September & October Book Hauls + October Wrap Up

This might turn out to be a pretty lengthy post, but I’ll try to keep it short and sweet.

For whatever reason I never wrote up my September Book Haul, so I’m going to combine last month and this months – and it’s actually a lengthy list of books – and I’m honestly not really sure how I accumulated so many.

No wonder my bank account hates me right now.


Let’s start with the books I got in September:

 Part of your world.jpgPart of Your World: A Twisted Tale (Twisted Tales #5) – Liz Braswell

Published: September 4, 2018

Bought: September 2018

What if Ariel had never defeated Ursula? Five years after the (twisted) events of the film, Ariel is now the queen of Atlantica, and Ursula is running Eric’s kingdom on land. But when the sea witch threatens Atlantica once more, Ariel finds herself returning to a world (and a prince) she thought she’d left behind forever.


Escaping from HoudiniEscaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3) – Kerri Maniscalco

x 2 – Barnes and Noble Special Edition / Signed Edition from an Indie

Published: September 18, 2018

Bought: September 2018

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are en route to New York to help solve another blood-soaked mystery. Embarking on a week-long voyage across the Atlantic on the opulent RMS Etruria, they’re delighted to discover a traveling troupe of circus performers, fortune tellers, and a certain charismatic young escape artist entertaining the first-class passengers nightly.

But then, privileged young women begin to go missing without explanation, and a series of brutal slayings shocks the entire ship. The strange and disturbing influence of the Moonlight Carnival pervades the decks as the murders grow ever more freakish, with nowhere to escape except the unforgiving sea. It’s up to Audrey Rose and Thomas to piece together the gruesome investigation as even more passengers die before reaching their destination. But with clues to the next victim pointing to someone she loves, can Audrey Rose unravel the mystery before the killer’s horrifying finale?


 A curse so dark and lonelyA Curse so Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer

Published: January 29, 2019

Received via Brigid: September 2018

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.


Now for the books I got in October:

A map of daysA Map of Days (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #4) – Ransom Riggs

Published: October 2, 2018

Bought: October 2018

Having defeated the monstrous threat that nearly destroyed the peculiar world, Jacob Portman is back where his story began, in Florida. Except now Miss Peregrine, Emma, and their peculiar friends are with him, and doing their best to blend in. But carefree days of beach visits and normalling lessons are soon interrupted by a discovery—a subterranean bunker that belonged to Jacob’s grandfather, Abe.

Clues to Abe’s double-life as a peculiar operative start to emerge, secrets long hidden in plain sight. And Jacob begins to learn about the dangerous legacy he has inherited—truths that were part of him long before he walked into Miss Peregrine’s time loop.

Now, the stakes are higher than ever as Jacob and his friends are thrust into the untamed landscape of American peculiardom—a world with few ymbrynes, or rules—that none of them understand. New wonders, and dangers, await in this brilliant next chapter for Miss Peregrine’s peculiar children. Their story is again illustrated throughout by haunting vintage photographs, but with a striking addition for this all-new, multi-era American adventure—full color.


Grim LoveliesGrim Lovelies (Grim Lovelies #1) – Megan Shepherd

Published: October 2, 2018

Bought: October 2018

Seventeen-year-old Anouk envies the human world, where people known as Pretties lavish themselves in fast cars, high fashion, and have the freedom to fall in love. But Anouk can never have those things, because she is not really human. Enchanted from animal to human girl and forbidden to venture beyond her familiar Parisian prison, Anouk is a Beastie: destined for a life surrounded by dust bunnies and cinders serving Mada Vittora, the evil witch who spelled her into existence. That is, until one day she finds her mistress murdered in a pool of blood—and Anouk is accused of the crime.

Now, the world she always dreamed of is rife with danger. Pursued through Paris by the underground magical society known as the Haute, Anouk and her fellow Beasties only have three days to find the real killer before the spell keeping them human fades away. If they fail, they will lose the only lives they’ve ever known…but if they succeed, they could be more powerful than anyone ever bargained for.

From New York Times bestselling author Megan Shepherd, Grim Lovelies is an epic and glittering YA fantasy. Prepare to be spellbound by the world of Grim Lovelies, where secrets have been long buried, friends can become enemies, and everything—especially humanity—comes at a price.


FurybornFuryborn (Empirium #1) – Claire Legrand

Published: August 2, 2018

Bought: October 2018

When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire’s heart is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other.


KOAKingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #7) – Sarah J Maas

x 3 – Target Special Edition / Barnes and Noble Special Edition / Books-A-Million Special Edition

Published: October 23, 2018

Bought: October 2018

Aelin has risked everything to save her people―but at a tremendous cost. Locked within an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will as she endures months of torture. Aware that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, though her resolve begins to unravel with each passing day…

With Aelin captured, Aedion and Lysandra remain the last line of defense to protect Terrasen from utter destruction. Yet they soon realize that the many allies they’ve gathered to battle Erawan’s hordes might not be enough to save them. Scattered across the continent and racing against time, Chaol, Manon, and Dorian are forced to forge their own paths to meet their fates. Hanging in the balance is any hope of salvation―and a better world.

And across the sea, his companions unwavering beside him, Rowan hunts to find his captured wife and queen―before she is lost to him forever.

As the threads of fate weave together at last, all must fight, if they are to have a chance at a future. Some bonds will grow even deeper, while others will be severed forever in the explosive final chapter of the Throne of Glass series.


Give the Dark my LoveGive the Dark My Love (Give the Dark My Love #1) – Beth Revis

Published: September 25, 2018

Bought: October 2018

When seventeen-year-old Nedra Brysstain leaves her home in the rural, northern territories of Lunar Island to attend the prestigious Yugen Academy, she has only one goal in mind: learn the trade of medicinal alchemy. A scholarship student matriculating with the children of Lunar Island’s wealthiest and most powerful families, Nedra doesn’t quite fit in with the other kids at Yugen, who all look down on her. 

All, except for Greggori “Grey” Astor. Grey is immediately taken by the brilliant and stubborn Nedra, who he notices is especially invested in her studies. And that’s for a good reason: a deadly plague has been sweeping through the North, and it’s making its way toward the cities. With her family’s life–and the lives of all of Lunar Island’s citizens–on the line, Nedra is determined to find a cure for the plague. 

Grey and Nedra continue to grow closer, but as the sickness spreads and the body count rises, Nedra becomes desperate to find a cure. Soon, she finds herself diving into alchemy’s most dangerous corners–and when she turns to the most forbidden practice of all, necromancy, even Grey might not be able to pull her from the darkness.


contagionContagion (Contagion #1) – Erin Bowman

Published: July 24, 2018

Received via #booksfortrade: October 2018

 It got in us
After receiving an urgent SOS from a work detail on a distant planet, a skeleton crew is dispatched to perform a standard search-and-rescue mission.
Most are dead.
But when the crew arrives, they find an abandoned site, littered with rotten food, discarded weapons…and dead bodies.
Don’t set foot here again.
As they try to piece together who—or what—could have decimated an entire operation, they discover that some things are best left buried—and some monsters are only too ready to awaken.


flashtideFlashtide (Flashfall #2) – Jenny Moyer

Published: November 14, 2018

Received via #booksfortrade: October 2018

Orion has survived the tunnels of Outpost Five, filled with mutant creatures and dangers around every bend. She has traversed the cordons, exposed to the radiation of the flash curtain and hunted by forces that want her stopped, dead or alive. Now, with Dram by her side, she has made it to the safety of the mountain provinces, where free Conjurors live and practice their craft of manipulating matter.

But Orion’s story is far from over.

With the effects of the flashfall spreading and the might of the protected city of Alara looming, Orion must travel into the hands of her enemies once again. Heart-pounding action and adventure await in this sequel to Flashfall.


Lucky in LoveLucky in Love – Kasie West

Published: July 25, 2018

Received via #booksfortrade: October 2018

Can’t buy me love…

Maddie’s not impulsive. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment—

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun…until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?


Second StarSecond Star (The Neverland Chronicles) – J.M. Sullivan

Published: March 5, 2019

Received via Netgalley: October 2018

Wendy Darling worked her entire life to rise through the ranks of the prestigious Londonierre Brigade. Now as a Captain, she has everything she’s always wanted, including a ship and crew of her own. But when the Brigade receives a strange transmission from the legendary James Hooke, lost a hundred years earlier in uncharted space and presumed dead, Wendy is willing to risk it all to rescue her hero. She races to the planet known only as Neverland; her mission to find the long-lost crew and bring them home.

But there is more to Neverland than meets the eye, and more to Hooke than what was written in history books. When Wendy crash lands on the ominous planet, she quickly discovers Neverland’s dark secret; a malevolent being known as The Shadow that’s looking for a host body to escape its eternal prison. To fulfill her mission, Wendy must decide whether to trust the dashing Hooke or the mysterious Fleet mechanic who goes by the name of Pan–and she has to decide quickly…

Before the darkness consumes them all.


Outrun the wind.jpgOutrun the Wind – Elizabeth Tammi

Published: November 27, 2018

Received via Netgalley: October 2018

The Huntresses of Artemis must obey two rules: never disobey the goddess, and never fall in love. After being rescued from a harrowing life as an Oracle of Delphi, Kahina is glad to be a part of the Hunt; living among a group of female warriors gives her a chance to reclaim her strength, even while her prophetic powers linger. But when a routine mission goes awry, Kahina breaks the first rule in order to save the legendary huntress Atalanta. 

To earn back Artemis’s favor, Kahina must complete a dangerous task in the kingdom of Arkadia— where the king’s daughter is revealed to be none other than Atalanta. Still reeling from her disastrous quest and her father’s insistence on marriage, Atalanta isn’t sure what to make of Kahina. As her connection to Atalanta deepens, Kahina finds herself in danger of breaking Artemis’ second rule.

She helps Atalanta devise a dangerous game to avoid marriage, and word spreads throughout Greece, attracting suitors willing to tempt fate to go up against Atalanta in a race for her hand. But when the men responsible for both the girls’ dark pasts arrive, the game turns deadly.


Jack Frost.jpgThe Revoltuion of Jack Frost – K.M. Robinson

Published: November 6, 2018

Received via Netgalley: October 2018

 No one inside the snow globe knows that Morozoko Industries is controlling their weather, testing them to form a stronger race that can survive the fall out from the bombs being dropped in the outside world—all they know is that they must survive the harsh Winter that lasts a month and use the few days of Spring, Summer, and Fall to gather enough supplies to survive.

When the seasons start shifting, Genesis and her boyfriend, Jack, know something is going on. As their team begins to find technology that they don’t have access to inside their snow globe of a world, it begins to look more and more like one of their own is working against them.

Genesis soon discovers Morozoko Industries is to blame, but when a foreign enemy tries to destroy their weather program to make sure their destructive life-altering bombs succeed in destroying the outside world, their only chance is to shut down the machine that is spinning out of control and save the lives of everyone inside the bunker–at any cost.


Phew, that was a long haul. Now onto the short Wrap Up for October!

I didn’t end up getting to Escaping from Houdini unfortunately, but soon! I only read three books this month, and November might not be a great reading month as well, with NaNoWriMo starting on Thursday. But I am happy with what I read this past month!

A curse so dark and lonelyA Curse so Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer – 5/5

ARC Finished – October 9, 2018

(See the September section of the Book Haul for synopsis)

I haven’t yet written my review for this book, I’m still collection my emotions about it, but know this, that I absolutely loved this book. It’s one of my favorite Beauty and the Beast adaptations. Harper was a fantastic character and pretty bad ass. Grey and Rhen need all the hugs in the world, and I cannot wait for the second book!

A full spoiler-free review will be coming soon!


Crown of Midnight .jpgCrown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) – Sarah J. Maas – 4/5

UK Paperback Finished – October 14, 2018

Published: August 15, 2013

 Crowned by Evil.
Bound by Duty.
Divided by Love.

Celaena Sardothien, royal assassin, is the King of Adarlan’s deadliest weapon. She must win her freedom through his enemies’ blood – but she cannot bear to kill for the crown. And every death Celaena fakes, every lie she tells, put those she loves at risk.

Torn between her two protectors – a captain and a prince – and battling a dark force far greater than the king, Celaena must decide what she will fight for: her liberty, her heart or the fate of a kingdom…

It’s been a long time since I read this book – since 2013 – and I remembered none of it. It’s so fun re-reading this series and falling in love with it all over again. Knowing what happens up to Tower of Dawn it’s easier to seed the foreshadowing now, and it amazes me.


Heir of fireHeir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) Sarah J. Maas – 4/5

UK Paperback Finished: October 21, 2018

Published: September 11, 2014

 

Consumed by guilt and rage, Celaena can’t bring herself to spill blood for the King of Adarlan. She must fight back…

The Immortal Queen will help her destroy the king – for a price. But as Celaena battles with her darkest memories and her heart breaks for a love that could never last, can she fulfil the bargain and head the almighty court of Terrasen? And who will stand with her?

One word, ROWAN.

Yeah, I know. He’s not very nice to her, and she’s not very nice to him, but I still love them together. I flew through this book, and since I haven’t read it since its release in 2014, it was like reading it for the first time.


I’ve started Queen of Shadows, so I’m about half way through my re-read of the ToG series. I really need to finish so I can start Kingdom of Ash because people online can be jerks about spoiling highly anticipated books, and I. Do. Not. Want. To. Be. Spoiled. For this book. So, realistically if I read anything in November it will be the ToG series.

Finally, I reached the end of this post! I guess, I didn’t really keep it short. I tried and failed. The wordcount I’m looking at right now, is pretty high, but surprisingly this isn’t my longest post ever.

Clearly I was pretty liberal with my book spending this month, but I did unhaul some and sell them to a used bookstore near me, so at least I’m a little less than even on the book front.

National Novel Writing Month is about to start (Thursday) and my upload schedule is going to change. I talked a little bit about this in my “Quick and Dirty” post, and I’ll mention it again on Wednesday’s post. On Wednesday, I’m going to be talking about my NaNoWriMo plans/strategy and the WIP I’ll be working on, so keep an eye out for that. But long story short, uploads will be only on Fridays, and they will be Weekly NaNoWriMo wrap-ups on my progress, word count, and I might share some short scenes or lines from my WIP.

Okay, now I’m really done – this post is longer than I anticipated, and if you’ve read through, and made it this far, thank you!


What is your favorite book you’ve bought/borrowed/received/checked out recently? Let me know down below!

Five Favorite New Adult Books:

Sometimes I need a break from YA, and I always turn to New Adult – it’s a good way to clear my reading palette and start fresh. I don’t have many New Adult books, and the majority are by the same authors, but here are five that I really loved, and they’ve stuck with me over the years!


On Dublin StreetOn Dublin Street – Samantha Young

Jocelyn Butler has been hiding from her past for years. But all her secrets are about to be laid bare …

Four years ago, Jocelyn left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Scotland, burying her grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without attachments. Her solitary life is working well – until she moves into a new apartment on Dublin Street, where she meets a man who shakes her carefully guarded world to its core.

Braden Carmichael is used to getting what he wants, and he’s determined to get Jocelyn into his bed. Knowing how skittish she is about entering a relationship, Braden proposes an arrangement that will satisfy their intense attraction without any strings attached.

But after an intrigued Jocelyn accepts, she realizes that Braden won’t be satisfied with just mind-blowing passion. The stubborn Scotsman is intent on truly knowing her . . . down to the very soul.


ReliquaryReliquary – Sarah Fine

Mattie Carver’s engagement party should have marked the start of her own personal fairy tale. But when her fiancé, Ben, is violently abducted the next morning, her desperate quest to find him rips her away from small-town life and reveals a shattering truth: magic is real—and Ben is hooked. It’s not the stuff of storybooks. It’s wildly addictive, capable of producing everything from hellish anguish to sensual ecstasy almost beyond human endurance.

Determined to find out who took Ben and why, Mattie immerses herself in a shadowy underworld and comes face-to-face with the darkly alluring Asa Ward, a rogue magic dealer, infamous hustler…and her missing fiancé’s estranged brother. Asa has the power to sense magic, and he realizes Mattie is a reliquary, someone with the rare ability to carry magic within her own body, undetected. Asa agrees to help find Ben on one condition: Mattie must use her uncommon talent to assist his smuggling operations. Now, from magic-laced Vegas casinos to the netherworld clubs of Bangkok, Mattie is on a rescue mission. With Asa by her side, she’ll face not only the supernatural forces arrayed against her but the all-too-human temptation that she fears she can’t resist.


Royally MatchedRoyally Matched – Emma Chase

Some men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry John Edgar Thomas Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap.

He’s not handling it well.

Hoping to help her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora agrees to give him “space”—but while the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:

Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.

A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world’s most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.

While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.

The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit… and her naughty sense of humor.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.

As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.


Maybe SomedayMaybe Someday – Colleen Hoover


Contains exclusive content: songs from Griffin Peterson 

Sydney is living in an idyllic bubble—she’s a dedicated student with a steady job on the side. She lives with her best friend, has a great boyfriend, and the music coming from the balcony opposite hers is fast becoming the soundtrack to her life. But when Sydney finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her, the bubble bursts. The mysterious and attractive man behind the music, Ridge, gives Sydney hope that she can move on and they begin to write songs together. But moving on is harder than she expects, Sydney can only hope…. 

Maybe someday… 


Stay with meStay With Me – Jennifer L. Armentrout

At 21, Calla hasn’t done a lot of things. She’s never been kissed, never seen the ocean, never gone to an amusement park. But growing up, she witnessed some things no child ever should. She still carries the physical and emotional scars of living with a strung-out mother, Mona—secrets she keeps from everyone, including her close circle of college friends.

But the safe cocoon Calla has carefully built is shattered when she discovers her mom has stolen her college money and run up a huge credit card debt in her name. Now, Calla has to go back to the small town she thought she’d left behind and clean up her mom’s mess again. Of course, when she arrives at her mother’s bar, Mona is nowhere to be found. Instead, six feet of hotness named Jackson James is pouring drinks and keeping the place humming.

Sexy and intense, Jax is in Calla’s business from the moment they meet, giving her a job and helping her search for Mona. And the way he looks at her makes it clear he wants to get horizontal . . . and maybe something more. Before Calla can let him get close, though, she’s got to deal with the pain of the past—and some very bad guys out to mess her up if she doesn’t give them her mom.


Have you read any of these books? If so, which is your favorite? Let me know below!

In Honor of –

FullSizeRender-2.jpegKingdom of Ash hit shelves today, and I may have bought the three US exclusive copies…I’m just waiting for two of them to be delivered. And as much as I want to pick it up and start reading it, I have to wait. I’m currently re-reading Queen of Shadows and then Empire of Storms and then, I can pick up the finale. Since I read Tower of Dawn not too long ago, I don’t think I need a refresher of it. I definitely don’t want to wait too long to read it – apparently spoilers are already popping up on the internet – not cool.KOA

Like, last page spoilers.

Don’t want to inadvertently come across it. Which means, once I’m done writing this, I’ll be getting back to reading!

So, in honor of Kingdom of Ash’s release, here are some High Fantasy YA recommendations. I’ve read all of these series and can vouch for my love of them. Some of these books I’ve talked about before on this blog, but there is one trilogy that I’ve never mentioned which I loved when I was a young teen.

These are the books that have helped convince and inspire me to try my hand at writing High Fantasy, and I’m so excited!

I’ll put the synopsis for the first book in each series below!


The cry of the icemark.jpgThe Icemark Chronicles – Stuart Hill

The Icemark is a kingdom in grave danger. Its king has been killed in battle, its enemy lies in wait, and its fate rests on the shoulders of one girl. Thirrin Freer Strong-in-the-Arm Lindenshield, a beautiful princess and an intrepid warrior, must find a way to protect her land from a terrible invasion. She will forge an extraordinary alliance of noble Snow Leopards, ancient Vampires, and ferocious Wolf-folk. She will find unexpected strength in her friendship with a young warlock. And she will lead her allies to victory with her fierce battle cry: “Blood! Blast! And Fire!”


TruthwitchThe Witchlands – Susan Dennard

 In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.


EragonThe Inheritance Cycle – Christopher Paolini

Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds. Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders?

When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself. Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds. Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands…


Blade and RoseBlade & Rose – Miranda Honfleur

A kingdom in turmoil or the love of her life. Which one will she save?

Elementalist Rielle hasn’t heard from her best friend in far too long. Yet no one at the Tower of Magic seems to care about Olivia’s silence, or the curtain of secrecy surrounding the distant capital. Before Rielle can investigate, she’s assigned a strange new mission: escort a paladin named Jon across the kingdom.

When whispers reveal mercenaries have killed the king, taken the capital, and that no one is coming to help, Rielle can’t leave Olivia in peril. But as infamous mages and deadly assassins hunt Jon, she can’t leave him unprotected either—especially as she finds herself falling for his strength, his passion, and his uncompromising goodness. Her past returns to haunt her, a werewolf stalks their steps, and an ancient evil is gathering, yet the restraints forbidding their love strain and snap one by one.

Saving Olivia and the kingdom means defying orders and sacrificing her every ambition, and could mean losing the man who’s become so much more to her than a mission. Which will she choose: her best friend and the kingdom, or the love of her life?

Dive into a medieval world sensual and dark, full of magic and greed, love and blades, where factions vie for influence and there are no easy choices.


Heart of the EmpireThe Broken Lands – Carrie Summers

The Empire is heartless, but fate is crueler still.

Tainted magic spills from a crack between worlds. Quakes rattle the Atal Empire, opening rifts that split towns in two. As the land shatters and betrayals cleave the Emperor’s court, ancient power awakens in a flame-haired young woman.

Savra, a miner on a remote coast, lives in relative innocence of her Emperor’s savage rule. When she turns seventeen, she expects to be assigned sluice mining as her official Function. Everyone from her home village is a sluicer–unless they turn renegade and fugitive like Savra’s father. But when she’s suddenly torn from her home, turned pawn in the plots of madmen, a chance meeting with a young man provides the first glimpse of her tangled destiny.

For nineteen years, Kostan has been groomed for one thing: ascension to the throne. One of thirteen imperial Scions, he bears a wound that won’t heal until his twenty-first birthday. On that date, only the shape of the Scions’ scars will determine the next Atal Emperor.

Savra secretly fears she carries her father’s rebel blood. Kostan despises everything the Empire stands for. Neither desires a fight, but as the Empire crumbles around them, they stand on opposite sides of a war. Each could be part of Empire’s salvation, if only they could bridge the chasm dividing them.


Air AwakensAir Awakens Series – Elise Kova

A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond…

The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.

Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all—the Crown Prince Aldrik—she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.


 Ember in ashesThe Ember Quartet – Sabba Tahir

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

Quick and Dirty

img_1644I didn’t post on Friday.

To be completely honest, I’ve been feeling pretty burned out lately and really uninspired.

I’ve been fighting with my SF WIP and it is stressing me out. I look at it, and in my mind, I just see a jumbled ball of mess. In reality it’s not. I know exactly what I need to do and have been narrowing down all the scenes that I need to cut – I know the story inside and out, but it’s becoming really hard to fight against the lack of inspirations I feel.

It’s the same with reading, unfortunately. It was only this morning that I finally finished Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas…it’s basically taken me all month to read it. And my (mainly) two book TBR is only half completed, and Kingdom of Ash comes out Tuesday and I’ve only just started book 3. Don’t get me wrong, I love that I’m finally rereading the ToG series, but they aren’t books that are sweeping me up into a binge frenzy. They were never really those kinds of books for me. I tended to savor them and read them over a span of days. I really want a book – not too long – that I can sit down and not put down for one sitting. I just haven’t found one yet.

I am prepping for this year’s NaNoWriMo – I already have my novel set up and waiting. I am actually excited to work on the Fantasy WIP I’ve chosen. I actually wrote the first draft of this WIP two years ago for NaNo, and I’ve been dying to work on it. So, that’s where I’m heading back to for November. My trip to Skye inspired me (no it’s not set in Scotland).

Feel free to add me as a Writing Buddy if you’re doing NaNoWriMo this year! You should just be able to search my name Alexa Abee.

I will be doing a more dedicated post to how I prep, and tackling NaNoWriMo closer to the start of November, so keep an eye out for that!

Three final things –

After four long weeks, I finally have my replacement MacBook Pro – it’s how I’m writing this post. It feels so good to be using it versus my old Mac.

img_1675My room renovation/make-over is almost done, I have to finish it before Thursday because we have company coming to stay. But it won’t take long to put the last few finishing touches together. (Here’s a peek at two of my shelves.)

This final thing is a scheduling update. Starting November 5, my plan is to really only upload on Fridays. They’ll be wrap-ups of what I did during the week, reading/writing wise and NaNoWriMo updates. I am going to be posting more frequent updates on Instagram and Twitter so you can always follow me there, if you don’t want to wait each week.

I’m not saying I won’t post on Monday’s or Wednesday’s at all, but for next month, I’m just going to alter my upload schedule slightly. Maybe that will help with the burn-out I’m feeling right now.


Currently Reading: Heir of Fire – Sarah J Maas

Currently Watching: The 100 (Season 5) and The Vampire Diaries (Season 5)

Currently Listening To: Mean Girls : Broadway Soundtrack


If you’re doing NaNoWriMo, what genre is your story? Let me know below!

5 Favorite Fairytale Adaptions:

Oh, there are so many I could choose from, which makes this the hardest post to write out of all these “5 Favorite” posts I’ve done. It’s harder because I have a much larger selection of fantasy than I do any other genre in YA Literature.

I love fairytale adaptations and finding out what new twist or take the author has done to make the story fresh and unique, and these five books do exactly that in my opinion. Each of these books are obviously favorites that I constantly push my friends to read – which has been partially successful.

What’s my favorite fairytale adaptation? I’m a sucker for a Sleeping Beauty adaptation, but I haven’t found many of them that I absolutely love. Usually I see Beauty and the Beast adaptations, and I always end up loving them – two of the books I’m going to list are Beauty and the Beast stories. One of my favorite adaptations is one about the 12 Dancing Princesses – I’d die for more stories based on that one.


Now, onto the five books!

Princess of ThornsPrincess of Thorns – Stacey Jay

Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora’s throne ten years ago.

Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it’s too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love.

I haven’t read this book since around the time it first came out, but I remember absolutely loving it and wishing that there were more adaptations!


EntwinedEntwined – Heather Dixon

 Just when Azalea should feel that everything is before her—beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing—it’s taken away. All of it. And Azalea is trapped. The Keeper understands. He’s trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. So he extends an invitation.

Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest, but there is a cost. The Keeper likes to keep things. Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.

It’s been a long while since I’ve read this, but it’s still a favorite. It’s probably time for a reread!


HuntedHunted – Meagan Spooner

Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them. 

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

I’ve been a fan of Meagan’s for a while, and I was so excited for this book. It didn’t disappoint, and it was fresh and creative and I loved it.


The Wish GranterThe Wish Granter – CJ Redwine

The world has turned upside down for Thad and Ari Glavan, the bastard twins of Súndraille’s king. Their mother was murdered. The royal family died mysteriously. And now Thad sits on the throne of a kingdom whose streets are suddenly overrun with violence he can’t stop.

Growing up ignored by the nobility, Ari never wanted to be a proper princess. And when Thad suddenly starts training Ari to take his place, she realizes that her brother’s ascension to the throne wasn’t fate. It was the work of a Wish Granter named Alistair Teague who tricked Thad into wishing away both the safety of his people and his soul in exchange for the crown.

So Ari recruits the help of Thad’s enigmatic new weapons master, Sebastian Vaughn, to teach her how to fight Teague. With secret ties to Teague’s criminal empire, Sebastian might just hold the key to discovering Alistair’s weaknesses, saving Ari’s brother—and herself.

But Teague is ruthless and more than ready to destroy anyone who dares stand in his way—and now he has his sights set on the princess. And if Ari can’t outwit him, she’ll lose Sebastian, her brother…and her soul.

Who knew a Rumpelstiltskin story would end up on this list. I was wary going into this book – honestly didn’t know if I would like it, but oh my god, I’m so happy I was wrong.


A curse so dark and lonelyA Curse So Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

This is a recent read for me, and it comes out in January 2019. I knew I would love it, but what I wasn’t aware of was how much. This book should definitely be on your radar, and I’ll have a review up for it soon!


What are your favorite Fairytale adaptions? Let me know in the comments! I’m always looking for book recommendations!

Five Favorite Mermaid/Siren/Pirate Books

Surprisingly there aren’t many of these kinds of books on my shelves, which is a travesty in my opinion. Give me more! I’ll read any book if it has to deal with Pirates, Mermaids/Sirens.

Who didn’t want to be a mermaid or a pirate as a young kid? I’m a sucker for Pirates of the Caribbean and The Little Mermaid and Peter Pan – I can’t think of others, but there is probably some slipping my brain.

There are a few of these kinds of books on my shelves that I haven’t had a chance to read yet, and I did just buy another one this weekend, but I hope to get to them soon. Each of these book’s I’m about to list, I’ve loved and couldn’t put down until I finished them. Three of them I’ve listened to on Audible and loved. I’m also counting a specific duology as 1 book for the sake of this post.


Let’s get into it!

Daughter of the Pirate KingDaughter of the Pirate King / Daughter of the Siren Queen ­– Tricia Levenseller

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.

Daughter of the Siren QueenAlosa’s mission is finally complete. Not only has she recovered all three pieces of the map to a legendary hidden treasure, but the pirates who originally took her captive are now prisoners on her ship. Still unfairly attractive and unexpectedly loyal, first mate Riden is a constant distraction, but now he’s under her orders. And she takes great comfort in knowing that the villainous Vordan will soon be facing her father’s justice.

When Vordan exposes a secret her father has kept for years, Alosa and her crew find themselves in a deadly race with the feared Pirate King. Despite the danger, Alosa knows they will recover the treasure first . . . after all, she is the daughter of the Siren Queen.

I listened to these on Audible and absolutely loved them! Easily two of my favorite 2018 reads! 


BlackheartsBlackhearts – Nicole Castroman

Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.

Edward “Teach” Drummond, son of one of Bristol’s richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There’s just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.

Following her parents’ deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she’s stuck in England?

From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve actually read this, but I remember absolutely loving it, but I think I’m going to have to re-read before diving into book 2!


To Kill A KingdomTo Kill A Kingdom – Alexandra Christo

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

This was another Audible read and I LOVED it! If you haven’t read this yet, you need to!


Of PoseidonOf Poseidon – Anna Banks

Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he’s heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!—both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma’s gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom…

This is another one that’s been sitting on my shelf for awhile having initially read it years ago, but I remember the trilogy being some of my most anticipated reads at the time!


UnhookedUnhooked – Lisa Maxwell

For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home—all because her mother believes that monsters are hunting them. Now these delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. The only saving grace is her best friend, Olivia, who’s coming with them for the summer.

But when Gwen and Olivia are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and taken to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey, Gwen realizes her mom might have been sane all along.

The world Gwen finds herself in is called Neverland, yet it’s nothing like the stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through her fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the roguish young pirate who promises to keep her safe.

With time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But will she be able to save Neverland without losing herself?

I didn’t put this book down until I finished it. I remember staying up all night to read this!


Are there any books that should be on my radar? Let me know!

 

Five Favorite Contemporary Books

Now, this list isn’t comprehensive since most of the contemporary books on my shelves are favorites. This is a genre that I don’t read often, and honestly very few authors make up my collection. I tend to like the lighter, fluffier contemporary romances rather than the heavier ones.

This stems from the fact that I find I can’t relate to teens in a contemporary setting, which is weird since I can in SF or Fantasy. I’m probably not explaining it really well, but I like my contemporary romances light (for the most part)

So these five books I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned on this blog at all, which is why I chose them. I could talk about Brigid Kemmerer and Robyn Schneider until I’m blue in the face, but for this post I’m not going to.

I’ve read every book on this list and loved them all, and I’m a sucker for the “boy-next-door” “childhood friend turned bf/gf” and “Pretend to date and fall in love”. I think these books encompass my tastes perfectly.

So here we go!


My Life Next DoorMy Life Next Door – Huntley Fitzpatrick

 The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.

As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase’s family embraces Samantha – even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha’s world. She’s suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.

It took me awhile to read this – I don’t know why, but I loved it so much, and remember sitting in the middle of my living room until late because I couldn’t put it down.


My Life with the Walter BoysMy Life with the Walter Boys – Ali Novak

My Life with the Walter Boys centers on the prim, proper, and always perfect Jackie Howard. When her world is turned upside down by tragedy, Jackie must learn to cut loose and be part of a family again.

Jackie does not like surprises. Chaos is the enemy! The best way to get her successful, busy parents to notice her is to be perfect. The perfect look, the perfect grades-the perfect daughter. And then…

Surprise #1: Jackie’s family dies in a freak car accident.

Surprise #2: Jackie has to move cross-country to live with the Walters-her new guardians.

Surprise #3: The Walters have twelve sons. (Well, eleven, but Parker acts like a boy anyway)

Now Jackie must trade in her Type A personality and New York City apartment for a Colorado ranch and all the wild Walter boys who come with it. Jackie is surrounded by the enemy-loud, dirty, annoying boys who have no concept of personal space. Okay, several of the oldest guys are flat-out gorgeous. But still annoying. She’s not stuck-up or boring-no matter what they say. But proving it is another matter. How can she fit in and move on when she needs to keep her parents’ memory alive by living up to the promise of perfect?

 This was another one sitting book for me. I binged the crap out of this, and I actually now want to read it again.


The Fill In BfThe Fill-In Boyfriend – Kasie West

When Gia Montgomery’s boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she’d been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend—two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it’s not the real Bradley she’s thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn’t even know. But tracking him down doesn’t mean they’re done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend’s graduation party—three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

I stayed up late reading this, and then ended up in this reading rut where all I wanted to do was read these kinds of pretended dating and falling in love books.


The HeartbreakersThe Heartbreakers – Ali Novak

Stella will do anything for her sick sister, Cara—even stand in line for an autographed Heartbreakers CD…for four hours. She’s totally winning best birthday gift this year. At least she met a cute boy with soft brown hair and gorgeous blue eyes while getting her caffeine fix. Too bad she’ll never see him again.

Except, Stella’s life has suddenly turned into a cheesy love song. Because Starbucks Boy is Oliver Perry – lead singer for the Heartbreakers. And even after she calls his music crap, Oliver still gives Stella his phone number. And whispers quotes from her favorite Disney movie in her ear. OMG, what is her life?

But how can Stella even think about being with Oliver — dating and laughing and pulling pranks with the band — when her sister could be dying of cancer?

I will admit that I was obsessed with One Direction, and this book just made me so happy, and I read this at the beach. I’m pretty sure I didn’t get up until it was done.


My Faire LadyMy Faire Lady – Laura Wettersten

Rowena Duncan is a thoroughly modern girl with big plans for her summer—until she catches her boyfriend making out with another girl. Heartbroken, she applies to an out-of-town job posting and finds herself somewhere she never expected: the Renaissance Faire.

As a face-painter doubling as a serving wench, Ro is thrown headfirst into a vibrant community of artists and performers. She feels like a fish out of water until Will, a quick-witted whip cracker, takes her under his wing. Then there’s Christian, a blue-eyed stunt jouster who makes Ro weak in the knees. Soon, it’s not just her gown that’s tripping her up.

Trading in the internet and electricity for stars and campfires was supposed to make life simpler, but Ro is finding that love is the ultimate complication. Can she let the past make way for her future?

I love going to Renaissance Faire’s and one of my all time favorite romcoms is All’s Faire in Love, so I really enjoyed this.


If you’ve read any of these, do you have a favorite? Let me know!

5 Favorite Science Fiction Books

I’m a sucker for sci-fi, and honestly I probably prefer it to fantasy…that could be a lie, but I do know I absolutely love getting lost in a good sci-fi. For the purposes of this post though, I’m going to narrow the genre down significantly to sci-fi that takes place in space / another planet(s) and more preferably on a ship. Science Fiction set on a ship in space is by far my favorite kind of story to watch and to read.

I feel like there aren’t enough books in YA that take place on a space ship – maybe they’re just not on my radar and I’m missing them. I’ve been able to amass a small collection, but it’s small, and sadly I’ve not been able to read them all, but most.

I’ve always been in love with space and the idea of being able to travel to new worlds and seeing what’s out there. It’s why my big SF project I’ve been working on, which I’ve mentioned numerous times on this blog, is a SF set in space on a ship. It’s my passion project. I’m writing what I would love, love, love to see on shelves in stores. I’m getting the sense that this kind of sci-fi might be on the rise, and if so, I’m clearly here for it.

If you’re still not sure what I’m talking about, then here are some show recommendations real quick, that I love so much, and constantly re-watching.

  • Farscape
  • Stargate: SG – 1
  • Stargate: Atlantis
  • Stargate Universe
  • Firefly
  • Dark Matter

And that’s 5 show recs! If you check them out, feel free to tell me your thoughts!


I’m going to keep this next part short and sweet!

Now onto the 5 books! In no particular order –

These broken starsThese Broken Stars (The Starbound Trilogy) – Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive – alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth. 


Starflight – Melissa Landersstarflight

Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She’s so desperate to reach the realm that she’s willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he’s been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world—and each other—the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe…


IlluminaeIlluminae – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.


nebulaNebula – L A Sees

I don’t know where I came from. I don’t know where I’m going. What I do know is where I’d like to be—safe within my mother’s embrace.

One girl’s search for truth may alter an entire universe in the spellbinding new science fiction novel, Nebula. Written by L.A. Sees, this young adult adventure proves the importance of being yourself no matter what galaxy you’re in.

Ree Lindbergh’s dream since she was a little girl is a simple one: to one day travel to Earth. Instead, she’s stuck aboard the Omega Centauri, a spacecraft used to patrol the borders of the Milky Way. Having spent her entire seventeen-year existence on board, Ree is a bit restless. But her mission is important: help keep Earth’s newly discovered alien species, the Bufoanthroid, under control.

By day, Ree enjoys spending time with her best friend, Zac Walker. But when night falls, she is continually tormented by memories of her mother, killed by a Bufoanthroid the day Ree was born.

Her world is turned upside down once again when Zac’s ship disappears. Determined to rescue him, Ree embarks on a frantic mission to save him. As events unravel and secrets are revealed, Ree soon realizes that achieving her dreams will mean facing the truth behind her nightmares.


starglassStarglass – Phoebe North

Terra has never known anything but life aboard the Asherah, a city-within-a-spaceship that left Earth five hundred years ago in search of refuge. At sixteen, working a job that doesn’t interest her, and living with a grieving father who only notices her when he’s yelling, Terra is sure that there has to be more to life than what she’s got.

But when she inadvertently witnesses the captain’s guard murdering an innocent man, Terra is suddenly thrust into the dark world beneath her ship’s idyllic surface. As she’s drawn into a secret rebellion determined to restore power to the people, Terra discovers that her choices may determine life or death for the people she cares most about. With mere months to go before landing on the long-promised planet, Terra has to make the decision of a lifetime–one that will determine the fate of her people.


I’ve read all of these books, and enjoyed all of them. If you’ve read any of these books/series let me know in the comments!

Underrated Fantasy Series

I want to talk about three Fantasy Series that I love and feel are underrated. I found two of these series through Facebook and the third I found scrolling through Amazon. They are all definitely High Fantasy and I often see them compared to Sarah J Maas’s Throne of Glass Series. While that might be a good selling comparison, each of these series are unique and engaging, and each book keeps me wanting more.

Each of these series has strong, capable female leads that are powerful in their own right. There’s romance, forbidden or otherwise, magic, action and betrayal. While I’m in the middle of two of these three series, each book has made me want the second, third, fourth, etc.

I could keep vaguely talking about the series, but maybe I should name them. Two of them I’ve talked about and reviewed some of the books, while I haven’t really talked about the other one, since it’s been so long since I read it. I’ll be linking Goodreads and inputting the synopsis of the first book in this post. I’ll also link the author’s websites as well.

If you’re looking for high fantasy books that aren’t mainstream, you definitely want to check these out.


Air Awakens.jpgI’m going to start off with Elise Kova’s Air Awakens Series. Elise Kova has become more popular over the last few years, with her newer releases (Wish Quartet and Loom Saga), but I’m talking about her Fantasy debut Air Awakens and the following novels. When I found these books, I bough the first two right away, and I prayed that the first one wouldn’t flop. It didn’t. I remember reading the second one on a flight back from San Antonio and wanting to scream at the ending.

This has absolutely become one of my all time favorite fantasy series, and I’m definitely planning a reread. I love Vhalla and Aldrik so much. I gave the books to my friend and she loved them just as much. They are engaging and tell a compelling story, and holy crap Elise is such a talented writer. These books just leave you wanting more and more. Also the covers are gorgeous.

A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond…

The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.

Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all—the Crown Prince Aldrik—she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.

 Books in the series:

Air Awakens

Fire Falling

Tales from the Front (novella)

Earth’s End

Water’s Wrath

Crystal Crowned

 Even more exciting there is a prequel trilogy:

The Crown’s Dog

The Prince’s Rogue

The Farmer’s War

 And finally, just recently Elise revealed that there is going to be a sequel series (or trilogy) called Air Awakens – Vortex Chronicles, which I’m super excited for!


Blade and RoseThe next series is Miranda Honfleur’s Blade & Rose Series. Initially I think Facebook showed me an ad for this series, and I probably took a screenshot, but if I remember I ended up finding it again on Amazon. It sounded like a fantasy I would like so I bought it. I didn’t realize that it was basically a brick of a book, and each book get’s significantly longer – the first book is 680 pages long, so be warned. If you’re someone who likes physical copies of books, this series is going to take up substantial space on your shelves and they are heavy to carry around.

I do have a review for Blade & Rose the first book in this series, so I’ll link that here. I really enjoyed the relationship between Jon and Rielle and how they work together. The magic system was a little confusing, but overall this book is just one exciting ride, and I found once I started it, I pretty much didn’t put it down until I finished it.

Then I purchased book 2…which I haven’t gotten to yet. It’s daunting at 742 pages.

I plan on reading the second and third book soon, so I can order book 4 without feeling like a turd for buying the series and not reading it. Also, I love the covers of these books, and I cannot wait to see were Miranda is going to take the series. The ending of book one left me anxious with anticipation.

A kingdom in turmoil or the love of her life. Which one will she save?

Elementalist Rielle hasn’t heard from her best friend in far too long. Yet no one at the Tower of Magic seems to care about Olivia’s silence, or the curtain of secrecy surrounding the distant capital. Before Rielle can investigate, she’s assigned a strange new mission: escort a paladin named Jon across the kingdom.

When whispers reveal mercenaries have killed the king, taken the capital, and that no one is coming to help, Rielle can’t leave Olivia in peril. But as infamous mages and deadly assassins hunt Jon, she can’t leave him unprotected either—especially as she finds herself falling for his strength, his passion, and his uncompromising goodness. Her past returns to haunt her, a werewolf stalks their steps, and an ancient evil is gathering, yet the restraints forbidding their love strain and snap one by one.

Saving Olivia and the kingdom means defying orders and sacrificing her every ambition, and could mean losing the man who’s become so much more to her than a mission. Which will she choose: her best friend and the kingdom, or the love of her life?

Dive into a medieval world sensual and dark, full of magic and greed, love and blades, where factions vie for influence and there are no easy choices.

Books in the series

Winter Wren (novella)

Blade & Rose

Court of Shadows

By Dark Deeds

Queen of the Shining Sea

The Dragon King

Immortelle


Heart of the EmpireFinally, the last series I want to talk about is Carrie Summer’s The Broken Lands Series. I found the first book in this series Heart of the Empire around the same time I found Blade & Rose and ordered both together. When it arrived at my house I stood in my kitchen and read the first six chapters and I was hooked. I’ve read book two, and holy crap I cannot wait to finish this trilogy with book three.

Carrie Summer’s has many books and many different series, and I’m so glad I found her, because I want to read everything she’s written.

Heart of the Empire is such a great book – review here – and so well written. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I’m trying to get all my friends to read it, because I know they’ll like it. Since I do have review for the first two books (book 2 review here) I won’t go into too much detail – feel free to check out the reviews, but Savra does not give up, even when all the odds may be stacked against her, and Kostan constantly strives to be the man he wants to be, even though the world would rather force him to be otherwise.

The Empire is heartless, but fate is crueler still.

Tainted magic spills from a crack between worlds. Quakes rattle the Atal Empire, opening rifts that split towns in two. As the land shatters and betrayals cleave the Emperor’s court, ancient power awakens in a flame-haired young woman.

Savra, a miner on a remote coast, lives in relative innocence of her Emperor’s savage rule. When she turns seventeen, she expects to be assigned sluice mining as her official Function. Everyone from her home village is a sluicer–unless they turn renegade and fugitive like Savra’s father. But when she’s suddenly torn from her home, turned pawn in the plots of madmen, a chance meeting with a young man provides the first glimpse of her tangled destiny.

For nineteen years, Kostan has been groomed for one thing: ascension to the throne. One of thirteen imperial Scions, he bears a wound that won’t heal until his twenty-first birthday. On that date, only the shape of the Scions’ scars will determine the next Atal Emperor.

Savra secretly fears she carries her father’s rebel blood. Kostan despises everything the Empire stands for. Neither desires a fight, but as the Empire crumbles around them, they stand on opposite sides of a war. Each could be part of Empire’s salvation, if only they could bridge the chasm dividing them.

Books in the Series –

Heart of the Empire

Rise of the Storm

Fate of the Drowned


All of these authors are fantastic writers, who tell fantastic stories. I’m so happy that I can call them some of my favorites, and hopefully I’ve convinced you to check these series out. If you do, I’d love to know your thoughts. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you do.

If you like high fantasy adventures, where the fate of humanity is being fought for, and kick-ass women are fighting to survive and surmounting seemingly insurmountable odds, with magic and romance, then you’ll definitely want to check these books out!

 

 

Wrap Up & October TBR

It was a slow reading month; I’m not sure what happened. I had all these great plans to read so many great books, and nothing happened. Well, very little happened. I read whopping two books. Yep, only two. It was a slow month. I was supposed to be half way through my Throne of Glass series reread, instead I haven’t even started book two.

Most of September was spent working on giving my room a makeover and now my tiny room consists of nothing but books and my bed…okay that’s not entirely true, but my bed does take up a lot of my room space. Don’t get me wrong – I’m excited and happy that I’ve finally gotten a new bed and new shelves, but there is also something bittersweet about it all. Now that I’m probably about 80% done with my room – all major things checked off, October should be a pretty good reading month. That is why I’m actually including a TBR in this post.

I don’t usually like laying out what I’m going to be reading, because I never stick to it, but there are definitely two books that I WILL be reading this month, and I’ll get to those shortly. Anything else I read in October will be up to my mood, or maybe I’ll only read the two, since I gave myself a deadline to get these revisions for my SF WIP done by the end of the month. I lied. I’ve got to reread the whole TOG series before the release of Kingdom of Ash so I better get started on reading. But for the purposes of this TBR, I am only going to list the two I know for a fact I will be reading, and let’s just assume I’ll get TOG done.

On to the two books I read in the month of September.


Book One:

Throne of GlassThrone of Glass – Sarah J. Maas – 4/5

UK Paperback Finished – September 7, 2018

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

It’s been years since I read Throne of Glass, having not read it since it’s release in 2012, and I forgot how much I loved it, and it was nice falling back in love with the story. I also forgot how young the characters felt. It was nice going back to the beginning, and I’m excited and terrified about how Kingdom of Ash is going to wreck me.

 

Book Two:

damselDamsel – Elana K. Arnold – 3.5/5

ARC Finished – September 17, 2018

The rite has existed for as long as anyone can remember: when the prince-who-will-be-king comes of age, he must venture out into the gray lands, slay a fierce dragon, and rescue a damsel to be his bride. This is the way things have always been.

When Ama wakes in the arms of Prince Emory, however, she knows none of this. She has no memory of what came before she was captured by the dragon, or what horrors she has faced in its lair. She knows only this handsome prince, the story he tells of her rescue, and her destiny to sit on the throne beside him. Ama comes with Emory back to the kingdom of Harding, hailed as the new princess, welcomed to the court.

However, as soon as her first night falls, she begins to realize that not all is as it seems, that there is more to the legends of the dragons and the damsels than anyone knows–and that the greatest threats to her life may not be behind her, but here, in front of her. 

I have a whole spoiler free review of this book – here – so I’m not going to go into a lot of details. I enjoyed the story for the plot, but there were some descriptions that didn’t sit well with me. This is definitely not your average YA Fantasy with a dark twist, and I would look at some reviews for this book if you were questioning whether or not it’s for you.

And that’s it for my wrap up!


Now onto my October TBR – in no particular order.

Book One:

A curse so dark and lonelyA Curse So Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer

ARC

Published – January 29, 2019

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

 I’m lucky enough to call Brigid a friend, and she was so sweet to give me the chance to read her upcoming Fantasy early. I’m so excited to start this, and it’s been staring at me since Saturday when it came into my possession, but I told myself that I wasn’t allowed to start it until I’d moved all my books back into my room, and built my bed. Both of those tasks are done, so nothing is stopping me now! I also wanted a few hours uninterrupted because I’m pretty sure once I start reading this Beauty and the Beast adaptation, I won’t put it down until I’m finished. I’m super excited for this book!

 

Book Two:

Escaping from HoudiniEscaping From Houdini – Kerri Mansicalco

Hardcover

Published – September 18, 2018

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are en route to New York to help solve another blood-soaked mystery. Embarking on a week-long voyage across the Atlantic on the opulent RMS Etruria, they’re delighted to discover a traveling troupe of circus performers, fortune tellers, and a certain charismatic young escape artist entertaining the first-class passengers nightly.

But then, privileged young women begin to go missing without explanation, and a series of brutal slayings shocks the entire ship. The strange and disturbing influence of the Moonlight Carnival pervades the decks as the murders grow ever more freakish, with nowhere to escape except the unforgiving sea. It’s up to Audrey Rose and Thomas to piece together the gruesome investigation as even more passengers die before reaching their destination. But with clues to the next victim pointing to someone she loves, can Audrey Rose unravel the mystery before the killer’s horrifying finale?

I’ve been dying for this book ever since I finished Hunting Prince Dracula last year. I need more Cressworth. I love this series and the characters so much, that the book club I am a part of is reading Stalking Jack the Ripper as this “months” book. I’ve heard from two members so far that they’ve really enjoyed it. The meeting is on October 12, so I will know soon what everyone else thought. I don’t know why I didn’t read this the moment it came out, but I didn’t, and I’m excited to read it now!

And finally, I’m going to call the Throne of Glass Series – Books 2 – 5 (Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire, Queen of Shadows, Empire of Storms, Tower of Dawn) – though it’s only been a few months since tower of dawn, so I might skip that one since it’s still REALLY fresh in my mind.

That’s my Wrap Up & October TBR!


img_1475As an extra little bonus update:

Every year Baltimore hosts the Baltimore Book Festival in the Inner Harbor, and I’ve gone for the last seven years. While I don’t often venture into Baltimore (not a city person at all) I do enjoy going down for the festival. This year I went to support Brigid who was on a panel with Nisha Sharma, author of My So-Called Bollywood Life – which I bought a copy of and got it signed. img_1476It wasn’t like most of the other panels I’ve ever been two, it was actually more of a conversation with Mathew Winner, who does The Children’s Book Podcast.

img_1479I was hoping the Podcast was going to be up on his website, but it doesn’t appear to be up yet, but if you’re interested, you should check out the website – https://lgbpodcast.libsyn.com/

 

Overall it was a nice afternoon two be there, and it was nice catching up with Brigid who I hadn’t seen in a while.


Is anyone else re-reading TOG in preparation for KOA? Which is your favorite book?