Friday, May 31, 2019

The Curse of Ragman's Hollow by Rhys A Jones with Giveaway!

The Curse of Ragman’s Hollow

Just a walk in the countryside. What could possibly go wrong

Sam Jones's grandmother is training him to be one of the Cunning Folk, like her, and exams are looming.

But Sam's mother has holiday plans and drags him off to a remote cottage in the middle of nowhere for some country air.  No mobile phone, nettle soup and long walks are the rule. One such walk takes them to Ragman's Hollow, a place the locals avoid with good reason.
It's a place where people and animals go missing, never to be found. 

That's just superstitious nonsense, according to Sam's mother. But there is no smoke without fire and Sam soon finds himself up against an old, very spiteful, and very tricky enemy.
He's going to need every ounce of his cunning to stop the Ragman. But can he do it alone?
And here he is...

Rhys A Jones was born in 1955 and grew up in a mining village in South Wales with his nose in a book and his head in the clouds. He managed to subdue his imagination long enough to carve out a career in medicine, writing whenever the chance arose.
The Merryweathers mysteries feature a boy and his more-than-meets-the-eye Granny Merryweather. The Curse of Wihtlea Barrows (previously the Dreables) and The Curse of Borage Doone have just been released as paperbacks with new covers and a new publisher (Wyrmwood). The third in the series entitled The Curse of Ragman's Hollow is now available at last
Rhys is currently writing The Artefact Quintet featuring eleven-year-old Oz Chambers whose family inherits a ‘haunted’ house. His mother wants to leave, but Oz wants to unlock the house’s mysteries and uncovers a secret that will change his life forever.
Rhys also writes for adults as DC Farmer and Dylan Young
He has three grownup children who have emerged remarkably unscathed into adulthood. When not writing, he practices medicine and lives in darkest West Wales with his understanding (very) wife and dog.
Oh, and the Rhys is pronounced Reece–as in the actor Rhys Ifans of Mr Lovegood (Harry Potter) and The Lizard (The Amazing Spiderman) fame. Or perhaps it’s easier if you just think of Reece Witherspoon, though she is a lady.
FROM WIKI:Rhys /ˈriːs/[1] is
a Welsh given name (usually male), famous in Welsh historya surname of Welsh origin that means “Dragon“, “fervour”, “passion”, “ultimate strength”, “king” or “zeal”
It was also my dad’s name!The name is also anglicised as Rice, Rees, Reese and Reece

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Sneak Peek: Run For Your Life Trilogy by Pamela Beason with Giveaway

Race With Danger
Run for Your Life Trilogy Book 1
by Pamela Beason
Genre: YA Suspense, Action, Adventure

Champion runner Tanzania Grey, 17, has to win the Verde Island Endurance Race's million-dollar prize to save the life of her friend Bailey. The treacherous five-day race traverses a remote volcanic island that's home to beasts that slither, fly, swim, and slink through the jungle. But the wildlife turns out to be the least of Tana's problems when she draws the name of Sebastian Callendro as her partner. Sebastian's personal life has put him in the national spotlight, and his nosy followers are the kind Tana can't afford. Her name isn't really Tanzania, and everything else in her biography is invented, too. She’s been running for three years─from the men who murdered her parents. If her cover is blown, she could be next.

**Only .99 cents!!**

Race to Truth
Run For Your Life Trilogy Book 2

Champion endurance racer Tanzania Grey, now 18, is haunted by disturbing email messages from the mysterious P.A. Patterson, who seems to suspect her real identity as Amelia Robinson. Four years earlier, she was the only one to escape when the Robinson family was professionally “eradicated” in Bellingham, Washington.
When Tana receives an invitation to compete in an extreme version of the Ski to Sea relay in her home town, she decides to use the race as a cover to gather information about who killed her mother and father, and what became of her then-nine-year-old brother.
Tana soon discovers clues that hint of something terribly wrong in the company her mother helped to create, Quarrel Tayson Laboratories. Worse, her sleuthing attracts the attention of a very frightening man in Bellingham, who knew both her parents. It now seems more a matter of “when” than “if” she will be the next to be killed. Can she turn the tables and reveal who was behind the death of her parents before she becomes their next victim?

Race For Justice
Run For Your Life Trilogy Book 3

When champion runner Tanzania “Tana” Grey receives a mysterious invitation to the Extreme Africa Endurance Challenge, she fears it might be a trap. The multi-day race is in Zimbabwe, the violence-prone homeland of her brilliant biochemist mother, who was murdered along with Tana’s father. The killers, never apprehended, seem to suspect that Tanzania Grey is actually Amelia Robinson, the girl who escaped their deadly grasp. But when Tana sees a Mom Lookalike in the promotional video for the race, she can’t say no. She doesn’t know whether to be alarmed or delighted when her former race partner Bash Callendro, the “love child” of the U.S. President, arranges to run with her. Tana’s determined to find any remaining family in Africa, and expose the secrets that led to her parents’ deaths. As the clues pile up, Tana realizes that her quest for the truth could destroy not only her and Bash, but will also endanger the lives of everyone she cares about back home.


The email message includes a link to a website. When I click and go
there, I am bombarded with advertising about wonderful
accommodations for racers and media and fans—exotic game lodges
and luxury hotels. There’s even a video. I click the play button and
watch a trio of lean dark-skinned runners lope along an exotic
course. Zebras graze in the distance. As the runners pass a
checkpoint, the camera zooms in on the smiles of enthusiastic fans
clustered together behind a barrier tape. Among them is a woman
photographer with curly chestnut hair pulled up into a ponytail.
With her eye pressed to a camera, she turns with the crowd, tracking
the racers. The crowd then disperses, leaving the photographer, who
lowers her camera and looks directly at whoever is filming this vid.
It feels like she’s staring into my eyes.
My heart stops. My whole body throbs with a sudden longing to throw
myself into that woman’s arms. I play the vid over and over again,
stopping it every few frames to stare at her straight nose, her curly
brown hair. When she looks up, she’s smiling, just a little with her
lips closed, like my mother did when she had a secret.
Could it be? I found my brother last year, after four years of
believing he was most likely murdered along with my mom and dad.
I saw my parents’ bodies lying in a pool of blood on our living room
floor. Could it be possible that my mother didn’t die that night? Could
she really be alive?
The woman turns away, following the crowd, and I’m not sure. Her
hair is longer and several shades lighter than my mother’s. She’s
wearing a khaki uniform that implies she’s working there.
I know it’s too much to hope for. Maybe I no longer remember what
Mom looked like. The only picture I have is small and grainy, a photo
of her with her colleagues at work.
Videos can be altered. If my enemies suspect I’m Amelia Robinson,
then they know I have a personal connection to Africa. This
P.A. Patterson could be luring me to Zimbabwe, where I’ll be
eaten by a lion or ambushed by armed thugs, and die an easily
explained death. This might be a setup by the black-clad ninja
invaders I escaped from four years ago.
I know this might be a trap designed especially for me.

But I also know that my next race will be in Zimbabwe.

Pamela Beason, a former private investigator, lives in the Pacific Northwest. When she's not hard at work on another book, she explores the natural world on foot, on cross-country skis or snowshoes, in her kayak, or underwater scuba diving.

Pam is the author of eleven full-length fiction works: RACE WITH DANGER, RACE TO TRUTH, and RACE FOR JUSTICE in the Run for Your Life YA suspense trilogy, THE ONLY WITNESS, THE ONLY CLUE, and THE ONLY ONE LEFT in the Neema mysteries, ENDANGERED, BEAR BAIT, UNDERCURRENTS, and BACKCOUNTRY in the Summer "Sam" Westin series, and the romantic suspense novel SHAKEN. She's also the author of the romantic adventure novella CALL OF THE JAGUAR, and nonfiction titles SAVE YOUR MONEY, YOUR SANITY, AND OUR PLANET and SO YOU WANT TO BE A PI? She is currently working on a sequel to SHAKEN and the next Sam Westin novel.

As an avid nature and animal lover, Pam challenges the human assumption that we are the superior species. Each of her titles takes readers on an adventure while reminding us that drifting through life is not enough; you have to live it.

Pam writes and tweets about writing, animals of all sorts, outdoor adventures, and the value of being present in the moment. She looks forward to connecting with readers on her website, Twitter, or BookBub.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Sneak Peek: Shantallow by Cara Martin with Giveaway!

by Cara Martin 
Cormorant Books
May 26th 2019
YA Horror

Tanvi isn’t the girl of Misha’s dreams; she’s the girl from his nightmares. She has appeared in his chilling dreams before he even meets her; when he DOES meet her, he falls for her.
Their relationship turns stormy, bordering on abusive, and takes a dramatic turn when they are held captive by a group hoping to extract money from Tanvi’s wealthy family.
But there is something more sinister at work, and the kidnappers and their victims find themselves struggling for survival as a supernatural force from Misha’s nightmares makes itself known in the real world.


Keion came in his cab when I texted him, like an indie 911. He shook his head at me as I dove into the front seat next to him. “I’ve never seen you in this sorry ass state,” he said. “What’s going on?”
“I don’t know,” I told him.
“Yeah, you do.”
“Yeah, I do,” I admitted. I’d walked too far out on the ice and realized it could crack under my feet. “But not now, okay? I need to get home.”
Keion nodded as we pulled away from the curb. “I can see that, all right.”
I leaned my head back against the headrest and shut my eyes; I’d downed too many shots to keep them open. Sleep curved its velvety black wings eagerly around me. I didn’t fight it.
In some other place, Tanvi stared at me with eyes like a starless night sky. “Shantallow,” she said, her cheeks slick with blood and her lips not moving. “Run.” My shirt was torn at the elbow. It flapped as I ran, my ribs twitching underneath my skin, clawing me from the inside.
“We should have reached a road by now,” Tanvi said. Misery bent her voice, like a branch drooping under the weight of too much snow. “How can there be no road?”
I jolted myself free from sleep. Keion’s eyes were on the road ahead. “Shantallow,” he hissed. “We shall all be changed.” Sharp fingernails scraped violently against the passenger side of the car. Keion grinned maniacally, his teeth broken and gray. Only he wasn’t Keion anymore. My father was at the wheel. Soil spilled from his mouth. Chunks of his skull were missing, the glare from a passing car illuminating the clumps of raw, uneven flesh left in their place.
“Hey, hey!” a voice called. “Wake up, Misha.” A car horn blared. It sliced through my fear, hurling me back to the world. My head knocked back against the headrest, Keion’s right hand closed firmly around my arm. “Whoa. You were having a night terror or something. I couldn’t wake you up. You damn scared me.” He promptly released his hold, his right hand joining his left on the wheel.
“I’m okay,” I said unconvincingly. “Must’ve been all the beer.”
We were back in Balsam, a couple of blocks from my house. Keion sighed through his teeth, his concerned eyes worse than any lecture. Thirty seconds later we veered onto my street. About six houses down from mine a guy with his hood up sat on a neighbor’s steps, hunched against the wind. He cocked his head in my direction as I exited the car, like we knew each other.
Keion called after me, “Be good, Misha. Call me if you want to talk.”
I was as shaky as hell, freezing on the inside. The dream had been so real that I easily might have thrown myself from the car to escape it. One of my hands flew instinctively up in the air to wave off Keion, my feet pausing until the cab was gone and then padding me over to the neighbor’s front yard like they had their own ideas about what was supposed to happen next.
“Thought that was you,” the guy said from the stoop. He tugged his hoodie down, revealing a familiar face.

And here she is...

Cara Martin is the author of several acclaimed novels for young people published under the name C. K. Kelly Martin. Her most recent novel, Stricken, was released in 2017. A graduate of the Film Studies program at York University, Cara has lived in the Greater Toronto Area and Dublin, Ireland. Within the space of 3500 miles she’s worked a collection of quirky jobs at multiple pubs and video stores, an electricity company, a division of the Irish post office, a London toyshop, and an advertising analytics company. She’s also been an image editor for a dot-com startup that didn’t survive the 90s, and a credit note clerk for Canada's largest national distributor of General Merchandise. Cara currently resides in Ottawa, Ontario with her husband and is still afraid of the Child Catcher from the film adaptation of CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG.


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Serena Tales by Taylor Lukens

by Taylor Lukens
Illustrated by Madison Hope and
Hokulani Buffington
Mascot Books
 40 pages

Serena is the mermaid princess of an underwater palace called Dylana, where she is loved by all the mer-people and sea creatures within the kingdom. One day, while exploring the bottom of the mystical ocean, Serena finds a dazzling, but mysterious crystal of two mer-people who look like they are in love! Join Serena on her adventure to learn more about the figures in this unexpected treasure. Taylor currently lives in North Pole, AK with her family and she would love to share her book at an event in your store!

And here she is...

Taylor Lukens is a wife, mother, and college graduate who loves mermaids and reading. An avid book lover, she decided to write Serena’s Tales to combine her passions. Though she has lived in five states, she has called North Pole, Alaska home for the last decade. When she’s not writing or working towards more schooling, she is spending time with her family, which includes her husband and children. But she is a kid at heart, so she also may be daydreaming about mermaids!

Happy Book Birthday, Chasing Souls by Tia Silverthorne Bach

Chasing Souls
by Tia Silverthorne Bach
Editor: Jo Michaels
Cover Designer: Jo Michaels

Shifter twins Jackie and Maddie must harness the power of their unique bloodline—a mix of wolf, magic, and angels—and wield their unholy alliance with vampires to vanquish Hell’s army.
High school doesn’t usually include life-or-death battles with evil incarnate, but on the precipice of war, the girls’ education prepares them to face malicious threats intent on destruction and revenge. Still, years of studying battle strategy, weaponry, mythology, and magic might not be enough to tip the odds in the twins’ favor.
Continuing their parents’ legacy as warriors for mankind, the twins must protect the world from a devil-sired army of shifters. A pair of Valkyries provide a spark of hope.
There’s more at stake than victory or defeat—souls hang in the balance.
A new generation emerges from the world of the Tala Prophecy, and this action-packed young-adult adventure brings forth new creatures that rock the very foundation of the series.

Tia Silverthorne Bach believes in fairy tales and happy endings. Her best days involve a heart full of love, fighting for what she believes in, and finding humor. Residing in the breathtaking state of Colorado, she has been married to her college sweetheart for twenty-four years and has three beautiful girls. From an early age, she escaped into books and believes they can be the source of healing and strength. If she’s not writing, you can find her on the tennis court, at the movies, reading a good book, or spooning peanut butter right out of the jar.

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Everyone grouped up according to the directions, and Maddie took off her boxing gloves as they walked. Normally, she would’ve taken them off earlier, but she’d been too distracted.
“I’m not going to take it easy on you,” Gunner whispered in her ear.
A shiver ran down her spine at the close contact as it always did. When she and Gunner had first started their relationship, everyone at home had warned her that she couldn’t trust her emotions around him, that vampires oozed charm and allure. But she trusted him. Not just him, she put full faith in her heart and its ability to know what was real.
“Good to know. Guess I’ll have to give back whatever I get.” She kept her voice low, her eyes unblinking and never wavering from his gaze. “So bring it.” Seeing the flash of want in his eyes, a flicker she knew all too well, gave her an extra boost of adrenaline.
Within a heartbeat, he was behind her, his arm wrapped around her neck. She didn’t hesitate, swiping her right leg behind her and kicking just below his knee, which buckled. As soon as his hold loosened, she spun and thrust her palms into his chest, pushing all her energy into the attack, her left foot behind her as an anchor. Gunner flew several feet through the air, slamming into the back wall of the gym, leaving a slight dent there to add to the others previously created.
“Nice move,” Dad said, but then he suddenly cut his eyes to the other corner, and Maddie followed his gaze.
Xavier had Jackie pinned on the ground, his fangs bared and only inches away from her throat. Without thought, Maddie raced to her twin.
“Knee him in the groin!” Maddie shouted to Jackie’s mind, not slowing down just in case.
With a piercing scream that stopped everyone in their tracks, and causing two of the other vampires who were sparring with Aunt Jessica and Uncle Sam to press their hands against their ears, Jackie thrust her knee into the vampire’s privates and rolled out from underneath him, hopping up and into a crouch, one hand planted on the ground and the other straight out in front of her. By then, Maddie was by her sister’s side, and the two circled Xavier.
A tingling sensation ripped down Maddie’s spine, but before she could turn, a force crashed into her, sending her flying forward. Gunner pinned her to the ground, her face pressed into the cold floor. Unwilling to admit defeat, she remembered a recent class with Aunt Winny. Maddie squeezed her eyes shut and pulled her energy into her core, focusing it on her back, heating it to an uncomfortable temperature, sweat trickling down her forehead and stinging her eyes.
“Freaking—” Gunner jumped off her, and she flipped around to her back and catapulted to her feet in a kip-up maneuver Aunt Jessica had taught Maddie the previous week. She’d have to thank both aunts later.
From the corner of her eye—Maddie refused to lose focus on her opponent again—she noticed Jackie had Xavier on his knees in a choke hold. Aunt Jessica blew into her whistle, a toy she was overly enthusiastic about in Maddie’s opinion, and everyone relaxed and stepped away.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Review: An Invisible Thread by Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski

Adapted for Young Readers
by Laura Schroff and
Alex Tresniowski
Simon & Schuster
ages 8 and up
224 pages

From New York Times bestselling authors Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski comes the young readers edition of a memoir about an unlikely friendship that forever changed the lives of a busy sales executive and a homeless eleven-year-old boy.

On one rainy afternoon, on a crowded New York City street corner, eleven-year-old Maurice met Laura. Maurice asked Laura for spare change because he was hungry, and something made Laura stop and ask Maurice if she could take him to lunch.

Maurice and Laura went to lunch together, and also bought ice cream cones and played video games. It was the beginning of an unlikely and magical friendship that changed both of their lives forever.


All it takes is a small act of kindness and a person's life can completely change.

Eleven-year-old Maurice met Laura on a corner in New York. He was begging for his usual few coins in hopes of getting enough together to eat. She almost walked by. Their one meal soon turned out to be a weekly event and a close friendship developed between them.

This is a story of hope and a ray of light called kindness. I haven't read the original novel, which was meant for the adult audience, so I can't compare this adaption in that sense. However, reading this was a real treat. It's told from Maurice's point of view and brings him across as a very normal boy, who's just trying to make his way through life. His family, while he doesn't feel unloved, struggles to the point where even clothes or daily meals are a problem each one deals with independently. While this tale bring's Maurice's difficult life to light, it doesn't do it with a sense of pity, but rather, allows it to come across as normal as it was for Maurice. People grow up in different circumstances, each having their own definition of normal, and this book brings that across well. And in a way readers ages 9 to 12 can easily connect to.

There is a lot of heart in this book, and while most of it seems to show Laura saving Maurice, there is more to the message by the end. It is an inspiration which shows that helping others or simply being someone's friend is a wonderful thing.

While I enjoyed reading this very much and found it well brought over to the intended audience, the last chapters left this wonderful flow. I'm not sure if the authors were in a hurry or uncertain how to bring the last bit across to this younger audience, but the ending didn't have the clarity or wonderful pacing which if found in the rest of the book. Still, I'd highly recommend this one and think readers will embrace Maurice's and Laura's tale, and let it inspire their own lives.

And here they are...

Laura Schroff is a former advertising executive who helped launch three of the most successful start-ups in Time Inc. history: In Style, Teen People, and People Style Watch. Schroff has also worked as the New York Division Manager at People magazine. Since the release of An Invisible Thread, Schroff has been a keynote speaker at over 300 schools, libraries, charities and bookstores, encouraging people to find their own invisible thread connections and appreciate the power of small acts of kindness. Lives in Westchester, NY.

Alex Tresniowski is a former human interest writer at People and the bestselling author of several books. His other titles include An Invisible Thread, Waking Up in Heaven, and The Light Between Us. 

Cover Reveal: Hollow Queen by Sherry D. Ficklin

The Hollow Queen 

by Sherry D. Ficklin 

Stolen Empire, #5
Clean Teen Publishing
YA Historical

SEPTEMBR 23rd, 2019!!!

As a princess of the Romanov Empire, Elizabeth has enjoyed a life of luxury and privilege. But the sudden deaths of her parents leaves her unprotected – awash in the dangerous tide of her family’s political rivals. When the supreme council crowns her half-nephew Peter II in her place, Elizabeth is left with no title, no power—and no allies. Now little more than a bastard in the eyes of the world, she is sent to serve in the palatial home of Prince Menshikov—the real power behind the boy king.
But Elizabeth won’t fade quietly into the background.
Determined to uncover the truth behind her mother’s murder and expose the men who mean to rule Russia in secret, she grows closer to the handsome young king, and swears to protect him and his rule at any cost. But the forces that oppose them are as dark as they are far-reaching–and this time, Elizabeth could lose more than just her title…

And here she is...
Sherry is the author of over a dozen novels for teens and young adults including the best selling Stolen Empire series. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she's on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.
Sherry also writes contemporary romance under the pen name SJ Noble. You can find her at her official website,, or stalk her on her Facebook page


Monday, May 27, 2019

Review: Bubble Wrap Girl by Kari Van Wakeren

by Kari Van Wakeren
Illustrated by CA  Nobens
Beaver's Pond Press
Picture Book

Izzy Magee gets bumps and bruises when she does the things she likes--chasing her brother, dancing in the kitchen, and riding her bike. Getting hurt is a hang-up for Izzy, so one day she decides to cover herself in bubble wrap. Her plan works like a charm… until the bubble wrap gets in the way of doing the things she likes. Eventually, Izzy realizes that getting hurt is part of life--and she isn't going to let it get in the way of having fun! 



The nightmare of scrapes and bruises takes a somewhat silly twist and travels down a great lesson.

Izzy loves to play like any other kid, but she hates to get hurt. And it seems like that happens all the time. When she has an entire week of one little bonk and fall after the other, she finally decides to take the problem head on. Her parents cover her bubble wrap for the next seven days. Although she is safe, things might not be as perfect as she'd hoped.

I had to smile when I saw this book, simple because we knew a couple once, who had covered every corner and edge of their apartment in bubble wrap to protect their child. Izzy is a cute, energetic girl who plays like a pro but suffers all of the small accidents that come with an active life. It's easy to understand her frustration as the scrapes and bruises mount. None are fun to experience. The bubble wrap solution comes a bit out of nowhere, but the experiences she has are giggle-worthy...and teach a lesson as well.

The illustrations are sweet and accompany the story with the perfect flow. It's a nice read for kids who are sick of getting hurt.

And here she is...

Kari van Wakeren is a wife, mom, Lutheran pastor, and author of the children’s book, Bubble Wrap Girl, as well as several articles published in Definite Woman and Gather magazines.  Bubble Wrap Girl celebrates resilience and the courage to try new things and was nominated for a 2017 NEMBA award.  Kari enjoys sharing the message that we all have what it takes within us to do hard and great things with audiences of all ages.  She lives in central Minnesota with her family and is a graduate of the University of Minnesota-Duluth and Luther Seminary.

Follow the tour!!!

May 15
The Picture Book Review- Book review and Giveaway

May 23
Sara's Pop Op Blog- Review by Darcy Bell Myers and Giveaway

June 1
KidsBookshelf- Author Interview and Giveaway

June 15
Living in a World of Book Quotes- Author Interview and Giveaway