Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday #262

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine where you can spotlight an upcoming release that you're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on.....

Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater 
Releases on: November 5th 2019

The dreamers walk among us . . . and so do the dreamed. Those who dream cannot stop dreaming – they can only try to control it. Those who are dreamed cannot have their own lives – they will sleep forever if their dreamers die.

And then there are those who are drawn to the dreamers. To use them. To trap them. To kill them before their dreams destroy us all.

Ronan Lynch is a dreamer. He can pull both curiosities and catastrophes out of his dreams and into his compromised reality.

Jordan Hennessy is a thief. The closer she comes to the dream object she is after, the more inextricably she becomes tied to it.

Carmen Farooq-Lane is a hunter. Her brother was a dreamer . . . and a killer. She has seen what dreaming can do to a person. And she has seen the damage that dreamers can do. But that is nothing compared to the destruction that is about to be unleashed......


Thoughts:
So. Who has a time machine? Who can take me to November 5th 2019 because I need this book NOW!!! Like stat. I absolutely adored the Raven Cycle and I'm so beyond excited that Maggie Stiefvater has decided to expand on the world within with a series focusing on Ronan Lynch. Can't wait to see my guy again!


What are you waiting on this week?



Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Book Shelf: Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

A divided nation. Four Queens. A ruthless pickpocket. A noble messenger. And the murders that unite them.

Get in quick, get out quicker.

These are the words Keralie Corrington lives by as the preeminent dipper in the Concord, the central area uniting the four quadrants of Quadara. She steals under the guidance of her mentor Mackiel, who runs a black market selling their bounty to buyers desperate for what they can’t get in their own quarter. For in the nation of Quadara, each quarter is strictly divided from the other. Four queens rule together, one from each region:

Toria: the intellectual quarter that values education and ambition
Ludia: the pleasure quarter that values celebration, passion, and entertainment
Archia: the agricultural quarter that values simplicity and nature
Eonia: the futurist quarter that values technology, stoicism and harmonious community

When Keralie intercepts a comm disk coming from the House of Concord, what seems like a standard job goes horribly wrong. Upon watching the comm disks, Keralie sees all four queens murdered in four brutal ways. Hoping that discovering the intended recipient will reveal the culprit – information that is bound to be valuable bartering material with the palace – Keralie teams up with Varin Bollt, the Eonist messenger she stole from, to complete Varin’s original job and see where it takes them.


More info on Goodreads......


Review:

Four Dead Queen’s is Astrid Scholte’s debut novel and is an enticing fantasy novel full of mystery, intrigue and plenty of twists and turns to keep readers intrigued until the final page.

Keralie Corrington is a talented pickpocket and steals from unsuspecting victims for the black market in the quadrant where she lives. The nation of Quadara where she lives is divided into four quadrants, Archia, Luudia, Toria and Eonia with each quadrant overseen by a ruling queen. It’s a system that has worked for centuries, until Keralie steals a particular valuable item from a messenger and stumbles upon a secret….the four queens have been murdered! Wanting to find the culprit, Keralie teams up with Varin Bollt, the messenger she initially stole from. Raised in different quadrants and with opposing beliefs, working together will not be easy for Keralie and Varin, but with the stakes so high and lives on the line, they will need to trust one another if they hope to determine who wants to kill the queens.

As far as debut novels are concerned Astrid Scholte’s Four Dead Queens is well thought out and enjoyable reading. Given that it is also a standalone novel (something rare in today’s age) Four Dead Queens offers readers a well-paced and well plotted murder mystery that mixes elements of fantasy, romance and surprise into the storyline. The world building was spot on, with Quadara’s history and backstory explored with purpose and precision to explain why it is ruled by four queens the way it is.

Though written primarily through the eyes of protagonist Keralie, Four Dead Queens also offers a few chapters from the perspective of the four aforementioned queens. I felt this was a really smart move on Scholte’s part as it gave readers the opportunity to not only get to know the queens but see the whole picture surrounding their lives and deaths in authentic context.

Keralie is a likable main character and easy to follow. Her voice is strong and she's a capable, daring young woman who knows her way around the streets and how to get both into trouble and out of it in equal measure. Throughout Four Dead Queens Keralie makes a dedicated effort to do the right thing and alongside Eonist Varin attempts to find out who is behind assassination of the queens.

Forward moving with a complex who-done-it murder mystery Four Dead Queens features romance, danger and an ending you won't expect at all. Astrid Scholte concludes the story with promise and proves she is a voice to watch out for in YA fiction. I'll be keeping an eye out to see what she releases next.

Rating:
Source: Sent for review by publisher (Thank you guys!)
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Format: Paperback
Australian RRP: $19.99
Release Date: March 1st 2019
Buy: Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon
Final Thoughts: Enjoyable and a solid YA fantasy. Definitely worth a read.


Saturday, March 16, 2019

Free Ebooks

Hello book lovers and happy Saturday! I've got some new freebies to share with you today. Hope you find something new!

Blood Crescent by S.M. McCoy
Flesh and Blood by Willow Rose
From Gods by Mary Ting
A Witch's Blood by Cheri Winters

Winter Princess by Skye MacKinnon
Crossbite by Alex Villavasso
Stone Lover by Emma Alisyn
Daughter of Odin by S. K. Gregory

Code Onyx by Val St. Crowe
Prisoner of Silk by Lidiya Foxglove
Mage Academy by Shaina Anastasi
Valkyrie Landing by A.J. Flowers 

War of Fangs by L.A. Boruff
Fates Altered by Jules Barnard
What Fate Portends by Clara Coulson
Golden by K.M. Robinson 

Did you get something new? I know I did!


Thursday, March 14, 2019

Book Shelf: Persuasion (Curse of the Gods #2) by Jaymin Eve & Jane Washington

Willa Knight: Dweller? Bad-ass? Notorious pet to five magical beings?

In Blesswood, there are rules, and someone is trying to teach her how to follow them. The only problem is Willa. Which shouldn’t be anything new, since she has been a problem since birth—something her pseudo-sister Emmy would agree on.

So it definitely shouldn’t be new … but it is.

Because things are starting to happen that have never happened before.

Things are starting to get …chaotic. 


More info on Goodreads..... 


Review: 

Persuasion is the second novel in the Curse of the Gods series by Jaymin Eve and Jane Washington and continues to draw readers into a developing and changing world of magic, fantasy and sizzling sexual tension.

Willa Knight’s life was forever altered when she found herself tied to the five Abcurse brothers. Now she needs to discover what this bond means for her and why she is suddenly experiencing strangle abilities at the most inconvenience of times. Willa’s position as a dweller means she should be low on the totem pole, but as the Abcurses continue to hold her in high esteem, the other dwellers begin to act out, putting in motion the start of a rebellion that could change everything…..

In Persuasion, Willa is back alongside her five Abcurse brothers and continuing to shake up the world she lives in. A mere lowly dweller, Willa’s connection two five powerful “sols” is an enigma in their world where dwellers serve sols and do not associate with them on an equal level. Authors Jaymin Eve and Jane Washington continue to focus heavily around the close bond between Willa and her guys as the gods continue to play with their lives.

I’m at a bit of a mixed mind where a certain aspect of the novel is concerned and this is the is storyline; as in I didn’t really feel like there was much of one in this novel. Unlike the first novel which set up a lot of the world within the series, Persuasion didn’t seem to feature that much of a storyline arc. There wasn’t really a lot going on other than Willa continuing to spend time with the Abcurses and being in jeopardy—again. Perhaps this novel is more of a filler/set up to events to come, but it was mostly just little things that happened and not enough to really change the shape of the series.

That being said, I still enjoyed this novel. I generally like Jaymin Eve and Jane Washington’s novels and there was plenty of moments of hilarity and romantic tension within Persuasion. I’m enjoying seeing Willa connect with individual brothers and am intrigued by Cyrus, the Neutral God who will feature down the track in his own novel (with a certain dweller I might add) and will definitely be continuing the series.

Rating:
Source: Purchased by me via Kindle Unlimited
Publisher: Independently published by authors
Format: Kindle ebook via Kindle Unlimited (I also own a signed paperback)
Release Date: May 30th 2017
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Final Thoughts: This novel wasn't as exciting as the first, but I will be definitely be reading more.


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday #261

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine where you can spotlight an upcoming release that you're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on.....
 
The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young
Releases on: September 3rd 2019 
 
The new gut-wrenching epic from the New York Times bestselling author of Sky in the Deep.

For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.
 

Thoughts:
I really enjoyed Adrienne Young's debut novel Sky in the Deep and I can't wait to read this companion novel! Sky in the Deep was really impressive and I'm keen to see more of Tova whom we met in the first novel as well as this Nordic/Viking-like world Adrienne Young has created.
 
Have you read Sky in the Deep and will you be reading this?
 
 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Book Shelf: The Queen's Rising (The Queen's Rising #1) by Rebecca Ross

When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.

Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.

Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.

With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?


More info on Goodreads......


Review:

The Queen’s Rising is Rebecca’s Ross’s debut novel and is an enchanting story of elegance, slow burning romance, beautiful familial bonds and a rebellion that will change a very kingdom forever.

Having grown up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia, seventeen year old orphan Brienna dwells at the renowned Magnalia House where young ladies study one of the five passions; art, music, dramatics, wit and knowledge. Though many display inert talents for one of these subjects, Brienna struggled for years to find hers before eventually settling on knowledge. As the summer solstice approaches where trainees will be claimed by a patron of their passion, Brienna fears that she will be deemed inadequate and passed over; a fear that later comes true much to Brienna’s horror. Remaining at Magnalia House, Brienna’s future takes a surprising turn when she begins to experience visions of another time, seemingly set in the neighbouring land of Maevana. Soon offered patronage by a disgraced lord, Brienna soon finds herself caught up in an intricate plot to overthrow the King of Maevana and restore the rightful Queen to the throne. As the plot thickens, Brienna quickly discovers that she herself is tied to this land of warrior queens and quarrelling territories in a way she never expected. Tasked with restoring a queen, Brienna must decide where her loyalty lies and ultimately what is stronger; passion or blood because her choice has the power to change the very course of a war……

I absolutely adored this novel; simply adored it! So much more than I was anticipating if I’m being perfectly honest. The story Rebecca Ross has woven together was elegantly told, perfectly paced and burning with romance and unexpected bonds of family. Set in a refined and aristocratic fantasy world reminiscent of France in the 16th century, The Queen’s Rising follows a strong willed and highly likable heroine who develops and grows immensely over the course of the novel.

There was so much about The Queen’s Rising I enjoyed; from the beautiful writing, vivid setting and likable heroine to the bonds of family and friendship that developed to the soft but passionate undertone of romance that complimented the story. Though some parts were slower than others, I loved the way Rebecca Ross built the story; I felt like Brienna’s transformation and growth was believable as it occurred over a number of months.

I also found it very refreshing that for once, the main protagonist was not destined to be queen. She was not the one who would be tasked with ruling a land and overseeing her people. Rather our heroine Brienna was someone whose actions would help bring this individual to power—I liked that; very much. I also enjoyed reading about the land of Maevana where people value daughters above sons. It’s often quite the opposite in societies, both real and fictional, so I felt it empowering that this wasn’t the case in The Queen’s Rising.

Wonderfully completed, The Queen’s Rising races towards a powerful and important battle between two opposing sides. There are a number of surprises and developments throughout the book you may, or may not, see coming as well as a perfect ending to this chapter of the series. I’m already excited to see what Rebecca Ross has plans in the sequel for Brienna, I for one cannot wait until it’s in my hot little hands and I can enjoy the beauty of this world once more!

Rating: 
Source: Sent for review by publisher via Netgalley (Thank you guys!)
Publisher:
Harper Collins 
Format: Kindle ebook via Netgalley (I also own a hardback copy)
Release Date:
February 6th 2018
Buy: Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon
Final Thoughts: I highly enjoyed this novel and cannot wait until I can read the next one!



 

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Book Blitrz: The Aviary by Emily Shore- Excerpt & Giveaway

Welcome to the Book Blitz for The Aviary by Emily Shore thanks to Xpresso Book Tours! Personally I think this seems like an intriguing novel and am excited to be sharing it with you today.
__________________________

"Gentlemen, we have a special treat for you today. Feast your eyes on this pure-blooded beauty!"

Sixteen-year-old Serenity has spent her entire life in hiding to protect her from this exact moment. In a world where beauty is bought and sold on the streets like a corporate commodity, Serenity's natural assets are more like liabilities. Despite her parents' best efforts, she's been taken—ripped from her home and the only life she's ever known—to find herself on sale to the highest bidder. And that bidder? Enigmatic and dangerous, Luc is the director of The Aviary—an elite museum where girls are displayed as living art by day…and cater to the lascivious whims of the highest bidder by night. In this elaborate and competitive world, girls go by names like Raven and Nightingale, and will stop at nothing to become top Bird.

Luc comes to idolize Serenity's purity and aims to turn her into his grandest exhibit of all time—The Swan. In no time, she becomes one of the most coveted exhibits in Aviary history. When she discovers Luc holds the key to finding her parents, she must learn to play The Swan to perfection…to win his heart and earn his trust. But she doesn't anticipate falling for him in the process. Now she faces an impossible choice: escape The Aviary and lose her only chance at finding her parents—or become Luc's Swan for good and lose her identity forever.

The Jewel by Amy Ewing meets Trix by Ellen Hopkins in this gritty Young Adult Dystopian that tells of a fear-inducing future where the world of sex trafficking has become a social norm and where woman aren't treated as humans or any more safer than they were in The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.



Purchase:
Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Google + 


From The Aviary.....

My cage used to be the hotels where I grew up. There, I knew what to do and how to act. Now, I would choose to spend an eternity inside those walls, just being Serenity instead of a caged bird. At least in the hotel, I always had one constant. Sky.

Who will I become here? Girls have adopted their feathers, seemingly as easy as zipping up a jacket. But I wear my lightning on my sleeve, and I always will.

After Dove departs, I thumb my silver tattoo. Like flames and frost, it taunts my skin. Somehow, I must keep the Aviary from conquering me.

Want more? Get your copy today!


Emily Shore is a MN author with a B.A. in Creative Writing from Metro State University and was a grand prize winner of #PitchtoPublication, which led her to working with professionals in the publishing industry. She is signed with Clean Teen Publishing for her anti-trafficking dystopian The Aviary, first in the Uncaged Series. For every sale, proceeds return to trafficking rescue and to Emily and her husband's international adoption fund.

Throughout the years, Emily has connected with rescue organizations and survivors of sex-trafficking and injects the truths she's learned into her books for youth. She loves motivational speaking on the issue of sex-trafficking and always hopes for more speaking events in schools, churches, and libraries. Please contact her on her website if you are interested in hearing her speak.

Emily lives in Saint Paul with her husband and two daughters. They are currently in the process of adopting a little girl from India.

Visit Emily:
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