The Legend of Black Jack By A.R. Witham #Blogtour @arwitham @The_WriteReads #TheWriteReadsOnTour #Fantasy #YoungAdult

Today I have a spotlight for The Legend of Black Jack. Thanks to The Write Reads for inviting me to spotlight this fantasy for 13 to 18 year olds. Find out more below…

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#1 New Release in Teen & Young Adult Norse Myths & Legends
Prepare to be whisked away to another realm in this epic fantasy adventure, perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman’s
Stardust characters or Patrick Rothfuss’s prose in The Name of the Wind.

Jack Swift can remember anything—even the horrible things he’d like to forget. To keep his guilt-ridden memories from haunting him, and to dodge his abusive foster mom, he buries himself in any book he can find, dreaming of his ultimate escape: becoming a doctor.

But fate has another escape in mind.

At 3:33am on his fourteenth birthday, Jack is kidnapped by a monstrous rhinoceros and whisked away to another sphere of existence: the land of Keymark. Though this world is filled with pixies, monsters, pirates, elves, warriors, and all sorts of mythical wonders, it is without healing magic—that magic was stolen by an evil, immortal prince hell-bent on domination. With no understanding of medical science to heal their wounds or illnesses, Jack’s kidnappers ask the impossible of him: use his knowledge to save a life…or be trapped in this bizarre world with no chance of rescue.

Jack doesn’t have secret magic, a great destiny, or any medical experience.

Why do they all expect him to become a legend?

They say he was an outsider. A man with no home, no family, and no friend to call his own. The man with nothing left to love. The empty man.

They say he talked to animals. They say he traveled between worlds. They say he killed a god, and they may be right. He prowled the border between light and dark. He beat the devil himself with a walking stick. He healed a thousand people in a single day and killed a dragon the same midnight.

They say there was a woman. They say he died for her. No one knows the truth.

Those are the legends about him.

If you want to know the truth I will tell you.

About the Author 

A.R. Witham is an Emmy-winning writer who has written for film, television, and books. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife and son, who is the reason Black Jack is being published (he’s just old enough to read it). He has hiked the Appalachian Trail, canoed to the Arctic Circle, and been inside his house while it burned down. This is his first fantasy novel.

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#Review By Lou – With This Kiss By Carrie Hope Fletcher @CarrieHFletcher @HQstories #WithThisKiss

With This Kiss
By Carrie Hope Fletcher

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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I am delighted to share with you my review of With This Kiss By Carrie Hope Fletcher. She is currently starring in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella, but has also written a few very successful books, this being her latest. Thanks to HQ Stories/Harper Collins, I have been gifted a proof in exchange of an honest review. Find out more about this enchanting story with a difference in the blurb and my thoughts in my review below…

With This Kiss

Blurb

If you knew how your love story ends, would you dare to begin?

From the outside, Lorelai is an ordinary young woman with a normal life. She loves reading, she works at the local cinema and she adores living with her best friend. But she carries a painful burden, something she’s kept hidden for years; whenever she kisses someone on the lips, she sees how they are going to die.

Lorelai has never known if she’s seeing what was always meant to be, or if her kiss is the thing that decides their destiny. And so, she hasn’t kissed anyone since she was eighteen.

Then she meets Grayson. Sweet, clever, funny Grayson. And for the first time in years she yearns for a man’s kiss. But she can’t…or can she? And if she does, should she try to intervene and change what she sees?

Review

With This Kiss is an enchanting romance, but one that is somewhere between that fairytale whimsicalness and some grounded reactions and emotions.

Lorelai is the main protagonist and happy with life and being friends and can sometimes be a bit defensive when it comes to men because of what romantic entanglements lead to. Lorelai has best friend Joanie, there, pushing her along and trying to see things in a more positive light.

The fact that everytime Lorelai discovers that she has the power to know how someone is going to die after kissing them is what really grabbed my attention to this book. It is a highly intriguing and different concept. The opening pages are fantastic and really drew me in. They have an glow of mystique and and air of intrigue. I felt that the aftermath of finding out how someone was going to die, could have had a bit more depth to it. There is some decent humour, when it presents itself, just perhaps not quite enough. There’s a bit too much procrastination, which is a pity as loses a bit of pace, which becomes a bit frustrating at times, although of course given the situation Lorelai finds herself in, it is absolutely understandable that there would be. Anyone in this situation surely would have this affliction, with such power as she wonders what to do about Grayson, who she is properly falling in love with, whom she meets at a bookclub. The bookclub meet is a lovely place to meet, it is also nice that the club isn’t the crux of the whole story as that doesn’t seem to be what the story is about. It seems more about romance and how to deal with the hand you’ve been given and what to do with magical powers. It has a theatrical sense to it all in a way. There is a love and respect for cinema, books and theatre and everyone involved in these art forms cascades throughout the story very well.

It’s more a darker take on a fairytale for adults than rom-com as such and it is the fairytale like quality that has parts that almost sweeps you along, some parts more than others.

It is all in all, fairly fun. Don’t go into this thinking there is some greater meaning or a massive amount of depth in the power that Lorelea has, or you may find yourself feeling disappointed. If you go into it with a view of that fairytale magic that has a bit of darkness and an open mind, then it is a pleasant read that has a different take on romance.
This was so close to being 4 stars.

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#Review By Lou of The Disappearance of Emily By Elizabeth Pantley @elizabethpantley @DestinyFallsMysteryandMagic #LoveBooksTours #Fantasy #CosyCrime

The Disappearance of Emily
By Elizabeth Pantley

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Today I am on the blog tour to present my review of The Disappearance of Emily. The book has elements of fantasy and cosy mystery within it. Find out more in the blurb and my thoughts in the review below of what is book 2 in this series. Thanks to Love Books Group for inviting me to review and for the book. Discover more in the blurb and review below.

Blurb

A magic mirror. An enchanted world. A mysterious missing mother. A suspicious package. An unexplained death. A community of strange, quirky people. A sassy cat and a hilarious, perpetually annoyed witch. Come visit Destiny Falls and escape to a great time.

…Hayden’s life was normal until she fell through a mirror and was thrust into an alternate, magical place. Destiny Falls is not on any map and is home to a family she never knew she had. The town is enchanted and charming, and the amazing mansion she lives in changes to meet the needs of the people who live there, including her! Every day she discovers a new enchantment.

But something is amiss. Hayden gets an ominous warning from a strange woman, who promises to tell her the town secrets and give her a package – if she’ll meet her at the mysterious ferry that lacks a published destination. The ferry visit is cancelled, but the package is delivered. Once it arrives, someone turns up dead. Then the suspicious episodes start, too many to call them coincidences. She and her family are targeted and in danger.

Who or what is causing the chaos? All signs point to the mysterious disappearance of her mother – way back when Hayden was just two days old. Can she identify and eliminate the threat before another person in her life is stolen away? Can she learn more about the secrets kept for her lifetime? With the help of her sassy sidekick cat, and a host of new family and friends, Hayden finds herself surrounded with support as she solves the mystery of the death and learns secrets about herself.

Review

Firstly, that cover definitely is eye-catching for cat-lovers. The cat is within the story in a sassy way.
Onto the story. It is mysterious and quirky. There’s a scene with Alice in Wonderland themed food, that sort of gives a bit of flavour to the mystique that is to follow as readers head onwards with Hayden…
It is in a way, Narnia and Alice in Wonderland like in the places readers will go to, so would suit fans of these books, although this has elements of crime genres too.

There is Edna, a local historian in a library, even she is mysterious and seems to perhaps be hiding a secret as is the library itself…

Hayden is the most interesting of all the characters and is central to the story, and the witch is intriguing as the story moves along.
The book has cosy mystery and fantasy elements to it with the mysterious disappearance of Emily and other mysterious goings on and she also gets caught up in a murder to solve. What captivated and intrigued most, was the quirkiness build up of the world she found herself in, the behaviours of the characters and the ferries with no destination on them. This is what kept me reading, than the mystery itself in some parts.

Destiny Falls is the place to be and it is full of adventure, crime and magic and a world that is captivating that totally captures imagination. I realised I was enjoying it more than I thought I would by the end and its so easy to just get swept along in the atmosphere and scenery of Destiny Falls. I suspect there will be a third in the series to come.

Octavia Bloom and the Missing Key By Estelle Grace Tudor #Spotlight on #OctaviaBloomAndTheMissingKey@E_G_Tudor @BBNYA_Official @The_WriteReads @WriteReadsTours #BBNYA2021 #BlogTour

Octavia Bloom and the Missing Key
By Estelle Grace Tudor

I received this information about Octavia Bloom and the Missing Key, which is a BBNYA Finalist, to write a spotlight on it, to highlight it as part of the 2021 BBNYA competition and the BBNYA tours organised by the TWR Tour team. All opinions are my own, unbiased and honest. Firstly, a little bit about BBNYA and then onto discover a bit more about book itself and how to purchase it, as I shine a spotlight onto Octavia Bloom and the Missing Key.

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BBNYA is a yearly competition where Book Bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors. If you are an author and wish to learn more about the BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website http://www.bbnya.com or twitter @bbnya_official.

The sign-ups will soon be open for the 2022 BBNYA competition, be it for authors to enter their books, or for bloggers wanting to be part of the new panel, so keep your eyes peeled!!

Now onto the book – Octavia Bloom and The Missing Key. The cover itself is enticing with the giant key for the fairy door, to turn and see what happened to it and what adventures that ensue. The book has mysterious intrigue and secrets to discover, a couple that are life-changing. There’s a quest to reunite a family in this book that will take readers to deeper and deeper into the pages that are just as you go “Through The Fairy Door”. Check out the cover and the blurb below…

Octavia Bloom and the Missing Key Cover Photo

Blurb

One tiny discovery can have enormous consequences…

Almost 10-year-old Octavia Bloom is looking for adventure, but when it comes it’s in the shape of a tiny fairy door.

Dragging her reluctant sister and cousins into the mystery, Octavia discovers her family are hiding not ONE but TWO life-changing secrets.

Why is her mother searching for an elusive flower? And does she have what it takes to reunite her fractured family?

Octavia’s certain the answers lie behind the fairy door, if only she could just find the key…

Bravery, secrets & magic intertwine in this fantastical adventure

Links

Publisher: Inlustris      Length: 228 Pages          Date Published: July 20, 2020

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.ca/Octavia-Bloom-Missing-Through-Fairy-ebook/dp/B089QQDQNS  (Canada)

https://www.amazon.com/Octavia-Bloom-Missing-Through-Fairy/dp/1838029206  (USA)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Octavia-Bloom-Missing-Through-Fairy/dp/1838029222 (UK)

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53863194-octavia-bloom-and-the-missing-key

#BookReview By Lou – Lies Like Wildfire by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez #JenniferLynnAlvarez #YA #Mystery @penguinrandom #BookTwitter #BookRecommendations

Lies Like Wildfire
by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A compulsive, intensive read for 12-17 year olds that will have their noses stuck in a book until the end. Thanks to publisher – Penguin Random House Children’s UK for gifting me the book to review. Discover more in the blurb and scroll on down to the rest of my review.

Lies LIke Wildfire

Blurb

Secrets and lies are everywhere in this compulsive page-turner, perfect for fans of TikTok favourites One of Us is Lying, We Were Liars and This Lie Will Kill You.

An intense high-stakes story about five friends and the deadly secret that could send their lives up in flames, perfect for fans of Karen McManus and E. Lockhart.

In Gap Mountain, California, everyone knows about fire season. And no one is more vigilant than 18-year-old Hannah Warner, the sheriff’s daughter and aspiring FBI agent. That is until this summer. When Hannah and her best friends accidentally spark an enormous and deadly wildfire, their instinct is to lie to the police and the fire investigators.

But as the blaze roars through their rural town and towards Yosemite National Park, Hannah’s friends begin to crack and she finds herself going to extreme lengths to protect their secret. Because sometimes good people do bad things. And if there’s one thing people hate, it’s liars.

Review

The gang, the teenagers make up – 2 boys, 3 girls, are called The Monsters, are also out to protect each other and themselves when a huge, catastrophic, very destructive fire breaks out in a town, with the wild flames heading towards Yosemite National Park. It’s pretty graphic in some places, especially with the fire, which really highlights the seriousness of the situation.

It’s a dark, twisty young adult book which highlights unhealty, toxicity in some relationships between the characters. There’s also the chase of future life dreams, such as teenagers wanting to become a nurse, work in criminology and more… Each is far, far from perfect. They tried to be good, but they are also far from this too as secrets are kept and many lies are told. Older teenagers and early 20 somethings will find this a gripping read as the story builds as the flames and realisation of the fire does too and there’s nothing much that can be done to fan them as the gang begins to crack here and there, but Hannah tries to hold tight and keep the gang close. As the net closes in on them, one of the gang disappears, creating further speculation and intrigue.

Lies Like Wildfire is about teens, who have their whole lives ahead of them, falling apart and readers can find out how far they are willing to go in their lies, even to the most powerful of authorities in law to try and coverup their terrible secret. There’s the intrigue as to whether they will eventually come good or not and what will happen to them.

#BookReview by Lou of Own Your Period @chellaquint@QuartoKnows #PeriodPositive #YA #Teens #NonFiction #NonFictionNovember

Own Your Period
By Chella Quint

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Periods, they are the most natural things in the world in a girl and woman’s cycle, but for some can feel a bit of a taboo subeject and this can be a good resource. To a certain extent Own Your Period is empowering. It most definitely helps to increase knowledge about periods and answers those questions 9 year old plus girls may have. Find out more in the blurb and more informative review below.
Thanks to Quarto Knows publishers for gifting me a copy to review.

Blurb

Own Your Own PeriodHaving a period is an incredible thing – Own Your Period celebrates what the body can do and provides young people (age 9+) with everything they need to be prepared… and empowered.  

This fact-filled guide to periods is bursting with positive, honest advice on managing and understanding menstruation, covering every aspect of periods as well as lots of advice on puberty and growing up in a warm, friendly and reassuring way.

Topics covered include the fascinating science behind why things happen, with all the details of menstruation through to the menopause explained, as well as answers to all essential questions like what’s a vulva and what does it look like, what do periods actually feel like, and what happens if blood stains your clothes?

Menstrual expert and educator Chella Quint’s witty text slays superstitions, busts common myths and fights period shame, while providing practical information about menstrual products, tracking cycles and sharingher own personal stories.

Funny, insightful and warm illustrations with friendly chatty text makes this an everything-you-need-to-know essential handbook, which pre-teens can refer to before their periods start, and will appreciate when their cycle is more established. 

This complete guide will prove an invaluable companion to any young person about to start their first period, and will help them embrace their cycle with positivity and pride, and grow into healthy, happy people!

Review

Own Your Own Period is a valuable book for ages 9+ and aims it just right at this age group. It’s informative and reassuring. It is warm and inviting and full of illustrations that go with the information provided. It will answer all those pressing questions without scaring pre-teens and teens alike. In doing so it will debunk myths, presumptions, misconceptions. It will prepare older children and teenagers for starting their periods and take away some of the awkwardness. The tone of the book also assists in this and makes it readable for this age group and makes it less text book like. The title is also great because it isn’t anyone else’s period but your own, but what the book shows is shared experiences that some may be able to relate to with their own periods.

There are sections about what you may feel when you get your period as well as the biology so you can understand your body more. The environmental part isn’t quite so well done and could have been done a bit better so it doesn’t feel so pressurised as people try to find what works best and feels comfortable for them.
The explanation of how to use some sanitary products is good enough.

There is some wit in some of the anecdotes provided and this lightens the mood and will make it feel more comfortable for readers experiencing or going to experience their periods for the first time. The fun-facts also make this easy for information to digest, as does the structure of the book that also goes some way into encouraging the end of period shame. The cover is also great at showing girls, that whatever your skin colour, you’re likely to have a period and hopefully it can go someway to help break down barriers in all cultures and backgrounds. The chatty layout normalises it to a certain extent and brings some positivity in the fact that this can be used to enhance, gain knowledge in a real way.

The book can also be used as a tool for 9 plus year olds to start a conversation with their parents because when with something like a book, it can make this easier as it arms you with info that you may want to talk about, and the same goes with parents/carers too with their children or young people in their charge.