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

Where to buy: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY

Rating: 4 Stars

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

Synopsis

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.  

Praise for 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

Review

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.
FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | WEBSITE | GOODREADS

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.
FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | WEBSITE | GOODREADS

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.
FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

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.
INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | WEBSITE | GOODREADS

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.
FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | WEBSITE | GOODREADS

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.
FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | WEBSITE | GOODREADS

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.
FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | GOODREADS

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.
INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | WEBSITE | GOODREADS

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.
FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | WEBSITE | GOODREADS

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

Adult Fiction, Book Review, Comics

Comic Review: Harleen by Stjepan Šejić

Author: Stjepan Sejic
Imprint: DC; Illustrated edition
Publication Date: February 11, 2020
Page Count: 200

Where to Buy: Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Amazon

Rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis

Dr. Harleen Quinzel has a theory: mental illness is a survival mechanism. As she seeks to help the broken souls of Gotham City piece together their sanity she will become the one thing she fears the most: one of them. A bold new retelling of the tragic origin of Harley Quinn told through the eyes of the only person who knows her better than anyone: Harleen.

A young psychiatrist with a potential cure for the madness that haunts Gotham City, Dr. Harleen Quinzel must prove her revolutionary theory to a skeptical establishment by delving into the disturbed minds of Arkham Asylum’s deadliest inmates. But the more time she spends with her criminally insane subjects, the closer she is drawn to one patient in particular–and the further she falls away from reality. The birth of legendary antihero Harley Quinn and the shocking origins of her twisted romance with the Joker are revealed in Harleen, a stunning new tale of love and obsession written and illustrated by renowned comics storyteller Stjepan Šejic (Aquaman: Underworld, Sunstone).

Collects Harleen #1-3

Review

As much as Joker and Harley Quinn’s relationship was toxic, Harley Quinn was always a villain that I was intrigued by. She is part psychotic mastermind, part a woman full of confidence and drive to go after the things she feels the most passion for. Harleen follows the story of Dr. Quinzel before she became the infamous Harley Quinn, working Arkham Asylum after a chance of luck removes her form a workplace that seemed pretty unprofessional. At the Asylum, Dr. Quinzel begins her research of figuring out where the most notorious villains contain empathy and whether they can be saved and rehabilitated. Through her journey, research and her multiple encounters with the Joker, Dr. Quinzel starts to question whether what the Joker is saying could be true. Could we all be monsters but only show when given the chance. Can the Joker, Poison Ivy and the rest be saved?

We see Harley Quinzel as a confident go-getter. She is passionate about her work and will go to the extreme to get the results she wants. This story focuses on more of Harley’s decision towards madness and gave more autonomy on how she choose this decision. She wasn’t forced per say, but temptation and persuasion became both her best friend and worst enemy.

Stjepan Sejic blew this story out the park. The storyline flowed effortlessly, kept me entertained and took my imagination into a dangerous, mysterious and exciting world. This was important going in because I have read Harley Quinn’s story in so many different formats, time periods, you name it and wanted to jump once again into the story without feeling like I was not repeating a well told story. But what really pulled me in was the art. Stjepan has a way of creating the most color out of the darkest scene, Each page was full of vivid details. In short, it was wrapped up beautifully and I will now go on a hunt to find more of Stjepan’s works.

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Adult Fiction, Book Spotlights, Folk Tales

Nerd Blast & Giveaway! Snow Queen by Mary Ting

Click the banner above for more cool info!

Release Date: September 24, 2020
Where to buy: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY

PREORDER SNOW QUEEN HERE!

Synopsis

A curse turned her heart to ice, but only true love can melt it.

Cyrus, the possessor demon lord is dead, but his final battle left Hawaii in turmoil. Hundreds of people are wounded, and the aftermath of a volcanic eruption has kept the survivors busy with the cleanup. Schools are closed and stores are being rebuilt. Life is almost back to normal, except for Ikelia, Eli’s mother.

Eligor, Eli’s father, is still trapped inside the Keeper crystal. Ikelia is unable to free him, so she asks Davin, the head of the Chosen Knights, to travel to her past. He takes her to the moment she first became the Snow Queen in search of the clue she needs. They learn they must go to Kaneana Cave, home to a legend about a Shark Man who lures humans through a smaller opening in the cave and eats them. So Davin rounds up the team. But what they find there might mean the end for Ikelia and the Chosen Knights. 

Praise for ISAN Series

“A stunning sequel! Mary Ting takes us once again into the inventive world of ISAN–one of intrigue and betrayal–but this time, with deadly consequences. A must read!” —Jonas Saul, Bestselling Author of the Sarah Roberts Series

“Captivating from the very beginning, this sci-fi novel explores issues of autonomy and survival in a world where there are few remaining citizens after meteors crashed into Earth… this thrilling dystopian drama has a splash of romance and tons of action. The fast-paced chapters will engage reluctant readers and fans of postapocalyptic scenarios.” —School Library Journal

“Addictive and impossible to put it down!” —Addison Moore, New York Times Bestselling Author 

PHOTO CREDIT: MICHELLE ENGLAND DELAVARA

About the Author

Mary Ting is an international bestselling, award-winning author. She writes soulful, spellbinding stories that excite the imagination and captivate readers around the world. Her books span a wide range of genres, and her storytelling talents have earned a devoted legion of fans, as well as garnered critical praise.

Becoming an author happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she had in high school. After realizing she wanted to become a full-time author, Mary retired from teaching after twenty years. She also had the privilege of touring with the Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book: No Bullies Allowed.

Mary resides in Southern California with her husband, two children, and two little dogs, Mochi and Mocha. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Being a huge Twilight fan, Mary was inspired to make book-themed jewelry and occasionally gives it away as prizes to her fans.

Giveaway Time!!!

Click the pic above for the giveaway!

– 1 Winner will receive an Exclusive SNOW QUEEN Swag (Book, Bookplate, Mask, Postcard) by Mary Ting.
– 1 Winner will receive a $20 Amazon Gift Card

Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter | Ends September 28th, 2020

Thank you JeanBookNerd and Mary Ting for the opportunity to spotlight this upcoming release!

If you want to learn more about JeanBookNerd and their awesome tours, click the pic above!

Adult Fiction, Book Spotlights, Contemporary, Romance

Nerd Blast & Giveaway! When the Wind Chimes by Mary Ting

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Click the banner above for more cool info!

When the Wind Chimes

Publisher: Rosewind Books (November 17, 2020)

Where to buy: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY

 

Synopsis

Kaitlyn Summers is heartbroken.

When she receives an invitation to spend Christmas with her family on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, she feels it may be the perfect medicine.

She throws herself into helping her sister’s struggling art gallery, even taking a temporary job for extra money by looking after a little girl from her nephew’s school. She also begins to paint again, something she’s been unable to do since her breakup. It’s tempting to stay on Kauai, but she has obligations back in Los Angeles.

Life gets more complicated when circumstances keep putting her close to Leonardo Medici. Not only is he drop-dead gorgeous, he’s a local celebrity. But Kaitlyn can’t shake the feeling he’s hiding something.

Should she believe the rumors that he’s romancing half the island’s single women?

Or is the random sound of wind chimes when he’s close-by a sign that an angel is near and the secret to her happily ever after?

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Praise for ISAN Series

“A stunning sequel! Mary Ting takes us once again into the inventive world of ISAN–one of intrigue and betrayal–but this time, with deadly consequences. A must read!” —Jonas Saul, Bestselling Author of the Sarah Roberts Series

“Captivating from the very beginning, this sci-fi novel explores issues of autonomy and survival in a world where there are few remaining citizens after meteors crashed into Earth… this thrilling dystopian drama has a splash of romance and tons of action. The fast-paced chapters will engage reluctant readers and fans of postapocalyptic scenarios.” —School Library Journal

“Addictive and impossible to put it down!” —Addison Moore, New York Times Bestselling Author

Mary Ting

PHOTO CREDIT: MICHELLE ENGLAND DELAVARA

About the Author

Mary Ting is an international bestselling, award-winning author. She writes soulful, spellbinding stories that excite the imagination and captivate readers around the world. Her books span a wide range of genres, and her storytelling talents have earned a devoted legion of fans, as well as garnered critical praise.

Becoming an author happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she had in high school. After realizing she wanted to become a full-time author, Mary retired from teaching after twenty years. She also had the privilege of touring with the Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book: No Bullies Allowed.

Mary resides in Southern California with her husband, two children, and two little dogs, Mochi and Mocha. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Being a huge Twilight fan, Mary was inspired to make book-themed jewelry and occasionally gives it away as prizes to her fans.

WEBSITE: http://www.tangledtalesofting.com/
TWITTER: @MaryTing
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4388953.Mary_Ting
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMaryTing
INSTAGRAM: http://instagram.com/authormaryting

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Giveaway Time!!!

rafflecopter logo

Click the pic above for the giveaway!

– 1 Winner will receive an Exclusive WHEN THE WIND CHIMES Swag (Book, Bookplate, Coaster) by Mary Ting.
– 1 Winner will receive a $20 Amazon Gift Card

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

V304-Aew-Ornament

Thank you JeanBookNerd and Mary Ting for the opportunity to spotlight this upcoming release!

jeanbn tour

If you want to learn more about JeanBookNerd and their awesome tours, click the pic above!

 

 

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Adult Fiction, Blog Tours, Fiction, Romance

Blog Tour [Review]: Secret Crush Seduction By Jayci Lee

Image_rectangle_cover and PW review

Cover_Secret Crush Seduction_Jayci Lee_Sept 2020

Author: Jayci Lee
Genre: Romance
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Publication Date: September 1st, 2020
Rating: 4/5 Stars

*Thank you Harlequin Desire  for the opportunity to review this story!*

Where to buy:  Amazon | Harlequin | Bookshop

Synopsis

She’s done waiting for what she really wants…

“If I don’t have you after that kiss,

I’ll burn to dust from the inside out…”

Aspiring fashion designer Adelaide Song wants to prove she’s more than just a pampered heiress. All she needs is a little courage—and the help of deliciously sexy Michael Reynolds, her childhood crush and her brother’s best friend. But when her secret crush turns into an illicit liaison, Adelaide realizes mixing business with pleasure spells trouble for all her plans.

Review

Wow, Jayci knows how to write a romance I would swoon over. Like Temporary Wife Temptation, Secret Crush Seduction pulled out all the stops and blessed me with a great, enticing and sometimes steamy story. I also have huge appreciation for the cover because it is absolutely amazing!

We meet Adelaide, an inspiring fashion designer and one of the Hansol Heirs. Due to her crazy college years, Adelaide isn’t treated as seriously by the people around her. Now in her twenties, she wants to prove to her Grandmother, The matriarch of the Hansol family that she is long passed her wild college days and ready to be a vital part of the Hansol Corporation. This does not come easy but her quick thinking to create a charity event definitely helps her out. This was one thing I really enjoyed about Adelaide. Her creative mind and quick thinking gave her the ability to visualize everything she wanted to do while also getting Michael to go along with it. Michael is the friend of Adelaide’s older brother Garrett and the Hansol Corp PR specialist. Michael initially turns down the offer, but the project and Adelaide grows on him and he becomes part of the dynamic duo creating a fantastic event. The one thing I did enjoy about Michael was his inner struggle. Throughout the story he was fighting feelings because he didn’t want to disrupt the Hansol family. Throughout the story and through that struggle he saw the beauty of Adelaide in every facet of her personality and how she took on planning the event. She was strong, independent and far from the wild child he has seen. Adelaide completely crushed those thoughts and opened up the doors to their lust.

Speaking of lust…The more intimate settings were steeeeeamy! You felt the sexual tension build and build until they couldn’t hold on any longer. Each intimate moment was more passionate than the next and through each scene, you can tell Adelaide and Michael were growing closer together. Did I enjoy their building romance? Yes! Did it sometimes feel like it wasn’t compelling enough? Yes! Did that stop me form reading? Of course not! I was rooting for Adelaide the entire time. She deserved to get the man she had been crushing on since she was younger. Overall, I enjoyed the romance in this book and was sad to see the story end.

When thinking about the plot, I was happy with it’s simplicity because it allowed me to zone in on the romance and character development of the story. There was enough of the plot to see the ball rolling, but the auto did leave certain parts to the imagination allowing the reading to fill in some pieces, which i appreciated. I also loved what the charity event was centered around and how it was close to Adelaide’s heart. It was her passion. The charity event focused on autism awareness through fashion. Adelaide came up with the idea after noticing that people with Autism/on the spectrum should be able to feel comfortable in their clothing and also have variety of the things they can wear.

If you want a romance that has a sizzling chemistry, good plot backdrop and is a quick, yet swoony read then pick up Secret Crush Seduction when it comes out on 9/1/2020!

Author photo_Jayci Lee

About the Author

Jayci Lee writes poignant, sexy, and laugh-out-loud romance every free second she can scavenge. She lives in sunny California with her tall-dark-and-handsome husband, two amazing boys with boundless energy, and a fluffy rescue whose cuteness is a major distraction. At times, she cannot accommodate real life because her brain is full of drool worthy heroes and badass heroines clamoring to come to life.Because of all the books demanding to be written, Jayci writes full-time now, and is semi-retired from her fifteen-year career as a defense litigator. She loves food, wine, and travelling, and incidentally so do her characters. Books have always helped her grow, dream, and heal, and she hopes her books will do the same for you.

 

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