Memes · New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday was a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Each Wednesday you got to highlight a book that you were really looking forward to. Unfortunately, the original creator is no longer able to host the meme and it has now linked up with Can’t Wait Wednesday over at Wishful Endings.

This week I’ve chosen: The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

the priory of the orange tree


The Priory of the Orange Tree

by Samantha Shannon
Fantasy (Stand-alone)

A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

Expected publication: February 26th, 2019 by Bloomsbury Publishing
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New Releases

Book Blitz: Shadow’s Voice by Natalie Johanson

Shadow’s Voice
Natalie Johanson
Publication date: January 2nd, 2019
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

Rose Trewin is on the run. Pursued by memories of her father, she runs from city to city, seeking normalcy. But Rose can’t escape her past, or the magic running through her veins, the magic that allows her to slip through the shadows unnoticed. The magic her father once used to mold her into a mercenary sent to destroy his enemies.

Now her magic is growing and changing, becoming something new and untamable. Rose is unable to rest. Wolves wrapped in fog follow her relentlessly along the countryside. Desperate, she uses her magic to escape, but the shadows are pushing her towards the center of a conspiracy.

Now, her country teeters on the brink of a civil war as a Lord Governor gathers power against the king. An enemy, with magic similar to her own, emerges in the chaos of political intrigue.

Faced with a country at war and a king brought to his knees, Rose must accept who she is and harness her powers in order to save her country and herself.

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EXCERPT:

Rose stretched her neck and sighed. the low setting sun was hot on her neck and sweat trickled down her back. She groaned and pushed away from the spinning wheel, dropping the bundle of wool back into the pile at her feet.

“Miss Trewin, you haven’t finished.”

She rolled her stiff shoulders and turned to the older, white haired woman. “No, ma’am. But the sun is setting and I’m hungry.” She dusted her lose skirts free from the wool fibers. “I’ll make it up tomorrow.”

The shopkeeper glowered at her but relented with a wave of her hand. “Fine then. Business has been slow anyway.”

“Thank you, Marg.”

Rose smiled softly and slipped past the gruff woman—the first to offer

Rose a job in this small town. She wasn’t a great seamstress or spinner, but she worked hard, and Marg wasn’t a cruel shop owner.

“Are you still staying at the inn?” Marg asked as she passed.

She tucked stray hair behind her ear. “Yes. It’s clean and not too expensive.”

Marg snorted softly at her. “You should look for a room somewhere else. There are plenty of people who would rent you a room. I even know of a small cottage or two near the woods.”

“Perhaps,” she said as she dusted off her skirts.

Rose looked up when her boss cackled at her. “You’ve been here nearly six weeks. Living in an inn can’t be enjoyable.”

“No, it is not but . . .” She trailed off. “Thank you again.”

Slipping outside, she wandered down the uneven cobblestone street toward the pub and inn. It was a small building, dingy and worn. The ceiling had a haze of smoke clinging to it, but it had decent food, mostly, and clean beds. It was a small town, smaller than she liked, but it seemed to suit her. The buildings were a ramshackle collection of stone and wood, many wedged next to each other as if the city grew too quickly.

Rose settled herself at a small table in the corner. “Dinner ma’am?”

She looked up at the tired barmaid and nodded. “Some ale as well, please.”

The barmaid quickly returned with a bowl of stew and a mug of ale. Rose sipped at the thin broth and poked at the chewy chunks of meat. She wrinkled her nose at it and pulled the mug of ale closer. Leaning back in her creaky chair, she watched the room.

Her view was interrupted by a man stopping in front of her table. “Yes?” Rose drawled and slowly dropped her hand closer to the dagger sheathed in her boot.

The thin man gestured to the empty chair across from her. “Might I join you for some conversation and a meal?”

She glanced at the stranger and looked him quickly up and down.

Worn and cracked boots, old but nice clothes, dirty face but clear eyes. Before she could shake her head no, he was dragging the chair around and sitting next to her, his back to the wall.

Rose raised an eyebrow at him as he settled in the chair and waved over the barmaid. “Yes, of course . . . help yourself,” she drawled and shifted so she could face him.

He snorted. “A horse makes for stale company after so long.” He turned to the woman. “Some stew and ale, please.”

She sipped her ale and watched him. “I’m Nico.”

“Rose.”

Nico gulped down half of his ale before stopping for air. “Have you lived here long?”

She clucked her tongue and finished off her ale. “Born and raised.” She stood from the rickety table. “Now, I must be off. Enjoy your stew.” Rose walked steadily and calmly toward the narrow stairway in the corner without looking back. She didn’t care for strangers and cared for questions even less, no matter where they came from. Let that traveler think she was born in this rotting little town and forget all about the strange girl he met in the tavern when he left.

Rose unlocked the door to her small room and slipped inside, locking it behind her. She walked to her narrow bed and pulled the dagger from each boot, dropping them onto the small table next to it. She slipped off the simple skirt of browns and reds and yanked off the constricting bodice. Rose climbed into bed, ignored the sounds of a tavern below her, and tried to sleep.

The night was restless, with the wind howling outside all night. Dreams of her father and life before made for a long night. When morning came, it was gray and cold. Rose looked at the sky from her small window and thought grimly how it fit her mood. She dressed quickly in more reds and browns before heading out of the inn for another day of tedious work. She liked the flashy bright colors of turquoise or green, but those stood out. She paused as she passed the small mirror hanging on the wall. Her hazel eyes and straight brown hair were simple. Too young to have wrinkles, but life didn’t care that she was barely in her second decade and there were small lines at the corners of her eyes. Rose loved bright colors when she was young. Now, reds and browns were her col- ors. They don’t stand out. She snorted at her reflection and left her room.

Rose pulled her long jacket closed against the wind. The walk from the inn to the shop was short but the wind was cold and hard. By the time she reached the shop door, she was half running. The bell dinged softly as Rose tried to smooth her hair back into place.

“Oh, hello dear.”

She gave up pulling her hair out of her face with a huff. “Nasty wind picking up, there better not be a storm coming.”

Marg snorted and turned the page in her ledger. “Oh, someone came looking for you after you left yesterday.”

She snapped her head up. “What?” Alarm made her insides twist. No one should be looking for her. No one should know to come here. Marg licked her thumb and turned another page. She spoke without bothering to look up, “Yes, tall man. Had quite a lot of black hair. He said he was an old friend of yours.”

Rose tried to swallow but her mouth had gone dry from fear. “What did you tell him?”

Marg finally looked up. “That you’d gone for the day.”

“Anything else?”

Marg frowned at her. “No, dear. What’s gotten into you?”

She rubbed her lips with her shaking fingers. “I need to run an errand. I’ll be back later. I’ll make up the missed work tonight.”

Marg frowned at her. “You only just got here, girl. What am I paying you for?”

“I’ll be back.” Rose turned on her heel and went back out into the wind. Her hair whipped around her face as she turned down the narrow alley between the drapery next door. Her light skirt wrapped around her legs in the wind. She took another turn and headed along the back of the buildings toward the inn.

“Morning, Flower.”

Rose jerked to a stop. She turned faced the speaker. “You know I hate that name.”

A tall man leaned against the wall, his dark hair hiding most of his face. She could never tell if it was to be sensual, to hide his face, or if he simply couldn’t control his messy locks.

“I thought I’d wait around for you.”

“Why are you here, Gavin? Have you finally found someone who will hire you?”

He leaned against the shop wall, trying to look relaxed, but Rose could see the strain in his neck and the clench of his jaw.

“I’m looking for better employ, if you must know. You, however, are a long way from home. Your father must be so worried.”

Rose pulled her hands out of her pockets and kept her arms lose at her sides. The wind pulled her hair from the loose braid and it whipped around her face. “I’m sure,” she drawled. “Is that what you’re going to do, Gavin? Rush back to him with news of my whereabouts, hope that lets you back into his fold? Do you think presenting me as a gift will get you work?”

He jerked away from the wall and grabbed her hard by the arm. “He’ll be mighty pleased to know your location. Might even pay me good coin for the information. And if he won’t, others will. You know they will.”

A quick, hard whirl freed her arm from Gavin’s grip. Before he could say more, she turned away. He shouted after her but she ignored him; keeping her back straight. She slipped in through the servant’s door near the stables and used their hallways to get up to her room. She locked the door behind her and let out a deep breath.

Her little room was barren: a small bed against one wall, a short rick- ety desk along the other. She had no decorations and her few personal items were still packed in her bag. If she were to leave, no one would remember she’d been here. Her spot at the small spinner shop would be easily filled.

Rose slumped onto her small bed. This was the farthest west she’d been, had even crossed the province borders into Amora and still her past found her. She’d been here too long already, and Gavin couldn’t be allowed to sell his news of her. She curled onto the bed, tucked the scratchy wool blanket around her, and set in to wait for the night.

 

Author Bio:

Natalie Johanson has been interested in writing and reading since she first held a pencil. What first began a short story for her own reading turned into a world with a story to tell the world. When her time isn’t being monopolized by her ferret, work as a police officer, running Dirty Dash races or reading she is writing.

Check out Natalie’s website, nataliejohanson.com, for news, updates and more.

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Memes · TBR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? February 4, 2019

Good Morning!

It’s the start of another week. It’s Monday! What are you Reading is hosted by Kathryn from Book Date, this is a weekly event to share what we’ve read in the past week and what we hope to read, plus whatever else comes to mind.

I start my new job today so I am not sure how my reading will go this week.

Last Weeks Books
Midnight Crossroad

Midnight Crossroad
by Charlaine Harris
3 Stars
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Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It’s a pretty standard dried-up western town.

There’s a pawnshop (someone lives in the basement and is seen only at night). There’s a diner (people who are just passing through tend not to linger). And there’s new resident Manfred Bernardo, who thinks he’s found the perfect place to work in private (and who has secrets of his own).

Stop at the one traffic light in town, and everything looks normal. Stay awhile, and learn the truth…

Current Reads:
a discovery of witches

A Discovery of Witches
by Deborah Harkness
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Deborah Harkness’s sparkling debut, A Discovery of Witches, has brought her into the spotlight and galvanized fans around the world. In this tale of passion and obsession, Diana Bishop, a young scholar and a descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript, Ashmole 782, deep in Oxford’s Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont.

Harkness has created a universe to rival those of Anne Rice, Diana Gabaldon, and Elizabeth Kostova, and she adds a scholar’s depth to this riveting tale of magic and suspense. The story continues in book two, Shadow of Night, and concludes with The Book of Life, coming from Viking in July 2014.

girl, wash your face
Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies about Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be

by Rachel Hollis
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Do you ever suspect that everyone else has life figured out and you don’t have a clue? If so, Rachel Hollis has something to tell you: that’s a lie.

As the founder of the lifestyle website TheChicSite.com and CEO of her own media company, Rachel Hollis developed an immense online community by sharing tips for better living while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own life. Now, in this challenging and inspiring new book, Rachel exposes the twenty lies and misconceptions that too often hold us back from living joyfully and productively, lies we’ve told ourselves so often we don’t even hear them anymore.

With painful honesty and fearless humor, Rachel unpacks and examines the falsehoods that once left her feeling overwhelmed and unworthy, and reveals the specific practical strategies that helped her move past them. In the process, she encourages, entertains, and even kicks a little butt, all to convince you to do whatever it takes to get real and become the joyous, confident woman you were meant to be.

With unflinching faith and rock-hard tenacity, Girl, Wash Your Face shows you how to live with passion and hustle–and how to give yourself grace without giving up.

What are your reading plans this week?

Let’s chat in the comments below!

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New Releases

February 2019 Books I’m Excited About

Hey Everyone!

A new month a new set of releases.  There are four books that are coming out this month that I am excited about.

vortex visions cover
Vortex Visions
by Elise Kova
Young Adult, Fantasy
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A desperate princess, a magical traveler, and a watch that binds them together with the fate of a dying world.

Vi Solaris is the heir to an Empire she’s barely seen. Her parents sacrificed a life with her to quell a rebellion and secure peace with a political alliance. Now, three years past when her wardship should’ve ended, Vi will do anything to be reunited with her family.

The Empire is faltering beneath the burden of political infighting and a deadly plague. Yet, Vi can’t help but wonder if her inability to control her magic is the true reason her parents haven’t brought her home. Suspicion becomes reality when she unleashes powers she’s not supposed to have.

Powers that might well cost her the throne.

As Vi fights to get her magic under control, a mysterious stranger appears from across the world. He holds the keys to unlocking her full potential, but the knowledge has an unspeakable price — some truths, once seen, cannot be ignored.

All eyes are on her and Vi must make the hardest choice of her life: Play by the rules and claim her throne. Or, break them and save the world.

Expected publication: February 4th, 2019 by Silver Wing Press

courting darkness


Courting Darkness
by Robin LaFevers
Young Adult, Fantasy
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Death wasn’t the end, it was only the beginning…

Sybella has always been the darkest of Death’s daughters, trained at the convent of Saint Mortain to serve as his justice. But she has a new mission now. In a desperate bid to keep her two youngest sisters safe from the family that nearly destroyed them all, she agrees to accompany the duchess to France, where they quickly find themselves surrounded by enemies. Their one ray of hope is Sybella’s fellow novitiates, disguised and hidden deep in the French court years ago by the convent—provided Sybella can find them.

Genevieve has been undercover for so many years, she struggles to remember who she is or what she’s supposed to be fighting for. Her only solace is a hidden prisoner who appears all but forgotten by his guards. When tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to take matters into her own hands—even if it means ignoring the long awaited orders from the convent.

As Sybella and Gen’s paths draw ever closer, the fate of everything they hold sacred rests on a knife’s edge. Will they find each other in time, or will their worlds collide, destroying everything they care about?

Expected publication: February 5th, 2019 by HMH Books for Young Readers

the ruin of kings
The Ruin of Kings
by Jenn Lyons
Fantasy
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There are the old stories. And then there’s what actually happens.

Kihrin is a bastard orphan who grew up on storybook tales of long-lost princes and grand quests. When he is claimed against his will as the long-lost son of a treasonous prince, Kihrin finds that being a long-lost prince isn’t what the storybooks promised.

Far from living the dream, Kihrin finds himself practically a prisoner, at the mercy of his new family’s power plays and ambitions. He also discovers that the storybooks have lied about a lot of other things things, too: dragons, demons, gods, prophecies, true love, and how the hero always wins.

Then again, maybe he’s not the hero, for Kihrin isn’t destined to save the empire.

He’s destined to destroy it . . .

Uniting the worldbuilding of a Brandon Sanderson with the storytelling verve of a Patrick Rothfuss, debut author Jenn Lyons delivers an entirely new and captivating fantasy epic. Prepare to meet the genre’s next star.

Expected publication: February 5th, 2019 by Tor Books

the priory of the orange tree
The Priory of the Orange Tree
by Samantha Shannon
Fantasy
Add to Goodreads

A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

Expected publication: February 26th, 2019 by Bloomsbury Publishing

Are there any books that you are looking forward to this month?

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Read Along

Parasolverse Read-Along – February 2019

Good Day, All!

We are heading into the seventh month of the Parasolverse Read-Along.  The book for February is Changeless Book Two of the Parasol Protectorate Series. If you have not joined us yet and you want to please do!

Changeless
Pages
: 384
Start Date: February 1, 2019
Post Review: February 28, 2019
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Changeless


Alexia Maccon, the Lady Woolsey, awakens in the wee hours of the mid-afternoon to find her husband, who should be decently asleep like any normal werewolf, yelling at the top of his lungs. Then he disappears; leaving her to deal with a regiment of supernatural soldiers encamped on her doorstep, a plethora of exorcised ghosts, and an angry Queen Victoria.

But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions, and an arsenal of biting civility. So even when her investigations take her to Scotland, the backwater of ugly waistcoats, she is prepared: upending werewolf pack dynamics as only the soulless can. She might even find time to track down her wayward husband, if she feels like it.

CHANGELESS is the second book of the Parasol Protectorate series: a comedy of manners set in Victorian London, full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.

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New Releases

Cover Reveal New Covers: Tatum and Kallista by Sian Claven

1 sian

tatum-3d-single sian
Tatum
by Sian B. Claven
The Butcher Books
Horror
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Everyone has nightmares but the silent girl from Tatum’s is crossing over to reality and when she does, someone dies.

In a quiet little neighborhood, murders are about to rock the community’s happy existence but only Tatum can make the connection between seeing the girl from her nightmare and the deaths that are occurring.

The second time it happens another person dies.

By the third time, Tatum is left needing answers.

She has to ask, is she next?

Twisted and dark, Tatum will leave you wanting more.” – Toni Cox, Author of the Elemental Saga.

Purchase on Amazon

kallista-3d-single sian
Kallista
by Sian B. Claven
The Butcher Books
Horror
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All her life Kalli thought that her sister had lost her mind, seeing a ghost everywhere and associating it with death. Kalli wants her own answers though, and spends her life working towards being granted access to the Butcher files and solving the deaths that rocked their community all those years ago.

Things take a turn for the worst when the haunting figure from her sisters’ twisted mind starts appearing to Kalli and she is left questioning her sanity and whether the Butcher is back.

Kalli must find the answers before its too late.

Before she sees the skeleton girl one more time.

Before she meets her own demise.

Chilling and terrifying from beginning to end and excellently written.” – Shan Dinnie.

Purchase on Amazon

sian b. claven
Hailing from Johannesburg South Africa, Sian B. Claven has enjoyed stories for all her life, whether she was reading them or making them. She has written for as long as she can remember, but Ensnared is the first book she decided to publish. Moving towards writing more for the horror / paranormal thriller genre, Sian has subsequently published the first two books in The Butcher Books series, Tatum and Kallista. When Sian isn’t thinking of ways to terrify people, she enjoys writing science fiction stories, poetry and rather long and gushy birthday wishes. When she isn’t working on her writing you can find her knitting, scrapbooking, reading, or playing Xbox. Sian previously reviewed for The Blithering Bibliomaniacs and still reviews in her private capacity. She clearly doesn’t know what the words rest and relaxation mean, at least not in the traditional sense.

Connect with Sian
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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Reviews

Review: Soulless by Gail Carriger

Review

Soulless (Illustrated Edition)
Soulless
 by Gail Carriger
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Synopsis
Buffy meets Jane Austen in the first book of this wickedly funny NYT bestselling series about a young woman whose brush with the supernatural leads to a deadly investigation of London’s high society.

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire — and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

Read-along
Midway through 2018, I decided that I wanted to read the books from Gail Carriger’s Parasolverse in chronological order. This led me to start the journey of the Parasolverse Read-Along in August 2018. If you would like more information about the read-along please visit my post about it here. At the beginning of each month, I will have a brief read-along post go up letting you know what the book for that month is.

What I thought
Firstly, this is an adult book there are adult themes. Soulless is the first book in the Parasol Protectorate series. This book begins the story of Alexia Tarabotti who is a preternatural in a supernatural world. Second, I love this book and I love the character, Alexia. Alexia has accepted that she was immediately “put on the shelf” and she will live her life as a spinster. So the way that she looks at how things are in Victorian London is very funny. Since she does not need to pursue a husband she has no problem acting how she wants. Within the first chapeter, she hits someone (they were attacking her) over the head with her parasol. She very much takes care of herself.  I adore how she pushes the social norms of that time and turns them on their heads. The way the characters are balanced is amazing for every “Alpha” character there is a “Beta” to balance them out.  Yes, I couldn’t help using those terms. 

Oh, you hate to love people out there you need this book!

This world…its a steampunk setting with a paranormal twist. I love how the vampires and werewolves are integrated into society. If you are looking for a diverse book look no further. The way that everything blends together is just amazing it really is.

There are so many things I want to gush about but I am trying so hard to keep this spoiler free. So I will end with one more point. Even though this is the first book in a series it wraps up very well. I love reading a book in a series and feeling satisfied at the end of it. Sorry, I am not a fan of cliffhangers.

My Rating: /55 StarsFollow me on other platforms:
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