Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday (#305): Castle of Lies by Kiersi Burkhart

"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:

Castle of Lies

Castle of Lies by Kiersi Burkhart
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books 
Publication Date: May 7, 2019

Summary (from Goodreads):

Thelia isn't in line to inherit the crown, but she's been raised to take power however she can. She's been friends with Princess Corene her whole life, and she's scheming to marry Bayled, the heir to the throne. But her plans must change when an army of elves invades the kingdom. Thelia, her cousin Parsival, and Corene become trapped in the castle. An elf warrior, Sapphire, may be Thelia's only hope of escape, but Sapphire has plans of their own. Meanwhile, an ancient magic is awakening within the castle, with the power to destroy the whole kingdom. Can Thelia find a way to protect her future--and her life?

This is new to me! I love the cover and the story sounds pretty cool. Plus, elf warrior? Yes please!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday (29)

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:

Halloween/Creepy Freebie

I'm actually not really into horror/scary/Halloween stories! Both YA and adult horror is not my thing. BUT I wanted to share some of my favorite scary books from when I was in elementary school! There are some great (but twisted) stories. 

In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories
(Ever heard of the story of the girl with the green ribbon? Yeah, that story is in this anthology.)

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (Scary Stories, #1)

More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones


It Came from Beneath the Sink! (Goosebumps, #30)
(Any of the Goosebumps books, really.)

Do you have any childhood favorites? 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Monday Muse (10)

Hey fam! Happy Monday! Or something - are Mondays ever really happy? Let's change that! Today I'm sharing another Monday Muse post, which features my hobbies other than reading.

I haven't done a Muse since the first week in October! Here are the latest pages I've colored in my 17-18 Johanna Basford planner:

(As you can see, I take the creative route when it comes to nature! Bet you've never seen flamingos like that.) 

This is the latest one! It's very fall-esque. I love it!

My big thing of the month - I went on vacation for a week! FINALLY! I went to Iceland it was amazing. I toured around the southern half of the country and desperately want to go back to see the northern half. Here are some of my photos!

(Flying over Greenland!)

This is like 0.01% of the photos I took (and not even the best ones.) There are dozens more on my personal Instagram, @alyssasadventuresinwonderland!

I've gotten a lot of book mail in the last month! Here are some highlights:

Might I recommend Courting Darkness? This is Robin LaFevers' fourth YA novel, publishing in February. I loved her first three!

(This pin is FANTASTIC. "You will be the death of me.")

To wrap things up, my company is hosting a chili cookoff soon, in which employees volunteer to make chili and bring it in, and anyone who wants to eat chili gives a donation that will go towards a charity. You can make a chili, and/or a dessert. Last year, I made only a dessert. This year, I'm going to be making both! The chili is going to be a spicy Trinidadian-style one. The dessert is something I'm still deciding. But I'm thinking about making this:

I got this recipe years ago in the grocery but haven't tried it yet. I think it'll be perfect!

Tell me about your week, past or present! I hope everyone has a great one. And enjoy Halloween - next Monday Muse, I'll show off my DIY costume!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Halloween Reading (and Giveaway!)

Hello, bibliovores! With Halloween fast approaching, I'd like to share some great Halloween-themed books that will make this spooky holiday even more fun. 

Slasher Girls & Monster Boys

Terrifying tales and psychological thrillers... the synopsis of this anthology is spot on!


YA horror - a genre I'm too scared to read. Perfect for Halloween!

The Accident Season

I've read this book and it is eerie and fantastic.

Blood and Salt (Blood and Salt, #1)

This is book one of a gory series...

Daughters Unto Devils

The cover just LOOKS creepy enough for Halloween. *shudders*

The Suffering (The Girl from the Well, #2)

This is book two of a series but I wanted to share this one because of the cover... look at it! I would run.

Welcome to the Dark House (Dark House, #1)

Ready to face your worst fears? You will in this story...

The Vampire Combat Field Guide: A Coloring and Activity Book For Fighting the Bloodthirsty Undead

A little different from the books again - this is an activity book! I got one and did some coloring. It's great if you love coloring!

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas 

This is a coloring book! And yes it's a "Christmas" coloring book BUT as with anything Tim Burton, it works for Halloween as well!

Hocus Pocus & The All New Sequel

This is newly published and perfect for fans of Hocus Pocus!

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Something tells me this book is... chilling.

Any of these catch your eye? There's plenty of great YA horror stories to choose from. And good news, for anyone who wants to try some Halloween-ish reads! I've got a giveaway ending soon that is perfect for the holiday.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Stacking the Shelves (#305)

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, October 21st to Saturday, October 27th?

(all links to Goodreads are provided!)

In the mail:

Nothing this week!

From NetGalley:

Not the Duke’s Darling (The Greycourt, #1)

New Hoyt series! I'm so excited to start reading. Thank you, Forever!

That's it from me! I had a busy week at work so I didn't have a lot going on in the reading/blogging world. I am forever behind. Maybe someday!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Duchess by Design by Maya Rodale

Happy Friday, friends! We made it through another week! Today I'm excited to share info about a new book by a fabulous historical romance author, Maya Rodale. I've read several of Maya's books AND met her in person - she is delightful! I've not read her latest but I'm sure it is entertaining and smart and feminist as her books usually are. Read on!

About the Book:

Duchess by Design by Maya Rodale
Book One of the Gilded Age Girls Club series
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: October 23, 2018

Official Summary: 

In the first novel of Maya Rodale’s enthralling new series, an English duke vows to make an American seamstress his duchess...

In Gilded Age Manhattan, anything can happen…

Seeking a wealthy American bride who can save his family’s estate, Brandon Fiennes, the duke of Kingston, is a rogue determined to do the right thing. But his search for an heiress goes deliciously awry when an enchanting seamstress tumbles into his arms instead.

...And true love is always in fashion

Miss Adeline Black aspires to be a fashionable dressmaker—not a duchess—and not even an impossibly seductive duke will distract her. But Kingston makes an offer she can’t refuse: join him at society events to display her gowns and advise him on which heiresses are duchess material. 

It’s the perfect plan--as long as they resist temptation, avoid a scandal and above all do not lose their hearts.

About the Author:

MAYA RODALE began reading romance novels in college at her mother’s insistence. She is now the bestselling and award winning author smart and sassy romances. She lives in New York City with her darling dog and a rogue of her own.

The Excerpt:

Without thinking he grabbed her around the waist and tugged her close against him, out of the way of those dangerous riders.

She clasped the lapels of his jacket. Her lips were just inches from his.

He didn’t move an inch. Not at all. She clung to him and he didn’t exactly let go.

He stood tall above her, acutely aware that her breasts occasionally brushed against his chest, achingly aware just an inch would close the distance between his arousal and her skirts. He held her, his hand hot and possessive on her waist.

Kingston flirted with the possibility of kissing her.

He came so close he could taste it.

A slow, sweet kiss was just there between them, ripe for the plucking. Something stopped him, though. It was a deep, instinctive sense that once his lips touched hers it would be impossible to stop. When he kissed this woman, he was going to kiss her so thoroughly and completely that they would require all night and the morning, too.

The Giveaway:

To celebrate the release of Duchess by Design by Maya Rodale, we're giving away a paperback copy of the book to one lucky winner!

The giveaway is HERE!

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback copy of Duchess By Design by Maya Rodale. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Connie Suttle.  Giveaway ends 11/5/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Limit one entry per reader. Duplicates will be deleted.  

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Swoon Thursday (#300): Falling for the Marine by Samanthe Beck

- 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 Falling for the Marine by Samanthe Beck!

"I believe I promised you a kiss, and I always keep my-"

He closed the last little distance between and claimed his reward. The sweet, achingly soft touch of her lips against his scorched every last cautionary thought about entertaining bundles of trouble straight out of his mind. He tangled all ten fingers into her hair and dove into the kiss.

- Kindle copy, page 23

Read my review HERE.

I love this book! Samanthe Beck's Entangled romance novels are amazing. I was rereading this one and had to share a snippet from one of my favorite scenes. =)

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday (#304): Dreaming Darkly by Caitlin Kittredge

"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:

Dreaming Darkly by Caitlin Kittredge
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: April 9, 2019

Summary (from Goodreads):

Ivy Bloodgood’s mother is dead, and she should probably be sad about it. But she isn’t. Myra Bloodgood was confusing mix of protective and abusive, a manipulative personality who never told the truth—about where she came from, who Ivy’s father was, or why they were living their lives on the run.

Now that Ivy has been sent to Darkhaven, an island off the New England coast, to live with a rich uncle she didn’t know existed, she is forced to reckon with her mother’s past. Ivy can tell right away there are long-held family secrets buried within these walls, but when she wakes up from one of her nightmares covered in someone else’s blood, Ivy fears that whatever demons her mother battled while she was alive have come to roost in her own mind. Scared that she can no longer trust what she sees, Ivy seeks the help of a boy who thinks her episodes are connected to the sordid history of Darkhaven—but what they don’t know might kill them both.

A moody and twisty gothic mystery with an impossible romance, Dreaming Darkly is an atmospheric, fast-paced page-turner written by comics veteran Caitlin Kittredge.

I remember reading a book by Kittredge a loooong time ago - The Iron Thorn. This new book is different and sounds pretty good!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday (28)

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:


This is a list of well-written villains - not necessarily villainous people that I liked. I simply admire how much depth the villains had. Check it out!

1. The Darkling (from the Grishaverse trilogy)

Shadow and Bone (Grisha Verse, #1)

2. The Commandant (from An Ember in the Ashes quartet)

An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)

3. Leck (from Graceling)

Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)

4. Dorwan (from Brightly Woven)

Brightly Woven

5. LeBlanc (from Rook by Sharon Cameron)


6. Lonnrach (from The Vanishing Throne)

The Vanishing Throne (The Falconer, #2)

7. Minya (from Strange the Dreamer)

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)

8. The Herja (from Sky in the Deep)
(A collective villain)

9. Olivia (from Avenged)

10. The Sultan (from Rebel of the Sands)