Release Blitz: Thrall by Avon Gale & Roan Parrish

Publisher: Philtre Press

Release Date (Print & Ebook): September 27th, 2018

Subgenre: Mystery

Order here: AmazonAll other vendors

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Synopsis:

Dating Sucks & Love Bites

Happy couple Mina Murray and Lucy Westenra have begun to garner national attention for their quirky New Orleans true-crime podcast, Shadowcast. When Lucy’s brother Harker disappears while researching the popular new dating app Thrall, they’re thrown into a real-life mystery. Aided by their social media expert, Arthur, and Harker’s professor, Van Helsing, they follow the trail, hoping to find Harker before it’s too late.

When their investigation crosses the path of a possible serial killer, the line between fantasy and reality begins to blur. And as they race against the app’s countdown clock, so does the line between friendship and love. What starts as a flirtatious rivalry between computer-savvy Arthur and techno-averse Van Helsing becomes much more, and Mina and Lucy’s relationship is tested in the fires of social media.

As they get down to the wire, the group discovers that nothing on their screens is as it seems—including their enemy.

A modern retelling of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

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Teaser Excerpt #2:

Lucy Westenra

You there baby?

Mina Murray

I’m here. How are you holding up? You had nightmares last night, huh?

Lucy Westenra

Sorry i woke you 😦

Mina Murray

Shh no way. ❤

Lucy Westenra

So um…I brought Harker’s tablet to work bc I knew today would be a slow day and uh…

I looked at his search history <_____________________<

Mina Murray

Oh god, is it porn that no sister should ever see?

Lucy Westenra

I wish it WAS

Mina Murray

Uh oh. What is it babe?

Lucy Westenra

Here I’m sending the screenshots I took to your email

Mina Murray

Oh. That is…a bit grim.

But you KNOW my search history is !!! bc of ShadowCast.

Lucy Westenra

Yeah, he clearly doesn’t listen to our podcast if he doesn’t even know where to hide a body :/

Mina Murray

😀

Lucy Westenra

Ok I’m not trying to be paranoid buuuut…this is a creepy thing to find in Hark’s history! Why would he need to know where to dump a body? Mina is my brother a killer?!

I’m only half kidding!

Mina Murray

Well, ok hmm. He googled bars, so maybe he had a date and was coming up with…conversational topics? * hopeful emoji*

Lucy Westenra

Right like, Hey, come here often, want to know where the best place to hide a body is?

Mina Murray

I mean, can’t lie, that’d be way more appealing than 90% of my first dates soooo

Anyway.

Lucy Westenra

This is…god, what if he was abducted and the person who took him looked up where to dump his body!!!?

Mina Murray

That’s really scary, but seems pretty unlikely. There are a lot of more logical explanations than that a killer would use their victim’s own tablet to see where to dump him and then leave it behind. Don’t worry, L

Lucy Westenra

This is just not like him. I mean, sure, he’s weird but…this seems weird, even for him.

Mina Murray

For real, there is probably a totally reasonable explanation for his search history that has nothing to do with abduction or murder, just like there is for ours when we look up stuff like that.

Research or…hell, maybe he was watching a tv show and wanted to fact check.

There are tons of reasons.

Lucy Westenra

Yeah, you’re right, there are tons of reasons. It’s just this weird feeling I keep getting.

About the Authors:

Avon Gale

Avon Gale was once the mayor on Foursquare of Jazzercise and Lollicup, which should tell you all you need to know about her as a person. She likes road trips, rock concerts, drinking Kentucky bourbon, JRPGs and yelling at hockey. She’s a displaced southerner living in a liberal midwestern college town, and she never gets tired of people and their stories — either real or the ones she makes up in her head.

Avon is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan at Handspun Literary Agency.

Connect with Avon: Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter | Instagram | Website

Roan Parrish

Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia, where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre.

When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.

Connect with Roan: Parrish or Perish FB Group | Twitter | Instagram | BookBub | Newsletter

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Giveaway! Win 1 of 3 e-copies of any back catalog book by Avon Gale or Roan Parrish!

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Books with Bisexual Protagonists for #BiVisibilityDay

Happy Bi Visibility Day!

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So I’m writing this post in a hurry because as always I never know about these holidays until I see everyone using the hashtags on twitter, but anyway I really wanted to make a list of my favorite books with bisexual protagonists and I hope this post will help someone who’s looking for bisexual rep in books 💖💜💙

These are all books I’ve read and that I would recommend to some degree (even though I’m sure I must have forgotten some). My favorites are in bold. For simplicity I’m going to separate contemporary and SFF books and (web)comics, mentioning title, author, name of the bisexual and/or biromantic character(s) (note: there may be more bi side characters, but in this post I’m only focusing on the main characters) and the type of relationship they’re in (if any).

There should be something for everyone here so I hope you all enjoy this list!

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Contemporary:

The Wicker King by K. Ancrum – Jack and August (MMF)

Challenging Chance by Anyta Sunday – Chance (MM)

The Princess Trap by Talia Hibbert – Ruben (MF)

Sweet on the Greek by Talia Hibbert – Nik (MF)

Leo Loves Aries by Anyta Sunday – Theo (MM)

A&B by J.C. Lillis – Barrie (FF)

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren – Tanner (MM)

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman – Frances

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli – Leah (FF)

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde – Charlie (FF)

Running with Lions by Julian Winters – Sebastian (MM)

Thrall by Avon Gale & Roan Parrish – Arthur (MM) and Lucy (FF)

💖

SFF/Historical: 

Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat – Damen (MM)

Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab – Rhy (MM)

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – Jesper (MM) and Nina (MF)

In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan – Elliot (MM)

The Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan – Apollo

Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody – Levi (MF)

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff – Mia (MF and FF)

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee – Monty (MM)

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – Adam (MF and MM)

The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova – Arianna (past FF, MF)

Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh – Odessa (MF and FF)

Come to the Rocks by Christin Haws – Linnea (FF)

💜

Comics:

Long Exposure by Kam “Mars” Heyward – Jonas (MM) | read here

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman – Nick (MM) | read here

Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu – Jack (MM) | read here

The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal by E.K. Weaver – TJ (MM) | read here

Tripping Over You by Owen White – Liam (MM) | read here

💙

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Find more queer recs: FF romances | queer books without allocis M/M relationships

Who’s your favorite bisexual protagonist?

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ARC Review: Counterpoint by Anna Zabo

I was sent this book as an advanced copy for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own. 

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Summary: Twisted Wishes lead guitarist Dominic “Domino” Bradley is an animal onstage. But behind his tight leather pants and skull-crusher boots lies a different man entirely, one who needs his stage persona not only to perform, but to have the anonymity he craves. A self-imposed exile makes it impossible to get close to anyone outside the band, so he’s forced to get his sexual fix through a few hot nights with a stranger.

When computer programmer Adrian Doran meets Dominic, he’s drawn to the other man’s quiet voice and shy smile. But after a few dirty, demanding nights exploring Dominic’s need to be dominated, Adrian wants more than a casual distraction. He has no idea he’s fallen for Domino Grinder—the outlandish, larger-than-life rock god.

Dominic is reluctant to trust Adrian with his true identity. But when the truth is revealed prematurely, Dominic is forced to reevaluate both his need for Adrian and everything he believes about himself.

Release date: September 24th

Add on Goodreads

book review - pink

★★★★

After reading Syncopation I was really looking forward to reading more about Twisted Wishes and obviously about Dom and Mish (who I really hope will get her own book too!). This is Dom’s book.

Dominic (Dom) is the guitarist of the band that gives the name to the series, and best friend with the singer, Ray, who was one of the two MCs in book one. They were best friends in high school too, and since Dom has always been a nerdy and anxious kid who feared he wouldn’t be taken seriously on stage presenting the way he always did, he created a persona for himself, called Domino Grinder, who is this badass make-up-wearing guitar god who’s flippant and most definitely not a nerdy twink. So far he’s managed to keep his persona separate from his personal life, and that’s why he’s able to pick up men for quick hook-ups with no consequence for his more famous self. Nobody would ever think they’ve been in bed with the famous Domino Grinder from Twisted Wishes.

Things get complicated when he meets Adrian, a slightly older (I think he’s 36, whereas Dom is 27 if I’m not mistaken) computer programmer, who doesn’t want a casual hook-up and who appeals to Dom’s nerdier and kinkier side.

While book one focused a lot on band dynamics, this one was almost exclusively about Dom and Adrian’s relationship, and Dom’s feelings about having to let Adrian in on his most well-kept and dangerous secret. The band was very much present throughout the book though, and I love how Ray, Zav and Mish were always there for Dom.

Adrian also had his own POV and he was such an interesting character. He also had his own support system in his best friend/colleague/personal trainer Jackson, who’s a queer black man and in kind of the same place as Adrian in regards to what he currently wants from a relationship. I honestly hope he gets his own book?? Maybe in a spin-off series or something? Anyway, Adrian’s storyline focused on his life at work and I was kind of afraid it was going to feel cumbersome on top of everything else but it didn’t. It served to show Adrian outside of his relationship with Dom, which I found good because it helped ground him as a real person with flaws and everything, something that I feel would have lacked if the book only showed him when he’s with Dom, if that makes sense.

In any case, I simply adored their relationship. Everything made me so extremely happy, from all the food mentions (omg I was hungry) to the nerdy talks and their little dates outside just walking and showing each other the places that meant a lot to them. This is where I’m going to get shy (mom if you’re reading this please look away) but I surprisingly enjoyed the d/s dynamics too. Okay, it’s surprising because even though I enjoyed some of it in Syncopation, I eventually grew tired of it and I didn’t really like it in the sex scenes . Here however the dynamic was a little different, kind of softer, there was no pain play at all and I don’t know, I was able to enjoy it even without liking it myself. I also loved how important consent always was (something that was also always there in Syncopation) and that’s really great to see even if it should go without saying.

Something else I thought was done better than in Syncopation was the use of the dual POVs. I had a couple of instances in book one in which I thought things got repetitive and I didn’t see the point (pun, sorry) of having one POV placed the way it was etc. In this book there was no such problem and the POVs were well balanced and never repetitive.

I also really liked Dom’s arc, his realization that he needs to find new ways to cope with his mental illness, and the representation of someone who’s trying to balance different interests that don’t necessarily match the way they present themselves. I don’t really want to spoil anything but the way everything worked out in the end was so good and I might have teared up a little bit because I’m That soft bitch.

Rep: Dom is gay and Adrian is pan

Content and Trigger Wranings: sexual content, age gap, anxiety, panic attack (on page), d/s dynamics (no pain play), parental death mention, bullying mention.

#T5W: Books For My Younger Self

Top Five Wednesday is a book meme that Lainey started and I discovered through the lovely Samantha‘s videos. If you’re interested you can join the goodreads group to get the topics for each week.

This week’s topic:

September 12th: Books For My Younger Self
— This was recommended as a topic on twitter and I love it! Books that you wish your younger self would have read to learn a life lesson, get more self confidence, open your eyes to a new perspective, etc.

 

PJO (and everything in the Riordan-verse)

I will eternally be angry about the fact that I’ve never even heard of Riordan’s books when I was in elementary/middle school. In fact I didn’t know about them until in my twenties when I joined the book community (don’t @ me they weren’t very well known in Italy okay!) Anyway the books are so fun and I know for a fact that little me would have been a huge fan.

The Nowhere Girls

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This book is so, so important. I wish I had read this years ago and I like to think that maybe it would have helped me recognize my own internalized misogyny and stop needlessly hating on girls and stuff.

Six of Crows

I feel like younger me was a little bit more into action than I am now (I am now character-driven-stories trash) and this duology would have been the perfect bridge from action to character driven, like I would have realized sooner that a lot of what makes a book a good book are well-written characters.

In Other Lands

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Well this is a masterpiece so of course I would have loved it, plus the humor in it is so much me (and past me) that I think I would have enjoyed this in any period of my life. But mainly I feel like this would’ve been one of the best books to introduce me to the concept of bisexuality? Like if y’all think I ever thought one could be anything except gay or straight you’d be 100% wrong. To this day I’ve only heard the Italian word for bisexual like, 3 or 4 times, and I definitely hadn’t heard it back when I was a teen, so… But this book would’ve opened my eyes.

Always Human

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I wasn’t that much into comics when I was younger so I’m choosing this webcomic (which you can and should read here) both because it would introduce my younger self to the concept of free comics on the internet AND because it has one of the cutest sapphic relationships ever.

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Which books would you want your younger self to read? Do you think you’d be different now if you had? Do you believe there is such a thing as a “perfect” time to read a book?

August Wrap Up

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Wow, hello friends.

I feel like August has been simultaneously the longest and the shortest month ever. I’ve been in Italy all month, enjoying being with my family, my friends and my cat and going to the beach. I was able to spend such a long time home because I was waiting for an important result that would only come at the end of the month, on which depended a lot of my future, and since it was possibly the last time I would be able to chill like this without having to do anything I decided to just go for it and take this time off.

And a few days ago I got the result of my exam, and… I got the best grade in all parts of the exam. I’m so fucking proud of myself and excited for what this means for my future, something I’m not ready to talk about here yet but I hopefully will soon once everything is sorted out. For now, just passing the exam and especially passing it with the best possible result I could hope for has made me feel like I can really do this and I can keep living in a foreign country and be okay. I’ll be okay. I’ll be okay.

My month hasn’t been all positive though. You all will probably have heard about the bridge collapse in Italy a couple of weeks ago. Not just in Italy but in my hometown. Being here while that happened made it all more real and scary. Everyone who lives here has been on that bridge so many times because it’s, well, was, part of one of the most important highways in Northern Italy. I was on it with my mom literally one week before it collapsed. When that happened I was really… not okay for a few days. Events like this one are just so unfathomable and everyone deals with them their own way, but for me these sudden, “unforeseeable” tragic events trigger my anxiety and PTSD, on top of the pain and sadness at seeing how many people lost their lives, so I was really not in a good place. I’m better now and I’m finding acceptance that this happened, and I don’t want to make it look like I’m making this tragic event about me because I’ve lost virtually nothing in it, but I still needed to talk about this because I can’t pretend that it didn’t affect me.

So yeah, anyway I don’t know how to transition from this to books again so let’s just pretended I did it smoothly and let’s move on to talking about books because there’s a lot to talk about!

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📚 26 books total read [I forgot to screenshot the 26th one from my reading challenge page but anyway it’s only another Banana Fish volume]:

○ 13 graphic novels, of which 12 were Banana Fish volumes and one Fence issue;

○ 5 audiobooks;

○ 1 poetry collection;

○ 6 rereads;

○ 3 ARCs;

○ 2 anticipated releases.

I haven’t been this happy about a reading month in quite a while. The thing I’m most proud of are my rereads: I’d been in the mood to reread stuff and also after reading so many contemporary novels I had started to feel like reading fantasy again, so I combined the two moods and reread two series I had wanted to reread since I first read them: Six of Crows and Shades of Magic.

There’s not one book I disliked and the lowest rating I gave this month was a three stars and now I’m scared because it can only go down from here ahahahahahah (I mean hopefully not but who knows).

highlights

(this section is going to be so long because I had to add almost every book I read this month! but folks, I really had an incredible reading month!

📖 Banana Fish (#10-#19) by Akimi Yoshida: it’s kind of hard to talk about this whole series. Nineteen volumes of 200 pages each is just A Lot and a lot that is a bunch of tragic shit happening and if you’re following me on twitter you might know how well I handled it (as in, I didn’t). Like, guys, this is really fucking sad. I can’t in good conscience recommend it to everyone because it has so many trigger warnings (it’s probably easier to list the ones it doesn’t have) and not everyone likes to read sad stuff. That said, I know some of you (like me) live for dramatic shit so, you know, it’s there if you want to read it. Overall rating ★★★★★/5

📖 Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (reread): I reread this on a whim because I couldn’t stop thinking about Wayward Son and I’m glad I did. That said, I love Simon and Baz with all my heart and I really think the way their relationship is written is masterful, but some of my feelings regarding the plot and especially the queer rep in it are different from the first time I read it and you can read more in my review. It used to be a 5 stars but because of that now it’s ★★★★✩/5

📖 The Ship of The Dead by Rick Riordan (reread – audiobook): amazing beautiful talented  brilliant spectacular ★★★★★/5

📖 Calling Calling Calling Me by Natasha Washington (ARC): this was just a joy to read. Read my full review here★★★★★/5

📖 Heretic Anonymous by Katie Henry: this was one of my most anticipated August releases and it did not disappoint! Atheist rep was what drew me to it and both the rep and the book was really really good. And funny! And eye-opening. ★★★★.5✩/5

📖 Six of Crows & Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (reread – audiobook): have appropriate words even been invented to talk about how much I love these books and these characters? I listened to the audiobooks which were really good but I’m picky and I wish some things were different and that all the narrators actually pronounced the same words the same way. But anyway it was great and even better than the first I read them. Both ★★★★★/5

📖 The Raging Ones by Krista & Becca Ritchie: this was my second (in order of release date) most anticipated release this month and I was so happy that I was actually in the mood to read it the day it came out. Right away I fell in love with the characters, which is already a great thing when you have a book like this where the premise sounds great. It had a lot of things I love: great characters, complex relationships, romance, subversion of romantic tropes, sort of a school setting, great conflict. And yet it couldn’t quite reach that fifth star, but I still think it’s great and that ending left me needing the next book. No full review yet but hopefully soon. ★★★★✩/5

📖 Fence #9 by C.S. Pacat and Johanna the Mad: as always I love this comic, but this issue was probably in the best 3 ones so far, at least in my opinion. The tension was amazing and the glimpse into last year’s fencing team life made me so emotional for some reason. ★★★★★/5

📖 Pisces Hooks Taurus by Anyta Sunday (ARC): this series is so much fun, and this one was just a delight to read. The tropes used and subverted here were amazing and I had so, so much fun. It releases sometime in October so make sure to have it on your radar (and in the meantime definitely check out the first three books in the series!) ★★★★★/5

📖 A Darker Shade of Magic & A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab (reread – audiobook): I love rereading and I love rereading as audiobooks. The audiobook for ADSOM was kind of bad though, but fortunately they changed things in AGOS (and ACOL too) and the last two audiobooks are amazing. As for the book themselves, well they’re just as great (if not better) as the first time I read them. Schwab’s writing style is one of my absolute favorites and she makes her characters feel so alive. ADSOM ★★★★.5✩/5; AGOS ★★★★★/5

📖 I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman: I liked a lot about this but at the same time I couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed. I found the discussions around fandoms very accurate even though I’ve never been in a real-life fandom like Angel is. But at the same time I think something about the plot just didn’t click with me by the end, even though I love the characters. I can’t explain my feelings really well but it’s a ★★★★✩/5

current

By the time this post is posting I’ll probably have started something else too and/or finished either ACOL or Vicious, anyway this is what I’m actively reading now. Both ACOL and Vicious are rereads, Vicious because Vengeful is coming out soon (!!!!) and I wanted to remember all the details, and ACOL because I’m continuing my SoM reread lol. Herr der Diebe is really good and I’ve been reading it slowly since July which is a little fucked up but while I was in Italy I almost never felt like reading in German lmao but I hope I’ll manage to finish it somewhat soon.

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Since my time in Italy was all about relaxing and enjoying myself, I didn’t spend too much time blogging.

📜 I mainly scheduled and wrote some ARC reviews;

📜 I wrote another post for my lgbTBR+ series: F/F fantasy & historical books on my TBR

📜 I wrote a review for the Violet Hill series by Chelsea M. Cameron. I love writing series reviews, I find them so useful and they’re so much fun to write!

📜 I did the Dreamy Book Covers Tag in which I finally got to fangirl about some of the covers I love most.

I fear the rest of September is going to be chaotic and hectic for me, so as much as I really want to get back to blogging more regularly and with a somewhat stricter schedule, I think that probably won’t be possible yet. October will probably be even worse but we’ll talk about that when the time comes.

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93074I’m continuing to watch the Banana Fish anime as it comes out and it’s ripping my heart out. Especially since I’ve finished the manga and now I can see all the foreshadowing and tiny hidden heartbreaking pieces… Also, the anime is still almost exactly like the manga and I’m so impressed by it but also *breaks in a cold sweat* please @ Mappa change certain Things. I also am so very confused as to how they plan to fit everything in 24 episodes since we’re 10 episodes in and those were barely 6 manga volumes. I hope they have a season 2 planned because they’d have to remove too many plot lines in order for everything to fit and then things wouldn’t make sense anymore.

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me memeing out my feelings

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I also watched To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix and it was so so so good!!! I haven’t read the books and I don’t know if I will but the movie was so adorable and what’s amazing is that I’ve actually watched it all from start to finish without pausing and getting distracted on twitter and stuff. Do you know what an accomplishment that is for me?? Me, who watches a 1.5 hours movie in a total of 4 hours on average. Go me!

 

 

 

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I was almost forgetting but I’ve also watched season 7 of Voltron: Legendary Defender and uhhh you didn’t hear this from me but I actually really like it. That’s all you’re getting out of me because I don’t want to get into discourse with anyone about it and I’m enjoying my fandom-free VLD experience a lot thank you very much.

 

 

 

 

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How was your August? Which was the best book you’ve read this month or this summer? Also, help me out a little: what would you like to see on my lgbTBR+ series? For example, books with M/M relationships, books with bi representation, books with non-binary characters…? Let me know!

Cover Reveal: Thrall by Avon Gale and Roan Parrish

Publisher: Philtre Press

Release Date (Print & Ebook): September 27th, 2018

Subgenre: Mystery

Order here: Amazon | All other vendors 

Synopsis:

Dating Sucks & Love Bites

Happy couple Mina Murray and Lucy Westenra have begun to garner national attention for their quirky New Orleans true-crime podcast, Shadowcast. When Lucy’s brother Harker disappears while researching the popular new dating app Thrall, they’re thrown into a real-life mystery. Aided by their social media expert, Arthur, and Harker’s professor, Van Helsing, they follow the trail, hoping to find Harker before it’s too late.

When their investigation crosses the path of a possible serial killer, the line between fantasy and reality begins to blur. And as they race against the app’s countdown clock, so does the line between friendship and love. What starts as a flirtatious rivalry between computer-savvy Arthur and techno-averse Van Helsing becomes much more, and Mina and Lucy’s relationship is tested in the fires of social media.

As they get down to the wire, the group discovers that nothing on their screens is as it seems—including their enemy.

A modern retelling of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

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Sneak Peek of Thrall:

Van Helsing

I…no. You know you’re young enough to be one of my graduate students? Though much better dressed. But if your flirting is sincere, then I welcome it. I can’t deny that I felt something between us this morning.

Arthur Quincey

I, uh, definitely felt something

Ugh, sorry, that was a terrible joke—you should be impressed, I never get this nervous. but seriously, so did I. It’s definitely sincere.

Van Helsing

I am also nervous. I…I suppose I don’t quite know what to say next. I’ve never attempted to flirt on a—what is this, chat?

Arthur Quincey

OMG, Gus. (I’m…look, that name reminds me of the musical Cats, which I loathe so can I call you Van?)

It’s kind of hot you just said you were nervous btw (and yeah, it’s chat)

Van Helsing

I got the feeling you were calling me Professor on purpose, no? Yes, I suppose I can suffer through Van, if you must.

Ah, well, I’m very gratified you think so.

Arthur Quincey

Yeah, because I like it. The professor thing is totally a turn-on. And I like the idea of making you like that name, Van. Just because no one else has.

About the Authors:

Avon Gale

Avon Gale was once the mayor on Foursquare of Jazzercise and Lollicup, which should tell you all you need to know about her as a person. She likes road trips, rock concerts, drinking Kentucky bourbon, JRPGs and yelling at hockey. She’s a displaced southerner living in a liberal midwestern college town, and she never gets tired of people and their stories — either real or the ones she makes up in her head.

Avon is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan at Handspun Literary Agency.

 Connect with Avon: Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter | Instagram | Website

Roan Parrish

Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia, where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre.

When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.

Connect with Roan: Parrish or Perish FB Group | Twitter | Instagram | BookBub | Newsletter

#T5W: Favorite Friend Groups

Top Five Wednesday is a book meme that Lainey started and I discovered through the lovely Samantha‘s videos. If you’re interested you can join the goodreads group to get the topics for each week.

This week’s topic:

September 5th: Favorite Friend Groups
— We’ve discussed bromances before but let’s discuss our favorite ensemble friend groups!

I haven’t done T5W in a while but I couldn’t pass the opportunity to do this topic. I absolutely LOVE friendship groups and they can improve a just-average book immensely for me.

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Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard – Hotel Valhalla / Floor 19 & Friends

I’ve already talked about many aspects of this trilogy but I don’t know if I talked enough about the friendship element in it. It starts as friendship and it becomes more like found family by the end of the series. I love that we spend enough time with all the main characters (Magnus, Sam, Alex, Hearth, Blitz, and by book three also the other members of floor 19) to see them interact with one another under different circumstances and with different combinations of pairing/subgroups for the different adventures.

I only wanted to mention one friends group from the Riordanverse so I chose this but I also love Percy’s group(s) both in PJO and in HOO, I would actually die for them all.

Six of Crows – The Dregs

I’ve recently reread this duology and I loved being able to focus on the relationships more than on the plot this time, and I love the Dregs even more than I did before (I didn’t think that was possible). I know Kaz wouldn’t like that I’m calling them friends but Kaz is Kaz, and Colm Fahey agrees with me so I know I’m right. It actually made me tear up when he saw them fight and he was like “you all are friends, stop fighting” (something along those lines), it really gave me some perspective on the fact that they’re still teenagers and yeah, they are friends regardless of what Kaz thinks.

 

Air Awakens – Vhalla’s/Aldrik’s circles

It’s been a while since I’ve read this series but just thinking about its characters makes me want to reread it so badly (and I probably will soon). I might not remember every single detail but basically we initially have two groups, Vhalla’s with Larel and Fritz (and Aldrik, sort of), and Aldrik’s/Baldair’s with Raylynn, Jax, Erion, Craig and Daniel, and then later Elecia. And of course as the story develops Vhalla gets to know Baldair’s guard and she spends time with Aldrik and by the end they’re kind of all a big group (well at least those who survive ahahahaahahahah I love pain). Anyway, the Original™ group is Vhalla/Fritz/Larel and it makes me cry because I want friendship like that.

All for the Game – The Foxes

Who doesn’t love a found family trope!!!! I feel like with the Foxes we kind of skip the “friendship” stage (at least when it comes to the MC, Neil) and we land directly into family territory. The fandom focuses a lot on Andreil as a ship but I think it should give more attention to the group as a whole because there’s just So Much to analyze and love. Unlike some of the other groups I mentioned in this post I definitely would NOT like to be part of the Foxes because they all scare the shit out of me, but I still love them so much as fictional characters you know?? I think they’re one of the best examples of characters that are so interesting to see in fiction but you’d definitely not feel the same way about them if they were real people. But as characters you can project some of your own qualities onto them and see them play out in a much more accented way and there’s something that’s always made me feel vulnerable but also safe about this. Anyway I just UGH I really can’t explain my feelings when it comes to these books and these characters. By the way, while we’re at it you should all go read Jamieson’s post about how she imagines an adaptation of this series would be because it’s fucking amazing.

The Raven Cycle – The Gangsey 

Listen, I might have grown to dislike the author and most of her social media presence, but I love this friendship group so much. I’ve been trying not to think about them too much because if I do then I’ll feel like rereading and before I do that I need to get to a place where I get better at separating the art from the artist, but I just couldn’t not include them here. The love they have for each other makes me so soft and also not to be a sap but I think it’s really nice to see boys loving each other so much without it being romantic (I mean besides the One M/M Ship that is in fact romantic)?? Do I make sense??? Ugh why was I given emotions. I didn’t ask for this.


I feel like I had so many more groups to talk about so here’s a honorable mentions of books that have great friendship groups (or trios, which I felt the need to write separately because trios are very different from 4+ groups when it comes to friendships):

Trios: The Nowhere Girls, In Other Lands, The Raging Ones

Groups: Twisted Wishes, Heretic Anonymous, Banana Fish, The Magic Misfits

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What are your favorite friend groups? Would you actually want to be part of them?