I love instrumental music in the background while I write. I love dancing to wild pop songs when
I finish a good day at the desk. I like Beethoven string quartets. I like Bartok and the crazy music
of Copleand. When it comes to pop, Lana del Rey and Miley Cyrus.
Cease & Desist
by Stephen David Hurley
Genre: YA Thriller
Release Date: October 10th 2016
Summary from Goodreads:
What if the secret to being charismatic were actually a gene you could inherit, and pass along to your children. What if this "X-factor" could make you a star? Welcome to the world of Cease de Menich, a sixteen-year-old actress in New York City who gets cast as Joan-of-Arc in a reality-drama, only to discover her "acting gift" has been passed down through her bloodline for almost six-hundred-years. Cease finds the plot of the drama reveals dark secrets from her past--an abusive mother, a brother who committed suicide--and the reader must decide if she's a reliable narrator or a terrified girl who's succumb to the pressure of fame and the abuse of her past.
Cease & Desist is a dark, contemporary YA thriller with a supernatural twist. Readers of books like I Let You Go and The Girl on the Train will enjoy this coming-of-age story, which struggles with the realities of sexuality, violence as entertainment, and mental illness. Cease & Desist has excellent crossover potential into the adult marketplace.
by Calix Leigh-Reign
Genre: YA Scifi/Fantasy
Release Date: August 19th 2016
Summary from Goodreads:
Highly controversial debut novel by Cālix Leigh-Reign is taking the nation by storm! For those who've been craving an untapped damsel-in-distress-less Sci-Fi niche - Opaque delivers in this gripping page-turner involving mutated Limbal rings, biokenretic anomalies, mental dysfunction, perplexing Russian ancestry & romance. Cālix takes us on an adventure that begins when 16 year old misanthropic Adam Caspian unknowingly reaches biokenretic puberty, and his supernatural abilities awaken to save him from his murderous intentions. His every thought revolves around the extinction of the human race until mysterious Afro-Russian Carly Wit stumbles into his English class one morning. Adam notices something otherworldly about her immediately but denies the bio-synch taking place inside of him. As he resists their blossoming love, he battles with unnatural thoughts of his mother. Discovering his origin isn't what he'd thought, he becomes determined to peel back the layers of his lineage and unmasks a multitude of mind-bending secrets along the way.
About the Author
Cālix is the published author of the Russian-mutant, psychological Sci-Fi fantasy novel, Opaque. She's a certified paralegal and has studied creative writing under English teacher, script writer and published author Larry Strauss. Her earliest literary inspirations include Alice Walker, Larry Strauss, VC Andrews and Stephen King. She spent a majority of her childhood in libraries and developed an intense relationship with words. She's a member of YARWA and RWA and is currently serving as a judge for YARWA's 2016 Rosemary Contest. She enjoys prayer, discovering the minds of those who rebel against social programming, listening to music, a great cup of coffee, exquisite ethnic cuisine, spending time with family & friends, attending movie premieres, traveling and the arts. She spends her free time in the gym, fantasizing about story plots and different ways of changing the world.
City of Wind
by Jordan Rivet
(Steel and Fire, #4)
Publication date: December 20th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Dara Ruminor is a serious young duelist in the mountaintop kingdom of Vertigon, a land of dramatic cliffs and misty peaks where mysterious Fire magic runs through the stones like blood. The secluded kingdom has been peaceful for a hundred years. Swords are used for sport, and successful athletes live like kings as long as the crowds love them.
Eighteen-year-old Dara needs to find a wealthy patron in order to duel professionally and avoid a lifetime working in her parents’ Fire Lantern shop. Her efforts are disrupted when her coach asks her to train with Prince Siv, an infuriating—if handsome—young man who refuses to take the sport as seriously as she does. But the prince’s life may be in danger, and soon Dara will discover that Vertigon isn’t as peaceful as she thought.
As threats emerge from the shadows, Dara will have to raise her sword to protect Siv—if he doesn’t irritate her so much that she decides to run him through herself. From the author of the Seabound Chronicles comes a new fantasy series about sword fighting, cur-dragons, molten Fire magic, and one young woman’s effort to prove herself.
Jordan Rivet is an American author of swashbuckling fantasy and post-apocalyptic adventures set at sea. Originally from Arizona, she lives in Hong Kong with her husband. She was a fencer for many years and hasn't made up her mind about whether the pen is mightier than the sword.
Elves are dying in the North Pole, and none of their scientists can find a cure. They believe it’s a virus, unleashed by a powerful enemy. All signs point to Jack Frost, who’s been biding his time from afar. Watching. Waiting. Plotting. One brave elf, to save his kind, will venture out to meet evil in the eye. But he uncovers a mystery more dangerous than he could have ever imagined. Now Lucian must join a group of warriors and fight. Fuego; a flame-wielding pyro.Tiktok; a brilliant bomb expert, Yuriko; a deadly ninja assassin. And Bullets; a hot-headed gun aficionado. These unlikely heroes must learn to work together and defeat the rising evil. Or Christmas will soon be lost…forever.
Review: Wow! I don't think I've ever read anything like this book before. Max Dune has an amazing way of taking a story that we all know and twist it and turn it into something completely different.
In this action packed adventure, Lucian the elf isn't like normal elves that work at the north pole. When Jack Frost attacks his village, Lucian goes after him, wanting to take down the man that killed his parents. When his world turns upside down and there is no where for him to turn, the only person he can rely on is the enemy. In the end, its not always the strong that win, but the strong of heart.
I loved the characters in this story. Lucian has lots of depth and compassion for the ones he loves and even though he has suffered loss and soon to be more, he vows to do everything he can for those people. The rogue elves are awesome. They all have a little quirk to the that makes them unique.
If you are looking for a good Christmas thriller that will leave your mind blown, then pick up The Elf by Max Dune and have a fun ride. I give this book 5 stars for being unique and epic.
A Bond of Venom and Magic
by Karen Tomlinson
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: October 14th 2016
The Wraith Lord is hunting; his prize, the key to unleashing darkness and Chaos upon the eight Kingdoms.
For Diamond Gillon the war raging in the south seems a remote danger until her home is brutally attacked. Having lost everything she holds dear, Diamond is catapulted into a terrifying new world in which legendary beasts arise, magic is condemned and half blood fae, like her, have no rights. Despite her growing feelings for her saviour, Commander Hugo Casimir, he remains a paradox – not only is he a heartless killer, he is owned by the cruel immortal fae queen; a queen who will murder her own people for magic.
As Diamond’s circumstances become ever more perilous she is drawn deeper into Hugo’s world and discovers the lengths to which he will go to save what he holds dear. Will Hugo become her friend, her protector, or – an enemy not worthy of her trust?
A Bond of Venom and Magic is a tale of two people bound by magic and secrets, but trapped in the complexities of love and betrayal. It is the beginning of an epic journey, one that will test Diamond’s resolve and determination to battle an evil that threatens not only her world but that of Eternity, the land of The Guardians and The Goddess. Add to Goodreads
About the Author
Karen Tomlinson is the author of The Guardians and The Goddess series of Young Adult fantasy books. Book one A Bond of Venom and Magic will be released October 14th 2016.
Karen has always been an avid reader. Her taste in books is eclectic but she likes nothing better than an exciting fantasy set in a new and magical world. She lives in Derbyshire, England, with her husband, twin girls and her dalmatian, Poppy. Karen trained as a nurse and currently works as a resuscitation and clinical skills trainer, this involves training a wide variety of health care professionals and medical students in acute patient care. In addition to writing, and reading whenever she can, Karen likes to keep active. She has been training at Shotokan karate since being thirteen, likes walking, mountain biking and (for something completely different) cake decorating. She is currently working on book two in the Guardians of The Goddess series.
As soon as I could read I spent hours getting lost in the new worlds books could give me. Spending my pocket money had to be done (obviously) but not on sweets, well, not many…I spent my money on books. Back then it was Enid Blyton’s Famous Five which sparked my young mind. I didn’t rest until I had the whole set, then I migrated to the secret seven… ( ther was no Harry Potter around then) As a teenager I would trawl through all my mum and dad’s discarded books. It was probably highly inappropriate for a thirteen year old to be reading swoony Mills and Boon romances followed by Ian Flemming, Alistair Maclean and Wilbur Smith!
Because I read whatever I could get my hands on back then, I now have an eclectic taste in books and will read anything that catches my eye. I absolutely love illustrated book covers!
In my late teens I discovered fantasy and that has stayed my firm favourite. I am and will always remain a complete sucker for a fantasy with kick ass characters, and worlds steeped in magic and romance!
I love my six year old's drawings. This one is of him and his worry. Apparently, his worry is a large creature that kinda resembles a flaming turtle that holds a fire ball over his head. He looks happy though. I know my worry would be a whole lot scarier.
This weeks worry is brought to you by hurricane force winds and record breaking rain. Fortunately, we didn't lose power or have a tree fall on our house, like so many people in our area. We survived.
by Melanie Karsak
(The Harvesting, #1)
Publication date: January 8th 2014
Genres: Horror, Young Adult, Zombies
It’s all fun and games until someone ends up undead.
Layla Petrovich has spent her whole life running away from her hometown of Hamletville. Raised by the town’s medium, and dubbed the “weird” girl for her fascination with swords, the last thing Layla wants is to go home.
But when she receives a desperate call to return just as a mysterious outbreak sweeps the country, Layla’s instincts urge her to go. Good thing, because the dead are rising.
Layla, however, isn’t entirely on her own. With her psychic powers growing, surely everything will turn out okay, right?
Not so fast. Just when Layla believes she might survive the apocalypse, a sinister and ancient force rises from the shadows to finish mankind for good.
Because the truth is, we were never alone in this world.
Begin The Harvesting Series with The Harvesting, Book 1.
Melanie Karsak is the author of The Airship Racing Chronicles, The Harvesting Series, and The Celtic Blood Series. A steampunk connoisseur, zombie whisperer, and heir to the iron throne, the author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.
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by Robyn Mundell & Stephan Lacast
Genre: YA Scifi/Fantasy
Release Date: October 1st 2016
Summary from Goodreads:
Fourteen year-old Bernard is full of out of the box ideas—ideas that nobody appreciates. Not his ultra-rational father, not his classmates, and definitely not his teacher, who’s fed up waiting for Bernard’s overdue science project. You’d think with a hotshot quantum physicist for a dad, the assignment would be easy as “pi”, but with his relationship with his father on rocky ground, Bernard is under more pressure than a helium atom.
And Bernard’s impulse control flies out the window when he’s stressed. So instead of turning in his project, he moons the class and gets suspended. Now his dad’s got no choice but to bring him to his work. At the Atom Smasher. It’s the chance of a lifetime for Bernard, who knows smashing atoms at the speed of light can—theoretically—make wormholes. How about that for the most mind-bending science project ever? But when he sneaks into the particle accelerator and someone hits the power button, Bernard ends up in the last place he’d ever want to be.
Inside his father’s brain.
And it’s nothing like the spongy grey mass Bernard studied at school. It’s a galaxy, infinite and alive. Like, people live there. A mysterious civilization on the brink of extinction, as unaware of their host as he is of them. But there’s zero time to process this. Bernard’s about to be caught up in an epic war between the two sides of his dad’s brain over their most precious resource:
With his father’s life at stake, Bernard must go up against the tyrannical left side of his father’s brain to save the dying, creative right side. But how the heck is he supposed to do that when he’s just a hopelessly right-brained kid himself?
"Excellent story with well developed characters and an awesome setting. My students are currently participating in a Growth Mindsets. Can't wait for publication. It would totally coincide with our brainology studies... I couldn't put it down." — Pam B, librarian, Wyola SD, MT
"In the novel Brainwalker, Mundell and Lacast have devised an ingenious plot using the tesseract concept found in 'A Wrinkle in Time' with the setting being the brain of the protagonist's father." — Douglas B. Educator
“This story is full of high-stakes adventure, and it often excels in its imaginative and allegorical exploration of real-world issues” — Kirkus Reviews
“The descriptions of the various locations, creatures, and residents of the Brainiverse are both fun and intelligent. Bernard is an engaging protagonist.” — Kirkus Reviews
“An imaginative adventure, ... one that clearly benefits from the great amount of thought that its authors put into it.” — Kirkus Reviews
“A fun way for kids/preteens to learn about science and the brain. The pictures are also really great and add a lot to the story” — Olivia Farr, Reviewer at Harvard Medical School
"The characters and the setting of this book are truly unique and very diverse, the plot is filled with fiction mixed with real brain concepts and puts everything into perspective from both fiction and reality" — Gabrielle Messier
"Definitely an approach to teenage urban fantasy that I’ve never seen before. I found myself quite enamored with Bernard and all his geeky questions and theories ... Underneath all the neurology, it’s really a story about connection and love and fighting for what’s important." — Kristen Canady
"'Brainwalker' is a great scientific fiction and that offers the readers a fantastic experience of the scientific adventure with the beautifully written words, the well laid out plots, and lifelike characters in the story." — Yichen Tu
"Not unlike experiencing Avatar in a 3D IMAX theater, this exciting and provocative novel includes characters and images of such dimension, the reader cannot help but feel fully invited into this fantastical storyline." — Lolly Howe
"Story starts and ends with the MOON! All will have to take a read to find out what I am talking about. This is a great Teen read revolving around young minds faced with the challenges of life." — Linda Babbs
"The world-building was pretty sublime: it was so cool to contextualize the brain in this way, and learn about it at the same time... The illustrations were all so refreshing to see - it's been too long since I've read a book that isn't afraid to support the plot line with pictures! I'm looking forward to what Mundell and Lacast have to offer in the future!" — TT turner
5 stars - "The authors have found a creative way to introduce the functions of the brain in a creative way that's full of action, adventure, and suspense. This will be a popular book in middle grades and middle school boys will enjoy this one!" — Susan Grigsby, ALA Librarian
“Teachers are always looking for ways to enhance scientific literacy and Brainwalker is the perfect vehicle to bridge the gap between exciting adventure and scientific inquiry.” — Jennifer C., Educator
"This brilliant new novel grapples with the most exciting topic possible, and invites middle school, young adults and also adult readers into the inexhaustible mystery of the universe. Take the walk." — Maureen G., Educator
About the Authors Robyn Mundell is an award winning playwright. A graduate of New York University, she performed in dozens of plays in New York and was part of David Mamet’s Atlantic Theater Company. She studied with such theater legends as Uta Hagen, Lee Strasberg, and Stella Adler.
Robyn wrote and performed in several of her own plays including Pieces of O and Traveling Bowls of Soup, produced by Pulitzer-prize winner Beth Henley. Traveling Bowls of Soup opened at the Met theater to rave reviews and received several Drama-Logue awards. Robyn has since been selling original screenplays and TV pilots to major film companies and networks. She is the daughter of Canadian Nobel laureate Robert A. Mundell, and is married to actor-playwright Raymond J. Barry. Together, they have four children.
French-Born Stephan Lacast likes to think of himself as a geek, which depending on your dictionary means either “knowledgeable about computers”, or “boring social misfit.” At the age of twelve his idea of fun was building computers and programming, and by fifteen he was a contributor to a computer magazine. A graduate of Paris-Dauphine University, he holds a Bachelor in Economics, a Master in Business Administration, and a Master of Advanced Studies in Information Systems.
After teaching at Dauphine University, Stephan went on to work as a consultant and engineer for one of the top ten Information Technology services companies in Europe, before deciding to leave Paris and move to the United States.
Nika: A Seychatka Novella
by D.H. Gibbs
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: March 1st 2016
I don’t have a music playlist for writing but depending on my mood or If I’m painting I would listen to basically the top 100 but to mix it up I will throw in some music from the 80’s and 90’s rock as well as R&B.
Summary from Goodreads:
Taken off the streets Nika is thrown into an unknown world where she's held captive. As an orphan, she has been on the run and must find her way out before they discover her secret. But these people held the knowledge of her family and who she is. Will she be able to find out before her secret is revealed?
After hundreds of years, Demyan has finally found the rightful ruler of his race. Unfortunately, she doesn't know who she is and is doing everything in her power to escape him. Time is running out and Demyan has to convince Nika to take her rightful place otherwise the battle will be lost and his race extinguished.
About the Author
With an active imagination and a love of art D.H. Gibbs has chosen to combine her talents by writing and illustrating books. She writes for both the children and young adult genre, where both of her debut books has been published and is available on amazon. Her new children’s book will be coming out in 2016.
D.H. Gibbs hails from the Caribbean where in her free time she reads, paint and travel when she can.
Bellamy and The Brute
by Alicia Michaels
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: March 13th 2017
Genres: Fairy Tales, Retelling, Young Adult
When Bellamy McGuire is offered a summer job babysitting for the wealthy Baldwin family, she’s reluctant to accept. After all, everyone in town knows about the mysterious happenings at the mansion on the hill—including the sudden disappearance of the Baldwin’s eldest son, Tate. The former football star and Golden Boy of Wellhollow Springs became a hermit at the age of sixteen, and no one has seen or heard from him since. Rumors abound as to why, with whisperings about a strange illness that has caused deformity…turned him into a real-life monster. Bellamy wants to dismiss these rumors as gossip, but when she’s told that if she takes the job she must promise to never, ever visit the 3rd floor of the mansion, she begins to wonder if there really is some dark truth being hidden there.
Tate’s condition may not be the only secret being kept at Baldwin House. There are gaps in the family’s financial history that don’t add up, and surprising connections with unscrupulous characters. At night there are strange noises, unexplained cold drafts, and the electricity cuts out. And then there are the rose petals on the staircase. The rose petals that no one but Bellamy seems to be able to see. The rose petals that form a trail leading right up to the 3rd floor, past the portrait of a handsome young man, and down a dark hallway where she promised she would never, ever go…
As Bellamy works to unravel the mysteries of Baldwin House and uncover the truth about Tate, she realizes that she is in way over her head, in more ways than one. Can her bravery and determination help to right the wrongs of the past and free the young man whose story has captured her heart?
Ever since she first read books like Chronicles of Narnia or Goosebumps, Alicia has been a lover of mind-bending fiction. Wherever imagination takes her, she is more than happy to call that place her home. With several Fantasy and Science Fiction titles under her belt, Alicia strives to write multicultural characters and stories that touch the heart. V-Card, the first book of the Sharing Spaces series, was her first Contemporary Romance.
The mother of three and wife to a soldier, she loves chocolate, coffee, and of course good books. When not writing, you can usually find her with her nose in a book, shopping for shoes and fabulous jewelry, or spending time with her loving family.
ECHO Campaign by Taylor Brooke (Isolation #2) Published by: Limitless Publishing Publication date: November 1st 2016 Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Brooklyn Harper’s worst nightmare has become her reality. She has been captured by Isolation…
Trapped in a white-walled labyrinth by Juneau Malloy, Brooklyn is faced with the horrors of Isolation’s finest training yet. The skills she learned as an Omen Operative in Camp Number Eleven are put to the test in the form of brutal assessments of her strength, skills, and fortitude. Confused and disheartened, Brooklyn and the group of renegade Omens prepare for whatever trials Isolation has in store for them. Juneau has caged her once again, but Brooklyn is far from broken…
When Brooklyn finds out her best friend Gabriel is alive, she goes on a violent rampage in search of her, but instead earns herself a stint in solitary confinement. Juneau attempts to tame Brooklyn through grueling exercises before offering her one radical choice. Brooklyn must hand over her freedom in order to spare her friends. She’ll become a showpiece Juneau will auction off to the highest bidder for her skills in assassination, defense, and combat. There must be a way out, and the renegade Omens have to find it…
Brooklyn has no intention of becoming Juneau’s latest achievement. During a mind-warping training simulation, Brooklyn uncovers Isolation’s greatest secret and their darkest mistake. Juneau Malloy has created something far more sinister than the Omens, and it’s ready to eat the world alive. As the battle with Isolation intensifies, Brooklyn is faced with her most dangerous choice yet…
Save her friends—or save humanity.
Taylor Brooke is the author of the sci-fi adventure trilogy The Isolation Series. She started out as a freelance makeup artist, and quickly discovered her love of elves, zombies, mermaids, kaiju, and monsters of all kinds. After receiving eight professional certifications in special effects makeup, working on countless projects, and fleshing out a multitude of fantastical creatures, she turned her imagination back to her one true love — books. Taylor has had a knack for writing since she was a little girl, and received recognition for her skills throughout grade school and junior college. When she’s not nestled in a blanket typing away on her laptop, she can be found haunting the local bookstore with a cup of steaming hot tea in her hands, scanning the shelves for new reads, or hiking one of the many mountains that surround her home in Oregon.
I've been working hard on the sequel to HUNTER. Its coming along slowly but its there none the same. I can't wait to share it, but all of us will have to be patient, that includes me. It needs to be as perfect as it can be before I submit it to my publisher. Waiting is the hard part though. Enjoy this weeks menu. Monday
by Luis Almonte
Publication date: August 27th 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
The South Haven Academy for the Gifted and Talented (SHAGT) not only houses the exceptionally intelligent, but unknown to the normal students, a number of “gifted and talented” witches attend class with them every day.
Among the student body is fifteen-year-old Alexia Wick, a witch of the white-magic-practicing Alerium coven. Like the regular students, Alexia feels the pressure to succeed and meet her parents’ expectations, albeit with slightly different conditions. Rather than fretting about finals or college placement tests, she is in an entirely different arena—that of the Annual Trials.
In this prestigious competition among the most powerful witches in the country, Alexia must prove her magic and spell-casting abilities in order to advance in her skillset and bring triumph to Alerium. Her focus is distracted when the handsome and confident Kaleb moves to town.
Preparing for battle, falling in love—yes, Alexia is just like the other students at SHAGT. But with betrayal and death on the line, do the stakes of the competition and a romance shadowed by a dark, life-threatening secret even compare to those of a normal teenager?
Almonte is an author and poet who resides in New York with his spouse and two dogs. Rise is his debut novel, and is the first installment in the Trifecta Series, a young adult trilogy that is setting the literary world on fire!
He is an alumnus of New York University, where he studied leadership and management. In his spare time he enjoys cooking, entertaining, and reading. He is also an avid poker player. He attributes much of his success to his family, and is looking forward to writing the follow-up installment in the series.
Press-ganged into servitude by a ruthless band of marauders who survived the devastating Storm, Nash has grown tired of his career– the young, undefeated champion of the Stray Dog fighting pits. All he longs for is a place to live where his family is not his enemy.
When his captain gives him an assignment to embed him deeper into the crew, Nash attempts to refuse, until the life of his friend is threatened. Determined to save her, Nash embarks on the mission to subjugate and control a supplier. But the supplier has other clients, one of which could be the son of the most feared pirate captain in all of Westraven.
And if Nash plays his cards right, the key to his deeply desired freedom, if he can live with the consequences of his choice…
Set two years before the events of CRIMSON SKY, this prequel novella tells the story of how Nash and Sawyer crossed paths– and fists. While best enjoyed before reading CRIMSON SKY, this bonus story can be read at any time or enjoyed as a standalone.
I've recently had the chance to get to know this amazing author and read her novella, Amber Sky, a prequel to her Dark Sky series. Although, I haven't been able to read the rest of the series yet, this prequel can be read on its own or anytime during the series.
It starts off following Nash, who has had a tragic life. His whole family has been killed by the Hellions and he's been forced to fight in the crater for the enjoyment of the Stray Dogs. When an unfortunate relative of two ruthless pirates (Sawyer) is captured by the Stray Dogs, Nash uses it as an opportunity to escape. A bond of trust is formed by the two main characters through struggle and near death experiences. I can't wait to see what these two have in store for me in the next installment.
I absolutely loved the characters in this book. It kept me on edge the whole time and although it was a quick read, I got the sense of fulfillment when the book ended. Amy Braun has a beautiful way of creating a colorful world. One where there is struggle but also hope. I'm going to give this read five stars.
I received this book by the author for an honest review.