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

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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

ARC Review | Cupids Match

Review, Uncategorized

Title:  Cupids Match

Author: Lauren Palphreyman

Genre: YA, Romance

Publisher: Wattpad Books

Release Date: October 1st. 2019

Series: Cupids Match #1


Synopsis: He’s mythologically hot, a little bit wicked, and almost 100% immortal. And he’ll hit you right in the heart . . .
“Miss Black, we have a big problem.”

Lila Black doesn’t believe in matchmaking, let alone soul mates. So then why is she constantly being hassled by the Cupids Matchmaking Service? But this gilded, cherub-bedecked dating agency isn’t exactly what it seems . . . and it’s about to turn Lila’s entire world upside down.

It turns out that Cupids Matchmaking is the real deal. As in, it’s run by actual cupids—who don’t look at all like they do in the paintings—and they have a serious problem with Lila’s “match.” Because this guy shouldn’t be in the system. He shouldn’t have a match. And while he’s irresistibly hot, he’s also incredibly dangerous. Because Lila’s true love match is Cupid. The original bad boy of love. And he wants her.

Now Lila’s once-normal teenaged world has exploded into a mythological nightmare overrun by crime-lord sirens, wrathful cupid hit men, magic arrows that cause no end of trouble, and a mischievous, not-so-angelic love god she can’t seem to stop herself from falling for . . .


My thoughts

When Lila won’t stop being pestered by Cupid’s Matchmaking Service she decides to take it upon herself to go directly to their office and let them know she does not want to receive emails and letters from them anymore. But when the receptionist takes a look at one of the letters she was sent, Lila finds herself being called down into one of the many offices to talk with someone higher up. Someone who is claiming to be a cupid and that Lila has been matched with the original, Cupid himself. Lila learns that a cupid is not allowed to be matched and her being the match for Cupid is very dangerous.

Warned to stay away from Cupid, Lila is sure that it will be no problem. But the next day at school, there’s a new guy. And his name is Cupid. And Lila realizes that avoiding her match might be easier said than done.

“Cupids cannot be matched. And we can’t watch over you forever.”

Cupids Match was a pretty easy read for me. It was full of lots of Greek Mythology references which was entertaining to read. However, I did have some problems with it. All the relationships seemed a bit forced (ahem, whats up with the whole Cal thing??) and I found it hard to connect to some of the characters. I also wish that Cupid and Lila’s whole relationship hadn’t been dragged out for so long. This was a very fun, unique take on the myth of Cupid I just wish that some tediously dragged out scenes were cut a bit shorter. I enjoyed the humorous narration of this and even laughed out loud a few times. Hopefully book two answers the questions that book one left me with. I am giving this 3 out of 5 stars.

3 stasr

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

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.*

Review|I Owe You One

Review, Uncategorized

Title: I Owe You One

Author: Sophia Kinsella

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Publisher: Dial Press

Release Date: Feb 05, 2019


Synopsis: Fixie Farr has always lived by her father’s motto: “Family first.” And since her dad passed away, leaving his charming housewares store in the hands of his wife and children, Fixie spends all her time picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own. The way Fixie sees it, if she doesn’t take care of her father’s legacy, who will?

It’s simply not in Fixie’s nature to say no to people. So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, she not only agrees—she ends up saving it from certain disaster. To thank Fixie for her quick thinking, the computer’s owner, Sebastian, an investment manager, scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. Fixie laughs it off—she’d never actually claim an IOU from a stranger. Would she?

But then Fixie’s childhood crush, Ryan, comes back into her life, and his lack of a profession pushes all of Fixie’s buttons. As always, she wants nothing for herself—but she’d love Seb to give Ryan a job. No sooner has Seb agreed than the tables are turned once more and a new series of IOUs between Seb and Fixie—from small favors to life-changing moments—ensues. Soon Fixie, Ms. Fixit for everyone else, is torn between her family and the life she really wants. Does she have the courage to take a stand? Will she finally grab the life, and love, she really wants?


My thoughts

Fixie has always been the fixer in her family- hence the nickname, Fixie. When her lifetime crush comes back into her life, Fixie is drawn immediately right back into his arms. Jobless, homeless, and hopeless, Ryan is the ultimate fixer upper and Fixie can’t help but try to work her magic on him. When a chance encounter with a big-shot business investor, Seb, lands her an IOU, Fixie takes it upon herself to see if that IOU would extend as far as a job for Ryan. When Seb agrees to hire Ryan, Fixie gives him an IOU for the huge favor he did her, and so ensues the ever-growing chemistry and IOU’s between the two.

“I just can’t help fixing things. It’s my flaw. It’s who I am.”

I really wanted to love this book as a whole but sadly I only really enjoyed bits and pieces. Fixie was annoying as a main character in general. And her family is atrocious! Luckily, we did get to see some exceptional growth in all the characters but unfortunately, it did not come until the very end of the book. In the meantime I had to endure the repetitive inner monologue of Fixie, constantly(CONSTANTLY) letting everyone walk all over and put her down. Like come on Fixie, I know they’re family but that doesn’t give them the right to treat you like poo!

“Family is it, Fixie. Family is what drive us. Family is everything. Family loyalty is basically our religion.”

Argh. Luckily, we got the bit of romance with the handsome Seb. The romance with Ryan, thankfully, is brief as he is also garbage. Seb and Fixie had fun banter and chemistry and I liked their relationship. He helped her learn she could stand on her own and that her opinions mattered. Yay Seb! Their back and forth IOU’s were fun and I loved the ending!

So with that, I give this a 3 out of 5 stars.

3 stasr

*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.

Review|The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Review, Uncategorized

Title: The Unhoneymooners

Author: Christina Lauren

Genre: Romance

Release Date: May 14th, 2019


Synopsis: Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of… lucky.”

My thoughts

Where my enemies-turned-lovers/ fake dating trope fans at??!! This one’s for you!

When unlucky Olive and her sworn nemesis Ethan somehow end up as the only individuals not affected in a shellfish poisoning at Olives twin sisters wedding, Olive thinks perhaps her luck might be changing.

“My poor sister has turned into a swamp creature; I’ve never seen anyone this shade of gray before.”

But then her twin offers up the honeymoon that she won. Sounds pretty great until Olive finds out the only way she can go on said honeymoon is with the man she absolutely hates, Ethan, the brother of the man Ami married, and the man Olive has never gotten along with since a cheese-curd moments years before. But how can she pass up on this free vacation to Maui? Especially since she is now jobless and has had rotten luck her whole life. Despite who her travel partner will be, Olive decides to take her sister up on the honeymoon with the plan that since Maui is a big island they can just stick to themselves and enjoy the vacation in their own separate ways, right? Wrong! Anything, that can go wrong goes wrong and cue the hilariousness.

“That’s the whole point of luck isn’t it?” He says through gritted teeth.
“You have to trust that it’s not fleeting.”

The Unhoneymooners was a quirky, sweet, laugh out loud romance that had me cackling while reading. You’ve got the hilarious banter between Ethan and Olive, undeniable sparks between the two main protagonists, feel-good heartfelt moments, and even some wonderful character growth. I fully enjoyed this novel! I’d say my only complaint would be the pace of the story being a bit out of wack(slow, fast, slow, etc) Christina Lauren are a dynamic duo who never fail to make me fully invested in what I’m reading. I can’t wait to read what they come up with next.

4 out of 5 stars

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

Review | Dark Shores by Danielle Jensen

Review, Uncategorized

Title: Dark Shores

Author: Danielle Jensen

Genre: Young Adult/ Fantasy

Series: Dark Shores #1


Synopsis: “In a world divided by meddlesome gods and treacherous oceans, only the Maarin possess the knowledge to cross the Endless Seas. But they have one mandate: East must never meet West.

A PIRATE WITH A WILL OF IRON

Teriana is the second mate of the Quincense and heir to the Maarin Triumvirate. Her people are born of the seas and the keepers of its secrets, but when her closest friend is forced into an unwanted betrothal, Teriana breaks her people’s mandate so her friend might escape—a choice with devastating consequences.

A SOLDIER WITH A SECRET

Marcus is the commander of the Thirty-Seventh, the notorious legion that has led the Celendor Empire to conquer the entire East. The legion is his family, but even they don’t know the truth he’s been hiding since childhood. It’s a secret he’ll do anything to protect, no matter how much it costs him – and the world.

A DANGEROUS QUEST

When an Empire senator discovers the existence of the Dark Shores, he captures Teriana’s crew and threatens to reveal Marcus’s secret unless they sail in pursuit of conquest, forcing the two into an unlikely—and unwilling—alliance. They unite for the sake of their families, but both must decide how far they are willing to go, and how much they are willing to sacrifice.


My thoughts (1)Dark Shores follows the point of view of the two main characters, Teriana and Marcus. Teriana is the fierce Maarin pirate whose people hold an ancient secret of Gods and the whereabouts of the obscure lands known as the Dark Shores. The Maarin travel between the two worlds, the Celendor Empire and the Dark Shores, and guard the secret of each land with their life for if East meets West, war will be inevitable. But all that changes when Teriana spills the beans to her trusted friend. Word gets out to the senator of the Empire and the Maarin people soon finds themselves prisoners.  In order to save her people, Teriana comes to an agreement to help the Empire with the conquest of the Dark Shores.

In comes Marcus, the clever commander of the Thirty-Seventh legion and man of many secrets himself. When the secrets of his own are threatened to be revealed by the senator of Celendor, Marcus finds himself leading the journey to the Dark Shores with Teriana as his prisoner/informant.

‘”Its time for you to let go of the lies Mother Empire has whispered in your ears and start seeing the world for what it really is.”
“And what is that?”
“Inexplicable. Limitless.” Her gaze went back to the ocean. “Divine.”‘

Dark Shores was a fun, fast read that I found myself quickly engrossed in. The two worlds we get to explore were so different and yet the same in many respects. I enjoyed the spicy, slow-burn romance between our two main characters and getting to watch each of their character developments. My only complaint was the story gets quite a bit rushed as it comes to the end and I felt that it should’ve been, like, a hundred pages longer to work its way through the events that were happening. However, I am looking forward to book two and seeing where Teriana and Marcus’s journey leads AND hopefully getting to see some more cool Gods action.

4 out of 5 stars

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

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.*