Blog Tour| Malice Review + Giveaway

blog tour, giveaway, Monthly New Releases, Review

Title: Malice
byPintip Dunn
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: February 4th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction


Synopsis:What I know: a boy in my class will one day wipe out two-thirds of the population with a virus.What I don’t know: who he is.
In a race against the clock, I not only have to figure out his identity, but I’ll have tooutwit a voice from the future telling me to kill him. Because I’m starting to realizeno one is telling the truth. But how can I play chess with someone who already knowsthe outcome of my every move? Someone so filled with malice they’ve lost all hope in humanity? Well, I’ll just have to find a way—because now they’ve drawn a target on the only boy I’ve ever loved….

Malice follows the story of a girl named Alice. One day a voice appears in Alice’s head, claiming to be her from the future. The voice tells her that someone she loves will create a virus that wipes out most of the world and now she must find a way to stop the person responsible.

This was a fast paced, high action, science fiction novel that left me so curious as to what was going to happen next. All the characters were well drawn out and complex and the world building was unique and . I do wish some parts of the world were elaborated on more(mainly the time travel aspects) We’ve got time travel, some romance, mysteries, and lots of action. I thought some parts were predictable but it was an overall riveting read.



BOOKLINKS

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37638107-malice

Amazon:https://amzn.to/2QlGpfH

B&N:https://perftest.barnesandnoble.com/w/malice-pintip-dunn/1127684931#/

iTunes:https://books.apple.com/cy/book/malice/id1409697738

Bookdepository:https://www.bookdepository.com/Malice-Pintip-Dunn/9781640634121

Kobo:https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/malice-42

Google Books:https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Pintip_Dunn_Malice?id=e8pkDwAAQBAJ

AUTHOR INFORMATION

Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. Shegraduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B., and receivedher J.D. at Yale Law School.Her novel FORGET TOMORROW won the 2016 RWA RITA® for Best First Book,and SEIZE TODAY won the 2018 RITA for Best Young Adult Romance. Her bookshave been translated into four languages, and they have been nominated for thefollowing awards: the Grand Prixdel’Imaginaire; the Japanese Sakura Medal; theMASL Truman Award; the TomeSociety It list; and the Romantic Times Reviewers’Choice Award.Her other titles include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, THE DARKEST LIE, GIRLON THE VERGE, STAR-CROSSED, and MALICE.She lives with her husband and children in Maryland.

AUTHORLINKS
Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13442212.Pintip_Dunn

Website:http://www.pintipdunn.com/

Twitter:https://twitter.com/pintipdunn

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/AuthorPintipDunn?pnref=lhc

Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/pintip_dunn/

TOUR SCHEDULE http://fantasticflyingbookclub.blogspot.com/2019/12/tour-schedule-malice-by-pintip-dunn.html

GIVEAWAY

Prize: Win (1) of (2) copies of MALICE by Pintip Dunn (US Only)
Starts: 4thFebruary 2020
Ends: 18thFebruary 2020

Click HERE to enter!

Blog Tour| The Queens Assassin Review + Favorite Quotes +Giveaway

blog tour, giveaway, Monthly New Releases, Review, Uncategorized

Hi everyone! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Queen’s Assassin by Melissa De La Cruz! Be sure to keep reading for my thoughts on the book, my favorite quotes, and a chance to enter a giveaway to win a copy of the book!

tour banner (1)

Title: The Queen’s Assassin (Queen’s Secret #1)

by Melissa de la Cruz
Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: February 4th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy


Synopsis: Perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Red Queen, this is the first novel in a sweeping YA fantasy-romance duet about a deadly assassin, his mysterious apprentice, and the country they are sworn to protect from #1 NYT bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz.

Caledon Holt is the Kingdom of Renovia’s deadliest weapon. No one alive can best him in brawn or brains, which is why he’s the Guild’s most dangerous member and the Queen’s one and only assassin. He’s also bound to the Queen by an impossible vow–to find the missing Deian Scrolls, the fount of all magical history and knowledge, stolen years ago by a nefarious sect called the Aphrasians.

Shadow has been training all her life to follow in the footsteps of her mother and aunts–to become skilled enough to join the ranks of the Guild. Though magic has been forbidden since the Aphrasian uprising, Shadow has been learning to control her powers in secret, hoping that one day she’ll become an assassin as feared and revered as Caledon Holt.

When a surprise attack brings Shadow and Cal together, they’re forced to team up as assassin and apprentice to hunt down a new sinister threat to Renovia. But as Cal and Shadow grow closer, they’ll uncover a shocking web of lies and secrets that may destroy everything they hold dear. With war on the horizon and true love at risk, they’ll stop at nothing to protect each other and their kingdom in this stunning first novel in the Queen’s Secret series.

My thoughts

The Queens Assassin follows the story of Shadow and Cal, two strangers who are thrown together by a twist of fate. Shadow has grown up outside the palace, with her two ‘Aunts’, learning the ways of the Guild and wanting nothing more than to join its ranks. Calendon Holt is known as the Assassin for the queen, but little else is known besides that. When the two are both requested to come to the palace, the story really gets going.

Ok I will start with the things I liked! I love the world building in this! I really enjoyed the two main characters and their banter with each other. Their romance was entertaining to read mixed with all the political intrigue. This was action-packed that has a few moments that will keep you on your toes. This was a fun fantasy read that I went through quite quickly.

Now the things I didnt enjoy. The POV shifts were a bit confusing between Shadow and Cal. Shadows POV is first person whereas Cals POV was third person. I thought this was quite disconcerting going back and forth between the POV changes. Another thing is the repetition. There was a lot of phrases repeated. Although it was an information dump starting out, as the story goes on it gets much easier to follow and enjoy.

Overall, this was a compelling YA fantasy romance. I am giving it a 3 out of 5 stars.

3 stasr

FAVORITE QUOTES

“My aunts taught me that sometimes when the world is too much, when life starts to feel overwhelming, we must strip away what’s unnecessary, seek out the quiet, and listen to the dirt and trees.”

The problem is, while he’s come to the grudging realization that she may be useful, it’s clear that as much as she might admire him, she also finds him deeply exasperating. So he isn’t quite willing to allow her the satisfaction of being right so she could hold something over him.”

“I’m almost tempted to go back to my aunts’ farm and then on to the palace, where at least I can live out my days in comfort and warmth. But I can’t even pretend to want that. If I’m being honest, that’s still less appealing than sticking out the journey ahead with my knight in shining armor, Sir Full of Himself.”

*ARC provided in exchange for honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Many thanks to the publisher and The FFBC for including me on the tour.

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39334176-the-queen-s-assassin

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2WQpCSR

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-queens-assassin-melissa-de-la-cruz/1131493132

iTunes: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-queens-assassin/id1463329191

Bookdepository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Queens-Assassin-Melissa-de-La-Cruz/9780525515913?ref=grid-view&qid=1573047342544&sr=1-2

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-queen-s-assassin-5

Google books: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Melissa_de_la_Cruz_The_Queen_s_Assassin?id=mNqXDwAAQBAJ


AUTHOR INFORMATION

author (1)

Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for teens including The Au Pairs series, the Blue Bloods series, the Ashleys series, the Angels on Sunset Boulevard series and the semi-autobiographical novel Fresh off the Boat.

Her books for adults include the novel Cat’s Meow, the anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys and the tongue-in-chic handbooks How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less and The Fashionista Files: Adventures in Four-inch heels and Faux-Pas.

She has worked as a fashion and beauty editor and has written for many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Allure, The San Francisco Chronicle, McSweeney’s, Teen Vogue, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen. She has also appeared as an expert on fashion, trends and fame for CNN, E! and FoxNews.

Melissa grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. She majored in art history and English at Columbia University (and minored in nightclubs and shopping!).

She now divides her time between New York and Los Angeles, where she lives in the Hollywood Hills with her husband and daughter.

AUTHOR LINKS

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21911.Melissa_de_la_Cruz

Website: https://melissa-delacruz.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MelissadelaCruz

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorMelissadelaCruz/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authormelissadelacruz/

Tumblr: https://authormelissadelacruz.tumblr.com/


TOUR SCHEDULE

http://fantasticflyingbookclub.blogspot.com/2019/12/tour-schedule-queens-assassin-queens.html

GIVEAWAY

Prize: Win a copy of THE QUEEN’S ASSASSIN by Melissa de la Cruz (US Only)

Starts: 4th February 2020

Ends: 18th February 2020

CLick HERE to enter the giveaway!

Blog Tour| Below Review+ Giveaway

blog tour, giveaway, Monthly New Releases, Review, Uncategorized

Title: Below(North #1)

by Alexandria Warwick

Publisher: Wolf PublishingRelease

Date: February 4th2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy


Synopsis: From the author of The Demon Race comes a YA dark fantasy series inspiredby Inuit mythology.In the heart of the frigid North, there lives a demon known as the Face Stealer. Eyes,nose, mouth—nothing and no one is safe. Once he returns to his lair, or wherever itis he dwells, no one ever sees those faces again.When tragedy strikes, Apaay embarks on a perilous journey to find her sister’s face—yet becomes trapped in a labyrinth ruled by a sinister girl namedYuki. The girl offersApaay a deal: find her sister’s face hidden within the labyrinth, and she will be setfree. But the labyrinth, and those who inhabit it, is not as it seems. EspeciallyNumiak: darkly beautiful, powerful, whose motives are not yet clear.With time slipping, Apaay is determined to escape the deadly labyrinth with hersister’s face in hand. But in Yuki’s harsh world, Apaay will need all her strength tosurvive.Yuki only plays the games she wins.


BOOKLINKS

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39813043-below

Amazon:https://amzn.to/33oZ3GT

B&N:https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/below-alexandria-warwick/1133914646?ean=9781733033404

Kobo:https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/below-14

Below is based on Inuit Mythology and takes place in the Arctic. While out hunting for her family the day, Apaay learns that dusaster has struck and her sisters face has been stolen by a demon. Apaay decides to track the demon down and get her sisters face back before it is gone forever.

This was such a unique premise! I’ve never read any books inspired by Inuit mythology and I found it all to be so fascinating. I liked all the characters in it, especially Apaay, our MC. Her growth in this was ah👏maz👏ing👏 I was not sure how much I liked her when the story first started but as she begins the trials of the labyrinth our girl really starts to grow on you. While I enjoyed almost all aspects of the story I think the one part I was not a fan of was the repetition that goes on. Apaay spends a lot of time walking by herself and talking with herself and it just felt monotonous. The world building was beautifully written and it felt like I was freezing my bum off in the chilly lands of the Arctic. Haunting and dark, I really enjoyed this story of the sisterly bond and how far one would go for her loved one. I will be eagerly looking forward to the next book in the series.


Alexandria Warwick is the #1 fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender. She is the authorof The Demon Race and the upcoming North series.

AUTHORLINKS

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15371632.Alexandria_Warwick

Website:http://www.alexandriawarwick.com/

Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/alexandriawarwick/

TOUR SCHEDULE

https://fantasticflyingbookclub.blogspot.com/2019/11/tour-schedule-below-north-1-by.html

GIVEAWAY

Prize #1: Win (1) signed paperback copy of BELOW by Alexandria Warwick (US Only)

Prize #2: Win (1) e-copy of BELOW by Alexandria Warwick (INT)

Starts: 29thJanuary 2020

Ends: 12thFebruary 2020

Click here to enter giveaway!

Blog Tour|Fish Out of Water

blog tour, Monthly New Releases, Review, Uncategorized

FISH OUT OF WATER

I am thrilled to be hosting a stop on the FISH OUT OF WATER by Jennifer Sommersby Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours! Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

About The
Book:
Title: FISH
OUT OF WATER: A Little Mermaid story (The Girl Without a Phone)
Author: Jennifer
Sommersby
Pub. Date: December
6, 2019
Publisher: Young
Actors Project (YAP)
Formats: Paperback,
eBook
Pages: 272

Synopsis: Be who you were born to be …
Marina Andersen’s structured life is ruled by the Three S’s: Swim. Study. Succeed. But
all this routine and order leaves little time for what she really wants to do:
SING. Try telling that to her overbearing father, a former rock legend whose
personal demons keep Marina’s extraordinary musical talents behind closed
doors.
After a chance performance at school drops a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—and a
gorgeous young rocker—at Marina’s feet, she’ll have to decide what lengths
she’s willing to go to in pursuit of the one thing that reminds her heart to
beat.
While navigating the rough seas of managing her father’s expectations and finding her own voice, will Marina summon the courage to show her dad who she really is
inside before their family is dashed like a galleon in a storm?
***
Brought to you by the hugely popular YouTube series, The Girl Without A Phone, from the Young Actors Project, in collaboration with YA novelist Jennifer Sommersby,
Fish Out of Water is a timeless, heartwarming tale inspired by the beloved
Little Mermaid. Join Marina—alongside friends Lily and Sierra—in this fresh new
adventure meant to inspire the reader to find their own song.


About Jennifer:
Jenn

I am a writer, copy/line editor, bibliophile, and mom of four living in the Great
White North.Represented by Victoria Doherty Munro at Writers House.Romantic comedies under Eliza Gordon.

Giveaway Details: International
5 winners
will receive an eBook of FISH OUT OF WATER, International.

Tour
Schedule:
Week One:

1/20/2020

Excerpt

1/20/2020

Excerpt

1/21/2020

Excerpt

1/21/2020

Review

1/22/2020

Review

1/22/2020

Review

1/23/2020

Excerpt

1/23/2020

Review

1/24/2020

Review

1/24/2020

Review

Week Two:

1/27/2020

Review

1/27/2020

Review

1/28/2020

Excerpt

1/28/2020

Review

1/29/2020

Review

1/29/2020

Review

1/30/2020

Review

1/30/2020

Review

1/31/2020

Review

1/31/2020

Review

Book Tour| Wardens of Eternity Review

blog tour, Monthly New Releases, Review, Uncategorized

Title: Wardens of Eternity

Author: Courtney Moulton

Publisher: Blink YA

Genre: YA Fantasy


SYNOPSIS: Magic and magical creatures. Immortal gods and goddesses. History and mythology. Strap in for this action-packed YA novel that takes place over the days leading up to World War II, when Ziva must rely on her wit and magic to outmaneuver Nazis and ancient Egyptian gods to prevent global destruction.

Ziva has one memory of her parents, made the day they abandoned her on the streets of New York City when she was three years old. They left her with only a memory and a promise that she had a great and terrible destiny.

Fifteen years later, Ziva discovers that destiny includes powers that she doesn’t understand and can barely control. Her magic attracts vicious, otherworldly monsters, and eventually compatriots to help her fight them. Sayer and Nasira know the secrets Ziva doesn’t; that Ziva is descended from Egyptian royalty and in possession of ancient magic passed down from the time of the gods. They promise to teach Ziva to control her magic and to give her the family she’s always yearned for.

But trouble is brewing in the world around them; darkness is descending on Hitler’s Germany, threatening World War II. As the last heir of a revered Egyptian queen, Ziva is the only one with the power to prevent another costly global conflict. As Ziva navigates her newfound abilities and makes a connection with Anubis and other Egyptian gods, the Nazis are hunting for the ultimate weapon, and Ziva has caught their interest.


My thoughts

Wardens of Eternity is a historical fantasy that takes place in the 1940s. It combines Egyptian mythology with magical elements and historical elements( WWII). I thought it was a pretty interesting setting and I have always been a big fan of Egyptian mythology. The two elements combined made this story very unique! I thought the world building was interesting and it kept me intrigued. The characters were hard to really connect with though and interactions between the characters felt a bit forced. Overall, this was a compelling read, especially for fans of historical fantasy and mythology. I will be looking forward to the next book in the series. I’m giving it 3.75 stars out of 5.

3.75

*ARC provided in exchange for honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Many thanks to TLC Book Tours and the publisher for including me on the tour.

Blog Tour| Seven Deadly Shadows Review + Favorite Quotes

blog tour, giveaway, Monthly New Releases, Review, Uncategorized
Title: Seven Deadly Shadows
By Courtney Alameda & Valynne E. Maetani
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: January 28th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Synopsis: Kira Fujikawa has always been a girl on the fringe. Bullied by her peers and ignored by her parents, the only place Kira’s ever felt at home is at her grandfather’s Shinto shrine, where she trains to be a priestess.But Kira’s life is shattered on the night her family’s shrine is attacked by a vicious band of yokai demons. With the help of Shiro—the shrine’s gorgeous half-fox, half-boy kitsune—Kira discovers that her shrine harbors an ancient artifact of great power . . . one the yokai and their demon lord, Shuten-doji, will use to bring down an everlasting darkness upon the world.
Unable to face the Shuten-doji and his minions on her own, Kira enlists the aid of seven ruthless shinigami—or death gods—to help stop the brutal destruction of humankind. But some of the death gods aren’t everything they initially seemed, nor as loyal to Kira’s cause as they first appeared.
With war drawing nearer by the day, Kira realizes that if this unlikely band of heroes is going to survive, they’re going to have to learn to work together, confront their demons, and rise as one to face an army of unimaginable evil.

Alright I’m a sucker for books mixed with mythology and this one hit the spot! The book starts off on the ground running with a huge battle at Kira’s grandfather’s shrine. That night changes her life forever. The pace of the books pretty consistent throughout the rest of it as we are given lots of action. There’s magic, creepy monsters, a wee bit of romance (slightly rushed/predictable but still good), wonderful character development, and of course, mythology! I loved how our MC went from being a timid character to a strong, badass, fighting hero. I was completely immersed in the story the whole time and did not want it to end. I will definitely be looking forward to any future books written by these two!

FAVORITE QUOTES

I am a girl surrounded by monsters and ghosts from an ancient world. Most days, they scare me less than people do.

When people know your weaknesses, they can exploit them. Or in the very least, they’ll think less of you for them.“This mutt managed to set your precious palace on fire,” I say, drawing my sword. The dying sunlight glints off its blade. “I’d be careful, Tamamo-no-Mae. Even mutts have teeth.”“I’m not ashamed of who I am,” I tell her, taking the shards of the Kusanagi no Tsurugi from my back and resting them on the altar. “Not anymore.”
BOOK LINKS
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31248158-seven-deadly-shadows
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2NyyhGK
iTunes: https://books.apple.com/us/book/seven-deadly-shadows/id1278864114?ign-mpt=uo%3D4
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seven-deadly-shadows-courtney-alameda/1131419129
Bookdepository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Seven-Deadly-Shadows-Courtney-Alameda/9780062855701?ref=grid-view&qid=1573461648412&sr=1-5
Google Books: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Courtney_Alameda_Seven_Deadly_Shadows?id=vdCXDwAAQBAJ
COURTNEY ALAMEDAA veteran bookseller and librarian, Courtney Alameda now spends her days writing thriller and horror novels for young people. Her debut novel, SHUTTER, was nominated for a Bram Stoker award and hailed as a “standout in the genre” by School Library Journal. Her forthcoming novel, PITCH DARK (Spring 2017), is a genre-blending science fiction/horror novel in the vein of Ridley Scott’s 1979 film ALIEN.Courtney holds a B.A. in English literature with an emphasis in creative writing. She is represented by the talented John M. Cusick of Folio Literary. A Northern California native, she now resides in Utah with her husband, a legion of books, and a tiny five pound cat with a giant personality.
VALYNNE E. MAETANIValynne E. Maetani (pronounced Vuh-lin Mah-eh-tah-nee) grew up in Utah and obtained a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. In a former life, she was a project manager and developed educational software for children with learning disabilities. Currently, she is a full-time writer. She is a member of the We Need Diverse Books team and is dedicated to promoting diversity in children’s literature because every child should grow up believing his or her story deserves to be told. Her debut novel, Ink and Ashes, is the winner of the New Visions Award 2013, a Junior Library Guild 2015 selection, and Best Fiction Book in Salt Lake City Weekly’s Best of Utah Arts Award for 2015. She lives in Salt Lake City.
AUTHOR LINKS
COURTNEY ALAMEDA
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6983061.Courtney_Alameda
Website: http://www.courtneyalameda.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/courtalameda
Tumblr: https://courtneyalamedabooks.tumblr.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/courtneyabooks/?fref=ts
VALYNNE E. MAETANI
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8473856.Valynne_E_Maetani
Website: https://www.valynne.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/valynnemaetani
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/valynne

TOUR SCHEDULE

https://fantasticflyingbookclub.blogspot.com/2019/11/tour-schedule-seven-deadly-shadows-by.html


GIVEAWAY

Grand Prize: Win a signed copy of SEVEN DEADLY SHADOWS, a signed copy of Courtney Alameda’s SHUTTER, and a signed copy of Valynne Maetani’s INK AND ASHES; anime portraits of Kira and Shiro; a stuffed fox omamori charm from the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine in Japan; an origami fox hand-folded by Valynne Maetani; a yokai mini sticker sheet; and an assortment of Japanese Kit Kats (not pictured) [INT]

Second Prize: Win (1) of (2) A signed copy of SEVEN DEADLY SHADOWS with anime portraits of Kira and Shiro (INT)

OPEN INTERNATIONALLY

Starts: 28th January 2020

Ends: 11th February 2020

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d9681b86452/?

Blog Spotlight | Cast in Wisdom by Michelle Sagara Excerpt

blog tour, excerpt, Monthly New Releases, Uncategorized

Hello everyone! Today I’m excited to share with you Cast in Wisdom by Michelle Sagara! This is book 15(!!!)  in The Chronicles of Elantra. Keep reading for all the details of it as well as an excerpt! Title: CAST IN WISDOM

Author: Michelle Sagara

ISBN: 9780778309383

Publication Date: 01/28/20

Publisher: MIRA Books

Buy Links: 

Harlequin 

Indiebound

Amazon

Barnes & Noble 

Books-A-Million

Target

Google

iBooks

Kobo


Synopsis :In the aftermath of the events in the High Halls, there are loose ends. One of those loose ends is the fieflord, Candallar. In an attempt to understand his involvement—with the Barrani, with the High Court, and with the much hated Arcanum—Kaylin has been sent to the fiefs.

She has mixed feelings about this. There’s nothing mixed about her feelings when she discovers a very unusual building in the border zone between two fiefs, and far more questions are raised than are answered. Her attempt to get answers leads her back to the Imperial Palace and its resident Dragon librarian, the Arkon.

Things that were lost in the dim past were not, perhaps, destroyed or obliterated—and what remains appears to be in the hands of a fieflord and his allies—allies who would like to destroy Kaylin’s friends, the Emperor, and possibly the Barrani High Court itself. This is bad.

What’s worse: The librarian who hates to leave his library has a very strong interest in the things that might, just might, have been preserved, and—he is leaving his library to do in person research, no matter what Kaylin, the Hawks, or the Emperor think.

He is not the only one. Other people are gathering in the border zone; people who believe knowledge is power. But power is also power, and it might be too late for the Empire’s most dedicated Historian—and Kaylin and her friends, who’ve been tasked with his safety.


Michelle Sagara is an author, bookseller, and lover of literature based in Toronto. She writes fantasy novels and lives with her husband and her two children, and to her regret has no dogs. Reading is one of her life-long passions, and she is sometimes paid for her opinions about what she’s read by the venerable Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. No matter how many bookshelves she buys, there is Never Enough Shelf space. Ever.


EXCERPT

“You are such a coward,” Bellusdeo said when they’d reached the relative safety of the street. The roads in and around Helen were sparsely populated at the busiest of times, which this wasn’t. They would soon join roads that were crowded at the slowest of times, but Kaylin was dressed for the office. The Hawk emblazoned on her tabard encouraged people to make space. 

Had Bellusdeo hit the streets in her Draconic form, she’d have cleared far more of it—but some of that space would be created by panic, and panic could cause both accidents and the type of traffic congestion that caused the Swords to investigate. Also, it was illegal. 

“It’s not cowardice,” Kaylin replied, scanning the windows of the buildings above ground level. 

“What would you call it?” 

“Wisdom.” 

“Oh, please.”

“There’s no point in arguing with them now. Sedarias thinks it’ll be months before this ridiculous command performance occurs. We have months to attempt to talk her out of—” 

“Out of expressing any appreciation or gratitude?” 

Ugh. “You know they’re grateful. This isn’t about gratitude. It’s about rubbing that gratitude in the faces of the Barrani who attempted to brand you a—an army. An attacking army.” 

“I believe the term you want is Flight.” Bellusdeo’s eyes were orange. 

Hope squawked at the Dragon. Kaylin didn’t understand what he was saying. Bellusdeo did, but her eyes didn’t get any lighter. 

“You know as well as I do,” Kaylin said, emboldened by Hope’s entry into the discussion, “that this is not the time to visit the High Halls. I’m not sure the Emperor has ever been a guest there.” 

“We visited the Halls—more or less—when they came under attack, and the Barrani needed our help.” 

“From the outside. No one invited the Dragon Court in.” 

The chorus of Barrani voices that sometimes offered entirely unasked for opinions on the inside of her head maintained their silence for half a beat. The first person to break that silence was the fieflord. His words were tinged with amusement. 

You cannot expect that the cohort would suddenly cease to cause any difficulty, surely? 

I’m almost certain that the cohort understands why inviting a Dragon—any Dragon—to attend the High Halls would be a disaster. 

For the Dragons? 

For everyone. 

I believe some of the more conservative High Lords might be surprisingly supportive of such an invitation. 

Of course they would. It would be their best shot at killing Bellusdeo. If Bellusdeo died, there would be no new Dragons. No hatchlings. 

There’s no way the Emperor would give her permission to attend. 

Nightshade concurred. In his position, I would not. But I would be prepared, should I refuse to grant that permission, for all-out war. My brother has grown inordinately fond of her; living with you has made him reckless. 

He’s not— 

He has known Bellusdeo for even less time than you. He is willing to trust her in a fashion no one older would. And do not cite the Consort, please. 

Kaylin hadn’t intended to. The Consort seems to like her. 

Kaylin, the Consort “likes” me. But she does not trust me. 

She does. 

“Stop making that face, or it will freeze that way.” Kaylin reddened. 

I understand that you are attempting to avoid the Emperor’s ire. I consider this wise on your part. It is not, however, the ire of the Emperor that will be your most significant problem; he will do nothing to harm Bellusdeo. 

I know that. 

It is the ire of the High Lords. Sedarias is, I believe, genuinely grateful for Bellusdeo’s intervention. She does wish to honor her. But gratitude can be expressed privately—and in most cases, it is. Only rulers feel obliged to make that expression public because the public expression elevates those to whom one feels gratitude. It makes clear to witnesses that the aid tendered—in whatever fashion—is important and significant. The Emperor has codified such significance in public ceremonies and public titles, has he not? 

Kaylin shrugged. 

For Sedarias, however, genuine gratitude is not an impediment to political displays. She can be genuinely grateful and simultaneously, extremely political. She wishes to highlight Bellusdeo’s aid and import to Mellarionne. Why do you think this is? 

Kaylin thought about this. After a long pause, she said, She wants to thumb her nose at the rest of the High Lords, many of whom weren’t helpful at all? 

Nightshade’s silence was one of encouragement. 

Bellusdeo’s a Dragon. So…her presence means that even Dragons—with whom you’ve had a war or two— 

Three. 

Fine, a war or three, were more helpful, or at least more of a genuine ally, than any of the Barrani. 

Yes. I believe that is some part of Sedarias’s intent. That’s not going to help Mellarionne any. 

Perhaps, perhaps not. She will do so as An’Mellarionne. It would be considered a very bold move—but there are those who would assume that Sedarias is confident in her own power, and they would hesitate to challenge her. 

“If you are speaking about me,” Bellusdeo said, her voice almost a whisper of sound, “I must insist that you include me.” 

Hope squawked. 

“Well, yes, that could cause some difficulty,” the Dragon replied. “But I dislike Kaylin’s worry. She is mortal.” Squawk. “The marks of the Chosen don’t matter. She’s mortal. I may be a displaced person in these lands; I may no longer have a home or lands of my own. But I am a Dragon.” 

“I’m not exactly worried about you,” Kaylin said. When one golden brow rose in response, she added, “Not about you specifically. But—there’s no way for Dragon and High Halls to combine that isn’t political. Explosively political. On your own, you can survive more than any of the rest of the cohort—or me. But you won’t be on your own. The cohort won’t abandon you.” 

It was the Dragon’s turn to snort. 

Kaylin reconsidered her words and chose better ones. “Most of the cohort wouldn’t abandon you. Annarion wouldn’t. Mandoran wouldn’t. I don’t believe Allaron would either, from what I’ve seen. And you know what the cohort is like. The minute one of them enters combat to save you, they’re all going to rush in. It doesn’t matter if they’re there for your sake or their friends’; they’ll be there. But this is political, and anything political is far above my pay grade.” 

“You don’t seem to find this insulting.” 

“I consider it one of the biggest advantages of my rank. Which is the lowest rank I could be given and still be called a Hawk.” 

“One of? What’s another one?” 

“I’m not in command. I don’t need to make decisions that might cost the lives of other Hawks. No matter what happens in an action, large or small, I won’t have their deaths on my hands.” 

“But you don’t like being a private.” 

“Well, I could be a corporal, and it would still be mostly true. And the pay is higher.” 

“It’s not much higher,” a familiar voice said. It was Mandoran’s. Of course it was. Kaylin didn’t miss a step. 

“I don’t suggest you try to enter the Halls of Law looking like that.” 

“Like what?” 

“Like thin air.” 

“Oh. That.” Mandoran caused other people some consternation as he materialized to the side of Kaylin that Bellusdeo wasn’t occupying. To be fair, most of the street didn’t notice; people always had their own problems and their own schedules. “I was going to follow Teela into the office, but Teela’s not heading there directly.” 

“So you followed us?” 

“Not most of the way, no. I decided to head straight here to wait, but I caught up because you’re doing the Hawk-walk.” He glanced at Bellusdeo. “For what it’s worth, I think insisting on your presence on the inside of the High Halls is suicidal.” 

“Oh?” The Dragon’s voice was cool. “For who?” 

Mandoran grinned. “Mostly Kaylin.” 

Kaylin watched as flecks of gold appeared in Bellusdeo’s eyes. Mandoran had, once again, managed to set Bellusdeo at ease. Kaylin wondered if that was why he’d chosen to speak when he had. He never treated the Dragon with respect; had the Emperor been present for most of their spats, she wasn’t certain Mandoran wouldn’t be a pile of bleeding ash. Well, ash, because ash didn’t bleed, but still. 

“You left the rest of the cohort behind?” Kaylin asked. 

“We had a vote, and Helen decided it was safest to send me.” 

“She was the tie-breaker?” 

“Ah, no. She didn’t consider the first choice viable. But— we can all see what I see anyway, so unless there’s an attack, having more than one person here is superfluous. If Teela had been coming directly to the office, someone would have followed Teela.” 

“Not you?” Bellusdeo asked. 

“I had to live with Tain for a few years. Compressed into a few weeks, I might add. He’s stuffy and remarkably straightforward. Also, he hates fun.” 

“He hates mess,” Kaylin said, as they approached the stairs that led into the Halls of Law. 

“Define mess. No, wait, don’t. The problem with Tain—at least for me—is that Teela might actually kill us if we’re indirectly responsible for his death. He’s not like the rest of us; we can’t speak to him without shouting, and even if we can, he doesn’t listen half the time. So…it’s a lot less safe to tail Tain.” 

“I imagine it’s safer to tail Tain than it is to tail Kaylin if you’re worried about Teela’s reaction,” Bellusdeo said, frowning slightly. 

“You need a better imagination.”

Excerpted from Cast In Wisdom by Michelle Sagara, Copyright © 2020 by Michelle Sagara. Published by MIRA Books.

Blog Tour| Natural Passion Review + Giveaway

blog tour, giveaway, Review, Uncategorized

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the NATURAL PASSION by Anna Durand hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

About The
Book:
Title: NATURAL
PASSION
Author: Anna
Durand
Pub.
Date:
 January 9, 2020
Publisher: Jacobsville
Books
Formats: Paperback,
eBook
Pages: 208
Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, B&N,
iBooks,
Kobo

Synopsis: I entertain
naked people for a living. No, not THAT kind of entertainment. I own a nudist
resort. I’m not a nudist, but Val Silva is. And he’s a human supernova sleeping
in the room next door.
The man is
tall, gorgeous, tattooed, and a shameless exhibitionist. As the Brazilian bad
boy of the international football world, he’s as famous for his sextape as for
his talent on the field. Oh, did I mention he walks around naked ALL the time?
A girl only has so much willpower. Maybe we can have a little fun… as long as
his tabloid past doesn’t mess with my quiet life.
Eve Holt is
the sexiest woman I’ve ever seen, in those short-shorts and tank tops that make
me wonder what she’s hiding underneath. Most women love my wild side, but Eve
thinks I’m trouble with a capital T. Okay, she might have a point there. But I
always get what I want, and I want her. I didn’t lead my team to Olympic gold
by giving up. That’s one fact about me Eve is about to learn.
Natural
Passion is the first book in a brand-new trilogy of romantic comedies from Anna
Durand, the bestselling author of the Hot Scots series.


My thoughts
This was a cute romance! Val Silva is a former Olympic star who got a bit of a reputation in the news as being a bad boy. Eve runs a naturist resort, in it for the money rather than the clothing optional aspect. She sticks strictly to no relationships between her and guests staying, but Val starts to slowly chip away at her walls. They decide on a no strings attached relationship that soon begins to develop into more than just a fling (when doesn’t it amirite?) But soon Val’s past begins to creep into the present, bringing Eve into unfortunately.
 I thought this was a pretty cute story! It is full of humor, spicy love, and an intriguing storyline. It was just a quick, easy read. All the side characters were well-developed, along with the MC’s, and I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
3 stasr

About Anna:

 

Anna Durand loves romance, men in kilts, and
cheesecake. Not always in that order. She slaves away every day writing about
sexy people doing sexy things together, with heart and humor and sometimes with
suspense. With paranormal stories, she explores the darker side of romance.
With contemporary romance, she delves into the emotional side of love and
sensuality.
Readers and reviewers have blessed Anna’s
books with wonderful reviews, giving her a nice glowy feeling that she’s doing
something right. Her books have become bestsellers on every major retail site,
hitting #1 multiple times. The Hot Scots series remains Anna’s personal
favorite and a favorite among her fans. Who can resist a hunky Scotsman?
Anna also has a master’s degree in library science,
so naturally, she made Calli in Wicked in a Kilt a librarian too. For twelve
years and counting, Anna has run a cataloging services company that creates
cataloging-in-publication data for other authors and publishers. And when she’s
not doing that or writing, you’ll find her binging on audiobooks, playing with
puppies, or crafting handmade jewelry.
Visit AnnaDurand.com to subscribe to her
newsletter for updates on her writing and other fun stuff. You’ll receive a
free gift as thanks for signing up!

 


Giveaway Details:
Five winners will receive audiobook copies of Fired Up, an erotic
romance that has a lot of humor in it, Audible gift copies (US only) or Authors
Direct copies (US, Canada, Australia).

Tour
Schedule:
Week
One:
1/6/2020
Excerpt
1/6/2020
Excerpt
1/7/2020
Review
1/7/2020
Spotlight
1/8/2020
Excerpt
1/8/2020
Review
1/9/2020
Review
1/9/2020
Review
1/10/2020
Review
1/10/2020
Review
Week
Two:
1/13/2020
Review
1/13/2020
Review
1/14/2020
Interview
1/14/2020
Spotlight
1/15/2020
Interview
1/15/2020
Review
1/16/2020
Excerpt
1/16/2020
Review
1/17/2020
Review

 

 

Blog Tour| The Little Bookshop on the Seine Review

blog tour, Review, Uncategorized

551-02-Winter-Blog-900x337

Title: THE LITTLE BOOKSHOP ON THE SEINE

Author: Rebecca Raisin

ISBN: 9781335012500

Publication Date: 1/7/2020

Publisher: HQN Books


Book Summary: It’s The Holiday on the Champs-Élysées in a great big love letter to Paris, charming old bookstores and happily-ever-afters!

When bookshop owner Sarah Smith is offered the opportunity for a job exchange with her Parisian friend Sophie, saying yes is a no-brainer—after all, what kind of romantic would turn down six months in Paris? Sarah is sure she’s in for the experience of a lifetime—days spent surrounded by literature in a gorgeous bookshop, and the chance to watch the snow fall on the Eiffel Tower. Plus, now she can meet up with her journalist boyfriend, Ridge, when his job takes him around the globe.

But her expectations cool faster than her café au lait soon after she lands in the City of Light—she’s a fish out of water in Paris. The customers are rude, her new coworkers suspicious and her relationship with Ridge has been reduced to a long-distance game of phone tag, leaving Sarah to wonder if he’ll ever put her first over his busy career. As Christmas approaches, Sarah is determined to get the shop—and her life—back in order…and make her dreams of a Parisian happily-ever-after come true.


My thoughts

What an adorbs Christmas read! Super cute and a bit predictable romance. Small town bookshop owner Sarah Smith find herself swapping bookshops with her friend from Paris for six months. This is just the change that Sarah needs and jumps on the idea despite being a person who does not just jump into things.  She’s got high expectations for how her Paris escape will go but that all quickly comes crashing down when she arrives in Paris and nothing is as she thought it’d be.

“After all, wasn’t love always the answer? Romance aside, life was a little stagnant, and I knew it was because of my fear of change.”

I loved the setting of the book! It was described wonderfully and I felt as if I were there on the charming Parisian streets. I loved all the bookish tidbits here and there and it made me want to own my own bookshop in Paris. Our MC gets some good growth while in Paris(maybe could’ve gotten more but oh well) and we are given a HEA as the book wraps up. I was not the biggest fan of Ridge, Sarah’s boyfriend, though. I felt like Sarah deserved much better.

This was a feel-good, easy read! I overall enjoyed it. I’m giving it 3 out of 5 stars

3 stasr

*Copy provided in exchange for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks to Harlequinn for having me on the tour!


Buy Links: 

Harlequin 

Indiebound

Amazon

Barnes & Noble 

Books-A-Million

Target

Walmart

Google

iBooks

Kobo

 

Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @JaxandWillsMum

Facebook: @RebeccaRaisinAuthor

Instagram: @RebeccaRaisinWrites

Goodreads

 

20190926_174339_0000.png

Rebecca Raisin is the author of several novels, including the beloved Little Paris series and the Gingerbread Café trilogy, and her short stories have been published in various anthologies and fiction magazines. You can follow Rebecca on Facebook, and at http://www.rebeccaraisin.com

 

 

Blog Tour| A Love Hate Thing Excerpt

blog tour, Monthly New Releases, Uncategorized

551-04-Winter-Blog-900x337.jpg

Title: A Love Hate Thing

Author: Whitney D. Grandison

On Sale Date: January 7, 2020

Publsiher: Inkyard Press

IBS #: 9781335016041, 133501604X

Format: Hardcover $18.99 USD, $23.99 CAD

Genre: Young Adult Fiction / Romance / Contemporary

Ages 13 And Up

464 pages


Summary:

A fantastic enemies to lovers romance about an It girl whose world is upended when a boy from the past moves into her house after tragedy strikes. For fans of Ibi Zoboi’s Pride, Mary H. K. Choi and Samira Ahmed. Wattpad author Whitney D. Grandison’s traditional publishing debut.
When they’re stuck under one roof, the house may not be big enough for their hate…or their love
When Tyson Trice finds himself tossed into the affluent coastal community of Pacific Hills, he’s ready for the questions, the stares, and the total feeling of not belonging in the posh suburb. Not that he cares. After recovering from being shot and surviving the mean streets of Lindenwood, he doesn’t care about anyone or anything. He doesn’t even care how the rest of his life will play out.
In Pacific Hills, image is everything. Something that, as the resident golden girl, Nandy Smith knows all too well. She’s spent most of her life building the pristine image that it takes to fit in. After learning that her parents are taking in a former childhood friend, Nandy fears her summer plans, as well as her reputation, will go up in flames. It’s the start of summer vacation and the last thing Nandy needs is some juvenile delinquent from the ’Wood crashing into her world.
Stuck together in close quarters, Trice and Nandy are in for some long summer nights. Only, with the ever-present pull back to the Lindenwood streets, it’ll be a wonder if Trice makes it through this summer at all.


EXCERPT

1 | TRICE

Getting shot isn’t the worst part. It’s the aftermath that really fucks you up.

Six months ago, on a dark December night, I was lying in a pool of my own blood on the living room floor. Six months later, I was sitting in a car on the way to a new town to start fresh. In some ways, yeah, the wound had healed. In others, it never would. I didn’t care, though. The last thing I’d cared about got me where I was.

“You’ll like it there, Tyson. The Smiths have prepared a new home for you,” Misty from social services was saying as she drove the long stretch of highway toward Pacific Hills. It was only an hour away from where I used to live in Lindenwood, California.

I didn’t respond. Home was a meaningless word to me now.

Misty peeked at me. “Aren’t you going to say anything?”

“I can leave as soon as I turn eighteen, right?” That was all that mattered. Fuck the rest. Five months, aka one hundred and sixty days, to go. On November twelfth, I’d be free.

Misty sighed. “Look, I know what you’re going through—”

“Word? You’ve been shot too and all’at?” I glanced her way. This lady was going home to a millionthreadcount sheetandpillowcase set, resting easy once I was off her hands.

Fuck outta here.

“Well, no, but—”

“Then shut up.” I faced the road ahead, done talking.

Misty let out a breath, her light tan skin no doubt holding a blush upon her cheeks. “Do you kiss your—” She caught herself, as if realizing where she was about to go. “I—I’m sorry. You just shouldn’t speak that way.”

I felt an ache in my chest, but I let it go.

I didn’t care.

Half a beat later Misty was rambling on about food. “Do you wanna stop and get something to eat, you must be starving.”

“I told you I wasn’t hungry.”

“Oh, well, are you nervous?”

I hadn’t thought about being nervous or the fact that I would never return home again and lead a normal life. Not like I’d ever led one to begin with.

“No.”

“Well, good. Think of it as going to a sleepover at an old friend’s house.”

One thing was true, the Smiths were old friends, but this setup was for the next five months.

“It’s been ten years since I last saw them,” I spoke up. “This ain’t no damn sleepover, and it’s not about to be all kumbaya, neither.”

At least they were black. Moving into the uppity setting of Pacific Hills was sure to be hell, but at least I would be with a black family. Even if I wouldn’t exactly fit in.

I didn’t look the same. I didn’t act the same. I wasn’t the same. And I didn’t care.

“Tyson—”

“It’s Trice.” I had asked her to call me that from jump street. No one called me Tyson.

I didn’t want to think about that. I didn’t want to think about anything. I didn’t care.

“Trice, please, try? I know it’s been rough these past few months, but you have a chance at something fresh. The Smiths are good people, and Pacific Hills is a lovely town. I’m sure soon you’ll be close to your old self.”

Misty had no clue what she was talking about. My old self? She obviously hadn’t paid attention to my file, or she would’ve been smart enough to leave it at fresh and not bring up my past.

Tyson Trice was dead.

He died on the f loor in the living room that day, and he was never coming back.

When I didn’t respond, Misty let up, probably getting that I didn’t give a shit either way.

I didn’t care.

2 | Nandy

I told myself I didn’t care about the juvenile delinquent my parents were moving into our home. I told myself it was no big deal an excon would be sleeping right next door to me. I told myself that my parents hadn’t made the worst decision in everdom.

It was just an everyday occurrence in the Smith household.

Still, it wasn’t fair.

As I paced around the pool in my backyard and complained to my best friend, Erica Yee, over the phone, I expected her to be on my side and console me.

“This was supposed to be a great summer and they pull this?” I whined.

“You can still have a good summer,” Erica responded. “This doesn’t have to be the end.”

But it was the end. My parents hadn’t gone into detail about the boy’s situation, just that he was in a “rough spot” and would be living with us for now. And that he was from Lindenwood, otherwise known as the ghetto.

I’d never gone there, but I’d heard enough stories to know to be cautious. When my parents watched the news, there was always a segment on some tragedy that had happened in Lindenwood. Some highspeed chase, or little kids killed during a driveby, or a robbery gone wrong among the usual clutter of crime that kept the LPD busy. Lindenwood was notorious for its drugs, thefts, assaults, and murders.

I shivered.

It probably hadn’t been the best idea to stay up lurking on the local news feeds right before the delinquent moved in.

Everything would be ruined.

“It is the end,” I insisted. “I mean, they spent all this time whispering and having these hushed conversations behind closed doors, and they barely revealed last night that he’s from Lindenwood!”

Maybe I was acting childishly, but I felt like a kid with the way my parents had shut me out on the biggest detail of all when it came to the boy coming to stay with us out of nowhere. For two weeks, they’d been scarce on the topic and evaded any and all questions. Now it felt like they’d dropped a bomb on me.

For all I knew, this kid was a total exgangbanger and my parents were intent on opening our home to wayward souls.

Dramatic? Sure.

Precautions? I was definitely taking them.

“Right now, you’re probably pacing around your pool in a Gucci bikini while your happilyinlove parents are inside preparing dinner together. God, Nan, your life is incredibly boring. You could use this delinquent to spice things up.”

Well, it was a Sunday evening, and the sun was beginning to set. My parents always made dinner together on Sundays, because they were both off work and able to do so.

I stopped pacing and glanced down at my white Gucci bikini. “Yee, you try new hobbies to spice things up, not invite excons to move in with you. Look, whatever, let’s just get away for a few hours. The longer I put a halt on this, the better.”

“When is he supposed to show up?”

“Sometime today. I just wanna blow it off. Maybe you, me, and Chad could grab a bite at the club or something.”

My boyfriend’s family had a reserved table at the local country club. Anything would be better than dinner with the delinquent. I wasn’t 100 percent sure he was a criminal, but I wasn’t taking any chances. When it came to Lindenwood, you couldn’t be too sure.

“You in?” I asked.

“If we must.” Erica pretended to sound exasperated. “Call me with the details in twenty, okay?”

“Deal.” I hung up and sighed, tilting my head back toward the darkening sky and questioning what I had done to deserve this.

It was the first week of June, and school had ended last week. I intended to spend this summer before senior year going to beach bonfires and parties with my friends, lounging around, preparing for cotillion, and just staying as far away from home as possible.

With a plan in motion, I went around my pool and stepped into our family room through the patio doors.

“Shit!” I jumped back, dropping my phone and barely registering the sound of its rough slap against the hardwood floor.

My parents were standing in the room with an Asian woman who was dressed in a violetred pantsuit. But it was the boy beside her that startled me. He towered over my father, with broad shoulders and a wide chest, and arms that let me know he worked out, even though he seemed drenched in black with his longsleeved shirt and matching pants. He had deep, dark brown skin with a clean complexion. But what really stood out was his hair. The boy had cornrows braided to the back of his head—well-aged cornrows.

Ugh, he looked so unpolished.

Suddenly I remembered my fallen phone and looked down to discover the screen was cracked. Because things aren’t messed up enough already.

“And you remember our daughter, Nandy.” My mother played it cool, gesturing toward where I’d frozen near the patio doors.

Everyone faced me, looking just as uncomfortable as I felt.

Great, I was making my first impression completely inappropriate in a bikini.

Awkwardly, I waved and forced a smile onto my face, showing off the result of two years of braces.

“Nandy, this may be a little bit of a surprise, but you remember Tyson Trice, don’t you?” my father asked, looking between the two of us.

At first, the name vaguely rang a bell, but then it hit me. Tyson, the boy I’d played with when I was younger. He used to come by in the summers when his grandfather would do lawn work around our subdivision. There’d been a few times during the school year when he’d come by too, but it was mostly a summer thing. Until he stopped coming altogether.

The revelation brought a sense of relief followed quickly by a foreign anger that I couldn’t explain.

That was then; this is now.

Now Tyson Trice had hit a mega growth spurt and stood before me nearly a man, appearing not at all like the seventeen years young that we both were.

“Right.” I nodded my head. “Tyson, hey.”

Tyson didn’t shift focus to my body. He stared straight into my eyes and bore no friendly expression or a tell of what he was thinking. He was far across the room, but I didn’t need to be right up on him to know that he had the angriest eyes I’d ever seen. Dark, soulless abysses stared at me, making me shiver.

Right on, Dad. Thanks for inviting a possible murderer into our home.

“And this is our son, Jordy.” My mother didn’t miss a beat as she went on, downplaying how awkward everything was.

Jordy, my elevenyearold little brother, was sitting against the ottoman, playing a video game on his handheld.

Tyson glanced at Jordy, and I felt protective, seeing curiosity briefly cross his face as he laid eyes on my Thai brother.

Jordy looked up from his game. “Hey.”

Tyson lifted a brow and turned to face my parents in that familiar way most outsiders looked at my family once they realized a black family was raising a Thai son.

Jordy smirked, shaking his head. “They wish they could’ve spawned a kid as goodlooking as me.”

My father chuckled. “We spoke about adopting for years after having Nandy, and right around the time she was eight, we got approved and Jordy came into our lives.”

“He was just two years old,” my mother gushed. “He was so adorable, we fell in love with him instantly.”

I came more into the room, wanting to shield my brother from Tyson. Someone had to think of the kids.

“Nandy, why don’t you go put some clothes on.” It wasn’t a question. My mother was ordering me to cover up and look more presentable for our guests.

“I was actually on my way out to meet up with Erica, we’ve got this—”

“Right now?” she asked. “We’ve got company.”

I glanced at Tyson, hating him again for spoiling my summer. I’d seen him, and I’d spoken to him. What more did she want?

“Yeah, but Erica and I had plans to go to the country club and talk about cotillion.”

My mother pursed her lips. “Nandy—”

“You know what,” my father stepped in, “that’s a great idea. Nandy could take Tyson and the two could get reacquainted, and that’ll give us time to talk to Ms. Tran here.”

My eyes practically shot out of their sockets. There was no way in hell I’d share a car with Tyson.

After thinking it over, my mother seemed to agree. “That is a great idea. We can all sit down together later.”

My jaw hit the ground.

I shook my head. “You know, never mind, suddenly I’m not as hungry as I thought. In fact, I feel sick to my stomach. I think I’ll go lie down.”

By the way my mother narrowed her eyes, I knew she’d be giving me hell later about my behavior. I didn’t care. It wasn’t fair to me to force some scarylooking guy into my hands to be babysat.

With one final look at the newest arrival to the Smith household, I picked up my phone from the floor and made my way up to my room.

Long after Ms. Tran had left and my mother had scolded me in our family office, I sat in my room, maneuvering with a broken phone as I texted my boyfriend. Going on a hunger strike didn’t last long for me. After having refused to go down for dinner, I was starving.

My cell phone chirped as Chad texted me back.

Chad: Outside

Me: Thank God

My parents were probably still up, no doubt discussing either my punishment or how we were going to work Tyson into the family.

With their bedroom being in a different wing of our house, sneaking out was always an easy feat. Still, I made sure to keep extra quiet as I crept out of my room and slipped down the staircase.

Chad was waiting for me out front. He’d been pacing back and forth in front of our walk as he waited, and as I stepped outside I was elated to see him.

“I’m thinking sushi, you in?” I asked as I walked past him, heading for his car.

“Yeah, sure. What’s going on?” Chad asked as he caught up to me and fell into step.

I peered up into his blue eyes. “You don’t want to know.”

Chad ran a hand through his auburn hair, appearing confused but conceding. “Okay, let’s go get some sushi.”

At the feeling of being watched, I glanced back at my house. On the second floor, through one of the large bay windows, I caught sight of a silhouetted figure.

It was him.

Creep.

I turned back to Chad and reached out and caught his hand. “Yeah, let’s get out of here.”

This was my summer, and no one was getting in the way of that.

Excerpted from A Love Hate Thing by Whitney D. Grandison. Copyright © 2020 by Whitney Grandison. Published by Inkyard Press.


20190926_174339_0000.pngWhitney D. Grandison was born and raised in Akron, Ohio, where she currently resides. A lover of stories since she first picked up a book, it’s no surprise she’s taken to writing her own. Some of her works can be found on Wattpad, one of the largest online story sharing platforms, where she has acquired over 30,000 followers and an audience of over fifteen million dedicated readers.

Whitney D. Grandison was born and raised in Akron, Ohio, where she currently resides. A lover of stories since she first picked up a book, it’s no surprise she’s taken to writing her own. Some of her works can be found on Wattpad, one of the largest online story sharing platforms, where she has acquired over 30,000 followers and an audience of over fifteen million dedicated readers.Whitney D. Grandison was born and raised in Akron, Ohio, where she currently resides. A lover of stories since she first picked up a book, it’s no surprise she’s taken to writing her own. Some of her works can be found on Wattpad, one of the largest online story sharing platforms, where she has acquired over 30,000 followers and an audience of over fifteen million dedicated readers.Whitney D. Grandison was born and raised in Akron, Ohio, where she currently resides. A lover of stories since she first picked up a book, it’s no surprise she’s taken to writing her own. Some of her works can be found on Wattpad, one of the largest online story sharing platforms, where she has acquired over 30,000 followers and an audience of over fifteen million dedicated readers.

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