Wednesday, October 26, 2016

What's Next, Wednesday (27)

  •  To play along share a book you've been looking forward to reading, whether it's new or has been on your reading list for a while.


I'm looking forward to...

Waking Lazarus by DJ Williams. A ghostwriter discovers a historical secret and learns that he's more involved in the story than he thinks. This book seems like it will be incredibly suspenseful with an interesting historical implication. The synopsis kind of gives me a Dan Brown feel so we'll see if that hits the mark for this new book, the second in its series.

Luckiest Girl Alive


As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fianc√©, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve.

But Ani has a secret.

There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything.

With a singular voice and twists you won’t see coming, Luckiest Girl Alive explores the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to “have it all” and introduces a heroine whose sharp edges and cutthroat ambition have been protecting a scandalous truth, and a heart that's bigger than it first appears.

The question remains: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for—or, will it at long last, set Ani free?

*Contains Spoilers*

Jessica Knoll packs a lot of secrets and surprises between the covers of Luckiest Girl Alive. Tackling big issues including the pressure put on women to be thin and beautiful, bullying, murder, rape, and redemption, this book is a bomb that will undoubtedly strike a chord with readers.

On the outside, Ani FaNelli has the perfect life. She's a valuable writer to The Women's Magazine, has the wardrobe every hopeful New Yorker wants, and is engaged to the epitome of success. It's enough to make anyone jealous. And that's exactly what Ani wants. She wants to leave behind her trashy family name and remold herself into the perfect woman who has the perfect life. All because she wants to escape her past. Ani is a manipulative, sneering, smirking woman who says the right things, wears the right clothes, and follows all the rules of the truly rich and successful woman. All of this because her past has scarred her so deeply, Ani has no other choice but to reinvent herself. The Ani who is first introduced to the reader is not a likeable character. She's selfish, mean, and has a snobbish air. However, as Ani's past is revealed, readers will begin to understand that her persona is all a ruse, a facade, a safety barrier. One that is about to come crashing down. 

Ani was involved in a tragedy when she was in high school. A tragedy that follows her wherever she goes. Now, a team wants to make her story into a documentary and Ani believes this is her chance for people to see her side. Though her fiance isn't too keen on the idea, Ani agrees. The book has alternating chapters, switching back and forth between the present and what happened in high school. When the two stories converge, readers learn that Ani has been telling the story to the documentary manager, her words being recorded. Ani's story is full of such heartbreak and horror that it will shock readers. Ani's carefully crafted facade creates a woman that readers won't want to like, but then this story is unraveled, changing everything. The character is so weighed down with sadness, disbelief, terror, and scar tissue that readers will become sympathetic to Ani, understanding her plight even though it's difficult to agree with. 

The novel itself brings up controversial issues where the lines between right and wrong are so blurred that a concrete conclusion cannot be made. I think some readers will genuinely dislike this book because of the gray-scale of justice. I think others will enjoy the gruesome twists and suspenseful narrative. Though it definitely isn't a book for everyone. 

Rating: 2.5/5 Cups

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Teaser Tuesday (235)

Teaser Tuesday |

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm/Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers


Lights (Kindle 1%)
   - Kaye Thornbrugh

In the beginning, she'd tried to be calm and cooperative, but that routine was harder to keep up by the minute. She was tired and miserable. The handcuffs that sealed her magic left her feeling shaky and weak.

InHuman - Cover Reveal

Today, I have the distinct pleasure of revealing the cover for InHuman, a sci-fi thriller by Kama Falzoi Post! Without further ado, here's the amazing cover!

Author: Kama Falzoi Post
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Release date: December 13, 2016
PublisherBookFish Books
Cover ArtistAnita Carroll at Race-Point

About InHuman

Mira’s mother sizes up bodies at the morgue like she’s rifling through the sales rack: this one’s too big… this one’s too small… ah, here it is. Just Right. The perfect vessel for the one they'll call Adam.

Since Adam's survival is the key to drawing out the Conduit -- a slippery sort bent on evacuating souls from their human bodies -- Mira must help him pass for a typical teenage boy. That means showing him how to talk right, walk right, chew with his mouth open... blend in.

Ironic, because blending in has always been a challenge for Mira, especially with hair the color of a Dorito. But at their small, secluded prep school, blending in is a matter of life and death.

Because the Conduit is watching.


Meet the Author: Kama Falzoi Post

Kama Falzoi Post is a functioning member of society, a part-time introvert, a pinnacle of contradictions, the mother of a hurricane, a step-mother, and an author. She enjoys drinking red wine and then drinking more red wine, listening to music that moves her, and taking things too far.

She developed a love of books and writing at a very early age. Her stories have appeared in a handful of literary magazines including Inkwell and SmokeLong Quarterly, and most recently in the anthology of Outliers of Speculative Fiction. She lives in a small town outside a small city with her husband, son, and too many cats.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Absalom's Daughters

26792275Self-educated and brown-skinned, Cassie works full time in her grandmother’s laundry in rural Mississippi. Illiterate and white, Judith falls for “colored music” and dreams of life as a big city radio star. These teenaged girls are half-sisters. And when they catch wind of their wayward father’s inheritance coming down in Virginia, they hitch their hopes to a road trip together to claim what’s rightly theirs.

In an old junk car, with a frying pan, a ham, and a few dollars hidden in a shoe, they set off through the American Deep South of the 1950s, a bewitchingly beautiful landscape as well as one bedeviled by racial strife and violence. Suzanne Feldman's Absalom’s Daughters combines the buddy movie, the coming-of-age tale, and a dash of magical realism to enthrall and move us with an unforgettable, illuminating novel.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Absalom's Daughters is the debut novel of Suzanne Feldman, containing beautiful prose that is laced with mysticism. Two girls, Cassie and Judith, discover they're half-sisters and are pushed into finding their father in order to claim an inheritance after a death in the family. They escape rural Mississippi in a junked, and stolen, car, traveling to Virginia where their father resides. With equal doses of help and prejudice, Cassie and Judith have the adventure of a lifetime, learning about the importance of the past and how it lives in the present. 

Cassie, with cinnamon colored skin, has grown up working with her mother and grandmother in the laundry business on Negro Street. She's heard the rumors that her father is a white man and knows that Judith is her sister. At first, the two girls don't exactly get along but there's something that ties them together. After she learns of the inheritance, Cassie's mother tells her to go, escape Mississippi and find something better. Cassie is an open-minded character who grows into her past as she travels. She discovers her history and learns to accept it. She's a brave girl, setting off for Virginia with only a few dollars. Cassie is cautious but friendly, with an air of naivety and hope. Though she's uncertain about what an inheritance really means to her, Cassie takes the chance that the road trip will lead her somewhere better. 

Though Cassie is the main focus of the novel, Judith plays an important role. Judith is the force that moves Cassie forward. Even though she's constantly making up stories and really only dreams of becoming a famous singer, she provides a way for Cassie to grow. Judith isn't the most likeable character at first, but she becomes more understandable as the novel progresses. Struggling with the idea that her father abandoned her and experiencing a miscarriage along the way, Judith is revealed as a strong character who doesn't let anything stop her from dreaming. 

My favorite thing about this book is the dialect. Feldman uses this tool to really bring the characters to life. I always love when an author represents a culture through speech, especially when they're successful. It pulls readers deeper into the story, immersing them in the time period and making the story more realistic. 

In the afterword, Feldman thanks William Faulkner as man of inspiration, the title of this book echoing Absalom! Absalom! The name Absalom comes from a biblical story in which Absalom, son of David, rebelled against his father and went to war. In the war he was killed by one of his father's generals. Absalom was said to have a daughter in the bible, though he did not have two. However, this novel echoes the themes of rising up against familial wishes and becoming something more. Another common theme is that the past is part of the present and Feldman demonstrates that belief through the use of mysticism and myth. She allows her characters to grow into the past as they learn to understand it, ultimately giving Cassie a new life, a life she can be proud of. 

Rating: 5/5 Cups

(Note: The information about Faulkner's Absalom! Absalom! and the biblical stories are available on Wikipedia at the following pages: Absalom! Absalom! and Absalom.)

What's Next, Wednesday (26)

  •  To play along share a book you've been looking forward to reading, whether it's new or has been on your reading list for a while.


I'm looking forward to...

Lights by Kaye Thornbrugh. I've been waiting very patiently to read this next installment in the Flicker series. Absolutely love these characters and all the fantastical creatures and situations they encounter. In this book, the main characters have been arrested for practicing magic and must serve the Guild or go to prison. And then Lee finds herself in the middle of an ancient feud that threatens everything. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Teaser Tuesday (234)

Teaser Tuesday |

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm/Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers


Absalom's Daughters (p. 176)
   - Suzanne Feldman

She looked out the window and noted with surprise that the trees were covered with blossoms, so thick and white they shone in the dark, lit by the passing train. To regular travelers this might not be remarkable, but only yesterday afternoon, in Porterville, the flowers had been frail and rotten, falling to the ground. Fresh white blossoms rushed past the train window, a second chance at the change of the season.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

She Runs Away (Sheridan Hall #2)

27150209After tragedy strikes New Jersey University's Sheridan Hall, freshman quarterback Ben Riley’s stable, normal life is turned upside down. Sidelined from playing the game he loves and on the verge of losing his scholarship, Ben wants nothing more than to escape the chaos of college and return home to rural Pennsylvania and his family.

Yet, there is something that keeps him from running. Or someone. A cute blonde he had a chance with but blew off for all the wrong reasons.

Megan Smith has secrets. Secrets that have burned her in the past. Secrets she’s unwilling to share with anyone at Sheridan Hall—especially Ben, her sexy, rough around the edges floormate who broke her heart in a matter of days after moving into Sheridan. Meg decided early on that it’s easier to live life on her own than to share her secrets and let people in.

Meg runs and Ben follows, but sooner or later the clock on their chance at love will expire. With inner demons dragging them both down, they must find a way to stop running and trust one another, or risk losing their perfectly-matched love forever.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Jessica Calla shares a contemporary college-aged romance with readers in She Runs Away, the second book in the Sheridan Hall series. I haven't read the first installment, but from the details of book two it seems that there was a shooting in a dorm at NJU and Frank, a friend of many, was killed and Ben was shot in the shoulder. This book takes place a few months later, when the students of Sheridan Hall are trying to rebuild their lives. 

Megan and Ben are the main characters of this book and share the title of first-person narrator. As they switch back and forth, readers get an inside look at what each character is thinking and feeling. 

Megan has liked Ben since she met him, but he broke her trust instantly when he dumped Megan on their first date. When Ben comes up with a sex contract, Meg believes that she can have physical intimacy without putting her heart at risk again. Of course... she is terribly mistaken. Megan's life shifts into chaotic mode when Ben starts wanting more than just sex and her presumably dead mother turns out to be alive which means her father has been lying to her. Readers will connect with Megan on her uncertainty and hesitant nature, but even readers will get a little tired of her running away all the time. Megan needs to take a chance on life, and readers will hope she can get there before it's too late. As readers watch Megan grow and open herself up, it's amazing how the negative aspects in her life seem to want to work themselves out. It's also great to witness a girl who feels so alone be supported by so many people. 

Ben is the protector of Sheridan Hall. He's seen as a hero since the shooting, but that doesn't make him feel like one. Ben wants to keep everyone safe because he blames himself for Frank's death. He especially wants to keep Megan safe and take back everything that happened on their first date - specifically the part where he blew it. Ben is a nice guy who people can depend on and trust. He's always worried about others and wondering what he could do to help. However, putting that much focus on other people has caused him to slide into a bit of a depression. He doesn't know what to do about football, he grows a beard so he can hide behind it, and he feels like giving up and going home. But then there's Megan, giving him a reason to keep trying as he tries to gain back her trust and earn her love. She makes him incredibly happy and it's enjoyable to read their battles and banter. Readers will emotionally connect with Ben based on his history with the shooting, but they'll also see that he's a kind-hearted man who is in need of some guidance. 

The plot of She Runs Away is focused on Megan and Ben's relationship. However, there are a few side plots that also move the story forward. Other character relationships show up and bring a little drama with them, like Juliet and Chase who are the main lovebirds of the basement dorms in Sheridan, and the break-up between Winston and Mags. There's also a very interesting storyline with Megan's dad who was a Pro-football player. Though, the main suspense includes Megan's mother who suddenly shows up in Megan's life. Megan's dad tells her to stay away because her mother's a bad person, but Megan is willing to take that chance. She Runs Away is a book about healing and opening up. It does have quite a bit of cursing and sex, but I think it works well for the college aged characters. 

The ending also has a little hint of something coming next... perhaps a third installment with Maggie as the main character?

Rating: 3.5/5 Cups

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Next Best Thing - Cover Reveal

Welcome to the cover reveal of Wendi Nunnery's new book: 
The Next Best Thing 

Meet Wendi Nunnery

Wendi Nunnery is the author of The Mayfield Family Story, The Best Kept Secret, and The Next Best Thing. She is also the founding editor of Lady Literary Magazine and her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Simply Beloved, and Introvert, Dear. Wendi is a proud Georgia Southern University alum and believes colorful language is good for the soul. She lives, loves, and mothers in Atlanta, Georgia.

Her novel, The Best Kept Secret was reviewed here on The Coffee Pot Review in June of last year.

Connect with Wendi: Blog / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook

Synopsis of The Next Best Thing

Four years ago, Emma Fraser’s first love took his own life. Now, twenty years old and in college, Emma and her best friend, Andy, are still mourning the loss of a friend and brother. Nothing is the same as it once was…and things are about to change even more.

Too heartbroken to even consider falling in love again, Emma stays distracted by school and work. Until she meets Landon and, for the first time ever, finds herself believing she might actually have a future with someone. But when Deegan Burke—the man responsible for all of Emma’s heartache—gets out of prison early, Emma is suddenly confronted by her worst fears. And when faced with choices she never thought she’d have to make, Emma discovers that the only person she really wants by her side is the last person she ever expected.


The Next Best Thing sounds like it will be a heartbreaking ride full of emotional upheaval and surprising circumstances. And now, the cover of Wendi's new book:

Learn more about Wendi Nunnery's books on Amazon and Goodreads

The Next Best Thing releases on January 3, 2017. 
The Kindle version of the book is now available for pre-order!
Order now and get the new title for only $2.99! 

Thanks for joining us at The Coffee Pot Review to reveal Wendi Nunnery's new book, The Next Best Thing!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

History meets Fiction with Andrew Joyce

32285027My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. Tracy has been kind enough to allow me a little space on her blog to talk about my latest, Yellow Hair.
Yellow Hair documents the injustices done to the Sioux Nation from their first treaty with the United States in 1805 through Wounded Knee in 1890. Every death, murder, battle, and outrage depicted actually took place—from the first to the last. The historical figures that play a role in my story were real people and I used their real names. I conjured up my protagonist only to weave together the various events conveyed in my fact-based tale of fiction. Yellow Hair is an epic tale of adventure, family, love, and hate that spans most of the 19th century. It is American history.
The inspiration for the book came to me when I was reading a short article and it made reference to the Great Sioux Uprising of 1862. It also mentioned that the outcome involved the largest mass execution in the history of the United States. That piqued my interest.

When I started my research into the incident, one thing led to another and before I knew it, I was documenting the entire history of the Sioux, who are also known as the Dakota, vis-à-vis the relationship between them and the United States.

Because the book exists only because I read the phrase, “the largest mass execution in the history of the United States,” I’ll tell you a little about that. What follows is an extremely abbreviated version of events.

The Dakota signed their first treaty with the United States in 1805 when they sold a small portion of their land to the Americans for the purpose of building forts. It was right after the Louisiana Purchase and President Jefferson wanted a presence in the West. At the time, “the West” was anything on the western side of the Mississippi River.

In the treaty of 1805, the Dakota sold 100,000 acres to the Americans. The agreed-upon price was $2.00 per acre. But when the treaty came up before the Senate for ratification, the amount was changed to two cents per acre. That was to be a precursor for all future treaties with the Americans. There were subsequent treaties in 1815, 1825, 1832, 1837, and 1851, and basically the same thing happened with all those treaties.

In 1837, the Americans wanted an additional five million acres of Dakota land. Knowing it would be a hard sell after the way they failed to live up to the letter or spirit of the previous treaties, the government brought twenty-six Dakota chiefs to Washington to show them the might and majesty that was The United States of America.

The government proposed paying one million dollars for the acreage in installments over a twenty-year period. Part of the payment was to be in the form of farm equipment, medicine, and livestock. Intimidated, the Indians signed the treaty and went home. The United States immediately laid claim to the lands—the first payment did not arrive for a year.

The significance of the 1837 treaty lies in the fact that it was the first time “traders” were allowed to lay claim to the Indians’ payments without any proof that money was owed . . . and without consulting the Indians. Monies were subtracted from the imbursements and paid directly to the traders.

By 1851, the Americans wanted to purchase all of the Dakota’s remaining lands—twenty-five million acres. The Sioux did not want to sell, but were forced to do so with threats that the army could be sent in to take the land from them at the point of a gun if they refused the American’s offer.

“If we sell our land, where will we live?” asked the Dakota chief.

“We will set aside land for the Dakota only. It is called a reservation and it will be along both banks of the Minnesota River, twenty miles wide, ten on each side and seventy miles long,” answered the Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

The Dakota were offered six cents an acre for land that was worth at least a dollar an acre. The payment would be stretched out over a twenty year period and was to be made in the form of gold coins. One year later, in 1852, the Americans took half the reservation, the seventy miles on the north side of the river. The Dakota were now reduced from a nation of fierce, independent people to a people dependent on hand-outs from the ones who stole not only their land, but also their dignity.

The Dakota were forced to buy their food from the traders who ran trading posts at the Indian Agency the U.S. Government had set up on the reservation. All year long the Dakota would charge what they needed. When the yearly payment for their land arrived, the traders would take what they said was owed them. Subsequently, there was very little gold left for the Dakota.

By 1862, the Dakota were starving. That year’s payment was months late in arriving because of the Civil War. The traders were afraid that because of the war there would be no payment that year and cut off the Dakota’s credit. The Indian Agent had the power to force the traders to release some of the food stocks, but refused when asked to do so by the Dakota.

After they had eaten their ponies and dogs, and their babies cried out in the night from hunger, the Dakota went to war against the United States of America.

They attacked the agency first and liberated the food stock from the warehouse, killing many white people who lived there. Then bands of braves set out to loot the farms in the surrounding countryside.

Many whites were killed in the ensuing weeks. However, not all of the Dakota went to war. Many stayed on the reservation and did not pick up arms against their white neighbors. Some saved the lives of white settlers. Still, over 700 hundred whites lost their lives before the rebellion was put down.

When the dust settled, all of the Dakota—including women and children, and those people who had saved settlers’ lives—were made prisoners of war.

Three hundred and ninety-six men were singled out to stand trial before a military commission. They were each tried separately in trials that lasted only minutes. In the end, three hundred and three men were sentenced to death.

Even though he was occupied with the war, President Lincoln got involved. He reviewed all three hundred and three cases and pardoned all but thirty-eight of the prisoners.

On a gray and overcast December morning in 1862, the scaffold stood high. Thirty-eight nooses hung from its crossbeams. The mechanism for springing the thirty-eight trap doors had been tested and retested until it worked perfectly. At exactly noon, a signal was given, a lever pulled, and the largest mass execution to ever take place in the United States of America became part of our history.

- Andrew Joyce

Author Biography

Andrew Joyce
Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written five books, including a two-volume collection of one hundred and fifty short stories comprised of his hitching adventures called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS (as yet unpublished), and his latest novel, YELLOW HAIR. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, tentatively entitled,

Purchase Yellow Hair on:

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

What's Next, Wednesday (25)

  •  To play along share a book you've been looking forward to reading, whether it's new or has been on your reading list for a while.


I'm looking forward to...

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll. I purchased this book a couple months ago at BAM and I've been waiting patiently to get to a point in my review list where I could read it. This book came out last year and it focuses on the pressure to have everything. Ani is forced to reinvent herself, but she still has a secret that could destroy all she's built.

I'm really excited to start this one soon. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Teaser Tuesday (233)


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm/Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers


She Runs Away (Kindle 23%)
   - Jessica Calla

"Why can't you let me meet her, then maybe she'll back off with whatever she's threatening to do?" I say the words but the thought of meeting someone who claims to be my mother makes my stomach turn. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Moonlight War - Act 1 (The Realmers #2)

30831335After the catastrophic events of book 1, Evan and Brooke are trying to come to terms with recent revelations. However, it isn’t long before their duties as Venators throw them back into action.

Whilst Evan faces a deathly trial to advance further in his training, Brooke embarks on her very first mission, which sees her embroiled in a war between the vampires and werewolves of London. If the werewolves and shifters baying for her blood wasn’t enough, Brooke also has to face a starkly changed Arantay.

Meanwhile the Dark-Venator forces are rising, whilst Evan and his friends contend with the mysterious disappearances of several Venators. Could they have been kidnapped? Evan also faces backlash from many of his fellow trainees, who hate or fear him. Evan thinks their reactions are bad now, but it would be nothing if they discovered his secret. His peers may even try to kill him if they learned the truth.

Evan knows he has to pass his trial to gain his first mission as a Venator, but he may never make it that far if his hidden powers aren’t controlled. Across the realms, a terribly malignant force has learned of Evan and Brooke, and plans to strike.

*May Contain Spoilers*

William Collins delivers an action packed novel in Moonlight War - Act 1, the sequel to A Darker Shade of Sorcery. The attack on Veneseron has just ended and the chaos is over, but the war has just begun. This book picks up exactly where the first left off, allowing readers to refresh their minds and re-align themselves with the characters. 

Brooke and Evan are still the main characters, but more of the supporting cast is included and even focused on in this sequel. After Brooke and Evan learned they were half-demon, they were sent back to their studies, filled with worry, guilt, and fear. Readers can understand, and witness, that Evan and Brooke are terrified they'll hurt someone and that their friends will turn against them if they know the truth. The backlash carries throughout Veneseron, as fellow students blame Evan for the attack. 

Whereas the first book was focused on introducing the world of Veneseron and the training for demon hunting, this book is nearly all action. From trials to first mission, missing venators and dark-realmers, Moonlight War - Act 1 sets up many combustible situations. 

Readers will build on their relationship with Evan as he attempts to become a Mid-Realmer and handle the dirty looks and mean spirited whispers of his fellow students. The fears of rejection and uncontrollable powers that Evan has is understandable and readers will undoubtedly support him. Readers watched as Evan found his place in this new world and they'll push for him to keep it. 

The relationship readers have with Brooke will also flourish, as she prepares for her first mission as a Mid-Realmer. Just before the assignment comes in, Brooke and Arantay share a moment of raw emotion. Brooke's feelings of rejection cloud her sunny disposition. It doesn't get easier as her mission partner is revealed as Arantay. They're assigned to locate an insane werewolf and try to heal him before he kills anyone else. If they can't succeed, then they'll be forced to kill him, an act that will surely ignite a war between the wolves and the Venators. 

On top of the action with Brooke and Evan, there are Venators disappearing and more demon-spawn being discovered. There's also another dread lord/disciple trying to locate Evan and Brooke, which brings a certain evil someone from Brooke's past into the present. The one downside of this book is it's the first act. It creates and shares a lot of problem situations, but it doesn't solve any of them. It's a book that promises entertaining and exciting conclusions with an often disliked phrase, 'To Be Continued.'  

Rating: 3/5 Cups

Read the review of Book 1 - A Darker Shade of Sorcery

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

What's Next, Wednesday (24)

  •  To play along share a book you've been looking forward to reading, whether it's new or has been on your reading list for a while.


I'm looking forward to... 

She Runs Away by Jessica Calla. Jessica Calla writes a college age romance with Ben and Megan. Ben is a football star whose dreams are on the verge of shattering, while Megan has a secret past that pushes her to keep everyone at arm's length. This book seems like it'll be a sweet, perhaps romantic, read and I think everyone needs one of those once in a while. Plus, after participating in the cover reveal, I have to read the book!

Rex - Blog Tour

Rex has been released!
Join Cody B. Stewart, Adam Rocke, and Mark Rogers on an unforgettable modern day dinosaur adventure!


When eleven-year-old TJ finds a weird looking egg in the Florida Everglades after a tropical storm rips through, naturally he takes it home for identification. It could be the egg of a mutant duck or something, which would be awesome. Problem is, the egg doesn’t look like it came from a mallard, even a mutated one—it’s too big and heavy and…strange. So he hides it away in his closet and continues on with his life as usual, doing his best to ignore the creepy men constantly banging at his front door and the significant rise in military helicopter sightings in his typically quiet neighborhood.

Then one day he comes home from school and it’s as though a hand grenade has gone off inside his bedroom. Suddenly, TJ knows he’s dealing with something a little more interesting—and a little more deadly—than a duck.

Rex is a novel for middle grade readers packed with action, adventure, and friendship. TJ not only experiences a great and terrifying escapade, he learns about love, sacrifice, and how to be a secret agent.

TJ is a lonely kid. His mother works two jobs and his dad left a long time ago. He spends most of his time with Sam, his best friend. Though when she's home with her family, TJ tinkers and dreams of having a pet -- a friend that's always there for him. TJ's a relatable kid, though a little heavy on the science fiction fueled imagination. Readers will understand his loneliness and his need for companionship. They'll sympathize with his predicament and immediately form a connection with his character.

When TJ finds the dinosaur egg, his dreams of having a pet and experiencing a fantastical situation come to fruition. But TJ's daydreams would never have pitted them up against the US Army, a mad scientist, and a commander who wants to use dinosaurs as weapons. Okay, maybe.

As soon as Rex hatches, TJ falls in love with his new friend. It doesn't even bother him that he destroys and/or eats absolutely everything. All TJ knows is that he must keep Rex safe from the men in black humvees and helicopters. I think the best part of the book was reading about how TJ formed his own connection with Rex. It was incredibly entertaining to witness a young boy try to tame a dinosaur, while keeping him hidden.

The connection I felt to the dinosaur was the most surprising. I think readers with a soft heart for pets will get that same feeling. Though it seems impossible, readers will want TJ to find a way to save Rex.

The plot begins with TJ's discovery of the egg and the hatching of Rex. The book gains a high level of suspense as the military tries to find him while keeping the community in the dark. TJ goes to great lengths to keep Rex from being found, but when he takes him to school disguised as a robot the result is nothing short of chaos. The action and adventure will keep middle grade readers intrigued and entertained as they join TJ's mission to keep Rex out of the hands of the government. Though the book can be a little frightening at times, I think middle graders will enjoy Rex, resulting in the dream of having a pet dinosaur of their own.

Rating: 3.5/5 Cups

Meet the Authors

Cody B. Stewart

Cody B. Stewart was born in the Adirondacks, in Upstate New York. His love of stories began in those mountains as he vanquished trolls, fought in the American Revolution and discovered his latent mutant powers. Stories have continued to consume his life, but he now plucks them out of his head and puts them down on paper in the form of novels and comic books. He left the Adirondacks to grow into a man, did so, and has since returned with a wonderfully supportive wife and two sons.

Adam Rocke

Adam Rocke Slutsky never met an adventure he didn’t love. From swimming with great white sharks without a cage, to jumping out of a plane without a parachute, Adam’s adrenaline junkie tendencies play a major role in his writing. Throw in a secondary degree in CryptoZoology and it’s anyone’s guess where Adam’s literary travels will take him.

Mark Rogers

Mark’s career as a travel journalist has brought him to 56 countries and counting. These trips have fed his imagination while at the same time provided authentic experiences and sensory detail that find their way into his novels and screenplays. Mark’s won multiple awards for his travel writing, including an award for his Hurricane Ivan coverage in Jamaica. His work regularly appears in USA Today and other media outlets. Mark lives in Baja California with his Sinaloa-born wife, Sophy, where they recently built a rock house overlooking the sea.

We hope you love the book as much as we do!