Sunday, October 25, 2020

Release Blitz: Holiday Home Run by Priscilla Oliveras

Hey everyone! I hope you and your loved ones are doing well. Today I'm sharing information about a new release! I can't wait for my Christmas break from grad school, so I can snuggle up with Holiday Home Run by Priscilla Oliveras.

 

Romance, Holiday Romance 

Date Published: October 27, 2020 

Publisher: Kensington, Zebra Books 


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Event planner Julia Fernández is in Chicago for an internship that she hopes to turn into a full-time job. She’s ready to live on her own, out from under her familia’s expectations that she take over their catering business in Puerto Rico and away from their year-round baseball fever thanks to her three ball-playing brothers. Ex-MLB pitcher Ben Thomas knows what it’s like to have different dreams than your family intends for you, but since his injury-caused early retirement, he’s been struggling to find the sense of family baseball once brought him. When he volunteers as the emcee for Julia’s big holiday fundraiser for a local youth center, he finally begins to find a sense of purpose working with the kids and alongside Julia.  

She’s focused on organizing the best holiday event the youth center has ever seen, not on romance. But Ben…he’s got a game plan for them that includes both. 

 

Holiday Home Run was previously released as part of the holiday anthology A SEASON TO CELEBRATE.

 

  

About the Author

Priscilla Oliveras is a USA Today Best-Selling author & 2018 RWA® RITA® double finalist who writes contemporary romance with a Latinx flavor. Her books have earned Starred Reviews from Publishers Weekly & Booklist, hit the top 5 on Barnes & Noble’s Top 100 Book Bestseller list, & notched Amazon #1 Bestseller status. Her latest release, Island Affair, made it onto O, The Oprah Magazine’s “28 of the Best Beach Reads of Summer 2020” list. Priscilla earned her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University and currently serves as adjunct faculty in the program while also teaching the online class “Romance Writing” for ed2go. She’s a self-professed romance genre junkie, who’s also a sports fan, beach lover, Zumba aficionado, and hammock nap connoisseur. Follow her at prisoliveras.com and on social media via @prisoliveras and https://www.facebook.com/prisoliveras.

  

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Friday, October 16, 2020

Blog Tour: Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz {review + interview}

Hey everyone! Today is my stop at the blog tour of Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz. Thanks to Hear Our Voices Book Tours for having me in this tour.
Book title: Blazewrath Games
Publication date: October 6, 2020
Author: Amparo Ortiz
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Pages: 368
How I got the book: Sent for Review; the publisher provided me an ARC in exchange of my honest review.
Synopsis

Experience the World Cup with dragons in this debut fantasy, set in an alternate contemporary world, in which riders and their steeds compete in an international sports tournament.

Lana Torres has always preferred dragons to people. In a few weeks, sixteen countries will compete in the Blazewrath World Cup, a tournament where dragons and their riders fight for glory in a dangerous relay. Lana longs to represent her native Puerto Rico in their first ever World Cup appearance, and when Puerto Rico’s Runner—the only player without a dragon steed—is kicked off the team, she’s given the chance.

But when she discovers that a former Blazewrath superstar has teamed up with the Sire—a legendary dragon who’s cursed into human form—the safety of the Cup is jeopardized. The pair are burning down dragon sanctuaries around the world and refuse to stop unless the Cup gets cancelled. All Lana wanted was to represent her country. Now, to do that, she’ll have to navigate an international conspiracy that’s deadlier than her beloved sport.


Review

Are you ready for my fangirling?! OMG, this book... this book is just AMAZEBALLS AMAZING! This is the debut novel of Amparo Ortiz and I just can't wait for more. Seeing a Puerto Rican main character in a book made my whole year! Blazewrath Games is one of my favorite books; and I'm talking about top 3, ok? Enough with the fangirling and let's get to the details. I was really excited to read this book because of the boricua Lana Torres, but also because of the dragons. Who doesn't love dragons? (No, honestly, who doesn't love dragons because I'm going to revoke you my friendship card). I even asked Ann Jewelry Collection to make me some dragon earrings inspired in Blazewrath Games. Just in case, I'm not obsessed with dragons, although this post may show you otherwise. (My real obsession are mermaids). 

Anyway, this book is pure magic and I love it! Wait until you meet the Sol de Noche Dragons... and the rest of the dragons as well! You are probably going to fall in love with all of them. And the Sire? Wow, such a great character development. I love hating him, you know? I hold Lana near my heart because of the struggles with her identity; I felt instantly drawn to her. Blazewrath Games have a lot of characters! For me, that was a little difficult. But it is something you can work through. One of my favorite things, besides the dragons, was the relationship between Lana and Samira. It made me think of my relationship with my friend, Andrea Carolina; we are always joking around! So yeah, the fun relationship between them was so relatable.

I think I haven't read a YA fantasy novel with such a perfect world building as Blazewrath Games. I was able to see and imagine everything on my mind! Actually, can we get a Blazewrath Games movie, please? Also, I loved the presence of a lot of cultures. Especially everything about team Puerto Rico and all the little details, like the Puerto Rican flag, their pride, and the musical instruments (like we always do cheering our teams!). I felt I was there chanting with the rest of the Puerto Ricans!
Team Puerto Rico all the way!!! ¡Yo soy boricua, pa' que tú lo sepas!

I admire Amparo Ortiz because her writing style is so SO good. The details in every page were gracefully crafted. If this book sounds like something you would enjoy, be sure to add it to you TBR!
Have you read it yet? Let me know so we can talk about it ;)

Amparo Ortiz' interview
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
First of all, thank you so much for participating in the tour and for reading BWG!! As for me, hi! My name is Amparo and I'm an author living in Puerto Rico. I currently teach ESL to college students, but I was almost a clinical psychologist, then I was almost a lawyer. I'm very happy with how things worked out, lol.

What inspired you to write BLAZEWRATH GAMES?
DRAGONS. I wanted to write something with the most badass mythical creature known in the fantasy genre. I just wanted to make it Puerto Rican. And to center its existence around a magical sport. It took many years to flesh out the sport, its rules, and how my main character fit into this specific story. Trial and error times a thousand, lol. But seeing someone who shares my cultural heritage in some capacity in a fantasy novel was what drove me to keep going.

As a Boricua, I got really excited (and I'm still fangirling) with this books because it has a Puerto Rican main character. What can you tell us about the importance of representation in books?
It's crucial. I can't tell you how touched I've felt whenever readers tell me they saw themselves in Lana, or in other characters/aspects of the book. And this book has been on shelves for about two weeks. I can't imagine the kind of hunger there was for stories such as this. I certainly needed this story growing up, so I write it instead of waiting for someone else to do so. Zero regrets.

How did Sol de Noche dragons came to life in your imagination? Tell us about the creative process.
I knew my dragons were going to have black scales simply because black is my favorite color. I also knew they could set their bodies on fire, and they were the only species that's capable of doing so! But that was pretty much all I knew. It wasn't until I started drafting that everything became clearer regarding how their magic would evolve and how they would use it on the Blazewrath field. Any scene with a Sol de Noche is such a joy to write. I dare say nothing will ever bring me that much happiness as a writer.

Who is your favorite character and why?
NO FAIR.

But also let's pretend I have two favorites, since Lana--my main character--would obviously win. I also adore writing anything with her best friend, Samira! She's just funny and ambitious and hopeful in a way that Lana never could be. That contrast between them was so lovely to explore for me.

And just for fun, name 5 random facts about you.
1) I am a Capricorn Sun, a Libra Moon, and a Scorpio Rising.
2) I don't know how to ride a bike!
3) My BTS biases are Jin and Jungkook.
4) I've traveled to 16 countries.
5) I once stood behind Chris Evans for about five or six minutes and never plucked up the courage to talk to him.

Ok, this was fun! Thank you so much for your time, Amparo! It was a pleasure having you on my blog.

More about the author

Amparo Ortiz was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and currently lives on the island’s northeastern coast. Her short story comic, “What Remains in The Dark,” appears in the Eisner Award-winning anthology PUERTO RICO STRONG (Lion Forge, 2018), and SAVING CHUPIE, her middle grade graphic novel, comes out with HarperCollins in Winter 2022. She holds an M.A. in English and a B.A. in Psychology from the UPR’s Río Piedras campus. When she’s not teaching ESL to her college students, she’s teaching herself Korean, devouring as much young adult fiction as she can, and writing about Latinx characters in worlds both contemporary and fantastical. Her debut novel, BLAZEWRATH GAMES, hits shelves on October 6, 2020 from Page Street Kids.

Again, thanks to Hear Our Voices Book Tours and Page Street Kids for this wonderful opportunity!

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Blog Tour: Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro {review}

Hi everyone! Today is my stop at the blog tour of Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro. This is the first book I've read by Oshiro and I definitely want to read more. Thanks to Colored Pages Bookish Tours for having me in this tour. 
Book title: Each of Us a Desert
Publication date: September 15th, 2020
Author: Mark Oshiro
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBTQ+
Publisher: Tor Teen
Pages: 432
How I got the book: Sent for Review; the publisher provided me an ARC in exchange of my honest review.


Synopsis

From award-winning author Mark Oshiro comes a powerful coming-of-age fantasy novel about finding home and falling in love amidst the dangers of a desert where stories come to life.

Xochitl is destined to wander the desert alone, speaking her troubled village's stories into its arid winds. Her only companions are the blessed stars above and enigmatic lines of poetry magically strewn across dusty dunes.

Her one desire: to share her heart with a kindred spirit.

One night, Xo's wish is granted—in the form of Emilia, the cold and beautiful daughter of the town's murderous conqueror. But when the two set out on a magical journey across the desert, they find their hearts could be a match... if only they can survive the nightmare-like terrors that arise when the sun goes down.

Review

Wow... I'm obsessed with this book! The author takes you to a journey through a desert and self-discovery. I love that this book talks the way I do. Does that makes sense? I've said this before; I'm a fan of books where a character speaks another language (besides English), and the word or phrase is just thrown right there in the text, without any explanation, no italics or quotation marks. It makes me feel like I'm seen. Yes, I love the occasional Spanglish! With the bilingualism in this book, I felt represented. :) I enjoyed the stories as a cuentista; I felt it was a way of releasing stuff accumulated inside. Also, I like the way faith was approached in the story. One of the things I love the most about this book is the poetry. Can we please get a poetry collection by Mark Oshiro?

Each of Us a Desert was a rollercoaster of emotions, I got goosebumps, I cried... The romance was there, yes, but this book was more about healing. Mark Oshiro's writing style is beautiful! The dynamic between Xochitl and Emilia was good but kind of heavy. I don't want to give any spoilers but there was a lot going on. I had to take some reading breaks because of this, so I think you should consider this content/trigger warning for emotional abuse, violence, and death. Even though I felt there were some things that could've been left out of the story, and at the beginning it was kind of slow paced, this is honestly one of my all-time favorite books and I highly recommend it. 

If this book sounds like something you would enjoy, be sure to add it to you TBR!
Have you read it yet? Let me know so we can talk about it ;)

About the author

Mark Oshiro is the author of Anger is a Gift (Tor Teen), winner of the 2019 Schneider Family Book Award and nominated for a 2019 Lammy Award (in the LGBTQ Children’s/Young Adult category). Upcoming novels include Each of Us a Desert (Tor Teen), a YA Fantasy novel out September 15, 2020, and The Insiders (Harper Collins), an MG Contemporary with magical elements out Fall 2021. When they are not writing, crying on camera about fictional characters for their online Mark Does Stuff universe, or traveling, Mark is busy trying to fulfill their lifelong goal: to pet every dog in the world.


Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Walkie Talkie por Carlos Daniel {reseña}

¡Hola! Hoy comparto mi reseña de una novela que te atrapará con su suspenso y nostalgia...
Título: WALKIE TALKIE
Autor: Carlos Daniel
Fecha de publicación: 10 de agosto de 2020
Géneros: Ficción, Suspenso/Thriller
Editorial: publicación independiente
Páginas: 220
Cómo obtuve el libro: Enviado para Reseña; recibí el libro en formato digital a cambio de mi reseña honesta.


Reseña
Nuestros pensamientos a veces nos traicionan y más si están repletos de miedo. Alex es un niño curioso y muchas veces se deja llevar por su imaginación. Aunque tiene a su hermano mayor Jerry, que por lo menos trata de tranquilizarlo en las noches que lo domina el miedo. Una de las formas de compartir con Jerry, es usando walkie talkies. Una noche rara de esas que andaban juntos compartiendo, Alex presenció un evento súper extraño donde desaparecieron 3 jóvenes, incluyendo a su hermano Jerry. Luego de 4 años de la desaparición de su hermano, Alex recibe un mensaje raro a través de su walkie talkie. ¿Acaso su hermano está vivo? Están pasando cosas extrañas en Lajas, Puerto Rico... Definitivamente, esta novela te mantiene en tensión capítulo tras capítulo. 

WALKIE TALKIE está llena de mucha nostalgia. Así que si quieres transportarte a los años 90', esta novela es para ti. No podía evitar sonreír cada vez que se mencionaba algo de mi niñez, como las galletas pankys, la revista Teen, la película de Child's Play, la música de Menudo, el programa de Don Francisco, usar un walkman o VHS y por supuesto, el uso del walkie talkie. Wow... ¿cómo olvidar? Definitivamente esos tiempos eran los mejores. Recuerdo pasar mis tardes jugando Atari con mi papá, pelear con mi hermana por el Game Boy, ya fuera para jugar Paper Boy o Pocahontas ¡y ni se diga el nintendo! Jugar Mario era (y todavía es) lo mejor del mundo.

Además de traer toda esta nostalgia, WALKIE TALKIE está llena de suspenso. Te lleva dentro de los miedos de un niño (y tal vez algunos adultos). Y es que el autor tiene la facilidad de capturarte y hacerte parte de la narrativa, con su forma de escribir. El final, sin lugar a dudas, te sorprenderá. O por lo menos, a mi me sorprendió; no me lo esperaba. Disfruté mucho esta novela. ¡Me sentí como en una película! Y si te gusta Stranger Things como a mi, sé que vas a disfrutar esta historia porque pude sentir conexión con la serie. Es más, la novela no da tanto miedo... pero como yo me asusto de nada (le pueden preguntar a los que me conocen), en ocasiones no pude leerla de noche. (¡No se burlen!). ¿Acaso soy la única que le tiene miedo a la oscuridad? Lo acepto, yo soy de esas que todavía corre al cuarto luego de apagar todas las luces. Y sí, también me siento protegida cuando mi sábana me cubre por completo. Eso de dejar un pie por fuera, no va conmigo... Luego de contarte todo esto, ¿te atreves a leer la novela?

Si este libro suena como algo que te gustaría leer, recuerda añadirlo a tu lista. También puedes pre-ordenar la novela en Tazas y Portadas.

Por cierto... el martes, 18 de agosto estaré conversando con el autor puertorriqueño Carlos Daniel sobre su novela WALKIE TALKIE. Será a las 7:00pm por Facebook Live. ¡No te lo pierdas!
¿Ya lo leíste? Déjame saber para discutirlo ;)

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Hey everyone! Today I am reviewing a novel filled with suspense and nostalgia...

Title: WALKIE TALKIE
Author: Carlos Daniel
Publication date: August 10, 2020
Genres: Fiction, suspense/thriller
Publisher: independent publication
Pages: 220
How I got the book: Sent for review; I received an eARC copy in exchange for my honest review.

Review
Our mind can betray us sometimes, especially if its full of fear. Alex is a curious kid who sometimes lets his imagination take over him. Although he has his older brother Jerry, who at least tries to reassure him in those nights filled with fear. One of the ways they spend time together, is by using their walkie talkies. One of those rare nights they were together, Alex witnessed a super strange event where 3 kids disappeared, including his brother Jerry. After 4 years of Jerry's disappearance, Alex receives a message through his walkie talkie. Is his brother alive? Strange things are happening in Lajas, Puerto Rico... This novel keeps you on the edge with every chapter!

WALKIE TALKIE is full of nostalgia. So if you want to transport yourself back to the 90s, this novel is for you. I couldn't help but smile every time something from my childhood was mentioned in the book, like the panky cookies, Teen magazine, the Child's Play movie, music from Menudo, the Don Francisco show, using a walkman or VHS, and of course, using a walkie talkie. Wow... Those times were definitely the best! I remember spending my afternoons playing Atari with my dad, fighting over the Game Boy with my older sister, whether it was to play Paper Boy or Pocahontas, and what about the Nintendo? Playing Mario was (and still is) the best thing in the world.

In addition to this, WALKIE TALKIE is full of suspense. It takes you into the fears of a child (and maybe some adults). The author knows how to capture the reader and make you part of the narrative with his writing style. The end, without a doubt, will surprise you. Or at least, I was surprised; I did not expect that ending. I really enjoyed this novel. I felt like I was in a movie! And if you like Stranger Things like me, I know you are going to enjoy this story, because I could feel it connected to the series. To be honest, the novel is not that scary... but I'm scared of everything (you can ask those who know me), so sometimes I couldn't read the novel at night. (Do not make fun of me!). Am I the only one who is afraid of the dark? Sure, I accept it, I am one of those who still runs to the room after turning off all the lights. And yes, I feel protected when my bed sheet covers me completely. Leaving a foot out doesn't work for me... After telling you all of this, do you dare to read the novel?

If this book sounds like something you would enjoy, be sure to add it to your TBR. You can also pre-order it at Tazas y Portadas.

By the way... on Tuesday August 18th, I will be talking with the Puerto Rican author Carlos Daniel, about his novel WALKIE TALKIE. It will be through a Facebook Live at 7:00pm. Don't miss it!

Have you read it yet? Let me know so we can talk about it ;)