Blog Tour: Body Parts

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Title: Body Parts
Author: Jessica Kapp
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Diversion Publishing
Source: Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours
Release Date: August 15, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis:

People would kill for her body.

Raised in an elite foster center off the California coast, sixteen-year-old Tabitha’s been sculpted into a world-class athlete. Her trainers have told her she’ll need to be in top physical condition to be matched with a loving family, even though personal health has taken a backseat outside the training facility. While Tabitha swims laps and shaves seconds off her mile time, hoping to find a permanent home, the rest of the community takes pills produced by pharmaceutical giant PharmPerfect to erase their wrinkles, grow hair, and develop superhuman strength.

When Tabitha’s finally paired, instead of being taken to meet her new parents, she wakes up immobile on a hospital bed. Moments before she’s sliced open, a group of renegade teenagers rescues her, and she learns the real reason for her perfect health: PharmPerfect is using her foster program as a replacement factory for their pill-addicted clients’ failing organs. And her friends from the center, the only family she’s ever known, are next in line to be harvested.

Determined to save them, Tabitha joins forces with her rescuers, led by moody and mysterious Gavin Stiles. As they race to infiltrate the hospital and uncover the rest of PharmPerfect’s secrets, though, Tabitha finds herself with more questions than answers. Will trusting the enigmatic group of rebels lead her back to the slaughterhouse?

Excerpt:

The exit door buzzes. My breath catches when I notice it’s not a trainer—it’s Ms. Preen. And, she’s holding a red file, which can only mean one thing.

One of us is getting out.

Her heels make quick, light clicks as she crosses the floor past the weight equipment and yoga mats. She crinkles her nose as she moves through the thick cloud of sweat. By the time she reaches us, Meghan’s out of the pool. We stand, two-dozen bodies huddled together, anxious to hear the news. I scan my friends’ faces, wondering whose turn it is to go. Parker wraps his free arm around me. I imagine this is how a gymnast feels after a routine, waiting for her scores. Did I perform well enough? Could I have done more?

Will I win the ultimate prize: a family?

Ms. Preen presses through to the pool area, but stands far from our group, as if she thinks we’ll throw her in.

It’s crossed our minds before.

The light shines off her blonde bob, and her face is flawless. Freeze-dried, we like to say.

“Where is she?” Ms. Preen looks at our group as if she can’t tell us apart, which is probably true. Even though she pops in at least once a month to check on our vitals, she isn’t interested in getting to know us. She’s the one in charge of pairing us with families, but all she knows is what we’re good at. Meghan is the fast one; Paige climbs like she’s part monkey; Parker’s built like a brick house; and me, I have the lungs.

“The redhead, where is she?”

All eyes turn to me.

“We have names, you know,” Paige says, her voice curt. “Hers is Tabitha. T-A-B…”

Ms. Preen pulls a piece of paper out of the file, holding it up toward the row of skylights to read it. “Yes. She’s the one.”

Parker tightens his hold on me and I clasp my hands together to stop them from shaking. Ms. Preen doesn’t need to know I’m nervous. I’m supposed to be elated, ready to go. Maybe I’ve been fooling myself.

I wiggle out of Parker’s grip to step forward. “That’s me.”

Ms. Preen shoves the paper back into the file. “Get dressed. I’m taking you for your final screening. If you pass, you’ll be out tomorrow.” Her voice is hard and she turns to walk away.

I glance back at the group, at the faces I’ve known since childhood. They’re excited for me, but I can see the disappointment in their eyes. I know the look, because up until today I’ve watched friends leave, waiting for my turn.

Now that it is, I can’t move.

Review: 

This is a fascinating story. I can imagine this happening in real life: people being raised in secret to harvest their organs to benefit those who have used artificial means to destroy their health. It’s a disturbing reality but possible nonetheless.

I was immediately sympathetic with Tabitha. She’s a strong girl, but she had been deceived her whole life so she was at a disadvantage in life. She made some mistakes by trusting the wrong people, but that can be understood since her life has been a lie.

This book was very exciting. I can’t tell you how many times my heart was pounding and I didn’t know what was going to happen. I couldn’t put it down, and I ended up reading it in one evening.

I highly recommend this book if you enjoy YA dystopia stories.

About the Author:

Cropped b&w Kapp headshot.jpgJessica Kapp enjoys writing Young Adult Contemporary and Speculative Fiction. Story ideas often strike at inopportune times, and she’s been known to text herself reminders from under the covers.

She lives on a small farm in Washington with far too many goats and an occasional cow.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads 

Giveaway:

  • $10 Amazon Gift Card and an autographed bookmark (INT)

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Book Tour Organized by: Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours

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Thank you to Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours for letting me participate in this blog tour.

Blog Tour: Cinderella Necromancer

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Title: Cinderella Necromancer
Author: F.M. Boughan
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Month9Books
Source: Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis:

Darkness can only be controlled by those with the darkest of hearts.

Ellison lost her mother at an early age. Now, sixteen, her father has found love again. He’s happy and doesn’t quite notice that Ellison does not get along with his new wife or her vicious daughters.

When Ellison discovers a necromantic tome while traveling the secret passages of her father’s mansion, she wonders if it could be the key to her eventual freedom.

Until then, she must master her dark new power, even as her stepmother makes her a servant in her own home. And when her younger brother falls incurably ill, Ellison will do anything to ease his pain, including falling prey to her stepmother’s and stepsisters’ every whim and fancy.

Stumbling into a chance meeting with Prince William during a secret visit to her mother’s grave feels like a trick of fate when her stepmother refuses to allow Ellison to attend a palace festival where she might see him once more.

But what if Ellison could see the kind and handsome prince again? What if she could attend the festival? What if she could have everything she’s ever wanted and deserved by conjuring spirits to take revenge on her cruel stepmother? And what if she actually liked watching her stepmother suffer?

As Ellison’s power grows, she loses control over the evil spirits meant to do her bidding. And as they begin to exert their own power over Ellison, it becomes harder to tell whether it is she or her stepmother who is the true monster.

CINDERELLA NECROMANCER is CINDER meets ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD and was inspired by a real medieval grimoire of necromancy from 15th-century Germany.

Review:

I love fairy tale retellings. The Cinderella tale has been told so many times so it’s hard to find a unique perspective but I loved this one. It’s very original.

Ella narrates the story. She speaks in an old fashioned style, so it seems like the story really is happening centuries ago. 

I liked the addition of Ella’s brother. I haven’t read a version where she has siblings. This demonstrates her protective side, and gave her a reason to stay home from the ball. 

I also really liked that Ella uses spells to solve her problems, rather than having a fairy godmother do everything for her. She brings about her own destiny, making her a stronger character than she is typically portrayed. She also has to deal with the consequences of her spells on her own. 

This story is so much more than the original love story. There is love, but not the kind that is expected in a Cinderella story. It is a great adaptation of Cinderella that I highly recommend. 

About the Author:

F.M. BoughanF.M. Boughan is a bibliophile, a writer, and an unabashed parrot enthusiast. She can often be found writing in local coffee shops, namely because it’s hard to concentrate with a cat lying on the keyboard and a small, colorful parrot screaming into her ear. Her work is somewhat dark, somewhat violent, somewhat hopeful, and always contains a hint of magic.

 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Giveaway:

One (1) winner will receive an  Echo Dot
Code:

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Blog Tour Organized by: Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours

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Thank you to Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours for letting me participate in this blog tour.

 

 

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? #2

It's Monday! What Are You Reading

This blog meme is hosted by Book Date. It is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

What I just finished:

Yesterday I finished Cinderella Necromancer for this week’s blog tour with Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours.

 

What I’m currently reading:

Today I am reading Demi-Gods. I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway and I was approved for it on NetGalley. I love the cover, and I’m super excited to be reading it.

 


I’m also reading A Darker Shade of Magic for the readalong with Flavia the Bibliophile. The link to readalong info is here.

What I’m reading next:

Next I will be reading Girls Made of Snow and Glass. I love retellings so I’m so excited for this book.

 

What are you guys reading this week? Have you read any of these books? Let me know in the comments!

Book Blitz: The Dark Mermaid

The Dark Mermaid
Christina L. Barr
Publication date: September 5th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

“True love is not a myth. It’s mystic. It’s a force in the universe that draws two people together, resulting in incredible power, for either good or complete chaos.”

On the day Luna proves that she is powerful enough to be her father’s heir, she is banished for saving the life of an enchanting human boy. Her father, the king, gives her two options: kill Ian and regain her honor by the time she comes of age, or be destroyed.

Luna finds shelter in forbidden waters and comes under the protection of her father’s greatest enemy, the Sea Witch. As her ward, Luna becomes a fearsome warrior, but struggles with the fear of turning her powerful magic dark.

With only days remaining before her seventeenth birthday, Luna finds Ian sailing the seas in search of answers. Luna is determined to escape her father’s wrath, and the Sea Witch’s plot of revenge, but dark forces won’t allow her to live a human life without making an impossible sacrifice.

Goodreads / Amazon

Want to receive a free song inspired by the book that Christina sang herself?

Fill out this form here before Sept 9th!

EXCERPT:

True Love

When I returned to the lair, the Sea Witch was much too distracted gutting her catch of shark to care much about my adventures. She had no idea that I had found Ian and kissed him. I wanted to keep it that way. For all she knew, I spent my day with Napa, and I most certainly didn’t fight my sister to the almost death. I made sure to heal my wounds before she saw me.

I hid the pendent, dagger, and lock of hair in a satchel and hoped the Sea Witch wouldn’t be able to sense the magic. I also had to hope that she wouldn’t sense any special magic in me. It was odd that I wasn’t fatigued from my battle. Instead, I felt energized. My magic was leaking out of my body. I tried to keep my movements limited and to remain completely calm.

Unfortunately, somewhere between the chewing of our dinner, the Sea Witch cocked her brow at me in suspicion. “Did Napa bring you a new gift?”

“Why do you ask?”

“I sense new magic.”

I panicked on the inside, but I would not allow that panic to the surface of my thoughts. Of course, she would have been able to sense the pendent. I reached into my satchel and handed it to her without any fuss, and I hoped she didn’t ask any questions about the other item of interest. “Napa didn’t know any better.”

“Interesting.” It only took a moment for the Sea Witch to analyze what it could do. I don’t know why I was so surprised when she disappeared. “This would be more useful on the surface world.” She tossed it back to me and became visible once more. “Quite interesting.”

“Very.” I grinned hard and continued feasting, but I had the sense that she knew I was hiding many details from her. It’s not that I didn’t trust her. I just wanted to make sure she would take the news well, so I didn’t have to worry about her killing everyone outside of our immediate sphere.

It wasn’t easy. I wanted to tell her about Ian’s infatuation with me. It was flattering after my father threw me away. I wanted to tell my mother how his smile enchanted me, and now, I was under his spell. I tried to get him out of my head, so the Sea Witch wouldn’t find out, but while I brushed my hair and stared into the broken mirror Napa gave me, I began to imagine that I was staring at myself from his point of view, and I knew I was truly as beautiful as he made me feel. The thought of never seeing him again was crushing my heart and suffocating my insides. There had to be a way to see him again beyond tricks, smokes, and mirrors.

“Luna, what’s wrong?”

I saw Ian’s face too clearly in my mind. She must have known that I was thinking about him, but that wasn’t so strange. I could still hide the truth for a little while. “Why would something be wrong?”

She floated in front of me with a furrowed and curious brow. “Because you never sing.”

I hadn’t even noticed. I was singing the same song I sang to Ian when I first said goodbye. If he had his hooks in me that deeply, was there truly any escaping him? “You’ll think I’m being a fool.”

The Sea Witch surprised me and held me by my shoulders from behind. “Out of the two of us, I’m the one that made a blood oath with your father. You could be foolish for a thousand lifetimes and not end up as foolish as I once was.”

Perhaps I was being unfair to her. If she were trying to be a real mother, she deserved a chance. As my elder, she might have sound advice to put my mind at ease. “Napa told me that humans believe in true love. I know it sounds childish, but I think I’m experiencing it. I’ve found true love.”

I was so embarrassed that I kept my eyes focused on the teeth of the comb in my hands. I was responsible for ruining Ian’s childhood, and I delayed his life afterward. I didn’t deserve to feel such a consuming joy, especially if Ian were the root cause.

“I’ve heard of true love.” The Sea Witch nicked my chin up with her finger to force her eyes into mine. “The humans teach it like a fairytale, but true love is not a myth; it’s mystic. It’s a force in the universe that draws two people together, resulting in incredible power, for either good or chaos.”

“Chaos?” I laughed. Frankly, it was difficult to believe that there was an actual explanation to how I felt. Napa referred to love as “irrational logic”. I wasn’t sure if having a legitimate reason was worse or better. “How can what I feel ever lead to destruction?”

“I’m not saying that it will, but true love is a dangerous magic.” The Sea Witch got uncomfortably close to my face. I tried to back away, but she swam around to observe me fully. Nothing about me had changed physically, but I’m sure she wasn’t seeing with her natural eye. “I can sense it on you. Your magic is stronger.”

I thought of how quickly I defeated my sister, but then, I quickly pushed that out of my mind. “How is that possible? Is it just because I have feelings for Ian?”

“No. That would be ridiculous, but it is possible that you’re drawn to each other for a reason.” She, once again, became agonizingly uncomfortable. I didn’t back away or cower from her glaring and curious eyes. I tried to be firm while I blanketed my mind with thoughts of training battles, meditation, and the past few lonely years of my life. I would not think of Ian, and I certainly wouldn’t think of the kisses we shared!

Except, I completely did.

I don’t know if my sudden memory of Ian’s kiss was vivid enough to burrow into her brain, but she certainly seemed more suspicious after I indulged in it. “You must have seen him again!” I covered my face. I would have hidden in my clam, but she was already inside of it with me. She grew impatient and pulled my hands away from my flustered face. “I did. Napa found Ian, and I went to see him. He gave me the dagger I had been searching for, and we spoke.”

“That’s not the only thing you did.”

I straightened out my body and tried to look a little taller and mature than I had been acting a moment ago. “We did share a kiss, yes.”

Instead of lecturing me, she twirled around the cavern, shrieking in delight. I hadn’t seen her genuinely happy or excited over anything, so I was a little terrified. “Did he have magic?”

“He didn’t seem to have knowledge of having magic.”
“Perhaps he’s an amplifier,” she suggested with much intrigue.
“What do you mean?”

“They are extremely rare, but an amplifier can increase your magic, even without being able to use it.” She swam to me and clasped onto both my hands and smiled. “If you were to mate, you could create new magic for your offspring and leave your own power intact. If that’s true, you should definitely mate him.”

“Uh…” My mouth opened in shock. The desire to feel and be more of an adult was ripped away from me. “I’m not ready for this conversation.”

“Why? Do you love him?”
“It’s preposterous that I love him!”
“But you do!” She chuckled. “I see it in your eyes. I feel it through your magic. He’s made you more powerful. If Fate is pulling you to love this man, don’t push back. There’s no sense in fighting what will be.”

Was it truly possible that Ian made me feel stronger? Was he the reason why I could use my magic to fight my sister so effortlessly? Even if it were true, what did it matter? I only wanted to control my magic so it wouldn’t accidentally go dark. I had no desire to be the greatest sorcerous in the world.

It was silly to think that I could take human form and live with Ian. I hardly knew him. But, for some reason, the thought of leaving to discover the world with him began to fill my chest and gut with a ticklish light that turned into a glorious rumbling. I clutched onto my chest as I felt it vibrating. My entire body was radiating heat. I tried to convince myself that I was merely embarrassed, but my hands were tingling.

“The thought of escaping with that human is causing your magic to burst from you,” the Sea Witch said. “You can’t deny what you want or may very well need.”

Author Bio:

As the daughter of sci-fi enthusiasts and a pastor, Christina L. Barr has been taught to believe that anything is possible. She’s been a serious composer as far back as twelve-years-old, and has had the opportunity to sing her songs around the world.

In 2007, she graduated from Holly High School number nine in her class and attended College for Creative Studies. She started a pop culture website called The Gorgeous Geeks with her two older sisters, and was even featured on Times Magazine.

Her addiction to writing emerged when she was eighteen and started her first novel. To date, she has nine novels published, fourteen completed, and her goal is to finish thirty books by her thirtieth birthday.

She is currently a Creative Director and spends her days making graphics and videos.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!

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Review: Zero Repeat Forever


Title: Zero Repeat Forever
Author: G.S. Prendergast
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Canada
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: August 29, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

He has no voice, or name, only a rank, Eighth. He doesn’t know the details of the mission, only the directives that hum in his mind.

Dart the humans. Leave them where they fall.

His job is to protect his Offside. Let her do the shooting.

Until a human kills her…

Sixteen year-old Raven is at summer camp when the terrifying armored Nahx invade, annihilating entire cities, taking control of the Earth. Isolated in the wilderness, Raven and her friends have only a fragment of instruction from the human resistance.

Shelter in place.

Which seems like good advice at first. Stay put. Await rescue. Raven doesn’t like feeling helpless but what choice does she have?

Then a Nahx kills her boyfriend.

Thrown together in a violent, unfamiliar world, Eighth and Raven should feel only hate and fear. But when Raven is injured, and Eighth deserts his unit, their survival comes to depend on trusting each other…

Review:

First of all, I’m so proud that this book is Canadian! I love seeing a contemporary fantasy/sci fi novel set in my home country!

This book throws you right into the action, and you’re left to figure out what’s going on. This was exciting because the world was already fully developed, you just have to catch up to it. 

Though there are many YA dystopia novels that are popular right now, this one is unique because we get two perspectives: our main character Raven and Eighth, one of the Nahx creatures. So we can see the aftermath from the point of view of a surviving human and her enemy. 

I did lose some interest in part 3. It was getting so repetitive and the story stopped moving forward. But once I pushed past that part, it got exciting again. It was quite emotional too. I had tears in my eyes for the last quarter of the book. And the ending was so thrilling and shocking! 

Throughout the book I was wondering what the title meant. And wow! When they explain that phrase in the novel I was so excited. It refers to something literary, which I love (I won’t give away any more because I don’t want to spoil it). If you read the book you’ll understand. 

This is a great story with an original twist. I highly recommend it. I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this book if you’ve read it!

Allen, Son of Hellcock


Title: Allen, Son of Hellcock
Author: Will Tracy, Gabe Koplowitz
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Z2 Comics
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: August 29, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

The son of the greatest barbarian who ever lived is thrust into a quest that, frankly, he’d rather sit out.

Long before darkness descended upon the realm, Mungletown was protected by noble heroes led by the great loin-clothed warrior Hellcock. So fearsome was his might that . . . well, actually, a dragon eats him on page nine. But never mind that! Years later he’s still hanging around as a ghost to cajole his disappointment of a son, Allen, into taking up the mantle and becoming a proper heir to the Hellcock legacy. But Allen prefers a simpler life of eating sandwiches, drawing his own pretty terrible comic books, and being afraid to talk to girls. When Kaarl, the son of Hellcock’s retired nemesis Lord Krong, attacks the town to break up the monotony of peacetime, only local rabble-rouser Madeleine stands up to him. In a desperate bid to impress her, Allen decides to get Hellcock’s old band of adventurers back together and take the fight to Kaarl. Without much of a plan or any useful skills, what happens next is quite painful to witness.

From the comedic minds of Will Tracy (The Onion, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver) and Gabe Koplowitz (VICELAND), ALLEN, SON OF HELLCOCK has it all: washed-up sorcerers and swordsmen, terrifying horse-donkeys, sensitive ogres, fashionable elves, ornery minotaur landlords, an exceedingly polite retired despot, a black-hearted but oddly lovable villain, an idealistic young woman who’s the only one with any brains, and a would-be warrior who can’t seem to escape his own hackneyed destiny . . .

Review:

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I laughed out loud many times.

Allen is not the typical son of a hero. He’s nerdy and weak. He’s not like Thor, who is just as strong as his father, and able to complete his father’s tasks. This story takes that typical father-son heroic story and flips it.

There were many strange creatures along the way, that were just so weird and funny. They met horse-donkeys, animals with the head of a horse and body of a donkey. Everyone was freaked out by these creatures, even though they look pretty ordinary. There were also owls wearing hats and three foot tall “giants.”

There was a point when the creators of the book appeared in the story. I love when this meta technique is used, drawing attention to the fact that this is a graphic novel.

There were some graphic parts of the story (i.e. A head being ripped off a body) and lots of sexual innuendo, so this book is for a mature audience.

This was a really funny story. You should read it if you want to read something a little different from the typical heroic graphic novel.

Weekly Wrap Up #2

Here’s my weekly wrap up!

This week, I subscribed to Scribd. It’s a subscription service with ebooks and audiobooks. I used to have it, but then I just had too much to read. I got it again in preparation for a road trip my family is going on in a few weeks. I can’t read in the car, so I plan on listening to some audiobooks so I don’t lose any reading time.

I read 8 books this week, and reviewed 7 of them:

I really enjoyed all of these books. It was a good reading week! My favourite was Home Fire. I highly recommend it! My least favourite (though I still liked it) was Life of a Bastard.

I also did a weekly book meme everyday:

What did you read this week? Have you read any of these books?