Freebie Wallpaper | Mirage by Somaiya Daud

Last month, I joined the blog tour for Mirage (full review here). There’s this line in the end that kinda stuck with me and I think these words hold so much power to anyone who will going to read it. So today, I’m sharing it to everyone through a free downloadable wallpaper.  Hope you’ll like it! And if you do, drop your comments down below. I would love to hear from you!Tale Out Loud DividerMirage by Somaiya DaudMirage by Somaiya Daud
Series: Mirage #1
Published by: Flatiron Books
Publication date: August 28, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Pre-order Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Waterstones

Synopsis:
In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, sixteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon.

But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.

As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty―and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear, and one wrong move could lead to her death…Mirage Wallpaper

Mirage Wallpaper Preview1680 x 1050 | 1920 x 1200 | 2560 x 1400 | iPhone

Credit: Vectors used from Visnezh at Freepik. Thank you so much!

Advertisements

Cover Reveal | Teeth in the Mist by Dawn Kurtagich

Teeth in the Mist by Dawn Kurtagich
Title: Teeth in the Mist
Author: Dawn Kurtagich
Release Date: June 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Horror-Fantasy

Synopsis:
A genre-bending epic horror-fantasy, inspired by the legend of Faust, spans generations as an ancient evil is uncovered—perfect for fans of Kendare Blake and Ransom Riggs.

Seventeen-year-old Zoey has been fascinated by the haunted, burnt-out ruins of Medwyn Mill House for as long as she can remember—so she and her best friend Poulton decide to explore the ruins. But are they really alone in the house?

In 1851, sixteen-year-old Roan arrives at the Mill House as a ward—one of three, all with their own secrets. When Roan learns that she is connected to an ancient secret, she must escape the house before she is trapped forever.

This haunting horror and captivating mystery redefines the horror and fantasy space.

About The Author:
Dawn KutagichDawn Kurtagich is a writer of creepy, spooky and psychologically sinister YA fiction, where girls may descend into madness, boys may see monsters in men, and grown-ups may have something to hide.

Her debut novel, The Dead House, was a YALSA Top 10 Pick, An Audie Award Nominee and an Earphone Award Winner. It has been optioned for TV by Lime Productions. She is also the author of The Creeper Man / And the Trees Crept InNAIDA and the forthcoming Teeth in the Mist, published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and Orion Children’s Books. If you enjoy a creeping chill along your spine, mystery and little bit of terror, then you’re in the right place!

Follow Dawn Kurtagich:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Can’t Wait For… The Storyteller by Traci Chee

Can’t Wait Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight upcoming releases that everyone’s excited about. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday originally created and hosted at Breaking the Spine.

This week, I’m waiting on The Storyteller by Traci Chee. To be honest, I haven’t read the first book in the series but having said that, I’m excited for this because who doesn’t want to read a series with no cliffhanger and no waiting for a year in between each book’s release, right? I’m more of a romance and thriller kind of reader but I have been reading more fantasy books lately. So, I’m more than thrilled to read this book soon!

So, what do you think and which books are you looking forward to this week? Let me know in the comments below!Tale Out Loud DividerThe Storyteller by Traci Chee CoverThe Storyteller by Traci Chee
Series: Sea of Ink and Gold #3
Published by: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication date: October 9, 2018
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Pre-order Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Wordery

Synopsis:
Sefia is determined to keep Archer out of the Guard’s clutches and their plans for war between the Five Kingdoms. The Book, the ancient, infinite codex of the past, present and future, tells of a prophecy that will plunge Kelanna in that bloody war, but it requires a boy—Archer—and Sefia will stop at nothing to ensure his safety. The Guard has already stolen her mother, her father, and her Aunt Nin. Sefia would sooner die than let them take anymore from her—especially the boy she loves.

But escaping the Guard and the Book’s prophecy is no easy task. After all, what is written always comes to pass. As Sefia and Archer watch Kelanna start to crumble to the Guard’s will, they will have to choose between their love and joining a war that just might tear them apart.

Full of magic, suspense, and mystery, Traci Chee brings her Sea of Ink and Gold trilogy to a close in this spellbinding final installment.

Books in Sea of Ink and Gold trilogy:
The Reader by Traci Chee The Speaker by Traci Chee

About The Author:
Traci CheeTraci Chee is the New York Times bestselling author of YA fantasy trilogy The Reader (2016),The Speaker (2017), and The Storyteller (2018). An all-around word geek, she loves book arts and art books, poetry and paper crafts, though she also dabbles at egg painting, bonsai gardening, and hosting game nights for family and friends.

She studied literature and creative writing at UC Santa Cruz and earned a master of arts degree from San Francisco State University. Traci grew up in a small town with more cows than people, and now feels most at home in the mountains, scaling switchbacks and happening upon hidden highland lakes. She lives in California with her fast-fast dog.

Follow Traci Chee:
Website | FacebookTwitter | Instagram | Tumblr

Blog Tour + Book Review & Interview with a Giveaway | What the Woods Keep by Katya de Becerra

Hi my lovely book friends! I’d love to welcome y’all on today’s What the Woods Keep blog tour! I’m so excited because this is the first tour I have organized. It was such an honor to have this wonderful experience, since I’ve always been looking forward to read this book. This tour will run starting today up to the 15th of September so, don’t forget to check out on everyone’s tour stops and get a chance to win a finished copy of What the Woods Keep.Tale Out Loud DividerWhat The Woods KeepWhat the Woods Keep by Katya de Becerra
Published by: Imprint Macmillan
Publication date: September 18, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dark Fantasy, Thriller
Pre-order Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books-A-MillionIndiebound

Synopsis:
On her eighteenth birthday, Hayden inherits her childhood home—on the condition that she uncover its dark secrets.

Hayden tried to put the past behind her, and it worked. She’s getting ready for college, living in a Brooklyn apartment, and hanging out with her best friend and roommate Del. But now it’s all catching up with her: her mother’s mysterious disappearance a decade before, her father’s outlandish theories about a lost supernatural race, and Hayden’s own dark dreams of strange symbols and rituals in the Colorado woods where she grew up.

As soon as Hayden arrives at her hometown, her friend Del in tow, it begins: Neighbors whisper secrets about Hayden’s mother; the boy next door is now all grown-up in a very distracting way; and Hayden feels the trees calling to her. And among them, deep in the woods, Hayden will discover something incredible—something that threatens reality itself.

What the Woods Keep is the stunning debut of Katya de Becerra, who combines mystery, science fiction, and dark fantasy in a twisty story that will keep you mesmerized right up to the final page.

My rating:
4 and a half star

If you were like me who thought watching Supernatural, starting from its pilot episode, and reading this book was the perfect combo, please do me a favor to do it in daylight. Because the moment I picked this book, I quickly sense that eerie atmosphere within the story.

Katya de Becerra lures the readers in with the mystery behind Hayden’s character who has this weird and odd personality. Not only the way how she has different colored eyes, because that’s basically had science explained as heterochromia, but how her mom’s strange disappearing a decade ago promised a dark, creepy tale in it.

Every inch there is in this story gave a slice of horror. First, the setting of a quiet, small town with people who looked as if they’ll going to eat you alive for dinner started out predictable. But anything that has to do with the forest and a house in the woods easily creeps me out.

The cryptic messages from Hayden’s mom, blood dials, rituals and images that were vividly described and a bit too outré, I could literally visualize them on my head, didn’t escape my being extra spooked. Even the letters, patient’s appendices of Hayden, Arista Kazan’s notes, findings and Dr. Holland’s journals attached in some of the chapters were pretty spooktacular too.

As Hayden unfolds the mystery and truth about her mother, all things that she could make sense using science and physics changed because her father was right all along. This made the suspense grows steadily and the twist on the Nibelungs absolutely popped up on the pages.

The story also explores Hayden’s need to have that sense of comfort, to belong, where she found on her best friend Del. Even being completely opposite, their friendship became one of the highlights in the story—how Del didn’t leave Hayden knowing every supernatural completely freaks her out or how Hayden will do everything to save her.

And let’s not forget about Shannon, Hayden’s former childhood friend. It’s not easy for her to trust and get along with other people. But with Shannon, she felt that there’s nothing have changed, that’s if he was not using her for the Institute.

When the story nears its end, the scenes went in high gear and completely turned my head in a mind-bending spiral. Hayden, knowing that she’s completely not human and going into a wholly different universe of the Nibelungs? I could have easily heard a pin drop.

Everything became too intense and before I know it, the story ended. Honestly, I want more! I need to know what happen to Abigail, to Hayden’s father and everyone in Promise. So, I asked Katya about this in an interview, which you can read later as you went on in this post.

What the Woods Keep is a plot-driven story about learning one’s true identity while discovering the unknown, punched with a deeply chilling vibe and consistent spine-tingling narrative. From the settings, characters, plot, storytelling, and even the title and cover itself, this book captured an excellent blend of science fiction, fantasy and horror.

I highly recommend this book to everyone. It’s a great addition to your fall TBR.

I received an eARC of What the Woods Keep from the publisher via NetGalley and this in no way influence my rating nor my opinion on this book.
Behind The Pages with Katya de BecerraHi Katya! Welcome again here at Tale Out Loud for the second time and Congratulations to your debut novel, What the Woods Keep!

I’m so excited to return to Tale Out Loud once more! It was super exciting to first guest blog for you earlier this year! You hosted my first very feature dedicated to What The Woods Keep, so it only makes sense that I come back for an interview now that my debut is about hit the shelves!

I’m so thrilled to have you back! When you shared The Anthropology Behind What the Woods Keep months ago, you had mentioned how you were standing in a three-hour line, waiting for your turn to get a book signed and the idea of writing a book hit you. But when exactly was your lightbulb moment and realize that you need to write a story like What the Woods Keep?

It was a strange metamorphosis and it’s not easy to pin down the exact moment. I mean, I did write another book first. It wasn’t very good. But I had to get it out of my system, I guess. So after I wrote that first book and queried it to agents (with zero success), I knew I had to keep writing. So I tried different things. I wrote some stories, and got one published in an online magazine. That story was set in a small forest-locked town and ended with a cliffhanger, and that made me wonder: what happened next? That short story from years ago became a sort-of unofficial prequel to What The Woods Keep (at least in a thematic way), but then the story seemed to evolve naturally and I found myself writing what eventually became What The Woods Keep!

I’m sure you’re talking about Smoke and Mirrors, right? I was actually intrigue the moment you announced it in your pre-order campaign. It is set in Paris and upon reading What the Woods Keep; I realized whom it was all about. Are there any chance that you will developed it into a full manuscript?

I’m smiling deviously as I type this… Smoke and Mirrors is something I’ve written recently to give readers an in-depth insight into Hayden’s bestie Del’s life before the US. I don’t want to give away too much at this stage, but there’s a certain incident from Del’s life that involves her sister – Smoke and Mirrors is about that. On another hand, the story that inspired What The Woods Keep is called The Fetch. It got published in 2012 in Dark Edifice Literary Magazine which likely doesn’t exist anymore. (But I did reprint it on my blog, read here.)

Just to reiterate though, The Fetch is not a true prequel to What the Woods Keep but it did inspire it in a way.

Yes! I know about that particular scene! And now I’m hype to read The Fetch after this. LOL! Going back, What the Woods Keep, even from the title itself definitely has a pinch of horror vibe in it. What particular reason that drawn you to write the story which gave that sense of atmosphere?

I love spooky stories, but not full-on horror, you know. To me the menacing atmosphere and hints or horror is as far as I can comfortably go! I guess it’s just my personal comfort zone.

I agree! That’s why I don’t read or watch full-on horror like Stephen King’s. But your book is definitely not just horror but also a mixed of science fiction and fantasy. Do you consider yourself as a cross-genre writer?

I didn’t know I was a cross-genre writer until I wrote What The Woods Keep! It was when I wrote my query and was about to query agents when it hit me: I needed to define it as one genre to pitch it properly. And I really struggled to define it. I think I settled on “Urban Fantasy with elements of Science Fiction” or something, but really I could’ve chosen anything (fantasy horror, fantasy thriller, fantasy mystery, etc.). Now that I’ve written my first and my second book (Oasis is a standalone set to release in late 2019, and it’s been labelled as “horror adventure”), I can tell that yeah I love to mix different genres together! I just can’t help it!

You’ve done amazing and I love the twists you did for What the Woods Keep! And one of the obvious inspirations you have in this book is Norse mythology, specifically the Nibelung. Is it something you have always known before you decided to include it in your story’s plot?

Thank you! Actually, I didn’t have the Nibelungs in the early drafts of What The Woods Keep. Instead, I was developing the book’s supernatural element completely from scratch. However, as I revised my book I felt like it was missing something. This is where the Nibelungs made a come back from my blurry childhood memories. It was one of the major light bulb moments for this book! I combined a lot of my original world-building with the Nibelungen mythology, with hopes that those who know a little bit about the Nibelungs (even if just the name!) would be intrigued, while others would still enjoy my storytelling regardless.

I don’t know a lot about Norse myth than Thor, Odin and Loki. So, it was really refreshing to learn about the Nibelungs here in your book. Now, let’s talk about Hayden. Is she someone you write and find as a complex character?

When I was writing Hayden, my goal was for her to be realistic but also a bit of a contradiction. Her father is a scientist and she has a sort of allegiance to science. Her logical approach to the world is a bit of an armour for her, a space where she retreats when she encounters something unexplained and mysterious. I hope that readers find her worldview interesting and follow her on her journey from a wannabe sceptic to something else entirely.

Del, one of the characters, grew up moving around with her family. As an expat, did you modeled her character with your own experience?

In a way, yes! Since Hayden hasn’t traveled out of the country, her roommate being more of a cosmopolitan and well-traveled made for interesting dynamics between them. And you’re right, I definitely drew on my own experiences as an expat (and on those of my expat friends, to a degree) when writing Del, though in her case she’s moved a lot throughout her childhood because of her dad’s job. The teen-me hasn’t really traveled that much.

I’m really curious because as one of the readers, we weren’t able to know what happen to the other characters in the story like Abigail, Hayden’s father or to Promise. Can you share to us what could have been the outcome for all of them after What the Woods Keep?

As a writer I like to have a few “loose ends” in the book and leave some things up to readers’ imagination. Having said that, I understand that readers might want more closure on the characters, but also if there’s even a slightest possibility of a sequel I have to be careful not to give out too much at this stage. I’ll tell you this: all is not lost and there’s hope for everyone. Abigail and Hayden’s dad might make an appearance in What The Woods Keep themed short stories and – who knows – one day I might get to write a sequel (fingers crossed!)

I’m actually going to ask if there’s a possibility for a follow-up novella because the story has an open-ending or a cliffhanger which made it seem as if there will be a sequel. And you’re answer just gave me hope of continuity for the characters. I’ll watch out for that sequel!

Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to write one (but I do love my cliffhangers.)

You made the ending so much more interesting that I personally want more. Where can we read What the Woods Keep themed short stories by the way? I’m sure readers would love to know more about it.

I’m SO GLAD to hear that! As for short stories, Smoke and Mirrors is so far the only one I’ve written that’s set in the world of What The Woods Keep. At the moment, it’s offered as part of my pre-order campaign for What The Woods Keep alongside other cool stuff. (The details of my preorder incentives are here). For future stuff, readers could follow me on social media – I announce things as they happen, so Twitter is probably the best way to keep track.

As a debut author, what are the things you have learned while on the process of writing What the Woods Keep—from your characters and the story as a whole?

In terms of writing process itself, I learned a whole lot about the causation between a character’s motivation and their actions! I know it sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s something I’m still learning as I work on improving my craft.

What I learned from my characters… that friendship is important and can save your life. Literally!

Lastly, what advice would you like to give to new writers, someone who is just starting out?

Read a lot. Read widely. Pay attention to books that appeal to you and ask yourself way: this is a great way to study the craft and develop your own style. Regardless of which way you go, traditional, indie, hybrid, keep in mind that there’s a lot of rejection and it’s rarely personal. Just keep trying. Keep writing. Keep going!

Thank you so much Katya! Lovely to have you here and Congratulations again with your debut!

Thank you so much for having me – again – on your awesome blog! I’m super excited for the book to be out there at last! Thank you and all the wonderful bloggers and early readers for helping me spread the word about What The Woods Keep!

About The Author:
Katya De BecerraKatya de Becerra was born in Russia, studied in California, lived in Peru, and then stayed in Australia long enough to become a local. She was going to be an Egyptologist when she grew up, but instead she earned a PhD in Anthropology. What the Woods Keep is her first novel.

Follow Katya de Becerra:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | InstagramRafflecopter GiveawayWhat The Woods Keep Tour Banner (1)

Want to know who joined the blog tour? Don’t forget to visit these amazing book bloggers to learn more about What the Woods Keep by Katya de Becerra.

What the Woods Keep Blog Tour ScheduleSEPTEMBER 10 (MONDAY)
Karlita — Tale Out Loud (That’s me!)
Kester — LILbooKlovers (Guest Post)

SEPTEMBER 11 (TUESDAY)
Salwa — Voguish Perusal (Review, Favorite Quotes, Guest Post)
Amanda — MetalPhantasmReads (Review)
Laura — Bucks, Books & Beyond (Review, Favorite Quotes)

SEPTEMBER 12 (WEDNESDAY)
Liv — Liv’s Wonderful Escape (Review, Creative)
Sifa — Sifa Elizabeth Reads (Review)
Katherine — Kat’s Books (Review)

SEPTEMBER 13 (THURSDAY)
Austine — NovelKnight (Review, Q&A)
Imogene — Amidst the Pages (Review, Favorite Quotes)
Mari — Andico Mari (Review)

SEPTEMBER 14 (FRIDAY)
AJ — Diary of an Avid Reader (Review, Novel Aesthetic Board)
Justine — Bookish Wisps (Review, Favorite Quotes)
Nikole — A Court of Coffee and Books (Review, Q&A)

SEPTEMBER 15 (SATURDAY)
Jamie — PrincessofPages (Extract)
Preethi — Young Adult Media Consumer (Review)
Crimson — Crimson Talks Books, Mostly (Review)

Blog Tour + Book Review & Giveaway | The Oremere Chronicles #2: Reign of Mist by Helen Scheuerer

Reign of Mist by Helen ScheuererReign of Mist by Helen Scheuerer
Series: The Oremere Chronicles #2
Published by: Talem Press
Publication date: September 13, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Buy Link: Amazon

Synopsis:
The realm’s darkest secret is out.

The cruelty of the capital and the power-hungry King Arden have scattered Bleak and her companions across the continents.

On the run in a foreign land, Bleak finds herself tied to some unexpected strangers. When the answers she yearns for are finally within reach, she must face the hard truths of her past, and take her fate into her own hands before it’s too late.

Meanwhile, secrets and magic unravel as a dark power corrupts the realm. Bleak’s friends are forced to decide where their loyalties lie, and who, if anyone, they can trust.

But one thing is certain: war is coming, and they must all be ready when it does.

Intriguing and action-packed, Reign of Mist is the second installment in Helen Scheuerer’s epic YA fantasy series, The Oremere Chronicles.

First book in The Oremere Chronicles:
Heart of Mist by Helen Scheuerer

My rating:
5 star
When Shealea at That Bookshelf Bitch opened the sign ups for Reign of Mist, I grab the chance to join #MistPH blog tour that I instantly dive into the world of Oremere and binge-read both books in the series. (If you want to read Heart of Mist, get it now on your kindle while it’s on sale for just $0.99. Also, learn more about this series by checking Helen’s prequels to Heart of Mist.)

A month ago, I wrote a review where I pointed out all the important things you should know about the Heart of Mist. From the world building, characters, down to the overall message of the story, I truly love how it was strikingly written.

When I finished Heart of Mist, I was so much wrapped in it that I can’t wait to figure out what will going to happen next. And with only two hours of sleep that day, I know it’s totally worth it. So, it’s not surprising how Reign of Mist blown me away and drove me into a gobsmackingly hot mess.

The story started out with an instant suspense, carrying over the hype from the first book. If you love the characters in Heart of Mist, Eydis and Sarah were a great addition to the star-studded strong female characters that made the story pivotal and even more so unforgettable.

We’re not all born equal in strength and agility, but a mind can be as sharp as any blade, if you know how to wield it.

On the other hand, Casimir and Tailor’s characters gave more depth to the true nature of Bleak’s identity. For me, it became sort of a mystery to know who she truly is in Heart of Mist. That’s why, the connection they have with each other was one of my most favorite reveal here in the story. It was just so well written, well developed that when I think about the ending, it gives me that fresh feeling of surprise even I had a huge hint about it.

Here in Reign of Mist, there’s more to Bleak than just being the scrawny young woman who’s seeking for cure and answers. She was finally able to accept the potential of her power and realized her ability to lead with such grace and confidence. I was also able to feel the sincerity of her character who will do anything for her friends and fight for them if she needs to.

That goes the same with Henri. She’s one of those characters whom I could vividly imagine—brave, strong-willed but goes mushy and soft inside when it comes to those people she loves. But above all else, rekindling her relationship with Sarah helped her recognize the truth and released the feelings of hurt, burden and pain she kept inside for a long time.

As the story progress, I discovered more about the secrets Swinton had while a huge weight has been lifted off his chest who leaned on his friend, Fiore, for help and advice. He, somehow, redeemed himself before the story ended but let’s hope this time that he is truly a change man.

Speaking of Fiore, he holds a secret of his own which definitely spice up the gravity of his role. And as early as now, I’d like to expect him in some sort of love triangle with Tailor and Bleak. I’m also waiting for the turn of events for both Olena and Prince Nazuri. I know they’ve grown close and became an ally but we shall learn more of these when the third book comes out.

The mist is coming, and with it comes a power so hungry for magic, it threatens the whole realm.

Moreover, the true face of Oremere was revealed. While the characters discovered the truth about it, its history and why it was wiped out of its existence, I realized how Oremere’s identity mirror that of Bleak’s. In this story, fate willed them to meet face to face knowing they’re the true heir to reign the whole realm.

That being said, I love how Helen significantly uncover the whole Upper Realm in the map. It shouldn’t go unnoticed because sometimes, it gives the first major clue in the story’s plot. If you are like me, maps are just one of the things that I’m always looking forward to see in every fantasy books I read. It fascinates me like how I often bask in awe with Game of Thrones’ map every time I watch its opening credits.

It visually helped me figured out what the world Helen created, making more sense on the mystery surrounding Oremere and all around the Upper Realm. It establish some sense of familiarity where I was able to connect each character’s journey from forest, dessert, to sea, ice and mist.

Reign of Mist is a story about trust, loyalty and friendship with a non-stop killer plot twists, consistent fast pacing, and exciting, action-packed scenes that literally astounded me. From the first up to the last page, I never had dull moments because it felt like I was watching a heart-stopping, jaw-dropping movie.

So, whose excited to read the ending? Raise your hands my fellow mist dwellers. As the series comes to an end and bid it’s final goodbye, we shall wait and keep the suspense coming because I’m 100% sure that it would be one hell of a bang!

About The Author:
Helen ScheuererHelen Scheuerer is the YA fantasy author of the bestselling novel, Heart of Mist (2017) and the upcoming sequel Reign of Mist (September 2018). Both books are part of the action-packed trilogy, The Oremere Chronicles.

After writing literary fiction for a number of years, novels like Throne of Glass, The Queen’s Poisoner and The Queen of the Tearling inspired Helen to return to her childhood love of fantasy.

Helen is also the Founding Editor of Writer’s Edit, an online literary magazine and learning platform for emerging writers. It’s now one of the largest writers’ platforms in the world.

She has been previously shortlisted for Express Media’s Outstanding Achievement by a Young Person in the Literary Arts Award and the Young Writers Showcase. Helen has also run writing and editing workshops for the NSW Society of Women Writers. 

Follow Helen Scheuerer:
WebsiteFacebook | Twitter | Instagram
Rafflecopter GiveawayReign of Mist Tour Banner

Want to know who joined the blog tour? Don’t forget to visit these amazing book bloggers to learn more about Reign of Mist. Also, join the #MistPH Twitter Chat because Helen Scheuerer will be joining us.

Reign of Mist Tour ScheduleAugust 27
That Bookshelf Bitch >> Reign of Mist blog tour launch
August 28
Booked Hooked Nook >> Review
The Last Page >> Review
— Motif by Tanya >> Review
August 29
Camillea Reads >> Review
Enchantment of Books >> Review
— Under the Book Cover >> Review
August 30
— The Clever Reader >> Review & Author Interview
— Mashleas Reads >> Review
— Sakhile Whispers >> Review
August 31
— The Literary Casanova >> Review & Author Interview
— Rambles of a Reader >> Review
— Wanderer in Neverland >> Review
September 1
— Crimson Talks Books, Mostly >> Review
— The Little Miss Bookworm >> Review
— Throneofshatteredbooks >> Review & Author Interview
September 2
— A Bookish Peach >> Review
— Rattle the Stars >> Review
— Wanders Between Pages >> Review
September 3
A Cat, A Book And A Cup of Tea >> Review
— Susy’s Cozy World >> Review
Tale Out Loud (That’s me!)
September 4
— accioblog >> Review
— floralcars >> Review
— Living a Hundred Lives >> Review
September 5
— Booked All Night >> Review
— The Nerdy Elite >> Review
— Utopia State of Mind >> Review
September 6
— Bookish Wisps >> Review
— F A N N A >> Review
— Susy’s Cozy World >> Creative Post
September 7
The Backwards Bookshelf >> Creative Post
— Rambling of a Book Nerd >> Review & Author Interview
Utopia State of Mind >> Review
September 8
The Backwards Bookshelf >> Review
— Bellibone >> Review
— Zany Bibliophile >> Review & Author Interview
September 9
— Amidst the Pages >> Review
That Bookshelf Bitch >> Review
— Tomes with Tea >> Review
Reign of Mist Twitter ChatSeptember 10
— #MistPH Twitter chat hosted by @bookshelfbitch
9:00 AM Eastern Standard Time (EST)
9:00 PM Philippine Time

Book Blitz + Giveaway | Hiro Loves Kite by Lauren Nicolle Taylor

Hiro Loves Kite by Lauren Nicolle TaylorHiro Loves Kite by Lauren Nicolle Taylor
Series: Paper Stars #2
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: August 27, 2018
Genres: Historical, Young Adult
Buy Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis:
We offer our wounds and scars. Understanding that’s part of what makes us beautiful.

Nora finally has her beloved sister Frankie back but that’s just the beginning of their struggles. She must now become Kite. A stronger, more independent version of herself. A King. A guardian.

And Kettle has Kite’s heart. She gives it freely. But as he holds it, dear and close like a lost treasure, something holds him back: A feeling that he doesn’t deserve good things. A looming shadow that threatens to separate them. Kettle must accept that he is also Hiro: A Japanese American with every right to happiness and freedom.

Because Hiro loves Kite. And Kite won’t wait forever for him to tell her.

But they’re standing on icy ground. As the leverage they had on Kite’s abusive father wavers and life on the street affects Frankie’s health, the challenges threaten to break their bond.

Snow is gathering at the station doors and doubts are piling high. They must rely on each other. Believe in the magic that got them this far. If they don’t, it’s not just their future in jeopardy but the fates of all the street kids in their care. All the Kings.

First book in Paper Stars series:
Nora & Kette by Lauren Nicolle TaylorHiro Loves Kite Excerpt
I watch him savor the soda, and I savor this rare time we have together. His dark brows rest softly over his eyes for a short, relaxed moment. I breathe in and sigh. Tough and soft things. Everything is so hard for us. Everything is a struggle. But I believe him when he says. I want to be with him in that never. I want him to believe me, too, and that’s the difficult part.

I think of my father, touching my chest. There’s a bruise spreading there. It feels like it always does. It’s a reminder not to get too comfortable.

Suddenly, Hiro reaches over the table, takes my drink, and presses it to my sternum. His eyes darken with worry. He presses it there gently. “Does it hurt?” I nod. He stays like that, holding the drink against my heart for what could be minutes, what I wish were hours. I don’t think I breathe in that time as he just watches me and I just watch him, and we share the hurt. I feel it leech from my bones slowly. Soothingly.

I take the glass from him slowly, brushing his fingers deliberately, and place it back on the table. I stir the drink with my straw, letting the ice cubes clink against each other. “Tell me something good,” I say.

His skin is paler than it was. As the sun has moved further from the earth, his tan has faded. He stares at me with blue-ringed irises. Like the rings of Saturn. Beautiful, mysterious. Out of reach. His eyes crinkle when he thinks, and he rubs his thumb under his jaw. I throw a napkin at him. “Oh, it can’t take that long!”

He smiles. Teeth white because I know he takes dental hygiene very seriously. “Something good…” he muses. His smiles are so dashing. So infrequent. They’re like the touch of a bird’s claw to a wire as it takes flight. A brief steadying motion that’s invaluable.

I play with a coin, rolling it between my fingers. The way he looks at me sometimes, it feels. It feels. It feels…Like he’s burning the air around me. Making clouds I can land on if I fall. I put the coin in the jukebox and pick a song.

“Once they brought us fudgsicles.” His mouth softens around the memory. And his eyes wander outside. Snow is starting to pile up on the mailbox on the corner, icing it like a cake. His gaze returns to me, vulnerability sitting uneasily over his shoulders. His eyes drop. “It was so damn hot out there in the desert. Extreme. Hot as the surface of the sun during the day and freezing cold at night.”

I rest my foot against his leg under the table. Carefully. Like I’m scared I’ll frighten him away. The connection is deliciously new. “I love fudgsicles.” I lick my lips.

He cheeks redden as he says, “Yeah, well, I’d never had one before, but on this day, one of the guards went out and got them. It must have been a real pain to do it. He had to buy a block of ice and keep them in an icebox until he got back. But I’ll always remember the look on his face when he handed them out, like he was Santa. Like this was the most rewarding thing he’d ever done.”

I smile, watching his expression warm around the memory. Good memories twist together to form the rope ladder out of sadness. They are the most important. “So, they weren’t all bad?”

Shaking his head, he takes another sip of his drink. “No. Not all of them.”

“I’m glad there were nice moments. Even in the worst of circumstances, you found some good, Hiro.” I stare down at my drink, thinking of black puddles and the way darkness can swallow a person. And how he’s always there, with a flashlight and a warm blanket. A hand to hold. It’s what he does. “I think that’s kind of what you do. You’re hope. You find the good in people.”

Hiro shakes his head again. “Not everyone has good to find.”

“No,” I reply. “Some people are just lost.”

He sweeps the glasses to one side and takes my hand. My heart stumbles. Heat is growing between us as we start to open up. Offering our wounds and scars. Understanding that’s part of what makes us beautiful. He lifts my hand to his mouth and kisses it tenderly. It’s a warm breeze coursing through my body. It’s accelerated spring. “Your good was easy to find, Kite.”

I want to lean across the table and kiss him. I want to tell him more. Tell him everything that’s broken and splintered inside me. Not so he can fix it, but so he can know it. Know me. Know me completely. But then the waitress slams a bill down on the table, and taps the total with her chipped, red fingernail.

Hiro places my hand back on the table slowly, and his eyes rise to the judgment hovering over us. “I think you two kids should get going. Your parents must be wondering where you got to.” She aims that last sentence at me.

I laugh. Sprinkling a tip on the table as we leave. “Oh, I’m sure he is!” I say to the confused woman, and even Hiro laughs at that one.

First book in Paper Stars series:

About The Author:
Lauren Nicolle TaylorLauren Nicolle Taylor lives in the lush Adelaide Hills. The daughter of a Malaysian nuclear physicist and an Australian scientist, she was expected to follow a science career path, attending Adelaide University and completing a Health Science degree with Honours in obstetrics and gynaecology.

She then worked in health research for a short time before having her first child. Due to their extensive health issues, Lauren spent her twenties as a full-time mother/carer to her three children. When her family life settled down, she turned to writing.

She is the award-winning and best-selling author of Nora and Kettle and the beloved Woodlands series. She is also a 2014 Kindle Book Awards Semi-finalist and a USA Best Book Awards Finalist.

Follow Lauren Nicolle Taylor:
Website | Facebook | TwitterRafflecopter Giveaway