Tracy Banghart

Tracy Banghart's books on Goodreads

Rebel Wing Rebel Wing (Rebel Wing #1)
reviews: 118
ratings: 199 (avg rating 4.18)

By Blood By Blood (By Blood, #1)
reviews: 50
ratings: 88 (avg rating 3.97)

Moon Child Moon Child (Prequel to By Blood)
reviews: 27
ratings: 49 (avg rating 3.86)

Storm Fall Storm Fall (Rebel Wing, #2)
reviews: 27
ratings: 41 (avg rating 4.22)

What the Sea Wants What the Sea Wants
reviews: 5
ratings: 20 (avg rating 3.10)

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    Entries in Xpresso Book Tours (8)

    Tuesday
    Apr292014

    CUTLASS Blog Tour!

    Hey y'all! I'm here today to celebrate the release of the swashbuckling, romantic CUTLASS by Ashley Nixon!

    First, here's a little more information about the book.

    Cutlass by Ashley Nixon 

    (Cutlass Series #1) 
    Publication date: April 23rd 2014
    Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

    Synopsis

    Notorious pirate Barren Reed has one thing on his mind: Revenge against the man who killed his father. So kidnapping his enemy’s fiancé seems a perfect plan…until he actually does it.

    Larkin Lee is more than a pretty face and fiancé to a powerful man. Her fierce personality is enough to make any pirate want to push her overboard.

    But when the King of the Orient comes to Barren with a task—to find the Bloodstone, a powerful gem thought only to exist in legend, Barren sees another opportunity to destroy his enemy. Together, Barren, Larkin and a crew of pirates set off to find the stone, only to discover it caused the death of Barren’s own mother and Larkin’s, too. As his  strongest allies turn into his greatest enemies, and the life of the girl he kidnapped becomes more important than he ever dreamed, Barren’s quest for revenge becomes a fight to save the Orient.

    Sounds awesome, right? Well, it's definitely a fun read! I had the honor of checking this out before publication for the tour and was immediately intrigued by the characters and world Ashley created. Much to my dismay, I wasn't able to finish the book in time for the tour (I've been on the teething toddler rollercoaster these past few weeks!) but I really enjoyed what I did get to read and look forward to finishing it when I've got some time to relax. I will say that it's a rich, intricate story that takes time to build, so it was hard to keep track of everything when I only had 5 or 10 minutes to read at a time. If you're in the mood for a short, fast-paced story, this might not be the best book for you. But if you like really immersing yourself and taking the time to really settle in and get to know the characters and the world, I recommend you give CUTLASS a try. (Especially if you like pirates! ;-))

    Lucky for you, I scored an excerpt to whet your appetite!

    ***

    Barren gazed at the crowd, sifting through the faces. While he wasn’t sure who he was looking for, he could only imagine what sort of wife William would need. A woman who was slight and meek, someone who didn’t like to stand out in the crowd, or speak up—obviously—or she would not have agreed to marry William. Then again, perhaps Barren was not giving this mystery woman enough credit. Perhaps she saw William as a way out of a situation. Either way, he felt sorry for her. 

    Barren heard Leaf chuckle and he looked at the Elf. “I think you have no idea who you are dealing with.”

    Leaf pointed toward a circle of people. Barren’s eyes shifted there, and his breath caught. What he had expected was a fragile girl—someone slight, doll-like, and silent. This girl was not so. The first thing he took in was her strength. It radiated from her like warmth from a hearth. She stood straight with her shoulders back, an observing eye upon everyone. Then he drank in the features composing her beauty. Almond-shaped eyes gleamed with emerald irises that shone like sun on the green sea. Her smile, while charming and beautiful, had something mischievous about it. She had high cheekbones, blushed with pink and long, dark curls decorated with white flowers falling down her back and over her shoulders. Her dress, crimson in color, was unlike the others, hugging her hourglass figure like it was made on her. Barren could not have thought up a more beautiful girl, and no one around her compared. 

    A smug smirk crossed Leaf’s thin lips. 

    “What am I supposed to do with her?” asked Barren. His thoughts were all muddled. He had forgotten why he was here, or how he had intended to attract this girl’s attention. Could he even do that? 

    Leaf laughed. “Oh, you silly boy, we won’t make it out of this one alive, will we?”

    Barren glared at the Elf. “Don’t tell me you expected her! How could she ever agree to marry my brother?”

    Leaf shrugged, still smirking. “Ask her.”

    ***

    Pick up your copy now!

    Paperback

    Kindle

    Add to your shelf on Goodreads!

    About the Author

    Ashley was born and raised in Oklahoma, where the wind really does sweep down the plains, and horses and carriages aren’t used as much as she’d like. When she’s not writing, she’s hard at work on her Master’s degree in Library Science and Information Technology, working out, or pretending she’s Sherlock Holmes. Her obsession with writing began after reading the Lord of the Rings in the eighth grade. Since then, she’s loved everything Fantasy–resulting in an unhealthy obsession with the ‘geek’ tab on Pinterest, where all things awesome go.

    Author Links

      And now for the grand finale! This blog tour features a truly FABULOUS giveaway. Enter now to win!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway Or grab the link here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/ZDA0MjUxMjM1OGRlZWRmZWM1YmUyMmFkYTM3OWE5OjQwMA==/

    Take a gander at the rest of the tour for full reviews, more excerpts, and some awesome guest posts from Ashley!

     

     

    Tuesday
    Feb112014

    UNDYING Blog Tour! Review + Giveaway

    Hello there! 

    Today I'm participating in the UNDYING Blog Tour, brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours.

    I first heard about this book through my cover designer, Regina. She designed UNDYING's cover...which also features Laura DuVall, the same model from Moon Child! So cool. Anyway. The cover is gorgeous and the story sounded SO intriguing, I just had to check it out. Lucky for me, I also get to be a part of its blog tour!

    First, the basics...

    Undying by Valerie Grosjean 
    (Undying #1) 
    Publication date: September 29th 2013
    Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult, Zombies

    Synopsis

    This is a story of love . . . and zombies.

    When eighteen-year-old college freshman Christian discovers his dormitory is crawling with the living dead, he knows he has a problem. But once he learns the whole country is overrun by the flesh-eating horde, he must race to protect what matters to him most.

    Sixteen-year-old Iris, the girl he loves, is stranded eighty miles away, alone and completely unaware of the gruesome threat surrounding her.

    Christian’s plan is to evade the zombies, drive the distance to rescue Iris, and get them both to his family farm—where there are guns, fuel, and everything else they’ll need to survive. His mission seems simple: Get the girl, get to the farm, and stay alive.

    Things get complicated when Christian is forced to make an unthinkable choice between Iris and his family. Someone he loves must die, and he must decide.

    Goodreads Amazon Barnes & Noble

    My Take

    UNDYING is gory, intense, and heart-wrenching...I'd even say heartbreaking at times. Valerie's evocative writing style calls up visceral images and emotions, as in this passage: 

    "They'd been replaced by the wraiths before us. Blood and feathers dirtied their hands, soiled their clothes, and befouled their faces. Their teeth were tinted a violent red."

    She doesn't shy away from the real-world implications of a zombie apocalypse. One of the most riveting elements of the book was that her monsters weren't nameless, faceless beasts. They were the kids in Christian's dorm, the teacher he'd had in high school, a friend. Christian *knows* his new enemies, and that adds an emotional, gut-wrenching level to the story I wasn't expecting. I really appreciated that Valerie did this, even as it kicked me in the stomach. I thought about my teachers, my friends, their parents being turned into mindless killing machines and it made the scenario feel even more real and painful to me.

    The action doesn't stop...it drags you forward by the teeth (har har) and you just have to keep reading to find out if Christian will save Iris and if his family is okay. The setup is such that those two things do NOT feel like foregone conclusions and, in fact, the climax of the story played out much different than I expected.

    Christian as a character was great, though there were times when I didn't fully buy his male voice. He did have a compassion and value for human life that was a refreshing change on the typical "badass, shoot first ask questions later" male hero. 

    My only other gripe is that we don't get a sense of what caused the zombie virus or how it was transmitted before people started eating each other. For example, I believe at the beginning there's something about the water supply, but that's never fully fleshed out or explored. However, I read that the author is planning a prequel, so I imagine those questions will be answered there. And I'm certainly looking forward to the sequel and finding out how Christian and Iris's story ends!

    My Rating: 4 Stars

    Pick up a copy for yourself at the links above! Or you can enter the giveaway below for a signed paperback and bookmark!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    About the Author

    Valerie Grosjean is the author of the young adult novel UNDYING. She grew up on a Nebraska farm. After college, she married and moved to Northern California, where she lives with her husband and their two young children. Her obsession with zombie movies inspired UNDYING, her first novel and the beginning of the Undying series.

    Find her!

    Goodreads

    Facebook

    Website

     

    Click here to see the rest of the stops on the tour!


    Tuesday
    Jan212014

    RATGIRL Blog Tour!

    Hello dearies! Today I'm very excited to be part of the RATGIRL blog tour, through Xpresso Book Tours.

    As soon as I read the description of this book, I knew I had to check it out. A dystopian retelling of the Pied Piper with a kick-butt heroine? Yes please! And let me tell you, it didn't disappoint! First, some info on the book:

    RATGIRL: Song of the Viper by Gayle C. Krause 
    Publication date: January, 2014
    Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult

    Description

    Sixteen-year-old streetwise orphan, Jax Stone is an expert at surviving in a dangerous city, where rats rival the homeless for food and shelter, but she’s an amateur at fighting the immoral mayor when he kidnaps her little brother. Desperation demands she quickly master the role of courageous opponent. She uses her hypnotic singing voice to lead rats to their death, and all the children to safety, in a dying city cursed by the deadly sun.

    My Review

    I have to tell you, I loved this book. It was gritty and dark and sometimes kind of terrifying...and I couldn't put it down. The world-building was visceral and superbly detailed, with tons of wonderful description that wove so well through the story that it never slowed down the action. I haven't read a book with such great world-building in a long time.

    I was also really impressed with the character development. Jax Stone, our heroine, was brave and strong and scrappy, and the author did a great job with her voice. I could see through her eyes and feel her emotions, which was often gut-wrenching. The rest of the characters were also really well done; I got a sense of their personalities, motivations, and individual quirks and they all stood out on the page.

    As for the action, boy, this book kept me on the edge of my seat! I think it's amazing when an author can completely rip the rug out from under me...I think the story's going one way and WHOOSH...there it goes, off in another - and usually more exciting - direction. This happened to me several times in this story and I was breathless trying to read faster wondering what would happen next. Three quarters of the way through, there were a couple places where the pacing felt a little inconsistent to me, but it didn't keep me from rushing towards the end to find out what would happen. I was semi-familiar with the Pied Piper fairy tale...and after finishing Ratgirl was so inspired I had to look it up to remind myself of the original story. This retelling worked really, really well, especially within the world the author created.

    Overall, Ratgirl is a well-written, exciting, compulsively readable story, with a gritty, well-developed world and complex characters you'll love to root for. It sounds like there's going to be a sequel, and I can't wait to read it!

    My Rating: 4 Stars

    Add it to your shelf on Goodreads!

    Better yet, purchase a copy from Amazon here or Barnes & Noble here.

    Also, enter to win a KINDLE in this amazing giveaway!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    About the Author

    Gayle C. Krause is a member of SCBWI, YALITCHAT and The Cliffhouse YA Wonderwriters.She writes across the genres. Her first publication credit was a short story in Chicken Soup for the Kid’s Soul 2 (2006). The Storyteller’s Daughter, her YA historical short story, was featured in Timeless, A YA Historical Romance anthology from Pugalicious Press (2012).Her new YA novel, RATGIRL: Song of the Viper was published in February 2013 (Noble Young Adult).

    During the course of her writing career Ms. Krause has served as assistant editor for Underneath the Juniper Tree, a dark fantasy online magazine developed for young teens, a children’s book reviewer for Children’s Literature .com and she offers a critique service for children’s writers at First Peek Critique. (www.gayleckrause.com)

    She also runs a blog that encourages new children’s writers through contests, book reviews and author interviews. http://thestorytellersscroll.blogspot.com.

    Author links

    http://thestorytellersscroll.blogspot.ca/

    https://twitter.com/GeeCeeK

    https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6443239.Gayle_C_Krause

    ~~

    Follow the rest of the tour here!

     

    Tuesday
    Jan072014

    Blog Tour: The Sorcery Code

    Hello dearies! I'm very excited to be part of my first BLOG TOUR, courtesy of Xpresso Book Tours!

    This particular tour is a reviews-only tour for THE SORCERY CODE by Dima Zales.

    First, here are some details about the book:

    The Sorcery Code by Dima Zales 
    Publication date: December, 2013
    Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance

    Description

    From the internationally bestselling authors who brought you the Krinar Chronicles comes a captivating tale of intrigue, love, and danger in a world where sorcery is entwined with science . . .

    Once a respected member of the Sorcerer Council and now an outcast, Blaise has spent the last year of his life working on a special magical object. The goal is to allow anyone to do magic, not just the sorcerer elite. The outcome of his quest is unlike anything he could’ve ever imagined – because, instead of an object, he creates Her.

    She is Gala, and she is anything but inanimate. Born in the Spell Realm, she is beautiful and highly intelligent – and nobody knows what she’s capable of. She will do anything to experience the world . . . even leave the man she is beginning to fall for.

    Augusta, a powerful sorceress and Blaise’s former fiancée, sees Blaise’s deed as the ultimate hubris and Gala as an abomination that must be destroyed. In her quest to save the human race, Augusta will forge new alliances, becoming tangled in a web of intrigue that stretches further than any of them suspect. She may even have to turn to her new lover Barson, a ruthless warrior who might have an agenda of his own . . .

    My Review

    I'll be honest, at first I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy THE SORCERY CODE. I haven't read a book with a male main character in a long time, and being thrust immediately into a scene with a man staring at a naked woman, well...I was worried.

    But the story completely defied my expectations. I was initially intrigued by the premise of sorcery working like science, and the author did a FABULOUS job with this concept. The worldbuilding was wonderful - enough details that I could get a good sense of how the world worked but never so much description that it slowed down the action. I appreciated that the author respected and worked within the rules he had created for his world; there's nothing more annoying than a last-minute hitherto unknown magical "fix" for the main character's predicament.

    I found the writing very smooth and easy to read, with moments that were genuinely thought-provoking, particularly when it came to Augusta and Barson. It was a unique experience to have so much insight into the antagonists' mindsets and philosophies. I was Team Blaise and Gala all the way, but I could understand many of Augusta's concerns and loved the added complexity her narrative contributed to the story.

    Overall, THE SORCERY CODE was a great read and I will definitely check out the next book in the series when it comes out. This was the first book I've read by Dima Zales, and I am looking forward to checking out his other novels.

    If you enjoy clean, character-driven fantasy with a unique premise and skilled world-building, you should definitely check out THE SORCERY CODE!

    Rating: 5 Stars

    You can add it to your Goodreads TBR list here.

    Buy on AmazonB&N, Kobo, Smashwords

    ~~

    And, as an added bonus, you can also enter to win paperbacks of Dima Zales and Anna Zaires' Krinar Chronicles!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    About the Author

    Dima Zales is a full-time science fiction and fantasy author residing in Palm Coast, Florida. Prior to becoming a writer, he worked in the software development industry in New York as both a programmer and an executive. From high-frequency trading software for big banks to mobile apps for popular magazines, Dima has done it all. In 2013, he left the software industry in order to concentrate on his writing career.

    Dima holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science from NYU and a dual undergraduate degree in Computer Science / Psychology from Brooklyn College. He also has a number of hobbies and interests, the most unusual of which might be professional-level mentalism. He simulates mind-reading on stage and close-up, and has done shows for corporations, wealthy individuals, and friends. To read more, click here!

    Links

    http://www.dimazales.com/index.html

    https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDimaZales

    https://twitter.com/AuthorDimaZales

    https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7210511.Dima_Zales

    ~~
    Saturday
    Dec212013

    INSANITY Book Blitz!

    Hey there! Today I have another fun post to bring you from Xpresso Book Tours. :-)

    Here are some more details about this super cool-sounding book!

    Insanity by Cameron Jace 
    Publication date: December 20th 2013
    Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Paranormal

    After accidentally killing everyone in her class, Alice Wonder is now a patient in the Radcliffe Lunatic Asylum. No one doubts her insanity. Only a hookah-smoking professor believes otherwise; that he can prove her sanity by decoding Lewis Carroll’s paintings, photographs, and find Wonderland’s real whereabouts. Professor Caterpillar persuades the asylum that Alice can save lives and catch the wonderland monsters now reincarnated in modern day criminals. In order to do so, Alice leads a double life: an Oxford university student by day, a mad girl in an asylum by night. The line between sanity and insanity thins when she meets Jack Diamond, an arrogant college student who believes that nonsense is an actual science.

    Sounds way cool, right?? A very interesting take on Alice in Wonderland.

    You can add it to your Goodreads shelf here.

    And buy it on Amazon here!

    About the Author

    Wonderlander, Neverlander, Unicorn-chaser, enchanter, musician, survived a coma, & totally awesome. Sometimes I tell stories. Always luv the little monsters      I write young adult paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and science fiction mostly. The Grimm Diaries series is a seven book saga that deals with retellings of fairy tales from a young adult POV - it connects most of the fairy tales together and claims to be the truth about fairy tales.      I live in San Fransisco and seriously think circles are way cooler than triangles.

    Where to find him:

    Website: http://cameronjace.blogspot.ca/

    Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/995289.Cameron_Jace

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

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/cameronjace

    I've got more very exciting things to share. First, an excerpt from this exciting new release. And second, a DOOZY of a giveaway. Be sure to check it out at the end of this post...you could win a Kindle!!

    Excerpt

    The writing on the wall says it's January 14th. I am not sure what year. I haven't been sure of many things lately, but I’m wondering if it’s my handwriting I’m looking at.

    There is an strange key drawn underneath the date. It's carved with a sharp object, probably a broken mirror. I couldn’t have written this. I'm terrified of mirrors. They love to call it Catoptrophobia around here.

    Unlike regular patients in the asylum, my room is windowless, stripped down to a single mattress in the middle, a sink, and bucket for peeing--or puking--when necessary. The tiles on the floor are black-and-white squares, like a chessboard. I never step on black. Always white. Again, I'm not sure why.

    The walls are smeared with a greasy pale green everywhere. I wonder if it's the previous patient's brains spattered all over from shock therapy. In the Radcliffe Lunatic Asylum, politely known as the Warneford hospital, the doctors have a sweet spot for shock therapy. They love watching patients with bulging eyes and shivering limbs begging for relief from the electricity. It makes me question who is really mad in here.

    It's been a while since I was sent to shock therapy myself. Dr. Tom Truckle, my supervising physician, said I don't need it anymore, particularly after I stopped mentioning Wonderland. He told me that I used to talk about it all the time; a dangerous place I claim I have been whisked away to when my elder sister lost me at the age of seven.

    Truth is, I don't remember this Wonderland they are talking about. I don't even know why I am here. My oldest vivid memory is from a week ago. Before that, it's all a purple haze.

    I have only one friend in this asylum. It's not a doctor or a nurse. And it's not a human. It doesn't hate, envy, or point a finger at you. My friend is an orange flower I keep in a pot; a Tiger Lily I can't live without. I keep it safe next to a small crack in the wall where a single sun ray sneaks through for only ten minutes a day. It might not be enough light to grow a flower, but my Tiger Lily is a tough girl.

    Each day, I save half of the water they give me for my flower. As for me, better thirsty than mad.

    My orange flower is also my personal rain check for my sanity. If I talk to her and she doesn't reply, I know I am not hallucinating. If it talks back to me, all kinds of nonsense starts to happen. Insanity prevails. There must be a reason why I am here. It doesn’t mean I will easily give in to such a fate.

    "Alice Pleasance Wonder. Are you ready?" the nurse knocks with her electric prod on my steel door. Her name is Waltraud Wagner. She is German. Everything she says sounds like a threat and smells like smoke. My fellow mad people say she is a Nazi; that she used to kill her own patients back in Germany. "Get avay vrom za dor. I an coming in," she demands.

    Listening to the rattling of her large keychain, my heart pounds in my chest. The turn of the key makes me want to swallow. When the door opens, all I can think of is choking her before she begins to hurt me. Sadly, her neck is too thick for my nimble hands. I stare at her almost-square figure for a moment. Everything about her is four sizes too big, all except her feet, which are as small as mine. My sympathies, little feet.

    "Time for your daily ten-minute break," she approaches me with a straitjacket, a devilish grin on her face. I never get out. My ward is underground, and I take my break in another empty ward upstairs, where patients love to play soccer with a hedgehog’s head.

    A big muscled warden stands behind Watlraud. Thomas Ogier. He is bald, has an angry-red face and a silver tooth he likes to flash whenever he sees me. His biceps are the size of my head. I have a hard time believing he has ever been a 4-pound baby.

    "Slide your arms into the jacket," Waltraud demands in her German accent, a cigarette puckered between her lips. "Slow and easy, Alice," she nods at warden Ogier, in case I misbehave.

    I comply obediently and stretch out my arms for her to do whatever she wants. Waltraud twists my right arm slightly and checks the tattoo on my arm. It’s the only tattoo I have. It’s a handwritten sentence that looks like a thin arm band from afar. Waltraud feels the need to read it allowed, “’I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.’” I was told I have written it myself while still believing in Wonderland. “That Alice in Wonderland has really messed with your head.” She puffs smoke into my face as she mocks me.

    The tattoo and Waltraud’s mocking is the least of my concerns right now. I let her tie me, and while she does, I close my eyes. I imagine I am a sixteenth century princess, some kind of a lucky Cinderella, being squeezed into a corset by my chain smoking servant in a fairy tale castle above ground, just about to go meet my Prince Charming. Such imagery always helps me breathe. I once heard that it was hope that saves the day, not sanity. I need to cool down before I begin my grand escape. 

    ~~

    Intriguing, no? And now for the giveaway! Good luck!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway