Tag Archives: #xpressotours

Cursed Beauty by Stacey O’Neale -a review

Cursed BeautyCursed Beauty by Stacey O’Neale

From USA Today bestselling author Stacey O’Neale comes a standalone YA fantasy retelling of Sleeping Beauty.

The day has come for sixteen-year-old Aurora to receive her witch mark. She should be thrilled. But unlike the rest of her coven, a centuries-old family curse has already decided her fate; the cost of her new power is her life.

After the ceremony, her grandmother offers her hope: Aurora can save herself and prevent her coven from dying by awakening a sleeping prince with the power to break her curse. Unfortunately, she must travel through the forbidden Shadowlands to reach him.

The enchanted forest is filled with magical creatures—friends and foes—including the mysterious son of a powerful wolf pack leader. Can she find the prince in time, and if she succeeds, will he choose to help despite having been placed under the sleeping spell?

Published 30 August 2021|  Publisher: Phoenix Reign Publishing

My Blurb (3 / 5 stars)

It’s all about the cover this time! I just adore that cover and seeing that its a twist on Sleeping Beauty where the girl does the ‘rescuing’ definitely got me to read this novella. There were a few other twists as well which I liked but won’t delve too much into to avoid spoilers.

I really liked the premise of “Princess Aurora” being the one to come to the rescue of a sleeping Prince. I didn’t quite like this witchy Aurora as she can be quite annoying in here tendency to act without too much thought. She’d really land herself in hot water, if her bff, Hazel, did not come to the rescue. I loved Hazel – always ready, always smiling, and overall just the stronger character of the two. In saying that, Aurora has her own strength which allows her to grab her fate into her own hands and twist it. The romance is also kinda cute though it’s totally not what I’d expect!

Cursed Beauty is a brilliant twist to the very well-known fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty. It features gender swap and other spins which really make me wish this was a full novel. I just feel that it is a little bit undeveloped as a novella but definitely with a potential for a novel.

My thanks to Phoenix Reign Publising & Xpresso Tours for ecopy of book via NetGalley in exchange of my honest thoughts

About the author

Find author on:  goodreads  |  websitetwitterfacebookinstagram  | pinterest  |  tumblr

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.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

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)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

Hosted by:
XBTBanner1

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…

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

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)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Hosted by:
XBTBanner1

Blog Tour: Mark of the Wicked by Georgia Bowers

Mark of the Wicked
Georgia Bowers
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: August 10th 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

A young witch tries to unravel the mystery of who is framing her for dark magic in Georgia Bowers’ creepy YA debut fantasy, Mark of the Wicked.

Magic always leaves its mark.

All her life, Matilda has been told one thing about her magic: You use only when necessary. But Matilda isn’t interested in being a good witch. She wants revenge and popularity, and to live her life free of consequences, free of the scars that dark magic leaves on her face as a reminder of her misdeeds.

When a spell goes awry and the new boy at school catches her in the act, Matilda thinks her secret might be out. But far from being afraid, Oliver already knows about her magic – and he wants to learn more. As Oliver and Matilda grow closer, bizarre things begin to happen: Animals show up with their throats slashed and odd markings carved into their bodies, a young girl dies mysteriously, and everyone blames Matilda. But she isn’t responsible — at least, not that she can remember. As her magic begins to spin out of control, Matilda must decide for herself what makes a good witch, and discover the truth…before anyone else turns up dead.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

My Blurb (3.5 / 5 stars)

The cover is sooo beautifully creepy! The description of the book promises a deliciously dark tale and it has definitely delivered.

Set in a small town infamously known for a witch they murdered in the past, the protagonist, Matilda, is an angry teen. Her father left, her mother distant, she lost her best friend, she has nothing left but petty vengeance. For this she employs her magic even if it also threatens to destroy her & her future. Until one day when a boy catches her in the act and expresses his interest in magic.

I found Matilda really hard to like but then again, I usually struggle with angry protagonists. And then I’ve also a suspicious nature so from quite early on, I knew that someone is just being too nice so I can’t say that I’m surprised with the way things turned out. However, I do love the ending which was so very both dark and empowering.

Despite my struggle with the anger permeating through the story, this was a very fast read. It feels a bit like a psychological thriller with paranormal bent. Mark of the Wicked is a story of redemption; of facing the truth, accepting consequences of your actions, and finally of reaching for the courage to change.

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-19)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author

Georgia Bowers lives in Bedford, a small market town in England. When it was time to decide what to do with her life, she was obsessed with two things: books and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It seemed sensible to follow in the brogued footsteps of Rupert Giles, so she became a librarian, though sadly not the demon fighting kind. But there’s still time.

Ever since her mum told her that witches used to meet in the woods near their village, she’s been obsessed with witchcraft and the paranormal. When she was a teenager, a weekly habit of Point Horrors satisfied her thirst for chilling tales before she moved on to reading Stephen King. These days she likes to give her nerves a break every now and then with a good YA romance.

After completing a course in writing YA fiction she was a winner in the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Undiscovered Voices. Since then she has dabbled with stories of chosen ones and ghostly best friends until she conjured up the magical ingredients for her debut novel, Mark Of The Wicked.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Hosted by:
XBTBanner1

 

Blog Tour: Defy the Sun by Jessica Fleck + Giveaway (INT)

Defy the Sun
Jessika Fleck
(The Offering Series, #2)
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: March 10th 2020
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult

In this electrifying YA dystopian sequel to Beware the Night, Veda is captured and leveraged against her best friend, who fights for the opposing force.

Civil war has come to the island of Bellona. Veda Adeline believes in the Night. She’s joined the underground revolutionaries, led by Dorian Winters, and they’re determined to overthrow the ruling Imperi and find justice for her people.

Nico Denali, Veda’s childhood friend and maybe-something-more, is one of those ruling Imperi, and he’s just been named heir to the most powerful man above ground.

As the war intensifies, Veda and Nico are leveraged against each other: Veda is above as a hostage of the Imperi and Nico is below, taken by the Night. There’s no way Dorian is letting such a valuable hostage go.

The island will burn unless Veda and Nico can come together to rip everything apart. But Nico and Dorian will never trust each other, and Veda’s heart might be the biggest casualty.

Praise for Defy the Sun

“Jessika Fleck’s duology is a lyrical adventure with a twisting vein of romance throughout. I was both enchanted and haunted till the very end!” —Erin Beaty, author of the Traitor’s Trilogy

Beware the Night

“Jessika Fleck delights with a new fantasy novel set in a world where the Sun reigns supreme and the Night is your enemy—literally. Brims with secrets, betrayal, and a genuinely believable love triangle!” —Pintip Dunn, New York Times bestselling author of the Forget Tomorrow series

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

My Blurb (4 / 5 stars)

Defy the Sun picks up pretty much immediately right after Beware the Night so this is definitely one of those series you must read in order and you really do want to have to both books before you dive in because it really feels like 1 big book although one big change in this installment is that we have Nico’s POV as well as Veda’s and it’s just beautiful.

It is now all out war between the Day and Night and both sides are suffering losses they could barely afford. Nico and Veda and some others want this war to end before their whole world burns however as Nico and Veda are in position of power now, the burden mostly falls on them. But as they are separated, how are they to collaborate to end this blasted war?

To be honest, this novel is rather heavy in romance and while I expected that, I had to work hard to not hold against the love triangle issue. You’ll note I whinged about that in the last book, well… it got a bit worse in this book until it got better. Thankfully, Veda’s got a good head on her shoulders and at the end, everything worked well.

Defy the Sun was a riveting read; I was on tenterhook, not only because of the resolution of the love triangle, but also for the resolution of this world’s division. I really couldn’t guess how it could be resolved and , at 85%, had my doubts that it’d be resolved in this book! But the explosive ending totally worked and I’m left with a peaceful heart.

Thank you Swoon Reads and Xpresso 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 Defy the Sun (ends Mar-19)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author

Jessika Fleck is an author, unapologetic coffee drinker, and knitter — she sincerely hopes to one day discover a way to do all three at once. Until then, she continues collecting vintage typewriters and hourglasses, dreaming of an Ireland getaway, and convincing her husband they NEED more kittens. Her YA debut, THE CASTAWAYS (Entangled TEEN), is now available. Her next YA novel, BEWARE THE NIGHT (Swoon Reads/Macmillan) releases March 12, 2019.

Find author on:  WebsiteGoodreadsFacebookTwitter

XBTBanner1

Review: Beware the Night by Jessica Fleck

Beware the Night (The Offering Series #1) by Jessika Fleck

When her world divides, pitting light against dark, Veda must join a dangerous revolution to save her grandfather and fight against injustice…even if it costs her the boy she loves.

On the island of Bellona, life is peaceful–as long as the citizens dutifully worship the Sun, which protects them from all harm. Seventeen-year-old Veda knows that keeping the Sun happy will protect her and her grandfather from the Night, the dangerous people who snatch innocent citizens from their beds under the cover of darkness, never to be seen again. As long as Veda follows the rules, she will be safe.

But when Veda’s grandfather is offered up as the next sacrificial offering to keep the Sun’s favor, she starts to see that the safety she’s been promised comes at a dangerous price. Maybe there is more to fear above than there is below.

With a mysterious young man, Dorian, at her side, Veda has to figure out if the scary bedtime stories she grew up hearing are real–or dangerous lies.

Published 12 March 2019 |  Publisher: Swoon Reads |  RRP: AUD$16.99

Buy it at: Booktopia |  A&R  |  Abbey’s

My Blurb (3.5 / 5 stars)

I love Swoon Reads books. Their covers are divine and to date, I’ve been very happy with most of the books I’ve managed to read that they’ve published. I guess, they’re just my kind of people 😉

In this universe, Day and Night are mortal enemies. The Day reigns supreme but yet the Night continues to resist. The people are oppressed and desperation will, sooner than later, sparks a revolution. This is the world that Veda Adelina was born into and in just a few days, she will enter her 17th year. Despite all her wish to fight back, she has no idea who her real enemies are but she’s about to find out.

I really have enjoyed this fascinating world set with the ocean on 1 end and a forested hill on another. It sounds rather like a Roman empire with the wealthy living atop a Hill and a Coliseum where rich & poor congregate to witness Offerings to the Night. The contrast between Day and Night, Light and Dark, Sun and Moon, was done rather well and those who tries to bridge the two will do best to be wary.

Veda reminds me a bit of Katniss as both are orphans (of sort) and both very capable young women. However, I find Veda to be more open and easier to like. She is also angry but she seems to be better at channelling her emotions… mostly. The only thing that I really do Not like is… the love triangle, *sighs* Oh, and this book ends with a cliffhanger! But thank goodness, I’ve got book 2 ready to go 😉

Thanks to Swoon Reads via Xpresso Tours for ecopy of book in exchange of honest review

About the author

Jessika Fleck is an author, unapologetic coffee drinker, and knitter — she sincerely hopes to one day discover a way to do all three at once. Until then, she continues collecting vintage typewriters and hourglasses, dreaming of an Ireland getaway, and convincing her husband they NEED more kittens. Her YA debut, THE CASTAWAYS (Entangled TEEN), is now available. Her next YA novel, BEWARE THE NIGHT (Swoon Reads/Macmillan) releases March 12, 2019.

Find author on:  WebsiteGoodreadsFacebookTwitter