Bookish Merch, For the home, Products I love!!

Top Bookstagram Props

Kiss of Deception The Remnant Chronicles ReviewShopping for props and putting together photos for Instagram (Bookstagram) is so much fun. But sometimes finding just the right prop can be a challenge so I have created a list of some of my favorites! Almost all of the items below I have personally ordered and used and I will continue to add more as I find new and wonderful products.

Crowns:

I use the crowns ALL the time in my Bookstagram photos! I love the sparkle that they add to pictures, but can still be used in darker themes.

Click on the below photos to shop for these crowns and more!

Backgrounds:

I change out my background every few months. I have tried several different options but have found its worth spending a few extra dollars for a nice matte backdrop. I tried a few stick on options or cheaper plastic options and they either did not last of caused terrible lighting glares that made editing a nightmare.

This is the current background that I am using in my photos, I highly recommend it and will be purchasing in a darker color for fall/winter here soon!

Swords/Daggers:

Swords and daggers make such a fun throw in for photos, especially for someone like me who reads a ton of fantasy where main characters are often warriors or assassins. They can also be used to add an extra edge to creepy photo styles.

Flowers:

Wicked Saints by Emily Duncan Book ReviewFlowers are a wonderful way to fill up blank place in photo set ups and they tend to add such a great touch! I usually pick up flowers from my local hobby store for a few dollars a stem.

You can use flowers or foliage to enhance any theme set up, it does not have to be a “fluffy” set up to include them. I like to use muted or darker colored flowers to accent my darker aesthetic photos and then use bright white flowers for my lighter themes. I have also seen some folks do amazing rainbow themes with their flowers.

Scarves:

I use scarves in the background of TONS of my photos to break up the wood color and add another layer to the photo. I personally have a ton of scarves that I wear throughout the year so I really enjoy being able to leverage my collection for photos as well.

Fun Accessories:

I am always on the hunt for unique accessories to fill spaces in my photos, I personally can not stand having a lot of open space. I have included links to a few of my favorite items that I have picked up (just click on the pics below).

You can also add layers to your photos using folded old books, book pages, or rolled pages. I have picked up a couple of old dingy books from the dollar or resale shops to re-purpose.

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Top Book Releases for June 2019

June turned out to be a bit of a slow month for book releases this year, but it does contain one of my most anticipated reads of the year.

June 1st

Before the Broken Star (The Evermore Chronicles #1) by  Emily R. KingBefore the broken star book

This book was actually included in the June Prime First reads program, so as an Amazon Prime member I was able to get a free Kindle version of this book. I have not had a chance to dive in, but it sounds very interesting.

Synopsis:

Everley Donovan is living on borrowed time. The lone survivor of her family’s unexplained assassination, she was saved by an ingeniously crafted clockwork heart. But the time she was given won’t last forever. Now, every tick-tock reminds her how fragile her existence is and hastens her quest to expose Killian Markham, the navy admiral who shattered her world and left her for dead. But Everley’s hunt for justice will be a long and hard-won voyage.

Her journey takes her to a penal colony on a cursed isle, where she will be married off and charged to build the new world. It is here, and beyond, that hidden realms hide, treasures are unearthed, her family secrets are buried, and young love will test the strength of her makeshift heart. When Everley discovers Markham may not be who he seems, her pursuit for truth is bound to his redemption, her tragic history, and her astonishing destiny.

June 4th

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Sorcery of Thorns Book Margaret Rogerson Charlie BowaterGuys I read her first book Enchantment of Ravens last year and LOVED it, it was a short unique take on fae and I cannot wait for this release. I have heard from those that received ARCs that it is even better than Enchantment of Ravens, and even some folks who didn’t care for the EOR like this one.

Synopsis:

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.

I have ordered 2 book boxes that will have Exclusive Editions of this book OwlCrate and FairyLoot.

 

The Beholder (The Beholder #1) by Anna Bright

The Beholder BookSelah has waited her whole life for a happily ever after. As the only daughter of the leader of Potomac, she knows her duty is to find the perfect match, a partner who will help secure the future of her people. Now that day has finally come.

But after an excruciatingly public rejection from her closest childhood friend, Selah’s stepmother suggests an unthinkable solution: Selah must set sail across the Atlantic, where a series of potential suitors awaits—and if she doesn’t come home engaged, she shouldn’t come home at all.

From English castle gardens to the fjords of Norge, and under the eye of the dreaded Imperiya Yotne, Selah’s quest will be the journey of a lifetime. But her stepmother’s schemes aren’t the only secrets hiding belowdecks…and the stakes of her voyage may be higher than any happy ending.

 

Ghosts of the Shadow Market (Ghosts of the Shadow Market #1-10) by Cassandra ClareMaureen JohnsonSarah Rees BrennanRobin WassermanKelly Link

Ghosts of the Shadow Market Book Cassandra ClareSynopsis:

The Shadow Market is a meeting point for faeries, werewolves, warlocks and vampires. There the Downworlders buy and sell magical objects, make dark bargains, and whisper secrets they do not want the Nephilim to know. Through two centuries, however, there has been a frequent visitor to the Shadow Market from the City of Bones, the very heart of the Shadowhunters. As a Silent Brother, Brother Zachariah is sworn keeper of the laws and lore of the Nephilim. But once he was a Shadowhunter called Jem Carstairs, and his love, then and always, is the warlock Tessa Gray.

Follow Brother Zachariah and see, against the backdrop of the Shadow Market’s dark dealings and festive celebrations, Anna Lightwood’s first romance, Matthew Fairchild’s great sin and Tessa Gray plunged into a world war. Valentine Morgenstern buys a soul at the Market and a young Jace Wayland’s soul finds safe harbor. In the Market is hidden a lost heir and a beloved ghost, and no one can save you once you have traded away your heart. Not even Brother Zachariah…

Shadow & Flame (Rime Chronicles 2) by  Mindee Arnett

Shadow and Flame (Onyx & Ivory 2)This book is the sequel to Onyx and Ivory, which I have heard nothing but great things about. I have been holding off on reading them for the series to be complete.

Synopsis:

From acclaimed author Mindee Arnett comes the thrilling conclusion of the stunningly epic, action-packed, and romantic fantasy adventure about a powerful girl possessed of strange magic, the outcast prince she loves, and the kingdom that has torn them apart.

Kate and Corwin are on the run, desperate for allies in a new world of war among the kingdoms of Rime. As the book opens, Kate suffers a massive loss, one that will shape the struggle for freedom of all wilders and magic folk—that is, if Kate can learn to control her own power.

June 11th

Storm and Fury (The Harbinger #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Storm and Fury Armentrout Book ReviewI received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it! I am anxiously awaiting the next book to release and will be checking out more of Armentrout’s work.

Eighteen-year-old Trinity Marrow may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her unique gift is part of a secret so dangerous that she’s been in hiding for years in an isolated compound fiercely guarded by Wardens—gargoyle shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her, flesh and bone, to enhance their own powers.

When Wardens from another clan arrive with disturbing reports that something out there is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s safe world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own that will upend her world yet again—but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to put her trust in Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed…

Rise (Rule #2) by Ellen Goodlett

Rise Rule #2 BookSynopsis:

Sisters Akeylah, Ren, and Zofi are all a step closer to their dying father’s throne, a step closer to the crown that will allow one of them to rule over Kolonya. But the sisters’ pasts continue to haunt them. Each hides a secret marked with blood and betrayal, and now their blackmailer is holding nothing back. When King Andros discovers the sisters’ traitorous pasts, the consequences will shake the entire kingdom to its core.

As Kolonya’s greatest threat stalks closer and closer, weaving a web of fear and deceit around Ren, Zofi, and Akeylah, even the people they love are under suspicion. If the sisters are going to survive, they’ll have to learn to trust each other above all else and work together, not only to save themselves, but to protect everyone and everything they hold dear.

June 13th

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – House Editions

You know I have my Ravenclaw Edition Pre ordered!!!

June 25th

Deviate (Lifelike Series Book 2) by Jay Kristoff

Deviate LIfelike 2 Book KristoffI seriously cannot get enough of anything that Jay Kristoff does… also he is a hilarious social media follow.

Synopsis:

Lemon Fresh has seen better days.

After the climactic battle in Babel, she finds herself separated from Ezekiel and Cricket in the wastelands. Lemon’s abilities to manipulate electricity mark her as a deviate, and deadly corporate operatives are hunting her to use as a weapon in the war between BioMaas Incorporated and Daedelus Technologies. Instead, Lemon finds herself falling in with a group of fellow deviates—a band of teenagers with astonishing abilities, led by an enigmatic figure known as the Major, who may hold the secrets to Lemon’s past.

Meanwhile, Cricket finds himself in possession of the puritanical Brotherhood, a religious cult set for a head-on collision with the Major and his band. Searching for Lemon, Ezekiel finds a strange ally in an old enemy, and uncovers a plot that may see him reunited with his beloved Ana.

And inside Babel, a remade Eve hatches a plan to bring an end to the world.

Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox #2) by Julie Kagawa

SOul of the Sword Kagawa BookSynopsis:

One thousand years ago, a wish was made to the Harbinger of Change and a sword of rage and lightning was forged. Kamigoroshi. The Godslayer. It had one task: to seal away the powerful demon Hakaimono.

Now he has broken free.

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has one task: to take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple in order to prevent the summoning of the Harbinger of Change, the great Kami Dragon who will grant one wish to whomever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, who for centuries was trapped in a cursed sword, has escaped and possessed the boy she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.

Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with the Master of Demons in order to break the curse of the sword and set himself free. To overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness, they need one thing: the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross once again, the entire empire will be thrown into chaos.

 

Call It What You Want- Brigid Kemmerer

Call it what you want Kemmerer bookThis is a YA contemporary  written by the same author as A Curse So Dark and Lonely. I enjoyed ACSDAL quite a bit and am interested to see how I like her writing in other genres.

Synopsis:

When his dad is caught embezzling funds from half the town, Rob goes from popular lacrosse player to social pariah. Even worse, his father’s failed suicide attempt leaves Rob and his mother responsible for his care.

Everyone thinks of Maegan as a typical overachiever, but she has a secret of her own after the pressure got to her last year. And when her sister comes home from college pregnant, keeping it from her parents might be more than she can handle.

When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a calculus project, they’re both reluctant to let anyone through the walls they’ve built. But when Maegan learns of Rob’s plan to fix the damage caused by his father, it could ruin more than their fragile new friendship…

This captivating, heartfelt novel asks the question: Is it okay to do something wrong for the right reasons?

 

What books are you excited for in June?

– Megan

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April 2019 Top Book Releases

At first it seemed like releases were slowing down a bit after all of the amazingness at the first of the year. But when I started digging in there were actually a TON of highly anticipated books that were coming out this month. Two of the books this month Wicked Saints and The Devouring Grey are on my most anticipated “underrated” book list for the year!

April 2nd

<a href="http://Wicked Saints: A Novel (Something Dark and Holy)” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy #1) by Emily A. Duncan

Wicked Saints Book ReviewA 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..

<a href="http://The Devouring Gray” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>The Devouring Gray (The Devouring Gray #1) by Christine Lynn Herman

The Devouring Grey Book ReviewThis is my most anticipated release of April (followed closely by Wicked Saints) I cannot wait to get my hands on this book and SO wished I had an ARC.

On the edge of town a beast haunts the woods, trapped in the Gray, its bonds loosening…

Uprooted from the city, Violet Saunders doesn’t have much hope of fitting in at her new school in Four Paths, a town almost buried in the woodlands of rural New York. The fact that she’s descended from one of the town’s founders doesn’t help much, either—her new neighbours treat her with distant respect, and something very like fear. When she meets Justin, May, Isaac, and Harper, all children of founder families, and sees the otherworldly destruction they can wreak, she starts to wonder if the townsfolk are right to be afraid.

When bodies start to appear in the woods, the locals become downright hostile. Can the teenagers solve the mystery of Four Paths, and their own part in it, before another calamity strikes?

<a href="http://Defy Me (Shatter Me)” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Defy Me (Shatter Me #5) by Tahereh Mafi

Defy Me Book Review from Shatter Me Series

I have all of the series but have not started reading them yet…. one of my reading goals for the month is to be ready for this release. I have heard a lot of great things about the series but didn’t want to be left hanging until it was complete. I also pre-ordered a signed exclusive version of this book from Barnes & Noble.

The gripping fifth installment in the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling Shatter Me series. Will Juliette’s broken heart make her vulnerable to the strengthening darkness within her? ** This first book in this series <a href="http://Shatter Me” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Shatter Me is only $1.99 on Kindle right now!!!!

Juliette’s short tenure as the supreme commander of North America has been an utter disaster. When the children of the other world leaders show up on her doorstep, she wants nothing more than to turn to Warner for support and guidance. But he shatters her heart when he reveals that he’s been keeping secrets about her family and her identity from her—secrets that change everything.

Juliette is devastated, and the darkness that’s always dwelled within her threatens to consume her. An explosive encounter with unexpected visitors might be enough to push her over the edge.

<a href="http://We Rule the Night” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett

We Rule the Night Book ReviewTwo girls use forbidden magic to fly and fight–for their country and for themselves–in this riveting debut that’s part Shadow and Bone, part Code Name Verity.

Seventeen-year-old Revna is a factory worker, manufacturing war machines for the Union of the North. When she’s caught using illegal magic, she fears being branded a traitor and imprisoned. Meanwhile, on the front lines, Linné defied her father, a Union general, and disguised herself as a boy to join the army. They’re both offered a reprieve from punishment if they use their magic in a special women’s military flight unit and undertake terrifying, deadly missions under cover of darkness. Revna and Linné can hardly stand to be in the same cockpit, but if they can’t fly together, and if they can’t find a way to fly well, the enemy’s superior firepower will destroy them–if they don’t destroy each other first.

We Rule the Night is a powerful story about sacrifice, complicated friendships, and survival despite impossible odds.

April 9th 

<a href="http://The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses)” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses #1) by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu

The Red Scrolls of Magic Book ReviewI have to admit I didn’t even consider pre-ordering this and am only adding it to the top list since it is so hyped. I struggled to make it through the first two books in the Dark Artifices series and have yet to desire to read <a href="http://Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices)” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Queen of Air and Darkness. I just am over reading the same base story with different characters over and over. This book and <a href="http://Chain of Gold (The Last Hours Book 1)” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Chain of Gold that release later this year I will most likely wait for someone else to review before thinking of purchasing.

All Magnus Bane wanted was a vacation—a lavish trip across Europe with Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter who against all odds is finally his boyfriend. But as soon as the pair settles in Paris, an old friend arrives with news about a demon-worshipping cult called the Crimson Hand that is bent on causing chaos around the world. A cult that was apparently founded by Magnus himself. Years ago. As a joke.

Now Magnus and Alec must race across Europe to track down the Crimson Hand and its elusive new leader before the cult can cause any more damage. As if it wasn’t bad enough that their romantic getaway has been sidetracked, demons are now dogging their every step, and it is becoming harder to tell friend from foe. As their quest for answers becomes increasingly dire, Magnus and Alec will have to trust each other more than ever—even if it means revealing the secrets they’ve both been keeping.

<a href="http://Descendant of the Crane” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

Descendant of the Crane Book ReviewI have heard so many good things about this book but just was not drawn to the plot myself. Sometimes the Bookstagram hype can run away with a book a bit and I am afraid this might be one of those times…. I will give it a little time post release to see how things pan out before purchasing. The cover art is undeniably gorgeous.

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, dreaming of an unremarkable life. But when her beloved father is found dead, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of a surprisingly unstable kingdom. What’s more, Hesina believes that her father was murdered—and that the killer is someone close to her.

Hesina’s court is packed full of dissemblers and deceivers eager to use the king’s death for political gain, each as plausibly guilty as the next. Her advisers would like her to blame the neighboring kingdom of Kendi’a, whose ruler has been mustering for war. Determined to find her father’s actual killer, Hesina does something desperate: she enlists the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by
death, since magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of Yan at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

April 16th 

<a href="http://The Binding: A Novel” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>The Binding by Bridget Collins

The Binding Book ReviewThe cover if this book is SOOOO gorgeous. I would want it even if it didn’t sound amazing.

Imagine you could erase grief.
Imagine you could remove pain.
Imagine you could hide the darkest, most horrifying secret.
Forever.

Young Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a strange letter arrives summoning him away from his family. He is to begin an apprenticeship as a Bookbinder—a vocation that arouses fear, superstition, and prejudice among their small community but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.

For as long as he can recall, Emmett has been drawn to books, even though they are strictly forbidden. Bookbinding is a sacred calling, Seredith informs her new apprentice, and he is a binder born. Under the old woman’s watchful eye, Emmett learns to hand-craft the elegant leather-bound volumes. Within each one they will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, a binder can help. If there’s something you need to erase, they can assist. Within the pages of the books they create, secrets are concealed and the past is locked away. In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, rows upon rows of books are meticulously stored.

But while Seredith is an artisan, there are others of their kind, avaricious and amoral tradesman who use their talents for dark ends—and just as Emmett begins to settle into his new circumstances, he makes an astonishing discovery: one of the books has his name on it. Soon, everything he thought he understood about his life will be dramatically rewritten.

April 30th

<a href="http://King of Fools (The Shadow Game Series)” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>King of Fools (The Shadow Game #2) by Amanda Foody

King of Fools Book ReviewThis is the sequel to <a href="http://Ace of Shades (The Shadow Game Series)” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Ace of Shades

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

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

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

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

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An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson Book Review

Overall Rating: ****

I almost bought An Enchantment of Ravens from Book Outlet a few weeks ago and decided to hold off after reading the synopsis didn’t do anything for me. Then I stumbled upon it on Scribd and decided to go a head and give it a shot… and I am SO glad that I did.

This book was such a neat take on Faerie and really made humans seem superior in so many ways. The narrator did a great job with the characters even though the guys voices are a little hard to take seriously. The writing was very descriptive and I was able to keep a clear picture of the characters and events occurring even while listening instead of reading, which is a bit harder for me. I think it might actually have been a bit challenging for me to read vs listen to in the beginning due to all of the descriptions.

This is a standalone and also a pretty short book so is a good light read if you are in a slump or not wanting to take on a complex series. If anything I wish there had been more to the story or more books to read. The author Margaret Rogerson is actually releasing another book this year called a Sorcery of Thorns in the same universe and I am sooo ready for it now. Just one more thing….. these covers are gorgeous!!!!

Official Synopsis:

A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

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The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater Book Review

Overall Rating: ****

I had heard a lot of good feedback about this book but I had no idea what I was getting into when I started reading this book. The synopsis didn’t draw me in but it was an audiobook on my unlimited subscription so I decided to give it a try any way.
Wonderfully Strange is the best way I can think to describe this book. The way that you meet the characters and the way the world is built out is presented in such a genuine way. The author says the odd little things that people think but usually don’t say out loud, for me it formed a unique bond with the characters.

I hate to even try to describe the plot of the books, it’s almost impossible to tell you what it is really about without giving away too much. This book had all kinds of paranormal elements with a house full of psychics and even a ghost (or two). So many things I may have seen sprinkled here or there in a book but never all together and in such a wonderful way.

This is the first book in the Raven Cycle and I will review the full series when complete. I will say that some might find the writing difficult or the story a bit slow to get into. The story is 100% worth getting through and was way easier with audiobook, this is the only reason I gave the book 4 stars vs 5.

Official Synopsis:

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

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March 2019 New Book Releases

What is with all of these amazing books the beginning of this year! I want to share a few of my picks for this month’s releases and also some neat special editions that will be coming out!!

March 5th

The Queen’s Resistance (The Queen’s Rising #2) by Rebecca Ross

I have to admit I have not heard a lot of about this series but it is one that has personally caught my eye… and the covers are just stunning!

Synopsis: Finally, Brienna is a mistress of knowledge and is settling into her role as the daughter of Davin MacQuinn, a disgraced lord who returned to Maevana to reclaim his house. Though she’d just survived a revolution, one that will finally return a queen to the throne, she faces another difficult challenge. She must prove herself trustworthy to the MacQuinns. But as Queen Isolde Kavanagh’s closest confidant, she’ll have to balance serving her father’s house as well as her country. And then there’s Cartier, a wholly separate but desirable factor in her new life. Aodhan Morgane, formerly known as Cartier Évariste, is adjusting to the stark contrast between his pre-rebellion life in Valenia as a master of knowledge and his current one as the lord of a fallen house. During his castle’s restoration, he discovers a ten-year-old boy named Tomas, whose past and parentage are a complete mystery. So when Cartier’s former pupil Brienna is as taken with Tomas as he is, he lets his mind wander—what if he doesn’t have to raise him or his house alone? As the Lannon trial rapidly approaches, Brienna and Cartier must put their feelings aside to concentrate on forging alliances, executing justice, and ensuring that no one interferes with the queen’s coronation. But resistance is rumbling among the old regime’s supporters, who are desperate to find a weakness in the rebels’ forces. And nothing makes a person more vulnerable than deep- seated love.

 
The Shadowglass (The Bone Witch) by Rin Chupeco

Eeek this trilogy is high up on my TBR and now that it will be complete I am ready to binge!!! Already have the first book queued up on Audiobook as soon as I finish the Rain Cycle.

In the highly anticipated finale to the Bone Witch trilogy, Tea’s life—and the fate of the kingdoms—hangs in the balance  Tea is a bone witch with the dark magic needed to raise the dead. She has used this magic to breathe life into those she has loved and lost…and those who would join her army against the deceitful royals. But Tea’s quest to conjure a shadowglass—to achieve immortality for the one person she loves most in the world—threatens to consume her heart. Tea’s black heartsglass only grows darker with each new betrayal. And when she is left with new blood on her hands, Tea must answer to a
power greater than the elder asha or even her conscience… 

Shadow Me (Shatter Me #4.5) by Tahereh Mafi

Fan favorite character Kenji Kishimoto narrates this gripping companion novella to Tahereh Mafi’s New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, set during the explosive events in Restore Me! Juliette is still reeling from Warner’s betrayal, and Kenji is trying to balance his friendship with her with his responsibilities as a leader of the resistance against the Reestablishment. Things get even more interesting when an unexpected person from Omega Point’s past surfaces.
The ending of Restore Me left readers gasping, and this novella full of Kenji’s signature sass and big heart is the perfect story to tide fans over until Defy Me (Shatter Me), the shocking fifth book in the Shatter Me series, hits shelves in April 2019.

Superman: Dawnbreaker (DC Icons #4) by Matt de la Pena

Synopsis: When the dawn breaks, a hero rises. His power is beyond imagining.
Clark Kent has always been faster, stronger–better–than everyone around him. But he wasn’t raised to show off, and drawing attention to himself could be dangerous. Plus, it’s not like he’s earned his powers . . . yet.
But power comes with a price.
Lately it’s difficult to hold back and keep his heroics in the shadows. When Clark follows the sound of a girl crying, he comes across Gloria Alvarez and discovers a dark secret lurking in Smallville. Turns out, Clark’s not the only one hiding something. Teaming up with his best friend, Lana Lang, he throws himself into the pursuit of the truth. What evil lies below the surface of his small town? And what will it cost Clark to learn about his past as he steps into the light to become the future Man of Steel? Because before he can save the world, he must save Smallville.

Deathcaster (Shattered Realms #4) by Cinda Williams Chima

I am just loving all of the series conclusions!!! I have always herd wonderful things about China’s work so I will be accumulating this series to reach throughout the year as well.

Master storyteller Cinda Williams Chima delivers spellbinding action, bittersweet reunions, and dazzling revelations in this indispensable conclusion to the Shattered Realms series. 

 
Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis

I read her book Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be last year and just loved it! This is one of my most anticipated books this year and I cannot wait to pick it up!

Synopsis: In Girl, Stop Apologizing, #1 New York Times bestselling author and founder of a multimillion-dollar media company, Rachel Hollis sounds a wake-up call. She knows that many women have been taught to define themselves in light of other people—whether as wife, mother, daughter, or employee—instead of learning how to own who they are and what they want. With a challenge to women everywhere to stop talking themselves out
of their dreams, Hollis identifies the excuses to let go of, the behaviors to adopt, and the skills to acquire on the path to growth, confidence, and believing in yourself. 

  • I checked this morning and the B&N exclusive was only $14.99!

 

March 12th
Bloodleaf (Bloodleaf #1) by Crystal Smith

Guys I have been seeing all of the ARC packages for this book and it is just gorgeous!!! Plus is supposed to be an amazing read! I am pretty sure this will be a drop all of my there books and read this one situation when I get my order.

Synopsis: Princess Aurelia is a prisoner to her crown and the heir that nobody wants.
Surrounded by spirits and banned from using her blood-magic, Aurelia flees her country after a devastating assassination attempt. To escape her fate, Aurelia disguises herself as a commoner in a new land and discovers a happiness her crown has never allowed. As she forges new bonds and perfects her magic, she begins to fall for a man who is forbidden to rule beside her. But the ghosts that haunt Aurelia refuse to abandon her, and she finds herself succumbing to their call as they expose a nefarious plot that only she can defeat. Will she be forced to choose between the weight of the crown and the freedom of her new life?

The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees

The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more—until she finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game. To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of
carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes. One night, a mysterious visitor arrives and asks her what she wishes for, but the Witch sends him away. And then the uninvited guest returns.
The strangers are just the beginning. Something is stirring in the forest, and when Rhea’s and the Witch’s paths collide, a truth more treacherous and deadly than either could ever imagine surfaces. But how much are they willing to risk to survive?

There are also a few special editions releasing this month that I think you will be very interested in…
I know I cannot wait to get my hand on these!!


A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab Collectors Edition

*End papers featuring stunning fan art
*An updated glossary of Arnesian and Antari terms
*Original (never before seen!) short story from within the Shades of Magic world

There is also a Barnes & Noble exclusive that is a different color.

The Near Witch by V.E. Schwab
All-new deluxe edition of an out-of-print gem, containing in-universe short story “The Ash-Born Boy” and a never-before-seen introduction from V.E. Schwab.

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. 

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. 

There are no strangers in the town of Near. 

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life. But when an actual stranger, a boy who seems to fade like smoke, appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true. 
The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.  Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.

Bookish Merch, Products I love!!

February 2019 New Book Releases

This February is another great month of new releases!!! There is just so much coming out on February 5th!

February 5th

Enchantée by Gita Trelease

Enchantee Book ReleaseParis in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and magicians…

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.

But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she’s playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns…

Courting Darkness (Courting Darkness Duology #1) by Robin LaFevers

Courting Darkness BookThis author has another series called His Fair Assassins that has been a hot item on my TBR recently. I am really eager to dive into that series and then will tackle this duology. I have heard so many great things about this author.

Death wasn’t the end, it was only the beginning…

Sybella has always been the darkest of Death’s daughters, trained at the convent of Saint Mortain to serve as his justice. But she has a new mission now. In a desperate bid to keep her two youngest sisters safe from the family that nearly destroyed them all, she agrees to accompany the duchess to France, where they quickly find themselves surrounded by enemies. Their one ray of hope is Sybella’s fellow novitiates, disguised and hidden deep in the French court years ago by the convent—provided Sybella can find them.

Genevieve has been undercover for so many years, she struggles to remember who she is or what she’s supposed to be fighting for. Her only solace is a hidden prisoner who appears all but forgotten by his guards. When tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to take matters into her own hands—even if it means ignoring the long awaited orders from the convent.

As Sybella and Gen’s paths draw ever closer, the fate of everything they hold sacred rests on a knife’s edge. Will they find each other in time, or will their worlds collide, destroying everything they care about?

I will most likely be attending a signing for this book at a local independent book store in Houston, TX, Blue Willow Books. I will be sure to share my experience!

Lady Smoke (Ash Princess Trilogy #2) by Laura Sebastian

The sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller that was “made for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Sabaa Tahir” ( Bustle ), Lady Smoke is an epic new fantasy about a throne cruelly stolen and a girl who must fight to take it back for her people.

Dark of the West (Glass Alliance #1) by Joanna Hathaway

Dark of the West new bookAurelia Isendare is a princess of a small kingdom in the North, raised in privilege but shielded from politics as her brother prepares to step up to the throne. Halfway around the world, Athan Dakar, the youngest son of a ruthless general, is a fighter pilot longing for a life away from the front lines. When Athan’s mother is shot and killed, his father is convinced it’s the work of his old rival, the Queen of Etania—Aurelia’s mother. Determined to avenge his wife’s murder, he devises a plot to overthrow the Queen, a plot which sends Athan undercover to Etania to gain intel from her children.

Athan’s mission becomes complicated when he finds himself falling for the girl he’s been tasked with spying upon. Aurelia feels the same attraction, all the while desperately seeking to stop the war threatening to break between the Southern territory and the old Northern kingdoms that control it—a war in which Athan’s father is determined to play a role. As diplomatic ties manage to just barely hold, the two teens struggle to remain loyal to their families and each other as they learn that war is not as black and white as they’ve been raised to believe.

The Ruin of Kings (A Chorus of Dragons #1) by Jenn Lyons

There are the old stories. And then there’s what actually happens.

Kihrin is a bastard orphan who grew up on storybook tales of long-lost princes and grand quests. When he is claimed against his will as the long-lost son of a treasonous prince, Kihrin finds that being a long-lost prince isn’t what the storybooks promised.

Far from living the dream, Kihrin finds himself practically a prisoner, at the mercy of his new family’s power plays and ambitions. He also discovers that the storybooks have lied about a lot of other things things, too: dragons, demons, gods, prophecies, true love, and how the hero always wins.

Then again, maybe he’s not the hero, for Kihrin isn’t destined to save the empire.

He’s destined to destroy it . . .

February 12th

Bloodwitch (The Witchlands #3) by Susan Dennard

Bloodwitch Witchlands 3 by Susan DennardI have started this series and enjoyed it so far, looking forward to finding out more about Aeduan!

Fans of Susan Dennard’s New York Times bestselling Witchlands series have fallen in love with the Bloodwitch Aeduan. And now, finally, comes his story.

High in a snowy mountain range, a monastery that holds more than just faith clings to the side of a cliff. Below, thwarted by a lake, a bloodthirsty horde of raiders await the coming of winter and the frozen path to destroy the sanctuary and its secrets.

The Bloodwitch Aeduan has teamed up with the Threadwitch Iseult and the magical girl Owl to stop the destruction. But to do so, he must confront his own father, and his past.

The Blood Spell (Ravenspire #4) by C.J. Redwine

Blue de la Cour has her life planned: hide the magic in her blood and continue trying to turn metal into gold so she can help her city’s homeless. But when her father is murdered and a cruel but powerful woman claims custody of Blue and her property, one wrong move could expose her—and doom her once and for all. The only one who can help? The boy she’s loathed since childhood: Prince Kellan.

Kellan Renard, crown prince of Balavata, is walking a thin line between political success and devastating violence. Newly returned from boarding school, he must find a bride among the kingdom’s head families and announce his betrothal—but escalating tension among the families makes the search nearly impossible. He’s surprised to discover that the one person who makes him feel like he can breathe is Blue, the girl who once ruined all his best adventures.

When mysterious forces lead to disappearances throughout Balavata, Blue and Kellan must work together to find the truth. What they discover will lead them to the darkest reaches of the kingdom, and to the most painful moments of their pasts. When romance is forbidden and evil is rising, can Blue save those she loves, even if it costs her everything?

February 26th

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

The Priory of the orange tree book releaseThere has been a ton of hype over this book for several months so I have been pretty hesitant about reading it. I decided not to pre order and will wait to see how the reviews pan out after release.

A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

Bookish Merch, DIY Beauty, Products I love!!

January Owl Crate Unboxing and Review

Overall rating: *****

By now I am sure you have seen I have developed a serious love for Owlcrate. In my opinion it is hands down the best U.S. based crate and value for the money. I actually committed to a subscription… which I have never done for any box ever!! I was quite positive about the book that was going to be in the box so I could not wait to get it, and took a gamble on not pre-ordering the book on my own to have release day.

Owlcrate January unboxing

The theme for January was Magical Artifacts. What came in the box:

  • The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi – Exclusive Owlcrate edition. Guys I really did not think this book could get any more gorgeous but they did it somehow! This also came with author letter and a cute Gilded Wolves themes luggage tag
  • Gilded Wolves themed pin of the month by Alchemy and Ink
  • A Darker Shade of Magic inspired bag by Stella Bookish Art
  • Sting Sword letter opener by Juniper & Ivy Designs
  • The Gold Compass inspired tapestry by Holly Dunn Design
  • Harry Potter inspired Master of Death Socks
  • Antler bracelet inspired by the amplifiers from the Shadow and Bone series

Owlcrate full unboxing January

I was just in love with this box, the book, the Darker Shade of magic bag!! Ah I already cannot wait for the February box whose theme will be Whimsical Beasts!!!

P.S. If you Google search Owlcrate and then click on the ad, I have found that it gives you a coupon!

 

Book Reviews, Products I love!!

Truthwitch Book Review

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Overall ***

Reading Rate: ****

Romance: ***

Pages: 432

This is the first book in the Witchlands series and I have seen a ton of hype around the third book in this series releasing so I wanted to check it out… and of course determine if I wanted to order and of the special editions 🙂 This being the first book in the series there was a lot of world building to be done. High level it is a world where everyone has a form of “witchery” and there many different kinds. The world was once vibrant and had great magic thanks to the “Origin Wells” which have all but died over the course of time. While there is a lot of world building being done you are not given too much information up front, you have to keep reading to find out what things really mean. The story is centered around Iseult and Safi, but there are numerous other characters that are key to the story and are slowing building the back stories as well.

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard Book Review

Because there was some lack of understanding and meaning to some of the elements this book was a little challenging for me to really take a hold of in the beginning. I would say about half way through I was starting to understand the character and world dynamics it really started to pick up.

Once problem I had in the writing was the action scenes. I tend to read quickly and sometimes I have to go back and reread a section to get the details. I just feel in some scenes the details were lacking. I was having a hard time picturing how they were moving together or fighting. A few times I caught myself internally thinking “How did they end up like that?”.

There was so much that was left shrouded in mystery in this book. Most of the characters are really still in a morally grey area, and you aren’t even sure who the “big bad” guy is. I gave the overall score for this book 3 out of 5 stars for its slow start and lack of information. Understanding that this is taking this book as a standalone and that once complete with the overall series I might have a very different opinion.

That being said even though this first book was only 3 stars I will continue to read the series. I think the author has a lot of great concepts started and I would really like to find out what she does with them… and who ends up being what in the story line.

Official Synopsis:

“In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.”

On another fun note I did read that it was announced in September that the series was optioned by Jim Henson Company for a TV series!!  Link to article

BloodWitch the official 3rd book in the series (there is a 2.5 Novella) Releases on February 12th 2019.  I will have to see how the sequel Windwitch goes before I decide if I want to pre-order or grab any special edition boxes.

Book Boxes, Bookish Merch, Products I love!!

The Wicked King Special Edition Box from Beacon Book Box

Overall Rating: ****
This was actually the very first box I ever purchased from Beacon months ago when they first went on sale.  I have received two of their monthly boxes since then and was not totally blown away so have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the content of this box, especially for the price (about $55 shipped).

Beacon Book Box Special edition box The Wicked King

This box also came right after the release so was super thrilled, even though I still have not made time to read the book yet… its next on my TBR for this weekend I swear!!!

Beacon Book Box The Wicked King

This box came with:

  • A signed copy of The Wicked King and author letter
  • Special Edition box with Artwork for The Wicked King
  •  Faerie Realm Candle by SpideyScents
  • Princess of the Undersea Shower Steamer from FairytaleBathCo
  • Mortal Family Tote Bag designed by Morgana0Anagrom
  • Fae King Pillowcase designed by SilvverArt ( I stuffed and displayed this beauty right away!)
  • Faerie Fruit Tea from TheSimpleBookishCo
  • Wicked and Cruel enamel pin from MoledroCraftCo. This is hands down my favorite pin to date!
  • Set of 5 Character cards designed by Diana Dworak
  • Faerie lights by Team Beacon- what bookstagrammer can’t use more of these

The one issue I had with this box was the condition of the book. There was some damage to the corners and dust jacket which is not something I have ever encountered with a book from a box purchase (and not something encountered with Beacon previously). Had this been a book I purchased from a retailer I would have taken it back in to exchange.

Beacon Book Box Wicked King Unboxing

I have two more special edition boxes coming that I cannot wait to share with you guys.. and of course the book review! I have heard the ending leaves you needing more!!