Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday #17 - Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller


Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa @ Wishful Endings and spotlights the books we are excited about and have yet to read. This meme is based on Waiting on Wednesday which is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

I can't wait for...
Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller


Expected Publication: August 29, 2017
by Sourcebooks Fire
Goodreads

Synopsis: 
Perfect for fantasy fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo, the first book in this new duology features a compelling gender fluid main character, impressive worldbuilding, and fast-paced action. 


Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class--and the noble who destroyed Sal's home. 

When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand--the Queen's personal assassins, named after the ring she wears--Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge. 

But the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive. 

____________________________________

I was lucky enough to snag an ecopy of this from Netgalley a few months back and am really looking forward to starting it! It really does sound a lot like Throne of Glass and maybe a hint of Nevernight as well, but I'm eager to read some fantasy with a gender fluid character (because I just don't read enough lgbt / diverse books). Plus I love unique worldbuilding so that's a huge motivator as well. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

{Blog Tour & Giveaway} Guinevere: At The Dawn of Legend by Cheryl Carpinello

BeachBoundBooks is pleased to be coordinating a Blog Tour for the children's historical fiction book written by Cheryl Carpinello, Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend. The tour will run from July 17 - August 7, 2017.

2017-06-28

About the Book

Guinevere Dawn of Legend Cover FINAL Apple & B&N 

Title: Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend Book Two
Author: Cheryl Carpinello
Publisher: Beyond Today Educator 
Publication Date: June 21, 2017 
Number of Pages: 121 
Genre: Children's Historical Fiction 

Summary: “ Think before acting,” her father always warned. But Princess Guinevere is ruled by her heart. Her betrothal to King Arthur has not changed this. 

When Guinevere and Cedwyn’s latest adventure takes a dangerous turn, they find themselves embroiled in a life-or-death struggle as foretold by Merlyn’s Goddess of the Stones. 

Renegades—foiled in their attempt to kidnap the princess—steal the children of Cadbury Castle to sell as slaves. Guinevere and Cedwyn vow to rescue the children, but a miscalculation puts them all in more danger. The plan quickly unravels, and Guinevere’s impassioned decisions come crashing down as Cedwyn chooses to turn his dream of becoming a knight into reality. Will their courage be strong enough to survive, or will one make the ultimate sacrifice?



5-Star Review from Readers’ Favorite Reviewed By Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers’ Favorite


Children are attracted to adventure and they don’t see the risks that adults do, refusing to accept many of the limitations and rules enforced for the sole purpose of keeping children safe. Guinevere and Cedwyn are close friends and Cedwyn, although still very young, has pledged his life to protect the princess who will one day be his queen when she marries King Arthur. Being children, they have their adventures. And one such adventure to the mysterious standing stones results in magical visions and then a race for their lives. There are people intent on kidnapping Guinevere. When she out-foxes their intentions, they take the castle children instead to be sold into slavery. Guinevere insists on chasing after the kidnappers and rescuing the children. The adventure intensifies as they risk their lives and become heroes. But are they totally successful in rescuing the children? Or do they just manage to create more problems in the process.

Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend is the sequel to Cheryl Carpinello's first Guinevere story, Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend. Both books take the fascinating Arthurian legends and create stories that will entice even the most reluctant of readers. With realistic characters and an exciting plot full of adventure, the reader will be pulled along to an unexpected conclusion, one that demands another book to complete the series. Young readers will certainly easily associate with Guinevere and Cedwyn, who, at their young age, take risks and disobey their parents, while at the same time they reach out to help others and become heroes. A great way to entice readers, even reluctant ones, to follow the adventures found in legends.


Book One - Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend

 At the dawn of Camelot, one young girl is about to take her place beside the greatest king in England’s history.... She is a mere child of twelve. But in these medieval days, this is the age when childish things must be put away and greater responsibilities accepted—all in preparation for a betrothal of marriage. For young Lady Guinevere, on the advent of her thirteenth Birth Day, the whole idea is quite unbearable. After all, what could be better than spending her youth playing with her best friend Cedwyn, roaming the grounds around the castle looking for mythical creatures or hunting rabbits? However, the wizard Merlyn—her teacher and friend—knows that destiny has a way of catching up with a person. His arrival sets in motion a series of events that will lead Guinevere to her destiny whether she is ready for it or not.

About the Author

I’m a retired high school English teacher. A devourer of books growing up, my profession introduced me to writings and authors from times long past. Through my studies and teaching, I fell in love with the Ancient and Medieval Worlds. Now, I hope to inspire young readers and those Young-at-Heart to read more through my Tales and Legends for Reluctant Readers set in these worlds.

Blog Tour Giveaway

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner's choice 
Giveaway ends: August 7, 11:59 pm, 2017 
Open to: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. 
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 
A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Cheryl Carpinello and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional questions feel free to send an email to stacie@BeachBoundBooks.com.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Amanda Lester Coloring Book by Paula Berinstein & Anna Mogileva

Today is the cover reveal for Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy Coloring Book by Paula Berinstein and Anna Mogileva. This cover reveal is organized by Lola's Blog Tours.

Amanda Lester and thePink Sugar Conspiracy Coloring BookAmanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy Coloring Book
by Paula Berinstein and Anna Mogileva
Genre: Coloring Book

Blurb:
Twenty fun-to-color detailed drawings featuring characters from the popular Amanda Lester, Detective series. Designs are printed one to a sheet so you neverhave to worry about markers bleeding through. Includes portraits of blind sleuthIvy Halpin, her guide dog Nigel, arch villain Blixus Moriarty, and four different outfits for budding detective Amphora Kapoor.

You can find Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy Coloring Book on Goodreads

You can see the portfolio of Anna Mogileva here.

Pages from the Coloring Book
Amanda Lester andthe Pink Sugar Conspiracy Coloring Book page 1
Amanda Lester andthe Pink Sugar Conspiracy Coloring Book page 2
Amanda Lester andthe Pink Sugar Conspiracy Coloring Book Page 3

About the Amanda Lester series:
Set in England’s Lake District, the series revolves around a twelve-year-old girl, Amanda Lester, who is forced to attend a super-secret school for the descendants of famous detectives, despite her desire to pursue filmmaking. Adding to the heroine’s angst is the fact that she is ashamed of her famous ancestor, bumbling Scotland Yard Inspector G. Lestrade.

The books in the series so far:

Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar ConspiracyAmanda Lester and the Orange Crystal CrisisAmanda Lester and the Purple Rainbow Puzzle
Amanda Lester and the Blue Peacocks’ SecretAmanda Lester and the Red Spider RumpusAmanda Lester and the Gold Spectacles Surprise


Paula BerinsteinAbout the Author:
Paula Berinstein is nothing like Amanda. For one thing, she’s crazy about Sherlock Holmes. For another, she’s never wanted to be a filmmaker. In addition,compared to Amanda she’s a big chicken! And she wouldn’t mind going to a secret school at all. In fact, she’s hoping that some day she’ll get to build one.

You can find and contact Paula here:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads
- Paula's blog on Goodreads
- The Writing Show podcasts
- Newsletter

Giveaway
There is a cover reveal wide giveaway for the cover reveal of Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy Coloring Book. Open International. These are the prizes you can win:
- One winner will win an Amazon gift card and the Amanda Lester coloring book
- 2 winners will each win a copy of Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy Coloring Book

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:

banner Lola's Blog Tours

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Sunday Post #69 - A Week Off For Fun

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer
It's a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things you received, share news about what is coming up on your blog for the week ahead, and more.

I missed last week and am late this week but I'm back! I took a break from blogging but only because I was too busy in my every day life. My niece visited for the week and we went and did lots of fun things. We went to a birthday party, the splash pad, one of those indoor jungle gyms, shopping, had a bbq, painted rocks, and more. Here's some of my instagram stories from this past week:
 We're to that point of summer where it rains every single day so any plans have to be carried out before noon. We still get caught in the rain, though. We're getting lots of lazy afternoons now, at least. 

NEW TO MY SHELVES
 We made a trip out into the city and stopped at B&N on the way back because it was the release day for Song of the Dark Crystal. I had to have it, of course, because I love the Dark Crystal and adored the first book. It was a bit of a splurge for me.
And of course, we did a quick thrift store trip earlier in the week and I let the kids pick out whatever books they wanted. 


WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
(Picture Book Review) Animal Ark by Kwame Alexander & Joel Sartore
(Can't Wait Wednesday) The Burning Light by Bradley P. Beaulieu & Rob Ziegler

(Book Review) The Dragon of the Month Club by Iain Reading
(Book Review) A Gathering of Ravens by Scott Oden

(Can't Wait Wednesday) Skeleton Tree by Kim Ventrella
(Book Review) Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

RECENTLY READ

CURRENTLY READING

I'll be linking up to Book Photo Sundays via Rabbit Ears Book Blog today! I still plan on making this a separate post but I'm running late today so here's a screenshot of my bookstagram feed from the past week or so!
__________

Hopefully I can catch up with my reading, reviewing, and blogging.
Have a great week everyone! 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Book Review: Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

Title: Daughter of the Pirate King
Author: Tricia Levenseller
Series: Daughter of the Pirate King #1
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: February 28, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Pirates
Length: 320 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased


Synopsis: 
There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I've gotten what I came for.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map--the key to a legendary treasure trove--seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship. 

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King. 

My Thoughts: 
When Alosa is captured by the pirate captain of the Night Farer and his brother, Riden, she knows exactly what she is doing. Alosa plays her part well, making Draxen and his crew think that they will get a nice ransom from her father, the Pirate King. But she's aboard the Night Farer to find one of three pieces of the infamous map to the Sirens hidden hoard of treasure and she will use her special set of skills to make sure she gets it. But this mission turns out to be much more of a challenge than she expected. 

This was a lot of fun to read. The idea of pirates just draws me in every time and this story features a female pirate captain. So much yes! Alosa is fantastically snarky, fiercely independent, and entirely badass despite that she plays the helpless, kidnapped princess. 

I have a new OTP because Alosa and Riden's banter was very entertaining, even when it was kind of cheesy and their little budding romance was everything. Their chemistry was undeniable. Riden is one of those good-hearted male characters that you can't help but root for.

My only issue with this book is that it was so quick and so short. I felt like most of the story is taken up with the interactions between Alosa and Riden; not that I'm complaining. I really can't wait to see more of them in the sequel. I do think that if there had been a tad bit more adventure I would have been head over heels for it. 

That being said, there was some very interesting surprises thrown in at the end that I really, really loved. I'm looking forward to continuing this series in all it's swashbuckling glory. 

My Rating: 4.5 stars

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday #16 - The Skeleton Tree by Kim Ventrella


Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa @ Wishful Endings and spotlights the books we are excited about and have yet to read. This meme is based on Waiting on Wednesday which is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

I can't wait for...
The Skeleton Tree by Kim Ventrella


Expected Publication: September 26, 2017
by Scholastic Press
Goodreads

Synopsis:
Twelve-year-old Stanly knows the bone growing in his yard is a little weird, but that's okay, because now he'll have the perfect photo to submit to the Young Discoverer's Competition. With such a unique find, he's sure to win the grand prize. 

But oddly, the bone doesn't appear in any photos. Even stranger, it seems to be growing into a full skeleton...one that only children can see. 

There's just one person who doesn't find any of this weird--Stanly's little sister. Mischievous Miren adopts the skeleton as a friend, and soon, the two become inseparable playmates. 

When Miren starts to grow sick, Stanly suspects that the skeleton is responsible and does everything in his power to drive the creature away. However, Miren is desperate not to lose her friend, forcing Stanly to question everything he's ever believed about life, love, and the mysterious forces that connect us.

Why I Can't Wait:
I've been reading so many YA books this year and I'm starting to miss my fun middle-grade reads. I tend to stick to fantasy adventures, but I also really love a good spooky story and this one sounds so good!  This one comes out in September and will be the perfect spooky read for Halloween! 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Book Review: A Gathering of Ravens by Scott Oden

I received a free ecopy of this book from Netgalley and Thomas Dunne Books in exchange for an honest review. 

Title: A Gathering of Ravens
Author: Scott Oden
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publication Date: June 20, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Length: 320 pages
Format: ebook
Source: Netgalley


Synopsis:
To the Danes, he is skraelingr; to the English, he is orcneas; to the Irish, his fomoraig. He is Corpse-maker and Life-quencher, the Bringer of Night, the Son of the Wolf and Brother of the Serpent. He is Grimnir, and he is the last of his kind--the last in a long line of monsters who have plagued humanity since the Elder Days. 

Drawn from his lair by a thirst for vengeance against the Dane who slew his brother, Grimnir emerges into a world that's changed. A new faith has arisen. The Old Ways are dying, and their followers retreating into the shadows; even still, Grimnir's vengeance cannot be denied. 

Taking a young Christian hostage to be his guide, Grimnir embarks on a journey that takes him from the hinterlands of Denmark, where the wisdom of the ancient dwarves has given way to madness, to the war-torn heart of southern England, where the spirits of the land make violence on one another. And thence to the green shores of Ireland and the Viking stronghold of Dubhlinn, where his enemy waits. 

But, unless Grimnir can set aside his hatreds, his dream of retribution will come to nothing. For Dubhlinn is set to be the site of a reckoning--the Old Ways versus the New--and Grimnir, the last of his kind left to plague mankind, must choose: stand with the Christian King of Ireland and see his vengeance done or stand against him and see it slip away? 

Scott Oden's A Gathering of Ravens is an epic novel of vengeance, faith, and the power of myth. 

My Thoughts: 

I was a bit skeptical about this book at first because of the strong religious aspects (not my cup of tea) but I kept reading and ended up really enjoying it. There was a good balance of mythology and religion and the two were constantly at blows so there was never a dull moment. 

The Norse mythology was not as simple as some other books I've read. You have to go into this with some prior knowledge of the gods, their backgrounds, and their realm, even though this is set in what is known to us as Midgard (or Earth). I've read a few fiction novels that explained some of those but there were still some things (words, places, and creatures) that I was unaware of. 

I loved that this read like a historical fiction, set somewhere back in the Dark Ages? Don't quote me on that. I tend to stick to the 17th-19th centuries. I won't pretend to know exactly when the Danes and Saxons were at war but I will make an effort to read up on that, asap. 

I had difficult choosing who to root for in this narrative. Etain seems like the likely choice but there really wasn't anything I particularly liked about her and I didn't relate to her much. I did come to like her more once she stopped being the victim and 'took up the sword'. I also liked that she was willing to continue on the journey with Grimnir--despite that she was no longer needed--just to see his revenge come to fruition. To see it through to the end, if only to have a story to tell. 

Grimnir is another main character in this story. He's either an antagonist or an anti-hero. I found myself wanting to read his bits more than the others, despite that he's a vile, loathsome creature who kills indiscriminately. He's incredibly interesting in that he is not an average man. He is a son of Fenrir so I imagined him to have some feral canine features.  I could relate to him in his grumbling and mockery of the 'White Christ' and for me, that really helped make the religion tolerable. It's really not something I like to read in fiction. 

There's a lot of traveling in this book but it is kept lively with plenty of run-ins with enemies. 
I really enjoyed the action. There's lots of blood and gore and I'll admit that that tickled my dark side. 

I would recommend this to fans of adult fantasy or historical fiction from authors like Bernard Cornwall or if you enjoyed Neil Gaiman's 'Norse Mythology' but more so if you want some Norse mythology that isn't about the gods themselves.

My Rating: 4.75