Blog Tours, Book Review, Fantasy, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

Blog Tour [Review]: Mysteries of Thorn Manor

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Title: Mysteries of Thorn Manor
Margaret Rogerson
Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: January 17, 2023
Young Adult Fantasy

Where to buy: AMAZON

Thank you Turn the Page tours and Simon & Schuster for the review copyand the opportunity to be on this blog tour!

Rating: 3 stars


Elisabeth Scrivener is finally settling into her new life with sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn. Now that their demon companion Silas has returned, so has scrutiny from nosy reporters hungry for gossip about the city’s most powerful sorcerer and the librarian who stole his heart. But something strange is afoot at Thorn Manor: the estate’s wards, which are meant to keep their home safe, are acting up and forcibly trapping the Manor’’ occupants inside. Surely it must be a coincidence that this happened just as Nathaniel and Elisabeth started getting closer to one another…

With no access to the outside world, Elisabeth, Nathaniel, and Silas—along with their new maid Mercy—will have to work together to discover the source of the magic behind the malfunctioning wards before they’re due to host the city’s Midwinter Ball. Not an easy task when the house is filled with unexpected secrets, and all Elisabeth can think about is kissing Nathaniel in peace. But when it becomes clear that the house, influenced by the magic of Nathaniel’s ancestors, requires a price for its obedience, Elisabeth and Nathaniel will have to lean on their connection like never before to set things right.


Diving into the Mysteries of Thorn Manor, I did not realize that it was a continuation to Sorcery of Thorns. I’d admit that it was a bit confusing to follow at times, but overall, it was a pretty decent read. I’ve read Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson and was captured by how well the writing was, so I was not surprised when the writing in Mysteries of Thorn Manor was also written well.  For the characters and their chemistry, it feels like the relationship was developed between Nathaniel and Elisabeth in Sorcery of Thorns because reading the two, I was bale ot pick up quickly how involved they were. I really enjoyed their sweet banter between each other and the carefree way they show affection not each other.

In regard to the plot, I was pretty intrigued. A manor closing itself suddenly from the outside, leaving those inside no way to leave. Throw in some deadly fighting topiaries, dangerous weather and other shenanigans and you are in for an adventure. It was definitely an interesting concept. I enjoyed following Nathaniel and Elisabeth as they try to figure out how to stop the manor before it causes harm. When it came ot the pace of the story, it started off well but then felt rushed towards the end.

If you plan to dive into this story I’d highly recommend you read Sorcery of Thorns first to get a better understanding of the characters and have overall better context.

About the Author

Margaret Rogerson is the New York Times bestselling author of An Enchantment of Ravens. An Ohio native, she currently lives near Cincinnati. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, and when not busy reading or writing, she enjoys watching more documentaries than most people consider socially acceptable.

Blog Tours, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

Blog Tour [Review] Unseelie by Ivelisse Housman

Title: Unseelie
Author: Ivelisse Housman
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Publication Date: January 3 2023
Genres: Young Adult Fiction

Where to Buy: Bluebird Bookshop | | Indie Bound | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | Amazon

Thank you Inkyard Press for the opportunity to review and to be a part of this book tour!

Rating: 4 Stars


Six of Crows meets the Iron Fey series in this high-energy YA fantasy that follows the adventures of changeling Seelie and her twin sister as they embark upon the heist of a lifetime for a mystery legacy. As they evade capture by both human and fae forces, Seelie discovers more about her own Autistic identity, her magical powers, and love along the way.

Twin sisters, both on the run, but different as day and night. As one searches for a fabled treasure, the other, a changeling, searches for the truth behind her origins, trying to find a place to fit in with the realm of fae who made her and the humans who shun her.

Iselia “Seelie” Graygrove looks just like her twin, Isolde… but as an autistic changeling trying to navigate her unpredictable magic, Seelie finds it more difficult to fit in with the humans around her. When Seelie and Isolde are caught up in a heist gone wrong and make some unexpected allies, they find themselves unraveling a larger mystery that has its roots in the history of humans and fae alike.

Both sisters soon discover that the secrets of the faeries may be more valuable than any pile of gold and jewels. But can Seelie harness her magic in time to protect her sister, and herself?


After many months of diving into the romance world, I decided to read a YA book and Unseelie did not disappoint. In Unseelie, we embark on an adventure with Seelie and her twin sister Isolde. Seelie, a changeling goes through a discovery of who she is and why she is different. Seelie finds it difficult to interact with the human around her and it becomes much more difficult when her magic wakes up and she has to navigate what it means for her. With a goal to become rich and powerful Seelie and Isolde meet two new friends who have the same goal in mind. After a heist gone wrong and a powerful magician they need to stop, Seelie is thrown into a world where her normal routine of things is wiped away and she has to , along with her sister and new friends, understand the origin of who she is and where her magic came from. Unseelie is a novel that captivates the reader and leaves us wanting more after the story is done…..for now.

Two things really popped out to me during Unseelie – character development and world building. The world building was so well written. I was able to have enough information to envision the world Seelie was in while still leaving room for my imagination to fill in the blanks. In regards to characters, I really loved Seelie’s character development. If I haven’t mentioned before, Through everything, Seelie remained strong and really gave way to how well the story went. While we did get characters like her sister, I do wish that there was more mention or development of them that would allow the reader to also fully invest in their part of the storyline. There was somewhat of a romance budding in Seelie and Raze, but I think it wasn’t developed enough to root for it. In fact, I think the story would still be great if there wasn’t a romance. In regards to Seelie’s origins and the exploration of that in the novel, the author did a great job in being really intentional on how this was written. That exploration was something I really enjoyed the most in the story.

I always find pace to be important in a storyline because it can make or break the interest of the reader. I enjoyed the overall pace and how the first half of the novel we were given the info needed and then in the second half we get the action and suspense that the information was building up to. The pace gave way to a descriptive world, fascinating characters and an overall immersive experience for any reader, including myself. Unseelie takes you through twists and turns, beautiful scenery and characters you can’t help but hope they got the golden ticket of their story.

About the Author

Ivelisse Housman is a Puerto Rican-American author and illustrator. At all seven schools she attended throughout her childhood, she was infamously “that kid who gets in trouble for reading during class, but refuses to stop.” She was diagnosed with autism at 15, which made everything make a lot more sense. When she isn’t writing, she can be found making soup or tending to her houseplants. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains with her high school sweetheart/archnemesis and their two rescue dogs.

Links: Website | Instagram | Twitter

Here’s a sneak peak of Chapter 1 to pique your interest!

On the night the faerie world collides with ours, anything can happen and wishes come true—and right now, I’m wishing I had stayed home.

I struggle to keep up with my twin sister as we push our way through the crowd. Revelnox is summer’s closing act, when day and night balance perfectly on the edge of the world. In the smaller villages, where people lead calm, productive lives in predictable patterns—back home, I think, with an ache in my ribs—this means that children stay up late, bonfires are built in the middle of town, and offerings are left on the edges of the fields to prevent unwanted faerie mischief. There are special cakes, and the liquor flows freely, but all the merriment is a thin muzzle over the sharp teeth of the truth. You don’t go anywhere alone, and you don’t go into the forest.

Not if you want to come back, at least.

But here in the city—Auremore, the shining jewel between the forks of the Harrow River—here, it’s something else entirely.

I have to fight not to lose my sister in the crowd of faces and languages blending into a waterfall of color and sound. Children call to each other in the streets, even though it can’t possibly be safe for them to be out alone on this of all nights. But they’re not really alone: it seems like everyone in the city is out, despite the late hour. The ever-present sound of voices crashing over each other is even louder tonight, volume rising with people’s spirits (and the amount of spirits they’ve consumed). Music threads through it all, sparkling and twanging in the air.

The bonfires are the same here at least, adding their roar to the commotion. Each city district has its own, and here in the center of Market Square, everything is golden and cheerful, surrounded by dancers and the sweet smell of candies for sale. Here, they welcome the Seelie, the faerie realm of good intentions, of order and politeness—or, at the very least, neutrality. Pouches of herbed salt meant to ward off evil swing from the torches that keep the darkness at bay and paint the whole block in brilliant amber.

I seriously doubt that the faeries of the Unseelie Court will be scared off by what is essentially steak seasoning, but it’s a nice thought.

We squeeze past a man wearing an elaborate mask with goat horns curling around the back of his head. That’s the other thing about the Revelnox celebrations here: everyone is masked, and no one dares to utter their own name. For just this one night, faeries walk among us—and the less power they can claim over you, the safer you are.

It’s all fun and games for the faeries, whose visits to the Mortal Realm are usually limited to one human at a time, in remote forest glens or moonlit crossroads. For changelings, the not-quite-human-but-definitely-not-faerie in-betweens, walking among mortals is less of a novelty. We grow up with humans, hated for being almost like them but not enough. Most of us find our way back to the faerie realms by adulthood. I’ve never felt that pull, though. My magic and I have what you could generously call a troubled history, and if Revelnox is the closest I ever get to the faerie realms, it’ll be more than close enough.

Also—and on a potentially unrelated note—it’s my twin’s seventeenth birthday.

I can’t exactly say that my twin and I have the same birthday, since I’m not sure if changelings even have birthdays. I don’t think anyone actually knows where we come from. For all I know, my essence might have been floating around in a cloud of faerie dust for centuries.

Or maybe I formed out of thin air the moment a faerie lifted Isolde from her cradle, stiletto fingernails digging into her soft, honey-colored skin, to exchange her for me.

I don’t know.

What I do know is that ever since our parents adopted me, Isolde and I share a birthday every year. Back before it was just the two of us on the run, we always had a homemade cake and presents, and we would all sit outside in the grass and watch the stars come out. It was usually uncomfortable, near the end of summer when everything turns sickly sweet and starts to crumble, but that didn’t matter.

It was still my favorite day of the year. And often, that day happens to fall on Revelnox.

The man in the goat mask meets my eye, flashing white teeth at me before turning sharply and disappearing into the crowd of disguised faces.

I shiver, clinging tighter to my sister’s hand.

“Too loud?” Isolde murmurs, pressing close to my side. She wears all-black, as usual, from the tips of her scuffed boots to the roots of her glossy black hair.

I shake my head. It is loud, but in a weird way the overwhelming sensations are soothing. My boots feel more solid on the cobblestones, my body more real and alive than ever. Even the heat—of all the bodies, the radiant glow of the fire, the last warm breezes of summer—makes me feel strangely at ease, instead of just sticky and miserable.

No. If I seem on edge, it’s thanks to the buzz of magic in the air, a living hum that I don’t hear so much as feel, like a mosquito hovering at the back of my neck. I don’t think Isolde can sense it.

Magic is technically a part of me, fizzing in my faerie blood, and this is the one night when it isn’t considered dangerous and wrong. One night when it’s safe to be the thing I have to be every day. But maybe that’s exactly why I’m so terrified of it—because I’ve seen firsthand what magic does.

I stop short, jerking Isolde’s arm back, as a woman with a small reddish dragon draped over her shoulders cuts in front of me, obliviously strumming a stringed instrument and belting out a song that would make the most seasoned escort blush.

My sister smashes into me, and we both pause to make sure our masks are still in place. They’re the cheapest we could find, a simple painted covering of the eyes and cheekbones held in place by a fraying ribbon. I’m pretty sure they’re made of rowan wood to protect against faeries, because mine is starting to itch abominably. It’s a familiar itch, and for a second, I’m ten years old again, being held down by a clump of other ten-year-olds while they take turns pressing charms of rowan bark and iron to my skin to watch it blister.

The moment passes, and I somehow maintain the willpower not to rip the mask off my face.

As I slide it back into place, my fingers twitching nervously over the surface, I pull Isolde closer. I lower my voice, even though it’s so loud in the streets that no one could possibly hear me anyway. “Are you sure this is a good idea?”

“It’s Revelnox,” Isolde reassures, her easy grin slipping back onto her face. “The manor is empty, and everyone will be too drunk to even notice us. We’ll be long gone by the time they even realize we were there. Trust me, Seelie.”

This is the part where I pause to say I know it’s an unfortunate nickname considering…what I am. I wish that my parents had thought of that before Isolde’s toddler tongue bumbled Iselia so many times that it stuck.

I hesitate, but I’ve never been good at saying no to my sister. The fight goes out of me with a rush of air before I straighten my shoulders and squeeze the soft, worn fabric of my favorite dress in my fist. “Let’s make it quick, then.”

“Quicker than lightning,” Isolde promises.

I glance up nervously at the clear, dark sky as glittering orange sparks drift up from the bonfire, dancing on the breeze.

As we wind our way upriver, the world flashes by in vignettes of chaos.

People push through the crowds in chains with their friends, arms linked, songs in the air colliding with the louder instrumental music. Some wave flags or toss flowers into the air. Yapping excitedly, a small dog chases at the heels of a group of kids who can’t be older than thirteen. The normally drab buildings are draped in garlands of rainbow-hued flowers and tiny pennant flags.

And then there are the faeries.

Even though faeries are an expected part of tonight’s festivities, they slip through the mortals almost unnoticed. But I’m not quite human, either, and I keep finding my eyes wandering to balls of light floating over the crowds, or catching the smell of a meadow in the breeze of someone running past. I accidentally make eye contact with a woman wearing a feathered mask that covers from her cheekbones up to the crown of her head, then realize with a start that it isn’t a mask.

She winks, her blood-red mouth curving into a smile. Then she turns and blows a kiss towards a pair of revelers sitting at a wobbly wooden table in a brewer’s booth. They’re deep in the conversation of close friends, hands wrapped around their cups and separated by exactly the right amount of distance so their knuckles don’t brush. When the faerie’s breath washes over them, the speaker doesn’t seem to notice at first.

The listener, on the other hand, stiffens noticeably, something strange and hungry coming over their expression.

My heart stops. Faerie magic is dangerous, and I don’t know what—

Then the listener, without a heartbeat’s space to think, surges forward, crashing their lips into their friend’s.

I wince. Not deadly magic, at least.

Still dangerous.

The speaker freezes for a second, mouth still open in the shape of whatever word was cut off by their friend’s lips. Then they melt into the kiss, eyes closing blissfully.

I turn away, blushing hot enough that I worry my mask might burst into flames. The pair will probably regret this tomorrow. They don’t need my invasion of their privacy on top of it.

The feather-faced woman is still staring at me with wide, owlish eyes. Then she turns, and her eyes flash red like a cat’s in the night. If I hadn’t been sure that she was a faerie before, I am now. That gleam in the darkness is the one thing faeries can’t change about their glamours.

The one thing that reveals a changeling’s true nature.

A cold breeze rushes over my skin, trailing chills as we let the scene fade behind us.

Isolde releases my hand, adopting an exaggerated drunken swagger. She crashes into someone with gold leaf painted over their cheekbones and lips and stops, slurring apologies and patting the person’s shoulders.

I roll my eyes as she falls back into step with me. “Can’t you at least save it until we get there?” I mutter, barely moving my lips.

Isolde’s hand slips out of her pocket, withdrawing a silver-plated compact mirror that she definitely didn’t have a few seconds ago. “Where’s the fun in that?”

“You’re not here to have fun. You’re here to get into the house, grab as much as you can, and get out, ideally without getting us arrested.” I know my voice is coming out too harsh, but I don’t know how to fix it, so I settle for nudging her in the ribs with my elbow.

Isolde looks at me sideways for a moment, as if she’s just now remembering the seriousness of our situation, before stuffing her loot back into its hiding spot with a chastened sigh.

I am not a pickpocket.

I don’t mean that in any kind of morally superior way—the truth is that even if I wanted to be a pickpocket, I don’t have the talent for it. Not like Isolde.

Isolde steals, grifts, pickpockets, and pawns. I keep us fed. We don’t need to be wealthy. We just need to survive until we can scrape together enough to reunite, to start over in a place where no one knows my face.

The noise of the festival fades as my fingers drift to the vial on a leather cord around my neck.

Our parents—Mami, a midwife, fierce and tough, with her homemade remedies for everything from a cold to stubborn zits; Papa, gentle and strong and always coming home from his studio with clay under his nails. They wouldn’t want this life for us. They’re good people. Honest people.

And they aren’t safe as long as I’m around.

So we left three years ago to run from city to city, to steal and cheat and lie and scratch out a living, telling ourselves it would be justified. It would all be worth it when we had enough to make our family a new home. When I could walk down the street without flinching every time someone looked at me a little too long, worrying they’d seen my face on a wanted poster somewhere.

We’re coming up to the bridge now, boots pounding an uneven rhythm on the cobblestones as the crowd around us thins. The streets are too choked tonight for horses or wagons to force their way through, leaving extra space on the wide bridge. The sour smells of warm human bodies pressed together and beer subtly ebb away with every step.

This side of the bridge is plain, a smooth transition into the arch of stone over the sluggish water. Weeds poke up through the mortar and along the muddy banks. On the other side, garlands of golden paper flowers curl around the gleaming brass streetlamps, and an enchanted ball of light changes color every few seconds.

“Last chance to back out,” I mutter, as a woman dressed in sky-blue silk passing from the opposite direction stares at us for just a second too long.

“You worry too much.” Isolde catches the woman staring and meets her gaze with a brilliant smile.

I move a half step faster, trying to look casual as the dazzling sights of Gilt Row come into view.

Gilt Row is less of a row and more of a blob-shaped tangle of streets draped in more opulence and wealth than anyone knows what to do with. The houses, like the rest of the city, are pressed tight together, tall and narrow, but here they’re all white stone and pastel-painted brick, with gardens out front and just the right amount of emerald ivy crawling up their fronts.

Entire eight-story houses, each for just one family. It’s hard to imagine what the buildings might look like inside—and I pride myself on my colorful imagination. And presiding over it all, flanked by iron gates and a perfectly manicured lawn, Wildline Manor looms three times the size of any of the others. It’s huge, imposing, and—since Leira Wildfall is sponsoring Gilt Row’s Revelnox celebrations—totally empty. They might as well have painted a glowing target on it. 

I haven’t spent much time in this part of the city. Among the perfectly maintained streets populated by well-dressed, respectable families, Isolde’s and my rags stick out like thistles in a bouquet of exotic flowers. Someone who looks like we do can’t just walk around, without someone rich assuming they’re up to no good and signaling the city guard.

To be fair, most of the time we are up to no good…but they have no way of knowing that.

But tonight is different. I can feel it in the air, smell it in the spaces between smoke and sugar and expensive perfume. Tonight, anyone could be a faerie in disguise, and everyone receives equal respect.

Well, besides a few wrinkle-nosed looks from people who think I can’t see them.

Despite that, the crowd we melt into on the other side of the bridge is still almost entirely made up of people dressed in dazzling garments of violet chiffon, tangerine velvet, indigo silk, pure white linen—every color you could imagine and some you couldn’t. Gold gleams on throats and wrists and fingers, in embroidery along skirts and cuffs. Each mask is more impressive than the last, each custom-made and totally unique. Servants, dressed a bit more simply but still wrapped in the decadent midnight-blue velvet of Wildline Manor, mill around serving snacks and drinks.

I couldn’t possibly feel more out of place, with my plain mask, my simple slate-blue dress, my dusty brown boots. For someone like me, there’s no point in throwing away money on a gown that would only be worn for one night—no matter how enchanting it is.

My sister looks even more at odds with our surroundings than I do, but her aura of confidence doesn’t waver, even as tiny beads of sweat trickle under her mask. Isolde is the sweatier twin, but that’s more because she wears layers of all-black every day, no matter the weather, than because of any innate dampness.

Even though we’re identical, I can’t remember a time that we could be mistaken for each other. It seems laughable that the fair folk thought leaving me in her place would be an equal trade. Our olive skin and dark brown eyes are exactly the same, but her wavy hair never falls any longer than her shoulders before she chops it off, and I keep mine in a thick braid tied off neatly at the small of my back. Our identical heavy eyebrows look bold and dashing on her face but almost always seem troubled on mine.

I can feel them bunching into that concerned twist now. “Do you know where you’re going?” My fingers twist in my apron, fidgeting as always. We’ve been planning this for weeks, but we’re not exactly criminal masterminds. Once Isolde sneaks in the servants’ entrance, I don’t think there’s much of a plan beyond grabbing anything that looks shiny.

Relax,” she replies, taking a flower from a girl dressed in petal-pink handing out bunches to everyone who passes. “Just stay on the lookout, and try to enjoy yourself. This isn’t the kind of party you get to see every day, you know.” The flower twirls between her fingers before she drops it, leaving it to get crushed underfoot.

We follow the trickle of people towards the center of the district and their bonfire. It’s getting late now, and most of the children have been sent to bed.

Which means the party is really getting started. 

“Who here’sss try’n’a get…a wisssh granted?” shrieks a faerie, so drunk on Leira Wildfall’s liquor that they don’t even bother hiding the shimmering wings sprouting from their shoulder blades. A shout ripples through the crowd around them. Then there’s a flash of pearly light, and when it fades, the faerie is gone. A stack of gold coins remains where the faerie had been standing, and I don’t know if they intentionally vanished or were banished back home by some Seelie rule about not getting drunk off your ass and offering wishes to mortals.

As people frantically dive for the coins, I lean to speak into my sister’s ear. “Those coins are super cursed, right?”

“Oh, incredibly cursed. For sure.” She squeezes my hand and chuckles. “You know what you’re supposed to do, right?”

I groan. My job, of watching the servants’ entrance and drawing the attention of any guards who might get suspicious, was supposed to be easy. “How can I possibly top that distraction? What goes on around here? There’s something wrong with rich people, Sol. That would have ended the night across town.”

Well, across the bridge. All the way across town, in the Twilight District, I’ve heard rumors that they celebrate the holiday with much more unsavory magic, and a few cursed coins would probably be the least of their problems.

“You’ll figure something out.” Isolde grins, slipping away from me. “See you in an hour.”

Then she turns her drunken saunter back on with all the ease of the highest-quality actor and stumbles into the crowd, ready to dip her hands into their gilded pockets.

Excerpted from Unseelie by Ivelisse Housman, Copyright © 2023 by Ivelisse Housman. Published by Inkyard Press. 

Blog Tours, YA Fantasy, YA Sci-fi, Young Adult Fiction

Book Tour [Review]: Cake Eater by Allyson Dhalin

Title: Cake Eater
Author: Allyson Dahlin
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: August 9th, 2022
Genres: Young Adult Sci-fi/Fantasy

Where to buy: Amazon | BookShop | Barnes & Noble

Thank you Turn the Page Book Tours and HarperTeen for a review copy and the opportunity to be on this tour.

Rating: 3 Stars


Decadent, thrilling, and romantic, this Black Mirror-esque retelling of the reign of one Marie Antoinette is perfect for fans of THE BELLES and AMERICAN ROYALS.
The year is 3070, and Marie Antoinette has just arrived at the glittering, thrilling palace of Versailles to marry the shy, soft-spoken Louis-Auguste.
But beneath the luxurious world lies a sinister underbelly and an uncompromising elite who want to keep Marie and Louis pawns in a deadly game.
Will history repeat itself? Or will these doomed lovers outwit their enemies and escape their grisly fate?

Cake Eater will take readers to a dazzling world full of breathless luxuries, deadly secrets, and a thrilling romance that attempts to rewrite history itself. 


Cake Eater is a futuristic  Young Adult retelling about Marie Antoinette. Taking place in 3070, we meet a young influencer in Marie and her computer whiz prince. Going into this story I was intrigued by this unique retelling because it is not often you see a mix and mash of different genres. I do want to preface that a 3 star rating is still a good rating in my opinion.

Before I dive in, I will state again that the blending of genres was something I saw a lot of promise in this novel and the author did as good as they could to deliver a fairly good and enjoyable read. For anyone who knows of the original story of Marie Antionette, there were no real surprises for me in regards to the events. However, the ending was the one part of the novel that I was a bit disappointed in. If it was executed a bit better, this story would have been so much more enjoyable for me. Although the ending wasn’t for me, there is an audience of readier who will thoroughly enjoy the story. To be fair, I really enjoyed the futuristic backdrop of the novel and the focus on social media – something that is very prevalent for teens today.

What I enjoyed the most aside from the characters, because both Marie and Louis had redeeming qualities was the romance. The romance felt sweet and not rushed. Marie and Louis and the example of when opposites attract. Now, back to the characters, Marie is so relatable because she is navigating being in a uncertain environment and finding her self within. Readers know from the beginning that Marie gives up her old life when she is set to marry Louis. This self discovery in done in a tech and social media heavy world, which again is something may people can relate to now with how influential social media can be in people’s decision making and discovery of their identity in the real world and internet world.

Cake Eater is a coming of age story set in a futuristic world where a historical story is intertwined in the grasp of a very social media heavy world. It is filled of twists and turns, a good romance and two main characters you want to know more about. While the pacing wasn’t consistent and the ending felt off, Cake Eater overall was a good read and would be a great read for anyone interested in a unique and creative retelling of an infamous historical events.

About the Author

Allyson Dahlin grew up on a farm in central New York, where she had little to do but read loads of library books and make up magical and slightly creepy stories about the woods and farm animals while pretending to be a witch/homesteader. She studied psychology in college while working as a housekeeper at a motel in Cooperstown. That job involved a lot of boring hours to think up backstories for the guests whose rooms she cleaned. A shawl left on a chair by an aging opera soprano, a stack of old baseball cards left by a Hall of Fame inductee, and the legend of a monster in the lake were all fodder for stories. It was during that time she transformed from a reader and a daydreamer to a writer.

With some writing courses and a psychology certification in hand, Allyson worked in school counseling and then at a boarding school for girls with complex trauma. Writing kept her spirits up during her intensely emotional work. Eventually, she fell into internet marketing, which meant writing for her day job as well as focusing on her novels. Her first novel, CAKE EATER, was inspired by a trip to Versailles and the realization that the circumstances of Marie Antoinette’s life could just as easily happen today.

Author Links: Website | Instagram

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Blog Tours, Book Review, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

Blog Tour [Review]: Game of Strength and Storm

Title: Game of Strength and Storm
Author: Rachel Menard
Publisher: Flux
Publication Date: June 7, 2022
Genres: Young Adult Fantasy

Where to buy: Amazon | BookDepository | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Thank you TBR and Beyond Tour and Flux Books for a review copy and the opportunity to be on this tour.

Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars but rounded up to 4 stars


Victory is the only option.

Once a year, the Olympian Empresses grant the wishes of ten people selected by a lottery—for a price. Seventeen-year-old Gen, a former circus performer, wants the freedom of her father, who was sentenced to life in prison for murders she knows he didn’t commit. Castor plans to carry the island Arcadia into the future in place of her brother, Pollux, but only after the Empresses force a change in her island’s archaic laws that requires a male heir.

To get what they want, Gen and Castor must race to complete the better half of ten nearly impossible labors. They have to catch the fastest ship in the sea, slay the immortal Hydra, defeat a gangster called the Boar, and capture the flesh-eating Mares, among other deadly tasks.

Gen has her magic, her ability to speak to animals, her inhuman strength—and the help of Pollux, who’s been secretly pining for her for years. But Castor has her own gifts: the power of the storms, along with endless coin. Only one can win. The other walks away with nothing—if she walks away at all.


I have to say – this was a pretty enjoyable read. I enjoyed the focus of Greek mythology in the plot and scenery. I am not well versed in the Hercules 12 labors so IK had to do a bit of research to under this was a genderbent retold version of it. However, not having this knowledge ahead of time did not hinder my ability to enjoy this story. Game of Strength and Storm has multiple points of views, which is always a selling point for me. I like to dive into a story and hear the perspective of the main characters. Rachel Menard was bale to write POV’s well and create a storyline that did not feel disconnected. It was a fast paced read that didn’t feel too predictable.

There are ten winners and those ten winners can receive a wish. But there’s a catch – they have to complete/win 6 of the 10 tasks needed to have their wish granted by the Empress. The competition aspect of the story sold me heavily and was one of the main reasons I continued reading on. It gave the nostalgic feeling form the books I read as a teen of competitions and survival.

When thinking of the characters, I enjoyed Gen, Castor and Pollux for very different reasons. Gen has the ability to speak to animals and has a wish to free her father from prison. Gen felt like the character with the moral compass. Her storyline was similar to Castor because their wish to rule could feed their other wishes. What I admired most about Gen was her love towards her family. She was truly fighting for them and it showed. Castor is also a very strong character, but may be going about things in an unpopular opinion kind of way. Pollux, her brother is next in line to rule their island of Arcadia – the very throne Castor wants. Her mission is to dismantle the misogyny by having her wish granted to become the next ruler. Sounds great right? Well when you have a teddy bear, sweetheart of a brother, it is hard to focus or root for someone who wants to see his lineage disrupted to become Queen. Regardless of Castor’s not so altruistic wish, her determination and strong will make her a force to be reckoned with.

There was a small romance brewing between Gen and Pollux but I felt that it wasn’t developed enough to know if it would be a developing relationship or just a crush. I’d be excited to see overall how the story along with the romance pans out in future books.

About the Author

Rachel Menard was born in New Jersey, raised in Arizona, and then relocated to Rhode Island. Throughout her life she has been a barista, college radio DJ, singer in an alt-country band, marketer, designer, and finally, a writer. Her short fiction has been featured on the Cast of Wonders podcast and her non-fiction has been seen in Writer’s Digest. Her debut novel, Game of Strength and Storm, is coming from Flux Books in 2022.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter | Tik Tok

Blog Tours, Book Review, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

Blog Tour [Review]: The Queen will Betray You by Sarah Henning

Follow the Tour!

Title: The Queen Will Betray You
Author: Sarah Henning
Release Date: July 6, 2021
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Pages: 352

Where to buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Indigo

Rating: 4 stars

Thank you Book Terminal Tours and Tor Teen for providing a review copy and the opportunity to be a part of this tour.

Publisher links: Tor Teen Instagram | Tor Teen Twitter


The breathtaking sequel to The Princess Will Save You in the Kingdoms of Sand and Sky duology — a brilliantly-executed YA fantasy homage to The Princess Bride

To stay together forever, Princess Amarande and her stableboy love, Luca, must part: Amarande to reclaim her kingdom from usurpers, and Luca to raise a rebellion and find his destiny. Arrayed against them are all the players in the game of thrones for control over the continent of The Sand and Sky. Facing unspeakable betrayals, enemies hidden in the shadows, and insurmountable odds, their only hope is the power of true love…


The Queen will Betray You, sequel to The Princess will Save You continue to not disappoint. It was a fast-paced but well written continuation to Princess Amarande’s story. I specifically enjoyed how the book took a larger focus towards the adventure part of the plot. While the romance is good, I am always a sucker for more than just a forbidden love story. As with the princess will save you, it’s sequel continued the vivid backdrop and magical settings of the kingdom. The queen will betray had some twists and turns that kept you on your feet, and rigorously turning each page to find out what would happen next. Sarah Henning did a great job of expanding the story and building on the characters we were already rooting for.

Speaking of characters, I am so happy Luca received more of a story and voice in this the sequel. I honestly really enjoyed seeing more of Luca than just as Princess Amarande’s love interest. There was an added depth to his story that made him a more powerful character. He complimented Amarande so much more because of it. With Amarande , we continued to get that fierce, determined protagonist that many of us are always rooting for. If you want someone that is loyal and when thinking, thinks about everyone she loves, Amarande is that someone. Along with the two main characters you get a sprinkle of a lovable yet evil character in Tallifer – believe me when i say I didn’t want to like Tallifer, but ultimately they warmed up to me.

Overall, The Queen will Betray You is a sequel that brought all the missed moments of book one into one magnificent story.  It is a story I would definitely recommend.

About the Author

Sarah Henning is a recovering journalist who has worked for the Palm Beach Post, Kansas City Star and Associated Press, among others. While in South Florida, Sarah lived and worked through five hurricanes, which gave her an extreme respect for the ocean. When not writing, she runs ultramarathons, hits the playground with her two kids and hangs out with her husband Justin, who doubles as her long-suffering IT department. Sarah lives in Lawrence, Kansas, which, despite being extremely far from the beach, happens to be pretty cool.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter