Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Blog Tour + Review + Giveaway - Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh

Ivory and Bone (Ivory and Bone #1)

by Julie Eshbaugh

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: June 7th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance, Retellings, Fiction

Rating: 3/5 stars


A prehistoric fantasy—with allusions to Pride and Prejudice.

Hunting, gathering, and keeping his family safe—that’s the life seventeen-year-old Kol knows. Then bold, enigmatic Mya arrives from the south with her family, and Kol is captivated. He wants her to like and trust him, but any hopes of impressing her are ruined when he makes a careless—and nearly grave—mistake. However, there’s something more to Mya’s cool disdain…a history wrought with loss that comes to light when another clan arrives. With them is Lo, an enemy from Mya’s past who Mya swears has ulterior motives.

As Kol gets to know Lo, tensions between Mya and Lo escalate until violence erupts. Faced with shattering losses, Kol is forced to question every person he’s trusted. One thing is for sure: this was a war that Mya or Lo—Kol doesn’t know which—had been planning all along.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review. Thanks to Harper Collins*

Kol and his clan live an uncertain future – there are no young women for him or his brothers to marry.
Then their prayers are seemingly answered when another clan visits. Kol is instantly drawn to Mya but she is arrogant and thinks that Kol is trying to buy her affection.
After Mya and her siblings leave another clan appears.
Can Lo and her clan be trusted?
How do Mya and Lo know each other? And what happened for them to stop being friends?
Will Kol’s clan survive?
What is the secret history between Kol and Mya’s clans?

Ivory and Bone was an intriguing read.
I really liked the prehistoric setting – it was different and refreshing.
Kol was a likeable protagonist and I enjoyed reading from his point of view.
I liked Kol’s brothers and Mya as well, even though Mya could be a bit cold at times.
The storyline was good; there was action and deceit.
I enjoyed the writing style and wanted to keep reading.

Overall this was an enjoyable read.

By Julie Eshbaugh
Copyright 2016 

The darkness in this cave is so complete I can no longer see you, but I can smell your blood.
“I think your wound has opened up again.”
“No, it’s fine.” Your words echo against the close walls. Even so, your voice sounds small. “I ran my fingers over it. It’s dry.”
We need light and heat. I pat the ground, feeling for the remnants of the fire we made in here before.
“The wound is under your hair, Mya, and your hair is drenched.”
“My hair is cold—wet with rain and ice. It would be warm if it were wet with blood.”
Injured, bleeding, freezing—yet still stubborn.
“I’m going to try to get a fire going,” I say.
My hands search the floor, fumbling across silt and cinders, until they land on a chunk of splintered wood that flakes at the ends as if it’s been burned. A short distance away the ground drops down into a shallow hole—the fire pit.
I crawl farther into the dark, one hand extended out in front of me, my knees grinding against knots of broken wood and nubs of rock. At last, my hand lands on what I remember as a deliberate, orderly stack of firewood piled against the far wall.
It’s unnerving to be in a place so dark. It’s even more unnerving to be here with you.
As I turn pieces of wood in my hands, my eyes begin to adjust to what little light filters in from outside. Black yields to gray as shadows become objects. I separate kindling and tinder. On a flat rock beside the wood I discover the starter kit—a long whittled stick and fireboard. “Give me just a little longer and I’ll get you warmed up, all right?”
I wait, but you don’t answer.
“Go ahead and make a fire. I think I’ll just sleep a bit.”
“No—no sleeping. I need you to stay awake. I need company. Someone to talk to.”
“What are we going to talk about?”
Rolling the firestick between my fingers, I hesitate. “What do you think we should talk about?”
Maybe I shouldn’t have asked this question. There are countless things that could be said between us, and probably countless more that should be left unsaid.
I grasp the firestick between my palms, one end buried in a notch cut in the fireboard, surrounded by fistfuls of dry grass like clumps of human hair. Rubbing my hands back and forth, I twirl the stick like a drill. My hands pass down the entire length of the stick once, twice, three times. Friction builds, and at last a ribbon of smoke curls around the board.
Distracted by my task, I almost forget the question I asked you. I’m not sure how long you’ve been silent. “Mya?”
“Fine,” you say, the word scratching in your throat like you’ve swallowed bits of gravel. “I’ll try to stay awake, but you need to give me something to stay awake for.”
“Why don’t you tell me a story?”
“I don’t know any stories.”
An ember catches. An orange glow blooms in the kindling. I lie on my side and blow a steady stream of breath into the grass, coaxing out garlands of smoke.
“Everyone who’s ever lived has a story to tell, Kol.”
As the fire spreads I sit up, turning your words in my mind. What could I possibly tell you?
All my stories have become entwined with yours. “What do you want to hear?” I ask.
“Tell me something wonderful—a story that’s startling and marvelous.” Despite your grogginess, there’s a lilt of expectation in your voice. “Tell me about the most startling and marvelous day of your life. . . .”

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Follow the Ivory And Bone by Julie Eshbaugh Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Julie Eshbaugh is the author of the upcoming Ivory and Bone (HarperCollins, 2016). She used to have trouble staying in one spot, having lived in places as varied as Utah, France, and New York City. Julie eventually returned home to the Philadelphia area, where she now lives with her husband, son, cat and dog. Her favorite moments are when the unexpected happens and she cheers loudest when the pitcher gets a hit.

Open to US/INT

Pre-order giveaway:

The author is hosting a pre-order giveaway on her site where everyone who pre-orders the book will receive an IVORY AND BONE bookmark. Plus everyone who pre-orders will be entered to win a prize!

Check out the details & prizes here.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Things That Make Me Not Want To Reply To Your Book Promo Email

I receive quite a few emails from authors and book tour organisers asking me to promote books.

How the email is worded and what it includes depends on how likely I am to reply and agree to promote the book.

Here are the dos for emailing people you want to promote your book/tour company:

DO include my name

Seriously. This is the most important thing for me. 
If someone doesn't include my name then most of the time I won't even read the email.
Including my name shows that you've taken the time to look at my blog and not just for contact info.

DO include links 

If you're emailing me about a book you want me to review then include links! For example, Goodreads and Amazon.

DO read my list of preferred genres

If you email me about a genre of book I've said on my contact page that I don't like, then I won't want to read it!

DO send author bio and links

If I do agree to promote your book with a promo or guest post etc, then include info about yourself as well!
Readers like finding out about authors as well so send your bio and links to your website and social media accounts.

Are there any things that will make you not want to reply to book promo emails?

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Showcase Sunday #83

Showcase Sunday is a feature created and hosted by Books, Biscuits and Tea where people show what they have been reading etc.

The Unbound (The Archived, #2) by Victoria Schwab - 4/5 stars.

Leave the Window Open (The Archived, #2.5) by Victoria Schwab - 4/5 stars.

Read Me Like a Book by Liz Kessler - 2.5/5 stars - Read my review here.


 I won a Cargo swag pack from Dani Reviews in her blogoversary giveaway.
It includes a signed copy of Cargo (The Reservation Trilogy, #1) by Jen Castleberry.

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1) by Victoria Schwab/V.E. Schwab (paperback copy)

Thanks to Harper Collins, Victory Editing and Random House Publishing Group - Hydra.

Ivory and Bone (Ivory and Bone, #1) by Julie Eshbaugh


Saturday, 28 May 2016

Book Blitz + Giveaway - Mirror Image by Michele Pariza Wacek

Mirror Image by Michele Pariza

Publication date: May 27th 2016
Genres: Adult, Psychological
Thriller, Suspense

Which would be worse, knowing that your dead sister has come back to life and is now a serial killer or that someone else is the
killer….and that person is you?

Six months after Linda’s sister Elizabeth killed herself, Linda has finally gotten her life back to some semblance of normalcy. Until a killer appears who is stalking men … a killer who resembles Elizabeth … a killer who seems somehow familiar to Linda.

And, to make matters worse, Steve, her old high school crush and now a detective, is assigned to this case. He’s asking Linda all sorts of questions, questions Linda couldn’t possibly have an answer to.

There’s no reason for him to be investigating Linda. She couldn’t possibly have anything to do with this.

Could she?


hen Elizabeth was born, her mother knew beyond a shadow
of a doubt that the hospital had made a mistake.
It had been a difficult pregnancy. Marie spent most of it in bed, nauseated, uncomfortable, exhausted. She barely kept anything down, subsisting mostly on tea and saltine crackers. When the time came to deliver, the doctors performed an emergency
Caesarean section, so she wasn’t able to actually watch the birth.
She couldn’t explain it, but the first time the nurses presented her with Elizabeth, she refused to even hold the baby. “There must be some mistake,” she insisted.
“There’s no mistake,” the nurses said, their approach firm and no-nonsense.
Blond and pale, Elizabeth looked nothing like the other dark haired members of the family. But it was more than that. Elizabeth felt wrong. Marie sensed it every single time
she looked at Elizabeth, touched Elizabeth, smelled Elizabeth. The baby was alien to her. Elizabeth was not her baby.
But she could do nothing about it. Her husband hadn’t seen the birth. He had refused to attend any of his children’s births. The nurses kept assuring her that no one had made, could possibly have made, a mistake. So Marie had little choice but to bring
her home.
Elizabeth was different, always — strange. Marie hated to use that word about any of her children, especially her youngest, but she could find no other word to describe her. Elizabeth was strange. Period.
From birth, the baby kept quiet. Rarely fussed. Hardly cried. She started talking at six months, much earlier than the rest of her children, and started forming full sentences at just over a year old.
She spent most of her time alone or, once she learned how, reading. In fact, Elizabeth remained such a quiet child, Marie could easily forget about her. It made her nervous. Elizabeth was too quiet.
Even her scent was all wrong. Babies smelled warm and sweet, of milk and talcum powder. Elizabeth’s scent reminded her of meat just beginning to spoil: thick and rotten.
But there was something else wrong with Elizabeth, something more serious than her near silence, her behavior, her scent. Even more serious than that alien feeling, which Marie had tried to dismiss as simple post-partum depression, although it never
did go away entirely.
When Marie was really being honest with herself, which didn’t happen often, she could admit what really disturbed her most about her daughter.
Her eyes. Elizabeth had silver eyes.
Not always. Most of the time they looked gray. But sometimes, they changed to silver. Occasionally, Marie even thought she could see them glowing, like a cat’s.
Especially at night. There Elizabeth would be, lying on her back, perfectly quiet in her crib, her eyes strangely open, shining faintly in the darkness. Marie would tell herself that Elizabeth’s eyes merely reflected the nightlight in a bizarre fashion. After all, none
of her other children’s eyes ever glowed. But it still didn’t make her any easier to face, late at night, as silver eyes stared at her from the darkness. They seemed so old, so ancient. Eyes that had seen thousands of years and hundreds of lifetimes. Those eyes
peered out from her newborn’s face, watching her every move, strangely calculating, full of adult understanding and knowledge. She felt afraid, if she were being honest … all
alone in the room with those peculiar silver eyes watching, watching, always watching.
Nonsense, she reassured herself. Surely, she could not be afraid of her own infant daughter! What would her husband say? Plenty probably, and most of it with his fists.
Still, she found herself checking on Elizabeth less and less. She argued with herself: Elizabeth didn’t fuss much anyway. Marie didn’t need to check on her so often — not like she did with her other, noisy, “normal” babies.
Her other children. Such a joy they were, her four boys and other girl — Peter, Mark, Mike, Chad and Linda. All healthy, regular children, with coarse dark hair, brown eyes and a little bit of baby fat on their bones. They looked the way children should look,
the way her children should look, like their parents. But more importantly, they acted the way children should act — loud, boisterous, rough, needy. Marie loved them for it, loved
how she couldn’t get a moment’s peace when they played together. Even when their play turned to fighting, she still preferred it to Elizabeth’s silent, eerie presence.
But Marie loved Elizabeth, too. Loved her fiercely, with the same passion she felt for her other children. Marie knew she did. She told herself she did, time and time again.
The fact that she felt relief when Elizabeth wasn’t around meant nothing. She just needed time away from her children, after all. Almost all mothers welcomed the time they had away from their constant, children-related responsibilities. It didn’t mean she
loved them any less. It didn’t mean anything at all.

Author Bio

When Michele was 3 years old, she taught herself to read because she wanted to write stories so badly.
As you can imagine, writing has been a driving passion throughout her life. She became a professional copywriter (which is writing promotional materials for businesses), which led to her founding a copywriting and marketing company that serves clients all over the world.

Along with being a copywriter, she also writes novels (in fact, she just published her first novel, a psychological thriller/suspense/mystery called "The Stolen Twin" and her
second novel "Mirror Image'" is set to be published in May 2016) plus, she is also the author of the "Love-Based Copy" books, which are a part of the "Love-Based Business" series and cover both business and personal development.

She holds a double major in English and Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently she lives in the mountains of Prescott, Arizona with her husband Paul and her border collie Nick and southern squirrel hunter Cassie.

Blitz-wide giveaway

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Thursday, 26 May 2016

Review - Read Me Like a Book by Liz Kessler

Title: Read Me Like A Book
Author: Liz Kessler
Pages: 304
Publisher: Orion Children's Books
Release date: 14th May 2015

Blurb from Goodreads: 
Ashleigh Walker is in love. You know the feeling - that intense, heart-racing, all-consuming emotion that can only come with first love. It's enough to stop her worrying about bad grades at college. Enough to distract her from her parents' marriage troubles. There's just one thing bothering her... 

Shouldn't it be her boyfriend, Dylan, who makes her feel this way - not Miss Murray, her English teacher?

A thought-provoking coming out story from a highly skilled author.

 My Review:

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Hachette Children's Group and NetGalley*

-Contains spoilers!-

Ashleigh Walker's life is a bit of a mess - her parents are barely talking (and when they do they argue), she has exams to revise for and she's feeling things and having thoughts about her English teacher that she shouldn't.
Is Ash in love with Miss Murray?
Will her parents stay together?
Will she pass her exams?

Firstly, I love the cover, especially the colours.
Ash was an okay protagonist but she wasn't likeable and I found her annoying at times - an example is after she had sex with Dylan (who was a complete a-hole and only wanted one thing) she realised that they hadn't used any protection and instead of doing the sensible thing and getting a morning after pill she worried about it for weeks until she started her period.
I wasn't a fan of Ash's best friend Cat who she couldn't talk to about personal things. I may be wrong but I though best friends were people who you could talk to about everything?
The plot was alright but I wasn't gripped. I'm not sure if it was the writing style or Ash's personality that made me feel like I couldn't connect with the story.
I thought the subject of someone realising that they are gay was handled well - probably my favourite thing about the book.

Overall this was an okay read but I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would.