Monthly Wrap-Ups

September 2018 Wrap-Up

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I say this every month, but September really went by in the blink of an eye.  I had another super busy month working my two jobs, and the fire behind my blogging inspiration has been a little dim in response to my crazy schedule.  I took a small break from reading ARC’s this month because I was feeling a little burnt out and just needed to escape with my reading, but now I am ready to tackle the rest of my list.  I got so many new and amazing books this month that I am unbelievably excited for (my wallet may disagree..) and can’t wait to talk about.  I have some very exciting things on the horizon in the next couple months and I am ready to take it all on!

Books Read:

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas 

Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake 

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan 

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows 

Toil & Trouble edited by Jessica Spotswood and Tess Sharpe 


Favorite Book of the Month:

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Currently Reading: 34499221


Challenge Updates:

Goodreads Challenge: 63 of 50

A to Z Challenge: 13 of 26… I’m sucking on this one

Classics Club Challenge: Still stuck at 4 of 50…


Broadway Book Chat: Jordana Grolnick

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September Reviews

The Swan Keeper by Milana Marsenich • Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan •

September Posts

• September Releases That I Can’t Wait For • Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #3 • Top 10 Tuesday: Hidden Gems • The Library Lover’s Book Tag • Top 10 Tuesday: Books on My Fall TBR • Top 10 Tuesday: Books By My Favorite Authors That I Haven’t Read Yet •

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Broadway Book Chat

Broadway Book Chat: Jordana Grolnick

It's Liberation Day.

As an actor, every job you do, you make a new family.  There is something special about theatre and its ability to bring people together in a way that is unlike any other.  I have made so many amazing friends throughout my career, and many of them share my love of books and literature.  Since theatre brings stories to life, I thought I would feature some of my favorite performers (my fabulous friends and cast mates) and see what their bookshelves look like! Welcome to my Broadway Book Chat!

Jordana Grolnick 

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Just seen in Oliver! at Goodspeed Opera House!

www.jordanagrolnick.com

instagram: @jordanagrams

twitter: @JordanaGrolnick

What are you currently reading?

The final book in the Harry Potter series, for the first time!

What is favorite book series?

Harry Potter, obviously.  It’s taken me 26 years to get here, but I’m finally on board.

Who is your favorite author?

At the moment, Cheryl Strayed.

What book inspires you and why?

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.  I always wished I could be that fearless and adventurous as a kid, and it filled me with romantic ideals of living in New York City.

Which literary character would you like to play? IMG_1152

Elizabeth Bennet.

If you could be friends with any of the characters you have played, who would it be and why?

So, I played Mazie LaBird in high school, and I think she would be a damn good time.  A little flakey, but if you can pin her down, she’d be a hoot.

What book would you like to see made into a musical/movie/play?

A Visit From the Goon Squad.

What is the next book on your reading list?

Chernow’s Hamilton biography.  Admittedly I’m drawn to it because I’m a musical theatre nerd and not necessarily buff, but hey.  I’m not ashamed.

What show are you currently working on?

I just did Oliver! (yes, it comes with an exclamation mark) and I was in the ensemble playing Helga the Whore, and understudying Nancy.

What is your favorite show you have been a part of and why?

A Chorus Line (with Miss Lexie Plath).  It hits dangerously close to home for performers, and it’s incredible to share “our” story with an audience and see them connect to something so viscerally.  It’s truly a masterpiece and I’m lucky I got to do it.  And Lexie as Val was a force 😛


I feature a new performer every month! I would love some suggestions for questions you would like to ask, or things you want to know!  Leave them in the comments and I will add them to future interviews! Shout out to my gorgeous friend Jordana for sharing with us! ❤

 

Book Reviews

Crazy Rich Asians Review

41258684Summary: When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor. On Nick’s arm, Rachel may as well have a target on her back the second she steps off the plane, and soon, her relaxed vacation turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers.


My Thoughts:  When I saw they were making a movie of Crazy Rich Asians, a movie that looked really good, I knew that I wanted to read the book before seeing the film.  After having read it, I honestly think it probably works better as a movie than as a book.  The plot is very slow moving, and there is SO much description about the wealth of the characters.  Some of it was useful and necessary in showing the absurdity of the situation, but there was definitely a point where I was just ready for more action to happen.  I think on film, it is easier to SHOW the wealth, rather than taking 3 paragraphs to describe the price of an earring.  Because of the pacing, I almost gave up on the book half way through.  It does pick up in the second half though.  There were some really great aspects to this book (I particularly loved the footnotes throughout the book that explained certain cultural references in an absurdly hilarious way.)  The characters were all exaggerated, and there was a great variety among them.  The most interesting part for me was experiencing the Chinese/Singaporean culture, which I have very limited knowledge of.  These characters and how they behave in the world of riches they have created was completely fascinating.  Overall, this book wasn’t my favorite, and I probably won’t go on to read the rest of the series, but I thought it was ok.  I’m excited to see how it translates to film.

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Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday: Books on My Fall TBR

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I have a HUGE pile of books sitting in my room just waiting to be read.  I keep adding to that pile (although I’ve been trying to control myself), and I really need to start making a real dent in it.  Things are about to slow down for me after this super busy summer, and I am looking forward to a cozy autumn filled with good books.  This week’s theme from That Artsy Reader Girl is Books on My Fall TBR!

What books are on your Fall TBR? Let me know in the comments! I love seeing what everyone is reading!! ❤

 

 

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The Library Lover’s Book Tag

a baby shower for amelia

I recently saw this tag on Never Not Reading, and since I have become a little obsessed with the New York Public Library lately, I thought I would give it a go.

How often do you visit your local library?

Probably once or twice a month, depending on how many holds I have come in.

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Are you the type of person who checks out more books than you can read or are you someone who checks out the exact amount of books you intend to read before they are due?

I always try to limit myself, but usually end up stretching it a bit.  I always finish the ones I check out, but that just means that my TBR pile at home gets delayed even more…

How old were you when you got your first library card?

Oh man, I can’t remember, but I have very distinct memories of going to the library with my mom as a kid, and she gave me a rule that I could check out 10 books (This was when I was reading picture books).

Do you go to your library for a particular book or do you check out anything that piques your interest?

Recently I’ve been going for a particular book (usually that I’ve put on hold), but then I will stay and browse a bit too.

Do you only check out books or do you also get DVDs, audiobooks, etc.?unnamed (1)

I have checked out DVD’s before, but only once or twice.

From what section of the library do you check out most of your books?

YA, fiction, and new releases.

What is your favorite part of using your local library?

FREE BOOKS!!! And I love that you can put books on hold from any of the locations and they will deliver it to your “home” branch.

 

Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday: Hidden Gems

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It feels like it has been forever since I did a Top Ten Tuesday!  This week’s theme from That Artsy Reader Girl is Hidden Gems: books that haven’t been talked about as much or haven’t been marketed as strongly that you think deserve some recognition.  I’ve been reading a lot of hyped books recently, so this one will definitely take more thought.


The Color Alchemist Series by Nina Walker

What if color held the secrets to powerful magic? 

Forced to move into the palace, Jessa begins training as a Color Alchemist under the direction of the kingdom’s most eligible bachelor, Prince Lucas. As an alchemist, Jessa must capture and harness the color of living things. Every color has a unique purpose, except red. Red is the untapped magic no one can access—until Jessa.

Prince Lucas is running out of time. His mother is deathly ill and healing magic hasn’t worked. When Lucas suspects someone is using alchemy to control her, he sets out to discover the truth, no matter the cost.

Prism was one of the earliest ARC’s I ever received and I just fell in love with it.  I love the world, I love the characters, and I am fascinated by the system of color magic.  I definitely want more people to read them so we can discuss and because they just deserve to be read.


Dancer by Colum McCann

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Taking his inspiration from biographical facts, novelist Colum McCann tells the erotically charged story of the Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev through the cast of those who knew him: there is Anna Vasileva, Rudi’s first ballet teacher, who rescues her protégé from the stunted life of his provincial town; Yulia, whose sexual and artistic ambitions are thwarted by her Soviet-sanctioned marriage; and Victor, the Venezuelan street hustler, who reveals the lurid underside of the gay celebrity set. Spanning four decades and many worlds, from the horrors of the Second World War to the wild abandon of New York in the eighties, Dancer is peopled by a large cast of characters, obscure and famous: doormen and shoemakers, nurses and translators, Margot Fonteyn, Eric Bruhn and John Lennon. And at the heart of the spectacle stands the artist himself, willful, lustful, and driven by a never-to-be-met need for perfection.

This book is one of the most unique books I have ever read.  It is beautiful and haunting and really eye opening.


My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares

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Daniel has spent centuries falling in love with the same girl. Life after life, crossing continents and dynasties, he and Sophia (despite her changing name and form) have been drawn together-and he remembers it all. Daniel has “the memory”, the ability to recall past lives and recognize souls of those he’s previously known. It is a gift and a curse. For all the times that he and Sophia have been drawn together throughout history, they have also been torn painfully, fatally, apart. A love always too short.

Interwoven through Sophia and Daniel’s unfolding present day relationship are glimpses of their expansive history together. From 552 Asia Minor to 1918 England and 1972 Virginia, the two souls share a long and sometimes torturous path of seeking each other time and time again. But just when young Sophia (now “Lucy” in the present) finally begins to awaken to the secret of their shared past, to understand the true reason for the strength of their attraction, the mysterious force that has always torn them apart reappears. Ultimately, they must come to understand what stands in the way of their love if they are ever to spend a lifetime together.

Everyone knows Ann Brashares for The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, but I feel like a lot of people never found this gem.  It was one of my favorites, and I still am hoping for a sequel….


Wildflower Hill by Kimberly Freeman

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Forced to take her life in a new direction when an injury ends her ballet career, Emma returns to her home in Australia and learns that she has inherited an isolated sheep station from a late grandmother who would impart key lessons about love and motherhood.

I brought this book on a vacation, and finished the entire thing on the plane because I just couldn’t stop reading.  It gave me SUCH a huge book hangover and I was obsessed with the characters.


The Mourning Hours by Paula Treick DeBoard

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Kirsten Hammarstrom hasn’t been home to her tiny corner of rural Wisconsin in years-not since the mysterious disappearance of a local teenage girl rocked the town and shattered her family. Kirsten was just nine years old when Stacy Lemke went missing, and the last person to see her alive was her boyfriend, Johnny-the high school wrestling star and Kirsten’s older brother. No one knows what to believe-not even those closest to Johnny-but the event unhinges the quiet farming community and pins Kirsten’s family beneath the crushing weight of suspicion. 

Now, years later, a new tragedy forces Kirsten and her siblings to return home, where they must confront the devastating event that shifted the trajectory of their lives. Tautly written and beautifully evocative, The Mourning Hours is a gripping portrayal of a family straining against extraordinary pressure, and a powerful tale of loyalty, betrayal and forgiveness.

This book caught my eye because it takes place in Wisconsin, where I’m from, but I got really absorbed in this story.  I loved the mystery of it, and thought the concept was gripping.


The Haunting of Hattie Hastings by Audrey Davis

Some people just won’t take death lying down …!
Part one of a fun-filled but moving romantic comedy about life, death and letting go.
Hattie Hastings is happily married, even if husband Gary drives her up the wall at times. When tragedy strikes, she is left alone and heartbroken, with only an assortment of family and friends to prop her up.

Struggling to cope, she is left reeling when her deceased other half returns to haunt her, popping up at the most inappropriate times, with an unorthodox way of flagging his arrival.

Hattie struggles to convince anyone that Gary has returned. Not even her best friend, Cat – now free from the cruel and controlling Stewart – will believe her story.

Why has Gary returned? Will he allow Hattie to find happiness again, or will he stand in the way of any future romance? And what will Cat do when her slimy ex-husband tries to worm his way back into her affections?

This book just warmed my heart.  Split into three short novellas, this series is funny, sweet, and emotional.  Anyone looking for a super quick and fun read should pick this series up!


Sorority by Genevieve Sly Crane

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Prep meets Girls in White Dresses in Genevieve Sly Crane’s deliciously addictive, voyeuristic exploration of female friendship and coming of age that will appeal to anyone who has ever been curious about what happens in a sorority house.

Twinsets and pearls, secrets and kinship, rituals that hold sisters together in a sacred bond of everlasting trust. Certain chaste images spring to mind when one thinks of sororities. But make no mistake: these women are not braiding each other’s hair and having pillow fights—not by a long shot.

What Genevieve Sly Crane has conjured in these pages is a blunt, in your face look behind the closed doors of a house full of contemporary women—and there are no holds barred. These women have issues: self-inflicted, family inflicted, sister-to-sister inflicted—and it is all on the page. At the center of this swirl is Margot: the sister who died in the house, and each chapter is told from the points of view of the women who orbit her death and have their own reactions to it.

With a keen sense of character and elegant, observant prose, Crane details the undercurrents of tension in a world where perfection comes at a cost and the best things in life are painful—if not impossible—to acquire: Beauty. A mother’s love. And friendship… or at least the appearance of it. Woven throughout are glimmers of the classical myths that undercut the lives of women in Greek life. After all, the Greek goddesses did cause their fair share of destruction.

This book was so different than what I expected, but I loved it.  It was insanely haunting and dark, and stuck with me a while after reading it.  See my full review here.


Practicing Normal by Cara Sue Achterberg

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Meet the Turners – a socially awkward genius child, an adolescent cat burglar, a philandering husband, and a doormat wife in desperate need of a backbone. The Turners are doing their best to craft a happy life and face down a history they have no control over in a neighborhood where only the houses are similar. And when relationships sprout from seemingly nowhere and secrets begin to unravel, practicing normal becomes harder than it’s ever been.

Combining her trademark combination of wit, insight, and tremendous empathy for her characters, Cara Sue Achterberg has written a novel that is at once familiar and startlingly fresh.

This book was a beautifully written look at a dysfunctional family.  All of the characters were flawed and relatable and made you root for them.


Have you read any of these hidden gems?  Have you found any that I should add to my list? Let me know in the comments! ❤

Book Reviews

ARC Review: The Swan Keeper by Milana Marsenich

38336382Summary: Girlhood, courage, nature, and flight from a tyrant’s hand in post-frontier Montana.

The Swan Keeper is an historical, coming of age novel set in Northwest Montana’s Mission Valley in the late 1920s.

Lillian Connelly loves trumpeter swans and vows to protect them from a hunter who is killing them and leaving their carcasses for the wolves and coyotes to ravage.

On her eleventh birthday Lilly’s family visits the Cattail Marsh to see the newly hatched cygnets. The family outing turns tragic when Dean Drake shows up with his shotgun and fires on not only the swans, but on Lilly’s family. Unable to prevent tragedy, Lillian witnesses Drake kill her father, injure her mother, and slaughter the bevy of trumpeter swans.

The sheriff, Charlie West, thinks that Lilly is reacting to the trauma and blaming Drake because of a previous conflict between Drake and her father. Lilly’s mother, sister, and her best friend, Jerome West, the sheriff’s son, all think the same thing: that Lilly is trying to make sense of a senseless accident.

Left alone to bring Dean Drake to justice, Lilly’s effort is subverted when Drake woos her sister, courts her mother, and moves into their home.


*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review! Thank you to Milana Marsenich for sharing your work with me!*

My Thoughts: I love historical fiction and after reading The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah, I have been intrigued by the American Frontier, so this summary caught my attention right away.  It sounded so exciting, and I couldn’t wait to discover how Lilly coped with witnessing the murder of her father, and nobody believing her about it.  Unfortunately, this book was was way too slow for me.  Nothing happened, and what DID happen just felt like it was repeating the same scenes over and over again.  I kept waiting for the plot to take off, and it never did.  There was so much information about the swans that didn’t feel necessary to the story and I had enough with the first few tidbits to understand their importance.  I did feel for Lilly, and was very frustrated on her behalf when no one believes her because she is just a kid.  Marsenich did a good job of showing us Lilly’s voice and feelings, and creating that barrier between her and the adults in her life.  However; I didn’t feel like Lilly actually had that much of an arc.  She didn’t seem to change at all by the end of the story aside from aging a couple years.  The rest of the characters felt very unimportant and distant.  There were a few very beautiful phrases in the writing, but most of it felt disjointed to me and at times hard to follow what was supposed to be happening.  I really wanted to like this book, but it was too boring for me and I almost DNF’d it.  I managed to push through to the end, but it was a bit of a struggle.

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Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #3

I joined Goodreads a few years ago, way before I started blogging, so my profile is kind of a mess.  I really want to clean it up so I can make better use of it.  I thought what a better way to do that than to join the Down the TBR Hole meme started by Lia @Lost In a Story! I am going to do it once a month instead of weekly, and hopefully make my Goodreads a pleasant place to be again 🙂

Here is how it works:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Down the TBR Hole #3

I always forget how hard this is going to be…..

Mr. Maybe by Jane Green

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To Libby Mason, Mr. Right has always meant Mr. Rich. A twenty seven-year-old publicist, she’s barely able to afford her fashionable and fabulous lifestyle and often has to foot the bill for dates with Struggling Writer Nick, a sexy but perpetually strapped-for-cash guy she’s dating (no commitments – really). So when Ed, Britain’s wealthiest but stodgiest bachelor, enters the picture, her idea of the fairy tale romance is turned on it’s head. 

Mr. Maybe is the tale of her heartfelt but hilarious deliberation, irresistibly chronicled by bestselling author Jane Green. On one hand, Nick makes up for his low bank-account balance by his performance in the sack, or in the bathtub, as the case may be. But life 

with him means little more than nightly trips to the bar, a dark and grungy apartment, and plenty of dull political tirades to boot. But those blue eyes, and that tender heart…
On the other hand, there’s Ed, whose luxurious house and gargantuan bank account are quite tempting to the starving Libby. But his unsavory mustache and bumbling ways make Libby wonder if the platinum AMEX and unlimited “retail therapy” are worth it. He may have fallen in love with her at first sight, but nothing seems to solve his lackluster performance in the sack – even speed reading The Joy of Sex. When the diamond shopping commences, Libby is forced to realize that the time for “maybe” is up. 

Taking romantic comedy to a hip, sparkling new level, Mr. Maybe is a classic tale of what happens to one girl when her heart and her head aren’t looking for the same thing. With a laugh and minute and a heroine whose struggles in the dating jungle will remind you of your own, Mr. Maybe is a story that all will leave you smitten.

My Thoughts: This book sounds super fun and like a perfect beach read.  I haven’t been reading a lot of chick-lit lately, but after re-reading the summary I remember why I added this to the list.  It’s low on the list, but for now…. Verdict: KEEP


227941Jemima J by Jane Green

Jemima Jones is overweight. About one hundred pounds overweight. Treated like a maid by her thin and social-climbing roommates, and lorded over by the beautiful Geraldine (less talented but better paid) at the Kilburn Herald, Jemima finds that her only consolation is food. Add to this her passion for her charming, sexy, and unobtainable colleague Ben, and Jemima knows her life is in need of a serious change. When she meets Brad, an eligible California hunk, over the Internet, she has the perfect opportunity to reinvent herself–as JJ, the slim, beautiful, gym-obsessed glamour girl. But when her long-distance Romeo demands that they meet, she must conquer her food addiction to become the bone-thin model of her e-mails–no small feat. 

With a fast-paced plot that never quits and a surprise ending no reader will see coming, Jemima J is the chronicle of one woman’s quest to become the woman she’s always wanted to be, learning along the way a host of lessons about attraction, addiction, the meaning of true love, and, ultimately, who she really is.

My Thoughts: I think I added this because I just like Jane Green, but this book no longer has any appeal to me.  Verdict: TOSS


The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot93722

Gossip columnist and single New York City girl Mel lives in the most exciting place in the world, yet she’s bored with her lovelife. But things get interesting fast when the old lady next door is nearly murdered.
Mel starts paying closer attention to her neighbors—what exactly is going on with the cute boy next door?
Has Mel found the love of her life—or a killer?

My Thoughts: I love anything Meg Cabot.  I honestly can’t believe I haven’t read this yet.  Verdict: KEEP


8585007How to Knit a Heart Back Home by Rachael Herron

Lucy Harrison sells books by day and volunteers with the Cypress Hollow fire department by night. Her life is just the way she likes it—full, even-keeled, and smooth—until bad-boy ex-cop Owen Bancroft comes back to town. Lucy has always been fearless, never scared about diving in to help others. When it comes to risking her heart, however, she realizes she’s absolutely terrified.

In a small town like Cypress Hollow, everyone knows your business—and there is nowhere to hide. Then Lucy and Owen are thrown together by the discovery of the lost work of local legend, knitting guru Eliza Carpenter. Now Owen, adrift and struggling to redefine himself as a civilian without a badge, will have to learn how to open himself up to life’s new possibilities . . . while Lucy decides just how much of herself she’s willing to gamble on love.

My Thoughts: This was the first Goodreads Giveaway I ever won, and I was so excited about it!  I didn’t realize it was the second in a series at the time, so until now I haven’t read it.  I just looked it up, and they can be read out of order so now I’m gonna give it a go! Verdict: KEEP


The Bride’s House by Sandra Dallas9700148

From the New York Times bestselling author of Whiter Than Snowand Prayers for Sale comes a novel about the secrets and passions of three generations of women who have all lived in the same Victorian home called the Bride’s House.

It’s 1880, and for unassuming seventeen-year-old Nealie Bent, the Bride’s House is a fairy tale come to life. It seems as if it is being built precisely for her and Will Spaulding, the man she is convinced she will marry. But life doesn’t go according to plan, and Nealie finds herself in the Bride’s House pregnant—and married to another.

For Pearl, growing up in the Bride’s House is akin to being raised in a mausoleum. Her father has fashioned the house into a shrine to the woman he loved, resisting all forms of change. When the enterprising young Frank Curry comes along and asks for Pearl’s hand in marriage, her father sabotages the union. But he underestimates the lengths to which the women in the Bride’s House will go for love.

Susan is the latest in the line of strong and willful women in the Bride’s House. She’s proud of the women who came before her, but the Bride’s House hides secrets that will force her to question what she wants and who she loves.

Sandra Dallas has once again written a novel rich in storytelling and history, peopled by living, breathing characters that will grab hold of you and not let you go.

My Thoughts: This book sounds interesting, and it takes place in my favorite time period, but I have so many other books that I am more excited about.  Verdict: TOSS


This was the easiest round yet! I don’t know if I am getting better at deciding, or if this was just an easy round, but either way I’m happy about it! Do you agree with my decisions?

 

Discussion Posts

September Releases That I Can’t Wait For

This month is an exciting one for new releases! I have one that I am looking forward to coming out almost every week in September, and I CANNOT wait!

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Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake

September 4th, 2018 (TODAY! AHHHH!)

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#1 New York Times bestselling author Kendare Blake returns with the highly anticipated third book in the Three Dark Crowns series!

Katharine sits on the throne, Mirabella and Arsinoe are in hiding, and an unexpected renegade is about to wage a war of her own. The crown has been won, but these queens are far from done.

This is probably the one I am the most excited about.  I love this series so much and I cannot wait to find out what happens next.  I just finished reading the novella, Queens of Fennbirn, and it really put me in the mood.


Rule by Ellen Goodlett

September 11th, 2018

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Three girls with three deadly secrets. Only one can wear the crown.

The king is dying, his heir has just been murdered, and rebellion brews in the east. But the kingdom of Kolonya and the outer Reaches has one last option before it descends into leaderless chaos.

Or rather, three unexpected options.

Zofi has spent her entire life trekking through the outer Reaches with her band of Travelers. She would do anything to protect the band, her family. But no one can ever find out how far she’s already gone.

Akeylah was raised in the Eastern Reach, surrounded by whispers of rebellion and abused by her father. Desperate to escape, she makes a decision that threatens the whole kingdom.

Ren grew up in Kolonya, serving as a lady’s maid and scheming her way out of the servants’ chambers. But one such plot could get her hung for treason if anyone ever discovers what she’s done.

When the king summons the girls, they arrive expecting arrest or even execution. Instead they learn the truth: they are his illegitimate daughters, and one must become his new heir. But someone in Kolonya knows their secrets, and that someone will stop at nothing to keep the sisters from their destiny… to rule.

Magic, mystery, and blackmail abound in this sensational and striking fantasy debut. 

I’ve been seeing some mixed reviews for this book recently, but it the summary makes me really excited still.  I’m definitely going to check it out and see what people are talking about, and I’m hoping that I’ll love it!


Iron Flower by Laurie Forest

September 18th, 2018

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Elloren Gardner and her friends were only seeking to right a few wrongs, but their actions have propelled them straight into the ranks of the realm-wide Resistance against Gardnerian encroachment. As the Resistance struggles against the harsh rulings of High Priest Marcus Vogel and the Mage Council, Elloren begins to realize that none of the people she cares about will be safe if Gardneria seizes control of the Western Realm.

With tensions heating up in Verpacia, more and more Gardnerian soldiers continue to descend upon the university…led by none other than Lukas Grey, now commander of the newly rebuilt Fourth Division base. Though Elloren tries to keep him at arm’s length, Lukas is determined to wandfast to her, convinced that she has inherited her grandmother’s magic—the prophesied power of the Black Witch. As his very nearness seems to awaken a darkness inside her, Elloren finds it more and more difficult to believe that she’s truly powerless, as her uncle always claimed.

Caught between her growing feelings for the rebellious Yvan Guriel and the seductive power offered by Lukas Grey, Elloren must find a way to stay true to what she knows is right and protect everyone she loves…even if that means protecting them from herself.

I absolutely LOVED The Black Witch, and have eagerly been awaiting the sequel since I finished it in March.  I’m so happy it’s finally here!


Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness

September 18th, 2018

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On the battlefields of the American Revolution, Matthew de Clermont meets Marcus MacNeil, a young surgeon from Massachusetts, during a moment of political awakening when it seems that the world is on the brink of a brighter future. When Matthew offers him a chance at immortality and a new life free from the restraints of his puritanical upbringing, Marcus seizes the opportunity to become a vampire. But his transformation is not an easy one and the ancient traditions and responsibilities of the de Clermont family clash with Marcus’s deeply held beliefs in liberty, equality, and brotherhood.

Fast-forward to contemporary Paris, where Phoebe Taylor—the young employee at Sotheby’s whom Marcus has fallen for—is about to embark on her own journey to immortality. Though the modernized version of the process at first seems uncomplicated, the couple discovers that the challenges facing a human who wishes to be a vampire are no less formidable than they were in the eighteenth century. The shadows that Marcus believed he’d escaped centuries ago may return to haunt them both—forever.

A passionate love story and a fascinating exploration of the power of tradition and the possibilities not just for change but for revolution, Time’s Convert channels the supernatural world-building and slow-burning romance that made the All Souls Trilogy instant bestsellers to illuminate a new and vital moment in history, and a love affair that will bridge centuries.

Since we Americans don’t get to see the Discovery of Witches TV show until “early 2019”, I’m just excited that we have another book in the All Souls world to tie us over until then!