Book Reviews

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

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“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

I was quite curious as to how much I would like the second book of the Harry Potter series. Part of the charm of the first book is that everything is new and exciting. Well, I can tell you that I enjoyed it immensely. 

“When in doubt, go to the library.”

As in the last novel, the characters were absolutely charming. I loved how Harry, Ron, and Hermoine’s relationship developed. They did almost everything together and stuck out for each other.

Gilderoy Lockhart, Order Of Merlin, Third Class, Honorary M GIF | Gfycat

If one of them was in a fix, the others were quick to help; even if it meant breaking school rules. And I mean, it was kinda sweet that Ron and Hermoine forgoed their Halloween feast to go to Nearly Headless Nick’s 500th deathday party. I must mention the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher Gilderoy Lockhart. He both made me cringe and bust out laughing. His infatuation with himself was totally over the top, but I think it was meant to be. I felt really bad for Ginny, though. What a way to start her time at Hogwarts…it does not bode well.   

“Lockhart’ll sign anything if it stands still long enough.”

This time, the way that Voldemort tries to get to Harry was quite creative. I started guessing at it a little, but there were so many pieces that were tied into the mystery of the heir of Slytherin and the Chamber of Secrets! Rowling did a fabulous job with this and also with upping the danger and intensity from the last book. 

I’m excited to read book #3 and accompany Harry, Hermoine, and Ron on their next adventure. 

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Book Reviews

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

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Sooo I’ve never read this series before…. I know, I know! Don’t shoot me. I was a little curious about what all the hype was about, but I never had the motivation to actually acquire copies of this series. Now that I’ve read the first book, I think I understand. J.K. Rowling creates a world that is colourful and absolutely bursting with creative attributes. There were so many times when I thought, “Wow! What a brilliant idea,” or was astounded by how unique and imaginative it all was. It makes me curious about Rowling’s thought process and also super impressed!

“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”

Harry was, of course, a sweet and brave boy with perhaps a streak of recklessness. Sneaking a dragon up to the astronomy tower at midnight…? Well, I suppose it was for the greater

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good. I loved Ron and Hermione, Harry’s best friends. They were adorable and their friendship was admirable; although, there were definitely a few bumps in the road. Then there was also Hagrid and Dumbledore and Neville and so many more characters. I enjoyed them all! Even Snape’s creepiness was great. The negative characters gave the cast such a full dynamic. Of course, he-who-must-not-be-named was a chilling villain and the fact that everyone (except Harry) was afraid to say his name made it even more so.

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The world-building was absolutely marvellous. Rowling makes everything so vibrant and colourful that you almost, for a little while, believe Hogwarts is real and that your letter will come by owl any day.

“The truth.” Dumbledore sighed. “It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.”

The pacing of the story had a nice rhythm to it. I think because there was so much to experience and discover, I was kept engaged. I’m curious to discover if this will be the same in the following books. Which leads nicely into my last statement. I will definitely be reading the next book! I actually have already started…. If you have not read this book (which I highly doubt), then you should. If not for the enchanting story, then at least for the experience. Harry Potter is a classic (and I can see why now), so you should add it to your list alongside books such as The Chronicles of Narnia.  

Bye for now!

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Book Reviews

The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen #1) by Jodi Meadows

This is my second time reading The Orphan Queen and even though I knew what was going to happen, I still found myself being swept away by the story. 

“I was there was the war began. And when it ended.”

The world that Meadows creates is unique and enchanting, yet dangerous and harsh. It was thrilling to join Will as she went undercover as a refugee noblewoman and navigated the court and the streets of the Indigo Kingdom. Will was brave and kind and independent, not only in taking care of herself but also in the decisions she made. She wasn’t afraid to go against what other people wanted her to do especially if she knew it to be wrong. And Tobiah? Who is the real Tobiah? It was almost hard to get to know Blackknife because Will and him did a lot of fighting and not so much talking. Then with the prince, I was never quite sure how he actually felt about something. One thing I’m a little confused about is whether or not Tobiah knew who she was the whole time. I think he did, but I’m not sure if that was super clear.  

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“Oh, nameless girl. When will you learn to trust me?”

As for the writing style, the main thing that I really loved about this book is how Meadows is able to just sit in a scene and completely fill it out. She doesn’t just drop us in a scene for a few pages, then move on to another, she actually lets us explore it and look around a little. I think this is definitely something I can apply to my own writing! 

“A queen who wouldn’t take risks for her people wasn’t worthy of being a queen at all.”

Before we go, I do want to briefly touch on the magic element in this book. It was interesting that it’s illegal and that throughout the story, Will’s relationship with it grows; and perhaps she becomes less afraid of it. But I’m a little confused about the wraith. What exactly is it? This might be explained more in the next book. I mean, why should the readers completely understand it when the characters don’t either.    

Lastly, this was a clean read. There was no profanity or sexual content, so I could fully enjoy this adventure. 

Ta ta for now!

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my writing

Top 10 Quotes from Beautiful Beast

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Are curious about that book I keep talking about? You know that one that’s a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but with the gender roles swapped. Well here are a couple of my favourite quotes along with some pictures from my pinterest board. Maybe that will give you an idea what it’s about. 😉

But honestly, I could not decide on an order so here they are: a jumble of syllables and consonants.

Late night treats by the fireplace. Dark and romantic.

“It is what you imagine the music of faeries to be like; it is ethereal, or like a thousand tiny bells played in melodies as intricate as the patterns of the starry skies.”

“This is my home. It breaks my heart to see it fall to pieces and know that there is nothing I can do to prevent it. I know that I should accept reality, but it is so much easier to live in a dream.”

“This prince, this soldier, sees the true beast and that should frighten me, but it doesn’t. It makes me stronger.”

“As I watch, a single bloody petal breaks from the bud and gently drifts to join its brothers and sisters upon the tabletop.”

“It would be natural for the fear to climb, to sink its talons into my sanity and clamber upwards, but somehow, I suddenly feel calm. Perhaps it is hope. Perhaps it is insanity. ”

Penny Dreadful

“I am a Vayliese and my magic is not a trivial thing that I use to keep my tea warm and turn moths into butterflies.” “We lie there together for what seems like a long while. Perhaps it is only moments, but time stretches its jaws and laughs at us.”

“In all of their portraits, my ancestors always bore themselves with pride and majesty, but I look like a rose that has wilted and been crushed under a gardener’s heel.”

“It whispers and screams and cries out all at the same time. In its tone, I hear something ancient and something darker than the dead of a new moon.”

“It all blurs together in a flurry of howls and blood and steel and brambles, but through the chaos, there is an abstract sort of peace. Because Arawn and I are no longer fighting each other, we are fighting together.”

Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror. - Khalil Gibran 💛🖤 #beauty #gold #mirror

And what kind of list would this be without an honourable mention?

“Nearby, my rose is lying upon the ballroom floor. The petals glow softly in the dark and illuminate a piece of glass the size of a tea saucer. Carefully, I pick it up and look into it. Not just a piece of glass. A mirror.
And suddenly I know.
This is no dream. This is no fairy tale. A great beast has been woken from its slumber and has lifted its ugly, vicious head.”

Do you have a favourite? I’d love to know!

That’s all for now!

Emma

Beautiful Beast: Goodreads link and Amazon link.

P.S. Reviews are really important to authors. If you’ve read a book, then please write a review and give it a rating. Even a few words will be helpful!

Tags

Beautiful Beast Book Tag

Publish day is almost here!!! (June 8) And I am over the moon excited! To celebrate, I thought I would do a fun tag. Using the letters from my book title, I would like to share some reviews that I’ve done in the past. 🙂

B – Bandaging the Blitz by Phyll Macdonald-Ross & I.D. Roberts

E – The Enchanted Sonata by Heather Dixon Wallwork

A – Ashes of Glass

U – Hearts Unshackled by Amy Klaus

T – Terraformer by Colleen Houck

I – If I Run by Terri Blackstock

F – Finding Balance by Kati Gardner

U – Hearts Unshackled by Amy Klaus

L – Lost Girl (Neverwood Chronicles #1) by Chanda Hahn

 

B – Beauty by Robin McKinley

E – Ever Alice by H.J. Ramsay

A – A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn

S – Shadow and Thorn by Kenley Davidson

T – To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

 

Have a fabulous day! And if you find yourself in need of something to read, maybe take a look at the Prologue from Beautiful Beast.

TTFN.

P.S. Other indie authors out there, I would love to see which books you would use to spell your latest book title or even your WIP!

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Beautiful Beast ARC’s

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Are you all hanging in there? I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to get out and back to normal.

As you have probably seen, I’ve finally finished my second novel and am ready to push it out into the world. The first step with this, though, is ARC’s. I would really love to get some reviews out on Goodreads and/or blogs before the publish day (hopefully June 1st). So if you’re feeling up to it, let me know. I would appreciate your help so much!

You can email me: emmajoyhill20@gmail.com or you can also fill out the form on my Contact Me page. Either one works. 🙂

Here is the blurb for my book:

My name is Kalista. They call me the beast.

Kalista has been cursed by a powerful sorceress and is now a prisoner in her own palace. As petals fall from an enchanted rose, her fate and the sorceress’s victory draw nearer. But Kalista refuses to be defeated so easily and uses her own magic to push against the bindings. Yet what if it is not enough and the only way the curse might be shattered is through the help of another?

When Arawn crosses into the beast’s domain, he has one motive: revenge for his brother’s death. But as he draws nearer to the beast and is surrounded by invisible servants, magical banquets, and an enchanted forest, he realizes that this beast is much more complex and much more human than he first thought.

As their paths intertwine, Kalista must risk opening her heart to another, while Arawn must learn to see past his hate and prejudice. Together, they struggle against spells, wolves, and time itself to break the curse. If they fail, Kalista will fall asleep and will never again wake.

 2018/10/11 07:49:48 A Silhouette of a supermodel 👌🏻... #christyturlington #90s #supermodels #silhouette @cturlingtonGorgeous lighting. And shading

Stay safe and healthy! ❤

 

my writing

Super Exciting Cover Reveal!!!

After many months of writing and editing and more editing, I finally have something solid to show you guys! And I am absolutely thrilled. I have had this idea for a long time, but like most of my stories, it needed a lot of polishing to make it shine. This was hard to do while in school, but bit by bit, I pieced it together. I also cannot neglect to mention the help of my amazing beta readers. They called out my plot holes and my embarrassing grammar mistakes and helped me bring my novel up to performance level.

So without further ado, I am pleased to announce BEAUTIFUL BEAST!!!

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My name is Kalista. They call me the beast.

Kalista has been cursed by a powerful sorceress and is now a prisoner in her own palace. As petals fall from an enchanted rose, her fate and the sorceress’s victory draw nearer. But Kalista refuses to be defeated so easily and uses her own magic to push against the bindings. Yet what if it is not enough and the only way the curse might be shattered is through the help of another?

When Arawn crosses into the beast’s domain, he has one motive: revenge for his brother’s death. But as he draws nearer to the beast and is surrounded by invisible servants, magical banquets, and an enchanted forest, he realizes that this beast is much more complex and much more human than he first thought.

As their paths intertwine, Kalista must risk opening her heart to another, while Arawn must learn to see past his hate and prejudice. Together, they struggle against spells, wolves, and time itself to break the curse. If they fail, Kalista will fall asleep and will never again wake.

*****

There it is folks! What do you think? Interested? If you are, add it your Goodreads to-read lists or even better… I’m looking for readers to review my book. If you’re interested in receiving an ARC just fill out this FORM or write me a note through my Contact Page.

And as alwayss, feel free to simply comment. I’d love to know what you think.

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Book Reviews

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

What an amusing read! I was quite entertained by the lightness and perhaps the touch of silliness. Carriger spun a unique and fun story.

Sophronia was spunky, sweet, and above all, fearless. She took on flywaymen, the Pickleman and a huge mechanimal in style with cool precision and courage. I mean, even in that one sentence, I am sure you can catch a glimpse into the world of this book. Sophronia’s little mob was adorable. I liked that they all had different characteristics. A Walk In The Woods 3 Wall Mural by Beatrix Potter | Murals Your WayDimity being in love with jewels and dresses, Sidheage the werewolf, Soap the sooty, and Pillover the evil genius in training. Aah, the names. They are quite interesting! Mrs. Barnaclegoose sounds like something out of a Beatrix Potter book rather a YA novel. Although, there was something about this aspect that I really enjoyed.  

The plot was compelling. It was so fun to follow Sophronia around on her adventures and Carriger spent time where it was needed but did not dwell where it was unnecessary. 15723286

I know there are some less favourable reviews of this book so if you’re interested in it, let me mention one thing. You almost need to change your mindset for this book. It is, in a way, silly, but it is also fun. If you read it with this lightheartedness in mind, I think you will enjoy it much more than if you go in expecting a serious young adult fantasy. Hopefully that kind of makes sense. Haha 

Anyway, stay safe.

Bye for now!      

P.S. I love the cover. It was a touch deceiving because the girl on the cover looks a lot older than Sophronia is, but nonetheless, it is nicely laid out.

Book Reviews

Goldheart by Kenley Davidson

I have read Adari Chronicles book #1 and #5 (Traitor’s Masque and Shadow and Thorn) and I loved them. Davidson is a talented writer who always adds her own unique twist to a fairytale.

Goldheart was no different. It followed the story of Elaine who had been kidnapped in the previous book. She was a sweet character who had been terribly traumatized and this allowed for much character development. She started out frightened and timid, but as the story went along, she became stronger and more defiant. 50227172. sy475 Her daring act at the end definitely warranted applause. However, I did find that her weakness made it difficult to feel drawn to her. I wanted more moments of strength. As for the other characters, I loved Blaise! Honestly, I really wish they had ended up together. They seemed to match and complement each other so well. I also found it hard to be drawn to Will. I mean, to be honest, he didn’t do a whole a lot. He just wasn’t overly compelling.    

I don’t want to go into too much more detail in case I bore you because it is much of the same. While it was an interesting twist, it did not steal my attention and drag me into the Andari world like the other books did. However, I am currently reading Pirouette and am quite enjoying it. 

 

 

Book Reviews

Lost Shadow Chanda Hahn

Thats All Folks GIF - Find & Share on GIPHYAaah and that was the great finale! What a crazy, intense, exciting read! I’ve been in love with series since book #1 and in this last book, all the pieces come together to create this insane conclusion. Reading this book made me want to start all over again at book #1 so I can take this journey again. 

As always, I loved the characters and with the stakes so high, they were constantly being thrown into dangerous situations and sacrificing themselves to save the others. Hahn did a fantastic job keeping things going while not making me feel overwhelmed. And wow! Just wow! The way she took elements from the original story and twisted them to create her own unique take on the fairytale was impressive. 

A few notes on the ending… I felt like their time in Hollow Dome could have been drawn out. It was this fantastic, chilling setting that seemed like it could have been developed a little more. That being said, I did read through it all pretty fast, so it may just be me. On the other hand, I loved how Hahn took some time at the end to just calm things down. It wasn’t ok, we win. The End. No, she explained what happened and gave an indication about the future too. Except, hold on. Jeremy! I am not sure what to think of that! I don’t think Wendy and Peter can take anymore. Maybe Hahn just left it open because she felt like it…? 

Lastly, this was also a really sweet clean read. 

I highly recommend this series. And if my gushing isn’t enough to convince you, it only has 71 reviews on Goodreads! It deserves more! A review doesn’t have to be more than a few sentences. Definitely consider it. 😉 

Neverwood Chronicles | Chanda Hahn

 

P.S. Did anyone get this reference?!?! I laughed so hard when I read it!    

“I signed up for a three hour cruise on the tour ship called the Minnow and-” 

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