Friday, June 19, 2020

TERRAFORMER by Colleen Houck Blog

Print Length: 348 pages
Publication Date: May 12, 2020
Sold by: Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B084Z551M6


“I was rooting for Astra and entranced by the seamlessly crafted world of TERRAFORMER! Colleen Houck gives you a chilling glimpse into what can happen when technology and nature collide.” —Kimberly Derting, author of award-winning young adult novels The Body Finder, The Pledge, and The Taking

"A richly imaginative page-turner!" —Melissa Landers, bestselling author of Blastaway, the Alienated trilogy and the Starlight duology

A new dystopian sci-fi YA series from the New York Times bestselling author Colleen Houck

Warning all Astronauts:

In the future, a terraforming ship lands on a perfectly green planet.
Two perfect young men, one a budding colony leader, the other an engineer, compete for the affection of one perfect young woman training as a botanist.
The only problem?
She’s not perfect.
Astra has a secret.
A big one.
And someone or some thing just maybe trying to kill her for it


Deadly toxins can be hidden inside the most beautiful flowers.

That's what Astra Meador's famous biophysicist mother taught her.

As her mother's apprentice, Astra has developed skills in botany, chemistry, medicine, and, most importantly, in keeping secrets.

In fact keeping Astra's secret was the reason her family decided to leave the Earth and join a terraforming mission to colonize a distant planet called Crillain IV. But when Astra wakes early from hypersleep, she discovers that her mother never made it onboard, her father died in transit and his body has been ejected from the ship, and she suspects that she's not the only one awake.

When the ship finally lands and she's reunited with her brother, Nash, Astra hopes to settle into a new life, especially when she meets the charming young engineer, Jax, and is recruited by the mission commander to train alongside his handsome son to be a future leader of the small colony.

Then Astra learns that she's not the only one with a dark secret.

As both young men contend for her affection, Astra searches for answers, trying to determine who to trust. But with theft and murder occurring in the colony along with the sudden disappearance of her beloved brother, Astra can't listen to the whisperings of her heart, especially when someone or something else on the planet is whispering to her mind even louder.

You can purchase Terraformer at the following Retailers:


My Review

If you are looking for a fun and fast read to tickle your imagination, Terraformer is the book for you.

It is a Sci-fi dystopia story with a little bit of mystery, wonder of a new world, and a love triangle fit for the stars. Lots of unexpected twists will keep you on your toes on this unique and beautiful world.

Astra holds a lot of secrets, personal and secrets that will effect the colony.  The colony struggles, getting ready to explore the new world.

I really enjoyed learning about the new world and all the characters in the story. It was a fun and fast read that all ages will enjoy. Prep your imagination for a voyage.

Photo Content from Colleen Houck

New York Times Bestselling author Colleen Houck is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, paranormal, science fiction, and romance. When she’s not busy writing, she likes to spend time chatting on the phone with one of her six siblings, watching plays, and shopping online. Colleen has lived in Arizona, Idaho, Utah, California, and North Carolina and is now permanently settled in Salem, Oregon with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers.


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Thursday, June 18, 2020

A Neon Darkness (The Bright Sessions #2) by Lauren Shippen Blog Tour

Series: The Bright Sessions (Book 2)
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Tor Teen (September 29, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250297540
ISBN-13: 978-1250297549


“X-Men by way of Salinger.” ―Mackenzi Lee, New York Times bestselling author of The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue


“Emotional and inventive, Lauren Shippen has written a queer love story for anyone who’s ever felt like an outsider. The Infinite Noise managed to make me swoon even as it broke my heart. A thoughtful and tender exploration of mental health, it will make you want to go to therapy, whether you have superpowers or not.” ―Britta Lundin, Riverdale screenwriter and author of Ship It

“The Infinite Noise is a marvelous book about love, mental health, and connection. Lauren Shippen writes with a clean and honest warmth that is deeply refreshing, and her sharp representation of depression and anxiety rings true. Once I started reading The Infinite Noise, I couldn't stop; now that I've read it, my life has become a matter of waiting to get my hands on whatever Shippen creates next.” ―Sarah Gailey, Hugo Award winning author of Magic for Liars

“Fans of the podcast will revel in this closer look at the lives of the characters, and readers new to the franchise will drop into this world without missing a beat. Give this to fans of the podcast, as well as readers who enjoy Becky Albertalli's Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Rainbow Rowell's work, and Welcome to Night Vale.” ―School Library Journal

“The author gives emotions form, texture, and color, taking readers along on Adam's and Caleb's journeys while remembering that a boyfriend is not an antidote to life's supernatural―or mundane―problems.... A warm, satisfying love story with depth.” ―Kirkus Reviews

"Shippen does a superb job of handling a swirl of complex emotions, ranging from subtle to fiery as the boys struggle to complete each other and share their differences." ―Booklist

The second Bright Sessions novel from creator Lauren Shippen that asks: "What if the X-Men, instead of becoming superheroes, decided to spend some time in therapy?"

Los Angeles, 2006. Eighteen-year-old Robert Gorham arrives in L.A. amid the desert heat and the soft buzz of neon. He came alone with one goal: he wants to see the ocean. And Robert always gets what he wants.

At a very young age, Robert discovered he had the unusual ability to make those close to him want whatever he wants. He wanted dessert instead of dinner? His mother served it. He wanted his Frisbee back? His father walked off the roof to bring it to him faster. He wanted to be alone? They both disappeared. Forever.

But things will be different in L.A. He meets a group of strange friends who could help him. Friends who can do things like produce flames without flint, conduct electricity with their hands, and see visions of the past. They call themselves Unusuals and finally, finally, Robert belongs.

When a tall figure, immune to their powers, discovers them, the first family that Robert has ever wanted is at risk of being destroyed. The only way to keep them
all together is to get his powers under control.

But control is a sacrifice he might not be willing to make.

A Neon Darkness is the origin story of Damien and the second stand-alone story
in the Bright Sessions Novels.

You can purchase A Neon Darkness at the following Retailers:


P A R T  O N E

The street is loud and a lot more Vegas-like than I would have thought, people shouting and stumbling through the streets in bright costumes. Vegas was fun, but I was hoping for a different scene. After two weeks there, I think I’m starting to discover that I like things a bit . . . quieter. Everything is easier to manage with fewer people. Less chance I’ll slip up. Less chance something will go terribly wrong. I look at the flow of people headed down the block toward booming music—groups of friends smiling and laughing with each other. I feel a pang low in my gut and I’m taking a step toward the teeming crowd before I have a chance to think about it. Maybe things could be different this time—maybe I’ll join the revelers and then it will be me laughing and smiling like I have no cares in the world and I’ll mean it.

But before I can even make a plan of attack for how I would go about joining in the celebration, my feet stop in their tracks, the pang overwhelmed by roiling anxiety. There are too many people, moving too quickly, already too drunk. It would be impossible to hold any influence and without it, I highly doubt anyone is going to welcome the baby-faced kid in a hoodie and scuffed-up shoes with open arms.

I’m thinking about just calling it a night, starting the process of finding a place to crash, when I glance across the street to see a bright red neon sign proclaiming bar lubitsch. There’s a bored guy out front, smoking a cigarette, but otherwise the place looks a hell of a lot emptier than the street. Emptier and easier. Eventually I’ll have to sleep, but right now I just want to sit in something other than the driver’s seat. I take a deep breath and saunter across the street, plastering on my most innocuous “Nothing to see here” face. “ID?” the guy asks when I reach the gate. He squints at me through the smoke and I smile at him, the motion of my mouth curving feeling foreign and fake like always.

“That’s okay,” I say smoothly, heart beating in my chest. “I don’t need one.”

He exhales. More smoke. More squinting. I stand perfectly still and focus on what I want, and then:

“Right,” he drawls, and then his eyes relax and his lips twitch around the cigarette he’s put back in his mouth. “Right, yeah, sure thing. Go on in.”

My shoulders relax and I nod in thanks as I move through the tiny front patio, filled with a few more solo smokers. Eyes swivel, following me as I open the door.

Inside it’s significantly less smoky but equally dark and empty. The whole thing has a real “Leon Trotsky would have hung out here” kind of vibe—little café tables and dark wood booths, blocky Cyrillic painted onto large mirrors, everything in black and red. It feels like another world compared to the noisy, chaotic streets. I let out a breath I didn’t even realize I was holding. God, I am sick of driving. Cramped and crowded with nothing but my own thoughts and the monotony of the constantly changing radio stations as I moved across state lines. I need a new sound—someone else’s voice in my ears, in my head.

Copyright © 2020 by Lauren Shippen

Photo Content from Lauren Shippen

Lauren Shippen is a writer best known for her work in fiction podcasts. She was the creator and sole writer of the popular audio drama The Bright Sessions, which ran from 2015 to 2018. She went on to executive produce The AM Archives and co-produce the #1 podcast Passenger List, for which she received a BBC Audio Drama Award. Most recently, she wrote MARVELS, an audio adaptation of the popular comic. Her first novel, The Infinite Noise, was released through Tor Teen in September 2019.

Lauren was named one of Forbes 2018 30 Under 30 in Media and one of MovieMaker Magazine and Austin Film Festival’s 25 Screenwriters to Watch. In 2019, she founded Atypical Artists, a company dedicated to audio storytelling. Shippen grew up in New York, where she spent most of her youth reading and going to Panic! at the Disco shows. She now lives in Los Angeles, where she does the same thing.


JUNE 17th WEDNESDAY Movies, Shows, & Books EXCERPT
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Monday, June 15, 2020

GENES by Mary Ting Official Nerd Blast

Series: International Sensory Assassin Network (Book 3)
Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: Vesuvian Books; None edition (June 30, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1645480100
ISBN-13: 978-1645480105

Praise for ISAN Series

"A stunning sequel! Mary Ting takes us once again into the inventive world of ISAN--one of intrigue and betrayal--but this time, with deadly consequences. A must read!" Jonas Saul, Bestselling Author of the Sarah Roberts Series 

"Captivating from the very beginning, this sci-fi novel explores issues of autonomy and survival in a world where there are few remaining citizens after meteors crashed into Earth... this thrilling dystopian drama has a splash of romance and tons of action. The fast-paced chapters will engage reluctant readers and fans of postapocalyptic scenarios." School Library Journal

"Addictive and impossible to put it down!" Addison Moore, New York Times Bestselling Author


While searching for the HelixB88 anti-serum on the black market, Ava uncovers valuable intel that may help the rebels in their fight to bring down ISAN—the location of a hidden facility. But first, the insurgents must find the female citizens unexpectedly displaying powers without use of the Helix serum before ISAN captures them.

As the rebels join forces with other sectors, ISAN plans their destruction by using someone they don’t suspect at the rebel home base. A traitor within.

Now, Ava must make a dangerous decision, one that could risk their capture—or worse.

You can purchase Genes at the following Retailers:

Photo Credit: Michelle England Delavara

Mary Ting is an international bestselling, award-winning author. She writes soulful, spellbinding stories that excite the imagination and captivate readers around the world. Her books span a wide range of genres, and her storytelling talents have earned a devoted legion of fans, as well as garnered critical praise.

Becoming an author happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she had in high school. After realizing she wanted to become a full-time author, Mary retired from teaching after twenty years. She also had the privilege of touring with the Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book: No Bullies Allowed.

Mary resides in Southern California with her husband, two children, and two little dogs, Mochi and Mocha. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Being a huge Twilight fan, Mary was inspired to make book-themed jewelry and occasionally gives it away as prizes to her fans.


*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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Friday, June 5, 2020

A Song Below Water by Bethany C Morrow JBN Blog Tour

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Tor Teen (June 2, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250315328
ISBN-13: 978-1250315328


“Morrow expertly and smartly explores race, bigotry, oppression, and injustice against a backdrop of ordinary life with a dose of the supernatural added to the mix. A Song Below Water is a must-read for lovers of fantasy and contemporary stories alike. ” ―Booklist, starred review

“Morrow has deftly woven a contemporary tale with mythical elements to take on the invisibility and marginalization of Black women, touching on issues such as misogynoir, body image, social justice, and generational trauma. Empowering and innovative. Morrow elevates mermaids and sirens to ­legitimate and compelling vanguards for social change.” ―School Library Journal

“A watery and melodic crossroads of the real and the mythic, A Song Below Water lures readers with its seductive and beautifully black siren song. An enthralling tale of black girl magic and searing social commentary ready to rattle the bones.” ―Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Belles series

“I love this book so, so much! Bethany C. Morrow delivers a blistering modern classic with this gorgeous tale of friendship and power. A Song Below Water somehow manages to be intensely happy and sad at the same time and all in the balance of great, riveting storytelling. The best YA novel I've read all year.” ―Daniel José Older, New York Times bestselling author of Shadowshaper

“Morrow masterfully blends the real lives of Black girls in contemporary Portland with a mythic world of sirens, gargoyles and other supernatural creatures to create a compelling coming-of-age story in which two sisters, bound by love and fate, find their voices and their power.” ―Rebecca Roanhorse, Hugo, Nebula and John W. Campbell Award Winner, author of Trail of Lightning and Star Wars: Resistance Reborn

“Empowering and full of surprises, A Song Below Water reminds us how important it is to use our voices, even when we’re afraid. Morrow has created a world that’s both familiar and brimming with fantastical creatures, and the result is timely, necessary, and utterly captivating.” ―Akemi Dawn Bowman, award-winning author of Starfish

“A rich, intricate dive into mythology, misogynoir, and the way the world makes black girls out to be monsters. Like the siren's song, A Song Below Water is irresistibly compelling.” ―Heidi Heilig, award-winning author of The Girl from Everywhere

“The world is lush and intense, the voice intoxicating, and the message eternal. Morrow will have you under her spell from page one.” ―L.L. McKinney, author of the Nightmare-Verse series

“A compelling tale packed with endlessly inventive magical concepts, blazingly current social commentary, and heroines you'll fall hopelessly in love with. I'm obsessed.” ―Sarah Kuhn, author of Heroine Complex series

“A Song Below Water is a lush, colorful, and deeply moving masterpiece about mythology, the sometimes masked evils of racism, and all the ways the world hurts black girls. An irresistible and perfectly bewitching read that I couldn't put down!” ―Jay Coles, composer and author of Tyler Johnson Was Here

“A Song Below Water is a captivating tale about the magic of sisterhood and the importance of being seen for who you truly are.” ―Parker Peevyhouse, author of The Echo Room

“An exciting new contemporary fantasy. In this parallel world, black female empowerment is standing up for yourself and others while simultaneously navigating love, physical and emotional violence, and the responsibility of immense supernatural power.” ―Kirkus Reviews

Tavia is already at odds with the world, forced to keep her siren identity under wraps in a society that wants to keep her kind under lock and key. Never mind she's also stuck in Portland, Oregon, a city with only a handful of black folk and even fewer of those with magical powers. At least she has her bestie Effie by her side as they tackle high school drama, family secrets, and unrequited crushes.

But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation; the girls’ favorite Internet fashion icon reveals she's also a siren, and the news rips through their community. Tensions escalate when Effie starts being haunted by demons from her past, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice during a police stop. No secret seems safe anymore—soon Portland won’t be either.

You can purchase A Song Below Water at the following Retailers:



I recognize Rhoda Taylor even though she hasn’t been in the press much. Her picture showed up on the evening news the weekend after her live-in boyfriend murdered her, but only because social media had been circulating it and demanding to know why no one seemed to be saying her name. Now there’s a BREAKING NEWS banner under her picture — and it isn’t a picture I’ve seen before.
There’s only one reason a dead Black woman would suddenly make the news...
I shouldn’t open the video and I definitely should’ve muted it first, but it feels like there’s a tornado in my guts and I’m not thinking straight. My throat feels hot, like someone’s striking metal against a flint.
Rhoda Taylor.
Recent murder victim.
Suspected siren.
I only catch fragments. It doesn’t matter; I already knew. As soon as I saw the thumbnail photo, I knew. There’s only one reason a dead Black woman would suddenly make the news, only one reason her boring HR employee photo would be replaced with one where Rhoda’s eyes are red from the flash and her mouth is open like she’s in the middle of talking. Or moaning. However they’re implying we entrance our hapless victims.
The defense is saying the deceased was a siren.
Which means maybe she wasn’t a victim after all.
The video has captions, so when I realize the community center has great acoustics, I finally mute it. It doesn’t stop the familiar, unsympathetic voices from blaring in my head.
Sirens, they say, and anyone listening knows it’s a dirty word.
Danger, they report, and they’re talking about the danger she posed, never the danger we face.
The world is closing in on me, and in the community center, I feel the wall at my back. There’s a wet echo all around, and it’s sad but I’m relieved when I remember that I’m alone. The news people, the talking heads who for once will all agree with each other, they aren’t talking about me — at least not as far as they know. My chest is jumping with a jackrabbit pulse and it’s beginning to hurt.
But no one knows.
I’m still safe.
I must have slid down the wall because soon I find myself sitting on the floor. If it’s damp, I don’t notice. If I’ve lowered myself into one of the many wayward puddles decorating the pool area, I can’t tell. What matters is that no one can look over my shoulder. No one can see what I’m seeing — even though according to the viewer count, literally thousands of people already have.
I turn off my phone; this is something not even the iconic Camilla Fox, naturalista goddess, can fix.
Because Rhoda Taylor was a siren. Like me.
I think I’m going to be sick.
Copyright © 2020 by Bethany C. Morrow

Photo Content from Bethany C. Morrow 

Bethany C. Morrow is a recovering expat splitting her time between Montreal, Quebec, and upstate New York - yet another foreign place. A California native, Bethany graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a BA in Sociology (but took notable detours in the Film and Theatre departments). Following undergrad, she studied Clinical Psychological Research at the University of Wales, Bangor, in Great Britain before returning to North America to focus on her literary work.

Though sociology and forensic psychology will always be among her passions, writing has been a lifelong endeavor. Whether in novels for the YA or adult market, novellas, short stories, stage plays, television pilots or short film scripts, Bethany's speculative literary fiction uses a focus on character and language to engage with, comment on and investigate worlds not unlike our own.

JUNE 3rd WEDNESDAY Sometimes Leelynn Reads REVIEW
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