Banned Books and Autumn | September Reads

Its that time of the month again when I recap all the fun reads from the month. There have been many good and bad stories, all which I will share with you now. Enjoy!


Some Things are Better Left Unseen | The Chosen Knights by Mary Ting #BlogTour

The Chosen Knights
Mary Ting
(The Angel Knights #1)
Publication date: March 19th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
(HIGHLY recommend to read prequel first–The Angel Knights)
***City of Bones meets The Da Vinci Code.
Urban fantasy lover’s dream! Demons, vampires, angels, witches, and fallen angels all set to the back drop of high school in Hawaii, and astral travel to the past to Knights Templar era.
A page turning mystery with a supernatural twist that entertains to the last page! ~InD’tale Magazine
Book trailer:
When teens go missing in Hawaii, a group of demon-hunters—half human and half angel—disguised as high school students, must leave Crossroads, the place where they reside. In a race against time, they uncover the mystery connecting the missing teens, which dates back to the era of the Knights Templar. However, when they discover one of the Templars passed down a book containing all the secrets and codes to finding a particular treasure, they soon realize this forbidden treasure needs to be found before Cyrus, the lord of the possessor demons, acquires it—a treasure which been safeguarded and hidden from him.
There is only one problem: the pages containing the clues leading to the treasure is missing. When the first page is found, Cyrus threatens to kill more descendants of the Knights Templar if it is not given to him by Friday the thirteenth. In the midst of threats and discovery, the demon-hunting angels find they are not alone when supernatural beings begin to reveal themselves. Can they put their differences aside and work together to solve the Knights Templars’ cipher? As they astral travel to the past, they witness a lot more than they have bargained for. And some things are better left unseen.
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Eli willed his sword away. It disappeared behind his back, just the way I would have done it. “You know nothing. Nothing about me is human. I won’t be a part of something that could kill any one of you.”
“How could it kill us if—?” Then I had a thought, recalling the first time I’d seen him in the cafeteria. I had no evidence but it was worth the shot. “You can astral travel, can’t you? You’ve done it before, when you first saw me in the cafeteria. You can travel in the present too. That’s why you took off.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about. Do you even know what that is?” His jaw clenched.
I knew he was lying. “Out-of-body experience.” I followed behind him when he started walking away.
“You have no idea of the consequences when you travel. Astral travel.”
“Then let it be my consequence.”
Eli whipped around. His face was just a breath away from mine. “You have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“Then show me.”
Eli pierced his eyes into mine. His heart drummed a mile a minute. “You want to feel pain, Lucia? You want to know what happens to people when they astral travel?”
“I-I—” I didn’t know what to say. I certainly didn’t expect him to say the things he did.
Eli extended his arm to me. “Take my hand.”
“Take my hand, Lucia.” His tone was stern.
I shook my head.
“Last warning.”
“Last warning for—ELI.” I screamed. My stomach dropped, along with my body. Eli’s arms embraced me as we plunged through multiple layers of clouds with my back facing down. Hair whipped my face and the force of gravity made me dizzy.
“You didn’t heed my warning, Lucia,” Eli grumbled.
“So you’re trying to kill me?” The normal reaction for someone in this situation would be to fight back, but my instincts told me I wasn’t in danger. “What are you doing?” The clouds got smaller as we plummeted faster by the second. I began to have second thoughts. Wanting to believe so badly I could get through to him, I’d let it possibly cost my life.
He ignored my plea. Looking squarely in my eyes as air rushed against us, he said nonchalantly, “Get ready to die.”

Author Bio:
International Bestselling Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children's chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.


Orphaned and cast out as a witch | The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden #BookReview

Title: The Girl in the Tower
By: Katherine Arden
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 352
Release Date: December 5th, 2017
Publisher: Del Rey

Summary from Goodreads: The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.

Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.

Review:  I thought I loved the Bear and the Nightingale, but the Girl in the Tower was even better. In this second book in the series, we follow Vasya's journey again as she struggles with the way a woman should act and being the hero when no one else will. 

I loved how Vasya didn't wait for someone to act when she knew people were in trouble. Instead, she took matters into her own hands no matter what the consequences were. She is so strong and empowering. The story goes from action to creepy very well and the writing is excellent. I can't wait to pick up the third book.   

I don't give out five stars very often, but when I can't put down a book because its that enthralling, it deserves the highest rating. 

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

You all know the story of Cinderella… | Charm by J.A. Armitage #BookTour

Charm (A Cinderella reverse fairytale)
J.A. Armitage
(Reverse Fairytales, #1)
Publication date: September 26th 2017
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult
You all know the story of Cinderella…
The kingdom needs an heir and Princess Charmaine is quite aware that the job rests solely upon her shoulders. The problem is, she has no intention of ever getting married, let alone pushing a child out of her ladyparts. When her elder sister dies, Charmaine has to take her place at the ball designed to find her a husband. The problem is, she doesn’t want to choose between a hundred eligible bachelors. She just wants to live her life in peace and find love in her own time.
Cynder knows about the impending war between the people of magic and those of his masters, but working as an underpaid servant in the palace kitchens leaves him with little power to do anything about it. On one hand, he’s a staunch supporter of equal rights for his own kind, but he can’t deny the attraction he feels for the daughter of the king and queen he works for.
When the two meet, sparks fly and not just the magical kind…
Charm is the first in the Reverse Fairytale series by USA Today bestselling author J.A.Armitage. Take everything you think you know about fairytales and turn it on its head.

Author Bio:
Born in a small town, J.Armitage longed for adventure and travel.
Age 20 she moved to Dublin, then to San Diego, then Sydney and back to California where she did a brief stint working at Universal Studios being a minder to Sponge Bob.
Once back in Britain she got married, had babies and decided to write about the adventure she was now missing out on. She works full time, is a mum to three kids and has had a surrogate baby.
She has skydived twice (and survived), climbed Kilimanjaro and hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. She has also worked as a professional clown and banana picker amongst other jobs.
Somehow she finds time to write.
Reviews for J.A.Armitage's work.
Endless Winter is a unique story that takes place in a beautiful world. J.A. Armitage's writing is lyrical and almost poetic. Janelle Fila for Readers' Favorite
I devoured this book like a rich box of chocolates. Sara C Roethle
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Never send a hero to do a monster’s job | Savage by Nicole Conway @chapterxchapter @ANConway @Month9Books

MALDOBAR – How has the world changed since the last series?

The Dragonrider Chronicles ended the 20-year war that had been ravaging the Kingdom of Maldobar. Since this series picks up 40 years after that, we are stepping into a completely new world with this series. King Felix’s reign has unified Maldobar and Luntharda, making the gray elves equal and free citizens welcomed within his kingdom’s borders. Because of that, and the various nobles he has put in power throughout Maldobar to tend to the larger cities, an era of peace and prosperity gradually has taken hold. With trade routes opened once again, both Maldobar and Luntharda are still working toward restoration. A great many new cities have been built, and some have been rebuilt upon the ashes of the old ones. 

Jaevid Broadfeather’s name is now one known throughout both kingdoms. He is a hero of legend, viewed as a savior, and rendered in paintings, sculptures, and tapestries that are found everywhere. Many of the large cities features statues of him in their squares and markets. He’s become a figure symbolizing unity and peace, a warrior of the people, and some even consider him a deity. 

While it is still extremely uncommon, women are now permitted to be soldiers if they choose. So far, however, only one female fighter has dared to darken the doorways of Blybrig Academy, where the dragonriders are trained. King Felix has also banned the capturing of wild dragons. While the ones in captivity can still be bred, the snaring or capturing of a wild dragon and the theft of a wild dragon’s eggs is now a punishable offense.

Savage (Dragonrider Legacy #1)
by Nicole Conway
Publication Date:  September 26, 2017
Publisher:  Month9Books

Savage begins the Dragonrider Legacy series, a thrilling companion to the international bestselling Dragonrider Chronicles.

Never send a hero to do a monster’s job.

Forty years have passed since Jaevid Broadfeather brought peace to Maldobar and Luntharda. But that fragile truce will be tested as darkness gathers on the horizon. The vicious armies of the Tibran Empire have crossed the far seas and are threatening to destroy Maldobar completely. Not even the dragonriders can match the Tibran war machines. And after an attempt to awaken Jaevid from his divine sleep fails, the fate of Maldobar is looking grim.

Reigh has never known what it means to be a normal human. Raised amongst the gray elves in the wild jungle of Luntharda, he’s tried everything to fit in. But the dark power within him is bursting at the seams—refusing to be silenced. And while his adoptive father, Kiran, insists this power must be kept secret, Reigh knows he’s running out of time.

As Maldobar burns, the world is desperate for a new hero. Destiny has called, and one boy will rise to answer.

Nicole is the author of the children’s fantasy series, THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, about a young boy’s journey into manhood as he trains to become a dragonrider. She has completed the first two books in the series, and is now working on the third and final book.
Originally from a small town in North Alabama, Nicole moves frequently due to her husband’s career as a pilot for the United States Air Force. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Classics from Auburn University, and will soon attend graduate school.
She has previously worked as a freelance and graphic artist for promotional companies, but has now embraced writing as a full-time occupation.
Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves watching children’s movies and collecting books. She lives at home with her husband, two cats, and dog.

Pesto, Pancakes and Chapter 21 | #WeeklyMenu Week #216

Hello Monday! It's me again. Wow, its been a long rough week. There's just too much going on right now and not enough time by myself to get my head on straight. I think my family is suffering for it. I'm sorry guys, its not really my fault.

Writing actually happened this week. I made a lot of progress on my WIP even though when I first sat down to write I wasn't feeling it. It was like magic. When the pen hit the paper, the ideas began to flow and I have a good direction to finish my book. Chapter twenty one is done. 

Well, enjoy this weeks menu!


- Sloppy Joes





Tuna Sandwiches

Interview with an Author | Ed McDonald is on the Blog

I have had the amazing opportunity to ask the author of Blackwing a few questions about writing, being an author an life in general. Luckily, I was able to snag am ARC copy of this awesome book and couldn't put it down. Check out the interview below... 

So, what have you written?

Blackwing is my first published work and will be hitting US shelves in October. It’s available on Amazon and the other usual sites for preorder now. I also run a blog at and have had a number of guest-posts featured on blog websites during July.

Where can we buy or see them? 

You can read my guest posts at some of the blogger websites on the graphic below:

Image result for blackwing blog tour

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

Ryhalt Galharrow is forty, a functioning alcoholic who has conflicted feelings about the things that he has done in the past. He’s not very honest with himself and wants to believe that he’s heartless because things would be so much easier if he could let things go. He’s a big guy, measured, not very friendly, but he’s deeply loyal to the few friends he can stomach. Oh, and he’s also in eternal servitude to an immortal called Crowfoot who exists as a raven tattooed on Galharrow’s arm, and whose method sending him orders is distinctly painful.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m at work on the second instalment of The Raven’s Mark series, of which Blackwing is the start. It’s written, but I’m in the process of doing some significant editing to get it into shape. I’m also working on a few other projects including a YA post-apocalyptic novel, a screenplay for a sci-fii thriller and a script for a graphic novel. Those are all very much in their infancy though – book 2 is the priority.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?

I love thinking about this stuff! Ray Stevenson is my main choice for Galharrow, in part because he’s 6’6 and Galharrow is a big guy. Alternatively, Mike Colter would fill the role pretty well.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I was fifteen. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but I was doing it through my whole childhood too. There are stacks of comics at my mom and dad’s house that I drew with my brother, exercise books filled with stories I wrote. I think I probably started writing at age 3. My mom told me that I was reading at 2, but she might be making that up…

If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it?

Blackwing is part of The Raven’s Mark series. Each book stands alone – there’s a full plot that has a resolution – but that all fit together into a larger narrative.

Do you read much and if so, who are your favorite authors?

I don’t get to read as much as I used to. If I’m mentally alert enough to be reading, then I feel compelled that I should be writing instead. But I still get through maybe a book a month. My favourite authors are probably Robin Hobb and Joe Abercrombie, but Joe better not see this because every time I see him I tell him that I’m stealing his place in the genre and I don’t want him knowing that I love his books. We did karaoke together in Helsinki recently, and he can sing as well as write good books. Grrr.

What book/s are you reading at present?

Currently I’m reading Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough. I love fantasy but I find reading it difficult now, because I’m so hyper critical and deconstruct it all. I am also enjoying Jay Kristoff’s Nevernight – his prose are just brilliant. The last book I finished was Mike Carey’s The Girl With All The Gifts which was excellent.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t put up with anything that makes you less than happy. Always work harder to make your life better.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?

Legend, by David Gemmell. It’s the only book that I’ve read seven times, and it literally changed my outlook on life. It still influences me today.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

The more you think about your book as a great work of art, the less you’re going to be able to make the important decisions. It is a great work of art, but the Mona Lisa still has the figure centered, there’s still a particular palette of colors used, and Da Vinci used a brush, not his fingers. Writing a novel is as much like building a car engine as it is about dreaming a landscape. The pieces have to fit together. Be practical and pragmatic and listen when people tell you that something isn’t working for them.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Buy my book and read it! Or listen to the excellent e-book narrated by Colin Mace. I blog a bit about swordsmanship (which I train) and other writing related stuff.

Twitter: @EdMcDonaldTFK

Thank you to Ed McDonald for stopping by the blog. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your answers and I can't wait for the next installment of the Ravens' Mark series.