It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

This week I have some reading to do for Macmillan. I’m very excited about both of these titles.

What are you reading this week?

Wicked Saints- Emily A. Duncan

36118682   A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy..

IMG_2250

 

Red, White & Royal Blue- Casey McQuiston

41150487 A big-hearted romantic comedy in which the First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends…

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.

The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

IMG_2250

stacy

 

Advertisements

*Arc Review* That’s Not What I Heard- Stephanie Kate Strohm

39983680    What did you hear?

Kimberly Landis-Lilley and Teddy Lin are over. Yes, the Kim and Teddy broke up.

At least that’s what Phil Spooner thinks he overheard and then told Jess Howard, Kim’s best friend. Something about Teddy not liking Kim’s Instas? Or was it that Teddy is moving to Italy and didn’t want to do long distance? Or that Kim slid into someone else’s DMs?

Jess told her boyfriend, Elvis, that he needs to be on Kim’s side. Especially if he wants to keep her as his girlfriend. But Elvis is also Teddy’s best friend.

Now, Kim’s run out of school for the day. Jess is furious. Elvis is confused. And half the lunch period won’t talk to Teddy. Even the teachers have taken sides.

William Henry Harrison High will never be the same again!

My Review:

“But maybe that was part of saying goodbye- you were never really ready.”

William Henry Harrison High is in total disarray. The “IT” couple has split up and everyone is losing their minds. But how did it happen? And why? I’ve heard that it was…. and she heard it was because….. As rumors start to fly and people start taking sides, will the school will never get back on track?

This book is the high school version of the telephone game. Someone tells a secret and it spreads to someone else with something else added to it and by the time it comes back to you, it’s not even what you said. That game is this book.

It was an interesting concept but kind of dull. I was hoping for more laugh out loud moments instead of eye-rolling hijinks. Some of the characters were quirky and absolutely hilarious, while others were just painful. I’m also kind of confused at why the entire school cared that two people broke up? It’s just a high school relationship, move on with your day!

Teens/tweens will resonate with this and enjoy the banter between the many points of view. As an adult, I found it exhausting. It just goes to show that you can’t believe everything you hear.

IMG_2250

stacy

*Review* Cadaver & Queen- Alisa Kwitney

35140600    When Lizzie Lavenza enrolled at Ingold as its first female medical student, she knew she wouldn’t have an easy time. From class demands to being an outsider among her male cohorts, she’ll have to go above and beyond to prove herself. So when she stumbles across what appears to be a faulty Bio-mechanical–one of the mechanized cadavers created to service the school–she jumps at the chance to fix it and get ahead in the program.

Only this Bio-mechanical isn’t like the others. Where they are usually empty-minded and perfectly obedient, this one seems to have thoughts, feelings… and self-awareness.

Soon Lizzie realizes that it is Victor Frankenstein–a former student who died under mysterious circumstances. Victor, it seems, still has a spark of human intelligence inside him, along with memories of things he discovered before his untimely death.. .and a suspicion that he was murdered to keep that information from getting out. Suddenly Lizzie finds herself intertwined in dark secrets and sabotage that put her life, and the lives of Victor and their friends, in danger. But Lizzie’s determined to succeed–even if that means fighting an enemy who threatens the entire British Empire.

My Review:

“Arrogance is what thick people call the truth when they don’t like it.”

This is Tales from the Crypt meets Stalking Jack the Ripper with deeper and darker secrets. I love Tales from the Crypt and it’s still one of my favorite shows to watch. Stalking Jack the Ripper was one of those books I hated and it drove me crazy. So this got stuck right in the middle for me.

The cover and spine for this book are stunning. It definitely is the draw to capturing your attention. The synopsis hits you because of the feminist retelling. Even though it doesn’t read like a retelling of Frankenstein much but of another book and tv show.

Elizabeth, Victor, and Henry do make their appearances and the banter between them was great but the story in between could get kind of stuffy. I felt bored with some of this and the twists really didn’t shock me. I expected more but got mediocre.

Cadaver & Queen was an okay read but I don’t see myself reading it again. It definitely doesn’t need a second book and I’m probably going to skip that one.

Beware of the beautiful cover!!

IMG_2250

stacy

*Author Q&A & Giveaway Blog Tour* Girl at the Grave – Teri Bailey Black

About the Book

girlTitle: Girl At the Grave

Author: Teri Bailey Black

Publisher: Tor Teen

Release Date: August 7, 2018

Genre: Young Adult — Historical Fiction, Mystery

Synopsis:

Valentine has spent years trying to outrun her mother’s legacy. But small towns have long memories, and when a new string of murders occurs, all signs point to the daughter of a murderer.

Only one person believes Valentine is innocent—Rowan Blackshaw, the son of the man her mother killed all those years ago. Valentine vows to find the real killer, but when she finally uncovers the horrifying truth, she must choose to face her own dark secrets, even if it means losing Rowan in the end.

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33294216-girl-at-the-grave

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2RlslRp

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/girl-at-the-grave-teri-bailey-black/1127026392#/

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Girl-at-the-Grave-Teri-Bailey-Black/9780765399489

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780765399489

About the Author

Teri-Bailey-BlackTeri Bailey Black grew up near the beach in southern California in a large, quirky family with no television or junk food, but an abundance of books and art supplies. She’s happiest when she’s creating things, whether it’s with words, fabric, or digging in the garden. She makes an amazing chocolate cherry cake—frequently. She and her husband have four children and live in Orange County, California.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TeriBaileyBlack

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

Website: https://www.teribaileyblack.com/


Q&A with Teri Bailey Black

Thank you so much for stopping by on the blog, Teri! I’m so excited to host you here today! Girl at the Grave is absolutely stunning! 

1. One thing I love hearing authors talk about is their inspiration for their books. What inspired you to write Girl at the Grave?

I’m a very visual person (I grew up in a family of artists), so for me a story usually starts as an image in my mind. This book began with the image of a little girl in the 1800’s, with wild hair and dirty feet, looking through a schoolhouse window. The teacher tries to draw her inside, but she runs away. Most of the kids call her names, but one boy watches her with piercing attention. I wondered why that little girl was an outcast and decided her mother was hanged for murdering a prominent man—the father of the boy who watches her. After I’d written about a hundred pages of that little girl’s story, I realized I was more interested in the 17-year-old girl she becomes. So I started writing a new book where the handsome son of the murdered man still watches her, and it became a love story as well as a murder mystery. I thought up a few interesting plot twists and secrets—and I was off and running. Well, typing.

2. Every writer has a different writing experience. What was your writing experience like? Did the story come naturally or all at once or did you have to claw the story out of your characters? Or was it something else entirely? 

I’m a “seat of the pants” writer by nature (start with a vague idea and make it up as I go) but I do WANT to be an outliner (sigh) and I do TRY to outline ahead of time. My first draft of GIRL took about a year and was quite different than the final printed story. The first quarter of the book was Valentine’s childhood (seeing her mother hanged but not understanding why), and then the story jumped to her teen years. 

I sent out queries to agents and got several requests for the full manuscript, followed by rejections with some encouraging compliments. One agent asked for a revision and resubmit, with a suggestion to make it either a full children’s story or a full YA story. Seemed so obvious, suddenly. I spent about six months completely rewriting it, even changing the underlying murder mystery quite a bit.

I sent the new version back to that agent, who replied with some looovely compliments about my writing abilities that gave me hope—but now had issues with the characterizations. Sigh. I set it aside for six months, then attacked it again with fresh eyes. And THIS time, I was able to fly through it fairly quickly because I really knew my characters and story, so it was easy to move the pieces around.

After I signed with an agent (the amazing Barbara Poelle) and sold it to Tor Teen, my editor Amy Stapp had some powerful insights that made another major revision necessary. And then it became a book. Looking back, this book took several years because I was learning to write as I wrote it. The book I’m working on now is flying together much more easily.

3. Which one of your characters do you resonate with the most and why?

I feel a strong connection with my main character Valentine. She’s grown up as an outcast, never fitting in, and I think most of us have had those moments in our life when we feel like we don’t fit in. I love Valentine’s hard work ethic. She lost her mother at age six (or was it five? funny how I’ve forgotten!), so she’s had to learn how to cook and clean and survive on her own. (In my first draft, she spies through town windows watching other mothers, but that was cut.) I’m quite crafty myself and love the way Valentine sews a vest for Sam and bakes gingerbread for Birdy. Oh—and Birdy!! Valentine has such a warm, generous heart. She knows what it feels like to not fit in. She cares about those even less fortunate than herself, which is why she wants to work with Alina Lunt.

4. What is a quirky or unique habit you have?

I start writing at 4 or 5 in the morning—yes, really! The world is asleep, the house is quiet, and I can disappear into my story. Then, alas, the sun rises, the house gets noisy, time to shower and make the bed and throw in a load of laundry. I still write throughout the day, but I’m much more creative and productive in those early morning hours. The downside: my brain melts at 8pm.

5. If you could choose one character from your novel to spend a day around town with, who would you choose and why?

I love creative people, so I’d love to hang out with Rowan Blackshaw. I would enjoy watching him draw and paint. (Three of my sisters went to art school, and I always love watching them work.) Rowan is a deep-thinker—and smart—so I’d love to listen to him ramble about just about anything. And yeah, he’s gorgeous, so that doesn’t hurt. 

6. This is another question I love to ask authors! What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Writing advice! Mostly—keep it fun. Join writing groups and go to conferences and make personal connections, because that’s the good stuff. I know . . . most of us are closet introverts, but it’s worth the effort to find some writing friends. My critique group meets once a week and we have a blast. In the past, I had a critique group that only met online (living across the globe, literally), and that was also rewarding.

Listen to your critique partners and DON’T BE OFFENDED. Listen and learn. Nobody starts out great. You have to figure out your weaknesses before you can improve. You want critique partners who point out both the good and the bad. It’s not very helpful if they only say, “Wow, this is great.” And it’s discouraging if they only say, “Um . . . no.”

Publication seems like an obvious end goal, but that adds a truckload of pressure, both getting there and then getting through it, so decide if you’d rather just write for personal enjoyment—which is a worthy goal. I repeat: keep it fun!

Thank you again for stopping by, Teri! 🙂


Giveaway!

19_d1a46b34-4d61-4685-b2f8-6e4bf4a84a23_1800xPrize: Wonderland Book Beau, size XL for a standard hardcover (USA only)

Starts: 10/25/18

Ends:  11/2/18

ENTER HERE!


Tour Schedule

http://fantasticflyingbookclub.blogspot.com/2018/09/tour-schedule-girl-at-grave-by-teri.html

Thank you, Fantastic Flying Book Club for hosting this wonderful book tour!

 

*Arc Review* Your Own Worst Enemy- Gordon Jack

38563620   Three candidates, three platforms, and a whirlwind of social media, gaffes, and protests makes for a ridiculous and hilarious political circus in Gordon Jack’s second highly satirical novel. Perfect for fans of Andrew Smith and Frank Portman.
They say that with great power comes great responsibility. Unless you’re student body president at Lincoln High School. Then you get all the responsibility but none of the power. And the three candidates running for president know all about that.

Stacey Wynn is the front-runner, but she didn’t count on Julia Romero entering this race. Julia is challenging Stacey for the title while also putting the moves on Stacey’s campaign adviser and only friend, Brian. And then there is Tony Guo, the way outsider. Tony is usually oblivious to the school’s political campaigning, as he’s oblivious to anything that isn’t about getting high and drinking all the Space Cow chocolate milk he can stomach. But when his favorite beverage is banned at school, a freshman political “mastermind” convinces Tony to become the voice of the little guy. But what kind of voice is that, really?

If this were an ordinary high school election, the winner would be whichever candidate was the most popular. But this year, each candidate may have to sink to a new low to win an election that could change the course of…very little. 

 

My Review: 

“Here’s some change I can believe in.
Make America baked again.”

I devoured this book in less than a day. I could not put this down. It was clever and witty that I found myself laughing so hard that tears formed. But it also contained some serious subjects that made you look at the real world and what we’re currently dealing with. This was still a really fun read.

It makes you reminisce about the clown show we had to deal with with the last election. This was a lot more enjoyable since this was fictitious. The banter between the opponents was hilarious and a tad bit out there. But they were all enjoyable in their own way.

Tony has to be my favorite character. I mean, come on! I’ll never look at the bear-shaped honey bottle the same way ever again.

Gordon Jack is a genius. To take something that is still a tough issue to discuss and brings this creative pieces into our lives is beyond astronomical. And to perfectly get Stacey’s attitude and personality onto paper was amazing. We are quite the special species and this book will fill you in more.

With more boner jokes than you ever could imagine and a deep heartfelt look at unity, this book is definitely a must read. Maybe people will learn how to be beautiful human beings towards one another.

IMG_2250

The Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag

Happy October, everyone! Who is excited for Halloween tomorrow?! Halloween is my favorite time of the year, so I’m, of course, super excited to see everyone in their costumes tomorrow and to hand out some candy!

So, I thought in the spirit of Halloween, I would do another Halloween book tag! Now, I wasn’t tagged in this awesome book tag, but I stumbled across it and thought it was perfect for October (and, of course, Halloween!). Below are the instructions for the Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag:

Instructions:

1. Pick 5 books

2. Turn to a random page

3. The first name you see gets to be on your zombie survival team (yay?)

4. Apply the characters to the 10 situations and types of people in the order you got them

5. Fret over how doomed you are.

So each book gets two characters. For example, the characters I pick from City of Bones will get spots 1 and 2, Caraval will get spots 3 and 4, and so on.

Books I picked:

  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
  • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
  • Furyborn by Claire Legrand

The Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag:

1. The first person to die: Clary

I am surprisingly not surprised about this. As she’s pretty inexperienced in fighting in City of Bones, I can see why she would be the first to go. She’s a great character, but she gets overwhelmed pretty quickly. Bye-bye, Clary!

2. The person you trip to get away from the zombies: Dorothea

I’m that terrible person who loves the The Mortal Instruments series, but can’t remember Dorothea for the life of me. I hope she’s evil because then I did the right thing by tripping her. 🙂 If you know who she is, let me know in the comments!

3. The first person to turn into a zombie: Scarlett 😦

Noooo!! I love Scarlett from Caraval, so I am not happy about this! Tella will be destroyed when she finds out what happened to her sister.

4. The person that trips YOU to get away from the zombies: Tella

Okay, so not nice, Tella. She probably tripped me to get away from her zombie sister, not a zombie horde. Which means I could potentially be Scarlett’s first kill. Ugh, not what I had planned for the zombie apocalypse.

5. The idiot of the team: Tamlin

HA! THIS IS SO FREAKING FITTING! And I say it’s fitting because I am in no way a fan of Tamlin. I didn’t like him in the first book, so I for sure will not like him now. He may have a ton of experience in fighting and such, but he’s clueless when it comes to using his brain.

6. The “brains” of the team: Nesta (yeah, I can see this)

This is, by far, the most fitting of this whole zombie apocalypse team. Nesta is a smart individual. She may be slightly headstrong and stubborn, but that may come in handy when deciding the next move. She could very well be why most of the team will survive. Except for Scarlett. And hopefully Tamlin. 🙂

7. The team’s medic: Eliana

She could potentially be the medic, but she’d rather be out fighting the zombies. Eliana is a fighter and if you get injured, she’ll probably still be wondering why you are not fighting. So, she basically may not be the best choice, but she most likely knows first aid. I hope…

8. The weapons expert: Rielle

Actually, I feel like Rielle and Eliana should switch roles. Eliana loves her knives and fighting, so she would enjoy being the weapons expert. And Rielle so badly wants to use her powers for good, so why not be the team’s medic?

9. The brawler: Locke

Are you for real? Locke doesn’t fight; he starts the fights by opening his mouth and starting crap. So, I cannot see him as being the brawler. He’d probably hide behind someone else before stepping into a fight.

10. The Team Captain: Queen Orlagh

I see this as a bad choice, and the fellow readers that have read this book know why. So, if you are curious as to why this is a bad choice (or is it a good choice? Hmm…), check out The Cruel Prince! I don’t think we’d all live with her as the team captain, so knowing me and knowing Nesta, I’d be voting for Nesta as the team captain.


And that’s it! I loved this tag and the books I chose. If you are up for doing a book tag, try this one and tag me so I can see your results!

♥Nikole