Book Review: From Frights to Flaws by Sunayna Prasad

Title: From Frights to Flaws
Author: Sunayna Prasad
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon

Originally published in 2013, the book has been updated to its full potential with edits, while keeping the storyline the same.

Twelve-year-old Alyssa McCarthy longs for a better life. She lost her parents at age seven and her aunt at nine. Her uncle also enforces unfair rules. But Alyssa discovers something she has never thought existed before… magic. A wicked sorcerer hunts her down. He kidnaps her from her ordinary New Jersey town to Yanowic, an enchanted island in Fiji.
Alyssa is trapped in the country due to a giant shield covering it. She must defeat dangerous creatures and the evil wizard in order to leave. But with sorcerers and enchanted technology getting in her way, can Alyssa succeed?

Let me start by saying that I read and reviewed From Frights to Flaws before. However, the book has been re-edited, and has received a brand new cover when its updated, second edition was released. So, I decided to read and review again!

The book still holds all the magic and mayhem of the first book (for a more detailed review of the plot, check out my first review) but some of the hiccups in the first book have been removed or rewritten, and overall, the book reads smoother. Some grammar/spelling issues I noticed during the first read were fixed in this second edition.

Overall, the updates fixed a lot of minor issues and made the story overall better, although the storyline itself stays the same. I enjoyed this re-visit to this world and these characters, and I recommend this book to middle graders who enjoy fantasy stories and intriguing characters.

Book Review The Monster of Selkirk Book 1: The Duality of Nature

Title: The Monster of Selkirk Book 1: The Duality of Nature
Author: C.E. Clayton
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Monsters come in many forms, and not everyone knows a monster when they see one. After three hundred years of monstrous, feral elves plaguing the island nation of Selkirk, everyone believes they know what a monster is. Humans have learned to live with their savage neighbors, enacting a Clearing every four years to push the elves back from their borders. The system has worked for centuries, until after one such purge, a babe was found in the forest.

As Tallis grows, she discovers she isn’t like everyone else. There is something a little different that makes people leery in her presence, and she only ever makes a handful of friends. But when the elves gather their forces and emerge from the forests literally hissing Tallis’s name like a battle mantra, making friends is the least of her troubles. Tallis and her companions find themselves on an unwilling journey to not only clear her name, but to stop the elves from ravaging her homeland.

Growing up, I loved books like Robin Hobb’s fantasy works, The Magician series by Raymond E. Feist, The Shannara Chronicles by Terry Brooks… But it’s been a while since I’ve read books that reminded me of these classics. That is, until I read The Monster of Selkirk Book 1: The Duality of Nature. This is the first book I’ve read in years that had a similar epic feel.
The characters are phenomenal. They’re unique, entertaining, they have genuine feelings and emotions, background stories and habits. My favorite one is Tallis, the main character, who struggles with how different she is from everyone else. Luckily she makes some friends who accept her for who she is, and who are willing to put everything on the line to save her.
The writing style pulled me in right from the start, the world-building was top notch, allowing the reader to dive into a fantasy world without feeling overwhelmed by the technicalties or politics of this world, and the plot is so fast-paced, so unpredictable, that once you start reading, you just have to read until the end. Even if that means, like in my case, reading until two in the morning.
I recommend this book to all fans of fantasy novels with elves, kick-ass characters and excellent writing. I can’t wait to read the sequel.
(Also, I’m totally in love with the cover, and it fits the story so well!)

Book Tours: Starter Day Party The Monster of Selkirk Book 1: The Duality of Nature

I’m hosting the starter day party today for the book tour for fantasy “The Monster of Selkirk Book 1: The Duality of Nature”. The tour runs from December 15 to December 22. Stay tuned for my review on December 22!

Tour Schedule

December 15th: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

December 15th: Promo Post @ Nesie’s Place

December 16th: Book Excerpt @ Bedazzled Reading

December 17th: Book Excerpt @ Books, Dreams, Life

December 17th: Book Excerpt @ Editor Charlene’s Blog

December 18th: Author Interview @ Graced with Books

December 19th: Book Excerpt @ Nesie’s Place

December 19th: Promo Post @ Author C.A. Milson’s Blog

December 19th: Book Review @ Bookish Madness

December 20th: Book Excerpt @ Inspired Chaos

December 21st: Author Interview @ Majanka’s Blog

December 22nd: Book Review @ I Heart Reading

December 22nd: Book Excerpt @ Indy Book Fairy

About the Book

Title: The Monster of Selkirk Book 1: The Duality of Nature

Author: C.E. Clayton

Genre: Fantasy

Monsters come in many forms, and not everyone knows a monster when they see one. After three hundred years of monstrous, feral elves plaguing the island nation of Selkirk, everyone believes they know what a monster is. Humans have learned to live with their savage neighbors, enacting a Clearing every four years to push the elves back from their borders. The system has worked for centuries, until after one such purge, a babe was found in the forest.

As Tallis grows, she discovers she isn’t like everyone else. There is something a little different that makes people leery in her presence, and she only ever makes a handful of friends. But when the elves gather their forces and emerge from the forests literally hissing Tallis’s name like a battle mantra, making friends is the least of her troubles. Tallis and her companions find themselves on an unwilling journey to not only clear her name, but to stop the elves from ravaging her homeland.

Author Bio

C.E. Clayton was born and raised in the greater Los Angeles area, where she attended the University of Southern California (Fight On!) for both her Bachelors and Masters, and then worked in the advertising industry for several years on accounts ranging from fast food, to cars, and video games (her personal favorite). After going the traditional career route and becoming restless, she went back to her first love—writing—and hasn’t stopped. She is now the author of “The Monster of Selkirk” series and her horror short stories have appeared in anthologies across the country. When she’s not writing you can find her treating her fur-babies like humans, constantly drinking tea, and trying to convince her husband to go to more concerts. And reading. She does read quite a bit. More about C.E. Clayton, including her blog, book reviews, social media presence, and newsletter, can be found on her website: https://www.ceclayton.com/

Bookbub Profile

 

Links

Goodreads

Amazon

Website

The Monster of Selkirk Books series available now!

Book Review and Giveaway My Way To You

Title: My Way To You
Author: Lyndell Williams
Genre: Romance
Rating: 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Lawyer Simon Young is smart, confident, and adept at keeping things with women casual—until he meets his best friend Marcus’s sister, Regina. Immediately intrigued by Regina’s beauty, Simon becomes increasingly enthralled and ultimately risks his friendship to have her for himself.

Social justice writer and activist Regina Kent is usually cautious and savvy. Yet, unable to resist her attraction to the handsome Simon, she plunges into a torrid affair, knowing that she chances angering big brother and her less tolerant followers, many of whom will not accept that one of their most popular pro-Black bloggers is dating an Asian man.

As their clandestine romance evolves, Simon and Regina fall deeper in love. Making sure that things stay between them becomes progressively impossible, and neither knows how much longer they can keep Marcus in the dark and the world at bay.

In My Way To You, Simon Young, a confident, intelligent lawyer, is determined to keep things casual when it comes dating. But when he meets Regina, the sister of his best friend Marcus, he is amazed by the pull he feels toward her. Can he keep things casual this time around, or will he fall for her the way he’s never fallen for any woman before?

Regina is usually quite cautious when it comes to the dating game, but Simon is so charming and attractive that she simply can’t resist. Still, she’s worried about what her brother Marcus might think about her dating his best friend, especially when he finds out they were dating behind his back…

I loved how the relationship between the two characters, despite their instant attraction, still moved rather slowly from that point. Both of them were reluctant to get in an actual relationship, and they each had their own reasons, which made a lot of sense for me. The cultural clash between Regina and Simon’s cultures was also very interesting and added additional challenges for their relationship.

Since I don’t want to spoil the story itself, I’ll just say that a lot of things happen throughout the book, and there’s never a dull moment. Just when you think things will calm down for Simon and Regina, something else happens that puts their relationship at risk. The fast pacing kept the story really entertaining, and I couldn’t put it down.

 

Giveaway

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Book Tours: Starter Day Party The Raygin War

I’m hosting the starter day party today for the book tour for science-fiction “The Raygin War”. The tour runs from December 13 to December 20.

Tour Schedule

December 13th: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

December 14th: Book Excerpt @ Author C.A. Milson’s Blog

December 16th: Book Excerpt @ Nesie’s Place

December 17th: Book Excerpt @ Bookish Madness

December 18th: Book Excerpt and Character Interview @ Bright Street Books

December 20th: Book Excerpt @ Nesie’s Place

December 20th: Author Interview @ Editor Charlene’s Blog

About the Book

Title: The Raygin War

Author: Larry Gerovac

Genre: Science-Fiction

The Raygin War is a futuristic sci-fi story about an alien race that evolved from Carrion beetles. 25 years after first contact the aliens return with a fleet to invade human space. To stop the invasion the military puts all its hope into a single person. He’s an old school soldier who started his career as a ground pounder in the Sniper Corps. Mac has been involved in about every conflict the military has participated in. His skill as a sniper earned him the respect of every soldier who ever worked with him. He is a self taught killer. On the battlefield he has no equal. Whether it was killing the opponent in hand-to-hand combat, killing them with a weapon, or just plain old out maneuvering them Mac was the best the military had ever seen. When the Raygin war starts Mac is forced into a leadership role he wanted nothing to do with. Will Mac’s experience and talent be enough to neutralize the alien invasion? All is not what it seems. Read the Raygin War to see if the human race will survive and remain free.

Author Bio

Larry Gerovac was born in the shadows of the steel mills, oil refineries, and railroadyards of the Midwestern United States. He is a Navy Veteran and a first generation American. He writes in the genre of Science, Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Horror.

Links

Website

Author Twitter

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Book Tours: From Frights to Flaws

I’m hosting the starter day party today for the book tour for “From Frights to Flaws”. This is the second edition of a book I’ve read years ago, but I remember really enjoying the story and I look forward to seeing how it has changed in this new edition.

Stay tuned for my review on December 22!

About the Book

Title: From Frights to Flaws

Author: Sunayna Prasad

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Originally published in 2013, the book has been updated to its full potential with edits, while keeping the storyline the same.

Twelve-year-old Alyssa McCarthy longs for a better life. She lost her parents at age seven and her aunt at nine. Her uncle also enforces unfair rules. But Alyssa discovers something she has never thought existed before… magic. A wicked sorcerer hunts her down. He kidnaps her from her ordinary New Jersey town to Yanowic, an enchanted island in Fiji.
Alyssa is trapped in the country due to a giant shield covering it. She must defeat dangerous creatures and the evil wizard in order to leave. But with sorcerers and enchanted technology getting in her way, can Alyssa succeed?

Author Bio

Sunayna Prasad has published a few books between her late teens and her mid-twenties. She has won a Pacific Book Review Award for her novel, Wizardy Goes Wild, which will return as a new edition, like From Frights to Flaws. Sunayna also has a blog on different creative and entertaining topics, including writing and fiction. It is called “Sunayna Prasad’s Blog”.

Aside from writing, Sunayna also likes to cook, do art, and watch videos online. She has graduated from college in May 2017 and is looking to continue more writing as well as hold a graphic design job soon. Sunayna lives on Long Island, NY.

Links

Amazon

Website

Goodreads

Book Review: Inside the Chinese Wine Industry by Loren Mayshark

Title: Inside the Chinese Wine Industry
Author: Loren Mayshark
Genre: Nonfiction
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

The wine business is one of the world’s most fascinating industries and China is considered the rising star. A hidden secret, the Chinese wine industry continues to grow at an amazing pace and is projected to soon enter the top five producing nations, supplanting long established countries such as Australia. Inside the Chinese Wine Industry: The Past, Present, and Future of Wine in China takes you through the growing Chinese wine scene.

Wine has had a meteoric rise in China over the past two decades. The nation is projected to become the second most valuable market for wine in the world by 2020. One recent study concluded that 96% of young Chinese adults consider wine their alcoholic drink of choice. Not only does Inside the Chinese Wine Industry explore current expansion and business models, it journeys back to the past to see where it all began.

There are more than seven hundred wineries in China today. Although it’s bit of an oversimplification, the vast majority of the wineries fit into one of two categories: the larger established producers who churn out mostly plonk to meet the growing demand for inexpensive wine and the newer wineries that try to cater to the tastes of the wealthy Chinese with money to spend on luxury goods like fine wine. In the words of wine guru Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible, “The cheap wines from the very large producers have mostly verged on dismal.” However, this should not be considered a blanket statement regarding every wine from large producers. Also, she has positive reflections regarding the level of wine produced by “cutting-edge wineries” which she finds “far better.” How good are they? MacNeil asserts: “Some of these wines are so good they could easily pass for a California or Bordeaux wine in a blind tasting.”

I’ll start out straight by saying I don’t think I’ve had Chinese wine. Maybe by accident or when I didn’t know the wine was Chinese, but not on purpose. After reading Inside the Chinese Wine Industry, I’m eager to try one, though. With over seven hundred wineries in China, it will not be hard to find one I like, I suppose!

One of the first chapters in the book is a run-down of the history of China, linking this history to the origins of wine consumption. The chapters, while containing a lot of information, are actually pretty easy to read and overall, the book is a fast read, and it never feels “heavy”. Sometimes nonfiction books feel “heavy” to read because they contain a lot of information all at once, but I didn’t have that sense here.

The history of wine was most interesting for me, from the wine used as an aspect of religious sacrifice, to the Five Year Plans from Mao, we get a condensed but intriguing review of Chinese history. Then, the book focuses on some of the most popular kinds of wine in China, the global considerations the global wine market should keep in mind regarding Chinese wines, and much, much more. The book also makes some predictions for the future of the Chinese wine industry that seem to be accurate to me as well (after reading this book).

 

Book Tours: Starter Day Party My Way To You

I’m hosting the starter day party today for the book tour for romance “My Way To You”. The tour runs from December 6 to December 13. Enjoy the tour!

Tour Schedule

December 6th: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

December 7th: Book Excerpt and Giveaway @ Bright Street Books

December 9th: Book Excerpt @ Bookish Rantings

December 10th: Author Interview @ Editor Charlene’s Blog

December 11th: Book Review @ Crazy KALM

December 13th: Book Excerpt @ Books, Dreams, Life

December 13th: Book Review and Giveaway @ I Heart Reading

About the Book

Title: My Way To You

Author: Lyndell Williams

Genre: Romance

Lawyer Simon Young is smart, confident, and adept at keeping things with women casual—until he meets his best friend Marcus’s sister, Regina. Immediately intrigued by Regina’s beauty, Simon becomes increasingly enthralled and ultimately risks his friendship to have her for himself.

Social justice writer and activist Regina Kent is usually cautious and savvy. Yet, unable to resist her attraction to the handsome Simon, she plunges into a torrid affair, knowing that she chances angering big brother and her less tolerant followers, many of whom will not accept that one of their most popular pro-Black bloggers is dating an Asian man.

As their clandestine romance evolves, Simon and Regina fall deeper in love. Making sure that things stay between them becomes progressively impossible, and neither knows how much longer they can keep Marcus in the dark and the world at bay.

Author Bio

Lyndell Williams is an award-winning writer as well as a multifaceted editor, romance scholar and author.  She is a managing editor and columnist for various media platforms and serves as a content editor for a select group of clients. She’s had numerous short stories published in collections and enjoys a growing list of subscribers to her Layla Writes Love online short story series.

Lyndell is an adjunct instructor as well as an anti-racism and gender equity advocate. She is committed to the traditional use of literature as social commentary to affect positive social change.

 

Links

Amazon

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Pinterest

Release Blitz My Way To You

About the Book

Title: My Way To You

Author: Lyndell Williams

Genre: Romance

Lawyer Simon Young is smart, confident, and adept at keeping things with women casual—until he meets his best friend Marcus’s sister, Regina. Immediately intrigued by Regina’s beauty, Simon becomes increasingly enthralled and ultimately risks his friendship to have her for himself.

Social justice writer and activist Regina Kent is usually cautious and savvy. Yet, unable to resist her attraction to the handsome Simon, she plunges into a torrid affair, knowing that she chances angering big brother and her less tolerant followers, many of whom will not accept that one of their most popular pro-Black bloggers is dating an Asian man.

As their clandestine romance evolves, Simon and Regina fall deeper in love. Making sure that things stay between them becomes progressively impossible, and neither knows how much longer they can keep Marcus in the dark and the world at bay.

Author Bio

Lyndell Williams is an award-winning writer as well as a multifaceted editor, romance scholar and author. She is a managing editor and columnist for various media platforms and serves as a content editor for a select group of clients. She’s had numerous short stories published in collections and enjoys a growing list of subscribers to her Layla Writes Love online short story series.

Lyndell is an adjunct instructor as well as an anti-racism and gender equity advocate. She is committed to the traditional use of literature as social commentary to affect positive social change.

Links

Amazon

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Pinterest