Blog Tours, Book Review, Uncategorized, YA Paranormal, Young Adult Fiction

Blog Tour [Review]: Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

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Title: Vespertine
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Release Date: October 5, 2021
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours and Jolly Fish Press for the early review copy and opportunity to be on this tour!

Where to buy: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | IndieBound | Book Depository

Rating: 3.5 stars bumped to 4 stars

Synopsis

From the New York Times bestselling author of Sorcery of Thorns and An Enchantment of Ravens comes a thrilling new YA fantasy about a teen girl with mythic abilities who must defend her world against restless spirits of the dead.

The dead of Loraille do not rest.

Artemisia is training to be a Gray Sister, a nun who cleanses the bodies of the deceased so that their souls can pass on; otherwise, they will rise as spirits with a ravenous hunger for the living. She would rather deal with the dead than the living, who trade whispers about her scarred hands and troubled past.

When her convent is attacked by possessed soldiers, Artemisia defends it by awakening an ancient spirit bound to a saint’s relic. It is a revenant, a malevolent being that threatens to possess her the moment she drops her guard. Wielding its extraordinary power almost consumes her—but death has come to Loraille, and only a vespertine, a priestess trained to wield a high relic, has any chance of stopping it. With all knowledge of vespertines lost to time, Artemisia turns to the last remaining expert for help: the revenant itself.

As she unravels a sinister mystery of saints, secrets, and dark magic, her bond with the revenant grows. And when a hidden evil begins to surface, she discovers that facing this enemy might require her to betray everything she has been taught to believe—if the revenant doesn’t betray her first.

Review

Vespertine is a great read for spooky season! You get possession, magical fighting nuns, spirits and a girls trying to save them all. Margaret Rogerson did not fail to keep me intrigued through most of the story.

The plot was very focused on Artemisia, her relationship with her revenant and her path to fighting the demonic soldiers that have popped up. If you are coming for romance, this may not be the book for you. If you are coming for some banter between a girl and the spirit that possesses her, then this is the perfect read for you. Artemisia, a grey sister, is responsible for purifying and preparing of the dead. One night, after finding a new grey sister in a near death experience and fighting off a spirit, Artemisia worlds takes a shift and she is now on the frontline of a big spiritual battle.

Artemisia is an interesting character. We start off seeing Artemisia as a lone girl; always keeping to herself. As the story grows, so does Artemisia’s will to open up more. We see this most through her many interactions with the revenant that lives within her.  Those interactions open Artemisia up to new conversations and we are introduced to supporting characters that just as interesting as our protagonist. Artemisia continues to shine in the story as a fair, logical and powerful leader who will do what she can to save those around her.

In regards to the worldbuilding, it was pretty simple but it worked for the storyline. The attention was put more of the characters creating a well written character driven plot. The plot overall was pretty consistent, although there were certain points of the story where the dialogue dragged longer than I expected. However, once we got to the action, the scenes were executed well and still kept to the overall tone and consistency of the plot.

Vespertine has dark magic, nuns fighting the supernatural, great dialogue and an overall spooky feel to it all.

About the Author

Margaret Rogerson is the author of the New York Times bestsellers An Enchantment of Ravens and Sorcery of Thorns. She has a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology from Miami University. When not reading or writing she enjoys sketching, gaming, making pudding, and watching more documentaries than is socially acceptable (according to some). She lives near Cincinnati, Ohio, beside a garden full of hummingbirds and roses. Visit her at MargaretRogerson.com.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Giveaway

Up for grabs on the book blog tour is two (2) copies of VESPERTINE by Margaret Rogerson, one a physical finished copy and one a digital copy. Open USA only.
Giveaway starts: Monday, September 27, 2021
Giveaway ends: Saturday, October 9, 2021 at 12:00 a.m. CDT

Direct link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1e4a114d53/?

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Blog Tour [Review]: Chaos on CatNet by Naomi Kritzer

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Title: Chaos on CatNet
Edited by: Naomi Kritzer
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: May 4, 2021

Where to buy: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY

Thank you Jean BookNerd Tours and Tor Teen for the review copy and spot on this awesome blog tour!

Rating 4 Stars

Synopsis

In this follow-up to the award-winning near future YA thriller Catfishing on CatNet, It takes an AI to catch an AI…

When a mysterious entity starts hacking into social networks and chat rooms to instigate paranoia and violence in the real world, it’s up to Steph and her new friend, Nell, to find a way to stop it—with the help of their benevolent AI friend, CheshireCat.

Praise for Catfishing on CatNet

“The characters offer positive, realistic LGBTQIA+ representation―especially nonbinary identities and characters still exploring their identities. Refreshingly, the characters also feel like generally-woke-but-still-imperfect humans. Wickedly funny and thrilling in turns; perfect for readers coming-of-age online.” ―Kirkus, starred review

“Kritzer’s take on a benevolent AI is both whimsical and poignant. An entertaining, heart-filled exploration of today’s online existence and privacy concerns.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Smart, sly, scary, and irrepressibly good fun, this novel has everything I’ve ever wanted from a story: it is a cerebral, funny, tender, big-idea delight. I can’t wait for you to read it.”―Kelly Barnhill, Newbery Award-winning author of The Girl Who Drank the Moon

“An absolutely charming and incredibly gripping, superbly plotted YA thriller.” ―Cory Doctorow, New York Times bestselling author of Little Brother

“Kritzer’s flawless collection taps deep wells of emotion and wonder…. Her work is indisputably speculative, but it’s a perfect entry point to the genre for readers who prefer fantastical and futuristic elements to stay more in the background, with human (and robotic) feelings always at the fore. This splendid treat is not to be missed.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review, on Cat Pictures Please and Other Stories.

Review

We jump back into the world of Stephanie and a new adventure that proves to be just as thrilling and dangerous as the last. We left Stephanie in Catfishing on Catnet seeing her father; someone she and her mom were on the run for go to prison. We meet Stephanie in a new city, and becoming the new kid in a new school. She sill keeps in touch with her friends form her old home and develops new friendships in this school. She also still interacts with CheshireCat; an AI who is more than content with cat pics.


Stephanie befriends Nell, a formerly homeschooled student who had to move in with her DAD and his new wife after her mom disappeared. Nell is also struggling with no longer being part of the religious group she was brought up with. Stephanie asks for CheshireCat’s help in finding Nell’s Mother, all while a new addicting game has surfaced that rewards people for completing real life tasks. The story takes us on a journey of figuring out the origins of this new game.


Okay, so this read was wild and kept me questioning whether the game was something that was actually in real life. I will have to look it up but I do feel like there was a game similar to what the app is in the book and it didn’t end well. I could be wrong but reading that portion of the book felt so surreal. In terms of my favorite focus of the book, friendships were the theme that shined throughout the story. You are able to see Stephanie and Nell’s friendships grows as they are on the search to find Nell’s girlfriend and take down the creator of the game. It allowed us to see Stephanie creating a new friendship and bond on a mission. I also enjoyed the additions of Stephanie’s sassy and loving grandmother. She exuded warmth and strength and added some levity in a semi-tense storyline.


This book was a page turner for me because I was itching to find out who the creator of the online game was. I was in for a twist I didn’t expect. The story started slow but built up so well. The storyline was pretty solid like the first story, while also tackling so many themes and conversations involving tolerance, violence, etc. If you enjoyed the first Catnet book, you will enjoy Chaos on Catnet.

About the Author

NAOMI KRITZER has been making friends online since her teens, when she had to use a modem to dial up at 2400 baud. She is a writer and blogger who has published a number of short stories and novels for adults, including the Eliana’s Song duology and the Dead Rivers Trilogy. Her 2015 short story “Cat Pictures Please” won the Hugo Award and Locus Award and was a finalist for the Nebula. Naomi lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with her family and four cats. The number of cats is subject to change without notice. Edgar Allan Poe Award Winner

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Instagram

Giveaway Time!

5 Winners will receive a Copy of CATFISHING ON CATNET & CHAOS ON CATNET by Naomi Kritzer

Giveaway is open to International and end May 17th, 2021. | Must be 13+ to Enter | Click Rafflecopter Pic below to enter!

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End of Year Reflection

Hey Everyone!

2020 is coming to a close and I am happy. 2020 was a rough year overall and I am sure many of your fought so hard through your own struggles. If you asked me back in February of this year, would I be working from home, having months long reading slumps and constantly rethinking my future, I would have looked at you like you had two heads. But I have learned so much about myself during this time that I would not have had the time to reflect on.

I enjoy working from home, but I also miss some of the things that came from working in an office of people. I’ve learned that it’s okay not to read over a hundred books a year if you are not motivated to read. I struggled with this the most because often time I felt that I was letting people and myself down. For 2021, I want to be more intentional on what I read, read the books that give me joy and be okay with not being part of the next big hyped up book craze. It’s not healthy for me and my TBR shelves would love me a little more if I choose a book sitting there waiting to be opened and read.

I’ve also realized how awesome it has been seeing people read my reviews, enjoying them and potentially adding a book I gushed about onto their ever growing TBR list. In short, thank you. You following this small blog, reading my reviews and enjoying them in any way has really helped give me the motivation to not only continue but to enjoy blogging. As I write this, I am thinking of so many ideas and topics I can bring to this blog. So again, thank you!

As we end this wild year, I want you all to know that I hope you are doing okay and taking all the self care you need and deserve. 2021 may be unpredictable, but I will make the most positive of it and will continue to bring joy through my reviews.

2020 sucked but it gave us the power to conquer 2021. Happy Early New Year!

Uncategorized

Blog Tour [Review]: Stolen to Wear His Crown

Hey everyone, hope all is well! To wrap up the December Harlequin December Reads Tour, I give you a review on Stolen to Wear His Crown by Marcella Bell.

Stolen to Wear His Crown
Author: Marcella Bell
Publication Date: November 1st 2020
Publisher: Harlequin

Where to buy: Harlequin | Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis

From unworldly scientist… to his fearless queen!

Mina has finally achieved her dream of becoming chief scientific advisor of Cyrano, when she’s stolen from the interview room! She’s taken directly to the palace chapel, where the terms of a secret betrothal mean she must marry the king—immediately. Powerful King Zayn knows all too well monarchs can’t afford dangerous distractions like love. Yet still, he’s appalled to be wed to a complete stranger! Mina is altogether too sensitive, too scholarly, too unpolished to be queen. But that can’t stop the desire that flares each time she looks his way…

Review

Stolen to Wear His Crown was a weird rollercoaster of a read. It went from zero to one hundred within the first ten percent of the book. From that ten percent, the rest was a bit more of a slow burn read.

Mina, a geeky academic scientist, has worked her life to focus on her PHD and be appointed as one of the King’s advisors. Once appointed, Mina is kidnapped in a very unsettling way, brought to the king who she is now forced to marry. A deal made by her father so many years ago, Mina is now faced with an arrogant king and an unpredictable future. The storyline was very predictable, which was okay, especially if you want a quick read. If the storyline didn’t feel so far-fetched, I would have be more engrossed and invested.

What I enjoyed was the difference of personalities between the two main characters. They were both very opposite of each other. Did it add on to that romantic tension the author wanted to portray, yes! Was it entertaining at times? Yeah, for the most part it was good to see the two learn to grown on each other given their circumstances. Speaking of circumstances, Mina really tried to work with her new situation, and I have to do credit where credit is due. It’s not everyday you become a wife and a queen all in one shot, especially to a very proud and arrogant king. I also saw strength and confidence in Mina at times that I appreciated throughout the book.

Overall, it was okay. I was taken aback by the kidnapping scene because it felt unnecessary forceful and was trying to picture a world where a 36-year old virgin could be experienced in both love and sex if she was so into the books an describe as a stereotypical school nerd. However, if you want a quick read and want to root on a heroine who surprises oyu when she stands her ground, this is a book for you.

About the Author

Marcella Bell lives in the mostly-sunny wilds of Southern Oregon with her husband, children, father, and three mismatched mutts. The dry hot summers and four distinct annual seasons of the region are a far cry from the weird rainy streets of Portland, OR, where she grew up, but she wouldn’t trade her quirky mountain valley home for anyplace else on the earth. As a late bloomer and a yogini, Marcella is drawn to romance that showcases love’s incredible power to transform.

Author Website: https://www.marcellabell.com/

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Uncategorized

Excerpt Reveal: A Soldier Under Her Tree

Happy Friday everyone! This week I am giving you a double dose of some swoony holiday romance sneak peaks courtesy of Harlequin. Today’s excerpt comes from A Soldier Under Her Tree by Kathy Douglass.

A Soldier Under Her Tree
Author: Kathy Douglass
Publication Date: December 1st 2020
Publisher: Harlequin Special Edition

Where to buy: Harlequin | Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis

Tis the season…for a second shot at love. Could a fake boyfriend be her real hero this Christmas?

When her ex-fiancé shows up at her shop—engaged to her sister!—dress designer Hannah Carpenter doesn’t know what to do. Especially when her former fling Russell Danielson sees her plight and rides to the rescue, offering a fake relationship to foil her rude relations. The thing is, there’s nothing fake about his kiss… But when things get real, will the sexy soldier once again stop short of commitment?

From Harlequin Special Edition: Believe in love. Overcome obstacles. Find happiness.

And now for a sneak peak!

“Why do you have to be like that? I tried to re­sist. We both did, for your sake. That’s why we didn’t get married right away. We were consider­ing your feelings. But Gerald and I are in love and want to be together.”

Hannah managed not to throw up the yogurt she’d grabbed for breakfast. Respect for her feel­ings wasn’t the reason Dinah and Gerald hadn’t gotten married three years ago. They hadn’t tied the knot because Dinah hadn’t been divorced yet. Her ex-husband hadn’t been in the mood to give her half of what he’d earned, so the proceedings had dragged on and on. Of course, had Dinah been as much in love with Gerald as she’d claimed, she would have just walked away from her then eight-month marriage and a huge settlement. But Dinah had absorbed their mother’s teaching quite well. Never leave a dollar behind.

“I’m not stopping you. Get married. Have the biggest wedding the state of Virginia has seen. Heck, all of America has seen. But leave me out of it.”

Gerald stepped forward then. Hannah had hoped to never see the weasel ever again. Yet here he was, standing right in front of her. He was av­erage height with hair that was beginning to thin and cold, calculating eyes. Hannah wondered what she’d ever seen in him. When they’d worked to­gether at his father’s architectural firm, she’d been impressed by what she’d interpreted as his drive and desire to make a name for himself. Now she realized that had just been a mirage.

“Hannah, we weren’t right for each other.” Was he trying to sound sympathetic? If so, he was fail­ing miserably. But then, true feelings weren’t in­cluded in his limited repertoire. “I know you feel the same way.”

“You got that right.”

“I know you’re hurt and disappointed,” he said as if he hadn’t heard a word she’d said. Apparently he’d prepared this speech and intended to recite every word of it. “But don’t hold it against Dinah.”

“You’re unbelievable. Please, all of you, just leave.”

“Not until you agree to make my dress,” Dinah said. Clearly trying to make nice was putting a strain on her and she was reverting to type.

Hannah had a business to run. A customer could come in at any moment. She needed to put an end to this now.

“You know, I can always call the chief of po­lice. He’s a friend, too.”

“You wouldn’t dare,” Eleanor said indignantly, pressing a manicured hand against her chest.

“Actually I would,” Hannah said, hoping her mother wouldn’t call her bluff. Hannah didn’t want anyone in town, especially her friends, to know about her messed up family. She’d never told a soul about them or how Gerald had betrayed her. And she never would. But Eleanor didn’t know that.

“There’s no need for that,” Eleanor said hast­ily, trying to get back on script. “Hannah, just consider what’s best for the family. And for you.”

“How would it look if you, a successful dress designer to the stars, refuse to design a wedding dress for your only sister? It could harm your rep­utation if anyone ever found out how petty you’re being,” Dinah added.

“Was that a threat? That’s an interesting strat­egy for someone asking a favor.”

“I’m just pointing out the obvious. You like to pretend that you’re the victim. Poor betrayed Han­nah. The truth is Gerald dumped you because he didn’t want you. He wanted me.” Dinah preened as if she were some sort of prize. “You’ve always been jealous of my beauty. I would have thought you’d gotten over it by now. Maybe if you could find a man, you wouldn’t be so bitter. But then, maybe you haven’t met anyone desperate enough.”

Hannah gasped. That was low even for Dinah.

The sound of a throat being loudly cleared filled the uneasy silence. Hannah closed her eyes.

Just what she’d hoped to avoid—a witness to her family’s dysfunction and her personal humiliation.

She opened her eyes and turned to face her customer.

Russell Danielson. Her good friend’s brother. She’d met Russell this past summer when he’d been in Sweet Briar visiting his siblings and their families. They’d hit it off and spent a glorious eve­ning together. He’d promised to contact her when he got back to his duty station. He hadn’t.

She’d been hurt when he’d ghosted her—dis­appointed even—but not surprised. She was still down on men. Besides, though they’d had a couple of good conversations, those talks hadn’t involved anything truly personal. Still, she’d thought they’d connected. Clearly she’d been wrong.

Russell looked around the room, taking in the scene, and then smiled. Did he find the way she was standing against the wall while they circled her like sharks amusing? “Sorry I’m late.”

“Uh.” Late for what? Until he’d stepped into her store, she hadn’t known he was in town.

He crossed the room, not stopping until he was standing an inch in front on her. Instinctively she inhaled and got a whiff of his delectable scent. He was wearing a woodsy cologne, which when min­gled with his natural scent made her weak in the knees. Before she could utter a word, he put his arms around her waist and pulled her into a kiss.

His lips were warm, and the pressure was perfect. He lingered for a few seconds before pulling away. Though he’d ended the kiss, he kept his arm firmly around her waist, which was good since her knees had turned to Jell-O.

About the Author

Kathy Douglass came by her love of reading naturally – both of her parents were readers. She would finish one book and pick up another. Then she attended law school and traded romances for legal opinions. After the birth of her two children, her love of reading turned into a love of writing. Kathy now spends her days writing the small town contemporary novels she enjoys reading. Kathy loves to hear from her readers and can be found on Facebook.

Author Website: https://kathydouglassbooks.com/

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