Blog Tour Stop: Game of Shadows by Erika Lewis

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I am excited for the opportunity to be one of the stop for this blog tour. This is one of my anticipated reads for this year.  I am going to put all of the info about the book and author first, but keep going. I will be giving a first impressions review and  there will be a link for a giveaway at the end!

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Synopsis 
Ethan Makkai thought that seeing ghosts was the worst of his problems. Between his ethereal gift and life with a single mother hell-bent on watching his every move, he feels imprisoned. When Ethan sees a chance to escape, to leave the house by himself for the first time in his life, he seizes it, unaware that this first taste of freedom will cost him everything.

Ethan is thrown into a strange and eerie world, like nothing he’s ever seen. He’s assaulted by dive-bombing birds and rescued by a stranger who claims to be his bodyguard. His apartment is trashed, and his mother is kidnapped to a place Ethan never knew existed—a hidden continent called Tara.
Travelling to Tara in search of his mother, Ethan discovers that everything he knows about his life is a lie. His mother is royalty. His father is not dead. His destiny is likely to get him killed.
Confronted by a vicious sorcerer determined to destroy the Makkai family, Ethan must garner strength from his gift and embrace his destiny if he’s going to save his mother and all the people of Tara, including the beautiful girl he’s fallen for.

 

Praise for GAME OF SHADOWS

“A fantastical journey that I didn’t want to end!” ―Sherrilyn Kenyon, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“It’s impossible to put this riveting page-turner down!” ―Stan Lee, author, editor, actor, and former president and chairman of Marvel Comics

“This book’s got heart . . . a wonderful adventure.” ―R. A. Salvatore, New York Times bestselling author of The Hunters Blades novels

“One of those thrilling tales you can’t put down . . . the perfect blend of imaginative world-building and nonstop action wrapped up in a compelling mystery.” ―D.J. MacHale, New York Times bestselling author of Pendragon and The SYLO Chronicles

“We were hooked. This is an adventure story for the ages.” — John Barrowman & Carole Barrowman, authors of the Hollow Earth trilogy & Conjuror

“Riveting from the start.” ―Steven Gould, author of Jumper

“Lewis has created a whole new world that is at once exciting and affecting. . . . She weaves a web of mythology that is both reminiscent of the Celtic world and redolent of the unique creation of a rich and fertile imagination.”―Dara Hellman, Lecturer, Celtic Studies Program, University of California, Berkeley

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 

Erika Lewis graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in Math. And what do you do with a degree in Math? You become a writer of course… eventually…

She moved to the west coast following her dream to work in television. And after fifteen glorious years developing and producing for truly awesome places, like Sony Pictures Entertainment, Fireworks Television, 20th Television, that’s a division of Fox if you didn’t know that, and then at G4, where she could finally be free to be the nerd she had always been. She had more collectible toys in her office than even the famed executive producers of ATTACK OF THE SHOW and XPLAY. At least that’s the way she remembers it.

So how did this circle back to the beginning of this bio? A Math major becoming a writer? Because she’d actually always been a writer, she just never told anyone. She would write and write, edit and edit, then realize that it wasn’t good enough and go back in for yet another pass. And when she finally had several projects she really loved, that’s when she knew it was time to unleash them to the world.

Her first project, a graphic novel, THE 49TH KEY, is currently being featured in Heavy Metal Magazine, and will be released in trade in summer, 2017. Along with her amazing partner, Jessica Chobot, she’s currently working with LINE Webtoon and Legendary Comics on FIREBRAND, an ongoing comic series. Her first novel, GAME OF SHADOWS hits the bookstore shelves February 28th, 2017 from TOR/Forge Books, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers.

There are several other really exciting projects that you will be hearing much more about soon, but if she leaked them now, she’d get in big, big, big trouble. She resides in the sunshine state of California. When she’s not chained to her laptop, she’s usually playing with her big fluffy Golden Retriever, or running, or at one of the bookstores or comic shops by her house. And always drinking coffee.

My First Impressions:
Normally, with a blog tour I would post a full review to go along with all of the promotional items. Unfortunately, I had to choose between making sure that my post would go up on time or post a full review. So, in short, I have never done a first impressions review. I’m not certain that it would be fair to my readers since I have not read the entire book. At this point I have about a hundred pages left, and I am certain that the ending will not be disappointing. So here we go:
I was immediately drawn into the story from the first few page. Lewis starts the story off with hints that something much bigger is going on. But it is impossible to tell how big the secrets are until the action starts.  Ethan Makkai is a surprising character. He teeters between being completely lost and afraid in the new world that he is thrown into and being a very capable brave leader. I would have to say that the journey to save his mother helps him grow into the person his country has been waiting for.
Lewis has worked really hard in creating characters with distinct voices and personalities and talents that propel the story forward without losing momentum. Also the work that went into the world-building of Tara is evident. Even things that are out and out unbelievable are molded into something familiar and real.
The whole “character doesn’t know who he is until a catastrophic event reveals the truth, leaving him with no one and nothing to trust” trope is a bit old and annoying in most works. But not here, Lewis makes it work. She keeps the pace steady between learning  what is really going on and the action that is engaging and captivating.
I find it really hard to put this book down. I am sure if life, I.E.  my two year old, did not interrupt, I would have finished this book.  From everything that I’ve read so far, I can easily say that this is one of my favorite reads. Regardless of what happens in the last one hundred pages, I am certain that this book is one that I will continuously recommend to friends and fellow readers!
Want a chance to read this amazing book for yourself? Check out the rafflecopter link below for a chance to win your own copy!
Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter
 

 – 10 Winners will receive a Copy of Game of Shadows by Erika Lewis

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js” target=”_blank”>Rafflecopter Giveaway  for Game of Shadows by Erika Lewis
Check back soon for my full review!
Always Shine!

Wednesday Weekly Highlights #1

I knew that February was going to be a busy review month for me. It seemed like all of the books that came my way were going to be released sometime this month.  There is no way that I would be able to read them all, so I decided that I wanted to add a new feature to this blog. Every Wednesday I will discuss all of the books that are, or have been released that week and talk about why I wanted to review them.  I will still review them, but it just may take me longer than I anticipated.  So for the first WWH I have 5 books to highlight.

Justice Delayed (Memphis Cold Case #1)

Justice Delayed (Memphis Cold Case #1) by Patricia Bradley

This was sent to me through the  Revell Reads program. I picked this title because I kept coming across other Bradley books but they were all books 3 or so in other series. Since this was the first one in a new series, I thought that this was a good place to start.

From Goodreads: It’s been eighteen years since TV crime reporter Andi Hollister’s sister was murdered. The confessed killer is behind bars, and the execution date is looming. But when a letter surfaces stating that the condemned killer didn’t actually do it, Detective Will Kincaide of the Memphis Cold Case Unit will stop at nothing to help Andi get to the bottom of it. After all, this case is personal: the person who confessed to the crime is Will’s cousin. They have less than a week to find the real killer before the wrong person is executed. But much can be accomplished in that week–including uncovering police corruption, running for your life, and falling in love. With the perfect mixture of intrigue and nail-biting suspense, award-winning author Patricia Bradley invites her readers to crack the case–if they can–alongside the best Memphis has to offer.

Maybe It's You (Crisis Team #3)

Maybe It’s You (Crisis Team #3) by Candace Calvert

This was sent to me from the Tyndale Blogging Network.  I thought that this sounded like an interesting read, it wasn’t until after I received it that I realized that this was book 3 in a trilogy.

From Goodreads: ER nurse Sloane Ferrell escaped her risky past–new name, zip code, job, and a fresh start. She’s finally safe, if she avoids a paper trail and doesn’t let people get too close. Like the hospital’s too-smooth marketing man with his relentless campaign to plaster one “lucky” employee’s face on freeway billboards.Micah Prescott’s goal is to improve the Hope hospital image, but his role as a volunteer crisis responder is closer to his heart. The selfless work helps fill a void in his life left by family tragedy. So does a tentative new relationship with the compassionate, beautiful, and elusive Sloane Ferrell.Then a string of brutal crimes makes headlines, summons responders . . . and exposes disturbing details of Sloane’s past.Can hope spring from crisis?

Rise of Fire (Reign of Shadows #2)

Rise of Fire (Reign of Shadows #2) by Sophie Jordan 

I have the first book for review, and it was already in the review que. So when this one came up, I decided to request this one. I thought that if I like the first one, it would be nice to be able to go ahead and start the second one. Unfortunately, I was not able to get to the first one last month like I had  planned.

From Goodreads:From Goodreads: The richly suspenseful sequel to Sophie Jordan’s romantic fantasy Reign of Shadows.  Luna and Fowler have escaped the kingdom of Relhok, but they haven’t escaped the darkness. When a battle against the dark dwellers mortally injures Fowler, Luna is faced with a choice: put their fate in the hands of mysterious strangers or risk losing Fowler forever.
Desperate to keep the one bright part of her life alive, Luna accepts the help of soldiers from a nearby kingdom. Lagonia’s castle offers reprieve from the dangerous outside world—until the king discovers both Fowler’s and Luna’s true ties to Relhok and their influence over the throne.
Now pawns in each kingdom’s political game, Luna and Fowler are more determined than ever to escape and build the life they’ve been dreaming of. But their own pasts have a tight hold on their hearts and their destinies. Luna must embrace the darkness and fire within her before she loses not only Fowler, but the power she was destined to inherit.

The Stars Are Legion

The Stars are Legion by Kameron Hurley 

This is another author that keeps popping up. Since this was her latest book, and it appears to be a stand alone, it sounded like the perfect time to give this author a try.

From Goodreads:  Somewhere on the outer rim of the universe, a mass of decaying world-ships known as the Legion is traveling in the seams between the stars. For generations, a war for control of the Legion has been waged, with no clear resolution.  As worlds continue to die, a desperate plan is put into motion. Zan wakes with no memory, prisoner of a people who say they are her family. She is told she is their salvation – the only person capable of boarding the Mokshi, a world-ship with the power to leave the Legion. But Zan’s new family is not the only one desperate to gain control of the prized ship. Zan finds that she must choose sides in a genocidal campaign that will take her from the edges of the Legion’s gravity well to the very belly of the world. Zan will soon learn that she carries the seeds of the Legion’s destruction – and its possible salvation. But can she and her ragtag band of followers survive the horrors of the Legion and its people long enough to deliver it? In the tradition of The Fall of Hyperion and DuneThe Stars are Legion is an epic and thrilling tale about tragic love, revenge, and war as imagined by one of the genre’s most celebrated new writers.

Midnight Curse (Disrupted Magic, #1)

Midnight Curse (Disrupted Magic #1) by Melissa Olsen

This is another author that keeps coming across my radar. I thought that this was the beginning of a brand new series. But it’s really not. It’s a brand new trilogy, but it’s the third trilogy in the bigger series. So it looks like I have to go back to the beginning.

From Goodreads:  Scarlett Bernard is used to cleaning up messes. As a human who cancels out any magic around her, Scarlett’s job is to keep the supernatural world hidden—at any cost. On the eve of the Vampire Trials, a two-day tribunal that allows the otherworldly community to air their grievances, Scarlett receives a blood-soaked message from Molly, her estranged former roommate. Molly, a vampire, had been living with twelve human college students…and in one terrible night, she slaughtered them all. Scarlett believes Molly’s been set up, but no one else in the Old World agrees with her. And the true perpetrator is determined to make sure Molly goes on trial for the massacre—the penalty for which is death. With less than two days to prove her friend’s innocence, Scarlett calls on former LAPD detective Jesse Cruz to help her dig into Molly’s past. But no one—Molly included—wants Scarlett and Jesse to bring the terrible truth to light.

Well that’s all that’s coming out this week. While I may not be able to get to all of them as quickly as I thought that I would, I am still looking forward to them all. Was there one that caught your eye?

Always Shine!

Bookshelf Spotlight October 18, 2016

This idea was inspired from the Waiting on Wednesday feature, hosted by Breaking the Spine.

I am really trying to focus on reading the books on my shelf as much as possible. (In fact that may be my only reading goal that I stick to next year.)  So as I was flipping through book hauls on blogs that I follow as well as on Booktube, I got an idea.

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BookShelf Spotlight is an opportunity to look at the books that I already own and see which one I am looking forward to reading to the most. Because it is my intent to work whatever book I spotlight into my reading, I will only do a spotlight once I have read the chosen book.

I enjoy waiting for new books to drop and for me to get my hands on them., but in the hustle and bustle of that I tend to forget about the jewels that I already have on my shelf.  Since this is my first one, I will be spotlighting 2 books. Picking just one is very difficult for me.

The October List

The October List by Jeffery Deaver

October 1, 2o13

Goodreads Summary:  Gabriela waits desperately for news of her abducted daughter.
At last, the door opens.
But it’s not the negotiators. It’s not the FBI.
It’s the kidnapper.
And he has a gun.

How did it come to this?

Two days ago, Gabriela’s life was normal. Then, out of the blue, she gets word that her six-year-old daughter has been taken. She’s given an ultimatum: pay half a million dollars and find a mysterious document known as the “October List” within 30 hours, or she’ll never see her child again.

A mind-bending novel with twists and turns that unfold from its dramatic climax back to its surprising beginning, THE OCTOBER LIST is Jeffery Deaver at his masterful, inventive best.

A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2)

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir 

August 30, 2016

Goodreads Summary:  Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Always Shine!

Cover Reveal: Shadow and Flame by Gail Z. Martin

I don’t do these often, but when I stumbled upon this, I had to. There are very few books that I pick up just because of the covers. I mean, yes, the covers attract my attention, but this series, I picked up or requested for review ONLY because of the covers.  I’m talking about The Ascendant Series by Gail Z. Martin.  I will probably wait for the fourth book to come out and then marathon the whole thing, as I am still playing catch up. Until then, feast your eyes on this beauty:

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Shadow and Flame by Gail Z. Martin  (Click to go to Orbits’ Cover Launch page)

Ascendant Kingdoms #4

Other books in the series:

  Ice Forged (Ascendant Kingdoms, #1) Reign of Ash (Ascendant Kingdoms, #2)

War of Shadows (Ascendant Kingdoms, #3)

I am excited to get to this series, because the covers look amazing!

Always Shine!

Guest Post: M.E. Parker the author of Jonesbridge: Echoes of Hinterland

Today we have a visit from M.E. Parker, the author of Jonesbridge: Echoes of Hinterland. I will be reading and posting the review in the next  couple of weeks but until then, here is a glimpse of Jonesbridge!

The Art of Pollution

The sky is your canvas, and on a clear day, a clean cerulean slate with which to work. Every decision affects the composition of your masterpiece: a valley cut by a river, sandwiched between strip-mined hills. Smokestacks should be spread apart for maximum coverage and staggered, allowing the roiling gray clouds, each on a unique trajectory and column of air, to facilitate collisions in unexpected ways, whipping up a black dragon to swallow the sky, the setting sun an opaque disk in its throat, its tail reaching beyond the horizon carried by a breeze. This allows soot, the moss of progress, to gather from ashen rain on the leeward sides of the stacks.

Your complex must have access to a body of water, preferably a river, one with a ponderous current, almost stagnant, not diluting but churning your chemical soup, allowing it to seep into the water table, perhaps even leaving ochreous rings in the drinking water tanks. Shimmering eddies of heavy metals swirl along the shore, the stain glass on your cathedral to production, fish scales, metallic green and orange, the colors of the war machine.

Your plant must also find itself in calm, settling air, a valley perhaps where wind will not dissipate so quickly your contribution to the sky. Fog and mist rising from the warm water, air heavy with vapor and smoke, must meet in the middle, must join and fuse as though your valley cups in its hands, the fruits of production…

One for all, and ALL for Industry! In Jonesbridge, they have perfected the art of pollution. Take a deep cleansing breath of sulfur dioxide, taste the iron. Wander through the soot-cloaked streets of brick, once red, as the gargoyles of Industry peer over the factory roofs. Stroll the alleyways of war wreckage in the salvage pit where you might find a relic of the Old Age and a hint to the magic their technology wielded, and if the sky clears long enough to see the Great Gorge, stare into the horizon dreaming of the world beyond

Jonesbridge (Echoes of Hinterland, #1)

Jonesbridge: Echoes of Hinterland by M.E. Parker

From Goodreads:In this world-building series, perfect for fans of Ray Bradbury’s FAHRENHEIT 451 and Hugh Howey’s WOOL, to survive a grim island prison a young man and woman must work for the Complex. To escape it, they will need to destroy it.
Myron enters the Jonesbridge Industrial Complex as a worker, a prisoner, commanded to harvest the scant resources that enable the powers that be to continue waging an unwinnable war. When Sindra—a fellow prisoner and a spirited fighter—joins him at the salvage line, he finds a new reason to live, and to escape. Even though any attempt to leave will lead to execution, Myron and Sindra plan a daring escape.
But when a guard is found murdered and Myron is blamed for the crime, it appears that they will not even get a chance to attempt to fly over the gorge that separates Jonesbridge from the rest of the world. It will take everything that Myron and Sindra have to merely survive their brutal overlords. It will take even more to set them both free. As their world changes, Myron and Sindra work through the Jonesbridge underground, meeting a mesmerizing cast of characters—dangerous survivors bent on destroying Jonesbridge once and for all.

Always Shine!

Cover Reveal: Unholy Blue

Yay! Today I am able to participate in another cover reveal for Darby Karchut (writing as Darby Kaye).  Yesterday I did a cover reveal for the final book in the Finn MacCullen series, and today it is for Darby’s adult books, the Bannerman Boru series. Bannerman Boru first appeared in The Stag Lord. I was ecstatic about The Stag Lord before it was even available. And then I finally got my hands on a copy, and oh my my! I was not disappointed. As  I said before, Darby has something for everyone, and each series is excellent with characters that you absolutely love (and a few that you just hate). Each book is well written, draws you in with the depth and passion of the characters as well as the rich history that you all uncover.

Cover for UNHOLY BLUE

Unholy Blue by Darby Karchut 

Bannerman Boru # 2

December 2015 – Spence City

Jacket Copy:

Strong and Rare and Irish. That’s how Shay Doyle likes her whiskey. And men. As Healer to a clan of immortal Celtic warriors living in modern-day Colorado, she has been gifted with such a man: Bannerman “Bann” Boru. The only problem is keeping the stubborn warrior alive. For Fate seems to have it in for Bann, and his son, Cor, descendants of the kings of Ireland, and recipient of an ancient grudge from the mad god, Cernunnos. But, with a bit o’ luck, Shay, Bann, and the rest of the Doyle clan—along with the aid of a legendary huntsman known as the Black Hand—might just suss out how to kill a shapeshifter that refuses to stay dead, prevent clan warfare, and make a choice that could change their lives. If they don’t lose them first.

 Don’t want to take my word and enthusiasm for it? Here is praise for The Stag Lord….

“A passionate story with a strong romance…Darby Kaye’s Tuatha Dé Danann shouldn’t be missed.” –M.D. Waters, author of Archetype and Prototype

“A refreshing glimpse into the world of Celtic mythology and tradition…and give us heroes we want to root for—and reasons to keep turning the pages.”          — Walter H. Hunt, author of the Dark Wing Universe and Elements of Mind

“Delightful tale filled with action, mystery, and romance.” — Rabid Reads

“…highly recommend for fans of urban fantasy who are looking for brilliant characters to fall head-over-heels for.” — A Belle’s Tales.

 Darby Karchut B&W author photo

About the Author:

Darby Karchut is an award-winning author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. She’s been known to run in blizzards and bike in lightning storms. When not dodging death by Colorado, Darby is busy writing urban fantasy for tweens, teens, and adults. Visit her at www.darbykarchut.com

In all seriousness, Darby Karchut is an amazing author and stunning individual. You can find her on Facebook and actually talk to her. (But don’t distract her too much from working on the books, because then you and I will no longer be friends. 😉 )

April is D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything And Read) Month and Darby is a D.E.A.R. author for me. So I say that’s the perfect time to get started on her series – any of them.

Always Shine!

Cover Reveal: The Burnt Bones

Okay guys, you  know how much I love Darby Karchut, right? Today I get the pleasure of participating in a cover reveal for the final book in the Finn MacCullen series. While I am very excited to get my hands on this book, I am also sad that this is the final book. I hope that you all have taken my advice and started reading Darby Karchut, if not you will soon find yourself playing catch up. The best thing about her is that she has something for everyone. Finn is for middle grade, Griffin is for young adults and Bann is for adults!

Without further ado:

The Burnt Bones final cover

The Burnt Bones by Darby Karchut 

Finn MacCullen #4

March 2016 – Spencer Hill Press

Jacket Copy:

Just when Finn MacCullen thought fate couldn’t kick him any harder after the events of the Festival of the Hunt, it does. Now, he must overcome a series of nearly impossible trials to prove his worth as an apprentice, or lose his place at his master Gideon’s side. But, Finn and Gideon, and their friends, are determined to boot fate right back. They’re going to do whatever it takes to succeed, including teaming up with a sorceress and a certain teen angel. However, Finn’s life has as many twists as a Celtic knot, and master and apprentice find themselves in their ancestral homeland of Ireland with only their wits—and a fair bit of the Black Hand’s charm—to protect them from the vengeful Celtic goddess known as the Scáthach. In this heart-stopping finale of the award-winning series, it’s going to take every scrap of Finn’s Irish luck and pluck to save himself, and his master, from death. Or worse.

Darby Karchut B&W author photo

About the Author:

Darby Karchut is an award-winning author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. She’s been known to run in blizzards and bike in lightning storms. When not dodging death by Colorado, Darby is busy writing urban fantasy for tweens, teens, and adults. Visit her at www.darbykarchut.com

Always Shine!