Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Blog Tour and Review ~ The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton


TOUR SCHEDULE and LINKS. http://www.jeanbooknerd.com/2018/01/the-queens-of-innis-lear-by-tessa



SYNOPSIS A kingdom at risk, a crown divided, a family drenched in blood. The erratic decisions of a prophecy-obsessed king have drained Innis Lear of its wild magic, leaving behind a trail of barren crops and despondent subjects. Enemy nations circle the once-bountiful isle, sensing its growing vulnerability, hungry to control the ideal port for all trade routes. The king's three daughters—battle-hungry Gaela, master manipulator Reagan, and restrained, starblessed Elia—know the realm's only chance of resurrection is to crown a new sovereign, proving a strong hand can resurrect magic and defend itself. But their father will not choose an heir until the longest night of the year, when prophecies align and a poison ritual can be enacted. Refusing to leave their future in the hands of blind faith, the daughters of Innis Lear prepare for war—but regardless of who wins the crown, the shores of Innis will weep the blood of a house divided.

Thoughts:
I have to say this book surprised me. The sheer thickness of it and the massive weight overwhelmed me at first until I dove in. This book has everything you are looking for in an epic fantasy with women as the lead. I was so sucked in by the world building and discovering each Queen and their right and how they came to be who they are was astonishing. Not to mention the POV changes and the history jumps to get you back in sink with why these women are the way they are and how they were formed. It has side characters that are fantastic and main characters that you want to smack and yet find yourself oddly rooting for them to succeed.
It is based roughly or loosely on King Lear and I can see that as I was reading so if you are a Shakespeare fan then this book will hit that craving spot for you. I will say if I had to pick a negative about this book is the slow build but then again one has to keep in mind you are reading at it's heart an EPIC FANTASY so it is going to take awhile to really pull you in.  That being said it is a great book and a stand alone at that if a sequel was to be made I would read it. I highly recommend this book!


Praise for THE QUEENS OF INNIS LEAR “I adore this—rich, epic, blood-soaked—a glorious and grand sweeping fantasy.” —Kate Elliott, author of The Poisoned Blade

“A gloriously symphonic, thematically rich variation on the story of the daughters of Lear. The danger of seeking certainty makes this a tale for our time; the power of truth and mercy makes it a tale for all times. Prepare to devour every word, for Innis Lear will consume you.” —Karen Lord, author of Redemption in Indigo

"Messy, beautiful, and dark, darker than Shakespeare could have dreamed." —E. K. Johnston, author of Star Wars: Ahsoka







ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tessa Gratton is the Associate Director of Madcap Retreats and the author of the Blood Journals Series and Gods of New Asgard Series, co-author of YA writing books The Curiosities and The Anatomy of Curiosity, as well as dozens of short stories available in anthologies and on merryfates.com. Though she’s lived all over the world, she’s finally returned to her prairie roots in Kansas with her wife. Her current projects include Tremontaineat Serial Box Publishing, YA Fantasy Strange Grace coming in 2018, and her adult fantasy debut, The Queens of Innis Lear, from Tor March 27, 2018. Visit her at tessagratton.com

Photo Content from Tessa Gratton

WEBSITE: http://tessagratton.com/tessa/index.html
TWITTER:  
@tessagratton
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3111338.Tessa_Gratton
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/TessaGrattonWriter/
INSTAGRAM: 
https://www.instagram.com/tessa.gratton/




Rafflecopter Link--Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

5 Winners will receive a Copy of THE QUEENS OF INNIS LEAR by Tessa Gratton.


ENDS: APRIL 14, 2018

Friday, February 23, 2018

Blast Tour ~ The Tombs by Deborah Schaumberg


SYNOPSIS

Gangs of New York meets Cassandra Clare in this debut YA fantasy set in 1882 Brooklyn

New York, 1882. A dark, forbidding city, and no place for a girl with unexplainable powers.

Sixteen-year-old Avery Kohl pines for the life she had before her mother was taken. She fears the mysterious men in crow masks who locked her mother in the Tombs asylum for being able to see what others couldn’t. Avery denies the signs in herself, focusing instead on her shifts at the ironworks factory and keeping her inventor father out of trouble. Other than secondhand tales of adventure from her best friend, Khan, an ex-slave, and caring for her falcon, Seraphine, Avery spends her days struggling to survive.

Like her mother’s, Avery’s powers refuse to be contained. When she causes a bizarre explosion at the factory, she has no choice but to run from her lies, straight into the darkest corners of the city. Avery must embrace her abilities and learn to wield their power—or join her mother in the cavernous horrors of the Tombs. And the Tombs has secrets of its own: strange experiments are being performed on “patients”…and no one knows why. 





ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Deborah Schaumberg was born in Brooklyn, not far from where her novel The Tombs takes place. She grew up renovating dilapidated old houses with her family. She and her father would walk the rooms, floor by floor, making up stories about the inhabitants that were filled with dark secrets, monsters, and, of course, ghosts. Deborah is a writer and an artist whose work always has an element of fantasy to it, and since she also studied architecture, settings are equally important. It was on a trek to the Annapurna Sanctuary in Nepal that she imagined a girl with the ability to see energy, and the seed of The Tombs was planted. She collects old bottles, and her favorite holiday is, you guessed it, Halloween. Deborah lives with her family and two dogs in Maryland, just outside DC. Visit her at deborahschaumberg.com.

Photo Content from Deborah Schaumberg


--Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

5 Winners will receive a Copy of The Tombs by Deborah Schaumberg.

CODE:

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DIRECT LINK:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e849f7751337/
(for use by those who cannot embed HTML on their blogs)














Sunday, January 28, 2018

January Read from TBR

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner



Summary:
The king's scholar, the magus, believes he knows the site of an ancient treasure. To attain it for his king, he needs a skillful thief, and he selects Gen from the king's prison. The magus is interested only in the thief's abilities.

What Gen is interested in is anyone's guess. Their journey toward the treasure is both dangerous and difficult, lightened only imperceptibly by the tales they tell of the old gods and goddesses.


Pages: 280

Published: 12/27/2005

Thoughts
I was unable to get through this story and I'm sad about it. It has high reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. I barely made it half way before I decided it wasn't worth forcing myself to read and dislike. Sadly this was a DNF for me. 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Starting off with the oldest blog ever

So I am finally updating one of my oldest blogs

And I am using it again to help me keep track of reading materials, books I own, TBR pile and goals of what to read.

If you are interested in what it is and looks like hop on over to

The Tragically Forgotten Bookcase(s)

Join me on this wonderful reading experience and I will try to keep it updated this time :)

Review ~ Humanity's Hope by Pembroke Sinclair


Title: Humanity's Hope
Author: Pembroke Sinclair
Copyright: 2017
Pages: 252
Series:
I believe so

Reason for reading: It was offered free for a review.

Summary:
Caleb, a 17-year-old boy, survived the zombie uprising, but he didn’t come out of the ordeal unscathed. He’s been scarred—both mentally and physically. The rest of humanity is trying to rebuild, to make the world normal again. Caleb is trying to return to a normal life also, but after all he’s seen, after the loss of his family and friends, the transition is difficult. The darkness that led him down a path of self-doubt and self-harm keeps trying to creep back into his mind.

Things only become worse when he discovers he’s immune to whatever makes a zombie a zombie. Fighting zombies was predictable. He knew what to expect. Fighting humans is volatile. They are malicious and treacherous. They won’t stop to get what they want, and Caleb has to figure out exactly what that is.

*Trigger warning: attempted suicide


Thoughts: I have to admit it took me a little bit to get into this story. It started off fantastic about zombies and 3 kids running from them (Very Walking Dead or The Girl with All The Gifts) and the action that happens. Then it abruptly switches to Caleb in a computer room with no real ending or what happened kind of moment. From there we are left to piece together how society would function after a zombie plague and what that would look like. And with rebuilding of society you always have a division. Those who think zombies should be saved and those who think they should be "dealt with". Because of this division you now have the main twisting point of the story. 
The book itself was interesting to a point. We get the story from Caleb's perspective and him trying to survive in the aftermath, attempting to be "normal" while suffering from massive PTSD. At the same point he could be humanity's hope. The twist weren't really twist and the plot at times moved very slowly. That being said it was a quick and interesting read to get an idea of what society might have to do in order to rebuild after something as devastating as a zombies uprising. I enjoyed it and at other times when it was slow I found myself skimming. I think that it is really hard to write something that is original in our zombie flooded society right now. 
I did find some unique things that I enjoyed and at other times I found myself comparing the storyline to previous read books or shows I have seen. 

Goodreads: 3 out of 5 stars

Would you recommend: If you are looking for a YA zombie book or our new to the zombie reading realm then this would be a good one to read. If however, you are a zombie reading and self-proclaimed zombie buff like myself this one might not be a read for you. 


*About Humanity’s Hope*

Caleb, a 17-year-old boy, survived the zombie uprising, but he didn’t come out of the ordeal unscathed. He’s been scarred—both mentally and physically. The rest of humanity is trying to rebuild, to make the world normal again. Caleb is trying to return to a normal life also, but after all he’s seen, after the loss of his family and friends, the transition is difficult. The darkness that led him down a path of self-doubt and self-harm keeps trying to creep back into his mind.

Things only become worse when he discovers he’s immune to whatever makes a zombie a zombie. Fighting zombies was predictable. He knew what to expect. Fighting humans is volatile. They are malicious and treacherous. They won’t stop to get what they want, and Caleb has to figure out exactly what that is.


*About Pembroke Sinclair*

Pembroke Sinclair is a literary jack of all trades, playing her hand at multiple genres. She has written an eclectic mix of fiction ranging from horror to sci-fi and even some westerns. Born in Rock Springs, Wyoming--the home of 56 nationalities--it is no wonder Pembroke ended up so creatively diverse. Her fascination with the notions of good and evil, demons and angels, and how the lines blur have inspired her writing. Pembroke lives in Laramie, Wyoming, with her husband, two spirited boys, a black lab named Ryder, and a rescue kitty named Alia, who happens to be the sweetest, most adorable kitty in the world! She cannot say no to dessert, orange soda, or cinnamon. She loves rats and tatts and rock and roll and wants to be an alien queen when she grows up.


You can learn more about Pembroke Sinclair by visiting her at:




*Find the Book*

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Review ~ Final Girls by Riley Sager

Title: Final Girls
Author: Riley Sager
Copyright: 2017
Type:  Suspense/Thriller
Pages: 342
Series: no

Reason for Reading
I heard on the Bookriot that it was an interesting read and I thought it was one I should check out. 

Summary:
"The Final Girls need you. . . .  The Final Girls are tough, everything survivors should be.  But the new threat is clever, ominous, even closer than you suspect. You are about to gasp. You might drop the book. You may have to look over your shoulder. But you must keep reading.  This is the best book of 2017."—Lisa Gardner, New York Times bestselling author of Find Her

Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout's knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media's attempts, they never meet.

Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancĂ©, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.

That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy's doorstep. Blowing through Quincy's life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa's death come to light, Quincy's life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam's truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.
.

Thoughts:
This book surprised me. I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. It constantly had me on guard and questioning what I thought I knew vs what I did know. I was definitely on the edge of my seat while reading it. There were constant twist and turns, some I expected while others completely took me by surprised. I have to say my favorite part is when Quincy flashes back to the night in the cabin when it all went horribly wrong. It was a mystery inside a thriller inside a mystery due to the flashbacks of the original crime and what is currently happening with the final girls. 
I have to say the twist and turns are what kept me on the edge of my seat. There were a few plot devices that I didn't care for but managed to overlook them due to the fantastic story and writing that comes with this books. It is one of the few books I read in 2017 that I can say I recommend with most of my conversations. 

Goodreads: 4 out of 5 stars

Would you recommend this book to others? I already have recommended this numerous times. 

Friday, January 12, 2018

37 going on 38 List of things to do this year


Per tradition I have decided to make a list of 37 things to do before I turn 38... It's always exciting to figure/plan and think about what I want to accomplish this year. Turning 37 has affected me more then I originally thought it would so I am hoping that by doing this list and keeping tradition alive I will calm down.

1. Per usual I am going to attempt to read 52 books again in 52 weeks
2. Off to Dragon Con!! What what!
3. I would like to break a habit particularly the habit of drinking soda
4. Start living a Keto life
5. Take a trip somewhere road trip or fly
6. Organize my 2nd bedroom
7. Organize my kitchen
8. Get a refrigerator
9. Get a living room set
10. Cook more at home
11. Learn and follow a budget
12. Pay utilities on time
13. de-clutter again
14. SAVINGS account have one and get more then 6.00 in it
15. Learn about aromatherapy and how to use it everyday
16. lose weight
17. learn a new hobby (knitting, crochet)
18. Finish Criminal Minds
19. I will start a journal at least 3 times a week and follow through with writing in it
20. Bible time (study some chapters)
21. Visit a museum
22. Get back to writing either stories or ideas of stories
23. Drink more water
24. Make tea once a week
25. love on the animals and show them more affection
26. spend more time outside
27. read at least 1 classical book
28. read at least 1 banned book
29. Learn how to use my instant pot
30. get art framed
31. get a routine for cleaning house
32. pay off 3 cards this year
33. review books that I've read
34. Go to a coffee shop that isn't Starbucks
35. Go and hear more live music
36. Go on the Tap Tour
37. See the 10 must see artworks in KC

I'm super excited to get started on these things and I will blog as I accomplish them!

Thanks!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

36 things to do before 37 completed sort of


This year I managed to do a challenge of 35 things to do before I turned 36. I was successful for some of the items but not on others. I want to keep this tradition alive and come up with 36 things to do before I turn 37 on 1/4/18.

My List:
1. Well to keep with yet another tradition of attempting to read 52 books in 52 weeks!
2. Take time to see and enjoy the total solar eclipse in august of this year Although it was cloudy and raining all day :(
3. Finish a challenge
4. Get Healthy: focus on one thing and make it work
5. Get new habits formed (healthy ones)
6. Be more mindful in my 36th year
7. Travel to New York (see the fireworks on the Hudson River this year)
8. Finish setting up my place (bookcases need, frames,
9. Pay off my debt the goal is to pay off 4 credit cards this year (aiming low)
10. Take more time for me
11. Learn the area around me more go and see parks, walk trails, see what is out there
12. Watch less TV and read more
13. Walk the dog and actually enjoy it (play with her more too)
14. Give more away and buy less (look at the minimalist lifestyle more)
15. Review more things I love
16. Listen to more music
17. Talk less listen more
18. Take more pictures/selfies
19. Study God and love Him more, learn his Word and see what growth comes from it
20. journal journal journal
21. Learn how to be happy single
22. Spend more time with Mom (help her)
23. Find something positive in everyday
24. 100 days of photos
25. 100 letters to me
26. See about attending a local festival
27. Get to Chicago this year!!
28. Attend at least one con (man I miss it)
29. Road trip!
30. Learn more about me and who I am as well as what I want from life
31. Fill up my wall of pictures
32. write more letters to friends and family
33. Be Thankful daily
34. Be a better friend
35. Learn to cook
36. Live more

Here's to a great year!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Review ~ An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir


Title: An Ember in the Ashes
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Copyright: 2015
Type:  ya/dystopian
Pages: 453
Series
1. An Ember in the Ashes
2. A Torch Against the Night
3. A Reaper At the Gate

Reason for Reading
I heard on the Bookriot that it was an interesting read and I thought it was one I should check out. 

Summary:
Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

Thoughts:
This book did the typical where the girl is a Mary Sue and the boy is a bad ass this fits the thing I like about it is the girl remain who she is she stays true to her and yet she doesn't she grows. And the bad ass well he doesn't want to be a bad ass he wants to be different. I liked it oddly enough I really enjoyed it sadly enough I really did. I read it in 2 days and I was shocked at how it kept me interested. The school was fascinating the trails Elias had to go through was more so. Laia grows into who she needs to be while at the same time realizing that maybe she is being taking advantage of the whole time you can't help but wondering if you got the twist right or if you are wrong. I had to say this was one I enjoyed it. The real question though is will I continue the series?

Goodreads: 3 out of 5 stars

Would you recommend this book to others? I have to say I enjoyed it enough that if I ran into someone who liked ya action themed books this would be a recommendation. 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Review ~ Yesterday by Felicia Yap


Title: Yesterday
Author: Felicia Yap
Copyright: 2017
Type:  Dystopian/Mystery/Fiction
Pages: 352
Series: no

Reason for Reading
I heard on the Bookriot that it was an interesting read and I thought it was one I should check out. 


Summary:
How do you solve a murder when you only remember yesterday?

Imagine a world in which classes are divided not by wealth or religion but by how much each group can remember. Monos, the majority, have only one day’s worth of memory; elite Duos have two. In this stratified society, where Monos are excluded from holding high office and demanding jobs, Claire and Mark are a rare mixed marriage. Clare is a conscientious Mono housewife, Mark a novelist-turned-politician Duo on the rise. They are a shining example of a new vision of tolerance and equality—until…

...a beautiful woman is found dead, her body dumped in England’s River Cam. The woman is Mark’s mistress, and he is the prime suspect in her murder. The detective investigating the case has secrets of his own. So did the victim. And when both the investigator’s and the suspect’s memories are constantly erased—how can anyone learn the truth?

Told from four different perspectives, that of Mark, Claire, the detective on the case, and the victim—Felicia Yap’s staggeringly inventive debut leads us on a race against an ever-resetting clock to find the killer. With the science-fiction world-building of Philip K. Dick and the twisted ingenuity of Memento , Yesterday is a thriller you’ll never forget.
.

Thoughts:
I have to say the whole premise was very interesting. What would life be like if you could only remember 1 day back or 2 days back at most? It hit on issues of segregation and bias of Duos being better and smarter then Monos. The hate between the 2 was very realistic and interesting. I have to say the mystery was also interesting and seeing it from a Mono detective who is pretending to be a Duo in order to keep his job. There is also a couple that is Mono and Duo married and how is that affected and how does it work. Then we have Sophia who can actually remember everything from age 23 on. And how does she fit into all of this. I had to say that I preferred seeing how the people lived and their everyday life with having 2 days of memories and 1 day of memories then I was about the actual mystery that is taking place. The world building was done very well with limited telling and more showing which I enjoyed. This book had a twist at the end that I didn't see coming and I have to say while that was interesting I enjoyed learning more about the people in the book and the characters then anything else. 

Goodreads: 3 out of 5 stars

Would you recommend this book to others? I enjoyed the concept and found the storyline interesting like how do Mono and Duo work. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Review ~ The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski


Title: The Winner's Curse
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Copyright: 2014
Type:  YA, fantasty
Pages: 355
Series: yes
1. The Winner's Curse 
2. The Winner's Crime
3. The Winner's Kiss

Reason for Reading
First and foremost the cover is beautiful secondly it just sounded interesting and I couldn't pass it up. 

Summary:
Winning what you want may cost you everything you love...

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.
 
.

Thoughts:
This was one of those books that I didn't anticipate to be so good. I sat down and started reading it. I have to say I even rolled my eyes a few times at Kestrel and her typical story plot. Then the next thing I realized it was 11 pm and I had finished the book and was ordering the 2nd in the trilogy. I was completely blown away with not only the story but also how much I had come to care for the characters. I liked that Kestrel was strategically smart but not physically a warrior. I liked that she knew this and overcame her obstacle by using her mind and not bronze. I came to appreciate Arin and how he was, who he was, and how he came to be the person that Kestrel will eventually fall in love with. I love the fact that while it was a Romeo and Juliet it wasn't they both live in a world of choices and Kestrel and Arin are going to have to get past this and their past in order to make it in the future. I have to admit the ending and cliff hanger-ish kind of upset me but it did make me want to read the 2nd book and after all isn't that the point of an ending?

Goodreads: 4 out of 5 stars

Would you recommend this book to others? It took me by complete surprise I didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I did. I ended up reading it in one night. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys YA fantasy.

Blog Tour and Review ~ The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton

TOUR SCHEDULE and LINKS . http://www.jeanbooknerd.com/2018/01/the-queens-of-innis-lear-by-tessa SYNOPSIS A kingdom at risk, a ...