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Blog Tour – The Whispers by Greg Howard

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Author: Greg HowardThe Whispers.jpg
Pages: 256 Pages
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Release Date: January 15th, 2019
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Where to buy: Amazon| Barnes & Noble

*Thank you Penguin Random House  for providing a free advanced readers e-copy of The Whispers to review.*

Synopsis

A middle grade debut that’s a heartrending coming-of-age tale, perfect for fans of Bridge to Terabithia and Counting By 7s.

Eleven-year-old Riley believes in the whispers, magical fairies that will grant you wishes if you leave them tributes. Riley has a lot of wishes. He wishes bullies at school would stop picking on him. He wishes Dylan, his 8th grade crush, liked him, and Riley wishes he would stop wetting the bed. But most of all, Riley wishes for his mom to come back home. She disappeared a few months ago, and Riley is determined to crack the case. He even meets with a detective, Frank, to go over his witness statement time and time again.
Frustrated with the lack of progress in the investigation, Riley decides to take matters into his own hands. So he goes on a camping trip with his friend Gary to find the whispers and ask them to bring his mom back home. But Riley doesn’t realize the trip will shake the foundation of everything that he believes in forever.

Review

I enjoyed this book. It was a sweet magical tale that made me love the main character.

We are introduced to Riley at the very beginning and dive into his life. He is dealing with the mysterious disappearance of his mom, his sudden habit of waiting the bed that only came after his mom disappeared and what he calls his condition, which is in reality his sexual orientation. Riley doesn’t struggle to understand that he doesn’t like boy, it’s more of an understanding of why people still find it weird that he would rather kiss boys than girls and why his feelings were more persuading towards boys like Dylan than girls like Susan. Although I cannot speak to the experience of the queer protagonist, it still makes me think of every kid’s first journey into the emotion of something much more deeper than friendship. I loved how Riley developed as a character because he was able to be multi-faceted throughout the story.

The writing was AMAZING! I couldn’t believe how beautiful everything felt as I read it.  The Whispers were written as whimsical, mysterious and fantastical. It was a pure story of holding on to the things you believe even if no one else wants you to continue believing them. But also, it gave me the message that to believe in yourself.  We were in the mind of Riley learning about all the clues that led up to his mother’s disappearance, the change in family structure, his search for father’s love, the longing feeling that his mother left him and the fire within him to find his mother. This middle grade was a great story of self-discovery and it captivated all the feelings Riley was facing. I have to admit that I did get emotional throughout this story. I wanted to nurture Riley and let him know that his hope and belief in the Whispers was valid and who he was is valid.

I cannot say enough about how great this story was written. I will note some content/trigger warnings: Homophobic verbal behavior form classmates as I think this is important to mention.

About the AuthorGreg Howard.jpg

Greg Howard grew up near the coast of South Carolina. His hometown of Georgetown is known as the “Ghost Capital of the South” (seriously…there’s a sign), and was always a great source of material for his overactive imagination. Raised in a staunchly religious home, Greg escaped into the arts: singing, playing piano, acting, writing songs, and making up stories. Currently, Greg resides in Nashville, Tennessee, with his husband, Steve, and their three rescued fur babies Molly, Toby, and Riley.

Thank you again Penguin Random House for allowing me to be part of  The Whispers Tour!

Want to follow the tour? Check below for the next stops!

Week Two

January 22 – A Bronx Latina Reads – Review

January 23 – Buttons Book Reviews – Author Q&A

January 24 – The Hermit Librarian – Review + Book Aesthetic

January 25 – Andy Winder – Author Guest Post:  The Whispers is a middle grade novel that features a queer protagonist. What influenced you to write LGBTQ middle grade and what are some of the positives or challenges of writing in this genre? Do you have any LGBTQ middle grade book recommendations?

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Blog Tour – Jinxed by Thommy Hutson

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Paperback: 232 pagesjinxed

Publisher: Vesuvian Books
Language: English

Date Published: March 13, 2018
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Where to buy: Amazon| Barnes & Noble

PHOTO CONTENT FROM VESUVIAN BOOKS

Synopsis:
High School Can Be a Real Killer

Break a mirror
Walk under a ladder
Step on a crack

Innocent childhood superstitions …

But someone at the secluded Trask Academy of Performing Arts is taking things one deadly step further when the campus is rocked with the deaths of some of its star students.

Layna Curtis, a talented, popular senior, soon realizes that the seemingly random, accidental deaths of her friends aren’t random—or accidents—at all. Someone has taken the childhood games too far, using the idea of superstitions to dispose of their classmates. As Layna tries to convince people of her theory, she uncovers the terrifying notion that each escalating, gruesome murder leads closer to its final victim: her.

Will Layna’s opening night also be her final bow?

Review:

Wow, this was such a thrilling book, I honestly could not put it down.  We are first introduced to Layna and her group of friends, all students at the Trask Academy. All seems okay until a string of deaths bring unease and terror to this secluded prestigious academy. As each death is brought to view, we learn more and more about the gruesome secrets that have been hidden in Trask Academy.

The plot line was amazing. The author had me believing so many killer theories on the characters that once debunked, made me want to know more about the identity of the killer. Along with the deaths were the intricately woven twists and turns and secret reveals that was mind blowing. I would gasp with each large secret that orchestrated itself to the largest secret of all – what really occurred in that fire so many years ago. I am glad to say that by not seeing those secrets coming, I was desiring more and more and the author executed that reader need in such an excellent way. I did get Scream movie vibes from it, but it was all horror and zero cheesiness. The ending was such a cliffhanger that it allowed my imagination to think of what could happen next. It was mysterious, thought-provoking and just so good.

I have to say character development was pretty key, especially with some of the characters that were part of the larger twists. You felt their fear, anger and confusion through each chapter. You understood the killer’s reasoning even though I personally didn’t agree with it. Layna, as a character was pretty intriguing. She went from being seen as a sidekick, being on the front end of this chaos an still keeping true to the secrets that involved her in the academy. The author made characters seemed guilty, made characters that you wanted to believe were intrinsically good question your emotions and your own reasoning of believing the good in the character.

This book was a book made to make you really think and follow along the journey Layna was taking to open up the dreadful secrets living in Trask Academy.

Want to catch a glimpse into the world of Jinxed? Read the Excerpt below!

JINXED BY THOMMY HUTSON EXCERPT

Looking up, she screamed. A reflection in the glass. Directly behind her. Running. She spun around, terrified.

The stranger stopped and backed away a few steps.

“Woah, woah, woah! Sorry, forgot my key!” Some freshman girl. She wriggled past Sydney and inside the building.

“No prob—” Sydney started to say, but the girl was halfway up the stairs and not even remotely interested. Loud music, laughter, and yelling spilled through the door. The party permeated the air.

Sydney watched as the heavy metal door to the stairwell, with its tiny square of wire-meshed glass, closed with a substantial click.

“You’re welcome,” Sydney said sarcastically. She felt more on her own, surrounded by the sound of a party she was not going to, than she had shuffling across campus. She shook it off. There’d be plenty of parties, one day.

She heard a noise at the door behind her and turned to see what it was. Probably a student hoping to sneak in to the dorm. But there would be no need for sneaking. Someone was already inside.

He was bigger than her, with a wide stance. And a mask.

The mask, made of silver and bronze, was a sickening amalgamation of the comedy and drama faces so well-known in the theater world. One half of its shiny silver surface was twisted into a sort of smile, one that looked gleeful after doing terrible things. The other turned downward, as if that same grin had melted away in pain and despair.

Nothing good could come of this.

“Who are—?”

He rushed toward Sydney, frighteningly fast. Shocked and confused, she felt his fist connect with her throat, hard. The impact shattered delicate blood vessels, bruised her larynx, and sent her spinning back to the concrete wall. Her head snapped against it, causing more pain

and a momentary dizziness that brought flecks of light, like tiny sparklers, to her vision. Breath became a torturous mix of searing pain and the metallic taste of blood. She panicked, fearing suffocation, and emitted a tragic rasp. Crying hurt, but she couldn’t stop the tears.

The stranger pulled a polished silver blade from under his dark overcoat. Dear God, Sydney thought, it’s actually gleaming. The glare brought her back to cohesive thought. She had to do something, and do it fast.

I will not die here, she thought. Not tonight.

 

Praise for JINXED

[Hutson] creates a gore-filled throwback to the classic teen slasher flick genre … Graphically detailed descriptions make it clear that this work of horror isn’t for the faint of heart. ―Publishers Weekly

Thommy Hutson’s ‘Jinxed’ is a Must Read for Classic Horror Fans (linked to full iHorror review)

“Hutson … knocked it completely out of the park … with an expertly paced, cinematic slasher in a setting that would make Agatha Christie proud.” ―Waylon Jordan, iHorror.com

“…gory but captivating … a masked murderer starts picking off the teens, killing them all in theatrically grisly ways. … entertaining” ―School Library Journal

“Thommy Hutson is the ultimate authority in nostalgia-driven storytelling.” ―Clive Barker, Bestselling Author of Books of Blood and The Thief of Always

“Jinxed is the teen whodunit that Wes Craven and Lois Duncan never made. Hutson has created the best new slasher franchise since Scream.” ―Peter M. Bracke, Author of Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th

“A dark, tension-filled thriller that’s wicked to the very end. Bad luck was never so much fun!” ―Jeffrey Reddick, Creator of Final Destination

ABOUT THE AUTHORthommy hutson

Born and raised in Upstate New York, Thommy Hutson graduated from UCLA and launched his career co-writing the story for the Warner Bros. animated hit SCOOBY-DOO IN WHERE’S MY MUMMY? He followed that with co-writing the concept and additional material for CHILL OUT, SCOOBY-DOO!

His career then took a thrilling turn when he wrote and produced several definitive genre film retrospectives for television and home entertainment: SCREAM: THE INSIDE STORY (Bio Channel), NEVER SLEEP AGAIN: THE ELM STREET LEGACY (Bio Channel), MORE BRAINS! A RETURN TO THE LIVING DEAD (Chiller) and HIS NAME WAS JASON: 30 YEARS OF FRIDAY THE 13th (Starz/Anchor Bay).

He was also a staff writer on Hulu’s daily web series “The Morning After,” a smart, witty, pop culture program aimed at getting viewers up-to-date on the latest entertainment news and celebrity interviews.

Thommy also produced the critically acclaimed feature THE TROUBLE WITH THE TRUTH, an insightful relationship drama starring Lea Thompson and John Shea. He also produced DREAMWORLD, a quirky, romantic dramedy.

He co-wrote and produced ANIMAL for Chiller Films and Drew Barrymore’s Flower Films. The project debuted in iTunes’ top ten horror films (reaching #1) and became the network’s highest-rated original movie.

Continuing his passion for uncovering the stories behind the story, he went on to produce CRYSTAL LAKE MEMORIES: THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF FRIDAY THE 13th, which is the most comprehensive look at the popular film franchise.

He produced and made his feature directorial debut with THE ID, an independent psychological drama/thriller. Filmmaker Magazine stated it was “a deeply unsettling thriller that’s as moving as it is frightening…with skillful, provocative direction that has echoes of early Polanski.”

Thommy also wrote the screenplay for Syfy Channel’s supernatural horror film TRUTH OR DARE, which was a trending topic on social media the night of its release.

As an author Thommy crafted a limited-edition coffee table book detailing the making and legacy of Wes Craven’s 1984 classic A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. A trade version distributed by Simon & Schuster reached number one in Amazon.com’s Movie History & Criticism category. His latest novel, the teen thriller “Jinxed,” (Vesuvian Media) is the first book of a trilogy and has been called “A must-read for classic horror fans…Inevitable and shocking. Brutal and beautiful. Homage and originality…Hutson could easily take on the mantle as the next Lois Duncan.”

He is currently scripting a film for The Hallmark Channel as well as writing another book that definitively details the history, making, and legacy of another fan-favorite genre film from the 1980s.

A member of the Producers Guild of America and Horror Writers Association, and an aficionado of horror and teen movies from the 80s and 90s, Thommy continues to develop unique, compelling, and provocative projects across multiple genres for film, television, publishing, and home entertainment through his company Hutson Ranch Media.

Giveaway!!

–  1 Winner will receive a Copy of JINXED by Thommy Hutson.

– Winner will receive a $25 Dollar PayPal/Amazon Gift Card.

-Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

Click Here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e849f7751548/

Follow the tour!

Tour Schedule: http://www.jeanbooknerd.com/2018/11/jinxed-by-thommy-hutson.html

Thank you Jean Book Nerd and Vesuvian Books for allowing me to be a part of this amazing tour. Please check out Jean Book Nerd’s site for more information about this tour and upcoming ones.

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An Anonymous Girl Arc Review

Author [s]: Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen an anonymous girl
Pages: 372 pages
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: January 8th, 2019
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Photo Credit: Goodreads.com

Where to buy: Amazon| Barnes & Noble

*Thank you St. Martin’s Press  for providing a free advanced readers copy of An Anonymous girl

Synopsis:
The next novel of psychological suspense and obsession from the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us

Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave.

Question #1: Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt?

But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking…and what she’s hiding.

Question #2: Have you ever deeply hurt someone you care about?

As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

Question #3: Should a punishment always fit the crime?

From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.

Review:

I could not put this book down. It was such a page turner. Throughout the story, I was experiencing new twists and turns that I did not expect.

We are introduced to Jessica, who becomes Subject 52 in Dr. Shields morals experiment. Everything starts off as the way a typical odd experiment would go. Questions are asked and secrets as told. However, as Jessica becomes the prime interests in the experiment, the story turns more sinister. Jessica, as a character developed pretty well in the story line. At the beginning I wasn’t sure about her. She seemed a bit too naive to see some of the more obvious weirdness in the experiment. However, throughout the story Jessica uses this perceived obliviousness to her advantage and her character flourishes in a way that was unexpected. Granted, there could still be room for more development, but her character worked perfectly with the scenarios she was placed in.

What I enjoyed about the flow of the story line was how we were able to learn more about Dr. shields through the tasks and questions that were asked of Jessica. I understood her motives, although unethical and at times cringe-worthy, that allowed her to create the experiment and implement on the subjects at hand. Dr. Shields was a character! She was manipulative, mysterious, and calculative. Those characteristics made her more human which allowed myself as the reader to feel more on edge with the practices she was conducting.

The one character that I didn’t entertain much in was Thomas. I understood his role in the story but didn’t care much about his placeholder personality. This however, did not bring what I really enjoyed form this book. The plot was well written, and the authors knew when to add in the twist to have the reading turning that page feasting for the next gasp moment.  I felt like I could visualize this occurring in real life which gave such eerie vibes. The story flowed well, and I understand where everyone was and why the next thing was set to happen. I would recommend this book to anyone who would enjoy a psychological and suspenseful page turner.

 

An Anonymous Girl is out in the world and ready to make you think: Should a punishment always fit a crime ?

 

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January 2019 TBR!

Happy New Year Everyone!

This year I made a resolution to stick to a monthly TBR pile.  Behold, my January TBR. I have some interesting reads this month that I cannot wait to dive into.

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Want to know more about the following books and when they will be released? Check below to read synopsis’ of each book and their upcoming release date [for those that are not yet released] via Goodreads links.

Jinxed by Thommy Hutson
Release Date: March 18th, 2018
Pages: 248
Synopsis: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37593070-jinxed

The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons
Release Date: February 5th, 2019
Pages: 560
Synopsis: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39863237-the-ruin-of-kings?ac=1&from_search=true

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Release Date: January 2nd , 2018
Pages: 370
Synopsis: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26032825-the-cruel-prince#

The Wicked King by Holly Black
Release Date: January 8th, 2019
Pages: 336
Synopsis: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38237340-the-wicked-king

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
Release Date: September 20th, 2016
Pages: 398
Synopsis: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28374007-three-dark-crowns?from_search=true

Gilded Cage by Vic James
Release Date: February 14th, 2017
Pages: 368
Synopsis: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30258320-gilded-cage?from_search=true

The Women’s War by Jenna Glass
Release Date: March 5th, 2019
Pages: 560
Synopsis: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40588294-the-women-s-war?ac=1&from_search=true

My most anticipated reads for this month are The Cruel Prince [Re-read], The Wiocked King and The Ruin of Kings. However, I am overall excited to jump back into the reading grind and tackle this TBR pile.

This month I will be reading a total 2,840 pages. This is the largest amount I will attempt in a month but I am totally confident that I will reach that goal.