Other People’s Butterflies Cora Ruskin Publication date: June 22nd 2021 Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Gwen Foster has never been kissed. But when she gets the chance to finally see what all the hype is about, it’s with her best friend’s crush. Embroiled in relationship drama she doesn’t understand, and ostracized from her friend group, Gwen escapes the angst by using her favorite femme fatale as a role model… and makes snooping on her classmates her new pastime.
Gwen’s detective work appears to be going well, until an unknown social media account starts spilling all the scandalous personal details she’s uncovered. Now this wannabe spy must stop whoever is behind it before everyone’s dirty laundry is aired, and Gwen is forced to finish high school without any friends.
Other People’s Butterflies is a coming-of-age contemporary mystery about not needing to find your first love – but yourself – and how to mend the relationships that matter to you.
Two hours later, I have a new favorite movie. I also have a new favorite character and her name is Lana Barrington. She’s a badass double agent (or possibly a triple agent or a double reverse quadruple agent – the plot of Dead Tulips is pretty confusing) who’s so devious that her own dad nicknames her “Poison Candy”. She’s very femme fatale-ish, with black hair and blood-red lips. She wears this pearl necklace, and one of the pearls is full of cyanide in case she ever finds herself in a jam. In the movie she gets into, like, seventeen jams, but she never bites down on the cyanide pearl because she always finds a way to wiggle out of it. She also has a little black book, which looks empty because she writes in invisible ink, and she keeps information about everyone she meets in it.
I didn’t get the point of the little black book at first, because she wasn’t writing down state secrets or anything – it was all stuff like which cocktail waitress a married man flirts with at a bar, or who’s been pawning their grandmother’s jewelry. Gossipy stuff. But then there’s a scene where a guy asks her about it and she says “Information is currency. And I mean to be very rich.”
By the time I leave the cinema, it’s dark and the air is biting cold. My breath swirls around my face like smoke. On my way to the bus stop I nip into Superdrug and buy a packet of black hair dye and a deep red lipstick called “Kiss of Death”.
On Monday morning, I color my lips with the Kiss of Death lipstick and examine my reflection in my bedroom mirror. I think I look pretty good with black hair, though Mum says it washes me out. I’m hoping the red lipstick doesn’t get any stink eye from teachers like Mrs. Clearwater, who are overzealous when it comes to enforcing the school’s dress code. Sixth form girls are allowed to wear make-up, but it has to be “workplace appropriate” make-up. No glitter, no goth stuff, no crazy color combinations. It doesn’t make sense to me. Supposedly they’re getting us used to workplace dress codes, but what if we end up working as children’s entertainers or bar staff in a goth nightclub?
I feel different. I feel like a snake that’s shed its skin – all new and shiny and venomous.
Cora Ruskin is a part-time MSc student of Science Communication, and works for a charity that helps victims of crime. Writing gets squeezed in between the two. She lives in Bristol, England, with five housemates and a very messy kitchen. “Other People’s Butterflies” is her debut novel.
Ellinor Rask has wanted one thing for the past eight years: vengeance. But when Ellinor is captured, she finds herself dragged back into the world she walked away from, entangled once more with friends she would rather forget.
As if that weren’t humiliating enough, Ellinor learns first hand that her magic can be stripped away by a piece of bio-tech—and her ex-boss is happy to leash her with the technology in order to get what he wants. If Ellinor behaves, the device will be removed. All she has to do is deliver a package. One containing a creature created from raw magical energy and discarded technology. Simple, right?
But when her goals start getting people murdered, Ellinor has to decide if the year’s planning, her honor, and even her own magic, are worth the lives it’s costing. Dodging ruthless gangsters, she finds herself on the run with a creature of immeasurable magical abilities alongside her one-time friends. Now, Ellinor must relearn to trust the people she once abandoned. She must put her faith in technology, and her life in the hands of independent contractors, all while racing to deliver the package before it gets taken by force, or worse, the creature decides to make an appearance itself.
THIS WAS not the first time Ellinor Olysha Rask found herself bound and chained, and she very much doubted it would be her last. This was the longest she had ever been incarcerated, however.
Ellinor leaned back against the wall and closed her eyes, though it made no difference in the pitch black. She wiggled against the rough wall, never getting comfortable. The restraints clamped over her wrists chaffed at her skin. She lost count of the days she’d been locked in the rank cell, but she supposed it didn’t actually matter how long she’d been there, only how much longer she’d be staying.
She sighed loudly, her patience long gone. Not that she had been blessed with an abundance of composure to begin with, but her restraint had diminished considerably since Misho’s death.
Heaviness settled on her chest and shoulders as she imagined Misho’s disapproving tsk at her current predicament, and her chin started to quiver. Gritting her teeth, she knocked her head against the bumpy wall to focus her thoughts. She always lost control when she thought about Misho Shimizu, and she didn’t want to lose what little control she had left. She needed to conserve her energy.
For what? There’s no telling how long I’ve been here, or who took me. Time to stop waiting.
She hadn’t recognized who grabbed her, or how they had gotten the drop on her. She had been drinking, of course, but no more than usual. One minute, Ellinor was meeting with a contact who had information about the Ashlings she was hunting. Ashlings who needed to answer for what was done to Misho. The next? She couldn’t remember. The air—her own power!—had betrayed her. Everything went white and hazy, and a fog rolled over her memories.
She sat up straighter against the wall, breathing deeply, ignoring the aches and pains of her cramped muscles. Whatever had happened, poisoning or a knock over the head, had left her weak. Concentrating had been a chore, let alone summoning her magic. She knew she wasn’t at full strength, but better to do something than continue to wait around for whoever had nabbed her to remember they had her locked away.
Ellinor had heard of humani, beings like her, who were strong enough in air magic to blow apart buildings, and who had the skill to dismantle the most intricate of machines without destroying any of the delicate parts. Ellinor had never been that strong, nor that finessed with her talents. She had enough of the talent to make her someone most would shy away from, and it had been more than enough for her job. Using the air, she could turn otherwise fatal blows from knives or projectiles away, and coupled with her own abilities for creating mayhem, her magic had served her well, or well enough, until Misho died.
Then her power turned her into someone, something, most didn’t want to talk about. Someone the remainder of her family distanced themselves from. She lived only to avenge Misho.
The seersha, though . . . now they would have no trouble using wind to blow apart this cell, no matter how far underground they’d have to pull the air. They’d be able to use that same current to wrap themselves in an impenetrable force field then simply sail away like some cocky bird.
That didn’t mean she couldn’t cause some trouble, though.
Born and raised in Southern California, Chelscey has stayed within a 60 mile radius of Los Angeles her whole life, something she has been told is rather unique. She attended the University of Southern California for both her undergraduate studies and master’s degree, specializing in Communication Management. Then one day, she moved to New Orleans with her husband, two cats, and her dog. Getting all 5 of them there from Los Angeles to New Orleans becoming an incredible adventure in and of itself. And then doing it again as they returned to Los Angeles two years later was equally as adventuresome.
Chelscey met her husband in high school, embarking on a journey that could best be described as “your grandparents love story”. Meaning that she married her high school sweetheart, she has also been told that this is a terribly romantic story though it all seems rather common place to her. After they both finished college and began working, they got married and adopted 2 cats, because Chelscey’s husband loves cats. Chelscey herself is more of a dog person, but it took them a bit longer to adopt a dog then it did the cats…
Once upon a time Chelscey also worked in the advertising industry. She worked on a wide variety of accounts, everything from fast food, to automotive, and video games. The latter of which was more of her passion as she had researched and written her master’s thesis on if playing video games with your romantic partner helped or hurt the relationship (she found it did neither).
In case you haven’t noticed by now, Chelscey is a proud nerd. She collects the Uncanny X-Men comic book series and plays video games. It made her uniquely qualified to work in the gaming industry on the advertising side of the business. And while she still loves gaming, she became disillusioned with the politics behind advertising and how it affected a medium she considers to have great creative potential. And while Chelscey has always been a passionate lover of writing and reading (particularly Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Historical Fiction) she never thought that she could turn her passion into a career. But opportunity rarely knocks more than once and Chelscey decided to answer the door, even without fully knowing what would lay on the other side.
Chelscey is also a big fan of tattoos (she has several herself) and dying her hair. Currently, Chelscey’s favorite color was her ombre blue mermaid hair. She felt it was important for you to know this.
When a curse was cast, trapping Jini in an old lamp, her life ended along with everyone she had ever known and loved. Centuries of darkness passed and then a young man made a wish.
He wanted to be the Sultan.
So did she.
The only problem? There already was a Sultan and his mysterious son had already laid claim to the throne
Read this powerful new rendition of the age old classic, Aladdin, where things are not as they seem and magic might not be enough to save them all.
The Djinn Curse By Margo Ryerkerk
How far will you go to reclaim your freedom?
My name is Roxelana, and my human life was stolen from me.
Turned by force into a djinn, I’ve waited for 100 years for a shot at freedom.
My current assignment in Istanbul presents an opportunity to break the connection to my lamp and escape my eternal slavery. There’s just one problem. Doing so means sacrificing the sultan prince to the king of djinns. I shouldn’t care about the prince, but I can’t stop myself. He has a pull on me I can’t explain. Coupled with his kindness and the care he shows his people, I’m in deep trouble.
When push comes to shove, who will I choose? Him or myself?
Filled with adventure, love, magic, and a strong heroine, this clean YA Fairy Tale is the perfect read!
If you like K.M Shea, Melanie Cellier, and Kiera Cass, you’ll love this!
Granting Wishes (A Once Upon a Curse Prequel) by Kaitlyn Davis
She’s about to discover a whole new world…
“His words come back to me—magic is the law. I guess I’m making my own set of rules.”
Alanna thought rock climbing in Yosemite National Park would be the trip of a lifetime. Until an earthquake strikes and she finds herself plummeting to her death. But instead of slamming into the forest floor, Alanna drops into a secret underground cave where she’s confronted by the impossible—magic.
A mysterious man named Erick uses incredible powers to save her life, then tells her that his magical world has collided with earth, merging the two together. Alanna writes it off as crazy, until he shows her a vision of her brother being dragged down a sandy cobblestone street in chains. Crazy or not, she’ll do anything to save him.
As Alanna and Erick team up to rescue her brother from the clutches of a decrepit sorcerer king, fate intervenes in the form of a handsome prince. Alanna doesn’t know who to trust, but in this foreign land, flying solo just might get her killed…
Don’t miss GRANTING WISHES, a fantasy romance from bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis that reimagines the classic fairy tale of Aladdin.
Sultana of Amethyst Sands by Emma Savant
A beautiful genie craves her freedom. A handsome prince longs to heal his kingdom. And a con artist named Aladdah has big plans for them all.
Between theft, sleight of hand, and her indentured servitude to a powerful magician, Aladdah has always managed to survive the brutal streets of Citron. But survival isn’t enough for a woman of Aladdah’s ambition. She craves more—more food, more power, and more magic than her master has seen fit to teach her.
When she demands a greater challenge, her master sends her on a mission into an enchanted cavern beneath the desert sands. There, in an abandoned garden glittering with the lights of precious jewels, Aladdah discovers a genie whose power and beauty are matched only by her determination to escape the bonds of her servitude.
But the genie is bound by her magic lamp, subject to Aladdah’s every wish, and it’s an opportunity no self-respecting street rat could resist. Aladdah forms a plan to use the genie to destroy the sultan and establish herself as a new ruler who will turn the savage inequality of Citron on its head.
But the sultan has many protectors, from his court magicians to the beautiful, idealistic son who infuriates and enchants Aladdah in equal measure. Her genie fights her at every turn. And her old master will not be dismissed so easily, not when he has a plan to gain power the likes of which the kingdoms have never seen.
Sultana of Amethyst Sands is a romantic, fast-paced adventure through the sands of a faraway kingdom of magic, genies, and wishes come true.
I am so excited that TAKEN BY THE PHANTOM by Isabella King is available now and that I get to
share the news!
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by
Author Isabella King, be sure to check out all the details below.
This blitz also includes a giveaway for a $10 Amazon
Gift Card and also this framable art of Phantom of the Opera, International, courtesy of Tempest Books and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d
like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
Title: TAKEN BY THE PHANTOM (The Phantom of the Academy, #1)
I’ve never felt at home at Juilliard. My stagefright always makes me choke when I’m under the spotlight, something my classmates enjoy watching. But when I’m dragged into a new world—where singing is more than a talent, it’s magic—I can’t hide my voice anymore. This new power is tempting, but terrifying forces swirl around the kingdom of Cantus.Missing girls, rivals at my new academy, Rebels, demons slaying people in the street—and it all leads back to him.
The mysterious, powerful Phantom, who lurks beneath the school and demands he be my teacher—demands which soon grow into something deeper, darker. But if I want to survive this place, or have any hope of going home, I may have no choice but to give in to him… and all he desires.
Author’s Note: Taken by the Phantom is the first book in a Magic Academy Romance series that will set your heart–and other parts of you–on fire.
And for once, I cannot help myself.
I am scarcely more than shadow, not nearly as full in form as she or Suzanna. Perhaps she will not notice or name the sensation of touch. Perhaps she will believe it a cast of the magic. Perhaps, perhaps, she will know it is me.
Just her hair. A touch. It is all I need.
I lean close to her, alight my fingertips upon her arms. I am not fully man, but half in shadow, and yet I can feel the rain soaked into the cloth, the heat of her skin just beneath. She inhales sharply when I touch her, lips parting further, eyelids fluttering. Shh, I think. A moment more. One touch.
She grants me my wish, her eyes remaining shut, and leans back ever so slightly, almost imperceptibly, into me. I draw nearer still, savoring the ripple of her hair, stirred by my breath. I am close enough I could press my lips to the vital curve of her neck, close enough I could slide my hands over her breasts, pull her flush against me, test the fit of her curves against mine.
What pleasure is there in that?
She arched herself against me when we met in the Hall of Mirrors. She consumed her own fear like the snake’s tail and came out stronger for it. Yet now her eyes remain closed.
I suddenly want to scream at her to open them. To look at me, to touch me, to want me. And yet she does not. She is little more than silk, supple against me, shaped by my contours. I press myself closer, my body against hers, and brush my fingers along the length of her arms.
Still she remains in the rhapsody of Suzanna’s closed-eye song, and still the darkness swells between the light in heady thrusts.
But Krissy does not sober. She rests her hands in my palms, her thin fingers like porcelain, dainty and fine, mine in black leather, monstrous beside them. With me beside her, she is a sun in eclipse, half-swallowed by darkness.
Her breathing has deepened; it matches mine, step for step. We are in tandem as I press myself to her, the curves of her hips, fuller in contact than in sight. That hunger inside of me stirs once more. Against the swell of her body, I harden and smother the alien urge to gasp.
Then her fingers tighten on mine, and at once there is silence.
By day, Isabella King is just another small-town gal hiding behind her Mac.But by night she’s a fire-breathing, sword-wielding, ass-kicking heroine—just like the ones in her books. She’s determined to better the world, with her sword or with her pen, one adventurous love story at a time.