May 28, 2018

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Moonlight and Midtown by Christina Bauer


Moonlight And Midtown
Christina Bauer
(Fairy Tales of the Magicorum #1.5)
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: May 27th 2018
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult

After battling werewolves and evil aunties, Bryar Rose is ready to enjoy her new life. No more crazy aunties. Her curse is toast. And Bry’s new man, Knox, is literally a dream come true. Best of all, Bry will soon attend a regular high school. Forget those sketchy tutors! To get ready, Bry is dedicating the rest of her summer to some serious back-to-school shopping with her best friend, Elle. It’s a blast, except for one thing:
Mysterious strangers are following Bry across Manhattan.
All these stalkers have oddly familiar scents and an uncanny ability to slip into the shadows whenever Bry tries to confront them. Even worse, their presence is making Knox act crazy with a capital C.
But Bry’s having none of it. Enough of her life has already been ruined by secrets. With Elle’s help, Bry plans to confront these strangers, find out what they want, and send them packing. Trouble is, the truth about their identity won’t be so easy to manage, especially when Bry finds out how these stalkers could change her future with Knox…and not for the better.
***An interim novella between WOLVES AND ROSES and SHIFTERS AND GLYPHS***
About The Series
The Fairy Tales of the Magicorum series includes WOLVES AND ROSES (Book 1), MOONLIGHT AND MIDTOWN (Novella 1.5) and SHIFTERS AND GLYPHS (Book 2, Fall 2018). Eight full novels are planned in total.
EXCERPT:
“That’s why packs have Alphas,” says Knox. “You need to set her loose, and then, let her attack me.”
Every inch of my body goes on alert. “Attack you? Why?”
“Your wolf has been through a lot. Ritual fighting is how wolves work out their place in the pack. Your wolf needs a firm hand.”
I stare at my palm. “Firm hand?”
“I’m not talking about physical power here. I’m talking magic. My power is Alpha energy, but you’ve got your own magic. Once I subdue your wolf, I think you’ll get the idea.”
My head feels woozy. “Ritual combat? Really?”
“Yes. Release your wolf and attack me. Now.”
I hug my elbows. “I’m not sure. If I’m patient, my inner wolf might just calm down on her own.”
“That’s not how wolves work, even when they aren’t of the magical variety. And a werewolf? Our animals are far more intense. I’m your Alpha, and if I let this go on for one more minute, I’m putting you at risk.”
Something in his tone sets my nerves on edge. “Meaning?”
“Your wolf will go feral. When it happens, it’s fast and intense. Your wolf will take over and you’ll disappear.”
I suck in a shaky breath. “She wouldn’t.”
My wolf’s voice sounds in my head. “We will run! I demand we shift NOW!
That manic tone to her voice is now higher than ever before. Every inch of my body trembles with the urge to shift. I reply to my wolf in my mind.
Didn’t you hear what Knox said?” Normally, my wolf can’t help but listen in on most of my conversations. “Our mate thinks you’re going feral.
Mate?” The manic tone to her voice hikes up an octave. “We have no mate. All we have is the need to run.
A chill runs up my spine. “You don’t remember our mate?
No mate! Run, now!
My blood chills. No matter what happens, my wolf always knows her mate. In fact, my usual complaint is that she won’t shut up about him.
This is really happening. My wolf is going feral.
All of a sudden, it’s like I can’t pull in enough air. “You’re right. My inner wolf is losing her mind.”
“Hey, I won’t let that happen.” Knox rests his hands on my shoulders. “Breathe, Bry.”
It takes serious concentration, but I slow my racing pulse a little. “Okay.”
“Now, you need to set your wolf loose and trust me. Can you do that, yeah?”
“I can try.”
“Good.” Knox pulls off his dress shirt over his head and tosses it aside. “Set her loose.”
Normally, the urge to shift is a constant tug of war between me and my wolf. Most times, all it takes is for me to stop fighting the urge to shift. After that, I turn furry. So that’s what I do now—I drop my guard and let my wolf take over.


Author Bio:
Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. The first three books in the series are now available as audiobooks on Audible and iTunes.
Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.
Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

GIVEAWAY!

We'd like to thank the lovely team over at Xpresso for being awesome enough to allow us to be a part of this book blitz and blog tour! Good luck to everyone who enters the giveaway!


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May 27, 2018

Guest Review: One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus


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Title: One of Us is Lying
Author: Karen M. McManus
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Hardcover, 358 Pages
Published May 2017 


Summary: The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide. Pay close attention and you might solve this. On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention. Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing. Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher. And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High's notorious gossip app. Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn't an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he'd planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who's still on the loose? Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.
Today on the blog we have a guest review from Amanda over at Give Me Coffee Give Me BooksShe was kind enough to stop by and review One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus and and share her thoughts on it, and we couldn't be more excited! So without further ado, let's get into it!


WHAT I LIKED
Gossip Girl + The Breakfast Club + Pretty Little Liars = One of Us is Lying

This is the first book I have listened to in years; I usually pass on audiobooks because I don't have a commute anymore and I read so much faster than I can listen to a book. However, I had some Audible credits and decided to give it another go. This book has been really popular in my classroom, so I wanted to see if it lived up to its hype. It did!

I loved that the audiobook had four different voices for each of the four characters (and all of them were pleasant). I've read a lot of books told in alternating perspectives lately, and I really enjoyed this one. Each character is so different, very likable, and really easy to become invested in. I loved Bronwyn's need to constantly be doing something, Addy's strong relationship with her sister, Nate's sad backstory and Cooper's kindheartedness. McManus did a nice job of escaping the cookie cutter versions of the stereotypical brain, beauty, criminal and athlete; there was so much more to these characters and I genuinely hoped that none of them were guilty as I heard their stories. 

There are some swoon-worthy guys in this story. Nate is so much more than just his bad boy image, and Cooper's got a secret that will make your heart oh so happy. 

The climax! At one point I had suspected who was really behind Simon's death, but I did not see it unfolding that way! And I had honestly given up on that theory by the time the mystery was solved! Well done! I gasped more than once and had to drive around several times in order to finish out chapters. 

WHAT I DID NOT LIKE
The ending seemed a little rushed, and maybe even a little too Happily Ever After, for my liking, especially after how developed and intense the story was. 

Overall, I loved this book. It lived up to its hype and has been on my TBR since its release; I just haven't been able to keep it on the shelves of my classroom to snag for myself, so I am glad I turned to an audiobook for this one. If you're up for a good mystery, check this one out!

We'd like to once again thank Amanada for stopping by The Book Bratz today to post this guest review. You can read the original review over on her blog by clicking HERE!


** Psst! Interested in guest reviewing on The Book Bratz? Shoot us an email at thebookbratz@gmail.com or DM us on Twitter (@thebookbratz) and we'd love to have you!

May 26, 2018

Review: Don't Forget Me by Victoria Stevens


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Title: Don't Forget Me
Author: Victoria Stevens
Publisher: FSG Books
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Hardcover, 360 Pages
Published February 2018


Summary: Seventeen-year-old Hazel Clarke is no stranger to heartbreaks, and being sent to live with a father she’s never met is the latest in a string of them. Even the beauty of eastern Australia isn’t enough to take her mind off her mother and the life she had to leave behind in England. But when Hazel meets the friendly, kindhearted Red and his elusive twin, Luca, she begins the slow process of piecing together a new life—and realizes she isn’t the only one struggling with loss. As friendships deepen and love finds its way in, Hazel also learns that when you truly love someone, they are always in your heart. 

I first heard of this book while I was cataloging it during my internship, and it immediately caught my interest. It seemed like it was a story that was going to be filled with a bunch of emotional moments, which is the kind of story I like, so I immediately added it to my TBR. And, having read it now, I'm glad that I did!

As the summary explains, Hazel winds up moving to Australia with her father (who she didn't even know existed up until that moment) after something happens with her mother in England and she's no longer able to live with her. So Hazel is adjusting to her new life in Australia while also trying to connect with her father while still mourning her mother and the things that are happening to her. Along the way she meets a whole bunch of new friends, one of them being Luca, a troubled twin with a secret past that he's having a tough time battling. Hazel tries to connect with him on top of everything else she's struggling with, and this book basically chronicles this journey as she takes it.

What I really liked about this book was all of the emotion is contained. There were a lot of plot threads to follow throughout this book, so it definitely felt like a multi-faceted story in so many different ways. There's a lot to unpack here, but that's the kind of thing I really do enjoy in a book. There's Hazel's struggle with missing her mother, meeting her father, adjusting to Australia, making new friends, trying to reach out to Luca, trying to uncover his secret...definitely a lot to think about! Which is probably why I finished this book so quickly -- because I kept flipping the pages and wanting to see what was going to happen next and which plot points were going to be addressed again.

My favorite character in this book was definitely Red. He was super friendly and really funny throughout the whole story, but he was also really fiercely loyal and supportive, which was really sweet. He definitely seemed like the type of character that I would want to be friends with in real life!

There were only a few things that I wasn't super crazy about with this book, the first being the fact that the story being told in third person made it kind of unclear which characters were the focus at certain times, and it also made it really hard to get into their heads and understand them. Even after reading this entire book, I'm not entirely sure that I could get a grasp on all of the main characters and their thoughts -- and it was especially tricky when the perspective/character of focus seemed to switch mid-chapter, sometimes even mid-paragraph. That's why third person can be tricky, and I definitely found that a little bit confusing to read! However, as the book went on, I found myself getting used to it.

(Minor spoilers, so please skip to the next paragraph if you don't want the book spoiled for you!) The other thing about this book that frustrated me a little bit was the fact that the "big reveal" of what was going on with Hazel's mom (and even what happened to Ryan) isn't told until almost the very end of the book -- so I spent almost the entire story getting teased about the big reveal of what was happening, but then still not being told. It was a really long tease that started to get a little frustrating, to the point that when it finally was revealed, I didn't really feel any sort of "shock value" so to speak, since it had been teased so many times previously that I already figured out what it was -- it was more of a feeling of "glad we finally got that out in the open," but there really wasn't any sort of shocking plot twist there. Which disappointed me a tiny bit for sure.

However, those were just *my* personal takes while I was reading! I'd still totally recommend picking this book up, because the small little things that bothered me a little bit with this book may not end up bothering you, so you might like this story even better!

Overall, I liked reading Don't Forget Me. It was adorable, heartfelt story that kept me turning pages from start to finish -- I managed to finish this entire book over the course of a night because I found myself wrapped in the story and intrigued with all of the characters. In the end, I'm glad I decided to pick up this book, because it gave me a deeply moving, emotional story that I enjoyed from start to finish.