TBR of the Week: The Silver Skull, by Anne Renwick (The Elemental Web Chronicles #2)

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Hello, lovelies! Its Sunday, so welcome to another edition of the TBR of the Week! Today I chose a book I started last week, called The Silver Skull, by Anne Renwick =D I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review – it will be up over here sometime around January 27th, but I want to speed my ARC reads, haha!

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January’s New Books! (Aka my Goodreads wish list for the month)

Hellooooo and welcome to our first blogging week of January =D This panda is really glad that 2016 is over and I hope everyone’s lives get better in 2017!

We’re gathered here today for my monthly wishlist based on Goodreads’ popular book releases list and on what I have on my shelves over there =) I accept donations in case someone wants to gift me with any of those books LMAO #justkidding #ormaybenot #Ilovegifts #butwhodoesn’t?

Ps: you’ll notice some big authors weren’t featured on this post despite having new releases on January, but that is because I wasn’t impressed with their books? Sorry :/

JANUARY’S NEW BOOKS

*click on the book covers to be taken to their Goodreads’ page!*

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Maisy and the Mystery Manor, from Elizabeth Woodrum (The Maisy Files #3)

Hello, lovelies! I’m back with another really late review from happier days, before my break down and all the emo music I’ve been listening to. One would think teenage angst couldn’t be a deal after our twenties, but oh well.

Despite the teen phase, I’m here today to talk about a middle grade book, which proves that I’m never going to truly grow up – middle grade books can be the sweetest thing ever ❤ I present you the third volume in The Maisy Files series, from Elizabeth Woodrum: Maisy and the Mystery Manor! I’ve won my copy from Lola’s Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review, so here we are! Thanks, guys ❤

As miracles do happen, we have reviews for all the books in the series so far! If you want to take a look at them before reading this one, please, be my guest!

Maisy and the Missing Mice (The Maisy Files #1)

Maisy and the Money Marauder (The Maisy Files #2)

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summary

Super sleuths will be thrilled to know that everyone’s favorite fourth-grade detective is back with a double dose of mystery adventure! As Maisy participates in a mystery weekend event for junior detectives, she uncovers a real case. Could a ghost be haunting Mystery Manor? Find out in the exciting third installment of The Maisy Files!

the analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

I was so sad to know this was the last book in the series and even sadder to not know if there will be more volumes to it! =( Especially given that Maisy and The Mystery Manor is the best volume – full standalone, so you don’t need to read books one and two to meet Maisy and understand why she is on the Mystery Manor – and also the cleverest of them all! ❤ I finished it with an I-want-more taste on my mouth and it was a five stars read from beginning to end!

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The narrative follows the style from the previous books: third person from Maisy’s view. It’s amazing to see how skilled Maisy becomes through the books, using her logic better and better with each mystery solved. Woodrum also had the care of always making the next mystery slightly more challenging than the last, so that’s also amazing. I confess I got lost trying to solve the main mystery, so more points to the author! ❤ Annelise, dear, don’t talk like your mental age was above 12.

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Mea culpa, as I have the sinking feeling that it’s not just my face that is stuck in time since I became a vampire, at the age of 14. Seriously, a high-schooler hit on me on the mall the other day and I not-so-kindly told him I had the age to be his mother, as I’m 22 and already finished college. Kids those days! Still, it’s amazing to see how Woodrum built a good mystery without resorting to anything too complicated. I can’t even tell you how refreshing this was!

…And I already talked about the plot, haha! I don’t want to say much more, because a good mystery doesn’t ask for spoilers 😉

The interesting thing to see about the characters is their evolution. Maisy may be the leading character, but her best friend Veronica also got much better at being a detective and both girls grow up a little, but never losing their childish shine ❤

I truly only have good things to say about this book and this series, so I’m afraid this review will be shorter than my usual ones.

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Please, do try to disguise your relief a little bit, yes? Thank you! Hahahaha!

As I say my goodbyes for this delightful series (for now! I still have hopes for a new The Maisy Files book and re-reads are always a thing), I’d like to share the biggest lesson I took from Maisy:

“Never mess with a girl’s lollipops” – SAWYER, Maisy.

5star

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Thank you for reading yet another review and many thanks again to Lola’s Blog Tours for my review copy! =) See you around and love you, guys!

assinatura

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Forget Me Always, from Sara Wolf (Lovely Vicious #2)

Good Saturday morning to you! Nope, you’re not hallucinating from the booze you had last night, this is not an April Fool’s prank because we are kind of in November and no cameras are going to jump on you to reveal a trap! Or at least, if this happens, which I really wish you never have to experience, I can assure you it wasn’t on me and will lend you a friendly shoulder for some hate shouts towards the pranksters?

I’m back with a review and one for a series that shook my ground hard earlier this year: Lovely Vicious, from the brilliant goddess Sara Wolf. This review is for the second book in the series, Forget Me Always, which I received from the Chapter by Chapter’s team in exchange for an honest review. As always, thanks so much!

As this is the second book in the series, you may want to read what I have to say about the first book before diving into this particular review =)

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Love Me Never (Lovely Vicious #1)

Ok, now we’re good to go!

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the story

There are really few things in the world able to ruin Isis Blake’s good moods. Being thrown to a wall and cracking her head open doesn’t even make her top 10 list – she’s doing very well, thank you very  much. She’s just afraid her fabulous brain will root in boredom at the hospital her doctor insists she needs.

One of the top 5 things that do bother Isis Blake is Jack Hunter. Apparently, they were epic enemies at the most awesome war the world has ever seen, but Isis is sure she would remember such a beautiful and insufferable guy. She would never ever forget the most awesome war the world has ever seen as well, as she for sure would be responsible for it. To make things worse, Sophia, her friend met at the hospital, insists Isis and Jack not only knew each other, but also had something together.

Isis would remember such life changing facts, wouldn’t she? Besides, how is it possible for the dragon to fall for the prince?

~*~

Jack Hunter cares about really few things in life. One of them is Isis Blake – in fact, she is the whole center of his existence since the Halloween Party they attended together, before Isis’ attack.

For the first time in a long while, all Jack wanted was to make things right. To have peace along the most fabulous and amazing girl he’d ever met. However, it seems it isn’t his fate to find happiness: he wasn’t fast enough. He couldn’t save Isis. And now he had lost her in the worst way possible: she’s right in front of him… and remembers nothing of his existence.

Isis Blake may be the one with the head cracked open, but Jack Hunter is the truly messed up one. And then there is Sophia, closer and closer to the truth about Jack’s feelings despite all his efforts to keep loving her and only her.

Another war begins and memories can prove to be the worst enemies of all times.

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the analysis

Just remembering those are my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

To be honest, when I opened my ebook for Forget Me Always, I was afraid. You see, Love Me Never is one of my best 2016 reads and I was truly scared to my bones not to have all the feels back in Forget Me Always. As soon as I started it, I smiled and all my worries were gone: Isis Blake, one of my best bookish friends forever, was back and even in better shape than before.

The relief was huge and I’m afraid I may have highlighted the whole book with fabulous quotes, dialogues and general life wisdom from both Isis and Jack. You can feel their growth between the books and how much life burdens them, we finally can feel how heavy Wolf’s themes truly are behind all the brilliant jokes and ingenious come backs. We finally start to have some concret answers and still, Wolf shatters our world with another cliff hanger at the end. SERIOUSLY WOMAN, WHY KEEP PLAYING MY HEART LIKE THIS IF YOU KNOW I’LL HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL MAY NOW TO FINISH THIS SERIES?!

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Overall, Forget Me Always has that feeling of déjà vu all over it – you kind of know what’s coming and it’s heavy, but you don’t quite believe it and it’s a shock to find out anyway. Plus, quotes even better than Love Me Never’s and omg answers, and trust me when I say we really needed those. So, all in all, five huge stars!!! ❤

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The narrative pace keeps fast and light despite all the dark themes and we are once again follow Isis and Jack’s points of view. The major change is that we see much more of Jack’s POV, as he isn’t a mystery anymore – he is just still part of a bigger one. I really liked to see more of him and understand his motives better, but nothing beats Isis Blake as a narrator – not even Integrity Aidar, I’m afraid. But I’ll get to this later, haha!

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The plot was twisted, but not highly complex. I was able to guess at many revelations and uncover some secrets way before they came, but the way Wolf tells you the story, she makes you feel genuinely surprised to see you were right or to watch as your own face collides with the floor. Seriously, this book is. All. The. Feels. I’m in love.

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As it happened with the first volume, the characters are the main attraction. Honestly, everyone is so complex! Not a single person here is only good or only bad – not even Avery, I guarantee you. Not even Isis. Everyone has a dark side, the difference is in how much and for how long they can hide it from society. Jack is the epitome of this case, as he looks like a cool and bored teen on the outside and almost has a case of double personality about him. Isis is his perfect match in more than one way, as she seems to be bubbly and obnoxious all the time when actually she has deeper scars on her heart that won’t never ever truly heal. Both of them show us there is never only one way out to cope with grief, with fear and despair. What you do and who you chose to be after your world shatters is what truly tells how strong you are and how strong you can become.

Now that I think about it, the whole purpose of the Lovely Vicious series is how your life choices impact on who you’ll be since your childhood; how there are things you will never be able to truly erase, no matter how much you try to set things right, how much you fight your demons and how much you run from life. Some things will always be a stain to your heart, to your head and your feelings, but it’s you who will decide how much you’ll stop living to keep suffering. Only you can truly free yourself.

Of course, having people to support you and to be there for you counts a lot. Seriously, sometimes it can be the difference between you keep breathing on a moment of weakness. But in the end of the day, no one else can decide how to live your own life: it’s up to you. And this is one of the scariest shits ever.

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Sorry, things got a little heavy here, haha! I think this book just hits too close from home and it makes me think so much about my own life choices, oops! I’ll stop with the motivational speech now and keep talking about Forget Me Always – I’ll leave the motivational stuff for Sarah, because if you want to talk about deep, real and serious human problems, that’s how you do it.

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Also, just out of curiosity, I heard a song yesterday while working that clicked in so nicely with this book I almost dropped all I was doing and started my reading session earlier, haha! I’m not sure how many of you are acquitted with the song Part II, from Paramore, but I promise it is the perfect soundtack to Forget Me Always ❤ To be honest, I’m really proud of myself for managing to stumble on find a perfect song for this book, as I rarely have this opportunity, haha! For the ones that don’t know this particular song or even this band, I question: where have you been on the late 2000’s? leave here the link to a lyric video for it I found at Youtube:

And, just to wrap up this review, as this is oh-so-long, I wanted to leave you with some wisdom from Sarah Wolf in Forget Me Always! (Meaning: QUOTES TIME!)

“(…) people keep asking [if you’re better] anyway because it’s how you show concern for someone you care about, I guess, but frankly a giant box of chocolate truffles and a reign over a small kingdom would be acceptable stand-ins.” – Isis

~*~

“Sniffing out tragedy is sort of my entire deal.” – Isis

~*~

“I mean, most things that pop into my head are really weird, like that one time when I thought about Shrek in Victoria’s Secret underwear, but I think this actually beats Shrek’s Secret.” – Isis

~*~

“He [Jack] must’ve done something really shitty if I pulled out the medieval terminology.” – Isis

~*~

“Some normalcy has to be put between the darkness and us. That’s how you get enough strength to face it.” – Isis

~*~

“He’s my dream man, right? So, if my dream man is someone who can never really exist, then he can’t hurt me. He can’t come up and make me fall in love with him and smash my heart.” – Isis

~*~

“[Jack] Probably got in a fight with the mirror when he saw it was prettier than him.” – Isis

~*~

“Ketchup is the great illusion. Only when you put barbecue sauce on your fries will you know truth and freedom” – Isis

~*~

And these winning dialogues:

Sophia: What are you thinking?

Isis: Deep, intense thoughts. So deep. At least two indie songs’ worth of deep.

~*~

Isis: Ah, look, never mind. It’s cool. You got some secrets, I got some secrets. Our secrets should get married and have babies. Platonically. Entirely platonic baby-making.

Wren: Is that…a thing?

~*~

Isis: How you’re doing, old pal?

Knife Guy: We’ve known each other five months.

Isis: Five months in dog years is like, ten years. We’re practically family.

Knife Guy: Are you crying?

Isis: What, this? Nah, just a piece of teen angst stuck in my eye. Nirvana would be proud.

~*~

Isis: Oh, I hate you so much.

Jack: Good. I prefer it to the silence.

~*~

Kayla: You can’t even say ‘dick’ without vomiting in your mouth a little. And sometimes on desks. And small children.

Isis: That was one time, and that kid totally walked into the flight path of my vomit. It’s not my fault if he had no grasp of liquid physics.

~*~

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Soo, wrapping things up really quick because EVERYTHING happened at this review: deep reflections, quotes, fangirlings, songs that fit books, omg! I’m so sorry to make you come all this way down, but I swear I’m done, haha! All is left to say is: if you like contemporary YA, strong characters, a touch of mystery and pop culture references all over, you need Lovely Vicious in your life and bookshelves!

5star

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Again, nice to see everyone again and let’s hope we meet more times per week from now on =) Love you, guys!

assinatura

 

 

 

 

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Black Water Tales: The Unwanted, from JeanNicole Rivers (Black Water Tales #2)

(Alternative title: HOLLY F*, THE CREEPS. ALL. OVER. THE. PLACE! =OOOOOO)

Hello to you that decided it was a good time to seat and read a review! Or not sit, but happily scroll down through your phone. Oh, well. Welcome to you, no matter if you are seated, on your feet or laid down. My only piece of advice before cutting the crap and start talking about today’s book is: do not read this with the lights off. You know, safety matters and all. Thanks!

Without further ado, today I took the day to review a DELICIOUS book that I received from the author in exchange for an honest review: Black Water Tales: The Unwated, from JeanNicole Rivers! Technically, this is the second book in the series, but they are totally unrelated to each other, so I will just treat is as a standalone 🙂 Thanks so much for sending me your book, JeanNicole! I don’t have the words to describe what it meant to me! Actually I kind of do, as I am writing all about my feels for the book as we speak, but never mind that.

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the story

Blaire Baker is one of those people who is in a serious need to find a purpose in life. Which better way than to volunteer herself to teach special children at a poor orphanage in eastern Europe? St. Sebastian sounds like the perfect place to escape her problems and make herself useful, maybe even changing some lives for good. Paired up with Travis, a funny and easy-going nurse on the same mission as her, Blaire heads to Borslav to start her life.

She knew not to expect a nice looking place or even healthy children, but nothing prepared Blaire to the eerie creeps that St. Sebastian gave her. She also wasn’t prepared to deal with emotionless and stoic children that couldn’t care less what happened around them. Or even to hear so many whispers about the basement.

As if caring for those lost children wasn’t already a big deal, Blaire also started to be haunted by her own past. She would have to fight her own demons before trying to dig up the mysteries around the night noises and voices of St. Sebastian.

The only question is… Will she survive long enough for that?

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the analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

DEAR HEAVENS, WHERE DO I BEGIN?! This book scared me on a whole new level. I admit not being an avid reader of terror books so far in my life, but NOT A SINGLE BOOK THAT CAME BEFORE THIS ONE WRACKED ME SO HARD! Nearing the end, I would shiver in broad daylight, with the sun on my back and many people around me, feeling utterly alone in the world. As I finished it on a very crowded subway station, I kept looking over my shoulder, being sure that ~something~ was watching for me, if you know what I mean. I only avoided a panic attack because I managed to run home and burn my energy. And when I say run, I mean it. I must have looked absolutely crazy, because I only stopped to cross streets and to enter my building… Oh well, it happens to the best of us. For all those sensations, that are priceless on their own twisted way, A MILLION STARTS FOR THIS BOOK!

The narrative had to be my favorite style: third person with switching points of view between Blaire and Travis. As both them are oblivious to the things that really happen at the orphanage, the narrative choice fit as a glove. Even when one of them discovered something else, we all kept in the dark (quite literally) about what was real and what was paranoid delusion. In the end of the book, I truly didn’t know any more if things were actually happening of if it was a glitch from one of their minds. Rivers plays with your mind that hard.

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The plot was all kinds of brilliant. I admit that the story starts off a little slow with Blaire going to Borslav with Travis, but as soon as they step on St. Sebastian for the first time, you are doomed. It’s a mix of morbid curiosity with pure agony that makes you go on. You want to see these poor children winning in life after so many problems. I have to also admit that I was actually cool in the scary side while I thought things were supernatural. While I thought that ghosts were behind the bad things and that was a simple matter of calling Sam and Dean, you know?

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I thought it would be the case of involving the Impala brothers 😛

 

However, Rivers played me like a puppet and laughed (metaphorically) at my face. No Sam and Dean were required and just like that my biggest fears came alive: REAL PEOPLE DOING NASTY THINGS. This is what truly scared the shit out of me and Rivers had me at my fear of real people. Well played, Rivers. Well played indeed.

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Ok, focus. Now we have characters. Oh, the characters. I was soooo in love with Blaire and Travis once that I got to know them! What I really liked about this book is that the author didn’t push the romance – no, it’s all about the mystery and remaining true to yourself. Despite some facts, it would have been really easy to turn Travis and Blaire into a couple and I am so proud of Rivers for not falling into that trap ❤ From the bottom of my heart: THANK YOU!

What I really love about Black Water Tales: The Unwanted is that every character has a shady edge, even the children and St. Sebastian building. By the way, the building pulses with life, which is so freaking odd and creepy. I love decadent places, but I doubt I would have the courage to enter St. Sebastian.

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The only complaint that I have is that I ended the book without many vital details. I felt more tying up right before the end and I doubt that the next instalment of this series will also be in Borslav, so it is a bit disappointing. I only overlooked this on my rating because all the rest is SO FREAKING AMAZING that I could deal with some plot holes, haha!

I think I have already went on too much today, so let me just wrap things up by saying that if you love mystery and terror, you simply have to read this book asap. After that, message me for us to fangirl about it together, please! =D

5star

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Thanks for reading another unnecessary long and fangirling review, you rock if you reached the bottom of my post! Also, another round of thank-yous for JeanNicole herself for being incredible in both writing this masterpiece and sending it my way ❤ ❤ I loved this experience! But of course you couldn’t tell by this review. #sarcasm

Love you all and see you again any other time,

assinatura

Maisy and the Money Marauder, from Elizabeth Woodrum (The Maisy Files #2)

(Alternative title: oh dear, how I love clever children’s books <3)

Hello, hello 🙂 How’s everyone weekend went? Mine was really lazy, full of Ever After High, cleaning, laundry and reading. Not that you need to know any of that, oops 😛 Sorry, haha! Anyway, continuing on that plan of reviewing all the books I’ve read so far, today I’ll talk about one that I received from Lola’s Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review 🙂 Thanks a lot!

Without anymore suspense, let’s talk about Maisy and the Money Marauder, the second volume of The Maisy File series, from Elizabeth Woodrum =D Oh, if you would like to read my review for the first book before starting this one, be our guest!

Maisy and the Missing Mice (The Maisy Files #1)

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summary

Everyone’s favorite fourth-grade detective is back!

Maisy steps back into her black and white mystery world when someone begins stealing lunch money at West Valley Elementary. With her fedora hat, notebook, and a little help from her best friend, Maisy follows the clues to catch the thief, whom she names The Money Marauder. But, as the case develops, Maisy is stumped by the ever growing list of suspects. With a cherry lollipop in hand, Maisy is determined to solve the case. Follow Maisy into her world of mystery and discover the identity of The Money Marauder.

the analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

The Maisy Files is one of those series in which each book gets better than the last. I enjoyed this volume way better than the last, as Maisy is even more clever and good humored. Also, we get to know the people around her more and her best friend, Veronica, starts working on cases with her. It was really good and entertaining, a perfect read not only for preteens, but for everyone 🙂 Five stars!

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Maisy and the Money Marauder follows the narrative style from the last volume: third person styled, from Maisy’s point of view. Woodrum’s writing style improved a lot without losing its appeal to children. With a simple vocabulary and cute lessons, it stole my heart, haha!

The plot is still very simple, don’t start reading it expecting a clever mystery, but it was nice to see Maisy asking Veronica for help and to lead an investigation with the help of her friends. Also, Woodrum never writes a book with only one problem for Maisy to solve, which is awesome.

On characters’ matters, it was good to see how Maisy got better as a detective and to know more about the people around her. I liked the time we pass with Veronica, as she is really a child in the good sense of that: she makes jokes, she gets nervous for no reason while investigating, everything. She balances Maisy’s mature nature 🙂

On a bonus point, I learned the meaning of the word “marauder”, which I didn’t know before reading this book, haha! The perks of not being a native English speaker is to still be amazed at some word or another as you read =D

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me reading and finding unknown words

 

Anyway, if you are searching for a good children’s book for any reason, pick up this series. It’s perfect ❤

5star

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And yes, you are not delirious, this is the end of this review 🙂 Pretty short by my standards, I know, but I’m trying to be more objective on reviews, haha! Which totally didn’t work on my last ones, but I won’t give up. Thanks to you for reading this review and following the blog, always supporting me, no matter how erratic or annoying I am and thanks again to Lola’s Blog Tours for my copies of The Maisy Files series! ❤ I loved reading it!

Love you all and see you on the other side,

assinatura

BLOG TOUR: Welcome to Sortilege Falls, by Libby Heily

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Hello, there! It’s time for another piece of bookish news – Mondays are usually so busy, haha! YA Bound Book Tours prepared a tour for Welcome to Sortilege Falls, by Libby Heily 🙂

Welcome to Sortilege Falls cover

Welcome to Sortilege Falls
by Libby Heily
Genre: YA Magical Mystery
Release Date: June 12th, 2016
Fire & Ice Young Adult Books

summary

Sixteen-year-old Grape Merriweather has just moved to Sortilege Falls and already she knows something isn’t right. A small pack of teenage models, too beautiful for words, holds the town in their sway. The models have no plans on making Grape’s life easy. But no matter how cruel they are to Grape and the other “Normals”, no one can stay angry with them for long.

Grape’s life changes for the better, or so she thinks, when Mandy, the only “nice” model, befriends her. But that’s when the trouble truly begins. Mandy’s friendship places Grape smack in the middle of a medical mystery that has the entire town on edge. One by one, the models fall ill from an incurable disease. Grape quickly realizes that the models’ parents are hiding a secret, even as they watch their children die. To save her only friend, Grape will have to find the truth–and that means putting her life in danger.

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purchase links

You can find Welcome to Sortilege Falls in ebook only 🙂

AmazonBarnes & NobleiTunesKoboSmashwords

excerpt

“Gross.” Books, notebooks, trash, and candy wrappers littered the lower half of the locker.

A wet, bored voice said from behind her, “Your rose is dripping on my books.”

Grape turned to find a pudgy girl with a loose brown ponytail standing mere inches away. The girl blinked at Grape through pink, plastic framed glasses as she continued sucking on her candy necklace.

“Sorry,” Grape said, not exactly sure what the girl was talking about. “I guess you’re my locker-mate?”

The girl slurped on her necklace, her bland expression not changing. “Guess so.”

“I’m Grape Merriweather.”

Grape extended her hand to her new locker-mate, but the girl only looked back at her suspiciously.

“Is that a stage name?”

“No. Why do people keep asking me that? It’s just my name.”

“Good. Not sure I’d want to be locker-mates with a Model.”

“Do you think I could be a model?” Grape asked, running her hand over her flat tummy. She knew she didn’t need to lose weight.

The girl shrugged. “Sure, but what do I know?”

“Sorry, I didn’t catch your name.” She’d heard her mother use that line tons of times when she met someone new.

“Patience.”

“My bad. I didn’t know I was rushing anything.”

The girl slipped another piece of necklace into her mouth. “No, that’s my name,” she said, smacking her lips around the candy.

“Oh. Well, nice to meet you.”

“Did you read the note yet?”

“What note?” Grape looked back at the locker, and sure enough, a blood-drenched rose sat on the top shelf of the locker, red goop dripping onto the books below. Just when she thought the locker couldn’t get any worse. “Ewwww. Is that yours?”

Patience snorted. “Why would I have a blood-soaked rose?”Why would anyone?

“The note has your name on it,” Patience said, loading another piece of candy necklace into her mouth.

So it did.

“Sorry about this.” Great, now her locker-mate would think she was a freak. No one in this school was ever going to like her.

Grape reached into her book bag and ripped a few sheets out of her notebook. She bunched the pages up in her hand and used the paper glove to grab the rose. Drops of ruby-red blood splashed on the ground as she pulled out the flower. Grape stared down at the note attached to it but didn’t want to pull it off without some sort of protection, and she’d only made one paper glove.

“What are you waiting for?” Patience grabbed the note. “It’s probably just pig’s blood.” Her words came out slurred around the mouthful of necklace.

Grape’s stomach lurched as her locker-mate peeled apart the sticky pages, little strings of blood spreading and breaking as she did so.

The girl gave a crooked smile, revealing teeth that were too white for someone who ate so much candy. “It’s from Graeson. He says sorry about last night.”

“Thanks.” Grape tried to offer Patience a smile, even though looking at her blood-covered hands left her nauseated. “Can I see?”

Patience held the note out to Grape. Thick black curlicues covered the page between red, gooey splotches.

“Grape Merriweather, so sorry about last night. Will you be my Queen of Darkness? Yours Darkly, Graeson.”

Grape dodged across the hall to throw the rose and paper glove away. Her breakfast threatened to come up when she returned to find Patience licking the blood off her fingertips.

“Hey, don’t do that.” She grabbed for her locker-mate’s hands. A list of blood-borne pathogens, mostly made up, ran through her head.

Patience sidestepped with surprising speed. Grape lost her balance and nearly fell into her locker, catching herself at the last second.

“Not pig’s blood.” Patience sounded bored, as if she licked blood from her fingers every day. “It’s corn syrup. Good stuff, but I’m not a fan of red dye.” She turned back to the locker and began digging out a notebook that lay buried under a mound of trash.

“Corn syrup?”

“Yep, super sweet. Want some?” Patience turned to offer Grape an unlicked portion of her hand.

“I’m good. Thanks.”

the author

I was born during a blizzard. I’m told it was pretty cool, but I have no memory of that time. I grew up in two tiny towns in Virginia and spent most of my twenties moving around the US. I’ve lived in Virginia, Florida, Missouri, and Washington. I’ve settled down, for now, in Raleigh, North Carolina.

I’m a writer and improviser. I studied acting in college but spent more time rewriting lines than memorizing them. My first play, Fourth Wall, was produced my junior year. Since then, I’ve written several full length plays, one acts, and screenplays. I started writing fiction in my late twenties. Now, I focus mainly on novels but still dabble in theater.
Fun facts about me: There are none. I’m sorry to disappoint you so soon. But, I do love to read, write, and run. My hubby is my favorite person on earth. Dogs are my second favorite. All dogs. Know that. I love orange juice, especially when it’s mixed with club soda. Carbonation is better than alcohol. Jaws is my favorite movie. Everything I’ve said so far is true.

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 giveaway

One lucky INTERNATIONAL winner will take home a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

To enter, just click here and good luck: GIVEAWAY!

That’s it, thanks for reading!

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 YA Bounk Tour Button

Threshold, from Jordan L. Hawk (Whyborne & Griffin #2)

Hello, good night! Once upon a time, in last April, Jess, from the Mud and Stars, I read Threshold, the second book in the Whyborne & Griffin series, by brilliant Jordan L. Hawk and only now I realized that I never posted my review for it. I’m a lost cause, seriously, haha! Anyway, better late than never, so here we go!

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the story

Whyborne has all the reasons to be happy. He’s been living with his lover, Griffin, for a while now in blissful peace. That is, until his fox of a father hires Griffin to investigate strange events on one of his coal mines, located at Threshold Mountain.

As strange happenings have been reported with a high frequency lately, Whyborne decides to accompany Griffin on the investigation and his best friend, Christine, decides to just the same. After a huge finding at Egypt, the archeologist has a great deal of paperwork and any excuse to avoid it sounds great.

As if fatal accidents, disappearances and hushed secrets weren’t enough to creep Whyborne out, he finds out that a former work colleague of Griffin is also working on the city. Elliot wasn’t simply beautiful, good humored and smart: he also had to be Griffin’s ex-lover.

Things are looking great already.

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the analysis

Just remembering that those are my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

As if it was possible to not like anything that Jordan writes, haha! I loved Threshold even more that the first book! It was darker, funnier, sexier and totally swoon worth *–* Whyborne once again made his way into my heart and the mystery always drove me nuts! Seriously, just five stars aren’t enough!

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The narrative was once again first person styled, from Whyborne’s point of view. I really love his as a narrator, so I didn’t even bat an eyelash to this aspect, haha! Also, I really think that first person works well in mystery books – assuming that everything will be revealed in the end to the reader, of course!

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The plot was complex and had many mysteries to keep the reader guessing. From the moment that Whyborne, Griffin and Christine left Widdershins, the roller coaster had only one way: down. I was surprised to find a way more darker and creepier atmosphere in Threshold than on the previous book. Hawk’s writing also was fantastic and somehow even better ❤ Seriously, this whole book is too good!

The characters were once again so lively and real that I wanted to hug them! Whyborne grew up so much in this book, even more than he did in the last. Griffin also evolved a lot and now I’m more sure that he loves Whyborne just as much as Whyborne loves him. I often felt like it was a one sided relationship, but it was awesome to be wrong, haha!

Also, Christine was seriously badass and made all the males in this book – Whyborne and Griffin included – look like whining slackers, haha! The woman can shoot like a damn soldier =O And was the reason behind many of my our loud laughs while reading Threshold, haha!

Once again, I can’t say a thing about villains and culprits as to not spoiler the book, but know this: YOU WON’T SEE IT COMING AND EVEN AFTER IT DOES COME, YOU WILL KEEP WONDERING HOW IT WAS POSSIBLE!

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Now let’s get serious for a moment. I need to highlight the amazing historical research behind this book. Hawk describe the life on the mines in the end of the 19th century so vividly and accurately that my heart clenched. Being a History nuts, I had already made some previous research on miners lives in that time and it is not pretty. Hawk didn’t glamour up anything in the experience, but also didn’t bet on the melodramatic. Her tone is one of conformity while facing one more awful thing engraved on Human’s History and I thought it very appropriated. We can’t deny it happened, we don’t need to make a scene because it happened. We acknowledge and keep going.

Another highlight were the sex scenes. OMG IT WAS HOT! I loved every second of them and I love how Hawk doesn’t abuse on hot scenes to keep her reader interested 🙂

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Oh, and I brought some of the best quotes of the book for you to understand why you NEED this series on your life:

“A great deal of whiskey had been consumed, and I wondered what Father would think if he knew how his money was being spent. Actually, never mind. If he knew I’d spent the night surrounded by female prostitutes, he’d probably consider it a sign of improvement.” – Whyborne

~*~

“If you find you need anyone shot, send word and I’ll come at once.” – Christine

~*~

“Please stop reading the licentious affairs of others and return to the task at hand.” – Griffin

~*~

“I’d managed to disappoint everyone among the living, so I might as well start adding the dead to the list.” – Whyborne

~*~

And this killer dialogue:

Whyborne: “My dearest pudding pie,” I read aloud.

Griffin: Yes, my little turnip?

Whyborne: Hilarious. If you ever call me anything of the sort again, we shall have words.

~*~

I told you that you needed Whyborne & Griffin in your life ❤

Overall, if you like paranormal, mystery, historical and gay romance, stop sitting or standing there reading this review and come join me on the fandom army of Whyborne & Griffin!

5star

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Thanks for reading my review and a special thanks to Jess for indulging me on book club and bearing with me on diet-coke-drunk nights and a high amount of fangirling over those boys, haha! Love you, Jess!

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Keeper of Pleas, by Annelie Wendeberg

Hi, there! Good afternoon, hope you’re having a wonderful Saturday so far! I’m here today to talk about my last finished book: Keeper of Pleas, by wonderful Annelie Wendeberg. She was awesome and great and sent me a review copy, but my cold got me a week later in finishing it 😦 Anyway, better late than never, right? Haha! Thanks again, Annelie!! What a mystery!!

keeper of pleas
from my Instagram 🙂

the story

December, 1880.

Coroner Sévère gets himself into one of the most macabre cases of his career when nine corpses are discovered by chance in England. The macabre part? All are newborns with obvious signs of violent deaths.

The mystery gets bigger when the mortician responsible for the bodies goes missing and it’s found dead in the Thames. What at first seemed two very distinct cases without any relation between themselves soon get trickier.

To be exact, everything gets set into motion in the second Sévère steps on Miss Mary’s room. Both found their fighting matches. Who shall be the winner? Who shall solve the mystery?

Who shall be the surviviour?

the analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

I was beyond excited when Annelie send me her new book. I already explained how her work was a key piece for me to pick up more books for reading in this post, so I’ll skip that part, haha! But seriously, she never seizes to stop impressing me. Even though I had some problems with this book – especially in the beginning, as it all sounded so confusing – but as soon as I got my mind together, I flew through it. Who did it? Why? Will it happen again?

I found myself lost in a very vivid and alive London in the 19th century, running along Sévère and Mary to find answers and see who would win their private social war. This was a first class mystery that made me grab my seat and have a very intense ride. I only took a star off because of the confusing beginning and because I was bothered by most of the sex scenes. I understand what Annelie did, animalizing things on purpose and I think it was necessary in many points, but I shivered a lot, haha! Four proud stars 🙂

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The narrative style was third person with alternating points of view between several characters and that was what made me so confused in the beginning. You see, I have a very shitty memory and am particular awful with names. Sometimes, I finish books without being sure of the characters’ names, especially if they are first person narrated. However, in Keeper of Pleas’ case, it went beyond that. The mystery dominates the pages since the first line and we didn’t know whose point of view we were reading until the middle or end of it :/

I have to say that, after my brain was able to process the beginning and understand who were the protagonists (yes, you read it right, unfortunately), I dived head first in this 19th century London. Every corner hid more mystery and every answer raised even more questions. IT WAS SO COOL AND AWESOME!

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Wendeberg writing style is impeccable. She makes everything so human, so real that I felt like being physically sucked to my iPad’s insides were starting to sound like a possibility. Several times I had to force my eyes out of the screen and take a deep breath, study my surroundings and make sure I was still on 21th century before resuming my read. Wendeberg truly wraps her reader into the story.

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The plot was complex, intricate and I didn’t know who had done it until the last second, always second guessing every witness, every clue, every evidence. I JUST NEEDED TO KNOW WHO DID IT! And even after it was revealed, I didn’t know if I could trust if it was the real deal or not, haha! Seriously, I was a goner for Keeper of Pleas. The elements entwined won me over – London, 19th century, mystery, thriller, the macabre, the action, the romance. I’m pretty sure this simply wasn’t that perfect for me because Sévère was straight, haha!

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Anyway, let’s talk a bit about characters now. Wendeberg’s construction was impeccable, I haven’t a word against her. Every character was remarkable in a subtle way, all so painfully human in their qualities and faults. The relationships were also built very well and she makes a point of expressing how it was all about the lust between Sévère and Mary at first and how they took their time building trust. To be honest, I still don’t know if they ever really loved each other and the end of the book doesn’t help matters, haha! Don’t worry, I wont’t spoil anything, but brace yourself for several bombs to fall off your head, haha!

Keeper of Pleas left me breathless, confused and in a severe (haha) need of a hug, so I think it’s safe to say that Wendeberg slayed it once again 🙂 If you enjoy good mystery, thrillers, intellectual wars and face-slapping ends, you need to stop everything and get yourself a copy of Keeper of Pleas *–*

4star

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Thanks so much for reading my review! Also, thanks again for the book, Annelie! I’m delighted to have read another book from you and Keeper of Pleas was SUCH A RIDE, haha! ❤

Do you guys like books that make you second guess everything all the time? 🙂

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NEW BOOK ALERT: Keeper of Pleas, by A. Wendeberg

Hi, there! Welcome to one of those serendipity moments that I have here and there to discover new book birthdays all by myself, haha!

Today is the release day of Keeper of Pleas, by Annelie Wendeberg, also credited as A. Wendeberg! ❤

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from my Instagram 🙂

summary

On December 10, 1880, Coroner Sévère makes a gruesome discovery: nine newborns, buried in flowerpots, and hidden in plain sight in Whitechapel. A mortician receives the bodies and vanishes. Clues for the two seemingly unconnected cases are scarce.

When police and coroner learn that the missing mortician might have spent his last moments at the bosom of the infamous prostitute Miss Mary, a series of events is nudged into motion. Lies are unearthed, rumours spread. Yet, the killer remains a faceless phantom.

His secret seems buried forever.

Until the night Sévère requests Miss Mary’s services…

Warning: Post-mortems and prostitution are shown unprettified.

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You must be wondering why is this book relevant to me, right? Well played, dear friend. Well played. You may want to sit, it’s story time.

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As soon as I started my Journalism major in 2012, I started to read ebooks. One of my first ebooks was this freebie that I got at iBooks called The Devil’s Grin, first in the Anna Kronberg Thriller series. It was a Sherlock Holmes adaptation and IT WAS AWESOME! I loved it to the core and that was one of the books that made me really take an interest in ebooks – before that, I’d only buy or download an ebook on my phone if it was a gay romance, haha! Annelise, dear, you are a lost cause.

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Anyway, the time has passed and I unfortunately never had the opportunity of finishing the Anna Kronberg Thriller series, but I did find Annelie again online and started to follow her on Instagram and subscribed to her newsletter. AND GUESS WHAT?! Some days ago, she sent me Keeper of Pleas in exchange for an honest review!!! *—*

No need to say how incredible happy I was, right? Thanks again for the honor, Annelie!!

[Update: you can read my review for Keeper of Pleas here! 🙂 ]

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Story time is over, thanks for your audience, haha!

purchase links

You can find Keeper of Pleas in both ebook and paperback formats! If you look for the paperback, go to Barnes & Noble 🙂

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes Store

the author

Way back then: Grew up at butt-end of the World, also called “small East German village”, total loser at school, then went out with little hammer & little chisel to help tear down the Berlin wall. End of communism resulted in beginning of creative freedom. Best thing ever, even learned something in school. Somehow ended up at university, studied biology, graduated, went with ship across the Atlantic (marine biology, yay!), chucked 20.000€ worth of sampling equipment into deep sea (hauled it up again, phew!), got some price fellowship from Caltech without realising they hand out only one per year, returned to Germany two years later.

Some time in the middle: Adjunct professor in environmental microbiology; blogger for Nature and Spektrum der Wissenschaft.

Right now: Scribbler of Things (which somehow resulted in an award and 4 countries picking up my work for translation), workshop giver on Creative Science Writing, editor (e.g  “The Remedy” by Thomas Goetz, Penguin/Gotham), cover designer, mentor for the Afghan Women Writing Project, house-fixer-upper, veggie-grower, cheese-maker, and typo-producer.

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

That’s it, guys! I hope I haven’t bored you too much 🙂 If you like Victorian era, mystery and thrillers, you need Annelie’s books in your book shelves, whether they are physical or digital ❤

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