Thursday, December 31, 2015

Early Review: In Real Life by Jessica Love #yalit #AroundTheWorldARCTours #BibPleaseReview

2 comments:


Title: In Real Life
Author:
Jessica Love
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (Macmillan)
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours

Hannah Cho and Nick Cooper have been best friends since 8th grade. They talk for hours on the phone, regularly shower each other with presents, and know everything there is to know about one another.

There's just one problem: Hannah and Nick have never actually met.

Hannah has spent her entire life doing what she's supposed to, but when her senior year spring break plans get ruined by a rule-breaker, she decides to break a rule or two herself. She impulsively decides to road trip to Vegas, her older sister and BFF in tow, to surprise Nick and finally declare her more-than-friend feelings for him.

Hannah's romantic gesture backfires when she gets to Vegas and meets Nick's girlfriend, whom he failed to mention. And it turns out his relationship status isn't the only thing he's been lying to her about. Hannah knows the real Nick can't be that different from the online Nick she knows and loves, but now she only has one night in Sin City to figure out what her feelings for Nick really are, all while discovering how life can change when you break the rules every now and then.


My Review

Contemporary novels aren't my first choice when looking for review books, but sometimes I'm pulled in by a concept. In Real Life is an example of this. I grew up in the 90s & 00s when online friendships and relationships were new creatures, and I've traveled the spectrum personally. I read In Real Life to glimpse the online awkwardness through the eyes of the next generation.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Review: Inherit the Stars by Tessa Elwood #BibPleaseReview #scifi #yalit @RP_Kids

1 comment:


Title: Inherit the Stars (Inherit the Stars #1)
Author:
Tessa Elwood
Publisher: Running Press (Perseus)
Release Date: December 8, 2015
Acquired Via: Publisher

Three royal Houses ruling three interplanetary systems are on the brink of collapse, and they must either ally together or tear each other apart in order for their people to survive.

Asa is the youngest daughter of the House of Fane, which has been fighting a devastating food and energy crisis for far too long. She attempts to save her family’s livelihood by posing as her older sister in an arranged marriage with Eagle, the heir to the House of Westlet, only to threaten their already precarious balance. All the while, she must save the life of her other sister...possibly from the hands of their own father.

But as Asa and Eagle forge a genuine bond, will secrets from the past and the urgent needs of their people in the present keep them divided?


My Review

Since there needs to be more young adult science fiction floating around in the world, I jumped at the chance to read Inherit the Stars and share my thoughts with you guys. The story is about a young girl, Asa, who would do anything for her sister, Wren and gets in trouble doing so.

Asa is a different heroine than what I've been reading about lately in YA. She's not some tough-as-nails, clever badass. She's just a young girl who loves her family and does almost everything in the novel for their benefit. One of her sisters is nearly killed very early in the book, and Asa does everything in her power to get Wren better. You see, Wren is a pretty integral part of the development of the new energy source, in addition to being Asa's favorite sister. Unfortunately, whenever Asa steps in to make something better or save the day, she usually makes everything worse.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Review: The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine @simonteen #pulseit

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Title: The Impostor Queen
Author:
Sarah Fine
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (Simon & Schuster)
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Acquired Via:
Publisher

The elders chose Elli to be queen, but they chose wrong in this beautifully crafted novel in the tradition of Kristin Cashore and Victoria Aveyard.

Sixteen-year-old Elli was a small child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic. Since then, Elli has lived in the temple, surrounded by luxury and tutored by priests, as she prepares for the day when the Valtia perishes and the magic finds a new home in her. Elli is destined to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule.

But when the queen dies defending the kingdom from invading warriors, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found.

Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands, the home of banished criminals—some who would love to see the temple burn with all its priests inside. As she finds her footing in this new world, Elli uncovers devastating new information about the Kupari magic, those who wield it, and the prophecy that foretold her destiny. Torn between the love she has for her people and her growing loyalty to the banished, Elli struggles to understand the true role she was meant to play. But as war looms, she must align with the right side—before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.


My Review

You guys are in for a treat in January. I read The Impostor Queen when I was being a bad reviewer and should have been reading something else. Be warned: not only did I disregard the book that I was supposed to be reading, I was also reading this book any time I had a free moment to look down at my phone or iPad. It is that good.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Spotlight (#Giveaway): Benefit of the Doubt by Neal Griffin #adultlit #mystery @kayepublicity

1 comment:


Title: Benefit of the Doubt: A Novel
Author: Neal Griffin
Publisher: Forge (Macmillan)
Spotlight Organizer: Kaye Publicity
Release Date: May 12, 2015

Neal Griffin is a twenty-five year veteran of law enforcement. He's seen it all, from routine patrols to drug enforcement to homicide investigations, from corrupt cops to men and women who went far above and beyond the call of duty.

Benefit of the Doubt is a gripping thriller that exposes the dark underbelly of policing in small-town American, where local police departments now deal with big-city crimes and corruption.

Ben Sawyer was a big-city cop, until he nearly killed a helpless suspect in public. Now a detective in the tiny Wisconsin town where he and his wife grew up, Ben suspects that higher-ups are taking payoffs from local drug lords.

Before long, Ben is off the force. His wife is accused of murder. His only ally is another outcast, a Latina rookie cop. Worse, a killer has escaped from jail with vengeance on his mind, and Newburg—and Ben Sawyer—in his sights.


Praise

“Benefit of the Doubt needs none--there is no doubt that this fine debut novel is the sure-handed work of an exciting new author.” —Don Winslow, New York Times bestselling author of Savages

“[A] unique and suspenseful debut novel by a cop-turned-author who knows the turf. The story moves at warp speed.” —Joseph Wambaugh, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“A taut and cleverly-plotted page-turner! Griffin is a terrific story-teller, and this compelling tale will keep you guessing from the first chilling line to the unpredictable and completely surprising last page.” —Hank Phillippi Ryan, a Mary Higgins Clark, Anthony, & Agatha Award-winning author

“A visionary, scathing, supremely effective peek into the darkness that permeates small town Americana. Drawn in vibrant colors upon an ambitious canvas, this major debut is destined to take its place alongside the work of Robert Parker, C.J. Box, and Harlan Coben when it comes to unrelenting suspense and wondrously staged, multi-layered construction.” —Jon Land, bestselling author of Strong Rain Falling and The Tenth Circle

Buy your copy on Amazon!


About the Author

Friday, December 18, 2015

Review: This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp #BibPleaseReview #diversebooks

2 comments:


Title: This Is Where It Ends
Author:
Marieke Nijkamp
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (Sourcebooks)
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Acquired Via:
Publisher

10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03
The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05
Someone starts shooting.

Told from four perspectives over the span of 54 harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.


My Review

This Is Where It Ends is not a book that I would normally consider reviewing, though it caught my eye (the author is a big advocate of diversity in books), because the subject matter is very heavy. I am an escapist reader, and since I have a school-age child, it's not my first choice to read about something that I already worry about. That being said, the lovely people at Sourcebooks were kind enough to send me an ARC at the library, so I figured I could read it as a librarian and give it some attention here, too.

I do want to say before I get into the review that I did not like This Is Where It Ends. However, with it being so short and action-packed, I think it will be great for reluctant teen readers. I will be putting it into the hands of kids at the library. Easy, action-packed reads are important. Now for my thoughts on the book itself.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Early Review: Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan #AroundTheWorldARCTours @EpicReads #BibPleaseReview

1 comment:


Title: Reign of Shadows (Reign of Shadows #1)
Author:
Sophie Jordan
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours

A world of darkness. A love that shines.

Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness, and in the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, the kingdom’s lost princess, has been locked away in a tower in the cursed Black Woods ever since. Luna’s survival depends entirely on the world believing she is dead...

But that doesn’t stop Luna from longing for a life beyond the stifling tower walls. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer who has braved the Black Woods in search of a land where the sun still shines, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk.

When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is far more treacherous than Luna ever realized. Hideous, flesh-hungry creatures lurk behind every corner and each stranger they encounter has frightening ulterior motives.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.


My Review

Every now and then I will pick up a review book on the cover alone - without reading the description. They can sometimes be spoilery, and I like having a fresh take on a book, as long as I know the genre. Because of this, Reign of Shadows was a pleasant surprise for me. I went into the story completely blind (which was fitting), and I got to learn about the world along with Luna. She had never strayed far outside of her tower, and Relhok is an interesting and very dangerous place.

I feel like the purpose of Reign of Shadows was to get to know Luna and the world of the story. Yes, Fowler had his own POV, but Luna was very much the focus of the story. She has to learn how to navigate life outside of her tower, as well as how to handle people other than Sivo and Perla, who raised her.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (125): The Imposter Queen by Sarah Fine #WaitingonWednesday #WoW @simonteen #pulseit

1 comment:

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



Title: The Impostor Queen
Author:
Sarah Fine
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (Simon & Schuster)
Release Date: June 14, 2016

The elders chose Elli to be queen, but they chose wrong in this beautifully crafted novel in the tradition of Kristin Cashore and Victoria Aveyard.

Sixteen-year-old Elli was a small child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic. Since then, Elli has lived in the temple, surrounded by luxury and tutored by priests, as she prepares for the day when the Valtia perishes and the magic finds a new home in her. Elli is destined to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule.

But when the queen dies defending the kingdom from invading warriors, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found.

Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands, the home of banished criminals—some who would love to see the temple burn with all its priests inside. As she finds her footing in this new world, Elli uncovers devastating new information about the Kupari magic, those who wield it, and the prophecy that foretold her destiny. Torn between the love she has for her people and her growing loyalty to the banished, Elli struggles to understand the true role she was meant to play. But as war looms, she must align with the right side—before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.



I enjoy Sarah Fine's writing, so I'm all about getting my hands on The Imposter Queen. I mean, can anyone really read too much fantasy?

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Audiobook Review: Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach #scifi #audiobook #BibPleaseReview

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Title: Fortune's Pawn (Paradox #1)
Author:
Rachel Bach
Narrator: Emily Durante
Publisher: Orbit (Hachette)
Release Date: November 5, 2013
Acquired Via:
Personal Collection

Devi Morris isn't your average mercenary. She has plans. Big ones. And a ton of ambition. It's a combination that's going to get her killed one day - but not just yet.

That is, until she just gets a job on a tiny trade ship with a nasty reputation for surprises. The Glorious Fool isn't misnamed: it likes to get into trouble, so much so that one year of security work under its captain is equal to five years everywhere else. With odds like that, Devi knows she's found the perfect way to get the jump on the next part of her Plan. But the Fool doesn't give up its secrets without a fight, and one year on this ship might be more than even Devi can handle.

If Sigouney Weaver in
Alien met Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica, you'd get Deviana Morris -- a hot new mercenary earning her stripes to join an elite fighting force. Until one alien bite throws her whole future into jeopardy.

My Review

Sometimes I just need to take a break from reading books for review and for recommending to library patrons. You know how it is - you just have to have something to cleanse your palate. Well, Fortune's Pawn was just what I needed!

I was listening to an elaborate, epic fantasy that was boring the snot out of me on my last road trip. I pulled into a McDonald's for their WiFi to find something - anything - other than what I was listening to because I was going to fall asleep on the road. I've had Fortune's Pawn in my Audible library for a year or two, and I figured then was a good of a time as any to give it a shot. It was precisely what I needed to drive the empty road to South Louisiana on a dark and rainy night.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Early Review: Kingdom of Ashes by Rhiannon Thomas #AroundTheWorldARCTours #BibPleaseReview

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Title: Kingdom of Ashes (A Wicked Thing #2)
Author:
Rhiannon Thomas
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Release Date: February 23, 2016
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours

The kiss was just the beginning . . . The second book in Rhiannon Thomas’s epic retelling of Sleeping Beauty combines adventure, magic, and romance for a sweeping fantasy about one girl’s journey to fulfill her destiny.

Aurora was supposed to be her kingdom’s savior. But when she was forced to decide between being loyal to the crown and loyal to her country, she set events in motion that branded her a traitor.

Now, hunted by the king’s soldiers, Aurora’s only chance of freeing her kingdom from the king’s tyrannical rule is by learning to control her magic. But Aurora’s powers come at a price—one that forces her to leave the only home she’s ever known, one that demands she choose between the man she loves and the people she seeks to protect, and one that will cause her to unravel the mysteries surrounding the curse that was placed on her over a century before . . . and uncover the truth about her destiny.


My Review

As excited as I get about new series, I think I'm going to stop reading them.

Seriously.

I'm tempted.

Friday, December 11, 2015

2015 Debut Author Bash (Interview): @MelodyMaysonet, author of A WORK OF ART @YaReads @Merit_Press #giveaway

9 comments:

Thank you so much for visiting by Bibliophilia, Please for my stop of the 2015 Debut Author Bash! Today, I'll be featuring Melody Maysonet and her debut novel, A Work of Art, and there's also a giveaway for FIVE copies of the book!



Title: A Work of Art
Author:
Melody Maysonet
Publisher: Merit Press
Release Date: March 18, 2015

Shy, artistic Tera can't wait to attend a prestigious art school in France to prove to her famous artist father that she can make something of herself.

But Tera's hopes for the future explode when the police arrest her dad for an unspeakable crime. Her father's arrest must be a mistake, so Tera goes into action, sacrificing her future at art school to pay for his defense. Meanwhile, she falls head over heels for Joey, a rebel musician who makes her feel wanted and asks no questions about her past.

Joey helps Tera forget her troubles, but he brings a whole new set of problems to Tera's already complicated life. Then, to make matters worse, as her relationship with Joey deepens and as her dad's hotshot lawyer builds a defense, fractures begin to appear in Tera's childhood memories--fractures that make her wonder: could her father be guilty? And whether he's guilty or innocent, can she find a way to step out of the shadows of her father's reputation and walk free? Can she stop him, guilty or innocent, from tainting the only future she ever wanted?

A Work of Art is a deeply felt story about self-image, self-deception, and the terrible moment that comes when we have to face the whole truth about the myths of our childhoods.


Author Interview

Kayla: Hi, Melody! Thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed for my stop on the Debut Author Bash! First, do you mind telling readers a little bit about yourself and your debut novel, A Work of Art?

Melody Maysonet: Sure. A Work of Art is about a 17-year-old girl named Tera who gives up her future at art school to pay for her dad’s legal defense after he’s accused of a horrible crime. Tera discovers too late that her dad might be guilty--and even worse, that she might be one of his victims. It’s a fast-paced coming-of-age story with a literary bent.

Maybe the best way to tell you about myself is to tell you why I wrote A Work of Art. It’s on the grittier side of gritty YA--meaning that it’s dark and sometimes painful to read--but that’s the kind of book I’ve always been drawn to. My teenage years were tough, but reading was one of the things that helped me get through and it was the books with dark themes and troubled characters that spoke to me. Today I have an incredible life. (I’m happily married with an 11-year-old son and two cats--and, hey, I just published my first novel!) But I know what it’s like to be unhappy, and I know what it’s like to read something and realize, “Wow, other people have felt like this too.” So those are the kinds of books I want to write--ones that touch people on a deep, emotional level.

All this makes me sound way too serious, so I’d also like to mention that I’m a self-proclaimed geek, a former Dungeons & Dragons & Magic: The Gathering junkie who was lucky enough to work for a gaming company called Wizards of the Coast. Working there back in the day was the best job I could imagine until I officially became an author with the publication of A Work of Art. I mentioned that I’m drawn to dark, troubling books, but I’m a big fantasy reader, too, and I love thrillers and literary books as well.

Kayla: I know many things can contribute to an author’s inspiration when writing a book. What had the greatest influence or provided the most inspiration for A Work of Art?

Best Books of 2015 #Giveaway Hop

71 comments:

Welcome to my stop on the Best of 2015 Giveaway Hop hosted by the fantastic bloggers, Mary @ Book Hounds and Kathy @ I Am A Reader, Not A Writer! I was a lot stingier with my five star reviews than I thought this year, so today I'll be featuring those twelve books.

What You Can Win

Funny enough, most of these books were audiobooks, so I think audiobooks win for me this year. If you click on the titles below the picture thingy, you can read my reviews of the books.


Golden Son by Pierce Brown
The Martian by Andy Weir
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris
Exquisite Corpse by Pénélope Bagieu
Charming by Elliott James
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Nova by Margaret Fortune
Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Cathrynne M. Valente
Dreamer's Pool by Juliet Marillier
Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach


Giveaway

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Blog Tour (Spotlight): Doll Parts by Azzurra Nox @YABoundToursPR @diva_zura

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Title: Doll Parts: Tales of Twisted Love
Author: Azzurra Nox
Publisher: Twisted Wing Productions
Blog Tour Organizer: YA Bound Book Tours
Release Date: December 8, 2015

A haunting trio of short stories about love, obsession, and secrets. Each short story is titled after a song, The National's Apartment Story, Placebo's Scared of Girls, and Skunk Anansie's Post Orgasmic Chill.

Apartment Story
A lonely married woman nostalgically rekindles a friendship with a former lover and the apartment they shared. Dark secrets and mysteries surround the apartment building and its new tenants that delve deep into the woman's psyche and prove to be fatal.

Scared of Girls
A glamorous go-go dancer and a failing university student are bound by a dark secret that may change their fates forever.

Post Orgasmic Chill
The destinies of a cynical rock star, a groupie, an arrogant DJ, and naïve university student intertwine in a rainy London that serves as the backdrop to their tormented lives. Secrets and lies coincide in this dark tale of love gone wrong.

Hauntingly spare, beautiful, and twisted, Doll Parts is a disquieting and at times darkly morbid collection of short stories about normal people who suddenly discover their own dark possibilities.


Buy your copy on Amazon!


About Azzurra Nox

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Early Review: The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig #AroundTheWorldARCTours @EpicReads

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Title: The Girl from Everywhere (The Girl from Everywhere #1)
Author:
Heidi Heilig
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (HarperCollins)
Release Date: February 16, 2016
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours

Heidi Heilig's debut teen fantasy sweeps from modern-day New York City, to nineteenth-century Hawaii, to places of myth and legend. Sixteen-year-old Nix has sailed across the globe and through centuries aboard her time-traveling father's ship. But when he gambles with her very existence, it all may be about to end. The Girl from Everywhere, the first of two books, blends fantasy, history, and a modern sensibility. Its witty, fast-paced dialogue, breathless adventure, multicultural cast, and enchanting romance will dazzle readers of Sabaa Tahir, Rae Carson, and Rachel Hartman.

Nix's life began in Honolulu in 1868. Since then she has traveled to mythic Scandinavia, a land from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, modern-day New York City, and many more places both real and imagined. As long as he has a map, Nix's father can sail his ship,
The Temptation, to any place, any time. But now he's uncovered the one map he's always sought—1868 Honolulu, before Nix's mother died in childbirth. Nix's life—her entire existence—is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix's future, her dreams, her adventures . . . her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash, who's been part of their crew for two years. If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own.

My Review

Books dealing with time travel are usually very hit or miss for me, and young adult ones in the genre are usually more of a miss. Since I am ever the optimist, I wanted to give The Girl from Everywhere a chance. I will admit that I wasn’t in love with the book by the time I finished it, it was a fun ride.

The Girl from Everywhere is about Nix Song, a mixed race Chinese girl that time travels with her father. Her father is from modern-day New York, but she was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in the 1868. The other characters aboard the boat are from other eras in history, though not quite what you would expect. Their interactions with one another are pretty fantastic, especially Nix and Kashmir. Nix’s relationship with Slate, her father and captain, is well-written and believable. Both of their angst comes across beautifully. The characters off of the boat, except for Joss, were not my favorites at all, and I didn’t really understand the point of them.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

2015 Debut Author Bash (Guest Post): Tessa Elwood, author of INHERIT THE STARS @tessaelwood @YaReads @RP_Kids

1 comment:

Thank you so much for visiting by Bibliophilia, Please for my stop of the 2015 Debut Author Bash! Today, I'll be featuring Tessa Elwood and her debut novel, Inherit the Stars - and it's also the release date!



Title: Inherit the Stars (Inherit the Stars #1)
Author:
Tessa Elwood
Publisher: Running Press (Perseus)
Release Date: December 8, 2015

Three royal Houses ruling three interplanetary systems are on the brink of collapse, and they must either ally together or tear each other apart in order for their people to survive.

Asa is the youngest daughter of the House of Fane, which has been fighting a devastating food and energy crisis for far too long. She attempts to save her family’s livelihood by posing as her older sister in an arranged marriage with Eagle, the heir to the House of Westlet, only to threaten their already precarious balance. All the while, she must save the life of her other sister...possibly from the hands of their own father.

But as Asa and Eagle forge a genuine bond, will secrets from the past and the urgent needs of their people in the present keep them divided?


Guest Post

City-states are fascinating.

I was a die hard Koei fan as a kid. They're a Japanese game developer, probably best known for the Dynasty Warriors series. Apart from my favorite title (New Horizons, still among my top five), I was enamored of Genghis Khan—a historical simulation of warring city-states, with mechanics much like Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Except in Khan, arranging strategic marriages and assigning governmental roles to family members was just as important as troop movements and sieges. I spent a great deal of time grooming various key relatives for high-stat unions that would help me not only win the war, but were also blissfully happy for everyone involved. I mean, obviously. I created whole backstories to prove it.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Review: The Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson #UrbanFantasy #BibPleaseReview @KHeniadis

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Title: The Witches of Echo Park (The Witches of Echo Park #1)
Author:
Amber Benson
Publisher: Ace (Penguin Random House)
Release Date: January 6, 2015
Acquired Via:
Library

First in a “spellbinding”* new series about a coven of witches living in L.A., from Amber Benson, author of the Calliope Reaper-Jones novels.

Unbeknownst to most of humankind, a powerful network of witches thrives within the shadows of society, using magic to keep the world in balance. But the witches are being eliminated—and we will all pay if their power falls...


When Lyse MacAllister’s great-aunt Eleanora, the woman who raised her, becomes deathly ill, Lyse puts her life in Georgia on hold to rush back to Los Angeles. And once she returns to Echo Park, Lyse discovers her great-aunt has been keeping extraordinary secrets from her.

Not only is Lyse heir to Eleanora’s Victorian house; she is also expected to take her great-aunt’s place in the Echo Park coven of witches. But accepting her destiny means placing herself in deadly peril—for the world of magic is under siege, and the battle the witches now fight may be their last...


My Review

I would have given this book five stars, but the ending was just a bit too unbelievable for me. I know, I know, with witches and other supernatural things it shouldn’t be too far for me to stretch, but it was.

I’ll go into why it was too much for me at the end of the review, so you don’t get any spoilers if you don’t want them.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Review: Her Wicked Ways by Darcy Burke @KHeniadis #HistoricalRomance #BibPleaseReview

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Title: Her Wicked Ways (Secrets & Scandals #1)
Author:
Darcy Burke
Publisher: Intrepid Reads
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Acquired Via:
Author

She was his savior...

Banished from London for her reckless behavior, Lady Miranda Sinclair is robbed by a dashing highwayman en route to the country. By offering him a kiss in lieu of the jewels she had to leave behind, she commits the very type of act that caused her exile. When her dour guardians extend her punishment to performing charitable work at the local orphanage, she’s further tempted by the home’s owner, a provincial gentleman who stirs her passion in a most wicked way...

He was her downfall...

Desperate to save his orphanage from financial catastrophe, Montgomery “Fox” Foxcroft leads a double life as a highwayman. The arrival of wealthy, well-connected Miranda, whose kiss he can’t forget, presents a lawful opportunity to increase his coffers. His problems seem solved—until she rejects his suit. Out of options and falling for the heiress, Fox must risk what principles he has left and take advantage of her wicked ways—even if it ruins them both.


My Review

I really enjoyed the premise in this novel. Miranda is sent to the country for the summer instead of enjoying the season in London. She is spoiled and use to doing what she wants. She meets Fox who, although not titled, owns a lot of land, a house and an orphanage. But he is overworked and does not have enough money to keep up repairs. Miranda is made to help at the orphanage, and she slowly grows into a caring partner.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Blog Tour (Guest Post): Médici's Daughter by Sophie Perinot #MedicisDaughterBlogTour @hfvbt @lit_gal @StMartinsPress

1 comment:

Médici's Daughter Blog Tour Schedule



Title: Médici's Daughter: A Novel of Marguerite de Valois
Author:
Sophie Perinot
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (Macmillan)
Release Date: December 1, 2015

Winter, 1564. Beautiful young Princess Margot is summoned to the court of France, where nothing is what it seems and a wrong word can lead to ruin. Known across Europe as Madame la Serpente, Margot’s intimidating mother, Queen Catherine de Médicis, is a powerful force in a country devastated by religious war. Among the crafty nobility of the royal court, Margot learns the intriguing and unspoken rules she must live by to please her poisonous family.

Eager to be an obedient daughter, Margot accepts her role as a marriage pawn, even as she is charmed by the powerful, charismatic Duc de Guise. Though Margot’s heart belongs to Guise, her hand will be offered to Henri of Navarre, a Huguenot leader and a notorious heretic looking to seal a tenuous truce. But the promised peace is a mirage: her mother’s schemes are endless, and her brothers plot vengeance in the streets of Paris. When Margot’s wedding devolves into the bloodshed of the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, she will be forced to choose between her family and her soul.

Médicis Daughter is historical fiction at its finest, weaving a unique coming-of-age story and a forbidden love with one of the most dramatic and violent events in French history.


Advance Praise

This is Renaissance France meets Game of Thrones: dark, sumptuous historical fiction that coils religious strife, court intrigue, passionate love, family hatred, and betrayed innocence like a nest of poisonous snakes. Beautiful Princess Margot acts as our guide to the heart of her violent family, as she blossoms from naive court pawn to woman of conscience and renown. A highly recommended coming-of-age tale where the princess learns to slay her own dragons!” –Kate Quinn, Bestselling author of Lady of the Eternal City

The riveting story of a 16th century French princess caught in the throes of royal intrigue and religious war. From the arms of the charismatic Duke of Guise to the blood-soaked streets of Paris, Princess Marguerite runs a dangerous gauntlet, taking the reader with her. An absolutely gripping read!” –Michelle Moran, bestselling author of The Rebel Queen

Rising above the chorus of historical drama is Perinot’s epic tale of the fascinating, lascivious, ruthless House of Valois, as told through the eyes of the complicated and intelligent Princess Marguerite. Burdened by her unscrupulous family and desperate for meaningful relationships, Margot is forced to navigate her own path in sixteenth century France. Amid wars of nation and heart, Médicis Daughter brilliantly demonstrates how one unique woman beats staggering odds to find the strength and power that is her birthright.” –Erika Robuck, bestselling author of Hemingway’s Girl

Guest Post

Ten Intriguing Tidbits about the Valois Court
Sophie Perinot

Research is a necessary part of writing historical fiction. Sometimes it is also a heck of a lot of fun. Often it leads to strange discoveries. Go to lunch with any collection of historical novelists, and the conversation almost inevitably turns, especially if wine is flowing, to the wonderfully weird things everyone has stumbled upon—the stuff you could never make up in a thousand years because if you did readers would roll their eyes

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Kim's Most Anticipated Debut Novels of 2016 #toptentuesday #ttt @KHeniadis

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten of Kim's Most Anticipated 2016 Debut Novels



1. The Sleep Garden by Jim Krusoe
January 27, 2016

In an underground apartment building called “the Burrow”--essentially purgatory—“twilight souls” inhabit the space between life and death. Interwoven with their stories are those of inhabitants of the living world: a retired sea captain, a psychotic former child actor (possibly the sea captain’s illegitimate son?), and the technicians who monitor the Burrow, making sure its occupants have a constant supply of oxygen and food. Through all of their stories, and the ways in which their lives, past and present, intertwine, Krusoe creates a poignant story about what constitutes a life, what remains when we die, and what we possibly carry with us into the next world.





2. The Dressmaker’s War by Mary Chamberlain
January 5, 2016

A gripping, powerful, compulsively readable work of historical fiction: the story of a brilliant English dressmaker caught in Germany during World War II, the choices she must make to stay alive—and the way she confronts those choices in war’s aftermath. For readers of Amy Bloom and Anthony Doerr.

In London, 1939, Ada Vaughan is a young woman with an unusual dressmaking skill, and dreams of a better life for herself. That life seems to arrive when Stanislaus, an Austrian aristocrat, sweeps Ada off her feet and brings her to Paris. When war breaks out, Stanislaus vanishes, and Ada is taken prisoner by the Germans, she must do everything she can to survive: by becoming dressmaker to the Nazi wives. Abandoned and alone as war rages, the choices Ada makes will come to back to haunt her years later, as the truth of her experience is twisted and distorted after the war. From glamorous London hotels and Parisian cafes to the desperation of wartime Germany, here is a mesmerizing, richly textured historical novel, a story of heartbreak, survival and ambition, of the nature of truth, and the untold story of what happens to women during war.




Friday, November 20, 2015

Audiobook Review: Dreamer's Pool by Juliet Marillier #BibPleaseReview #Fantasy #AceRocStars #Audiobook

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Title: Dreamer's Pool (Blackthorn & Grim #1)
Author:
Juliet Marillier
Narrator: Scott Aiello, Natalie Gold, & Nick Sullivan
Publisher: Roc (Penguin Random House)
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Acquired Via:
Personal Collection

Award-winning author Juliet Marillier “weaves magic, mythology, and folklore into every sentence on the page” (The Book Smugglers). Now she begins an all-new and enchanting series that will transport readers to a magical vision of ancient Ireland...

In exchange for help escaping her long and wrongful imprisonment, embittered magical healer Blackthorn has vowed to set aside her bid for vengeance against the man who destroyed all that she once held dear. Followed by a former prison mate, a silent hulk of a man named Grim, she travels north to Dalriada. There she’ll live on the fringe of a mysterious forest, duty bound for seven years to assist anyone who asks for her help.

Oran, crown prince of Dalriada, has waited anxiously for the arrival of his future bride, Lady Flidais. He knows her only from a portrait and sweetly poetic correspondence that have convinced him Flidais is his destined true love. But Oran discovers letters can lie. For although his intended exactly resembles her portrait, her brutality upon arrival proves she is nothing like the sensitive woman of the letters.

With the strategic marriage imminent, Oran sees no way out of his dilemma. Word has spread that Blackthorn possesses a remarkable gift for solving knotty problems, so the prince asks her for help. To save Oran from his treacherous nuptials, Blackthorn and Grim will need all their resources: courage, ingenuity, leaps of deduction, and more than a little magic.


My Review

Dreamer's Pool caught my eye last year when it came out, but I didn't get around to reading it until I received the sequel, Tower of Thorns, from the publisher. Since I love listening to fantasy audiobooks, I opted for that format, and I think it caused me to love the book all the more.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Kim's Quotes She Loved From Books She Read In The Past Year Or So

3 comments:

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Kim's Top Ten Favorite Quotes From Books She's Read in the Past Year


1. Straight Up and Dirty: A Memoir by Stephanie Klein
"Tell the truth, or someone will tell it for you."




2. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
"The saddest people I've ever met in life are the ones who don't care deeply about anything at all. Passion and satisfaction go hand in hand, and without them, any happiness is only temporary, because there's nothing to make it last."


Monday, November 9, 2015

Review and Interview: The Girl Who Could Not Dream by Sarah Beth Durst @sarahbethdurst @HMHKids

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Title: The Girl Who Could Not Dream
Author:
Sarah Beth Durst
Publisher: Clarion Books (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Release Date: November 3, 2015

Sophie's favorite place in the world is the hidden shop beneath her parent's bookstore where dreams are bought and sold to select and secretive strangers. Sophie is fascinated by dreams -- weird, scary, or magical -- in part because she has never had a single dream of her own.

When the shop's dreams are stolen and her mother and father go mysteriously missing, Sophie must unravel the truth to save her parents. Together with her best friend -- a wisecracking and fanatically loyal monster named Monster -- she must decide who to trust with her family's carefully-guarded secrets. Who will help them, and who will betray them?


Interview

Amber: Thank you so much for stopping by Bibliophilia, Please again for your newest book! Please tell us what has been going on since your last stop?

Sarah Beth Durst: Lots of writing!

I've pretty much pared down my life these days to (1) writing and (2) spending time with my family. Also eating. And sleeping. And last weekend I watched too many episodes of Tiny House Hunters because I simply cannot imagine my book collection ever fitting in a house like that and I was fascinated. But I'm counting that as "spending time with my family" because I didn't watch alone.

Amber: What should we know about your new book, The Girl Who Could Not Dream?

Friday, November 6, 2015

Review: The Slush Pile Brigade by Samuel Marquis #mystery #giveaway @KHeniadis

2 comments:


Title: The Slush Pile Brigade (Nick Lassiter #1)
Author:
Samuel Marquis
Publisher: Samuel Marquis Books, LLC
Release Date: September 15, 2015
Acquired Via:
Publisher

On his thirtieth birthday, Nick Lassiter has lost his girlfriend and his job, is wanted by the police, and has discovered that his unpublished thriller, Blind Thrust, has been stolen and turned into a blockbuster movie called Subterranean Storm. Even worse, the movie is based on a soon-to-be best-selling novel by Australian thriller writer Cameron Beckett, one of the world’s biggest brand name authors. Rather than seek revenge through a financial settlement or public humiliation, Lassiter sets out for New York to obtain mea culpas from Beckett and his renowned literary agent, whom he is certain colluded with the Aussie in stealing his debut novel.

Unexpectedly aided by his CIA father, Director of the Russian Counterintelligence Desk, and his former girlfriend turned CIA-informant, Lassiter and his comrades take to calling themselves the Slush Pile Brigade. Outmatched and outgunned, they are foiled at virtually every turn but still they are determined to win. But will justice be attained? Can they prove that Beckett and his crooked literary agent have stolen Lassiter’s blockbuster novel and are undeservedly reaping the success? And more importantly, will they solve one of the most important counterintelligence cases in CIA history and actually live to tell about it?


My Review

I had never really thought about all the books that are sent to editors, and don’t get printed. But Samuel Marquis not only did, but wrote a fast-paced thriller that gives us a glimpse into the world of publishing.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Blog Tour (Review): The Determined Heart by Antoinette May #TLCBookTours #historicalfiction #MaryShelley #Frankenstein

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Title: The Determined Heart: The Tale of Mary Shelley and Her Frankenstein
Author:
Antoinette May
Publisher: Lake Union Press (Amazon Publishing)
Release Date: September 29, 2015
Acquired Via: TLC Book Tours

The Determined Heart reveals the life of Mary Shelley in a story of love and obsession, betrayal and redemption.

The daughter of political philosopher William Godwin and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley had an unconventional childhood populated with the most talented and eccentric personalities of the time. After losing her mother at an early age, she finds herself in constant conflict with a resentful stepmother and a jealous stepsister. When she meets the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, she falls deeply in love, and they elope with disastrous consequences. Soon she finds herself destitute and embroiled in a torturous love triangle as Percy takes Mary’s stepsister as a lover. Over the next several years, Mary struggles to write while she and Percy face ostracism, constant debt, and the heartbreaking deaths of three children. Ultimately, she achieves great acclaim for Frankenstein, but at what cost?


My Review

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is one of my all-time favorite novels, but I've not had much luck with anything written about her life. Since I've been craving historical fiction, and Amazon Publishing puts out some pretty stellar books, I figured that I should give The Determined Heart a chance. Believe it or not, I got exactly what I was looking for.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (124): Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh #WaitingonWednesday #WoW @epicreads

1 comment:

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



Title: Ivory and Bone
Author:
Julie Eshbaugh
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Release Date: June 14, 2016

The only life seventeen-year-old Kol knows is hunting at the foot of the Great Ice with his brothers. But food is becoming scarce, and without another clan to align with, Kol, his family, and their entire group are facing an uncertain future.

Traveling from the south, Mya and her family arrive at Kol’s camp with a trail of hurt and loss behind them, and hope for a new beginning. When Kol meets Mya, her strength, independence, and beauty instantly captivate him, igniting a desire for much more than survival.

Then on a hunt, Kol makes a grave mistake that jeopardizes the relationship that he and Mya have only just started to build. Mya was guarded to begin with—and for good reason—but no apology or gesture is enough for her to forgive him. Soon after, another clan arrives on their shores. And when Mya spots Lo, a daughter of this new clan, her anger intensifies, adding to the already simmering tension between families. After befriending Lo, Kol learns of a dark history between Lo and Mya that is rooted in the tangle of their pasts.

When violence erupts, Kol is forced to choose between fighting alongside Mya or trusting Lo’s claims. And when things quickly turn deadly, it becomes clear that this was a war that one of them had been planning all along.



I loved me some A. A. Attanasio in my teen years, and this just reminded me of that! I hope Ivory and Bone is at least nearly as good as that old school prehistoric fantasy!

What are you waiting on this week?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Review: The Vampire Combat Field Guide by Roger Ma #BibPleaseReview #ColoringBook #Giveaway @penguinrandom @nita_basu

10 comments:


Title: The Vampire Combat Field Guide
Author:
Roger Ma
Publisher: Berkley (Penguin Random House)
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Acquired Via:
Publisher

In The Vampire Combat Manual, Roger Ma, the nation’s preeminent expert in undead warfare, prepared the average citizen to defend against a brutal vampire attack. But without appropriate training, even the most adept slayer of bloodsuckers can be left vulnerable.

Therefore, the Institute for Undead Combat Studies has once again created an essential practice handbook for anyone seeking to avoid serious injury, infection, or death at the hands of a vampire. This comprehensive guide includes:

  • Detailed illustrations to aid in identifying various types of the undead and their vulnerabilities, as well as anatomical drawings you can color to promote knowledge retention
  • Interactive mental and physical exercises that will teach invaluable fighting techniques and prepare you for battle
  • Work pages to hone weapon selection, defensive and offensive techniques, and precise staking strategies
  • and much more!
With the proper preparation, no one need fear death by exsanguination or an eternity spent in darkness. Learn to ward off these bloodthirsty creatures while you can—or say good-bye to your days in the sun...

My Review

When I was offered a review copy of The Vampire Combat Field Guide, I was excited because I have a lot of hope for this new trend of adult coloring books. While it was not exactly what I was looking for, it's a pretty fun little coloring and activity book.

Instead of crayons, I chose to go with colored pencils for my time spent with the book. The illustrations are pretty detailed, and I don't think it would be feasible to try to use crayons or markers. There is a good deal of shading in the illustrations already, so I think colored pencils are the only thing to use.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (123): The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye #WaitingonWednesday #WoW @EpicReads

1 comment:

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



Title: The Crown's Game
Author:
Evelyn Skye
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
Release Date: May 17, 2016

Vika Andreyev can summon the snow and turn ash into gold.

Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air.

They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, a duel of magical skill. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip-smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear—the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.



Oh, please don't let this be like The Night Circus! I very much enjoy magical books, and I may even like a magical competition. *crosses fingers*

What are you waiting on this week?