Book Blitz and Giveaway: Gears of Fate by Wilbert Stanton

Gears of Fate (Forgotten Gods #1)
Wilbert Stanton
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: June 20, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, Young Adult

Goodreads | Amazon


Centuries have passed since the Fey conquered Earth, forcing mankind and gods alike to flee to the sky city Olympus. Forgotten gods walk amongst man, lost and powerless. Little do they suspect a second Fey war looms, and an unlikely duo will set in motion the gears of fate.

Zak Walker is a fringe rat living in the slums who would do anything to protect his sister, Alice. His neglectful father threatens to consign him to a life away from home on an airship, but he yearns for his life to mean something more than drudgery.

Princess Seneca Rose is the last surviving member of the Seelie royals. They tried to establish peace with mankind, but fell to the forces of Queen Mob and the Unseelie Court. Fleeing for her life, Seneca arrives on Olympus in hopes of uniting the forgotten gods against the oncoming Fey.

Zak couldn’t care less about the fate of Olympus, until faeries kidnap Alice. He doesn’t believe Seneca’s stories of faeries or gods, but soon has no choice but to accept their lives are intertwined. All his life, he’s dreamed of something more. If he cannot face the dangers that await down on Earth, the gods, mankind, and his sister Alice are all doomed.


Excerpt

I watched helplessly as we flew further away. Alana and Gharis, fighting furiously side by side, hadn’t noticed me getting snatched. Seneca still struggled with Francis’s pack. I had to take matters into my own hands. I struggled under my attacker’s iron grip. He had me in a tight bear hug rendering my arms useless. I thrashed about until I broke free. The rust bucket flew away, and for a moment, it felt like I could fly. Gravity had a different plan in mind.

I’m going to die.

Clouds swallowed the world; the white darkness devoured me, the gushing air made my ears pop. I’d never get to kiss Abby; I’d never become a man; Most importantly, I failed to keep Alice safe. Alice, I’m sorry.

I closed my eyes and prepared to die. Until I heard laughing. I’m cogged. The wild laughter of a maniac got closer, closer, and closer still. Seneca burst through the clouds head first, her body straightened with arms pressed tight at her sides. Goggles covered her eyes, and her smile seemed to go for miles. She caught up and wrapped her arms around me, locking her body against mine.


Author Bio

Wilbert Stanton was born and raised in New York City. From an early age, Wilbert decided he would either write books or take over the world; everything else was just a precursor to his end game.

Along the way, he has studied Psychology, English, and Computer Science. He’s held jobs in a wide range of fields and met people from all walks of life. Wilbert is constantly learning and growing as a person, in order to solidify his dreams.

In the end, world domination was a bit tedious, so he decided to focus on writing books.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


Giveaway

ENTER HERE for your chance to win a signed copy of Gears of Fate. Contest ends June 29.

 

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Book Blitz and $25 Amazon Giveaway: The Lunam Deception by Nicole Loufas

 

The Lunam Deception  (The Lunam Series #2)
Nicole Loufas
Publication date: June 20, 2017
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy

Goodreads | Amazon CAN | Amazon US


Kalysia has lived her life according to others – a fate she will not pass on to her child. When a conspiracy to bring down the pack threatens to uncover her darkest secrets; Kalysia must fight to protect the truth about the man she wants, at the expense of the man she was fated to love.

Jase has fought his entire life. For his honor, his freedom, and his family. Nothing in his past could’ve prepare him for her. Kalyisa is everything he never knew he always wanted. Is he willing to risk his life, her honor, and Dillan’s pride to win her heart?


Excerpt

“In here,” I call to him and try not to laugh. I don’t know why I always get giggly when I’m trying to be sexy.

Dillan appears in the doorway.

“Oh baby, you have no idea how hot you look right now.”

He steps into the room and pulls his shirt off. “I’m one lucky bastard.”

“Yes, you are,” I agree.

He unhooks his belt with one hand and kneels on the bed. He bends down, and kisses my knee as his hand rubs up my leg; then stops short. He crawls up the bed toward my face.

“My hands are dirty.”

I run my fingers through his hair.

“Really? Where have your hands been?” I tease.

“I drove the Jeep from the brew-house. Who knows what kind of germs are on that steering wheel.”

He kisses my neck and presses his hips against me. The thin material of his boxers can’t contain his excitement.

“Thank you for not contaminating my lady parts.”

I pull his mouth to mine and taste today’s batch on his tongue.

“I care deeply about your lady parts.”

He licks my breast, and chills cover every inch of my body.

“My kid is cooking in there.”

He moves his hand to my belly as his tongue circles my nipple.

“I want his environment to be as germ-free as possible.”

“His?” I tease.

“Did I say his?” Dillan gives me a coy smile.

I know he’s hoping for a boy. All the guys are.

Dillan rolls me over, so I’m on top of him in all my naked and bloated glory. My swollen belly doesn’t affect his arousal. I moan so loud when he slips inside me; I’m sure Leah will comment on it later. I’m never more certain of my feelings for Dillan than when we’re having sex.

I look at him from across the lodge and sometimes as he sleeps. My heart still stammers when he kisses me or takes my hand when we’re walking. But there is always a sliver of doubt that crosses my mind. A certain way he smiles at Cassie or the sadness that creeps into his eyes when he thinks nobody is looking. I wonder if he feels it too. The only moments of peace come when we’re tangled up naked in our bed. Only then does the world feel right.

Dillan and I lie in bed afterward, watching the light in the room fade into night.

He kisses my head. “I needed that.”

“Hard day at the brew-house, dear?”

Dillan tightens his grip on me. “I got a call from my father.”

“It wasn’t good news, I assume.”

It never is where Lowell is concerned.

“He called to congratulate me on becoming a father.” He smirks. “I asked him which baby he was congratulating me on.”

“What did he say?” I try to sit up so I can see his face, but he won’t let me.

“He’s honoring his promise to Conall.” Dillan pauses. “I’m sorry, babe. I tried to reason with him, but he wouldn’t listen.”

“It isn’t your fault.” I don’t sound very convincing.

If we both just accepted our roles, none of this would be happening. Dillan sits up and turns on the lamp beside the bed. He runs his hands over his face and groans.

“What am I supposed to do?”

I assume his question is rhetorical.

If Dillan supports Lowell and claims Cassie’s child as his trueborn heir, he maintains his place in the pack, inherits Sierra-Duke, and his family’s fortune. Sometimes I believe this is a good thing; our child won’t be obligated to the pack the same way we were. Call it ego or pride, but the thought of Cassie’s child ruling over mine, makes me want to break things. When I say things, I mean Cassie.

“Do what’s right,” I tell him.

Unlike Lowell, I refuse to bully Dillan to my side. I don’t have to. Dillan loves me; therefore, he loves our child. He would never dishonor either of us.

“I will lose everything when I claim our child as my heir.” He turns around to look at me. “I’ll just be another employee of Sierra-Duke. I get nothing.”

Dillan doesn’t just lose his inheritance; he also loses status. Each leader must have a Lunam child that is accepted by the council. If Lowell gives his support to Cassie’s child, the council will honor his request. It isn’t a matter of screwing me over—these things have been done for hundreds of years.

Dillan may lose his title as future leader, but I’ll still maintain power. As long as we’re together, nothing else matters.

“You get me.” I reach up and touch his face. “Forever.”

Dillan climbs on top of me and pulls the sheets from between us. He examines my naked body and says, “I think I can live with this for the next fifty years.”

We miss the dinner bell.

We miss breakfast too.

 

 


Author Bio

Nicole was born and raised in California. She claims to be a San Francisco native, however she’s lived in both Northern and Southern California. She credits her creativity to the fact that she attended 12 schools between kindergarten and her senior year in high school. Her nomadic childhood allowed her to reinvent herself often. Some might say she was a liar. While others see the stories she told as a coping mechanism. Twelve schools, in six cities, in twelve years – give her a break. Today she channels her storytelling ability into writing novels. Long story short – kids that lie become writers.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


Giveaway

Do you want to win a $25 Amazon gift card? ENTER HERE for your chance to win! Rafflecopter contest ends June 29.

 

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Blog Tour Review and Giveaway: Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney

 

Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney

Published by: Clean Reads Publishing

Publication Date: February 14, 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Page Count: 180 pages

Rating: 3/5

Source: eARC from Xpresso Book Tours

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble


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.


Receiving an eARC from Xpresso Book Tours does not affect my opinion of this book.

“We have all sacrificed something, even you. To have lost everything but have hope to rebuild the future is the strongest weapon in the world.”

I’ve been wanting to find new authors and series, so when I read some reviews of this book, I was interested to sign up for a tour. Black Dawn is Mallory’s debut novel. And even though it has a few rough edges, Mallory introduces you to an intriguing world brimming with magic and tainted by betrayal.

Emory Fae believes she’s your typical young woman. Nothing exciting happens in her life, until two men show up at her apartment and tell her she’s the lost heir of a war-torn world filled with magic. These men, Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster, hope she will be the flame for the Black Dawn rebellion, eventually lead them to peace, and reclaim her throne. However, Emory discovers her past holds more secrets than she can imagine. And she may not want to uncover them.

Mallory doesn’t give you a dull moment. From the first chapter, she jams in non-stop, high-paced action. One of my concerns of the book is that it can be fleshed out more much than just 180 pages. I felt that some scenes were too fast, and the first half of the book seemed too rushed. But don’t let my issue persuade you not to pick up the book though. The book improves in later chapters. And I was eager to see what happens with Emory.

The author also offers you a taste of this series. And, hopefully, with more sequels to come, you’ll get to see what happens to these characters. Emory, whose parents started the Academy for children who possess magical abilities and were killed by one of their pupils, now called the Mad King, discovers she too also has powers of her own. Being thrown into a new environment, and a new world, will test anyone’s psyche. But she finds out that she made the decision to have her mind wiped and to be sent to Earth. Well, I’m not surprised she has a hard time adjusting to the news.

I had a hard time warming up to Memphis, and I’m not the only one to feel the same. His treatment of his girlfriend, Nyx, throws me off. And I feel that he manipulates everyone around him, especially Emory, who he’s loved since they were children. Now Brokk I can get behind. His character arc takes a drastic change than what I imagined it might take. So I’m curious to see what Mallory will do with him.

With political plays, betrayals, and unanticipated plot twists, Black Dawn is a solid start to a new fantasy series.

 


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 favourite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


Giveaway

Here’s your chance to win a free signed copy of Black Dawn! The contest is international and ends June 22. ENTER HERE.

 

 

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Review and Giveaway: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

Published by: Bloomsbury

Publication Date: May 2, 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Extent: 720 pages

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchase

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.


“But for my home, for Prythian and the human territory and so many others … I would clean my blades, and wash the blood from my skin. And I would do it again and again and again.”

Have you ever avoided writing a review simply because you know the series has come to an end? I’m facing that problem right now. Sure, Sarah is continuing with more stories in the ACOTAR world, but I want more from Feyre. Her future is still playing out. But with this instalment, Sarah creates a powerful and captivating finale that will break your heart, make it swell, and emotionally destroy you. I don’t expect anything less from her. I’m drained to the point where I need a year to heal before I read the next instalment.

Feyre, High Lady of the Night Court, returns to the Spring Court so she will bring down Tamlin and collect any information she can find to end this looming war. But as this High Lady-turned-spy plays this deadly game to discover how the Hybern King will destroy Prythian, she tests herself and her people while they race to track down allies and find ones in unexpected places.

Sarah incorporates more history of Prythian, the other courts, characters, and mythology. She teases you with just the right amount of backstory. Power plays, fae politics, and complex character developments just dance off the pages. I find writing this review difficult because I am emotionally wrecked. I laughed. I snorted. I bloody cackled (and you know the exact scene I’m talking about). And I bawled more than I care to admit. I’m just getting into Sarah’s books, but I’m impressed with how she puts in these many arcs in a single story and juggles these many characters with ease. She was thrashing me from one chapter to the next, and I had moments where I had to put down the book so I could catch my breath.

 

“The great joy and honour of my life has been to know you. To call you my family. And I am grateful—more than I can possibly say—that I was given this time with you all.”

I don’t know how much more I can marvel at the Court of Dreams or the Inner Circle. But I do. And I swear my bat babies broke my damn soul. If I were to scream to the world of how proud I am of this family, I couldn’t properly show my love for it.

 

“But for my home, for Prythian and the human territory and so many others…I would clean my blades, and wash the blood from my skin. And I would do it again and again and again.”

Feyre slays in this book. She transforms from a human who gives up her life for the beast and is then turned into broken fae who possesses a human heart to the Queen of the Night, who bows down to no one. She grows into a character who I admire and never want to forget. She has carved a piece into my heart, but she isn’t the only one.

 

“I would have waited five hundred more years for you. A thousand years. And if this was all the time we were allowed to have…The wait was worth it.”

Rhysand gives more than he has in his past. He’s willing to sacrifice himself to protect his his family and people. He nearly stopped my heart at his sacrifice. I can’t write without tearing up about it. I thought I cherished him before, but this book completely shatters my love I have for him.

 

I don’t know how, but I love Cassian more than I had at the end of ACOMAF. This glorious Illyrian almost rivals Rhys. Almost. I need more of him. I cannot wait to read more of his journey after this war. Mor, and her revelation, just seals my heartache for this book. Her history is riddled in pain, and yet she still fights for a country that may shun her. I swear I held my breath when she broke down. That little firedrake, Amren, is a hellion, and the friendship budding between her and Nesta keeps you on your toes. And do you know how long I’ve waited for more Azriel? Finally! But I just hope he finds his happiness in future books. I truly do. And here comes Nesta. My second queen may just burn down this world and not blink an eye. I can’t help but mention the friendship Az has with Elain. I squee every time I think of it. Both Nesta and Elain are characters I wonder what they have to offer. You get glimpses, but I hope I get more of their POVs. And my little fox, Lucien, REDEEMS himself. Yes!

War breaks people, their souls, and their bodies. Sometimes, though, it unearths their greatest strengths: hope, family, love, and redemption. Sarah shows the brutality of war. She doesn’t shy away from illustrating the consequences of people’s actions and choices they make. She doesn’t sensationalize it, doesn’t glorify it. And in doing so she cements herself as an author who I look up to.

And I love how she also includes more LGBTQ storylines into ACOWAR. But my one complaint is with how she wrote one in particular. She hints to a ship that may or may not exist, even though she throws you clues to it in ACOMAF. So my problem is with Sarah, not that storyline. Even if her characters hide their sexuality, these arcs should flow organically, not just be throw in to the mix like an afterthought. But I’m happy she includes the character’s development. But her representation of certain LGBTQ characters is a little hinkey.

I own only a few books that have stuck with me over the years. I can list them on my right hand. And this series takes a spot there. Sometimes it’s hard to find a book that challenges me, makes me question my worth. But A Court of Wings and Ruin forces me to think of what I’d do in Feyre’s situation. And I don’t think I’d change a thing for her. More importantly, ACOWAR shows you that, even in the darkness, even in your bleakest time, you find yourself, redeem yourself, and never bow down to anyone. I wonder what Sarah has in store for the next books.


Giveaway

Here’s your chance to win a copy of the Indigo exclusive edition of A Court of Wings and Ruin, which has the special endpapers with Charlie Bowater’s illustrations! ENTER HERE.

 

The giveaway runs from May 18 to June 6 at 12 am (EST).

 

  • You must be a follower or subscribe to be one.
  • You must also complete the required Rafflecopter entries.
  • All information you provide (including your email and mailing address) is not shared, but it will be used to send you this prize. So please ensure that all information is accurate.
  • You must use one email address. If you have one email for your Facebook and another for Twitter/blog, pick just the one so you won’t miss out on entries.
  • You can reblog and retweet once a day for more entries.
  • The giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.
  • If you are under 18, please have parental permission to give me your address, before you enter any entries. If you enter the giveaway, you confirm you have said permission.
  • Absolutely no giveaway blogs.
  • If you are the winner, you have 48 hours to respond to my email. If you not do, I’ll select a new winner.

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Ensnared by Rita Stradling

Ensnared
Rita Stradling
Publication date: May 23rd 2017
Genres: New Adult, Science Fiction

A Near Future Retelling of Beauty and the Beast

Alainn’s father is not a bad man. He’s a genius and an inventor. When he’s hired to create the robot Rose, Alainn knows taking the money is a mistake.

Rose acts like a human. She looks exactly like Alainn. But, something in her comes out wrong.

To save her father from a five year prison sentence, Alainn takes Rose’s place. She says goodbye to the sun and goes to live in a tower no human is allowed to enter. She becomes the prisoner of a man no human is allowed to see.

Believing that a life of servitude lies ahead, Alainn finds a very different fate awaits her in the company of the strange, scarred recluse.

Add to Goodreads / Pre-order

EXCERPT:

December 2, 2026

Alainn woke knowing someone was in her room.

Whoever it was sat behind her. Quiet, even breaths rasped through the air. Alainn’s eyelids peeked open. Moonlight cast a grayish glow, cutting deep shadows into the space around her bed.

“Good morning, Alainn,” Rose said in a quiet voice. When Alainn didn’t respond, Rose said, “I can tell from the change in your breathing pattern that you are awake.”

“Rose?” she whispered, not quite ready to let out a sigh of relief. Alainn twisted to look at her. “What are you doing here? Did you break my lock?”

“I picked it,” she said. “It is now locked again.”

“Oh, uh—” Her heart pounded in her chest; she sat up and faced the robot. “Why—why would you do that?”

The moonlight lit half of Rose’s face as she watched Alainn, expressionless. “Do not be alarmed. You are obviously having a fear reaction, but I was simply waiting for you to wake up.”

“Don’t you need to sleep—recharge?”

Now that Alainn faced Rose, she smelled the faint odor of her exhaust. Rose continuously exhaled the lightest tang of something sweet and acidic. The air in the room felt used, like a plane cabin after a cross-country flight.

“I was not completely forthcoming with you today. While what I said was true, I have for a time now believed that having Father imprisoned would impede my potential. While I have far surpassed his skills in software, there are times when I need assistance. I am limited by my need to stay near my charging station. Your brother is often absent for days at a time—and you, months.”

“Okay, wait—you’re going to go tomorrow?” Alainn scooted forward on the bed. A dormant hope resurged through her. Alainn would do anything—she’d worship at the robot’s feet if Rose agreed to go.

“No, you are going to go tomorrow.”

Alainn froze, staring at Rose. “What?” she whispered.

“I have calculated one way in which all parties can achieve their desires.”

“I’m sorry—I’m not understanding.” Alainn shook her head. A hard knot formed in her stomach.

“I am not surprised.” Rose reached out to pat Alainn’s hand. “You are not as intelligent as the rest of your family.”

“Spell it out in really simple terms, then.” She just managed to not growl the words at Rose.

Slowly, Rose looked up to the ceiling, moonlight slashing up the curve of her neck, her chin, and the line of her nose. “Earlier tonight, I arranged for you to be picked up by Mr. Garbhan through e-mail, writing as if I was Father. In one hour, a car will arrive outside to take you to his building. I have designed and created hardware for your body. If you are scanned, a chip in the hardware will communicate to the scanners that you have an organic circuitry system rather than a human brain.”

Alainn shook her head, hoping to dislodge some of the grogginess there. “I’m still not following—you’re saying you want me to pretend to be you and turn myself over? That you already arranged it?”

“Yes, you are following. That is exactly what I am saying.”

“I—I—” Alainn shook her head again. The air thinned around her.

“I have a working plan for the transplanting. You can assimilate easily into a life of servitude as you are already accustomed to the labor you will be asked to perform.” Rose lifted a hand, ghostly gray in the low light, and ticked off the chores on her fingers. “Cooking, housekeeping, and bookkeeping. Unless . . . is your concern that he might use you for sexual gratification?”

“What? No.”

“I believe that this would be a particular concern of yours.”

“I never even considered that he would do that to you—I, of all people, would never have tried to push you into going if I thought you’d be used that way.” Alainn blinked furiously. “Rose, do you really think that I would have let myself be the model when my dad printed your face and body if I thought Mr. Garbhan was going to do that to you?”

“It is highly unlikely that I was designed for this function. I have also been assured that there were documents signed to that effect addressed to Father.”

Alainn held out her palms to Rose. “Rose, it’s not just that. I can’t take your place. There’s no way that would work . . . and I can’t live in that tower for the rest of my life. I’m a human. I know that probably sounds callous to you, but you were created to not need sunshine and fresh air. And you don’t need exercise. Humans need those things, me especially. Everything I am,” she touched her chest, “is centered on being in the outdoors.”

“The duration will be seven to fourteen days, no longer.” Her head swung down, causing shadows to swallow her eyes. Two black hollows focused on Alainn. “When Mr. Garbhan pays Father, he and I will make the Rosette model; this process should only take a week, unless there are complications. And then I will devise a way to switch you with the new model.”

 

Author Bio:

Rita Stradling is the author of The Deception Dance series, the Dakota Kekoa series and The Fourteen Day Soul Detox Novella Serial. She has a BA in Art History and a particular love for modern and medieval art.

Rita lives with her husband and son in Northern California.

She has an insatiable novel addiction and mostly reads young adult and adult: romance, paranormal, urban fantasy and high fantasy.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Blog Tour Review: MOM by Collin Piprell

 

MOM by Collin Piprell

Published by: Common Deer Press

Publication Date: April 5, 2017

Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian

Extent: 324 pages

Rating: 4/5

Source: eARC from Publisher

A GOD IS BORN!

TOO BAD ABOUT THE PERSONALITY DISORDER

So reads the graffito.

MOM is the mall operations manager — the greatest intelligence in history, a machine awakened to self-awareness at a time when the last few human survivors have withdrawn to the last two remaining refuges on Earth. Quarantined from the global nanobot superorganism outside the malls and from each other inside, the mallsters are utterly dependent on MOM for everything — including the ever-more suspect information they’re getting about the world Outside.

Now the malls are crumbling.

A mystery thriller set in the second half of the twenty-first century, MOM is the first novel in Collin Piprell’s darkly comic and always thought-provoking MAGIC CIRCLES science-fiction series.


Stepping just an inch inside Collin’s world is not only terrifying but also thrilling. I wondered what I have gotten myself into. I haven’t dived in to sci-fi for a long while. But Collin creates a richly dark and gritty story that will keep any science fiction lover up at night.

 Our society is dead. The last remaining humans retreat and find shelter in Malls, where MOM (mall operations manager) protects them from the outside post-apocalyptic world and the superorganisms that destroyed it long ago. Cisco the Kid, the protagonist, and other test pilots “world” in generated realities. Throughout the book he starts to lose himself, and he finds that something in these virtual worlds doesn’t add up. Once Cisco and the others discover MOM may have misled them and may also have become a self-aware AI, which may be slipping into insanity, life as they know it will change forever.

Overall I enjoyed reading MOM. I discovered an intriguing side to futuristic sci-fi, which isn’t always on my TBR list. You get a strong sense that Collin takes the time to flesh out his work. And he dedicates his efforts to create an entirely unique world. How many times have you heard the word “autonomous ebee” (electronic being)? For this fantasy lover, I’m lucky if I understand it (and thankfully I do).

Collin’s world building is superb. It hooks you in and takes you on a sci-fi junkie’s mind-altering adventure. His characters move the story along and keep your attention. I’m not a huge fan of multiple POVs in stories. Sometimes I find any more than three distracting. However don’t let that issue waylay you from reading the book. From chapter one to the next, you aren’t sure which POV you’ll read next, but that change keeps the story stimulating. One big tip any readers need for MOM is to pay attention to every detail. Collin incorporates intricate information into his work.

I think my only negative for the book is the terms and the language characters use. Understanding what each new word means took me awhile. If you aren’t accustomed to this type of writing, you may feel a bit lost. But, and I mean but, I am grateful for the glossary (yes, this book has one). You know you’ve stepped into a multi-faceted universe when you find one at the end of the book.

But if you’re a sci-fi fanatic like some people I know, MOM should be your next book. This book will take you on the craziest trip you’ve ever been on. And it will make you question everything. So get ready and strap in. MOM has just arrived.

Blog Tour Spotlight: MOM by Collin Piprell

Hey everyone!

I’m pleased to announce the official release of MOM, by Collin Piprell. Today’s my first stop on the blog tour. Don’t miss my next two stops in the coming days!

 

MOM

Title: MOM

Author: Collin Piprell

Genre: Sci Fi

Release date: April 5, 2017

Publisher: http://www.commondeerpress.com

Buy Links: Amazon Common Deer Press BN

Tagline: A mystery thriller set in the second half of the twenty-first century, MOM is the first novel in Collin Piprell’s darkly comic and always thought-provoking MAGIC CIRCLES science-fiction trilogu.

Blurb:

A GOD IS BORN!

TOO BAD ABOUT THE PERSONALITY DISORDER

So reads the graffito.

MOM is the mall operations manager — the greatest intelligence in history, a machine awakened to self-awareness at a time when the last few human survivors have withdrawn to the last two remaining refuges on Earth. Quarantined from the global nanobot superorganism outside the malls and from each other inside, the mallsters are utterly dependent on MOM for everything — including the ever-more suspect information they’re getting about the world Outside.

Now the malls are crumbling.

 

About the Author:

Collin Piprell is a Canadian writer and editor resident in Thailand. He is the author of four previous novels and a collection of humorous stories, now out of print, as well as four books on national parks, diving, and coral reefs, which are also out of print. *MOM* is the first novel of Magic Circles, a science-fiction trilogy in progress. Visit http://www.collinpiprell.com to learn more.

Website: http://www.collinpiprell.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/collinpiprell

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/collin.piprell

We hope you love the book as much as we do!

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Blog Tour Interview: MOM by Collin Piprell

Today’s my second stop on the blog tour! I had the pleasure to read an eARC of MOM by Collin Piprell. And I had to learn more of this futuristic world, so I set up an interview with him.

Hope you enjoy!

Siobhan

 

 

  1. MOM is one of the most complex multi-layered stories I’ve read in a long time. Can you tell the readers what it’s about?

That may be true, but I’d like to reassure readers that the novel focuses on dramatic developments between the characters — the heavier themes and multiple dimensions frame the action without intruding on what’s otherwise just a rollicking good read.

MOM is the “mall operations manager,” a machine intelligence become self-aware. And one theme in this book is the question of reconciling machine and human evolution. MOM also takes disintegrative trends in our current material and cognitive worlds and extrapolates to what may not be unrealistic extremes in the not very distant future. Forces for disintegration contend with reintegrative moves as background to the dramatic conflicts.

In the Magic Circles series as a whole, this becomes in part a contest between opposing cosmic imperatives — call it a war between the urge, on the one hand, to bring everything in the world under the control of one agency in the search for absolute security, and, on the other hand, the acknowledgement that error and diversity and conflict play essentially positive roles in our experience, essential to our staying open to the rise of real novelty — what some describe as creative emergence.

In fact, the story eventually proposes novel developments at least as revolutionary as the rise of life itself, or cultural evolution’s supersession of biological evolution. That thread is developed more surely as the story unfolds in Genesis 2.0 and Resurrections and beyond.

Throughout MOM and the novels that follow, there’s also much play with the variety of ways we can experience “reality.”

Here I should say again that, despite all that, MOM basically presents a ripping good read. And so my dear, departed mother would agree were she still with us.

 

  1. MOM has been published before. Can you explain what has changed from the first publication?

Not much has changed. The publisher chopped about 10,000 words (10 percent) — mostly a first few chapters I’d thought were needed to introduce readers to life in the malls and in the Worlds — and I had to agree that, after I wrote patches, the book now gets off to a faster start, while nothing essential has been lost.

Other than that, it’s pretty much the same book. I’d had the ruins of the Baiyoke II Tower, formerly the tallest building in Bangkok, poking up out of the sea that surrounds the Eastern Seaboard, Southeast Asia (ESSEA) Mall. In the current edition, I’ve substituted the MahaNakhon, an even taller building that’s almost finished.

 

  1. I see that Bangkok holds a special meaning to you. Why have you incorporated it in your stories, especially this one?

I’ve lived in Bangkok for quite some time, and it seems natural to borrow settings from that city and the rest of Thailand. MOM is set in (1) the ESSEA Mall, what remains of a coastal megalopolis; (2) generated realities set in 1980s-90s Bangkok; (3) a subterranean site beneath a much-changed landscape several hundred kilometers north of Bangkok; and (4) the Eastern Seaboard, United Securistats of America (ESUSA) Mall, roughly where New York used to stand.

 

  1. What inspired this futuristic sci-fi? Has recent (or older) technological advances inspired the book at all?

I believe nanotech and qubital computing will together transform our lives far more than the digital revolution ever has. And — like the digital revolution, or the Industrial Revolution before than, and so on back to the rise of agriculture and cities and to even earlier radical transformations of our human worlds — these technologies will bring new advantages, some of which would seem miraculous to people from our time. At the same time, they’ll bring new problems, some of them so horrendous as to threaten the extinction of all life on the planet.

At the start of MOM, the PlagueBot — a global superorganism emergent upon a failed “gray-goo scenario” involving self-replicating nanobots — presents one of these threats. But nanotech and qubital computing have also provided fixes, however inadequate, by way of the malls and the Worlds, among others. Much of the drama arises amid the ever-accelerating failure of these fixes.

Later in the Magic Circles series, we see what looks like the end of humanity and the rest of the planetary biosphere transformed into a strangely familiar but in fact radically new basis for Gaia 2 and a human renaissance.

 

  1. Can you explain to readers what worlding is and what’s its purpose in this dystopian world? How did you come up with the concept? How does it affect Cisco and others?

Worlds UnLtd is an infinite manifold of interactive, totally immersive generated realities accessible to denizens of the malls on certain days. These are the only escapes from the quarantine imposed on the mallsters. Except for telepresent encounters in their holotanks or in the Worlds, these few surviving people are kept strictly isolated both from Outside and from each other inside. One of the early mysteries in MOM is why it’s an offlining offense to try entering the Worlds on a Monday. Another mystery is why the ever-more frequent Mondays are getting longer and longer.

Meanwhile “to world” has become a verb, and people can be more or less adept at worlding. Because of their special training and experience, Cisco Smith and Dee Zu, two of the main characters, are Worlds test pilots, making sure they’re safe for the average mallster. The Worlds — realer than real, higher-rez and infinitely customizable — are utterly addictive, and most mallsters, if they could, would spend their entire lives in them.

 

  1. Now you’re expanding on your series, what are you looking forward to in the next instalments? What do you have planned?

In MOM, I established a variety of fictional “worlds.” When I started writing Genesis 2.0, I was delighted to find that, rather than creating worlds, it was more like I was exploring worlds that were already there. Implicit in the settings that underlay the dramatic action in MOM I found all kinds of new features and dimensions. The same thing is proving true as I work on Resurrections.

Much of the pleasure of writing Magic Circles, one reward for all the hard work, has been this excitement at learning what happens next and where those developments are going to lead.

Review: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

24763621Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Published by: Thomas Dunne

Publication Date: February 7, 2017

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Extent: pages

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchase


Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.


“There is music in your soul. A wild and untamed sort of music that speaks to me. It defies all the rules and laws you humans set upon it. It grows from inside you, and I have a wish to set that music free.”

Be careful what you wish for. Haunting, frightening, dark, yet beautiful, Wintersong takes claim on your heart and reveals a realm beyond the veil that you have never seen before. You won’t escape its spell.

Liesl, an 18-year-old inspiring musician, hides her gift from the world. Burdened by responsibility, she gives up her fantasy of composing music and her memories of an enchanting boy who she believes is the Goblin King so that her gifted brother takes centre stage. But when the Goblin King kidnaps her sister, Käthe, and offers her a deal, he doesn’t just fuel her need to find her loved one; he offers her the path to her emotional awakening.

Wintersong is more than just a sister sacrificing her life for another. It illustrates how Liesel discovers who she is and what she can create. It is lyrical, seductive, and whimsical but touching yet tragic. Music anchors Liesl. It encases her soul, but fear entraps her, preventing her from introducing her talent. But she realizes that giving up her life in her world comes with a price. The Goblin King warns her that if she agrees to marry him, she will ultimately relinquish her life. Both worlds live off of the soul and the death of the Goblin Queen.

 

“Life,” he said softly, “is more than flesh. Your body is a candle, your soul the flame. The longer I burn the candle…”

Sarah has an undeniable skill for a debut author. She conjures up a poignant story that sneaks up on you. She integrates music, longing, and nostalgia into her writing and creates a raw and visceral narrative that will simply bewitch you and your imagination.  This tragedy consumed my thoughts. And sometimes it forced me to put down the book so I could process Sarah’s storyline. The characters themselves stand out among the pages, and they captivate your immediate attention.

 

“Your music,” he said at last. “Your music was the only thing that kept me sane, that kept me human instead of a monster.”

Liesl evolves from the heroine who trades her soul for her sister to the Goblin Queen, who will burn both worlds. Her mortality, her soul, and her fire feed the old laws. Her progression throughout the story is heartbreaking but empowering. Her impending death brings a dark allure to an already enticing realm. It haunts the walls of the Underground and creates another character in itself. The love she has for her sister and her brother (who possesses a musical talent of his own), her sacrifice, and her untamed gift are what provide her the strength she needs in this world. Yet you want to scream at her and tell her to run, you can’t help but watch her slow demise. I find her character development tragic, but I couldn’t get enough of it.

 

“What is eternal life but a prolonged death.”

Do not expect the same Goblin King you’ve watched in the Labyrinth. It inspired me more than any other movie, yet I wondered if I’d see a familiar king, but this one is the exact opposite. This Goblin King protects her from his realm. His cruelty and wariness grow into a shield between Liesl and him. He doesn’t wish to be cruel, yet he knows what will happen if they break that wall and let each other in. But inevitably, he sees how quickly the Underworld will claim Lisel. The Lord of Mischief changes from the king who looks to obey the old laws to an enigmatic man who finds love. He has a tortured soul, and he develops into complicated king who may break your heart.

You can’t deny that Wintersong is one of 2017’s most anticipated books of the year, and it lives up to this claim. Since first hearing of it, I knew I had to read it. The author not only takes you on a girl’s journey of self-discovery but also captures your wildest imaginations. So walk through the veil and down to the Undergound, where magic rules, and music consumes.

 

What are your thoughts on Wintersong? Let’s talk about this beautiful book!

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


About the Author

125028184.jpegS. Jae-Jones (called JJ) is an artist, an adrenaline junkie, and erstwhile editrix. When not obsessing over books, she can be found jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, co-hosting the Pub(lishing) Crawl podcast, or playing dress-up.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, she now lives in North Carolina, as well as many other places on the internet, including Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, and her blog.

Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

27883214Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Published by: Flatiron Books

Publication Date: January 31, 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Extent: 401 pages

Rating: 5/5

Source: Purchase


Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.


“Welcome, welcome to Caraval! The grandest show on land or by sea.”

I reserve a five-star rating for these rare books that seep in and take hold of my heart. Sometimes words can’t convey my thoughts on a book, and right now, I wonder if I can grasp onto my emotions after reading CaravalCaraval is a treat for any YA enthusiast. It tickles your senses, captures your heart, and takes a hold of your wildest imaginations.

Scarlett Dragna, the daughter of a brutal governor, dreams of attending Caraval, an annual performance where the participants take part in the festival. When tickets arrive for her and her sister, Donatella, Scarlett still sees that her hope dies because of her upcoming wedding. Tella has other plans though. She and Julian, a mysterious sailor, snatch Scarlett away. But Caraval is more than meets the eye. Legend, the Caraval master, kidnaps Tella. And Scarlett and Julian have only five nights to find her so they can win the game.

But this story is not just a carnival-themed novel. It blossoms into something more magical than parlour tricks. At the centre of this thought-provoking story is the bond of sisterhood.  I adore Scarlett. She endures many trials in Caraval. Her sister fuels her strength, her courage. She’s willing to give up everything for Tella, and I admire her determination and relate to her pain. She makes me wonder what I’d do for my family.

At first, I thought Tella is brash, reckless, and thoroughly selfish. I was mostly wrong, and rightfully so. Yes, she may exhibit some of these traits. However, she protects her older sister, just like Scarlett does for her. They both offer a unique dynamic, yet it’s an often used one, though. Scarlett is the mature, motherly type, and Tella is the rash one. They must be since their father abuses, threatens, and often uses them against each other. But their strength rises above their pain.

The world building doesn’t stay true to normal books. The reason why is that Caraval takes centre stage here. It becomes the world itself. You don’t see much of the outside world, but I enjoy that detour. Stephanie entwines snippets of Caraval’s and Legend’s history into the story. What is real? What isn’t? Is what you’ve heard a rumour? Or is there some truth within the lie? You don’t know until the very end. But the way Stephanie weaves this story will keep you up throughout the night.

 

“Every person has the power to change their fate if they are brave enough to fight for what they desire more than anything.”

Fate, fear, hope, and choice play heavily in Caraval. Stephanie incorporates these attributes in almost every chapter, and they just make for a beautifully written world. Her work forces you to question what you’re willing to do in this situation and what you’ll give up.

Caraval has captivated me, and I feel as if I cannot fully express my appreciation for it. At the beginning, I was hoping for magic, imagination-filled adventures, and, well, hope for these sisters, but Caraval gives me so much more. It shows me that people can hold onto hope so as long as they believe. So pick it up and jump in. It won’t disappoint.

 

“Hope is a powerful thing. Some say it’s a different breed of magic althogether. Elusive, difficult to hold onto. Not much is needed.”

 

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


More about the Author

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© Matthew Moores and Protégé Films.

Stephanie Garber loves Disneyland because it’s the one place on earth where she feels as if the fantastical stories she loves to write about could actually come to life. When she’s not writing young adult fantasy, she teaches creative writing at a private college in northern California, where she’s known for turning assignments into games and taking students on field trips that involve book signings. Caraval is her first novel for young adults.