Memes

TTT: Best Books of 2018 so far and Character Driven Books – July 10, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme brought to you by That Artsy Reader Girl. It was previously hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is Best Books I’ve Read In 2018 (So Far) This prompt was originally going to be a TTT throwback. So since I already had this planned out I am going to do both!

10 Best Books I have read so far in 2018 in no particular order

TTT Best first half of 2018

  1. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
  2. That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston
  3. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
  4. Love, Lies, and Spies by Cindy Anstey
  5. Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
  6. The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
  7. The Diviners by Libba Bray
  8. Air Awakens by Elise Kova
  9. Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco
  10. Kingdom of Ash and Soot by C.S. Johnson

TTT Throwback 10 Character Driven Books

TTT Character Driven Books

  1. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
  2. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  3. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
  4. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
  5. Soulless by Gail Carriger
  6. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  7. Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
  8. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
  9. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  10. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

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New Releases

July 2018 Releases I’m Excited About

Hey Everyone!

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

Hocus Pocus & The All New Sequel
Hocus Pocus & The All New Sequel by A.W. Jantha
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Hocus Pocus is beloved by Halloween enthusiasts all over the world. Diving once more into the world of witches, this electrifying two-part young adult novel, released on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the 1993 film, marks a new era of Hocus Pocus. Fans will be spellbound by a fresh retelling of the original film, followed by the all-new sequel that continues the story with the next generation of Salem teens.

Shortly after moving from California to Salem, Massachusetts, Max Dennison finds himself in hot water when he accidentally releases a coven of witches, the Sanderson sisters, from the afterlife. Max, his sister, and his new friends (human and otherwise) must find a way to stop the witches from carrying out their evil plan and remaining on earth to torment Salem for all eternity.

Twenty-five years later, Max and Allison’s seventeen-year-old daughter, Poppy, finds herself face-to-face with the Sanderson sisters in all their sinister glory. When Halloween celebrations don’t quite go as planned, it’s a race against time as Poppy and her friends fight to save her family and all of Salem from the witches’ latest death-defying scheme.

Expected publication: July 10th, 2018 by Freeform

The Romanov Empress
The Romanov Empress
by C.W. Gortner
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Even from behind the throne, a woman can rule.

Narrated by the mother of Russia’s last tsar, this vivid, historically authentic novel brings to life the courageous story of Maria Feodorovna, one of Imperial Russia’s most compelling women who witnessed the splendor and tragic downfall of the Romanovs as she fought to save her dynasty in the final years of its long reign.

Barely nineteen, Minnie knows that her station in life as a Danish princess is to leave her family and enter into a royal marriage—as her older sister Alix has done, moving to  England to wed Queen Victoria’s eldest son. The winds of fortune bring Minnie to Russia, where she marries the Romanov heir and becomes empress once he ascends the throne. When resistance to his reign strikes at the heart of her family and the tsar sets out to crush all who oppose him, Minnie—now called Maria—must tread a perilous path of compromise in a country she has come to love.

Her husband’s death leaves their son Nicholas as the inexperienced ruler of a deeply divided and crumbling empire. Determined to guide him to reforms that will bring Russia into the modern age, Maria faces implacable opposition from Nicholas’s strong-willed wife, Alexandra, whose fervor has lead her into a disturbing relationship with a mystic named Rasputin. As the unstoppable wave of revolution rises anew to engulf Russia, Maria will face her most dangerous challenge and her greatest heartache.

From the opulent palaces of St. Petersburg and the intrigue-laced salons of the aristocracy to the World War I battlefields and the bloodied countryside occupied by the Bolsheviks, C. W. Gortner sweeps us into the anarchic fall of an empire and the complex, bold heart of the woman who tried to save it.

Expected publication: July 10th, 2018 by Ballantine Books

Bright We Burn
Bright We Burn
 by Kiersten White
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Haunted by the sacrifices he made in Constantinople, Radu is called back to the new capital. Mehmed is building an empire, becoming the sultan his people need. But Mehmed has a secret: as emperor, he is more powerful than ever . . . and desperately lonely. Does this mean Radu can finally have more with Mehmed . . . and would he even want it?

Lada’s rule of absolute justice has created a Wallachia free of crime. But Lada won’t rest until everyone knows that her country’s borders are inviolable. Determined to send a message of defiance, she has the bodies of Mehmed’s peace envoy delivered to him, leaving Radu and Mehmed with no choice. If Lada is allowed to continue, only death will prosper. They must go to war against the girl prince.

But Mehmed knows that he loves her. He understands her. She must lose to him so he can keep her safe. Radu alone fears that they are underestimating his sister’s indomitable will. Only by destroying everything that came before–including her relationships–can Lada truly build the country she wants.

Claim the throne. Demand the crown. Rule the world.

Expected publication: July 10th, 2018 by Delacorte

Fawkes
Fawkes 
by Nadine Brandes
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Silent wars leave the most carnage. The wars that are never declared, but are carried out in dark alleys with masks and hidden knives. Wars where color power alters the natural rhythm of 17th century London. And when the king calls for peace, no one listens until he finally calls for death.

But what if death finds him first?

Keepers think the Igniters caused the plague. Igniters think the Keepers did it. But all Thomas knows is that the Stone Plague infecting his eye is spreading. And if he doesn’t do something soon, he’ll be a lifeless statue. So when his Keeper father, Guy Fawkes, invites him to join the Gunpowder Plot—claiming it will put an end to the plague—Thomas is in.

The plan: use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow up the Igniter King.

The problem: Doing so will destroy the family of the girl Thomas loves. But backing out of the plot will send his father and the other plotters to the gallows. To save one, Thomas will lose the other.

No matter Thomas’s choice, one thing is clear: once the decision is made and the color masks have been put on, there’s no turning back.

Expected publication: July 10th, 2018 by Thomas Nelson

Competence
Competence
by Gail Carriger
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Accidentally abandoned!

All alone in Singapore, proper Miss Primrose Tunstell must steal helium to save her airship, the Spotted Custard, in a scheme involving a lovesick werecat and a fake fishtail.

When she uncovers rumors of a new kind of vampire, Prim and the Custard crew embark on a mission to Peru. There, they encounter airship pirates and strange atmospheric phenomena, and are mistaken for representatives of the Spanish Inquisition. Forced into extreme subterfuge (and some rather ridiculous outfits) Prim must also answer three of life’s most challenging questions:

Can the perfect book club give a man back his soul?

Will her brother ever stop wearing his idiotic velvet fez?

And can the amount of lard in Christmas pudding save an entire species?

Expected publication: July 17th, 2018 by Orbit

Grace and Fury
Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart
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In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other in prison.

Serina has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace–someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining, subjugated example of the perfect woman. But when her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, catches the heir’s eye, it’s Serina who takes the fall for the dangerous secret that Nomi has been hiding.

Now trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one way to save Serina: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to release her sister. This is easier said than done. A traitor walks the halls of the palace, and deception lurks in every corner. But Serina is running out of time, imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive and one wrong move could cost her everything.

Expected publication: July 31st, 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

What are you looking forward to?

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Memes · TBR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? July 9, 2018

It's Monday What are you reading.pngGood 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.

 

Last Weeks Books:
Hunting Prince Dracula


Hunting Prince Dracula
 by Kerri Maniscalco
5 Stars
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In this New York Times bestselling sequel to Kerri Maniscalco’s haunting #1 debut Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer…or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

Kingdom of Ash and Soot
Kingdom of Ash and Soot by C.S. Johnson
5 Stars
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“I want to be free.” The words came rushing out of me before I could think through their implications and consequences.

“There are two things you need to know about yourself if you want to be free—what you stand for, and what you stand against.” Lady Penelope held up her hands, brandishing a pair of daggers that had been hidden in her skirts. “This world lives enslaved to its destruction, and so long as you are living, as long as you are fighting, you will be free.”

I gazed at the daggers, transfixed. Each blade was clothed in a leather scabbard, but the silver and obsidian of the daggers’ hilts winked at me, as though it was calling for me.

PRAGUE, 1870.

For the last ten years, nineteen-year-old Eleanora Svobodová has worked as a servant in her stepmother’s household. Along with her older brother, she dreams of the day they will be free to live life on their own terms.

But everything changes when their estranged grandmother comes to Prague on behalf of Queen Victoria. Throughout Bohemia, a string of murders and secret whispers hint at a larger coup. As the leader of the Order of the Crystal Daggers, an ancient order of spies and soldiers that protect kingdoms and their rulers, Lady Penelope is determined to mete out the perpetrators. Now, Eleanora must make the choice between a life of intrigue and saving the lives of others.

Can Eleanora find a way to do the right thing and still find freedom?

With a fun blend of historical fiction, true love, castle intrigue, and family dysfunction, The Order of the Crystal Daggers is the latest adventure series from C. S. Johnson.

Seraphina
Seraphina 
by Rachel Hartman
3 Stars
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In the kingdom of Goredd, dragons and humans live and work side by side – while below the surface, tensions and hostility simmer.

The newest member of the royal court, a uniquely gifted musician named Seraphina, holds a deep secret of her own. One that she guards with all of her being.

When a member of the royal family is brutally murdered, Seraphina is drawn into the investigation alongside the dangerously perceptive—and dashing—Prince Lucien. But as the two uncover a sinister plot to destroy the wavering peace of the kingdom, Seraphina’s struggle to protect her secret becomes increasingly difficult… while its discovery could mean her very life.

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
5 Stars
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Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Current Reads:
The City of Brass.png

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
(2 Week buddy read)
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Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass, a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for…

What are your reading plans this week?

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Uncategorized

Out of This World Blogger Award

Out of this world header

I was nominated for the Out of This World Blogger Award by Teagan @ Fiction No Chaser. This was created by Kaleena @ Reader Voracious Blog. Thank you, Teagan for nominating me!

Rules:

  • Thank the blogger(s) that nominated you and link back to their post.
  • Answer the questions.
  • Don’t forget to grab your badge!
  • Nominate 3-5 bloggers for the award.
  • You may use the header image from this post if desired.
  • Please be sure to link back to the original post and credit the creator: Reader Voracious Blog

The Questions:

  1. What (or who) inspires you and why?
    People. I find inspiration in all those around me, each and every person in my life inspire me in different ways.  My daughter inspires me to try new things that and to do things that I enjoy.  The best way to show her to push her limits is to do that myself.
  1. What is your favorite thing about blogging?
    Honestly when people comment, even just to say hey that book looks good.
  1. If you could be any character in fiction, whom would you be and why?
    Wow, this is a hard one.  When I am reading a book I may insert myself in the story but not as one of the characters in the book.
  1. If you had six months with no obligations or financial constraints, what would you do with the time?
    Relax, Read and Write.
  1. What is one piece of advice that you would give a new blogger?
    Start a conversation. Don’t be afraid. As long as you are enjoying what you are writing that is all that matters.
  1. Optional: Freebie question – share something with us!
    I hate to cook.  It just really stresses me out.

If you want to do this please feel tagged.  And to those, I tag please do not feel obligated to do this if you do not want to.

Kelly @ another book in the wall

Bibi @ Bibi’s Book Blog

Welcome To Our Campfire

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Reviews

ARC Review: Kingdom of Ash and Soot by C.S. Johnson

I was sent this book for an honest review by the publisher.  All thoughts and opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way by receiving this book.

Kingdom of Ash and Soot
Kingdom of Ash and Soot
by C.S. Johnson
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Published July 3rd, 2018 by Prodigy Gold Books

Synopsis
“I want to be free.” The words came rushing out of me before I could think through their implications and consequences.

“There are two things you need to know about yourself if you want to be free—what you stand for, and what you stand against.” Lady Penelope held up her hands, brandishing a pair of daggers that had been hidden in her skirts. “This world lives enslaved to its destruction, and so long as you are living, as long as you are fighting, you will be free.”

I gazed at the daggers, transfixed. Each blade was clothed in a leather scabbard, but the silver and obsidian of the daggers’ hilts winked at me, as though it was calling for me.

PRAGUE, 1870.

For the last ten years, nineteen-year-old Eleanora Svobodová has worked as a servant in her stepmother’s household. Along with her older brother, she dreams of the day they will be free to live life on their own terms.

But everything changes when their estranged grandmother comes to Prague on behalf of Queen Victoria. Throughout Bohemia, a string of murders and secret whispers hint at a larger coup. As the leader of the Order of the Crystal Daggers, an ancient order of spies and soldiers that protect kingdoms and their rulers, Lady Penelope is determined to mete out the perpetrators. Now, Eleanora must make the choice between a life of intrigue and saving the lives of others.

Can Eleanora find a way to do the right thing and still find freedom?

What I thought
I really enjoyed this book.  Then again I love Regency/Victorian era books so this one was perfect for me.  This story is a loose retelling of Cinderella with political intrigue and family secrets. In this story, Ben and Elenora are servants in their stepmother’s house when their grandmother Lady POW shows up at their door.  Their lives have changed forever as they learn about the Order of the Crystal Daggers and decide what future they want to embrace.

There were some places in the story where the pacing began to lag; however, it would pick back up. Also, Elenora was a bit naive and seemed to be the only one that did not see certain things coming.  The sibling bond between Ben and Elenora was really nice you can tell how much they truly care for one another.

I enjoyed this enough that I am looking forward to purchasing a physical copy.  If you like Regency/Victorian era books, political intrigue, and witty banter you should give this book a try.

My Rating: /5

5 Stars

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Memes · New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft by Tess Sharpe

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: Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft by Tess Sharpe

Toil & Trouble
A young adult fiction anthology of 15 stories featuring contemporary, historical, and futuristic stories featuring witchy heroines who are diverse in race, class, sexuality, religion, geography, and era.

Are you a good witch or a bad witch?

Glinda the Good Witch. Elphaba the Wicked Witch. Willow. Sabrina. Gemma Doyle. The Mayfair Witches. Ursula the Sea Witch. Morgan le Fey. The three weird sisters from Macbeth.

History tells us women accused of witchcraft were often outsiders: educated, independent, unmarried, unwilling to fall in line with traditional societal expectations.

Bold. Powerful. Rebellious.

A bruja’s traditional love spell has unexpected results. A witch’s healing hands begin to take life instead of giving it when she ignores her attraction to a fellow witch. In a terrifying future, women are captured by a cabal of men crying witchcraft and the one true witch among them must fight to free them all. In a desolate past, three orphaned sisters prophesize for a murderous king. Somewhere in the present, a teen girl just wants to kiss a boy without causing a hurricane.

From good witches to bad witches, to witches who are a bit of both, this is an anthology of diverse witchy tales from a collection of diverse, feminist authors. The collective strength of women working together—magically or mundanely–has long frightened society, to the point that women’s rights are challenged, legislated against, and denied all over the world. Toil & Trouble delves deep into the truly diverse mythology of witchcraft from many cultures and feminist points of view, to create modern and unique tales of witchery that have yet to be explored.

Expected publication: August 28th, 2018 by Harlequin Teen
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Wrap Up

June 2018 Wrap Up

Good Morning Everyone!!

I finished 10 books this month!  This number is greatly due to audio books. This was just a stressful month as a whole.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Rating: 4 Stars
Goodreads Synopsis

Blameless by Gail Carriger
Rating: 5 Stars
Goodreads Synopsis

Grayghost by Tamara Grantham
Rating: 4 Stars
Goodreads Synopsis

Circe by Madeline Miller
Rating: 4 Stars
Goodreads Synopsis

Edgar Allan Poe: The Strange Man Standing Deep in the Shadows by Charlotte Montague
Rating: 4 Stars
Goodreads Synopsis

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
Rating: 3 Stars
Goodreads Synopsis

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Rating: 3 Stars
Goodreads Synopsis

Heartless by Gail Carriger
Rating: 5 Stars
Goodreads Synopsis

Timeless by Gail Carriger
Rating: 5 Stars
Goodreads Synopsis

Prudence Gail Carriger
Rating: 5 Stars
Goodreads Synopsis

How was your reading the month?

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