Book Review: Blood Moon by Lucy Cuthew

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About the book

Blood Moon by Lucy Cuthew (Blurb)

My thoughts

Book Review of Blood Moon by Lucy Cuthew on YouTube

Frankie lives next door to her bestie. Together they love to hang out in their tree house planning to take pictures of the moon. But, they don’t agree on everything. Her BFF is boy crazy, and Frankie finds it embarrassing.

There is an internship at the Planetarium and there’s a few hoops to jump through to get the role. Both girls decide to go for it. Frankie works hard on her essay and gets her science teacher to check it over and write her reference.

When she finds out her BFF sent an inappropriate photo to the science teacher instead of an essay, Frankie worries how their friendship will affect her reference. Her BFF knows she screwed up and is hurt that Frankie won’t stand by her side when she needs her most. The girls have a massive fight and are no longer friends.

To make matters worse, her now ex-BFF tells their mutual friends her version of what happened, and now Frankie is alone. Being alone enables Benjamin to get to know Frankie better. The pair get closer, and closer, and one thing leads to another.

The best feeling in the world, rapidly turns into a dirty secret. Someone knows the sordid details of what Frankie and Benjamin did that afternoon. And, now it’s all over the internet, one meme after another.

How can Frankie get the bullies to stop and who can she trust? This is a fast paced emotionally driven story of friendship, bullying, and first love. With an epic ending.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

If you want to buy this book you can get it from:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3eHxoeO

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Book Review: The Steel Princess by April Grace

This post contains affiliate links. Please check out my affiliate disclosure page for more information.

About the book

My thoughts

This story is told through two POVs. The MC is Silver, and the other is Eden. Their missions are similar – to find their mother – but their journeys are different.

Silver is a very loveable character. She is a gynoid that was raised within a human rebel camp. She knows very little about her kind, and embraces her mission and all the challenges it encompasses. Her training involves rooms with virtual scenarios but real life consequences.

Eden is a human with a mechanical heart. He grew up within the cruel gynoid queen’s castle and trained as a tinker. Although he isn’t in a jail or guarded, he isn’t free. When he finds himself outside the castle walls, he takes the opportunity to escape and find his mum. This leads him on an adventure of pirates, sirens, and man eating giants – just to name a few.

If you love fantasy and adventure, and want something a little different, this is well worth checking out! Plus, the cover is stunning and there is character art inside.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

You can buy this book from Amazon: Steel Princess

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Book Review: Sailor Twain by Mark Siegel

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About the book

My thoughts

This was a wild card, as I wasn’t sure what to expect. I don’t often read graphic novels but the promise of a mermaid intrigued me.

I whizzed through this, and found it very entertaining. The story is set in 1800s on a steamboat. I’m not a history buff but learning via a comic book (with a bit of fantasy) made it lots of fun. It’s funny too.

An unexpected treat were the pages at the end. Here the author shares how the characters first came to him, all the research, and more of his artwork. I love discovering more behind the book.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Mermaid Marathon Reads – Week two

I joined Maci Dierking’s Instagram challenge with a mermaid bookish theme. Her Instagram is thebrightsidegirl and I felt the prompts were fun and would encourage me to post more.

Mermaid Marathon Reads

Click here to see my posts for Mermaid Marathon Reads week one. The challenge encouraged me to post everyday and that continued into week two (almost).

Current read

In hind sight, I could have used this for my Wednesday post as I currently have a few books on the go.

Vacay vibes

Boat read

Mermaid on the cover

Still to post…

Pirates

Island read

Fave read of the week

So that’s it for this challenge. But now would probably be a good time to remind you that Ocean Heart is currently half price in the Smashwords Summer Sale (July 2022).

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Book Review: A choice of Essence by Katelyn Uhrich

This post contains affiliate links. Please check out my affiliate disclosure page for more information.

About the book

My thoughts

I loved this book. I was slow reading it because I started again with my son. Then I started again on my own. But, every time , I started over, I loved it more.

Essie is a godling, with gifts of fire & nature. I love how she is described with her leafy hair, and how she can shift into a bird.

The gods live in the land above, and worlds have been created for the spirits. Not all the gods are good and kind, and certainly not towards spirits. Essie has a special bond with spirit Wilf, and this has made her loving and protective of them.

Without giving too much away, this little godling will find herself in a position where she has to take on the gods for the spirits, with the threat of a fate worse than death.

Considering the world is entirely fictional, Katelyn brought it to life in vivid colour. The characters were so real, even those that were not human. This book is brilliant and should be checked out by everyone!

Grab a copy for yourself from Amazon:

A Choice of Essence by Katelyn Uhrich on Amazon

If you like teen dramas with stints of magic you’ll like this book.

Book Review: Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff

This post contains affiliate links. Please check out my affiliate disclosure page for more information.

About the book

Blurb for Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff

My thoughts

The story is told as if Gabriel is being interviewed, but in a way that is fully immersive. Gabriel De Leon is the MC, raised by his human mother but once he’s a teen he discovers he’s half vampire. He’s taken by the Holy Order to train to kill the vampires.

I liked Gabriel and pictured him as the Witcher. He is a very dark and broody character. This book was a hefty 800 page novel, but every chapter progressed the story and didn’t feel like filler.

There is plenty of action, blood spilling, and a touch of romance. I loved the thought put into the history of the world, and different vampires. Let’s not forget the stunning art lwork throughout.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Book Blitz: Maddie Bloom and the Fae Academy by Emily Jenkins

Maddie Bloom & the Fae Academy
Emily Jenkins
Publication date: June 21st 2022
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Welcome to Fae Academy, where if the Sluagh Sidhe lurking in the woods doesn’t get you, the homework just might…

Maddie Bloom is dreading sophomore year. Not only is her mom’s mysterious illness getting worse, but it’s also a brand-new year of her longtime bully to look forward to. Because who doesn’t love getting swirlies in the newly renovated girls’ bathroom? But then the accident happens. The one where she’s escaping said bully and accidentally summons a magical portal that drops her right into the foyer of a literal castle.

That’s when the big reveals start…

  1. Faeries exist.
  2. Maddie is half-fae. Which is how she ended up in Figstern’s Academy for Excellence, aka Fae Academy.
  3. And Maddie’s uncontrolled magic? It’s slowly poisoning her mom.

When she’s given the chance to stay and learn to control her gifts to save her mom, the choice is clear. But Maddie’s not exactly welcome at Fae Academy. Bullies exist even in the magical world, and don’t get her started on the vindictive hobgoblin or the disgraced prince of the Autumn Court.

Still, not all is what it seems at Fae Academy. And the more Maddie digs, the more secrets she uncovers. Secrets that could threaten her life, her mother’s life, and the future of the fae world itself.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

I flipped onto my back, spitting mulch from my mouth. I was seconds from pushing myself into a sitting position when the ground vibrated beneath me, courtesy of Sam’s rapidly approaching footsteps. Her bloodlust rippled through the air; that’s how excited she was to have me where she wanted me.

Get up! My inner voice yelled at me.

I listened, but instantly regretted it. Sharp pain shot through my torso from the impact of the fall, and my stomach lurched as Samantha leered down at me. She was way too close for comfort – to where I could distinguish freckles from blemishes.

I swallowed, heat rising to my face. I had a feeling my life was about to flash before my eyes.

But before I could reflect on the short, uneventful fifteen years that I’d walked this Earth, I saw a flash out of the corner of my eye.

I turned my head sideways, and a strange warmth spread over my body, engulfing me from head to toe.

To my left, the air was… shimmering.

I blinked. Once, twice, a third time, but it was still there. A twinkling, transparent curtain swaying in mid-air and luring me in. Calling for me. I’m not exaggerating, either.

I swear it was chanting my name repeatedly.

Meanwhile, in front of me, Sam was preparing to pounce like a predator.

Without thinking, without understanding what was going on, I dodged, rolling toward the strange, glistening air to my left. And somehow, the space swallowed me whole, swooping me out of the playground and away from Sam’s clutches just as she reached out to make good on her promise to make me pay for forcing her to run.

I caught one last glimpse of her stunned face.

And then she disappeared from my view.

Or was it me who disappeared?

Whatever the case, the world as I, Maddie Bloom, knew it, was gone.

Author Bio:

Hi, my name is Emily Jenkins. I’m a high school student and wrestle, and I also happen to be the USA National East Coast Jr Teen! After writing a children’s book about bullying in 2020 (Wrestling Girl Takes Down Bullies), I was inspired to keep creating stories—which is how the Maddie Bloom series was born.

In my free time, I love collecting socks, cooking, and sewing clothes for my dog.

He tears them up. It sort of breaks my heart. I sew more.

Yep, it’s a vicious cycle. 😀

Wanna keep up with my updates?

Sign up for my newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/h3oXtL

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Book Blitz: The Indigo by Heather Siegel

The Indigo
Heather Siegel
Publication date: June 1st 2022
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Jett Hart, a 16-year-old girl from New Jersey, refuses to accept the diagnosis that her mother is brain-dead. Yes, Mom’s long-comatose body seems like an empty shell. But there was that split-second, weird time Jett swears she lifted out from her own body and travelled to an indigo-colored, starry space, where she felt Mom’s presence.

Now, as Jett’s caretaking Aunt threatens to pull Mom’s life support, Jett must find this mysterious indigo place again and return her mother to her body before it’s too late. The bad news is that only her schoolmate Farold — who may or may not give off a more-than-friends vibe — believes she can do this. The good news is that he’s an amateur quantum physicist in training and has some ideas about how to help Jett get back “up there.”

Even if Jett manages to find Mom in the “indigo,” can she bring her back to her body? While also staying connected to her own “empty shell” below? And, what if . . . someone is trying to stop her?

A teen thriller offering astral projection cosmology, life cords, parallel universes, and wormholes, THE INDIGO is a wild trip through one person’s consciousness “above,” her interconnected reality “below,” and the psychological and potentially fatal dangers of being disconnected from both.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Quantum Club Meeting. 2:30. Cafeteria.

“I didn’t know the school had a Quantum Club,” says a girl passing by. Popular. A junior, in black Lululemon leggings.

“What the hell’s ‘quantum’?” a familiar voice says. “Oh . . . that explains it.” I turn to see my cousin Meghan looking in my direction. Hair highlighted blond. Glossy pink lips. We are nearly the same age, and worlds apart.

“Don’t know and don’t care,” a beefy senior guy says. “Let’s go eat.”

“Oh, Matty, all you care about is food.” Meghan giggles as they continue walking.

Truthfully, I don’t know what quantum is either, but a quick Google search gives me the answer:

The study of physics that allows for particles to be in two states at the same time.

“That’s weird,” I say out loud to no one.

I head for the cafeteria, intrigued…

There are three people seated in the sea-foam-green cabbage-smelling room. No surprise Mickey Mizner and Brian Leonard are two of them.

“My problem is I’ve got everything prepped for ampage past 27MHz,” Mickey says, blowing dark bangs off square-framed glasses. “I just need to hit ionosphere at the right angle—” He taps a black box on the table, the size of a breadbox, with knobs and buttons. From here, I make out the words Galaxy Torchlighter 825.

“—Sweet, isn’t she?”

“Sweet and illegal to jack up,” Brian replies.

The new guy swigs from an Orangina and scribbles in his notebook, his white braided bracelets scratching against the Formica tabletop. He’s wearing an MIT sweatshirt, and peeking out from the neckline is a black rope necklace. At the ends of his hair, gold beads catch the fluorescent light.

“It’s not a bad start,” he says, looking up and taking a swig of orange soda. “But can you get someone on the other end of the world to receive the signal? The antipode must be, what, Australia?”

“That’s what I told you,” Brian says. He’s wearing a uniform from the ice cream store Sunset Scoops: a brown wavy smock made to resemble dripping hot fudge, and a maraschino cherry hat.

“Wait, the what is Australia?” Mickey asks.

“It means ‘opposite,’ ” I say, reaching the table. “Geographically, right?”

The new guy grins at me, his eyes twinkling with approval. And I’m not going to lie: I can’t help but grin back. I slide into the end seat.

“Farold,” he says.

“Jett.”

“Well, now that we got that out of the way,” Brian cuts in. “I’m thinking Electromagnetic Induction. The hypothesis is that a current can create a magnetic field.”

“Also not bad.” Farold scribbles again and glances up. “But you’d have to check if it’s already been done.” He has a singsong quality to his words. I like the way “realize” is “real’izze.”

Mickey shoulders Brian. “That’s what I told you.” He turns to Farold. “Anyway, if I find someone across the world, in an antipode” — he glances to me — “think it’s worth seeing if my radio’s skip is capable?”

Brian shoves back. “Mine may be done, but there’s nothing yet on what can and cannot escape the said magnetic field. . . .”

“They’re both solid starts.” Farold draws his fist to rest beneath his sculpted jaw line, looking suddenly like the art room’s knockoff sculpture of Michelangelo’s “The Thinker.” “But since this is going to be a competition for MIT, the best science institution in the country, we’ll have to shoot beyond the rudimentary. . . . Any other ideas?”

Three faces turn to me. One cute as hell. But I’m here to listen. Besides, I can’t take the rejection again.

“Every idea has merit,” Farold says.

“He’s dope, Jett,” Mickey says, which coming from him sounds anything but dope.

“If she doesn’t have any ideas . . . ” Brian says.

“I don’t . . . I mean, I thought . . . I don’t know, maybe we were going to talk about quantum physics or whatever, not enter a competition.”

“You study quantum physics?” Farold asks.

“No . . . but it sounds interesting.”

“Which part?”

I could feel defensive, but there’s something about the way he asks, earnestly, and the way he looks at me, so open and curious. “I . . . guess . . . I liked what your flier said. It made me think. Wonder, really. Something I’ve been thinking about. The idea of things being in two separate places at the same time?”

He smiles again, right through me, sending a tingle along my neck. “I’m actually working on something that poses that exact question. But it’s hard to prove. I mean, so far, no one has . . . supported it.”

“I hear that.”

“I had a feeling you might.”

“How would you have a feeling about that?”

“Your hesitation.” Our eyes affix. Is it my imagination or is there something palpable between us?

“Tell me your idea,” he says.

“Tell me yours.”

“You guys know we’re in the room, right?” Brian says.

Farold turns to him. “Two particles in separate boxes.”

“Following,” Mickey says.

He waves his hand, drawing us all in. “It’s proven they can communicate with one another and influence each other’s physical spin. Well, I propose they relate to one another in a nonscientific way. In a way we can’t really yet name. That they can speak to one another . . . by sensing one another.”

His eyes meet mine, alight, full of possibility. “Your turn.”

And like that, I find myself blurting the story I promised I’d stop telling people:

“There was an accident. . . . I could tell my mother wasn’t there. . . . And then this thing happened at the hospital. . . . But I’ve tried everything and can’t get back. . . .”

“What have you tried?” Farold asks.

“You name it. Re-creating the events. Dreaming and setting an alarm. I’ve tried something called the rope technique, and the ladder technique. Also, rolling out, driving out, rotating, and yo-yo’ing, which is basically trying to climb, drive, or shimmy out of my body. I’ve tried the point-shift method and the picture technique, in which I’m supposed to envision myself hovering at the ceiling, looking down at my bed. I’ve even sent away for this—”

I pluck the envelope from my bag and tear it open.

That’s when Mickey and Brian call it a day.

“Next Thursday?” Mickey asks, gathering his CB radio.

“Yeah, I gotta split too,” Brian adds. “You’re awesome, man. . . . Uh, good luck, Jett.” Brian tips his ice cream cone hat and exits the cafeteria, leaving me alone with Farold, my heart sinking at the sight of the DVD on the table between us.

It’s not the cheesy clouds against sky on the circular sticker adhered to the DVD that rushes blood to my cheeks, but the airbrushed, ethereal angel flying through those clouds.

At $39.99, this cost me more than four hours of librarian work. Why did I think this was a good idea to share — or buy?

Farold slides the disc into his laptop, turning the device for both of us to see. Even the digital quality is pathetic. Two women wearing flowing garb and seeming to float on a cloud discuss how they came to learn under the tutelage of the Dr. Reflexology guy, the art of soul travel by aligning their chakras — what they can help me do for the next hour. Though if I want to learn the nine secrets to launching myself, I will need to send away for the DVD package. For a mere $69.99 more.

I want to crawl under the table.

“I didn’t know it would be this—”

“—cheapjack.”

“What’s that?”

“It’s what we say in Trinidad. Or in English, ‘cringe-y.’ ”

And that’s my cue.

I stand, slinging my backpack on, and extend my palm for the DVD, even knowing as pathetic as it is, I am going to watch it — a thought that makes my cheeks even hotter. Because that’s how desperate I’ve become, and I hate myself for it. “Anyway . . . if you can just keep everything I said earlier to yourself.”

He pops out the DVD and walks around the table to stand before me, a foot taller. “What happens in Quantum Club stays in Quantum Club.” He edges close enough for me to smell a delicious vanilla scent wafting from his sweatshirt, to feel those tingles again, and to see in his pupils gold flecks that look like stars.

“Could be a multiverse, you know. That Indigo place?” His hand grazes my wrist as he places the plastic disc back in my palm. “Alternate realities are always taking place. The name for it in quantum mechanics is the Many Interacting Worlds.”

Prickles down my neck. “Are you saying . . . you believe me?”

“There are no absolute proofs in quantum theory. It’s about what we can measure, and to what precision.” He seems to have an idea, darts back to his notebook, and scribbles.

“We’re going to need to know what’s been documented on the theory so far, and under what conditions.” More scribbling. “Oh, and what laws govern these . . . phenomena. So . . . maybe that’s not a total waste?” He nods to the DVD.

I place it on the table, suppressing tears, and take a seat.

Author Bio:

Heather Siegel is the author of THE KING & THE QUIRKY, and OUT FROM THE UNDERWORLD. She teaches academic and creative writing, holds an MFA from The New School University, and lives with her family in Southern Florida.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter


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Book Review: The Seawomen by Chloe Timms

This post contains affiliate links. Please check out my affiliate disclosure page for more information.

I was lucky enough to get an ARC copy of this book via Net Galley. It’s release date is 14 June 2022.

About the book

Blurb of The Sea Women by Chloe Timms

My thoughts

I read an ARC from Net Galley and this is my honest review.

Wow! This book is dark and twisty. I’ve always wondered how people fall prey to a cult leader. How fears can control.

Esta lives on a patriarchal island where they fear the seawomen, and every challenge the islanders face is blamed on the sins of their women. Punished by god, they must repent to be saved. Esta sees through the lies and dangerously seeks answers to questions that if she was a good holy girl she’d ignore.

This book reminded me of the darkness of The Handmaids Tale. The way the book made me turn the page out of morbid curious that people could live this way. The history and characters are written so well, it was difficult to put down.

What an amazing debut!

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My Birthday Book Haul

My birthday was back in November and my online writer friends clubbed together and got me an Amazon voucher. I didn’t spend it right away. I wasn’t sure if I might get books for Christmas. Plus my book Wishlist is insane so I took my time narrowing down my choices.

This post includes affiliate links. Check out my Affiliate Disclosure page for more info.

Here’s what I got:

Fiction

This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron

The Weavers by Ania Whiteley

World for the Broken by Elexis Bell

And The Stars Were Burning Brightly by Danielle Jawando

PREORDER: When Our Worlds Collided by Danielle Jawando

Non-Fiction

Romancing the Beat by Gwen Hayes

The Rural Setting Theasarus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi

The Urban Setting Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi

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