31.12.15

REVIEW: REBEL SPRING (Falling Kingdoms #2) by Morgan Rhodes

REBEL SPRING

Author: Morgan Rhodes
Series: Falling Kingdoms #2
Source: Purchased from Chapters
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: December 3, 2013
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Summary:
The road to power... is paved with blood and magic.

Cleo is now a prisoner in her own palace, forced to be an ambassador for Mytica as the evil King Gaius lies to her people.

Magnus stands to eventually inherit the new kingdom but is still obsessed with his feelings for his adopted sister, Lucia.

Lucia is haunted by the outcome of the breathtaking display of magic that allowed her father to capture the kingdoms.

Jonas watched at the palace gates a troop of rebels behind him, waiting for him to tell them how he plans to overtake King Gaius.

After a bloody siege, Auranos has been defeated, its young queen orphaned and dethroned. The three kingdoms—Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia—are now unwillingly united as one country called Mytica. But the allure of ancient, dangerous magic beckons still, and with it the chance to rule not just Mytica, but the whole world over...

At the heart of the fray are four brave young people grappling for that magic and the power it promises. For Cleo, the magic would enable her to reclaim her royal seat. In Jonas's hands, it frees his nation, and in Lucia's, it fulfills the ancient prophecy of her destiny. And if the magic were Magnus's, he would finally prove his worth in the eyes of his cruel and scheming father, King Gaius, who rules Mytica with a punishing hand.

When Gaius begins to build a road into the Forbidden Mountains to physically link all of Mytica, he sparks a long-smoking fire in the hearts of the people that will forever change the face of this land. For Gaius's road is paved with blood, and its construction will have cosmic consequences.
Purchase:

This is one of the best young adult high fantasy series I've ever read. I love that there is so much tension and build up and that we get to see everything that is happening while the characters are unaware. It makes the tension for us so high that we are reading on the edge of our seat. Once you start this one you can't put it back down and once you finish you immediately need to read the next book. This is one of those series that not a lot of people talk about but those who do, are so in love with it that they won't shut up about it once you get them started.

29.12.15

Boxing Day Book Haul! The LAST ONE Until 2017!

Hey guys! Hope you had a wonderful holiday! I know I did and it was nice to relax and spend time with the fam. Boxing Day is the big "sale day" here in Canada so I knew I would have to stock up on books then. And with 50% off in store at BookOutlet, I was READY. 

The store opened up at 9am so I left my house by 7:20, got a Tim's tea, and sat in the parking lot and waited for the doors to open. I lined up outside at about 8:30 and was the third person in line behind two women who said they had done the Boxing Day sale every year for 10 years. I recommended books to other people waiting in line and was checking out the website to see what was in store that I needed to pick up. They opened the door at 8:55am and I grabbed a (broken) cart and headed into the store.

Top Ten Tuesday (15): Top Ten Books Coming Out January to June 2016!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.
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I call the "first half" up until the end of June just as an fyi. Also, I did limit myself to 10 because I do WoWs over on Queen of the Bookshelves and Books Are My Fandom and therefore you will see a lot of books. I tried to choose books for this one that I don't have WoW posts for so that you can see a lot of different books. If you want to see all the 2016 releases I'm anticipating, you can check out my Goodreads list.

27.12.15

Guest of the Month Club: Favourite Holiday Traditions

Hello and welcome to another edition of Guest of the Month Club! Today we are talking about our favourite holiday traditions and why they are so special to us. I have Laura from 125pages on the blog to talk to you about her winter holiday traditions! She talks about everything leading up to Christmas and what her family does to celebrate. It is always nice to see what other people do for the holidays, so I hope you enjoy this post! And you can check out my holiday traditions on Laura's blog!
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I have a few things that to me make the holiday season. It all starts at my mother-in-law’s birthday party in late October. My husband is one of seven children and between spouses and children there would be a ridiculous amount of presents to buy. Because of that we draw names for the adults (all kids not yet graduated high school get gifts from all so they are super spoiled), it is really fun to see everyone picking their gift recipient. That drawing really signifies that the holidays are starting and it is such an ingrained tradition to do at that party. 

24.12.15

ARC REVIEW: THIS RAGING LIGHT by Estelle Laure

THIS RAGING LIGHT

Author: Estelle Laure
Source: ARC via the Publisher
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: December 22, 2015
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Summary:
Can the best thing happen at the worst time?  

Her dad went crazy. Her mom left town. She has bills to pay and a little sister to look after. Now is not the time for level-headed seventeen-year-old Lucille to fall in love. But love—messy, inconvenient love—is what she’s about to experience when she falls for Digby Jones, her best friend’s brother. With blazing longing that builds to a fever pitch, Estelle Laure’s soulful debut will keep readers hooked and hoping until the very last page. 
Purchase:
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in a giveaway in exchange for an honest review.

THIS RAGING LIGHT was one of my most highly anticipated December 2015 releases. I was so intrigued by the premise, even though it seemed like it would be romance heavy when there was obviously a lot of other stuff going on. However, I was pleasantly surprised that this one focused more on Lucille learning how to cope with raising her sister and being on her own than her relationship with Digby. And while the romance was there, it was nice that it wasn't the complete focus of the novel.

22.12.15

Top Ten Tuesday (14): Top Ten Books Santa Can Leave Under My Tree

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.
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Santa, can you hear me? I have been so good this year... ish! So please please please bring me these 10 books? I'm only asking for 10! Last year I asked for 15 so I'm being less greedy this year!

*Clicking on the book will take you to it's Goodreads page!

BLOG TOUR: THIRST: Blood of My Blood by R.P. Channing

Hey guys! I have an exciting guest post for you today by R.P. Channing, author of THIRST: BLOOD OF MY BLOOD, a young adult paranormal romance novel. The guest post is all about the writing process of the novel including information about how the title came to be! Check it out below but first let's learn a little bit more about the book...
title.gif

240+ Pages
WITH BEAUTIFUL PHOTOGRAPHS

~Kira Sutherland~
After a near fatal accident (and getting cheated on by her 'boyfriend'), and beating up the lead cheerleader (with whom the boyfriend cheated...), and being labeled as having 'issues' in her school because she, uhm, sees ghosts, Kira is left with two choices:

1. Continue her 'therapy' (where she's told the ghost is a hallucination and also gets her legs ogled too often...)

Or

2. Go to Starkfield Academy, a boarding school for "Crazies and Convicts" (as the social media sites call them.)

She chooses the latter...
 
~ Cory Rand ~
Cory Rand has not had an easy life. His mother died in a car accident when he was twelve, and so did his mother's best friend...sort of. You see, Janice made a promise to take care of Cory just before she died, and so she lingers. Undead. A ghost that watches out for him.

Brought up in an abusive home, Cory quickly falls into a life of disreputable behavior. After his third offense (which was prompted by a girl, as usual - he has a weakness) he's left with two choices:

1. Be tried as an adult and share a cell with a guy named Bubba (he thinks...)

Or

2. Go to Starkfield Academy, which Cory is pretty sure is run by vampires. But, hey, at least he'll get an education.

He chooses the latter...

It's at Starkfield that Kira meets Cory Rand, a boy with an insatiable Rage who sees ghosts, too. As well as other things, other things from his past, things that confuse him, things like fire and witches and demons.

Things he's always ignored.

Until now.

Purchase:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B018M5GTLIhttp://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018M5GTLI
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“My life was perfect.”

General
In the last three years I’ve written over a million words of fiction...and not published any of it. 

THIRST was embarked upon after a six month hiatus from writing and much thinking about what I really wanted to put out there with my first novel. 


I wanted to put something out for teenagers (we’re all young at heart...)
 

I wanted to put something out that was different from what exists, but not too different.
 

And I wanted to write a story that means something deeply to me.
 

The final product was THIRST.
 

21.12.15

BLOG TOUR: THE UNTOLD TALE by J.M. Frey

Hello and welcome to my tour stop for THE UNTOLD TALE by J.M. Frey! I am happy to be hosting a review today so you can hear my thoughts on the book. Let's find out some more, shall we...


THE UNTOLD TALE
Author: J.M Frey
Publisher: Reuts Publications
Publication Date: December 8th 2015

Summary:
Forsyth Turn is not a hero. Lordling of Turn Hall and Lysse Chipping, yes. Spymaster for the king, certainly. But hero? That's his older brother's job, and Kintyre Turn is nothing if not legendary. However, when a raid on the kingdom's worst criminal results in the rescue of a bafflingly blunt woman, oddly named and even more oddly mannered, Forsyth finds his quaint, sedentary life is turned on its head. Dragged reluctantly into a quest he never expected, and fighting villains that even his brother has never managed to best, Forsyth is forced to confront his own self-shame and the demons that come with always being second-best. And, more than that, when he finally realizes where Lucy came from and why she's here, he'll be forced to question not only his place in the world, but the very meaning of his own existence. Smartly crafted, The Untold Tale gives agency to the unlikeliest of heroes: the silenced, the marginalized, and the overlooked. It asks what it really means to be a fan when the worlds you love don't resemble the world you live in, celebrates the power of the written word, challenges tropes, and shows us what happens when someone stands up and refuses to remain a secondary character in their own life.



Purchase
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this one. I thought there were a lot of good points in it, especially about the lack of female characters in fantasy novels and how those female characters are handled in fantasy novels. But I would say at some points it became too ~preachy~ about it. It is one thing to educate your audience through the course of action but quite another to literally put the dialogue in there about the good, bad, and ugly of fantasy novels. 

I just, this was SO GOOD. There was all these elements of fantasy that were cliche but done so perfectly that I enjoyed every second of it, but I wanted it to end before it did. I loved the way that everything developed, how the characters so obviously changed throughout the story, and the character development throughout. The world building was so good and perfectly fit into what I was imagining for the story. I thought the PTSD, the torture, the rape (and the dub-con) were all handled SO WELL in this. I literally have no complaints about how the story unfolded.

I was just super disappointed by the last couple of chapters there and I know I shouldn't make my opinion about a book based on one point but those last chapters gave me closure I didn't want, or frankly even need. I could have determined for myself what would happen at the end there rather than it being spelled out for me. And sometimes it is good to be able to paint the picture yourself rather than have someone else do it for you.
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Toronto-based J.M Frey (pronounced “fry”) is a science fiction and fantasy author, as well as a fanthropologist and pop culture scholar who appears in podcasts, documentaries, and on television to discuss all things geeky through the lens of academia. Her debut novel TRIPTYCH has been nominated for two Lambda Literary Awards,  won the San Francisco Book Festival award for SF/F, was nominated for a 2011 CBC Bookie, was named one of The Advocate’s Best Overlooked Books of 2011, and garnered both a starred review and a place among the Best Books of 2011 from Publishers Weekly.




19.12.15

BLOG TOUR: MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins

Hey guys! It is that time of year again and the holidays are upon us! I hope you enjoyed all my giveaways over the past couple weeks and maybe even some of you reading this right now won a prize! Awesome!

Today I'm here to tell you about an anthology of winter time stories that will make you fall in love with the snowy season but also make you want to curl up beside a warm fire place just to be able to read them. Before we get there though, make sure you watch the cover for a bit! It is actually a gif! Without further ado here is more information about ... 

18.12.15

M9B Friday Reveal: Redesigned Series Cover Reveal – Dragonrider Chronicles by Nicole Conway + #Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals

M9B-Friday-Reveal-Bannernew
 
Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!
This week, we are reveal the cover for
Traitor (Dragonrider Chronicles #3) by Nicole Conway
an upcoming Month9Books title!
Not only are we revealing this gorgeous new cover, we are also reveal the redesigned cover for the series! You guys are in for a treat!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
 
Adobe Photoshop PDF
Can anyone survive being lost in Luntharda?
No amount of training has prepared Jaevid Broadfeather for the frontlines of battle. Now facing the true horrors of war, with Luntharda looming on the horizon, Jaevid has begun to question everything he thought about his heritage. The only thing keeping him going is his oath to protect his dragonrider brothers. But in an instant, even that slips through Jaevid’s fingers as he steps from the safety of his dragon’s saddle into the depths of his mother’s wild homeland—the kingdom of the gray elves.
Stranded in Luntharda with his partner, Lieutenant Jace Rordin, Jaevid must finally confront the demons of his own past as he uncovers the truth about a war that began before he was ever born. Armed with a new appreciation for destiny, and flanked by his trusted friends, Jaevid moves to make the final strike against an enemy that has hidden in plain sight for far too long.
One kingdom’s traitor will become the world’s last hope.
Available for Pre-Order: 
 Chapters | Amazon | B&N | TBD
 
AND NOW HERE ARE THE REDESIGNED COVERS FOR BOOKS 1 AND 2! 

BLOG TOUR: BROKEN STONE by Gabriele Goldstone + #GIVEAWAY

Welcome to my tour stop for BROKEN STONE by Gabriele Goldstone!
I have a wonderful guest post today about how to make a True Story one of your own by the author and if you keep scrolling to the bottom, there is a giveaway for seven lucky winners! 

Before all that, let's learn more about the book...


BROKEN STONE

Author: Gabriele Goldstone
Publisher: Rebelight Publishing Inc.
Publication Date: November 17, 2015

Summary:
Mama is dead, Baby Emil is dead and Stalin’s new rules are breaking up the family. Papa must stay behind and hide as 12-year-old Katya and her three younger siblings find their way to freedom in East Prussia. With Mama’s sister, Aunt Helena, they board a train and flee for a new home with an aunt and uncle they’ve never met—relatives who don’t want them.

But when they reach the border, Soldiers won’t let Aunt Helena cross. That forces Katya to take responsibility for her siblings. What will life hold for Katya, her two sisters and her brother when they arrive in East Prussia? How long before Papa can rescue them?



Purchase:

Broken Stone is the follow up to RED STONE

17.12.15

REVIEW: SACRIFICIAL LAMB CAKE by Katrina Monroe

SACRIFICIAL LAMB CAKE

Author: Katrina Monroe
Source: eBook via the Author
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing, LLC
Publication Date: December 2014
Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary:

Oh. My. God.

Rain Johnson escaped the insanity of her radical environmentalist family, only to end up waitressing for a living. Her scale of success—with her at the bottom—only goes as high as that college degree she never got, until she gets one hell of an epiphany from a Trinity Corporation public-relations guy who calls himself Jude. He tells her she’s the Lamb of God, and it’s time for that whole Second Coming thing. But when her first minor miracle gets her arrested and an ecoterrorist using the name Messiah starts blowing up pesticide plants, Rain and Judas are in for way more apocalypse than either of them expected.

Jude scrambles to save his personal plan for salvation, but Lucy, the devil herself, has her own well-laid plans. It doesn’t matter that Rain’s a conflict-avoiding lesbian and Jude is history’s worst traitor. They’re all that stands between humanity and an end of the world that wasn’t supposed to happen.

Purchase:
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
"You people would give Lucifer’s hordes a run for their money. You all hate each other and come up with new reasons every day to stoke that fire."
I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this one. I'm not always a fan of books that deal with religion because they come across as too preachy, but this one had such a good blend of snark and sarcasm that it was hard not to enjoy it. I liked that there was obviously more at play than what both Rain and Jude knew, but I would have liked just a teensy bit more for it to be fully developed.

15.12.15

ARC REVIEW: THE VIOLINIST OF VENICE: A Story of Vivaldi by Alyssa Palombo

THE VIOLINIST OF VENICE: A STORY OF VIVALDI

Author: Alyssa Palombo
Source: Digital ARC via the Publisher
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: December 15, 2015
Rating: 5/5 stars

Summary:
A sweeping historical novel of composer and priest Antonio Vivaldi, a secret wealthy mistress, and their passion for music and each other

Like most 18th century Venetians, Adriana d'Amato adores music-except her strict merchant father has forbidden her to cultivate her gift for the violin. But she refuses to let that stop her from living her dreams and begins sneaking out of her family's palazzo under the cover of night to take violin lessons from virtuoso violinist and composer Antonio Vivaldi. However, what begins as secret lessons swiftly evolves into a passionate, consuming love affair.

Adriana's father is intent on seeing her married to a wealthy, prominent member of Venice's patrician class-and a handsome, charming suitor, whom she knows she could love, only complicates matters-but Vivaldi is a priest, making their relationship forbidden in the eyes of the Church and of society. They both know their affair will end upon Adriana's marriage, but she cannot anticipate the events that will force Vivaldi to choose between her and his music. The repercussions of his choice-and of Adriana's own choices-will haunt both of their lives in ways they never imagined.

Spanning more than 30 years of Adriana's life, Alyssa Palombo's The Violinist of Venice is a story of passion, music, ambition, and finding the strength to both fall in love and to carry on when it ends.

Purchase
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
 
This one was absolutely beautiful. The writing and tone was flawless, giving me the impression of it being 18th Century Venice while also telling me a love story that spans the test of time. I loved the musical aspects of this with the breakdown of how the music needed to be played and what both Adriana and Vivaldi wanted out of the music and the response they got from the instruments.

Top Ten Tuesday (13): Top Ten Books I Read In 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.
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I feel like I'm tricking you guys because this is NOT just ten books. It is ten books BY GENRE broken down into Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Contemporary. That's 30 books. THIRTY. I read over 220 books this year so there was no way in HELL I was going to be able to narrow it down to 10. If you have an interest in a certain genre, feel free to skip ahead to that one! You can also see a complete list of books I read in 2015 by clicking here

*Clicking on the picture will take you to my review! If I haven't posted a review on my blog yet, it will take you to my Goodreads review! :)