Blog Tour: Piece of Work by Staci Hart!

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QUICK DISCLAIMER BEFORE WE CONTINUE:

I only participate in tours of books that I have read but unfortunately, I wasn’t approved for an ARC of Piece of Work (and that is okay, no hard feelings). I’m still posting this ’cause I didn’t want to let Social Butterfly down since technically I did sign up for the blog tour, thinking I would be approved. This is why there is no review included in this post but I’m still excited for this book and I can’t wait for the chance to read it!

Now let’s get to it!


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Synopsis: 

Marble isn’t the only thing that’s hard at this museum.

His body is as chiseled as Adonis.

His lips are as sculpted as David.

And his ego is the size of the Guggenheim.

You know the type—wolfish smile and the gravity of a black hole. The kind of man who sucks all the air from the room the second he enters it. My cocky boss thinks this internship was wasted on me, and he doesn’t hesitate to let me know.

But he’s wrong, and I’m going to prove it to him.

If I can stay away from his devil lips, that is.

Lips that cut me down and kiss me in the same breath, leaving me certain he’s on a mission to ruin my life.

And maybe my heart.


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Piece of Work, an all-new sexy and hilarious romance from Staci Hart, is available NOW!

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

[Amazon US]

 [Amazon Universal]

 [Add to GoodReads!]


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Excerpt:

He smirked and flipped up his sunglasses.

Bastard.

“You’re early,” I clipped.

“I would have had my assistant text you, but she’s currently bedridden.”

You could have texted me.”

“I didn’t have your number,” he said simply.

“Oh.”

His eyes shifted to look behind me, and I turned to find my friends standing me in a row with my suitcase in front of them, my messenger bag on top, and fake smiles on all their faces, lips together, their judgment about as quiet as a foghorn.

“These your roommates?”

“Yup,” was all I said as I turned and took my suitcase, hugging each of them down the line with promises to text when we landed. And then I turned to Court, rolling my suitcase in front of me like like a riot shield.

I tried to pick it up to carry it over the threshold, but it was heavy, and before I could get far, he’d swept it out of my hands like it was a loaf of bread and not fifty pounds of mascara and shoes.

I waved at my friends, who offered encouraging smiles and hand gestures, and I closed that door, immediately regretting every decision I’d made to bring me to the moment I turned around.

He stood at the door to the backseat, holding it open for me like a gentleman, which I knew he was not. But the look on his face of regret and deference, under the hard shell of his brooding, was almost too much to bear.

So I did the only thing I could.

I ignored him.

I ignored his gorgeous lips as they tilted and the sleek cut of his jaw as I walked past him. I ignored the sight of his long legs as he climbed in next to me and the smell of him that made me want to grab him by the lapels of his jacket and bury my nose in his chest.

The driver took off, and I busied myself in my bag, looking for my headphones and book.

His eyes were on me. I pretended like I didn’t notice.

“You’re not wearing lipstick,” he stated.

Headphones, headphones, headphones. “It’s an international flight, Court. Of course I’m not wearing red lipstick for a ten hour flight.”

A pause. “Rin, I—”

Aha! I popped in my earbuds the second they were in hand.

His lips flattened, his face unamused. Rin, his lips said, but I smiled and shrugged, pointing to my ears.

“Noise canceling,” I said way too loud.

His chest rose and fell with a sigh I couldn’t hear—I’d already turned on music, a playlist we’d built the night before geared toward resisting douchery and unwanted-slash-totally-wanted advances—and he reached into his own bag, a leather affair at his feet, his hand disappearing into the bag and reappearing with a book, which he handed to me.

He watched me with his expression shrouded as I paused, my eyes on the offered book. An image of Penitent Magdalene by Tintoretto filled the cover, and I met his eyes, pulling my earbuds out by the cord.

“I thought you could use this. For your proposal,” he said, giving nothing away. “I…A colleague of mine wrote it, so if you have any questions, I can connect you. If you want.”

I took it from his hand, surprised and disarmed. “Thank you,” was all I said. He opened his mouth as if to speak again, but closed it, and with a nod, he reached back into his bag for his own book. Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake.

I put my earbuds back in place, trying not to bite my lip, but it found its way between my teeth despite the effort at the sight of him sitting there, dressed like that, reading Margaret Atwood. After giving me a thoughtful gift, a book he knew I would want, one I would need for my dissertation.

Court Lyons made about as much sense to me as a scrambled up Rubik’s Cube.

I leaned against the door as I flipped through his gift, doing my best to sort through the rush of questions and confusion as Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s sang about being cheated by the opposite of love. And I found I knew exactly the feeling.


StaciHart

About the Author

Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life — a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey.

From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.


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Connect with Staci:

 [Amazon] [Facebook] [Twitter]

 [Pinterest] [Website] [Newsletter]

Join Her Reader Group [HERE]!

 

 

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Blog Tour & Review: Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis!

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Hi guys!

I am so honored to be starting this amazing blog tour for what has now become one of my absolute favorite series of all time.

I may still be shattered beyond recognition due to Given to the Earth, but I will try not to cry too much as I go back in time to talk to you guys about it’s predecessor, Given to the Sea!

This tour will be spit into two weeks, each week being dedicated to one book in the duet so make sure to follow the other blogs through the links at the end of this blog post!

Thank you so much Penguin for letting me be a part of this tour!

I hope you all enjoy!


BOOK DESCRIPTIONS:

GIVEN TO THE SEA

Given to the Sea Cover

An expansive YA fantasy from an up-and-coming YA author, just right for Throne of Glass readers.

Loyalties collide, friendships are tested, and romance blooms in a dying world where the sea is rising – and cannot be escaped.

Khosa is Given to the Sea, a girl born to be fed to the water. Her body is to prevent a wave like the one that destroyed the Kingdom of Stille in days of old. But before being Given, Khosa must produce an heir.

Vincent is third in line to inherit the throne, a lesser prince in a kingdom where the old linger and the young inherit only boredom and a long wait. When Khosa arrives without an heir, Vincent knows his father will ensure that she fulfill her duty, at whatever cost. Torn between protecting the throne, and the girl whose fate is tied to its very existence, Vincent must find a plan that will allow him to keep Khosa and the kingdom . . . or decide what he’s willing to sacrifice.

Dara and Donil are the last of the Indiri, a native race whose dwindling magic grows weaker as the island country fades. Animals cease to bear young, creatures of the sea take to the land, and the Pietra – fierce fighters who destroyed the Indiri a generation before – are now marching from their stony shores for the twin’s adopted homeland, Stille.

Witt leads the Pietra, their army the only family he has ever known. The stone shores harbor a secret, a growing threat that will envelop the entire land – and he will conquer every speck of soil to ensure the survival of his people.


MY REVIEW FOR GIVEN TO THE EARTH:

Who would I Reign the Earth with_

*Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*
I’ve never read anything by Mindy before this but I have to say that this is one of the most unique duets I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. The premise, the world, the characters, the romance… they all fascinated me to no end. They brought fresh experiences to the table and I was awestruck from the very first page.
The fact that this book followed 5 different point of views didn’t even daunt me. I couldn’t even tell you which one was my favorite point of view in this novel. I loved them all so much and they each captured my attention. They have yet to let go but it’s not like I want them to.
We have our main character, Khosa, who has known her entire life that she would one day dance into the sea, to her death, after bearing a child who will one day do the same. We meet her as she is trying to learn how to mimic emotions through facial expressions. It was pretty interesting being inside of her head when she struggled so much to show any emotion externally. I really loved that we could all connect to her through her love for the written word as well.
Then we have Vincent, the prince who is third in line to become King, something he is absolutely dreading to become. I found myself sympathizing with him a lot. He set himself apart with the fact that he didn’t act like any other royal I’ve ever read about. He was genuine and it showed through his every action.
There’s Dara & Donil who are twins and the last two of their kind, the Indiri, who were adopted by Vincent’s mother. They both have amazing powers that are completely opposite of each other. I won’t mention what they are so it can come as a surprise to you guys as it did to me. These two reminded me so much of the dynamic between my brother and me. I couldn’t help but relate to Dara since I feel like my temper matched hers. I absolutely loved these two; I just couldn’t get enough of them! The banter between Dara, Donil and Vincent had to be some of my favorite moments ever.
Lastly, we have Witt, who is the leader of the Pietra, a rival people with some of the fiercest warriors who take whatever land they want, whenever they want. For a leader of such bad men, I couldn’t tear my eyes away from his POV. He also set himself apart from other characters due to everything he kept hidden on the inside. This book really drove home the quote ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ or at least, in this case, a person. If I didn’t get the honor to read these characters’ every thought, my opinion of them would be a bit different.
I enjoyed the dark undertone I felt through the entirety of this novel. It had me flipping through the pages without pause. The chapters were short as well so it enabled me to read this novel in less than 24 hours. Mindy has become an instant favorite and I can’t wait to read more from her!
What happens when your most powerful enemy is the rising sea itself? Read this duet and find out! Everyone’s world is turned upside down due to it and we are left wondering who will be left standing.
4.5/5 insane stars!


GIVEN TO THE EARTH

 Given to the Earth Cover

Duty, fate, desire, and destiny collide in this intricately wrought tale, perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas.

 Although she was born to save the kingdom by sacrificing herself to the rising sea, Khosa’s marriage to King Vincent has redeemed her. As the Queen of Stille, she’s untouchable. But being Queen hasn’t stopped her heart from longing for the King’s stepbrother, Donil. And it hasn’t stopped her body from longing for the sea itself, which still calls for her.

While Khosa is made to choose between loyalty and love, Dara is on a mission for vengeance. Years ago, the Pietra slaughtered the entire Indiri race, leaving only Dara and her twin, Donil, alive. Now, spurned by King Vincent, Dara has embarked on a mission to spill the blood of Pietra’s leader, Witt, and will stop at nothing to show his people the wrath of the last Indiri.

As the waves crash ever closer to Stille, secrets are revealed, hearts are won and lost, and allegiances change like the shifting sand.


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 AUTHOR BIO:

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Mindy McGinnis is an assistant YA librarian who lives in Ohio and cans her own food. She graduated from Otterbein University magna cum laude with a BA in English Literature and Religion.


 AUTHOR LINKS:

[Website] [Twitter] [Facebook] [Instagram]

[YouTube] [Pinterest] [Goodreads]

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FOLLOW THE TOUR:

WEEK ONE

GIVEN TO THE SEA

4/3 – The Bookish Crypt – Review + Instagram Post

4/4 – Katy’s Library Blog – Review

4/5 – Bookworm Banter – Review

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WEEK TWO

GIVEN TO THE EARTH

4/9 – Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile – Raves & Craves (Review + Snack Food)

4/10 – Flyleaf Chronicles – Review

4/11 – Simply ally Tea – Spotlight

4/12 – Rheya Reads – Creative

4/13 – Netherreads – Review

Blog Tour & Review: People Like Us by Dana Mele!

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SYNOPSIS:

Kay Donovan may have skeletons in her closet, but the past is past, and she’s reinvented herself entirely. Now she’s a star soccer player whose group of gorgeous friends run their private school with effortless popularity and acerbic wit. But when a girl’s body is found in the lake, Kay’s carefully constructed life begins to topple.

The dead girl has left Kay a computer-coded scavenger hunt, which, as it unravels, begins to implicate suspect after suspect, until Kay herself is in the crosshairs of a murder investigation. But if Kay’s finally backed into a corner, she’ll do what it takes to survive. Because at Bates Academy, the truth is something you make…not something that happened.

[GOODREADS] [AMAZON]


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MY REVIEW:

*ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*
TRIGGER WARNING: SUICIDE, BULLYING
“Death is a chain reaction, a butterfly effect.”
At first, I was a little hesitant to start this novel only because it was being compared to Pretty Little Liars and I am not a fan of that show/book series. That probably sounds lame but I decided to give it a go since it was also being compared to Thirteen Reasons Why and I actually loved that book.
Boy am I beyond glad to have given this novel a chance because I have fallen deeply in love with Dana’s writing style.
This book follows our main character, Kay, who is in the middle of grieving both her best friend and her brother, but whose life only gets rougher as she and her friends stumble upon a dead body of a fellow classmate. Kay was a breath of fresh air to me when it came to main characters. I rarely get to read novels that follow a character who seems to be so unattached to everything, even their own emotions. I loved seeing her character develop and witnessing what exactly made her tick or close up. I actually found myself deeply terrified for Kay’s well being during this book which is saying a lot since I still don’t know how I feel about her. I don’t hate her but I don’t necessarily like her either. But I ache for her?
I know I make no sense but it’s Dana’s fault. She has rocked my world with this amazing book and my mind is still reeling from it all.
I really liked that this novel had a solid start. It threw us right into the middle of the chaos and the suspense/thrill didn’t let up for one second the entire way. This book is a revenge mission and a ticking time bomb to find whoever is responsible for so much grief and pain before an innocent person pays the price for it.
The main thing I loved about this novel was the fact that EVERY. SINGLE. CHARACTER. that we were introduced to was beyond interesting. I never knew who to trust, if anyone at all, but it didn’t stop me from wanting to devour each of their life stories. If it were up to me, I would have Dana write individual books dedicated to every character I met through Kay. (Especially Greg.)
It’s rare when an author can make me fall hard for more than a couple characters but it’s lesser known when they have me deeply invested in the stories of ALL of their characters. Dana managed to do so here in the most flawless and poetic way. I can’t stress enough how much I loved the way Dana handled this story from beginning to end.
Oh, and did I mention this is a diverse book? Because it is. But not in a painfully obvious way. Like everything else in this novel, Dana executed that aspect quite beautifully.
The final deciding factor when it came to rating this book was Dana’s wonderful skill in manipulation. She made me question myself every step of the way and I loved every second of it. I was 100% sure that I knew who was responsible for Kay’s misery but as it turned out, I was proved way wrong.
This entire novel carried so much weight to it already due to the way it started but the last chapters carried it 6-fold. This was an intricate web of lies and deception that I’ll never forget. I found myself forgoing sleep (multiple times, I have the dark circles to prove it) in order to keep reading since I refused to set it down. My heart missed this book with a passion when it wasn’t in my hands and it was hard to focus on real life. So many secrets bathed the entirety of this novel that I often times found myself not knowing what was reality and what wasn’t.
Dana blew me away with this debut novel and I am itching to see what else she has to offer.

5/5 stars!


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ABOUT DANA MELE:

Dana Mele is a Pushcart-nominated writer and a work at home mother. A graduate of Wellesley College, she is a former actor, lawyer, musician, and briefly, associate producer. She prefers tea to coffee, snow to sand, and stars to sunshine, and she lives in the Catskills with her husband and toddler.

[AUTHOR WEBSITE]


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BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:

WEEK ONE
February 19 – Lindseyybooks – Review
February 20 – Bibliobakes – Review
February 21 – Bookish Bug – Review + Creative Instagram Picture
February 22 – Twinning for Books – Review
February 23 – The Bookish Crypt – Review
 
WEEK TWO
 
February 26 – Brooke Reports – Review
February 27 – Bookish Delights – Review
February 28 – Here’s to Happy Endings – Review + Styleboard
March 1 – Never Too Many To Read – Character/Suspect Profile
March 2 – Dauntless Books and Penguins – Review
 
 
WEEK THREE
 
March 6 – Touch My Spine Book Reviews – Review
March 7 – The Night Owl Book Blog – Review
March 8 – A Simple Taste of Reading – Review
March 9 – Books.Tea.Quotes – Review + Instagram Picture

Who would I Reign the Earth with_

Kay is forced to seek revenge by deciphering clues from a blog.
If you want to follow along as you read,
click the link down below!
Click at your own risk…

Blog Tour & GIVEAWAY: Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen!

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Shalia is a proud daughter of the desert, but after years of devastating war with the adjoining kingdom, her people are desperate for peace. Willing to trade her freedom to ensure the safety of her family, Shalia becomes Queen of the Bonelands.

But she soon learns that her husband, Calix, is motivated only by his desire to exterminate the Elementae—mystical people who can control earth, wind, air, and fire. Even more unsettling are Shalia’s feelings for her husband’s brother, which unleash a power over the earth she never knew she possessed—a power that could get her killed. As rumors of a rebellion against Calix spread, Shalia must choose between the last chance for peace and her own future as an Elementae.

This intense, richly drawn high-fantasy by the author of Scarlet will hold readers spellbound.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

View More: http://kaitlynlitchfieldphotography.pass.us/acgaughen

I am shamelessly addicted to staying up far too late (it feels like stealing time), diet coke (it burns so good), Scotland (stupid country stole my heart and won’t give it back. Interpol has been ineffective for prosecution) and thieves (so I guess I’m not that mad at Scotland).

Want to know more? Just ask!



 

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*ARC provided by Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review*
“You’re a daughter of the desert, Shalia. You have always had the ability to pierce and sting.”
This was my first book from Gaughen and I am honestly anticipating her next novel with all my being.
One of the things that made this book a slow start for me was that I spent a good chunk of the beginning of this novel confused out of my mind. One of the things I was having problems wrapping my head around was the magic system. I eventually learned to make my way around it but it definitely took me a little while to get there.
We have our main character, Shalia, who must give up her freedom and marry an enemy King in order to bring peace to her people. She is forced to leave the desert, the only home she’s ever had, and into a new world meanwhile hiding a deep secret withing her. She underwent a beautiful character development from cover to cover and I couldn’t have asked for anything less than what it was. She first rubbed me as one of the most naive main characters I’ve ever stumbled upon but she completely stole my heart in the end. I was so over protective of her that I fell apart whenever she was in harm’s way.
As a romance addict, I actually loved the change of pace in this novel. It wasn’t romance heavy at all but it still left me with a satisfying grin on my face. Of course, speaking of romance, I have to say that Galen was my favorite character in this novel. Oh my goodness. I could go on and on and ON about how giddy he made me with just a passing appearance. He never failed to amaze me with hie beautiful heart and I’m in tears just thinking back to his character. I need more of him and I need it now!!!
Anyway, where this novel wasn’t romance heavy, it was definitely family heavy. I was in complete awe over Gaughen’s writing style and she has officially become one my favorite authors. I loved Shalia’s relationship with her brothers. The scenes where she interacted with them were my most favorite. I couldn’t stop myself from rereading them a few times before moving on with the story. Their dynamic was so addicting and it actually reminded me a lot of my close relationship with mine. I couldn’t stop seeing myself in her and it brought my attachment to Shalia to new heights.
I can’t even begin to explain just how breathless this book left me. Gaughen took me on one of the wildest and most savage emotional roller coaster ride ever. I feel like I say this a lot but Gaughen took it to a whole new level and I am still feeling raw over everything she put me through. I didn’t expect this novel to be as brutal on my feelings as it was, but I will always be grateful for the stampede Gaughen set loose on my heart. She made me cry over every little thing that went wrong, always pulling at my heart like the savage author she is.
Gaughen also brought out a strong hatred out of me towards a CERTAIN character, that will remain nameless since they don’t deserve to be named, and I swear my room felt like a thousand degrees because of it. It was the type of hatred that has you shaking uncontrollably, almost at the breaking point of your sanity.
All I have left to say is that I should’ve never doubted this book and the impact it would have on me. There are so many unanswered questions that I can’t even handle the dark voice! This novel was epically insane and I am anxiously awaiting the sequel to this masterpiece!

5/5 stars!



Who would I Reign the Earth with_

Honestly, like I mentioned above, Shalia’s relationship with her brothers is something I strongly related to so it comes as no surprise that my answer would be my brother.

I used to make his life hell as a little child since I didn’t know better but I can’t imagine ever being intentionally cruel to him now. It’s hard for me to reach the level of unconditional trust I have with my brother with anybody else I’ve ever met.

There is no other human being who has gone through almost the exact same things I’ve been through and raised the exact same way as I was. We both grew out of the imperfect molds our parents were trying to turn us into so we were able to bond further over that. I think what made it easier for us to stick together from the start was the fact that we actually have incredibly similar likes. We rarely disagree on anything but even if we happen to not like the same things, we don’t really focus on them since we are too busy talking about the stuff we do like. We always bounce recommendations off each other and it almost always ends with both of us finding another similarity to bond over.

It makes me endlessly grateful to have a had a sibling growing up with me almost every step of the way. We are almost a year apart so every time we moved schools (we did this a lot) we had an unspoken rule to hang out with each other during lunchtime until we made friends we could hang out with instead. It made every transition that much easier and it was a huge positive factor on my anxiety.

Most important of all is that he is also always there to lend me his ear when I am ranting or raving over my current reads. I didn’t have book-loving friends  growing up, not until a few years ago, so he helped me out whenever I needed to let my feelings out before they drove me crazy.

He also has helped me A TON with my writing. He is always there to tell me when I’m being unrealistic (even for fantasy) and when I’m actually on to something; Or just to help me come up with a solution to a problem I’m having, in and out of writing. We tell it like it is without any hard feelings and that’s just one of the reasons I will always go to him for advice over anybody else. He was the first to ever draw fanart of the characters the entire world has yet to meet and it makes me appreciate our relationship that much more.

We always have people commenting on the fact that they aren’t on such friendly terms with their own siblings and it always saddens me to hear it. I know our relationship isn’t common among many siblings but I don’t know how I would have remained sane without my brother by my side. He is the only person I can completely and unapologetically be myself with. It’s not that I’m shy or scared to open myself up to anyone, I’m just always wary of everyone else.

Anyway, all we know is that no other member of my family has ever, or will ever, accept us the way we accept each other.

So if you had to ask me who I would Reign the Earth with every single day of my life, my answer would always be my brother.

Now that my sappy moment is over,

WHO WOULD YOU REIGN THE EARTH WITH?



GIVEAWAY:

GIVEAWAY

[GIVEAWAY TIME!]



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BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY: Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking!

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SYNOPSIS:

Valkyries have one great responsibility: to return immortals to the afterlife by slaying them. As a Valkyrie, Malin has always known that the balance of the world rests on her ability to carry out orders. But when Malin discovers that her mother spared the life of an immortal who was destined to die, her world is thrown into chaos.

Malin not only wrestles with the knowledge that her mother might not be who she thought—she’s also thrust into the path of a gorgeous blue eyed guy named Asher who needs her help slaying the rogue immortal who destroyed his family. The balance of the world is at stake. And, as Asher competes with Malin’s ex for her love and loyalty, so is her heart.


MY REVIEW:

Cover Between the Blade and the Heart

*ARC provided by Wednesday Books in exchange for an honest review*
“It was a strange, cold thing to realize I was born to be a murderer.”
As soon as I heard about this book, I knew that I had to read it immediately the fact that I love Norse Mythology with all my heart. It took me a bit longer than I care to admit to get through this novel just because it had a bit of a slow start for me. I was struggling to connect to any of the characters in the beginning but what had me overlooking that detail were all the intriguing and amazing creatures that were being introduced.
One of them being my official absolute favorite pet to ever appear in a novel, the Wolpertinger. Research them and I dare you to tell me they aren’t the most adorable creatures you’ve ever seen. Of course, I’m a little bias due to having a pet bunny myself but that’s irrelevant.
Anyway, this book follows Malin as she’s training to become a Valkyrie, following in the footsteps of her mother. Malin is a rule follower, becoming a Valkyrie is all she wants to do in her life since she gets an immense thrill out of it. Unfortunately, her world is turned upside down when she learns something that shatters her belief in people and the path that she chose to follow.
I absolutely loved the diversity in this novel and Amanda’s wonderful way of describing everything in this world, from the food to the scenery. The chapters were short so it turned my initial struggle to dust very quickly. They enabled me to get through the novel quicker than I expected, which turned out to be the last thing that I wanted. I couldn’t stop thinking about this novel whenever I had to put it down due to sleep and my job. I never wanted this novel to end and the only consolation I have is that I don’t have to wait an entire year for more, but a few months.
Of course, the first character I fell in love with was Jude. I honestly wish it were possible to find someone on Earth like him to make him mine. Or at least to drool over from a very near distance. Holy smokes. That man… left me (and is still leaving me) speechless. I couldn’t get enough of him and it saddened me that he didn’t have a more important role in this novel.
Some negative comments I have for this novel were that some fights were won a bit too quickly for my liking. I don’t like dragged out fight scenes but I also don’t like it to end right when I’m getting into them.
Also, I saw the ending coming, in a way, and it only managed to still shock me because I was in deep denial about it. My devastation also got in the way of my appreciation for what happened at the very end. The enormity of it has yet to hit me since I’m still thinking about the thing that drove me to denial right before it.
As you can tell, I still gave this 5 stars and that’s because Amanda played my emotions with an expertise that I always admire in an author. She ripped my heart out almost at every chapter so as you can tell, I ended up deeply attached to these characters. Thank the Gods I had nothing to worry about.
This was a chaotic and emotional roller coaster for me. One page I was screaming in hatred towards certain characters, another page I was smiling like a lunatic at cute scenes, and the next, I was crying in despair. I need the next book right now because I will NOT be in peace until I get to find out what happens next!

5/5 stars!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Amanda Hocking NEW--credit Mariah Paaverud with Chimera Photography

AUTHOR BIO:

Amanda Hocking is the author of over twenty young adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Trylle Trilogy and Kanin Chronicles. Her love of pop culture and all things paranormal influence her writing. She spends her time in Minnesota, taking care of her menagerie of pets and working on her next book.

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BUY LINKS:

[Amazon] [Barnes & Noble] [Books-a-Million]

[IndieBound] [Powells]

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SOCIAL LINKS:

 [Author Website[Twitter

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GIVEAWAY:

I’ve partnered up with Wednesday Books in order to give away 1 FINISHED PAPERBACK COPY of Between the Blade and the Heart over on my Instagram!

Click the image to be sent to the post detailing all the rules and entries!

Giveaway ends on January 12!

Winner will be announced on January 13!

****US ONLY!!****

GIVEAWAY

ANSWER BELOW:

***HOW MUCH DO YOU LIKE NORSE MYTHOLOGY?***

 

Blog Tour & Review: Us Kids Know by JJ Strong

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BOOK DESCRIPTION:

 

We all knew about Cullen Hickson.

Siblings Bri and Ray O’Dell are lost. Anxious. Restless. Ray—bullied at his Catholic school for being small and timid—wants to be someone people respect or, even better, someone people fear. Meanwhile, Bri knows that something is off about her friendship with the shiny, happy, sophisticated blond girls on her field hockey team. They don’t really understand Bri, and if Bri is being totally honest, she doesn’t really understand them either.

When storied delinquent Cullen Hickson enters the orbit of the O’Dell siblings, though, everything changes. Bri and Ray find an alluring, addictive outlet in Cullen, who opens their eyes to a world they didn’t know existed. For Ray, that means experiencing the singular thrill of crime—from breaking and entering to grand theft auto—while Bri quickly dives into an all-consuming romance with the enigmatic upperclassman.

As Bri and Ray become more and more entwined with Cullen’s antics, and their once-thrilling experiences grow increasingly dangerous, a series of life-changing events threatens to lead the teens down a dark path—one that could forever alter the course of their lives.


MY REVIEW:
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*ARC provided by Razorbill in exchange for an honest review*
“Ours was a story that wouldn’t stand for the commonplace.”
This was Strong’s debut novel and it’s a story about how one guy, Cullen, changes the lives of two siblings, Bri and Ray, forever.
Ray gets bullied mercilessly at his school and finds a way to get out of it by ‘hiring’ Cullen in order to help him experience the true thrill of crime in every way. Then we have Bri, who is part of the ‘popular’ group of girls at her school but she knows she doesn’t belong, and at times, doesn’t even know how she got there. She find herself attracted to Cullen and we get to witness how that fact alone ultimately changes the course of her stature in school.
Cullen captivated me from the very beginning. I think I dove into this book as hard as I did because he was the first POV we read about and his mind was a hilarious place. There were a lot of times where he had me laughing uncontrollably at the stuff that went through his head and he did.
I felt like Cullen and Bri got intimate WAY too fast for my liking. I was just starting to see a flicker of flame when all of a sudden it became a forest fire… I didn’t really like it but I just shrugged it off or else I would’ve never enjoyed the romance factor in this.
This book was divided into two parts and the second part brought the seriousness to a whole new level. I was reeling from the way part one ended since I wasn’t expecting it all; I was dreading it, to be honest, and I shed a few tears.
One reason why this isn’t a complete 4 star read was because I was in the mindset that this would just be a book about a group of kids messing around but it’s so much more than that and it caught me by surprise. It deals with heavier and harder topics than I was expecting. That isn’t a bad thing at all, but at the moment, I wasn’t in the right mood for it, I guess. I’ll definitely try and reread this someday in the future and try to see if my rating changes.
The other reason was because I didn’t form a connection to any of the characters. I really, really tried, but even though it dealt with different forms of depression, they were completely different from mine so I couldn’t relate to them as much as I wanted.
This book is perfect for any adrenaline junkies out there.
It had a somber undertone throughout it and the foreshadowing got a bit heartbreaking. I really liked how I had no idea or guesses to where the characters would end up. It kept me guessing at every turn and it made me hesitant to reach the finish line. I had a strong uneasy feeling in my stomach from the start since these characters were playing with fire and I felt like they would only end up being burned beyond recognition.
I will say, that this might be triggering for some readers out there, so fair warning; It almost was for me. Can’t wait to see what Strong comes out with next!
 
3.7 stars.

 AUTHOR BIO:

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JJ Strong received a creative writing degree from the University of Southern California, and a B.A. in English from Georgetown University. His writing has appeared in Fifth Wednesday, the Santa Monica Review, and LA Weekly. He taught for many years in the undergraduate writing program at USC, before moving to the Washington, D.C. area with his wife and son.
 

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR 
 
SCHEDULE:
 
Week One:
October 23 – The Royal Polar Bear 
October 24 – ButterMyBooks 
October 25 – The Lovely Books 
October 26 – The Bookish Crypt
October 27 – YA and Wine 
 
Week Two:
October 30 – Here’s to Happy Endings 
October 31 – YA Book Central 
November 2 – The Crazy Bookworm 
November 3 – Gladiator Glory 

Blog Tour/ Read-a-long + Giveaway: The Alchemists of Loom ‘Bonus Content’ by Elise Kova!

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I’ve been waiting for my stop on this read-a-long for what feels like weeks now because I have a special treat for all of you! As you all know, Elise Kova is my Queen and I can’t- won’t- stop talking about her for the rest of my days. She is a woman of many, many, many, talents, and among them is her absolutely incredible ability to build a world out of scratch and make it seem as if it has always existed. In her Loom series, we are introduced to the Dragon lands (Nova) and ‘Earth’ which is Loom. In the process of world building, Elise had to come up with a calendar year and this is what her process looked like:


From Elise:

Believe it or not, the calendar of Loom and Nova was actually quite difficult to come up with given the logistics of the two worlds developing completely independent of each other.

Loom is located on the earth and Nova is in the sky with a layer of clouds constantly separating them. Days and nights were simple enough, the sky would brighten and darken. Even the number of days in a given month could be explained simply: the moon. Those on Loom would experience nights of darkness, new moons, that would signify the beginning and end of a month.

So I knew Loom and Nova, without any communication, could reasonably develop a similar number of days in the month, and number of hours in the day… But what about years?

For the sake of developing a more simple timeline, I wanted to have their years be the same number of months. But how would two cultures decide something so arbitrary identically?

To answer that, I ended up speaking with a PhD candidate in astrophysics and we worked out a few hypotheticals. Eventually, we came to the possibility of an orbiting celestial body that would cross the sky once per year and light up an entire 24 hours. Doing this, gave a beginning and end for the year calendars that could be seen on Nova and experienced (via the light filtering) on Loom.

Calendar

One year is composed of 20 months, with 30 days in one month. On Loom, the months are numbered simply. On Nova each month is assigned a divine patron from the Dragon Pantheon. Dates are written as: Day.Month.Year

Therefore, “1.10.1400” is the first day of the tenth month, year one-thousand four-hundred.


Read-a-long:

Here is the [FACEBOOK GROUP] if you’d like to join!


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Pre-order The Dragons of Nova so

we will be able to unlock a lot more

goodies to be included in the pre-order swag!

[The Dragons of Nova]


Giveaway:

WIN A SIGNED HARDCOVER OF

THE ALCHEMISTS OF LOOM!

[HERE]