Book Reviews, Bookish Features

[BLOG TOUR] Tears of Frost (Heart of Thorns, #2) by Bree Barton

Tears of Frost Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop on the Tears of Frost book tour! Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour stop!


ABOUT THE BOOK

Tears of Frost2

Title: TEARS OF FROST (Heart of Thorns, #2)
Author: Bree Barton
Pub. Date: November 5, 2019
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Formats: Hardcover
Pages: 480
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&N, iTunes, TBD, Kobo, Google Books

The electric second book in the Heart of Thorns trilogy explores the effects of power in a dark magical kingdom—and the fierce courage it takes to claim your body as your own.

Mia Rose is back from the dead. Her memories are hazy, her body numb—but she won’t stop searching. Her only hope to save the boy she loves and the sister who destroyed her is to find the mother she can never forgive. Pilar is on a hunt of her own. Betrayed by her mother, and plagued by a painful secret, she’s determined to seek out the only person who can exact revenge. All goes according to plan… until she collides with Prince Quin, the boy whose sister she killed.

As Mia, Pilar, and Quin forge dangerous new alliances, they are bewitched by the snow kingdom’s promise of freedom and opportunity. But with the winter solstice drawing near, they must confront the truth beneath the glimmering ice, as lines between friend, foe, and lover vanish like snowflakes on a flame.


REVIEW

Compared to the last novel, this one started out action-packed! I knew from the first 100 pages that I was going to enjoy this installment better than the first (and that is rare for me!).

I think what readers will enjoy most is the parallels the novel portrays to our present. This is definitely a “girl power” novel. Note that there are some scenes containing sexual abuse that could make readers uncomfortable. Depression also makes a presence in the novel.

I loved the growth we see, not only from our characters, but from the author herself. The confidence is apparent in the writing. Tears of Frost has a million times more depth than Heart of Thorns. As readers, we get to experience the pain and suffering the characters experience, we embark on the same journeys through the struggles of family expectations, and finally, we get to experience the characters overcoming adversity and becoming their own people.

Barton is an author unlike anyone else. Tackling touchy issues in the way she knows best: writing, Barton takes readers on a journey of unlikely friendships struggling with alcoholism, sexual assault, depression, and suicidal ideation until finally, finding themselves.

★★★

See my review for Heart of Thorns here.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bree Barton

Bree Barton is the author of Heart of Thorns (KT/HArperCollins 2018), the first in a series of fierce feminist fantasy novels. Her books have been published in seven countries and four languages. When she’s not crafting story, Bree teaches dance and writing to teen girls. You can find her on Instagram @SpeakBreely. She lives in Los Angeles but dreams of the northern lights.

Follow Bree:
GoodreadsWebsite | YouTubeInstagram


GIVEAWAY

1st Prize
Win a TEARS OF FROST bundle: signed hardcover copies of HoT and ToF, HoT bookmark, ToF bookmark, HoT candle, ToF candle (US ONLY)

2nd Prize
Win a TEARS OF FROST goodies bundle: signed bookplate, HoT bookmark, ToF bookmark, and a customized poem in the style of the epigraph (INT)

Starts: October 30th, 2019
Ends: November 13th, 2019

ENTER HERE


EXTRAS

 


October 30th

October 31st

Careful of Books – Review
Moonlight Rendezvous – Review + Favourite Quotes
Utopia State of Mind – Review + Favourite Quotes
Risah’s Book Blog – Promotional Post

November 1st

L.M. Durand – Guest Post
Luchia Houghton Blog – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Reading Corner for All – Review + Favourite Quotes

November 2nd

NovelKnight – Guest Post
Bookishly Nerdy – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Caffeinated Reader – Review + Favourite Quotes
Bookish Looks – Promotional Post

November 3rd

Reads Like Supernovae – Review + Favourite Quotes
Dazzled by Books – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Book Bratz – Promotional Post

November 4th

Wishful Endings – Interview
Wine, Tea, & Paper – Review + Favourite Quotes
Polish & Paperbacks – Promotional Post

November 5th

Kait Plus Books – Interview
Synopses by Sarge – Review
Novel Nerd Faction – Review + Playlist
Oh Hey! Books. – Promotional Post
Book Reviews, Bookish Features

[BLOG TOUR + Q&A] The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy

The Memory Thief Banner

Welcome to my stop on The Memory Thief book tour! Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour stop!


ABOUT THE BOOK

The Memory Thief Cover

Title: THE MEMORY THIEF
Author: Lauren Mansy
Pub. Date: October 1, 2019
Publisher: BLINK
Formats: Hardcover
Pages: 368
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&N, TBD, IndieBound

In the city of Craewick, memories reign. The power-obsessed ruler of the city, Madame, has cultivated a society in which memories are currency, citizens are divided by ability, and Gifted individuals can take memories from others through touch as they please.

Seventeen-year-old Etta Lark is desperate to live outside of the corrupt culture, but grapples with the guilt of an accident that has left her mother bedridden in the city’s asylum. When Madame threatens to put her mother up for auction, a Craewick practice in which a “criminal’s” memories are sold to the highest bidder before being killed, Etta will do whatever it takes to save her. Even if it means rejoining the Shadows, the rebel group she swore off in the wake of the accident years earlier.

To prove her allegiance to the Shadows and rescue her mother, Etta must steal a memorized map of the Maze, a formidable prison created by the bloodthirsty ruler of a neighboring Realm. So she sets out on a journey in which she faces startling attacks, unexpected romance, and, above all, her own past in order to set things right in her world.


REVIEW

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Shadows can help her.

I brush the memory of Ryder’s plan away as another replaces it.

They help people who can’t help themselves.

In a world where memories are transferred as money, we follow Etta, a 17-year-old girl living in the shadows and trying to keep her secret safe from those around her: she is a “Gifted” labeled as an “Ungifted”, but the catch is that people only see blankness when they look into her mind. Under a corrupt government, the “Gifted” have all of the power. Four years ago, Etta made a deal with Madame (her enemy at the time) and betrayed her allies in order to have a place for her mother to stay in the asylum. Now, with the Auction day upon her, she realizes that her mother is up for auction and all deals between herself and Madame are off. When a person is put up for auction, the memories are put up for sale until the person has nothing left of value and dies. In order to save her mother once again, Etta is forced to confront the people she betrayed to ask for her. But the only way to save her mother is to embark on a mission to save the “Shadows'” leader.

“Gifteds” can transfer memories between people by touch.
“Ungifteds” have no special powers.
“Sifters” can transfer memories without touch.
“Shadows” are the “protectors” of the realm, but are thieves and contribute to a black market of memories.
“Ghosts” give unpleasant memories in order to make people suffer.
“Hunters” take the memories of animals.

The idea of memories being a form of currency is a unique and intriguing idea. It slightly reminds me of the pensieve from Harry Potter. Ryder, Etta’s sidekick reminds me of Rue from The Hunger Games. She is comical, brave, and loyal to a fault. She looks up to Etta as an older sister. I wish we learned a little more about the backstory of the other people in Etta’s life, specifically the ones she has the leather bracelets of.

The one thing I had a hard time with was the instance romance. I thought I missed reading 100 pages all of a sudden. Also, I wish Etta wasn’t as gullible as she is made out to be. She wasn’t exactly the easiest to relate to. With a few tweaks to the story and the pacing, I think this novel has a real chance to be a star since the concept is so gripping.

The Memory Thief was a concept unlike anything else: memories being used as currency in a corrupt government, where the removal of memories can truly change someone’s life. The Memory Thief is a story of loss, grief, lies, deceit, and the ability to forgive oneself for mistakes.

★★★


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lauren MansyLauren lives in the Chicago area, where she’s spent years working with youth, from young children to high schoolers. When she’s not writing, Lauren is usually with her family or exploring the city to find the best deep dish pizza. The Memory Thief, which was inspired by Lauren’s own journey with her mother, is her first novel.

Follow Lauren:
Website | Twitter | Instagram


Q & A

Q: What was the hardest scene to write? What was the easiest?
LM:
The scene where Etta visits her mother in the asylum was actually both the hardest and the easiest to write. Because this book is based off memories that I share with my mom, that scene was very cathartic yet difficult to put down on paper. It caused me to revisit a lot of my memories of when my mom was in the hospital, and it was very uncertain if she would survive. I remember how vulnerable my mom had been yet she never stopped fighting to get better. Ultimately, it was her ability to cling to hope even in hardship which made me want to share this story, so writing that scene will forever have a big impact on me.

Q: Did you hide any secrets in your book? (names of friends, little jokes, references to things only some people will get)
LM: What a fun question! When I was drafting, quite a few characters were named after family members, all of whom actually ended up being cut during my revision stage! Since none of the characters made it onto the final pages, I like to joke that the famous writers’ phrase “kill your darlings” took on a whole new meaning for me 🙂

Q: What do you hope people remember about The Memory Thief?
LM: The main thing that I hope people take away from TMT is that it isn’t the hardships of the past which define us but the strength we find in overcoming them. Etta is a character who struggles with a lot of regret and has lost hope that things will ever get better. But on Etta’s journey to save her mother, she begins to realize that she’s believed a lot of lies, not only about the world around her but about herself, as well. I hope Etta’s story might inspire readers to never give up fighting for what you believe in, even in the midst of impossible odds.

Q: Did The Memory Thief have a certain soundtrack you listened to while writing?
LM: I was all about the Jurassic Park soundtrack while drafting TMT! I adore movie soundtracks, and John Williams is a favorite composer of mine. I’d highly recommending listening to “Remembering Petticoat Lane”. It’s hauntingly beautiful and was on repeat for about 95% of drafting TMT!

Q: What is your dream cast for The Memory Thief?
LM: Oooh, great question! I love movies, tv shows, plays, and musicals, and I have such a huge amount of respect for those who are able to visually bring stories to life. Whenever I’m drafting, the characters always embody their personalities, which results in a feeling for me rather than an actual face. So while I don’t have any specific actors in mind, I’d say that my dream cast would be filled with individuals whose passion for storytelling really shines through – a trait actors express so wonderfully. It’d be such an honor to see The Memory Thief brought to life in this way!


GIVEAWAY

1 Finished Copy of The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy + a poster and signed bookplate (USA Only)
Starts: 10/14/19
Ends: 10/21/19


ENTER HERE


October 14

That Artsy Reader Girl – Welcome Interview

October 15

Adventures and Reading – Review (E)
L.M. Durand – Review
Dazzled By Books – Review, Creative Post, Instagram Post (B)
Metaphors and Miscellanea – Review, Favorite Quotes
Gwendalyn’s Books – Review (E)

October 16

The Baroness of Books – Review (B)
Petrichor – Review (E)
Alpha-Beta-Hannah – Review (E)
The Reading Chemist – Review (E)

October 17

Reading Is My Superpower – Author Guest Post
Becky’s Book Blog – Review (E)
Clarissa Reads It All – Review (B)
Feed Your Fiction Addiction – Review
Lori’s Bookshelf Reads – Review (E)

October 18

Library of a Book Witch – Review (B)
Sincerely Karen Jo – Review (B)

Starlight Reads – Review, Creative Post (B)

books_andpoetrii – Creative Post
YA/NA Book Divas – Review (E)

October 19

NovelKnight – Author Q&A
Natalie Helena – Review (E)
Bookishly Nerdy – Review, Creative Post (B)
Books of Amber – Review (E)
Forever the Wanderer – Review (E)

October 20

Lifestyle of Me – Review (E)
Moonlight Rendezvous – Review (B)
Savings In Seconds – Review, Favorite Quotes, Instagram Post (B)
Nay’s Pink Bookshelf – Review, Favorite Quotes (B)
Sometimes Leelynn Reads – Review, Creative Post (E)

October 21

Lost In Storyland – Author Guest Post
Synopses By Sarge – Author Q&A
PopTheButterfly Reads – Review (E)
TheSecret Reader – Review
A Bella Fairy Tale – Review (E)
Book Reviews, Bookish Features

[BLOG TOUR + Q&A] The Orchid Throne (Forgotten Empires, #1) by Jeffe Kennedy

orchidthrone-blogtourbanner

Welcome to my stop on The Orchid Throne book tour! Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour stop!


ABOUT THE BOOK

Orchid Throne_cover

Title: THE ORCHID THRONE (Forgotten Empires, #1)
Author: Jeffe Kennedy
Pub. Date: September 24, 2019
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Formats: Hardcover
Pages: 384
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NTBD

Welcome to the world of Forgotten Empires from award winning author Jeffe Kennedy that begins with The Orchid Throne.

A PRISONER OF FATE

As Queen of the island kingdom of Calanthe, Euthalia will do anything to keep her people free—and her secrets safe—from the mad tyrant who rules the mainland. Guided by a magic ring of her father’s, Lia plays the political game with the cronies the emperor sends to her island. In her heart, she knows that it’s up to her to save herself from her fate as the emperor’s bride. But in her dreams, she sees a man, one with the power to build a better world—a man whose spirit is as strong, and whose passion is as fierce as her own…

A PRINCE AMONG MEN

Conrí, former Crown Prince of Oriel, has built an army to overthrow the emperor. But he needs the fabled Abiding Ring to succeed. The ring that Euthalia holds so dear to her heart. When the two banished rulers meet face to face, neither can deny the flames of rebellion that flicker in their eyes—nor the fires of desire that draw them together. But in this broken world of shattered kingdoms, can they ever really trust each other? Can their fiery alliance defeat the shadows of evil that threaten to engulf their hearts and souls?

Buy the novel:
Here


REVIEW

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The story started out a little slow, but things started to change around the 40% mark for me.

The reader was able to see the plot thickening and adding more depth into the equation. My only other complaint is that the chapters weren’t labeled from the protagonists’ perspectives. Generally it didn’t take very long to figure out who it was, but there would be more fluidity straight from the beginning of the chapter if this was added.

I love how detailed Kennedy was in her descriptions of the different location throughout the novel like Euthalia and Conri…I felt like I was experiencing the setting with the characters.

original

The Orchid Throne is a great enemies-to-lovers novel. Readers will fall in love with the characters, enjoy remarkable world-building, and experience the slow-burn romance despite loss and suffering.

★★★


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeffe Kennedy_credit Pritschow PhotographyJEFFE KENNEDY is an award-winning, bestselling author who writes fantasy, fantasy romance, and contemporary romance. She serves on the Board of Directors for SFWA as a Director at Large.

Her most recent works include Prisoner of the Crown and the upcoming Exile of the Seas, from her high fantasy trilogy from Rebel Base books, The Chronicles of Dasnaria, in the same world as her award-winning fantasy series The Twelve Kingdoms and The Uncharted Realms. She is a hybrid author, and also self-publishes a fantasy series, Sorcerous Moons. Her books have won the RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Fantasy Romance of 2015, been named Best Book of June 2014, and won RWA’s prestigious RITA® Award.

She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.

Jeffe can be found online at her website: JeffeKennedy.com, every Sunday at the SFF Seven blog, on Facebook, on Goodreads and on Twitter @jeffekennedy.

Follow Jeffe:
Website | SFF Seven BlogTwitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads 

Follow SMP Romance:
Website | @SMPRomance Twitter@heroesnhearts Twitter


Q & A

Q: What was the hardest scene to write? What was the easiest?
A: I always have trouble with battle scenes, so those are probably the ones I spend the most time and effort on. Conversely, I love writing sex scenes – they’re always the easiest!

Q: Did you hide any secrets in your book? (names of friends, little jokes, references to things only some people will get)
A: I do, though not deliberately, and I couldn’t tell you what they are offhand. Mostly they’re things that amuse me as I’m writing – I don’t know that anyone else would ever spot them.

Q: What do you hope people remember about it?
A: Mostly I hope readers will come away with a feeling – of power and hopefulness. I want readers to feel reenergized and ready to take on their daily lives after finishing this book. And, of course, excited to read book 2 😉


 

Book Reviews, Bookish Features

[BLOG TOUR + Q&A] Six Goodbyes We Never Said by Candace Ganger

SixGoodbyes-BLOG-BANNER-900x337

Welcome to my stop on the Six Goodbyes We Never Said book tour! Thank you to Wednesday Books for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour stop!


ABOUT THE BOOK

Six Goodbyes We Never Said

Title: Six Goodbyes We Never Said
Author: Candace Ganger
Pub. Date: September 24, 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Formats: Hardcover
Pages: 384
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NTBD, Kobo

This is no love story; in fact, it’s not even really a “like” story. In Candace Ganger’s sophomore novel, SIX GOODBYES WE
NEVER SAID (Wednesday Books; September 24, 2019), two teens meet after tragically losing their parents and learn about love, loss, and letting go. Deftly tackling issues of mental health and grief, Ganger’s #OwnVoices novel brings vibrant characters to life as they figure out how to say goodbye to the people they love the most.

Naima Rodriguez doesn’t want your patronizing sympathy as she grieves her father, her hero—a fallen Marine. She’ll hate you forever if you ask her to open up and remember him “as he was,” though that’s all her loving family wants her to do in order to manage her complex OCD and GAD. She’d rather everyone back the-eff off while she separates her Lucky Charms marshmallows into six, always six, Ziploc bags, while she avoids friends and people and living the life her father so desperately wanted for her.

Dew respectfully requests a little more time to process the sudden loss of his parents. It’s causing an avalanche of secret anxieties, so he counts on his trusty voice recorder to convey the things he can’t otherwise say aloud. He could really use a friend to navigate a life swimming with pain and loss and all the lovely moments in between. And then he meets Naima and everything’s changed—just not in the way he, or she, expects.

Full of tender, funny, and downright heartbreaking moments, Ganger’s second novel will have you cheering and crying all on the same page. Don’t miss out on this YA powerhouse standalone!

“Two teens maneuver painful routes through profound grief as well as the complex quagmire of severe mental illness…Ultimately hopeful, and readers will connect with the messy, visceral lives simmering on the page. Profoundly emotional and truthful.
– Kirkus Reviews

“Six Goodbyes We Never Said is a knowing tour de force filled with crackling wit, pain, and mini, freeze-dried marshmallows. Original and funny, the best parts may be found in the small moments, especially Ganger’s hilarious, spot-on dialogue, as well as tucked within the brilliantly-placed parentheticals. All that and a bowl of Lucky Charms. Or maybe six boxes.”
Gae Polisner, award-winning author of The Memory of Things and In Sight of Stars

“Naima is diagnosed by the author with obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, while Dew is diagnosed with social anxiety. These issues are explored with humanizing examples that invite empathy. Sure to be reassuring to those working their way through grief.”
Publishers Weekly on Six Goodbyes We Never Said

“Candace Ganger weaves a beautiful story of loss, grief and the struggle to move on in Six Goodbyes We Never Said. One of the realest voices of our generation, Ganger infuses this story with relatable, flawed teens who must learn how to cope in this world or be lost forever. I laughed and cried while reading and this book will stick with me for ages.”
Jessica Burkhart, editor of Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles on Six Goodbyes We Never Said

“Smart, raw, often biting in its reflections of the haves and have-nots, this debut will appeal to fans of John Green’s An Abundance of Katherines…You’ll find yourself not only wanting to (re)study chemistry but learning what you get in life isn’t always what you deserve—sometimes it’s more. [A] must-have for every shelf.”
Patty Blount, award-winning author of Some Boys

“A stunning and brilliantly crafted debut that peels back layers to the raw and the real. Birdie + Bash = 2 characters impossible not to fall in love with.”
K.M. Walton, author of Empty and Cracked

“THE INEVITABLE COLLISION OF BIRDIE & BASH is part love story, part page-turner, and part intricate character study. Ganger writes her characters with great care, and the beautifully structured story is filled with giant truths and tiny, perfect details. Falling for this book was quick, thrilling and, yes, inevitable.”
Corey Ann Haydu, author of OCD Love Story and The Careful Undressing of Love

“Smart, emotionally rich, and beautifully written, THE INEVITABLE COLLISION OF BIRDIE & BASH is an unforgettable, heartfelt novel―realistic YA at its best.”
Jamie Kain, author of Instructions for the End of the World and The Good Sister

 

Buy the novel here.


REVIEW

What I loved about this novel was the introduction into the life of young adults struggling with depression, anxiety, and OCD. A lot of times we experience “perfect” characters…perfect looks, perfect personality, you get the picture. Having experienced some of the same struggles that our protagonists go through, I felt this was a real and accurate depiction of someone encountering depression, anxiety, and OCD.

The author brings in a very diverse character set. The relationships and struggles are genuine to how “real life” is experienced…the fights, the emotions, the heartbreak. Although, sometimes I felt like the protagonists were a little juvenile and disrespectful to the other characters. Yes, we all have problems and some people might not understand, but we should still treat others respectfully.

Another unique aspect of the novel is the voicemails and recordings. I loved that! It helped break up the more trying scene and was a creative way to depict the personalities of some of the characters.

The only downside I had was that the plot wasn’t clear. This isn’t your typical novel. This book is more about being able to let yourself rely on others to help you through your struggles. It is a story of growth and healing.

Ganger does a great job of providing insight into the life of people struggling with depression, anxiety, and OCD. With a little humor and a lot of personality, Six Goodbyes We Never Said is a story of healing, dealing with love and grief, and growing with the help of family and friends.

★★★


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Candace Ganger AP_Credit Candace GangerCANDACE GANGER is a young adult author, contributing writer for Hello Giggles, and obsessive marathoner. Aside from having past lives as a singer, nanotechnology website editor, and world’s worst vacuum sales
rep, she’s also ghostwritten hundreds of projects for companies, bestselling fiction and award-winning nonfiction authors alike. She lives in Ohio with her family.

Follow Candace:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads  | Wednesday Books Twitter


AUTHOR’S NOTE

Hello, dear reader.

I think it should be known that, while Six Goodbyes is a work of fiction, I share the many characteristics, fears, and pains, in both the delicacy of Dew, and the confused ferocity in Naima. Please let this brief note serve as a trigger warning in regards to mental illness; self-care is of the utmost importance. And while I hope Six Goodbyes provides insight for those who don’t empa- thize, or comfort for those that do, I also understand everyone reacts differently.

Dew’s social anxiety is something I, and many others, struggle with. We carry on with our days and pretend it’s not as hard as it feels inside. Others can’t quite see how much it hurts but we so wish they could. Naima is the most visceral interpretation of all of my diagnosed disorders combined. Her obsessive-compulsive dis- order (OCD) and related tics, her intrusive thoughts, her utterly devastating and isolating depression, her generalized anxiety dis- order (GAD), which makes her so closed off from the world, and her post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from losing the biggest portion of her identity—those are all pieces of me. Very big pieces. They don’t define me, but it would be misleading if I didn’t ad- mit they sometimes, mostly do. I’m imperfectly complicated like Naima. And though I’ve written extensively on both my mental illnesses and living biracial, between two worlds—never enough of one or the other; always only half of something and never whole or satiated—I often still feel misunderstood. Hopefully Dew and Naima’s stories will provide a little insight as to what it’s like inside their heads, and inside mine.

Both Dew and Naima want to hold on to the roots that have grounded them in their familiar, safe spaces. But once their meta- phorical trees are cut, and all the leaves shielding them from their pains have fallen and faded away, not even photosynthesis could bring them back to life. Those roots, Naima and Dew feel, will die off, and everything they had in their lives before will, too. There are many of you out there who feel the exact same way, but I assure you, Dew and Naima will find their way— they will grow new roots that flourish—and you, my darlings, will, too.

Thank you for reading, and may Six Goodbyes serve as per- mission to speak your truths—the good and the painful.

Here’s to another six airplanes for you to wish upon.


Q & A

Q: Did Six Goodbyes We Never Said have a certain soundtrack you listened to while writing?
A: You’ll see! Naima frequently mentions songs to note. Her family is old school. Dew’s parents were part of August Moon and the Paper Hearts, which is a play on Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, so there was a lot of “Forever” and “Please Bleed” happening also.

Q: What is your dream cast for Six Goodbyes We Never Said?
A: I’d love a couple of unknowns to take the stage to really make it their own. We need more POC rep so a Six Goodbyes cast could be pretty stellar.

Q: What was your greatest challenge in writing this book?
A: Keeping my own mental health in check. I had a lot of personal struggles which interfered with the writing process, but we made it through.


 

Book Reviews, Bookish Features

[BLOG TOUR] A Treason of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth

tour banner

Welcome to my stop on A Treason of Thorns book tour! Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour stop!


ABOUT THE BOOK

A Treason of Thorns

Title: A TREASON OF THORNS
Author: Laura E. Weymouth
Pub. Date: September 10, 2019
Publisher: HarperTeen
Formats: Hardcover
Pages: 352
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&N, iTunes, TBD, Kobo, Google Books

Violet Sterling has spent the last seven years in exile, longing to return to Burleigh House. One of the six great houses of England, Burleigh’s magic always kept the countryside well. And as a child, this magic kept Violet happy, draping her in flowers while she slept, fashioning secret hiding places for her, and lighting fires on the coldest nights to keep her warm.Everything shattered, though, when her father committed high treason trying to free Burleigh from the king’s oppressive control. He was killed, and Vi was forced into hiding. When she’s given a chance to go back, she discovers Burleigh has run wild with grief. Vines and briars are crumbling the walls. Magic that once enriched the surrounding countryside has turned dark and deadly, twisting lush blooms into thorns, poisoning livestock and destroying crops. Burleigh’s very soul is crying out in pain. Vi would do anything to help, and soon she finds herself walking the same deadly path as her father all those years before. Vi must decide how far she’s willing to go to save her house—before her house destroys everything she’s ever known.Content warnings are available via the author’s website.


REVIEW

A good Caretaker puts her House first. Before her family. Before her friends.

First off, the cover is beautiful.

The premise of the novel is unique in and of itself: a conscious house, able to perceive and feel things. My initial thought was of the movie Monster House. Burleigh House is in despair after the death of it’s current Caretaker, Violet’s (Vi’s) father. After being put on house arrest after treasonous acts towards the king. The house controls the welfare of the land surrounding it. Animals are becoming diseased, crops are dying, and people are being forced to leave the land unable to survive any longer. But, Vi doesn’t have long herself before she is also killed trying to save the one thing she loves more than anything else: Burleigh.

I was born to look after this land, and to care for Burleigh House.

No matter the cost. No matter the risks involved.

I loved that a “thing” was morphed into a character. I have read novels where the protagonist loves their house in an odd way, but never where the house was a character itself. One of my favorite things about the novel, was the way that history was replayed using memories and the reader slowly piecing together the truth of Burleigh’s journey and history.

Someday, I will die for Burleigh House. It’s only become a matter of when.

I wanted to love this novel and believe there was a little more potential than was executed. As a reader, I wanted to know more about Wyn. Knowing more history of Wyn and Vi’s mother would’ve made the story more well-rounded.

I really did like the story, but I wanted more. With that being said, I think there is potential for a series to arise out of this novel. We know there are more houses that could potentially come to the same result. It could be interesting to learn about the one house that already failed. Could Vi possibly help prevent the other houses from failing?!

★★★


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Laura WeymouthLaura Weymouth is a Canadian living in exile in America, and the sixth consecutivegeneration of her family to immigrate from one country to another. Born andraised in the Niagara region of Ontario, she now lives at the edge of the woods inwestern New York, along with her husband, two wild-hearted daughters, a spoiledcat, an old soul of a dog, and an indeterminate number of chickens. She isrepresented by the inimitable Lauren Spieller of TriadaUS.

Follow Laura:
Goodreads Website Twitter Facebook  | Pinterest Instagram |


GIVEAWAY

Win signed copies of Laura E. Weymouth’s books: THE LIGHT BETWEEN WORLDS and ATREASON OF THORNS (US/CAN only)
Starts: 10th September 2019
Ends: 24th September 2019


ENTER HERE


September 10th

September 11th

Utopia State of Mind – Review  + Favourite Quotes
The Book Bratz – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Book Dutchesses – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Hermit Librarian – Review + Favourite Quotes
Sometimes Leelynn Reads – Review + Dream Cast

September 12th

Rockin’ Book Reviews – Guest Post
Librorum in Sempiternum – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Baroness of Books – Review + Favourite Quotes
Synopses by Sarge – Review

September 13th

Kait Plus Books – Interview
Moonlight Rendezvous – Review + Favourite Quotes
Books of Teacups – Review
Chrikaru Reads – Review
A Few Chapters ’til Love – Review + Favourite Quotes

September 14th

Morgan Vega – Review + Playlist + Favourite Quotes
Luchia Houghton Blog – Review + Favourite Quotes
Jrsbookreviews – Review

September 15th

NovelKnight – Guest Post
The Reading Corner for All – Review + Favourite Quotes
Novel Nerd Faction – Review + Playlist
In Between Book Pages – Review + Favourite Quotes
Sincerely Karen Jo – Review

September 16th

Wishful Endings – Interview
A Court of Coffee and Books – Review + Favourite Quotes
Book Reviews, Bookish Features

[BLOG TOUR + Q&A] The Last Hope (The Raging Ones, #2) by Krista & Becca Ritchie

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Welcome to my stop on The Last Hope book tour! Thank you to Wednesday Books for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour stop!


ABOUT THE BOOK

The Last Hope

Title: THE LAST HOPE (The Raging Ones, #2)
Author: Krista & Becca Ritchie
Pub. Date: August 13, 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Formats: Hardcover
Pages: 400
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NTBD

A stunning conclusion to the sci-fi romance duology by writing duo Krista & Becca Ritchie, The Last Hope is filled with twists and turns you’ll never see coming.

Sacrifice all you have to survive. 

Imprisoned for weeks on an enemy starcraft, Franny, Court, and Mykal have sat with an unfathomable revelation. But as they fight to stay alive, escaping prison means trusting a young mysterious stranger. He knows everything about their lost histories, and when answers aren’t given freely, the bonded trio are forced to join a mission. One that will determine the fate of humanity.

Legend says, a baby—the first of her species—has the power to cloak and teleport planets. Tasked with retrieving the infant, Court fears the baby is just a myth, and if they fail, they’ll never find the truth about their origins.

As Court and Mykal grow closer, their linked bond becomes harder to hide, and dynamics change when Franny begins to fall for someone new. Vulnerable and with no choice, the hunt for the baby sends the trio on a dangerous path to Saltare-1: a water world where their enemies can’t die and survival comes at a high cost.

Buy the novel:
Here


REVIEW

After all that we’ve been through, we deserve a better ending.

The story leads off right where we last saw our beloved trio, Franny, Court, and Mykal…captured and in prison. When a stranger offers a way out, they are quick to accept the offer. Slowly, they start to discover secrets from their past and the reason for their existence. Will they choose freedom or saving the planet?!

In a world where everyone knows the day they will die, we follow three teenagers on a journey to defy all odds. But these three have a bigger secret…they are linked and can feel the thoughts and feelings of the other. After three admirals sacrifice their lives for the trio to be released, they start to realize that their lives are apart of something more. And Stork, their rescuer, won’t tell them anything.

Set to rescue a baby from Saltare-1 and save Earth, Franny, Court, and Mykal discover more about each other, but most importantly, about themselves. Through the majority of the book, we witness the self-exploration of the three. We see the undying love they have for each other through their self-sacrifice and risks they each take in order to ensure the safety of the others.

Does anyone else have a crush on Stork?! Ever since meeting him, I knew that he was probably going to be my favorite character. Everything he goes through to do things the correct way and cause the least amount of pain to our protagonists shows how crazily connected everything is in the story. I ship him and who he couples with (sorry, no spoilers!)

Krista and Becca are so creative! The ending is everything I could ask for and more! I feel like a proud parent.

The Last Hope is the epic conclusion to The Raging Ones duology. While this novel is part of a series, it can be read as a standalone. The Last Hope is a story of survival, self-exploration, and friendship.

★★★


ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Krista & Becca Ritchie_Author PhotoKrista & Becca Ritchie are New York Times Bestselling Authors and identical twins, one a science nerd, the other a comic book geek. With their shared passion for writing, they combined their mental powers as kids and have never stopped telling stories. Graduates from the University of Georgia in Biology and English & Journalism, the twin writing duo now lives in Atlanta. The Raging Ones is their first young adult novel.

Follow Krista & Becca:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Krista’s Goodreads | Becca’s Goodreads


Q & A

Q: What was the hardest scene to write? What was the easiest?

A: The action at the end was quite challenging. We wanted every moment to be adrenaline-filled while also making sure that each character had the correct closure since it’d be some of the final scenes in the book. The beginning was the easiest by far. THE LAST HOPE picks up right where THE RAGING ONES leaves off – with Franny, Court, and Mykal in peril – and grabbing hold of those emotions felt seamless as we began writing.

 

Q: Did you hide any secrets in your book? (names of friends, little jokes, references to things only some people will get)

A: We hid some little Easter eggs in THE RAGING ONES! We reference “surface plasmons” – and our granddad, a theoretical physicist, first predicted the existence of surface plasmons in the 50s. And we largely joke about the fish-out-of-water humor between Mykal and Stork in THE LAST HOPE as being Guardians of the Galaxy style of humor. Especially when Mykal has no idea what the word “guy” or “boyfriend” means and Stork tries to define these for him.

 

Q: What do you hope people remember about it?

A:The characters. The soul-mate bonds and even the platonic love between friends. Whenever we write, our biggest goal is to write characters that stay with readers.


 

Book Reviews, Bookish Features

[BLOG TOUR + Q&A + GIVEAWAY] The Demon Race by Alexandria Warwick

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Welcome to my stop on The Demon Race book tour! Thank you to Alexandria Warwick for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour stop!


ABOUT THE BOOK

Front_Cover_TheDemonRace

Title: THE DEMON RACE
Author: Alexandria Warwick
Pub. Date: September 18, 2018
Publisher: Wolf Publishing
Formats: Paperback, Kindle
Pages: 351
Find it: GoodreadsAmazon

A race across the desert.

An unimaginable prize.

It occurs once every thousand years: the Demon Race. A test of will and strength, it is a race across the Saraj, a fight for the prize of a lifetime. And it is the key to Namali Hafshar’s freedom.

When shy, seventeen-year-old Namali learns of her arranged marriage, she flees home and enters the Demon Race for the chance to change her fate. But to compete, she must cross the Saraj on a daeva, a shadow demon that desires its own reward: to infect her soul with darkness.

Namali soon learns the desert holds more dangers than meets the eye. The only person she can trust is Sameen, a kind competitor seeking his own destiny. As her affection for him grows, however, so too does the darkness in her heart.

In this race of men and demons, only one can win. But the price of winning might be more than Namali is willing to pay.


REVIEW

It’s called the Demon Race, and it does only take place every one thousand years. People enter because the prize is worth the risk of crossing the Saraj.

Namali is entrapped in an arranged marriage her father concocted. Upon this realization (and much sooner than anticipated), Namali is left with no choice but to join the Demon Race. Giving up her most prized possession and friend, she barters with a merchant to buy the necessities to enter the race.

She would enter the Demon Race. She would win. And she would wish this marriage away.

She soon discovers that things aren’t as easy as they seem, and are in fact, way more dangerous, but it is entirely worth the prize of freedom. Understanding that she will have to ride a demon across the Saraj, she quickly realizes that her soul may also be at stake. Can she win the race without giving herself up in the process?

And the prize?…What do you get if you win?

“The deepest, most hidden desire of your heart…A wish”

I love that this was a standalone novel. Nowadays, we see everything turned into a series, and this was a refreshing change. Not only that, but the idea was so unique and so unalike anything we have seen before. The reader gets a taste of romance, but it is not overpowering (thank you!). As we read, we see Namali grow as a character, and the messages were those we all should follow and strive for. This was a fast-paced, learning, and unique read that everyone should read!

★★★


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Alexandria Warwick is the #1 fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender. The Demon Race is her first novel.

 

 

Follow Alexandria:
Website | Instagram


Q & A

Q: When did you first get the idea for The Demon Race and what was your inspiration for this novel?

A: I actually remember the moment pretty clearly. It was 2015 and I was in my last semester of university, sitting in one of my ecology classes and brainstorming, when I started thinking of the movie Hidalgo. That was the initial inspiration–a race across the desert. I’ve always been drawn to competitions because it’s an automatic high-stakes story, and I loved how the terrain would add additional obstacles for the characters.

 

Q: Did THE DEMON RACE have a certain soundtrack you listened to while writing?

A: The soundtrack to the video game Journey by Austin Wintory really helped me picture the setting of the Saraj. It’s very eerie. It made me think of solitude and desolation, and I feel that the harmonies he used (a lot of dissonance) were a good reflection of how Namali felt traveling alone through the desert.

 

Q: What is your dream cast for THE DEMON RACE?

A: Namali would be cast by Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani. In the novel, Namali does not believe herself to be beautiful, but I imagined her to have striking features as Golshifteh does. Sameen would be cast by Palestinian actor Mousa Kraish, whose features are rather boyish and open. And finally the merchant would be cast by Iranian-American actor Pej Vahdat. I always imagined the merchant to have sharper features, so Pej would portray him beautifully.

 

Q: What was your greatest challenge in writing this book?

A: Hmm. This took me a while to think about because I wrote the story so long ago. I would probably say the greatest challenge was believing in the story. So many people said no to The Demon Race, and it did take a toll on my self-esteem as a writer after a while. There came a time when I began to doubt my writing abilities, my abilities as a storyteller, because the story I wrote was not the story publishing was looking for. But even when I trunked the novel, I knew I couldn’t let it stay there. So I decided to say yes to myself, to this story, and give it a chance at being read by people who would hopefully understand Namali the way I did.

 

Q: What writers inspire you?

A: This is a great question! I find that different writers inspire me for different reasons. When it comes to the types of stories I write, about young women finding their own path and learning their strengths, Tamora Pierce, hands down. She was the reason I wanted to become a writer. When it comes to navigating the indie world of publishing, Elise Kova, as she managed to build her own success. In terms of writing craft, Marie Rutkowski (her prose kills me) and Maggie Stiefvater. And if we’re talking about writing characters and character relationships that are painfully slow to develop but are wrought with tension, well, that would be none other than C.S. Pacat!


GIVEAWAY

ENTER HERE