WITH BEAUTIFUL PHOTOGRAPHS
~ Kira Sutherland ~
~ Cory Rand ~
$20 Amazon Gift Voucher Giveaway
Please welcome Patrick, our guest for the day, he is an illustrator/author and would like to talk about his new book, Deathcat Sally. Included in the post are some fantastic graphics that can be found in the book, all created by Patrick, himself.
Title: Deathcat Sally
Author: P.S. Brooks
Publisher: Vanguard Press
Release date: 21st January 2016
My name is Patrick S. Brooks and I am a children’s illustrator represented by www.advocate-art.com. I’d like to give some information about my upcoming YA novel ‘Deathcat Sally.’
I wrote the book due to a nerve injury in my neck which left me unable to illustrate for several years as it affected my right hand. The story was inspired by a lucid dream I had while I was volunteering at the local RSPCA looking after a large group of cats. During writing the novel, my father died from lung cancer, my grandmother died from septicaemia and my mother was diagnosed with lymphoma and underwent chemotherapy. Much of the book was cathartic and a reflection upon events at the time. For some further information about the story behind the book and why I wrote it, please visit my website www.psbrooks.com/novels.
After seventeen-year-old Sally Rancher knocks over a cat named Zachary, it’s only the start of her nightmare. Trying to help, Sally is hit by a truck. Waking from a coma, she sees that half of Zachary’s spirit is fused to her shoulder and he can talk. Able to communicate with animals, Sally finds when she falls asleep or becomes unconscious, both Zachary and her are pulled into No Man’s Land – a dark, spine-chilling realm filled with vengeful animal spirits. As No Man’s Land becomes ever more twisted and terrifying, Sally and Zachary become pivotal in solving a mystery that concerns not only them, but all life on the planet. If only Zachary could keep his mouth shut for more than five seconds, they might have some chance. Who… or what… is responsible?
Here is an excerpt of when Sally and Zachary meet The Neighbourhood Watch – a group of helpful animals who enter her house:
Sally thought she’d heard from the entire group, and it wasn’t until she moved her feet and brushed her toes against something furry that she looked down and remembered the Lion Head rabbit resting on the carpet.
‘Watch it!’ the young female creature called out. ‘I’m drowning in my angst here.’
‘Oh my gosh!’ Sally moved back. ‘I forgot you were there!’
‘Might as well be invisible,’ the rabbit moped. ‘I’m always the least important in these meetings.’
‘Now, Twinkle,’ Amber tactfully began, ‘you promised you were going to stop being moody if we brought you tonight.’
‘I’m not moody!’ Twinkle responded, agitated. ‘I’m misunderstood.’
The rabbit looked up to Sally. ‘They never listen to me – I’ve got issues and they never take me seriously.’
‘Is that so?’ Sally tried not to smile and spoke understandably, as though she was talking to a sulking child. ‘What kind of issues?’
‘Oh, lord,’ Sherlock begged, ‘don’t get her started. We’ll never hear the end of it.’
Twinkle licked Sally’s hand, glad that someone was taking notice of her for once.
Flossy, who’d been asleep for the last nine minutes, looked down at what was going on without her knowledge or consent and became furious.
‘She’s my owner, fuzz-neck!’
‘Isn’t it past your bedtime, brat?’ Twinkle cried out.
Lowering his head, Zachary put both paws over his ears as a high-pitched girlish argument broke out between the depressed rabbit and the hyperactive guinea pig.
‘My ears!’ he called in agony. ‘Now there’re two of ’em! Make it stop, for the love of all things holy!’
Sally picked up Twinkle in one hand and put her right next to Flossy. ‘Look, I can keep you both on my knee if you get along, okay?’
The two creatures eyed up one another in a moment of jealousy, then saw Sally’s serious expression and nodded.
‘Well,’ said Snowy, ‘think that’s everyone introduced then.’
The blackbird hopped onto the top of Sally’s head. She looked up as he spoke.
‘Me you already met. I knew you was in some kinda screwed up trouble, so I put in a good word to the fellas and broads in my considerable social network, to see what we could do for youse.’
Sally lay back as Crowther perched on the settee.
‘Look, everyone, honestly I’m really glad you went to all the trouble to get here and introduce yourselves, but I… I don’t know if this is something you can help us with.’
She didn’t even know where to begin, but started to talk regardless.
‘Every time I fall asleep – even when I’m not tired… we find ourselves in a deserted city called No Man’s Land, full of crazy animal ghosts who want to tear me to pieces.’
Sally traced back to the incomplete message in the building.
‘I think No Man’s Land could be a realm for lost spirits. There’s something else there too. It’s not an animal – but it’s not human either.’ She saw their worry. ‘Don’t think my body and mind can take much more.’
Snowy changed stance, looking like he was in deep thought, perhaps trying to solve a riddle.
‘We need to get to the source of all of this,’ he said. ‘What exactly led to Zachary appearing on your shoulder and how long ago was it?’
The balance of life and death must be kept at all costs.
Having been a reaper as long as she can remember, Nivian knows that what she does is essential in maintaining balance. After being assigned to a rushed mark she finds that there is more to this human than any other she has encountered.
Kain had been living an ordinary life without a second thought until he meets Nivian who turns his world upside down. He is thrust into a world of hunters and reapers. The keepers of life and death have been feuding for centuries over a reason no one can even remember.
With Kain having been marked for reaping, and Nivian being hunted, they forge a friendship and together must find the truth in order to keep balance in check. Wrong choices could destroy everything. As they journey they discover hidden histories, powers, and lies and truths that have been spun since the beginning of time. The consequence of failure, unimaginable.
Nivian leaped over the edge of the bridge and landed with a soft tap on the surface of the water. She reached down, pulled the soul of the driver up by the collar of his shirt, and stood him up next to her on top of the water. She took the driver’s hand, palm up, in hers and waved her other hand over his. Pinching the air, she pulled and lifted up to expose his life thread. His wide eyes stared unblinking, hypnotized by the glowing string of light. Nivian reached behind her and grabbed the scythe strapped to her back, and swung. With a slow, deliberate movement, Nivian sliced the human’s life thread. The light formed into a ball and hovered between them. She pulled out a small pocket watch and guided the life energy down to the watch. It sunk into it and disappeared. She snapped the watch closed and returned it to her pocket.
“You should know better than to drink and drive. You could’ve seriously hurt someone.”
He gaped at her, his mouth opened and closed like a fish.
“Yes, you really are dead,” she confirmed and gave him an apathetic look as she turned away.
“Are you … the devil?” he managed to sputter.
“No, of course not. I am just the natural order of things,” she said, looking back over her shoulder. “Wait here. Your spirit counselor will be here soon to guide you to your afterlife. I have other jobs tonight.” She spun on her heel and walked away, as she pulled her hood back up over her head and vanished.
What I Loved: This is the first book I’ve read about Reapers (excluding On a Pale Horse, which I read in High School as part of a class, and is sort of in the same vein…great book btw!), though I know it’s not the only one out there, but first and foremost I loved being thrown into a world I never even thought to explore. Ali Winters has created a backdrop that is both interesting and easy to follow.
Her main character, Nivian, is very easy to like and while a little passive at times, she was also witty and smart. She was curious about the world that she didn’t actually belong to, and compassionate. She was exceptionally good at her job, but it wasn’t this ego chip resting on her shoulder. As her backstory begins to unfold in the book, her character becomes even more interesting.
The Reapers took a few left turns that kept me engaged with the story and wanting to know more. I’m a pretty big fan of the side characters making the story, and there were plenty of side-characters helping to create the shape of this book nicely. Camira and Silas were a couple of my favorites.
Not So Much: I kind of would have liked have seen a little bit more push pull play with the romantic interests in this book. I get that both Kane and Caspian are very much into Niv, however I feel that while she has feeling for both of the guys, it kind of just feels like physical attraction and surface deep so far. She is also played as innocent, but I kind of would think that given the way both of the guys act when they are around her – she would have some clue as to what is happening, and how she feels about it. I hope to see something with a little more foundation grow in the future.
I was also pretty surprised at Kane’s acceptance of the world he was thrown into. Perhaps it just didn’t seem like there was much “time” for him to accept the new reality, he kind of (metaphorically, not literally) shrugged and went with it. By the end he was even claiming loyalty ties. I think I probably would have been kicking and screaming and perhaps outright rejecting everything being thrown my way, despite evidence to the contrary. He didn’t even have a mild panic attack.
I believe fans of Paranormal/Fantasy will enjoy this book a lot. It’s YA, and appropriately labeled, as it is clean, with light romance that is on a constant simmer, however it is not the main purpose of this story. There are twist and turns that keep the reader engaged with the story.
Author: Ali Winters
Title: Flirting With Death
Release date: Nov 02 2015Blurb:
Being a reaper has its perks, but also its downsides.
While on an assignment, Evander is caught of guard by an unmarked human. Captivated, he is unable to tear himself away.
This is why reapers don’t associate with mortals.
Piper was ordinary, just a girl looking for love. And all she knows is that her current boyfriend isn’t it. An unfortunate incident and a series of remarkable events turn her world upside down. But what she finds is the last thing she ever expected—She finds herself falling for the least likely candidate.
“Stop. He is gone.” Evander said calmly. Why would she waste so much energy on someone who had no chance.
“Don’t tell her to stop,” Tony snapped.
Oh, right. That guy was still here. Where was a spirit counselor when you needed one? And at that moment, she showed up.
“Yeah, yeah, I know. Don’t tell me. I’m late, am I right?” She waved a hand in the air dismissively.
“I should have known it would be you, Cassandra. Please take him.”
“Don’t boss me around, you fancy assassin. I know how to do my job.” She bit out, then turned to her assignment. “Come on, life loser, this way.”
“I’m not going anywhere with you.” Tony backed up and stepped on his body, trying to slide back in. Evander’s gaze flicked upward, the difficult ones always tried to return to their bodies.
About the author:
Ali grew up in the Pacific North West. She attended Oregon State University for photography. After many adventures, she moved to Colorado, earned a second degree, and met and married her husband.
She currently lives in windy Wyoming with her husband and two dogs. When not writing, Ali is either, photographing, knitting, reading, dancing, or staying inside where it’s warm with a hot cup of coffee. She dreams of traveling the world someday soon.
Alexander Koch lives a life most men would kill for. As the sole heir to his family’s enormous wealth, he enjoys the finer things in life despite the crippling pain that increases with every passing day. Until he meets the one he’s intended for. The one whose slightest touch makes the pain vanish. But after a chance meeting at the first Gathering of their kind, the girl runs from him in terror. Now he’s willing to spend every last cent to find her.
Jessalyn Vogt escaped her father’s controlling ways and has settled into a simple life, caring for her horses and brewing coffee for her customers. Until Alexander Koch tracks her down. She wants nothing to do with his arrogance, his money, or the undeniable attraction drawing her to him. But she knows she is the only one who can relieve him of the horrible pain racking his body.
The Cotiere has been reunited, but that was the easy part. Greed and old traditions threaten to tear it apart again. Trust has been compromised and hidden agendas are destroying the fragile truce between parents and children. It’s in the hands of the new counsel to keep it together, even if it means some must be willing to lose everything.
Frustrated by her body’s response to him, and angry at his ridiculous tip, she gritted her teeth. She swiped the bill off the counter, slapped it into the register, and slid his full change back. Hurt flickered on his face before she turned away and let her echo punctuate her frustration. “I can’t be bought.” Instead of the anger she expected, she was hit with his confusion. Her own doubt was followed by regret, but she reminded herself who he was. He’s just not used to anyone telling him no. He’ll get over it.
Her eyes involuntarily rose to the mirror as she reached for a mug and pour over vessel. Peter was leaning against the far wall with his left foot planted beside the opposite knee. His arms were crossed while he watched them. Peter lifted his chin toward her as a satisfied quirk curled his lip. Unfolding his arms and kicking away from the wall, he took a seat across from Alexander at a table near the counter. Sitting together, they looked like two lions prepared to wait for their next meal. A cold shiver raked Jessi’s back at the thought.
The Touch is Michelle’s 2nd book, and her writing has just gotten better! I knew from the moment I started hearing about Alexander and Jessi that I was going to love them, and I was 110% correct! This book brought so many goofy grins to my face, and then there were moments where I just had to put the book down and walk away because of the emotional roller coaster.
What I Loved: I’ve already mentioned that I knew I would love Alexandar and Jessi, but really I loved their individual personalities and how different they were. I really enjoyed their banter and emotional dance. The tension between the two was spot on, and leaves you either wanting to throw a bucket of ice on them or screaming “get on with it already.” Both of Alexander and Jessi have uneasy backgrounds, but at this point in their lives they are primed to be ready to move forward and move past their past…but how? Especially when the past wants to come back and bite them.
The back stories in The Touch really made this book interesting. We met Alexander in The Kiss, but to know more about where he comes from, and some of what he’s gone through within The Cotiere really helps to build the backbone of this book. Then you’ve got Jessi’s story, and together it’s all a bit of a mess.
Not So Much: There never seems to be enough book. There’s not really anything I can say here, honestly. I knew I was going to love Alexander and Jess!
I wish I could get more people to take a chance on Michelle’s books – they are awesome stories! I would consider these to be clean New Adult books, with a slight paranormal/fantasy aspect – and I highly recommend them.
Michelle Bolanger has been an avid reader all her life. In 2014 and with the encouragement of her family and friends, she decided to take the leap and publish her own books. The Kiss is her first full length novel and the beginning of what is to be a four book series titled The Cotiere Chronicles. Michelle is also a talented vocalist and amateur photographer. She enjoys going on cruises, cheering for her favorite professional hockey team, and falling asleep to the sound of auto racing on TV. Michelle lives in Ohio with her husband and two dogs.
Amelia Bradbury is finally free from Queen Julia and Cresthaven, but she isn’t safe yet. The Keeper power runs rampant inside her and it will take an ultimate act of selflessness to contain the darkness that threatens Amelia’s sanity and the future of the Immortal race. Aidan Montgomery refuses to give up on Amelia. Once she’s rescued from the Keeper’s hold, he intends to prove his love is more than a side effect of the prophecy, even if doing so leads him away from his pack and on a journey that will irrevocably change them both. When the past and the present collide and the shocking origin of the Immortals is revealed, Amelia and Aidan are forced back to Cresthaven to end a war that never should have started.
Amelia grew up in a world of half-truths. She knows she’s an Elder, but has no idea what that means. Her father reminds her daily that she must maintain control, but he refuses to explain why. Even worse, she’s betrothed to the prince of the Immortals and doesn’t even know his name. Finally breaking free to live a few normal years at a community college, the last thing Amelia expects is to find her best friend in a cheeky southern girl, or fall for a self-assured human who sees her for who she is, not what she will become. As she learns more about herself, Amelia realizes the line between love and duty is a thin one. As her power continues to increase exponentially and her questions are slowly answered, Amelia must make the ultimate choice. The question is, will her head win the battle, or her heart?
Enchanted Revenge will appeal to fans of Jennifer L. Armentrout and Julie Kagawa.
So I’ve been talking up my 2016 TBR List Reading Challenge on Social Media lately, and I thought I’d go ahead and type out my resolution now. Mostly because if I type it up – I have accountability. But also because I have 2 months to finish the list before it starts…and trust me, I have been adding to the list.