Book Tour: ‘Shadow of a Dead God’ by Patrick Samphire | A Review

Patrick Samphire 'Shadow of a Dead God', a Mennik Thorn Novel. Book Tour: July 5th-July 11. 

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Today is my stop in the ‘Shadow of a Dead God’ Book Tour! Thank you so much to Storytellers on Tour for allowing me to take part. Click the banner above to check out the other amazing contributors!


Book Information

Shadow of a Dead God, A Mennik Thorn Novel by Patrick Samphire

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Shadow of a Dead God: A Mennik Thorn Novel
by Patrick Samphire
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Fantasy
Length: 460 pages
Age Group: Adult
Release Date: May 27, 2020

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Book Blurb

A dead god. A brutal murder. A second-rate mage.

It was only supposed to be one little job – a simple curse-breaking for Mennik Thorn to pay back a favor to his oldest friend. But then it all blew up in his face. Now he’s been framed for a murder he didn’t commit.

So how is a second-rate mage, broke, traumatized, and with a habit of annoying the wrong people supposed to prove his innocence when everyone believes he’s guilty?

Mennik has no choice if he wants to get out of this: he is going to have to throw himself into the corrupt world of the city’s high mages, a world he fled years ago. Faced by supernatural beasts, the mage-killing Ash Guard, and a ruthless, unknown adversary, it’s going to take every trick Mennik can summon just to keep him and his friend alive.

But a new, dark power is rising in Agatos, and all that stands in its way is one damaged mage…


Author Information

Patrick Samphire started writing when he was fourteen years old and thought it would be a good way of getting out of English lessons. It didn’t work, but he kept on writing anyway.

He has lived in Zambia, Guyana, Austria and England. He has been charged at by a buffalo and, once, when he sat on a camel, he cried. He was only a kid. Don’t make this weird.

Patrick has worked as a teacher, an editor and publisher of physics journals, a marketing minion, and a pen pusher (real job!). Now, when he’s not writing, he designs websites and book covers. He has a PhD in theoretical physics, which means that all the unlikely science in his books is actually true. Well, most of it. Well, some of it. Maybe.

Patrick now lives in Wales, U.K. with his wife, the awesome writer Stephanie Burgis, their two sons, and their cat, Pebbles. Right now, in Wales, it is almost certainly raining.

He has published almost twenty short stories and novellas in magazines and anthologies, including Realms of Fantasy, Interzone, Strange Horizons, and The Year’s Best Fantasy, as well as one fantasy novel for adults, SHADOW OF A DEAD GOD, and two novels for children, SECRETS OF THE DRAGON TOMB and THE EMPEROR OF MARS.

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My Thoughts

**I received a copy of Shadow of a Dead God by Patrick Samphire through Storytellers on Tour, in exchange for an honest review**

‘Shadow of a Dead God’ introduces us to Mennik Thorn. Mennik is a mage that never quite got the grasp of magic. When he and his friend Benny get wrapped into a heap of trouble, Mennik stops at nothing in order to make things right.

I appreciated the non stop action played out in Shadow of a Dead God! Mennik has the support of the little found family of Benny and his daughter. Mennik is very imperfect in his magical abilities, yet he’s determined to rectify the complications set forth by his actions. I love a flawed yet honest character!

Although the risks Mennik endures are high, he stops at nothing to make sure he and Benny get their names cleared. They also receive help from characters who lean toward the dark side, yet are loyal to a fault. I feel that readers will enjoy the antics depicted in Shadow of a Dead God. It is a very addicting fantasy tale!


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Daisy’s Big Night by Sandra V. Feder/Book Review

Daisy’s Big Night by Sandra V. Feder
Illustrator: Susan Mitchell
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Length: 116 pages
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Source: eBook
Release Date: March 1, 2014

I read Daisy’s Big Night as part of my read aloud task for children in my school district. Daisy is a huge lover of words, and shares a fun night at a poetry party with Mrs Bookman. Shortly after this event, Daisy’s teacher Ms. Goldner plans an ‘end of year showcase’ to highlight the skills her students possess. While Daisy is unsure of what she could bring to the showcase, her friends and family guide her to realize that her gift with words is something valuable to offer.

I really enjoyed reading Daisy’s Big Night, since it’s a chapter book centered around the love of poetry for kids. I love writing poetry, and value this form of the written word as a creative artform. Children benefit from poetry since it provides an outlet for expression for their developing voices! I also appreciated Susan Mitchell’s illustrations, as they feature Daisy interacting with everyone she meets!

I recommend Daisy’s Big Night for anyone that loves reading about children practicing poetry. This is a lovely book to give to children!

Synopsis

The third addition to the well-received, illustrated chapter book series about word-loving Daisy. In her latest adventure, Daisy is faced with a dilemma about what to exhibit at her class’s end-of-the-school-year Student Showcase night. An invitation to a grown-up poetry party sets off a series of events that eventually lead Daisy to the realization that the perfect solution to her problem has been with her all along — in the green notebook covered with purple polka dots in which she collects her favorite words. Author Sandra V. Feder has created a likable, enthusiastic character early readers will be drawn to, and as self-described Delightfully Different Daisy ventures into the world of poetry, they’ll happily follow along. The easy-to-understand explanations of ode, haiku, rhyme and free verse, along with short examples of each, make this book an excellent resource for a unit on poetry or as a tie-in to an elementary school’s celebration of poetry month in April. The inclusion of Daisy’s Wonderful Word Lists at the end (the lists are named by category, such as rhyming words, pairs of words, made-up words and quiet-time words) offers a terrific jumping-off point for students to begin their own lists of words. Overall, Daisy offers children a unique new perspective on how to think about words and how much fun it can be to play with them. The book is illustrated with just enough line drawings by Susan Mitchell to keep young readers engaged.


What are your thoughts on Daisy’s Big Night? Feel free to share!

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Friday Reads: May 15

I have two stories to share:

Beach Read by Emily Henry

I purchased Beach Read through Book of the Month. I loved the premise of a light read with two writers in a friendly competition, leading (possibly) to something more!

Love, Art and Other Obstacles by Sadira Stone

I received a copy of this book from the author! So far it’s a very steamy story, with an ‘enemies-to-lovers’ trope. It has some LGBT action as well!

I guess I’m in a ‘Romance Story’ mood this weekend!

What books are on your Friday Reads list? Feel free to share!

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Goodreads Monday: March 23

I’m taking part in Goodreads Monday. This was started by Lauren’s Page Turners, in which you choose a book listed on your Goodreads TBR and talk about it.

This Week’s Post:

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

Synopsis:
Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally do. But there’s something about Drew Nichols that’s too hard to resist.

On the eve of his ex’s wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend…


After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she’s the mayor’s chief of staff. Too bad they can’t stop thinking about the other…

They’re just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century–or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want…

Why I Want to Read It:
I’ve recently gotten into reading books outside of my favorite genre. I’m naturally drawn toward Historical Fiction and Fantasy, but I’m beginning to branch out towards Contemporary stories. I came across this title while I was planning my wedding last year, so I placed this on my TBR list. I’ve yet to read it, but since I now own the book, I plan on doing so!

September 2019 Reading Wrap Up

I read six books this month. Now, I know that it’s not a huge number, but I’m very proud of my progress!

‘Tunnel of Bones’ by Victoria Schwab
Length: 304 pages
Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: September 3, 2019

I rated ‘Tunnel of Bones’ 5 stars. It was very exciting to revisit Cassidy Blake’s world, as she explored Paris in order to vanquish a restless spirit. Having a best friend who’s a ghost is an extra bonus! I’m already anticipating the next book in the series!

Sweet Melody by Heidi McCahan
Length: 217 pages
Publisher: Snug Corner Cove Press
Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance
September 13, 2019

I rated ‘Sweet Melody‘ 5 Stars. This story was read and reviewed for a tour stop on Prism Book Tours. This was an endearing novel that covers the issue of struggle after heartbreak. The message expressed that with a strong support network, and with a little faith, one is never truly alone!

‘Kingdom Cold’ Trilogy by Brittni Chenelle
Length: 622 pages
Genre: YA/Fantasy
Release Date: February 14, 2019

I gave the ‘Kingdom Cold’ series 5 stars. I read and reviewed these stories through Caffiene Book Tours. Truthfully, I went into this series not expecting to be absorbed, but I was pleasantly surprised. Chenelle displays strong female characters and a steady pace throughout the books. I’m thankful that I gave these stories a chance!

‘The Lost Girls of Paris’ by Pam Jenoff
Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Park Row Books
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: March 1, 2019

I gave ‘The Lost Girls of Paris’ 4 Stars. Learning about a female secret agent unit in London during World War II was truly eye-opening. Genoff artfully created fictionalized accounts of the three female leads in the book, while enlightening readers of the reality that women faced while operating behind enemy lines. It reveals that women played a greater role in war than originally thought!

Sunday Sentence: September 8, 2019

I’m participating in David Abrams’s ‘Sunday Sentence‘ project, sharing the best sentence I’ve read during the past week, ‘out of context and without commentary’.

‘She worries about coming up with $680 to cover the rent for her two-bedroom apartment in Albuquerque if her car breaks down again’.

Source: ‘Home health aides care for the elderly. Who will care for them’?
Vox.com

KidLit: Books to Ease ‘1st Day/Week Jitters’

Although school has been in session for many since mid-August, the first week of September marks the beginning of school in the New York/New Jersey area! My social media feed is filled with friends and family posting pics of their children happily beginning their school year. My nieces Ana and Nadia started their first day of Kindergarten this week, and seeing their faces lit up with excitement was so adorable!

While starting Kindergarten and Pre-K carry feelings of excitement, it may also harbor a twinge of nervousness. Starting a brand new routine in a new building with total strangers can feel overwhelming! As Early Childhood/Elementary teachers, we hold some tools to gently guide children through the transition of school: warm words, gentle hugs, and inspiring reads!

I compiled a short list of books I’ve used in my experiences as an educator in both public and private school settings.

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

Chester Raccoon seeks love and reassurance from his mother as he ventures out into the world, attending his very first day of school. It’s so heartwarming to read about Chester’s mom comforting her son, giving him the assurance that his mother’s love will always be present.

Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney

Strange new teacher, strange new toys, lots of kids and lots of noise! Llama Llama starts his first day of preschool with much trepidation, but his Mama reassures him that he will have fun on his first day. I would read this story to my Toddler aged students as a reminder that their Mommy/Daddy loves them, and will indeed return at the end of their day!

Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate

As Miss Bindergarten readies her classroom for Kindergarten, her students get ready for their first day of school. This story shares the excitement a teacher experiences preparing her room for new discoveries, and a child’s excitement as they prepare for their first day in ‘Big Kids’ school!

Pete the Cat: Rocking in His School Shoes by Eric Litwin

This story takes you through Pete’s experiences during his first day of school. There are new rooms, lots of noise, and new faces! I enjoy the feel good message Pete gets across as he navigates through his school day: It’s all good!

What is your favorite book to ease ‘1st Day of School’ jitters? Let me know in the comments!

My OwlCrate for June 2019: Libraries of Wonder

This month’s OwlCrate theme for June is ‘Libraries of Wonder’. I couldn’t wait to see what this box reveals for me, and I absolutely love my items:

OwlCrate Libraries of Wonder spoiler card
Coffee provided by Book Beau, inspired by Beauty and the Beast
Tote bag designed by Stella Bookish Art, inspired by Strange the Dreamer
Two metal bookends designed by Hey Atlas Creative, inspired by The Chronicles of Narnia
Team Owl Crate key gel pen
Coaster set designed by KDP Letters
A closer look of the KDP Letters coaster set, along with the Team OwlCrate Key Gel Pen
June enamel pin designed by Brio and Brandish, inspired by Sorcery of Thorns
OwlCrate exclusive book for June, Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson, signed by the author herself
Letter from Margaret Roberson, along with a sticker decal

Mid Year Book Freakout Tag

It’s amazing that 2019 is halfway through! I’ve been seeing this tag circulate throughout June, and I’m glad that I’m finally taking part in it. I see this as a way to relieve wedding planning stress lol!
I came across this book tag through Adventures of a Bibliophile‘s page.

Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2019
I really enjoyed Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I read the audiobook version of this story, and it was absolutely amazing. It felt like I was listening to an actual band’s rise and fall in history. The Oyster Thief by Sonia Faraqi was a close second in favorite reads thus far.

Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2019
I haven’t really read through a sequel yet! I’m currently in progress of reading Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. So far I’m enjoying it!

Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half of the Year
I can’t wait to read A Dream So Dark by L.L. McKinney. I really love reading Alice in Wonderland reboots, and A Blade So Black was a lovely modern take on a classic story. The book features a strong, African-American character as Alice, which is very empowering.

Biggest Disappointment
I wasn’t particularly into Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo. As much as it was refreshing to discover Nikolai, I found the story as mostly filler.

Biggest Surprise
Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan. I was pleasantly surprised in discovering how good this story was! The message of female empowerment in the face of a patriarchal society came through clearly.

Newest Fictional Crush
I would say that Joe Reynolds from Time After Time was very intriguing to learn about! He was hard-working and passionate at the same time, and that always wins me over.

Newest Favorite Character
Addison Hatta in A Blade So Black. He was a super cool individual!

Book That Made You Cry
Daisy Jones and the Six. The last hour of the story was heartbreaking!

Book That Made You Happy
Wish by Barbara O’Connor. It was so endearing, and the dog/child bond was adorable!

Favorite Book to Film Adaptation
Honestly, I haven’t watched too many book to film programs this year. I heard that Good Omens is amazing to watch on Amazon Prime, so I should catch an episode of that series.

Favorite Post You Have Done This Year
I would say that the post about ‘The First Book Series I Read’ was one that I really liked writing about. I love all the posts I’ve worked on, but I enjoyed looking back on what I read when I was younger!

Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year
Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau-Preto. I received it through OwlCrate a couple months ago.

What Books Do You Need To Read By the End of the Year
Definitely A Dream So Dark by L.L. McKinney, and Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan. I’m looking forward to reading The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See as well.

Time After Time by Lisa Grunwald/A Review

Time After Time by Lisa Grunwald
Length: 416 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance
Source: Acquired from NetGalley
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Series or Standalone: Standalone

**I received Time After Time through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review**

I really enjoy stories that focus on New York City in earlier times. When I came across ‘Time After Time’ on Net Galley, I was so happy to learn that this tale focuses on New York between the 20s and 40s.
Time After Time begins during the mid 1930s in Grand Central Terminal. It follows a man named Joe Reynolds, a hard working leverman who ensures that the trains in the terminal run smoothly. Joe encounters a young woman named Nora Lansing, who appears strikingly out of place in her demeanor and appearance, in a lovely way. Joe is taken by her immediately, yet when he tries to walk her home in Turtle Bay, she mysteriously disappears. Their encounters are similar in several occasions, which occur on the same time of year.
After some investigating, Joe learns about a chaotic subway accident in the 1920s that hold strong significance in Nora’s life. The story then goes into Nora’s earlier years in Paris before returning to New York City, as well her life over the 30s and 40s with Joe, as they navigate their new life with one another. Their desire for each other is tempered, as the reality of America’s involvement in World War II makes Joe and Nora realize that change is constant, and a normal part of life.
Grunwald also creates a active tapestry of life in Grand Central Terminal. She vividly portrays the ‘city within a city’, with Joe and Nora frequenting the shops, restaurants and lodgings that’s a stone’s throw away from commuter life. My memories of Grand Central Terminal still walk through my mind regularly, although I moved out of the area a few years ago. I recall how busy the terminal was each and every day, as well as the beauty of the star-lit ceiling, and the famous clock in the center. Grunwald also describes the changing landscape of terminal as the war enters the American landscape, as many men and families enter the metropolis, entering a major point in their lives.
Time After Time is equally moving and intense, as this story follows two people coming to grips with their identity within a changing world. I really appreciated this window of a reimagined New York City life, and the love two people share within it.

Rating: 4/5 Stars