Blog Tour: SACHAEL DESIRES by Melody Winter

SD Tour copy
The editing front has been quiet as of late, so I’ve had the immense pleasure of reading whatever I want for the past few months. The latest book on my reading list was Sachael Desires, the second book in the Mine Series by wonderful Melody Winter.

My carry-over desire from the first book was to visit Saicean – the dwelling place of Azariah and the other Sachaels – right away. Yes, I wanted Estelle to escape from The Sect. Yes, I wanted her and Azariah to reunite. Yes, I wanted to give Orontes a big old punch in the face (figurative or literal – I’m not picky). Even though all those things happened at the end of Sachael Dreams, Sachael Desires picks up just hours afterward. Estelle, having been kept on land during the last full moon, has lost her Sachael abilities for the month, and must wait to regain them at the next full moon. So like her, we must wait to see Saicean.

But the wait wasn’t spent in vain. The world of the Sachaels and their apparent war with the Oceanids – another race of sea-dwellers – starts to reveal more of its secrets . . . and misconceptions. These revelations test the relationships between Azariah (whose world view begins to crumble before his eyes), Estelle (who fears what will happen when she arrives in Saicean), and fellow-Sect-escapee Michael (who begins to come to terms with his new identity) as they spend the days leading up to the full moon, unsure of who to trust as they hide out in the Orkneys from Orontes and The Sect.

Shortly after Estelle regains her abilities, Azariah is captured by Orontes. Desperate to save him, she pushes past her fear and calls upon the help of other Sachaels (namely Chanon – which let me take this time to declare my support for Team Chanon, wait ’til you meet him!!) to take her to Saicean. Estelle truly starts to come into her own as she becomes more Sachael-like, but her compassion and love for Azariah make her a unique force to reckon with against Sachael and Oceanid alike. And Saicean – I won’t get into any details, but visiting this world did not disappoint, and I look forward to exploring it further in the rest of the series.

I basically burned through Sachael Desires this week – taking every opportunity to find out what was going to happen next. No lunch break or cardio workout was safe, though I made the mistake of reading it at the gym the day I got to a rather steamy* love scene. While beautifully written, I spent a majority of that time sheepishly looking over my shoulder at all the other elliptical users, praying they’d keep watching their TVs and not gaze over curiously at my tablet.

Regardless! I enjoyed reading this, and will be looking forward to Sachael Delusions to see what the future holds for Estelle.


*I lied. It was super steamy.


About Sachael Desires:

Sequel cover, yay!! °˖ ✧◝(○ ヮ ○)◜✧˖ °

Sequel cover, yay!! °˖ ✧◝(○ ヮ ○)◜✧˖ °

During her ordeal with the Sect, Estelle Bailey dreamt of escaping back into the arms of the sea—and Azariah. But freedom came at a price, and though she’s back with the Sachael who’s stolen her heart, she’s also land-bound until the next full moon. And with the threat of Orontes looming ever larger behind them, Azariah, Estelle, and Michael—her once-captor turned rescuer and friend—are on the run.

Following Michael’s lead, they seek sanctuary amidst the natural beauty of the Orkney and Shetland Islands until Estelle can complete her next submergence ritual and Azariah can whisk her away to the safety of Saicean. 
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Secrets, betrayals, and old enemies await them, though, and as events spiral out of control, Azariah makes a decision that puts all their lives at risk, forcing Estelle to face a journey she never wanted to take. With time running out and tempers running high, her only hope to save the man she loves lies in a reconciliation between two kingdoms who despise each other.

Book Two in the Mine Series, Sachael Desires further expands on the intricate underwater world of the Sachaels, and the hostility and isolation of not belonging.​

Add to goodreads

About Melody Winter:

Melody Winter

Growing up, Melody Winter showed a natural ability in art, a head for maths, and a tendency to write far too long English essays. Difficult to place in the world when she graduated, she pursued a career in teaching, but eventually ended up working in Finance. Melody is convinced the methodical time she spends working with numbers fuels her desire to drift into dream worlds and write about the illusory characters in her head.

Melody Winter lives in North Yorkshire, England, with her husband and two sons. When not dealing with football, rugby, and a whole plethora of ‘boy’ activities, she will be found scribbling notes for her stories, or preparing for another trip to the beach. With an obsession for anything mythical, Melody revels in reading and writing about such creatures. In fact, if she wasn’t such a terrible swimmer, she’d say she was a mermaid.

Sachael Desires is her second book in the New Adult Romantic Fantasy series – the ‘Mine Series’.

Learn more about Melody Winter on her website, twitter or facebook.

Blog Tour: DIVERGING CADENCE by Katie Hamstead

Diverging Cadence Blog Tour

Endings are difficult. I’m never sure how to feel about a book that leaves me with more questions than when I first started. You know, the type of questions like, “But what ever happened to Blankity-blank?” It usually boils down to “But what happens next?” There’s always that part of us that doesn’t want a story to end, that wants to know what happens next.

Deceptive Cadence ended on a cliffhanger. Some readers were not aware of this when they picked it up. Having worked on Deceptive Cadence and Diverging Cadence, I got spoiled and was able to read both books back-to-back and edit both books back-to-back. If you read the end of Deceptive Cadence and found yourself sputtering, “But what happens next?”, the only consolation I have to offer is that there was a two-month wait to find out, and it will leave you satisfied in the end.

Katie Hamstead’s Diverging Cadence picks up right where Deceptive Cadence left off. Cadence Anderson, now eighteen, is off to university across the country, but she finds herself questioning this choice. Before, in Deceptive Cadence, she sets out to correct her past mistakes with the goal of saving her husband (Austin) and daughter (Melody) in the forefront of her mind. In the process of doing so, she started forging a new path in her life, a path that included James, her high school sweetheart of three years.

Now, in Diverging Cadence, we see Cadence’s struggle of how to reconcile saving her family and saving her relationship with James. Cadence’s whole motivation to go back in time was to save Austin and Melody, and while she clearly loves James, she can never stop loving or thinking of Austin and Melody either. They were her life, and she lost them. Even though it’s never explicitly said, you understand that James’s love can’t replace that, which is why we follow Cadence to the university where she met Austin.

At times it’s difficult to watch Cadence make the choices she does throughout the book, to the point of heartache. While her family and friends seem to direct her toward the path with James, by holding on to life as they currently know it, Cadence feels the pull of her original life constantly, and you begin to wonder if she’ll undo all her efforts of the previous book entirely to make her relationship with Austin come about again. Ultimately, Cadence makes her choice and must deal with the fallout from that decision.

I still stand by what I said in my review of Deceptive Cadence: I am not a romanc-y kind of reader, but I love Hamstead’s characters and the world she created. If you look at Deceptive Cadence and Diverging Cadence as one massive book*, you get to follow Cadence’s journey to a satisfying conclusion. She isn’t a perfect character, even if it seems like everything’s coming up Cadence in the first book – you can see her grow and develop, from her good choices as well as her bad ones. For all the damage her poor choices cause, you still get to see the underlying impact her good choices had on others long afterward.

And hopefully, once you reach the end, you won’t be asking “But what happens next?” for Cadence. You’ll know.


*Which you really should – don’t let the two-month span between releases throw you off. But I’m not advocating duct taping the covers together either – the artwork’s too pretty.


About Diverging Cadence:

SO LOVELY ヽ(;▽;)ノ

SO LOVELY ヽ(;▽;)ノ

When Cadence Anderson woke to find her husband and infant daughter had been killed, she thought her life was over. Instead, she was offered a second chance and sent back in time to do it all again.

She’s made the most of this opportunity, repairing her relationship with the best friend she lost the first time, avoiding the romantic mistakes she made originally, and even bringing her family closer together. But she’s also done something she wasn’t planning on — she’s fallen in love with someone other than her future husband.

Stepping onto a plane and flying across country to attend university is the hardest decision she’s had to make. But unless she follows through with it, her future with Austin might never happen. And what becomes of her beautiful baby if she stays with James, the man she was never supposed to love?

The only thing she knows for certain is that she has to see Austin again, and she’s intent on reliving that part of her previous life exactly like she did the first time. Even if that means she has to lie to James to do it. Because, deep down, she can’t quite bring herself to let him go.

Now, past and future are about to collide, and Cadence has to make her final choice — follow the uncertain path of a life with James, or the one she came back to save . . . with Austin.

In this emotional conclusion to the story that began in Deceptive Cadence, relationships will be tested, identities revealed, and the past will overshadow the future, putting the finishing touches on an unforgettable tale of courage, sacrifice, and, above all, love.

Get Diverging Cadence from Amazon or other retailers today!

About Katie Hamstead:

Katie-Teller-Author-Photo

Born and raised in Australia, Katie’s early years of day dreaming in the “bush”, and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories, inspired her passion for writing.

After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughter and their dogs.

She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing. Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports and be a good wife and mother. She now works as an Acquisitions Editor to help support her family. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.

Find Katie Hamstead on Twitter, Facebook, and her website.

Blog Tour: UNDEATH AND TAXES by Drew Hayes

Fred Tour

So about one year and one week ago, I published my (first ever!) book review for Drew Hayes’s THE UTTERLY UNINTERESTING AND UNADVENTUROUS TALES OF FRED, THE VAMPIRE ACCOUNTANT (aka FRED). I absolutely adored it and ever so much wanted a sequel, and thank goodness Hayes did too, because this summer he gave unto the world UNDEATH AND TAXES.

And there was much rejoicing!

After the events of FRED, our favorite Undead American returns triumphant after conquering in all his quiet nerdy might the Certified Public Parahuman Accountant exams. And while one may assume this would condemn him (or bless him, from Fred’s perspective) to a nightlife behind a desk crunching numbers, it actually gets him into more trouble than even he could possibly expect.

Right out of the gate, he gets caught up trying to stop the kidnapping of his first client’s daughter, then later on while trying to make a deal with another client, gets trapped in a living, breathing haunted house with many living, breathing humans, one of whom is intent on bulldozing said living, breathing house.

Fun, right?

You know it!

I called the first FRED book a nerd lark. I expected the same of UNDEATH AND TAXES and it did not disappoint. We get to see the same cast from the previous book:

  • Krystal–Fred’s girlfriend, devil host, and resident ass-kicker
  • Albert–zombie, accounting assistant, and unlikely hero
  • Bubba–werepony extraordinaire and just a sweetheart of a trucker
  • Gideon–my absolute favorite character and holy crap, read “An Accountant in the Warehouse” and TRULY KNOW FEAR AT THE SIGHT OF HIM SUPER PISSED AND IN A TUX

(I know I’m leaving some people out, but you should totes get a copy and read about them for yourself.)

What stood out for me was that UNDEATH AND TAXES really could’ve just been FRED PART II and it really wasn’t. Fred and the gang get to grow and get more accustomed to parahuman society. We see how Fred’s not a hero in the sense that he’ll charge off into battle and flex his vampire strength around, but in the sense that he knows what the right thing to do is, even if it’s also a really, bloody stupid thing to do. We get to see the real heart of Albert, chosen for a destiny that he’ll perform on his own terms (his own sweet, peaceful terms or you can just eff off) with his bestie in tow. Even the new characters we’re introduced to open up a broader world to the cast, and their reactions and choices truly show how far they’ve come along, individually and together as friends.

**WARNING: FANGIRL THEORY APPROACHETH**

**I will also take this time to voice my suspicions that the FRED universe and the NPC universe (also written by Hayes) coexist within the same realm. If this is the case, Hayes – you’re a magnificent bastard. Keep it up. If you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, you best read yourself some NPCs and UNDEATH AND TAXES right now. I’ll be here.**

I’m looking forward to the next sequel – I hope you all will too.

#gideonrules


About UNDEATH AND TAXES

☆*:.。. o(≧▽≦)o .。.:*☆ It's so wonderful!!

☆*:.。. o(≧▽≦)o .。.:*☆ It’s so wonderful!!

After discovering just how filled with magic, intrigue, and adventure the parahuman world of being an Undead American can be, Fredrick Frankford Fletcher did exactly what was expected–he became a certified parahuman accountant. Myths and legends, as it turns out, are not so great at taking appropriate deductions and keeping their receipts, and Fred is more than happy to return to a life others view as woefully dull, expanding his accounting business to cater to various monsters and their respective financial needs.

Said monsters are, unfortunately, still spectacular at pulling Fred into trouble, though. And despite merely wanting to stick with simple paperwork, Fred once again finds he is going to have to deal with enchanted weaponry, government agents, possessed houses, and one enigmatic dragon’s interest. In the parahuman world, any business can turn deadly, even one as mundane as accounting.

Buy Undeath & Taxes Today!

About Drew Hayes

Drew Hayes, author

Drew Hayes – probably not a vampire accountant

Drew Hayes is an aspiring author from Texas who has written several books and found the gumption to publish a few (so far). He graduated from Texas Tech with a B.A. in English, because evidently he’s not familiar with what the term “employable” means. Drew has been called one of the most profound, prolific, and talented authors of his generation, but a table full of drunks will say almost anything when offered a round of free shots. Drew feels kind of like a D-bag writing about himself in the third person like this. He does appreciate that you’re still reading, though.

Drew would like to sit down and have a beer with you. Or a cocktail. He’s not here to judge your preferences. Drew is terrible at being serious, and has no real idea what a snippet biography is meant to convey anyway. Drew thinks you are awesome just the way you are. That part, he meant. Drew is off to go high-five random people, because who doesn’t love a good high-five? No one, that’s who.

See Drew talk about himself in first person on his website and twitter.

Blog Tour: DECEPTIVE CADENCE by Katie Hamstead

Deceptive Cadence Blog Tour

It was late January when I got my grubby little mitts on Deceptive Cadence, and the sequel, Diverging Cadence. REUTS Editor Kisa Whipkey gave me a brief overview of the two books so I could read ahead, get familiar with author Katie Hamstead’s work, and see if I’d be interested in working on the line edits. I’d received the files on a Friday, and figured I could work my way through the manuscripts over the course of the week.

It was January, in the Northeast. I’m fairly certain it was snowing, but definitely really bloody cold out. I woke up around five in the morning on Saturday, created PDFs of the manuscripts, and, still in my pajamas, started reading. I was still reading when my husband woke up later that morning, I resumed reading after breakfast, and I was still in my pajamas at about six that night after finishing the first book. The next day, Sunday, went exactly the same, except for the book hangover that occurred in the late afternoon when I finished book two, and when realized I was still in my pajamas for the second day running.

The Deceptive Cadence you may have read (and if you didn’t, please do) is clearly not the same version I first encountered—but the heart of the story remains unchanged. Our choices, great and small, can have a profound influence not only on our lives, but also on the lives of others.

Hamstead explores this notion in the life of Cadence, who wakes up in the hospital after an earthquake claims the life of her husband, Austin, and daughter, Melody. As she grows despondent, an angel appears with a proposition: she can go back in time to change her life or continue living her life now. She assumes that she can use this opportunity to save her family, and agrees, provided she tells no one what has happened or what will happen. The angel transforms her into her fourteen-year-old self, and Cadence begins her teenage years all over again.

Being fourteen but having the wisdom of a 25-year-old is an advantage many of us wishes we had growing up in high school. Cadence slowly realizes she wasn’t the best daughter, sister, friend—many of her adult-life estrangements were because of her choices during high school, so she sets out to reverse them.

Sometimes, you see flashbacks between the way things were and how Cadence alters them. At times, you may think Cadence is being self-serving by changing her past to improve her future, but that’s not the case. She genuinely wants to do right this time around—she has five years to go until she meets and marries Austin—and the love she has for her family and friends shines through as she mends the relationships that are showing signs of fracturing.

But, her new choices begin to affect more people than were involved in her life before. She gets the attention of James Gordon, a “bad boy” from the grade above her. James changes to prove his worth to her, and seeing examples from Cadence’s original timeline and the present show the true impact of Cadence’s choices. Even though the choices James makes on his part are all his own—a theme that gets mentioned several times—he does it with Cadence in mind. This becomes fascinating to watch unfold—many of Cadence’s actions up until this point are done with Austin and Melody in mind, and, slowly, she begins to include James in her life as well.

I am not a romance-y kind of reader, but I fell in love with Hamstead’s characters. Cadence, as the narrator, is easy to read, and you grow to love her more as she realizes her original faults and failings and sets out to correct her past behavior. She fights so hard against falling for James, but as he cleans up his life, you can’t help yourself from falling for him at the same time. Cadence’s family and friends are all real people—a moody older sister, an overprotective yet doting father, a caring mother, a goofy younger brother, a loyal, devoted girlfriend—and through Cadence’s interactions with them, we see their lives improve for the better, cementing the strong family bonds that Cadence lacked in her later life. And, though the story begins with the deaths of Austin and Melody, you see the love Cadence still bears for them throughout the book. This capacity for love, something she didn’t know she was capable of at first, affects everyone’s lives once Cadence travels back through time.

So, as summer’s just starting, sitting inside and reading in your pajamas may not be realistic. Pack yourself some iced tea and some sunscreen and sit out on the deck or spend the day by the pool. This is an excellent, single-sitting read, and though I hope you’ll be clamoring for Diverging Cadence (which will be out later this summer) once you reach the end, Deceptive Cadence will leave you satisfied until then.


About Deceptive Cadence:

Cover of Deceptive Cadence

( ノ^ω^)ノ゚ *SO AMAZING*

Cadence Anderson has the perfect definition of happily ever after . . .

Until she doesn’t. A freak earthquake shatters her life as surely as her home, taking away everything she holds dear. She wakes in a hospital to find that her beloved husband and infant daughter have been killed, crushed by the earthquake’s wrath. Disoriented, injured, and alone, Cadence refuses to accept the loss. So when a man claiming to be her guardian angel appears and offers her a chance to go back in time to save her family, she doesn’t need to give it a second thought. She accepts.

Thrust back eleven years, she now faces the ordeal of high school all over again. But this time, she’s armed with all the knowledge of her adult life and the determined to do everything better, from preventing the loss of her best friend to avoiding her original, drama-inducing boyfriends. She’s focused solely on Austin, her future husband, and is content to bide her time until she meets him again.

But then James Gordon crosses her path. Cadence wants to remain single, but James has his sights set. He is determined to win her over, and he’s very hard to resist. As Cadence starts to develop unwanted feelings for him, she realizes he threatens to disrupt everything, changing the future and distracting her from her original goal. Now, Cadence must choose: deny the unpredictable and exciting path James offers her, or stay true to the life she had and is trying desperately to resurrect. Second chances are more complicated than they seem.

Deceptive Cadence combines the soaring emotion of a heartfelt romance with the innovative storytelling of magical realism, crafting a uniquely moving, intricate tale about love and loss that asks: what would you do if given the chance to right all your wrongs?

Get Deceptive Cadence from Amazon.

About Katie Hamstead:

Katie Hamstead

Katie Hamstead

Born and raised in Australia, Katie’s early years of day dreaming in the “bush”, and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories, inspired her passion for writing.

After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughter and their dogs.

She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing. Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports and be a good wife and mother. She now works as an Acquisitions Editor to help support her family. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.

Find Katie Hamstead on Twitter, Facebook, and her website.

Blog Tour: OFF BOOK by Jessica Dall

Off Book Tour

It’s May 4th, and other than it being one of the high holy days for Star Wars fans, it’s my turn on the book review tour for OFF BOOK by Jessica Dall. So let’s get started, peoples!

Ideas are dangerous things, aren’t they? They can breed until you’re overrun with plot bunnies, they can niggle in the back of your mind until you start acting on them—but at the end of the day, what harm can a simple little idea do if it’s just kicking around in your head?

Off Book -- Jessica Dall -- REUTS

In the case of OFF BOOK, any main or supporting character you’ve ever dreamed up, exists—not just in your head, but in an entire world full of characters thought up by other authors. And they’re waiting for you to get off your keister and write your story.

I haven’t had a book mess with my head, well, ever, if I recall. Not like this. I’ve had book hangovers and heavy cases of the feels, but much like Toy Story’s question of “What do my toys do when I’m out of the room?”, OFF BOOK asks the question of “What do my book characters do when I’m not working on my manuscript?”

The answer has me paralyzed with fear and uncertainty. Most writers I know treat their characters like real people. In OFF BOOK, they are real people—they go to school to learn everything there is to know about the literary world, from genres to tropes (oh, the tropes! Easily one of my favorite aspects of this book.) The life of these pre-storied characters is spent getting prepared for the day they are called up to be in an author’s work. If you manage to survive the author’s story intact, you get to semi-retire and reside back in the character world. But if the author of the book you’re meant for never gets writing, you slowly fade until you no longer exist.

I found myself falling in love with the mechanics of the characters’ world. World building can be difficult, yet Dall had to create multiple ones (the characters call them ‘sets’), ranging from levels of great detail to minimal explanation, mimicking authors of all level of experience. My favorite detail of all about the sets—if the author didn’t write it, it doesn’t exist, much to the chagrin of the characters forced to work there until the story is done.

OFF BOOK is quite satisfying, whether you know a lot about writing or not. Having just discovered TV Tropes last year, any time a trope was mentioned, I found myself cackling with delight. Dall’s level of detail on characters and the worlds they found themselves in were amazing—oh, this is a Tolkien-eqsue story? Film noir? Historical romance? It’s all in there, and everything you love to hate or hate to love about these particular genres comes shining through.

All in all, a highly enjoyable book—I recommend getting your hands on it. REUTS Publications has yet another glorious book in their collection.

May the Fourth be with you!


About OFF BOOK:

Twenty-year-old Eloise has learned all she can from the School, where characters live until joining their novels. No one knows genre and plot structure better than her, but despite her knowledge, she’s yet to be assigned to her own story. All her friends are off starting their lives with their authors—and if Eloise doesn’t get assigned soon, she’ll fade away, forgotten by all.

When she is suddenly offered a job at the Recording Office, she takes the chance to write her own future. Suddenly living among the post-storied, Eloise meets Barnaby Fitzwilliam, a former romance novel hero who hasn’t lost any of his in-story charm. But just as their relationship begins to get serious, everything Eloise has been taught gets turned upside down when she’s sucked into a novel she was never meant to be part of.

Now, caught where the only rules are made by the authors and truly anything is possible, Eloise must find her way back home—or else her life might end before she ever gets the chance to live it.

Set in a world dictated by Authors, OFF BOOK explores the story beneath the stories we all know and love, taking readers and characters alike on an adventure just waiting to be written.

Start reading today!

About The Author:

Jessica Dall

Jessica Dall, author of OFF BOOK

Jessica Dall finished her first novel at age 15 and been writing ever since. She is the author of such novels as Grey Areas and The Bleeding Crowd, the Broken Line Series, and a number of short stories which have appeared in both literary magazines and anthologies. When not writing, she works as a freelance editor and creative writing teacher in Washington, DC.

Find Jessica Dall on twitter, facebook, and goodreads.

Blog Tour: GOLDEN by Melinda Michaels

Golden Tour Badge copy

Howdy, people! This blog post is chock full of goodies, so let’s get started, shall we?

You remember the story of Goldilocks, yes? A little girl gets lost in the woods and finds a cottage in which to take shelter. She eventually trashes the place and passes out. Then the homeowners, who are bears (because bears are awesome), come home and after surveying the damage, find the curly-haired home invader and drive her off. We all know that story.

Melinda Michaels’ GOLDEN is nothing like that story. In New Hope, Michigan, there are larger mysteries than, “Who ate my porridge?” and “Who’s been sleeping in my bed?” This is what I latched on to when I first saw GOLDEN in its developmental phase. The fact that Hanna was descended from someone who lived “once upon a time” was incidental to me. How it affected her life (past and present), and those around her—especially fellow once-upon-a-timers William and Owen—was what I wanted to know. And, if Hanna is descended from the Goldilocks of legend, where are the counterparts from her story?

It’s my hope that lovers of magical realism and fairy tales will be as taken with GOLDEN as I am. The problem I find myself facing now is knowing there are two more books planned in this series, and I ever so much want to know more about the GOLDEN universe. I’ll just have to be satisfied knowing that the first book is out there, and hopefully the rest will be coming soon.

About Golden:

Golden book cover

*flails wildly at the prettiness! FLAIL WITH ME!*

High school senior Hanna Loch just suffered a blackout in front of her entire homeroom class. She hasn’t had one in over ten years, and she’s terrified—the last time she blacked out, she woke up with no memory of her life before. To make matters worse, no one can explain why it happens. For Hanna, bad things tend to come in threes.

And that doesn’t even begin to cover it . . .

When she learns she could be a descendant of someone who lived once upon a time, Hanna must put her trust in William Vann, a descendant of one of the most hated villains ever known. Their histories are intertwined in more ways than she expected, and he has answers about her past, answers even her family won’t share.

But is it safe to put her trust in someone who appears to be danger reincarnate, while trying to escape the darkness that tried to kill her ten years ago?

A loose fairytale retelling, GOLDEN is a story that’s just right, weaving together lost secrets, vengeful enemies, and what happens when fiction becomes reality.

7 Questions with Melinda Michaels

The author, Melinda Michaels

Melinda Michaels

Michelle H: Without getting too spoiler­y, what are the origins of the Golden universe?

Melinda Michaels: In the Golden universe, there are people who are magically touched, for lack of a better term. They are descendants of the people who inspired fairytales and when those tales were first written down, magic to some extent did exist because people believe in it and I think when we believe in something we give it power. So these descendants are somewhat leftovers of an extinct magic, but because they are relatives, they have a few ounces of magic in them, which makes their stories repeat themselves every few generations.

MH: Who is your favorite Golden character to write and why?

MM: It would have to be Owen. He’s a pretty complex guy who isn’t secure with himself, which is difficult since his lineage sort of dictates him to be a certain way and he fights it. He can’t help being good, but he can be a jerk.

MH: What are your preferred/least preferred parts of the writing process?

MM: I like researching things a lot. Histories, names, people… It’s the historian in me. I sort of dislike the character analysis. I love when it’s finished, but when it’s blank and staring at me, waiting, I clean the house, do bills and run errands. Really anything to avoid starting them.

MH: What’s your typical (or even atypical) writing day like?

MM: I rarely write during the day. I’m a night owl, so I usually wait until six or seven, read through what I’ve written so far and then start. I make way too many cups of tea and if I’m really struck with the writing bug, I’ll going into the laundry room, turn on the machines and write hunched over my laptop for hours until either three in the morning or later depending on if I’m on a roll or not.

MH: What’s your next project?

MM: The sequel, Roses, is finished so I’m currently working on Glass, the third books in the Golden series.

MH: What books are you currently reading?

MM: I’m almost finished with Inferno by Dan Brown and I’m loving it.

MH: If you could live in any book universe, what would that be?

MM: I would live on the other side of Wall in Stardust. I’m not sure why, but I would feel really comfortable there.

MH: Bonus question! It’s super random: if you could magically acquire any accent, what would it be?

MM: I would probably go for a Spanish accent. I already have a vague, mid­-Atlantic accent and can do a British accent pretty well. I’m a bit of an Anglophile, but a Spanish accent, I think that would be pretty fun.

GOLDEN Book Trailer and Giveaway

Looking for your own copy of GOLDEN? Sign up for this giveaway from REUTS Publications and check out the book trailer!

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Book Review: The Keepers

The Keepers Blog Tour

There’s something nice about being in the dark about a book. I’m the type of reader where if I’ve found a book I like, I will reread it over and over; if there’s a series, I’ll read it until the series ends, and then reread it (or not – you treated me wrong, Maze Runner series, you done treated me wrong). But there’s nothing quite like picking up a book for the first time, with little to no prior knowledge about it.

When I signed up for this book review, I didn’t research the book prior to my receiving the advanced reader copy. I had no idea what to expect when I started reading it. I certainly didn’t expect the religious undertones that captured my attention, or how the world as we know it (the one where God created the heavens and the earth) would somehow also include a realm that could easily be Faerie’s and Narnia’s love child.

In the prologue, when the first death by magical creature occurs, I would have pegged The Keepers as an other-worldly fantasy. But then, as time went on, Angels started to show up. Then demons. Then the retelling of the Adam and Eve biblical story. It was suddenly grounded into a mythology I was familiar with. Anoosha Lalani built a very intriguing world, one that I wish we were able to spend more time in.

At times, I found myself distracted by the two Keepers, who serve as the book’s narrators. We get to see trials and troubles through their eyes, and Lalani makes sure that when one narrator stops, the other picks up on or around the same time to keep the story moving. Sometimes, they don’t seem that reliable, and I’d feel as if I missed something or they neglected to tell us something important. Other times, I’d come away with the feeling they made important decisions, which I would’ve loved to see, off-screen, and they’d bring us back into the thick of things afterwards. (Please bear in mind that I received an ARC, these may no longer exist in the published version.)

All in all, The Keepers was a fun book to read. Lalani created a world that we could easily visit again, and given the epilogue, we know the story isn’t completely over – we may well be seeing more from her soon.

About The Keepers

Cover of The Keepers

Sixteen-year-old Isra Kalb has grown up starving in the slums of Islamabad. But hunger is only the beginning. When her father is mysteriously murdered and madness corrupts her mother’s mind, she’s left alone to fend for herself and her sister. Homeless and destitute, the only thing she has to remember her loving family by is a commonplace necklace–an amulet barely worth keeping.

Or so she thinks.

Swept into a web of lies, deceit and turmoil, Isra struggles to find a place for herself and Zaffirah, wondering if the strange creatures and visions she’s seeing are indications of the madness that took her mother. But when Snatchers capture Zaffirah, Isra learns her amulet isn’t so useless after all. Transported to Zarcane–the beastly garden where Adam and Eve were born–Isra comes face to face with her destiny. She’s a Keeper, charged with protecting the borders of Zarcane and keeping the demon hordes lurking in the shadows from taking realms that are not their own. And she’s not the only one; there’s a second Keeper, a boy whose identity hasn’t been revealed.

Now, in order to save her sister and fulfill her family’s legacy as Keeper of the Amulet, she has to find the second Keeper and close the borders. Surrounded by betrayal, trapped between warring factions of angels, and desperate to save the only family she has left, Isra must decide:

Who can she trust when nothing is what it seems?

Available on Amazon Add to goodreads

About the Author

The Keepers author Anoosha Lalani

The Keepers author Anoosha Lalani

Anoosha Lalani has always had an insatiable desire to escape reality. It was a childhood trait that never seemed to fade out. If Anoosha were to make one wish, it would be to have wings to journey off the face of this planet and into the worlds of her stories.

When she’s not writing, you may find Anoosha attending high school in Singapore. Having moved around so much, she has had the wonderful opportunity to be exposed to a vibrant range of cultures, which often seem to find their way into her stories. Anoosha was born in Pakistan, the setting of her most recent novel, The Keepers.

Connect with Anoosha on her website and twitter.

Blog Tour: The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant

The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred blog tour

First of all, the book The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant shall henceforth, for the remainder of this post, be referred to as FRED.

Secondly, don’t let the title fool you. Fred is a quiet, unassuming guy, and since it’s his story, he can look back with gray-tinted glasses all he likes. However, author Drew Hayes has crafted such a delightful nerd lark, I don’t want anyone to assume this book is going to be dull.

Fred is fairly new to the vampire game. His sire pulled a bit of a dine and dash, never bothering to take the poor accountant under his wing. So, much like a pre-teen learning about the birds and the bees, Fred relies on pop culture and movies to help along his vampiric education, and except for the sunlight aversion and sudden switch to a mostly liquid diet, life seems like business as usual.

This changes when he meets up with his old friend, Krystal, at their high school reunion. A pack of werewolves attack the school and Fred discovers that Krystal also has a secret: she’s a badass monster hunter for the Feds. And she thinks Fred is cute. Bonus for getting the girl and not getting staked!

Each episode (or uninteresting tale) introduces you to a new character and, as it happens, a new side of Fred. While you get to meet the rest of the characters, you see how Fred adapts and incorporates them into his life. Some awesome people to look out for:

  • Albert, who becomes Fred’s live-in assistant (kind of an undead Pollyanna)
  • Bubba, a werepony (seriously, just read the book because werepony)
  • Gideon, who is feared by everybody and comes in the package of a creepy little child (he’s my favorite character, despite what little screen time he gets)
  • Amy, whose alchemical skills border that of a mad scientist

The format of the book is different from others I’ve encountered. There’s a major episode, which gets broken down into separate chapters until the episode is over. Sometimes Fred stops to remind you how the previous episode left off. It’s not bad, but if you’re reading multiple chapters in one sitting, it can just make you go, “But I know that, now get to the funny!” On the other hand, if you’re a sporadic reader, it’s handy, like the first page summary of a Marvel comic book.

I quite enjoyed FRED on its own, but what really sells the book for me is that there’s more coming. This is an origin story for Fred and his friends, setting the stage for more books to come. Thankfully, this has been semi-confirmed on Twitter (unless Hayes is trying to deceive us).

A tweet from Drew Hayes regarding Fred book 2

So I’m personally looking forward to what’s coming next, as we just got a glimpse into Fred’s afterlife. Let’s see what happens when Fred’s supernatural world continues to open up.

Order your copy of FRED today: REUTS Publications ~ GoodReads ~ Amazon

About the Author

Drew Hayes, author

Drew Hayes – probably not a vampire accountant

Drew Hayes is an aspiring author from Texas who has written several books and found the gumption to publish a few (so far). He graduated from Texas Tech with a B.A. in English, because evidently he’s not familiar with what the term “employable” means. Drew has been called one of the most profound, prolific, and talented authors of his generation, but a table full of drunks will say almost anything when offered a round of free shots. Drew feels kind of like a D-bag writing about himself in the third person like this. He does appreciate that you’re still reading, though.

Drew would like to sit down and have a beer with you. Or a cocktail. He’s not here to judge your preferences. Drew is terrible at being serious, and has no real idea what a snippet biography is meant to convey anyway. Drew thinks you are awesome just the way you are. That part, he meant. Drew is off to go high-five random people, because who doesn’t love a good high-five? No one, that’s who.

Website ~ Twitter