Cover Reveal: Lost Horizon by Michelle Hercules [GIVEAWAY]

It’s been quite long (in my opinion) since I’ve done a cover reveal here on my blog so here’s one that sounds quite interesting. I’ve always loved The Wizard of Oz and this book being pitched as Oz in space has got me all sorts of excited!


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Book Title:Lost Horizon
Author:Michelle Hercules
Series: Oz in Space, #1
Publication Date: June 10th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult

Goodreads

A magical planet torn apart by war. A defiant space pilot cadet determined to save the ones she loves. The adventure of a lifetime.

Oz like you have never seen before.

Space Academy prodigy Dorothy Hanson doesn’t have time for love nonsense. She has one goal, complete the mission her parents started before their untimely death.

When a cosmic disturbance hits the Kansas Space Station, Dorothy seizes that opportunity to go on her first space voyage. She didn’t expect to be sucked into a vortex nor land on a strange planet ravaged by war.

Stranded, she must embark on a perilous mission to the Land of Oz, the only nation that possesses the technology to send her home. Three strangers join Dorothy in her quest, all carrying reasons of their own for reaching Emerald City. A man without memories marked with a strange symbol on his face. A cyborg with a chip on his shoulder and a mysterious past. And a scarred hellioncat plagued by nightmares in the dark.

Dorothy doesn’t know if she can trust them, but as their journey progresses, their bond becomes stronger and Dorothy’s feelings evolve from suspicion to caring too much. Torn between contradicting emotions, she must find the strength to fight the evil forces that stack up against them along the way. Surviving the trip on the yellow road is priority number one, but can she survive losing her heart?


ARE YOU READY??

CLICK TO REVEAL!
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This honestly looks so good!! I’m even more interested in picking this one up. I’m even thinking of requesting an ARC of this.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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USA Today bestselling author Michelle Hercules always knew creative arts were her calling but not in a million years did she think she would write a novel. With a background in fashion design she thought she would follow that path. But one day, out of the blue, she had an idea for a book. One page turned into ten pages, ten pages turned into a hundred, and before she knew, her first book, The Prophecy of Arcadia, was born.

Michelle Hercules resides in The Netherlands with her husband and daughter. She is currently working on the Legends of Gattica series.

Website | Goodreads | Instagram | Facebook | Facebook VIP Group


Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for organizing this cover reveal!

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Blog Tour: Enlightenment by Reno Ursal [EXCERPT]

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Good morning, friends! Today I bring you a book about mythology. If you know me, then you know I’m head over heels in love with mythology. But this specific blog tour is special since it revolves around Philippine mythology. Written by a Filipino himself, it is remarkable to see our own nation’s folklore in books like this. So, I wanted to share with you an excerpt!


42361566Book Title: Enlightenment
Author: Reno Ursal
Series: Bathala #1
Publisher: Pacific Boulevard
Publication Date: March 14th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Content Warnings: violence, descriptions of blood and other serious injuries

Goodreads / Amazon

“Enlightenment” is the first book in The Bathala Series, inspired by the beautiful folklore of the Philippines. This is the coming of age journey of Filipina-American Dorothy Dizon and transfer student Adrian Rosario, who teeter between friendship and intimacy throughout the novel.

“Enlightenment” introduces Dorothy as an 18 year old high school student in the United States, learning through Adrian about the mysterious folklore that binds them to the obscure history of the Philippines. She realizes that supernatural forces are no defense for a consuming love, a love that has her lean on her best friend for support, the beautiful Stella De Guzman. Adrian is a blood-eating Danag warrior sent to protect Dorothy from unseen enemies of his secret society in the Philippines, a society that changed the course of history prior to Spanish colonization. Adrian’s doubts about Dorothy are put to the test until the final moment when he feels a connection he could never predict. Together, Dorothy and Adrian experience a metamorphosis of historic proportions, a metamorphosis that changes their souls.


EXCERPT

CHAPTER ONE: DOROTHY

Stella and I were at Tao Nightclub dancing to a dope EDM set by DJ Asia. Out of nowhere, a middle-aged man emerged onto the dance floor. He wasn’t interested in the scantily clad go-go dancers on raised platforms, shaking their butts around us. Instead, he ogled DJ Asia as she cupped headphones against her ears, her long hair and curvy silhouette hovering behind a laptop in the elevated DJ booth. When his view was blocked by a crowd of partygoers, he looked in our direction. He approached us, his musty scent forcing me to hold my breath. I turned away.

“Hey there,” he said in a raspy voice.

Stella nudged me, a signal to somehow get rid of him. She’d done the honors last night at Club Lavo in the Palazzo Casino. Now it was my turn.

I reluctantly turned back. “Hello,” I replied, hating that my voice sounded more polite than intended.

“So you two alone?” the man asked.

“Our boyfriends went to get us drinks.”

The man shifted closer. “Your boyfriends are idiots for leaving you two by yourselves.”

Stella gave me a face before disappearing into the crowd by the bar. I tried to think of any reason to get out of the conversation. “They’ll be back, but thanks.”

The man reached for my arm. “I guess it’s you and me. Your friend left.” He somehow wrapped his arm around my waist and twisted me into him.

“What do you think you’re doing?” I said in a rising voice.

“Come on now,” he breathed in my ear. “Let’s make this a night you’ll never forget.”

“Frickin’ let go of me! You’re like fifty years old. I could be your daughter!”

The man reached for my arms. “You can’t believe I’m old enough to be your daddy, can you?”

A crescendo of sharp energy rose through me once I heard the word daddy. Perhaps being abandoned by my father at a young age had actually affected me, or maybe it was because of this guy’s creepy demeanor. Whatever it was made me twist his hand and pin his neck against the wall with my forearm.

“I’m only eighteen!” I yelled. The look of shock on his face gave me a moment of satisfaction as I fought off a sudden urge to lick and bite his neck. Why did I want anything to do with his neck?

“Feisty,” the man replied hoarsely, my arm still pressed against his Adam’s apple. The color drained from his face, and I almost smiled at that, but the scent of his skin overcame me.

“Who are you!” I growled. And why did my throat feel like it was starting to burn?

The man strained for a breath. “I’ve never seen you before in my life!”

“Why did you walk up to me?”

“You were staring at me! And it’s hard not to notice girls who look like twins!”

It was a bullshit response, even if Stella and I did look like twins, at least on this night. We had decided to wear matching black halter tops and skirts, while I added three inches thanks to my only pair of wedges. Stella soared like a model and her skin had a golden radiance; I was never in her league, but tagged along when she begged me to go out on the strip. And because I had given in, I had to confront this creepy guy who had noticed us in the Tao Nightclub’s strobe lights.

“You shouldn’t even be looking at girls our age!” I yelled.

My hold on his neck loosened when my stomach inexplicably convulsed in a split second of pain. I cursed the impeccable timing of female cramps as the man staggered away. A blue vein spiraled from his neck into his shoulder blade. I leaned closer to touch his skin until two powerful arms grabbed the guy’s collar.

Harvey, a bouncer at the club, looked at me with a shocked expression. I backpedaled, suddenly aware an altercation had started because of me. Smoke seemed to rise from Harvey’s face and over his bald head. There was absolutely no way the guy had a chance now. I took a deep breath, the burn in my throat quickly extinguished. What. The. Heck.

“What’s going on here?” Harvey yelled into the man’s face.

The man pointed in my direction. “She attacked me!”

Harvey tugged the man’s collar and pulled him towards an exit sign. “You got to be kidding! She’s barely over a hundred pounds!”

The stranger tried to push him, but his arms caught air against Harvey’s six-foot frame. Once they disappeared down a dark corridor, chills ran through me.

Stella emerged and held my hands. “What was that about?”

Exactly. Why did I growl and jump on the guy? I leaned towards Stella’s ear. “I’m not sure what just happened!”

Stella held my shoulders. “Oh my God! I ran to get Harvey when he reached for your arm. But that’s before you pinned him against the wall!”

“I had to defend myself!”

“Shit! Maybe it’s time for me to join Tae Kwon Do so I can be like my girl Dorothy Dizon! You kicked his sorry ass!”

I could still smell the trail of the man’s scent. “I feel…gross!” I absolutely wanted to take a shower to make the ickiness go away.

“Don’t let that loser ruin our night! Come on!” Stella pulled me to the dance floor where she attempted an exaggerated running man in her flats, which somehow made me laugh. I tried not to get into the cheesiness of classic dance moves, but Stella’s enthusiasm broke me down. Harvey emerged and motioned us to the bar in the middle of my half-hearted Roger Rabbit. He asked if I was okay. My insides squirmed at the reminder of the man’s arm around my waist, but I assured him I wasn’t hurt. Then a fight broke out.

Harvey sprinted up the stairs to the second level. He pushed a drunk and pointed at another guy to stay at the end of the bar. There were verbal threats between two guys with high-pitched yells from their girlfriends, making the scene even more dramatic. By the time Harvey and his crew had handled the situation, Stella and I had agreed to call it a night.

After a pit stop in the ladies’ room, we waved bye to DJ Asia in the booth and accepted Harvey’s offer to escort us to my car in case the creepy guy was loitering in the casino. Once we found my Mercedes in the self-parking garage, we thanked him for kicking the guy out. He said it was nothing and watched us drive off before he went back in the Palazzo.

After hitting all the greens on the strip, I accelerated into traffic and started to feel normal, especially when our favorite Cardi B. song played on the radio. But after dropping Stella off and promising to text her from home, my hands quivered on the steering wheel as I swallowed a strange craving at the back of my throat. I focused on keeping my trembling hands from driving me off the road as the image of the guy’s creepy smile made me nauseous.

Who the fuck did he think he was?

I pressed my forehead against the steering wheel and took long breaths after pulling into the driveway, trying to settle the queasy reaction inside me. I texted Stella that I was home and quickly walked in the house.

I checked on my mom upstairs. She was snoring. Loudly. Which meant she would be knocked out until late morning. I closed her door quietly and threw my smoky halter top and skirt in the hamper. I took a long-ass shower, making sure my entire body was slathered with body soap. After toweling off and brushing my teeth, I changed into my favorite Golden State Warriors jersey and shorts and plopped on my bed, cringing at my urge to lick the sleazy man’s neck. No girl should ever want to lick that man’s neck! After a half-hour of tossing and turning, I fell asleep listening to Coldplay’s Viva La Vida on repeat in my earbuds, hoping I wasn’t losing my mind.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Reno Ursal

Reno Ursal is a Filipino American author who received an English B.A. from The University of Michigan and resides in Northern California. He is the epitome of a familiar U.S. immigrant story when his parents moved to the States from the Philippines (by way of Guyana) in 1974 in search of a better life. He grew up in a small Northern Michigan town as his parents established themselves in their new life. His summer trips to Cebu kept him connected to his Filipino family. The hikes up the mountain from his ancestral home in Catmon had his imagination swirling with ideas, especially with the legends of duwendes and other creatures of Filipino folklore.

Reno was an active reader growing up and started writing during his participation in the Huron Shores Writing Institute in high school. When he took an Asian Pacific American Literature course taught by Dr. Stephen Sumida at University of Michigan, the idea of writing a Filipino American story stuck at the back of his mind. Life moved fast after college. He met a girl named Lynette in California. They married in 2000 and became proud parents of three 2nd generation Filipino American children. He had a full-time job and less time to write, but found time burning the midnight oil. His first novel “The Three Promises” was written when his kids were babies. This novel is currently an unpublished novel, but spawned the hunger to write another novel entitled “The Last Remaining.” Many drafts later, the title changed to “Enlightenment.”


JOIN THE TWITTER CHAT!

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Come join the #EnlightenmentBlogTour Twitter chat on March 30, 9 PM (Philippine time) and get to know more about the book, the series, the other bloggers in this tour and many more!

Blog Tour: Beware the Night by Jessika Fleck [REVIEW + GIVEAWAY!]

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6Book Title: Beware the Night
Author: Jessika Fleck
Series: None (Standalone/No mention of sequel)
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: March 12th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

On the island of Bellona, they worship the sun. Seventeen-year-old Veda understands that keeping the sun content ensures plentiful crops, peace and harmony, and a thriving economy. But as a member of the Basso class, she never reaps those benefits.

Life as a Basso is one fraught with back-breaking work and imposing rules. Her close friendship with Nico is Veda’s one saving grace in a cruel world where the division between her people and the ruling Dogio is as wide and winding as the canals that snake through their island.

But when Veda’s grandfather is chosen as the next sacrificial offering to keep the sun’s favor, Veda is forced to see the injustice of her world. Turning away from the sun means she must join the night—and an underground revolution she’s been taught to fear all her life.


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours.

MY THOUGHTS

YOU NEED THIS ON YOUR TBR, I SWEAR TO GOD. Normally, I wouldn’t start my review with such aggression but, goddamn, this book is fantastic. AND LOOK AT THAT COVER! It’s so stunning!

Let me start with Veda, our main character, since I loved her so much. She’s a badass and she’s clearly my type of a main character: strong and hard-willed. Unlike others, she does not want to just be a symbol for the people in a raging war; she wants to actually fight with her people. Although she’s scared and admittedly not very equipped for the role, she does not cower. Also, from the first mention of whatever Veda is, it all seemed so flaky for me as well so I know where she is coming from with her doubts.

Nico, Veda’s best friend, was a well-written character as well. His personality resonates true depth and his genuine love for his friend seeps through this book’s pages. I feel every ounce of happiness, hurt, sadness, or whatever emotions he may feel and I’ve come to love him until the end of the book.

Although I’m really not one for love triangles, this one is an exception. It has been executed really well as I can understand and sympathize with each one of them. Despite the tropes, I really enjoyed this book’s plot and the concept about the Sun and Moon being worshiped by the people is something I haven’t read before. I vaguely remember that with every turn of the page, this book kept me wanting more and more!

If you haven’t yet, go get this book for yourself. I was delighted that I thoroughly enjoyed this one. And with the cliffhanger at the end, I refuse to believe that Beware the Night is a standalone. *huffs indignantly* I’m really looking forward to seeing how the story develops.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jessica.jpgJessika Fleck is an author, unapologetic coffee drinker, and knitter — she sincerely hopes to one day discover a way to do all three at once. Until then, she continues collecting vintage typewriters and hourglasses, dreaming of an Ireland getaway, and convincing her husband they NEED more kittens. Her YA debut, THE CASTAWAYS (Entangled TEEN), is now available. Her next YA novel, BEWARE THE NIGHT (Swoon Reads/Macmillan) releases March 12, 2019. More at www.jessikafleck.com

Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook


GIVEAWAY

Win a print copy of Beware the Night (US/CAN)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: Smoke and Summons by Charlie N. Holmberg [REVIEW, FAVORITE QUOTES + GIVEAWAY!]

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SMOKE AND SUMMONS COVER (1).jpgBook Title: Smoke and Summons
Author: Charlie N. Holmberg
Series: Numina Trilogy #1
Publisher: 47North
Publication Date: February 1st 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository / Barnes & Noble

A captivating world of monsters and magic from the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Paper Magician Series.

As a human vessel for an ancient spirit, Sandis lives no ordinary life. At the command of her master, she can be transformed against her will into his weapon—a raging monster summoned to do his bidding. Unlike other vessels, Sandis can host extremely powerful spirits, but hosting such creatures can be fatal. To stay alive, she must run. And in a city fueled by smoke and corruption, she finds a surprising ally.

A cunning thief for hire, Rone owns a rare device that grants him immortality for one minute every day—a unique advantage that will come in handy in Sandis’s fight for freedom. But Sandis’s master knows how powerful she is. He’s determined to get her back, and he has the manpower to find her, wherever she runs.

Now, to outwit her pursuers, Sandis must put all her trust in Rone and his immortal device. For her master has summoned more than mere men to hunt her down…


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour hosted by Fantastic Flying Book Club.

MY THOUGHTS

I’m so excited to finally be able to share my thoughts about this book. This is the first I’ve read of the author’s works and I must say that I am impressed! The writing is spectacular and it kept me reading, more and more.

Smoke & Summons was unlike anything I’ve read before. It has a unique plot, with our main character starting out as a vessel for summoning unearthly beings to do unspeakable acts at the command of her owner.

Also, this book involves a rich background and history of both the main characters and the fantasy world itself. It is evident that this has been well-thought of and has been executed perfectly. Aside from that, I want to let you know that I’ve read this faster than I anticipated, despite my hectic school schedule. That’s how hooked I was. There definitely wasn’t a dull moment in this book, and it always kept me wanting more!

If that isn’t enough, Sandis and Rone were very likable main characters. Sandis, having lived most of her life growing up isolated and underground, is still pretty shell-shocked about the life above ground. I love her so much, that precious human. She has gone through so much but she has been nothing but nice still. I sympathized with her throughout the whole book. On the other hand, Rone definitely knows his way around. He is strong, hard-willed and adaptable to different situations. This makes them such a great duo since their personalities clash. They make great teamwork and it’s funny seeing Rone crack a sarcastic remark to just go over Sandis’s head! 😂

Overall, Smoke & Summons was truly a fantastic read. For someone getting into YA fantasy (and even those who mainly read books in that genre), this is an amazing book, jam-packed with action and excitement that will surely get you going! I’m very much looking forward to read the next in the series and the author’s other works.


FAVORITE QUOTES

She’d always loved the sun. No matter how hard things got, the sun was a bright constant against the city’s smoke and fear.

“You talk like you’re a thing.”
“To him, I am.” Her touch crept up to his neck. “I’m glad you don’t think so.”

Sandis hugged herself, trying to hold the sensation in. She balled her body around it, protecting that last semblance of love.

She could protect them, even when no one had protected her.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

author.jpgBorn in Salt Lake City, Charlie N. Holmberg was raised a Trekkie alongside three sisters who also have boy names. She is a proud BYU alumna, plays the ukulele, owns too many pairs of glasses, and finally adopted a dog. Her fantasy Paper Magician series, which includes The Paper Magician, The Glass Magician, and The Master Magician, has been optioned by the Walt Disney Company. Her stand-alone novel, Followed by Frost, was nominated for a 2016 RITA Award for Best Young Adult Romance, and her novel The Fifth Doll won the 2018 Whitney for Speculative Fiction. She is a board member for Deep Magic Ezine and currently lives with her family in Utah. Visit her at http://www.charlienholmberg.com.

Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram


GIVEAWAY

Win a finished copy of Smoke and Summons by Charlie N. Holmberg (US Only)

Start Date: 10th February 2019
End Date: 5th March 2019

Book Review: The Secret of Dinswood

42051408Book Title: The Secret of Dinswood
Author: Ellen Alexander
Series: N/A (Standalone)
Publisher: BHC Press
Publication Date: February 26th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Mystery, Middle Grade
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Amazon Book Depository

Desperate to get away from a home where she no longer feels wanted, twelve-year-old Emma Higsby is elated when she wins a scholarship to the prestigious Dinswood Academy boarding school.

Emma quickly falls in love with the renovated castle nestled in the heart of the mountains. But when rumors surface that her new school is having financial problems and may have to close, she begins to search for a way to save her new home.

When she discovers a riddle of buried treasure left by the eccentric school’s founder, Lord Dinswood, she and her friends must use their courage and intelligence to solve each clue.

But someone else is searching for the treasure as well. Emma and her friends will have to race against time and discover the secret of Dinswood first!


I received a copy of this book from Netgalley (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my thoughts in any way.

MY THOUGHTS

The book in a few words: Boarding school. Pirate treasure. Mysterious hunt. Beautiful friendships. If that does not intrigue you at least a tiny bit, then I’m not sure this book’s for you.

The Secret of Dinswood follows a group of students from Dinswood Academy in their quest to save their school from financial troubles by hunting for Lord Dinswood’s hidden treasure. For a school that’s been struggling financially, Dinswood Academy is so freaking extravagant! This is exactly the kind of school I would’ve dreamed of attending during my childhood.

Emma and her friends only went on this hunt to save their school from crippling financial troubles. They go on and on about how they must save the school because it means everything to them despite only being there for, what, a few months? Granted, they did meet their best friends there but is going to separate schools really that awful to risk their lives on the hunt?

The main character here is so well-developed; I love her so much! At the start of the book, I could really feel Emma’s insecurities and anxiousness of being out of place in Dinswood Academy. Since it’s a prestigious boarding school, only accepting the richest of the rich, Emma could only afford to go there because of her scholarship. Despite the best efforts of her friends, she can’t deny that sometimes, she feel alienated among the wealthy crowd of students. I absolutely sympathize for her because I, personally, know that feeling which made me love and understand her better.

With that, I’d like to mention that Martha, Emma’s best friend, is the epitome of a great friend. She has always been there for Emma from the beginning, and she has never let the superficial things like financial status get in the way of their friendship. However, although Martha has been a wonderful buddy to Emma, she hasn’t been much help in the treasure hunt and frankly, she’s a bit repetitive too. In another time, and in another story, I really would have loved her more.

The pacing was a bit slow at first, which allowed readers to fully get to know the main characters and get accustomed to the school. Unfortunately, I think the book could have done with a little bit of a faster pace in terms of the mystery since they only discovered a substantial piece of clue at around 72% of the book, and they were still clueless up to that point.

This is a great book and I would really recommend it if you don’t mind a slower pace in mystery and if you love stories in boarding schools as much as I do!

 

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