Saturday Spotlight: Willa and the Whale by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown

Willa and the Whale

Hardcover, 256 pages
Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Shadow Mountain

When Shadow Mountain contacted me about reading and reviewing or spotlighting this book, I thought it sounded very cute and adorable for middle grade.  But it shares a release date with two other books that I’ve already committed to and the month is full of fabulous releases, so I only committed to a spotlight.

Continue reading

Waiting on Wednesday: Fae World by Eve A. Hunt

Fae World (Yew Queen, #2)

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: March 2nd 2020

I received an earc as part of the ARC team and hunted typos for the author in exchange for an honest review.

As you may remember, I reviewed book one late last year and enjoyed it very much. I think that anyone looking for more of this story will be incredibly happy with this second installment. Fae World picks up right where we left off, which allows us to learn more about the fae and mages. Be ready for some steamy scenes that are NSFW if you’re trying to read it on your work computer (during breaks, of course!).

I liked the way in which the author was able to convey character growth while adding new characters to the narrative. It didn’t feel cluttered at all. We also get a fun competition aspect in the form of a medieval tournament. And a dark unicorn!! I hope he comes back in the third book because he’s probably my favorite side character right now.

It’s a good thing that book three is slated for a May release (I believe) because even though we answer many of my questions, a whole new area has caught my curiosity and I’m ready for more!

Summary:

I always thought if I had magical powers, life would be cake.
Wrong.

My fated mate is the enemy of my kind, I have days to figure out how to keep him from literally going up in smoke, and at any moment one of my magic’s surges will shock my heart and strike me down.

If I don’t learn how to control my mage abilities pronto, I’m dead. I thought that portalling to hang with other mages would solve things, and I’d find some rad crone-like chick to help me train all epic style. But it seems I’ve landed myself, my best friend, and my doomed fated mate in a hidden kingdom where my kind are enslaved for eternity. Not awesome.

This is not the training I was hoping for. And with every day we’re away from the cursed castle, Lucus and his brothers weaken further. If I don’t get us the heck out of this super creepy Scottish fae kingdom, all of us—the 16th century guys and us modern gals—are history.

Grab the second book in the Yew Queen series today for a steamy read that’s perfect for fans of CN Crawford, Linsey Hall, and Laura Thalassa! 

If you like vampires, fae, fated mates, enemies to lovers, shifters, werewolves, and more, you’ll love this series.

Audiobook Review: Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey

Upright Women Wanted

Hardcover, 176 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Tor.com

I wanted to like this one so much more than I did.  I loved the concept of queer librarians.  The story was well told and the characters were fun.  But I was reminded of a very important fact.  I don’t like Westerns.  Like at all.  I can count on one hand the number of Westerns (mostly movies with other genres mixed in) that I have enjoyed.

My bad.

This is no fault of the author, who did make this particular Western enjoyable.  And I will be highly recommending this book to friends who either like Westerns or don’t have a genre preference.  So you should definitely pick up this book!  Most especially if you like plucky girls trying to embrace themselves when outside voices try to drown their inner self in their narrow-minded views.

Another quick note.  I received an audio version of this book through Libro.fm’s ALC program.  (Thank you very much!)  The narrator did a great job with various voices and making sure to add gravitas to essential parts of the story.  So if you’d prefer to go the audio route, it’s a good choice and a quick read 🙂

Summary:

In Upright Women Wanted, award-winning author Sarah Gailey reinvents the pulp Western with an explicitly antifascist, near-future story of queer identity.

“That girl’s got more wrong notions than a barn owl’s got mean looks.”

Esther is a stowaway. She’s hidden herself away in the Librarian’s book wagon in an attempt to escape the marriage her father has arranged for her–a marriage to the man who was previously engaged to her best friend. Her best friend who she was in love with. Her best friend who was just executed for possession of resistance propaganda.

The future American Southwest is full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing.

February 2020 Mail Awesomeness!

It’s time for another mail haul post!  These last two weeks have been so full of amazing that I can’t wait to share all the goodies that I received this week.

First, I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of Heart of Flames by Nicki Pau Preto (two copies actually – one from the publisher, Simon & Schuster, and one from a Twitter friend) and the lovely Owlcrate version with beautiful enamel pin that a friend purchased for me.  I just started reading it and seems like it will be just as good as the first book, which I reviewed here.

Continue reading

Book Review: Belle Revolte by Linsey Miller

Belle Révolte

Hardcover, 384 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Sourcebooks Fire

When a publicist from Sourcebooks Fire approached me to read and review Linsey Miller’s newest book (on account of my working with them for her debut blog tour), I was hesitant at first to accept.  I am wary of books that focus on or feature heavily wars and revolutions as that is not the type of reading I enjoy.  However, I was intrigued by the Prince and the Pauper twist and the magic system described in the synopsis, so I agreed.

Continue reading

Partial Book Review: Nils: The Tree of Life by Jerome Hamon

Nils: The Tree of Life

Hardcover, 184 pages
Expected publication: February 11th 2020 by Magnetic Press

I enjoyed this graphic novel but think I need to read it again with a physical copy. I gave up about half way through this digital download due to being unable to read the small text while also enjoying the two-page spreads that are included and occasionally very important to the visual storytelling. I am looking forward to reading this one in its entirety as I liked the art and color choices. It seems to be based on Norse mythology, and I have just enough knowledge to follow those references.

I like the introduction of technology and how that affects the land. The author put a lot of thought into carefully crafting characters who care and who make me care about them. This should already be on your list to read! What are you waiting for?  I’m also interested in seeing what other titles this publisher has.

Summary:

A dystopic Nordic fantasy world, where spirits of light are the key to life, but seemingly have abandoned the world. Young Nils and his father set out to discover why the ground has grown infertile, heading north where the drought seems worse to find the cause. Far along the way, they find signs of fresh and vibrant life, caretaken by these little light spirits. But before they know it, a large metal creature arrives and attacks the creatures, apparently hunting and gathering them. From out of the woods, a woman attacks the creature, bringing it to its knees… apparently the plant was bait for the spirits, which in turn were bait for the metal creature, which serves the high-tech Cyan Nation.

This huntress, named Alba, takes Nils and his father into their tribe, where the battle between the shamanistic people and the Cyan Nation is paramount, a battle over the protection vs exploitation of the light spirits power… Meanwhile, three goddesses watch these events, lamenting the fact that man had abandoned all belief in their power long ago. They watch but do not intervene, despite the fact that the spirits are being harvested en masse by the Cyan Nation, wreaking ruin on the world outside their city. Realizing that this conflict will in one way or another change the very fabric of this world, they slowly begin to intervene…

As they continue their travels, Nils has a dream (seeded by one of the goddesses) about the World Tree, Yggdrasil, which is being consumed by a metal plague. He knows he must now find and save the tree, and in the process, save the world. But the high council of the Cyan Nation would have otherwise… Having been separated in their quest, Nils’s father finds himself a guest of the Cyan Prince, where he learns that they do indeed understand the power of the spirits, which they call Ethernum, serving as the power source for their technological advancement.

High fantasy adventure combining science-fiction with pseudo-spiritual magic, posing dramatic examinations of man vs nature, life vs death, fact vs faith, and man’s desire to play god.

Down the TBR Rabbit Hole #16

Down The TBR Hole is a meme from Lost in a Story that revolves around cleansing your TBR of all those books you’re never going to read and sort through it all to know what’s actually on there.

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when youre scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well thats going to change!

It works like this:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Continue reading

Fangirl Friday: Catherine Asaro’s Lost Continent Series

This week I want to spotlight a gem in my collection as the first in a series of Fangirl Friday posts where I showcase some of my most treasured possessions: signed books and ARCs.  Haven’t decided if I will stick to alphabetical by author or just whatever catches my fancy for sharing.

First up: we have the Lost Continent series by Catherine Asaro.

IMG_6559

Fell in love with the cover of The Charmed Sphere shortly after its release and saved up my money to buy this $14 book (it was a lot to a young person back then).  I was really sad when they didn’t get the same artist, Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, to do the cover of book five, but I was happy the series got a book five when others by LUNA had been cancelled.

IMG_6560

A couple of years ago, I messaged the author over Facebook and requested the author sign some bookplates that I would send with an included SASE, and I was happy when she agreed.  Now I have a wonderful series to reread with even more meaning than when my teenage self first found it!