Monday, November 11, 2019

Review Tour and Giveaway: Benevolent by Erin A. Jensen

Welcome to my stop on the review tour for Benevolent by Erin A. Jensen. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt for you and my review of Benevolent. There's also a tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for more excerpts, guest posts, interviews, reviews, and more. Enjoy!
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Title: Benevolent
Author: Erin A. Jensen
Publisher: Dream Waters Publishing
Publication Date: August 30th 2018
Genre: Urban Fantasy
~
A story about the purpose of life, the healing power of fandom, and the resilience of the human spirit.

Tormented by the in-crowd at school on a daily basis, there were two things that gave fifteen-year-old Abigail Perkins the strength to keep going—her best friend, Danny Cobb; and her favorite television show, Supernatural. But the night Danny’s mother calls to say that his battle with cancer is nearing its end, and the doctors don’t expect him to live through the night, even Supernatural can’t dull the ache in her heart.

Devastated by her impending loss and crushed that Danny’s mother won’t allow her to visit him one last time, Abigail crawls into bed and cries herself to sleep that night; and she wakes to find Supernatural’s most endearing angel standing at the foot of her bed.

Told from Abigail’s perspective as she nears the end of her long life and revisits the moments that defined it, this story was inspired by the deep connection that Supernatural fans feel with the show’s beloved characters, and the show’s miraculous ability to help its fans through troubled times.

**100% of the net proceeds from Benevolent's sales will be donated to Random Acts charity.** 

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EXCERPT:
I flashed him a sympathetic smile. “What are you thinking?”

“I have never understood why humans are so moved by music,” he muttered as his eyes searched mine.

“Music is the closest thing that we have to magic,” I confided in a reverent whisper, “because it has the power to anchor us to a moment in time.”

His half-smile conveyed a heartwarming mix of curiosity and affection. “How so?”

I felt my face flush a shade darker as I grinned at him. “When we hear a song from our past, it conjures up all the old sensations that we felt when we first heard it.”

He eyed me with a perplexed frown as he took a step toward me. “How can a combination of man-made instruments and human vocal chords wield that sort of power?”

“I can’t explain it with words,” I whispered, “It’s something that you just have to feel.”

He stood there staring at me with that puzzled expression on his face as I stepped closer and carefully inserted the earpiece in my hand into his left ear, so the music connected the two of us, just as surely as the cord connected the earbuds in our ears. “Maybe you’d understand what I mean if you danced to the music.”

“I don’t dance,” he muttered as he watched me begin to sway to the beat.

I smiled at him as I took his hands in mine and moved his arms in time with the music, like a puppeteer pulling a life-sized marionette’s strings. “Anyone can dance. You just have to let go and let the music guide your movements.”

A skeptical frown spread across his face as he watched me, but he let me direct his movements nonetheless. He was stiff and awkward at first but as the music grew louder, he seemed to find the rhythm. “These words are nonsense,” he muttered.

“Shhh,” I whispered, “Don’t think. Just feel.”

He was a remarkably fast learner, but I suppose being on earth since the dawn of time had given him plenty of opportunities to watch humans dance. Once he started to feel the music, he moved with all the grace that you’d imagine an angel would.

“Hey Jude” gradually faded away until there was nothing but silence in our twin earpieces.

We stopped moving and stood there staring at each other while we waited for the next song to guide our movements.
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MY REVIEW:
I first heard of Benevolent by Erin A. Jensen through the blogging community. It sounded very interesting especially the more I heard about it. When an opportunity to review Benevolent came about, I jumped at the chance. Although Benevolent does mention the television show Supernatural throughout the book, you don't have to be a fan of Supernatural or know anything about the show to enjoy this novel. I will admit that I've only seen a few episodes of Supernatural back when it first began, but my limited knowledge of Supernatural did not take away my enjoyment of Benevolent. I'm really glad I got the chance to read Benevolent because it truly is a gem of a book!

The plot of Benevolent was a truly interesting one that really tugged at my heartstrings throughout. Benevolent begins with a teenage girl, Abigail (or Abbie as she's sometimes called) losing her best and only friend to cancer. She is comforted by an angel who appears in the form of Castiel from the television show Supernatural (her and her best friend's favorite). The reader is then taken through a journey throughout Abbie's life including all the ups and downs. Her angel, Castiel, plays a big role in her life's journey, and Abbie's left wondering if Castiel is real or if he's just a figment of her imagination. Benevolent is more than just that though. It's a gripping and emotional love story, but not in the romantic sense.

I could not put Benevolent down! In fact, I pretty much read this book in one sitting. It's a fairly short story, but the pacing was absolutely perfect throughout. I love how each chapter title was a song title. In fact, it makes for a great playlist whilst reading the chapter that features it or before and/or after that chapter. I was pulled into Abigail's world as soon as I started reading the first page. I loved how every loose end is tied up before Benevolent ends, and every question I had was answered. The world building is fantastic, and I can't fault anything about it. Erin A. Jensen is such a talented writer based on Benevolent

I absolutely enjoyed every character in Benevolent. Abigail felt like an old friend. In fact, I felt like I was reading a true life biography about Abigail instead of just a work of fiction. Everything about Abigail's character was just laid bare for everyone to read about, and I think that's what made me love her so much. She had been through a lot, and I could relate to her on so many levels. The character of Castiel was written perfectly too. Like I said, I had only watched a few episodes of Supernatural before they introduced the character of Castiel, so I can't comment on how much Benevolent's character of Castiel was like the one on Supernatural. However, it is mentioned in the beginning of Benevolent that Abigail's angel took on the form of Castiel and his name and mannerisms to make Abbie feel more comfortable. It is said that he isn't the actual Castiel from Supernatural. We also get to know Danny, Abbie's childhood best friend, through Abbie's memories. Danny seemed like such an awesome person, and even I was saddened by his death.

Trigger warnings for Benevolent include death, cancer, attempted suicide, overdosing, drug use, alcohol, and some profanity but nothing too bad.

Overall, Benevolent is one of those books that will stick with you long after you've stopped reading. It's a book that tugs on your heart strings and won't let go until the very end. Benevolent has such a fantastic plot with such a relatable main character that it just makes for an awesome read. What makes Benevolent even more awesome (which is saying something since Benevolent is highly awesome already) is that 100 percent of the profits from its sales will be donated to Random Acts charity. I would wholeheartedly recommend Benevolent by Erin A. Jensen to everyone aged 15+ no matter what genre of book they like. I feel like this book will touch everyone who gives it a read.
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(A special thank you to Erin A. Jensen for providing me with a paperback of  Benevolent in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.)
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Erin Jensen is the Amazon International bestselling author of The Dream Waters Series. She was awarded the Bronze Medal for fantasy fiction in the 2018 Readers' Favorite international book awards. She also received Honorable Mention for fantasy fiction in the 2018 Writer's Digest self-published e-book awards. A part-time pharmacist and a full-time daydreamer, she resides in upstate New York with her ridiculously supportive husband, two teenage sons--who are both taller than her--and a Yorkshire terrier who thinks he's the family bodyguard.

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GIVEAWAY:
Erin A. Jensen will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter after the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz and Giveaway: A Whole New Duke by Samantha Holt


Title: A Whole New Duke
Author: Samantha Holt
Publication Date: November 10th 2019
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance
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The Dark Duke they call him.

And he certainly matches up to his name. From his looks to his constantly furrowed brow, Miss Beatrice Edgerton is under no illusions as to the status of their arranged marriage.

It will be very much one of convenience. With him conveniently providing the title her family so desperately wants and her family bringing in plenty of money for his dilapidated home. She is simply grateful he is younger than her first husband.

Lord Morton, Duke of Hartwich, is only a little perturbed by the vibrant Beatrice. After all, he sets her straight from the very first day of their marriage—this is one of mutual benefit. In one way only. She can expect no affection or romance from him.

Because, frankly, he is incapable of such things. Being a one-legged duke with a slightly dark past brings enough challenges without him having to worry about a wife too. His days of concern for anyone are long gone.

Unfortunately, It is not only the duke’s dark demeanor she has to deal with. Someone is trying to cause trouble for them but they cannot fathom who or why.

Grace is determined to make the best of the situation, even whilst spending Christmas with the duke alone in the eerie Hartwich Hall. Why, perhaps she might even be able to change the duke’s mind about their relationship.

Especially after they share a fiery kiss…or three…

EXCERPT:
“I’m very tired,” she said through a yawn.

“You need to stay awake, Bea. You may have a concussion.”

“Concussion?” Her words sounded slurred to her but she was not certain they actually were.

“When one is struck on the head, it can make one feel a little strange. I have suffered it myself falling from horses.”

“Oh.” She put an arm over her face to block out the unwelcome light but Adam pulled her arm away from her face and she scowled at him.

“You need to stay awake, Bea. Just until we can be certain you are feeling better.”

“I would rather sleep,” she muttered.

“Mrs. Howard, will you get some ice and tea, please?”

Bea didn’t see the housekeeper leave but she heard her footsteps scurrying off. Adam cupped her cheek and she sank gratefully into the comforting warmth of his touch. “You are quite handsome,” she said softly.

“And you are still charming somehow.”

“I like it when you touch me.”

A smile grazed his lips. “I like touching you.”

“See? That was not so hard to admit was it?”

“Especially because you will likely not remember a thing of what you said tonight.”

“I know exactly what I am saying,” she declared, although the words did seem strange and still incoherent. She yawned and closed her eyes.

“Tell me of this intruder.”

Opening her eyes, she frowned. “It was dark but he was tall.”

“Taller than me.”

“Yes. No...Perhaps.” She let her eyelids flutter shut and found the darkness behind them quite pleasant.

“Anything else you can recall?” she heard him say but it was too hard to respond. Her jaw felt heavy and her tongue thick. “Bea?” A hand tapped her cheek and she ripped her eyes open.

“Stop,” she protested.

“You need to tell me all, Bea.”

“He seemed skinny but strong. He pushed me hard.” She forced her attention to his concerned features. “Adam, will you let me sleep with you tonight? I do not want to be alone.”

His lips tilted. “You will not be alone. I promise.”

“Good.”
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

USA Today Bestselling author Samantha Holt lives in a small village in England with her twin girls and a dachshund called Duke. If you’re not sure where to start why not try…

- Amelia and the Viscount (Bluestocking Brides #1) for a fun, slightly hot shorter length read. Meet the Chadwick sisters and follow their adventures in each of their standalone stories.

- You’re the Rogue That I Want (Rogues of Redmere #1) is a longer read with heat, witty dialogue, a feisty heroine and adventure. All books in the series are standalone.

- Sinful Confessions is the first in the Cynfell Brothers Series. These are all novella length and standalone–ideal for a quick dip into the world of the sexy Cynfell brothers.

- Wake Me With a Kiss is a sweet, fairytale romance. Twists on Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella are also available if you love a clean, fun read.

- To Steal a Highlander’s Heart is a full length dive into the world of sexy highlanders. For those who love braw Scots, some steamy scenes, and medieval romance, this series is a perfect escape.

Website * Goodreads * 
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GIVEAWAY:
Win a $20 Amazon gift card!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Sunday, November 10, 2019

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Beneath London's Fog by Iona Caldwell


Title: Beneath London’s Fog
Author: Iona Caldwell
Publisher: FyreSyde Publishing
Publication Date: October 30th 2019
Genres: Occult Fiction, Ghost Story, British Literature
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Jonathan is the immortal master of Raven Hollow Manor – a decrepit mansion riddled with superstition, murder and restless ghosts. Beneath it lies a restless malice.

Its previous owner driven mad, violently kills his guests with a rusted ax, creating the perfect venue for Jonathan to seclude himself in a prison of his own device.

When the streets of London begin to run red with blood; the bodies exhibiting disturbing signs and baffling wounds, the identity of the killer remains elusive to police.

The bodies are just the beginning of Jonathan’s troubles. A mysterious letter accusing Jonathan of committing the murders appear, raising suspicion in the police. Hidden beneath the mangled bodies, Jonathan soon realizes he is being forced to face demons he thought died in a forlorn past he attempted to escape.

One thing Jonathan knows for certain: He must deal with the demons of his past if he is to survive his future. Not only him but those he has come to love as well.

For fans of Jim Butcher, Stephen King, Darcy Coates and Nick Cutter.

Goodreads * Amazon * 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Iona Caldwell is the lover of all things arcane, folklore, nature and magic.

She is the author of the British Occult Fiction, Beneath London’s Fog set to be published by FyreSyde Publishing October 2019. Her second title, Hell’s Warden is forecasted to release in February of 2020. When she’s not busy weaving worlds of the arcane and dark, she’s spending time out in nature. An avid lover of books, Iona claims her biggest inspirations are H.P Lovecraft, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman and Edgar Allen Poe.


She believes storytellers should tell the stories they want to tell. As such, most of her titles are stand-alone novellas she hopes will leave her readers immersed in magical worlds.

She is also an extremely active book blogger who will review primarily horror, suspense, supernatural thriller, mystery, and occult/Gothic fiction.

Website * Goodreads * 
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GIVEAWAY:
Win a $25 Amazon gift card and a print copy of Beneath London's Fog by Iona Caldwell!


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Saturday, November 9, 2019

Book Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Other Half of Happy by Rebecca Balcárcel

THE OTHER HALF
OF HAPPY
by
Rebecca Balcárcel

Genres: Contemporary / Middle Grade / Multi-cultural Family
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Date of Publication: August 20, 2019
Number of Pages: 332

Scroll down for giveaway!


Quijana is a girl in pieces. 

One-half Guatemalan, one-half American: When Quijana's Guatemalan cousins move to town, her dad seems ashamed that she doesn't know more about her family's heritage. 

One-half crush, one-half buddy: When Quijana meets Zuri and Jayden, she knows she's found true friends. But she can't help the growing feelings she has for Jayden. 

One-half kid, one-half grown-up: Quijana spends her nights Skyping with her ailing grandma and trying to figure out what's going on with her increasingly hard-to-reach brother. 

In the course of this immersive and beautifully written novel, Quijana must figure out which parts of herself are most important, and which pieces come together to make her whole. 

This lyrical debut from Rebecca Balcárcel is a heartfelt poetic portrayal of a girl growing up, fitting in, and learning what it means to belong.

Indiebound   *   Barnes & Noble   *   Amazon
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PRAISE FOR THE OTHER HALF OF HAPPY:
"Seriously, I have never felt so seen in a book." --Sophia Jimenez of @LatinxinPub

Balcárcel’s well-rounded characters, complex friendships, and nuanced family dynamics will resonate with many readers. This is a title that will remain relevant long past its publication date. A must-have for all library collections.” -- School Library Journal starred review

With poetic, flowing prose that sometimes feels more like a song and characters so convincing that they seem real, Balcárcel’s stunning debut depicts the struggles of being raised with two cultures and the challenges of not being “authentic” enough—in this case, “not Guatemalan enough” or “not American enough.” A lovely, moving, and realistic view of the struggles and insecurities—as well as the beauty—that comes from being bicultural.” -- Booklist starred review

"One of the best and most compassionate depictions of autism I have ever read in fiction.” -- Latinas Leyendo1
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Rebecca is a bi-cultural Latina who loves her autistic sons, her kitty, and serving the students of Tarrant County College as Associate Professor of English. She holds an MFA from Bennington Writing Seminars, where she was awarded the Jane Kenton Poetry Prize. THE OTHER HALF OF HAPPY is her debut novel.

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GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
THREE WINNERS EACH RECEIVE:
SIGNED COPY OF THE OTHER HALF OF HAPPY 
BOOKMARK & STICKER!
NOVEMBER 5-15, 2019
VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
11/5/19
Author Video
11/5/19
BONUS Post
11/6/19
Review
11/7/19
Excerpt
11/8/19
Review
11/9/19
Notable Quotable
11/10/19
Guest Post
11/11/19
Review
11/12/19
Scrapbook Page
11/13/19
Review
11/14/19
Review

   blog tour services provided by
  

Book Blitz and Giveaway: No Broken Beast by Nicole Snow


Title: No Broken Beast
Author: Nicole Snow
Publication Date: November 5th 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
~
Fierce. Scarred. Ginormous grump.
And I have to tell him he’s a father…

Brilliant life decisions—falling for the bad guy.
Leo damn Regis. Hated scourge of Heart’s Edge.
A wall with arms and legs. Hercules dipped in ink. Incandescent looks.
The legend, the outlaw, the boy I loved.

But the man they call “Nine” isn’t the villain they think.
He saved my life and seared my heart once upon a messed up time.
We planned our great escape. He made promises in diamond.
Then the fiery truth said Nope to our Ever After.

I’m not here to kiss and make up. I’m looking for my missing sister.
One hulking, gravel-voiced man has the clues.
Ugh. I so don’t need Leo’s protection.
Don’t even get me started on his oh-so-secret past.

The best part? He doesn’t have a clue what I’m hiding.
It’s got ten little fingers and ten little toes and eyes just like his.
I’m no beauty. He’s too beast. Fun times ahead.
They say you can’t run forever.
Sometimes you stand. Sometimes you fight.
And sometimes an unbroken hero barges back in to lay down the law…

From Wall Street Journal bestselling author Nicole Snow – old promises and jaw-dropping secrets collide in a small town love-storm. A punished mountain of a man retakes the girl who hasn’t told him he’s a dad. Surprise! Full-length romance novel with a Happily Ever After that’s even crazier than you think.


EXCERPT:
I’m sure she’ll say yes. I think.

But there’s this breathless moment when I think I might be about to get my heart crushed. She just stares at me with her eyes so wide, unblinking.

I know she loves me. Know she wants to run away with me.

But what if I’ve pushed too hard, too fast? It’s honestly asking a lot after the life she’s been trapped in. This much change just might be terrifying and—

“Yes!” she cries, tumbling down into my arms, barely catching the ring box to clasp it between our twined hands.

Then comes the kiss to end all kisses. It tastes wet and salty, her tears flowing freely.

Maybe not just hers, even if I’ll never admit it out loud.

Even if she’d said no, I’d still have done everything in my power to protect her.

To save her from that wretched man.

Still, the fact that she wants to leave that life behind not just as my lover, but as my wife means the damn universe.

It’s everything. It makes everything I’ve endured to get here worth it.

The pain. The torture. The conditioning. The brainwashing that even now scares me, when I’ve done everything I can to fake compliance while fighting the command triggers burned into my grey matter.

She’s the one reason I’ve been able to hold on.

And she doesn’t even know how long she’s been keeping me together.

One fine day, I’ll tell her.

I’ll tell her how young Tiger fought against his bonds each and every time Dr. Ross held him down and injected him with burning sh*t to make him more obedient and whispered the same words to him over and over and over, engraving them deep in his brain.

I’ll tell her how that boy held on to her and wouldn’t let him take the memory of a pretty girl twirling a flower between her fingers under the summer sun, and the shy, sweet way she looked at him.

I’ll tell her about an older kid wondering who she grew into, now and then dreaming her voice. The same voice I remembered hearing deep down in the catacombs under the mansion.

I’ll tell her about carving her face into thin slips of wood, carving flowers I swore I’d give her one day, holding on to them when I felt like I’d break at the slightest provocation.

I’ll tell her how sometimes the neat lines between love and obsession get so blurred, I can’t even breathe anymore without picturing her.

That’s why I want to save her so much.

Because Clarissa saved me.

Right now isn’t the time for those words, though. Now’s the time for tearful kisses, for the tight roughness in my throat, for her arms around my neck and her body against mine, and then we’re hand in hand, and I’m sliding that pretty, slender engagement ring on her delicate finger.

I can’t stop smiling, and my smile echoes on her lips, in her eyes.

We don’t need to say a word as we stand, picking at the flowers from the edge of the cliff, hand in hand.

Yeah, it’s that corny old legend, the lovers of Heart’s Edge.

That old promise.

The one where they say if you toss flowers over the cliff with the person you love, maybe you’ll be together forever.

So we pluck the petals with starry-eyed looks and hold them up high. And when we cast them over the edge and into the wind, sending them swirling into the night, I think I can see our forever.

Little do we know that our promise ends in less than a week…
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 ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nicole Snow is a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author. She found her love of writing by hashing out love scenes on lunch breaks and plotting her great escape from boardrooms. Her work roared onto the indie romance scene in 2014 with her Grizzlies MC series.

Since then Snow aims for the very best in growly, heart-of-gold alpha heroes, unbelievable suspense, and swoon storms aplenty. With over a million books sold, she lives for the joy of making two people fight with every bit of their soul for a Happily Ever After.

Current fan favorites include her Enguard Protectors series, accidental love novels, plus long beloved MC romance thrillers like the Grizzlies and Deadly Pistols.

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GIVEAWAY:
Win a $10 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of No Broken Beast by Nicole Snow!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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