11 May 2018

Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Queen's Rising

Title: The Queen's Rising
Author: Rebecca Ross
Publication Date: Feb. 6, 2018
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When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.

Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.

Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.

With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?

Rebecca Ross was born and raised in Georgia, where she continues to reside with her husband, her lively Australian Shepherd, and her endless piles of books. She loves coffee, the night sky, chalk art, maps, the mountains, and growing wildflowers in her yard. And a good story, of course.

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Sometimes I read a book and wish that I could unread it--just for the purpose of being able to reread it and enjoy it, fresh, all over again. Just because it was so amazing that I want to re-experience the whole process of finding a gem of a novel.

I really wish I could do that with The Queen's Rising! I'd heard great things about it, but I'd also heard that some found the pacing too slow. I couldn't disagree more. I feel like the pacing was perfect for this story. There were no empty fillers of story just there to get the reader to the next exciting step. No, each chapter had a purpose and divulged a new twist or piece of information...And sometimes just some sweetness.

It's no secret that I love the fantasy genre. It's also no secret that many, including myself, have a difficult time finding exciting and original fantasy literature out there to invest time in. It's gotten so bad for me that I've found myself in a bit of a reading slump.

The Queen's Rising lifted me right out of it and now I'm just hoping I can find something comparable until Ms. Ross releases the sequel. Which, I have a feeling, will be even better than the first!

The Queen's Rising had political intrigue, magic, romance, beauty, and battles to the death.

Ms. Ross is an amazing writer! It's not often I enjoy a book for both its writing style and the story the author had to tell. It takes true talent to get both of those right.

Do yourself a favor--pick up this book! You won't regret it!

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10 May 2018

Blog Tour: Love & Luck

Title: Love & Luck
Author: Jenna Evans Welch
Publication Date: May 8, 2018
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Addie is visiting Ireland for her aunt’s over-the-top destination wedding, and hoping she can stop thinking about the one horrible thing she did that left her miserable and heartbroken—and threatens her future. But her brother, Ian, isn’t about to let her forget, and his constant needling leads to arguments and even a fistfight between the two once inseparable siblings. Miserable, Addie can’t wait to visit her friend in Italy and leave her brother—and her problems—behind.

So when Addie discovers an unusual guidebook, Ireland for the Heartbroken, hidden in the dusty shelves of the hotel library, she’s able to finally escape her anxious mind and Ian’s criticism.

And then their travel plans change. Suddenly Addie finds herself on a whirlwind tour of the Emerald Isle, trapped in the world’s smallest vehicle with Ian and his admittedly cute, Irish-accented friend Rowan. As the trio journeys over breathtaking green hills, past countless castles, and through a number of fairy-tale forests, Addie hopes her guidebook will heal not only her broken heart, but also her shattered relationship with her brother.

That is if they don’t get completely lost along the way.

Jenna Evans Welch was the kind of insatiable child reader who had no choice but to grow up to become a writer. She is the New York Times Bestselling author of LOVE & GELATO and the upcoming LOVE & LUCK. When she isn’t writing girl abroad stories, Jenna can be found chasing her children or making elaborate messes in the kitchen. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and two young children.

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A companion book to Love & Gelato, Love & Luck can definitely be read and appreciated all on its own. I didn't find out until halfway through that Love & Gelato existed. And I was not at all lost in the story.

Love & Luck was a delightful read that took me through a wide gamut of emotions. There were some extremely humorous scenes--especially between the protagonist, Addie, and her brother, Ian. One of my favorite relationships explored through literature, is that of siblings. While romance is wonderful, I find great delight in close familial relationships and how they can shape characters. Ms. Welch handled this beautifully and realistically.

The romance was there, also. Just a little more obscure.

This was a shorter read that held my attention the entire time it was in my hands. I enjoyed every second! Even the end, which brought a tear or two my eye.

Well done, Ms. Welch! Now I need me some Love & Gelato!

Giveaway is US only.
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04 May 2018

Blog Tour & GIveaway: The Fairies of Sadieville

Title: The Fairies of Sadieville
Author: Alex Bledsoe
Publication Date: Apr. 10, 2018
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Charming and lyrical, The Fairies of Sadieville continues Alex Bledsoe's widely-praised contemporary fantasy series, about the song-wielding fairy descendants living in modern-day Appalachia.

"This is real." Three small words on a film canister found by graduate students Justin and Veronica, who discover a long-lost silent movie from more than a century ago. The startlingly realistic footage shows a young girl transforming into a winged being. Looking for proof behind this claim, they travel to the rural foothills of Tennessee to find Sadieville, where it had been filmed.

Soon, their journey takes them to Needsville, whose residents are hesitant about their investigation, but Justin and Veronica are helped by Tucker Carding, who seems to have his own ulterior motives. When the two students unearth a secret long hidden, everyone in the Tufa community must answer the most important question of their entire lives -- what would they be willing to sacrifice in order to return to their fabled homeland of Tir na nOg?

ALEX BLEDSOE is the author of the Eddie LaCrosse novels (The Sword-Edged Blonde, Burn Me Deadly, Dark Jenny, and Wake of the Bloody Angel), the novels of the Tufa (The Hum and Shiver, Wisp of a Thing, Long Black Curl, and Chapel of Ease), and the Memphis Vampires (Blood Groove and Girls with Games of Blood). Bledsoe grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. He now lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

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The English department secretary, Mrs. Lundoff, said from behind them, “A little overwhelming, isn’t it? I swear, in all the years I’ve worked here, I saw truckloads of stuff go in, but I never saw anything come out.”

“It’s not that bad,” Justin said. “Once we get started, it’ll shake out pretty quickly. He was organized, just not in any way that you’d recognize.”

“Yes, the alphabet regularly vexed him,” she said dryly. Then she turned wistful. “He smiled and wished me a good evening on his way out, and they say he was dead an hour later. I still expected to see him come shuffling in this morning and try three times to hang his coat up before he finally got it on the hook.”

They all laughed a little at that.

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01 May 2018

Blog Tour: Love Songs & Other Lies

Title: Love Songs & Other Lies
Author: Jessica Pennington
Publication Date: Apr. 24, 2018
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It's summer romance and second chances, the songs that stay in your head, and the boy you'll never forget.

Two years after rock-song-worthy heartbreak, Virginia Miller is looking forward to a fun, carefree summer. Her friends just landed a spot on a battling bands reality show, and Vee is joining them for her dream internship on tour. Three months with future rockstars seems like an epic summer plan. Until she learns she’ll also be sharing the bus with Cam. Her first love, and her first heartbreak. Now Vee has more than just cameras to dodge, and Cam’s determination to win her forgiveness is causing TMZ-worthy problems for both of them. With cameras rolling, she’ll have to decide if her favorite breakup anthem deserves a new ending. And if she’s brave enough to expose her own secrets to keep Cam’s under wraps.

Breaking Vee’s heart was never Cam’s plan. All he wanted senior year was a new life, in a new town, uninterrupted by the tragedy he left behind. Then Vee swept him into a whirlwind of friendship, musical adventure, and a love he didn’t expect or want. Now, he has a second chance to make it right. But things get complicated when ratings-crazy producers, cameramen, and fans are involved. Can he rewrite their love song with the whole world watching?

Sometimes the last note is just the beginning. Love Songs & Other Lies is the debut romance from Jessica Pennington that Katie McGarry calls "fun and full of heart with a hero who stole my heart!”

Jessica Pennington is no stranger to the combination of love and drama. She’s a wedding planner, after all. A writer since the age of ten—when she sought publication for her poem about a tree—Jessica likes the challenge of finding the humor in a sad situation or highlighting the awkwardness in a romantic one. She lives in a Michigan beach town suspiciously similar to the one in her novel, with her husband Josh and their son, Rory. Love Songs & Other Lies is her debut novel.

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“Hey, Cam.”

Cam? Huh. Interesting. Everyone has always called me Cameron. All three syllables, every time. My mom used to say that if she wanted people to call me Cam, she would have named me that.

Am I a “Cam” now? I guess I can roll with it. “What’s the VA stand for?” Friends can ask that sort of thing. We’re friends now, right? You already “Cam”-ed me, after all.


“Like the state.”

“The nineties song,” Anders says, smiling. “‘Meet Virginia’?”

I shake my head. I don’t know it.

Anders starts humming and Logan sings, “Meet Virginia, I can’t wait to meet Virginia—”

She rolls her eyes. “No one calls me that, though. Just Vee.”

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25 April 2018

Review: Roar by Cora Carmack

Title: Roar (Stormheart #1)
Author: Cora Carmark
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
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In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Losing It series.

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I've been trying to get my hands on more fantasy reads because lately, I have been loving them!

The premise of Roar immediately hooked me. I'm a sucker for royalty stories. And then with the magical storms and a princess-on-the-run... this story was sure to be amazing!

The fantasy aspect was so brilliantly done. Just the entire idea of magical storms and what the history of them was--Ms. Carmack not only wrote a beautiful story but it was an original one, too!

Plus, with the love story aspect--I honestly can't wait to see what happens with Roar and her handsome storm hunter. What's he going to do when he finds out who she is?

Brilliantly done, Ms. Carmack.