Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday (#308): The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


This week, I'm featuring:

The Candle and the Flame

The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: May 14, 2019

Summary (from Goodreads):

Fatima lives in the city of Noor, a thriving stop along the Silk Road. There the music of myriad languages fills the air, and people of all faiths weave their lives together. However, the city bears scars of its recent past, when the chaotic tribe of Shayateen djinn slaughtered its entire population -- except for Fatima and two other humans. Now ruled by a new maharajah, Noor is protected from the Shayateen by the Ifrit, djinn of order and reason, and by their commander, Zulfikar. 

But when one of the most potent of the Ifrit dies, Fatima is changed in ways she cannot fathom, ways that scare even those who love her. Oud in hand, Fatima is drawn into the intrigues of the maharajah and his sister, the affairs of Zulfikar and the djinn, and the dangers of a magical battlefield. 

Nafiza Azad weaves an immersive tale of magic and the importance of names; fiercely independent women; and, perhaps most importantly, the work for harmony within a city of a thousand cultures and cadences. 



I saw this on Goodreads and was immediately taken aback because I'd never seen or heard of this book! It has a lovely cover and sounds fantastic. I'm in!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday (31)


Happy Tuesday! Today I've decided to participate in Top Ten Tuesday, formerly hosted by Jamie at The Broke and the Bookish, now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

Today's topic is:

Thanksgiving/Thankful Freebie

Today I'd like to give my top ten reasons why I'm thankful for the bookish community, and books in general. 

10. I love the sense of community that the online bookish community has. It's not always perfect, and sometimes you can feel isolated, but I love the community.

9. I love the easy access to so many great reading-related resources. For example, are you looking for books with a certain kind of representation in YA lit? There's probably a list for that. 

8. I love learning about upcoming publications. I would not know of nearly as many YA and adult romance novels without the bookish community!

7. I feel more in touch with authors. If I wasn't a part of the online bookish community, I probably wouldn't follow authors online. Simple as that!

6. I've been able to work with publishers and other bookish professionals. This has been a really rewarding part of my blogging hobby. I've been able to work with professionals and that's exciting to me, even if I'm not working in the industry.

5. I've been able to participate in promo/street teams for authors, which are always fun. I wish I had more time to do these things nowadays, but I loved doing them in the past. Some of the tasks were creative and fun!

4. I've attended more author events than before I was blogging. I never knew of many author events before I started blogging. And now I've been to so many different tours and events!

3. I've explored different bookshops because of tours and events, which is something I might not have done otherwise!

2. I've met so many amazing bloggers and readers, either in person or online. I love my bookish friends!

1. I've discovered so many new favorite books, thanks to the bookish community. Both backlist and pre-pub!


Thank you, readers! Thank you for making blogging so worth it.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Storyteller by Traci Chee


Hello all! I'm excited to be participating in the blog tour for The Storyteller! This is the third and final book of the Sea of Ink and Gold series. I'm sharing my favorite things about the series below!


About The Storyteller:


The Storyteller by Traci Chee
Book Three of the Sea of Ink and Gold series
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication Date: November 13, 2018

Official Summary:

Sefia is determined to keep Archer out of the Guard's clutches and their plans for war between the Five Kingdoms. The Book, the ancient, infinite codex of the past, present and future, tells of a prophecy that will plunge Kelanna in that bloody war, but it requires a boy--Archer--and Sefia will stop at nothing to ensure his safety. The Guard has already stolen her mother, her father, and her Aunt Nin. Sefia would sooner die than let them take anymore from her--especially the boy she loves.

But escaping the Guard and the Book's prophecy is no easy task. After all, what is written always comes to pass. As Sefia and Archer watch Kelanna start to crumble to the Guard's will, they will have to choose between their love and joining a war that just might tear them apart. Full of magic, suspense, and mystery, Traci Chee brings her Sea of Ink and Gold trilogy to a close in this spellbinding final installment.



Check out the series:

  
(Click on the covers for more information!)


About the Author:


Traci Chee is an all-around word geek, she loves book arts and art books, poetry and paper crafts. She studied literature and creative writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and earned a master of arts degree from San Francisco State University. Traci grew up in a small town with more cows than people, and now feels most at home in the mountains, scaling switchbacks and happening upon hidden highland lakes. She lives in California with her fast-fast dog. The Speaker is the second book in the Sea of Ink and Gold trilogy that began with The Reader.



Favorite Things About the Series:

Originally I was planning to share some of my favorite quotes, but there are so many! So I'm going to share some of my favorite general aspects of the series. 

1. The covers. I couldn't not say something about the covers! I love how beautiful they are. And I love the diverse representation. Penguin has been slaying recently!

2. Hidden messages. I loooooooove books that contain hidden messages. Now, I'm usually pretty good with hidden messages, but not always! Last year, Traci played a little Easter Egg game on Twitter, in which followers would tweet page numbers and she would tell them if they were close to an Easter Egg ("hot") or not. This opened my eyes to several Easter Eggs that I didn't catch! This series is totally worth reading, for the hidden messages and Easter Eggs alone!

3. The added form of the books. This is neat - there are blood splatters and lines blotted-out and things like that. Kind of like what you'd see in Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, but not quite metafiction. I mentioned that this series has great hidden messages, but I also like how there is art/form to the books too, like the ink/blood splatters and blotted-out lines.

4. The interconnecting timelines. I'm actually usually not a fan of multiple timelines being presented in a story. It gets confusing really quickly, and/or boring if you're not interested in one of the timelines. But I LOVED how Traci wrote this, particularly in book one. It was some masterful storytelling. 

5. It's a series of books, about books!love books about books. Like Rachel Caine's The Great Library series. And Fahrenheit 451. And Traci Chee's Sea of Ink and Gold series (this one!). Traci has talked about how this series is a love letter to books. Read her thoughts HERE!


The Giveaway:

Enter the information into the form below with the chance to win 1 of the 3 Signed Hardcovers of The Storyteller with a Surprising Swag Pack. This Storyteller Sweepstakes will run from 10/22/2018 through 11/23/2018 and 3 USA winners will be chosen at random. 

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between October 22, 2018 and November 22, 2018. Open to US residents, 18 and older. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. 

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Stacking the Shelves (#308)



Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, in which bloggers share the books and swag they've received in the past week!


So, what did I get in the week of Sunday, November 11th to Saturday, November 17th?


(all links to Goodreads are provided!)


In the mail:



Thanks for the trade, @WriterDarling! Just waiting on one more item.



Thank you, Tor!


That's all I've got going on! I've posted several giveaways this week, so if you're interested in winning some books, click on the images below!



Friday, November 16, 2018

November 2018 New Release Giveaway!


Welcome to the November New Release Giveaway Hop! The November New Release Giveaway hop is hosted by It Starts At Midnight and FLYLēF


This month, I'm giving a November '18 book of your choice! Here are some examples:

(You are not limited to these below!)


Archenemies (Renegades, #2)      Girls of Paper and Fire      Empire of Sand (The Books of Ambha, #1)


The Giveaway:

Win a November book of your choice! Winner has 48 hours to respond to my email. The usual Giveaways rules apply.

Open INTERNATIONALLY! Good luck!







Thursday, November 15, 2018

Gratitude Giveaway!


It's time for a gratitude giveaway! Thank you to my lovely followers, especially to those of you who follow me in multiple ways. I want you to know that I appreciate every follow and every pageview, like, comment, etc. Thank you!

For this giveaway, I have a mystery prize pack of books (and maybe swag!) for you! It'll be a bundle of recent YA publications, mix of formats. Could be ARCs, could be paperbacks, could be hardcovers. 

This giveaway is open to anyone (USA, non-USA, etc.). Ends 11/30 at midnight. Good luck!



Follow the hop!

Swoon Thursday (#303): A Duke Changes Everything by Christy Carlyle


- From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering

- Try to make the swoon excerpt 140 characters (or less), if you are going to tweet about it. Use the hashtag #YABOUND when tweeting


This week, my swoon is from A Duke Changes Everything by Christy Carlyle!

A Duke Changes Everything (Duke's Den, #1)

"Mina," He touched her cheek, wrapped an arm around her waist, and took her mouth as he'd ached to from the moment they'd met.

Slow. He reminded himself to go slow, but his body raced from aroused to raging need. Warm, she was so warm. She tasted of cinnamon and jasmine tea, and her lips were a heaven he could never deserve.

- Paperback, page 177



This is one of the sweetest first-kiss scenes I've read! I shared only a small part of it. I'm liking this book so far!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday (#307): The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


This week, I'm featuring:

The Beautiful (The Beautiful #1)

The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh
Book One of The Beautiful series
Publisher: Penguin Teen
Publication Date: October 8, 2019

Summary (from Goodreads):

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she's forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and--especially--to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city's glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group's leader, the enigmatic Sèbastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sèbastien's guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose--one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful. And these vampires don’t sparkle. They slay.



Vampires are making a comeback?! I'm ready! I'll read anything Ahdieh writes. =)

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday (30)


Happy Tuesday! Today I've decided to participate in Top Ten Tuesday, formerly hosted by Jamie at The Broke and the Bookish, now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

Today's topic is:

Bookish Items/Merchandise I’d Like to Own

Six of Crows dice - probably the #1 one thing I'm after! I can't buy them unfortunately but I can dream about them!

(Image is @maradying's!)

An Ember in the Ashes letter opener - another item that I can't buy but would love to have!

(Image is not mine - I got it from @banualcosmos!)

The Rose & The Dagger preorder prints - I have #2 and #3 but not #1 and #4!

CeadRBQUUAAMuRK
(Image is The Fandom's!)

"Duty First Unto Death" pin - this is based on An Ember in the Ashes, designed by IceyDesigns. I'm SO upset I missed out when it was available.


(Image is @booksofteacups'!)

Honestly that's all I could think of for now! I'm a huge swag fan and so there are plenty of little things that I'm always looking for. But these are the "big" ones!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Blog Tour: The Dark Days Deceit by Alison Goodman


Happy Monday! I hope your week has gotten off to a fantastic start. I'm so excited to participate in the final leg of the Dark Days blog tour! I'll be sharing some of my favorite quotes from The Dark Days Deceit, book three. This book publishes quite soon, so get ready!


About The Dark Days Deceit:



The Dark Days Deceit by Alison Goodman
Book Three of The Dark Days Club series
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: November 20, 2018

Summary (from Goodreads):

The thrilling, genre-bending conclusion to Lady Helen's demon-hunting adventures, set in the glittering Regency world.

Lady Helen has retreated to a country estate outside Bath to prepare for her wedding to the Duke of Selburn, yet she knows she has unfinished business to complete. She and the dangerously charismatic Lord Carlston have learned they are a dyad, bonded in blood, and only they are strong enough to defeat the Grand Deceiver, who threatens to throw mankind into chaos. But the heinous death-soaked Ligatus Helen has absorbed is tearing a rift in her mind. Its power, if unleashed, will annihilate both Helen and Carlston unless they can find a way to harness its ghastly force and defeat their enemy.

In the final book of the trilogy that began with The Dark Days Club and continued with The Dark Days Pact, the intrepid Lady Helen's story hurtles to a shocking conclusion full of action, heartbreak, and betrayal.



About The Dark Days Club:

The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen, #1)

The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman
Book One of The Dark Days Club series
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 26, 2016

Summary (from Goodreads):

From the New York Times bestselling author of Eon and Eona; a Regency adventure series starring a stylish and intrepid Buffy-esque demon-hunter

London, April 1812. On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall's presentation to the queen, one of her family's housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?



About The Dark Days Pact:


The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman
Book Two of The Dark Days Club series
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers 
Publication Date: January 31, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads):

June 1812. Just weeks after her catastrophic coming-out ball, Lady Helen Wrexhall—now disowned by her uncle—is a full member of the demon-hunting Dark Days Club. Her mentor, Lord Carlston, has arranged for Helen and her maid, Darby, to spend the summer season in Bristol, where Helen can sharpen her Reclaimer powers. Then the long-term effects of Carlston’s Reclaimer work take hold, and his sanity begins to slip. At the same time, Carlston’s Dark Days Club colleague and nemesis will stop at nothing to bring Helen over to his side—and the Duke of Selburn is determined to marry her. The stakes are ever higher for Helen, and her decision will truly change the world…



My Favorite Quotes:

"In principle, I agree, but in practice, I fear we may not have the time for such niceties... The gloves are off now, and we are fighting for our lives."

- ARC, page 294

Carlston released her hands and stepped back. "Do you always pray so loudly, Jacob?"

"I do when my prayers are answered," Hallifax said.

- ARC, page 355

It felt as if her heart hovered between beats as she searched his gaunt face, and then it burst into hard joy. The kiss was in his eyes, in his smile, in the way he breathed.

- ARC, page 409

... you are my heartbeat. My pulse. You are the fire in my blood and the laughter in my soul."

- ARC, page 527


I was reading this and forgot to flag places as I went, so my fault for not having too many! I started flagging them as I neared the end, and by the end I was running into spoiler territory with my favorites. Regardless, these are quite lovely!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Reckoning of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin

Hello and welcome to a new week, book lovers! Today I'm participating in the blog tour for The Reckoning of Noah Shaw.  This book publishes super soon - THIS Tuesday! You still have time to preorder a signed first edition, but you can also win a copy today courtesy of the publisher. Scroll down for details!


About the Book:


The Reckoning of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin
Book Two of the Shaw Confessions series
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: November 13, 2018

Summary (from Goodreads):

In this sequel to The Becoming of Noah Shaw, the companion series to the New York Times bestselling Mara Dyer novels, legacies are revealed, lies are unraveled, and old alliances are forged. Noah’s reckoning is here.

Noah Shaw wants nothing more than to escape the consequences of his choices. 

He can’t. 

He’s sure the memories that haunt him are merely proof of a broken heart. 

They aren’t. 

He thinks he can move forward without first confronting his past. 

He’s wrong.



About the Author:


Michelle Hodkin grew up in Florida, went to college in New York, and studied law in Michigan. She is the author of the Mara Dyer trilogy, including The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, The Evolution of Mara Dyer, and The Retribution of Mara Dyer. Visit her online at MichelleHodkin.com.



My review:

(I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book.)

I'm actually not going to do my full proper review on account me just having finished the book and probably in spoiler mode at the moment. I will NOT spoil the book for anyone, promise! I'll keep this very general. It's hard though. The first I'll say is that I highly recommend doing a reread of The Becoming of Noah Shaw, and maybe the first trilogy for fun. Rereading the first trilogy isn't necessary - in fact having read the first trilogy at all isn't necessary. But reading it beforehand definitely helps, and you'll enjoy Noah so much more if you read the original trilogy first. Rereading the trilogy before reading this book is something I always recommend but it's not necessary. 

Rereading The Becoming of Noah Shaw... to me that's more necessary. I had a loooot of blanks that needed to be filled because it has been so long since I read The Becoming of Noah Shaw, and I haven't read the book since that first read. These books are pretty confusing and intricate upon first read, so it's worth rereading the previous book before reading the next one. I did not reread The Becoming of Noah Shaw and I probably should have.

This second book was very much like its predecessors in that it was strange, a little confusing, and somewhat half-finished - all of which are not bad things! It's an interesting way to write a story, and Hodkin excels at this. Telling half-truths and revealing half-stories and leaving loose ends are all ways Hodkin weaves her tales. I find it bizarre and confusing but also highly effective, especially given that these books are psychological thrillers. This storytelling isn't for everyone though.

This book is seriously dark. There should be trigger warnings for suicidal thoughts and self-harm, at least. I'm not saying the book is "bad" because it has these things, but just be warned! It's a dark book.

The romance is... complicated. For several reasons, but primarily for one big one which I can't mention. But you'll see what I mean. I wish it hadn't been this way, because I LOVE the romance in the previous books - Noah and Mara have crazy great chemistry. This would be the strongest "dislike" I have and it's more of a personal thing. (I'm a needy romance addict!)

OF COURSE this book ends in a cliffhanger! We'll all be in agony until the final book publishes! I'm looking forward to reading it, though I'm already in pain just thinking about it. I hope Hodkin will have it ready for Fall 2019! 

Overall I'm satisfied with The Reckoning of Noah Shaw, though I wish there had been more romance. I will definitely need to reread the previous book and then reread this one. But I'm also ready for book three!


The Giveaway:

Enter to win a hardcover copy of The Reckoning of Noah Shaw, courtesy of the book's publisher! Open to USA residents only. Ends November 30th. Good luck!



Follow the blog tour:

November 5 – The Lovely Books
November 6 – Too Fond of Books
November 7 – Downright Dystopian
November 8 – Pure Imagination
November 9 – The Book Loving Nut
November 10 – a GREAT Read
November 11 – The Eater of Books!
November 12 – My Guilty Obsession
November 13 – Arctic Books
November 14 – A Gingerly Review
November 15 – Ex Libris Kate
November 16 – Girl in the Pages

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Stacking the Shelves (#307)


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, in which bloggers share the books and swag they've received in the past week!


So, what did I get in the week of Sunday, November 4th to Saturday, November 10th?


(all links to Goodreads are provided!)


In the mail:



I won this fabulous prize pack from Kristen Simmons! Thank you so much, Kristen! I especially can't wait to read The Deceivers.



Thank you, Disney! This is seriously gorgeous and perfect for the holidays. More details to come!


Well, this week was a week from hell at work, and I'm so glad it's over. I hope everyone (myself included) has a restful weekend! 

Friday, November 9, 2018

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Beautiful Sinner by Sophie Jordan


Hello! Happy Friday! Today I'm sharing an excerpt from one of my favorite romance novels of the year, Beautiful Sinner! I read this book and loved. You do not want to miss this series!


About the Book:


Beautiful Sinner by Sophie Jordan
Book Five of the Devil's Rock series
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: October 30, 2018

Summary (from Goodreads):

Locked in with the town bad boy . . .

Most women would be scared, but Gabriella’s only worried about resisting Cruz Walsh, who’s even hotter than he was back in high school. Cruz was wrongly accused of the high-profile crime for which he was imprisoned; Gabriella’s desperate for the scoop that will get her career off the ground and get her out of Sweet Hill, where everyone still remembers her as “Flabby Gabby.” Being stuck in a supply closet with Cruz is the perfect opportunity to land an interview. What Bri doesn’t count on is Cruz taking “up-close and personal” to a whole new level.

If there’s a silver lining to the hell Cruz went through, it’s that losing his freedom put everything in perspective. Maybe starting over someplace new would be easier, but after years locked up, Cruz values his family—and his true friends—more than ever. So he’s back home, facing the gossip, dodging reporters . . . and face-to-face with Gabriella Rossi. They’ve both changed: Bri wants a story and Cruz just wants her. Another thing he’s learned? Don’t let a good thing slip away.



About the Author:


SOPHIE JORDAN grew up in the Texas hill country where she wove fantasies of dragons, warriors, and princesses. A former high school English teacher, she’s the New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author of more than twenty novels. She now lives in Houston with her family. When she’s not writing, she spends her time overloading on caffeine (lattes preferred), talking plotlines with anyone who will listen (including her kids), and cramming her DVR with anything that has a happily ever after. 



The Excerpt:

“How long have you been wanting to kiss me?”

It was tempting to fling the truth at him—the truth that they had already kissed. It would feel good to catch him off guard and watch him absorb that fact.

She couldn’t do it, of course. After the satisfaction of shocking him wore off, she’d be left with the awkwardness of him knowing she was the idiot who had kissed him in the boathouse while he thought she was someone else.

“You were stroking my lips,” he reminded.

“I was checking to see if you were breathing.”

He whirled her around, sending her colliding into his chest.

“Oh!” Her hands came up to his chest, palms flattening on the very body she had only moments ago felt at her leisure. Now it felt different. Now he was awake. Alert . . .his eyes as sharp as a hawk’s gaze on her. Now his heart pounded swift and hard beneath her touch.


The Giveaway:

To celebrate the release of Beautiful Sinner by Sophie Jordan, we're giving away one paperback set of the complete Devil’s Rock series by Sophie Jordan!

Click HERE to enter!

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback set of the complete Devil's Rock series by Sophie Jordan.  This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance.  Giveaway ends 11/12/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address.  Duplicates will be deleted.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Swoon Thursday (#302): Solace Island by Meg Tilly


- From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering

- Try to make the swoon excerpt 140 characters (or less), if you are going to tweet about it. Use the hashtag #YABOUND when tweeting


This week, my swoon is from Solace Island by Meg Tilly!

Solace Island (Solace Island, #1)

His mouth descended on hers, passion-filled and demanding a response.

Her arms rose of their own volition and twined around his neck, her fingers buried deep in the silky strands of his dark hair. 

A breathy moan escaped her lips, and he took full advantage of the slight opening and dipped his tongue in, to taste her more completely. Maggie's knees felt weak; a low whimper built in her throat. Take me... take me... take me...

"Good God, Maggie," he growled, his voice husky. "You are many things, but frigid is not one of them."

- Page 207



This just published! There were some swoony scenes, it was hard to choose just one. =)