Thursday, April 19, 2018

Cover reveal & Excerpt for Ruthless Magic by Megan Crewe





Today, I'm featuring the cover reveal for Ruthless Magic by Megan Crewe. The official release date for the book is 30 May 2018

On to the reveal! 





Synopsis: 

In the contest to keep their magic, the only options may be die... or kill.

Each year, the North American Confederation of Mages assesses every sixteen-year-old novice. Some will be chosen. The rest must undergo a procedure to destroy their magical ability unless they prove themselves in the mysterious and brutal Mages' Exam.

Disadvantaged by her parents' low standing, Rocío Lopez has dedicated herself to expanding her considerable talent to earn a place in the Confederation. Their rejection leaves her reeling—and determined to fight to keep her magic.

Long ashamed of his mediocre abilities, Finn Lockwood knows the Confederation accepted him only because of his prominent family. Declaring for the Exam instead means a chance to confirm his true worth.

Thrown into the testing with little preparation, Rocío and Finn find themselves becoming unlikely allies—and possibly more. But the Exam holds secrets more horrifying than either could have imagined. What are the examiners really testing them for? And as the trials become increasingly vicious, how much are they willing to sacrifice to win?

The start of a new series by USA Today bestselling author Megan Crewe, Ruthless Magic combines the magic of Harry Potter with the ferocity of The Hunger Games alongside a poignant romance. Fans of Cassandra Clare and Holly Black, look no further for your next urban fantasy fix!





Find Ruthless Magic by Megan Crewe GoodreadsPre-Order  your copy and Grab the prequel MAGIC UNMASKED for FREE!






EXCERPT FROM RUTHLESS MAGIC

Hail pelted us, and the wind lashed at us from all sides. I could hardly breathe. The only solid thing was Finn. I curled my fingers into the damp fabric of his shirt and sang into the stiller space between us. “Como veían que resistía.”

Magic hummed from the vicious air into me. An image swam up of the grate I’d come across in the courtyard, between the buildings. A grate that led to something below.

I knelt down, pulling Finn with me, and pressed my free hand to the spongy ground. The wind tried to steal my next lyrics from my lips, but the magic raced through me all the same—through me and down, down, into an open space I sensed below us like a gasp of fresh air.

I did gasp then, and forced out a verse. I’d never magically transported another person with me before, but I had to. I had to.

The magic rushed up around us with the thrust of my words. I clung to Finn, singing the energy around him as tightly as I could. Then I propelled us downward with a lurch.

We surged through rough blackness that rasped over my skin and landed with a feet-jarring thump. I exhaled in a rush, dizzy in the sudden quiet. My eardrums ached from the pounding of the storm we’d escaped and the effort of the conjuring.

We crouched in total darkness. The surface beneath me felt like concrete. Cold dank air hovered around us with a faintly salty flavor that reminded me of the ocean.

My fingers were tangled in Finn’s shirt. His arm was still around me. In the dark, I was abruptly aware of the rise and fall of his rasping breath, the warmth of his chest, and the answering warmth it sent through me.


He was alive—we were alive—and in that moment, it felt like a miracle.


About Megan: 
Photo credit: Chris Blanchenot
Like many authors, Megan Crewe finds writing about herself much more difficult than making things up. A few definite facts: she lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and son (and does on occasion say “eh”), she’s always planning some new trip around the world, and she’s spent the last six years studying kung fu, so you should probably be nice to her. She has been making up stories about magic and spirits and other what ifs since before she knew how to write words on paper. These days the stories are just a lot longer.

Megan’s first novel, Give Up the Ghost, was shortlisted for the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic. The Way We Fall was nominated for the White Pine Award and made the International Literacy Association Young Adults’ Choices List, and Earth & Sky was an OLA Best Bet for 2015. She is also the author of the rest of the Fallen World series (The Lives We Lost, The Worlds We Make, and Those Who Lived), the rest of the Earth & Sky trilogy (The Clouded Sky and A Sky Unbroken), and the standalone contemporary fantasy A Mortal Song.

Connect with Megan Crewe via her 
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr | Goodreads


Giveaway Details:
One lucky winner will receive a $10
Amazon gift card and a pack of Ruthless Magic swag featuring the cover and
character art.


Ruthless Magic cover reveal giveaway

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh by Carolyn Arnold - Book Review


Book: The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh
Author: Carolyn Arnold
Publication date: 17 April 2018
Genres: Historical fiction, mystery, adventure, action




"The fate of the world could be at stake."
"Not to make too dramatic a statement, but yes, it could be."

The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh by Carolyn Arnold is the second standalone instalment in the Matthew Conner Adventure series.

Archaeologist and adventurer Matthew Connor receives a phone call from friend and former lover, Alex, to join her on what could be the discovery of a lifetime in Egypt. Alex says that she may have uncovered a pharaoh's tomb AND the famed mythical Emerald Tablets.

Anyone who gets hold of the Emerald Tablets will acquire the secrets of the universe along with major wealth and power, so the myth goes. However, if they fall into the wrong hands, well the world as we know it would be in great peril.

Thrill-seeker Matthew Conner, who is renowned for uncovering or rather debunking historical myths, travels to Egypt with his friends Robyn and Cal. There they meet Alex and her team, who have discovered a possible map that should lead them to the lost pharaoh's tomb and the tablets.

"The perspiration on [Robyn's] brow nearly chilled into a sheet of ice. She had a bad feeling about this, but if she let her body go still to inspect what was going on, her panic would cause her to sink."

The lost pharaoh is believed to be son of Khufu, and I must applaud Arnold for the massive research she has done and put into the novel, making it realistic and plausible. There are a lot of historical tidbits in the book, which prompted me to do my own research after I finished reading.

One of the things I loved about The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh is that Arnold does not depict Egyptians as backward people on camels as most "Mummy" and Hollywood movies do. The book is set in modern day Egypt, after 2011.

Although the prologue is the first step of the discovery of what could be the lost pharaoh, the actual visit does not take place until a few chapters later.

"The terrain was sand, but it wasn't without its beauty. The sunlight refracted off the surface, making it look like a sea of diamonds."

The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh is rich in characters, good, evil, and in-between. One of those memorable and sometimes humourous in a matter-of-fact way was Jasper, the one they called The Snake Whisperer because of his ability to deal with snakes. He could also decipher hieroglyphics.

A big chunk of the book handles character relationships, including the aftermaths of the events that took place in book 1, The City of Gold, and how it affected the group, straining certain emotions and making for added tension. Cal is the most impacted by the previous adventure as his fiancé was kidnapped – and nearly raped – and their lives were on the line. Having said that, I must stress that The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh can be read as a standalone. I hadn't read book 1 and didn't feel I was lost at any point while reading.

There is a lot of introspection, especially as Cal struggles with the opportunity to join Matthew on his adventure to Egypt, while at the same time maintain his relationship with his fiancé.

"If he went away with Matthew, he could probably kiss Sophie's smile goodbye. But was he truly prepared to give up these adventures altogether?"

We also get a lot about the Robyn-Matthew relationship and as the novel progresses the Matthew-Alex relationship.

In addition, to the strained emotions between Cal and his fiancé, and Robyn struggling with the Alex-and-Matthew connection, anger surfaces between Alex and her team. So there is a lot of emotional play throughout the book.

Although narrated in the third person, there are several points of view in the novel, but it is clear who is thinking: Robyn, Matthew, Cal, or Alex. Each view point comes with its emotions and highlights certain ideas and aspects of the adventure.

Character development is evident for the main characters, and I can guess that as the series progresses, they will continue to grow and learn more about themselves.

I like how Carolyn Arnold sneaks in humour whenever possible. Cal is fairly superstitious and is hilarious to say the least; he's also very down-to-earth and makes for great relief, despite his internal struggle, during the course of the novel.

"The wall says our pharaoh was assassinated and his name was stripped from him. It goes on to say that his spirit would be at unrest for eternity."

As an Egyptian, I'm proud to say that The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh is a well-written must-read centred around my country, which is depicted in a positive way. The book kept me on edge all the way.

Overall, The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh is an action-packed exciting adventure set in modern day Egypt with lots of history, laughs, and a mystery or two.

Nadaness In Motion has reviewed other books by Carolyn Arnold from the McKinley Mystery series. Check out Coffee Is Murder (with an excerpt) and Halloween Is Murder.


Note: I received an Advanced Reader's Copy of The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh by Carolyn Arnold in exchange for an honest review. 



About Carolyn Arnold

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.
Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.
She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.

Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online via her WebsiteTwitterFacebook, and Newsletter. 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Rebecca Chastain returns with A Fistful of Frost - Excerpt & Giveaway




I'm thrilled to be re-featuring author Rebecca Chastain on Nadaness In Motion with the latest book in her paranormal action adventure Madison Fox series A Fistful of Frost.

An imaginative urban fantasy filled with heart, humor, and plenty of butt-kicking action—A Fistful of Frost is a book you won’t want to miss!

Synopsis:

Madison’s job—and soul—are on thin ice.

Madison Fox is determined to reform Jamie, her half-evil pooka, but the bond linking her to Jamie works both ways. Already, it has manipulated her into bending the rules. If she continues down this path, she could doom her soul. Since her judgment can’t be trusted, a high-ranking inspector now dictates Madison’s every interaction with Jamie, and each directive drives them further apart.

Unfortunately, Madison has bigger issues than the potential degradation of her soul. Winter has struck with a vengeance. Frost moths plague the entire state, reinforcing the artificially frigid temperature. Worse, cold-blooded, soul-stealing enemies are flocking into her region from the north—creatures Madison has little defense against.

With the inspector scrutinizing her every misstep, Madison is in for the battle of her life. If she hopes to survive, she must make an impossible choice: save herself and her region or save Jamie.


EXCERPT FROM A FISTFUL OF FROST



Inspector Pamela Hennessey leaned close, shouting to be heard above the enthusiastic marching band pounding its way across the football field. “Remember what I said, Madison: Show me you’re in control of the pooka. Take charge. You’re not helping Jamie by being soft.”
Avoiding her eyes, I nodded, keenly aware of Jamie standing less than three feet from us. With luck, he hadn’t heard her over the bleating trumpets.
We stood against a retaining wall on the outer rim of the track wrapping Oakmont High’s football field. A flailing, cheering quilt of bundled and blanketed people packed the bleachers, and a steady string of teenagers and their parents filed past on their way to and from the concession stand amidst waves of popcorn and hot dog fumes. Normally Jamie would have been at my elbow, begging for a bowl of nachos, and I would have indulged him, but not with the inspector present. I’d met her less than an hour ago, and I’d already lost track of how many times I’d made a fool of myself in front of her. From here on out, I needed to be a shining example of a perfect pooka-bonded enforcer if I stood a chance of saving face—and saving my region.
Jamie edged closer, his shoulders hunched in a dejected curl, his dichotomous soul churning in agitated waves of black atrum and white lux lucis. I strangled the impulse to comfort him. Like Pamela said, I needed to be firm. Authoritative.
Even if it was my fault Jamie looked lost.
I flexed frozen fingers, encouraging blood and heat back into the digits. A freak cold snap had struck Roseville, California, plummeting the temperature below freezing, and local meteorologists threatened we’d see snow before morning. The novel phenomenon would have been a lot easier to appreciate if I were holed up inside my apartment like a normal person. Normal, however, had hopscotched right over me when I’d been born with the ability to use my soul as a weapon.
A dark shape zipped overhead, and I ducked, my free hand spasming around the clunky necklace resting on my chest. My jerky reaction drew stares, but I pretended not to notice. Quick reflexes could make the difference between living and dying in my line of work. Besides, if the norms could see the swarm of tyv drones buzzing above the stadium, they’d do more than duck; they’d run in terror.
Pretending fear didn’t stretch taut across my nerves, I examined the latest enemy to invade my region. The drones bore an uncanny resemblance to mosquitoes—if mosquitoes grew to the size of pterodactyls. They possessed spiky legs, multifaceted ebony eyes wrapped around triangular heads, and two-foot-long, needle-sharp proboscises for mouths. Where mosquitoes drank blood, the drones devoured lux lucis, the white energy of good people’s souls. This bright, undigested energy in the drones’ translucent abdomens made it possible to track the otherwise black creatures against the obsidian sky, and I told myself it was a blessing. But since I was Roseville’s illuminant enforcer and the person responsible for defending the citizens inside my small region from pernicious, soul-snacking creatures, each glowing drone served as neon-white proof of all the people I’d failed to protect.

An entire sky lit with evidence of my inadequacies as an enforcer, and me standing next to an inspector here to assess my competence. Could this night get any worse?



GIVEAWAY

Enter the giveaway which ends 8 May by ordering your copy of A Fistful of Frost between now on the release date on 8 May, and you can receive a copy of the Madison Fox novelette, A Fistful of Flirtation.

Madison finally gets her date with Dr. Love—and if they had picked any other restaurant, she might have had a chance to enjoy it, too…

Receive your FREE gift with purchase here

Grab A Fistful of Frost via Amazon USAmazon UK, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia.









Start the series at the beginning! Read book 1, A Fistful of Evil, where Madison’s new job would be perfect, if not for all the creatures trying to eat her soul…

Not sure? Check out Nadaness In Motion's five-star book review of A Fistful of Evil.

From the review:
"A Fistful of Evil shows Madison's character as it grows, falters and gets up again. Madison has several moments of revelation, of light and realisation, that lead her to her decision as to whether she wants to accept her soul-sight and become an Enforcer or not. It is also the little things that make us great people, as both Madison and the reader realise and as Chastain so beautifully reveals it."

Grab book 1 via Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CAAmazon AUor FREE on Kindle Unlimited!





Then pick up book 2, A Fistful of Fire, where Madison Fox is back in hot water... 

Grab it on Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CAAmazon AU. or FREE on Kindle Unlimited!







About the Author:
REBECCA CHASTAIN is the USA Today bestselling author of the Madison Fox urban fantasy series and the Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles fantasy trilogy, among other works. Inside her novels, you’ll find spellbinding adventures packed with supernatural creatures, thrilling action, heartwarming characters (human and otherwise), and more than a little humor. Rebecca lives in Northern California with her charming husband and bossy cats.



Find Rebecca online via her WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagram, Goodreads, and BookBub.



Sunday, April 8, 2018

Red Nails - Poem by Nada Adel Sobhi






Red nails
Break the blue calm
Like tiny roses
In a sea of green

Colours
They paint my world
Breathe new life
Into my lungs

I close my eyes
Feel the cold air
Fill my being

Those moments of life
Lapses of perfection
In a world of endless
Hustle and bustle

Sunlight sifts
Through clouds and mountains high

The wind blows on my face,
My lips can almost taste
The saltiness of my surroundings

I close my eyes again
Then open them to see
Red nails
On a sea of brown rocks
Covered by a hue of greyish blue


By: Nada Adel Sobhi/Nadaness In Motion


Photography by Nada Adel Sobhi aka Nadaness In Motion


Written Thursday, 29 March 2018 at 16:50

The writing and publishing of this poem coincides with the April-long National Poetry Month.



Friday, April 6, 2018

The Advice Column Murders by Leslie Nagel - Character Guest Post

Today, I'm featuring one of my favourite cozy mystery authors Leslie Nagel. 
Nagel writes The Oakwood Mystery Series and I've been fortunate to read the first book in the series The Book Club Murders.

It gives me great pleasure to feature The Advice Column Murders, book 3 in the series. Below is the synopsis followed by a character guest post in interview format for one of the characters in the book.

Happy reading!



Book: The Advice Column Murders
(Book #3)
Series: The Oakwood Mystery Series
Author: Leslie Nagel
Genre: Cozy mystery
Publication date: 3 April 2018
Publisher: Alibi



Synopsis:
What’s the couple next door really hiding? Vintage fashionista and amateur sleuth Charley Carpenter finds out in this engrossing cozy mystery from the USA Today bestselling author of The Book Club Murders.

In a small town like Oakwood, Ohio, everyone knows everyone else’s business—except for Charley Carpenter’s standoffish new neighbors, who tend to keep to themselves. But behind closed doors, Paxton Sharpe’s habit of screaming bloody murder at all hours of the day keeps Charley awake all night. Coupled with the stress of the increasingly delayed expansion of her shop, Old Hat Vintage Fashions, the insomnia is driving Charley crazy. Her only distraction? The local paper’s irreverent new advice column, “Ask Jackie.”

Jackie’s biting commentary usually leaves Charley and her employees rolling on the floor, but her latest column is no laughing matter. An oddly phrased query hinting at a child in peril immediately puts Charley on high alert. After arriving home to a bloodcurdling scream next door, she follows the noise into the basement and makes a grisly discovery: the body of Judith Sharpe’s adult daughter.

With Detective Marcus Trenault off in Chicago, Charley decides to take matters into her own hands. Convinced that the murder is connected to the desperate plea for help in “Ask Jackie,” she embarks on a twisted investigation that has her keeping up with the Sharpes—before a killer strikes again.


Guest post by Leslie Nagel as part of The Advice Column Murders blog tour


Behind the Curtain: An Insider’s Guide to Who’s Who on the Oakwood Scene by Bambi Gazelle

An exclusive interview with the mysterious author of “Ask Jackie”, the sassy new advice column in The Oakwood Register. This reporter secured a one-on-one meeting with the ironclad proviso that we will NOT be revealing Jackie’s identity.

BG:  I must say, you’re not at all what I was expecting, Jackie.
AJ:  I take it you’ve read my column?

BG:  Who hasn’t? In the few short months since it first appeared, “Ask Jackie” has become the toast of the town. And your identity has become the hottest mystery.
AJ:  Keep ‘em guessing, I always say!

BG:  May I ask why? Why the secrecy? The column is fantastic, a hilarious yet deadly accurate analysis of Oakwood society. You should be proud. Why not accept the accolades?
AJ:  A couple of reasons. First off, not everyone gets the answers they’re looking for. I call it like I see it, and a lot of the time, that means calling people out on their prejudices or poor behavior. I live in Oakwood, and I’d prefer not to encounter a disgruntled advisee in a shadowy parking lot, if you get my drift.

BG:  I certainly do. And the other reason?
AJ:  I started the column as a lark. It was supposed to be a joke, a way to examine the human condition through the filter of anonymous letters. And for the first few months, that’s exactly the sort of letters that came in. My wife snores. My neighbor’s cat keeps pooping on my azaleas. My son’s girlfriend has an Adam’s apple. But then . . . (trails off, bites lip)

BG:  Yes? Something happened?
AJ:  You could say that. Last week I received a letter signed “A Tortured Soul.” The writer speaks in generalities, but anyone with half a brain can see what she’s getting at.

BG:  Which is?
AJ:  Child abuse. “Tortured” knows about a child that’s being mistreated in some way.

BG:  Oh, no!
AJ:  Oh, yes. It’s so serious and scary, I almost didn’t print it. Then I thought: This is exactly what abusers count on, that people would rather sweep the shocking and difficult under the rug, rather than drag it into the light of day.

BG:  So you ran it in the column?
AJ:  It’s going to appear in tomorrow’s paper. I expect it will rattle quite a few cages, as will my response. I told “Tortured” to get off her tush and call the cops. If that child suffers one more day, and she could have done something to prevent it? That’s on her. And that’s what I meant about calling people out.

BG:  The writer of that letter is female?
AJ:  Shit. I didn’t mean to . . . Listen, Bambi. I don’t know what’s going on with this poor woman, but she’s on the verge of leveling a very serious accusation at someone. If that someone figures out who she is, and if that someone suspects she might actually go to the police? Well. People have committed murder over less. If anything happened to “A Tortured Soul” because of something I wrote in “Ask Jackie”, I’d never forgive myself.

BG:  You think whoever wrote that letter might be in real danger?
AJ:  It’s possible. In fact, I have a very good friend who helps the police with the occasional bit of crime detection. This might be right up her alley.

BG:  You wouldn’t be referring to Charley Carpenter, would you? I’ve written about several of her more outrageous collaborations with Detective Marcus Trenault, including her near death in the Mulbridge House fire last month.
AJ:  (winks)  I think perhaps it’s time for Jackie to step out of the shadows and call in the cavalry. If anyone can discover the identity of “A Tortured Soul” and get to the bottom of the mystery, it’s Oakwood’s own version of Sherlock Holmes. Of course, when she finds out who I am, something tells me Charley’s not going to be the least bit surprised.




Check out Nadaness In Motion’s five-star book review of The Book Club Murders, book 1 in The Oakwood Mystery Series by Leslie Nagel. Hint: It’s a five-star must-read!


About the author:

Leslie Nagel is a writer and teacher of writing at a local community college. Her debut novel, The Book Club Murders, is the first in the Oakwood Mystery Series. Leslie lives in the all too real city of Oakwood, Ohio, where murders are rare but great stories lie thick on the ground. After the written word, her passions include her husband, her son, and daughter, hiking, tennis and strong black coffee, not necessarily in that order.

Connect with the author via her Website, FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.

Purchase The Advice Column Murders via Amazon – B&N – Kobo – Google Play



Keep up with the rest of the tour

April 2 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW & Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
April 3 – Varietats – REVIEW
April 4 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST
April 5 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
April 6 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – REVIEW & Nadaness In Motion – GUEST POST
April 7 – Ms. Cat's Honest World – REVIEW
April 8 – The Montana Bookaholic – SPOTLIGHT
April 9 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW
April 10 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 11 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
April 12 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW
April 13 – Girl with Book Lungs – INTERVIEW
April 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
April 15 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW