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Book Blitz: The Winnowing by Jo Schaffer

The Winnowing
Jo Schaffer
(Stanley & Hazel, #2)
Published by: Month9Books
Publication date: February 26th, 2019
Genres: Historical, Young Adult

Darkness descends over St. Louis, a city already rocked by the Great Depression. More and more people are disappearing, and some have turned up dead. A sinister secret society is putting forward their plan known as “The Winnowing,” designed to wipe out those they consider “undesirable.”

After Stanley and Hazel foil the diabolical plans of Charles Chouteau, they become instant celebrities. Hazel is thrust into the role of debutante, and risks loses herself in it. Meanwhile, Stanley must deal with the horrific tragedy of his best friend’s death while being threatened by the unseen forces of the Veiled Prophet.

With things spiraling out of control, Stanley and Hazel’s relationship is tested, possibly beyond repair. As bodies pile up, people become more desperate. The divide between wealthy and poor grows ever wider, threatening to tear their worlds apart. Now, the two must find a way to work together if there is any hope at all of saving their relationship and their futures.

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EXCERPT:

“Where do you go, Hazel Malloy?” Gabriel said in her ear.

“What?”

“I can feel you thinking hard.” He chuckled.

Hazel smiled. “I like this song,” she said, embarrassed as though he could actually tell that he’d caught her thinking about him.

“I do too.” He pressed his cheek to hers, and she let him.

As the song ended, there was a slight disturbance from the far end of the room. Hazel glanced up, and her heart paused.

Bananas.

Stanley stood in the entrance of the conservatory, tall and suited up, a hard look on his face, one eye almost swollen shut. He was flanked by some of his Knights, looking rough and out of place in suits, smirks on their faces as they scanned the room. It was like Eliot Ness and his Untouchables about to raid.

The “good people” of St. Louis stared uneasily and made way as the boys stalked into the room. Hazel sometimes forgot what they must look like to everyone else. They were a tough looking lot, battle scarred, and imposing.

The song ended and in the pause before the next one began, Stanley took long strides across the room, toward where Hazel and Gabriel stood, still holding hands.

Stanley’s eye twitched. “Heya, Haze.” He tilted his head toward Gabriel. “If it isn’t soft slugger trying to get to first base.” His jaw flexed, and he breathed in through his nose, and Hazel knew he was counting to ten.

Gabriel released Hazel’s hand and calmly replied, “Good to see you, Fields. You clean up nice.”


Author Bio:

Jo Schaffer was born and raised in the California Bay Area in a huge, creative family. She is a YA novelist, speaker, writer at Patheos.com, works in film production and is a Taekwondo black belt.

She’s a founding member of Writers Cubed and co-founder of the Teen Author Boot Camp, one of the largest conferences in the nation for youth ages 13-19. She and a crew of local and international bestselling authors present writing workshops to hundreds of attendees at the Utah-based conference as well as hundreds of others worldwide who view the conference online.

Jo loves being involved in anything that promotes literacy and family. She is passionate about community, travel, books, music, healthy eating, classic films and martial arts. Her brain is always spinning new ideas for books and sometimes she even gets around to blogging.

Jo is mom to three strapping sons and lives in the beautiful mountains of Utah.

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Reviews

Review: European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss

Book Review

European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman


European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman

by Theodora Goss
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Synopsis
In the sequel to the critically acclaimed The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, Mary Jekyll and the rest of the daughters of literature’s mad scientists embark on a madcap adventure across Europe to rescue another monstrous girl and stop the Alchemical Society’s nefarious plans once and for all.

Mary Jekyll’s life has been peaceful since she helped Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson solve the Whitechapel Murders. Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherine Moreau, Justine Frankenstein, and Mary’s sister Diana Hyde have settled into the Jekyll household in London, and although they sometimes quarrel, the members of the Athena Club get along as well as any five young women with very different personalities. At least they can always rely on Mrs. Poole.

But when Mary receives a telegram that Lucinda Van Helsing has been kidnapped, the Athena Club must travel to the Austro-Hungarian Empire to rescue yet another young woman who has been subjected to horrific experimentation. Where is Lucinda, and what has Professor Van Helsing been doing to his daughter? Can Mary, Diana, Beatrice, and Justine reach her in time?

Racing against the clock to save Lucinda from certain doom, the Athena Club embarks on a madcap journey across Europe. From Paris to Vienna to Budapest, Mary and her friends must make new allies, face old enemies, and finally confront the fearsome, secretive Alchemical Society. It’s time for these monstrous gentlewomen to overcome the past and create their own destinies.

What I thought
This is the second book in The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club the first book being The Strange Case of the Alchemists Daughter (see my thoughts here). Let me start by saying that this book is very long and it took me much longer to read than I thought it would. Now with that said I really enjoyed the ride that this book gave me. I love the friendship between these characters. It feels like a real friend group. They talk about how they do get on one anothers nerves, and how that also makes them all fit together.  Everyone brings there own uniqueness to the group and life is not rainbows and butterflies.

In this installment, they are traveling across Europe to rescue Lucinda Van Helsing. So I am going to say that you should know that last name and that it means vampires. I really like how this author can continue to add new characters to this series and it does not get overwhelming for the reader. I really like how the characters stay themselves, they do have growth however they are never magically changed to where you no longer recognize them.

If you have read the first one you know that there is a going commentary between the characters in the story on the manuscript.  I am always surprised by how much I enjoy this. It feels like you are seeing the characters not just how they are portrayed but how they think and feel about what is being said about them.  To me this makes them feel more real and I love it.

Could this book have been trimmed down some and not been over 700 pages and still been good? I think so and I have noticed that this is an ongoing complaint from a lot of the readers.  So here is to hoping that the next installment will be a little shorter.

My Rating: /55 Stars

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Memes · TBR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? December 3, 2018

It's Monday What are you reading.png

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.

This is going to be a crazy busy week.  My daughter has 3 days of performances at the end of the week and the rest of the week she has practices and somehow we have to work in a trip to the Orthodontist. So I am not sure how reading this week is going to go.

Last Weeks Books
Inheritance

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini
4 Stars
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It began with Eragon… It ends with Inheritance.

Not so very long ago, Eragon — Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider — was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders.

Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix. When they do, they will have to be strong enough to defeat him. And if they cannot, no one can. There will be no second chance.

The Rider and his dragon have come further than anyone dared to hope. But can they topple the evil king and restore justice to Alagaësia? And if so, at what cost?

A Holiday by Gaslight
A Holiday by Gaslight: A Victorian Christmas Novella
by Mimi Matthews
5 Stars
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A Courtship of Convenience 

Sophie Appersett is quite willing to marry outside of her class to ensure the survival of her family. But the darkly handsome Mr. Edward Sharpe is no run-of-the-mill London merchant. He’s grim and silent. A man of little emotion–or perhaps no emotion at all. After two months of courtship, she’s ready to put an end to things.

A Last Chance for Love 

But severing ties with her taciturn beau isn’t as straightforward as Sophie envisioned. Her parents are outraged. And then there’s Charles Darwin, Prince Albert, and that dratted gaslight. What’s a girl to do except invite Mr. Sharpe to Appersett House for Christmas and give him one last chance to win her? Only this time there’ll be no false formality. This time they’ll get to know each other for who they really are.

Current Reads:
Carols and Chaos

Carols and Chaos by Cindy Anstey
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A lady’s maid and a valet become entangled in a yuletide counterfeiting scheme in this romantic Christmas YA adventure.

1817. The happy chaos of the Yuletide season has descended upon the country estate of Shackleford Park in full force, but lady’s maid Kate Darby barely has the time to notice. Between her household duties, caring for her ailing mother, and saving up money to someday own a dress shop, her hands are quite full. Matt Harlow is also rather busy. He’s performing double-duty, acting as valet for both of the Steeple brothers, two of the estate’s holiday guests.

Falling in love would be a disaster for either of them. But staving off their feelings for each other becomes the least of their problems when a devious counterfeiting scheme reaches the gates of Shackleford Park, and Kate and Matt are unwittingly swept up in the intrigue. Full of sweetness, charm, and holiday shenanigans, Carols and Chaos is perfect for fans of Jane Austen and Downton Abbey.

What are your reading plans this week?

Let’s chat in the comments below!

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Reviews

Review: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Book Review

Sky in the Deep
Sky in the Deep
by Adrienne Young
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Synopsis
Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

What I thought
Sky in the Deep is a young adult historical Viking age inspired fantasy novel. This is an amazing standalone novel. Yes even with that ending it is a verified standalone. Eelyn an Aska warrior believes she saw her brother die in a battle five years ago.  Now when in combat with a Riki clan she sees her brother fighting on the battlefield with the enemy. Eelyn is captured by the Riki’s and now hows to decide how to forgive her brother and whether or not to trust Fiske.

“Ond Eldr
Breath Fire.”

I received this book in the May 2018 Owl Crate box and I was on the fence whether or not I wanted to read it.  Some days it sounded so good and other I was meh. All in all, I am very happy that I gave this book a chance. It really surprised me how much I liked it. I am really impressed with Adrienne Young’s writing especially since this was a debut novel. I am not a person that is big on a lot of companion novels but I will have to check out what she has coming up next year.  Since its going to be a companion novel I really hope that it focuses on Fiske. I just need more.

Vegr yfir fjor.
Honor above life.”

If I am being honest I was on the fence about how I felt about this book until the last fourth. That last fourth was just remarkable. Such a good balance of action and romance. I also am a sucker for Hate to love is the one trope I can never get enough of. Adrienne Young did not hold back on the gore in this book. So if you are not very good with that you may want to be careful reading this book. I cringed more than once.

I don’t normally do this but I have included the book trailer.

Enjoy!

My Rating: /55 Stars

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