Waiting on Wednesday

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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.

28489382This week I’m looking forward to The Tiger’s Watch by Julia Ember. I love all things written by Julia Ember and I’m beyond excited about how this book is the first in a planned series! Eeeeeeee!!! Ember really knows how to construct diverse magical worlds. In this book the main character is genderfluid and it features gq/m, m/m and f/f pairings. Plus just look at that cover! Gorgeous right? It will be released on August 22nd by Harmony Ink Press.

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Sixteen-year-old Tashi has spent their life training as a inhabitor, a soldier who spies and kills using a bonded animal. When the capital falls after a brutal siege, Tashi flees to a remote monastery to hide. But the invading army turns the monastery into a hospital, and Tashi catches the eye of Xian, the regiment’s fearless young commander.

Tashi spies on Xian’s every move. In front of his men, Xian seems dangerous, even sadistic, but Tashi discovers a more vulnerable side of the enemy commander—a side that draws them to Xian.

When their spying unveils that everything they’ve been taught is a lie, Tashi faces an impossible choice: save their country or the boy they’re growing to love. Though Tashi grapples with their decision, their volatile bonded tiger doesn’t question her allegiances. Katala slaughters Xian’s soldiers, leading the enemy to hunt her. But an inhabitor’s bond to their animal is for life—if Katala dies, so will Tashi.

Top Ten Tuesday

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It’s been a long while since I’ve done this meme! Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. The topic this week is: Top Ten Most Anticipated Books For The Second Half of 2017. Ahhhh…so many amazing books! Here are the ones that I can’t wait to get my hands on…

What books are looking forward to the most? Have you read any of these yet? I’d love to hear your thoughts on them. 🙂

Mini Reviews: It Started with Goodbye & Complicating Factors

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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

27830287It Started with Goodbye by Christina June
Release date: May 9th, 2017
Publisher: Blink/HarperCollins
Genre: Young adult, contemporary
Format: eBook

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Goodreads | Amazon

Sixteen-year-old Tatum Elsea is bracing for the worst summer of her life. After being falsely accused of a crime, she’s stuck under stepmother-imposed house arrest and her BFF’s gone ghost. Tatum fills her newfound free time with community service by day and working at her covert graphic design business at night (which includes trading emails with a cute cello-playing client). When Tatum discovers she’s not the only one in the house keeping secrets, she finds she has the chance to make amends with her family and friends. Equipped with a new perspective, and assisted by her feisty step-abuela-slash-fairy-godmother, Tatum is ready to start fresh and maybe even get her happy ending along the way.

This book was such a wonderful surprise! I was expecting a cute romanic story but it was so much more than that. Actually, the romance wasn’t the main focus at all, family and inner strength were. I think that’s what made me fall in love with it! Plus, it’s a modern version of Cinderella, a fairytale I absolutely love.

The book is about a girl (Tatum) who is falsely accused of committing a crime. This sends her life in a direction she wasn’t prepared for and strains her relationship with her family who claim that they can’t trust her anymore. So, when not completing her community service, she works on her covert graphic design business which she uses to raise money to pay off her fine.

I loved Tatum! She’s what I love seeing in female characters. Tatum’s strong, independent and willing to work hard. My heart went out to her from the very first chapter. She’s blamed for committing a crime her best friend was participated in! How she dealt with it was both realistic, honest, funny and at times heartbreaking. I particularly enjoyed how the incident changed her relationships with those around her. Like in Cinderella, she wasn’t close with her step-mother or step-sister. But how things developed added a nice twist to the traditional story and one that I smiled a lot at while reading.

I cannot recommend this enough! If you have enjoyed books by Kasie West or Jennifer E. Smith then this story is definitely for you!


I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.33360347

Complicating Factors by Max Gladstone 
Release date: February 15th, 2017
Publisher: Serial Box Publishing
Genre: Fiction, fantasy
Format: eBook

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Goodreads | Amazon

New assignments send the players down fresh paths as Josh looks for Prague’s organized crime scene while Tanya and Gabe seek out the new Flame bigwig. At Bar Vodnář, Jordan has a curious encounter.

Welcome to Prague, 1970: the epicenter in a Cold War of spies and sorcerers. The streets are a deadly chessboard on which the CIA and KGB make their moves, little dreaming that a deeper game is being played between the Consortium of Ice and the Acolytes of Flame, ancient factions of sorcery.

I have been a huge fan of this series since I stumbled upon it last year. And for good reason, it just keeps on getting better and better! Complicating Factors is the second story in the the “second season” of the The Witch Who Came in from the Cold series. It’s set in Prague during the Cold War but is focused on a secret battle between two magical factions called the Consortium of Ice and the Acolytes of Flame. Yes, it sounds a bit odd but it all works so perfectly together. History, magic, spy games…it’s all so, so good!

I can’t really say too much about the story because I would spoil everything! It’s so terribly hard to review stories that are in a series, especially one like Complicating Factors. What I will say is that the it’s non-stop action, full of intrigue and plot developments that have me wanting to read more and more. The three chapters featured in this short story just weren’t enough. Luckily for I have the next story already open on my Kindle waiting for me to devour it.

So, if you haven’t read this series yet, DO IT! Go, go, go! You won’t regret it. I promise! (Psst…it’s $1.94 on Amazon!)

Down the TBR Hole

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I forgot to do one last week! Things just got so busy but I’m back this week with another edition of Down the TBR Hole, which is hosted by Lia @ Lost in a Story! This meme is dedicated to uncluttering your TBR pile, going through each book and choosing which one should stay or go.


The Books:

1. Dark Angels by Karleen Koen

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So, before I got really into YA books and rediscovered my love for all things fantasy I basically only read historical fiction. I love history. I studied it at university and have taught it to high school students. But I really don’t understand why I ever added this book to my TBR. I honesty am not interested in Charles II or his Restoration court. So…goodbye book!

The Verdict: Remove

2. The Black Book by Ian Rankin

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I discovered this series while living in Edinburgh. It was so cool to read about locations I had just visited earlier that day. I devoured the first four books and then moved home and forgot about them. I have a copy of The Black Book sitting on my shelf and really want to get back into the series. It was so good!

The Verdict: Keep

3. The Traitor Queen by Trudi Canavan

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This is the third book is a series but I feel like I’m missing out by not picking up on of Trudi Canavan’s fantasy books. I have so many of them on my TBR and the reviews look great. But of course I can’t start at the end of trilogy! So, this needs to be removed for now.

The Verdict: Remove 

4. The Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory

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Yes, these books are sometimes overly dramatic and not really historically correct, but I love how they focus on the women of the Tudor court. I can’t believe I haven’t read this yet. Seriously! I have loved every Philippa Gregory books I’ve read so far.

The Verdict: Keep

5. His Last Letter: Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester by Jeane Westin

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I didn’t really enjoy the author’s previous book (I gave it a 1.5 star rating). I love all things Elizabeth I but I’m really going to have to pass on this one.

The Verdict: Remove


Three more books removed from my TBR! Woo! Have you read any of these books? I’d love to hear your thoughts or opinions on them.

Review: The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember

I received this book for free from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

32890474The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember
Release date: May 4th, 2017
Publisher: Interlude Press
Genre: Young adult, fantasy
Format: eBook

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Goodreads | Amazon

Having long-wondered what lives beyond the ice shelf, nineteen-year-old mermaid Ersel learns of the life she wants when she rescues and befriends Ragna, a shield-maiden stranded on the mermen’s glacier. But when Ersel’s childhood friend and suitor catches them together, he gives Ersel a choice: say goodbye to Ragna or face justice at the hands of the glacier’s brutal king.

Determined to forge a different fate, Ersel seeks help from Loki. But such deals are never as one expects, and the outcome sees her exiled from the only home and protection she’s known. To save herself from perishing in the barren, underwater wasteland and be reunited with the human she’s come to love, Ersel must try to outsmart the God of Lies.

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I’ve been a huge fan of Julia Ember’s ever since I read Unicorn Tracks last year. The story was a perfect blend of romance, mythical creatures and hard-hitting topics. The only problem? It was way, and I mean way, too short! So, I was out of my mind excited when The Seafarer’s Kiss kiss was announced. A full-length story featuring mermaids and Norse gods?!?! HELL YES!!

I went into this book with such high expectations. Now usually I end up being disappointed but not here. I fell in love with everything — the characters, the world, the beyond adorable belugas — while only a few pages into the story. It’s been promoted as a retelling of The Little Mermaid but don’t let that label fool you. Ember has created a fantastic fantasy world all of her own. And what’s even more impressive? It’s all done in around 230 pages! Her writing just flows. It’s action packed and non-stop, just how I like my books. I couldn’t stop reading and read through it quickly. I definitely see a re-read in the near future!

What really stood out to me were the characters. I’m all about books that are character driven and demonstrate great growth and progress and there’s tons of that here. All of the characters are deeply flawed and that’s what makes them so darn relatable. They all grow in some kind of way but what I appreciated the most was that by the end the characters still weren’t perfect. Nobody is and that’s alright. My favourite characters were Ragna (a kickass shield maiden out for revenge) and the trickster god Loki (they caused so much drama…LOVED THEM!). I do want to point out that this book is truly diverse and like with her previous work, Ember integrates it all so well into the story. It never feels forced or added to attack a particular audience. There are plenty of books like that but not this one! The book features a bisexual main character, female/female romance, an amputee and a gender-fluid character with they/them pronouns.

I can’t recommend this book enough! The way Ember writes left me on the edge of my seat. There are so many twists and turns, none of which I saw coming. I thought the book was going one way and boom! it went somewhere else completely. It’s a fascinating examination of how nothing is truly black or white, good or evil. Humans (or merfolk) make mistakes. Sometimes our choices are driven by greed or jealously but that doesn’t always mean that that person isn’t good. This book really drove home the message that everyone will make mistakes and sometimes you can’t fix them, but what you can do is learn and do better next time.

So…while I loved every bit of this book, I just wished that it was a tiny bit longer. Yup, it’s an issue I have with Ember’s books. The ending wrapped stuff up nicely but I could have used more scenes between Ersel and Ragna. Can I have sequel is please?


about

julia2-e1455421316346-300x300Julia Ember is a polyamorous, bisexual writer and native of Chicago who now resides in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Seafarer’s Kiss is her second novel and was influenced by her postgraduate work in medieval literature at The University of St. Andrews. Her first novel, Unicorn Tracks, was published by Harmony Ink Press.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Tumblr | Facebook

Waiting on Wednesday

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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.

34023590This week I’m looking forward to Sad Girls by Lang Leav. I’ve been madly in love with Leav’s poetry since I first discovered her two years ago. There’s just something so simple but heart wrenching about the way she writes. Even if a particular topic didn’t relate to me I still fell in love with the poem. I’m hoping it’s going to be the same with this book, her first novel of poetry that comes out on May 30th!

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“Your first love isn’t the first person you give your heart to—it’s the first one who breaks it.”

Sad Girls is the much anticipated debut novel from international best-selling author Lang Leav. A beautifully written and emotionally charged coming of age story, where young love, dark secrets, and tragedy collide.

School is almost out for Audrey, but the panic attacks are just beginning. Because Audrey told a lie and now her classmate, Ana, is dead. Just as her world begins to spin out of control, Audrey meets the enigmatic Rad – the boy who could turn it all around. But will their ill-timed romance drive her closer to the edge?

Blog Tour: Groupie by C.M. Staunch (Guest Post)

Groupie by C.M. Stunich
Release date: March 21st, 2017
Publisher: Sarian Royal
Genres: New adult, romance

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

“Can one of these five rockstars fill the hole in my heart? Or will I stay broken forever?”

Young, dumb, and broke.

That’s what started everything. With five dollars in her pocket, and everything she owns stuffed in the back of her car, Lilith Goode’s life is over. Done. Destroyed.

Ten words. One text. That’s what it took to change the whole world.

A crumpled concert ticket. A chance encounter. That’s what it takes to start all over again.

Five rockstars. One girl. Six dark hearts, six withered souls.

But can one broken person really put another back together again?

Author Guest Post: Top 10 Bands I Fangirled Over as a Teen

* Click the link to explore music from the artists.

1. From First to Last
2. Escape the Fate
3. Bleeding Through
4. Avenged Sevenfold
5. Alesana
6. Funeral for a Friend
7. From Autumn to Ashes
8. A Static Lullaby
9. Finch
10. A Skylit Drive


About the Author

C.M. Stunich is a self-admitted bibliophile with a love for exotic teas and a whole host of characters who live full time inside the strange, swirling vortex of her thoughts. Some folks might call this crazy, but Caitlin Morgan doesn’t mind – especially considering she has to write biographies in the third person. Oh, and half the host of characters in her head are searing hot bad boys with dirty mouths and skillful hands (among other things). If being crazy means hanging out with them everyday, C.M. has decided to have herself committed.

She hates tapioca pudding, loves to binge on cheesy horror movies, and is a slave to many cats. When she’s not vacuuming fur off of her couch, C.M. can be found with her nose buried in a book or her eyes glued to a computer screen. She’s the author of over thirty novels – romance, new adult, fantasy, and young adult included. Please, come and join her inside her crazy. There’s a heck of a lot to do there.

Oh, and Caitlin loves to chat (incessantly), so feel free to e-mail her, send her a Facebook message, or put up smoke signals. She’s already looking forward to it.

Website | Goodreads | FacebookTwitter


Giveaway

Click on the link for a Rafflecopter giveaway. Win a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of Groupie! The giveaway is international. Good luck!! 🙂