Friday, October 16, 2020

Blog Tour: "A Golden Fury" by Samantha Cohoe + Giveaway!


Hello everyone! Today I am super excited to be bringing you along on my stop for the A Golden Fury tour! A Golden Fury is a book that I have been looking forward to for over a year now and I am so grateful to have been on this tour so I can share it with you all. There are a ton of awesome bits in this stop, including my review, a list of my favorite quotes, and a giveaway so let's go ahead and just dive right in! 


In her debut novel A Golden Fury, Samantha Cohoe weaves a story of magic and danger, where the streets of Oxford and London come to life, and the curse of the Philosopher’s Stone will haunt you long after the final chapter.

Thea Hope longs to be an alchemist out of the shadow of her famous mother. The two of them are close to creating the legendary Philosopher’s Stone—whose properties include immortality and can turn any metal into gold—but just when the promise of the Stone’s riches is in their grasp, Thea’s mother destroys the Stone in a sudden fit of violent madness.

While combing through her mother’s notes, Thea learns that there’s a curse on the Stone that causes anyone who tries to make it to lose their sanity. With the threat of the French Revolution looming, Thea is sent to Oxford for her safety, to live with the father who doesn’t know she exists.

But in Oxford, there are alchemists after the Stone who don’t believe Thea’s warning about the curse—instead, they’ll stop at nothing to steal Thea’s knowledge of how to create the Stone. But Thea can only run for so long, and soon she will have to choose: create the Stone and sacrifice her sanity, or let the people she loves die.
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: October 13, 2020


First, I want to say a big thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours as well as Wednesday Books for having me on this tour and providing me with a free copy of A Golden Fury. This is a book that had been on my radar for over a year and I'd been dying to read it since I first saw it floating around all the way back in 2019. I was thrilled to finally have this book in my hands.

From the very first page, I knew I was going to like Thea as a main character. I really liked her character voice and how strong and passionate she was. She was a very interesting character to read about throughout the entire book and I was really invested in her journey.

This book isn't super explosive or large. I quite liked how it was contained to a very small portion of the world rather than being a story about "I have to do this in order save the world." While the stakes are high for our individual characters, this was a refreshingly contained.  

The plot was a bit slow at times, but other times moved quickly. I thought the events of the book were really easy to follow and I was very invested. I wasn't ever really shocked or surprised, but that's okay. At this point in my life, I'm very stressed and busy so having that didn't jerk me around and wasn't hard to follow was a breath of fresh air. This is also a standalone book, so knowing that the entire story was going to be wrapped up in one fell swoop was also a nice change of pace for me.  

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was fun and magical and I'm glad that I got the chance to read it. It's such a good, solid YA fantasy and I think that a lot of YA readers will enjoy it!

4 // 5 stars


“The mind has power over the body that no one fully understands.”

"Some debts cannot be paid by anyone but the debtor."

“Never pin your hopes on a man”

"If we all remembered death and judgement were coming, we’d be more careful how we live"


Samantha Cohoe was raised in San Luis Obispo, California, where she enjoyed an idyllic childhood of beach trips, omnivorous reading, and writing stories brimming with adverbs. She attended Thomas Aquinas College, a Great Books college in California, and graduated with a BA in liberal arts. After studying Philosophical Theology at Yale Divinity School, she decided academia wasn’t for her.

In the midst of marriage, child-bearing, and the identity crisis that followed, she rediscovered her early love of writing and adverbs. In 2011, she moved with her family to Denver, where she currently divides her time between teaching Latin, mothering, writing, reading, and deleting adverbs.

WEBSITE     |     TWITTER     |     INSTAGRAM     |     GOODREADS


AMAZON     |     BARNES & NOBLE     |     BOOK DEPOSITORY     |     INDIGO


Prize: One (1) finished copy of A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe
Ends October 20, 2020 / US only
Direct Entry Link Here

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow along with the rest of the tour and giveaways here!
And check out my stop on the Instagram tour here!



Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



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Monday, October 5, 2020

Blog Tour: "Kingdom of the Wicked" by Kerri Maniscalco


Hey everyone! Today I am super excited to be bringing you along on my stop for the #GetWicked Tour! Kingdom of the Wicked is one of my most anticipated releases of this year and I'm so excited to get to share a ton of awesome stuff with you guys. In this post you'll be able to find information about the book and where to purchase it as well as my review, a specially curated playlist, and some free goodies! Let's dive straight in! 



SYNOPSIS

Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Vittoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find her sister’s killer and to seek vengeance at any cost-even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.

Then Emilia meets Wrath, one of the Wicked-princes of Hell she has been warned against in tales since she was a child. Wrath claims to be on Emilia’s side, tasked by his master with solving the series of women’s murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems…
Pub Date: October 27, 2020
JIMMY Patterson Books




MY REVIEW

4.5 // 5 stars

This book is the perfect embodiment of spooky season. 

Okay guys so Kerri Maniscalco's other series, Stalking Jack the Ripper, is one of my all-time favorites. After reading the first book in her newest series, I can firmly say that, not only was she one of my favorite authors anyway, she's now become one of my auto-buy authors. 

I was truly and wholly obsessed with this book while reading. I started it at around midnight (stupid me) and read 75% of it before I forced myself to go to bed. Initially I only wanted to get to 20% and then I just couldn't. stop. reading. I was sucked in and held captive by this book. 

This entire book was so intriguing and spooky. I was getting literal chills while reading parts of it. I'm not someone who typically reaches for scary books (not that Kerri's books are overly scary or horror novels...I'm just a scaredy cat) and yet I absolutely love it when Kerri's books give me the spooks. It was the same with her previous series and I'm glad to see it continue with this new trilogy. Honestly everything about this book was intriguing for me. The characters, the magic, the lore, the setting...all of it captured my attention. Also, the descriptions of food had me drooling.  

I'd say my favorite part of the book was, as usual, the characters. I'm just a sucker for well-developed, passionate characters (and we even had one of my favorite character tropes in this book). I loved our main character and she was so fun to read from. She's going through an incredibly tough time with the murder of her sister and I think a lot of people discount her grief. Some other reviews I've seen mention that sometimes she mad bad decisions but her sister just died? I thought that her actions in response to such painful grief were actually pretty realistic (as realistic as magic can be, that is). I also really liked Wrath. He was such an intriguing character and his banter with Emilia was top tier quality (but that's all I'm going to say on that so that I don't spoil anything).  

Without spoiling, I'll just say that the ending was not what I expected at all. I am so excited for the next book because I just need to know where this story is going after that. I will say that after the long buildup throughout the novel and huge mysteries, I felt like the ending was a bit quick even if it was explosive. I just would have liked to see it fleshed out in more detail. 

Overall, I really loved this book. I am so excited for my physical copies to come in the mail and I can't wait for everyone else to read this book! I can only hope that the wait for the sequel will pass by quickly because I am dying to return to this world already.  



PLAYLIST

bury a friend - Billie Eilish

No Rest for the Wicked (feat. ZZycho Ward) - LVCRFT

Witchcraft - Frank Sinatra

Angel Down - Lady Gaga

my tears ricochet - Taylor Swift



MEET KERRI MANISCALCO

Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats.

She is the #1 NYT and USA Today bestselling author of the Stalking Jack the Ripper series and the forthcoming Kingdom of the Wicked.

TWITTER   /   INSTAGRAM   /   WEBSITE   /   GOODREADS



PREORDER GIVEAWAY


PRIZE 
Everyone who preorders a hardcover, ebook, or audiobook edition of Kingdom of the Wicked will receive an enamel pin, signed bookplate and pair of oracle cards. 

HOW TO ENTER
1. Preorder a copy of Kingdom of the Wicked before 11:59 pm ET on October 26
2. Upload your receipt HERE (and read the Terms & Conditions)
3. Offer only valid in the USA / Subscription boxes not eligible



Follow along with the rest of the tour here!



Thanks for reading!
xx
Lauren



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Sunday, October 4, 2020

September 2020 Book Haul


Another month gone, another haul to share with you all! This month was a huge month for book releases and there are so many that I am excited about. I wasn't able to get my hands on all of the books I want, but I was able to snag some that I'm pretty excited about! I got a total of 9 physical books this month (and a bunch of ebooks that were on sale) so let's go ahead and dive right in!

The first three books that I got were for my literature class this semester: Orlando by Virginia Woolf, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I'm currently reading Frankenstein and Jane Eyre at the moment and Orlando is on the syllabus for November, I believe. I have somewhat good hopes for the first two but I have a tenuous relationship with Virginia Woolf's longer works (though I do like her essays). 

I then picked up a copy of The Lost Book of the White by Cassandra Clare. This is the second book in the Eldest Curses trilogy, which is one of the many series within the Shadowhunters universe. I am very excited to begin my reread of the Shadowhunters books so that I can finally get around to reading these as Magnus and Alec are two of my favorite characters.

Then I got one of my most anticipated releases of the year: Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin. I actually ended up with two copies--a regular hardcover and a signed and personalized edition. I'm so excited to have this book in my hands after such a long wait from book one. I did read this book in September as well and you can find my review here

I was also sent an ARC of A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe. This is a book that has been on my radar for over a year and I'm so excited to have an advanced copy of it! I'll be reading it in October so that I can participate in a blog tour (where I'm pretty sure there will be a giveaway--so stay tuned!) and I am incredibly excited about it. 

Then I was sent an ARC of The Puppetmaster's Apprentice by Lisa DeSelm. This is another October release where I am participating in the blog tour and I am also so excited for this one. It sounds creepy and dark and just such a perfect October read! I'm pretty sure there will be a giveaway for this one as well so keep an eye out!

Lastly, I wandered into a physical bookstore for the first time in over six months and ended up walking out with Legendborn by Tracy Deonn. I couldn't help myself once I saw it on the shelves in all its beautiful glory. This one sounds so exciting and magical and I hope that I can get to it before the end of the year. 

Well, those are all of the physical books that I got in September! I anticipate October's haul to be slightly smaller, but no less exciting as there are some of my anticipated releases coming soon! Did you get any exciting books in September? Let me know in the comments!



Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



You can follow my bookstagram here for more bookish content!

To get more awesome posts like this post, click the follow button to the right!

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Saturday, October 3, 2020

September 2020 Wrap-Up


Hello everyone! Today I am so excited to be bringing you all my reading wrap-up for the month of September. This month was actually pretty crazy in terms of the number of books I managed to read (a whopping 14!). I was stressed most of the month and didn't stick to my TBR very well, but I did manage to finish two series in less than a week. Hopefully in October I'll be able to finish my TBR and have as productive as a reading month! 



BOOKS READ
1. 
Title: Serpent & Dove
Author: Shelby Mahurin
Rating: 5 // 5 stars
Review
-reread-
Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

2.
Title: Blood & Honey
Author: Shelby Mahurin
Rating: 4.25 // 5 stars
Review
Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin

3.
Title: The Vixen's Lead
Author: Tate James
Rating: 4 // 5 stars
The Vixen's Lead (Kit Davenport, #1)

4.
Title: The Dragon's Wing
Author: Tate James
Rating: 4 // 5 stars
The Dragon's Wing by Tate James

5.
Title: The Tiger's Ambush
Author: Tate James
Rating: 4 // 5 stars
The Tiger’s Ambush by Tate James

6.
Title: The Viper's Nest
Author: Tate James
Rating: 4 // 5 stars
The Viper's Nest (Kit Davenport, #4)

7.
Title: The Crow's Murder
Author: Tate James
Rating: 4 // 5 stars
The Crow’s Murder (Kit Davenport, #5)

8.
Title: The Alpha's Pack
Author: Tate James
Rating: 4 // 5 stars
The Alpha's Pack (Kit Davenport) (Volume 6)

9.
Title: The Hellhound's Legion
Author: Tate James
Rating: 4 // 5 stars
The Hellhound's Legion (Kit Davenport, #6.5)

10.
Title: The Secret Girl
Author: C.M. Stunich
Rating: 3 // 5 stars
The Secret Girl (Adamson All-Boys Academy #1)

11.
Title: The Ruthless Boys
Author: C.M. Stunich
Rating: 3 // 5 stars

12. 
Title: The Forever Crew
Author: C.M. Stunich
Rating: 3.5 // 5 stars

13. 
Title: Filthy Rich Boys
Author: C.M. Stunich
Rating: 3 // 5 stars
-reread-

14. 
Title: Bad, Bad Blue Bloods 
Author: C.M. Stunich
Rating: 3.5 // 5 stars
-reread-



BLOG POSTS




Thanks for reading!
xx
Lauren



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Thursday, October 1, 2020

Blog Tour: "The King's 100" by Karin Briggs + GIVEAWAY!


Hey guys! Today I am so excited to be on the blog tour for The King's 100 by Karin Briggs! This was such a fun, interesting book and I have a lot of awesome stuff for you guys in today's post including my non-spoiler review and a giveaway! You can follow along with the rest of the tour stops here!



SYNOPSIS

Sixteen-year-old princess, Piper Parish, is a disappointment to the citizens of Capalon, a STEM-structured kingdom where innovation is valued above all. Her older sister, the queen, views Piper’s tears during their parents’ funeral as a weakness, not to mention her strange affinity for singing. When Piper receives an anonymous note stating her mother is still alive and living in the enemy kingdom of Mondaria, Piper chooses to risk death and flees Capalon to prove once and for all that she’s not just the queen’s defective little sister.

Posing as a Mondarian citizen named Paris Marigold, Piper bumps into a cute black-haired boy named Ari who encourages her to audition for the King’s 100, an esteemed performance court of singers, magicians, and drummers. Piper lands a spot as a singer and dives head-first into a world of glittering dresses, girl-code, sugar, blackmail, and physical contact-all while taking direction from an evil maestro.Under Mondarian law, Piper will be killed if her identity is revealed. But living a life without the freedom to love might actually be the most dangerous risk of all.


Genre: Young Adult Fantasy 
Publication Date: July 26, 2020



MY REVIEW

When I first read the synopsis for this book, I was immediately intrigued. It sounded so interesting and exciting and right up my alley. A STEM-inspired fantasy? Sign me up! 

This is such a solid YA book to me. There’s action, intrigue, and a really riveting world with an interesting storyline. However, the characters are teenagers and act like such. This is so good to see as a lot of YA I read nowadays reads more as NA than anything. This book isn’t heavy or difficult—it has a lighter tone. It was quite refreshing and fun.

The world was so interesting. A STEM Kingdom in fantasy was so refreshing to read about since a lot of YA fantasy is set where there’s no technology and it’s reminiscent of 100 years ago. I really enjoyed the more modern fantasy setting and thought it was really interesting to see.

The characters were all interesting. I found Piper to be quite a fun main character to read from and I’m excited to see what her story looks like in the next book! The side characters and the romance were also really fun to read about, though I do with there had been more LGBTQ+ rep.

The storyline itself held my interest as well, though at times it felt a bit rushed. I think I would have been happy with slowing down a bit to spend more time on the different mysteries that Piper’s dealing with. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book and am quite excited for the sequel! A big thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours for letting me be a part of it!

4 // 5 stars



PLAYLIST

you should see me in a crown - Billie Eilish

Castle - Halsey

Through the Dark - One Direction

The Arena - Lindsey Stirling

Don't Stop me Now - Queen

Bang! - AJR
 


FAVORITE QUOTES

"If you love somebody, you go back to them. You always find a way to go back to them."

"Your love for me was the real secret message."

"'Honey' and 'baby' did not, in fact, address a bee's sugary creation or an infant."

"Tasting the forbidden evils of love in all forms only led to suffering."



MEET KARIN BRIGGS

Karin earned her bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Purdue University and served as an event planner for two Big 10 universities and various non-profits for over eight years before becoming a stay-at-home-mom. She enjoys chocolate-covered peanuts, uninterrupted sleep and singing with other people. Karin lives in Ohio with her husband, daughter, cat and dog.


Website     |     Twitter     |     Instagram     |     Goodreads     |     Facebook



PURCHASE THE KING'S 100

Amazon     |     Barnes & Noble     |     Book Depository



GIVEAWAY

Prize: One (1) finished copy of The King's 100
Ends October 6, 2020
US Only




Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



You can follow my bookstagram here for more bookish content!

To get more awesome posts like this post, click the follow button to the right!

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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Finally Fall Book Tag


Hello friends! It's almost fall. Where I live we had about a week of cool weather before it warmed back up again and, while it's not super hot, I still wish it was the weather where I can wear fuzzy socks and leggings all day without overheating. Alas, soon that weather will come!

Today I'm here to do an updated version of the Finally Fall Book Tag. I originally did this tag back in 2018 (and you can read it here) but I thought it would be fun to see how my answers have changed over the years!



1. In fall, the air is crisp and clear: name a book with a vivid setting!

For this one, I decided to go with The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty. Shannon has written an absolutely stunning story set in an equally stunning world. Her descriptions and writing made the image of Daevabad so vivid for me. I truly cannot wait for the Netflix show to see how the city comes to life!

The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy, #1)



2. Nature is beautiful… but also dying: name a book that is beautifully written, but also deals with a heavy topic like loss or grief.

For this one, I went with Only A Breath Apart by Katie McGarry. There are a few heavy topics in this one but it mainly deals with abuse. This book impacted me so much and I felt such a deep connection to the characters in it. It was such an emotional book and so well done!

Only a Breath Apart



3. Fall is back to school season: share a non-fiction book that taught you something new.

I haven't yet finished this one but I chose Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi. I'm not even halfway yet but there's already been a huge amount of history that I've learned. This book truly is an amazing informative tool even if the subject matter itself is infuriating. Not only that, but reading about the backgrounds of some things that I learned about in my African American Lit class has been really eye-opening.

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America



4. In order to keep warm, it’s good to spend some time with the people we love: name a fictional family/household/friend-group that you’d like to be a part of.

I have so many that I could chose for this one but the Inner Circle from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas is truly the one that comes to mind first. They all just have such a tight-knit bond and the novella set after book three has me just dying to spend some holiday time with them all.

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)



5. The colorful leaves are piling up on the ground: show us a pile of fall-colored spines!

This was actually a bit difficult but I think that all of these spines have fall colors! I posted this on Instagram a few weeks ago and I'm absolutely in love with all of these editions!




6. Fall is the perfect time for some storytelling by the fireside: share a book wherein somebody is telling a story.

There are a few of these but one of my current reads definitely fits the bill: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. There are actually a few different stories being told within this book which I wasn't expecting when I first started it. However, I'm actually really enjoying it and I'm excited to see where the book goes next.

Frankenstein



7. The nights are getting darker: share a dark, creepy read.

For this one I chose Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco. This book felt so different and darker to the other books in this series to me. I was genuinely terrified at times while reading this and I wasn't expecting that at all. All of these books have some level of darkness and creepiness to them but I feel like this one just went up a whole level.

Capturing the Devil (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #4)



8. The days are getting colder: name a short, heartwarming read that could warm up somebody’s cold and rainy day.

I'm going to go with She's With Me by Jessica Cunsolo. This book is just one that always makes me smile and feel warm. I read the first drafts of this book as it was being published on Wattpad a chapter at a time and absolutely fell in love. It's such an enjoyable read for me and I'm so excited for the second book to be updated and released later this year!

She's With Me (She's With Me, #1)



9. Fall (luckily, it’s my favorite season) returns every year: name an old favorite that you’d like to return to soon.

For this I've chosen the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. I recently read around 60 pages of the first one and have decided that it's necessary for me to do a complete series reread over the next few months. I haven't read these books in almost 10 years and I miss the characters and world so much. I have also forgotten so much (like pretty much all of the series) so I can't wait to revisit and experience it all over again.

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)



10. Fall is the perfect time for cozy reading nights: share your favorite cozy reading “accessories!"

I don't like to snack much while reading but I do love a good cup of hot chocolate. I'm also a big fan of wearing fuzzy socks, specifically the cozy cabin socks from Field and Stream, and curling up under a blanket while I read. 



11. Spread the autumn appreciation and tag some people!

I tag anyone and everyone who wants to do this tag!




Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



You can follow my bookstagram here for more bookish content!

To get more awesome posts like this post, click the follow button to the right!

Use LAUREN10 for a discount on beautiful bookish and custom bookmarks from Total Bookish Eclipse!

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