Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Reveal: Beneath the Lighthouse by Julieanne Lynch

by Julieanne Lynch

YA Horror


Sixteen-year-old Jamie McGuiness’s sister is dead. Sinking into a deep depression, he frequents the lighthouse where her body was discovered, unaware of the sinister forces surrounding him.
When an angry spirit latches onto Jamie, he’s led down a dark and twisted path, one that uncovers old family secrets, destroying everything Jamie ever believed in.
Caught between the world of the living and the vengeful dead, Jamie fights the pull of the other side. It’s up to Jamie to settle old scores or no one will rest in peace—but, first, he has to survive.

And here she is. . .
Julieanne Lynch is an author of urban fantasy and contemporary fiction for both adults and teens. Julieanne lives in Northern Ireland, with her husband and five children, where she works on novels full-time. Before becoming a writer, she considered a few different career paths, a rock star being one of them. She studied English Literature and Creative Writing at The Open University and considered journalism as a career path. However, she decided writing was the way for her and is thankful for each day she lives her dream.
Julieanne is represented by Italia Gandolfo of Gandolfo Helin & Fountain Literary Management, and is both traditionally and independently published.


Noblebright Fantasy and More with Giveaway

Heroes and Swords: A Noblebright Fantasy Collection

Do you know about Noblebright Fantasy? 

 Noblebright Fantasy refers to stories in which the main motivation of the characters is an altruistic proposal or quest. The world in which they live upholds hope and the possibility of better.

Noblebright stories present characters that choose to act with kindness and honor, and are rewarded for their good qualities and actions. In a Noblebright Fantasy, the outlook of the story is a positive one and the world presented, although not perfect, is beautiful and valuable in the eyes of the characters.

Noblebright Fantasy in other media. 

Although the Noblebright concept made its debut within the gaming community, as a counterpart for the “Grimdark” denomination of the popular game WarHammer 40,000, its popularity has grown ever since, and given way for people to start applying it through other media.


 Literature, cinema, television, and comic books and animation are now being judged under this light, and the traits of Noblebright Fantasy are appearing in each of these spheres. Today we'll dedicate the topic to what is possibly the greatest provider of Noblebright pieces in the world: The Walt Disney Company.

Noblebright Disney Edition: The building of a brand.

Image result for disney 

 At this point in time, we all know that Disney movies are not just for kids anymore. Their purchase of Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm Ltd. over the last decade have helped solidify this certainty. Disney is in the business for the long run.  However, interestingly enough, the company has kept true to their brand, producing movies that, at their core, are vastly similar to the simple ideals brought forth by their founder so many decades ago. 

  Image result for disney 

 Disney has established their "family brand" stamp in the market and refuses to deviate from it, successfully, I must add, considering the way the company keeps bringing blockbuster after blockbuster to the big screens. Despite extending to adult audiences, Disney stories keep being fun and energetic, with high doses of humor, likable characters and light and entertaining topics that can appeal to all ages.  They induce the audience to dream and take them on colorful, wonderful adventures in brand new worlds. Does that sound familiar?

Noblebright Disney Edition: Animation

Frozen Poster  Moana Poster  Brave Poster

Zootopia Poster

Animation is without a doubt Disney's crowning glory, and ever since their acquisition of 3D animation pioneers Pixar, it's no question that they are well settled in their throne. The Noblebright component is present in virtually every Disney animated movie, but the fantasy ones are specially remarkable. The heroes (or heroines) in Disney movies are always kind and showcased through their positive qualities, and especially in the last decade,  they have become more active in their roles as heroes and their pursuit of their altruistic goals.

Big Hero 6 Poster

Pixar's influence in Disney has made itself known by adding a brand new level of depth to the stories and upping the visual impact viewers can now expect from a Disney movie experience. The worlds have become richer and the characters more diverse, each with their own personality and traits, designed to appeal not only to the younger audiences but to the adults of the house as well. Still, the movies keep to the hopeful tone and important morals that the Disney brand has represented for years, and to the Noblebright component that one can always find at the core of every one of its movies.    

Noblebright Disney Edition: Live-Action

Pete's Dragon Poster  Maleficent Poster  Alice in Wonderland Poster

Cinderella PosterBeauty and the Beast Poster

Some could argue that right now Disney is at is most advantageous position ever. Not only are they capturing the hearts of children and youngsters with their animated masterpieces, but also capitalizing in the nostalgia of the parents and grandparents that grew up with their old classics of 20, 30 and 50 years in the past. A clear example of this are the live-action remakes that keep popping one after the other, and for which Disney shows no sign of slowing down. The old stories are being re-crafted and enlarged, adapted to newer expectations and modern interest, as well as to a grown up audience who expects some more development in their movies, compared to several decades ago. The result we get are dashing, moving portrayals filled with magic, wonder and the ability to touch the audience on a deeper level. The Noblebright traits that first appeared in Disney's animated classics are amped-up in their new re-makes, with characters acquiring more complex qualities and greater richness, and the worlds becoming so real you can almost touch their dream-like beauty.

Heroes and Swords: A Noblebright Fantasy Collection.

Heroes and Swords: A Noblebright Fantasy Collection 

Want some more Noblebright Fantasy? In the spirit of the classic fantasy of Tolkien, Terry Pratchett and Brandon Sanderson, authors of Noblebright Fantasy all around the world have come together in this E-book giveaway. With stories that are uplifting and full of hope, and heroes who strive for goodness and fight to save their worlds, Heroes and Swords will transport readers back to the glory of heroic fantasies, fabulous quests and characters full of charisma and courage.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Review: Swan Song by Charlotte Wilson

by Charlotte Wilson
Heaven Afire
YA Contemporary
224 pages

When iconic ballerina Beatrice Duvall died, a nation mourned – and a legacy was born. Sixteen years later, her daughter Ava comes to London to take part in a high-profile tribute to Beatrice, and to learn about the mother she never knew. 

There’s just one snag: the tribute is a ballet, Swan Lake. Which is infinitely painful for Ava, because she can’t dance. Won’t dance. Not since she quit the Royal Ballet School last year and walked away from everything that defined her. 

But this is London, colourful and crazy, and with actor Seb at her side, there’s so much to discover. Like Theatreland razzmatazz and rooftop picnics and flamingo parties. And a whole load of truths Ava never knew about her mother – and herself. 

When the time comes to take the stage, will Ava step out of the shadow cast by her mother’s pedestal? And who will be waiting for her there, in the bright lights? 

A coming-of-age novel about family and first love, in the city of hopes and dreams. 


A beautiful, heart-felt, tear jerking read.

Ava is the daughter of a ballet icon, who died at her birth. The father is loving but has struggled deeply with the loss the entire sixteen years of Ava's life. Ava tried to walk in her mother's footsteps—and she loves to dance—but decided to walk away from the Royal Ballet. Now, she returns to London to assist in a show, a tribute to her mother. Along the way, Ava hopes to find the mother she never knew, but walls are thick, especially those Ava built herself.

If you're ready to dive into a breath-taking London with all of its quirks, esteem, sights and beauty, this is a must read. The descriptions draw in constantly through the entire book, letting the reader breath, feel and experience the world around Ava in a poetic way. It was a treat to read this book just to dive into the world.

The gorgeous world building teams up with an emotional, dig-deep story. Ava comes to light in all of her strengths, hardships, loves, pain and aches. The character is extremely well laid out, and it's easy to crawl into her skin. At times, she comes across a little mature for sixteen, but she also hasn't exactly had a normal past. Her determination, despite the pain she keeps buried inside, is inspirational and it tears at the heart as she digs to discover what she missed and how to go on.

There is romance too. Seb, short for Sebastian, hits the first scenes with style and immediately lights the sparks for an interesting romance. He's got a character all of his own—sometimes mature but usually a ball of bouncing energy. The chemistry between the two comes across most of the book more as a friendship and that works nicely. While his interest holds all the wonderfulness a romance should, it was more difficult to feel it from her side. Perhaps because she was in a well of emotion in other areas.

A lovely, rounding off end makes the book complete. There is a side character which could have been built out more before the ending, but all in all, this book satisfies and then some. Anyone who loves the ballet scene, London, a touch of romance, and a girl who digs deep into emotions and really feels, is sure to love this one.


The Tube from Turnham Green is quiet, until we reach Earl’s Court, where it starts filling up. By the time we get to Victoria I’m in a scrum spilling out onto the platform. I find the Victoria Line platform and shoe-horn myself into a carriage; Seb would be proud of my elbow action.
At Oxford Circus I’m carried by a sea of shoppers up the escalators, across the foyer and up some steps to the street level. I’ve managed to come out the right exit, opposite the flagship Topshop. The massive store calls to me. Now that’s where to buy a dress for the tribute. Simple and trendy. I dread to think what Thisbe’s wardrobe department contact is going to make me. Something showbiz, I guess: long and loud and sparkly. Ugh.
But I don’t want to offend Thisbe, who’s called in a favour, apparently, to get me a dress sewn so quickly. So, with a sigh, I turn my back on Topshop and trudge down Argyll Street. When I see the Palladium, like a classical temple with massive columns, my mood lifts. At least I’m getting to visit one of London’s most historic theatres, where anyone who’s anyone has performed over the years, from Elvis Presley to Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra to Ella Fitzgerald, Elton to Adele – even The Muppets have taken to this stage. I wonder: will I get to stand on the stage?
Nope, is the answer. I don’t even see the auditorium. A security guard shows me from the foyer down into the underbelly of the theatre, to a small, windowless room made even smaller by its many contents: two dressmaker’s dummies, a hanging rail of costumes, shelves of fabric and haberdashery, and a desk for the sewing machine. I barely have time to make a mental comparison of this room and the wardrobe department at the Royal Opera House – in a big room overlooking the Piazza and flooded with light – before a girl springs out from behind one of the dummies and hugs me.
Hugs me?
Thankfully, it’s brief. She steps back and beams. I smile back automatically, and in a second I take her in: round, rosy face, electric-blue eyes, dark wavy hair. She’s a little older than me, maybe twenty, and wearing stylish jeans and a really unusual shirt covered with little embroidered seahorses.
“You’re Cara Cavendish?” I say, daring to hope that maybe my dress won’t end up being horrendously glitzy after all.
“The one and only,” she says cheerfully. “And you’re Ava-who-needs-a-dress. Thisbe explained. Sit, sit…” She pulls out a little stool from under the desk and I perch on it.
Cara walks around me in a circle, eying me up and down. “Easy-peasy,” she declares. “Dancers’ forms are so simple to dress.”
“Oh,” I say. “I’m not a dancer.”
She completes her circuit and leans on the desk, looking curiously at me. “But you’re Beatrice Duvall’s daughter,” she says.
The name gives me a jolt, but I manage to reply evenly: “That doesn’t make me a dancer.”
“’Course not,” says Cara. “I mean, my mum was an architect, and look at me! But I heard you were training to be a dancer like your mother. With the Royal Ballet.”
“I was. I… stopped.”
“Oh. Why was that then?”
I frown at Cara. She smiles back at me.
“Did Thisbe put you up to this?” I ask.
“Up to what?”
“All the questions.”
“Oh, no. That’s just me. My brother’s always telling me I’m blunt, because I don’t go in for all that evasive British crap – ignoring the elephant in the room. Better to lay it all out there and say, ‘My mum’s dead, and it sucks.’ You know?”
“Not really,” I reply honestly. I’ve never said those words in my life.
Cara nods like I’ve said something profound. Then, to my relief, she claps her hands and says, “Let’s talk dresses.”
After a quick-fire round of questions designed to establish my style, Cara hands me a scrapbook in which she’s pasted cuttings, photos and drawings of formal dresses, and she talks me through cuts, lengths, necks, sleeves and fabrics. Somewhere around the midi dress page I begin to come undone.
“What is it?” she says.
“Nothing,” I say.
“Something,” she says. “You look like you’re about to have a panic attack. Is it claustrophobia? This room is a little dinky.”
“It’s not that. It’s...”
She waits expectantly. I gesture to the scrapbook.
“It’s just all a bit real, suddenly, looking at these dresses. I mean, I’ve got to wear one and stand on a stage at the Royal Opera House in front of people. Lots of people.”
“Ah,” she says. “Yeah, I’d be a wreck doing that. But you’ve performed on stage before, right?”
“Sure. Plenty of times. But this isn’t a performance. I have to be myself. I mean…”
“You mean you have to be your mother’s daughter. And your mother was the legendary Beatrice Duvall.”
Startled, I nod. She gets it. I don’t even know this girl, but she gets it.
“So,” Cara says, plucking the scrapbook off my lap and leafing through the pages, “what you need, besides the strength to get on that stage, is a really kick-ass dress. A dress that makes you feel tall and powerful and goddam beautiful, like nothing can touch you while you’re wearing it. Ah-ha. Here. This one. What do you think?”
The dress illustration jumps right off the page. It’s bold, it’s simple, it’s glamorous, it shouts “designer”: a strapless bodice with criss-crossing satin ribbons and a flowing skirt with chiffon overskirt ending just on the knee.
“Wow,” I say. “You can make that? In time?”
She grins. “Hell yeah.”
“And you think I can pull that off?”

Her grin widens. “Hell yeah.”

And here she is. . .

Once upon a time a little girl told her grandmother that when she grew up she wanted to be a writer. Or a lollipop lady. Or a fairy princess. ‘Write, Charlotte,’ her grandmother advised. So that’s what she did.

Thirty-odd years later, Charlotte writes the kind of books she loves to read: romances. She lives in a village of Greater Manchester with her husband and two children, and when she’s not reading or writing, you’ll find her walking someplace green, baking up a storm or embarking on a DIY project. She recently achieved a lifetime ambition of creating a home library for her ever-increasing collection of books. She pretends not to notice that the shelves are rather wonky.

Cover Reveal: A Monster Like Me by Pamela Sparkman

A Monster Like Me 
by Pamela Sparkman
Heart of Darkness, #2
YA Fantasy

SPRING 2018!!!

“I love the peculiar silence of shadows. They exist, but leave no mark.”
Zeph had been a child, thrust into a war that wasn’t his. When he was older, he discovered he had landed on the wrong side of everything.
He’d been fighting for sweet revenge, because of lies he’d believed—and those lies proved to be his ruin. Falling into despair, Zeph decides living is too painful. So, he writes his final act with poison and chooses to end his story.
But Fate has other plans for Zeph and when he finds himself in the hands of his enemies, he has to decide: Does he want to live? Or does he want to die?
Or maybe that choice is no longer his to make.
Ruled by shadows and armed with secrets he never intended to share, Zeph will be put through his toughest battle yet: the war within himself.
“He isn’t a lost cause. He’s just—lost.”
That’s what Arwyn believes. She sees the monster he has become, but what she also sees is someone worth fighting for. Armed with secrets of her own, she’s determined to help Zeph fight his demons, because there was more on the line than Zeph’s soul. So much more.
Revenge may be sweet. But redemption is sweeter. The question is, can Zeph find the boy he used to be, or will he always believe that no one could ever love—a monster like him.
“You are everything good. And I am everything children are afraid of.”

Sequel to:

And here she is. . .
Pamela Sparkman grew up in Alabama. She became an avid reader at a young age. The written word has always fascinated her and she wrote her first short story while still in elementary school. Inspiration for her stories always begins with a song. She believes music is the pulse of life and books are the heart of it.
When she isn’t writing, however, she’s spending time with her family and taking one day at a time. 


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Review: Shadow Weaver by MarcyKate Connolly

Shadow Weaver, Book One
by MarcyKate Connolly
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Middle Grade Fantasy

JANUARY 2017!!!

The shadows that surround us aren’t always as they seem…

Emmeline has grown up with a gift. Since the time she was a baby she has been able to control shadows. And her only friend and companion is her own shadow, Dar.

Disaster strikes when a noble family visits their home and offers to take Emmeline away and cure her of magic. Desperate not to lose her shadows, she turns to Dar who proposes a deal: Dar will change the noble’s mind, if Emmeline will help her become flesh as she once was. Emmeline agrees but the next morning the man in charge is in a coma and all that the witness saw was a long shadow with no one nearby to cast it. Scared to face punishment, Emmeline and Dar run away.

With the noble’s guards on her trail, Emmeline’s only hope of clearing her name is to escape capture and perform the ritual that will set Dar free. But Emmeline’s not sure she can trust Dar anymore, and it’s hard to keep secrets from someone who can never leave your side.

The first in a dark middle-grade fantasy duology, MarcyKate Connolly weaves a tale filled with shadows, danger, and magic that has the feel of a new classic.


Emmeline is a little different than most girls—she can communicate with shadows. Her best friend, Dar, happens to be a shadow too. Odd thing is, most shadows don't talk and form friendships. Dar loves to play tricks on people, which gets Emmeline into trouble. Especially when a noble comes to take her away, and her parents allow it. Not only is Emmeline sure the nobles are up to no good, but she begins to doubt that she can trust her best friend.

This is a lovely middle grade read. There's tons of fantasy, danger, mystery and lots of secrets to unveil. And at the center of it all is Emmeline, a girl who doesn't really fit in and has a heart of gold. The tale grabs from the first page, sucking in with the mystery surrounding Emmeline and her shadow. The danger constantly hangs like a thick fog, growing in tension as the plot progresses. While some of the evil is clear, there's enough mystery around Dar to bring unease. Even during the first pages, Dar sits on a difficult edge. She's somewhat sympathetic because she does care for Emmeline and is her only friend. But even young readers will have the first threads of doubt glide in at Dar's pranks.

There's a lot to enjoy in these pages, and it definitely holds everything it needs for a fast paced, mysterious adventure. There's a little creepiness, making it great for friends of slightly darker reads. Kids, especially girls, ages 9 and up who love fantasy and tension are sure to enjoy every page.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Review: The King of Average by Gary Schwartz

by Gary Schwartz
Bunny Moon
Middle Grade Adventure/Fantasy
228 pages
ages 9 and up

James isn’t the world’s greatest kid, but he’s not the worst, either: he’s average! When he decides to become the most average kid who ever lived, James is transported to another world where he meets Mayor Culpa, a well-dressed talking Scapegoat who recruits him to become the new King of Average.

He’s joined on his quest by a professional Optimist and his grouchy companion, an equally professional Pessimist. Together, they set out on a journey of self-discovery that leads them all the way from the Sea of Doubt to Mount Impossible, the highest peak in the Unattainable Mountains. When James stumbles into a Shangri-la called Epiphany, he uncovers the secret of who he really is.

Follow James on his hilarious, adventure-packed journey to find self-worth in this heartfelt middle grade novel The King of Average by debut author Gary Schwartz.


Quirky and clever—this adventure is packed full of smart humor, tons of unexpected twists and things to think about along the way.

James is average, as average as average can be. When he runs into a speaking goat, his averageness seems to be endangered until he's swept away to Average itself and is recruited to become the next king. Still, he needs to prove himself truly average-worthy, and this takes him on a journey unlike any he could have ever imagined.

This book offers an amazing mixture of fantasy, adventure and word play with tons of meanings poking underneath. It's got depth, tons of it, and packages all the philosophy in an entertaining line of whimsical characters and imaginative situations. Every step of James' journey brings him not only through the strange realm but past a stepping stone in his own development and self-recognition.

The first pages introduce James as a super average boy. It's not shown but directly, without shame, stated. Interestingly enough, the statements that he's average don't really match with his daily life, which is, in many ways, not average. He's at school but so 'average' he's invisible. He's so 'average' he has no friends. And his life is so 'average' that his mother is—simply said—a massive jerk and doesn't love him much at all. The first pages came across as forcing a mold into readers' heads  which may very well be a subtle set-up and thinking point. Because this book packs a ton of those. Either way, too little time is spent on James' 'average' life before the Mayor (speaking goat) and the quirky adventure begins, and that is too bad.

The rest of the book is a treat. Lots of wonderful situations arise, and it's simply fun to see what comes next. That each new character and each situation is actually a play on words isn't really a secret. Some of it is great for kids and will have them thinking; other moments will probably go over their heads. The vocabulary is not 'average', and instead, pushes readers to broaden their knowledge even if they won't understand every single term. And there is one character who speaks phrases of French, which is lovely and especially interesting for kids. However, more translations might have been helpful at times.

The odd adventure is exactly what readers will love and opens the door to all sorts of possibilities. It's not only fun but offers tons of topics to think about—even for adults.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Haven by Mary Lindsey with Giveaway

by Mary Lindsey
Entangled Publishing

November 7th 2017!!!

YA Paranormal

“We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”
Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere. He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.
Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.

And here she is. . . 

Mary Lindsey is a multi award-winning, RITA® nominated author of romance for adults and teens. She lives on an island in the middle of a river. Seriously, she does. When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, two Cairn Terriers, and one husband.
Inexplicably, her favorite animal is the giant anteater and at one point, she had over 200 "pet" Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. The roaches are a long story involving three science-crazed kids and a soft spot for rescue animals. The good news is, the "pet" roaches found a home... somewhere else.


Sneak Peek: The Genesis of Evangeline by Rachel Jonas with Giveaway

The Genesis of Evangeline
by Rachel Jonas
Young Adult/New Adult Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

Hosted by: Lady Amber's Reviews & PR

A past she can’t recall. A destiny she’ll never outrun.
Evie Callahan is positive there’s something strange going on in Seaton Falls, her new home. The locals are bigger, stronger, and faster than most. That includes Nick, the boy next door who’s become her silver lining in this godforsaken town.
She wants to trust her instincts—about Nick, about what she suspects in Seaton Falls—but rumors of wolves and dragon shifters makes it hard to tell what’s real. With a history of odd dreams and the nagging sense that she’s never belonged, Evie fears she’s losing touch with reality. Her concern only grows when someone who’s haunted these dreams is suddenly tangible… and claims to hold the key to unlocking her true identity.
Finding out her entire life has been a lie is scary enough, but what’s downright terrifying is discovering who she’s destined to become.
Evie’s much more than your average, seventeen-year-old girl.
And this is her genesis.
The Lost Royals Saga is an upper YA/NA crossover. This is a tale of long-forgotten royalty and a fated love too powerful for time to erase. It’s the ideal paranormal romance for fans of urban fantasy and star-crossed love.

This book is for anyone who loves:
•Shifter Romance (Dragons and Werewolves/lycans)
•Teen and Young Adult Paranormal Romance
•New Adult Paranormal Romance
•Magical Powers and Supernatural Creatures
•Alternative Reality and Alternative History
•Tales of forbidden love
•Fiction involving lost princesses and fallen or ruined kingdoms
This is BOOK ONE in the Lost Royals saga. BOOK TWO, “Dark Side of the Moon”, is coming soon!

Hey! I'm Rachel, a Michigan native with a passion for writing. I have several young adult releases on my schedule. Those releases will be within the genres of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and dystopian fiction, so I hope you stick with me and check out my future work!
Aside from the many hours spent happily pecking away at my keyboard, I'm a wife, mother of three, an avid reader, and a gamer with a penchant for all things Sims. There will always be a keyboard at my fingertips and I look forward to the words that will flow from them for many years to come. As a self-proclaimed nerd, there's not a more satisfying career choice I could have made. Happy reading!

Author Links:
Buy Link:
Link to chapter one: