Blog Tour: Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

BOOK BLURB:

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy..

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36118682-wicked-saints

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. No payments made between me and the publisher.

Wicked Saints caught my attention the moment I saw it. I read the blurb and I was so eager to start reading it until I come across this blog tour and I didn’t hesitate to join. To be honest, I am so glad I did take part of this blog tour. It is a great opportunity. Also, I fell in love with the cover, I badly want to have a physical copy of the book.

This book doesn’t have idle time. I mean, the first chapters are already exciting, a bit confusing at first but as soon as you keep reading, you will get hooked! I can’t stop reading chapter every chapter. I was curious about Nadya’s power and who are the gods she’s talking to? How strong she is and what else can she do? What are the things she’s willing to sacrifice for her gods? The next chapters are even more exciting, she met the prince who tried capturing her. She met Malachiaz, a mysterious boy who lives in Tranavia together with two Akolans. She’d been part of a small group until their one goal was to destroy Tranavia. The war that was going on for centuries must be stopped, but the real question here was “how to stop the war?” This book have so much actions that I really enjoyed and of course the magic, the way they casts their powers are interesting to know.

Aside from their exhausting journey to Tranavia, I liked the little romance at the side. The story itself was intense and all you wanted to know was, what will happen next but the romance made it chill and of course spice up the story. The twist of it is what makes my heart ache for Nadya. With all the things happened around her, what would be her next move? I am looking forward to the sequel. I don’t read much series type of books but this next book of Something Dark and Holy series is much awaited.

I’d like to give a round of applause to the author Emily Duncan for this lovely book. I enjoyed every part of it. I loved the revelations, the book contains so much. I’m sad that it ends for now but, also happy for finishing a good story. More books please? Also, thank you to the book tour organizer for letting me be part of this. I had a great time. I’m looking forward to working with you all again.

My Ratings
— BLOG EXCERPT —

L A P T E V A

Horz stole the stars and the heavens out from underneath Myesta’s control, and for that she has never forgiven him. For where can the moons rest if not the heavens?
—Codex of the Divine, 5:26

“It’s certainly not my fault you chose a child who sleeps so deeply. If she dies it will very much be your fault, not mine.”

Startled by bickering gods was not Nadya’s preferred method of being woken up. She rolled to her feet in the dark, moving automatically. It took her eyes a few sec- onds to catch up with the rest of her body.
Shut up!

It wasn’t wise to tell the gods to shut up, but it was too late now. A feeling of amused disdain flowed through her, but neither of the gods spoke again. She realized it was Horz, the god of the heavens and the stars, who had woken her. He had a tendency to be obnoxious but generally left Nadya alone, as a rule.

Usually only a single god communed with their chosen cleric. There once had been a cleric named Kseniya Mirokhina who was gifted with unnatural marksmanship by Devonya, the goddess of the hunt. And Veceslav had chosen a cleric of his own, long ago, but their name was lost to history, and he re- fused to talk about them. The recorded histories never spoke of clerics who could hear more than one god. That Nadya com- muned with the entire pantheon was a rarity the priests who trained her could not explain.

There was a chance older, more primordial gods existed, ones that had long since given up watch of the world and left it in the care of the others. But no one knew for sure. Of the twenty known gods, however, carvings and paintings depicted their human forms, though no one knew what they actually looked like. No cleric throughout history had ever looked upon the faces of the gods. No saint, nor priest.
Each had their own power and magic they could bestow upon Nadya, and while some were forthcoming, others were not. She had never spoken to the goddess of the moons, My- esta. She wasn’t even sure what manner of power the goddess would give, if she so chose.
And though she could commune with many gods, it was im- possible to forget just who had chosen her for this fate: Mar- zenya, the goddess of death and magic, who expected complete dedication.

Indistinct voices murmured in the dark. She and Anna had found a secluded place within a copse of thick pine trees to set up their tent, but it no longer felt safe. Nadya slid a voryen from underneath her bedroll and nudged Anna awake.

She moved to the mouth of the tent, grasping at her beads, a prayer already forming on her lips, smoky symbols trailing from her mouth. She could see the blurry impressions of fig- ures in the darkness, far off in the distance. It was hard to judge the number, two? Five? Ten? Her heart sped at the possibility that a company of Tranavians were already on her trail.

Anna drew up beside her. Nadya’s grip on her voryen tightened, but she kept still. If they hadn’t seen their tent yet, she could keep them from noticing it entirely.

But Anna’s hand clasped her forearm.

“Wait,” she whispered, her breath frosting out before her in the cold. She pointed to a dark spot just off to the side of the group.
Nadya pressed her thumb against Bozidarka’s bead and her eyesight sharpened until she could see as clearly as if it were day. It took effort to shove aside the immediate, paralyzing fear as her suspicions were confirmed and Tranavian uniforms be- came clear. It wasn’t a full company. In fact, they looked rather ragged. Perhaps they had split off and lost their way.

More interesting, though, was the boy with a crossbow silently aiming into the heart of the group.
“We can get away before they notice,” Anna said.

Nadya almost agreed, almost slipped her voryen back into its sheath, but just then, the boy fired and the trees erupted into chaos. Nadya wasn’t willing to use an innocent’s life as a distraction for her own cowardice. Not again.

Even as Anna protested, Nadya let a prayer form fully in her mind, hand clutching at Horz’s bead on her necklace and its constellation of stars. Symbols fell from her lips like glow- ing glimmers of smoke and every star in the sky winked out.

Well, that was more extreme than I intended, Nadya thought with a wince. I should’ve known better than to ask Horz for anything.

She could hear cursing as the world plunged into darkness.

Anna sighed in exasperation beside her.

“Just stay back,” she hissed as she moved confidently through the dark.

“Nadya . . .” Anna’s groan was soft.

It took more focus to send a third prayer to Bozetjeh. It was hard to catch Bozetjeh on a good day; the god of speed was notoriously slow to answer prayers. But she managed to snag his attention and received a spell allowing her to move as fast as the vicious Kalyazin wind.

Her initial count had been wrong; there were six Tranavians now scattering into the forest. The boy dropped his crossbow with a bewildered look up into the sky, startling when Nadya touched his shoulder.

There was no way he could see in this darkness, but she could. When he whirled, a curved sword in his hand, Nadya sidestepped. His swing went wide and she shoved him in the direction of a fleeing Tranavian, anticipating their collision.

“Find the rest,” Marzenya hissed. “Kill them all.” Complete and total dedication.

She caught up to one of the figures, stabbing her voryen into his skull just underneath his ear.

Not so difficult this time, she thought. But the knowledge was a distant thing.

Blood sprayed, splattering a second Tranavian, who cried out in alarm. Before the second man could figure out what had happened to his companion, she lashed out her heel, catching him squarely on the jaw and knocking him off his feet. She slit his throat.

Three more. They couldn’t have moved far. Nadya took up Bozidarka’s bead again. The goddess of vision revealed where the last Tranavians were located. The boy with the sword had managed to kill two in the dark. Nadya couldn’t actually see the last one, just felt him nearby, very much alive.
Something slammed into Nadya’s back and suddenly the chilling bite of a blade was pressed against her throat. The boy appeared in front of her, his crossbow back in his hands, thank- fully not pointed at Nadya. It was clear he could only barely see her. He wasn’t Kalyazi, but Akolan.

A fair number of Akolans had taken advantage of the war between their neighbors, hiring out their swords for profit on both sides. They were known for favoring Tranavia simply because of the warmer climate. It was rare to find a creature of the desert willingly stumbling through Kalyazin’s snow.
He spoke a fluid string of words she didn’t understand. His posture was languid, as if he hadn’t nearly been torn to pieces by blood mages. The blade against Nadya’s throat pressed harder. A colder voice responded to him, the foreign language scratched uncomfortably at her ears.

Nadya only knew the three primary languages of Kalyazin and passing Tranavian. If she wasn’t going to be able to com- municate with them . . .
The boy said something else and Nadya heard the girl sigh before she felt the blade slip away. “What’s a little Kalyazi as- sassin doing out in the middle of the mountains?” he asked, switching to perfect Kalyazi.

Nadya was very aware of the boy’s friend at her back. “I could ask the same of you.”

She shifted Bozidarka’s spell, sharpening her vision further. The boy had skin like molten bronze and long hair with gold chains threaded through his loose curls.

He grinned.



“Emily
A. Duncan was born and raised in Ohio and works as a youth services
librarian. She received a Master’s degree in library science from Kent
State University, which mostly taught her how to find obscure Slavic
folklore texts through interlibrary loan systems. When not reading or
writing, she enjoys playing copious amounts of video games and dungeons
and dragons. She is represented by Thao Le of the Sandra Dijkstra
Literary Agency.”

Review/Rating Policy: I am a creature of many strong wills and book opinions so I only rate books I deeply adore. Everything else is just marked as read.




Source: Goodreads







BUY LINK:

SOCIAL LINKS:

Website: https://eaduncan.com/
Twitter: @glitzandshadows
Instagram: @glitzandshadows
Tumblr: http://glitzandshadows.tumblr.com/

Book Blitz: The Crystal Keeper Series by Laurisa White Reyes

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Blitz: The Crystal Keeper Series
Author: Laurisa White Reyes
Genre: Fantasy
Date: 21st of March
Hosted by: Ultimate Fantasy Books 

BLURB:

Books 1-3:

Exile, Betrayal & Vengeance
Jayson lives among the shadows of Hestoria, his sole purpose for staying alive – to protect his half of the Seer’s crystal. Exiled from his homeland for loving the king’s daughter, Ivanore, Jayson is now pursued by two opposing factions: the Vatéz (League of Magicians) who intend to use the crystal for their own selfish gain, and the Guilde, the ancient guardians of the crystal.

​Meanwhile, Ivanore flees from her father to Hestoria in search of Jayson. As the Seer, she is plagued with visions of him being tortured and is determined to rescue him. When the Vatéz capture her, however, she unwittingly jeopardizes everything Jayson has vowed to protect. He must now make a terrible choice: Should he save Ivanore or save the crystal?

↓Buy Links↓
https://www.amazon.com/Crystal-Keeper-Laurisa-White-Reyes-ebook/dp/B00RR6H440
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BLURB: 

Books 4-6:

Hidden, Defiant, & Fallen
Ivanore the Seer lives under lock and key in the castle of Auseret, a reluctant captor of her brother, Arik, now the Minister of Hestoria. Unwilling to use her powers to assist him in locating the crystal or the missing Guardians, Arik schemes to trick her into leading him right to the enemy’s lair.Meanwhile, the Guardians live peaceably with Jayson on a sprawling farm outside of the Vatéz’s realm.

But Jayson is not the man he once was. Broken and beaten down by years of separation from his beloved Ivanore, Jayson must find the will to keep the Guardians safe in an increasingly violent land. When the unthinkable happens, both Ivanore and Jayson battle their own demons to protect the crystal from falling into Arik’s hands—and to keep all of Hestoria safe from the Vatéz.

↓Buy Links↓
https://www.amazon.com/Crystal-Keeper-Laurisa-White-Reyes-ebook/dp/B07MFK5YSC

Booktrailer: https://youtu.be/lq8e1PcPAUA 

Laurisa
AUTHOR BIO:

Laurisa White Reyes wears many hats these days: Editor-in-Chief of Middle Shelf Magazine, published author, professional editor, educator, and homeschool mom to five kids. She has a Master’s Degree in English and is the founder of Skyrocket Press.

Visit her website at: www.LaurisaWhiteReyes.com

To find out more about Laurisa White Reyes you can visit her at:

Amazon Page | Facebook | Website | Goodreads | Twitter 

UFB ~ Banner 2017

Book Review: You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn

BOOK BLURB: 

Annie Mathers is
America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the
things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most
definitely going to end up one of those things.

But
unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer
tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when
your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding
the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her
skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay
has to make it happen.

Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and
good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start
fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t
help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame
Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She
had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t
interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart
that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor,
isn’t worth the risk.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36146624-you-d-be-mine

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. No payments made between me and the publisher.

The first time I saw this book on NetGalley, I didn’t expect too much, I might be disappointed but then as  I continue reading, I slowly got hooked. Then, I saw a friend’s comment via Twitter that he enjoyed reading this book a lot. I was like, “Hey! Me too!” This book put me in a good mood because of all the music mentioned. There were times that I do search the song on my Spotify just to add more feelings on what I am reading. One more thing that adds up to why I liked this book is that, they’re all talking about Country songs! I do love this genre!!! This one is on my top three genres. There’s something in Country songs that is relaxing and fun to listen to. 


I also love the concept of the book. Concert tours? I always wanted to watch a concert that would feature a country icon (one day hopefully). Anyway, I loved how things evolved here. You’ll know more things about Clay and Annie. I loved their up and down relationship and self discovery. It reflects the real things that is happening during concert tours and the young fame.I liked Clay, in my head he’s like Luke Bryan, handsome and all. Annie is like Taylor Swift because of how her hair was described here. These two characters have a very deep background that I don’t want to spoil in this review. Both characters have issues and they showed how they handled it in their own ways. Both of them wants to escape from the past. Both characters grew as two different people but what I’m sure of they became more interesting at the end of this book.

I listed some of the songs and I listened to it while on my way to work or home while reading the book on my Kindle App. What I would like to do some other time is that, I’ll review the book again and make a playlist to share with you all. I could say that I enjoyed reading this book a lot. Took me a long time to finish due to work stuff (apologies!!!) imagine… they even get to CMA! I was like.. wow.. just wow.. I loved every part of it. And it makes me fall in love to Country more. 

I hope other readers will enjoy the book as much as I do. Also, I am looking forward to read other books from Erin Hahn. I liked how she writes, no dull time though. I just continue reading and I found myself that the book is almost over. It was simple and fun to read. 

PS. While writing this review, I am listening to country songs. It feels appropriate. 

My Ratings



Erin started writing her own
books when her little sister gave her shade about a country music-themed
Twilight fanfic. By day, she gets to share her favorite stories with
her elementary students. By night, she writes swoons. Erin married her
own YA love interest whom she met on her first day of college and has
two kids who are much, much cooler than she ever was at their age. She
lives in Michigan, aka the greenest place on earth and has a cat, Gus,
who plays fetch.


Blog Tour: Rock ‘N’ Roll ‘N’ That by Steven N. Gill

BLURB:

“Rock ‘n’ roll is a nuclear blast of reality in a mundane world where no-one is allowed to be magnificent.”

The former manager of The Runaways said that. The mad bastard. And Johnny Harrison swore by it. He had to.

Almost forty, fully paid up member of the rat race and bored sh*tless. He had to believe in something.

Then something happened. Something magnificent. A once in a lifetime band dropped out of the sky and right into his lap.

A band unaware of just how great they could be. A band that had no idea what was about to hit them. A band that needed someone to light the fuse.

That someone was Johnny Harrison and the truth was he needed them so much more. They were his ticket out.

That’s how it is with THE ROCK ‘N’ THE ROLL. ‘N’ THAT. Buy your ticket and take the ride.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43531300-the-rock-n-roll-n-that
– – – EXCERPT – – –

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Low-key.
He’d insisted on low-key.
Low-key. It’s
unambiguous.
Without fuss.
No surprise parties.
Resolutely no fucking
surprise party.
No ‘see them once in a blue moon
friends making up the numbers.
No debauched weekend in Eastern Europe
being rinsed by preternaturally attractive girls.
And resolutely no
navel-gazing or ‘what if’ recriminations.
At least not outside the
confines of his inner narrative…
Male
pattern baldness. Erectile dysfunction. Pension shortfalls. Prostate checks.
Taking up the saxophone. The fucking saxophone. Earhole, eyebrow & nostril
hair sprouting overnight. Middle aged spread. Just for fucking Men hair dye.
Fuck me. Buying a bike worth twice your first car and dressing up in lycra like
a Poundland Bradley Wiggins. Fucking Lycra. Prozac. Viagra. Vitamin
supplements. Antiwrinkle moisturisers at 30 quid a pop. Getting your five-a-day
every day. And your once a month bedroom treat. If you’re really lucky. Stop
wearing trainers. Christ. Health MOTs. National Trust membership. Three-day
hangovers. Dinner parties. Stroking you chin in Real Ales Pubs and Ministry of
turn the Sound down please. Going. Fucking. Bald. And so on…
It’d
better be fucking low key,
Johnny thought to
himself as he idly peeled at the dampened label on his bottle of lager.
Johnny Harrison.
Thirty-nine years and 364
days old.
Or young. Whichever way you want to wrap it
up. He had begun to warm to the vagaries of thirty-something… But forty.
Fucking forty.
Middle-aged.
Proper middle aged.
How the fuck had that
crept up on him?
4-0. That was a whole new demographic. The
39–45 bracket on applications. And that’s nearly 50.
He had been fifteen when his dad hit the
two-score milestone. The half century eluding him as he dropped dead of a
stroke at 48. Congenital heart condition. Long odds of it being hereditary. But
still…
It was to be a drink or two with his
closest friends in Manchester’s burgeoning Northern Quarter.
Dressed for the occasion in his
immaculate, but seldom worn, Navy Stripe Boating Blazer, green gingham checked
shirt and jeans – the same brand and fit for the past fifteen years. A pair of
new brown Desert Boots completed the outfit. A present from his long-term
partner, Claire. Complete with a card saying that it should really have been
comfy slippers. Drum roll please. “There’s just no place for the balds in rock
’n’ roll,” said Johnny
“Elton John,” Mark replied,
with a self-satisfied look on his face.
“He’s not a bald! Proper
head of hair on him,” Johnny replied.
“Fuck off. He’s bald as a coot! He wears a
wig. I’m sure of it,” said Mark with an exasperated tone.
“AHH!” Johnny said as he held an index
finger to his nose and pointed at Mark with his other hand.
“You’re such a sarky
twat,” Mark grumbled.
“Look. For every bald you can think of, I
can name a dozen that are hirsute in the extreme. Ozzy. All The Beatles. Bowie.
Zep. Let’s not start on The Stones. Clapton. Duran Du-fucking-ran. The
Gallaghers. Him out of Depeche Mode. The Roses. Pete Doherty. But I wouldn’t
encourage his narcotic intake.”
“Yeah, yeah alright,”
Mark ceded.
“I’m right. A healthy diet of drugs gives
you a great fucking head of hair. For life. So, shut the fuck up and tuck in,”
Johnny said as he nodded in the direction of the mound of cocaine that sat
centre stage on his finger-marked glass dining room table.
“FLEETWOOD MAC! They took loads. Legendary
for it,” he shouted smugly.
“Behave. Stevie Nicks has got a lovely
head of hair. She wouldn’t thank you for that,” Johnny retorted.
“Always the smartarse,”
Mark said.
“Always. But you still love me. Now get
that polished off. Taxi will be here soon. Give Chris a shout. Chain-smoking
like a lab monkey out there.”
“Anyway. Don’t change the subject. That’s
it. All downhill from here,” Mark said pithily.
“Fuck off. I’ve still got my hair. Bit
greyer. Well, a lot greyer,” he said shrugging, “and my eyesight’s only just
giving up the ghost. And I won’t be shopping for Blue Harbour’s finest
elasticated jeans like you. That bay window above your belt,” Johnny said as he
reached across to pat Mark roughly on his receding pate.
Mark recoiled, slapping
Johnny’s hand away.
“Look at the fucking state of you man.
You’ve given up. Five years ago, you’d have never been seen dead in them shoe
trainers or whatever the fuck they are. They look like someone dropped two pies
and you’ve stepped in them”
“Given up? You’ve not got a fucking clue
mate. Given up. Fuck me,” Mark said with a weary shake of his head. “I’d love
to drop a week’s wages on clobber. But the last time I looked at something
smart, it didn’t come in a wipe down from baby puke range.”
“Come on mate, I’m only messing. I’m 40.
What changes? It’s only a number. I’ll be right. Something’ll happen for me…”
“Do you mean you’re actually going to grow
up and face up to your responsibilities?” Mark asked. “It’s not too late for
you to become a dad or make an honest woman of Claire. Decide what you want
from your career!” His tone becoming serious as he attempted to add gravitas to
his advice “Haha! I’d love to take you seriously mate! I’m hanging on your
every word. But I cannot take life coaching from a man with a lump of coke
hanging from his nose.”
Rubbing his nostrils furiously, “You could
at least start with a proper haircut,” Mark said.
Chris returned from the backyard, having
just extinguished his fifth cigarette of the afternoon. “But it’s not ‘just a number’ is it. You’ll look at
what you’ve achieved or in your case…”
“Balls,” Johnny said, a
little too defensively.
An angular chin away from being classed as
classically good looking. Just under six foot, with an athletic build he had
somehow retained despite a lack of any meaningful exercise over the last
decade. A thick head of hair that had seen teenage attempts at a Morrissey
quiff – lamentably limp – ’90s rave ‘curtains’ which morphed into an indie bowl
cut and was now worn in an unkempt fringe that he felt was an act of rebellion
towards his corporate paymasters. And in his vainer moments, made him look like
Richard Ashcroft.
Decent enough house. Money wasn’t that
much of an issue. His job as an HR manager at a large IT company paid well, but
it wasn’t exactly what he had planned. Claire was a good partner. Although she
was not behind the door at reminding him what a catch she was. He missed her
more free-spirited days. Sort of. She was seemingly now far happier planning
interior design makeovers, with hours spent slavishly pouring over aspirational
magazines.
This can’t be it.
There must be more to the conundrum of
life. There’s got to be more than sitting on a sofa and asking each other what
you want to eat before you die.

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Steven
J. Gill is from  Manchester, living just
south of the city centre.
This
is his first book. Previously, his writing work was limited to music and
football fanzines.
He
has had quite the varied career, ranging from finance, delivering enterprise
days to schools, undertaker and. driver.
A
self-confessed cats, coats and Beatles obsessive.
Very
much in right time and right place in the early 80’s and 90’s and duly devoured
all that the Manchester music scene had to offer. Talked a lot of nonsense and
managed  a couple of bands that never
unite made it big. Sings like a donkey braying into a bucket but a very good
musical ear would be a fitting epitaph…
Having
had somewhat of a literary epiphany at the inaugural Festival No.6 in North
Wales, Steven decided it was time to set to and get writing. ‘The Rock ‘n’ The
Roll. ‘ N” That…’  is the fruit of
these labours.”
As
some Scouse pop genius once opined, “it took me years to write, so won’t you
take a look…”