Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Crystal Blade Blog Tour!


Good morning! I am so excited to be a part of the blog tour for Kathryn Purdie's newest book, Crystal Blade! This book is really fantastic, and today Kathryn has some exclusive insight to share with us. There's also a giveaway, so be sure to enter to win your very own ARC copy of Crystal Blade at the end of this post. Also, don't forget to hit all the other stops in the tour to not miss out on the release fun!

But before we get to the book of the hour, let's take a look back at the first book Burning Glass...

Title: BURNING GLASS
Author: Kathryn Purdie
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Pages: 512
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Formats: Hardcover, eBook


Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer.

Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. One mistake, one small failure, will cost her own life and the lives of the few people left in the world who still trust her.

But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, her feelings easily usurped, and she sometimes can’t decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself.

As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray.

BURNING GLASS is debut author Kathryn Purdie’s stunning tale of dangerous magic, heart-rending romance, and the hard-won courage it takes to let go.

To see my review and to find out more information, click here

And now, the moment we've been waiting for, welcome Kathryn Purdie's newest book, Crystal Blade! 

Title: CRYSTAL BLADE
Author: Kathryn Purdie
Pub. Date: August 15, 2017
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 368
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook


The peace is unsustainable.

Sonya and Anton may have brought about a revolution, but can they protect their homeland—and their love—with so many forces threatening to tear them apart?

The empire has fallen, Valko faces trial, and Sonya is finally free from her fate as Sovereign Auraseer. But Sonya's expanding abilities are just as unstable as the new government of Riaznin—and her relationship with Anton. Not only can she feel the emotions of others but, unlike other Auraseers, she's learned to make others feel her emotions as well. And Sonya isn't immune to dark temptations.

Now, as Sonya fights to contain her own darkness, she senses a new evil lurking in the shadows of the palace. Someone from Sonya's past has returned. And that someone won't be satisfied until Sonya pays for the mistakes she's made.

Also here are some sneak peeks, check out these out!

A post shared by Kathryn Purdie (@kathrynpurdie) on


A post shared by Kathryn Purdie (@kathrynpurdie) on

Sounds amazing right? Now, let's welcome Kathryn to the blog! She's going to share some exclusive insight into the struggles that arose when writing the Burning Glass series.

Five World, Plot, or Character-Building Challenges that Arose When Writing the Series

  1. Showing Sonya’s inner struggles. I had to rewrite the whole book to get this right. Second books in a trilogy are like a giant Act II--the character’s inner or “spiritual” journey (think of Luke Skywalker in Empire Strikes Back), and it’s so hard to show rather than tell that inner turmoil.
  2. Writing tight. To finally get the story where I needed it to be, I decided to let myself overwrite to make sure I included the best things possible to reflect the transformation happening inside Sonya. I later had to cut over 65,000 words, but that ended up being a great way to mince the story down to something action-packed and meaningful.
  3. Trusting the core of the story. In a second book in a trilogy, it’s hard to know how much of the story to tell now and how much to save for book three. I originally plotted some characters and scenes into the story that were ultimately unnecessary for this book, but whom you’ll get to meet in book three.
  4. Writing under pressure. Crystal Blade is the first book I’ve written under contract (a full draft of Burning Glass already existed, of course, when my agent sold it to HarperCollins, and we revised it from there), so it was a huge challenge to learn to draft something new while being in the public eye. Many ARCs of Burning Glass were circulating and being talked about while I was trying to draft Crystal Blade--and any talk, good or bad, about Burning Glass added to the pressure of writing an amazing second book. It took a lot of practice to create a balance in life so I could separate myself from that stress and write well.
  5. Trusting myself as a writer. I’m sure I’m not the only writer who sometimes feels like a fluke, like, “How did I ever get published?” It’s hard to feel like you’re a good writer when you’re comparing a first draft to your already published and polished book. Crystal Blade taught me, the hard way, how to accept my imperfections, knowing that my work will be revised many, many times before I’m done. With the help of my amazing editor, it will turn into something I’m proud of. So I should stop panicking and enjoy the process more! :-) When I had to completely rewrite Crystal Blade, I took a giant breath and learned to let go and love writing again.

More About Kathryn...

My love of storytelling began as a young girl when my dad told me, in his own words, the story of To Kill a Mockingbird while we listened to the film score together. Enchanted, I began my own attempts at storytelling, which usually led to home video productions featuring my younger sister as the nerd or maid, while I reserved the role of the glamorous movie star or princess.

In high school, I focused on acting and won first place in monologues at a prestigious statewide Shakespearean competition. When I wasn’t on the stage, I spent my time composing sappy poetry and completing at least ten pages in my journal every night. My author dad edited my school papers and taught me the art of writing. I went on to study acting in college and at The Oxford School of Drama in England. (All that character analysis transferred nicely to writing!)

The writing bug bit me when I was in recovery from donating a kidney to my older brother. I found my old stash of short stories and the inspiration for my first novel struck. I've been writing ever since.

A lover of art in all forms, I also enjoy singing and playing the guitar. My husband is equally artistic. We keep busy raising three rambunctious and creative children.

I am represented by Josh Adams of Adams Literary.

And now it's GIVEAWAY TIME! Be sure to check out all the ways to enter into this one, because we have an ARC of Crystal Blade up for grabs, or a finished copy!


1 winner will receive a signed finished copy of CRYSTAL BLADE, US Only.

5 winners will receive a signed ARC of CRYSTAL BLADE, US Only.


That is all I have for you today, thank you for stopping by! Be sure to hit all the other stops along to tour so you don't miss out on the blog tou fun!


Week One:
8/7/2017- Mundie MomsInterview
8/8/2017- YA and WineReview
8/9/2017- The Fearless ReaderGuest Post
8/10/2017- The Book NutReview
8/11/2017- Two Chicks on Books- Interview

Week Two:
8/14/2017- Seeing Double In NeverlandReview
8/15/2017- Arctic BooksGuest Post
8/16/2017- Ex LibrisReview
8/17/2017- YA Books Central- Interview
8/18/2017- A Perfection Called BooksReview

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Book Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Queen of Shadows
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Rating: 5 Stars (More like 5,000,000 Stars!)

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Books.A.Millon | Goodreads

THE QUEEN HAS RETURNED.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series continues Celaena’s epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

My Thoughts...


Maas has done it yet again, and I'm completely shook with this one. Queen of Shadows blew all the other books in the series out of the water by a long shot. I have been shook by them plot twists, shot in the feels, killed by the badassery, and resurrected by the awesomeness. This book was amazing and epic, I now see why so many fans say this one is their favorites. And don't worry, I'm already kicking myself at the fact that it has taken me until now to read it. I got this title right when to released and it has been sitting unread on myself for two years! TWO LONG AND LONELY YEARS! But I don't regret picking this one up at all, thank the book gods that I did. Maas blew me away with her character development, creative new settings, and of course her shocking and bone-chilling revelations and plot twists. These things together, combined with Maas's fine-toned writing style is what made this one the best in the series for me by far.

I... have... missed... these... characters... so... much! In the two years since touching this book series, I will admit I forget how bad-ass and amazing these characters are. But I loved seeing the character development in this one! I loved seeing Aelin step up and claim her title as the famous lost queen of Terrasen, she has come such a long way in this series and it shows. I also loved seeing Rowan finally admitting (maybe not vocally for a while, and certainly not physically yet) to having certain feelings for a certain someone. FINALLY! Adeion and Lysandra slay my life too. I loved learning more about the infamous/famous general, and seeing two sworn enemies become such close friends and sisters. It couldn't have been more perfect to see all the this and, then some, fall into place in this installment. It had me sing and dancing in the shower again. 

Also, can we please just talk about Morath, like when did that become the evil power house that houses a whole lot more than just a creepy demon army. When did that happen?! Oh yeah, it happened in this book. Yet another reason you love to hate Morath, and even more reasons for me to like this book. I loved the dark and evil feel that Maas gave this city, and love the craziness that Morath is. There is so much shady things going down, which makes me so angry, but also makes me wonder what's going to happen in the next books. Where are you going with this Maas? Cause right now I don't know if I'm going to be able to live through the next few installments.

And how about those plot twists, right? I have never been more shook, and freaking out in my life. There was so much that happened in this installment, you will be shook. All of Adarlan was shook. Maas is famous for her crazy plot twists and in this one she doesn't disappoint. She kept me on the edge of my seat, and kept me up late into the night reading to find out what was going to happen next. I can't wait to see what twists she has in store for me in the next installments!

Queen of Shadows will have readers on the edge of their seats, and will leave them with wanting more. I know it has been for me. Full of shocking and bone-chilling revelations and plot twists, fun and amazing character developments, and creative settings, Queen of Shadows has easily become the best book in the series, hands-down. With this one blowing me away, and with Queen Maas getting better with each installment, I can't wait to see where she's going to take me next!

My Posts on Queen of Shadows...


Monday, July 10, 2017

Happy Paperback Book Birthday to Burning Glass! Also, are you excited for Crystal Blade? Because I am!

The thrilling second installment in the Burning Glass series comes out this fall and I'm so EXCITED!!! I loved this story from the first sentence to the last pages. Sonya and Anton hold such an special place in my heart, and I can't wait to see where Purdie is going to take this story line next. But before we get into the Crystal Blade, let's take a look at Burning Glass. Also today is the day you can get the paperback, so be sure to snag yourself a copy!

Amazon | Book Depository | Barns & Noble | HarperCollins | Books.A.Millon | Goodreads
Her gift is the Empire's Curse.

Sonya was born with a rare gift to feel what those around her feel, both physically and emotionally--a gift she's kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. But when a tragic accident pushes her into the spotlight, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer.
Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. But Sonya's power is untamed and reckless, and she can'e always decipher where other people's impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself. 
As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances the charming-yet-violent Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Prince Anton. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust--and which to betray. 
Seeped in intrigue and treachery, debut author Kathryn Purdie's stunning new fantasy trilogy captivates with heartrending romance, dangerous magic, and one girl's quest of redemption. 

Also, can we just take a moment to appreciate this map! It's so pretty!


...amazing, gorgeous! I can't get over it! 

If you'd like to see my thoughts on Burning Glass, click here.

  And now, the moment you've all been waiting for! The book of the hour, Crystal Blade!

Amazon | Book Depository | Barns & Noble | HarperCollins | Books.A.Millon | Goodreads

The peace is unsustainable.

Sonya and Anton may have brought about a revolution, but can they protect their homeland—and their love—with so many forces threatening to tear them apart?

The empire has fallen, Valko faces trial, and Sonya is finally free from her fate as Sovereign Auraseer. But Sonya's expanding abilities are just as unstable as the new government of Riaznin—and her relationship with Anton. Not only can she feel the emotions of others but, unlike other Auraseers, she's learned to make others feel her emotions as well. And Sonya isn't immune to dark temptations.

Now, as Sonya fights to contain her own darkness, she senses a new evil lurking in the shadows of the palace. Someone from Sonya's past has returned. And that someone won't be satisfied until Sonya pays for the mistakes she's made.

Releases on August 15th!

My thoughts so far...




YASSSS!!! This book is either going to make me, or kill me. I'm so curious to see who is returning from Sonya's past, and I can't wait to see Sonya and Anton's relationship. Also what the heck is going to happen to Valko!? I can't wait to see what Purdie has in store for her readers, and also I can't wait to return to Riaznin and see whats-a-brewin!

If you per-order Crystal Blade, be sure to check out the per-order swag.

 

To get the swag, click here.

Also, be on the look out for the Crystal Blade blog tour. Because I'm going to be a host!


Week One:
8/7/2017- Mundie MomsInterview
8/8/2017- YA and WineReview
8/9/2017- The Fearless ReaderGuest Post
8/10/2017- The Book NutReview
8/11/2017- Two Chicks on Books- Interview

Week Two:
8/14/2017- Seeing Double In NeverlandReview
8/15/2017- Arctic BooksGuest Post
8/16/2017- Ex LibrisReview
8/17/2017- YA Books Central- Interview
8/18/2017- A Perfection Called BooksReview

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Are you exctied for The Empress? Because I am!

This is going to be a read you're not going to want to miss, because the first one was just that good! I loved the characters, the action, the suspense, and the sci-fi fantasy awesomeness. And with so many answers still needing answered, the excitement is a struggle to contain. But before we get into the squeal; The Empress, let's take a look at The Diabolic.

Amazon  | Barns & Noble | Simon & Schuster | Books.A.Millon | Goodreads

A Diabolic is RUTHLESS.
A Diabolic is POWERFUL.
A Diabolic has a single task: KILL in order to protect the person you've been created for NOTHING ELSE.

Nemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator's daughter, Sidonia. There's no one Nemesis wouldn't kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.

Now one of the galaxy's most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corruption and Nemesis has to hide her true abilities or risk everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns that there is something stronger than her deadly force: the one thing she's been told she doesn't have - humanity. And, amidst all the danger, action and intrigue, her humanity might be the only thing that can save her, Sidonia and the entire Empire...

Click here to read a free excerpt!


Also, check out the trailer! 



My ARC review for The Diabolic...

(ARC Review: Only my opinions and reactions from the book as a whole will be revealed. I will not be discussing any major plot points, or spoils.)

Let me just start off by saying that this book was so unique and out of this world exhilarating! Seriously, I can't get over it! It's where the genetic modifications of Maximum Ride, meets the harsh betrayal of Red Queen in space. Just as that sounds, it's full of unique plot twists and full of suspense. And speaking of plots, this one, I have never read anything like this before. It as so incredible! Kincaid truly out-did herself with this one, her passionate and imaginative writing style really made this one a refreshing read. I also really enjoyed the characters thought this story, each had their own obstacles to overcome, and it was amazing to see Kincaid fit them all into a already dense plot line. I'd have to say Nemesis was my favorite. She was a reliable main character, readers learn how the Galactic court works just as she is, forming the critical bond. She is also a major bad ass; round-house kicking, punching, flipping, and killing when necessary. If I ever met her, I wouldn't want to get on her bad side. And finally, with an amazing plot, refreshing writing style, and amazing characters, there can't possibly be anything more to this book. Right? While think again, there's also an epic romance packing into this already full mix. And it's one you're not going to want to miss. The Diabolic is one read you're going to want to add to your TBR pile, pronto! I don't want you to miss it, because you will be missing out on one of my favorite sci-fi reads this year.

And now on to the book of the hour. The Empress is expected to be release on Halloween, October 31st, 2017. And I can't wait to see what Kincaid has in-store for me.

And can we just take a moment to appreciate THIS COVER! So freaking gorgeous!

Amazon  | Barns & Noble | Simon & Schuster | Books.A.Millon | Goodreads
The thrilling sequel to S.J. Kincaid’s New York Times bestselling novel, The Diabolic that TeenVogue.com called “the perfect kind of high-pressure adventure.”

It’s a new day in the Empire. Tyrus has ascended to the throne with Nemesis by his side and now they can find a new way forward—one where they don’t have to hide or scheme or kill. One where creatures like Nemesis will be given worth and recognition, where science and information can be shared with everyone and not just the elite.

But having power isn’t the same thing as keeping it, and change isn’t always welcome. The ruling class, the Grandiloquy, has held control over planets and systems for centuries—and they are plotting to stop this teenage Emperor and Nemesis, who is considered nothing more than a creature and certainly not worthy of being Empress.

Nemesis will protect Tyrus at any cost. He is the love of her life, and they are partners in this new beginning. But she cannot protect him by being the killing machine she once was. She will have to prove the humanity that she’s found inside herself to the whole Empire—or she and Tyrus may lose more than just the throne. But if proving her humanity means that she and Tyrus must do inhuman things, is the fight worth the cost of winning it?

My thoughts so far...

Sounds so amazing, right? I might just be biased, because I've read the first one, but this on is going to be epic. I love these characters, and can't wait to see them grow in this one. I also can't wait to see what crazy adventure Kincaid has embarked on, with me just waiting to see what happens next. So, until then Kincaid, I'll be impatiently waiting...


Friday, June 30, 2017

ARC Review: Hunting Prince Dracula By Kerri Maniscalco

Title: Hunting Prince Dracula 
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Genre: Fantasy/ YA Thriller
Publisher: Little, Brown / Jimmy Paterson Books
Rating: 5 Stars
Publication Date: September 19, 2017

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco


First, she stalked Jack the Ripper. 

This time, things are about to get even bloodier.

In this hotly anticipated sequel to the haunting #1 bestseller Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer...or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper's true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe's best schools of forensic medicine...and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life's dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school's forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

My Thoughts... (ARC Review)


Let me just start off by saying that this book was mind-blowing and utterly profound. I haven't read anything this sinister since 1st to Die, Girl on the Train, or The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Maniscalco has done it yet again, she's created a masterpiece that thriller readers will be coming back too for years to come. Just when I thought she couldn't add anymore it this incredible story, Maniscalco has swept me off my feet. Somehow Maniscalco was able to cram more suspense, mystery, and oh yes; blood, into this one. I still can't wrap my head around how she did it, but she did. It's amazing! Maniscalco also has an impeccable and unique writing style that is truly her own. Same with her characters. They are so fun, creative and are very easy to love. Aubrey and Thomas are so different from one another, but when they come together fireworks happen, oh and death, can't forget that. They go so perfectly together and evolve so much in this one; they are two characters you're not going to want to miss. Same with Maniscalco's plot. Just when I thought I knew where this was going, she turned everything completely on its head. Truly remarkable and unforgettable! With this one, Manicalco will captivate readers; have them on the edge of their seats, and leave them with a craving for more. Hunting Prince Dracula is one book I won't be forgetting anytime soon, and I will be waiting with anticipation to see what Maniscalco is going to do next.

Full review to come in September!


My posts about Hunting Prince Dracula... 


Monday, June 26, 2017

Revisited Book Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Genre: Fantasy/ YA Thriller
Publisher: Little, Brown / Jimmy Paterson Books
Rating: 5 Stars
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Books.A.Millon | Goodreads
HE'S THE INFAMOUS KILLER
NO MAN HAS EVER BEEN 
ABLE TO FIND

NOW IT'S A GIRL'S TURN.

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

My Thoughts

This. Book. Was. So. Good! I loved reading this book again so much, this is my favorite YA thriller I have read to date! Maniscalco has proved herself, and I've never read something so suspenseful and fun before. She creatively sculpted a fast paced read that will leave ever reader nail-biting over bone-chilling plot twists. I love Maniscalco's writing style and creative word choice, her fun and quirky characters, and setting and time period. All these together creative a thriller reads will keep coming back to for years to come. 

Maniscalco's writing style and creative word choice, is unlike any I've seen before, and it was so refreshing and enlightening to see. I loved her word choice. I think it was perfect with the subject matter at hand, and perfect for the time period. With this being her first novel, I feel we get a perfect look into her writing style, and get a chance to see where she can go from here. The sky is the limit for her, and I can't wait to see where she goes from here.

The characters made this book for me. Aubrey was a reliable and curious main character, I didn't find myself losing interest in her perceptive as the story went on. And I think most reader will agree with me when I say, Thomas was my favorite, I loved seeing what he brought the story, as well as the role he played in the plot. His charm and risky behavior for the time period makes you wonder, along with Aubrey, about him. I also really loved reading about Aubrey's uncle, father, and bother. They might have been minor characters, but thy added another layer to the plot that I couldn't resist not mentioning. 

Finally, the setting and the time period added another layer of uniqueness to this piece. I love 1880's England after reading this piece, and I can appreciate all the research that went into this one to make everything seem perfect for the era. And all the research into the Jack the Ripper cases, because they were very accurate to what was really found out, and the popular opinion on the cases during the time. I loved it.

Stalking Jack the Ripper is full of unique creativity and suspense that will keep readers coming back for more. I love Maniscalco's writing style and creative word choice, her fun and quirky characters, and setting and time period. All these together create a thriller that readers will keep coming back to for years to come. Maniscalco has proved herself with this masterful first novel, and I can't wait to see where she will take me in Hunting Prince Dracula

My posts about Stalking Jack the Ripper...


Friday, June 23, 2017

Book Review: A Court of Wings an Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

Title: A Court of Wings and Ruin
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Rating: 5 Stars

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Books.A.Millon | Goodreads
A nightmare, I’d told Tamlin. I was the nightmare.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit—and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords—and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

Excerpt 

"The painting was a lie.
A bright, pretty lie, bursting with pale pink blooms and fat beams of sunshine.
I'd begun it yesterday, and idle study of the rose garden lurking beyond the open windows of the studio. Through the tangle of thorns and satiny leaves, the bright green of the hills rolled away into the distance.
Incessant, unrelenting spring.
If I'd painted this glimpse into the court the way my gut had urged me, it would have been flesh-shredding thrones, flowers that chocked off the sunlight for any plants smaller then them, and rolling hills stained red. 
But each brushstroke on the wide canvas was calculated; each dab and swirl of blending colors meant to portray not just idyllic spring, but a sunny disposition as well. Not too happy, but gladly, finally healing from horrors I carefully divulged.
I supposed that in the past weeks, I had crafted my demeanor as intricately as one of these paintings. I supposed that if I had also chosen to show myself as I truly wished, I would have been adorned with flesh-shredding talons, and hands the choked the life out of those now in my company. I would have left the gilded halls stained red.
But not yet. 

My Thoughts

Maas has done it yet again, and I have died and been revived by this read. With A Court of Wings and Ruin being this last installment in this trilogy, I am glad to say I'm content and satisfied with this one. To be honest though, not really, because there is so much more I want to know. But what bookworm wouldn't want their favorite series to end? None. There were three things that I absolutely loved about this one; Maas's incredible ability to shock readers with well-crafted plot twists, Maas's pacing, and finally her impeccable word choice. With all these combine, Maas has created an incredible ending fit for any High Lord.

Let's start off with the plot twists, because they left me speechless. But no more, they are really what made the read so fun. I love seeing Maas do what she does best, and that is the completely unexpected. I didn't see any of those twists and turns coming, and to be honest, most lead to me either cheering or crying. Especially toward that end, most where bone-chilling and hard to comprehend. But all in all, I loved it, and it made for one of the most intense and unique reads I've ever read. 

Along with the plot twists, another refreshing component Maas brought to the table was her pacing. I still can't believe that this one is only about seven-hundred pages, considering how much action and suspense she put in it. I don't think she crammed too much into one book, but there were some parts that I wish she did slow down and take her time with the plot. Although it may have seemed fasted, it was nice to see the story unfold and get over with in certain parts of the plot, like ripping off a bandage, I was grateful and ungrateful to was over soon. Like most last installments, I didn't want it to end, but did. I'm sure you can relate. 

Finally, Maas's impeccable word choice was another element that made me love this one so much more. The way she crafts sentences and structures them, is unlike any other author's I have seen. She knows how to perfectly sculpted scenes and plot development before readers very eyes. And it was so beautiful to see this one unfold with such craftsmanship. I love reading her voice throughout her books, it is unlike any's I've heard before and it's quite refreshing. 

A Court of Wings and Ruin will have readers on the edge of their seats, and will be the book that will shock the YA community for years to come. Maas's incredible ability to shock readers with well-crafted plot twists, Maas's pacing, and finally her impeccable word choice; are what made me love this read so much. I'm sad to see Feyre's chapter coming to an end, but I'm so excited to see what Maas brings to the table in the spin-offs to come. Like many other readers, I can't wait to see what Maas has in-store for me next. 

My posts about A Court of Wings and Ruin...










Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

It is my honor to do this featured post today! Tor Teen was so kind to send me the new paperback edition of The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons, and in celebration I want to share some more about this edition that goes on sale August 2! This book is a gripping and thought-provoking. Very different then Artical 5, Simmons proves her incredible world building abilities by creating fascinating and frightening vision of  a near-future. The Glass Arrow is a can't-miss read for dystopian fans, who will find plenty to enthrall you in this unique society Simmons has invented. But moreover, Aya's story is a poignant tale of courage that even the most reluctant reader will not be able to put down. 

The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons
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Females are scarce. Hunted. And Aya's luck is about to run out.

The Handmaid’s Tale meets Blood Red Road in Glass Arrow, the story of Aya, who lives with a small group of women on the run from the men who hunt them, men who want to auction off breeding rights to the highest bidder.

In a world where females are scarce and are hunted, then bought and sold at market for their breeding rights, 15-year old Aya has learned how to hide. With a ragtag bunch of other women and girls, she has successfully avoided capture and eked out a nomadic but free existence in the mountains. But when Aya’s luck runs out and she’s caught by a group of businessmen on a hunting expedition, fighting to survive takes on a whole new meaning.

Q&A with Kristen Simmons 

Q: Please introduce us to Aya and share some general background on THE GLASS ARROW.

A: Aya has been one of my favorite characters to write. Born into a world where women are endangered, where girls are condemned as breeders and misogyny is the norm, she's learned to adapt and survive by flying under the radar. With her family - a small group of free women - she hides from those who would see her sold into domestic slavery. Aya is tough: she hunts, fishes, defends her family. When she's captured and brought into captivity at the Garden, a training facility for girls, her life is turned upside down. All she can think about is reconnecting to the people she loves, and reclaiming her freedom, but she has to be smart in order to escape, and that may involve trusting a very unlikely ally.

Q: What inspired you to write THE GLASS ARROW?

A: A few stories on the news, and some social issues that seem to continue rising, but mostly my own experience. The transition into high school was difficult for me, as it is for many people. Before that time, I remember feeling like I could do anything, be anyone. I was valued because I was creative, and interesting, and smart, but once I stepped foot into high school, things changed. It didn't matter what kind of person I was; all that was important was if I was wearing the right clothes, or had my hair done the right way. If I was pretty. Boys judged us based on a star system - "She's an eight," they'd say, or "Her face is a nine, but the rest of her is a four." And worse, girls began sharing that same judgment, trying to raise these numbers to be cool, and popular. They'd compare themselves against each other, make it a competition. This, as I quickly learned, was what it meant to be a young woman.

That experience transformed into Aya's existence - her journey from the freedom of the mountains, where she was important for so many reasons, to the Garden, where she is dressed up, and taught to be, above all things, attractive. Where she has to compete against other girls for votes come auction day. On that auction stage, Aya's given a star rating based on her looks, which is what her potential buyers will use to determine their bidding. It bears a direct correlation to my life as a teenager - to the lives of many teenagers.

When it all comes down to it, I wanted to write a story where worth is determined by so much more than the value other people place on your body. 

Q: A lot has happened in the "real world" since the novel first came out in 2015. Does it feel surreal looking back at the book now?

A: Ah, I wish it did! Unfortunately, I feel like a lot of these issues are still very, scarily relevant, not just for young women, but all people. It seems like every time I see the news there is another incident of someone being measured by their looks rather than their internal worth, of women being degraded and disrespected, and of advantage being taken of someone's body and mind. It frightens me that these issues persist, but I never claim that THE GLASS ARROW was a look into the future. To me, it was always a way of processing the present.

Q: Congratulations for the surge of attention the book is receiving, thanks to things like the Hulu adaptation of THE HANDMAID'S TALE. What do you want readers to take with them after reading THE GLASS ARROW?

A: Thank you very much! I am delighted by the mention, and honored to be included in the same thought as the great HANDMAID'S TALE. If people do find their way to my book as a response, I hope they take away that they are so much more important than the sometimes superficial and careless values other people assign to them. As Aya says in the book, I hope they know that there are not enough stars in the night sky to measure their worth.

Q: Besides other classics like Margaret Atwood's book, do you have any recommendations for readers wanting to explore more dystopian fiction and speculative fiction works?

A: How about METALTOWN by Kristen Simmons? That's a great dystopian! Or the ARTICLE 5 series, about a world where the Bill of Rights has been replaced by moral law... Ok, ok, I'm sorry. That was shameless. I always recommend LITTLE BROTHER by Cory Doctorow, THE PASSAGE by Justin Cronin, Marie Lu's Legend series, and of course, THE ROAD by Cormac McCarthy. Those are all thrilling, and excellent looks both at the present, and the future.

Q: What are you working on now, and when can readers expect to see your next book?

A: I have two books coming out in 2018, and can't wait to share both of them. PACIFICA will be released March 6, 2018, and is about a world after the polar ice caps have melted, and a pirate girl and the son of the president find themselves in the middle of a building civil war. It's a story largely informed my my great grandmother's internment in World War II. In the fall, I'll have a new series starting. THE PRICE OF ADMISSION, first in the Valhalla Academy books, is about a girl accepted into an elite boarding school for con artists. I hope readers love them both!

Q: Where can readers find you online?

A: I'm always available through social media - Twitter and Instagram at @kris10writes, and Facebook at Author.KristenSimmons. I'd love to hear from you!

About the Author



Kristen Simmons is the author of the ARTICLE 5 series (ARTICLE 5, BREAKING POINT, and THREE), THE GLASS ARROW, METALTOWN, PACIFICA (coming March 2018 from Tor Teen), and THE PRICE OF ADMISSION (coming Fall 2018 from Tor Teen). She has a master’s degree in social work and loves red velvet cupcakes. She lives with her family in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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My Posts about The Glass Arrow