Monday, September 18, 2017

Book Review: Crooked Kingdom

 Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Released: September 20th, 2016
Read: August 2017
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Format: E-Book, 536 pages
Series: Six of Crows #2

Description from GoodReads: When you can't beat the odds, change the game.
Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn't think they'd survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they're right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz's cunning and test the team's fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city's dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.


Review: Just like Six of Crows, the ending to this duology hits every note right and kept me at the edge of my seat with every single jaw-dropping twist and turn. The gang returns with a vengeance, reminding at least me why I loved them the first time around. The book delved deeper into the backstories and life-changing moments that shape their decisions until the very end. Comparitively the side characters fall vaguely flat, but their scenes hint at more things that we just didn't have the chance to discover. 
   It was also really fun to read characters so close to each other that you almost learn more about one character from someone else's perspective than you do from their own. The gang is written so tightly-knit that it's almost like I am personally friends with all of them.
   Leigh Bardugo also keeps up the beautiful descriptions and dedicated world-building from the first book. I may be biased because she's one of my favourite authors, but I adore her writing.
   All in all, the book kept the pace, feeling, and excitement going from one end to the other and wrapped the duology up well enough for it to be over. But hopefully, maybe just maybe, there will be a follow-up.

Quoteable Quotes:
- "You like things that you can see. Like piles of snow and benevolent tree gods."
- "Fear is a phoenix. You can watch it burn a thousand times and still it will return."
- "You aren't a flower, you're every blossom in the wood blooming at once. You are a tidal wave. You're a stampede. You are overwhelming."
- "But if you couldn't open a door, you just had to make a new one."
- "It's shame that lines my pockets, shame that keeps the Barrel teeming with fools ready to put on a mask just so they can have what they want with no one the wiser for it. We can endure all kinds of pain. It's shame that eats men whole."
- "That's where you're wrong, I don't hold a grudge. I cradle it. I coddle it. I feed it fine cuts of meat and send it to the best schools. I nurture my grudges, Rollins."
- "When one plan was blown, you made a new one. When they backed you into a corner, you cut a hole into the roof."
- "And that was what destroyed you in the end: the longing for something you could never have."
- "But just as surely as life connected everything, so did death. It was that endless, fast-running river. She'd dipped her fingers into its current, heldthe eddy of its power in her hands. She was the Queen of Mourning, and in its depths, she would never drown."

Rating: 10/10

Read if You like: crime novels, bank heists, the Grisha trilogy, well built worlds.

Optimistically yours, Ola

Friday, September 15, 2017

Blog Tour: Masked & Keeping The Beat











Hey loves! Yes you read that right! Today is really special, as The Autumn Bookshelf is hosting TWO stops for Rockstar Book Tours! So sit back and enjoy!


Title: MASKED (Superheroes UnderCover, #1)
Author: J.D. Wright
Pub. Date: August 15, 2017
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Pages: 217
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Find it: Amazon, B&N, TBD, Goodreads

Summary:

- Turn 18 (check!)
- Register super name
- Order supersuit
- Attend superhero indoctrination
- Graduate high school
- Start kicking criminal tail

Vada Lawson can’t wait to be a superhero. Born into a family with special powers, she’s been training to fight criminals and villains her whole life. But her indoctrination into the underground super community is derailed when normals start breaking out in superpowers themselves.

Not trained to control their new abilities, the normals are frightened and vulnerable. Then their mutilated corpses begin turning up all over town. What the heck?

Somehow, with the help—and hindrance—of an annoying newly-minted super named Orion, Vada has to stop the chaos before it destroys her and everything she holds dear…and ruins her superhero debut.

No one ever said that being a superhero was easy… 


About J.D.: 
J.D. Wright is a military wife, mother of four, and author of paranormal and fantasy romance books filled with strong-willed heroines, swoon-worthy heroes, and sprinkled with humor and adventure. J.D. creates artistry in many ways, as a baker and cake artist by day and author by night. You can usually find her typing away at the computer or covered in frosting.


Since discovering she has a knack for writing, J.D. has so far written and self-published eight books of the Everealm and Songs of Everealm Series and is now venturing into the world of paranormal with her new superhero-themed series. She is an avid reader and lover of all things romance so she always includes a good love story in her paranormal and fantasy novels.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads 

Interview with the author:

What was the inspiration behind the book?
It was actually a superhero children’s show that my kids started watching which gave me the idea to use that as a theme. I love superheroes myself. Then when I started looking into it, I realized there aren’t many books with this theme that are written for older teens and upper-YA. So I decided to write one!

Who would your dream cast be of the movie adaptation?
Surprisingly, I haven’t really given this a lot of thought. I know that’s crazy since I’ve mapped out my entire cast for two of my other series. But here are some ideas for Masked.
I think I would go with AnnaSophia Robb as Vada/Majestic. She has the girl next door look but could still probably kick some tail.
Nick/Orion is so hard because I really can’t think of a blonde actor that’s the right age to play him. Maybe Luke Benward? I’m sure my readers could probably help me find the perfect Nick.
I think Kyle Allen would be great as Victor/Velocious. Bonus points as he’s already an acrobat!
Henley/Eden is a complex character. Danielle Campbell might be able to pull off her wicked side.

What is your favourite quote from the book?
The one that still makes me chuckle is “…this isn’t Gotham City, Batman. You don’t foot the bill.” I thought it would be funny to mention a well-known superhero and Batman happens to be my favorite. But it also shows that comic books still exist in this alternate world. I won’t tell you who said it though. You’ll have to read it to find out.

What would you want your readers to take away from the book?
I don’t expect the story to have any long-lasting effects. There isn’t a message I’m trying to convey or a boundary I want to break through. Like movies and television, I just hope this story entertains you. If it does, that’s all I could ask for.

Which character do you identify the most with?

I think I’m a mixture of a few of them. Vada has my ambition, that’s for sure. James got my love of video games. And Nick has my terribly inappropriate sense of humor. Poor guy.


Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a MASKED Mug and a $10 Amazon GC, International winner will receive a $20 Amazon GC.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Be sure to check out the rest of the tour for more exclusive content!

Tour Schedule:

Week One:
9/11/2017- Mom with a Reading Problem- Interview
9/12/2017- Seeing Night Reviews- Review
9/13/2017- A Dream Within A Dream- Excerpt
9/14/2017- Book Briefs- Review

Week Two:
9/18/2017- Under the Book Cover- Review
9/19/2017- Wonder Struck- Guest Post
9/20/2017- Comfort Books- Review
9/21/2017- BookHounds YA- Interview
9/22/2017- Reese's Reviews- Review

And now on to Keeping the Beat!





Title: KEEPING THE BEAT
Author: Jeff Norton
Pub. Date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Pages: 368
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Find it: Amazon, B&N, iBooks, TBD, Goodreads

It was supposed to be the best summer of her life. Instead, seventeen-year-old Lucy finds her best friend, Harper, shot dead in an LA swimming pool. How did things ever go so wrong? The story circles back to trace the steps that led to this disaster.

Only Harper McKenzie could have taken five girls from their school and reinvented them as Crush, the top prospect to win the international talent contest Project Next. As soon as the band finds its footing, it scores a huge win in the UK semifinal. Next stop, LA! 

The girls will spend a luxurious summer in Hollywood, living as reality TV stars while they prepare for their performance in the Project Next final. With a mansion to themselves, they’re the toast of the town … living every girl’s dream come true. 

It’s way too late when Lucy discovers that Harper’s heart has never been in Project Next at all. Joining the competition was just part of Harper’s elaborate ruse to reconnect with her no-good ex-boyfriend. Harper will risk anything — from her friendships to the band’s reputation — to get him back. 

Meanwhile, the other members of Crush are throwing themselves headfirst into sex, drugs and rock and roll. With the band in crisis and the final approaching, Lucy must decide whether she wants to play to Harper’s beat or set the rhythm for the rest of the band. 

This fast-paced story takes unexpected twists, unraveling the mystery of Harper’s murder and exploring the complicated relationships among members of the band. Writing team Marie Powell and Jeff Norton — with many years in the entertainment business between them — deliver one-part wish fulfillment and one-part cautionary tale as they go behind the scenes to reveal what no one sees on “reality” TV.



About Jeff:

Jeff Norton is an author, writer-producer, and founder of AWESOME. He creates compelling characters, amazing stories, and immersive worlds for all ages, in all media. He is the author of the high-tech thriller ‘MetaWars’ series from Hachette, ‘Memoirs Of A Neurotic Zombie’ from Faber, and the upcoming ‘Stomp School’ picture book series from Little Tiger Press.  He also creates and co-writes with other talented authors, such as the best-selling ‘Princess Ponies’ series with Julie Sykes (under the name Chloe Ryder) for Bloomsbury and the young adult novel ‘Drummer Girl’ with Bridget Tyler.
Jeff is an Executive Producer of the pre-school television show ‘Trucktown’ based on Jon Scieszka’s best-selling books.  Through his production company, AWESOME, Jeff is developing a slate of high-concept television shows for kids and adults.


Website | Twitter |Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of KEEPING THE BEAT, US Only.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tour Schedule:

Week One:
9/11/2017- Books,Dreams,Life- Excerpt
9/12/2017- Wonder Struck- Review
9/13/2017- Confessions of a YA Reader- Excerpt
9/14/2017- Lattes & Paperbacks- Review

Week Two:
9/18/2017- Adventures Thru Wonderland- Review
9/19/2017- books are love- Interview
9/20/2017- Rachel's Book Reviews- Review
9/21/2017- BookHounds YA- Guest Post
9/22/2017- Here's to Happy Endings- Review

Well that's all for today! Let me know what you think below!
Happy Reading,
Mari

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Blog Tour: The Lost Causes




Hey all! We are super excited to bring you our stop of the Lost Causes book tour! Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments below!

About The Book:
Title: THE LOST CAUSES
Author: Jessica Etting & Alyssa Schwartz
Pub. Date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Pages: 344
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Find it: Amazon, B&N, TBD, Goodreads

They're the kids that no one knows --- or no one wants to know. The rich depressive, the OCD chick, the hypochondriac, the drug abuser, the athlete with anger management issues. All chosen for intensive group therapy because they're out of other options. They're lost causes, the therapist tells them. She promises this support group will help them heal. 

There's only one problem. She's not a therapist. And that water she offers? It contains a dangerous serum that gives each of the kids a psychic power. 

Suddenly, they can think clearly, speak to ghosts, see the past, even move objects with their mind. Their earlier problems have vanished, but their new freedom comes with a price. 
Sabrina, Gabby, Z, Justin and Andrew are to help the FBI solve the grisly murder that has rocked their small town. Their new powers will help them uncover clues and follow leads that have eluded the authorities. Their outsider status gives them the perfect cover. 

But the same traits that make them top investigators also make them vulnerable. As they close in on the murderer, they expose a much larger conspiracy that puts them directly in harm's way and makes them wonder who --- if anyone --- they can trust.

About Jessica and Alyssa:
Hi, we're Jessica & Alyssa!

We're best pal writing partners who have been obsessed with reading since we each used to hoard The Babysitters Club books in our bedrooms across the country from one another in Los Angeles (Jess) and Virginia (Lyss).

We finally met on the first day of college at USC, long enough ago that Rocket Dog platform flip-flops were fully acceptable night-out shoes and our biggest life decision was whether to watch Dawson’s Creek or Beverly Hills, 90210 on Wednesday nights (90210, obviously). 

​We started writing together right after college when we took the “write what you know” adage to heart and wrote a TV pilot that sold to Fox about how life sucks when you’re 22, broke and a freshman in life. We spent the next many, many years writing for TV and film before we jumped into the book world, a major lifelong dream of ours.

​The number one question everyone always asks us is how we write as a team so here’s the rundown...After being best friends and writing together for so long, our brains now officially occupy a shared space. Ninety percent of the time, we know what the other person is going to say before she even opens her mouth. Our husbands think it’s creepy, but we think it’s awesome. After this many years, we've honed it to a pretty efficient process....except for when we digress on Facetime to catch each other up on the few hours we weren’t in contact with each other (which takes especially long if we’ve both finished the same book and need to discuss, if one of us needs justification for an argument we picked with our husband or if we’ve discovered a new hair product, self-tanner or blog).

Website |  Twitter | Facebook | Intstagram  

Interview with the authors:

Who are you in the group of friends?
ALYSSA: I have a little Z and a little Sabrina in me. And if I haven’t had a cup of coffee in the morning, I’m definitely channeling Justin.

What is your dream cast to play the main characters?
Ooooh we love this question! It’s something we always discuss when we’re procrastinating!
Z: Zoey Deutch
Sabrina: Zendaya
Gabby: Elle Fanning
Justin: Tyler Posey
Andrew: Tom Holland
Nash: Gregg Sulkin
Patricia: Glenn Close

Which is the best super power, that you gave one of your characters?
Every power has something that’s simultaneously awesome and debilitating about it, but we’d go with Andrew’s genius abilities. Mainly because we’d love to be able to read a book that quickly!  

What made you think of the plot and the character traits (was it multiple viewings of the Breakfast Club?)?
Hahahaha, yes we love The Breakfast Club! In terms of the plot, we knew we wanted to do a thriller in the vein of the mystery books we grew up with and it went through a lot of incarnations before we got to what’s on the page now. We ultimately incorporated the FBI involvement because the minute we started playing around with their relationship to the Lost Causes, it gave us the chills (in a good, creepy way). And as for characters, developing their traits and personalities until they feel like a real person is our favorite part of the process. We wanted to give the five of them issues that were making it almost impossible for them to move forward in life so we could explore the idea of how you figure out who you are when those burdens are magically erased. 

What would you want readers to take away from your book, after reading it?

We hope it’s a fun, page-turning ride and that the characters stay with our readers and feel as real to them as they do to us.  


Giveaway Details: 
(3) winners will receive a finished copy of THE LOST CAUSES, US & Canada.

Ends on September 19th at Midnight EST!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:
Week One:
9/4/2017- The Autumn Bookshelf- Interview
9/4/2017- Kourtni Reads- Review

9/5/2017- Morbid Romantic Reviews- Guest Post
9/5/2017- Mama Reads Blog- Review

9/6/2017- Owl Always Be Reading- Excerpt
9/6/2017- What the Cat Read- Review

9/7/2017- BookHounds YA- Guest Post
9/7/2017- Bibliobakes- Review

9/8/2017- Book Princess Reviews- Interview
9/8/2017- Savings in Seconds- Review

Week Two:
9/11/2017- Smada's BookSmack- Excerpt
9/11/2017- Jessica's Reading Room- Review

9/12/2017- Portrait of a Book- Interview
9/12/2017- Texan Girl Reads- Review

9/13/2017- Cindy's Love of Books- Review
9/13/2017- A Gingerly Review- Review

9/14/2017- Comfort Books- Interview
9/14/2017- The Desert Bibliophile- Review

9/15/2017- Rainy Day Reviews- Excerpt
9/15/2017- Here's to Happy Endings- Review

That's it!
Your Friends,
The Autumn Bookshelf



Friday, September 1, 2017

Blog Tour: Cinderlla Necromancer





Cinderella, Necromancer by F.M. Boughan

Pub. Date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC
Pages: 324
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Find it: Amazon, B&N,  iBooks, TBD, Goodreads


Summary:

CINDERELLA,NECROMANCER is CHIME meets ANNA, DRESSED IN BLOOD and was inspired by a real medieval grimoire of necromancy from 15th-century Germany.

Ellison lost her mother at an early age. But since then, her father has found love again. He’s happy and doesn’t quite notice that Ellison does not get along with his new wife or her mean daughters.

When Ellison discovers a necromantic tome while traveling the secret passages of her father’s mansion, she wonders if it could be the key to her freedom.

Until then, she must master her dark new power, even as her stepmother makes her a servant in her own home. And when her younger brother falls incurably ill, Ellison will do anything to ease his pain, including falling prey to her stepmother and stepsisters’ every whim and fancy.

Stumbling into a chance meeting of Prince William during a secret visit to her mother’s grave feels like a trick of fate when her stepmother refuses to allow Ellison to attend a palace festival.

But what if Ellison could see the kind and handsome prince once more? What if she could attend the festival? What if she could have everything she ever wanted and deserved by conjuring spirits to take revenge on her cruel stepmother?

As Ellison’s power grows, she loses control over the evil spirits meant to do her bidding. And as they begin to exert their own power over Ellison, she will have to decide whether it is she or her stepmother who is the true monster. 


About F.M. Boughan: 
F.M. Boughan is a bibliophile, a writer, and an unabashed parrot enthusiast. She can often be found writing in local coffee shops, namely because it’s hard to concentrate with a cat lying on the keyboard and a small, colorful parrot screaming into her ear. Her work is somewhat dark, somewhat violent, somewhat hopeful, and always contains a hint of magic.

You can follow Faith on Twitter (@FaithBoughan) for plenty of flailing about food (she likes to cook!), TV shows (she watches too many), and world dance (did you know she's been performing & instructing in Bollywood-style dance for over 8 years?).

Or catch her on Facebook where she just might post pictures of her adorable cat & bird... among other things.

F.M. Boughan is represented by Bill Contardi of Brandt & Hochman. 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads 

Review:
I read this book in a single day. Seriously. A single day. It was sooooo good! I loved that this book took a beautiful and traditional fairy tale and turned it into a darker and far more interestingly feminist version of itself (I mean, she had no one help her defeat evil except a book and her own wits). I'm someone who loves dark and twisty stories to begin with, so this was right up my ally. It was so interesting to read Ella discover her Necromancer abilities, and it was really cool how Boughan tied it directly in with the original story. Ella was such a 3-D character, and I rooted for her every step of the way, and I got so upset during the scenes with the evil Stepmother. She was no helpless princess, but stood up for herself against her tormentors, (which were especially dark and evil in this story!) her Stepmother and Stepstisters. 
What was also especially interesting was her relationship with Prince William, who harbours some secrets of his own. The fact that she keeps her identity a secret from him is always my favourite part of the Cinderella story, and this version didn't disappoint. It always makes me smile when he realises who she actually is.
I can honestly say that I want this book to become a movie directed by Guillermo del Toro with all my heart and soul. The demons, magic, fashion and scenery was amazingly rich, and all I wanted to do was become Ella. And she had a pretty hard go of it so that's saying something. The world building was that good. All in all, I loved this book, and wish there was a sequel coming (one can hope, but who knows, the story has kinda ended...).

Favourite Quote:
" “Good night … ” His voice trailed off, expectant.
I knew what he waited for, and I supposed I owed him that much.
But first, I turned to leave and walked several paces toward the
house before allowing a final glace over my shoulder.

“Ellison,” I said, “but you may call me Ella.” "

- F.M Boughan

Rating: 10/10

Recommended for people who enjoy: Cinderella, the original Grimms Fairy Tales (not the kiddie ones), magic, fantasy


Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of CINDERELLA NECROMANCER & a signed bookplate, International. (Wherever The Book Depository Ships)



a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you liked this stop, be sure to check out the rest of the tour!

Week One:
8/21/2017- Tales of the Ravenous Reader- Interview
8/21/2017- Book Briefs- Review

8/22/2017- Nadaness In Motion - Excerpt
8/22/2017- Darque Dreamer Reads- Review

8/23/2017- rabid readers book blog- Excerpt
8/23/2017- The Desert Bibliophile- Review

8/24/2017- Up 'Til Dawn Book Blog- Guest Post
8/24/2017- Books, Boys, and Blogs- Review

8/25/2017- Tara's Book Addiction- Spotlight
8/25/2017- Bibliobibuli YA- Review

Week Two:
8/28/2017- BookHounds YA- Guest Post
8/28/2017- A Dream Within A Dream- Review

8/29/2017- Wandering Bark Books- Guest Post
8/29/2017- Portrait of a Book- Review

8/30/2017- Morbid Romantic- Excerpt
8/30/2017- A Weebish Book Blog- Review

8/31/2017- Arvenig.it- Interview
8/31/2017- Pandora's Books- Review

9/1/2017- Rainy Day Reviews- Guest Post

Well that's it! Let me know what you think!
Happy Reading,
Mari