Monday, May 25, 2020

"Wings of Fate" by Skye Horn


ON SALE for $0.99
by Skye Horn

Wings of Fate (Kingdoms of Faerie Book 1) by Skye Horn

Author Skye Horn stops by today to share an excerpt from Wings of Fate, the first book in her Kingdoms of Faerie series. Grab your copy ON SALE for only $0.99 to 10 June (or FREE with Kindle Unlimited). Available for pre-order: Wings of Deception (releases 30 June).

Wings of Deception by Sky Horn

Description
Death chose her for her blood; Fate chose her for her heart.
In a world without magic, Thea is ordinary, but everything changes when she discovers she is a Lost Princess from a kingdom in Faerie.
Now, a land Thea never knew existed expects her to become queen - but only if she can stop her villainous father who sits on her throne from releasing the Goddess of Death first. As darkness spreads across the Kingdoms of Faerie, Thea must prepare for the battle ahead by mastering the magic that runs through her veins with the help of the Fae who brought her home - a guardian sworn to protect her with his life.
With proper training, Thea might able to stop her father, but saving her kingdom may cost her heart.
Wings of Fate is the first book in the Kingdoms of Faerie series. The series explores a world of magic, myth, and legend through the lens of a powerful female heroine.


Book Video


Excerpt
Standing drenched in the rain of a foreign country after over twenty hours of travel definitely made Thea Gilbert’s list of top-ten-worst days. She admitted it probably didn’t rank as high as her parents’ dying in a car accident or finding out she was adopted, but it definitely outranked breaking up with her high school sweetheart, Marcus, after his heartfelt proposal. Apparently, being eighteen and an orphan meant she needed a husband to take care of her. That was one reason she’d left Colorado and fled to Ireland, despite the guilty voice in her head patronizing her and slating her decisions.
“Are you here to see the Faeries too?” a little boy asked from beside her, startling Thea out of her thoughts. He stared at the unextraordinary green hillside with eager eyes.
Sure, Ireland was beautiful, but once she’d seen one rolling green plain, hadn’t she seen them all?
Thea glanced at the boy briefly. He stood with his hands tucked into his red hoodie next to an elderly woman who wore a matching red raincoat. “Granny says they only come out at dusk.”
“Don’t bother the poor girl,” his grandmother scolded, tugging the little boy away from the hill. “Let’s get inside before you catch your death.”
Before Thea could formulate a response they pulled their hoods tight over their heads and hurried down the path to the village, leaving her alone in the rain. She knew this weather was normal in these parts, but by the ominous clouds forming over head and the shortage of people willing to stand outside, she wondered if this would sooner grow from a sprinkle into a storm.
Regardless, she forced her feet toward the Hill of Knockainey, which was the entire reason shed chosen Ireland as her destination to begin with. According to her adoption file, this was where her biological parents had abandoned her, wrapped in a purple silk blanket with no hint of who they were. She’d let herself sink into an aching numbness since her parents’ deaths, but it never extinguished the loneliness that constantly plagued her. It resurfaced in the form of a stomachache, twisting her insides until she felt as if she might puke, but she swallowed back the bile, inhaling sharply. Just because she was now an orphan didn’t mean she needed to fall apart at the seams.
Like the little boy who wished to see the Faeries, Thea wished she could see what her biological parents had thought when they left her in this cold, rainy country fifteen years ago. She was grateful for the loving and supportive parents who’d raised her. They’d put her through private school and intended to send her to art school in the fall, but the car accident had changed everything. Thea hadn’t touched her sketchpad since.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“I liked the author's take on Faerie and the creatures that make up its citizenry. There’s action, humor, and romance. I highly recommend this book!” ~ Brett Humphrey Author
“This is a tale, richly woven and brilliantly told. Celtic mythology lovers, this fantasy story is just the thing you will want to read!” ~ Ashley Zerwas
“Skye does an amazing job of painting a vivid world, lifelike characters, and a unique and thrilling tale! […] I recommend this book and am so excited that the author is already working on the next books in the series!!!” ~ SvenAdorbs
“What a great first book in the series. Intriguing fantasy world with plenty of opportunity for further world building in future books. The danger to the main characters and the four kingdoms helped turn the last half of the book into an unputdownable read. I also liked the inclusion of a bunch of mythical creatures throughout the story! I’m interested in seeing what happens next.” ~ Matt
“I really enjoyed the adventure that unfolded in the Wings of Fate book. I felt drawn into the storyline and felt the characters pulled me into each page offering me the chance to watch them grow and overcome numerous obstacles along the way. I would recommend this book to anyone whether they like science fiction or fantasy. Actually, I would recommend them to readers of any genre.” ~ Ken Keiscome


About the Author
Skye Horn
Skye Horn lives in the San Bernardino Mountains with her husband and two fur-babies. She enjoys the beautiful and quiet mountain life, morning writing sessions with a cup of coffee on her home's large deck, and dancing in her living room to help her creative juices flow, while her dogs look at her like she's a madwoman. She hopes to inspire a new generation of young writers to always follow their dreams by telling the stories that constantly distract them from reality. All she really wants is to keep creating worlds of myth and magic to escape to for the rest of her life.



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Friday, May 22, 2020

"Child of the Earth" by Susan Crow


REVIEW and GIVEAWAY
Child of the Earth
by Susan Crow

Child of the Earth by Susan Crow

Child of the Earth by Susan Crow is currently on tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
Here is a nest egg of memories and anecdotes teased from a life uplifted by an appreciation of the natural world.
Memories of childhood in rural England, raising a family in Orkney and Lincolnshire, and retirement in Northern Scotland are threaded together into a broad tapestry of the natural year. These experiences meet with a view of Earth’s uncertain future to illustrate the necessity for respect of all lifeforms and shares a passion for the wellbeing of this planet with all generations.
Child of the Earth is a source of inspiration and delight - a literary garland of hope.


Excerpt
The ninth day of January and it is frosty. Smells carry well. Hours earlier, we caught a whiff of cleaning-out-the-byre when we were coming down the hill and, a few moments ago, I went outside to empty the household rubbish and caught the same scent.
January in Caithness is not the same as January in Orkney.  It isn't the same as January in Lincolnshire. January in Caithness is completely unpredictable. A couple of years ago, when the year changed, I noticed the plants in the window boxes were suffering from windburn and the pond at Newtonhill Croft was very full due to melting snow and rain. And yet, last year, daisies were flowering, and we had gnats indoors. This week we have had some strange winds which sometimes became aggressive and then suddenly dropped, waved the flag of peace, and left behind an absolute stillness. Last year, same week, one of our number was nervous about walking home from work due to the threat of falling roof tiles.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
Child of the Earth shares memories from her childhood, raising a family, and retirement. Stories of Christmas, Jack Frost, feathered friends, flowers, and more of nature fill the pages. Tidbits of history and poetry along with reflections about the world and its resources abound, with beautiful full color photos along the way.” ~ Cheryl Malandrinos on Goodreads

My Review
Child of the Earth is a memoir consisting of Susan Crow’s month-by-month essays and musings on nature and the environment, interwoven with previously published online articles, photographs, drawings, excerpts from poems (both traditional and original) and songs, extracts from her diaries, some fictional stories, and examples of life on the land as seen through the eyes of a nineteenth century farmer.
The author says, “I write because I have something to share with you. In this book I want to share my amazement at the detail in all forms of life.” And that she does. She treats us to the sights, sounds, and smells of the world around her. Recurring themes include nature, the seasons, gardening, and conservation. There is a particular focus on the beauty and abundance of birdlife and flowers in the places where she has lived, including myths and legends associated with particular plants and animals and the history of different plants.
I might have enjoyed this book more if I was familiar with the places, flowers, and birds so often mentioned. It would have been helpful if the photographs had captions, were placed where they appear in the text, and were in the correct orientation (problem in the Kindle version). I was disappointed that the author didn’t include a photo of “an oil painting of a wild rose, done by my mother many years ago, is an exquisite representation of the flower.” In addition, while the author includes plenty of excerpts from poems, she also mentions a lot of poems and songs without including the verses referenced.
In short, while the content is great, the presentation could be improved.

Some of My Favorite Lines
“There is tremendous satisfaction to be had from painting with words.”
“What the world needs now is for governments to ignore political point scoring and to roll up their sleeves and take chances. Their ultimate aim needs to be to save this planet for our children, their children and their children's children. And to save it in all its glory.”
“Sometimes the water spilled over onto the tracks and roads and, as we pedalled through it all, we were marbled with mud.”

About the Author
Susan Crow
Susan Crow grew up in the Isle of Axholme, which inspired the Crowvus best-seller, Child of the Isle. She has a deep love of nature which is apparent in all her writing from the poems she has had published in various anthologies, to her 2020 release, Child of the Earth.
Susan released Rosie Jane and the Swodgerump as part of the John O’Groats Book Festival. This story was written and inspired by raising her six children in Orkney. After moving to England for a while, Susan finally returned to North Scotland in 2009, and continues to write her monthly blogs, What’s It Like Up There?.
Her latest book, Child of the Earth, is a nature companion, drawn from her own experiences throughout her life. It provides a colourful telling of Susan’s encounters with nature, told with a style which makes it accessible to all readers.

Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon/B&N gift card.

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Friday, May 15, 2020

"Homeschooling and Working" by L. M. Preston

REVIEW and EXCERPT
Homeschooling and Working
While Shaping Amazing Learners
by L. M. Preston

Homeschooling and Working While Shaping Amazing Learners

Homeschooling and Working While Shaping Amazing Learners by L. M. Preston is currently on tour with RABT Book Tours & PR. The tour stops here today for my review and an excerpt. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
Homeschooling and Working While Shaping Amazing Learners is a nuts to bolts guide for working parents who want to groom exceptional learners through the flexibility of homeschooling. Learn to juggle working and homeschooling your kids while maintaining your sanity. Also, use aspects of homeschooling for after-schooling when traditional school isn’t working. Single parents are given options for executing homeschooling or after schooling methods that work in practical bits for the busy parent. Learn how to take your child from an average student to an exceptional student by exploring the possibilities shown in the section on acceleration of learning. From pre-K to Homeschooling College, open your eyes to the many options in flexibility this approach to learning can give. You can homeschool and work to shape amazing learners by exploring the possibilities.

Book Video

Excerpt
The first and foremost expectation and goal of homeschooling and working should be to build a close and loving relationship with your child. Don’t ever let the educating of your child get in the way of that. Remembering, as long as they are growing to perform well in their core courses or anchor courses all the rest will fall in place.
Before diving into homeschooling, being realistic is the first step to managing your expectations. Sometimes through aiming in the middle, you are pleasantly surprised when you and your children exceed them.
In order to start from a good place, create a list of your bottom line goals for the school year and build your mindset to be happy that at the very least you’ve met them.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“Wow! Until I read this book, I never considered how important the homeschooling format is to the homeschooled child, other siblings, and the parents. Homeschooling and Working While Raising Amazing Learners is so well thought out and organized that I can see why LM's children are so accomplished.” ~ MeandMibooks
“Words cant possibly express how much of a satisfied customer I am. This book gives many options on ways to homeschool effectively while working and enjoying your family.” ~ Tericka
“Great book! EXTREMELY helpful on this scary, yet exciting journey of homeschooling for the first time.” ~ Crystal K
“Read this in one sitting last night. It's just what I needed as I prepare to start my first year of homeschooling. I work from home and was super worried that I would struggle to work and be the homeschool leader my kids need me to be. This gave me so much confidence and helped me build a path forward. Thank you so much for this!” ~ Britney
“The things I liked about this resource include the practical approach. It is easy to read. A lot of time and information is given on the preparation portion of this book. Developing schedules, considerations to include, like the child’s learning style, curriculum requirements, length of children’s attention and so very much more. It is very comprehensive and presented in a logical manner.” ~ Suzanne Hare


My Review

This book is a “guide for working parents who want to groom exceptional learners through the flexibility of homeschooling.” In fact, it’s the book the author wishes she had when she began her homeschooling journey. The book is organized into four sections: preparing for homeschooling (things to consider before you begin), the day-to-day operation of your home school, accelerating your child’s learning, and maintaining your sanity throughout the process. The author covers practical and emotional considerations for your child as well as yourself, the importance of play and socialization, issues of boundaries and discipline, the distinction between home and school at home, fostering a love of learning, and maintaining your mental health. The Appendix contains schedule templates for all grade levels, weekly curriculum plans, and lists of curriculum options. Working in the field of education support, I found the list of websites (with handy hyperlinks in the ebook version) under Appendix H and Appendix I to be especially helpful.
One of the key takeaways is that it is important to separate your roles as parent and teacher. You also need to understand your child(ren) in order to present them with a curriculum that suits their personality, their learning style, and your time constraints. If read cover to cover, the book is a bit repetitive. However, this becomes useful when you need to re-read certain sections later. There are numerous editing errors and poorly phrased sentences in the edition I read. Hyperlinks to chapters and appendices referenced in the text would also be useful in the ebook version.
This book isn’t only for homeschooling families who work; it is an invaluable resource for any parent or educational staff interested in the education of the child(ren) under their care.


About the Author
L. M. Preston

L. M. Preston is an author, engineer, former college professor, and working mother who has been married for over twenty-five years. She homeschooled three of her four children from elementary school and beyond while she and her husband worked outside their home. Three of her kids graduated with degrees by the age of 17 years old.

Freeebie
Enroll in the author’s FREE mini-course today. “Kickstart Homeschooling While Working” gives an overview of homeschooling and after schooling to reveal how to make it a reality as a working parent.


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Friday, May 8, 2020

"How to Quit Your Crush" by Amy Fellner Dominy


REVIEW and GIVEAWAY
How to Quit Your Crush
by Amy Fellner Dominy

How to Quit Your Crush by Amy Fellner Dominy

How to Quit Your Crush by Amy Fellner Dominy is currently on tour with Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
Mai Senn knows Anthony Adams is no good for her – no matter how hard she might crush on him. She’s valedictorian; he’s a surf bum. She’s got plans, he’s got his art. Complete opposites in every way. Vinegar and baking soda, they once joked. A chemical reaction that bubbled.
Yeah, they bubbled. Maybe still do.
Good thing Anthony’s got the perfect plan: two weeks to prove just how not good they are together. Whoever can come up with the worst date - something the other will seriously hate, proving how incompatible they truly are - wins.
Like taking a snake-phobe to the Reptile House at the zoo (his idea).
Or a cooking class where they don’t even get to eat the food (her idea).
It’s all about the competition, and it’s meant to help them finally crush their crushes. But it wasn’t supposed to be so hot. Or so fun. And when Mai’s future becomes at stake, will she be able to do the right thing and quit Anthony forever?


Excerpt
“If I start taking off my clothes, stop me.”
Josie pauses with her hand on the doorknob of Jason’s house. Through the heavy wood door, I can hear the thrum of music and the loud chatter and laughter of our graduation party in progress. A rager. I think that’s the correct terminology. I’ve never been to one myself.
“Are you planning to take off your clothes?” Josie looks over my outfit. Crisp, sleeveless black button-down tunic with satin trim. Black leggings. Gray booties.
“No, but I’ve never had alcohol before.”
“How much are you planning to drink?”
Jason’s party is officially alcohol-free, but that won’t stop kids from bringing it in. Apparently, the students of Cholla High, while not known for high test scores, are geniuses at sneaking in booze.
“Enough to feel it,” I say, “but not enough to kill any brain cells. I need them all for college.”
“I’m pretty sure you’d have to kill a lot of brain cells before you started peeling off clothes.” Josie wipes at the corner of my mouth. “Lipstick.”
She pins me with a suspicious look. I never wear makeup, not even lipstick. With one exception. Her gaze says she knows that, and she’s wondering why I’m wearing it tonight. I bought the lipstick this past semester during a momentary blip of recklessness. How else to explain it?
Explain him. Anthony Adams.
“It’s in honor of graduation. That’s all.” Josie Walters, Best Friend in the Knowable World, was against my crush from the start. Of course, she hated baseball players with a passion. Now she’s madly in love with one.
She pushes open the door. Memories greet me along with a wall of sound. We were here two months ago to watch a baseball game. But really it was so I could stalk my crush.
“I’m not getting drunk, either,” Josie says. “I’m grossed out by the idea of vomit in my hair.”
“So we agree. No undressing and no puking.”
“We could stand on a table, though,” she says brightly. “Do a sexy dance.”
“Do we know any sexy dances?”
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“The witty banter pulled my spirits up so many times during this Quarantine. I absolutely encourage everyone to read this book. All the stars and then some!” ~ Susan's Reviews
“Mai and Anthony are two main characters that the reader will immediately resonate with and will have to devote some time to sit down and finish the book in one sitting - it's just that good. Highly recommend.” ~ Victoria
“I was immediately pulled in and fell in love with Mai and Anthony. My heart was broken and healed over many times throughout their story. This book was too short, I want more! I absolutely recommend this book!” ~ Readingmypages, Catherine
“Once I got hooked, it was impossible to put it down until I was done with the last page. Give it a try and you'll not regret it. 100% recommended.” ~ Johanna
“I utterly adored How to Quit Your Crush. It was full of sweet, romantic moments with a little humor and drama mixed in. The perfect YA read.” ~ Lozzie


My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.

School valedictorian Mai has a crush on baseball player Anthony, a match that makes no sense. But, then again, “crushes aren’t sensible.” In fact, the two of them are opposites. As Anthony says, “we have almost nothing in common - from the way we were brought up to the way we want to live our lives.” Nevertheless, when Anthony runs into Mai over spring break, she “woke something up in me. Made me feel human again.” When school goes back, Mai comes to her senses and breaks it off, even though (or especially because) she is still attracted to him. Anthony volunteers for a program Mai is attending because he figures that “I just need to spend more time with you, and all the ways we’re different are going to start bugging me.” Mai and Anthony decide that a two-week fling is just what they need to get over each other. So, they begin “planning dates … that we’ll love and the other person will hate.” Hmm, I wonder how that will work out for them.
The story is told alternately by Mai and Anthony, who are both beautifully flawed, totally likable and, in fact, perfect for each other. This book is cute, humorous, romantic, and full of baseball references. What’s not to love?

Some of My Favorite Lines
“She once complained that my kisses made her stupid. I loved that.”
“There are no promises in life. You have to live for the day and quit dreaming about tomorrow.”
“My heart might be broken, but it still aches.”
“You were so busy going through the motions, so worried about what came next, you never saw what was going on around you.”
“I speak around a heart-shaped lump in my throat.”
“You lose so much more than the person, you know? You lose the life you would’ve had.”

About the Author
Amy Fellner Dominy
Amy grew up loving to read and figured out at an early age that books were magical and necessary. She started submitting her own stories to be published when she was thirteen. Amy is now the award-winning author of nine books spanning young adult, middle grade, and picture books. Titles for Entangled include Announcing Trouble and the companion novel, How to Quit YourCrush. Amy lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband and a puppy who is training them.


Giveaway
Enter the giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card or one of two ebook copies of Announcing Trouble by Amy Fellner Dominy.


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