December 8, 2021

ARC REVIEW: Relatively Normal Secrets by C.W. Allen

Relatively Normal Secrets by C.W. Allen

Rating: 4 Stars

Release Date: September 7, 2021

Format: eARC

Publisher: Cinnabar Moth Publishing


“Normal is relative.”


Relatively Normal Secrets by C.W. Allen is an innovative, fast-paced middle-grade fantasy adventure suitable for readers of all ages. The author caught my attention quite early on in the book. I found myself committed to following the journey of Zed, Tuesday, and their loyal (if a bit disobedient) canine companion Nyx. 


Every child, at some point in their life, has thought their parents were weird. With no clue about what their parents do for work and no family history to speak of, Zed and Tuesday Furst are convinced that something is off. When their parents leave for a trip and armed intruders with shapeshifting weapons come barrelling into their house hours later, the siblings quickly discover that their parents have been hiding more secrets than they could have ever imagined. So much for being normal...


Zed and Tuesday are siblings, and as much as they might bicker they ended up balancing each other out. As someone with a sibling of my own, I enjoyed seeing their teamwork and how they became closer over the course of the story. Zed’s lists throughout the book were quite enjoyable and informative. It helped keep track of all the information that was being given out in scenes where there was a lot of backstory and world-building. 


I loved the feel of the book. Equal parts fantasy, and equal parts almost futuristic sci-fi. Falinnheim is a world that has both modern components (like holograms) and more medieval components. It was quite humorous to watch Zed and Tuesday stumble their way through the world (i.e. when they discover the currency is “minutes”). There’s also a mystery component to the book, as Zed and Tuesday must decipher the clues being left for them throughout their journey. The mystery was quite easy for me to decipher (I’m in my twenties). However, I can see that the target audience of middle-grade readers would have fun trying to piece various clues together. 


Overall, Relatively Normal Secrets is a fantastic choice for fantasy and mystery readers young and old. I can’t wait for the sequel, so I can see what’s next for the Furst family and Falinnheim! Thank you to the author C.W. Allen, Cinnabar Moth Publishing, and Prism Book Tours for my complimentary review copy. I voluntarily read and reviewed Relatively Normal Secrets; this does not affect the context of my review or my opinion of the book. 



About the Author: C.W. Allen

Author of the middle grade novels RELATIVELY NORMAL SECRETS (2021), THE SECRET BENEFITS OF INVISIBILITY (2022), and TALES OF THE FORGOTTEN FOUNDERS (2023).

C.W. Allen is a Nebraskan by birth, a Texan by experience, a Hoosier by marriage, and a Utahn by geography. She knew she wanted to be a writer the moment she read The Westing Game at age twelve, but took a few detours along the way as a veterinary nurse, an appliance repair secretary, and a homeschool parent.

She recently settled in the high desert of rural Utah with her husband, their three children, and a noisy flock of orphaned ideas. Someday she will create literary homes for all of them. (The ideas, not her family.)

Keep up with her latest projects at her website: cwallenbooks.com

She is much funnier on Twitter than in person: twitter.com/cwallenbooks

Sign up for her newsletter and get a bonus short story!
https://www.cwallenbooks.com/contact



December 7, 2021

COVER REVEAL: A Whisper in the Night by Tina Marte and Rebel Rowser

 


Hi all! Today, I'm pleased to join Literary Bound Tours for a cover reveal of Tina Marte and Rebel Rowser's A Whisper in the Night! Keep reading to see the full cover and the synopsis - mark your calendars too because A Whisper in the Night releases on August 23, 2022. Don't forget to check out the other tour hosts and their posts celebrating the cover reveal for A Whisper in the Night. The link to the schedule is below. 

https://literaryboundtours.com/2021/12/02/cover-reveal-schedule-a-whisper-in-the-night-by-tina-marte-rebel-rowser/

A Whisper in the Night by Tina Marte Rebel Rowser
By FM by Faemance
On August 23rd, 2022
Genres: New Adult Dark Fantasy
Format: Paperback, Hardcover, Ebook
Pre-order: Amazon

An arranged marriage. A kidnapped general. A plot to murder.

Princess Fiadonessa is at the center of them all. To save her people, she's forced to accept a marriage to Prince Fynnigan, heir to the rival kingdom of Guinyx. When the king of Guinyx's beloved general is kidnapped, Fia snatches her opportunity for freedom and strikes a bargain: the general's safe return for an annulment. Her gift of hearing whispers in the wind should make the task easy, but she soon discovers there's more to the kidnapping than meets the eye. The whispers warn the Bringer of Death, Mikaiel, is after her. Everything about him is lethal, but what scares Fia most of all isn't losing her life— it's losing her heart.

TW: Please be aware that this book features mature content not meant for readers under the age of eighteen due to themes of murder, death, and a bit of heat.

About the Authors

TINA MARTE

Tina is a lost soul finding herself through badass heroines and broody alphaholes. When she isn’t reading about a hot fae with wings, she’s making dreams come true for other authors. Her debut Adult Fantasy comes out in August 2022 titled, A WHISPER IN THE NIGHT.

You can connect with Tina on her socials: Author Website - Instagram


REBEL ROWSER

Southern born and raised, Rebel Rowser now resides up north and hates the cold. Originally pursuing video game design, he realized he loved writing stories more than computer code. When he isn’t writing, he’s usually playing Destiny or annoying his dog and loveable girlfriend. 

His debut NA Dark Fantasy comes out August 2022, titled A WHISPER IN THE NIGHT. 

You can connect with Rebel on his socials: Instagram - TikTok



December 6, 2021

ARC REVIEW: The Renegade Spy Project by Terri Selting David

TheRenegade copy

Welcome to the book tour for The Renegade Spy Project by Terri Selting David, a book I know most parents and readers will wholeheartedly recommend! Read on for more info, my review, and a chance to win a digital copy of the entire trilogy!

Cover SPY FRONT RGB

The Renegade Spy Project (The Renegade Girls Tinkering Club #1)

Publication Date: August 10th, 2020

Genre: Middle Grade/ Chapter Books/ Children’s Inventor Books (Ages 8 – 12)

Publisher: Spiderdust Studios

Wren is impulsive, curious, and always in trouble. Can her flaws become her greatest asset?

Wren Sterling has a problem. She knows she’s super smart and a good friend, but no matter how hard she tries, she can’t shake her reputation as a troublemaker. It feels like the only people who believe in her are her three best friends in the Renegade Girls Tinkering Club. She’d hoped middle school would be different, but when her inability to control her temper causes an accident, even her beloved STEM Club is no longer a safe haven.

She has to find a way to fix it. When her idea to start a business inventing and selling spy gadgets succeeds, it looks like she’s finally done something right! But then the Club is accused of a crime. Can they use their own gadgets, and a little bit of trouble to solve the mystery? If they can find the real culprit, Wren may just discover she has a bright future after all. If they can’t, she could lose her best friends forever.

“It’s The Babysitter’s Club meets MacGyver!”

Build your own SPY GADGETS! Instructions included in this charming story about friendship, middle school, and the Engineering Design Process for kids ages 8-12.

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

Technically it was Wren’s Greenhouse, hidden behind her family's small home in the middle of San Francisco, but all the Renegades felt at home there. In the Greenhouse, they didn't have to worry about other people's rules and opinions. Or try to be boring or be like everyone else. The Greenhouse was their safe space. They could just be themselves. Wren's parents let them use it as their workshop and clubhouse as long as her little sister, Trixie, could be part of the club.

When they'd formed the Renegade Girls Tinkering Club, the Greenhouse had been abandoned and filled with broken pots and spiderwebs. It was small and dirty, but had everything they needed. A door hidden like a secret behind an overgrown wisteria vine. A back wall with shelves from floor to ceiling, and excellent light from a front wall made entirely of glass. A small but sturdy potting table sat against the windows. It was pleasant and warm, with one electrical outlet and a small work sink. They loved it from the first time they saw it.

Amber, Kammie, Ivy, Wren, and even Trixie had worked tirelessly last summer, cleaning and gathering assorted leftovers, recyclables, and a mishmash of bins to put them in. They categorized and labelled, collected cardboard by cutting down shipping boxes, and saved empty toilet paper rolls from the trash. They snuck random scissors from kitchen drawers, ribbons, buttons, anything that looked useful or had an interesting shape. Amber had borrowed a folding card table from her garage, and Kammie brought in some stools her parents were getting rid of. Wren found an old glue gun, and they had even managed to find an unused sewing machine. The first purchase with their club dues had been copies of the side gate key, so everyone could head directly into the backyard when they came over.

Amber rocketed through that side gate, clutching a cardboard box protectively to her chest with her delicate arms. Beneath a spring green sundress her feet, in their pristine white flats, skipped quickly and skillfully over the ground. The September afternoon sun lit up her auburn hair like a fiery halo.

Available on Amazon

REVIEW of The Renegade Spy Project (The Renegade Girls Tinkering Club #1) by Terri Selting David
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Release Date: August 10, 2020
Format: eARC
Publisher: Spiderdust Studios

The Renegade Spy Project, first in the Renegade Girls Tinkering Club series by Terri Selting David is a solid choice for any young inventor in one's life. I would recommend it to readers at the middle-grade level who enjoy a bit of mystery and innovation in stories. 


Our main character, Wren Sterling is very intelligent but she's often overlooked by adults for being different. She and her group of friends, members of the Renegade Girls Tinkering Club must overcome multiple obstacles and secure their future in STEM before it's too late. 


I think this book will be very encouraging to young readers interested in STEM. The main characters aren’t some group of super-geniuses where everything they attempt goes right on the first attempt. They make mistakes, they learn from them, and they get to increase their knowledge in the process. As a chemistry major in college, I loved how the author included instructions for DIY science experiments within the book - readers will get to attempt the same experiments the characters are working on. The format makes them very accessible for anyone to try, as Ms. David breaks the process down into simple steps. When some authors attempt this, it feels more like it was “dumbed down” but I never got that sense while reading the book. I hope more people discover this book in the near future!   


Thank you to the author Terri Selting David and Shannon at Reads and Reels Book Tours (R&R Book Tours) for sharing a review copy of the book with me. I voluntarily read and reviewed The Renegade Spy Project. This did not affect my opinion of the book or the context of my review.


About the Author

5cecmergncjr8fii0ns2m1lfk._SX450_

In 1996, Terri left Colorado, where she grew up, and headed even more West until she couldn’t get any West-er. Landing in San Francisco, her career spanned more than a decade in 3D character animation for video games, films, television shows, and even a comic book (but mostly video games.) Her work encompassed character animation, art direction, and story development before she had children and, imagining a better world for them, co-founded the Renegade Girls Tinkering Club with her friend Vicky in 2015. Since then she’s created over a dozen curricula and assisted in creating half a dozen more, encompassing more than 230 individual projects.

She lives in San Francisco with 2 rowdy children and a fabulous, brilliant husband who brings her tea every night.

Spiderdust Studios – Girls Who Make Stuff

International Giveaway: The Renegade Girls Tinkering Club Trilogy (Digital)

Rafflecopter

Book Tour Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours