Review: Sentient by Michael Leon (plus a $20 GC giveaway)

Sentient Blog Tour banner

Today we have sci fi novel Sentient by Michael Leon! I wasn’t so sure I’d be up for this blog tour but I wanted to give this book a try. I’m glad I did because it turned out to be an exciting read!

Read more about the book below and check out my review. Also, read an excerpt and join the giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon/B&N GC!

Sentient By Michael LeonAbout the Book

A century has passed and yes, the human race stumbled into evolutionary compromise. But it’s not the androids who are the victors. Post-humans have exploded into preeminence, gaining tech superiority and a tech immunity against the global environmental degradation. Humans are trivialised, a minority species, their one last significant task, restore the environmental damage they inflicted on Earth and terraform off-planets. One human and his ‘biot’ android embark on such a journey to Mars, opening the possibility for an evolutionary path back to greatness, but hostile post-human agents have infiltrated their mission.

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An intriguing and exciting sci fi thriller

It’s 2120 and of course the world has changed. Everything’s advanced, the environment on earth isn’t great, and there are less humans than post-humans or people with tech implants and biots or human-like robots. AI governs the world and the tension and politics between humans and post-humans are intense. While humans are determined to restore Earth and terraform other planets like Mars, post-humans are focused on speeding up technological change. Human scientist Dane Walker and his biot Hali leave Earth for Mars on a secret mission to bring a piece of technology vital to the terraforming project on Mars. Unfortunately, the post-humans are on to them and are hell-bent on stopping them and acquiring the technology for themselves.

This was an easy read for me because it turned out to be quite exciting. The story is fast-paced, intriguing and thought-provoking. It has all the elements of a gripping thriller – you know, secret missions, secret agents, counterintelligence, espionage, military action. Mix that with a very cool setting like space and a red dusty planet, fascinating human and non-human characters (the non-humans were my favorites, btw) and some convincing science and you’ve got a very cool and compelling story that makes you think about things like consequences, being human, how far we’d go to advance or “better” ourselves, what does “better” even mean, what we’re willing to do to change our situation and our future, and what’s out there for us as a people.

I enjoyed reading this and if you’re into sci fi and/or thrillers, you might enjoy this one, too!

Note: I received a review copy of this book as part of my participation in the tour. All opinions and views expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Sentient by Michael Leon

Michael Leon is an explorer, writer and author of the new novel, Sentient. Professionally trained in international trade, Michael has spent the last decade reading and writing SFF novels about new worlds to be explored in the future. His latest work, Sentient, imagines Earth in the year 2120. Michael has traveled extensively around Europe, walking the paths of his characters, from the famous European opera houses in Phantoms to the mountain tops of Switzerland in Emissary.

Connect with the author on his website, Twitter, Blogger, Goodreads and Amazon.

Read an excerpt from Sentient by Michael Leon

The thought of engine failure enveloped my core as we approached the fateful deceleration phase. Rationally, I knew there hadn’t been a malfunction in many years, but statistics always had outliers. I was a Martian, but this was my first Mars landing. A feeling of dread overwhelmed me as the ship accelerated toward the planet. I tried to focus on Step, who methodically adjusted the navigation system, unaffected by the looming peril. It was ironic. I was part of a resistance, demanding more humanness and less technology, but I wouldn’t have anyone else but this talented biot navigate me back to my home. Step assuredly fired the thrusters, abruptly shifting our ship from its vertical fall.

“Brace people,” he warned, as the force of the thrusters turned my world upside down. The roar screamed like a tornado, capturing me and twisting the ship as if it were lighter than a feather. Extreme G-forces turned my body inside out in one violent action. For the briefest of moments, I wished we had crashed, but the roar of the thrusters subsided as did my discomfort. I barely heard Step’s next command as the ringing in my ears slowly abated. “Welcome to Mars, Dane.”

Giveaway

Michael Leon will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the other tour stops for more chances of winning! You can find the blog tour schedule here.

Spotlight: Apophis by Raj Anand (and a $25 giveaway)

Apophis by Raj Anand tour banner

Hullo, friends! I’ve got another sci fi book for you to check out! Today we have Apophis by author Raj Anand.

This isn’t the first book with that title that I’ve encountered so I was interested. I looked up Apophis and found out that it’s the Greek name for the great demon serpent Apep in Egyptian mythology. Apophis is associated with earthquakes, thunder, darkness, storms, and death, and is sometimes linked to the god Set, also associated with chaos, disorder, storms, and darkness (source). Interesting. Also, it’s the name of near-Earth asteroid 99942, first discovered in 2004 and calculated to fly-by really close to our planet in 2029 and return years later (source). Very very interesting, right?

Anyway, this book is just as intriguing! Read more about it below, check out an excerpt and join in on all the book blast fun! Enjoy and goodluck! :)

Apophis Final CoverAbout the book

January, 2022: A dark monstrous twin-headed apparition – Apophis – feverishly races past the expanse of the Milky Way galaxy and bolts to the edge of the solar system. Recklessly accelerating, the sinister rock-dyad enters the gravitational keyhole of the blue planet and continues its resolute inebriated journey – to soon arrive with an apocalyptic impact on Earth.

December, 2012: Five sentient beings born in different cities – New York, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Azores Islands and Istanbul, discover amongst haunting memories of their phantasmal past lives, that it is their destiny to save humanity from the evil forces unleashed by the alien fiends – the Skyllats.

And now, the reincarnated 9-year-olds must rely on their shared, ancient wisdom to prepare humanity for the war across the galaxy that is imminent.

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Get this book on Amazon, Amazon IN, Amazon UK, Kobo, Google Play, Notion Press and FlipKart.

The book is FREE November 5 to December 5.

A Note From The Author

Writing Apophis over these past five years, has been a cathartic inner-journey that rippled across my life. It extracted all of my patience, diligence and life-learnings of my past 52 years lived on this orphic blue bubble, as it floats across a conscious Universe.

Now its journey complete, it was launched a few days ago on several platforms across the world. And I am left exhausted, numbed and humbled by this Initiation.

I acknowledge that it is a book that I have NOT written, for it was willed from me – by the Universe. And now, it is like a child set free – floating away – ready to choose its own path, life-journey and future.

Where it goes from here?

It is for the Universe to decide.

I did, what was willed of me to do…

All I can promise the reader is a book imbued with a magical wisdom. A restlessly paced story that transports you across time, teamed up with five children along their phantasmal, breathtaking journeys.

These 9-year-olds the reincarnations of ancient philosophers, including Confucius, Plato, Buddha, Ptah Hotep and a mysterious another.

Happy Reading!

About the Author

Savinder Raj Anand is an architect and has been teaching Architecture & Design at various Universities in India for more than 12 years. A long-distance runner with a wanderlust to explore the world, and write stories that traverse across diverse cultures. He lives in Goa with his daughter, a dog, and two cats.

Inspired by his then 18-month-old daughter – when she quoted Socrates – while they together sat in a children’s bookstore in Bangalore (LIGHTROOM) in early January of 2015, he has completed this – his first book – as she turns 7 years old.

Connect with the author on his Website, on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

Read an Excerpt

The Barred Spiral Milky Way Galaxy
At the Edge of the Solar System
January 17, 2022 (Earth Time)

A dark monstrous apparition, slingshot from across another realm, camouflaged in a jagged, charcoal black rock, adroitly surfed the gravitational waves of the universe. Feverishly racing past the expanse of the Milky Way galaxy, it bolted to the edge of the solar system and arrived from above the plane of the ecliptic – gyrating closer to the sun.

The dark fiend continued its charge forward, cutting across the path of Venus – nearly crashing onto it, before it deftly decelerated and reached a stable orbit in a retrograde rotation around the pale-yellow planet. This tenacious temporary satellite immediately scrambled to steal a fragment of the protesting planet’s enormous momentum. Catapulted along the plain of the ecliptic, recklessly accelerating at an impossible speed – it shattered, splitting into two.

The newly formed rock dyad – a small black moon orbiting a sphere of death – pulled free from Venus. It continued its inebriated journey, salivating at the opportunity to rain a resolute chaos upon an orphic azure-blue bubble still 40 million kilometers away.

Unbeknownst to the alien rock dyad, a faint sliver of gold orbited nearby. The 7.5-meter-tall and 3.2-meter wide Sentinel Space Telescope clothed in a gold foil, with a giant heat-reflector shield strung along its back; cooled to 40 degrees Kelvin by a two stage, closed cycle Stirling cryocooler. Its 0.51-meter aluminum mirror, dutifully scanned any and all Inner Earth Objects larger than 90 meters in diameter that ever dared to fly across its 200-degree angle of regard.

The Sentinel Observatory, alarmed by the presence of the ghostly twin-headed monster, recorded the black rock dyad’s trajectory, shape, size, mass, and rotational dynamics, before it urgently sent a coded message to its home base in southern Japan.

Giveaway

Raj Anand will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Get your entries in below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit the other tour stops for more chances of winning! You can find the blog tour schedule here.

Cover Reveal: Brambles by Intisar Khanani

Brambles cover reveal

Woot! Today we have the cover reveal of Brambles, a novellette by fantasy author Intisar Khanani.

Brambles is a short story prequel to Thorn and gives Alyrra’s account of what happened years ago before the events in Thorn.

Let’s check out the gorgeous cover!

Brambles by Intisar Khanani

Author: Intisar Khanani
Release Date: December 7, 2020
Formats: ebook and audio
Length: Novelette
Cover Designer: Jenny Zemanek

About the book:

In the kingdom of Adania, everyone knows what Princess Alyrra did to earn the court’s contempt, her mother’s disdain, and her brother’s hatred.

She betrayed her own.

Yet, the truth hides another story, one of honor and honesty, of a princess gambling her own life for another’s. It’s a tale of courage and consequences, and a choice that can never be undone.

A short story prequel to her multi-starred fantasy, Thorn, Intisar Khanani’s “Brambles” gives Alyrra’s account of what really happened all those years ago, and how a few critical days turned her life into a daily fight for survival.

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About the Author

Intisar-Khanani-Author-Photo

Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. She has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. She is the author of The Sunbolt Chronicles and Thorn (HarperTeen 2020).

Connect with the author: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Read an excerpt

“I’ve got a secret,” Valka says, stepping up beside me. We stand at the edge of the roughly cobbled courtyard before the hall, mud sticking to our boots and our cloaks flapping in the chill spring breeze.

The last of this morning’s departing carriages rolls toward the gates. Edlyna nods regally through the carriage window at us.

“Wouldn’t you like to know it?” Valka presses.

I glance helplessly around, as if someone might appear to rescue me. But of course, Valka has timed her approach perfectly: Mother has already departed with her coterie of vassals, and my brother hasn’t bothered to come at all. There are a few other nobles who have yet to leave for their lands for the summer, including Maralinde. But, along with the rest, she’s busy packing. Unlike Valka, unfortunately.

“If it’s a secret, you shouldn’t tell anyone,” I say, shifting uneasily.

“You’re such a mouse, Alyrra.” Valka gives a sweet, tinkling little laugh. The sound of it makes my skin prickle. I’ve heard that laugh enough times now to know that what she has to share will hardly be innocent.

Giveaway

Visit the author’s cover reveal post (link below) to enter the special giveaway for a chance to win a $20 worth book from Book Depository!

http://booksbyintisar.com/2020/10/19/brambles-cover-reveal/

Spotlight: The Rose by PD Alleva (and a $50 giveaway)

TheRose_TourBanner

Today we have dystopian sci fi thriller The Rose by author PD Alleva. I was intrigued by the blurb because, um, alien vampires!? It sounded like an interesting and unique take on different concepts and I love stuff like that. I checked out the reviews on Goodreads and they’re all pretty good so far.

Read more about the book, read an excerpt and read all the way to the end of the post to join in on all the blog tour fun! :)

The Rose by PD AllevaAbout the book

A masterful, dystopian science fiction thriller of underground genetic experiments, telepathic evil greys, mysterious rebellion, conspiracy, martial arts, and Alien Vampires.

Sandy Cox believed WW3 was over. But for those Alien Vampires, War Has Just Begun.

Forty-eight hours after a World War III treaty is signed Sandy Cox awakens in an underground compound unable to move. Tied to machines she screams for help but no one answers. At least NO ONE HUMAN.

And they’ve taken her unborn child.

Enter Phil, a rebel freedom fighter who has had more than his share of Alien Vampires. Armed with THE BLADES, a sacred alien martial art, he enters the compound on a mission to find Sandy. But as he battles his way through the compound, Phil discovers Sandy has her own agenda. Finding her stolen child is all that matters.

But the vampires have their own plan and Sandy’s baby is at the heart of their diabolical plot. Joined by a crew of rogue soldiers, they must navigate the underground compound, battling genetically mutated humans, aliens and monsters.

When battling Alien Vampires, one thing is certain…Get Ready To Bleed!

Fans of The Hunger Games, George RR Martin, VE Schwab, Star Wars and Ancient Aliens will be fascinated by this high-powered, intelligent, edge of your seat dystopian sci-fi action thriller.

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The book is on sale for $0.99 for a limited time!

About the Author

PD Alleva is an alternative fiction author. His novels cross genres, blending mystery, conspiracy, psychology, and action with horror and dystopian science fiction. Alternative fiction is PD’s attempt at describing what readers uncover in any one of his books, a new discovery towards mainstream storytelling. He’s been writing since childhood, creating and developing stories with brash and impactful concepts that he would describe are metaphors for the shifting energies that exist in the universe. PD exists inside of his own universe, working diligently on The Rose Vol. II and exceptional horror novels. Be prepared for Golem, PD’s upcoming horror thriller.

Connect with the author on his Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Amazon!

The Rose is on sale for $0.99 for a limited time!

Read an Excerpt

The blades were unharmed. The blades are a unique contraption with thin handles held in the palms, clamps that wrapped around the wrist and just above the elbow, connected by a thin, almost string like plastic. The metal blade descended from the handles down across the arm bone to the elbow clamp and locked into place. The metal they were made from was not of this earth and was able to collapse inside the handles and wrist clamp like tin foil crumples inside a fist. But this metal was strong and solid and unmatched to any substance on earth. The handles when pressed by the index finger would ignite the blades down the arm, locking in place. Another unique feature were the handles, fitted comfortably in the palm, when pressed with the thumbs would ignite claws of steel. A useful tool when needing to climb walls. Robyn had spent years teaching Phil the art of Kobudo Tonfa. An art he’d become supremely confident with.

Phil’s stare drifted to the full blood moon rising over the compound. Eyes wide, thinking: You know what that means. There’s more under the moon tonight than just alien vampires. And they come with teeth. The moon’s red glow crept across the landscape as Phil dipped his chin to his chest, grinding his teeth. Four simple words on the tip of his tongue…

“Get ready to bleed.”

Giveaway

PD Alleva will award one winner, chosen randomly via rafflecopter, a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit the other tour stops for more chances of winning!

You can find the list of participating blogs here: https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2020/08/virtual-book-tour-rose-by-pd-alleva.html

Blog Tour: The Ikessar Falcon by K.S. Villoso

The Ikessar Falcon_Blog Tour Banner

Hullo, friends! Today, we’re featuring The Ikessar Falcon by author K.S. Villoso. This is the follow up to The Wolf of Oren-Yaro which has gotten amazing reviews everywhere. The Ikessar Falcon officially releases this week, so watch out for it!

Read more about the book below and check the other tour stops for reviews of the book.

The Ikessar Falcon (2020)The Ikessar Falcon

Genre: adult, fantasy

Diversity tags: own-voices, authors of color (filipino author), poc representation (filipino characters)

Publication date: 24 September 2020

Publisher: Orbit Books

Cover artist: Simon Goinard

Synopsis:

The Bitch Queen returns in The Ikessar Falcon, the action-packed sequel to K. S. Villoso’s acclaimed fantasy debut, The Wolf of Oren-Yaro.

Abandoned by her people, Queen Talyien’s quest takes a turn for the worse as she stumbles upon a plot deeper and more sinister than she could have ever imagined, one that will displace her king and see her son dead. The road home beckons, strewn with a tangled web of deceit and unimaginable horrors – creatures from the dark, mad dragons and men with hearts hungry for power.

To save her land, Talyien must confront the myth others have built around her: Warlord Yeshin’s daughter, symbol of peace, warrior and queen and everything she could never be.

The price for failure is steep. Her friends are few. And a nation carved by a murderer can only be destined for war.

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About the Author

The-Ikessar-Falcon_Author-photo-K.S.-Villoso

K.S. Villoso was born in a dank hospital on an afternoon in Albay, Philippines, and things have generally been okay since then. After spending most of her childhood in a slum area in Taguig (where she dodged death-defying traffic, ate questionable food, and fell into open-pit sewers more often than one ought to), she and her family immigrated to Vancouver, Canada, where they spent the better part of two decades trying to chase the North American Dream. She is now living amidst the forest and mountains with her family, children, and dogs in Anmore, BC.

Connect with the author on her Website, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads and Facebook.

The wolf and the queen (quotes from the book)

Wolf card from The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit deck.

“They called me the Bitch Queen, the she-wolf, because I murdered a man and exiled my king the night before they crowned me.”

“A wolf of Oren-yaro does not beg. A wolf of Oren-yaro suffers in silence.”

“I thought a wolf of Oren-yaro was unyielding; I had no idea how deep the Ikessars’ own tenets ran.”

“You are a wolf of Oren-yaro. You do not bend to mere whimsy. We are swords first, servants first.”

Queen of Swords card from The Sasuraibito Tarot deck.

“But Queen Talyien and Tali are different edges of the same sword — one a mask, the other a woman.”

“What strength I thought I had was laughable — I needed to be more than this. Jin-Sayeng needed me to be more than this. Thousands lost their lives to get me to where I was. If I faltered, thousands more would follow.”

“I tore my attention back to him, taking a deep breath and reaching inside to become queen of Jin-Sayeng once more.”

“Bitch Queen or frightened girl? What kind of gods would decree such an insurmountable battle for someone responsible for thousands upon thousands of lives?”

“If you were free to walk away from all of this, what would you be?” I stared at the fire for a long time. “I’d be free,” I murmured.”

I picked the Queen of Swords because I thought it was fitting. The Queen of Swords can represent independence, intelligence, objective thinking, constructive criticism and protectiveness. On the reverse of it, it can also represent being over-emotional, pessimistic, harsh, bitchy and unforgiving. I thought this card represents how Talyien struggles as a queen, a daughter, a protective mother, a wife, a woman.

Check out the first book in this series

The Wolf of Oren-YaroThe Wolf of Oren-Yaro (Book #1)

A queen of a divided land must unite her people, even if they hate her, even if it means stopping a ruin that she helped create. A debut epic fantasy from an exciting new voice.

“I murdered a man and made my husband leave the night before they crowned me.”

Born under the crumbling towers of Oren-yaro, Queen Talyien was the shining jewel and legacy of the bloody War of the Wolves that nearly tore her nation apart. Her upcoming marriage to the son of her father’s rival heralds peaceful days to come.

But his sudden departure before their reign begins fractures the kingdom beyond repair.

Years later, Talyien receives a message, urging her to attend a meeting across the sea. It’s meant to be an effort at reconciliation, but an assassination attempt leaves the queen stranded and desperate to survive in a dangerous land. With no idea who she can trust, she’s on her own as she struggles to fight her way home.

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Blog Tour Dates

Visit the other blog tour stops and find out what advance copy readers think about the book!

You can find the tour schedule and list of participating blogs here: https://caffeinebooktours.wordpress.com/2020/08/08/ikessar-falcon-tour/

Spotlight: Dark Matter by Alyssa Huckleberry (and a $10 Giveaway)

Dark Matter by Alyssa Huckleberry

How’s it going, friends? Today, we’re featuring Dark Matter by author Alyssa Huckleberry. I haven’t been reading much this year (not for lack of trying) but the few books I finished were mostly fantasies, so I was happy to join this book blast for something sci fi (my other favorite genre).

Read more about the book below, check out the excerpt and enter the giveaway for a chance to win a $10 gift card. Enjoy!

Dark Matter_Cover ConceptAbout the Book

“Survival is light years away.”

Earth is dying. The only salvation for humanity is colonizing space, yet so far that has failed. The last hope for survival exists on a planet light years away…and the mission is fraught with danger. Teenager Selina Alois leads a group of six high achievers who pass the exam of a lifetime to earn a position on the precarious expedition. As the mission launch approaches, dark secrets are exposed about the planet. Further digging reveals a sinister plot that not only risks humanity’s fate but also puts Selina and her team to the ultimate test.

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About the Author

DarkMatter_Author-PHoto

Alyssa Huckleberry grew up in San Diego as the oldest of four children. After earning a business degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Alyssa spent a short time working in finance before transitioning to work in education. Today Alyssa works as a fifth grade teacher and she LOVES her job!

When she isn’t teaching or writing, you can find Alyssa running, reading, practicing yoga, traveling the world, or spending time with those dearest to her. She loves spending time outdoors, growing in her faith, and learning new things (hence, the great amount of time spent reading, traveling, and going on adventures!). A true lover of whimsy, she also believes everything is better with a latte in hand.

Alyssa’s first novel, Rescuing Racei, was published in 2004 (while Alyssa was still a high school student) and later won the San Diego Book Award for Best Young Adult Novel. Since then, Alyssa published three other books to complete the series: Stealing Splendiferous, Magicus, and The Maleku Map.

The Struggle is Real was an inspired piece written for an adult audience as a stand-alone work. Her latest novel, Dark Matter, is written for a young adult audience. It is the first book in what will be a science-fiction series imagining a future of space exploration!

Connect with Alyssa here: Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon

Buy Dark Matter: Paperback | Kindle

Read an Excerpt From Dark Matter

“We don’t have much time.”

The first words out of my mother’s mouth were not what I had expected. I had expected to find
both of my parents home from work early; I had expected them to want to talk to me; I had expected an endless stream of questions. But not this.

The urgency in my mother’s tone told me this was more than a melancholic response to my impending departure—this was much more. Frowning with concern, I looked from my mother’s knitted brow to my father’s taut jawline. I stood frozen in place, hesitant even to close the door behind me.

“Come in,” my mother rushed on impatiently. “We really don’t have much time.”

Obediently, robot-like, I took a segmented step. My father pulled me forward and deeper into the
kitchen until the door clicked shut behind me.

“You need to listen very carefully to what we’re about to tell you,” my mother told me sternly.

“We won’t have a chance to say anything twice. What you hear, you must never repeat.”

“If any of us are caught sharing this information, we’ll be executed,” my father cut in, voice low
and grave.

Giveaway

Alyssa Huckleberry will be awarding a $10 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit the other tour stops and leave a comment for more chances of winning. You can the tour dates and participating blogs here: https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2020/07/book-blast-dark-matter-by-alyssa.html

Cover reveal: The Theft of Sunlight by Intisar Khanani ($25 Giveaway)

TheftofSunlight - header

Hi, friends! Today we have the cover reveal for The Theft of Sunlight by Intisar Khanani, who happens to be one of my favorite fantasy authors.

Theft of Sunlight is the first book in a companion duology to Thorn. The main character, Rae, is introduced in the short story, The Bone Knife, which is included at the end of Thorn. Btw, the Thorn ebook is currently on sale for only $2.99. Get it here!

Anyway, without further ado, check out the gorgeous cover below! Also check out the blurb and an excerpt. And, of course, enter the cover reveal giveaway for a chance to win $25 worth of books! Enjoy! :)

Theft of SunlightTitle: The Theft of Sunlight
Series: Book 1 in a duology in the “Dauntless Path” world
Author: Intisar Khanani
Cover Artist: Jenny Zemanek
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: March 23, 2021
Publisher: HarperTeen (US/CA), Hot Key (UK)
Price: TBD

I did not choose this fate. But I will not walk away if I can make a difference.

Children have been disappearing from Menaiya for longer than Amraeya ni Ansarim can remember. When her best friend’s sister disappears, Rae knows she can’t stay silent any longer. She finds the chance to make a difference in an invitation to the palace.

But Rae struggles to fit in with the lords and ladies of the court. Instead, she finds unexpected help in a rough-around-the-edges thief named Bren who always seems to have her best interests at heart. Soon even Bren can’t help her, and Rae must risk her life and well-being to face an evil that lurks in the shadows of the darkest hearts.

Add this book on Goodreads.

About the Author

Intisar-Khanani-Author-Photo

Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. She has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. She is the author of The Sunbolt Chronicles and Thorn (HarperTeen 2020).

Connect with the author: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Read an Excerpt from The Theft of Sunlight

I wait, listening for the sound of someone entering the house. Anything to indicate I need to hide what Niya’s doing. I can hear a woman calling to her children somewhere in the distance, and the general sounds of the town: a wagon creaking its way down the road, chickens clucking in someone’s backyard, and, faintly, people calling Seri’s name.

I swallow and glance back at Niya.

She looks up. “It’s not working. I don’t know if it’s me or . . .”

“Here,” I say, catching the end of one of my braids. “Try my hair. See if that works.”

Niya takes the bit of hair I snap off and bends over her bowl again. I grip my skirt with my fists and hope, hope that it’s Niya’s magic that isn’t working, and not . . . not that Seri is truly beyond our reach.

“It’s working,” Niya says, her voice flat. I look down to see the leaf has turned, the silver needle glinting brighter than it should as it points straight toward me.

I raise my eyes to Niya’s. Seri isn’t just missing. She’s somewhere even magic can’t find her.
She’s been snatched.

Giveaway

Intisar Khanani is offering $25 of books from The Book Depository (open to folks anywhere The Book Depository ships, winner chooses the books).

Enter the giveaway here: http://booksbyintisar.com/2020/06/22/cover-reveal -the-theft-of-sunlight/

Review: Plague Arcanist (Frith Chronicles #4) by Shami Stovall + $25 GC giveaway

tourbanner_Plague Arcanist

Today we have Plague Arcanist, the fourth book in the Frith Chronicles by author Shami Stovall. I love this series – because it’s pretty awesome – so I’m happy to be a part of this blog tour.

Read on for more about the book, check out my thoughts about it and enter the blog tour giveaway. :)

Plague-Arcanist-coverPlague Arcanist (Frith Chronicles #4)

Deserts. Rogues. A secret hidden in an underground maze.

Every moment counts as Volke Savan races south to the city of New Norra. His goal: find Theasin Venrover, the famous artificer who may have a cure for the arcane plague. Separated from most of the Frith Guild—and even his sister—Volke must rely on the crew of the airship, the Sun Chaser, to help him find Theasin in time.

To complicate matters, the desert city of New Norra is steeped in mystery, and the massive maze under the streets could potentially solve all of Volke’s problems. With hunters after him, and dread pirates in the port, Volke finds himself forced to choose between equally terrible options…

Continue the Frith Chronicles with the fourth book, Plague Arcanist!

Praise for the Frith Chronicles!



“Perfect for those who enjoy the Codex Alera series, the Homas Wildus series and the Harry Potter series. Stovall is quickly becoming a name I look for.”
- Seattle Book Review (for Knightmare Arcanist, Book I)



“Dread Pirate Arcanist is a brilliant novel from start to finish.”
– Coffee Pot Book Club (for Dread Pirate Arcanist, Book II)



“Marvelously entertaining!”
- The Prairies Book Review (for Coliseum Arcanist, Book III)

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Another awesome magical adventure; another wild and fantastic ride!

This series just doesn’t disappoint. Plague Arcanist is another wild fantasy adventure.

In this book, Volke travels with some new companions to find a cure for the plague. First they get to a desert city called New Norra, where they uncover something sinister. Then their search for the cure takes them farther to even more dangerous places among dangerous people.

Damn this book is awesome.

The amazing writing and pace is still there. So many exciting and intriguing things happening but they don’t feel out of place or unnecessary – to me, anyway. I enjoyed all the little subplots and storylines. They just made me want to keep reading.

The characters are great as always. Fleshed out well. Volke is with a different group of people this time and it’s so much fun to see how they all become loyal to each other. We also read more about ‘old’ characters and, you know, some things become just a bit clearer. You get some really good dastardly villains, too, and it all balances out.

The world building is still amazingly awesome. I have no other way of describing it. It’s incredible and fantastic. So many interesting and exciting characters, creatures, places, histories, stories, and magic things. I just love all of it.

Like with the previous books, the last few pages are INSANE. I kind of had an idea about a thing that happened at the end, but it’s still so thrilling and extremely cool.

Read this series. READ IT.

Note: I received a review copy of this book as part of my participation in the tour. All opinions and views expressed here are my own.

Read my reviews of the previous books:

About the Author

Shami Stovall

Shami Stovall is a multi-award-winning author of fantasy and science fiction, with several best-selling novels under her belt. Before that, she taught history and criminal law at the college level, and loved every second. When she’s not reading fascinating articles and books about ancient China or the Byzantine Empire, Stovall can be found playing way too many video games, especially RPGs and tactics simulators.

If you would like to find a full list of her novels and audiobooks, you can do so on here.

Connect with the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Email

Read an Excerpt

I had never seen an airship up close before.

Even in the dying darkness of dawn, this airship—the Sun Chaser—was everything I had imagined and more. It had the appearance of a sailing ship, specifically a brig. Brig ships prioritized maneuverability, and while they were large, they were also long and sleek. Typically, brigs had two square masts to hold the sails, but this ship was different. Sixteen sails were positioned on the sides of the ship, jutting out like fins.

Winds whipped through the woodland trees, rustling the leaves.

The Sun Chaser flew at a slow pace, descending lower and lower, arriving with the first light of day. The oak wood used in the airship’s construction shone with an amber brown. While sailing ships were often damaged by shipworms—sea water parasites—the Sun Chaser had no rot or damage. It was more beautiful up close than from afar.

I waited for the Sun Chaser at the edge of the royal hunting grounds, just outside of the Thronehold castle. Chaos still reigned supreme inside the city as everyone scrambled to deal with the aftermath of the queen’s assassination.

The Frith Guild would help with the fallout. Master Zelfree, Hexa, Zaxis, Atty, Gillie, Guildmaster Eventide—even my adopted sister, Illia—they would all do what needed to be done, no doubt in my mind.

After a deep breath to calm myself, I removed my guild pendant and dropped it in the grass. I wasn’t one of them anymore.

I had been infected.

Giveaway

Shami Stovall will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the other tour stops for more chances of winning! You can see all the participating blogs here: https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2020/05/blurb-blitz-plague-arcanist-by-shami.html

Review: Coliseum Arcanist (Frith Chronicles #3) by Shami Stovall

Coliseum Arcanist

Today we have Coliseum Arcanist, the third book of the magical fantasy series the Frith Chronicles by Shami Stovall.

I’m a big fan of this series. Imagine my mild panic when I found just a few days ago that the fourth book is already out! That means the third book had been out a while and I missed it! Anyway, I went and grabbed the book so I could read it before I get to the fourth one.

Read on for more. :)

Coliseum-Arcanist-coverColiseum Arcanist (Frith Chronicles #3)

Adventure. Competition. A duel to the death.

While on a journey to the famous city of Thronehold, Volke Savan learns of the Sovereign Dragon Tournament. The massive celebration involves hundreds of arcanists competing for fame and glory, and Volke is determined to win.

Dark forces dwell in the city, however, and rumors of the legendary world serpent spread amongst the shadows. Whoever bonds with a god-like mystical creature will gain magic beyond compare, and the queen’s guards suspect cutthroats will use the chaos of the tournament to hide their plotting.

Unsure of who to trust, Volke investigates the terrible rumors while advancing in the ranks of the tournament. Unfortunately, the true villain may be closer than he realizes…

Continue the Frith Chronicles with the third book, Coliseum Arcanist!

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Fantastic, exciting and action-packed. Awesome continuation to the series!

This series just keeps getting better and better.

In this book, Volke the Knightmare Arcanist (and our main man really) and the rest of the Frith Guild travel to the great city of Thronehold for some very important business. It turns out that a huge arcanist tournament is also happening while they’re there so some of the apprentices decide to join. The young ‘uns are eager to put their stuff to the test against fellow arcanists. But of course, the tournament is not the only thing happening. They’re in Thronehold for a reason after all and they can’t lose sight of their real mission as dark things are also on the move.

This is a fantastic third book.

Amazing pace, not a single boring page (for me, anyway), so many interesting and unpredictable things happening, but it’s never too much or too chaotic.

The characters are great as well. I mean, not perfect and not everyone’s playing big roles, but all the young Frith Guild arcanists are really growing into their own. Volke is still a pretty admirable and likeable main character and you just can’t help but be on his side.

We also meet new and intriguing folks and encounter some amazing magical creatures. The world building is incredible and the magic system is just really cool. I enjoyed reading about what different arcanists and their eldrin can do. Really fascinating stuff.

The last few pages are a wild ride and, yes, the book kinda ends a bit abruptly, but it’s such a fun read. If you like fantasy, magic stuff, magical creatures, adventure and all that, you might like this series.

Note: I purchased my own copy of this book. All opinions and views expressed here are my own.

Read my review of Knightmare Arcanist (#1) here and of Dread Pirate Arcanist (#2) here.

About the Author

Shami Stovall

Shami Stovall grew up in California’s central valley with a single mother and little brother. Despite no one in her family earning a degree higher than a GED, she put herself through college (earning a BA in History), and then continued on to law school where she obtained her Juris Doctorate.

As a child, Stovall’s favorite novel was Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. The adventure on a deserted island opened her mind to ideas and realities she had never given thought before—and it was at that moment Stovall realized story telling (specifically fiction) became her passion. Anything that told a story, be it a movie, book, video game or comic, she had to experience. Now, as a professor and author, Stovall wants to add her voice to the myriad of stories in the world and she hopes you enjoy.

Connect with the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter