Book Review: ‘Birthright’ by Jessica Ruddick

Title: Birthright: The Legacy Series Book 1

Published: 26th January 2017

Author: Jessica Ruddick

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorJessicaRuddick

Twitter: @JessicaMRuddick

Synopsis:

How do you live with yourself when you decide who dies? Ava Parks would have killed for an iPod for her sixteenth birthday. Anything would have been better than coming into her birthright of being a seeker for the Grim Reaper, an arrangement made by her fallen angel ancestor in exchange for his re-admittance to heaven. And she isn’t just any seeker—she finds souls that have the potential for becoming angels and sentences them to death. A year and two souls into her role as a seeker with her conscience overflowing with guilt, Ava comes up with a plan to thwart the system. When it goes awry, she is forced to submit the name of a classmate, Cole Fowler, an ornery, rough around the edges guy who always seems to come to her rescue, whether she likes it or not. Her feelings for Cole prompt her to intervene, and she saves him from death, upsetting the Grim Reaper’s agenda. While Ava schemes to find a way to save Cole, she learns he has some secrets of his own. She lets him believe he is protecting her, and not the other way around, until a final showdown with the Grim Reaper forces Ava to make choices Cole may never forgive.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2017 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book with a purple cover. I do love all things purple and this cover made my day – love it!

So Ava and her mother are seekers. Descendents of a fallen angel who made a deal with God to get back into heaven. All his descendents from then on would become seekers. Their job is to find new souls who have the potential to become new angels. Once they find someone with a pure white aura (only finding people within your own age range) they have to give the name to their handler, a reaper. Its reapers who create, for lack of a better word, these peoples deaths so their souls can be collected and tested to see if they have what it takes to become an angel. Now Ava and her mothers’ handler Xavier is one nasty piece of work. If he threatens someone you can guarantee that he will follow through. With being a seeker they are immortal to a point. So what kind of pain do you think you might have to endure if you can’t die.

Ava found out about her heritage on her sixteenth birthday – not the gift she thought she’d get and definitely not the kind of job she thought she’d have to do for the rest of her life. For a year she has had to hone in on her gifts and find people when a new assignment comes in from Xavier. At first she didn’t really understand what was happening but now she does she knows nothing will ever be the same again. She can’t see how its fare for her to condemn good people to die before their time is up, even if they do have a chance to be an angel. The system is flawed in her eyes but she doesn’t want to go against it more than when she is told she has two weeks to find a new white soul. The one she finds she can’t explain as nothing seems right about it and she soon finds all she wants to do is protect to one who has it – Cole.

From the moment they meet there is a spark but it’s the back and forth sparing that will keep you reading to see where it goes. Seems they get paired on a project at school that will keep them close for a few weeks. Not that she’s complaining much. He may act like a bit of an asshole sometimes but she can’t deny the way he makes her feel or the pull that’s there. Its not until she lets down her guard and sees his aura that she starts to panic – it’s white. So white in fact that it pulses but the more she gets to know him and his past the more she is convinced something else is going on as he shouldn’t have an aura that white. His is the name she needs to give but the one she wants to protect the most. She’s trying to find a loophole so she can save him but is she willing to follow through on her plan? Causing trouble and breaking the rules leads to trouble for her and her mother and it looks like death might have marked Cole regardless. With his past coming back to cause trouble it puts them both in harms way. She longs to protect him from what’s coming but it’s his instincts that go into overdrive when she is in need of protecting. A road trip has its dangers but pulls them closer together. Lets get that spark growing some more shall we?

Interesting mix with the reapers, seekers and angels and how the systems work – or don’t as Ava sees it. You can clearly see a protective streak in Cole from the get go. He is drawn to Ava as much as she is to him but holds himself back. Well not completely, cracks start to appear at all the best times. Intriguing ending that kept you guessing right till the end as to how it would play out. Lets hope Ava and Cole can make a way through the chaos that’s coming their way. On to the next I say.

4 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from the author for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Penalty’ by Jacob Chance

Title: Penalty

Published: 10th May 2017

Publisher: Brothers Chance Publishing

Author: Jacob Chance

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jchanceauthor

Twitter: @JChanceAuthor

 

 

Synopsis:

He’s the bad boy quarterback of Boston University’s football team. As the son of a former NFL player, he’s showered with attention and praise twenty-four-seven. One flash of his smile and all the girls fall at his feet – or should I say to their knees?

And then there’s me.

Brady Lincoln is the last person I want attention from. He’s the kind of guy my father warned me about. His play on the field is legendary and his play with the ladies, even more so. I’ve managed to stay off his radar until recently.

What happens when the cocky quarterback breaks all the rules to win my heart?

 

Review:

Brady is your classic sexy brooding star quarterback who loves women and who women love. He is very hot and heavy with them – not that they complain in the slightest – and is used to getting them with merely a wink and a smile. He’s used to being a player so what happens when things get turned on their head and he meets someone who turns into something more. Once he meets Harlow it’s not long before he is doing the chasing and once he catches her he has no intention of letting her go. I love that his friend Zeke called it at the beginning by saying he’s going to love it when a girl comes along and knocks him on his arse. Well put my friend, you knew how things would go.

While at a party with her friend Raine Harlow quite literally bumps into the one guy who makes her heart race with just a look – Brady. And from the look he is giving her from that moment on she has to restrain herself from just falling into bed with him or to her knees. Something you know he had every intention of happening after being with her for just a few moments. She doesn’t want to be just another one-night stand though. He’s the type of guy her father warned her about so she knows she has to leave. She may pretend she doesn’t know him to begin with – something our bigheaded sportsman can’t seem to get his head around – but that’s more to do with self-preservation with having a very hot guy flirting with her, shocking her to no end. She can’t believe he would really be interested in her but she’s about to find out he is very persistent. She has caught his eye and is on his mind pretty much from then on. Seems he thinks she is playing hard to get but once he starts chasing her he realises he doesn’t want to lose her. He has every intention on keeping her and for more than one night. She might have created her own assumptions about him from his passed antics but he is all about getting her to see the real him. They seem to balance each other out, opposites attract and all that. Sizzling chemistry from the get go that gets hotter the longer they are together. Seems resisting temptations makes it that much sweeter when you finally get what or rather who you have been craving.

Thought their friends were fun when they where around. Found Cameron to be a massive asshole, he deserves what he gets. Have to say I had a feeling that Brady’s choice at the beginning would come back to bite him in the arse in the end. Cindy, Harlow’s stepmother, is just the bitch from hell. Her confession at the end left you wondering WTF, so I think here could have been developed a bit further but glad how it all worked out. Good read though so you should definitely check out what else the author has done.

4 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from Give Me Books for my honest review.

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Release Blitz: ‘Infinite Us’ by Eden Butler

 

Title: Infinite Us
Author: Eden Butler
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Blurb

 

Love is timeless…

Nash Nation loves zeroes and ones, over-sized monitors and late office hours. He’s too busy taking over the world to make time for relationships—that is, until his new neighbor Willow O’Bryant barges into his life, and now Nash can’t shake the feeling that this isn’t the first time she’s interrupted his world.

Then, the dreams start. And in the dreams—memories.

Memories of a girl named Sookie who couldn’t count on love or friendship, never mind forever. Memories of a library and a boy called Isaac and secrets made in private that destroyed his world.

The memories seem real, but who do they belong to?

When Nash and Willow discover the truth, life as they know it unravels.

The bridge between this life and the next is shored up by blood and bone and memory. Sometimes, that bridge leads to the place we’ve always wanted to be.

 

Purchase Links
99c for a limited time
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

Author Bio

Eden Butler is an editor and writer of Mystery, Suspense and Contemporary Romance novels and the nine-times great-granddaughter of an honest-to-God English pirate. This could explain her affinity for rule breaking and rum.

When she’s not writing or wondering about her possibly Jack Sparrowesque ancestor, Eden patiently waits for her Hogwarts letter, edits, reads and spends way too much time watching rugby, Doctor Who and New Orleans Saints football.

She is currently living under teenage rule alongside her husband in southeast Louisiana.

Please send help.

Author Links

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Book Review: ‘Reap Not the Dragon’ by Debra Kristi

Title: Reap Not the Dragon (The Age of the Hybrid Book 2)

Published: 3rd February 2015

Publisher: Ghost Girl Publishing

Author: Debra Kristi

Facebook: www.facebook.com/DebraKristi.writer

Twitter: @DebraKristi

 

Synopsis:

A Reaper with a mission.

Sebastian is finished following commands. Higher powers be damned. He has his own agenda – find Kyra and help restore her memory.

At first his plan goes better than expected. But as life starts looking up for the would-be Reaper, his metaphorical sickle becomes caught in a web of complications.

Things are never smooth for Sebastian and Kyra.

Best-laid plans sometimes rest in peace.

A detour…unexpected and unwelcome…delivers Sebastian into the depths of a grave situation. Misfortune and misunderstanding are the cards dealt to him. And events fail to flip in his favor.

Creatures from hell all want a piece of the young Reaper. If Sebastian ends up dead, that’s okay. For he has a more grievous beast to worry about. To save the woman he loves, Sebastian will venture into the heart of an all-powerful fire demon.

Sebastian must find a missing dragon and the key to Kyra’s memory without being devoured by sinister beasts or…even worse…consumed by his own inner demons.

 

Review:

So we finally now know that Marcus is a nasty piece of work who clearly had a plan in motion before Kyra even met him. Her ‘by chance’ moment of being a saviour might not have been by chance at all. He might not want to hurt her per say but that doesn’t cover her dragon. After she bound herself to him with Higgins spell she was tied to his life or death. Seems the spell worked to keep him alive but pulled her dragon out in the process. Seems Marcus is not who he seems. A man on a mission with his band of demon misfits and dragons are the key. Let’s just hope he gets what’s coming to him.

Kyra wakes from her fall with no memory of who or what she really is. When she sees Marcus she feels a connection to him, so when he says they are together she has no reason to question. Even though he and his friends seem to go out of their way to prevent her from remembering her past. Its not until she gets a visit from Sebastian that things start to change. She might not know him straight away but her subconscious is working its way to the surface. She knows he is a key to her past but danger may follow the path she’s on.

Well Sebastian it seems got himself in a bit of trouble by helping Kyra when she was in purgatory. Saving her meant he had to earn some brownie points so to speak with his father. Paid by doing the job he was born to do. Well half of him anyway as he is a mix of two worlds just like Kyra. He is part reaper and it was only at the end of book one Kyra finally understood his tattoo. A list of names waiting to die but whose outcome of those lives can change from outside sources. After helping his father he knows he needs to get back to Kyra. He has been away too long and it seems Marcus’ hold might be too strong to break. Good job he knows a few carnie people who might be able to help then. Though getting Kyra safe and her memories back take a back seat when danger starts to follow him around instead. Who to trust is a question most will ask but not many will have an answer. You have a battle brewing and it’s not just with dragons. Seems Kyra and Sebastian our in the centre of it whether they want to be or not. Lets see if they get out of it in one piece.

Liked that we got to learn a bit more about Sebastian this time and can see why he held himself back from Kyra to begin with. Interesting journey he is on with his quest to get Kyra back. As soon as he gets her back though lets hope they can really spark that fire that’s been simmering away between them. Romance needs to bloom even in the face of a battle. The carnival will always be there in your time of need and I have a feeling that Zeke is connected to it more than he appears. On to the final installment I say to see how the journey will end.

4 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book via Book Funnel.

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Author Interview: ‘Spine Chillers’ by Q.L. Pearce

About the Book:

The town of Saltlick Bluff is famous for an urban legend. Does the spirit of a young girl wait on a misty cliff-hugging highway for her ride to the prom?In the house on Beech Street a terrible tragedy occurred. Now neighbors won’t look at the place as they pass. Those who live nearby draw their blinds and shutter their windows after dark. What are they afraid of?

Hale Hallow Woods seems sinister and menacing even in the light of day. Does a thirst for revenge beat near its dark heart?

The answers lie within these pages, just waiting to send a chill up your spine!

“Spine Chillers: Hair-Raising Tales is a unique blend of fear and fun – a collection of haunted worlds you’ll find yourself returning to again and again. Pearce reveals her secrets masterfully – and each one packs a spookier punch than the last.” ALISTAIR CROSS, BESTSELLING AUTHOR

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I’m Canadian-born to British parents. I spent my infancy in Baranquilla, Colombia, my early childhood on an island in Florida, my teen years in Palm Springs, California, and my early adulthood in New York City. Currently, I live in California with my wonderful husband, two very spoiled dogs, a talkative bird and a bevy of fish. My daughter recently graduated from college and now lives in San Francisco.

I’ve loved writing since I was a child. I won my first school writing contest in third grade and my first city sponsored contest at age eleven. I actually got into a little trouble when I was a kid for telling scary stories that frightened my friends.

As an adult, my first paid publication was an activity book about dinosaurs. I have since written more than 120 books including educational, nonfiction, biography, and fiction for all age ranges. My absolute favorite is scary fiction for middle grade to YA readers. Scary Stories for Sleep-Overs, my first collection of short stories, was published as a middle grade series by Price, Stern, Sloan.

2: Do you have a favorite time and place where you write?

When I write I usually sit at my dining room table. I have a home office with a desk, but my dogs prefer the main room and I like to work with them close by. I begin my day with meditation even before my first cup of coffee. I start reading and research by mid-morning then spend two or three hours writing. My dogs take me out for walks a couple of times a day and I use that time to brainstorm. I usually write for another hour or so at the end of the day.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Ideas come from everywhere…magazines, newspapers, travel. An offbeat article about Scottish castles or crop circles might catch my eye and suggest a story. I might see a strangely shaped tree while on a hike and wonder what lurks at its roots. I enjoy prowling through antique stores for curious objects or photographs that might spark an idea, or hiking around in new environments to use as settings. My dear friend, author Tamara Thorne, and I sometimes take road trips. We visit haunted hotels, abandoned buildings and ghost towns, all for inspiration.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

For nonfiction I work with an outline. For fiction I loosely sketch out the beginning, middle, and end of each manuscript, get to know my characters, then start writing.

I don’t accept writer’s block without a fight and I never just stare at an empty screen. When I’m working on a first draft I try to keep going. I write anything as long as words are on the page. I try not to self-edit too much until the general manuscript takes shape. Once I have something to work with I can go back and edit and tweak. Sometimes that approach can take your work in surprising directions that really work.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

As a reader I am drawn to plot-driven books that have a mystery at the core. I have found that good paranormal tales keep me turning pages. As a writer, middle grade to YA horror, sci-fi and mystery are my favorites. I enjoy the world building and the suspension of disbelief required in a ghost story. Things that go bump in the night are part of my British heritage and I enjoy researching creepy tales and urban legends.

I remember reading one of Stephen King’s early books, Salem’s Lot. It terrified me! It’s a vampire novel and I was so caught up in the lore I felt safe reading it only during the day. For weeks after I finished it I kept a nightlight on in my room because I was so creeped out.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

Since Spine Chillers, Hair-Raising Tales is a collection of seven short stories about tweens and young teens, the cast would be young and there would be quite a few of them. If I could pick from child actors of any era my dream cast would include: Natalie Portman, Jaimie Bell, Quvenzhané Wallis, Chloe Moretz, Roddy McDowall, Abraham Atta, Rory Culkin, Catinka Untaru, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Billy Mumy, Patty McCormack, Natalie Wood, and the entire child cast of Goonies.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors.

I read a lot. My list of favorite authors includes Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman, Margaret Atwood, Christopher Moore, and James Howe. When it comes to horror, I love Shirley Jackson’s work, particularly The Haunting of Hill House. As a child of the Twilight Zone age I prefer tales with unusual twists and turns rather than stories that are gory.

Ray Bradbury is one of my heroes. I love his writing style and he was the master when it came to short stories. I had the opportunity to hear him speak once. He was just as wonderful in person. One of my favorite quotes of his is, “We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.”

Roald Dahl wrote some wonderful children’s books, like The Witches and The Twits. His work could be sweet and sentimental, whimsical, scary or darkly humorous. Sometimes all in the same book.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

I just finished Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. Now I’m starting Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner. Next in line…Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, A Field Guide to Awkward Silences by Alexandra Petri, The Sellout by Paul Beatty, Hallelujah Anyway by Anne Lamott, and Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman.

9: What is your favorite book and why?

That’s such a difficult question! I suppose out of everything I have ever read, Animal Farm by George Orwell made the biggest impression on me. Something Wicked This Way Comes, Coraline and The Graveyard Book are also on the list.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

The advice I give to working writers is finish what you start. I have several manuscripts that are sitting in a file folder because I didn’t push through when I hit a weak spot. Once that happens I start second-guessing and lose momentum.

The advice I would give to those who enjoy writing horror is to let the readers do some of the work. The unknown is deeply emotional. Provide the story, the characters, atmosphere, the dread, but don’t fill in every detail. Leave some room for the reader’s imagination to personalize the fear.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?

I have a website at www.qlpearce.com

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/Q.-L.-Pearce

YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=db4aQLSyKMg&feature=youtu.be

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ql.pearce

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/q-l-pearce

Excerpt from Spine Chillers:

Prom Date

The Roller Grille was the real deal. An authentic drive-in restaurant with car hops on roller skates delivering trays of burgers and fries to people parked outside. It had been in business for decades. Other than a fresh coat of paint now and then it hadn’t changed from the day it opened.Tyler, Andy and Jacob threaded around the cars and pushed through the glass doors to the diner. A hostess dressed in a fuzzy sweater and a poodle skirt guided customers to booths covered in red vinyl. A candy-colored jukebox blared from a corner. The laughter and chatter of the crowd was louder than the music. Tyler noticed Shay jammed into a booth with her friends. He raised a hand in greeting but she ignored him.

Andy pointed to the long soda fountain. “There’s room over there.” Tyler nodded and they each claimed a stool.

“What’ll it be?” Randy, the soda jerk adjusted his black bow tie and gave them a toothy grin. The boys ordered shakes.

Andy whirled around once on his stool and stopped to face Jacob. “So do they have any place like this in Phoenix?”

“No. This is pretty cool.” He looked around and his eye settled on a wall of photographs. “Who are those people?”

“Those are the prom kings and queens from the high school,” Tyler answered.

“Wow there’s like a hundred of them. What’s the deal with those two?” Jacob pointed to a black and white photo that was larger than the rest.

Tyler slipped into telling the story that everyone in town knew by heart. “That’s Johnny Tonnarro and his girlfriend, Samantha. He was like a rock star a long time ago. He got killed in an accident off Yetter Point.”

“It was a foggy night. He drove his car off the cliff and got squished like a pancake,” Andy added. “His girlfriend waited for hours in the cold for him to show up. She was all dressed for the prom and crying like a baby.”

Jacob gazed at Samantha’s sweet face. “That’s sad. What happened to her?”

Tyler lowered his voice for effect. “She drowned a year later on the anniversary of the accident. She was down on the jetty throwing flowers out into the ocean, those stinky white ones…gardenias. A wave swept her off the rock. Some people say they’ve seen her.”

“Seen her? What do you mean?”

Andy took up the story again. “Every year around this time her ghost waits out on Thorne Road near Highway One for Johnny to pick her up. Just standing there crying.”

Randy placed the shakes in front of the boys and joined in. “This time of year the evenings are usually foggy,” “They say she waits just off the edge of the road in the mist – lavender gown, white gloves, and gardenias in her long, blonde hair.”

Jacob’s mouth dropped open and his eyes grew wide. “Really? A real ghost? You’ve seen her?”

Taylor and Andy couldn’t hold back their laughter. “Nobody’s seen her,” Andy snickered. “It’s all made up. Not the accident part but the ghost part.

Jacob frowned. “So Samantha didn’t really die?”

“Oh, yeah. She died alright. She drowned. But only little kids and tourists swallow the ghost story. You have to be a real lamebrain to believe it. Last year the town newspaper offered a ten thousand dollar reward for anybody who could get a photograph of her. There were a lot of fakes but nobody’s earned the money yet.”

Still grinning, Tyler turned to take a sip of his milkshake and caught a glimpse of Shay. She was staring toward the entrance. If looks could kill, her eyes were lethal weapons. Tyler followed her gaze.

“Uh oh,” he whispered and his smile faded. His brother was holding the door open for Anilla Jacoby, Shay’s arch-enemy. Anilla beamed up at Lane and slipped her arm through his. The couple slid into a booth. Shay stood and stormed toward the door without looking at them.

“This isn’t good,” Tyler muttered.

A moment later his phone beeped. He read the text. Come outside now. We need to talk. Shay was waiting for him as he pushed open the door.

“I thought I would die of embarrassment. I can’t believe he would show up here in front of everyone with that airhead hanging on him like that. Now I know why he’s been avoiding me.” She turned on Tyler. “How long has this been going on?”

“Don’t ask me. This is the first time I’ve seen him with Anilla.”

“He needs to pay a price for humiliating me like that. I want to embarrass him in front of all of his friends!”

Tyler shifted nervously. “Shay I don’t want to…”

“Think of something!”

“Look, Shay. Maybe you should just let it go. He’s my brother. I can’t …”

“I’m not going to let this go, Tyler.” She leaned in and growled. “You’re with me or against me. And trust me, if you want to survive high school you don’t want to be against me. I can make your life miserable.” Shay turned and stomped away.

Excerpt from Spine Chillers, by Q.L. Pearce
Copyright © Glass Apple Press 2016.

About the Author:

Q.L.Pearce is the author of more than 120 books for young readers, from picture books to YA, as well as film tie-in books for the Fox animated film Titan AE and the Universal animated series Land Before Time. Red Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala Sa (Carolrhoda Books, with co-author and illustrator, Gina Capaldi), received several awards including a Carter G. Woodson Book Award gold medal from NCSS and a Moonbeam Children’s Book Award gold medal. Her fiction includes the popular middle grade series, Scary Stories for Sleep-Overs italisize (Price, Stern, Sloan). Q believes strongly in the value of scary books for young readers. When asked what credentials she has which qualify her as an expert in this area she replies, “I was a child once. That was very scary.”

 

Author’s contact info: contact@bamliterature.com or http://www.qlpearce.com/contact

Books by Q.L. Pearce

Mysterious Encounters: Mysterious Disappearances

Mysterious Encounters: Mothman

Mysterious Encounters: Reincarnation

Mysterious Encounters: La Llorona

Mysterious Encounters: Ghost Hunters

Scary Stories for Stormy Nights

More Scary Stories for Sleep-Overs

Still More Scary Stories for Sleep-Overs

Even More Scary Stories for Sleep-Overs

Super Scary Stories for Sleep-Overs

The 25 Strangest Mysteries in the World

50 Scariest Places and Strangest Mysteries

Blood Moon Harbor (co-author Francesca Rusackas)

Gross Science Experiments

Monsters: Wendigo

Monsters: The Furies

Red Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala-Sa, Native American Author, Musician, and Activist

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