Tuesday, April 13, 2021

The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman by Julietta Henderson

What do you get when you cross a painfully awkward son, lofty comedic ambition, and a dead best friend? Norman.

A triumphant and touching debut about the unlikeliest superstar you’ll ever meet.

Twelve-year-old Norman Foreman and his best friend, Jax, are a legendary comedic duo in waiting, with a plan to take their act all the way to the Edinburgh Fringe. But when Jax dies, Norman decides the only fitting tribute is to perform at the festival himself. The problem is, Norman’s not the funny one. Jax was.

There’s also another, far more colossal objective on Norman’s new plan that his single mom, Sadie, wasn’t ready for: he wants to find the father he’s never known. Determined to put a smile back on her boy’s face, Sadie resolves to face up to her own messy past, get Norman to the Fringe and help track down a man whose identity is a mystery, even to her.

Julietta Henderson’s delightfully funny and tender debut takes us on a road trip with a mother and son who will live in the reader’s heart for a long time to come, and teaches us that—no matter the odds—we must always reach for the stars.

 

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The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman by Julietta Henderson

Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Audiobook (US)  ~  Hardcover (US)
MIRA (Harlequin)

 

 

Reviews


Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team


Ruthie☆☆☆☆
4.5 stars of poignant writing

This is a book which I started at 6am in the morning and didn't stop until I had finished it – it was a good thing I was on leave! I really did just read it from cover to cover – even taking it with me whilst I grabbed some breakfast, and waiting till I had done to get dressed. I say this just to warn you that you will just get so involved that you may forget other responsibilities.

When thinking about how to review this book, I realise just how rich the story is, and how much I know about the people that we meet along the journey to Edinburgh. There are wonderful vignettes of incidents which lend themselves perfectly to explaining what can happen when on a trip. But whilst the journey and arrival is important, it is in the very first few pages that the scene is set to give us cause to be concerned about how anyone on the front cover could suggest that this will be a funny book – and yet it really is, in a rather English understated, raconteur, or even observational comic way!

My absolutely favourite bit was when Norman's mum, Sadie, flicks through Jax's texts to her, him being the cheeky kid that he was, and yet the one who knew that reassuring her that Normie was safe was the right thing to do. But there are many fabulous parts to this clever, funny, and immensely readable book – I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

 

 

Author Bio

Julietta Henderson is a full-time writer and comedy fan who splits her time between her home country of Australia and the UK. The Funny Thing about Norman Foreman is Julietta’s first novel.

Connect with Julietta

Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

 

 

Harlequin


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman by Julietta Henderson to read and review.

Monday, November 23, 2020

My Ticket Out by J.N. Marton Release Blitz

My Ticket Out by J.N. Marton Release Blitz

A senior basketball player. A mysterious new girl. A secret romance…

Charlie Baker wants out. She wants out of her small, southern hometown of BluHaven and she has her sights set on a basketball scholarship to a college as far away as her dreams can take her. Everything is going according to plan until she moves to town.

Aspen Sullivan is breathtaking. She is beautiful, smart, talented… She evokes feelings in Charlie that she hadn’t thought possible. When their friendship blossoms into something more, Charlie discovers a new truth about herself. But with Aspen’s mysterious past, they must keep their relationship a secret.

Will their love be strong enough to endure the trials of deceiving those closest to them?
Do they have what it takes to escape the constraints of the south and the closet together?

My Ticket Out is a Young Adult, LGBT story about love, and self-discovery. If you enjoy stories that include romance, heartbreak, and embracing who you are, then you will definitely love this book by author J.N. Marton.

 

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My Ticket Out by J.N. Marton

Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Also Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

 

 

Reviews


Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team


Sarah☆☆☆☆
3.5 stars

This is an emotionally charged read, full of impossibly heightened adolescent angst. It is the story of Charlie, a small town basketball star in her last year of high school. The book follows Charlie as she grows into herself, prepares for the future, and falls in love for the first time.

It is impossible not to fall hard for Charlie. Certain that she doesn’t belong in her small town, she devotes herself to her basketball – her ticket out. I love Charlie’s intense friendship with her friend and rival Riley, and I love her complicated relationship with her brother. Charlie’s background is complicated and her relationship with her grandparents is fragile. Charlie is a fighter, she’s a survivor, and she’s pretty fabulous.

I’m not entirely sure why this book is marketed as a romance. It is definitely a coming of age story and it is definitely a young adult, not a new adult read, but I’d argue that the focus of this book is the growth we see in Charlie herself over the school year. Without spoilers, there is a romance element to the book but it is a difficult, fractured romance for most of the book and the storyline doesn’t use a conventional romance novel structure.

My initial reaction to the dramatic storyline around Charlie’s coming out experience was disbelief – but sadly I’ve seen enough American news in 2020 to understand that small town America is quite possibly as hostile to LGBT teens as Charlie’s story suggests. However, I do feel like the book gets unnecessarily preachy in places – especially at the end where resolutions feel too easy and a bit trite. I’m not sure deep hurts can be healed quickly with pretty apologies. Charlie, Riley, and Matthew feel like complicated, fully developed characters. I didn’t quite know how to feel about Aspen in various parts of the story – but all of the other characters feel a little bit too simplistic. Either goodies or baddies, there isn’t much room for multifaceted humans in this book.

I recognise that as a teacher in my 40s, I’m definitely not the target audience for this book. I think the angst, the emotional turmoil, and the intense romantic scenes will resonate better with teen readers than they did with me. It’s all a little too much for me but it did make me smile – and cry.


Shannan☆☆☆
My Ticket Out is a young adult angsty story.

Charlie is a senior in high school. She doesn't feel she belongs in her hometown. She has hopes to get a basketball scholarship to be her ticket out. When Aspen is a new student, Charlie immediately notices how beautiful she is. Together they form a friendship that grows into something more.

The pace was very slow for me in the beginning, it did seem to move better the further I got into the read. I didn't feel as though I connected with the characters as much as I wanted to. As a young adult read, this is a very high-angst book, but with teenagers that is pretty realistic. The ending seemed a bit too easy for me, with a few apologies it was wrapped up in a bow. I did like that it touched on very realistic issues affecting LGBTQ teens.

 

 

Author Bio

J.N. Marton graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a Bachelor’s degree in education. Along with educating the future of our nation, she enjoys taking her daily morning run, reading any book she can get her hands on, and binge watching the latest shows on Netflix. Marton happily lives with her wife, Hollis, and their Lab/Basset Hound mix, Sam.

Connect with J.N.

Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Goodreads

 
 

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of My Ticket Out by J.N. Marton to read and review for this tour.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

House of Dragons by K.A. Linde Blog Tour

House of Dragons by K.A. Linde Available Now

USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde introduces the Royal Houses series with House of Dragons: the story of Kerrigan Argon, a half-Fae, half-human as she seeks her place in an unforgiving world filled with magic, mayhem, and romance. Perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Holly Black, and V.E. Schwab.

Ten years ago, half-Fae, half human Kerrigan Argon was discreetly dropped off onto the steps of Draco Mountain with nothing but a note. Her life changes completely as she’s swept into the care of the House of Dragons—an elite training program for gifted Fae.

On the year of her seventeenth name day, each student will be chosen by one of the twelve tribes of Alandria to enter society.

Everyone is chosen, except Kerrigan.

So, she strikes a bargain with the Dragon Society: convince a tribe to select her or give up her birthright forever.

With the unlikeliest of allies—Fordham Ollivier, the cursed Fae prince, who escaped his dark throne—she has to chart her own destiny to reshape the world.

 

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House of Dragons by K.A. Linde

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

 

 

“I’m a half-Fae, Helly. Half. You can’t possibly understand how everyone treats me because of who I am. I can’t tell people about my abilities. I can’t show who I truly am. And even if I could, no one would accept me for it.”


 

Reviews


Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team


Dawn☆☆☆☆☆
I actually loved this book! There were so many ups and downs, it kept me intrigued all the way through.

I 100% had a girl crush on Kerrigan – she is the ultimate boss. Dealt with a rubbish hand from birth, she has found a way to make life work for her, even if that means hiding parts of herself away from others.

There was so much going on in this book, you just didn't know where the story was going to take you.

I will definitely be reading the next installment, I need to know what happens.


Erica☆☆☆☆
Word of advice, you should probably read the Ascension series prior to Royal Houses. House of Dragons is the debut in the Royal Houses series. I didn't find out until after I finished the novel that it is directly tied to another series, Ascension. Do I believe this affected my reading enjoyment? No. Do I believe you can read the two series independently of one another? Probably. I suffered no confusion, as the story unfolded as if it were new, without a ton of info-dumpage. As well, I feel as if there wasn't too much information given that it will ruin my reading experience for the Ascension series. However, I'll hold judgment on that until I read the previous series, though.

With a classic young adult epic fantasy vibe... Kerrigan has spent her entire life as a ward of the House of Dragons, after her royal father dumped her on their doorstep. Struggling with how the world views a halfling, half fae and half human, Kerrigan is seen as beneath the fae, equal with the humans. This has taught her another way to survive, given her tools her fellow fae haven't learned. Caught between two ways of life, Kerrigan is equipped to handle both worlds.

Strong, intelligent, and independent, Kerrigan is the rope in a tug-of-war, being pulled downward to join the humans, feeling a sense of loyalty to a dishonest man that saved her, while feeling a sense of duty and history with her father's people and the power that runs in her veins. All the while, she refuses to be put in her place by anyone around her, even if she feels abandoned by her father.

Hiding her powers, Kerrigan navigates the politics, the deception, and the rules of society as the royal houses converge for a tournament held every five years, the winners are rewarded with a bond with a dragon and entrance to the Society.

Intrigue, betrayals, mysteries, loyalty, love, loss, friendship, and honor, Kerrigan takes the reader on the beginning of an epic fantasy journey, where we're eager for the sequel as soon as we finish the last page.

 

 

One month until the end of the tournament to find a tribe to accept her… or she was bound to the society forever.

 

Author Bio



K.A. LINDE is the USA Today bestselling author of the Avoiding series, Wrights, and more than thirty other novels. She has a master’s degree in political science from the University of Georgia, was the head campaign worker for the 2012 presidential campaign at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as the head coach of the Duke University dance team. She loves reading fantasy novels, binge-watching Supernatural, traveling, and dancing in her spare time.

She currently lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband and two super-adorable puppies.

Connect with K.A.

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
K.A. Linde Books Facebook Group

 

 

Kerrigan has to chart her own destiny to reshape the world.

 

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of House of Dragons (Royal Houses #1) by K.A. Linde to read and review for this tour.

Friday, September 25, 2020

The Glass Queen by Gena Showalter

Welcome to the Forest of Good and Evil, where villains may be heroes and heroes may be villains… it all depends on who you ask. The Glass Queen by Gena Showalter.

Once Upon a Time meets Game of Thrones in book two of New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter’s magical, romantic dark fantasy series, in which the fairy tales we know and love are prophecies of the future. Welcome to the Forest of Good and Evil, where villains may be heroes and heroes may be villains… it all depends on who you ask.

Ashleigh Ansklelisa may be called the Glass Princess due to her weak heart, but Saxon, king of the Avian, knows she is more dangerous than broken glass, in this Cinderella retelling that sweeps readers into the magical land of Enchantia, filled with treacherous enemies, unexpected allies, forbidden love, and dangerous magic! Can destined lovers find their way to each other, or will evil win the day? Everything changes at the stroke of midnight as one determined princess fights for her legacy, her love, and the crown that is her destiny.

 

 

The Glass Queen by Gena Showalter

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Inkyard Press—Harlequin

 

 

Reviews

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team


Shelby☆☆☆☆☆
The Glass Queen is the second book in the series The Forest of Good and Evil and can be read as a standalone with no issues. This was my first book in the fairy tale retelling series by Gena Showalter, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to grab The Evil Queen (book #1).

I was expecting a paranormally themed Cinderella. I didn't have high expectations as many Cinderella retellings have been disappointing, but this was an awesome departure from the norm! The Little Cinder Girl can be linked to anyone in the world of Enchantia. A world where trolls, shape shifters, witches & warlocks, dragons, mages, and everything in between lives. Magic is the norm, and oracles are sought after. As such, each kingdom has its own royal family and it just so happens that Ashleigh's father is the King of The Provence of Fleur. One would think this would make her a powerful princess; unfortunately, that title holds no power to the sickly, weak girl. A father who hates her, no friend outside of her mother, how is this girl supposed to survive?

Prince Saxon Skylair of the Avian Mountains hasn't had an easy life; exiled from his home at an early age, he was taken in by friends to make a life. Knowing his place in the family, he needs to prove himself to take his rightful place.

These are just simple summaries of the main characters, and in no way truly convey all that is going on. Enemies to the core, only one knows why. I loved the twists and turns, the constant questioning of the prophecies. I loved the way everything came together; I even loved the cheesiness as I am expecting it from a young adult novel. Above all, I want to read about the next retelling as I liked these characters!

 

 

Author Bio

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over seventy books, including the acclaimed Lords of the Underworld series, the Gods of War series, the White Rabbit Chronicles, and the Forest of Good and Evil series. She writes sizzling paranormal romance, heartwarming contemporary romance, and unputdownable young adult novels, and lives in Oklahoma City with her family and menagerie of dogs.

Connect with Gena

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Gena Showalter’s Legions Facebook Group

 

 


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Glass Queen (The Forest of Good and Evil #2) by Gena Showalter to read and review.

Monday, August 24, 2020

The Morning Flower by Amanda Hocking

New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking returns to the magical world of the Trylle with The Morning Flower, the second book in the Omte Origins arc.

Welcome back to the kingdom of the Omte—a forest realm where secrets and danger, human nature and ancient mythology collide.

Where truth is stranger than fiction.


Searching for answers to her own shrouded origins, Ulla Tulin’s journey of exploration takes a sudden turn when Eliana is kidnapped. Turning toward the Omte capital instead of the institute where she hoped to learn the truth about her identity, Ulla must put Eliana’s welfare before her own—a sacrifice that will present all new dangers to them both.

When history is still unwritten.

Ulla never expected that once she arrived she’d discover the identity of a Skojare man who crossed paths with her mother—a man who could very well be her father. Given the man’s connections to the Älvolk, a secret society tasked with protecting the location of the First City, Ulla is soon dispatched to Sweden to find him.

One woman will dare to go wherever fate will take her…

Now Ulla, along with her maybe boyfriend Pan, finds herself on a desperate race against time to locate her kin—who could very well pose a danger to her kingdom. Nobody and nothing is as it seems as she penetrates the dark heart of the Älvolk… all the way to the secret Lost Bridge to the First City, where an unknown future awaits for Ulla and her kind.

Don’t miss book one in The Omte Origins Trilogy, The Lost City. For reviews & more info, click HERE.



Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Wednesday Books



Jordan☆☆☆
After finishing The Lost City (The Omte Origins #1), I had hoped that maybe book two, The Morning Flower, would hold more appeal, but I ended up feeling just as disenchanted with the sequel as I was with the first book. I just didn’t care for it.

I really wanted to like this series and I hoped that I might find myself more enchanted with The Morning Flower, but that just wasn’t the case. The Morning Flower picks up shortly after the ending of The Lost City, with Ulla and Pan on the road to the Omte capital. Much like the first book, the second book seemed to just drag itself out without anything of real interest happening for the majority of the book and then the only interesting tidbits seemed to happen in the last 20% of the book, only for it to end with another cliffhanger. At this point, I don’t even feel the desire to read the final book in The Omte Origins trilogy. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t find myself interested enough in Ulla or even the spark of potential between her and Pan or any other potential love interest such as, Jem-kruk. I had hoped that I might feel more enamored with Hocking’s characters by the end of The Morning Flower, but that wasn’t the case.

All in all, three stars for The Morning Flower by Amanda Hocking.



AMANDA HOCKING is the author of over twenty young adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Trylle Trilogy and Kanin Chronicles. Her love of pop culture and all things paranormal influence her writing. She spends her time in Minnesota, taking care of her menagerie of pets and working on her next book.

Connect with Amanda

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Morning Flower (The Omte Origins #2) by Amanda Hocking to read and review.