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Saturday, September 26, 2020

Cracked: An Anthology of Eggsellent Chicken Stories + giveaway

Cracked: An Anthology of Eggsellent Chicken Stories
August 31, 2020
with stories by J. F. Posthumus, Cedar Sanderson, J Trevor Robinson, Richard Paolinelli, Jane Lebak, J. D. Beckwith, Grace Bridges, Denton Salle, Margo Bond Collins, J. A Campanile, 
Amber Draeger, Karina Fabian, Abigail Falanga, Clair W. Kiernan, L. Jagi Lamplighter, David Millican, John M. Olsen, Dawn Witzke,Joshua M. Young, Bokerah Brumley
394 pages
Genre: Anthology, Multiple Genres of Short Stories
Chickens Land on Mars...

But what happens when authors have too much free time on their hands?

A challenge.

Craft a story featuring our favorite feathered raptors: the CHICKEN.

B'gawk!

Twenty authors deliver in some unexpected ways and live to crow about it.

From chickens in space to cozy murder mystery farm yards to schools of magickal thought...

Includes guardian angels, chicken shifters, aliens, and feathered matchmakers,

Maybe even a non-fiction adventure or two... and more!

These amazing chickens come from the minds of twenty cooped-up authors on the edge of cracking...

Read CRACKED: An Anthology of Eggsellent Chicken Stories


Giveaway 
Swag pack, plus A $25 Amazon gift card 
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway! 

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Friday, September 25, 2020

Movie Review: Enola Holmes (2020) on Netflix

Enola Holmes (2020)
Netflix Streaming: Sep 24, 2020
Director: Harry Bradbeer
Producer: Millie Bobby Brown, Paige Brown, Alex Garcia, Ali Mendes, Mary Parent
Writer: Nancy Springer
Cast: 
Millie Bobby Brown, Sam Claflin, Henry Cavill, Helena Bonham Carter, Fiona Shaw
Runtime: 2h 3m
Rating: PG-13 (Some Violence)
Genre: Mystery And Thriller
Production Co: PCMA Productions, Warner Bros., EH Productions, Legendary Entertainment
While searching for her missing mother, intrepid teen Enola Holmes uses her sleuthing skills to outsmart big brother Sherlock and help a runaway lord.

Charming! I watched Enola Holmes with my husband. It was an entertaining and family-friendly show. 
 
The movie is based on the young adult novel series by Nancy Springer. There are currently six books in the series.
Enola is Sherlock's sister. He left home (along with an older and not as smart brother) when she was very young. Enola is just as smart and gifted as Sherlock and her mother raised her with all the tools she would need to be her own person, which in 1882 London isn't something women were allowed to do. There is a strong theme of fighting for social change against those who would love to stick to traditional ways. There is an excellent scene between Sherlock and a woman shop owner (Susie Wokoma). She informs him he doesn't see what's wrong with the world because from his privileged POV life is great.

Millie Bobby Brown does an excellent job as Enola. I enjoyed the character breaking the fourth wall throughout the movie, often in The Office style. If you want to watch it for Henry Cavill you might be a bit disappointed. He pops up throughout the show but he is more of a side character--a very good looking side character ;)

If you want something light-hearted and sometimes silly to watch then give this one a try. 

4 "switch clothes with me" Sheep





SharonS

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Book Review: Burning Ash (Forgotten Brotherhood Book 3) by N.J. Walters

September 21, 2020
Publisher : Entangled: Amara
226 pages
No one is more surprised than Asher, one of the oldest vampires on Earth, that he's attracted to vamp hunter Jo Radcliffe. She's smart, a talented slayer, and she's gorgeous. Something about her pulls at him, like no one ever has before. For a man, whose name strikes fear in everyone—this is something new and intriguing. And quite possibly deadly, if she discovers his secret.

Jo has two things in common with the handsome Asher—they are both slayers and someone is messing with them in a very-much-trying-to-kill-them way. She's not so happy about joining forces with a dude she doesn't know. But he's sexy as hell and really good at his job as one of the Forgotten Brotherhood, whose business it is to execute misbehaving paranormals.

She knows she's bait in a larger plot to harm Asher and the Brotherhood. And there is nothing he won't do, no line he won't cross, to keep her safe—which may be the weakness that destroys them both.

Each book in the Fury Unleashed series is STANDALONE

I haven't been this excited to talk about a paranormal romance in a long time!

Burning Ash is my introduction to author NJ Walters and to the Forgotten Brotherhood series. While I could tell that I had missed two intense and interesting stories, I was able to get the gist of what had gone down (I'm still going to put the first two books high up on my TBR list though because I need deets!).

Asher and Jo's story is part of a larger plot that encompasses the series but no worries, there are no cliffhangers in the book, just an excitement for the next book. At least for me, there was excitement.

Where to begin with what I loved about this book? How about with Asher himself? When it comes to popular vampires in romance, the majority of them are brooding, mysterious, and a bit glum. Asher is totally different. He's ancient, like old-as-dirt ancient but you wouldn't know it because this vamp is fun, flirty, and has a sense of humor. He might have a few moments here and there of deep internal thoughts but this is a vamp that can still find things to smile about. Like a certain tacky reality show. Honestly, Asher was a great character to introduce me to Walters' work and he'll be difficult to beat.

Jo's no slouch either. I can't get enough of fully capable, butt-kicking heroines like her. She's tough on the outside, a true survivor, but on the inside, she's as vulnerable as they come. Jo's smart as a whip, snarky, and it takes a lot more than a vampire to frighten her. Some of my favorite scenes in Burning Ash were just Jo kicking butt. She's definitely no shrinking violet and while she's only human, she can stand and fight with Asher and his supernatural buddies.

But who am I kidding? It was the romance between Asher and Jo that really sold me on this book and this new-to-me author. An ancient vampire who falls in love with a shoot-first-don't-bother-asking hunter? And it's more than just the opposites attract theme; it's the way the author handled their first meeting and the development of feelings between them. Asher's charmingly sarcastic first words to Jo almost get him shot and stabbed. From that moment, the banter and connection between them were just as addictive for me as a reader as it was for them as characters.

As a member of the Forgotten Brotherhood, Asher is hanging with a very reclusive, exclusive crowd. They're the deadliest creatures around. The ones that garden variety vampires, weres, and demons fear because they're the boogeymen who will come for them if they've stepped out of line. Meeting two other members of the Brotherhood put Asher's personality in stark contrast. Maccus and Bjorn are exactly how I expected them to be at first. They're intense, moody, and mostly monosyllabic. In other words, I'm curious about them.

The writing in Burning Ash flows easily and takes time to take the reader through the journey but makes sure that every step of that journey is interesting, engaging, and has a purpose. I had such a good time that I finished this book in two days. It's definitely one of the best books I've read this year and I can't wait to check out previous books in the series and to see what's next for this series.

Sheep Rating: 5 Sheep






Adria Reyes


About the Author:
Once upon a time N.J. had the idea that she would like to quit her job at the bookstore, sell everything she owned, leave her hometown, and write romance novels in a place where no one knew her. And she did. Two years later, she went back to the bookstore and her hometown and settled in for another seven years.

One day she gave notice at her job on a Friday morning. On Sunday afternoon, she received a tentative acceptance for her first romance novel and life would never be the same.

N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks--all vie for her attention. It's a tough life, but someone's got to live it. 

Excerpt: A Vampire’s Spell (The Order of the Black Oak – Vampires #1) by Marie-Claude Bourque + giveaway

A Vampire’s Spell (The Order of the Black Oak – Vampires #1)
by Marie-Claude Bourque
September 24th 2020
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
A VAMPIRE’S SPELL: A Slow-Burn Urban Fantasy Romance

Meet the Order of the Black Oak: a powerful order of modern-day warriors fighting evil to protect the ones they love.

Son of an ancient vampire and a legendary French witch, guilt-ridden Mont-Royal Immortal Valerian St-Amand must team with a powerful New England witch to protect his city from a crazed scientist seeking immortality. But as his well-guarded heart softens for Maisie Thibodeau, their quest to eradicate true evil from the streets of Montreal destroys any hope of everlasting love.

If you love loyal tough guys with hearts, satisfying slow-burn paranormal romance and safe Happily Ever Afters, then the Black Oak World is for you.

“5 stars – Fantastic series of action, magic and awesome romance. You will fall in love with the characters and feel you are right with them.”
“5 stars. Marie-Claude creates a vivid and immersive world full of all sorts of spells, supernaturals and epic battles, that draws you in and doesn’t let go until the end.” ~ Goodreads Reviewer
"Like all of the Order of the Black Oak books this new line is AMAZING!! The chemistry between Val and Maisie is subtle and bold.  The frisson between Val and Maisie makes anticipation seem like child's play!" ~ Barnes and Noble Reviewer

"5 stars...a fast-paced read with a balanced mix of action and paranormal romance, intriguing characters – even the mad vampire, Emmeline, shows great development – some interesting twists and set against the refreshing background of Montreal." ~ Goodreads Reviewer

"I read this book in one sitting, just because I couldn’t put it down and it did take me until the wee hours of the morning to finish.
Welcome to The Vampires of Black Oak and they are just as sexy as the warlocks. Marie-Claude creates a vivid and immersive world full of all sorts of spells, supernaturals and epic battles, that draws you in and doesn’t let go until the end." ~ Bookbub Reviewer

EXCERPT: 
A creature. Val tightened his fist. 

She hadn’t said the word, he had. But he knew that was what witches and warlocks thought of him and his brothers. 

And while he couldn’t care less about the opinion of others, he was expecting more from her. But no, she was only here to study him. 

As he grimly stood in the Sanctuaire’s chapel, he watched her pour over a giant paper map of the city. She had stretched it over the altar, bordered it with five black candles and speckled the surface with anvil dust mixed with bone powder. A handful of railroad spikes and the hypodermic needle that had pricked Emmeline lay at the center. 

His mind was on the witch instead of whoever had been after his blood. 

He just couldn’t let it go. A future high priestess. Sounded like Marianne Thibodeau had forgotten to mention a few things about her granddaughter. 

It shouldn’t matter. Really. Already her essence was fading from his veins. The gentle touch a waning memory. 

Yet here she stood above the map. Her jet-black hair tied into a loose braid fell over one shoulder, the thick strand ending just at the tip of her breast. The small and high curve was much too defined under the small black t-shirt. The fabric of her top thin enough that he could make the outline of a small push-up bra. 

Stop it, diable! Focus on the job. His balled fists and pained breath didn’t go unnoticed. 

“You need to feed, Valerian.” Father GrĂ©goire was right beside him, a heavy hand on his shoulder while his eyes went from Val to Maisie. The priest knew exactly how the immortal felt, the woman drawing both a surge of lust and hunger deep within him. His insides twisting and growling. 

Val lifted a defiant chin at his friend. “We have time.”

About the Author:
Goodreads-Facebook-Twitter
Marie-Claude Bourque is a Seattle-based author of gothic paranormal romance and the winner of the American Title V award with her first novel ANCIENT WHISPERS.

Her writing features modern-day fantasy skillfully weaved into infinitely romantic supernatural stories between smart strong women and complex passionate heroes.

Happily Ever After always absolutely guaranteed!

GIVEAWAY
Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)
a 6 books series + 25$ Amazon card
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Interview: Young Adult Scifi Author Zachary Astrowsky + giveaway

Where were you born/grew up at?
Born and raised in Scottsdale, AZ

If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
There are many things in life I like to do, besides procrastinating. If I knew I was going to die, I would spend my last day visiting a beautiful site with my friends and family creating an everlasting memory.

What are you passionate about these days?
I am passionate about many things such as lacrosse and writing, but lately, I am most passionate about finishing my sequel which is due out this fall!

What do you do to unwind and relax?
Hang out with friends, watch tv, play lacrosse, and listen to music.

Do you have a favorite movie?
I definitely have a favorite movie but my top three movies based on their creativity are: #1 Deadpool 2, #2 Inception, and #3 Interstellar

Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
The Uncontrolled and the sequel due out this fall.

What can we expect from you in the future?
Writing over the last few years and thinking about my books, I have gathered several book ideas. When I have the time in the future, I hope to have another book or series again, within the science fiction genre.

How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
All stories are people-stories meaning every story we read is based on real-life experiences no matter how absurd the story line is. Therefore, many of the characters in my book are based on friends or people I have met. The story itself is something I created when I was 10 years old. I was very impressed with The Flash and found some of the topics to be cool and trendy concepts within science fiction adventures.

Where did you come up with the names in the story?
Mainly friends but Hazel’s name was based on a social media contest. I created a post asking all my followers to submit a name for the lead female in the trio of teenagers. I looked at all the names and narrowed them down to my top two favorites and then asked them to re-vote. Hence, Hazel was born!

If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
The main character, John, the protagonist, is a difficult casting call. I definitely have ideas for the remaining cast, however. Chase, John’s sidekick, could be played by Jack Dozer or Asher Angel. Hazel can be played by Millie Bobby Brown. Crofar, the antagonist, could be played by Alex Pettyfer.

What did you edit out of this book?
The final chapter, hence the sequel! The edited out chapter which has never been seen by anyone will be available for free by those that read The Uncontrolled and tag me on their social media account.

What book do you think everyone should read?
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak because while it’s not within the sci-fi genre, it is written amazingly well with creative characters which makes the book unique and something I’ve never read before.

How long have you been writing?
I started writing when I was 10 years old. Then I became focused on my manuscript when I was 12 years old and I have been writing ever since.

Do you see writing as a career?
Possibly. I am interested in many things right now so it’s hard to pick a career path. As of now, I am interested in science, mainly, astrophysics, which sparks my interest in writing science fiction. My hope is to write and be a scientist someday. BUT, I am 16 years old and don’t have everything figured out yet.

Pen or typewriter or computer?
I use my laptop with an accompanying monitor which allows me to view several documents at once. This is useful if I need to research a topic for my book.

Advice they would give new authors?
Always plot out your book before writing, but be flexible to change because as you write, the plot could stray away from what it was originally intended. Always write sincerely and be realistic. You are entertaining people of all kind!

Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes, most writers experience writer’s block where they feel unmotivated to write. When this happens to me, I look to other creative projects such as film or tv. This also lends itself to the necessity to read other genres as it will help you with your own.


The Uncontrolled: Hiding Can't Save You From Robotic Smiles
by Zachary Astrowsky
August 18, 2020
Genre: YA Cyberpunk SciFi 
Tracking Devices, Mind Control, and Visions of the Future

An action-packed adventure set against the loss of free will that comes from a mind control serum.

The robotic way people smile is John's first inclination that things are not quite as they seem in Amber City.

At the age of fourteen, everyone is "vaccinated" with a biological implant that makes people controllable. John is supposed to get his shot the very next day, until he and his parents find out about the mind-controlling chip requiring his family to devise a plan to put a stop to this once and for all, but things don't go exactly as planned.

Along with his friend Chase, and an irrepressible girl named Hazel, the three of them find themselves in the world of the controlled, where they must try to escape the notice of this powerful society and its leader, Crofar. As the trio of teenagers attempt to defeat Crofar on their own, they stumble upon the Renegades, a formidable group of "the uncontrolled," led by Maximus.

Warily forming an alliance with the teenagers, the numbers are not in their favor, and the uncontrolled are barely holding their own. Until that is, they realize they have a secret weapon. John starts to have regular visions of the future, which can change in interesting ways when certain variables are adjusted.

While John has visions they can use to win the war against Crofar, things become complicated because Crofar has visions too. With two adversaries who can see the future, only one can outsmart the other.

The Uncontrolled is an adventurous, sci-fi book written by award-winning teen author Zachary Astrowsky.

● TCK Publishing Readers Choice Awards Winner 2018, MG/YA Category
● Purple Dragonfly Book Award Winner, Honorable Mention, June 2018
● Royal Dragonfly Book Award 2nd Place Winner, November 2018
● Story Monsters Approved
Excerpt
When I went to refill my cup, I heard a noise. At first I thought that my stomach made the noise, but I wasn’t hungry at all. So, I put the glass of water back into the fridge and stood there in the dark, just listening. Maybe this is just my imagination, I thought, trying to steady my nerves. But then I heard the noise again. It was the sound of rustling in the bushes outside, which fit the terrifying sight of two dark images standing in the yard. (pg.17)

About the Author:
It all began on a trip to NYC when I was five. I couldn't read yet, but I wanted to understand every sign and billboard I saw. I began putting letters together and for my birthday a few months later, I was requesting the fourth book in the Harry Potter series. Reading allowed my mind to explore and create stories, and as a young child I began filling them with colorful characters and sharing them with anyone and everyone who would listen. Since then, I’ve progressed quite a bit to formulating longer and more complex stories and eventually completing my first novel, The Uncontrolled.

Giveaway 
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway! 

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