Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Review Wednesday: Wild Rose by Lucy Winton (#1)


Amazon (available with Kindle Unlimited)  Goodreads
Roses #1


Blurb:
"Milly Costello has lived in the walled city of Redcross for two years. She wants nothing more than to get out - but when the mysterious Wolf-Lords arrive, she may get her wish in a way she doesn't expect.

And that's to say nothing of the secret she and her friends are keeping..."



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Review:
Thank you to the author, Lucy Winton, for gifting me with a copy of Wild Rose.  All opinions expressed are my own.

1.  The characters.  Let's begin with the cast of characters.  I was very impressed by the author's ability to incorporate so many characters into such a small book (197 pages).  There are the characters in the city of Redcross (the main setting) including our main character, Milly, her friends Frankie, Sami, and Avrel, their boss Carlene, the runners Jason and Leo, as well as a few others.  When Milly makes her journey with the Wolf-Lords, we're introduced to several of them in detail.  All in all, there are at least 15 characters, all fleshed out to differing extents.  With all those characters, however, comes the need for equitable amounts of page time to get to know them individually.  Unfortunately, because of the length of the book, I felt like I could only slightly grasp the inner personality of Milly and none of the other charactersGood foundations were laid but differentiating the characters from each other proved a daunting task, at least for me.  Milly's development throughout the course of the story was really rather nice and her transformation, though mild, is a good amount in terms of a YA novel.

2.  The plot.  There are a couple of interweaving plot lines throughout the story.  Without going into too much detail, essentially Milly leaves Redcross (the main city) with the Wolf-Lords and her friends stay and deal with a choice they made in the past that is affecting their present.  These two main plotlines are given pretty equal page time to allow them to develop independently before they meet again at the end of the novel.  This is one of my favorite plot structures because of the way the plots diverge and them merge again.  All throughout the middle, there's an uncertainty of whether the two will ever connect again and you're wondering how it all fits together, a bit like a mystery novel.  At some points, it felt as thought the small conclusions and revelations throughout the novel were anticlimactic and turned out to be smaller than I anticipated they would be.  It's not that the revelations were small things, just that they were implicitly presented that way which made me question their significance.  It's like if someone tells you for months that there's something amazing that they absolutely have to show you and then the time finally comes and they spend one minute showing you how they learned how to time travel and then never speak of it again.

3.  The world.  Overall, I really enjoyed the world that the author built in this novel.  While I would have liked more page time dedicated to clarifying the specifics, the broad strokes given, supplemented with the character's manner of speaking (etc etc), were enough for me to form a general understanding.  In this world, there are open towns and walled cities because of the history of the various territories and the wars between them.  Each place that the reader visits with the characters has it's own culture and feel which is especially enriching (the Wolf-Lords live in a cold, rather insular community with old traditions, the people of the Gull Islands treasure the sea and nature, etc).  There were a few inconsistencies that I wondered about.  For example, at one point, Milly sends a paper message to be 'passed along' but later in the story, phones are used.  Certainly these two things can exist in the same society but there was a lack of explanation regarding some of these smaller instances of world-building.  As I've mentioned before in this review, this could certainly be remedied by a longer page count.

4.  The romance.  There are two central romances that make a very brief appearance (both traditionally heterosexual) but they didn't form even a minor plotline which I found particularly refreshing, especially in a YA fantasy.

The Final Verdict:
A refreshing, quick, and easy YA Fantasy with an engrossing plot structure.  A low page count lends itself to slightly underdeveloped characters and world-building.
3.5 stars

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Release Day Excerpt: Gloved Heart by Charlotte Brentwood (#2)

Three years ago, I had the pleasure of reviewing The Vagabond Vicar by Charlotte Brentwood.  Lo and behold, she is now releasing second book in that same universe.  I'll be reviewing this in a few short weeks so watch out for that post.  Without further ado, let's get into it!


Gloved Heart

Released: April 20th, 2019
Series: Hearts of Amberley #2
Publisher: Self-published
Rating: TBD

Goodreads  Amazon (available on Kindle Unlimited)

Blurb: Can she ever trust again?

Amy Miller is struggling to come to terms with her new life as a mother, while being a reluctant guest in a rigid gentry household.  A victim of abuse, she is determined to never trust a man again.

Henry Russell has loved Amy for as long as he can remember, but his family want nothing to do with her.  A chance encounter with Amy rekindles a friendship which might save both of them.

The discovery of a secret which holds the key to Amy's past will change them both forever, and jeopardise any chance they have for happiness.  Can Henry show Amy that true love will give her everything she could ever need?

Monday, April 8, 2019

GIVEAWAY, Review, and Interview Monday: Dance With Me by A.M. Heath (#1)



Today is release day for A.M. Heath's newest release!  I'm the first stop on the blog tour along with Debbie and Loretta (see the full tour schedule here).  Below, you'll find my review, author interview, and giveaway!  Other books I've reviewed by A.M. Heath include:


Throughout the duration of the tour, A.M. Heath's original series, the Ancient Words Series (see my reviews linked above), will be discounted!  You'll even be able to get the first book for free on Amazon!

Without further ado, let's get into the latest release!


43709090

Art of Love #1

Blurb:
"Will a new partnership tear their worlds apart … or will it be the piece they never knew was missing?

In 1959, Arleen Thatcher and Neil Fox are fierce competitors on the dance floor, so they’re the least likely pair to enter a televised competition together. But when rivaling studio owners decide to team up, the two will find a partnership they never thought possible.
Arleen’s reputation around town is reason enough for Neil to keep his distance from his new partner. But as Neil gets to know Arleen, he discovers a side of her few others have seen, one of dark family secrets and carefully-constructed facades.
God’s plan for their partnership may involve more than a single dance; it may be the key to the healing Arleen so desperately needs.

The Art of Love series is compiled of stand-alone novels where the characters tell their own stories and love means so much more than passion."

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

An Update: The Fall of Blue Eye Books (only temporarily!) and the Role of Priorities and Compensation



Hello!  Yes, I'm still here and I hope to continue to be here for a long time.  However, I think I'm long overdue for a little life update (mostly to put at ease all the authors and bloggers that have emailed me and my own inner SpongeBob that's running around setting filing cabinets on fire).

My Spongebob's Brain Theory - Bikini Bottom - SpongeBuddy ...
https://www.sbmania.net/forums/threads/my-spongebobs-brain-theory.41544/

So without further ado, let's get personal.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Blog Tour (Review & Giveaway) Monday: The Accident by A.M. Heath


You can find the other stops on the tour here!

Other books I've reviewed by A.M. Heath:



Standalone to date

Blurb:
"Can a wrong number bring true love or only heartache?

Ashlyn Conner’s life is spiraling out of control. She's already lost her father, and now that her mom is battling thyroid cancer, she fears being orphaned at fifteen. When a friendly stranger texts the wrong number, Ashlyn finds a confidant she didn’t realize she needed. The more Ashlyn gets to know Chris Knowles, the more she’s convinced he could be the caring husband and loving father the Conner women so desperately need.

If only she’d been honest and hadn’t made him believe he was texting her mother, Danielle.

When the truth comes out, will she lose her friendship with Chris and damage her relationship with her mother? Or can God make something beautiful out of her lie?

Told through text messages and Ashlyn’s journal entries, The Accident is a heartwarming, family-centered story."



Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Review Wednesday: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco (#1)


The Bone Witch #1 (trilogy)

Blurb:
"In the captivating start to a new, darkly lyrical fantasy series for readers of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir, Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price...Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there's anything I've learned from him in the years since, it's that the dead hide truths as well as the living.

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she's a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha-one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles...and make a powerful choice."


Sunday, January 27, 2019

Review Sunday: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (#1)



#1 of a duology (to date; a third novel is reportedly in the works)



Blurb:
"Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price–and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first."

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Entering 2019: The State of the ARC



I've seen this meme around the blogosphere and as a part of my New Year's resolution to be more on top of things and just more organized in general, I felt like this was a good place to start.  Avalinah @Avalinah's Books started this meme to provide some motivation to finish reading and reviewing ARC's which is definitely something I need in my life!  Periodically, I'll be posting updates of the count (probably whenever I do monthly wrap-ups).  So without further ado, onto my current state!


Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Review Wednesday: Bittersweet by Krista Noorman


Second Chance With You #1 (companion book series)


Blurb:
"Harper Hensley’s greatest joy is baking. She’s co-owner of a cute little bake shop, creating delicious treats to her heart’s content, and happily dating a successful lawyer. Life seems perfect. Until Logan Riggs, the man who walked out on her without a word four years ago, rolls into town in his new coffee food truck, living the dream they were supposed to share together.

The last thing Logan ever wanted was to leave Harper, but unforeseen circumstances forced him to make that choice. He never meant to hurt her or ruin their plans of starting a food truck. Now he’s back to make things right, hoping to convince her to work with him, and longing for a second chance with the woman he loved from the start.

Coffee and cupcakes belong together. But is the truth about Logan’s disappearing act too much to forgive? Can Harper move past the bitter to get to the sweet?"

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