Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Shelf Control No. 1: Falling Kingdoms, by Morgan Rhodes

Welcome to Shelf Control!

This wonderful book meme is hosted by Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies! It features books that are sitting right on our shelves or e-readers, that we want to read, but have just not gotten to as yet.
For the guidelines, just click HERE!

Here's my pick for this week!

Falling Kingdoms
(Falling Kingdoms, Book 1)
Hardcover,412 pages
December 11, 2012
Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface.

As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed... and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love.
The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

It's the eve of war.... Choose your side.

Princess: Raised in pampered luxury, Cleo must now embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of magic long thought extinct.Rebel: Jonas, enraged at injustice, lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished. To his shock, he finds himself the leader of a people's revolution centuries in the making.Sorceress: Lucia, adopted at birth into the royal family, discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.Heir: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, firstborn son Magnus begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword....

How I Got It
I believe I got it in a B&N bookstore.

When I Got It
I don't quite remember; it might have been sometime in 2013 or 2014.

Why I Want To Read It
There was a LOT of hype associated with this novel before it came out. In fact, I featured it in one of my "Waiting On Wednesday" posts. I ADORE YA fantasy, so I REALLY wanted to grab this one! And, sadly, it's been sitting on my shelves for much TOO long now.....The rest of the books in the series are supposed to be just as great as the first, from what I've read. I'd like to get this one under my belt before the end of this year!

What do you think of this book?
Have you read it, and if so, 
did you like it?
Please leave a comment and 
let me know!

Waiting On Wednesday No. 176: Frostblood, by Elly blake

This is a weekly event hosted by
It showcases future releases which
we book bloggers
are eagerly anticipating!!

Here's my choice for this week!

 (Frostblood Saga 1)
Trade Paperback, 304 pages
Hodder & Stoughton
January 12, 2017
Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult Fiction

The first in a page-turning young adult fantasy series perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard's Red Queen and Sarah J. Maas's Throne of Glass series.

In a land governed by the cruel Frostblood ruling class, seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has spent most of her life hiding her ability to manipulate heat and light - until the day the soldiers come to raid her village and kill her mother. Ruby vows revenge on the tyrannous Frost King responsible for the massacre of her people.

But Ruby's powers are unpredictable...and so are the feelings she has for Arcus, the scarred, mysterious Frostblood warrior who shares her goal to kill the Frost King, albeit for his own reasons. When Ruby is captured by the Frost King's men, she's taken right into the heart of the enemy. Now she only has one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who took everything from her - and in doing so, she must unleash the powers she's spent her whole life withholding.
Frostblood is set in a world where flame and ice are mortal enemies - but together create a power that could change everything.

Why I'm waiting on this one!

I can't believe how GREAT this sounds!! And it's the FIRST book in this series, too!! And not only is there breathtaking magic in this novel, but romance, too! In short, I'm not about to miss this series! This time, I will definitely get in on it from the very beginning!!

What do you think of my choice?
Leave your link below, so I can
come check out your pick(s)!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Excerpt/Mini-Review + Giveaway!! Truthsong, by Elisabeth Hamill (Bewitching Book Tours)

Welcome to the Truthsong Blog Tour,
sponsored by
Bewitching Book Tours!!

For my tour stop, I'm featuring a mini-review and excerpt!
There's also a tour-wide giveaway!!

(Songmaker, Book 2)
Elisabeth Hamill
Trade Paperback, 244 pages
Melange Books -- Fire & Ice YA
July 13, 2016
Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult Fiction

 When Telyn’s song magic freed ancient spirits of the Wood, it also awakened a long-slumbering evil. Now she and her beloved Mithrais must battle a spreading shadow that ignites crippling fear, and deal with the unexpected consequences of magic’s return.

More danger arrives with a royal delegation to the forest realm, sweeping Telyn back into court intrigue and the sights of a murderous lord. Mithrais may be forced to choose between his service to the Wood or the obligations of his royal blood.

As Telyn’s bond with Mithrais grows, she is torn between her love for him and the freedom of a wandering bard’s life. But when dark magic plunges the Wood into chaos, she must balance the two halves of her heart—or the Fates may take Mithrais from her forever.

I felt totally thrilled and delighted while I read this excerpt. There's a certain musical flow to the language. This reminds me of one of my favorite writers of all time -- J.R.R. Tolkien. The characters encountered here also remind me of his work. This is not a bad thing at all. It simply shows that the legacy left behind by this author has continued to bear fruit. So I would say that Hamill is a worthy successor to him! I love the whole scene, her very visual descriptions, her invention of these curious, yet beautiful creatures, the Gwaith'orn.... Everything in this excerpt gives promise of a richly-detailed world-building, with a magical, totally enthralling atmosphere. I can hardly wait to get this book, as I definitely want to read it as soon as I can! Kudos to Hamill for getting me so interested in her book with just this short excerpt!

Even in the quiet hour before sunset, the Wood filled with music. 

One didn't need the ears of a bard to hear it in the rhythmic jingle of Bessa's harness, or when doves sang lullabies to each other through the branches. A heartspeaker couldn't fail to miss the new counterpoint percussion of magic, like the steady, silent beat of a drum.

But underneath it all, only Telyn knew the song of the Wood itself.

A secret composition of chords and harmonies existed beneath the ambient sound of leaves. Sometimes if skirled with a wild and unruly air, and other times echoed with heartbreaking sweetness through the glades. It changed with the landscape, never the same melody twice. It would rush past her in waves, or sing in eloquent whispers almost beyond her scope of hearing. Even when she wasn't listening, murmurs of song invaded her subconscious like a child humming in hushed tones.


And in not-so-hushed tones.

Telyn pulled back on Bessa's reins. The grey horse snorted and slowed to a stop. One of the newer Gwaith'orn hailed her -- the truly Old Ones seldom used such common means to get her attention. For those reborn in the wake of the great spell cast in the Circle, it remained a new and exciting thing to be able to speak aloud. As a result, they were impulsive and sometimes a little rude.

The resonant vibrations marked the nearby presence of the tree folk. She caught her breath in surprise when the brush on her right parted in invitation. Bessa snorted, turning the wagon from the stony road into the temptation of soft, green grass. Telyn laughed and gave the mare her head. "Well, that's settled, then. Are you ready to camp, my dear?"

The sun lowered upon the tree-broken horizon, ready to slip behind the mountains. Light and darkness balanced in equality for the moment. But shadow always lay in the deepest parts of the Wood, gray-green areas that seldom saw a shaft of sunlight. Here the Gwaith'orn held court. Once trapped by an ancient spell, her magic and life force bought their freedom. Telyn advanced without fear, for these strange creatures were now her allies.

All around her, the Wood pulsed with the promise of magic, but the Gwaith'orn remained silent. She sensed mischief, and her mouth quirked upwards in a smile.

A new tree, with bone-white upper limbs and wide green leaves, stood in the lee of the old, sprung from the roots of its ancestor. Telyn pulled the wagon into the clearing. Somewhere beyond, the sound of water announced the presence of the river she followed south from Ilparien. She dismounted from the bench seat and walked into the heart of the grove, leaving Bessa content to crop the grass.

"Well, I'm here." Her hand brushed the star-shaped leaves at head level, the tree grown to a startling twelve feet in less than two months. They all grew with unnatural speed -- nearly five hundred of them at the last count. 

"What do you need, young-Old-One?"

The voice came from behind and made her jump, even though she thought herself prepared. "You might have passed us by and not known, Telyn."

She whirled. The being that stood at her shoulder gave a laugh like the trill of a bird's song, high and sweet. Its honey-colored eyes crinkled in amusement.

"Not known what?" she asked. It was still extraordinary to see the Gwaith'orn take human-like shapes in the groves. The young ones seemed to revel in it, although they could only manifest within the root-spans of the old trees. Early on, she started to call these manifestations 'sprites' because of their playful nature. The name was now indelible in Tauron lore.

Slender white limbs gestured with the grace of breeze-caught branches. "Mithrais is not far away. We believe he will look for you."

Telyn grinned in delighted surprise. "Thank you for telling me. I'll stay here tonight."

Mithrais and his fellow Magians were busy testing the magical knowledge bestowed upon them by the Gwaith'orn. There were also more domestic reasons her lifemate had been unable to join her. These obligations called Telyn to turn her wheels south and begin the three-day journey to the northern gate of Cerisild.

Time had passed without discernible measure in a joyful blur of music and storytelling. She brought the news of magic's return to the people of the Wood, the shelter of the deep forest more like home every day. But the passage of weeks meant that inevitable approach of midsummer and the arrival of a royal delegation.

She began to remove Bessa's harness to allow the horse a well-deserved rest. "There are visitors coming to Cerisild," she told the sprite while she worked. "Have you sensed anyone entering the Wood who might mean me harm?"

"None who seek you. There is a mind full of chaos. It is getting closer, but we sense no threat there."

She suspected this mind belonged to Vuldur, Lord of the East. An unfortunate, deadly history lay between them. Telyn would never be able to change the fact she killed his son in an act of self-defense. She had just begun to forgive herself for the accidental spell that allowed an already charged situation to escalate. Vuldur only knew his heir was dead -- and who was responsible.

"That may be the man who sent the bounty hunters." Telyn watched the sprite as it followed the erratic flight of a moth through the grove. "I don't think he will try to harm me himself, but I do fear him."

"Few can harm you now, Seed-voice, unless you allow it." It chased the moth to the edge of the root span and watched it flutter off. "We have given you the knowledge of what to do with your magic to keep yourself safe."

"And I thank you." There had been little opportunity to test the knowledge left imprinted in her mind, a gift of gratitude from the Gwaith'orn. She didn't like the thought of using song magic as a weapon. It was contradictory to the self-imposed rules she held concerning her unique powers. "I hope I don't meet anything my blade can't turn aside."

"Danger will not wait for a sword to be unsheathed or an arrow to be drawn. The darkness which grows may prove more challenging."


Purchase Links

Print Edition
Digital Edition

Elisabeth Hamill is a nurse/wife/mom by day, unabashed chocoholic/closet sci fi and fantasy novelist by night. She lives with her family, dog, and cat in the wilds of eastern suburban Kansas, where they fend off flying monkey attacks and prep for the zombie apocalypse.

Song Magick, her first novel, won First In Category for Teen Fantasy in the 2014 Dante Rossetti Awards for Young Adult Fiction.

 To access the complete tour schedule,
just click on this button!!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Shelf Candy Saturday No. 183: Ever The Hunted, by Erin Summerill

Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!

This is my weekly feature
showcasing beautiful covers!
It also provides information, 
if available, on their 
very talented creators!

Here's my choice for this week!

Ever The  Hunted
(Clash of Kingdoms, Book 1) 
Erin Summerill
 Hardcover, 400 pages
HMH Books for Young Readers
Decemberber 27, 2016
  Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

My Thoughts About This Cover

This cover has left me practically is SO very BEAUTIFUL!! It's also elegant, supremely graceful, and also very exquisite! I just can't say enough GREAT things about it!

This cover gives me such a feeling of aesthetic satisfaction, of visual BLISS!!  I never thought I would gush like this over a cover that's basically white, as this is not one of my favorite colors. I consider it a VERY boring color, most ot the time. For instance, I totally dislike white walls in houses or apartments.  I just think that this color, which is not really a color, is overused. It takes a brilliant artist or designer to really make it visually appealing. In my honest opinion, putting white on a book cover is to practically doom the book to 'Book Siberia'. In other words, the book will be invisible to most potential buyers/readers, and will probably remain so until the cover is changed

So I was very pleasantly surprised when I first encountered this obviously brilliantly designed cover!! Here's a white cover that will NEVER even visit 'Book Siberia!! Lol. Here'a a cover that truly SHINES. Here's a cover that uses the dreaded white to perfection, making it stand out in the reader's mind.

How did the cover artist(s) accomplish such a difficult visual feat? Well, they didn't just place a field of white all over the cover. Instead, the white areas are full of visual activity. They are filled by a very graceful, dynamic, pattern of repetitive flourishes with a very obvious Art Nouveau influence. Furthermore, these flourishes frame a circle, within which the title is very effectively placed.

The four corners of this beautiful design -- two at the top, and two at the bottom -- very nicely frame the flourishes and fhe circle. Furthermore, I LOVE the placement of the two phrases -- "Ever the outcast", "Ever the brave" at the top of the design. They serve to break up any monotony in the design. They are echoed by the placing of the author's name at the very bottom of the design. The color used for these phrases, as well as for the author's name, also serve as a contrast to the color of the title itself.

So this now brings me to the title. What a GORGEOUS, also very graceful, font was used here! I absolutely LOVE the very elegant curve that encloses the title. I think it has a Celtic influence. Celtic design is breathtakingly beautiful precisely because of its frequent use of circular shapes. If this title has been influenced by it, then that will explain why it feels so visually satisfying to me, as I have for a long time now treasured Celtic design. This design style is also heavily calligraphic, another feature I greatly appreciate. Letters are given beautiful, very ornamental shapes that flow so harmoniously over the page.

The design of the letter "E" in this particular cover is part of what lends thoverall design its visual impact. It goes around most of the title, and seems to be embracing the word "Hunted".  

The color used for the title is also absolutely beautiful!  It's got a metallic sheen to it, which markedly contrasts with the rest of the cover. I especially love the gleam along the tops of the letters in the word "Hunted". This is such a nice touch! The 'shadow effect' that surrounds the entire title really makes it stand out, and goes very well with the overall white. The arrow that drives through the title is visually stunning. Of course, it's a reference to the archery skills of the novel's main character.

After all this enthusing, it was quite a letdown to be unable to find any information about the cover artist(s)...... Try as I might, I could find out nothing at all. The Amazon reading preview is not available for this book, and Google was of no help whatsoever. I even thought of downloading a sample of this novel to my Android phone's Kindle app, in order to see the copyright page. However, since the book will be published in December, no sample is available as yet....

I did find a post mentioning the cover reveal for this novel, on the author's blog, but there was no mention of the cover artist and/or designer. There's a giveaway attached to this post, which is long over, as the post is dated 12/8/15. You can find it HERE. 

What do you think of this 
week's cover?
Please leave a comment
and let me know!