Archive | October 2017

This is Halloween!!!

This is Halloween… This is Halloween… This is Halloween!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thought I’d share some awesome horrorish movies because…. it’s Halloween, duh! So here are 31 movies of awesomeness!

 

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What’s your favorite horror movie?

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Natalia Jaster: Author Interview + Giveaway

 

I’m extremely happy to have this interview with Natalia Jaster for you guys to read today. I absolutely adore her books!

Author Interview with Natalia Jaster:

What made you want to become a writer?

Well, my brother used to tell me stories when I was little, and some of the tales had to do with magical worlds, so I think that played a big part in planting the roots—which is why I dedicated Touch to him.

But it wasn’t until university that I realized fiction was my thing. Classes allowed me to explore genres and writing techniques, and that became the place where I searched for the right character voice, the one that I’d click with.

The first time I wrote a short story from an older teen’s point-of-view, I knew. I knew.

What was your inspiration for Touch?

It started out as fanfiction, actually. Before my novels, I was active in the Hunger Games community, writing AU stories (alternative universe). In one of them, I turned Katniss Everdeen into a well-known mythological matchmaker.

As a writer, I naturally gravitate toward swapping gender roles and subverting expectations, so I was drawn to the premise of a love deity being clueless about love. A deity who’s forced to pair up the mortal she loves with someone else. There couldn’t be a worse challenge for Eros!

The premise stuck with me long after I’d finished the fic, so I decided to rewrite it into an original novel, pushing the tale even further.

What was your inspiration for Trick?

That book didn’t take off until I decided the hero was going to be a court jester. I’d wanted to write a castle story, and for me, it always begins with figuring out who the main characters are. I struggled at first, but once the idea for a jester landed in my heart, the story bloomed.

Questions piled up: Why is the hero a “trained fool”? Does he like/dislike being one? What does it mean to be a fool, and how it is defined in this story?

That last question inspired the world building and main conflict of Trick.

What was your inspiration for Dare?

A few things. Some readers had mentioned that they wanted to know more about the other season kingdoms, so I began to wonder. I’d written about Spring & Autumn. What about Summer & Winter?

Also, I realized that in order for the world to be grounded, for the mindset of this landscape to be fully explored, we needed to read the POVs of the oppressor and sufferer. The intolerant Royal and the “born fool.”

Plus, I’d been interested in doing a dark reimagining of The Blue Lagoon. When I combined all those things, I knew it would be my next novel, despite how scared I was to write it.

I love all three of your books, which one is your favorite and why?

Thank you! All my books are dear to me, but if I had to pick, it would be Trick. For Poet reasons.

Poet is definitely my favorite character of all time. How did you come up with him?

Ah, I had such a blast creating him. Making a jester alluring, in spite of it being the un-sexiest trade I could have assigned a hero, was such an exciting prospect.

I wanted to subvert the vision people have about jesters—most of what I found on Pinterest was either creepy or ridiculous—while also magnifying their best skills. There’s not much research on jesters, but from what learned, they were popular figures in their time. Clever, sharp-tongued, intelligent, beloved by their sovereigns, and possessing their own degree of power and admirers.

I envisioned someone magnetic. Someone with a tendency toward verse, who wore eye makeup like nobody’s business, who had a flamboyant wardrobe (but not an absurd one), and who’d be widely desired. A vain but selfless character, amusing but passionate, who can work a dance floor and handle a dagger. Also, someone who kept a dangerous secret, and it’s that very secret I’m most proud of.

For anyone interested in reading more about him, I wrote a post on creating Poet’s character. You can find it here on my website, or here on Tumblr.

I loved the setting for Dare, and I especially loved Jeryn (who is my second favorite character you have written). Was he a hard character to write?

YES! I mean, every character is hard to write for different reasons, but the deal with him was, how could I create a villain who starts out vicious but remains intriguing enough that readers to stick with him? And how do I redeem him organically and convincingly—staying true to who he is?

Flawed and complex characters interest me the most because they have the greatest capacity for change. Jeryn is cold and calculating, not only a prince but a scientist; he’s a curator of facts, yet those facts are filtered through a narrow-minded lens. His intolerance stems a lot from his fears, not just his upbringing. I spent months scrutinizing every part of his journey; every single thought and piece of dialogue was carefully considered, interpreted from different angles. Basically, I edited and revised the entire book with a magnifying glass.

That said, Jeryn’s voice came pretty easily. I latched onto it quick, whereas it took some time with Flare. I’d say she was the more difficult of the pair to write.

What are you working on next?

Alas, that’s a secret. I promised my newsletter subscribers they’d be the first to know the details, but I will say that it’s a whole new setting for me.

Do you have any advice for future writers?

There’s endless inspiration in the world. In fiction and nonfiction. Wandering museums and flea markets. Watching a dance performance or a documentary. Hiking a forest trail, strolling through an old village, or visiting a lighthouse. Listening to the hum of a cello, or a favorite song, or a podcast, or a poetry reading.

Inspiration is everywhere. Just keep looking and listening, and then write what you care about. Tell the story that matters to you.

What’s your favorite color and why?

In the spring & summer, it’s green. In the fall & winter, it’s blue. It’s always about nature and the seasons with me, I guess!

 

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Title: Dare

Subtitle: A Dangerous Love Story

Series: Foolish Kingdoms #2

Categories/genres:

Mature young adult, new adult, romance, fantasy romance, dark fantasy romance, fantasy historical, fantasy medieval, historical romance, historical fantasy, historical medieval, royalty romance

One-line description:

Stranded on a mysterious island, a coldhearted prince and his maddened prisoner fight to survive the rainforest—and each other.

 

Summary:

A Hotheaded Prisoner

They say she’s mad—made of madness, made of fire. In a cage by the sea, Flare dreams of escape. She yearns for the day when she’ll flee to a place only she knows, a hidden world of mystical waters and gilded sands.

The island is calling to her. And she won’t let anyone keep her from it.

Especially not him.

A Coldhearted Prince

They say he’s cruel—crowned of cruelty, as cold as ice. A prince whose gaze cuts like the incisions he administers within his lab. Jeryn has sailed beyond his kingdom for the Trade, to bargain for those wild, imprisoned fools that make his skin crawl.

By law, they’re subjects meant for experimentation. And easy to despise.

One in particular. A girl seething at him from behind bars, with burning eyes and ready fists.

A Mythical Shipwreck

But on the cusp of transport, the tide rages. That uncharted island awaits, a dark tangle of foliage where creatures slither in the mist and poisons lurk in the flora.

Stranded, the prince and prisoner must fight to survive. In this mysterious rainforest, they must band together…if they don’t slay one another first. Or become something more to each other.

Something just as dangerous.

*Foolish Kingdoms, Book #2. Can also be read as a standalone, though it’s recommended to read “Trick” first.*

*Mature young adult/new adult: sexual content and language. For readers 17 and older.*

 

Book quotes:

The evil world expected me to curl up in the corner like a seashell—silent and small and breakable—forgetting that a seashell held the roar of an entire ocean inside it.

I’d rather be wild in a forest than mad in a castle.

In the daylight, you’re bold. By the firelight, you’re brilliant. Under the night light, you’re enduring. Always, you’re lasting.

Links:

Amazon Links:

 

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Title: Trick

Subtitle: A Foolish Love Story

Series: Foolish Kingdoms #1

Categories/genres:

Mature young adult, new adult, romance, fantasy romance, fantasy historical, fantasy medieval, historical romance, historical fantasy, historical medieval, royalty romance

One-line description:

The forbidden love between a righteous princess and a rakish court jester.

 

Summary:

There is a rule amongst his kind: A jester doesn’t lie.

In the kingdom of Whimtany, Poet is renowned. He’s young and pretty, a lover of men and women. He performs for the court, kisses like a scoundrel, and mocks with a silver tongue.

Yet allow him this: It’s only the most cunning, most manipulative soul who can play the fool. For Poet guards a secret. One the Crown would shackle him for. One that he’ll risk everything to protect.

Alas, it will take more than clever words to deceive Princess Briar. Convinced that he’s juggling lies as well as verse, this righteous nuisance of a girl is determined to expose him.

But not all falsehoods are fiendish. Poet’s secret is delicate, binding the jester to the princess in an unlikely alliance—and kindling a breathless attraction, as alluring as it is forbidden.

*Foolish Kingdoms, Book #1. Can also be read as a standalone.*

*Mature young adult/new adult: sexual content and language. For readers 17 and older.*

Book quotes:

“Broken hearts made faults and fools of us all.”

“A fool is a man who believes glory can be found at the tip of a sword instead of on the tip of his tongue. That is life’s cruel trick.”

“The greatest courage a person can have is to love another, for there are only two outcomes. Either the love lasts, and our lives are compromised, or it doesn’t, and our lives are emptied. Either way, we suffer more than we celebrate. I’ve enjoyed suffering with you. We are a tale for campfires. That is all. That is everything.”

Links:

Amazon Links:

 

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Title: Touch

Categories/genres:

Mature young adult, new adult, romance, fantasy romance, mythology romance, mythology retellings

One-line description:

A female Eros named Love, who’s destined to match the mortal boy she loves with another mortal girl.

On the cover: She’s a myth. He’s a mortal. Fate is tempted.

Summary:

The myth of Eros isn’t the truth. Her story is the truth…

Love is an immortal bad girl. With a strike of her arrow and a smirk on her face, she pins human hearts together against their will. It’s for their own good, of course—silly, clueless creatures that they are.

But Love has never loved. Not until the Fates parcel her off to a small, frostbitten town littered with needy souls. Not until she crosses paths with Andrew, a boy whose gaze locks onto hers. Yet how can this be? Mortals don’t have the power to see deities.

The longer they’re friends, the more Love wishes she could touch Andrew. In gentle ways. In other tempting and reckless ways as well.

It’s impossible. She isn’t a true part of his world. She’s an outsider whose fingers will only ever sweep through him. A mischievous, invisible goddess who’s destined to be alone. And he’s destined for someone else. By order of the Fates, it’s Love’s duty to betray his trust. To seal his heart while ignoring the gash in her own.

Or she could become human. For there is one very tricky, very dangerous way to do so.

If only Andrew felt the same about her, it might be worth the risk.

*Mature young adult/new adult: sexual content and language. For readers 17 and older.*

Book quotes:

“Who are you?” he whispers.

The glossy darkness surrounds them, snow collects on their shoulders, and the far-from-innocent question hangs by a thread in the air.

Don’t tell him, she warns herself. Then she does the opposite.

Pulling her hand away from his, she gives a mocking bow and flashes a devious grin. “My name is Love.”

 

She watches him for hours. She wants to be the sheets that cover his toes. She wants to be the ceiling separating him from the sky: above him, the first thing he sees before and after dreams. She wants to be the open window letting in the light for him.

If she could explore and heal his injuries with her fingers, it would be another type of magic, her skin making contact with his. Putting her mind to it, Love would become familiar with his body. She would know him from top to bottom, from beginning to end. 

Touching this boy would be the death, and life, of her.

She falls into his lips, thinking that maybe kisses have a bottom. Maybe she can find it, and if she does, that’s where she will hide.

 

Links:

Amazon Links:

 

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Natalia Jaster

andshewaits@gmail.com

Bio:

My kindergarten teacher told my mom that I stared out the window too much, daydreaming instead of paying attention in class. It’s true. Eventually I learned to focus more in school (and to love it), but the daydreaming never stopped. So after earning my master’s in creative writing and spending a bunch of fun years as a magazine editor, I became a storyteller.

I’m really into opposites attracting and romances between characters from different worlds. I like to dream up settings that are real yet mystical. I love when raw angst collides with lyrical beauty, sweetness escalates to hotness. And I definitely love treading the line between YA and NA.

I’m also a total fool for first-kiss scenes, fanfiction, libraries, and starry nights.

Social:

Website: www.nataliajaster.com

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/nataliajaster

Instagram: www.instagram.com/nataliajaster

Facebook: www.facebook.com/NataliaJasterAuthor

Tumblr: www.andshewaits.tumblr.com

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/andshewaits

Amazon: www.amazon.com/Natalia-Jaster/e/B00OEZHIQ6

 

Giveaway!

Natalia will be doing a giveaway on her Instagram, (10/27 – 10/30), to celebrate Touch’s book birthday. https://www.instagram.com/nataliajaster/

 

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What did you think about the interview?

Review: Poison’s Cage

Title: Poison’s Cage

Author: Breeana Shields

Date of Publication: January 16th, 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

An assassin becomes a spy in this heart-pounding sequel to Poison’s Kiss. Readers who love the assassin angle in Throne of Glass, the lethal touch in Shatter Me, or the high stakes of The Wrath and the Dawn will want to follow this story to the end.

A single kiss could kill. A single secret could save the kingdom.

Iyla and Marinda have killed many men together: Iyla as the seductress, Marinda as the final, poisonous kiss. Now they understand who the real enemy is—the Snake King—and together they can take him down. Both girls have felt as though they were living a lie in the past, so moving into the King’s palace and pretending to serve him isn’t as difficult as it sounds. But when you’re a spy, even secrets between friends are dangerous. And each girl has something—or someone—to lose. Does every secret, every lie, bring them closer to the truth or . . . to a trap?

In Poison’s Kiss, Marinda pulled a dangerous thread. In this sequel, it unravels to a heart-pounding conclusion.

My Review:

These books aren’t my absolute favorite, but they are very entertaining. The second was just as good as the first. There were things that annoyed me as there were with book one. Butttttt there were plenty of snakes! And cute baby snakes!!!!!

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So, this one was written in dual POV between Marinda and Iyla. I feel like this one would have worked better if Iyla had been written in third person, because their voices sounded so similar. Sometimes I forgot whose POV I was reading!!

Just like the first book, the romance with Marinda and Deven was pretty bland. However, I really liked Iyla and Fazel in this one. One thing that I found annoying was when Marinda had to haul butt and get things done, she was thinking about reaching out and touching Deven’s unshaven jaw! Come-the-freak-on!!!

Okay, with that out of the way, I thought the book was very well written. I loved the whole snake concept, and we get some interesting surprises—like where Fazel is from. There were a few twists… I guessed most of them, but there was one I did not guess! Overall, this was a fun duology and ended really well!

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Have you read the first book?

Review: The Hazel Wood

Title: The Hazel Wood

Author: Melissa Albert

Date of Publication: January 30th, 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

My Review:

So, this one was not what I expected. I was expecting it to be darker, and I didn’t realize it was going to be present day. I guess because I didn’t really read the summary beforehand.

The thing is, I wasn’t a big fan of Alice. I liked her at first and thought she had an interesting personality, but as time passed by, I liked her less and less. Then there was Ellery, with a billion in between names, Finch. He really did have a lot of names! I really liked him and thought he was the highlight of the book.

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The first half has some weird stuff going on, some creepy people following Alice around, and I was gearing myself up to get ready to enter the Hazel Wood—because I knew that would be my favorite part. But… it failed me! It failed me! I was kind of confused but not fully confused, but it wasn’t as cool and dark as I thought it was going to be.

The writer wrote beautiful and fantastic sentences, and the ending was not a generic one, but I wanted more from this. Especially since everyone’s reviews keep saying how creepy it was. Maybe it’s because I am hard to get creeped out, but I felt zero creepiness. I had the same problem with Anna Dressed in Blood, when people’s reviews kept saying how creepy it was, I’m like… have you never seen a horror movie??? Anyway, I’m sure a lot of people will like this, though.

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How does this book sound to you?

Review: The Empress

Title: The Empress

Author: S.J. Kincaid

Date of Publication: October 31st, 2017

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Goodreads Summary:

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 Review:

I was so happy with the first book, The Diabolic. Especially, when I believed it was a stand alone because it ended perfectly! Then I find out there was going to be two more, so I was like okayyyyyy. Please don’t screw this up!

This book has a ton of intergalactic politic stuff going on. I was lost half the time, uninterested. There was also some weird drug stuff that goes on. So, this book was a roller coaster ride of what I felt about it. But, I love, love, loved Tyrus and Nemesis. They are perfection!

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Let me just say some crap goes down, and it tore my soul into a thousand pieces, and it’s still breaking into smaller pieces. I loved this book… I hated this book… I loved this book! I still feel emotionally sick from some of the stuff that happened, and I kept getting relieved, then unrelieved, then relieved, then unrelieved again! The third book is either going to ruin me or be my savior based on how this one ended. Because of how I felt with this book, I give it a 5, because I am still thinking about it!!!!!

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Have you read the first book?

Review: Meet Cute

Title: Meet Cute

Author:

Date of Publication: January 2nd, 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors.

Readers will experience Nina LaCour’s beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard’s glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon’s imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno’s story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants.

This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.

My Review:

Sometimes you just need a cute short story, or in this case, an anthology of them. I wanted to read this book because I saw Armentrout was one of the authors. To no surprise, hers was my favorite! It had me smiling the entire time, and literally made me want to go and check out a dictionary.

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Some of the stories I had to get used to because a few were written in second person! I haven’t read anything from that perspective before, so when I kept seeing “You,” I was like what??? But it didn’t take long to become accustomed to those author’s stories, even though they still felt a little weird!

So, if you want to read a compilation of short stories to give you that awww feeling, then definitely check this one out!!! Armentrout’s story is what made this 5 stars, though!

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Do you like short stories?

Review: Stardust

Title: Stardust

Author: Neil Gaiman

Date of Publication: August 29th, 2006

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Goodreads Summary:

Young Tristran Thorn will do anything to win the cold heart of beautiful Victoria—even fetch her the star they watch fall from the night sky. But to do so, he must enter the unexplored lands on the other side of the ancient wall that gives their tiny village its name. Beyond that old stone wall, Tristran learns, lies Faerie—where nothing, not even a fallen star, is what he imagined.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman comes a remarkable quest into the dark and miraculous—in pursuit of love and the utterly impossible.

My Review:

Stardust is one of my favorite movies ever, so I was very hesitant to read the book. There were some differences throughout, and I actually liked seeing this. This is my second book by Gaiman, and his writing seems to be able to suck me right in and not let go. It’s extraordinary!

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Tristran was a bit of an idiot, but no surprise because he is also one in the movie, too! I loved Yvaine in this book, and all the side characters. This was one of the few times where I felt the movie was actually better than the book, even though I loved them both!

The unicorn scene was much gorier here than in the movie which I liked that part better, so I would debate which scenes I liked better where. Yvaine was a star, and she really did shine here! Lol, I like my last line!

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Have you read this book or seen the movie?