Book Blitz: Grown Ups’ Crusade by Audrey Greathouse (Excerpt & Giveaway)
Today I'm posting as part of the book blitz for The Grown-Ups' Crusade by Audrey Greathouse. The Grown-Ups' Crusade is the third book in the YA Fantasy/Fairy Tales series, The Neverland Wars. This title was released earlier this week on the 27th March.
To celebrate the release, I get to share an excerpt as well as an international giveaway.
Carry on reading!
The Grown Ups’ Crusade
by Audrey Greathouse
(The Neverland Wars #3)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: March 27th 2018
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult
Gwen has returned to Neverland with Peter Pan and the lost children, but this time, the adults are following close behind.The Anomalous Activity Department has plans to finally conquer Neverland by bringing the final battle to the vulnerable island. The children will have to rally fairies, mermaids, and allies from other magical realms to stand a chance against the shadow-casting army of grown-ups heading for them.
The black-coat soldiers are far from their only problem. Lasiandra is missing. No one has seen her since Gwen left her at the lakeside with Jay, and the mermaids searching have found only grave omens in the stars. With the island on the cusp of a war that threatens to strip the land of its magic, the last thing Peter and Gwen need is the ancient flagship that appears on their horizon, sailing pirates straight for their shores.
When the battle begins amid old and new enemies, Gwen’s maturity will be a double-edged sword. She will either grow stronger or grow up… maybe both.
Audrey Greathouse is a lost child in a perpetual quest for her own post-adolescent Neverland. Originally from Seattle, she earned her English B.A. from Southern New Hampshire University's online program while backpacking around the west coast and pretending to be a student at Stanford. A pianist, circus artist, fire-eater, street mime, swing dancer, and novelist, Audrey wears many hats wherever she is. She has grand hopes for the future which include publishing more books and owning a crockpot. You can find her at audreygreathouse.com
Excerpt:Excerpt 1: A Mermaid Goes Missing
Gwen gathered fruit as fast as she could in the dim of the early morning. Mangos and marionberries, peaches and papayas, star fruit and oranges… she shoved the land fruit into her bag, never breaking pace as she trekked weast across the island. She needed to get to the coast and back before any fairies awoke. The entire fairy population had indulged in joyful revelries the night before, celebrating some amorphous holiday unknown to humans. The dawn would find even the most temperate fairies still lolling in drunken dreams and merry slumber. But dawn had not yet arrived and not everyone slept; stars still speckled the bluing sky and certain inhabitants of Neverland were still speaking with them.
Tromping over vines and fungi, Gwen bushwhacked her way through the forest-jungle on anxious feet. The mermaids had not been helpful as of late.
The new mermaids she’d met wouldn’t even give her their names. Eglantine and Cynara had been snide at best, and contemptuous at worst. Gwen wouldn’t have minded it—she didn’t care what mermaids thought of her—but she felt certain they knew what had happened to Lasiandra and refused to explain. This drowsy morning offered her a chance to tempt them with an overabundance of land fruit without anyone noticing. She would persuade the mermaids to cede their starry secrets and hurry back before any stray fairy or curious child found her at the incriminating lagoon.
Gwen reached the wood’s end and hurried down the steps carved into the chalky cliff face. She moved so fast she half-flew toward the slender figures half-submerged in the lagoon.
Gwen had not seen Lasiandra since the night she escaped with Jay from Lake Agana. In the chaos, she had never retrieved the scale from Lasiandra, and thus lost her ability to call her friend. She hadn’t worried about it—until days and weeks passed without sight of her at the lagoon.
“What business have you with Lasiandra?” Eglantine had demanded last time Gwen visited. “What matter is she to you?”
“I’m just worried about her,” Gwen had answered, innocent and truthful. The region’s entire Anomalous Activity Department had been on duty that night, trying to apprehend lost children and capture whatever magic followed them. Lasiandra’s disappearance was ominous, to say the least. A few fairies had not returned from the mission, and there was no question of what fate had befallen them.
In response, the mermaids had only mocked her, contorting their melodic voices into cackling imitations of her land-dwelling accent, “I’m just worried about her.”
“Worried about her! Concerned about a mermaid?” Cynara had declared, insulted and amused. “We are not of such a feeble nature as you landmaids. Mermaids have more strength in a single scale than you have in all of your heart. You need not worry for a mermaid, girl. We can take care of ourselves.”
Gwen had wanted to believe her.
GIVEAWAY - ENDS APRIL 5TH
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
Blog Tour - Reviews: Moribund (#1) and Ouroboros (#2) by Genevieve Iseult Edredge
Today is my day to post as part of the blog tour for Ouroboros by Genevieve Iseult Eldredge. Ouroboros is the second book in the Circuit Fae series, a kickass YA Fantasy series. As part of the blog tour, I was able to read both Moribund, the first book in the series, and Ouroboros and today I get to review them for you. As well as the reviews, I'll also be sharing a pretty awesome giveaway that has been kindly set up by the author.
Well I have a lot to tell you about, so let's go!
Moribund (Circuit Fae #1) by Genevieve Iseult
Synopsis: High school sophomore Syl Skye is an ordinary girl. At least, she’s trying to be. School photographer and all-around geek, she introverts hard and keeps her crush on sexy-hot glam-Goth star Euphoria on the down-low. But when a freak accident Awakens her slumbering power, Syl is forced to accept a destiny she never wanted—as the last sleeper-princess of the fair Fae.
Suddenly hunted by the dark Fae, Syl’s pretty sure things can’t get any worse. Until she discovers her secret crush, Euphoria, is really a dark Circuit Fae able to harness the killing magic in technology. Even worse, she’s been sent to destroy Syl. With mean girls and magic and dark Fae trying to kill her, it’ll take more than just “clap if you believe in fairies” to save Syl’s bacon—not to mention, her heart.
I'll only talk briefly about Moribund, because most of what I would say is the same for Ouroboros, so I'll leave it till then.
Moribund is where the series starts and oh does it start well.
In Moribund, Syl is introduced to this whole new world, which she thought was made up and only in the stories her Grandma used to tell her. She was in a big train accident and was one of the very few who survived. It's the year after and she's back at school and she has no idea what will be happening in just a couple of days.
The book starts off well and I was sucked into the story pretty quickly. From this point onwards, the book just built in intensity and I whizzed straight through it, barely able to put it down at times. There were some many tense bits and twists and turns. I thought I was doing pretty well at guessing where the story would go, but I was wrong at so many points as instead a big twist would come and completely switch the direction of the story. I loved this as you never knew who you could trust or what they would do next.
The action scenes were my favourite bits and they were just so addictive! Once I was reading one of those scenes, I couldn't put the book down until I knew it'd calmed down. The description and the writing in these bits kept the tension building, but also made the scenes so vivid. I could really get a feel for what was going on but also for what the characters were going through.
Overall, I really loved Moribund and ended up jumping straight into Ouroboros because I was desperate to know what would happen next.
Rate - 4.25/5
by Genevieve Iseult Eldredge
(Circuit Fae #2)
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: March 27th 2018
Genres: LGBTQ+, Urban Fantasy, Young AdultSynopsis:
Syl’s a princess of the fair Fae.
Her girlfriend Rouen is a princess of the dark Fae.
Mortal enemies. Girlfriends.
Relationship status: It's Complicated
All introverted geek girl Syl Skye wants is to get close to her girlfriend. But when you can kill with a simple touch, a normal date night’s not really in the cards. As it happens, Syl is also a sleeper-princess of the fair Fae. Last year after a freak accident, her power Awakened, granting her white flame to purify the darkness.
Rouen Rivoche is that darkness—a dark Fae princess whose power to bewitch mortals is as terrifying as the violet lightning she controls. Rouen is Syl’s total opposite. Her mortal enemy.
She’s also Syl’s beloved girlfriend.
And even though they joined forces to defeat the evil Circuit Fae who harnessed the killing magic in technology to take over the school…that was so last year.
Now, Syl’s touch could mean Rouen’s death. Her increasing power is spiraling out of control, threatening to burn down everything she and Rouen have built together.
Their lives, their love, their very world..
I kept my Moribund review short specifically so I could spend more time talking about Ouroboros, because in fairness, the tour is focused on it and I just have a lot to say.
One of the main focuses of the series, among all the different Fae and the fighting and action scenes, is the relationship between Syl and Rouen/Euphoria. Both characters are gay and they sort of have a relationship going, it would be more of one if they didn't have to keep saving the world of Fae every few minutes. I was so glad to see this representation in the series and I loved seeing how this translated into working together and having to put other stuff before their relationship. It showed how tough they were together. In this relationship there was also the aspect that their two worlds don't get along, they hate each other and both worlds would be against their relationship, but they continue to fight. They fight for what they want and it was so empowering that they put themselves first before these rules and what other people would think.
This story is told in two perspectives, Syl's and then Rouen's/Euphoria's. I loved this dual-POV and the switch in the order of the chapters as when they were apart it showed what the other one was doing but even when they were together, it showed the different ways in which they think and act. It added another dimension to the story and allowed me to understand both characters a lot more than it would've done in a single POV.
Moribund introduced the world, but Ouroboros extended and developed it so much more. As the reader you're able to better understand the relationship between the Fae, their two worlds, but you are also introduced to new sorts of people/magical species (?). I'm not sure exactly how to explain it, but for example in Ouroboros, we learn about a Puca and what they area and how they ended up like that. I found it really interesting to learn about and how that that fitted with the storyline.
All of the main characters were so well developed that I even like Fiann and if you know what she's like then that's pretty unexpected. I loved the high school dynamic, but also the greater evil and good fight between Syl, Rouen and Fiann that most of the school knew nothing about.
I enjoyed how both main characters were strong women, but they were more importantly strong, lesbian/gay women. They both stood up for themselves and I loved how strong Syl stood against Aldebaran when he was treating her like an object and his possession. She was having none of it and showed why that wasn't right and I think that whole idea was dealt with well.
One of my favourite characters has to be Syl's mum. I wasn't that impressed with her at first in Moribund, but as this series develops, she's showing how kickass she can be and it shows where Syl got her tough side from.
Overall, I also enjoyed Ouroboros. I only had one minor issue and that was that the dialogue did get a bit repetitive at times and it felt like the same ideas were being mentioned just a bit too often. I am looking forward to seeing where the story will go next. I'd definitely recommend this series if you're looking for a fantasy with strong female characters because trust me, Syl and Rouen definitely bring that.
RATE - 4/5
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Genevieve_Iseult_Eldredge_Ouroboros?id=tqslDwAAQBAJ
Raised by witches and dragons in the northern wilds, GIE writes angsty urban fantasy YA romance--where girls who are mortal enemies kick butt, take names, and fall in love against all odds.
She enjoys long hikes in the woods (where better to find the fair folk?), believing in fairies (in fact, she's clapping right now), dancing with dark elves (always wear your best shoes), being a self-rescuing princess (hello, black belt!), and writing diverse books about teenage girls finding love, romance, and their own inner power.
She might be planning high tea at the Fae Court right now.
GIE is multi-published, and in her role as an editor has helped hundreds of authors make their dream of being published a reality.
Join GIE's newsletter at Monster House Books and never miss a release: http://monsterhousebooks.com/contact
A big thank you to Xpresso Tours and Genevieve for having me on this blog tour!
Book Blitz: Owl Eyes by Molly Lazer (Excerpt & Giveaway)
Today I'm posting as part of the book blitz for Owl Eyes by Molly Lazer. Owl Eyes is a new YA Fantasy/Fairy Tale book that was released on the 20th March this year. I get to share with you an excerpt from the book as well as a giveaway. Unfortunately, this giveaway is only open for US & Canada entries, but I'll talk more about the giveaway at the end.
Carry on reading!
Owl Eyes: A Fairy Tale
by Molly Lazer
Publication date: March 20th 2018
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult
Nora knows three things: she is a servant, her parents are dead, and she lives in the kitchen house with her adoptive family. But her world is torn apart when she discovers that her birth father has always been right there, living in the house she serves.
This discovery leads Nora to more questions. Why was she thrown in an ash-covered room for asking about her father? Why is a silver-bladed knife the only inheritance from her birth mother? Why is magic forbidden in her household—and throughout the province of the Runes? The answers may not be the ones Nora hoped for, as they threaten a possible romance and her relationship with the adoptive family she loves.
With the announcement of a royal ball, Nora must decide what she is willing to give up in order to claim her stolen birthright, and whether this new life is worth losing her family—and herself.
Molly Lazer is a former associate editor at Marvel Comics, where she worked on books such as Fantastic Four, Captain America, New Avengers, and cult favorite comic book Spider-Girl. After returning to graduate school to receive a degree in education, she began a career as a high school reading, writing, and drama teacher. She also serves as a professional critiquer for Comics Experience, helping aspiring comic book writers finesse scripts for publication.
In 2016, Molly received a MFA in Creative Writing from Rosemont College. Her short stories have been featured in numerous literary magazines including Gone Lawn, LIT, and Silver Blade. She lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and twin sons. Owl Eyes is her first novel.
Light spilled into the room. I opened my eyes into small slits and peeked through my fingers. I could just make out a female figure, waist tightly corseted and gown flaring out at the hips.
“Don’t be daft, Eleanor,” Lady Portia said. “Get up.”
If I had the strength to move, I would have run from the room as fast as my feet would carry me. Instead, I curled into a ball on the ground. Even though I squeezed my eyes shut, I could still see the orange glow from the torches in the hall.
“I said get up.” Lady Portia grabbed my arm in the exact spot where she bruised me before. I cried out as she hauled me to my feet.
“Have you learned your lesson?” Her breath was sweet, like lavender. I wanted to retch on her shoes. I could feel the darkness reaching for me with sticky-slick fingers.
“Yes, ma’am,” I whispered as loud as my dry throat would allow.
“I can’t hear you.” She tightened her grip on my arm, and it was all I could do not to whimper as my eyes finally adjusted to the light.
“Yes, ma’am,” I repeated, louder. My head pounded. She released my arm.
Gold eyes stared at me from a mirror that hung on the opposite wall, daring me to make a move. The girl in the mirror had swallowed the darkness of the room; my shadow-self stared out from the glass. Her skin was dead black. I looked down at my arms. They were covered in ash from the floor of the room with no windows. I screamed.
Lady Portia’s hand cracked across my cheek. “Stop that,” she hissed.
I scraped my arms with hands that were just as black. I smelled ash every time I breathed in.
Siobhan and Annabelle’s laughter echoed through the hall. I had to get out of there. Lady Portia grabbed the back of my shirt as I braced to run.
“Girls!” she barked as Siobhan and Annabelle rounded the corner. “No running in the hall.”
The girls skidded to a stop in front of us.
“Ella-Della!” Annabelle said. “What happened?” She looked up, appealing to Lady Portia. “Mother, she didn’t really break my bird. It was an accident!”
“Don’t call her that name, Annabelle,” Portia said. “You sound like an imbecile.”
“An imbecile who got her own toy stuck in a tree.” Siobhan swatted Annabelle’s sleeve and cocked her head at me. “You look like an owl with those yellow eyes. You’re so dirty they’re all I can see. Are you hungry, Owl Eyes? I’ll see if I can find you a mouse for supper.”
She laughed and began to hoot. Annabelle joined in, and Portia sighed with disgust.
“Take her back to the kitchen house,” Portia said. “And get these two ready for dinner.”
I hadn’t noticed Sarah and another servant standing there. Sarah ushered Siobhan and Annabelle back down the hall.
“Bye, Owl Eyes,” Siobhan called over her shoulder.
GIVEAWAY - ENDS APRIL 5TH 2018
Blitz-wide giveaway (US/CAN)
Can Dreams Come True? by Krysten Lindsay (Excerpt & Giveaway)
I'm back with yet another book blitz. What a surprise?! Ignore my sarcasm, but today I'm posting as part of the book blitz for Can Dreams Come True? by Krysten Lindsay Hager. Can Dreams Come True? is a YA Contemporary Romance book that was released about a week ago on March 20th. Today I get to share an excerpt from the book as well as an international giveaway.
Carry on reading!
Can Dreams Come True?
by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Publication date: March 20th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Synopsis:Cecily has always had a huge crush on singer Andrew Holiday and she wants to be an actress, so she tags along when her friend auditions for his new video. However, the director isn’t looking for an actress, but rather the girl next door—and so is Andrew. Cecily gets a part in the video and all of Andrew’s attention on the set. Her friend begins to see red and Cecily’s boyfriend is seeing green—as in major jealousy. A misunderstanding leaves Cecily and her boyfriend on the outs and Andrew hopes to pick up the pieces as he’s looking for someone more stable in his life than the models he’s dated. Soon Cecily begins to realize Andrew understands her more than her small-town boyfriend—but can her perfect love match really be her favorite rock star?
Who knew all those embarrassing, cringe-y moments in middle school and high school could turn into a career? And who would have thought that daydreaming in math class would pay off down the road?
Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values.
She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like, Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2) and Dating the It Guy. True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book and the Dayton Book Expo Bestseller Award for childen/teens. Competing with the Star is a Readers’ Favorite Book Award Finalist. Krysten’s work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times, Springfield News-Sun, Grand Blanc View, Dayton Daily News and on Living Dayton. Coming soon: Can Dreams Come True
Excerpt:Andrew sat back and nodded. “Well, Dimitri got the song, you know? He understood what I was looking for—a relationship where two people understand each other on a spiritual level. You know, where their souls connect. Make sense?”
“Yeah, is that what you have with your girlfriend?” I asked hoping it didn’t look like I as phishing for info on who he was dating.
He shook his head. “Nah, I’ve never had anything like that before. But it’s the ultimate idea though, you know? How about you?”
“No, never,” I said and then I felt guilt wash over me. “I mean, I’ve had deep connections with people—just not what you’re talking about or what Dimitri said—the whole deep mystical thing.”
Andrew stared at me and I felt like he was looking into my soul. “Sometimes it feels like it’s impossible to get that connection with anybody. Or you think you’re halfway there and they say they get you, but then something happens and you know they weren’t as deep into it as you were—or at least as deep as you were hoping. That’s the inspiration for next song I’m working on. It’s about when you want to believe so badly that you have a soul connection, then something happens and you realize it was just another superficial relationship. That’s the title: Just Another Superficial Relationship.”
“Wow, I can’t wait to hear it.”
“I can sing you the chorus if you want,” he said.
Holding my breath, I tried to be cool and not squeal with delight that my favorite singer was about to not only sing for me, but let me hear an unreleased song. This was like a dream come true and it made me question if I hadn’t indeed fallen into the water and hit my head on some rocks, and was now either dreaming this in a coma somewhere or this was my own personal version of heaven. I felt guilty for inwardly gushing over Andrew when I had a boyfriend. But this wasn’t about me being interested in going out with Andrew. It would never happen anyway. This was just me meeting my crush who happened to be a singer, who I felt understood my feelings more than anyone else.
Andrew sang the chorus and a warmth washed over me. The song was perfect—the yearning, the longing—I had experienced all of it myself. It was like he had taken all my innermost thoughts and somehow put them into words.
“Amazing,” I said. My whole body was warm as my mind raced. Was I actually sitting here with him and having him trust me enough to share a new song? This was beyond anything I had dreamt of happening today.
GIVEAWAY - ENDS APRIL 5TH 2018
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
Hello and welcome to SprinkleOfBooks! I'm Beth and on this blog I share a mix of all my bookish thoughts through reviews, book tours and hauls. Have fun!