Sunday, May 21, 2017

Book Review of Roam by Erik Therme

Three strangers, each searching for something out of reach.

Sarah Cate, celebrating her twenty-first birthday, is pushed over the edge after car trouble strands her in the middle of nowhere with an angry, unstable boyfriend.

Kevin Reed, a troubled adolescent abused by a loveless father, roams the night in his black Camaro, looking to pay forward one of the few acts of kindness he’s ever received.

Scotty Mason, plagued by profound guilt and completely detached from his world, is haunted by the unshakable fear that something inside him is dangerously broken and cannot be fixed.

When their lives intersect in an unsavory hotel with a bloody history, all three will struggle to exorcise their personal demons, unaware that a bigger threat is looming . . . and waiting for the right moment to strike.

Like Joshua Gaylord and Daniel Kraus before him, author Erik Therme explores the angst of disconnected youth in his enthralling and powerful Roam. Therme’s darkly tinged novel is an unforgettable tale of three errant souls brutalized by life’s cruel circumstances, and a remarkable night of discovery and violence that will change them forever.


*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review*

This book was a little hard for me to read personally...and that is part of the reason I liked it so well. Roam takes on some tough plot lines, one being an abusive boyfriend. This is a dark book with rays of light in it. As someone who has made it out the other side of an abusive relationship, I felt Erik captured what it was like very well. Sarah is a good person who despite her flaws is trying her hardest to do the right thing. She realizes after three months of dating that her dream boyfriend is anything but a dream. The shortness of their relationship bothered me at first, but it also made me proud of Sarah for identify Matt's behavior and realizing it wasn't how she should be treated. 

Sarah isn't the only character we follow in Roam. Scotty has fallen on hard times and his actions and thoughts are hard to read sometimes. I was able to feel empathy for him but also was very cautious about what he was doing. Kevin, on the other hand, has his own demons he's faced and is on the brink of overcoming them. Together Sarah and Kevin realize they may just be what the other is looking for. I loved their romance as I felt it helped show Sarah the type of man she should be with. 

While this wasn't always an easy read for me because of my past, I would encourage readers to read it. There is mystery and suspense as well as great character development. I would rate it PG-13. This is a fast paced, mystery and tear-jerker novel that is well worth your time to read! 

 Goodreads  /   Amazon  

About the Author:

Erik Therme has thrashed in garage bands, inadvertently harbored runaways, and met Darth Vader. When he’s not at his computer, he can be found cheering for his youngest daughter’s volleyball team or watching horror movies with his seventeen-year-old. He currently resides in Iowa City, Iowa—one of only twenty places in the world UNESCO has certified as a City of Literature. Join Erik’s mailing list to be notified of new releases and author giveaways:

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Book Blast for Digging in the Stars by Katherine Blankney with GIVEAWAY!!!

Digging in the Stars
by Katherine Blakeney
Publication Date:  March 28, 2017
Publisher:  Blaze Publishing

A lost ancient civilization and the tomb of a legendary king lie buried beneath centuries of ash on the volcanic planet Thror, but that’s not the only reason sixteen-year-old Carter has tricked her Archaeology of Outer Space class into coming here. Her best friend Conrad has just disappeared on a trip to Thror, leaving behind little more than a broken vintage camera. The strange and disturbing photographs she manages to extract make her suspect Conrad’s disappearance is somehow connected to the hidden tomb of the last king of Thror.

Unfortunately, the ludicrously over-friendly ‘Furry Giants’ who have taken over the planet’s barren surface would rather offer her cheap souvenirs than answers, and the local officials insist they have no record of Conrad’s existence. Inspired by fear for Conrad’s life and the chance to make the greatest archaeological discovery of the century, Carter and her friends follow Conrad’s footsteps deep into the mountains of Thror’s forbidden Black Zone and launch an illicit excavation.

Coded messages, stunning ancient ruins, and clues left by Conrad himself begin to surface as the young archaeologists fall victim to an alarming series of accidents staged by the increasingly hostile Furry Giants. Piecing together a history of dictatorship, terrorism and disguise, Carter glimpses the horrors beyond Thror’s flamboyant façade and startling revelations about the friend she thought she knew. The masks of Thror hide devastating secrets, and the golden tomb buried deep in the frozen core may claim the lives of everyone she loves.

What Readers Are Saying:

"I had a lot of fun reading this unique book!" - Carla, Goodreads Reviewer  

"a refreshing twist on a lot of modern sci-fi that can be too dark or aloof" - Samantha, Goodreads Reviewer

Katherine Blakeney is an author and filmmaker with a BFA in Stop Motion Animation from the School of Visual Arts in New York and a PhD in Film Studies from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland, UK). Raised by an Egyptologist mother, she grew up among museums and excavation sites, where she developed an unhealthy fascination with ancient art and mythology. She divides her time between bringing 12”-tall people to life in her studio in Edinburgh, excavating ancient tombs in the Egyptian desert, and researching Gothic literary monsters in silent film. She has published numerous articles on film and archaeology and her independent short films have screened at various international film festivals including the Edinburgh Fringe.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Goodreads

 Link to Goodreads:

Purchase Links:

BAM | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

Giveaway Information:  Contest ends May 19, 2017

One (1) winner will received a Blaze swag pack and $5 Amazon card (INT)


The Carver by Jacob Devlin
Publication Date: July 19, 2016
Publisher:  Blaze Publishing

Crescenzo never would’ve thought his father’s figurines were modeled after real people, but when his loved ones start vanishing from his life, he must unite their real life counterparts and seek their aid to save his family.

BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo TBD | iBooks

Shadow Fall (Shadow Fall #1)
by Audrey Grey
Publication Date: November 22, 2016
Publisher: Blaze Publishing

The asteroid hurtling toward the earth will kill billions.

The Emperor and his Gold Court will be safe in their space station, watching from the stars. The Silvers will be protected underground. But the Bronzes must fight it out at the Shadow Trials for the few remaining spots left on the space station.

When an enigmatic benefactor hands Maia Graystone a spot in the Trials, she won’t just get a chance at salvation for her and her baby brother, Max: She gets to confront the mother who abandoned her in prison, the mad Emperor who murdered her father, and the Gold prince who once loved her. But it’s the dark bastard prince she’s partnered with that will make her question everything, including her own heart. With the asteroid racing closer every day, Maia must trust someone to survive.

The question is who?

BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

Twenty-five years ago, the venomous Queen Avoria was banished from the enchanted realms of Florindale and sentenced to spend eternity inside a cursed mirror.
After a seemingly endless tumble through the mirror’s abyss, Avoria awakens in a gloomy metropolis in the darkest corner of Wonderland. There she meets the shrewd King of Hearts, Cornelius Redding, and the two strike a turbulent alliance. As Avoria helps Cornelius execute his conquest of Wonderland, she plots her own vengeance against the world that cast her out. In the city’s cold shadows, Avoria finds pawns in the souls that defied her, truth in the reflection that calls to her, and power in the past that forged her. And thus, the Ivory Queen begins carving a path to the ultimate throne.

Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Now Accepting Books for Review!

The wait is finally over! I turned in my last homework assignment of my college career yesterday!! Still adjusting and learning to enjoy my newfound freedom on my days off. Since I will have free time to read, I have decided to open Aspiring Joy up again for book reviews. The tab that says Submissions is where you will want to look. I'm really looking forward to working with awesome individuals who have decided to share their stories with the world!! 

All genres will be considered, although I do reserve the right to decline a submission. If I feel your book is not right for Aspiring Joy, I will work with you to find another way to promote your book or you as an author.