Are you an avid reader looking for your next "fix"? Can't bear to be without some form of reading material in your spare time? Welcome to my world! Whether you are seeking a new book to "feed your need", or you are an author seeking an unbiased point of view on your own recent masterpiece, this is the place to be. With life as with books, you never know where the next step might take you...

Friday, January 27, 2023

REVIEW + GIVEAWAY starring... A Ruinous Fate by Kaylie Smith

Greetings fellow readers!

Today, I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the A RUINOUS FATE by Kaylie Smith Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. It's infused with magic, mayhem, dangerous fates, and uncertain futures...just to start with!  KEEP READING to check out my post, make sure to enter the giveaway, and then click on over to the other sites participating for more bookish fun!

 

A RUINOUS FATE (Heartless Fates #1)

by Kaylie Smith

Pub. Date: January 3, 2023

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 432

Find it: Goodreadshttps://books2read.com/u/boyLnZ

Fate does not choose the weak. Fate chooses the ready.

Illustros is a cursed realm ruled by the ruthless Gods of Fate, and no one understands the Fates’ wrath more than Calliope Rosewood. Blessed with unspeakable powers that terrify even the most dangerous witches and fae, Calla hides her forbidden magic in shame and fear that one wrong touch could send her to her death. With only her two best friends in tow, Calla deserted her coven and has been on the run ever since.

Worse, Calla is concealing an even darker secret: fate has chosen her as the final prophesied Blood Warrior, the being destined to start the Fates’ War, which will decimate her people and eradicate their magic.

After a betrayal from her infuriating ex Ezra leads her one step closer to fulfilling that age-old prophecy, Calla is desperate to do whatever it takes to reset her fate. So when a mysterious and charming witch offers to help Calla do just that, she immediately agrees to his plan. Only catch? That plan includes journeying into the deadly Neverending Forest with Ezra and said witch, who just so happens to be Ezra’s tempting older brother. Torn between her past desires and alluring new possibilities, Calla brings along her best friends to fight what lies ahead.

As the group ventures into the enchanted woods together, they’ll all soon learn that choosing your destiny comes with dire consequences . . . and the Fates are not to be tested. Calla believes the Fates have it out for her, while others believe they have chosen her for a reason. But in the end, Calla will have to fight to forge her own destiny and decide if the risk of choosing herself is worth the possibility of damning everyone else.

 

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You know, as much as this is a Young Adult Fantasy story, it still resonates in real life.  I mean, grant it, the obstacles we face aren't always as dire as Calla's are, since we're talking literally life and death, but they come pretty close and skate the line REALLY close.  It's hard to choose yourself, choose you over others.  It sounds selfish, but self preservation isn't a bad thing.  SOMEONE has to protect you, so that someone may as well be you.  Now, that doesn't mean keeping others at arms length, living a solid life of one, but it does mean that you are as important as everyone else.  It does mean that your knee jerk reaction to self-sacrifice isn't necessarily the best way, or the only way.  It does mean that the family you have, whether gathered or born into, are there for you because they value you, not simply what you can do or provide.  So as much as the danger surrounds Calla and her companions, as much as the darkness calls to her from outside as well as in, as much as the easy way would be to simply give in or give up, it's never really that simple in the end...and the repercussions would be far reaching.

Take a chance.  Get to know Calla, and her two best friends.  Discover the Onyx witch that captured her heart in spite of itself, and the other that's dancing on the edge of her feelings that's done more for her than the first.  Witness the magical net that is inevitably drawing closer and closer to snaring its prey...that prey being Calla...and be there for the fireworks as her power flies free, for better or worse.  A stunning start to what promises to be a great series; I can't wait for the next installment!



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About the author...

Kaylie Smith is a writer and lover of all things magical and fantasy. She grew up in Louisiana where she frequently haunted bookstores and practiced her writing craft. After getting her degree in graphic design, she decided to fully pursue her dream of being an author, and the first book in her YA fantasy series, A RUINOUS FATE, debuts in January 2023 from Disney Hyperion. When she isn’t writing or reading, she can be found at home with her menagerie of animals, fussing over her houseplants, or annoying people about astrology.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | TikTok | Goodreads | Amazon

 



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YOUR CHANCE TO WIN...

1 winner will receive a finished copy of A RUINOUS FATE, US Only.

Ends February 4th, midnight EST.



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Special thanks to the Rockstar Book Tours team for the chance to bring this tour to you and to the publisher for the copy for review. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, the publisher, this tour, or those on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title is available now, so click on over to your favorite online store, or plan a trip to your local brick and mortar!  Catch the rest of the tour for more!



Tour Schedule:

Week One:

1/2/2022

Kait Plus Books

Excerpt/IG Post

1/3/2022

YA Books Central

Excerpt/IG Post

1/4/2022

Books and Zebras

Review/IG Post

1/5/2022

Library of Becca

Review/IG Post

1/6/2022

pluvioreads

Review/IG Post

1/7/2022

travelersguidetobooks

IG Review

Week Two:

1/8/2022

@more.books.yes.please

IG Review/TikTok Post

1/9/2022

Wanderingwitchreads

TikTok Review/IG Post

1/10/2022

NeverKnotReading

IG Review

1/11/2022

Review Thick And Thin

Review/IG Post

1/12/2022

Ohyouread

IG Post

1/13/2022

onemused

IG Review

1/14/2022

Book Reviews by Alison

IG Review

Week Three:

1/15/2022

Book Briefs

Review/IG Post

1/16/2022

The Momma Spot

Review/IG Post

1/17/2022

Thindbooks Blog

Review/IG Post

1/18/2022

@brittyoreads

IG Review

1/19/2022

A Blue Box Full of Books

IG Review/LFL Drop Pic

1/20/2022

A Dream Within A Dream

Review/IG Post

1/21/2022

A Bookish Dream

Review/IG Post

Week Four:

1/22/2022

popthebutterfly

Review/IG Post

1/23/2022

OneMoreExclamation

Review/IG Post

1/24/2022

@froggyreadteach

IG Review

1/25/2022

Eli to the nth

Review/IG Post

1/26/2022

Nerdophiles

Review

1/27/2022

Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Review/IG Post

1/28/2022

The Book View

Review/IG Post

Week Five:

1/29/2022

@drew_ambitious_reading

IG Review/TikTok Post

1/30/2022

Momfluenster

IG Review/FB Post

1/31/2022

Eye-Rolling Demigod's Book Blog

Review/IG Post



Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!


BOOK SPOTLIGHT + GIVEAWAY featuring... Mrs. Bambi Knows by Chris Mason



Are you the person that people seek out for advice?  Are you the anchor in your group that keeps them grounded, offering the moral high ground or party on lower road, depending on the situation...or your mood?  Well then, perhaps you'd love a chance at being an advice columnist!  Although, from the sound of things in this novel, you may want to keep it on the down low if you value your privacy...and your life!  Ladies and gents, welcome Rachel's Random Resources and today's title in the spotlight...



Mrs Bambi Knows
by
Chris Mason


About the book...

In a small town in Oregon, everyone wants to kill the local advice columnist, Mrs Bambi. If only they knew who she was.

Mrs Bambi’s advice is so snarky that people have long since stopped asking for it. Instead she eavesdrops on conversations and writes the letters herself. The readers would lynch her, but no one knows who she is.

In fact, Mrs. Bambi is not a woman. The column is written by Richard, a quiet widower with a young daughter.

The uneventful part of Richard's life is nearly over: he begins dating Pam, a well-known realtor and a sports addict. When people begin to learn the identity of Mrs. Bambi, Richard is threatened and humiliated in public. Despite the pleas of his editor, his friends, and Pam, he refuses to stop writing the column.

The only thing that can prevent disaster is for the town to finally learn the whole truth about Richard, which is much larger than the simple mystery of Mrs. Bambi.



Set in 1995, Chris Mason’s skillful storytelling brings a tale of humour and romance – and not a little peril - charmingly to life in the mind of the reader.








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~~~ GUEST POST ~~~
with Author Chris Mason

I attended a well-known writer’s conference while I was working on the second draft of Mrs. Bambi Knows. One of the major draws for this conference was a workshop where a well-known author in your field (poetry, fiction, biography, etc.) would lead a group of other attendees in critiquing each others’ writing. Three things really struck me about this workshop.

The first several chapters of the revision had problems that I understood and could fix on my own, but the fourth chapter was troubling me. So instead of submitting the first chapter for review, as most people did, I submitted the fourth with an explanation and a synopsis of the first three chapters to give context.
This was a convention of writers, so I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised that half of my fellow writers critiqued the synopsis instead of the chapter—for example, saying that it needed to be fleshed out, or that it read like an outline instead of fiction. Some of them penciled in corrections to the grammar or suggestions for better word choices. When I saw these it took all my discipline not to laugh out loud. If it had not been so hilarious, I might have been offended.

Every chapter of the book begins with one of the advice columns that the main character writes, which are intended to be humorous and sarcastic. I wasn’t sure how the sample chapter’s column would be received by my peers.
One of my fellow attendees was a small but tough young woman from Brooklyn, New York. She had buzz-cut hair, and favored sleeveless T-shirts that showed off her impressive biceps. I’m a larger than average man, and fairly fit, but she looked like she could bench press me and then take me apart with a soup spoon.
The day that we workshopped my chapter, this young woman approached me before the class with a scowl on her face. She poked me in the chest and growled, “That was… the fucking…” Long pause, during which I wondered if I would be visiting a hospital soon. Then she broke into a smile. “…funniest thing I have ever read in my life.” She gave me a friendly punch on the arm and went to sit down at her place at the table.

The woman who led our workshop was a famous novelist and essayist, fiercely intelligent and borderline scary. When I had my one-on-one meeting with her, we spent a short time discussing my book. I was worried about the writing style, but she said it was just fine. She thought the idea was fresh, and liked the way every chapter started with a column. After what I’m sure she thought was a decent interval, she said, “You used to work at Microsoft.” I said yes. She said, “What was that like?” And that was the end of the discussion about my book.
I got back at her though. She was rather intimidating, so to deal with my feelings I wrote a sonnet about her thirst for novelty and disdain for cliché, and read it at an informal gathering of the other writers. On the very last day I gave her a copy of the poem, which I think freaked out both her and her assistant.
I said, “It’s not a love poem or anything.”
I do like to leave a good last impression.




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About the author...


Born in Ohio, Chris has moved around too much for anyone's good, living in several places that might be considered tourist attractions. He mines those experiences for the settings of his books.

He lives in Florida with his wife, two dogs, two cats, and a smart-aleck macaw who has pets of her own.




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Special thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources for the chance to bring this tour to you and to the author for the guest post. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, this tour, or those on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title is available now, so click on over to your favorite online retailer to snag your copy today! Be sure to check out the rest of the sites participating for more bookish fun...



Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!


Tuesday, January 24, 2023

REVIEW + GIVEAWAY starring...Rare Birds by Jeff Miller

Hello bookish friends!

Today, I am beyond thrilled to be hosting a spot on the RARE BIRDS by Jeff Miller Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. I need to warn you though... like any good scout, explorer, or bird watcher, you need to be prepared; in this case, bring tissues. No questions! Just listen.  Now, let's check out my review post, make sure you enter the giveaway, and then swan off to check out the other sites participating in the tour!

 

RARE BIRDS

By Jeff Miller

Pub. Date: January 31, 2023

Publisher: Union Square Kids

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 288

Find it: Goodreadshttps://books2read.com/RARE-BIRDS   

Jeff Miller’s heartbreaking, coming-of-age middle-grade novel—inspired by his personal experience living through his own parent’s heart transplant—invites readers into the world of a twelve-year-old birdwatcher looking for a place to call home and a way to save his mother, even if it means venturing deep into Florida swampland.
 
Twelve-year-old Graham Dodds is no stranger to hospital waiting rooms. Sometimes, he feels like his entire life is one big waiting room. Waiting for the next doctor to tell them what’s wrong with his mom. Waiting to find out what city they’re moving to next. Waiting to see if they will finally get their miracle—a heart transplant to save his mom’s life.
 
When Graham gets stuck in Florida for the summer, he meets a girl named Lou at the hospital, and he finds a friend who needs a distraction as much as he does. She tells him about a contest to find the endangered Snail Kite, which resides in the local gator-filled swamps. Together they embark on an adventure, searching for the rare bird . . . and along the way, Graham might just find something else—himself.
 
Jeff Miller crafts a heartfelt story about what it means to live in this unforgettable middle-grade novel. Rare Birds is a rare find that will resonate with fans of the Carl Hiassen’s Hoot and Melissa Savage’s Lemon. For readers looking for novels with literary appeal and classic themes of family, friendship, and the meaning of life, Rare Birds is a perfect pick.  

 

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OMG.

This book was a rare bird indeed!

Graham is a boy looking for normalcy in a world that makes it harder and harder to find. His mom has longterm health issues, so he's constantly in and out of the hospital, but they make things work.  Lou is a girl looking for a chance to make her mark in a world that doesn't always appreciate the rare things in its midst. Her family's trials means she gets Graham's struggles like no other, which makes them even faster friends than most. Together, they'll set out to accomplish his mom's long held dream... but, in the end, cement something so much more, so much bigger than any rare bird sighting could ever possibly be. 

Guys, this book has so much going for it. From Graham's trials with his mom to dealing with feelings of being a burden, issues of bullying, and simply trying to fit in wherever he landed, while helping his mom any way he could. Lou, where do I even start! As much as I loved Graham, she definitely holds a special place in my heart. Her spunky nature, her willingness to help a friend, her fast way of making friends, her "never give up" attitude... all combined, she was a force to be reckoned with and with SUCH a big heart! Nick, Dom's son - friend of Mom, was certainly a character that needed growth, not in the writing sense, but in the HUMAN sense, but that being said, even he was used to convey more. Even a bully can learn from their mistakes, especially when the source of their transition to the darker side is remedied. 

All in all, this was a magnificent work showing the many facets of humankind, the resilience of our spirits, and just how far love, kindness, and determination can truly take us. 


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About the author...

Jeff Miller is a middle-grade author and former camp counselor originally from Kent, Ohio. He loves snow, coffee, and visiting schools to connect with young readers. His mom, a 2018 heart transplant recipient, has always inspired him to face life with humor and heart. He currently lives in Chicago, where he keeps asking his cats for writing advice.

Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

 

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~~~   GIVEAWAY  ~~~

1 winner will receive a finished copy of RARE BIRDS, US Only.

Ends February 7th, midnight EST.




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Special thanks to the Rockstar Book Tours team for the chance to bring this tour to you and to the publisher for the copy for review. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, the publisher, this tour, or those on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title is available January 31st, 2023, so mark your calendar or preorder your copy today! Catch the rest of the tour for more!


Tour Schedule:

Week One:

1/23/2023

YA Books Central

Guest Post/IG Post

1/24/2023

Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Review/IG Post

1/25/2023

Wanderingwitchreads

Review/IG Post

1/26/2023

A Blue Box Full of Books

Review/IG Post

1/27/2023

@carlysunshinebooks

Review/IG Post

Week Two:

1/30/2023

@jael_and_jenessa_reads

Review/IG Post

1/31/2023

hodophile_z

Review/IG Post

2/1/2023

OneMoreExclamation

Review/IG Post

2/2/2023

@froggyreadteach

Review/IG Post

2/3/2023

Nerdophiles

Review/IG Post




Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!




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