Adult Fiction, Anthologies, Blog Tours, Book Review, Fantasy, Fiction

Blog Tour [Review]: Dead of Winter

Title: Dead of Winter
Edited by: Lindy Ryan
Publisher: Blackspot Books
Publication Date: January 26, 2021


Rating: 4 Stars

Thank you Jean BookNerd, Blackspot Books and for an opportunity to be a part of this blog tour.


Eight chilling tales to read under the Cold Moon.

A tinker’s son acquires a cursed soul.

A dying woman is haunted by her own reflection.

An uninvited presence haunts a Christmas seance.

A festive holiday turns macabre.

Despite the twinkling lights and steaming cocoa, the end of the year is the darkest time of the year—a season of short days, long nights, and cold skies. In this special anniversary anthology, the authors of Black Spot Books mix Ye Olde Yuletide hauntings with modern-day holiday horrors to weave a chilling new collection of dark winter tales. From frozen forests stalked by eerie Christmas ghosts to rotting gifts of winter malice, the spirits of Christmas come home for the holidays in the Dead of Winter.  


“Readers looking for a wintry fright will appreciate a few gems [among] eight winter-themed tales of terror.” —Publishers Weekly

“Diverse, unexpected, and solid in characterization, plots, and evolution…horror fans will relish the creative results in [Dead of Winter] that delights with its original, thought-provoking creations and twists on holiday themes.” —D. Donavan, Midwest Book Review

“Editor Ryan’s selections perfectly fit the dark, gray, wintry mood that hits when cold weather has dragged on for too long. This anthology features eight short stories, each gripping, mind-bending, and truly creepy. Dead of Winter has something for every horror reader.” —Carrie Rasak, Booklist

Foreword by 2018 Bram Stoker Nominated Author Monique Snyman.
Edited by Lindy Ryan


I have to say, anthologies are becoming a personal favorite of mine. Dead of Winter did not disappoint. You have an variety of different stories that take some winter favorites like Santa Claus and add a little bit of spice to it. Winter is no longer a quaint and quiet, but mysterious, dark and eerie. Dead of Winter brings a collection of stories together of nightmarish visions, scary winter nights and overall a pleasurable reading experience. We are brought back to the winter winter before electricity was invested, a winter that more feared than embraced. The anthology is edited perfectly, each story seamlessly intertwining in the next thrilling read.

One story that stood out the most to me was A Face Behind the Christmas Ball. This story took Santa Claus, a beloved magical being, and creates him into a scary nightmare to think. I enjoyed how that perspective was changed and written so well. Children are no longer jumping for joy at an encounter but are holding their blankets closer ta night. It is unique, thrilling and so enjoyable to read.

Overall, Dead of Night is a book I would highly recommend for folks who like to live on the edge and stray away from a more cozy winter read.

About the Authors

Lindy Ryan is an entrepreneur, award-winning professor, and publishing professional. In 2011, Ryan was part of the executive leadership team that founded Radiant Advisors, a business intelligence research and advisory firm, where Miller developed and launched the company’s editorial and research divisions, and later its data visualization practice, for clients that included 21st Century Fox Films, Fox Networks, Warner Bros., and Disney. She is the author of numerous papers and two textbooks – The Visual Imperative: Creating a Culture of Visual Discovery (Elsevier) and Visual Data Storytelling with Tableau (Pearson). She went on to teach at Rutgers University and Montclair State University, and remains a respected academic researcher. Now an accomplished publishing professional, Ryan currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA).

Ryan is an award-winning editor and author. Currently, she is collaborating as the lead author on a horror franchise project with a top veteran Hollywood director and an award-winning screenwriter. When she’s not immersed in books, Ryan is an avid historical researcher, with specific interest in nautical and maritime history, cryptozoology, and ancient civilizations. She is represented by Gandolfo Helin & Fountain Literary Management. She also writes clean, seasonal romance under the name Lindy Miller. Ryan currently resides in Juneau, Alaska where she enjoys hiking, crafting, and photography. She is a member of the Horror Writers Association.

Monique Snyman‘s mind is a confusing bedlam of glitter and death, where candy-coated gore is found in abundance and homicidal unicorns thrive. Sorting out the mess in her head is particularly irksome before she’s ingested a specific amount of coffee, which is equal to half the recommended intake of water for humans per day. When she’s not playing referee to her imaginary friends or trying to overdose on caffeine, she’s doing something with words—be it writing, reading, or fixing all the words.

Monique Snyman lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, with her husband and an adorable Chihuahua. She’s the author of MUTI NATION, a horror novel set in South Africa, and Bram Stoker Award® nominated novel, THE NIGHT WEAVER, which is the first installment in a dark fantasy series for young adults.

Daniel Buell is working as a content creator and blogger. He is an author from New Jersey. His first debut short story is being published in DEAD OF WINTER anthology by Black Spot Books.

Laura Morrison lives in the Metro Detroit area. She has a B.S. in applied ecology and environmental science from Michigan Technological University. Before she was a writer and stay-at-home mom, she battled invasive species and researched turtles.

Sam Hooker writes darkly humorous fantasy novels about thing like tyrannical despots and the masked scoundrels who tickle them without mercy. He knows all the best swear words, though he refuses to repeat them because he doesn’t want to attract goblins.

Alcy Leyva is a Bronx-born writer, teacher, and pizza enthusiast. He graduated from Hunter College with a B.A. in English (Creative Writing) and an MFA in Fiction from The New School. He has been published in Popmatters, The Rumpus, Entropy Mag, and Quiet Lunch Magazine.

Cassondra Windwalker is a poet and novelist writing full time from the coast of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. She is supported by a tolerant husband, three wandering offspring, a useless dog, and a zombie cat. Her hobbies include hiking, photography, and having other people’s demons over for tea.

Dalena Storm has lived in India, Japan, Germany, and on both coasts of the United States. She currently resides in a converted general store in the woods of Western Massachusetts with a rare Burmese temple cat, a purring black fluff-beast, a professor of magic, and an infant with an astonishing ability to resist sleep.

N.J. Ember is a paranormal fiction author who loves to write stories about survival and triumph over adversity. Whether her characters are dealing with the paranormal or everyday life, she seeks to show that strength is not always about being superhuman or invulnerable. She enjoys anything with mystery, suspense and horror, so when she’s not writing you can find her watching shows like Orphan Black, Penny Dreadful and Sherlock.

She currently lives in Michigan with her grandpa and a forever growing collection of books and Funko Pop! figures.

Tiffany Meuret is a writer of monsters and twisted fairy tales. Her publications include Shoreline of Infinity, Luna Station Quarterly, Ellipsis Zine, and others. When not reading or writing, she is usually binge watching comfortable sitcoms from her childhood or telling her kids to put on their shoes for the tenth time. She lives in sunny Arizona with her husband, two kids, two chihuahuas, gecko, and tortoise.FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | WEBSITE | GOODREADS

…and now for a Giveaway!!

Click the pic to enter the giveaway

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

–  1 Winner will receive an Exclusive DEAD OF WINTER Storytellers BOX
– 1 Winner will receive a $20 Amazon Gift Card

Blog Tours, Book Review, Dystopian, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

Blog tour [Review]: Unchosen

Title: Unchosen
Author: Kathryn Blair
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: January 26, 2021
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic

Where to buy: Harper Collins

Goodreads Link

Rating: 4 stars

Thank you Turn The Pages Book Tours, Katherine Tegen Books and Kathryn Blair for an opportunity to be a part of this blog tour and read Unchosen


Katharyn Blair crafts a fiercely feminist fantasy with a horrifying curse, swoon-worthy sea captains, and the power of one girl to choose her own fate in this contemporary standalone adventure that’s perfect for fans of The Fifth Wave and Seafire, and for anyone who has ever felt unchosen.

For Charlotte Holloway, the world ended twice.

The first was when her childhood crush, Dean, fell in love—with her older sister.

The second was when the Crimson, a curse spread through eye contact, turned the majority of humanity into flesh-eating monsters.

Neither end of the world changed Charlotte. She’s still in the shadows of her siblings. Her popular older sister, Harlow, now commands forces of survivors. And her talented younger sister, Vanessa, is the Chosen One—who, legend has it, can end the curse.

When their settlement is raided by those seeking the Chosen One, Charlotte makes a reckless decision to save Vanessa: she takes her place as prisoner.

The word spreads across the seven seas—the Chosen One has been found.

But when Dean’s life is threatened and a resistance looms on the horizon, the lie keeping Charlotte alive begins to unravel. She’ll have to break free, forge new bonds, and choose her own destiny if she has any hope of saving her sisters, her love, and maybe even the world.

Because sometimes the end is just a new beginning.


Imagine a world where a mysterious disease is turning people all around you slowly into zombies. Imagine a disease so contagious, a mere eye contact with someone infected now makes you one of the infected. Unchosen by Kathryn Blair is that book and so much more. Charlotte, an average sibling amongst her talented older and younger sisters. When the Crimson, a deadly disease hits, their parents are gone and now her sisters are the only thing Charlotte has left. Her older sister becomes a fierce military leader, making sure the uninfected stay safe. Her younger sister is said to be the ‘Chosen One’, the one the save them all. When their humble abode is raided and Charlotte’s crush’s life is threatened, Charlotte gets kidnapped after pretending to be the Chosen One, saving her sister from a potentially cruel fate and takes us all on a journey and how she will survive and find herself in this all.

Wow, this book was soo good. It has been a while that I have read a dystopian novel and devoured its content. I absolutely loved the focus on Charlotte in this story. being ‘average’ in her world, he becomes instrumental in figuring out so much. She becomes the bait in order to allow her younger sister to figure out how to save them all. Charlotte is fearless, loyal, committed and willing to do anything to protect the ones she loves. Charlotte is also not perfect, goes through a good chunk of teenage angst because her crush is with her sister and is full of emotional as she tries to help save the world.

The worldbuilding is amazing and really compliments the fantastical aspect to the story. Did I mention there are some really cool battle scenes in the ocean? Yes, you heard that right! What can I say, I am a sucker for some sea adventures or anything sea/water related that works well in a book. But, the most intriguing part of the book was the curse/disease and how there is a way to become cured or immune but not in a way you would expect it. It has a mysterious origin which I wished I knew the backstory of. When one is infected, they become almost superhuman, but also out for blood. It is bizarre but so well written.

Unchosen is a story of sisterhood, a chosen one trope that took a different turn, a girl trying to help save the world and so much more. If you are looking for a dystopian read that is a quick and will keep you on your toes, pick up a copy of Unchosen.

About the Author

I live in LA, drink way too much coffee, and write all day long — because I’m crazy blessed to do what I’ve been doing for fun since I was a kid hiding in my garage loft writing terrible, terrible vampire stories. Glitter enthusiast. Bethyl shipper. Pluviophile. Ask me about my Dean Winchester obsession. John 1:5.

I’m wife to Ross and mom to Aryn, Liam, and River Grace. Also, mom to Cricket (a dog, not an insect), Maximus Dogimus Meridius (a ferocious cuddlebug) Maggie Rhee (cat, not the bad ass from The Walking Dead), and Kovacs (no parenthetical needed for him).

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Goodreads

…and now for a giveaway!

Enter to win one of two (2) signed finished copies of Unchosen by Katharyn Blair! Open USA only. There will be 2 winners.

Giveaway starts: Monday, January 25, 2021

Giveaway ends: Monday, February 1, 2021 at 12:00 a.m. CST

Click the Rafflecopter pic to enter the giveaway!

Follow the tour: Unchosen Blog & Bookstagram Tour

Blog Tours, Book Review, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

Blog Tour [Review]: On the Tips of her Fingers

Click here to follow the blog tour
Title: On The tips of Her Fingers
Author: Bibiana Kerpcar
Publisher: New Degree Press
Publication Date: December 11th, 2020
Genre: Young Adult Fiction; Fantasy

Where to Buy: Bookshop

Rating: 4 stars

Thank you Turn The Pages Book Tours, New Degree Press and Bibiana Kerpcar for an opportunity to be a part of this blog tour and read On The Tips of Her Fingers


“We create monsters in our lives. Our response to them determines how our stories unfold. You can choose to cower in fear and ignorance of them, or you can choose to confront them head on, gathering the intuition and courage to defeat them.”

On the Tips of Her Fingers centers around Adela, a young girl leading a seemingly quiet life, whose mother spins beautiful stories for her at night. A series of strange events lead to Adela being gifted with magical abilities allowing her to escape from her world. We travel with Adela far from home where she begins to unravel a family secret, stumbling as she learns to use her powers, navigating difficult situations and her own complex feelings about growing up, and meeting friends, magical creatures, talking animals, and evil villains along the way.

In a world that can seem complicated, Adela shows the reader the importance of perseverance, courage, and a little bit of magic. On The Tips of Her Fingers is a dark fairytale that will inspire fans of fiction, fairytales, and magical realism to grapple with the concepts of escapism and self-identity in a whole new way.


CW/TW: Child Abuse; Death

If you ever wanted to escape back to the time where your imagination could make a fairy-tale out of anything, then reading On The Tips of Her Fingers is the book you want to read. It is just that, a fairy-tale escape from the sometimes dark and cruel realities of the real world. Full of magical clichés, On The Tips of Her Fingers is both refreshing and nostalgic. Adele is such a great character. She is equal parts resilient and hopeful.

We go on Adele’s journey as she learns and untaps the magic she holds while escaping the reality she is living. At home, things don’t feel safe whenever he stepfather is there. A belligerent man who takes the townsfolks words of his ‘weird’ step daughter to heart and uses it to punish Adele. We find Adele often escaping her own body, a magical power she possesses to venture off and meet some fantastical creatures such as the clever fox. We also are introduced to her mother; a woman who loves her daughter to the moon and back. From the small interactions we have, I was unsure if Adele and her mother are in a home they can’t really escape, or whether or not Adele’s mother is okay with Adele’s step fathers behavior? this was something I wished I had a little more clarity on but I did enjoy the love both Adele and her mother had for each other and how Adele’s mother truly embraced Adele for the ‘weird’ child she was. Aside from the characters, Bibiana manages to create multiples timelines and meticulously intertwines then into one big story. Although the the pacing was a bit quick in certain areas, it overall was rapped up pretty nicely.

Overall, On The Tips of Her Fingers is a story full of magical tales, escapism and a young girl discovering who and what she is in an oddly enchanted world. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a quick read and wants to escape into some enchanting worlds for a couple of hours.

About The Author

Bibiana is an alumna of Georgetown University, where she graduated with a degree in Marketing, Management, and Entrepreneurship. She is an immigrant currently residing in Brooklyn, New York. As a child, she loved to read as a method to escape: in addition to helping her cope with challenges, she aimed to take inspiration from the books she loved growing up — ones that explored dark themes and forced characters to struggle, yet allowed them to come out of the experience with a newfound understanding of themselves and the world around them. During the day, Bibiana works in advertising, where she works with talented people to create amazing work. Outside of watching Slovak fairytales every holiday season, she enjoys cuddling up with her kitten and conjuring up fantastical worlds in her imagination.


Up for grabs, we have TWO (2) digital copies of On the Tips of Her Fingers by Bibiana Kerpcar! This giveaway is open internationally and will run from January 24th to January 31st at 11:59 PM CST! To enter, click the link below!


Follow the Tour!

Blog tour

January 24th

Turn the Page Tours – Welcome Post
A Bolt out of the Book – Review & Favorite Quotes

January 25th

Pop Reads Reviews – Spotlight
A Bronx Latina Reads – Review

January 26th

Jena Brown Writes – Review & Favorite Quotes

January 27th

A Court of Coffee and Books – Review

January 28th

natreviewsbooks – Review
Portals into Books – Review, Mood Board, Playlist & Author Interview

January 29th

Belle’s Archive – Review & Favorite Quotes
Tirabookreviews – Review

January 30th

readingatmypace – Review

Blog Tours, Book Review, YA Fantasy

Blog Tour [Review]: Soul of Cinder

Author: Bree Barton
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: January 12, 2021
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Where to Buy: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | IndieBound

Rating: 3 Stars


This is the 3rd book in the series so if you don’t want anything spoiled.

The Twisted Sisters are coming home.

Prince Quin has returned to the river kingdom, ready to spearhead a rebellion and reclaim the throne. He vows to destroy Mia, Pilar, and Angelyne if they oppose him—even if he must use his newfound magic to set the world aflame.

Across the four kingdoms, the elements have been tipped askew. Volcanoes erupt, glaciers collapse, and cities sink into the western sands. After losing Angie, Mia and Pilar journey to the glass kingdom to seek help, though soon their fragile bonds of sisterhood begin to fray. Mia’s sensations are creeping back, and with them, a deep and searing grief. Pilar, terrified of being broken, once again seeks comfort in her fists. But when they hear rumors of a misty island that promises to erase all pain, they suddenly find themselves with an answer—if they are willing to pay the cost.

As tensions mount, the sisters are drawn back to the river kingdom for a final reckoning with the boy they each loved. The shattering conclusion to Bree Barton’s Heart of Thorns trilogy challenges why we grieve, whom we love—and how to mend a broken heart.


This is the third book in the series, so there may be spoilers of the first and second books.

I have to admit, I was hesitant in going into the finale of this story because the first and second books were okay reads for me. However, although not perfect, Soul of Cinder managed to wrap of Mia’s journey as well as it could. The worldbuilding was consistent, the magic system still as fabulous as ever, and there was much more character development this time around. Overall, it was decent end to a series. Soul of Cinder begins with us finding out about Mia and her sister Pilar. They are on the journey to retrieve Mia’s ability to feel emotions. Meanwhile, Quin is on another journey. Now with newfound magic and a kingdom to take back, Quin is on a mission of both revenge and the reclaiming of his rightful throne. Hurt and feeling sour about the Twisted Sisters, Quin is now a different character than we saw during Tears of Frost.

Before getting to the character, I wanted to talk about the magic system. I continued to be amazed by the birth and construction of it and it did not disappoint in Soul of Cinder. The magical backdrop world stayed consistent, which I know can sometimes be hard to do. As with the previous two books, the themes of grief, hurt, loss and healing continue to play a major role in Soul of Cinder as each character learns to heal in their own way. I enjoyed the mainstream of healing that occurred in many of the characters in this book. It gave way to have some happy ending or some sense of okay-ness for the main and supporting characters. When it came to the romance aspect of the story, I was okay with it not being a prominent part of the story and wasn’t too phased about the relationships that fizzled out throughout the story.

However, I did enjoy the complex and intriguing relationship that half-sisters Mia and Pilar were forming. It wasn’t perfect and I think that added to it feeling more real. The two were working through the emotions of finding out they were relating and while trying to build a normal foundation to work on. I was able to see this especially through their journey of helping Mia out. I may have an unpopular opinion here, but I did enjoy Quin’s character in the last book. Quin, hurt and reeling with so many emotions was handling them in the most human way he can think of. His emotions didn’t feel exaggerated or forced. It also gave way to understanding why he had the feelings about his kingdom that he did.

Overall, Soul of Cinder was a good read. The main takeaway from this story is understanding how love can be both a magical and destructive thing. Emotions are natural and many people go through it but giving those the time to heal from it is most important. While this story did not completely swoon me away, I would recommend it to readers who love morally grey characters, a feminist approach, and a journey of healing through the hurt.

About the Author

Bree Barton is a writer in Los Angeles. When she’s not lost in whimsy, she works as a ghostwriter and dance teacher to teen girls. She is on Instagram and YouTube as Speak Breely, where she posts funny videos of her melancholy dog. Bree is not a fan of corsets.


Blog Tours, Book Review, Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction

Blog Tour [Review]: Halfway to Harmony

Author: Barbara O’Connor
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (FSG)
Publication Date: January 12, 2021
Genre: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction

Where to Buy: Barnes & Noble| Amazon

Rating: 4 Stars


A heartfelt middle-grade novel from New York Times bestselling author Barbara O’Connor about a boy whose life is upended after the loss of his older brother–timeless, classic, and whimsical.

Walter Tipple is looking for adventure. He keeps having a dream that his big brother, Tank, appears before him and says, “Let’s you and me go see my world, little man.” But Tank went to the army and never came home, and Walter doesn’t know how to see the world without him.

Then he meets Posey, the brash new girl from next door, and an eccentric man named Banjo, who’s off on a bodacious adventure of his own. What follows is a summer of taking chances, becoming braver, and making friends–and maybe Walter can learn who he wants to be without the brother he always wanted to be like.

Halfway to Harmony is an utterly charming story about change and growing up.


I have to say, Middle Grade fiction is really doing it’s stuff lately. Halfway to Harmony is another Middle Grade Fiction that did not disappoint. This book will pull at your heartstrings while also giving you a light feel great read. After losing his older brother Tank, Walter is grieving for the loss of not only his brother but the void it left because Tank was also his best friend. Walter in his dreams often hears his brother Tank inviting him to be with him, but Walter awakes right before he can blow his birthday candles. Walter is such a loving character whose journey becomes finding that love lost and feeling some form of normalcy in his life.  

We then meet Posey, spunky young girl with a 3-legged dog companion. She is also Walter’s new neighborhood and the person Walter beings a friendship with. After all, he is no longer all by himself. Posey and Walter then meet Banjo, a man whose dream is to be a part of a hot air balloon race. Both Posey and Banjo are also characters you find yourself cherishing. Posey has an impeccable photographic memory and a liveliness that can brighten up a room. Oh, let’s not forget that her pup is name Porkchop, which is the absolute cutest. Banjo’s very positive and adventurous take on life adds a certain hopefulness into the story. Both Posey’s and Banjo’s personalities adds a positive nature that helps Walter get through the grief and anger he feels in relation to his brother’s death. The grief process doesn’t feel pushed aside or rushed; it feels erased organically.

Overall, this story is filled with moments of growth, laughter, joy and adventure. Banjo’s dream becomes Walter’s and Posey unforgettable summer. If you are looking for a heart-warming summer adventure full of many journeys and magical dreams, this is the book for you.

About the Author

Barbara O’Connor’s awards include the Parents Choice Gold and Silver Award, American Library Association Notable Books, IRA Notable Books for a Global Society, School Library Journal Best Books, and Kirkus Best Books. Her books have been nominated for children’s choice awards in 38 states and voted as a state favorite by children in South Carolina, Indiana, Kansas, and South Dakota.

Barbara was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina. She draws on her Southern roots to write award-winning books for children in grades 3 to 6.

She currently lives in Asheville, NC. Her latest book is Wish, a middle grade novel published by FSG.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Goodreads


Enter to win one (1) finished copy of Halfway to Harmony Baraba O’Connor! Open USA only. There will be 1 winner.

Giveaway starts January 11th and ends January 18th 12:00am CST

Click the pic to enter!

Follow the Tour
January 11
Turn the Page Tours – Welcome Post
January 12
Woven From Words – Book Review, Favorite Things About Halfway to Harmony
January 13
The Bookwyrm’s Den – Book Review
January 14
Belle’s Archive – Spotlight
January 15
Nat Reviews Books – Book Review
January 16
A Bronx Latina Reads – Book Review
January 17
Turn the Page Tours – Book Review