Waiting on Wednesday: Four Dead Queens

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:

Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

Four Dead Queens

From Goodreads:

A divided nation. Four Queens. A ruthless pickpocket. A noble messenger. And the murders that unite them.

Get in quick, get out quicker.

These are the words Keralie Corrington lives by as the preeminent dipper in the Concord, the central area uniting the four quadrants of Quadara. She steals under the guidance of her mentor Mackiel, who runs a black market selling their bounty to buyers desperate for what they can’t get in their own quarter. For in the nation of Quadara, each quarter is strictly divided from the other. Four queens rule together, one from each region:

Toria: the intellectual quarter that values education and ambition
Ludia: the pleasure quarter that values celebration, passion, and entertainment
Archia: the agricultural quarter that values simplicity and nature
Eonia: the futurist quarter that values technology, stoicism and harmonious community

When Keralie intercepts a comm disk coming from the House of Concord, what seems like a standard job goes horribly wrong. Upon watching the comm disks, Keralie sees all four queens murdered in four brutal ways. Hoping that discovering the intended recipient will reveal the culprit – information that is bound to be valuable bartering material with the palace – Keralie teams up with Varin Bollt, the Eonist messenger she stole from, to complete Varin’s original job and see where it takes them.

Please and thank you!

sara-signature1
Advertisements

Review: This Lie Will Kill You

This Lie Will Kill You

I knew nothing about this other than it was a murder mystery that promised to have great twists and turns Well, I’m still waiting for all of that to happen because they sure were not in this book.

The concept of a group of teens being invited to a Murder Mystery Dinner Theater type event was a great idea but the execution was just not there. Everyone keeps comparing this to the infamous I Know What You Did Last Summer movie but this read more like a really bad generic C-list movie rip off of.

The author wanted me to believe that a this group of highly intelligent whip-smart teens fell for weak lies and a flimsy promise of scholarship money if they attend this event. That was all it took to get them together in a creepy house where a murder/death takes place and everyone had a specific role to play as a participant. Could one of them be the murderer? It was obvious the author tired way too hard to make this a complex who-dun-it but it was not complex, it was just confusing. Everything was over-complicated to the point of being uninteresting. I often zoned out and my thoughts drifted to what else I could be reading instead of this weak attempt at a thriller.

I get what was trying to be accomplished but the journey to get there was rough. The writing did not feel fluid or natural. I don’t know how else to say it other than it was bad. The characters were badly developed (if at all) and had no redeeming qualities.The author should have just had a bad guy in a top hat twirling a mustache cackling the entire time. Everything was obvious and eye-roll worthy. It was tacky and predictable at best.

This story had so much potential but it let me down in every way a book could let me down. The most humorous part was one of the characters read like Edward Cullen’s strange rarely-talked about cousin. If the author was going to include Edward, at least he could have improved upon the character. There is no way anyone could be paler than Edward but I stand corrected. Do yourself a favor, hard pass on this book. I sure wish I had.

Kill Code – Excerpt and Giveaway

About The Book:

Title: KILL CODE

Author: Luna Kayne

Pub. Date: January 22, 2019

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 317

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonAmazon Canada

HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO TO PROTECT THE ONES YOU LOVE?

THEN

Ten years ago, a covert government operation gone wrong separated Jack from Jessa, the girl he promised he would never leave.

NOW

Jack’s special forces team receives a tip, leading them to a remote farmhouse in search of a group of hackers led by the elusive Zane who work for the same person he holds responsible for Jessa’s death, ten years earlier.

Past and present collide as what was once lost is now standing in front of him and appears to be working for the very evil he is trying to end.

But is everything as it seems as secrets begin to unravel and pieces are put back in their proper places?

And will the last missing piece, the answer to all of their problems, be found in time?

*** Due to some dark and explicit themes in this book, it is recommended for mature audiences only. ***

* Kill Code is the first book in a trilogy.

Excerpt:

“Wake up, Jack. We’re moving out. Your assignment is done.”

My commanding officer barks his orders out, jolting me awake. I open my eyes and try to focus as the dawn barely lights the room around me.

“What do you mean, done? Last night we were waiting on the search warrants. We had the whole family. It was going down… today.” Propping myself up on my elbows, I shake my head, trying to will myself to catch up.

Going over the last few days in my head, this doesn’t make sense. I’ve been on the ground with my unit for months now working special ops undercover with local law enforcement on a federal level. Collecting whatever evidence we could and rounding up witnesses. Everything finally began to snowball together three days ago.

First one witness came forward, then a second, then the third came in with solid proof. With Port Thomas being a smaller city near the coast in Oregon, law enforcement is always underfunded so they were thankful for the additional manpower, as long as we didn’t step on too many toes.

We had our mission in place for today, but this wasn’t how it was supposed to go.

“It blew up. Shit went down a few hours ago. Apparently, they knew we were coming. The Sparr family is gone. All of the evidence against them is now speculative. Four witnesses are dead. Another two are missing.” Then, as he opens his mouth, I see the hesitation in his eyes as his body physically braces for a fight.

“Jack.” My commander starts then stops, carefully considering his words with a frustrating pause. “It’s Jessa. Both her and her brother’s bodies are missing.”

“What do you mean, missing?” Then the weight of his words hits me. “Wait. What do you mean, bodies?” I bolt out of bed onto shaky legs as I feel my world begin to crumble piece by piece.

He chose his words carefully. She isn’t missing.

Her body is missing.

About the book The story for Kill Code began to come to me when I was around 90% done writing my first novel, Controlling Interests, which made finishing that book a little more challenging. The interesting thing about Kill Code is, when I first had the idea for the book, it was the ending that came to me first so I had to work backwards through it to create the supporting story and characters before I could start writing from the beginning. I was about half way through the book when I realized the story would expand into a trilogy and some of my supporting characters would have their own stories to tell before it was over. I also did not come up with the title until I was on my last chapter when the titles for all three books came to me.

About Luna:

Luna Kayne is a multi-published author in the romance and erotica genres. Her creative works include novels, novelettes and a book of poetry and prose.

Within the romance genre, her books and short stories are also listed under suspense, paranormal, BDSM and contemporary.

The woman behind Luna Kayne’s pen name has been writing for online publications since 2005. She writes from her home on an acreage near Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Website |Twitter | Facebook | Instagram |Amazon Author Page | BookBub | Goodreads

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will win an eBook of KILL CODE, International.

Giveaway Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2878/?

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

1/14/2019- Simply Daniel Radcliffe– Review

1/14/2019- Texan Holly Reads– Excerpt

1/14/2019-The Little BookwormReview

1/15/2019- Bookish Rantings– Spotlight

1/15/2019- BookHounds– Excerpt

1/15/2019-Lisa Loves LiteratureSpotlight

1/16/2019- Angelic Book Reviews– Excerpt

1/16/2019- Jrsbookreviews– Excerpt

1/17/2019- Smada’s Book Smack– Spotlight

1/17/2019- Colorimetry– Excerpt

1/18/2019- TMBA Corbett Tries to Write– Spotlight

1/18/2019- Two Chicks on Books– Excerpt

Week Two:

1/21/2018- A Gingerly Review– Excerpt

1/21/2018- Good Choice Reading– Excerpt

1/22/2018- Tales of A Ravenous Reader– Excerpt

1/22/2018- Parajunkee– Excerpt

1/23/2018- Owl Always Be Reading– Excerpt

1/23/2018- Adventures Thru WonderlandExcerpt

1/24/2018- Jaime’s World– Excerpt

1/24/2019- Books a Plenty Book ReviewsPlaylist

1/25/2018- Bookbriefs– Excerpt

Review: Heretics Anonymous

Heretics Anonymous

I borrowed this from my local library with no knowledge of what it was really about. I know that is terrible but I often like to go into my reads blind. This was so good that I may struggle with my wording because I enjoyed it so much. The snark, the wit, the humor, the sarcasm was just unreal! I was laughing my way through this one! I know that sounds terrible as the story circles around slut shaming, religion, homophobia, and more. This was not an insensitive book, it was exactly the opposite.

This story was narrated by Michael, the main character, and he was a brilliant character. His comedic timing was spot on and it made me devour the book. You see, Michael is an atheist who is forced to attend a Catholic school. From the moment he stepped foot in the door he never held his tongue and always had a witty comeback. He befriends the most rag-tag group possible: a gay jew, a pagan, a Unitarian, and a Colombian catholic. The dynamic of this group was nothing short of magic. Together, this group realized their school needed to be shook up a little.

Michael was brilliantly flawed and relatable as he tried to become a better person over the course of the story. Lucy was the self proclaimed feminist, fierce in her faith, and always put too much pressure on herself while trying to maintain balance at home. Avi was a spitfire who never backed down from anything. Eden and Max round out the group of misfits but they were no less dynamic. The fact that they all had their own beliefs and were able to have civil conversations was refreshing. It reaffirmed the fact that people from different faiths, backgrounds, and beliefs can still be good friends.

I am not normally a big reader of stories that revolve around religion but this was something I could not put down. It not only spoke of variety but it spoke about tolerance. The characters were able to accept the flaws in others and still continue on with their life. Meaning everyone can absolutely live coexisting. That topic mixed with the perfect amount of snark, wit, and humor made me wish I could read this again for the first time so I can laugh at it all again.

I highly recommend this to everyone! Do not let it fool you – this was an eye opening read that I hope everyone gives a chance. It has it all: friendship, humor, a unique story, and more. Please, add this to your TBR if you have not already.

Lady Smoke – ARC Review and Giveaway

About the Book:

Title: LADY SMOKE (Ash Princess Trilogy #2)

Author: Laura Sebastian

Pub. Date: February 5, 2019

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 512

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonAudible,  B&NiBooksTBD

The sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller that was “made for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Sabaa Tahir” ( Bustle ), Lady Smoke is an epic new fantasy about a throne cruelly stolen and a girl who must fight to take it back for her people. 


The Kaiser murdered Theodosia’s mother, the Fire Queen, when Theo was only six. He took Theo’s country and kept her prisoner, crowning her Ash Princess–a pet to toy with and humiliate for ten long years. That era has ended. The Kaiser thought his prisoner weak and defenseless. He didn’t realize that a sharp mind is the deadliest weapon.


Theo no longer wears a crown of ashes. She has taken back her rightful title, and a hostage–Prinz Soren. But her people remain enslaved under the Kaiser’s rule, and now she is thousands of miles away from them and her throne.


To get them back, she will need an army. Only, securing an army means she must trust her aunt, the dreaded pirate Dragonsbane. And according to Dragonsbane, an army can only be produced if Theo takes a husband. Something an Astrean Queen has never done.


Theo knows that freedom comes at a price, but she is determined to find a way to save her country without losing herself.


A darkly enchanting page-turner you won’t be able to put down.” –Bustle on Ash Princess, Book 1 in the Ash Princess series

About Book 1:

Title: ASH PRINCESS (Ash Princess Trilogy #1)

Author: Laura Sebastian

Pub. Date: April 24, 2018

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 432

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonAudible,  B&N,  iBooksTBD

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia’s family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess–a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She’s endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn’t always won on the battlefield.

For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.

Review:

The second book in the Ash Princess trilogy did not disappoint. I’m starting my review that way because I want to stress how good this was, how surprising it was to read a middle book that impressed. You all should know me well enough by now that I can struggle with fantasy books but I did not with this one. I enjoyed it immensely.

While I do gush about the wonder that is the a second book that amazes, the overall plot was not overly unique or complicated. While there is a lot going on within the plot, it could seem like too much to some readers so keep that in mind. Here are some examples: Complex politics, secrets, betrayal, fighting for the rights to the kingdom, and more. I won’t talk about the romance because it was not the part of the plot I chose to focus on. It did not do much for me, if I’m being honest. However, Sebastian took what could have been a mediocre story and put her touch on it to make it enjoyable. I was hooked and couldn’t put this down until the last page. Then I screamed because I won’t know how it turned out until next year.

Theo (or Theodosia) was still our protagonist and her character arc continued to amaze me. She was complex, flawed, and relatable. I won’t beat the dead horse that is how much I found myself connecting with her character. What I will talk about are the rest of the characters and how much they added to the story. Thankfully the full cast helped give this story a much needed depth and fullness.

While my review does sound rather vague, I did that in the hopes it would peek your interest in reading this series if you have not already. But if you have and were on the fence about the second book, I hope I have pushed you to the side of the fence that causes you to pick this one up. I do not believe you will be disappointed.

About Laura:

Laura Sebastian was born and raised in South Florida (the Redlands and Key Largo) and has always loved telling stories–many apologies to her little brother who often got in trouble because of them. No copies of her first book, a Cinderella retelling about angels circa 2nd grade, remain. Thankfully.

After getting her BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design, she moved to New York City thinking that she would stay for a couple of years before going somewhere better suited for a small-town, sun-loving girl. Five years later, she’s still here and madly in love with it.

When Laura isn’t writing, she’s probably reading, baking cookies or cupcakes, buying more clothes than her overstuffed closet can fit, or forcing her lazy dog Neville to take a walk.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of LADY SMOKE, US Only.

Rafflecopter link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2874/?

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

1/1/2019- To Be Read– Review

1/2/2019- A Dream Within A Dream– Review

1/3/2019- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review

1/4/2019- Random Bookish Banter– Review

Week Two:

1/7/2019- Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews– Review

1/8/2019- Jrsbookreviews– Review

1/9/2019- Omg Books and More Books– Review

1/10/2019- Fiction Fare– Review

1/11/2019- Du Livre– Review

Week Three:

1/14/2019- Loie Dunn– Review

1/15/2019- A Court of Coffee and Books– Review

1/16/2019- Paws and Paperbacks– Review

1/17/2019- A Gingerly Review– Review

1/18/2019- Lifestyle of Me– Review

Week Four:

1/21/2019- Paper Reader– Review

1/22/2019- Adventures and Reading– Review

1/23/2019- Popthebutterfly Reads– Review

1/24/2019- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review

1/25/2019- YA Books Central– Interview

Week Five:

1/28/2019- Confessions of a YA Reader– Review

1/29/2019- Colorimetry– Interview

1/30/2019- Smada’s Book Smack– Review

1/31/2019- Kat’s Books– Review

Analiese Rising by Brenda Drake Excerpt Tour

Excerpt: 

The classroom smells like a funeral home.

Hushed voices pulse over the pairs of students hunching over trays spaced across the counters. The odor of bodies fresh out of gym class mingles with the scent of formaldehyde.

Hair dampens at my temples. A crematory would be cooler.

Not many have finished their assignments. Only a few overachievers sit in the rows of empty desks on the other side of the room, their tasks completed, proud smiles on their faces.

Mrs. Cryer shuffles around the tables watching over us—a reaper waiting for lost souls, her bony finger pointing out errors. She shuffles around with purpose. She shuffles around without direction. Then she stops at our table, her eyes peering over reading glasses.

“Mr. Bove and Miss Jordan, you two are falling behind,” she says, a disapproving tsk in her voice. She only uses last names when she wants to emphasize her warning. “Best hurry before class ends.”

She continues shuffling around.

Biology is my least favorite class. Mrs. Cryer’s assignments are outdated. It’s her last year teaching, her retirement long overdue. Stern and direct, she’s not the sort of teacher I usually like, but I do. There’s an underlying kindness to Mrs. Cryer. A kindness hiding in her eyes, evident in her actions.

One of the things I like about my school: my brother, Dalton, is in the same grade. We’re not twins or anything. Actually, we’re cousins. His parents adopted me when mine were killed in a boating accident on Lake Como in Italy. I don’t remember them. I was two when that all went down.

The thing I hate about school: Dalton’s in my biology class.

“Come on, Ana.” Dalton slides the dissection tray closer to me. “I did all the setup. Just make the first cut.”

The little green body looks rubbery—almost fake—crucified to the tray with pins as it is. I push strands of dark hair from my face with a latex-gloved hand. I could’ve opted out of this barbaric ritual of separating body parts from an innocent frog.

Why did I even agree to this?

American Gods meets the Da Vinci Code in ANALIESE RISING (Entangled; 01/08/19), a suspense-filled novel by New York Times bestselling author Brenda Drake. This first book in a new fantasy series offers a new take on the paranormal romance genre—with a mythological spin. Gone are vampires and werewolves; in are descendants of the God of Death.

Brenda Drake is known for creating addictive, entertaining series with strong female characters (Library Jumpers and The Fated) and her fans will not be disappointed.

ABOUT ANALIESE RISING: When a stranger gives Analiese Jordan a list of names before he dies, the last thing she expects to see is her own on it. Not. Cool. Her search for answers leads to the man’s grandson, Marek, who has dangerous secrets of his own. Both are determined to unlock the mystery of the list.

But the truth is deadly. Analiese is a descendant of the God of Death, known as a Riser, with the power to raise the dead and control them. Finding out she has hidden powers? Cool. Finding out she turns corpses into killers? No, thank you.

Now the trail plants her and Marek in the middle of a war between gods who apparently want to raise an army of the Risen, and Analiese must figure out how to save the world—from herself.

ABOUT BRENDA DRAKE: Brenda Drake grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When she’s not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

Other blogs on the tour:

Dec. 27- https://agingerlyreview.wordpress.com (Excerpt 1)

http://www.velarisreads.wordpress.com (Excerpt 2)

Dec. 28- http://thelovelybooksbookblog.blogspot.com (Excerpt 3)

https://indecisiveopinions.blogspot.com (Excerpt 4)

Dec. 29- http://www.ohheybooks.com (Excerpt 5)

http://pagesbetween.blogspot.com (Excerpt 6)

Dec. 30- https://confessionsofayareader.wordpress.com/   (Excerpt 7)

http://chaptersthroughlife.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1 (Excerpt 8)

Dec. 31- http://www.travelsnreads.com (Excerpt 9)

Http://smadasbooksmack.blogspot.com (Excerpt 10)

Jan. 1- https://instagram.com/live.laugh.love.library (Excerpt 11)

http://booksandmakeup.blogspot.com (Excerpt 12)

Jan. 2- http://cantstopwontstopbooks.wordpress.com (Excerpt 13)

http://taylorfenner.blogspot.com  (Excerpt 14)

Jan. 3- https://carriesbookreviews.com/ (Excerpt 15)

http://omgreads.com/blog/ (Excerpt 16)

Jan. 4- http://adreamwithindream.blogspot.com (Excerpt 17)

https://bookishfriendsandfelinefancies.wordpress.com (Excerpt 18)

Jan. 5- https://booklovinmamas.net (Excerpt 19)

https://twirlingbookprincess.com/ (Excerpt 20)

Jan. 6-  http://www.literaryme.net/ (Excerpt 21)

http://www.kindlykatey.com (Excerpt 22)

Jan. 7- https://kristinsbooks.wordpress.com/?ref=spelling(Excerpt 23)

Waiting on Wednesday: Enchantee

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:

Enchantee’ by Gita Trelease

Enchantée

From Goodreads:

Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and magicians…

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.

But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she’s playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns…

This sounds stunning and I cannot wait for it.

sara-signature1