Review: Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things

Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things by Jacqueline Firkins

I am always a sucker for a good contemporary so that is why I was so excited to read this one. Sadly, this was just not a good read. I kept telling myself I should have stopped reading but I pushed through, that was such a mistake.

This certainly did not read like a fluffy rom-com as it was full of cheating, betrayal, cheating, cheating, lies, and more cheating. I felt it kept happening because the characters allowed it too. They had money so they just brushed all of it off. That’s not how things work in real life and it was so frustrating to read about it.

The characters were self-centered, one sided, flat, and void of any personality. None of them had any redeeming qualities and therefore I did not care for any of them. I did not care what happened to them because they did not care what happened to them.

I would not recommend this to anyone. There are a ton of better contemporary books in the world and life is too short to read bad books.

Waiting on Wednesday: The Nobleman’s Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

The Nobleman’s Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks by Mackenzi Lee

The Nobleman's Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks (Montague Siblings, #3)

From Goodreads:

Return to the enchanting world of the Montague siblings in the finale to the New York Times bestselling and Stonewall Honor-winning series, featuring a teenage Adrian Montague as he desperately seeks the now adult Monty and Felicity—the older siblings he never knew he had.

The sole heir to his family’s fortune, Adrian Montague desperately wants to be free—from his father’s high expectations; the grief of losing his beloved mother; and the constant war being waged inside his mind. Adrian was diagnosed with hysteria at a young age and it’s always been kept a secret. But when he has a breakdown at his engagement party, the public learns Adrian’s worst fear: he might not be fit to run the Montague estate.

Thankfully, Adrian is given an opportunity to avoid the impending scandal: a trip to the Caribbean to claim the last of his mother’s possessions. But along the way, Adrian discovers another secret lurking in his family tree. He is actually the youngest of three children—his sister Felicity and brother “Monty” went missing over a decade ago. Now Adrian has the chance to find them and offer to pass the estate back to the rightful heirs.

Adrian expects to win his long-lost brother over with the promise of wealth and inheritance, while dreaming of a quiet life where Adrian doesn’t feel like a burden to anyone. But when Adrian finally tracks him down, Monty refuses to return home. The only thing he can convince Monty of is to accompany him across the ocean as an act of tribute to their mother, hoping that during the voyage he can persuade Monty into taking the weight of inheriting the estate off his shoulders.

When they reach their destination, Adrian and Monty find something hidden in their mother’s belongings—a clue pointing to a valuable artifact that could potentially save the Montague siblings from a curse that threatens their lives. But to retrieve it, they must chase an infamous myth through the wild sugar fields of Barbados to the haunting streets of New Orleans to mysterious uncharted islands off the edge of the map.

Is this on your TBR? Let me know!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I’ve Read the Most Books By

TTT

  Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Every week they have a different theme for bloggers to post their top tens about, and this week I’m listing…          

Authors I’ve Read the Most Books By

Marissa Meyer
Marissa Meyer
Marie Lu
Marie Lu
Nic Stone
Nic Stone
Jenn Bennett
Jenn Bennett
Emma   Mills
Emma Mills
Gayle Forman
Gayle Forman
Lauren Oliver
Lauren Oliver
J.R. Ward
J.R. Ward
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Cecelia Ahern
Marie Rutkoski
Marie Rutoski

Which authors do you read the most? Are any on this list?

The Lost City by Amanda Hocking: Blog Tour

The Lost City Book Description

Amanda Hocking, the New York Times bestselling author of The Kanin Chronicles, returns to the magical world of the Trylle Trilogy with The Lost City, the first novel in The Omte Origins—and the final story arc in her beloved series.

The storm and the orphan

Twenty years ago, a woman sought safety from the spinning ice and darkness that descended upon a small village. She was given shelter for the night by the local innkeepers but in the morning, she disappeared—leaving behind an infant. Now nineteen, Ulla Tulin is ready to find who abandoned her as a baby or why.

The institution and the quest

Ulla knows the answers to her identity and heritage may be found at the Mimirin where scholars dedicate themselves to chronicling troll history. Granted an internship translating old documents, Ulla starts researching her own family lineage with help from her handsome and charming colleague Pan Soriano.

The runaway and the mystery

But then Ulla meets Eliana, a young girl who no memory of who she is but who possesses otherworldly abilities. When Eliana is pursued and captured by bounty hunters, Ulla and Pan find themselves wrapped up in a dangerous game where folklore and myth become very real and very deadly—but one that could lead Ulla to the answers she’s been looking for.

Buy Links:

Macmillan

Books-A-Million

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

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Review

This was such a good book! I was hooked from the moment I started. If you love magical fantasy books with trolls, mythology and more, then this is the book you want. I’m going to try my best to not give anything away so this may come across as a short review, bear with me.

From the start, I felt the characters and the world building were very, very well developed. The characters felt flawed and complex, while the world itself felt lush and realistic. Ulla’s backstory and the mystery around Eliana were enthralling. As the story moved forward, I felt like I was on the edge of my seat wanting to know what was going to happen, what secret might be revealed next.

I highly recommend you add this to your TBR now, if you haven’t already. This is a fantasy series you don’t want to miss out on.

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Author bio:

AMANDA HOCKING is the author of over twenty young adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Trylle Trilogy and Kanin Chronicles. Her love of pop culture and all things paranormal influence her writing. She spends her time in Minnesota, taking care of her menagerie of pets and working on her next book.

Early Praise for The Lost City:

“Hocking’s fast, engaging fantasy will draw in new and seasoned fans of the genre… [She] keeps the surprises coming, [leaving] readers eager to know more”

School Library Journal (starred review)

Social Links:

Author website

Twitter @Amanda_Hocking

Facebook

Author Blog

Pinterest

GoodReads

Book Review: Forged in Fire and Stars

Forged in Fire and Stars (Forged in Fire and Stars, #1)

I was excited to continue this series as I enjoyed the first book but this just did not live up to my expectations.

The first thing that stood out to me was that we were given a new character, Ara, and told she is important. That’s fine but we were not given any time to get to know her. How can I care about a character I know nothing about? Show me, don’t tell me. She quickly became a character I would consider a ‘throw-away” character as she was utterly forgettable simply based on the way she was introduced.

Nothing of note happened in this story. It suffered “second book syndrome” in the worse possible way. The pacing was brutally slow, too much detail was given on people/places/things that had no impact on the overall story. There was just so much potential with this book but it felt wasted. I nearly DNFd the book, and I probably should have. This was a struggle from start to finish.

B*WITCH Tour: Guest Post

B*WITCH

by Paige McKenzie & Nancy Ohlin
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: July 7th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Witches, Mystery, LGBT

Synopsis:

A lone witch has powers. A coven has a multitude more.

New girl and secret witch Iris just wants to get through her first day of school without a panic attack. The last thing she expects is to be taken in by a coven of three witches-soft-spoken Greta, thoughtful and musical Ridley, and fiery and spirited Binx. They may be the first witches Iris has met IRL, but their coven is not alone in their small northwestern town.

The Triad is the other coven at their school. When the Triad’s not using spells to punish their exes or break up happy couples for fun, they practice dark magic. The two covens have a rivalry stretching all the way back to junior high.

When tragedy strikes and one of their own is murdered, the rival covens must band together to find out who is responsible before it’s too late. Someone’s anti-witch ideology has turned deadly . . . and one of them is next.

With an inclusive cast of teen witches who leap off the page with style, attitude, and charm, B*Witch is a singable read perfect for fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Mean Girls alike.

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48717624-b-witch

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2WIh29a

Bookdepository: https://www.bookdepository.com/B-witch-Paige-McKenzie/9781368028769?ref=grid-view&qid=1588965327354&sr=1-1

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/b-witch-paige-mckenzie/1134720656?ean=9781368028769

iTunes: https://books.apple.com/us/book/b-witch/id1500054001

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/b-witch-1

Google Books: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Paige_McKenzie_B_WITCH?id=rz3SDwAAQBAJ

AUTHOR INFORMATION

PAIGE MCKENZIE

Paige McKenzie is a millennial hyphenate: a New York Timesbestselling author, YouTuber, actor, influencer, creator, artist, producer. Her first book series, The Haunting of Sunshine Girl, was on the New York Times bestseller list for over a month. Paige is constantly creating. Her Etsy shop the Homebody Guild is full of her art and designs, and she is always updating it with new creations. Paige also interacts daily with her Sunshiners across a variety of media including YouTube (where she has over half a million subscribers), Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Paige is a founding member of Coat Tail Productions, with three projects in active development. Paige lives in Portland, Oregon with the love of her life, a seven-pound Chihuahua named Pongo.

NANCY OHLIN

Nancy Ohlin was born in Tokyo and moved to the United States when she was nine. She has written, ghostwritten, or collaborated on over one hundred fiction and nonfiction books for children, teens, and adults, including her YA novels Consent, Beauty, and Always, Forever (Simon & Schuster). Most recently, she collaborated with Paige on The Sacrifice of Sunshine Girl (Hachette Books), Quvenzhané Wallis on the Shai and Emmie chapter book series (Simon & Schuster), and Chloé Lukasiak on her forthcoming memoir Girl on Pointe: Chloe’s Guide to Taking on the World (Bloomsbury). Learn more at nancyohlin.com and on Twitter (@nancyohlin).

AUTHOR LINKS

PAIGE MCKENZIE

Website: https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/landing-page/the-haunting-of-sunshine-girl/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hauntedsunshine

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/692829.Paige_McKenzie

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hauntedsunshine/

NANCY OHLIN

Website: http://www.nancyohlin.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NancyOhlin

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6459715.Nancy_Ohlin

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Nancy-Ohlin-559301467435019/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nancyohlin222/

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LAUNCH PARTY – FREE EVENT

Paige McKenzie and Nancy Ohlin will be doing a virtual launch event for B*WITCH with Powell’s on July 7 at 5:00 pm (PST). They will be in conversation with E. Latimer (author of WITCHES OF ASH AND RUIN). Readers can attend from all over the world by registering here . Signed bookplates will be available to those who purchase B*WITCH through this event.

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GUEST POST

Has being quarantined changed your writing process? Have you become more or less focused?

            Being quarantined has definitely changed our writing process. We finished B*WITCH pre-pandemic, but we have been writing the sequel during the pandemic, and it’s been a difficult ride.

            So much of one’s writing routine involves showing up to the page and staying with it. For the two of us as authors, we need to sit down at our desks and really focus on the scene we’re writing for several hours at a stretch, and if anything distracts us, we lose our place, so to speak. Someone once described writing as having to run a mile before you can actually begin to put words to paper—sort of a warm-up routine—but then once you finish that mile and proceed with the writing, every time you’re interrupted, you need to go back to the starting line and run that mile again. The two of us can definitely relate!

            The pandemic has thrown a big wrench into all of that. But we absolutely want to acknowledge that we are incredibly fortunate and privileged because we have the luxury of working from our homes versus on the front lines as essential workers. We’ve been so lucky, too, because we have access to good healthcare and food, and we can pay our bills. We can’t imagine what it would be like to try to write a book without having adequate health, healthcare, food, or money for basic needs. For us, it’s difficult enough to focus on our chapters when the news is so devastating on so many fronts, not just with the pandemic but with the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many other Black Americans, and all the protests and pain and grief. It’s definitely hard to concentrate on crafting words when so much bad is happening.

            So … not being distracted, and not being in despair, have been two major challenges to the writing. The two of us often have to convince ourselves, mid-scene, that this scene matters, even if it’s about something light or funny that’s not going to solve the problems of the world. Does a fictional conversation between fictional characters about make-up or cats or magical pranks really matter when real people are suffering? We’re not the first authors to address this question; artists have been creating in the face of pandemics and wars and other tragedies throughout history. And in that sense, we keep pushing on because art matters. Books matter. Stories matter. Somehow, we have to balance helping others and fostering change with creating, inspiring, and entertaining. Hopefully the two of us will have achieved a little bit of that with B*WITCH.

ARC Review: Instant Karma

Instant Karma

I was so excited for this latest book by Marissa Meyer as she is one of my favorite authors. Sadly, this did not work for me. This felt more like a MG book than a YA. The protagonist, Pru, came across as deeply immature, selfish, and an all around brat. From the start she was only thinking about herself and how any situation could better her. It is one thing to be active in a school project, it is another to choose not to let your assigned partner participate in said project because you believe you can do it better by yourself.

Let’s not talk about (or maybe we should?) the unknown angst Pru has for her assigned partner and self-proclaimed enemy, Quint. She carries a massive grudge against him, always trash talking him when he hasn’t done anything to deserve it. She bashes him every single chance she gets, as if her brain just wants to utter his name as every other word that comes out of his mouth. It’s maddening because she never gives an actual reason why she dislikes him so, so, so much. He certainly isn’t the devil in human form, he’s a decent human being.

The setting for the book was the best part, and that’s sad. The pacing was terribly slow and I lost interest several times. Would I recommend this? I know some readers that will love it, but it will be an either “love it or hate it” book for most people.

NO WAY BACK TODAY Blog Tour: Guest Post and Giveaway



I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the NO WAY BACK TODAY by Eric Shoars Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!
About the Book:
Title: NO WAY BACK TODAY
Authors: Eric Shoars
Pub. Date: November 22, 2019
Publisher: BookBaby
Formats:  Paperback, eBook
Pages: 336

Field of Dreams + This Is Spinal Tap = No Way Back Today. Midlife demands some reckoning and Eric realizes he can wait no longer. As Eric hurtles headlong toward the big 5-0, he realizes there is unfinished business and is determined to find his childhood friends, convince them to form their own rock and roll band, and to go on tour! He searches out Todd, Laurel, and Lorelei so he can fulfill that dream. The story of four Midwestern grown-ups and their childhood desires to create No Way Back Today in the face of improbable odds and middle age will have you both laughing and cheering as you recognize your own unfulfilled dreams. No Way Back Today is the incredible story of the improbable journey of a reunion tour for a band that never was!

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers’ Favorite
No Way Back Today by Eric Shoars is a hilarious, bittersweet tale of childhooddreams and middle-age. It isn’t just a novel, it’s about not letting go of yourdreams, of taking second chances when you get them and of never lettingyourself down. The friendships between the four main characters were amazinglydeveloped, an inspiration to us all, and real people that we can all relate toin some way. This story will make you laugh and it will give you hope as itsteadily marches towards the end; you will be cheering them on, you will beholding your breath but, most of all, you will be compelled to read to the veryend and you will find yourself thinking back on your own dreams, especially theones that you never realized. Anything is possible if you just put your mind to it. A fun read!

Reviewed By Sherri Fulmer Moorer forReaders’ Favorite
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a compelling novel not only about secondchances and pursuing your dreams but about friendship and self-worth as youmove through different stages of life. I’m a bit younger than the protagonistsbut so much of what they felt resonated with me as I found myself wondering ifthere are any dreams from my youth that might be worth pursuing as I entermid-life myself. The evolution of the relationships with Eric, Todd, Laurel, andLorelei was amazing and inspiring and shows that friendship can remain nomatter how much life changes. It also seemed to me that they “bonded”and their relationships matured as they shared their experiences and as newopportunities arose for each of them as a result of pursuing this dream. No WayBack Today is an excellent novel of inspiring redemption and shows thatmid-life doesn’t have to be a crisis at all – in fact, it can rock! Great work,Eric Shoars! I loved this novel!

Book Trailer:


A deleted scene or a scene from another character’s POV.
The scene from another character’s point of view would be in Chapter Seven. The four friends are relaxing between shows – they’re playing two shows this night – and Laurel starts to pick Eric’s brain about something very personal for her that really doesn’t have anything to do with the band yet does. That picks up a conversation string with the other three and they begin to share their personal issues and Eric is a spectator at this point. Through this journey Eric has been the instigator, he’s had the vision of getting the group together and being the band that he never got to form. So, for him, we know what he gets out of this reunion tour. In the Chapter Seven scene, the three others really dive into the key question: “What do I get out of this journey?” It’s not the money or notoriety but what is the lesson, what is the big revelation about their lives as they enter middle age and a new stage of life. My goal with the scene is not only to provide a moment where we get to know the other band members on an even more personal level but for readers to ask themselves what they are getting out of this journey they’ve been on as they’ve read about the Onions.




About Eric:

Eric Shoars is a serial storyteller who considers the English language his playground and who never met a pun he didn’t like. Eric is a modern day Walter Mitty with a serious twist. His writing style is best described as “fly on the wall” putting the reader in the shoes of the lead character experiencing what he does as he does. His heart’s desire is to have a personal narrator for his daily life. It works in comic books so why not in the real world?

No Way Back Today is Shoars’ first foray into fiction. His non-fiction works include Women Under Glass: The Secret Nature of Glass Ceilings and The Steps to Overcome Them and Evil Does Not Have The Last Word.



Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a personalized, signed finished copy of NO WAY BACK TODAY, US Only.





Tour Schedule:
Week One:
6/29/2020
Interview
6/29/2020
Excerpt
6/30/2020
Interview
6/30/2020
Excerpt
7/1/2020
Guest Post
7/1/2020
Guest Post
7/2/2020
Excerpt
7/2/2020
Guest Post
7/3/2020
Instagram Post
7/3/2020
Guest Post

Week Two:
7/6/2020
Review
7/6/2020
Guest Post
7/7/2020
Review
7/7/2020
Review
7/8/2020
Review
7/8/2020
Review
7/9/2020
Review
7/9/2020
Review
7/10/2020
Review
7/10/2020
Instagram Post

Waiting on Wednesday: Set Fire to the Gods

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

Set Fire to the Gods by Sara Raasch and Kristen Simmons

Set Fire to the Gods (Set Fire to the Gods, #1)

From Goodreads:

Ash is descended from a long line of gladiators, and she knows the brutal nature of war firsthand. But after her mother dies in an arena, she vows to avenge her by overthrowing her fire god, whose temper has stripped her country of its resources.

Madoc grew up fighting on the streets to pay his family’s taxes. But he hides a dangerous secret: he doesn’t have the earth god’s powers like his opponents. His elemental gift is something else—something that hasn’t been seen in centuries.

When an attempted revenge plot goes dangerously wrong, Ash inadvertently throws the fire and earth gods into a conflict that can only be settled by deadly, lavish gladiator games. The fights put Madoc in Ash’s path, and she realizes that his powers are the weapon her rebellion needs—but Madoc won’t jeopardize his family, regardless of how intrigued he is by the beautiful warrior.

But when the gods force Madoc’s hand, he and Ash uncover an ancient war that will threaten more than one immortal—it will unravel the world.

Is this on your TBR? Let me know!

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