Blog Tours

Blog Tour – In The Neighborhood of True

Journal of the Lost One - Blog Tour

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Book – In the Neighborhood of True
Author – Susan Kaplan Carlton
Genre – YA Historical Fiction

Publisher – Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date – 9 April 2019

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Synopsis:

A powerful story of love, identity, and the price of fitting in or speaking out.

After her father’s death, Ruth Robb and her family transplant themselves in the summer of 1958 from New York City to Atlanta—the land of debutantes, sweet tea, and the Ku Klux Klan. In her new hometown, Ruth quickly figures out she can be Jewish or she can be popular, but she can’t be both. Eager to fit in with the blond girls in the “pastel posse,” Ruth decides to hide her religion. Before she knows it, she is falling for the handsome and charming Davis and sipping Cokes with him and his friends at the all-white, all-Christian Club.

Does it matter that Ruth’s mother makes her attend services at the local synagogue every week? Not as long as nobody outside her family knows the truth. At temple, Ruth meets Max, who is serious and intense about the fight for social justice, and now she is caught between two worlds, two religions, and two boys. But when a violent hate crime brings the different parts of Ruth’s life into sharp conflict, she will have to choose between all she’s come to love about her new life and standing up for what she believes.

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Reviews

Off The Grid

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Book – Off The Grid
Series – To Catch A Thief #3
Author – Kay Marie
Genre – New Adult Contemporary Romance

Publisher – Self Published
Release Date – 8 April 2019

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This is the third book in the ‘To Catch a Thief’ series – a wonderfully fun and witty series about Leo and McKenzie.  The first book starts the series off with a heist, the FBI and an unlikely romance.  The second with the accomplice of the first.  And now we get to see the story of the FBI partner of the first book.

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I have been waiting for this book to be released, and I’m lucky enough to get to read this series before the release date and give my opinion on the series.  Thank you to Kay for another book that I just couldn’t put down.

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Now, to say that I enjoy Kay’s writing is an understatement, and to say that I have a great time with these books is impossible.  There is such a charming style to Kay’s writing, straight-forward and without frills.  Sometimes it is worth it to just pick up a good, easy read that will make you smile and have a great time reading.  In my opinion, this is one of those classic beach reads you’ll breeze through easily…

Now, the characters…  While Leo is strong and fights not to lose himself to the nightmares of his past, to not turn into the same man that his abusive father was; McKenzie is the opposite, stubborn and aloof, witty, a loner by choice, not trusting easily, with high walls around her heart.

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As they break down the walls that the other has built, they release themselves to the vulnerability no-one else gets to see.  They start to let each other in, building a trust that will be unbreakable in time.  This passage shows how they find each other after finally showing the last parts of themselves to the other:

“McKenzie didn’t flinch at his touch or run away in fear.  She wrapped her arms around his shoulders and kissed him back, leading where he followed.  Leo pulled her beneath the water as his hands roved over her wet skin, closing the distance between them.  Unlike last time, this kiss didn’t feel like a battle to be won, like a game between opposing sides, each one fighting to come out on top.  This time, their kiss felt like two halves of a whole, joining together, not sure how they’d survived so long apart.”

I wanted to add so much more of this passage, but also want you to read this series and be as invested in their story as I was…

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And the frustration of leaving words unsaid had me wanting to yell at them both to cut it out and be honest with each other, but then, they are characters in a book, and they won’t listen to me, so…  I resigned myself to continue reading the story to see where it might end, and if a happy ending is in sight for these two unlikely people thrown together by a fate stronger than they can comprehend.

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“It was a futile effort.  Leo was like an adrift sailor setting sights on land for the first time – the sight of McKenzie filled him up, settled the nerves, and eased the tension.  He didn’t know how it happened in such a short amount of time, but seeing her was like seeing home, comforting in a way he didn’t know how to explain.”

Off The Grid – Amazon (Buy Me!!)

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Blog Tours

Blueberry Pancakes

Journal of the Lost One - Blog Tour

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Book – Blueberry Pancakes
Author – Anton Lee Richards
Genre – M M Romance

Publisher – Anton Lee Richards
Release Date – 26 January 2019

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Book Blurb:

Writing songs for a would-be pop star is painful. When young, gay songwriter Duncan falls in love, he writes a love song. When he gets dumped, he writes a break-up song. Luckily for his songwriting career, his love life is a roller-coaster.

When his long-term boyfriend breaks up with him, Duncan finds solace in music. And pancakes, of course. With the help of his sassy diva singer and best friend Marlene, her ex-boyfriend guitarist, and a local music producer, they form a musical dream team to produce songs to pitch to agents, and for Marlene’s promising singing career.

A new guy here, a new guy there, they are delicious distractions, but this drama fuels new and better songs. And that ex? He just won’t seem to go away. But it all pays off when they have their first number one hit with a teenybopper all-girl band.

Not everything in their favorite hangout-a breakfast restaurant called Pancake Heaven-is rainbows and maple syrup. The all-girl band drops them as songwriters, and they squabble with one another over their musical future. Will they find the success they can be proud of?

Blueberry Pancakes is a contemporary gay drama about falling in and out of love, the price of success, and walking through the world with confidence.

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Book Excerpt:

I don’t remember how many couples he introduced me to at this party, and I forgot most of their names. In each case, Christopher introduced me as my Duncan. I never thought of myself as being so much of a catch that somebody would be proud to be with me, the way I felt proud to have Jesse when we were together.
“I need a drink,” I whispered in his ear.
“Just a few more,” he said.
Bradley approached us again, and three more couples followed. We made a circle, and everybody shot off questions in rapid succession. It started off easy with questions about my work and where I grew up, but then developed into an interrogation of whether I owned summer homes and stock portfolios. Was I supposed to feel bad I didn’t? One guy leaned in and asked how attached I was and if I wanted to keep my options open. He wore thin-rimmed glasses that fell down his nose as he raised his eyebrows.
“I’m happy where I am,” I said. I wasn’t sure if that was a lie or not, but I certainly didn’t want to get it on with a guy asking people if they would cheat on their partners after just meeting them.
“You’ll break soon enough,” he said, winking. “When it happens, I’ll be there.”
A flamboyant guy with a pure-white, faux-fur sweater and hot pink jeans chimed in. “I have a brownstone in Lincoln Park. You should come see it sometime. It has a hot tub on the rooftop with a nice view of downtown.” I couldn’t concentrate on remembering his name because the sweater was distracting me.
“I bet you like being the pretty one,” said a voice behind me. Behind me, a drag queen with a Jackie O wig smiled at me. She had really broad shoulders or was just wearing shoulder pads underneath her shimmering black dress. “You’re the pretty one. Don’t act like you don’t know it.”
The notion stopped me in my tracks. Was I? Is that why Christopher was so adamant about calling me arm candy? Jesse was always the pretty one when we were together. I scanned the room and mentally ranked the attractiveness of each person. At first, I hated myself for being so shallow, but then I told myself it was in the name of scientific research. I guessed I would rank decently in this crowd of gay men who ranged from their mid-20’s to their 50’s. There were so many hotties. I came across a guy standing near the fireplace and figured he was without a doubt cuter than me. He had a nice body and was not afraid to show it off. This was the first time another guy caught my eye since I met Christopher.
“If I were with you, I’d tell you how pretty you are every single day,” said the drag queen. “I’d praise the day someone like me could get someone like you.” She opened her arms to hug me, and I demurred. Where was Christopher to save me?

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Author Biography:

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Anton Lee Richards is a queer writer from Chicago. In a previous life, he worked in IT. In a previous life before that, he was a songwriter. He lives in Chicago with his partner and his Instagram-star bunny.

Author Contact Details and Social Media

anton@antonleerichards.com
http://www.AntonLeeRichards.com
https://www.facebook.com/antonleerichards/

https://www.instagram.com/antonleerichards/

Book links

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Reviews

Scythe

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Book – Scythe
Author – Neal Schusterman
Genre – YA Sci-Fi Dystopian

Publisher – Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date – 22 November 2016

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Initially, I got to read this book as a Riveted Teen freebie online, and since the hype for this series was so huge, I decided why not read it…  Just so you know, the world that was built in this story is so vast and well thought out, I immediately got sucked in.

Reading from the perspective of Citra and Rowan, two scythe apprentices for Honorable Scythe Faraday, we see the story unfold of the Scythedom and the new world in which death is not a certainty, but an option.  You can live until the day that you are gleaned.  In between each chapter we get insight into a scythe’s journal, in which certain opinions and actions are told of from the perspective of these scythes.  This gives you more of a full-bodied introduction into the hearts and minds of the people who take lives.

Citra was a strong-willed, fast learning, honor bound student, with no filters.  She says what she thinks and asks the difficult questions even when her better judgement knows she shouldn’t sometimes.  Her temperamental nature is what sets her apart from Rowan, who goes with the flow.  She never wanted to be a scythe…

Rowan is a happy-go-lucky, easy going person.  He is kind and compassionate.  The growth he goes through in the plot is insane.  Without giving too much away of the plot, he has a very hard road ahead of him.

Honorable Scythe Faraday is the most incredible character for me to love, he is that father figure that takes both Rowan and Citra under his wing.  Had he not, had they immediately been chosen by any other scythe, this journey would have ended so badly.

The writing is incredible; this story would probably not have been as compelling had this been written by anyone else…  I absolutely couldn’t stop reading this book once I started, the plot twists were just not expected at all most of the times.  And what I enjoyed so much is that I didn’t get lost in all of the voices, they were all different, realistic people, and I can pinpoint who is being written about easily.

Overall, I cannot say how much you would have to read this book…  There is so many insane themes that you will get to read about, adding even more depth to the plot.  I cannot even describe the complexity of the story, because *spoilers*!!  Read this book if you love dystopian style books…

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Subscription Boxes

The Wizardry Box Unboxing

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This is my very first subscription box, and a Harry Potter one to boot…  I have been excitedly waiting for this box to arrive since February started.  And I was not disappointed.  The only thing is, I want more!!  The unboxing was over way too soon!!

This is the first South African Harry Potter subscription box, available internationally.  To get more information, please click this link – TheWizardryBox.  Next month is a Special Edition box with more items, and I will be sure to do another unboxing of that one too…

Now, the products I received in the February box.

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The box is sealed well with a unique print on the box.

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Character Wand with metal core made by Cauldron Candles & Curiosities.  The label on the package was illustrated by @shenzi89.

I cannot believe that my very first wand ever is of my favorite female character!!  This wand is beautifully made, with a bit of weight to it and includes every detail.

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Exclusive Butterbeer Vegan Soy Candle handmade by Cauldron Candles & Curiosities.  Label illustrated by @thebibliotaph.blog

I wish you could smell this candle, it has a caramel sweet scent that isn’t too overpowering.

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Exclusive Butterbeer Pin Badge illustrated by @thebibliotaph.blog

I love pin badges, which I assume most lovers of books and such do too.

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Exclusive Book Sleeve handmade by @papercute_

I cannot believe my luck, since I’ve been wanting a book sleeve for so long.  Now I have a Hedwig inspired sleeve to hold all of my magical books on my travels and trips.

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This super cute little detail on one of the envelopes just had to be featured, the details (small and big) are what makes the unboxings fun.  Above is two exclusive prints as well, one of Harry Potter and another of Dumbledore’s famous statement of eating a Bertie Botts Every Flavored Beans…

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Two exclusive Collectible Playing Cards illustrated by @thebibliotaph.blog

This artist’s prints seem to be featuring a lot, and I can say that I love them.  I cannot wait to see which cards we receive next.

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Exclusive House Related Vinyl Sticker illustrated by @thebibliotaph.blog

I was hoping to receive more than just one house related object.  As it is, this is a nice sticker to have, only I don’t want to use it.

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I am extremely happy to have my first wand, and a book sleeve.  While the prints are nice to have, I don’t know what to do with them just yet.  And there isn’t enough objects in there…  I had so much fun with this box, and experiencing the joy from discovering each and every item.

Until Next Time,

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Book Spotlight

Book Spotlight

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Book – Tarot
Author – Marissa Kennerson
Genre – YA Fantasy

Publisher – Razorbill
Release Date – 19 February 2019


Synopsis:

Perfect for fans of the Zodiac series and the Shadow and Bonetrilogy, this first book in an epic new fantasy series reimagines the tarot as the invention of sixteen-year-old Anna, daughter of a tyrannical king, who escapes into a world woven from her imagination.

Anna was never supposed to exist. Born of a forbidden union between the Queen and the tyrannical King’s archnemesis, Anna is forced to live out her days isolated in the Tower, with only her mentors and friends the Hermit, the Fool, and the Magician to keep her company. To pass the time, Anna imagines unique worlds populated by creatives and dreamers—the exact opposite of the King’s land of fixed fates and rigid rules—and weaves them into four glorious tapestries.

But on the eve of her sixteenth birthday and her promised release from the Tower, Anna discovers her true lineage: She’s the daughter of Marco, a powerful magician, and the King is worried that his magical gifts are starting to surface in Anna. Fearing for her life, Anna flees the Tower and finds herself in Cups, a lush, tropical land full of all the adventure, free-spiritedness, and creativity she imagined while weaving.

Anna thinks she’s found paradise in this world of beachside parties, endless food and drink, and exhilarating romance. But when the fabric of Cups begins to unravel, Anna discovers that her tapestries are more than just decoration. They’re the foundation for a new world that she is destined to create—as long as the terrors from the old world don’t catch up with her first.

Goodreads Link!


 

Book Spotlight

Book Spotlight

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Book – The Afterward
Author – E.K. Johnston
Genre – YA Fantasy

Publisher – Dutton Books for Young Readers
Release Date – 19 February 2019


Synopsis:

It has been a year since the mysterious godsgem cured Cadrium’s king and ushered in what promised to be a new golden age. The heroes who brought the gem home are renowned in story and song, but for two fellows on the quest, peace and prosperity do not come easily.

Apprentice Knight Kalanthe Ironheart wasn’t meant for heroism this early in life, and while she has no intention of giving up the notoriety she has earned, her reputation does not pay her bills. With time running out, Kalanthe may be forced to betray not her kingdom or her friends, but her own heart as she seeks a stable future for herself and those she loves.

Olsa Rhetsdaughter was never meant for heroism at all. Beggar, pick pocket, thief, she lived hand to mouth on the city streets until fortune–or fate–pulled her into Kalanthe’s orbit. And now she’s quite reluctant to leave it. Even more alarmingly, her fame has made her recognizable, which makes her profession difficult, and a choice between poverty and the noose isn’t much of a choice at all.

Both girls think their paths are laid out, but the godsgem isn’t quite done with them and that new golden age isn’t a sure thing yet.

In a tale both sweepingly epic and intensely personal, Kalanthe and Olsa fight to maintain their newfound independence and to find their way back to each other.

Goodreads Link!