Blog Tour| To Kill A Curse Review + Giveaway

blog tour, giveaway, Review, Uncategorized

Hello everyone! I’m so excited to share this fun Fantasy Romance with you all today! Be sure to keep reading for my thoughts and a giveaway! Thank you to Rockstar Book Tours for including me on this blog tour!

Title: TO KILL A CURSE (A Lingering Sea Novel Book 1)

Author: Jennifer Jenkins

Pub. Date: October 24, 2019

Publisher: Flying Unicorn Press

Paperback, eBook

Pages: 350

Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD

Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD


Synopsis: Would you touch the one you loved, even if it might kill them?
Antonio, a merchant sailor, has no idea how dangerous Fina Perona is when he rescues her from drowning in the middle of the Lingering Sea. His ship is headed to the home Fina just abandoned, carrying desperately needed payment for her father’s prized wine stores. Pirates attack, and as Antonio and Fina escape the clutches of slavery, she steals back her family’s small fortune from the pirate captain’s quarters. Fina doesn’t need Antonio’s protection, she’s more dangerous than he could ever be, but she needs his experience as a navigator and agrees to give him a cut of the payment in exchange for his help. Returning the money is the only way Fina knows how to atone for inadvertently killing her own brother, but what she doesn’t realize is, before Antonio was a sailor, he was a thief.
While threats of curses, witches, bandits, pirates, and traitors are all very real, Fina and Antonio are the most dangerous players in this story of true love and betrayal. Will they become each other’s demise or salvation as they set out to find redemption and to kill a curse?


“Beware the touch of the snake! Her skin is poison, and she carries misfortune wherever she goes!”

Fina Perona is a walking curse. Those who touch her skin have terrible luck, sometimes lethal, befall them. Since getting cursed, Fina has pushed everyone away for their own safety. Soon she becomes too dangerous for even her own village so she decides to steal a boat and leave the only home she’s ever known. But a terrible storm crashes her little boat and she is saved from the wreckage by a mysterious stranger and a crew on a merchant ship, with her family’s payment and means of survival aboard. As has been since getting cursed, terrible misfortune comes upon her rescuers and they find themselves captured by pirates who are in search of the large chest with her familys money inside. When the pirate captain learns of Fina’s curse, he sees it as a terrible weapon that he wants for himself.

“True, she might not know the world outside of her village very well, but she wasn’t a child. And no matter how good he was with his lock picks or his fancy knowledge of the stars, she would always be the more dangerous of the pair. He just didn’t know it.”

Already planning an escape, Antonio, Fina’s mysterious rescuer, comes to her aide, and together the two are able to flee from the pirates along with the chest of money. Together, they embark on a great journey of adventures, self-discovery, and even though Fina has been pushing people away her whole life, she finds that Antonio is somehow slipping past all her defenses.

“Antonio. A magician of many talents.”

This was an intriguing read. It was a bit slow for the first portion of it but after their escape from the pirates the speed picked up a bit and I found myself invested in the two’s story. Told from the point of view of Fina, and the point of view of Antonio through journal entries, it goes back and forth between the two. Antonio was a very closed off person to Fina but through his journal entries we get to see the happenings in his head. They both have their secrets and hold them close to their hearts which is a bit painful to watch at times cuz all I could think at certain points was dang if they would just tell each other what’s up some of these issues could have gotten resolved much quicker. But alas, they do not. I had a bit of a hard time feeling a connection between the two, it seemed a bit forced at times. I did enjoy the ending and felt it wrapped up nicely. Some points in the plot seemed a little rushed and I wish there could have been more interactions between Fina, Antonio, and the pirate captain. Recommended for fans of high seas adventures, curses that kill, and opposites attract romance. I give this 3 out of 5 stars.

3 stasr

Jennifer-bw-300x200.jpgWith her degree in History and Secondary Education, Jennifer Jenkins had every intention of teaching teens to love George Washington, the Napoleonic Wars, and Ancient Sparta . . . until the writing began. In addition to her Lingering Sea series, Jennifer is the author of the bestselling Nameless trilogy and Teen Writer’s Guide: Your Road Map to Writing (releasing March 2020). She is a co-founder of Teen Author Boot Camp, and divides her time between reading, taking spontaneous trips, researching random events from the past, and fostering her adrenaline junkie addictions. Learn more at www.authorjenniferjenkins.com

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads


Giveaway Details:

2 winners will receive signed copies of TO KILL A CURSE, US only.

Click here to enter

 

 

 


Tour Schedule:

Week One:

10/21/2019

A Bookish Dream

Review

10/21/2019

Two Chicks on Books

Excerpt

10/22/2019

Sometimes Leelynn Reads

Review

10/22/2019

Good Choice Reading

Excerpt

10/23/2019

Book-Keeping

Review

10/23/2019

That Georgia Gypsy

Guest Post

10/24/2019

Sifa Elizabeth Reads

Review

10/24/2019

Books & Other Pursuits

Guest Post

10/25/2019

Shelf-Rated

Review

Week Two:

10/25/2019

BookHounds

Excerpt

10/28/2019

Cover to Cover Book Blog

Review

10/28/2019

K.L Novitzke – Author

Excerpt

10/29/2019

Moonlight Rendezvous

Review

10/29/2019

Cuz I’m a Nerd

Guest Post

10/30/2019

Lilly’s Book World

Review

10/30/2019

Ravenousreader

Excerpt

10/31/2019

Don’t Judge, Read

Guest Post

10/31/2019

Writer of Wrongs

Excerpt

11/1/2019

Life of Female Bibliophile

Review

11/1/2019

Treestand Book Reviews

Review

Blog Tour|The Vine Witch Review + Favorite Quotes + Giveaway

blog tour, Review, Uncategorized

Hi everyone! Today is my stop for the blog tour of The Vine Witch! You are not gonna want to miss this one! Keep reading for my thoughts on the book, some of my favorite quotes, and a GIVEAWAY!

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Title: The Vine Witch

Author:  Luanne G. Smith

Publisher: 47North

Release Date: October 1st 2019

Genre: Fantasy


Synopsis: A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy of betrayal, vengeance, and self-discovery set in turn-of-the-century France.

For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley. Then the skill of divining harvests fell into ruin when sorcière Elena Boureanu was blindsided by a curse. Now, after breaking the spell that confined her to the shallows of a marshland and weakened her magic, Elena is struggling to return to her former life. And the vineyard she was destined to inherit is now in the possession of a handsome stranger.

Vigneron Jean-Paul Martel naively favors science over superstition, and he certainly doesn’t endorse the locals’ belief in witches. But Elena knows a hex when she sees one, and the vineyard is covered in them. To stay on and help the vines recover, she’ll have to hide her true identity, along with her plans for revenge against whoever stole seven winters of her life. And she won’t rest until she can defy the evil powers that are still a threat to herself, Jean-Paul, and the ancient vine-witch legacy in the rolling hills of the Chanceaux Valley.


My thoughts

The Vine Witch was an enchanting read! I was instantly pulled into it from the first page. We are first introduced to our main character, Elena, as she is trying to break free from a curse that has left her as a toad for seven years. Once she breaks the curse, Elena makes her way back to her home, Château Renard, a vineyard that she has lived at since 5 years old. But her home is not how she left it. Covered in various hexes, the poor vineyard is struggling. When she learns that the previous owner has sold it to someone else, a city man nonetheless, it is just salt in the wound.

The new owner of Château Renard is Jean-Paul Martel, a former attorney from the city, and a man of science. He doesn’t believe in any of that Vine Witch nonsense the townspeople speak of. He knows that if he can just get the correct minerals in the soil and the pH balance of the grapes just right etc that his vineyard will soon be restored back to its former glory. Then Elena arrives back at the vineyard and he finds his perspective changing.

The writing in this was great! The world building really makes you feel like you are there in the Vineyards with Vine Witches and hexes and gargoyles and the first automobiles. And I really liked the main characters. Elena starts out on a mission for revenge, and when I say revenge I mean REVENGE LIKE POISON THAT GOES LIKE A SNAKE IN A PERSONS BLOOD. But! We get to see some growth in her as she decides to instead focus her attention on the vineyard and the evil surrounding the town that reeks of forbidden blood magic. We also get some great growth from Jean-Paul as he goes from nonbeliever to “say what I’ve  been wrong this whole time and witches are real better go read some books about them so I know all there is to know” Great character growth, amirite?

Favorite Quotes

“She was Elena, disciple of the All Knowing and daughter of the Chanceaux Valley. And she was free.”

“Mortal men. What flaw was in it in their ape brain that convinced them their schemes were paramount to everyone else’s?”

“Revenge allowed to ferment would carry the most power”

“He wasn’t truly bewitched but he wasn’t capable of seeing her for what she was, either- a witch who experimented with poison in her spare time so she could kill the former lover who’d betrayed her.”

I really enjoyed this one! I’m giving it a 4 out of 5 stars. I read it quite quickly and was fully invested in the story by chapter 1.  Recommended for fans of witchy women, revenge, wine, murder mystery, and slow-burnin love.

4 out of 5 stars

*ARC provided by publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks to The Fantastic Flying Book Club and the publisher for including me on this book tour!

 

TOUR GIVEAWAY

Prize: Win a copy of The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith (US Only)

Starts: 1st October 2019

Ends: 15th October 2019

Click here to enter!

 

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43236285-the-vine-witch
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2ZKNjvH
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-vine-witch-luanne-g-smith/1130030332
Bookdepository: https://www.bookdepository.com/es/Vine-Witch-Luanne-G-Smith/9781542008389?ref=grid-view&qid=1567272333336&sr=1-1
Google Books: https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/The_Vine_Witch.html?id=VBS9vwEACAAJ&redir_esc=y

20190926_174339_0000.png

AUTHOR.jpgLuanne G. Smith is the author of THE VINE WITCH, a fantasy novel about witches, wine, and revenge set in early 20th century France, and the forthcoming second book in the series, THE GLAMOURIST. She’s lucky enough to live in Colorado at the base of the beautiful Rocky Mountains, where she enjoys reading, gardening, hiking, a glass of wine at the end of the day, and finding the magic in everyday life.

AUTHOR LINKS

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18699641.Luanne_G_Smith

Website: https://www.luannegsmith.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/writersmith1

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/luannegsmith/


TOUR SCHEDULE
http://fantasticflyingbookclub.blogspot.com/2019/09/tour-schedule-vine-witch-by-luanne-g.html

Pre-release Boost| Million Miles Away(Excerpt+ Giveaway)

blog tour, Review, Uncategorized

🔥🔥 AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER 🔥🔥

Million Miles Away (Million Miles #1) by Alice Bane is releasing October 5th! Preorder today!!

MM Teaser 1.jpeg

Add to your Goodreads TBR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47486080-million-miles-away

PREORDER LINKS:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KiCAV5

Barnes and Noble: https://bit.ly/2KiF9WU

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2GMlRam

iBooks: https://apple.co/2YMxW9U

GIVEAWAY

Enter to win a $20 Amazon gift card!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/8032cec7445/?


 EXCERPT from Chapter 1

The girls would always tease me about how put together my life was. Sure, it looked good on paper; top-rated artist in my department, an amazing house which I always kept immaculate, and when I wasn’t working, I was at the gym. They seemed to think that I had a perfect life. They had no idea how much I envied them. They both had incredible relationships with gorgeous men who doted on them endlessly. They were always commenting on how jealous they were of my body, but they also never missed a chance to eat delicious foods that I couldn’t so much as smell without getting sick. They didn’t realize that my house was always clean because it was empty and sterile; just like the rest of my life.

I didn’t even have a pet. Ever since little Ivan died, I accepted that I wasn’t pet owner material. If I couldn’t keep a goldfish alive, what chance did I have with a more complex and emotionally dependent animal? Besides, with my work schedule, it would be cruel to even try.

“Before we get started with what we’ve got on today, I need to ask you guys a really important favor,” Abiola said, circling the desk to take both mine and Laura’s hands in hers. “The two of you have been such a huge part of my life. You’ve been there for me through all my family drama and I couldn’t love you more if you were my flesh and blood sisters.”

“Abi,” Laura pushed out her bottom lip. “That’s the sweetest thing you could possibly say.”

“Well, I would be so honored if the two of you would be my bridesmaids this spring. Please say yes!”

The three of us all wrapped our arms around each other in a sickeningly sweet display of female solidarity. I forced a smile and swallowed the lump in my throat as I imagined walking down the aisle on the arm of some random groomsman who had a wife or girlfriend somewhere in the church. This would be the second time I was a bridesmaid at someone’s wedding. The old saying ‘three times a bridesmaid, never a bride’ rang out in my mind.

“I would love to be a bridesmaid at your wedding,” Laura crooned.

I mustered the minimal amount of excitement I could get away with for the situation and said, “Me too. I love you, woman,” then patted Abiola on the back.

Abiola nodded and wiped at eyeliner from beneath her watering eyes. She was an old soul with a soft heart. She spent her weekends volunteering at a children’s group home. That was where she met her fiancé Trevor, and they bonded over their dysfunctional family situations. They would probably adopt a bunch of foster kids right after their wedding and live happily ever after. She deserved that; it was all she ever wanted.

“Okay ladies,” Abiola clapped her hands. “Today we’re looking for something we can use for the promotion of the OSA campus, which will be opening next year in Portland, Oregon. Boss says our primary focus is to attract engineering and architectural students for the Lunar-retreat that’s in the works.”

“So, where do we start?” Laura said, looking right at me.

“I am going to need to work up some concept drawings for the Lunar Resort. Also, if you could give me the clearest photos of the most beautiful views the Lunar Surface has to offer, that would be cool to show exactly what the students should be aspiring to be a part of. I want to see some dramatic landscapes with visible craters, maybe some rock formations. Anything to pull people in.”

“I’m on it,” Laura nodded and sat down at her touch responsive computer.

“I’ll go to engineering to get permission to use blueprints of the resort that you can use to make the concept drawings,” Abiola said, then turned and headed towards the elevator.

It was an exciting project. I used to fantasize that by the time I was ready to retire, I would be able to cash in on all the vacation time I had accrued and maybe even spend a few of my golden years at that resort. The thought of waking up in the morning and looking out the window to see the Earth just as we see the moon from down here always gave me a sense of calm.

Four hours later, all final decisions had been made on what I wanted to use on the project. Right on cue, my trusty assistants started complaining that they were starving to death.

“If I don’t get some corned beef nachos in me in the next ten minutes, I might actually die,” 

Laura said and stood up dramatically from her desk.

“I want waffles and bacon,” Abiola rubbed her belly.

I sighed at the memory of bacon; I would probably just have some raw vegetables and berries. I was still looking at my screen and inspecting one of the photos, trying to decide on how I would alter the image to bring it to life. My eyes burned. I clenched them shut and rubbed them, forcing them to rest. Eye strain was the enemy and this day was proving to be particularly difficult since I had hardly slept the night before. I couldn’t shake my anxiety about today’s social gathering after work. Stress and lack of sleep usually meant a big fat migraine, which was the last thing I needed at Laura’s party.

“I’m going to head to the chill room. I need a nap more than anything.”

“You better be rested for tonight’s festivities,” Laura wagged her finger at me.

“I’ll bring my party face, I promise,” I said. I stood up but couldn’t stop the oncoming yawn. “The fatigue is killing me.”

“Yeah, no coffee or sugar in your morning will do that to you,” Abiola said with a shake of her head. “I don’t know how you do it.”

“Well, it’s easy since a cup of coffee could put me in the hospital again, I guess.”

“Jesus,” Abiola pressed her fist to her mouth. “I didn’t mean to…”

“It’s fine, Abi,” I assured her. “I just need to get a little rest.”

The two girls headed down to the food court while I made my way to the sleeping pods. White, plush, and stacked like a honeycomb, they were an inviting image that screamed comfort. I smiled and breathed a sigh of relief to find my favorite lower level pod was unoccupied. Turning on the sound system, I selected a playlist I knew I could sleep through. Sometimes I would choose guided meditation tracks or audiobooks. Today’s selection was soft cello. Something about the deep tones helped me unwind no matter what was on my mind. I settled in, turning on the heated cushions and closing my eyes.

I practiced the deep breathing exercises the doctor had taught me as I pictured myself floating through a dark endless sky toward the moon’s surface. The pictures I had looked at for over four hours served to be the subject of my meditation. I inhaled deeply, focusing on relaxing my arms and legs. Exhaling, I imagined moving further out into space. In… and out…

As soon as sleep found me, I was swept up in a flurry of blinding light. My stomach turned as the light began strobing violently, causing me to feel disoriented. My body tensed as I realized it had been several weeks since I’d had an episode. Right on schedule, it hit me like a ton of bricks.

Oh no, no, no, no… I can’t deal with this right now, not at work!

I struggled to wake myself, I couldn’t move. The cold sensation of a smooth metallic surface beneath me was confusing. I felt my fingertips twitch as I tried desperately to flail any and all limbs that might respond to my will, but my body remained where it was. I strained to sit up or scream, but I couldn’t even open my mouth. I was trapped, overwhelmed by the weight of my chest collapsing in on itself. If I didn’t put every ounce of will I possessed into sucking air through my nostrils, I had a very real fear that my body would simply shut down, leaving my body as a cold stiff corpse which might be found hours later in my cozy little pod. Filling my lungs with intention, I gasped for air, breath after panicked breath, hoping someone would notice and wake me.

The strobing intensified for what felt like several minutes and when it finally stopped, there remained a constant blinding light that made my eyes water. Tears streamed from the outer corners of my eyes into my ears.

“Help… me…” I managed to whisper to no one in particular.

From the edge of my vision, a blurry figure leaned over me.

“Please,” I sobbed, trying to turn my head to get a better look at who it was, but I couldn’t.

My chest burned as my heart pounded out of control. I tried to calm myself by reciting the scientific facts about what I knew was happening.

During REM sleep, your muscles are essentially turned off to keep you from sleepwalking. When a person wakes up during REM, they are fully conscious but completely paralyzed. Usually, physical stimulation from someone rubbing or shaking them will pull the victim out of the purgatorial state. Unfortunately, living alone means I have no one to rescue me during these episodes, which can sometimes last for hours.

 “Just close your eyes. Everything will be okay,” a distorted voice spoke through the fog of my half-conscious state.

Maybe my brain is morphing the cello music into a voice. Sleep paralysis is often accompanied by waking dreams or hallucinations, after all.

I thought I could force myself to come out of it but, instead, I moved even deeper into unconsciousness. It wasn’t like falling, but more like being underwater and sinking slowly. I struggled against what felt like a chemically induced calm. I tried again to force myself awake but couldn’t. The darkness swallowed me up and I finally surrendered to it.

To my surprise, I suddenly found myself vividly aware of two things; one, the fact that I was breathing without much effort, and two, I was no longer in my cushioned sleeping pod, but rather stretched out flat on my back on a cold metal surface. All efforts to move just made me realize that what I was experiencing was very different from the sleep paralysis I was familiar with. I could move my fingers and flex my wrists and feet. There were actual physical restraints fastened around my wrists, neck, forehead, and ankles that were preventing me from moving.

Blinking hard, I strained to look around at my surroundings. The entire room was reflective as if every surface and object was made from surgical steel. It was shockingly cold, almost like the inside of a walk-in refrigerator. I grunted, twisting my wrists in hopes that I could slip out the straps.

There was a continuous hum that was so low I didn’t hear it so much as felt it vibrating through my entire body. There was a spherical light that seemed to be floating in the air a few feet over me. The ceiling was high above that and almost too dark for me to make out anything but the vague shape of what might have been a reflection of myself and the rest of the room around me. I strained to see past the light so I could study what else I could make out in the reflective ceiling. My heart pounded in my ears as my attention was drawn to a distorted human shape in the darkness at my side.

A chill spread through my body as I realized that someone, or something, was quietly watching me struggle but I couldn’t for the life of me work out who, as the silhouette disappeared from my view the moment I noticed it. Even when I turned my eyes as far as I could, the dark corners of the room remained completely obscured. Regardless of the deafening silence and the fact that I couldn’t see anyone, I knew someone was there.

 VISIT www.alicebanebooks.com/excerpts for the Full Chapter One
and an opportunity to read Chapter Two

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Review| A Pack Of Blood and Lies

Review, Uncategorized

Title: A Pack of Blood and Lies

Author: Olivia Wildenstein

Genre: Sci-Fi and Fantasy, Teen and YA

Release Date: April 30th, 2019

Publisher: Twig Publishing

Series: The Boulder Wolves #1


Synopsis: “The primal rule of winning: don’t fall in love with the contender.

Three months shy of her eighteenth birthday, Ness is forced to return to Colorado. Even though it’s been six years, and the wolves of her all-male pack don’t recognize her, she recognizes them. People who shun others because of their gender are hard to forget.

Especially Liam Kolane—son of Heath, the crudest and cruelest Alpha to have ruled the Boulder Pack. Liam is as handsome as he is infuriating, as kind as he is punishing, and he makes Ness’s traitorous heart race, which isn’t good. After all, he’s a Kolane. Like father like son, right?

When Heath dies, Liam vies to become the new Alpha and no one dares challenge him.

Except Ness.

Thus begins a treacherous game.

The rules: winner takes all…including loser’s life.”


My thoughts

“I lost both my parents and was forced to come back to this hellhole where people look down on me because I wasn’t born with the right blend of chromosomes. What exactly do you think you can do that will hurt me, huh?”

When Ness is forced to return to the pack that turned their backs on her and her mom years prior, she is not happy at all. Forced out of the pack for simply being a girl, she never wanted to see these people again. But news of her moms death reaches her long forgotten family and Ness reluctantly agrees to return with them to Boulder, Colorado. Eagerly counting down the days until she can once again leave, an unexpected opportunity falls in her lap.

“My mother had raised me to go after what I wanted. And what I wanted was to stop another Kolane from being in a position of power. I held on to that as I readied to fight for my beliefs.”

With the Boulders pack leaders dead, a new pack leader must be chosen. But no one is going to go for it except Liam Kolane, son of the previous leader. The thought of another Kolane as leader makes Ness furious.  Not one to back down from a challenge, Ness leaps at the chance to prove to those Boulder boys that she’s got what it takes, even being a girl.

“My heart hardened to steel. My resolve too.”

This was a pretty good werewolf shifter book that made me realize just how much I missed werewolf shifter books. Ness was a tough as nails main character who was sick of being told she was less of a person for simply being born a girl. This book had moments where the flow was so smooth and seamless and then other parts where I was like um, ok let’s get this moving along. I enjoyed the chemistry between Ness and Liam(can you say ENEMIES TO LOVERS YEEHAW) however, like previously mentioned, the will they, won’t they, just lasted too dang long. JUST KISS ALREADY GEEZ.

Besides the middle finger to toxic masculinity, this book was also full of mystery and some crazy twists that will leave you going whaaaaaaaaaat (as well as twist that I guessed miles away) I give this 3.75 out of 5 stars. Soooo close to being 4 stars for me but just didn’t quite make it. That being said I do still want to continue Ness’s story, especially with that ending! I sense a possible love triangle coming up?!

3.75

*I received this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Review|Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford

Review, Uncategorized

Title: Crown of Coral and Pearl

Author: Mara Rutherford

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: Inkyard Press

Release Date: August 27th, 2019

Series: Crown of Coral and Pearl #1


Synopsis: For generations, the princes of Ilara have married the most beautiful maidens from the ocean village of Varenia. But though every girl longs to be chosen as the next princess, the cost of becoming royalty is higher than any of them could ever imagine…

Nor once dreamed of seeing the wondrous wealth and beauty of Ilara, the kingdom that’s ruled her village for as long as anyone can remember. But when a childhood accident left her with a permanent scar, it became clear that her identical twin sister, Zadie, would likely be chosen to marry the Crown Prince—while Nor remained behind, unable to ever set foot on land.

Then Zadie is gravely injured, and Nor is sent to Ilara in her place. To Nor’s dismay, her future husband, Prince Ceren, is as forbidding and cold as his home—a castle carved into a mountain and devoid of sunlight. And as she grows closer to Ceren’s brother, the charming Prince Talin, Nor uncovers startling truths about a failing royal bloodline, a murdered queen…and a plot to destroy the home she was once so eager to leave.

In order to save her people, Nor must learn to negotiate the treacherous protocols of a court where lies reign and obsession rules. But discovering her own formidable strength may be the one move that costs her everything: the crown, Varenia and Zadie.”


My thoughts

“Nor and Zadie: coral and pearl. Both precious to our people, both beautiful enough to adorn the necks of queens. But whereas a pearl is prized for its luster, its shape, its lack of imperfections, coral is different. It grows twisted. In its natural form, it can hardly be considered beautiful at all.”

In the village of Varenia, girls are raised on the belief that beauty is power. For every so often, a Varenian girl will be chosen to be sent off to marry the Prince of Ilara and become the next Queen, the highest honor to receive in their small village. When Nor and Zadie are born, there is no doubt in anyones mind who will be chosen when the time comes. But a terrible accident leaves Nor with a scar on her cheek when she is young. No longer having a chance to be picked as the most beautiful girl in Varenia, Nor accepts her fate and watches as Zadie is groomed by their mother for the future that undoubtedly awaits her. So it comes as no surprise when the elders pick Zadie to go ashore. But Zadie does not want to go and when she suffers a grievious injury before she is set to sail to Ilara, Nor is sent in her place instead.

And so, Nor heads to Ilara to be wed to a man she has never met and rule a land she has never been to before. What starts out as excitement very quickly turns to dismay as Ilara proves to be nothing like what she expected. Growing up on the ocean, Nor is used to sunshine and openness and when she learns she will be living inside a mountain, she can’t help but long to go home.
“There is no hope for any of us, child. We are all trapped in this mountain like lobsters in a cage, waiting for our turn to die.”

On top of that, she quickly finds out that the man she is to be wed to, is a horrid, cold man with many secrets and a beyond alarming obsession with the pearls her village harvests. Nor soon learns that there is much more going on than what her people have been lead to believe and that they are in danger.


Wow! There was just so much amazing-ness in this!😍 Nor and Zadies relationship was so beautiful! I’d say almost the first half of this book focuses on the relationship between the two and what it was like growing up in a place that values beauty above all else and I absolutely loved reading of their sisterly bond. The world building was excellent. I felt like I was right there with Nor the whole time as she navigated new lands and new people. There’s tension! Twists and turns! Some romance(but not an overpowering romance)! Wonderful growth with our leading lady. A villian whom you want to like but then he goes and does awful things, and no why did he do that I almost thought I liked him! A shocking ending! Literally, I gasped when I read it. This was a beautifully written YA Fantasy and please give me the sequel now!😅

5 out of 5 stars

*I received this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

ARC Review| War by Laura Thalassa

Review, Uncategorized

Title: War

Author: Laura Thalassa

Series: The Four Horsemen Book #2

Genre: NA/Romance/ Fantasy

Release Date: July 11th, 2019


Synopsis:They came to earth—Pestilence, War, Famine, Death—four horsemen riding their screaming steeds, racing to the corners of the world. Four horsemen with the power to destroy all of humanity. They came to earth, and they came to end us all.

The day Jerusalem falls, Miriam Elmahdy knows her life is over. Houses are burning, the streets run red with blood, and a traitorous army is massacring every last resident. There is no surviving this, especially not once Miriam catches the eye of War himself. But when the massive and terrifying horseman corners Miriam, he calls her his wife, and instead of killing her, he takes her back to his camp.

Now Miriam faces a terrifying future, one where she watches her world burn town by town, and the one man responsible for it all is her seemingly indestructible “husband”. But there’s another side to him, one that’s gentle and loving and dead set on winning her over, and she might not be strong enough to resist.

However, if there’s one thing Miriam has learned, it’s that love and war cannot coexist. And so she must make the ultimate choice: surrender to War and watch humankind fall, or sacrifice everything and stop him.”

My thoughts

” When He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come.” And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it ,it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him. “
Revelation 6:3-4 NASB

A decade after Pestilence’s last ride, War has arrived. When Miriam comes face to face with him as he takes the city of Jerusalem, instead of killing her, he instead captures her and starts calling her his wife. Completely baffled by this turn of events Miriam finds herself in a terrible predicament, with a front row view of the death and destruction that follows in War’s path, and the alarming realization that despite War’s nature, there could possibly be more to him.

“War thinks humans are the scourge of the earth, but is there anything so powerful as the way we love?”

Book number two of the Four Horsemen did NOT disappoint. Although I felt that this story was slightly rushed at certain points, I completely loved it still! I’m rating 4.5 stars. War was very tough, dangerous, and stubborn but also had a sweet and caring side that was so fun to see emerge as the story went on! Miriam was very stubborn as well and a certified badass with her bow and arrow skills and just all around toughness. They were perfect for each other!

❤”For your soft heart.”😭

Laura once again created a beautifully intricate post-apocalyptic world that I dove right into and did not want to end. This was a huge book but honestly, it didnt feel like it and I wanted MORE😭🤣. I absolutely can’t wait for Famine!

  • Many thanks to Laura for the ARC. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Bone Charmer: Blog Tour + Review+GIVEAWAY

blog tour, giveaway, Review

Title: THE BONE CHARMER

Author: Breeana Shields

Pub. Date: May 21, 2019

Publisher: Page Street Kids

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 400

Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD


Synopsis:I was absolutely swept away by the world of The Bone Charmer.” – Kendare Blake, #1 NYT Bestselling author of Three Dark Crowns

In Saskia’s world, bones are the source of all power. They tell the future, reveal the past, and expose secrets in the present. Each village has a designated seer who performs readings for the townsfolk, and in Midwood, the Bone Charmer is Saskia’s mother.
On the day of her kenning—a special bone reading that determines the apprenticeships of all seventeen-year-olds—Saskia’s worst fears come true. She receives an assignment to train as a Bone Charmer, like her mother, and even worse, a match-making reading that pairs her with Bram—a boy who has suspicious tattoos that hint of violence.
Saskia knows her mother saw multiple paths for her, yet chose one she knew Saskia wouldn’t want. Their argument leads to a fracture in one of the bones. Broken bones are always bad luck, but this particular set of bones have been infused with extra magic, and so the break has devastating consequences—Saskia’s future has split as well. Now she will live her two potential paths simultaneously. Only one future can survive. And Saskia’s life is in danger in both.

The Bone Charmer was a fascinating read! This was an intricately woven novel full of wonderful twists and turns. One event acted out in anger, splits Saskias reality into two. The Bone Charmer bounces back and forth from each of the timelines that Saskia is living, one as a tutor. And one as a bone charmer. Even though it’s back and forth I found it fairly easy to follow what was going on and found myself quickly engrossed in the world of blood and bone magic. The characters were well written and I liked watching Saskias relationships develop over time/timelines, especially the one with her mother. And Bram😍I’m ready for book 2 right now!About Breeana:

Breeana Shields is an author of fantasy novels for teens including The Bone Charmer, Poison’s Kiss, and Poison’s Cage. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in English.

When she’s not writing, Breeana loves reading, traveling, and playing board games with her extremely competitive family. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, her three children, and two adorable, but spoiled dogs.
Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a signed finished copy of THE BONE CHARMER, US Only.

Rafflecopter Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2937/?

Week One:

5/21/2019- BookHounds YAExcerpt

5/21/2019- RhythmicbooktrovertReview

5/22/2019- Smada’s Book SmackReview

5/22/2019- JheartlovesbooksReview

5/23/2019- The Pages In-BetweenReview

5/23/2019- Two Chicks on BooksExcerpt

5/24/2019- A Dream Within A Dream- Excerpt

5/24/2019- Shelf-ratedReview Week Two:

5/27/2019- Character Madness and MusingsSpotlight

5/27/2019- Lifestyle of MeReview

5/28/2019- Some Books & RamblingsReview

5/28/2019- Starlight-ReadsReview

5/29/2019- Eli to the nthReview

5/29/2019- Book-KeepingReview

5/30/2019- Jena Brown WritesReview

5/30/2019- The Suburban LifestyleReview

5/31/2019- AURELIA LEOExcerpt

5/31/2019- Confessions of a YA ReaderExcerpt

 

Week Three:

6/3/2019- Two Points of InterestReview

6/3/2019- Savings in SecondsReview

Review: To Best The Boys by Mary Webber

Review

Title: To Best The Boys

Author: Mary Webber

Genre: Fantasy/YA


Synopsis:Every year for the past fifty-four years, the residents of Pinsbury Port receive a mysterious letter inviting all eligible-aged boys to compete for an esteemed scholarship to the all-male Stemwick University. Every year, the poorer residents look to see that their names are on the list. The wealthier look to see how likely their sons are to survive. And Rhen Tellur opens it to see if she can derive which substances the ink and parchment are created from, using her father’s microscope.

In the province of Caldon, where women are trained in wifely duties and men are encouraged into collegiate education, sixteen-year-old Rhen Tellur wants nothing more than to become a scientist. As the poor of her seaside town fall prey to a deadly disease, she and her father work desperately to find a cure. But when her Mum succumbs to it as well? Rhen decides to take the future into her own hands—through the annual all-male scholarship competition.

With her cousin, Seleni, by her side, the girls don disguises and enter Mr. Holm’s labyrinth, to best the boys and claim the scholarship prize. Except not everyone’s ready for a girl who doesn’t know her place. And not everyone survives the maze.”

My thoughts (1)

What a beautiful, uplifting novel!

The book starts off with our main character Rhen, in a morgue dissecting a dead body! If that doesn’t set the mood of this book my dudes. Rhen is 16 and the daughter of a scientist father and upper-class mom turned lower-class when she married. Women in this sea-side town are meant for one thing and that is to be a wife and do wifely duties. But that is not the life Rhen wants. When her mother contracts a deadly virus that is sweeping through her town, Rhen and her father are furiously searching to find a cure before it takes their beloved wife and mother. But with time creeping up on them and no cure in sight, Rhen decides to enter into The Competition- an all-male scholarship competition in hopes of winning and furthering her education and finding a cure for the horrid disease.

“Society’s more likely to embrace cross-stitch as a sport than toss out its long-standing history of gender roles.”

Rhen and Seleni, Rhen’s cousin, decide to put on disguises to make them appear as boys and enter into the famed but deadly competition. Put on by the elusive Mr. Holms, the game tests a person’s strengths and weaknesses and the girls find themselves fighting for their right to be there at every twist and turn the labyrinth throws at them.

” ‘Any young men you specifically hope will win, Rhen?’ the old cat biddies ask. ‘No.’ Because Seleni and I aren’t men.”

To Best the Boys was an amazing girl power novel! I inhaled this story in pretty much a sitting and was so invested in Rhens story I was a bit disoriented when I was finished with it. Not only do we have girl power, but there’s also a fantastic romance( OMG LUTE I LOVE YOU) and plenty of fantasy elements-ghouls, sirens, and BASILISKS oh my! Also, villians! and magic!

“Whoever said the female is the weaker of a species never tested that theory against the draw of a woman’s love.”

This was a beautiful journey of finding your place in a world that keeps pushing you down and developing the courage needed to stand up for your rights. I give it 5 stars.

*I received this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Review: Changeling by Molly Harper

Review

Title: Changeling

Author: Molly Harper

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Series: Sorcery and Society #1


Synopsis: “If 14-year-old Cassandra Reed makes it through her first day at Miss Castwell’s Institute for the Magical Instruction of Young Ladies without anyone discovering her secret, maybe, just maybe, she’ll let herself believe that she really does belong at Miss Castwell’s.

Except Cassandra Reed’s real name is Sarah Smith and up until now, she lived her whole life in the Warren, serving a magical family, the Winters, as all non-magical “Snipes” are bound by magical Guardian law to do. That is, until one day, Sarah accidentally levitates Mrs. Winter’s favorite vase in the parlor…

But Snipes aren’t supposed to have magical powers…and the existence of a magical Snipe threatens the world order dictated during the Guardians’ Restoration years ago. If she wants to keep her family safe and protect her own skin, Sarah must figure out how to fit into posh Guardian society, master her newfound magical powers and discover the truth about how an ordinary girl can become magical.”

My thoughts (1)

When Sarah Smith, a Snipe, suddenly exhibits signs of magic, her whole world gets flipped upside down. Snipes are those without magical powers and if word gets out that a snipe possesses powers it could threaten to upturn the world. So to cover up the fact of her magic, Sarah is taken under the wing of the Winters, the rich, magical family that Sarah has been working for her whole life. And so Sarah Smith becomes Cassandra Reed, a long lost niece who currently lost her whole family and has come to live with the Winters and attend school.

I found this novel to be quite a fun, easy read. Molly Harper has a witty way of writing that I enjoyed reading. The friendships that Cassandra formed with fellow classmates was delightful to watch develop and I loved their bond. I thought the world was very intriguing and am looking forward to what is next in store for Cassandra and her friends. It did take me a while to read this even though it was an easy book because I had hard time really getting into it until close to the end. Also found quite a few repeated phrases and whatnot throughout the story so I am rating it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

4 out of 5 stars

*I received this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Review: Heart of The Fae by Emma Hamm

Review

Title: Heart Of The Fae

Author: Emma Hamm

Genre: Fantasy/YA

Series: The Otherworld #1


Synopsis: Once upon a time… 

A plague sweeps across the emerald hills of Uí Néill, leaving a young midwife’s father with months to live. To save her people, Sorcha makes a deal with a dangerous Fae. She must travel across the sea, through merrow and kelpie lands, to find a forgotten king on a crumbling throne. 

Born king of the Seelie Fae, Eamonn fought battles unnumbered to uphold honor, duty, and freedom… until his twin brother sank a blade between his shoulders. Crystals grew from the wound, splitting open skin and bone. His people banished him to a cursed isle for his disfigurement, now king of criminals and fools. 

With the help of brownies, pixies, and will-o’-the-wisps, Sorcha battles to break through his crystalline shell and persuade him to take back his stolen throne.

This determined beauty could come dangerously close to stealing his beastly heart.

My thoughts (1)

“The first-born son of the Seelie King faded into myth, then legend. Then nothing at all”

When a deadly plague has infected her beloved, Sorcha will do whatever it takes to save them. Making a deal with a dangerous Fae, Sorcha sets out on a journey to the mythical island Hy-Brasil in hope of accomplishing a most impossible task: return with the banished prince. Determined to finish what she set out for, Sorcha soon realizes this task is nearly impossible but will not return home without the exiled prince.

“I am not a woman, but sword and shield. I will carve my own path, or I will force others to create it for me.”

This was an incredible retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I absolutely adored this story and Sorcha. She is fierce, brave, and imperfect. And a force to be reckoned with. 

“In that moment, she gutted him. No one had looked at him like a person in such a long time, without pity or fear. She just opened her eyes and smiled at him. As if he was finally where he belonged.”

Eamonn( the “beast”) has such a tragic backstory. Betrayed by the ones closest to him he is exiled to an island for the rest of his life. With a hard exterior(ha) we get to see all his layers, from angry to sweet. Eamonn and Sorcha had sizzling chemistry and although it was a bit cheesy here and there, I still absolutely loved it and couldn’t get enough. 

This was a Beauty and the Beast retelling in a way I’ve never read before! It was full of Irish mythology, characters you root for, and beautiful lands and so unique. I’m a sucker for a good retelling. I can’t wait to read book 2! Emma Hamm is an incredible author and I’m so glad to have discovered her. What are you waiting for?! Go read this beautiful tale now!

5 out of 5 stars