Archive | September 2016

Review: The Forgotten Fairytales + Giveaway

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The Forgotten Fairytales
by Angela Parkhurst
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: February 10th 2014

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Summary from Goodreads:

Once upon a time, seventeen-year-old Norah Hart believed in the lure of fairytales and happily ever afters. That was before she was forced to live in a fairy tale nightmare.

A psychotic, couture-clad, shoe obsessed Princess.
A not-so-charming, alcoholic Prince.
A hot Big Bad Wolf that she absolutely cannot fall for—no matter how well he kisses.

If Norah had known she’d be attending a boarding school for the nut job reincarnations of fairy tale characters, she would have insisted on going to Moscow with her father. But getting out isn’t as easy as she thought. Especially once Norah realizes she, too, is a storybook character. An Unknown. The first one in over one hundred years. Soon Norah learns she has the ability to rewrite the stories, putting everyone’s Happily Ever After in jeopardy.

Some princesses will do whatever it takes to protect their endings. Even if it means betraying the one closest to you.

My Review:

Norah and her sister are to attend a boarding school while her Dad has to go to Moscow. This boarding school is nothing as it seems when everyone there is really a character straight out of a fairy tale.

I really liked that these characters weren’t how we all have come to know them to be. The perceptions we have known all our lives are now erased as we read about these characters. A prince who is no charming prince but just a drunken idiot is one example that I was very pleased with.

My favorite part of this book was actually the romance. Wolf can I keep you? I loved Wolf and how he struggled with himself and never believing in the fact that he was enough for Norah when in fact he was way  more than enough. The struggle for him to quit running away from her stressed me out but that is okay because he makes up for it.

The story itself felt to me as if Once Upon a Time characters were all in a boarding school together which was different than anything I have read. I would have actually preferred if this wasn’t told in urban fantasy because I wasn’t a fan of the Punk’d or Ashton Kutcher name dropping or if maybe some of that was left out.

I loved the main character Norah and how she protects everyone that she cares about. She was an extremely strong character and funny too. I read this book in one sitting, and as the book went on I did like the beginning more than the end. It was a little predictable but a lot of fun.

 

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angela parkhurst

About the Author

I am the author of the Forgotten Fairytales series.
I love reading YA and NA books. I have 2 toddler boys, 2 mini doxins & I’m married to my high school sweetheart. I have an obsession with books, Disney, and am fueled by a wicked coffee addiction.

In addition to YA fantasy, I write contemporary young adult and new adult novels.

 

Author Links:

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Blog Tour Organized by:

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Join us for #BattyBookMonth

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Come one, come all! October is approaching! You know what that means? Longer nights, cooler weather, and creepier, ghastly books to look forward to. What’s not to love about this month! Plus, there’s candy!

That all goes to say, that Moriah and I love Halloween! We love books (obviously) and decided to combine the two!

We want you to join in, too! Below, is the graphic that was created for the days. Candace and I split the days of October and came up with the themes. Save the graphic and share it on every social media site you own! Tag us in your daily posts and make sure you use the hashtag #BattyBookMonth so we’re sure to see all of your pictures! We will be picking our favorites each week and sharing them as well.

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For a little history lesson, the Celtic holiday was a celebration of the end of a full cycle. This was the time that the crops were taken in, cattle was brought closer into the towns, and signaled the first day of winter, November 1st. The day before, Samhain, was the time that the Celtic people believed the veil separating the mortal realm and the other side was the thinnest, the time when the dead could walk among the living. As a result, the Celts built bonfires to ward off evil spirits and to help them move on, as well as riding themselves of demons, fairies, ghouls, and other supernatural creatures. The Christians tried to eradicate the Celtic holiday and created All Saints Day to honor the saints on November 1st.

The Celtic tradition of Samhain never died out completely, and the celebration of All Hallows Eve began. Food and drink was left on doorsteps to coerce the supernatural beings into leaving the houses along. Soon, people started to dress up as the spirits and supernatural beings and went house to house for asking for “treats.”

Source and more information on Halloween!

Waiting on Wednesday: Starfall

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“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly post hosted by Breaking the Spine, that discusses upcoming releases that we are super excited about!

Date of Publication: February 7th, 2017

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Goodreads Summary:

When Princess Cassia Rose fled her home world of Eturia to escape an arranged marriage to a bloodthirsty prince and prevent a coup, she had no idea her sudden departure would spark a war. Now after two years hiding as a lowly ship hand, she finally has the chance to return home and make peace, but not in the way she imagined. Shackled by bounty hunters, she is violently dragged back to account for her crimes. Her only solace is that the Banshee crew managed to evade capture, including Kane Arric, her best friend… with occasional benefits.

Meanwhile, Kane and the rest of the crew of the Banshee, including Solara and Doran, are planning a desperate rescue mission. But when they arrive on Eturia, they find Cassia ruling her home planet, having imprisoned the rogue prince who would have overthrown her family. Deep down, Kane knows that Cassia can’t rule her world and be with the bastard son of a business man, but he’s also sure she returns his feelings, and that makes the circumstances all the more painful. When the outer realms are threatened by the dangerous Zhang mafia, Cassia, Kane and the rest of the Banshee crew rally to protect the population from widespread enslavement. The reunion forces Cassia to consider who her true family is and if she can live without the boy who has been there for her through thick and thin.

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Review: Spindle

Title: Spindle

Author: Shonna Slayton

Date of Publication: October 4th, 2016

spindle

Goodreads Summary:

Briar Rose knows her life will never be a fairy tale. She’s raising her siblings on her own, her wages at the spinning mill have been cut, and the boy she thought she had a future with has eyes for someone else. Most days it feels like her best friend, Henry Prince, is the only one in her corner…though with his endless flirty jokes, how can she ever take him seriously?

When a mysterious peddler offers her a “magic” spindle that could make her more money, sneaking it into the mill seems worth the risk. But then one by one, her fellow spinner girls come down with the mysterious sleeping sickness—and Briar’s not immune.

If Briar wants to save the girls—and herself—she’ll have to start believing in fairy tales…and in the power of a prince’s kiss.

My Review:

Briar works in a spinning mill that helps her be able to raise her three siblings since she is all they have left. The one boy she feel for left her, and her friend Henry leaves with very short notice. Briar runs into a peddler who offers her a spindle that can help with the loss of the wages at her factory. This magic spindle seems to bring about a strange sleeping sickness.

I really liked the setting in this one and was really glad that it wasn’t set in modern day. Briar was a selfless character, and I loved her. She is almost seventeen and has not been able to be a child in a long time since both of her parents died. Briar basically raises her sister and two brothers all by herself. She doesn’t focus on herself but what is best for them and what will keep them together as a family, and I loved that.

In the beginning of the book I thought Henry was the best character, and he was cute and funny and sweet to Briar. So when he ups and leaves rather quickly to go over seas I was rather disappointed and thought he would be back sooner in the book than when he returned. I wanted to see more of the romance in this one, but the romance that was between him and Briar was very believable! I love Henry!

The fact that Spindle is not really direct retelling of Sleeping Beauty was very refreshing. The writing was perfect, and the details were all there. When the mysterious sleeping sickness comes about in the book I became even more invested in the book. Definitely worth checking this one out.

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Review: The Surrendered

Title: The Surrendered

Author: Case Maynard

Date of Publication: September 20th, 2016

the-surrendered

Goodreads Summary:

After a financial collapse devastates the United States, the new government imposes a tax on the nation’s most valuable resource—the children.

Surrendered at age ten—after her parents could no longer afford her exorbitant fees—Vee Delancourt has spent six hard years at the Mills, alongside her twin, Oliver. With just a year to freedom, they do what they can to stay off the Master’s radar. But when Vee discovers unspeakable things happening to the younger girls in service, she has no choice but to take a stand—a decision that lands her on the run and outside the fence for the first time since the System robbed her of her liberty.

Vee knows the Master will stop at nothing to prove he holds ultimate authority over the Surrendered. But when he makes a threat that goes beyond what even she considers possible, she accepts the aid of an unlikely group of allies. Problem is, with opposing factions gunning for the one thing that might save them all, Vee must find a way to turn oppression and desperation into hope and determination—or risk failing all the children and the brother she left behind.

My Review:

Vee has been at the Mills with her twin since the age of ten. Their parents surrendered them because they could only afford their younger sister. The Mills has been a horrific place for the past six years, and when Vee discovers a girl that has been mistreated actions take place and leaves no room for them to turn back, so Vee and Ramsey escape with Vee’s younger sister who also just got surrendered. They meet up with a new group that Vee hopes will help to rescue her twin who has been accused of a crime he did not commit.

I loved this book! I have not read a good YA dystopian book in a while, and this one actually felt like one that could be real. The mistreatment of children made it seem so horrific that that could be something that could happen one day.

I really liked the main character Vee. She was strong and not selfish at all and would risk her life for the ones that she cares about. Her mouth was one that could get her in trouble, but she just spoke how she really felt, and when things were not right she would speak up.

Cason was one of my favorite characters! He could get a little jealous at times, but after everything he had lost it is understandable that he would not want to lose Vee. There was romance between them, and it did not over power the story in any way at all. Also I was glad to see no love triangle! There was some pretty special moments between them that I really liked.

There was also plenty of action and betrayal that kept my hooked on this book and did not want to put it down. Some of these characters I wanted to go into the book and shake myself because of what they did. Ramsey was one of my other favorite characters, and I would have liked to have learned more about her because she was awesome.

For the first book in the series it is off to a great start, and I loved the writer’s writing. The descriptions weren’t overly done, and I could imagine myself being in this world. The villain which is The Master made me feel a real sense of hate for the things that he did. I definitely recommend this book to pick up and read.

 

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The Surrendered: Excerpt + Giveaway

The Surrendered
Case Maynard
Published by: Blaze Publishing
Publication date: September 20th 2016
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult

After a financial collapse devastates the United States, the new government imposes a tax on the nation’s most valuable resource—the children.

Surrendered at age ten—after her parents could no longer afford her exorbitant fees—Vee Delancourt has spent six hard years at the Mills, alongside her twin, Oliver. With just a year to freedom, they do what they can to stay off the Master’s radar. But when Vee discovers unspeakable things happening to the younger girls in service, she has no choice but to take a stand—a decision that lands her on the run and outside the fence for the first time since the System robbed her of her liberty.

Vee knows the Master will stop at nothing to prove he holds ultimate authority over the Surrendered. But when he makes a threat that goes beyond what even she considers possible, she accepts the aid of an unlikely group of allies. Problem is, with opposing factions gunning for the one thing that might save them all, Vee must find a way to turn oppression and desperation into hope and determination—or risk failing all the children and the brother she left behind.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

EXCERPT:

A sinking feeling washes over me. “We’re going to Meadowood.”

He responds without opening his eyes, “I want answers.”

I start to argue that this will be a fool’s errand, but in truth, I want the same answers he does. “Do you think the man who rescued Oliver was with the Southies?”

“I don’t know who else it could’ve been.” He sits up and stretches. “It must’ve been them, and I want to know why they changed the plan without informing us. The Master and his Regulators got to the rooftop very quickly after I fired that shot. I have to wonder if someone told them we were there.”

“You think the Southies took Oliver to get the combination and then set the Regulators on us? Why would they do that?”

He rubs his face. “It doesn’t make any sense. But something’s not adding up.”

I ponder this, thinking about my brother’s strange plea. “I know you think I’m insane, but I can’t help but feel like Oliver knew someone was going to take him; I swear it felt like he was speaking to me when he said not to interfere. But that doesn’t make any sense, either. He’s been behind the fence for years.”

Cason yawns and tries to shake off the effects of the Papaver. “I don’t think you’re crazy; his message did seem odd for someone who was about to hang for a crime he didn’t commit. I don’t know, but hopefully he’ll be at Meadowood and you can ask him yourself.”

My mood elevates as I realize I may only be hours away from a reunion with my brother. The pain in my arm forgotten, I try to concentrate only on this knowledge, confident we’ll have our answers soon enough. “I didn’t get a chance to thank you for earlier. You could’ve just turned me over to the Master and walked away, but you didn’t. I’m grateful for that.”

I feel a little embarrassed as soon as the words leave my mouth. Normally I’m not one to share my feelings, but the Papaver Flower makes me breathless and lightheaded and loosens my tongue.

He reaches for me, careful not to jostle my splinted wrist, and pulls my face to his. “I’m probably going to ruin that sentiment by telling you the Master would never have let me go anyway, but know this—” he runs the pad of his thumb along my lower lip and meets my eyes “—if everyone else in the entire world leaves you to fend for yourself, if your father, your mother, your brother disappoint you, if God himself decides you aren’t worthy . . . you’ll still be able to count on me. I’ve got your back, Vera.”

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You can listen to the first chapter of the book here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZY_tGuxPLyI&feature=youtu.be

 

Author Bio:

With over 20 years’ experience in the legal and medical fields, Case Maynard decided to trade in her briefs and reports to write the stories that have been floating around in her head since childhood. She lives with her two teenagers and husband in South Georgia, while maintaining a long-distance liaison with her oldest daughter and partner in crime in Alaska. When not writing, she enjoys reading as often as possible, binge watching anything good on Netflix, and all things NCAA football (Go Noles!). You can learn more about Case and her stories on her website.

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