June 22, 2017

Soleri Blog Tour: Review, Excerpt + Giveaway


Author: Michael Johnston
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Publisher: Tor Books


Michael Johnston brings you the first in a new epic fantasy series inspired by ancient Egyptian history and King Lear.

The ruling family of the Soleri Empire has been in power longer than even the calendars that stretch back 2,826 years. Those records tell a history of conquest and domination by a people descended from gods, older than anything in the known world. No living person has seen them for centuries, yet their grip on their four subjugate kingdoms remains tighter than ever.

On the day of the annual eclipse, the Harkan king, Arko-Hark Wadi, sets off on a hunt and shirks his duty rather than bow to the emperor. Ren, his son and heir, is a prisoner in the capital, while his daughters struggle against their own chains. Merit, the eldest, has found a way to stand against imperial law and marry the man she desires, but needs her sister’s help, and Kepi has her own ideas.

Meanwhile, Sarra Amunet, Mother Priestess of the sun god’s cult, holds the keys to the end of an empire and a past betrayal that could shatter her family.

Detailed and historical, vast in scope and intricate in conception, Soleri bristles with primal magic and unexpected violence. It is a world of ancient and elaborate rites, of unseen power and kingdoms ravaged by war, where victory comes with a price, and every truth conceals a deeper secret.   

Praise for SOLERI:

"Soleri is bloody and utterly epic. A huge saga in a rich and deeply original world.” ―Lev Grossman, New York Times bestselling author

“Prepare to be ensnared in a web of ruthless politics and unbridled ambition, where even the authority of the emperor may be based on an ancient deception. Johnston builds an immersive world with elements of Egyptian and Roman history, myth, and religion. This story seethes with twists and turns, betrayals and secrets, and will keep you guessing until the very last page.” ―Cinda Williams Chima, New York Times bestselling author


Soleri is a mesmerizing first book in what promises to be an epic fantasy series - and it definitely one that fans of the genre should pick up. I enjoy reading fantasy, but I haven't read much in the high fantasy category. It always seems a bit intimidating, but I thought I'd give it a shot. I'm so glad I did! This was a fantastic novel full of history, myth, magic, politics, family, and so much more. Every aspect of the story was incredibly well crafted - no exceptions. The setting was amazing - full of vivid imagery and detailed descriptions that brought this world to life. I loved all the Egyptian-esque qualities built in. Each location was richly imagined and I enjoyed learning about each place and their inhabitants. I hope the next book allows us even more insight into this world - it's operation, history, politics, and all its secrets. 

The story has a unique narration - it's told from the viewpoints of five different characters, all from the ruling family. Each one has their own personal story lines that intersect with the overarching plot of the novel. I really liked getting to know each of these characters - their lives, problems, dreams, secrets, and everything in between. The only small issue I had with the writing style was the use of the third person POV. I'm a huge fan of the first person and almost always prefer it over any other style. I completely understand why the author chose to use the third person - due to the many main characters, it would've been confusing for them all to be told in the first person. I know this makes sense for many reasons, but I guess I'm pretty stubborn when it comes to this opinion. Please remember that this is exactly that - my own personal opinion - and has absolutely nothing to do with the story or writing itself. It's just a personal preference and I thought I'd share it because it had an impact on my reading experience. Overall, this was a wonderful first book in a promising new fantasy series, and I'm excited to see where the author will take us next. Definitely recommended for fans of fantasy, historical, and paranormal fiction. 
Michael Johnston was born in 1973 in Cleveland, Ohio. As a child and a teen he was an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy. He studied architecture and ancient history at Lehigh University and during a lecture on the history of ancient Egypt, the seed of an idea was born. He earned a master’s degree in architecture from Columbia University, graduating at the top of his class. Michael worked as an architect in New York City before moving to Los Angeles. Sparked by the change of locale, a visit to the desert, and his growing dissatisfaction with the architectural industry, he sought a way to merge his interests in architecture and history with his love of fantasy. By day he worked as an architect, but by night he wrote and researched an epic fantasy novel inspired by the history of ancient Egypt and the tragic story of King Lear. After working this way for several years, he shut down his successful architecture practice and resolved to write full time. He now lives and writes in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter.

You can find Michael on twitter @mjohnstonauthor

 You can purchase Soleri at the following Retailers:
(10) Winners will receive a Signed Signed ARC Copy of Soleri by Michael Johnston
Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter 


June 21, 2017

Marty Frye Private Eye Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway

Author: Janet Tashjian 
Pub. Date: June 27, 2017 
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)  
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback 
Pages: 96 
Find it:Amazon, B&N, iBooks, TBD, Goodreads 

Broken into three short stories of poetry and petty crime, this charming chapter book will have young readers in search of a rhyme in no time. Book 1 in the Marty Frye series! 

Marty Frye is not your ordinary sleuth. Marty Frye is a poet detective--he makes up rhymes as he solves small crimes. When his friend Emma's diary is missing, Marty is on the case. When Katie's flour is nowhere to be found, Marty tracks it down. And when the brand-new Action Chuck figures mysteriously vanish from the toy store, Marty unravels the mystery. Will there ever be a case too hard for Marty to solve? Or a word too impossible to rhyme? 

Broken into three short stories of poetry and petty crime, this charming chapter book will have young readers in search of a rhyme in no time. 

A Christy Ottaviano Book  

Author: Janet Tashjian 
Pub. Date: June 27, 2017 
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)  
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback 
Pages: 96 
Find it:Amazon, B&N,  TBD, Goodreads 

Marty Frye is not your ordinary private eye. Marty Frye is "the poet detective"--he solves petty crimes by turning rhymes. In the course of a busy day, Marty tracks down his friend Emma's lost diary, finds a box of toys missing from Mr. Lipsky's store; and locates a bag of disappearing flour for his little sister, Katie. Although he hits some dead ends along the way, Marty Frye combines his three favorite hobbies--sleuthing, rhyming, and climbing trees--and leaves no case unsolved or unrhymed. 

Three short stories with clear, simple sentences make this charming easy-reader an ideal stepping-stone to longer chapter books. Laurie Keller's quirky illustrations capture the spirit of Janet Tashjian's tongue-in-cheek humor. Young readers will be off in search of a rhyme in no time. 
Marty walked home from school. He was glad he could help his friend Emma today.

He walked by the hardware store, the clothing store, and the fire station.

He climbed up the tree in front of the ice-cream shop.

It was his favorite view of town.

From his perch, he could see Mr. Lipsky’s toy store. Mr. Lipsky stood on the sidewalk. He was shaking his head, looking sad. Marty climbed down the tree and walked over. He asked Mr. Lipsky what was wrong.

“I’m missing a box of toys. They were brand-new Action-Chuck dolls.”

Marty couldn’t believe it! Marty loved Action Chuck! Action Chuck was a truck driver on TV. He drove around the country and stopped bad guys. Marty watched his show every week.

Marty gave Mr. Lipsky a smile and said, “Mr. Lipsky, with some luck, you’ll soon be holding Action Chuck.”

Marty followed Mr. Lipsky inside. The store was full of giant panda dolls, woodpecker puzzles, baseball bats, skateboards, polka-dot beach balls, magic tricks, and poster paints. But most of all, the store was full of people. Some waited in line, some waited for help. Some waited to play with toys.

“If you give me the scoop, I can start to snoop,” Marty told Mr. Lipsky.

“The truck came after lunch,” Mr. Lipsky explained. “They delivered six boxes. Two boxes were filled with puppets, another with books. The fourth box was full of games and balloons, and the last two were Action Chuck boxes.” Mr. Lipsky walked over to a stack of boxes.

“Now there’s only one box of Action Chucks.”

Mr. Lipsky opened a box with his knife and took out an Action Chuck doll. Marty’s favorite—the one with the driving gloves and removable sunglasses.

“Twenty-four of these dolls are missing,” Mr. Lipsky said. “I can’t get another shipment for two months. So many children will be disappointed.”

Marty asked Mr. Lipsky who else was working in the store.

“My son, Peter, and a new boy, Tom,” he answered.

Marty got up from his chair.

“Let’s get to work. Where’s the new clerk?”
Janet Tashjian is a middle-grade and young adult novelist who’s been writing books for children for fifteen years. Her first novel Tru Confessions was made into a critically acclaimed Disney TV movie starring Clara Bryant and Shia LaBeouf. The Gospel According to Larry is a cult favorite and Fault Line is taught in many middle and high schools. Her novels My Life As a Book, My Life As a Stuntboy, and My Life As a Cartoonist are all illustrated by her teenage son, Jake. Their collaboration continues with My Life As a Ninja coming April of 2017. 

Janet lives with her family in Los Angeles, enjoying her respite from the long Boston winters. When she isn’t writing, she’s rewriting. Learn more about her and all her books at JanetTashjian.com! 

Janet has been doing school visits for fifteen years; you can email her at spatulaproductions@mac.com for details. 


Tour Schedule: 

Week One: 
6/19/2017- Novel Novice- Excerpt 
6/20/2017- Why I Read- Review 
6/21/2017- A Dream Within A Dream- Excerpt 
6/22/2017- The Pages In-Between- Review 
6/23/2017- LILbooKlovers- Excerpt 

Week Two: 
6/26/2017- BookHounds ya- Review 
6/27/2017-So Few Books- Interview 
6/28/2017- Miracle Milli Reads- Review 
6/29/2017-Book Review Becca- Review 
6/30/2017-Don't Judge, Read- Interview 


Book Blast + Giveaway: The Ghost of You and Me by Kelly Oram

The Ghost of You and Me
Author: Kelly Oram 

How do you tell someone who hates you and blames you for the death of his best friend that you miss him? 

From the bestselling teen and young adult author of Cinder & Ella comes a new heart-wrenching romance sure to bring all the feels. 

The tragic death of Spencer Schott unravels the lives of the two people he loved most—his girlfriend, Bailey, and his best friend, Wes. Secrets and guilt from that fateful night keep both Bailey and Wes from overcoming Spencer’s loss and moving on with their lives. 

Now, nearly a year later, both Bailey and Wes are still so broken over what happened that Spencer can’t find peace in the afterlife. In order to put his soul to rest, he’s given one chance to come back and set things right...even if that means setting up his girlfriend with his best friend. 

With the emotional resonance of Jellicoe Road and the magical realism of The Lovely Bones, The Ghost of You and Me is a story about overcoming grief, finding redemption for past mistakes, and the healing power of friendship and love. Fans of John Green, Sarah Dessen, and Nicholas Sparks are sure to love this haunting new tale from Kelly Oram. 

This is a clean young adult romance stand alone novel that reads like contemporary drama romance and has just a touch of magical realism.

Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen--a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which her family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and likes to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, four children, and her cat, Mr. Darcy. 

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway
Ends 7/15/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 


Cover Reveal + Giveaway: See Me, See Me Not by Elodie Nowodazkij


See Me, See Me Not (Gavert City #2)
Author: Elodie Nowodazkij

Genre: YA Romance/Suspense
Publication Date: August 29, 2017


The second standalone novel in the YA romantic suspense “Gavert City” series.

Try as they might…
Tessa and Luke can’t escape their pasts.

Six years ago, Tessa Gardner’s sister, Mellie, disappeared. Despite lingering guilt and the never ending desire to find her, seventeen-year-old Tessa works hard to keep it together. Her grades are decent, and thanks to her part-time job, she can help pay her family’s bills. But when her childhood crush, seventeen-year-old Luke Simon, rolls back into her small Texan town, he threatens to topple the delicate balance she created. She’s drawn to him—and the way he makes her smile. He’s the only one who seems to understand her, but he’s got a dark past of his own. Even the fake psychics who swear Mellie is still alive tell Tessa that Luke will cause her pain.

Luke Simon knows a thing or two about guilt. He moved in with his uncle to escape his past, but memories threaten to eat him alive. He does what he can to keep his anger in check—quieting his thoughts by making out with one meaningless girl after the next. Tessa, and her long legs and her hard-earned smiles and her kindness is the only girl who’s ever mattered. She’s the one untainted memory he has from his childhood and he could talk to her for hours. He could do anything with her for hours. But the truth about his past might send her running. Or worse.

While Tessa and Luke try their hardest to live in the present, their pasts lurk in the shadows, more intertwined than they could imagine. When the bodies of the fake psychics are found, Tessa realizes that the truth about what happened to Mellie is right around the corner—and it may be too late to save her sister—and herself.

Want to read bonus scenes? Sign up for my newsletter (http://bit.ly/1Ddrft5) to get them!

You can also join my Facebook fan group (http://on.fb.me/1J2SYl1) for early excerpts of my upcoming books, giveaways or to just hang out with me :)

Elodie Nowodazkij was raised in a tiny village in France, where she could always be found a book in hand. At nineteen, she moved to the US, where she learned she’d never lose her French accent. Now she lives in Maryland with her husband, their dog and their cat.

She's also a serial smiley user.