Tagged: Young Adult Fiction

Harmony House – Book Review

About the Book:

Carrie meets American Horror Story meets The Shining in this terrifying YA horror novel from the author of Tweak and Schizo.

Something’s not right in Beach Haven.

Jen Noonan’s father thinks a move to Harmony House is the key to salvation, but to everyone who has lived there before, it is a portal to pure horror.

After her alcoholic mother’s death, Jen’s father cracked. He dragged Jen to a dilapidated old manor on the shore of New Jersey to start their new lives—but Jen can tell that the place has an unhappy history. She can feel it the same way she can feel her anger flowing out of her, affecting the world in strange ways she can’t explain.

But Harmony House is more than just a creepy old estate. It’s got a chilling past—and the more Jen discovers its secrets, the more the house awakens. Visions of a strange boy who lived in the house long ago follow Jen wherever she goes, and her father’s already-fragile sanity disintegrates before her eyes. As the forces in the house join together to terrorize Jen, she must find a way to escape the past she didn’t know was haunting her—and the mysterious and terrible power she didn’t realize she had.

Sam’s Review:

First an orphanage, then a hotel, now a home, Harmony House has a dark past, and seventeen year-old Jen and her father are at the center of it all. Jen thinks that the house is trying communicate to her, but she can’t tell what it’s saying. Worst of all, her father is being affected the most.

All it takes is one look at the house, and seventeen year-old Jen knows that bad things are going to happen to her and her father. Not long after, on the same day, she hears her mother tell her good-bye, though her mother’s been dead for a few months. Then she starts having the visions of the orphanage and pieces of her father’s past.

When she has her new friends over for a visit, things take an unexpected turn, and not for the better. Christy jumps off the banister, after disappearing without anyone noticing due to a short power loss. Though everyone tells Jen that Christy will be alright, she still feels shaken up. Jen’s father only makes matters worse by insisting that they pray for forgiveness, even though she tries to tell him that she needs sleep.

When she hears from Rose, the local café owner, that she has special powers, she refuses to accept it. Afterwards, she starts to wonder if it’s her causing the storm, her father’s insanity, and the summoning of the ghost of a long dead boy. If she’s not careful, whatever’s possessing her father may kill her…

Harmony House was written by Nic Sheff, and was published in 2016 by Epic Reads. This book is for teens, and isn’t illustrated. I’d give it 5 stars for a gripping story and vivid details. The genre is horror. The prologue and epilogue are stories of what happened before Jen’s story. I’d recommend this book to all teen and adult horror fans.

This book is available from Amazon in paperback, hardcover, Kindle, audio book or audio CD here. [affiliate link]

StoneKing – Review

About the book:

StoneKing by Donna Migliaccio February 20, 2018

Fantasy The Gemeta Stone Book 3

Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC

They call him StoneKing: the lord of four countries, the vanquisher of the Wichelord Daazna, the man who will restore his people to prosperity and peace.

But there is no peace for Kristan Gemeta. Already weighed down by the cares of his new realm, Kristan carries a secret burden – the knowledge that Daazna is not dead. He isolates himself in his ruined castle in Fandrall, where he struggles to control the destructive Tabi’a power that may be his only hope of defeating the Wichelord once and for all.

And there’s trouble elsewhere in his realm. His Reaches are squabbling in Dyer, Melissa and Nigel are experiencing heartache in Norwinn, and Heather’s command in Hogia is in jeopardy. Unaware of this turmoil, Kristan receives an unexpected gift – one that forces him, his knights, an inexperienced squire and a crafty young shape-shifter into a hazardous winter journey.

Buy Links:

Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble  ~  Kobo ~  iBooks

About the Author:

Donna Migliaccio is a professional stage actress with credits that include Broadway, National Tours and prominent regional theatres.  She is based in the Washington, DC Metro area, where she co-founded Tony award-winning Signature Theatre and is in demand as an entertainer, teacher and public speaker.  Her award-winning short story, “Yaa & The Coffins,” was featured in Thinkerbeat’s 2015 anthology The Art of Losing.  

Social Media: 

Website     Facebook     Twitter     Pinterest

Jenn’s review: 

ARGH! I just finished reading StoneKing by Donna Migliaccio, and WOW!

If you haven’t yet read the first two books in the Gemeta Stone series, start with KingletFiskur can be read on its own, and a reader can still get the gist of what’s happened, but I wouldn’t recommend starting this series at book 3 by any means (I’m sure it could stand alone in a pinch, but so many threads from previous books have been pulled into play that it would be a challenge, or a reader might miss far too much of what’s going on).

All those warnings aside, StoneKing is a breathtakingly beautiful work of art. Ms. Migliaccio again writes stunning scenes with an economy of words. Well-rounded and sympathetic characters. I had to put the book down for a few days because of a migraine – usually I can read, despite everything else, but the settings and emotions Ms. Migliaccio writes pulled me in so deeply that the main character’s struggles only enhanced my own problems.

Absolutely nothing is going right for poor Kristan Gemeta. What started as an ill-fated and precipitous visit from a neighboring princess turns into an enlightening adventure, each new stop revealing more and more how poorly things are going for the young king. While everyone (mostly) has good intentions, things are falling apart fast around Kristan, and he’s wedged into tighter and tighter corners as he tries to straighten it all out.

By around the 3/4 progress mark, I was staggering from the plot twists. Book 3 is the antithesis of all of Kristan’s triumph of book 2. Kristan may be the king, but Murphy’s Law reigns supreme in the StoneKing’s lands.

I’ll have to tease the release date for book four out of my contacts, because… the last page. What can I say? I’m already looking forward to it, and my to-be-read pile is already enormous. This is definitely a YA rating (Sam’s 12, and usually reads YA fiction, but I’ve held her off of this series because of some limited content). While this book isn’t as violent as its predecessors in the series, war forces people to make tough choices, and as things settle down, those choices come to light in sometimes brutal or vulgar ways.

In short, Ms. Migliaccio’s writing will pull you in, drag you under, and hold you in Kirstan’s scarred and uncomfortable skin throughout the pages of this book, and will have you begging for more when you finally reach the last page.

Check out the reviews for the previous books in the series: 

Kinglet

Fiskur

Stone King – Promo & Excerpt

About the book:

StoneKing by Donna Migliaccio February 20, 2018

Fantasy The Gemeta Stone Book 3

Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC

They call him StoneKing: the lord of four countries, the vanquisher of the Wichelord Daazna, the man who will restore his people to prosperity and peace.

But there is no peace for Kristan Gemeta. Already weighed down by the cares of his new realm, Kristan carries a secret burden – the knowledge that Daazna is not dead. He isolates himself in his ruined castle in Fandrall, where he struggles to control the destructive Tabi’a power that may be his only hope of defeating the Wichelord once and for all.

And there’s trouble elsewhere in his realm. His Reaches are squabbling in Dyer, Melissa and Nigel are experiencing heartache in Norwinn, and Heather’s command in Hogia is in jeopardy. Unaware of this turmoil, Kristan receives an unexpected gift – one that forces him, his knights, an inexperienced squire and a crafty young shape-shifter into a hazardous winter journey.

Buy Links:

Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble  ~  Kobo ~  iBooks

About the Author:

Donna Migliaccio is a professional stage actress with credits that include Broadway, National Tours and prominent regional theatres.  She is based in the Washington, DC Metro area, where she co-founded Tony award-winning Signature Theatre and is in demand as an entertainer, teacher and public speaker.  Her award-winning short story, “Yaa & The Coffins,” was featured in Thinkerbeat’s 2015 anthology The Art of Losing.  

Social Media: 

Website     Facebook     Twitter     Pinterest

Excerpt (reprinted with the permission of the publisher/author)

EXCERPT from Chapter 1

He did not know how long he had been standing in numb silence when a sense of being watched crept over him. He opened his eyes. A dozen paces away stood an old woman, heavy and stolid, swaddled in a blanket and wincing in the frosty air. Beside her was a tabby cat.

Kristan blinked and looked again. A wavering, transparent haze surrounded the cat, as if the little creature was somehow radiating intense heat. Wiche, he thought, and tensed. By the Stone, what sort of trickery is this?

“A cold morning for standing afield,” the old woman said.

Kristan nodded. The cat took a few steps toward him, angling to his left. Now that the morning sun was no longer behind it, the flickering blur had a distinctly human shape; small, slight and somehow feminine.

“Pay her no mind,” the old woman said. “Curious creature, but she means no harm.”

A blast of wind made them all flinch. Malvo shuddered and stamped. Cat and shape skittered backward in perfect unison.

“Are you of the castle?” the old woman asked.

Are you of the castle?

Bright fragments jangled in the ruins of Kristan’s memory: a spring morning, the smell of fields freshly green, the ring of tack and the thunder of Malvo’s hooves. Beneath those shining shards other, more ominous memories shifted, and Kristan twitched his attention back to the pair before him.

“Can you not speak, sir?” the old woman asked.

“I can speak.” Kristan jerked his chin at the cat-thing. “Is she yours?”

The old woman chuckled. “As much as such creatures can be.”

The cat moved toward him again, with more confidence. It lifted a paw, as if to pat at his leg, just as the shape spouted a foggy protrusion that reached toward his cloak. He recoiled and bumped against Malvo.

“Never fear,” the old woman said. “Such a little cat can do you no harm.”

Kristan snorted. “Does she speak?”

Both the cat and the woman froze, but then the old one chuckled again, although this time the laugh sounded forced. “Speak? That would be strange indeed.”

“Why? Is she a simpleton?”

With a loud hiss, the cat disappeared, snuffed like a candle’s flame. In the same breath, the shape solidified into an adolescent girl. She stumbled backward and fell, and the old woman leaped in front of her, arms outflung as if to ward off a blow.

The Girl Without Magic – Book Review

About the book:

Death would have been easier, but the Siren wasn’t through with her. 
Seventeen-year-old Maggie Trent fell out of a battle and into the Siren’s Realm, a land where secrets hide in the shadows and pleasure comes at a price Maggie is unwilling to pay. 

The time for the Siren’s reckoning has come, sweeping away all she deems unworthy to live in her realm. Those without magic are hunted by the Siren. Those with magic are hunted by the Stricken. Fighting or hiding seem necessary to survive. But there is a different way.

Bertrand Wayland, unaging and unrelenting in his determination for Maggie to accept her fate, slips in and out through the stitches that bind the Siren’s Realm to other worlds, gaining magic and having glorious adventures. When Maggie follows Bertrand out of the Siren’s Realm, seeking an adventure of her own, she finds instead a world of magic on the eve of war. To save innocent lives Maggie risks her heart, her life, and her only chance of returning to the Siren’s Realm. 

About the Author:

 Megan O’Russell is the author of How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin’ Days and The Girl Without Magic (both with Curiosity Quills Press) as well as the YA Dystopian Girl of Glass and the Christmas romance Nuttycracker Sweet, both published with Fiery Seas Publishing. 2018 projects include Boy of Blood, the second book in the Girl of Glass trilogy (Fiery Seas Publishing).

​In addition to writing, Megan travels the country as a professional musical theatre performer alongside her husband, moving from show to show and stage to stage. She recently had the opportunity to add “lyricist” to her bag of tricks with Second Chances: The Thrift Shop Musical.

When not wearing tap shoes or writing new stories and songs, Megan can usually be found up a mountain. Sometimes in Alaska, sometimes Space Mountain. Either way, adventure all around.

​Megan is represented by Lane Heymont at the Tobias Literary Agency. 

Jenn’s Review:

This is the second Megan O’Russell book I’ve read, and I so didn’t want to put it down! Ms. O’Russell has scored another hit with her most recent (January 9, 2018) release of The Girl Without Magic. 

From the starting block, I wasn’t sure if I should be laughing or crying for Maggie Trent, as she stumbles and staggers her way through the first few chapters. (Incidentally, Maggie faces life much like I do – with a sarcastic “Well, this is great. What’s next,” way of viewing and tackling each obstacle in her way. 

She adjusts quickly to her new life, once she realizes she isn’t dead, and decides that she’s going to stick to the lie that she’s not a witch. The adventures and misadventures that ensue had me breathlessly clinging to my Kindle to find out if Maggie and her accidental companions would win the day. (okay, so perhaps some of the breathlessness was the head cold I was fighting… The story was exciting, none-the-less!)

Sam’s Review:

Hello and welcome to this review about a super new book, The Girl Without Magic by Megan O’Russell. Maggie Trent is a witch. A modern day witch, who is called by the Siren to the Siren’s Realm. Unfortunately, she has no idea how she got there, but a great adventure is in store for her. And I’m not telling. You won’t be getting any spoilers this time. Sorry, but, new book, you can find out what happens in the story. I will however tell you this, it’s worth the read. It gets five stars for a great story, captivating places, and lovable characters. Please remember to check out the fantasy book, and the link. Subscribe, like and enable notifications. I’ll be back next week. Bye!

Buy the book:

 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle edition here. [affiliate link]

One final note: 

Megan clued me in on a little secret… She has a raffle going for… HOLY COW! A brand new Kindle Fire 7 that’s preloaded with young adult novels. (FYI, I have a Kindle Fire 7, and love it.) This is totally awesome! Go get your name on the list now! (the raffle is running until Jan. 23, 2018, if my math is right – so don’t put it off!)a Rafflecopter giveaway

Namesake – Review

About the Book:

It started with a history project. Mr. Gregor assigned a research paper on a figure from the Tudor era, and of course Jane Grey had to pick her namesake – Lady Jane Grey, the fifteen-year-old girl whose parents schemed to place her on the throne of England, then abandoned her to face the executioner. The project is engrossing from the start, but when Jane opens a mysterious prayer book and finds herself in the Tower of London in 1553, she finds herself literally drawn into her namesake’s story.

Soon, Jane is slipping into the past whenever the present becomes too unbearable, avoiding her mother’s demands, her best friend’s fickleness, her crush’s indifference. In the Tower she plays chess with the imprisoned Lady Jane, awed by her new friend’s strength and courage. And it is in the Tower, keeping vigil as the day of the execution draws near, that Jane learns that she, too, must have the courage to fight for her own happiness.

Sam’s Review:

Hi everyone! So today we’ll be talking about Namesake, which was written by Sue MacLeod, in 2013. A single name is able to bring two very different people together, bridging a time gap between them. Lady Jane and her namesake are hard to hate, and easy to relate to. I give it 5 stars for a beautiful read, filled with moments of sorrow and times of joy. The spunky heroines make this story easy to love, and the possible stirrings of love for Jane can help you connect to the characters. I recommend this book to all young adults who love a good cliffhanger, as well as aspiring time travelers and lovers of medieval figures. If you are wondering what kind of genre this is, I’d call it modern and historical fiction.

The link for this book is in the description below, as well as the link to the Thrice Read website. Don’t forget to subscribe and turn on notifications, and help us reach new heights with our subscribers. See you guys next time!

You can purchase this book from Amazon as either a Kindle eBook or in paperback format here. [affiliate link]

Jaguar Stones: MiddleWorld – Book Review

About the book:

Fourteen-year-old Max Murphy is looking forward to a family vacation. But his parents, both archaeologists and Maya experts, announce a change in plan. They must leave immediately for a dig in the tiny Central American country of San Xavier. Max will go to summer camp. Max is furious. When he’s mysteriously summoned to San Xavier, he thinks they’ve had a change of heart.

Upon his arrival, Max’s wild adventure in the tropical rainforests of San Xavier begins. During his journey, he will unlock ancient secrets and meet strangers who are connected to him in ways he could never have imagined. For fate has delivered a challenge of epic proportions to this pampered teenager.

Can Max rescue his parents from the Maya Underworld and save the world from the Lords of Death, who now control the power of the Jaguar Stones in their villainous hands? The scene is set for a roller-coaster ride of suspense and terror, as the good guys and the bad guys face off against a background of haunted temples, zombie armies, and even human sacrifice!

Sam’s Review:

Hello and welcome to another video, and today we will be talking about the book Middleworld by J & P Voelkel. Taking place in modern day Central America, the son of famous archaeologists, Max, learns that the Mayans never really disappeared, but live in the present. When his parents disappeared into the Mayan underworld, he teams up with Lola, also known as Ix Sak Lol, or Lady White Flower, in Mayan. Together, they learn that the only way to save Max’s parents from an undesirable fate, will be to journey to the black pyramid, the home of Ah Puku, the god of sudden and unnatural death. But can they reach it in time to find out? Well, don’t look at me for the answers. You can find out for yourself by reading the book, with all of its lovable characters and tense moments, and secrets galore.

The book is available at Amazon in Kindle, paperback, hardback, Audible and CD format here. [Affiliate Link]

Boy of Blood – Cover Reveal

Thrice Read Books loves to help promote new books! In conjunction with Fiery Seas Publishing and Megan O’Russell, we’re pleased to reveal the cover of Megan’s upcoming release, Boy of Blood. Details below!

Boy of Blood     By Megan O’Russell     Release Date: April 10, 2018

Publisher: Fiery Seas Publishing

Series: Girl of Glass

Genre: YA Dystopia

Boy of Blood ebook cover

About the book:

After Nightland’s vicious attack on the domes, the safety and perfection of the world within the glass has been contaminated. Desperate to rebuild, outsiders are allowed into the domes to help, breaking the cardinal rule: outsiders and Domers must always be separated. But the city is in shambles, crumbling into chaos without the Vampers of Nightland to keep order, and one name is carried on the wind: Nola.

Clinging to Jeremy, Nola struggles to find a way to exist in the domes, turning her back on all she learned in the city. But when one of the outsiders brings the dark secrets of the domes to light, the line between survival and murder blurs against the spectre of the dying world.

Can Nola follow the dark path laid out by the Domes? Will the dangers of the night become her new sanctuary?

About the Author:

Megan O'Russell

Megan O’Russell is the author of the young adult fantasy series The Tethering, and Nuttycracker Sweet, a Christmas novella. Megan’s short stories can also be found in several anthologies, including Athena’s Daughters 2, featuring women in speculative fiction. Megan is a professional performer who has spent time on stages across the country and is the lyrist for Second Chances: The Thrift Shop Musical, which received its world premiere in 2015. When not on stage or behind a computer, Megan can usually be found playing her ukulele or climbing a mountain with her fantastic husband.

Megan can be found all over social media:

Website     Twitter     Facebook     Blog

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – Book Review

About the Book: 

What did Harry Potter know about magic? He was stuck living with the decidedly un-magical Dursleys, who hated him. He slept in a closet and ate their leftovers. But an owl messenger changes all that, with an invitation to attend the Hogwarts School for Wizards and Witches, where it turns out Harry is already famous… (From Amazon.com product listing.)

Brian’s Review: 

The Sorcerer’s Stone, is a brilliant start to a brilliant story. Rowling’s first book is geared towards the age of maybe 10 or 11, which happens be to the very age of Harry Potter himself at the start of this.  Her later books in this series though grow up with the characters.  Masterfully written, and have lead to the love of reading for countless children world wide. If you have a child, around the age, this is a great book.  I do give a fair warning though.  If you attempt to read this book before your child, you too will be hooked. So if you aren’t looking to start a series you won’t put down until the end of book 7 do not attempt to enjoy this book with your child.  You will fall in love with the characters. If you have seen the movies, I suggest you read the books, you won’t be disappointed.

Sam’s Review:

Hey, and I am back just as I promised, and today  we are doing the first Harry Potter book, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. For those of you who haven’t seen the other two Harry Potter reviews, it’s best that you start here, since I’ve been doing them backwards, I guess. If you have seen one or both of the other Harry Potter reviews, and are a little confused, that’s okay. Now, let’s get on with the review. Harry is the boy who survived Lord Voldemort’s killing spree, removing so much of the dark lord’s magic that Voldemort was forced into hiding. Harry, his parents dead, was given to his aunt and uncle, who were determined to take away Harry’s magic, if only they could. Now eleven years old, he gets the invitation for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and learns that he is the boy who lived. While at his new school, he makes two new friends, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger. Together, they learn that Voldemort is somewhere in the castle, and that if he isn’t stopped in time, Hogwarts might be no more. No pressure on them or anything, right? Wrong. Since they are the only ones that know about it, they take it upon themselves to stop the dark lord. Can they do it? Read the book to find out. I hope that you have a great weekend, and please don’t forget to check out the store link, subscribe, like, and enable notifications. See you next Friday. Bye!

Buy the book:

Thrice Read Books has a paperback edition of this book for sale here.

You can also purchase this book from Amazon in illustrated form in Kindle, paperback, hardcover, audiobook or mass market paperback here. [affiliate link]