Book Review of Roaring by Lindsey Duga

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Title: Roaring

Author: Lindsey Duga

Genre: YA Historical Fantasy

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 5/5

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Back cover:

Colt Clemmons is an agent in a specialized division within the Bureau of Investigation—one that hunts down not just mobsters, but also monsters.

For reasons that are kept top secret, Colt is the only person who can resist a siren’s voice. But he’s never had a chance to test this ability. The last siren left in the world mysteriously disappeared years ago.

Then one night, with a single word, she reveals herself. It seems too good to be true.

And it is. Because nothing about this siren—her past, her powers, or her purpose—is what it seems…

*I received this book from YA Bound Tours for an honest review*

I could not put this book down! This is a great historical fantasy that is set in the 1930s with flappers, speakeasies, and monsters! What more could you want? It felt like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them mixed with Percy Jackson. There were a lot of twists and turns and I found it to be paced perfectly and had the right amount of information that kept me interested.

The main character, a siren, is on the radar of more than one agency. The government wants her, the people who have been hiding her don’t want anyone to know what she is, and her original creator wants her back. Little does she know that her gifts are actually supernatural powers that have been forced upon her at a young age.

That is, until Colt comes in. He throws her life for a loop as he wants to take her back to the US government headquarters. Never did he realize what other mysteries were surrounding her and the other monsters in the dark. A great spin on the genre that kept me wanting more. I hope there are more books in this series, as I want to know what else is in store for them.

I highly recommend for fans of the 1930s and fantasy!

~Dani

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Excerpt:

Still with Madame Maldu’s gaze at my back, I slipped around the bar and headed for the young man sitting by himself, his fedora pulled low over his eyes. His sleeves had been rolled up to his elbows, showing off pale, but muscular, hands, wrists, and arms. It was a warm autumn for Boston, so his lack of coat wasn’t odd, but it stood out. In fact, he was the kind of fella who seemed like he could do whatever he wanted. If his goal was to blend in and not be seen, he could throw on his coat and sit with a drink and not talk to anyone, becoming one with the furniture. If he preferred to stand out, he could tip his hat back, and lift his face and smile, but if he wanted just the right kind of attention, all he needed to do was roll up his sleeves.

I shook my head. How could I have gotten all that from his exposed forearms?

Walking up to his table, I pulled out my waitressing tools and poised my pencil on my pad of paper, awaiting his order.

It was then that he looked up and I got a peak at the face below the hat.

His eyes were dark. It was the first thing I noticed. Eyes where you could barely tell if there were pupils at all.

It was clear he was attractive, but not in a pretty, hotsy-totsy sort of way. His face was geometric. Perfect, square jaw, a straight plane nose, triangular, high cheekbones, and a rectangle forehead. His light brown hair, practically blond, was swept to the side under his hat. But, like Madame Maldu, he was not handsome solely because of his looks, it was his air. His…competence.

A strange way to describe a stranger, perhaps, but it seemed to me that this was a fella who knew his place in life. His past. His present. Maybe even his future.

It wasn’t until he cleared his throat that I realized I was staring. Redirecting my gaze to the pad of paper, I waited for his order, heat creeping up my neck and into my cheeks, and a small shiver going down my spine.

He said nothing.

Glancing up from my pad, I caught him staring as well.

Oh. He’s waiting for me. Now even my ears growing hot, I tapped my pad with my pencil, and gestured it toward him, showing him what I couldn’t say in words.

His brow furrowed, and for a worrisome moment, I wondered if he didn’t talk either.

After a few long, silent, and awkward seconds, he asked, “You want to take my order?”

Relieved, I nodded vigorously.

His rectangular brow dented deeper, more into a right angle. “Do you not speak?”

I couldn’t help but admire the quality of his voice. It was a low timbre, a combination of the strings of a cello, the pluck of a bass, and the lingering bottom note of a sax.

Again, I nodded.

The stranger’s brow now seemed to be a straight V, as if this angered or frustrated him somehow. An aura of hostility exuded from him.

Tentatively, I took a step back.

At my retreat, his face cleared and he gave me an easy smile, completely changing the lines of his face into something real handsome.

I’d been right. This man was a chameleon. He wore a rugged grin that would make most gals swoon. Maybe me included, if I hadn’t felt that anger coming off him like heat from a radiator in the dead of winter.

“Not a chatter, eh? That’s all right. I can talk enough for the two of us.” He leaned forward, folding his arms and resting his elbows on the table as his grin widened. I noticed his feet shift, hooking his ankles around the legs of the spindle chair. “If you don’t speak, I guess you can’t tell me your name,” the stranger said, his head cocking in a way that made him look contemplative. “Which is a pity. Lovely dame like you, I bet you’ve got a name to match. Do you mind if I take a few guesses?”

He wanted to guess my name? I merely stared at him. Not sure how to handle this one. Maybe I should back away and let Stanley take his order.

But I had to admit, the stranger intrigued me. It was a scary, thrilling sort of intrigue. Like hearing a scary story. Nerves heightened, bated breath, terrified and yet captivated, thrilled and yet wary.

He was the kind of thrilling a person would want to be brave for.

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About the Author

Lindsey Duga developed a deep love for courageous heroes, dastardly villains, and enchanting worlds from the cartoon shows, books, and graphic novels she read as a kid. Drawing inspiration from these fantastical works of fiction, she wrote her first novel in college while she was getting her bachelor’s in Mass Communication from Louisiana State University. By day, Lindsey is an account manager at a digital marketing agency based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. By night, and the wee hours of the morning, she writes both middle grade and young adult. She has a weakness for magic, anything classical, all kinds of mythology, and falls in love with tragic heroes. Other than writing and cuddling with her morkie puppy, Delphi, Lindsey loves catching up on the latest superhero TV show, practicing yoga, and listening (and belting) to her favorite music artists and show tunes. KISS OF THE ROYAL is her YA debut novel.

Author Links:

Website: https://lindseyduga.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lindseyduga
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/linzduga/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lduga
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15853318.Lindsey_Duga
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lindsey-Duga/e/B07BJNMRHX/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1524077289&sr=1-1

Blog Tour Organized By:

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Book Review of The Veiled Threat and The Veiled Descendants by Sophia Menesini

 

Title: The Veiled Threat (Book 1)

Series: The Veiled Duchess

Author: Sophia Menesini

Genre: NA High Fantasy/Adventure Romance/LGBTQ

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 5/5

The Veiled Threat (The Veiled Duchess #1) on Goodreads

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Back cover:

Love is a Dangerous Heist for a Pirate. Captain Shea Lara is the leader of The Veiled Duchess, the most feared pirate ship in all of Nereid. And now, after completing her former mentor’s final score, she’s retiring. Everything she’s known seems to be coming to an end. Until a night in her favorite tavern, when a mysterious stranger drags her back into the fold with an offer for a score, she can’t refuse. All she has to do is kidnap the crowned princess of the northern Queendom, Joana of Arethusa. The prize is just within reach. But sparks fly as the two women collide. And a veiled threat that could upturn Shea’s entire world storms on the horizon. Join the crew of Captain Shea Lara as they battle their way through dangerous court intrigue, rebellion against slavery, an unlikely romance, and ultimately face villains whose masks conceal them till the very end. Something’s brewing on the horizon and the Veiled Threat is just the beginning.

*I received this book from YA Bound Tours for an honest review*

This is a great, creative story that is a mix of Pirates of the Caribbean, Lord of the Rings, and LGBTQ. It takes place in a fantasy world with humans, elves, and Greek gods. I loved how the author mixed these elements, and made the main character a pirate. I am always game for a pirate story, and this one did not disappoint!

The other part of this story I enjoyed was the representation of LGBTQ characters. It felt believable, the romance wasn’t forced, and it went with the story well. The main character, Shea, is an awesome, strong, female character that is an elf. I loved her development through the story and her voice. There is also great world-building for the queendom and how it worked.

I definitely recommend this story to anyone who loves fantasy and pirates, and the representation of LGBTQ characters!

Check out below past the book 2 review for the giveaway and who the author sees as the cast of this series!


Title: The Veiled Descendants (Book 2)

Series: The Veiled Duchess

Author: Sophia Menesini

Genre: NA High Fantasy/Adventure Romance/LGBTQ

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 5/5

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Back Cover:

Captain Shea Lara and the crew are back in this thrilling sequel to The Veiled Threat, The Veiled Descendants. It’s been a year since she struck the deal — a year since she promised to marry her princess, a year of adventure, darkness, and change. Her fiancé has chased Shea across the Nereidan seas, but now it’s time for her to come back to Arethusa. The storm has arrived, and none of them are prepared for what’s coming. An elven Fae with a blood connection to Shea, who plans to take Nereid back from the humans, shatters the life of a young Oceanan prince, and now it’s up to Beck of Oceanus, Captain Shea, and Queen Joana to save their world from the powerful threat.

But they can’t do it alone. With the help of Shea’s father, Poseidon, God of the Sea, and her former lover: the goddess of love, she will set out on a quest to find the one being who can help prevent Perses from destroying everything she holds dear. A god, who just so happens to be Shea’s immortal brother, Triton.
Shea chose the family she has now, but the tides are changing, and what she wants may no longer matter. She’ll need to rely on the magic in her blood for the battle ahead. Perses is coming, with the help of vicious creatures, an evil empress, and the Lycon army, and he plans to drag her down to depths with him.

*I received this book from YA Bound Tours for an honest review*

Do not read the following if you haven’t read book 1 as there are spoilers!

Book 2 of this series is as good as the first book! We learn that Shea’s lineage is not just elf, but she is actually a daughter of Poseidon! Now there is an entire new land to fight for and our characters have to battle gods and Demigods. More history of the characters and world is explored and I think the author did a great job with world-building.

Not everything is easy for Shea in this book, and the author does a good job of making consequences for the MC’s actions. A lot of books make it so if the MC messes up, that everything is fine, so we don’t feel the actual threat. In this books, there is some loss and you really feel for the character.

I can’t wait for the next book! Check out below for the giveaway and who the author sees as the cast of this series!

~Dani

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE

About the Author

The Storyteller with Salt Water in Her Veins

Sophia Menesini lives in Martinez, CA with her husband, and their two small Chihuahuas, Ziggy and Zeppelin. The Veiled Threat is her first novel. Sophia is an avid tea connoisseur and lover of Scotland with an unconventional memory for obscure Disney and Broadway song lyrics.

Author Links:

Website: https://www.sophiamenesini.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MenesiniSophia

Tumblr: https://theveiledduchessseries.tumblr.com/

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theveiledthreatnovel/?hl=en

Dream Cast For The Veiled Duchess Series

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Comic Review of Vampire State Building

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Series: Vampire State Building

Written by: Ange and Patrick Renault

Illustrated by: Charlie Adlard

Genre: Horror

Rating: 3/5

Order from your local Comic Book Store or Buy Here

Description:

The newest horror series from the artist of The Walking Dead! Get ready to be bitten from the first full color page…

Terry Fisher is a young soldier on the verge of being sent away for active military duty, and is going to meet his friends at the top of the Empire State Building for a farewell party. But suddenly a legion of vampires attacks the skyscraper and massacres its occupants. Hounded in the 102 floors that have become a deadly trap, Terry must take decisive action to save himself and his friends – and the city of New York – before the army of abominations, and the terrible vampire god within, walled in the building since its construction, spill into the city…

Collecting the hit 4 issue series into one handsome hard cover volume. Includes behind the scenes material, cover gallery, sketches, designs, and more!

*I received an ARC through Netgalley for my honest opinion*

The art from this series is quite well done and is in the same fashion as The Walking Dead (as it is the same artist). Adlard is a very talented artist that can create a horror-genre style that is still similar to a Marvel or DC comic. I definitely feel the art is done well and fits the vampire story.

The story, however, was confusing and I didn’t really care for the characters. The idea of vampires being stored somewhere in the Empire State Building was really interesting, but I didn’t know more than that. So of the stunts the main character did were also not physically possible, which also made me lose interest quite fast. I finished the graphic novel, however, and did like how it was all finished in one book. There were still a lot of unanswered questions, but if you are looking for something short and of the horror genre, you might enjoy it more than I did.

~Dani

Manga Review of Beastars: Vol 1

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Series: Beastars: Vol 1

US Publisher: VIZ Media

Tatsuya Matsuki (Author), Shiro Usazaki (Illustrator)

Genre: Fantasy/Drama

Rating: 4/5

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Description:

One night at Cherryton Academy, an herbivore student is brutally murdered. Among the members of the Drama Club, the herbivores’ suspicions naturally turn to their carnivore classmates… The prime suspect? Gray wolf Legoshi. But he wouldn’t hurt a fly. Or would he? Will dwarf rabbit Haru bring out the beast in him? Or are his feelings for her…something else?

*received an ARC from VIZ via Netgalley for an honest review*

I found this series to be quite original in that there aren’t many manga that focus on animal characters, or at least that are big in America yet. I know the furry community is excited for this and BNA to be on Netflix and have more of a following. I think this series stands out because it has both carnivores and herbivores in the same school and discusses what sort of incidents might be involved.

This manga starts out with the murder of an herbivore and everyone believes it to be one of the carnivore students, which causes much distrust. The mystery isn’t solved in the first volume, of course, but we start to learn about the main character Legoshi and how he is going through wanting to be kind and having beast instincts.

I am interested to find out who the murderer was and what will happen next with Haru. We are barely introduced to her before the end of the volume, although I know some things that happen next from watching the anime.

The only problem I had with the manga was that the art wasn’t something I enjoyed. I liked the art in the anime, but this art was a little too freeform, if that is the right word, and I can’t quite concentrate or understand what all is going on. That is my personal opinion, and I am not saying the art is bad. It just isn’t a style I enjoy and I know a lot of people do.

All in all, if you like mystery and animals, I say give it a shot!

~Dani

Manga Review of Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku Vol 1-3

Series: Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku Vol 1 – 3

US Publisher: VIZ Media

Mangaka: Yuji Kaku

Genre: Historical Fiction/Horror

Rating: Volume 1: 5/5; Volume 2: 4/5; Volume 3: 4/5

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Description:

Gabimaru the Hollow is one of the most vicious assassins ever to come out of the ninja village of Iwagakure. He’s ruthlessly efficient, but a betrayal results in him being handed a death sentence. He has only one hope—in order to earn his freedom, he must travel to a long-hidden island and recover an elixir that will make the shogun immortal. Failure is not an option. On this island, heaven and hell are just a hair’s breadth away.

Vol 1:

Volume 1 does a great job of introducing Gabimaru and his job as an assassin and how he keeps using his powers to evade death. After being interviewed by Sagari of the Yamada clan, it is determined that he will be given a pardon and can live his live with his wife in safety. It seems like a good deal, but there is definitely more than meets the eye on this deal.

Gabimaru and Sagari are very interesting characters that we learn about through the first volume. It is definitely rated mature and has a lot of violence and nudity throughout the book. The art is very detailed and well done. I found the story for the first book to be quite interesting and am looking forward in learning more.

Vol 2:

In this volume we learn more about the main characters Gabimaru and Sagari and what they have been through to become the killers that they are. After we are introduced to the other murderers and guards that will be going to the island, I started to lose track of who was who and what exactly was going on. While I liked the idea of the paradise plants and bugs taking over bodies and the mystery of what is going on, I was losing track of who’s backstory we were seeing flashbacks for and who was alive or dead.

Vol 3:

*received an ARC from VIZ via Netgalley for an honest review*

In the third volume, we learn more about the paradise and what is going on with the plants and insects. Like volume 2, I was confused who’s backstory we were learning about. We do learn more about Sagari and her strengths and weaknesses. I feel she is a believable character in the world this mangaka has created. If you like horror, I definitely recommend as the art is quite spectacular and the characters are interesting. Although it is a little confusing, it is still really interesting and I am curious as to what will happen next.

~Dani

Book Review of Zon by Maureen A. Miller

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Title: Zon (Beyond #5)

Author: Maureen A. Miller

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 4/5

Amazon: https://amzn.to/34UCfAE

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/zon-maureen-a-miller/1136887607

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/zon-5

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/zon/id1509072890

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1016392

Back cover:

From USA TODAY bestselling author, Maureen A. Miller, comes this young adult cosmic adventure.

With a father from the planet, Ziratak, and a mother from Earth, Zon’s challenges are galactic. Zon doesn’t possess superpowers, though. If anything, he’s a bit of a klutz.

In Ziratakian folklore, the tale of the Temple of the Monarch has been passed down for generations. As legend has it, a series of miniature globes lead to the temple’s gate.

Folklore…nothing more.

Except, Zon knows of a cave with small globes in it. And with one clumsy mishap, he triggers the gate–opening a portal to other worlds.

A trip through this vortex transports him to Earth, where the first human he encounters is a young woman with challenges of her own.

This is a brand new saga, and a new generation. There is no need to read the BEYOND series. However, for readers of the series, you will enjoy this continuation of the epic science fiction adventure.

*I received a copy from YA Bound Book Tours for my honest opinion*

This was a nice lighthearted YA Sci-Fi novel that is quick to read. I read it all in one sitting and found it to be delightful. It follows Zon as he is transported to Earth and becomes friends with a human girl who he later must save. At the same time, he is supposed to be practicing and getting ready for a big test that is coming up. Will Zon pass this test or will he sacrifice it to help his new friend?

I haven’t read the rest of the series, which is more about Zon’s mother and father, but I wasn’t confused at all. This definitely can be read as a standalone. The only problem I had with it was that I felt it could use more description and sometimes I was confused as to where exactly he was until another character came into the picture.

All in all, this was a nice read for those who like light-hearted YA Sci-Fi. If you need something to read on a lazy Sunday afternoon, I definitely recommend this book!

~Dani

Enter the Giveaway below to win a $10 gift card to Amazon!:

 

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MaureenAMillerAuthor

About the Author

USA TODAY bestselling author, Maureen A. Miller worked in the software industry for fifteen years. She crawled around plant floors in a hard hat and safety glasses hooking up computers to behemoth manufacturing machines. The job required extensive travel. The best form of escapism during those lengthy airport layovers became writing.

Maureen’s first novel, WIDOW’S TALE, earned her a Golden Heart nomination in Romantic Suspense. After that she became hooked to the genre. In fact, she was so hooked she is the founder of the JUST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE website.

Recently, Maureen branched out into the Young Adult Science Fiction market with the popular BEYOND Series. To her it was still Romantic Suspense…just on another planet!

Find more about Maureen at http://www.maureenamiller.com

Blog Tour Organized By:

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Comic Review of Plume

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Series: Plume

Written and Illustrated by: K. Lynn Smith

Rating: 5/5

Buy Here

Description:

Plume is a story set in the Old West about a girl named Vesper Grey and her supernatural companion, Corrick. On their quest to recover her father’s life work, they encounter new friends and new foes, and learn that the Wild West is anything but tame.

K. Lynn Smith is one of my favorite artist, so I had to splurge and get the omnibus for her series PLUME and it did not disappoint. This was a great mix of fantasy, adventure, and mystery that is set in the past during the Wild West. Who could want more than that?

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I really enjoyed the story and characters Smith created. They all felt believable and one could understand their motives for what they did. There were a lot of twists and turns and I was surprised much of the time. If you enjoy Indiana Jones or Trigun, you will definitely enjoy this series!

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K. Lynn Smith has a Patreon so if you want to follow her work and support her, please check it out by clicking here! I am excited for her new series and will give my review of the first graphic novel collection soon.

~Dani

Comic Review of Fangs

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Series: Fangs

Written and Illustrated by: Sarah Andersen

 

Rating: 5/5

Read on Tapas

Buy the Hardcover Here

Description:

A love story between a vampire and a werewolf by the creator of the enormously popular Sarah’s Scribbles comics.

Vamp is three hundred years old but in all that time, she has never met her match. This all changes one night in a bar when she meets a charming werewolf. FANGS chronicles the humor, sweetness, and awkwardness of meeting someone perfectly suited to you but also vastly different.

*I received an ARC through Netgalley for my honest opinion*

I have been a big fan of FANGS since it first came out on Tapas. I love vampires, and sometimes werewolves, and this lighthearted comic did not disappoint. It is about a vampire and werewolf who fall in love and have to deal with situations that they might not be accustomed to. It is funny and sweet and I can’t get enough of it.

Some of the conversations these two have are perfect. It is totally something that would happen if a gothic vampire girl and a down-to-earth werewolf. I really like how the werewolf is more of a nature-loving dude instead of a buff, alpha-male type. I felt it would be more real, if werewolves did exist.

I also love how the vampire is portrayed as well. I love vampire and feel this could be me if I was indeed undead (lol). She is consistent in how she acts and follows a lot of the general vampire rules (no sunlight, garlic, etc.).

The hardcover version is definitely something I am going to preorder. The ARC had more panels than tapas and some of them were quite funny and I want to support this clever and amazing artist. I definitely recommend her work and hope you check it out and enjoy!

~Dani

Book Review of Zero by Tom Leveen

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Title: Zero

Author: Tom Leveen

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 5/5

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Back cover:

After missing her best opportunity to attend a prestigious art school, 17-year-old Salvador Dali devotee Amanda Walsh (nicknamed Zero) begins dating Mike, a drummer in an up-and-coming punk band. As their tentative relationship blooms, Zero confronts a ton of baggage holding her back from her art career: the majorly awkward drama with her former best friend, Jenn; her dad’s excessive drinking and parents’ ongoing fights; and one formerly successful art teacher who might just hold the keys to her future . . . or smash Z’s hopes forever.

When Mike’s band gets a chance of lifetime to bust out of the black hole that is metro Phoenix, Zero must make a life-altering decision and answer the one question we all face at some point in our lives:

Follow your heart, or the heart of the one you love?

ZERO is a completed, award-winning young adult novel originally published by Random House Children’s Books in 2012.

Review:

I could not put this book down! I read it all in one sitting as I kept having to turn the page to know what happens next. Tom does a great job creating a voice that anyone can connect to. I felt for Zero and everything she went through, whether I had gone through the same things or not (of which some I have…).

Zero is an artist, and as any artist knows (whether they paint, draw, write, perform, etc) you want to succeed and create the things you love, but can those two things be the same thing? You can create what you love, but will anyone want it? That is a question Zero has to face, at the same time she is 17 and going through changes, new love, friendship problems, home problems, and not getting the scholarship she wanted. So much is going on in Zero’s life that you really feel for her and connect to the times when the whole world changed for you, whether you wanted it to or not.

I recommend this to anyone who loves YA and coming of age stories. It is something we all can connect to. It is set in ’92, which is the best year if we are honest. 90s were great. I miss the 90s…

Check out below about the Kickstarter Tom Leveen is doing for his book! I highly recommend backing and making this story and even bigger success! There will be notes, afterwards, and some other awesome perks! If we can reach the extended goals, we will know exactly what happens after the last page. Who doesn’t want that from a book they love? I know I want it, so go back it for me!

FROM KICKSTARTER PAGE:

Story

Where were you in ’92?

The Cold War was over! WE WON! The Berlin Wall had fallen, and David Hasselhoff was really lit about that! (Anyone? Anyone? Lit? The lightbulb jacket…?) Glam rock was dead, flannels suddenly cost $90, punk rock was transforming right before our eyes.

It was the best of times to be 17. As much as being 17 can be the best of times…

ZERO is a completed, award-winning young adult novel originally published by Random House Children’s Books in 2012. I recently got the rights to this story returned to me, and because of its fan base, I want to re-release it with never-before-seen notes, annotations, and an afterword. And maybe more…

This campaign will also introduce new readers to the snarky, sympathetic struggles of a young artist navigating the turmoil of love and art!

 

BACK THIS KICKSTARTER BY CLICKING HERE

 

“This book will appeal to teens who enjoy romance with a bit of an edge.” ~ Voice Of Youth Advocates, Feb. 2012

ZERO is about a young artist and a young musician, high on their arts, each other, and nothing else. It’s the thrill of a first kiss, the anxiety of putting yourself out there, and all the excitement of being this age at this time — whether you were there or not.

The original hardcover jacket.

After missing her best opportunity to attend a prestigious art school, 17-year-old Salvador Dali devotee Amanda Walsh (nicknamed Zero) begins dating Mike, a drummer in an up-and-coming punk band. As their tentative relationship blooms, Zero confronts a ton of baggage holding her back from her art career: the majorly awkward drama with her former best friend, Jenn; her dad’s excessive drinking and parents’ ongoing fights; and one formerly successful art teacher who might just hold the keys to her future . . . or smash Z’s hopes forever.

When Mike’s band gets a chance of lifetime to bust out of the black hole that is metro Phoenix, Zero must make a life-altering decision and answer the one question we all face at some point in our lives:

Follow your heart, or the heart of the one you love?

“I don’t know how Tom Leveen did it, but ZERO (the book and the character) feels 100% authentic.” ~ Goodreads review

“Amanda’s snappy, consistent voice displays the tension between her conviction that she’s got what it takes to be an artist and her feelings of low self-worth. Artful.” Kirkus Reviews, April 24, 2012
What makes ZERO so special is its brutal authenticity. It perfectly captures the energy and fear and excitement and dread of being freshly graduated and experiencing what seems to be your life falling apart, whether that’s between you and your parents, or your best friend, or the boy or girl you really want to date. It doesn’t shy away from the complexity of sex and love or art and business. The book deals with these topics with a smile and a sigh, because Zero (the novel) knows you are not alone, which is one of the things Zero (the character) is still learning.

 

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I’m bringing this second edition of Zero to Kickstarter because I have learned from nine books and ten years that Story is best in community. In fact it can only exist in community. There are people I’ve met by chance as a result of my novels who I now consider good friends. Some of them I’ve never met in person, some I see frequently, but the depth of the community that has organically developed around my novels and stories is what keeps me going, and I want to share that with more people, just like I know my fans want to share with others, too.

Zero is a note; a reminder that while we are constantly faced with hard choices (particularly when we are young), it’s going to work out. It’s going to be okay.Its a note that says you’re not alone; to follow your instincts and believe that anything is possible. I don’t know about you, but I need that reminder constantly.

So let’s ramp up that good karma! Everyone who pledges above the first level will receive an e-book of the second edition, and everyone will receive a mention and Thank You in the new edition’s Acknowledgements.

Thank you so much for your encouragement, whether you’re a new reader or an old fan ready for more about Zero, Mike, and the band. 

Share your art!

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~Dani

 

 

Book Review of More Than Alive by Fernando Torres

More Than Alive Color

 

Title: More Than Alive

Author: Fernando Torres

Review by: Dani Hoots

Genre: YA Sci-fi/Fantasy

Release Date: June 22nd 2020

Rating: 4/5

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Back cover:

MORE THAN ALIVE: Death of an Idol, is a literary response to the growing interest in anime, manga, and Japanese culture. Told via alternating storylines MORE THAN ALIVE is a fast-paced, laugh-out-loud, sci-fi/paranormal novel set in Japan in the year 2042. Complete at 103,000 words, it takes advantage of my experiences living in Kyoto and lessons acquired concerning story and character development while working at ABC/Disney.

Alice Suzuki (16) has recently passed away, making her eligible to be a harvester, a transporter of souls. For her first thread, she finds herself investigating the death of Akari, a Japanese idol who died playing a VR game while on enhancer, a drug that turns off the suspension of disbelief. Unfortunately, the shadow demon Solak, who was formerly constrained to killing people in their dreams, has learned that enhancer allows him to get around the limitations imposed by free will. Alice must join the Japanese idol group, of which Akari was a member. Her journey is one of learning the true nature of attachment, particularly in regards to love.

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*I received an ARC from YA Bound Tours for my unbiased opinion*

The concept of More Than Alive was quite interesting. It mixed futuristic elements with fantasy having to do with grim reapers (although he doesn’t like to be called that), mystery, yakuza, and pop idols. Having read and watched a lot of Japanese manga and anime with similar themes, I didn’t hesitate to join this blog tour to see what it would be like to have those themes all wrapped together. I really felt it was original and an interesting concept and really liked the characters. It was full of suspense and I kept wanting to read more to know what happens.

One of the things I disliked about this book was the POV. It moved around from POV, sort of like omniscient POV, but not quite. It jumped around character too often and I didn’t feel grounded in any POV. It made me confused a lot of the time, but the story was still interesting enough where I kept on reading. I think this story would have done better if it didn’t switch, but that is my personal preference.

I also really liked the glossary in the back and now want to know why the author can’t open soy packets around shoji.

~Dani

 

About the Author

Fernando Torres is the best-selling author of “A Habit of Resistance,” “The Shadow That Endures,” and the soon to be released sci-fi novel “More Than Alive: Death of an Idol.” Fast-paced, humorous stories that poke fun at genre tropes and explore moral dilemmas are what define this author’s mission. Early in his media career, Fernando A. Torres created the definitive definition of media interactivity. At ABC/Disney, Inc., he worked behind the scenes on such shows as Boy Meets World, Family Matters, Grace Under Fire, Home Improvement, My Wife and Kids, and the Power Rangers. Influenced by many of his generation’s most talented writers and producers, Fernando Torres’ style developed a light, humorous edge that continues to influence his writing to this day. During his time at ABC/Disney, Inc., he contributed to the Writer’s Development program, which inspired additional contributions in education. Many of his stories are inspired by his travels, though he has more permanent roots in the United States and Japan. An instrument-rated pilot, he also enjoys writing music and photography.

“I write because the written word is a powerful ally in conveying truth.” – Fernando Torres

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Blog Tour Organized By: YA Bound Book Tours

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