Just For Fun · Random Musings

What Makes Me DNF A Book?

I, unlike a lot of friends of mine, DNF books I can’t handle.

I know, sometimes the book turns around in the last and actually surprises you, I get it. But in my opinion life is too short to read books you’re just not into.

Whether it’s content or the way it’s written, many things can cause people to stop reading. It’s why books are so subjective. Not everyone likes the same TV shows either. For instance *prepares for barrage of stones* I don’t like Game of Thrones.

But what are the particular things which make me so uninspired I choose to stop reading?

Read on, if you care.

  • Writing style.

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This is a biggie. A lot of the time I view writing as a rhythm. Sometimes, particular writers have a sort of style I need to read a few chapters to get into, like a song you need to listen to a couple of times to truly enjoy or understand.

Case in point for me – Uptown Funk.

Once I understand the rhythm I can enjoy a book no end. But a few writers I’ve read and either DNF’d or come close to abandoning, have a very staccato style of writing and it throws me off. Terry Pratchett is world renowned for his humour and writing style, but I’m not a fan unfortunately. I couldn’t ever wrap my head around what he was trying to say and the flow of the writing always felt disjointed to me.

It’s the same when some writers are very to-the-point with the writing, it becomes less of a flow and more of a play-by-play. So… I like it lyrical, not too jumpy, but also not too lyrical.

If you tell me each leaf colour I’m going to scream.

  • Characters.

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Whether it’s acting out of character, doing Dumb Shit, or simply skimming the surface of what could be an interesting personality, I stay with books for characters. Even if nothing much happens dramatically, if there’s characters rich with personality and voice, I’ll stay.

Of course there are some exceptions – if the MC is far too whingy or weak or just not my kinda person, I usually read on for the side characters but there are some times where everyone is on the same level of either one-dimensional or nasty personalities, or a combination of that and the first reason, then… yeah. It’s annoying.

  • No plot. At all.

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I am a fan of character-driven novels, but if all you’re doing is having characters talk to each other and nothing else? If your story is just a romance of will they won’t they dragged out over 270 pages and the only thing that happens is she goes shopping?

I will be bored. I’ll be more than bored, actually, I’ll have closed the book and be running around the garden singing songs.

Slow pacing is fine a lot of the time done well, but if there is NO ACTION at all I will be asleep with the book for a pillow.

  • INSTA LOVE.

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I get it, especially in YA, that hormones can make you lust after someone. Again in YA, teenagers can say they love someone after an hour. I know I felt really connected to people when I was 17 and formed a very intense, hormonal bond.

HOWEVER, I’m sick of the image of teens who would readily die for someone because of insta-love after 2 days. I’m sure some teens feel so deeply they would, but there are some teens who wouldn’t really believe it as a be-all end-all. I think it sometimes does teens a disservice to imagine that they’d blindly follow someone they love just because they love them.

Like, yeah love is blind sometimes but does it always have to be damaging characters? Follow me off a cliff or else? Psh.

  • The One Mistake Of Death

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Everyone: Feyre, no!

Feyre: Feyre, yes.

You know, when someone is told 100x NOT to do something and they do it anyway? Without remorse? Or second guessing?

I will put the book down, heave a huge sigh, and may or may not pick it up again. IF they go against someone’s advice who knows better, and the character KNOWS they know better, at least give them a fucking good reason to defy that advice. Not just “because I must!”.

What are your dealbreakers for novels?

7 Sins Saturday · Just For Fun · Random Musings

Seven Sins Saturday – 7 Authors I’ve Never Read – But Maybe Should

Any of the Bronte sisters

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I’ve heard Wuthering Heights is a big complicated mess of ugly personality characters, and I don’t even know the plot of Jane Eyre – but they’re classic British female writers from t’north of England so I feel I owe it to them, as a British female writer from t’north, to go back and actually read some of their novels.

John Green

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Ok so recently I bought The Fault In Our Stars at a charity shop, and maybe like a week later everyone was screaming because of the recent news he’s got a new book coming out. I’ve heard bits and pieces about John Green which may or may not be entirely favourable, from personal conduct to quality of stories, but he’s such a big presence in YA I have to at least read something from him.

Roxane Gay

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I read a teeny excerpt in one of those “books coming out in June” or whatever things and I enjoyed it, but I haven’t ever read a book from her. I know she’s an incredibly influential writer, and her stark observations on modern day women and the situations surrounding them are second to none. I’m actually excited to read from her.

Margaret Atwood

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YAS MY FELLOW SCORPIO LADY! The Handmaid’s Tale is EVERYWHERE right now and I keep hearing how Margaret is exceptional with her storytelling. I feel so guilty I haven’t read anything from her. I will amend, I will amend.

Ursula Le Guin

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ANOTHER FELLOW SCORPIO. Maybe I should do a list of Scorpios. SFF Queen. Duchess. Whatever. I need to read her books, because she genuinely seemed ahead of her time and absolutely breakthrough in terms of storytelling and subject matter. I’ll actually look for a book RIGHT NOW.

Robin Hobb

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……that’s a lot of books. Queen of Fantasy, yeah? Forshame that I haven’t read any of her books! I think it’s a distilled need in me to avoid her novels, simply because when I was a kid I skimmed the blurb of her books in the library and didn’t really ‘get it’. I’ve still had no real interest to delve in to a fantasy world – adult fantasy worlds always seem so bloody complicated to get into – but I will definitely have to try and sample some of her work soon.

Terry Pratchett

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Holy heck. Now I may have told a teeny lie here – I have actually read some of him, mostly in Good Omens which he co-wrote with Neil Gaiman. The only thing is, I found Pratchett’s chapters almost unbearable to get through not because the writing or plot was bad, but because the rhythm was so staccato. It didn’t flow, it jarred me out of the story, and I couldn’t relate to the characters. It was the same when I read the first few pages of a Discworld novel I can’t remember, and the footnotes at the time weren’t cute or funny, it was more like an essay. I will try him again one time, but my previous experience has kinda put me off.

What about you guys? Any recs from these authors, or any ‘classics’ you need to read?

Book Things · JadeWantsThis · Just For Fun

The Raven Cycle is getting a TV SERIES!

In a break from your scheduled (somewhat) sensible book reviews, I bring you this fangasm bulletin –

Yesterday, the 10th April 2017, was an absolutely amazing day of geek news. From Leigh Bardugo’s new book cover, to the new Thor: Ragnarok trailer, it was full of reasons to be cheerful.

But the biggest thing for me was the news The Raven Cycle is going to BE ON TV.

Now of course, there’s concern in the fan community that casting has to be PERFECT and that in itself causes problems because it’s well known that nobody ever reads the same book. Everyone has their different interpretations. Some fans want Ronan Lynch to be black, while some see him as ice-cream-white Irish. To be honest? So long as the spirit of him doesn’t get squashed (SQUASH ONE) I don’t actually care which actor gets the honour of playing my angry baby.

I see Blue and Maura Sargent as WOC and would love for that to be represented, while Jimi and Calla are their WOC wonderful selves. Persephone is white enough to be like the moon.

SO WHAT AM I EXCITED ABOUT MOST?! LET ME SEE…

  • CABESWATER.
  • PYNCH SLOW BURN ROMANCE
  • GANSEY FRIGGIN’…. KING OF LEY LINE NERDS
  • 300 FOX WAY. 300. FOX. WAY.
  • DREAM THIEVES, DUDE!
  • OMG AND WHAT ABOUT THE GREY MAN?!
  • NOAH BETTER GET THE TREATMENT HE DESERVES, MY FLOWER, MY LOVE
  • CALLA – OH MY GORGEOUS VIPER
  • AAAAALL THE ACCENTS
  • KERAH

So yeah, while American Gods has me raising an eyebrow because I’m not sure that (personally) it reflects the feel of the book, I have faith this one will. Because MOOD. ATMOSPHERE. THESE BOOKS HAVE IT.

SQUEAL WITH ME

authors · Blog Tours · Book Things · Just For Fun · NetGalley · publishing

SPOTLIGHT on THE CASTAWAYS by Jessika Fleck

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THE CASTAWAYS is released TODAY! And I’m lucky enough to be part of the Blog Tour, with a special spotlight post and giveaway where you can win some cool swag (or an Amazon gift card, if you’re international ie: not the US of A)

The Castaway Carnival: fun, mysterious, dangerous. Renowned for its infamous corn maze…and the kids who go missing in it.

When Olive runs into the maze, she wakes up on an isolated and undetectable island where a decades-long war between two factions of rival teens is in full swing. Trapped, Olive must slowly attempt to win each of her new comrades’ hearts as Will—their mysterious, stoically quiet, and handsome leader—steals hers.

Olive is only sure about one thing: her troop consists of the good guys, and she’ll do whatever it takes to help them win the war and get back home. But victory may require more betrayal, sacrifice, and heartbreak than she’s ready for.

I already received an e-ARC of this via NetGalley, which I’m super stoked to read. The review will be up very shortly.

In the mean time, we have an excerpt of the book to whet your appetite!

But everything’s clear. I do know where to go. “I’m going to find that boulder—” I suck in shallow breath. “The…hhh…maze.”
“It’s no use. We’ve tried everything. It doesn’t work! Wait!”
But I’m not listening because it has to work. It’s the only way. If it got me in, it’ll get me back out.
I run until my body, my mind, and, mostly, my lungs give up. Because, problem is, Will’s right. I don’t know how to find it.
I stop.
Will stops.
Bent at the waist, hands on my knees, I cough and spew, trying to catch my breath. The hyperventilation has passed, but my insistence on sprinting like I’m a track star when my lungs and legs have no business running, has taken its toll.
I look up.
Will isn’t fazed. At some point he took off his shirt and now stands with his hands on his hips, chest rising and falling, barely winded. His abs flex with each effortless breath. “Get it out of your system?”
It’s when my stomach springs that I realize I’m staring at his body. I quickly glance away and completely ignore his question. “Take me there.”
“I told you. It’s no use.”
“Please,” I whimper. Tears race down my face.
Tucking his T-shirt into the back of his pants, Will walks in another direction.
“Where are you going?”
“I’m taking you. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
With Will now leading the way, I watch his suntanned back, the sweat beading at his shoulders and slowly, one by one, how the beads roll down the center crease. I’m in a daze or a haze or a trance because all I see is his back, his muscles contracting and tightening with each step, and, like magic, we’re there.
The mossy boulder stands before us and, I swear, it mocks me in all its ordinary, commonplace glory.

….so I may already have a thing for Will, FYI.

To partake in the giveaway (I love the word partake, makes me feel authentically Austen) click on this link HERE – because WordPress doesn’t like hosting Rafflecopters, so I need to link externally for those.

All the links you need to find out more and buy THE CASTWAYS is right here:

Goodreads Book Link: http://bit.ly/2mq9DXV

Amazon Buy Link:  http://amzn.to/2nCN0QW

Barnes & Noble Buy Link:  http://bit.ly/2nlhFXc

iBooks Buy Link: http://apple.co/2mpZR9j

Kobo Buy Link: http://bit.ly/2mH9xNu

Amazon.co.uk: http://amzn.to/2nCCedv

Amazon.ca: http://amzn.to/2lYhctP

About the Author:
JessicaJessika Fleck is an author, unapologetic coffee drinker, and knitter — she sincerely hopes to one day discover a way to do all three at once. Until then, she continues collecting vintage typewriters and hourglasses, dreaming of an Ireland getaway, and convincing her husband they NEED more kittens. Her work verges on fantastical and dark with a touch of realism. She is a regular contributor to the fantastic kidlit blog, Kidliterati, and is represented by Victoria Marini of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency.

You can catch up with Jessika on her Website or her Twitter (click to open new tab)

Follow the rest of the tour here!: http://blogtours.yareads.com/2017/03/17/blog-tour-sign-ups-castaways-jessika-fleck/

Just For Fun · Top 5 Wednesday

#T5W – Favorite Science Fiction & Fantasy Books

In collaboration with the BooktubeSFF Awards, talk about your favorite science fiction and fantasy books of all time!

THIS IS VERY DIFFICULT.

Fantasy and Science Fiction are genres I practically live in and have done since I was little. All the books I’ve read aren’t even on Goodreads, because I have a terrible memory and Goodreads didn’t exist when I was growing up. Hell, the internet didn’t even exist for most of my childhood! (I KNOW! I’m that old!)

I am going to collectively ignore Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, because I think that’s a given in most people’s lists. Both were incredibly valuable to me during my first stint with depression as a teenager, so I will be forever thankful to them. But I wanted to take people out of that typical list, and go with something maybe a little different.

So without further ado, here follows a top 5 list of Sci Fi and Fantasy books – which may change in the next 4 years or so but we’ll see.

images5. The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet

This isn’t your typical sci-fi in that it’s not got a lot of swashbuckling action, or aliens being evil, or anything like Star Wars or Star Trek or anything Starry. It’s a much more intricate character study of the lives aboard the Wayfarer ship, where they create wormholes and portals and generally encounter this expansive Universe of glory. Do they get in trouble? Yeah, a fair amount. But it’s more about the intimate setting and the characters, and how they interact with each other.

I was extremely impressed at how well the alien races were devised, and portrayed. And through the small revelations of each character’s personal story arc, I found myself wanting to be around them. Kizzy ❤ My darling.

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4. A Gathering of Shadows

The Second book in the Shades of Magic series in which I adore Holland (my green eyed lovely), fall deeper for Kell (you gorgeous soul) and absolutely ADORE Rhy.

This is also the book where I still liked Alucard (no spoilers, but my viewpoint of him changed as the series went on and I just thought he was a bit of a prick who didn’t deserve Rhy). Usually sequels are rough, hard to navigate places where things can trip you up, but having got to know the characters in Book 1, I found this book so easy to read I ploughed through it, it was exciting, I loved it, and yeah. I would read this over and over.

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3. Six of Crows

I suspect there’ll be many lists with this book on it.

Kaz Brekker is, hands down, one of my favourite literary characters. I suspect I have a ‘thing’ for morally grey characters whose intentions are unknown and who have a dark, twisty past, and in any other story would be the villain 100% – Ronan Lynch, Snape, Holland, that sort of thing. But this book has real heart, a pulse beating through it so much I could see Ketterdam and smell it.

The fact it’s a heist in a fantasy world, with Grisha, and Jesper, and Wylan, and the fierce women Inej and Nina who I want to hang out with… I like cast books, clearly, with strong characters. And this had it all.

 

2. The Raven Cycle (ha! cheating)

Now, let me say I’m in the middle of Blue Lily, Lily Blue, and unless the Raven King completely backtracks on everything and kind of goes “SYKE! IT WAS ALL A DREAM!” I have a feeling this is very much going to remain one of my favourite fantasy series. I can’t possibly separate any of the books because they all flow so neatly within this expansive story / narrative and are all intertwined so greatly with each other.

This one VERY NARROWLY outstrips Six of Crows as being my favourite because I absolutely fell in love with everyone. Blue Sargent is a brilliantly funny, ambitious girl, Gansey is someone I would have a million and one crushes on, Noah is an absolutely adorable person, Ronan is like a feral cat you still want to scritch behind the ears, and Adam has redeemed himself so much in my eyes that I actually like him again. 300 Fox Way is where I want to live, Calla is Life, and I’ve actually looked into how much money it is for a trip to Virginia.

I LOVE IT THAT MUCH.

american-gods-1.jpg1. American Gods

Neil Gaiman is a God of mine. This book also got me out of some very difficult times, I read it on the bus, I read it at work, it took me away from my shitty area and transported me to middle America. Yes, it’s quite long. Yes, some of the chapters and scenes are very slow paced. But above it all it’s got some great, intricate weaving storytelling and I loved Shadow as a character who didn’t give much away at all. Even though we were reading about his life, his past still wasn’t fully revealed so he still had this awesome mystery about him.

I read it when I was in the middle of my “OMG MYTHOLOGY” phase and I seriously enjoyed the side stories about the other gods and their travels to America etc, as uncomfortable as some were to read about.

I’m SO excited for it to become a series, I can’t wait until April – though, I’m a little disappointed, simply because the casting doesn’t 100% represent my own vision for it (Jared Harris as Wednesday, man! missed opportunity) – I trust Neil Gaiman. I mean he wrote THAT Doctor Who episode about the TARDIS, come on.

What did everyone else think? How hard was it to choose?

Blog Hops · Just For Fun · publishing

#TeamEpic with Entangled Teen

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Yesterday we heard from Team Urban – now we hear from Team Epic! Also today I’ll be writing a bit about which side I’ve decided to pledge my allegiance to – but first, let’s see what Epic Authors have to say!

Team Epic: Why I Love Epic Fantasy!

9781633755963.jpgErica Cameron – Island of Exiles (The Ryogan Chronicles, #1):

Why do I love epic fantasy? It’s a blank slate. We can erase all of our preconceived notions of society and law and even science, throwing all of that over the side of a cliff. Epic fantasy lets us push humanity well past the breaking point with ever more impossible landscapes and situations. It lets us see what we could be if only we let ourselves get there. Plus, epic fantasy is, well, epic!

Book Description:

In Khya’s world, every breath is a battle. On the isolated desert island of Shiara, dying young is inevitable. The clan comes before self, and protecting her home means Khya is a warrior above all else.

But when following the clan and obeying their leaders could cost her brother his life, Khya’s home becomes a deadly trap. The only person who can help is Tessen, her lifelong rival and the boy who challenges her at every turn. The council she hoped to join has betrayed her, and their secrets, hundreds of years deep, reach around a world she’s never seen.

To save her brother’s life and her island home, her only choice is to trust Tessen, turn against her clan, and go on the run—a betrayal and a death sentence.

Buy Island of Exiles

 

9781633758483.jpgAmber Mitchell – Garden of Thorns:

When I read and write, it’s because I want to escape and nothing gets you farther from your troubles than the distant shores of entirely new worlds. Epic fantasy invites you onto its tropical beaches, into its lush jungles and through its exotic cityscapes, shaking out its uncharted map for you to explore. Every page brims with fantastic characters questing, battling men and extraordinary beasts alike with magic flowing from nimble fingertips and daring sword fights. The allure of entirely new cultures, the epic stakes, swoon-worthy romances, and the flowing dresses of epic fantasy will always have my heart.

Book Description:

After seven grueling years of captivity in the Garden—a burlesque troupe of slave girls—sixteen-year-old Rose finds an opportunity to escape during a performance for the emperor. But the hostage she randomly chose from the crowd to aid her isn’t one of the emperor’s men—not anymore. He’s the former heir to the throne, who is now leading a rebellion against it.

Rayce is a wanted man and dangerously charismatic, the worst person for Rose to get involved with, no matter what his smile promises. But he assumes Rose’s attempt to take him hostage is part of a plot to crush the rebellion, so he takes her as his hostage. Now Rose must prove where her loyalties lie, and she offers Rayce a deal—if he helps her rescue the other girls, she’ll tell him all the Garden’s secrets.

Except the one secret she’s kept for seven years that she’ll to take to her grave if she must.

Buy Garden of Thorns

 

les_truenorth_final500L.E. Sterling – True North (True Born, #2):

Don’t get me wrong — #TeamUrban is great. I love time jumpers and magicians running around a book. They make you blink and question what you saw. But I prefer life in a funhouse mirror. Give me a goblin market. Give me a warrior queen with immortal blood. I want the snow queen’s glass shard to be embedded in my eye. I want to completely escape the bounds of reality — not be shackled by them. I don’t want to just question my perceptions — I want to know I’m not in Kansas any longer.

Book Description:

Abandoned by her family in Plague-ridden Dominion City, eighteen-year-old Lucy Fox has no choice but to rely upon the kindness of the True Borns, a renegade group of genetically enhanced humans, to save her twin sister, Margot. But Nolan Storm, their mysterious leader, has his own agenda. When Storm backtracks on his promise to rescue Margot, Lucy takes her fate into her own hands and sets off for Russia with her True Born bodyguard and maybe-something-more, the lethal yet beautiful Jared Price. In Russia, there’s been whispered rumors of Plague Cure.

While Lucy fights her magnetic attraction to Jared, anxious that his loyalty to Storm will hurt her chances of finding her sister, they quickly discover that not all is as it appears…and discovering the secrets contained in the Fox sisters’ blood before they wind up dead is just the beginning.

As they say in Dominion, sometimes it’s not you…it’s your DNA.

Buy True North

 

9781633755451Nicole Luiken – In Truth & Ashes (Otherselves, #3):

First for the endlessly inventive magic. Second for the fascinating new worlds to explore. Third for the fantastic creatures that dwell there: dragons, gargoyles, demi-gods and phoenixes are just a few of the ones I’ve used.

Epic fantasy gives a writer a bigger canvas to paint. Instead of a city, a country or even worlds. Wars. Heroes. Villains. Destinies. Everything is bigger is epic fantasy. The stakes are higher, instead of a single group, the fate of a world can hang in the balance.

Book Description:

The Mirror Worlds are but dull reflections of the True World, where magic and technology blend together…

On the True World, Belinda Loring has known from childhood that she must Bond with the son of another noble First Family. Uniting the families ensures hers will hold onto its powerful position, and so she’s always pushed down the tender feelings she has for her best friend—gorgeous, steadfast Demian, who isn’t noble.

But when the ceremonial magic goes disastrously wrong, Belinda becomes a national disgrace. Scorned as Broken, she turns to Demian for help getting revenge on the man who ruined her: the radical Malachi.

But the seeds of Malachi’s murderous plans lie buried in Belinda’s past, in the dark days of her kidnapping—a period of which she has no memory. And Demian may hold the key to recovering all that she’s lost—and saving the worlds.

Buy In Truth & Ashes

 

9781622660155Renee Collins – Relic:

Book Description:

After a raging fire consumes her town and kills her parents, Maggie Davis is on her own to protect her younger sister and survive best she can in the Colorado town of Burning Mesa. In Maggie’s world, the bones of long-extinct magical creatures such as dragons and sirens are mined and traded for their residual magical elements, and harnessing these relics’ powers allows the user to wield fire, turn invisible, or heal even the worst of injuries.

Working in a local saloon, Maggie befriends the spirited showgirl Adelaide and falls for the roguish cowboy Landon. But when she proves to have a particular skill at harnessing the relics’ powers, Maggie is whisked away to the glamorous hacienda of Álvar Castilla, the wealthy young relic baron who runs Burning Mesa. Though his intentions aren’t always clear, Álvar trains Maggie in the world of relic magic. But when the mysterious fires reappear in their neighboring towns, Maggie must discover who is channeling relic magic for evil before it’s too late.

Relic is a thrilling adventure set in a wholly unique world, and a spell-binding story of love, trust, and the power of good.

Buy Relic

 

9781633750098Rebekah L. Purdy – The Summer Marked (The Winter People, #2):

Epic Fantasy is an escape from the “real world” and takes you to other lands, places you can only dream of, which is why I love it so much.  And there’s so much more opportunity to really explore new creatures and characters within these worlds. I mean, who doesn’t like the idea of stepping through a closet and finding a cool fantasy world? LOL.

I’m also a big fan of the epic battles (think Lord of the Rings or Throne of Glass). Girl with a sword=Awesome.

Book Description:

Fresh off a break-up with her boyfriend, Kadie’s glad to be home from college for Thanksgiving. All she needs is a rebound guy, a box of chocolates, and some girl time with her best friend, Salome. Problem is, Salome isn’t returning her calls, and her family won’t say where she is. Feeling sorry for herself, Kadie ends up at Club Blade, a place filled with pumping music, dangerous guys, and promises of a good time. However, when midnight strikes, Kadie’s fun turns into a nightmare as she’s ripped from the human world into Faerie by a vengeful Winter Prince named Etienne. For the first time in her life, she realizes the monsters Salome always spoke of are real, and they’ll stop at nothing to destroy her friend.

Salome thought the winter curse was behind her. But winter has left its mark. Not just on her, but on the whole summer court. The Kingdom of Summer is falling apart, and Nevin is hanging onto his throne by a thread. With war on his doorstep, he has no choice but to send Gareth into enemy territory, which means Salome will be left alone—vulnerable in a world she doesn’t understand. A place where beauty is deadly and humans are pawns in the macabre games the Fae play. Both Kadie and Salome will have to call on all their strength to survive in a world where humans aren’t meant to be. With death and enemies all around them, it’ll be a miracle if they can survive.

Buy The Summer Marked

9781620610039Chloe Jacobs – Greta and the Goblin King (Mylena Chronicles, #1):

Book Description:

While trying to save her brother from a witch’s fire four years ago, Greta was thrown in herself, falling through a portal to Mylena, a dangerous world where humans are the enemy and every ogre, ghoul, and goblin has a dark side that comes out with the eclipse.

To survive, Greta has hidden her humanity and taken the job of bounty hunter—and she’s good at what she does. So good, she’s caught the attention of Mylena’s young goblin king, the darkly enticing Isaac, who invades her dreams and undermines her will to escape.

But Greta’s not the only one looking to get out of Mylena. An ancient evil knows she’s the key to opening the portal, and with the next eclipse mere days away, every bloodthirsty creature in the realm is after her—including Isaac. If Greta fails, she and the lost boys of Mylena will die. If she succeeds, no world will be safe from what follows her back…

Buy Greta and the Goblin King

 

 

Blog Hops · Just For Fun · urban fantasy

#TeamUrban with Entangled Teen

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ALL RIGHT Team Urban! Battle stations. Here follows a list of awesome authors and their work, declaring their case for Urban Fantasy. Why they love it, why they write it, everything! Will they sway you…?

Team Urban: Why I Love Urban Fantasy!

Guardian of Secrets_updated1600.jpgBRENDA DRAKE – Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers, #2):

I’m such a fan of Urban Fantasy for many reasons, but mostly because writers can take our normal world and, either secret or not, add a dash of the fantastical to it. With mystical creatures hiding from humans or living side by side with them, deliciously nefarious things can happen. There’s just something extraordinary about urban fantasy. It’s the ability of the writer to look at something normal in the human world and mix it up. Changing a simple book into something that can transport someone from library to library or hiding a zoo of magical beasts in a common suitcase.

 Book Description:

Being a Sentinel isn’t all fairytales and secret gardens. Sure, jumping through books into the world’s most beautiful libraries to protect humans from mystical creatures is awesome. No one knows that better than Gia Kearns, but she could do without the part where people are always trying to kill her. Oh, and the fact that Pop and her had to move away from her friends and life as she knew it.

And if that isn’t enough, her boyfriend, Arik, is acting strangely. Like, maybe she should be calling him “ex,” since he’s so into another girl. But she doesn’t have time to be mad or even jealous, because someone has to save the world from the upcoming apocalypse, and it looks like that’s going to be Gia.

Buy Guardian of Secrets

9781633758773CHRIS CANNON – Fanning the Flames (Going Down in Flames, #4):

  1. There are no maidens that need to be rescued in urban fantasy. More than likely the females are the ones kicking ass.
  2. I love the snarky banter that occurs when you throw modern day characters into strange/magical/supernatural circumstances.
  3. Anything is possible in urban fantasy. There are no rules about what types of paranormal creatures you can have. If you want to create dragons that breathe fire, ice, wind, sonic waves, and lightning, you can, just like I did in Going Down In Flames *cough cough shameless self promotion*


Book Description:

She isn’t afraid of anything…except losing the knight she loves. Bryn McKenna has it all, including her smoking-hot knight turned live-in boyfriend, Valmont. Even though she’s a hybrid dragon, she’s finally fitting into the new shape-shifting dragon world that’s become her own. But her grandparents want to ruin everything by making Bryn’s nightmare of an arranged marriage to Jaxon Westgate a reality. It doesn’t help that Jaxon’s father is on a witch hunt for Rebel sympathizers and Bryn finds herself in his line of fire.

If she doesn’t say, “I do,” she’ll lose everything. Good-bye flying. Good-bye best friends. Good-bye magic. But if she bends to her grandparents’ will and agrees to marry Jaxon, she’ll lose the love of her life—her knight.

Buy Fanning the Flames

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SHONNA SLAYTON – Spindle:

Urban fantasy reminds me that our own world is magical. We are so used to the way our world works that we take for granted how incredible it is that our heart beats, our brain imagines, that our eyes see color.

As a writer, urban fantasy allows me to open up my imagination on multiple planes. I still work with the real world, but I get to add layers onto that. It’s like going from black and white TV to color. Like Dorothy in dusty old Kansas stepping into the colorful land of Oz.

Book Description:

In a world where fairies lurk and curses linger, love can bleed like the prick of a finger…

Briar Rose knows her life will never be a fairy tale. She’s raising her siblings on her own, her wages at the spinning mill have been cut, and the boy she thought she had a future with has eyes for someone else. Most days it feels like her best friend, Henry Prince, is the only one in her corner…though with his endless flirty jokes, how can she ever take him seriously?

When a mysterious peddler offers her a “magic” spindle that could make her more money, sneaking it into the mill seems worth the risk. But then one by one, her fellow spinner girls come down with the mysterious sleeping sickness…and Briar’s not immune.

If Briar wants to save the girls—and herself—she’ll have to start believing in fairy tales…and in the power of a prince’s kiss.

Buy Spindle

9781620610138_fcTARA FULLER – Inbetween (Kissed by Death, #1):

Book Description:

Death doesn’t fall in love. Usually. Since the car crash that took her father’s life three years ago, Emma’s life has been a freaky—and unending—lesson in caution. Surviving “accidents” has taken priority over being a normal seventeen-year-old, so Emma spends her days taking pictures of life instead of living it. Falling in love with a boy was never part of the plan. Falling for a reaper who makes her chest ache and her head spin? Not an option.

It’s not easy being dead, especially for a reaper in love with a girl fate has put on his list not once, but twice. Finn’s fellow reapers give him hell about spending time with Emma, but Finn couldn’t let her die before, and he’s not about to let her die now. He will protect the girl he loves from the evil he accidentally unleashed, even if it means sacrificing the only thing he has left…his soul.

Buy Inbetween

9781622663484DANIELLE ELLISON – Salt (Salt, #1):

Whether it’s witches, demons, ghosts or other types monsters, there’s nothing like escaping the sometimes mundane reality of our world, or giving what we know every day a spice of fantasy.  Filled with kick-ass heroines who aren’t afraid to fight for what they believe in (and hot, just-as-fierce love interests) Urban Fantasy inspires you look beyond what you see and be more than you think you can be. Plus, life is more with some magic: more dangerous, more unpredictable, more chaotic, more fun.

Book Description:

Penelope is a witch, part of a secret society protecting humans from demon attacks. But when she was a child, a demon killed her parents—and stole her magic. Since then, she’s been pretending to be something she’s not, using her sister’s magic to hide her own loss, to prevent being sent away.

When she’s finally given the chance to join the elite demon-hunting force, Penelope thinks that will finally change. With her sister’s help, she can squeeze through the tests and get access to the information she needs to find “her” demon. To take back what was stolen.

Then she meets Carter. He’s cute, smart, and she can borrow his magic, too. He knows her secret—but he also has one of his own.

Suddenly, Penelope’s impossible quest becomes far more complicated. Because Carter’s not telling her everything, and it’s starting to seem like the demons have their own agenda…and they’re far too interested in her.

Buy Salt

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RACHEL HARRIS – My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century (My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, #1):

Book Description:

On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits…right into Renaissance Firenze.

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore. Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?

Buy My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century

AR_500.jpgGLORIA CRAW – Atlantis Rising (Atlantis Rising, #1):

I love Urban Fantasy because it infuses normal life with myth and magic. It’s so exciting to have something in common with a character who finds a magic object, special ability or a secret origin. The possible ways her courage and passion might be tested are endless. When she does triumph against fantastic odds, I’m left feeling inspired and reassured that I can overcome great obstacles in my everyday life too. Urban Fantasy reminds me that the ordinary in us can sometimes be…extraordinary.

Book Description:

We’ve stayed hidden too long… I am different. I have always been different, but no one can know or my life will be in danger. So I hide in plain sight, wearing drab clothes and thick glasses and trying to be invisible. I’m so good at hiding, no one has ever noticed me. Until Ian…the mysterious and oh-so-cute boy I know I need to avoid.

Now I have been seen. And more terrifying still, I am wanted—by those who would protect me and those who would destroy everything and everyone I love. But if they’re all terrified about who I am, wait until they see what I can do…

Buy Atlantis Rising

SO many books to add to my TBR list – has this won anybody round to team Urban?

Just For Fun · Top 5 Wednesday

#T5W – Fictional Jobs You’d Want to Have

This is a really fun subject. And I’m not actually choosing jobs which you get a steady wage packet necessarily, either. Lord knows I outgrew the 9-5 very quickly. So this is what I would be very happy doing with my days –

Any fictional career you’d want to have? Remember, T5W is always open to movies, tv, and video games as well.

Teacher at Hogwarts / Something with a Wand

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I KNOW everyone will want to be a teacher at Hogwarts, but come on – that magical castle, the magical community. Excuses to shop in Diagon Alley, hex things, wander around and visit lakes and the amount of excuses you could bring up for doing research on your subject!

On the down side – children. So maybe I’d rather be an Auror or something in the Ministry, but the down side there is the hierarchy and rules and regulations. Either way, something in Harry Potter world.  A magical book shop owner! There we go.

The Doctor’s Assistant

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Granted you never really know what kind of Doctor you’ll get when he regenerates, but who could pass up the chance to visit different planets, times, worlds, people?! You could meet your heroes, or visit Jupiter, or simply go back in time to use that comeback you thought of two days later.

I love anything time travel, and the Doctor is the perfect companion, in my opinion, to taste a little adventure and see the world(s) at all angles.

A Non-evil Witch in Supernatural

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At this point, rarer than a hand of God. Rowena is a great addition to the cast, but most witches are defaulted to OMGAH EBIL and I’d love a female witch who is just a good person, and has pizazz, and uses her magic for positive ends rather than selfish ones like good ol’ Row. Plus, Castiel and Dean. I mean. What I wouldn’t give to be around those pretty lil eyes for a hunting or two.

A Member of the Dregs

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Kaz. Fucking. Brekker. Need I say more?

Well I may as well explain myself. I adore him. In fact I adore Inej, Jesper, Wylan, Nina, Matthias…. everyone has a skill and everyone is put to use, and I would like to think I’m useful enough to also have a skill which Kaz could use in his marvelous schemes. So it’s a bit of an ego stroke for me. Also, they’re a pretty lovely, dysfunctional family. With guns and murder and treachery.

Did I mention Kaz Brekker?

SHEILD agent

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I haven’t seen Agents of SHIELD (I’m reliably informed it’s good) but I am VERY familiar with the whole MARVEL universe. I want in on the superhero, intergalactic mayhem that’s going down. I wouldn’t even care if it all I did involved delivering letters to people or answering phones or whatever. I mean, yeah maybe I’d want something a bit better… and then you have the issue of most of them being HYDRA secretly… but to be close to the Superheroes? See Captain America and maybe even OH – WARDROBE. I could TOTALLY help dress the superheroes, I mean Black Widow has some kickass shit right? Falcon will need help with those wings, and Winter Soldier might need help polishing his arm…. *ahem*

So there you have it – my top 5 list of things I’d love to do if real life weren’t as boring as not making those things possible.

 

Book Things · books · jadewritesbooks · Just For Fun · Top 5 Wednesday

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY – Books To Get You Out Of A Reading Slump

I joined top 5 Wednesday!

If you’re not sure what it is, it’s a group on Goodreads where avid readers can participate in a top 5 list every Wednesday. Simples.

I’ve seen the lovely Thoughts on Tomes on YouTube do this, so I thought I’d give it a go.

I’m not prepared for BookTube yet. So it’s a blog you’re getting.

Even with some of my favourite books, I didn’t originally find them that easy to get into. Of course once I did get into them, I tore through the pages at speed, but it’s that initial “easy read” simplicity of enjoyment I’m going for in this list.

These are books which have stayed with me simply because they took me out from “pffft. reading.” to “YAY READING!” in a few chapters. Believe it or not I spent a few years refusing to read anything. I don’t know what I was doing, but hey.

These are also books with *actual plot* because I do not read fluffy nonsense that’s about two people hooking up and nothing more. I can’t. If it doesn’t have substance, a plot, characterization etc, I can’t. So there are no select New Adult romances here, for example.

Without further ado, the 5 books ARE-

cover106249-mediumOne of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus
This is a story about 5 kids who have detention together – the swoony baseball star, the wilting flower, the absolute rebel, the intelligent girl, and the slimy dude who has an app posting school secrets every day. In the middle of their punishment, slimy dude dies before everyone’s eyes, meaning the other 4 are suddenly being investigated for his murder and ALL of them have secrets they didn’t want McSlimy to tell.

I had the privilege of reading this via NetGalley, so it’s not out yet, but it’s a seriously encompassing read. It’s fast paced, there’s no convoluted plot where you have to draw diagrams to figure out what the hell is happening, and it keeps you guessing in a good way, not in a “Jesus Christ just tell us!” way. A very easy, but no less accomplished, read. I’ll buy a copy of this once it’s out.

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Angelfall by Susan Ee
Another fast read I started this year with. It’s been out for a while now, I got it for Christmas, and it’s super good. I heard it’s some people’s guilty pleasures – no guilt here. Just pleasure.

Hot angel who doesn’t annoy me (looking at you, Akiva) – check. Rounded female MC who is badass and a realist – check. No instalove?! Awesome. The two supposed-to-be-enemies team up to try and get Penryn’s disabled sister back from evil angels, and the world has gone to shit, and it’s… yeah I’m not able to really explain how awesome the plot is, but hey. Trust me.

I’ve heard as well that the ending grossed some people out – as a person who sped through Exquisite Corpse (clue in the title) by horror / creepy story  author Poppy Brite I have no qualms with gore or grossness or anything like that. Again, easy read writing, but still good, and it wasn’t too cheesy that you’re like “oh come ON that’d never happen”. Cause it’s about evil angels, I mean…. suspend your disbelief.

 

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Harry Potter – Any of them – by JK Rowling
These are undoubtedly the EASIEST reads because I’ve read them about 3 times (apart from the last 2) to get myself back into the reading game. Philosopher’s Stone took me about a week the first time I read it (I was 10 or something, come on) and now it takes me less than an hour. Is it perfect? No. Is it good writing? Yes. World Building? Let me put it this way….

I WANT TO GO TO HOGWARTS WHERE IS MY LETTER?!

And I won’t have any of that “I’m too old for HP!” nonsense. I’m the grand age of twenty-n(mumble) and still love HP. I see the problematic stuff, but it doesn’t take my enjoyment of the beginning of the series where it was all innocent, and so was I. It just seems to get your love of fantasy going again, builds up my reading eyes.

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Six of Crows by QUEEN Leigh Bardugo
QUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN.

Ok, so if you haven’t heard of this book, where have you been?

Six totally different ragamuffins join together in a bid to steal a professor from the inside of a huge, mightily complex jail, who’s made drug which threatens the Grisha. It’s basically a heist where they have to steal a person from an iron prison, but ALSO get along. Of which, neither seems to be feasible at some points.

I was definitely disillusioned with fantasy, and everything like that, when I took up this book to read. I just wasn’t into anything. Reading, which had once blessed me with escapism, didn’t hold me any more. Enter Six of Crows, and BOOM – I loved Kaz. My devil baby

I could ramble on about this for days, but it’s a mastery of epic writing, plotting, characterisation, REAL DIALOGUE HURRAH and world building that sucked me in and refused to let me out again. READ IT.

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I seem to practically speed-read through anything Rainbow Rowell has written, which is good cause I’m getting Carry On soon. Like, I go to bed early to read and before I know it it’s 3am and I’m 50 pages from finishing so what the hell? Let’s do it.

Fangirl is the story of twins, Cather and Wren, who go to College. It’s the first time Cather has lived apart from Wren, who requested another roommate. Cather is internet famous with her fanfiction of Simon Snow stories, and so follows a rolling read of writing, understanding siblings, absent parents, first loves and AAAALL the wonderousness which appears to be the American College system.

This is such a good read, it’s fun, it’s heartbreaking, it’s good because Cather finds her voice. It’s not an overly-hormonal-angsty read when she gets her anxiety, it’s very natural (in my experience of my own anxiety) and I enjoyed reading it.