Sunday, July 31, 2016

Review: Lost in Wonderland by Nicky Peacock

The Twisted and the Brave, Book 1
by Nicky Peacock
Evernight Teen
YA Urban Fantasy/Thriller
124 pages

Monsters, serial killers, and imaginary friends—being a Wonderlander can be murder...

Once upon a time, Kayla was lost. Then she found Wonderland, but not the one you know. Run by ex-government agents and funded by an eccentric Silicon Valley billionaire, this Wonderland is the name of a collective of highly trained vigilantes who hunt serial killers. Now Kayla, aka Mouse, works tirelessly alongside her fellow Wonderlanders, Rabbit and Cheshire, baiting dangerous murderers. But even her extensive training hasn’t prepared her for the return of her older brother…

Shilo has spent most of his life in an insane asylum, convinced his mother was abducted by a sinister Alaskan monster who lures the lost away to feast upon their flesh. And now he’s certain that his sister is in the same monster’s crosshairs. But if Shilo is going to save what’s left of his family, he’ll have to convince his sister that maybe, just maybe, we’re all a little mad.


If you're looking for a sweet fairy tale retelling, this is not the book. But being a fairy tale fan, I was excited to get my hands on this one anyway, and it was well worth the reading ride.

Kayla is a seventeen-year-old trained assassin who works with a highly specialized group named Wonderland. Their goal is to stop and eradicate those who kidnap young girls for horrible purposes. Kayla, aka Mouse, is very good at what she does and has a caring 'family' which watches over her. Her own history, including her older brother who's locked up in an insane asylum, is another matter altogether.

This books grabs in the first scene and doesn't let go the entire way through. It's told mostly through Kayla's point of view, but also through her brother's and others. There's a lovely touch of uncertainty and mystery to it, which make it unclear what's real and what's not until the very end. Still for all the demented violence and slightly off-kilter personalities (some of which are really easy to adore), it's hard not to feel for Kayla and cheer for her the whole way through.

In many ways, this is a cleverly written tale. The author weaves in phrases from the original Wonderland, making them fit perfectly into this deadly world. It's not a retelling, but still does an excellent job of showing parallels and disclosing some of the delicious insanity. 

There is violence and horrible situations, making it a little harsh for the lower end of the YA audience. And the scenes come across fairly realistic. The end rushes through a bit fast, missing some development but not enough to ruin the story by any means. It ends at a cliff hanger (a rushed one), and I'll be grabbing book two in hopes that it satisfies the missing links. Because this is definitely an adventure worth continuing. Albeit a dark one.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Excerpt: Children of Swan by Coral Walker with Giveaway

Volume One
by Coral Walker
YA Science Fiction
243 pages

It seems that nothing could be worse than waking up one morning to find their parents have disappeared and their young brother Bo bawling his eyes out, but for Jack and Brianna, the squabbling teenage sibling rivals, the worst is yet to come.
Much to the bafflement and distress of their children, Marcus and Zelda have actually returned to their home planet, Cygnore. Marcus and Zelda, the runaway prince and princess of Bara and Rion, had a life on Earth. For twelve years, they lived happily and peacefully under the name of ‘Goodman’.
Bo is kidnapped. In hot-headed pursuit, Jack and Brianna plunge into a wormhole that takes them to Taron.  Little did they know their impetuous arrival in Taron has placed the lives of their parents in peril. Locals catch them and bring them to an arena. In bewilderment and dismay, Jack finds himself fettered to a wall and examined by a smouldering-eyed and blue-skinned young woman of Bara, Lady Cici.

Lady Cici, the daughter of Lord Shusha, has come to the arena for one and only reason — to have them killed. She is to be engaged to Prince Marcus, their father, and she cannot afford their existence to jeopardize Marcus’ life and her forthcoming engagement.  She must have them killed, and the arena, where slaves routinely fight to the death, is the perfect place.


The joy, if there was any, was brief.
The smell of smoke coming to her against the wind alarmed her. At the foot of the slope, over the hedges and trees, a dark smoky cloud had gathered.
She broke into a run, and stopped at an old fruit tree by the edge of the thick, drifting cloud. In the eerie silence, her breath sounded harsh and unsettling.
The gate was yards away. She trembled as she glanced at it — from that gate, armed men had chased her like hunters.
The wind, bored with blowing from one direction, was now shifting, churning the cloud and making it roll like a furious beast.
She edged the few yards down to the gate and found herself staring at the front wall of the cottage that towered over the sprawling and smouldering ruins of the cottage like a triumphant fighter among scattered corpses. In the middle of the wall, the arched door stood shut, looking as solemn as a soldier, with its dark lock of formidable size.
Behind that door was where the doctor was hanged. She could almost see it now. It made no sense that while many parts of the house were burned almost to the ground, she still believed the doctor could have survived behind that door.
But she carried on nevertheless, shoving the door hard with her shoulder. The door hardly shook, frustrating her — she hadn’t expected a sturdy door, but a weak one that had barely survived the fire.
She searched for a tool and took a boulder from behind a pot. Sparks scattered with each blow, but the door stood firm. Losing patience, she threw away the stone and paced around for a new tool. Thinking to lever the lock open with a metal bar, she sharpened her eyes to look for one. A loud creaking sound alarmed her. She turned and jumped at the sight of the door that had stood so stubbornly, crashing down. It smashed to the ground with a heavy thud, just an inch away from her foot.
Instantly a maelstrom of hot smoke engulfed her.

All about CORAL WALKER!!!

Coral Walker was born and raised in China. She holds a BSc in Computer Engineering, MSc in computing and PhD in Computer Science and, and has spent most of her adult life striving for an orthodox, academic career path. She now lives in Wales, UK with her husband and three children. Becoming a mother, and teaching her children to live a fulfilled life resuscitated her fading dream of being an author. The urge to write became so great that she pursued her dream and the ‘Children of Swan’ trilogy is the upshot — a symbol of a new journey in life.


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Friday, July 29, 2016

Cover Reveal: Beneath the Void by Elisa Dane with Giveaway

Beneath the Void
by Elisa Dane
(Fighting Chance #2)
Swoon Romance
YA Romance

AUGUST 9TH, 2016!!!!

Sadie Reynolds is drowning.
Months have passed since Ian Daniels and Newton Daily opened fire at Atwood High school, killing dozens of students before turning the guns on themselves.
Determined to pay tribute to her fallen classmates and teachers, Sadie’s thrown herself into the memorial project at the newly rebuilt school. But it’s not enough. Horrific dreams of the shooting intertwined with memories of the night her mother was murdered keep her up at night and haunt her during the day.
The constant stream of hate raining down on her from faceless social media trolls only make matters worse. Her boyfriend, Hayden brings the only source of relief when he sneaks in to sleep next to her on nights her dad is at work.
Desperate for normalcy, Sadie fills every waking moment of her day with anything to take her mind off her pain. If she’s exhausted, she’ll be too tired to acknowledge the new threat gunning for her.
BENEATH the VOID is book 2 in Elisa Dane’s Fighting Chance series, a hard-hitting and unapologetically raw look at teen violence in schools and the aftermath of learning to pick up the pieces and heal.

Sequel to:

All about. . .

ELISA DANE is a self-proclaimed book junkie. A lover of handbags, chocolate, and reality television, she's a proud mother to three All- Star cheerleaders. Writing is her absolute passion, and it's her mission to create stories that will not only take you on a romantic journey that will warm your heart, but help you find a new respect and interest in the sport of All-Star cheerleading.
Elisa is no stranger to the publishing world. She writes steamy paranormal romance under her real name, Lisa Sanchez. Her adult works include the Hanford Park series (Eve Of Samhain, Pleasures Untold, and Faythe Reclaimed), Obsessed (an erotic suspense), and a paranormal novella, Cursing Athena. Elisa lives in Northern California with her husband, three daughters, and a feisty Chihuahua who stubbornly believes she's human.


Cover Reveal: A Tragic Consequence by JC Morrows with Giveaway

A Tragic Consequence

A Tragic Consequence
 Order of the MoonStone #4

by JC Morrows
YA Dystopian


October 25, 2016!!!


Not exactly a safe place for a former assassin and a prince with a price on his head.

In the dark streets of Auralius, Kayden and her prince struggle to find a way to set the country right again. But the Order of the MoonStone has a long reach and a strong grip.

Will the two of them be able to find a way to bring down Kayden's former employers?

Or will Kayden's unusual charm help them to find an ally where there was none?

You can find A Tragic Consequence on Goodreads

Check out the free series sampler!
Order of the MoonStone series sampler

The Order of the MoonStone sampler
by J.C. Morrows

A Country… A King… A Choice…

When she falls in love with her target, Kayden realizes she cannot fulfill her mission. Now she will have to reveal her deepest, darkest secrets to the Prince… or it could mean both their lives.

This FREE digital sampler includes excerpts from the first four books in JC Morrows' romantic, edge-of-your-seat suspense-filled, bestselling young adult series—as well as a teaser to the highly anticipated fifth book, A Broken Kingdom!

You can get this sampler for free at the following places:
- Amazon
- B&N
- Kobo
- Scribd
- Inketera

All about JC Morrows. . .

JC Morrows - Bestselling author of YA Christian speculative fiction, drinker of coffee and avid reader - is a storyteller in the truest sense of the word. JC has been telling stories in one form or another her entire life and once her mother convinced her to write them down, she couldn't stop.

You can find and contact JC Morrows here:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads
- Amazon
- Newsletter
- Instagram
- Pinterest
- Tumblr


You can win:
- paperback copy of one book in the Order of the Moonstone series by JC Morrows, winners choice (US only)
- e-copy of one book in the Order of the Moonstone series by JC Morrows, winners choice (International)

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Sneak Peek: Sentinal's Tear by Christine Fonseca with Giveaway

 Sentinal’s Tear
by Christine Fonseca
YA Gothic Romance

Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

As if casting out demons isn’t hard enough, five-hundred-year-old Nesy has to masquerade as a teenage girl to do it.
Nesy is the best of an elite group of angels – warriors called Sentinals – charged with the job of vanquishing the fallen. She’s never made a mistake, never gotten emotionally involved. But when she comes face-to-face with Aydan, she freezes.
He is evil incarnate. A fallen angel that feeds off the souls of others. Everything Nesy is supposed to hate.  But she can’t, because he’s also the human love of her former life as a teen; a life that ended too soon, tying her to emotions she should never feel. Now she must choose between doing her duty – damning Aydan to the fiery depths of hell – or saving him, and condemning herself.

Tagline: Some sacrifices should never be made—even for love.

Award-winning and critically-acclaimed author of fiction and non-fiction. Lover of books, lattes, and family. Passionate about humanity. Recent titles include Transcend, The Solomon Experiment series, and Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students, second edition.
When Christine isn’t writing a book, she can be found sipping too many skinny vanilla lattes next to a beach with a book in her hand.

For more information, visit her website –

Author Links:
Buy Links: Amazon:

Chapter 1
I shift in the booth, careful to remain hidden in the shadows. My human form feels foreign, awkward. Nothing about tonight’s assignment seems right; not the constant thoughts echoing through my mind nor the everpresent feelings I can’t seem to shake.
I tighten the muscles across my back, desperate to escape the confinement that comes with this new body. One I never wanted.
My senses register each scent, each sound, adding to the noise of too much mental chatter already ricocheting in my head. Sweat and too-strong perfume from the tangled mix of bodies on the dance floor burn my nostrils. My heart pounds against my ribs and unfamiliar twinges of fear cloud my vision. Feelings I can’t decipher crawl through my skin, sending chills throughout my body.
I may have prepared for this task, but nothing could prepare me for being a seventeen-year-old girl.
I slip further into the booth, surveying the scene. Lights pulse around me, synchronized to the blaring sounds that pound from the speakers. Clubbers sway to the music in intoxicating rhythms, casting a spell throughout the room.
And somewhere in the crowd lurks the one I came for—the UnHoly. 
I narrow my eyes, taking in the irony of the church-turned-nightclub. Tall, gothic arches adorn the ceiling. Old stone sculptures of saints and angels watch the hordes of teens gyrating on the dance floor. The altar, once a sanctuary, now houses a stage where up-and-coming bands woo adoring fans. The remaining spaces are punctuated with small alcoves designed to hide the club’s true patrons: dark creatures that feed on the lust and fear of the human crowd.
My task is simple enough: find the UnHoly and vanquish him to the Abyss. Just like the countless other assignments I’ve had over the past few centuries. But something about this task feels wrong. Something that sends fresh shivers cascading down my very human spine.  
Little information was given to me about my target, only his name, location, and human age. I’d have to figure out the rest. No problem, since vanquishing the UnHoly is my specialty; whether I’m stuck in a teenage body or not.
I take one last sip of water and recite my plan:
One: Find the UnHoly.
Two: Lure him away from the crowd. Don’t want to ruin my perfect record with collateral damage.
Three: Cast him out.
What could go wrong?
Satisfied, I settle my thoughts and prepare for battle. The sooner this is finished, the sooner I can ditch this body and escape the chaos it brings. My human form may look similar to my angelic being, with its familiar blond hair and blue eyes. But I hate being trapped in this flesh, stifled by the heaviness of this body. I miss feeling the air move through my wings and play across my skin. More than anything else, I miss the quiet solitude of my mind; no emotions to muddle my thinking, no angst to cloud my judgment. Necessary or not, I’m never masquerading as a teenager again.  
I smooth out my clothes—black leather skirt, black tee, leather jacket and boots that stretch up my long legs—and approach the altar-turned-stage.
“Hi there,” I say to the stooge blocking my entrance. I lock eyes with him, tipping my head slightly. I may not like being human, but I do know how to use this body to get what I want. “Is Aydan here tonight?”
The would-be guard swallows hard.
His gaze rakes over every inch of me as his lips part slightly. He swallows hard and smirks. 
Oh yeah, he’s easy. “So? Is he?” I purr.
He fumbles over his words. “Um, yeah. The band performs in a few minutes. Want me to get him for you?”
I think about it for a second, picture my plan in detail. “No, I’ll try to find him after his set.”
“Oh, I’m sure he’ll find you. You’re just his type,” the guard says.
Of course I am.
The lights dim and I take my position in front of the stage. Four dark shapes emerge from the shadows. The band. I scan each one as the crowd fills in behind me.
Heavy sounds from the bass guitar and drums send the horde into a frenzy. I move with the crowd and continue to search. Which one is he? The drummer? Nope, he’s definitely human. The guitarist? Maybe. He’s too dark to be fully mortal. Too demonic.
But he’s also far too weak to be the UnHoly.
I scrutinize the rest of the group. He has to be here. I couldn’t have made a mistake.
I don’t make mistakes. Not ever.
A single spotlight focuses on the lean silhouette of the lead singer; a teenage boy who’s definitely more than human.
There you are.
He’s taller than I expected, wearing clothes that match my own—black jeans, a black sleeveless shirt open just enough to see his smooth pale skin, and black boots. His chiseled muscles and dye-job-black hair hanging in an unruly mess add to his allure. But it’s his eyes that draw my attention. Amber with flecks of gold.
Mesmerizing, dangerous, and…
Familiar. Too familiar.
I bite my lip, my mind racing. Aydan, the only apprentice to the Dark One. Feared by angel and demon alike. He’s rumored to stop at nothing to procure anything and everything his master wants. Judging by the way he hypnotizes the crowd of unsuspecting teens with his voice and eyes, I have no doubt that the rumors are well-earned. More than dangerous, Aydan is lethal.
And just my type.
I check out the club, looking for the best way to lure him outside. He’s managed to elude capture for more than four centuries. Clearly he knows how to avoid the likes of the Sentinals, the likes of me. But not tonight. Not with this body.
I focus my attention back on him as he finishes his song. There is no evidence of his true nature reflecting in his features; no fangs or claws to signal danger. No sulfur-scent or bloodlust. No proof of the evil that lurks just under the surface. Nothing except the black bat-like wings curving across his back, hidden from everyone.
Well, almost everyone. Not expecting me, are you?
His voice intoxicates the crowd. The hunger in his eyes reveals his true intent. Aydan is on the hunt.
Two can play at that game.
I notice a small door at the end of a corridor adjacent to the stage. No doubt it empties to the alley that flanks the church. Perfect. Now, to get him outside before he chooses one of the screaming girls as his prey.
Aydan finishes his song as I make my way around the stage and toward the hall. I watch as he turns away from the crowd.
Almost time.
The horde screams for him and begs the band to continue.
Aydan grabs the mic. “Do you want more?” he yells. Their response, a cacophony of “Yes!” and “We love you, Aydan!” rings through the rafters of the once-holy building.
I watch as he works the mob into a craze. Voices blend away. The scene shifts. All I see, all I hear, is Aydan. An unfamiliar current of electricity streaks through my body, causing my heart to beat wildly against my ribs. The tiny hairs on the back of my neck stiffen with anticipation while anxiety fills my senses.
This can’t be happening.
I force my heart to slow and shove aside the silly human reactions.
The guitarist starts to strum a ballad. A light frames Aydan as he begins to sing in slow, rhythmic phrases. He scans the crowd, a predator looking for his prey.
Time stops and he turns to me. Our eyes lock. A smile pulls at his lips.
My skin erupts in gooseflesh. My legs begin to wobble. His smile broadens and for a brief moment I forget how to breathe.
Strange sensations inundate my thoughts. My abdomen clenches and my body trembles.
His stupid mind tricks are working. On me.
Not acceptable.

Chapter 2

The crowd is wild tonight, hordes of kids desperate for a little action. The perfect hunting grounds. Maybe that’s why I stick with the band—the free food.
My senses pick up the distinct scent of vanilla and warm sugar. My favorite. I feel the craving start at the back of my throat. I have to find the source of that scent and drink from her soul.
The lights drop as I sing a slow melody. The rhythms are smooth, seductive. I watch the girls drop their defenses and feel their desire rise.
Scanning the crowd, I search. My need grows as the seconds pass. Every girl strains to look at me and through their eyes I see their need, taste their lust. It floods my senses, nourishing me.
But the feeling is temporary, just enough to awaken the Beast within and force me to continue the hunt.
My eyes settle on a girl near the back of the crowd, sandwiched between the stage and a narrow hallway. She’s different from the usual patrons of the club. Beautiful—long blond hair, legs that seem to stretch forever, and curves that make me ache. But it isn’t her beauty calling to me, or her distinctive vanilla scent.
It’s the mystery.
Her desire fills me. Not only desire, something more. Something angry and dangerous. Something that awakens the core of my being.
I stare into her eyes and ride her emotions as they crest. I sing my lyrics only to her. Our worlds collide; nothing exists but the two of us.
She closes her eyes, obviously trying to break the spell I’ve cast. But I know it won’t work. No one can get away from me. I’ve had centuries of practice.
I continue to sing, weaving a trap around my target. She stares at me, an almost pained expression etched into her features.
You’re mine now.
A flood of emotions fills me, chaotic and wild, desperate. Her feelings, her passion. The taste is addictive and I know I can’t resist her. I don’t want to.
The song ends as my frenzy grows.
It’s time.

Review: The Hypnotic City by Andrea Berthot

The Gold and Gaslight Chronicles, #2
by Andrea Berthot
Curiosity Quills Press
 YA Fantasy
200 pages

AUGUST 1, 2016!!!

Philomena Blackwell survived a city plagued with monsters, the gilded cage of high society, and the rule of a heartless man... and she aims to leave it all behind.

It's 1905, and London has finally been freed from Henry Jekyll's terrible legacy - its people cured, its thirteen-year quarantine lifted. The world is waiting, and for a girl who dreams of being its most dazzling star, what could be more enticing than the bright lights of New York City?

She is drawn across the ocean like a moth to a flame, her heart set on proving that while she may be small on the outside, her soaring talent eclipses even Manhattan’s towering skyline. When she lands a big break, it seems as if the city is ready to fall under her spell - just as she seems to be falling for a handsome young stage manager. But is it her stage presence mesmerizing the audience, or something more sinister behind the scenes?

Philomena has always relied on her fierce will and fiery heart, but a new and more terrible danger lurks in the shadows of Broadway's bright lights, and even a mind as determined as hers may not be immune to its seductive, insidious pull...

Both fans of The Heartless City and new readers alike will enjoy this stand-alone / spin-off tale of Philomena’s adventures on stage - and in love - in NYC.


This is the 2nd book in The Gold and Gaslight Chronicles, and although there is some background information in book one which might bring more insight into a couple of things mentioned in book two, The Hypnotic City can be read as a stand alone.

Free from the lock-down in London, Philomena dives into her new found freedom by heading off to New York. She wants nothing to do with her past even if she's an Earl's daughter and is bound determined to make it on her own by showing the world how talented she is on a stage. Knowing hard work and determination are key, she lands a job on a small stage and gets by. When the chance of a lifetime comes her way, she jumps at it. . .although she knows that it's too good to be true.

Wearing her emotions plain as a sign on the forehead, Philomena is a character full of heart and guts, which storms into challenges head on even though she's fully aware consequences will follow. It's this willingness to take risks and deal with things as they come which makes her easy to like even when things get rougher than she imagined they could. Her full-force attitude is wonderfully cushioned by a variety of side characters, who with their own quirks and characteristics, bring the story to life.

The plot pushes along, luring in and not letting go. The author does a great job of getting into Philomena's head just enough to make her action understandable without losing pace on the action and tension of the adventure around her. The scenes draw in with the vividness of historical New York and despite the fantastical elements, hold enough reality to keep things grounded.

I, personally, enjoyed this book more than the first one. The story still held all the tension and excitement of book one, but the fantastical elements were a bit more believable/logical, which made for a smoother read. I'm definitely looking forward to book three to see where the adventure of this group of friends goes next.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Excerpt: Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy by Paula Berinstein with Giveaway

Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy free Banner

This is my stop during the blog tour for Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy by Paula Berinstein. This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 18 till 31 July, you can view the complete tour schedule here.

Facebook group event
On 28 July, Paula Berinstein will do an event in the Blind Date With a Book Facebook Group. There will be giveaways, discussions and more!

Start this series for free!
You can get Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy for free at Amazon, B&N, Kobo or Smashwords!

Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy

Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy (Amanda Lester, Detective #1)

by Paula Berinstein
Genre: Mystery/ Detective/ Fantasy
Age category: Middle Grade

Amanda Lester wouldn’t be caught dead going into the family business. Her ancestor, Sherlock Holmes’s colleague Inspector G. Lestrade, is a twit. Nevertheless her parents refuse to see his flaws, and she’s going to a secret English school for the descendants of famous detectives whether she likes it or not.

When Amanda arrives at the dreaded school, she considers running away—until she and her new friends discover blood and weird pink substances in odd places. At first they’re not sure whether these oddities mean anything, but when Amanda’s father disappears and the cook is found dead with her head in a bag of sugar, they’re certain that crimes are taking place.

Now Amanda must embrace her destiny and uncover the truth. The only snag is that arch-villain Blixus Moriarty, a descendant of Holmes’s nemesis Professor James Moriarty, might be involved, and he doesn’t like nosy little girls interfering in his business.

You can find Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy on Goodreads

Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy is free now on all vendor sites! Grab your free copy here:
- Amazon
- Amazon Paperback
- Barnes & Noble
- Kobo
- Smashwords


Headmaster Thrillkill and Professors Stegelmeyer, Scribbish, and Ducey were all outside waving their arms and shouting directions at the firemen, who did not look amused. Thrillkill seemed to be holding a hair dryer, which Amanda thought particularly odd. But what really stood out was Professor Bill Pickle, the textual analysis teacher. Amanda had heard the older students describe him as an annoying, Latin-spouting, bow tie-wearing, grammar-correcting ponce, whatever that was. He seemed to be moaning and wailing and wringing his hands. Could he have been injured? She couldn’t see how. He looked perfectly fine. There were no paramedics at the scene and no one was paying any attention to him. Perhaps something important to him had been damaged. Of course. His car.
Everyone knew about Professor Pickle’s car. You couldn’t get within a mile of the school and not hear about Professor Pickle’s car. It was a classic Triumph Roadster that he treated like a Michelangelo sculpture. You’d swear he polished the thing as if it were the Hubble Telescope mirror just so he could admire himself in its reflection and take selfies in its light. It was even said that the man sterilized the engine as if he were administering a high colonic. And he’d given it some sort of silly name. Gorky? Girly? No, Gherkin. It was definitely Gherkin. Well, of course. The man’s name was Pickle.
What was really neat about the car wasn’t all that flash though. It had a way cool rumble seat. Amanda had wanted to ride in a rumble seat ever since she’d read the early Nancy Drew books, in which the girl sleuth had driven a blue rumble-seated roadster. It was said that Professor Pickle took his car out for a long drive every Sunday wearing a jaunty cap and special driving gloves, with his golf clubs ensconced in the rumble seat.
Amanda didn’t know anything else about the man. The students didn’t take Textual Analysis until their third year, so she wouldn’t be in his class for quite some time. He did seem to cut a ridiculous figure, but she didn’t want to jump to any conclusions about him or his car. She should be methodical about this investigation and let the evidence speak for itself, just as Professor Scribbish had instructed.

Get the box set with the first four books in this series!

Amanda-Lester-box-setAmanda Lester box set (Amanda Lester, Detective #1-4)
by Paula Berinstein
Genre: Mystery/ Detective/ Fantasy
Age category: Middle Grade/ Young Adult
Release Date: July 4, 2016

"Sherlock Holmes meets Nancy Drew meets Harry Potter."

This set includes all four Amanda Lester, Detective books from the first year at the Legatum Continuatum Enduring School for Detectives.

Book 1, Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy
Book 2, Amanda Lester and the Orange Crystal Crisis
Book 3, Amanda Lester and the Purple Rainbow Puzzle
Book 4, Amanda Lester and the Blue Peacocks' Secret

Amanda Lester wouldn’t be caught dead going into the family business. Her ancestor, Sherlock Holmes’s colleague Inspector G. Lestrade, is a twit. Nevertheless her parents refuse to see his flaws, and she’s going to a secret English school for the descendants of famous detectives whether she likes it or not.

When Amanda arrives at the dreaded school, she considers running away—until she and her new friends discover blood and weird pink substances in odd places. At first they’re not sure whether these oddities mean anything, but when Amanda’s father disappears and the cook is found dead with her head in a bag of sugar, they’re certain that crimes are taking place.

Now Amanda must embrace her destiny and uncover the truth. The only snag is that arch-villain Blixus Moriarty, a descendant of Holmes’s nemesis Professor James Moriarty, might be involved, and he doesn’t like nosy little girls interfering in his business.

Follow the exciting adventures of the girl who learned that sometimes you need to be part of something larger than yourself.

You can find Amanda Lester box set on Goodreads

You can buy the Amanda Lester box set here:
- Amazon
- Amazon UK

All About. . .

Paula Berinstein

Paula Berinstein is nothing like Amanda. For one thing, she’s crazy about Sherlock Holmes. For another, she’s never wanted to be a filmmaker. In addition, compared to Amanda she’s a big chicken! And she wouldn’t mind going to a secret school at all. In fact, she’s hoping that some day she’ll get to build one.

You can find and contact Paula here:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads
- Paula's blog on Goodreads
- The Writing Show podcasts
- Newsletter


There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy. Open International. These are the prizes you can win:
- One $40 Amazon gift card
- Two copies Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy (hardback edition)
- One copy Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: The Illustrated Edition (hardback)
- One Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Book 1 Audible – Unabridged, narrator Jim Dale
- One Nancy Drew videogame from Her Interactive (winner's choice).
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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Review: Jesper Jinx and the Scrumptious Snacks by Marko Kitti

by Marko Kitti
Jesper Jinx Series, Book 5
Middle Grade Humor
ages 8+
152 pages

Jesper Jinx is eleven, and probably the unluckiest person in all of Puffington Hill. Everything he touches seems to end up in sweet disaster. Hence his nickname 'Jinx'.

In this fifth book of Jesper Jinx's wonderfully wicked adventures chaos unfolds when Jake the school bully meets an ancient chocolate bar. Soon, things get even weirder when Jesper's mum can't bake her cherry pie because her precious cherry tree's gone missing. And then, to top it all off, Snowy the Cat
decides to go on a hunger strike.

Can Jesper save the day with his best Boredom Breaker ever or will a diabolical lunch thief get to him first?


I'll admit it. I'm a Jesper Jinx fan and have devoured every book in this series. This book, number five, keeps up the wonderful Jesper Jinx pace and left me wondering when book six will appear.

This book is all about snacks. . .or food which might be considered to fall into that category. With Jesper, it's never clear what turns the story will take. But one thing is sure, whenever Jesper is involved, the results will be unexpected, slightly ridiculous and leave a smile on the reader's face.

As always, the reader is drawn into the story through direct statements from the narrator. In this book, there's even a secrecy contract. Kids take a complete and direct dive into Jesper's world, one which is actually fairly normal and every day if it weren't for strange happenings which keep popping up. The entire thing is accompanied (as in the other books) with simple and very fitting illustrations, which draw a smile all on their own.

Packed with all sorts of zaniness, bits of lopsided logic and moments of sheer silliness, this is a book even reluctant readers will enjoy. Especially boys will sympathize with Jesper and the difficulties he faces with his older sister, or the 'mishaps' he runs into which really aren't necessarily his fault. And as a super bonus, there are even a couple snack recipes at the end.

Summed up, this is a book I highly recommend to especially boys ages 8+ who enjoy goofier reads.

This one is also going on my favorite read list 2016!