The Bone Witch

Title: The Bone Witch

Author: Rin Chupeco

Tea’s sisters are both witches, so it’s no surprise that she has magical powers. What was surprising was when she raised her brother from the dead. I thought this book was a rather difficult read. I got lost and muddled in the middle of the book. There was so much build up in the book that while the setting was very interesting, eventually I just got bored. I don’t think I would read another book in this series.

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

How well can you know someone?

Title: Everything’s Fine

Author: Janci Patterson

Kira and Haylee are best friends. They’ve known each other forever, and they don’t have any secrets. Do they? After Haylee kills herself, Kira is left wondering just how well they knew each other after all.

Kira is devastated and confused. She knew Haylee was depressed, but she never expected this to happen. Now she’s wondering what kind of friend doesn’t notice something so big. Maybe Haylee’s journal would help explain why she did it, but it’s gone missing.

Everyone else seems just as puzzled, but Kira can’t help feeling she’s the only one who really misses Haylee. Kira can’t stop life from going on, but between Haylee’s parents, gossipy kids at school, and Haylee’s cousin, no one else understands.

I picked this up since Janci is a fellow Utah writer. If you have teenagers, it’s a bit harrowing. And if you have teenagers with mental health issues, it’s really going to hit home. I think that teenagers or young adults would get into this book too. It was a very quick read.

Contest Reminder!

20170725_184244
Charlie Holmberg at the AF Library

Hey, just a reminder for all of you — you have about 2 weeks to enter to win a copy of  Charlie N. Holmberg’s newest book, The Fifth Doll. I’ve just started it and it’s amazing so far. If you read YA, you’re going to want to get your hands on a copy of this book, and I can help you with that.

Here’s a link to the contest rules:

The Fifth Doll Giveaway

Reminder, you must be following my blog to win. Good luck!

Shattered Roses

Disclaimer: I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Title: Shattered Roses: A Beauty and the Beast Retelling

Author: E L Parfitt

Setting: Modern England

Megan needs to round out her CV (resume) if she wants to be a doctor, so she really wants to get this opportunity to be a volunteer at a nursing home. Anything, really. She just wants a chance. So when the director introduces her to a resident known only as Lady, Megan is happy.

Lady is one of the oldest residents there. In fact, she claims to know everything about the building and its original owner. She tells Megan amazing stories about the Duke, who was charming and mysterious and had secrets. Lady’s father was the duke’s doctor. She tells stories of their romance during Megan’s weekly visits. But to be honest, it was Megan’s story. the prejudice she faced as a West Indian, her hardworking mother, her precocious sister, and the sad story of her father that really kept me reading. When I finished the book, it was Megan that I wanted to know more about, and her story that I found unsatisfying in the end.

This is a very short read, but I would recommend it. It’s more like a puzzle than a straightforward book with a linear plot.

 

About the book …. Oops

I just realized that I forgot to tell you about the book! So let me fix that. Here’s what the book is all about!

 

The bestselling author of The Paper Magician Series transports readers to a darkly whimsical world where strange magic threatens a quiet village that only a courageous woman can save.

Matrona lives in an isolated village, where her life is centered on pleasing her parents. She’s diligent in her chores and has agreed to marry a man of their choosing. But a visit to Slava, the local tradesman, threatens to upend her entire life.

Entering his empty house, Matrona discovers a strange collection of painted nesting dolls—one for every villager. Fascinated, she can’t resist the urge to open the doll with her father’s face. But when her father begins acting strangely, she realizes Slava’s dolls are much more than they seem.

When he learns what she’s done, Slava seizes the opportunity to give Matrona stewardship over the dolls—whether she wants it or not. Forced to open one of her own dolls every three days, she falls deeper into the grim power of Slava’s creations. But nothing can prepare her for the profound secret hiding inside the fifth doll.

 

Now are you excited? It sounds cool and creepy to me. I can’t wait to read it.

The Fifth Doll!

Ta-Da! I just realized that I sorta spilled the beans a couple weeks ago (oops) so it wasn’t as much of a mystery what the book was as I wanted it to be, but I hope it’s been fun anyway! Here is your big giveaway! All signed by the author, Charlie N. Holmberg, as promised.

So the book signing was lots of fun, mostly friends and family (and me, who is neither), all squeezed into the little American Fork Library. Charlie bubbled around, greeting everyone. There was a table with Matryoshka dolls set up and cool stuff like that. And EVENTUALLY the books showed up.

Anyhow, Charlie was great, the book sounds great, and I snagged a copy to share. First I will give you a brief Q & A I put together based on the event, then I’ll tell you how to win a SIGNED COPY of this awesome book!

Questions and Answers

charlieeditedweb.jpgWhere did you get your inspiration for this book?

I was doing a class for the BYU Worldbuilders thing on magic systems and had an idea for how you can build a magic system around anything, like salt, or thread, or Matroyshka dolls, and then I thought, “Nope, I’m keeping that one.”

Where did you get the name for the main character? 

Her name is Matrona, which means woman in Russian and it’s also the root for the Matroyshka dolls, which I thought was really interesting.

How many projects are you working on right now?

About 6 different things.

What book do you wish you had written?

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. I love the magic system.

How To Win

  1. You must follow my blog.
  2. You must like this post.
  3. You must follow me on twitter – @Cindy_Bohn
  4. Ages 16 & Up, United States and Canada only (sorry, but I can’t afford Intl Shipping)

That’s it! Pretty simple! I will draw a winner on August 14th. Feel free to share this anywhere you like, tell anyone you like, and good luck to all!

 

<a href=”http://www.juliesfreebies.com/” target=blank>Julie’s Freebies & Sweepstakes</a>

 

 

Creepy YA Horror!

Title: Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault, Book 1

Author: Candace Robinson

Setting: Texas, present day and inside the vault

Deer Park, Texas isn’t unusual, except for two things – people have been disappearing, and there’s a new museum in town. Perrie Madeline doesn’t think the two are connected until her cousin gets a job at the new museum and never comes home. Then her ex-boyfriend goes missing. Perrie decides if the police can’t put a stop to this, she’s going to look for them. Only her new friend August believes her, and pretty soon, the two of them are trapped inside the vault.

I got this book for free from the author, which was extremely nice, because I hosted the  Mega Blitz Launch Party Giveaways. I was intrigued by the story and wanted to read more, but also, I admit it, I was mesmerized by that cover. Can you blame me? It’s really something! As you might guess, this has got elements from several fairy tales or folk tales in here. There’s Snow White, Rapunzel, Three Billy Goats Gruff, and then Jack the Ripper. It’s creepy and violent, not your typical YA retelling. Those are generally sweet Happily Every After type story. This is really, really not.

I did enjoy this book, and I give Robinson credit for embracing the horror element. I mean, she didn’t tiptoe around it. The ending is bloody, that’s for sure. But I think in the end, it wasn’t really a good fit for me. For that reason, I’m not going to rate it. I admire her; I think she took some risks with this book and I hope they pay off for her. If you’re into horror, give this one a try. It’s something different and I hope you like it.

Giveaway Sneak Peak

I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I’m planning to give away a SIGNED COPY
of a new release here on my blog next month. I will be going to the release party to get the book and get it signed by the author. But first, I thought I’d do a little teaser about the book to keep you guessing.

Clue #1: The Genre is Fantasy/Folk Tale.

Clue #2: The author is from Utah.

Clue #3: The author has already written several exciting books.

Final Clue:
33385408 (2)

If you have guessed the book (or the author), you can say so in the comments, but I will neither confirm nor deny anything until it gets a little closer to the signing. In other words, guess away!

New Giveaway!

I’ve decided to do a signed book for my next giveaway and I’m sure you’ll be thrilled when you here more about what I’ve chosen. Local author Charlie N. Holmberg is doing a book release party at the American Fork Library to celebrate her new book, The Fifth Doll. There will be a reading, a signing, giveaways, Matryoshka displays, and a little bird tells me crafts for the kiddos.

About The book

Matrona lives in an isolated village, where her life is centered on pleasing her parents. She’s diligent in her chores and has agreed to marry a man of their choosing. But a visit to Slava, the local tradesman, threatens to upend her entire life.

Entering his empty house, Matrona discovers a strange collection of painted nesting dolls—one for every villager. Fascinated, she can’t resist the urge to open the doll with her father’s face. But when her father begins acting strangely, she realizes Slava’s dolls are much more than they seem.

When he learns what she’s done, Slava seizes the opportunity to give Matrona stewardship over the dolls—whether she wants it or not. Forced to open one of her own dolls every three days, she falls deeper into the grim power of Slava’s creations. But nothing can prepare her for the profound secret hiding inside the fifth doll.

About the author

Charlie is a local Utah author, Author of The Paper Magician series; Followed by Frost; and Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet. Amazon and Wall Street Journal bestseller. I think – but I’m not certain – that all her books are available from Kindle Unlimited. They are each creative and original. And she’s a sweetheart, going to all the writer’s events. Really warm and friendly.

Anyhow, the event is

Tuesday, July 25 at 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
American Fork Public Library
I will be there AND get a signed copy of her book to Giveaway. As before, you’ll have to follow my blog if you want to win.

Stand Alone Sunday: Mars One

Title: Mars One

Author: Jonathan Maberry

Themes: Space, love, terrorism, family, engineering, friends/teamworks

Setting: Near future Wisconsin then space

I really liked Mayberry’s zombie series, the Rot & Ruin series with teen Benny Imura. When I heard he had a new book out, a science fiction one  which was getting great reviews, I couldn’t wait to read it, and then the library had a copy just sitting there with the new books. It was meant for me.

Tristan is a typical high school guy. He has a best friend, he’s kind of a nerd, he’s crazy about his girlfriend Izzy. But maybe he’s not entirely typical. He’s a brainiac, has an entire assembly dedicated to him plus a reality TV show, he has terrorists trying to kill him, he has two bodyguards who go everywhere with him, and oh yeah, he’s going to Mars. His whole family is going. His dad is a botanist and Tristan and his mom are both mechanical engineers.

His family was accepted a couple of years ago, but time is running out and they’re finally ready to leave earth. Now he has to say goodbye to his girlfriend Izzy, then say goodbye again for the cameras, and make his way to mission control. It’s time to leave for Mars.

I really liked this book, so much that I finished it in a day. I keep saying I’m done with YA, but books like this are the reason I read it. It takes all the same issues that an adult book would have but condenses them down to the essentials so that what’s left is the central story, no political subplots, no sex (usually), no gloomy angles, just the story. And it’s a good story.

My family has actually discussed this–would you go to Mars, knowing that for now at least, it’s a one way trip? Knowing that you’d never see your family again, that life would be completely unpredictable and that you’d die on an alien planet? Knowing that you’d be doing something no one else in the history of life has ever done? We’re divided. I wouldn’t do it, but I have one kid who absolutely would. (That one is also the hugest Star Trek fan, which is no coincidence, I think.)

Reading this book would make you think about what choices you would make and why. It’s a fast read and a compelling one. I’m giving it an easy 4.3 stars and I recommend it for anyone who likes space or well-written YA.