Friday, April 15, 2022

THE SISTERS OF LUNA ISLAND by Stacy Hackney Official Nerd Blast


Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (April 12, 2022)
Publication date: ‎April 12, 2022
Language: ‎English


“This is a captivating fantasy with a touch of mystery centered around family. Readers will connect with Marigold’s thoughts and emotions as she deals with her parents’ separation, sibling conflicts, and middle school drama…A charming story of magic and sisterhood.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Blooms with heart—steeped in splendiferous scents and in the poignant complexities of magic and family.” —Ingrid Law, Newbery Honoree and New York Times Bestselling Author

Little Women gets a Nevermoor twist in this bewitching novel about a young girl tasked to break a centuries-old curse or risk losing her beloved sisters.

Twelve-year-old Marigold Lafleur is the last of a long line of aromages: witches who blend scents into practical charms using aromagic. But ever since a terrible accident injured her father and damaged Luna Island, Marigold and her sisters, Birdie and Lou, have vowed to abandon their family legacy and mama’s way of life. Shunned by their neighbors and overlooked by their parents, Marigold relies on her big sisters above all else.

But when Marigold discovers a secret curse that threatens her family, her sisters can't stop the impending danger. It’s up to Marigold and her best friend, Sam, to uncover the origins of the curse and break the spell. To do so, she must learn to trust her instincts and believe in her own unique magic or risk losing her beloved sisters forever.

You can purchase The Sisters of Luna Island at the following Retailers:

Photo Content from Stacy Hackney

Stacy Hackney grew up in Virginia where she spent her early years forcing the neighborhood kids into performing plays she wrote, reading everything she could get her hands on, and singing in the school choir. She graduated from Wake Forest University with a BA in English literature and received a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law. She currently lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband, four sons, and their rescue dog named Albert. Stacy is the author of Forever Glimmer Creek and Sisters of Luna Island.


*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

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Thursday, April 14, 2022

THE BLOOD TRIALS by N. E. Davenport Official Nerd Blast.


Publisher: ‎Harper Voyager (April 5, 2022)
Language: ‎English
Hardcover: ‎464 pages
ISBN-10: ‎0063058480
ISBN-13: ‎978-0063058484


"The Blood Trials is one of my top reads of the year--a riveting story with richly-drawn characters caught in a tangle of political intrigue, systemic racism, and nonstop peril. Don't miss this one!" —Melissa Marr, New York Times Bestselling Author of Wicked Lovely

"The Blood Trials is a fresh, intense gut punch of a book that has everything I love most in sci-fi and fantasy. I rooted for Ikenna, the trials gripped me, and the political mystery at the heart of it all kept me constantly on my toes." —Susan Dennard, New York Times Bestselling author of the Witchlands series

“With a high-octane sci-fi setting, a twisty murder mystery, and a badass heroine, THE BLOOD TRIALS is a damn good time.” —Hannah Whitten, New York Times bestselling author of For the Wolf

“The Blood Trials is an electrifying debut that deftly incorporates the best elements of science fiction and fantasy. A must-read!” —Alexis Henderson, author of The Year of the Witching

"An action packed adventure paired with luscious world building makes The Blood Trials an enthralling, unputdownable read. Davenport is a force to be reckoned with." —Bestselling author of Cinderella is Dead, Kalynn Bayron

"Davenport’s ambitious debut is gritty and bloody, and balances emotional arcs with fast action. Fans of Pierce Brown’s Red Rising and Evan Winter’s The Rage of Dragons will find similarities in Ikenna’s journey." —Library Journal

"Davenport debuts with an ambitious epic that blurs genre lines, setting futuristic technology against a historical fantasy backdrop...this invigorating debut marks Davenport as a writer to watch." —Publishers Weekly

"If you want to be on the edge of your seat, find another book, because this one hands you a blade, shoves you right into the action, and demands you start running if you want to keep up. It is action, mystery, and heartfelt character--all balanced perfectly on the tip of a knife." —Scott Reintgen, Bestselling author of the Nyxia series

“Each bloody scene has depth and leads to more answers that compel you to keep reading, which was one of my favorite aspects of Davenport’s writing.” —Lightspeed Magazine

"The Blood Trials is an ambitious debut by N.E. Davenport had me on the edge of my seat the entire time and constantly guessing. This story beautifully tackles some difficult themes that resonated with me deeply and imagined the main character that I fell in love with." —Bookish Brews

Blending fantasy and science fiction, N. E. Davenport's fast-paced, action-packed debut kicks off a duology of loyalty and rebellion, in which a young Black woman must survive deadly trials in a racist and misogynistic society to become an elite warrior.

It's all about blood.

The blood spilled between the Republic of Mareen and the armies of the Blood Emperor long ago. The blood gifts of Mareen's deadliest enemies. The blood that runs through the elite War Houses of Mareen, the rulers of the Tribunal dedicated to keeping the republic alive.

The blood of the former Legatus, Verne Amari, murdered.

For his granddaughter, Ikenna, the only thing steady in her life was the man who had saved Mareen. The man who had trained her in secret, not just in martial skills, but in harnessing the blood gift that coursed through her.

Who trained her to keep that a secret.

But now there are too many secrets, and with her grandfather assassinated, Ikenna knows two things: that only someone on the Tribunal could have ordered his death, and that only a Praetorian Guard could have carried out that order.

Bent on revenge as much as discovering the truth, Ikenna pledges herself to the Praetorian Trials--a brutal initiation that only a quarter of the aspirants survive. She subjects herself to the racism directed against her half-Khanaian heritage and the misogyny of a society that cherishes progeny over prodigy, all while hiding a power that--if found out--would subject her to execution...or worse. Ikenna is willing to risk it all because she needs to find out who murdered her grandfather...and then she needs to kill them.

Mareen has been at peace for a long time...

Ikenna joining the Praetorians is about to change all that.

Magic and technology converge in the first part of this stunning debut duology, where loyalty to oneself--and one's blood--is more important than anything.

You can purchase The Blood Trials at the following Retailers:

Photo Content from N.E. Davenport

Nia "N.E." Davenport is the Science Fiction/Fantasy author of the forthcoming The Praetorian Trials and its sequel (Harper Voyager). She attended the University of Southern California and studied Biological Sciences and Theatre. She has an M.A. in Secondary Education, and she teaches English and Biology. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys vacationing with her family, skiing, and being a huge foodie. She’s an advocate for diverse perspectives and protagonists in literature. You can find her online, on Twitter @nia_davenport, or on Instagram @nia.davenport, where she talks about binge-worthy TV and great books. She lives in Texas with her husband and kids.


*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

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Tuesday, April 5, 2022

LOUISA JUNE AND THE NAZIS IN THE WAVES by L. M. Elliott Official Nerd Blast


Publisher: ‎Katherine Tegen Books (March 22, 2022)
Language: ‎English
Hardcover: ‎320 pages
ISBN-10: ‎0063056569
ISBN-13: ‎978-0063056565


"Evocatively threaded with the scents and sounds of Tidewater Virginia coastal communities, this story presents a fascinating, lesser-known aspect of the war told from a young girl’s perspective. Successfully tackling the devastation of depression on family relationships, the bitter cost of war, and the uplifting strength of no-nonsense friendship, this story has impressive depth. Superb." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Middle grade lovers of World War II historical fiction will find this title engrossing. Elliot’s story delivers facts and a thoughtful approach to characters experiencing grief and depression, while adding some maritime adventure. VERDICT A must-have for all middle grade historical fiction collections. Recommend to those who enjoyed Kimberly Brubaker Bradley’s The War That Saved My Life and Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch’s Making Bombs for Hitler." —School Library Journal (starred review)

"Elliott weaves a deeply moving historical tale, including small but significant details that flesh out the situations and characters, even the secondary ones. The extensive and fact-filled backstory in the author's note gives readers even more context. An excellent middle-grade read that balances adventure, emotions, and family." —Booklist (starred review)

"An infrequently explored aspect of WWII history—German submarines torpedoing U.S. cargo ships along America’s East Coast—underpins Elliott’s (Walls) well-crafted novel. Evocative descriptions of the region’s natural life ground this realistic depiction of one family’s efforts to withstand depression and personal tragedy during wartime." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

In this moving and timeless story, award-winning author L. M. Elliott captures life on the U.S. homefront during World War II, weaving a rich portrait of a family reeling from loss and the chilling yet hopeful voyage of fighting for what matters, perfect for fans of The War That Saved My Life.

Days after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Hitler declared war on the U.S., unleashing U-boat submarines to attack American ships. Suddenly, the waves outside Louisa June's farm aren't for eel-fishing or marveling at wild swans or learning to skull her family's boat--they're dangerous, swarming with hidden enemies.

Her oldest brothers' ships risk coming face-to-face with U-boats. Her sister leaves home to weld Liberty Boat hulls. And then her daddy, a tugboat captain, and her dearest brother, Butler, are caught in the crossfire.

Her mama has always swum in a sea of melancholy, but now she really needs Louisa June to find moments of beauty or inspiration to buoy her. Like sunshine-yellow daffodils, good books, or news accounts of daring rescues of torpedoed passengers.

Determined to help her Mama and aching to combat Nazis herself, Louisa June turns to her quirky friend Emmett and the indomitable Cousin Belle, who has her own war stories--and a herd of cats--to share. In the end, after a perilous sail, Louisa June learns the greatest lifeline is love.

You can purchase Louisa June and the Nazis in the Waves at the following Retailers:

Photo Content from L. M. Elliott

L. M. Elliott was an award-winning Washington-based magazine journalist, covering women’s issues, mental health, and the performing arts, before becoming a New York Times best-selling author of historical and biographical fiction. Her novels explore a variety of eras (the Italian Renaissance, the American Revolutionary War, WWII, and the Cold War), and are written for a variety of ages. Many of her works have been named NCSS/CBC Notables (National Council of Social Studies and Children’s Book Council), Bank Street College Best Books, Jefferson Cup Honor Books, Kirkus Bests, and Grateful American Book Prize winners. Elliott holds a BA from Wake Forest University and a master’s in journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill. She is a lifelong Virginian and history-lover.


*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

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Friday, April 1, 2022

COMEUPPANCE SERVED COLD by Marion Deeds Official Blog Tour and Guest Post


ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0927CQSSN
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Tordotcom (March 22, 2022)
Publication date ‏ : ‎ March 22, 2022
Language ‏ : ‎ English


A Most Anticipated Pick for The Nerd Daily | Autostraddle

"I love a good heist, and this is a beautifully constructed magical heist in turn-of-the-century Seattle." ―Mary Robinette Kowal

"This fierce magical heist tale is as smooth as gin and jazz." ―Beth Cato

"Catnip for those who like watching con artists walk the tightrope of trickery and lies." ―Marie Brennan

"[A] captivating noir fantasy. . .Deeds presents all this intrigue in reverse chronological order, spinning out mysteries that will keep readers guessing till the end. The result is a well-crafted puzzle; readers’ only complaint will be that they want more." ―Publishers Weekly, starred review

"A fun, fast-moving heist story that will immediately hook readers who love 1920s-era worlds and soft-fantasy world building." ―Booklist, starred review

"Readers who love heist and caper stories will be thrilled with Dolly and her quest to deliver much-deserved comeuppance to those who believed they are above the law. The gas-lamp setting gives just the right touch of magic and creeping dread to Deeds’s novel." ―Library Journal

"A deliciously fun novella set in 1929 Seattle is just what is needed for your bookshelves. . . .Beginning at the ending and following the path backwards through a magical heist, this story brings comeuppance to all." ―Buzzfeed

"Deeds tells her story with nuance and subtly, luring you into a false sense of pleasantry. From the first page to the very last word, I was enthralled with this tale of thievery and lies." ―Grimdark Magazine

Seattle, 1929—a bitterly divided city overflowing with wealth, violence, and magic.

A respected magus and city leader intent on criminalizing Seattle’s most vulnerable magickers hires a young woman as a lady’s companion to curb his rebellious daughter’s outrageous behavior.

The widowed owner of a speakeasy encounters an opportunity to make her husband’s murderer pay while she tries to keep her shapeshifter brother safe.

A notorious thief slips into the city to complete a delicate and dangerous job that will leave chaos in its wake.

One thing is for certain—comeuppance, eventually, waits for everyone.

You can purchase Comeuppance Served Cold at the following Retailers:

Ten Books I Loved, and Think You Will Too


Not all of these are 2022 releases.

1. The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo came out in June, 2021. This is a magical retelling of The Great Gatsby and so much more. Vo imagines a completely different interpretation for Fitzgerald’s minor character, Jordan Baker, and The Chosen and the Beautiful is her story. The magic is exquisite, and so is the writing.

2. Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes. This is horror, a haunted-starship story, brilliantly done. A troubled first-person narrator who may have an extraordinary ability, or be mentally ill, and her crew board a space luxury liner that vanished without a trace years ago. What could possibly go wrong? Our narrator’s self-doubt makes the story even more credible and suspenseful.

3. The Annual Migration of Clouds, by Premee Mohamad. This sparse novella tackles so many issues; the consequences of climate change, the social contract between an individual and a community, coming of age, interaction with a different species. The story is about Reid, a young woman in a subsistence community, who is accepted to a mysterious academy. Reid, like her mother and many others, has been colonized by a fungus that exerts more control over her nervous system as it grows. Her compound is so self-sufficient, so complete, that Reid’s leaving creates a hole. Is leaving the right thing? Will the fungus even let her? Mohamad plays out these issues honestly, elegantly and with optimism.

4. The Sentence by Louise Erdrich. At first, this seems like a story about a haunted bookstore, and it is—at least, Tookie, who is a bookseller in a bookstore run by a well-known writer named Louise, is being haunted. About a third of the way through the story, things change, as Erdrich takes us through the Black Lives Matter movement and the first months of the pandemic. She never forgets the ghost, or Tookie and her family.

5. Siren Queen, by Nghi Vo, which comes out in May, 2022. Siren Queen is set in the 1930s, in Hollywood, in the same world as The Chosen and the Beautiful or at least one very much like it. Luli Wei is a Chinese American girl enthralled by movies, who wants to be a star, and she faces racism and misogyny in her journey. Magic fills this world and definitely fills the world of movies, but the corrupt studio system, with its control and exploitation of talent, looks the same as in our world, at least at first. The characters and the prose are beautiful and the movies are wonderful.

6. Inheritors of Power by Juliette Wade. This is the third book in Wade’s The Broken Trust series. It came out this year, but you must read the two previous books. This is pure science fiction, following a society who long ago colonized another planet. Wade is studying systems, how they function and how they fail. Specifically, the nation of Varin uses a rigid caste system. The caste system is failing society, and the response of the power elite is to “double down” on some already bad decisions. What happens when power is concentrated rather than decentralized? It sounds academic, but we view these questions through the lens of one or two families, and those relationships are intense and complicated. The world of Varin is exquisitely imagined.

7.  Revelator is Daryl Gregory’s gothic horror novel, set in the 1940s in what is now the Great Smokey National Park. Stella is a successful moonshiner, determined never to go back to the rural home she fled when she was a child. Stella is part of a family with a strange heritage. When her grandmother dies, she has to go back and face what she fled. Side by side with terrifying and strange images of the God in the Mountain are expertly written scenes of Stella and her partner mixing up the latest batch of ‘shine. Gregory captures the speech rhythm of the time and place, there’s plenty of action, and a creepy, powerful, terrifying thing living in the mountain.

8. Bacchanal by Veronica G. Henry. Bacchanal is a battle of powers, set in a Black traveling carnival in USA in the 1940s and 50s. The magical characters in the carnival are drawn from African folklore. The writing is beautiful, the characters intriguing and distinctive, and the time period perfectly evoked.

9. The Liar’s Knot by M. A. Carrick. This is the second book in the Rook and Rose series. M.A. Carrick is the pen-name of Marie Brennan (the Lady Trent series) and Alyc Helms (the Dragons of Heaven series). Book Two delivers on the promise of the first book, The Mask of Mirrors, as it follows wily young con artist Ren, her sister Tess and a host of characters in the magical city of NedeÅūra. If you love crime lords, decadent aristocrats, masked vigilantes, con artists, complicated loyalties, sharp banter, magic and fashion, this series is for you.

10. Grave Reservations by Cherie Priest. Leda Foley is a psychic and a travel agent in Seattle. When she intervenes psychically (by changing his flight plans) and saves the life of a police detective Grady Merritt, she comes to his attention as someone he can use to solve a case. Priest always has interesting characters, a gripping premise, and brilliant settings. This book had all of those things and it made me laugh out loud.


Photo Content from Marion Deeds

Marion Deeds was born in Santa Barbara, California and moved to northern California when she was five. She loves the redwoods, the ocean, dogs and crows.

She’s fascinated by the unexplained, and curious about power: who has it, who gets it, what is the best way to wield it. These questions inform her stories.

Deeds has published Aluminum Leaves and Copper Road from Falstaff Books, with short works in Podcastle and several anthologies. She reviews fiction and writes a column for the review site Fantasy Literature.

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