COVER REVEAL | On the Rocks by Kandi Steiner

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You guys, I am IN LOVE with this stunning cover! Of course, all of Kandi’s book covers have been perfect, so this is just another beauty of a thing. Scroll down to see it in all its glory!

On the Rocks by Kandi Steiner

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publishing date: June 13, 2019

Cover Designer: Kandi Steiner

Photographer: Lauren Perry of Perrywinkle

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Noah Becker is nothing but trouble.

That’s what Mama told me when I was a kid, kicking his pew in church and giggling at the games we’d play. It’s what the town said when his father died and the Becker brothers went wild.

And it’s on repeat in my mind the day I walk into the whiskey distillery where he works to buy a wedding gift for my fiancé.

He’s trouble.

Dirty, sweaty, rude trouble.

No matter how many times I repeat it, I can’t escape Noah in our small Tennessee town. And the more I run into him, the more he infuriates me. Because he sees what no one else does.

He sees me—the real me.

The me I’m not sure I’m allowed to be.

I’m Ruby Grace Barnett, the mayor’s daughter. Soon to be a politician’s wife, just like Mama and Daddy always wanted. Soon to fulfill my family’s legacy, just like I always knew I would.

Until the boy everyone warned me about makes me question everything, like whether the wedding I’m planning is one I even want.

Everyone said Noah Becker was nothing but trouble.

If only I had listened.

A stand-alone, contemporary romance.

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Coming June 13, 2019 to Amazon and Kindle Unlimited!

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2Keav1w

About Kandi:

Kandi Steiner is a bestselling author and whiskey connoisseur living in Tampa, FL. Best known for writing “emotional rollercoaster” stories, she loves bringing flawed characters to life and writing about real, raw romance — in all its forms. No two Kandi Steiner books are the same, and if you’re a lover of angsty, emotional, and inspirational reads, she’s your gal.

An alumna of the University of Central Florida, Kandi graduated with a double major in Creative Writing and Advertising/PR with a minor in Women’s Studies. She started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a diehard hopeless romantic, and likes to highlight all the challenges of love as well as the triumphs.

When Kandi isn’t writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys live music, traveling, anything heavy in carbs, beach days, movie marathons, craft beer, and sweet wine — not necessarily in that order.

Connect with Kandi:

Mailing List: bit.ly/NewsletterKS

Facebook: facebook.com/kandisteiner

Facebook Reader Group: (Kandiland): facebook.com/groups/kandischasers

Instagram: www.instagram.com/kandisteiner

Twitter: twitter.com/kandisteiner

Pinterest: pinterest.com/kandicoffman

Website: www.kandisteiner.com

Kandi Steiner may be coming to a city near you! Check out her “events” tab to see all the signings she’s attending in the near future:

www.kandisteiner.com/events

9 Books about Grief, Loss, and other Heavy Topics

As most of you know if you’ve been following for very long, my family suffered a loss near the end of last year and we’ve really struggled to move past that. That loss has really affected my reading preferences because I’ve really been looking for novels that reflect what we’ve been through lately. I haven’t really been able to read just anything, as per usual. So, I thought I’d write up a post about some books I’ve really enjoyed dealing with some of the heavier topics like grief and mental health, but feel free to give me your suggestions if you have them!

How to Make Friends with the DarkA story about parental loss. This reeeaaaally hit me right in the feels because it was unexpected and so beautifully written. It was one of my absolute favourite books this year!

How it Feels to Float – Also, includes parental loss, but the main character is not quite as bereft as in HTMFWTD. This was also really well done, but doesn’t tackle quite as many topics as the previous. Really worth the read, though!

A Heart in a Body in a World – A book about gun violence and loss. This took me by surprise because I picked it up without reading the synopsis, but it would have been an amazing story either way.

All We Could Have Been – Also a story about loss and dealing with grief and blame, but in no way similar to the books already mentioned. This blew me away because I actually couldn’t figure out what the main character was dealing with, but once the twist is revealed it’s nearly mind-blowing! So good..

My Mother’s Daughter – This book had so much going on start to finish, but was, in essence, a story about how much mother’s are willing to sacrifice and take on to protect their children. It was so poignantly written and tackled a lot of hard themes, such as cancer, parental loss, open relationships, and domestic abuse. I highly recommend this one!

The Truth about Keeping SecretsParental loss, again…are you seeing a trend here? This also tapped into things like mental health and domestic violence, so there’s a lot happening in this novel. Brown has done a fantastic job of it, though. Another amazing read!

See All the StarsI didn’t rate this one highly, but it was a story about dealing with loss and a fatal accident. The topics that were discussed in this were done so well.

Asking for ItAs the name hints, it’s a story about rape and how that’s dealt with in a small Irish town. Basically, a girls life is ruined because of the way she portrays herself and the boys being allowed to take advantage. It was a hard read, but also so well written.

The Last to Let GoA book about murder, loss, and the resilience of children. Sometimes it’s difficult to accept things that happen in your life, but it’s a million times healthier to do so and move forward than to dwell on the past. I really loved this book..

Let me know if you’ve read any of these or have other books you’d recommend to this list! I would love to get my hands on some reads similar to these – especially ones similar to the top two of this list.

Until next time, Wayfarers xx

BLOG TOUR – REVIEW | My Mother’s Daughter by Ann O’Loughlin

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Title: MY MOTHER’S DAUGHTER

Author: ANN O’LOUGHLIN

TWs: DEATH, TERMINAL ILLNESS, GRIEF

Two mothers,
Two daughters,
Two families changed forever

The characters:

The mothers: Margo and Cassie – from completely different worlds, but finding themselves in a very similar situation. The daughters: Elsa and Tilly – two girls who share a birthday and who’s lives are about to change. Ida and Jack – The neighbours in Co. Wicklow who become part of the family for several reason, not least of which is their support of Margo and Elsa after their bereavement. There are several other characters who are important, as well, and contribute heavily to the plot, such as Cassie’s husband (hated!!) and father (loved him).

The plot:

What a phenomenal story O’Loughlin has given us in this novel! I really loved this whole book. This is very much a story about how far a mother is willing to go to protect her daughter, and what sacrifices she makes along the way. Both mothers have been put into an impossible situation and are making the best of it as much as they can. The two women, Margo and Cassie, are very similar in that they are very strong, doing their best for their girls, and willing to do anything to protect that. When a detail comes to light that might change their entire lives, the both have very similar reactions. At first, I couldn’t pin how the two storylines intersected, but when they finally did it was explosive! I can’t really talk much about it without giving away spoilery details, but just believe me when I tell say you need to read this! I was shocked at how completely I was drawn in and made to feel like a bystander of their story. O’Loughlin has 100% become a favourite author!

Final thoughts:

This was a poignantly written story that explores so many themes in great detail. I loved Ann O’Loughlin’s storytelling and writing style, so will absolutely be picking up another of her books some time soon. She had me in tears several times throughout the book, but it was so worth the read. Thank you, Ann!


County Wicklow, Ireland. Margo has just lost her husband Conor and is grieving his passing, unsure how she and her daughter Elsa will survive without him. Then she receives a letter that turns everything she thought she knew on its head. Not only has she lost her husband, but now Margo fears she could lose her daughter as well.

Ohio, United States. Cassie has just split from her husband acrimoniously. Upset and alone she does not know how to move forward. Then her ex-husband demands a paternity test for their daughter Tilly and sorrow turns to anger as Cassie faces the frightening possibility of losing her daughter.

A powerful, moving stories of family, resilience and compassion, and how women support each other through the most difficult times, My Mother’s Daughter takes the issues closest to our hearts and makes us ask ourselves the most difficult questions – what would we do in Margo and Cassie’s place?

Thank you so much to Ann O’Loughlin, Alex, and Orion’s Books for the ARC.

five stars

ARC REVIEW | Viper: Book 1 (Isles of Storm and Sorrow) by Bex Hogan

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Title: VIPER: BOOK 1 (ISLES OF STORM AND SORROW)

Author: BEX HOGAN

Released: 18TH APRIL 2019 by ORION CHILDREN’S BOOKS

Genre: YA FANTASY

Rep: LGBTQ+, DISABILITY, POC | TWs: CHILD ABDUCTION, BRUTAL MURDER, DEATH, TALK OF POTENTIAL SEXUAL ASSAULT

Respect has to be earned among Snakes, and I have done nothing to gain theirs yet

The world:

The story takes place in the Eastern Isles. There are 12 in all, but we only really get the eastern 6 in this story. Most of the tale is on The Maiden, Adler’s ship, but also on a few of the isles. My favourite was the Sixth Isle, but followed closely by the Fourth. The world was rich in detail and multi-faceted, so much so I could clearly visualize them. The isles sounded amazing – mostly – and there are a few I wouldn’t mind visiting. Everything is explained beautifully and I am hooked on Hogan’s writing!

The characters:

Marianne has lived her whole life on a ship under her father’s command. He’s the Viper, which is basically the King’s hand of justice on the sea. Marianne has been pretty oppressed her whole life because she’s not a killer like the rest of the crew. Her compassion and capacity for forgiveness is inspirational and I really loved her. She had loads of depth and was flawed, but so well-written. Definitely a favourite heroine. Her best friend (if you can call her that), Grace, is the best woman on the ship. She’s a highly skilled assassin who is usually assigned to look after Marianne. Grace is also in charge of Marianne’s training, so they are as close as can be on a ship full of secrets. Torin, the prince, is also a pretty major character, interestingly enough. I really loved his role in the whole story and look forward to getting more of him in the next installation. Bronn, Marianne’s ex-best friend, and also a Snake, was surprising! Hogan wrote him so well! I really didn’t like him in the beginning, which is exactly what she wanted, I believe, but then my opinion of him changed. The Viper, Adler, was such a phenomenal villain. I actually hated him! So well done, Hogan! Amazing writing.

The plot:

Essentially, this was a coming-of-age tale about a girl who discovers things are not all they seem on the surface. Once she begins to uncover the truth, there’s a lot more hiding than she initially expected and it turns out her entire world is upended. It’s a really good thing she has so many great friends at her back. The Viper expects her to succeed him one day, but only if she can get over her aversion to brutal murder. The real question is: will Marianne find her strength in time to save the isles and avoid getting herself killed?

Final thoughts:

This wasn’t what I expected at all. In fact, it’s absolutely 100 times better than I ever could have imagined! It has an amazing heroine, pirate life on the high seas, betrayal and deceit, and phenomenal supporting characters. The story is well-paced and such a fast read, but it was never boring and everything contributes to furthering the story. I was shocked by one of the scenes at the end and was highly upset about it, but won’t tell you why because that would be a spoiler! WAH! Anyway, I really loved this story and cannot wait to get more of Marianne and the gang.


Marianne has been training to be the Viper for her entire life – to serve and protect the King and the citizens of The Twelve Isles – but to become the Viper and protect the islands she loves she must find the strength to defeat her father.

An immersive and swashbuckling new fantasy trilogy perfect for fans of Sarah J Maas and Leigh Bardugo.

He will make me a killer.
Or he will have me killed.
That is my destiny.

Seventeen-year-old Marianne is fated to one day become the Viper, defender of the Twelve Isles.

But the reigning Viper stands in her way. Corrupt and merciless, he prowls the seas in his warship, killing with impunity, leaving only pain and suffering in his wake.

He’s the most dangerous man on the ocean . . . and he is Marianne’s father.

She was born to protect the islands. But can she fight for them if it means losing her family, her home, the boy she loves – and perhaps even her life?

A brave heroine. An impossible dilemma. An epic new fantasy trilogy set on the high seas.

Thank you so much to Bex Hogan and Hachette Children’s Group/Orion Children’s Books via Netgalley for the ARC.

five stars

Can’t Freakin’ Wait Wednesday 01/05/19

Can't Wait Wednesday

Can’t Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa over at Wishful Endings and was based on Waiting on Wednesday’s, which is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. She created it to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released, but that’s not always the case. I happen to have pile upon piles of books I am excited to read, so thought this would be a fun meme in which to partake!

I, like most other people in the book world, am completely in love with the power duo that is Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufmann, so of course I’m dying for AURORA RISING. It just sounds entirely too cool, and I’m already getting rave reviews from friends who have been lucky enough to get it. Anyway, it was an easy pick this week.

Have you read this yet or is it on your TBR? What do you think of the description?

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From the New York Times and internationally bestselling authors of the Illuminae Files comes a new science fiction epic . . .

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the academy would touch . . .

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass tech whiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger-management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem–that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline cases, and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

NOBODY PANIC.

T10T: Ten Inspirational/Thought-Provoking Book Quotes

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

April 30: Inspirational/Thought-Provoking Book Quotes

I love quotes! I generally have loads in my screenshots from my ebooks, so here goes!

  1. Death is kind of turning out to be a mean, weird bitch. – How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow: Grief just sucks and doesn’t play by the rules.
  2. How could her brain conjure something that seemed so real, something laden with so much horrifying detail, and yet there be nothing at all? – Little Darlings by Melanie Golding: Holy jeez, this just brings to mind all the tricks our brains can play without our wanting it too. Sure, a few nights ago, I had a nightmare I was fired from a job I currently love (mostly).
  3. These books are filled with documents and accounts that expose that story for what it is: an appropriation of history by the East to hide its own sordid past. A twisted piece of propaganda to conceal its crimes. – Viper by Bex Hogan: So much of history and current events are like this. We really need to question things before we take them as truth.
  4. Are we able to separate what we were from what we are? Are are we what we are if we’re always hiding some of what we were? – All We Could Have Been by T.E. Carter: This was just a heavy novel start to finish… So much of it had me thinking and processing. I think the answer to this is yes, mostly. I guess it depends on what we’re hiding, but we should also be able to keep what we want from the world…not that we should have to do so, though..
  5. And I hate the moon. I hate the stars. I hate the darkening sky. And rain and fog. I hate hospitals. And beds with sheets. And every machine ever made. And nurses and doctors. Keep her alive, that was the one thing they had to do. That was the one thing I had to do. And I hate myself most of all. – Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds: I loved this scene for all the feeling involved.
  6. My point is we’re all monsters to someone or something by some definition. It’s the context of the situation that matters. – White Stag by Kara Barbieri: Someone will make you into a monster at least once in your life. Hopefully it’s no one important to you… But even if they make you out to be the bad guy, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are indeed bad..
  7. It all suddenly, and belatedly, felt too real, the things these girls had gone through, what can happen to missing girls. – Sadie by Courtney Summers: This entire book wrecked me, but this line in particular hasn’t left my heart. To think about what the forgotten girls, the missing girls, the outsider girls have gone through because they weren’t safe just ruins me. This is so close to home for me because I had a very unsafe childhood and the men Sadie’s mother brought home could have been the very same types of men I saw with my own mother. It’s a scary world.
  8. No. It just gets different, sometimes easier, sometimes worse. Grief’s a mixed bag of different kinds of shit. – Ruin of Stars by Lindsay Miller: Grief sucks… see quote 1. Everyone handles it differently.
  9. Your past doesn’t make calls on your future. It doesn’t matter who you were. Only who you are. – LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff: You are allowed to be human. We all go through changes. Just try to be better than your past self. That should be your only competition.
  10. Our heads are so fragile, but our hearts are even more delicate. – Cracked Kingdom by Erin Watt: Isn’t it just so true?? We can rationalise a hell of a lot, but sometimes our hearts just will have none of it!

 

So, let me know if you’ve read any of these and your thoughts! Do you have a favourite quote this week? Thanks for stopping in!

 

ARC REVIEW | Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

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Title: LITTLE DARLINGS

Author: MELANIE GOLDING

Released: 30TH APRIL 2019 by CROOKED LANE BOOKS

Genre: HORROR, MYSTERY, THRILLER

Rep: POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION | TWs: CHILD ENDANGERMENT, CHILD ABDUCTION

I finished Little Darlings not long ago and omg…my heart…my FEELINGS. MY BRAIN!!! That was so amazing…

How could her brain conjure something that seemed so real, something laden with so much horrifying detail, and yet there be nothing at all?

What a weird, creepy, and darkly twisty little tale- kind of like that cover! It seems to half take place in a nightmarish land and also half in reality, which makes you wonder if that’s maybe also a discussion on postpartum depression and how it affects new mothers. The story was mostly between that and the twisted fairytale details. It seems to me that the idea of changelings probably stems from new mothers suffering from PPD before people actually understood what it was and why it happened, but I’ve also read that they potentially stem from children that begin to show signs of disability after the initial birth. Either way, they are very sinister in the stories, and that is no different from this tale.

Look at someone every day for long enough and you stop seeing what everyone else sees. You start to see what no one else sees, what is kept hidden from most people.

Lauren seems to have very little support from either her husband, family, or nursing staff, which is not really all that uncommon for many women. They all seem to expect her to get on with it and know how to take care of everything, as well as looking after the housework, etc. Especially her husband who MOVES OUT OF THEIR BEDROOM SO HE CAN GET SOME REST!! What an absolute bastard of a man. He complains nearly the whole time and doesn’t take any responsibility for the boys. I really didn’t like him much throughout the story. Also, those damn nurses and midwives are assholes! How dare they treat her that way… I don’t understand what that’s actually about.

Anyway, this tale about changelings and faeries is gripping and so interesting, yet still very strange. I truly could not put this down once I began reading. The writing is amazing and strikes straight to the heart of so many issues! Also, I was really shocked by the ending, which doesn’t happen to me very often.


SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE

APRIL 2019 LIBRARY READS PICK!

“Mother knows best” takes on a sinister new meaning in this unsettling thriller perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman, Grimms’ Fairy Tales, and Aimee Molloy’s The Perfect Mother.

Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own…creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things.

A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley—to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream, These are not my babies.

Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw…she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life.

Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some of our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking—and rechecking—your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.

Thank you so much to Melanie Golding and Crooked Lane Books via Netgalley for the ARC.

five stars

ARC REVIEW | To Best The Boys by Mary Weber

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Title: TO BEST THE BOYS

Author: MARY WEBER

Released: 19H MARCH 2019 BY THOMAS NELSON

Genre: TEENS + YA FANTASY

Rep: Dyslexia, Autism, Downs Syndrome, Women in Science | TWs: Death, Near Death Experiences, Grief, Parent Illness

Initially, this story comes off very outdated being set in a world where women have duties to the home, family, and sometimes socially, and men are the breadwinners nearly exclusively – going to college to be trained in something or doing other work, such as fishing. We have Rhen, who is a woman scientist and flies in the face of everything her society takes as normal, so obviously she’s a bit of an outsider. But she’s so cool! She thinks differently and it takes her so far!

Rhen’s mother is sick from an illness, which has no cure so Rhen and her father are doing research to try and find the cure. She gets samples from dead bodies to study and experiment with, which I found highly fascinating. Rhen is extremely unconventional. When the letter for the competition arrives, Rhen starts to get ideas about how to get funding, or even support, for their research into the illness and upcoming cure  – leading her to enter the competition herself! Her cousin, Seleni, is her companion in nearly everything, yet very opposite in her future goals. I enjoyed that recognition that women don’t all have to strive for great things to be fulfilled in life. Seleni just wants to be a wife and mother someday, but she is all for supporting Rhen in her dreams! We all need ladies like that in our lives – or just people in general! Find you people who lift you up!

I quite liked a lot of the side characters. Beryll was lovable, even if he was a bit of a flop. Lute was a bit standoffish – for good reason – but has a heart of gold (one of my favourites). Rhen’s parents are so great and made my heart soar. And Mr. Holm himself was quite surprising, and very modern!

The story was a lot of fun, but the pacing was a bit slow at times. Sometimes I felt I wanted more (action or detail, depending on the scene) and it kind of felt like part of the build up was just filler and could have been handled better. That really didn’t detract much from me loving the characters and how the story happened. It was unique and fun, and I would recommend it – if only for the important conversations about standing up for what you believe in and not having to fit in to what society expects of you. Even if you only pick it up for the labyrinth aspect, I hope you take away some of the important points Weber makes in this story.


Every year for the past fifty-four years, the residents of Pinsbury Port receive a mysterious letter inviting all eligible-aged boys to compete for an esteemed scholarship to the all-male Stemwick University. Every year, the poorer residents look to see that their names are on the list. The wealthier look to see how likely their sons are to survive. And Rhen Tellur opens it to see if she can derive which substances the ink and parchment are created from, using her father’s microscope.

In the province of Caldon, where women are trained in wifely duties and men are encouraged into collegiate education, sixteen-year-old Rhen Tellur wants nothing more than to become a scientist. As the poor of her seaside town fall prey to a deadly disease, she and her father work desperately to find a cure. But when her Mum succumbs to it as well? Rhen decides to take the future into her own hands—through the annual all-male scholarship competition.

With her cousin, Seleni, by her side, the girls don disguises and enter Mr. Holm’s labyrinth, to best the boys and claim the scholarship prize. Except not everyone’s ready for a girl who doesn’t know her place. And not everyone survives the maze.

Thank you so much to Mary Weber and Thomas Nelson via BookLookBloggers.com for the Review Copy.

four stars

Can’t Freakin’ Wait Wednesday 24/04/19

Can't Wait Wednesday

Can’t Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa over at Wishful Endings and was based on Waiting on Wednesday’s, which is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. She created it to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released, but that’s not always the case. I happen to have pile upon piles of books I am excited to read, so thought this would be a fun meme in which to partake!

I AM SO HERE FOR ALL THE DIVERSITY WE’RE SEEING THIS YEAR AND I AM LOVING IT ALL!!

First of all, that cover is utterly stunning and intriguing. Even if I didn’t read the synopsis, I’d want it purely on #CoverCrush reasons. It’s so colourful and eye-catching! Secondly, I read the following blurb – “Ground breaking and immersive paranormal YA that evokes all the beauty, richness, and diversity of the ancient cultures, faiths, and languages of the Silk Road. There’s an effortless beauty in the kaleidoscopic descriptions of food, fashion, practices, and faiths; Azad’s language is so evocative, you can almost taste and smell the riches of the night bazaar. A fiercely feminist take on Islamic culture, it’s an assured and outside-the-box debut that deals with larger themes — such as tolerance and women’s rights — while functioning as a thrilling action adventure with touches of heart-stirring romance. Prepare to be swept up.” — Rebecca Lim, bestselling author of Mercy and The Astrologer’s Daughter – so the question really becomes, why wouldn’t I want to pick this up? It literally ticks all of my boxes! Fantasy? Tick. Feminist? Tick. Diversity? Tick. And so much more! Obviously, I haven’t read this yet, but I’m dying to get it and am sure will have a raving review for you all very shortly after it releases! 

Have you read this yet or is it on your TBR? What do you think of the description?

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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.

T10T: (First Ten) Books I Ever Reviewed

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Topic – (First Ten) Books I Reviewed (These do not have to be formal reviews. A small sentence on a retailer site or Goodreads counts, too! Submitted by Rissi @ Finding Wonderland)

Girl of Myth and Legend (The Chosen Saga, Book One) – May 2016 5/5

ARC provided in exchange for honest review

Wow!!! So many emotions upon finishing this book…it’s a very strong piece and not straightforward at all, which made me want to read it all the more. Some parts of the story were a bit confusing, but seemed to be resolved by the end of the novel. Yes, there are stereotypical aspects to the story, but the originality to the majority of the story far outweighs the cliché. There always seem to be so many things happening beyond the immediate issue and the author always keeps you guessing. The strong female character is my favorite part of the novel. It’s nice to see a storyline in which the lead character is not only female, but independent, yet flawed. I love it and truly cannot wait to see what happens in the next novel.

Solace – May 2016 5/5

ARC provided in exchange for honest review.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was easy to get into and interesting, but….

This was a very hard read….emotionally, I mean. As someone who knows multiple people who have been to war, I can totally identify with Corina, albeit not to the same extent as her actual experience. The plot is extremely well developed and satisfying, even if it doesn’t turn out to be the perfect ending. There’s conflict and danger and high emotions, and it all comes together in such a way as to leave you feeling as though there might be a silver lining in most outcomes given the right perspective.

Therin Knite is an amazing author and I really look forward to checking out other novels in the future. I would highly recommend Solace and hope to hear your take on it.

The Forgotten – June 2016 3/5

ARC provided in exchange for honest review.

This book was truly a struggle to read for about the first half to three quarters of the story. I simply could not get into it. The writing was very strong (I do like Jennifer’s style), but the story itself was hard to finish due to the explanation and detail she put into it; and I actually read several other books to procrastinate finishing this. I feel that too many aspects were repeated throughout the novel that should have been obvious.

Of course, I’m bound to come across books now and then that I’m not complete enthralled by, but it could have been worse, I suppose. The last bit of the story, when it all starts to come together, was decently interesting and I would consider reading the next novel in the series to find out what happens to Emilie and Will, as well as Kell and Jakob. The characters were the main redeeming quality of the story. Especially the children themselves. Some of the characters were seriously terrible and I wished them ill, which ultimately happened.

The plot was really dark and sad, so I couldn’t get myself very interested in reading. There was quite a lot of fantasy aspects, which was great since fantasy is one of my favorite genres; however, a lot of the fantastical creatures were not well explained and so I could not clearly picture them as I read.

Sivec herself is a pretty good novelist, it seems, and I would definitely consider reading more of her work. This novel, however, was a trial and I cannot highly recommend it.

The Lost Soul – June 2016 4/5

ARC provided in exchange for honest review.

I enjoyed reading this book because it’s not what you would expect and each time you think you’ve gotten it figured out, something changes to throw you a bit. It turns out that, even in fantasy, not everyone is redeemable. Sometimes, there are simply factors that cause people to be lost from us. Yes, this title probably refers the THE ‘lost soul’ of Echena, but I wonder if the author meant it to apply to more than one character in her novel, as many of them are ‘lost’ in one way or another….

The development of the lead character throughout the novel was inspiring. She goes from a 16 year old, sheltered schoolgirl to this independent, strong, and capable lady of the land and leader of what the establishment considers a rebellion. However, it all becomes clearly a battle for human rights once you get into it. I won’t go into much more because that would spoil it! I will say, though, I love her companions and that they are very atypical.

I’m looking forward to reading book 2 in the series: The Oracle. The ending of The Lost Soul sets up a whole lot of action to occur in the next installment.

Marked – June 2016 5/5

ARC provided in exchange for honest review.

I absolutely loved this book!! I got so stuck into it that I read it in just a few hours. And when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about what might happen next… Right up my alley with all the mystical creatures humanised and the lead character being so relatable. Not only is the author wonderful, but she is also hilarious and capable of writing the story of a strong female lead who may need the guidance of her companions in the new world she comes to, but is still more than able to take care of herself and kick some ass when needed.

I love when characters are multidimensional from the beginning and progress throughout their stories. Miss Tingey made all of that happen and more. I did realise within the first couple of chapters that Kayla is not all that she appears, but that really becomes obvious near the end of the novel. There’s always something that doesn’t add up throughout the course of the story; too many coincidences that are obviously not coincidental. Then, when one problem is solved, another arises. And, of course, as the story ends, she has the decision of a lifetime to make…

Will definitely be reading book 2 of the Soulseer series! As a matter of fact, I just downloaded it…

Bury the Living (Revolutionary #1) – July 2016 5/5

ARC provided in exchange for honest review.

I absolutely DEVOURED this book! It was an amazing read – so gripping I actually couldn’t put it down until I was basically falling asleep.. McIsaac made Nora and the rest of the characters in the story come alive for me – I was cheering her on like I would any real person. I felt like I was right alongside her at times. She really makes you love the characters she brings to life for the novel. I was especially into it because it’s one of my favorite topics – Irish history. I find the history so rich and interesting, the fairytale aspect is so enchanting, and for her to combine both the way she did was so appropriate for the time period in which it was set – like adding magic to the real world. Then to make one of the characters an actual person taken from a fairytale? Unreal..

It was in the same realm as Outlander and Exit Unicorns – being a historical fiction – and a good way to fill the gap between those. While I feel it should have been longer and more in depth, that’s probably me being selfish because it didn’t last nearly as long as I wanted it too. I wísh there had been more detail, though, because more of the history could have used explanation – especially for those who know nothing about the time period. I got really into it, but felt it moved along too fast in some instances. I truly cannot wait for the second installation of this series. I believe it could be as good as the other series I mentioned above. I truly hope the next one is longer and more detailed! She’s an amazing author and this is going to be a classic series some day.

Of Fear and Faith (Death and Destiny #1) – August 2016 5/5

ARC provided in exchange for honest review.

Oh my steaming goodness!! This was such a great book… I enjoyed it from start to finish and wanted nothing more than to sit and read my book, damn the reality!

Anyway, a lot of the books I’ve been reading lately have some form of god/goddesses and mythology in them – this was no exception, but, damn, was it amazing! Such an original storyline and I loved the characters created by ND Jones. There was so much complexity to both lead characters and loads of secrets going on! Loved seeing the way they interacted with each other and gave a little while holding back a lot. It was interesting to try to figure out what was happening when the writing went really vague in order to not give it all away too early. I loved the mystery and romance and suspense! Would definitely recommend this to mature readers!

Obsidian (lux #1) – September 2016 5/5

To be completely honest, the moment I found out Obsidian was about aliens I nearly stopped reading. I am simply not a fan of alien novels. Not really my thing. However, since a really good friend recommended this to me, I decided to read at least the first book in the series. I am SO glad I did!! Daemon + Katy FOREVAH!

I am so in love with these two + Dee + a few other characters. This story is rife with love + betrayal + so many difficult stories. Also, I love that she’s a blogger! I totally connect with her character. ❤ She’s so real and complex, but all the characters are multi-dimensional through the story. How else would you be drawn so far into this world of aliens and alternate universes? I also believe that if the bad guys aren’t complex, they’re not realistic at all. So when I find myself truly wishing a character ill, I feel it’s an amazing story.

On of my favorite scenes in this first book is when Katy goes to the neighbor’s house since the kids living there are around her age. She’s simply going to ask directions, but the ulterior motive is to try to become friends with one or both teens. And man, there is some serious chemistry from the first interaction! I’m rooting for them from the beginning.

Armentrout has seriously made me an alien fan with this series, which is really saying something because any time I’ve experienced alien fantasy, I’m bored. This…well, I think aliens are pretty fantastic now! You’re gonna want to at least try the sample, but you’ll be sucked in within the first chapter if you’re anything like me!

Tied (owned #2.5) – November 2016 4/5

<strong>What if your hero was a bad, dark man?</strong>

That’s Charlie in a nutshell. He doesn’t think he’s good enough to be worthy of anything, but oh is he wrong… Vera + Charlie are perfection. My only complaint is this novella was too short!