Cover reveal: Topaz Reign by Teresa Richards

Topaz ReignCheck out this beautiful new cover for Topaz Reign, sequel to YA novel Emerald Bound by Teresa Richards! Topaz Reign will be available at the beginning of October, so stay tuned!

Topaz Reign

Fairy tales are simply tales, told and re-told, but changed over time.

It has been four months since Maggie learned the dark truth behind the tale of the Princess and the Pea and freed Princess Lindy from the cursed Emerald. Lindy is now back in the past where she belongs, queen of her tiny Scandinavian country, and Maggie is a fully reformed ex-stalker. 

Except… she can’t stop doing internet searches on Lindy and her country.  

One morning, Maggie wakes to find history turned on its head. Apparently, you can’t destroy a centuries-old curse without consequence. In order to prevent the changes in history from wiping out the present, Maggie resurrects her stalking gene and learns that fairy tales don’t stay dead for long. 

Or at all. 

Back in 1623, Lindy is juggling a threat to her family, a handsome new guard she’s not supposed to have feelings for, and a cursed Topaz with ties to the tale of Thumbelina. When past and present collide, Lindy and Maggie are brought together again, and another of Andersen’s tales turns from twisted fiction to chilling fact. 

Author Bio

Teresa Richards writes YA, but loves anything that can be given a unique twist. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, got a degree in Speech Pathology from Brigham Young University, then moved to the greater New York area for a little adventure. Now she’s settled somewhere between coasts with her husband and five kids, and has realized that writing is her passion. When Teresa’s not writing, she can be found chasing after one of her littles, driving one of her teens around, or hiding in the house with a treat she’s not planning to share. She is represented by Mallory Brown of Triada Literary Agency. You can connect with Teresa on twitter @BYUtm33,  Facebook  @AuthorTeresaRichards, and Instagram @authorteresarichards.

Check out the first book, Emerald Bound, on Amazon.

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Book Review: The Bug Boys by Stewart Hoffman

I’ve just finished The Bug Boys and, oh, what a delightful read! This good tale can be found on Book Club Reading List.bug-boys

Synopsis

Alex and Ian are two ordinary middle-schoolers growing up in an ordinary small town in England. One afternoon they ate a lunch that made them feel peculiar. Little did they know, that peanut butter sandwich and apple were saturated in an ancient alien life form that turned their bodies into portals to a distant planet. They first discovered something was amiss when, after being forced to swallow a ladybug by the school bully, Alex grew 4 extra arms, acquired super-strength, and could understand the language of bugs–but only for about 20 minutes. With their newfound superpowers, Alex and Ian felt unstoppable. What better way was there to use their new abilities than to fight crime and become superheroes? After dealing with the local school bully, Alex and Ian find themselves tangled up in a corporate conspiracy far out of their league and soon long for the days before their problems became so complicated.

Strengths

This book is SO funny! I love the storytelling style and the humor that is woven so effortlessly throughout. The author has referenced his love of Terry Pratchett and I can see his influence in book’s sense of humor. I love the lighthearted, fresh twist on a superhero story, and I love that the main characters–Alex and Ian–behave exactly how you would expect pre-teen boys with superpowers to behave. They are absolutely believable and genuine characters that are so easy to love. While The Bug Boys is an entertaining read for anyone, if you have a son who might struggle with finding interesting books to read, you MUST give them this one! They will love it! Maybe I’m biased because I’m a girl (and therefore exposed to a plethora of interesting-to-girls literature), but I don’t think there are enough books geared toward middle school boys. The Bug Boys would be a fantastic addition to any young reader’s bookshelf.

Weaknesses

There were a few chapters where the action slowed down a bit, examining the story from a different point of view. While it was nice to get a different perspective, the change in pace during these chapters was a little slower than I preferred. But these chapters were generally brief before connecting back to Alex and Ian’s adventures.

Conclusion

This is a book you don’t want to miss. It has broad audience appeal, thanks to the easy humor and fun writing style, and will be enjoyed by readers of any age. I would especially recommend to middle school age boys, but again, everyone can enjoy this read. Go get yourself a copy and enjoy your next good tale!

5 stars

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Contact the author on Book Club Reading List

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Book review: The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club

Gordonston LadiesI finished reading this gem over the weekend. What a great find! I found The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club here on Book Club Reading List.

Synopsis

A unique and comedic murder-mystery story by Duncan Whitehead, The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club (GLDWC) features a wide variety of vibrant characters. In a quiet neighborhood deep in the old south in Savannah, three widowed southern belles enjoy their afternoons with a drink in the local park, letting their dogs get some exercise, and catching up on the most current local gossip. Mr Whitehead paints a detailed story of the residents of Gordonston, whose individual tales connect in unimaginable and delightfully entertaining ways. The first chapter introduces an assassin, lurking in the very park in which the old widows gossip, poised and ready to take out his next target. As we learn about the local inhabitants, their lies, hatred, and secrets, we are left to wonder who will be the target and who is responsible for murder.

Strengths

There are so many strengths to this book! It starts strong and is continually compelling straight through the end.

Good hook intro

As mentioned above, the first chapter pulls the reader in with a scene depicting an assassin getting ready to make his kill. I was immediately hooked and anxious to delve further into the story.

Strong, clear, and descriptive writing

The writing throughout GLDWC is rock-solid. The imagery is clear and concise, drawing the reader into the characters’ worlds. The following quote was one that I especially enjoyed:

“It was the kind of smile reserved for those who had seen all of life’s rich and diversified tapestries. It was the smile of knowledge, the smile of experience, the knowing smile that only the special among the aged can produce.” (page 41)

Well-developed characters

With such a large cast of characters, I’d imagine that it would be Gordonston Ladies 2difficult to persuade the reader to care and really get to know each one. In GLDWC, each character has a rich back-story, complete with families and relationships. My favorite character is Elliott. He has a fascinating history and seems to be a genuinely decent guy, but gets tangled up in some nasty drama with the neighbors. Before the present setting, he lived in Argentina just before getting married and met a very intriguing person. This mystery gentleman made an impressive impact on Elliott’s life. As a gift, he left Elliott an autographed book he said was his original work. It was entitled Mein Kampf. Wowza! Did Elliott actually meet Hitler??? Perhaps an alternate-reality version where he didn’t actually die at the end of World War 2 but escaped and somehow turned into a good person. He leaves Elliott his book with this quote:

“Do not judge me for what I was then, but for what I am now.” (page 50)

Cons

I feel like I have to really stretch to come up with any critical cons to this book. It truly was fantastic. The only negative I could maybe say is the pace felt a little slow in places. I was anxious for more clues to help me decide who was going to be murdered. However, I acknowledge that the developed stories are probably springboards for further plot in the following sequels. Getting to know the characters thoroughly required a little patience as a reader, but ultimately resulted in a strength for the book.

Conclusion

What a delightful read! I loved getting to know the characters and their drama. There is a clever humor throughout the story that I especially enjoyed. Overall, I am itching to get my hands on the next two parts of the trilogy! Go get your own copy here!! 5 out of 5 stars

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Buy it here from Book Club Reading List

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