11 May 2018

Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Queen's Rising

Title: The Queen's Rising
Author: Rebecca Ross
Publication Date: Feb. 6, 2018
Find: Amazon | Goodreads | B&N | Book Depository

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
Find: Amazon | Goodreads | B&N | Book Depository | Kobo | IndieBound | iBooks

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.

Website | Goodreads

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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