Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Caraval: A Review #Tuesdaybookblog #giveaway

Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. It's more than just a game or a performance. It's the closest you'll ever find to magic in this world . . .
Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.
But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.
Welcome, welcome to Caraval . . . beware of getting swept too far away.

The Hunger Games meets The Night Circus. Grade: A-.” —EW
“Spellbinding.” US Weekly
“Magnificent.” Publishers Weekly, starred review
“I lost myself in this world.” —Sabaa Tahir, author of An Ember in the Ashes
“Beautifully written.” —Renée Ahdieh, author of The Wrath and the Dawn
“Shimmers with magic.” —Marie Rutkoski, author of The Winner’s Curse
“Darkly enchanting.” —Kiersten White, author of And I Darken
“Decadent.” —Roshani Chokshi, author of The Star-Touched Queen
“Like stepping into a living dream.” —Stacey Lee, author of Outrun the Moon
“Destined to capture imaginations.” —Kirkus Reviews
Ideal for fans of The Night CircusStardust, and The Hunger Games.” SLJ

                        Kory's Thoughts

So I gave this one a 4 out of 5 stars. I did enjoy the story. It was one of the books where you think about it during the day while you're struggling to focus on other tasks, and when you finally get a chance to go read it, you're excited to do so. I was mostly really into the budding relationship between Scarlett and someone (no spoilers!) and I liked the mystery/game elements.

So why not a 5-star? Because there is a part close to the end/right around the climax, that just becomes a hot mess. I'm going to give the writer the benefit of the doubt and say I *think* this was intentional because Caraval is supposed to be an experience tinged with madness, but mostly I was just confused, so it dimmed some of my excitement and overall enjoyment of what should have been the most intense part of the book. This confusing episode is followed by an info dump that is meant to clarify everything--and then it wraps up with an ending that leaves me feeling (also probably on purpose) exactly how Scarlet felt: unsure...but hopeful. 

But I like how the book resolved and was happy with it overall and would recommend it to fans of YA books with fantasy elements.

Did You Know?

I'm currently hosting an Amazon giveaway for Shadows in the Water. If you haven't already, enter the giveaway here. Even "losers" will get a prize.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

#FreebieFriday: An Amazon Giveaway #fridayreads

I've just launched an Amazon giveaway for my new novel, Shadows in the Water. Click here for your chance to win.

Already read Shadows in the Water? AWESOME.
Please leave a **VERY APPRECIATED** review on Amazon or Goodreads.

Other Friday Reads

Dragonlands Books 1-3

Enter the world of Dragonlands with the first three novels from this USA TODAY bestselling epic fantasy series.

For five years, Charlotte (Charlie) Holloway has lived as a boy in the slums. But when one theft too many gets her arrested, her only means of escape lies with a dead man. Charlie hasn't raised a spirit since she first discovered she could do so five years ago. That time, her father banished her. This time, she brings even more trouble upon herself.

People are now hunting Charlie all over London, but only one man succeeds in capturing her. 

Lincoln Fitzroy is the mysterious head of a secret organization on the trail of a madman who needs a necromancer to control his newly "made" creatures. There was only one known necromancer in the world - Charlotte - but now there appears to be two. Lincoln captures the willful Charlie in the hopes the boy will lead him to Charlotte. But what happens when he discovers the boy is in fact the young woman he's been searching for all along? And will she agree to work for the man who held her against her will, and for an organization she doesn't trust? 

Because Lincoln and his ministry might be just as dangerous as the madman they're hunting.

Prepare to unleash 22 haunting Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance adventures with the Haunted by Magic omnibus! With over one million words of otherworldly fiction from the Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance genres, this boxed set collection will provide over one hundred hours of reading, including some BRAND NEW material!

From rune magic to steampunk to Norse mythology and a whole lot in between, these paranormal and fantasy pages will draw you in with a whisper and startle you with flare. 

She makes a deal with the enemy… What could go wrong?

Calla has to protect herself. She doesn't have a choice. The stupid councilors have dreamed up a bogus assignment, just to send her to Dragon Country… alone… with the expectation she won't be coming back. But she has a plan: she'll seduce two dragons before she leaves. 

With their scents on her, no other dragon will come near her…

Except the sexy and powerful dragons have different plans. They aren't interested in pretending. They want to take a mate. Her. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

3 Must-Read Audiobooks #Audible #Tuesdaybookblog

Sometimes you just need a good audiobook. Something to listen to while you cook, clean, walk the dog, shower...okay, maybe not shower.

Well here are my three audiobook picks for the month.

#1 Eleventh Grave in Moonlight by Darynda Jones
Narrator: Lorelei King

"Few things in life are as surprising as having your husband, the man you gave your heart and soul to,throw you off a 350-foot building. I should know." --Charley Davidson, Eleventh Grave in Moonlight

Welp, Darynda Jones did it again folks. I loved the latest installment of the Charley Davidson grim reaper series and gave it a 5 out of 5 stars. That ending though! Gah! It's going to be hell (pun intended) waiting until Book 12 comes out (rumored to be hitting the shelves in October of this year. 

I thought Lorelei King did an AMAZING job with the narration this time around and her wonderful Charley-voice makes the story that much more enjoyable.

Official Description

Grim Reaper Charley Davidson is back in Eleventh Grave in Moonlight, the latest installment of Darynda Jones’ New York Times bestselling paranormal series.

My entire life can be summed up in one sentence: 
“Well, that didn’t go as planned.”
A typical day in the life of Charley Davidson involves cheating husbands, errant wives, missing people, philandering business owners, and, oh yeah...demons, hell hounds, evil gods, and dead people. Lots and lots of dead people. As a part time Private Investigator and full-time Grim Reaper, Charley has to balance the good, the bad, the undead, and those who want her dead.
Now, Charley is learning to make peace with the fact that she is a goddess with all kinds of power and that her own daughter has been born to save the world from total destruction. But the forces of hell are determined to see Charley banished forever to the darkest corners of another dimension. With the son of Satan himself as her husband and world-rocking lover, will Charley be able to defeat the ultimate evil and find a way to have her happily ever after after all?

Where can you get your copy of the audiobook?


#2 Ghost Market by Angela Roquet
Narrator: Hollie Jackson

Ghost Market is the 6th novel in the international bestselling Lana Harvey series. I've read and enjoyed ALL the Lana Harvey books, and GM was JUST released on audiobook. Hip-hooray!

My official review for Ghost Market: 

Masterful craft and superb storytelling. The author clearly knows her mythology and how to weave an intriguing tale full of mystery, suspense, courage, and kissing. What's not to like?

Official Description
In the wake of a thwarted war, Lana Harvey is more than ready for an extended vacation on the new houseboat she shares with the Lord of the Flies, but when the leaderless rebels begin poaching souls and selling them on the Ghost Market, Lana is tasked with heading up a new unit to stop them.

Having one of the most famous faces in Eternity proves challenging when it comes to finding a way inside the secretive world of illegal soul peddling, and the only person Lana knows with the right connections is Tasha Henry, a former colleague and defeated rebel with a poaching record. The rogue reaper isn’t going to be easy to track down, and even if Lana does manage to catch up with her, the real question is whether or not a shot at redemption will be enough to lure her away from the dark side.

Where can you get your copy of the audiobook?

#4 Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Narrator: Neil Gaiman

So full disclosure: I tried to read Neverwhere as an actual book first (because it's one of my wife's favorites) and couldn't get into it. So I got it on audiobook--because I tend to like books more when they are read to me and because Neil Gaiman has a VERY lovely voice--yes, he narrates his own books--and it worked. I enjoyed listening to the audiobook quite a bit. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads. That's Gaiman for you. He could read me the recipe card for blood sausages and I would just smile at him. Like an idiot.

Official description

Richard Mayhew is an unassuming young businessman living in London, with a dull job and a pretty but shrewish fiancée. Then one night he stumbles upon a girl lying on the sidewalk, bleeding. He stops to help her, and his life is changed forever.
Soon he finds himself living in a London most people would never have dreamed of: a city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels. It is a world that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations. And it is the home of Door, the girl whom Richard rescued, and whom, if he is ever to return home, he must now help in her mission to preserve this strange underworld kingdom from a mysterious figure determined to destroy it.

Where can you get your copy of the audiobook?

Looking For More Audiobooks?

Books 1-5 of the Jesse Sullivan urban fantasy series audiobooks are also on audible. They are narrated by Hollie Jackson too. You can find more information about them below: