Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Blog Tour: A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire #1) by Jessica Cluess ~ Q&A

A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire #1) 
Hardcover416 pages
Published September 20th 2016 
by Random House Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC provided at BEA by publisher
Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars
Find it: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksGoodreads


Henrietta can burst into flames.

Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she’s shocked when instead of being executed, she’s named the first female sorcerer in hundreds of years and invited to train as one of Her Majesty’s royal sorcerers.

Thrust into the glamour of Victorian London, Henrietta is declared the prophesied one, the girl who will defeat the Ancients, bloodthirsty demons terrorizing humanity. She also meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, handsome young men eager to test her power and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her.

But Henrietta is not the chosen one.

As she plays a dangerous game of deception, she discovers that the sorcerers have their own secrets to protect. With battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city—and the one she loves?

Praise for A Shadow Bright and Burning

"Vivid characters, terrifying monsters, and world building as deep and dark as the ocean."
—Victoria Aveyard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Red Queen

"Unputdownable. I loved the monsters, the magic, and the teen warriors who are their world's best hope!" 
—Tamora Pierce, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"The magic! The intrigue! The guys! We were sucked into this monster-ridden, alternative England from page one. Henrietta is literally a 'girl on fire' and this team of sorcerers training for battle had a pinch of Potter blended with a drop of [Cassandra Clare's] Infernal Devices."
Justine Magazine

"A fun, inventive fantasy. I totally have a book crush on Rook." 
—Sarah Rees Brennan, New York Times bestselling author

"Pure enchantment. I love how Cluess turned the 'chosen one' archetype on its head. With the emotional intensity of my favorite fantasy books, this is the kind of story that makes you forget yourself." 
—Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen

"A glorious, fast-paced romp of an adventure. Jessica Cluess has built her story out of my favorite ingredients: sorcery, demons, romance, and danger."
—Kelly Link, author of Pretty Monsters

Check out my review:

Interview with Jessica Cluess

1. Did you have to do any research for A Shadow Bright and Burning?

Definitely! I also found that setting it in the early Victorian era had its own difficulties—there just isn’t as much information as there would be if I’d chosen the 1880s. One book in particular was very helpful: How To Be A Victorian: A Dawn to Dusk Guide to Victorian Life by Ruth Goodman. I learned all sorts of fascinating details. For instance, people used to brush their teeth with coal dust! I couldn’t use all the information I found, but it did help me enrich the world.

2. What was your favorite read in 2015?

I really loved An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. I’m a sucker for great world building, and hers is truly top notch. It felt like a world I could live in—though I’m not sure I’d want to!

3. What was your favorite scene to write in A Shadow Bright and Burning?

I loved any scene that involved the magician Jenkins Hargrove. I love writing sarcastic, secretive characters, and that’s him all the way. In terms of single scene, there’s one “confession” moment of sorts towards the end of the book that was very dramatic to write…but I don’t want to spoil anything.

4. What is your next project going to be?

I’m working on the sequel as we speak! Things get worse, stakes get higher, people kiss more.

5. At what age did you know you wanted to be a writer?

This is not the norm, but I knew when I was 24. Before then, I’d always liked writing, but I’d never wanted to pursue it. But when I was just out of college, the recession hit hard. Job prospects weren’t great, I was kind of depressed, and I wanted some sort of escape. So I picked up Dune and read it in about three days. I’d never been a big sci-fi/fantasy person before that, but I got completely swept away. It made me want to write something that gave other people that sort of immersive experience, and the rest is history.

6. Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Hybrid, definitely. I’m a plotter in the sense that I have to know what the end goal is, what the midpoint is, what the inciting incident is, etc. If I run in blind, I lose my way really fast. But if I try to force myself to stick to a very rigid outline, I get a better idea halfway through and the whole thing falls apart. It’s best when I give myself both structure and freedom.

7. Whose writing most inspires you?

Oh man, we could be here for years. For this series, Susanna Clarke is kind of my goddess. She wrote Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, and her pitch perfect voice and level of detail are just extraordinary. I can’t hope to match her. In general, Stephen King is a huge influence. Sometimes I think I like his forewords or his book On Writing as much as I like his fiction. He’s a pure craftsman, and hearing him talk about it is delightful.

8. What do you hope readers will take away from A Shadow Bright and Burning?

I hope they’ll have a great time, first and foremost. You don’t write about giant, tentacled monsters attacking London to be subtle and cerebral. However, if there’s one big theme I hope people think about, it’s how stupid it is to judge someone’s worth by how they’re born. People should be defined by their thoughts and actions, not their blood.

9. What TV show is a must watch for you?

Game of Thrones. Forever. Every time I hear the theme, I get excited. I also start singing Peter Dinklage’s name over and over, so you can guess who my favorite character is.

10. What inspired A Shadow Bright and Burning?

Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens. I liked how Nicholas was so different from Dickens’ other heroes, in that he was all about action and courage and a lot of bravado—sometimes too much. There’s a scene in the novel where Nicholas physically stops an attack on a defenseless boy. I wondered how a girl in the Victorian era would stop that attack, and the image popped into my head of her opening up her hands…and burning the abuser with fire. The second I saw that, I knew I wanted to write about that girl.

About the Author:

JESSICA CLUESS is a writer, a graduate of Northwestern University, and an unapologetic nerd. After college, she moved to Los Angeles, where she served coffee to the rich and famous while working on her first novel. When she’s not writing books, she’s an instructor at Writopia Lab, helping kids and teens tell their own stories. Visit her at and follow her on Twitter at @JessCluess.

Waiting on Wednesday: The Scarecrow Queen (The Sin Eater’s Daughter #3) by Melinda Salisbury

Expected publication: 2017 
by Scholastic Press


The final battle is coming . . .

As the Sleeping Prince tightens his hold on Lormere and Tregellan, the net closes in on the ragged band of rebels trying desperately to defeat him. Twylla and Errin are separated, isolated, and running out of time. The final battle is coming, and Aurek will stop at nothing to keep the throne forever . . .

Explosive, rich and darkly addictive, this is the stunning conclusion to Mel Salisbury's internationally best-selling trilogy that began with The Sin Eater's Daughter.

Add to TBR:

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Blog Tour: The Midnight Star (The Young Elites #3) by Marie Lu ~ Review & Interview

Week One:
Monday, 9/26: Expresso Reads (Series Sensory Associations)
Monday, 9/26: Ensconced in Lit (TYE “What Makes a Villain” Discussion)
Tuesday, 9/27: Myriad Inklings (Review/Book Playlist)
Tuesday, 9/27: Two Chicks on Books (Top 5 Reasons to Read TYE)
Wednesday, 9/28: Mike the Fanboy (Villains/Anti-Heroes in Pop Culture List)
Thursday, 9/29: Reading Teen (Guest Post)
Thursday, 9/29: Twirling Pages (Favorite Quotes and Mood Board)
Friday, 9/30: Bibliophile Gathering (Review)
Friday, 9/30: Brittany’s Book Rambles (Favorite Quotes)
Week Two:
Monday, 10/3: Once Upon a Twilight (Guest Post)
Tuesday, 10/4: The Starry-Eyed Revue (Midnight Star Look Book)
Tuesday, 10/4: Arctic Books (Review + Favorite Quotes)
Wednesday, 10/5: Folded Pages Distillery (Review + Instagram)
Wednesday, 10/5: Fiktshun (Review)
Thursday, 10/6: The Book Nut (Review + Mood Board)
Thursday, 10/6: Bookiemoji (Top 5 Reasons to Read TYE)
Friday, 10/7: Mundie Moms (Review + Favorite Quotes)
Week Three:
Monday, 10/10: The Fandom (Review + Favorite Quotes)
Tuesday, 10/11: Forever young Adult (Guest Post)
Wednesday, 10/12: Owl Always Be Reading (Review + Quotes)
Wednesday, 10/12: Buttermybooks (Favorite Morally Ambiguous Characters)
Thursday, 10/13: IceyBooks (Quote Candy)
Friday, 10/14: Dark Faerie Tales (Guest Post)
Friday, 10/14: A Page with a View (Favorite Fanart)
Week Four:
Monday, 10/17: The Book Shire (Review + Favorite Quotes)
Monday, 10/17: Seeing Double in Neverland (Review & Interview)
Tuesday, 10/18: What Sarah Read (Guest Post)
Wednesday, 10/19: Adventures of a Book Junkie (Top 5 Reasons to Read TYE)
Wednesday, 10/19: YA Bibliophile (Review + Favorite Quotes)
Thursday, 10/20: Eater of Books! (Swoon Thursday)
Friday, 10/21: My My Shelf and I (Bookish Scents)
Friday, 10/21: Oh the Book Feels (Review + Favorite Quotes)

The Midnight Star
(The Young Elites #3)
by Marie Lu
Hardcover316 pages
Published October 11th 2016 
by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
Rating : 5 Out of 5 Stars


The thrilling finale to the New York Times bestselling Young Elites series from “hit factory” Marie Lu.

There was once a time when darkness shrouded the world, and the darkness had a queen.

Adelina Amouteru is done suffering. She’s turned her back on those who have betrayed her and achieved the ultimate revenge: victory. Her reign as the White Wolf has been a triumphant one, but with each conquest her cruelty only grows. The darkness within her has begun to spiral out of control, threatening to destroy all that she’s achieved.

Adelina’s forced to revisit old wounds when a new danger appears, putting not only Adelina at risk, but every Elite and the very world they live in. In order to save herself and preserve her empire, Adelina and her Roses must join the Daggers on a perilous quest—though this uneasy alliance may prove to be the real danger.

Bestselling author Marie Lu concludes Adelina's story with this haunting and hypnotizing final installment to the Young Elites series. 


Thank you Penguin young readers for sending me a copy of The Midnight Star for review. This in no way affected my opinion.

The Young Elites was a hestiant series since I am a die hard fantasy fan. That being said The Rose Society gave me the character building I had been craving and then in The Midnight Star it all came together in an emotional and vivid package. I got all the world building I had been craving.

I have not cried this much since reading The Iron Queen. I cried straight for an hour and a half. This was such a moving conclusion that tugs at your heartstrings. Adelina has become a ruthless queen and Magiano has stayed by her side through it all. He may not agree with all her actions but he still supports her. Adelina would tear anyone apart if they ever brought Magiano harm. I know so many who swooned over Enzo but I was never a fan so when Magiano came into the picture I felt a missing puzzle piece was just given to me. I will forever love their friendship that blossoms.

Adelina fights so hard to trust but I feel she does come to respect and trust some of those closest to her. The Midnight Star gives us a beautiful world of the gods and a story of redemption for the the dark path chosen. This is a must read and stunning conclusion you will not want to miss.

Now some of my favorite quotes from The Midnight Star

Interview with Marie Lu on tour:

This is a blog hop interview so hop on over to Take Me Away to a Great Read for the full additional questions.

The first 5 questions are character questions.

1. (Adelina) You recognize qualities in Violetta that remind you of your mother. What qualities do you pocess that is most like your mother?

Adelina has a certain fire in her and I think her mother did as well. There is a little bit of steel in her that never really makes it into the story for practicle reasons, but I think she got that from her mother. She has a little bit of that steel. That is why her mother nicknames her the Little Wolf.

3. (Teren) What moment did you know you loved Queen Giulietta?

It was the moment when he was hiding in the trees and he saw her dancing in the garden. I think that was the moment he felt the first signs of love for her. The begining of their very twisted relationship. 

5. (Magiano) What quality most drew you to Adelina?

Her sense of power and ambition. I think that Magiano is somebody who has always heard people say that they are going to strike back as the inquisition or that they are going to get revenge but Adelina actually does. She follows through on those threats and there is something about that that attracks Magiano to her even though he wants to pull her away from the brink. There is that spark in her.

7. Since you have now done illustrations in a published novel will you be incorporating illistrations in your future novels?

I would so love to do that. I do not know if we have any plans but it is something I have mentioned to my agent. I think it would be realy really fun to do that in future books.

Lightning Round

Item you can not live without?
my phone

Midnight Star in one word?

Go to Read?
Watership Down

A huge thank you to Marie Lu for taking the time out on tour to do an interview with us. I always love seeing you and you are such an amazing human being and as a fan everytime I see you I am reminded why I will always continue to support you. 

Buy Links

If you would like signed copies of Marie Lu's books you can call and get them from the bookstore. 

Books-A- Million
(407) 552-0077

About the Author:

Marie Lu is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling series The Young Elites, as well as the blockbuster bestselling Legend series. She graduated from the University of Southern California and jumped into the video game industry as an artist. Now a full-time writer, she spends her spare time reading, drawing, playing games, and getting stuck in traffic. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with one husband, one Chihuahua mix, and two Pembroke Welsh corgis.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Bog Tour: #Giveaway #Win Unblemished by Sara Ella ~ Review

Follow the Unblemished by Sara Ella Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

by Sara Ella
Publisher: Thomas Nelson/HarperCollins
Release Date: October 11th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: ARC provided at ALA
Rate:4 Out of 5 Stars
 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg


Eliyana has always recoiled from her own reflection in the mirror. But what if that were only one Reflection—one world? What if another world existed where her blemish could become her strength?

Eliyana is used to the shadows. With a hideous birthmark covering half her face, she just hopes to graduate high school unscathed. That is, until Joshua hops a fence and changes her perspective. No one, aside from her mother, has ever treated her as normal. Maybe even beautiful. Because of Joshua, Eliyana finally begins to believe she could be loved.

But one night her mother doesn’t come home, and that’s when everything gets weird.

Now Joshua is her new, and rather reluctant, legal Guardian. Add a hooded stalker and a Central Park battle to the mix and you’ve gone from weird to otherworldly.

Eliyana soon finds herself in a world much larger and more complicated than she’s ever known. A world enslaved by a powerful and vile man. And Eliyana holds the answer to defeating him. How can an ordinary girl, a blemished girl, become a savior when she can’t even save herself?

Thank you Thomas Nelson for providing me a copy of Unblemished at ALA. This in no way affected my opinion.

Sar Ella did such an amazing job taking our superficial nature in focusing on the the scars on the surface that others may not view as beautiful and she throws that away. As I read I found myself remembering but wait wasnt he ugly but it stopped mattering. Unblemished pushes your emotions for the characters past the surface to the deepest part of their true nature.

The whole concept of other worlds has been done before but never like this. Most other worlds have another you with a road walked different then the one currently taken. However in these other worlds no other you exists. There is only one you in any world. Eliyana soon experiences weird things happening around her. She finds out that things are not what they seem and she is not from the world she has known her entire life. Who can she trust: the boy next door who she loves but has lied to her, the uncle she never knew she had or the mother who decieved her her entire life.

This book pulled me in right away. I got so many feels and I definitely need more and will be anxiously waiting for more. My heart string were torn all the way up till the last page. The end did get a little rushed. However this book is a book that will stay on my shelf and I will definitely reread this. This is a must read and I can not wait to see what Sara does next.

Once upon a time, SARA ELLA dreamed she would marry a prince (just call her Mrs. Charming) and live in a castle (aka The Plaza Hotel). Though her fairy tale didn’t quite turn out as planned, she did work for Disney—that was an enchanted moment of its own. Now she spends her days throwing living room dance parties for her two princesses and conquering realms of her own imaginings. She believes Happily Ever After is Never Far Away for those who put their faith in the King of kings.

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