Cover Reveal: Keeper of Dragons by JA Culican

Oh my, I’m so glad we got a sneak peek at this one. It’s gorgeous! Check out the new cover for JA Culican’s Keeper of Dragons.

Cover of J A Culican's Keeper of Dragons

Click for the preview, and to buy.

About the book:

A mystical calling.

On his 18th birthday, Cole learns that he is a dragon fated to save all that was deemed true.

Destiny.

Cole’s life spirals into an uncontrollable battle for life or death. First, he learns that his family isn’t really his own and his birth parents are dragons. With that legacy comes a special calling; devoting an eternity to protecting all true beings from creatures bent on controlling the Earth and bringing an end to dragons.

Danger.

As the newly-minted Prince of Ochana, Cole is also the Keeper of Dragons and his first task is to keep the nefarious farro – fallen fairies – at bay. With no formal training, no control of his mahier – dragon magic, and fear like he’s never experienced before, will Cole be able to reach outside of his human side and embrace his destiny in time to defeat the farros?

Like the sound of this? Grab a copy.

Posted in Cover reveal, fantasy, fiction, magic, teen, YA, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Blitz: Lost Wolf by Stacy Claflin



The Paisley Piranhas are delighted to join the blitz for Stacy Claflin’s gorgeous new novel, Lost Wolf.

Lost Wolf
Stacy Claflin
(Curse of the Moon, #1)
Publication date: July 17th 2016
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult

She’s hiding a dark secret. It already killed her once.

Victoria can’t wait to start college, but there’s a hitch—she can’t remember anything before arriving on campus. Her memories spark when she sees her ruggedly handsome math professor, but she senses something horrific. The shock on his face affirms her fears.

Toby is an alpha wolf who never thought he’d see his true love again—not after she died in his arms. Nothing could have prepared him for her walking into his class. But to his dismay, not only has she forgotten what happened, she doesn’t even know who she is.

He’s determined to do whatever it takes to restore what they’ve lost. Can Toby help Victoria recover her memories, or will he lose her forever?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

Beads of sweat broke out along my hairline. I wiped them away, tightened my ponytail, and ran faster along the dirt trail, jumping over exposed roots and ducking under low-hanging branches. Pine trees, firs, and alders turned my path into more of an obstacle course than a trail.

A twig snapped behind me.

I glanced back, but didn’t see anything. Probably just a raccoon.

My sneaker hit a root and my arms flew in front of me. I landed on my hands and knees, and slid down an incline. Rocks and branches dug into my skin until I crashed into a huckleberry bush.

I stood and dusted myself off. Blood dripped from my legs. I pulled twigs, dirt, and small rocks from the cuts.

“Nice work, Victoria,” I muttered to myself.

Sasha had said I shouldn’t have gone into the forest for my first jog. But having just moved to the beautiful Olympic Peninsula, I wasn’t about to join a club when I had the great outdoors. Birds chirped all around and a stream bubbled nearby. It was like the woods were telling me I’d made the right choice.

Another snap.

“Who’s there?” I sounded a lot braver than I felt. My heart thundered against my ribcage and I whipped my head around. My roommates had said the woods were safe, but I was also trusting people who had been strangers only a couple days earlier.

Why had I gone into the woods alone? Wasn’t that how half of all horror movies started?

I thought of Sasha running on a treadmill, flirting with cute college guys. Maybe she was the smart one.

Footsteps.

“Hello?” I called.

Nothing. The birds had even stopped singing.

“Is anyone there?”

The footsteps came closer.

My pulse drummed in my ears. I fought to breathe normally.

A small gray and black wolf stepped out from behind the tree. He made eye contact with me.

I didn’t move a muscle, holding its gaze.

 

Author Bio:

Stacy Claflin is a USA Today bestselling author who writes about complex women overcoming incredible odds. Whether it’s her Gone saga of psychological thrillers, her various paranormal romance tales, or her sweet romance series, Stacy’s three-dimensional characters shine through.

Decades after she wrote her first stories on construction paper and years after typing on an inherited green screen computer that weighed half a ton, Stacy realized her dream of becoming a full-time bestselling author.

When she’s not busy writing or educating her kids from home, Stacy enjoys watching TV shows like Supernatural, Pretty Little Liars, and Once Upon a Time.

Join Stacy’s newsletter to get three free novels. Register here to get your books right away: http://stacyclaflin.com/newsletter/

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!

Win a $50 (or local equivalent) Amazon giftcard.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

XBTBanner1

Posted in Book blitz, fantasy, paranormal, Romance, Uncategorized, YA, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend by Alan Cumyn

piranha stars green 4

“How could you possibly leave a title like this on the shelf now that you know it exists?”

IMG_3606

I don’t really need to explain to you why I bought this book, do I? I mean, you see a book called Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend and your brain goes WHAAAAT? and clearly, obviously, you need to know how that could possibly work:

Is he a real, actual pterodactyl? How? Why?

Why does the title call him ‘boyfriend’? – every teen romance I’ve ever read has some element of will they/won’t they get together…

And hot? The mere fact of stating that in a title seems to shout that it’s either ironic or else this is actually going to be way racier than you’d expect from a YA novel.

Pyke, the pterodactyl, is a transfer student at an American high school. He’s an actual pterodactyl, although he seems to also have some human shape to his body and he’s covered in short fur. I am not totally clear how all that fits together but it didn’t seem to matter in the context of the story. He can fly and he sings in an extraordinary way that has everyone in a kind of trance. Sheils, student-body chair and control freak, tries to guide the rest of the school population in how to treat Pyke, but finds that suddenly, somehow everyone in the school is wild about him. And she also falls under his spell and begins to lose control and act in a way not at all fitting for a student-body chair. As her grip on everything falls away, everyone’s avoiding her. Even her best friend – and former boyfriend – won’t return her calls.

I came to this book with no idea what to expect. If anything, I thought I was going to get a kind of spoof romance, satirising all the tropes of the genre by giving us the most unlikely romantic hero of all. Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend I thought, that’s like that film, Snakes on a Plane – the title tells you exactly what you’re going to get. But it isn’t that at all. Like the vast majority of young adult books, this is a book about finding out who you really are. It’s about casting off assumptions about your future, questioning the plan that’s laid out for you, questioning everything you accept as good and right and proper and then, once you’ve done that, questioning the thing that made you question all that in the first place.

The plot is a little topsy-turvy in places and there are unanswered questions – there’s never an answer to where Pyke came from though why seems clear at the end. But the thrust of the story is what is happening to Sheils and this holds you. I read a film review lately that went like this: ‘Things happened. I cared.’ I like that. Pretty much sums up how I feel about all the books I love and it sums up how I feel about this one.

Things happened. I cared. And – Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend – how could you leave it on the shelf now that you know it exists?

Claire Watts


More to read!

Here’s a great piece Alan Cumyn wrote about how he came up with the idea for this novel: Why I wrote about a hot pterodactyl


Claire Watts writes and edits fiction and non-fiction for children and young adults. Her latest YA novel is How Do You Say GOOSEBERRY in French?


Want more YA book stuff?

The Paisley Piranha YA newsletter Book Bites brings you brand-new author interviews, bookish competitions and other fabulous book stuff.

Sign up now

Posted in fantasy, fiction, teen, YA, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tuesday Interview: Debbie Manber Kupfer

Tuesday is Interview day. Today, we’re delighted to welcome Debbie Manber Kupfer to the tank!

Cover of Debbie Manber Kupfer's PAWS.

Click for the preview and to buy.

PP: Welcome to the Paisley Piranha’s aquarium, Debbie. Make yourself at home. Don’t stick your fingers in the tank, we’re not sure how well trained the piranhas are. Can I get you a cup of tea? Would you like some chocolate? Silly question; you’re a writer – what sort of chocolate do you like and I’ll see what I can set my hands on?

DMK: Oooh chocolate – I love any kind of dark chocolate, particular if it has almonds or mint in it. I bribe myself while I’m writing with mint chocolate M&Ms. (Oh and I’ll definitely take you up on that tea too – Earl Grey, hot with milk please!)

PP: Okay, well, a big thank you for coming. P.A.W.S. piqued our interest and wanted to find out more about it and you. When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

DMK: Thank you for inviting me. I’ve been writing ever since I was small. When I was 8 years old I wrote a story about changing into a ladybird and sent it to the Puffin Post. You see back then I already liked to write about shapeshifters! Anyhow I was really excited when I few months later I got a mention in the magazine for my story. And that kind of started it all.

I carried on writing all through the years, but despite starting many books along the way I never finished one until I tried NaNoWriMo back in 2012. That November I wrote the first draft of P.A.W.S. – and the rest as they like to say is history.

PP: Which of your characters would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?

DMK: Oh definitely my wild Welsh warlock, Gromer the Green. He appears first in Argentum (Book 2 of P.A.W.S.) and is going to make an appearance in Umbrae (Book 3 that will be released in early 2017). He has seen a lot in his long life and would have many fascinating stories to tell filled with magic, pea soup and wizzlewoops. Would easily pass the time in the lift – and you never know maybe if he put his mind to it he’d concoct a spell to get us out of there.

PP: If we suddenly descended into a totalitarian police state where the writing of fiction was banned, what would you do instead?

DMK: Can I still write my puzzles? When I’m not writing fiction I write word and logic puzzles for magazines. If that was still allowed, that’s what I would do. (And probably I’d sneak in a puzzle or two even if it wasn’t allowed.)

PP: What one thing that you know now do you wish you’d known when you were sixteen?

DMK: That life would get better. I was bullied as a kid and when you’re in the middle of all that you assume that it will always be that way; that you’ll always be on the outside. People tell you that your school days are the best in your life, but for a lot of folk, the good stuff comes later.

PP: In three words, what’s the best thing about books?

DMK: Magic, Imagination, Escape.

PP: What are you working on now – and when does it hit the bookstores?

DMK: I’ll be rereleasing Argentum (P.A.W.S. Book 2) in December and then book 3, Umbrae will, all being well, be out in early 2017. I’m currently finishing off the edits for that one and will plunge into writing book 4 this November during NaNoWriMo.

PP: And finally, the Paisley Piranhas like to share the love because we know how wonderful it is to find a new book or author to fall in love with. Can you recommend a (YA) book or a writer we might not have heard of that we really should try?

DMK: Way too hard to choose just one here – so I’ll pick 3 – Firstly check out Michelle Proulx’s hugely entertaining YA space opera series starting with Imminent Danger and continuing with Chasing Nonconformity. My whole family loves these books which remind me a lot of the late and great Douglas Adams. Next there’s George Sirois’s Excelsior – a YA science fiction superhero tale with a twist. And last but not least check out, the YA portal fantasy, The Other Inheritance by Rebecca Jaycox and fall in love with the nice, but naughty Brwyn. Both George and Rebecca have the second books of their series coming out soon and I can’t wait to read them.

PP: Oh, they all sound fabulous! We’ll see what we can cram into the Paisley Piranha kindle – and hope nothing falls out!

Bargain alert! Debbie’s book P.A.W.S. is on sale 99p/c from today until 3rd October. Grab a copy now!

Posted in fantasy, fiction, Interview, magic, paranormal, supernatural, teen, Uncategorized, YA, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J K Rowling (adapted for the stage by Jack Thorne and John Tiffany)

3 Piranhas

 

 

HP“I really hope Ms Rowling reconsiders and turns this into a real novel.  For me, this just wasn’t enough.”

I’ve been a huge fan of the Harry Potter series ever since I first started reading the books and the ending of the last one appeared to me to leave it wide open for Ms Rowling to continue with the next generation of Potters whenever she wanted to.  I must admit I did hope she would, as even the intriguing snippet we were given back then had me wishing to read more.

However, I never imagined the story would continue in the form of a play.

When I bought Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, I didn’t realise it was printed as a play – I had, perhaps stupidly, thought it would be changed into a novel for its release in book form and was therefore rather disappointed when I opened it up and saw “Act 1 Scene 1”.  I’ve never enjoyed reading plays – they were obviously meant to be seen, not read – and the cues for the actors and so on are very distracting for the reader.  And quite frankly, I can’t understand why the story was printed this way?!?

It felt to me as though I was being short-changed or cheated somehow.  Ms Rowling had put together a story, then left it in the hands of others to be turned into a play.  Did she not have the time or inclination to write a proper novel with this material?  And if so, why not?  It would have made for a cracking story and a worthy instalment in the HP series, but as it is, I’m afraid it doesn’t cut it.

The plot itself has great potential and it was wonderful to meet Harry and everyone else as grown-ups and see what had become of them.  It was even better to meet the new generation of Hogwarts students (although very few of them actually feature in the story by name and hardly any of them are given more than a sketchy character outline).  I loved Albus Severus Potter – a prickly, lost, troubled boy, but one you immediately empathise with – and I absolutely adored his best friend Scorpius Malfoy!  The way the characters were almost reversed from the previous generation was brilliant, as was the fact that these two gelled right from the start.

The returning danger from Voldemort felt real, as did the way this manifested itself (I don’t want to do any spoilers, but it was good), but there could have been so much more to this story!

I missed the daily life at Hogwarts – we only get glimpses of Albus and Scorpius there – and I missed the humour of characters like Hagrid, Snape and the Dursleys.  I missed finding out new spells and exciting magic as most of what was used had been done before.  We don’t even get to find out whether Albus masters riding a broom and what type of wand he has.  Tiny details, perhaps, but details that gave the original stories that ‘special’ feeling.

This is a very difficult review to write – I so wanted to like this book, and I did like the story, but I ended up feeling as though it was just another part of the HP merchandising machine.  Something that the publisher and/or author were giving readers to stop them clamouring for more for a while and keep the HP momentum going.  Personally I would rather have a ‘proper’ HP book than something half-baked and I really hope Ms Rowling reconsiders and turns this into a real novel.  For me, this just wasn’t enough.

Pia x


 

Pia Fenton writes contemporary romantic YA stories and her Northbrooke High series features UK heroines clashing with US heroes in an American high school setting.  The fourth one in the series – New England Dreams is out now!

Posted in fantasy, fiction, review | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Blitz: Novus by Crystal Marcos

Continue reading

Posted in Book blitz, dystopian, fantasy, fiction, teen, YA, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lost in Wonderland by Nicky Peacock

piranha stars turquoise 5

“Don’t stray from the path…”

Goodreads description:

Monsters, serial killers, and imaginary friends—being a Wonderlander can be murder…

Once upon a time, Kayla was lost. Then she found Wonderland, but not the one you know. Run by ex-government agents and funded by an eccentric Silicon Valley billionaire, this Wonderland is the name of a collective of highly trained vigilantes who hunt serial killers. Now Kayla, aka Mouse, works tirelessly alongside her fellow Wonderlanders, Rabbit and Cheshire, baiting dangerous murderers. But even her extensive training hasn’t prepared her for the return of her older brother…

Shilo has spent most of his life in an insane asylum, convinced his mother was abducted by a sinister Alaskan monster who lures the lost away to feast upon their flesh. And now he’s certain that his sister is in the same monster’s crosshairs. But if Shilo is going to save what’s left of his family, he’ll have to convince his sister that maybe, just maybe, we’re all a little mad.

Cover of Nicky Peacock's Lost in Wonderland

I don’t like the cover, either, but click for the preview – the writing’s fabulous!

Review by Katy Haye:

I loved this from the first couple of paragraphs. Mouse was an entertaining, lively narrator turning tropes on their heads. She was capable and yet vulnerable – I liked her straight away.

And then Shilo was a sweetheart. I cared in spades, and once I care about your characters, you’ve got me.

Lost in Wonderland was compelling; something genuinely different to what I’ve read before. I don’t know if they’re real, but I loved the native Alaskan myths that formed the backbone of this story. The writing was delightful and there were lots of pulse-raising twists and turns.

The only thing I have to mention is that the cover looks like an amateur, photoshopped pile of nonsense. I’m sorry if everyone involved loves it, but as a reader I thought it was a disaster. Please don’t let that put you off, though, because the book is marvellous!

Katy Haye writes fast-paced fantasy for YA readers. Check out urban fantasy The Last Gatekeeper (you can get a copy for FREE right now!) or post-apocalyptic Rising Tides.

Want more YA book stuff?

Every month, the Paisley Piranha YA newsletter Book Bites brings you YA news, bookish competitions and other fabulous book stuff.

Sign up now

Posted in families, fantasy, fiction, paranormal, review, supernatural, teen, YA, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment