In Your Arms, Shannyn Schroeder – Blog Tour

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30037290Sean O’Malley has never tried to hide who he is. He shows it in the motorcycle thrumming between the legs of his tight jeans…the shaggy hair that falls in his gorgeous eyes…the wicked gleam in his smile when he asks Emma out for a drink. Sean is a rebel, a bad boy, and a ton of fun: exactly the kind of guy she’s sworn off forever.

Emma isn’t just the the prim kindergarten teacher she appears to be. And somehow Sean can tell. As soon as he pulls up to her overheated car he knows that a fast bike and a cold beer will fix her rotten day better than compliments or a bubble bath. Her straitlaced exterior and her wild heart light him up. But Emma wants to escape her past and settle down—and if her desk jockey dates don’t understand where she comes from, at least she doesn’t worry about them bringing her back.

One weekend of intense connection can’t change the paths Sean and Emma have chosen. But with a little space to be themselves together, maybe the rest of the world can wait…

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A Murder in Gurgaon, Manish Dubey – Book Review

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32316637Gurgaon. December 2014. A young event manager, an ex-cop’s son, is murdered. Inspector Hawa Singh vows justice. There is little to begin with, and frustration mounts when the initial suspect – a reclusive woman with a mysterious past – is found missing. Digging deeper, Singh uncovers a sordid tale of adultery, blackmail and revenge, only to find himself staring at a conspiracy unlike any he has seen. There are deceits, little and big, to decode; the predator and victim are indistinguishable; his witnesses could be misleading; his closest ally may not be an ally at all. Will Singh succeed? Or has the sick, wily mind behind the crime always been a few steps ahead? Refreshingly told, with a cast of morally ambivalent characters and an accent on the minutiae of crime, A Murder in Gurgaon will keep you hooked till the very end.

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*Review copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts and views are entirely my own and in no way biased.*

A Murder In Gurgaon is the story of the murder of a 30 something man in his own house and the disappearance of one lady after she met with her friend and told her she had ‘business’ to take care of.

The story is part narrative, part novel and part play. The author does not follow a single method of story telling and I think that that is a refreshing change. The plot is the main attraction of the story. The characters are just tools to forward the plot and there isn’t any character development. Just conversations and incidents that lead from the murder to finding the culprit.

As a whole, the story is intriguing and interesting and keeps you hooked. It did feel like a CID episode at times, though. The end certainly felt like it. the fact that I disliked the most is that the investigating officer didn’t have to dig around to reach the conclusion as to who was the killer. It was like one of those episodes of Castle where he spouts an unbelievable theory that proves to be the actual happening in the end, coincidentally. Also, the promise twist at the end of Part II is never mentioned in Part III and the novel ends. I was expecting something there, but it didn’t happen and that was a little disappointing.

What I like is how the mystery unfolds. I didn’t guess the ending until the end thought when it happened, it seemed too obvious once I went back to the beginning and went over it. I guess, that is what makes it so good. The culprit is right in front of you, they’re the obvious choice and you still don’t suspect them for reasons unknown. Then you realise it’s them and feel stupid for not thinking about it in the first place!

All in all, it’s a pretty riveting read and it grips you till the end. I like the mystery and the whodunnit guessing till it was revealed because there was one prime suspect and then there wasn’t and someone else was the actual culprit and shit kept happening that made me believe it was someone but it wasn’t. So, yeah. I really liked that part!

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#WattpadWednesday – An Interview with Aanchal Budhiraja aka TooHotToBeTrue2

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An Interview with Aanchal Budhiraja aka TooHotToBeTrue2 on Wattpad

(Of the Baking With Boys fame)

Okay, so I’ll start by saying that this is my first interview, ever (where I’ve been the interviewer, of course. There’ve been a shit ton of interviewee interviews in my life. We can thank my need for a job for that one.)

Any how, we’re getting off topic. This is my first interview and Aanchal is a dear friend of mine. So, if we’re absolutely, ridiculously unprofessional or we talk absolute shit, please forgive me. You’ve been warned.

Time to start!

I think this is the part where I introduce the guest for today/tonight/whatever time you’re reading this on.

And that person is Aanchal Budhiraja! A 20 year old college student, pursuing her masters in economics, Aanchal loves to write quirky stories about love, friendship and adventure, always leaving us wanting more with the abhorrent cliffhanger endings for each chapter. She loves to dye her hair in awesome colors and works out at odd hours of the day (seriously. Odd hours. She works out at midnight. So, you can say she is obsessed.)

She’s best known for her stories Baking With Boys and The Demon Babysitter.

Now that we know who we’re meeting today, let’s get started!

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The Heir of Thunder, Karissa Laurel – Blog Tour

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32070020The Lord of Thunder’s sudden death leaves his daughter, Evelyn Stormbourne, unprepared to rule Inselgrau in his place. Weeks before Evie’s ascension to the throne, revolutionaries attack and destroy her home. She conceals her identity and escapes under the protection of her father’s young horse master, Gideon Faust. Together they flee Inselgrau and set sail for the Continent, but they’re separated when a brutal storm washes Evie overboard.

In her efforts to reunite with her protector and reach allies on the Continent, Evie befriends a band of nomads who roam the world in airships fueled by lightning. She also confronts a cabal of dark Magicians plotting to use her powers to create a new divine being, and she clashes with an ancient family who insists her birthright belongs to them.

If she’s to prevail and defeat her enemies, Evie must claim her heritage, embrace her dominion over the sky, and define what it means to be Heir of Thunder.

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Heir of Thunder is the story of Evelyn ‘Evie’ Stormbourne and her struggles to get her kingdom back from the lords who are trying to invade it, owing to the untimely death of her father.

The story opens with explosions throughout Evie’s kingdom and her running away with Gideon, a trusted employee of his father. They begin their journey to Dreutch, where Gideon says are people who will help Evie in fighting against the revolution in her country. During the way, she runs into her fair share of troubles that change her, for the better, or so I believe.

Evie, I think, is a very strong character. She has much to learn and has a lot of growing up to do before she can take over her kingdom. I thought that she was too naive and trusting for more than half the book, which led her into difficult, life threatening situations more than once. Yes, she needed to trust some one but trusting every person she met along the way but she seemed to think that every other person walking on the road was trustworthy. Yes, some of them were, but not all. Despite Gideon telling her, repeatedly, not to trust anyone, not even Gideon himself, she still did. But, she was strong and brave and resilient and I like that. She never gave up without a fight and had the ability to think on her feet. Which, saved her from a lot of dangers. So, yeah, she’s a multi faceted character and I like that about her. She has a lot of room to grow in the next installments of the book.

I liked how her character developed through the course of the book. The plot was intriguing and fast paced. I was never bored, so yay! It was relatively short, which made it easy for me to read the book in almost 2 hours. 😀

All in all, it’s a great story! I’m looking forward to the next installment!

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Chapter 1

A rumble of thunder woke me. I shifted under my quilts, turned towards my window, and searched the sky for clouds. Storms always made me smile; made me feel a little less lonely. Black clouds, lightning, and rain reminded me of better times, when thunder was a regular event in our household. My father used to make the loveliest thunder—more like percussion in a heavenly orchestra than cannonade and ordnance. I had never mustered the necessary energy to expulse that kind of force. My attempts always sounded more like the blast of a large pop gun.

Another report rippled through the air, but it sounded wrong this time—a little too sharp and cold for something as organic as thunder. A third, angry blast proved the source was nothing harmonious with nature. The clamor had a cadence, a rhythm, and when I slid out of bed, the vibrations from it quaked through the stones under my feet.

Boom!

“1… 2… 3… 4….” I counted off a half-minute and—Boom!—another explosion. I counted a half minute again, which concluded with another detonation.

My bedroom door flew open, and Gerda rushed in still wearing her rumpled nightgown. The braid she wore for sleeping had slackened during the night, and stiff rust-colored curls sprang around her face. Fear and worry crackled from her like static from a wool blanket. “Evie, my dear, you’ve got to get dressed.” She pulled me to my feet and yanked my sleeping gown over my head.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“Gideon was just at my door. He told me have you out to the stables as quickly as possible.”

“Did he say why?”

“He did not, but I won’t be the one to contradict him. The look on his face was murderous.”

“How is that different from any other day?”

Boom!

Gerda didn’t laugh, and that worried me more than the persistent racket. “What in the world is making all that noise?” I asked.

“I haven’t had the time to look, but whatever it is, it can’t be good.”

“I figured out that much for myself,” I said under my breath.

If she heard me, she chose to ignore it and tossed me a pair of wide-legged trousers disguised as a skirt.

I slipped them on while she scurried to unearth my boots. “I take it we’re not using the carriage?”

“Gideon said you would be riding.”

“What about you?”

Gerda backed out of my wardrobe, wide rump first, and turned to face me. A stern expression hardened her face as she clamped her hands to her hips, and in a sharp tone said, “You are our main concern, Evie. Let’s get you safely away, and then I’ll worry about myself.”

“Safely away from what?”

Boom!

Glass shattered in a room somewhere below us and the whole house shuddered.

“From whatever is making that horrible clatter. Quit asking questions and get dressed!” Gerda rarely lost her temper, especially not with me.

Her abnormal temperament stirred me into action. I wrestled a high-collared blouse over my head, buckled on a wide belt, buttoned up a short suede waistcoat, and laced up my favorite riding boots.

She shoved me onto a stool beside my vanity and yanked my hair, forcing it into a tight braid. “Your hair’s straight as a stick and slick as a snake. I can never seem to weave it into a proper plait, even when I have plenty of time and my hands aren’t shaking.”

“Forget it. I’ll twist it up like usual.” I reached back to take over the familiar routine, but Gerda smacked my hands away.

“No, I’ve almost got it.” She grunted once and yanked again.

I winced but had the sense to keep my protests to myself.

“There.” She retrieved a ribbon from one of her ubiquitous pockets, wrapped it around the end of the braid, and double-tied the knot for reinforcement. “I don’t want any of it coming loose while you ride.”

I reached back and patted the careful arrangement. “Thank you, Gerda. Now, you get dressed and we’ll go.”

“No!” She stomped a stubby foot. “Gideon was clear. He only wants you. You must go. Now.”

Another explosion rocked the floor, and Gerda stumbled against the wardrobe. She leaned on the heavy piece of furniture until she regained her footing. The house shook and groaned as something structural gave way. Yells and shouts carried up from the lower floors.

“Are you going to meet us?” I asked. My heart raced, dancing a flittering beat. “Do you know where we’re going?”

“I don’t, but Gideon will take good care of you.”

Tears welled in my eyes, but the steely look on her face kept them from falling. “What will you do?”

“I’m going to get dressed and gather up Stephen and our boys. We’ll be out the door a short bit after you.”

“Then why can’t you go with me?”

“Now’s not the time for whining, Evelyn. Be a good girl. Do as I say.” She used the same mother-hen tactics she had employed when I’d proved to be a tempestuous child. It set the proper tone to rouse me from my panic.

“Hug me,” I said. “I’ll miss you.”

She threw her thick arms round me and pressed me into her abundant bosom. “I’ll miss you too, my girl.”

I inhaled her scent—a mixture of all the herbs in her garden, and especially comfrey, her favorite cure-all.

She squeezed me again and broke away. “Gideon will keep you safe, if you’ll listen to him and not let your impetuousness get in his way.”

She gathered my raw silk cloak from its hook by the door and tossed it at me.

I snapped it from the air and swirled it over my shoulders. When the cloak caught a beam of sunlight streaming from the window, the fabric shimmered with rainbow swirls like a soap bubble.

“Go now. Hurry.” Gerda yelled her final command over the screaming of tortured metal, as if a giant-toothed creature had bitten into the soul of the house.

I hugged her again and dashed out the door.

In the hallway, several of the house’s other occupants hurried past me in various states of dress. Tolick, the all-purpose houseboy, ran toward the stairwell. He had managed to button on his trousers but had neglected to remove his nightcap.

On the bottom floor, I turned for the kitchen.

The cooks had abandoned their breakfast preparations. A large porridge pot bubbled over on the stove, and thick strips of bacon burned on a griddle. A babble of excited voices drifted in from distant corridors, but no one came my way as I scurried toward the rear door of the kitchen. Beyond the exit, my route led me through Gerda’s garden, a sanctuary of herbs and vegetables protected by a stone wall enclosure rising high overhead. Thick vines of ivy and budding wisteria climbed the tops of those barriers. She would need to prune them soon, but we were all running, fleeing these familiar walls.

Would we return before the ivy took over? Would the house survive long enough for it to matter?

I ran past the garden’s iron gates and my breath puffed in thin, vaporous spurts. Spring had arrived less than two weeks ago, and the mornings still lingered in the recent days of winter. I pulled up my hood and wrapped my cloak tighter around me as a shield against the cold.

At that moment, I could have turned around for an unobstructed view of my house, but that would have meant witnessing its destruction. The house cried to me, but what relief could I offer? A feeling of helplessness settled in my gut like curdled milk. Father would have known what to do, but I was merely his daughter, his masterwork left incomplete by an untimely death.

I hacked a derisive cough at that thought. As if death ever comes at an appropriate time.

Curiosity overrode my fear. I slowed, stopped, and turned on my heel. As I wheeled around and looked up, my heart plummeted to my feet.

The house stood ablaze, smoke billowing from several of the first floor windows. Its wooden floors and beamed ceilings would surely feed the flames and turn the billows into a monstrosity of acrid, black plumes. The exterior might survive the fire—an ancestor had constructed Fallstaff from large granite blocks that had withstood tide and time for hundreds of years—but it wouldn’t survive the volley of explosive fodder from the trebuchet now installed on the front lawn.

One of my father’s war manuals showed illustrations of that vicious machine, but I had never seen one in reality. Someone with a brain for engineering had rigged this one with a system of levers, pulleys, and gears. A steam engine automated its processes, and every few seconds a conveyer belt fed another iron missile into a waiting bucket attached to a long wooden arm. From this distance, the trebuchet looked like an assemblage of toothpicks and hungry metal teeth, yet its ammunition tore holes through Fallstaff’s stone and mortar like a moth devours a wool sweater.

A group of men stood around its base, guarding the machine with rifles and crossbows. No one tried to engage them or fight back, as all were too concerned with escape. From that distance, they appeared as little more than stick figures.

I stepped closer in hopes of recognizing their uniforms or gear.

“Evie, what are you doing?” Gideon’s unmistakable bellow interrupted my thoughts. My father’s young horse master waited at the gate of the small paddock beside the stables, clutching two reins in his fist. One leather line led to his giant black stallion, Gespenst—a Dreutchish name meaning specter, or ghost. The other tether led to my horse, Nonnie, a gray-coated mare with a dappled rump.

“Gideon, what’s happening?” I jogged toward him. Something exploded behind me, and the aftershock sent me stumbling, but Gideon’s free hand shot out and latched around my elbow. I locked eyes on his stoic face and refused to look back.

“This is no time for an explanation,” he said. “Mount up, we’re riding south.” He tossed my horse’s reins in my direction and slid onto Gespenst’s back with an ease that demonstrated his familiarity with the saddle.

Nonnie snorted and rolled her eyes, announcing her displeasure over the noise and brusque treatment she had inevitably received from Gideon as he’d arranged her tack.

Nonnie and I managed most of our adventures on nothing more than wild oats and a few apples lifted from the larder. This journey would undoubtedly last longer than any we had taken in all our years together, and she must have felt some of the same trepidation as I. She stomped an eager hoof as I mounted, and when I nudged her forward, she fell into a canter behind Gideon and his horse.

Gespenst bore saddlebags stuffed to the brim. The tip of Gideon’s compact repeating crossbow, Sephonie, poked from the edge of the flap.

I thought of my own crossbow, which I’d never felt a need to name, and wondered if it had made its way into Nonnie’s packs. Gideon could take a stag from horseback with one shot; I could shoot a slow moving rabbit… if I had time to focus and plenty of solid footing.

I had no idea where we’d go, but at least we wouldn’t starve on our way there.

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The Heir of Thunder Blog Tour Schedule

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13801450Karissa lives in North Carolina with her kid, her husband, the occasional in-law, and a very hairy husky. Some of her favorite things are coffee, chocolate, and super heroes. She can quote Princess Bride verbatim. She loves to read and has a sweet tooth for fantasy, sci-fi, and anything in between. Sometimes her husband convinces her to put down the books and take the motorcycles out for a spin. When it snows, you’ll find her on the slopes

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The Corner Store Witch, H. D. Lynn – Book Review

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31550666The Chronicles of Narnia but with more swearing, more katanas, and less allegory. It’s nerdy, anime inspired fun for the whole family.

Leone owns Pulp Magic (Comics, Books, Games, & More). Angry customers are her biggest concern-until a man from another world literally drops into her shop. And oni have followed him. Leone defends herself with a magical staff, which marks her with powerful runes. Her supernatural tattoo sleeves make her desperately thirsty, yet practically allergic to water-and oh, they foretell the fate of the realms of demons, gods, and men.

With her four friends and inter-dimensional guide, Leone travels to the realm of the gods, searching for magical cosmetic surgery. She doesn’t want to carry the fate of the world literally on her arms. But the truth she finds-of a war raging between worlds-changes her, challenges her.

What’s a nerd to do with the fate of all worlds at stake? Ah yes, kick some demon ass.

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*Review copy provided via Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. The views are entirely my own and in no way biased.*

The Corner Store Witch is a must read if you’re into fantasy. This book has a huge element of Dungeons & Dragons and cosplaying and nerdcons and the like, so you should also pick it up if you’re into that sort of thing.

I like that the book is so diverse. There are all these different kinds of characters. Black, disabled. They’re there. It’s something that I hugely appreciate. It’s not always we get to read about all these characters together in one novel. It’s a little different and that makes it so much better.

The story is fascinating and fast paced. It also pretty action packed. So, there’s twists and turns and anticipation of what is going to happen next throughout the entire story. There is no point in the story where you’ll get bored because the other shoe is always waiting to drop, so to say. Which is nice.

I don’t know if this is a good thing or bad thing, but the romance in this story is absolutely zero. Going into a book where the main characters are around 23 – 25 years of age, one would expect a romantic angle, even if it doesn’t form the main crux of the story. But, here, Leone and Abinar only shared an easy friendship and nothing more. Maybe that’ll change in the coming books, but it hasn’t happened yet, so I don’t know. I mean, I was definitely expecting some sort of romance, but was surprised that there wasn’t any. Still haven’t decided whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

The characters are great. Though, I think that there’s room for development because there’s glimpses of these characters which tells that they have so much more to say than what has been conveyed till now, but we have more books coming, so I’m not that worried about it. The wroldbuilding is also great!

So, all in all, this story is definitely worth your time. If you like fantasy with lots of plot and action, and little romance, please go read this!

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Top Ten Tuesday (#2) – 10 Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly prompt hosted by the amazing people over at The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s prompt is Top Ten Things I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree. The list is in no particular order.

 

1. Throne of Glass Series by SJ Maas

23599075When magic has gone from the world, and a vicious king rules from his throne of glass, an assassin comes to the castle. She does not come to kill, but to win her freedom. If she can defeat twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition to find the greatest assassin in the land, she will become the King’s Champion and be released from prison.

Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her.

And a princess from a foreign land will become the one thing Celaena never thought she’d have again: a friend.

But something evil dwells in the castle—and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying, horribly, one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival—and a desperate quest to root out the source of the evil before it destroys her world.

Do I even need to explain this one? I mean, SJM! ‘Nuff said.

 

2. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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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.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

This book has also been making lots of rounds on my Twitter TL and I think it would make for an interesting read.

3. Knitting In The City Series by Penny Reid

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There are three things you need to know about Janie Morris: 1) She is incapable of engaging in a conversation without volunteering TMTI (Too Much Trivial Information), especially when she is unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her more than Quinn Sullivan, and 3) She doesn’t know how to knit.

After losing her boyfriend, apartment, and job in the same day, Janie Morris can’t help wondering what new torment fate has in store. To her utter mortification, Quinn Sullivan- aka Sir McHotpants- witnesses it all then keeps turning up like a pair of shoes you lust after but can’t afford. The last thing she expects is for Quinn- the focus of her slightly, albeit harmless, stalkerish tendencies- to make her an offer she can’t refuse.

Anybody who knows me, knows that I’m complete Penny Reid trash. I would read grocery lists and be happy if they were written by that lady. (Kidding. I totally wouldn’t, but you get the idea.) So, yeah, I love her work. Though I have all her books in the e – format, I would kill to own paperbacks. Preferably signed ones. So, yeah.

4. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

11408650Mara Dyer believes life can’t get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed.

There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.

She’s wrong.

I’ve heard so many good things about this series! I mean, so very many! But, I haven’t read it. So, I wouldn’t mind these in the least!

5. A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab

22055262Kell is one of the last travelers–magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad King–George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered–and where Kell was raised alongside Rhy Maresh, the roguish heir to a flourishing empire. White London–a place where people fight to control magic and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

Victoria Schwab. Do I need to say more? I mean, gah! She’s so good (or so I’ve heard) and I would love to read her books!

6. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

17675462Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Gansey is different. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been told by her psychic family that she will kill her true love. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

The amount of longing I have to read this book is unparalleled. I mean, really unparalleled.

7. The Six of Crows Dualogy by Leigh Bardugo

23437156Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager
A runaway with a privileged past
A spy known as the Wraith
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes

Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

The thing that intrigues me most about this is the variety of characters in this book. I mean, so very many. And it’s Leigh Bardugo. Can you ask for more?

 

8. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

22910900What if you aren’t the Chosen One?

The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.

Award-winning writer Patrick Ness’s bold and irreverent novel powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable.

The premise of this book is something that thoroughly entices me. I mean, what if you aren’t the Chosen One? I want to know about that life. Because that is the life I lead.

9. The Daughter of Smoke & Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor

8490112Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

I have read some of the first book in this trilogy and it was absolutely beautiful. But, I would love to own the set and finally finish this series because it is going to be glorious!

10. The Aryavarta Chronicles by Krishna Udayasankar

15823163HONOUR. DESIRE. VENGEANCE.

Aryavarta – the ancient realm of the noble.

For generations, the Firstborn dynasty of scholar-sages, descendants of Vasishta Varuni and protectors of the Divine Order on earth, has dominated here. For just as long, the Angirasa family of Firewrights, weapon-makers to the kings and master inventors, has defied them. In the aftermath of the centuries-long conflict between the two orders, the once-united empire of Aryavarta lies splintered, a shadow of its former glorious self.

Now, the last Secret Keeper of the Firewrights is dead, killed by a violent hand, and the battle for supreme power in the empire is about to begin.

As mighty powers hurtle towards a bloody conflict, Govinda Shauri, cowherd-turned-prince and now Commander of the armies of Dwaraka, must use all his cunning to counter deception and treachery if he is to protect his people and those whom he loves.

But who holds the key to the fantastic and startling knowledge of the Firewrights, which in the wrong hands will bring doom upon the empire? And does Govinda have it in him to confront the dark secrets of his past and discover the true meaning of being Arya, of being noble?

History? Mythology? Retelling? COUNT ME IN! I need to read this ASAP!

Honourable Mentions

The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare

The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness

The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

The Magnus Chase Series by Rick Riordan

The GameWorld Trilogy by Samit Basu

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

What are your most anticipated reads? What would you like this Christmas? Please drop in the comments and let me know! I would love to see what everyone here wants for Christmas! 😀

Happy Reading!

 

Incandescently, Slyvie Parizeau – Blog Tour

Incandescently
Sylvie Parizeau
Publication date: October 22nd 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance

LIAM O’SHEA, bestseller author of the SciFi saga, Eiloe.

All I knew was pain – a childhood filled with cruelty and villains who used and abused.

Until Éolie.

I first heard her sweet, angelical voice in the dark of night, when I lay bathed in my own impending death. Seventeen years later, it’s not the nightmare she pulled me out of that haunts me, but the glimpse of Happily Ever After she revealed just before disappearing.

They said she was a figment of my boundless imagination. A wish. A dream. Until I had no choice but to believe them, cherishing my imaginary savior the only way I knew how – in fiction and lore.

But fantasy has a way of transforming reality. When I finally tire of being a citizen of the world, I take an impromptu sabbatical as a professor at a small college on the coast of Maine. And there I see her, the girl with the sea-green eyes and angelic voice.

My world turns upside down. Turns out my girl is for real, and the pull between us is anything but imaginary.

Happily Ever After has a story … and this one is mine.

 

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Incandescently is the story of finding a Happily Ever After. I love that. This just a journey of two people who’re in love and how they adjust to being together and starting a life together. And I think that that’s brilliant.

The story starts with Liam, the hero, a scifi writer taking on the position of a guest lecturer at a college. He starts having bad dreams about Eolie, a girl he’s talked to his mind in the past  when he was a child, a girl who his therapist has convinced him is just a figment of his imagination and nothing more. But, he’s having dreams about her and she’s in danger and he needs to find her. So, he gets his best friends on it and they’re all desperately searching for her and here, Eolie reaches the college, in search of Liam. They meet and they fall in love. And find their happily ever after. That is the story of Incandescently.

The story is beautifully written and I love it. I love the friendship Liam shares with the rest of his squad. All the boys ready to lay their lives down for each other. I love the instant connection between Liam and Eolie and how that develops through the story. I love the initial days when they’re getting to know each other, all the small moments they share that string along into such a big life. It’s beautiful.

Liam and Eolie are both such wonderful characters. They’re both so in love it makes my heart melt. Always hugging, kissing, cuddling. It’s really heartwarming. Gah! So adorable! Liam is extremely protective of Eolie and she’s just this burst of light that really brightens up everything around her.

What I don’t like is that the book doesn’t explain things. We don’t know how Eolie and Liam shared that connection, how they were able to talk to each other, how Eolie heals really quickly (and I mean in the blink of an eye quickly) and exactly what happened with Liam when he was a kid. We know the story superficially but not exactly. And there was so much potential to develop on with Eolie’s ability to reach out to Liam and with all the visions she had, but we don’t know how or why she had those. She just did. And that was the end of it. It was like a characteristic she had. Like brown eyes or blonde hair. She had visions. That is it. So, the book loses a lot of points for that.

But, I’m seriously in love with the whole dynamic of the book and how it’s based on the want of one person to find his ‘normal’, his version of ‘happily ever after’ and that’s what I absolutely adore about this. So, it gets some of those points back.

All in all, this a great read and I’d definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a light, feel good romance.

 

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Author Bio:

A paralegal by day and incurable romantic by night, Sylvie is a cross-genre, and she takes Happily Ever After very seriously. The End just isn’t in her vocabulary.

An incorrigible daydreamer, she now feeds her obsession with epilogues by concocting stories in which heroes deal with the happy from the get-go. Ready, or not. And she confesses under oath to loving every minute of it.

Sylvie lives her own Happily Ever After in the beautiful mountains of Les Laurentides in Northern Quebec, alongside her whole set of characters.

In between treks in their backyard wilderness, you can find them hanging out at http://www.sylvieparizeau.com

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The Todor Trilogy, Jenna Newell Hiott – Book Review

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20295732In a land where magic was created through the spilling of blood, turmoil is looming. Grief and despair flood the land of Todor, and its creators–the omniscient Deis–consider destroying it altogether. That is, until a single spot of joy attracts their attention: the idyllic village of Aerie. Believing in the hope found there, the Deis give Todor one more chance. They place three infants within this village who are unknowingly tasked with ending Todor’s suffering and saving all creation.

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This book is so awesome, oh my God, I loved it! Actually, I loved all three books in the trilogy.

This series is a definite must read for all high fantasy fans because if you haven’t read it, you’re seriously missing out. So much. Gah! I mean, this book is so good!

The writing is amazing. The plot is amazing. The characters are amazing. Everything is amazing and this is so good! Yes, I’m sounding really repetitive, but this is such a good story! I can’t help it!

I’m not going to start writing what I loved about the characters, but there is so much and I don’t have all day to just sit here and write, but they’re amazing. The character development throughout the series is so good. Not all books have such amazing development. I really like that. I mean, all these multi faceted characters and then it’s their journey and it’s everything rolled into one and they come out on top. They win some and they lose some, but hey! They learn. That’s  important. Like I said, really good character development.

The worldbuilding is another huge plus about this story. It’s great. Every little element has been constructed carefully and showcased brilliantly. There’s so many things going on and it’s exciting to see what’s going to happen next. The plot is really engaging that way.

And the chapters are written in alternating POVs of the three leads, so it gives us a whole lot of insight about them. What they were, what they are now. All of it, explained really well. The one issue I had was that the chapters were really long and I struggled with that quite a few times.

Overall, this entire trilogy is amazing and you must definitely read it if you’re a fan of fantasy, because if you don’t you’re missing out on so much!

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The French Impressionist, Rebecca Bischoff – Blog Tour

 

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The French Impressionist
Rebecca Bischoff
Publication date: December 6th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Rosemary is fifteen and gloriously free, on her own for the very first time. Part of an exchange program for aspiring artists, she arrives in sunny southern France with a single goal: she doesn’t plan to leave, ever. She wants a new life, a new family, and a new identity. But her situation, crafted from lies big and small, is precarious.

Desperate to escape haunting images from her past and a stage one helicopter parent, Rosemary struggles to hide her lack of artistic talent and a communication disorder that has tormented her all her life. She believes her dream of a new start will come true, until she unwittingly finds herself enveloped in a decades-old mystery that threatens to ruin her only chance for success. Determined to stay, Rosemary must choose whether or not she’ll tell the biggest lie of all, even if it means destroying the life of someone she cares about.

Dramatic, heartwarming, and full of teenage angst, The French Impressionist perfectly captures the struggle of those who feel they have no voice, and also shows the courage it takes to speak up and show the world who we really are.

EXCERPT

 

 

 

 

 

 

I look around. My room, my beautiful new room, has forests and oceans and mountains painted all over the walls. It has stars and planets on the ceiling. A mustard-colored rug spattered with paint sits on the floor. On the bed is a vivid quilt that’s a kaleidoscope of colors. The room has a window that looks out over redtiled roofs and palm trees. It even has a cat! Amber eyes glow up at me from the puff of grey fluff resting on the rug. I was never allowed to have a pet. I stare at the pile of grey fur for a second, not sure what to do. Will it chase me from its territory? But the puffball simply closes its yellowy eyes and goes to sleep. I turn back, close the blue-painted door, and stare at the knob. There’s no lock. On this side or on the other side. It’s perfect. A couple of tears spill down my face, but I swipe them away. My new life just started, and I’m going to live it. I’m going to head back down to the shop and get to know my new family. But when I grasp the doorknob, I stop. I don’t want to leave just yet. I turn to check out the room one more time, straining a little to see the murals as the light from the window changes from bright to dim. Outside, clouds cover the sun and a summer storm spatters rain onto the glass. I don’t bother to turn on the light, though. I know this room well already. I walk along the walls, tracing the paintings with a gentle finger. The photo of this room on Sylvie’s blog was what started it all. It’s part of the reason that I’m here and why I chose Sylvie and Émile to be my new family. The mural at the head of the bed is my favorite. A trail curves through a forest, then up the side of a steep canyon, where it angles back and forth in sharp switchbacks. Every so often, along the trail is a boy who carries a backpack and walking stick. The boy, lanky and brown like Sylvie, gradually grows taller. It’s their son, Ansel, now gone. He painted himself somewhere on the trail each year for his birthday. The figure at the very top of the cliff is Ansel at eighteen, heading to Paris. He’s smiling and pumping a fist into the air. I kiss my fingers and touch them to the painted boy’s tiny head. “Thank you, Ansel,” I whisper. I couldn’t be here if he weren’t gone. “I promise I’ll take care of the room for you.” A gleam of light glows on the wall a few feet away. I jerk my hand back in surprise. Painted on the other side of Ansel’s cliff is a wide expanse of stormy sky over a dark ocean. Streaks of bright lightning cross the gloomy haze, but one line of lightning extends downward in a straight line, cutting through sky and cloud until it plunges into the ocean. I move closer until my nose is practically against the paint and stare. The straight line, of course, isn’t painted lightning. It’s a crack in the wall, one so deep that light from the next room shines through it. Then, before I can even begin to wonder, the crack disappears. What just happened?

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Author Bio:

Rebecca Bischoff currently resides in Idaho with her family and works as a speech-language pathologist. She loves helping others, especially kids and teenagers, discover their own unique voices and learn to share who they are with the world. When she isn’t writing, she loves to read, spend time with her kids, and make awkward attempts to learn foreign languages. She is drawn to all things both French and Italian, used bookstores, and anything made out of chocolate.

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Bad Boys After Dark : Dylan, Melissa Foster – Blog Tour

 

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Bad Boys After Dark: Dylan
Melissa Foster
(Bad Billionaires After Dark, #2)
Publication date: December 21st 2016
Genres: Adult, Romance

Bad Billionaires After Dark are a series of stand-alone romances that may also be enjoyed as part of the larger Love in Bloom series.

“With her wonderful characters and resonating emotions, Melissa Foster is a must-read author!” -NYT Bestseller Julie Kenner

“Melissa Foster is synonymous with sexy, swoony, heartfelt romance!” -NYT Bestseller Lauren Blakely

Indulge your inner vixen with these sexy billionaires!

Meet the Bad Boys… Four fiercely loyal, sinfully sexy, uber alpha brothers, about to fall head over heels for their leading ladies.

Everything’s naughtier after dark…

Sinfully sexy bar owner Dylan Bad has a thing for needy women. He’s a savior, a knight in shining armor, and his mighty talented sword has no trouble bringing damsels in distress to their knees. Enter Tiffany Winters, a gorgeous cutthroat sports agent who looks like sex on legs, f**ks like she’s passion personified, and wouldn’t let a man help her if she were dangling from a ledge and he was her only hope. One night and too much tequila might change their lives forever. The question is, will either one survive?

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I’ll start off by saying that this was such an amazing romance! I’m quickly becoming a fan of Melissa Foster and her writing. I’m a complete sucker for romance. I mean, I read a whole lot of it. Whatever I can get my hands on. But, not all of them are good, you know. They all have one thing or the other that’s good but I haven’t come across many authors who have a whole package of the good stuff like Melissa Foster.

I loved this story, even if there was a little too much of sex for my liking. I mean, I understand why. The story started with what was supposed to be a one night stand and the lead pair is very sexual in showing their appreciation for each other, so yeah, obviously there was going to be a lot of that. It was good that it was tastefully done.

But, the story is nice. For once, it’s the guy who isn’t afraid of commitment. Of course that’s what I liked best. Dylan went in full force and did what he needed to win the girl over. Sometimes that included giving her space and sometimes it meant smothering her with attention. But, he knew when to push and when to hold back and he never, ever forced her to do anything she didn’t want to, even if it meant working on their dates or having her leave him in the morning. He was always patient and understanding and even if he was disappointed at times, he did his best to be there for her. I love that. You don’t see that in people very often these days.

An added bonus is that he’s smart, witty, funny, charming and hot. Oh, so hot! He gives his girlfriend cute nicknames and he leaves unexpected presents at her door when he’s courting her in an effort to woo her. And he works for charities. And he bakes. And he owns a bar. Yes, my friend, the word you’re looking for is perfection. *Sighs*

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Tiffany, she is such a hard ass. She’s always busy with work, likes no strings attached one night stands (because that’s all she’s got the time for) and loves her family. She’s a coveted sports agent and takes her job very seriously. She is literally available 24X7 to all her clients. Workaholic much? But, though she has this reputation of being a hardass, she’s actually this amazing, sweet girl who’s just awesome. I like her. She’s not really sure how emotionally available she is and the path she goes on with Dylan to actually discover what kind of live and what kind of relationship she wants is beautiful. She admits to her flaws and never believes that she’s perfect. I like that. She’s gorgeous and she’s successful and what a dynamite! Most men would be salivating for her. Stuff like this makes people cocky, but she isn’t cocky. She knows she isn’t God’s Gift to Mankind. She’s humble and she’s good and she’s awesome and I love her!

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This story is so well written. I love everything about it. The characters, the situations, the little surprises, the dates, all the family time, the importance of careers, the importance of love. Everything that is highlighted in this book is awesome. If you’re a romance fan, you HAVE TO PICK THIS UP!

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Author Bio:

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance (M/F, M/M, F/F), romantic suspense, thrillers, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the World Literary Café. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success.

Melissa has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Her interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping others see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod.

Melissa is available to chat with book clubs and welcomes comments and emails from her readers. Visit Melissa on Facebook or her personal website.

Never miss a brand new release, special promotions or inside gossip again by simply signing up to receive your newsletter from Melissa.

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