Thursday, June 22, 2017

Review: Scalding Ice and Goldfire by Avie Adams

Title: Scalding Ice and Goldfire
Author: Avie Adams
Series: Lost Souls
Publication: December 30th 2016

Genre: Dark Fantasy Romance
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 5/5

A girl of fire should never fall for a man of ice.
When Lyvie accepts a silly bet to kiss a random Reviver in the Tower of Whims, she doesn’t know the first thing about men. Then she chances upon one who becomes her obsession.

Only she couldn’t have chosen worse.

In hot pursuit of a man as handsome as he is cold, she abandons her best friend and ignores mounting perils in her new chapel, ultimately sacrificing her pride to secure his attention. Blinded by infatuation, she overlooks a Reviver who undertakes to mend her life before it unravels completely… whose unstinting aid goes far beyond friendship.

Navigating the twisted path of desire, Lyvie soon discovers that in the glamorous Tower of Whims, people obey only one law - that of attraction. And one rule.

That there are no rules.

"Scalding Ice and Goldfire" is a standalone dark fantasy romance set in the world of Malvaar, and is best enjoyed after "Incanta" and "Reviver Amond".


When I started writing this review I didn't expect it would end up this long. This book was just so good! ♥

The Lost Souls series by Avie Adams has turned into my new favorite series that I've read this year. It's the biggest surprise for me of the year as well. These books are true gems. And this one, Scalding Ice and Goldfire ended up being my favorite of them all. I absolutely loved it and could not put the book down. 

This book takes place around the same time as Incanta Soul-Catcher but revolves mainly about Lyvie, a new Incanta who got a place with a Reviver in a chapel where she doesn't have it easy at all being a second Incanta to the first Incanta loaths her and really has it out for Lyvie. In the meanwhile she gets hopelessly infatuated with the coldhearted Zeitlin (who we also know from Incanta)

As flawed as she was, I really liked Lyvie. She really goes through hell during this book, but we can also see a big change in her towards the end. It was such great character developement! Her obsession with Zeitlin was quite intense, slightly extreme and sometimes I wondered why she did this to herself but it all did serve a purpose in the end, which I was glad about.

I'm also glad this book delved more into the character of Zeitlin because it made me look at him in a whole different way than I did in Incanta. He has suffered so many awful things in his life so I understand him more now and his decisions. It totally changed my whole perspective of him.

There were so many new secondary characters that I just loved. Mari and Ree were my two favorites. As well as Kair, who I thought was pretty brilliant. Mari was such a good friend to Lyvie and I just really adored Ree and kept wishing he would end up with Lyvie (of course I won't say if they do end up together. No spoilers!)

And just like I said before in my reviews of the other books, the writing is absolutely gorgeous. My opinion on that will probably never change. It's a delight to read this book word for word, page after page, chapter after chapter. 

Overall, Scalding Ice and Goldfire by Avie Adams was yet another great addition to the Lost Souls series. The world the author has created is so very unique and addictive. I really can't get enough these dark fantasy books. I loved it! 



Find my reviews of the other books here:
Incanta Soul-Catcher - 4.5 stars
Reviver Amond - 4.5 stars



About Avie:
At school, Avie busied herself with drawing comics about escaping school. It wasn't an option, of course.
So she'd escape into reading. Her first reads were pure fantasy: fairy tales, preferably ambiguous, as well as myths from around the world and pretty much anything with a dark fantasy element in it.
She never thought she would write, but creating living and breathing dark worlds was too much of a temptation.
For artwork and updates visit www.avieadams.com


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Artist’s Muse by Kerry Postle

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. It's based on Waiting On Wednesday hosted at Breaking the Spine.



The Artist’s Muse by Kerry Postle
Expected publication: August 25th 2017 by HQ Digital

Vienna 1907
Wally Neuzil must find a way to feed her family. Having failed in many vocations, Wally has one last shot: esteemed artist Gustav Klimt needs a muse, and Wally could be the girl he’s been waiting for. But Wally soon discovers that there is much more to her role than just sitting looking pretty. And while she had hoped to establish herself as an emerging lady, the upper classes see her as no more than a prostitute.

With her society dreams dashed Wally finds herself at rock bottom. So when young artist, Egon Schiele, shows her how different life can be Wally grabs hold of the new start she’s been desperately seeking. As a passionate love affair ensues will he be the making of her or her undoing?



This book sounds so perfect for me. Set in the early 20th century + it's about a muse of a famous artist (in this case Gustav Klimt!) It's definitely one of my favorite things to read about. I hope the book is going to be great! ♥




Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Book Blitz: The Amethyst Bride by Kelsey McKnight + Giveaway (INTL)


The Amethyst Bride
Kelsey McKnight
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: June 20th 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical

British heiress Penelope Elmsly always thought she’d marry young and settle down to a life of domestic bliss. But her perfect plan may come unraveled, along with her corset strings, when two men vie for her hand.
One is a wealthy businessman who offers her the financial stability and social standing she always held dear. The other is a rugged Scottish highlander who gives her passion she never knew she desired.
With two amethyst rings upon her finger, Penelope has a choice to make, and she can’t afford to choose wrong, especially when more than just her livelihood is at stake.
Will she walk down the aisle into a life of luxury, leaving her heart in Scotland? Or will she choose to save her fortune, and her reputation?

Book trailer:


Author Bio:
Kelsey McKnight is a university-educated historian from southern New Jersey. She has married her great loves of romance, history, and literature to create her newly finished works. Her first books, "The Scottish Stone Series", are coming in April of 2017 by Limitless Publishing. Book one is titled "Queen of Emeralds", and is available now. "The Scottish Stone Series" take readers on a journey through the bustling streets of Victorian London and into the lush hills of the Scottish Highlands. Her second book, a contemporary romance titled "The Non-Disclosure Agreement", will also be available in May of 2017 and feature a bad boy politician and the small town girl that could change his ways. When she’s not writing, Kelsey can be found reading, drinking too much coffee, spending time with her family, and working on two nonprofits.


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Monday, June 19, 2017

Blog Tour: Now I Rise by Kiersten White ~ Excerpt + Giveaway (US)

Welcome to my stop of the Now I Rise by Kiersten White blog tour, hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Scroll down to read the excerpt and enter the giveaway below. I already reviewed the book, which was amazing, back in May, click here to read it (5 stars!)




Title: NOW I RISE
Author: Kiersten White
Pub. Date: June 27, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Pages: 496 
Find it: Amazon, B&N, iBooks, TBD, Audible

Lada Dracul has no allies. No throne. All she has is what she’s always had: herself. After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada is out to punish anyone who dares to cross her blood-strewn path. Filled with a white-hot rage, she storms the countryside with her men, accompanied by her childhood friend Bogdan, terrorizing the land. But brute force isn’t getting Lada what she wants. And thinking of Mehmed brings little comfort to her thorny heart. There’s no time to wonder whether he still thinks about her, even loves her. She left him before he could leave her.

What Lada needs is her younger brother Radu’s subtlety and skill. But Mehmed has sent him to Constantinople—and it’s no diplomatic mission. Mehmed wants control of the city, and Radu has earned an unwanted place as a double-crossing spy behind enemy lines. Radu longs for his sister’s fierce confidence—but for the first time in his life, he rejects her unexpected plea for help. Torn between loyalties to faith, to the Ottomans, and to Mehmed, he knows he owes Lada nothing. If she dies, he could never forgive himself—but if he fails in Constantinople, will Mehmed ever forgive him?

As nations fall around them, the Dracul siblings must decide: what will they sacrifice to fulfill their destinies? Empires will topple, thrones will be won . . . and souls will be lost.


Excerpt from NOW I RISE, by Kiersten White


“I cannot breathe in this thing.” Lada tried to lift her arms, but the sleeves were not made for her broad shoulders or thick arms. She could barely move. “This weights more than my chain mail.” Lada tugged at the layers of material that made up the skirts.
“Think of it as armor.”
Lada’s lip curled up in a sneer. “What could this possibly protect me from?”
“Mockery. Ridicule. Your men are used to you, but this is a court. You have to do things a certain way. Do not mess this up.” Oana yanked one of Lada’s curls as she tucked it back into the elaborate style.
“Radu should be here.” Lada stared down in despair. “I do not know how to talk to these people.”
“He was always better at that. How did he fare when you left? I worried for him. I thought they would kill you, and break Radu’s heart.” There was a wistful tenderness in Oana’s voice.
Lada took a deep breath. Or tried to—she could not manage it in this abomination of a dress. She and her nurse had not really spoken of Radu since Oana had asked where he was. The truth was as cold and brittle as the ice in her water bowl. “He grew into a new man. Smart. Sly. Too handsome. And, eventually, into a stranger to me.” She had had no word from Radu, no news. She wanted to tell Oana that Radu was coming, but it had been so long. What if he was not? “When I left, he chose the Ottomans. So you were wrong. I survived, and Radu grew a new heart.”
“Did you have nothing in common then?”
A strangled laugh escaped the prison of her bodice. “Well, one thing.” Lada wondered, yet again, whether her absence had granted Radu the portion of Mehmed’s attention and love that he so desperately craved.
And, yet again, she forced herself not to think on it.
Lada tugged at the bodice. She missed her Ottoman finery. At least those draped layers of tunics and robes were comfortable. “I am going to give the wrong impression, wearing this.”
“You mean a good impression?”
“Yes, exactly.”
Oana surveyed her with a critical eye, then threw her hands up in surrender. “This is the best we can hope for, at least as far as your looks. As far as everything else, tonight, pretend you are Radu.”
A small pang hit just above Lada’s heart. Did Oana wish that it were Radu and not Lada she had been reunited with? Everyone always loved Radu best. Well. Lada could be Radu for one night. She
grimaced, then smiled broadly and opened her large eyes as wide as she could. It was her best imitation of him.
Oana recoiled. “That is terrifying, girl. I was wrong. Be yourself.”
Lada let her hooded eyelids drop low. She had never been able to be anyone else.
~~


About Kiersten:
Kiersten White is the NYT bestselling author of the Paranormalcy trilogy, the Mind Games series, Illusions of Fate, The Chaos of Stars, In the Shadows with artist Jim Di Bartolo, and the upcoming historical reimagining, And I Darken. She has one tall husband and three small children and lives near the ocean, where her life is perfectly normal. Visit her at www.kierstenwhite.com.
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads



Giveaway
3 Winners will receive a finished copy of NOW I RISE, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Tour Schedule:

Week One:

6/19/2017- Bookfever- Excerpt  <--- Me ❤️
6/20/2017- Lisa Loves Literature- Review
6/21/2017- Two Chicks on Books- Interview
6/22/2017- Fiktshun- Review
6/23/2017- Carina's Books- Review

Week Two:

6/26/2017- Dazzled by Books- Review
6/27/2017- Books and Things- Review
6/28/2017- Rattle the Stars- Review
6/29/2017- YABC- Review
6/30/2017- Once Upon A Twilight- Review

Week Three:

7/3/2017- Adventures of a Book Junkie- Interview
7/4/2017- Seeing Double In Neverland- Review
7/5/2017- Fiction Fare- Review
7/6/2017- YA and Wine- Review
7/7/2017- Little Red's Reviews- Review



Saturday, June 17, 2017

Stacking The Shelves: June 17, 2017

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly bookish meme hosted @ Tynga's Reviews & Reading Reality.


Wow! It's been a month since I did a STS post so aside from the physical books that I all received this week, they were from the last several weeks.



Bought:
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn {My Review}
I already read this book as an e-ARC but I loved it so much that I just had to buy a finished copy. It's my favorite book of the year so far. ♥

Won: 
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
A Torch Agains the Night by Sabaa Tahir
I won these two signed copies on Twitter through a giveaway by Glasstown Ent. And they arrived so fast too, in a less than a week!

Bought:
Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
Finally this book arrived after some delay. I already peeked inside and saw a poem in it by Edgar Allan Poe. It already gets bonus points for this. ๐Ÿ˜€


Bought:
The Sin Eater by Jennifer Harlow
This is the 5th F.R.E.A.K.S. book, which is a top favorite series of mine. I probably should've read it already but I want to save it for the summer. I'm super nervous about this book, though, considering where the previous one left of. ๐Ÿ™ˆ

This anthology has six stories inspired by Medusa. One of my favorite myths!

Freebie:
Rise of Princes by Janell Rhiannon
I absolutely loved the first book so I feel really lucky I could grab it when it was free. Can't wait to read it!



Bought:
To Kill a Sorcerer by Greg Mongrain
I couldn't resist buying this book where I got 50% off the Kindle price. And it sounds really good, too!

Bought:
Bad Penny by Stacy Hart
Another book I couldn't resist buying. The books by this author are always only 99c when they first release so I just can't not buy them. This one especially sounds super fun!

For Review:
The Wardrobe Mistress by Meghan Masterson
I can't wait to read this book. I love anything set in the time of Marie Antoinette.


For Review:
Reviver Amond by Avie Adams {My Review}
Scalding Ice and Goldfire by Avie Adams 
I'm so glad I said yes to reading and reviewing these books. They're some of the best (dark) fantasy I've read lately. I can't get enough of this world. Right now I'm reading the third book. I love it all SO much and wish these books were more popular or well known. Oh and the first book is FREE so you should all totally grab it here.


For Review:
If There's No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout
I haven't read a JLA book in ages but they're always really good so I have high hopes for this one!

For Review:
A Daring Arrgangement
by Joanna Shupe
I've always liked Avon's historical romance books so I'm hoping I'll enjoy this one as well. Also sounds a little different from the usual hist romances.





Have a great weekend, everyone! ♥


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. It's based on Waiting On Wednesday hosted at Breaking the Spine.



The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
The Folk of the Air #1
January 2nd 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.


Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.



This has got to be one of my most highly anticipated books of 2018 (I have so many of those though) because it's Holly Black. She's just so awesome. And of course faeries. I can't resist books about faeries. ♥


Monday, June 12, 2017

Blog Tour: Loveweaver by Tracy Ann Miller ~ Author Interview


Welcome to the blog tour of Loveweaver by Tracy Ann Miller, hosted by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. I read Loveweaver last year and it's still one of my favorite historical romances. Today I have an interview with the author. If you want to read my review of the book click here



Interview with Tracy Ann Miller

1. Hi Tracy! I'm so glad I get to interview you for this tour. You know I loved Loveweaver but for those who are not familiar with your book yet, could you tell a little bit about it?

Hi Stephanie! I'm thrilled to have this interview with you! When researching the Viking era for my first book, The Maiden Seer, I discovered that women of the time used to sing blessings and prayers as they wove at their looms. Their weavings would then be imbued with  those messages. This seemed the perfect skill for my heroine, Llyrica, to have, especially since she uses it to influence the hero, Slayde. She weaves a love spell into the decorative braid that adorns his tunic. Fate then seems to conspire to keep them together even as they're at cross-purposes.  

2. What three books would you recommend to any reader?

My writing is highly influenced by Juliana Garnett, so my number one would be The Baron. But, as for non-romance, I've recently read Song of Way: story of Troy, and State of Wonder and loved them both.  In addition - all of the last six Phillipa Gregory books! 

3. Which character from Loveweaver have you enjoyed writing the most?

As female writers our heroine should be our favorite to write. But in Loveweaver I enjoyed writing my hero the most.  Slayde is so conflicted with living up to who he is supposed to be, a macho male (which he totally is!) and the gentler side of himself that he is literally split in two emotionally. Only when he sleeps and awakens as the sleepwalker can he express what he can't by day. The concept of him wooing Llyrica while he's sleepwalking really intrigued me.

4. If you could travel back in time would you travel to the era of the vikings or somewhere different, if so where?

I can't think of a time in the past when I would want to have lived. Even "simpler times" had their problems. 

5. What's next for you? Are you working on a new book? I'm dying to know. ;)

I'm working on a science fiction. My heroine is involved with two men on opposite sides of the law as they all deal with illegal imports from other planets. The fact that my heroine is an illegal import herself, and hiding it, makes things very messy. 

6. If you could jump into any book and live in it. Which book would it be?

I'm currently readying The Unsettlers: In Search of the Good Life in Today's America. There's one couple in this book who live completely off the grid and I'd love to see what that's like. For a month. :)

7. Is there anything else you'd like to add?

This is embarrassing, but I created 4 covers for Loveweaver. The current cover is here to stay!



Loveweaver
by Tracy Ann Miller

Publication Date: June 30, 2017
eBook; ASIN: B01H7M46BC
Genre: Historical Romance


The year is 895. Slayde’s job as an top military leader of Kent is to rid England of the last of the Viking raiders. But Llyrica is no ordinary Viking. She’s a beauty with a mysterious past … and a talent for weaving song spells. Even as Slayde saves her from drowning, he knows Llyrica will be a dangerous distraction.
Llyrica is now a stranger in a strange land on a mission to fulfill a deathbed promise. But she must also find her missing brother. This man, Slayde, known as The StoneHeart in his country, seems determined to block her at every turn. And yet she can’t help but be drawn to the affectionate, loving side of him that awakens when he sleeps – The sleepwalker.
Unknown to both Llyrica and Slayde, each will use the other to accomplish their quests. Both will also fall under the song spell that she wove into the braid of his tunic.
Will her Lovespell ensure a happily ever after for them? Or condemn them to a love that was never meant to be?
When I started reading Loveweaver I never expected it to end up as one of my favorite historical romances ever. It was such a unexpected but amazing surprise. I loved everything about this book! – Bookfever Book Blog
Llyrica is a clever heroine who will have Slayde on her terms. Slayde, determined to resist, has not a prayer. Many secondary characters add to the story, making it a rich tapestry. And some exciting scenes will keep your heart pumping. It’s also intriguing with the spells woven into the cloth by the “songweaver”. Viking lovers will enjoy the match between a Saxon loyal to King Alfred and a Viking maiden from Denmark. – Regan Walker, author of Regency, Georgian and Medieval romances



About the Author

Although Tracy Ann Miller is primarily a graphic designer, (see her work at tracymillerdesigns.com) she has been writing novels for over 20 years.
She was an active member of the National Romance Writers of America with her local chapter, The Virginia Romance Writers. It was there she honed her craft by attending workshops, conferences, and by coordinating The VRW’s Fool for Love Contest.
Before being published, she entered and won numerous writing contests, including The Fool for Love Contest for Loveweaver, and the Between the Sheets best love scene contest for The Maiden Seer.
She writes to keep the hero and heroine interacting in story as much as possible (no long separations) and of course they get a spectacular happily ever after.
For more information, please visit Tracy Ann Miller’s blog. You can also find her on FacebookTwitter, and Amazon.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, June 12
Interview at Bookfever <--- Me ^_^
Tuesday, June 13
Excerpt at Books, Dreams, Life
Wednesday, June 14
Review at Queen of All She Reads
Thursday, June 15
Excerpt at Romantic Historical Reviews
Friday, June 16
Spotlight at The Sassy Book Lover
Excerpt at What Is That Book About
Monday, June 19
Interview at The Book Junkie Reads
Wednesday, June 21
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation
Friday, June 23
Review at Broken Teepee
Friday, July 7
Spotlight at Passages to the Past




♥ Holly's Boys ♥

Highly recommended story to check out!