Books · Promo Blitz · The Parliament House Press

Promo Blitz: Two Thousand Years Special Edition by M. Dalto

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Publisher: The Parliament House
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Book Title: Two Thousand Years (Special Edition)
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Series: The Empire Saga
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Author: M. Dalto
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This beautiful edition of Two Thousand Years is available NOW, but hurry – There are ONLY 30 copies available while supplies last!

Book Purchase Links:
Special Edition: The Parliament House Press – Two Thousand Years, The Special Edition Hard Cover
Kindle E-Book: Amazon.com – Two Thousand Years by M. Dalto
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In celebration of the GOT premiere, The Parliament House Press and author M. Dalto are re-releasing a special edition hardcover of Two Thousand Years! It even includes both of the Empire Saga novellas – Reylor’s Lament and Treyan’s Promise, with a bonus chapter from the second book in the series, Mark of the Empress!!!

THERE ARE ONLY 30 SPECIAL EDITION COPIES AVAILABLE!

~ The FIRST 15 people to purchase a Two Thousand Years special edition will ALSO receive a signed bookplate from the author, AND will get 20% off their purchase in The Parliament House shop.

Sounds amazing, right?!

But don’t worry, if the special edition copies sell out, the original E-Book is on sale for 0.99 cents today!

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There is also a GIVEAWAY for a chance to win a Signed Paperback Copy of Two Thousand Years, and a Digital E-Book of Two Thousand Years.

Head over to me Bookstagram to enter!

@JenacideByBibliophile

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Book Synopsis

Two thousand years ago, the Prophecy of Fire and Light foretold the coming of the Queen Empress who would lead the Empire into a time of peace and tranquility. But instead of the coming of a prosperous world, a forbidden love for the Empress waged a war that ravaged the land, creating a chasm between the factions, raising the death toll of innocent lives until the final, bloody battle.

Centuries later, Alexandra, a twenty-two-year-old barista living in Boston, is taken to an unfamiliar realm of mystery and magic where her life is threatened by Reylor, its banished Lord Steward. She crosses paths with Treyan, the arrogant and seductive Crown Prince of the Empire, and together they discover how their lives, and their love, are so intricately intertwined by a Prophecy set in motion so many years ago.

Alex, now the predestined Queen Empress Alexstrayna, whose arrival was foretold by the Annals of the Empire, controls the fate of her new home as war rages between the Crown Prince and Lord Steward. Either choice could tear her world apart as she attempts to keep the Empire’s torrid history from repeating itself. In a realm where betrayal and revenge will be as crucial to her survival as love and honor, Alex must discover whether it is her choice – or her fate – that determines how she survives the Empire’s rising conflicts.

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Social Media Tags:
Instagram: @author.mdalto , @theparliamentpress
Website: https://authormdalto.wordpress.com/
Facebook: M.Dalto – Author , The Parliament House
Twitter: @MDalto421 , @Parliamentbooks

 

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Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Book Wrap-up · Books · Netgalley · New Releases · Reviews · Simon and Schuster · Wrap-Up

Binding of Bindings #13: March Book Wrap-Up

Another Day, another Week, Another MONTH!
WOOOOO! Can you feel it?
Those Spring vibes!!!
Can you feel it in your bones?! Don’t you wanna just DANCE?!

New Books, new themes, new characters, NEW EVERYTHING!
BYE MARCH! It was nice knowin’ ya!
But we’re leaving you behind and dancing into April like…

But first, let’s recap.

 

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~ * ~ March Book Wrap-Up ~ * ~

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1. We Set the Dark on Fire (Book 1) by Tehlor Kay Mejia

We Set The Dark on Fire

So I’ll admit, March started off a little bit on the s****y side for me.

BUT, Bad Books + Forced Positive Outlooks = No F****s Given!

We Set the Dark on Fire is set in a world where girls are trained at a young age how best to serve men they are eventually purchased as a wife. In this world, each man has two wives, one for giving him children and the other to be his right hand. The story starts as our main character, Daniela, is approaching graduation and the start of her new life as a Primera, helping her husband and serving him in any way she can. But she has a past she is trying to keep hidden, and to keep her secret she is forced into making a deal with a rebel group. Basically the rest of the story is her acting as a spay…blah blah blah.

It’s not a bad book, I just didn’t really care for it. My mind kept wandering while reading, there was an exaggerated use of detail that took away from the story, and I didn’t connect with any of the characters.

Oh well.

(See my review here)

 

2. Yesterday I Was the Moon by Noor Unnahar

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This book of poetry will make your heart sing.

There are countless poems in here that EVERYONE can connect or relate to. It is a book of poetry for every soul, and it is just so damn beautiful.

Some are uplifting, some are heartbreaking, and some just make you want to do a little dance with hearts in your eyes.

These poems just make you feel GOOD.

Here is one of my favorites:

It only takes

a second or two

to look into their eyes

and decide

whether you’re home

or at just another

perfectly decorated house

 

Okay…one more.

 

You’re the moon

and the world is

a lonely wolf; it cries

at the sight of you

for you are glorious

and so out of reach

 

3. Bloodleaf (Book 1) by Crystal Smith

Bloodleaf

What a lovely beginning of March it was.

Like a roller coaster.

First it went down, then it went up.

And then, it went down again.

Bloodleaf is the retelling of “The Goose Girl” and has royals, magic, murder and…a pacing that is way too fast for a series.

It is about a young girl named Aurelia, who is the princess of Renalt. In Renalt, anyone who is suspected of wielding magic or being a witch is put to death. So when the secret comes out the Aurelia is…UH Oh…a witch, she is forced to leave. The destination? The kingdom of Achleva, where the prince she is betrothed to resides.

Along the way her traveling party turns against her, her “friend” takes her place as the princess, and they leave her for dead. The rest of the story is how she makes her way into Achleva, meets a mysterious guy named Zan, and they both try to save the kingdom.

For me, the story went WAY too fast considering it is supposed to be a series. I wanted the author to drag out scenes more, help me get to know the characters better, have a CONNECTION. But no such luck.

(See my review here)

 

4. As Directed (A Maggie O’Malley Mystery, Book 3) by Kathleen Valenti

As Directed

Oh s**t, we’re back in it!

Toss out EVERY one of those other Suspense Thrillers you have collecting dust on your over-stuffed shelves!

Allow Kathleen Valenti to come into your life, fill you with snarky characters, bask you in the sunlight of witty metaphors and countless twists and turns.

Obviously, this is the third book in this series. Did I read books 1 and 2? No, not yet. But was it necessary to read this WoNDERFUL book.

No.

It is the story of Maggie O’Malley as she starts her new career as a pharmacy technician. One day while walking down the aisles, she trips over an unconscious body, who eventually is pronounced dead. But it starts to get strange when two more bodies are found unconscious in an aisle. Soon the media leaks that there may be a series of poisonings affecting customers. The story continues with Maggie searching for clues as to who the culprit is, and finding some seriously scary stuff along the way.

It is FANTASTIC, please read it. Your inner sleuth begs you

(See my review here)

 

5. Girls with Sharp Stick (Book 1) by Suzanne Young

Girls with Sharp Sticks

My March just kept getting BETTER and BETTER!

My dreams came true, and Simon and Schuster sent me a physical ARC of Girls with Sharp Sticks for review…and let me just say…I almost died.

Of EXCITEMENT!

This book, was

It is set in a future that is basically the present, but…sort of the future.

At Innovations Academy, young women are bred for perfection. They are taught manners, to stay in top physical form, and above all else, to be obedient. The girls at Innovations Academy listen to EVERYTHING the men who run the academy tell them, because naturally, they know best. But when one of the girls starts to act out, it starts a chain reaction and many girls start to realize that what they see and know is only the surface of what is really going on.

I know that’s vague. But this book is anything but.

It touches on BIG issues that women face on a daily basis. It will hurt your soul to watch these characters be belittled and hurt, but you will have an overwhelming sense of empowerment by the end. 

(See my review here)

 

6. Alarum (Walking Shadows, Book 1) by Talis Jones

Alarum

Allow me to introduce you to the reason for my new obsession with Dystopian Westerns.

The U.S. has fallen, and in its wake is a lawless country. Children have been ripped from their families, pushed into Corrals, trained to be soldiers and slaves, and then sold to the highest bidder. This story follows a girl with many names, as she traverses this new world and tries to make sense of it.

It is EVERYTHING I could hope for in a Dystopian Western. As a lover of Mad Max, this story is just dripping in female badassery that closely embodies the goddess Imperator Furiosa.

I am currently Beta reading for book 2 in the series (YAY) and I cannot wait to finish it. This series is going to be addicting and so enjoyable to read!

(See my review here)

 

7. The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

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I haven’t done my review for this yet, but SOON, I promise.

The Truth About About Alice should be required reading in every high school.

Each chapter switches back and forth between characters, who are all gossiping and talking about Alice. It is a story of rumors, of the cruelty that your peers can bestow on you, and the strength it takes to stand up against it.

I really loved reading this story, and can’t believe I waited this long to get to it!

 

8. White Rose by Kip Wilson

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You might want to cry, but don’t.

White Rose is a book of celebration.

White Rose is based on a true story and follows Sophie Scholl as she joins an anti-Nazi resistance group called, you guessed it, White Rose. It flips back and forth between the “before” and the “end” of her time in the group. With several other German University students, Sophie and the group created leaflets that spoke out against the tyranny and oppression of the Nazi regime and Adolf Hitler.

The group distributed the leaflets all over Germany, in the hopes that it would compel others who craved a Germany that embodied justice, to rise up. Though the story ends with the death of Sophie and Hans School, and Christoph Probst being convicted of treason and sentenced to death; it is a beautiful and inspiring story about young people who stood up when few others would. 

But the best aspect of this story, is that the entire book is in poems. It gives each scene and character an incredible voice, and it was SUCH a pleasure and gift to read.

(See my review here)

 

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I hope your March ended as wonderful as mine did!
But that’s in the past!
HELLO APRIL!!

Stay Witchy!! XoXo

 

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · Edelweiss+ · New Releases · Reviews

Book Review: White Rose by Kip Wilson

White Rose

 

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, via Edelweiss+ for an honest review.

Genre: YA/Historical Fiction/Poetry

Plot: A gorgeous and timely novel based on the incredible story of Sophie Scholl, a young German college student who challenged the Nazi regime during World War II as part of The White Rose, a non-violent resistance group.

Disillusioned by the propaganda of Nazi Germany, Sophie Scholl, her brother, and his fellow soldiers formed the White Rose, a group that wrote and distributed anonymous letters criticizing the Nazi regime and calling for action from their fellow German citizens. The following year, Sophie and her brother were arrested for treason and interrogated for information about their collaborators.

Opinion:

RESPONSE

Fritz tells me

Officer’s mail

Isn’t

Censored,

 

That I should

Feel free

To say

What I like,

 

Which is good

Because I have

Plenty

To say.

 

If you want to know what true beauty, conviction, bravery and strength looks like….read this book.

White Rose is the rebellion story that begs to be witnessed.

White Rose is the story of how a young German student, Sophie Scholl, became part of an anti-Nazi resistance group that was formed by her brother Hans, Willi Graf and Christoph Probst. Having grown up as members of Hitler Youth and experiencing the brutality of war, the boys craved a Germany that followed rules of justice rather than one of genocide. And so, the White Rose was formed in June of 1942 and was made up of many University of Munich students who protested the mass murders of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime. Though the group only lasted until 1943, hundreds of copies of six political resistance leaflets were drafted and distributed across Germany, in the hopes of inspiring German citizens and students to revolt against oppression.

 

Sophie & Hans Scholl with Christoph Probst 1942

 

AFTERMATH

We soon learn there’s been

An enormous wave

Of arrests throughout Germany

Of hundreds of teenagers

Including Hans, on his military base

All of them accused

Of getting together

In youth groups other than

The Hitlerjugend

Singing banned songs

Reading banned books

Things we do

Because

Ideas

Cannot

Be

Banned.

 

The group drafted six leaflets in total and distributed hundreds across Germany until the capture of its members. Due to the lack of paper and stamps that were available, the mailing of leaflets to different members of the White Rose was incredibly dangerous. The number of stamps and envelopes purchased by one person was tightly monitored by the Gestapo, and any suspicion of anti-Nazi propaganda was swiftly dealt with by arrest and biased trials at the People’s Court of Berlin, which usually ended in death by guillotine or imprisonment.

 

1310_Muhlenkamp_Rose-up

 

1940

Fritz doesn’t understand

Why this defiance matters

So much to me,

Won’t acknowledge

That our strongest weapon

Is our refusal

To follow blindly.

 

Vati says nothing

But his smile

My father’s approval

When I stand up

For what’s right

Means the world.

 

The beautiful and daunting telling of the White Rose group is so much more than I imagined it would be. When I requested this title from Edelwiess, I wasn’t even aware that it was a story told in poetry! But after reading it, I can’t imagine it being told in any other way. These poems give these brave young adults a HUGE voice. Their conviction and feelings are screaming through to the reader on every stanza, every page.

The members of this group quickly become a friend you could have known from school, a neighbor, a sibling. They are familiarized to you by their thoughts, and brought in close by their actions and movements. Kip Wilson has woven their story, and their actual letters to one another, into this riveting and gut-pummeling piece of artwork. By the end of the book I was fueled with an anger for what happened to these people, but also left in awe for how brave and fiercely they stood up for their beliefs of a better Germany.

 

SELFLESSNESS

Letter to Fritz: June 1940

Dear Fritz,

People shouldn’t be

Ambivalent

About the world around

Them simply because

Everyone else

Is ambivalent.

People who

Refuse

To open their eyes

Are more than ambivalent-

They are guilty.

How can we expect

Justice

In this world

If we’re not prepared to

Sacrifice ourselves

For what’s right?

 

My only complaint is that I wanted more time with this book…and more time for these beautiful people who took a stand when so few others in their country would. It is a frightening thought, to stand up against a power and force so strong as the Nazi regime. But it is a truly beautiful notion, to think that these young adults made up their own minds on what they thought was right, and then acted on it until their deaths.

Books like this, that tell the true story of people like Sophie and Hans Scholl, Kurt Huber, Alexander Schmorell, Willi Graf and Christoph Prost, who stood up against tyranny with their lives, are what makes me incredibly happy to be human.

 

A REALIZATION

Our deaths

Will mean

Something.

 

The world will react,

And someday

Someone

Will punish

 The people

Who are doing

These terrible things.

 

The ribbon widens,

Flooding

My mind

With a river of hope.

5-stars

 

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Blog Tour · Book Promo · Books · New Releases · Release Blitz · The Parliament House Press

Release Day Blitz: Stars Over Zephyr by Kathryn Lee Martin

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Publisher: The Parliament House
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Book Title: Stars Over Zephyr
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Series: Snow Spark Saga Series (Book #3)
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Author: Kathryn Lee Martin
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Happy 2nd of April bookworms and lovers of the written word!

This week I bring you the release of Book 3 in the Snow Spark Saga series called Stars over Zephyr. I partnered up with the amazing Parliament House to share this newest release from Kathryn Lee Martin, and to give you a little information on what to expect with this newest installment!

The Snow Spark Saga series is a Young Adult Fantasy set in a Dystopian/Western world after the eruption of Yellowstone National Park. The world is divided into settlements, Hydra and Rondo, and follows main characters Tracker and Rags as they work as “rustlers” for Rondo by stealing goods and supplies from Hydra. The series follows Rags as she fights for survival and to keep her family together in a brutal and harsh new world.

It was released today, April 2, 2019, so you can get your copy now!!!

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Book Synopsis

With the Kingdom in chaos over her botched public execution, sixteen-year-old Rags has only one thing on her mind: survival. But that’s no easy feat with the Kingdom Corps chasing her, and every citizen wanting to cash in on the ultimate bounty. One place may offer shelter, though—Solstice, a lawless settlement where criminals go to seek refuge.

Yet Solstice is anything but a safe haven. A professional bounty hunter prowls its seedy streets and a ruthless anti-Kingdom rebel group, known as the Supporters, are rumored to call this settlement home. Neither side is friendly to outsiders. Having fled with former second-in-command-turned-traitor, Henrick Oreson and former luresman, Colton Caelan Fieldson, it’s a chance Rags will have to take.

Their options few, they must work together to survive a hostile new world while on the run, earn the respect of the Supporters, and regroup against the Kingdom. If they fail, civil war among the settlements will rage Kingdom-wide. If they’re successful, it could mean a chance at revenge against Hyperion and his cruel Threshing Floor, and the possible opportunity to take back their Kingdom once and for all…

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Social Media Tags:
Instagram: @rynsagequill , @theparliamentpress
Website: https://www.rynleewrites.com
Facebook: The Parliament House

 

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Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Books · New Releases · Pre-order · Upcoming Releases

Binding of Bindings #12: My Top 15 Anticipated April Book Releases

I thought this was going to be a nice, cheery, colorful and happy post about 15 books that I CAN’T wait to be released for April.
But….as I started adding each book on to my list…
….it started turning
super sad and dismal.

I love it.

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

 

~* My 15 Anticipated April Book Releases *~

 

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1. White Rose by Kip Wilson

Release Date: April 2, 2019
Genre: YA/Historical Fiction

White Rose

White Rose reflects on the life of Sophie Scholl, who was a young German anti-Nazi activist born in 1921 and who died in 1943. This book documents her time in the White Rose, a non-violent resistance group, and the eventual capture of her and her brother as they were convicted of treason.

I don’t know about you, but i have a hardcore fascination for anything WWII. This sounds like an AMAZING story, and thankfully I received an ARC of it from Edelweiss!!

 

2. Smoke and Key by Kelsey Sutton

Release Date: April 2, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy

Smoke and Key

I am SO STOKED for this release!

If you don’t know Kelsey Sutton, YOU NEED TO.

She comes up with these intricate and creative plot ideas, blends it with detailed characters and settings, and just turns you into a bumbling blathering bandicoot.

For example:

In Smoke and Key a girl wakes up in this dark, cold underground place with no idea of where she is or how she got there. Around her neck is a Key, the only clue to her identity. She comes across a boy named Smoke, who explains the she is dead and has fallen out of her grave into “Under“, a place filled with inhabitants who are named after the items they carry. “Under” is creepy, filled with secrets, and downright gritty.

Sounds trippy, right?

I JUST pre-ordered Smoke and Key on Wednesday, so I am SO excited to receive it on the release day…because it sounds…

 

3. Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy, Book 1) by Emily A. Duncan

Release Date: April 2, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Romance

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So apparently, Wicked Saints follows two characters, Nadya and Serefin. Nadya is a cleric (priest/religious leader) with magical powers and is being hunted by Serefin, a Prince who is also a mage.  It is described as a Gothic tale full of secrets, bloodshed, treachery and callousness.

Psh…sign me up.

 

4. Women Talking by Miriam Toews

Release Date: April 2, 2019
Genre: Adult/Fiction/Feminism

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Women Talking is for the mature reader, due to acts of rape and physical/mental abuse.

It is the story of eight Mennonite women meeting in secret to share their horrific stories of abuse that has reached more than a hundred girls. It is the story of how the men in their colony have drugged and raped them, and how the women come together to decide if they should stay or leave.

This sounds like it’s going to be a difficult read to get through, but due to it being based on a true story, I definitely want to give it the attention it deserves.

 

5. We are Blood and Thunder by Kesia Lupo

Release Date: April 4, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy

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This is the story of two young women who must come together in order to break a spell that has brought a cloud of disease and devastation of Duke’s City. For years the city has been sealed off from the rest of the world, not allowing anyone in or out.

After Lena is accused of being a Mage, she fights to escape the city, just as a young women named Constance, tries to get back in. Together the women must work together in order to save the city and the people within.

I love a Fantasy story, especially one that involves two badass women who save the day…hopefully.

 

6. The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe by Ally Condie

Release Date: April 4, 2019
Genre: Ya/Fantasy

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The story of a seventeen-year-old captain of a mining ship seeks revenge on the River Raiders who robbed her two years prior.

Though the story sounds like a Pirates of the Caribbean type of tale, it centers more on grief, redemption, forgiveness and the path to find one’s self. It follow Poe as she tries to come to terms with her past, while also embarking on an exhilarating adventure.

 

7. The Last by Hanna Jameson

Release Date: April 9, 2019
Genre: Fiction/Mystery/Thriller

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The Last is described as a tale that combines a “nuclear apocalypse and murder mystery“. Now if that doesn’t grab your psychotic attention, I don’t know what will.

It starts with a man named Jon arriving at a hotel in Switzerland. Whilst there, news reports come flooding in of a nuclear attack on major cities. As hotel guests begin to flee, only twenty guests remain at the hotel, and Jon tells the reader of their story.  As the world is crumbling around them, with little knowledge of what is actually going on in the world, a young girl is found dead.

I received this title from Netgalley, and am really intrigued by the premise of this story. I think it is either going to turn out to be INCREDIBLE, or a dud…but we shall see!

 

 

 8. How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow

Release Date: April 9, 2019
Genre: YA/Contemporary

How to Make Friends with the Dark.jpg

Ahhhhhhhhhh chit!

We’re gunna cry during this one guys!

How to make Friends with the Dark is the story of Tiger after she loses her mother. We follow her as she deals with her loss, is put through foster care, and tries to navigate a world where she now feels lonely and isolated.

This book has a TON of amazing reviews on Goodreads praising the writing and story. Just makes sure you grab a box of tissues and a fuzzy blanket before settling into this one.

 

9. The Lost History of Dreams by Kris Waldherr

Release Date: April 9, 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction/Thriller/Mystery

The Lost History of Dreams.jpg

A Gothic ghost story with a chilling mystery, YES please!

The Lost History of Dreams is the story of Hugh De Bonne, and his wife and muse Ada. After Hugh dies suddenly, his cousin Robert Highstead, a post-mortem photographer, is called on to transport Hugh’s remains for burial. But when the niece of Ada comes forward to recount the truth of Hugh and Ada’s marriage, a secret begins to emerge.

It sounds creepy, it sounds spooky, and it sounds like it’s right up my “Forever Halloween Season” alley.

 

10. The Dream Peddler by Martine Fournier Watson

Release Date: April 9, 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy

The Dream Peddler.jpg

Geezus, this post is just dripping in grieving characters and sadness, isn’t it?!?!

Well, here’s another one.

Robert Owens is a traveling salesman in the business of selling dreams. After the disappearance of a young boy rocks a small town into shock and grief, Robert begins to use his magic to help the inhabitants. But despite his effort to help, some of his dealing turn disastrous.

This author had me at “selling dreams“.

 

11. Dreaming Darkly by Caitlin Kittredge

Release Date: April 9, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Mystery

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Another Gothic Mystery/Thriller, because the April Book Gods have answered my little gothy prayers!

Ivy has just been shipped off to Darkhaven to live with her rich uncle following the death of her strange and abusive mother. As Ivy begins to adjust to her new life, she starts to uncover some well-hidden family secrets. Secrets that have her waking up from nightmares. But when one nightmare causes her to wake up covered in blood, she starts to realize that maybe there was a reason behind her mother’s crazed behavior.

SPOOKY!

 

12. Girls on the Verge by Sharon Biggs Waller

Release Date: April 9, 2019
Genre: YA/Contemporary/Feminism

girls on the Vergs

Ahh…a good old fashioned girls road trip!

Except this road trip consists of two best friends and a girl they barely know…to get…an abortion.

On the same night that Camille learns she has been accepted into a prestigious theater program, she also learns that she is pregnant. Felling like she has no other option, she decides to get an abortion. With nobody to turn to, as her best friend disagrees with her decision, she reaches out to a girl from the theater to accompany her.

This book documents a woman’s right to choose, and the strength it takes to go against social expectations.

 

13. The Raven’s Tale by Cat Winters

Release Date: April 16, 2019
Genre: YA/Retelling/Fantasy/Historical Fiction

The Raven's Tale

I JUST mentioned this last week in my Binding of Bindings: Top Ten Retellings of 2019 post last week, so we might as well give it some more promotion, right?!

The Raven’s Tale is a retelling/adaptation of the early life of famed poet Edgar Allen Poe. It is the story of his need to escape his home life, the love of his life, and the Muse that falls into his life. It sounds like it is going to be a beautifully haunting tale, which is perfect for any Edgar Allen Poe lover!

 

14. Last Girl Lied To by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Release Date: April 16, 2019
Genre: YA/Mystery/Thriller

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Last Girl Lied To is an emotional thriller about the disappearance of Trixie, and her best friend Fionas’ search to find her.

Though Trixies’ death was ruled a suicide, Fiona thinks that Trixie is actually alive. As Fiona hunts for clues as to what may have caused her friend to leave, she begins to realize that the friend she thought she knew may have been a complete stranger.

 

15. Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson

Release Date: April 24, 2019
Genre: Poetry

Shout.jpg

An anticipated release for months, April is finally making our wants and desires come true.

Twenty years ago, Laurie Halse Anderson released her book Speak, the story of a young girl who is the victim of rape. Still a favorite and an incredibly important story that has been shared across the world, Anderson still can’t fathom how rape culture still exists.

In Shout, Anderson has compiled countless stories, moments from her life, and poetry that is a love letter to every person who fights to rid our culture of sexual abuse.

THIS is the one we have all been waiting for.

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Keep those beautiful heads up, those eyes reading, and remember to stay witchy! XoXo

 

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · Reviews

Book Review: Alarum (Walking Shadows, Book 1) by Talis Jones

Alarum

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author, Talis Jones, for an honest review.

Genre: YA/Dystopian/Fantasy

Plot: I fled as they destroyed my home.
I watched as they murdered my family.
I stood silent as they stole my name and threw my life in chains.

I stare coldly at my fading reflection with only one question to ask:
Them or Me?

Set in a future where the United States has fallen, a girl is ripped from her home as a child and forced to endure the harshness around her or else surrender to the dust of bones she treads on. Her life becomes simple: kill or be killed. What she didn’t count on was the heavy cost this world would drain from her soul. When she crosses paths with a curious stranger who offers to show her a place without a map, they head across the crumbling land in search of the fabled Sanctuary. Neither enemies nor elements that rip her hair and claw at her heels can stand in the way of her will to survive.

They say demons lurk in the shadows, but here they strut boldly under the angry sun.

Opinion:

What started out as a coming-of-age story in a lawless dystopian land;

ripe with casual murders, children being trained as soldiers and slaves, and the occasional back-stab

…turned rather suddenly into a story that, quick and silent as a wraith, may have just crumbled my feelings into dust.

My hearthurts.

“Never trust strangers, unless you’re on death’s row anyway in which case you’ve got nothing to lose, Hero advised.”

After the collapse of the world that we know, a girl of many names is thrust into a time of lawlessness and endless miles of desert. Trained as a young child in skills to be made a soldier or slave in a place called the Coral, Flinch is taught the ways of fighting cruelly and self-preservation. As a teen, she is called Vizsla, and sold to a man named Hans to work as a slave at his homestead in Alabama.  But when a man in need of a blacksmiths’ skills arrives at the homestead, he takes an interest in Vizsla and makes an offer to buy her. With her new companion named Connors, Vizsla is given a new name, and given back her freedom. So ensues the tale of a girl with many names, and her journey to keep a promise that she made as a child.

I wasn’t equipped for this world. I had a vial of adrenaline and a knapsack of dreams and with every year that blew by another hope was plucked from my pockets, pinched from my purse, slipped from my bag. When my last hope was ripped from my rib cage I fell to my knees deflated and empty.”

This story is gritty.

You’re going to feel your lungs fill with dirt, your skin bubble under the angry sun, and your heart begin to turn to cold hard steal.

Alarum begins in the United States after it has fallen to harsh climate changes and the anger of the sun. The cities and towns have been decimated, flattened or completely wiped out. The population has dropped significantly, and only the strong and cunning survive. This world is lawless and unforgiving, where every man is out for themselves.

“Funny thing about this world, when it shifted and twisted it blew gales of sand in storms more powerful than anything our nation had seen before. Whole cities torn down, entire landscapes scraped flat, and all because of a lethal combination of wind, fire and earth, all set into chaos by some fool unknown.”

Though there isn’t an exact explanation of how the U.S. is destroyed, due to our main character being a young child during its demise, I found that the lack of explanation made the story feel so much more authentic. The reader is given just enough information on the subject to enjoy the story, and honestly, who really cares how it happened. Right?

Our main character is, like I said above, a girl of many names. We meet her as Vizsla, formerly called Flinch, afterwards called Kid, eventually called Fury, and another name that was given before all others. As a young child she endures gruesome deaths, brutal fights of survival, and a harsh realization that things will never again be easy. I found her character to be EVERYTHING that I could hope to be if the world ever crumbled: resilient, strong, sassy, capable and methodical. I instantly was fond of her character and became incredibly protective of her. Though I knew she could take care of herself, I kept finding my heart race and skip when something horrible would happen to her.

But probably the best trait of Fury is her perpetual affinity for snarky one-liners and sarcastic retorts.

“These glasses are worth more to me than gold.

He nods towards my dirt-smudged lenses. ‘I trust you’ve got a backup pair somewhere?’

‘Yep.’

Connors squints at my face. ‘Liar.’

‘I don’t see why you say that, Connors. This is the damn end of the world, there are prescription glasses galore and I always make sure to carry a plethora of options at all times to coordinate with all my outfits.’”

This story follows Fury as she lives in the present, growing through the years, but also switches back to moments of her past. I really liked the switches between past and present in this story, because it gave me an amazing amount of information on Fury and how she lives up to her fierce name. Instead of the author TELLING me all about her past, the reader is immersed in those moments with the main character. I felt every bit of anger, sadness, disgust, terror, and happiness that she felt! Countless other characters were entwined in this story, and each given the care and consideration of being developed well. There are characters that you will hate, ones that you will love, and multiple you wish you had more time with.

I did have a few qualms with the story, by way of some moments not being fully explained or rushed over too quickly. Alarum moves fast. This book covers a TON of ground in its 422 pages, so it would be VERY hard for your attention to wander or for you to lose interest. But because it moves so quickly, I found there were a few moments that I had to go back and read again due to its quick pace. I found myself getting slightly confused in parts of the story by innuendos or confusing descriptions, but nothing that deters from the plot or makes the story hard to get through.

I think the true selling point on Alarum comes down to the writing. Talis Jones has an alluring way with words. She describes EVERYTHING in so much detail, with so much feeling, that you get swept away in the tale that she so elegantly lays before you. She does everything I am so un-used to by authors. Her sentences are LONG. Her characters have the substance of someone who is both enlightened and cursed. She has characters fall in love, but the ROMANCE DOESN’T TAKE OVER THE STORY! She introduces key characters throughout the book, and she even kills off the one’s you’ll grow attached to.

This book was everything I have always wanted in a YA Dystopian styled western.

I am officially hooked on Talis Jones and her stories, and I fully expect you all to be as well.

“Self-preservation makes demands on your body and I refuse to lay down and ignore the call.”

 

4-5-stars

 

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Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Books · Netgalley · New Releases · Pre-order · TBR

Binding of Bindings #11: 10 Book Retellings of 2019

It’s a gloomy and rainy Friday morning peeking in through my windows, so why not start it off with a few creeps and critters?

Just a couple gritty tales, some sinister characters…maybe a murder or five.

A plain stepsister living in a world of outer beauty, maidens and beasts, a poet with a love and a muse, witches and magic, and a young girl with a penchant for falling down rabbit holes.

These may sound familiar, and that’s because they are! These are the tales from your childhood, twisted and molded, poked and prodded. Some may seem lighthearted, but most of them aren’t. 😉

10 Book Retellings of 2019

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1. A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Book #1) by Brigid Kemmerer
Now Available

A Curse So Dark and Lonely

A Curse So Dark and Lonely is the first book in the series of the same name, and was released in January. I have seen this book making the rounds on Goodreads and Bookstagram, so I think it’s safe to say that this retelling of Beauty and the Beast is a winner.

The story follows Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall, and Harper Lucy, a young girl struggling to keep her fractured family together. Prince Rhen has been cursed by an enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year repeatedly, only ceasing if a young girl can fall for him. Harper has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, but never lets that deter her from what she does or wants. Eventually Harper finds herself in Rhen’s lands and so begins the tale of breaking the curse that we all know and love.

I have yet to read this amazing story, but I have heard nothing but fantastic things about it. Now as I am writing this, I have the undying urge to go watch the Disney movies!

 

2. Bloodleaf (Bloodleaf #1) by Crystal Smith
Now Available

Bloodleaf

I just reviewed Bloodleaf last week, and though it wasn’t my favorite YA Fantasy story, I am also not joined by the masses in my opinion.

Bloodleaf is a retelling of The Goose Girl but with a few extra magical twists. In this story, like the goose girl, a princess is forced to travel to a neighboring kingdom in order to be wed to its prince. Along the way, the princess is tricked and her place is taken by the maid who now possess as the princess in order to marry the prince.

This rendition has more magic and extra characters, but for me, moved a bit too fast. It felt like things were rushed over too quickly, especially when this is planned to be a series. However, I did enjoy the creative route the author went with this classic tale.

(See my review here)

 

3. Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer
Now Available

Echo North

Echo North is a retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon, but a more common comparison would be Beauty and the Beast. It was released in January and has a plethora of amazing reviews.

The story is about Echo Alkaev who comes across her fathers half-frozen body in the forest after he had disappeared six months prior. But guarding her father’s body is a talking wolf, one that she remembers from her childhood as attacking her. The wolf then gives Echo an offer she can’t refuse, if she lives with him for a year then he will ensure her fathers safety.

This tale seems like a darker retelling of the story we all know, but one I can’t help but find incredibly intriguing. One Echo moves to the house of the wolf, she learns that each room must be sewn together in order for the house to stay one. The description gives hints that there are countless secrets and mysteries laying behind each door, and it sounds like it is going to be a WILD tale.

 

4. The Cold is in Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale
Now Available

The Cold is in Her Bones

The Medusa retelling you didn’t know you needed, and the book for all you beautiful Slytherins out there!

Milla spends her days doing chores and never leaving her home, though she has no idea why. But when the arrival of a family comes to live beside her home, she meets the first girl her own age that tells her of a curse. The curse comes to young women in the village, and one of demonic possession.

This story touches on many aspects like practicing kindness, not judging others for differences, and friendship and loyalty. It is a STRANGE story, but one that is so original and unique. I LOVED it and truly recommend it to anyone that is tired of reading the same tales over and over.

(See my review here)

 

5. Dream Keeper (The Dark Dreamer Trilogy #1) by Amber R. Duell
Now Available

Dream Keeper

Dream Keeper was another less than inspiring read for me this year, but also another unique twist on a classic fairytale.

This story is all about the Sandman and the weaver of nightmares. It follows a girl named Nora who has been meeting the Sandman in her dreams for the last five years. One day she meets a strange new boy at her work and then suddenly, her boss is found dead. As a series of strange deaths start happening around Nora, she realizes that living nightmares are what is causing these deaths…and that she may be the reason.

I had a lot of issues with this story, which was disappointing because I loved the concept. Things weren’t fully explained and the reader gets dropped right into the middle of the story, so it can be tough to read at points. BUT, I do recommend trying it for yourself JUST for the fact that it is a retelling on the Sandman, which I haven’t seen done before.

(See my review here)

 

6. Enchantée (Book #1) by Gita Trelease
Now Available

Enchantee

Enchantée is an absolute DREAM of a story about magic, Versailles, sneaky courtiers and romance.

It is set in Paris in 1789, where Camille Durbonne is forced to use la magie at Versailles to turn cards in order to provide for her and her sister. Camille has the ability to turn bits of metal into money, but it is only a temporary transformation. In dire need of funds to pay for their rent, Camille beings turning cards with her magic at the tables held in the palace of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI.

This story is to DIE for! I am still sitting in a corner pouting because I can’t enjoy these beautiful gowns, extravagant gardens and the exuberance of Versailles!

(See my review here)

 

7. Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly
Release Date: May 14, 2019

Stepsister

Stepsister is the story of the ugly stepsister of Cinderella who cuts off her toes in order to fit into the glass slipper.

Isabelle has tried her entire life to measure up the beauty and sweetness of Cinderella, chopping away pieces of herself in order to become something of desire for others. Surrounded by those who value beauty above all, she feels pushed down and set aside.

I am SO excited to read this retelling of Cinderella because it is all about empowerment, perseverance and self-love. This sounds like it is going to be an uplifting story about confidence and strength, so I can’t wait!

 

8. House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig
Release Date: August 6, 2019

House of Salt and Sorrows

The anticipation is KILLING me!!!

House of Salt and Sorrows is a retelling of 12 Dancing Princesses. If unfamiliar, it is a story of twelve sisters (princesses) who are locked into their rooms at night by the king. But each morning, the dancing shoes of each princess are seen to have been worn. The secret is the girls sneak out each night through a trap door in dancing gowns and shoes, staying up all night twirling around in another castle.

But in THIS retelling, everything is a bit darker and more sinister.

Annaleigh lives in a manor by the sea with her once 12 sisters, father and stepmother. But four of the sisters have died by supposed accidents, though the villagers believe it to be a curse on the family. So when Annaleigh finds that her sisters have been sneaking out at night to go dancing, she can’t help but think that this may be a connection to the deaths of her sisters.

 

9. The Raven’s Tale by Cat Winters
Release Date: April 16, 2019

The Raven's Tale

The Raven’s Tale is a retelling/adaptation of the early life of famed poet Edgar Allen Poe. It is the story of his need to escape his home life, the love of his life, and the Muse that falls into his life. It sounds like it is going to be a beautifully haunting tale, which is perfect for any Edgar Allen Poe lover!

 

10. Ever Alice by HJ Ramsay
Release Date: August 1, 2019

Ever Alice

An Alice in Wonderland retelling, JUST what you asked for!

This Alice story takes a darker route and places our beloved main character in an insane asylum for her silly talks of Wonderland. In order to leave the asylum, Alice must undergo an experimental procedure, one that she knows very little about. But at the last moment Alice escapes and follows the white rabbit back to Wonderland where she is now stuck with the Queen of Hearts.

Supposedly there is love, scandal, attempted (maybe actual) murder and a whole host of strange happenings in this rendition…and I CAN’T WAIT!

 

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As always my dear readers, stay witchy!!

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