Blog Tour & Excerpt: Endangered by @DaniHootsAuthor + #GIVEAWAY


Endangered


Series: Daughter of Hades #1
Author: Dani Hoots
Published: May 10th, 2016
Pages: 296
Audience: YA
Genre: Paranormal, Urban, Mythology 


Source:  I received this book for free from YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review.

Available for FREE on Kindle Unlimited


Blurb:

Chrys has been in the Underworld for thousands of years, hidden away by her father, Hades, from all of the other gods. He's afraid that if someone finds out about her, they will destroy her because of the dichotomous power that she holds, the power of life and death. So she has remained in the Palace of Hades all her life, making very few friends and always bored out of her mind.

Huntley would have never guessed that after he died he would wake up with a beautiful girl standing over him. And that she would be the Dark Lord of the Underworld's daughter. Yet, for some reason, she keeps him around as her tutor, as if he knows anything about the world. But Huntley knows that all she really wants is a friend; being trapped in the Underworld can get pretty lonely. 

That is, until Chrys decides she wants to run away to the human world after a big fight with her mother Persephone. Chrys claims her father is just over reacting and that nothing bad will come of it. There's no way that the gods will notice she's there for only a couple of days...right?


Excerpt:

CHAPTER 7

Chrys

 

                The River Styx is really intimidating. Like, seriously.

                I honestly never really realized it until now, being without someone who knew how to guide the boat for me. I had only taken a boat out a couple of times, but never this far, and never with this much risk. Now that I stood there, waiting for the others, I found myself questioning my decision a little bit. Not enough to turn back, but enough to realize that Father was going to be really pissed if he found out I had hijacked a boat and left the Underworld with two of my friends. I guess I knew that already but it was hitting me hard now.

                I had left a note for him, telling him we were going to visit Maka and not to worry, that we would be back in a few days. He knew I needed to let off a little steam and that leaving me alone was the best choice. At least, I hoped.

                I was already wearing my ring and waiting to give A.J. and Huntley theirs. I was almost past the point of no return, making a decision that could get me in the worst of trouble.

                And it felt exhilarating.

                I was surprised that Huntley wasn’t fully on board with this, but more cautious than A.J. and I were. He was only coming because he wanted to make sure I was safe. But if A.J. thought it would be fine, I really doubted it was going to end badly.

                At least I hoped that it wouldn’t.

                A.J. was the cautious one out of the three of us, so if Huntley thought it was fine, it was probably going to be fine. I trusted him, especially after all this time. He cared enough to stay in the Palace for me, so he had to be speaking the truth.

                A.J. and Huntley showed up, checking behind them to make sure there wasn’t anyone following them. I nodded to both of them and handed them the rings. They slipped them on their fingers, and we quickly climbed in the boat to travel around the River Styx into the sky that was Oceanus.

                The boat was like an old gondola that might simply crumble if we were going over actual water.  It was beyond old, probably the same age as the Underworld itself. It creaked and cracked as we stood on it, rocking slightly back and forth. The three of us each grabbed a stick and pushed off the peer of the palace and into the river we went.

                “How does this actually work?” Huntley asked. “I mean, it looks like we are traveling on clouds.”

                “You really going to ask questions of how things work in the Underworld? Not just accept that things work differently here?” A.J. replied. We had barely been gone for a couple of moments and they were already arguing.

                “The rivers here are more like air currents, trapping things that have been lost in the mortal realm,” I explained. “The river we are on now is the River Styx, the River of Hatred. It is but one of five rivers. Most of the dead come to this world via Acheron, the River of Pain. It is where Charon runs his service. The other rivers flow through the Underworld and serve as transportation to places throughout. But without a boat, all of the rivers will curse those who try to escape, so make sure the water doesn’t touch you.”

                Huntley glanced over the water, his eyes wide. I probably should have mentioned that earlier, but it had completely slipped my mind. When you knew something for such a long time, it was hard to remember to tell others who might not know.

                “Don’t worry, you’re fine. But because of this, no god from the other realms can get through Oceanus, which is why Father has hidden me away for so long. That is, except Hermes, he can travel between realms. Why that is, no one really knows. He kinda just appears some days and Father can’t figure out how he’s doing it. As for my mother, well, it’s really rare for anyone to come to the Underworld and be able to go back to Earth. In some legends the hero can, or antagonist, depending on your point of view. The River Styx was their greatest obstacle.”

                “But she sneaks men in here,” Huntley countered.

                I nodded. “Yeah, but they don’t come by themselves. She pays Charon to escort them. He will escort anything as long as he gets paid.”

                “Oh. So which one is the River Styx?” Huntley asked.

                I gestured in front of us. “This one. We will be going around the Underworld seven times and then be dumped into Oceanus.”

                “Seven times? Won’t that take forever?”

                I shrugged. “Space is weird here. Doesn’t take too long actually and the farther we get, the faster it starts to go.”

                “Oh, I guess that makes sense,” Huntley said. “Then where is Oceanus?”

                I nodded up. “You see the blue clouds that covers the entire realm? That’s Oceanus.”

                He looked up at the sky. The molten blue shimmered in the light of the morning. Where the morning light really came from, I still wasn’t sure. This world was weird, I had to agree.

                “Shit. How are we supposed to get through that?” he asked.

                “Hence the boat, moron,” A.J. commented.

                Huntley pointed up. “Yeah, but that doesn’t have a surface that we can travel on.”

                I shook my head. “That’s because we don’t travel on it. We travel through it. Oceanus is like a shell between this world and Earth.”

                “Oh yeah, that’s going to be fun. Do you even know where we are going to end up?”

                I was silent. I actually didn’t. I figured, probably wherever my mother was last, but I couldn’t be sure. It wasn’t like I had a preference. Anywhere was better than here. Finally, I shrugged.

                “We don’t even know where we are going?” Huntley exclaimed. “Chrys, seriously, get some sense in your head. This is a bad idea.”

                He was right, I really didn’t know what I was doing. I should turn back now, I had let my emotions get the better of me. I was turning into my mother.

                And I didn’t want that.



About Dani Hoots:

Dani Hoots is a science fiction, fantasy, romance, and young adult author who loves anything with a story. She has a B.S. in Anthropology, a Masters of Urban and Environmental Planning, and is currently in the Your Novel Year Program through Arizona State University.


Book Tour & Review: Grimm & White by @Emilyhansen5 + #GIVEAWAY


Grimm & White

Author: Emily Hansen
Publisher: Emily Hansen
Published: January 26th, 2016
Pages: 287
Audience: YA
Genre: Fairytale, Urban Fantasy

Source: I received a copy of this book from Bewitching Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.


Blurb:

Who would you choose? 

I want you to put your hand over your heart. Press down against the skin, meld your fingers into the flesh, and listen to the beats. Can you hear how that one organ is keeping you alive? One pump. Two pumps. Three. 

Alice White Cabot would consider you lucky. She can press down in that same exact spot and she would feel…nothing. Allie does have: ten fingers and toes, one set of working lungs, a healthy liver, two small kidneys, stringy veins, long intestines, two-hundred and six breakable bones, and a big mouth. But in the empty chest cavity where the beating organ should be pulsing blood to the rest of Allie’s body, sits a void that only one person can fill. She is under the curse of the Heartless, and on her nineteenth birthday she will have to rip out the heart of the one she loves or she herself will die. 

Kallin Grimm is a nineteen-year-old boy from the Chicago suburbs. He’s a regular guy who likes football, video games, and hanging out with his friend Lennon. A few exceptions break his normal routine, like the incredible strength Kallin has that he can’t explain. Not to mention, Kallin is in love with a girl that he has never met. The only means of communication they have is a pen and an enchanted journal that was given to Kallin by his father. The journal’s twin belongs to Allie and whatever is written in one can be seen in the other. For the past year they have shared their secrets and their souls, which is why Allie knows they can never meet. It is the only way to keep his heart safe. 

Enter the dark world of curses, secrets, and a history as old as time. The novel opens on Allie’s eighteenth birthday. With one year left, she, along with her best friend Miles set off from California to find out more about the curse, her past, and to stay as far away from Kallin Grimm as she can. Their first lead is in Chicago. Maybe this curse is stronger than she thinks. Tick-Tick-Tick. 


My Review:

I have loved the Brothers Grimm and all their tales since I was a small child. In High School, I wrote poetry comparing Disney princesses to their Grimm stories. In College, I took every chance to use the Grimm Brother’s or any of their stories as subject matter – my final paper on “The Irony of Grimm’s Fairy Tales” won two local awards. Just last year my husband bought me the complete first edition of all their fairy tales for an anniversary present.

Why am I telling you this? Because I wanted you to know that when I saw the title for Grimm & White and the read the blurb – I was more than excited to read this novel!

 “Life is a war that can never be won. Some battles, the bullet grazes our armor. Other days we are ravaged and ruined and barely hanging on.” – Grimm & White, by Emily Hansen

In the world of Grimm & White, we find Allie – a sarcastic teen with a personality verging on the morbid, due to her literally having no heart. A curse placed on her family condemned all heartless to murder the one they love on their 19th birthday or they will die. Allie is set on never falling in love, but once her grandmother gave her a magical journal that connects to another one held by a boy named Kallin – they fall headfirst down a rabbit hole of angst-ridden love.

“Even my cat knows loving me is a mistake.” – Grimm & White, by Emily Hansen

First, I want to delve into the writing. Hansen is a master at description without being overtly so. Her words flowed almost like poetry off the page, making me feel more connected to the story.

For Example:

“Regret takes hold in places you can’t touch. It’s a damn itch you will never be able to scratch.” – Grimm & White, by Emily Hansen

From the first page you can tell that she put many hours of thought not only into the intricacies of the story, but in the nuances of each character. There wasn’t a one that didn’t have a history or an angle that either contributed to or hindered the solution of Allie and Kallin’s plight.

“Lies in my house are dispensed like dealing a deck of cards. Each flip turns over new information, but some cards trump the rest.” – Grimm & White, by Emily Hansen

Grimm & White is told from both the perspective of Allie and Kallin. Because of that we are able to see inside both of their minds. Both have their own set of issues and hang ups. Both are struggling with their emotions in vastly different ways. Both are endearing and perfect for each other.

Bravo! Hansen.

It’s a lost art in today’s YA to show a blossoming romance instead of insta-love. From the beginning of the book when they are just writing to each other to when they meet to the drama that unfolds, you can see how they grow in their love. It’s refreshing.

From Allie:

“He never told me about the gold specs that float in the bottom corners of his green eyes. I might have found my favorite thing in the world.” – Grimm & White, by Emily Hansen
“I find myself caring about his opinion of me.” – Grimm & White, by Emily Hansen

To Kallin:

“It’s not like I can tell my friends or family that the girl I’m in love with could be a figment of my imagination.” – Grimm & White, by Emily Hansen
 “A kindness like hers, one that is not boastful, will go unnoticed if you blink too long.” – Grimm & White, by Emily Hansen

The magical world of Grimm & White is full of everything I adored from the Grimm Brother’s tales. Dark characters, morbid curses, strange creatures, and with a promise that not every ending comes with a “Happily Ever After”. If that is what you’re into, I beg you – click on the purchase link and get you a copy.



About Emily Hansen:

Emily Hansen is a writer currently living in Baltimore City. She grew up in Illinois and will always call Chicago home. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a BA in Fiction. She is a 9th grade English teacher. She became a writer because she thinks that people should not have to look far to find magic in their lives. Her obsessions range from depressing poetry to one or ten cups of coffee a day. Grimm and White is her first novel.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/City.Writer.Emily

Twitter: www.twitter.com/Emilyhansen5  

Blog: http://emilyannhansen.weebly.com

Blog: http://itsnotyou-itsme.weebly.com


Book Tour & Review: Daughter of the Sun by @zoekalowriter + #GIVEAWAY


Daughter of the Sun

Author: Zoe Kalo
Publisher: Zoe Kalo
Published: April 1st, 2016
Pages: 330
Audience: YA
Genre: Mythology, Paranormal & Urban

Source: I received a copy of this book from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.


Blurb:

Sixteen-year-old Trinity was born during a solar eclipse and left at the doorsteps of a convent along with a torn piece of papyrus covered with ancient symbols. Raised by nuns in the English countryside, she leads a quiet life until she’s whisked away to the Island of Cats and a grandmother she never knew. 
But before they can get to know each other, her grandmother dies. All that Trinity has left is a mysterious eye-shaped ring. And a thousand grieving cats. As Trinity tries to solve the enigma of the torn papyrus, she discovers a world of bloody sacrifices and evil curses, and a prophecy that points to her and her new feline abilities. 
Unwilling to believe that any of the Egyptian gods could still be alive, Trinity turns to eighteen-year-old Seth and is instantly pulled into a vortex of sensations that forces her to confront her true self—and a horrifying destiny.


My Review:

Daughter of the Sun brings Egyptian mythology to the modern world. If you read my previous reviews, you’d know that I’m a bit of a fan when it comes to modern mythology re-imaginings. So when I had the chance to pick up a book offering me not only that, but also a promise of a mystery – I was SOLD!

“I happen to share DaVinci’s opinion that cats are the masterpieces of nature.” – Daughter of the Sun, Zoe Kalo

The story started off interesting. We are introduced to Trinity who is an orphan in London. The circumstances behind Trinity’s abandonment and the whole mystery grandmother to come out of nowhere was extremely interesting, but then the book began to stall for me. It was like that for a while until the mystery really picked back up.

There were some smaller “mysteries” that were a bit obvious to me, but that didn’t negate from the excitement of the story. At times Kalo had be fully engaged in the plot. A plot that was basically this in a nutshell:

“Why couldn’t I shake the feeling that there was something darker at work, that, unknown to me, I was taking part in someone else’s play?” – Daughter of the Sun, Zoe Kalo

Trinity wasn’t a character I connected with. I didn’t really care about her, but I cared for her story. I wanted to know everything. Why she was abandoned? Why were mysterious things happening to her body? What did this all have to do with the Cult of the Cat? WHAT WAS WRITTEN ON THAT PAPYRUS? (as you can tell that didn’t bug me – at all)

Seth and Ara were characters I truly enjoyed. Both had more depth to me and seemed more of an actual character than Trinity. The dynamics between all the characters were spot on and Kalo’s descriptions of a girl who’s completely infatuated were hilariously spot-on:

 “But my eyes were listening to me. They kept straying like naughty, disobedient street urchins.” – Daughter of the Sun, Zoe Kalo

I especially liked this simple quote about young love. It really rung true with my own strict upbringing:

“No wonder the nuns had been so admonishing about what could happen between boys and girls. This was powerful stuff.” – Daughter of the Sun, Zoe Kalo

If you are a fan of Egyptian mythology, crazy cat ladies, mysteries galore, old family curses, breaking & entering, and an ancient papyrus with a hard-to-translate script – all of this on a mysterious island right off the coast of Istanbul (not Constantinople) – than Daughter of the Sun is the book for you.



About Zoe Kalo:

A certified bookworm, Zoe Kalo has always been obsessed with books and reading. Reading led to writing—compulsively. No surprise that at 16, she wrote her first novel, which her classmates read and passed around secretly. The pleasure of writing and sharing her fantasy worlds has stayed with her, so now she wants to pass her stories to you with no secrecy—but with lots of mystery… 

A daughter of adventurous expats, she’s had the good fortune of living on 3 continents, learning 4 languages, and experiencing a multicultural life. Currently, she’s working on a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature, which she balances between writing, taking care of her clowder of cats, and searching for the perfect bottle of pinot noir.