Monday, September 30, 2019

September Releases: Did I Read It?


So I recently started a monthly post that features upcoming releases I am looking forward to. I thought it would be fun to revisit those posts at the end of the month and see if I ended up reading the books or not and if I did see what I thought about it.

Head on over here to check out my September releases post.

I did not get to this one yet, but it is Loki so I am still excited.

I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH! Probably one of my favorite reads this year. I am obsessed. Check out my review here.

I was so bummed over this one. I just could not get into it and I DNFed it. 

This was a good one! I loved Theo and Huck so much. My review is here.

THIS ONE WAS SO MUCH FUN! Lucky is such a fantastic character. Check out my review here.

I haven't read this one and I actually still need to read the first book, but still excited for this series.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Book Blitz: The Aquarthi by: Amalie Howard (Excerpt & Giveaway)


Waterfell
Amalie Howard 
(The Aquarathi #1) 
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult



"THE DEEP CAN BE DEADLY…BUT LOVE CAN BE DEADLIER

Nerissa Marin is far from home. Though she lives an anonymous life on land during her cycle of human study, she is Aquarathi royalty by birth—and the future monarch of a hidden, undersea kingdom. But when her father is murdered, the human world becomes her only refuge.
Adrift and indifferent, Riss indulges her every whim, including her feelings for the new surf king of Dover Prep, Lokeane Seavon. But as the day she comes of age looms closer, old enemies appear and challenges are issued: If she forsakes her throne, her people will suffer for it.
To win her crown, she must become the queen she was born to be."


Other books in the series:



Get Waterfell for FREE for a limited time only!

I read Waterfell back when it first released. You can check out my review here.




EXCERPT:
“So my best friend is an alien sea princess,” Jenna says after a beat, “who transforms into human form but can’t go back home just yet.” I recognize the sound of when she’s in hyper-focused, game-face mode, and I blow out a soft breath. That’s a positive sign, at least. “Where is home exactly?”
“Ever heard of the Mariana Trench?” I ask her, and she nods. Of course she has. She’s Jenna, Jeopardy! champion of the world. “It’s the deepest part of your oceans. We make our home there…where we’re safe and hidden from humans.”
“Unless you come on land to learn about us if you’re the heir? Like you have.”
“Yes,” I say. “To not repeat history. We need to safeguard the waters of our home, too.”
“And now you’re stuck here because your father was killed,” Jenna says.
“Yes.”
“Will you go back?”
“I don’t know,” I answer honestly. “It’s complicated. There are others there who want us dead. Speio and his family most of all, because of their loyalty to me.”
Jenna gulps, glancing at him, but he’s staring at the water, lost in his own thoughts. She moves to sit again next to me at the pool’s edge, tucking her legs beneath her. Her eyes narrow as she studies my face, fascinated.
Belatedly, I remember that the protective film is no longer over my own alien eyes, so I blink to engage it. It’s similar to the nictitating membrane of a shark that goes over its eyes when it’s in attack mode, only ours is more of a defense mechanism to protect us from discovery.
“No,” she says. “Leave them the way they are. Please.”
I comply with some reluctance. I know what she’s seeing—the pale gold sclera, normally the white part of the human eye, surrounding large multicolored irises rimmed by electric gold rings. They scream alien in every way.
A part of me recoils at her scrutiny. Does she want to remind herself that she’s not talking to something human? Will she look at me differently now that she knows what I am?
“They’re so beautiful,” she murmurs after a while. “But definitely not human. Anyone could see that. Other than your eyes, you look so normal otherwise.” Her gaze drifts down my arms, torso, and legs. “I’ve seen you in the locker room after hockey games. You look like everyone else.”
“We mimic,” I say. “To blend in.”
“Mimic?”
“I can manipulate the water in my body into any form I wish, for short periods.”
Her eyes narrow. “Any form?”
“Yes, but human is preferred.”
Jenna tips her head to one side, chewing on her lip as if scared to ask the question lurking on her lips, but eventually she does. “So what do you really look like?”
“Are you sure you’re ready to see that?” Speio’s voice is cool. He doesn’t trust that Jenna won’t go screaming to the rooftops and out us all. But he doesn’t know her like I do—Jenna is loyal to the bone. Every drop of water in me knows that I can trust her.
“She’s ready,” I say, meeting Speio’s eyes.
He sucks air through his teeth, a disrespectful sound that I ignore, and stalks back into the house. But it will be better without him. I level Jenna with an unblinking, almost reptilian stare, and she holds my predator’s gaze without cringing. Her courage in the face of everything is heartening. I stare at her for a long time before I decide both our fates—hers for knowing, mine for telling. But she deserves to know.
“Speio doesn’t like that you told me, does he?” she asks, and I shake my head.
“He’ll get over it,” I whisper. “Do you trust me, Jenna?”
She nods. “With my life.”
“Then whatever you do, don’t run.”
The color drains from her face as I slip into the pool, feeling the flimsy weight of human bones inside of me start to dissolve. Almost immediately, they elongate into the delicate skeleton that shapes my Aquarathi form. Our spinal column is similar to humans, but that’s where the similarity ends. The rest of our bones expand outward like webs of coral, hard but malleable at the same time.
My frame lengthens and strengthens, cracking into place under skin that’s transforming into something rough and brilliant. My neck distends like a swan’s, the curvature of my jaw thrusting outward and filling with razor-sharp rows of teeth. The pain is fleeting over the pleasure of the change as my limbs fold inward, my diamond-hard, dragon-scaled hide drawing and tightening over sleek, coiled muscle, until at last, I shimmer into reptilian, monstrous existence.
In a matter of breaths, I no longer resemble anything human.



AMALIE HOWARD is the award-winning author of several young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, VOYA, School Library Journal, and Booklist, including Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Kid's INDIE NEXT selection. Her debut novel, Bloodspell, was a #1 bestseller in gothic fiction, and the sequel, Bloodcraft, was a national IPPY silver medalist and Children's Moonbeam Award winner. She is also the co-author of the #1 bestseller in Regency Romance, My Rogue, My Ruin, in the Lords of Essex historical romance series. She currently resides in Colorado with her husband and three children. Visit her at www.amaliehoward.com.



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Thursday, September 26, 2019

Recent Reads: Fae and Vampires

Recent Reads is feature here on the blog. The point is to feature books I've read recently in quick recap fashion with fun info-graphics. The info-graphics came from the Bookly app, which is a great app for bloggers. You can log quotes and thoughts and track your reading stats (and no I'm not paid for this, I just really like this app). Recently I dove into worlds of fae and vampires.



Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Book Review: Fortuna Sworn (Fortuna Sworn #1) by: K.J. Sutton

Release Date: June 23, 2019
from Once Upon a Time Books, LLC
Goodreads | Amazon
Source: I received a complementary copy of this book from the author and voluntarily provided a fair and honest review.
"We were meant to be seductive. We were designed to lure humans in.

Fortuna Sworn is the last of her kind.

Her brother disappeared two years ago, leaving her with no family or species to speak of. She hides among humans, spending her days working at a bar and her nights searching for him. The bleak pattern goes on and on... until she catches the eye of a powerful faerie.

He makes no attempt to hide that he desires Fortuna. And in exchange for her, he offers something irresistible. So Fortuna reluctantly leaves her safe existence behind to step back into a world of creatures and power.

It soon becomes clear that she may not have bargained with her heart, but her very life."

My Thoughts:

Fortuna Sworn introduces the reader to an intriguing world full of dangerous fae and other paranormal creatures. Our heroine is a literal nightmare and she is dropped into a dangerous world where you really cannot trust anyone.

Fortuna is a good character and it’s easy to sympathize with her. She will go to extraordinary lengths to save her brother and she doesn’t back down from a challenge. Then there is Collith and I’m not ashamed to admit he is my favorite. He has his secrets and he is playing a long game, but it’s clear to the reader that he has it bad for Fortuna and that at his heart he wants to do what is right and make changes for the better. I really think these two would work so well together if they could just get it together and get on the same page. The cast is rounded out with some intriguing secondary characters. Laurie and Oliver are probably the most intriguing of those and Damon just breaks my heart. I will say though, I could have done without the kinda sorta love triangle that’s going on here. But to be fair, I am super picky with my love triangles. 

This book introduces the reader to an interesting world. We have the Unseelie and Seelie courts and this book definitely lays the groundwork for much more. I would have liked to have some of the world fleshed out a bit more in this one, but as this is the beginning of the series I have hopes that it will be expanded on as the series continues. With the way this book ended I am REALLY dying to see where this story goes.

All in all, Fortuna Sworn is a solid start to the series. There are intriguing characters and a dangerous world and look I’m a sucker for fae so I’m all in. if you too are like me and love these kind of worlds this is a good one.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Book Review: Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson #2) by: Patricia Briggs

Release Date: January 30, 2007
from Ace
Goodreads | Amazon

"Mechanic Mercy Thompson has friends in low places - and in dark ones. And now she owes one of them a favor. Since she can shapeshift at will, she agrees to act as some extra muscle when her vampire friend Stefan goes to deliver a message to another of his kind.

But this new vampire is hardly ordinary - and neither is the demon inside of him."

My Thoughts:

I have been making my way through the Mercyverse, but I have been going chronologically per the order of my Wifey, so it’s been a while since I’ve been with Mercy and man did it feel good to be back with her. I have thoroughly enjoyed every book and novella in this world, but Mercy is my favorite and she is my girl so it was fun getting back to her.

Blood Bound was such fun and I love that it centered around the vampires in this world. These vampires are so dangerous and pretty evil and that makes them so captivating. I adore Stefan and man he has won me over. Mercy of course gets wrapped up in some vampire drama, but there is nothing our girl can’t handle. She is tough as nails and fierce and a badass and I love her. And after this book I never want to hear anyone tell Mercy she can’t be involved or handle things ever again. And then we have Adam and Sam and man it’s like being stuck between a rock and a hard place. I adore Sam and what he is dealing with is utterly breaking my heart. He has been through so much and he clearly has so much more to work through. He is so sweet and calm and a big puppy dog. But……. My heart truly belongs to Adam and that’s where I feel like Mercy belongs. I LOVE Adam and his cranky pain in the butt self. I love how he puts others before himself and fights tooth and nail for those he cares about. AND HE AND MERCY ARE JUST FIRE. I ship it and I shall not be tamed.

Blood Bound was such a good read and I’m seriously loving every installment in this world. These characters are just so great and I’m so invested in all of them and I can’t wait to move on to the next one.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Recent Reads: Accountants and Witches and Saints

Recent Reads is feature here on the blog. The point is to feature books I've read recently in quick recap fashion with fun info-graphics. The info-graphics came from the Bookly app, which is a great app for bloggers. You can log quotes and thoughts and track your reading stats (and no I'm not paid for this, I just really like this app). Recently I dove into worlds of accountants, witches, and saints.



Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Mini Review: Lucky And The Axed Accountant (The Carriage House Capers #2) by: Emmy Grace

Release Date: September 18, 2019
Goodreads | Amazon
Source: I received a complementary copy of this book from the author and voluntarily provided a fair and honest review.
"**Lucky Boucher never has to go looking for trouble. Trouble finds her just fine all on its own.**

What do a stolen book, a waxing kit, and an axed accountant have in common?

You guessed it. Me. Lucky Boucher, the girl that’s a magnet for trouble.

I’m minding my own business when I find the town accountant dead in his office. My sweet friend and ancient mobster, Miss Haddy enlists my help to solve the crime. It turns out Andrew Ames kept more than tax records. He was the guardian of a black book filled with the secrets of nearly every resident in Salty Springs, and now it’s missing. That means double duty for me—recovering the book and catching a killer. Fortunately, I’m never without help. In this case, my crotchety landlady, a maddening ex-FBI agent, my lucky pig, Gumbo, and my boss and best friend, Regina, who also provides me with a steady stream of new products to test.

If you know me at all, you know things work out in the end, but the middle… Well, I just have one word for you.

Disaster."

My Thoughts:

This series is just so much fun and I can’t handle it. Lucky is just such fun as a character. She is a walking talking murder mystery solving disaster and I love her so much. She is just so much fun. Nothing ever seems to go right around her, until it does and she has a knack for solving mysteries. In this story, Lucky stumbles across the town’s accountant murdered and naturally this means she is on the case, because as it turns out, this accountant holds some secrets. And along the way to help her is our grumpy former FBI agent Liam. I also love Liam. He is so cranky and serious, but that makes him play off Lucky so well. Their banter is so much fun and I am getting immense enjoyment watching him constantly sneak up on Lucky. They are a great crime solving duo. And the cast of secondary characters is so great. I love Regina so much. And Miss Haddy is just something else. The cast of characters combined with the addictive quality of the plot just makes for a quick and fun and engaging read. Lucky And The Axed Accountant delivered in every single way.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Book Review: Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove #1) by: Shelby Mahurin

Release Date: September 3, 2019
from Harper Teen
Goodreads | Amazon
Source: I received a complementary copy of this book from the publisher via edelweiss and voluntarily provided a fair and honest review.
"Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou's, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou's most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all."

My Thoughts:

When I saw that this book had a romance between a witch and a witch hunter, I immediately was like SIGN ME UP I AM HERE FOR THIS. And turns out that initial reaction was correct because I loved Serpent & Dove. This is a great fantasy world with an intriguing magic system and great characters.

Lou is a great heroine. She is strong and smart and does what she needs to do to survive. I loved her wit and how she never backed down and how she refused to be controlled or told what to do. Then Reid… he is the tougher one. He has been brought up to believe certain things and that is always hard to break, but Lou makes him question things. Lou and Reid bicker constantly and seem to never agree on anything and you know doesn’t help that she is a witch and he is a witch hunter… but at the same time they just work. I loved their bickering and their chemistry was crazy. This book is enemies to lovers done so right. I also have to mention Coco, because I adore her. She’s a great friend to Lou and is just so great. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Ansel. Ansel is a muffin and he must be protected at all costs.

What I love best about this book is that there is no clear cut good and evil. Some say the witches are evil, but we’ve partially gotten there because they have been hunted and burned, so then the witches retaliate. But the Chasseur’s (witch hunters) believe they are good but can’t fathom that any witch could also be good and don’t even get me started on their views of women. So it’s a balance. Neither side is the good side and there are just good and bad people all caught up in this mess. Even our characters aren’t fully good or evil. Lou does some questionable things to survive and Reid really needs to sort out his world view… but neither of them are wholly bad and in the end everyone just has priorities and what they’re willing to fight for and cross lines for. Add on top of this a very intriguing magic system and addictive plot and killer romance and you have a book that is hard to put down.

Serpent & Dove is a really good read and such a promising start to the series. I already miss Lou and Reid and I cannot wait for more from this world.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Mini Review: Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega #2) by: Patricia Briggs

Release Date: August 25, 2009
from Ace Books
Goodreads | Amazon

"Anna Latham didn’t know how complicated life could be until she became a werewolf. And until she was mated to Charles Cornick, the son — and enforcer — of Bran, the leader of the North American werewolves, she didn’t know how dangerous it could be either...

Anna and Charles have just been enlisted to attend a summit to present Bran’s controversial proposition: that the wolves should finally reveal themselves to humans. But the most feared Alpha in Europe is dead set against the plan — and it seems like someone else might be too. When Anna is attacked by vampires using pack magic, the kind of power only werewolves should be able to draw on, Charles and Anna must combine their talents to hunt down whoever is behind it all — or risk losing everything..."

My Thoughts:

I am so hooked on this world and I’m just devouring these books. Hunting Ground was another great addition to this world and I am just loving Anna and Charles. These two! My heart! I adore Charles and his mother hen ways but I also love how he knows Anna needs to be her own person and doesn’t try to stifle that in any way. We love a hero who knows his heroines worth and lifts her up. And Anna is just… so wonderful. I love her and I love her strength and how far she has come. These two are still trying to find their footing and learn how to communicate but I love being along for the ride. It’s such an interesting dynamic because they are so clearly in love with one another but they haven’t quite nailed the communication thing just yet. I also loved the mystery aspect this brought and the way it wove in some of my favorite mythology. Also… Tom and Moira have my heart. Hunting Ground was another great read and I can’t wait to see what’s up next.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

On My Shelf: World War Z by: Max Brooks

On My Shelf is a feature I started here on the blog and I'm sure there are a ton of similar ones out there, but basically I just wanted to start spotlighting some of the MANY backlist titles I have accumulated on my shelf and kindle. The idea is to spotlight an older book I have on my massive TBR. I also thought it would be a fun way to discuss these books with my fellow bloggers, get some of your thoughts and figure out which ones I need to read ASAP and which ones can wait a bit more. And if you want to join in too, I would love to see what is on your shelf! Just leave me a link in the comments.


I bought this one after I saw the movie, because I really liked the movie. But then of course I just had so many other books I wanted to read and this one just got pushed to the side. I am not as obsessed with zombies as I once was, but I am still intrigued by this one.

So tell me. Have you read it? Did you love it? Hate it? Was it meh?

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