August 2017 Books

I almost forgot it was the end of the month, so I am writing this post quickly. My reading was a little slow this month because of my vacation and busy work schedule, but I did manage to read some books. Here they are, all 20.



 

 


#BookReview | The Fire Queen by Emily R. King

Title: The Fire Queen
By: Emily R. King
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 286
Release Date: September 26th, 2017
Publisher: Skyscape
Audience: Young Adult

Summary from Goodreads: In the second book in The Hundredth Queen Series, Emily R. King once again follows a young warrior queen’s rise to meet her destiny in a richly imagined world of sorcery and forbidden powers.

Though the tyrant rajah she was forced to marry is dead, Kalinda’s troubles are far from over. A warlord has invaded the imperial city, and now she’s in exile. But she isn’t alone. Kalinda has the allegiance of Captain Deven Naik, her guard and beloved, imprisoned for treason and stripped of command. With the empire at war, their best hope is to find Prince Ashwin, the rajah’s son, who has promised Deven’s freedom on one condition: that Kalinda will fight and defeat three formidable opponents.

But as Kalinda’s tournament strengths are once again challenged, so too is her relationship with Deven. While Deven fears her powers, Ashwin reveres them—as well as the courageous woman who wields them. Kalinda comes to regard Ashwin as the only man who can repair a warring world and finds herself torn between her allegiance to Deven and a newly found respect for the young prince.

With both the responsibility to protect her people and the fate of those she loves weighing heavily upon her, Kalinda is forced again to compete. She must test the limits of her fire powers and her hard-won wisdom. But will that be enough to unite the empire without sacrificing all she holds dear?
 


Review: An immersing wave of action and mystery. I was super excited to get my hands on a copy of this book. I loved the first story, The Hundredth Queen and this one was right up there.

The book follows our favorite fire wielder, Kalinda as she is thrown into another round of trials to prove her worth. At first I was a little disappointing that the story was going along the same route as the first, but my thoughts quickly changed when the action started. There were different trials and the mystery of the Buddha continued with a new kingdom and new secrets.

I really enjoyed this book. It was right up my alley and I think people who like a good paranormal fantasy will like this one.    


Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.


False Awakenings by Cassandra Page #BlogTour @cassandrapage01


False Awakening
Cassandra Page
(Lucid Dreaming #2)
Publication date: August 26th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
How can you fight your nightmares when they’re real?
Melaina, half-human dream therapist, just wants her life to return to normal. Yes, her Oneiroi father is in prison and, yes, the place she worked burned down, but she has a cute boyfriend and a new house. She beat the bad guy. She’s earned a break. Right?
Unfortunately for Melaina, people are still getting possessed by nightmare spirits; the police are investigating her past; and the bad guy’s brother, the Morpheus himself, is coming to town to demand answers. When a deranged ex-nurse checks himself out of hospital on the same day her cousin runs away from home, Melaina is dragged into a fight not just for her life but for her soul.
EXCERPT:
Usually when I stepped into someone’s dreams just after they’d fallen asleep, I didn’t arrive in an active dream so much as in a place of significance in their subconscious. The kind of place they’d have recurring dreams about. As a lucid dreamer, I didn’t have true recurring dreams—deliberately conjuring dreams of my favourite places didn’t count. But I was familiar with the concept. Jen had told me that, usually, those dreams she remembered contained elements of her family home. Brad often dreamed of his grandparents’ house, where he’d spent a lot of time as a child.
That was why, when I appeared in a brightly lit department store, I raised my eyebrows. Huh. First job, maybe? I stood in an aisle full of bags of confectionary: liquorice sticks, mixed lollies, chocolate drops. But everything was slightly off. When I focused on a rustling purple and yellow packet, trying to make out the brand name, the logo slid away from my gaze as if it didn’t want to be nailed down. Price tags were illegible: smeared or written in gibberish characters. And when I looked between the packages I didn’t see a backboard filled with mounting holes but sheer, impenetrable darkness.
The darkness gaped back at me.
With goosebumps shivering along the length of my forearms, I took a moment to prepare myself, sparing a thought and a shred of energy to conjure a set of trusty motorcycle leathers. I didn’t have any such thing in the real world, but in dreams I’d found they served quite well as armour against the barbs on a blight’s tentacles. A clear-faced, round helmet made me feel like an idiot but protected my eyes. I didn’t know for certain that there was a blight here, but something was definitely not right. Even if it was just a creepy manifestation of Daniel’s subconscious—even if he was indeed going crazy—it paid to be careful. Ephemera could still have teeth.
I crept towards the end of the aisle, leather squeaking faintly as I listened for the telltale bubbling hiss of a blight. Peering past a stand of round-bellied plastic animals stuffed with jellybeans, I saw a row of unattended registers to my left. To my right, clothes swayed in a breeze I couldn’t feel. In front of me was the store’s main entrance: the roller shutter was down, allowing only a vague impression of a darkened mall beyond.
Deserted apartment stores were bloody creepy. Even ones with the lights on. Still, this didn’t look like a place a blight had trashed. Brad’s had shredded the surface of his dream, tearing holes in walls and coating everything with a mess that would do a slimy Ghostbusters spectre proud. This store was creepy, sure, but trashed? No.
Like my thought made it happen, a corner of the store went dark as one fluorescent light, then another, went out with a pop and a tinkle of glass on tile. “What the…?” I whispered, looking up.
That was when I spotted the blight.
It hung upside down from the ceiling, somewhere above the menswear section, like a deranged bat a few feet wide and made of smog. Its tentacles were jammed deep into the rectangular ceiling tiles; the tiles themselves were slick with an oily coating of blight ichor that dripped downwards, spattering across a garish display of novelty ties that hurt my eyes.
“Gross,” I said, my voice somewhat muffled behind the helmet’s faceplate. The blight turned, rotating slowly until its stained yellow eyes glared down at me.
“Oneeiiiiroi,” the creature hissed.


Author Bio:
Cassandra Page is a mother, author, editor and geek. She lives in Canberra, Australia’s bush capital, with her son and two Cairn Terriers. She has a serious coffee addiction and a tattoo of a cat — despite being allergic to cats. She has loved to read since primary school, when the library was her refuge, and loves many genres — although urban fantasy is her favourite. When she’s not reading or writing, she engages in geekery, from Doctor Who to AD&D. Because who said you need to grow up?

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Swim by M.E. Rhines #BlogTour @MERhines


Swim
M.E. Rhines
(Mermaid Royalty #2)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: August 29th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
A mermaid has no fear of the deep…
Angelique is not your typical fairy tale mermaid. She’s edgy, with a quick temper and intense personality that sometimes leave her feeling like an outsider even among her own clan. Reeling from the recent changes in the Mer-world hierarchy, Angelique is struggling to find her place in the ocean. But a chance encounter with a handsome two-legged Fin-man will leave her questioning more than just her place in the underwater order.
Packed with adventure, romance and drama, Swim continues the compelling story of life and love in the magical underwater realm of Atargatis.
EXCERPT:
Would they serve me on a platter, or just toss me in tank and use me as an exhibit? Some of the humans Mother captured spoke of places where even the ocean’s greatest predators were put on display for the amusement of the young and hardened of heart. An aquarium they called it. Manatees, dolphins, sharks. All subject to the degradation of living in a box for the rest of their days.
Oh, Poseidon help me, I’d rather die right now.
Almost as soon as my body contacted the sea floor, the rope connecting me to the human vessel tightened. An illusion of weightlessness befell me as it pulled me up. Despite already feeling drained, I swam against the pull right up until my entire body left the water. Suffocating aridness strangled me. I danged inside the net a good ten feet above the water, swaying along with the howling wind as if it was dancing with me.
I scanned the rough waters below, desperate for a trace that Lennox was around. But the sea was fuming. Furious, whether at me or the fisherman I didn’t know. Already turbulent waters intensified, until waves the size of small squalls slammed into the boat from all sides.
Even if Lennox was down there, and I doubted he was, there would be no way to see him through the chaos on the ocean’s surface. I didn’t waste much time searching. He’d said it himself; he was a warrior, a killer at heart. It wasn’t in his nature to go around saving anyone or anything unless it served his king. He was long gone, left me for dead.
“You see,” I heard the horrible man shout. “Look at that tail.”
“I’ll be damned. You weren’t seeing things after all, Reggie.”
“Yep. Heard stories about mermaids in this area. Didn’t much believe them. Until now, of course. She’s awfully pretty, too. Prettier than I ever imagined a mermaid could be.”
“What should we do with her?”
“Are you kidding? People would pay a fortune to just take a quick look at her. Mortgage their own houses, I bet. We’re gonna be rich!”
The blond man tapped his chin with his index finger, pondering the idea. A small, na├»ve part of me hoped he might listen to that slight little voice in his head, the one that should tell him I was a living thing. A sentient, conscious, and intelligent living thing and should be treated with common decency. His conscience should’ve told him to put me back in the water and drive his boat far out of here and leave me be.
Then this human, the one who moments ago seemed so kindhearted and eager to help me until my tail was exposed, reminded me of that one ever-important detail I managed to allow myself forget:
Humans have no conscience.


Author Bio:
ME Rhines a southwest Florida native currently living in North Port with her two beautiful children and a third, much larger child whom she affectionately calls husband.
She writes young adult paranormal romance to feed her belief that fairy tales are real and
nonsense is necessary.
She also writes adult romances under her edgier alter-ego, Mary Bernsen.

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#WeeklyMenu Week #212

Welcome back to another week of meals.

Wow, I can't believe its almost September. The boys will be going back to school giving me quiet time to get some stuff around the house done. Also, the rain is coming. I can't wait until I can feel the mist on my face and the way the air smells when the first rain of the season falls. Its my favorite part of the year.

If you missed all the excitement from the last week, make sure you check out my Confessions blog post and read about the naked crazy woman in my back yard and find out what I've been reading this week and whats to come.  

Enjoy this weeks menu!

Monday
Nachos

Tuesday
- Guy night!

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday
Tuna Sandwich

Weekly Confessions #4

"Sunsets are proof that endings can be beautiful." 
~ Buddha ~

Its almost sad to me that summer is coming to an end and a new chapter in our life is about to begin. The boys are going back to school and my days will be full of peace and quiet... Well... Maybe. 

I've had a lot of realizations lately about endings. Endings of life through the impending passing of family. Through the sudden death of a friends father-in-law. Through all the sad news that inundates social media these days. There are endings with friends that I've realized have been gone for a long time, even though I hold onto them till the last thread has frayed. Its hard to let go. Hard to end, but sunsets are proof that endings can be beautiful.

My book output has been way down this week, due to the fact that I was on vacation last week and my workload at work was crazy busy. Trying to catch up from a week being gone is hell. I did manage to read four books thought. We listened to The Capture by Kathryn Lasky on our car ride and we finally finished it. Its a great book for kids. I also got the movie from the library and the boys are really excited to watch it this coming week.

I finished The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for my Gilmore Girls reading list that I should really post more about. Wild Ride by Jennifer Crusie that was recommended to me by @Laurenreads626 on Instagram was a fantastic fun read. Demons in an amusement park... Ahhh! My fourth book was The Fire Queen by Emily R. King. Another great story by this author. I read her first book in the series recently (The Hundredth Queen) and loved it.
Next week I have a lot of books to get through. We will see how many I actually read.  On the list is Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas. Swan Song by Robert McCammon. Atlantis: The king's return by D.K. Combs. The November Girl by Lydia Kang and The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones. Some of these books are quit long, but I'm excited to dive into them. I might also finish the three books I have already started.

September is almost hear with a new list of books and new reviews for me to share with you. This is going to be great!

This week has been crazy. I strangely worked Monday which I haven't done in almost three years. I'm going to tell you this now, it wont happen again for a long time. I do get a three day weekend though, but that only makes up for labor day that I don't get paid for next week. 

We did have some excitement in our backyard last night that I was super bummed to not be home for. We have some friends staying with us for the summer and they heard a woman screaming in the woods behind the house. They called the cops to come investigate and they found a naked woman at our back gate having a psychotic break. Funny thing is, We have a trap cam out there and it caught some interesting pictures. Thankfully no naked women.

Team Chaos for the win. Hopefully the woman will be able to get some help. The cops said that she does this often. All fin and dandy, but not in my back yard woman. I have kids you might freak out.

Another five star review for Seeker this week. This time from Kristy at Simply Nicollette. It makes my heart happy to read these reviews. I know there are only five reviews total so far but they are all five stars. I would encourage you to write a review if you have read Hunter or Seeker. I really appreciate the feedback and it helps me to write a better story next time... Or makes me cry with happiness.

I made some progress on my new manuscript i'm currently calling "The Darker." I'm up to chapter twenty one and I'm no where near being finished. Its really coming along. Because I write my first drafts on actual paper, I won't have any quotes for you for a while, but keep checking back for updates.


This last week on the blog I shared some awesome posts with you. 
  • We saw a first look at Jerico Lenk's cover for The Missing
  • I reviewed the Divinity Bureau by Tessa Clare and it was awesome! 
  • Julia Ember stopped by the blog and talked to us about her new book The Tiger's Watch and gave us some pointers on promoting your own book.
  • We watched the Zookeeper's Wife. What a powerful true story about selflessness during WW2
  • Rita Stradling has released a new book, Colorless and I got my hands on a copy. An epic review you need to read.
  • Of course, I gave you a weekly menu so you didn't have to think about what to cook this week.
In conclusion... Books, books, books, books, books. I mean... Have a great week!


   






The Missing by Jerico Lenk #CoverReveal @lenkwrites @chapterxchapter @Month9Books

 
Hello Readers!  Welcome to the Cover Reveal for
The Missing by Jerico Lenk!
Be on the lookout for this upcoming title from Month9Books!
 
HERE WE GO! WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE COVER?
 
 
It is 1890, and London has secrets. For sixteen-year-old Will Winchester, born Willow Winchester and raised as a young man, the safety of his own secrets rests one atop the other. Hiding his gender queerness is important. But so is hiding the ghostly voices of the Missing, which Will hears when no one else can … until the Spiritualist Black Cross Order of Occult Occurrences wants him in their service to keep peace between London’s living and dead.
The freedom to be himself may come with a price. Working alongside a patchwork team of misfits and unlikely allies, Will finds he isn't the only one keeping secrets. Someone does not want him to uncover the truth about the ghosts who aren’t just missing from the world of the living, but missing from history itself. Can he find the Missing before he ends up becoming one of them?
The Missing by Jerico Lenk Publication Date:  October 10, 2017 Publisher:  Month9Books
Available for Pre-order: Amazon 
 
Undergraduate studying Creative Writing, Classics, Russian and Western European History. Unabashed weeb probably burning incense and drinking too much coffee at this very moment. Out for queer representation and great sex hair. Beyond ready for the upcoming Vampire Chronicles TV series.
Lenk writes Young Adult/New Adult, spec fiction, poetry, and screenplays. He is currently unagented. His poems have appeared at/in USF Tampa’s Thread Literary Inquiry, biannual 6x6 creative writing showcase, and placed second in National Poetry Month 2015; Tethered By Letters’ F(r)iction Spring 2016 poetry contest finalist; winner of the 2017 Bettye Newman Poetry award.