Book Review & Giveaway: A Penny Lost by Aspen Bassett

Book Title: A Penny Lost by Aspen Bassett
Category: YA Fiction, 232 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: World Castle Publishing
Release date: Jan 13, 2018
Tour dates: April 23 to May 4, 2018
Content Rating: PG (There’s a kiss and some mild violence)

Book Description

Penelope Grace, usually forgotten under the shadow of her twin sister’s perfection, tries her hardest to hide her freakish ability to see into anyone’s soul.

Until she senses an unusual energy like a human-shaped void in the universe. When Penny investigates the source, she gets tossed through a crack in time along with the cute boy next door. The Void follows them through history, increasing the dangers as if testing Penny. But what is it testing for? And why does it claim to know her better than even she knows herself? Even as Penny searches for answers, she must fight to survive the tragedies of both the past and future in order to get back home.

 
To read reviews, please visit Aspen Bassett’s page on iRead Book Tours.
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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Penny (Penelope Grace) is a twin but there’s one big difference between her and her twin Dinah. Penny has always seen auras. She is learning that she can do more than that, she can even see into a person’s soul. When she senses a strange energy at a neighbor’s house, her curiosity gets the best of her and she has to find out what is going on. She finds way more than she bargained for. In his basement, there is a door and she and the cute neighbor boy are pulled into another time. 

Penny learns that she is able to use this strange energy that she calls the Void to travel to other times. She and her neighbor embark on an adventure trying to get home, and they meet several interesting people. The Void is a character in itself. It can communicate with Penny and she (as well as the reader) has a difficult time knowing when the Void is lying and when it’s telling the truth. On top of that, all the time travel can boggle the mind but I found it creative and entertaining. The ending has a twist and I’m hoping there will be a book #2 soon.

I definitely recommend A Penny Lost for anyone who likes young adult and/or time travel novels.

 

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Meet the Author

 

Aspen Bassett works at a library, telling stories and suggesting books. When she’s not working, she’s usually sipping hot cocoa and wondering what would happen if she had superpowers. She’s been published in multiple anthologies including Oomph: A Little Super Goes a Long Way and Inaccurate Realities.

Aspen grew up learning about chakras and auras and the true power of imagination which slips into her writing whether she intends it to or not. In college, when she wasn’t busy working on her degree in Creative Writing, Aspen also got her certificate in Women’s Meditation (basically general energy work). Now, she’s working toward a diploma in Integrated Healing Arts with a certificate in Hypnotherapy.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

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Ends May 12, 2018

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Book Review: Scavenger Girl: Season of Talium by Jennifer Arntson

 

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When the gods leave and evil freely rules Ashlund, Una and her family bear down for the season of darkness. Seemingly safe in the comfort of her own home, she explores her newly acquired gift with the help of her loved ones. Within days, her plans are interrupted and instead of fighting boredom, she finds herself fighting to survive.

Trapped in a situation where there is no escape, Una endures the worst the Authority has to offer. Who knew family could be so kind…or so ruthlessly cruel? For all the things her parents taught her about surviving in a world set against them, they never prepared her for this. Una is about to discover the true demons of the dark were here all along.

Available on Amazon

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My Review

I chose to read this e-book after receiving a free copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I was excited to get a copy of Scavenger Girl: Season of Talium after reading Scavenger Girl: Season of Atchem.

Like the first book, Season of Talium grabbed my interest from the beginning and it never slowed down. Una is taken from her parents’ home and thrown into prison for Verification of Infertility. She doesn’t have to marry until she has her first period and someone doesn’t believe that she hasn’t started yet. She has to stay in prison for 30 days to prove it. 

Una’s time in prison is horrible but no matter what she endures, she is able to hang on. What is so remarkable about her is that when she earns food, she shares it with everyone else in her cell. No one else is that selfless. There were times that I wept when I was reading about what she was going through. 

When Una finally gets out of prison, and finds herself with Blue (the man who wants to marry her) and his family, it was as disappointing to me as it was to her. It was like she was in another prison. But finally, things start to turn around. I really liked the events that led to the end of this Season of Talium.

Jennifer Arntson has become one of my favorite authors. Her writing pulls me into the world she has created and I keep thinking about the story even after I’ve finished the book. I love when that happens!

Scavenger Girl: Season of Talium is full of betrayal, friendship, love and more. I am hooked on this world and I can’t wait for book #3.

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About the Author

Author, dreamer, and sworn enemy of Caillou

Jennifer Arntson has a long history of crafting tales that people find unbelievable, but often true. As an observer of human and social development through the ages, a curiosity of faith, and dedication to the underprivileged of the developing world, Jennifer finds her creative outlet in stories and fables. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two children, and a mini-farm of otherwise useless animals where the family eagerly caters to their every need.

 

Website: www.ScavengerGirl.com

Facebook: facebook.com/ScavengerGirl

Goodreads: goodreads.com/book/show/29509276

Instagram: Scavenger_Girl_Series

Pinterest: pinterest.com/scavengerg

Twitter:

(author) @JennArntson

(characters) @Una_Ashlund  @Cal_of_Ashlund  @Mar_of_Ashlund

#IAmAScavenger

Scavenger Girl Season of Atchem ISBN 978-0-9994-133-0-2

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Book Review: Savior by AJ Eversley

Title: Savior
Author: AJ Eversley
Genre: YA Dystopian Sci-Fi
Editor: Q Books Editing
Cover Designer: Cover Art by Salome Totladze
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Blurb:

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Sawyer has been a Watcher. She’s been a Carbon. Now she must become their Savior.
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With the inevitable return of Coleman looming, Sawyer knows their army is not enough. On a journey to convince an ally to join their war, Sawyer discovers why the stars have placed the fate of the human race in her hands. And she’s not alone.
Kenzie is the enemy. The obedient soldier who’s just following orders. A pawn in this game. Yet Sawyer can’t stay away. Both drawn to each other in a way neither can explain, can they learn to trust one another, as well as themselves, in order to survive. And soon, Sawyer will learn she must put her faith in others if she wants to live, and trust in the stars to protect her.
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Find out who will survive, and if they can save humanity from a future painted black, in the epic conclusion of the Watcher Series.
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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I had read and reviewed Watcher and Carbon so I was looking forward to reading Savior and I was not disappointed.

Savior picks up a short time after the end of Carbon. Sawyer seems to have finally accepted the fact that she is a Carbon. She’s in a relationship with Max who helped her get through Kenzie’s death. But Kenzie is alive and has been turned into the enemy by Coleman so they have him in a cell with his powers controlled. Poor Sawyer truly loves Max but still has a bond with Kenzie that won’t let her go, no matter how much she tries and despite the fact that he tried to kill her.

The characters are well developed and they’re as complex as “real” people. The main characters have gone through so much and they’re so strong, that it’s difficult to read about these further trials that they’re going through. Sawyer is in an impossible situation as far as her relationships are concerned and she doesn’t feel comfortable being the Savior. She wants to help others and doesn’t want to be the recipient of help from others, which is understandable given her nature. There are a lot of characters but it was easy for me to keep them separate.

Savior is full of action, heartache, war, a couple of twists, and even a little humor. I was not able to put this book down after the first couple of chapters. There was so much happening throughout the book and I had to find out how everything would turn out. I liked the ending, which is good after reading three books. The only thing that bothered me was the lack of editing. 

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AJ Eversley is the author of the WATCHER series. A true north Canadian girl, AJ currently lives in Central Alberta with her husband and dog. When she’s not writing, she can be found binge watching Harry Potter, quoting various movies in everyday conversation, and eating copious amounts of candy.
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Book Review & Giveaway: The Clock Flower by Barbara Casey

Book Title: The Clock Flower by Barbara Casey (Book 3 of The F.I.G. Mysteries)
Category: YA Fiction, 208 pages
Genre: Mystery / Fantasy
Publisher: Gauthier Publications, The Hungry Goat Press Imprint
Release date: February 2018
Tour dates: Feb 26 to March 30, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (There is light profanity and some threat of violence.)

 

Description

Dara Roux, abandoned when she was seven years old by her mother. Exceptionally gifted in foreign languages. Orphan. Accepted to Yale University.

Mackenzie Yarborough, no record of her parents or where she was born. Exceptionally gifted in math and problem-solving. Orphan. Accepted to MIT.

Jennifer Torres, both parents killed in an automobile accident when she was sixteen. Exceptionally gifted in music and art. Orphan. Accepted to Juilliard.

The three FIGs—Females of Intellectual Genius—as they are called, have graduated from Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women after returning from New York City where Dara learned why her mother abandoned her all those years ago, and they are now attending universities where they can further their special talents. This means they will be separated from each other and from Carolina, their much-loved mentor and teacher who is “one of them,” for the first time in their young lives. They vow to try living apart for one semester, in the so-called real world that doesn’t include the orphanage; but if things don’t work out, they will come up with another plan—a plan where they can be together once again.

Dara is invited through Yale University to take part in an exciting archeological project in China. Jennifer, once again visualizing black and white images and the unusual sounds of another cadence that seem to be connected to Mackenzie, is engrossed in creating her next symphony at Juilliard. Mackenzie, because of her genius at problem-solving, is personally chosen by a US Senator to get involved in a mysterious, secret research project involving immortality that is being conducted in a small village in China—not too far from where Dara is involved with the archeological site. Once there, however, she finds herself facing a terrifying death from the blood-dripping teeth of an ancient evil dragon. Her best friends, the FIGs and Carolina, rely on their own unique genius and special talents to save her as she discovers the truth of her birth parents.

To read reviews, please visit Barbara Casey’s page on iRead Book Tours.

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I’ve read several books by Barbara Casey including the first 2 books in this series, The Wish Rider and The Cadence of Gypsies. These are my favorites by the author so far so I was happy to read the next book in the series.

The girls have graduated from high school and they’re all going their separate ways. They’re scared of course, like anyone starting college, but they’re so dependent on each other and Carolina that they don’t know how they’ll do. On the plane, they decide that if they can’t cope, they’ll figure out a way to be together. 

All three girls flourish in the different areas they’re gifted in and they even get to go to China over their winter break. Carolina goes with them not only because she was invited but because she needs to protect Mackenzie because she knows that Mackenzie is in some unknown danger.

Even though this is the third book in the series, it definitely stands on its own. In fact, there was so much backstory, that the current story seemed slow to me. They didn’t even make it to China until Chapter 21 out of 24 total chapters.  

Just as the last book focused on finding out about Dara’s birth mother, this book focuses on Mackenzie’s birth parents. She asks Larry to try to find out information about her birth parents. What he finds is intriguing but the final outcome is expected.

I liked The Clock Flower but not as much as the first 2 books. I’m looking forward to reading the next F.I.G. mystery.

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About the Author

Barbara Casey is the author of several award-winning novels for both adults and young adults, as well as book-length works of nonfiction true crime and numerous articles, poems, and short stories. Her nonfiction true crime book, Kathryn Kelly: The Moll Behind Machine Gun Kelly, has been optioned for a major film and television series. In addition to her own writing, she is an editorial consultant and president of the Barbara Casey Agency. Established in 1995, she represents authors throughout the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. Barbara is also a partner in Strategic Media Books Publishing, an independent publishing house that specializes in cutting-edge adult nonfiction. Barbara lives on a mountain in Georgia with her husband, and three dogs who adopted her: Benton, a hound-mix; Fitz, a miniature dachshund; and Gert, a Jack Russel terrier of sorts.
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Connect with the author:  Website

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Ends April 7, 2018

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Book Review & Giveaway: The Girl Without Magic by Megan O’Russell



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The Girl Without Magic
Megan O’Russell
(The Chronicles of Maggie Trent, #1)
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: January 9th 2018
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult, Fantasy

Death would have been easier, but the Siren wasn’t through with her.

Seventeen-year-old Maggie Trent fell out of a battle and into the Siren’s Realm, a land where secrets hide in the shadows and pleasure comes at a price Maggie is unwilling to pay.

The time for the Siren’s reckoning has come, sweeping away all she deems unworthy to live in her realm. Those without magic are hunted by the Siren. Those with magic are hunted by the Stricken. Fighting or hiding seem necessary to survive. But there is a different way.

Bertrand Wayland, unaging and unrelenting in his determination for Maggie to accept her fate, slips in and out through the stitches that bind the Siren’s Realm to other worlds, gaining magic and having glorious adventures. When Maggie follows Bertrand out of the Siren’s Realm, seeking an adventure of her own, she finds instead a world of magic on the eve of war. To save innocent lives Maggie risks her heart, her life, and her only chance of returning to the Siren’s Realm.

Goodreads / Amazon

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

The Girl Without Magic is Maggie Trent, although the title is misleading. She is actually a witch but when she finds herself in the Siren’s Realm, she lies and tells people that she doesn’t have magic. Everything is bought and paid for with magic in this world and she’s afraid someone will try to steal her precious magic. She just wants to survive in this new world and makes a life for herself that is boring but safe.

One of the first people Maggie meets in the Siren’s Realm is Bertrand Wayland. He is also from Earth. For some reason he scares her and she tries to stay away from him when at all possible. She is able to avoid him for months but he ends up saving her during a terrible storm.

Bertrand is an adventurer and when she discovers that he is able to go to other lands, she follows him. As soon as she finds her way into this other world, she finds out that Bertrand set her up and wanted her to follow him. Even though Bertrand can be full of himself, I couldn’t help but like him. After travelling to other places for a couple centuries, he probably has the right to be a little proud.

Maggie is feisty and has a remark for every occasion. I enjoyed her sense of humor. I also liked the sense of responsibility she and Bertrand had when it came to helping strangers in another world.

Megan O’Russell does a good job at creating new worlds with just enough description that my imagination could fill in the rest. And how were they able to understand everyone? Simple. They’re magical people so they can adapt. Makes sense!

The Girl Without Magic is a quick read and written for young adults but adults will enjoy it as well. I’m looking forward to reading about Maggie Trent’s next adventure.

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About the Author

Megan is a native of Upstate New York who spends her time traveling the country as a professional actor. Megan’s current published works include YA series The Tethering and Girl of Glass, as well as the Christmas romance Nuttycracker Sweet. 2017 projects include The Tale of Bryant Adams: How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin’ Days, and The Chronicles of Maggie Trent: The Girl Without Magic.
For more information on Megan’s books visit MeganORussell.com.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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Rockin’ Book Reviews
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Meghan’s Mindless Mutterings: Reviews & Giveaways
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January 18th
Rising Indies United
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January 19th
Lori’s Little House of Reviews
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January 20th
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Book Reviews: The Color of Evil Series by Connie Corcoran Wilson

Color Of Evil Series Boxed Set by Connie Corcoran WilsonColor Of Evil Series Boxed Set by Connie Corcoran Wilson

Publisher:  Quad Cities’ Press (Aug 2017)
Category: YA, Psychological Paranormal Thriller
Tour Dates: Oct/Nov 2017
Available in: E-book, 725 Pages

THE COLOR OF EVIL series presents you with characters who live, breathe and die in small town Cedar Falls, Iowa. Tad McGreevy, the focus of the series, has a paranormal power, Tetrachromatic Super Vision, that allows him to see auras that tell him whether a person is good or evil. At night, in horrifying nightmares, Tad relives the crimes of the evil-doers. Eventually, he becomes the target of a particularly lethal antagonist, Michael Clay (aka Pogo the Clown) who wants to eliminate the teen-aged boy. In three books, we witness the power of evil faced off against a good-hearted young boy who just wants to protect those he loves.

Beginning with the first manifestations of this supernatural power at the age of 8, the book quickly takes us forward to the high school years of Tad and the band of friends we come to know well. We follow their progress from their junior year of high school through graduation with danger always lurking in the background. As others have said, it’s quite a ride.

 

Begin the journey today with this specially-priced trilogy: THE COLOR OF EVIL, RED IS FOR RAGE, and KHAKI=KILLER.

The Color of Evil Series on Amazon

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My Reviews

I chose to read this series after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

The Color of Evil is the first book in the Color of Evil series. When he’s 8 years old, Tad finds out that he has some kind of power. He’s always seen auras around people and the color of the aura tells him whether someone is good or bad. But when he meets Michael Clay, he starts having nightmares about him torturing and murdering young men. When Michael Clay is arrested, it’s figured out by Tad, his doctor, and his family that he was having visions rather than nightmares. Now that the cause is in jail, Tad is able to return to a normal life…for 8 years.

When Tad is 16 years old, things go crazy quickly. There’s so much going on in the small town of Cedar Falls, Iowa, it’s difficult to keep up. There are spouses cheating on each other and neglecting each other, sexual predators, Tad’s best friend goes missing, and Michael Clay escapes from prison which means the visions are back. There’s something new around every corner and some of it is not for the faint of heart.

The Color of Evil is a psychological thriller that could be a great book with some serious editing. There are the usual grammar and punctuation errors that need attention but more than that, there’s a lot of repetition and a couple times names are confused by the author. I had to go back and read the passages because I thought I’d read them wrong. 

Despite the problems listed above, I enjoyed The Color of Evil and look forward to reading Red is for Rage.

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Red is for Rage is the second book in the Color of Evil series. It picks up at the beginning of Tad’s senior year in high school. The wimpy 8-year-old has become a football player, mainly because his best friend Stevie is still missing and his wannabe girlfriend was gone until the beginning of school.

Everything has changed for Tad but nothing has changed in his town. He’s trying to harness his powers while many of the people around him are crazy. 

Again, there is a lot going on in the second book. Charlie Chandler, a retired policeman, has teamed up with Tad and they are searching for Stevie. Michael Clay has escaped from prison yet again and now he is after Tad. These are just the tip of the iceberg.

I liked getting to know some of the characters better. Not just Tad and Jenny but Stevie, Janice, and Charlie. 

Again, Red is for Rage was a good read that could have been great with some serious editing. I was hoping this one would be edited but there were still grammar and punctuation problems as well as repetition and mixed up names.

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I read Khaki=Killer in July 2014. I had always hoped to read the first two books in the series when I had a chance. It’s one of those books that I didn’t have to re-read because it has always stuck with me. My review from 2014):

This is the third book in the Color of Evil series but it is the first one I read. I was hoping to read the first two before I read this one, but I ran out of time. Khaki=Killer stands alone but I can tell that it would be even better if I’d read the other two books first.

This book is like two books in one, both based in the same town. One story is about Sean who is dealing with the possible loss of his wife, Melody, and his unborn baby. The second story is about the disappearance of Kelly and Heather and the search for them.

Khaki-Killer has a lot of drama, loving relationships, and suspense. It addresses several moral issues and is a good book to get young adults thinking about these issues.

I like Connie Corcoran Wilson’s writing style. I did have trouble once in a while keeping track of the timeline if I forgot to read the chapter title.

The thoughts and feelings of the main characters are well described. These teens are more mature than many teens in the “real world” although everyone in their town has been through so much that I can see how they could be mature beyond their years.

Khaki=Killer is a good book and I recommend it to both adults and young adults. I do recommend reading the first two books, which I will be doing as soon as I can. Continue reading