Stacking the Shelves – 05/18/2019

Stacking the Shelves

Happy Saturday book lovelies! Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual.  You can include books you buy in physical form, ARC’s,  books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course audio books and ebooks!

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Digital Review Copies: 

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Kindle Freebies:

Both of these were Goodreads Giveaways

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These are my additions to my shelves this week! What were yours?

 

Happy Reading!

First Line Fridays – 05/17/2019

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Happy Friday book loves! First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, we judged it by its opening lines? Grab a book, whether it’s your current read or one off your shelves, and share the first few opening lines then reveal the book!

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Eight years of poison and murder and shit.

Eight years of blood and sweat and death.

Eight Years.

She’d fallen so far, her little brother in her arms, fingers still sticky and red. The light of the three suns above, burning and blinding. The waters of the flooded arena below, crimson with blood.

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ABOUT THE BOOK: 

Title: Darkdawn

Author: Jay Kristoff

Release Date: September 3rd, 2019

Published By: St Martins Press

Pages: 512 pages

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SYNOPSIS:

A ruthless young assassin’s journey for revenge comes to a stunning end in the conclusion of this acclaimed epic fantasy trilogy.

The Republic of Itreya is in chaos. Mia Corvere has assassinated Cardinal Duomo and rumors of Consul Scaeva’s death ripple through the street of Godsgrave like wildfire. But buried beneath those same streets, deep in the ancient city’s bones, lies a secret that will change the Republic forever.

Mia and her brother Jonnen must journey through the depths of the ancient metropolis. Their quest will take them through the Godsgrave underdark, across the Sea of Swords, back to the library of the Quiet Mountain and the poisoned blades of Mia’s old mentors, and at last the fabled Crown of the Moon. There, Mia will at last discover the origins of the darkin, and learn the destiny that lies in store for her and her world. But with the three suns now in descent, and Truedark on the horizon, will she survive?

 

Happy Reading!

Cover Reveal & excerpt – The Shadows Between us by Tricia Levenseller

Happy Thursday book loves! Today we have a cover reveal and excerpt from Tricia Levenseller’s latest book The Shadows Between US

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Title: The Shadows Between Us

Author: Tricia Levenseller

Release Date: February 25th 2020

Published By: Feiwel and Friends (an imprint of Macmillan)

Pages: 352 pages

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SYNOPSIS:

Alessandra is tired of being overlooked, but she has a plan to gain power:

1) Woo the Shadow King.
2) Marry him.
3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it.

But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen—all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?

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Excerpt:

They’ve never found the body of the first and only boy who broke my heart.

And they never will.

I buried Hektor Galanis in a hole so deep, even the devils of the earth couldn’t reach him.

My dream was of him, of the day he told me it had been fun but he was done. Some other girl had caught his fancy. I don’t even remember her name. At the time, all I could think of was the fact that I’d given everything to Hektor: my first kiss, my love, my body.

And when I told him I loved him, all he had to say was “Thanks, but I think it’s time we moved on.”

He had other things to say, too. When I sank my knife into his chest, words came spilling out of him almost as fast as the blood.

He couldn’t make sense of it. I couldn’t, either. I barely remembered grabbing the knife Father had given to me for my fifteenth birthday, three months previous, with its jeweled handle and silver sheen, but I do remember that Hektor’s blood matched the inlaid rubies.

I also remember what finally helped my head catch up with my pounding heart: the last word out of Hektor’s lips.

Alessandra.

His last word was my name. His last thought was of me.

I won.

That knowledge settles within me now just as it did three years ago. That sense of rightness, of peace.

I lift my arms into the air, stretching like a cat, before rolling over in bed.

A pair of brown eyes is only inches from my own.

“Devils, Myron, why are you staring at me?” I ask.

He presses a kiss to my bare shoulder. “Because you’re beautiful.” Myron lies on his side, his head propped up on a closed fist. My bedsheets cover him from the waist down. It’s a wonder he fits in my bed, he’s so tall. Floppy curls sprawl across his forehead, and he flicks back his head to clear his vision. The scent of sandalwood and sweat wafts over me.

With a hand, I keep the sheets held up over my chest as I rise to a sitting position. “Last night was fun, but you should go. I have much to do today.”

Myron stares at my chest, and I roll my eyes.

“Perhaps again later?” I ask.

He looks up at me, before his eyes flit meaningfully to my chest once more.

No, wait. Not my chest. To the hand holding the sheets in place and the extra weight I now feel there.

There’s a diamond on my finger. It’s beautiful, cut in an egg shape and buried in gold. It winks in the morning light as I tilt my hand from side to side. The ring is by far the most expensive trinket he’s ever given me.

“Alessandra Stathos, I love you. Will you marry me?”

Laughter fills the room, and Myron flinches at it. I quickly place my free hand over my lips.

“What are you thinking?” I say a moment later. “Of course not.” I stare down at the gorgeous ring once more. With this gift, Myron has outlived his usefulness. For some reason, my lovers cease to give me expensive presents once I turn down their proposals.

Alas.

“But we’re so happy together,” he says. “I will cherish you every day. Give you everything you deserve. I will treat you like a princess.”

If only he knew I have my sights set a bit higher than that. “It’s a very kind offer, but I’m not ready to settle down just yet.”

“But—I’ve shared your bed,” he splutters.

Yes, he and three other boys this month.

“And now it’s time for you to leave it.” I move to rise from the bed when the door to my chambers bursts open.

Myron freezes with his hand outstretched toward me, and my father, Sergios Stathos, Lord Masis, looks down at what he can see of our naked bodies.

“Leave,” he bites out in a deathly quiet voice. My father is shorter than my five and a half feet, but he’s built like a bull with a thick neck, wide shoulders, and keen eyes that pierce to the soul.

Myron tries to take the sheets with him, but I’ve got them firmly clamped around myself. When he fails to wrest them from me, he reaches down to grab his pants.

“Leave now,” Father specifies.

“But—”

“Listen or I will have you whipped!”

Myron stands. Barely. He hunches as though he can hide his tall frame. He makes it halfway to the door before turning. “My ring?”

“Surely you want me to keep it? So I can remember our time together?”

Myron’s face twists. He has one foot pointed toward the door and the other toward me.

Father growls.

Myron takes off at a run, nearly tripping over my father’s boots as he bolts over the threshold. Once he’s gone, Father turns to me.

“You make it difficult for me to find you a suitable match when you’re caught with a new bedfellow every night.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Father. That was Myron’s fifth stay.”

“Alessandra! You must stop this. It is time for you to grow up. To settle down.”

“Has Chrysantha found a husband, then?” Father knows very well the law forbids me to marry until my older sister does. There is an order to things.

Father treads over to the bed. “The Shadow King has dismissed a number of single women from the palace, Chrysantha among them. I’d hoped your sister would catch his eye, rare beauty that she is.”

Oh, yes. Chrysantha is a rare beauty. And she’s as dumb as a rock.

“But it was not to be,” Father concludes.

“Myron’s free,” I offer.

Father levels a glare at me. “She will not wed Myron. Chrysantha will be a duchess. I’ve already made arrangements with the Duke of Pholios. He’s an aging man who wants a pretty girl on his arm. It’s done. That means it’s your turn.”

Finally.

“You’ve suddenly taken an interest in my future, have you?” I ask, just to be difficult.

“I’ve always had your best interests in mind.”

A complete untruth. The only time Father bothers to think of me is when he catches me doing something he thinks I shouldn’t. Chrysantha has been his focus my entire life.

Father continues, “I’m going to approach the Earl of Oricos to discuss the match of you and his son, who will inherit one day. Soon, I should think, given Aterxes’s ailing health. That should make you happy.”

“It doesn’t.”

“You’re certainly not going to remain my problem forever.”

“So touching, Father, but I’ve got my sights set on another man.”

“And just whom would that be?”

I stand, pulling the sheet up with me, before tucking it under my arms. “The Shadow King, of course.”

Father guffaws. “I think not. With your reputation, it’ll be a miracle if I can get any nobleman’s son to have you.”

“My reputation is known by none, save those whom it directly concerns.”

“Men do not keep the exploits of the bedroom to themselves.”

I smile. “They do when it’s me.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“I’m not stupid, Father. I have something on every man who has seen the inside of this room. Myron has an unfortunate gambling problem. He lost a family heirloom in a game of cards. Blamed the missing pendant on a servant and got him whipped and fired. His father wouldn’t be happy to hear of it. And Damon? I happen to know he’s part of a group of smugglers importing illegal weapons into the city. He’d be sent to prison if anyone knew the truth. And let’s not forget Nestor, who’s quite fond of the opium dens. I could go on naming all of my lovers, but I think you get the idea.”

Though his face doesn’t change, Father’s shoulders lose some of their tension. “Such winning gentlemen you keep around, darling.”

“The point is, Father, I know what I’m doing. And I’m going to keep doing whatever I wish, because I am the master of myself. And you? You’re going to send me to the palace with the next wave of women to see the king, because if there’s anything I’m good at, it’s getting men to propose to me.” I flash the diamond on my finger in his direction.

Father’s eyes narrow. “How long have you been planning this?”

“Years.”

“You said nothing when I sent Chrysantha to the palace.”

“Father, Chrysantha couldn’t catch the attention of a rabid dog. Besides, beauty isn’t enough to catch the eye of the Shadow King. He has beauties paraded in front of him all year long.

“Send me. I will get us all a palace,” I finish.

The room is quiet for a full minute.

“You’ll need new dresses,” Father says at last, “and I won’t get your sister’s bride price for weeks yet. That won’t be enough time.”

I pull the ring from my finger and stare down at it lovingly. Why does he think I’ve taken so many lovers? They’re plenty of fun, to be sure, but most important, they’re going to finance my stay at the palace.

I hold up the ring where my father can see it. “There’s plenty more where this came from.”

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Sewing has always been a hobby of mine, but it is impossible for me to make all the new clothing required for my upcoming plans in such a short amount of time. Working with my favorite seamstress, I design and commission ten new day outfits, five evening gowns, and three appropriately indecent nightgowns (although those I make myself—Eudora doesn’t need to know how I intend to spend my nights).

Father takes no part in the planning, as he is much too busy with his accountant, worrying over the estate. He’s bankrupt and desperately trying to hide it. It’s not his fault. Father’s quite competent, but the land just isn’t producing as it once was. Disease swept through a few years ago and killed most of the livestock. Every year, the crops grow thinner. A well has already gone dry, and more and more tenants are leaving.

The Masis estate is dying, and Father needs to acquire decent bride prices for my sister and me in order to keep his lands running.

Though I’m aware of the situation, I haven’t bothered to worry about it. My lovers all feel the need to give me nice things. Very expensive things. It’s been a fun game. Learning their secrets. Seducing them. Getting them to shower me with gifts.

But to be honest?

I’m bored with it.

I have a new game in mind.

I’m going to woo the king.

I suspect it won’t be longer than a month before he’s helplessly in love with me. And when he proposes, I will say yes for the first time.

For once the marriage is official and consummated?

I will kill the Shadow King and take his kingdom for myself.

Only this time, I won’t have to bury the body. I’ll find a convenient scapegoat and leave the Shadow King for someone to find. The world will need to know that I’m the last royal left.

Their queen.

 

Happy Reading!

Cover Crush Thursday – 05/16/2019

Hey everyone! Happy Thursday! Today’s post is all about those pretty book covers! Pick a cover that you love and show it off 🙂

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ABOUT THE BOOK: 

Title: Once & Future

Author: Amy Rose Capetta & Cori McCarthy

Release Date: March 26th, 2019

Published By: Little, Brown and Company

Pages: 336 pages

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SYNOPSIS:

I’ve been chased my whole life. As a fugitive refugee in the territory controlled by the tyrannical Mercer corporation, I’ve always had to hide who I am. Until I found Excalibur.

Now I’m done hiding.

My name is Ari Helix. I have a magic sword, a cranky wizard, and a revolution to start.

When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind.

 

Happy Reading! 

Can’t Wait Wednesday – 05/15/2019

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Can’t Wait Wednesday is hosted by Wishful Endings and is based on Waiting on Wednesday that was previously hosted by Breaking the Spine.   It was created to show off a book that you are excited to read that hasn’t been released yet.

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ABOUT THE BOOK: 

Title: Wilder Girls

Author: Rory Power

Release Date: July 9th, 2019

Published By: Delacorte Press

Pages: 368 pages

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SYNOPSIS:

It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

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Please see author’s website for trigger and content warnings.

 

Happy Reading! 

 

Goodreads Monday – 05/13/2019

GOODREADS MONDAY IS HOSTED BY LAUREN’S PAGE TURNERS.  ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS SHOW OFF A BOOK FROM YOUR TBR THAT YOU’RE LOOKING FORWARD TO READING.

 

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ABOUT THE BOOK: 

Title: The Dead Girls Club

Author: Damien Angelica Walters

Release Date: December 10th 2019

Published By: Crooked Lane Books

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SYNOPSIS:

A supernatural thriller in the vein of A Head Full of Ghosts about two young girls, a scary story that becomes far too real, and the tragic–and terrifying–consequences that follow one of them into adulthood.

Red Lady, Red Lady, show us your face…

In 1991, Heather Cole and her friends were members of the Dead Girls Club. Obsessed with the macabre, the girls exchanged stories about serial killers and imaginary monsters, like the Red Lady, the spirit of a vengeful witch killed centuries before. Heather knew the stories were just that, until her best friend Becca began insisting the Red Lady was real–and she could prove it.

That belief got Becca killed.

It’s been nearly thirty years, but Heather has never told anyone what really happened that night–that Becca was right and the Red Lady was real. She’s done her best to put that fateful summer, Becca, and the Red Lady, behind her. Until a familiar necklace arrives in the mail, a necklace Heather hasn’t seen since the night Becca died.

The night Heather killed her.

Now, someone else knows what she did…and they’re determined to make Heather pay.

 

Happy Reading! 

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

Hey everyone! Happy Monday!

CURRENT READ(S): 

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Title: By the Light of Embers

Author: Shaylin Gandhi

Release Date: May 9th, 2019

Published By: Briar Rose Publishing

Pages: 304 pages

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SYNOPSIS:

It’s 1954, and twenty-two-year-old Lucia Lafleur has always dreamed of following in her father’s footsteps. While sock hops and poodle skirts occupy her classmates, she dreams of bacteria and broken bones—and the day she’ll finally fix them.

After graduation, a letter arrives, and Lucia reads the words she’s labored a lifetime to earn—”we are pleased to offer you a position at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.” But in the midst of her triumph, her fiancé delivers a crushing ultimatum: forego medical school, or forego marriage.

With fractured hopes, she returns home to Louisiana, expecting nothing of the summer of ’54 but sweet tea and gumbo while she agonizes over her impending choice. There, she unexpectedly befriends Nicholas, a dark-skinned poet whose dignity and intellect are a salve to her aching heart. Their bond, initially forged from a shared love of literature, soon blossoms into something as bewitching as it is forbidden.

Yet her predicament deepens when a trivial misunderstanding between a local white woman and a black man results in a brutal lynching, and the peril of love across the color lines becomes chillingly real. Now, fulfilling her lifelong dream means relinquishing her heart—and escaping Louisiana alive.

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ABOUT THE BOOK: 

Title: Criers War

Author: Nina Varela

Release Date: October 1st, 2019

Published By: Harper Teen

Pages: 448 pages

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SYNOPSIS:

From debut author Nina Varela comes the first book in an Own Voices, richly imagined epic fantasy duology about an impossible love between two girls—one human, one Made—whose romance could be the beginning of a revolution.

After the War of Kinds ravaged the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, designed to be the playthings of royals, usurped their owners’ estates and bent the human race to their will.

Now Ayla, a human servant rising in the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging her family’s death…by killing the sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier.

Crier was Made to be beautiful, flawless, and to carry on her father’s legacy. But that was before her betrothal to the enigmatic Scyre Kinok, before she discovered her father isn’t the benevolent king she once admired, and most importantly, before she met Ayla.

Now, with growing human unrest across the land, pressures from a foreign queen, and an evil new leader on the rise, Crier and Ayla find there may be only one path to love: war.

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What are you reading today?

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Happy Reading!