The Girl Who Saved Ghosts: COVER REVEAL

The Girl Who Saved Ghosts
K.C. Tansley
(The Unbelievables, #2)
Publication date: October 17th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Mystery, Young Adult

She tried to ignore them. Now she might risk everything to save them.

After a summer spent in a haunted castle—a summer in which she traveled through time to solve a murder mystery—Kat is looking forward to a totally normal senior year at McTernan Academy. Then the ghost of a little girl appears and begs Kat for help, and more unquiet apparitions follow. All of them are terrified by the Dark One, and it soon becomes clear that that this evil force wants Kat dead.

Searching for help, Kat leaves school for the ancestral home she’s only just discovered. Her friend Evan, whose family is joined to her own by an arcane history, accompanies her. With the assistance of her eccentric great aunts and a loyal family ghost, Kat soon learns that she and Evan can only fix the present by traveling into the past.

As Kat and Evan make their way through nineteenth-century Vienna, the Dark One stalks them, and Kat must decide what she’s willing to sacrifice to save a ghost.

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Author Bio:

K.C Tansley lives with her warrior lapdog, Emerson, and three quirky golden retrievers on a hill somewhere in Connecticut. She tends to believe in the unbelievables–spells, ghosts, time travel–and writes about them.

Never one to say no to a road trip, she’s climbed the Great Wall twice, hopped on the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg, and danced the night away in the dunes of Cape Hatteras. She loves the ocean and hates the sun, which makes for interesting beach days.

The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts is her debut YA time-travel murder mystery novel. As Kourtney Heintz, she also writes award winning cross-genre fiction for adults.

If you’d like to receive exclusive bonus content on my books, subscribe to my author updates: http://kourtneyheintz.com/contact/

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Dreamwalkers: Blog Tour

Title: Dreamwalkers

Author: Tiaan Lubbe

Genre: YA Fantasy / Adventure

“You walk the bridges between two worlds, between reality and dreams, Ciso.”

“You are a Dreamwalker”

Narciso di Angelo, a sixteen-year-old boy, living on the streets of Rome thinks he is the only one that can walk in other’s dreams.

He’s not.

When a mysterious and dark woman makes her appearance in one of his dreamwalks, he is rescued from her clutches by Project Somnus, a secret underground United Nations organisation, that recruits and trains children with his gifts, using them to fight against and prevent worldwide terrorist threats.

Here Narciso learns more of his abilities and where they come from as well as what it means to be part of a family and a home.

But, as the threat of the mysterious woman and the terrorist organisation Tantibus increases, he also learns what it is like to lose this.

“In dreams we live. In reality we dream.”

 Author Bio:

Tiaan Lubbe lives in Pretoria, South Africa where he spends his time teaching little monsters, directing
plays, doing what he calls writing and dreaming up the future. Mostly all at once.

Links:

eBook Pre-order | Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads


Excerpt:

“Remember your training,” Agent Knight says when we’re all in our pods, our heads lifted from the water so we can hear her, game faces on. “Stick together. Work as a team,” she continues. “Captain Evans and his team are counting on you to keep the girl safe long enough for them to get to her and extract her to physical safety.”

We all nod our heads. “Yes, ma’am,” Jamie says. “Fifty Euros says I’ll take down more Tantibus freaks than you, Ciso.”

I laugh. “You’re on, muscle man!”

“It’s the muscles that’ll make sure I get fifty bucks,” he says and I hear him kissing his arms.

“Boys! Always competing,” Leah says letting out a chuckle. “Besides, there’s no use really. I’ll be taking down most of those goons for you. Might as well give me the fifty now, Jamie.”

“This just got more interesting, hey Ciso,” Jamie says. “Now me and a girl will beat you.”

“Ready to initiate Dreamwalk,” Agent Knight interrupts our antics. “In three…”

I ready myself. Take a breath. Try to calm the sudden burst of chill in my stomach. The pod closes. Darkness. Silence.

“Two..”

Trust in yourself Ciso.

“One,” Agent Knight’s voice says. “Good luck team.” There’s a pause. “Initiate.” And then I’m enveloped, drifting into nothingness, into a place where reality has no hold and even the unimagined runs wild.

It doesn’t take long for us to get through the mist and reach the first door. I take the lead this time and the others ready themselves for anything, because that’s exactly what could be on the other side of the door. Anything. The knob turns in my hand and the door eagerly clips open. At the last second, the suspense gets the best of me and I burst through it. A zinging sound whirs towards my face. I turn my head just in time. A knife is dug into the doorframe right in front of my nose, the merciless blade grazing its tip. I look to where the sound came from. A short girl stands ready with another knife in her hand. Jamie and the others push me forward to get into the room. They all freeze at the sight of the little girl.

Guest Post: Mallory McCartney, author of Black Dawn

Thanks for having me! 😊 Becoming a writer has always been a long dream of mine. When I was in public school, literature and reading was always a priority for me. I seriously couldn’t get enough, The Scholastic Book Fairs were always a highlight, I remember previewing the catalogue weeks before and deciding which books I would take home. This was the start of my book buying obsession. Once I reached the end of Grade Eight though, I knew I wanted to become a writer for a career, I even wrote it in my year book! Black Dawn took shape at the end of public school and heading into high school. I feel like this story was always waiting for me to write it, the first manuscript focusing on Emory and Brokk. I wrote it for my cousin’s birthday as a present, and then left it alone for seven years.

The inspiration for Black Dawn came from a collection of moments in my life. The first being with my cousin, and we had a sleep over at my family’s old farmhouse and spent majority of the night talking about our hopes and dreams for the future and the first spark of Black Dawn came into conversation. After writing the first manuscript and I left it alone, and I went to college for the Fine Arts, and then after this I travelled to Australia and New Zealand by myself. This experience was pivotal for me, not only did I learn a lot about myself and grow personally, but seeing the different landscapes of those countries was amazing, and helped me build the world of Kiero.

Once I came back home, it wasn’t until after I met my husband that the idea of becoming a writer came back into my plan. We were talking about Pierce Brown’s Red Rising Trilogy (which is a series we both love, go pick it up if you haven’t checked it out!) and the conversation landed back to the manuscript I wrote, and we revisited it. The original title for Black Dawn was Kiero, and we talked late into the night and the world we see in Black Dawn came to life. The next day I started writing. The book grew with me, elements from the original manuscript meshed with the current, the dynamics of the characters developing and growing as I did throughout my life. None of the characters specifically are based on people in my life, but the emotions they experience I pulled from some experiences I went through.

Looking back, I wouldn’t be here without the support of my family and friends, all my teachers throughout public school, high school and college. The love of reading sparked my love of writing, and above all not giving up on my dream of becoming an author.

Author: Mallory McCartney currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband and their two dachshunds Link and Lola. Black Dawn is her debut novel, the first in a series. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found dog grooming, book shopping and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

 

About the Book

Title: Black Dawn

Genre: YA/NA Fantasy

Author: Mallory McCartney

The end of an Empire, the rise of a Queen

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life. That is until two mysterious, and handsome soldiers show up at her apartment, and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster come from the magical and war ridden world of Kiero, and upon Emory’s arrival she will discover she is the long-lost heir to the Royal Line and is thrown into the Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne.

With both men being darkly woven in her past Emory uncovers hidden secrets, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.

Some things are better left in the shadows

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

Review: To Betray My King by Kayla Lavan

34109142To Betray My King by Kayla Lavan

Genre: YA Romance/Fantasy

Release Date: May 1st 2017

Summary:

Would you choose to save your kingdom or follow your heart?

Brave and kindhearted, Arianna is a princess of a kingdom that nobody wants. The magicless. Marrying the charming, flirtatious, and egotistical Prince Roland was the last thing either of them wanted, but for the sake of their people they agreed. War breaks out with the neighboring kingdom, forcing the prince’s hand to join in the fight. He leaves his new wife with the only man he trusts, his childhood friend, a dutiful, strong, and handsome knight.

A sweet romantic tale of forbidden love in a dark fanatical world.

I enjoyed stepping into Ms Lavan’s medieval world of Sol and meeting the magic weavers she has filled it with. I struggled a little with the male leads at first. While I really enjoyed the playful banter and friendship between Prince Roland and his bodyguard/best friend, Conrad, it took me a while to warm up to either of them as love interests for Princess Arianna. Princess Arianna was easily likeable. She was kind hearted and always looking to improve herself, be it mentally or physically (e.g. learning to sword fight).

The story starts off following Roland, Conrad and Arianna. Their day to day lives, before, during and after the arranged royal marriage. But when Roland goes off to war we are left behind with Conrad and Arianna. I wish we could have followed Roland into War!!!

The whole time I was reading it felt as if Ms Lavan was preparing Arianna for something big. We kept being given tastes of Arianna’s archery skills and magical status/abilities and it felt like this was building to something bigger. Well, she did get to kick some butt in the end.

This felt like the first in a series, if that makes sense. A lot of set up with a dramatic actioned packed ending propelling you on to read the next book. There even is a Twist at the end that I didn’t see coming and the ‘betrayal’ goes down not as you expect.

Even with his man-whore start to the story, Prince Roland ended up being my favourite character and I am looking forward to reading more from Ms Lavan and finding out how he handled becoming King.


About the Author

I’ve been writing half of my life, starting at the ripe old age of 13. Back then my favorite pass time was doodling in class, sleeping in class, and studying tests or homework that was due the next class period. But by night I lead a secret life. I would go home, turn on my computer, and get on my dialup Internet (which makes me sound really old) and I would write. At first it was for fun. I was brave back then and posted everything online. In the 14 years I have been writing, I have posted over 1.5 million words, all of which is still available to read for free. My most well known story being “Fun ‘N’ Games at Ouran”. A year or so ago I posted a one-shot that was 50k-60k in words. Afterwards, I looked at it laughing, and said to myself “I think I would like to get paid for this now” and then ‘To Betray My King’ was born. It seems so simple as I’m sitting here, typing this foryou to read, but it’s the truth. ‘Betray’ is my first book, but it won’t be my last. I love writing. I would never give it up for anything in the world.

The Betrayal Legacy

#1 To Betray My King (Available Now)

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Buy Link: Amazon

#2 To Betray My Kingdom (Coming Soon)

#3 To Betray Myself (Coming Soon)

Author Links:

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Book Tour: Path of a Novice by R.K. Lander

Title: Path of a Novice: The Silvan Book 1

Author: R.K. Lander

Genre: Fantasy

A land at war, a failing king, a light in the forest …

Bel’arán, land of mortals, immortals, and those that dwell in between. The elven forest realm of Ea Uaré is threatened by ruthless Sand Lords seeking water, and the undead Deviants who crave the mindless destruction of elves.

The powerful Alpine lords strive to dominate the leaderless native Silvans through power games, leaving in their wake a bereft king, assailed by grief and a family unable to forgive him.

As the king drifts in endless sorrow, the forest people are loosing their identity. Discriminated and belittled, they are the warriors but the Alpine lords are their commanders – until a child is born to the Deep Woods – an elf with the face of an Alpine and the heart of a Silvan, an orphan whose only dream is to dare become a Silvan captain in a world dominated by Alpines – Fel’annár, Green Sun.

A born warrior, to his friends, Fel’annár becomes Hwind’atór, the Whirling Warrior, and together, they will step upon the path of a novice.

Adventure, hardship and self-discovery will mould the warrior he will become. But destiny will not be ignored, and Fel’annár is confronted with the truth of his own abilities and the mystery of his past, one shrouded in sorrow and intrigue – one that may change the course of history.

From child to novice warrior and beyond, Fel’annár is, The Silvan.

Author Bio:

R.K. Lander was born in the UK. Fantasy was always a central part of her life and soon began reading authors such as Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Azimov, Ray Bradbury and J.R.R. Tolkien. Now living and working in Spain, Ruth runs her own business and writes as an independent author.

The Silvan is her first work, a YA epic fantasy trilogy revolving around the figure of a Silvan elf, Fel’annar. The first in the series, Path of a Novice is available now on amazon, and the second, Road of a Warrior, is approaching the editing stage.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * Excerpt * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Smoke billowed into the air as thatched roofs were engulfed and the people stumbled out of their homes, choking and crying as they desperately searched for a way out, but the Sand Lords were everywhere, their black cloaks billowing in the winds of battle, like the leathery wings of black bats grappling for prey. They descended upon the Silvans with their jewelled swords and senseless cries of fury, severing limbs and slitting throats, sending a frenzy of terror throughout the disorientated villagers. Some had no time to react as they were ran through, while others ran too slowly and were taken from behind, their heads twisted mercilessly.

Fel’annár saw it all through hazy eyes as he fired, again and again until there were no more arrows and he pulled his long sword in one hand and sabre in the other. He saw them fall, saw the women die such tragic deaths, their panicked children reach even to the enemy for comfort, only to be cruelly slaughtered. He saw it all and he fought – the battle before his eyes and the other in his mind; do not think – do not feel

Screeches and screams mixed with the sound of scraping metal and the thud of arrowheads imbedding in flesh. A roar of victory from the Sand Lords surely meant a warrior had gone down.

With a ruthless flash of metal, Turion slit another Sand Lord’s throat with a curl of his lip and then chanced a glance at Fel’annár who was facing off with two cloaked devils that twirled their scimitars deftly in their hands. The novice simply held his stance and watched them, long sword poised strangely over his head, and although he wanted to watch, Turion had his own foes to face. Moving before his next victim, he bore down on the black demon in utter fury, until a panicked cry escaped the strange being and Turion moved in, thrusting his sword right through his opponent’s chest, the squish of flesh and organs leaving no doubt in the captain’s mind that he was dead.

Fel’annár’s whirled and swivelled, sliced and parried. There was no confusion, no anxiety even though the colours were back. His mind was sharp and in control, all of its skill centred on his body and his senses, in spite of the death and carnage, the suffering of his kin and of the trees. He felt none of this, did not hear the scream of frantic mothers or the desperate wails of injured civilians, he did not feel the weight in his chest or the pain in his throat. Duck, bend, flex; push, cut, slash and stab. Flip backwards, somersault forwards, side twist and parry; kill, kill, kill…

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Lander’s Links: Twitter | Facebook | Website | Youtube | Amazon US | Amazon AU

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Blog Tour: Spellbound Collection featuring Bleeding Hearts by Ash Krafton

Spellbound: A Limited Edition Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Collection
* * *
Genre: fantasy/ paranormal romance/ urban fantasy
Publisher: genreCRAVE
Date of Publication: May 2, 2017
ASIN: B01N18NFS9
Number of pages: 5000+
Word Count: 1.5 Million +
Cover Artist: Rebecca Frank
* * *
Box Set Description:
The Spellbound Boxed Set is a compilation of 20+ Full-Length Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance reads!
Readers of all ages will be swept away by this fascinating mix of existing titles and brand new content, full of pages brimming with faeries, witches, vampires, shifters, psychics, Greek gods, angels, demons, and even ghosts!
With over a million words of fiction, this is your one stop shop for urban fantasy, epic fantasy, sword and sorcery, shifter romance, vampire romance, elemental magic, time travel, and MORE from today’s New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling authors!
Although some of these reads may be gritty and dark, this is a collection of clean reads that anyone will enjoy!
Pre-Order Sale Only .99
Amazon      Kobo      BN      Apple
The collection includes titles from…
International bestselling author Jade Kerrion
NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Joanne Wadsworth
International bestselling author Nicole Zoltack
International bestselling author Rachel E. Carter
International bestselling author Andrea Pearson
International bestselling author Alicia Rades
International bestselling author Sophie Davis
USA TODAY bestselling author Michael J Ploof
International bestselling author Megan Crewe
International bestselling author C.E. Wilson
International bestselling author Kelly Carrero
International bestselling author Jess Haines
International bestselling author E. Blix
International bestselling author Alexis Kade
International bestselling author GP Ching
International bestselling author Gaja J. Kos and Boris Kos
International bestselling author Dara Fraser
International bestselling author Ash Krafton
International bestselling author Jim Johnson
NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Tom Shutt
International bestselling author Emily Martha Sorensen
International bestselling author S McPherson
* * *
 The first chapters of books by each featured author are available in the Spellbound Sampler, available on Wattpad
 * * *
Book Description Bleeding Hearts by Ash Krafton
Sophie Galen is an advice columnist whose work leaves her neck-deep in other people’s problems. Thanks to her compassion, her gut instinct, and her magnetic charm, Sophie really knows how to attract little black clouds.
Marek Thurzo is no little black cloud; he’s a maelstrom. Marek is Demivampire, a race with the potential to evolve into vampire. A warrior who’s taken his share of spiritual damage, he hovers dangerously close to destruction.
He seeks salvation. She’s driven to save him. But what if he can’t be saved?
Sympathy for his plight becomes true empathy as Sophie’s hidden nature is revealed. Marek suspects she may be one of the Sophia, oracle and redemption of the damned Demivampire. She alone can turn back the evolutionary clock.
All she needs is the courage to face her fears. Can she save him from Falling?
* * *
The following is an excerpt from BLEEDING HEARTS
Demimonde Book 1 by Ash Krafton
In the great hall housing the Egyptian exhibitions, I immediately noted the change in the atmosphere. The room was cool and dry, its climate controlled to mimic the conditions in which the relics had existed in their native land.
The entire room had been designed to resemble an Old Kingdom temple. The main lights were dimmed while strategically-placed spotlights emphasized massive columns and
magnificent wall carvings like sunbeams through temple windows.
I scanned the room. No other tourists. Even better. I meandered, enjoying the rare
opportunity to linger.
Craning my neck, I ran my gaze up each of the columns, reading the images, admiring the palm leaves carved at the tops like great stone trees. Eyes toward the ceilings, I turned slowly around, admiring the handiwork of the ancient artists.
What was it like to live in those lands and those times? Could an ancient version of my spirit have been there, stepping barefoot and silently through a sandy temple like
this one?
Lost in contemplation, I was completely unprepared for the shock of smacking into
someone, bumping him hard enough to lose my balance. I’d have fallen had he not
caught my arm. Wide-eyed with consternation, I stammered an apology to the
handsome but serious-faced gentleman.
“You are not hurt, I hope?” His voice, deep and smooth, sent shivers marching down my neck, between my shoulders, down my spine.
“I’m okay.” I shook my head, too shy to make direct eye contact, wishing I’d
checked my hair and lipstick before coming in. “I’m far too adept at being
inept.”
He flashed a grin and I caught a glimpse of nice white teeth. “Temples are places for spiritual reflection. It is forgivable if your vision was turned inward, rather
than toward where you were walking.”
His expression softened by amusement, he tilted his head toward the pillars. “Majestic, aren’t they?”
I stole another glance at him—black hair smoothed back into a discreet tail, clear light skin framed by long sideburns, strong jaw culminating in a square, cleft chin. Like
the other items in the museum, something about him made me want to look closer,
inspect each detail.
A subtle flush warmed my cheeks and ears so I quickly turned back to the heights of the exhibition. Murmuring a sound of agreement, I circled the column, stepping a
few feet away so I could see both him and the stone. “Do you visit this
museum often?”
Furtive glances allowed me to take in more of his appearance a tiny section at a time. Clothing dark as his hair. Long blazer, something in between a suit coat and an
overcoat. In one hand he carried a bound book and fountain pen, as if he’d been
making notes.
His gaze was calm and steady and entirely on me. Taking a deep breath I permitted the contact of the direct look. My boldness was well-rewarded. His Paul Newman lips
brought to mind the sculptured busts on display in the Greco-Roman Quarters and
he wore a stern expression that cast a veil of hardness upon his features,
enhancing the impression he’d been carved from marble.
Except for his eyes. The Roman busts bore eyes that were blank and white but this man’s eyes were alive with bright green color. Like gemstones, they glittered and drew my
gaze.
“No, actually,” he said. “My first time here. Although, I admit, I’m drawn
to places like this.” His voice made music of the words—deep bass notes
and soothing rhythm.
“Ah!” I said. “A man after my own heart.” His left eyebrow arched so
sharply I thought it might disappear into his hairline and I hurriedly
continued. “Are you a professor?”
“No, nothing like that. I do studying of my own, it’s not a living. It’s more of a
hobby. Personal research, of sorts.”
“Studying past times is one of my pastimes. It’s my preferred form of
entertainment.”
“Mmm.” Eyebrow cocked again, he cast a disapproving look at me and swept his hand around the contrived temple. “Would the gods be pleased to know they are
reduced to the level of entertainment?”
“I hope so.” I kept my tone light. Considering the seriousness of his expression,
I didn’t want to accidentally insult him. “Otherwise, they’d have to be
content with staying dead, right?”
His gaze swept over me and I shivered again as if the touch had been tangible, a brush of fingertips against my cheek.
“Well, I’ll leave you to your worship. I mean, your wanderings.” He gave me a
conspirator’s wink. “Unless…”
He hesitated, with a quiet clearing of throat as he tucked his notebook and pen into an inside pocket. “You wouldn’t mind a companion? Sometimes one sees things
differently when seeing through another’s eyes. I would appreciate a new
perspective.”
I mulled it over, listening to the rain spattering the windows and distant voices echoing faintly from other rooms. Although I’d looked forward to a quiet afternoon, it
might be nice to spend it with someone who seemed to share my interests. He
certainly was attractive, and his pleasant voice intrigued me.
I realized I’d become used to living inside a shell. This man made me want to step outside for once.
“I’d like that.” I smiled at his pleased expression. “I’m Sophie, by the
way.” I stuck out my hand in introduction.
Instead of shaking my hand, he bent his head over it and pressed polite lips to the backs of my fingers. The quaint gesture would have seemed strange and out of place
had we been elsewhere. “I am Marek. Pleased to make your acquaintance.”
Fingers tingling from the unexpected kiss, I fought the urge to curtsy. “Well, Marek. Lead me into the past.”
His almost-smile sent a thrill down the back of my neck. “That’s exactly the sort of thing I’d hoped you say. Shall we?”
He turned on his heel and swept out a hand with a slight bow, indicating the archway to another exhibit. For the first time since I’d been coming to this museum, I wondered what I’d see on the other side, and was surprised to realize I wasn’t afraid to
find out.
* * *
About the Author:
A speculative fiction girl through and through, Ash writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels as well as poetry and short fiction. She also writes for New Adult audiences under the name AJ Krafton. Her work has won a bunch of awards and was even nominated for a Pushcart Prize. When she’s not writing, she’s practicing Tai Chi, listening to loud rock and metal, or crushing on supervillains.
Most recently, she’s re-released her urban fantasy trilogy THE BOOKS OF THE DEMIMONDE because she never really left the world of Sophie and her Demivamps. She’s also working on the next installment of her Demon Whisperer series.
Find out more when you visit www.ashkrafton.com
 
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Review: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

29486766The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around – and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries – including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

In this sweeping and breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.

Laini’s Goodreads | Website | Twitter 

 Amazon US | Amazon AU | Booktopia | Bookdepository

Thank You Hachette Australia and Netgalley for allowing me a copy to read and review.I don’t think I’ve ever been more full of wonder when reading a book then during Strange the Dreamer. I finished it over a week ago and I am still just contemplating. THAT ENDING! I wanted to cry. I wanted to break something. I needed a hug. Love, love, loved it! You’re a brilliant woman Laini Taylor and your imagination is phenomenal, but damn you, that epic cliff hanger has caused me one of the biggest book hangovers I’ve had in years.

At the start of the story we meet Lazlo, dubbed Strange the Dreamer, as a small energetic orphan boy with a vivid imagination and love of stories. We get to see him grow and find himself a safe haven with a job as a junior librarian, where his love of stories and desire to learn all he can of the lost city of Weep flourishes. Lazlo becomes a mild mannered, intelligent and kind hearted young man. A twist of fate sees Lazlo going on the adventure of a life time, taking his lifelong dream by the reins and traveling to find the answers his heart truly desires.

Straight from the start I felt a strong connection to Lazlo and Sarai (The Muse of Nightmares) and I grew to love many more characters along the way. The Characters were deeply developed, most likeable, some lovable, some scorn worthy and with one to be feared.Laini’s writing is beautiful, her world building is intricately beautiful, the underlying plot is beautiful, the whole gosh darn book right down to the cover, is beautiful. Actually beautiful really isn’t even a good enough word. This story has it all; mystery, adventure, magic, romance, forgiveness and revenge.

I was in Weep. I ran with Lazlo straight towards danger. I felt my hands pass into the Mesarthium. Strange the Dreamer is an enthralling story, cover to cover you can’t step away. I give it Five “just go and read it” Stars.

Book Blitz: Songs of Insurrection by J.C.Kang

Songs of Insurrection
J.C. Kang
(Daughter of the Dragon Throne #1)
Publication date: January 6th 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

Princess Kaiya’s voice could charm a dragon.

Had she lived when the power of music could still summon typhoons and rout armies, perhaps Cathay’s imperial court would see her as more than a singing fool. With alliances to build and ambitious lords to placate, they care more about her marriage prospects than her voice.

Only the handsome Prince Hardeep, a foreign martial mystic, recognizes her potential. Convinced Kaiya will rediscover the legendary but perilous art of invoking magic through music, he suggests her voice, not her marriage, might better serve the realm.

When members of the emperor’s elite spy clan– Kaiya’s childhood friend Tian and his half-elf sidekick (or maybe he’s her sidekick?)– discover mere discontent boiling over into full-scale rebellion, Kaiya must choose. Obediently wedding the depraved ringleader means giving up her music. Confronting him with the growing power of her voice could kill her.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

CHAPTER 1
Not-So-Chance Meetings

If marriage were a woman’s grave, as the proverb claimed, sixteen-year-old Princess Kaiya suspected the emperor was arranging her funeral. Entourage in tow, she shuffled through the castle halls toward the garden where General Lu waited. Given his notorious dislike of the arts, the self-proclaimed Guardian Dragon of Hua had undoubtedly envisioned a different kind of audition when he requested to hear her sing.

After all, she was dressed like a potential bride.

She buried a snort. The Guardian Dragon—such a pretentious nickname. The only real dragon, Avarax, who lorded over some faraway land, might make for a more appealing audience. A quick trip down his gullet would spare her a slow death in a marriage with neither love nor music.

And it wouldn’t matter what she wore.

The gaudy dress compensated for her numerous physical imperfections, but stifled the only thing that made her special. How was she supposed to sing with the inner robe and gold sash squeezing her chest, in a futile attempt to misrepresent her woefully underdeveloped curves? The tight fold of the skirts concealed her lanky legs, but forced a deliberate pace. At least the short stride delayed the inevitable, while preventing her unsightly feet from tripping on the hanging sleeves of the vermilion outer gown.

At her side, Crown Princess Xiulan glided across the chirping floorboards. Kaiya suppressed a sigh. If only she could move with the nonchalant grace of her sister-in-law, or even the six handmaidens trailing them. She dug her nails into clammy palms. Through this choreographed farce, appearances had to be maintained, lest she embarrass her father, the Tianzi.

Chin up, back straight. A racing heart threatened to ruin her already meager semblance of imperial grace. Eyes forward. Servants knelt on either side of the looming double doors, ready to slide them open. She forced a smile, with her best approximation of feminine charm. If only she’d lived before Dragon Songs had faded into legend, she could’ve sent the realm’s victorious hero fleeing with the song he supposedly wanted to hear.

An aging palace official stepped into her line of sight.

Singular focus on the doors broken, she blinked. Her fluttering pulse lurched to a stop as she blew out a breath.

His blue robes ruffled as he tottered forward with averted eyes and a bobbing head. He creaked down into a bow. “Emergency, Dian-xia,” he said, using the formal address for her rank. “The Tianzi commands you to greet a foreign delegation in the Hall of Bountiful Harvests.”

Author Bio:

JC Kang’s unhealthy obsession with Fantasy and Sci-Fi began at an early age when his brother introduced him to The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit, Star Trek and Star Wars. As an adult, he combines his geek roots with his professional experiences as a Chinese Medicine doctor, martial arts instructor and technical writer to pen epic fantasy stories.

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Flash Fiction Friday: Bob of Mongaloo, a 353 word story short.

It is a chilly autumn night out and about in the Mongaloo Mountain ranges. There is a beast watching two teenage boys with intense interest. The two young men are sitting down congratulating themselves with some stolen beer after a five hour trek up the mountain trail and a two hour struggle trying to pitch their tent and get a fire going.

Donavan, the younger of the two boys sits staring up at the stars. “The air is cold on this dark night. But the fire is warm and the stars are bright.”

Barnett snorts shaking his head at his cousin. “Donavan sits warming his exhausted muscles by a raging campfire while stating the obvious in poetic verse.”

“Shut the fuck up.”

“Barnett gives Donavan a look that indicates his feelings have been hurt. That look then turns into a cheeky and devilishly handsome grin.”

Donavan turns to look at his cousin, a smile spreading across his face. “Modest aren’t you.” Then his attention returns to the stars. “But seriously look at the stars, have you ever seen them so bright.”

“Jesus, I Don’t know Don. Probably just look brighter ’cause there aren’t any lights up here.” Barnett walks over to the tent to retrieve a large back pack. He pulls out a cooler bag on his way back to the fire. “Give me a hand with the camp oven will ya. I wanna get this lamb cooking.”

There is a rustle in the nearby bushes drawing both boy’s attention. Out steps a magnificent dark purple dragon “Did I hear someone say lamb.”

Both boys are frozen still, slack jawed, staring at the Doberman sized dragon. The dragon continues to walk over to the fire without taking its eyes of the lamb roll in Barnett’s hands. The only things that move on the boys are their eyes as they follow its strutting stride. The firelight causes a glittery glow to cascade along its back and large folded wings. It sits down opposite the boys, perched on its hind legs while taking them both in with its iridescent green eyes.

“Hi my names Bob”.

I’m not completely sure who these characters are yet really, but they’ve been in my head for over a week so I thought I better remove them and put them down on paper (so to speak).

It started with the line “The air is cold on this dark night. But the fire is warm and the stars are bright” entering my head with the image of two boys by a campfire on a mountain top. We’ll have wait and see if the boys and their dragon entre my dreams again and become anything more.