Tag Archives: #xpressobooktours

Blog tour: Paranormal Bonds by Julie Catherine – a review + GIVEAWAY (int

Paranormal Bonds
Julie Catherine
(The High Council Witch Chronicles)
Publication date: April 12th 2022
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

When Mae Kingsley is forced to move into her family’s rundown lake house, she discovers small town living is not as simple as it seems. Bursts of violence, silent treatments, archaic rituals and two very cute guys with seriously mysterious motives all appear with the rising of the new moon.

But that’s nothing compared to the family secrets soon to be revealed. A box sealed in a vault, hidden rooms, naked swimming. There’s a trove of family revelations just beneath the floorboards, waiting to be exposed.

As the paranormal bonding season for the High Council Witches begins, Mae must quickly decide who to trust and who to fear before a deadly family tradition repeats itself and her chance to live a normal life completely disappears.

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Author Bio:

Julie Catherine is an author, screenwriter and playwright.

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My Blurb (3/5 stars)

Paranormal bonding is one of my favourite tropes so it was an easy decision to pick this one up. It’s a very easy & fast read with easily likeable protagonist. The mystery behind her mother and the people in this town was intriguing. I really liked the cast of characters although I do have to wonder at the protagonist’s pick of the person who could be her best friend…

Paranormal Bonds is the first book of The High Council Witch Chronicles however I felt that as a first book, it was overlong in the introductory part so I felt like I was reading more of a prequel… I expected for the ‘High Council Witch’ to be more prominent / involved but they were very non-existent in this novel. I also wish that the magic was better explored. Otherwise, a rather enjoyable read.


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Blog Tour: For the Murder by Gabrielle Ash – review + giveaway INT

For the Murder
Gabrielle Ash
(The Murder, #1)
Published by: City Owl Press
Publication date: February 22nd 2022
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

A lone crow is a dead crow.

That’s what Diana Van Doren, exiled crow shifter, has always believed. The last murder of crow shifters known to exist wouldn’t accept her into the flock, leaving her vulnerable. Worse, her kleptomaniacal father’s schemes put them in a demon’s crosshairs. Without the support of the murder, Diana fears death will come all too quickly. So when an opportunity to steal a rare blade that can kill anything—even demons—crosses their path, she decides to play her father’s games one last time.

However, she isn’t the only one hoping to take the blade. Sasha Sokolov, a clairvoyant, has been forced from childhood to serve the very demon hunting Diana and her family. After two decades of service, his boss finally offers him what he can’t refuse: freedom. All he has to do is bring in the knife and the Van Dorens, and his bloodline will be free from serving the demon forever.

When Diana and Sasha meet at the auction, they strike an uneasy alliance. Diana sees a way to finally be welcomed into the murder. Sasha sees an opportunity to get his freedom. To get what they want, only one of them can walk away with the blade. But when their magic inexplicably links as they reluctantly work together to steal the knife, betraying each other for their own ends may no longer be an option.

Goodreads / Amazon


Author Bio:

Gabrielle Ash is an author and perpetually tired mom of four from the great state of Texas. Born into a family of mischievous storytellers, she grew up listening to tales of the chupacabra, ghosts, and other things that go bump in the night, never entirely confident that she wouldn’t get eaten if she went out to the creek after sunset.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English, which ultimately landed her in a high school classroom to teach writing and coach the debate team. Dismayed at her inability to wear sweatpants to work, she left the classroom and now dedicates her brain power to books and taking care of her daughters.

When not writing, she spends time with her husband, four daughters, and their dog. The Family Cross is her debut novel.

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My Blurb (3.5 / 5 stars)

I was in the mood for a shifter tale and this one sounds rather unique with crow-shifters. The only problem I had with the book is having to keep adjusting my perception of the word ‘murder’ because most of the time, in this novel, it refers to ‘a group of crows’ instead of a killing act. I guess it’s not really a problem but I do have to stop myself for a second or two to actually makes sense of the sentence now and again and this is all me, not the book.

All her life, Diana Van Doren just wanted to belong. To be appreciated. To be loved. She’s a very good thief, though, and also generous and selfless despite her personal circumstances. Sasha Sokolov, on the other hand, wants only one thing: his & his family’s freedom at whatever cost. Yet, when freedom beckons near, he’s found something even more precious he wanted to hold on to. The story is told of their alternating perspectives so we do get to see secrets they kept from each other and how each grows throughout the book.

I love these characters and well, I do have a thing for a Russian romantic interest too so I was totally shipping them all the way from the beginning. The story was real easy to read with more than enough twists & turns and sparks to keep me engage for a single sitting read. I’m definitely keen to find out what this ‘murder’ get up to next!

My thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for this copy of book in exchange of my honest thoughts

Blog Tour: The North Wind by Alexandria Warwick – review + giveaway INT

The North Wind
Alexandria Warwick
(The Four Winds, #1)
Publication date: January 13th 2022
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Romance

Lush. Dark. Romantic. Introducing a newly reimagined tale written in the vein of Beauty and the Beast and Hades and Persephone.

Long before civilization, there were the gods. And before the gods, there was the earth, the celestial bodies, and air given flesh. They are the Anemoi—the Four Winds—and they have been banished to the four corners of the world.

Wren of Edgewood is no stranger to suffering. Her parents are gone. Survival is all she knows. For three hundred years, the land known as the Gray has been encased in ice, surrounded by a great barrier called the Shade, which protects the townsfolk from the Deadlands beyond.

But day by day, the Shade weakens.

Only one thing can stop the Shade’s fall: a mortal woman taken captive across the barrier, bound in wedlock to the dark god who reigns over the Deadlands. He is the North Wind, the Frost King, an immortal whose heart is said to be as frigid as the land he rules.

And the time has come for the Frost King to choose his bride.

The North Wind is a standalone, enemies-to-lovers fantasy romance, the first in a series sprinkled with Greek lore. Perfect for fans of Jennifer L. Armentrout, Laura Thalassa, and Scarlett St. Clair.

Goodreads / Amazon


Author Bio:

Alexandria Warwick is the #1 fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender. She is the author of The Demon Race and the North series.

Website / Goodreads / Newsletter / Instagram


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My Blurb (3.5 / 5 stars)

I’m always up for a retelling of Beauty and the Beast and anything related to it, really. The North Wind has elements of it but it also drew from other fairy tales and/or mythologies. It’s really a hodgepodge of takes of a variety of tales but that’s okay, it’s still an intriguing world with a strong protagonist and a fascinating love story.

A tense opening which introduced readers to just how dangerous this world is; not only from monster but also starvation as the world is slowly being crushed by continuous winter. This is a big part of the mystery, of course, as we are then introduced to the Frost King who required an offering of a young woman. Our protagonist, Wren, is not one of those on offering but her action brought her to his attention. There follows some enemies-to-lovers dynamics and some truly sloooow burn.

While I’m not usually keen on enemies-to-lovers, I do love a good slow burn romance. There is such a thing as being too slow though and I did find it that this one was rather a long story which could probably edited to make it sharper & faster paced. The world building was detailed but I find myself with questions in relation to the magic system. Overall, I love the romance but there could be some tidying up on some parts.

My thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for this copy of book in exchange of my honest thoughts

Blog Tour: Eyes of the Forest by April Henry

Eyes of the Forest
April Henry
Published by: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date: August 24th 2021
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult

After a bestselling fantasy writer disappears, only his biggest fan believes he’s in danger. Instead of re-reading his books, she must venture into the real world to uncover the truth in this fast-paced mystery by New York Times-bestselling author April Henry. For readers of Courtney Summers and Karen McManus.

Bridget is RM Haldon’s biggest fan. She and her mom sought refuge in Haldron’s epic fantasy series Swords and Shadows while her mom was losing her battle with cancer. When Bridget met Haldon at one of his rare book signings, she impressed the author with her encyclopedic knowledge of the fantasy world he’d created. Bridget has been working for him ever since as he attempts to write the final book in his blockbuster sword and sorcery series. But Haldon has gone missing, and Bridget is the only person who seems concerned. Can Bridget piece together Haldon’s cryptic clues and save him before it’s too late?

Master mystery-writer April Henry weaves another heart-stopping young adult thriller in this story that seamlessly blends suspense with an exploration of fan culture.

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My Blurb (3.5 / 5 stars)

I loved April Henry’s Girl, Stolen duology. With such strong female protagonist and thrilling psychological page turner, I was keen to explore her other books so I jumped at the chance to join in this blog tour.

Eyes of the Forest is told in multiple point of views which, as always, confuses me in the beginning but when you got your characters straight, it flew very quickly as each chapters were quite short and snappy. The story itself, I found, however, was rather show. There was a lot of setting up / background stories to all characters and that took a big part of the book while the actual ‘mystery’ was actually quite short. It was still quite satisfying.

Because the premise of this novel is of a famous author with a popular series who is supposedly writing the last of the book in the series that is overdue for a very long time (uh, hm, I’m waiting for a few myself irl); we were given snippets of this popular series book and it really does sound so very intriguing, I really would love to read these books!

While Eyes of the Forest didn’t quite meet my expectations as a page turner, I was drawn into the story. The characters were well-developed and I was riveted by the connections these characters have with each other. It is an easy novel to read & relax with.

My thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for having me on this tour and  copy of ebook in exchange of honest review

GIVEAWAY (INT)

Follow below Rafflecopter link to enter for a print copy of this book (ends Sep-02)

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About the author

April Henry is the New York Times bestselling author of many acclaimed mysteries for adults and young adults, including the YA novels Girl, Stolen; The Girl I Used to Be, which was nominated for an Edgar Award; The Night She Disappeared; and Body in the Woods and Blood Will Tell, Books One and Two in the Point Last Seen series. She lives in Oregon.

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Blog Tour: Dagger Hill by Devon Taylor

Dagger Hill
Devon Taylor
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: August 17th 2021
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Young Adult

Stranger Things meets One of Us Is Lying in this creepy paranormal mystery about four friends who find themselves hunted by a malevolent presence in their sleepy hometown.

It knows your fear…

Summer, 1989. Four best friends—Gabe, Kimberly, Charlie, and Sonya—are preparing for their last summer together before senior year, after which they’ll all be splitting up to start college in different parts of the country. They make a promise to always find their way back to each other, no matter how far away from their sleepy Pennsylvania hometown they get.

But their plans are destroyed when a plane crashes right on top of their favorite hangout outside of town—and right on top of them.

In the catastrophic aftermath of the incident, Gabe, Sonya and Charlie are plagued by eerie visions and messages from an unknown watcher. They soon realize that the plane crash was no accident, and now they are being hunted by a sinister presence. And everyone is still searching for Kimberly, who has been missing ever since Gabe saw somebody wearing a gas mask carry her out of the woods the day the sky fell down on them…

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My Blurb (3.5 / 5 stars)

I thinks it was the year setting, 1989, that mostly grabbed my attention. I was 9 then so not quite the same age as these protagonist but old enough to remember certain pop cultures referred to in this novel so that was real fun! I’m usually not a horror fan either but while this was quite creepy, it wasn’t that bad.

Dagger Hill reminded me a bit of Silent Hill (game) though on a very broad terms. I didn’t watch or play the game; just saw bits & pieces of the game while hubby played. I guess it was more the supernatural creepy sort of feel of a small town. I stopped myself from reading the last 20% last night because I wanted to go to sleep feeling safe… 😅

I really like the friendship factor in this novel. As each character was struggling through feelings of sadness and even unspoken crushes, their friendship comes first and each other’s safety. There wasn’t that much romance in the story yet I still feel I could have done without what little there was.

The whole story felt very visual to me so I think this would probably do better as a movie because I got really confused at the final showdown about who’s who! Dagger Hill was an enjoyable spine-tingling read which I’d recommend for those who likes being freaked out.

My thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for having me on this tour and  copy of ebook in exchange of honest review

GIVEAWAY (INT)

Follow below Rafflecopter link to enter for a print copy of this book (ends Aug-26)

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About the author

Devon Taylor was born in Las Vegas, Nevada and currently lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and two daughters. His day job consists of sneaking around the house with ninja-like stealth to avoid waking up his kids. When not writing, reading, or tediously typing out text messages with all the correct spelling and punctuation, he spends his time with his family. THE SOUL KEEPERS is his debut novel.

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Blog Tour: Becoming Brooklyn by Amanda Deich – an excerpt

Becoming Brooklyn
Amanda Deich
Publication date: January 5th 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Eighteen-year-old Brooklyn never knew her father. Rex Blackburn died in the 9/11 attacks four months before she was born.

And even though she never met him, she always dreamed about what he must have been like before he died. In her mind, he was a hero.

Little did she know.

After an attack at a 9/11 memorial gala, Brooklyn learns her father had been a member of an elite, anti-terrorism, military task force, made up of a very select group of people who had superhuman abilities. On the day the towers fell, he died using his power to save people.

The Army believes she inherited his gift, and Brooklyn is invited to train at West Point in order to hone her skills. Knowing deep down she is different than anyone else her age and wanting to learn more about a father she never knew, she readily agrees to become a cadet at the prestigious military academy.

She and five other 9/11 babies strengthen their superhuman abilities and spend weeks preparing themselves for their future in the army, fighting terrorists at home and abroad. And in the process of training, they identify with their deceased parents in a way they never knew they could.

Brooklyn knows she’ll go to war someday, but when terrorists find out about the group’s gifts, they don’t bother to wait.

They bring the war to West Point.

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Excerpt

“Why do you need to talk to…just us?” Bree asked, her stare critical and questioning. “Why not all the 9/11 Babies?”

The general nodded, acknowledging the fairness of her question. “You would probably instinctively group yourself with the rest of the kids who had parents die in the attacks of 9/11. And while the entire group of 9/11 Babies have been branded heroes – appropriately, I might add – the six of you are different than the others who attended the dinner the other night.”

He brought his hands in front of him, clasped them together casually in front of his broad torso. “In fact, I’ve been assigned to talk with you all this evening regarding this difference. But before I begin, please know I am about to tell you something that is quite possibly the most sensitive, most valuable, most protected secret in our military today.”

My heart picked up speed. Suddenly I felt like I was sitting in the principal’s office, in trouble but not quite sure why.

“Sensitive, how?” Adrianna asked.

The general pursed his lips. “It may take a while to explain. If I may, I’m going to ask for your patience as I attempt to do so.” He walked slowly toward us, clicking a button to lower a white screen behind him. It hovered above the fireplace as if it were a painting.

“I was thinking about the best way to inform you on the topic, and I decided I should start with what you already know: what you see in the papers and what you’ve learned in History Class.”

Ugh. History Class.

The six of us took turns shooting uneasy glances to one another, and the general, like so many teachers, pressed on, despite our obvious lack of enthusiasm.

“Even before the terrorist attacks on 9/11,” he explained, “the United States of America was the world’s leader in stopping terrorism. We continue to fulfill this role today.”

As if to prove his point, the screen behind him exploded into pictures of ongoing warfare. Bombs, tanks, and horrific blasts filled the screen.

“Terrorists know no geographical boundaries,” he continued as the pictures ceased, “but neither do we, when it comes to humanitarian issues. When the U.S. was young, we were spoiled by our location. Oceans separated us from the rest of the world’s conflicts, so we were primarily concerned with our own. But after the atrocities of the Second World War were exposed, we knew we needed to make a global effort to combat the evil that existed outside our borders.”

“The way we did this was to develop our best, most gifted citizens. We identified them at a young age and used our training facilities to nurture their gifts, pushing them as hard as they could be pushed, and making sure those gifts weren’t wasted. Soon, we had enough of these gifted warriors to form an elite military group. Its earliest members named it The Crest.”

“And what does this have to do with us?” I asked. I mean, it was nice of him to give us a history lesson and all, but the anticipation of why we were meeting with a general was killing me.

“Patience, Brooklyn,” General Richards replied, his tone implying he was losing his own. “I promised I’d explain, and I’m about to.” He turned to address the whole group again.

“You are six of the so-called ‘9/11 Babies’,” he began. “But you are a special six. The hundreds of other 9/11 Babies lost their parents heroically on that horrible day, and you did, too. But your parents were more than heroes.”

He paused, making sure he had our undivided attention. We weren’t breathing; we couldn’t.

“You would probably think of them as superheroes, members of the very same group I described.”

His gaze intensified. “They were part of our most secret, gifted branch of the military: The Crest: Chosen, Rare, Elite… Superhuman and Triumphant.”

My thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for having me on this tour

GIVEAWAY (INT)

Follow below Rafflecopter link to enter for a $20 Amazon gift card (ends Jul-22)

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About the authors

Amanda Deich is an author out of Littleton, CO. In her non-writer life, she is a teacher and coach to hundreds of kids, and she is a mama to two. If you meet her, she’ll talk Jesus and identity like no one’s business.

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Blog Tour: The Dark In-Between by Elizabeth Hrib + Giveaway (INT)

The Dark In-Between
Elizabeth Hrib
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: May 5th 2020
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Action-packed and emotionally powerful like big- and small-screen hits such as The Sixth Sense and Supernatural, The Dark In-Between by Elizabeth Hrib is sure to stay with you long after the lights go out.

Something lurks in the shadows between life and death.

A terrible accident brings sixteen-year-old Casey Everett’s life to a halt—literally. Pulled from the water, Casey is rushed to the hospital and miraculously revived. But her sudden return to the living is shadowed by the drowning of her best friend, Liddy.

Overcome with grief, Casey returns home for the summer only to find the memories of the accident won’t let her go. Shadow-drenched nightmares. Whispers in the back of her mind. Her friend’s screams. Casey thinks she’s losing it… until she watches a boy fall from the sky.

Red—an angel fallen to earth to regain his wings—takes her to Limbo, a place that exists somewhere between the living and the dead. Now, in order to save her best friend, Casey must learn to walk these mysterious and dangerous paths or else risk losing Liddy’s trapped soul to something worse than death.

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My Blurb (3.5 / 5 stars)

The Dark In-Between is a fast & easy read. It was easy to get into and time really did fly when I was reading this; did not realise it was past midnight by the time I was finished!

The opening scene is a beautiful summer’s day and 2 best friends were having the best of time on water until tragedy struck. Unfortunately, one of them dies and the other had to face life without her. Casey Everett lost her parents some time ago and now, she lost her BFF, Liddy; it feels like no one is safe around her. She also could not stop dreaming of Liddy but unbeknown to her, it is actually Liddy’s soul calling out to her for help. Then comes Red, the fallen angel, her guardian to point the way to the in-between.

Fallen angels. I’m not a fan of this trope but I didn’t particularly mind it too much here. Red provides much wisdom and the dynamics between him and Evan, Casey’s other best friend, is all hilarity. I loved the interaction between Evan an Casey too as they explore the possibility of going from best friend to maybe something more; it was very sweet.

Overall, I enjoyed The Dark In-Between more as a fluffy comfort read. It was just really easy to read and follow and that action at the end was just fantastic. I do have one question which makes me question that even as the book feels like it’s supposed to be a stand alone but that little ‘question’ was left in case of the possibility of a sequel. I’d like to see what that’d be.

Thank you Swoon Reads and Xpresso Book Tours for including me in this blog tour & ecopy of book in exchange of my honest thoughts

GIVEAWAY (International)

Follow below Rafflecopter link to enter to win a print copy of The Dark In-Between

(ends May-14)

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About the author

Elizabeth Hrib was born and raised in London, Ontario where she studied nursing at Western University. She now calls the East Coast home, where she works as a nurse in Halifax. When she’s not working or writing, she can be found at the piano, planning her next Netflix binge, or attempting to keep her small, windowsill garden alive.

Find author on: Website / Goodreads / Instagram / Twitter

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