Book Love, Book Reviews, national novel writing month, writers life, writing

November Reading Round-Up: Mystery, Romance, Fantasy, and Middle Grade

Hi everyone! We’re leaning towards December. Hard to believe that November flew on by so quickly. How was your month? For those of you participating in NaNoWriMo, how’d it go? I managed 30,000 words. I have half a mind to try and reach 50,000, but that would mean two 10K days and I’m not sure I have it in me 😉 We’ll see.

November Reading Round-Up

Anyways, I thought I would share what I’ve read this month.

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

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I started this series in 2012. Wow. I was so excited to dive into this final book. With how Empire of Storms ended, I started reading with nervousness and dread.

I’m not going to share too much because I don’t want to spoil anything for those of you who haven’t read. I’ll just say that I thought it was a satisfying ending with a few threads left unfinished. I wonder if Sarah would ever return to this world? 🙂

Two Thousand Years by M. Dalto

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This story, guys! MB was one of my mentors during #WriteMentor from May-August 2018. She’s funny, clever, and kind. I’m grateful she shared her expertise and insight with me. I brought THE LOST SAGES to another level, with MB’s and Amber’s help.

When I received an ARC from Parliament House Press, I got so excited :). This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2018, and it did not disappoint one bit! MB won a Wattpad’s Watty Award in 2016 for this novel 🙂

Check out this summary from Goodreads:

“Two thousand years ago, the Prophecy of Fire and Light foretold the coming of the Queen Empress who would lead the Empire into a time of peace and tranquility. But instead of the coming of a prosperous world, a forbidden love for the Empress waged a war that ravaged the land, creating a chasm between the factions, raising the death toll of innocent lives until the final, bloody battle.

Centuries later, Alexandra, a twenty-two-year-old barista living in Boston, is taken to an unfamiliar realm of mystery and magic where her life is threatened by Reylor, its banished Lord Steward. She crosses paths with Treyan, the arrogant and seductive Crown Prince of the Empire, and together they discover how their lives, and their love, are so intricately intertwined by a Prophecy set in motion so many years ago.

Alex, now the predestined Queen Empress Alexstrayna, whose arrival was foretold by the Annals of the Empire, controls the fate of her new home as war rages between the Crown Prince and Lord Steward. Either choice could tear her world apart as she attempts to keep the Empire’s torrid history from repeating itself. In a realm where betrayal and revenge will be as crucial to her survival as love and honor, Alex must discover whether it is her choice – or her fate – that determines how she survives the Empire’s rising conflicts.”

I love Alex so much. She is someone I would want to be friends with. Treyan and Reylor, eep ❤ My loves. Alex goes through so much in this story. I’m continually impressed with her and how she faces many challenges. She’s relatable and compassionate. I love her strength so much.

Treyan is swoony and romantic. I love him. Reylor is such an interesting and complicated character. Some wild things happen in this novel but my heart still goes out to him. I’m so excited because next year, MB is releasing two novellas from Reylor and Treyan’s perspective.

If you enjoy romance, fantasy, and real relationships, you’ll devour this. It releases on December 11th, 2018. Pre-order it here!

Clouded Envy by Candace Robinson

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I’ve read two of Candace’s previous books: Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault and The Glass Bride. I knew a bit about her writing style. She has a fresh and unique voice that you don’t forget 🙂 I met Candace through #WriteMentor, and am so glad we’re friends.

This book blew me away. It’s so different from anything I’ve read before. The characters are quirky and three-dimensional. I loved Bray so much. I wish I had a friend like her ❤ She is so sweet, funny, and completely herself. My heart went out to Brenik.

If you enjoy stories about fairies, magic, heartbreak, and family, you’ll love this. Pre-order it here 🙂

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (AKA J.K. Rowling)

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Okay, so I grew up on mysteries. I LOVE mysteries so much. It doesn’t hurt that one of the main character’s is a slightly broody, kind, and intelligent British detective. Strike ❤ Also, the other lead, Robin, is such a fantastic character. I love everything about her. She is clever, insecure at times, suffers from PTSD, and a darn good detective.

This novel is a biggie. I think it’s over 600 pages. The mystery was multi-layered and had me guessing throughout. When I read the dialogue and setting, I felt homesick for England. I spent five months in Nottingham and absolutely fell in love with the country. Someday I will go back 🙂

This is the fourth in the series, so start with The Cuckoo’s Calling 🙂 You won’t be disappointed.

Moonlight and Whiskey by Tricia Lynne

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I’m part of a romance writing group on Facebook called “All the Kissing“. I’ve met some wonderful fellow writers there. One of the ladies who started this group is Tricia. I remember when she first posted her Publisher’s Marketplace photo of her book deal. I was so excited to see her novel on NetGalley, so I requested it immediately.

This is a hot romance novel. I loved Declan and Avery’s story. Avery is clever, sparky, and fun-loving. She and her friend Kat go on a trip to New Orleans, and she literally bumps into Declan 😀

I enjoyed watching their relationship develop throughout the novel. Tricia captured the magic of New Orleans in her descriptions without over-describing. I loved their journey so much ❤ Thanks NetGalley and Tricia for the amazing ARC <3. Pre-order here if you’re interested.

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

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I picked up this novel at a used bookstore a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to give it a read and see if this might be a story I could use in some of my tutoring sessions with my students.

Last Sunday, I sat down and started reading this novel, not sure what to expect. Well, a few hours later, I finished it 🙂

It’s such a remarkable story of light and darkness, friendship and honor, romance and loss.

We follow Despereaux Tilling, a cute mouse who loves stories, music, and a princess named Pea. We also follow a rat, Roscuro, who lives in the dank basement, in darkness. He wishes to live in a world of light. Then there is Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who grew up in horrible conditions.

It is a lovely story, and I recommend it to everyone 🙂

After by Anna Todd

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I was on Instagram earlier this week and saw a trailer for a movie called After. I vaguely remembered seeing this book a few years ago. I googled it and found out it was a romance story on Wattpad about Harry Styles and a young woman, Tessa.

It’s had a billion views online, so I decided to try it. I must say, I flew through it. Anna Todd has a way of balancing the right amount of conflict, drama, and romance. I tore through the pages, wondering what would happen to Hardin and Tessa.

The ending was quite upsetting, I must say. I’m not sure I’ll continue on, but I can see the appeal. Have you read this before? What do you think? I’d love to hear below.

Currently Reading

WinterDream is a Nutcracker retelling written by the lovely Chantal Gadoury. I posted an interview with her, and you can read it here.

Five Poisoned Apples is a magical anthology releasing from Rooglewood Press. There are five unique Snow White fairytale retellings in this book. Anne Elisabeth Stengl graciously sent me an ARC to review. It releases on December 1st. You can pre-order here, if interested 🙂

Wintersong is a magical and dark fairytale about the Goblin King and a young girl by S. Jae-Jones. I’ve just started, but I’m enjoying it so far ❤

Well, there you have it, my friends. That’s my monthly round-up of the books I read this month. It was a great reading month. I think this is because we’ve had three massive snowstorms, haha.

What did you read this month? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

Until next time,

Loie xo

Book Love, Cover Reveals, writers life, writing

Cover Reveal: CLOUDED BY ENVY – Candace Robinson

September 25th, 2018

Guys, I am so happy to be part of the cover reveal for Candace’s newest book CLOUDED BY ENVY, releasing in February 2019! Eep, so exciting. You may remember when I wrote a review for her story, Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault.

I cannot wait to read her latest story. Candace is a master storyteller of quirky, unique, and romantic fantasy. I love her style of writing.

Without further ado, here is the Goodreads summary:

Brenik has always been envious of his twin sister, Bray. Growing up as fairy-like creatures, known as bats, everything came easier to Bray. While Brenik spent his time in her shadows, never feeling he was enough. After escaping their world of Laith, and living on Earth for ten years, Brenik attempts to strike a deal with the Stone of Desire to become human. Though true humanity is not an option, he will accept the curse that will alter him to get as close as he can.

Living in a tree trunk for the past year hasn’t been easy for Bray, more so after her brother disappears again. When a human boy and his brother, Wes, find her, a new friendship is struck. Through Wes, Bray learns there can be more to life than waiting within a tree. But worrying over where Brenik has vanished to always remains in the back of her mind.

When Bray reunites with Brenik, she realizes she must help him break the curse after she discovers the need for blood is beginning to overpower him. The curse not only damages those who get close to Brenik, but it could also destroy whatever is blooming between Bray and Wes.

Are you ready for the cover?!

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Isn’t it stunning? I love it so much ❤

You can learn more about Candace here 🙂 Or follow her on Twitter!

Tell me what you think below :)! I would love to hear from you.

Until next time,

Loie xo

Book Reviews

Book Review: Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault

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Published by Parliament House Press

 June 26th, 2018

Book 1 in a Duology

Goodreads 

Some see it… Some don’t…

People in the town of Deer Park, Texas are vanishing. There is a strange museum, known as Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault, that appears overnight. Perrie Madeline’s best friend and ex-boyfriend are among the missing. Perrie and her friend August go on a pursuit for them in the mysterious museum. Could the elusive Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault have anything to do with the disappearances?

Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault is the start of a thrilling duology full of magic, danger, and romance.

General Gushing and Characters I Love

Candace created three dimensional characters that I fell in love with from the get go. Our main heroine, Perrie, is a spunky and real teenager. She’s fallen in love and has had her heart broken. She is a great friend to her cousin and bestie, Maisie. I love that she is a musician and plays the cello. (Sidenote, I’ve always wanted to play the cello or harp 😉

Maisie is so fun and cool. If only I had her rocking confidence when I was a teenager ❤ I love how quirky she is. Perrie and Maisie are #friendshipgoals. There is a quote from Perrie that I scribbled down that I wanted to share.

“That’s what I love best about her is the fact she doesn’t care what anybody thinks, and just wants to see everyone happy.”

This is Perrie observing Maisie inviting everyone to dance at their prom, not caring about the different cliques. I loved that so much ❤ This really shows us how kind and caring Maisie is.

Neven and August are intriguing. (Aren’t all the character names awesome ?!?!) Both boys have interesting personalities and vie for Perrie’s attention. There is a twist at the end of the book that I absolutely did NOT SEE coming. Well done, Candace. I have a #bookhangover and I need the sequel ASAP, pretty please 🙂

Favorite Moments

When Perrie goes to the Glass Vault to rescue Maisie. Talk about fearless! She does not only seek to help Maisie but others as well.

A funny moment with Perrie and August: “Please tell me you’ve taken karate or something like that.”

(This is when August and Perrie are facing a fight, haha! I laughed out loud.)

If you love horror, mystery, and fairytales, I highly suggest you pick up this book. It is a brilliant mash up and it did not disappoint. The pacing was outstanding. Every time I came to the end of a chapter I felt propelled forwards, unable to stop reading. (I also took notes, as a writer, haha.)

Writer Thoughts

Like I said before, the pacing was brilliant. I also enjoyed how Candace seamlessly weaved backstory into various chapters. This helped me understand Perrie and her friends a lot better. I saw how much Perrie loves Maisie and cares for her best friend. We also got to see what happened between her and Neven.

Her descriptions were spot on, building a lush and horrifying world at times. Can’t wait for your next book, Candace!

Author Candace Robinson 

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My name is Candace Robinson. I’m just your average hemiplegic migraine sufferer. My days are spent writing, book reviewing and traveling through books for my blog, Literary Dust. I live just outside of Houston, Texas, where it feels like the hottest place on Earth with the crazy weather. No, seriously, one day it’s 30 degrees and the next it’s 70 degrees! I live with my husband and awesome daughter!

Candace has an awesome book blog called Literary Dust! Go check it out 🙂 Isn’t that website name awesome?!

If you want to order this book on Amazon, just click here 🙂

You can also order it on Parliament’s website!

What are you reading at the moment? I would love to hear in the comments below.

Until next time,

Loie xo