#BlogTour The Phoenix Cycle by Bob Collopy

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about-the-book

phoenixcyclefrontcover.pngThe Phoenix Cycle: The Best Shall Rise

Publication Date: June 23, 2017

Published By: The Department of Smoke

Genre: Dystopian/ YA/ Sci-Fi

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New San Francisco is the last city standing on a world ravaged by storms of ash and debris. The city survived by putting the ideals of the American dream on steroids and inspiring its people to persevere, though they have become ruthless in the process. Its citizens are ruled by the General, who has made sure that his people understand that gentleness and pity have become weaknesses that nature no longer tolerates.

Now Steve and Leslie must choose whether they will apply for the General’s once in a lifetime opportunity to “Rise from the Ashes” and join the Inner Circle that rules the city. If they don’t, they will be damned to spend the rest of their lives in the ghettos of Edingburg, a place where virtual reality has become a government-subsidized addiction.

For Steve, the choice is easy. His loyalties lie with the IRA, a revolutionary army led by a voice only known as “Mom.” They are trying to overthrow the General and free the people of New San Francisco from the cruelties of the City Guard. Steve’s mission is to broadcast a recording of a speech that a famous philosopher died to tell. Many thousands have and will perish to get this message out, but is anyone willing to listen?

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Every wrist in the stadium beeped. Every boy and girl glanced down at the face of their watch. “00:10” then “:09” then “:08.” Everyone turned their heads to the west. There it was. Right on time, as always. The nightly storm. A wall of blackness had lurched up into the sky, swallowing the setting sun. The hairs on Steve’s neck stood up, urging him to get the hell out
of there.

Instead he grabbed Leslie’s hand, who sat quietly quivering next to him, instinctively pressing her bow into her head for comfort. Steve knew her shaking wasn’t coming from Line’s yelling, the storm, or even the tank pointing at them. Her quivers never came from the barrel of a gun, no, the ragging agony she held within her was the very same thing that pushed him back into the sheets when the sun finally rose—are we going to lose each other?

Leslie’s mind pushed the feeling away for at least another moment. “It’ll be all right,” she whispered. Her brown eyes guided him to the dozens of mortar tubes pointing upward and outward on the vibrant green field and then to the perfect line of churning ash that approached the stands.

“Unity can only be achieved and be maintained when it is the STRONG who come together and fly under one flag! We, like no other in the world, have created a unity that has never broken, has never FLINCHED! When the rest of the world saw THAT—” Line’s long arm pointed at the coming avalanche of black— “They all fell to pieces!”

The earth began to quake as the wall rose over them. Someone screamed. The mortars on the field fired as one at the roiling sky. The blackness spilled over the stadium, then slid over the perimeter of the frizzing wall of static that had encapsulated the field. No Phoenix Cycler had seen—only heard rumors from past Cycle Pref parties—this blackness that was sliding over and them whispering their deaths.

– The Phoenix Cycle: The Best Shall Rise

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Book Review

I really enjoyed reading this novel. This novel makes you think about disasters that could be possible in this messed up world.  This book was enjoyable to read between other novels and at a slow pace. Reading this book, I started thinking about different concepts and how things in the world really are. I enjoyed the author’s concepts and ideas and found some things definitely relateable. I have to admit that I enjoy thinking about the “What Ifs” and enjoy reading dystopian novels and about some conspiracy theories so when I listened to this book on my kindle, my son’s father just loved it.*tin foil hats in hand, ready to go* He was the one that gobbled it up and read it the most. He is a big fanImage result for dystopian gif of Sy-fy and Dystopian fiction. Some of the things mentioned in this book went over my head a little but this was just an ARC so I am sure there will be tweaks to be fixed but I found that this dystopian  novel quite enjoyable and am excited to see what the author comes out with next. Big thanks for this opportunity to the author and Reads & Reels Blog Tours!

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About the Author

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Bob is pretty dope. Firstly, his name is Bob, so…yea. Second, have you seen him rock that suit while in a maximum security prison? Epic.

Yea. That’s Bob. No psychological scarring with that author. Nope. Totally fine.

Gosh he looks good in suits.

Hey Have you read The Phoenix Cycle? He wrote that.

One suggestion before you read it and become one of those fans that leaves him roses by his doormat. Read her slowly. This book is not Twilight. She’s deeper than that. Take your time with her. Show the book you care. Cradle it and make it feel loved. If you do, she’ll be good to you. Go too fast and you’ll have no idea why she’s acting so crazy.

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Philosophies Dead | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Goodreads

Giveaway

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The author is giving away 10 print copies (That’s right 10) and 5 Digital copies of his book so make sure you enter as the odds are definitely in your favor! (Runs from May 21st to May 30th)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Blog Tour Schedule

May 21st

Reads & Reels (Kick-Off Promo)

Just for My Books (Excerpt)

The Lit Cottage (Review)

Adventures Thu Wonderland (Review)

The Midwest Ladies Who Lit (Excerpt)

May 22nd

IAMAGEEKINGGINGER (Review)

Tranquil Dreams (Review)

On the Shelf Reviews (Excerpt)

May 23rd

Didi Oviatt (Excerpt)

The Genre Minx (Excerpt)

The Cozy Pages (Excerpt)

Valerie’s Musings (Excerpt)

The YA Book Divas (Interview)

May 24th

J Bronder Reviews (Review)

Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Interview)

Bri’s Book Nook (Review)

The Cozy Pages (Excerpt)

Wicked Good Reads (Review)

May 25th

Afire Pages (Excerpt)

Port Jerricho (Excerpt)

Touch My Spine Book Reviews (Review)

 

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R&R Book Tours

 

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Y6xs2eGzOm4GQ.gifLove you guys and thank the Heavens that I have internet again!!! Woot! Luckily there is a discount program for low income families with our local internet service is only 10$ a month with the first month free! YAY! So I am LIVE you guys and will be catching up on reviews and annoying the shit out of you!!!! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and for those have been following up with the happenings of my family we are slowly but surely doing better. We are facing some big battles but we have hope, food and a roof over our heads, many thanks to you! Love ya guys!!!JdGmFNQISiPTi.gif

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Author Interview Featuring Author Candace Robinson

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Hey guys I am super excited to feature this awesome author/blogger on my blog today! She is such an amazing lady with a sweet presence and beautiful soul. I was so glad I connected with Author Candace Robinson!!!

So I am going to shut my babbling mouth up and start this interview because I am so excited to feature her on my blog! Woot!

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Will you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a writer or at least try to be. I have the tendency to fight with the little demon in my head who constantly tells me that I’m not good enough. Besides that, I live with my husband and daughter who support me through all my insanity. I also have a migraine condition and sometimes they are in the form known as hemiplegic migraines which are utterly debilitating.

Can you tell us about one or more of your novels?

I wrote Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault back in 2016 and ended up self publishing. After one of my new books, Clouded by Envy, got picked up by The Parliament House, I submitted Quinsey and the sequel to them in which they picked them up. After the new editing process, Quinsey is now how it should have been the first time. It’s full of retellings because I absolutely love them, and I chose the ones that shaped me as I grew up. Other than Quinsey, another of my books that I co-wrote titled Bacon Pie also just released. It has bacon and pie and some romance.

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Are the characters in your stories that are based off yourself or anyone else?

So, I have two manuscripts I just finished that aren’t published and I put a little of myself in there. I sometimes use moments that have happened in my life and sprinkle that in as well. In Hearts Are Like Balloons, the opening chapter about my dad ending his life is the same way it happened to me, except I wasn’t a teen when it occurred. Writing that book helped me get through things a little more easily.

What has been the hardest part of becoming/being a published author?

Marketing! Also trying to get an agent. I’ve been on a mission for a while now to find one, and I’m hoping eventually one will fall in love with my words.

When did you first start writing stories or any other kind of writings?

I wrote poems a little after my senior year in high school, but I didn’t actually write anything until I wrote Quinsey in 2016 right after my dad died. I figured life is always unexpected, and you can’t sit there and keep waiting to do something about it.

What inspired you to become an author?

I don’t really have a great answer for that. I just always have little images in my head that are waiting to be pulled together into a story. It knocks, knocks, and knocks some more at my head until they are written down.

Did you take writing classes or are you self taught?

No writing classes! I’m sure someone would argue that I need to! Lol!

What is the most difficult part of writing?

Believing that what I’m writing isn’t a big mess. In all honesty, the first draft is most likely always a catastrophe, but then you can go in there and sew it all back together with new words and removing words. Eventually, it all comes together!

What are your hobbies?

Reading and taking care of my daughter. She’s a huge Harry Potter fan so I’m pretty sure that makes Harry Potter my hobby!

Are there any authors that have inspired your love for writing?

I haven’t read a lot of the classics, so it’s mainly YA for me. And that would be Tahereh Mafi and Sarah J. Maas. I just can’t put their books down!

What is your favorite book? I know this can be a difficult question for readers!

The Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi and Under the Never Sky series by Veronica Rossi

Can you share with us your favorite literary quote?

It’s not literary lol, but my favorite quote is actually by the singer Jewel back in the 90’s “I’d rather see the world from another angle”

If you could give young writers (who’s dream is to be published) a piece of advice that has anything to do with the writing process, what would that be?

Just keep at it. If you want to get published, it is probably going to take a while, but there is someone out there who will love your work. We all just have to find them.

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Author Bio:

Candace Robinson spends her days consumed by words. When she’s not writing stories, she maintains a book review blog. Her life consists of avoiding migraines, admiring Bonsai trees, and living with her husband and daughter in Texas—where it can be forty degrees one day and eighty the next.

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Website: http://authorcandacerobinson.wordpress.com

Blog: http://literarydust.wordpress.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/literarydust

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/literarydust/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/literarydust

An Assortment of 5 Star Reviews!!! Whitman’s Sampler at it’s Finest!(A Whole Box of the Peanut Butter and Caramel Filled Goodies)

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I would like to thank the publishers and NetGalley for providing

me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I appreciate this opportunity and all

views expressed are my own.

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Synopsis

A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in a fun and flirty debut novel.

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally do. But there’s something about Drew Nichols that’s too hard to resist.

On the eve of his ex’s wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend…

After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she’s the mayor’s chief of staff. Too bad they can’t stop thinking about the other…

They’re just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century–or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want..

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My Rating5

Book Review

This was a fun rom com that will leave you swooning for more!!!😍 I requested this novel because I was looking for something to lighten my mood! Well this book definitely did the trick and gave me more! I was in a rough patch and my power was on and off but this was something that gave me the light and and the bliss, I was searching for!😍 If you are looking for something sexy, swoon worthy and something that will make you laugh out loud, then look no further than this outstanding novel!😍
I want to thank NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. I appreciate this opportunity and all views expressed are my own.

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SurvivingThrivingInvisibleChronicIllness-CF.indd

“An important antidote to the dogmatic ‘kale and vitamins’ tone of most ‘self-help’ literature.”
—Alexa Tsoulis-Reay, senior writer, New York magazine

Popular blogger Ilana Jacqueline offers smart and savvy advice, humor, and practical tips for living with an invisible chronic illness.
Synopsis
Do you live with a chronic, debilitating, yet invisible condition? You may feel isolated, out of step, judged, lonely, or misunderstood—and that’s on top of dealing with the symptoms of your actual illness. Take heart. You are not alone, although sometimes it can feel that way.

Written by a blogger who suffers from an invisible chronic illness, Surviving and Thriving with an Invisible Chronic Illness offers peer-to-peer support to help you stay sane, be your own advocate, and get back to living your life. This compelling guide is written for anyone suffering with an illness no one can see—such as postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), Lyme disease, lupus, dysautonomia, or even multiple sclerosis (MP).

This book will tell you everything you need to know about living with a complicated, invisible condition—from how to balance sex, dating, and relationships to handling work and school with unavoidable absences. You’ll also learn to navigate judg-y or skeptical relatives and strangers and—most importantly—manage your medical care.

Suffering from a chronic illness doesn’t mean you can’t live an active, engaged life. This book will show you how.

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My Rating

5

This was an absolutely amazing book! This story was a magnificent work of art!!! I was completely blown away with how much this story hit home! It’s like the author knew everything that I needed to hear with my chronic invisible illnesses! As a person that battles fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, severe mental health issues and much more, I wake up crying in pain most days and am stuck in my bed from the inability to even Book Reviewwalk at the age 29. I feel like giving up most days. I have lost many friends and many family members don’t talk to me because of all of my problems but like the author I found solstice in blogging and other things. The author describes things that people go through perfectly! I literally highlighted 4/5 ths of this book because of how amazing it was! I also added so many notes that it was unbelievable!!! I found hope within the pages of this book. I guarantee you that this story is first class and I recommend it to anyone suffering any kind of invisible illness or any family of those who suffer! Hands down a five star read that I will buy for my family and friends, recommend to my manager at the bookstore I work at and will recommend to the blogosphere! I can’t wait to see what this author comes out with next!!!! Just, WOW!

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James “Professor Puff” Henry may as well have “loser” stamped on his forehead. 604535Divorced, overweight, shy, and living at home, he relies on books and his favorite snack — cheese puffs — for sweet relief from his problems. A former English lit professor at William and Mary, he moves back to Quincy’s Gap, a small VirgSynopsisinia town in the Shenandoah Valley, to take care of his recently-widowed father. To improve his social life and waistline, he joins a supper club for dieters who lovingly call themselves the “Flab Five.” Avoiding carbs is nearly impossible in this deep-fried potato-loving land, so a mysterious death in their small burg provides an effective, if disturbing, distraction. While dodging delectable temptations, Professor Henry and his fellow dieters work together to shed pounds and find the killer who has struck fear in this tight-knit community.

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My Rating

5What another fantastic series by Ellery Adams! I absolutely LOVE this story! I requested this novel because I have loved reading the author’s other works. All of the stories that I have read by this author were books that involve books and that’s an obvious weakness. What can I say? I am #obsessed This one seemed a bit different and not focused on the love of reading as much but I am crazy about the author’s work so requested and I am so glad I did because Ellery Adams made another great cozy that is sure to please many!
This story is a great cozy that is filled with characters that you can’t help but to love!😍💜 I thought this story wouldn’t involve books as much but it still had a little bit of the Book Reviewbibliophile charm to it as well. Also being a plus size woman, I could relate to the main characters and their battles. They had there unique and quirky personalities with backstories that made them relatable and causes you to become highly invested in their stories!
I enjoyed the mystery of this story and was surprised by the outcome. This book took me on such a fun adventure and warmed my heart at the same time causing me to be distraught when I finished it. I wanted to read the second installment immediately but you know how a book reviewer’s schedule goes, “so many books, so little time”. I can’t wait to get a chance to read the second book in this series and highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good cozy!😍

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A suspense novel from the award-winning author of The Haunting of Maddy Clare…

Vermont, 1950. There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants–the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it’s located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming–until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . .
Synopsis
Vermont, 2014. As much as she’s tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister’s death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can’t shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past–and a voice that won’t be silenced. . . .

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My Rating

5This story is a hands down MUST read! I was in complete awe of this book and when I finished the book I had to go back and read through the story again to see how everything tied in! I was utterly addicted and an immediate fangirl! The hype for this book is well deserved. I stayed up hours past my usual bedtime because I had to know how this story concluded and was highly pleased with the results!
I am usually confused by different time tables and different POVs but this novel pulled it off perfectly! The plot was fast paced yet wonderfully descriptive. This is a page turner that I don’t think many would be able to forget. There was so many different amazing elements of this sorry such as; depth, drama, suspense, thrilling and chilling moments, paranormal, romance, war crimes, tragedy, and perspective on how much things have changed over the last 50 years.
 Book ReviewI was captivated and intensely invested in all of the enticing characters in this novel. There were so many unique personalities with such intriguing backgrounds that you can’t help but become invested. If you love reading a story filled with twists and turns, this is one that is sure to please. I only figured out one twists out of so many unexpected plot twists! I highly recommend this book! This is surely one of the best stories that I had the privilege to experience!😍
I want to thank St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. I appreciate this opportunity and all views expressed are my own.

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     b04ae47466421ebca4f7f7087f38120d1818424392.jpgHello my lovelies! I have missed you guys so much! I have been pretty much on a hiatus for going on a month only online here an there. Unfortunately, I lost someone close to me and went through a heartbreak as well. It was a very difficult time and having some crazy ear problems. I battled vertigo so bad I was bed ridden most days and couldn’t read so had to do TTS but enough about that depressing crap. We all know when it rains, it pours but I am back to the positive Dani that is trying her best to dance and break it down in the rain. Thanks so much for all the love and support you all have shown me. You guys are the cheese to my macaroni! I will be doing my best to catch up on my posts and blog hopping so what that means is hopefully your notifications will be filled with Dani-style spam soon! Yay! Anywho, I love your faces and hope you guys had a fantabulous holiday!

 

*As an Amazon affiliate, I am supposed to let you fabulous people know according to Amazon guidelines that if you click on my links and purchase anything you won’t be charged any different. The only difference is that I get a percentage of the sale because of sharing the love of these books. So there I said it and I can’t be put in the corner! “Nobody throws Baby in the corner!”

Current Read Quote~Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien

It was a small slice of heaven, and I came in every chance I got just to be around the books. Books were my solace, my escape. There was nothing like that feeling of holding a book in your hand and traveling to another place, another time… another life. I was called a nerd a lot because of it, but I didn’t care. I wear that hat with pride. 

-Death By Dumpling: A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien~Main Character Lana Lee, when describing her favorite shop, a bookshop.

Free E-Book Feature: The Gamble by Kristen Ashley

 

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About the Book

Title: The Gamble (Colorado Mountain, #1)

Author: Kristen Ashley

Genre: RomanceWesternDrama

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*Free e-books are usually only available for a short period of time so

please make sure to check the price before buying*

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Blurb

Nina Sheridan’s on a timeout adventure in the Colorado Mountains. She needs distance from her clueless fiancé, distance to decide whether she wants to spend the rest of her life with a man who doesn’t care enough to learn how she takes her coffee.

Arriving in a blinding snowstorm at the A-Frame she rented, she comes face to face with the most amazing man she’s ever seen. Minutes later, when he kicks her out of his house, she goes head to head with him.

Beyond angry because she’s flown half a world away to start her timeout adventure, not to mention her sinuses hurt, she heads back down the mountain and ends up in a ditch. Unable to extricate herself, she gives up, hopes for rescue and falls asleep in the backseat.

The next morning she wakes up in the amazing man’s bed and she’s sick as a dog.

Holden Maxwell spends days nursing her back to health and then he spends the next two weeks trying to convince her to take her Colorado adventure further, in other words, make it permanent and take a gamble on him.

Nina has a tough time fighting her attraction to Max, especially when it seems all Max’s friends, her mother and stepdad and the whole town want them together and both she and Max get embroiled in the murder of Max’s ex-friend and the town of Gnaw Bone’s most detested resident – a man everyone has motive to kill, especially Max.

About the Author  untitledKristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn’t taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen’s Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning….Nothing’s changed.

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Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she’s blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched). Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up. And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.

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*~Book Spotlight: Color Me Murder by Krista Davis~*

Hey guys! I have missed you these last few days! I am going to be trying to catch up with everything and everybody because I miss all of your lovely face! I hated being away from the blogoshpere while being with my family at the hospital but things have stabalized finally and I am able to start catching up with everyone’s post and all my reviews within the next few days. But enough about me!! I want to show off my current read that is so AWESOME and today is the book’s birthday! Yay! I want to give lots of thanks to Kensington Books to providing me with an ARC of this book! I get to color and read it! Two of my faves wrapped in one! So I will get to the best part, let’s hear about this book!

Title: Color Me Murder (A Pen & Ink Mystery Novel #1)

Author: Krista Davis

Publisher: Kensington Books

Page Count: 281 Pages

Publication Date: TODAY!!! 2/27/2018

Order Links: U.S. Amazon Link / U.K. Amazon Link / Barnes & Noble / Indie Bound

Goodreads: Click Here To Check Out on Goodreads

Includes A Front and Back Cover for You to Color!
Download the PDF and start coloring today.

By day, Florrie Fox manages Color Me Read bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. By night, she creates her own intricately detailed coloring books for adults, filling the pages with objects that catch her eye. There’s plenty of inspiration in her new apartment—a beautiful carriage house belonging to Professor John Maxwell, Florrie’s boss. He offers the property to Florrie rent-free with one condition—she must move in immediately to prevent his covetous sister and nephew from trying to claim it.

When the professor’s nephew, Delbert, arrives, he proves just as sketchy as Florrie feared. But the following morning, Delbert has vanished. It’s not until she visits the third floor of the store that Florrie makes a tragic discovery—there’s a trap door in the landing, and a dead Delbert inside. The esteemed Professor Maxwell is an obvious suspect, but Florrie is certain this case isn’t so black and white. Doodling clues, she begins to consider other colorful characters on the scene, all with a motive for murder. With a killer drawing closer, Florrie will need to think outside the lines . . . before death makes his mark again.

Krista Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of the Domestic Diva Mysteries and the Paws & Claws Mysteries. Several of her books have been nominated for the Agatha Award. Krista lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with two cats and a brood of dogs. Her friends and family complain about being guinea pigs for her recipes, but she notices they keep coming back for more. Please visit her at kristadavis.com.

*Interview With Frank Morelli ~Author of No Sad Songs*

Hello lovelies! I hope everyone is having a fantabulous weekend! Today I wanted to share an interview with you with an author that I became to admire, Frank Morelli. I am currently reading his novel, No Sad Songs, and I am totally fangirling over it! Not only do I love Frank’s writing style, Frank is an interesting and good person. He is always ready to take the extra step for his readers and be more involved in whatever way he can. Frank can also be found on his WordPress site @ https://frankmorelliwrites.com I loved the results of this interview and I hope you enjoy learning more about him and his upcoming novel, No Sad Songs. I will start with the synopsis of No Sad Songs and then we will get to learning more about the author behind the book!😍

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.orgFollowing a family tragedy, eighteen-year-old Gabe LoScuda suddenly finds himself thrust into the role of caregiver for his ailing grandfather.

Between the shopping trips and the doctor visits with Grandpa, Gabe and his friend John try to salvage their senior year, meet girls, and make the varsity baseball team.

It doesn’t take long for Gabe to realize that going to school and looking after a grandfather with Alzheimer’s is more work than he ever imagined. And when long-lost Uncle Nick appears on the scene, Gabe soon finds that living with Nick and Grandpa is like babysitting two grown men.

Aside from John, the only person who truly understands Gabe is Sofia, a punk-rocking rebel he meets at the veteran’s hospital.When these three unlikely friends are faced with a serious dilemma, will they do what it takes to save Grandpa?

If there’s a chance of preserving the final shreds of Grandpa’s dignity, Gabe may have to make the most gut-wrenching decision of his life—and there’s no way out.

Available February 20Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.orgPre-order Today!

Add on Goodreads No Sad Songs

 Frank Morelli, Author of No Sad Songs

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m from the Philadelphia area originally, but now I live just outside of Greensboro, NC with my best friend/partner in crime/chief critic, Alexandra, and our crazy gang of cats and dogs. We don’t have any children, but we’re passionate about rescuing animals, so the second we bought a house with a big, wooded backyard we adopted lots of pets. At the moment, we have two doggies (Stan and Brooklyn) and two cats (Jackie and Henry Aaron). Both of us are massive baseball fans, so we named our buddies after some of our favorite players and baseball towns. We spend the vast majority of our time reading, writing, editing, and cooking.    

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

No Sad Songs is the story of Gabe LoScuda, a high school senior who loses his parents and is forced to take on the role of caregiver for his ailing grandfather, an Alzheimer’s patient. The story is definitely close to my heart because I wrote it as a way to exorcise the demons of watching my own father take care of my grandfather when I was a teen. To this day, I wrestle with the question: did I do enough to help my father? It’s the exact kind of conflict Gabe battles throughout the book, as we watch him struggle to be a student, a caretaker, an adult and a kid all at the same time. No Sad Songs a story about our innate sense of duty that, as humans, we often allow to override the very essence of our lives…even when it becomes clear that our help is no longer making a dent.  It’s a feeling that Alzheimer’s caretakers deal with everyday. And there are over 15 million of them–family members of the afflicted–right now in this country as I write this line. 

What do you do when you are not writing?

I’m a naturally active person and writing is one of the most sedentary professions on the planet, so I try to spend my off time doing things that involve exercise. Writing is also a solitary act and it makes me miss being part of a team. My solution has been to never stop playing the sports I love. On teams. With old guys. My knees and my back are not fans of this strategy, but if I lather up with enough Tiger Balm I’m good for a few games of ice hockey a week at the local rink. Believe me, all the bumps and bruises are worth it when you find something that prevents you from ever forgetting what it feels like to be a kid.

Do you have a day job as well?

I’m a teacher by day and a writer in the early morning and late at night. Like the vast majority of writers, I find the balancing act of work life and writing life to be a constant struggle. There’s not much time for sleep. That said, I’ve been teaching for fifteen years and I wouldn’t trade a day of it for anything in the world. Teaching and coaching middle and high school aged students is part of what I was put on this planet to do, and my experiences in the classroom are exactly what allowed me to see how my writing style and my mindset are best suited for communicating with a young adult audience. On top of all that, I learn from my students on a daily basis. They see through the nonsense adults often get mired in. They understand truth, justice, and balance. I firmly believe today’s brand of teenager is what has made the young adult book market so influential in recent years. They are discerning and smart, and I feel honored when I can use my experience to help them avoid the obstacles that may lie in their paths.

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

I didn’t really know it at the time, but I probably started writing when I was about seven or eight years old. That’s when I became annoyed at the limitations of the original Nintendo Game System and decided it was my duty to rewrite the book on just about every video game ever invented. As far as I know, none of my game ideas ever made it to prime time, most likely because I squirreled them away and never showed them to anyone besides my younger brother. I also wrote some really terrible poetry in high school. But it wasn’t until college that I started treating writing more like a career choice. I got into journalism and wrote sports stories for various local newspapers, and then I moved to New York City to chase a job in publishing. But sitting in a cubicle wasn’t my idea of the writing life, so I became a NYC Public School teacher and began spending my summers writing for about ten hours a day. For fifteen years! I spent most of my time writing short stories, flash fiction and essays. I finally took the plunge into writing novels about five years ago. No Sad Songs took about two years start to finish. 

How did you choose the genre you write in? Where do you get your ideas?

I wouldn’t say I chose the genre I write in. It definitely chose me. I spent a long time spinning my wheels and writing across many different genres, until it finally dawned on me: why don’t I take what I do in the classroom and translate it into what I do on the page? The first chapter of No Sad Songs is literally the first piece of young adult fiction I’ve ever written. It’s not a long chapter. Only a few pages. But as soon as I wrote the last word of the first draft of that very first chapter, I just knew. Falling into my niche and finding that focus has made all the difference. As far as where I get my ideas, I think most writers would agree that you need to write what you know. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to write an autobiography. It just means your personal experiences need to bleed out on the page and dictate the directions you plan to take your characters. It’s the only way to create reality within a fantasy. 

Do you ever experience writer’s block?

Not anymore, but that’s only because I stopped believing in the concept of writer’s block. When you get to the point where you have deadlines to meet, whether self-imposed or thrust upon you by an editor, there’s really no time for writer’s block. You can’t sit around sipping drinks and waiting for inspiration if you ever want to finish something as complicated as a novel. You have to sit down in the chair everyday and write, even when it feels like all you’re doing is splattering gibberish on the page. Some of my best writing has come in these moments, and it makes you realize writer’s block only happens when you’re fighting against yourself. When this happens in a baseball game, a coach would tell his hitter, “You’re gripping the bat too hard.” When it happens to a writer, the writer has become the hitter and the coach.

Do you work with an outline, or just write?

When I first started writing short stories I was so against the idea of planning a story ahead of time. It was like a cardinal sin to me. It was also an example of short-sighting thinking. You might be able to write something short without a road map, but if you’re trying to write a novel you better know your final destination and every point in between. My pre-planning process has become increasingly more complicated over the years. I probably spend about two months creating and refining my characters, charting plot points, building believable settings, and doing miscellaneous research before I ever write the first word in chapter one. I create a master outline for the novel ahead of time and then break that down into smaller outlines for each individual chapter as I get to them. With that said, I try to keep my outlines basic so I’m not overly locked into anything and I still have freedom to create on the page. It seems to work for me, but I’m continually trying to refine my process and make it work better.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult? What inspired you to become an author?

J.D. Salinger’s A Catcher in the Rye and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird are the books that made me fall in love with reading when I was growing up. I didn’t know why at the time, but I’m now sure it’s because of the unique and authentic narrative voices created by both authors. I love voice. If I can hear a narrator’s voice in my head long after putting the book down, I’m basically in love. I think the voices of Holden Caulfield and Scout Finch play on a loop in the heads of many young adult authors. Certainly mine. The desire to be able to create a voice like one of these was definitely one of the things that inspired me to become an author, but there are so many others. I guess they all boil down to one thing: I love the idea of creating worlds that presumably go on without us between the covers of a book.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

Getting a book published is not easy. The competition is insane and the chances for rejection are plentiful. I lost count of how many times I’ve been rejected by agents, publishers, or editors. If you want to write, you have to learn to live with rejection. But it never gets easier to accept a rejection. To me, that’s the hardest part of getting anything published, whether it be a piece of flash fiction, an essay, or a two-thousand page novel. If you’re able to continue believing in your work and push on to the next submission, you’ll find the right person who will champion your book. Jon Wilson at Fish Out of Water Books was that person for me and I’m so thankful we found each other.

If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?

I wouldn’t change a thing about the book. No Sad Songs, as it stands, is exactly what I set out to write and I believe in it. I’m proud of what I created. The only thing I’d change is that I’d go into the process with a better awareness of the business side of things. Making blurb requests and seeking out press opportunities and finding reviews…these are not easy things to do. They consume time and they stop you from creating new work. But they’re essential if you ever want readers out there to know your book exists. Anticipating these steps on my next go around will definitely help me to find a better balance and build more buzz before the release date.  

How do you market your work?

Social media is a major tool, but I also try to keep my name visible in as many venues as possible. I continue to write short stories for publications like The Saturday Evening Post and I contribute a monthly column to Change Seven Magazine. Fish Out of Water Books also helps me to secure reviews and press in newspapers, blogs and other publications. I also have a bunch of public appearances coming up over the next few months. There’s really no better way to connect with your audience than by reading your work to them in a live setting. You can find a listing of my upcoming events here.

What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?

I think young adult literature thrives on the examination of current social issues. Whether a story is set in a present-day high school or in some far-away galaxy, I think a novel written for young adults must still focus on the issues that affect our youth in the current time. That’s one of the reasons why I felt it was important to write No Sad Songs, because Alzheimer’s isn’t just a disease that affects the old. It affects all of us.

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?

A few years ago I abandoned a horror novel that took place in a real ghost town in Pennsylvania. The town of Centralia was a coal mining boom town that was officially evacuated back in the late 1980s after a mine fire had been raging under it for almost thirty years. The place is still on fire as we speak. I went to college not too far from the town and it fascinated me, so I tried to build a story around it, but I could never pull the threads together enough to gain any interest. It’s definitely a story that haunts me a little. I have a feeling I haven’t seen the last of it.  

What is your favorite book? I know this is always a difficult question!

This is an easy one for me. It’s Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Hands down. Atticus Finch is possibly my favorite character in all of literature.

Thanks for checking out my interview with Frank Morelli! Please leave your thoughts and comments!😍 Love ya guys!

Love,

*~Book Review: Rise by M. Ainihi~5 Stars~*

I want to thank the author for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I appreciate this opportunity and all views and opinions expressed are my own.

Title: Rise (A Blood Inheritance Novel)

Author: M. Ainihi

Rating: 5 Badass Skulls/Stars

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When Amanda Garrett stumbles across a strange artifact in the woods, she has no idea of the dangerous secret it holds. The teen soon discovers that she has unwittingly released Erol, an imprisoned jinni, and whether she likes it or not, they are bound together until death.
Amanda’s life soon begins to spiral out of control and she finds herself orphaned, kidnapped, and thrust into a terrifying reality. Her captor is convinced that Erol knows the whereabouts of a powerful relic which has been hidden from him and he wants the pair to retrieve it. Still reeling from her loss, and hoping to be spared further pain, Amanda agrees.
As the pair set off on their journey and Amanda learns more about the existence of the realms and the magical beings which reside within them, the clearer it becomes that nothing is quite as it seems.
After Amanda discovers the power of the relic that her captor seeks, the only thing she knows for certain is that her true suffering has only just begun, because no matter how great the sacrifice, she can never allow the relic to fall into her captor’s hands.

Rise is a fast-paced introductory novel to an alternate world where mundane humans are oblivious to the existence of the realms that separate them from other magical races.

When she feels, the darkness closing in around her, Amanda is not sure if she can hold onto a single speck of light, and soon she comes to understand that some secrets are better left buried.
(YA Dark Fantasy)

Wow! What a book! When I received this novel I wasn’t sure how I felt about the premise because of my previous experiences but I am so glad I chose to read this debut novel! Rise captured my attention from the very beginning and held it all the way until the end. I was able to read this novel in one sitting and it was completely worth my sleepless night! The story even moved a bit slow at times but I was still turning pages! Trust me, that’s usually a big turn off for my scattered brain but the author’s descriptions were amazing!

This book was beautifully written and I didn’t want the escape of the real world to stop at that time. I found the characters relatable. I LOVED Amanda and could relate to her on so many levels. This may have been more of a YA Fantasy novel but I could feel Amanda’s emotions through the pages and I hurt along with her.

As an adult who survived a terrifying childhood, I have faced many things that would shock the world. Reading this novel helped me face reality through this fantasy. I’m glad I had the chance to read this novel and highly recommend this to anyone who loves a great YA or fantasy novel!

M. Ainihi is a passionate independent author and adventurer. Hailing from the wilds of Upstate New York and currently residing in the Chicagoland area, Rise is her first novel in a planned quartet.
https://mainihi.wordpress.com/