BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY: Realm of Ruins – ARC Review

Welcome to my stop on the Realm of Ruins book tour! Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour host!


ABOUT THE BOOK

M3SFH_vwTitle: Realm of Ruins (The Nissera Chronicles #2)
Author: Hannah West
Release Date: December 4, 2018
Publisher: Holiday House
Genre: YA Fantasy

Valory’s power is different…it’s dangerous, unruly, and destructive. But can she channel it to crush a cunning enemy and save the realm from chaos? 

Welcome to Nissera, land of three kingdoms and home to spectacular magic.

A century after her legendary ancestors overcame a bloodthirsty tyrant, seventeen-year-old Valory Braiosa attends a training academy for elicromancers, immortal beings with magical gifts. Yet Valory’s immense power seems impossible to tame, and she faces imprisonment by the Nisseran authorities. Then a forbidden resurrection spell awakens a long-dormant evil, and Valory may be the only one who can vanquish this terrifying villain. Together with a band of allies—including an old friend; a haughty princess; and a mysterious, handsome stranger—Valory must learn to harness her power and fight back.

Weaving together her imaginative world of gritty fairytale magic with snippets from Beauty and the Beast and other classic stories, Hannah West’s dark and dangerous adventure is a gripping, immersive companion to her acclaimed debut, Kingdom of Ash and Briars. This richly packaged edition includes an illustrated family tree, detailed map, and embossed jacket with shimmering metallic effects.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | Kobo


REVIEW

ARC provided by the publisher. 

Realm of Ruins is a companion novel to Kingdom of Ash and Briar, and while there are a few references to the previous book, you can definitely enjoy this without reading it and understand everything that is happening! 

One of the things I liked best about Realm of Ruins, was that the action started right away, quickly pulling you into the book. There is so many elements of fantasy (especially YA fantasy) in this that I really love: magic, fairy-tale retellings, quests, hidden powers. Hannah West does a great job introducing the world and magic system in a way that is understandably, and yet without long passages of info dumps. The Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid aspects of the story were intricately woven into the plot, although I do wish those parts of the story had been expanded upon a bit.

The action and the characters are the main driving force of the story. The book is non-stop action and adventuring from the beginning, so the story was able to hold my attention throughout the novel. I also really enjoyed the characters and their contributions to the story, which also helped keep me engaged and interested. I absolutely loved how the story ended. To me, the last chapter seemed a bit ambiguous – especially in regards to Valory – and I was totally digging it. I almost wish the book had ended there, instead of with the epilogue, because I think it would have been a stronger finish. The epilogue didn’t focus as much as closer for the characters as I would have liked and I really feel like there were a few loose ends that needed wrapping up. I’m not sure if it was the author’s intention or not, but it almost feels like another book is possible in the future? If so, I look forward to it!   

★ ★ ★ ★


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

-QDTbixgHannah West is the author of Kingdom of Ash and Briars and its companion, Realm of Ruins. She’s always loved writing about magic and fairytales, but her time studying abroad in Orléans, France inspired her to finally write and publish a fantasy novel. She’s a freelance writer and vegetarian living in Texas with her husband and their rambunctious blue heeler.

 

Follow Hannah:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram


GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Win one (1) of five Nissera Chronicles bundles. Bundle includes one copy of Kingdom of Ash and Briar and one finished copy of Realm of Ruins.

 ✨ ENTER HERE ✨


FOLLOW THE TOUR

Week One:
December 4 | The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club

December 5 | The Reading Corner For All
December 5 | Wishful Endings
December 5 | Utopia State of Mind

December 6 | Paws and Paperbacks
December 6 | Jrsbookreviews
December 6 | Bri’s Book Nook
December 6 | Mythical Books

December 7 | Rhythmicbooktrovert
December 7 | Moonlight Rendezvous
December 7 | Adventures and Readings

December 8 | Nay’s Pink Bookshelf
December 8 | 808bookdr
December 8 | Library of a Book Witch
December 8 | Confessions of a YA Reader

Week Two:
December 9 | A New Look on Books Blog
December 9 | The Critic Uncritical Bookworm
December 9 | Kait Plus Books

December 10 | My Fangirl Chronicles
December 10 | Fyrekatz Blog
December 10 | Belle’s Book Blog
December 10 | Oh Hey! Books

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY: This Cruel Design – ARC Review

Welcome to my stop on the This Cruel Design book tour! Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour stop!

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for providing me with a copy of This Mortal Coil. You can find my review of the first book here!


ABOUT THE BOOK

40042561Title: This Cruel Design (This Mortal Coil #2)
Author: Emily Suvada
Release Date: October 30, 2018
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: YA Science-Fiction, Dystopian

The nightmare of the outbreak is finally over, but Cat’s fight has only just begun.

Exhausted, wounded, and reeling from revelations that have shaken her to her core, Cat is at a breaking point. Camped in the woods with Cole and Leoben, she’s working day and night, desperate to find a way to stop Lachlan’s plan to reprogram humanity. But she’s failing—Cat can’t even control her newly regrown panel, and try as she might to ignore them, she keeps seeing glitching visions from her past everywhere she turns.

When news arrives that the Hydra virus might not be as dead as they’d thought, the group is pushed into an uneasy alliance with Cartaxus to hunt down Lachlan and fix the vaccine. Their search takes them to Entropia, a city of genehackers hidden deep in the desert that could also hold the answers about Cat’s past that she’s been searching for.

But when confronted with lies and betrayals, Cat is forced to question everything she knows and everyone she trusts. And while Lachlan is always two steps ahead, the biggest threat to Cat may be the secrets buried in her own mind.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository


REVIEW

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

I started this immediately after finishing This Mortal Coil, and finished it within a day, so that should tell you all you need to know about my feelings about this book. This Cruel Design was just as fast-paced, well-written, and absolutely addicting as the first book.

The book picks up right where This Mortal Coil leaves off, and the action begins almost instantaneously. Readers have no cause to worry as there’s no second book syndrome here! I could hardly put it down and there are plenty more plot twists and reveals that kept me hooked. As with the previous book, the science and technology elements continue to be really intriguing and unique. I had no problem following along with all of the terminology and jargon.

I was under the impression that this was a duology, so the last couple of chapters really had me nervous! The ending is a total cliff-hanger and I have so many questions! I’m not sure how I’m going to survive the wait for the final book. This Cruel Design was a fun, action-packed, thrilling sequel to This Mortal Coil

★ ★ ★ ★


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

82GXiAfgEmily Suvada was born and raised in Australia, where she went on to study mathematics and astrophysics. She previously worked as a data scientist, and still spends hours writing algorithms to perform tasks which would only take minutes to complete on her own. When not writing, she can be found hiking, cycling, and conducting chemistry experiments in her kitchen. She currently lives in Portland, OR, with her husband.

Follow Emily:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest


GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Two (2) winners will receive a finished copy of This Cruel Design. US only.

✨ ENTER HERE ✨


FOLLOW THE TOUR

Week One:
October 22 | That Artsy Reader Girl 

October 23 | The Reading Corner for All
October 23 | Fan-Girl-Tastic
October 23 | Oh Hey! Books
October 23 | Boston Book Reader
October 23 | It Starts At Midnight

October 24 | Book Dragon Lair 
October 24 | Angela Walker’s Reviews 
October 24 | JusticeReads 
October 24 | 808bookdr 

October 25 | Vicky Who Reads 
October 25 | Paws and Paperbacks 
October 25 | Reader Rising 
October 25 | the Bibliophagist 

October 26 | RhythmicBooktrovert 
October 26 | Nay’s Pink Bookshelf 
October 26 | Belle’s Archive 
October 26 | Bri’s Book Nook 

October 27 | Portrait of a Book
October 27 | MetalPhantasmReads
October 27 | Morgan Vega
October 27 | Confessions of a YA Reader

Week Two
October 28 | Bookish Friends and Felines
October 28 | Magical Reads
October 28 | Library of a Book Witch
October 28 | The Critic Uncritical Bookworm
October 28 | Luchia Houghton

October 29 | Kat’s Books
October 29 | Book Lady’s Reviews
October 29 | Vicarious Bookworm
October 29 | Haunted by Books 

COVER REVEAL + GIVEAWAY: The Bridge Kingdom – Danielle L. Jensen

I’m so excited to be taking part in the cover reveal for Danielle L. Jensen’s latest book, The Bridge Kingdom, hosted by MTMC Tours! At the end of this post is a chance to win a fantastic The Bridge Kingdom-themed box of goodies! The Malediction Trilogy is one of the most underrated YA series and I’m a huge fan of her work, so I was very ecstatic when I found out she was writing a new book! The synopsis sounds absolutely amazing and there are hints of a hate-to-love romance, and we all know that is the best trope. The Bridge Kingdom will be released exclusively as an Audiobook via Audible and Amazon on October 16. Print and ebook editions are planned, but no word about release dates at the moment. 

Ready for the cover?
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BridgeKingdom Cover


About the Book

BridgeKingdom CoverTitle: The Bridge Kingdom (The Bridge Kingdom #1)
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Release Date: October 16, 2018
Publisher: Audible Originals
Genre: YA/NA Fantasy

What if you fell in love with the one person you’d sworn to destroy?

Lara has only one thought for her husband on their wedding day: I will bring your kingdom to its knees. A princess trained from childhood to be a lethal spy, Lara knows that the Bridge Kingdom represents both legendary evil – and legendary promise. The only route through a storm-ravaged world, the Bridge Kingdom controls all trade and travel between lands, allowing its ruler to enrich himself and deprive his enemies, including Lara’s homeland. So when she is sent as a bride under the guise of fulfilling a treaty of peace, Lara is prepared to do whatever it takes to fracture the defenses of the impenetrable Bridge Kingdom.

But as she infiltrates her new home – a lush paradise surrounded by tempest seas – and comes to know her new husband, Aren, Lara begins to question where the true evil resides. Around her, she sees a kingdom fighting for survival, and in Aren, a man fiercely protective of his people. As her mission drives her to deeper understanding of the fight to possess the bridge, Lara finds the simmering attraction between her and Aren impossible to ignore. Her goal nearly within reach, Lara will have to decide her own fate: Will she be the destroyer of a king or the savior of her people?

Goodreads | AmazonAudible


About the Author

Bio-Photo-Danielle-L-Jensen-2018-683x1024

From Danielle L. Jensen: “I’m so excited to share the cover of The Bridge Kingdom, which was illustrated by the talented Richard Anderson! This novel was pure enjoyment to write because I was able to create a story that blends intrigue, adventure, and LOTS of steamy romance, all of which takes place in a fantastical setting. The Bridge Kingdom was written specifically for audio, and with the exceptional narration of Lauren Fortgang and James Patrick Cronin, it truly is an incredible listening experience!”

Danielle L. Jensen is the USA Today bestselling author of The Malediction Novels: Stolen Songbird, Hidden Huntress, Warrior Witch, and The Broken Ones. Her upcoming novels are The Bridge Kingdom, which will be released by Audible Originals in October, 2018 and Dark Shores, which will be released by Tor Teen in May, 2019. She lives with her family in Calgary, Canada.

Follow Danielle:
Website | Twitter | Instagram


GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Win an epic The Bridge Kingdom–themed goody box (including all items pictured below). Open International.

 ✨ ENTER HERE ✨

  • Exclusive Ithicana Candle from A Court of Candles
  • Hand Cream from The Body Shop
  • Sea Salt from The Body Shop
  • Tea Tins
  • The Bridge Kingdom Pen
  • The Bridge Kingdom Postcard + Audiobook download on release date

TBK Giveaway Prize


HOSTED BY:

MTMC Tours Logo

Blog Tour: Between the Blade and the Heart – ARC Review

Happy New Year! And a happy book birthday to Amanda Hocking! Today is the release of Between the Blade and the Heart and I’m thrilled to be part of the blog tour! Between the Blade and the Heart was one of my most anticipated releases for 2018 and I’m so excited that I was able to get an ARC of it!


Cover Between the Blade and the HeartTitle: Between the Blade and the Heart (Valkyries #1)
Author: Amanda Hocking
Rating: ★★★

ARC received through NetGalley.

In a genre dominated by vampires and werewolves, I’m always looking to find Young Adult books that feature other paranormal creatures. One of the things that first interested me about the Between the Blade and Heart was that it contained both Valkyries and Norse mythology!

Between the Blade and the Heart was not exactly what I had been expecting when I first started reading. For some reason, I had expected a historical fantasy setting heavy with elements of Norse mythology. I think my assumption was based on the vagueness of the synopsis and the fact that I was unfamiliar with Amanda Hocking’s work. Instead, the book takes place in a near future setting with technological advances and was more similar to an urban fantasy novel. Not necessarily a bad thing, just not what I had been expecting at all! The story features many fantasy creatures from lots of different cultures and mythologies, in addition to the Norse mythology elements. I was really intrigued by the idea of modern day Valkyries and their roles in the world. I think the world-building in that aspect was really well done.

I thought Malin, our protagonist to be well-rounded and interesting, but I still couldn’t find myself connecting with her that much. I did have a slight issue, however, with the romance. The book does contain a love triangle – albeit a different sort of love triangle than what is usually featured – but a love triangle nonetheless. I found myself feeling like the relationships between the characters could have been developed a bit more. I also think that some of the side characters could have used more depth. The writing itself was really good and I found nothing to complain about the plot or pacing. The story is fast-faced, filled with action, and was definitely not a slow read. The ending sets up nicely for the sequel and I look forward to reading the next book in the series!


Amanda Hocking NEW--credit Mariah Paaverud with Chimera PhotographyAmanda 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.

Follow Amanda:
Author Website
Twitter
Blog

 

 

BLOG TOUR: Reign of Serpents – Excerpt

 

I’m happy to be kicking off the Reign of Serpents Blog Tour organized by Glass Town Entertainment in anticipation for the book’s release! Today, I have an exclusive excerpt from the book to share with you all! I’m super excited for this book and adventures that lay in store for the characters!


ReignofSerpentsFINALCoverTitle: Reign of Serpents
Author: Eleanor Herman
Release Date: June 27, 2017

New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman entwines the real scandals of history with epic fantasy in this action-packed follow-up to EMPIRE OF DUST.

In REIGN OF SERPENTS, the ancient power of Snake Blood threatens the known world. While Prince Alexander struggles with a very deadly inner demon, his betrothed, Zofia, is on her way to him, to unite their kingdoms…even as she begins to realize where her true allegiance lies. The fierce Cynane meets her match-not in her future husband, the deranged king of Illyria, but in her great-great-grandfather, Talus, possessor of Smoke Blood, who will teach her the true meaning of betrayal. And marooned together on an island in the Mediterranean, romantic tension blooms between Katerina and Hephaestion as they learn of lost civilizations and discover a device that could help them do the impossible: kill the last living god.


EleonorHerman.AuthorPhotoNew York Times best-seller Eleanor Herman brings her skills as a historian to an exciting new Young Adult series on Alexander the Great at sixteen, the four-book Legacy of Kings: Blood of Gods and Royals.

“History is so fascinating that it never has to be presented in a boring way, even in non-fiction,” she explains. “These were flesh and blood people, just like you and me, facing war and plague, falling in love, living among splendid art and gut-wrenching poverty, evanescent beauty and devastating illnesses. Blending real history with the conversation, action, emotions and fantasy aspects of Legacy of Kings makes the story explosively exciting. I want readers to smell the blood on the battlefield, hear the delicate strumming of a lyre, feel the heat of an ancient Greek summer sun on their faces, see the beauty of the temples and palaces, and taste the dark wine, full of lees, poured from a red-and-black painted Greek vase.”

Eleanor calls herself a “Sherlock Holmes of history.” For Legacy, she studied and visited most of the major sites of the ancient world, usually with an archeologist in tow, and read just about everything, ancient and modern, written on the Greek world of 340 B.C.

Eleanor has hosted shows for The History Channel and the National Geographic Channel on Henry VIII, the ancient Greek city of Aphrodisias, and the Hindenburg. She is an expert commentator on numerous episodes of a national show coming out this fall.

Eleanor lives with her husband, their black lab, and her four very dignified cats in McLean, VA. She is a member of the National Press Club, where she often moderates book events, a queen mother of Cameroon, an elections officer, and a volunteer for the aging in Fairfax County, VA.


EXCERPT

Cyn clutched the edge of her seat, feeling the metal ornaments cut into her palms but not caring. Across the arena, the doors opened. She squinted in the bright sunlight, her eyes pinned to the darkness of the tunnel. For a long moment, nothing happened.

Then the blackness shifted, like shadow on shadow. Suddenly a bellow of rage echoed from the opening. A second later, a wild bull galloped into the ring.

Taller than Priam and five times as wide, the beast looked like a small mountain. Muscle and sinew rippled as it stamped and snorted. She could see its matted black hair clumping around the wounds that zigzagged across its back. The cuts had not been made to tame the beast, but to enrage it. As the bull shook its barrel-sized head, she realized with horror that its horns had been sharpened to cruel points.

Papari cartwheeled to the nearest marble wall and scrambled over several rows of spectators until he sat quivering in mock fear on a fat woman’s lap, his head buried in her neck as she tried to push him off. Only one spectator laughed, and the sound of King Amyntas’s mirth was like a whip to the bull’s back. It roared in rage as wild bloodshot eyes locked on Cyn.

The bull pawed the ground as its red-brown eyes rolled. Then it charged.

Training took over. Cyn grabbed the sword and shield from the old man trembling beside her. He and the rest of her Queen’s Guard fled toward the nearest door, as did the spectators in the bottom rows.

Finding her center, she braced herself as the bull bore down on her. The heft of the wooden shield and the sword’s solid hilt gave her strength. It felt so right to have weapons in her hands again. She felt the blood pumping through her limbs, her heart racing in anticipation. The irony was that the king was doing this to harm her, but she had never felt so alive.

She counted the bull’s stride as it thundered toward her. Five strides until it reached her. Three…

There was a movement in the corner of her eye, and Priam leaped in front of her. His sudden appearance startled the bull, and it swerved, breaking its pace. Cyn gnashed her teeth. What was he doing? She had the situation under control!

The two other Macedonian guards appeared behind the creature just as a kick connected with Priam’s chest. An inhuman groan escaped Priam’s lungs as he was tossed back, all the way to the wall, where he slid to the ground in a quivering slump.

Cyn froze, torn between running to him and defending herself. Herod and Jamesh stabbed the creature’s back, but they’d misjudged the bull’s agility. It swung its head and impaled Herod, horns piercing through leather breastplate, muscles, and bones as if they were butter. The tips of the bull’s horns were visible through Herod’s back as Jamesh, horrified, stumbled backward and vomited. As the beast shook his head, the dead man’s arms and legs jerked hideously, like ribbons on an obscene hat.

Cyn stumbled back, bile rising in her throat.

Now. Now was the time to attack the beast, encumbered with the weight of the soldier.

“Over here!” she cried, banging her sword on the shield.

The bull, half-blinded by the body and half by rage, bellowed. It galloped in the direction of Cyn’s voice. She wasn’t sure if the spectators were still silent or not. If the audience had escaped or not. If Priam was dead or not.

Her entire world was hooves, horns, and fury.

Wait, she told herself, even when every particle of her being screamed at her to move. Not yet…not yet…NOW!

She dropped to her knees as the bull lunged.

With all her strength—with all her anger at Olympias, all her disgust at Amyntas’s mad games, and all her bitterness of being nothing more than just a girl—Cyn drove her sword upward, into the bull’s belly.

The force of the impaled creature wrenched the hilt out of her hands. She had only a breath to roll to the side as the beast tumbled, the weight of Herod’s body, still attached to the horns, pulling it forward. The animal landed on its face with a sickening crunch, followed by a snap that turned Cyn’s insides to liquid.

The bull gasped once, then was still.

Panting heavily, Cyn lurched to her feet. The remaining spectators sat frozen, eyes wide and mouths agape. But the king slouched on his throne, sipping his wine and frowning.

“You’ve ruined the game,” he drawled, his voice carrying in the abandoned arena.

Without responding, Cyn walked to the bull, put one daintily sandaled foot on its stomach, flexed her muscles, and, with all the strength she had left, pulled the sword from the beast’s thick, bleeding body.

 


There you have it! Reign of Serpents will be released tomorrow, June 27. The characters and story developed greatly between the first and second books and I’m excited to see what happens next! If you enjoyed this excerpt, be sure to check out the rest of the blogs below for the more from the Reign of Serpents blog tour!

Tuesday | Book N Authors
Wednesday| Reading With Cupcakes
Thursday | Anji Books
Friday | Lady Katie Reads