Blog Tour: Raves & Craves of Given to the Earth by Mindy McGinnis

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Given to the Earth Cover

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Title: Given to the Earth
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Publisher: Putnam’s Childrens
Release Date: April 10, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis:

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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Given to the Earth follows a few months after the captivating ending of Given to the Sea. Also, told in multiple points-of-view like its fantasy duo, this book focuses on how Khosa’s thought-to-be tragic sacrifice to the sea has now turned into a chance to live and be queen. But with these new changes in motion, the Earth begins to literally crumble beneath them and the loyalties among the characters are challenged. Love becomes a triangle of complexities–trust and forgiveness are tested. McGinnis writes a beautiful epic story, where lives at social and cultural classes are pushed to survive. She takes each of her flawed characters, and gives them a chance to save themselves, their family and friends, and in some cases, their own people and kingdom.

What I loved about this book the most was the many shocking secrets that are revealed. We delve into an action-packed book that is filled with tragic traditions, political gain, and secretive histories. In Given to the Earth, we are thrown into layers of political intrigue, betrayal, heartbreak, and some tragic endings. And in the end, I loved the last chapter, which brilliantly and beautifully provides a heartfelt conclusion.

 

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In several scenes of Given to the Earth, Khosa is mentioned to be eating bread or munching on bread crumbs. Now I love me some good, warm homemade bread, but I also have a sweet tooth. While reading these scenes, I could not stop thinking about my mom’s famous monkey bread. So of course, I quickly whipped up a batch of monkey bread and ate it during the last few chapters of the book. Both the monkey bread and the last chapter made an ooey-gooey mess with my heart.


Ingredients:

Canned biscuits (1 to 2 cans)
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of white sugar
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
1/2 cup of butter or margarine

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees
  2. Lightly grease a bundt pan
  3. Mix the white sugar and cinnamon in a bowl or plastic bag
  4. Cut up biscuit dough into bite-sized pieces
  5. Mix and coat the bite-sized biscuit dough in the sugar-cinnamon mix
  6. At medium heat, boil the butter and brown sugar in a pan to make a sauce
  7. Add and arrange the sugar-cinnamon biscuits pieces into the greased bundt pan.
  8. Pour the buttery-brown sugar sauce over top the coated biscuit pieces in the bundt pan
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Let it cool for 10 minutes and flip onto a plate. You can now slice the cake or pull pieces off. YUM!

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GIVEN TO THE SEA

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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.


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Note: Thank you to Penguin Teen for having me on this blog tour and for providing me a review copy to read for free in exchange for an honest review. All statements and opinions are my own.

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Blog Tour: Raves & Craves of Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills

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Welcome fellow book-ravers, and thank you for joining me today for my stop on Fierce Reads’ Foolish Hearts Blog Tour. Today I will be raving about my love for Emma Mills’ Foolish Hearts and pairing it with a snack recommendation. Enjoy!

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Title: Foolish Hearts
Author: Emma Mills 

Publication Date: December 5, 2017
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co./Macmillan
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary 

Synopsis:

A contemporary novel about a girl whose high school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream leads her to new friends—and maybe even new love.

The day of the last party of the summer, Claudia overhears a conversation she wasn’t supposed to. Now on the wrong side of one of the meanest girls in school, Claudia doesn’t know what to expect when the two are paired up to write a paper—let alone when they’re both forced to try out for the school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

But mandatory participation has its upsides—namely, an unexpected friendship, a boy band obsession, and a guy with the best dimpled smile Claudia’s ever seen. As Claudia’s world starts to expand, she finds that maybe there are some things worth sticking her neck out for.

LINKS:   Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  The Book Depository


raves for foolish hearts

Oh, Foolish Hearts, how do I love you? Let me count the ways. First, this book has everything from great family dynamics, amazing friendships, and a sprinkle of quirky characters. I am a sucker for sarcastic characters–the wittier, the better–and of course, Emma Mills does not disappoint with her main character Claudia.

I adored Claudia throughout the story. She’s smart, creative, snarky, and gives herself room to mope but also grow. And when it comes to friendships in Foolish Hearts, I love that it is Claudia’s truthful and witty personality that attracts Gideon to befriend her. Gideon and Claudia belong on two different sides of the introvert v. extrovert spectrum, but I love that they are always on the same wavelength. Their chemistry and banter are perfect, which allows this book to be the epitome of constant smile with the cutest dimples that will make you swoon. 

I adored this book, the characters, and all the crazy shenanigans that come with it. Add in video game quests, boy band obsession, amazing friendships, broken hearts, mending hearts, and a Shakespeare comedy, and you get one of the swooniest, funniest, and heartwarming stories called Foolish Hearts

craves for foolish hearts

In Foolish Hearts, Claudia is introduced to Gideon’s random quirks and “strange things Gideon says or does,” which are documented by his friends on an online account: JustGideonPrewittThings. One of Gideon’s strange preferences is that he likes to eat his cereal soggy. So today, I thought I would “taste test” Gideon’s soggy cereal preference with Froot Loops.

ingredients
Ingredients:
Cereal of your choice and milk. Don’t forget a bowl and a spoon.

Swirl break

CONTROL GROUP

control cereal
Eat the cereal with no added milk.

Swirl break

SOGGY CEREAL

soggy cereal
For “Soggy” Cereal, Gideon pours milk into a bowl of cereal and lets the concoction “marinate” for about ten minutes.

Swirl break

CRUNCHY CEREAL

cruncy cereal
Pour cereal and milk into a bowl, and start eating it for that perfect crunch.

Swirl break

THE WINNER!

I am a texture eater, so soggy cereal is out for me. CRUNCHY CEREAL WITH MILK, ALL THE WAY! Sorry not sorry, Gideon. 

Which way do you prefer eating a bowl of cereal? Comment below, if you like crunchy or soggy, or no milk at all. I would love to hear your thoughts and how you compare to Gideon. 

about emma mills

Emma   Mills

Emma Mills is an author better known to her subscribers as vlogger Elmify. She is also cocreator and cohost of the “life skills” channel How to Adult, which ended in 2016.

Website • Twitter • Goodreads

tour schedule foolish hearts

December 5
Fire and Ice Reads – Author Guest Post

December 6
Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile – Raves & Craves

December 7
Ex Libris – Playlist

December 8
Fiction Fares – Mood Board

December 9
Mary Had a Little Book Blog – Shakespeare Theme

December 10
Brittany’s Book Rambles – Author Interview

December 11
The Fox’s Hideaway – Shakespeare Theme

December 12
Alexa Loves Books – Gift Guides for Gideon and Claudia

December 13
Lisa Lost In Lit – Bookish Inspiration Post

Raves & Craves: Hunting Prince Dracula Street Team Blog Tour & Giveaway

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Title:
 Hunting Prince Dracula
By: Kerri Maniscalco
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Genres: Fiction, Young Adult, Mystery, Historical Fiction, Horror, Romance

About the Book:

In this hotly anticipated sequel to the haunting #1 bestseller Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer…or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

Amazon Barnes & Noble | Book Depository IndieBound

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PRAISE FOR HUNTING PRINCE DRACULA

“There are plenty of suspects and red herrings as well as tense escalations….A scenic, twisty mystery.”
Kirkus Reviews

 “Readers of the previous mystery will be thrilled to have more of this likable duo. [A] delightful romp into an 1888 Gothic mystery with a hint of romance.”
School Library Connection

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Kerri Maniscalco
About the Author:

Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats.

Her first novel in this series, Stalking Jack the Ripper, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. It incorporates her love of forensic science and unsolved history.

Twitter   |  Facebook   |   Instagram   |   Website   |   Tumblr   |   Pinterest


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THE RAVES: A SHORT REVIEW

I am absolutely in love with Kerri’s rich way of storytelling and her well-developed characters. While reading, Hunting Prince Dracula, I was transfixed with the mystery, thrills, chills, spooky setting, and the amazing character development. There are a lot of twists and turns in this book, and I will tell you one thing, I did not see any of those surprising revelations coming at the end. WOO I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH!

Additionally, I absolutely adore the two main characters, Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell. I love the chemistry between these two characters. I really enjoyed the banter and witty remarks they bounce off each other, which always had me swooning and laughing. Audrey Rose and Thomas are my favorite OTP. 

Overall, Hunting Prince Dracula is so well-paced and is very intriguing from start to finish. Audrey Rose and Thomas’ adventure in Romania is suspenseful, mysterious, and will have you on the edge of your seat. Not only does this book contain scenes that will give you goosebumps, but I also found comic relief in Thomas’ quirky comments. If you love the Sherlock Holmes series and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this book (and the whole series) is for you. 

THE CRAVES: BAT TRAIL MIX

While reading any book, I usually have a snack at my side. Hunting Prince Dracula is filled with thrilling and chilling scenes, and I was often creeped out by the detailed scenes of bat attacks and gigantic spiders. So in regards to a snack-able crave for Hunting Prince Dracula, I decided to create a BAT TRAIL MIX. Hoping to create a trail mix that parallels a bat’s favorite foods/diet, and after watching numerous YouTube videos of cute bats eating different fruits and insects, I made sure to include seeds and fruits in the trail mix, along with a few of my favorite munchies.

Ingredients:
For this snack, you will only need a few ingredients. Because you often find bats eating fruits and seeds, I included fresh green grapes (you can add any berries or fruits you like), pumpkins seeds, and sunflower seeds. With my own spin, I included a few of my favorite snacks to add a bit of saltiness, which were pretzels and Cheez-its.


Directions:
In a bowl, add and mix all the ingredients. WHA-LA! You have the perfect trail mix fit for a bat and yourself.

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Week One
August 21st ~ Paper Cuts: Hunting Prince Dracula Playlist

August 22nd ~ Literary Legionnaire: Review of Hunting Prince Dracula
August 24th ~ Arctic Books: Hunting Prince Dracula Playlist
August 25th ~ 21st Century Once Upon A Times: A “Drink Your way through SJTR: Tea Edition”

Week Two
August 28th ~ Hiver Et Ca: History of Prince Dracula

August 29th ~ Justice Reads: Review of Hunting Prince Dracula
August 30th ~ Nicole’s Novel Reads: Travelling Etiquette and tips for Victorian Women
August 31st ~ Sophie Reads YA: Favourite Stalking Jack the Ripper Fanart
September 1st ~ LILbooKlovers: Top Ten Quotes from Stalking Jack the Ripper

Week Three
September 4th ~ One Way or An Author: Hunting Prince Dracula Phone Backgrounds

September 5th ~ A Blinding Book: Hunting Prince Dracula Aesthetic
September 6th ~ Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile: Review & Snacks
September 7th ~ Rattle the Stars: Hunting Prince Dracula Playlist
September 8th ~ A Gingerly Reviews: Hunting Prince Dracula Review

Week Forth
September 11th ~ The Plot Bunny: Hunting Prince Dracula Ctomer Ideas

September 12th ~ Blame it on The Books: Hunting Prince Dracula Review
September 13th ~ The Reader & the Chef : Hunting Prince Dracula’s Menu
September 14th ~ Books, Tv, and More…Oh MY!!: Top Ten Favourite Traits of Audrey & Thomas
September 15th ~ Unquenchable Reads : GIF, GIFS, and more GIFS

Week Five
September 18th ~ Rattle the Pages : A Glimpse Back in Time: Vlad The Impaler edition

September 19th ~ Beyond the Book Reviews: Character Wears of the 21st Century
September 20th ~ The Heart of a Book Blogger : Hunting Prince Dracula Mood Board

Raves & Craves: Zodiac Rereadathon & Giveaway

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Hi everyone, thank you for joining me today for Penguin Teen’s rereadathon campaign of the Zodiac series by Romina Russell. Below check out information about Zodiac, my RAVING review and a snack recommendation for Zodiac, and enter the giveaway to win a set of the Zodiac series. Good luck and enjoy!

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Title:  Zodiac

Author: Romina Russell
Publication date: December 9, 2014
Publisher:  Razorbill (Penguin/Random House)
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance

About the book:

At the dawn of time, there were 13 Houses in the Zodiac Galaxy. Now only 12 remain….

Rhoma Grace is a 16-year-old student from House Cancer with an unusual way of reading the stars. While her classmates use measurements to make accurate astrological predictions, Rho can’t solve for ‘x’ to save her life—so instead, she looks up at the night sky and makes up stories.

When a violent blast strikes the moons of Cancer, sending its ocean planet off-kilter and killing thousands of citizens—including its beloved Guardian—Rho is more surprised than anyone when she is named the House’s new leader. But, a true Cancerian who loves her home fiercely and will protect her people no matter what, Rho accepts.

Then, when more Houses fall victim to freak weather catastrophes, Rho starts seeing a pattern in the stars. She suspects Ophiuchus—the exiled 13th Guardian of Zodiac legend—has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy. Now Rho—along with Hysan Dax, a young envoy from House Libra, and Mathias, her guide and a member of her Royal Guard—must travel through the Zodiac to warn the other Guardians.

But who will believe anything this young novice says? Whom can Rho trust in a universe defined by differences? And how can she convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac?

Embark on a dazzling journey with ZODIAC, the first novel in an epic sci-fi-meets-high-fantasy series set in a galaxy inspired by the astrological signs.

LINKS: Goodreads |  IndieBound  | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  The Book Depository


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THE RAVES: A SHORT REVIEW

Zodiac is a unique read that blends both astronomy and astrology into a space adventure story that focuses on a young heroine, Rho, trying to make sure that good conquers evil. Throughout the novel, Rho is tested not only by her own home, the House of Cancer, but by the other Guardians and Houses that she is trying to convince are all in danger. Reluctantly, she has to warn everyone that their common enemy is someone that they all thought was only a legend. Zodiac is an action-packed page-turner with intense scenes, charming male characters, and a plot-line filled with twists, turns, and so many mysteries. I could not put this book down. 

THE CRAVES: GALAXY POPCORN

While reading any book, I usually have a snack at my side. Zodiac is filled with intriguing moments and scenes, and I was always reaching for something to munch on but never turning my eyes from the page. While reading Zodiac, I turned to one of my favorite snacks that I always crave but added a sweet twist to it: Popcorn with a hint of sweetness from sprinkles.

Ingredients:
For this snack, you will only need two ingredients:  popcorn and sprinkles. I decided to use regular popcorn, because I love the salty taste, and different colored sprinkles, which include star-shaped and sparkling sugar.


Directions:
Pop your popcorn, according to the directions on the packet, and then add your sprinkles of choice. WHA-LA! You have the perfect mix of a salty snack with a hint of sweetness. 



♦◊♦ ENTER THE GIVEAWAY ♦◊♦

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Enter for a chance to win either one (1) grand prize set of Romina Russell’s Zodiac Series in paperback, including Zodiac, Wandering Star, and Black Moon (32.97) or to be one (1) of five (5) second place winners to receive a copy of Zodiac by Romina Russell (ARV: $10.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on June 26th, 2017 and 12:00 AM on July 17, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about July 21, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

 


Don’t forget to join us for the Twitter Chat on July 16 hosted by Brittany at @BBOOKRAMBLES
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Note: Thank you Penguin Teen 
for allowing me to be a part of the #ZodiacBooks ReReadathon campaign.