Reaper: Aftermath by Jonathan Pongratz

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It’s been five years have passed since the Reapers invaded Earth, but Gregory is back and trying to survive the wastelands left behind!

Welcome to the book tour for Reaper: Aftermath by Jonathan Pongratz! Read on for an excerpt and a chance to win 1 of 3 print copies of the book!

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Reaper: Aftermath


Rating: 4/5 stars

Genre: Sci-Fi Horror, Apocalypse

Expected Publication Date: February 5th, 2021

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Five years have passed since the Reapers invaded Earth and tore it asunder. Gregory, his mother, Trent, and their group of scavengers hunt the decimated wastelands for survival.

But when a sudden Reaper attack forces Gregory through a Reaper door, he finds himself in a bizarre place, one that may provide answers to the Reapers’ past and where they came from.

Can Gregory put together the pieces of the past and find his way home, or will he just become another human casualty in the lost war against the Reapers?

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2021 March TBR

February was an insanely productive reading month (Wrap Up here), so I hope to be able to keep the momentum going in March. I’m finally over my months long reading slump, so here’s hoping that this month comes with some fantastic reads.

A bunch of the reads I plan on getting done this months are tied to book tours that I’m lucky to be a part of, so I’m certain that I’ll get to those before the end of the month. In fact, by the time this post comes out I’ll have already finished – and posted about – one of these reads.

**For anyone who’s here for the first time, I’ve organized the books by Physical Books, eBooks, AudioBooks, and Library books. **

As always, I expect to deviate from the TBR a bit, but here are the books I look forward to choosing from this month:

Total books: 9

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Weasel Words by Dale E. Lehman

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Today we’re celebrating the release of crime caper, Weasel Words by Dale E. Lehman, with an exclusive excerpt and a chance to win a print copy of the book!

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Weasel Words (Bernard and Melody Capers Book 1)

Expected Publication Date: February 15th, 2021

Genre: Humor, Crime Fiction

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Between them, Bernard and Melody Earls have looks, charm, brains . . . everything but money. That’s why they steal from the rich and give to themselves. So when Alexander Hamilton Plaskett hires them to nick a silver statuette of a pine marten from his brother Paul Revere Plaskett, they’re happy to oblige. But it won’t be as easy as it looks. For one thing, the little beast is guarded by Fitzroy Fortresses, the best security system money can buy. For another, the five Plaskett siblings are obnoxious buffoons. Still, a job is a job, and this one may offer more than it appears.

At least, that’s Bernard’s theory. The pine marten isn’t particularly valuable, so why do the Plasketts contest its ownership so fiercely? To find out, he and Melody insinuate themselves into the Plasketts’ world and enlist a college geek to hack the unhackable Fitzroy system. Failure means poverty. Discovery means prison. And the biggest obstacle to Bernard’s brilliant schemes? Melody’s penchant for running off-script!

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The Moscow Whisper by Michael Jenkins

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Welcome to the blog tour for action-packed, spy thriller The Moscow Whisper by Michael Jenkins!

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The Moscow Whisper

Rating: 4/5 stars

Publication Date: June 12th, 2020

Genre: Thriller, Espionage, Action, Spy Thriller

Publisher: Failsafe Thrillers

Length: 407 Pages

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‘Sometimes you have to enter the death zone to save the innocent ’

A top-secret clique of former spies meet for dinner to hatch a plan to murder a competitor, not knowing that they are under surveillance from a covert arm of British Intelligence. Hours later, with bodies strewn across a terrace, a piece of secret intelligence reveals an international plot of colossal magnitude.

For disgraced agent Sean Richardson, this is the beginning of a deniable mission to infiltrate and disrupt a group of Russian mercenaries who are working clandestinely to take over a nation state.

Acting covertly as an illicit arms trafficker, Sean is dropped into a deadly cauldron of terrorists and high-tech weaponry that will take a nation down. As the bullets fly and the chaos rains in, can Sean take down the merchants of death…..or has he finally met his match?

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2021 February Wrap Up

It’s easy to see that this month I read a lot more than I have in the last 4-5 months. I’m grateful that I got my hands on so many books that I enjoyed reading. And that my reading slump appears to be gone! It’s been weird not reading anything the last little bit, completely unusual for me. In February I certainly changed this up by reading a fair bit. I stuck mostly to things I was likely to enjoy reading and it paid off.

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As always, here are some pictures of my pup, Yzma. (Shameless plug for her adorable PupStagram account @YzmaTheHound):

Without further ado, here’s my reading stats for February:


For reference: Physical books, eBooks, AudioBooks, and Library books.

Total books completed: 12

Total pages read: 4,071 pages (avg. 340 pages)


Completed Books:

  1. Mu: The Grimm Cases by Lyla Oweds (The Grimm Cases, Books 1-3)[4 stars] 759 pages
  2. The Deep by Rivers Solomon (Goodreads)[5 stars] 166 pages
  3. Hidden by Lyla Oweds (The Grimm Cases, Book 4)[4 stars] 451 pages
  4. Balance by Lyla Oweds (The Grimm Cases, Book 5)[4 stars] 320 pages
  5. Boring is the New Black by Megan Bryce (The Fashionista and the Geek, Book 1)[2 stars] 204 pages
  6. Takakush by Raine Reiter (Genus Magica, Book 1)[4 stars] 276 pages
  7. Heir of Lies by Mallory McCartney (Black Dawn, Book 1)[4.25 stars] 272 pages
  8. Queen to Ashes by Mallory McCartney (Black Dawn, Book 2)[4 stars] 350 pages
  9. Reaper by Jonathan Pongratz (Reaper, Book 1)[4 stars] 96 pages
  10. The Secret Girl by C.M. Stunich (Adamson All-Boys Academy, Book 1)[3.5 stars] 420 pages
  11. The Ruthless Boys by C.M. Stunich (Adamson All-Boys Academy, Book 2)[3.5 stars] 469 pages
  12. The Forever Crew by C.M. Stunich (Adamson All-Boys Academy, Book 3)[3 stars] 288 pages

Review Posts:

  1. A Conventicle of Magpies by LMR Clarke
  2. Mu: The Grimm Cases by Lyla Oweds *Non-Spoiler Review*
  3. In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire
  4. Queen to Ashes by Mallory McCartney
  5. Takakush by Raine Reiter
  6. Coffee, Tea, or Me by Rich Amooi
  7. House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas
  8. The Deep by Rivers Solomon
  9. Mu: The Grimm Cases by Lyla Oweds *Spoiler Review*
  10. Reaper by Jonathan Pongratz
  11. Holly Freakin; Hughes by Kelsey Kingsley
  12. Boring is the New Black by Megan Bryce

Spotlight Posts:

  1. Between Love and Murder by Chris Bedell
  2. Love Him / Hate Him by Chris Bedell

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Boring is the New Black by Megan Bryce

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Pages: 204

Series: The Fashionista and the Geek, Book 1

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Chick Lit, Fashion

Publication Date: April 13th, 2016

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Nicole is the daughter of famed supermodel Nikita Bissette. Because of this, Nicole has unwillingly lived her entire life in the limelight. She’s learned that in order to keep attention off of herself she’s going to need to rely on her resting bitch face. And never smile. When all she wants is to be normal, Nicole will do anything it takes to stay out of the spotlight.

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“There are two kinds of people in this world: gummy bears and Sour Patch Kids.”

Ch. 1, Gia

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I’ll be honest, this book was pretty average to read. While I have nothing against a cheesy romance novel – in fact, I quite enjoy picking them up when I’m in the mood for some good cheese – this book had been sitting in my collection for a while now. The reason I picked it up was to complete February’s Buzzword Readathon challenge.

For February, the prompt was “A Colour”. While the semantic part of me wants to point out that black isn’t a colour it’s the absence of colour (based on colour and light theory), I’m not going to go there. For this challenge, black is a colour.

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Holly Freakin’ Hughes by Kelsey Kingsley

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Pages: 339

Goodreads: Holly Freakin Hughes

Genres: Romance, Chick Lit, Contemporary, Drama

Publication date: August 1st, 2017

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Holly thought her life was heading in the right direction. She ran a moderately successful teen advice column and was certain she was about to get married and start a family with the love of her life Stephen. That is, until Stephen breaks the news to her that he’s gay, setting off a domino of events that leaves Holly single, unemployed, and living in her sister’s guest bedroom as her niece’s babysitter. Struggling with the knowledge that she’ll be stuck in the Land of Mediocrity forever, Holly’s niece runs face first into a handsome stranger in a bookstore and sets Holly down a path that’ll change her life.

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“They want B. Davis, Nick, because he has fancy hotels and party invitations. Why the hell would they trade that to be with Brandon, a sarcastic bastard with a cat and a Keurig?”

I wished they only wanted the sarcastic cat and the Keurig.

Ch. 2, Brandon

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Overall I enjoyed the way that the characters interacted with each other. The secondary characters didn’t feel like an afterthought and just a plot tool in order to progress the main plot and romance of the story. They all had their own lives, their own motivations and desires. The characters carried the story for me, making the world in this book feel like a real place.

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Reaper by Jonathan Pongratz

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Pages: 96

Series: Reaper, Book 1

Genres: Horror, Novella, Young Adult

Publication date: April 19, 2019

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Gregory and his little sister Imogen love spending Halloween with their parents. But this year is special: if he can prove to his parents he can take care of Imogen by himself, he’ll finally have the allowance he’s dreamed of. But that was before the basement door opened on its own. Before the strange door appeared in the basement and the monster too Imogen away from him.

The boogeyman doesn’t exist. That’s what your parents tell you, what they’re supposed to tell you. But now I know better. If you’re reading this now, it may already be too late. I don’t know how far this thing goes, or if there’s even a way out of all this. I don’t expect you to take my word for it, but maybe, just maybe if you pay attention, you won’t make the same mistake that I did. Maybe you can get out before they come for you too.

Preface

As I’d hoped, this horror novella was a fantastic way to start out my horror reads for the year. As a novella, this story needs to grip the reader’s attention right away – which it did – and keep it – which it does. The premise itself is interesting and it’s clear that, even given the shitty situation he finds himself in, Gregory is an amazing big brother who’s willing to do anything for his sister. Even when she’s getting on his nerves (like all good little sisters are wont to do). Reapers sound like terrifying monsters, I’m amazed that 13 year old Gregory is able to stand up to them.

The boogeyman is a horrifying concept as child, but can you imagine if they were real?

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MU: The Grimm Cases by Lyla Oweds (Spoiler Review)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Pages: 688

Series: The Grimm Cases, Books 1-3

Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Reverse Harem, (Light) Horror

Publication date: August 15th, 2019

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The story follows Bianca Brosnan as she discovers that the house she’s watching for her professor is haunted and decides to do something about it. Especially when the haunting turns dangerous and Bianca starts getting hurt. When going to her best friend doesn’t work, she reaches out the the only person she think might actually believe her – even if she’s never met him before in her life. Desperate times call for desperate measures, right?

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“Once upon a time, a handsome young man was waiting for his perpetually late friend. It was the icing on top of a very bad day in a string of bad days. The young man had been bored with his life for a long time. He was full of ideas, but he lacked initiative and had no desire to do anything with them.” Damen’s eyes sparkled playfully.

I fought the urge to hide my face, as I started to realize where this story was leading. Miles, on the other hand, didn’t resist. He groaned and covered his eyes.

Origins, Ch. 9

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This collection includes the first 3 books in the series – OriginsGhost, and Blood – as well as bonus chapters and the companion short Home. Which was just perfect for me as it took me a while to get into the story in Origins. Thankfully, as soon as the story pulled me in it had me in its thrall. As well, luckily for me I had the first 3 books to fly through at once. It certainly helped me jump through the story without needing to come up for air. (Something I certainly didn’t want to do!)

Bianca is a unique character to be in the head of. She thinks in a way that almost confuses me even though as the reader I’m able to follow her train of thought. She comes to some of the most insane conclusions that I’ve ever read. She takes people and their words at face value… most of the time. The rest of the time she over analyzes what they’ve said until their words take on a whole new meaning. And it’s fantastic.

makes for one hell of a ride, that’s for sure.

But of course, the paranormal world around her more than makes up for the second hand embarrassment you might get. I always love seeing how different authors create their world and characters and Oweds does not disappoint. While there are some basic similarities that many paranormal stories have – like ghosts and poltergeists – this is a fantastic new (to me) take on what the paranormal world can look like. I enjoyed every little bit of information that I was able to soak up about the world and its inhabitants.

If you’re looking for a straight up ghost hunting story, then this isn’t the story you’re looking for. However. This story focuses on a group of friends and their abilities in a truly interesting way. It showcases how they help strengthen each other both emotionally and through their powers. This group of friends truly is the center point and highlight of this story.

I recommend this read for someone who’s interested in a good time, filled with paranormal mystery and intrigue. Bianca and her friends have a lot to overcome – whether you’re looking at Bianca’s haunting or the paranormal world as a whole. It’s fascinating to watch this story unfold.

Basically the second that I finished this collection I picked up the next book in the series and dove straight back into this world. Because my goodness does this story take the reader on a ride. (I told you I didn’t want to come up for air!)

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The Deep by Rivers Solomon

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Pages: 166

Goodreads: The Deep

Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, SciFi, Novella, Adult, LGBTQ, Mythology

Publication date: November 5th, 2019

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Yetu holds the memories for her people – water dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners – who live idyllic lives in the sea. Their past too traumatic for all but their historian to remember save but once a year.

Yetu remembers for everyone. The memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic and terrible and miraculous, are destroying her. And so she flees to the surface to escape the memories and obligations that go along with being her peoples’ historian.

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History was everything. Yetu knew that. But it wasn’t kind.

Ch. 6, pg. 96

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I truly need to thank my boyfriend for this read. If he hadn’t picked the book up for himself, there’s a chance that I never would have read it. And that would have been a travesty.

As a huge Clipping. fan, he just had to pick up the book that was inspired by one of their songs. The Deep tells a tale that I didn’t know I needed to read until I’d already read it. I’m so glad that I did – so glad that he brought this story into my life – as it truly is a near perfect story.

This story is gripping and impactful. It tells a story using a truly devastating genocide that happened in the world to create a beautiful tale. Not only does it touch on true historical events, this story brings light to a serious issue that still exists today – rampant racism. While this issue is not the main focus of the story, it carries weight within the creation of the wajinru.

Yetu’s story has impact. It has weight. It might be fictional, but the meaning in these words and the lessons you can learn from them matter.

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