Thursday, July 28, 2016

Three Dark Crowns #BEA16 by Kendare Blake @EpicReads ~ Review


Three Dark Crowns (Untitled #1) by 
Hardcover416 pages
Expected publication: September 20th 2016 
by HarperTeen
Source: ARC from BEA
Rating: 4.5 Out of 5 Stars


Synopsis:

Fans of acclaimed author Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Bloodwill devour her latest novel, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen. 

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose...it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown. 


Review:

Thank you Book Expo America and Epic Reads for a copy of Three Dark Crowns. This in no way affected my opinion.

I am such a huge fantasy fan and I loved Three Dark Crowns. I loved 2 of the sisters more then the third. My favorite hands down is Katherine. This story is about triplets born with different abilities and only one is meant to rule and be queen. The poisoners have ruled for generations but rumor has it that Mirabella the Elemental is the strongest of the three.

Arsinoe was my least favorite of the three but when reflecting back I do not think that it was her character that was lacking. I love her independence and loyalty. I think it was a disconnect in the story during her POVs since they seemed to focus more on her friend Jules then on her. 

Arsinoe ability has always been lacking and she has yet to find her familiar. A Familiar is an animal bond that represents ones ability. 



Mirabella has the ability to control the elements. She can even make fire dance from her palms all over her body. She is fiesty and she is the only triplet who has flashbacks of when her and her sisters were young and loved one another. However, Mirabella's court knows her strength and is determined she will be the triplet left standing and in power.

Mirabella's journey was my favorite part. She is young and inexperienced and wants to live, love and experience the things that have been kept from her. She is also the most loyal to her other sisters. But when there is only one to be Queen can she continue her loyalty regardless of the cost?




Katherine is by far my favorite of the triplets. She is a poisoner. She is viewed as weak and is underestimated at every turn. She has a pet poisonous snake that wraps around her wrist. Even her own court thinks the only way she will survive is by trickery. "Natalia looks at Katherine and smiles. Her poison gift may be weak, or may be no gift at all. But she is so very skilled at poisoning."

Katherine really finds her backbone and I found myself routing for her. She was a frail shell of a girl at the beginning but she finds determination with a purpose.




The twists and turns you never see coming have you screaming OMG I need book 2 like yesterday. This book is freakin fantastic. I am so excited to read more from Kendare Blake. I have to say there were also stunning and amazing touches added to this book as well. Like the amazing map, and the cover is breathtaking. This is a must read!






Pre-Order Links:




About the Author:

So, I write books. Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares are horror, The Goddess War books are mythology, and Sleepwalk Society is contemporary. Different genres, because the world don't move to the beat of just one drum. Love to read, too. Fiction, philosophy, good books, bad books, because you take the good you take the bad you take them both and there you have a stack of books and stuff. I mean, you've got to be adventurous. There's more to life that what you're living, so take a chance and face the wind.

There's more coming soon like Scary Out There and THREE DARK CROWNS so don't waste another minute on your cryin. We're nowhere near the end.

My likes include animals, food, and nostalgia. I mean, whatever happened to predictability? The milkman, the paperboy, the evening TV? Used to be everywhere you look, there's a heart, a hand to hold on to.

Anyway, I love to hear from readers so drop me a line here or at my website and we'll talk about friends to know, and ways to grow, and great authors to be in charge of our days, and our nights.

We can also talk about all the sitcom theme songs in this bio. Sha la la la.
 




Find me on instagram

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: The Valiant by Lesley Livingston @RazorbillBooks


Thank you Wren @TheReadingBird who told me about The Valiant due to me and the heroine having the same name. Cover is stunning and the synopsis has completely captivated me.


The Valiant by 

Hardcover

Expected publication: February 14th 2017 

by Razorbill



Synopsis:

Lost to history, the story of the female gladiator has never been told. Until now.

Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king and the younger sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha. When Fallon was just a child, Sorcha was killed while defending their home from the armies of Julius Caesar.

On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is excited to follow in her sister's footsteps and earn her place in her father's war band. She never gets the chance.

Fallon is captured by ruthless brigands who sell her to an elite training school for female gladiators owned by none other than Julius Caesar himself. In a cruel twist of fate, the man who destroyed Fallon s family might be her only hope of survival. 
Now, Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries, deadly fights in and out of the arena, and perhaps the most dangerous threat of all: her irresistible feelings for Cai, a young Roman soldier and her sworn enemy.

A richly imagined fantasy for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Cinda Williams Chima, "The Valiant" recounts Fallon s gripping journey from fierce Celtic princess to legendary gladiator and darling of the Roman empire."


Add to your TBR:

Recreated (Reawakened #2) by Colleen Houck ~ Review


Hardcover416 pages
Expected publication: August 2nd 2016 
by Delacorte Press
Source: ARC Provided by Publisher
Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars




Synopsis:

From Colleen Houck, New York Times bestselling author of The Tiger’s Curse, comes Recreated, the second book in the epic Egyptian-inspired Reawakened series, in which a seventeen-year-old must literally go to hell to save the love of her life. 

Lily Young thought traveling across the globe with a reawakened sun prince was a grand adventure. Now she’s about to embark on the journey of a lifetime. 

When Amon and Lily part tragically, he transports himself to the Netherworld—what mortals call hell. Tormented by the loss of his one true love, he’d rather suffer in agony during Lily’s mortal years than fulfill his duty to protect humanity. 

Heartbroken, Lily seeks refuge on her grandmother’s farm. Yet she can feel Amon’s pain, and she has been having dreams—dreams of Amon continually suffering. 

For before he departed, Amon gave Lily something very special, an item that connects them even though they are worlds apart. Now Lily must use this object to free him, and to free their realms from darkness and utter chaos. She will do whatever it takes.

Review:

Thank you Random House for sending me an arc of Recreated. This in no way affected my review.

Last year I fell in love with Reawakened and knew I needed Recreated to read. I have been waiting to share my thoughts with all of you closer to release since I finished reading the arc back in April. We start off this story with Lily and Amon and his brothers did not come into play for some time. I loved witnessing Lily's growth. 

Lily and Tia a lioness merge and become one to save Amon and his brothers. One will become more dominate and Lily must fight very hard for that to be her. Oh yes and that heart scarab Amon gave Lily will be his undoing and her ticket to saving him. 

While I love Amon I was definitely leaning more towards another brother towards the end. This book is slow at the beginning but builds the story to where it needs to be and then you have the action and swoon worthy brothers and banter in the second half. I chalk up any slow points to middle book syndrome. Still a fantastic read and I can not wait for this journey to continue in book 3!





Pre-Order Links:





About the Author:



  • New York Times Bestselling Author Colleen Houck is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, science fiction, and romance. Formerly a student at the University of Arizona, she worked as a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter for seventeen years before switching careers to become an author. Colleen lives in Salem, Oregon, with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Eternal Sacrifice (Mortal Enchantment #4) by Stacey O'Neale ~Review


Eternal Sacrifice (Mortal Enchantment #4) by 
Paperback300 pages
Published June 2016 
by Phoenix Reign Publishing
Source: Paperback Provided by Author
Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars



Synopsis:

The explosive conclusion to Stacey O’Neale’s award-winning Mortal Enchantment series reveals the secrets of the fantasy world!

Valac has stolen two of the sacred objects. In a bid to rule all four courts, he has threatened to use Excalibur to cut the mist that protects Avalon—ultimately ending the lives of thousands of elementals. As the Akasha, Kalin has the power to stop him. And she refuses to lose anyone else she loves.

Will she have to sacrifice herself to save them?

Desperate to save Kalin’s life, Rowan searches for the long-lost creator of the mist. But what he finds is the very last thing he expected. Everything he thought he knew about his past is turned upside down, and he questions whether he’s meant to be the savior or the elemental that destroys them all.

Told from Kalin, Rowan, and Marcus’s perspective, the final installment to the series follows their journey of courage, duty, sacrifice, and love.
 



Review:

Thank you Stacey O'Neale for sending me a copy of Eternal Sacrifice for review. This in no way affected my opinion.


Eternal Sacrifice is such a beautiful and emotional conclusion to the Mortal Enchantment series. I always like Marcus but we get his POV in this finale and at first I was like why. But I have to say it was the best thing Stacey could have done. His POV was so unexpectedly perfect. I have always been a Rowan fan but he has competition in this book.


Kalin just got her Akasha abilities and is learning to balance all the expectations and responsibilities put on her. Rowan has a bunch of secrets revealed to him that were kept from him his entire life. I also love how Stacey intertwined the legend of Excalibur, Merlin ect.. 


I was in tears twice and I mean ugly crying. This book had such an emotional impact. It took a bit to find the words to write a review. This is one of my favorite series of all time and this final book did not disappoint. This is a must read series.


Pre-Order Links:





About the Author:


  • Award-winning author, Stacey O'Neale, lives in Annapolis, Maryland. When she's not writing, she spends her time fangirling over books, blogging, watching fantasy television shows, cheering for the Baltimore Ravens, and hanging out with her husband and daughter.

    Her career in publishing started as a blogger-turned-publicist for two successful small publishers. Stacey writes young adult fantasy and adult science fiction romance. Her books always include swoon-worthy heroes, snarky heroines, and lots of kissing.

    Stacey loves hearing from readers. Follow her on Twitter @StaceyONeale, look for her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr. You can also visit her blog atstaceyoneale.com/.

Gifted by H.A. Swain @FierceReads ~ Review


Gifted by 
Hardcover336 pages
Published June 14th 2016 
by Feiwel & Friends
Source: ARC Provided by Publisher
Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars


Synopsis:

In Orpheus Chanson's world, geniuses and prodigies are no longer born or honed through hard work. Instead, procedures to induce Acquired Savant Abilities (ASAs) are now purchased by the privileged. And Orpheus's father holds the copyright to the ASA procedure.

Zimri Robinson, a natural musical prodigy, is a "plebe"--a worker at the enormous warehouse that supplies an on-line marketplace that has supplanted all commerce. Her grueling schedule and her grandmother's illness can't keep her from making music--even if it is illegal.

Orpheus and Zimri are not supposed to meet. He is meant for greatness; she is not. But sometimes, rules are meant to be broken. Here is a thriller, love story, and social experiment that readers will find gripping--and terrifying.

Review:

Thank you Fierce Reads for sending me a copy of Gifted for review. This in no way affected my opinion.

Gifted was such a unique futuristic masterpiece with a southern feel. Zimri's character is strong, determined and gifted. She just has never had the opportunity to live the life of a Gifted being born and raised among the poor and working class. Where as Orpheus has had everything handed to him on a silver platter. Yet he soon discovers when everything has been handed to you then decisions are no longer your own but the people that give you the life you lead.

I adored the entire concept of this book. We love our freedom to express ourselves and what if everything we did whether art, music, writing was owned by corporations and was no longer your own. What if it was illegal to even listen, sing, read, draw, paint. Now this is about music but can be applied to so many avenues in our future to come. 

This is a must read and will leave you appreciating the freedom of choices we have in the time we are in now.  




Pre-Order Links:





About the Author:

Heather Swain lives in a crooked house in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, two children, a barkless dog, and two rescue cats. She is the author of four novels for young adults, two kids craft books, two novels for grown ups, and numerous short stories, personal essays, and non-fiction articles.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Interview with Phoebe North for #Bookitcon2016 @UBUbiz @ReadWriteLove28

I was honored that I was asked to interview one of the Authors for Bookitcon an amazing event that supports such an amazing cause.


About the Event:

Bookitcon: Chapter Two is a charity book event. We currently have 28 incredible authors in our lineup. The book event will include meet-n-greets with the authors, along with two panels and the opportunity to get all of your books signed by all of the authors!

If you purchase the VIP ticket, you will also be invited to a VIP dinner/after party with the authors, along with getting an extra hour to get your books signed!

Panels:

Surprises in Publishing

Moderator: S Usher Evans
Panelists: Anna Breslaw
Kathryn Holmes
Lee Kelly
Jodi Meadows
Julie Eshbaugh

Facts vs Fiction

Moderator: Claire Legrand
Panelists: Beth Fantaskey
Sandy Hall
Kendall Kulper
Mia Siegert
Eric Smith

Where:

16 East Main Street Moorestown, NJ 08057

When:

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

Why:


I decided to start UBUbiz because I wanted a way to combine my passions for reading, business, and charity/community service. After wracking my brain for months, the idea of Bookitcon suddenly appeared! This is my second year hosting Bookitcon, and I can’t wait. - Nori @ReadWriteLove28 


Interview with Author Phoebe North:







1) did you have to do any research for The Starglass duology?

Yes, I researched a ton about botany and Jewish traditions, not to mention making a space ship work! I did enough research to know that a generation ship is really impossible (particularly artificial gravity) but I had a fun time delving into the science anyway.
 
2) What is your favorite read so far in 2016?

Without a doubt my best reading experience was of Rachel Hartman's upcoming book TESS IN BOOTS, which should be out next year. It was lush and real and fantastic all at once and it has ruined other books for me, just a little. I can't wait until everyone else can read it! 

3) What was your favorite scene to write in any of your books?

Anything involving Terra and Mara. I love that grumpy botanist so much. 

4) What is your next project going to be? (If you can not say too much what genre will it be)

I'm currently drafting book called PARACOSM, an ambitious little slipstream YA novel about a brother who goes missing, a sister who is left behind, and the magical kingdom that connects them. Think of it as ROOM meets PAN'S LABYRINTH. 

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

I can't remember a time when I didn't write, though there were moments when I also wanted to be other things. The final straw for me was probably when I applied to art school and then changed my mind after I got accepted. I realized that, as much as I'll always love art, my true passion was for storytelling.

6) Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I have tried my hardest to become a plotter since I sold STARGLASS--I'd convinced myself that it was the way real writers approached books. But the books I wrote with an outline were terrible. I'm back to pantsing, and my writing is much better for it. 

7) Who's writing most inspires you?
Margaret Atwood! 

8) What do you hope readers will take away from your stories?

I hope they find them to be emotionally honest. Whether set on Earth or in the far reaches of space, I want to tell stories about real, vital people whose conflicts and problems reflect the true heart of our world. 

9) What TV show is a must for you to watch? (for example I can not miss Once Upon a Time)
I'm a total TV addict. Mad Men is probably my all-time favorite show. I've watched it four times already, and I love how I discover more on every re-watch. 

10) What inspired your short story The Cowbird Egg?

The Cowbird Egg started as a joke about kicking my husband out of bed. But after I made the joke, I couldn't help but wonder what it would be like if there was a paranormal creature whose life actually reflected the life cycle of a real cowbird, supplanting another human being, stealing its resources and its strength. The story came out pretty fully-formed after that.



About the Author:

Born in suburban New Jersey, Phoebe North was an avid reader from an early age. She read in the bathtub, at the dinner table, in front of the television, and under the blankets with a flashlight when she should have been asleep.
She has an MFA in poetry from the University of Florida, but while in graduate school rediscovered her dual loves of science fiction and children’s literature.  She loves writing books about magic and robots and first kisses almost as much as she loves Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
She now lives in New York State with her husband, daughter, and feline companion. Despite many soaked pages, she still loves to read in the bath.
She is represented by Amy Boggs at Donald Maass Literary Agency.

For more Information on Bookitcon or to purchase tickets: