Thursday, August 17, 2017

Peculiar County Book Blitz by Stuart R. West - Excerpts - Giveaways




Peculiar County
by Stuart R. West
Genre: YA Paranormal/Ghost Mystery
Release Date: July 30th 2017
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Growing up in Peculiar County, Kansas, is a mighty...well, peculiar experience. In 1965, things get even stranger for Dibby Caldwell, the mortician's fifteen year old daughter. A young boy's ghost haunts Dibby into unearthing the circumstances of his death.

Nobody—living or dead—wants her to succeed. James, the new mop-topped, bad boy at school doesn’t help. Dibby can’t get him out of her head, even though she doesn’t trust him. No, sir, there's nothing much more peculiar than life in Peculiar County…except maybe death in Peculiar County.





Excerpt

I pushed through the doors. They swat at my backside, squeaking with mischief. Eee-hee, eee-hee…
Down in the workshop, the cold really packed a wallop. I rubbed my arms, stamped my feet. I rode my hand along the wall, searching for the light switch.
Tik…tek…tik…
Fluorescent ceiling lamps sprung to life, duller, deader than usual. Instead of providing warm luminescence, they cast everything in an odd light, everything touched in artificial tints.
Immediately, the strong, familiar odor of ammonia enveloped me. But I couldn’t place the other smell, couldn’t describe it. If pressed, I suppose I’d catalog it somewhere between sweet and metallic. Sorta the way blood tastes when you prick your finger and suck on it. I’d never smelled anything like it before, not in Dad’s workshop or elsewhere.
An overriding smell rode in like fog. A strong, wrong odor that brought to mind mold and rot. A primal scent from a different time or place.
Ching! Ding! Ting-a-ling!
Impatient as a hungry baby, the bell-ringer called.
Click.
The walk-in refrigerator door handle swung up.
Chumpf!
The door released its seal and opened, just a few inches. A pale blue—hardly blue, more like moon-white—cone of light fell across the floor. A swirl of frost slivered out, twirled in the bare luminescence.
Ding! Ding! Ching! Ting-a-ling-aling—
Cut off in mid-ring, the bell silenced. Everything hushed. No sound, not a peep, a tick, a drop. Just the silent shroud of death.
Slowly, I crept toward the refrigerator. Which didn’t make a lick of sense as I knew Hettie waited for me. There didn’t seem to be any real sense in maintaining silence either. But any noise—even my own—made me want to scream.
Above me, the light flickered off, on, then sizzled like bacon before settling on dark.
My hand gripped the handle. Arctic cold, I wrenched my hand back. I flagged it ‘till the stabbing needles of cold left. With my shoulder, I nudged the door. It pushed open half-way, then stopped. I followed with a mighty mule kick.
The door opened about as far as its hinges would allow.
I took a deep breath, held it. When I exhaled, I spouted out a frozen, visible vapor.
“Hettie?” I whispered.
I entered. To the left, the metal shelves on the wall were unoccupied. On the opposite side, all but one sat empty. A rumpled plastic cloth lay across the bottom shelf.
The eerie blue light had no visible source, but it provided ample light to see by. Maybe too much, considering.
“Hettie?” I repeated a little louder.
In the back of the unit, where Dad housed his supplies, a hanging shower curtain billowed out. Plastic crinkled. Something moved, fluid behind the curtain’s rippling waves. Not exactly flesh-colored, not much of anything.
Tinggg!
My heart urged me to turn back. Traitorous feet wouldn’t comply.
White snails of fingers crawled around the plastic and gripped it. Slowly, the curtain pulled back. Rusty rings on a rustier rod squealed screeeeeee.
Hettie stood exposed, naked. Except for the black “X” stitching up her innards. Varicose veins twined her legs. Toes exploded into corns the size of thumbs. Her scrubbing pad of hair stood up on end, a static raised brush of black and white.
Clouds had moved into her eyes, milkier than when I’d found her, yet intently focused on me. She showed that awful cavernous smile again. Barnacle-like teeth jabbed out of her gums.
Her lower jaw wobbled, then dropped ajar. Not an involuntary movement caused by gas either, the way sometimes happened to corpses. She gasped, a hissing radiator.
She took a doddering step toward me.
Ding!
The bell tied to her toe tolled.
Ding-a-ling!
Each step forward took great effort. A kind of ghostly arthritis hampered her dead limbs, encased them in cement. When she moved, wood cracked. More wood splintered, her body falling apart. She raised an arm. Dark veins spiraled around it, swimming upstream with determination. They rode toward her sagging bosom, traveled north up her neck, snaked beneath her chin, and set up house on her face.
And still she kept coming.


Excerpt

Slowly, I crept toward the refrigerator. Which didn’t make a lick of sense as I knew Hettie waited for me. There didn’t seem to be any real sense in maintaining silence either. But any noise—even my own—made me want to scream.
Above me, the light flickered off, on, then sizzled like bacon before settling on dark.
My hand gripped the handle. Arctic cold, I wrenched my hand back. I flagged it ‘till the stabbing needles of cold left. With my shoulder, I nudged the door. It pushed open half-way, then stopped. I followed with a mighty mule kick.
The door opened about as far as its hinges would allow.
I took a deep breath, held it. When I exhaled, I spouted out a frozen, visible vapor.
“Hettie?” I whispered.
I entered. To the left, the metal shelves on the wall were unoccupied. On the opposite side, all but one sat empty. A rumpled plastic cloth lay across the bottom shelf.
The eerie blue light had no visible source, but it provided ample light to see by. Maybe too much, considering.
“Hettie?” I repeated a little louder.
In the back of the unit, where Dad housed his supplies, a hanging shower curtain billowed out. Plastic crinkled. Something moved, fluid behind the curtain’s rippling waves. Not exactly flesh-colored, not much of anything.
Tinggg!
My heart urged me to turn back. Traitorous feet wouldn’t comply.
White snails of fingers crawled around the plastic and gripped it. Slowly, the curtain pulled back. Rusty rings on a rustier rod squealed screeeeeee.
Hettie stood exposed, naked. Except for the black “X” stitching up her innards. Varicose veins twined her legs. Toes exploded into corns the size of thumbs. Her scrubbing pad of hair stood up on end, a static raised brush of black and white.
Clouds had moved into her eyes, milkier than when I’d found her, yet intently focused on me. She showed that awful cavernous smile again. Barnacle-like teeth jabbed out of her gums.
Her lower jaw wobbled, then dropped ajar. Not an involuntary movement caused by gas either, the way sometimes happened to corpses. She gasped, a hissing radiator.
She took a doddering step toward me.
Ding!
The bell tied to her toe tolled.
Ding-a-ling!
Each step forward took great effort. A kind of ghostly arthritis hampered her dead limbs, encased them in cement. When she moved, wood cracked. More wood splintered, her body falling apart. She raised an arm. Dark veins spiraled around it, swimming upstream with determination. They rode toward her sagging bosom, traveled north up her neck, snaked beneath her chin, and set up house on her face.
And still she kept coming.

About the Author

Stuart R. West is a lifelong resident of Kansas, which he considers both a curse and a blessing. It's a curse because...well, it's Kansas. But it's great because…well, it’s Kansas. Lots of cool, strange and creepy things happen in the Midwest, and Stuart takes advantage of them in his work. Call it “Kansas Noir.” Stuart writes thrillers and mysteries usually tinged with humor, both for adult and young adult audiences.
Stuart spent 25 years in the corporate sector and now writes full time. He’s married to a professor of pharmacy (who greatly appreciates the fact he cooks dinner for her every night) and has a 25 year old daughter who’s dabbling in the nefarious world of banking.


Links
WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebookAmazon Page

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Awakenings by KT Webb - Review




Awakening
by K.T. Webb
Genre: YA Paranormal
Release Date: June 21st 2017

Plagued by dreams of a dark shadow, Sutton Stone is convinced she’s losing her mind.

Lucy Marks turns to her Wiccan aunt when a woman with mismatched eyes visits her with answers to questions she never thought to ask.

Being kidnapped on her birthday was a terrifying surprise, but when three girls show up and call her a witch, Grace Trudeau quickly realizes they mean it literally.

After years of helping run a museum in the City of Witches, Harper Landry discovers that magic is far closer than she ever imagined.

On the run from a trio of brothers who want to resurrect an evil past, the coven will discover their bloodline is old, powerful—and deadly. From high school to hell, follow them as they realize that nothing is harder than being a teenage witch.




Review
⭐⭐⭐⭐
4 1/2 Stars

Have you every wondered what it would be like to wake up and find you have magical powers? What if the people in your nightmares, both good and evil, were real? If you find these questions enticing, this book is for you.

The main characters are strong willed teenager girls going on sixteen. The problem is that they will receive magical power they know nothing about on their birthday. Strange dark men are chasing them, and they have to find out why. Character development is consistent as the girls learn what it means to work as a group, and be part of a coven. The responsibility of a nation falls on their shoulders, and each one rises up to the occasion with what they have to offer. They also have a fairy and sprite queen, tagging along.

Ms. Webb starts with tension and maintains it at an even keel until she reaches about the middle. She turns up the temperature, and keeps it rises from there. There is no swearing, although there is some violence, but it isn't over the top. The boy/girl thing is absent, although who knows what will happen in book two. While this story has a satisfying end, it does end with a cliff-hangar.


About the Author

KT Webb is a big city girl living in small town South Dakota with her husband and two children. She believes in the power of words and enjoys writing stories that make the impossible seem possible.

KT loves reading, listening to pop-punk music (especially when she’s writing), having adventures with her children and traveling. She believes in magic, that there’s a hero inside everyone and that characters should be just as flawed and intriguing as the people we meet every day.



Monday, August 14, 2017

New Release: The Wolf of Kisimul Castle by Author Heather McCollum two Rafflecoptor Giveaways




The Wolf of Kisimul Castle
by Heather McCollum
Published by: Entangled Publishing
Publication date: August 14th 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance

Mairi Maclean is kidnapped on her wedding day by the enemy of her dead husband. Taken north to the water-surrounded Kisimul Castle, she is held captive in the name of retribution. But The Wolf of Kisimul Castle soon learns Mairi is not a docile pawn in this game of war between neighboring
Scots. Nor will she be frightened into walking down the aisle to wed the fierce Highland chief.

Alec MacNeil is set on revenge. When he finds his enemy dead, he takes his wife to replace the one that was murdered. An eye for an eye. A bride for a bride. But Mairi is more tiger than kitten and refuses to bend to his will. Set stubbornly against one another, the passion that flares between them threatens to tear Alec’s strategy to shreds.







About the Author

Heather McCollum is an award winning, historical and contemporary YA paranormal romance writer. She earned her B.A. in Biology from the University of Maine, much to her English professor's dismay. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, won the 2015 Readers' Crown, and was a 2009 Golden Heart Finalist. Ms. McCollum has twelve historical romances released in both electronic and digital formats. She also has three YA paranormal romances released in both formats.

When she is not busy writing and answering calls of "Mom", she can be found educating women about ovarian cancer. She is a teal warrior herself and slayed the ovarian cancer beast in 2012.

She currently resides with her very own Highland hero and three spirited children in the wilds of suburbia on the mid-Atlantic coast.

More information about Ms. McCollum and her books can be found at www.HeatherMcCollum.com.

Links
Twitter
Website
Facebook
Goodreads






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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Book Review - Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney




About the Book

Black Dawn
by Mallory McCartney
Genre: YA/NA Fantasy
Release Date: February 14th 2017
Clean Reads Publishing

The end of an Empire, The rise of a Queen

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life. That is until two mysterious, and handsome soldiers show up at her apartment, and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster come from the magical and war ridden world of Kiero, and upon Emory's arrival she will discover she is the long lost heir to the Royal Line and is thrown into the Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne.

With both men being darkly woven in her past Emory uncovers hidden secrets, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.

Some things are better left in the shadows.



Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

It's with a bit of sadness that I'm giving this book four stars, because this Author has great potential. There are a few error's that an edit could easily correct, but they are not enough to harm the story.

The premise is about a woman taken from earth, back to the world where she belongs to help her people. Emory is a good character. She's strong willed and has a mind of her own. As such, she is not easily manipulated, but that doesn't stop some of the people around her from trying. The supporting characters are also strong, but not always honest. They all have something to learn, and while the book has a stand alone ending, it still leaves the characters of the edge of what I expect to be much more discovery. There is a lot of room for sub-plots in the upcoming novels.

The story starts with two men retrieving Emory from Earth. It's a great start, with good tension, but the story soon slows it's pace to a lot of set-up, information and backstory. It didn't grab me until the middle where it takes off, and maintains tension. While there are a few stories that need that kind of set-up, I don't feel like this one does. It could easily have started earlier, and kept us in the moment, while endearing us deeper into the characters, and the motivations that drive them. 

I'm hoping the next book will kick-off faster, moving forward, with less backstory, which is what I expect, since the history has already been covered.


About the Author

Mallory McCartney currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband and their two dachshunds Link and Lola. Black Dawn is her debut novel, the first in a series. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found dog grooming, book shopping and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.







Tour by YA Bound Book Tours


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Character Madness and Musings: Cover Reveal - The West Woods by Suzy Vadori

Character Madness and Musings: Cover Reveal - The West Woods by Suzy Vadori: The West Woods by Suzy Vadori Genre: YA Release Date: September 22nd 2017 Evil Alter Ego Press Magic, sacrifice and the quest for...

Cover Reveal - The West Woods by Suzy Vadori




The West Woods
by Suzy Vadori
Genre: YA
Release Date: September 22nd 2017
Evil Alter Ego Press

Magic, sacrifice and the quest for freedom.
Courtney Wallis wants nothing more than to escape St. Augustus boarding school. After uncovering a well-kept secret about the school’s founder, Isaac Young, Courtney turns to the school’s magic to convince her dad to let her leave. Things take a turn when she meets Cole, who lives in the nearby town of Evergreen. He gives her hope that things might not be so bad. However, the school's fountain has other ideas, and binds Courtney to her ambition, no matter the cost.
As Courtney struggles to keep the magic from taking over, she and her friends get drawn into the mystery woven into the school’s fabric. Everything seems to lead back to the forbidden West Woods. Together, she and her friends seek out the spirits of the past to ask for help, and find themselves in much deeper than they’d bargained for.  If they succeed, Courtney could be free of the magic. If they fail, she may never be the same.




The Fountain on Goodreads (The West Woods is the prequel)


About the Author

Suzy Vadori is an Operations executive by day, Writer by night. The Fountain is her debut novel for Young Adults. Suzy is an involved member of the Calgary Writers' community, service as Program Manager for Young Adult at When Words Collide (a Calgary festival for readers and Writers) since 2013. Suzy lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with her husband and three kids.

Links
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Cover Reveal Organized by
YA Bound Book Tours


Sunday, August 6, 2017