As Fast As I Can: #LoveOzMG Review

Today is my tour stop on the UQP and #AusYABloggers review tour celebrating the release of Australian Author Penny Tangey’s new book As Fas As I Can.

As Fast As I Can by Penny Tangey
Genre: Contemporary, #LoveOzMG
Publication: March 31st, 2020
Publisher: UQP
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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

From CBCA-shortlisted author Penny Tangey comes this funny, heartfelt novel about ten-year-old Vivian and her quest to one day become an Olympic middle-distance runner. Dealing with themes around chronic illness, persistence and acceptance.

One girl. One dream. A few hurdles.

Ten-year-old Vivian is determined to win a medal at the Olympic Games one day. Problem is, she hasn’t found a sport she’s any good at yet. But everyone says if you work hard enough you can achieve anything, right? So when Vivian discovers she has a talent for cross country running, finally, her Olympic dream might actually come true.

But then a family illness is uncovered and all of Vivian’s plans begin to unravel. Can she keep her dream alive? Or will she be stopped in her tracks?

A funny, heartfelt novel about resilience, acceptance and dreaming big.

Oh wow, this book brought back memories of primary school athletes’ carnivals, Heathy Harold visits, and the excitement of learning about the Olympics for the first time. But don’t worry, you do not need to be into sports or follow the Olympics to enjoy this story. Even though I’m not a big sports fan in general and being that the only sports I will actually sit down and watch involve motors, wheels, and insane speeds – I still really enjoyed this book.

As Fast As I Can is the tale of Vivian Hassler, a young girl whose Olympic dreams are shattered by a life-altering doctor’s diagnosis. We follow the POV character Vivian through the ups of finally feeling like her dreams are achievable, to the downs of having to learn to deal and live with chronic illness.
Even though sad things happen, this is not a sad book – It is a heartwarming book. Vivian Hassler is a bright, charismatic, and energetic girl, who was easy to like and easy to connect with.

I do wish this book would have had an epilogue. I am not a big fan of open endings, they feel unfinished to me, but hey, some people love them. The ending points in the direction of Vivian accepting her illness. But I would have loved an epilogue showing her enjoying new hobbies and just generally being happy.  Don’t get me wrong I really enjoyed the book, 4/5 stars, and I intend to look into Penny’s other books. I just would have liked to see her finding a new passion, not just realizing she needs to, as she is only just starting to come to terms with her diagnosis when the story ends.

I love the variety of Aussie Middle-Grade titles coming out these days! For the intended audience, this book will teach kids empathy, family and friendship dynamics, how to handle disappointment, the importance of hobbies, and how there is more than one way to live out your dreams. For me as an adult, I may not have learned anything new, but it was still a captivating read that I am so happy to see exists and one that I intend to share with my boys.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Penny Tangey writes humorous books for young people. Penny studied Arts/Science at Melbourne University majoring in Chemistry and Indonesian. While at university Penny performed stand-up comedy, including in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Penny now works as a researcher for television quiz shows Hard Quiz and The Chase, but is still terrible at trivia.

Penny’s latest book As fast As I Can, is her fourth book published by University of Queensland Press. Her three previous novels being; Loving Richard Feynman, Clara in Washington, and Stay Well Soon.

You can find Penny at her website HERE and on Twitter HERE.

Follow along on the tour HERE.

Thanks for visiting sarahfairbairn.com 🙂
Until next time, enjoy your shelves 🙂

Sealer’s Game: Review

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Sealer’s Game (Sealer Saga #1) by Kathy Coleman
Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Publication: October 22nd 2019
Publisher: Kathy Coleman
Source: Review copy via Xpresso Tours
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Rating: ✵✵✵

Hell hath no fury like a goddess scorned…

As Champion, Carita of Bel Auryn thought she would spend her days fighting demons. Instead, she is drawn into the latest scheme of the Moon Goddess, Ruby: a contest to choose a man who will have the “honour” of fathering her child. When Ruby encourages Carita to choose a man for herself, she picks the man she is most drawn to–and immediately regrets it.

Lucian Veradayne is the Lord of Death. He knows he must win Ruby’s game at any cost. It doesn’t matter that he has avoided her for two thousand years. Nor that she tried to kill their first child. And it really doesn’t matter that he would much rather woo Carita. The Soul Well has given Lucian a prophecy: he and Ruby must have another child. A child who will save the world.

Dealing with their mutual attraction will be the least of Lucian and Carita’s problems. They are not the only ones who have been drawn into Ruby’s game. Someone else wants to win. Someone who wants Ruby dead. Will Carita and Lucian be able to protect her long enough for a victor to be named? And if they succeed, will they be able to walk away from each other to ensure the prophecy is fulfilled?

Sealer’s Game is a 55,000 word fantasy romance novella about the King of the Underworld, a kick-butt warrior priestess, and a ruthless goddess who will stop at nothing to get her own way. It contains language, descriptions of violence, and sexual themes that may not be appropriate for all readers. Recommended for ages 18+.


Where to start. I wouldn’t call this an 18+ read. More like a 15+. A mature audience warning, rather than being rated R. I’ve read darker battle scenes and stronger sexual themes in YA. It’s the baby murder in the prologue, that gives it the MA15+ warning from me.

I’m going to have to address it straight up. I found the Prologue destressing and would have stopped reading the book had it not been that I was part of this blog tour. I am glad I kept reading because overall, I did end up being entertained and found the Sealer’s Game to be a quick, easy and enjoyable read.

The realm most of this story takes place in in Zynedia. Kindred are to Zynedia, what humans are to Earth. Earth does exist but it is another realm. A Sealer is what the gods are, their species, like human, or kindred, or bear, or rabbit etc. There is a Greek style Underworld and the dead from Zynedia and Earth end up there. The Sky realm isn’t visited in this story, but I’m sure it will be explored as the story continues in later books. My explanation might seem confusing, but it’s quite easy to follow as the story progresses. Remember I called it a “a quick, easy and enjoyable read.”

The story cycles through three points of view; Ruby, Carita and Lucian.

The first character we meet is Ruby. We’ve just meet Ruby and she’s already murdering a baby she just gave birth to. Yep it took me a while to come back from that and I never really ended up warming to her character (big shock there).

I think in the Prologue you are supposed to feel Lucian is the bad guy? But being that he tried to save the baby and was willing to love it anyway, he felt more like a good guy, even though he was the ruler of the underworld. Lucian Veradayne, the Lord of Death. Hades, he is essentially Hades. There are Greek god vibes all through this book, and that I was into. Even when Ruby was explaining the different realms to Carita and her history with Lucian. I was still left feeling he was the good guy.

To Ruby, Men are nothing but playthings, which I was okay with – It’s the graphic baby killing bit where she lost me. The ice-cold goddess seemed to warm to her mortal servant, and they sort of became friends, kind of.

And that leads us to Carita. Carita is a kindred (think human). I liked Carita. She was traded to the moon temple by her royal parents as a child, for a potion to allow them to conceive a health son. She was a damn princess before becoming a priestess. Hello warrior princess, I see you. She’s spent her life training to be a strong warrior so one day she might be picked by Skye Goddess Ruby as her champion (Champion = protector/maid/squire/toy/go-kill-that-man. Murder slave!)

Conclusion. This book has a Hitmen, secret agreements, fierce women and a prophecy that demands the birth off a child who is of both the underworld and the sky realm – who of cause will be the key to saving all the realms. Harrah! By the end I did feel like all three of the POV characters were hard done by thanks to the damn Prophesy – but that’s prophecies for you. And yeah, I did have some issues with it, but overall! I did end up being entertained and found the Sealer’s Game to be a quick, easy and enjoyable read.

Did the baby get conceived? What becomes of Carita and Lucian’s feeling for each other? You’ll have to read Sealer’s Game to find out.


AUTHOR BIO: Kathy Coleman lives in a little town in Ontario with her parents, one younger brother and two mischievous little dogs named D’Argo and Coco. She attended Trent University, majoring in English and Cultural Studies. 
When she is not being kept awake at 3 a.m. by characters who refuse to quit talking, she can be found performing karaoke at charity events, updating her book blog I Write, I Read, I Review, shopping, or playing video games.
Thanks for visiting sarahfairbairn.com 🙂
Until next time, enjoy your shelves 🙂

SLAY: YA Review

Hachette Australia, together with the #AusYABloggers are celebrating the release of SLAY by Brittney Morris. On tour, you will find Aussie bloggers, reviewers and Instagrammers sharing their thoughts on SLAY, beginning on October 28th and running until November 1st 2019. AND TODAY IS MY STOP ON THE TOUR.

SLAY by Brittney Morris
Published by Hachette Australia
ISBN 9781444951721
Published October 9th 2019
Add to Goodreads
RRP $17.99 AUD

We are different ages, genders, tribes, tongues, and traditions… But tonight we all SLAY.

By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is a college student, and one of the only black kids at Jefferson Academy. By night, she joins hundreds of thousands of black gamers who duel worldwide in the secret online role-playing card game, SLAY.

No one knows Kiera is the game developer – not even her boyfriend, Malcolm. But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, the media labels it an exclusionist, racist hub for thugs.

With threats coming from both inside and outside the game, Kiera must fight to save the safe space she’s created. But can she protect SLAY without losing herself?


I loved SLAY. It is the kind of book that’s so engrossing you can’t put it down. The placing and the plot are phenomenal.

This is a book celebrating Black power and Black pride. This is a book about finding a safe space to be 100% yourself. This is a book about the good and the bad of online gaming. This is a book of a girl growing into a proud, brave and strong black women despite our modern society.

I loved the celebration of black history in this book. I loved the incite it will give non-gamers into what it feels like to immerse yourself fully into an online world. I loved being on this sometimes-nerve-racking journey with Kiera and Claire.

The POV alternates between game developer Kiera, game moderator Claire, with a few chapters sprinkled in from SLAY players. I loved the chapters from game players, but especially Jaylen’s, it really built out the whole SLAY experience. I wanted to jump into the pages and hug Jaylen, then give her a safe place to live were she could be a her and be the Queen she is in on the inside.

For three years Kiera has made and maintained a safe online space for Black gamers, but she has kept it a secret from the people in her life, each for different reasons. The secret catches up with her when everything she’s created comes under fire after a tragic event causes the mass population (white assholes) find out about the game and their exclusion. Nothing is over exaggerated in this book, as a white person I read it and thought, yep that’s how all those white males who never had to want for anything in their life would react and F*** you they deserve a safe place away from you assholes.

The dedication for this book reads “To everyone who has ever had to minimize who you are to be palatable to those who aren’t like you”. And the last line in the author’s acknowledges reads “To the Black gamers out there hungry for more heroes who look like us, I wrote this for you. #SLAY” I think these two sentences tell you all you really need to know about this fantastic read.

I say it all the time when I’m talking about queer books, everybody deserves to see themselves represented on the page, and that goes for on the screen also. I think this book perfectly gets that message across from an inside perspective. This book is never preachy, but it is real, and the message comes through loud and clear.

I loved this book and I think everybody should read it.

Side note: The whole time I was reading this book I was thinking what a fantastic movie this would make, fingers crossed it makes the jump like THUG and the world gets an equally awesome movie adaptation.

“Kings and queens, you know the drill. We are here first and foremost to celebrate Black excellence in all its forms, from all parts of the globe. We are different ages, genders, tribes, tongues, and traditions. But tonight, we are all Black. And tonight, we all SLAY.”

To follow along on the tour head on over to the AusYABloggers blog tour master post HERE, it has all the links to all the tour hosts.

Thanks for visiting sarahfairbairn.com 🙂
Until next time, enjoy your shelves 🙂

The Memory Thief: Author Q&A & Giveaway

The Memory Thief
Lauren Mansy
Published by: Blink
Publication date: October 1st 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

In the city of Craewick, memories reign. The power-obsessed ruler of the city, Madame, has cultivated a society in which memories are currency, citizens are divided by ability, and Gifted individuals can take memories from others through touch as they please.

Seventeen-year-old Etta Lark is desperate to live outside of the corrupt culture, but grapples with the guilt of an accident that has left her mother bedridden in the city’s asylum. When Madame threatens to put her mother up for auction, a Craewick practice in which a “criminal’s” memories are sold to the highest bidder before being killed, Etta will do whatever it takes to save her. Even if it means rejoining the Shadows, the rebel group she swore off in the wake of the accident years earlier.

To prove her allegiance to the Shadows and rescue her mother, Etta must steal a memorized map of the Maze, a formidable prison created by the bloodthirsty ruler of a neighboring Realm. So she sets out on a journey in which she faces startling attacks, unexpected romance, and, above all, her own past in order to set things right in her world.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

Q&A with Lauren Mansy:

  • What was it like to write your first book and have it published?

Incredible! It’s been such a wonderful journey filled with many sweet moments. I began writing over seven years ago, and it’s definitely surreal that The Memory Thief is now on shelves! As of late, there have been quite a few teary moments—and I’m totally not a crier! I’m truly overwhelmed by every kind word, the support, and the willingness to walk alongside me as The Memory Thief has gone from something imagined to a real book. I couldn’t be more excited to share this story with readers!

  • What was your inspiration behind TMT?

When I was a teenager, my mom was diagnosed with a heart condition, which led to an unexpected heart surgery. On the way to the operating room, her heart stopped six times, and the doctors warned my family that it was unlikely she’d survive. And if she did, she may not remember us due to the trauma she’d experienced throughout the entire ordeal.

I was sitting at her bedside when she first began to stir after her surgery, and I slipped my hand into hers and told her that it was me. Then she began to squeeze my hand three times, our signal for I love you! That’s my most favorite memory because I’d never felt such fear suddenly overcome by the most incredible joy. That collision of emotions was the moment which first sparked the idea for The Memory Thief.

Ever since then, I always struck by how memories make up so much of our identity and influence our relationships with others. It terrified me that my mom wouldn’t remember me, but I’m so thankful to say that she made a full-recovery. Though it was long and difficult process, she never gave up hope that things would one day get better. Her unwavering courage inspired me to want to share this story.

  • What kind of impact did writing TMT have on you personally?

Writing TMT has had a huge impact on me. I first began writing after completing treatments for Hodgkin’s Disease, a form of lymphatic cancer. It was a very difficult time in my life, and writing fiction helped me express myself in ways that I’d never done before. It helped me process through some of my most difficult memories.

When I first began drafting The Memory Thief, I realized there were still some emotions about being faced with the possibility of losing my mom that I’d yet to express out loud. Writing this book proved to be a source of healing, and a wonderful platform for exploring truth in my own life through a backdrop of fiction.

This story is very dear to my heart, and reflecting back on the process of writing this book is what made the moment of holding it in my hands so amazing.

  • What is your favorite part about TMT?

I think my favorite part is the relationship that Etta has with her mother.

Gwendolyn was one of my favorite characters to write because she’s full of opposites. Because of her coma, she hasn’t spoken a word in four years yet that entire time, she’s been teaching Etta how important it is never to give up, even when all the odds are stacked against you.

On her journey to save her mother, Etta discovers that Gwendolyn’s story is intertwined with Etta’s in ways that she never imagined. Writing this aspect of the plot was so much fun, and definitely one of my favorite parts of the drafting process, as well!

  • What do you hope readers take away from TMT?

The main thing I hope readers take away is that it isn’t the hardships of the past which define us but the strength we find in overcoming them. Etta has been through a lot of difficult things, and she struggles with trusting others because she has a hard time trusting herself. At the beginning of the story, Etta has spent four years hiding from both the people and events which haunt her, but to save her mother, she’ll have to come face-to-face with the past. I hope her journey will inspire readers to never lose hope, even in the midst of impossible odds.

  • How are you reflected in TMT (or, how much of you is reflected in the book)?

Because this story is based on my own journey with my mother, many of Etta’s worries, doubts, and fears are things I also experienced when faced with the possibility of losing my mom. The questions that Etta asks about how to deal with a situation like this are questions that I often pondered myself.

So when I first began writing TMT, I thought, “What if I wasn’t the only one who faced this fear? What if there was an entire society that feared their loved ones no longer remembering them?” It was these kinds of thoughts which ultimately let me to want to explore a world where memories reign over everything. Then writing Etta’s emotional journey also helped me process through a lot of my own memories, as well.

That’s one reason that I love not only writing but reading fantasy novels. Even though these characters live in worlds that are vastly different than our own, what they love, hate, and fear can often be so relatable. That often sticks with me long after I read the last page, and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to share this journey with readers.

  • What is your favorite thing to do to promote your book?

My favorite thing has been getting to know readers. I had the privilege of attending BEA and ALA this past summer, and I loved meeting librarians, educators, fellow writers, bloggers, and industry professionals. Writing can often be a solitary venture, but the publishing process has been filled with creating some wonderful relationships. I couldn’t be more grateful for this community!

  • Why should readers be sure to place TMT on their TBR list?

The Memory Thief is a book full of secrets, lies, and betrayal. It’s set in a world where memories are currency, people are struggling to hold onto their true identity, and nothing is quite what it seems. And Etta is a very flawed character. She has a lot of regret and has made many mistakes, yet she never stops fighting to save her loved ones. If any these things appeal to you, I hope you’ll consider adding TMT to your TBR!

  • What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned while being a writer?

I think the biggest lesson being a writer has taught me is the importance of the “story behind the story”. Though the publication journey is filled with exciting moments (like seeing the cover for the first time and holding the final copy!), the journey of getting here has changed me for forever. There have been highs and lows, moments of uncertainty coupled with unexpected encouragement, and wonderful support from family, friends, and even strangers! Writing fiction gave me a voice when I was still struggling to find mine, and I’ll be forever grateful that even as the last page of The Memory Thief ends, my own life story is still being written

  • Additional thoughts?

If you’re interested in learning more about The Memory Thief, I have more information of my website, and I also LOVE connecting with readers!

Author Bio:

Lauren lives in the Chicago area, where she’s spent years working with youth, from young children to high schoolers. When she’s not writing, Lauren is usually with her family or exploring the city to find the best deep dish pizza. The Memory Thief, which was inspired by Lauren’s own journey with her mother, is her first novel. You can visit her online at http://www.laurenmansy.com.

Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Instagram

 

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Buckley’s Unexpected Adventure: #AusYaBloggers Tour

45186265. sy475 Buckley’s Unexpected Adventure by Dion Summergreene
Publication: April 12th 2019
Source: Review copy from Dion Summergreene in conjunction with the #AusYABloggers Tour – Thank You
Rating: ✵ ✵ ✵

Buckley, a young, enthusiastic detector dog, was about to clock off from his regular shift at the Brisbane International Airport when he uncovered a shipment of smuggled exotic animals. Discovering that all but one, a chameleon named Ciara, and two turtle eggs, had perished on the long journey, Buckley makes it his mission to track down who is behind the smuggling ring and ensure no more helpless and endangered animals are killed. A fire is ignited within Buckley and he is determined to return Ciara to her home and reunite her with her family. Breaking all of his obedience training whilst battling his usual insecurities and self-doubt, Buckley, Ciara and a charismatic Californian mouse named Bo, set out on an international adventure that propels them from a world of structure and safety into dangerous, risky situations.With fast-pace, witty humour and suspense, Dion Summergreene takes young readers on a crime-fighting adventure like no other to discover an exotic world through the eyes of man’s best friend.


In this new #LoveOzMG title, Buckley the detector dog discovers a crate of smuggled animals. He befriends the only surviving chameleon, this leads to a return smuggling plan of his own. Cue wacky hijinks, plane flights, run ins with other not so friendly animals, police chases, and unintentionally bringing down a major smuggling ring in a Bangkok shipping port.

Buckley’s Unexpected Adventure reads like a Pixar movie and I mean that as a compliment.
It’d make a hilarious movie. Think Zootopia, crossed with The Secret Life Of Pets, and Isle Of Dogs.

As an adult I can appreciate all the lessons Dion is trying to fit in about animal cruelty, illegal animal trade, animal facts and general life lessons as part of and in and around the plot. I do wonder if it will make the intended MG audience’s eyes glaze over. If it will be information overload or if they’ll be enthralled by it, soaking it all up with their wonderfully young sponge brains – I hope for the later. And never the less the action sequences are fantastically entertaining and humorous.

The ending is super cute and of course the good guys win and it’s a happily ever for Buckley and his friends.


To check out everyone else’s thoughts on Buckley and follow along on the tour click HERE.

You can find Buckley on Goodreads HERE, Instagram HERE, Facebook HERE.

Buckley’s Unexpected Adventure is available as an eBook or paperback HERE.

Dion Summergreene has worked as an art director and illustrator for the past 20 years, now making his writing debut with Buckley’s Unexpected Adventure being his first published book. Visit www.buckleysadventure.com to learn more.

Thanks for visiting sarahfairbairn.com 🙂
Until next time, enjoy your shelves 🙂

Eight Days on Planet Earth: YA Review

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Eight Days on Planet Earth
by Cat Jordan
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Release date: November 7th 2017
HarperTeen

How long does it take to travel 13 light-years to Earth?
How long does it take to fall in love?

To the universe, eight days is a mere blip—but to Matty Jones, it may be just enough time to change his life.

On the hot summer day Matty’s dad leaves for good, a strange girl suddenly appears in the empty field next to the Jones farm—the very field in rural Pennsylvania where a spaceship supposedly landed fifty years ago. She is uniquely beautiful, sweet, and smart, and she tells Matty she’s waiting for her spaceship to return to pick her up.

Of course she is.

Matty has heard all the impossible UFO stories for all of his seventeen years: the conspiracy theories, the wild rumors, the crazy belief in life beyond the stars. As a kid, he searched the skies with his dad and studied the constellations. But all that is behind him now. Dad’s gone and Matty’s stuck.

But now there is Priya. The self-proclaimed alien girl. She must be crazy or high, right?

As Matty unravels the mystery of Priya, he realizes there is far more to her than he first imagined.
And if he can learn to believe in what he can’t see: the universe, aliens…love…then maybe the impossible is possible, after all.

A heart-wrenching romance full of twists that are sure to bring tears to readers’ eyes, from Cat Jordan, author of The Leaving Season.


The story is set over the course of eight days, but you probably guessed that from the title. It focuses around 17-year-old Matty, with the back drop his small rural home town. At the start of the story Matty’s dad runs off, leaving Matty and his mum to pick up the pieces.

Matty feels lost and unsatisfied with his life. We see him drag his feet all through day one, perking up when he spots a strange girl in the field next to his house late that night. The same field that a space ship supposedly crashed in back in the 60’s.

The girl says she’s an alien. Matty thinks she’s nuts, but humours her, worried about her welfare. Matty feels an intense connection to her early on. And takes it upon himself to keep an eye on her, as she is determined to stay in the field all night by herself, waiting for a spaceship to pick her up.

It is summer holidays and with nothing much to do Matty keeps finding himself drawn back to the field and the strange girl. They spend the next five days together hanging out in the field and around town, the whole while Matty is trying to figure out what the strange girl’s deal really is, where she really comes from and why she was really camping out in the field next to his house – this takes up most of the book.

Matty notices that the girl’s health is deteriorating and presses her to tell him the truth about who she is, she of course does a runner. AND I can’t say much more without giving everything away. I will just say that “somehow” Matty manages to track her down and that the book’s ending is both heart-warming and heart-breaking.

At first, I was torn as to whether the girl (Priya) was an alien or not. I want to believe. I always want to believe. At one point I almost expected a spaceship to come and pick Priya up. I even went and checked if the book was actually listed as YA contemporary and not YA sci-fi. Either way, alien or not, I enjoyed the story. The writing was easy to read, and the story followed well. The chapter headings were split into days and times which helped propelled the story and add tension. All in all, it was a Quick and enjoyable read.

Thank you for the review copy, Cat and YA Bound Book Tours.


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Stealing Liberty: Blog Tour

Title: Stealing Liberty

Author: Jennifer Froelich

Genre: Young Adult

A heist so monumental, it may cost them everything… When Reed Paine is sent to a secret detention school for teens whose parents are branded enemies of the state, he doesn’t expect to find friendship – especially after coming face to face with Riley Paca, a girl who has every reason to hate him.

 But when Reed, Riley and a few others start reading the old books they find in tunnels under the school, they begin to question what they are taught about the last days of America and the government that has risen in its place.   Then the government decides to sell the Liberty Bell and Reed and his friends risk everything to steal it – to take back their history and the liberty that has been stolen from them (Stealing Liberty/Clean Reads).

Excerpt
My escort pushes me. “Pick up the pace, kid.” I stumble on a sharp rock and cut my toe. It hurts more than it should and I pull up to face him, fists curled at my side. I’ve grown about a foot since my sixteenth birthday, which means I can stare him down, eye to eye. He just smirks.  How about I smash your nose?  For a minute the urge is so powerful, my pulse pounds against my throat and red spots blur my vision. Don’t do anything stupid, Reed. Pick your battles. The voice in my head is my dad’s, so I listen. We climb aboard a rusty hybrid bus parked in front of the bombed-out terminal. “Welcome,” says the autopilot. It’s one of the retro models, formed like a human, with LED eyes and everything. When magnetic tracks were first installed, citizens didn’t trust computers to maneuver vehicles safely along roadways. At least that’s what my grandmother told me. Humanoid pilots were designed to make them feel safer.  Pretty soon, people had more important things to worry about.  My escort takes a seat behind the pilot, but I keep going. Only one other passenger is on the bus — a girl with long blond hair who sits in the fifth row, pressed against the window. Bruises swell on her left cheekbone and along her jaw. Her lip is crusted with blood and her right eyelid is swollen shut. Nausea washes over me, along with fresh anger.  “Sit!” our escort barks.  The girl flinches. I take a seat across from her and shift toward the window. The door squeaks closed and the bus lurches forward. We travel on an old freeway so desolate, we don’t encounter a single other transport. I wish I was calm enough to sleep — so numb to the government’s strong-arm tactics, they no longer get to me. Instead I stare past the landscape and try not to shake. Try not to relive my nightmare or think about how it felt to wake up with a gun to my head. I imagine a different outcome. Fighting back — or breaking out of the state home before they showed up. If only.


About the Author

Jennifer Froelich published her debut novel, Dream of Me, in late 2011, which reviewers praised as “well-orchestrated with outstanding imagery.” Her second novel, A Place Between Breaths, published in 2014, was called “a roller-coaster ride with enough twists and turns to keep everyone interested” and won an Honorable Mention in Writer’s Digest’s 23rd Annual Self Published Book competition. Jennifer is a frequent contributing author to Chicken Soup for the Soul.  A graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University, Jennifer worked for many years as a freelance editor and writer before publishing her own work. She lives in beautiful Idaho with her husband, two teenage kids, and a rescue cat named Katniss.

Links Website | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook

The Girl Who Saved Ghosts: COVER REVEAL

The Girl Who Saved Ghosts
K.C. Tansley
(The Unbelievables, #2)
Publication date: October 17th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Mystery, Young Adult

She tried to ignore them. Now she might risk everything to save them.

After a summer spent in a haunted castle—a summer in which she traveled through time to solve a murder mystery—Kat is looking forward to a totally normal senior year at McTernan Academy. Then the ghost of a little girl appears and begs Kat for help, and more unquiet apparitions follow. All of them are terrified by the Dark One, and it soon becomes clear that that this evil force wants Kat dead.

Searching for help, Kat leaves school for the ancestral home she’s only just discovered. Her friend Evan, whose family is joined to her own by an arcane history, accompanies her. With the assistance of her eccentric great aunts and a loyal family ghost, Kat soon learns that she and Evan can only fix the present by traveling into the past.

As Kat and Evan make their way through nineteenth-century Vienna, the Dark One stalks them, and Kat must decide what she’s willing to sacrifice to save a ghost.

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Sequel to:

Book One: Purchase | Goodreads

Author Bio:

K.C Tansley lives with her warrior lapdog, Emerson, and three quirky golden retrievers on a hill somewhere in Connecticut. She tends to believe in the unbelievables–spells, ghosts, time travel–and writes about them.

Never one to say no to a road trip, she’s climbed the Great Wall twice, hopped on the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg, and danced the night away in the dunes of Cape Hatteras. She loves the ocean and hates the sun, which makes for interesting beach days.

The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts is her debut YA time-travel murder mystery novel. As Kourtney Heintz, she also writes award winning cross-genre fiction for adults.

If you’d like to receive exclusive bonus content on my books, subscribe to my author updates: http://kourtneyheintz.com/contact/

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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Deathly Unloved: Blog Tour

Title: Deathly Unloved

Author: Annee Cooper

Genre: YA LGBT paranormal romance

Being raised as a nephilim has its drawbacks when you’re only quarter angel. Now it’s getting dangerous.

Rune’s always known about the angel blood that runs through her veins. A gift—or a curse—from her halfling mother. She thinks she knows who she is. She’s wrong. After a kiss with a stranger completes a sacred ritual, she’s forced to accept the other side of her heritage. And the lust for souls that comes with it. Now this gorgeous seductress is on a hunt to find others like her and discover the truth about her past. But with her hunger growing insatiable, does she have more to worry about than making friends?

 * *  *   Excerpt   *  * *

“If I leave, will you kiss him? Or any other humans?” the boy asked.

“I didn’t plan on kissing anything that wasn’t human, but if a cute angel comes along I might change my mind.” Rune gave him a cheeky smile.

He made a face and clenched his hands. With a loud sigh and a stomp of his boot, he reached for her hand. Rune glared at him, but her face softened when she saw how pained his expression was. She didn’t back off when he moved closer.

“We don’t even know each other,” he mumbled. His fingers brushed her cheek, then her lips as he searched her eyes. “Say it’s all right.”

Strangely, she wasn’t uncomfortable with the idea. This guy was possibly the first ethereal her age she’d come across. He might be a little curt, but he was also gorgeous, and his touch felt welcome on her skin.

Unable to keep herself from eyeing his mouth, the desire to kiss him turned to an ache.

“Yes.” She inhaled a ragged breath and her hands slithered around his neck, her fingers winding themselves in his hair. “I’m shaking,” she said, still fixated on his lips.

“Me too. It’s because we should have already done this at our age. It’ll be more intense be—”

“Shh.” She finished the sound by pressing her lips into his.

The gentle start became a heated wrestle of hot mouths. Rune drew him deeper and he pulled her tight against his body. Her nerves screamed at her.

More.

Rune lost all sense of being separate. Her spirit welcomed him, opening up to expose her essence. A sweet, icy fire burned through her mouth into her body, igniting her cells and quenching a fierce thirst. It felt like she was inhaling menthol and liquid sugar straight into her veins. The energy between them slowed to a stop and they broke apart, instantly back in reality. Rune fell against the wall, breathless and dazed with shock. Her back felt all tingly, a cold sort of tickle that raced across her skin. The boy didn’t look so harmless now. The whites of his eyes had been completely swallowed by black. All that was left of his irises was a thin ring.

“When they said intense I never thought…” He leaned heavily on the hall table.

“Your eyes,” Rune said in a fragile voice.

“They’ll change back.”

Still trembling, Rune slid down the wall to the floor. That was not what kissing was supposed to be like. She was obviously delirious. Someone must have spiked the vodka. That or this house had a serious hallucinogenic mould problem.

Dreamwalkers: Blog Tour

Title: Dreamwalkers

Author: Tiaan Lubbe

Genre: YA Fantasy / Adventure

“You walk the bridges between two worlds, between reality and dreams, Ciso.”

“You are a Dreamwalker”

Narciso di Angelo, a sixteen-year-old boy, living on the streets of Rome thinks he is the only one that can walk in other’s dreams.

He’s not.

When a mysterious and dark woman makes her appearance in one of his dreamwalks, he is rescued from her clutches by Project Somnus, a secret underground United Nations organisation, that recruits and trains children with his gifts, using them to fight against and prevent worldwide terrorist threats.

Here Narciso learns more of his abilities and where they come from as well as what it means to be part of a family and a home.

But, as the threat of the mysterious woman and the terrorist organisation Tantibus increases, he also learns what it is like to lose this.

“In dreams we live. In reality we dream.”

 Author Bio:

Tiaan Lubbe lives in Pretoria, South Africa where he spends his time teaching little monsters, directing
plays, doing what he calls writing and dreaming up the future. Mostly all at once.

Links:

eBook Pre-order | Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads


Excerpt:

“Remember your training,” Agent Knight says when we’re all in our pods, our heads lifted from the water so we can hear her, game faces on. “Stick together. Work as a team,” she continues. “Captain Evans and his team are counting on you to keep the girl safe long enough for them to get to her and extract her to physical safety.”

We all nod our heads. “Yes, ma’am,” Jamie says. “Fifty Euros says I’ll take down more Tantibus freaks than you, Ciso.”

I laugh. “You’re on, muscle man!”

“It’s the muscles that’ll make sure I get fifty bucks,” he says and I hear him kissing his arms.

“Boys! Always competing,” Leah says letting out a chuckle. “Besides, there’s no use really. I’ll be taking down most of those goons for you. Might as well give me the fifty now, Jamie.”

“This just got more interesting, hey Ciso,” Jamie says. “Now me and a girl will beat you.”

“Ready to initiate Dreamwalk,” Agent Knight interrupts our antics. “In three…”

I ready myself. Take a breath. Try to calm the sudden burst of chill in my stomach. The pod closes. Darkness. Silence.

“Two..”

Trust in yourself Ciso.

“One,” Agent Knight’s voice says. “Good luck team.” There’s a pause. “Initiate.” And then I’m enveloped, drifting into nothingness, into a place where reality has no hold and even the unimagined runs wild.

It doesn’t take long for us to get through the mist and reach the first door. I take the lead this time and the others ready themselves for anything, because that’s exactly what could be on the other side of the door. Anything. The knob turns in my hand and the door eagerly clips open. At the last second, the suspense gets the best of me and I burst through it. A zinging sound whirs towards my face. I turn my head just in time. A knife is dug into the doorframe right in front of my nose, the merciless blade grazing its tip. I look to where the sound came from. A short girl stands ready with another knife in her hand. Jamie and the others push me forward to get into the room. They all freeze at the sight of the little girl.