Friday, May 28, 2010

Moonshine by Alaya Johnson Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway!

*~Contest is closed.~*

Today I’m lucky enough to be the last stop on the Moonshine Blog Tour! So please, get to know Alaya Johnson, read about Moonshine, read my review, and why not leave a comment and enter to win your own copy of Moonshine while you’re at it!

Moonshine,Alaya Johnson

Book Synopsis

Imagining vampires at the heart of the social struggles of 1920s, Moonshine blends a tempestuous romance with dramatic historical fiction, populated by a lively mythology inhabiting the gritty New York City streets Zephyr Hollis is an underfed, overzealous social activist who teaches night school to the underprivileged of the Lower East Side. Strapped for cash, Zephyr agrees to help a student, the mysterious Amir, who proposes she use her charity worker cover to bring down a notorious vampire mob boss. What he doesn’t tell her is why. Soon enough she’s tutoring a child criminal with an angelic voice, dodging vampires high on a new blood-based street drug, and trying to determine the real reason behind Amir’s request—not to mention attempting to resist his dark, inhuman charm.

My Review

Moonshine transported me back to the 1920s Prohibition era right from the start. This isn’t your normal history class Prohibition era, though, because in this one vampires, and all Others, are out in the open and just another part of life. Zephyr Hollis, also known as the “singing vampire suffragette”, is a teacher at a night school for Others. She is also a major activist in most issues involving the rights of Others. She has no idea how involved she’s about to become though.

A mysterious and beautiful man named Amir asks for her help tracking down Rinaldo, the local mob boss who is also a vampire and reeking havoc on lives of so many in the city. Why? That would be a great thing to know, but finding out more about Rinaldo would benefit many, and Zephyr always has been one to help those in need. Amir also helps her out when she finds a young boy that has been attacked by vampires, so she must keep that in mind.

This hunt for the mob boss leads to the tutoring of a vampire child criminal, strange drugs that start effecting the city’s vampires in bad ways, and Zephyr getting closer to Amir who is some type of Other, but what? Amir’s character was so fascinating to me. Both he and Zephyr drew me in and wouldn’t let go. It wasn’t just them either. Zephyr’s friends, fellow activists, and a certain nosey reporter, were all wonderful characters. Even bad guys held me entranced. Alaya Johnson has built a fabulous world and uses language beautifully to reflect the time period without distracting from the story! I can’t wait for more!

*review copy was provided by Books And… Virtual Tour Coordinator*

Alaya Johnson

About the Author

ALAYA JOHNSON is a recent Columbia graduate, and denizen of New York City.

Find out more at

Books And...

Moonshine Tour Stops
Monday, May 24       Books And... Chat
Tuesday, May 25      Parajunkee
Wednesday, May 26 Fang-tastic Books
Thursday, May 27     BrownGirl BookSpeak
Friday, May 28         Not-Really-Southern Vamp Chick


And today you get a chance to win your own copy of Moonshine!  All you need to do to enter is comment on this post, and leave your email in the comments. Sorry, this is only open to US residents ages 18 and up. It’s not required that you be a follower of mine, but I’d love it if you were! Contest ends June 11th.

What do you think of books where history is changed, like this one where in the 1920s Others are suddenly real and part of the public? Do you like books with supernatural beings out in the open, or do you like them hidden in the shadows?

*~Contest is closed.~*


Sullivan McPig said...

Wow! Vampires in the 20's?
I so got to read this book. I love paranormals set in another time than now and I love the 20's (the original Call of Cthulhu rpg being one of my favourite roleplaying games)

don't enter me, I do not live in the US unfortunately

Dren said...

Excellent Review! I'm kind of at a 50/50 split. I love it when supernaturals are already a part of society - but typically the author has done a fantastic job with world building - and makes it believable. From what I'm hearing, Ms. Johnson has it nailed! Please enter me! would love to win a copy!

Anne said...

This certainly sounds different from your average vampire paranormal.

I've read series which do both, rewrite the world and have the supernatural hidden in the shadows and I've enjoyed both. I've gotten big into Urban Fantasy in the last couple of years and you have to accept rewriting the world to like the genre. (My mother just rolls her eyes when I try to explain Urban Fantasy to her.)

Ky said...

Sounds absolutely amazing! After reading the Great Gatsby (Gatsby is such a creeper!) I kind of enjoyed reading about the 1920's. Plus who doesn't love flappers? Lolz. I love the idea to alter history a bit and introduce Other's. What a cool concept! ^.^

And come on Amanda! 18! That's just taunting me! 6 months! No fair! Lolz. *puppy dog eyes* I'm close enough to 18 right? You're counting maturity here, not actual age, right? Hahaha. Jk.

Moonshine sounds great though!

Angel said...

I've enjoyed book written both ways. It's really the writing and characters that makes a book good to me, not the details of the world (although these are important to good writing.)

Thanks for the giveaway!

Sweet Vernal Zephyr said...

I like a nice little twist on history! I didn't pay that much attention in high school, so it is fun to learn some facts while being entertained. Oh, and I prefer my paranormals hidden... makes it easier for me to pretend they are all around me.

Thanks for the chance to win!

mdwartistry at yahoo dot com

Amanda Leigh said...

@Sullivan McPig- I'm glad you like the sounds of it! Paranormals set in different times are something I'm just starting to get into more and more. It started with steampunk, and slowly I'm branching out.

@Dren- I'm the same way with the 50/50 split. I like a bit of both. But like you said, if the world building and characters are believable enough, then this way is great!

@Anne- I read both as well. I like a nice variety, so this was a great change of pace for me!

@Ky- Yep, flappers are pretty awesome. I must agree with you there. LOL sorry about the 18 thing.

@Angel- I agree completely.

@Sweet Vernal Zephyr- Yeah, that hidden world does make for an exciting element while your reading. My imagination can get a bit crazy at times though. lol

SiNn said...

wow this book sounds awesome

honestly i like ita little of both depending on what im reaidng id love to read somethingw h ere history is changed and paranormal are all out in the open great post !

please enter me in this contest

SiNn said...

forgot to post my email

Christa said...

I love books set in the 1920s (as long as they're not too "historically", if you know what I mean). I think that decade is fascinating! : ) And I love supernaturals, so put the 2 together & I must read the book! lol.

Thanks for the giveaway.
ambience.of.rain {at}

throuthehaze said...

I think it is interesting when supernaturals are out in the open...but I also like when they are hidden too
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

debbie said...

I think it is funny, because in the beginning of the '20s the spanish flu was still very much active. There were actually alot of myths and rumors circulating. I think it is a perfect time to add in some supernatural alternate history.
I like to see them out in the open.

Amanda Leigh said...

@SiNn- I'm glad you liked it!

@Christa- I love the 1920's too. The whole flapper lifestyle has been something that I've been interested in for a long time, so add in the paranormal and it's a perfect fit for me.

@throughthehaze- I like some of both as well. Too much of the same thing gets boring.

@debbie- That's very true!

Robin K said...

I like hidden beings myself. I think it adds an element of suspense and intensity to a book. When they are in the open, books feel more science fiction to me.

Barbara E. said...

I enjoy it when an author takes historical elements and changes them to fit the story. I think I like supernatural beings hidden, with only certain people in on the secret.
Moonshine sounds like a wonderful book and I'm looking forward to reading it.

Julie said...

This book sounds really good.

I prefer when the supernatural creatures are secretive and hidden and only a select few know about them.


donnas said...

Sounds great. And I really like my paranormal both ways. It all depends on the story.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

jewelknits said...

I am a big fan of historical fiction in general. I like when supernatural characters are in the open, but unknown to the mortals they mingle with

jewell330 at aim dot com

Martha Lawson said...

This one sounds awesome. It doesn't matter to me if they are hidden or in the open, I like them both ways..

I am a follower on gfc.

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Amanda Leigh said...

@Robin K- I understand what you're saying, which is why I like some of my books that way as well.

@Barbara E- I'm glad you like the sound of it!

@Julie- Glad to hear it! Another fan of the secretive world. :)

@donnas- I'm w/ you. As long as there's a great story, I can go along with a lot.

@jewelknits- I've been enjoying more historicals lately. I'm pretty happy with a nice balance in my reading. Well, a balance that still involves things paranormal or fantasy. :)

@Martha Lawson- Glad you like the sounds of it! I enjoyed reading it so much and really didn't want it to end!

draconismoi said...

I'm a total sociology nerd, so I love the books that have the paranormal elements out in the open, because then I get to see the implications on society as a whole.

As for alternate history....I enjoy those for the exact same reason. Once upon a time I was a devoted fan of Sliders. In essence, I can't get enough of them

I'm in the US, and would love a copy of Moonshine! Thanks.

cass at feministdracona dot net

angie said...

I would love to read this book! I actually like where history is changed because it kind of makes you think how things would be different if history were different. And I do like my supernatural beings out in public .
Thanks for the great giveaway!!

Aik said...

This book sounds awesome! I'd love to read it! I'm a follower and I have a US mailing address, so please count me in!

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Amanda Leigh said...

@draconismoi- This does sound like a great book for you then! It is so interesting seeing the effects the paranormal might have on society.

@angie- You're welcome! I find that rather fascinating as well.

@Aik- Glad you like it! :)

JenM said...

In general, I like books where supernaturals are out in the open. When they are hidden, I always experience at least one moment in the book when I'm thrown out of the story because something unusual or noticeable happens, and I can't help but wonder why all of the humans around didn't notice it.

I'd be very interested in reading a vampire book set in the 1920's. It was such an interesting time in our history. I also like seeing how well an author handles the whole "alternate history" storyline.

Anonymous said...

I love it when a book has alternate history. It opens up a whole other world full of possibilities that you maybe couldn't have had if you kept strictly to our time line.

I love both books that have supernatural beings in the public and in the shadows. They both can make for a great story.

jacabur1 said...

History in a paranormal book in my opinion is already changed no matter what the time period, in this one though am looking forward to the authors version. I have a book by Susan Krinard that started my love of this era that knocked my socks off and think that Moonshine has the capability to repeat this for me.
I prefer Supernatural beings to be mainstream so to speak and at the same time not really sure if all of them should come out into the open, after all a little mystique in the shadows is needed!!! Hoping for this one since first part of her tour started so count me in.

And of course live in US and am way over 18 and long time follower on GFC!
jackie b central texas


Dee said...

Hello, I am a new follower hehe I like your blog! I would like to enter for your email is Thank you!

Amanda Leigh said...

@JenM- Yeah, I've read a few books too where I'm like "Ok now someone would have noticed that! Come on!" lol

@Jen- Yep, it can open up a new, yet somewhat familiar world. :)

@jacabur1- Oh I haven't read any of Susan Krinard's books yet. I've been meaning to though! Sounds like they'll have to move up on my wishlist!

@Dee- Thanks for following and glad you like it! :D

k_sunshine1977 said...

i love it when authors put their own spin on things! i'm really looking forward to this, as i don't think there are enough historical urban fantasies...and i want more! i like books where supernatural beings are hidden and out and proud - it depends on how well the author builds the story for me.

k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

Different time zones are always fun, although I like most stuff to be present. This book sounds interesting and I'll probably read it cuz of my love for vamps.

Cheryl said...

I just love vampire books. Sometimes it is more interesting when the supernatural are hidden, but it just depends.

Marianna said...

I love the setting, the '20s...sounds good. Maybe I just wanna get the visual of a vamp dressed as a flapper.

patronus89013 at yahoo dot com

Jacqueline C. said...

I like it when authors create an alternative history in their books - it's fun to see new spins on events and times that we've learned about. As for supernatural characters being in the open - it doesn't make much difference to me either way. Their lives are guaranteed to be interesting regardless since they're supernatural.


Bethie said...

Sounds very interesting. I like when the supernaturals are out in the open.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Christine H said...

I like it either way I guess but I might prefer out in the open. Thanks for the contest.

Shirley said...

Out in the open is better but I'd read both. This book sounds great thanks for entering me.

Tina said...

I'm ok with either open or not.
more depends on how much I like the characters.

Anonymous said...

I'm not picky. I just like a good story. I'd like to be entered.


Tina said...

I'm ok with either open or not.
more depends on how much I like the characters.

Beverly said...

Sounds great - thanks for hosting! Please enter me!

Andrea I said...

I saw this book at one of the other blog stops and it's different. I would love to read it as it sounds interesting set in the 1920s during Prohibition.