Showing posts with label Goddess Fish Promotions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Goddess Fish Promotions. Show all posts

Thursday, December 7, 2017

"Monsterland" by Michael Okon

by Michael Okon

Monsterland by Michael Okon

Monsterland by Michael Okon is currently on tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. The tour stops here today for my review, a short interview with the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Welcome to Monsterland - the scariest place on Earth.
Wyatt Baldwin's senior year is not going well. His parents divorce, then his dad mysteriously dies. He’s not exactly comfortable with his new stepfather, Carter White, either. An ongoing debate with his best friends Melvin and Howard Drucker over which monster is superior has gotten stale. He’d much rather spend his days with beautiful and popular Jade. However, she’s dating the brash high-school quarterback Nolan, and Wyatt thinks he doesn’t stand a chance.
But everything changes when Wyatt and his friends are invited to attend the grand opening of Monsterland, a groundbreaking theme park where guests can interact with vampires in Vampire Village, be chased by werewolves on the River Run, and walk among the dead in Zombieville.
With real werewolves, vampires and zombies as the main attractions, what could possibly go wrong?

Book Video

The sky was a sparkling, powder blue, mosquitoes droned lazily over the tepid water, frogs croaked messages while they sunbathed on waxy lily pads. The fire he created burned bright, rabbit roasting on a spit made from hickory, the juices dripping to hiss in the flames. Seven of them lay in scattered repose, enjoying the late afternoon lull—two napped, the others tossed a stuffed fur in the form of a ball around the clearing, hooting with amusement when it rolled into the brush. They traveled in a pack, his group, his makeshift family, foraging together, hiding in plain sight. It had been that way for generations. But the glades were getting smaller, the humans invasive.
The sun started its slow descent into the horizon, hot pink and lilac clouds rippling against the empty canvas of the sky. Their color deepened as the sky filled, the rosy hue morphing into a burnt orange as the sun hid behind the condensation. The air thickened, moisture causing the leaves to lie heavily against the branches. Here and there, fireflies lit the gloom, doing a placid ballet in the humid air. The men moved closer as the sun sank into the western treetops, the fading sky promising another clear day tomorrow in the Everglades despite the moving ceiling of clouds.
A lone hawk cried out, disturbing the peace of the glade. Huge birds answered, flapping their wings, creating a cacophony of swamp sounds. The area became a concerto of animals responding to the disruption of their home—wild screams, squeaks, and complaints of the invasion of their territory.
The lead male stood, his head tilted. He heard it again. It was music, the strange organization of sounds, predictable as well as dangerous. Where those rhythms originated meant only one thing—they were not alone. They all rose, tense and alert, searching the waterway. Billy pointed, his dirty hands silently parting an outcropping of trees to expose a flat-bottom boat with strangers floating slowly toward them. It was filled with people, excitedly searching the banks of the swamp, their expensive khaki bush clothes ringed with sweat. Many held huge cameras. It was obviously a film crew, invasive, nosy individuals looking for something, anything, to enhance their lives. Men’s voices drifted on the turgid air. Billy stood, sniffing, his mates following suit. He glanced at the sky, gauging the time, his eyes opening wide. It was late. The bald top of the moon peeked over the ridge in the south, the sky graying to twilight with each passing second. Night came fast and furious in the swamp, dropping a curtain of darkness, extinguishing all light except for the beacon of the full moon. That chalk-white orb floated upward, indifferent to the consequences of its innocent victims. A halo of lighter blue surrounded the globe, limning the trees silver, the cobwebs in the trees becoming chains of dripping diamonds in the coming night.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
"Very highly recommended for high school and community library YA Fiction collections, Monsterland showcases author Michael Okon's genuine flair for originality and deftly crafted fantasy fiction..." ~ Midwest Book Review
"This novel weaves together the different elements of a riveting story - great characters, vivid and exciting settings, a strong storyline - and delivers a punch that will have readers reeling for a long time." ~ Readers' Favorite, Arya Fomonyuy (2017 Readers' Favorite Five-Star Review)
"...sure to become the next YA sensation ... chock full of action and suspense." ~ The Children's Book Review
"Michael Okon's Monsterland is a fun and highly entertaining romp through the territory of all my favorite scary movies when I was a kid." ~ Kevin J Anderson, New York Times bestselling author of the Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. series
"The adventure ramps up to an enjoyably gore-soaked finale ... full of both mayhem and heart." ~ Kirkus Reviews

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.

By Lynda Dickson
Monsterland is Vincent Konrad's visionary theme park, which houses zombies, werewolves, and vampires. In all, there are seven theme parks in six continents opening in one day. Friends Wyatt, Howard, and Melvin, spend their days debating which monster is superior, but when they unexpectedly score VIP tickets to the grand opening of the American Monsterland, they might just find out!
The author cannily introduces us to a few of the "monsters", humanizing them and making us feel their pain, shame, and humiliation at being put on display. There's Billy the werewolf, Raoul the vampire, and the unnamed zombie, whose stories are interspersed with the adventures of Wyatt and his friends. The author also has a fantastic ability to capture minutiae, introduce intricate back stories, and incorporate small details into the narrative without making them seem extraneous. One such interesting detail is the description of the entrance of Monsterland being identical to the entrance to the Auschwitz death camp.
I forgot how much I enjoy a good horror; this is one book that I actually wish was longer. The clever blend of suspense, horror, romance, and even humor, will leave you questioning who the real monsters are.

Interview With the Author
What are four things you can’t live without?
Steak. Water. iPhone. Google. In that order.
What is your favorite television show?
I don’t watch TV. I did check out Stranger Things over a weekend which was awesome, but I don’t have a particular show that is my favorite. I have the Travel Channel or Food Network on in the background when I’m writing, but that’s about it.
If you could be any character, from any literary work, who would you choose to be? Why?
Melvin from Monsterland. Who wouldn’t want to live a carefree existence, be obsessed with werewolves, and save the world from an evil antagonist?
What have you got coming soon for us to look out for?
Monsterland was released in October 2017. It’s my first published novel. Monsterland 2 comes out in 2018. I’m knee deep in Monsterland 3.
What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
Anything by Michael Crichton. I also love comics – Stan Lee and Marvel specifically. I really get a lot of my influences from movies more than books.

About the Author
Michael Okon
Michael Okon is the award-winning and best-selling author and screenwriter formerly known as Michael Phillip Cash. His originally self-published book Monsterland was picked up in a two-book publishing deal by WordFire Press. Michael is happily married and writes full-time on the North Shore of Long Island with his two screaming monsters in the background.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon or B&N gift card OR one of 5 Monsterland t-shirts (size large, US only).


Monday, December 4, 2017

"You Taste Like Whiskey and Sunshine" by Kimberly Love

You Taste Like Whiskey and Sunshine
by Kimberly Love

You Taste Like Whiskey and Sunshine by Kimberly Love

You Taste Like Whiskey and Sunshine by Kimberly Love is currently on tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. The tour stops here today for my review, a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

What makes this book awesome?
There's an evil queen, a demented father, some amateur boxing and a trailer park story. Even a silver fox makes an appearance. Why wouldn't that entice you?
If you are looking for something different from the rest of the books out there, something that might make you question your sanity then you will love this book.
Seriously! The comedic and sassy perspective will make you see things differently, and you may even find yourself laughing out loud. It's a good story and one that I truly believe needs to be told. Period.
It’s dark, raw and takes you to a door that keeps all my innermost secrets. I hope that the book makes you laugh, makes you cry, and inspires you to be the best version of yourself.

You see, my father was evil—seriously evil. During his relationship with my mother, he brutalized her and some of my siblings in ways that she won’t speak about to this day. He was often filled with rage and that rage showed in his physical violence. His brutality was never just saved for my mother. He once punched out my five-year-old step-brother; literally punched him in the face. I couldn’t even imagine what that would be like for a small child. Miss B hated him so much that her hatred poured into me from the time that I was just a toddler. She couldn’t stomach the sight of me for the simple reason that I was a part of him.
These aren’t my memories and most of which I know is fragmented, as no one wanted to talk about the man. What I know of him was learned in piecemeal over the years.
He was the kind of man who would rather see you dead than see you leave. I’ve seen several men like that while watching Law & Order. It’s shocking to know that things like that actually happened in my own family. My mom is such a great woman that the thought of her being hurt is a little hard to take at times. When my mother finally decided to get us all away from him, she had to wait until he went to work. Then, she packed up our things and left home. There was no warning; no threats of leaving him. She knew what he was like and she knew it was best to slip out without telling him.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
"I thought the book was very inspiring and I found that I could really relate to her stories. I would recommend it to anyone." ~ Brandi Martel

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.

By Lynda Dickson
The author's story is written in 14 chapters or vignettes, in which she makes no apologies for who she is. She just wants to show us that the things that have happened to her in her life have made her the person she is. Above all, she wants to make us laugh. And that she does. She tackles such varied subjects as her humble beginnings growing up unsupervised in a trailer park, cruelty at the hands of a family member, her uncanny resemblance to the evil father she never met, how she became known as a cat thief, a rape near-miss, her first boyfriend and how he affected all of her future relationships, life in a small town, post-partum depression, parenting, the advantages of male over female friends, undergoing therapy, online dating, kickboxing, divorce, getting her pilot's license, friendships.
While the author has a great voice, the book is in need of an edit, with some awkwardly phrased sentences and incorrect word usage. She remains brutally honest throughout and, while her story is at times heartbreaking, she maintains a sense of humor. Even though she suffered terrible hardships as a child, her resilience is testimony to her strength. She became a writer, a pilot, a kickboxer, and a mother. Her account is even more remarkable given the fact that she describes herself as shy and says it's hard for her to open up. Underlying themes includes having confidence in your abilities and believing in yourself at times.
My favorite: "Look ... I Didn't Steal the Cat".
Heartbreaking, humorous, by always inspirational.
Warnings: coarse language, sexual references.

Guest Post by the Author
Why I Wrote this Book
When I first started writing You Taste Like Whiskey and Sunshine, I wasn’t even really sure where it was going. It took me years to put it together because I kept stopping, stalling mostly because the idea of baring my soul for all to see terrified me. Who wouldn’t be terrified, right? Talking about things that happen to us in life is not easy for anyone. So, I would start and then stop, let it sit for a few months and, honestly, there were times when I was just going to let it go. But something always drew me back in. There was a story there inside of me and the damn thing was determined to get out.
One of my lost loves once told me that I was "raw and real". He couldn’t have described me better. At times, I walk around like a vault, like nothing can stop me, while other times I walk around like an open wound. I love deeply, which means that there is a big chance that I’m going to get hurt badly.
So, the big question is, why this book, why now?
It’s simple. I have a story to tell. I’ve experienced a lot in my life and although I’m still relatively young, these experiences have helped define who I am today. I want to share my experiences now with others in the hopes that maybe someone will read my words and it will help them to feel less alone or even help brighten their day. People talk about their experiences for one reason because sometimes it feels damn good to get them out. It’s kind of like a verbal exorcism.
Although there are moments of tragedy and pain in my story, there are also some pretty good laughs. Mainly because I’m super weird and awesome, all rolled into one. So, my stories are definitely out there at times but trust me, if you crack open this book, you won’t regret it.

About the Author
Kimberly Love
Kimberly Love spends her days writing, trying not to get sucked in by her Facebook notifications or get into the whiskey decanter (just kidding ... kinda).
She's obsessed with dinosaur movies and is completely enamored with the life of a vampire, as immortality would sure help her achieve her bucket list.
In her spare time, Kimberly kick-boxes and flies a Cessna 172, depending on whether she seeks out freedom or wants to kick someone’s ass.
Kimberly finds, more often than not, that she's in some pretty crazy and humorous situations. So come along for the ride! If her experiences give you a chuckle or help you get through your day, then she has accomplished what she's sought.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or B&N gift card.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

"Hide and Seek" by Desiree Holt

Hide and Seek
(Vigilance Book 1)
by Desiree Holt

Hide and Seek (Vigilance Book 1) by Desiree Holt

Hide and Seek, the first book in Desiree Holt's new Vigilance series, has just been released. This book blast and giveaway is brought to you by Goddess Fish Promotions. Please be sure to visit the other participating blogs as well.

Anything can happen when you let your guard down ...
After receiving a violent threat on the heels of her father’s disappearance from the town of Arrowhead Bay, Devon Cole fears for her life - until Vigilance, a local private security agency, steps in to shield her from danger. Although she isn’t usually quick to surrender her freedom, she has no problem stripping her defenses for her new sexy bodyguard ...
Tortured by the painful memory of lost love, Logan Malik is determined not to fall for a client again. So when he’s tasked with watching over Devon day and night, he’s focused on doing his job. Day is no problem, but as tensions rise at night, nothing can protect them from giving in to unbridled passion ...

He wasn’t as much shocked by his physical reaction as by the fact that it happened at all. For a long time now, he’d managed to keep a clamp on his sex drive and take it out only when required, like taking aspirin for a headache.
“You’re a smart woman,” he congratulated her. “I didn’t know if you’d play along with me.”
She inhaled an unsteady breath and blew it out. “I took a chance. You could have been worse than they were.”
“Still, that shows brains and quick thinking. Good for you.” He studied the interior of her car. “Wow. They did a number with that window. Don’t move. There’s chunks and pebbles everywhere.”
She stared at him, studying his face. “You promise you aren’t the second wave? You know, like good cop, bad cop? The bad guys threaten me and you come along and win my confidence by helping me?”
“Nope. Scout’s honor.”
“I, uh, saw that you have a gun.”
“So did those jackasses. I wanted them to see it.” He smiled at her. “But I only use it as part of my job.”
She caught her lower lip in her teeth. “They just came at me out of nowhere and ran me off the road. Then they boxed me in and smashed the window.”
“Later I’ll want all the details. Right now let’s get you out of here.”
“Do you know who they are? Those men?”
“No.” His voice hardened. “But I know other garbage like them.”
She swallowed. “So who are you, anyway?”
“Oh. Sorry.” He winked at her, and the tension in her body visibly eased. “Logan Malik. Savior of women in danger.”
“Devon Cole.” She dug up a smile. “Woman in danger who needed saving.”

Praise for the Book
"Hide and Seek combines hot romance and thrilling suspense in Desiree Holt’s new sizzling romantic suspense series." ~ Allison Brennan, New York Times bestselling author of the Lucy Kincaid series
"Hide And Seek by Desiree Holt is an amazing start to Ms Holt's new series, Vigilance. No wonder I love this author's books. Hide and Seek is a fantastic read. Ms Holt has delivered another well-written book loaded with phenomenal characters that are a perfect fit for this story." ~ Deb Diem
"What can I say but ... wow! Hide and Seek is amazing. It is chock full of mystery that will test you, tension that will have nibbling on your nails or fanning yourself (depending on the type of tension) and a group of people that will give you chills or have you cheering." ~ Annetta Sweetko
"I really enjoy romances that have a bit of extra mystery or drama involved so this was a great book for me and kept me involved so much that it was hard to put the book down!" ~ Miriam Wolfe
"This story has everything drama, action, twist and turns and plenty of hot and steamy scenes, The characters have fab chemistry and I just fell in love with them as I read. I can't wait to read more from this author and in this series in the future. Highly recommended." ~ Emma obsessed book reviews bramley

About the Author
Desiree Holt
USA Today best-selling and award-winning author Desiree Holt writes everything from romantic suspense and paranormal to erotic, a genre in which she is the oldest living author. She has been referred to by USA Today as the Nora Roberts of erotic romance and is a winner of the EPIC E-Book Award, the Holt Medallion and a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice nominee. She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, USA Today, The (London) Daily Mail, The New Delhi Times, and numerous other national and international publications.
Desiree loves to hear from readers.

Enter the blast-wide giveaway for a chance to win a Kindle Fire 7 with Alexa (US only).


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

"The Last Gambit" by Om Swami

The Last Gambit
by Om Swami

The Last Gambit by Om Swami

The Last Gambit by Om Swami is currently on tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Success by design is infinitely better than a win by chance. Vasu Bhatt is fourteen years old when a mysterious old man spots him at a chess tournament and offers to coach him, on two simple but strange conditions: he would not accompany his student to tournaments, and there was to be no digging into his past. Initially resentful, Vasu begins to gradually understand his master’s mettle.
Over eight years, master and student come to love and respect each other, but the two conditions remain unbroken – until Vasu confronts and provokes the old man. Meanwhile, their hard work and strategy pay off: Vasu qualifies for the world chess championship. But can he make it all the way without his master by his side?
Inspiring, moving and mercurial, The Last Gambit is a beautiful coming of age tale in a uniquely Indian context.

‘Do you know who the finest teacher is?’ he asked.
Ignoring my answer, he continued, ‘Experience is the greatest teacher, Vasu. Always replay your own games to see where you went wrong and what made you play the way you did. People don’t lose because they make mistakes, they do so because they repeat their mistakes. The first time, it’s not a loss but a learning.’
‘So, how do I avoid making mistakes?’
‘Just don’t repeat them,’ he said after coughing and clearing his throat. ‘Be it life or chess, that’s the only difference between a grandmaster and an amateur. An amateur expects to reach a different destination by walking the same path. He hopes for miracles or serendipities. A grandmaster, on the other hand, relies on his own effort and intelligence. He does not commit the same error twice.’
‘But Master,’ I said, curious, ‘I do try my best to not repeat my mistakes. Why do I still lose?’ ‘Because you nourish the body and starve the soul.’ I gave him a blank look because I didn’t have a clue about what he just said. ‘Do you know the soul of chess, Vasu?’
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
"The Last Gambit is an amazing and a very nicely written book. While the book primary describes a relationship between a chess master and his teenage student, the moral lessons and teachings behind the story make for a deeper meaning. [...] I would say that this book is suited for all ages and is definitely recommendable." ~ imdvp
"Another gem by Om Swami, offering many invaluable life lessons in most interesting and fun ways, making you all nostalgic and warm inside. [...] Must read for all." ~ Pavani Om
"My 13-year-old son, a reluctant reader, read this book over the course of two days, staying up past midnight to finish it. He loved it and was truly inspired." ~ Mom of a teen
"Amazing book. While reading it, I felt like I was in the story, with the characters. In fact, I got so engrossed while reading I finished in less than a day. Flawless writing and very inspiring as well as moving." ~ Verma's
"It's a book that made me laugh and cry the hardest. It's quite apparent that Chess is used as a metaphor for Life in this story. [...] This story should be adapted into a film as it will make it reach to wider audiences who can benefit from these very interestingly woven nuggets of wisdom for life." ~ Rahul

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.

By Lynda Dickson
The year is 1983, and Vasu has just turned fourteen. At a local chess tournament, he meets the mysterious Anand Sharma, who sees his potential and offers to teach him how to become a grandmaster. Who is this old recluse, and how does he know so much about the game? After intensive lessons and no wins against the master, Vasu becomes discouraged. Over the years, he also struggles with school works, bullying, tough teachers, mean girls, and unpleasant chess opponents. But he is rewarded by his increasing closeness to his brother, his teacher's devotion, and first love. Will Vasu persevere against the odds and become India's first world chess champion in over 50 years?
I'm not a chess player, but I found the story interesting and compelling. A glossary of Indian terms with hyperlinks would be handy, as the translate feature of the Kindle app didn't work for most words. There are some editing inconsistencies (e.g., the use of mom and mum), but the author's profession as a philosopher is apparent in his beautiful and insightful writing. Vasu's chess lessons are also important life lessons; as Vasu learns how to become a chess champion, Anand also teaches him how to become a winner in life. Vasu is lost in his own inner world, oblivious to the depth of Rea's love and devotion and the extent of his parents' sacrifices to make his dream come true. But rather than hate him, we sympathize with him, feel his guilt and self-loathing, and eventually his confidence and pride. And then there's that perfect ending in which everything comes full circle.
Simply masterful.

Some of My Favorite Lines
"... it’s really irritating when people get all philosophical and tell me that life is like chess. Yeah, right. How can you even compare the two? For one thing, chess has rules. It is an elegant work of art, whereas life, life is a freaking hammer. Even if it falls elegantly, it crushes you."
"Champions are not born, Vasu. They are made. And no one really makes them. Champions make themselves."
"... chess is not a game, it’s a way of life."
"... life doesn’t run on dreams. [...] Chess is not a career option."
"I was still young enough to cuddle and kiss my mother then. It made me stronger, it made me softer."
"... I just knew that I had found the best teacher there could be. And, sometimes, that’s what makes all the difference – the one who’s by your side."
"Currently, the only thing I wanted more than a girlfriend was to win at least once."
"Imagine building a hundred-metre long tunnel. Even at the ninety-ninth metre, when the end is only a metre away, you won’t see any light. If you want success, you must go right till the end."
"Success by design is infinitely better than a win by chance."
"Love is the soul of life. Without love, nothing has any meaning nor value."
"... a gambit is more important than a checkmate in love. [...] love is not about winning but offering. The first gambit is care, second appreciation, but it’s the last gambit that matters the most. [...] Self-sacrifice. Until you offer yourself wholeheartedly, you can’t win. In love or in anything else."
"Don’t judge him for what he says, see him for what he does."
"Sometimes, the best way is to enjoy the journey with your co-traveller than rushing to the destination. For the joy of seeking is more exhilarating than attaining what’s sought."
"With each passing day, I only loved her more. In a way, she was like chess, only much more unpredictable. Every time I thought I had her figured out, she would take me completely by surprise."
"Sometimes, that’s the only beautiful thing about life – our dreams."

About the Author
Om Swami
Om Swami is a monk who lives in a remote place in the Himalayan foothills. He has a bachelor degree in business and an MBA from Sydney, Australia. Swami served in executive roles in large corporations around the world. He founded and led a profitable software company with offices in San Francisco, New York, Toronto, London, Sydney and India.
Om Swami completely renounced his business interests to pursue a more spiritual life. He is the bestselling author of Kundalini: An Untold Story, A Fistful of Love, and If Truth Be Told: A Monk’s Memoir.
His blog is read by millions all over the world.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon or B&N gift card.