Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Paper Girls Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan






Genre:  Mystery / Time Travel / Thriller / Science Fiction


Year Published:  2016


Year Read: 11/30/2016


Series:   Paper Girls #1

Publisher:  Image Comics
 
I would like to thank NetGalley and Image Comics for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Introduction:

I have been reading Brian K. Vaughan’s “Saga” series for a while now and when I heard that he was making a new series called “Paper Girls,” I just had to check this series out for myself since I have loved everything that Brian K. Vaughan has written so far!

What is this story about?

The year is 1988 and a twelve year old girl named Erin had just recently gotten a job as a paper girl, delivering newspapers to everyone’s houses.  Along the way, she meets up with three other paper girls named Mackenzie, Tiffany and KJ and they quickly formed a bond with each other. Unfortunately, strange things started happening in the neighborhood as alien birds being ridden by soldiers in futuristic armor started showing up in the sky.  Not only that, but it appears that these strange creatures are chasing a group of people cloaked in dark robes and these people in dark robes are hiding a huge secret that could destroy the lives of the four paper girls!

What I loved about this story:

Brian K. Vaughan’s writing:  Ever since I had started reading Brian K. Vaughan’s “Saga” series, I have been so immersed with his creative writing and his ability in creating likable characters in bizarre settings and this comic was no exception!  Probably one of the most interesting things about this comic was that it was set in the 1980s and I barely read books that dealt with the culture and society of the 1980s since most of the books I have been reading would normally take place in the 1960s or the 1970s in terms of older period pieces.  I also loved the nostalgia factor that this book sort of gave me as even though I did not grow up during the 1980s (I am actually a 90s baby), I did like the fact that the book alluded to some popular parts of the culture in the 1980s such as seeing some kids dress up as Freddy Krueger from “The Nightmare on Elm Street” series and mentions of the Space Shuttle Challenger.  I personally enjoyed Brian K. Vaughan making this story a bit mind numbing for the average reader as we not only see  aliens in this story, but the plot also involves a lot time traveling and even though that can be confusing to read through (and believe me, I had lots of experiences where I got confused with time travelling plots), I actually found this aspect to be one of the most interesting parts of the story as it left me wanting to find out more about what is really going on with the aliens coming to the 1980s.   Even though the characters are not fully developed yet, I did like the relationships between the paper girls Erin, Mackenzie, Tiffany and KJ as they try to figure out what is exactly going on and trying to keep each other safe during this strange situation.

Cliff Chiang’s artwork: This is actually my first introduction to Cliff Chiang’s artwork and I am really loving it as the characters have a scratchy look to them, but I love the way that the coloring conveys the situations that the characters end up in such as having darker shadings whenever the characters are in a scary or mysterious area such as the basement or the forest.  I also love the fact that the colors blue and pink represent the Paper Girls themselves as any scene that features pink and blue colors make the Paper Girls really stand out in the story.

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

For anyone who does not like strong language and bloody violence, there are some scenes where characters are killed in gruesome ways and that might be uncomfortable for some readers to handle.  Also, there is some strong language in this volume such as the use of the “f” word and readers who do not like strong language might want to skip over these words.  Another issue that some readers might have with this volume is the totally insane “mind screw” aspect of the story.  Because of this, the story can get a bit confusing, especially if you are not used to time travelling stories (or having aliens suddenly come into the plot).  But for me personally, since I have been reading Brian K. Vaughan’s works for a while and many of his works do tend to have a bizarre quality to the narrative, I was actually used to the mind screw aspect of the story and that just made the story more interesting for me, although I would like it better if there was more exposition on why the aliens are even time travelling to begin with.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Paper Girls” is an awesome read and even though I want to see more happen with these characters and the situation, I am excited to see where this series goes next!

* 2016 Harvey Awards for Best New Series
* 2016 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards for Best New Series & Best Penciller / Inker Team (for Cliff Chiang) 
  

Waiting on Wednesday #17: Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill




Hello everyone! "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, that is hosted by Breaking the Spine and the purpose of this event is that we spotlight upcoming releases of books that we are excited for! 

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:


https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1449917247l/24846331.jpg


Title:  Ever the Hunted
Author: Erin Summerill
Expected Publication Date:  December 27th, 2016


Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.

However, it’s not so simple.

The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.


This sounds like a pretty interesting read, especially the fact that it deals with medieval times and magic and I want to see how the romantic plot is done in this book!



So, what upcoming books are you looking forward to?  Please respond below!

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Dystopian Reader Appreciation Giveaway!

Welcome to the Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Dystopian Reader Appreciation Giveaway!

We’re so glad you stopped by! In this giveaway, EVERYONE who enters will win TWENTY FREE – EXCLUSIVE – ebooks by the sponsoring authors (to be delivered at the conclusion of the giveaway), and one GRAND PRIZE winner will also receive a $1000 Amazon Gift Card! The Winner will be announced on February 1st at our Facebook Event. The winner will also receive an email directly.

There will ALSO be other prizes and giveaways happening at that event between now and our Grand Prize announcement! So make sure you mark yourself as attending so you don’t miss those great opportunities to win more prizes and snag more freebies!

VIEW BOOKS FROM THE SPONSORS HERE!


Here are a couple of sneak peeks!

ETERNAL NIGHT, by Jade Kerrion 
Ashra’s hand trailed across Jaden’s muscled torso. He made it easy for her to be gentle. His body trembled as if he longed for her. His mouth was hungry for her kiss. He arched up against her, as if craving more. His need was like a living creature, wild and aching for her touch.

Eyes closed, Ashra shivered. Only one other person had desired her as much.

And he was dead.

She forced her way through the memories of pale bodies tangled upon cool silk sheets. When her soul-sucking power leeched out, it found no opposition. Images of the human’s life rewound in a blaze of vivid sights, sounds, and sensations.

Ashra looked up at Tera, her smile little more than a barely perceptible curve of her lips. “He fancies himself the protector of the child of prophecy. Was she among those taken tonight?”

Tera nodded.

Ashra chuckled, the sound without humor. “It’s a pity her genetic heritage wasn’t sufficiently superior to prevent her from being culled.”

“There’s more. Go deep.”

She pushed past the blackness at the start of his memories, expecting deeper darkness. Instead, the colors shifted into shades of ochre and gray. Memories, older than his body, resided in his soul; memories of an Earth long since lost to them—a planet surrounded and nourished by water; images of tall buildings glistening beneath a benevolent sun, and of thriving cities filled with the bustle of humans; memories of quiet and intimate conversations beneath a silver moon, the same silver moon that now graced Malum Turris with its light, though a thousand years older and viewed only from beneath the protection of the dome.

She saw herself as he must have seen her, a much-younger icrathari, still hopeful for the future, never realizing that the Earth they had all known and loved was irretrievably lost. Had she ever looked that vulnerable? Had her smile ever been so beautiful, so filled with love as she looked upon—

“Rohkeus?” Oh, blessed Creator, was that stricken whisper her voice?

Ashra pulled back and stared at the human. Her mouth dropped open. Her heart pounded in her chest, its beat erratic. It couldn’t be. It simply couldn’t be—

She looked up at Tera. The other icrathari nodded.

Rohkeus’s soul reborn…in a human.

Ashra threw her head back and laughed, a despairing sound. Her prince, her love, reduced to a human? Her slender fingers coiled into fists. Her golden eyes glittering, she pushed away from him, though her body trembled from the loss of his warmth. No, the human was not Rohkeus; he could never be Rohkeus.

Steeling herself against the gasp of pain that escaped from his lips as the anesthetizing effect of her kiss faded, Ashra rose to her feet with sinuous grace. “He is not one of us. Not anymore.” Nothing had been more devastating than losing Rohkeus to a human assassin. To see his soul reborn in that contemptible and weak race was an insult to the person Rohkeus had been.

“Should we turn him into a vampire?” Tera asked.

“Kill him. Set Rohkeus’s soul free.”

A Cross to Bear: A Gabriella Cross Paranormal Romance Book 1 
All around her, the sounds of baying wolves echoed in the night. Trees slapped her face as she ran, and she tripped more than once. She was crying now and mumbling to herself, terrified. She dared not look back, knowing that the wolves were pursuing her. She came out of the woods into a clearing leading to a tall hill. The howls came from all directions. Shadows flew through the woods in her peripheral vision, and Gabby cried out. She fell again, skinning her knee badly on a jagged rock. In her terrified state, she felt no pain, but continued as fast as she could and ran up the hill.

A snarl came from directly behind her, and she instinctively turned and cried out. A wolf was bearing down on her fast. She turned and raised a hand as the beast leapt at her with gleaming claws leading the way.

“NO!” Gabby cried.

To her amazement, the wolf changed form in mid-flight and turned into a naked man. He landed at her feet on all fours and snarled at her.

“Get away from me!” she screamed.

The naked man backed away from her warily, glancing down at his human hands with a look of confusion and shock. More wolves were coming out of the woods. They stopped when they saw the one who had turned into a human in the light of the full moon.

Gabby wasted no time considering her luck and ran as fast as she could up the hill.

“Gabriella Cross, stop!” Michael’s voice rose up over the howls.

Gabby could hardly see through her tears. She didn’t dare look back, knowing that she would find death closing in on her. She reached the top of the hill and ran across the flat expanse of rocky earth.

“Gabriella!” came the voice again.

The wolves were gaining on her.

She darted between two pines blocking her way, receiving many scrapes on her face and arms. Half blinded by tears and slapping branches, she stumbled out from between the trees and suddenly came to a steep cliff. She tried to stop, but her momentum was too great. With a terrified cry she fell forward over the cliff.

She frantically thrashed her arms as she fell to her death. Above, on the ledge, a mournful wolf cried out. The ground was coming up fast to crush her, and Gabby closed her eyes, not wanting to see her death.

Then. Suddenly. Gabriella was weightless.

Strong arms held her firmly. She opened her eyes to find a winged beast staring back at her.

Gabby passed out.



XBTBanner1

Blog Tour + Book Blitz: Royally Wed by Pamela DuMond

 

 

Royally Wed
 
Pamela DuMond
 
(Ladies-in-Waiting, #2)

Publication date: October 13th 2016
Genres: Comedy, New Adult, Romance
Ring the wedding bells, pour the champagne, and get thee to the cathedral for Royally Wed, the LOL sequel to Part-time Princess (Ladies-in-Waiting, #1)!

Lucy Trabbicio, former cocktail waitress and down-to-earth American commoner, is about to marry the man of her dreams, Prince Nicholas of Fredonia in the posh royal wedding of the year.

But something goes very wrong on the way to the altar. Now it’s up to Lucy, her party-hard, take-no-prisoners Ladies-in-Waiting, and Nick’s opinionated Royal Nana to solve the debacle, and get her back into sexy Prince Nick’s arms in time to be Royally Wed, as well as royally bed.

A modern day, sexy tale with romance, twists and turns, laughter, and a whole lot of hanky-panky!
1


“Hang on.” Cheryl slipped a silver flask from the bustle of her bridesmaid dress. “This is cause for celebration. We don’t get to cheer on one of our own all that often. We’re always stuck buying fancy presents for the girls getting married who we don’t care that much about because we know they don’t care that much about us, either.”

“Here, here!” Joan said as Cheryl took a shot from the flask.

“And then,” Cheryl said and wiped her mouth on her sleeve, “those bitches complain behind our backs, but we always find out about it through the royal grapevine, that we should have bought them a pricier item on their registry. So here’s to our Lucy, who we care about, who would never say bitchy things behind our backs.”

“I’ll say them straight to your face.”

“That’s one of the reasons I like you. Here’s to Lucy’s wedding day.” She slugged back a shot and handed it to Joan. “May it be everything you ever dreamed and more.”

“Cheers!” Joan knocked back a shot and handed it to Alida.

“Salute!” She took a sip, grimaced, and passed it to Mr. Philips who took a quick sip.

“Nicely done, ladies. Prince Harry’s Private Reserve?”

Cheryl nodded. “I don’t skimp for weddings.”

“You don’t skimp for anything.” Esmeralda took the flask from Philips and downed a shot, then dabbed a little behind her ears and on her cleavage. “One of the reasons I like you.”

“You’re wasting good liquor,” Mr. Philips said.

“I prefer to think it’s an investment. The scent of Prince Harry’s Private Reserve is practically an aphrodisiac for any titled man at a wedding reception,” she said and passed the flask to me. “I’m tragically single, you know.”

“Not so tragic,” Cheryl said. “You told me you never wanted to get married.”

Esmeralda put her finger to her lips. “Shh!”

“No thanks on the shot.” I shook my head. “The Champagne finally wore off. I’m only getting married—for real—once. I’m not walking down the aisle tipsy, let alone with scotch on my breath.”

“But you have to,” Cheryl said. “It’s tradition.”

“Not where I’m from.” I grabbed a bottle of Fredonia Mineral Water, raised it high in the air, and toasted my Ladies-in-Waiting and the boys. “Cheers!” I took a healthy slug.

“Dios mio!” Alida exclaimed.

“Merde!” Joan said.

“Crap!” Esmeralda leapt toward me and knocked the bottle out of my hands. It flew across the room, splattered Mr. Philips tuxedo trousers and landed open-mouthed on his shoe as it poured out.

He stared down at it and sighed.

“Why’d you do that?” I asked.

Alida crossed herself. “Don’t you know, Lucy?”

Cheryl’s face turned ashen. “It’s terrible luck to toast with water.”

“That’s just an old wives tale,” I said and waved my hand at them. “Go forth and march down that aisle now because I am finally getting married. My worries are over. Does anyone have any chocolate? I’m a little lightheaded. Probably my low blood sugar. I’m good. I’m ready. Besides, what could possibly go wrong?”




Pam pitched Erin Brockovich's story to 'Hollywood'. ERIN BROCKOVICH the movie earned 4 Academy Award nominations, and Erin became a household name for environmental activism.

Pam writes Romance, YA, Mysteries, and even Self-Help. All her stories have humor and heart.

She's addicted to TV shows -- The Voice, The Blacklist, and GOT. She likes dogs and cats equally, prefers her coffee strong, her cabernet hearty, her chocolate dark, and her foods non-GMO. She lives for a good giggle in Venice, California with her fur-babies.

Sign up for her NEWSLETTER for info on upcoming books, deals, and special events on her website at www.pameladumond.com and check her out on Facebook at PamelaDuMondAuthor.



XBTBanner1

Blog Tour + Book Blitz: Engaged to an Alien Pop Star by Kendra L. Saunders

 

 

Engaged to an Alien Pop Star
 
Kendra L. Saunders
 
(Alien Pop Star, #2)

Published by: Crimson Tree Publishing
Publication date: November 28th 2016
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance, Science Fiction
Daisy Kirkwood and her best friend Kammie have adjusted to life on an alien planet pretty well, all things considered.

And thanks to Daisy’s alien pop star boyfriend, Griffin Valentino, she has plenty of sexy new experiences to keep her busy.

But it’s not possible to take a massive music nerd away from her home planet and not expect her to pine for a concert or a record store at least in once in a while.

Heading back to Earth with Griffin and his best friend Dev for a brief but much-needed visit, the girls want nothing more than to catch up on the underground music scene of New York City. Unfortunately, thanks to Griffin’s less-than-stellar space traveling skills, they accidentally pick up a hitchhiker. Or three hundred. Their many-legged stowaway beasties take up residence in the darkest, creepiest corners of Manhattan, leaving the gang no choice but to experience a very different underground than they bargained for.
Giant alien bugs aside, Griffin has some epic plans of his own for their trip, plans that involve a concert, an album… and the most outrageous marriage proposal that Earth has ever seen.

14895665_10154581512501411_43569843_o 

You can grab book 1 – Dating an Alien Pop Star – for FREE!

My boyfriend is levitating four inches above our bed, with a cloud of gold sparks floating around his head like a crown. This makes for a pretty normal morning, even with the soft snuffling and clicking noises he makes as he sleeps. And the crown is appropriate, since my boyfriend is an alien prince.

The alien prince in question, Griffin, floats back down to our bed with a yawn, stretching as he hits the blankets. He squirms around until he can slip under the blankets and wriggle closer to me. Despite sleeping uncovered, he’s toasty and warm, a sign of restorative sleep in his people. I return his embrace a bit too eagerly, my hands slipping under his nightshirt and causing him to gasp out loud.

“Gods! Daisy, your hands are cold.”

“They’re not cold. They’re room temperature. But you feel nice and warm, so hold still.”

Griffin wriggles a bit more in feigned protest, but we soon settle into a comfortable position, arms and legs entwined.

“Are you excited to go back home?” Griffin asks, his voice husky with sleep as he leans up to nip at my earlobe with sharp teeth. His glowing blue eyes peer at me from under heavy lids and dark lashes, lashes that are unfairly longer than my own.

“If you keep biting my ear or looking at me like that, I’m not going to be able to go back to sleep. And yes. I’m very excited to go back to Earth.”

“Well then, don’t go back to sleep,” Griffin says, running a hand over his recently shorn dark hair. It’s always amazing to me how he can go from sleepy animal cute to dangerously sexy alien rock star in the span of seconds, depending on what he’s doing or saying. That kind of magical ability can get an Earth girl in trouble. “I have much better ideas for what we can do this morning, Wanda…”

Wanda is his pet name for me, a word in his language that means, “Love without end.” Griffin knows very well what he does to me when he calls me that.

“Do these plans involve you miraculously making chocolate appear? I miss chocolate,” I say, in a teasing tone. “When we go back to Earth, I’m going to stock up on junk food. There’s only so much healthy gray goop a girl can eat before she starts to feel like a very deprived post-divorce Gwyneth Paltrow.”

“Chocolate? Don’t be daft, Daisy, I was referring to sex.”

engaged-promo




Kendra L. Saunders is a time-and-space traveling fashionista author who writes books about magical, dark-haired men, interviews famous people, and suggests way too many bands to you via whatever social media platform she can get her hands on. She writes with good humor because humor is the best weapon for a girl who can't learn karate (or ballroom dancing).
She is the author of DATING AN ALIEN POP STAR, the magic realism novel INANIMATE OBJECTS, dark comedy DEATH AND MR. RIGHT, the upcoming romance THE UNLOVE SPELL, and has conducted interviews with NYT Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout, goth rocker Aurelio Voltaire, and Project Runway winners Dmitry Sholokhov and Michelle Lesniak Franklin among many, many others.



XBTBanner1

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Blog Tour + Book Blitz: Air by L.B. Gilbert

 

 

Air 
 
L.B. Gilbert
 
(The Elementals #2)

Publication date: November 28th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Paranormal
Despite being the junior Elemental, Logan’s never had to worry about failing a mission before. Not until an overgrown and annoyingly attractive shifter comes along.

Being an Elemental is in Logan’s blood. Hers is the gift of Air, a vast power she’s still struggling to control. Then a Were named Connell hunts her down. His wolf is missing, and he blames her.

A den of werewolves is the last place Logan wants to be. The testosterone alone is enough to make her choke. But she has a mystery to solve. She will find out who is stealing wolves even if kills her.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what the enemy has planned…

Book 1: Fire
Book 2: Air, Available November 28th
Book 3: Water, Coming Soon

Connell tried to drag the Elemental toward him, but she didn’t budge. Instead, she glanced at his hands. For a second, he could have sworn amusement flashed across her face. Then she was gone—wind whipping him in the face so hard it stung.

Fuck!

He turned around in a circle, scanning the air and the land around him. God, he couldn’t lose her now.

He needed to get his wolf back. Not having the extra other in his head was tearing him apart. The empty space inside him was like a crawling emptiness. Sometimes, it was in his head. Other times, it was in his heart.

I can’t believe I lost her. He’d had her in his hands, and then poof. At this
point, she could be anywhere. A strangled sigh escaped from deep in his chest. It sounded pathetic and broken, even to him. He checked the house to make sure she wasn’t there, and then he walked back out to his rented jeep. Damn it, he was going to have to start tracking her all over again.

“Hey, what’s your name?”

Stunned, Connell tripped. Pivoting on his heel, he turned to see the sprite standing on a huge boulder in the distance. He was so damn surprised to see her that he lost his tongue. He just stared at her like an idiot.

Apparently, she agreed. “I can’t keep calling you tall, dark, and stupid, now can I?

Whatisyourname?” she repeated, over- enunciating each word.

He was too relieved to get upset over the fact she was talking to him as if he were slow. “Connell Maitland.”

The imp turned away and started addressing the air around her, “He says he’s one of the Maitlands.
American accent, so one of the Colorado ones. Yeah. It’s severe. I haven’t seen anything like it. It’s like his wolf was torn out of him somehow. He thinks we did it. Hold on a sec—” Her words broke off as Connell started to run toward her.

A gust of strong air slammed him down to the ground before he cleared the rise.

“Stay there,” the sprite ordered in a glacial tone.

Frigid as the wind, he thought as he regained his footing. Hell, everything about her should be ice-cold. Instead, he felt like he was burning up around her. It was disconcerting. So was the hard edge in her voice. That kind of steel shouldn’t be coming out of such a tiny, doll-like girl.

“Yeah, yeah. It’s fine. He’s on a leash,” the imp said a touch smugly.

Connell growled low in his throat. At least that hadn’t changed. Prey the world over would still react instinctively in fear at that sound.

But the imp didn’t even blink. And she had heard him. She just hadn’t cared. She kept on talking like some gossipy housewife on the phone. Except she was addressing no one.

“Who the bloody hell are you talking to? Invisible fairies? Can anyone even hear you?” he asked incredulously.





USA Today bestselling author L.B. Gilbert spent years getting degrees from the most prestigious universities in America, including a PhD that she is not using at all. She moved to France for work and found love. She's married now and living in Toulouse with one adorable half-french baby.

She has always enjoyed reading books as far from her reality as possible but eventually the voices in her head told her to write her own. And so far the voices are enjoying them. You can check out the geeky things she likes on twitter @elementalauthor, facebook www.facebook.com/elementalsauthor, or www.elementalauthor.com

*If you like a little more steam with your Fire, check out the author's Lucy Leroux titles*



XBTBanner1

Top Ten Tuesday #39: Top 10 Books I Would Gift to People Who Love Subversive and Comical Children's Books

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

So, this week's top 10 Tuesday topic is a holiday gift guide freebie, so I chose "Top 10 Books I would Gift to People Who Love Subversive and Comical Children's Books!"


So here's my top 10 books I Would Gift to People Who Love Subversive and Comical Children's Books (in no particular order)!



1. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein





2. The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith




3. The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! by Jon Scieszka


4. The Frog Prince Continued by Jon Scieszka



5. The Fool and the Flying Ship by Eric Metaxas


6. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein



7. Walter the Farting Dog by William Kotzwinkle and Glenn Murray





8. Pat the Beastie by Henrik Drescher




9. The Boy Who Ate Around by Henrik Drescher




 
10. The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey



11. I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen




Posted on Tuesday, November 29, 2016.