ICYMI Bookstagram Mondays: @Crypticartisan

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Stephanie but please call me Steph
January 4th

Hello beautiful bookdragons!
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How far ahead do you plan your Instagram posts?
I tend to plan my post a few days ahead of schedule I take one to two days out of the week to take a bulk of photographs that I will later edit and post up with a caption that I have prewritten. Of course even prewritting stuff doesn’t stop me from epically failing at my grammar.
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How do you think you have grown as a photographer/blogger/reviewer?
I think my pictures have definitely progress over the time that I have been on bookstagram slowly but surely I’m achieving a look all of my own before I used to get Inspired and just a bit envious of this amazing bookstagrammers with this beautiful white themes I’m slowly realizing that’s not what I want on my page I love the cluttered organized messes that I have created and bringing the unique look to the photographs and books that I have chosen as the main focus point to shine. I tend to go back at all photographs from my early days of bookstagram, a shy girl in the corner of the world that just wanted to share her love of books and afraid to use a camera and not know how to edit properly.
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How do you caption your pictures?
HELLO BOOKDRAGONS! Is usually my go to intro I had a friend awhile back as me why do I call my followers dragons? And there’s a couple of reasons behind that one being Dragons are amazing! How can I not? Two majestic beings of the world, of course that falls back to reason number one DRAGONS ARE FANTASTIC! (Clearly you can tell I love dragons hahaha) but in all honesty I saw a post once awhile back people saying “I’m not a bookworm, I’m a bookdragon” and seeing that felt so much more powerful. While there are people out there in the world that see books as boring, little do they know the power they hold within them, the places you can escape to,something small like a worm becoming power like a dragon so Bookdragons stuck real close to my heart since then
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How do you edit your pictures?
Oh gosh my editing progress goes all over the place, from taking pictures with my camera to moving the pictures to my phone, it goes through Vsco first if my preedit settings don’t sit well I move my photo to Lightroom or snapseed for some lighting adjustments but it goes back to Vsco eventually, Then to a backup Instagram account to get Instagram setting editing done and cropped. Then moved back to snapseed for my watermark to be added, save and it gets added to an app called planoly where I prewrite my captions and store till its ready to post. Its an insane back and forth which most might see as silly but if I enjoy the overall look of my theme and the picture I don’t see the harm in it whatsoever.

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Who is your favorite fictional pet?
Are we speaking strictly books? If that’s the case I would have to say Abroxas as Queen Maas has said it he is pretty much Toothless from How to Train a Dragon but on steroids haha. If we are speaking about any kind of fictional animal book, movie or tv show. I’ll have to say the Chameleon from Tangled Pescal that little guy is a ball of sass and I love it!
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What is your favorite standalone?
The Host by Stephenie Meyer and before we look into it, Yes its meant to be a trilogy this was announced about four years ago and nothing has come of it, sadly I believe it will stay as a standalone for a very long time. But the Host by Stephenie Meyer is my favorite book of all time if we ever get the next two books I would probably be balled up on the ground crying because I’ve been wanting this world to continue since I was a freshmen in High School and that’s has been quiet awhile. It’s a book that had helped me in a very difficult time in my life and helped me escape from the world. I reread this book once a year it holds a very special place for me.
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-Do you listen to music while you read?
Yes, always listening to music when I read, though I would say it has to be music that fits the genre of the book. Example when I read Throne of Glass I had Lindsay Stirling playing in the background none stop as well as the instrumentals of Game of Thrones. But that kind of music was not doing it for me when I read Geekeralla when I read that book I had to listen to pop music because it fit the time and setting to the book perfectly unlike The light of the seven ever would in such a book haha.I hunt down for playlist related to the books on spotify and see if the music of others had chosen can help me settle into the world as well. I also use another app called 8tracks for my music
-What is your favorite series?
Vampire Academy series had been on my top five for years and will remain there for all my life that entire series shaped my reading experience in high school and helped me meet some amazing online friends of mine that I still talk to till this day. A Court of Thorns and Roses series is also another series while it is a very hyped book for me it did live up to it. Ask any of my friends it consumes my life haha. Its also a series that I was able to get not only my online friends to read but as well as my friends that I see on a daily basis, we all have a mutual love for this books that we get together and talk about them when we can. Warm Bodies series is also on the top who doesn’t love a good Zombie series?

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Review: Whispers of My Skin by Susana Mohel


*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review*
I don’t even know where to start with this novel. I haven’t disliked something so much in a long, long, long, time and it bums me out to have to revisit all those negative feelings for this review.
But I have to since I’ve waited long enough to fulfill my reviewing promise.
As soon as I saw the cover to this novel, I became obsessed with it. I had to have it in my hands as soon as possible and I couldn’t request it fast enough! I was so excited for it but little did I know what tragedy was in store for me.
This was my first novel by Susana and sadly, it will be my last. I didn’t even remember the names of the characters but luckily I wrote them down, so here we go.
This follows Tara as she quite literally gives up everything she has to make a deal with an old flame in order to save her family’s ranch. Right off the bat, I disliked her so much that it was a miracle I even finished the novel. I had a lot of problems with the way she acted and the way that she spoke. She basically spent the entire novel screaming about whatever it was she had a problem with at that particular moment and it wasn’t fun.
I can’t even wrap my head around her love interest, Joel. Yes, he sounded insanely handsome but that’s about the only positive thing I have to say about him. He was super aggressive and his temper was uncontrollable even when the situation didn’t ask for it. I dislike Tara to the moon and back a few times but everyone deserves someone who will support you when you want to get further in life. Was that Joel? Absolutely not. He didn’t get the memo. He instead chewed her head off and threw a tantrum all because she wanted something that didn’t revolve around him…. WHAT?! Characters will always automatically have respect from me for being created but he lost it almost immediately after opening his mouth. Nobody’s entire life should revolve around one person and that was the biggest problem for me in this book. These characters didn’t work together and I couldn’t support their relationship whatsoever.
The conversations in this novel didn’t appear realistic to me and I felt like this novel didn’t bring anything new to the table. Nothing was really happening through most of it and it just seemed to drag. I didn’t notice any character development from these characters, and if there was, it wasn’t believable.
Something we did get a lot of was ARGUING. These characters spent most of the book fighting with each other and revisiting the same old argument over and over again that it grew tedious. They didn’t even fight about important things. It was all nonsense and all of those scenes just ended up feeling like ‘fillers’ to me. Which would’ve been okay had other important plot things been going on but that wasn’t the case. Basically, if the author had cut all the arguments between these two from this book, I probably wouldn’t even have a book to review right now.
My other problem with the writing was that Susana tried hinting about some stuff Tara was dealing with that were just extremely obvious. It would’ve just been better if it wouldn’t have been treated as such a big ‘secret’ but that’s just me.
I honestly couldn’t finish this fast enough. The only reason I’m not giving this a solid 1 star is because the last third seemed to be a little more tolerable than the previous two thirds.
1.5/5 stars.

Review: Bruja Born by Zoraida Cordova!


*ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*
“She never asked for this, but she bore the weight of the world in silence, her strength reaching all those souls who didn’t know where to find her.”
OH MY GOD. THE DAY IS FINALLY HERE!!!!! I finally get to share my review with the world! I’ve been holding on to my thoughts for MONTHS! I read this back in February and I have thought about this book at least once a day ever since!
If there was one book in my entire life that I would recommend diving in completely blind, it would be this one. If you can trust yourself enough, DO NOT READ THE SYNOPSIS! The story will BLOW your mind if you don’t read it just like it did mine.
“This is a love story. At least, it was, before my sister sent me to hell.”
This sequel is even darker than the first and I was LIVING for it.
The last book followed Alex but this one follows her sister, Lula. It’s split into 3 parts and we follow Lula as she’s dealing with her PTSD from the events that happened in the last book. I absolutely love the fact that we get the POV’s of all the sisters in each book. I loved being in Lula’s mind even more than Alex’s and that’s saying a lot since I loved Alex too! I feel like this was the only way to go and I am so happy with it. I couldn’t get enough of Lula’s intense feelings of emotions and the way that she dealt with everything.
These sisters have been through so much because of Labyrinth Lost but this book added to their experiences (a lot of them not so great) and I have fallen madly in love with them all. Their dynamic was amazing to witness and their character developments were phenomenal. They were beautiful and even better, believable. I can’t wait to see more of their developments though since there is definitely room for more.
“Follow my voice, my love, my love.
Death cannot tear us apart.
Take my hand, my love, my love.
Follow the light of my heart.”
The passages before each chapter were enchanting and lyrical. Usually I’m the one skipping through chapter headers/titles but I was actually looking forward to them almost as much as the chapter itself. I wanted so badly to kidnap Zoraida (nicely) and have her write my life story as beautifully as she did with those. I also loved how the plot went in a direction that I never saw coming. I never knew what was around the next corner and I loved every second of it.
I found myself bawling my eyes out super early in this novel; right after chapter 2 to be specific. This book was absolutely and unapologetically brutal. It should’ve been called Brutal Born instead with the way it was playing with my emotions. Zoraida kept blowing my mind at every turn and I am officially addicted to her writing.
Also, I really need Sourcebooks to publish the Book of Cantos that kept getting mentioned in this book. I will do anything to see that happen, holy gods. It would be such an amazing collective item, I would just die. Also, I love the map this book has! It really helped to enhance my reading experience.
“Life is a series of inexplicable accidents and we don’t get to choose the good or the bad.”
My heart broke into infinite pieces for Maks. The things this poor guy went through had me sobbing so hard that I was on the brink of becoming ill. The only thing I had a problem with in this book was something that happened to Maks. I felt like it only happened in order to make the plot okay with the way it was going and it wasn’t cool. I don’t know if it makes sense but I don’t want to spoil anything so I’ll just leave it be.
Other than that, this book has a special place in my heart and I can’t wait to read the next book from the next sister’s POV! Also, as a side note, I’m even more obsessed with Nova! I need more from him and I hope the next book delivers!
“Take from my blood.
Take from my soul.
Take all of me
even if I am no more.”
4.7 stars!

Review: From the Earth to the Shadows by Amanda Hocking


*ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*
This has been one of my most anticipated reads ever due to the way that book one ended and it’s taken me a long time to wrap my head around all my feelings in order to write my review.
This novel picked up almost immediately after the last one but it continued at a super slow pace for a while after. I felt like the entire book was paced in a similar way and it took a long time for things to pick up. Once they actually picked up, obstacles seemed to be resolved way too easily.
I think my downfall was falling for a character who had less scenes than other side characters did. I was rapidly devouring the story for the next sighting of said character but it almost never came so it really left a lot to be desired. It would’ve been fine if I had taken a similar liking to any of the other characters but I struggled in that department.
Although, my heart did go out to Malin in a few occasions, it wasn’t enough for her to make a huge impact on me. I really liked seeing her character develop a little bit more than in the first book. It wasn’t a lot but it was noticeable to say the least. Something kept me from fully connecting to her and I think it’s due to the lack of development. I really wanted to see more of her personality but I didn’t get it.
I really loved that we got introduced to even more creatures and I devoured every scene detailing their characteristics. Learning about every one became one of my favorite parts of reading this duology. I also enjoyed meeting new characters and it was nice seeing how all of their lives wove together.
I massively enjoyed the fact that Egyptian mythology was added to the mix. If you didn’t know, I’ve been in love with Egyptian mythology ever since I could remember. I would make any excuse at school to make projects based on Egyptian mythology and it was a plus to revisit those times in this book.
Another thing I wasn’t a fan of were the chapter breaks. It was a weird experience for a chapter to end in the middle of a fast-paced scene only to start in a completely different scene/atmosphere than the last page. Some really important scenes seemed to be skipped over, never to be mentioned again and it had me questioning their role in the story.
A lot of situations were pretty predictable and I was never really blown out of my mind like I felt in the first book. All in all, I am glad I gave this a try and I’m happy for the characters in the end.
3.5/5 stars

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Storm of the Gods by Amy Braun!

RevealBannerTitle: Storm of the Gods
by Amy Braun
(An Areios Brothers Novel)
Publication date: August 27th 2018
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy


The first in a brand new urban fantasy series where gods roam and mortals fight, STORM OF THE GODS follows two brothers who are caught in a conspiracy revolving around ancient artifacts, and find themselves siding with their supposed enemies rather than the Olympian who demands their loyalty…

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Thirty years ago, the gods of Greek legend returned to the world. Their return restored their powers, which had been spent in a cataclysmic battle with the Titans. With the ancient deities imprisoned in Tartarus, the Olympians now reside in Néo Vasíleio, formerly known as California.
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Twenty-four-year-old Derek Aerios is a war scion, a descendent of Ares, the God of War. He and his brother, eighteen-year-old Liam, capture mythological creatures and rogue scions as part of Ares’s elite military force. As he struggles to cope with his violent powers and the scars of a traumatic childhood, Derek tries to keep the two vows he has made: protect his brother, and never kill a human again.

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But when Ares forces him to hunt and kill four rogue scions under Athena’s control—by threatening Liam’s life—Derek chooses to go after the scions in order to save his brother and keep his promise to himself.

Yet the closer Derek gets to the scions, the more he realizes that his orders are part of a deeper conspiracy that put him at odds with his mission and his conscience. Athena may not be the enemy, a traitor could be in their midst, and the Titans could be closer to freedom than ever before.

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Amy is a Canadian urban fantasy and horror author. Her work revolves around monsters, magic, mythology, and mayhem. She started writing in her early teens, and never stopped. She loves building unique worlds filled with fun characters and intense action.

When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, watching movies, taking photos, gaming, struggling with chocoholism and ice cream addiction, and diving headfirst into danger in Dungeons & Dragons campaigns.

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