Thursday, April 18, 2019

Blog Tour: Slumbering

Welcome to the Slumbering blog tour! Here we have another gorgeous book, this time the first installment in a wonderful YA series, called The Starlight Chronicles by C.S. Johnson. Read on for exclusive content and a chance to win a print copy of the book!

Slumbering Cover

Slumbering

Publication Date: December 2014

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy/ Satire

Sixteen-year-old Hamilton Dinger leads a charmed life. He’s got the grades for the top of the class, the abilities of a star athlete and Tetris player, and the charisma to get away with anything. Everything seems to be going along perfectly, including his plans to ask out Gwen Kessler, as he enters into tenth grade at Apollo Central High School. Everything, that is, until a meteor crashes into the city, releasing the Seven Deadly Sinisters and their leader, Orpheus, from their celestial prison, and awakening Hamilton’s longtime dormant supernatural abilities. Suddenly Hamilton finds reluctantly allied with his self-declared mentor, Elysian, a changeling dragon, and Starry Knight, a beautiful but dangerous warrior, as they seek to protect the souls of Apollo City from the Sinisters and their evil intentions. Can Hamilton overcome his ignorance and narrow-mindedness to see what is truly real? Can he give up his self-proclaimed entitlement to happiness in order to follow the call of a duty he doesn’t want? More importantly, will he willingly sacrifice all he has to find out the truth?

 

Review: 

I’m only recently discovering C.S. Johnson’s work, but already, I’m really enjoying her book, and look forward to reading more! Complex world-building and character, a touch of humor to add the the character appeal, and plenty of action and growth going on throughout the story. I loved this setting, and the characters quickly made an impression, it didn’t take long for me to find myself drawn to their story, especially Hamilton’s.

Add to Goodreads

The Starlight Chronicles

The Starlight Chronicles

Interview:

  • In 10 words or less, how would you describe SLUMBERING?

Only ten?? I’m a novelist for good reason, ha!  But …

Egotistical teenager discovers he’s a superhero, has trouble being selfless.

  • Why do you love writing? When did you first have a love for writing, and how was it formed?

I love writing a lot of the same way I love myself; it’s difficult, but the words I produce are mine, and it reflects, both for good and for ill, the essence of who I am. My love for writing was grounded in my love for reading and nurtured in very similar ways, with finding favorites and trying new books. My mother helped with this a lot. She used to read to me before bed at night, and after I learned to read, I found it was the easiest way to ignore things I didn’t want to be bothered with.

  • Who are your favorite authors, and which ones have had an impact on you? Who has affected your writing style the most?

I have a few favorite authors; I like C. S. Lewis and Samuel Johnson – part of the reason I adore God’s sense of humor in getting to be married into a Johnson family – and T. S. Eliot. I also like Amy Tan, for her focus on mothers and daughters, George Orwell for his “despair writing,” as I call it, Andrew Klavan for his thrillers, Gabriel Garcia-Marquez for his magical realism. I like authors who are not afraid to talk about some topics, including religion and politics. Each of my favorite authors offers work that provides a portal of the realm of the human soul, and even if I disagree with them on some points – and I always do – I admire the wit, humor, and beauty they put into their work. As to which one has influenced me as far as style the most, I’m not entirely sure.

  • What are your favorite genres to read and write? What are your favorite books?

When it comes to reading, I am a sucker for a good love story, so I probably read romance the most. But I also like history and fairy tales, and occasionally a good sci-fi novel. The books I enjoy the most are memoirs; I like experiencing another’s life through their eyes. My favorite novel is consistently Till We Have Faces, and I try to reread it every year. I also like Lewis’ Out of the Silent Planet.

  • What do you do when you’re not writing? Is writing a part-time or full-time job?

I am a stay at home mom when I’m not writing. I like being able to be there for my kids if they need me. My husband works in healthcare so he has a good job that is able to provide for us both. I make the joke all the time that he goes to work and saves real lives, and I stay at home and kill imaginary ones. It’s funny because it’s true.

  • Which genre  is your favorite? If you could only write or recommend readers read one, what would your ‘go-to’ genre be?

If I have a go-to genre, it’s probably fantasy; there’s a lot you can do with fantasy, and I like playing with the imagination. There are dangers in living in your imagination for too long, but I also think it’s a great sword and shield for the individual soul. The other nice thing is that my science can be a little blurry and no one minds overly much.

  • Which character was the easiest to write, and who was the hardest to write?

For Slumbering, the easiest character to write was easily Hamilton. He is half-based on me in high school. I was not popular, and I was not one to voice my inner thoughts quite so much as he does; but a lot of his observations and ambitions were mine. I wanted to be smart, I wanted to be liked; I wanted to be in charge of my life, and I had a good enough handle on it that it was easy to look down on people who didn’t. And of course, there are quite a few surprises that life offers us that force us into a more humble stance. I always kind of laugh when I have people tell me how much they hate his character, because it really is a good reflection of how I was.

The hardest character to write in the series was probably Alethia, who comes onto the scene in Book 2 but becomes more of a major character in book 3. She is a very gracious character, and sometimes that demeanor is difficult for me to maintain, since I tend to be impatient and easily frustrated. If I was trying to help Hamilton save the world and he was whining about having to skip out from a date, I would come off more like Starry Knight and Elysian do when they’re with him.

  • What is your go-to cure for writer’s block?

In truth, I don’t have one that works. But playfully I tell people to think of a book that’s famous, one that’s made a lot of money, and one that’s just not very good even though it’s very popular – I’m sure you can think of at least one – and use it as inspiration that you can do it, too. If “This book” can do it, I can write a book that can, too.

  • Where is your favorite place to read or write?

My local coffeeshop is my favorite place. I keep coming up with coffee shop theme ideas, so I have this feeling that I secretly want to own one of my own one day.

  • Do you have any tips to any aspiring authors or writers?

I actually just published a book on writing for this, called Good Writing is Like Good Sex: Sort of Sexy Thoughts on Writing. It’s not graphic at all, and more tongue-in-cheek in tone, so if you’re around the age of sixteen, you’ll likely be able to read it without your parents worrying. That is my shortcut to answering this question, since I get asked that a lot. The truth is that everyone is a little different, but there are universal things people should know before publishing, and that’s where it gets tricky since all those people who ask me are often at different levels. People also want different things out of their writing. Not everyone does it for money, and not everyone wants to do it for a sense of meaning. So I wrote a book covering most of the basics, and published it so it’ll be there for people who want to know what I think.

Available on Amazon!

About the Author

Author-CS-Johnson

C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me

CS Johnson | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

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For your chance to win a print copy of Slumbering by C.S. Johnson, click the link below!

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Blog Tour Schedule

April 15th

Reads & Reels (Review) http://www.readsandreels.com

Daily Waffle (Excerpt) http://www.dailywaffle.co.uk

Sophril Reads (Excerpt) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

April 16th

I Smell Sheep (Cover Love Feature) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks (Review) https://quirkycatsfatstacks.com/

I Love Books and Stuff (Excerpt) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

Reading Nook (Excerpt) http://readingnook84.wordpress.com

The Bookworm Drinketh (Excerpt) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/

April 17th

Jessica Rachow (Review) http://jessicarachow.wordpress.com

#Bookish (Excerpt) http://erindeckerblog.wordpress.com

Yearwood La Novella (Excerpt) http://yearwooddailybookreview.wordpress.com

April 18th

J Bronder Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/

The Bibliophagist (Review) http://thebibliophagist.blog/

B is for Book Review (Excerpt) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

April 19th

Breakeven Books (Interview) https://breakevenbooks.com

The Invisible Moth (Review) https://daleydowning.wordpress.com

Stacy is Reading (Review) https://stacyisreading.blogspot.com/?m=0

 

Excerpt:

After the meteorite has fallen, Hamilton starts to wonder if he is crazy; and when he starts getting visions of another time and place, he struggles to accept they could be something more than a mental illness or a physical ailment.

But even in the perfect teenage life of mine, I got bored easily.

Such as later, when I was sitting in drama class.

It was ninth period, and I felt my attention drooping as much as my eyelids. Mr. Lockard was droning on and on about Shakespeare and the Global Theater …or was it Globe Theater? I wondered briefly how Gwen could lap this stuff up like cream. It left a dry taste on my tongue.

Had time passed at all since class began? I wondered. I dared not look up at the clock for fear Lockard would use it as an excuse to call on me.

I shifted in my seat. Immediately, I grimaced at the highly noticeable lack of legroom.

I sighed. Drama was the stupidest class ever. (Ironic I would think so, I know.) Gwen was the reason I’d signed up for it this year. Once she’d been assigned to another period, I made it my life’s mission to drop the class.

Unfortunately, the parentals were not as keen on the idea. Mark and Cheryl made me keep it to “teach me a lesson” about suffering through things I detested. I still hated them for it. My parents would never understand how the anxiety produced in this class crippled my lifetime potential.

Not to mention my actual life was at risk while I was in the class. The drama room was located inconveniently (extremely inconveniently) underneath the stage. The wood-sanded ceiling-stage was composed of creaking boards only two inches thick. Two inches to keep people safe from falling onto unsuspecting students below, who were probably already half dead from boredom.

I was just waiting for the day when an amplifier, or microphone, or some fat kid caused the stage to collapse.

The humdrum of class slowly turned into muffles, which then twirled off into music. I was falling from consciousness, but not into sleep.

I panicked briefly for a moment as I fell back into the world of starlight, where I was flying freely, awing over the wonders of space and time Hubble had yet to find.

But even as I felt uneasy, I let myself be eased into contentedness. I wanted to enjoy it, even as I feared I was going crazy.

That same melody, the one from the hospital, called out to me, and I felt eagerness and euphoria, as though joy and anticipation had procreated an entirely new emotion within me.

My universe started to move with the music—as though the music had become not just sounds beautifully laced together, but a dance for all time and space to follow.

I couldn’t help it when I laughed. Joy had tickled me, inside and out, so I laughed.

“Hamilton Dinger!”

My attention was roughly jolted back to reality as Mr. Lockard (loudly) called me out. The celestial background dropped from my eyes, as though a light switch had been flipped on, chasing away the warmth and protection of darkness, and I was faced with the white-hot exposure of Lockard’s face.

“Just what is so funny?”

“Uh … ” was the best response I could make. I had been laughing aloud, unintentionally. “Nothing.”

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Wednesday’s Wishes: Unbroken

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Wishful Endings and was previously hosted by Breaking the Spine.   It was created to show off a future release that you are excited for.Wishful Wednesday

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Unbroken: A Reverse Harem Urban Fantasy Romance

(Dark Moon Shifters #3)

My enemies think they’ve broken me.
They should think again.


When our quest started, I was an innocent girl. Now, there is blood on my hands and vengeance in my heart. I will stop at nothing to protect the people I love. Even if it means betraying everything I hold dear.

These four men are my life, but loving me may be the death of them.

I have one chance, one last shot to save the world without losing the love that makes it worth living.

They say it’s always darkest before the dawn.
I just hope we all live to see the light…

Either way, I’m not going down without a fight.

UNBROKEN is the final installment of the Dark Moon Shifters series, a red-hot reverse harem paranormal and urban fantasy romance. Expect pulse-pounding action, suspense, serious ass-kicking, and four sexy shifter men who will make you wish you had a bear, wolf, lynx, and griffin of your own.

Expected publication: April 18th 2019

Blitz: Demon Magic and a Martini

Demon Magic and a Martini
Annette Marie
(The Guild Codex: Spellbound #4)
Published by: Dark Owl Fantasy Inc.
Publication date: April 12th 2019
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy

When I first landed a bartending job at the local guild, I didn’t know a thing about magic. These days, I’m practically an expert on the different magical classes, but there’s one nobody ever talks about: Demonica.

Turns out they have a good reason for that. My guild is strictly hellion-free, because who wants to risk life and limb to control the biggest bullies on the mythic playground?

Well, some people do, and now a demon has been loosed in the city. My three best friends are determined to slay it, but even badass combat mages are critically out-magicked. And that’s not all. The monster they’re tracking—it’s not hiding. It’s not fleeing. It’s not leaving a trail of corpses everywhere it goes.

The demon is hunting too. And in a city full of mythics, it’s searching for deadlier prey.

If we can’t unravel the demon’s sinister motivations, more innocent people will die, but finding the answers means digging into dark secrets … and learning truths I never wanted to know.

Note: The three mages are definitely sexy, but this series isn’t a reverse harem. It’s 100% fun, sassy, fast-paced urban fantasy.

THE GUILD CODEX: SPELLBOUND

Three Mages and a Margarita (#1)

Dark Arts and a Daiquiri (#2)

Two Witches and a Whiskey (#3)

Demon Magic and a Martini (#4)

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“Speaking of worry …” Sin’s eyes narrowed. “I heard all about how you went demon hunting with Aaron, Kai, and Ezra. I have to ask … what the hell were any of you thinking?”

“Um, well—”

“You aren’t combat trained, and demons are the fiercest, deadliest opponents out there! Why would Darius even approve it? You’re all idiots.”

I managed a bleak smile. “Thanks, Sin. Appreciate the vote of confidence.”

She sniffed angrily. “You know you aren’t ready for that, and I’d really prefer my friend not get herself killed.”

Couldn’t argue with her there. I’d also prefer not to get killed.

Lifting the tattered book off her lap, she smacked it down on the bar. “We need to look at options.”

“Uh … options for what?”

“Defensive alchemy.” She cast me a flinty stare. “Since you’re all for the dangerous jobs now, you need to be armed with more than a couple of artifacts. I heard you used a smoke screen. What else did you take?”

Bemusedly, I watched her flip the book open. “Just flash-bang potions. What is that thing?”

“My grimoire. All Arcana mythics have one—where we record all the spells or transmutations we’ve learned or invented.” She turned several spotted, liquid-stained pages covered in handwriting and diagrams. “I can make smoke bombs and flash-bangs easily enough, but you need something to stop an opponent. Personally, I don’t like sleep potions. It’s easy to get it on your own skin and then you’re asleep instead of them.”

“Yeah, that’d be bad.”

She skimmed a few more pages. “Enhanced strength is useful, but it doesn’t last long, and unless you’re in excessively good shape, you’ll crash hard

afterward. Let’s see … amnesia, no. Fasting potion, no. Enhanced speed, no.”

“What’s wrong with speed? I’d like to be faster.”

“It’s hopelessly impractical. Your body gets faster, but your reflexes don’t, so it’s difficult to control without training and practice. You’ll spend the potion’s duration tripping over your own feet and running into things.”

“Oh.” Too bad. “What’s a fasting potion?”

“Drink it and you won’t need food, water, or a bathroom for about forty-eight hours. Good for certain situations, but you pay for it afterward.” She perused more recipes. “Enhanced perception, air buffer, true sight, anti-emotionalizer, allure-fume—none of these are useful.”

“Allure-fume?” I repeated. “What’s that?”

She winced. “Uh, it’s a … um … perfume.”

I stared at her pointedly, waiting for an explanation, and her cheeks turned pink.

“A few drops on the skin will make the wearer especially alluring to the opposite sex. Like pheromones.”

“Why do you know a potion like that?”

“I tried it out when I was younger, okay?” she muttered defensively. “Lesson learned. You don’t have to lecture me.”

“What happened?”

“I wore it on a first date with this guy I really liked.” “Did it work?”

“It worked on him, plus every male who got within twenty feet of me. I spent our entire dinner date pushing random men out of our booth. I’ve never been hit on so many times in one evening. Most of the men were twice my age and married.”

Fighting back a snicker, I asked, “Did you go on a second date with your crush?”

“No.” She hung her head over the grimoire. “An early sign that my love life was doomed.”


Author Bio:

Annette Marie is the author of Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad) with her husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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What Are You Reading Wednesday?: April 17, 2019

What Are You Reading Wednesday was created by RhiannaMarissa, and Kendall. The idea is to create a space for book lovers to share, discuss, and recommend the books they are currently reading and loving. All you have to do is answer the questions about your current read and then head over to one of the host’s sites to link up your post! Have fun and don’t forget to check out everyone’s posts as well!

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MY CURRENT READ

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Chaos

(Tessa Avery #1)

by Lucy Roy 
For most girls at eighteen, life is just beginning: graduation, college, getting their own place. Unlike them, however, I’ve trained my whole life to be an Ischyra, an immortal soldier of the Olympian gods, and when high school ends, I’m going to Olympus to face my destiny, leaving all that I know behind.

I’m a nervous wreck, of course, but making the transition from mortal to immortal, not to mention finding out what my affinity will be, has me over the moon. Finally, I’ll be tasting what I was born for.

But not all is a bed of roses. Meeting the gods and the grueling training is nothing compared to the nightmares I’ve been having. Controlling my newly awakened powers is more of a struggle than I’d anticipated. Add to the mix a hot guy who I can’t make heads or tails of. And if that wasn’t enough, a bunch of the Titans who were defeated thousands of years ago have begun to gather forces, hoping to retake Olympus for their own.

As an Ischyra, my duty is to protect Earth from those who would seek to harm it, but first I have to get through my training year. Yet as my powers start to take on a mind of their own, I begin to realize the gods might have other plans in store.

 

1. Why did you decide to pick up this book–cover or content?

Content! I can’t resist a mythology retelling, and this one also has characters with abilities/powers, some pretty epic fantasy elements that would interest me even without the mythology (did I mention it’s a weakness…?), and plenty of emotion! (Loads of attractive characters always a plus too! ;D)

2. Who is your favorite character so far, and why?

Just one…Tessa…Yana…Nathaniel…Hermes… the Twins, and Gen! (There’s more, but right off, those are the top.)

3. Will you finish this one?

Yes!

4. This book reminds me of…

Percy Jackson for older fangirls? No really Tessa is 18, and kind of in a college type setting in this one, but it’s more like Whisper by Lynette Noni (which I loved, and can’t wait for the sequel this fall!) and maybe Fragile Chaos by Amber Duell or I don’t want to say SJMaas’ work, cause I know of all the hype that causes, but I feel the strong female characters, powers/training, and ‘powerful destiny or chosen/lost hero” is likely where this is headed.

5. What type of read is this one? (Slow but interesting, cannot put it down…)

Painfully quick…In that I tried stretching this one out, as the next won’t be out for a while, and it’s so so good! But alas, I’ve hit half-way and can’t bring myself to put it down!

 

 

 

 

WWW Wednesday: April 17th, 2019

Every Wednesday, we participate in a blog post known as ‘WWW Wednesdays.’ This was originally hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm before moving to Taking on a World of Words. 

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You may be wondering what the three Ws stand for. The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What are you currently reading?

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What did you recently finish reading?

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What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m planning to either return to Alex Lidell’s work, or read the titles I’ve been saving up over the last 6 months or so of new releases for the series I enjoyed last fall and didn’t get to read as they released.