Roseblood Release Day Blitz

roseblood-rdb

Hey, guys, happy new 2017!! I have been eagerly anticipating new 2017 releases and today has been a pretty good book day. So many amazing books came out today. However, I an here to talk to you guys about one book in particular. I am so excited that ROSEBLOOD by A.G. Howard releases today and that I get to share the news! If you haven’t yet heard about this awesome retelling of The Phantom of the Opera be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a signed ROSEBLOOD poster and a mask courtesy of
A.G. and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

 

About The Book:

 Title: ROSEBLOOD
Author: A.G.
Howard
Pub.
Date:
 January 10, 2016
Publisher: Amulet
Books
Pages: 432
Formats: Hardcover,
paperback, eBook
In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned
to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.
At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.
 
 
About A.G. Howard
 

A.G. Howard was inspired to write SPLINTERED while working at a school library. She always wondered what would’ve happened had the subtle creepiness of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland taken center stage, and she hopes her darker and funkier tribute to Carroll will inspire readers to seek out the stories that won her heart as a
child.

When she’s not writing, A.G.’s pastimes are reading, rollerblading, gardening, and family vacations which often include impromptu side trips to 18th century graveyards or condemned schoolhouses to appease her overactive muse.

Giveaway Details:
 
1 winner will
receive a signed ROSEBLOOD poster and a Mask. US Only.
 
Ends on January
17th at Midnight EST!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Best Books of 2016

As promised, this week I am talking about the top 10 books I’ve read in 2016. Full disclosure, it took me ages to narrow it down to ten since I a lot of pretty good books came out this year. I also read a bunch of really bad ones (or ones that I personally think are highly overrated) but that’s a whole different matter. So, shall we start?

10. Ruined by Amy Tintera – I bought a copy of this in LA, having heard great things about Amy Tintera’s previous series. It’s about a girl, whose country is ravaged by war. Her family is killed and her sister is missing. She doesn’t have powers unlike her fellow countrymen but she’s hellbent on revenge and finding her sister. I really enjoyed this book. Was it perfect? No. But it was fast-paced, action-filled and overall incredibly enjoyable. I really liked Em and her chemistry with Casimir. It’s perfect for fans of Red Queen. ruined

9. My Lady Jane by Jodi Meadows, Cynthia Hand and Brodi Ashton – I got an ARC of this one at YALLWEST without knowing anything about it prior to meeting the authors. I have to admit though I really liked it. This is a comical, light-hearted reimagining of the story of Lady Jane Grey. It’s set during the reign of Edward VI but instead of the divide between Protestants and Catholics, there’s an ongoing war between Verities and Eðians, the latter being a form of shapeshifters. I was absolutely charmed by this book. It mocks sexist attitudes and 16th-century society in general. The plot is really well-developed and if you like your historicals with a dash of silliness definitely pick this one up.

8. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare – Okay, so I’m a huge fan of TMI and her shadowhunter series in general so naturally, when Lady Midnight came out I delved right in. In this installment, we’re following the life of Emma Carstairs (who we got to meet at the end of City of Heavenly Fire) and the LA institute. This whole book is just a perfect continuation of a beloved series and some of my favorite characters make an appearance so that’s always a plus in my books.

7. And I Darken by Kiersten White – It’s been ages since I read this one and I still cannot fully explain this gem. And I Darken caught me completely off guard. It’s so dark and gritty and unlike anything I’ve read. Lada was such a great if nasty heroine. I simply loved everything about this book. If you enjoy alternate history with a complex tangle of relationships, plus some LGBTQIA this is the book for you. darken

6. The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski – The Winner’s Kiss is the third and final book in The Winner’s Trilogy and, in my opinion, the best one. The Winner’s Curse was slow-paced, romance heavy book then The Winner’s Crime was virtually no romance, action-packed rollercoaster.This one though balanced intrigue, action, and romance and it was just a PERFECT conclusion to an amazing trilogy. If you haven’t read it yet, you’re missing out!

5. Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton – Well, technically I read a proof of this last December but the book came out in 2016 and I did read it again once the finished copies were out so it still counts! I actually didn’t expect to love Amani’s adventures as much as I did but there it is. I admit I was a bit wary because of the ‘western’ in a Middle Eastern setting thing but apart from Amani being an awesome shot there weren’t many westerny bits so I was able to focus and enjoy it more. shadows

4. A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab – This is the sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic and follows Kell as he comes to terms with the potentially lasting effects of what happened in the last book. Also, there’s more of Lila and let’s be honest. I really freaking love Lila Bard. This book goes deeper into a really well-developed fantasy world and the writing skill is superb. A little side note, the whole trilogy has been picked up by Netflix so there may be a potential TV show at some point in the future.

3. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo – This book hardly needs any prolonged explanation so really if you loved Six of Crows, well Crooked Kingdom is better! I adore Kaz and fell even more in love with Jesper and Wylan *sigh* dagger

2. The Rose & the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh – Another conclusion to a series I adore. There’s just something about Ahdieh’s world that keeps me reading until I realize I’ve just finished the whole thing in one sitting. We have a lot more political intrigue and betrayals in this one. We get to see more of Shazi’s sister and some really amazing ‘girls rock’ moments but let’s call it, shall we? We’re all reading it because of Khalid and his way with words…

1. The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman – I know a lot of people haven’t actually read this one yet but as we know I’m a huge Alison Goodman fan and it’s really no surprise I fell completely in love with this world. Set in 19th-century London, The Dark Days Club follows Lady Helen Wrexhall as she tries to navigate high society parties with her newfound supernatural abilities. It sounds pretty amazing, right? My only complaint was the sequel was so far away!

Top 10 2016 books I wish I got around to reading

I have been absent these past few weeks mainly because I was in a weird blogging and reading slump. Also, I have managed to successfully resuscitate my social life, which left me with zero free time. BUT, and there is a but here, the end of 2016 is just around the corner and I have finally mustered the will to get back to blogging, so what better topic than discussing the books I have bought/been given but never got around to reading. Let’s dive in. thousandth-floor

10. The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee – I was made aware of this book back in April when I got a proof copy at YALLWEST. It was marketed as a futuristic dystopian New York. I was intrigued. I wanted to read the proof but somehow I got sidetracked. Then when the book got released I fell in love with the stunning cover and promised myself I’d read it ASAP. Needless to say I never actually got around to reading it.

9. The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine – I bought this one back in January after reading a stellar review on Goodreads. The premise sounded interesting enough plus there was supposed to be an LGBTQ+ element so I was sold. Now that I read the synopsis again I keep wondering why I never read it…

8. The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron – Okay, so I don’t actually have this but I read a blurb online and thought it sounded original enough. I wanted to give it a try but I went to LA and well…next year, perhaps?

7. Blame by Simon Mayo –  This book first came to my attention when I heard the author speak at YALC. I didn’t know anything about it and I hadn’t read any of Mr. Mayo’s books before so I bought it and planned to read it on a plane ride to New York. Suffice to say it didn’t quite work out as I’d planned.

6. Flashfall by Jenny Moyer – My friend gave me an ARC of this a few months ago and told me to read it because I’d love it. I didn’t. Then I got the finished copy in this month’s Fairyloot and made a mental note to read it. I wish I did but I didn’t. moon-ours

5. When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore – This book has been praised by virtually every single blogger friend I have and let’s be honest the synopsis sounds AMAZING. I’m not sure why I still haven’t read it. There is NO EXCUSE, okay? I’m sorry.

4. Warrior Witch by Danielle L. Jensen – This is the final novel in a trilogy. I thought the first one was okay. I loved the second one. No idea why I haven’t finished the series by reading the last one but I hope to do so soon. Very soon.

3. Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima – I don’t have a finished copy of this but I do have an ARC that I never read. I loved her Seven Realms series and I remember I got so excited when I got an ARC. This was during an overwhelmingly bstarusy time at my job so I never actually got the time to read it and then I was trying to catch up with my TBR. I do apologize to the publisher, though. This is the only book I’d received a proof that I didn’t manage to review.

2. Stalking Jack the Reaper by Kerri Maniscalco – I actually started this book at the end of August. I just never got past the first few chapters.

1. The Midnight Star by Marie Lu – This hurts me to say since The Young Elites series is a particular favorite of mine. I pre-ordered it, received it, unpacked it and stuck it on my shelf because I was scared for Adelina. I will eventually get around to it, once I’ve reconciled myself with her potential demise.

And that’s it. These are my 2016 books I regret not reading. Tune in next week for my top 10 books of 2016.

November wrap-up

wrap-up-1

 

Can you, guys, believe it’s December already?!? Time truly is flying. But I digress. Since it’s the start of a new month I thought I should talk about all the books I’ve read this past November. I only read 15 books this month mostly due to my weeklong book hangover after I finished The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman. I was also in the mood for some classics afterward so I reread Jane Austin’s Persuasion, which never fails in making me feel good. Other things I did this month is starting a bunch of series that I’d had on my TBR list for a few months. But without further ado, here’s my list for November.

1. Earth’s End by Elise Kova

2. Persuasion by Jane Austin

3. Mercenary Magic by Ella Summers – this is the first book in an indie UF series.

4. Magic Games by Ella Summers

5. The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman – it’s coming out in January next year, so not long now!! This book is such an amazing sequel, I just cannot begin to explain how much I love everything Alison writes. You can see my mini review of the Pact here.

6. Arabella by Georgette Heyer

7. Dragonfly by Julia Golding – about 4 weeks later and I still don’t know how I feel about this book. I thought it’d be a fantasy adventure but it felt a bit protracted at places and I’m not sure I liked the resolution at the end.

8. Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst – I was really looking forward to this book because magical creatures and some LGBTQ romance/friendship!! But this has to be one of the biggest letdowns for me this year. It was slow and boring and I just didn’t care about any of the characters. *sigh* Better diverse books next year, please!!

9. Shadows by Paula Weston – okay, so here’s the deal. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED the Rephaim series. In fact, I was so hooked I binge read them all from Friday evening to Sunday. And then I was empty and sad because I wanted more. Then came the hangover, which is another reason why I read only 15 books this year. After that, I started plotting and planning for a whole week focused on the Rephaim series (which will be next week hopefully!) and I’m now officially dubbing it “Weston Week”.

10. Haze by Paula Weston

11. Shimmer by Paula Weston

12. Burn by Paula Weston

13. Written in Red by Anne Bishop – The Others is another series apart from The Rephaim that I’ve had in my TBR for months and finally got around to reading. I am so glad I did because I really liked it, well minus the third book Vision in Silver. I found Meg a bit OOC and frankly, everything I loved about her from books one and two was basically non-existent. You can read my review of Written in Red here.

14. Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop

15. Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop – I have not read the fourth one yet but I’m hoping HOPING it will be back to the awesomeness of the first two books from there because I really didn’t enjoy Vision in Silver as much as them.

* I also read The Moth and the Flame by Renée Ahdiehm which is a short story centered around Jalal and Despina that I really enjoyed.

So this it, my November wrap up. I’ve read some pretty amazing books these past four weeks and I really hope I get to do it again in December. Nothing gets to me more than a series of bad books and I mean NOTHING! So December TBR, please be kind!

Written in Red: Review

I know I’m a little late in picking up this series but in my defence I was really looking forward to those soft mass market paperbacks. Do you guys know what I’m talking about? The ones that are so flexible and bendable without actually breaking the spine and damaging the book in general. I love those. So yeah, I’ve been waiting to pick up this series in mass market paperbacks. So when I found them at a Black Friday deal at my local bookstore I was quick to purchase them. I practically devoured Written in Red and Murder of Crows this past weekend because this series is THAT good but back to Written in Red, here’s the synopsis from Goodreads.

 

No one creates realms like New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop. Now in a thrilling new fantasy series, enter a world inhabited by the Others, unearthly entities—vampires and shape-shifters among them—who rule the Earth and whose prey are humans.

As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.

Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely followwritten-in-red

 

The first thing I thought when I started reading this was this is different. And it is. In fact, it was so unique I had a bit of trouble recalibrating my brain into accepting the ways the Others thought of humans.

That being said, the things I loved most about this book was the world-building, which was done exquisitely. From the werewolf culture to the way the Others interact with humans, Written in Red presents a wholly different take on werewolf-human relations.  I also liked Meg a lot. I loved learning about this new world through her eyes. She was such a fresh take on an otherwise overdone protagonist that I couldn’t help myself but love her for it. I enjoyed her interactions with the Others and especially with Simon’s nephew Sam. Those two together were so adorable!! I think it was easier for Meg to connect with Sam because of her innate childlike innocence, which should be a testament to how well written this book is because I usually find childlike behavior in my heroines annoying.

What I didn’t like, however, was the villain(s). I found Asia Crane a tad boring and more irritating than threatening. I couldn’t be bothered with her scenes but I forced myself to power through them so I can get back to the good bits, which is not how you want your readers to feel about the bad guy in your book.

All in all, I thought this was a great start to a new UF/Paranormal series and while I found the villain a bit of a letdown it didn’t detract too much from my overall enjoyment of the book. What made me pick up the second book, however, was the fact that Written in Red didn’t jump straight into the predictable pattern of human-werewolf love and while there is an undeniable attraction between Meg and Simon, they both find each other too confusing to even entertain the possibility of a relationship between them. I, personally, cannot wait to pick up the next installments and see what Bishop has in store for us.

 

Pantomime by Laura Lam: Review

In a land of lost wonders, the past is stirring once more

Gene’s life resembles a debutante’s dream. Yet she hides a secret that would see her shunned by the nobility. Gene is both male and female. Then she displays unwanted magical abilities – last seen in mysterious beings from an almost-forgotten age. Matters escalate further when her parents plan a devastating betrayal, so she flees home, dressed as a boy. pantomimecovertor

The city beyond contains glowing glass relics from a lost civilization. They call to her, but she wants freedom not mysteries. So, reinvented as ‘Micah Grey’, Gene joins the circus. As an aerialist, she discovers the joy of flight – but the circus has a dark side. She’s also plagued by visions foretelling danger. A storm is howling in from the past, but will she heed its roar?

I received a review copy from the lovely guys over at Tor and have to admit couldn’t resist starting it the moment I got it out of the package. I didn’t really know that much about the book before I started it so I had no expectations whatsoever and I’m glad about that. This was such a unique book. There is no other way to describe it. The writing was incredibly beautiful, the characters beyond lovable and the world so well built I felt completely immersed. What impressed me most though is the character development of Gene/Micah throughout the book. The way Lam dealt with sexuality and identity was such an inspiration, especially in the context of everything that has been happening so far in 2016. And while Pantomime does deal with such important issues, there’s also action and romance and a little bit of drama, too. It is truly an enchanting mix of everything a transgender protagonist might encounter on the way to acceptance both by themselves and by society. Also, there’s a circus. I mean, how much more awesomeness can this book pack?!? In keeping up with the amazing writing, Laura Lam has managed to capture the magical essence and the awe-inspiring atmosphere of a circus. She has described that feeling of wonder you get every time you step inside a circus tent with such an ease that I cannot help but ask for more of this extraordinary journey.

Wednesday Wish List -23rd Nov + GIVEAWAY

1

A 17-year-old pirate captain intentionally allows herself to get captured by enemy pirates in this thrilling YA adventure.

If you want something done right . . . king-pirate

When the ruthless pirate king learns of a legendary treasure map hidden on an enemy ship, his daughter, Alosa, knows there’s only one pirate for the job—herself. Leaving behind her beloved ship and crew, Alosa deliberately facilitates her own kidnapping to ensure her passage on the ship, confident in her ability to overcome any obstacle. After all, who’s going to suspect a seventeen-year-old girl locked in a cell? Then she meets the (surprisingly perceptive and unfairly attractive) first mate, Riden, who is charged with finding out all her secrets. Now it’s down to a battle of wits and will . . . . Can Alosa find the map and escape before Riden figures out her plan?

Debut author Tricia Levenseller blends action, adventure, romance, and a little bit of magic into a thrilling YA pirate tale.

I haven’t been as active this month as I would have liked but for Wednesday Wish List this week I thought I’d introduce you guys to one of my most anticipated books of 2017. I am really excited for this because PIRATES! I also think Alosa has the potential to be pretty badass so that’s a huge plus in my books. I have to admit I don’t usually like cover changes unless the cover is exceptionally bad. When I heard the publishers had decided to redesign the cover, naturally I was skeptic about it. I needn’t have worried. This version is so much better and I love the darker background. I cannot wait to pick this beauty up once it’s out. Also thanks to the amazing Tricia I have a spare set of signed bookmarks that are up for grabs. They are pretty awesome and if you want to be in with a chance to win them, enter bellow.

a Rafflecopter giveaway