Friday, May 11, 2018

{Blog Tour} Paris Ever After - K.S.R. Burns (Review & Giveaway)

Paris Ever AfterK.S.R. Burns

on Tour May 1-14 with  

Paris Ever After

(women’s fiction) Release date: May 1st, 2018 at Velvet Morning Press ASIN: B079H32ND3 260 pages
 

SYNOPSIS

Can Amy’s rocky start in Paris turn into a happy ever after? Amy didn’t realize how stale her life was until she jetted off to Paris without telling a soul—not even her husband—and had the adventure of a lifetime. Now as she tries to establish herself in the City of Light, she finds that despite a fun (and quirky) group of friends and the ability to indulge in French pastries whenever she wants, reinventing her life is much harder than she imagined. Then on Amy’s thirtieth birthday, two unexpected visitors leave her wondering if she will soon be saying au revoir to Paris and the new life she’s struggled to build. Her estranged husband, Will, shows up—but is he interested in reconciliation or separation? And a young woman who arrives on Amy’s doorstep unleashes chaos that could push Amy out into the street. As Amy’s Parisian dream starts to fall apart, she must decide: return to the stability of Will and Phoenix (if that’s even still an option) or forge her way forward in Paris? Amid secrets and surprises, set in enchanting gardens, cozy cafés, and glittering Parisian streets, Amy must choose between two very different worlds. And each has a claim on her heart. *** NB: The author’s previous book, The Paris Effect, featured here on France Book Tours, was just optioned for Film & TV!

REVIEW

We jump right into the action with Amy and her life in Paris.  I loved that the author went back and forth in time to give us the details we needed for what happened in the past.  I enjoyed how the story was built so that I didn’t feel lost or confused on what happened to get Amy to Paris. 
I loved Amy right from the beginning of the book! You could tell she had a complicated story to tell and a complicated life that she lived.  I loved that we got to learn about her family and the layers began to peel away to see how she ended up in Paris to begin with.   My heart went out to her and I just wanted what was best for Amy during the entire book.   I could see how just up and leaving without telling your husband is a big issue, but after losing someone very close to you the grief overcame her.   Another factor that played into this was Amy’s loss of her parents at such a young age.  I couldn’t image losing so many people close to me.
The author does a great job keeping the story moving along.  I enjoyed hearing all about Amy’s life in Paris.  She did a great job not only describing her location, but also some changes in customs that she must assimilate to with living in Paris.   The author did a great job bringing in life in Paris where it felt natural in the story.   
The conflict built nicely over the story.  I enjoyed seeing how everything played out for everyone in the story.  The ending for this book was perfect! 
I would suggest this read as a weekend read.  The book was short in nature and an easy read.  I could follow along in the story with minimal issues. I would have loved to be sitting on a beach enjoying this book!
I received a copy of this book from France Book tours to provide an honest review.  This does not affect my opinion of this book.
My Rating: 4/5 

EXCERPT

We step out onto the street, still in silence. I half expect to see Manu pivot on his heel and stride off down the sidewalk. Or return upstairs to spend the rest of the evening with Margaret. I wouldn’t put it past him to do all those dishes by himself.
But Manu doesn’t leave my side. When a cab pulls up, all three of us pile into the backseat, me in the middle, and we squeal off, heading west toward the rue de Rivoli.
As we speed along, I lean forward to peer out the side windows. This cozy enclosed spot, though it smells like cigarette smoke, feels like a good place to be right now. Tomorrow will be soon enough to find out why William has come to France. Tonight, I’m brimming with a mad joy.
After all, I’m in Paris.
I’m home.
Of course, this is ridiculous. I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, and had never even traveled back East (much less overseas). But the first time I stepped onto a Paris sidewalk I felt wholly at ease. The sky was the color of pewter. The streets were shiny jet black from a night of rain. I walked for miles, sloshing straight through puddles, invincible in my boots and then-pristine black fingertip-length trench coat. It was, to date, the nicest walk of my entire life.
We are rocketing past the long, sober façade of the Louvre when Hervé murmurs a few words to the driver, who a block later turns right off the rue de Rivoli and onto the broad avenue de l’Opéra. I scrunch down in my seat to gaze up at the Opéra Garnier, an ornate square building presiding at the end of the avenue like an enormous billion-calorie birthday cake.
It’s funny. You’d think in a crowded metropolis like Paris there wouldn’t be enough space for you to be able to admire things from a distance. But there is, and you can. Notre-Dame Cathedral is set on an island in the Seine, the Arc de Triomphe stands in splendid isolation at the top of the Champs-Elysées, and the Eiffel Tower can be spotted from all over town. You can turn down some anonymous little street and be treated to a perfectly framed snapshot view of an iconic monument, like the Sacré-Coeur or the Panthéon. It pays to keep your eye out. Be ready to be dazzled, Kat would say.
I’m wondering if our destination tonight is near the Café de la Paix—the café someone said the whole world eventually walks by—when our cab veers into the black maw of a poorly lit side street. All three of us pitch to the right, briefly pinning me between Hervé’s bony shoulder and Manu’s much more muscular one. My heart thumps. Without warning, we’ve plunged into one of the dark narrow lanes that Napoleon III told Baron Haussmann to replace with airy broad boulevards, all the better to march soldiers down to keep the rabble in line. Haussmann obviously missed this one. Perhaps barons are just not that reliable.
A hundred yards later the cab brakes, screeching, and Hervé opens his door before we’ve even come to a complete stop. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

k-s-r-burns K. S. R. Burns is the author of the Amazon bestseller, THE PARIS EFFECT, its upcoming standalone sequel PARIS EVER AFTER, and THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF WORKING GIRL: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use. She has lived and worked in four countries and 22 cities, including Paris. No longer a wanderer, Burns now resides in the Pacific Northwest, where in addition to novels she writes a weekly career advice column for The Seattle Times. Visit her website. Follow her on FacebookTwitter Subscribe to her newsletter Buy the bookAmazon | Kobo | iTunes | Nook

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GIVEAWAY

Enter here

Visit each blogger on the tour: tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time! [just follow the directions on the entry-form]
Global giveaway open to all 5 winners

***

CLICK ON THE BANNER TO READ OTHER REVIEWS, EXCERPTS, AND INTERVIEW

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Friday, April 13, 2018

{Blog Tour} Amber Sky - Claire Warner (Promo)


YA Bound Book Tours is organizing a Blog Tour for: Amber Sky by Claire Warner. This tour will run from April 9th to 13th. Check out the tour schedule below.

Amber Sky (C.O.I.L.S of Copper and Brass #1)
by Claire Warner
Genre: Dystopian Steampunk
Release Date: June 2nd 2017

Summary:

"You thought I did this out of the goodness of my heart?" He gave a short mirthless laugh. "Not a bit of it, this is going to be dangerous for me. What are you offering for my help?"

Beneath the Amber Sky, the nobility control the food, education, and the mysterious C.O.I.L.S of Copper and Brass. To Tay, struggling to keep her siblings alive, the ideas of rebellion and freedom are distant and unreachable. 

But when her father is arrested, she begs Darius James, the son of the Overseer, to save his life. Darius agrees, but his help costs her a favour, one he can call in at any time. 

Darius' favour will bring her to the Palace, and the perfect position to help the growing rebellion. But the court has games beyond anything she has seen before, and Darius' secrets will add to the danger.

Tay is now able to make a difference, to join the rebellion, find the C.O.I.L.S and discover the secrets of the Amber Sky. All she has to do is survive. 



Excerpt

Within the coils of copper and brass, there is a chance of freedom:
Anonymous writer (date unknown)

Chapter 1:

It was November, and soot-laden fog obscured her progress as Tay strode along the busy street. A chill wind kept the smog moving and nipped at her exposed skin. She was grateful for the shifting whiteness: it kept away curious eyes, and gave her a sense of freedom. The Factory was ahead, belching clouds of smoke and steam into the air, choking the lines of workers that queued outside. She averted her eyes and kept going. Thoughts of the Factory led to thoughts of the Mine, and she could not allow that. The work site fell behind her as she began to move uphill, away from the choking smog of the Factory District, and towards the Mercantile District. The traffic thinned out as her feet carried her through the cold, whispering quiet. The crowds were lighter here and better dressed. In contrast to their well-heeled fashions, Tay looked like an old sack. Several threadbare garments covered her body, and a moth-eaten, woollen hat was jammed down on her chestnut-coloured hair. Her boots were held together with twine, and stuffed with rags to keep the cold at bay. Despite her efforts to layer her ragged clothing, the wind still found its way to her skin, making her shiver. As she headed into the district, the fog shielded her from prying eyes and made her progress easier. Moving along the well-paved roads of the Merchant District with the elusiveness of a wild thing, she avoided the few traders that braved the cold, speeding up as she approached her destination.
The house was built from white stone, now discoloured from the ubiquitous soot. On the faded, cherry-coloured door, a brass knocker in the shape of a lion warned her off with what she fancied was a contemptuous gaze. For a long moment, she stared at the wood, wondering at the wisdom of what she was attempting. Lars and Cody could have been wrong, and this trip could easily land her in the cells. As the ever-present wind chapped her lips, she mustered her resolve. All other options had been exhausted, and this was all she had left. Taking a deep breath, she grasped the knocker with one shaking hand before letting it fall. For several moments, she waited on the doorstep, shifting uneasily from one foot to the other, nervous beyond thought.
The door creaked open, and a maid stared down at her with unconcealed distaste. Tay nervously wet her lips and opened her mouth to speak.
“No beggars.” The maid spoke first, her voice shrill with strident condemnation, as she took in Tays attire. Confident in her dismissal, she moved to close the door.
“No, wait.” Tay placed her foot in the hall, and leant forward. The maid stopped moving, distaste morphing into shock. “I need to speak to Darius Despite her best efforts, Tays voice still shook. Please.” The woman stared down at her with disbelief, incredulous at her audacity to ask to see the Masters son.
“I don’t think so.” The woman began pushing the door shut, shoving Tays fragile frame off the doorstep with its weight. Tay held her ground, trying to keep the door open.
“Please…” She pleaded once more, her voice echoing loudly in the hallway. Panic thrummed through her as she became aware of the spectacle she was creating. One complaint from any of the people on the street behind her and the guards would come. “I need to see him.” It was a desperate, yearning plea, yet the maid was having none of it. The door jammed against her toes, and she winced. The maid was winning the battle, her far stronger, well-fed, bulky frame inching Tay closer to the street.
“What’s going on?” A male voice echoed across the hall, and the maid stopped.
“It’s this beggar, Sir.” The woman held the door steady as she turned to face the speaker. “She wishes to talk to you.” Her voice was sneering, only slightly mollified by deference to her master.
“Let me see.” The man walked forward, and the maid reluctantly released her hold on the door. Tay's eyes roved across the man before her as he came into view, starting at his well-shod feet, and travelling upward. A well-tailored, dark blue suit framed a lean body, and a cane of some dark wood lay carelessly in his hands. Casting her gaze upwards, she stared directly into a pair of deep-blue eyes, which were alight with interest.
“I need to see you, Darius,” She appealed directly to him, holding his gaze with silent entreaty. She ignored the scandalised tut of the maid as she took a step forward. “It’s important.
Darius thought for a moment before he nodded. “Let her in,” He said to the maid, stepping back along the hall. With a look of shock on her features, the woman stepped away from the door and let Tay into the house.
Heat enveloped her as she stepped off the street, and followed Darius’ beckoning finger. The maid closed the door behind her as she slowly crossed the hall towards a door on the left. Her eyes drifted across the panelled space, awed by the luxury she saw. Dominated by a sweeping staircase, the hallway was decorated in shades of gold and blue. A heavy chandelier, festooned with lights, swung from the ceiling, and it was blissfully, wonderfully warm.
Come on girl,Tay's head snapped back to the doorway, and she almost tripped over her own feet, as she hastened towards the sitting room. A fire blazed in a large hearth, filling the room with a cosy light. Above the mantel, a gilt-framed mirror reflected her scared and lost face. Several comfortable-looking couches lay about the room, and a variety of expensive knick-knacks were arranged on a wooden cabinet against the left wall. Intimidated, she looked around at the luxuriant surroundings and swallowed nervously.
“Warm yourself up.” Darius indicated the roaring fire, and she stepped before it gratefully, feeling the heat radiate across her cold skin. “Emma.” He turned to the maid. “Can you find me some old clothes?” With a sour look on her face, Emma nodded. As soon as she had left, Darius turned back to the room. “Now that she’s gone,” He said as he walked forward. “Why don’t you tell me what you want?
Taya bit her lip and fidgeted. What had seemed like a good idea in the safety of her home, now felt like insanity. She glanced at him, noticing the arrogant cast to his features and the surety of his gaze. He was handsome, she realised with a jolt. Beneath a shock of black hair, deep blue eyes stared out at her with disconcerting directness.
“My name’s Taya, and…” She stopped, wondering how she could continue with her request.
“And?” He encouraged, noticing her hesitation. “I can’t help you if you don’t ask.
“My father has just been sent to the mines,” She said quickly, watching the realisation cross his face.
“I see,” He noted softly, staring at her with interest. “And?
“He already has a weak heart,” She found herself saying. “The mines will kill him.
“I fancy that’s the idea,” He uttered, reaching for a glass of amber liquid that lay on the mantel, and took a sip. “What do you expect me to do about it?



About the Author
When I was a child, I made up games and characters when my sister and I played with dolls. As I grew older, I would make up scenarios and scenes, fully intending to write them down but never finding the time. In my late teens, I discovered the world of role playing and settled into an avid ‘geeky’ life of D&D, comics, sci-fi and fantasy fiction. Years passed and I finally gave voice to the stories in my head. I write romance, fantasy, action and adventure. I love tales of steampunk and history, tales of magical powers and dark curses lurking in the shadows. Though The Black Lotus is not my first attempt at a novel, it is the first I have finished.


And some fun facts about me:
I sew.
My favourite Disney film is Atlantis.
I’ve been a film extra and stood 5 feet away from Sam Rockwell.
Babylon 5 is my fave sci-fi show.
I cried at the end of Toy Story 3.
Author Links:
   

Friday, March 16, 2018

{Blog Tour} The Trail Rules (The Rules Series #2) - Melanie Hooyenga (Review & Giveaway)


The Trail Rules (The Rules Series #2)
by 
Melanie Hooyenga
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 9th 2018

Summary:


Junior year’s looking up for sixteen-year old Mike. Her new BFF isn’t a sadistic control freak, her boyfriend adores her, and she’s learning to bike in the mountains without decapitating herself on a tree.

Well, almost.

When she meets a group of riders who welcome her into their pack, she feels like she’s finally found where she belongs. One particular rider—a boy with an amazing smile and an even more amazing ability to see what she’s truly capable of—gives her the confidence to go after what she wants: her own life with her own rules.

There’s only one problem—he’s not her boyfriend.

Just as things seem to be falling into place, her parents put on the pressure to figure out her future—one that doesn’t include riding. Mike soon realizes that having everything isn’t that great when she’s not the one choosing it. She needs to decide if she’s going to continue to be a follower or step out of the shadows and find her own trail.


Buy Links:
Review 

This book follows Mike as she believes she has the perfect life at the moment.  Although once Mike starts to look at her life, maybe everything isn’t as perfect as it seems.  Mike is into mountain biking and found a new group to hang out with that don’t go to her school and aren’t tangled into all the drama that her school brings.  Mike gets to be almost a different person on the trail and needs to make some life decisions she is afraid to make.

This is the second book in The Rules story so if you read the first book you know a little about Mike prior to the story beginning, but this book could completely be read as a standalone novel.

Mike was a great main character.  The author gave us a nice conflict of figuring out what to do when you have previous expectations.  I loved that the chance was there to blaze your own path.  I loved that we got to get a lot of feelings from Mike as she was trying to make decisions about what she really wanted out of life.  I enjoyed getting to know Mike in this book.

I loved the mountain bike aspect of the book. I know a little about mountain biking, but the author did a great job bringing it to life in the book and making it work.  I didn’t know how intense it could be and the author did a great job grabbing my attention with mountain biking.

I would suggest this as a nighttime read.  There were parts of the book I found that I could put it down and keep reading the next night.  I enjoy a book where I can read a little bit here and there.


I received a copy of this book from YA Bound Tours to provide an honest review.  This does not affect my opinion of this book. 


About the Author

Multi-award winning young adult author Melanie Hooyenga first started writing as a teenager and finds she still relates best to that age group. She has lived in Washington DC, Chicago, and Mexico, but has finally settled down in her home state of Michigan. When not at her day job as a Communications Director at a nonprofit, you can find Melanie attempting to wrangle her Miniature Schnauzer Owen and playing every sport imaginable with her husband Jeremy.

Author Links:

GIVEAWAY:
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Blog Tour Organized by:



Friday, March 9, 2018

Wintersong - S. Jae-Jones (Review)

24763621Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication date: 
 
February 7th 2017
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Format: ebook, 436 pages
How I got it: The Fantastic Flying Book Club
Buy it: Amazon Barnes & Noble
My rating: 3/5 


Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.
 

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My thoughts:
This book follows Liesel as she must venture into the realm of the Goblin King to save her sister Kathe who was taken by the Goblins.   Liesel is protective of her family and feels full responsibility for losing her sister.  Liesel needs to make sure that Kathe gets home safe no matter what.  Liesel has always heard stories of the underground so she feels somewhat connected before she even ventures in to save her sister.

The author does an amazing job creating the world above and underground.  I loved that we got to learn about the restraints of the underground as well as what everyone looked like.  We get to see what Liesel is seeing through her eyes. 

I enjoyed the romance in this book between Liesel and the Goblin King.  It is somewhat slow burning, but they have known each other for years. I loved that we got flash backs into Liesel’s previous meetings with the Goblin King even if she didn’t fully realize what is going on.  The author did a great job creating the relationship between Liesel and the Goblin King.  As I was reading you can tell the issues that arise between the two of them, but you can also feel the chemistry coming through.

I loved that Liesel came into her own while taking on the role of Goblin King’s wife.  She got to focus on herself and learn what made Liesel, Liesel.  I enjoyed learning how she evolved and what her true passions in life where.   I felt we saw tremendous growth in Liesel throughout the book.

My major complaint for this book would be that it is slightly over descriptive.   There were parts of the book I felt like skimming over it was just going to great into detail that I didn’t really need to now all that information.  Although the author does an amazing job creating the detailed world at some points I wanted the story to keep moving versus all the descriptive.  I felt it slowed the pace down in the book and left me skipping sections. 

I received a copy of this book from The Fantastic Flying Book Club in exchange for an honest review.  This does not affect my opinion of this book. 
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About the Author



S. Jae-Jones, called JJ, is an artist, an adrenaline junkie, and the NYT bestselling author of Wintersong.

Born and raised in sunny Los Angeles, she lived in New York City for ten years before relocating down to Dixie, where she is comfortably growing fat on grits and barbecue. When not writing, she can be found rock-climbing, skydiving, taking photographs, drawing pictures, and dragging her dog on ridiculously long hikes.
Author Links:
   

{Blog Tour} Paris Ever After - K.S.R. Burns (Review & Giveaway)

K.S.R. Burns on Tour May 1-14 with   Paris Ever After (women’s fiction) Release date: May 1st, 2018 at  Velvet Morning Press A...