Review: Summer Days & Summer Nights Edited by Stephanie Perkins

I’ve not read a lot of Young Adult books….I’m not sure why, I think it might be because my memories of the Young Adult genre are the sickly sweet Sweet Valley High series!! (It still gives me shivers!)
So I wasn’t sure what to expect when I received this book to review, especially with the happy sunny cover I thought I was going to be catapulted back to my Sweet Valley Days!!  But that’s not what happened…this collection of stories are sophisticatedly written and tackle contemporary issues faced by young adults all wrapped up in not just romantic stories, as saying that doesn’t do it justice, but fantasy, paranormal, suspense…I could go on!
I was captivated by each story and If I had to pick a favourite it would be “In Ninety Minutes, Turn North”.  It wasn’t the creepiest or lustiest but something about the authors writing style just kept me reading. It was the only one in the whole book that I read in one go!
I’m so converted to Young Adult by this collection I’m off to read the previous collection in this series!!
I don’t want to give away anything in this anthology so I’m not going to review each story individually as they are each so varied I found it a nice surprise when doing a 180 from one topic to the next so I don’t want to spoil it for you!
I always find it hard to review a collection of stories by different authors as it is inevitable with different writing styles I’m going to like some more than others.  But, in the case of this collection I can honestly say I enjoyed them all; I think credit should go to Stephanie Perkins editing skills to bring all these great stories together!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own

Cover Reveal: Daemoneum By Laney McMann


Daemoneum
Laney McMann
(The Primordial Principles #2)
Published by: Jagged Lane Books
Publication date: July 2016
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Boulder, Colorado is too quiet, and no one needs to remind Cole Spires how unnatural that is.
In the aftermath of Dracon’s death, the Daemoneum have gone into hiding. Every known Hive has been shut down and evacuated, and for the first time in Cole’s memory, the Brotherhood, Kinship, and all common houses across the country and abroad are considering lockdown. Leygates are being systematically closed around the world, and the Primordial are waiting …
In the bunker underneath the Brotherhood, Kade Sparrow is as safe as she can possibly be, or that’s the idea, but no one can explain how her Astrum necklace found its way into her bedroom. There were no footprints, no traces of breaking and entering, no evidence of any kind that someone had infiltrated the Brotherhood common house. Yet the necklace still sat on her night stand, wound in a perfect circle of gold, the tiny star glinting on its chain. And the only person who could have put it there … is dead.
In the second installment of The Primordial Principles, strange occurrences are happening across the globe. Relationships will be tested, old players will become new, foes will turn into allies, and an unlikely adversary will force Cole and Kade to go on the run.
As the fallen rise, the Primordial must unite as one.
Or all could be lost.

Sequel to:
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Author Bio:
Laney McMann is the author of The Fire Born Novels, The Primordial Principles, and The CrossWorld Chronicles (coming soon)
The product of very creative parents and the most imaginative grandmother ever, she has an untapped passion for the supernatural and all things magical. Her voracious appetite for reading fantasy started really young ~ and so did her love of words.
She writes young adult dark urban fantasy novels mixed with a spike of romance, a hint of history, a dash of mythology, and lots of paranormal.
On the non-writing side of life, Laney is a former classical dancer, music snob, chef, and a right-brained thinker to a fault. When she’s not dreaming up new dead ends to torture herself with, she spends her time running and playing her music way too loud.
Laney is published by J. Taylor Publishing and formerly by Booktrope Publishing.


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Running the Coast for a Cure Book Tour

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About the Book
D:DocumentsEnchanted Book PromotionsBook ToursUpcoming ToursRunning the Coast for A Cureal_Run ebookcover.jpgTitle: Running The Coast For A Cure
Author: Al DeCesaris
Genre: Nonfiction Memoir
Paperback: 366 pages
Non-fiction: Memoir
Published: April 9, 2016
The book is available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/dp/0692687599/





In 2014, Al DeCesaris set out on a 1,935-mile solo run from Lubec, Maine to Key Largo, Florida. He ran to bring hope to his 10-year-old niece Jenna who suffers with Sturge-Weber Syndrome, a rare and life-threatening neurological disorder. He ran to create awareness and raise funds for medical research so a cure can be found.
For three consecutive months, he battled the rigors of the road, endured numerous injuries, encountered wild animals, and narrowly escaped getting hit by more than a few reckless drivers. Yet, he also experienced the generosity of strangers, had heart-warming interactions with families affected by this devastating disorder, and came to realize – with purpose, determination, and belief – even the seemingly impossible can be achieved.
Running The Coast For A Cure is one man’s journey to make a difference for his niece. Told with humor and warmth, Al candidly captures the adversity he faced and the joy he experienced as he ran close to a marathon a day through 14 states down the East Coast. His journey of love and hope will have you running with him, and leave you inspired.

D:DocumentsEnchanted Book PromotionsBook ToursUpcoming ToursRunning the Coast for A CureAl DeCesaris author pic2.JPGAuthor Bio
For the past 10 years Al DeCesaris has volunteered his time and dedicated his efforts to fighting Sturge-Weber Syndrome, a rare and life-threatening neurological disorder that afflicts his young niece Jenna. Through charitable events, athletic endeavors, and his “For A Cure” books, he has created considerable awareness about the disorder and helped raise significant funds to further the efforts to find a cure.
CHARITABLE EVENTS:
Al’s crusade began not long after the birth of his niece. Recognizing the need and importance of raising funds for the research and treatment of Sturge-Weber Syndrome, he and his family organized a concert and auction fundraiser called Bands on the Bay. The fundraiser proved to be a huge success and motivated them to turn it into an annual event. Since its inception, Bands on the Bay has raised over $1,000,000. This money has directly supported the work of the Sturge-Weber Center at Kennedy Krieger Institute and helped fund research that led to the discovery of the cause of Sturge-Weber Syndrome.
ATHLETIC ENDEAVORS:
Even with the success of Bands on the Bay and the DeCesaris family’s contributions to this ground-breaking discovery, Al couldn’t help but think that there was more they could do to further the efforts to find a cure. More he could do.
In 2013, he set out on a solo cross-country bicycle journey in honor of Jenna. Despite great adversity, he biked over 3,000miles from Santa Monica, California to Ocean City, Maryland. Through his Crossing America For A Cure bike ride, he created awareness about Sturge-Weber Syndrome across the country, raised critical funds for medical research, and brought hope to his niece and countless others suffering with this devastating disorder.
In 2014, he took on another incredibly challenging endeavor, this time on foot. Running close to a marathon a day for three consecutive months, he logged 1,935 miles as he made his way from Lubec, Maine to Key Largo, Florida. Through his Running The Coast For A Cure charity run, he created awareness about Sturge-Weber Syndrome down the East Coast, raised additional funds for ongoing research, and inspired numerous individuals to join the fight against the disorder.
BOOKS:
After both his ride and his run, Al wrote books about his experiences on the road: the things he saw, the emotions he felt, the challenges he faced and of the extraordinary people he met along the way. His books about these athletic endeavors, Crossing America For A Cure and Running The Coast For A Cure, are honest, entertaining and, above all, inspirational.
Al’s “For A Cure” books are available for purchase on Amazon. To further the efforts to find a cure, Al is dedicating all profits from the sale of his books to Sturge-Weber research.


Excerpt


In each of us is the power to make a difference! This isn’t just rhetoric. This is something I wholeheartedly believe, something I’ve observed time and again. So when the cause of Sturge-Weber Syndrome – the rare neurological disorder that afflicts my 10-year-old niece Jenna – was discovered, I knew it was time, my time, to help further the efforts to find a cure.

I was determined to make a difference in Jenna’s life and in the lives of all those suffering with this devastating disorder. Thus, on the heels of my 2013 cross-country bike ride, which I chronicled in my book, Crossing America For A Cure: A Bicycle Journey Of Inspiration And Hope, I began training for a new charity event – a solo athletic endeavor that would have me running close to a marathon a day through 14 states down the entire East Coast.

I suppose I could have come up with something a little less arduous (no doubt, my legs would have appreciated it), but I wanted to do something unique and eye-opening to create as much awareness and raise as much money for Sturge-Weber research as possible. My plan was to run (walk … and even crawl, if necessary) on average 22 miles a day for three consecutive months from Lubec, Maine to Key Largo, Florida. Picking up each day exactly where I left off the day before, I would cover every mile (every foot actually) down the coast.

Now, it’s no secret I’ve never been much of an athlete. And I didn’t have the running experience that would lead one to believe I could accomplish something this ambitious. In fact, even though I planned to run close to a marathon a day, I’d never actually run a marathon. Still, I have something within me that I knew would make this seemingly impossible task achievable – purpose. My purpose is my desire to help my beautiful young niece Jenna live a better life. For her and because of her, I am inspired to fight Sturge-Weber Syndrome on her behalf.

Blitz: The Exlied Seven By Blake Renworth


The Exiled Seven
Blake Renworth
(The Exiled Series, #1)
Published by: Inglenook Publishing House
Publication date: May 12th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult

When Alariq is exiled from his home city-state for a crime he did not commit, only six stand by his side, convinced of his innocence and steadfast in their loyalty.
The seven dwarfs must set out from Ishtara to look for a new place to call home, but in doing so, they make a discovery that puts them all in danger. They are rescued and taken in by a mysterious and beautiful outsider, who lives alone in the depths of Loraheem Forest. What follows is Alariq’s struggle to come to terms with his exile, as those around him seek to make a place for themselves in this new life. Soon, however, it becomes clear their situation is more complex than they initially realized, and they begin to wonder if there is more behind Alariq’s exile than simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Told in a unique storyteller voice, this reversal and reimagining of the classic fairy tale explores the themes of shattering betrayal, the subsequent struggle to trust again, and the basic desire to take control of one’s own destiny.

EXCERPT:

If you will, please imagine the tallest and most beautifully handsome man you can, the complete and perfect embodiment of classic male beauty, charm, and chivalry.
Now—cast this image far from your mind. For this tale is not about him. Many of such tales have already been told, and to tell yet another would be a great disservice to the other heroes of the world.
The hero around whom this tale revolves—and a hero I assure you he was, even if your faith may waver during the events that follow—was a hero of a different sort. Though it would be altogether unfair to say that he did not entirely look the part. He was as handsome as dwarfs come. Strong, in both physique and demeanor, and clearly one who commanded respect. But his jaw-length, dark blonde hair, the color of wet straw, and not even five-foot stature are not what you and I are accustomed to seeing in our mind’s eye when we think of the heroes of tall tales. Nor his slightly crooked nose or angular jawline, for that matter.
What about his personality, you ask? For, of course, looks are not all that matter in a champion. And I applaud your depth of character. But sadly, I must disappoint you and your commendable optimism. For this hero was not charming, or dashing, or gallant, or really very pleasant in any way at all. In fact, he could be downright unpleasant to be around when in one of his all-too-frequent foul dispositions. And unfortunately, it is in such a disposition that we find Alariq as we join his story.
As disagreeable as Alariq was, I am sure you will find his demeanor quite understandable. You see, his story is an unfortunate one. We find him, and his six loyal companions, banished from their city-state, Alariq for a crime he did not commit, and the others for their loyalty to him and their faith in his innocence.
Seven dwarfs they were, exiled and alone.


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Villa America by Liza Klaussmann

I think historical fiction is difficult to do well and the lost generation is a popular topic.  
A large part of the first half of the book builds the romance between Sara and Gerald Murphy and I love the authors use of letters between the pair to break up the prose.  However, I did struggle to keep reading at times as I found it a bit slow but when the author brought in the Hemingway’s, the Fitzgerald’s and others it really brought the book alive and I enjoyed the opulence and grandeur the story helped me imagine.
The author’s use of real people and personalities makes the story feel more real and their unique personalities brought together really add an interesting dynamic to the group.
It took a long time for me to understand Owens party in this vibrant story but when I became clear it just added a different dimension to the story.  It was twists and surprises like this that kept me reading.
I did not enjoy the ending so much….it didn’t really feel like an ending it just sort of dwindled to the last page and I wanted it to be as vibrant as the high moments in this story.  However, if the author’s desire was to leave me wanting more then she definitely achieved that. 

Review: Calm by Michael Acton Smith

These types of books are usually right up my street but I was left somewhat disappointed by this book.
There is no doubt that the book itself is visually stunning and it is the first time I’ve come across a book like it. Its full of inspirational quotes and stunning imagery.  I even love the way the book feels when I’m holding it (not weird right??)
But,  I found this book didn’t give me anything new, it didn’t inspire me to think differently and didn’t teach me anything I didn’t already know. 
It’s very beautifully illustrated common sense.
What I also struggled with at times with this book is that it felt like an advert for the app.  I guess to some extent that is what it is but it felt a bit duped by it as rather than feeling the author was writing for the love of helping others (which I no doubt that he was) I felt I was being sold something
But…What I did love about this book was that it encourages you to write for yourself! Dotted through the book are journal pages which encourage you to stop an think about your day and what you are grateful for; I thought that was a really nice touch.
The best bit of the book is the surprise activity at the end I really thought that was a novel idea and a great one to! I won’t spoil it for you but just watch out for the dots on each page as you read.

Disclosure: I received this book free of charge from the Mumsnet bookclub in return for my honest feedback.  All opinions are my own

Trailer Blitz: Black Water Tales: The Unwanted

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Book Trailer

About the Book


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Title: Black Water Tales: The Unwanted
Author: Jean Nicole Rivers
Genre: New Adult Psychological Horror
In the remote, eastern European town of Borslav there is St. Sebastian orphanage, a place where people discard their unwanted children. For the American, Blaire Baker, it’s the perfect place to volunteer her services. Paired with a cheerful volunteer nurse, Blaire is enthusiastic about the possibilities, but is quickly discouraged when she encounters the nefarious nature of the staff and the deplorable conditions of the facility and the children.
Upon arrival, one of the children informs Blaire, “There’s something in the basement.” It isn’t long before strange things begin happening, including Blaire’s flashbacks of the accident that killed her parents. The children soon suffer injuries that Blaire, first, fears may be the deeds of the callous workers but she soon thinks the abuse may originate from a source that is less than human, something unwanted.
The unwanted is coming but in order for Blaire to fight it, she must dig into St. Sebastian and herself in search of truth. Blaire wants nothing more than to help the children, but when she discovers the tragedy that happened in the basement and learns that the same evil forces are still at work, it will be Blaire who needs help…There’s something in the basement.
Reviews
OH MY GOD I LOVED THIS STORY! If I could pick a novel to be turned into a major motion picture, I would pick Black Water Tales: The Unwanted. This thriller/horror story is sooo scary! And I loved every minute of it! —A Well Read Woman Book Review
I got chills so many times and couldn’t read it before bed! —A Book Lover’s Life Book Blog
The book starts off right away with the creepy and it doesn’t let up until the end. – Vik Booklover
I was completely engaged in the story and had a hard time putting it down, partly because I was interested in the answers and partly because I was terrified, and also just because it was just a really well written read. — SMADA’s Book Smack

Author Bio

JNR Author Photo
Jean Nicole Rivers is a great lover of reading and writing. Although she loves varied genres, the horror/thriller genre is her favorite. Jean Nicole has been writing poetry and short stories since she was a child, but has always aspired to master the art of storytelling through novels. The Unwanted is the second story in her series of Black Water Tales, following The Secret Keepers.
Jean Nicole was awarded 3rd place in the National Black Book Festival’s 2013 Best New Author competition and she enjoys the honor of having written featured articles for popular reader websites and blogs, such as Digital Book Today and The Masquerade Crew.
Jean Nicole Rivers graduated from Florida International University with a bachelor of arts in philosophy, and she lives in Houston, Texas.
Become friends with her at www.facebook.com/JNicolerivers. Follow her on Twitter @Jeannicole19. Check out her Instagram @Jeannicole19 or visit her at www.jeannicolerivers.com.

Links

@JeanNicole19 (Instagram and Twitter)
Black Water Tales: The Unwanted: http://tinyurl.com/zacbfcl
Black Water Tales: The Secret Keepers: http://tinyurl.com/zvoyfgq

A Dangerous Green By Stacy Hall

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About the Book

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Title: A Dangerous Green
Author: Stacy Hall
Genre: Fantasy
The Sanctioned Realm is being hijacked by a cruel and power-hungry king. King Zaranth isn’t like other Touched humans who can command animals, plant life, or the ancient elements. His Death Touched ability not only yields him virtually indestructible, but gives him power over the minds of humans he chooses. He’s
using his involuntary servants to seize the realm and shape it to his own crushing desires.
After Vandara Datore witnesses King Zaranth murder her beloved sister, she vows revenge. She partners with a group of Touched vigilantes called the Fist, who are committed to ending King Zaranth’s rule. As an unlikely sword master with magical abilities to control plant life, Van becomes the Fist’s favorite weapon. While in search of the King’s right-hand witch, Van believes she’s closer than ever to gaining her
revenge. However, she’s about to discover that her enemies are not who she thinks they are… and neither are her friends.

Author Bio

Stacy Hall is the author of the Sanctioned Realm series and has had flash fiction published at Flash Fiction Magazine and 101 Words. In her free time she enjoys sewing and all things crafty.

Links