Tuesday, February 28, 2017

New Release: Of the Trees by E.M. Fitch

I am so excited that OF THE TREES by E.M. Fitch releases today and that I get to share the news!
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author E.M. Fitch, be sure to check out all the details below.
This blitz also includes a giveaway for a $25 Fandango Gift Card, US Only courtesy of Month9Books. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
About The Book:

Author: E.M. Fitch
Pub. Date: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 345

Cassie and Laney fancy themselves amateur ghost hunters. When a carnival comes to town, Cassie embraces the chance to try something new.

Carnival workers watch the girls with a collective gaze that ignites in Laney a dark and dangerous fascination, leaving Cassie unnerved.

It's not just their age or the unsettling way they stare. There is something in the shifting of their skin and the way their features seem to change in the shadows.

Cassie can't shake this sickening feeling that there's more to the carnival than meets the eye.

When townspeople suddenly start dying and bloody warnings appear around town, Cassie is lured into a nightmare where trees whisper and strange, shape-shifting men haunt the backwoods she once hunted for ghosts with her best friend.

Then Laney goes missing, and only Cassie can get her back. But the creatures of the trees aren't simply going to hand Laney over to Cassie without getting something in return.

About the Author: 

E.M. Fitch is an author who loves scary stories, chocolate, and tall trees. When not dreaming up new ways to torture characters, she is usually corralling her four children or thinking of ways to tire them out so she can get an hour of peace at night. She lives in Connecticut, surrounded by chaos, which she manages (somewhat successfully) with her husband, Marc.

Giveaway Details:
1 winner will receive a $25 Fandango Gift Card, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

More books by this author:


Dystopian Review: The List by Patricia Forde

The List
by Patricia Forde

Genre: YA, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, Eco Fiction, Science Fiction

Publication Date: August 1st 2017 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Original Title: The Wordsmith, published April 16, 2015

Fahrenheit 451 meets The Giver for tweens in this gripping story about the power of words and the dangers of censorship.

In the city of Ark, speech is constrained to five hundred sanctioned words. Speak outside the approved lexicon and face banishment. The exceptions are the Wordsmith and his apprentice Letta, the keepers and archivists of all language in their post-apocalyptic, neo-medieval world.

On the death of her master, Letta is suddenly promoted to Wordsmith, charged with collecting and saving words. But when she uncovers a sinister plan to suppress language and rob Ark’s citizens of their power of speech, she realizes that it’s up to her to save not only words, but culture itself.

My Review:
The List is set in a post-apocalyptic future where the ice caps have melted and flooded the world. A small colony has formed where a group called the Green Warriors had identified a place the flooding would not likely touch. Called Ark, the main town is under the control of Noa, a man who blames the disaster on words, on people talking each other into believing there was nothing to the science that predicted the flood.

So, one, this book is very much a story warning against censorship, not only of words, but of culture, the arts, and human nature. But two, it’s also about climate change and a commentary on politicizing the science around it to the point that real threats are disregarded. I thought these elements were both interesting and rather frightening.

Still, the entire story is told from the perspective of a child, just into her teens, who loses her guardian and assumes a massive responsibility all in the same day. A girl who discovers everything she thought was normal and right was actually a lie. It’s a pretty exciting read, actually, but there are some poignant tragedies fed by the brutality and lack of empathy of those who are supposed to lead and protect Ark.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story. It’s a gripping and thought provoking read with a decent amount of action and good pacing. I’d recommend it to folks who like dystopian, post-apocalyptic, and stories that feature young protagonists.

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley.

Add to your shelf on Goodreads.

Hardcover is available for pre-order on Amazon.

About the Author:
Patricia Forde lives in the County Galway, in the wet of Ireland. She has published five books for children in the Irish language and has written two plays, as well as several television drama series for children and teenagers. She has worked as a writer on both English and Irish language soap operas. In another life, she was a primary school teacher and the artistic director of Galway Arts Festival. The List is her first novel.

Author Links:
Goodreads Patricia's Author Profile

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Superhero Spoof Review: The Adventures of Technicality Man by Jessica Meats

The Adventures of Technicality Man
by Jessica Meats

Genre: Superheroes, General Humor, Literature and Fiction

Publication Date: December 19, 2016

Everyone knows how the stories are supposed to go. The good guys win in the end, the hero ends up with the designated love interest, and the plucky band of misfits pulls together to save the world.
But what happens when a villain targets the nature of stories themselves? All the tropes that the heroes have come to rely on are under threat.

Technicality Man and his trusty companion Continuity Leopard must join forces with a group of minor heroes to save the day. They won’t let any barrier stop them. Not even the fourth wall.

My Review:
Ah, The Adventures of Technicality Man, a book I picked up on NetGalley due to the comic bookish cover and the satirical and corny description.

It was pretty much what I expected, but also not completely so, basically a play on comic book heroes and stories in general. The good guys and the bad guys play their parts, all with clever and highly descriptive names: Technicality Man, Origami Man, Chesty Cough Girl, to name a few. And yeah, their powers are exactly what their names imply. The girl is hilarious, her superpower is to appear highly contagious, which scares off guards and minions.

The other characters, besides the named heroes and villains, are several named cats who are responsible for all normal story conventions. Their names, of course, have everything to do with the elements of the story they control. I thought they were a bit clever and got a kick out of how the heroes knew when one was around or, in one case, summoned one to help them.

It’s not a terribly deep story, but it is amusing. I got through it in a few days, so there’s enough to entertain, but it is short enough to finish in a sitting in an afternoon. Good for a laugh or two if you’re familiar with comic book or hero stories and are game for a laugh or two at their expense.

Overall, I liked the story. It was amusing, clever in places, and light. I’d recommend it to folks who enjoy stories that poke fun at common themes by using those themes in the most obvious of ways. Good stuff.

I received the review copy of this book from NetGalley.

Interested? Add The Adventures of Technicality Man to your shelf on Goodreads.

About the Author:
Born in the United Kingdom, Jessica Meats is the author of a number of a number of intriguing science fiction books including the Code Name Omega series, the Shadows of Tomorrow series, and Child of the Hive. She also contributed a short story, Reading Between the Lines, to the MCB Quarterly magazine's 5th quarterly anthology.
Adding to all that, she has an active blog where she posts reviews, writing advice, and other bookish topics. Definitely worth a look.
Author Links:
Fiction books by this Author:

Monday, February 20, 2017

Cover Reveal: All That Glitters by Tracy Krimmer

Today is the cover reveal for All That Glitters by Tracy Krimmer. This cover reveal is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The cover is designed by K Creative Designs.

All That GlittersAll That Glitters (Songs of the Heart #1)
By Tracy Krimmer
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Women’s Fiction
Age category: Adult
Release Date: summer 2017

Country-music star, Dory Walker, never wanted to come back to the small town of Sycamore Bay. But after her fairy-tale life is flipped upside down, and her marriage becomes a casualty, she has no choice.

Harris Malone is a man with few commitments. He keeps a low profile most days while he cares for his young daughter and helps run his dad’s hardware store.

But when he and Dory run into each other at the local gas station, all either can think about is the searing kiss they shared many years ago.

Can a woman who only wants to rekindle her career and a man who enjoys a no-strings attached lifestyle find everlasting love?

You can find All That Glitters on Goodreads

Tracy KrimmerAbout the Author:
Tracy's love of writing began at nine years old. She wrote stories about aliens at school, machines that did homework for you, and penguins. Now she pens books and short stories about romance. She loves to read a great book, whether it be romance or science fiction, or any genre in between, or pop popcorn and catch up on her favorite TV shows or movies. She's been known to crush a candy or two as well. Her loves include fitness, reading, coffee, dogs, and naps (not in that order), and her dislikes are blue cheese, cold weather, and burpees.

You can find and contact Tracy here:
- Website
- Twitter
- Facebook
- Goodreads
- Amazon
- Instagram
- Newsletter

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Friday, February 17, 2017

YA Cover Reveal: Humanity's Hope (Saving Humanity #1) by Pembroke Sinclair

Today is the cover reveal for Humanity's Hope by Pembroke Sinclair. This cover reveal is organized by Lola's Blog Tours.

Humanity's HopeHumanity's Hope (Saving Humanity #1)
by Pembroke Sinclair
Genre: Zombie
Age category: Young Adult

Caleb, a 17-year-old boy, survived the zombie uprising, but he didn’t come out of the ordeal unscathed. He’s been scarred—both mentally and physically. The rest of humanity is trying to rebuild, to make the world normal again. Caleb is trying to return to a normal life also, but after all he’s seen, after the loss of his family and friends, the transition is difficult. The darkness that led him down a path of self-doubt and self-harm keeps trying to creep back into his mind.

Things only become worse when he discovers he’s immune to whatever makes a zombie a zombie. Fighting zombies was predictable. He knew what to expect. Fighting humans is volatile. They are malicious and treacherous. They won’t stop to get what they want, and Caleb has to figure out exactly what that is.

*Trigger warning: attempted suicide

You can find Humanity's Hope on Goodreads

Caleb’s extremities tingled with adrenaline, his footsteps thumped rhythmically on the hard, dry ground. He sucked in long gasps of air, but his lungs still burned for oxygen. He caught glimpses of the other two out of the corner of his eyes. The undead drew nearer. Their arms outstretched, waiting to snag their prey. Caleb zig-zagged across the field. He ducked under a pair of arms, then shouldered a zombie out of the way. Its bones crunched against his shoulder, teeth gnashed close to his ear, driving him forward with more urgency. The house grew larger with every step he took. Almost there.

A short yip followed by a grunt sounded behind him. He risked a glance over his shoulder. Len stumbled then fell. Caleb’s heart leapt into his throat. He skidded to a stop, turning to help his friend. Caleb was about to step toward Len, but he was stopped in his tracks. The action caused him to lose his balance. His arms flailed through the air to keep Caleb from falling over. An incessant, strong tugging kept him from moving forward. He turned to see Nina jerking on his backpack. Her eyes were wide and glistening with tears. She bit her bottom lip and shook her head violently. Caleb glanced again at Len, who reached for Caleb, his mouth open in a silent plea, tears running down his cheeks. Caleb reached toward him. Len’s plea turned into a scream as a zombie bit into his calf. A dark ring of blood stained his jeans and grew larger. Another zombie latched onto the fingers of his extended hand. The crunch as it bit through his bones rattled in Caleb’s skull. He pulled his hand into his chest.

Caleb turned at that point. There was nothing more he could do. His sister grabbed his wrist, and they ran into the house. They took the stairs two at a time and headed into a bedroom on the right. After closing the door, they scanned the area, checking under the bed and in the closet. Clear. His sister collapsed face first onto the bed. From the way her body shook, Caleb could tell she was crying. He leaned back until his pack connected with the door. His legs gave out, and he slid to the floor. Pulling his knees to his chest, he wrapped his arms around his head and tried to disappear into himself.

And then there were two.

Pembroke SinclairAbout the Author:
I am an editor by day and a zombie-killer by night (at least in my books). Since the first time I watched Night of the Living Dead, I have been obsessed with zombies and I often think of ways to survive the uprising.

I have written YA novels about zombies and the tough teens who survive the apocalyptic world, along with adult novels in the sci fi and fantasy genres. I have also written kids' books under the pen name J.D. Pooker.

I have written nonfiction stories for Serial Killer Magazine and published a book about slasher films called Life Lessons from Slasher Films under my real name.

For more information, please check out my blog at pembrokesinclair.blogspot.com or email me at pembrokesinclair[at]hotmail[dot]com.

You can find and contact Pembroke here:
- Blog
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads
- Amazon

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Dark Fantasy Review: Ghostwalker (The Spiderlily Chronicles Book 1) by Nicole Martinsen

Ghostwalker (The Spiderlily Chronicles Book 1)
by Nicole Martinsen

Publication Date: June 10th 2015

The Tapestry of Fate is absolute. If a Thread determines that one will lead a life of fortune, then it will happen. If a Thread determines that one will lead a life in vain, it is inescapable. All things, save for the smallest of margins, are set in stone... unless you're a Ghostwalker.

In this world, where destiny is everything, a Ghostwalker has the ability to forge their own legacy. Through the mere act of living, they change the weave of the Tapestry, and each life they meet is affected in a similar way.

Ghostwalkers have been Kings and madmen, prophets, and paupers, and in this particular instance, a six-year-old girl...

"Ghostwalker" will take a young half-elf away from everything she knows and throw her into the High City of Lydia, where she will have to rely on wit and unconventional allies to survive long enough to make a difference in the world, even if it comes down to throwing it all away.

My Review:
Ghostwalker reads like an epic fantasy. Silhouette, kidnapped as a child, grows up in the High City of Lydia. Her kidnapper views her as a substitute for her mother, Kendra, who chose another over him. It spans three distinct time periods, starting when Silhouette is a child, jumping forward to her as a young teen, and wrapping up when she is an older teen.

One thing I liked was the complexity of most of the characters. Many of the good guys make some really terrible choices, and I found it hard to figure out whether to like or dislike some of them. Then again, the bad guys didn’t seem to have any redeeming qualities, making them rather one-dimensional.

Besides the characters, I liked the complex plot. However, it’s a bit much at first, and I can see how some folks might get lost and decide to give up. My opinion is that the author purposefully made the main plot hard to spot. Underlying the prominent conflicts that take over the story is a mystery. When I began to perceive that mystery, I began to find it hard to put the book down.

One thing that bugged me was that many of the undead and dead are almost the same as the living. It kind of muddies the impact of certain tragedies, giving them an “oh, well, they’ll be back soon enough” sort of feel. I have mixed feelings about it because I liked some of the characters that came back, even though their return didn’t quite make sense.

Overall, I really liked the story. It’s a bit complex, but the writing is solid and the world and characters are interesting. It reads a lot like epic fantasy, so I think folks who like that genre might like this as well.

I picked up Ghostwalker while it was a freebee.

Discover more books by Nicole Martinsen on Goodreads.

Books in this series:

Other books by this author:

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Non-Book Review: UP2 by Jawbone

You may have noticed I like to write to review things, lots of things. Not just books, though that's what you'll typically find here on my blog. But I don't just like to write reviews, I read them, too.

Reviews are more important to me sometimes than the product descriptions or even, amazingly enough, my own prior experience with a product.

This is the one I have.
Take the Jawbone UP2 I'm wearing.
You might be surprised to learn that it's the second one I've owned, but it's the first one I bought for myself, having received the original from my company as a reward for submitting a health success story.

When the first one's band broke, I spent almost a month perusing reviews and ratings for it and competitor brands. I had intended just to buy the same one again, then I saw the three star average ratings for it, and they just sucked me right in. Here I was about to buy something with a three star average. What did these folks know that I didn't?

Seriously considered this one.
Despite the cool fashion bands, the various straps, the ones with heart rate monitors, and so on and so on, folks seemed to have some issues with these things. So I stopped looking at the UPs alone and got distracted by the Fitbits and how neat those were, and by those reviewers who vouched for that neatness. On and on and on, almost adding to my cart and then dropping one or the other for a month.

So many choices! And the reviews for both sides, Fitbit vs. UP, were as widely varied as were the people who wrote them. I even found a few folks who took their reviews to the next level, buying one of each type and wearing them at the same time to see how they compared and reporting out their findings for the rest of us. I think it was one of those that ended up convincing me to just go with the one I knew and liked, despite it's flaws.

Selling points? Well, The UP2 is rather accurate. It's small and light. Not unattractive. I already had the app installed on my phone. Sure, the bands can break and sometimes the clasp just says, "I'm going to just unclasp now, good luck!" but the thing's only like 20-30 bucks. And yeah, I get more use out of my UP2 than I do out of my watch (also about 20-30 bucks). It managed to train me to sleep better. I've set it up to buzz when it's time to step away from my desk and go for a run or a walk. It tracks how often I work out and cheers me on. I even played around with the food tracker, but I think just logging a week is about all I can take of that, no matter the format.

I figure if I get something like 8 months to a year out of this one, it's worth the cost. The last one lasted about 8 months before the band broke off where it was fused to the sensor part. I'm about five months or so in. We'll see. A couple of other folks had their bands break in the same way.

So yeah, the reviews had me doubting my own experiences, but they also pointed out a few things I'd  disregarded and gave me a lot more information for making an educated decision, which tends to make me happier with my purchases.

I guess what I'm saying is reviews matter to me, even when I end up buying the exact thing I originally planned to buy.

And yes, when this one I have breaks or gives up, I'll probably do it all again. :-)