Last of the Firedrakes – Book Blast & $100 Giveaway

12 Jul, 2016 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

 

Last of the Firedrakes

Last of the Firedrakes by Farah Oomerbhoy

A fantastic adventure story that will transport you to a dazzling world of myth and magic.

16-year-old Aurora Darlington is an orphan. Mistreated by her adopted family and bullied at school, she dreams of running away and being free. But when she is kidnapped and dragged through a portal into a magical world, suddenly her old life doesn’t seem so bad.

Avalonia is a dangerous land ruled by powerful mages and a cruel, selfish queen who will do anything to control all seven kingdoms—including killing anyone who stands in her way. Thrust headlong into this new, magical world, Aurora’s arrival sets plans in motion that threaten to destroy all she holds dear.

With the help of a young fae, a magical pegasus, and a handsome mage, Aurora journeys across Avalonia to learn the truth about her past and unleash the power within herself. Kingdoms collide as a complicated web of political intrigue and ancient magic lead Aurora to unravel a shocking secret that will change her life forever.

 

AmazonBarnes & Noble * iTunes

Praise for the Book

“…the narrative components echo the classics; the Academy of Magic at Evolon could be Hogwarts, while the Shadow Guards are reminiscent of Tolkien’s Ring Wraiths or Rowling’s Dementors…a beautifully drawn fantasy world.” Kirkus Reviews

“THE LAST OF THE FIREDRAKES is a magic-filled romp that carries you back to the fantasy stories of childhood…Lovers of classic fantasy will likewise gobble down Oomerbhoy’s scrumptious story.” Dr Vic James, author of the SLAVEDAYS trilogy

“The world building is beautiful…That really made the book more complex for me…it is the journey of discovery for Aurora and the reader that makes this an interesting story.”Janelle Fila for Readers’ Favorite

The Last of the Firedrakes has all the elements of popular fantasy – an orphaned princess, Magical powers, an alternate sphere with seven kingdoms, a young girl with a destiny to fulfil. They are all elements of the Narnia Chronicles, The Faraway tree, The Harry Potter series, Lord of the Rings and a bit of Enid Blyton fun.” – Mitali Parekh for Mid-Day newspaper

firedrakes

FarahAbout the Author

Farah Oomerbhoy is a young adult writer with a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Mumbai. Farah loves the fantastical and magical and often dreams of living in Narnia, Neverland, or the Enchanted Forest. Her debut novel,The Last of the Firedrakes, Book 1 of The Avalonia Chronicles started on Wattpad where it received a Watty Award in 2015 and over 1.5 million reads. Since publication, The Last of the Firedrakes has gone on to win a silver medal in IBPA’s Benjamin Franklin Awards, become a finalist in the USA Best Book Awards and become an international bestseller. Farah lives with her family in Mumbai, India where she can be found checking for magical portals in every closet.

The Giveaway

$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 7/29/16

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Gearing Up for Back to School~ Favorite Vintage Series

11 Jul, 2016 by in antique, homeschool, series, vintage Leave a comment

Our family often browses second hand stores for used books. There are so many series from my childhood and the years before that are noteworthy or fun. Here are our favorites. Each has been kid tested and mother approved:

A Value Tale (16 Volume Book Set) Accessory with book – 1976
Childcraft: The How and Why Library (15 Volume Set) (Childcraft, 1 – 15) Hardcover – 1993
The Stephen Cosgrove Collection (Serendipity Series)
Cornerstones of Freedom Series Set Hardcover
The Young Folks Shelf of Books (Collier’s Junior Classics) (10 Volumes) Hardcover – 1962
Ready-Set-Grow Series Collection: Weekly Reader Books (24 Volume Set) Hardcover – 1979
DK Eyewitness Books
The Original McGuffey’s Eclectic Readers/Boxed Set (Eclectic Educational, 7 Volumes/ Primer , Pictorial Primer, Speller and 1st – 4th Readers) Hardcover – 1982
Cozy Classics (new series, Classic titles)
Standin’ Tall (Standin’ Tall, #1) Paperback – 1981
My First Steps to Reading Complete Set Hardcover – 1991
Phonics Practice Readers (Series A, Set 2, 3) Paperback – 1986
Illustrated Stories from Church History (Vols. 1-16, Complete Set, LDS, Mormon) Hardcover – 1973
The Golden Book Picture Atlas of the World Hardcover – 1960
Complete Vintage Help Me Be Good 28 Volume Set Hardcover – 1982
Mr. Men Series

What series do you use to teach?

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Nearer To Thee by Marianne Monson~ Book Spotlight

27 Jun, 2016 by in historical fiction Leave a comment

Nearer To Thee Book

by Marianne Monson
Series: The Mima Journals
Published by CreateSpace on February 24, 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction, LDS
Pages: 228
Format: Paperback
Source: The Author
Buy the BookGoodreads
Nearer to Thee continues the beautifully written account of young musician Mima Hough, based on the true story of a nineteenth century pioneer from England. In this thrilling sequel to The Water is Wide, Mima and her mother turn their eyes westward to the Salt Lake Valley, but to get there, they must follow a trail marked with cholera graves, treacherous rivers, and Native American tribes weary of invaders. Mima's journey across the plains is one of courage and self-discovery, of heartache and love. This long-awaited sequel continues the epic adventure of a young woman who experiences the life of a Mormon pioneer as an outsider.


about_ the_author
Since she was a very young child, Marianne Monson has been fascinated by the power of words (and even tried inventing her own language for a time). After earning a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from BYU, she continued her study at Vermont College of Fine Arts, earning an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. Since then, she has worked as an editor/art director of children’s books, authored eight books and counting for children and adults, and continues editing and writing for a variety of audiences, including magazines, books, blogs, and other publications.

She teaches Creative Writing and English at Portland Community College. Her two children are often featured in her work (and are self-confessed logophiles as well).

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Stealing Snow ~ ARC Review

23 Jun, 2016 by in bloomsbury, fairytale retelling, fantasy Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Bloomsbury USA Children's in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Stealing Snow

by Danielle Paige
Published by Bloomsbury USA on September 20, 2016
Genres: Fairytale, Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
four-stars
Source: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Buy the BookGoodreads
Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent the majority of her life within the walls of the Whittaker Institute, a high security mental hospital in upstate New York. Deep down, she knows she's not crazy and doesn't belong there. When she meets a mysterious, handsome new orderly and dreams about a strange twisted tree she realizes she must escape and figure out who she really is.

Using her trusting friend Bale as a distraction, Snow breaks free and races into the nearby woods. Suddenly, everything isn't what it seems, the line between reality and fantasy begins to blur, and she finds herself in icy Algid--her true home--with witches, thieves, and a strangely alluring boy named Kai, none of whom she's sure she can trust. As secret after secret is revealed, Snow discovers that she is on the run from a royal lineage she's destined to inherit, a father more powerful and ruthless than she could have imagined, and choices of the heart that could change the fate of everything . . . including Snow's return to the world she once knew.

This breathtaking first volume begins the story of how Snow becomes a villain, a queen, and ultimately a hero.

I haven’t read fantasy or a fairy tale retelling in a long time, and I’d forgotten how rich the world building can be. With magic, a band of gypsy-like thieves, mythical creatures and a love triangle, there’s plenty to keep each reader intrigued. The series reminds me a bit of Julie Kagawa’s Iron King series.

Snow, labeled as insane is locked away with her childhood love Bane. When her dreams lead her to another land after Bane is kidnapped, Snow finds herself transported to the magical kingdom Algid in attempt to bring him home. Her power is snow and ice, fueled by anger and emotion. I am excited to read the two prequel novellas, one of which comes out in 3 days. While the plot was at times confusing and not fully fleshed, I’m hoping the series will tie everything together and resolve what’s going on with three interesting characters–Bane, Kai and Jagger. Vivid imagery and multi faceted magical creatures make this one an escape for a day.

Content- mild swearing, some violence, dark elements

 

about_ the_authorDanielle lives in NY. Before turning to YA, she worked in television & was nominated for several Daytime Emmy’s. Dorothy Must Die was her first novel.

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The Time Key Blog Tour ~Spotlight

22 Jun, 2016 by in Uncategorized 3 comments

The Time Key

by Melanie Bateman
Published by Sweetwater on June 14, 2016
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Source: Cedar Fort
Buy the Book
Stanley Becker’s wife and daughter had been dead for six years, as was the reason that he so desperately wished to end his life, but on the night that a stranger left him with an odd pocket watch he was introduced into a world he could only have imagined in stories.

He now has a way to travel through time.

But traveling isn’t as simple as it seems, and Stanley soon finds that despite his wish to change past events, there are other dangers awaiting him. Having left Stanley with the pocket watch, along with a mysterious child, the stranger from that fateful night had only triggered the first chain of events that would force our reluctant protagonist to discover the fragility of his own reality as he fights for his life and attempts to write his own future.

About the Author

Melanie Bateman is a freelance illustrator whose passion for nature and pretty pictures will sometimes translate into written stories. When she isn’t daydreaming, she enjoys being a mom. The Time Key is her first novel.

Learn more about Melanie on her website * Facebook * Twitter.

Blog Tour Schedule

June 16: Community Bookstop
June 17: Jodi Woody
June 18: Making Life a Bliss Complete
June 19: Kaylee Baldwin
June 20: Rockin’ Book Reviews
June 21: 2 Kids and Tired Books
June 22: Choco Meiske | Literature Approved | Fire and Ice
June 23: Bookworm Lisa
June 24: The Reader’s Salon
June 25: Bookworm Nation
June 26: Wishful Endings
June 27: Connie’s Bookmark
June 28: Once Upon a Time
June 29: Storyweaver
June 30: The Unabridged Girl
July 1: Mel’s Shelves
July 2: Blooming with Books
July 3: The Book Addict | Inklings and Notions
July 4: Novel-ties
July 5: Singing Librarian Books
July 6: Reading Lark
July 7: Paranormal & Romantic Suspense Reviews 

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Beyond the Rising Tide Blog Tour

18 Jun, 2016 by in contemp, young adult 1 comment

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Beyond the Rising Tide

by Sarah Beard
Published by Sweetwater on June 14th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
five-stars
Buy the BookGoodreads
Kai was seventeen when he died saving Avery's life, though he didn't have much to live for. After spending half his life being shipped around to different families, the only place he felt at home was on a street corner with his guitar. Now, it's been six months since his death. Six months adapting to a new kind of existence where instead of making music, he uses his new healing powers to save lives. But in his off hours, he watches helplessly as Avery's life is unraveled by his death.
Avery doesn't know that it was Kai who saved her life in the ocean, because her rescuer's body was never found. Wracked with guilt, the ocean she once loved is now her tormentor. As her surfboards collect dust in the garage, the weight of her grief destroys her relationships and stretches her to a breaking point.
Always willing to break rules for those he loves, Kai steals a ring that temporarily gives his body substance. With limited time, he does all he can to restore her life to the way it was before his tragic death, but Kai's half-baked plans rarely turn out the way he thinks they will. Beyond the Rising Tide is a beautiful love story that explores life, death, and the gray places in between.

 

 

Be forewarned, that once you pick up this book, you will need to carve out a day to read it and a while to recover.

Loved: The cover, it is perfect! The setting also matches the mood of the book and as a California native, I can appreciate the ocean, the vineyards, the sand and the fog.

Pace: Because most of this book is munched into three short days, it does at times feel rushed and the relationship too fast. But it makes for a page turning read!

Issues: Beyond the Rising Tide may be a trigger for someone who’s survived mental illness or suicide. This has some mature life experiences like drug use, foster care, divorce, bi -polar disorder and grief. It’s not so heavy as to be overwhelming, but definitely a book for a mature, older reader. The main characters are 17 but have lived a lot of life through their parents’ struggles.

Overall: Beautiful, healing. You may be a mess of tears in some parts. Sarah Beard explores life after death and the in between, as well as learning to recover and live after losing something. There are undertones of the atonement and of how we have to accept the sacrifice that has been given. Christian themes are well- woven and not overtly mentioned.

What a good read!!

 

Blog Tour Schedule

June 14: Singing Librarian Books | Emmy Mom | Compass Book Ratings
June 15: Katie’s Clean Book Collection | Cindy Bennett
Sweetly Made | Sorcery in the Bookshelves
June 16: Rockin’ Book Reviews | Geo Librarian
June 17: Heidi Reads | Kindle and Me
June 18: Fire and Ice
June 19: Inklings and Notions
June 20: My Book a Day
June 21: Bookworm Lisa | Min Reads and Reviews | LDS Women’s Book Review
June 22: Robyn Echols Books | Fantasy World | The Write Path
June 23: Wishful Endings | Getting Your Read On | Batch of Books
June 24: Mylissa’s Reviews and Book Thoughts | Maybe Books Will Be Our Always
June 25: Charmed Haven Book Reviews | Just Commonly
June 26: Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews
June 27: Literary Time Out | Book by Book
June 28: That Artsy Reader Girl | The Real Housewives of Riverton
June 29: Mel’s Shelves
June 30: Books Are Sanity | Fictionally | Read Headed Book Lady


about_ the_author

Sarah Beard is the author of YA novels PORCELAIN KEYS and BEYOND THE RISING TIDE. She earned a degree in communications fromSarahBpic1cropXsmall the University of Utah and is currently pursuing an MFA in creative writing from VCFA. When she’s not writing, she referees wrestling matches between her three boys and listens to audiobooks while folding self-replicating piles of laundry. She is a breast cancer survivor, a baker of sweets, a seeker of good love stories, a composer of melancholy music, and a traveler who wishes her travel budget was much bigger. She lives with her husband and children in the shadow of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains. You can follow Sarah on twitter at @authorsarahb, or at facebook.com/authorsarahbeard. Her website is sarahbeard.com.

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Girl Against the Universe ~ Review

17 Jun, 2016 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

I received this book for free from HarperTeen in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Girl Against the Universe

by Paula Stokes
Published by Harper Teen on May 17th, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 382
Format: Hardcover
four-stars
Source: HarperTeen
Buy the BookGoodreads
Maguire is bad luck.

No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when Maguire is around. Like that time the rollercoaster jumped off its tracks. Or the time the house next door caught on fire. Or that time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch.

It’s safest for Maguire to hide out in her room, where she can cause less damage and avoid meeting new people who she could hurt. But then she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star. Jordy is confident, talented, and lucky, and he’s convinced he can help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away. But it turns out staying away is harder than she thought.

From author Paula Stokes comes a funny and poignant novel about accepting the past, embracing the future, and learning to make your own luck.

 

Wow! This book is long overdue and essential reading for teens struggling with anxiety, PTSD or OCD.  MacGuire is struggling after the loss of her father, brother and uncle in a car crash she survived. In a series of unrelated events, she’s convinced she causes accidents around her and is bad luck. After years of isolating from family and friends, her mom makes an appointment with a counselor. MacGuire is less than thrilled, determined to give the Dr. the silent treatment. But the stranger she meets in the waiting room may change the course of counseling. I laughed in parts and felt sad for the loss both main characters experience. But, the tone of the book is one of hope and change and progress. Paula Stokes lets teens know it’s okay to need help. She gracefully explores cognitive behavioral therapy and mental illness as it hits all groups, including popular athletes. Bravo for a precisely written YA contemporary that is not too heavy handed.

Content: teenage drinking, making out, sneaking out, mild swearing.

 

about_ the_author

Paula Stokes is half writer, half RN, and totally thrilled to be part of the world of YA literature. She started out writing historical fiction under a pen name and is now branching out into other YA genres.

When she’s not working (rare), she’s kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. She’s petted tigers, snuggled snakes, snorkeled with stingrays, and once enjoyed the suction-cuppy feel of a baby elephant’s trunk as it ate peanuts from her palm. Her future goals include diving with Great White sharks, learning Krav Maga, and writing a whole slew of novels, not necessarily in that order.

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