Blood Worth: Release tour and review

Blood Worth by D.B. McKenzie

Release Date: March 31, 2021

Publisher: Gurt Dog Press
Genre: LGBTQIA+ Urban Fantasy/Horror

Content warnings: Violence, gore, homophobia, elements of racism, mental health issues

Goodreads 

Publisher Website 

Order here:

Smashwords 

Amazon

Synopsis:

The pills only help if the monsters aren’t real. Sadly, Devon McKenzie figured that out a little too late.

Running from his homophobic father and a mental diagnosis he’s unwilling to accept, Devon finds himself in Sudbury where the people are friendly, the parks are quiet and a looming shadow cast by the local Centre taints the idyllic village life.

Unfortunately for Devon, the Centre is his only hope of maintaining his new-found freedom.

Selling his blood to an organization that no one seemed to truly know anything about wasn’t very high on his list of things to do but after signing a contract, Devon finds himself as bound to the Centre as the poor souls that came before him.

The contract promised money and security, it didn’t say a thing about dead donors, a mysterious shadow dog that was definitely a wolf, or the return of horrific visions that Devon thought he’d buried when he’d left the psychiatric institution that his parents had sent him to years ago.

As the Centre’s secrets continue to grow, Devon begins to realize that Sudbury isn’t the quaint little village he believed it to be. Monsters linger behind every gentle smile and the more Devon digs, the weaker his grip on his sanity becomes.

With another donor’s life hanging in the balance, Devon finds himself in a race against time to figure out what the Centre is truly hiding before it’s too late for all of them.

But the only truth that exists in the quiet town of Sudbury, is that what you see isn’t always what you get and a few drops of blood may be worth more than humanity could possibly imagine.

Review

This book did not disappoint! I was looking for a queer urban fantasy surrounding blood and monsters, and that is what I got. The writing was phenomenal and reading it was a breeze and I still understood everything that was going on. The characters are varied and vivid, providing a cast that you can root for. Devon and Tara are a dynamic duo who can take on the world. Devon has a big heart, trusting others even though the world has hurt him one too many times, and Tara is the friend that he needs to get him through this new adventure in a place he has never been before.

This is a delightfully creepy book with queer characters and enough monsters to satiate anyone’s craving for urban horror.

@cather.reads

Excerpt:

Devon’s mom used to tease him that he would cut off his nose to spite his face, but he also knew when to swallow his pride. While the Centre would never be his first choice for employment, turning down Mr McAllister’s offer would have been beyond foolish. So Devon washed away any lingering resentment in his morning shower, then dug through his bag until he found something office-worthy to wear.

Tara’s semi-serious expression cracked when she caught sight of him. Her smile went a long way to ease the paranoia that clawed its way to life the second he stepped through the door, disguised as tenseness in his neck and shoulders.

“I didn’t expect to see you back so soon,” she greeted and Devon could only offer her a shrug. He didn’t remember saying goodbye to her the day before, so he wasn’t surprised that she thought he wouldn’t return.

Honestly, Devon barely remembered leaving the building.

What he did remember was cashing his check, handing in his deposit and moving his stuff out of the motel, before booking into a hotel that allowed for long stays and didn’t make his skin crawl.

On the way to the hotel, following the directions that the motel clerk had reluctantly given him, Devon had stopped only once to dump the familiar bottle of Clozapine pills that he’d unknowingly packed, before resuming his journey. He’d ordered room service from his new room, showered until his skin started to wrinkle and then collapsed onto a bed so soft, he’d flirted with the idea of never moving again.

He wasn’t going to tell Tara all that so instead, he offered her a rueful grin.

“I’m not dumb enough to turn down a job,” he responded, watching in amusement as Tara all but vibrated in her seat.

“So does that mean you’ll be working with me then?” she queried, beaming when Devon nodded. “That’s awesome, I’ve been praying for someone closer to my age ever since they told me Sophia had gotten the boot. Though to be fair, I’d have settled for anyone who wasn’t Sophia.”

Devon fought hard to resist the vindictive urge to snort, recalling the way that the previous receptionist had almost made him leave before he had even signed up. If his circumstances had been different, he definitely wouldn’t have stuck around long enough to get a contract.

“I think I met her.”

Tara’s eyes widened before narrowing. “And you didn’t run screaming into the night? If that’s not proof that you’ll fit in here, I don’t know what is.”

“I haven’t even done an interview yet,” Devon pointed out, but Tara waved him off.

“If you weren’t asked to do one when they offered you the job, then I doubt they’ll make you sit through one now. That’s how I got in. I was sort of floundering, didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. This place was my last resort,” she said and suddenly Devon understood the soft look she’d given him on the way to Mr McAllister’s office.

About the Author:

D.B. McKenzie is a 30 year old university undergraduate of Jamaican descent and has been writing for over twenty years. Her main interests in writing are geared towards horror and fantasy, heavily influenced by the works of Neil Gaiman, Frank Herbert and Dean Koontz.

Her short horror piece Still Waters has been published by Black Hare Press in the anthology OCEANS.

Author links:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/d.b.mckenzie_writes/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/db_mckenzie

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20961425.D_B_McKenzie

Publisher: https://gurtdogpress.com/d-b-mckenzie/

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out this phenomenal book!

A Cure for Humanity: Blog Tour, review, and giveaway!

A Cure for Humanity by A. L. Haringrey

Release Date: February 28, 2021

Publisher: Gurt Dog Press
Genre: LGBTQIA+ Urban Fantasy

Content warnings: Gore, violence, fictional racism

Goodreads 

Publisher Website 

Order here:

Smashwords 

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Synopsis:

In every story, humans are the weaker species. They are defeated. They fall. They become cattle. 

Of course, this is absurd.  

In the real world, humans survive and conquer. They remain the dominant species.  

For Gyldan Crawford, this is a blessing and a curse. Working for a man who sells tools to regulate vampires and werewolves means Gyldan can provide for his household. But, as the only human living in the house, his choice of profession has always been a sore point… until his friends decide to make use of his position to fight back. 

Gyldan is forced to keep several plates spinning—one that makes him the perfect personal assistant to his boss, Albion Saint-Richter; one that supports his friends in taking down his employer; and one that keeps his intimate relationship with Albion a secret. He really doesn’t have time for another plate to be added to his frantic performance. But when an unknown entity starts killing off Albion’s competitors, the rumour mill starts churning: is the murderer a vampire, a werewolf, or a human?  

Excerpt:

“His legs locked. His jaw clenched, demanding that he didn’t scream in terror. His arms went slack, sending packets of food tumbling to the floor. For all the world, Gyldan could do nothing but stare back at the four eyes glinting in the gloom. Crimson in colour, save for a starburst of green around the irises, Gyldan only realised that all four eyes belonged to one being when each one blinked in unison.

Then, they rose. Even if his jaw hadn’t locked, Gyldan knew he would not be able to scream, his mouth and throat drying as he tilted his head to follow the creature.

Vampire. Vampire. Wild vampire, his mind stammered. Run. Gyldan. Get out of there.

He couldn’t move.

   But it could.” 

@cather.reads

Review:

From a gripping title, to a captivating cover, and a brilliant synopsis, I was absolutely hooked before page one! And past page one, this book lived up to the hype. Welcome to a world where humans suddenly had to adapt to vampires and werewolves, creating ways to control them that might not actually be in humanity’s best interest. Enter a fantastic group of friends, each with their own vibrant personalities and tragic backstories, who have to learn to trust each other in a world that is keeping them constantly on their toes.

This book has heists, moral dilemmas, and a struggle between what is right and wrong that is captivating from page one!

INSTAGRAM GIVEAWAY:

Win one signed paperback copy or one e-book copy of A Cure For Humanity by A.L. Haringrey. There will be one winner of each prize, and the giveaway is international.

For the chance to win, follow A.L. Haringrey on Instagram (@a.l.haringrey) as well as Gurt Dog Press (@gurtdogpress) , share and tag in your Instagram story. For an extra entry, also add A Cure For Humanity on your Goodreads and leave a comment on this post with your username.

About the Author:

A.L. Haringrey is a British author and occasional archer. She lives with her better half and her lizard son somewhere not nearly close enough to the sea for her liking. She has a degree in English Language and currently works as a copy editor and copywriter.

Ms Haringrey loves a good fantasy book, especially when it dips its toes into the paranormal or supernatural side of things. However, having grown tired of saturated tropes—especially concerning vampires and werewolves—she decided to write her own stories. She started publishing on Wattpad and ended up winning numerous user-run awards. Her works have also been featured on some of Wattpad’s ambassador profiles.

When she’s not writing books, Ms Haringrey can often be found trying to get several arrows to land somewhere close to the middle of a target, drinking far too much coffee, or playing video games.

Author links:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/a.l.haringrey/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/alharingrey

Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/alharingrey 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alharingrey

Publisher: https://gurtdogpress.com/a-l-haringrey/

Wordcraft and Whimsy: Amelia Unabridged Blog Tour and Review

Synopsis:

Eighteen-year-old Amelia Griffin is obsessed with the famous Orman Chronicles, written by the young and reclusive prodigy N. E. Endsley. They’re the books that brought her and her best friend Jenna together after Amelia’s father left and her family imploded. So when Amelia and Jenna get the opportunity to attend a book festival with Endsley in attendance, Amelia is ecstatic. It’s the perfect way to start off their last summer before college.

In a heartbeat, everything goes horribly wrong. When Jenna gets a chance to meet the author and Amelia doesn’t, the two have a blowout fight like they’ve never experienced. And before Amelia has a chance to mend things, Jenna is killed in a freak car accident. Grief-stricken, and without her best friend to guide her, Amelia questions everything she had planned for the future.

When a mysterious, rare edition of the Orman Chronicles arrives, Amelia is convinced that it somehow came from Jenna. Tracking the book to an obscure but enchanting bookstore in Michigan, Amelia is shocked to find herself face-to-face with the enigmatic and handsome N. E. Endsley himself, the reason for Amelia’s and Jenna’s fight and perhaps the clue to what Jenna wanted to tell her all along.

Ashley Schumacher’s devastating and beautiful debut, Amelia Unabridged, is about finding hope and strength within yourself, and maybe, just maybe, falling in love while you do it.

(Goodreads)

Cather.reads

Review:

This book holds a lot of important messages told on the background of a beautiful storyscape. Amelia comes from what can be considered a broken family. Her dad left when she was young and her mom is a shell of who she used to be. Amelia meets a girl who becomes her best friend and through her Amelia finds the family that she needs. But then tragedy strikes and Amelia has to figure out who gets to write her story and where she truly belongs.

A quick side note: this book came at a perfect time when I was looking for more divorced parents in Young Adult fiction. I think it does a good job of representing how divorce can impact children long after the separation.

The prose is beautiful, the characters are vibrant and flawed, and I loved the conclusion. The romance is well done and doesn’t overpower the other messages of the book. I think Amelia and Nolan both show great character development, and together they show the reader the power of a good story–especially the one that you get to write yourself.

ASHLEY SCHUMACHER is a young adult author with a degree in creative writing from the University of North Texas. She lives in a small town with her antisocial but lovable husband and more books than is strictly necessary. When she’s not reading or writing, you can find her belting Disney or Broadway songs, protecting her snacks from her greedy golden retriever, hand embroidering, or playing Mario Kart. Amelia Unabridged is her first novel. She lives in Dallas, Texas. (Goodreads)

Find this book:

Goodreads

Wednesday Books

Family of Magic: The House in the Cerulean Sea review

If you haven’t read this book yet, what are you doing?

@cather.reads

Linus Baker is a caseworker for an organization that keeps tabs on magical children. He’s the best in the field, so when he is given a top secret mission he expects it to go the exact same as the others.

I was absolutely blown away by this story. Linus is a lovable character. He’s older, overweight, and working in a dead end job. You can sense that he is secretly a dreamer, but has long since shelved all his longings for adventure or even a vacation. The children at the orphanage that he visits are equally adorable and full of life and fierce love. Linus stumbles upon a family.

The book is also incredibly well written. It has been a long time since I was completely transported into the world of a story. But I saw everything so vividly and was moved to tears on multiple occasions.

This is a book worth reading. There’s diversity, there’s themes of family and anti-racism, and a beautiful world that you can get lost in.

If you haven’t read this book, you should fix that right away.

Time Travel and Christmas Cheer: In a Holidaze Review

In a Holidaze was all the rage this past holiday season. You could not scroll through bookstagram without seeing a post talking about this new release from Christina Lauren. While this review is undoubtedly late (I never finish my Christmas reads on time), I would like to share my own thoughts on this fan favorite.

3/5 stars

Synopsis

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren tells the story of Mae. She celebrates Christmas every year with her family and their college friends in a cabin in Utah. She is seasonably unhappy, both with work and her love life. When she gets sent back in time, she realizes she might have a chance to do this holiday over and find out just what will make her happy after all.

Review

This is not my first experience reading Christina Lauren. I absolutely loved Autoboyography. While this book is certainly Adult and not Young Adult, I went in with the expectation that it would be pretty well done.

And let’s be honest, it was well done. The characters were varied and lovable. It’s obvious what our main character wants and what she is struggling with. The romance did not come out of the blue, and even though there technically is a love triangle, it’s not too complicated.

However, it was still the romance that I liked the least about this book. The relationship was certainly rushed (if you’ve read it, the epilogue is where I really felt uncomfortable with how fast). There was also some victim blaming where Mae is accused of leading someone on when she did literally nothing. There were apologies, but it didn’t seem to quite make up for it happening in the first place.

Other than all those small issues, this was a heartwarming book meant to spread holiday cheer.

Trigger Warnings:

sexual content

You may also like: Autoboyography | Let it Snow

Unraveled: Release Day and Giveaway!

Unraveled is a fantastical story by Claire Olivia Golden that releases today!

Synopsis

Aurora Davis, expert crocheter, lives an ordinary life… until a mysterious crochet shawl appears at the store where she works, Yarn Emporium. The Briars and Roses Shawl, which claimed the life of its previous owner, pulls Auri under its spell. Unable to stop crocheting, she embarks on a quest to break the curse.

Catherine Bishop has a hard enough time fighting her OCD every day without a curse being thrown into the mix. But when her beloved grandmother dies, Cat suspects there’s something more to her death. Her investigation leads her to Auri… whom she’s been crushing on for months. 

Auri and Cat plunge into a magical world where ancient curses tangle together and faeries seek revenge. As they navigate Feylinn and their blossoming romance, it soon becomes clear that Auri is in serious danger…and her life isn’t the only one at stake.

@cather.reads

Unraveled by Claire Olivia Golden

Release Date: December 14, 2020

Publisher: Gurt Dog Press
Genre: LGBTQIA+ YA Fantasy

Content warnings: Abduction, drugging, suicide, anxiety and OCD, mental health prejudice

Goodreads 

Publisher Website 

Order here:

Smashwords 

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Giveaway:

Win one of two e-book copies of Unraveled and a signed and personalized bookplate, plus a crochet bookmark from the author. International giveaway.
For the chance to win, follow Clarie Olivia Golden on Instagram @onceuponayarn, as well as Gurt Dog Press @gurtdogpress, share and tag in your Instagram story.

For an extra entry, also add Unraveled on your Goodreads and leave a comment on this post with your username that you added it with!

Review:

This book came at a good time for me! I always get back into knitting and crocheting around the holidays, so there was nothing better than working on a sweater while reading about cursed crocheting projects. I found myself loving both of the main characters. Cat and Auri are both relatable and unique in their own ways. Cat has OCD and I appreciated how it was explained so that we understood what was happening, but the book was not about her “overcoming” her mental illness or hiding it from those she loved. There is also sapphic rep, which was done perfectly!

Not only did this book have fantastic representation, it had a great storyline. The characters are all interconnected and their relationships are believable. I found it a little confusing when they discovered that faeries were actually real and some of the worldbuilding there, but overall it was done well and I liked the way that the author put her own twist on the themes that we see in fairytales.

Overall, this is a fantastic read, and I hope that you get a chance to check it out.

Excerpt:

“How are you so calm?” I asked.

She laughed incredulously. “Do you actually think that about me?”

“You just seem so… unflappable.”

“My God, Auri, you have no idea. Can I tell you something?” I nodded. She bit her lip, dropped her gaze to the ground, and said, “I have really bad OCD. I’m not calm at all. I’m a mess inside, all the time. I don’t even know what calm feels like.”

I had never met anyone with OCD before. “I didn’t know,” I said. “You really do seem so calm to me.”

“It’s not something I tell a lot of people.”

“Thank you for sharing that with me,” I said, trying to catch her eyes. “You don’t have to be embarrassed. It’s brave of you, telling me that.”

Her eyes flicked up for a split second. “I’m the furthest thing from brave.”

“I don’t know what OCD is like, but I know you have to be strong to fight it. That seems pretty brave to me.”

Her lip trembled. “Nobody’s ever said that before.”

“Well, they should.” What was this rush of protective feeling that washed over me? “Maybe you can tell me about it, sometime. If you want to. If you ever need someone to talk to.”

“Nobody’s ever asked before.”

“Then you need to get a better group of friends, because you deserve people who care.”

About the Author:

Claire Olivia Golden likes books, yarn, and the Oxford comma. She graduated summa cum laude from Portland State University in 2020 with a B.A. in French and English. Now she works as a full-time crochet designer for KnitCrate and, consequently, has more yarn than she knows what to do with. She believes that magic exists everywhere if you just look hard enough, and that life is more fun when you enjoy the little things.

Author links:

Author site: http://claireoliviagolden.com 

Instagram: http://instagram.com/onceuponayarn 

Twitter: http://twitter.com/claireogolden 

Crochet designs: https://www.ravelry.com/designers/claire-olivia-golden 

Collaboration with KnitCrate

My full-time job is product development for the yarn subscription company KnitCrate. I partnered with them to create an Unraveled kit, with a signed copy of the book and all the yarn necessary to make the “Unraveled Shawl.” This will be available for purchase through the KnitCrate website and they will promote on their social media as well. The kit releases on January 1.

Matching my Top Ten Songs in 2020 with Books!

I love listening to music and reading, so what’s better than combining the two? I always listen to music while reading, and sometimes songs remind me of a certain story.

10. Cleopatra by The Lumineers + Circe by Madeline Miller

Circe is a story about a goddess who loves and is loved, but is also betrayed by those she trusts. However, she sees the positive things and ends up having a good life. It reflects the narrative found in Cleopatra.

9. Crooked Teeth by Death Cab for Cutie + We are Lost and Found by Helene Dunbar

Crooked Teeth reminds me of living in a city and everything being messed up around you, and We are Lost and Found fits that description quite well. It’s a story set in the 80s in New York City where the main characters navigate relationships, being queer, and the rising fear of AIDS.

8. Tim I Wish You Were Born a Girl by Of Montreal + The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

This song is a friends-to-lovers anthem. Even though The Gentleman’s Guide happens centuries earlier than the song, the sentiments are the same. Monty and Percy are the perfect parallel.

7. No Children by The Mountain Goats + Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Nothing fits a song about falling out of love and wishing harm on the other than Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. This is one of the best thrillers I’ve read this year, and this song always reminds me of it.

6. The Ground Walks, with Time in a Box by Modest Mouse + A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

This entire song is about humanity evolving and becoming something better. The science-minded lyrics remind me of reading through A Brief History of Time earlier this year.

5. Holland, 1945 by Neutral Milk Hotel + Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Maybe it’s because this is the only book that I read that fits the time period of the song, but the chaotic nature of this song also matches the chaos of Catch-22.

4. This Year by The Mountain Goats + Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams

While this song is the theme of 2020 in general (I am gonna make it through this year if it kills me…), it also reminds me of Mostly Harmless–the last book of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that I read this year. It’s chaotic and filled with a lot of near-death experiences.

3. Missed the Boat by Modest Mouse + Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

Radio Silence is filled with characters who “miss the boat” and don’t fulfil society’s expectations of them. The beauty of this book is that they learn to not let these expectations confine them.

2. King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 1 by Neutral Milk Hotel + Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

A song about dysfunctional families and a book filled with dysfunctional monster hunters? I think a correlation can be drawn. While Ninth House is dark academia and Neutral Milk Hotel is in its own lonesome category–I think the chaos and the existentialism go well together.

  1. New Slang by The Shins + I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

Nothing can compare to this song except for my favorite book. While the match is not perfect, there are elements in both that make me love them more. New Slang is about being lost and finding a way out, and while I am the Messenger is about finding your place, there’s still that feeling of being misguided and needing an escape in the book as well.

Thank you for reading through this short little post. I hope you enjoyed looking through your own spotify wrapped as well!

Happy reading, and I hope you have a good ending to your 2020.

Cath

Blog Tour: Stake Sauce, Arc 2. New LGBT+ Paranormal Fantasy

Are you ready for Halloween? If you are, there is a book releasing tomorrow that might just be for you! Keep reading for my review and the giveaway!

Act 2, In Which: Our friends, some old and some new, must awaken a powerful, centuries-old magical force – before an old enemy gets there first…

Synopsis:

Life for Jude is finally getting back to normal – or as normal as it gets when your new boyfriend has fangs, your old maybe-boyfriend isn’t dead after all (and has even bigger fangs), and everyone’s scrambling to adjust their lives accordingly.

There’s enough to worry about without evil, ancient vampires closing in, preparing dark rituals, and threatening to undo everything Jude, Pixie, and their loved ones have built together. But as they’ve all seen, normal doesn’t tend to last for long. And it’s hard to shake the feeling that something’s missing.

But then, it seems like everybody’s missing somebody.

Release date: October 31, 2020

Publisher: The Kraken Collective

Genre: LGBTQIA+ Paranormal fantasy

Goodreads

Preorder

Review:

Both books in this series so far are a wild ride! They’re filled with vampires, love, humor, and fantastic lgbtq+ representation. I found all of the characters to be lovable in their own ways. Jude is the main character who loves fiercely and wants to see justice served. Pixie is Jude’s former neighbor, who is also a vampire. He can transform into an adorable pink bat, which matches his pink hair. Eva and Jasper are Jude’s two best friends who have stuck with him through thick and thin. Eva is aro-ace and Jasper is gay and polyamorous. Jude is still trying to figure out exactly how he identifies/expresses himself, but his friend group is incredibly supportive.

The plot was very fast paced, so it never felt like it dragged at all. However, it was very dialogue heavy. The banter was good and it was wonderful seeing the cast of characters grow closer together in this sequel to their first adventure, but I would find myself distracted by the dialogue and would not pay attention to what was actually going on around the characters. I ended up giving it three stars for this reason, but overall it is a great story filled with vampires, magic, and lots of representation.

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY:

Win one of three ebook copies of the release, or a paperback copy. International Giveaway. 

Click here to enter: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e3a13cc311/?  

About the Author:

RoAnna Sylver writes unusually hopeful dystopian and vampire stories about marginalized heroes actually surviving, triumphing, and rocking really hard. RoAnna is also a singer, blogger, and artist who lives with family near Portland, OR, and probably spends too much time playing videogames. The next amazing adventure RoAnna would like is a nap in a pile of bunnies.

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Swamp Thing: Twin Branches–Maggie Stiefvater’s newest release!

Do you like graphic novels? Do you like superheroes? Do you like Maggie Stiefvater’s elegant way of weaving her stories together to blend fantasy with reality? If you can check any of these boxes, Swamp Thing might just be the next graphic novel for you.

Thank you to DC Comics for a free copy in exchange for an honest review

Instagram @cather.reads

Swamp Thing: Twin Branches tells the story of twins Alec and Walker who are uprooted from their lives on the west cost and planted in the middle of nowhere, Virginia. The brothers have been drifting apart as Walker becomes more and more of a socialite, charming everyone he meets, and Alec becomes more invested in his research centered around plants and the way they think. It is a fantastic story about brotherhood, family, friendship, and growth.

I definitely enjoyed the plant facts/fiction presented alongside the narrative, slowly illuminating just how Alec feels distant from his family and humanity in general. I also enjoyed how there was the parallel between his diabetes and the plants. I’m hoping that if there is a sequel, there are more details as to why his research affects his blood sugar so drastically, and if it has anything to do with how he developed type 1 diabetes in the first place.

I wasn’t as smitten the first time I read this, but I’m definitely raising my rating up to four stars after being able to read the physical copy and truly appreciate the artwork that way. I love the way the artwork is ever so slightly creepy, and how the color choices bring everything together.

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

Twins Alec and Walker Holland have a reputation around town. One is quiet and the other is the life of any party, but they are inseparable. For their last summer before college, the two leave the city to live with their rural cousins, where they find that the swamp holds far darker depths than they could have imagined.

While Walker carves their names into the new social scene, Alec recedes into a summer school laboratory, because he brought something from home on their trip—it’s an experiment that will soon consume him. This season, both brothers must confront truths, ancient and familial, and as their lives diverge, tensions increase and dormant memories claw to the surface.

Swamp Thing: Twin Branches is now available wherever books are sold!

Beneath a Bethel Blog Tour!

“Everyone remembers the day they lost their teeth: the holy day of Floris.

“The feel of the pliers pulling the teeth from bleeding gums. Eyes clenching shut, tears leaking traitorously from under their lids. The sound each one made as it fell into the glass bowl, solid and slick with blood. The echo of it sounding through the vast hall, met with the song of heavy breathing and keening. The agony of nerves being rent and severed as blood rushed down their throat, choking. Amid blooming flowers and flickering candles, the witnesses standing hushed and respectful until the final hymns, marveling at the loss of innocence. Flowing blood coating their chin, fat droplets staining the embroidered smock that covers their shaking form.

“Above all, everyone remembers the pride, the excitement that they are finally old enough to bear magic. No longer children kept from it for fear of misuse, but adults, soon to be taught to shape and control it. To bend the world to their will with wishes. Soon to be given new teeth, each one infused with magic, each one made solely for them.

“No one more than I remembers that day, because though my Floris started full of pride and excitement, it ended in shame and filth. A day that should have been one heralding a new beginning, my first steps into adulthood instead became a twisted nightmare, a secret I could confide in no one for fear of being ridiculed.”

Don’t miss Beneath a Bethel, a dark queer fantasy novella by April-Jane Rowan. It is now available!

Beneath a Bethel by April-Jane Rowan

Release Date: August 31, 2020

Publisher: Gurt Dog Press

Genre: LGBTQIA+ Horror Fantasy

Content Warnings: Assault, Abandonment, Murder, Gore

Cover Artist: Nem Rowan http://nemrowan.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53344623-beneath-a-bethel

Synopsis:

Every youth of Elbridge remembers their Floris, the holy ceremony where their teeth are pulled out with pliers. It marks their ascension into adulthood and their right to have new porcelain teeth, ones that are embedded with magic, that grant the ability to make wishes.

Angora’s Floris will be upon the banks of the Eldwen river, the communal ceremony befitting his station. However, he longs to remember his ceremony for the splendor of the Bethel, wreathed in candle light, drooping flowers and holy hymns.

Seeking to fulfill his dream leaves him the victim of violence and an outcast from society, living on its fringes until a chance meeting brings him to the heart of the Masters Guild, the place teeth are made. Learning secrets he never thought he’d be privy to, he eventually discovers the dark cost of their tradition.

Review:

I absolutely loved this dark novella! I thoroughly enjoyed the writing, the characters, the atmosphere, and the full page illustrations. It tells the story of Angora and his Floris that goes awry. What follows is a story filled with mystery and hope. My only word of warning is that there is a scene with assault that while only physical, is coded sexually. It is very well done and I do like the allusions that it makes, but if you are triggered by sexual assault scenes, you might want to steer clear of the scene in this one. However, even though this story is short enough to be called a novella, it is still filled with enough material to be enjoyable and thrilling.

Order here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Beneath-Bethel-April-Jane-Rowan-ebook/dp/B08FHDQCVQ

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beneath-a-bethel-april-jane-rowan/1137532693

There’s also a giveaway of an e-book copy!

enter here:  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/19c78ff43/?

About the Author:

April-Jane Rowan was born with a morbid fascination that she turned into writing so she could explain away her strangeness. Luckily for her, she found she rather liked it, so for many years, she has been creating bizarre, dark tales. When not writing, she can be found lurking in graveyards, libraries, and museums. She lives in Sweden with her two partners and their pack of beasties.

Author Links:

https://www.instagram.com/theliterarychamber

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCv5onT6WeZk2JFwj-gnqibg?

https://gurtdogpress.com/2020/04/23/author-april-jane-rowan/