Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – March 27, 2020

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Wandering Words. The meme is based on the idea that instead of judging a book by its cover, author, prestige, we judge it instead by its opening line(s). You can check out my review of the book here!

Leon hated Vahrian airships, but since unloading them put beers on his table, he faked a smile as he picked up the crate.
“Good evening, Captain”, he said.
I hope you fall in the sea and drown, he thought.

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

Across the Broken Stars

Title: Across the Broken Stars
Author: Jed Herne
Rating: ★★★★

Leon has a secret. He was once an angel – a winged warrior sworn to protect Paya, a realm where people live on discs that float in space.

He failed.

Now Leon’s a broken man, trying to forget the past. He thinks he’s the last angel. But then a young fugitive stumbles onto Leon’s doorstep. She’s an angel, too. And she has a riddle leading to a place where angels still live. Or so the stories claim …

Desperate for redemption, Leon begins a perilous quest through myth and folklore. But will Leon and the fugitive find their legendary destination? Or will Leon lose his last chance for salvation?

Brutal and gripping, this is a story about a flawed man’s search for forgiveness.

Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – March 20, 2020

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Wandering Words. The meme is based on the idea that instead of judging a book by its cover, author, prestige, we judge it instead by its opening line(s). You can check out my review of the book here!

What did the great heroes do
when the sun fell from the sky?

They leapt onto those wild flames
and learned how to fly.

– Ancient Pyraean proverb

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

Crown of Feathers

Title: Crown of Feathers (Crown of Feathers, #1)
Author: Nicki Pau Preto
Rating: ★★★★★

“Absolutely unforgettable.” —Kendare Blake, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Three Dark Crowns series
“A beautifully told story about justice, sisterhood, and warrior women.” —Shea Ernshaw, New York Times bestselling author of The Wicked Deep
“Epic in the truest sense.” —Quill and Quire

An Ember in the Ashes meets Three Dark Crowns in this lush debut fantasy novel about a girl who disguises herself as a boy to join a secret group of warriors that ride phoenixes into battle.

I had a sister, once…

In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders—legendary heroes who soared through the sky on wings of fire—until a war between two sisters ripped it all apart.

I promised her the throne would not come between us.

Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Riders—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.

But it is a fact of life that one must kill or be killed. Rule or be ruled.

Just as Veronyka finally feels like she belongs, her sister turns up and reveals a tangled web of lies between them that will change everything. And meanwhile, the new empire has learned of the Riders’ return and intends to destroy them once and for all.

Sometimes the title of queen is given. Sometimes it must be taken.

Crown of Feathers is an epic fantasy about love’s incredible power to save—or to destroy. Interspersed throughout is the story of Avalkyra Ashfire, the last Rider queen, who would rather see her empire burn than fall into her sister’s hands.

Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – March 13, 2020

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Wandering Words. The meme is based on the idea that instead of judging a book by its cover, author, prestige, we judge it instead by its opening line(s). You can check out my review of the book here!

Yenni made her decision as her cousins slithered through the grass like log snakes, hemming the creature in from all sides. They would hate her for this.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Given

Title: Given
Author: Nandi Taylor
Rating: ★★★

“The captivating worldbuilding of magical lands and well-paced plot and character development combined with intriguing twists will have readers looking forward to more. ” – Kirkus Reviews

A subversive fantasy-romance steeped in West-African and Caribbean traditions.

Yenni has never been this far from home. With only her wits, her strength and her sacred runelore, the fierce Yirba warrior princess is alone in the Empire of Cresh. It’s a land filled with strange magics and even stranger people—many of whom mistrust anyone who’s different. But Yenni will prove herself, and find a cure for her father’s wasting illness. She will not fail.

No one warned her about the dragons. Especially not about him.

Yes, there is something powerful and compelling about the violet-black dragon known as Weysh. In human form he’s muscular, beautiful—and completely infuriating. What kind of arrogant creature claims a stranger as his Given; as his destined mate? Yenni is no man’s—or dragon’s—plaything. But other magics must be at work here, because Weysh might just be her best hope at finding the answers she seeks.

Only now Yenni can’t tell if she’s fighting her attraction to a dragon…or fighting fate itself.

Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – March 6, 2020

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Wandering Words. The meme is based on the idea that instead of judging a book by its cover, author, prestige, we judge it instead by its opening line(s). You can check out my review of the book here!

It was one hell of a night to throw away a baby.

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

In the Bleak Midwinter

Title: In the Bleak Midwinter (The Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #1)
Author: Julia Spencer-Fleming
Rating: ★★★

Heavy Snow…Icy Desires…Cold-Blooded Murder

Clare Fergusson, St. Alban’s new priest, fits like a square peg in the conservative Episcopal parish at Millers Kill, New York. She is not just a “lady,” she’s a tough ex-Army chopper pilot, and nobody’s fool. Then a newborn infant left at the church door brings her together with the town’s police chief, Russ Van Alstyne, who’s also ex-Army and a cynical good shepherd for the stray sheep of his hometown. Their search for the baby’s mother quickly leads them into the secrets that shadow Millers Kill like the ever-present Adirondacks. What they discover is a world of trouble, an attraction to each other—and murder…

In the Bleak Midwinter was Julia Spencer-Fleming’s first novel, and it won a Macavity Award, an Agatha Award, an Anthony Award, and a Dilys Award.

Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – February 28, 2020

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Wandering Words. The meme is based on the idea that instead of judging a book by its cover, author, prestige, we judge it instead by its opening line(s). You can check out my review of the book here!

Beneath Larkin’s glowing lantern, luminite shimmered like fish scales in the darkness of Ethera Mine. Her heart jolted as she unearthed a vein as wide as her thumb. It was the most valuable mineral in all of Demura Isle.

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

Eight Will FallTitle: Eight Will Fall
Author: Sarah Harian
Rating: ★★★★

In a land where magic is outlawed, eight criminals led by seventeen-year-old Larkin are sent on a mission to kill an ancient evil that plagues their kingdom. Descending into an underground realm full of unspeakable horrors, Larkin and her party must use their forbidden magic to survive what lies in wait, teeth sharp and jaws deadly.

As she fights for her life, Larkin finds a light in Amias, a fellow outlaw with a notorious past. Soon Larkin and Amias realize their fates are entwined. The eight of them were chosen for a reason.

But as the dangers multiply and her band of felons are picked off one by one, Larkin must confront a terrible truth: They were never meant to return.

Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – February 21, 2020

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Wandering Words. The meme is based on the idea that instead of judging a book by its cover, author, prestige, we judge it instead by its opening line(s). You can check out my review of the book here!

Dear Brooke,
I promise you this—
I will make you want to leave.
I will break your heart.
I will bring you to tears.
But I’ll also bring you back.
And I will put your heart together,

piece by broken piece.

And I will wipe away your tears.
Winter can’t last forever. I’ll wait for

you through the storm, Brooke.

Promise.
Yours,
Prince

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

CoralTitle: Coral
Author: Sara Ella
Rating: ★★★★

There is more than one way to drown.

Coral has always been different, standing out from her mermaid sisters in a society where blending in is key. Worse yet, she fears she has been afflicted with the dreaded Disease, said to be carried by humans—emotions. Can she face the darkness long enough to surface in the light?

Above the sea, Brooke has nothing left to give. Depression and anxiety have left her feeling isolated. Forgotten. The only thing she can rely on is the numbness she finds within the cool and comforting ocean waves. If only she weren’t stuck at Fathoms—a new group therapy home that promises a second chance at life. But what’s the point of living if her soul is destined to bleed?

Merrick may be San Francisco’s golden boy, but he wants nothing more than to escape his controlling father. When his younger sister’s suicide attempt sends Merrick to his breaking point, escape becomes the only option. If he can find their mom, everything will be made right again—right?

When their worlds collide, all three will do whatever it takes to survive, and Coral might even catch a prince in the process. But what—and who—must they leave behind for life to finally begin?

Taking a new twist on Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved—yet tragic—fairy tale, Coral explores mental health from multiple perspectives, questioning what it means to be human in a world where humanity often seems lost.

Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – February 14, 2020

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Wandering Words. The meme is based on the idea that instead of judging a book by its cover, author, prestige, we judge it instead by its opening line(s). You can check out my review of the book here!

The prison bore a sharp resemblance to the dungeons of Anastacya’s childhood: dark, wet, and made of unyielding stone that leaked grime and misery. There was blood here, too; she could sense it all, tugging at her from the jagged stone steps to the torch-blackened walls, lingering at the edges of her consciousness like an ever-present shadow.
It would take so very little — a flick of her will — for her to control it all.

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

blood heir

Title: Blood Heir (Blood Heir, #1)
Author: Amelie Wen Zhao
Rating: ★★★★

This hot debut is the first book in an epic new series about a princess hiding a dark secret and the con man she must trust to clear her name for her father’s murder.

In the Cyrilian Empire, Affinites are reviled. Their varied gifts to control the world around them are unnatural—dangerous. And Anastacya Mikhailov, the crown princess, has a terrifying secret. Her deadly Affinity to blood is her curse and the reason she has lived her life hidden behind palace walls.

When Ana’s father, the emperor, is murdered, her world is shattered. Framed as his killer, Ana must flee the palace to save her life. And to clear her name, she must find her father’s murderer on her own. But the Cyrilia beyond the palace walls is far different from the one she thought she knew. Corruption rules the land, and a greater conspiracy is at work—one that threatens the very balance of her world. And there is only one person corrupt enough to help Ana get to its core: Ramson Quicktongue.

A cunning crime lord of the Cyrilian underworld, Ramson has sinister plans—though he might have met his match in Ana. Because in this story, the princess might be the most dangerous player of all.

Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – February 7, 2020

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Wandering Words. The meme is based on the idea that instead of judging a book by its cover, author, prestige, we judge it instead by its opening line(s). You can check out my review of the book here!

To be fair, when the alarm goes off, there’s barely even any smoke rising out of the oven.

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

Tweet Cute_Cover

Title: Tweet Cute
Author: Emma Lord
Rating: ★★★★★

A fresh, irresistible rom-com from debut author Emma Lord about the chances we take, the paths life can lead us on, and how love can be found in the opposite place you expected.

Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming ― mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.

All’s fair in love and cheese ― that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life ― on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate ― people on the internet are shipping them?? ― their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.

Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – January 31, 2020

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Wandering Words. The meme is based on the idea that instead of judging a book by its cover, author, prestige, we judge it instead by its opening line(s). You can check out my review of the book here!

The wran, the wran, the king of all birds,
On St Stephen’s Day was caught in the furze.

Her clothes were all torn, her shoes all worn,
We chased her all night, right through until dawn.

Dreoilin, Dreoilin, where is your nest?
It’s in the bush you all know best.
Between the holly and the ivy tree,
Where all the boys do follow me.

We followed the wran three miles from home,
Through hedges and ditches and piles of stone.
We caught her at last and we broke her knee,
And hung her up in a hawthorn tree.

For we are the boys that came your way, 
To bury the wran on Stephen’s Day.
So up with the kettle and down with the pan,
Give us a penny to bury the wran.

Traditional, as sung in Kilshamble

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

The Wren Hunt

Title: The Wren Hunt (The Wren Hunt, #1)
Author: Mary Watson
Rating: ★★★

Every Christmas, Wren is chased through the woods near her isolated village by her family’s enemies—the Judges—and there’s nothing that she can do to stop it. Once her people, the Augurs, controlled a powerful magic. But now that power lies with the Judges, who are set on destroying her kind for good.

In a desperate bid to save her family, Wren takes a dangerous undercover assignment—as an intern to an influential Judge named Cassa Harkness. Cassa has spent her life researching a transformative spell, which could bring the war between the factions to its absolute end. Caught in a web of deceit, Wren must decide whether or not to gamble on the spell and seal the Augurs’ fate.

Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – January 24, 2020

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Wandering Words. The meme is based on the idea that instead of judging a book by its cover, author, prestige, we judge it instead by its opening line(s). You can check out my review of the book here!

Long before blood poured from flesh,
and breath clung to bone,
before the ancient runes were ground to glass
to shift shapes in the aether,
back when mothers whispered truths
cloasked as one-upon-a-times,
Know this, little ones, they said.
When day breaks, frost becomes a flame.
When dusk falls, beasts become the prey.
And when the moon is weeping,
the witches do their reaping.

– Addi proverb

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

Tears of Frost2

Title: Tears of Frost (Heart of Thorns, #2)
Author: Bree Barton
Rating: ★★★★★

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.