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

Synopsis

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.

Review

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

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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

Synopsis

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…

Review

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

Blog Tours, Book Review, Fairy Tale Retelling, Fiction, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

Blog Tour [Review]: Gold Spun by Brandie June

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Publisher : Camcat Publishing, LLC (June 8, 2021)
Title : Gold Spun
Author : Brandie June
Pages: 368 pages
Release Date:

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

Rating: 4 Stars

Thank you Jean BookNerd and CamCat Books for providing a review copy and the opportunity to be a part of this tour.

Synopsis

If Nor can’t spin gold, she can always spin lies.

When seventeen-year-old Nor rescues a captured faerie in the woods, he gifts her with a magical golden thread she can use to summon him for a favor. Instead, Nor uses it for a con—to convince villagers to buy straw that can be transformed into gold. Her trick works a little too well, attracting the suspicion of Prince Casper, who hates nobody more than a liar. Intent on punishing Nor, he demands that she spin a room of straw into gold and as her reward, he will marry her. Should she refuse or fail, the consequences will be dire.

Review

Gold Spun is a face paced Rumplestilksen retelling you didn’t know you needed. Brandie June created world that was equal parts magical and corrupt. Talking about the worldbuilding, it was so well written with the intention that every detailed of the setting described was important to the story. At times, the powerfulness of the worldbuilding spoke for itself, making the story all the more attractive. It had a strong fairytale feel to it that I welcomed from the first page opened to the last page closed. Although a retelling of a very popular Grimm Fairytale, Brandie managed to take this classic tale and spin it completely around into a unique story full of characters you find yourself fighting to figure out which is your most favorite. Let’s not forget that this tale had Fae and I am honestly a sucker for any story has has Fae included in a different way.

The story itself is pretty great. You get Prince Casper, a war captive who is returning back to his home kingdom to take the throne and hears word of a girl who can turn straw into gold. As a Prince who despises a lie more than anything else in this world, he sets his journey to find the truth to this suspicious miracle. He gives Nor a chance to prove her magical gifts are true in exchange for his hand in marriage. Marriage to a prince would mean Nor would no longer have to commits the schemes and cons she has been doing to feed her family – so what will she do?

I love both Casper and Nor for what their characters brought to the story. Casper, a brooding now free Prince trying to navigate the responsibility of becoming a king. Nor, a young girl scheming away to feed her family and trying to survive. Both lives seemingly changed through one Fae exchange. Casper is a swoon worthy character in my book. The way he goes about important decisions and figuring out what is behind the straw to Gold tough, I couldn’t help but continue to root him throughout the story. What I enjoyed about Nor was how clever she was. She knew he con was a lie, but she became clever in figuring out how to navigate this lie to save her life. Nor is also caring, having saved a Fae even though the very kingdom she lives in wants nothing to do with them. She is the big sister who is trying her best and only hopes that she gets a happy ending.

While I did enjoy many parts of the story, I did want to see more character development between the three main characters within the story; especially with Nor and how she came into the predicament she was in. I think this addition would have definitely made it an easy 5 start read for me. Overall, Gold Spun is a fast paced red, full of so many magical unfolding and with a cliffhanger that will make you stare at the book hoping that more words would magically continue the story. I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys reading fantasy, and/or fairytale re-tellings with a twist.

About the Author

Photo Content from Brandie June

Brandie June spent most of her childhood onstage or reading, as both activities let her live in fantastic stories. She moved to Los Angeles to study acting at UCLA, and eventually branched out into costume design and playwriting. While she spends most of her free time writing, she will still take any excuse to play dress-up, especially if it involves wearing a crown. She happily promotes more stories as a marketing director for kids’ films and anime. When not writing or marketing, she can often be found doing aerial arts, playing board games, drinking too much espresso, and coming up with new art projects. She lives with her husband, two spoiled rescue pups, a spoiled cat, six fish tanks, and five bookshelves. You can find out more about her at http://www.brandiejune.com and follow her @brandiejune.

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

It’s Giveaway Time!!

Click the picture above and enter for a chance win 1 of 3 copies of gold Spun by Brandie June!

Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

Cover Reavels, YA Fantasy

Cover Reveal: Stealing Infinity by Alyson Noel

Happy Friday Everyone! I am happy to collaborate with Entangled Teen to introduce the awesome cover reveal of Stealing Infinity by Alyson Noel!

Without further ado…..

Title: Stealing Infinity
Author: Entangled Teen
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publication Date: February 1, 2022

Synopsis

When a young girl with an usual gift is whisked away to an academy for time-travelling teens, she becomes the target for a sinister organization hell-bent on rewriting history in this clever and fast-paced YA that is guaranteed to become your next fantasy romance obsession.

About The Author

Alyson Noël is the #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of Faking 19Art Geeks and Prom QueensLaguna CoveFly Me to the MoonKiss & BlogSaving ZoëCruel Summer, and the Immortals series including EvermoreBlue MoonShadowlandDark Flame, and Night Star, as well as the Immortals spin-off series beginning with Radiance. With over 2 million copies in print in the US alone, her books have been published in 35 countries and have won awards including the National Reader’s Choice Award, NYLA Book of Winter Award, NYPL Stuff for the Teenage, TeenReads Best Books of 2007, and Reviewer’s Choice 2007 Top Ten, and have been chosen for the CBS Early Show’s “Give the Gift of Reading” segment, and selected for Seventeen Magazine‘s “Hot List” and Beach Book Club Pick. She lives in Laguna Beach, California.

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

Book Tour & Giveaway: Covet by Tracy Wolff

Book Title: Covet
Author: Tracy Wolff
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: March 2, 2021
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy

Where to buy: Target | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

I am super excited for Covet. If you’ve read Crave and Crush, then you know you’ll be in for a treat while reading Covet. Read on to find out how you can be the lucky winner to win a finished copy to add to your collection.

Synopsis

I may have reached my breaking point. As if trying to graduate from a school for supernaturals isn’t stressful enough, my relationship status has gone from complicated to a straight-up dumpster fire.

Oh, and the Bloodletter has decided to drop a bomb of epic proportions on us all…

Then again, when has anything at Katmere Academy not been intense?

And the hits just keep coming. Jaxon’s turned colder than an Alaskan winter. The Circle is splintered over my upcoming coronation. As if things couldn’t get worse, now there’s an arrest warrant for Hudson’s and my supposed crimes—which apparently means a lifetime prison sentence with a deadly unbreakable curse.

Choices will have to be made…and I fear not everyone will survive.

The Crave series is best enjoyed in order.
Reading Order:
Book #1 Crave
Book #2 Crush
Book #3 Covet
Book #4 Court

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Tracy Wolff is a lover of vampires, dragons, and all things that go bump in the night. A onetime English professor, she now devotes all her time to writing dark and romantic stories with tortured heroes and kick-butt heroines. She has written all her sixty-plus novels from her home in Austin, Texas, which she shares with her family. tracywolffbooks.com.

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

Giveaway Time!

Click the pic above to enter the giveaway1

Enter to win one (1) finished copy of Covet by Tracy Wolff! Open USA only. There will be 1 winner.

Giveaway starts: Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Giveaway ends: Monday, March 8, 2021 at 12:00 a.m. CST

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1e4a114d27/

Follow the Tour!

BOOK BLOG TOUR

March 2

Turn the Page Tours – Welcome Post/Author Interview
Momma Leighellen’s Book Nook – Book Review, Favorite Things About Covet
Ashweereads – Spotlight
Lore of the Books – Spotlight

March 3

Books Are Magic Too – Spotlight
Avni Reads – Book Review, Favorite Quotes
Tralyn’s Bookbag – Book Review, Favorite Things About Covet
BookWifeReviews – Book Review
The Writer’s Alley – Book Spotlight

March 4

A Bronx Latina Reads – Book Review
The Clever Reader – Book Review
Kait Plus Books – Author Interview
Carolibrary Books – Spotlight
Jena Brown Writes – Highlight on Crave and Crush, predictions for Covet
Wishful Endings – Author Interview

March 5

We Write at Dawn – Book Review, Favorite Quotes
Kayla’s Book Nook – Book Review
The Open Books – Book Review, Favorite Things About Covet
Book Briefs – Book Review
Bookish Heidi – Book Review
The Momma Spot – Book Review

March 6

Trapped Inside Stories – Author Interview
Moonlight Rendezvous – Book Review
Curly Book Owls – Book Review, Favorite Things About Covet
Scrappy Rat Reviews – Book Review
The Momma Spot – Book Review
Ya Its Lit – Book Review, Favorite Quotes
Lala’s Book Reviews – Book Review, Favorite Quotes

March 7

Book Lover’s Book Reviews – Book Review
Magically Katie – Book Quiz
Stuck in the Stacks – Book Review, Favorite Quotes
Books We Love – Book Review, Mood Board
Whimsical Blessings Blog – Author Interview
The Bookish Raven – Book Review, Favorite Things About Covet

BOOKSTAGRAM TOUR

March 2

Turn the Page Tours – Welcome/Blogger’s Choice
Reading_with_Nicole – Spotlight
Mommaleighellensbooknook – Blogger’s Choice
Ashlieholecekwriter – Blogger’s Choice
Shreshtha_reads – Book Review
Piecesofourlife – Book Review
Loreofthebooks – Blogger’s Choice
Frantic4romantic – Book Review
Ricki_reads – Book Review

March 3

Booksaremagictoo – Blogger’s Choice
Avnireads – Blogger’s Choice
Jrundy85 – Blogger’s Choice
Tralynsbookbag – Blogger’s Choice
Queenofagoodread – Spotlight
Modernbookmom – Mood Board
Gwenecunningham – Spotlight
Bookwifereviews – Blogger’s Choice
Bgs.books – Book Review

March 4

Thecleverreader – Blogger’s Choice
Jypsylynn – Book Review
Laurenmariereads – Blogger’s Choice
Caro.library – Blogger’s Choice
Jenabrownwrites – Blogger’s Choice
Annareadswithcats – Book Review
Violet_starlightbooks11 – Book Review
Wishfulendings – Blogger’s Choice
Thereadingroom444 – Book Review

March 5

We.Write.At.Dawn – Blogger’s Choice
The_heeler_booklife – Blogger’s Choice
Kymsopenbooks – Blogger’s Choice
Bookbriefs – Blogger’s Choice
Yourlocalbookreader – Blogger’s Choice
Hagerfamilyreads – Book Review
By_the_bookcase – Book Review
Erins_adventures_in_the_pages – Book Art/Cover Art
Reckless.reader – Book Review
Bookish.heidi – Blogger’s Choice
Ricki_reads – Book Review

March 6

Moonlight_Rendezvous – Blogger’s Choice
Featherboundbooks – Book Review
Stacialovestoread – Blogger’s Choice
Mycornerforbooksand – Book Review
Scrappyratreviews – Blogger’s Choice
Graces_waffles – Book Review
The.openbook – Book Review
Emmesbooks – Spotlight
Themommaspot – Blogger’s Choice
Ya.its.lit – Bloggers’ Choice
Lauren.Bodiford – Blogger’s Choice
The_Clavicule_of_ac – Book Review
Turningpageswithmorgan – Book Review

March 7

Bookloversbookreviews – Blogger’s Choice
Magically_Katie_ – Blogger’s Choice
Stuck.in.the.stacks – Blogger’s Choice
Bookswelovee – Blogger’s Choice
Stp_reads – Book Review
Boundedandbookmarked – Book Review
Imreadingthenightaway – Book Review
Fireheartreads – Book Review
The_bookish_raven – Blogger’s Choice
Celiamcmahonreads – Book Review
This_book_girl – Book Review
Whimsicalblessingsblog – Blogger’s Choice

TIKTOK TOUR

March 4

Thereadingroom444 – TikTok Post

March 5

By_the_bookcase – TikTok Post
Katiec_readss – TikTok Post

March 6

Graces_waffles – TikTok Post