Paola Santiago and the Sanctuary of Shadows Spotlight

Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents Tehlor Kay Mejia’s third chilling story based on Mexican folklore. This time Paola Santiago faces El Cucuy, aka the Boogeyman.

“Paola Santiago is a whip-smart Latina who dares to explore the shadows between folklore and middle-school friendship. A thrilling adventure.”–Nina Moreno, author of Don’t Date Rosa Santos

Paola Santiago has recently returned from Oregon, where she defeated the Hitchhiker ghost and saved her father from the vengeful spirit that was possessing him. The poor girl deserves a rest! But first she has to rescue Dante from the void, where he’s been imprisoned by some unknown force. Even though Dante has turned against Pao, she can’t just leave him there–they’ve been friends for too long.

Paola’s prophetic dreams seem to have dried up, so she has to find other ways to locate a new rift where she can enter the void. Signs point to Texas–but how is she going to get there from Arizona? It just so happens that Emma’s new group of politically active friends, the Rainbow Rogues, are planning a field trip to San Antonio. It’s the perfect ruse for Paola, if she can stand being with the judgmental girls for that many days. . . .

Relying on her wits, training from the Ninos de la Luz, and the emotional support of her best friend Emma, Pao makes it into the void. Once there she must face down not just one but two enemies: El Cucuy, the bogeyman . . . and someone even scarier who looks a lot like Pao herself.

This third exciting journey into Mexican folklore has our lovable, intrepid protagonist making discoveries both wonderous and fearsome.

Bloody Fool for Love Spotlight

Bloody Fool for Love from New York Times best-selling author William Ritter marks the beginning of an all-new series that explores prequel stories about fan-favorite Buffy characters.

Spike just wants to enjoy the spoils of his new badass reputation. He’s now a legendary slayer-killer, and he’s returning to London―the greatest city in the world. Unfortunately, his new abode is far from ideal (mostly a dank basement), and the rest of his strange little “family” is reeling from the fact that their patriarch, Angel, abandoned them. Spike’s love, Drusilla, seems especially heartbroken over the loss and spends her time lost in her tarot cards and planning their next gruesome family dinner when they all can be reunited.

Desperate to break Dru out of her melancholy, Spike vows to steal a powerful relic that will help her focus on their dark future together. It’s the perfect plan―that is until a monster named Gunnar, leader of the demon underworld of London, steals the relic first. Forced to form his own ragtag group of mercenaries, Spike plans an epic heist against a ruthless gang of undead criminals. Confronted with paranormal plots, royal black ops, and tea (they may be abominations, but they’re British abominations, thank you very much), Spike soon realizes that his homecoming is about to get bloody.

This rompy, action-packed novel inspired by one of Buffy’s most infamous bad boys is part Bonnie and Clyde, part Sherlock and Watson, with just a bit more bloodsucking.

The Witchery by S. Isabelle

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc and physical arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Witchery

Author: S. Isabelle

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 3.5/5

Diversity: Black characters and MCs, Sapphic character, f/f romance mentioned

Recommended For…: young adult readers, supernatural, fantasy, witches, witchcraft, werewolves, LGBT, urban fantasy

Publication Date: July 26, 2022

Genre: YA Supernatural Fantasy

Age Relevance: 14+ (alcohol consumption, romance, cursing, religion, religious trauma, racism, panic attack, gore, violence, death, grief, murder)

Explanation of Above: There is some alcohol consumption mentioned early on in the book very briefly. There is some romance in the book. There is some slight cursing and some religion and religious trauma shown and mentioned. There is one instance of racism being mentioned in the book and one panic attack shown. There is some gore, violence, a few deaths, and a murder mentioned. There is also some grief shown and mentioned.

Publisher: Scholastic

Pages: 371

Synopsis: THE HAUNTING SEASON IS HERE AND THE WOLVES ARE AWAKE.

Haelsford, Florida is a Hellmouth. Or at least, that’s what Logan, a baby witch struggling to control her powers, thinks as she arrives to the witchtown to begin the new school year at Mesmortes Coven Academy. She is immediately taken under the wing of the infamous Red Three. Iris is a deathwitch who wants nothing more than to break the town’s curse; Jailah is one of the most powerful witches at the academy but her thirst for power may lead her down a dark path; and Thalia, the talented greenwitch, is on the run from her religious family and a past that still haunts her.

Fear and prejudice still fuel the uneasy truce between humans and witches who are forced to work together when the Haunting Season begins and Wolves rise from the swamp to feed. With this approaching, two Hammersmitt boys prepare to make their first sacrifices to the witches in exchange for protection. But as they become involved with the Mesmortes witches’ plan to end the Wolves’ reign of terror once and for all, old dangers lie in wait.

The cost to break the curse may be greater than any witch or human could ever know.

Review: For the most part I liked this book. I thought that the book did ok with the multi-POV from 6 perspectives and that this would be a good HP replacement book. The book is action-packed and really focuses on friendship and the connections we make. The book is also fun, set in a supernatural world where witchcraft is kinda normal. I felt like the character development was well done and the world building was as well.

However, there were some issues I had with the book. The book is kinda weirdly wrote and is disjointed. I had to read the summery to figure out what was happening in the beginning and it was a really confusing book is a lot of the parts, but especially the beginning. All of the parts are there for a great novel and I have no doubt in my mind that it’ll be polished up for the finalized version, but for the arc it was just a bit of a mess in the beginning and with little confusing aspects here and there throughout the book, it makes it feel like a second book in a series rather than a first.

Verdict: It’s good, but needs a little more love.

Deep in Providence by Riss M. Neilson

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc and finished copy from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Deep in Providence

Author: Riss M. Neilson

Book Series: Deep in Providence Book 1

Rating: 5/5

Diversity: Filipino Bisexual MC, Black characters, Caribbean characters, Black MC, Puerto Rican Lesbian Character, Hispanic Anxiety Disorder MC, Domincian Queer character, various people of color

Recommended For…: young adult readers, paranormal, contemporary, LGBT, magical realism, fantasy

Publication Date: May 31, 2022

Genre: YA Contemporary Paranormal

Age Relevance: 16+ (parental death, death, grief, gore, language, neglect, abandonment, parentification, drugs, drug abuse, alcohol consumption, overdose, rehab, therapy, anxiety, religion, religious trauma, deportation, abortion, pregnancy, miscarriage, fatphobia, sexual content, sexual harassment, sexual assault)

Explanation of Above: The book revolves around a character’s impactful death and there is also mention of parental death and a lot of grief throughout the read. There is very mild cursing. There is a character who is neglected and abandoned, there is also parentification involved. Drugs, drug abuse, alcohol consumption, overdose, and rehab are all shown in the book. There are also some therapy scenes and some shows of anxiety disorder. Religion and religious trauma are frequently shown and mentioned in the book. Deportation is mentioned and its impact is shown. There are scenes of pregnancy, mentions and talks about abortion, and a miscarriage scene and mentions. There is some small fatphobia in the book with a character’s nickname in relation to how they look. There is sexual content in the book, one scene with sexual assault, and a small amount of some sexual harassment. There is also a very brief mention of rape but it is very vague.

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

Pages: 456

Synopsis: For best friends Miliani, Inez, Natalie and Jasmine, Providence, Rhode Island has a magic of its own. From the bodegas and late-night food trucks on Broad Street to The Hill that watches over the city, every corner of Providence glows with memories of them practicing spells, mixing up potions and doing séances with the help of the magic Miliani’s Filipino grandfather taught her.

But when Jasmine is killed by a drunk driver, the world they have always known is left haunted by grief…and Jasmine’s lingering spirit. Determined to bring her back, the surviving friends band together, testing the limits of their magic and everything they know about life, death, and each other.

And as their plan to resurrect Jasmine grows darker and more demanding than they imagined, their separate lives begin to splinter the bonds they depend on, revealing buried secrets that threaten the people they care about most. Miliani, Inez and Natalie will have to rely on more than just their mystical abilities to find the light.

Thrilling and absorbing, Deep in Providence is a story of profound yearning, and what happens when three teen girls are finally given the power to go after what they want.

Review: I really liked this book! It was completely not what I expected but it was so beautifully well written and so amazing. I loved the use of the multi-POV and I loved how it was fantasy like but not overtly fantasy. The book examined the aftermath of a death, but also examined karma in what happened to the characters after they started casting more and more powerful spells. The book had well done writing, great character development, and amazing world building. I can’t wait for book 2!

The only issues I had with the book is that it was a bit slower paced than I normally like book, but the writing more than made up for that. The book also had a moment where a character is in a clinic and they’re talking about the 6-week embryo’s “heartbeat”. There isn’t a heartbeat at that stage; it’s more like the electrical components of what will be a heart. The heart is far from fully formed at this stage and this does not translate to the viability of a heart. While the heart does start to form at this stage and it’s one of the first organs to develop and four clearly defined chambers, the heart does not have fully formed muscle tissue until the 20th week as stated by medicinenet website. While the book is very much not telling people to not get an abortion (it very much did the opposite), I just wish that this was better stated by the ultrasound technician just due to today’s day and age.

Verdict: It’s a great read! Highly recommend!

The Temperature of You and Me Spotlight

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the THE TEMPERATURE OF ME AND YOU by Brian Zepka Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

 

About The Book:

Title: THE TEMPERATURE OF ME AND YOU

Author: Brian Zepka

Pub. Date: January 25, 2022

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 416

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, AudibleB&NiBooks (audiobook), KoboTBD, Bookshop.org

Sixteen-year-old Dylan Highmark thought his winter was going to be full of boring shifts at the Dairy Queen, until he finds himself in love with a boy who’s literally too hot to handle.

Dylan has always wanted a boyfriend, but the suburbs surrounding Philadelphia do not have a lot in the way of options. Then, in walks Jordan, a completely normal (and undeniably cute) boy who also happens to run at a cool 110 degrees Fahrenheit. When the boys start spending time together, Dylan begins feeling all kinds of ways, and when he spikes a fever for two weeks and is suddenly coughing flames, he thinks he might be suffering from something more than just a crush. Jordan forces Dylan to keep his symptoms a secret. But as the pressure mounts and Dylan becomes distant with his closest friends and family, he pushes Jordan for answers. Jordan’s revelations of why he’s like this, where he came from, and who’s after him leaves Dylan realizing how much first love is truly out of this world. And if Earth supports life that breathes oxygen, then love can only keep Jordan and Dylan together for so long.

THE TEMPERATURE OF ME AND YOU is the story of first love, and the lengths we’ll go to figure out our hearts. What starts as an electric, chance encounter at a Dairy Queen quickly evolves into a heated romance, a journey of trust and identity, and a ticking clock for survival.

Reviews:

The Temperature of Me and You catapults the notion of sizzling romance to a whole new fun level with both metaphoric and literal sparks, flames, and superhuman pyro-powers brightly burning in a smokin’ hot story.―Alex Sanchez, author of Rainbow Boys and You Brought Me the Ocean

With so much heart, mystery, and sci-fi intrigue, Brian lit a fire in my soul that had me burning through these pages! Not only will the action have you on the edge of your seat, but the sparks flying between Dylan and Jordan will make you melt.―Jason June, author of Jay’s Gay Agenda

 

INSERT YOUR POST OR REVIEW HERE!

 

About Brian Zepka:

Brian Zepka was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Brian worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Virginia where he provided support for programs addressing community health literacy and adolescent sexual health. He currently lives in Philadelphia and is a program evaluator for a nonprofit organization focused on chronic disease prevention. The Temperature of Me and You is his first novel.

 

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon

 



Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE TEMPERATURE OF ME AND YOU, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

1/17/2022

YA Books Central

Excerpt

1/18/2022

The Reading Devil

Excerpt

1/19/2022

BookHounds YA

Excerpt

1/20/2022

Books Are Magic Too

Review

1/21/2022

Reading Wordsmith

Review

1/22/2022

Nonbinary Knight Reads

Review

Week Two:

1/23/2022

Do You Dog-ear?

Review

1/24/2022

Lexijava

Review

1/25/2022

Nerdophiles

Review

1/26/2022

Bri’s Book Nook

Review

1/27/2022

viasreads

Review

1/28/2022

onemused

Review

1/29/2022

A Bookish Dream

Review

Week Three:

1/30/2022

Celia’s Reads-blog

Review

1/31/2022

More Books Please blog

Review

2/1/2022

Zainey Laney in all 3

Review

2/2/2022

Emelie’s Books

Review

2/3/2022

The Momma Spot

Review

2/4/2022

@drewsim12

Review

2/5/2022

@thebookishfoxwitch

Review

Week Four:

2/6/2022

Book-Keeping

Review

2/7/2022

Eli to the nth

Review

2/8/2022

Rajiv’s Reviews

Review

2/9/2022

Lifestyle of Me

Review

2/10/2022

_BookBound_

Review

2/11/2022

My Fictional Oasis

Review

2/12/2022

Kait Plus Books

Review

Week Five:

2/13/2022

For the Love of KidLit

Review

2/14/2022

popthebutterfly

Review

2/15/2022

@jypsylynn

Review

2/16/2022

Wilted Pages

Review


A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe

A Golden Fury tour banner

Disclaimer: I received an e-arc and arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: A Golden Fury

Author: Samantha Cohoe

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 3.5/5

Recommended For…: sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction, magic

Publication Date: October 13, 2020

Genre: YA Fantasy

Recommended Age: 16+ (romance, slight sexual content, violence, slight gore, curses, sacrifice)

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Pages: 352

Synopsis: Thea Hope longs to be an alchemist out of the shadow of her famous mother. The two of them are close to creating the legendary Philosopher’s Stone—whose properties include immortality and can turn any metal into gold—but just when the promise of the Stone’s riches is in their grasp, Thea’s mother destroys the Stone in a sudden fit of violent madness.

While combing through her mother’s notes, Thea learns that there’s a curse on the Stone that causes anyone who tries to make it to lose their sanity. With the threat of the French Revolution looming, Thea is sent to Oxford for her safety, to live with the father who doesn’t know she exists.

But in Oxford, there are alchemists after the Stone who don’t believe Thea’s warning about the curse—instead, they’ll stop at nothing to steal Thea’s knowledge of how to create the Stone. But Thea can only run for so long, and soon she will have to choose: create the Stone and sacrifice her sanity, or let the people she loves die.

Review: For the most part I enjoyed the book. It was a fun, fast paced read and the writing was well done. The plot was intriguing enough to keep me reading throughout the book and I did like the premise of it. I also liked the strong family relationship in this book and how clear and strong the women were. The romance, while not the main focal point, was also cute and the friendship was cute as well.

However, the book jumped around a LOT and the book was very confusing as it did so. The book didn’t spend a lot of time world building and I wish that the book was further developed and slowed down and possibly even broken up into two books rather than one. The second half of the book particularly feels rushed and underdeveloped.

Verdict: It’s good, but it’s got issues.

The Falling In Love Montage by Ciara Smyth

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher and netgalley. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Falling in Love Montage

Author: Ciara Smyth

Book Series: Standalone

Diversity: F/f romance!

Rating: 5/5

Recommended For…: LGBT, f/f romance

Publication Date: June 9, 2020

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 362

Recommended Age: 16+ (dementia, romance)

Synopsis: Saoirse doesn’t believe in love at first sight or happy endings. If they were real, her mother would still be able to remember her name and not in a care home with early onset dementia. A condition that Saoirse may one day turn out to have inherited. So she’s not looking for a relationship. She doesn’t see the point in igniting any romantic sparks if she’s bound to burn out.

But after a chance encounter at an end-of-term house party, Saoirse is about to break her own rules. For a girl with one blue freckle, an irresistible sense of mischief, and a passion for rom-coms.

Unbothered by Saoirse’s no-relationships rulebook, Ruby proposes a loophole: They don’t need true love to have one summer of fun, complete with every cliché, rom-com montage-worthy date they can dream up—and a binding agreement to end their romance come fall. It would be the perfect plan, if they weren’t forgetting one thing about the Falling in Love Montage: when it’s over, the characters actually fall in love… for real.

Review: I thought this book was absolutely adorable. I loved the writing and the romance. The character development was amazing and the plot kept me intrigued. I also loved the setting and the world building was very well done.

My only issue is the pacing, I thought it was a little too slow for my personal tastes. I also thought the fourth wall breaking was well done but a bit weird and the ending was a bit weird.

Verdict: I highly recommend.