Book Tour: Bake Believe by Cori Cooper #YoungAdult @CoriCAuthor

Bake Believe

Book One
Cori Cooper
 
Genre: Teen/YA, Magic
Publisher: Immortal Works Publishing
Date of Publication: November 5, 2020
ISBN: 978-1953491978
ASIN: B08KWMX6BW
Number of pages: 282
Word Count: 78,959
Cover Artist: Immortal Works Art Team
 
Tagline: What happens when you combine Magic and Baking? Cat Anderson will tell you all about it.
 
Book Description: 
 
Cat Anderson doesn’t want much out of life. Give her a circle of friends to giggle with, a few boys to flirt with, a cute outfit, and she is good to go! She especially could care less about food. 
 
But food, it turns out, is a very big deal.
 
In Cat’s family there is a secret too fantastic to be real. Something happens when Cat bakes.
 
Something amazing.
 
Something impossible.
 
Can it be true? Or is it Bake Believe?


Excerpt: Frozen
Waffles

Why am I still in bed?

It’s the last day of summer vacation! I can’t waste one more minute, second, or millisecond sleeping. This is going to be the most epically awesome day of all time! Like, so good that awesome looks at this day and wishes it was this epic. This might sound like a lot of pressure, but I’m ready. For weeks I’ve been keeping track of the summer stuff I love to do most, so I could pick out all the best things. Now, I have a
mental list just waiting for me to get to it:

-Go to the pool.
-Use sun lightener on my hair.
-Work on my tan.
-Try something new at the Snack Shack.
-Meet three new boys.
-Give at least one of the boys my phone number.

I am determined to squeeze the most amount of fun out of every single second of this day. Obviously, I can’t get any of it done while I’m laying here like a slug! I have to get up and call Robyn.

I roll out of bed, no clue what time it is.  My stinking alarm clock has been tick-tick-ticking away the precious minutes of my last summer day, so I have been ignoring it with all of my might. Before I stand up, I smack the clock face down on the nightstand. I should have done that before. The irritating neon numbers, winking in my peripheral, were giving me a headache. And headaches are not epically awesome.

I wonder, would Time stop if I use all my allowance to send it on a vacation to Hawaii? I can find a beachfront resort somewhere far away from me and Time can sit next to the ocean with a fruity little drink. I wouldn’t mind if Time decided to stay there for a couple weeks even. This could totally work. Even Time must need a break sometimes.

Or maybe not, since that darn clock is still going at it, just muffled now.

I plop my pillow down on my nightstand, to shush it even more, and I tiptoe to my bedroom door. As quietly as possible, I ease it open, so it doesn’t squeak. It does like to squeak sometimes, and I don’t want to wake anyone up in case it’s super early. For all that trying to ignore the clock’s tick-tocks, I didn’t actually look at the time.

I’ll just check when I get my phone.

Because of the family ‘no screens in bedrooms’ rule, my phone spends the night in a basket on the coffee table. Out of habit, I look both ways before I slip out of my room and into the hall. Not a creature is stirring. Even so, I prefer to sneak along the walls and slink around corners like I’m in some big deal spy movie. It’s just more fun that way. I serpentine down the stairs and army crawl across the living room. When I’m almost to the coffee table, I execute a super awesome somersault that
leaves me on my back, staring up at the phone basket.

Nailed it.

I reach one arm into the basket and rummage around until I feel sequins. My phone! The most beautiful creation of turquoise and silver sparkles, I am very happy to have it in my hand.

I hold the phone above my head, over my face, while I text. My arms start to fall asleep instantly, but I ignore them, because this is super important.


About the Author:

 
Cori Cooper lives in the magical Arizona Mountains, which she’s pretty convinced is the setting for all the fairy tales. 
 
Besides writing stories, she adores hanging out with her family, playing board games, hiking and baking, baking, baking. Like Cat’s family, she’s positive Cinnamon Rolls fix everything.
 
You can connect with Cori on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and her website – Coristories.com. 
 

Book Blitz: Gulf of Deception by Kelly Hopkins #YoungAdult #mystery @khopkinswrites @xpressotours

Gulf of Deception
Kelly Ann Hopkins
(Gulf Shores Mysteries, #1)
Publication date: May 17th 2021
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult

Beach life is killer, literally.

On the cusp of her high school graduation, Lily Harmony needs to figure out how to break it to her lawyer parents that she doesn’t want to follow in the family footsteps–especially with her band in high demand on the Fort Myers beach scene.

But when her father is killed inside his office and their mother accused of his murder, Lily and her estranged sister Annabelle are convinced the police have the wrong person. Clues are hard to come by until a mysterious man hands Lily a flash drive and warns her the information contained on it might get her killed. As Lily works to unravel what the files and pictures mean, a stunning discovery reveals the murderer might be closer than she thought.

With the help of her gamer BFF and maybe something more, Lily and her sister scour the Everglades for connections to her father’s killer. But what they find hidden in the canopy of cypress tress is more dangerous than they ever imagined—a long-lost secret worth millions—and worth killing for.

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EXCERPT:

Sunlight streamed through the windows, and pang thudded deep in my chest. Hard to believe I was leaving this stunning scene in a few short months for college. A thousand miles north in Boston, away from the sun, the sand, and the balmy breeze. At least the ocean was nearby—except it would be the lumbering, lead-colored, frigid Atlantic, and I’d be wearing an unflattering parka with boots up to my knees. Maybe when the snow melted in June, I could trick myself into believing I was standing on the Gulf.

All so I could one day add my name to the Harmony Law letterhead. Except that was the last thing I wanted.

My feet stopped short as a shock reverberated through the walls, like something heavy crashed down in another part of the building. But there were no other offices on the top floor. I pulled my headphones from my ears and turned off the music.

At the office door, I peered into the hall. A gust of humid air rushed down the narrow passage and ruffled my hair. Now where had the breeze come from?

Delicate music came from the speaker system—some unnamed melody that sounded familiar and should have vocals. Another blast of breeze hit me as if someone had forgotten to shut a window.

“Mom?” I called. The law office answered me with soft strains of piano wafting down the hall.

“Dad?” My father’s door stood ajar at the far end of the building. Next to it, my mother’s office door was shut. Maybe they were both in Dad’s office. His was the only one with a balcony. They could have gone outside and left the door open.

Another violent crash came from the direction of his office. A gunshot rang out. Then another. Followed by a blood-curdling scream.

Mom!

Dad!

Terrified, I crept down the hallway, my back pressed against the wall, my cellphone pulled from my pocket and clutched in my shaking hand. My heart pounded, making me faint. I blinked away the sensation. Sharp blasts of unintelligible conversation drew me toward the office as wind whipped down the corridor.

I hesitated at the door and gasped.

Mom knelt beside Dad, a gun in her hand. Blood colored the front of his polo shirt—a crimson stain spreading from his chest and down his left side on a backdrop of stormy blue fabric. Strangled sobs ripped from my lips. I rushed in, dropped to the floor beside my father, and took his limp hand.

Glass shards bit into my knees as a terrible gurgle erupted from his throat. Bloody froth colored his chin and lips. The room spun around me.

“Dad? Please, Dad. Can you hear me?” Spots popped in my brain, and another wave of vertigo hit as my abdomen heaved. I forgot how to inhale.

His bewildered eyes were wide, his mouth moving soundlessly, his fingers splayed against the floor. I couldn’t tear my gaze from his face as I laced his fingers in mine and squeezed. “Dad! What should I do?”

“William?” Mom whispered. She pressed a wad of orange fabric—the scarf she’d worn this morning—over the wound on his chest. Fresh terror gripped me as blood dripped down her cheek, and I couldn’t tell if it belonged to him or her.

Dad struggled to lift his other arm, but it fell back to the floor.

“He’s gone, William,” she said. “You’re going to be fine.”

Somehow, I unlocked my words. “Who’s gone?”

She ignored my question, or maybe she didn’t hear me. Tears and blood trickled off her chin, making pink spots on her white shirt. “Call for an ambulance. Oh God.” The gun slipped from her hand and landed on the carpet with a thud. “William.” Her voice broke on his name.

My heart tore from its moorings on a crash of agony. “Dad? Dad.” For a split second, his gaze fixed on mine, then he was gone as if a candle extinguished in a sudden, sharp wind.

Author Bio:

Kelly Ann Hopkins is the author of Misled (coming 2021) and Buried Beneath (coming 2022). She spends her days as a high school librarian and creative writing teacher, where she challenges her students to read with abandon. When she’s not creating perilous adventures for her characters, she is dreaming of her next trip to the Florida Gulf Coast. Kelly lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two children, and too many books.

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Book Tour: Mu – The Grimm Cases Collection (Part One) by Lyla Owens #youngadult #paranormal @pumpupyourbook

Title: MU: THE GRIMM CASES COLLECTION (PART ONE)
Author: Lyla Oweds
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 667
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal

The things I see aren’t for the faint of heart.

And I am no longer willing to ignore them. Not even when my family, and my best friend, tell me to keep quiet about what’s happening. They say people will think I’m crazy.

Maybe I am.

But the spirit haunting my professor’s house is definitely trying to tell me something, and I’m the only one who can see it.

The one person who can help me is my best friend’s brother. But I don’t know if I can trust him or his friends. Or if I can step outside the protective bubble I’ve built around myself.

At this point it’s a toss up: the ghosts will kill me or my panic attacks will.

Either way, I figure I’m going to die.

ORDER YOUR COPY

Amazon → https://amzn.to/3r4qCRt  

Book Excerpt:

“The place I’m house sitting is haunted.”

My statement was brave—considering—and I hoped I’d spoken loud enough to be heard by the intended recipient. I didn’t want to repeat myself. It had taken a lot of courage—or foolhardiness—to say it the first time.

The paranormal was one of those difficult-to-approach topics, especially with my best friend. History had proven our differences of opinion. Despite being inseparable for over ten years, I knew this was a topic where we were unlikely to reach a consensus.

But at this point, I was desperate. I might be going crazy, and only Finn could help me.

Yet, there was no response. No reaction.

Across the small cafe table, Finn furiously typed on his laptop—undisturbed by my nervous confession. He’d made no outward acknowledgment of my words, and it made me wonder if he’d even heard me.

The coffee shop was rather loud, after all.

“Finn.” I pressed my foot against his shin, trying to get his attention. “Finn, did you hear what I just told you?”

With perfect lips turned downward, he glanced up, meeting my gaze. His gray eyes were normally playful and light, but at the moment were sharp—disapproving. At once, I was thankful his black-rimmed glasses offered a filter for his judgment.

“I heard you.” His distinctive baritone dipped an octave lower than normal, signaling his annoyance. “Considering the absurdity of what you said, I chose to ignore it.”

Then without further ado, he refocused his attention on his laptop.

I gasped. How could he be so callous and uncaring?

Even if he didn’t believe me, he could at least hear me out. He was my best friend and the only person in the world I cared about besides my parents. But he could be such a jerk!

I was being haunted. I could die.

MY REVIEW – 3.5 stars

Mu: The Grimm Cases Collection got off to a bit of a rocky start for me. The first few chapters made me feel completely lost. Once I settled into the story a bit more, I found the characters enjoyable. If you like quirky heroines, you’ll love Bianca.

The writing was good. Aside from feeling a bit like I’d been dropped into the middle of something during those first few chapters, I enjoyed the collection. The writing flowed well, and the rest was easy to follow.

There’s more going on with Bianca than the supernatural, but I hate spoilers, so that’s all I’ll say on the matter. The story is rather complex, and full of enough twists and turns that at times I found myself re-reading a passage just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything.

Overall, it was good but it just didn’t wow me.

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

About the Author

Lyla Oweds is an Amazon bestselling paranormal romance and urban fantasy author who resides in the beautiful Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania. She grew up near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and is a native of Baltimore, Maryland, and has a deep appreciation for the paranormal, hauntings, and Edgar Allan Poe. As such, she loves all things fantasy, mystery, crime, and horror.

When not reading, writing, or working as a web programmer, Lyla can be found doing adult-y things such as being a mom to small children, cleaning, and gardening. She also frequently enjoys makeup videos, massages, wine, and coffee.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

Website: http://lylaoweds.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lylaoweds

Book Tour: It Goes Like This by Miel Moreland #LGBTQ #YoungAdult @MielMoreland

It Goes Like This
Miel Moreland
Published by: Feiwel & Friends
Publication date: May 18th 2021
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Young Adult

In Miel Moreland’s heartfelt young adult debut, It Goes Like This, four queer teens realize that sometimes you have to risk hitting repeat on heartbreak.

Eva, Celeste, Gina, and Steph used to think their friendship was unbreakable. After all, they’ve been though a lot together, including the astronomical rise of Moonlight Overthrow, the world-famous queer pop band they formed in middle school, never expecting to headline anything bigger than the county fair.

But after a sudden falling out leads to the dissolution of the teens’ band, their friendship, and Eva and Celeste’s starry-eyed romance, nothing is the same. Gina and Celeste step further into the spotlight, Steph disappears completely, and Eva, heartbroken, takes refuge as a songwriter and secret online fangirl…of her own band. That is, until a storm devastates their hometown, bringing the four ex-best-friends back together. As they prepare for one last show, they’ll discover whether growing up always means growing apart.

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Author Bio:

Miel Moreland was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. With time spent in California and France, she has a Midwestern heart but wandering feet. When not making pop music references and celebrating fandom, she is likely to be found drinking hot chocolate and making spreadsheets. She currently resides in Boston, where she works in higher education. It Goes Like This is her debut novel.

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Book Review: Dark Secret by Danielle Rose #YoungAdult #paranormal

There’s no wrath like that of a witch scorned.

Seventeen-year-old spirit witch Ava Lopez is the self-appointed guardian of the witches and humans of Darkhaven, an idyllic village nestled between the forest and the sea. Her watch: vicious and bloodthirsty vampires.

Ava is a novice in the eyes of her coven. If she expects to protect them and the secrecy of their powers, she must gain better control of her own. When a full moon ritual goes awry, control may be lost forever, and Ava is exiled from her coven. Forced to seek refuge among the beings she had always sworn herself to hunt, she vows revenge on those who have upended her life.

But the more time Ava spends away from her coven, the more she discovers a startling truth: the witches haven’t been honest with her. Ava’s quest to strip the truth from everything she’s ever known begins with the toughest realization of all—coming to terms with who she has become.

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MY REVIEW – 3 stars

While I typically love paranormal books, I struggled a bit with this one. It took me a few chapters to get into the story, but once I did I enjoyed it. Despite the fact Ava is a witch, she’s your typical teen — she does what she wants despite what the adults tell her. Unfortunately for Ava, her actions have severe consequences. She’s plunged into a world she both fears and hates. The story was good enough to keep me engaged, but I wouldn’t say it really wowed me. It dragged in sections and had chunks where things were over-described. But all in all, it wasn’t a bad story.

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

Cover Reveal: Two Kinds of Us by Sarah Sutton #YoungAdult #ContemporaryRomance @SarahMaeSutton @XpressoTours

Two Kinds of Us
Sarah Sutton
Publication date: May 25th 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

In a life of diamond bracelets and country clubs, I’m the perfect daughter. I get all the right grades, volunteer at all the right organizations, apply to all the right colleges.

And I hate every second of it. At the rate my life is playing out, under the strict rule of my parents, politicians and housewives will be my future.

Until I meet Harry.

Harry’s a singer in a rock band with a voice so drop-dead sexy that I actually feel hypnotized. Doesn’t hurt that he’s hot either, and with the kind, flirty personality to match, it’s the perfect trifecta. And even better, he sees me as the me I want to be. The me who can break free of the life I’m trapped in, the me who can control my own future.

The only problem? He knows me as Stella, my fun, carefree alter-ego—so drastically different than Destelle, the one who is trapped in the life my parents rule for me.

But as we get closer, I realize Harry’s keeping a secret of his own, something related to his dark past that he’s trying to move on from, and when I find out, everything we’ve built could come crashing down.

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Author Bio:

Sarah Sutton is a YA Romance author, bringing you stories about teenagers falling in love (sometimes with magic)She spends her days dreaming up ideas with her two adorable puppies by her side being cheerleaders (and mega distractions).

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

The Virus of Beauty

by C.B. Lyall

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE: YA Fantasy

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

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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BOOK REVIEW: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa #YAfantasy #bookreview

The book that launched the beloved New York Times bestselling series is back. This limited 10th anniversary exclusive collectors’ edition includes a new Q&A with Julie Kagawa, original drawings by the author, the complete Guide to the Iron Fey, and a sneak peek at a brand-new novel in the Iron Fey series featuring Puck, Meghan and Ash.

MY NAME IS MEGHAN CHASE.


In less than twenty-four hours, I’ll be sixteen. Countless stories, songs and poems have been written about this wonderful age, when a girl finds true love and the stars shine for her and the handsome prince carries her off into the sunset.

I DON’T THINK IT WILL BE THAT WAY FOR ME.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan Chase’s life, ever since her father disappeard when she was six. Ten years later, when her little brother also goes missing, Meghan learns the truth—she is the secret daughter of a mythical faery king and a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she loves, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

THE IRON FEY 

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MY REVIEW – 5 stars

A fantastic start to an amazing series.

If you’re ready to be immersed into the world of the fae, The Iron King is a great place to begin. Meghan Chase thought she was human. Ordinary. Until she discovered her best friend Robbie is actually the famous Puck, and her father is fae royalty.

Sword fights, evil fae, and a dangerous quest make for an enjoyable read. Few in this story are quite as they first seem. Grimalkin keeps saying fae are only out for themselves, and while he does make deal with Meghan for his own personal gain at a later date, it’s clear he also likes her. The winter prince, Ash, is another who is more than what we first expect. He’s not nearly as cold or hard-hearted as he first seems.

Is there more to the fae characters than first meets the eye? Or is it perhaps Meghan who is slowly changing in the land of the fae? The human qualities the fae dislike may be the very thing that changes the entire world for the better.

Meghan is a strong character, even if she feels weak. She’ll stop at nothing to save her little brother, even if it means she may lose her life in the process. The Iron King is a great story about the strength we can gain from the love and loyalty of those around us, and the love we feel in return.

A stunningly beautiful, action-packed story that will make your heart race, bring tears to your eyes, and make your breath catch as Meghan, Puck, Grim, and Ash all rush into danger at every turn.

*Disclaimer: Neither the publisher nor author requested a review of this title. I purchased a paperback copy at Barnes & Noble. The review above is only my opinion.

BOOK REVIEW: Shadow Trials by Isla Frost #youngadult #fantasy

HARRY POTTER MEETS THE HUNGER GAMES
Ever since magic stormed the world, the price for human survival is surrendering your firstborn to the monsters.

But this year it’s Nova’s turn, and the monsters better watch their backs.

I am the firstborn in my family. The first of three. And today I will pay the price for my siblings’ lives by surrendering control of my own. I will step through the runegate, and I will never see my family again.

What the others do with the firstborn is shrouded in mystery. All anyone knows is they are never heard from again.

I will step through the runegate willingly.

But I can keep secrets too. And I’ll do whatever it takes to bring the others to their knees…

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MY REVIEW – 5 stars!

I’m not quite sure I’d compare this book to Harry Potter, like the tagline in the book description suggestions, but it did have a slight Hunger Games feel to it — but with a paranormal twist. There’s a ton of mystery to this one and a lot of asking “why” as I read from beginning to end. The book does end on a cliffhanger, but that’s not at all unusual for a fantasy YA book. That being said, the characters at times act extremely immature so if you’re expecting a YA with more “adult” characters, this probably won’t be a good selection for you.

I enjoyed the main characters, and while there was a lot of angst, drama, and quite a bit of violence, I needed to know why everything was happening. What was the grand plan for the first borns? While book one doesn’t answer many questions, and in fact makes you ask a ton more, I found it to be intriguing enough I needed to keep reading. There were times I wanted to smack the characters for being idiots, but they’re teenagers and act accordingly.

While there’s a romantic thread that slowly builds in book one, it’s not the main focus of the story. It’s very much a fantasy worldbuilding, and we’re plunged headfirst into the mayhem. Even with magic, different factions of supernaturals, and the “classroom” lessons, this is in no way a Harry Potter type of tale. However, I enjoyed it a great deal. From the beginning, the students are warned they may not make it through training, but it has an ominous tone making you wonder — what happens to them?

Having never read this author before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m certainly glad I picked up Shadow Trials, and I will definitely check out her other books. It’s fast-paced, action-packed, and full of drama and teen angst… a definite page-turner!

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

Cover Reveal: Worn Out Places by R.H. McMahan #YoungAdult @karenreneewrite

Worn Out Places
R.H. McMahan
Publication date: September 1st 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

I can’t answer that question. I can’t tell him I’ve spent my whole life trying to disappear. I can’t tell him that I was born a drug addict. Or that I’ve been in foster homes so terrible I wished I didn’t exist. And I can’t tell him that last year ended any ambition I had to make it somewhere better in this world.

Drug addict parents. The foster care system. Living on the streets of New York City.

Zoie Cruz is used to an unflinching world that takes without giving back. But at seventeen she isn’t used to Northern Michigan, a family that wants her to succeed, and sobriety.

Everything changed on Christmas morning last year. Her social worker calls it a tragedy and her weekly Narcotics Anonymous meeting wants her to open up. All Zoie wants is to be left alone to get high.

When she meets local golden boy Dean, he’s determined to pull Zoie out of her darkness. And she’s determined to keep her walls sealed shut.

In a whirlwind struggle to stay clean, Zoie’s secrets can only stay hidden for so long.

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Author Bio:

R.H. McMahan a.k.a. Mickie is a Puerto Rican and Irish YA/NA author. She was born and raised in Chicago – and yes she thinks it’s important that you know that. In June of 2020, she graduated with a BA in English Lit and Creative Writing and is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing.

Mickie dreamt of becoming an author since she started telling stories on the playground in first grade. Ever since then it is rare to find her without a notebook and a pen. Her book baby, Worn Out Places, debuts on September 1st and she cannot wait to share it with the world.

If she’s not writing she’s doing other creative things like singing, dancing, and drawing.

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