Monday, June 10, 2019

New Time Captives Covers!

   Today's the day, the sun is shining, the tank is clean, and we are getting out of... *gasp* The tank is clean! (#sorrynotsorry)
This isn't the right fish (and sea stars aren't fish), but anyway
   (You didn't think you'd get the covers that easily, now did you?)

   My sister has new covers for her Time Captives trilogy and they're super awesome!!! Here they are!!!

   Okay, I'll stop playing around, here they actually are:

For giveaways, purchase links, and more, visit!

   “No one can mysteriously disappear leaving no trace. It isn’t realistic.”
   “You’re right, Emily,” her grandfather said thoughtfully. “It isn’t realistic. However, a good many things happen in this world that are not realistic, things supernatural.”
   Emily, Allan, Jill, Joey, and Anna have grown up on their grandfather’s tales of ancestors who mysteriously disappeared from Creighton Hill, the plantation home that has been in their family for centuries. When Grampa’s death forces them to move into Creighton Hill, the truth about the supposed disappearances is the first thing on their minds. Allan, Jill, Joey, and Anna’s, that is. As for Emily, why must they keep at their supernatural hogwash?
   Could it be that their family really does just have an unusual history of early deaths? Most people seem to think so. But Grampa’s research has uncovered something different.
   When mysterious writing matching descriptions found in ancient accounts begins appearing to the children, they know something’s up. They must find out what really happened to their ancestors, and work together to discover the reason behind the mysterious writings.

   Creighton Hill is the first book of the Time Captives trilogy, a tale of faith, family, fantasy, and a fight for truth and freedom.

   “M’lady, it has been fairly well confirmed that the Redona was hidden away by the merfolk at the conclusion of the Great War instead of destroyed as was commanded. My brother has confirmed to me Joseph’s belief that it was concealed at the Crossways.”
   Toarna pressed her fingertips together in thought. “It must be recovered and destroyed as was at first intended.”

   Emily, Allan, Jill, and Joey have been reunited with their long lost ancestors. But with that reunion comes the true beginning of their quest: free the rightful king of Calhortz so that he may be restored to his throne. The Redona, the only object that can free him from his long imprisonment, is rumored to be concealed in The Crossways, a mountain across the sea which cannot be entered.
   A slave since birth, Adriel’s resentment and hatred towards the strytes only grows as his family is continually ripped from him. He longs for the freedom the Time Captives are prophesied to bring, but he doubts their existence, just as he doubts God’s love. Circumstances in Calhortz are so dire. How could they ever improve?
   Who can enter The Crossways? Will the king ever be freed? Or will the slaves of Calhortz lose all hope of freedom before it is even offered to them?

   The Crossways is the second book of the Time Captives trilogy, a tale of faith, family, fantasy, and a fight for truth and freedom.

   God, please look after Adriel. Keep him safe and keep him from acting foolish. And please help him to be able to find me. Rae knew she could trust God to look after both of them. It was all she had now.

   The Time Captives have been reunited. The rightful king has been freed. Now all that remains is to defeat the strytes who still hold a tyrannical rule over the people of Calhortz. But with their lack of soldiers, it’s a task that is easier said than done. They need allies, but are they worth it when it requires facing ghosts from their pasts?
   Returning to his home country only brings the loss of Adriel’s family to the forefront of his mind. His determination to find Rae has never ceased, but now that determination could potentially destroy all that he and the Time Captives have been working towards. And his new-found faith may not be able to withstand the challenge.
   Will they be able to set aside their personal struggles for the sake of the freedom of all or will they allow their pasts to consume them? Will they manage to win back Crannig Castle from the rule of the strytes? The fate of Calhortz hangs in the balance.

   Crannig Castle is the final book of the Time Captives trilogy, a tale of faith, family, fantasy, and a fight for truth and freedom.

Morgan will be giving away a complete set of brand new Time Captives books! Be sure to enter! Giveaway open to U.S. residents only.

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Friday, May 17, 2019

Midnight's Curse Cover Reveal

Eltz castle in the morning fog

 Today we have the cover reveal for Midnight's Curse, book two in the Beyond the Tales series by Tricia Mingerink. The Beyond the Tales is a series of fairy tale retellings set in a world of curses and gifts and an Appalachian Mountain-like setting.

Midnight's Curse releases August 6, 2019!

Scroll down to see the cover









Midnight's Curse_Internet Use

Isn't it stunning? The cover was designed by Savannah Jezowski at Dragonpen Designs. You can find more examples of her work here.

About the book:

   High King Alexander rules the Seven Kingdoms of Tallahatchia—a divided nation on the brink of yet another war. When an invitation arrives from the king of Pohatomie, Alex knows it must be a trap, but could it also be his opportunity to unite the kingdoms? 
   Daemyn Rand has lived a hundred years, served an arrogant prince, fallen in love with a princess, and lost himself somewhere along the way. He has already died for his loyalty. Will he have to sacrifice his last chance to truly live? 
   Elara Ashen is a lowly, miserable servant. All she wants is to spend one night in a fancy dress, dancing with the high king. When she is offered a pair of glass slippers, it seems all her dreams have come true. 
   But dreams have a price, and gifts can be curses in disguise. What will it cost to stop this curse from tearing Tallahatchia apart yet again? Fairy tales meet the Appalachian Mountains in this adventurous fantasy retelling of the classic Cinderella story.

About the author:

DSC09450-2Tricia Mingerink is the author of the bestselling The Blades of Acktar series and the Beyond the Tales series. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn't writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country. You can connect with Tricia on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram To celebrate the cover reveal, Dagger's Sleep, a Sleeping Beauty retelling and book one in the series, is on sale in Kindle for $.99 this weekend! Click here to purchase on Amazon.
Dreamy green color forest


To celebrate even more, there's a giveaway for a paperback copy of Dagger's Sleep and a 2oz Plot Twist candle by Novelly Yours Candles. To enter, share the above sale graphic for Dagger's Sleep, the cover for Midnight's Curse, or the below Midnight's Curse promo graphic and make sure you use hashtag #MidnightsCurse and tag @triciamingerink on any social media site to enter. The giveaway will end May 22 at midnight. Please note this giveaway is only open in the United States. It is not sponsored by Novelly Yours Candles.

Glass Slipper

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Spider-Man, Spider-Man...

   Because after Endgame, that's pretty much the only thing on my mind. I can't wait until Far From Home comes out.

   Prepare for fangirling. You've been warned...

   I watched Spider-Man for the first time when I was really young, in 2006, or about there. I don't think I saw the whole thing, but I really liked it, even though I was firmly against anything I considered a "boy movie", only because my oldest sister hated boys and "boy movies", and as the youngest I naturally followed in her footsteps (it didn't last; Star Wars and The Incredible Hulk TV show boosted all of us out of the "no boy stuff" phase forever). My dad turned it on one day, my sister and I watched at least some of it, and we loved it. I somehow missed the whole "genetically engineered spider" (a la Tobey Maguire version), and thought the idea of getting spider powers from an ordinary spider bite was ridiculous, but fell in love nonetheless.
   Fast forward to us getting Netflix (2009 to 2011ish). Not long after we got the streaming service, we watched Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 (Spider-Man 3 was, sadly, not available for streaming). And I loved it. The quintessential superhero movie, basically. I don't care how predictable it is. That's my Spidey you're watching right there.
   And then 2012 hit. And all the The Amazing Spider-Man commercials dropped. They showed his face in the commercials and I was lowkey furious. That was not my Spidey. They already had a Spidey and he was a pretty new Spidey, too. There was no reason to reboot a franchise that had just come out. (It had only been five years since Spider-Man 3!) Thankfully, most of the world agreed with me, though I didn't know it at the time. Even Andrew Garfield said making the movies "broke his heart", because they were nothing like his dreams of being Spider-Man were. I resolved to myself never to watch the movie (or its subsequent sequel) if I could help it.
   Eventually, we found Spider-Man 3 somewhere really cheap, so my family bought it for me and we watched it. One of my sisters absolutely hated it, but I still loved it. It's not quite as good as the first two, but still really good.
   Right around that time, I met someone who really liked the Amazing Spider-Man movies, and, while she is my friend, I just don't understand it. Because of her, I decided to finally watch The Amazing Spider-Man one Sunday when I was sick and it was on TV. And let me tell you (sorry, Danielle), WHAT THE J JONAH JAMESON. I mean, Peter Parker, uber-nerd, certified loser, and possessor of the Parker LuckTM , should not be skateboarding down school hallways. Losers don't skateboard down school hallways. Also, Andrew Garfield is not small enough to be Peter Parker. He doesn't look like a loser, he looks like a cool kid. His version of Peter Parker is not sweet, but instead, arrogant, rude, cocky, and a certified stalker (who the heck has a picture of the girl they don't even talk to as their LAPTOP BACKGROUND???). And you could sneeze at all of his nerdiness. Tobey Maguire's Peter is sweet and supportive, even if a little self-absorbed at times. Okay, angry rant over.
   Then the Marvel craziness won out over the rest of the entertainment world, and Sony finally agreed to let the most popular Marvel superhero join the MCU. The Marvel overlords decided not to rehash the Spider-Man origin story again, and so, when my sisters and I went to see Captain America: Civil War in theaters, we were treated to our first glimpse of the new and improved Spider-ManTM 

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   I walked out and said, "I think I like him better than the Tobey Maguire version."
   Okay, first of all, he actually looks fourteen! You look at him and you really think he could be in high school. A++ casting just on that aspect. And second, they nailed him as a nerd and certified fanboy like no one else did. The other Spider-Mans were just really smart, but this one is so relatable nerdy
   And then he died and my heart did too.
   Ugh, the new Spider-Man movie was just so good! (See me fangirling more about it here.) Even Flash Thompson was a cool and refreshing take on the character. I was so excited for Infinity War and then at the end he turned into dust and do you know how traumatizing it is to see your childhood hero die before your very eyes? 

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   Yeah... Waiting for Endgame was agonizing, even though I knew Spidey had to come back because of the sequel. And I saw it recently and
Do Not Read Any Further Or Risk Endgame Spoilers
   oh my word. The fact that we aren't going to get any more Iron Dad and Spider Son? I live for Iron Dad and Spider Son! How is Peter going to cope without Tony Stark? He already lost two father figures and now he's lost another, probably forever? I'm gonna cry, guys, because it's just not fair. Peter saying hi to Tony was great, and then he said, "Mr. Stark, we won, Mr. Stark, we won, I'm sorry, Tony." And I'm just over here crying, don't pay any attention to me. The whole reason Tony decided to help the Avengers bring the Vanished back was because he saw a picture of him with Peter and realized he couldn't not help bring his son back and Tony died because of it and no I'm not okay!
Okay, you can read again, no more Endgame
   I also started reading the comics recently and they're as good as I thought they'd be. A lot like the MCU in that literally everything is connected. Peter Parker's parents were double agents in HYDRA and Red Skull ordered them assassinated by the Finisher when he found out they were undercover for the CIA and Daredevil helped Spider-Man when he was temporarily blinded by a bad guy and Tony Stark designed special glass and knock-out gas for the NYC police that helped them keep Maggia members from escaping after capture by Spider-Man. There was an issue where Pietro and Wanda Maximoff came to NYC and Pietro tried to capture Spidey because he thought he was a bad guy and thought capturing a bad guy would help alleviate some of the bad press on Pietro and Wanda. My hands down favorite story, though, was when Peter got the flu, and he didn't realize he could still get sick because he was Spider-Man, and so he thought he was losing his Spider powers, and so he told all of his friends he was Spider-Man (and I mean ALL of his friends, Harry, MJ, Gwen, Flash, everyone), and then he went to the doctor and found out he just had the flu and had to ask a boy whose life he had saved to wear his costume so he could convince his friends he was just delirious and he wasn't really Spider-Man. Classic Parker Luck right there. And now I want more and I'm not sure I have access to any more.
   To finish off, I will leave you with some Iron Dad and Spider Son, because this is SPOILERS all we're gonna get now. END SPOILERS

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Who's your favorite superhero? Did Batman die in Infinity War? TELL ME I NEED ANSWERS!!!

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Ode to Spring

The cold of winter days is past
The warmth of spring has come at last
With endless sheets of driving rain
Spring has traveled south again.

I watch temperatures rise with dread,
Pain now pounding in my head.
Still winter yet, calendars say,
Yet pollen counts debuted today.

The shortest month, the longest weeks,
Though branches bare, the stuffed nose speaks.
All senses say spring is not here,
But pollen makes the issue clear.

Flowers spring up all around,
Farmers note with trepidation.
Stomach aches, sneezes abound,
Time to buy the medication.

White petals fly throughout the air
Pleasing all the brides
Not so wonderful to bear
Are runny, weepy eyes.

One medication doesn't work,
Must resort to two.
Three would be still better yet,
But now I have the flu.

Thunderstorms sweep through and bring
Yet more winter weather
Still pollen counts make all folks wish
We'd all flown north together.

The northern states rejoice and sing.
At last, they cry out, this is spring!
The Southerners watch in disdain
As pollen falls like summer rain.

At last, relief is on its way,
Since finally, the month is May.
The heat comes soon with blazing madness
When flowers die with tears and gladness.

Regretfully, spring is no more,
The flowers gone from every door.
Yet, happiness spreads 'midst the pain:
Now, with the heat, we breathe again.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Books I Wish I Hadn't Read

   It's been too long since I wrote a blog post. It's not been a great year and I'm not in a great mood (probably because pollen is stupidly high again #ihatespring), so why not write about all the books I loathe?

The Insider by Ridley Pearson
   I read the entire series, even fighting the dragging plot at times, waiting for the conclusion, and when I get to it, I'm confronted with this. First of all, who the heck crowd-writes a book? Crowd-funding I get, but crowd-writing? The author literally published his outline on the internet and had other people write it for him. In the places where he just copied and pasted the internet peoples' writing into the book (and it happened quite a bit), he credited them by putting their name down at the bottom of the page (which was incredibly distracting). It didn't help that the sentences were choppy and didn't fit together very well. He also randomly switched to present tense for this book, when all the rest of the books in this seven-book series were written in past tense. The plot was awkward, contrived, and unrealistic. There was a random maybe-betrayal by a very important character that was never explained at all. The characters were cardboard and, though the series spanned five or more years, they never changed. At the beginning of the series, the main character started a will-they-won't-they relationship, and after five years, he's still acting like a boy in the middle of puberty trying to ask his first crush out on a date. And he's been in a steady relationship with the same girl for FIVE STINKING YEARS. The all-anticipated event of the story was the appearance of Mickey Mouse, and even though literally every other Disney character the kids have encountered so far can talk, Mickey can't. Some all-powerful king-of-the-characters he was. What a humongous letdown. And at the end of this stupid book, I was whacked over the head with the "hint" that there was going to be another series, which I personally would rather shoot myself than read.
A Whole New World by Liz Braswell
   If the light-hearted fun adventure is what you love about Disney's Aladdin most, then this book is your worst nightmare. The first fourth of the book rehashes the movie while constantly changing little details for no good reason. Then, when it finally gets to the twist, it quickly takes a dive into the ridiculously dark. Right off the bat, Jafar murders the sultan, then cuts up the magic carpet, creates a zombie army, destroys Agrabah, tortures the genie and countless random citizens, and strips the genie of all his magical powers turning him human so none of this can be put right again. And at the end Jafar turns out to be crazy and talking to an imaginary Iago because he apparently murdered the real one so he could have a tiny glimpse into the future that didn't seem to affect the story any. The other characters aren't anything like they were in the movie, either. I'm not sure if Aladdin lies even once, and in this version of the story, he directly causes the death of a cop friend (he's a street rat, he shouldn't have a cop friend) by knocking a pillar onto him, which crushes him. #lightheartedfamilyfun Jafar is a psychotic murderer, Jasmine is a revolutionary (???), and, apparently, Aladdin's dad ran off and left him. This is an adaptation of a Disney movie for crying out loud. He's supposed to be dead! They're always dead! Ugh. Some of the Twisted Tales are good, but not this one.
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
   I bet you didn't know that sunlight reflects off water. Henry David Thoreau did, which is why he's better than you.
   Thoreau is ridiculously contradictory ("People should never cut down trees!" Borrowed an ax from his neighbor so he could cut down trees around his pond. "Trains are awful and noisy and loud and I hate them!" Can't be bothered to move further into the wilderness to where he won't be able to hear the trains anymore. "People should do whatever I want, you shouldn't just emulate what I'm doing, but if you're not doing what I am, you're stupid."). He's also weird. Who loves wasps? They are not a thing to be invited into bed with you! Also, he never locks his door so people can come in and stay whenever, and condemns any who do, defending his decision with "I only got stolen from once!" You may like to get stolen from, but I, good sir, do not. When there were several feet of snow on the ground and impending snowstorms, Thoreau tramped ten miles through the woods on snowshoes to visit his favorite trees. He's also incredibly boring. Nobody cares that he spent 8.74 on groceries for eight months. Or how much he spent on bricks. He certainly doesn't need to defend his spending a bunch on watermelons. He doesn't need to tell everyone that sunlight reflects off water like it's new information to us, or describe in detail his lengthy day hoeing beans. Frankly, no one really cares. And he's arrogant. He assumes that unless the reader is told, we're going to think that the Cicero that built a fence near Walden Pond is the same Cicero as the Roman philosopher that lived before Christ. And he assumes that anyone who is poor has committed crimes. This is a stupid, boring, pointless book that I hope never to read again.

Eldest by Christopher Paolini
   I had heard the name Eragon for a while, so I finally decided to read the series. MISTAKE. I wasted countless hours of my life reading this stupid series. Unfortunately, I rarely drop series, so I didn't drop this one. I wish I had. Eragon was like a Lord-of-the-Rings version of Star Wars, and this was like The Empire Strikes Back, except without all the excitement, and with an addition of a fun murderer as a side character. This book drags on and on and on. The whole point of the book is for Eragon to train with the elves so he can defeat the not-actually-evil government, but it takes hundreds of agonizingly slow pages for him to actually get there! And once he does, the training is agonizingly long and boring too. Also peppered with philosophical musings on any subject under the sun, like how all enlightened people (read: elves) are atheists, and how evil it is for Eragon to eat meat because he's *gasp* telepathic! There is one long section devoted to Eragon watching ants (smacks of Walden, methinks). The only kind of exciting parts are the parts with Eragon's cousin Roran, who almost gets his entire town murdered because he won't tell the police any information about his criminal cousin who stole a dragon egg (like, he's a legitimate thief). Then Roran decides to go on a murderous rampage (I wish I was exaggerating), slaughtering anybody who come in his way. He even counts his kills. Eragon spends the entire book whining about his random on-and-off agonizing back pain (which implausibly came from a sword wound to his back) and Arwen-I mean Arya's rejection of him. Yeah, cry me a river, Eragon. She made it clear from the moment she met you she wasn't interested. Finally, Eragon gets magically transformed into an elf, which gets rid of all his scars and also his chronic back pain. How does this happen, you may ask? Two identical twin elf girls strip and stand naked back to back and jiggle so the tattoo on their back can come to life and release the spirit of the dragon. I want to die right now. I actually own this book and I seriously want to burn it.

Brisinger by Christopher Paolini
   I was stupid enough to keep reading this series. As I said, I rarely drop series. Thankfully, there are no more naked elves in this book. Unfortunately, there's plenty of other awful things to make up for it. For instance, Eragon kills an animal to eat and feels so sorry for it because he's telepathic, so he decides to become vegetarian (although that could have happened in the last book; after all this time they blend together). Also, Eragon turns out to be super violent and even lets himself be possessed by a demon at one point so he can use more magic. He spends waaaaay too long making a magic sword, and every inch of the way is described in excruciating detail. Also, Paolini decided he was tired of being accused of writing Star Wars and decided that Luke Skywalker (I mean Eragon) wasn't actually the son of Darth Vader (I honestly can't remember the guy's name at this point). Instead, Obi-Wan was his father. Which makes no sense and is full of plot holes, but anyway. Roran, the violent cousin of Eragon, has apparently been sleeping with his girlfriend this entire time because "he might as well take liberties with her" since she's afraid of him doing that anyway and now she's pregnant. So Eragon performs a rushed marriage for Roran and his stupid girlfriend and Eragon is just wildly excited about the whole thing. Then the fun zombie army shows up. The metaphors and dialogue are ridiculous (the book actually has the dialogue "Die, puny humans!"), the exposition is everywhere, the book is super bloated, and the magic system is stupid at best. There's apparently this Ancient Language (which the elves speak in all the time) that is magic and shapes the world and if you say fire in it you get fire, and if you get pronunciations wrong, you might accidentally curse a baby to grow up fast and have powers instead of blessing it. Yeah. Also, it was ridiculously gory (partially because of the zombie army) and this might have been the one in which there was a bizarre cult in which the people constantly hacked off their limbs to show their devotion for their god. Are you grossed out? Because I'm grossed out. Also, Eragon is a self-righteous jerk. Just sayin'.

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini
   And enter the infamous fingernails. What am I talking about, you may ask? I am talking about the three LOOOOONG pages of description of a man's fingernails in excruciating detail. And the worst part of it? You don't even find out the character's name. This is in the completely irrelevant side plot of a minor character being tortured. Why she was fascinated with the man's fingernails is beyond me. But the fingernails come back. Every time the man is in her torture chamber, the stupid fingernails take center stage. How could they not when they've been described so thoroughly?
   If you can't tell, this book is just as bloated as the others. Eragon learns to manipulate reality with his magic Ancient Language (and still can't win the granite cliff of a girl he still hasn't stopped pining over), manipulates the emotions of a little girl, kills the bad guy with sadness, and finds some dragon eggs. There are also copious amounts of pages describing a former dragon's struggle coming to terms with his new life as an inanimate object. But as a plus, this book meant the end of the series (I hope).

Unwind by Neal Shusterman
   This book makes me want to puke. It was so so horrible. It was freaky and creepy and horrifying and it probably scarred me for life. It's not even remotely plausible, and yet... I'm getting shivers down my spine just thinking about it. The premise is that after a huge civil war in America over abortion, the two sides settled on a "compromise" in which abortion is illegal but 13- to 18-year-olds can be "unwound" (read: murdered), and then everything in their body is used as organ donation for somebody else. And apparently this appeased everybody. The guy wrote this book to make everyone think abortion is awful (which it is), but there's no way this book accomplishes that. Abortion is illegal in the world of this book, and no one even thinks about having one. Issues actually addressed in this book are: organ donation, suicide bombers, caffeine addiction, and (apparently) Frankenstein. He creates a straw man to destroy in this book in hopes it will make pro-choice people feel guilty. Nobody would ever agree to the "compromise" at the end of this war he talks about! Pro-life people like me see all life as sacred and would never agree to killing teenagers as an alternative to killing unborn babies. Pro-choice people would never agree to this as an alternative to abortions (what exactly is the point of killing the child after you've spent thirteen years raising them?). That doesn't fit with the beliefs of anyone on either side and therefore can't be a compromise. Also, the science is so false you couldn't sneeze at it. You expect me to believe you can just put a piece of someone's brain in someone else's brain and expect it to work? That there won't be compatibility issues? That psychologists and psychiatrists and brain surgeons didn't go, "This could be catastrophic for the mental health of patients with brain damage"? And the religious parts are even more disturbing. A debate throughout the entire book is whether "unwinding" (killing a kid and harvesting their entire body for parts) is death. Apparently, the consensus the author came to is "No," because at the end of the book, there's a whole collection of people who got a body part from this one kid in a room, and every single one of them is talking so that it's one monologue like the dead kid is talking and they actually remember memories of the dead kid's life. As if you get a kidney or a lung from a man and you suddenly share his soul. The entire book is just sick and wrong, and seems to be simultaneously scaring people away from organ donation and making them feel guilty for not being organ donors because "if more people had been organ donors, this never would have happened." There are other weird bits as well, like the fact that caffeine is considered a drug on the level of cocaine and is banned (say bye bye to chocolate). And "clapping", where people get their bodies filled with an explosive substance, go to a random place, clap their hands, and blow up. It's a weird form of suicide bombing that's apparently pretty popular, even though it's not religiously or politically motivated, so it's hard to know why anybody actually does it. And storking. Not explaining it because it's just too weird. Also, it's not even well-written. The characters are flat, the emotions are shallow, and the character arc of one kid is kind of unbelievable, probably only because it wasn't shown at all, so he just turns off-screen from a sweet little kid into a suicide bomber. I hate this book so much and it will haunt me forever. Apparently the next book is a ridiculously creepy-sounding Frankenstein retelling. I'd stay far away from this book.

   That was very therapeutic. I feel much better now. What are some books you intensely loath and why? Tell me in the comments!

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

My Year in Books

   As a voracious reader, I measure my year in books. Also, by political happenings, because I'm involved in politics. I started a Goodreads account late in 2017, so this is the first time I can track my reading throughout an entire year.

    In January, I reread the Dragonkeeper Chronicles, the inspiration for my all-time favorite series ever, Ilyon Chronicles. I really missed the characters (namely Bardon the Amazing), so it was nice to be able to come back to them. I finished rereading A Wrinkle in Time so I could review it before the new movie that I didn't want to watch came out. I reread The Lost Stories (Rangers Apprentice) and By Darkness Hid, because I really love both of those stories (though The Lost Stories is not my favorite Rangers Apprentice). I read Wonder for the first time, and loved it. I also read The Poison Kiss, a couple of Star Wars books, the last three Series of Unfortunate Events books, four books about biological warfare (for writing research, obviously), an indie published zombie book, and October, which is very impactful and unforgettable. 
Book of the Month: October.

   I read twenty books in January. In February, I read two. That's right, two. And one of them doesn't even count, because it was a drawing book. I checked out How to Draw Incredible Ocean Animals so I could draw an otter for a logo of a book review blog I'm probably not going to keep up. Also, I read Auggie and Me. It was good, but I have no idea why it took up the entire month. I really enjoyed Julian's chapter, and how he wasn't being mean to Auggie because he hated him, but because he was scared of him. 
Book of the Month, by default: Auggie and Me.


   I returned to my voracious book devouring in March. I read my first Beverly Cleary YA book, and I don't know why I waited so long. Her YA books are even more amazing than the Ramona and Henry Huggins books. I finished a longer book about biological warfare (I told you, writing research) and read an Andrew Clements book about kids who just want to sit and read all day (#me) and it was amazing. Almost all the books he mentioned were longtime friends of mine. Great book. I read an okay Shannon Hale book. Also, I read the last five Betsy-Tacy books, though I'm fairly sure I read those in February and just shelved them in March, which would explain why Goodreads says I only read two books in February. I read Lysbeth: A Tale of the Dutch (and was rooting for Adrien the entire time), the entire Moonlighters series because I got the first and third ones for my birthday, and reread Exiles. Because it's a comfort read of mine.
Book of the Month: Exiles. Because Exiles. 😍😍😍😍😍😍

   In April, I finished a lot of school books. Advanced math (of which I will have no more until college algebra), physics, an incredibly dumb book about Christopher Columbus, Man, Economy, and State, Desiring God, The Normal Christian Life, Human Action, Much Ado About Nothing (It really is about nothing; it was the most boring Shakespeare play I've read), Standish of Standish, Monezuma's Daughter (of which I read half in one day), The Fifth of March, The Real Benjamin Franklin, and Voyager's Tales, from which book I remember almost nothing except some Muslim government official paid one guy quite a bit in gold to stand by him all day and occasionally hold his cloak. I want a job as easy as that. On the fun side of things, I finished rereading the Blood of Kings trilogy, reread The Royal Ranger and didn't hate it so much this time (but I will never forgive John Flanagan for killing her), and reread a sweet short story collection about two people falling in love. I read the entire Maze Runner trilogy, accidentally stumbling into another zombie book. I keep doing that, which is weird, because I don't really like zombie fiction. The series was honestly pretty disappointing. My favorite book was the prequel with none of the main characters in it. I also read If I Live (another good Terri Blackstock book), a bunch of picture books, and reread Mary Ware in Texas and A Captain's Heart (or at least most of it). 
Book of the Month: Montezuma's Daughter. Because "Heart to heart, though far apart" doesn't really count if you've been chosen as a sacrificial victim by a bunch of Aztecs. Also, Henry Rider Haggard does the whole "Native-American-culture-being-destroyed-by-outsiders-as-witnessed-by-the-European-adopted-into-the-tribe" story line better than most people.

   Once upon a time, an innocent young reader picked up the book The Kestrel from the library and read it, unaware that it was the second book in a trilogy. Needless, to say, I was hopelessly confused, even after reading the first and third books. I later bought the first and third books at a library book sale (but frustratingly, they didn't sell their copy of The Kestrel. If they had, my whole set could have matched), but for the longest time could not find the second. Last year, I finally got it, and, for the first time, read the whole series in order, which happened in May. It makes so much more sense now! I also read a couple of books for a research paper about British soldiers during the American Revolution, another amazing Beverly Cleary YA book, and a picture book and a Lois Lowry book I bought at a library book sale. At the very end of the month, I reread Cinder and Scarlet because I bought Cinder at a library book sale and I love Kai. I read the books where Nanny McPhee came from, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (which would have been so mysterious if everybody on planet Earth didn't know the big plot twist), The Summer of Broken Things, The Penderwicks at Last (Baffrey forever!), and Dagger's Sleep. Dagger's Sleep was so good. It's basically a genderbent Sleeping Beauty in a fantasy world with a Native American feel. So cool. Even though I totally shipped the wrong ship with this one, I enjoyed it anyway. It's so beautiful. And I want more Alexander. Also, I started reading War and Peace this month because I made a New Year's resolution to myself to read it over the summer. 
Book of the Month: Dagger's Sleep. This isn't the cover I read it with, but I love this one so much more.

   I started out this month reading Cress and Winter (my poor Wolf baby 😢😢😢😢), and War and Peace, of course. I read the second Elsie book and a picture book, listened to The Penderwicks at Point Moutte (poor Jeffrey), and listened to an audio drama of The Fellowship of the Ring. AND TOM BOMBADIL WAS CUT OUT AGAIN!!! WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING???? Also, it was really weird for Ian Holm to play Frodo. My sister brought home The War That Saved My Life, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The Bottle Imp was a very interesting short story by Robert Louis Stevenson. My mom made me read When God Writes Your Love Story and it was great. And I beta-read Bitter Winter and it was amazing.
Book of the Month: Bitter Winter. Because Ilyon. And Jace is my baby.

   I read some really good books this month, and one REALLY awful one. You know, the kind where the more you think about it, the more you hate it? It wasn't even remotely scientifically plausible, or written well, but it was still horrific and will haunt me forever. It's supposed to turn people against abortion (how? abortion is illegal in the world of this book), but all it really accomplishes is scaring people away from organ donation. Seriously? The underlying message of this book? "Organ donation is creepy because if you give someone a kidney they'll share your soul." Um, what? Enough about Unwind, though. I read the sequel to The War That Saved My Life (so good), On the Far Side of the Mountain (kind of lame, and I hated the stupid decision of letting Frightful go free. She's lived all her life as a pet! She'll die on her own), Clifford's First Autumn (don't ask why, I don't remember), and reread To Kill a Mockingbird out loud with my family. To Kill a Mockingbird is so good, and not actually about racism or Tom Robinson or his trial. It's about Scout Finch growing up and about Boo Radley. And it's amazing. I beta-read Lacy, which is really good even though it didn't have Jace in it. Here's my full review, if you want to read it. I reread The Lightning Thief and Old Yeller, then read the sequel Savage Sam for the first time, in which Travis get tortured by Indians! Also, I was still reading War and Peace, obviously. My grandpa told me this month I'd be thirty before I finished it, but he was proven wrong. Not this month, though. It is over a thousand pages, after all. I'm no Charlie Brown.
Book of the Month: To Kill a Mockingbird, because it's amazing. Honorary mention of Lacy, because Ilyon.

   School started back, so I read several books because of that this month. Are You Liberal, Conservative, or Confused? (confused; labels can mean anything nowadays), The Second Treatise of Government (though I would have read that one for fun), The Children of the New Forest (gotta love classism), and Savior or Servant? Putting Government in its Place (disappointingly, the book never delivers on the title). I reread The Destiny of a Galaxy, The Arm of a Starfish (I love Adam Eddington), and Tarzan of the Apes (more classism and some racism, but I love the book anyway). We read My Side of the Mountain as a family, and it wasn't as big a hit as To Kill a Mockingbird. I had read the book myself a while ago, but the rest of my family hadn't. I read The Official SAT Guide 2018 (riveting, I know), The Worth of a King (which I beta-read most of), Orphan's Song (I finally finished it! I'd been meaning to read it for years), Love Defined (Dear non-fiction authors: please stop asking me to do activities at the end of each chapter; it's not going to happen), The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts (which I did not know was part of at least a duology until I reached the end and it was a ciffhanger), A Little House of their Own (what can I say? I've never cared for the Caroline series), The Player King (I love books that bring back into memory obscure history stories I forgot), and The Battle of Hackham Heath. Yes, this was the first time I read it. I was avoiding it, afraid it would be boring, but the rest of my family suddenly got into Ranger's Apprentice for the first time, so when my sister brought it home from the library, I couldn't not read it. It wasn't as boring as I thought it would be, and I love spending time with Halt, Crowley, Duncan, Abelard, and baby Gilan.
Book of the Month: The Battle of Hackham Heath. Because Halt and Crowley. 'Nuff said.

   School books: Planned Chaos (snorezilla), The Real Thomas Jefferson (I relate to this guy: when he heard his house burned down, he immediately asked if his books were okay; sadly, they weren't), The Emergence of Liberty in the Modern World, a.k.a. when people finally stopped building theocracies, and The Real George Washington. I admire that man so much. He single-handedly saved America. Don't believe me? Just imagine what would have happened if he had taken up Alexander Hamilton's offer to lead the army against Congress and become king of America. The Red Fox Clan came out this month, and I'm glad John Flanagan's writing is getting better again, though we need more Will and Horace together. Sheesh. I reread From the Dark to the Dawn again, because I can't get enough of good stories about Ancient Rome. I read Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker and The Empire Strikes Back (don't judge). Wow, George Lucas is such a terrible writer! I can definitely see where the idea to put Leia in a metal bikini came from. Yeesh. But, it still being Star Wars, I enjoyed it nevertheless, especially the references to backstory that so clearly and obviously changed when George wrote the prequels. Also, Luke's nickname being "Wormy" never gets old. And I finished War and Peace! If you're wondering, yes, it's a novel, and yes, it's worth it. The story is all about the characters, though Tolstoy can philosophize a bit too much. I wasn't very happy that a certain character died, but it led to a better relationship than the current one, so I'm happy. Also, legitimizing illegitimate sons of nobility so they can inherit titles is a wonderful idea which I think certain authors should bestow on certain beloved characters.
Book of the Month: War and Peace. It's really good and it's really worth it.

   School books: The Social Contract (yikes), The Articles of Confederation (double yikes; not for the same reason, though, wonder the country almost fell apart under these!), Walden (OHMYGOSH, why does this book exist? Read my review here), Liberty of Conscience, Common Sense (wow), Christian View of Men and Things (doesn't exactly deliver on the title, but I really enjoy philosophy, so I liked this book), The 5000 Year Leap, and Silas Marner. The part on the back cover doesn't happen until near the end. I really think it needs a new description. I read a lot of picture books, because my dad brought home a big box of free ones from his work and I read through them to decide if I wanted them. Also, my sister brought home Cat & Mouse: A Delicious Tale from the library just so we could see how bizarre it was. And it is bizarre. It's the strangest book I've ever read. Perhaps Jill and Eustace should have started craving Puddleglum after seeing Marshwiggle in the giant cookbook? And why call it a "delicious" tale? Is the prospect of eating your friends delicious? So weird. I finished Martin Chuzzlewit, which I'd been working on for a while. I didn't appreciate how he portrayed Americans, but other than that, it was a pretty good book. David Copperfield is still my favorite Dickens book, though. Also, we finished reading The Education of Little Tree as a family. It was certainly an interesting book.
Book of the Month: Cat & Mouse. Not because I liked it --I would never read this to a little kid-- but because it's just so bizarre it's ridiculously memorable. It's worth a read just to laugh and shake your head at. Also, Martin Chuzzlewit, because it was actually pretty good.

   School books: The Making of America, a wonderfully informative book about the US Constitution, Uncle Tom's Cabin, a good book that sadly furthers certain stereotypes, Democracy in America, a book that makes my eyes bleed because while de Tocqueville has great things to say, it's REPUBLICANISM, not DEMOCRACY, for crying out loud, and In the Valley, a riveting book about a Dutch New Yorker in the middle of the Revolution who is unfortunately somewhat racist. I read three Fancy Nancy books because I bought them from Goodwill, a picture book my sister bought about a fox traveling to Noah's Ark. I also read Bitter Winter again (an ARC this time), and Decree, the unexpected Christmas present from Tricia Mingerink, a.k.a., The Lost Stories of Acktar. IT WAS SO GOOD! I missed Leith and them so much, and love seeing their future. (Read my full review here.) And I'm beyond pleased there's going to be a sixth and seventh book to the series.
Book of the Month: Decree, because it was absolutely fantabulous and I can't pick Bitter Winter twice.

   School books: On Liberty, The Discovery of Freedom (amazing book), On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection Or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life (what can I say? I like long titles), and The Federalist Papers. Also, the Anti-Federalist Papers, but I didn't add that one to Goodreads. I started research on Poland for a paper I'm writing, and read Poland and Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1945-1953 for that. I read Lacy again (ARC), read From the Mouth of Elijah (and started planning out a scathing review that I unfortunately have to finish the series to write), and Precisely Terminated, a really good book that the rude library people neglected to buy the sequels to. Don't they realize they're there so poor students don't have to buy good books? I reread Children of Exile and Children of Refuge so I wasn't totally lost when I read Children of Jubilee, which was fantastic, by the way. I received some free books I won in July, among them After, yet another zombie fiction I stumbled into. I really enjoyed this one, especially as this one was set in a fantasy world, so there's an excuse why they're not calling them zombies. Another one was Cora and the Nurse Dragon, a delightful children's book about raising dragons. I read Reflection, Part of Your World, A Whole New World, and As Old As Time, all part of the Twisted Tales series about AU plot threads in Disney movies. I really liked Reflection and Part of Your World, but hated A Whole New World (read my review here). As Old As Time was okay. I read The Girl With 500 Middle Names, which means I have only two more Haddix books to read before I've read them all. I read A Christmas Carol, as I do every Christmas season. It's a great way to spend Christmas Eve. I got Wonder for Christmas, so I read it again. After that, I read The Mysterious Benedict Society, because I had to read it since I just got it, and Mary Poppins, because we watched Saving Mr. Banks and Mary Poppins. The last book of 2018 was Tales of Ever After, another free book. It was a short story collection of fairy tale adaptations and very enjoyable.
Book of the Month: Precisely Terminated. The worst/best dystopian I've read. Panem's got nothing on this. At least Katniss has sunlight.

   And that's it! I could always have written my year in politics instead, but that would be stressful, not fun. Even more stressful is the new year in politics. The presidential campaign has begun, after all. Bookswise, I don't know. I hope to read many good books, and not suffer another Unwind. Ugh. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everybody!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Today's the Day!

Ilyon and Acktar Blog Tour Header

   ...The sun is shining, the tank is clean, and we are getting out of- *Gasp* The tank is clean!
   It's a family thing.
   Anyway, today's the day the best book in the Ilyon Chronicles series comes out (because book 6 isn't finished yet), along with its lovely companion novella and the totally unexpected (but completely welcome) fifth Acktar book! AAAAAAAA!!!
   In an unprecedented amount of luck, I managed to obtain early copies of these books through long and hard-fought battles with some of Jaye's and Tricia's most formidable warriors and am now come to report to you on them. (Just kidding, I got ARCs. If I really met up with some of Jaye's and Tricia's most formidable warriors, I'd squeal and ask for their autographs.)

Le Official Introduction
   Jaye L. Knight’s newest novel, Bitter Winter, and companion novella Lacy have been released! Bitter Winter is the fifth book in the Christian fantasy series, Ilyon Chronicles. Tricia Mingerink's newest novel Decree is also releasing! Decree is the fifth book in the Christian fantasy/kingdom adventure series The Blades of Acktar. Read about these books below and be sure to check out the other blog stops on the tour by visiting the official tour page. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

The Ilyon Chronicles

Bitter Winter

About Bitter Winter
   Already struggling with a harsh winter and the threat of food shortage, a catastrophic event leaves those in the Landale camps reeling. Just when things couldn’t get much worse, camp members fall ill with the same devastating sickness that’s sweeping across the country. Determined to gain the cure, Jace sets off to Valcré. However, there are only two sources—the queen, or a powerful gang of smugglers who have made the dangerous city their home. When Jace gains audience with the gang leader, he finds the price of the cure is steeper than any of them imagined, forcing him to make an impossible choice—betray his conscience or let those he loves die.

Available now on Amazon!


My Review
    Oh my sweet gumdrops. My poor, poor babies!
    First of all, poor, poor Jace. (Every book, guys, every book.) My poor baby can't even plan a proposal without everything going wrong. (I guess that's a minor spoiler, but it's in the very beginning.) WHY CAN'T HE JUST BE HAPPY? WHY CAN'T THEY ALL JUST BE HAPPY?
    Okay, guys, we all knew it would happen eventually. And it finally did. And it changes everything. Also, you know who is dead now, and I'm not very happy. He had so much to live for. If this doesn't lead to what I think it's leading to, I'm going to throw a fit. (I accidentally typed "fir" instead, but changed it, thinking, "I can't throw a tree." But you know what? I might. I just might.)
    It's in the description, so it's not a spoiler. Everyone gets sick. Including Jace's closest friends. And of course, we know Jace, so he does everything he possibly can to save them. And included in "everything he possibly can" is something really really bad that he is a breath away from doing. (And afterwards he gets attacked and almost dies, so that's fun.)
    If you expected this to be a rational review, you were wrong, my friend. I am way too emotional about the events of this book to pump out any sense while talking about it.
   Guys. Daniel. Woah. Just, this guy, okay? He's basically the second-best character in Ilyon (aside from Jace, naturally). He's so insecure. (And scared of Jace. Daniel isn't racist, but asking for Jace's permission to date Elanor is so intimidating!) He's a cute little cinnamon roll that manages to act like the king he will be one day (hopefully).
    The plot? Basically just invented to make our favorite fictional friends suffer. AAAAAAAAA!!! It's not fair, guys. Just not fair.
    Anyways, to sum up, totally worth reading (duh). Incredibly good book. 
   A++, should be devoured by everyone.  


About Lacy
   The last thing Aaron ever envisioned was falling for a prostitute. Everything about it spells trouble. However, he can’t help noticing the way her smile lights up when she sees him and how much brokenness she hides behind it. Neither can he ignore how desperately she needs rescue and protection. When Lacy shares a life or death secret with him, Aaron is willing to risk everything to help her and to show her Elôm’s love. Yet, such a choice could destroy his reputation and maybe even cost him his freedom. 
   An Ilyon Chronicles Novella

Available now on Amazon!


My Review
   Easiest way to sum up this book: Well, that escalated quickly.
   Aaron's in love. And the girl he's in love with...
   Yeah. Trouble with a capital T.
   Not that Lacy herself is Trouble. But Aaron being attracted to her sets off a chain of events that is Trouble.
   Naturally, this is a book for a more mature reader. The subject is handled extremely well - it reminded me of the way it was handled in Crime and Punishment - but it still is what it is. Be ye warned.
   This was very good, even though it didn't have Jace in it. Jace's testimony was used by Timothy to bring someone to Elom, so that's cool. This book is set soon after Bitter Winter, so definitely read that first.
   It was really nice to be able to get to know Aaron and Lacy a bit more. I really enjoyed seeing more of life in Valcré. Also, the people in Timothy and Aaron's congregation are jerks. They live in Valcré, for crying out loud. They're surely not exactly paragons of virtue themselves.
   This is a cute (although cute seems the wrong word) shorter story that is definitely worth the buy, especially for Ilyon fans.
   A++, will probably make you cry or something.

Haven’t discovered the world of Ilyon yet? Find out more at the official Ilyon Chronicles website!

JayeLKnight Author Photo About the Author
Jaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Etsy.



The Blades of Acktar

Decree Cover 101518 Final

About Decree
   The Adventure Continues. Discover more of The Blades of Acktar in this collection of novellas and short stories.  

The Blades as They Should’ve Been  
   A test and the Gathering of Nobles will decide Leith and Martyn’s futures. Can they fight to become more than the Blades they were? Will Keevan accept the man who attempted to kill him as family? 
The First Mission 
   When Martyn visits Surgis, his past seems determined to haunt him. Can he figure out how to forgive, especially when confronted with an enemy in need of his help?  
To the Far Great Mountains 
   A death sends Leith and Martyn far beyond the borders of Acktar. Will they be able to arrest their quarry before they are caught themselves? 

   From the story of how Leith and Martyn met to Ranson’s search for a life outside of the Blades, these stories will answer plaguing questions and expand the world of Acktar.


Available now on Amazon!


My Review
    I don't like Keevan.
    Not much else is new.
   But why does he still want to beat the stuffing out of Leith? Leith is an adorable little cinnamon roll that needs to be protected and all Keevan wants to do is see him bleed. And he uses his position to get what he wants. Dirty politician.
Via Pinterest
   Poor Ranson. I'm 99.99% sure he's autistic and who ever let Respen touch him? This poor baby needs to be wrapped up in bubble wrap and given ice cream and what's-her-name as a girlfriend.
   What Tricia did with poor Shad and Jolene? RUDE. 
Via Pinterest
   What happened at the end of To the Far Great Mountains? asdfghjkl It's so cute I can't even. Baby Leiths! Although poor Leith was having nightmares and everything before it happened. *Repeat crying llama gif*
   Who thought it was a good idea to hold a knife to Leith's neck? Idiots.
   Tricia set out to write The Lost Stories of Acktar and I think she did a good job.
   A++, will cry about again.

Haven’t discovered the The Blades of Acktar yet? Find out more at on the official Blades of Acktar page.

DSC09450-2 About the Author
Tricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn't writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country. You can connect with Tricia on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.







   Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a full signed set of the Ilyon Chronicles and The Blades of Acktar! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)

Be sure to stop by each of the character chats (links in the blog tour schedule) for additional giveaways throughout the tour!

Friday – December 14 – Release Day for Bitter Winter & Lacy!
Blog Tour Intro by Tricia Mingerink
Author Interview & Book Reviews at Jessica Looks Again
Book Reviews at The Music of a Story
Book Spotlight & Review at Chosen by the Potter
Book Spotlight at Time of the Immortals
Character Chat #1 by Ilyon Chronicles

Saturday – December 15
Book Reviews at Thriving Hope
Book Spotlight & Reviews at The Writer’s Song
Author Interview & Book Reviews at Perfectly Quirky In Every Way
Book Spotlight & Reviews at A Great God and Good Cocoa
Book Spotlight at The Book Sprite

Monday – December 17
Book Reviews by Morgan Huneke
Book Reviews at Backing Books
Book Reviews at Honey Rock Hills
Book Reviews at TJ’s Musing
Character Chat #2 by Tricia Mingerink

Tuesday – December 18 – Release Day for Decree!
Book Spotlight at Ruffles and Grace
Book Spotlight & Reviews at Resting Life
Author Interview & Book Reviews at Knitted by God’s Plan
Book Reviews by S.G. Willoughby
Book Spotlight & Reviews at Sarah Plain & Average

Wednesday – December 19
Book Reviews at The Artful Author
Book Reviews by Meagan Davenport
Author Interview & Book Reviews by Brie Donning
Author Interview & Book Spotlight at Saver of Memories
Character Chat #3 by the Ilyon Chronicles

Thursday – December 20
Book Spotlight by Sutori no Hana
Book Reviews by Kaylee’s Kind of Writes
Book Spotlight by M.H. Elrich
Author Interview at The Ink Lizard
Book Spotlight & Review at A Great God and Good Cocoa

Friday – December 21
Book Reviews at Smyling Girl
Author Interview at Dreams and Dragons
Book Review by Faith Blum
Author Interview & Book Reviews at Allison Grace Writes
Book Spotlight by Hannah Gaudette
Character Chat #4 by Tricia Mingerink

Saturday – December 22
Blog Tour Wrap up post at Jaye L. Knight