Fangirl Friday: Recent Contest Winnings

About a month ago, I won several Twitter/blog/random giveaways, and they all came in by a week or so ago.  I had meant to get this post together to say thank you to all the people who hosted these giveaways!  But alas, I got busy and then fell ill.  If you read all the way to the bottom middle of my Mask of Shadows review, then you’ll have seen the fun package I received from Sourcebooks Fire as a random winner during their promotional prerelease activities.  (Quick note: some of these happened awhile ago and I don’t remember all the details.  Mostly I wanted to share my thanks and gratitude with the people/author/publishers who hosted the giveaways!)

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August 2017 Releases to Read

Here’s a roundup of new releases that I haven’t had a chance to dig into yet.  August wasn’t quite as crazy as July, but it did disappear just as quickly!  So many good books, so little time 🙂

Ready to Read-Look for My Review Later:

The Epic Crush of Genie LoEx Libris: Stories of Librarians, Libraries, and LoreSwarm and SteelAn Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors

Books I Plan to Read as Time Allows:

Venturess (Mechanica, #2)Shimmer and Burn (Shimmer and Burn, #1)Call of Fire (Blood of Earth, #2)Beast & Crown (Beast & Crown #1)The Book of EstherThornhill

Did I miss one of your most anticipateds for August?  Let me know in the comments!

#BookHaul after a Holiday Weekend

book haul box

So, normally I don’t go crazy and order a million things that all show up on the same day, but since the mail has been a little slow, September is full of amazing new releases, September is also full of art show prep and a Leigh Bardugo event, and I’d traded for several books, plus you throw in a holiday.  Can you see where this is going?  All these things combined meant that yesterday I came home to a tower of boxes that almost reached my hips (and I’m not short).  I loved every second of opening each one and gazing at all the beautiful new books that probably won’t fit on my shelves at this time 🙂

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March 2017 Releases to Read

It’s already time to look back on March to see what books came out that I just didn’t have time to read!  Surprisingly, I was able to read more March books than January and February books.  But maybe that’s just because there were so many more releases.  Who knows?  Anyway, here’s the releases I want to read but will have to wait a bit.

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#SerendipiTEA Tour & Giveaway featuring Meg Eden and POST HIGH-SCHOOL REALITY QUEST

Meg Eden

Today I’m participating in something special, a blog tour that pairs several authors with their new books and specially chosen teas that match some aspect of the books being featured.  I may not be much of a tea drinker but this sounded like so much fun, I had to participate!

I was paired up with Meg Eden, the author of Post High-School Reality Quest, which is a very interesting piece that explores being a nerdy girl written in the style of a text adventure game.

Here’s what Meg had to say about her tea and her book!  And don’t forget to check out the other participants in the tour (links below) and the giveaway where you can win some of the teas and books from the tour!!

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Book Review: Keeper of the Dawn by Dianna Gunn

Keeper of the Dawn

Paperback, 205 pages
Expected publication: April 18th 2017 by Book Smugglers Publishing

Two days ago, I saw a tweet from the Book Smugglers about the release of their first title in the Novella Initiate, Keeper of the Dawn by Dianna Gunn.  They sent me an epub to read (which in no way affects the honesty of this review), and I found myself wanting to devour it without stop once I got started.  Unfortunately, that was late at night after a long day, so my eyes kept closing and I had to stop about 2/3 in.  But I picked it up again this morning!

This was a fantastic, short read!  It was almost perfect; I just wanted more world building.  But that’s a problem I have with any short fiction pieces.  I always find myself wanting more.

What I did get was great characters and a plot that spoke to me on a deeper level.  It was something I needed right now when my life is mental turmoil.  The whole story is based on being able to achieve your dreams and goals, but you may not make it there the way you thought you would.  It was very uplifting to read a story where the protagonist just follows down the path that was chosen for them because of a prophecy or fate.  Lai knows what she wants, her path is littered with affirmations that she’ll get it, but then she fails and has to readjust.

Along the way, she discovers more about herself and the world she lives in.  We also get a beautifully told female/female relationship that doesn’t feel forced, nor is it just there.  It provides support and stability for Lai when the rest of her life is in turmoil.

Since this is a novella, I don’t want to give away too much, so I’ll stop here.  But know that I loved this piece, and can’t wait to see what else the Novella Initiate has to offer us.

Summary:

Sometimes failure is just the beginning

All Lai has ever wanted is to become a priestess, like her mother and grandmother before her, in service to their beloved goddess. That’s before the unthinkable happens, and Lai fails the trials she has trained for her entire life. She makes the only choice she believes she can: she runs away.

From her isolated desert homeland, Lai rides north to the colder, stranger kingdom of Alanum—a land where magic, and female warriors, are not commonplace.

Here, she hears tales about a mountain city of women guardians and steel forgers, worshiping goddesses who sound very similar to Lai’s own. Determined to learn more about these women, these Keepers of the Dawn, Lai travels onward to find their temple. She is determined to make up for her past failure, and will do whatever it takes to join their sacred order.

Falling in love with another initiate was not part of the plan.

Keeper of the Dawn is a tale of new beginnings, second chances, and the endurance of hope.

Waiting on Wednesday: Dragon’s Green by Scarlett Thomas

Dragon's Green (Worldquake Sequence, #1)

354 pages
Expected publication: April 6th 2017 by Canongate Books
Besides the fact that this book has Dragon in its title, I was super intrigued that this book focuses on an old family library, which leads to crazy puzzles and adventures.  The UK cover is gorgeous, and I think I read somewhere that it was going to be glow-in-the-dark for the first print run.  Or maybe that was for a special edition?  Either way, so excited to read this one!

Summary:

‘Some people think opening a book is a simple thing. It’s not. Most people don’t realise that you can get truly lost in a book. You can. Especially you. Do not open any of these books without my permission, Euphemia.’
Effie is a pupil at the Tusitala School for the Gifted and Strange. When her grandfather becomes ill she discovers she is set to inherit the family library. The more she learns about it the more unusual it is. Before she knows it, her life is at risk from dark forces from this world and beyond, intent on using the books and the power they contain.
With her grandfather gone and the adult world ignoring her, can her unreliable classmates help save her life?
Packed with puzzles, curses, evil nemeses and a troupe of beguiling heroes, Dragon’s Green is an adventure novel for children about the nature of magic. It is the first in a chapter-book series for fans of Pullman’s Northern Lights, Diana Wynne Jones’ Chrestomanci series, T.H. White’s The Once and Future King, Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events series and the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.