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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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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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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House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Pages: 803

Series: Crescent City, Book 1

Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Magic, Fiction

Publication date: March 3, 2020

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Bryce Quinlan led the perfect life – working hard all day and partying all night – until a demon murdered her closest friends leaving her alone in a world she used to love. With the accused behind bars and the crimes starting up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. And she’ll do whatever it takes to get to the bottom of things.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His skills and abilities are being forced into one purpose – to assassinate his keeper’s enemies no questions asked. Yet when a demon begins wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer and freedom will be in reach.

Through love, all is possible.

Danika Fendrir, House of Earth and Blood

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As usual, Maas’ world building was phenomenal. I loved getting to explore the world and learn how the city was built. I loved getting to experience the different districts in the city, to see how they interact with each other and the roles they play in the inner workings of the city. By getting two different perspectives to witness the world through, it was possible to see things the other might not have noticed.

Like always, the characters in this story was so filled with life. Maas has always done an amazing job at creating characters the reader will either love or hate. It might have taken me a while to get used to being in Bryce’s head, but once I was used to the way she though I enjoyed my time there immensely. Sure she might not have been the most reliable narrator at times, but she certainly kept things interesting. Leading a double life after her closest friends’ deaths couldn’t have been an easy thing to do, but it was the only way she could stand existing after the horrors she’d witnessed.

Getting to live in Hunt’s mind part of the time was a great way to break from the melancholy Bryce lived her life in. Granted Hunt didn’t have the best life himself, but the difference of being in a soldier’s mind was evident from the get go.

The thing that’s either hit or miss for me with Maas’ writing has always been the plotline of the story itself. While I adored her Throne of Glass series, her A Court of Thorns and Roses series (first review here) wasn’t exactly for me. When I’d only read these two series, I’d all but convinced myself that Throne of Glass might be the only series I enjoyed by her. Then I enjoyed reading Catwoman: Soulstealer when it came out because the story was fantastic. In fact, it was this standalone story that convinced me that it was the plot of ACOTAR I didn’t enjoy and that Maas’ writing itself is something I adore. Because of this, I always look forward to picking up anything that Maas writes in the future. Not every book might be to my tastes, but I know I can still enjoy the way she tells her stories.

That being said, I really did enjoy the plot of House of Earth and Blood. Knowing that Maas’ books are generally long and contain a lot of exposition that neither adds nor detracts from the story, I expected the story to have a slow start. For me it did. Sure it took me a little while to get into the story, but once I’d immersed myself in what was going on, I found myself loving Bryce and feeling her pain as she struggled with her grief and regrets. Heck, her guilt was so real it was practically dripping off the words.

Hunt’s side of the story added an extra depth of despair and hope that Bryce alone wouldn’t have conveyed. By getting to see them interact with each other and the world around them, they became more than just detectives. They became real people that were struggling with real issues.

Of course their case was an important driving force of the story, but it seemed to be just the catalyst for what was going to happen throughout this story. Yes the murderer needed to be found and brought to justice, but it was everything that they found out along the way, the clues that were sprinkled into the story in the most unlikely places, that helped make the story the fantastic read that it is. Bryce and Hunt might have been thrown together as unwilling partners, but they certainly know how to follow a scent and make the world bleed the answers they need.

While I can admit that this story might not be for everyone, if you’re a fan of Maas’ writing style or urban fantasy reads in general I’d recommend giving this story a try. I’m not ashamed to say that I cried at one point – and after you’ve finished the story I’d love for you to guess which part of the story did it.

I’d also highly recommend listening to the AudioBook version of this story narrated by Elizabeth Evans. It took me a second to pull the voice away from Elena from the Throne of Glass AudioBook narration, but I’m thrilled that Evans narrated this tale by Maas as well. While I haven’t listen to too many AudioBooks yet, she’s quickly become one of my favourite narrators to listen to. Evans breaths an extra layer of life into the characters and it’d be a shame if you missed out on it.

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Coffee, Tea, or Me by Rich Amooi

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Pages: 217

Goodreads: Coffee, Tea, or Me

Genres: Romance, Chick Lit, Contemporary

Publication date: September 21, 2016

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Jack Robbins runs a successful coffee business and has a rescue Chihuahua named Chimichanga that hates women and loves to kiss him on the mouth. Susie McKenna has just opened a new tea shop next door that everyone is talking about which she runs with her over protective brother. Things get heated as the two begin competing for customers, and reach a new intensity when they both volunteer to help plan the downtown festival. But can a coffee lover and a tea devotee put aside the competition to find their happily ever after?

“Why does any man get into a fight? There are five reasons, really. Money. Power. Alcohol. Ego. Or women. Take your pick.”

Harvey, Ch. 11
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Queen to Ashes by Mallory McCartney

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Exciting news folks!!! Queen to Ashes by Mallory McCartney is now available as an audiobook!

Read on for more details and a chance to win either your choice of a hardcover edition of Queen to Ashes, or an advanced reader’s copy of Kingdom of Iron (Black Dawn #3)!

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Queen to Ashes (Black Dawn #2)

Rating: 4/5 stars

Publication Date: April 21st, 2020

Genre: YA Fantasy

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“You lived your entire life feeling like half of you was missing. Fight for the missing part. Fight for this.”

Emory Fae has abandoned everything she thought she knew about her previous life on Earth. Stepping up to her role as Queen of Kiero she makes a startling sacrifice- feigning her allegiances to Adair Stratton, the man who murdered her parents and casted Kiero into ruin. Emory’s memories slowly piece together, and she soon realizes the Mad King may not be all he seems— and the man who was once best friend, may be fighting beneath the surface.

With the King’s attention on her, can she buy Black Dawn Rebellion enough time to recuperate their forces? And when the times comes, will she be able to kill Adair, ending his tyranny and rising herself as the rightful Queen? Fighting to hide her secret, Emory navigates the brutal trials of the Mad King, trying not to lose herself in the process.

Sequel to Heir of Lies, now a bestselling series, the sparks are ignited, as Emory learns the cost of freedom, and her heritage. Will the rebels unite in time? A sinister force has spread across the land, stripping everyone bare- their betrayals, their secrets, their intentions. But above all, what will their decisions cost? By refusing to give in to the darkness, will Emory rise as Queen?

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