Cover Reveal: Stolen Enchantress by Amber Argyle

Today is the cover reveal for Stolen Enchantress by Amber Argyle. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The cover is designed by Melissa Williams Design.

Let me just say that I love this cover!  It was so hard not to share this one before the release date, but that would have ruined the surprise and collective delight!  I hope you love it as much as I do.  And the book sounds super awesome!  Can’t wait to read 🙂

Stolen EnchantressStolen Enchantress (Forbidden Forest #1)
By Amber Argyle
Genre: Fairytale Adaptation/ Epic Fantasy
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: April 9, 2018

Any girl who goes into the Forbidden Forest never comes out again. Except the one who did.

Larkin should have been watching her little sister. Should have paid more attention to the trees looming over her family’s fields. Now Sela is gone. Knowing full well the danger of the forest and its beast, Larkin goes after her anyway. With her sister clutched in her arms, she manages to escape, but not before discovering the truth lurking beneath the wicked boughs.

She may have evaded the beast once, but with the full force of his magic now fixated on her, she isn’t sure how much longer she can resist . . .

You can find Stolen Enchantress on Goodreads

You can pre-order Stolen Enchantress on iBooks

Amber ArgyleAbout the Author:
Bestselling author Amber Argyle writes young-adult fantasies where the main characters save the world (with varying degrees of success) and fall in love (with the enemy). Her award-winning books have been translated into numerous languages and praised by such authors as NYT bestsellers David Farland and Jennifer A. Nielsen.

Amber grew up on a cattle ranch and spent her formative years in the rodeo circuit and on the basketball court. She graduated cum laude from Utah State University with a degree in English and physical education, a husband, and a two-year-old. Since then, she and her husband have added two more children, which they are actively trying to transform from crazy small people into less-crazy larger people. She’s fluent in all forms of sarcasm, loves hiking and traveling, and believes spiders should be relegated to horror novels where they belong.

To receive her starter library of four free books, simply tell her where to send it:

You can find and contact Amber here:
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Author Interview and Giveaway: Sara Wilson Etienne

Sara Wilson Etienne

Some of you may remember my post about Lotus and Thorn from early June, where I promised an interview with the author.  Well, here it is!  And, I decided to include a giveaway for 1 hardcover copy of Lotus and Thorn, and Sara has graciously agreed to sign a bookplate to accompany it!  (You can find the Rafflecopter link at the bottom of this post.)

I wanted to interview this author for a couple of reasons.  1) I had some questions that needed answers, and I thought other readers might want to know those answers as well.  2) This book was fabulous, and I wanted to keep the conversation going.  Sara Wilson Etienne is definitely high on my watch list now, as I’m eagerly hoping for more novels set in the universe of Lotus and Thorn.


  1. What was your inspiration for Lotus and Thorn?

I tend to collect bits of books like puzzle pieces. I’m not always sure where the pieces fit until a couple of them suddenly click together. At the time I started Lotus and Thorn, I’d been carrying around one piece of the puzzle for a few years… a fascination with courtesans— particularly the Renaissance women of Venice who cultivated money and power by becoming the lovers of influential men.

A few years later, I read an article about hikikomori and I knew I had another piece of the puzzle. Hikikomori are teenagers in Japan—mostly boys— who lock themselves away in their rooms for months, sometimes years, away from the pressures of the real world, and withdrawing from society. So with those two pieces, I knew the questions I wanted to explore with this book—and for me writing is all about asking questions.

My first question was: what happens when the only option available to women is to marry or to cultivate power with their bodies? (What does that power look like? How does that power relate to strong women and girls in our world now?)

Second, what sort of intense pressures are necessary to make a teenage boy—with his whole life ahead of him—turn his back on the world?

Third, what would a world look like where both these elements, both these characters, could exist and interact with each other?

I didn’t want to write historical fiction and this story doesn’t belong in present day. So I reached into the future and created the sci-fi world of Lotus and Thorn. I used the Grimms’ fairy tale structure to lend a sense of timelessness and fantasy to the technologically advanced planet of Gabriel. There’s a lot of bloodshed in the book, but it also mirrors the bloodiness of the original Grimms’ fairy tale. All in all, my hope is that Lotus and Thorn feels like a new story with an old soul.

Lotus and Thorn


  1. Why Fitcher’s Bird? What drew you to this fairy tale?

Well, I actually started the book—in the early, early drafts—using a bunch of different fairy tales. Leica would read bits and pieces of them to Edison as the book progressed. At that point, I was still working out what the fairy tale aspect brought to the book. But when I read Fitcher’s Bird, I knew what I needed to do. It’s so different than most of the stories. First of all, it has such a strong female lead. I alter or omit some details in my retelling, but I didn’t touch that aspect of the story…she already kicks ass and takes names.

And it’s not just that she’s brave and clever and saves her sisters… there is a wonderful twisted sense of humor in that story. Like how the sister putting a wedding veil on one of the skulls in the window and everyone comments on how happy the grinning bride-skull looks. That is awesome. This fairy tale has a spark to it that brought something new to my story… a framework and grim humor I’d been looking for. And it click into place so perfectly with the world I already was building. I suppose it was another puzzle piece!

Image from Arthur Rackham


  1. Did you read many fairy tales when you were younger?

I remember I had a Fisher Price record player and they used to make these kid’s records with scenes on them… I had this one about a girl who lived in an scallop shell that I listened to over and over. But I have to say, I didn’t have an obsession with fairy tales in particular… I just loved fantasy and science fiction. Especially whenever the mystery and magic intersected with our own world. For example, Where the Wild Things Are. Or The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Or Lizard Music by Daniel Pinkwater. Deep Magic by Diana Wynne Jones. Even books like The Westing Game or The Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler have an element of the fantastical and the mysterious in our own world. These are the kinds of stories I love, stories that give us a “world of more”… and most fairy tales fit right into that mix. Real, but not real.


  1. Do you have any more books planned after Lotus and Thorn?

I can’t say too much about this topic right now… however I will say that this world and those characters grabbed onto me and I haven’t been able to shake them. Nor do I want to!

More Cliff Stock 138 by The-strawberry-tree

Stock photo from the-strawberry-tree
  1. What made you decide to end on such a huge cliffhanger/reveal?

Well, the cliffhanger was a bit of a surprise to me too! As a reader, I don’t always love it when an author does that. But when I was writing that final scene with Leica and Nik and the Pup sleeping out under the stars, it just happened. I saw the helicopters coming up over the mountains. I heard the thrumming as they flew closer and saw the sunrise glaring off the blades and felt my heart start to pump faster! It was such a visceral writing experience that I felt compelled to keep the scene like that, despite any objections my “reader” self might have put forth.

The thing is that I’ve always known the Big Picture of what this world looks like; so with this reveal, it was only a question how much Leica would find out and how much she would understand of what was going on in the outside world. So for me, the helicopters felt like a satisfying taste of what lay beyond those mountains.

  1. Did you do any research for this book?

So much research!! I’m a scientist at heart—studied biology and ecology through most of college—so I love the research aspect so writing. But this book was intense! Figuring out ecosystems—what would grown in the desert, in the Dome. Figuring out what would still be around after 500 years and what would have broken down. Future technology, like 3D food printers or swarm robotics or solar glass. Cultures. Clothing. And I definitely pulled in wonderful writers and super smarties to help me along the way as well. I had people vet the book for medical/genetics issues, whether the radio/tech stuff made sense in practice and/or theory, for cultural/language/accessibility/diversity issues. There are obviously many, many things in Lotus and Thorn that don’t exist in our world and I’m sure there are lots of discrepancies, but I tried to ensure that the theories and concepts behind my world make sense. And that the real-world issues at play—from growing seasons to transmitting radio signals—functioned correctly.


  1. How do you overcome writer’s block?

Mostly I simply try to keep writing on a daily basis, even if it’s for as little as 15 minutes. Something that is routine has less chance of being daunting. I also try to end a writing session a little ways into a new scene, or even in the middle of one…anywhere but the end… so that the next day I’m not coming back to a blank page.

  1. Why did you decide to include Kisaengs in your world?

As I said earlier, I was fascinated by the idea of Venetian courtesans. At the beginning, I struggled with the appropriateness of this subject in a YA book. But then I realized that was exactly where this belongs. Even today, so often teenage girls and young women are taught to use their bodies and appearances as tools of power. You only need to look at magazine racks full of fashion and dating tips to see this. 10 ways to win a guy! 12 dresses that’ll make him look twice! Kisaengs are far removed from the canals of Venice, or from our present day world, but it was their physicality—appearances, bodies, sexuality— that allowed them to escape the desperation of Pleiades. I wanted the reader to explore Leica’s own struggle with this dilemma and with her own sense of power.


9. Are you working on any other projects right now?

I am! I’m working on several projects that I love. It takes me a while to puzzle my way through my books, so I find that sometimes, working on multiple projects can help me move forward a little faster. I really wish I could talk about them, but for now I’ll just share that I’m having fun putting all the pieces together!

And here’s the promised giveaway!  I hope everyone enjoys this book as much as I did!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Manic Monday: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)

Hardcover, 624 pages
Expected publication: May 3rd 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
I LOVED this book!  Just like I LOVED ACOTAR ❤  So, as many of you have noticed, some copies of ACOMAF were released into the wild early.  I was lucky enough to receive one of those copies, and can finally share my thoughts with you!   (I’ll try to avoid as many spoilers as possible.)
ACOMAF picks up a short time after the final events in book 1.  We see where Feyre and Tamlin stand after the Spring Court is restored and experience the aftermath of Feyre’s death and rebirth.  I can’t really say much else about the plot because I truly don’t want to spoil anything.  The last thing I want to point out is that Rhysand does make good on his deal to take Feyre to the Night Court for 1 week every month, which allows us to discover more about him and his motivations.
My absolute favorite part was the fact that Feyre explores her relationships internally and makes connections about why some things make sense and how other things no longer work for her.  It shows the reality that sometimes “love at first sight” or even just “first love” may not be your forever someone.  My second favorite part was how Maas dealt with PTSD and the depression and brokenness of all the characters who went through the events of ACOTAR.  As someone who has suffered through some of these feelings, they rang true and actually helped me better understand myself and my reactions.
This series has been moved to my all-time favorites list, and I really wish I could time travel to get book 3 right now as the ending is both a conclusion and a cliffhanger.  Sarah J. Maas, thank you for writing this book and see you at BookCon next weekend!!


Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court–but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms–and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future–and the future of a world cleaved in two.

Top 10 Tuesday: Fairy Tale Retellings

I’ve been busy with adulting, but I’m hoping that this is the start of weekly or bi-weekly posts featuring Top 10 Tuesdays, Waiting on Wednesday, and Throwback Thursday.  Top 10s will feature themed lists, but may include more than just books.  Waiting ons will be a mix of books I’m looking forward to reading and book reviews for upcoming books (my first review in this setup will be The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine).  Throwbacks are going to be reviews of books that I’m rereading or books that came out 2 or more years ago.  So, here’s my first Top 10!

Fairy Tale Retellings Through the (Reading) Ages
1. Holly Claus: The Christmas Princess by Brittney Ryan / The Legend of Holly Claus by Brittney Ryan

Holly Claus: The Christmas PrincessThe Legend of Holly Claus

The young readers have so many fairy tales and their adaptations to choose from, but during this holiday season and point to a lovely little story about Santa Claus’s daughter, Holly.  Maybe not exactly a fairy tale, but it is a different look at a familiar tale 🙂  First released as a middle grade novel before being adapted into a picture book, the story of Holly Claus really hits on the topics of identity, self-worth, and sacrifice as well as what the holidays really mean.  I love both editions, but I was very happy when Laurel Long’s illustrations were colored for the picture book release.  (If you don’t know about Laurel Long, go Google her work RIGHT NOW!)

2. Sleeping Cinderella and Other Princess Mix-Ups by Stephanie Clarkson

Sleeping Cinderella and Other Princess Mix-ups

This story actually mixes up four different fairy tales as the current trend in retellings, but the art by Brigette Barrager works really well with the story and it’s rather humorous in nature.

3. Flunked by Jen Calonita

Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School, #1)

Here’s an early middle grade retelling that doesn’t have a well-known trope as the main character, but rather the shoemaker’s daughter.  Oh, there’s plenty of well-knowns in the background, but the story features a reform school where the teachers are famous ex-villains.  My last post actually featured a cover reveal for the sequel, which is definitely going to be a fun read!

4. The Ever Afters by Shelby Bach

This series was Awesome!  I loved the after-school program nature of it, and I loved that it played up the Snow Queen tale.  Four books, all well-written–it’s a complete set that you can go out and buy right now 🙂

5. The Storybook of Legends (trilogy) by Shannon Hale

Shannon Hale introduced the world to Ever After High’s world and characters, and it was spectacular.  Ever After High is a spin-off of Monster High, but instead of the children of monsters, EAH features the children of fairy tales.  There is another series being written by Suzanne Selfors, but it’s definitely written for a younger audience (early middle grade) unlike Hale’s (young adult).

6. The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil, #1)

The third and final book of the series just came out this past July, but, honestly, the first book was the best.  It really takes a look at what makes a character good and what makes them evil.  I loved how Chainani took fairy tale tropes and turned them on their head.  The second book focused on gender stereotypes in fairy tales, so that was fun.  But, book three was less satisfactory.

7. The Phoenix Dance by Dia Calhoun

The Phoenix Dance

A young adult retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses from the view of the shoemaker’s apprentice, who is suffering from bipolar disorder.  It puts the whole story into a new perspective while addressing a common problem that doesn’t get talked about much in popular fiction and fantasy in particular.

8. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)

This was a great re-imagining of Cinderella set on a futuristic Earth.  Each consequential book adds a new set of characters and points of view storytelling based on another fairy tale, including Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White.  Amazing!  Any age reader will enjoy this four book series.

9. The Stepsister’s Scheme by Jim C. Hines

The Stepsister Scheme (Princess, #1)

Here’s an adult take on fairy tale retellings, where Jim Hines takes a firm stance on gender roles in fairy tales and delivers some great fun with a lot of action as well.  His other series about books and librarians is awesome as well, just saying.

10. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

Daughter of the Forest  (Sevenwaters, #1)

This series starts off with the Six Swans steeped in Celtic mythology and delivers a rousing tale that really captures the setting and the original tale.  Perhaps a bit more description than I usually like, but the storytelling is fantastic.

BONUS: The Black Swan by Mercedes Lackey

The Black Swan (Fairy Tales, #2)

One of my favorite stand-along retellings that features one story: Swan Lake.  I love the music, the setting, the swans, the main character (Odile), and the ending.  I wasn’t a big fan of the prince, but Odette and Odile were strong, independent women.  And Mercedes Lackey is one of my favorite authors, so I might be a little biased 🙂


Tune in tomorrow for Waiting on Wednesday: The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine.