Book Tour: The Virus of Beauty by C.B. Lyall #YAfantasy @cblyall @GoddessFish

The Virus of Beauty

by C.B. Lyall

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GENRE: YA Fantasy

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BLURB:

Ugliness is power, and the Virus of Beauty is spreading causing panic throughout the witch population.

Wilf Gilvary is a teenage wizard who is terrified of using magic. When his father dies under mysterious circumstances, Wilf is plunged into the middle of a political struggle between the witches and wizards in the Magical Realm. He’d rather play soccer than practice magic, but he’s forced to make a choice between the life of a normal Hong Kong teen and one of wizardry after a powerful virus begins to decimate the witch community. The cure is spellbound in a journal Wilf inherited from his father and when his friend Katryna contracts the virus, Wilf understands that he must overcome his fear of magic to unlock the journal’s secrets – but will it be too late to save her?

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EXCERPT

The tattoo pulsed. He shoved the hand into his pants pocket and continued threading his way through the store’s cluttered shelves of T-shirts, Laughing Buddhas, shot glasses, and Happy Cats. The sinking feeling in his stomach grew.

A sharp pain shot up his arm.

“What the…?”

A rumbling groan echoed around the store. He glanced towards the alcove housing the Mages Crystal. His eyes widened as the mirrored surface glowed red. A loud crack pierced the air like a ball smashing through a window. He ran for the supply closet and forced his six-foot body inside.

Quartz exploded across the room from the crystal’s center.

He felt a whoosh of air next to his ear as he slammed the door shut. He switched on the closet light and stepped backward into brooms and mop handles that banged the back of his head. A large piece of polished quartz, still vibrating from its violent impact with the wall, reflected the shock in his gray eyes.

Thuds echoed in the tiny room as projectiles impaled the door. He touched his ear, but seeing no blood on his fingers, exhaled. That had been too close.

Several seconds passed before he braved stepping outside. The store was filled with colliding rainbows as sunlight hit the debris. Wilf blinked rapidly. Crystal daggers studded the closet’s wooden door. All he’d done was look in the crystal’s direction, but his father would blame him for this disaster.

“Wilf, is that you?” Reginald’s shout was followed by a creaking sound from the basement stairs.

Wilf bolted for the front door. His shoes crunched the broken glass. He jerked open the door and the bell gave a traitorous jingle.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Carolyn Lyall was born in Stockton-On-Tees, United Kingdom. As a child Carolyn growing up in Northern England in the sixties Carolyn loved sports, reading and amateur dramatics. She joined a renaissance group, practiced the broadsword and dreamed of visiting other worlds. Her passion for what could be drove her forward when faced with everyday struggles. Her first memorable skirmish with gender inequality came at nine-years old when she was told that only boys were allowed to play soccer. In response, she simply refused to do any classwork until they changed their old-fashioned policies. She won that battle.

At the age of 18, she took a role as typist for a nursing school in Middlesbrough. She then moved to London and enrolled in night school. She was quickly recognized for her ability to fit in anywhere and for not being afraid to push back on the predominantly male leadership. She eventually became a project manager in software development and micro-computers, bridging the gap between computer programmers and management.

Her dream to travel was finally realized in 1990 when she moved to New York City, USA with her husband and the first of three sons. This was the steppingstone to a lifelong adventure that has taken her and her family to India, Belgium and Hong Kong.

Raising her family in multiple countries around the world, she saw that each move, while a shock, was an opportunity for her sons to redefine themselves against new challenges and different cultural norms. Now, that her sons have left home, Carolyn has used her passion for the fantastic to create a world where every day gender inequalities are at the forefront of a world ending conflict. She shares this story through the eyes of a young man who is suddenly thrust into this new world along with all of his own woes and prejudices. The introduction to this world is in Carolyn’s debut YA fantasy novel, “The Virus of Beauty,” due to be released July 31, 2019 under C B Lyall.  

Carolyn has published two short stories in an annual anthology by 25 Servings of Soop. She wrote a number of articles for the American Women’s Associates Magazine.  Fueled by her love of the works of Terry Pratchett, Sarah J Maas, Cassandra Clare, Brandon Sanderson and others, Carolyn has completed a number of writing courses, which included a Master Fantasy/Science Fiction writers course with Gotham Writers’ Workshop, a YA Voice class and Advance Novel Writing course at Sarah Lawrence College’s Writing Institute.

Website: cblyall.com

Facebook: @CarolynBLyall

Twitter: @cblyall

Instagram: @carolynlyall

Amazon buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Virus-Beauty-Book-1-ebook/dp/B08NF1L94T

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

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BOOK REVIEW: Elfin by Quinn Loftis #YAfantasy #bookreview

Before tonight Cassie Tate’s biggest concerns were whether she could pass Algebra and how she was going to keep Elora, her best friend, from dressing her in a skimpy fairy costume for Halloween. Her feet were firmly planted in suburban reality and she had no reason to believe her life would be anything but that of a typical teenager. That is until tonight, when Cassie saw something that no human was ever supposed to see; in the blink of an eye she was thrown into the world of the Light and Dark Elves.

He comes from a realm where light and dark have fought for millennia. He is of a race known to humans only in myths and legends. The darkness that lives inside him is a part of both who and what he is and it makes him the most gifted spy and assassin in the history of his time. His life is not his own; he lives in the service of the Dark Elf King. He slays who he must, has mercy on no one, is relentless in his hunt, and never tires of seeing his prey fall. He is Triktapic, assassin, spy, most feared of the Dark Elves.

Now, in the midst of his King’s complicated plans to expand the Dark Elves’ holdings into the mortal realm, for the first time, Trik finds his loyalties divided. For no Elf, Dark or Light, can turn away from their Chosen.

Unbeknownst to the mortal realm, the battle between Light and Dark is being brought to their doorstep. The only one who can keep it at bay holds darkness in his heart like a lover, and the one who can sway that heart must decide if she can look beyond his black past, beyond his evil nature and see the man he is destined to be.

The question must be asked, does love really cover a multitude of sins? Can true love actually conquer all or will his darkness consume those around him until all that stands is an assassin with the blood of the mortal realm on his hands? 

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MY REVIEW – 2 stars

In a YA Fantasy involving elves, I have certain expectations. This one fell a bit short. Honestly, the biggest issue I had were the elves. An elf assassin who’s centuries old is not going to roll his eyes all the time or speak and act like a teenager. If the book had been a paperback, I may have thrown it across the room by the tenth time he acted like an immature brat. The next issue I had was the outdated slang the high school students used. They came across more like a fifty year old attempting to be seventeen. While I understand slang changes all the time, the terms in this book were decades out of date. If those two issues were resolved, the book would be immensely better.

There were other issues, but for the most part, I could have overlooked them. The one that stood out the most were the heroine’s parents who hardly ever appear in the story. I found it a bit odd, and I honestly wasn’t sure why they were even in the book to begin with. It would have been better to make her an orphan. She supposedly loves her parents, and yet, we hardly see them. It was just a little strange to me. Almost like the author forgot about them and just randomly tossed in a mention of them here and there.

Overall, the storyline was good. It intrigued me enough I picked up book two, since it ended on a bit of a cliffhanger. As annoying as I found most of the characters, I can’t stand not knowing how the story ends. Hopefully, I’ll have the answers to my questions. If not, I don’t think I can last through a third book of eye-rolling elves.

*Disclaimer: The author did not request a review of this title. I purchased/borrowed through Amazon. The review above is only my opinion.

BOOK REVIEW: Sword of Light (The Four Keys) by J. C. Lucas #yafantasy #bookreview @lucas_author


Bloodthirsty creatures. A vindictive Queen of Elves… And a fierce teenage girl, willing to take them all on.

Andie didn’t expect to be orphaned. Now she has no parents, no Nan, no one but Anne, the weird social worker who carries on conversations with old books and empty purses.

Anne takes her to a small town in Texas to live with her new guardian, Celeste, an eccentric figure among many who seem to know something that Andie doesn’t. One evening, the woods behind Celeste’s house spirit Andie away, and she discovers a secret so incredible that she can scarcely believe it. Her destiny is to find the four Keys that will save the Tuatha de Danann from annihilation.

Worlds collide when two of her new friends from school, the sweet, helpful Teagan and the rude bad boy Hunter, join her on her journey to reach the mysterious place known only as Finias in search of the first Key, The Sword of Light.

As they flee the wicked Fomorians and battle with the Queen of Elves, Andie and the boys forge new alliances and make more adversaries. Will Andie and her friends rise to the challenge, or is the magical realm as good as gone already?

Get it at Amazon:

https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B088DKTL4C/

MY REVIEW:

5 stars!

Sword of Light is an action-packed young adult fantasy with the age old tale of good vs evil. Fae, witches, shifters, and more fill the pages… It was well-written with every chapter leaving me eager to find out what happened next. Can’t wait to read the next book in the series!

BOOK REVIEW: How I Die (Raised by Monsters) by Lili Black #YAfantasy #bookreview

New school means a new, normal, human life. Or, at least, that’s the plan.

After being hunted by a crazed werewolf, Halie’s paranormal parents have promised her a normal senior year full of all the normal, human high school experiences Halie’s always dreamed of.

At her new school, everything is looking up for Halie. She’s dating the quarterback, her best friend is head of the cheer squad, and no one looks at Halie like she’s a freak. She has everything she ever wanted, so why isn’t she happy?

When a new boy appears in school, Halie takes one look at him and knows he’s trouble. He’s tall, dark, and a vampire. Which means Halie’s not interested. So why do their paths keep crossing? And why does he make her feel flutters when the human boyfriend she thought she wanted just isn’t living up to her expectations?

With Homecoming and a full moon drawing near, can Halie keep her tenuous hold on normal? And does she even want to?

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MY REVIEW

5 stars

A fantastic YA fantasy story! It’s a quick read, but the pages are filled with teen drama, romance, and humor. It kept me entertained from page one, and I was sorry to see it end. I’m eagerly anticipating the next installment in the series. This was my first time reading anything by Ms. Black, and while this is book 2 in the series, I didn’t feel lost at all.

Halie is a strong-willed young woman. Although she wants to experience all a “normal” high school life could offer, she permits herself to be emotionally and verbally abused by her so-called boyfriend and best friend. She’s so desperate to fit in with humans, she didn’t stop to think that maybe the magical community aren’t the real monsters and humans aren’t as fabulous as she thinks. Her inability to see the truth puts her in harm’s way, even though there are a dashing werewolf and vampire eager to keep her safe.

The story does end on a cliffhanger, but that’s typical of this particular genre.

Overall, a thrilling read that left me wanting more…

*Disclaimer: The review above is only my opinion. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

Book Blitz: Meraki by Naomi Kelly #YoungAdult #Fantasy @MagicPenTours

Welcome to Magic Pen Book Tours‘ organized book blitz for Meraki: A Syren Story by Naomi Kelly taking place March 8-12, 2021!

Book Details

Title: Meraki: A Syren Story

Series: Syren Stories #1

Author: Naomi Kelly

Genres: Young Adult Fantasy / Enemies-to-Lovers Romance

Release date: May 1, 2020

Publisher: Indie published

Pages: 237


Blurb

Her song is a gift bestowed by the gods; so why does it feel like a curse?

Seventeen-year-old Wren thinks she has just swum away from the greatest threat in the sea. That’s until she finds herself being hauled upon a warlord’s boat. With her life at the mercy of a young, temperamental King, Wren must decide who is her ultimate enemy.

Can Fate be altered? What do gods have planned?

Syrens are bound to tell the truth, but that doesn’t mean their lives cannot be riddled with lies.


PURCHASE NOW!

Amazon / Book Depository


Excerpt

“Flip it. I’ll choose either ‘Face’ or ‘Fin’, if I am wrong then I’ll drink, if I’m right, you drink. Simple.”

I scrunch my nose and examine the coin closely. I don’t know how, but this game feels rigged in his favour.

“Alright,” I say hesitantly, “But if I find out you’re cheating I’ll summon Cerberus to chew you up and spit you out.”

“Can you summon Cerberus?” he asks with an arched brow.

“I haven’t had to try…yet,” I say with a shrug.

He chuckles. It’s a magnificent melody. There is something so wholly mortal about it, and although I wish otherwise, I find myself savouring the sound and remembering it for future use.

It may not be a syren song, but it’s something I wish to practice more of.

“I do not cheat; I just don’t lose,” he informs me.

“You can’t always win.”

I toss the coin high into the air. It gyrates in the candlelight between us, splashing dots of golden light across Kellan’s shadowed face. I catch the coin with both hands.

“Watch me,” he says casually, “It’s fin.”

I unclasp my palms slowly as if I were releasing a dragonfly. I feel his smugness before I even see the coin.

He hands me the refilled cap with a grin, “Best of three?”


About the Author

Naomi Kelly is an indie Irish author who writes YA Fantasy.

She began her writing journey in Sept. 2019 when she released her first book, ‘Trial by Obsidian’.

In May 2020, her most popular book ‘Meraki: A Syren Story,’ was released. The sequel to this captivating mermaid-style ‘tail’ is called Kairos: A Syren Story and it’s releasing in Spring of 2021.

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BOOK REVIEW: The Princess of Nothing (The Fate of Crowns) by Rebecca L. Garcia #YoungAdult #Fantasy @rlgarciabooks

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Run. Hide. Pray for escape.

Racing down the winding streets of Imperia, my only hope of reclaiming my throne is to escape. Unfortunately, that means returning to the one place I truly fear—Berovia.

My fears—it seems—were justified. In the dark underbelly of Berovia, I am captured by King Xenos’s men and thrown into the pits with traitors and criminals to pray for salvation I knew wouldn’t come. My only hope to make it out alive is by agreeing to marry the king’s arrogant son. But this union comes at a terrible price. If I agree to be his bride, my people may be stripped of their magic and forced into submission under Kiros’s reign. If I die, I leave my corruptible cousin, Edgar, to ruin my family’s rule.

Can I find a way to save my people and myself? Or, will I die as the princess of nothing?

Release Date: February 2, 2021

MY REVIEW:

5 stars

The saga continues as Winter fights for throne, her people, and struggles with the desires of her heart.

Book one hooked me, and the second installment in this fantastic series is no different. Intrigue, battles, love, and more fill the pages of The Princess of Nothing. If you’re ready to begin an epic journey fraught with danger, death, and love, you can’t go wrong with The Fate of Crowns series.

Winter fights for what she believes in, and will stop at nothing to reclaim her crown. Change is in the air, but it’s not the type the people need. With her cousin on the throne, the ways of the lunas have been threatened and will soon be a thing of the past. Unless Winter can find the courage and strength to take back what’s rightfully hers.

I enjoyed getting to see Winter grow. With each story, she matures a little more, and becomes more worthy of the crown she’s destined to wear. In book one, we saw her start as a spoiled child who believed everything she’d been told, refusing to question the beliefs she held dear were tainted. Until she met Cedric and the light fae opened her eyes to the world around her. In book two, she continues her journey of self-discovery, and learns more about herself and the world around her. By the end, Winter has grown from a spoiled girl to someone who wants to fight for the injustice of not only her people, but others who are treated unfairly.

Winter is full of passion and determination. But with anyone faced with such a heavy burden, she also has her doubts. She gains strength from her best friend, as well as the dark fae king and Cedric, her light fae prince. The secondary characters in this story add a richness to the book and help suck you into the world of magic.

As with the first installment, this one ends in a cliffhanger. While I typically dislike them, I find with The Fate of Crowns series, they only make me eagerly anticipate the next book. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Winter, Cedric, and even Blaise in book three. Very well done, Ms. Garcia! You’ve crafted another masterpiece.

*Disclaimer: The review above is only my opinion. I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Cover Reveal: The Worlds That Separated Us by Megan Jayne #Fantasy #YoungAdult @XpressoTours

The Worlds That Separated Us
Megan Jayne
Publication date: May 1st 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

University graduate Rosie is from Earth. At least she’s never had cause to question that before now. After a car accident and an oddly familiar stranger turn her world upside down, she is forced to question everything she thought she once knew. Thrust into a world of betrayal, loss, and love. Rosie faces an impossible choice between the two worlds she’s grown to love, or risk losing everything she’s ever cared about. All while an impending war is on the horizon.

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Author Bio:

Megan Jayne is a debut author with her first YA Fantasy novel ‘The Worlds That Separated Us,’ due for release in Spring 2021. She was born in Northern Ireland and still resides there in a small picturesque village with her husband, two young children, and beagle Holly.

When Megan isn’t writing you can usually find her; playing with her two children, in the kitchen baking delicious cakes, deep into a novel, or settling down to a good movie with her husband.

Website / Goodreads / Instagram / Newsletter


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BOOK REVIEW: The Fate of Crowns by Rebecca Garcia #YoungAdult #Fantasy @rlgarciabooks

With my brother’s death came the crown and all the trappings that accompany it. Now, my father—the most dangerous man in Magaelor—seeks to control my future.

But fate has other plans.

Thrown into mer-filled waters, I’m dragged into the rival kingdom of Berovia. Surrounded by those who murdered my brother and wished my entire family dead, I must find my way back to my kingdom. There, a marriage between myself and the dark fae prince could bring peace to a century’s old division between the fae and sorcerers.

But dark revelations and deadly lies threaten to destroy my destiny. I must make the choice between my duty, family, and heart before it’s too late.

Will I allow myself to become the exalted Queen of everything? Or be reduced to a cautionary tale as the shattered princess of nothing?

The Fate of Crowns is a young adult fantasy, perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Laura Sebastian, Holly Black and Kendare Blake.

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MY REVIEW

5 stars!

Magic, intrigue, betrayal, and a princess determined to protect her people,

In a time of fae and magic-wielding humans, when prejudices run deep, there’s one girl who could save them all. The princess first has to learn to see the world with her own eyes and stop believing the lies she’s been told her entire life. Her family isn’t as perfect as she believes, and those closest to her will cause her the most pain. Even when she finds herself in enemy lands, Winter can’t accept that things aren’t what they seem. So eager to please and protect her family, she’s blinded to the truths she faces every day. Will she ever be able to accept her entire life has been a lie?

The book was beautifully written, full of mystery and fantasy, friendship, and so much more. With strong characters, the tried and true plot of corrupt kingdoms, and enough action and drama to keep you turning the pages, The Fate of Crowns has proven to be a memorable tale. But be warned, it does end with a cliffhanger. I’ll be eagerly anticipating the next installment in this series.

The Fate of Crowns is a must-read!

*Disclaimer: The review above is only my opinion. I received a copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

New Audiobook: Heart’s Desire by Jessica Coulter Smith #YAFantasy #audiobooks

Narrated by JE Whittaker
Duration: 3 hours 27 minutes
Listen to a Sample

One touch. One look from Morgan’s hypnotic eyes and Skye can’t deny the magnetic pull.

High school senior, Morgan Raines was used to change, whether it was transferring to a new school or shifting into a were-jaguar under the full moon. Starting over didn’t bother him, but finding his mate pinned to her locker by her loser ex-boyfriend does.

Will turning furry during the full moon send Skye running scared or into his arms?

Get it at Audible