Book Spotlights, Urban Fantasy

Stolen Relics Release Blitz!

Title: Stolen Relics
Author: Karina Espinosa
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Narrator: Nicole Poole
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Blurb:
Are all the fairy tales real?

 

Mackenzie Grey is back at the Supernatural Investigative Unit and her first big case is not what she expects. Tasked to find stolen relics that are attached to a legend even Kenz herself is having a hard time believing. This leads to a target getting put on her back, and she finds help from an unexpected enemy.

 

Unfortunately, the SIU isn’t all Kenz has to worry about. When Alexander finds out about Ollie, he takes the first flight to New York City to spend time with his daughter, but he comes with news of his own that will change Mackenzie’s world completely.

 

Will Mackenzie find the thief in time before the bounty on her head is collected? And will her life be altered after Alexander’s proclamation? Find out in Stolen Relics.



Karina Espinosa is the Urban Fantasy Author of the Mackenzie Grey novels and The Last Valkyrie series. An avid reader throughout her life, the world of Urban Fantasy easily became an obsession that turned into a passion for writing strong leading characters with authentic story arcs. When she isn’t writing badass heroines, you can find this self-proclaimed nomad in her South Florida home binge watching the latest series on Netflix or traveling far and wide for the latest inspiration for her books. Follow her on social media!

Author Links:



Blog Tours, Book Review, Children's Fiction, Fantasy, Middle Grade

Blog Tour [Review]: Kelsey Murphy and the Academy of the Unbreakable Arts

TITLE: Kelcie Murphy and the Academy for the Unbreakable Arts
AUTHOR: Erika Lewis
PUBLISHER: StarScape
RELEASE DATE: March 1st, 2022
GENRES: Fantasy, Middle Grade

Thank you JeanBookNerd and Starscape for a review copy and the opportunity to be on this tour!

Star Rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis

Brimming with Celtic mythology, action, and danger, Erika Lewis’s Kelcie Murphy and The Academy for the Unbreakable Arts introduces readers to a new kind of magical school and a warrior who must choose with which side of an epic battle her destiny will lie.

The Otherworld is at war. The Academy for the Unbreakable Arts trains warriors. And Kelcie Murphy—a foster child raised in the human world—is dying to attend.

A place at AUA means meeting Scáthach, the legendary trainer of Celtic heroes. It means learning to fight with a sword. It means harnessing her hidden powers and—most importantly—finding out who her parents are, and why they abandoned her in Boston Harbor eight years ago.

When Kelcie tests into the school, she learns that she’s a Saiga, one of the most ancient beings in the Otherworld. Secretive, shunned, and possessed of imposing elemental powers, the Saiga are also kin to the Otherworld’s most infamous traitor.

But Kelcie is a survivor, and she’ll do whatever it takes to find her parents and her place in their world. Even if that means making a few enemies.

Review

Wow, this book was pretty good. I always love to see newer books that involved magic and school and epic battles. Kelcie, the main character, goes to girl in foster care with little memories of her past, to finding out family secrets and unleashing her hidden powers. Add in a case agent who is actually a fairy and a found found in her new school and you get a great magical adventure. Kelcie Murphy is in for an adventure of a lifetime and a battle her team has worked hard towards. The book has a great pace: it wasn’t too fast or too slow. It is definitely a good pace for the targeted demographic. I enjoyed Kelcie’s character evolution. She went from having no agency to not only gaining that through her journey but becoming more confident in her own skin and power. It was great to see Kelcie open up more from the girl we were first introduced with. She no longer stays the outcast in the academy. She instead finds amazing friends and a great leader who become her found family.

Speaking of friends, I really enjoyed how the author took different approach with certain character. Niall is the first friend of Kelcie and is loyal through and through. They connect instantly. While Brona and her relationship with Kelcie takes time to form that strong bond. It shows how real and different each friendship can be and how patience can be a key in developing those friendships. When thinking about the storyline, I particularly enjoyed the many twists and turns the story took. It allowed means a reader to keep the pages turning. The story draws on Celtic mythology and adds such a mystifying magical element to it. Kelcie has magic but the author adds on other magical elements such as Kelcie’s necklace. I am a sucker for seeing magic in different forms so it was a pleasure reading the significance that each magical element had to the overall story.

This is a great read for all ages and a story that will have older readers feel the nostalgia of the magical reads they once read.

About the Author

Erika Lewis grew up in Alexandria, Virginia, spent summers with her grandparents in Worcester, Massachusetts, and currently lives in Los Angeles, California. With a passion for storytelling set in magical places, she spends as much time as she can traveling. When she’s not writing, she can generally be found scribbling notes in a blank book while wandering through abandoned buildings, all kinds of museums, and graveyards.

A graduate of Vanderbilt University, her list of credits straddles the comics and novel space, including Game of Shadows from Macmillan’s Tor Books, Firebrand and Acursian from Legendary Comics, #Guardian from Awesome Media & Entertainment, and The 49th Key from Heavy Metal Publishing. The Color of Dragons is her debut YA, coming from HarperTeen October 19th, 2021, and Kelcie Murphy and The Academy for the Unbreakable Arts is her middle grade debut coming from Starscape/Macmillan March 1st, 2022.

Blog Tours, Book Review, Fiction, Legends, Myths & Fables, YA Epic Fantasy

Blog Tour [Review]: Daughter of the Moon Goddess

Click here to check out the tour!
TITLE: Daughter of the Moon Goddess
AUTHOR: Sue Lynn Tan
PUBLISHER: HarperVoyagerUS
RELEASE DATE: January 11th, 2022
GENRES: Fantasy, Mythology, YA Retelling

Thank you TBR and Beyond Tour and Harper Voyager for a review copy and the opportunity to be on this tour!

Star Rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis

A captivating debut fantasy inspired by the legend of Chang’e, the Chinese moon goddess, in which a young woman’s quest to free her mother pits her against the most powerful immortal in the realm.

Growing up on the moon, Xingyin is accustomed to solitude, unaware that she is being hidden from the feared Celestial Emperor who exiled her mother for stealing his elixir of immortality. But when Xingyin’s magic flares and her existence is discovered, she is forced to flee her home, leaving her mother behind.

Alone, powerless, and afraid, she makes her way to the Celestial Kingdom, a land of wonder and secrets. Disguising her identity, she seizes an opportunity to learn alongside the emperor’s son, mastering archery and magic, even as passion flames between her and the prince.

To save her mother, Xingyin embarks on a perilous quest, confronting legendary creatures and vicious enemies across the earth and skies. But when treachery looms and forbidden magic threatens the kingdom, she must challenge the ruthless Celestial Emperor for her dream—striking a dangerous bargain in which she is torn between losing all she loves or plunging the realm into chaos.Daughter of the Moon Goddess begins an enchanting, romantic duology which weaves ancient Chinese mythology into a sweeping adventure of immortals and magic—where love vies with honor, dreams are fraught with betrayal, and hope emerges triumphant.

Review

So, I have been really getting into Folklore, Mythology and legends retelling recently and Daughter of the Moon Goddess did not disappoint. Daughter of the Moon Goddess in inspired by the legend of Chang’e, the Chinese moon goddess. The story follows the journey of Xingyin, daughter of the immortal Chang’e, who is currently banished and her fight to free her mother and live in peace. Overall, this is a fantasy novel that is packed with beautiful imagery, epic adventure and a heroine we love to root for.

When thinking of Daughter of the Moon Goddess, the setting and background compliments so much to the story. The mystical aspect of it allows the reader to dive into a beautiful world, watching Xingyin travel away from the moon on a cloud. It allowed me to escape into a world that felt like a song. It was lyrical and magical. It’s been a while that I devoured a story so quickly before diving into this story.  Back to the background, I was appreciative of how the author was able to create the kingdoms in a way where the reader could visualize it but still have a sense of mystery to fill in. The story flowed so naturally and well. It never felt like an info dump to me. The author did a fantastic job in creating a celestial adventure, rich in culture and enchanting realms.  

As mazing the setting and plot was, the characters, especially the main character Xingyin were phenomenal. I really loved how much Xingyin valued the value of honor. I also appreciated the relation she had with her mother, the Moon goddess. It added to the different forms of love and relationships a character can experience in a story. When Xingyin trained with the prince, and worked for the royal army, you knew she did it with the upmost value of honoring the promise she made to free her mother.  Xingyin’s relationship with her mother isn’t the only relationship that was executed well. Without much spoilers, there is a love triangle between Xingyin and two men that was *chef’s kiss* so good. To wrap up why I loved Xingyin as a character – Xingyin is loyal, honorable, takes chances, and is not perfect. Having a character that relatable in some sense is important and I tihnk readers reading Xingyin can appreciate how relatable she can feel.

About the Author

Sue Lynn Tan writes fantasy inspired by the myths and legends she fell in love with as a child. Born in Malaysia, she studied in London and France, before settling in Hong Kong with her family.

Her love for stories began with a gift from her father, her first compilation of fairytales from around the world. After devouring every fable she could find in the library, she discovered fantasy books – spending much of her childhood lost in magical worlds. When not writing or reading, she enjoys exploring the hills and reservoirs of Hong Kong, the temples, beaches and narrow winding streets here.

Her debut, Daughter of the Moon Goddess, will be published by Harper Voyager in early 2022, with a sequel to come. It is an enchanting fantasy of love and family, immortals and magic – inspired by the beloved Chinese legend of Chang’e flying to the moon upon taking the elixir of immortality.

Sue Lynn can be reached on Instagram @SuelynnTan, or on her website www.suelynntan.com.

Blog Tours, Book Review, Fantasy, Romance, YA Paranormal

Blog Tour [Review]: Ember of Night by Molly E. Lee

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Title: Ember of Night
Written By: Molly E. Lee
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Publication Date: May 4, 2021

Where to buy: https://entangledpublishing.com/books/ember-of-night

Rating: 4 stars

Thank you Turn the Page Tours and Entangled Teen for providing a review copy and the opportunity to be a part of this tour.

Synopsis

I’ve been told I was as useless as a weed most of my life. Mainly by my worthless father.

But I’d suffer anything to give my kid sister a better life—the minute I turn eighteen, I’m getting us the hell out of here. And some hot stranger telling me I am the key to stopping a war between Heaven and Hell isn’t going to change that.

Let the world crumble and burn, for all I care.

Draven is relentless, though. And very much a liar. Every time his sexy lips are moving, I can see it—in the dip of his head, the grit of his jaw—even if my heart begs me to ignore the signs.

So what does he want?

I need to figure it out fast, because now everyone is gunning for me. And damn if I don’t want to show them what happens when you let weeds thrive in the cracks of the pavement…

We can grow powerful enough to shatter the whole foundation.

Review

Demons attacking me before I turn 18? A strange new guy appears in my life and my friend Kai is weary of him? I am the key to what?!!! All these thoughts are running through Harley’s mind as she enters a journey in her life she never knew she would have to face. Already dealing with an abusive alcoholic father., Harley must now also protect herself and the ones she loves from and epic Heaven and Hell war. Ember of Night is addictingly dark, magically intriguing and overall a page turner to keep you up all night.

There was so much I enjoyed about Ember of Night. Harley is an amazing main character. She is strong, humorous, can stand her ground. She is also nurturing, caring and looks out for those she loves. She is everything I enjoy reading about a main character. Molly Lee not only started Harley as a strong character but continued with great character development as Harley build relationships. You can feel the concern she has for her younger sister and understand her need to get them both away from their dysfunctional home. You read on as she listens intently to Kai, understanding that she too also feels odd about Draven, even if he is intoxicating. Then you visualize her and Draven; a dynamic duo whose chemistry at times is electrifying. Their cute banter and magnetic pull to each other adds to the realistic feel of their relationship.

Lee crafts a paranormal world that I have secretly been asking for. When you get your fair share of vampire and werewolves’ stories, a story about angels and demons was right up my alley. The storyline and setting at equal parts intense and masterfully thrilling. Each character feels so real that you can’t help but invest in all, even the demons! You are left with an ending that will likely put you in a book hangover because you will have to wait for the second book before finding out what’s next. The only confusing point was the vast mythological presence in the storyline that wasn’t always fine tuned into the story. Other than that, this is a book I would highly recommend.

About the Author

Molly E. Lee is an author best known for her romance novels, the Grad Night series and the Love on the Edge series. Molly writes Adult and Young Adult contemporary featuring strong female heroines who are unafraid to challenge their male counterparts, yet still vulnerable enough to have love sneak up on them. In addition to being a military spouse and mother of two + one stubborn English Bulldog, Molly loves watching storms from her back porch at her Midwest home, and digging for treasures in antique stores.

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

Giveaway Time!

Enter to win one finished copy of Ember of Night by Molly E. Lee! Open USA only. There will be 1 winner.

Starts: Tuesday, May 4, 2021 | Ends: Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at 12:00 a.m. CST

or click here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1e4a114d37/

Blog Tours, Book Review, Fairy Stories, Legends, Myths & Fables, YA Paranormal, Young Adult Fiction

Blog Tour [Review]: Wild and Open Faces

Tour Schedule : https://www.jeanbooknerd.com/2021/01/wild-open-faces-by-jennifer-g-edelson.html

Title: Wild Open Faces
Author: Jennifer G. Edelson
Publisher: Red Apple Books
Publication Date: December 17, 2020

Where to buy: AMAZON 

Rating: 4 stars

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

Synopsis

Surfaces are deceiving . . .

After falling for Ezra and discovering a gateway to the Otherworld, it’s a truism Ruby knows to take to heart. But La Luna finally feels like home, and with graduation just weeks away and a cushy internship on a nearby archeological dig in her pocket, it’s easy to downplay the strange new events taking place in the Glorieta Pass. Even when Angel’s deadbeat father reappears after twenty years, stirring up questions about Angel, the ruin, and Ruby’s mother.

Uncertainty is bad enough, but when Ruby starts having inexplicable visions, and the archeological dig unearths mysterious artifacts connected to both a fabled Aztec city and the Pecos Pueblo, Ruby faces more than an uncertain future — she’s forced to accept the role of True of Heart. Will Ezra and her friends stand by her as she confronts the Otherworld? Love is enigmatic, especially in the heart of New Mexico, but the Otherworld may be the biggest mystery of them all.

Praise for WILD OPEN FACES

“A powerful book which both stands nicely alone and compliments Between Wild and Ruin . . . absolutely enthralling reading.” —Midwest Book Review

Praise for BETWEEN WILD & RUIN

“What could be a corny premise turns into an exhilarating, fun ride in Edelson’s adept hands. Her characters are smartly drawn, and readers will easily identify with Ruby, a strong yet insecure young artist on the verge of adulthood, who is still recovering from her tragic past . . . Fans of Twilight and modern fairy tales will fall in love with Ruby and root for her eventual romance.” —Blue Ink Review (Starred Review)

“Between Wild and Ruin is a stunning story of legends, romance, and destiny with themes of starting over, small towns, beauty, and community . . . Edelson perfectly breathes new life in mythology by honoring the oral tradition of a small community and the ruins that bring to life Ruby’s destiny.” —Manhattan Book Review

“Highly recommended to mature teens through new adult and adult audiences, this is a story that lingers in the mind long after its final revelation.” —Midwest Book Review

“A great addition to young adult urban fantasy.” —Seattle Book Review

“Descriptions of the New Mexico landscape are rich and atmospheric, arousing the senses with references to the scent of smoke and juniper, the predatory roar of mountain lions, and the brilliant dazzle of stars in the desert sky . . . The writing conveys a sense of timelessness, making it easy to believe Ruby’s sense that the land is spirit-haunted and that Leo, the handsome young man she encounters near the ruins, is somehow connected to it all.” —Clarion Forward

“An intriguing historical tale and an over-the-top love-quadrangle romance.” —Kirkus Reviews

“The paranormal aspects of the tale are credible and richly steeped in traditional lore, and the plot is finely crafted . . . Between Wild and Ruin is most highly recommended.” —Reader’s Favorite (5-Star Review)

** First Place Winner — Young Adult Fiction: 2020 Arizona/New Mexico Book Awards
** First Place Winner – Young Adult Fiction: 2020 National Federation Press Women
** Gold Medal Winner (First Place) – Young Adult Mythology/Folklore; 2020 Reader’s Choice International  
** First Place Winner – Young Adult Fiction: 2020 New Mexico Women’s Press

Review

A continuation to Ezra and Ruby’s story, Wild Open Faces blew me away with the writing and left me yearning for the third book. Because Between Wild and Ruin was still fresh on my mind, reading Wild Open Faces felt like I hit the lottery. Wild open faces is a great sequel, and I don’t say that about many sequels. There were so many questions form book one that book two answered and so many new questions that were created. It was well written, had a villain that I tried so hard not to like and a continuing relationship that was strong.

The character development in Ezra and Ruby were equal in quality to the first book, which made their continued development feel both real and satisfying. It’s no secret that I was shipping Ruby and Ezra from the beginning and seeing their relationship grow was great. It was a separate development from their characters, which often gets muddled in a storyline. The author did well in showing that two people can grow together while each growing in their individual skin. Along with Ruby and Ezra, we see more of Racine and Angel. I hope to see more of Angel and Racine in book three and see where their journey goes.

As mentioned before, the writing style was amazing. When I read the first book, I was not expecting a paranormal aspect so beautifully crafted. Wild and Open Faces continued that vivid, magical backdrop, character development and romance. The romance was pure but conflicting all wrapped in one and I loved it! But I also loved how Ruby was finally feeling like e was in the place that she belonged, excited for her awesome archeological project. I was also amazed by her ability to take on such a hard role, to confront the otherworld and protect those she loves.

I could continue to ramble about how much I enjoyed Wild Open Faces by Jennifer Edelson, but I’ll stop hear and tell you to grab copy of her first book Between Wild and Ruin, swoon over it, and then grab a copy of Wild open Faces. Trust me, you’ll be in for a ride.

About the Author

Jennifer G. Edelson is a writer, artist, former attorney, pizza lover, and hard-core Bollywood fan. She has a BFA in Sculpture and a J.D. in law and has taught both creative writing and legal research and writing at several fine institutions, including the University of Minnesota. Originally a California native, she currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her husband, kids, and dog, Hubble after surviving twenty-plus years in the Minnesota tundra (but still considers Los Angeles, the Twin Cities, and Santa Fe all home). 

Author Links: 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 a $25 Dollar Amazon Gift Card.