Review: The Contest by K.E. Ganshert

Review: The Contest by K.E. Ganshert

Amazon ~ Goodreads
September 14th 2021
530 pages

A girl with nothing. A prince with everything. Only one can win.

In a world of haves and have nots, where petty crime is punishable by death and magic is forbidden, a deadly contest unfolds in secret. Twelve competitors are mysteriously invited. The winner gets one wish.


For 17-year-old Briar Bishop, this means saving her brother from execution by guillotine, and she’s not going to let anything or anyone get in her way. Especially not Leo Davenbrook, the handsome High Prince, who has grown up with everything she never had and whose very presence threatens her chance at survival. She has no idea a darker battle wages in secret, one that could lead to a fate far worse than the death of her brother.

MY THOUGHTS

I’ve been struggling with a massive reading slump lately. Nothing has given me that overall five star enjoyment factor in a while… until now. I saw this book, The Contest, being recommended in a Facebook group I lurk in (Swoony Fantasy Romance) and decided to give it a go because the premise sounded like my thing.

And it was my thing.

K.E. Ganshert has a very descriptive, imaginative writing style I appreciate (I haven’t read any of her books before). I was invested in the main characters (and their motives/wishes) and felt satisfied with how the story ended.

August 2022 New Releases

August 2022 New Releases

August 1st 2022 ~ Goodreads
A windswept island, dreary and forgotten. A girl with magic in her blood, pushed to the brink of madness.

Cassie Murdoch is haunted by the black-eyed woman that killed her mother. Come find me, she unceasingly whispers to Cassie. Feeling driven to insanity, Cassie is sent away to live with her estranged grandmother. Navigating her new home on Tide Island, Cassie searches for clues to her mother’s old life and why she fled her home never to return. With help from her grandmother’s secretive errand boy, Henry, Cassie unravels a terrible family secret: a curse that spans generations.

Henry and Cassie follow a series of clues left by her ancestors to find that Tide Island is a dangerous place, the link to a mysterious realm called the Otherworld where the black-eyed woman rules. After learning she is descended from a long line of Sea Witches, Cassie is plunged into a world of spells and secret ceremonies.

Desperate to save herself and her newfound friends from her spiraling control, Cassie searches for a way to break her curse. But in the Otherworld enemies are not as they seem, and Cassie must find whom to trust before those she loves most are lost at the hands of the black-eyed woman.

~~~

August 3, 2022 ~ (Not yet on Goodreads)

Be careful what you wish for…

Mistress Norna, wise-woman and midwife, is stunned when she discovers that the infant she has just delivered is a ‘Luck-child,’ one born with a Wishbone and the power to make Wishes come true. She believes the babe could be the perfect tool to restore her own fortunes and those of her homeland. Will she succeed in turning the boy into a weapon to bring down the Kingdom of Dassia or might Jasper find a different future?

~~~

August 16, 2022 ~ Goodreads

When a vicious night terror lords over the waking world and the dream world, his greatest weapon, a winged assassin born of a nightmare, will have her vengeance.

Wren has spent her life doing the bidding of her cruel creator Para Warwick in the dream world known as the Reverie. When she learns of a weapon with the power to destroy him, she jumps at the chance to steal it. Her plan goes awry and she finds herself in the clutches of the rebellion and the rogue Alaric, a nightmare himself with twisted horns and dark magic. When a plea from a strange being known as a dreambreaker reaches them, the two ’mares find themselves thrown together in a desperate mission to save her before time runs out.

Meanwhile in the waking world, Caine Fallon, son of King Warwick and Prince of Wolfhelm, prepares to wed Ila Enevoldson, the young queen from the wild kingdom of Galesborough. But Ila is more than a queen. She is a weaver, a protector of the ancient Boundary that separates the Reverie and the Wake. Three nights before their wedding, Caine catches Ila in the act of opening a portal to the dream world and follows her, landing himself in a universe stranger than he could have imagined—a realm where his father is more monstrous than he ever could have fathomed. Now, the fates of four strangers will become intricately entwined, and the fate of their worlds will be sewn by their choices.

~~~

August 17, 2022 ~ Goodreads

The magical finale of the Emerald Realm…
A Retelling of Rapunzel.

It’s been over twenty years since the princess of Sybettal mysteriously vanished from her fallen kingdom. Many assumed the princess was slain alongside her parents, but the king of Ashbourne seems to harbor more information than he’s let on.
Living entirely oblivious to the scarring caused by her home kingdom of Ashbourne, the sorceress Elle dreams of exploring the world beyond the walls of her tower. With a magic gift as dangerous as her own, she understands the king’s reasoning for keeping her tucked away. After all, seeing the future can prove to be rather powerful when a war between kingdoms is brewing.
As tension builds between Ashbourne and the other kingdoms of the realm, Prince Miron seeks an opportunity to prove himself useful before his father selects his heir. Knowing his father has some sort of insight into the future, Miron explores the king’s forbidden tower to investigate. When his unexpected arrival startles a vision out of Elle, a terrifying future intertwines them both. Can Elle learn the truth behind her past while battling her pre-determined future? Or will Ashbourne’s strength prove to be too much to stand against?

~~~

August 25th 2022 ~ (Not on Goodreads yet)

When forbidden magic arises from an unlikely source, a kingdom will erupt in chaos…

Prince Ash of Melodera lives a pampered, spoiled life, rife with riches, women, and wine. But on his eighteenth birthday, he will discover his birthright – a long forbidden magic from a suppressed heritage he’s never known, forcing him to either submit to the Rite of Heartsease, a spell that will tear his magic away – or flee from everything he’s ever known.

Cinder lives day to day by her wits and her skill with a blade. Orphaned and homeless, she spends each day lying and stealing in order to earn enough money to meet her goal: assassinate the King of Melodera.

When she sees the king’s son stumbling through the woods like a wounded wildebeest, she can barely believe her luck. Striking at his son first will only make her soon-to-be victory sweeter. But the prince comes bearing a stunning secret.

He has music.

And he wants to know what he can do to bring it back.

Soon Cinder and Ash are embroiled in a dangerous game of cat and mouse, staying barely one step ahead of the king’s men sent to destroy Ash before he can let the world know of the gift the forgotten gods have blessed him with.

But Cinder is determined to protect the spoiled prince because he has the one thing her mother died for. And she’s willing to bring a kingdom to its knees to ensure he survives.

Even if it means her heart shatters when it’s all over.

~~~

August 31, 2022 ~ Goodreads

WHEN DESTINY FAILS YOU, WHO WILL YOU BECOME?

A forgotten princess. A cruel realm. A Mage who might be her salvation.

Sanja is a princess on the run. And when she flees her father’s court to escape an arranged marriage to a tyrant, the one thing she doesn’t expect, is to be killed for her throne.

But magic that shouldn’t exist in her kingdom saves her, and Sanja is thrust into the daunting fairylands where, as a human, she’s prey…

Fighting to survive, Sanja signs herself into the service of the most powerful Mages in the fairylands, determined to master the magic to save her kingdom—and finds herself stuck with a brooding Mage with a knack for keeping secrets.

As Sanja’s feelings for Tristan turn from dread to attraction, she learns that she isn’t the only thing the fairies are after. And Sanja must risk her life and her heart, or she will lose both him and her kingdom forever.

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Promenade by Morgan Shamy

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Promenade by Morgan Shamy

Promenade
Morgan Shamy
(The Dark Nocturne, #3)
Publication date: July 26th 2022
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Young Adult

When time isn’t on your side…

With Vincent gone, November is left exposed. Having lost everyone she loves, she’s desperate to find a new life. It could’ve been possible—until a group of Shadow Fae who blames her for Vincent’s death. Now, her only chance at survival is to deliver to them a live Vincent or face her own fate. Problem is, the dead can’t be brought back to life. So her only choice is to travel back in time and find him.

In London, 1901, Vincent and November reunite. But he isn’t who she thought he was. He’s a rake, an aristocrat, with no recollection of her. But that isn’t all her troubles. A Shadow Wraith is on her back, trying to take her back to her own time, and the Shadow Fae are still hunting her down. November must find a way to make Vincent remember who she is and change the future, before time, and her death catches up with her.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“Who’s there?” he asked. “I want to be left alone.”

She couldn’t find her voice. He was so beautiful sitting there, so flawless, except for the sadness that emanated from off his body. His mood was as dark as the landscape, she could almost see the dark waves that rippled off from him.

“It’s me, Vincent.”

He stiffened, every inch of him freezing. His fingers dug into his lap, and he swallowed again.

“I’m going to ask one more time,” he said. “Who’s there?”

November closed the door behind her and stepped into the room. Air flowed in and out of the open windows, not a breeze, more like an energy that pushed and pulled between the bell tower and the land outside.

“I’ve missed you,” she whispered, and her voice stuck in her throat.

Author Bio:

Morgan Shamy is an ex-ballerina turned YA writer. She has been immersed in the arts since the young age of 4, where she performed various roles alongside a professional ballet company for over seven years, and has danced on prestigious stages like soloing at Carnegie Hall in New York City. She has taught hundreds of girls in her fifteen years of teaching, where some of her students have received full-ride scholarships to schools like School of American Ballet, the Harid Conservatory, Kirov Academy of Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, to name a few.

Morgan discovered writing when her three-year-old son was diagnosed with cancer. It was through that experience which instilled the need to share art and magic with children through words on the page.

Morgan is also an accomplished concert pianist. She was the first girl in Utah to receive the 75 pt. Gold Cup in the Utah Federation of Music in piano solo/concerto competition. Morgan currently lives with her X-Games gold-medalist husband and four children in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub

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Upcoming July 2022 Fantasy Releases

Upcoming July 2022 Fantasy Releases

Here is a list of upcoming July 2022 fantasy books. Typically, I find these books by browsing through Amazon (I scour pages upon pages obsessively) and pull out gems that I, and hopefully you guys will find, interesting.

To Bet on a Rogue by Sheryl Quinn – Coming July 6, 2022

Order on Amazon

When forbidden magic arises from an unlikely source, a kingdom will erupt in chaos…

Prince Ash of Melodera lives a pampered, spoiled life, rife with riches, women, and wine. But on his eighteenth birthday, he will discover his birthright – a long forbidden magic from a suppressed heritage he’s never known, forcing him to either submit to the Rite of Heartsease, a spell that will tear his magic away – or flee from everything he’s ever known.

Cinder lives day to day by her wits and her skill with a blade. Orphaned and homeless, she spends each day lying and stealing in order to earn enough money to meet her goal: assassinate the King of Melodera.

When she sees the king’s son stumbling through the woods like a wounded wildebeest, she can barely believe her luck. Striking at his son first will only make her soon-to-be victory sweeter. But the prince comes bearing a stunning secret.

He has music.

And he wants to know what he can do to bring it back.

Soon Cinder and Ash are embroiled in a dangerous game of cat and mouse, staying barely one step ahead of the king’s men sent to destroy Ash before he can let the world know of the gift the forgotten gods have blessed him with.

But Cinder is determined to protect the spoiled prince because he has the one thing her mother died for. And she’s willing to bring a kingdom to its knees to ensure he survives.

Even if it means her heart shatters when it’s all over.

~~~

Reign of Night by Sara C. Roethle – Coming July 11, 2022

Preorder on Amazon

She has hunted him for years. Now if she could only kill him.

Lyssandra’s life is a lie. As a hunter of the Helius Order, she’s dedicated to slaying vampires and protecting the innocent. But she’s also a vampire’s human servant.

If her secret comes out, her own order will execute her.

When she finds Asher, she’ll cut out his heart for tying her to him, even if he only did it to save her. Even if it kills her too. But when a young girl is found dead, Lyssandra’s mission is derailed. In the gaping hole where the girl’s heart once was, lies single red rose. Lyssandra has seen the signature before, left by the vampire who took her uncle’s life.

Karpov is one of the ancients, and his death is the only one Lyssandra wants more than Asher’s. Unfortunately, Karpov is also the only being—dead or undead—who holds the key to Asher’s whereabouts. If Lyssandra ever wants to find him, she’ll have to work with her uncle’s murderer.

Asher’s death could finally bring her peace, but can she accept it when it means leaving her uncle’s killer alive? Or will she fall into his waiting arms, unable to fight the pull of the master and servant bond . . .

Find out in Reign of Night, a first person Epic Fantasy packed full of murder and intrigue, with a slow burn enemies to lovers romance.

~~~

Prince of Frogs (Curse of the Dark Kingdom Book 1) by Amberlyn Holland – Coming July 26, 2022

Preorder on Amazon

At the moment tyrannical King Aegron the Cruel was assassinated, each of his children was struck by a different dark curse.

Five years later, the Dark Kingdom is struggling to survive.


The Royal Family of Darkhar is responsible for most of the misery suffered throughout the Five Kingdoms. And Evonna’s experienced it first hand.
In a desperate devils bargain, she agrees to assassinate the Dark Kingdom’s notoriously cold-blooded and callous Frog Prince in exchange for help in finding her missing brother.

But as she works her way closer to Alaistar, she discovers the cursed prince isn’t the monster she’s been led to believe.
And now she doesn’t know if she wants to kill him… or kiss him.

This Frog Prince inspired fantasy romance novel features a ruthless cursed prince, a reluctant assassin searching for her brother, enemies falling in love, and a mysterious magical cat.

~~~

Wolves & Blades: A Fairy Tale Retelling by Amanda Kaye – Coming July 18, 2022

Preorder on Amazon

Save grandma without falling in love with my enemy. Easy … right?

Princess Lisette is determined to rescue her grandmother from the Kingdom of the Wolves. Sneaking through an enemy kingdom won’t be easy, even with a guide. Markus can’t be trusted because he’s one of them. At least, that’s what Lisette tells herself when he makes her laugh, or sets her heart beating faster.

As they face danger after danger, their bickering heats up in a way she never intended. Falling in love isn’t part of her plan. Even if they save Lisette’s grandmother, their relationship would be doomed before it began.

But fate—and their hearts—have other ideas. And when secrets from Markus’s past are revealed, it puts Lisette’s grandmother and her kingdom in even greater danger.

What will Lisette do when she’s forced to choose between her family and her chance at happiness?

This enemies-to-lovers adventure is full of banter and escapades. Get ready to laugh, sigh, and cheer. Grab your copy today!

Review ~ Thief: The Scarred Mage of Roseward #1 by Sylvia Mercedes

Review ~ Thief: The Scarred Mage of Roseward #1 by Sylvia Mercedes

Amazon | Goodreads
September 19th 2020
423 pages

Peronelle Beck longs for nothing more than to leave behind her thieving ways and pursue a life of honest work. But when her father lands himself neck-deep in debt, Nelle must take on a dangerous job if she hopes to save his life . . . a job that brings her to the shores of Roseward Isle.

For fifteen years, Soran Silveri has fought to suppress the nightmarish monster stalking Roseward. His weapons are few and running low, and the curse placed upon him cripples his once unmatched power. Isolation has driven him to the brink of madness, and he knows he won’t be able to hold on much longer.

When a sharp-tongued, uncouth, and undeniably beautiful young woman shows up on his shore, Soran resolves to drive her away. He won’t be responsible for another death!

But Nelle is equally determined not to be frightened off by the hideously scarred mage. Not until she gets what she came for . . . .

MY THOUGHTS

One of the very few books I’ve rated five stars so far in 2022. Five stars is typically reserved for books I both enjoy and consider a perfect favorite–stuff I can daydream about. This author is new to me (well, I did read Stolen Mage Bride), so I’ll be checking out her other books as well.

Everything was just my exact taste. I loved the characters (Nelle is especially a delight but might not be for every reader), the setting, and the mystery of the world around them.

Update:

I’ve finished the series and each book was five stars for me!

Book Blitz + Giveaway: The Indigo by Heather Siegel

Book Blitz + Giveaway: The Indigo by Heather Siegel

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The Indigo
Heather Siegel
Publication date: June 1st 2022
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Jett Hart, a 16-year-old girl from New Jersey, refuses to accept the diagnosis that her mother is brain-dead. Yes, Mom’s long-comatose body seems like an empty shell. But there was that split-second, weird time Jett swears she lifted out from her own body and travelled to an indigo-colored, starry space, where she felt Mom’s presence.

Now, as Jett’s caretaking Aunt threatens to pull Mom’s life support, Jett must find this mysterious indigo place again and return her mother to her body before it’s too late. The bad news is that only her schoolmate Farold — who may or may not give off a more-than-friends vibe — believes she can do this. The good news is that he’s an amateur quantum physicist in training and has some ideas about how to help Jett get back “up there.”

Even if Jett manages to find Mom in the “indigo,” can she bring her back to her body? While also staying connected to her own “empty shell” below? And, what if . . . someone is trying to stop her?

A teen thriller offering astral projection cosmology, life cords, parallel universes, and wormholes, THE INDIGO is a wild trip through one person’s consciousness “above,” her interconnected reality “below,” and the psychological and potentially fatal dangers of being disconnected from both.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Quantum Club Meeting. 2:30. Cafeteria.

“I didn’t know the school had a Quantum Club,” says a girl passing by. Popular. A junior, in black Lululemon leggings.

“What the hell’s ‘quantum’?” a familiar voice says. “Oh . . . that explains it.” I turn to see my cousin Meghan looking in my direction. Hair highlighted blond. Glossy pink lips. We are nearly the same age, and worlds apart.

“Don’t know and don’t care,” a beefy senior guy says. “Let’s go eat.”

“Oh, Matty, all you care about is food.” Meghan giggles as they continue walking.

Truthfully, I don’t know what quantum is either, but a quick Google search gives me the answer:

The study of physics that allows for particles to be in two states at the same time.

“That’s weird,” I say out loud to no one.

I head for the cafeteria, intrigued…

There are three people seated in the sea-foam-green cabbage-smelling room. No surprise Mickey Mizner and Brian Leonard are two of them.

“My problem is I’ve got everything prepped for ampage past 27MHz,” Mickey says, blowing dark bangs off square-framed glasses. “I just need to hit ionosphere at the right angle—” He taps a black box on the table, the size of a breadbox, with knobs and buttons. From here, I make out the words Galaxy Torchlighter 825.

“—Sweet, isn’t she?”

“Sweet and illegal to jack up,” Brian replies.

The new guy swigs from an Orangina and scribbles in his notebook, his white braided bracelets scratching against the Formica tabletop. He’s wearing an MIT sweatshirt, and peeking out from the neckline is a black rope necklace. At the ends of his hair, gold beads catch the fluorescent light.

“It’s not a bad start,” he says, looking up and taking a swig of orange soda. “But can you get someone on the other end of the world to receive the signal? The antipode must be, what, Australia?”

“That’s what I told you,” Brian says. He’s wearing a uniform from the ice cream store Sunset Scoops: a brown wavy smock made to resemble dripping hot fudge, and a maraschino cherry hat.

“Wait, the what is Australia?” Mickey asks.

“It means ‘opposite,’ ” I say, reaching the table. “Geographically, right?”

The new guy grins at me, his eyes twinkling with approval. And I’m not going to lie: I can’t help but grin back. I slide into the end seat.

“Farold,” he says.

“Jett.”

“Well, now that we got that out of the way,” Brian cuts in. “I’m thinking Electromagnetic Induction. The hypothesis is that a current can create a magnetic field.”

“Also not bad.” Farold scribbles again and glances up. “But you’d have to check if it’s already been done.” He has a singsong quality to his words. I like the way “realize” is “real’izze.”

Mickey shoulders Brian. “That’s what I told you.” He turns to Farold. “Anyway, if I find someone across the world, in an antipode” — he glances to me — “think it’s worth seeing if my radio’s skip is capable?”

Brian shoves back. “Mine may be done, but there’s nothing yet on what can and cannot escape the said magnetic field. . . .”

“They’re both solid starts.” Farold draws his fist to rest beneath his sculpted jaw line, looking suddenly like the art room’s knockoff sculpture of Michelangelo’s “The Thinker.” “But since this is going to be a competition for MIT, the best science institution in the country, we’ll have to shoot beyond the rudimentary. . . . Any other ideas?”

Three faces turn to me. One cute as hell. But I’m here to listen. Besides, I can’t take the rejection again.

“Every idea has merit,” Farold says.

“He’s dope, Jett,” Mickey says, which coming from him sounds anything but dope.

“If she doesn’t have any ideas . . . ” Brian says.

“I don’t . . . I mean, I thought . . . I don’t know, maybe we were going to talk about quantum physics or whatever, not enter a competition.”

“You study quantum physics?” Farold asks.

“No . . . but it sounds interesting.”

“Which part?”

I could feel defensive, but there’s something about the way he asks, earnestly, and the way he looks at me, so open and curious. “I . . . guess . . . I liked what your flier said. It made me think. Wonder, really. Something I’ve been thinking about. The idea of things being in two separate places at the same time?”

He smiles again, right through me, sending a tingle along my neck. “I’m actually working on something that poses that exact question. But it’s hard to prove. I mean, so far, no one has . . . supported it.”

“I hear that.”

“I had a feeling you might.”

“How would you have a feeling about that?”

“Your hesitation.” Our eyes affix. Is it my imagination or is there something palpable between us?

“Tell me your idea,” he says.

“Tell me yours.”

“You guys know we’re in the room, right?” Brian says.

Farold turns to him. “Two particles in separate boxes.”

“Following,” Mickey says.

He waves his hand, drawing us all in. “It’s proven they can communicate with one another and influence each other’s physical spin. Well, I propose they relate to one another in a nonscientific way. In a way we can’t really yet name. That they can speak to one another . . . by sensing one another.”

His eyes meet mine, alight, full of possibility. “Your turn.”

And like that, I find myself blurting the story I promised I’d stop telling people:

“There was an accident. . . . I could tell my mother wasn’t there. . . . And then this thing happened at the hospital. . . . But I’ve tried everything and can’t get back. . . .”

“What have you tried?” Farold asks.

“You name it. Re-creating the events. Dreaming and setting an alarm. I’ve tried something called the rope technique, and the ladder technique. Also, rolling out, driving out, rotating, and yo-yo’ing, which is basically trying to climb, drive, or shimmy out of my body. I’ve tried the point-shift method and the picture technique, in which I’m supposed to envision myself hovering at the ceiling, looking down at my bed. I’ve even sent away for this—”

I pluck the envelope from my bag and tear it open.

That’s when Mickey and Brian call it a day.

“Next Thursday?” Mickey asks, gathering his CB radio.

“Yeah, I gotta split too,” Brian adds. “You’re awesome, man. . . . Uh, good luck, Jett.” Brian tips his ice cream cone hat and exits the cafeteria, leaving me alone with Farold, my heart sinking at the sight of the DVD on the table between us.

It’s not the cheesy clouds against sky on the circular sticker adhered to the DVD that rushes blood to my cheeks, but the airbrushed, ethereal angel flying through those clouds.

At $39.99, this cost me more than four hours of librarian work. Why did I think this was a good idea to share — or buy?

Farold slides the disc into his laptop, turning the device for both of us to see. Even the digital quality is pathetic. Two women wearing flowing garb and seeming to float on a cloud discuss how they came to learn under the tutelage of the Dr. Reflexology guy, the art of soul travel by aligning their chakras — what they can help me do for the next hour. Though if I want to learn the nine secrets to launching myself, I will need to send away for the DVD package. For a mere $69.99 more.

I want to crawl under the table.

“I didn’t know it would be this—”

“—cheapjack.”

“What’s that?”

“It’s what we say in Trinidad. Or in English, ‘cringe-y.’ ”

And that’s my cue.

I stand, slinging my backpack on, and extend my palm for the DVD, even knowing as pathetic as it is, I am going to watch it — a thought that makes my cheeks even hotter. Because that’s how desperate I’ve become, and I hate myself for it. “Anyway . . . if you can just keep everything I said earlier to yourself.”

He pops out the DVD and walks around the table to stand before me, a foot taller. “What happens in Quantum Club stays in Quantum Club.” He edges close enough for me to smell a delicious vanilla scent wafting from his sweatshirt, to feel those tingles again, and to see in his pupils gold flecks that look like stars.

“Could be a multiverse, you know. That Indigo place?” His hand grazes my wrist as he places the plastic disc back in my palm. “Alternate realities are always taking place. The name for it in quantum mechanics is the Many Interacting Worlds.”

Prickles down my neck. “Are you saying . . . you believe me?”

“There are no absolute proofs in quantum theory. It’s about what we can measure, and to what precision.” He seems to have an idea, darts back to his notebook, and scribbles.

“We’re going to need to know what’s been documented on the theory so far, and under what conditions.” More scribbling. “Oh, and what laws govern these . . . phenomena. So . . . maybe that’s not a total waste?” He nods to the DVD.

I place it on the table, suppressing tears, and take a seat.

Author Bio:

Heather Siegel is the author of THE KING & THE QUIRKY, and OUT FROM THE UNDERWORLD. She teaches academic and creative writing, holds an MFA from The New School University, and lives with her family in Southern Florida.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

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Review: They All Had A Fear: A past. A debt. A reckoning. A murder. (They All Had A Reason #3) by Michele Leathers

Review: They All Had A Fear: A past. A debt. A reckoning. A murder. (They All Had A Reason #3) by Michele Leathers

Amazon | Goodreads
April 23rd 2021
199 pages

The strange deaths and dead bodies surfacing in this previously quiet and quaint little beach town are terrorizing the local residents and tourists alike. Everyone is asking if it’s safe to go swimming in the ocean, but eighteen-year-old Winter Covington wonders if there is even more danger lurking on land. She will soon discover the answers to these questions, if she can avoid becoming the next victim, but that won’t be easy, because Winter’s new roommate may be a killer.

My Thoughts

(Note: This isn’t a fantasy but I’m leaving my review here anyway).

These books are consistently fast paced, a fact which keeps me coming back to this series despite the gripes I have with the characters/storylines. In every single book so far, I’m both entertained and annoyed. And yet… I’ll still read the next one.

My issues:

1) Winter. She gives off a very strong stench of “not like other girls.” She, in my opinion, was also way too quick about being suspicious of Tamara. It seemed like she instantly disliked Tamara at first glance simply because she’s one of those fake boobied girls. Tamara was really the only interesting character, again.

2) Just a lot of unbelievable-ness the first two books suffer from.

Review: Throne in the Sky (Crown City #1) by Angela Kulig

Review: Throne in the Sky (Crown City #1) by Angela Kulig

Amazon | Goodreads
April 23 2022
207 pages

To continue the royal bloodline, the Fae King that rules over the City in the Clouds must pick a consort.

Human, pixie, hell-sprite, seventeen-year-old Jewel assumes the king will pick the prettiest, shallowest, one of the lot, but the longer she stays in the competition to find the Culled Queen, the closer she comes to working off the debts of her family. The debts that keep them enslaved and improvised, the debts that lead to her mother’s death, and her brutally failed romance. The debt of being human.

Jewel doesn’t think she’s still capable of believing in love, but she knows hunger and darkness firsthand, so when the king’s attention turns her direction, she toys with the idea of keeping it—until the moment it slips from her fingers.

My Thoughts


I love books with this kind of premise. I will read anything that is similar to The Selection in terms of a marriage competition/a chance to marry royalty.

This is the first one I’ve seen that does this with fae, so bonus points there. My one issue is that I didn’t exactly enjoy the writing style (it was almost there but I don’t know how to explain it).

I might read the next book.
Cover Reveal: Shield & Blade: A Fate of Eyrinthia Novella (Fate of Eyrinthia #3.5) by Heather Frost

Cover Reveal: Shield & Blade: A Fate of Eyrinthia Novella (Fate of Eyrinthia #3.5) by Heather Frost

Amazon | Goodreads
July 14, 2022

His to protect

When Vera broke Venn’s heart, he was shattered. When she was abducted by mercenaries, he vowed to tear Mortise apart to find her. Now, reunited, he is determined to keep her safe–and win back her heart. Of course, things are never that simple.

Hers to defend

Vera has regretted hurting Venn ever since that fateful night in Wexon, but finding the right time to tell him is proving difficult. Traveling with him to Duvan should give her the perfect opportunity, but things take an unexpected turn when they find young children abandoned near a roadside.

Theirs to save

Helping the children isn’t in question, but the detour leads Venn and Vera into the heart of a sinister mystery. The truth they fight to uncover could change everything in Eyrinthia–and may cost them their lives.

Read the first book in the series:

Amazon | Goodreads | Bookbub

Clare made a mistake when she saved the princess’s life . . .

In one horrible night, Clare is forced to give up her life as a kitchen maid to become the princess’s decoy. Thrust into a dangerous new world of royals and deadly politics, she must learn how to be the princess’s perfect double to ensure her betrothal to an enemy prince. Desperate to survive, Clare throws herself into self-defense training, taught by her distractingly attractive bodyguard, Bennick. The spark between them is undeniable, though a relationship is forbidden. When a ruthless assassin begins stalking her, it becomes frighteningly clear that some will stop at nothing to end the tenuous peace—and Clare’s life.

Across the northern mountains, Prince Grayson is his father’s ultimate weapon. His name inspires fear in all who hear it, but no one knows his heavily guarded secret. He carries out every brutal order only because his father holds power over the one person he cares about. Grayson’s silent obedience is tested, however, when his father reveals plans to exploit the marriage alliance between two of their greatest enemies. If Grayson submits, the blood of thousands will spill. If he resists, the girl who means everything to him will die.

The fate of Eyrinthia hangs in the balance. Some want peace. Some want war. All will be thrown into chaos.

Royal Decoy is the first in the Fate of Eyrinthia YA fantasy romance series told from multiple POVs. If you like swoon-worthy romance, complex characters, and non-stop action with epic twists, then you’ll love the captivating world of Eyrinthia.

Author Bio

Heather Frost is a #1 Amazon Bestselling YA author who loves epic stories with breath-stealing romance. She is the author of the Seers trilogy and the Fate of Eyrinthia series. Her books have been Whitney Award Finalists and Swoony Award Finalists. She has a BS in Creative Writing and a minor in Folklore, which means she got to read fairy tales and call it homework. When she’s not writing, Heather likes to read, travel, and re-watch Lord of the Rings. She lives in a beautiful valley surrounded by towering mountains in northern Utah. To learn more about Heather and her books, visit her website: www.HeatherFrost.com

Review: Flame and Crystal Thorns (Fae and Crystal Thorns #1) by Kay L. Moody

Review: Flame and Crystal Thorns (Fae and Crystal Thorns #1) by Kay L. Moody

Amazon ~ Goodreads
May 10th 2022
307 pages

She vowed she’d never return to Faerie…
But vows were made to be broken.


As a human girl, Chloe is perfectly happy being back in the mortal realm where she belongs. She’s even become the town apothecary. When a fae from her past shows up begging her to return to Faerie, she utterly refuses.

But then she finds out an angry group of mortals are using iron to hold an entire castle full of fae hostage. And of course, the hostages include Chloe’s older sister and her sister’s beloved.

Reluctantly, Chloe packs a bag for what is supposed to be a short trip to Faerie.

But the mortals are more powerful than she expected. To fuel them, they have weapons, flames, and revenge. They won’t stop until they control every court in Faerie.

With the help of a new and mysterious magic and a devastatingly handsome fae companion, Chloe has to save Faerie before her sister and the other fae are killed.

If you like the rich world building of Throne of Glass, the enemies to lovers romance of Once Upon a Broken Heart, and the mythical creatures and twisty plot of The Cruel Prince, then you’ll devour Kay L. Moody’s breathtaking new young adult epic fantasy series.

Flame and Crystal Thorns is the first book in a new YA fae romance series. This is a spin off of The Fae of Bitter Thorn series by Kay L. Moody. It features a few appearances and minor spoilers from The Fae of Bitter Thorn, but it also stands alone as its own series. It can be read without any prior knowledge or reading of The Fae of Bitter Thorn.

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MY THOUGHTS

I’ll read anything Kay L. Moody writes, so obviously I adore her words, worlds, and characters. Fae books have really grown on me the last few years and I enjoyed her other series The Fae of Bitter Thorn (read those books first), so I looked forward to reading Flame and Crystal Thorns.

As expected, I had a good reading experience. I like the set up of humans being the antagonists and the mysterious illnesses in the human village. I’m specifically, and oddly interested, in learning more about Ludo (he seems cool).

Now to wait, again, for more books.