Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Teaser Tuesday: The Queen of Swords by R.S. Belcher


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by The Purplebooker.
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
 Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
 BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 
"I am not your love," she said in a voice not entirely her own. "I am not your pet." She filled herself with clean air and felt her whole body burn with a power she did not fully understand. "I am a Daughter of Lilith; I am the Mother's sword. If you're so eager, come play, come play with death." (p. 97)
Queen of Swords by R.S. Belcher was published June 27, 2017 by Tor Books. The third book in the Golgotha series, it focuses on Maude and her daughter Constance and Anne Bonny. In the above excerpt, It is Constance who is doing the talking.
Would you keep reading? What's your teaser this week? Share it or a link in the comments. Are you enjoying your book? Let us know! Happy Reading!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Review: Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins

The King falls ill seemingly with a brain illness. He has fits of raving and then long deep sleeps. The sleeps become longer and more frequent. His wife, the daughters' step-mother sends for her son. The daughters come to his side as well. There are 5 girls, each so different from the other. Bluebell, the eldest, is a warrior and next in line for the throne. Rose was married off to a neighboring kingdom to help maintain a peace and loves her daughter dearly and another man. Ash is gifted or cursed with magic. She has been sent to learn to be a healer. The youngest of the girls, the twins Ivy and Willow, couldn't be more different. Ivy is all about boys. And Willow is aiming to be pious, but to the trimartyr god and not to, as she puts it, the heathen gods her sisters believe in.

The five daughters come together to take their father away from whatever might be making him sick. Then, they seek a way to heal him. Each weathers the journey differently. And each of the daughters faces challenges. How they deal with the challenges is so very human and not always as successfully as they would like. 

I thought in the beginning that 5 daughters would be too much for one book. But, Kim Wilkins makes it work. It's easy to tell when the point of view changes from one to the other because they are so very different from each other. And there is variety. So, for example, if you don't much like Ivy, you don't have to read about her too long before the point of view changes to another daughter. 

While a little slow in places, overall the plot moves along at a decent rate. When it seems slow, it's really setting things up for a future occurrence. 

I think this could mostly be read as a stand-alone, but there are enough loose ends to make someone want to read the next book. I'm wondering where the second book will go.

I give this book a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. Overall, it's well-written with interesting characters and events. If you enjoy a good fantasy read, then you will probably enjoy this book.

Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins is expected to be released from Del Rey books March 6, 2018.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions herein are my own and freely given.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday/Waiting on Wednesday #225: I Really Didn't Think This Through by Beth Evans


"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event which had been hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. I'm now linking up with "Can't Wait Wednesday" hosted over at Wishful Endings.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Armed with her beloved illustrations, popular Instagram artist Beth Evans (197k followers) tackles a range of issues—from whimsical musings to deeply personal struggles—in this imaginative anti-guide to being your own person.

Welcome To Adulthood!

Hey, wait—where are you going…? 

Did you ever wish your best friend—the person you would trust with your innermost secrets, the person whose wisdom and comfort you seek in times of stress or self-doubt—could draw? Popular Instagram illustrator, Beth Evans, has made a name for herself writing comics and sharing her personal experiences on life as she enters and navigates adulthood. Her ability to find humor in common situations around love, social anxieties, depression, and work has created a cult-like following from her 217k Instagram fans.

Like Mindy Kaling meets Hyperbole and a Half, I Really Didn’t Think This Through gets at the heart of what makes life both so challenging and so joyful—figuring out how to be a person in the world. This book is a compendium of Beth’s collected wisdom and stories, interwoven with her tremendously popular and loveable illustrations. The book is a wonderful mix of fun (playful meditations on the band Rush and international pen-pals) and thoughtful (Beth delves into her personal history with obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression while commiserating on topics like dating and credit card shame) all with a simple candor that anyone from a teen to their grandparent can relate to. Through all of her experiences, Beth manages to extract valuable lessons, and the book is replete with friendly advice about caring for yourself, getting help no matter what your problems are, and embracing what makes you happy. Beth is a compelling storyteller, her drawings picking up where her words leave off, creating an approachable and immersive experience for the reader. Beth’s work feels like a hug from your best friend. And like a best friend, she’s here to say “You got this!”


I Really Didn't Think This Through by Beth Evans is expected to be released May 1, 2018 from William Morrow.

Why am I waiting on this one? I like the idea of "Mindy Kaling meets Hyperbole and a Half." It sounds like it will be entertaining while giving some interesting perspective on things.

What book are you waiting on this week? Share it or a link in the comments so we can check it out and maybe add it to our TBR lists. Thanks for coming by and Happy Reading!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Tricks for Free by Seanan McGuire


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by The Purplebooker.
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
 Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
 BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 
I went very still as it struck me that, right now, I was living like a cryptid.I was hiding from people who wanted to do me harm as much because of who I was as because of anything I'd done. (11% on my Kindle)
Tricks for Free by Seanan McGuire is expected to be published March 6, 2018. The quotation comes from an ARC and may appear differently in the final copy. 
Would you keep reading? What's your teaser this week? Share it or a link in the comments. Are you enjoying your book? Let us know! Happy Reading!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday/Waiting on Wednesday #224: Night Dahlia by R.S. Belcher


"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event which had been hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. I'm now linking up with "Can't Wait Wednesday" hosted over at Wishful Endings.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Laytham Ballard once protected humanity as part of the Nightwise, a secret order of modern-day mages dedicating to holding hellish supernatural forces at bay, but that was before a string of sadistic ritual murders shook everything he believed in--and sent him down a much darker path. One that has already cost him most of his soul, as well as everything he once held dear.

Now a powerful faerie mob boss has hired Ballard to find his lost-lost daughter, who went missing several years ago. The long-cold trail leads him across the globe, from the luxurious playgrounds of the rich and famous to the seedy occult underbelly of Los Angeles, where creatures of myth and legend mingle with street gangs and sex clubs, and where Ballard finds his own guilty past waiting for him around every shadowy corner. To find Caern Ankou, he will have to confront old enemies, former friends and allies, and a grisly cold case that has haunted him for years.


Night Dahlia by R.S. Belcher is expected to be released April 3, 2018 from Tor.

Why am I waiting on this one? I enjoyed Nightwise which was book one in this series. And I've enjoyed R.S Belcher's Golgotha series as well. Nightwise was a little on the dark side of urban fantasy, but I still liked it.

What book are you waiting on this week? Share it or a link in the comments so we can check it out and maybe add it to our TBR lists. Thanks for coming by and Happy Reading!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Storm Front by Jim Butcher


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by The Purplebooker.
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
 Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
 BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 
Maybe I should have listened to Murphy. Maybe I should have stayed home and played with some nice, safe, forbidden black magic instead. (p.112)
Storm Front by Jim Butcher is the first book in The Dresden Files series. It was published April 1, 2000 by ROC. 
Would you keep reading? What's your teaser this week? Share it or a link in the comments. Are you enjoying your book? Let us know! Happy Reading!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Review: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

This is sort of a dark tale. And even a sort of a fairy tale. But, not a retelling. This is the story of Alice mostly. And to a lesser extent, Ella, Althea Proserpine, and Finch. This is also a story of stories with some embedded in the tale of Alice.

Once upon a time, Alice and her mother Ella lived in a perpetual state of almost homelessness sleeping on other people's couches and staying as guests here and there with the occasional hotel room sprinkled in. Everywhere they went they would leave as soon as bad luck caught up with them.

 Then one day, they get a letter telling them that Ella's mother is dead. Ella says, "We're free." But, she doesn't tell what they are free from. Alice pulls the note half burned out of the trash can and all she can read on it is her own name. The two of them establish a residence in Brooklyn and Ella meets someone and marries. Now Alice has a stepsister and goes to a private school. She works part-time in the afternoons/evenings at a coffee shop.

Then one day when Alice gets home from school she has the feeling that something has happened. And indeed it seems someone has been in the apartment and abducted her mother. Someone perhaps with something to do with her grandmother, Althea Proserpine and the book Tales of the Hinterland.

Eventually, Alice gets her mother's message to stay away from the Hazel Wood which was her grandmother's estate. Of course, that is the first place she will head looking for her. Alice feels she needs to rescue her mother from whatever/whoever has kidnapped her. She teams up reluctantly with a schoolmate and sort of rabid fan of her grandmother's, Finch. They go in search of Ella. Things get weird and twisted and obviously related to the Hinterland.

The character we get to know best is Alice. To a lesser extent, we become acquainted with Ella through flashbacks and with Finch when he agrees to help Alice.

I liked the way it was written. It kept my attention and made me read on to see what would happen next. It's definitely on the dark side. People are kidnapped; others killed. The Tales from the Hinterland that are in the book are dark as well.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. Overall, I enjoyed the book. According to Goodreads, there is an expected sequel as well as a collection of Tales from the Hinterland. This is a good read for people who enjoy fairy tales and don't mind a little darkness like the original Brothers Grimm type of tale.

First Chapter excerpt is available here on the Entertainment Weekly website.

The Hazel Wood was released January 30, 2018 from Flatiron Books.

I received a copy of this book from a giveaway on Goodreads.