Waiting On Wednesday: Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake

waiting on wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights pre-publication/upcoming releases that readers cannot wait to get their hands on. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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Title: Beyond a Darkened Shore
Author: Jessica Leake
Publication date: April 10, 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical, Romance

Synopsis

The ancient land of Éirinn is mired in war. Ciara, Princess of Mide, has never known a time when Éirinn’s kingdoms were not battling for power, or Northmen were not plundering their shores.

The people of Mide have thankfully always been safe because of Ciara’s unearthly ability to control her enemies’ minds and actions. But lately, a mysterious crow has been appearing to Ciara, whispering warnings of an even darker threat. Although her clansmen dismiss her visions as pagan nonsense, Ciara fears this coming evil will destroy not just Éirinn, but the entire world.

Then the crow leads Ciara to Leif, a young Northman leader. Leif should be Ciara’s enemy, but when Ciara discovers that he, too, shares her prophetic visions, she knows he’s something more. Leif is mounting an impressive army, and with Ciara’s strength in battle the two might have a chance to save their world.

With evil rising around them, they’ll do what it takes to defend the land they love…even if it means making the greatest sacrifice of all. 

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Could Re-read Forever

Formerly hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl


This week’s topic is…

 Books I Could Re-read Forever

(CLICK ON THE BOOK COVER TO BE LINKED TO ITS GOODREADS’ PAGE)

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What are some books you could reread forever?

If It’s Not a Rant, It’s a Rave: Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller

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Title: 
 Daughter of the Siren Queen
Author: Tricia Levenseller
Publication date: February 27, 2018
Publisher:  Feiwel & Friends
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure, Romance

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Synopsis:

Alosa’s mission is finally complete. Not only has she recovered all three pieces of the map to a legendary hidden treasure, but the pirates who originally took her captive are now prisoners on her ship. Still unfairly attractive and unexpectedly loyal, first mate Riden is a constant distraction, but now he’s under her orders. And she takes great comfort in knowing that the villainous Vordan will soon be facing her father’s justice.

When Vordan exposes a secret her father has kept for years, Alosa and her crew find themselves in a deadly race with the feared Pirate King. Despite the danger, Alosa knows they will recover the treasure first . . . after all, she is the daughter of the Siren Queen.


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Sequels are always “iffy” for me, but wow, The Daughter of the Siren Queen blew me out of the water. The story starts off right where the last book ended. From the very beginning, this novel is off with a bang and the action doesn’t stop there. It felt great to be back in Alosa’s world filled with brave and fierce comrades, female pirates with spunk, courage, and a fondness for sisterhood.

The Daughter of the Siren Queen is Alosa’s life story of betrayal, sacrifice, and my favorite, a swoony romance. I really like that Alosa is a self-rescuing heroine. She is a badass, female pirate (captain) with so much wit, fierecness, and fight in her soul. Like in the previous book, Alosa highly values and praises her crew and her friends. She’s an exceptional leader and the perfect character to help you survive any enemy attack. 

Also, I continued to love Tricia’s writing style in this second book, because she makes her characters seem so lifelike; their stories are so engaging and worth following. The storyline flows so well with the perfect amount of action and pacing. The Daughter of the Siren Queen is such an enthralling story that I didn’t realize I was almost done with it until I sadly found myself with only 10 pages left to read. I love the adventure and pirate lore that is littered in the pages. And you all, I didn’t want this story to end. I know this series is just a duology, but I am so greedy for another book or a spinoff series. 

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Note: Thank you Macmillan for providing me an arc/galley of this book to read and review for free in exchange for an honest review. All statements and opinions are my own.

Waiting On Wednesday: Isle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier

waiting on wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights pre-publication/upcoming releases that readers cannot wait to get their hands on. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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Title: Isle of Blood and Stone
Author: Makiia Lucier
Publication date: April 10, 2018
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Genres:  Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis

Ulises asked, “How can I look at these maps, see this riddle, and do nothing? They are my brothers.”

Elias reached across the table and flicked aside two shells with a fingertip. The map curled into itself. “It’s bound to be a goose chase. You know that?”

“Or a treasure hunt,” Ulises countered, “and you’ve always been good at those.”

Nineteen-year-old Elias is a royal explorer, a skilled mapmaker, and the new king of del Mar’s oldest friend. Soon he will embark on the adventure of a lifetime, an expedition past the Strait of Cain and into uncharted waters. Nothing stands in his way…until a long-ago tragedy creeps back into the light, threatening all he holds dear.

The people of St. John del Mar have never recovered from the loss of their boy princes, kidnapped eighteen years ago, both presumed dead. But when two maps surface, each bearing the same hidden riddle, troubling questions arise. What really happened to the young heirs? And why do the maps appear to be drawn by Lord Antoni, Elias’s father, who vanished on that same fateful day? With the king’s beautiful cousin by his side-whether he wants her there or not-Elias will race to solve the riddle of the princes. He will have to use his wits and guard his back. Because some truths are better left buried…and an unknown enemy stalks his every turn. 

 

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Decided I’m No Longer Interested In Reading

Formerly hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl


This week’s topic is…

 Books I’ve Decided I’m No Longer Interested In Reading

(CLICK ON THE BOOK COVER TO BE LINKED TO ITS GOODREADS’ PAGE)

Below are books that I was interested in reading at one time, but lately I’m not feeling that want anymore (mainly because I am a cursed, mood reader). 

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What are some books that you could not wait to read, but lately have changed your mind about?

Author Q&A: By A Charm & A Curse by Jaime Questell

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Title:
By a Charm & A Curse
Author:  Jaime Questell
Published by: Entangled: Teen
Publication date: February 6, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Synopsis:

Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic isn’t like other traveling circuses. It’s bound by a charm, held together by a centuries-old curse, that protects its members from ever growing older or getting hurt. Emmaline King is drawn to the circus like a moth to a flame…and unwittingly recruited into its folds by a mysterious teen boy whose kiss is as cold as ice.

Forced to travel through Texas as the new Girl in the Box, Emmaline is completely trapped. Breaking the curse seems like her only chance at freedom, but with no curse, there’s no charm, either—dooming everyone who calls the Carnival Fantastic home. Including the boy she’s afraid she’s falling for. 

Everything—including his life—could end with just one kiss.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble  /  Book Depository


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Hi everyone, welcome to my first ever “Question & Answer” Author post….EEEEK! Today, I am interviewing the amazing and talented writer Jaime Questell, the author of By A Charm & A Curse. You can see my review of the book HERE. But without further ado, it’s time for the main show! 

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1.      Describe By A Charm & A Curse in one sentence.
J.Q.: A story about a girl trapped in a carnival’s curse, forced to either transfer it or break it before the life of the boy she loves is endangered.

2.      How did the idea of the book originate? Which came first: the characters, the world, or the plot?
J.Q.:
The first thing I had was a girl falling from a great height. Then I asked myself why she was falling, from where did she fall and did she survive? Magic, that was how she survived. Everything spun out of that image and the answers to those questions.

3.      Did you do any research for the book? If so, what was the oddest or weirdest thing you found in your research?
J.Q.: I did! I researched terminology and looked up old pictures of circuses and carnivals. I don’t know if I’d call it odd, but I will say I found the photos of abandoned carnival rides strangely pretty. I tried to work in some of that haunting creepiness into my book.

4.      If you could have dinner with one of your characters, who would you pick and why?
J.Q.: I would totally have dinner with Leslie. Aside from the fact that that woman probably needs a break, I think that she’s seen so much over the years and would have the best stories to tell. 

Let’s talk about you…

1.      What’s one fun fact that most people don’t know about you?
J.Q.:
I have the biggest, most ridiculous nail polish collection. I’m sure that there are some people who have more, but mine merits its own piece of furniture. 😀

2.      What was your favorite part about writing this book? What was your least favorite part about the writing process?
J.Q.: I loved working in the little touches of magic. I knew my world didn’t have the sparkles-and-faeries everywhere kind of magic, so slipping it in here and there became a fun game I played with myself. And the least favorite part was probably the revisions at the end. There comes a point where even though you know you’re working to make your book better, you’re so sick of your own words that you don’t want to look at them anymore. 

3.      If you were to trade places with Melissa McCarthy in this .gif, which book/books are your always insisting people to read? 

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J.Q.: Hahaha, first of all, this GIF is hilarious. Second, I think it would be anything by Leigh Bardugo. She writes beautiful stories in these fully-fleshed out worlds that feel so lush and so well-thought out. As someone who struggles with world building, I admire this greatly. 

4.      Do you have any plans to write a sequel, companion novel, or another book set in a different world? If so, can you give us any hints about the synopsis?
J.Q.: I’ll never say never, but at the moment, I don’t have any plans. But, if I did, I could imagine a spin-off with Marcel and Whiskey taking the lead. 

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A huge “THANK YOU” to Jaime for taking the time to answer my questions; you are a rockstar! If you haven’t yet read By A Curse & A Charm, please prepare yourself for a dark morsel of carnival curses and magical shenanigans.

Blog Tour & Giveaway: By A Charm & A Curse by Jaime Questell

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34921588
Title:
By a Charm & a Curse
Author:  Jaime Questell
Published by: Entangled: Teen
Publication date: February 6, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Synopsis:

Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic isn’t like other traveling circuses. It’s bound by a charm, held together by a centuries-old curse, that protects its members from ever growing older or getting hurt. Emmaline King is drawn to the circus like a moth to a flame…and unwittingly recruited into its folds by a mysterious teen boy whose kiss is as cold as ice.

Forced to travel through Texas as the new Girl in the Box, Emmaline is completely trapped. Breaking the curse seems like her only chance at freedom, but with no curse, there’s no charm, either—dooming everyone who calls the Carnival Fantastic home. Including the boy she’s afraid she’s falling for. 

Everything—including his life—could end with just one kiss.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble  /  Book Depository


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By A Charm & A Curse is dark carnival novel that intertwines a story of sacrifice, love, and selflessness. The characters and the plot embrace you from the very beginning, sending you on a rollercoaster of thrills, chills, and a close up of the secretive and melancholic world of carnivals. I love carnival/circus books, and this book added a bit of fantasy and grittiness with twisted curses into the mix of Ferris wheels and fortune tellers. 

Told in multiple points-of-view, I liked that we got a unique look at both the historical pieces of a traveling carnival and the electrifying thrills of today’s carnivals. The main characters, Emma and Ben, both provide a very vibrant and straightforward account of their surroundings.  The story had some unexpected surprises, but the pacing had me longing for solutions for the hopeless and helpless characters that were cursed. By A Charm & A Curse is definitely a page-turner.

By A Charm & A Curse is a dollop of charms, suspense, romance, and darkness thrown into pages of decadent carnival magic. I enjoyed reading the connection that builds between Emma and Ben; however, I would have also loved more focus on the secondary characters, who all had some insane, mind-boggling talents (maybe we will get a companion novel or some novellas in the future!). Overall, this book becomes a complicated bundle of ancestral curses, but provides a beautiful outlook of a small community coming together to change fate.

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About Jaime Questell:

JAIME QUESTELL grew up in Houston, Texas, where she escaped the heat and humidity by diving into stacks of Baby Sitter’s Club and Sweet Valley High books. She has been a book seller (fair warning: book lovers who become book sellers will give half their paychecks right back to their employers), a professional knitter, a semi-professional baker, and now works as a graphic designer in addition to writing.

 

Author Links:

Author Website / Instagram / Twitter / Goodreads / Newsletter

NOTE:  Thank you to Netgalley and Entangled Teen for providing me an e-arc to read and review for free in exchange of an honest review.