*ARC Review* Kingdom of Ash and Soot – C. S. Johnson

Cinderella meets Mission Impossible in this spy adventure series full of political intrigue, family secrets, and a determined heroine.

39604038Title: Kingdom of Ash and Soot

Author: C.S. Johnson

Publisher: Prodigy Gold Books

Release Date: July 3, 2018

Page Count: 352

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

“I want to be free.” The words came rushing out of me before I could think through their implications and consequences.

“There are two things you need to know about yourself if you want to be free—what you stand for, and what you stand against.” Lady Penelope held up her hands, brandishing a pair of daggers that had been hidden in her skirts. “This world lives enslaved to its destruction, and so long as you are living, as long as you are fighting, you will be free.”

I gazed at the daggers, transfixed. Each blade was clothed in a leather scabbard, but the silver and obsidian of the daggers’ hilts winked at me, as though it was calling for me.

PRAGUE, 1870.

For the last ten years, nineteen-year-old Eleanora Svobodová has worked as a servant in her stepmother’s household. Along with her older brother, she dreams of the day they will be free to live life on their own terms.

But everything changes when their estranged grandmother comes to Prague on behalf of Queen Victoria. Throughout Bohemia, a string of murders and secret whispers hint at a larger coup. As the leader of the Order of the Crystal Daggers, an ancient order of spies and soldiers that protect kingdoms and their rulers, Lady Penelope is determined to mete out the perpetrators. Now, Eleanora must make the choice between a life of intrigue and saving the lives of others.

Can Eleanora find a way do the right thing and still find freedom?

With a fun blend of historical fiction, true love, castle intrigue, and family dysfunction, The Order of the Crystal Daggers is the latest adventure series from C. S. Johnson.


Kingdom of Ash and Soot is beautifully written, offering alluring and intense character-driven scenes that make you feel like you are standing next to Eleanora the entire time. The historical parts of the novel are compelling and so intricately woven into the plot. The twists and turns will leave you guessing and when the pieces finally come together, you won’t be disappointed.

I’ve read a ton of books that have traces of Cinderella, but never one that includes action scenes, political intrigue, and the incredible spy component like Mission Impossible. There’s the stepmother and the god-awful stepchildren that torment Eleanora and her brother, Ben. And then there’s the wonderfully stubborn grandmother that comes to their rescue, to take them out of servitude and give their lives more meaning and to give the two siblings what they have always wanted: freedom. But as some know, freedom comes at a cost. Always.

It comes at a cost that Eleanora is willing to pay.

Eleanora is a strong and courageous character and refuses to let anything, and anyone, break her. She controls her own destiny and refuses to let anyone tell her otherwise. Family is important to her, and putting up with her stepfamily is what she does to ensure her and Ben have a future. She’s a lovable main character and one that deserves a happily every after.

Though I loved Eleanora and her bravery and her desire to do what’s right, I loved Ferdy more. Ferdy is such a lovable and fun character and, of course, he sounds so attractive on the page. I was more excited about the scenes with Ferdy than I was for any other scenes (I’m hoping there’s a ton more of Ferdy in book two). He showcases charm and his dazzling intellect, all the while trying to sweep Eleanora off her feet. Ferdy brings a giddiness to the book that I feel would be missing if he didn’t exist. All in all, Eleanora is one lucky girl to have a character like Ferdy vying for her attention. I also very much enjoyed Lady POW in all her stubborn and sassy glory. There were so many enjoyable characters in Kingdom of Ash and Soot that once I finished the first book, it felt like I was leaving family.

When I read the last line of the book, I was like, “That’s it?!” I craved more of Eleanora’s story (and Ferdy, of course), and I cannot wait to read the second book. Eleanora’s journey is no where near its end; her journey has just begun, and I’m determined to watch her finish it.

Kingdom of Ash and Soot comes out Tuesday, July 3 (only a few more days!). But you can pre order the book today from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. I have my copy on pre order; I loved the story of Eleanora so much that I had to order a paperback copy!

If you love the spy element, romantic intrigue, fierce action scenes, swoon-worthy love interests, and character-driven plots, then I highly recommend Kingdom of Ash and Soot.

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First Line Friday- The Wicked King- Holly Black

Today I’m going to do something a tad bit different. We usually do the first line in a book but I’m going to give you the first line in Chapter one and bypassing the Prologue.

I think this first sentence gives you a little more sustenance than the other line.

Our book this week is The Wicked King by Holly Black!!

Image result for the wicked king holly black

“The new High King of Faerie lounges on his throne, his crown resting at an insouciant angle, his long villainously scarlet cloak pinned at his shoulders and sweeping the floor.”

*swoon* Who doesn’t love King Cardan!?

Synopsis:

The enchanting and bloodthirsty sequel to the New York Times bestselling novel The Cruel Prince.

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

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Happy Reading!!

Richelle mead signing

Richelle mead is my fav author and should of seen me when new schedule was being put up and I saw I had not 1 but both days Richelle was in a area both times I danced around my break room happy as all get out. But day of 8-26-18 was in collegeville pa. A town about 40 mins west of Philadelphia. I get there and what do I see this place serves wine and my first book store that ever did!!

Soo chilling reading waiting. About 4 some other people come for the signing so get talking with them and was nice. Finally the signing happens. Richelle comes out. It’s always funny no matter what signing someone is afraid to ask there question. I have read the emerald sea already so I asked while also being kind to others who have not read it I said did you intend to write a character in emerald to be professor umbridge in hp. She said no but as think of it now seems similar. But more on puritans sorta life base. Then few others went on then Richelle asked Day before her signing she did a q&a on Reddit and she announced what she is writing next, she asked who of us have read it. I rose my hand and Richelle was out loud typical you have to me and mind you still at the signing. But shocking no one at the signing had besides me. Then rest were majority Vampire academy based. Which Richelle couldn’t say much. But yea then went to signing part and got all my arcs, manuscript and rare edition books signed

Plus Forgot soundless in the pic.

Lady we got posters for the glittering court that was rad!!

But that was my day. I loved every moment and hopefully meet Richelle again.

King of Fools- Amanda Foody Cover Reveal!

We absolutely love Amanda Foody’s Ace Of Shades series and we’re so excited to share the cover to the second book in that series.

We’re going to tell you what the book is about and then share the cover.

Happy Reading!!

Synopsis:

Indulge your vices in the City of Sin, where a sinister street war is brewing and fame is the deadliest killer of them all…

On the quest to find her missing mother, prim and proper Enne Salta became reluctant allies with Levi Glaisyer, the city’s most famous con man. Saving his life in the Shadow Game forced Enne to assume the identity of Seance, a mysterious underworld figure. Now, with the Chancellor of the Republic dead and bounties on both their heads, she and Levi must play a dangerous game of crime and politics…with the very fate of New Reynes at stake.

Thirsting for his freedom and the chance to build an empire, Levi enters an unlikely partnership with Vianca Augustine’s estranged son. Meanwhile, Enne remains trapped by the mafia donna’s binding oath, playing the roles of both darling lady and cunning street lord, unsure which side of herself reflects the truth.

As Enne and Levi walk a path of unimaginable wealth and opportunity, new relationships and deadly secrets could quickly lead them into ruin. And when unforeseen players enter the game, they must each make an impossible choice: To sacrifice everything they’ve earned in order to survive…

Or die as legends.

It’s so gorgeous!! 😍😍😍

What do you think of the cover!!?

*Book Blitz – Teaser* Kiss of the Royal – Lindsey Duga

32173635Title: Kiss of the Royal

Author: Lindsey Duga

Genre: YA Fantasy

Release Date: July 3rd 2018

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Summary:

In the war against the Forces of Darkness, the Royals are losing. Princess Ivy is determined to end this centuries-long conflict once and for all, so her new battle partner must succeed where the others failed. Prince Zach’s unparalleled skill with a sword, enhanced by Ivy’s magic Kiss, should make them an unstoppable pair—but try convincing Zach of that.

Prince Zach has spent his life preparing for battle, but he would rather be branded a heretic than use his lips as nothing more than a way to transfer magic. A kiss is a symbol of love, and love is the most powerful weapon they have—but try convincing Ivy of that.

With the fate of their world on the line, the battlefield has become a testing ground, and only one of them can be right. Falling for each other wasn’t part of the plan—but try convincing their hearts of that.  

Links to pre-order can be found HERE!


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About the Author

lindseyduga-resized.jpgLindsey Duga developed a deep love for courageous heroes, dastardly villains, and enchanting worlds from the cartoon shows, books, and graphic novels she read as a kid. Drawing inspiration from these fantastical works of fiction, she wrote her first novel in college while she was getting her bachelor’s in Mass Communication from Louisiana State University. By day, Lindsey is an account manager at a digital marketing agency based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. By night, and the wee hours of the morning, she writes both middle grade and young adult. She has a weakness for magic, anything classical, all kinds of mythology, and falls in love with tragic heroes. Other than writing and cuddling with her morkie puppy, Delphi, Lindsey loves catching up on the latest superhero TV show, practicing yoga, and listening (and belting) to her favorite music artists and show tunes. KISS OF THE ROYAL is her YA debut novel. 

Author Links:

Website: https://lindseyduga.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lindseyduga

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/linzduga/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lduga

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15853318.Lindsey_Duga

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lindsey-Duga/e/B07BJNMRHX/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1524077289&sr=1-1

Book Blitz Organized by:

YA Bound Book Tours


I’ve actually had the pleasure of reading an early copy of Kiss of the Royal, and let me tell you, it is so good. If you love fantasy and romance, then you need to read Kiss of the Royal. My review will be up on Monday, so stay tuned! 🙂

♥Nikole

*Release Day Blitz* Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault – Candace Robinson

I am a couple days late in posting this, but I am so excited that QUINSEY WOLFE’S GLASS VAULT by Candace Robinson is available now and that I get to share the news!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Candace Robinson, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card courtesy of Candace Robinson and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

GlassVault_FC2_A (1).jpgTitle: QUINSEY WOLFE’S GLASS VAULT

Author: Candace Robinson

Pub. Date: June 26, 2018

Publisher: The Parliament House

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 242

Find it:

GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD

Some see it… Some don’t…

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

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

Excerpt:

Maisie takes Oak Street, which I have always found ironic. The street is lined on both sides with tall trees, each one reaching toward the other as if longing for their touch. For a town called Deer Park, I have seen more trees on a street corner than actual deer. Not. One. Single. Deer.

Suddenly, Maisie slams on the brakes and my chest strikes hard against the seat belt. Then I smash back into the seat just as hard. The only thing I can think is, are my organs still intact? Seriously, they feel like they’re bleeding profusely.

“What the hell?” August and I say at the exact same time. Maisie is staring across the street to the left.

“Look!” she exclaims.

Now I see what Maisie is pointing at. Across from us stands an enormous stone building, unbelievably tall, and its walls are lined with huge rocks all along the base. Among the rocks, it appears there are absolutely no windows of any kind. The entrance has an archway that frames one of the tallest wooden doors I have ever seen. It’s creepily unusual.

“Impossible,” I breathe.

“This has never been here before.” August appears flabbergasted.

He’s right. He’s beyond right. There’s no way this place was just magically built overnight. Even if it were possible, it’s obviously old. It has to be over a hundred years old.

“Maybe we never really noticed it before.” Maisie unbuckles herself and opens the car door, completely taken by the sight of this building.

I throw my hands up hysterically and wave my hands around like a lunatic. “Never noticed it before? This giant stone mansion?”

“Perrie has a point, Maisie.” August stares up at the building in shock.

Hesitantly, I step out of the car and August follows. We walk around to stand beside Maisie, completely speechless as we continue our staring marathon at the place. It’s really an unusual structure to be sitting in the middle of our town. One would think something like this would have drawn major attention from the locals.

“We should investigate!” Maisie is moving before either of us can protest.

“Just a quick look,” I say, falling into step beside her, fingers itching with curiosity.

We walk to the door at a leisurely pace, as if we have all night to see what’s going on. As we inch closer to the arched doorway, where overgrown grass meets a block of cement, two things pop into my line of sight. First, there’s a plaque on the door that reads:

Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault

It’s written in an elegant, yet outdated script.

Maisie tilts her head to the side, skeptical of the plaque. “Not sure what a glass vault is.”

I point at a sign to the right of the door. Moving closer to see what it says, I read it aloud:

The illustrious Quinsey Wolfe presents a wonder of the world, a true sight to behold in his infamous glass museum. A forewarning to onlookers and wonderers, beware of your imagination and curiosity. This is not for the faint of heart. 

About Candace:

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

You can also follow me on my review blog Literary Dust

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Instagram | Goodreads

Giveaway Details: All International

1 winner will receive an Amazon Gift Card, International.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2772/

*Arc Review* Bring Me Their Hearts- Sara Wolf

“Jealousy rises in me again- a snake that adores emerging whenever the humans do wonderful and stupid things with their mortal lives. They can risk so much, because they have so much. Their hearts. Futures. Freedoms. And here I am, begging for their scraps. Begging for an opening to take what I want and run.”

My friend, Jennifer and I thought we had this all figured out. We texted each other while reading this, filling each other in on our plot scenarios that we have guessed and we were both so wrong.

What unfolds through these pages is something magical. Something that will not only break your heart, but will blow your mind. I couldn’t be more in love with this new series.

Everyone knows I’m not much of a Fantasy reader but I’m slowly starting to come around. This is what reluctant fantasy readers need to read. It changes your entire outlook on the genre.

Let’s talk about the Heartless badass known as Zera. Her character was what we all dream of when we need a powerful woman who doesn’t let anyone stop her. She doesn’t let no man her in her way and let us bow down to this queen.

Prince Lucien was another star shining character that was easily lovable from the beginning. It was easy to connect with these well thought-out characters. I never wanted it to end.

The beautiful words that flow from page to page makes me think of Holly Black. There’s something striking about the way they both write and how they capture your attention with not only the actions taking place but the pure perfection of their words.

I can not brag about this book any more than I am already doing. I’m also going to need book two right now because that end has me on edge.

Thank you, Entangled Teen for sending me this surprise arc.