Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser (page 30):
She screws up her face. "Okay, what if you're Kai's manager? And you get to ride on the bus with him and go backstage?"

"Yeah, but then you have to be around boys all the time. And they smell."
This week I'm reading This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills. I bought this one recently at an author event. Here is the description from Amazon:
Sloane isn't expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida―especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that's exactly what happens.

Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera's twin brother and the most serious person Sloane's ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins' late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines―and ever deeper into the twins' lives.

Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, shiveringly good romantic developments, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story is about finding the people you never knew you needed.


Monday, February 27, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (Feb. 27, 2017)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted at The Book Date.  Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts have given it a kidlit focus.

It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

Other Than Reading...

After days of spring-like weather, winter made its return to southern Minnesota. Early in the week the forecasts had us on the edge of the coming storm. Later in the week the forecasts moved it right over the top of us. In anticipation, our Superintendent called off school for Friday in the middle of Thursday afternoon. When I went to bed Thursday night, nothing had happened yet. However, I woke up to at least nine heavy, wet inches of snow. Fortunately, our snow plow crew had us plowed out by 9 AM. They kept saying that we would have a second wave of snow starting mid-afternoon but nothing happened at my house until after 4 PM when we started having snow showers of big puffy snowflakes. The wind picked up a little then but we didn't have anything approaching a blizzard at my house.

It was nice to have a day off and to find out about it before a 6 AM phone call. But now I have to find a way to make up the 7 1/2 hours I wasn't at work. I can make up 4 from home but have to be in the building to make up the rest. I still have a couple of hours to make up from our last snow day too. I have run out of things to plan. My grading is up-to-date. I am at a loss for things to do. I may just find a book for professional reading and spend some time doing that.

I used my extra day off just to relax. I did a little bit of reading but mostly lounged on the couch playing computer games. I guess days like that are needed too.

Read Last Week
Shadow Run by AdriAnne Strickland and Michael Miller is science fiction of the space opera variety. Qole and her crew have the dangerous job of mining Shadow. Nev is sent to persuade (or kidnap) her and bring her to his home planet so that her special abilities can be studied. There is love, adventure, danger, and intrigue in this start to a series. My review will be posted on March 23.

Currently
100 Hours by Rachel Vincent is my current read. It will be released on March 28.

Next Week
Two April 4 release review books are on my list for this week.
Reviews Posted
Want to See What I Added to My Stack Last Week?
One Black Rose by Maddy Edwards was discovered in my daily BookBub newsletter. This paranormal romance sounded good. It was also free which is always nice.

You can check Inside of a Dog (my other blog) to see what adult books I read, reviewed, and plan to read. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

ARC Review: Freedom's Slave by Heather Demetrios

Freedom's Slave
Author: Heather Demetrios
Series: Dark Caravan Cycle (Book 3)
Publication: Balzer + Bray (February 28, 2017)

Description: Freedom’s Slave is the exhilarating end to Heather Demetrios’s Dark Caravan Cycle—a modern jinni fantasy-adventure trilogy, which Publishers Weekly called “an intricate and smartly written story,” perfect for fans of Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke & Bone series and Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy.

After three long years in exile, Nalia is ready to return to her homeland and sit on the throne that is rightfully hers. But the gods might have other plans. Forced to endure untold horrors on the journey to Arjinna, Nalia learns that it will take more than cutting down the tyrant Calar to get her crown.

Meanwhile, Raif’s return to Arjinna as the commander of the revolution against Calar and her army isn’t as smooth as he’d hoped. Though he has more soldiers than ever before, his love for Nalia is losing him the trust of his comrades . . . and the war. But little does the resistance know that insurrection is brewing among Calar’s own ranks—and from the one person she trusts the most.

Is Nalia and Raif’s enduring love enough to transform and rescue their homeland? Will they be willing to save the realm, no matter the cost?

My Thoughts: This concluding book to the Dark Caravans trilogy was packed with action. Scenes shift from Arjinni to the Eye of Iblis and back to various parts of Arjinni. Viewpoint characters are also varied.

Since Calar who overthrew the Ghan Aisouri and claimed the throne closed the gate between Earth and Arjinni, Nalia who is the only remaining Ghan Aisouri, and Raif who is leading the revolution against Calar have to take the hazardous path between the two realms called the Eye of Iblis. They fight many battles along the way and in one of the battles their guide is injured and Nalia goes missing. They need to go to Arjinni and leave Nalia behind.

Nalia is wandering the Eye and experiencing strange things with a white phoenix as her guide, while Raif is back in Arjinni but has lost the fervor that made him the charismatic leader of the revolutionaries. And Calar is facing a rebellion among her ifrit led by her lover Kesmir who has been watching her lose her mind and become more evil.

When Nalia comes out of the Eye after a year and day inside, she faces an escalating war and retribution from the four gods of the jinn. Somehow, she has to lead people from all classes if they are going to survive what the gods will be throwing at them. But most of the classes on Arjinni don't want a new empress no matter how well-meaning Nalia is.

This is a book filled with lots of heart-wrenching moments where those who are loved are lost and the world as they know it is destroyed. Readers of the first two books of this trilogy will certainly want to follow the story to its epic conclusion.

Favorite Quote:
Kesmir was trying to overthrow the jinni he'd once loved more than anything in the worlds not because he wanted to destroy Calar, but because it was the only way to save her. 
I received this one for review from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Friday Memes: Freedom's Slave by Heather Demetrios

Happy Friday everybody!!
Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Rose City Reader. The Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Beginning:
Bottles.

They were the only illumination in the pitch-black room. Hundreds of them, filled with jinn of every caste. Clear bottles, pulsing with the light of their prisoners' magic. Emerald, sapphire, gold, ruby: the jinn energy swirled inside, trapped.
Friday 56 (from 56% of the eARC):
Taz had notice the grudging affection that had developed between Kes and the formidable gryphon. It occurred to Taz that the creature may be nearly as beside himself with fear for Kes as Taz was.
This week I'm reading Freedom's Slave by Heather Demetrios. I got this eARC from Edelweiss. Here is the description from Amazon:
Freedom’s Slave is the exhilarating end to Heather Demetrios’s Dark Caravan Cycle—a modern jinni fantasy-adventure trilogy, which Publishers Weekly called “an intricate and smartly written story,” perfect for fans of Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke & Bone series and Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy.

After three long years in exile, Nalia is ready to return to her homeland and sit on the throne that is rightfully hers. But the gods might have other plans. Forced to endure untold horrors on the journey to Arjinna, Nalia learns that it will take more than cutting down the tyrant Calar to get her crown.

Meanwhile, Raif’s return to Arjinna as the commander of the revolution against Calar and her army isn’t as smooth as he’d hoped. Though he has more soldiers than ever before, his love for Nalia is losing him the trust of his comrades . . . and the war. But little does the resistance know that insurrection is brewing among Calar’s own ranks—and from the one person she trusts the most.

Is Nalia and Raif’s enduring love enough to transform and rescue their homeland? Will they be willing to save the realm, no matter the cost?

Thursday, February 23, 2017

ARC Review: The Dragon's Price by Bethany Wiggins

The Dragon's Price
Author: Bethany Wiggins
Series: The Transference Trilogy (Book 1)
Publication: Crown Books for Young Readers (February 21, 2017)

Description: Fans of Julie Kagawa’s Talon and Renee Ahdieh’s The Wrath and the Dawn will devour this action-packed fantasy adventure about a girl who chooses to surrender herself to a deadly dragon rather than marry an enemy prince.

When two warring kingdoms unified against a deadly menace laying waste to both their lands, they had to make a choice: vow to marry their heirs to one another, or forfeit their lives to the dragon.

Centuries later, everyone expects the sheltered princess Sorrowlynn to choose the barbarian prince over the fire-breathing beast—everyone, that is, except Sorrow, who is determined to control her own destiny or die trying.

As she is lowered into the dragon’s chamber, she assumes her life is over until Golmarr, the young prince she just spurned, follows her with the hopes of being her hero and slaying the dragon. But the dragon has a different plan. . . .

If the dragon wins, it will be freed from the spell that has bound it to the cave for centuries. If Sorrow or Golmarr vanquish the dragon, the victor will gain its treasure and escape the cave beneath the mountain. But what exactly is the dragon hiding?

There are no safe havens for Sorrow or Golmarr—not even with each other—and the stakes couldn’t be higher as they risk everything to protect their kingdom.

My Thoughts: Faodarian princess Sorrowlynn has reached the age of sixteen and must take part in the Mountain Binding which preserves the peace and keeps the Fire Dragon bound inside the mountain. She has a choice, sort of. She will be offered to the Antharian heir to the throne. She can choose him or be fed to the dragon. If the heir refuses her, a lamb will be given to the dragon and she will be able to return home. It sounds like a simple choice but it isn't for Sorrowlynn.

Returning home means returning to her isolated room where she is beaten on her legs to the point of scarring by the man she knows as her father for any perceived infraction of his rules. If the Antharian heir accepts her, it means marrying a man she doesn't know and into a culture that she has been told is brutal and violent. The dragon seems like the best option to her. She chooses to be fed to the dragon.

The Antharian king's youngest son Golmarr chases after her when she runs away on one of the Antharians fast and well bred horses despite having only ridden on placid Faodarian horses previously. He admires her courage and her determination. He offers to become her betrothed at the ceremony. When she still chooses the dragon and is lowered into its cave, he follows her. This begins a great adventure.

They have to find their way out of the cave without being eaten by the dragon or any of the other creatures who inhabit the cave. They are without food and water. Having to defeat the dragon before they can escape is not an easy task for a young woman who has no self-defense or weapons training. And defeating the dragon brings on its own set of problems instead of being the end of the story.

I liked the setting of this story. I liked Sorrowlynn who developed unexpectedly throughout this book. I also liked the way the relationship with Golmarr progressed as they fell in love. I will be eagerly waiting for the next book in this series.

Favorite Quote:
"But it's not..."

"Proper, I know. But neither id being fed to a dragon, or hacking a Mayanchi to bits, or cutting off your skirt, or sleeping curled in my arms. But when necessary and proper battle it out, necessary always wins."
I received this one for review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

WoW: Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. She has a linky widget at her site each week for your post and to make it easy to find posts by other people.

The purpose of the meme is to spotlight books that we are eagerly anticipating. It is fun to take a look at what others are waiting for. I have noticed that it has expanded my wishlist though. Be warned!
Erin Entrada Kelly
March 14

Acclaimed author Erin Entrada Kelly’s third novel for tweens is a funny and poignant neighborhood story about unexpected friendships. Told from four intertwining points of view—two boys and two girls—the novel celebrates bravery, being different, and finding your inner bayani (hero), and it’s perfect for fans of Lynda Mullaly Hunt’s Fish in a Tree.

In one day, four lives weave together in unexpected ways. Virgil Salinas is shy and kindhearted and feels out of place in his crazy-about-sports family. Valencia Somerset, who is deaf, is smart, brave, and secretly lonely, and she loves everything about nature. Kaori Tanaka is a self-proclaimed psychic, whose little sister Gen is always following her around. And Chet Bullens wishes the weird kids would just stop being so different so that he can concentrate on basketball. They aren’t friends, at least not until Chet pulls a prank that traps Virgil and his pet guinea pig at the bottom of a well. This disaster leads Kaori, Gen, and Valencia on an epic quest to find the missing Virgil. Sometimes four can do what one cannot. Through luck, smarts, bravery, and a little help from the universe, a rescue is performed, a bully is put in his place, and friendship blooms. The acclaimed author of Blackbird Fly and The Land of Forgotten Girls writes with an authentic, humorous, and irresistible tween voice that will appeal to fans of Thanhha Lai and Rita Williams-Garcia.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: The Dragon's Price by Bethany Wiggins

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser (from 10% in the eARC):
"You're running away. Alone. With no way to protect yourself. And you've never been out there." He waves his had toward the Glass Forest. "Do you know why my family always arrives at your castle armed?"

"Because you are bloodthirsty barbarians," I snap.
This week I'm reading The Dragon's Price by Bethany Wiggins. I got this eARC from NetGalley. Here is the description from Amazon:
Fans of Julie Kagawa’s Talon and Renee Ahdieh’s The Wrath and the Dawn will devour this action-packed fantasy adventure about a girl who chooses to surrender herself to a deadly dragon rather than marry an enemy prince.

When two warring kingdoms unified against a deadly menace laying waste to both their lands, they had to make a choice: vow to marry their heirs to one another, or forfeit their lives to the dragon.

Centuries later, everyone expects the sheltered princess Sorrowlynn to choose the barbarian prince over the fire-breathing beast—everyone, that is, except Sorrow, who is determined to control her own destiny or die trying.

As she is lowered into the dragon’s chamber, she assumes her life is over until Golmarr, the young prince she just spurned, follows her with the hopes of being her hero and slaying the dragon. But the dragon has a different plan. . . .

If the dragon wins, it will be freed from the spell that has bound it to the cave for centuries. If Sorrow or Golmarr vanquish the dragon, the victor will gain its treasure and escape the cave beneath the mountain. But what exactly is the dragon hiding?

There are no safe havens for Sorrow or Golmarr—not even with each other—and the stakes couldn’t be higher as they risk everything to protect their kingdom.

Monday, February 20, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (Feb. 20, 2017)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted at The Book Date.  Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts have given it a kidlit focus.

It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

Other Than Reading...

Yay for another normal week! This school year is just flying by. It is almost mid-quarter time of the third quarter of the year. I really enjoy all of my classes. The only thing I don't like about this whole teaching gig is getting up at 6 AM. That will certainly change in retirement.

I am very gradually getting rid of stuff as I sort through each room prior to my move this summer. Today's errands include a trip to the Salvation Army donation center to get rid of 14 pairs of shoes that I don't wear, don't like, or have outgrown.

We have been having wonderful weather for February with temperatures consistently above normal but not quite record-breaking. Of course, the long term forecast is predicting what could be a Snowmageddon for next weekend. It's a long way out still. I'm hoping that it misses us entirely. I couple more nice days should melt all the snow that wasn't piled up by plowing. 
  Read Last Week
Miss Ellicott's School for the Magically Minded by Sage Blackwood was a nice middle grade fantasy about a young girl who isn't all biddable who steps up to save her city when the adults around her are too busy looking after their own selfish interests. My review will be posted on March 18.

Currently
I have just begun Shadow Run by AdriAnne Strickland and Michael Miller which seems to be traditional science fiction so far.

Next Week
Next week I have two more from my Review Stack:
Reviews Posted
Want to See What I Added to My Stack Last Week?
  • Bluescreen by Dan Wells was a Kindle deal that sounded good.
  • Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray is Science Fiction coming out on April 4. I got it from NetGalley.
You can check Inside of a Dog (my other blog) to see what adult books I read, reviewed, and plan to read. 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

ARC Review: The Wish Granter by C. J. Redwine

The Wish Granter
Author: C. J. Redwine
Series: Ravenspire (Book 2)
Publication: Balzer + Bray (February 14, 2017)

Description: An epic, romantic, and action-packed fantasy inspired by the tale of Rumpelstiltskin, about a bastard princess who must take on an evil fae to save her brother’s soul, from C. J. Redwine, the New York Times bestselling author of The Shadow Queen. Perfect for fans of Graceling and the Lunar Chronicles.

The world has turned upside down for Thad and Ari Glavan, the bastard twins of SĂșndraille’s king. Their mother was murdered. The royal family died mysteriously. And now Thad sits on the throne of a kingdom whose streets are suddenly overrun with violence he can’t stop.

Growing up ignored by the nobility, Ari never wanted to be a proper princess. And when Thad suddenly starts training Ari to take his place, she realizes that her brother’s ascension to the throne wasn’t fate. It was the work of a Wish Granter named Alistair Teague who tricked Thad into wishing away both the safety of his people and his soul in exchange for the crown.

So Ari recruits the help of Thad’s enigmatic new weapons master, Sebastian Vaughn, to teach her how to fight Teague. With secret ties to Teague’s criminal empire, Sebastian might just hold the key to discovering Alistair’s weaknesses, saving Ari’s brother—and herself.

But Teague is ruthless and more than ready to destroy anyone who dares stand in his way—and now he has his sights set on the princess. And if Ari can’t outwit him, she’ll lose Sebastian, her brother…and her soul.

My Thoughts: This is a story about humans who get tangled up with the fae. Alistair Teague is the Wish Granter. He is an exiled fae who is used to making bargains with humans and taking their soul as payment. Ari and Thad are the bastard children of the King. When the Queen finally has a son, she decides that Ari and Thad should be killed. She succeeds in having their mother killed and Thad makes a deal with Teague to save his sister.

Thad wants to bargain only for Ari's safety but Teague won't make the deal unless Thad wishes to be King. In his desperation, he agrees. Next thing you know, the King, Queen and their baby is dead and Thad finds himself King at age seventeen owing his soul to the Wish Granter. Not only that but he can't intefere with Teague's actions in the city and Teague is a ruthless crime lord.

Once Ari finds out about the deal her brother made, she decides that she will find a way to get him out of his deal with Teague. Ari is smart and an excellent baker but her clumsiness prevents her from being much of a warrior. Clearly, she will have to use her brain to defeat Teague.

She turns to new weapons master Sebastian Vaughn to teach her to use weapons. Sebastian is very familiar with Teague since his brutal father works for him. Sebastian was abused by his father frequently until his father was sent away to manage Teague's interests elsewhere. The abuse left him avoiding being touched by anyone and keeping quiet and to himself. Ari decides that she is going to be his friend and lets him know that she can be relentless.

The two have all sorts of harrowing adventures and along the way they fall in love. This was an entertaining fantasy story. I liked Ari's personality and determination to save her brother and her kingdom. I also liked Sebastian and don't recall another fantasy hero who deals with the consequences of abuse.

Fans of fantasy will enjoy this engaging story.

Favorite Quote:
Everything about him -- from his close cut black hear to his ruthlessly neat uniform to the muscles that filled out his (very intriguing) shoulders -- said that he was a person of incredible discipline.

Ari could appreciate that, even if it did make her want to check her own clothing for the stain that her midmorning snack had probably left behind.
I received this one for review from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Friday Memes: The Wish Granter by C. J. Redwine

Happy Friday everybody!!
Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Rose City Reader. The Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Beginning:
Once upon a time ...

Humans were pathetically predictable. Always longing for more. Always desperate to get their way. Shamelessly grasping for what remained out of reach, even when it cost them dearly.
Friday 56 (from 56% of the eARC):
Felman gave Sebastian a hard stare and said between coughs, "Your father would've killed me once he had what he wanted, not paid for my freedom. You said you were just like him."
This week I am reading The Wish Granter by C. J. Redwine. I got this eARC from Edelweiss. I enjoy fairy tale retellings. Here is the description from Amazon:
An epic, romantic, and action-packed fantasy inspired by the tale of Rumpelstiltskin, about a bastard princess who must take on an evil fae to save her brother’s soul, from C. J. Redwine, the New York Times bestselling author of The Shadow Queen. Perfect for fans of Graceling and the Lunar Chronicles.

The world has turned upside down for Thad and Ari Glavan, the bastard twins of SĂșndraille’s king. Their mother was murdered. The royal family died mysteriously. And now Thad sits on the throne of a kingdom whose streets are suddenly overrun with violence he can’t stop.

Growing up ignored by the nobility, Ari never wanted to be a proper princess. And when Thad suddenly starts training Ari to take his place, she realizes that her brother’s ascension to the throne wasn’t fate. It was the work of a Wish Granter named Alistair Teague who tricked Thad into wishing away both the safety of his people and his soul in exchange for the crown.

So Ari recruits the help of Thad’s enigmatic new weapons master, Sebastian Vaughn, to teach her how to fight Teague. With secret ties to Teague’s criminal empire, Sebastian might just hold the key to discovering Alistair’s weaknesses, saving Ari’s brother—and herself.

But Teague is ruthless and more than ready to destroy anyone who dares stand in his way—and now he has his sights set on the princess. And if Ari can’t outwit him, she’ll lose Sebastian, her brother…and her soul.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

ARC Review: Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas

Long May She Reign
Author: Rhiannon Thomas
Publication: HarperTeen (February 21, 2017)

Description: The Girl of Fire and Thorns meets The Queen of the Tearling in this thrilling fantasy standalone about one girl’s unexpected rise to power.

Freya was never meant to be queen. Twenty-third in line to the throne, she never dreamed of a life in the palace, and would much rather research in her laboratory than participate in the intrigues of the court. However, when an extravagant banquet turns deadly and the king and those closest to him are poisoned, Freya suddenly finds herself on the throne.

She may have escaped the massacre, but she is far from safe. The nobles don’t respect her, her councillors want to control her, and with the mystery of who killed the king still unsolved, she knows that a single mistake could cost her the kingdom—and her life.

Freya is determined to survive, and that means uncovering the murderers herself. Until then, she can’t trust anyone. Not her advisers. Not the king’s dashing and enigmatic illegitimate son. Not even her own father, who always wanted the best for her but also wanted more power for himself.

As Freya’s enemies close in and her loyalties are tested, she must decide if she is ready to rule and, if so, how far she is willing to go to keep the crown.

My Thoughts: This was an entertaining fantasy novel. Freya is 23rd in line to the throne and has no interest in being part of the Court. She is an excellent scientist and prefers spending time doing experiments in her lab. She's socially awkward. She was compelled by her father to attend one of King Jorgen's extravagant banquets but left in the middle when she got an idea for a new experiment.

Hours later, her father discovers her in her lab and tells her that the King and most of the court are dead from arsenic poisoning. She is now the Queen! Freya finds herself in charge of the country with only a few surviving advisers and a few surviving courtiers. Also, someone orchestrated the massacre and she not only wants to bring him to justice but keep herself safe from future murder attempts.

She has a restless country with a political group that wants to get rid of all the nobility and various suspects inside the court. There is William Fitzroy who is the former king's bastard son. Madeleine Wolff was away during the banquet is is next in line for the throne now. She is everything Freya isn't - lovely, socially adept, and loved by the people. Another suspect is Torsten Wolff who was the former king's best friend and chief adviser. The murderer could be any of the king's surviving advisers too.

Freya is a scientist, so she turns to scientific experiments to track down the murderer. Along the way she finds a way to test for arsenic poisons that will eliminate the need for food tasters. She manages to find out how the poison was introduced into the food at the banquet and where the poison came from. But, while she was experimenting, Torsten Wolff decides that she was the poisoner and tries to overthrow her. The country which hadn't fought a war for centuries was now on the verge of one if Freya couldn't find a way to convince Torsten that she wasn't the killer.

This story had it all - intrigue, a mystery, an awkward heroine who learns to accept herself for her own strengths, friendships lost and found, various betrayals, and a nice romance too. I really enjoyed this story and think it will appeal to any fantasy lover.

Favorite Quote:
People had been calling me "strange" since I learned how to talk, although usually they only said it when they thought I couldn't hear. When I was younger, I chattered constantly, stumbling over the words in my eagerness to express them, asking question after question until I was at least five explanations deep. People commented on my strangeness to my mother, as though she had somehow missed it and would surely take action now that it was revealed to her, but she would just laugh and say, "Isn't it wonderful?" like my strangeness was my greatest strength.
I received this one for review from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

WoW: Forever, or a Long, Long Time by Caela Carter

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. She has a linky widget at her site each week for your post and to make it easy to find posts by other people.

The purpose of the meme is to spotlight books that we are eagerly anticipating. It is fun to take a look at what others are waiting for. I have noticed that it has expanded my wishlist though. Be warned!
Caela Carter
March 7, 2017

From rising new talent Caela Carter, author of My Life with the Liars, comes an achingly beautiful and endearing story about two foster children who want desperately to believe that they’ve found their forever home. Perfect for fans of Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me, Leslie Connor’s All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, and Sarah Pennypacker’s Pax.

Flora and her brother, Julian, don’t believe they were born. They’ve lived in so many foster homes, they can’t remember where they came from. And even now that they’ve been adopted, Flora still struggles to believe in forever. So along with their new mother, Flora and Julian begin a journey to go back and discover their past—for only then can they really begin to build their future.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser (from 10% in the eARC):
"Keep good hold of that cat, young miss," the boatman said. "Don't want it to take a sudden swim."

"Young miss?" my father said. "This is your new queen."
This week I am reading Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas. I got this eARC from Edelweiss. Here is the description from Amazon:
The Girl of Fire and Thorns meets The Queen of the Tearling in this thrilling fantasy standalone about one girl’s unexpected rise to power.

Freya was never meant to be queen. Twenty-third in line to the throne, she never dreamed of a life in the palace, and would much rather research in her laboratory than participate in the intrigues of the court. However, when an extravagant banquet turns deadly and the king and those closest to him are poisoned, Freya suddenly finds herself on the throne.

She may have escaped the massacre, but she is far from safe. The nobles don’t respect her, her councillors want to control her, and with the mystery of who killed the king still unsolved, she knows that a single mistake could cost her the kingdom—and her life.

Freya is determined to survive, and that means uncovering the murderers herself. Until then, she can’t trust anyone. Not her advisers. Not the king’s dashing and enigmatic illegitimate son. Not even her own father, who always wanted the best for her but also wanted more power for himself.

As Freya’s enemies close in and her loyalties are tested, she must decide if she is ready to rule and, if so, how far she is willing to go to keep the crown.

Monday, February 13, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (Feb. 13, 2017)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted at The Book Date.  Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts have given it a kidlit focus.

It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

Other Than Reading...

This was a wonderfully normal week. The weather didn't provide any surprises. Nor were there any surprises at school this week. My only excitement was the arrival of a big box of ARCs from Macmillan. I had asked for 9 and received 7. I do hope the other two trickle in because they also sounded excellent. 

Read Last Week
The Hidden Memory of Objects by Daniele Mages Amato tells the story of a girl who learns interesting things about her older brother when he dies in an unexpected way. Megan is an artist who tries to understand the world through her collage art. My review will be posted on March 16.

Currently and Next Week

These are the same as last week. I got side-tracked by a couple of new arrivals on my adult stack.
Reviews Posted
Want to See What I Added to My Stack Last Week?

These I bought.
Frostblood by Elly Blake was a Kindle Deal that sounded good to me.

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco is a print book that also sounded good to me and sounded like something my students would like.

These are new review books from Macmillan:
  • The Unbreakable Code by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman is the sequel to The Book Scavenger. (April 25)
  • The Traitor's Kiss by Erin Beatty is touted as "Jane Austen with an espionage twist." I couldn't resist that. (May 9)
  • The  Love Interest by Cale Dietrich is about spies and also has an LGBT thing happening. (May 16)
  • What I Lost by Alexandra Ballard is a contemporary about eating disorders. (June 6)
  • Amid Stars and Darkness by Chani Lynn Feener is a science fiction romance - two of my favorite genres. (July 18)
  • Just Friends by Tiffany Pitcock is a contemporary romance. (August 1)
  • In Some Other Life by Jessica Brody is a contemporary about life choices that attracted me with its cover. (August 29)
You can check Inside of a Dog (my other blog) to see what adult books I read, reviewed, and plan to read.