Royal Replicas by Michael Pierce

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The Selection gets a sci-fi makeover in Royal Replicas. Basically, a dying princess is cloned and the clones are sent to each section of the country to be raised by a high standing family. Once of marrying age, they are brought back to the palace to complete for a neighboring prince’s heart. The one he picks becomes his wife, and the rest…well, it’s not hard to figure out where this is going.

This type of book is 100% a guilty pleasure. I can’t help but enjoy them, just like arranged marriage turned love scenarios. I didn’t go into this book expecting anything mind blowing, and I wasn’t disappointed. It was pretty much what I expected, aside from a few hick-ups that bothered me (like for the second half of the book, the MC totally forgets she has a second sister…).

Overall, I enjoyed it, but I won’t be picking up more of the series. Too many books on my to-read shelf. That cover though – so pretty! Though book two’s cover is a bit more…ahem…adult.

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It looks like a BDSM romance (or porn). o_0

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A Million Times Goodnight by Kristina McBride

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So I really don’t read contemporary, but I met Kristina at a bookstore event where we were doing an author panel together, and her description of this book hooked me. Unfortunately she didn’t have any there so I didn’t get a signed copy, but I got the Kindle version the moment I got home.

Here’s what happens: Hadley steals her boyfriend’s car to go for a drive, only to find out he’s so pissed, he put a nude picture of her up on Facebook. Hadley has two choices: go back to the party she left him at and face everyone, or keep the car and leave as payback.

So what does she do?

The answer is both.

This book goes, chapter by chapter, into two different timelines. The first one is the story of her returning the car, and the second is her driving away and not looking back.

And it’s so freaking cool.

I seriously loved how we find out little details from each storyline that coincide with the big picture. Pieces of information that pull everything together, even though the characters don’t realize it. And I loved the ending. It couldn’t have been more perfect for this story.

I’m so glad I picked this up, and I think anyone reading YA who’s looking for a totally cool experience would enjoy this book.

The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney

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Huh. So apparently this is an old book (1991) that was recently reprinted. I saw it on Bookbub and the description made me curious. A girl finds out she may have been kidnapped from a milk carton photo? Sounds like a horror movie in the making.

Except it wasn’t. Every time the story could have taken a very dark turn, it went the opposite direction. Every time I thought I knew what was about to happen, I didn’t. Aside from the allusions to teen sex, it was very innocuous. Which was both a relief and a letdown.

I’m happy it was a short book, an in-between read that you can finish in a matter or hours. A safe but interesting plot. Worth the time and the wondering of what-ifs afterwards. I enjoyed it, but I’m ready for something a bit more heavy. Maybe it’s time for some real horror.

 

The Sailweaver’s Son by Jeff Minerd – blog tour stop and excerpt!

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I have been honored to be a stop on Jeff Minerd’s blog tour to promote his new YA fantasy book, The Sailweaver’s Son, published July 30th by Silver Leaf Books.

The Sailweaver’s Son combines epic fantasy with a dash of steampunk and creates a world unlike any other – Etherium. A world where mountains rise like islands above a sea of clouds and adventurers travel the sky in sail-driven airships.

When fifteen-year-old Tak rescues the survivor of an airship destroyed by one of the giant flammable gas bubbles mysteriously appearing in the sky of Etherium, the authorities react like a flock of startled grekks.

Admiral Scud accuses Tak of sabotage and treason. Tak’s father grounds him for reckless airmanship. Rumors spread that the bubbles are weapons devised by the Gublins, a race of loathsome but ingenious underground creatures. The King’s advisors call for war, hoping to win much-needed Gublin coal.

To prove his innocence and prevent a misguided war, Tak must do what anyone knows is suicide – visit the Gublins and find out what they know. When the wizard’s adopted daughter, an oddly beautiful and irksomely intelligent girl from the Eastern kingdoms, asks Tak to help her do just that, he can’t say no.

The adventure will take Tak from the deepest underground caves to a desperate battle on Etherium’s highest mountaintop. It will force him to face his worst fears, and to grow up faster than he expected.

Except

He’d seen nothing like it in his life. No sky rider ever had. It was an enormous bubble. Twice the size of the battleship. As it rose into the sky, the bubble wobbled and shimmered, squished into lopsided potato-like shapes then snapped back to roughly round. It was more or less transparent, but its rippling surface glistened with a rainbow of colors where the sunlight played on it. The bubble rose with alarming speed, rolling this way and that with the wind. It was not on a collision course with the battleship—yet. It was some distance off the port bow.

The lookouts didn’t see it until it was too late. As the giant bubble drew level with the battleship, Tak heard the faint ringing of alarm bells. The ship came to a full stop, propellers going still, sails slanting upward to create drag. Tak could imagine the startled looks on the faces of the men on deck. He was wearing such a look himself. Then the wind shifted and gusted again. The sky riders have an old saying: Our lives rely upon the wind, and the wind is not reliable. The saying proved true for the men on the battleship. The wind took hold of that bubble and hurled it directly at them.

Too late, the captain cried the order to turn hard to starboard, trying to veer away. Too late, the propellers leapt to life and the ship lurched, listing heavily with the effort of making the turn while men scrambled in the rigging to adjust the flapping sails. Large battleships like the Vigilance are known for their strength and forward speed, but they are not known for their maneuverability. The bubble hit the ship broadside and enveloped it entirely.

And then both ship and bubble exploded into a burst of fire that left a glowing yellow spot like the sun behind Tak’s eyes, which had snapped shut. When he opened his eyes, blinking, the bubble was gone and the ship was engulfed in flames. The sails were ablaze. Horrified, Tak watched as burning men leapt from the deck like showers of sparks, their flaming parachutes useless.

As Tak sat stricken in the stern of the Arrow, gaping in shock and disbelief, he felt the first rumbles of the giant explosion in his chest. He felt hints of its heat on his face. And then he saw the shock wave expanding in all directions from the ruined ship.

Including his.

 

About the Author

Jeff Minerd’s YA fantasy adventure novel, The Sailweaver’s Son, was released by Silver Leaf Books this year. Jeff has published short fiction in literary journals including The North American Review. One of his stories won the F. Scott Fitzgerald Short Story Competition, judged by the late novelist and NPR book reviewer Alan Cheuse.

Jeff has worked as a science and medical writer for publications and organizations including the National Institutes of Health, MedPage Today, The Futurist magazine, and the Scientist magazine. He lives in Rochester, NY.

 

Links

Author’s websitehttp://www.jeffminerd.com/

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31303378-the-sailweaver-s-son

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sailweavers-Son-Riders-Etherium-Book-ebook/dp/B01JEPJGLU/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jeffminerd.author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jeff_minerd