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The Shortest Distance Between Love & Hate by Sandy Hall
Pages: 288
Published by Swoon Reads on August 27, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, contemporary, Romance
Source: Paperback ARC from Publisher

A teen girl starting at a new school is torn between long-held loyalties and a bright new love.

Paisley is really looking forward to college. She is ready to take charge of her destiny and embrace some new experiences! Finding a hot guy to make out with at her first ever college party seems like a great start . . . until her best friend informs her that mystery guy is actually Carter Schmitt, Paisley's sworn enemy who basically ruined their lives in middle school.

So much for new people and exciting new experiences. Oh well. Paisley will just pretend he doesn't exist. Of course that would be easier if Carter, AKA her super-hot-sworn-enemy, hadn't ended up in three of her classes AND the same work study. Is it too late to rethink this college thing?



The Shortest Distance Between Love & Hate was an ok read. It is a young adult contemporary romance standalone by Sandy Hall. I wanted to love this book so much. It has so many elements that are big winners to me. I love a hate to love dynamic. In fact, it is one of my favorite. And I did really enjoy some aspects of this story, but there were also some character issues that detracted from my enjoyment. Do let me break down what I liked and what I didn’t like as much.

Let’s start with what I liked:
First, I love a enemies to love trope. I find the banter, the pranks, the revenge all a lot of fun to read about. And there were plenty of pranks, and revenge present in this story. It was a fun read, and the overall romance progression was nice. It was so clear that Paisley and Carter are well suited. They both so clearly like each other, that Paisley had to actively remind herself to hate Carter. A bunch.

Second, I loved the complexities of Carter. He is seriously going through some stuff. He was my favorite character in the book, by a long shot. Yes he has anger issues and yes he has self worth issues, but he was complex and real and so darn likeable that I was almost 100% of the time on team Carter.

And finally, this book ended on a cute note. Overall it is cute romance that I enjoyed. The middle just didn’t blow my socks off. The ending made up for some of that though.

And now for what I didn’t love:

First, Paisley irritated me. I wanted to like her. I was on board with her at first. She is a college freshman, who is looking forward to all of the new experiences that college will bring. And at her very first party, she meets Carter, who she thinks is someone else. In reality, he is the person that bullied her best friend in middle school. Once she finds out, her crush on him is canceled and instead she starts her revenge plan on behalf of her best friend. Paisley seemed so darn immature, I really couldn’t stand her. She redeemed herself a bit by the end, but man she bugged me.

Here’s the thing, Carter was a jerk in middle school. I believe that to be true, but even Paisley’s best friend told her to cut him some slack and get over it. Her freind was not holding a grudge, so I don’t know why Paisley needed to be holding a grudge. Plus, Carter apologized and seems to be a legitimately good guy now. Not to mention the fact that he was 12-13 when he was a jerk and Paisley is 18-19 when she was a jerk. She is in college, she should know better than Carter’s 12 year old self. Not ok. (and no Carter is not perfect either. In fact, there were times that he bothered me too, but it was on a different level than Paisley’s irritation.)

Second, which kind of ties in to the first reason, I just found the whole revenge plot to be immature, on everyone’s part. It got to be a bit much by the middle of the book, but luckily I kept reading and the book did get better by the end.

Like I said above, I did like this story. I just didn’t love it the way I was hoping I would. If you are a looking for a fun read that turns out to be a cute romance, and you don’t mind a bit of immature revenge, then The Shortest Distance Between Love & Hate might be a cute book you will really enjoy.

To enter, fill out the rafflecopter below to win my ARC of The Shortest Distance between Love & Hate (US only)

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The post {ARC Review+Giveaway} The Shortest Distance Between Love & Hate by Sandy Hall appeared first on Book Briefs.

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The Thirteenth Guardian by K.M. Lewis
Pages: 307
on June 7, 2019
Series: The Thirteenth Guardian #1
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy & Magic
Source: ecopy from Author

Da Vinci’s secret pales. Michelangelo concealed an explosive truth in his famous Creation of Man fresco in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. Everything we have been taught about Eve is wrong—she didn’t cause the fall of man. Instead, Eve carried a far more devastating secret for millennia; one that will change the world forever. 


As the modern-day world suffers the cataclysmic effects of the “Plagues of Egypt”, Avery Fitzgerald, a statuesque Astrophysics major at Stanford, discovers that she is mysteriously bound to five strangers by an extremely rare condition that foremost medical experts cannot explain. Thrust into extraordinary circumstances, they race against time to stay alive as they are pursued by an age-old adversary and the world around them collapses into annihilation.

 Under sacred oath, The Guardians—a far more archaic and enigmatic secret society than the Freemasons, Templars, and the Priory—protect Avery as she embarks on a daring quest that only legends of old have been on before. Avery must come to terms with the shocking realization that the blood of an ancient queen flows through her veins and that the fate of the world now rests on her shoulders.

The Thirteenth Guardian is Book I of a Trilogy.



The Thirteenth Guardian is the first book in the young adult trilogy by the same name by author K.M. Lewis. The Thirteenth Guardian is like the DaVinci Code mashed with a re occurrence of the plagues of Egypt. It is a whirlwind adventure from start to finish. I really got swept up in this book, and though there was a bit much going on at times, it was a really well done novel, and it has left me excited to continue on in the trilogy. I really need to see what is going to happen next! Be warned though, this series is about the apocalypse. There are a series of natural disasters that threaten to destroy earth, so be forewarned about that going into the series.

In The Thirteenth Guardian, we meet a group of six strangers that find themselves inexplicably bound together. The first of the strangers that we meet is Avery, but the book is told from all of their perspectives, switching off between chapters with each of our 6 perspectives. I love reading a book told in multiple perspectives, and though six might seem like too much, K.M. Lewis made it work. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite character so far. I think I will be able to pick one after I read the second book, but so far I really like the whole cast of characters. There is a bit of mary Sue (and whatever the male equivalent is to a too perfect character) but I think as the books progress, we will really do a deep dive into what makes the characters who they are. Them being so perfect didn’t really bother me while I was reading, partly because there were so many other things going on in the plot for me to focus on.

This book had some many elements that I love. There is a quest style adventure, full of secrets, secret societies and history. This is a book right up my alley and I have to say K.M. Lewis really delivered. The writing is fantastic and the plot is really intricate and interesting. At times the story may feel overwhelming because of the sheer amount going on, but just stick with it, because it all comes together, and it leaves you wanting the next book immediately. If you are a fan of secret societies throughout history and you love the adventure style of the Robert Langdon books, then the Thirteenth Guardian trilogy is going to be right up your alley. I really enjoyed this book. I can’t wait for the next one in the trilogy!

To enter, fill out the rafflecopter below to win

Note: Book Briefs Contest Policy applies.  All of the prizes, terms and conditions of the giveaway should be contained in the rafflecopter below. No Purchase necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law.

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About K.M. Lewis

K.M. Lewis has lived in multiple countries around the world and speaks several languages. Lewis holds a graduate degree from one of the Universities featured in his book. When he is not writing, Lewis doubles as a management consultant, with clients in just about every continent. He does much of his writing while on long flights and at farflung airports around the globe. He currently resides on the East Coast of the United States with his family.

Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

The post {Review+Giveaway} The Thirteenth Guardian by K.M. Lewis appeared first on Book Briefs.

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Rules We're Meant to Break by Natalie Williamson
Pages: 304
Published by Swoon Reads on June 11, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, contemporary
Source: eARC from Publisher

Honest and full of heart, this clever contemporary romance debut deftly combines utterly relatable family drama with all the sweetness and uncertainy that comes with falling in love.

Rule #1: Don't get attached.

Amber lives by strict rules to survive her mother’s love life: Always keep your eyes on the horizon and never get close to anyone connected to Mom's boyfriends.

But after they move in with Kevin, the latest of her mom's “soul mates,” the rules become increasingly difficult to follow. Kevin’s daughter, Cammie, keeps acting like Amber’s friend, even though she’s definitely not. And Jordan—star basketball player, hottest boy in school, and Cammie's best friend—keeps showing up at the most inconvenient moments.

Amber has reasons for every one of her rules, and following them is the only way to protect her heart when her mom inevitably moves on. But as she spends more time with Kevin, his daughter, and especially Jordan, she starts to wonder if the rules might be worth breaking this time.

Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan's young adult imprint Swoon Reads, Rules We're Meant to Break is a charming, heartachingly real story of family and young love by debut author Natalie Williamson.

Praise for Rules We're Meant to Break:

“The last time I devoured a book like this—I can't even remember. … It was so openhearted and raw.” —Clarissa, reader on SwoonReads.com

"It is such a true true story about a girl finding herself within her first love. I loved it!" —Forever Bookish, reader on SwoonReads.com



Rules We’re Meant to Break is young adult contemporary romance by Natalie Williamson. This might sound kind of weird, but I was immediately drawn into this book because of it’s cover. It is not a traditionally beautiful young adult cover, but it made me think that I would relate to the main character, Amber. I loved how neat and orderly everything was. That plus the reference to rules, and I knew this was going to be a really cute read that would make me smile. And it totally was. Rules We’re Meant to Break is an adorable romance full of heart.

You might think Amber, who is our main character, has these rules set out for herself, but no. Initially, these rules were put in place for Amber to survive her mother’s long string of boyfriends. I loved Amber’s love of dogs, and animals in general. I really, really loved Buffy her dog, and Amber’s obsession with the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but sadly, I didn’t connect with Amber the way that I was initially hoping to. She was ok, but I was really wishing that I would have seen a bit more character growth from her overall. She is nice enough, but sometimes had a tendency to be seen as a petulant child rather than the young adult that she was becoming. But what I did love about Rule We’re Meant to Break was the dynamic between all of the characters in this book. Hannah and Jordan, and even Kevin (mom’s latest boyfriend)  were excellent additions to cast of characters.

Overall, Rules We’re Meant to Break is a cute read with some nice modern family dynamics, and a cute romance. Though Amber seemed a bit immature at times, she was a character that I still found pretty easy to root for. I wanted her to succeed and I wanted to see her, and her mom, happy. If you are a fan of strong modern or single parent familial themes and a cute young adult romance, Rules We’re Meant to Break might be a winner for you. I thought it was a cute read.

To enter, fill out the rafflecopter below to win

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About Natalie Williamson

Natalie Williamson is an HR person by day and a YA writer by night and nap time. She referenced Harry Potter in her first ever full time job interview, which tells you almost all the things you need to know about her. Other important things to know include: she loves her husband, daughter, dogs, and cat; she has a serious dessert problem; and she frequently Wikipedias movies and TV shows to find out if they have happy endings. RULES WE’RE MEANT TO BREAK is her debut novel.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest

The post {Review+Giveaway} Rules We’re Meant to Break by Natalie Williamson appeared first on Book Briefs.

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Skies of Olympus: Books One, Two & Three by Eliza Raine
Pages: 338
Published by Createspace Independent Pub on May 11, 2019
Series: The Immortality Trials #1
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, mythology
Source: ecopy from Author

Twelve deadly Trials. A race for immortality. Her last chance for revenge.

Olympus is a beautiful but dangerous place, controlled by twelve gods wielding unlimited power. Now they have devised the a new kind of entertainment; a chance for their favourites to compete in twelve Trials to win the ultimate prize - immortality.

Lyssa didn’t think the Gods knew who she was, until she was chosen to try out for the Trials with the crew of her old but beloved smugglers ship, the Alastor. For her the Trials are about much more than an eternal life. They're about stopping the monster from her past gaining the one thing that would put her revenge out of reach forever. Can she face her murderous father and stop him from becoming immortal?

Join Lyssa as she takes on the deadly Trials alongside giants, centaurs, satyrs and gods in the first three of twelve episodes of this Greek mythology fantasy retelling.

You've never read Greek mythology like this before...



Skies of Olympus is the first book in the Immortality trials series by author Eliza Raine. The Immortality trials is a unique series set up that I am really digging. This is a line from the summary “Join Lyssa as she takes on the deadly Trials alongside giants, centaurs, satyrs and gods in the first three of twelve episodes of this Greek mythology fantasy retelling.” Umm, yes please! Sign me up right away! It is a young adult mythology fantasy split up into twelve trials. Each of the books in the series will feature 3 of the 12 trials. Skies of Olympus features the trials of Hera, Athena and Artemis. I love a bind up of shorter stories that are interconnected because once you get going, you just fly through the pages.

I will admit that this story had a bit of a slow and a tad confusing start for me. Here we meet Lyssa, our main character, and the daughter of a cruel Hercules. Lyssa is the captain of her own smuggling ship, where she smuggles goods between the realms of the 12 gods. I am all about a good quest or trials book and that is exactly what Eliza Raine delivers. I loved the first three trials and I am already hungry for more. If you are like me and you are kind of confused at the start of the story, just stick with it. After a little while, everything clicks and the story takes off from there.

One of my favorite things about stories centered around Greek mythology are all of the interesting characters, which was a highlight in Skies of Olympus for me as well. Lyssa is a great main character, and I think we still have many things to learn about her. But what is even better is that throughout the trials, we get to meet new characters. The side.secondary characters are just as much fun as Lyssa. After I read the second book, I will do a character roundup for some of my favorite secondary characters.

Overall, if you are a fan of mythology books, the Immorality Trials is a series you are going to want to check out. Skies of Olympus was a good start to a series that I think will become a very addictive and fun read. I can’t wait for the next three trials.

To enter, fill out the rafflecopter below to win a $25 amazon gift card (Open INT)

Note: Book Briefs Contest Policy applies.  All of the prizes, terms and conditions of the giveaway should be contained in the rafflecopter below. No Purchase necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law.

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About Eliza Raine

Eliza Raine lives near Reading in England with her husband, three cats and outrageously cute puppy. She has a BA Hons in History and has a deep-rooted passion for all types of mythology and stories about women who don’t need rescuing.

She can usually be found reading fairytale retellings, playing board games or binge-watching Netflix shows.

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

The post {Review+Giveaway} Skies of Olympus by Eliza Raine appeared first on Book Briefs.

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Forever Chosen Pages: 178
Published by Independently published on May 17, 2019
Series: Vampire Brides
Genres: adult, Paranormal, Romance
Source: ecopy from Author

Five hundred years ago, Hayden fell into Caleb's brutal hands, the ruthless vampire who first claimed his mortal life, then his mind. Tortured into absolute submission, Hayden spent centuries at the powerful lord's right hand, a broken shell of the man he had once been. Until the night he was sent to kill her. Katherine, a young woman whose innocence and sweet nature woke a part of him Hayden had thought long dead. After joining forces with the local vampire clan, Hayden turned on his master, betraying the man he had sworn to eternally obey. However, before the villain could be laid to permanent rest, Caleb vanished. Katherine fell hard for Hayden's protective nature, while his mysterious aura captivated her. Yet after only a single night in his arms, Hayden pushed her away, stating their love could never be.

Confused by the rejection, Katherine struggled to move forward, left with no options but to deny her heart the battered soul it craved.Now, Caleb has returned, set on delivering vengeance against both the man who betrayed him, and the catalyst for his defection. Katherine and Hayden must discover a way to avoid Caleb's evil intent, while determining if there is any future for their love.
Forever Chosen is a novella featured in the Vampire Brides series. Books in the Vampire Brides series can be read in any order.Don't miss a single bride!



Forever Chosen is an adult paranormal romance novella in the vampire brides series. The books in the vampire brides series are each standalones, so they can be read in any order, and they are all written by different authors and have different lengths and heat levels. I like the concept behind a series like this, and I think it would be perfect if you are craving some vampire romance. My problem is I think I am just over vampires at the moment. Most of the time, they don’t feel unique or different enough, and that was kind of my experience with Forever Chosen. This book was ok. It was well written and the story and characters were fine. It just didn’t excite me because I didn’t really want to be reading about vampires. That is entirely a me issue, not a book issue. I think if you are in the mood for a vampire romance, this book and this series will be right up your alley.

Forever Chosen is the story of Katherine, a human girl and Hayden. The story starts out with Hayden being turned into a vampire, and let me tell you it is not a pretty tale of turning. He was turned by a very cruel master and then he was tortured for a very long time, which is saying a lot for an immortal creature. So his torture has stuck with him. Even so, I really enjoyed Hayden. I felt his struggle and I felt his emotion towards Katherine. Their story was a nice one. It clocked in at about 175 pages, so I flew through it very quickly, but in the end I was left with the impression that it was just ok. I have read other books by K.L. Bone and I really enjoy her writing style. I would recommend checking out her Rise of the Temple Gods series. Forever Chosen was just an ok read for me.

To enter, fill out the rafflecopter below to win

Note: Book Briefs Contest Policy applies.  All of the prizes, terms and conditions of the giveaway should be contained in the rafflecopter below. No Purchase necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law.

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

5/27/2019- BookHounds– Excerpt

5/28/2019- TMBA Corbett Tries to Write– Review

5/29/2019- Treestand Book Reviews– Review

5/30/2019- Books a Plenty Book Reviews– Review

5/31/2019- Midwest Romantic– Excerpt

Week Two:

6/3/2019- K.L. Novitzke – Author– Excerpt

6/4/2019- Down the Rabbit Hole– Review

6/5/2019- Two Chicks on Books– Excerpt

6/6/2019- Bookbriefs– Review

6/7/2019- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review

About K.L. Bone

K.L. Bone is a bestselling author of dark fantasy and paranormal romance. Her works include the bestselling Black Rose Guard dark fantasy series. The bestselling Flames of Kalleen paranormal romance series. The Rise of the Temple Gods fantasy series. And a stand-alone science fiction novel, The Indoctrination.

Bone has a master’s degree in modern literary cultures and is working toward her PhD. She wrote her first short story at the age of fifteen and grew up with an equally great love of both classical literature and speculative fiction. Bone has spent the last few years as a bit of a world traveler, living in California, London, and most recently, Dublin. When not immersed in words, of her own creation or studies, you’ll find her traveling to mythical sites and Game of Thrones filming locations.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon

The post {Review+Giveaway} Forever Chosen by K.L. Bone appeared first on Book Briefs.

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Wolves & Monsters by Dyan Chick
Pages: 197
on May 28, 2019
Series: Siren Problems #1
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Source: eARC from Author

They call me a monster but I’m nothing compared to the other things that go bump in the night.

Sirens have a bad rep. I know that. They say we lure men to their deaths with our songs. But I promise you, I’ve never lured a man. They always come to me willingly. Is it my fault that once they spend the night with me they seem to have bad luck? They make the choice to be with me. At least that’s what I tell myself. If I let myself think about the bodies I seem to leave behind, I would start to feel guilty. And nobody has time for that.

The problem is, I accidentally lured the wrong man to his death. How was I supposed to know the mage who tragically died after having sex with me was the son of the most powerful mage in the supe community? How was I supposed to know that a casual hook up would result in them sending some of the really bad monsters after me?

I’ve only got one shot at staying alive and it’s going to involve finding the one that got away. The only guy I ever loved. The problem is, when I left, I broke his heart. And werewolves don’t take kindly to being dumped. I’m sure nothing about this plan is going to go wrong.



Wolves & Monsters is the first book in the Siren Problems series by Dyan Chick. The Siren problems series is a new adult paranormal romance series. I thought this was a good first book. It is a little on the short side and it is very, very action packed so if you are looking for a fast paced read with a second chance romance and adventure, this is going to be a great quick fix book for you. Not to mention, it is has wet my appetite for more in the siren problem series.

I don’t get to read too many books featuring a siren as the main character, so I was immediately intrigued by our main character Angie. Angie is a siren that feels like she is cursed. Every man that she has ever been with has died shortly thereafter. So when she actually fell in love for the first time, she high tailed it out of town so she couldn’t kill him. But her newest death by siren problems has caused her to run back to the town of Crescent Falls to seek the help of her ex boyfriend, Jason. I loved Jason, and honestly I really liked Angie as well. Angie brings trouble with her to town, and the rest of the book is spent trying to figure out what demons have followed her to town and to see why they are trying to cause trouble. I enjoyed the adventure/demon fighting aspect of the story. It had a Buffy or Lost Girl kind of vibe to it, which I dug.

But I was hoping for a bit more romance(though I think that will be to come in the next installments) and a bit more information on Angie’s Siren powers and why guys end up dead after sleeping with her. We got to get a little answer on this, but I was hoping for a lot more. I think that will be to come in the next book, at least I really hope so! I liked Wolves and Monsters, and I can’t wait to see what is going to happen in the next book in the Siren Problem series.

To enter, fill out the rafflecopter below to win a $10 amazon gift card (open INT)

Note: Book Briefs Contest Policy applies.  All of the prizes, terms and conditions of the giveaway should be contained in the rafflecopter below. No Purchase necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

5/27/2019- Goldilox and the Three Weres– Review

5/27/2019- K.L. Novitzke – Author– Excerpt

5/28/2019- BookHounds– Excerpt

5/28/2019- Books a Plenty Book Reviews– Review

5/29/2019- TMBA Corbett Tries to Write– Excerpt

5/29/2019- Two Chicks on Books– Excerpt

5/30/2019- Burgandy Ice– Excerpt

5/30/2019- Good Choice Reading– Spotlight

5/31/2019- Parajunkee– Excerpt

Week Two:

6/3/2019- Smada’s Book Smack– Spotlight

6/3/2019- Jaime’s World– Excerpt

6/4/2019- Owl Always Be Reading– Excerpt

6/5/2019- JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder– Excerpt

6/5/2019- Bookbriefs– Review

6/6/2019- Midwest Romantic – Excerpt

6/7/2019- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review

About Dyan Chick

My story is probably similar to a lot of other writers out there. As a kid, I was creative, imaginative, and loved to write. I’d write scripts for plays and make my sisters act them out. I got excited about the writing prompts for standardized tests in elementary school. I started writing my first (unfinished) novel in 5th grade. Then started another one in middle school. For a long time, I was a closet writer. I didn’t tell anybody that I had a hard drive full of abandoned stories. After years of not finishing anything, I finally took the plunge and started taking writing, and myself as a writer, seriously. My first novel, Heir of Illaria, published January 23, 2017. Book 2 is right around the corner. It’s gone from closet hobby to full on addiction. Thankfully, I have a wonderfully supportive husband who doesn’t look at me like I’m crazy when I talk about my characters as if they’re real.

Sign up for Dyan’s Newsletter!

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram

The post {Review+Giveaway} Wolves & Monsters by Dyan Chick appeared first on Book Briefs.

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Gather the Fortunes by Bryan Camp
Pages: 384
Published by John Joseph Adams/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on May 21, 2019
Series: Crescent City #2
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic
Source: Finished Hardcover from Publisher

Renaissance Raines has found her place among the psychopomps—the guides who lead the souls of the recently departed through the Seven Gates of the Underworld—and done her best to avoid the notice of gods and mortals alike. But when a young boy named Ramses St. Cyr manages to escape his foretold death, Renai finds herself at the center of a deity-thick plot unfolding in New Orleans. Someone helped Ramses slip free of his destined end -- someone willing to risk everything to steal a little slice of power for themselves.

Is it one of the storm gods that’s descended on the city? The death god who’s locked the Gates of the Underworld? Or the manipulative sorcerer who also cheated Death?  When she finds the schemer, there’s gonna be all kinds of hell to pay, because there are scarier things than death in the Crescent City. Renaissance Raines is one of them.



Gather the Fortunes is the second book in the young adult fantasy Crescent City series by author Bryan Camp. Though you do not need to read the first book, in order to understand and enjoy the second novel, I would advise it. I went into the second book without having read the first book, and I think that detracted from my overall enjoyment of the story. I found myself wanting to know more about the world. Though, to my knowledge the second book follows a different character than the first book- The City of Lost Fortunes does, so I think in that regard you should be fine.

Gather the Fortunes was a great read. There are so many aspects of the story that I really love. First, I love the New Orleans setting, and Bryan Camp’s New Orleans is even cooler because we get to experience both the normal New Orleans as well as the underworld New Orleans filled with Gods and Magic. Which leads me to the next thing that I loved- Gods. I adore any book that features gods of any sort of mythology, and Gather the Fortunes had that in spades. This was a really fun and magical adventure.

The main character in Gather the Fortunes, Renaissance Raines or Renai, is a psychopomp, which is someone who lead the souls of the dead through the Seven Gates of the Underworld. Renai is a great main character. I loved that she had a good moral compass and I also loved how spunky she was. Dealing with gods of the underworld is no easy feat. I was really intrigued about the mission she was tasked with. Along with her mission we got to learn more about the gates of the underworld and the gods and magic found within. I really loved that aspect of the story.

I think fans of The City of Lost Fortunes will really enjoy Gather the Fortunes, and I am proof that a reader can also start on this second book and really love the story. If I had a do over, I would have chosen to first read The City of Lost Fortunes before I dove into Gather the Fortunes. So if you have the choice, I would grab both books and read them back to back. If you are a fan of fantasy books set in New Orleans and the Underworld, the Crescent City series is one for you to check out.

Praise for GATHER THE FORTUNES

“Camp’s prose is suspenseful and rich with feeling, highlighting an incredible heroine. VERDICT: Full of magic and numerous mythologies but still tied to the lush New Orleans setting, this Crescent City is one readers will not want to leave.” —Library Journal, STARRED

“Savory…Renai’s second outing is as raucous as her first, and the magic is just as double-edged and slippery… Renai is a real standout of a heroine, a powerful African-American woman cutting through bad or desperate situations in living and dead realms of increasing chaos, armed with snark, courage, and a storm of magic drawn from deep within her. This will be a feast for all lovers of urban and dark fantasy.” —Publishers Weekly, STARRED

“The second Crescent City book (after The City of Lost Fortunes, 2018) once again displays Camp’s ability to weave different mythological beliefs in fascinating ways. Readers will relate to Renai as she learns her most trusted guides are unreliable in this fast-paced urban fantasy.” —Booklist, STARRED

“In this second installment of his Crescent City urban fantasy series, Camp raises the stakes and broadens the scope of his alternate world…the richness and inventiveness of Camp’s vision and the vivacity, warmth, and compassion of his leading woman keep you alert to whatever’s happening next. As with the real New Orleans, once you leave this creepier but just as colorful variant, you’ll be eager to go back.” —Kirkus Reviews

“What a joy it is to return to Bryan Camp’s weird, dark, vivid, gorgeous magical New Orleans. Highly recommended!” —Sam J. Miller, award-winning author of Blackfish City

“The magic and mythological heft of Bryan Camp’s debut doesn’t lose any momentum in Gather the Fortunes. He captures the essence and resilience of a still healing New Orleans by digging into the parts of a city too often ignored by the well-to-do and powerful. If The City of Lost Fortunes was a love letter to New Orleans then its next installment is an Earl King blue’s song.” —Brent Lambert, editor at FIYAH Magazine

To enter, fill out the rafflecopter below to win 1 of 10 copies of Gather the Fortunes

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About Bryan Camp

Bryan Camp is a graduate of the Clarion West Writer’s Workshop and the University of New Orleans’ Low-Residency MFA program. He started his first novel, The City of Lost Fortunes, in the backseat of his parents’ car as they evacuated for Hurricane Katrina. He has been, at various points in his life: a security guard at a stockcar race track, a printer in a flag factory, an office worker in an oil refinery, and a high school English teacher. He can be found on twitter @bryancamp and at bryancamp.com. He lives in New Orleans with his wife and their three cats, one of whom is named after a superhero.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram

The post {Review+Giveaway} Gather the Fortunes by @BryanCamp appeared first on Book Briefs.

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The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg
Pages: 352
Published by Henry Holt & Company on May 28, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller


Welcome to the Kingdom... where 'Happily Ever After' isn't just a promise, but a rule.

Glimmering like a jewel behind its gateway, The Kingdom(TM) is an immersive fantasy theme park where guests soar on virtual dragons, castles loom like giants, and bioengineered species--formerly extinct--roam free.

Ana is one of seven Fantasists, beautiful "princesses" engineered to make dreams come true. When she meets park employee Owen, Ana begins to experience emotions beyond her programming including, for the first time... love.

But the fairytale becomes a nightmare when Ana is accused of murdering Owen, igniting the trial of the century. Through courtroom testimony, interviews, and Ana's memories of Owen, emerges a tale of love, lies, and cruelty--and what it truly means to be human.



The Kingdom is a young adult sci-fi thriller by author Jess Rothenberg. This book took me completely by surprise. First off, I am totally in love with the cover. And then I read the synopsis, and I was immediately intrigued. Robot theme park princesses with advanced AI technology. Umm, yes please! Not only the princesses, the whole idea of the park sounds cool. Like jurrasic park, mixed with AI disney, with a Westworld vibe. I was totally down for this story. And then I started reading, and I was hooked from the very first page. I love the format that the story is told in. Mixed in with he crime/murder mystery- The Kingdom is easily one of my favorite young adult books of 2019.

Behind the gates of The Kingdom theme park, you wildest fantasies come to life. Do you love dinosaurs and animals? Awesome- you can visit AI versions of extinct animals. Are disney princesses your thing? Perfect, the Fantasists princesses are there to make all of your princess dreams come true. Love fantasy- there are the most amazing virtual reality exhibits for you to check out. All in all, The Kingdom sounds like a fantasy lovers dream theme park.

Ana is one of the theme parks 7 Fantasist princesses. The princesses are housed on park property and they have never seen a world outside of the park. The seven of them are they only family they have ever known. Ana is our main character, and the story starts out when she begins to notice some strange things going on with one of her sister Fantasists. And then there is a murder of a park employee, and none other than Ana is being blamed. From there on out the book is told in dual timelines, the timeline leading up to the murder and the present day of the murder trial. I loved the format of the present day timeline. It is told in video clips, pictures, and trial transcripts, which made the book feel interactive and kept it fast paced.

I loved seeing Ana and Owen, and I really loved the sinister mysterious vibe of The Kingdom. I am unsure if there is going to be a second book or not, but I am really, really hoping so! I loved The Kingdom. I think it is perfect for fans of murder mysteries and fans of science fiction. Honestly, I think the kingdom is a book that pretty much everyone will love. It is one of the best books I have read this year. Hands down.

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The post {Review} The Kingdom by @JessRothenberg #TheKingdomAwaits @FierceReads appeared first on Book Briefs.

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I am so excited that THE MISSING SEASON by Gillian French is available now and that I get to share the news!
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Gillian French, be sure to check out all the details below.
This blitz also includes a giveaway for FOUR signed copies of the book, Us Only, courtesy of Gillian and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
About the Book:
Title: THE MISSING SEASON
Pub. Date: May 21, 2019
Publisher: HarperTeen
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 304
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonKindleB&NiBooksKoboTBD
From the author of Edgar Award finalist Grit and The Lies They Tell comes a tense, atmospheric novel for fans of E. Lockhart and Marieke Nijkamp, about friendship, truth, and the creeping fears that can’t be outrun. 
Whenever another kid goes missing in October, the kids in the old factory town of Pender know what is really behind it: a monster out in the marshes that they call the Mumbler.
That’s what Clara’s new crew tells her when she moves to town. Bree and Sage, who take her under their wing. Spirited Trace, who has taken the lead on this year’s Halloween prank war. And magnetic Kincaid, whose devil-may-care attitude and air of mystery are impossible for Clara to resist.
Clara doesn’t actually believe in the Mumbler–not like Kinkaid does. But as Halloween gets closer and tensions build in the town, it’s hard to shake the feeling that there really is something dark and dangerous in Pender. Lurking in the shadows. Waiting to bring the stories to life.
“It’s sad, you coming here.” Kincaid
takes me in, his smile fading. “Now you’ve got no chance.”No chance. Like he read it in my tea
leaves or the lines of my palm. “Why?”

“Because he only takes Pender kids. Likes
our taste, I guess.” Kincaid drops his board, glides backward on one foot,
never breaking eye contact. “Like . . . hopelessness.”

“And Steak-umms from the caf,” somebody
says, making people snicker.

“Liver.” Trace shows his teeth. “God, I
love that shit.”

“What about Gavin Cotswold?” Sage says.
“Have they figured out how he died yet?”

“Mumbler got him.” Trace.

“He OD’d.” Bree gives Trace a withering
look. “He went out in the woods, got fucked up, and died. His own mom thinks
so.”

“I heard the animals didn’t leave enough
of him behind to be sure.” Trace says. Then, to Kincaid, “Tell her about the
first boy. Ricky Whoever.”

“Sartain. Ricky Sartain.” Behind
Kincaid, most of the activity has stopped, everybody pulling up some concrete
to listen. He’s holding court, a storyteller who knows his audience. “It all
started, like, twenty years ago. Kid went missing two days before they found
him on the banks of the marsh, way out by the railroad bridge.” Kincaid nods
slowly, easing into it. “Somebody put their hands all over him.”

More covert laughter, Trace’s whisper:
“Loved to death.”

Kincaid entwines his fingers, working
his palms together in sinuous rhythm. “Squeezed him, crushed him. Mashed his
spine, smashed his belly.”

A voice speaks up: “My mom said that kid
got hit by the train.”

“Of course she did.” Kincaid doesn’t
turn. “She also told you that Santa Claus is real and honesty is the best
policy and if you’re good, you’ll get into heaven, right?”

Snorts. Somebody mimics, “But my mommy
said,” whacking the boy who interrupted with a baseball cap.

“He was folded in half.” Sage grips
Trace’s forearm. “That’s what I heard.”

“No.” Kincaid’s hands are tai chi slow.
“Lengthwise.”

“Stop.” Bree says it under her breath;
I’m the only one who hears.

“Ricky disappeared right around
Halloween. That’s the pattern.” Kincaid skates a circuit around us, dismounts,
and slaps the tail of the board so it pops into his hand again, all one smooth
movement that I wish I could watch again frame by frame. “Truth. After, Ricky’s
friends told everybody how they’d all gone out to the railroad bridge to smash
pumpkins one night, and there was somebody hiding under there. Too dark to see,
but they heard him, mumbling and yammering away.”

Yip, yip, yip! I look up to see audience
participation, lumbering shapes aping around the others, sounding like a zoo
after hours—Ahhh-ah-ah-ah! Mwaaa-hoohoo!

“Next time anybody saw Ricky, he was red
guacamole.” Kincaid pauses, smiling faintly, but he’s not really seeing me now.
“Ever since, Mumbler’s been around. Takes a bad kid every few years, always in
October. Grown-ups have some bullshit excuse for what happened to them, but we
know.”

Nods pass around the circle. I watch for
inside looks—they’ll drop the act when they see I’m not taken in—but the quiet
drags on. “What’s the Mumbler look like?” I hold
Kincaid’s gaze, willing him to let me in
on this, let me prove I don’t scare easy. “So I’ll know him if I see him.”

Kincaid looks to Trace, again with the
smile that creases his eyes into merry slits, a kid showing his little sister
where Mom hides the Christmas presents. “We can take you to him.”

 
I’m a ridiculous, sometimes cranky, often hungry, frequently writing flibbertigibbet who really hopes she can keep doing this for a living.
My debut novel, GRIT (HarperTeen), was an Indie Next List pick, a Junior Library Guild Selection, received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and ALA Booklist, was an Edgar Award Finalist, a South Carolina Young Adult Book Award Finalist, and received both a 2018 Lupine Award from the Maine Library Association and a 2018 Maine Literary Award from the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance.
My other novels include THE DOOR TO JANUARY (Islandport Press; Bram Stoker Award Finalist), THE LIES THEY TELL (HarperTeen; 2019 International Thriller Award Finalist, 2019 Maine Literary Award Finalist, 2018 Junior Library Guild Selection), and THE MISSING SEASON (HarperTeen, coming 5/21/2019; preorder giveaway happening now). My short fiction has placed in Writer’s Digest and Zoetrope: All Story contests, as well as appearing in such publications as Weirdbook and Creepy Campfire Stories for Grownups.
I hold a BA in English from the University of Maine, and I’m a member of the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance, Mystery Writers of America, and the Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators. Currently, I still live in my native state of Maine–shocker, I know–with my husband and sons, where I’m perpetually agonizing over my next novel (in the best possible way, of course!)

To enter, fill out the rafflecopter below to win

4 winners will win a signed finished copy of THE MISSING SEASON, US Only

Note: Book Briefs Contest Policy applies.  All of the prizes, terms and conditions of the giveaway should be contained in the rafflecopter below. No Purchase necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post {Excerpt+Giveaway} THE MISSING SEASON by Gillian French appeared first on Book Briefs.

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