Top Ten Tuesday

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. The topic this week is: Ten Characters Who Would Make Great Leaders. I’ve decided to take this topic and go in a slightly different direction…Ten Books That Feature Characters Forced into Leadership Roles. I love books that tell the story about a character that due to dire circumstances have to step up to help their loved ones. Ok…here we go!

Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts? 

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Mini Reviews: The Lady of Royale Street & Colorless

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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.

32620396The Lady of Royale Street by Thea de Salle

Release date: August 21st, 2017
Publisher: Pocket Star
Genre: Romance, new adult, contemporary
Format: eBook

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Alex DuMont is everything his brother Sol isn’t: regimented, serious, and devout. Between twelve-hour workdays, service to the church, punishing daily workouts, and bi-weekly therapy sessions, Alex is, as Sol once put it, “a kettle perpetually whistling as it boils itself to death.” So when Sol announces his marriage to Arianna Barrington, heiress and society sweetheart, Alex is the absolute worst choice to be his best man. Sol asks anyway and Alex reluctantly agrees. It’s only a week, after all, and Alex should be able to stop himself from throttling his big brother for a meager seven days. Probably. Maybe.

Theresa Ivarson is Arianna’s best friend and the maid of honor. A decorated photojournalist who interrupts her globetrotting to stand beside her friend, Theresa is beautiful, witty, and unafraid to speak her mind. So when she is faced with working with the best man from Hell, a Viking who doesn’t know how to smile, is bossy, and about as pleasant as a cactus, the sparks are bound to fly—and not in the good way. To make matters worse, Sol and Rain’s wedding planner was hit by a bus the week before their special day, and Alex and Theresa find themselves at the center of a list-ditch effort to pull the wedding together. But when you can’t decide if you want to kiss or kill someone, something’s bound to break.

I discovered this series by Thea de Salle a few months ago from people posting about it on Twitter. It’s new adult and features a ton of sex which is usually not my “thing”. I’m usually a fantasy and oh-so-cute romance book kind of person, but I was intrigued by what people were saying. And they were all right….this series is AMAZING! I devoured this book along with its predecessors (The King of Bourbon Street and The Queen of Dauphine Street) within a month. If you haven’t read them seriously get on it!

The Lady of Royale Street was a fun and quick read! The story resolves around the Sol and Rain’s upcoming wedding. Nothing has gone as planned and in an effort to to avoid the day from turning into a complete disaster, the two enlist the help of Theresa (Rain’s best friend) and Alex (Sol’s brother). The problem? From the first time they meet these two are at odds, constantly bickering about every single thing.

Alex and Theresa were super adorable together. Their banter was some of my favourite from the series. It was witty and fast paced and had me smiling a lot while reading. Also, unlike the other relationships featured in the series, theirs felt natural. It was a slow build and one that developed by spending a large amount of time together. The one thing it did lack was the super steamy sex scenes that the other books had. I guess I was expecting more of the same? That said, this book had something the others lacked, which was an examination into religion, sex and desire. Both characters were religious and struggled with their beliefs and the feelings they had about each other and their actions. I honestly hadn’t read anything like it before.

Although it wasn’t what I was expecting, I loved every bit of The Lady of Royale Street. The characters were adorable, the dialogue brought a huge smile to my face and the blend of old and news characters was wonderfully done. I hope this isn’t the end of the series. There are so many more secondary characters to focus on, plus who doesn’t love New Orleans? Go out and buy all three books. YOU ARE MISSING OUT if you haven’t read this series. *sigh* I want more please!


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.

34625067Colourless by Rita Stradling

Release date: August 8th, 2017
Publisher: Rita Stradling
Genre: Young adult, fantasy
Format: eBook

DNF — 55%

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In Domengrad, there are rules all must live by: Fear the Gods. Worship the Magicians. Forsake the Iconoclasts.

To Annabelle Klein, the rules laid down by the Magicians are the mere ramblings of stuffy old men. As far as she’s concerned, the historic Iconoclasts, heretics who nearly destroyed the Magicians so long ago, are nothing but myth. She has much more important matters to worry about.

Heiress to a manor mortgaged down to its candlesticks and betrothed to her loathsome cousin, sixteen-year-old Annabelle doubts the gods could forsake her more.

Then Annabelle is informed of her parents’ sudden and simultaneous deaths, and all of the pigment drips out of her skin and hair, leaving her colourless. Within moments, Annabelle is invisible and forgotten by all who know her.

Living like a wraith in her own home, Annabelle discovers that to regain her color she must solve the mystery behind her parents’ murders and her strange transformation.

Meanwhile, hundreds of the Magicians’ monks, with their all-black eyes and conjoined minds, have usurped control of Annabelle’s family manor. An Iconoclast is rumored to be about—a person who they claim goes unseen, unheard, and lost to memory, yet is the greatest threat to all of Domengrad. For the first time in a hundred years, the monks plan to unleash the dire wolves of old.

Their only target: Annabelle.

Rita Stradling is an author with totally original ideas and the description of Colourless really caught my eye. Honestly, I thought that this book would be amazing. I guess I should have known better because as much as I adored the first two books in her Dakota Kekoa series, I really haven’t had much luck with her other books.

I read about 55% of this book and put it aside. I’m not even sure why I read so much of it. But then again, I really wouldn’t label it as “reading” but more as “skimming”. I was reading a few work in a sentence or a paragraph a page and just going through the motions. There was no spark, nothing that kept me interesting or wanting to read. The main issue? The lead character Annabelle was not likeable at all. She thought too highly of herself, like everyone owed her. How am I supposed to connect with that? She just irritated me to no end! Ugh!

The pacing and writing of the book also didn’t do it any favours. Alright, the first few chapters did contain some potential. They were full of mystery and intrigue…but after that it all just became so dull. The mystery and intrigue turned into pure confusion. I stopped caring because everything bounced around. Why were there so many perspectives? Was that necessary? Why did all the characters sound the same? Who was talking? My mind just kept on wandering and reading this book unfortunately felt like a task, not something that I wanted to do. Maybe I should have put it down sooner but I really wanted to try to finish it.

So, while Colourless had a fascinating plot idea nothing really took off after the first few pages. I’m sad that this book turned out this way. It was the first I picked up after not reading for weeks due to work. I guess in the future I’ll steer clear of Stradling’s books, although I would really love for the third book of the Dakota Keko series to be released. It feels like ages since the second book came out.

Top Ten Tuesday

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. The topic this week is: Halloween freebie! I usually don’t read scary books or at least any that are Halloween themed, so I decided to share ten books about witches that I look forward to reading.

Also….this is my first post in quite some time. I hope to get some reviews and other posts up very soon. Little by little I’m finding more time to work on the blog. I’ve really missed reading and posting on here.

Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts? ❤

Blog Tour: Wings Unseen by Rebecca Gomez Farrell

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9781946154002-WingsUnseen-EBOOK-COVER-FINAL_03Wings Unseen by Rebecca Gomez Farrell 
Release date: August 22nd 2017
Genres: Young adult, fantasy
Formats: Paperback, eBook

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To end a civil war, Lansera’s King Turyn relinquished a quarter of his kingdom to create Medua, exiling all who would honor greed over valor to this new realm on the other side of the mountains. The Meduans and Lanserim have maintained an uneasy truce for two generations, but their ways of life are as compatible as oil and water.

When Vesperi, a Meduan noblewoman, kills a Lanserim spy with a lick of her silver flame, she hopes the powerful display of magic will convince her father to name her as his heir. She doesn’t know the act will draw the eye of the tyrannical Guj, Medua’s leader, or that the spy was the brother of Serrafina Gavenstone, the fiancee of Turyn’s grandson, Prince Janto. As Janto sets out for an annual competition on the mysterious island of Braven, Serra accepts an invitation to study with the religious Brotherhood, hoping for somewhere to grieve her brother’s murder in peace. What she finds instead is a horror that threatens both countries, devouring all living things and leaving husks of skin in its wake.

To defeat it, Janto and Serra must learn to work together with the only person who possesses the magic that can: the beautiful Vesperi, whom no one knows murdered Serra’s brother. An ultimate rejection plunges Vesperi forward toward their shared destiny, with the powerful Guj on her heels and the menacing beating of unseen wings all about.


Author Guest Post: Top 10 Fantasy Book Inspirations

The following list is of my Top 10 fantasy world inspirations for my own epic fantasy, Wings Unseen. I’m certain these works of art influence me no matter what genre of fiction I’m working on at the moment. Most of them are books, but a few television shows squeaked in as well. Regardless of the medium, these fantasy worlds have been inspiring me for at least a decade if not two or three, and I doubt they’ll ever stop. I’m ordering them from most recent to the ones that have nurtured me since swaddling clothes.

10. Battlestar Galactica, the reboot: As much as this is a world inhabited by robots gone rogue, it is also a story of the fantastical intersection of religious faith, science, and the origin story. The power of an origin story is strong; in this world, it propels the homeless Colonists back toward their ancient home on Earth. And the history of Wings Unseen offers a similar heft. Their creation mythos is not simply a forgotten tale, but it provides a relevant understanding of the threats manifesting here and now.

9. Sir Apropos of Nothing and the Woad to Wuin by Peter David: The world of Sir Apropos is a silly one full of puns and poking fun at everything that constitutes a standard fantasy novel. But it is also a world full of appreciation for those very qualities it jabs at. The encounter with the unicorns is a must-read regardless of your opinion on mythical creatures! Books like these gave me permission to have my characters laugh at the absurdity of their own situations, however serious those situations feel to them. Life is ridiculous, whether fictional or real.

8. A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin: With the award-winning and record-breaking show for HBO in its seventh season, it’s no surprise to find this fantasy book series on anyone’s list of inspirations. But I was first introduced to it by an ex-boyfriend back around 1999, and I’ve been devoted to it ever since. What’s most inspirational to me is how Martin effectively uses multiple point-of-view characters to tell his story as fully as possible. And yes, so does Wings Unseen.

7. Star Trek, the Next Generation: The optimistic future world that Gene Rodenberry envisioned is fantasy on the space opera scale, but one that I’d love to believe humans can grow into. In all its iterations, there are villains, battles, and terror, but above all, and most evident in the Next Generation, there is hope in diplomacy, kindness, and a love of exploration that extends to respecting the cultures encountered. For me, the worlds of Star Trek are an example of how morality can be woven consistently and inspirationally into narrative, complete with mistakes and great leaps forward for mankind.

6. The Belgariad series by David Eddings: Either you love how Eddings sinks himself fully into the tropes of the fantasy world or you run away as fast as you can. But what I remember most from this series is the swearing: “Torak’s tooth!” Torak is the evil god of the series, and using that construction as a curse always made me smile. It transfers over to Wings Unseen in two common phrasings, one for each religion of the bitterly divided lands: “Madel’s hand” and “Saeth’s fist!” Either are satisfying to yell if you need to curse without offending anyone nearby…other than making them think you’re a wee bit crazy.

5. The Lord of the Rings series by J. R. R. Tolkien: The next two entries on this list are considered trite in this day and age, but they are here because no works are more formative for the early fantasy reader. And Tolkien’s Middle Earth combines the best of it all: prophecy, song, friendship, temptation, hard choices, and unerring devotion to saving anyone worthy at all costs, whether it’s a pair of kidnapped hobbits or a whole civilization. In the end, the small acts are just as important as the large ones, the taking of a ring as valuable as the felling of a Nazgul. Bravery knows no limitations here. And of course, this fantasy world gave us the blueprints for elves, dwarves, wizards, and other fantastical creatures from which to draw our own inspirations.

4. The Chronicles of Narnia series by C. S. Lewis: While fairy tales can claim their place as the originators of talking animals in tales, Narnia is the preeminent home of talking animals in fantasy. Some readers can’t take them at all, but I find Mr. Tumnus, the fawn, and Reepicheep, the warrior mouse, and all their friends rather charming. The qualities we prize in human characters can sometimes be more recognizable when inhabiting the body of an animal. But what I love most about Narnia is the sense that this world is much larger than we’ll ever fully see, and I take comfort in that. Even in exploring the ends of the world in the Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I always felt there was more just outside the borders of the map.

3. Alice in Wonderland, the 1985 miniseries: Alice’s shenanigans in Wonderland were some of my earliest introductions to the idea of fantasy worlds, whether through the Disney film or the Lewis Carroll books. But the 1985 miniseries that drew on the first book and its sequel, Through the Looking Glass, is the one that has stuck with me in terms of writing influences. It had a star-studded cast and whimsy that came across a little less funny and a little more twisted than other retellings of the story. Especially through the use of the Jabberwocky, a monster in a nonsense poem in the book but a terrifying, existential threat in the miniseries. The intermixing of true horror with wild, and at times nonsensical, adventure is a combination that enthralls me. Though I hope Wings Unseen’s adventures make a little more sense. 😉

2. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and She-Ra, Princess of Power: I would be lying if I omitted these two cartoons from my collective fantasy memory. The main characters’ purposes may not have been complex – destroy Skeletor to save Eternia or the Evil Horde to save Etheria – but they were clear-cut, and I never doubted the commitment of those heroes to their quest. Sometimes they had the upper hand, sometimes Skeletor did, but the battle was always noble and worth a Saturday morning’s viewing. I may have first learned the importance of sidekicks from this series as well, for comic relief but also for moral and sometimes physical support.

1. Fairy Tales: I don’t remember the name of the collection of fairy tales I grew up with, but I remember the book. There were many illustrations, and it was at least 400 pages long and divided into sections of colored pages: green, pink, blue, and yellow—maybe orange, too. I learned my basics from these tales: the Princess and the Pea, Rumpelstiltskin, the Ugly Duckling, and all the other stories that are never quite as happy as you remember reading them as a child. The beautiful vibrancy of the pages helped sear their words into my mind. Wings Unseen contains only unconscious echoes of fairy tales, but any writer learns the basics of plotting from them. My next book, a post-apocalyptic romance, relies on fairy tales as an organizing principle. They are in our marrow, and their power must be acknowledged.


About the Author

beccagomezfarrellIn all but one career aptitude test Rebecca Gomez Farrell has taken, writer has been the #1 result. But when she tastes the salty air and hears the sea lions bark, she wonders if maybe sea captain was the right choice after all. Currently marooned in Oakland, CA, Becca is an associate member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Her short stories, which run the gamut of speculative fiction genres, have been published by Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Pulp Literature, the Future Fire, Typehouse Literary Magazine, and an upcoming story in theDark, Luminous Wings anthology from Pole to Pole Publishing among others. Maya’s Vacation, her contemporary romance novella, is available from Clean Reads. She is thrilled to have Meerkat Press publish her debut novel.

Becca’s food, drink, and travel writing, which has appeared in local media in CA and NC, can primarily be found at her blog, The Gourmez. For a list of all her published work, fiction and nonfiction, check out her author website at RebeccaGomezFarrell.com.

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Blogging Break

Hello everyone! I’ve been pretty absent lately…from the blog, social media, everything! I hate to have to do this, but I’m going to be taking a few months off from blogging. With work and other commitments I just don’t have the time right now to dedicate to reading and writing posts.

Thank you so much for all of your support over the past year and a half. I can’t believe that I’ve been blogging for that long. Take care and see you all in November! ❤

Top Ten Tuesday

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. The topic this week is: ten hidden gems in the fantasy genre. Fantasy has always been by go-to genre. I can’t get enough of it! These are some books that I absolutely loved but haven’t seen too many people talking about. Seriously, you NEED to pick these up!

Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts? Do you have any other hidden gems to recommendations?

Top Ten Tuesday

mini-reviews-2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. The topic this week is: ten diverse novella recommendations. Part of my goal this year was to read more diverse books. I stumbled upon a few earlier this year as part of a diverse read-a-thon. Also, through various Twitter accounts and blog hopping I’ve found several amazing novellas that you all should really read! I just loved them all ❤

Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts? Do you have any other diverse novellas recommendations?