Book Tour: Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen

book tour

Today’s bookish post is on a book I received from Delacorte Press and Turn the Page Tours. Click the above image to check out the tour schedule!

This is a debut novel, and I believe I heard about Violet Made of Thorns for the first time both from Amanda at Bookish Brews and Erin A. Craig (author of House of Salt and Sorrows). Both one of my favorite bloggers and one of my favorite authors, I had sky-high hopes for this book, even before seeing the stunning cover and enticing synopsis with this tagline:

a morally gray witch, a cursed prince, and a prophecy that ignites their fate-twisted destinies

Note: Normally I do a photoshoot for all my blog posts, but I am currently writing this in a hotel room mid-move, so you’ll have to stay tuned on my Instagram for when I photograph all the books I’ve missed this summer. ♥

Book Description: 

TITLE: Violet Made of Thorns
AUTHOR: Gina Chen
PUBLISHER: Delacorte Press
RELEASE DATE: July 26, 2022
GENRES: Young Adult Fiction—Fantasy, Romance
TRIGGER/CONTENT WARNING(S): Child Abuse, Emotional Manipulation, Violence, Death, Body Horror, Self-Harm, Racism
PREFERRED PURCHASE LINK: Click Here!

Synopsis

Violet is a prophet and a liar, influencing the royal court with her cleverly phrased—and not always true—divinations. Honesty is for suckers, like the oh-so-not charming Prince Cyrus, who plans to strip Violet of her official role once he’s crowned at the end of the summer—unless Violet does something about it.

But when the king asks her to falsely prophesy Cyrus’s love story for an upcoming ball, Violet awakens a dreaded curse, one that will end in either damnation or salvation for the kingdom—all depending on the prince’s choice of future bride. Violet faces her own choice: Seize an opportunity to gain control of her own destiny, no matter the cost, or give in to the ill-fated attraction that’s growing between her and Cyrus.

Violet’s wits may protect her in the cutthroat court, but they can’t change her fate. And as the boundary between hatred and love grows ever thinner with the prince, Violet must untangle a wicked web of deceit in order to save herself and the kingdom—or doom them all.

About the Author:

Gina Chen spent most of her life thinking she hated writing, until she churned out a few hundred thousand words of fanfiction and decided that maybe she was a writer. Her stories lean toward the fantastic, featuring heroines, antiheroines, and the kind of cleverness that brings trouble in its wake.

A self-taught artist with a degree in computer science, she generates creative nonsense in all forms of media and always has a project stewing. She has particular fondness for fairy tales, demon tales, romantic comedies, and quiz shows. Currently, she resides in Southern California, where the sunshine is as plentiful as its tea shops.

Read: July 2022

⭐⭐⭐⭐

“This book is a fairy tale for those who choose head over heart every time.”

Today’s post, I get to show you my top ten favorite quotes. Check out my review on Goodreads or in video form on TikTok! It is no exaggeration at all to say that I have pages of quotes that I highlighted on my Kindle app. Gina Chen’s writing style is one of my new favorites! For this post, I’ve decided to post ten of the quotes I loved best, and you’ll have to read the book yourself to see all my other favorites. 😉

If you haven’t read the book, don’t worry! I haven’t included any that seemed spoiler-y or removed any references to character names!

Note: These quotations are taken from an advanced review copy, and changes could have been made before publication.

Favorite Quotes:

This book is a fairy tale for those who choose head over heart every time.

These months apart haven’t tempered the loathing between us. A lifetime apart wouldn’t.

A prince without the fixing, after all, is just a boy.

We don’t realize the scope of what we don’t know. What lies on the deep-sea floor or in the ether between stars?

But feuding has its own kind of intimacy.

“People are cruel when they have everything–more so, for fear of losing what they have.

“If something bad happens, — we’ll do what we always do when everything seems hopeless. — Hope.”

I’ll let you in on a little secret: I like it when my enemies underestimate me.

[He] sees the parts of me I don’t recognize for my own sake, the worry and joy I shrug away, and he’s known me long enough to be dangerous.

For as long as I’ve lived here, I’ve kept my roots shallow, but it’s home nonetheless.

GIVEAWAY:

Up for grabs we have ONE (1) finished copy of Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen. This giveaway will be available from July 24th to August 7th at 11:59 PM CST. Open to US residents only. No giveaway accounts allowed. To enter, click the (link/button) below!

GIVEAWAY LINK

I’d love to hear what you think of Violet Made of Thorns or any other books you’ve been loving lately!

Interesting in reading more perspectives on Violet Made of Thorns? Check out the blog tour schedule by clicking here!

2022 Challenges Check-in!

Uncategorized

Happy June, everyone! 2022 has been one of the most unexpected and challenging years of my life, and we’re only halfway through. I’ve been doing my best to power through (and some of the challenges have been really, really good, like co-founding my own bookish marketing company!) and juggle everything, but I learned an important lesson once about the importance of understanding which balls in your life are glass and which ones are plastic. Unfortunately, my bookish social media has been one of the plastic ones I’ve had to afford to let fall for a bit. I’m not sure I’m ready to start vlogging again just yet, but I have been getting some reading in, and today I’m here to tell you about the reading challenges I’ve been working on this year and do a mid-year check-in on my progress with them!

12-IN-12 – PART ONE

This challenge is to trade your favorites list from all-time/2021 with 12 friends, and each read one of each other’s favorites! I had 13 friends this year, but 2 of them submitted the same book, so this worked out perfectly. ✨

FRIEND #1 – LARA

SIX CRIMSON CRANES by Elizabeth Lim
My rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ || Review
Genre: YA Fantasy

Shiori, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control. At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted, but it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother.

Raikama has dark magic of her own, and she banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes, and warning Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.

Penniless, voiceless, and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and, on her journey, uncovers a conspiracy to overtake the throne—a conspiracy more twisted and deceitful, more cunning and complex, than even Raikama’s betrayal. Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in the very boy she fought so hard not to marry. And she must embrace the magic she’s been taught all her life to contain—no matter what it costs her.

Check out Lara’s post reading my favorite read here: TBA

FRIEND #2 – MELODY

THE POPPY WAR by R.F. Kuang
My rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ || Review
Genre: Coming-of-age Grimdark Military Fantasy

When Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in Nikan—was even more surprising.

But surprises aren’t always good.

Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.

For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .

Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.

Check out Melody’s post reading my favorite read here: TBA

FRIEND #3 – MEGAN

KINGDOM OF THE CURSED by Kerri Maniscalco
My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 || Review
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance

After selling her soul to become Queen of the Wicked, Emilia travels to the Seven Circles with the enigmatic Prince of Wrath, where she’s introduced to a seductive world of vice.

She vows to do whatever it takes to avenge her beloved sister, Vittoria…even if that means accepting the hand of the Prince of Pride, the king of demons.

The first rule in the court of the Wicked? Trust no one. With back-stabbing princes, luxurious palaces, mysterious party invitations, and conflicting clues about who really killed her twin, Emilia finds herself more alone than ever before. Can she even trust Wrath, her one-time ally in the mortal world…or is he keeping dangerous secrets about his true nature?

Emilia will be tested in every way as she seeks a series of magical objects that will unlock the clues of her past and the answers she craves…

Check out Megan’s post reading my favorite read here: TBA

FRIEND #4 – NIKOLETA

ASSASSIN’S APPRENTICE by Robin Hobb
My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ || Review
Genre: Adult High Fantasy

Young Fitz is the bastard son of the noble Prince Chivalry, raised in the shadow of the royal court by his father’s gruff stableman. He is treated as an outcast by all the royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has him secretly tutored in the arts of the assassin. For in Fitz’s blood runs the magic Skill–and the darker knowledge of a child raised with the stable hounds and rejected by his family.

As barbarous raiders ravage the coasts, Fitz is growing to manhood. Soon he will face his first dangerous, soul-shattering mission. And though some regard him as a threat to the throne, he may just be the key to the survival of the kingdom.

Check out Nikoleta’s video reading my favorite read here: These Violent Delights

FRIEND #5 – RYLANNE

LAKESEDGE by Lyndall Clipstone
My rating: ⭐⭐💫 || Review
Genre: YA Gothic Fantasy

When Violeta Graceling arrives at haunted Lakesedge estate, she expects to find a monster. She knows the terrifying rumors about Rowan Sylvanan, who drowned his entire family when he was a boy. But neither the estate nor the monster are what they seem.

As Leta falls for Rowan, she discovers he is bound to the Lord Under, the sinister death god lurking in the black waters of the lake. A creature to whom Leta is inexplicably drawn…

Now, to save Rowan—and herself—Leta must confront the darkness in her past, including unraveling the mystery of her connection to the Lord Under.

Check out Rylanne’s post reading my favorite read here: TBA

FRIEND #6 – NESSUH

THE INHERITANCE GAMES by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Current progress: 30%
Genre: YA Mystery Thriller

Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why–or even who Tobias Hawthorne is. To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man’s touch–and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes.

Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also occupied by the family that Tobias Hawthorne just dispossessed. This includes the four Hawthorne grandsons: dangerous, magnetic, brilliant boys who grew up with every expectation that one day, they would inherit billions. Heir apparent Grayson Hawthorne is convinced that Avery must be a con-woman, and he’s determined to take her down. His brother, Jameson, views her as their grandfather’s last hurrah: a twisted riddle, a puzzle to be solved. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive.

Check out Nessuh’s post reading my favorite read here: TBA

BECCA AND THE BOOKS CHALLENGE

This challenge is to read my favorite booktuber’s books from 2020! I’ve selected 5 books, and if she loved a sequel from a series I’m interested in, I cheated and picked book 1. ✨

#1 – HOUSE OF EARTH AND BLOOD by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ || Review
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.

As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.

BOOK 2 – Assassin’s Apprentice – listed above! ♥

#2 – RHAPSODIC by Laura Thalassa
My rating: DNF at 6% || Review
Genre: Adult Fantasy Romance

Callypso Lillis is a siren with a very big problem, one that stretches up her arm and far into her past. For the last seven years she’s been collecting a bracelet of black beads up her wrist, magical IOUs for favors she’s received. Only death or repayment will fulfill the obligations. Only then will the beads disappear.

Everyone knows that if you need a favor, you go to the Bargainer to make it happen. He’s a man who can get you anything you want… at a price. And everyone knows that sooner or later he always collects.

But for one of his clients, he’s never asked for repayment. Not until now. When Callie finds the fae king of the night in her room, a grin on his lips and a twinkle in his eye, she knows things are about to change. At first it’s just a chaste kiss—a single bead’s worth—and a promise for more.

For the Bargainer, it’s more than just a matter of rekindling an old romance. Something is happening in the Otherworld. Fae warriors are going missing one by one. Only the women are returned, each in a glass casket, a child clutched to their breast. And then there are the whispers among the slaves, whispers of an evil that’s been awoken.

If the Bargainer has any hope to save his people, he’ll need the help of the siren he spurned long ago. Only, his foe has a taste for exotic creatures, and Callie just happens to be one.

BOOK 3 – Assassin’s Apprentice – listed above! ♥

#4 – VERITY by Colleen Hoover
Current Progress: 🆘
Genre: Adult Psychological Thriller

Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died.

Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.

#5 – VICIOUS by V.E. Schwab
Current Progress: 🆘
Genre: YA Sci-Fi Fantasy

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

That’s all of them! Hopefully, I can come back again soon with the Mid-Year Freakout Tag! What have been your priority reads of 2022 and have you actually managed to read any of them?

Book Tour: An Arrow to the Moon by Emily X.R. Pan

book tour

Today’s bookish post is on a book I received from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and TBR and Beyond Tours!

I requested this book as I thoroughly enjoy fantasy books based on mythology/retellings. I’d just read both Daughter of the Moon Goddess and These Violent Delights based on the same two stories/myths, and really enjoyed those, so I assumed this one would be right up my alley. My review will be available on Goodreads.

Book Description: 

Title: An Arrow to the Moon
Author: Emily X.R. Pan
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Retelling
Publishing Date: April 12, 2022

Romeo and Juliet meets Chinese mythology in this magical novel by the New York Times bestselling author of The Astonishing Color of After.

Hunter Yee has perfect aim with a bow and arrow, but all else in his life veers wrong. He’s sick of
being haunted by his family’s past mistakes. The only things keeping him from running away are his
little brother, a supernatural wind, and the bewitching girl at his new high school.

Luna Chang dreads the future. Graduation looms ahead, and her parents’ expectations are stifling.
When she begins to break the rules, she finds her life upended by the strange new boy in her class,
the arrival of unearthly fireflies, and an ominous crack spreading across the town of Fairbridge.

As Hunter and Luna navigate their families’ enmity and secrets, everything around them begins to
fall apart. All they can depend on is their love…but time is running out,
and fate will have its way.

About the Author:

Emily X.R. Pan is the New York Times and National Indie bestselling author of THE ASTONISHING COLOR OF AFTER, which won the APALA Honor Award and the Walter Honor Award, and received six starred reviews. It was also an L.A. Times Book Prize finalist, longlisted for the Carnegie Medal, and named by TIME Magazine as one of the 100 Best YA Books of All Time. Emily co-created the FORESHADOW anthology and teaches creative writing at New York University and other institutions. She lives on Lenape land (in Brooklyn, New York), but was originally born in the Midwestern United States to immigrant parents from Taiwan. She received her MFA in fiction from the NYU Creative Writing Program, where she was a Goldwater Fellow as well as the editor-in-chief of Washington Square Review. She was the founding editor-in-chief of Bodega Magazine and has been awarded residencies at Djerassi (2017) and Caldera (2019). She spends her free time playing the mandolin, making art, and training her furry dog-beast to balance on strange objects. Her next novel, AN ARROW TO THE MOON, will be published by Little, Brown in April 2022.

Author Links:
Website
Instagram

Book Links:
Purchase Link
Goodreads

Read: April 2022

Star Rating TBA

“Sometimes it’s about telling yourself a story that helps you to have courage. And sometimes it’s about pushing yourself to try things that make you nervous.”

Today, I have the honor of getting to make up a mini playlist of songs that made me think of An Arrow to the Moon! I have written out reasons why they match the book, but some of them are spoiler-y, so these will have only vague explanations and you’ll just have to read the book to understand the other ones. 😉

Note: One of these songs may be considered NSFW due to sexual themes.

An Arrow to the Moon Playlist


• All Too Well – Taylor Swift

I walked through the door with you,
The air was cold,
But somethin’ bout it felt like home somehow —
And did the twin flame bruise paint you blue?
Just between us, did the love affair maim you too?
‘Cause in this city’s barren cold,
I still remember the first fall of snow,
And how it glistened as it fell.

(This one reminds me of the overall setting of the book and one of these lines feels like a spot-on description of Hunter and Luna’s connection.)

• Let’s Talk About Sex – Salt-n-Pepa

Let’s talk about sex, baby
Let’s talk about you and me
Let’s talk about all the good things
And the bad things that may be


(This one was actually in the book, and it was too entertaining, so I’ll always remember it when I think of my reading experience.)

• Starcrossed – Kacey Musgraves

Let me set the scene.
Two lovers ripped right at the seams,
They woke up from the perfect dream,
And then the darkness came…

(This story is a retelling of Romeo and Juliet, so we can’t have a playlist without a song about star-crossed lovers!)

• The Night We Met – Lord Huron

I am not the only traveler
Who has not repaid his debt.
I’ve been searching for a trail to follow again.
Take me back to the night we met,
And then I can tell myself
What the hell I’m supposed to do,
And then I can tell myself
Not to ride along with you.
I had all and then most of you,
Some and now none of you.
Take me back to the night we met.
I don’t know what I’m supposed to do,
Haunted by the ghost of you.

(This one reminds me of Hunter’s family for the first line. The rest reminds me of how An Arrow to the Moon relates to Chinese mythology and the story of Chang’e and Houyi.)

• All This and Heaven Too – Florence + the Machine

But with all my education,
I can’t seem to commend it.
And the words are all escaping me,
And coming back all damaged,
And I would put them back in poetry,
If I only knew how, I can’t seem to understand it,
And I would give all this and heaven too.
I would give it all if only for a moment.

And it talks to me in tiptoes,
And sings to me inside,
It cries out in the darkest night.

(This one reminds me of the 50-75% point of the book and when you learn the overall arc of the mystery, so no explanation there, but the second section reminds me of Luna and all of her scenes involving night and fireflies and the moon!)

• My Tears Are a Sea – M83

I’m slowly drifting to
You.
The stars and the planets
Are calling me.
A billion years away from you.
I’m on my way.

(If this book were a movie or TV show, this is what would play as the last scene faded out to the credits.)

I’d love to hear what you think of An Arrow to the Moon or any other books you’ve been loving lately!

Interesting in reading more thoughts on An Arrow to the Moon? Check out the blog tour schedule here!

Newsletter Tour: NIGHT BEATS EU

Uncategorized

[Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post originally posted by Valkyrie Visionaries! Check out the original post here.]

Valkyrie Visionaries is so excited to introduce you to Night Beats and the team behind the community cultivated specifically for authors who are looking for a village to support them. 

Below, you will find an interview with Zilla, Rachel, and Sabitha as they share more about Night Beats, the inspiration behind their newsletter, and what you can expect from jumping on it. 

Trust us, the Wrong Genre Covers alone are a hilarious way to start your month!

Plus, at the end of this blog, we’re sharing all of the details on an awesome giveaway that you don’t want to miss.

Without further ado, let’s get into it ✨

Tell us a little bit about Night Beats! Who are you? What do you do? What’s the inspiration behind Night Beats?

Sabitha: We’re a group of friends creating a shared universe that’s Creative Commons and open for anyone to use. We’ve worked together brainstorming and beta reading various projects for a few years, and created Night Beats out of a need to have pop culture references in our projects that wouldn’t seem dated. When it turned out that actually, quite a lot of writers have a need for such a thing, we started referring to our various projects as the Night Beats Extended Universe.

I’m an activist and blogger who loves great books and terrible TV shows. The inspirations behind Night Beats for me were the low-budget, ridiculous TV shows like Forever Knight and X-Files that I watched as a teenager—the kind that you know are objectively awful, but are nevertheless the springboard for discussion, debate, and fan communities. I think in our hearts, all of us wanted to create something that would spark that level of engagement and being meta and ironic and self-referential about it just came naturally.

Rachel: I’m an educator, slacktivist, graphic designer, editor, and writer—not necessarily in that order. My first novel, Cascade, is coming out in the spring from BumblePuppy Press. It’s an adult, political fantasy set in what’s more or less our world, where magic has been re-awoken by climate change. Within the story, Night Beats is a cultural touchstone for my characters to describe their various relationships to a tumultuous, dangerous milieu.

Zilla: I’m a disaster bisexual. But then, it’s 2022, and I challenge you to find any millennial who’s not a disaster. I’m shopping around my novel Reprise, and writing about how miserable the experience is in a novella called Query

When I wrote Reprise I kept running into the problem of quiet moments. I needed something for my character to do on a Thursday night so she could be interrupted by a significant phone call or something she could talk about on a first date. Night Beats was the answer. A TV show that fits perfectly into any plotline, because it was fictional. 

Shared art is rad. The only thing we ask is that artists who use Night Beats tell us so we can scream about how much we love them on the Night Beats website. It’s so special to see a story grow in ways we would never have expected.

What inspired you to cultivate a community for authors?

Zilla: It takes a village to write a novel. Everyone needs cheerleaders, beta readers, editors, marketers, friends. Writing can be a really lonely place before you find your community. Stories are meant to be shared. 

Rachel: For some reason, I’m incapable of being concise. I keep tackling these big ambitious projects that take over my life. The first draft of Cascade was 140,000 words, took me about five years to write, and it’s the first of a trilogy. When you have something that large and complex, you absolutely need other people to bounce ideas off of, people who you trust enough to criticize the parts of your story that aren’t working, and people who love your characters enough to push you through to the end. 

Sabitha: Also we’re all a bunch of socialists, so we like to share.

Let’s talk about your newsletter!

What can authors expect from jumping on it? And how often do you send newsletter blasts out?

Zilla: Easy question first—we’re on a monthly schedule. Not always on the first day of each month, because it’s 2022 and life is a lot. But within the first few days of each month, you’ll get a newsletter in your inbox!

Rachel: Plus, when you sign up, you’ll get access to a deleted chapter from Cascade.

What sort of writing content will be included in your newsletters?

Zilla: Our newsletter is built for readers and writers. 

Sabitha: And cat lovers.

Zilla: And cat lovers, of course. But besides the cat pictures, we have the Book Report Corner, where we tell you what we love about new and old favorite books. We have Announcements to let you know about delightful book giveaways, fantastic new releases, and free writing workshops. 

You don’t have to be a writer to sign up for our newsletter, but if you are, you’ll find a lot to love! If you are in the midst of a WIP, we will beta read a snippet and include it in the newsletter. Valkyrie Visionaries offers paid beta reading, which is rad if you want deep feedback on a longer piece. If you want to share an excerpt to get some supportive comments and a bit of exposure, that’s us. 

Our readers really love that section too. They like to see the fantastic writing in the Night Beats community and they like seeing the process of beta reading between friends.

Rachel: Writer’s block is a challenge for everyone, so we also include writing prompts to inspire you. Such as: You thought you’d lost this book twenty years ago. Your fingers tremble as you lift the cover. You know what you’ll find inside.

Do you have a favorite category/beat you enjoy writing about for the newsletter?

Rachel: Wrong Genre Covers. This is pretty much what it says on the package: Someone suggests a well-known book and a genre that it is definitely not, and I redesign the cover to fit that genre. February readers got to see Fahrenheit 451 as a steamy romance, where the only thing hotter than the books was their love. 

Zilla: Rachel Rosen is a professional graphic designer who does covers for a couple of Canadian presses, so getting a first peek at what she designs before it goes in the newsletter is a gift. Anyone can suggest a Wrong Genre Cover on Twitter or by emailing us, so I get the extra bonus of being the first person to see all the suggestions. 

Rachel: Valkyrie Visionaries challenged me to do Lord of the Rings as a Bachelor-style romance, which was a bit complicated as I’ve never seen the Bachelor.

Sabitha: You wouldn’t like it.

Rachel: I would not. But I’m always up for a design challenge, so I hope you guys like it!

Sabitha: I really enjoy the roundtable discussions. I interview Rachel and Zilla about a theme, and we all get to nerd out about some of our favorite subjects in fiction.

Zilla: As an unashamed lover of all things feline, my favorite feature is the cat photos. We’ve promised to take reader submissions of dog photos as well, but so far it’s been non-stop cats and I think that’s beautiful. 

How can people sign up?

Zilla: The easiest way is through this link! But if you want to check out some of the other artists in the Night Beats Extended Universe, check out our website. And the newsletter link is there too.

GIVEAWAY: Enter to win a copy of the Author’s World Builder with Rainbow by Chapel Orahamm!

Because Zilla, Rachel, and Sabitha love the writing community so much, they couldn’t do this promotional tour without including a giveaway! 

You can enter to win a copy of the Author’s World Builder with Rainbow by Chapel Orahamm (who wrote this book because they’re an editor and they wanted something to show their clients how to flesh out world-building in greater detail).

To win a copy of this book, follow the steps in this tweet! 🙌

Book Tour: Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan

Uncategorized

Today’s bookish post is on a book I received from Harper Voyager and Turn the Page Tours!

This is a debut novel, so obviously my first experience with the author, but I had already placed this book on my TBR thanks to an e-ARC from Netgalley and was drawn in immediately by this masterfully elegant cover and synopsis involving both Chinese mythology and elemental abilities!

Book Description: 

TITLE: Daughter of the Moon Goddess
AUTHOR: Sue Lynn Tan
PUBLISHER: HarperVoyagerUS
RELEASE DATE: January 11th, 2022
GENRES: Fantasy, Mythology, YA Retelling

A captivating debut fantasy inspired by the legend of Chang’e, the Chinese moon goddess, in which a young woman’s quest to free her mother pits her against the most powerful immortal in the realm.

Growing up on the moon, Xingyin is accustomed to solitude, unaware that she is being hidden from the feared Celestial Emperor who exiled her mother for stealing his elixir of immortality. But when Xingyin’s magic flares and her existence is discovered, she is forced to flee her home, leaving her mother behind.

Alone, powerless, and afraid, she makes her way to the Celestial Kingdom, a land of wonder and secrets. Disguising her identity, she seizes an opportunity to learn alongside the emperor’s son, mastering archery and magic, even as passion flames between her and the prince.

To save her mother, Xingyin embarks on a perilous quest, confronting legendary creatures and vicious enemies across the earth and skies. But when treachery looms and forbidden magic threatens the kingdom, she must challenge the ruthless Celestial Emperor for her dream—striking a dangerous bargain in which she is torn between losing all she loves or plunging the realm into chaos.
Daughter of the Moon Goddess begins an enchanting, romantic duology which weaves ancient Chinese mythology into a sweeping adventure of immortals and magic—where love vies with honor, dreams are fraught with betrayal, and hope emerges triumphant.

About the Author:

Sue Lynn Tan writes fantasy inspired by the myths and legends she fell in love with as a child. Born in Malaysia, she studied in London and France, before settling in Hong Kong with her family.

Her love for stories began with a gift from her father, her first compilation of fairytales from around the world. After devouring every fable she could find in the library, she discovered fantasy books – spending much of her childhood lost in magical worlds. When not writing or reading, she enjoys exploring the hills and reservoirs of Hong Kong, the temples, beaches and narrow winding streets here.

Her debut, Daughter of the Moon Goddess, will be published by Harper Voyager in early 2022, with a sequel to come. It is an enchanting fantasy of love and family, immortals and magic – inspired by the beloved Chinese legend of Chang’e flying to the moon upon taking the elixir of immortality.

Author Links:
Website
Instagram

Book Links:
Purchase Link
Goodreads

Read: January 2022

Star Rating TBA

“You’ll never grow if you only do what you’re good at — The most difficult things are often the most worthwhile.”

My review will be up soon on Goodreads (but I can spoil that my thoughts on this book have been almost entirely positive!!!), but today I get to show you some of my favorite quotes! Due to a couple family emergencies, I am still finishing this book, so I will be adding to this list if I find anything that speaks to me more than these!

If you haven’t read the book, don’t worry! I haven’t included any that seemed spoiler-y or had references to any character names!

Favorite Quotes

Their unkindness only had as much power as I gave it–

Oh, my situation was still dire but my spirit, while bruised, was unbroken.

This sliver of hope was a breath of fresh air in my stagnant existence.

I was no longer content to feign indifference nor hold my tongue against insult.

“You’ll never grow if you only do what you’re good at,” she had said. “The most difficult things are often the most worthwhile.”

How warm his smile, like a ray of sunshine had slid into the solitude of my soul.

…had this urge–this desire to win–always run in my veins?

A silver storm; fierce, relentless, untamed.

I’d love to hear what you think of Daughter of the Moon Goddess or any other books you’ve been loving lately!

Interesting in reading more perspectives on Daughter of the Moon Goddess? Check out the blog tour schedule here!

Book Review: Unsteady by Nicole Northwood

Uncategorized

(BLOG TOUR: OF FICTION & FANTASY)

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author as part of a paid freelance project! My thoughts and opinions in this review are honest and my own.

Book Description: 

When Lincoln’s ex-girlfriend attacks him outside of the bar where he works, he doesn’t expect the confrontation to be thwarted by a baseball bat-wielding nursing student from the Collège de Saint Laurent.

As Molly Catherine takes Lincoln to her apartment and treats his injuries, a surprise New Year’s Eve storm sets in and turns the city of Duchamp into a blanket of snow and ice. Downed tree branches and power lines cut off electricity, and in the dark of the long night, MC and Lincoln quickly connect both emotionally and physically. When the power finally comes back on and the plows begin to dig out the city, MC and Lincoln are left to decide what will melt first: the snow, or their instant connection. 

About the Author:

Nicole Northwood

NICOLE NORTHWOOD writes romance with a little spice: paranormal, contemporary, and fantasy stories for adults set in lush worlds that feature strong protagonists, deep emotions to dig into, and frequent appearances by supernatural beings. She has also previously published middle grade, young adult, and new adult fiction as NICOLE BEA. Nicole and her husband share their home in Eastern Canada with a collection of multi-colored cats, a cupboard stuffed with tea, and a lifetime’s worth of books.


Author Links:
Website
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads

Book Links:
Amazon (Physical available now, e-book RELEASES TOMORROW and will be available on Kindle Unlimited!)
Goodreads

Read: Jan 4-11

⭐⭐⭐⭐

“We are both something, and aren’t anything, all at once.”

Unsteady is a romance novella set on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s day following bartender Lincoln and ‘baseball bat-wielding nursing student’ Molly Catherine(MC)! After a surprise confrontation with his ex, where he is saved by MC (we love a bad*ss female lead here), the two of them end up caught in a snowstorm back at her apartment! Will their immediate chemistry lead to a one-night stand or something more?

As a personal disclaimer, I generally read 400-page minimum tomes, and only pick up novellas if they’re built into series with said tomes! I also mostly prefer slow-burn romances, so while I am not the ideal reader of this particular story, I still found myself surprised by how much I enjoyed reading it anyway.

I have read plenty of intended one-night stands, but especially in fantasy, they seem to often fast forward to later the next day, or the morning after conversation is interrupted by a side/minor character. I found it refreshing to see a more realistic take on the potentially awkward navigating conversations afterward!

My favorite part of this story was the writing in general! I found myself laughing multiple times at the witty dialogue and loved the attention to detail in each scene. I will absolutely read more books by Nicole in the future! 

Would recommend to lovers of: sweet + steamy + wintry stories, contemporary romance, & novellas!

GIVEAWAY:

In collaboration with this tour, Nicole is giving away an e-book copy of UNSTEADY! To enter, make sure to do both the below steps:

1. Comment below with your favorite holiday
2. Submit this form!

Giveaway starts: Thursday, January 13, 2022
Giveaway ends: Thursday, January 19, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. EST

Winner will be drawn on January 20, 2022!

I’d love to hear what you think of Unsteady or what other books you’ve been loving lately!

Book Review: Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

Uncategorized

(BLOG TOUR: TURN THE PAGE TOURS)

Today’s book review is on an e-book I received from Margaret K. McElderry Books and Turn the Page Tours in exchange for an honest review!

I have never read a book by Margaret Rogerson before, and this was an impulse tour request based on the hauntingly beautiful cover and intriguing synopsis.

Book Description: 

From the New York Times bestselling author of Sorcery of Thorns and An Enchantment of Ravens comes a thrilling new YA fantasy about a teen girl with mythic abilities who must defend her world against restless spirits of the dead. The dead of Loraille do not rest. Artemisia is training to be a Gray Sister, a nun who cleanses the bodies of the deceased so that their souls can pass on; otherwise, they will rise as spirits with a
ravenous hunger for the living. She would rather deal with the dead than the living, who trade whispers about her scarred hands and troubled past. When her convent is attacked by possessed soldiers, Artemisia defends it by awakening an ancient spirit bound to a saint’s relic. It is a revenant, a malevolent being that threatens to possess her the moment she drops her guard. Wielding its extraordinary power almost consumes her —
but death has come to Loraille, and only a vespertine, a priestess trained to wield a high relic, has any chance of stopping it. With all knowledge of vespertines lost to time, Artemisia turns to the last remaining expert for
help: the revenant itself.

As she unravels a sinister mystery of saints, secrets, and dark magic, her bond with the revenant grows. And when a hidden evil begins to surface, she discovers that facing this enemy might require her to betray everything she has been taught to believe — if the revenant doesn’t betray her first.

About the Author:

Margaret Rogerson is the New York Times best-selling author of An Enchantment of Ravens and Sorcery of Thorns. She has a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology from Miami University. When not reading or writing she enjoys sketching, gaming, making pudding, and watching more documentaries than is socially acceptable (according to some). She lives near Cincinnati, Ohio, beside a garden full of hummingbirds and roses.

Author Links:

http://www.margaretrogerson.com/
https://twitter.com/MarRogerson
https://www.instagram.com/margaret_rogerson/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15455603.Margaret_Rogerson

Book Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56980403-vespertine
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Vespertine-Margaret-Rogerson/dp/153447711X/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=vespertine&qid=1632664094&sr=8-1
Indiebound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781534477117

Read: Sep 10 – Oct 1

⭐⭐⭐⭐ 💫

“They weren’t bad people, just people who had been through too much.”

Vespertine follows Artemisia, one of many girls with the Sight who are taken as children to be raised in a convent and trained to become Gray Sisters. This means they have the ability to see spirits and the ability to defend others from them, but are also the most likely to be possessed.

Artemisia’s plans, which involve staying entirely to herself and essentially working at a medieval morgue for the rest of her days, are abruptly torn to pieces when her convent is attacked by possessed soldiers and she ends up bound to an ancient and powerful spirit called a revenant. Will the revenant overpower and possess her or will she manage to wield its power to save her nation?

I have never read a book by Margaret Rogerson before, and this was an impulse tour request based on the hauntingly beautiful cover and intriguing synopsis. I imagined this would be a three-star read for the first part of the book, as the main character felt unrelatable and my intrigue to continue was low, but BOY WAS I WRONG.

By the end of this book, I cared about not only Artemisia, but every human and soul she encountered on her journey. All of these characters were so morally grey that you’re constantly left wondering who to like or trust or hate, and I couldn’t put this book down after the halfway mark.

I have a wild theory as to more of the plot that seemed to be left purposely unrevealed in case there’s a sequel, and I still stand by hoping I’m correct about someone’s hidden identity if I didn’t misread, but even if it is a standalone novel, it was still a wild ride!

Rogerson’s writing is nothing short of magical, and I eagerly await getting my hands on her two already published books after this.

Would recommend to lovers of: spooky reads, slow burn friendships, morally grey characters, & YA Fantasy!

GIVEAWAY:

Up for grabs on the book blog tour is two (2) copies of VESPERTINE by Margaret Rogerson, one a physical finished copy and one a digital copy. Open USA only.

Giveaway starts: Monday, September 27, 2021

Giveaway ends: Saturday, October 9, 2021 at 12:00 a.m. CDT

GIVEAWAY LINK

I’d love to hear what you think of Vespertine or what other books you’ve been loving lately!

Interesting in reading more perspectives on Vespertine? Check out the blog tour schedule here!

Book Review: A Dragonbird in the Fern by Laura Rueckert

Uncategorized

(BLOG TOUR: TBR AND BEYOND TOURS)

Today’s book review is on an e-book I received from Flux Books and TBR and Beyond Tours in exchange for an honest review!

I discovered this book on the tour signs ups for TBR and Beyond Tours, and was immediately intrigued by this book! Not only did it have a stunning cover, but it has one of my favorite tropes: arranged marriage!

Book Description: 

When an assassin kills Princess Jiara’solder sister Scilla, her vengeful ghost is doomed to walk theircity of glittering canals, tormenting loved ones until the murderer is brought to justice. While theentire kingdom mourns, Scilla’s betrothed arrives and requests that seventeen-year-old Jiara takeher sister’s place as his bride to confirm the alliance between their countries.

Marrying the young king intended for her sister and traveling to his distant home is distressing enough, but with dyslexia and years of scholarly struggles, Jiara abandoned any hope of learning other languages long ago. She’s terrified of life in a foreign land where she’ll be unable to communicate.

Then Jiara discovers evidence that her sister’s assassin comes from the king’s own country. If she marries the king, Jiara can hunt the murderer and release her family from Scilla’s ghost, whose thirst for blood mounts every day. To save her family, Jiara must find her sister’s killer . . . before he murders her too.

About the Author:

Laura Rueckert is a card-carrying bookworm who manages projects by day. At night, fueled by European chocolate, she transforms into a writer of young adult science fiction and fantasy novels. Laura grew up in Michigan, USA, but a whirlwind romance after college brought her to Europe. Today, she lives in Germany with her husband, two kids, and one fluffy dog.

Author Links:

Website: https://www.laurarueckert.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LauraRueckert
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/laura_rueckert_writes/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19365618.Laura_Rueckert

Book Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50674206-a-dragonbird-in-the-fern
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dragonbird-Fern-Laura-Rueckert/dp/1635830656/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=A+Dragonbird+in+the+Fern+by+Laura+Rueckert&qid=1623033868&sr=8-1
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-dragonbird-in-the-fern-laura-rueckert/1136068601
Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Dragonbird-Fern-Laura-Rueckert/9781635830651
IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781635830651

Read: July 8 – July 20

⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Those no longer here left so much behind. Expectations, reputations.”

A Dragonbird in the Fern follows Jiara, a seventeen-year-old princess from a beautiful oceanside kingdom who has just lost her older sister, Scilla. Jiara, who had her own quiet life carefully planned out for years, is now forced to live in the shadows of Scilla, taking on her roles and marrying the betrothed she left behind. This betrothed, Raffar, is a young king from a foreign land, with different weather, culture, and an entirely different language. As if this wasn’t enough of a challenge, Jiara must also try and solve the death of her sister, before her sister’s ghost murders their entire family out of spite. Can she handle her responsibility and avenge her sister before she runs out of time?

I am a sucker for the arranged marriage trope, so I signed up for this tour with no hesitation! Boy, was I in for a treat. The arranged marriage is one of my favorites I’ve read, and Jiara and Raffar are such sweethearts. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen dyslexia represented in a book other than the Percy Jackson series, so that was great to see as well.

The writing in A Dragonbird in the Fern is an atmospheric delight and learning about each kingdom and its customs, religions, culinary dishes, and geography was lovely. I also enjoyed that while this book is heavily about Jiara’s marriage and growing accustomed to a new country, the romance is not at all rushed, and actually not even the primary part of the story? This book touches on many different ways the word ‘family’ can be defined, on the pressures and responsibilities of trying to live up to familial expectations and reputations, and the challenges of learning a new language through immersion culture! As someone who learned American Sign Language through classes, social outings, and week-long immersion camps where we were not allowed to communicate in any other method than ASL, I found this incredibly relatable and realistic.

I am not the most avid reader of thrillers/mysteries, but the mystery aspect of the plot kept me on my toes throughout the entire plot, too! I kept making different guesses, and while I did at one point almost guess correctly, I quickly changed my suspicions to someone else.

I would absolutely try another book by Laura Rueckert as A Dragonbird in the Fern ended up being right up my alley!

Would recommend to lovers of: arranged marriages, slow burn romances, mysteries, and family bonds!

In addition to my review, here are some of my FAVORITE QUOTES from the book (I tried to exclude any spoiler-y faves)!

“Those no longer here left so much behind. Expectations, reputations. Scilla, with her intelligence and ambition, lived in my heart too.”

“I groaned. He was telling me my language skills were getting better, and yet, I’d barely understood the sentence he’d used to say it.

(I felt this so hard from experience HAHA!!)

“–how can I expect my people to follow the laws set by my family if I don’t have the strength myself?”

“A day away would be good. Fresh air, a soul bath in green.”

“But sometimes, a decision had to be made that wasn’t the way things had always been done. Sometimes the best decision wasn’t popular.”

“I’ve always liked coming here in the mornings. You’re all alone. No one needs anything from you and the world below is blanketed in clouds, safe and perfect.”

I’d love to hear what you thought of A Dragonbird in the Fern or what other books you’ve been loving lately!

Interesting in hearing more perspectives on Spark to Shadow? Check out the blog tour schedule here!

Book Review: Spark to Shadow by Atima Kim

Uncategorized

(BLOG TOUR: TBR AND BEYOND TOURS)

Today’s book review is on an e-book I received from Atima Kim and TBR and Beyond Tours in exchange for an honest review!

I discovered this book on the tour signs ups for TBR and Beyond Tours, and was immediately intrigued by the premise of a Thailand-inspired coven matron heir on a political quest to choose a consort while fighting monsters. Special shoutout to Amanda from Bookish Brews whose Goodreads review really sold me on applying for this tour!

Book Description: 

Witch. Warrior. Dragon Rider.

Long ago, the covens of the east made a pact to bring peace to the continent. To unite the clans and create a new era of witches, starting with the next generation of matrons. Fang is the first witch of her generation to reach her debut, as the next matron of her coven she has the unique honor of being the first one to fulfill the pact. For the first time in centuries, a Miangese witch will take a foreign consort. Luckily, Fang already has someone in mind. Taken in by the Sun coven in the mountain kingdom of Anda, Fang is more than happy to entertain the alluring young lords of the ruby clan as they compete to win her affections, not knowing her choice has already been made. Or so she thought. Until a chance encounter brings to light the existence of something Fang previously thought to be quite rare, a male witch. The meeting of this young shadow witch— a boy who Fang now owes a debt— starts a chain of events that will make Fang question everything she thought she knew about her Andan allies. In an effort to help him escape his oppressors, Fang and the shadow witch discover a dark presence that is slowly poisoning the innocent citizens of mortal Anda, and a dangerous weapon that could threaten the very peace of the pact that Fang is bound to uphold. As she, her friends, and her new shadow witch companion work to fight against these looming forces, Fang’s feelings towards her own choices slowly start to shift. She must decide what is more important to her, who she wants by her side, and most of all- what she’s willing to give up in order to be the leader her people need.

About the Author:

Atima has been coming up with stories for as long as she can remember. As soon as she learned how to read and write she was putting pen to paper and dreaming up new worlds and adventure. Her life has always been on the page and as she grew up and her interests changed so did her writing. She loves creating places to escape, and more than anything she loves writing about love. She was born in the Midwestern US, to a Thai mother and American father. Her home has always been a mix of languages and cultures, and remains so today. She likes to draw on the places and people and culture that influence her life as inspiration in her writing and she hopes to join the ranks of other Asian American authors representing diverse cultures and voices in the writing community through her books.

Author Links:

Website: https://atimakim.wixsite.com/website
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ankimauthor/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20959995.Atima_Kim
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/A-N-Kim-Author-103940181214313/?eid=ARAdfVAXhhD7kPGjrzh7r0JcrNoegHeFFTNah4DDhuRd616wjJuBasiAfnimEHPP3Cdfv_sdQ399P399

Book Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56244810-spark-to-shadow
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Spark-Shadow-Atima-Kim/dp/1735796905/ref=sr_1_1?adid=082VK13VJJCZTQYGWWCZ&campaign=211041&creative=374001&dchild=1&keywords=Spark+to+Shadow&qid=1610043041&s=books&sr=1-1&tag=x_gr_w_bb_sin-20
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/spark-to-shadow-atima-kim/1138473612?ean=9781735796901
Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Spark-Shadow-Atima-Kim/9781735796901?ref=grid-view&qid=1610043266839&sr=1-1
IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781735796901

Read: May 4 – May 15

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Why is it so hard for you to believe that I might genuinely care what happens to you?”

Spark to Shadow follows Fang, the next matron of her coven, as she travels to the kingdom of Anda to meet her new foreign consort. The kicker? She gets to choose, and there are twelve handsome options! Easy enough, right? While debating whether to follow her heart or her head, Fang also has to deal with a dangerous series of events that occur along the way.

This book has the vibes of The Bachelorette meets a gorgeous Thailand inspired warrior witch coven meets slow burn soulmates meets dragons and monsters, which had me very hesitant that I would enjoy it (I hate any of those dating reality shows), but I am SO glad to have been proved wrong!!

The red string theory is a legend that you are connected to your soulmate by a red string that, no matter how tangled, will eventually lead you to them. This is one of my favorite myths, and I actually squealed in delight to discover it in this book.

Despite the main plot being for Fang to find her consort, the romance in this story is what I would consider a slow burn, and I wholeheartedly enjoyed it! I loved getting to see everyone’s friendships grow, and the strength of the bonds with Fang’s coven members, as well as her relationships with the other allied covens!

I would absolutely read more if this series continues, or anything else Atima Kim decides to gift us with!

Would recommend to lovers of: elemental powers, slow burn romances, dragons, strong female leads, and sister bonds!

In addition to my review, here are some of my FAVORITE QUOTES from the book (I tried to exclude my spoiler-y faves)!

“The fact that any of you are willing to come and try, that gives me hope that maybe we might find a way.”

“Am I asking too much? Is it selfish of me to just want to get it right and be happy with who I choose?”

“You feel sad sometimes so that you can also feel happy. You can feel anger so that you can also feel peace. You feel alone so that eventually you can feel loved.”

“Why is it so hard for you believe that I might genuinely care what happens to you?”

“You’re as good as family to us now.”

“I mean that you see me the way no one else does, like I’m someone that exists as something other than as the thing you see on the outside.”

“That’s my chicken.” I corrected, “And I’ve appointed Sanha temporary chicken keeper.”

“There is no wrong choice, only choices that have consequences.”



I’d love to hear what you thought of Spark to Shadow or what other books you’ve been loving lately!

Interesting in hearing more perspectives on Spark to Shadow? Check out the blog tour schedule here!

Book Review: Elements of Power by Kate Stoessel

Uncategorized

(BLOG TOUR: TURN THE PAGE TOURS)

Today’s book review is on both a physical copy I received from Kate Stoessel and e-book I received from BookSirens and Rhodes & Co in exchange for an honest review!

I discovered this book on the tour sign ups for Turn the Page Tours, and was immediately interested in the premise of a witchy academy full of elementals!

Book Description: 

The Council of the Harvest Moon was established to maintain peace among the witches, fairies, vampires, and mermaids of the United States. However, old feuds die hard and as the powers of fairies wane with the destruction of natural environments, the witches rise with a rigid societal structure designed to assert their supremacy as the most powerful supernatural beings in the modern world.

As the descendant of two prominent New England witching families, Khlorie Lethestone’s life was destined to fit into the neat, color-coded boxes established by the American Continental Coven (ACC). When it is discovered that Khlorie has powers beyond that of a typical witch, she is sent to Spindlewick College, a secret institution designed to help witches develop non-conforming gifts into tools for the greater good of witching society. Once there, she meets the attractive, but distant Perry Prentice, who is assigned to help her understand her gifts. But becoming one of the most powerful witches in the world means that you are watched closely, and Khlorie learns that there are secrets she must keep hidden to survive.

Author Bio:

Kate Stoessel is a Middle Grades and Young Adult author specializing in Fantasy. She wrote her first novel, Erine Pershings and the Golden Lyre, because she could not find interesting and informative historical fiction that explored the daily lives of women and children in Ancient Athens. The Council of the Harvest moon series represents Kate’s first foray into Young Adult Fantasy, her favorite genre as a reader. She knows how transportive a fantasy story can be, and hopes to give her readers the same experience of wonder and escape. Whether Middle Grades or YA, Kate is committed to creating characters that feel as authentic and real as the students she works with everyday as a classroom teacher.

She has a B.A. degree in Classical Civilizations from Colby College and a M.S.Ed in Museum Education and Childhood Education from the Bank Street School of Education. Kate lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband, Jack, son, Augie, and two dogs, Artemis and Apollo.

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56797258-elements-of-power

Book Purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08TV7VMSC/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

Author Links:

https://katestoessel.com/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14622941.Kate_Stoessel
https://www.instagram.com/kate_e_stoessel/
https://twitter.com/edukatemuseums?lang=en
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCucCPTbCIEITjRnF10AsBtg

Read: Mar 15 – Apr 1

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

“The most dangerous people in this world are those who seem like they could never be dangerous.”

This book follows Khlorie Lethestone, a witch about to graduate at the top of her class, but who somehow has not managed to be categorized into a specialization. In this world, all witches are given their specialization by the time of graduation, where they will then go to a specific university and wear a matching color for the rest of their career. I found this incredibly interesting and was so appreciative of the specialization color chart included in the beginning of the book that I could go back to and reference when needed.

Once her famous mother steps in, Khlorie’s school informs her that she is simply too powerful for one specialty, and must instead be enrolled in the secret and exclusive Spindlewick Academy to train her skills. She also is informed that she is incredibly powerful in all four elements, even though she is completely unaware of it yet. At Spindlewick, she meets other powerful students, and begins to unravel dangerous secrets about her past!

I gave this book three stars, which for me means it was a good book! The premise, the world, and the species were all intriguing, especially in regards to a plot twist towards the end. I loved both Itzel and Morpheus as well!

There were, however, a few tropes in this book that are some of my least favorites. That does not make this is a bad book by any means, but perhaps not the perfect one for me personally. I strongly dislike the “chosen one” trope, or where a character is extremely powerful off the bat compared to all their practiced peers/enemies/mentors, so I found it difficult to connect to Khlorie. I also found the romance too rushed, but I am someone who thoroughly enjoys slow burns, so take that with a grain of salt. Despite this, I would still consider the series to find out what happens to the rest of the group!

Would recommend to lovers of: a magical world full of witches, mermaids, fairies, and vampires where everyone is hiding something and you don’t know who to trust!

I’d love to hear what you thought of Elements of Power or what other books you’ve loved in this beginning of springtime!

Interested in Elements of Power? Check out the giveaway hosted by Turn the Page Tours here for the chance to win a signed copy!

Details: The prize is a signed finished copy of Elements of Power. The giveaway will run Monday, April 5, 2021 – Monday, April 12, 2021. There will be 1 winner, and it is eligible to USA mailing addresses only.