Showing posts with label review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label review. Show all posts

Friday, August 10, 2018

"Infamous" by Allison Stowe

EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Infamous
by Allison Stowe

Infamous by Allison Stowe

Infamous by Allison Stowe is currently on tour with Xpresso Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
Enter the world of this YA thriller, where nothing is ever quite as it seems…
It’s been five years since the high profile kidnapping case which turned Cassie Waterson’s life upside down. The aftermath led her to become a household name – for months, she was splashed across TV screens, appeared in newspaper headlines, and featured in the furtive whispers of the residents of her hometown. But why? She hadn’t done anything significant. In fact, she’d done nothing at all; merely watched, motionless, as a shadowy figure lifted her baby sister off her feet, and bundled her into the back of a station wagon.
That single moment soon became Cassie Waterson’s life. Agonised by guilt, confused by the lack of punishment, scrutinized by the media circus… everyone claims to know Cassie now, but nobody does at all. The face she puts on for cameras, the voice she fakes for the talk shows… none of that is the reality behind the mask. Cassie is not the strong, confident girl who glares with certainty from the screen. Cassie doesn’t have her assuredness or her optimism about her sister coming home. Cassie is someone else entirely, and the only person who knows is the one person she must avoid… at all costs.
Every story has two sides, and the flipside of Cassie Waterson is Alexis Aldridge. Unknown, anonymous, kept hidden from the world by her fearful parents … Alexis is a conundrum, wrapped in darkness. While she and Cassie lead opposite lives, they both long for the one thing they miss: a sense of normalcy, and the freedom to be themselves.
Infamous is an unmissable YA mystery novel which will take you on twist after turn, and which provides suspense and surprises on every page.

Excerpt
Her father wasn’t facing her anymore. He was searching the lawn. Something clicked. Through Cassie’s blurred vision, she saw his eyes transform as the knowledge sunk in.
“Where’s your sister?” he asked.
That was it. She felt the truth finally make its way from her heart to her head. Her face contorted as she exploded into a crying fit. She couldn’t answer.
“Cassie!” he barked. “Where is she?”
By now he had stomped over and placed a firm hand on her shoulder. He shook her, but Cassie was trembling anyway, rendering his efforts to make eye contact useless.
She tried to speak but couldn’t; her sobs were blocking the airway to her lungs. She inhaled sharply.
“A lady came,” she started, sobbing again. “She took her. She had Sophie and I tried to stop her but she was too fast and then she was gone.” She got the words out in one breath, allowing her to give in to the tears once more.
After a moment of silence, her father sprinted in the direction of that corner, where Cassie had been hallucinating her sister’s return. He paused at the side entry gate, still braced to run. His head darted in all directions, looking for the car or a clue or his little girl, safely abandoned on the side of the road. Meanwhile, Cassie’s mother froze. Hours of sun bed-induced tanning seemed to reverse in seconds. Cassie had never seen her so lifeless. Her mouth hung open, jaw slightly shuddering as though grasping for words.
“Elizabeth! The police station!”
The words drew Cassie’s gaze back to her father. From the corner of her eye, she saw him dart off again, this time disappearing, just like that station wagon before him.
Cassie knew right then that her life before that moment would be irrelevant. She had been strolling down a path of life that ended with a “Do Not Enter” sign. She had no choice but to change direction, and it would lead her somewhere far away from that golden destination that she’d originally been headed.
Without washing her mascara-stained cheeks, her mother marched into the family SUV and set off for the police station. The next morning, the journalists arrived asking for pictures of Sophie. Cassie’s father greeted them. She remembered watching from behind the staircase railing as he slouched through the archway, from the foyer to the living room. He didn’t turn on the lights. He just stared at the photographs on the hand-carved mantle while Cassie wondered why he preferred the dark. After six full minutes, he chose one. Then he replanted it facedown on the surface and walked away.
So Cassie hunted through scores of albums, while her father lay paralysed in bed and her mother sat at the dining room table, with that same lifeless expression and a never-empty glass of wine. By afternoon, the local news had called for an interview. It took place on the porch, and Elizabeth was otherwise engaged. Ray, on the other hand, made it to the front door, but one glance of the yard sent him straight back into his ‘living dead’ state. He looked to Cassie, his body awkward and eyes uncertain. She told him she could talk to the camera people, and a moment later he offered a slow nod. He’d be just inside, he said. By evening, the story had caught the attention of national news carriers, and Cassie’s picture was being shown alongside her lost sister’s on television screens across North America.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“Amazing book. Very suspenseful. Leaves you on cliffhangers a ton, which makes the book more exciting. Really good read. Recommended.” ~ jak3m3ns
“I really enjoyed Infamous. It is well written and shows the horrors that a family can face when something happens to their child. Overall, Infamous is a solid mystery that will keep you guessing up until the very end. Which the ending also has an additional twist I was really surprised about and in a way was very satisfying.” ~ R.R.
“I enjoyed this book tremendously. I couldn't put it down except for the part where I had to take a break because I couldn't see the page for my tears. I look forward to reading more by this author!” ~ Brittany Strickland Dunn
“I thought that this book was a very interesting read! I actually really enjoyed that it was set up as a dual-perspective YA because it gave you more information on both sides plus we were able to explore two countries - Canada and England!” ~ Jackie
“I really loved Infamous. The story is different; it's not recycled material we've seen over and over again. It goes with our society's obsession with crimes, media and (mis)information. And, most of all, it digs deep into characters that are wonderful to read. Sometimes funny, sometimes dramatic, the writing is solid from beginning to end.” ~ E

About the Author
Allison Stowe
Allison Stowe is the author of the YA novel, Infamous. Raised in a generic Toronto suburb, Allison spent her childhood posting fan fiction online in hopes of influencing The WB’s writing rooms. She wrote her first novel at age 13. It was based on her favorite TV show, and upon submission, she learned of copyright law.
In 2010, she graduated with a BA (Hons) in Journalism from Ryerson University, where she was the Managing Editor of the online newspaper. During her brief journalistic career, Allison wrote for Chatelaine magazine and TV Guide Canada (essentially achieving a life dream). Shortly after graduation, she relocated to Brighton, UK, and refocused her attention on her second passion – helping young people.
While studying for her MSc in Educational Psychology at UCL, Allison wrote Infamous as a way to fulfill her instinct to keep writing. When she isn’t writing about the lives of young adults, or watching prime-time teen dramas, Allison mentors university students who’ve been diagnosed with mental health issues. She lives in London, UK, with her fluffy ginger cat, Sawyer. Infamous is her debut novel.

Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of five signed copies of Infamous by Allison Stowe (open internationally).

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Thursday, August 9, 2018

"Maya Mysun and the World That Does Not Exist" by PM Perry

INTERVIEW and EXCERPT
Maya Mysun and the World That Does Not Exist
by PM Perry

Maya Mysun and the World That Does Not Exist by PM Perry

Author PM Perry stops by today for an interview and to share an excerpt from his new children’s book, Maya Mysun and the World That Does Not Exist. Get your copy ON SALE for only $0.99 (save $2.00) to 18 August.

Description
Maya Mysun is a dreamer; tormented by the vision of the wraith & the event she witnessed, something she cannot reveal to anyone not even her protective twin, Jack.
Their thirteenth birthday was supposed to be the best one yet but her troubles were just beginning. An unexplainable event forces the twins to flee their home in search for a mystical monk, the protector of the world that does not exist; the world of magic.
All her life Maya had dreamt of magic but it was not supposed to be like this. On a perilous night the twins are forced to race across London, desperately trying to stay one step ahead of something dark.
Along the way they meet a rebellious runaway with an agenda of his own, discover an underground castle & a mysterious monastery with a hidden history & powerful artifacts.
Maya is scared for there's panic in magical world but determined to unravel the event that forced her to leave home; she bravely ventures deeper into a world filled with unheard of mythical beasts & challenges age-old gatekeepers. But in doing so she comes in contact with an evil long thought to be destroyed.
Discover a world of ancient prophecies & experience the beginning of a rampant adventure with twists that keep on building.

Book Video


Excerpt
Maya woke abruptly on a clear night in London.
‘Tommy that felt real, bewitchingly real,’ she whispered to her pet tortoise in his vivarium across the window. Fully awake, she hugged her soft duvet. ‘I was in these dark woods and I saw a portal appear; you know, a doorway to another world. It had an intense blue light with lightning sprouting from its edges, and it tore the woods before me. Don’t worry, nothing happened to the woods; it was like a tear in a photograph, only it was a tear in the air. Through the tear I saw a chamber with a glowing fireplace. And then a wizard walked through!’
Vivid dreams were normal for Maya, but this felt like something else. Rubbing the goosebumps on her arms, she quietly sat up and swept her brown fringe back before leaning across to pluck Tommy from his world. Excited and frightened, she cuddled the small creature and looked through the gap between the curtains behind her to see if it was still night. Her heart sank to the bottom of her stomach when she saw the otherworldly grey sky. An ungodly hour, she thought, recalling what she’d read. It was a period of uncertainty, neither day nor night, when the dark arts were at their strongest.
‘I’ve still got some time before our big day!’ She sighed, giving Tommy another embrace before returning him to his pebbles. Maya and Jack, her not so-identical twin, were about to celebrate their thirteenth birthday. But that wasn’t for a couple of hours, so she snuggled down with thoughts of presents floating in her mind. Comfortable, she gazed up at the glowing stars stuck on her ceiling and gave a quick glance to her fluffy toys before closing her eyes. It wasn’t long before images of fantasy, of wizards, kings and magic rose in her mind. The images returned like a flash flood: slow at first, then quickening until she was swept into another world.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“... one of the best fantasy novels I've read in a long time.”
“... recommend this to any reader that enjoyed the Harry Potter books.”
“... story of talking animals and magic was not only enchanting but the best book of its kind since The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.”
“Reminded me in some way of Johnny Quest from my childhood.”
“... a great gift to a teenager who loves fantasy adventure.”
“...  a clean read for kids!”
“... Entertaining story for young and the not so young.”

Interview With the Author
Author PM Perry joins me today for a quick interview about his new book, Maya Mysun and the World That Does Not Exist.
For what age group do you recommend your book?
I recommend this book for children aged 9 years and upwards.
What sparked the idea for this book?
My inspiration was my daughter and the idea to have a girl as the main character.
So, which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?
The idea for the novel came first, but it was always going to have a female lead.
What was the hardest part to write in this book?
I found it hardest to write the action sequences.
How do you hope this book affects its readers?
I hope it helps my young readers become stronger and overcome their weaknesses and fears.
How long did it take you to write this book?
Altogether, it took me about one and a half years to write the book.
What is your writing routine?
I took time off from work and wrote daily as a routine.
How did you get your book published?
I self-published my book via Amazon.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Not so much advice, as a warning: it’s a marathon!
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I enjoy spending time with my family when I’m not writing.
What does your family think of your writing?
They like it! Especially my daughter who now has a book written especially for her.
Did you like to read when you were a child?
I enjoyed reading The Famous Five series and similar novels.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I first realized I wanted to be a writer about ten years ago.
Did your childhood experiences influence your writing?
I suppose the main character’s journey reflects my own, to some extent.
Which writers have influenced you the most?
I have been influenced by writers such as J. K. Rowling and Stephen King.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I’ve heard from a few - they seem to like the story. I have a lot of great reviews!
What can we look forward to from you in the future?
I hope to develop the story further by adding more books to the series in the future.
Thanks so much for stopping by today! I’ll share my review with our readers once I get the chance to read your book.


About the Author
PM Perry
PM Perry is an aspiring new author who lives and works in London, where he divides his time between writing, being an entrepreneur, and spending time with his family. Surprisingly he writes both fiction and non-fiction books. Maya Mysun and the World That Does Not Exist is his first novel and is a children's magical adventure based in London.
Until recently, PM Perry was happy within his comfort zone working as a successful manager. An unexpected change shook him from the comfort zone and empowered him to author a book and tick off one of the items on his bucket list.
Writing has enabled him to discover many friends around the globe: all highly motivated and wise individuals and all chasing their dreams. Writing has also allowed him to come out of his shell and live life by undertaking new ventures - in other words, chase his dreams. Chase your dreams, try the impossible and live a little.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

"See You Soon, Afton" by Brent Jones

REVIEW and EXCERPT
See You Soon, Afton
(Afton Morrison Book 2)
by Brent Jones

See You Soon, Afton (Afton Morrison Book 2) by Brent Jones

Author Brent Jones stops by today to share an excerpt from his latest book, See You Soon, Afton. You can also read my review. This is the second book in his Afton Morrison serial thriller. Also available: Go Home, Afton (ON SALE for $0.99; read my blog post). Available for pre-order: Nice Try, Afton, Time’s Up, Afton, and The Afton Morrison Series (Books 1-4).


For more books by this author, please check out my blog post on The Fifteenth of June and my blog post on Fender.

Description
Somebody is watching. Somebody is always watching.
A teenage girl in Wakefield has been abducted, and tracking her down not only tests Afton's moral limits, but threatens her freedom and her life.
Suspected of murder by local police, and under the watch of a menacing figure in the shadows, Afton's search and rescue effort unravels dark secrets from her own past. Familial secrets her mother took to the grave, more than a decade ago.
See You Soon, Afton is the second of four parts in a new serial thriller by author Brent Jones. Packed with grit and action, the Afton Morrison series delves into a world of moral ambiguity, delivering audiences an unlikely heroine in the form of a disturbed vigilante murderess.

Excerpt
I’d spent the better part of the last ten years determined to commit murder. And that meant that someday, I might find myself being interrogated by authorities. I’d practiced giving a convincing denial in the mirror at least a thousand times. But as it turned out, there’d been no need to rehearse. I really hadn’t killed Kenneth Pritchard, but that didn’t stop two uniformed officers from showing up at my apartment door a couple of days later. It was never a question of if they’d come knocking, but when. I wish, however, that they’d given me a chance to finish my breakfast. What a waste of fresh peach slices.
I’m not sure what I expected, to be honest, after arriving at the police station. I’d pictured a large interrogation room, with walls of stone, or concrete blocks, perhaps. Its temperature would be on the frigid side, and there would be an echo whenever somebody would speak. There would be a table in the center of the room, too. Long, rectangular, its surface a cold brushed steel. There would be two detectives, both dressed in expensive suits, except one of them would have his tie loosened, jacket off, and sleeves rolled up. He’d pace the room, pausing every so often to loom over me, his face a few inches from mine. And when I would profess my innocence, he’d pound his fists on the table, shouting about how I was dead to rights. There’d be a huge mirror, too, and a whole panel of interested parties on the other side, keen to dissect my statements and reactions.
But this was Wakefield, a town of no more than ten thousand. And its police force, men that had allowed Kenneth to carry on raping women with impunity, turned out to be nothing like what I’d seen in movies. I was seated in a small corner office, no bigger than five by eight feet, and sweltering hot. It was saturated with fluorescent lighting, humming overhead. The walls were a taupe color that might have been stylish decades ago, before I’d been born. There was no mirror, either. Just four walls, a door, a wooden table with chips and uneven legs, and a bumbling idiot sitting across from me.
I’d seen this nut sack on television last Wednesday night. I’d suspected then that he was the chief of police, or something like that, and it turned out, I had been right. Except today he didn’t sport a uniform with extra decorations and frills. He wore a dark polo shirt, much too small, hugging a massive gut that flopped onto his thighs. Casual attire on Saturdays, I guess. Poking out the top of his shirt was a round head. Red, nearing purple, beaded with sweat, and home to an unkempt gray mustache. Whatever scent he was wearing reminded me of gingerbread, which made it that much harder to take him seriously.
“You’re telling me, you’ve never met Kenneth Pritchard before? You’ve got no idea who he is?”
“I’ve never met him, no.” Does stalking count? “And I don’t think I’ve ever seen him, either, at least not until you, ah— wait, sorry, what did you say your name was?”
“Wallace Banks.”
I continued, but not before letting half a second of silence elapse, just to demonstrate that my answer hadn’t been premeditated. “Right, ah, Chief Banks. Well, I’d never seen him until, ah, I think it was you, sir, that I saw release him from custody on TV.”
“You sure about that?”
I concentrated on keeping my breathing neutral, and made sure not to touch my face. It wasn’t like me to fidget, but just to be safe, I kept my hands folded on my lap. “Yeah, I’m sure.”
He gave a single shallow bob of his head before turning his attention to a manila folder, and I had a feeling I knew what he was about to show me. He slid me a photograph, and I made every effort to keep the muscles in my face at ease. He’d be watching my reaction, of course. It was difficult to do, though, because I was excited to return to Kenneth’s bedroom, the scene of the crime. Thrilled, aroused even. I almost wished he’d shown me a photo of Kenneth himself, dead, throat gouged and raw and bloodied. But instead, it was a high-resolution photograph of the bedroom wall, featuring the words that had come to haunt me: GO HOME AFTON.

Praise for the Book
“When I finished this book I was freaking out!! I don’t even think I could have formed complete sentences to write my review! This book!!! It was EVEN BETTER than the first book, which was awesome!!! If you haven’t started this series, you really need to!!” ~ ~ Donna
“Woah! I read this book in one day and literally couldn’t put it down. The first Afton book was a warm up for the mystery, intrigue, and action in this second part of the series. […] I loved the suspense of it all and I’m excited to see how Afton fixes this mess in the next book.” ~ Andrea Jones
“Holy smokes! Book 2 literally sets the plot on fire with the dark and desperate attempt by Afton to find and save little Kim. […] This series is recommended for those who enjoy a fast, spicy adult thriller mix of crime, mystery, action, and suspense.” ~ Stanley McShane
“It’s hard to put this book down. But you don’t need to. This short novella will have you hooked, and in no time you’ll be left perching on the edge of your seat … waiting for Part 3.” ~ David H
“Afton cracks me up. She’s a smart ass librarian and I love her. […] I love how Brent Jones writes this character. Sure she has a foul mouth and she has an urge to kill people, but only people who deserve it. That’s logical to me, lol.” ~ Amanda, Write Where I Read

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


By Lynda Dickson
With Kenneth out of the way, Afton sets her sights on The Man in Shadows, who has kidnapped Kim and is now taunting Afton. What does he want? And what is the big secret from Afton’s past?
The short, punchy chapters keep you reading, and the author maintains a brisk pace to ramp up the suspense. We find out more about Afton’s past and the origin story of her alter-ego Animus. While Animus doesn’t have as great a presence in this installment, it’s nice to see that Afton is no longer a loner but now has the support of her brother Chris, his girlfriend Tia, reporter Jared, and even library volunteer Kim.
Be warned, this is a serial novel, and you will have to read the rest of the series to get the complete story. I’m looking forward to finding out how Afton gets out of the situation she finds herself in at the end of this book.
Warnings: coarse language, sexual references, graphic violence.

Some of My Favorite Lines
“Ever the white knight. A single kiss on the cheek, and now he’s my sworn fucking protector.”
“He was trying so damned hard to be gallant, and I couldn’t decide if I liked it or not.”
“He was an asshole, sure, but he didn’t deserve to be murdered, at least not according to the standards I’d set for myself.”
“I responded with the flattest tone and blankest stare I manage. Resting bitch face, I believe it’s called.”

About the Author
Brent Jones
From bad checks to bathroom graffiti, Brent Jones has always been drawn to writing. He won a national creative writing competition at the age of fourteen, although he can’t recall what the story was about. Seventeen years later, he gave up his career to pursue creative writing full-time.
Jones writes from his home in Fort Erie, Canada. He’s happily married, a bearded cyclist, a mediocre guitarist, and the proud owner of two dogs with a God complex.


Freebie
Sign up for the author’s newsletter and receive a FREE copy of his short story The Matchbook.

The Matchbook by Brent Jones

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