tale of Cinderella. She is a versatile character who can be written and transformed to fit each era that passes. In this incarnation, Cinderella takes the form of Andi Ryan who has her inheritance stolen by her step-mother and sister.

The “Prince” is Garret Tucker, recently crowned the “Prince of Las Vegas” and inheritor of a new casino empire. He goes undercover after hearing about an embezzling scheme occurring within his casino in order to uncover the culprit. Despite the past retelling of this classic fairy tale, it’s Garret who brings on board his own baggage and not just Andi.

The huge question that bugged me with this story was when Garret was going to be honest with Andi and the resolution to their relationship. The resolution is something to be admired and I will definitely not spoil it! And let me tell you the chemistry between these two make you want to sing “So this is Love” at the top of your lungs!

Rating 8

Want a Chance to win 3 eBooks of The SEAL’s Angel (Book 3 of the Mystery Angel Romances) PLUS $10 Amazon Gift Card?

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway Here!

 

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

 

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Guest Post, & ARC Review: Busted By Gina Ciocca

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Guest Post, & ARC Review: Busted By Gina Ciocca

Title: Busted
Author: Gina Ciocca
Available: Amazon/B&N/Books-A-Million/Chapters/iBooks/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy via NetGalley and Sourcebooks in exchange for a review. This does not effect my review.

hs- about the author

Catching cheaters and liars is a lucrative hobby—until you fall for one of the suspects. Perfect for fans of Veronica Mars, this new novel from the author of Last Year’s Mistake will steal your heart!

Marisa never planned to be a snoop for hire. It wasn’t like she wanted to catch her best friend’s boyfriend making out with another girl. But as her reputation for sniffing out cheaters spreads all over school, Marisa finds herself the reluctant queen of busting two-timing boys.

And her next case? It’s for ex-frenemy Kendall. She’s convinced her boyfriend, TJ, has feelings for someone else and persuades Marissa to start spying on him. But the more Marisa gets to know sincere and artistic TJ, the more she starts to fall for him. Worse yet, the feelings seem to be mutual. Marisa knows she needs to give up her investigation— and the spoken-for guy who may just be the love of her life. Then she uncovers new secrets about Kendall and TJ, secrets that take cheater to a whole new level…

hs- about the author

Contact: Blog/Instagram/Twitter

Gina Cioccagraduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in English, but in her mind, she never left high school. She relocated from Connecticut to Georgia, where she lives with her husband and son. When she’s not reading or writing, you can find her taking long walks around the lake in her neighborhood.

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hs- my review

Firstly, thank you Sourcebooks for inviting me to participate in this blog tour! I absolutely loved this novel! It was never ending fun that kept me on my toes.

Marissa is this creative teenager with a heart for helping out her friends and sticking up for them. Little did she know the impact she had after catching her friend Charlie’s date cheating on her and capturing it for the world to see. News of her investigative skills reached her school and into the ears of her former childhood friend Kendall, sparking a chain of events that I did not see coming.

The story starts out innocent then spirals into a mystery and reminded me like a hit CW show, in a fantastic way! Marissa begins her case for Kendall by following her friend’s boyfriend, T.J.. As she begins to follow him, she begins to get to know him on the side, discovering they both have a similar love for creating things for others like paintings, bracelets, pins, and belts. Although there may be those similarities, they are linked by a deep mystery that rocks both of their worlds.

Marissa’s best friend, Charlie, is accused to stealing test answers and selling them throughout her high school which risks her scholarship and future. The more Marisa investigates Charlie’s case, the more she realizes T.J. may possibly be involved….or is he?

I could not get enough of this book! The pacing was quite fast and there was never a dull moment amongst these characters. The chemistry is off the charts, the dialogue is informative and very hilarious at times, and the premise of the book is merely scratching the surface.

Oh, and the banter between Nick, Charlie, and Marissa is PERFECT! They are officially my current favorite YA literary group. I could never get enough of their interactions together. If there would ever be a sequel – please let it be about Nick and Charlie!

hs- giveaway

Enter for a chance to win a copy of Busted!

Enter Here!

Marisa’s Top 5 Tips For Sleuthing

Hey there. Marisa Palmera, Private Eye here. Okay, so I don’t actually call myself that, and neither does anyone else. In fact, I never meant to become a sleuth-for-hire. But spend one night scaling your best-friend’s boyfriend’s house to take incriminating pictures, and suddenly everyone wants you to be something you’re not…and when they ’re willing to line your sadly lacking pockets for it, it doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. So, should you find yourself an unwitting Girl Friday (or even a witting one… Is “witting” a thing?) like I did, here are some tips that just may save your butt:

  1. Always have a camera handy. Whether it’s your cell phone, or the fancy camera you borrowed from your school’s yearbook club, you never know when you’ll need to snap an evidence shot. Just, um, make sure you turn off the flash if said camera is aimed through a window into a dark living room. I may have learned this the hard way.
  2. Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. Sounds ominous and dramatic, I know. But if someone gives you the vibe that they shouldn’t be let out of your sight? GO WITH IT.
  3. Think fast. Suck at lying? Me too. Get over it, because you’ll be fudging the truth a lot.

  4. But know when to say no. Weave enough white lies, and suddenly they’re a sticky, tangled web with you trapped inside. Know when it’s time to run, and do it like the flames of hell are licking your feet.

  5. Don’t fall for the person you’re investigating. Yeah. You’re just gonna have to do as I say and not as I do on this one. Oops…

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Rating 10

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

C.B.H. ARC Review: Pretty Dead Girls By Monica Murphy

C.B.H. ARC Review: Pretty Dead Girls By Monica Murphy

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Title: Pretty Dead Girls
Author: Monica Murphy
Release Date: January 2nd, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/Goodreads

*Disclaimer – I received an ARC copy courtesy of Entangled Publishing & NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Synopsis

Beautiful. Perfect. Dead.

In the peaceful seaside town of Cape Bonita, wicked secrets and lies are hidden just beneath the surface. But all it takes is one tragedy for them to be exposed.

The most popular girls in school are turning up dead, and Penelope Malone is terrified she’s next. All the victims so far have been linked to Penelope—and to a boy from her physics class. The one she’s never really noticed before, with the rumored dark past and a brooding stare that cuts right through her.

There’s something he isn’t telling her. But there’s something she’s not telling him, either.

Everyone has secrets, and theirs might get them killed.

My Review

We are told throughout the novel that nothing happens in the small Northern Californian town of Cape Bonita. MURDER doesn’t happen in Cape Bonita. For a society of popular high school girls called “The Larks”, their world is about to be rocked by the senior Larks being killed off one by one. By who, you may ask? Penelope, President of the Larks, is searching for answers.

This story is told from the perspective of Penelope and the killer. The gender reveal of the killer happened quite early in the novel to my dismay. I wished this detail remained anonymous due to it narrowing down my personal list of suspects.

These group of girls, specifically the seniors, are not what you would call role models….oh what am I even doing, these girls are savage. Well, except for Dani and Penelope. Gretchen, Courtney, and Lexi are another incarnation of the original Mean Girls themselves minus being-

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I flew through the book rather quickly. My main problems with this book was the dialogue, the extremely strange information dumping sessions, and, I hate to say it, but underwhelming reveal at the end. The motivations behind the killer’s actions reminded me of the classic horror movie Prom Night.

Penelope’s dialogue is strange and I had a hard time staying connected with her. I don’t know if it’s because I’m an adult or what, but there were times where I rolled my eyes and longed to tell her to get over herself. The information dumping sessions she would throw at you made no sense. It’s like “ok, what is the point of you talking about this? It has nothing to do with this current situation.” This didn’t happen on one occasion either, this was a continuous loop.

Mind you, this was the unreleased draft. These problems are probably fixed, but they constantly bothered me. Other than these issues, it’s worth the read.

 

Rating 6

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Book Blitz, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Jewel of the Gods By Mary Bernsen

Book Blitz, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Jewel of the Gods By Mary Bernsen

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Title: Jewel of the Gods (Beyond the Gods #2)
Mary Bernsen
Published by: CTP Pulse
Publication date: December 19th, 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Mythology, Romance

Synopsis

Sold at the age of seventeen to the king of the realm, Ursula has spent the last four years serving as his submissive concubine. She has grown to love him with a fierce loyalty, but when he orders her to kill a spirited young girl, she simply cannot obey.Her master does not take defiance lightly, so Ursula must find the girl she spared and return her to the king—or lose her own head. Her search leads to the girl’s former employer, a handsome man who introduces Ursula to a world of experiences and freedoms she has never known. Though thrilling and intoxicating, she knows this new lifestyle is only temporary.She must finish her quest and return to her master…before this new, softer kind of love has her questioning everything.

Jewel of the Gods is the second novel in the fiery and passionate Beyond the Gods series by Mary Bernsen.

Available

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

Sequel To

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Available

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

EXCERPT

Hercules clenched his jaw and balled up his fists. “Do you even hear yourself?” He raised his voice into a mocking tone. “’Poseidon doesn’t allow this. Poseidon prefersthat.’ Dear Zeus, Ursula. Have you ever taken a moment to think about what you need? How much longer do you think you will be able to survive under such stifling conditions?”

Suddenly, I was overcome with a sense of shame at myself. I had never taken a step back and thought about what it must seem like to others. There was no way to defend it, either. It was as it seemed. I was my master’s pet. He cared for me, ensured I had my necessities. All he required in return was obedience.

Still, I couldn’t deny Chiron’s earlier claim, either. I had become a stranger to myself in the time I had served Poseidon. There was a time not so long ago when I had harbored fight in my heart. I had to release that independence to save my life, and one way or another Poseidon’s shelter had consumed me until I loved him for it. I hated Hercules for making me question what I had grown so comfortable with. I didn’t want any further complications at the moment.

“It does not matter.” I lifted a chin. “I’m a servant. I have no say in it.”

“You do as long as you are here.” He nodded toward the food in the center of the table. “Eat, or I will starve as well.”

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Author Bio

Mary Bernsen is a southwest Florida native currently living in North Port with her two beautiful children and a third, much larger child that she affectionately calls husband. She is the Amazon Best Selling Author of Healing The Bayou, The Ganga Shift, and Beyond the Gods series.

She also writes young adult romances under her pseudonym, M.E. Rhines.

Contact

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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GIVEAWAY!

Want a chance to win a Clean Teen Publishing Mystery Box?*

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway Here

*International Winner Will Receive eBook Prizes

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Happy Reading,

~C.C.

 

Silver Dagger Tours Blog Tour/Guest Post: Hypathia of Alexandria By Laurel A. Rockefeller

Silver Dagger Tours Blog Tour/Guest Post: Hypathia of Alexandria By Laurel A. Rockefeller

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Hypatia of Alexandria

The Legendary Women of World History #8

by Laurel A. Rockefeller

Genre: YA Historical Fiction

 

Teacher. Philosopher. Astronomer.

Born in 355 CE in the aftermath of Constantine’s reign, Hypatia of Alexandria lived in a collapsing Rome Empire, a world where obedience to religious authorities trumped science, where reason and logic threatened the new world order. It was a world on the edge of the Dark Ages. As libraries burned, she dared defend the light of knowledge.

Website/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/YouTube/Amazon/Goodreads

Born, raised, and educated in Lincoln, Nebraska USA Laurel A. Rockefeller is author of over twenty books published and self-published since August, 2012 and in languages ranging from Welsh to Spanish to Chinese and everything in between. A dedicated scholar and biographical historian, Ms. Rockefeller is passionate about education and improving history literacy worldwide.

With her lyrical writing style, Laurel’s books are as beautiful to read as they are informative. In her spare time, Laurel enjoys spending time with her cockatiels, attending living history activities, travelling to historic places in both the United States and United Kingdom, and watching classic motion pictures and classic television series. 

 

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Describe your writing style

Lyrical is probably the best word for it. I came into writing through my music. I was making up songs long before I could read. My songs helped me express myself and survive a very difficult and often very violent childhood. I was in my teens the first time my poems were published, including a sonnet, “Why Bilbo?” for the American Tolkien Society in the winter of 1991/2. So, it makes sense that my writing has a musical quality to it and translates so easily to audio books. Indeed, poetry and music is a common feature in most of my books, both fiction and non-fiction. “Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd” opens with an original poem called “Gwenllian’s Tears” and “Mary Queen of the Scots” opens with the original poem, “Of Scotland Forgotten.” There is plenty of period music in the narrative biographies and original music in the “Peers of Beinan” science fiction novels. You can hear me sing many of these songs on my youtube videos.

What makes a good story?

To me a good story has to pull at your heart strings. There are many very competent writers out there who know their stuff, but fail to really get you invested emotionally. If you aren’t empathizing with the characters or historical persons, then the author is not doing her or his job. With a good story you really truly care about these people and what is happening to them. You hurt with them at the difficult moments and you rejoice with them when they succeed at something. For non-fiction science, the aim has to be making whatever it is really compelling and interesting without sacrificing accuracy or reading comprehension. Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson is an expert at this which is why he is one of my favourite authors.

What are you passionate about these days?

Immigration to England! As a very hands-on historian I feel I do my best work when I have walked the places I’m writing about and done many of the activities in my historical narratives. There is no substitute for direct, personal experience when you are writing. And while yes, it is possible to travel to the UK and the EU from the USA, such trips are too long and expensive to take on the sort of regular basis I need in order to do the best possible work I can. So I am engaging in this extremely long, difficult process called legal immigration.

Making my life more difficult in pursuit of this effort is the current anti-immigrant climate in both the USA and abroad. Ten years ago all you really needed to prove was that you were earning enough money to be self-supporting for the first three to ten years in your new home country. Today those skilled worker visas are extremely hard to come by, particularly for writers and other creative professionals. Everyone is presumed to be a potential terrorist or an economic threat to native-borns so the number of visas available has dramatically shrank and the standards for what skills you need have skyrocketed. It’s no longer good enough to be even in the top 25% of your profession to be considered skilled.

The good news for me is that with your help, I can and will reach England from which I will be better empowered to tell these stories of inspiring historical women. All it takes from you is a review or two on Amazon and sharing what you love about my work with others! So please, help me make my dream come true. Help me earn that visa!

What do you do to unwind and relax?

I have two beautiful cockatiels who are my pride, joy, and usually a form of amusement for me. Absolutely love my birds. I play a couple Facebook games on a daily basis. And of course, I’m a big movie fan, especially of classic films. Favourite television series include Doctor Who, Star Trek the Next Generation, Star Trek Voyager, the West Wing, Victoria, Sherlock, and Downton Abbey. For social activities, I enjoy fine food and drink (I’m quite the foodie at times), history tourism, and playing several outdoor games. I don’t generally exercise if I’m alone, but in the company of a small group I rather enjoy golfing (either the driving range or miniature golf), badminton, archery, frisbee/catch games, and sometimes a bit of football (soccer). Walking around zoos and botanic gardens is also fun too, especially if the trip involves seeing birds. Roses are my favourite flowers, especial white and fire-and-ice varieties.

What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision?

I don’t think anyone in this business really wants per se to be a writer. I think it is like acting and you are a writer from birth and then, through the trials and tribulations of life, finally learn to embrace your talent. As with acting, the road can be very long and convoluted and take decades before you take the plunge and decide to really go for it as a trade as opposed to a hobby you do for fun. Some published authors never take it out of hobby mode. I personally resisted making writing my profession. None of my family, living or dead, support(ed) the idea and I was pushed hard to pursue a “real” job. That’s a key reason I majored in Psychology while in University – my writing major was for me and my psych major was for my mother. History came about through my elective course options. By the time I was registering for classes for senior year my minor advisor in the history department told me I only needed three specific required courses to turn my minor into a major –so I did. History is really the hobby I made into a profession via becoming a non-fiction history author.

As for the right or wrongness of the decision, well it took me over 25 years to finally stop resisting my talent and go for it. In that time, I tried to make a living doing anything except write; the list is very long of the odd, usually poorly paid jobs I took. Now I have taken the big plunge and made writing my sole source of income, yes, I am happy with the decision. I’m finally doing what I was always meant to do.

A day in the life of the author?

I don’t think there is a typical day for me. I get up, check my email and social media, and go from there. I am very active on twitter and there are certain people I like to keep up with every day if I can. I love a good twitter conversation about history, birds, and so forth.

My work usually involves interacting with my translators on a regular basis and in truth I enjoy talking to them about both work and personal stuff. I may have writing or research to do that day or book promotion. It really all depends. When I’m doing initial research for a book I usually start with youtube in search of documentaries relating to the new project. Look through my bibliographies and you usually will find at least one video listed as proof of that.

One thing I always do every day unless I’m traveling is take a nap after my mid-day meal – usually with my cockatiels nearby. The mid-day nap time is often my main time to get in quality interactions with each bird because they are often most friendly with me then. What could be better than your cockatiel walking right up to you for a head rub or a kiss? Heaven!

Do you have advice you would give new authors or aspiring writers?

Learn everything you can. Nothing is irrelevant. When I was seventeen I never thought I would use my high school chemistry. Flash forward to 2011 when I started writing “The Great Succession Crisis” and was laying down the scientific foundations for my world-building and I was neck deep in three different versions of the periodic table of elements, tables I couldn’t have understood without that foundation from high school.

Another piece of advice: there is no substitution for either practice or hands-on experience. Writing is not something you can really learn in the classroom. You can and should master grammar and vocabulary, the technical parts of the languages you are writing in and that can be taught to you. But the creative part of writing, the instincts for plot, pacing, character, and so forth comes from experience and from reading a lot. Details matter a great deal in making your work believable which is why you must travel and experience life directly. The more you get out into the world and experience the breadth of what life has to offer the better your writing will be.

For example, in “Mary Queen of the Scots” there is an especially detailed dancing scene, a scene that reflects my many years dancing at Society for Creative Anachronism events. The scene works because I’m not imagining how people danced at Mary’s court; I know how they danced after years of dancing those dances myself. Likewise, in “Hypatia of Alexandria” there is an early scene with Hypatia trying to learn to spin with a drop spindle. Drop spinning is one of those medieval crafts I practice and do badly. So the scene is coming from real life. Drop spinning takes years of constant practice to master. Being mathematically inclined and with her talents being much more for philosophy and astronomy, I have zero doubt that Hypatia struggled with the “traditional” crafts women are expected to master just as much as I have all my life.

Those scenes work because I have broad experiences. Therefore allow me to encourage you to put down the tech and reach for all the different sorts of experiences you can.

What are you currently reading?

I am reading “Forgotten History: Unbelievable Moments from the Past” by Jem Duducu. Like me, Duducu brings history out of academia and into the hands of “the common man” though he goes about it quite differently and focuses much more on the military side of history than I do.

How long have you been writing?

I don’t believe you choose to be a writer. I believe writing chooses you. This is my entire life for my entire life. I began as a song-writer using my music to help me cope with a violent home life. Today we call that music therapy and recognize the healing power of music, but back in my childhood people simply thought I was a freak for constantly making up songs and singing to myself, despite my lovely voice.

As for making a living writing, that really started in the wake of the Great Recession and the loss of my salaried job as a commercial photographer and graphic artist. I resisted pursuing a writing career for decades; the familial antagonism towards the profession was simply that strong. I started numerous small businesses which each failed and threw me into debt. I really come into this career really kicking and screaming.

In August 2012 I published the first version of “The Great Succession Crisis” (it is now in its third edition). Five years out it is still not yet a commercial success, but that is fine because I am happy with the quality of my writing and I recognize that science fiction is a very crowded genre. People will discover GSC in time along with its prequels and sequels in the Peers of Beinan Series. As a literary social science fiction I am well-prepared for that.

Until then, I am very happy to continue to write the Legendary Women of World History series. There are currently eight titles in English. In 2018 I begin work on “Cleopatra VII” and on “Hildegarde von Bingen.” The series itself will probably finish after about 40-50 total titles meaning you can expect more great narrative biographies for years to come!

What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first? What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?

Whenever I start a new biography I usually begin my research by going as far back in time for that culture or nationality as possible and then working forwards in time. For example, on “Mary Queen of the Scots” I began by watching documentaries on ancient Scotland and the first known settlements in the highlands. With “Empress Matilda of England” I began with pre-Roman Germany and discovered that for all the differences between the Germanic and “Celtic” languages, northern Europeans were far more similar to each other than they were different. From there, the research propelled me into the Roman era, the formation of the “Empire of the Romans” (the term “Holy Roman Empire” dates to the Renaissance), and finally into the Salian dynasty and to Kaiser Heinrich and Matilda herself.

As a rule, I start with documentaries and then work my way into books, journal articles, and online published content. I’m very top-down, working from largest and broadest details to more specific. All this time I log my sources used and construct the timelines you see in every LWWH book since the second one (Boudicca does not have a timeline because we do not have precise dates for events in her life). In that sense I am outlining because with history I must present events in the sequence they happened.

I’m not outlining the story per se in the traditional sense, but I am logging what happened and when which in turn functions like an outline. The story telling itself (which events to include and how) does not get outlined. The bulk of what you see in the Timeline appendix in each book does not make it into the narrative. That adds to its usefulness.

With the main parts of the Timeline worked out, I usually begin with writing the opening prologue or poem that breaks the ice, that first 1-3 pages that most potential readers first see on retailer websites. Once perfected, a simultaneous process of writing, research, and editorial begins in earnest as I shape my list of historical events into a compelling narrative biography. Once I am satisfied with the core narrative, I finish by organizing, formatting, and polishing the appendices before uploading each book for publication.

Can you tell us a little bit about the historical persons in “Hypatia of Alexandria?”

Hypatia of Alexandria was born in 355 CE, just twenty years after the death of Constantine. The sixty years of her life saw some of the most sweeping changes of the late Roman Empire. It was a time of transition from the classical world to the medieval world. Hypatia lived right in the heart of it, in the intellectual capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. She was, for all practical purposes, the very last of the classical philosophers.

Two of Hypatia’s most famous students were Orestes and Synesius of Cyrene. Very little is known about Orestes. In the film “Agora” he is treated as a love interest for Hypatia, but in fact we have no evidence of that either way. The only mention to Orestes in historical sources tell us he was ’Praefectus augustalis’ which was the title given to the Roman governor of Egypt. Sources then go on to very briefly tell us of Orestes’ conflict with Patriarch Cyril in the events immediately leading up to Hypatia’s murder. After her death, Orestes disappears from the historical record entirely.

Synesius of Cyrene studied with Hypatia from 390 CE to 395 CE at which point he returned to Cyrene in modern day Libya to become its bishop in 409 CE. By this point, Synesius was married and had two sons which he refused to put away upon his elevation to bishop as was normal custom. Much of what we know about Hypatia comes from the surviving letters he wrote to her from Cyrene. He loved Hypatia deeply and to some degree continued her scientific work after he left, inventing numerous scientific instruments—some of them more successful than others. Synesius of Cyrene died heartbroken in 413 CE following the death of his wife and children. Contrary to the film “Agora” he never lived to see the brutal murder of his beloved “Philosopher” let alone contributed (as the film shows) to her death on the 15th of March, 315 CE.

Tell us about Hypatia – what makes her tick?

Hypatia of Alexandria was a woman both ahead of her time and yet very much a part of it. She was in many ways a classical philosopher in a classic sense with much in common in terms of upbringing and outlook as other greats from the classical period. She received both a Roman and Greek education, the Roman being very practical and emphasizing education to foster good citizenship and the Greek emphasizing arts, sciences, physical education, and music. The Greeks considered education a form of worship to the Gods which is one reason why Christianity so often took on anti-intellectual qualities. When Paul writes in Colossians, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ,” part of what he opposes is this Greek belief that learning itself is a form of worship. To Paul, philosophy was a form of idolatry, a belief that really empowers Patriarch Theophilus and his successor, Cyril, to go in and attack the intellectual communities and institutions that made Alexandria the educational center of the Roman world.

Hypatia’s world is literally falling apart around her. Everything she has ever known and ever believed in is under attack. But rather than turning a blind eye as those she knows and loves are taken off and killed, she puts her own life at risk helping and defending them, including many Jewish friends who were by this time facing extermination at the hands of the church leaders.

Hypatia taught anyone and everyone who came to her without concern for money, nationality, or religion. She put everything on the line to help and teach others. Truly a great role model for us in these turbulent times.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Tough one because as a rule I love the research aspects of writing each of my books. But if I needed to specify one thing unique to Hypatia that is not present in the other books so far it is the astronomy which was really my first love growing up in Lincoln, Nebraska. Before the car accident that took my eyesight, I seriously considered a career in science. Getting back to my astronomical roots was a lot of fun and I have some very cool astronomy-related resources in this book’s bibliography along with an appendix providing the latitude and longitude coordinates for several Roman Empire cities. This appendix will help you look up star charts for each location so you can see first-hand how the night sky differs depending on where in the world you are. I also really enjoyed writing the big astronomy scene in chapter two where Theon is introducing Hypatia to what becomes her life-long passion with the stars. We forget that each of these constellations have stories behind them. It was a lot of fun researching and telling the stories of Ursa Major (the Big Bear) and Ursa Minor (the Little Bear) and exploring several of the Greek astronomical discoveries in the process.

Follow the Tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway! 

 

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Blog Tour, Review, & Giveaway: Hinder By Kristin Ping (Guardian of the Monsters #1)

Blog Tour, Review, & Giveaway: Hinder By Kristin Ping (Guardian of the Monsters #1)

 

 

 

Title: Hinder
Author: Kristin Ping
Series: (Guardian of Monsters #1)
Publication date: May 15th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Paranormal

Available: Goodreads / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

Synopsis

Ethan Sutcliff seems like a normal seventeen-year-old—at least that’s what he’s trying to portray. In a secret society run by the Supernaturals, Ethan is what witches call a Bender. Benders are Witches’ Guardians, who are able to control a witches’ ability, bend it, or move it away from harming humans. In Ethan’s case, he is able to bend the Earth element. But at the age of fifteen, he lost all connection to it, and the reasons behind it could only mean one of two things: His Wielder is either dead, or hiding out somewhere.

Alex Burgendorf has been living in her aunt’s locket for the past sixteen years with her mother—a Fire Wielder, and her father—a Water Wielder. For sixteen years, her parents vowed to protect her, and they have, as she is the last Earth wielding witch. However, time is running out. Alex must find her Bender, or the fate of the Supernaturals might be at stake.

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Contact

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

Author’s Bio

Kristin resides in South Africa with her husband, two beautiful girls and two bulldogs that tries to eat her house.

She has been writing for the past eight years and her first debut novel, Hinder: A Bender’s novel will be published 2018 by Fire Quill Publishing.

When she isn’t writing, she is spending her time with her family, or trying to teach her two bulldogs to not eat her house. You can find more about Kristin at http://www.authorkristinping.com

My Review

Pretty good beginning to this brand new series. Beware of the beginning, however, there is quite a bit of information thrown at you. I had to take notes in order to understand the lore of witches, benders, and wielders. Other than that, everything in the novel begins to progress smoothly.

We follow the perspective of two main characters. The first is Ethan, an Earth Bender, is searching for his bender. In order for a Bender to keep his powers, he must find his Wielder/Witch. The second is undiscovered other half, Alex. Alex and Ethan both are constantly being hunted by Necrocretors due to the fact they both hold control over one of the rare elements. They have till they are 25 to try to outmaneuver the enemy and remain alive. But this is only one part of the danger at play. Wielders and Benders are forbidden to have relationships. Throw in some normal teenage drama and you have an interesting novel.

I must give props to Kristin Ping for incorporating a family dynamic to this series. It was about time a YA novel brought family in who actually took part of the story. And no, they are not in the backseat whatsoever.

Another downside is Ethan connecting women to animals. It made me uncomfortable at times. My only request is for him to mature and not have this unfortunate trait in the sequel.

Rating 6

 

GIVEAWAY!

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Silver Dagger Tours Book Series Review: The Hunted Series By Ivy Smoak

Silver Dagger Tours Book Series Review: The Hunted Series By Ivy Smoak

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Tempted (The Hunted Series #1)

Temptation (The Hunted, #1)
Available: Amazon/iBooks/B&N/Kobo

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When Penny Taylor runs into a handsome stranger in a coffee shop, she believes her luck has finally changed. After having her confidence unwound by her ex, she falls hard for a true gentleman. But once she realizes that her crush is her communications professor, her world is turned upside down.

Haunted by dreams of the alluring Professor Hunter, Penny can’t seem to dismiss her fantasies and the temptation to have him grows deeper. Will the excitement, danger, and mystery surrounding Professor Hunter bring her to her knees?

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Oh Glory, move over Christian Grey, class is now in session! Nineteen year old Penny Taylor, recently turned sophomore in college, off with a…sort of a splash. After meeting a handsome stranger during a spilled coffee incident, she later finds out he is her Com 212 teacher and he is not there merely for teaching. She begins to have dreams about him and have him rescue her whenever she falls into mishaps. Who is Professor Hunter? Why is she so attracted to her?

This book made me begging for more Penny and Professor Hunter and their world! The ending left me immediately pulling up the sequel!

Rating: 5 out of 10 Book Charms

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Addiction (The Hunted Series #2)
Addiction (The Hunted, #2)
Available:Amazon/iBooks/B&N/Kobo

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Temptation has quickly turned into addiction. Penny Taylor fell hard for the sexy, mysterious, exciting, and dangerous Professor Hunter. But scandalous affairs are meant to go down in flames. Now that he’s not speaking to her, she feels numb. And what hurts the most is that he appears to be completely fine. As she struggles to accept that their relationship is really over, her best friend’s crude advice is in the back of her mind- the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else.

Will she be able to move on, or is her addiction to her alluring professor only just beginning?

hs- my review

Scandals, Secrets, and Betrayal –

Penny tries to recover over the breakup with Professor Hunter. Her roommate Melissa suggest the best way to get back at him is to move on with someone else. That someone is Tyler, Penny’s friend who is in love with her and despised by Professor Hunter. Will Penny move on with her or will Professor Hunter come back for the girl he is ADDICTED to?

We find out more about Professor Hunter’s background in this sequel along with more goodies only Author Ivy Smoak can provide.

Rating: 8 out of 10 Book Charms

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Eruption (The Hunted Series #3)
Eruption (The Hunted, #3)
Available:Amazon/iBooks/B&N/Kobo

hs- about the book

Two and a half years later, Penny and James are living happily in New York City. Their love is stronger than ever. Penny is graduating from NYCU, James is growing his new business, and the two are getting married at the end of the month.

But graduation, starting an internship, and planning a wedding is a lot for Penny to tackle. Especially when mysteries from James’ past are clawing at the surface and his scheming ex and unsupportive parents threaten to destroy the happy couple.

Will their own insecurities make them question everything and sway them from the altar?

hs- my review

Isabella, Isabella, I could not stand Isabella, Professor Hunters Ex! Right when you think James (Professor Hunter) and Penny can have a smooth transition to marriage, in swoops James’ ex-wife to attempt to ruin it all. Lies, Blackmail, and Sadness plague the couple as the past seems to not want to disappear as much as Penny and James would like it too.

I was positively frustrated after this book was over. I could not believe how things went and begged the powers that be that it would get better in the next book. James….he transferred over to my “Dead List.”

Rating: 7 out of 10 Book Charms

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Devotion (The Hunted Series #4)
Devotion (The Hunted, #4)
Available:Amazon/iBooks/B&N/Kobo

hs- about the book

Tick tock. One day before the wedding of her dreams, Penny is in a city that is no longer her home. Alone. Heartbroken. Lost. Could the past few years really mean so little to a man that became her world? To a man she’d do anything to protect? There is no future without him. There is no her without him.

With only 24 hours until the wedding, is there enough time to repair the damage? Tick tock.

And even if Penny and James do come back to each other, Isabella is still out there plotting. The world is still against them. Darkness still lurks in the shadows of James’ past. A student and her professor were never meant to be forever. They thought it was an everlasting love, but it was doomed from the very start. Tick tock.

hs- my review

When it Rain, it pours…that’s the perfect way to describe this next book. James kicked Penny out, deciding he’d rather believe his ex-wife than Penny. Now, Penny does not know what to do. Her ex-fiance believes his attraction is due to his addiction complex and she wants to run away with her old friend Tyler. Penny is willing to fight for what she wants, James.

I wanted to smack James constantly. His stubbornness to accept love was infuriating because clearly what he calls “addiction” is devotion between them But will he finally accept it?

Rating: 8 out of 10 Book Charms

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Foundation (The Hunted Series #5)
Foundation (The Hunted Series Book 5)
Available: Amazon/iBooks/B&N/Kobo

hs- about the book

Penny and James defied the odds. A professor and his student were never supposed to become husband and wife, let alone a father and a mother. The couple created a foundation in NYC that is held together with love, family, and friends. A foundation that they believed was impenetrable.

But what happens when the life they know is threatened? If a struggle that should bring them closer together begins to tear them apart? All it takes is – One. Single. Slip. Foundations crumble. Will Penny and James continue to defy the odds?

hs- my review

The final installation of The Hunted Series….I can’t believe it’s all come to this. These books are like candy for me. They aren’t good for me, I know it, but I can’t get enough of them! I had a few teary moments because this book touches a special place in my heart.

My beloved book candy is officially over until next year and I wish I could have more, but wickedly pleasant things must come to an end….for now….

Rating: 7 out of 10 Book Charms 

hs- about the author

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Contact

Website/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Amazon/Goodreads

Ivy Smoak is an Amazon bestselling New Adult Romance author. When she’s not writing, you can find her binge watching too many TV shows, taking long walks, playing outside, and generally refusing to act like an adult. She lives with her fiancé in Delaware.

hs- giveaway

Enter for a chance to win an ebook bundle of the spinoff books in the series – City of Sin, Third Chances, & Missing Pieces!

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway Here

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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C.B.H. Reviews: Stalking Jack the Ripper By Kerri Maniscalco

C.B.H. Reviews: Stalking Jack the Ripper By Kerri Maniscalco

 

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Hi Everyone! So I’m a part of this group on Facebook called Life and Lit where we discuss books, exchange our book favorites, ask bookish questions, and much more. Each month we have a “Book-of-the-Month” type of read and this past month was Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco.

28962906 I started reading this book not long after it was released last year but was unable to finish it because life last year was a cruel, cruel thing. This year, though, I was able to join the others in the group and able to go back to late 1800’s England during Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror. Audrey Rose Wadsworth escapes her high lord father’s home late at night in order to be an understudy for her professor uncle in order to help him and his assistant Thomas Cresswell solve the grisly murders haunting the streets of England.

For a Historical Fiction and Murder Mystery novel, it holds up very well! The struggle Audrey Rose goes through in order to pursue her life’s calling screams the problems we women used to face back in those days. Instead of seeking out a successful career, we were expected to have tea, delve in the gossip of the elite, focus on our needlepoint, and worry about marrying into a wealthy family. Also the social rules of speaking to single men as a single woman were absolutely horrendous. If you were spotted out on the streets without a chaperone, speaking to a single gentleman – you could kiss your reputation goodbye and expect to be officially shunned by society because…us women and our feminine wiles, you know.

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I gotta say, Audrey and Thomas are partner goals, I swear. Their banter and chemistry is everything and they remind me of another carnation of Sherlock Holmes (Thomas) and Dr. Watson (Audrey Rose). I challenge you to go to Tumblr and look them up. The fan art of Audrey Rose and Thomas are absolutely adorable.

Now, the ending resolution to this story is predictable but the novel is still fun. The sequel, Hunting Prince Dracula, came out earlier this year and I was able to get my hands on it last month. If it’s just as good as this book, I can’t wait to read it!

Rating 9

 

Have you read this Mystery?

If so, let me know your thoughts on it down in the comments!

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

C.H.B. ARC Review: “Ramses the Damned – The Passion of Cleopatra” By Anne Rice

C.H.B. ARC Review: “Ramses the Damned – The Passion of Cleopatra” By Anne Rice

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Available: Amazon/B&N

The Passion of Cleopatra (Ramses the Damned #2)

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Release Date: November 21st, 2017

**Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy of this book via NetGalley and Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group in exchange for a honest review. This, however, does not effect my review in any way.**

Goodreads Description

Ramses the Great, former pharaoh of Egypt, is reawakened by the elixir of life in Edwardian England. Now immortal with his bride-to-be, he is swept up in a fierce and deadly battle of wills and psyches against the once-great Queen Cleopatra. Ramses has reawakened Cleopatra with the same perilous elixir whose unworldly force brings the dead back to life. But as these ancient rulers defy one another in their quest to understand the powers of the strange elixir, they are haunted by a mysterious presence even older and more powerful than they, a figure drawn forth from the mists of history who possesses spectacular magical potions and tonics eight millennia old. This is a figure who ruled over an ancient kingdom stretching from the once-fertile earth of the Sahara to the far corners of the world, a queen with a supreme knowledge of the deepest origins of the elixir of life. She may be the only one who can make known to Ramses and Cleopatra the key to their immortality—and the secrets of the miraculous, unknowable, endless expanse of the universe.

My Review

First of all….

If you missed my Anne Rice-Read-a-Thon Review of The Mummy/Ramses the Damned, you can read it right here….

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This book picks up right where the first one left off. For those who didn’t read the first installment, they give you a quick synopsis in the beginning of the book on the events which took place in the previous novel. The resurrection of Ramses, the awakening of Cleopatra, and the trail of bodies left behind by the two in their journeys.

Now, Ramses is traveling back to England with his future bride, Julia, in order to begin preparations for their wedding. Strangely enough their engagement party is being planned by Julia’s ex, Alex, who is still not fully…well…mature in his actions. Cleopatra, on the other hand, is not having much positive events happening. All her memories of her former life have disappeared.

The book jumps from one plot point to the next and keeps you guessing in what the next turning point will be in the story. We are introduced to a large variety of new characters that to be honest gets a tad overwhelming at times. We found out the origins of the magic elixir and the woman behind it all.

For those who have waited over twenty years for this sequel, it’s completely worth the wait! Will there be a book three? Please! Please! Please! We must have one! Something tells me if we don’t get one, there will be problems in the Anne/Christoper Rice fan community.

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Rating 9

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Graphic Novel Review: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Issue #2

Graphic Novel Review: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Issue #2

Want to know what happens when a group of writers take a classic character people know and love and completely change them and their world into a dark, dangerous entity? Welcome to the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

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Issue #2

If you missed my review of Issue #1, you can check it out here!

We are now into the second round of chills and thrills of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Forget about what you once knew about the original comic book series and the 90s television show, this is a darker, classic horror-film inspired re-endition of the lovable character we once knew and loved. No, Salem didn’t have anything to do with this turn of events.

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Ah, Sweet Sixteen. The turning point in a teenage girl’s life. Where everything begins to speed up and the world becomes her oyster. That is unless you are Sabrina Spellman. Upon the night of her Sweet Sixteenth birthday, Sabrina must choose where her allegiance lies, to the light or to the darkness she was originally conceived to turn her soul over too. But in the shadows of the night lingers a dangerous character by the name of MADAME SATAN!

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Originally written in the classic Archie comics, MADAME SATAN is resurrected with a tweaked back story. Madame Satan is not just any ordinary concubine to Satan, she is the former lover of Edward Spellman, Sabrina’s father. Resurrected by Betty and Veronica in Riverdale, Madame Satan sets her sights upon taking on her revenge on the Spellman line.

These stories continue to twist and turn, never giving you any indication of what could possibly happen next. I cannot get enough of these, period. Yeah it’s not the Sabrina I grew up with, but it’s an interesting twist on the classic character. I can’t wait to share with you about Issue #3!

 

Rating 9

Reviews/Posts Coming This Week

Book Tour ARC Review & Guest Post: Pink Lock Pics and Sequined Witch Hats

ARC Review: Ramses the Damned – The Passion of Cleopatra

Top 5 Bookish Quotes of the Week #1

Top 5 Books I’m Thankful For: 2017 Edition

Happy Reading,

~C.C.

Graphic Novel Review: The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Issue #1

Graphic Novel Review: The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Issue #1

Want to know what happens when a group of writers take a classic character people know and love and completely change them and their world into a dark, dangerous entity? Welcome to the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

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Growing up in the 90s, you are familiar with the light-hearted young adult comedy series Sabrina the Teenage Witch starring Melissa Joan Heart. Sabrina Spellman, a half-witch/mortal, is sent to be raised by her Aunts Hilda and Zelda. Them along with their cat familiar Salem endure over seven years of wacky fun and crazy spell antics that only a teenage witch can conjure.

Now, thirteen years later, Sabrina is reborn in a way that no one could have expected. We travel back in time to the swinging 60’s to her original beginnings in comic book form. Her world, though, is not what we nor any original readers have known. My initial reaction as I began jump into this rabbit hole of darkness was 100% this….

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Issue #1

We are first welcomed by Sabrina’s “origins” so to speak in the first issue. Instead, Sabrina’s origins reveal she was the product of her evil warlock father and innocent mortal mother in order to create a powerful half-witch who would conquer the magic world.

Sabrina’s mother discovers quickly after giving birth that her daughter was promised to be used as a servant of darkness. Upon realizing it, she tries to escape with Sabrina but is interrupted….I’ve included a “peak” down below. Sabrina_01_03.jpg

Sabrina’s father has her mother committed to a psychiatric hospital, tucked away where she is considered a threat and insane. Not long after, her father is transformed into a tree after his sisters Hilda and Zelda turn against him. And so is the beginning of the adventures….

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Rating 9

Reviews Coming This Week…

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Issue #2

Book Tour ARC Review & Guest Post: Pink Lock Pics and Sequined Witch Hats

ARC Review: Ramses the Damned – The Passion of Cleopatra

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Book Tour Review & Guest Post: The Dear Departed By

Book Tour Review & Guest Post: The Dear Departed By

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Title: The Dear Departed
Author: Anne Roebuck
Release Date: February 11th, 2016
Available: Amazon
Add to Goodreads
Genre: Historical Fiction/Paranormal Romance

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The widows of Victorian era San Francisco are dying of decidedly unnatural causes, and to expose the culprit Virginia Paley must partner with the darkly mysterious Jonathan Bradshaw, entering a world of occult rituals and unexplainable phenomena—and magical love.

Beyond the Veil

Young widow Virginia Paley has no interest in attending the séances at The Society for Eternal Love, but the women of the society are dying mysteriously in their sleep, leaving their fortunes to Professor Arthur Chadwick, its charismatic medium. As her aunt might very well become the next victim, Virginia will do whatever she must to ensure that doesn’t happen. She will even join forces with the darkly mysterious Jonathan Bradshaw.

From the moment he spies her, Jonathan is smitten. But romance is impossible. Mrs. Paley is a respectable woman, and he himself is outside of society, an orphan, an ex-thief and a true wizard, able to hypnotize with a word and even separate his spirit from his body. No, he must instead remain focused on his goal, avenging his mentor’s death. But, facing a foe with power over demonic forces and Virginia’s very life in the balance, love might indeed be the only salvation.

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First, I must say this tale was set up and executed magnificently. Back in the early 1900s, seances were famously conducted by charlatans in order to reap great sums of money from mourning wealthy patrons. Anne Roebuck takes us to a particular seance where we meet Virginia, a skeptic and recent widow, attending a seance with her aunt.

We witness the usual tricks used by those from the likes of Arthur Chadwick. The noises, the “ghostly knocks”, and the “ghosts” calling out their beloved wives’ names to profess their affection. But who would have known that a mere phesod was only the beginning of something darker, more dangerous. I surely did not expect the turn nor the events that followed. Be sure to sage your reading space after delving into this!

10/10 Book Charms!

dd- guest post

I Believe in Magic
A hundred years ago, everything looked different by candlelight or gaslight. Things were softer, less defined, more diffused. That shadow in the doorway that we saw out of the corner of our eye which disappeared once we turned around to stare at it. Was someone really there, or did we just imagine it? Or, the flickering of a candle flame. Was it caused by a sudden gust of wind? Or something else?
Everything sounded different, too. There was none of the constant background noise that surrounds us now. Sounds were more intense but less identifiable. The creaking of floorboards in the middle of the night. Was there someone there? The wind rustling in the trees in a graveyard sounded almost like voices. Could they be talking to us?
It was easier then to peer into the realms of the supernatural and hear the hushed voices of ghosts and spirits speaking to you from beyond the veil of death. It was easier to believe that both magic and love were real and not illusions.
I like the modern world. Science and technology have in many ways changed our lives for the better. But sometimes, I wonder if we have lost as much as we have gained in our highly technical society. Modern science has made our world rational and sensible. Still, what it must have been like in a bygone era when everything was less cut and dried and there was more room for magic and mystery.
For example, what must have it been like for a young widow, living in a world of respectability as tightly laced as her corset, to descend into dark and hidden realms where she is never sure what is real and what is illusion? Ghosts and spirits aren’t supposed to exist, but she sees them anyway. Are they really there or are they just phantasms born out of her lonely dreams?
And the magician who serves as her guide into the hidden realms, an impossibly handsome man with arcane knowledge and a disreputable past. Is he her protector or her ruin? Is he real or just one more illusion? And will she discover an awesome reality behind all the illusions or will she just end up on the Primrose Path to Perdition?
For people like me who are crazy enough to want to look behind the façade of today’s oh-so-rational world, we find all manner of bizarre things, like hundred-year-old artifacts hidden in an attic, that seem like so many relics of a superstitious past. Elaborate rituals performed in hooded robes, incantations intoned in languages that people haven’t spoken in a thousand years. Spirits, both good and evil, from beyond the grave. And bonds of loyalty and love that transcend space and time — even death itself.
Sometimes we are tempted to get cocky or complacent and think that these things aren’t real, but are only imagination, like stories that are told to gullible children. But they are real. They are as real now as they are then. Things like magic and love.
Especially love.

dd- about the author

Ann

Author’s Website/Amazon/Facebook/Goodreads

From my first poem at age 10 and my first short story at age 12, I can’t help writing about my two favorite things – magic and love. An unrepentant nerd, I started out in biomedical research but ended up writing software manuals instead. I spent many years as a member of science fiction and historical reenactment groups and I have been at various times a Renaissance scholar, a druidess, a pirate wench, a saloon floozy, a belly dancer and a chain-mail wearing warrior maiden.

Still, my first love is writing stories. It doesn’t matter whether the story is set in the middle ages, Victorian times, the present day or far in the future. If it has both love and magic in it, I will write about it. I write not only romance but young adult historical fantasy under the name of Ann Finnin. 

I’m a native of Southern California, and I live in the hills above Los Angeles with my husband of forty years, Dave (a man who gave me an electric typewriter as a wedding present) and a dog of Indeterminate Breed named Rufus.

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Xpresso Book Tour Book Blitz: Vices and Virtues

Xpresso Book Tour Book Blitz: Vices and Virtues

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Title: Vices and Virtues
Authors: Chris Farmer, Stacey Broadbent, Amber Bryant, Cyril Brunt, J.M. Butler, Lenore Cheairs, Alana Delacroix, Tammy Oja, Aria Peyton, Maggie Jane Schuler, Lisa Goldman, Rebecca Nolan, Kristin Jacques, Trinity Hanrahan, & QT Ruby
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Release Date: November 14th, 2017

On Sale for ONLY $.99 until 11/21! Be sure to get your copy before the price goes up to $2.99!

Available: Amazon

Vices and Virtues: An anthology of the Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Dark Virtues

Synopsis

Sins will weave you into their webs. They become the Vice you’re unable to shake. There are the values, taught from birth, which ride a razor’s edge. They turn into Dark Virtues, a twisted mockery of their true meaning.

Pride, envy, lust, gluttony, anger, greed and sloth all have their place in the tapestry of life. They are the Vices who lost sight of the Virtues: charity, temperance, forgiveness, humility, kindness, chastity and diligence.

Enter the worlds where the tales of the most sinful of Vices and the darkest of Virtues will entice and intrigue you…

…for even among the most devout there is a dark side.

The Tales Within…

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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ARC Review – Haven By: Mary Lindsey

ARC Review – Haven By: Mary Lindsey

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Title: Haven
Author: Mary Lindsey
Published Date: November 7th, 2017
Available: Amazon/B&N/Goodreads

**Disclaimer – I received this book via NetGalley and Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review whatsoever.**

 

Goodreads Description

“We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”

Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere, He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.

Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.”

My Review

First of all, this cover is AMAZING! When I first laid eyes on it on the NetGalley site I knew I had to look into it. Rain is an orphan moving to the town of New Wurzburg, hoping to find a place where he can actually be himself. He hides behind his pseudo “beast” side to protect himself from those around him until he comes across Freddie. Freddie is first introduced to us as this mystery girl who is surrounded by rumors, police telling Rain to stay away, and threats from people he doesn’t know.

This book is a thriller, romance, and filled with a new twist on the supernatural. How? You’ll have to find out….

 

Rating 10

Happy Reading,

~C.C.

Book Blitz & Author Q&A: Winter’s Siren By Krystal Jane Ruin!

Book Blitz & Author Q&A: Winter’s Siren By Krystal Jane Ruin!

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Title: Winter’s Siren
Author: Krystal Jane Ruin
Release Date: November 1st, 2017
Available: Amazon/B&N/iBooks/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult

 

Book Blurb

For the last five years, Fawn has been the star soprano of a secluded opera house, forced to sing for her kidnapper.

His daughter, Devi, waits patiently in the shadows, hiding a face so horrible that no one who’s seen it will look at it again.

As Fawn plots her escape, whispers spread through the shaded corridors of dark sorcery, warning her that she must flee by the next opening night.

But when Fawn draws close to the exit, it’s Devi who’s standing in her way, leading Fawn to suspect that Devi has something to gain if she fails.

(A dark reimagining of Swan Lake)

Connect With the Author!

KrystalJaneRuin
Website/Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads

Krystal is the author of supernatural and paranormal fiction, living in the Tennessee Valley with a collection of swords and daggers. When she’s not hoarding stuffed pandas, hourglasses, and Hello Kitty replicas, she can be found in YouTube hole or blogging about books, writing, and random things at KrystalSquared.net.

 

Q&A With Krystal

What inspired you to write WINTER’S SIREN?

K – Usually, this is the hardest question ever, but I love fairy tales, I love retellings, and I love the theatre: ballet, musicals, opera. My love of theatre directly influenced the direction of this story. You don’t want to know what it looked like before.

Why paranormal and what other genres are you interested in writing?

K – I’ve always been drawn to dark stories. Some of my first memories are of me trying to scare myself for some reason. Haha. My writing tastes have always been a lot more narrow than my reading tastes. But I would like to experiment with some dark historical fantasy and supernatural horror. I might talk myself into trying another high fantasy story one day.

If you could live in any novel, which one would you choose and why?

K – Is it weird if I say I want to live in Middle Earth? I read The Hobbit a long time ago, but I’ve only recently watched all the movies, and I’m obsessed with them! I hate the thought of giant spiders and trolls and orcs, but I wouldn’t leave Hobbiton anyway, and I think I’d love it there. Also, no creatures there. Bonus. (I mean, if Gandalf was with me, I might could be talked into going on an adventure.)

If you were a teacher, what subject would you teach?

K – Shakespearean Drama! But I’d also be happy to do plain Shakespeare or plain Drama. Either one of those would be most up my alley. If a class existed that was dedicated to Edgar Allan Poe, I’d also be interested in that.

When it comes to your writing, are you a plotter, panster, or hybrid writer?

K – I often pants the beginnings of stories or pants my outline as I write, but I always have a clear plan and direction I’m going in. That said, I have to have a finished outline at some point. It helps me remember little details better, and I write faster with one, as well.

If you could have a mutant power, what would it be?

K – Freezing everything! Don’t ask what for. I have a long-standing fantasy of water manipulation, and I would just love that. In my head, it’s like a cross between Ice Man and Storm. Ice Storm anyone? No? 

 

What three movies would you take to a deserted island to watch over and over again for a year?

K – Easiest question ever. The Little Mermaid, Clueless, and The Craft. They are my favorite top three movies of all time, but I feel sorry for anyone who knows me after returning from such a trip. I have a really bad habit of quoting movies, and I’d likely have them all completely memorized by then.

 

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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C.B.H. Reviews: Top 5 Horror/Sci-Fi/Mystery Podcasts

C.B.H. Reviews: Top 5 Horror/Sci-Fi/Mystery Podcasts

Do you ever get into one of those moods where audio books, reading, or YouTube videos won’t quelch your boredom? Are you looking for something new to listen to on your way home or to work? Do you love unsolved mysteries, fictional tales that seem eerily real, or conspiracy theories?

Since it’s Halloween season, I have been falling in love with podcasts more aside from finding spooky audio tales on YouTube. Here are my….

Top 5 Horror/Sci-Fi/Mystery Podcasts

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1. Rabbits

When Carly Parker’s friend Yumiko goes missing under very mysterious circumstances, Carly’s search for her friend leads her headfirst into a ancient mysterious game known only as Rabbits. Soon Carly begins to suspect that Rabbits is much more than just a game, and that the key to understanding Rabbits, might be the key to the survival of our species, and the Universe, as we know it.  

I binged listened to season one of this podcast in the past week and could not get enough of it! It makes you think twice about playing video games while pumps you full of adrenaline, desperate to discover more about the game and Yumiko. I cannot recommend this podcast enough! Listen to the first episode and let me know what you think in the comments below! You may listen to the show on Spotify, the Rabbits website, and Apple podcasts.

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2. Hollywood & Crime

When beautiful young heiress Georgette Bauerdorf was found dead in her luxurious Sunset Strip apartment, police assumed it was just a tragic accident. The housekeepers discovered her body submerged face down in the bathtub with the hot water tap still on. Her father in New York speculated her heart had failed, and she drowned in the bath water. But after a delay of thirty hours, the autopsy report told another story.

If you are a fan of cold cases or even unsolved mysteries, this is the podcast to dive into! Produced to feel like a classic radio show, Hollywood & Crime, takes you back to Hollywood after WWII to the Black Dahlia murders. Murders? Listen to find out! Tune in and let me know what you think in the comments down below! It is available on their website, Spotify, and Wondry.

 

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3. Welcome to Night Vale

WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE is a twice-monthly podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events.

The think I like about this series is that you can begin anywhere and not have listened to the series before now. However, it’s nice to start from the beginning where they set the stage for this strange town. It is available to listen via Spotify, YouTube, and Apple Podcasts.

 

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4. Alice Isn’t Dead

From the creators of Night Vale, a truck driver searches across America for the wife she had long assumed was dead. In the course of her search, she will encounter not-quite-human serial murderers, towns literally lost in time, and a conspiracy that goes way beyond one missing woman.

I’m currently listening to this podcast while driving to and from work. You feel like you are really riding in the truck with this woman on the course to find her wife, Alice. The woman, though, makes you wonder if her obsession with her wife is normal or a bit toxic while she explains her love her Alice while going to different towns in search of her. You can listen to it on their site, Spotify, iHeart Radio, and Apple Podcasts.

 

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5. No Sleep Podcast

In the spring of 2010, a new forum appeared on Reddit.com. It was called “Nosleep” and the concept of this forum (or “subreddit”) was to be a place for people to post original scary stories about frightening experiences. It was an online version of telling spooky stories around the campfire.

Each story is singular and reminds you of many creepy pasta stories except in podcast form. Some episodes have multiple while some have only one. At nine seasons, this podcast has a variety of chilling tales you’d need to listen to in order to believe. If you are a horror short story writer, you may even submit your stories to be featured in future episodes! You can listen on their site, Spotify, and iTunes podcasts.

 

What are your favorite podcasts?

Do you agree with my lists?

If you’ve listened to one or all of these, what did you think?

Please let me know in the comments below!

 

Happy Listening!

~C.C.

C.B.H. Reviews Anne Rice Read-a-Thon Review #2: Interview With the Vampire – Claudia’s Story (Graphic Novel)

C.B.H. Reviews Anne Rice Read-a-Thon Review #2: Interview With the Vampire – Claudia’s Story (Graphic Novel)

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“The Light….So it Began…So It would End…..”

Interview With the Vampire – Claudia’s Story, Anne Rice & Ashley Marie Witter

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In 2012, it was announced Claudia’s side of the story from Anne Rice’s famous novel, Interview With the Vampire, was to be written and released. I was in my first year of college and the news brought light to my hectic school schedule. Downside to me at the time, though, was that Claudia’s story would be told in graphic novel form instead of a full-fleshed out novel. Five years later, my tastes have changed and I’ve found a love in graphic novels so why not read this during my Read-a-Thon?

This tale was adapted for the graphic novel by Ashley Marie Witter under the guidance of Anne Rice herself. I have to give props to her for taking on this great task. Claudia is one of those characters where she appears to the world as an innocent child, but within she is deceptive, devious, and uses her “innocence” to achieve what she desires.

e798454fb077a69ca016770eef3d62b2The graphic novel depictions draw out more of her inner turmoil as a child growing up internally but never aging on the outside. Each carefully drawn picture entraps the trans-formative image of the once innocent, newly created vampire into the mature creature who gained her and Louis’s freedom from Lestat onto her movements to what led to her demise in the end.

The love between her and Louis is also more elaborated through the novel. We get a look into her feelings about her other vampire “father” and lover. She still is like a child in not wanting to disappoint him at the same time as trying to please him by trying to figure out where other vampires are located.

Was this graphic novel needed? I actually believe it was. There were times in the original novel where I wondered what Claudia’s true intentions were and if she truly loved for Louis or wished to use him. Whatever questions readers had about Claudia can be answered right here….

My Rating

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Rating 9

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

C.B.H. Quick ARC Review: Gray Wolf Island By Tracey Neithercott

C.B.H. Quick ARC Review: Gray Wolf Island By Tracey Neithercott

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Available: Amazon/B&N/Goodreads

Release Date: October 10th, 2017

**Disclaimer – I received this book via NetGalley and Knopf Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review whatsoever.**

Goodreads Description/Synopsis

Right before Sadie died, she begged her sister, Ruby, to do the one thing she could never do herself: Find the treasure on Gray Wolf Island.

With just a mysterious treasure map as a guide, Ruby reluctantly allows some friends to join her on the hunt, each of whom is touched by magic: a boy allegedly born to a virgin, a girl who never sleeps, a boy who can foresee his own death, and a boy with deep ties to the island. Each of them is also keeping a secret—something they’ll have to reveal in order to reach the treasure.

As the secrets come to light, Ruby will have to decide: Can she make peace with her friends’ troubled pasts and continue to trust them? Can she forgive herself for doing the unspeakable? Deep in the wilderness of Gray Wolf Island, Ruby’s choices will determine if they make it out with the treasure—or merely with their lives.

From debut author Tracey Neithercott comes a darkly compelling tale of profound friendship, adventure, and finding the strength to tell the truth.

My Review

If you had a chance to go with your friends on a search for treasure and a journey filled with mystery, secrets, death, and unpredictable consequences? If you said yes, this is the book for you! Huge thank you to NetGalley and Knopf Books for the opportunity to read this masterful tale!

Ruby is fulfilling her twin sister’s dying wish to search for a mysterious treasure that is hidden somewhere on Gray Wolf Island. She joins a group of strange friends in order to find this treasure and uncover the truth behind it. I had to read this book twice, it was so good!

Tracey Neithercott is a masterful storyteller with her debut novel! The prose and delivery is fantastic. I connected with each of the characters and couldn’t help but want them to succeed in their search. If you haven’t added this to your Goodreads TBR list or ordered it, do it!

 

Rating 10

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

C.B.H. ARC Review: “Book of Lies” By Teri Terry!

C.B.H. ARC Review: “Book of Lies” By Teri Terry!

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Available: Amazon/Goodreads
Publisher: Clarion Books
Release Date: October 10th, 2017

**Disclaimer – I received this book via NetGalley and Clarion Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review whatsoever.**

Netgalley Description

In this suspenseful, gripping novel, teen twin girls raised separately meet for the first time at their mother’s funeral. Quinn has been trained to never tell a lie. Piper is a practiced liar. Narrated in both voices, the story of their quest to learn truths that have been concealed from them is shadowed by a dark spell that beckons them to run at night with a pack of murdering ghost hounds. Suspense, menace, mystery, witchcraft, family secrets, mistaken identity, and romance are interwoven in a brilliantly written page-turner that will grab and thrill teen readers.

My Review

Twin girls, unaware on one another, are united after the death of their mother. Quinn immediately questions everything she knew about her mother which wasn’t much. She is being raised by her grandmother away from civilization while her sister Piper is among friends and other family. Another thing, her mother never made Quinn aware of her sister and yet somehow Piper knew….but how?

The twin’s background is shrouded in mystery that stems back to a curse placed upon their family that fortells of their demise. The question is, who is the deceiver and who is the honest one of the two? As the story progresses, the tale grows darker and darker.

The story’s progression is rather slow at first. It begins to increase in the middle, then the wheels finally begin spinning near the end. I was more interested in the lore behind the curse and discovering which twin would end up prevailing over the other.

In the YA Paranormal/Fantasy genre, it’s a pleasant standalone addition. It is also perfect to purchase and read during the Halloween season!

 

Rating 8

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Blog Tour, Promo Post, & Review – “The Divine Heart” By Danielle R. Mani

Blog Tour, Promo Post, & Review – “The Divine Heart” By Danielle R. Mani

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Author: Danielle R. Mani
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books
Release Date: September 27th, 2017
Available: Albris/Amazon/Goodreads

 

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The Divine Heart Blurb

Seventeen-year-old Elle Collins spent most her life waiting for someone else to die…

When a heart donor is found, Elle awakes from surgery gifted with more than just a new heart—clairaudient messages and spiritual apparitions haunt her until she is convinced that she must be insane. Either that, or her donor is sending a message.

Desperate for answers the medical community can’t provide, Elle’s divination leads her to the family of her donor—a young girl named, Cas. With the help of her best friend, Rob—the guy who’s a testament that her new heart is capable of love, Elle must make sense of the clues Cas is sending. As pieces of Cas’s life and death emerge, Elle will discover that she and Cas share more than just a heart.

My Review

Wow, what a ride! First of all, I’d like to thank author Danielle R. Mani for the honor of allowing me to read an ARC copy of her book! The YA Paranormal Community should prepare itself for a thrilling ride!

Transplants are a serious matter in our world today. Thousands of people are on waiting lists for organs that will ultimately saving their life. Some are on a list a mile long while others never have to wait long for their second chance at life. Elle Collins, is one of those who has been awaiting for her chance to live for a long time. She constantly has been under medical care and unable to live a normal, healthy seventeen-year-old’s life due to a heart defect she’s had since birth. Then finally she is given the chance to gain a life through a heart transplant from another girl we later find out named Cas.

Throughout the novel, the paranormal aspect kicks in through Elle experiencing basically messages from the heart’s former owner from beyond the grave. I enjoyed the pacing and how Mani was able to engage the reader with the mystery behind Cas’s messages to Elle. Completely did not see the twist at the end and I hope there will be a prequel in the works involving Cas!

 

Rating 9

 

A huge shoutout to Danielle R. Mani and YA Bound Book Tours for this opportunity! Grab yourself a copy, a cup of tea, and enjoy the tale of The Divine Heart!

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Okay So Booksically Tag

Okay So Booksically Tag

Hi Everyone!

It’s been months since I’ve done a Book Tag! I came across this by Jade @ drinkcoffeeandreadbooks who found this by Andrew @ Ok so Booksically on Youtube. Go check both of them out! Here we go….

 

1. Tell us about your user/blog/channel name and your real name

1140914371I’ve never fully gone into the origins of my blog name so better late than never. I’m a total 90s kid and was into the show Charmed while growing up. Aside from wishing to be a slayer like Buffy from Buffy the Vamprie Slayer, I wanted to be a Halliwell sister. Silly, I know but it was a call back to my childhood.

I used to work at a library and at the time, I felt it was a safe haven for me and my love of books. For a moment, it dawned on me that book haven sounded like they go together. Sometimes I flip them back and forth, but regardless, it’s a haven of books.

Before having my own blog, I used to review regularly on Amazon and Goodreads on a separate account. My friends used to continually ask me why I didn’t move to a blog. I didn’t think I would have the time at first after I set up my site and added a few reviews. I moved from one state to another, changed jobs, and became grounded in my personal life and began to go back to my love of reading and began writing again.

I still am shaky on this and trying to get the hang of it. For those who continue to read my reviews, from the bottom of my heart, thank you! But yeah, that is how Charmed Book Haven Reviews was born over two years ago…

 

2. Open Instagram search and chat about the first 3 images

 

 

First picture – I recently listened through “The Twin Peaks Tapes of Agent Cooper” read by Agent Cooper himself, Kyle Maclachlan. Huge Twin Peaks fan and after Twin Peaks: The Return ended, I found my library carried the Overdrive file for the book and decided I’d take a trip down fandom lane. 10 out 10 Book charms, for sure!

Second Picture – Quick explanation, my friend Ashley and I were at an antique mall a few weeks ago and came across a trunk of old photos. One in particular resembled another “incarnation” of actor Matthew Gray Gubler from Criminal Minds. We kept a running joke for the rest of the day of who other celebrities past lives we may find hidden in a trunk or corner of historical pieces.

Third Picture – Again, same antique mall. Another couple of passions of mine are films and history. I found an old film projector and I couldn’t help but wonder what films were played on this machine back in the day.

3. Open YouTube and talk about the First three videos you see

I’m gearing up for October and to give you guys more Audio Spooky Tales for your Halloween so they are all Creepy Pasta stories told by the YouTube channel Chilling Tales for Dark Nights! Check them out!

4. Your favorite song to listen to while reading/writing, and how many plays its got

I usually listen to two songs in particular. Both are from the band Evanescence and they were originally demos that didn’t make it to their officially released albums except for their demo CD entitled Origin. They are both are the kind that will set the scene if you are reading romance, paranormal romance, dark scenes with romantic characters, turning points in books – scenes like that. I adore Amy Lee as a singer/songwriter/artist. Her voice echoes through your head as you read and enhances the reading experience.

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5. Favorite book on your shelf at the moment

To be fair, I have five different bookshelves ranging in sizes. I’m just going to go with my main bookshelf in my living room that contains my “Currently Reading” reads that aren’t on my Goodreads list (I hate cluttering up my list). If you haven’t kept up, I’m currently going through an Anne Rice Reading Marathon aside from clearing through ARC’s during the week. My Movie Vs. Book post featuring a Side-by-Side comparison of Interview with it’s film counterpart in order to ring in October!

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6. Favorite bookish thing you love using as a prop in your pictures/videos

I don’t really have a prop. I just go with the flow and take my pictures.

 

7. 3 Books you are dying to re-read, but probably never will

Ooooooh….this is going to be bad….there are too many….

 

 

HORNS – I watched the film a few years ago and listened to the audio book back in February. It’s such a heart-wrenching book. It tells the story of Ignacious Perrish who is wrongly accused of murdering his girlfriend, Merrin. He awakens after a drunken night to the shocking sight of horns protruding from the top of his forehead. He soon discovers that the horns force the people around him to tell him the truth or give into their deepest, darkest desires. It’s a heartbreaking story filled to the brim with symbolism and secrets that will make you cry. I may never pick this up not because the book is bad, but it’s contents will cause you to want to stay in a dark room and make peace with your conscience.

Gone With the Wind – I took the plunge and read this during my senior year of high school in 2011. I could not believe I read all of it at the time and today I cannot believe I actually did. It accurately depicts our nations past history to a T so be aware if you decide to embark on this journey. Do not get offended, this was history and we learn from past mistakes. That’s why I don’t think I’ll be reading it again. I’ll stick to the movie.

Wuthering Heights – Ok, I was not one of those girls in high school who bought into the whole love for Heathcliffe drama. I just didn’t get into Emily Bronte like I did with Charlotte and I’m afraid I still wouldn’t as an adult.

 

8. Amazing bookish finds (this can be books, bookish things, or bookish moments)

If you ever come to visit me, you’ll notice a LOT of bookish treasures I’ve found over the years whether it be first editions, classic literature school primers, etc. I love antique shops and old book stores and guaranteed if there is a treasure – I will find it!

9. Hottest author(s)/Author Crush

Sadly, I don’t have one. If this was a character crush, that’d be a whole other topic of discussion. But, I don’t really have an author crush. 😦

~

I challenge everyone who is reading this to do this tag! Don’t forget to tag me so I can read your responses!

Here are the questions if you want to copy and paste them

1 – Tell us about your user/blog/channel name and your real name
2 – Open Instagram search and chat about the first 3 images
3 – Open YouTube and talk about the first 3 videos
4 – Your favorite song to listen to while reading/writing, and how many plays it’s got
5 – Favorite book on your shelf at the moment
6 – Favorite bookish thing you love using as a prop in your pictures/videos
7 – 3 Books you are dying to re-read, but probably never will
8 – Amazing bookish finds (this can be books, bookish things, or bookish moments)
9 – Hottest author(s)/Author Crush

 

Happy Tagging!

~C.C.

C.H.B. ARC Review: “The Rattled Bones” By S.M. Parker

C.H.B. ARC Review: “The Rattled Bones” By S.M. Parker

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Title: The Rattled Bones
Author: S.M. Parker
Release Date: August 22nd, 2017
Publisher: Simon Pulse


Available: Amazon/B&N/Goodreads

 

Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy courtesy of NetGalley and Simon Pulse in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review in any way.

 

Goodreads Description

“Unearthing years of buried secrets, Rilla Brae is haunted by ghostly visions tied to the tainted history of a mysterious island in this haunting novel from the author of The Girl Who Fell.

Maine-bred, independent Rilla Brae is no stranger to the deep. She knows the rhythms of hard work and harder seas. But when she experiences the sudden death of her father, the veil between the living and the dead blurs and she begins to be haunted by a girl on a nearby, uninhabited island. The girl floats a song over the waves, and it is as beautiful as it is terrifying. Familiar and distant.

Then Rilla meets Sam, a University of Southern Maine archeology student tasked with excavating the very island where the ghostly girl has appeared. Sam sifts the earth looking for the cultural remains of an island people who were forcibly evicted by the state nearly a hundred years ago. Sam tells Rilla the island has a history no locals talk about—if they know about it at all—due to the shame the events brought to the working waterfront community. All Rilla knows for sure is that the island has always been there—an eerie presence anchored in the stormy sea. Now Sam’s work and the ghostly girl’s song lure Rilla to the island’s shores.

As Rilla helps Sam to unearth the island’s many secrets, Rilla’s visions grow—until the two discover a tragedy kept silent for years. And it’s a tragedy that has everything to do with Rilla’s past.”

My Review

This story is one filled with self-discovery, mystery, ghosts, and beautiful imagery. This is a for sure read to add to your October reads or even start reading it now. S.M. Parker has presented us with a tale unlike once you’d see under the YA Thriller category, but it makes it’s mark within your mind and in the genre.

Rilla Brae newly inherited her father’s lobster fishing business after his untimely death, and its seeking to discover what her purpose truly is in this life. Being raised on the sea, she was told never to trust it when it appears quiet. It proves true as she is led astray to the mysterious Malaga Island by an abandoned wooden boat and an eerie song floating across the sea to her. The Island is shrouded in the old tale where it’s inhabitants mysteriously disappeared. what happened to the inhabitants and why is Rilla drawn to it?

Highly recommend this read! Grab a blanket, cup of tea, and lock your doors – it’ll leave you with chills and grasping the pages for more.

 

Rating 10

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

UPDATED: MOVIE VS. BOOK – I Know What You Did Last Summer!

UPDATED: MOVIE VS. BOOK – I Know What You Did Last Summer!

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Originally posted: 6/29/2016

Back in the seventies, author Lois Duncan penned a novel detailing the events surrounding a group of teenagers from a small town who hid a dirty secret entailing a hit and run and the discarding of a body. The events following the crime caused readers to look over their shoulder and teach them to always come clean. When you hear the words, I Know What You Did Last Summer, nine times out of ten, people will immediately think of the classic 1997 slasher film starring Jennifer Love Hewitt.

I got my hands on a revised copy of the novel and I was quite surprised with the vast difference between the novel and the book. Granted, the novel was originally written in ’73, but I thought the film would be at least more similar than it had been.

Original Premise

Teens Julie, Ray, Barry, and Helen hit a child on his bicycle in the middle of the night while joyriding, drinking, and smoking pot. A year passes by and they all have changed. Julie, once the top cheerleader who had the lowest grades, is now accepted into an Ivy League school with a high GPA. Ray ran off to California to be a fisherman not long after the incident. Barry is now one of the star players on his college football team. Helen quit high school her Junior year in order to be Channel 5’s new Golden Girl personality. 

The morning of Julie’s good news of learning she will be going to an Ivy League School, another letter arrives for her. Only this letter is different from the rest. It’s smaller than the other. The moment she opens it, her heart drops at the sight of the words, “I Know What You Did Last Summer”. 

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Film’s Premise(Taken From Wikepedia)

“Four high-school seniors – Julie, boyfriend Ray, best friend Helen and Helen’s boyfriend Barry – drive home from a party. While driving, Ray becomes distracted, hitting a pedestrian. Another teenager, Max, stops nearby. Julie convinces him everything is okay; he drives off. The group decides to dispose of the body. At the docks the man revives, attacking them before falling into the water.

A year later, Julie is home from college for the summer. She receives a letter stating, “I know what you did last summer.”

The film mildly draws inspiration from the book while constructing a solid story all on it’s own instead of being a complete adaption. No one died in the original book nor was the victim a grown man. The fact the original victim was a little boy struck a deep chord with me more so than the movie. The death of a child is devastating in my eyes because it’s the innocence of that child and for these characters to keep going, made me understand the antagonists wrath and course for revenge all the more.

Lois Duncan understood the formula on stirring up the reader’s emotions through the consequences the child’s death had on the family. Trauma can be taken in any way, shape, or form. In this boys case, their family took the worst of it and took matters into their own hands. The “Great Reveal” in the end is not all surprising.

tumblr_o3qhpmJbhW1qj7u8ao1_500.gifThe movie, though, ties in inspiration from the urban legend “The Hook” in order it to strike up deeper fears into the heart of the audience than merely focusing on a hit-and-run. The family of the victim did not seem to suffer as much as the family in the novel. The murders were gruesome, for 90s slasher standards, and the great reveal in the end is not expected.

All in all, I consider both the film and book to be separate entities. By comparison, they are extremely different in delivery, middle, and climax. The novel is a good short, little read while the movie is perfect to add to your horror collection. The characters in the book have a voice all their own that when compared to the actors, they are completely different. I don’t see Jennifer Love Hewitt as Julie or Freddie Prince Jr. as Ray. I see the novel characters the opposite of their portrayers. The actors are good for the film adaption of the characters maybe because they weren’t like their original inspirations.

Did I enjoy the novel? Yes, I did. The film? Oh yeah! Would I recommend fans of the film to read the book? I would caution them before they read because the book is by no means a slasher book. I remember reading it and waiting for it. When no murders came, I felt jilted because I grew up with the film version.

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In the end, I’d probably choose (don’t kill me) the film version. Hear me out, to me, it was better. I blame the delivery and the surprise ending compared to the book’s not so subtle ending. But like I said earlier, they should be considered separate entities. Plus, the film spawned a pretty good sequel.

 

My Rating

Rating 6

 

Film: This isn’t a Book so I’ll use Film Reels. 7 out of 10 Film Reels

 

What would you choose? Film or Movie?

 

Happy Reading and Watching!

 

~C.C.

 

 

5 Halloween/Scary Audio Tales Friday!

5 Halloween/Scary Audio Tales Friday!

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Hi Everyone!

 

I wanted to try something new this Friday and try to do it on a regular basis. Lately, I’ve been delving deep down a rabbit hole of old/classic spooky tales and old suspense radio shows via YouTube. Since October is coming and I consider September the “Warm-up” month to Halloween, I thought I may share some of my findings that you may enjoy and add to your Watchlist or Halloween Tales Playlists!

 

Tale #1: “Nupital Doom – The Bride in the Attic (The Haunted Mansion Tale)” As Told By Kat Cressida

 

 

For those who love the HAUNTED MANSION at the world-wide Disney parks, there was an official tale spawned by the original Haunted Mansion in Disney World that was finally recorded. I came across this last month and I bookmarked it to add it to a series of Halloween stories to re-listen too come October. The story is hauntingly beautiful and gives the ride a more dark view. My only negative is narrator Kat Cressida’s constant pauses and loud intakes of breath. Otherwise it is a perfect Halloween audio story to sink your teeth into!

 

Tale #2: “Tales of Witches, Ghosts, and Goblins (1972)” As Told By Vincent Price

 

 

If you are familiar with the legendary Vincent Price, I need to go further. If you do not, he was one of the most memorable actors in horror films in the 60s/70s. He was not only a film actor, however, but famous in his portrayals in Shakespearean theater, masterful storyteller, and art collector.  His voice is one you cannot forget nor run away from when you hear his tales of betrayal, spooks, and mayhem. Have a listen and explore the other tales Vincent Price brings to life!

Tale #3: “Till Death Do Us Part” Portrayed by the classic radio show – The Sealed Book

 

 

I originally found this episode when I was in high school. The radio actors transport you back to a time where you didn’t need horror movies to send chills up your back. The Sealed Book is a brilliantly crafted Suspense radio show that not even The Twilight Zone episodes can touch!

 

Tale #4: “Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula (1981)” Broadcasted on BBC radio

 

 

Have you ever wondered what it’d be like if Sherlock Holmes and Dracula went head-to-head? Move over, fanfiction, here is the story of a lifetime!

Tale #5: “Tower of Terror Last Ride” Performed by CZsWorld – Al Dente Creepypasta

 

 

Last tale to wrap up the week….back to Disney. I stumbled across this two days ago and I have to say it is amazing and gave me the chills! If you never rode the Tower of Terror in Disney World before it closed, listen to this, it will give you a different perspective on the ride. For those who had the honor and pleasure – enjoy!

 

Let me know if you enjoy any of these and don’t forget to share them!

Do you have any classic horror audio tales you enjoy listening to?

Also let me know in the comments below and I will share them next week!

 

Happy Reading (Listening)!

~C.C.

Top 5 Ways to Prep for a Book Convention ~ Love N. Vegas Edition!

Top 5 Ways to Prep for a Book Convention ~ Love N. Vegas Edition!

Hey Everyone!

So summer is officially over, but the fun does not end! Love N. Vegas is making it’s annual appearance on October 27th-29th in Las Vegas! There will be author Meet and Greets, Opportunities to get NEW Releases, and even a Costume Contest – who could ask for more at a book convention?

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In honor of this momentous occasion, I thought I’d take a moment to give you my…..

Top 5 Ways to Prepare For Your First Book Convention!

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1. Plan, Research, and Organize!

Before you plan any trip abroad to a convention or even a state, the important thing is to have a PLAN! If you are planning on flying to attend the convention, there are exclusive deals for Vegas Hotels and Flight packages going on right now that you can plan ahead and research deals for Vegas Hotels and Flight packages! If you are driving and from out of town, I stock up on gas cards by buying them with my Kroger card and racking up my points so I can get discounts at the gas pump on top of using the gift cards.

After planning on either driving or flying and booking the hotel, I like to ORGANIZE the specific print outs of hotel reservations, plane and convention tickets (if digital tickets are not available), rental car information, and convention events info and place them all in one folder I can put in my carry on bag or purse. That way, you know all of your important information is in one place where you can instantly grab and pull out instead of being spread out in multiple places. Plus, you won’t have to keep peeking at your phone every few seconds to make sure the right apps are open and drain your battery.

Another thing I’d like to do is RESEARCH the surrounding areas around the hotel where you are staying and the convention area. Restaurants, stores, etc.. they will come in handy especially if you are traveling on a budget. If you can find coupons or special deals going on in those places, print out and store them in the folder as well.

 

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2. Stock up on Snacks!

Let’s face it, we all get hungry and when we are on the run at a convention, the prices at the snack and food stands around can be a bit pricey. This is where our pre-planning comes in handy! Taking a short trip to the grocery store nearby and stocking your car and hotel mini-fridge with snacks and food will save you big bucks and keep you full on the go. Granola bars and mini-chip bags are life savers!

 

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3. Costume Ideas!

Comic-Con is not the only convention you can show up as your favorite character! Get out of your comfort zone and let your imagination run free! (My Potterhead family, I’m looking at you)  Since the majority of book conventions hold costume contests, the sky is the limit to what you can do. Even if you don’t want to sign up for the contest, dressing up is a fantastic way to connect with your fellow book lovers throughout your time at the convention.

I can’t tell you how many people I’ve connected with just by dressing up by my favorite character and vice versa. So what are you waiting for? Put on your robe, grab your wand, and make some magic with your costume! And if you’d rather be a Katniss Everdeen, Feyre Archeron, or other character – do it! Just remember to have fun!

 

4. Keep Your Black Marker Handy!

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Whether you are meeting your favorite author or meeting a new one for the first time, ALWAYS have a black permanent marker handy. Some authors may have them at their tables to use to sign your books or bags, but there are times where they will run out or you may happen to bump into them. Behold the magic marker moment!

 

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5. Pack Extra Mini-Tote Bags in One Bag!

Imagine if you are going to a library sale or a book sale. What do you usually bring? One tote bag? Two? A lot of times, there are many opportunities to purchase ARCs, books, or swag at book conventions. But if I don’t have enough bags to carry all my new “book children” I get super bummed. So, I found an alternative. I usually a couple totes into each other then fold them in half and place them to one side of the tote I will be carrying most of the day. That way you’ll have plenty of bags to use. Also during book conventions, there are some stations that will have tote bags filled with plenty of book swag to add to your collection! The extra bags will help you not have to place the other books you get into those special bags.

 

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Summer may be over, but Love N. Vegas is on!

Check it out here and join in on this momentous occasion!

~

What are your ways that you prep for a convention, book or otherwise?

What are your favorite memories?

If you could dress up and go as your favorite literature character, who would it be?

Let me know in the comments below!

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

C.B.H. ARC Review: “Sleeper” By MacKenzie Cadenhead

C.B.H. ARC Review: “Sleeper” By MacKenzie Cadenhead

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Available: Amazon/B&N/Goodreads

Publisher: SOURCEBOOKS Fire

Release Date: August 1st, 2017

**Disclaimer – I received this book via NetGalley and Aria in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review whatsoever.**

Goodreads Description

“As if surviving high school wasn’t hard enough, Sarah Reyes suffers from REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, a parasomnia that causes her to physically act out her dreams. When she almost snaps her friend’s neck at a sleepover, Sarah and her nocturnal habits are thrust into the spotlight and she becomes a social pariah, complete with public humiliation.

When an experimental drug comes onto the market that promises nighttime normalcy, Sarah agrees to participate in the trial. At first, she seems to be cured. Then the side effects kick in. Why does a guy from her nightmare show up at school? Are the eerily similar dreams she’s sharing with her classmates’ coincidence or of her making? Is she losing her mind or does this drug offer way more than sleep?”

My Review

I held off this review until I could find the right words. I felt like I was being transported back in time to how YA novels were written when I was 15-16 years old. Back then, love interests were abusive (i.e. emotional, physical, etc.) but were still considered “healthy”. Innocent “pranks” were actually not truly pranks. People do not get sexually assaulted or at least they should not in pranks. I’m not a sensitive person when it comes to something I read. However, there were many cases in this book where events were not alright and crossed the personal line for me due to them being constant throughout the novel. Other readers may believe this to be “triggering” due to the nature of the contents. I personally didn’t need one, but other readers would need them if they have a past in these situations.

Anyway, The main plot of the novel is surrounds Sarah who suffers from a sleeping disorder that had recently caused her to attack a classmate in her sleep and almost kill her. She is offered a possible solution through the experimental drug called Dexidnipam. But with positive effects come negative effects that cause issues in her on-going life.

Many describe it as Heathers meets Inception and while I see that, the best parts of those films are lacking from this narrative. I want to see enemies understand what they are doing is wrong and not when it’s practically too late. I want to see justice, not “sins” swept under the wrong as if they do not exist.

For those interested in this novel, read my first paragraph. If you are like me and things in a novel don’t affect you due to it being fiction, then don’t worry about it and try it out. It had a few positive moments, but it needed better world building, character conflict resolution, and get rid of the insta-love factor.

 

Rating 5

Happy Reading,

~C.C.

 

 

C.H.B. Reviews: Anne Rice Read-a-Thon Book #1 – “The Mummy” Review

C.H.B. Reviews: Anne Rice Read-a-Thon Book #1 – “The Mummy” Review

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Title: The Mummy or Ramses of the Damned
Author: Anne Rice
Release Date: May 6, 1989
Total of Pages: 398
Publisher: Bellatine Books

*****

Goodreads Description

“Ramses the Great has reawakened in opulent Edwardian London. Having drunk the elixir of life, he is now Ramses the Damned, doomed forever to wander the earth, desperate to quell hungers that can never be satisfied. He becomes the close companion of a voluptuous heiress, Julie Stratford, but his cursed past again propels him toward disaster. He is tormented by searing memories of his last reawakening, at the behest of Cleopatra, his beloved queen of Egypt. And his intense longing for her, undiminished over the centuries, will force him to commit an act that will place everyone around him in the gravest danger.”

My Review

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For those who missed last week’s post, you can check it out here. Last week I announced that I would be conducting a Anne Rice book Read-a-Thon in honor of the long-awaited sequel to her novel The Mummywhich is to be released this November. I was contacted with the opportunity to read this before the release, but decided to first re-read The Mummy to refresh along with reading the first books of her other well-acclaimed series including The Vampire ChroniclesThe Mayfair Witches, and The Wolf Gift.

If you haven’t added me on Goodreads to follow me on my Read-a-Thon journey, you can send me a request here! You can never have too many friends on Goodreads and I love seeing what you all are also reading and your reviews.

The Mummy transports us back to what is called the “Edwardian London” period which is loosely the years among 1901 to 1910. If you’ve seen the original Universal “Mummy” films, they are mostly based during that time due to the archaeological digs that took place in Egypt around that time. The mysteries behind Egypt were on their way to be unlocked and released to the “modern” world.

Lawrence Stratford, renowned archeologist, embarks on an expedition that leaves him murdered, a daughter grieving, his company left to his brother and gambler nephew, and known for finding the mysterious tomb of Ramses the Great. How was he murdered? The papers say it was the mummy. But, in reality, he was poisoned by his nephew, Henry, after Lawrence denied to sign papers for more money to go to Henry.

tumblr_oodilhnNWa1utox96o1_500.gifThinking he could escape his sin, Henry feels the eyes of the mummy watching him. The story begins to pick up the pace from there as Henry begins to sink into his own madness. The moment Ramses fully awakes and stops Henry from attempting to murder his cousin Julie, Henry runs away in fear, screaming about the mummy almost killing him.

I admire Anne Rice for how much work she put into the novel and her research on the background of Cleopatra and Ramses. Ramses character is one of sadness for the loss of time due to him putting himself to sleep after the death of his love Cleopatra. But Ramses is also a character filled with revenge for Lawrence’s daughter, Julie. He set his sights on making it right and begins his plot for revenge….

For those who love the classic Mummy tale, take a look at this book! I’m completely ready to read the sequel and can’t wait to share it with you the Passion of Cleopatra!

 

Rating 9

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Read-a-Thon: Anne Rice Edition!

Read-a-Thon: Anne Rice Edition!

First off, HAPPY NATIONAL BOOK LOVERS DAY, Charmers!

 

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It is our day! Our day to dive into our stacks of books! Our day to break out of our shell and get our book-loving-freaky selves! And why not celebrate by conducting a Read-a-thon? Not just any Read-a-thon, but one of YOUR own choosing with YOUR own rules.

Now I recently received a message not too long ago that I have the opportunity to read and review, RAMSES THE DAMNED: THE PASSION OF CLEOPATRA, the long-awaited sequel to The Mummy or Ramses The Damned By Anne Rice that is to release later this year! Her son, author Christopher Rice, joins her on this journey into picking up where we left Ramses back in 1989. Anne Rice is one of my favorite authors of all time and I’ve also enjoyed Christopher’s work too so you can only imagine my reaction to this once in a lifetime opportunity

….

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The last time I read “The Mummy” was after I picked up a copy from my local Half Price Books Store back in 2013. Since it’s been awhile, I’m in great need of a refresh. Therefore, I have constructed a plan….a plan so diabolical, I am surprised no one else has thought of it!

Ok, ok, I’m kidding about a diabolical plan. But I will be conducting a Read-a-Thon featuring one of the most notorious and well-known writers in the gothic horror genre next to H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King. Anne Rice made her mark upon the literature world back in 1976 with a new take on the nature of the classic vampire monster.

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She gave the vampire a “soul”, a lingering conscience causing them to long for their humanity. Her main character, Louis, provided a heart-to-heart conversation and lesson in “Interview With The Vampire” which left some readers and future authors aghast while inspired many to explore the life of a vampire and bring them back to the “light” so to speak.

This Read-a-Thon will span the next week or so for myself. You are free to join me at your descretion, of course. Apologies in advance for the odd language. I watched the movie adaption to “Interview” last night and my brain is still tuned into the story.

*Film side note, You can’t tell me anyone can top Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Antonio Bandaras, or even Christian Slater’s performance in this film! If they remake this film, I shudder to think who they’d choose to replace them.*

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With this Read-a-Thon, I’m planning on reading the following Anne Rice Novels and will be providing reviews with them:

First

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Goodreads Description

“Ramses the Great has reawakened in opulent Edwardian London. Having drunk the elixir of life, he is now Ramses the Damned, doomed forever to wander the earth, desperate to quell hungers that can never be satisfied. He becomes the close companion of a voluptuous heiress, Julie Stratford, but his cursed past again propels him toward disaster. He is tormented by searing memories of his last reawakening, at the behest of Cleopatra, his beloved queen of Egypt. And his intense longing for her, undiminished over the centuries, will force him to commit an act that will place everyone around him in the gravest danger.”

Second – ARC REVIEW COMING SOON

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Goodreads Description

“Ramses the Great, former pharaoh of Egypt, is reawakened by the elixir of life in Edwardian England. Now immortal with his bride-to-be, he is swept up in a fierce and deadly battle of wills and psyches against the once-great Queen Cleopatra. Ramses has reawakened Cleopatra with the same perilous elixir whose unworldly force brings the dead back to life. But as these ancient rulers defy one another in their quest to understand the powers of the strange elixir, they are haunted by a mysterious presence even older and more powerful than they, a figure drawn forth from the mists of history who possesses spectacular magical potions and tonics eight millennia old. This is a figure who ruled over an ancient kingdom stretching from the once-fertile earth of the Sahara to the far corners of the world, a queen with a supreme knowledge of the deepest origins of the elixir of life. She may be the only one who can make known to Ramses and Cleopatra the key to their immortality—and the secrets of the miraculous, unknowable, endless expanse of the universe.”

Third – Back to the Beginning

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Goodreads Description

“Here are the confessions of a vampire. Hypnotic, shocking, and chillingly erotic, this is a novel of mesmerizing beauty and astonishing force—a story of danger and flight, of love and loss, of suspense and resolution, and of the extraordinary power of the senses. It is a novel only Anne Rice could write.”

Fourth – Something Wicked This Way Comes

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Goodreads Description

“On the veranda of a great New Orleans house, now faded, a mute and fragile woman sits rocking. And the witching hour begins…

Demonstrating once again her gift for spellbinding storytelling and the creation of legend, Anne Rice makes real for us a great dynasty of witches – a family given to poetry and incest, to murder and philosophy, a family that over the ages is itself haunted by a powerful, dangerous, and seductive being.”

Fifth – Feeling a Bit…Hairy

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Goodreads Description

“The place, the rugged coast of northern California. A bluff high above the Pacific. A grand mansion full of beauty and tantalizing history set against a towering redwood forest.

A young reporter on assignment from the San Francisco Observer. . . an older woman, welcoming him into her magnificent, historic family home that he has been sent to write about and that she must sell with some urgency . . . A chance encounter between two unlikely people . . . an idyllic night—shattered by horrific unimaginable violence. . .The young man inexplicably attacked—bitten—by a beast he cannot see in the rural darkness . . . A violent episode that sets in motion a terrifying yet seductive transformation as the young man, caught between ecstasy and horror, between embracing who he is evolving into and fearing who—what—he will become, soon experiences the thrill of the wolf gift.

As he resists the paradoxical pleasure and enthrallment of his wolfen savagery and delights in the power and (surprising) capacity for good, he is caught up in a strange and dangerous rescue and is desperately hunted as “the Man Wolf,” by authorities, the media and scientists (evidence of DNA threaten to reveal his dual existence). . . As a new and profound love enfolds him, questions emerge that propel him deeper into his mysterious new world: questions of why and how he has been given this gift; of its true nature and the curious but satisfying pull towards goodness; of the profound realization that there are others like him who may be watching—guardian creatures who have existed throughout time and may possess ancient secrets and alchemical knowledge and throughout it all, the search for salvation for a soul tormented by a new realm of temptations, and the fraught, exhilarating journey, still to come, of being and becoming, fully, both wolf and man”

Are you a fan of Anne Rice’s novels?

Which one is your favorite?

Let me know in the comments below!

I’ll be adding the books to my “Currently Reading” List on Goodreads. You can add me on there here if you’d like to join me on my journey!

Happy National Book Lover’s Day, Everyone! 

~C.C.

Blog Tour, ARC Review, & Excerpt: From the Earth to the Shadows By Amanda Hocking

Blog Tour, ARC Review, & Excerpt: From the Earth to the Shadows By Amanda Hocking

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Title: From the Earth to the Shadows
Series: Valkyrie Bk. 2
Author: Amanda Hocking
Available
Amazon/B&N/Books-a-Million/IndieBound/Powells

*Disclaimer – I received an ARC Copy via NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press. This does not effect my review whatsoever.

 

inn - about the book

The epic conclusion to the thrilling Valkyrie duology by New York Times bestselling YA author Amanda Hocking, From the Earth to the Shadows.

While dealing with dark revelations about her life and her world, Malin finds herself with new allies–and new enemies. Her quest for the truth leads her to places she never thought possible, and she’s never been one to shy away from a fight. But for all her strength and determination, will it be enough to save the world before it’s too late?

inn- about the author

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Amanda Hocking is a lifelong Minnesotan obsessed with Batman and Jim Henson. In between watching cooking shows, taking care of her menagerie of pets, and drinking too much Red Bull Zero, she writes young adult urban fantasy and paranormal romance.

Several of her books have made the New York Times Bestsellers list, including the Trylle trilogy and Kanin Chronicles. Her zombie series, The Hollows, has been adapted into a graphic novel by Dynamite. She has published over fifteen novels, including the Watersong quartetand My Blood Approves series. FrostfireIce Kissed, and Crystal Kingdom – all three books in her bestselling trilogy, The Kanin Chronicles– are out now.

Available

Website/Facebook/Twitter/Blog

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ONE

The air that fogged around me was thick enough that I could taste it—earthy and wet, with a trace of salt. It stuck to my skin, which was already slick with sweat, and that only seemed to attract more insects. They buzzed around me, leaving burning little bites in my flesh. I wanted to swat them off, but I couldn’t. I had to stay perfectly still, or the Kalanoro would spot me too soon.

The oversaturation of green in the jungles of Panama had been a strange adjustment from the smog and bright lights of the city. Out here, it was an endless emerald sea: the plants and trees, the rivers, were all varying shades of green—even the sky was blotted out by a thick canopy of leaves.

This wasn’t where I wanted to be, crouched motionless in the mud with a giant millipede crawling over my foot. Not when Asher was still gone, held captive in Kurnugia by the underworld goddess Ereshkigal and her mad centaur boyfriend, Gugalanna. Not when the fate of the world felt heavy on my shoulders, with Ereshkigal attempting an uprising that would unleash the underworld on earth.

It had only been three days since I’d gone to the Gates of Kurnugia, along with Oona, Quinn, Asher, and Atlas to aid me. I’d wanted to avenge my mother—and I had killed the draugr that had killed her—but all of that may have set off a chain of events that would bring about the end of days.

And I had lost the guy I … well, not loved. Not yet. But I cared about him. All I wanted to do was rescue him. But I couldn’t. There was too much at stake. I couldn’t let my heart get the best of me. I had to hold it together, and follow my orders.

After Gugalanna had pulled Asher down into the underworld where I could not follow, the rest of us had gone to Caana City in Belize. It was the safest city near the Gates of Kurnugia, and Oona needed medical intervention to survive. She was on the mend now, and that’s why I had left her behind, with Quinn and Atlas.

I didn’t want to risk losing them the way I had Asher, and I was on a special assignment, coming directly from the Valkyries’ highest authority—Odin.

Odin had found me outside of the hospital where Oona was being treated. I had never met him before, and, like most of the Vanir gods, he changed his appearance to suit his needs, so I hadn’t recognized him.

He towered over me in his tailored suit, with his left eyelid withered shut. He had a deep rumble of a voice, with a softly lilting accent, and a grim expression. His large raven, Muninn, had been watching over me, but when I tried to press him for a reason why, he had told me that there wasn’t time to explain.

“I need you to go deep into the heart of the jungle, where no man dares to live,” Odin explained, as we had stood in the eerily silent parking lot in Caana City. “You must retrieve something for me.”

“Why can’t you retrieve it yourself?” I asked bluntly. I wasn’t being rude, but the reality was that Odin was a powerful god, and I was just a young mortal Valkyrie-in-training. He had far more knowledge and power than I could ever hope to have.

“I’m not allowed to meddle in the affairs of humans or any of the other earthly beings,” Odin clarified.

“But…” I trailed off, gathering the courage to ask, “What is this you’re doing now, then? Isn’t directing me to get something for you the same as meddling?”

A sly smile played on his lips, and he replied, “There are a few loopholes, and I think it’s best if I take advantage of one now. If you want to save your friend, and everyone else that matters to you, you need to act quickly.”

“What is it that you need me to get?” I asked, since I didn’t seem to have a choice.

“The Valhallan cloak,” he explained. “It was stolen centuries ago by a trickster god—I honestly can’t remember which one anymore—and he hid it with the Kalanoro of Panama.”

“The Kalanoro?” I groaned reflexively. Having dealt with them before, I already knew how horrible they were.

If piranhas lived on land, they would behave a lot like the Kalanoro. They were small primate-like creatures, standing no more than two feet tall, and they vaguely resembled the aye-aye lemur. The biggest differences were that the Kalanoro were tailless, since they lived mostly on the ground, and they had razor-sharp claws on their elongated fingers and a mouth of jagged teeth they used to tear apart the flesh of their prey.

“What is the Valhallan cloak, and how will I find it?” I asked Odin.

“You’ll know when you see it. It’s an oversized cloak, but the fabric looks like the heavens. The rumors are that the Kalanoro were attracted to the magic of the cloak, though they didn’t understand it, so they took it back to their cave,” Odin elaborated. “They apparently have been guarding it like a treasure.”

“So I have to go into the treacherous jungle, find the man-eating Kalanoro, and steal their favorite possession?” I asked dryly. “No problem.”

Which was how I ended up in the jungle, alone, in the heart of Kalanoro country—at least, that’s what the nearest locals had purported. In front of me, on the other side of a very shallow but rapidly moving stream, was the mouth of a cave. The cave I hoped was the home of the Kalanoro, but I was waiting to see one for official confirmation.

Sweat slid down my temples, and a large dragonfly flew overhead. The trees around me were a cacophony of sounds—monkeys and frogs and birds and insects of all kinds, talking to one another, warning of danger, and shouting out mating calls.

Back in the city, beings and creatures of all kinds lived among each other, but there were rules. The jungle was not bound by any laws. I was not welcome, and I was not safe here.

I heard the crunch of a branch—too loud and too close to be another insect. I turned my head slowly toward the sound, and I saw movement in the bushes right beside me. Tall dark quills, poking out above the leaves, and I tried to remember if the Kalanoro had any quill-like fur.

I didn’t have to wonder for very long because a head poked out of the bushes, appearing to grin at me through a mouthful of jagged fangs and a face like an alien hyena. The leathery green skin, mottled with darker speckles, blended in perfectly with the surroundings, with a mohawk-like row of sharp quills running down its back.

It wasn’t a Kalanoro—it was something much worse. I found myself face-to-face with a Chupacabra.

inn- my review

If you’d like to check out my review of the first book, you can check it out here!

Firstly, thank you Amanda and the team for allowing me to be apart of this blog tour for this wonderful duology! Also, Happy Release Day! This series has been a joy to read, and I can’t wait to read more in the future!

The story turns up the action and places the relationship aspects on the back burner with Malin going off on a mission from Odin in order to retrieve his sword from the Underworld as well as rescuing Asher from the Underworld. Once the sword is retrieved, the balance between immortals and mortals would be complete.

I will be perfectly honest, this sequel wasn’t as strong as the previous installment. The plot wasn’t as thoroughly planned out and was over simplified compared to the first book. I loved the action, but love triangles are over with and need to be taken out of YA literature for good.

Instead, this book needed more complex scenes, problems, etc.. It just needed…..more. Get rid of the triangle, add more mythology based issues, betrayal – things like that. Push the limits, give the readers something to munch on even after the final page is turned.

If you are an Amanda Hocking fan or into mythology, be sure to check this series out.

Rating 6

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Half Price Books Clearance Sale Book/Vinyl Haul

Half Price Books Clearance Sale Book/Vinyl Haul

Hi Everyone!

Out here in Ohio, the annual Half Price Books Clearance Sale on Sharonville was underway this weekend. Now, I attended Saturday and was able to score a free tote bag along with a few great finds. It wasn’t as much as I’d hope to find, but I’m thankful for all of these!

Did you attend any book sales this weekend?

What were your finds?

Let me know in the comments below!

Happy Reading!

~C.C.