2014-11-24

Sleeping Secrets


I have had trouble sleeping soundly for as long as I can remember. But lately, it's been worse. Sleeping pills are a last option for me - I always try other things before resorting to those. Along the way, I've picked up a few different tricks to help with this and I'm sharing my secrets with the hope that some of you might find them helpful!

Secret #1 ~ Tea to make you feel sleep-tea 

I'm a big fan of tea (all tea, all day!) and it's a normal part of my bedtime ritual to have a cup of caffeine-free tea before bed.

I love DavidsTea because they sell good tea, and I love supporting Canadian brands. There are two options which include valerian root: their organic Mother's Little Helper and The Big Chill (also organic). If valerian root is an ingredient you'd rather avoid, try the herbal Sweet Dreams (which is somewhat similar to Mother's Little Helper with its chamomile and lemongrass flavour) or Jessie's Tea (a rooibos with lavender and coconut).

I've been eyeing the Relaxed Collection, which includes smaller bags of Sweet Dreams, Mother's Little Helper, and Jessie's Tea - I've been meaning to try Jessie's Tea and I can always use a refill of Little Helper!

Secret #2 ~ White noise and music

I actually like a little bit of background noise while I'm falling asleep so I have two picks for this - first, a handy white noise app for my phone and second, a great music album. I've grown accustomed to the Thunderstorm setting on iHome Zen, but I'm also not very picky. My A/C works too (in the summer).

But on a more exciting note, lately I've been listening to Ellie Holcomb's latest album titled As Sure As the Sun and letting Night Song repeat about three times - works like a charm.  Her voice is so gorgeous and soothing. This song is peaceful for me, and very calming when I often feel anxious at night.

Secret #3 ~ A silk eye mask

Even though I like a little background noise while drifting off, I need darkness! Since I'm a die-hard Audrey Hepburn fan, I'm currently using this Breakfast at Tiffany's-inspired mask which I purchased from AdorabellaBaby on Etsy. I love that it's large so it covers my eyes well, it has an adjustable strap, and it's silk which is nice for my facial skin! (I have one tiny little complaint which is the plastic connector on my strap broke after a couple of months - it's an easy enough fix, but still disappointing.)


Do you have any tips or suggestions that work for you? 
I'm always on the look out for new things to try. Lately I've been thinking I'd like to try some lavender scented body lotion before bed - I've always heard that lavender can help, but I haven't been a big fan of floral scents until this year. I've been using a nice vanilla body lotion from LOVEFRESH (another Canadian brand! The vanilla scent is divine, FYI) and I'm dying for their lavender body butter. Well, I'm actually dying to try out a whole bunch of their products but the lavender is first on my list!


2014-11-11

Book Review: Stitching Snow

Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis
Release Date ~ October 14, 2014
Disney-Hyperion ~ Hachette Book Group Canada
ISBN13: 9781423187974
ARC received from HBG Canada for review

Goodreads Synopsis:
Princess Snow is missing.

Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back—but that’s assuming she wants to return at all.

Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.

When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.

Science-fiction infused fairytale retellings are no longer completely out of the ordinary, thanks to the popularity of Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles books, but R.C. Lewis makes Stitching Snow all her own. Despite the popularity of both sci fi and fairytale retellings right now, Stitching Snow is a refreshing story that is thrilling from the very start with memorable characters.


  1. A truly creative take on Snow White:

    I love when an author can take a story readers are familiar with and then write a completely unique spin on that same story. The trick is to maintain enough of the familiar features while infusing them with different explanations and purposes. Stitching Snow is a perfect example of how well this can work, because while it's very clearly a "Snow White" story, at the same time... well, it isn't. It's Essie's story and her adventures as she's plucked from her familiar life and thrown into a political mess.
  2. Essie's independent personality:

    When we first meet Essie, she's living on the snow planet Thanda (let's be honest, I'm picturing Hoth in my mind when I think of Thanda) and the icy temperatures are only partially responsible for her icy heart. She's fine with her mundane and mostly isolated life. And this is precisely what makes it interesting to see her emotional walls begin to crumble in Stitching Snow. She's forced out of the life she's built for herself, and thrust into a life she's been trying to avoid. I love that throughout all of this, Essie continues to take control of her situation - she's an assertive young woman!
  3. Exciting sci fi elements:

    I'm a fan of science fiction, so it is extremely pleasing to me when I read a book that reads like true sci fi and Stitching Snow is a recent addition to my collection of fantastic YA science fiction. I loved learning about the different planets, and I thought it was very cool that Essie was a mechanic who's great at computer programming. 
Once I started reading Stitching Snow, I had a hard time putting it down. I devoured it fairly quickly, and the pacing was perfect for me - there's tension gradually building throughout the story, yet there's action from the very beginning and enough hinting at secrets to grab my interest and hold it. Stitching Snow also has excellent romance - it doesn't overpower the entire story, and it has a nice, natural build to it. 

My only (small) issue was that this is the type of story that I could easily live in if it was spread out over a few books - I would be happy if this was a series. There are some interesting secondary characters introduced, and I think they could have benefited from further development (but I understand, books can only be a certain length before it's ridiculous). Some parts of the plot are fairly predictable, but it didn't bother me since the story was still interesting and there were still a few surprises for me.


2014-11-03

Book Cover Reveal: Anne and Henry


I'm very excited to share with you the cover reveal for Dawn Ius' upcoming 2015 release, Anne and Henry! But first the description:

A love worth losing your head over

ANNE
Wild, brazen, mischievous, bewitching

HENRY
Driven, haunted, charming, magnetic

ANNE & HENRY
Apart they are bound to destroy themselves. Together, they are bound to destroy each other.

HENRY TUDOR’S LIFE HAS BEEN mapped out since the day he was born: student president, valedictorian, Harvard Law School, and a stunning political career just like his father’s. 

But ever since the death of Henry’s brother—perfect, high-achieving Arthur—his family has been twice as demanding. And now Henry’s trapped: forbidden from pursuing a life as an artist or dating any girl who’s not Tudor-approved.

Then Anne Boleyn crashes into his life. 

Anne is wild, brash, and outspoken. She is everything Henry is not allowed to be—or to want. But soon Anne is all he can think about. His mother, his friends, and even his girlfriend warn him away, yet his desire for Anne consumes him. Henry is willing to do anything to be with her. But once he has her, their romance could destroy them both. 

Inspired by the true story of Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII, ANNE & HENRY reimagines the intensity, love, and betrayal between one of the most infamous couples of all time.



Interesting, yeah? You can really tell that it's a modern story, and I'm curious to see Dawn's take on Henry VIII's relationship with Anne in a contemporary, updated setting.

You can add Anne & Henry to your Goodreads shelf here!

About the Author
DAWN IUS is a short-story author, novelist, screenwriter, professional editor, and communications specialist. She is an active member of the International Thriller Writers association, co-founder and senior editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal, and the author of nine educational graphic novels published by the Alberta Canola Producers Commission. When she’s not slaying fictional monsters, she’s geeking out over fairy tales, Jack Bauer, Halloween, sports cars, and all things that go bump in the night. Dawn lives in Alberta, Canada, with her husband, Jeff, and their giant English Mastiff, Roarke. 


Connect with Dawn:
Twitter: @dawnmius

2014-10-28

Blog Tour: Earth & Sky


Earth & Sky (Earth & Sky #1) by Megan Crewe
Release Date ~ October 28, 2014
Razorbill Canada ~ Penguin Random House Canada (Skyscape in the U.S.)
ISBN13:  9780670068128
ARC received from Penguin Random House Canada for review

Goodreads Synopsis:
Seventeen-year-old Skylar has been haunted for as long as she can remember by fleeting yet powerful sensations that something is horribly wrong. But despite the panic attacks tormenting her, nothing ever happens, and Sky’s beginning to think she’s crazy. Then she meets a mysterious, otherworldly boy named Win and discovers the shocking truth her premonitions have tapped into: our world no longer belongs to us. For thousands of years, Earth has been at the mercy of alien scientists who care nothing for its inhabitants and are using us as the unwitting subjects of their time-manipulating experiments. Win belongs to a rebel faction seeking to put a stop to it, and he needs Skylar’s help--but with each shift in the past, the very fabric of reality is unraveling, and soon there may be no Earth left to save.

I loved one of Megan Crewe's others books, The Way We Fall, and I'm interested in reviewing more books written by Canadian authors. The fact that Earth & Sky is a new science fiction read was more than enough to convince me I needed to read this, because Megan Crewe writes science fiction so well!


  1. Intelligent time-travel:

    I'm a very picky reader when it comes to time-travel stories, because they need to be JUST RIGHT for me to accept the time-traveling as purposeful rather than gratuitous and too few books convince me of this. But Megan's conception of time-travel is reasoned out well and very intentional. It's a necessary component of the story and it didn't rely on cheap or cheesy time-traveling scenes or jokes. It also isn't needlessly complicated so that the story flowed nicely.
  2. Strong character relationships:

    One of the things that I find Megan writes really well are strong dynamics between her characters. Her writing allows for natural relationships to develop among the characters, and nothing is rushed or forced. And this is important when so much of the story in Earth & Sky revolves around its two central characters, Skylar and Win.
  3. Solid world-building:

    Earth & Sky excelled in creating a world I could perfectly imagine. The story is like a carefully constructed puzzle, where each piece slowly comes together and the big picture is revealed to the reader. I liked how intentional much of the story was, and how there's a strong, underlying purpose connecting Skylar to the aliens and the discoveries she makes. All of which is hinting at more secrets we have to learn about. 
Earth & Sky has a very narrow focus for its story and I was left with further questions about the world and Win's people that I need answered - but I'm glad to see that there was a clear ending to this first book and that a sequel is scheduled to come out next year. Hopefully that will satisfy some of the questions I have!

Another thing I like about Earth & Sky is that it isn't the type of science fiction book that might scare readers away - there's still a contemporary feel to it, to help keep readers grounded in a ore familiar world if they're less comfortable with science fiction. This would actually be a great gateway book to science fiction.


------

Megan very kindly took time to answer some questions about Earth & Sky I had for her as part of the blog tour! Her answers are so insightful and they tie into the story really well - I hope they increase your interest in reading the book!


Q: The plot in Earth & Sky is one of the most creative ideas I've read in a long time. I was so intrigued by the idea of aliens using Earth as an experiment - it's a great sci fi story! But I'm wondering if you could share what inspired you to write about this?

A: Aliens experimenting on Earthlings is a pretty common idea in science fiction--but usually the aliens are just kidnapping Earthlings here and there, and either returning them after a short time or taking them away to study them elsewhere. When I realized I could combine that element with my base idea of a character who was sensing that things on Earth had been altered, I knew that the aliens had to be affecting the entire planet. The scope of their manipulation added an intensity to the story that I found exciting. And it captured a feeling I wanted to give of how little Earthling life mattered to the aliens--that they were looking down on our planet much like people on Earth might study bugs in a terrarium or fish in a tank.

Q: I'm a very picky reader when it comes to time-travel. But I really loved how you incorporated time-travel as one element of the story. What was it about time-travel that interested you enough to include it in Earth & Sky? Did you find it difficult to write about? 

A: Because the story started with the idea of the main character sensing things around her were "wrong" somehow, time travel was really the most essential element to EARTH & SKY. It was the best explanation I came up with (after considering various magical and supernatural possibilities) for how her world might be shifting, and it also allowed for those shifts to not just be a wearing down but people and events having completely changed, which gave me many more avenues to explore. I've always been fascinated by speculation about how the present might change if certain key factors in the past were altered--how one small change might have a massive effect, for example--so I was eager to dive in.

It definitely was difficult, though. It took me a while to figure out the rules of how my version of time travel would work, and even then I regularly ran into scenarios I hadn't considered but that needed to be addressed in a way that fit with what I needed for the rest of the story. At times it got a little tangled! Thankfully my critique partners were a huge help in sorting out what made sense and keeping everything logically consistent.

Q: There are some big revelations in Earth & Sky that surprised me as a reader. Were there any surprises for you as you were writing it or did you know how Earth & Sky would end?

A: I knew all of the big twists before I started writing, but that's mainly because I'm a devout outliner and I never start a story before I have all the key points worked out. But the revelations didn't all arrive with the initial idea, and many of them hit me as I was working out the plot with an excitement I hope they give the reader too.  There are also always some smaller pieces that don't emerge until later drafts… For example, the idea of "standard protocol" and how that affected Win's decisions about contacting the rest of his group was something that came up during later drafts, though it seemed obvious when it occurred to me because it fit so well with everything else that was already there.

Q: I always like to ask authors this question about their books, because the answers are so interesting. Personally, I sensed what seemed to be a theme about free will, and I'm not sure how intentional that was. Do you have any sort of a thought or overall message you'd like readers to take away from Earth & Sky? 

A: I do always consider theme when I'm planning a book--I find it hard to direct a story unless I know what the main concept behind it is. With EARTH & SKY, free will is definitely a factor. To me, both Skylar and the Kemyates are dealing with a similar struggle between keeping their lives the same so they at least know what to expect and can feel prepared, vs. taking risks in changing the course of their lives not knowing for sure whether those changes will end up being for the better or for the worse. Is it better to stick with an unfortunate but livable situation you know or to risk screwing things up more for the chance at something good? My stance, as I intended to come across in the book, is that you never can be completely certain of what the future will hold either way, so you're better off actively reaching for the life you want rather than hoping things will work out the way you'd like without you having to step up. But I realize readers will have their own perspectives on the issue.  :)

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, Megan!

And make sure you follow along with the rest of the blog tour and visit other blogs on the schedule to learn more about Earth & Sky!

2014-10-21

Book Review: Press Play

Press Play by Eric Devine
Release Date ~ October 28, 2014
Running Press Kids
ISBN13: 9780762455126
e-galley received from publisher via NetGalley

Goodreads Synopsis:
Greg Dunsmore, a.k.a. Dun the Ton, is focused on one thing: making a documentary that will guarantee his admission into the film school of his choice. Every day, Greg films his intense weight-loss focused workouts as well as the nonstop bullying that comes from his classmates. But when he captures footage of violent, extreme hazing by his high school’s championship-winning lacrosse team in the presence of his principal, Greg’s field of view is in for a readjustment.
Greg knows there is a story to be told, but it is not clear exactly what. And his attempts to find out the truth only create more obstacles, not to mention physical harm upon himself. Yet if Greg wants to make his exposé his ticket out of town rather than a veritable death sentence, he will have to learn to play the game and find a team to help him.
Combine the underbelly of Friday Night Lights with the unflinching honesty of Walter Dean Myers, and you will find yourself with Eric Devine’s novel of debatable truths, consequences, and realities.

Press Play is not the typical book I choose to read. But this is a case where I'm grateful that I branched out from my preferred reading picks and tried something different, because Press Play was a pleasantly unexpected read for me.

It's a contemporary read which is much more male-oriented than I'm used to (main character is a teenaged guy, and many of the other characters are male although not all. And it's written by a male author) and it deals with particularly relevant issues for teens in 2014. Not only that, but the main character, Greg, isn't the type of male character I'm used to reading.


  1. Greg's an interesting character to read about:

    In many ways, he seems like a very ordinary teenaged guy. He's far from perfect - fairly self-centred most of the time, with his own insecurities and frustrations. He's interested in girls and doesn't know how on earth to act around them. But at the same time, he's also unusual and different which makes life harder for him. Greg's overweight and on a quest to change that - he's making different food choices and working out with a friend. In many other modes of entertainment, there's "that fat guy" who's just a joke - people are either laughing because he's funny or they're laughing AT him. But with Greg, the reader has an insider's perspective as we experience so many of his embarrassing moments and struggles with his image and trying to take control of his body.
  2. An up-close view of bullying:

    We all know that bullying is a real problem. And we've likely all experienced it at one point or another in or lives (to some extent). Press Play looks at a very serious case of bullying (and hazing) and Greg's attempts to change that. But it also offers a very thoughtful perspective on how we can all do and say things that hurt others - and why it's so important that we recognize that and deal with it. 
Some of the imagery (depictions of events) and language used is rather crude - I point that out as a warning, not a criticism. I had no problem with it, because it always felt genuine and true to the character and his story. But I understand not all readers will be a fan of that. 

Press Play is a surprisingly dark story. The struggles these characters encounter are HEAVY - and in a few instances, I felt like I needed to see further resolution to feel reassured. For the most part, however, I thought the issues were handled well considering this is a standalone book tackling a whole spectrum of real life problems.

This is the kind of book that I believe is important because it's going to appeal to readers who may not be big fans of reading in general and are looking for a different type of book. I think it's realistic presentation of certain high school situations and characters is also going to appeal to readers who can appreciate that which is what makes Press Play worth reading.




2014-10-16

Book Review: The Young Elites

The Young Elites (The Young Elites #1) by Marie Lu
Release Date ~ October 7, 2014
G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers ~ Penguin Random House Canada
ISBN13: 9780399167836
ARC received from Penguin Canada for review

Goodreads Synopsis:
I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.
Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all. 
Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen. 
Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

Marie Lu quickly impressed me with her debut, Legend, and as a result, I approached The Young Elites with high expectations. And even with that in mind, The Young Elites easily exceeded the high expectations I had for it!

The Young Elites is an intoxicating story set in a stunning world which shocked me and left me begging for more! If this series never ended, I think I'd be a happy reader.



  1. A very introspective, yet exciting read:

    I loved how Marie Lu used this new book to explore Adelina's mind and her character. Adelina is truly fascinating, as she suffers through a multitude of evils, and is determined to rise above it. This is enough to make her an intriguing character, but what makes it even better is that there is a bit of darkness swirling within her which causes her to react in ways that likely aren't her best option and certainly cause some issues. And she seems to experience an inner struggle as she desperately tries to figure out how to navigate her world on her own. So much of her wants to lash out because of her pain, and much of the story centers on her dealing with this
  2. A special group of characters:

    There's something unique about The Young Elites (and Adelina), and that has to do with their mysterious abilities. And because the characters are so different from one another, you can really see their personalities come out in how they manage and use these abilities. This means that the main characters are well-crafted, and the secondary characters are further developed than they are in most books.
  3. Deeply intimate relationships:

    The very nature of the lives The Young Elites are living draws them closer together in a strange way. They're forced to keep secrets and many of them have experienced rejection and abandonment. As a result, particularly in Adelina's case, her connections with other characters are strangely strong yet still retain the messy, confusing parts. The world is against them and so they're forced to band together. I especially enjoyed Adelina's relationship with her sister and how that plays out in The Young Elites. 

The romance is intoxicating and thrilling, but without being overpowering. This is so important to me, and I loved the tension Marie Lu evokes with her writing. This is a delicate balance to achieve, and it's nearly flawless.

There is so much that is implied and hinted at, which creates a thick atmosphere of mystery within the story and marks Marie as one very talented writer. A perfect example of this is the Epilogue, which gives us just a small taste of what's to come in the next book, and yet it doesn't quite address anything directly. But it certainly has left me eagerly anticipating more details on the next Young Elites book and solidifies The Young Elites as one of my favourite reads of 2014.



2014-10-07

Blog Tour: The Spiritglass Charade


Earlier this year, I had the privilege of reading and reviewing The Clockwork Scarab, the first book in the Stoker & Holmes series by Colleen Gleason. And today I'm pleased to introduce the second book in the series, The Spiritglass Charade, on the first stop of the blog tour!

Colleen kindly spent some time answering questions I had for her based on my experience reading The Clockwork Scarab, which touches on a few of the reasons I enjoyed reading the first Stoker & Holmes book! I also have some important news about the blog tour and two excerpts for you at the bottom of this post. 


Q: The two main characters are exceptoinally talented in their own ways (being the niece of Sherlock Holmes and the sister of Bram Stoker) which makes them fascinating characters. And I noticed that both young women experience some pressure with living up to expectations others have for them and their abilities. Why did you decide to write a mystery story featuring relatives to their more famous counterparts?

A: One of the traditional elements of steampunk is the juxtaposition of literary characters with that of real elements of history—characters, events, settings, etc. In fact, steampunk is exactly that: a fascinating mash-up of alternate history and technology and literature. So it seemed like a good place to start when I was dreaming up the concept for this book.

Being a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes (in all of his iterations, both classic and current), I wanted to begin with a female version of the brilliant detective. And when I learned that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Bram Stoker were actually friends, the idea of melding in a vampire element made a lot of sense—especially since I’d also written a series about a female vampire hunter during the time of Jane Austen.

Q: Evaline and Mina are very different young women, and you make that clear in your writing, but do you think they are more similar than readers might realize at first glance? Do they have anything in common?A: Most definitely. They both have just as many commonalities—albeit beneath the surface—as differences. Both are saddled with expectations that come from being part of an exceptional family, both are social misfits—Mina is awkward, and Evaline dislikes being sought-after in Society—both are stubborn and determined to do things “their” way, and both are brave, loyal, and lonely.

Q: One of my favourite parts in The Clockwork Scarab was the inclusion of a secret society. Secret societies are so interesting to me! Did you do any research on secret societies? Why did you choose to include a secret society in this series?

Secret societies are indeed the stuff of which books (and movies!) are made. They allow for such creative license in developing a plot. I’ve done a lot of research on secret societies over the years for a number of projects. They were (and still are) quite prevalent, and I love the whole idea of clandestine meetings, the opportunities for cloak-and-dagger sort of communication and sneaking around. It’s just fun to build a story around a group of people who are secretly connected and must secretly communicate.

Q: Since the Stoker & Holmes series is a story about a mystery and two female detectives, did you plot out the entire mystery arc before you wrote the books? Or has the mystery changed as you've written the series?

A: I’m more of an organic writer than one like, say, J. K. Rowling who had much of her arc plotted out before writing the Potter books. But I do know certain things about the over-arching mystery—who the Ankh is, what’s going on behind the scenes, and other basic elements. As for the mystery in each book, the particular episode…I don’t really know the entire storyline. It becomes revealed to me as I write the book, and sometimes things change as the scenes evolve. I might think I know whodunnit and why, but that might shift as the story goes on. It’s a mysterious experience for me as a writer!
Q: While the Stoker & Holmes books are very exciting all on their own, I'm curious as to whether there is any sort of overall impression or experience you'd like your readers to take away from reading your books?

A: Thank you for asking. It’s my hope that readers of all ages will read about the experiences of Evaline and Mina and see themselves reflected in one or both of the characters’ difficulties—in their awkwardness, challenges, personalities, and relationships—and somehow feel as if they are not alone. It’s my hope that readers come away with an impression that partnerships and relationships between two people—whether they are business or love or familial—aren’t easy, aren’t simple, aren’t smooth, and yet are rewarding and necessary for a fulfilled life. And that two people can seem very different on the exterior, but have so very much in common where it matters: on the inside.

Thank you for having me here on your blog today! 

And thank you for taking the time to provide my questions with such detailed answers, Colleen! I'm particularly interested in the fact that you already know who the Ankh is - that's one secret I'm dying to know! 

I also find the answer to my last question particularly insightful and a great idea to explore in books. Relationships can be so tricky to navigate, but they're absolutely worth the time and effort. 

Make sure you follow along with the upcoming blog tour stops! There are more fun features and giveaways coming up!

Wednesday, October 8th 

Thursday, October 9th

Friday, October 10th

Saturday, October 11th

Sunday,  October 12th

Monday, October 13th

Tuesday, October 14th

Wednesday, October 15th 

Thursday, October 16th

Friday, October 17th

"After the Affair of the Clockwork Scarab, Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes are eager to help Princess Alix with a new case. Seventeen-year-old Willa Aston is obsessed with spiritual mediums, convinced she is speaking with her mother from beyond the grave. What seems like a case of spiritualist fraud quickly devolves into something far more menacing: someone is trying to make Willa appear lunatic using an innocent-looking spiritglass to control her. The list of clues piles up: an unexpected murder, a gang of pickpockets, and the return of vampires to London. But are these events connected? As Uncle Sherlock would say, there are no coincidences. It will take all of Mina's wit and Evaline's muscle to keep London's sinister underground at bay."

Check out the Stoker & Holmes tumblr

Colleen Gleason is a New York Times bestselling author with more than two dozen novels in print, including the international bestselling paranormal romance series The Gardella Vampire Chronicles—about a female vampire hunter who lives during the time of Jane Austen.







 
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