BLOG TOUR: Blacksouls by Nicole Castroman - Review, Favorite Quotes & Giveaway

Title: Blacksouls (Blackhearts #2)
Author: Nicole Castroman
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: April 11th 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance, Pirates, Adventure
Part Of A Series? Yes, Book 2/2 of the Blackhearts Series
I Got A Copy Through: Hardcover from Simon Pulse (THANK YOU!)
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Synopsis: Nicole Castroman brings the dangerous pirate ports of the Caribbean to life in this vibrant se-quel to Blackhearts—the reimagined origin story of history’s most infamous pirate, Black-beard.
Edward “ Teach” Drummond is setting sail to the Caribbean as first mate on the most celebrated merchant ship in the British fleet—until he rebels against his captain. Mutiny isa capital offense and Teach knows it could cost him his life, but he believes it worth the risk inorder to save his crew from the attacking Spanish ships.
Sailing on the same blue waters, Anne barely avoids the Spanish attack, making it safely toNassau. But lawless criminals, corrupt politics, and dangerous intentions fill the crowded streets of this Caribbean port. Soon, Anne discovers that the man entrusted to keep the peace is quite possibly the most treacherous of them all—and he just happens to hold Teach’s fate in his terri-fying hands.
Life and death hang in the balance when Teach and Anne are given a dangerous mission. It’s a mission that will test their love, loyalty and devotion, forcing them down a path nei-ther one could have ever imagined.
After I finished reading Blackhearts last year, I didn't know that there wasn't a contracted sequel. In fact, I assumed that we would be getting our answers in the second part and was happily waiting for news of it.  And then came a publication announcement, and I was pleasantly shocked and surprised because i KNEW I would need to read this book after that HORRIBLE HEART-WRENCHING  ENDING to Blacksouls. 
I was also very excited to actually have pirates, ships and everything that comes along with the seas in this story because book one didn't have a lot of it. Or any, really. I was also really hoping the entire book wasn't a journey of Teach getting to Anne and it was all kings of mope-y, because that would have been sad

So, now that I've told you what I EXPECTED from this book, I should tell you that It was BETTER than I expected it would be! Thoughts:

1) I LOVED ANNE IN THIS BOOK. She was spunky in book one, but I'd gotten use to the general prejudice of mean girls, and so Blackhearts made her seem normal. In Blacksouls, Anne had to deal with the beginning of and her first experiences with Slavery - and I FELT ALL OF HER INDIGNATION AND RIGHTFUL OFFENSE AND PURE ANGER. Slavery was given JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF EVERYTHING, especially since it was told from a POC's point of view

2) Teach, on the other hand, was an interesting character, but nowhere near as interesting as Anne. He was RIDICULOUSLY POSSESSIVE, and a total anti-feminist and that annoyed me. He LOVED ANNE, but didn't think her capable of anything. I get that he wanted to keep her safe but SIGH. I DID LOVE his transition (or rather how we saw for the first time) his abilities as a sailor and a captain, and I truly believed that he could be a great future pirate. 

3) I loved the secondary characters - Alastair, Beth, Cara, Coyle, Easton, John, Reva and Benjamin - and all the added twists, turns and substance they gave the story. 

4) Most of all, I TRULY fell in love with this book when the whole *ahem* conspiracy of Evil Dudes came to light. I loved how you could see this TEAM coming together and I LOVED ALL OF THEM which brings me to - IS THESE GOING TO BE A SEQUEL? Because while this didn't end on a cliffhanger, I LOVED THE ENDING SO MUCH AND WHERE THE CHARACTERS ARE GOING SO PLEASE LET ME HAVE MORE!

Would I recommend this series? HELL YES. Especially now that you can binge the two books together. 
An swashbuckling, brilliant story that will have you on slowly falling in love with everyone in it. 
"To begin something without fear is the same as victory."

"She didn't want there to be a question in anyone's mind that she belonged with Teach. 'Of course I do. I need you to make me an honest woman, before I become a criminal.'
Easton made a strangled sound in his throat, overhearing the last part of the sentence. 'Not just any criminal. A Pirate.'
Nicole was lucky enough to come with her very own best friend...she has a twin sister who can read her mind and finish her sentences for her.
At the age of 13, she went to Europe for the first time and it changed her life. She loves learning about different people, languages and cultures and speaks fluent German. She knows enough Spanish to get herself into trouble and can still read the Cyrillic alphabet from when she studied Russian.

She received her B.A. from Brigham Young University and has lived in Germany, Austria and two different places called Georgia. One is located on the Black Sea. The other is the state ofGeorgia where she now lives with her handsome husband and two beautiful children who continue to amaze her.
  • 1 Finished Copy of Blacksouls (Black-hearts #2) by Nicole Castroman
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Book Tour Grand Finale: Crossing in Time By D.L. Orton

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Grand Finale for Crossing in Time By D.L. Orton

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops, go back and
check them out and grab ebook copies of the series on SALE while you can...

Launch - Note from the Author
Love is the most powerful force known to mankind. It wrecks kings, destroys barriers, makes us risk everything for a few stolen moments. . . . And all of this makes for a great story.

Reading for the Stars and Moon - What are your favorite sci-fi books and movies?

I can never seem to remember book titles, and I struggle to recall all the plot twists, but the good characters stick with you. They teach you, change you, become a part of you. I aspire to that with my own writing.

Hearts & Scribbles - Ask the Characters: How Difficult Is It to Be a Character in D.L. Orton’s Book?
Isabel: There were times when I wasn't sure I wanted to trust a writer with my life. Still, Ms. Orton cares about the same things I do, and I’m dying to see how things turn out. In the end, I wasn't keen on some of the scarier scenes (and I'm still sad about all those animals), but the author assures me that everything will work out in the end. Right, Diego?

I Love Books - The Journey Is the Reward
What's the moral of the story? Don't take the ones you love for granted. They could disappear at any moment—and time machines are pretty hard to come by. Put your arms around someone you care about and just enjoy the moment. The journey is the reward.

"This is a steadily progressing story of love gone awry, reconciliation, commitment, sacrifice for love and mankind, and time travel. The novel begins with a “interest-catching Prologue, then quickly begins to formulate the story on a solid foundation, constantly building in momentum until it ends in a solid climax, leaving the reader anxious for the next sequel in the story! It is complete with romance, suspense, adventure and life’s lessons."

Kindle and Me - Review
"If you like other universes with the same people, nuclear bombs, physics, emergency preparedness, giving up your life for someone you love, dogs, cats, jokes, finding that one special person, biodomes, peeing on a handkerchief with smoke everywhere, and maybe a way to save us all from our mistakes then this might be for you!"

Wishful Endings - Crossing In Time (Excerpt #2)
“Still...” The gun trader waits for me to meet his eyes. “I s’pose I could use some fancy flavorings on my venison.”
I regard the only overweight man in a sea of famine, disgusted with the whole human race and embarrassed by my own full stomach.

Celticlady's Reviews - How Does Time Travel Work in the Between Two Evils Multiverse?
Take a shower curtain, some ants, and a bowling ball.
Start with the shower curtain. It’s a two-dimensional object in a 3-dimensional world. Imagine, now, that you are an ant, walking, talking, and shagging other ants on this thin, flexible membrane (or a "brane" in physics-speak). Layered above and below you are a million other shower curtains, all of them with their own allotment of ants (some of which get paid 78 cents on the dollar due to slight differences in their copulatory organs).

"I enjoy a good time travel and that is what this book is. It has a great romance and a second chance at love. I enjoyed the world the author created and thought that the author did a great job traveling in time."

fuonlyknew - Review
"The beginning swiftly pulls you in. The plot deepens and the characters emerge. And as you draw near to the conclusion, you’re gripped in a vise of suspense that brings tears to your eyes, fearing and hoping for what comes last."

Bookworm Lisa - Review
"The book involves time travel, an orb with a message, seashells, love, and secret government projects. It is a fascinating book."

Booklove - Review
"The book, Crossing In Time was a one sit read for me with intriguing and captivating characters, unique, thrilling and original plot and a hooking prose . A perfect read for every Sci-Fi and romance lover."
And don't forget to enter the giveaway, if you haven't already...
Crossing in Time (Between Two Evils #1)
D.L. Orton
Adult Sci-Fi Romance, Dystopian
Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 374 pages
April 7th 2015 by Rocky Mountain Press
A Publishers Weekly Starred Review“Best Sci-Fi Love Story of the Year”
Remember How It Feels to Fall in Love?
Race against the clock through a dystopian nightmare. Climb naked into an untested time machine (carrying only a seashell and a promise). Wake up twenty years younger on a tropical beach, buck naked and mortally wounded, with your heart in your throat.
This is a journey of love, loss, and redemption that will make your pulse gallop and your palms sweat, have you laughing out loud through your tears, and leave you flush with the sublime pleasure of falling in love.
GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleBook DepositoryPowell's
Other Books in the Series
Lost Time(Between Two Evils #2)
D.L. Orton
Adult Sci-Fi Romance, Dystopian
Hardcover, Paperback & ebook, 222 pages
July 1st 2016 by Rocky Mountain Press
If someone took everything you live for, how far would you go to get it back?When a faulty time machine deposits Diego at the top of a pine tree, he knows he's in the wrong place--but has no idea he's in the wrong time. Naked and shivering in the chilly mountain air, he attempts to climb down, but slips, whacks his head, and falls into oblivion.
He wakes up inside a darkened room, crippled and disheartened, and must come to grips with the realization that he is marooned in a bleak alternate future. In this universe, what remains of the human race is trapped inside a handful of aging biodomes. With his mission failed, his world destroyed, and the one woman he loves, dead, he can find no reason to go on living.
But Lani, the emotionally scarred doctor who finds him, refuses to let him die, and as Diego heals, their relationship becomes... complicated. He struggles to let go of the past but is unable to get Isabel out of his head--or his heart. Just when it seems he may be able to find some measure of happiness in a world teetering on the edge of extinction...
Another note arrives from the future: Isabel is alive--but not for long..
Dead Time (Between Two Evils  #3)
D.L. Orton
Adult Sci-Fi Romance, Dystopian
Paperback & ebook, 414 pages
April 15th 2017 by Rocky Mountain Press
If someone took everything you live for, how far would you go to get it back?From award-winning author D. L. ORTON comes book three in the Between Two Evils series...
Shannon fights to stay alive inside a rogue biodome and discovers something totally unexpected... Peter. Lani is forced into the role of the reluctant heroine but rediscovers her street-kid mojo and sets out to find everything she's lost. Diego receives another dirty sock (and a note) from the poorly aimed fireball express: "The window between universes is closing." If Diego has any hope of getting back to Iz, he must get to the Magic Kingdom and power up the time machine before it's too late.
What could possibly go wrong?
About the Author

D.L. ORTON is the BEST-SELLING author of the BETWEEN TWO EVILS book series. She lives in the Rocky Mountains where she and her husband are raising three boys, a golden retriever, two Siberian cats, and an extremely long-lived Triops. In her spare time, she's building a time machine so that someone can go back and do the laundry.

Ms. Orton is a graduate of Stanford University's Writers Workshop and a past editor of "Top of the Western Staircase," a literary publication of the University of Colorado at Boulder. The author has a number of short stories published in traditional and online literary magazines, including Literotica, Melusine, Cosmoetica, The Ranfurly Review, and Catalyst Press.

Tour Giveaway
- 1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally)
- 1 winner will receive the Between Two Evils series, which includes Crossing in Time, Lost Time, and Dead Time (print if US, Kindle copies if international)
- Ends March 28th

BLOG TOUR: How To Make A Wish by Ashley Herring Blake - Review + Giveaway

Title: How To Make A Wish
Author: Ashley Herring Blake
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 2nd 2017
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: ARC from HMH Teen (THANK YOU!)
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Synopsis: All seventeen year-old Grace Glasser wants isher own life. A normal life in which she sleeps inthe same bed for longer than three months and doesn't have to scrounge for spare change tomake sure the electric bill is paid. Emotionally trapped by her unreliable mother, Maggie, and the tiny cape on which she lives, she focuses on her best friend, her upcoming audition for a top music school in New York, and surviving Maggie’s latest boyfriend—who happens tobe Grace’s own ex-boyfriend’s father.
Her attempts to lay low until she graduates are disrupted when she meets Eva, a girl with herown share of ghosts she’s trying to outrun. Grief-stricken and lonely, Eva pulls Grace into mid-night adventures and feelings Grace never planned on. When Eva tells Grace she likes girls, both of their worlds open up. But, united by loss, Eva also shares a connection with Maggie. AsGrace's mother spirals downward, both girls must figure out howto love and howto move on.
I read Ashley Herring Blake’s debut novel, Suffer Love, last year and I REALLY loved it. It was quick paced, just the right amount of twisted and complicated and, well, a really enjoyable read. 

As soon as her new book was announced, I knew it was something I SIMPLY had to get my hands on. Biracial AND Bisexual characters? GIVE IT TO ME NOW. 

I’ll be honest, it took me a while to get used to the characters in this book. 

For starters, I kept comparing How To Make A Wish to Suffer Love and I kept comparing Eva and Grace together to Sam and Hadley. A well done romance is a well done romance, and for some reason, Eva and Grace felt sort of chemistry-less. I thought that they made AMAZING CHARACTERS, filled with pain and insecurities individually, and EVEN AS FRIENDS, but for some reason, I couldn’t shake the feeling that that Chemistry was missing. 

MORE THAN ANYTHING, the reason it took me so long to actually enjoy the book was Maggie, Grace’s mom. 

Usually, I wouldn’t even BELIEVE that a mother could be the way she did, but over these past few months, I’ve seen a friend go through something SO SIMILAR, that this sort of hit a raw nerve for me and all I was seeing was red. 

About twenty percent into the book, I got over my anger towards Grace’s mom and enjoyed the book.

Ashley Herring Blake managed to capture grief with such clarity, it was heart-breaking. I love that Grace tapped out her pieces out any surface ever, because that is EXACTLY what I do when I’m learning a new piano piece. I love that there was SO MUCH HOPE, LOVE, FAMILY AND DESPAIR IN THIS BOOK. I love the peanut butter jokes, I loved the gnomes in compromising positions and I LOVED LUCA and Emmy.

I was SO SO HAPPY that there was finally a boy-girl friendship that didn’t revolve around romance and was ACTUALLY FUN and filled with teasing and slight bodily harm. 

In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have been comparing both of Ashley Blake’s books, because they were both beautiful in their own way. 

A wonderful book on what it means to love after you lose the person you loved the most, and how to let go of someone you love. 4 stars. 

Ashley Herring Blake is a reader, writer, and mom to two boisterous boys. She holds a Master’s degree in teaching and loves coffee, arranging her books by color, and watching Buffy over and over again on Netflix with her friends. She's the author of the young adult novels SUFFER LOVE and HOW TO MAKE A WISH.
  • 1 finished copy of HOW TO MAKE A WISH by Ashley Herring Blake
  • US Only
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  • Runs through May 5
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