Book Reviews

Natural Born by Morgan Perryman

I loved the concept for this book! It was really refreshing to read a YA novel with such a close connection to nature. As I read, I found myself deeply wishing that there really was Quid out there who could heal the land. And Quid’s relationship with the natural environment was fascinating as well. She loved nature, but there was a lot of fear involved as well. She didn’t know how to control this ability or even exactly what it was. She was acutely aware of the fact that she was different and of course, she needed to wrestle through that.

Overall, I wish there was more depth. For example, I was really intrigued by Vernie’s past! And I think it had a lot of potential to be a compelling element. I think, though, the work-up towards the revealing of Vernie’s history wasn’t quite intense enough. I read it and thought, “Oh, okay. That’s interesting, but it didn’t impact me the way I wish it had.” This was similar to the revealing of Quid’s origins. It should have been a huge moment, but to me, it didn’t quite hit the mark.

This was a clean read. There is an aspect of romance which seemed to happen quickly and felt a bit cliché, but it was really sweet.

I’m looking forward to the next step in Quid’s journey!

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Book Reviews

My Top 10 Reads of 2020

I know this is a little late, but here it is: my favorite books of 2020. Because I am so indecisive, they are in no particular order and I cheated a little by counting a series as one book.

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Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

An absolutely charming and enthralling read! I was blown away by every splendid detail. This was a story about love, abuse, literature, friendship, and faith. 

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Lost Shadow (The Neverwood Chronicles #3) by Chanda Hahn

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. 

Harry Potter Volumes 1 - 3 Box Set: J. K. Rowling: Amazon.com: Books

The Harry Potter Series #1-3 by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone; Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Witch of Edgehill Series # 3 & 4 by Melissa Erin Jackson

Pawsitively Secretive ; Pawsitively Swindled

If you haven’t read the Witch of Edgehill this series and enjoy cozy mysteries, I absolutely recommend that you do!

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Spellbreaker (Spellbreaker Duology #1) by Charlie N. Holmberg

This was the first book I’ve read by Charlie Holmberg and I must say, I was absolutely charmed.

The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen #1) by Jodi Meadows; The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows

I found myself being swept away by these stories. 

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The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

This was a lovely and unique adventure! Harrow has a beautiful writing voice that is quite charming. I think it was my favourite part of the book. I found myself lost in a forest of colourful descriptions and creative similes. It was quite enjoyable to read! 

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Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson

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Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

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Jackaby by William Ritter

So there you have it! Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments below!

Book Reviews

Spellbreaker (Spellbreaker Duology #1) by Charlie N. Holmberg

This was the first book I’ve read by Charlie Holmberg and I must say, I was absolutely charmed. The first few chapters were a bit of a rough start not because of the writing or the story, but because I picked it up near the end of my semester when deadlines were crashing in around me. Once things settled down and I could simply sit and read, I was transported to a unique and exciting magical place. We are given a Victorian England where magic is commonplace and most of those with magic are part of an organized system. The protagonist, Elsie Camden, is unregistered and works in secret for an insurgent group. Through one of her missions, she is discovered by Bacchus Kelsey who promises to keep her secret if she helps him break some spells.


Their relationship was a slow burn and was very sweet. They went from disliking each other to being friends to having feelings for each other. I also loved Elsie’s relationship with Ogden and Emmeline. Although they were not related they created a beautiful family atmosphere.

The writing was very nice. It was not extremely flowery, but it had some nice flourishes to it. Holmberg also moved things along nicely. She spent time where time was needed but didn’t dwell on things either.

Lastly, I loved that the ending surprised me! I was not expecting Elsie’s secret employers to be who they were and I was not expecting them to be so devious either. I had thought that there would be some great reveal of how the Cowls were right and the others were misusing their power, but I was so wrong!

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This was a clean read – there was no profanity or explicit scenes.
I am excited to read the sequel to Spellbreaker which will be coming out on March 9, 2021.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Best World Elephant Day GIFs | Gfycat
Book Reviews

The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows

In this sequel to the Orphan Queen, Wilhelmina and Tobiah must fight against all odds to stop the wraith from destroying both of their kingdoms. 

“No matter the masks we wear, we always end up together.”

The character development for Wilhelmina was fantastic. She had to learn what it meant to be queen not only in name but also in action. She was forced to make some decisions that were not at all easy and that her haunted afterward. Despite this, she persevered and always strove to do what was best for her people. Tobiah went through many of these struggles too, as well as grappling between duty and desire. Plus, he had some pretty big secrets he was hiding. The first time I read this a few years ago, I remember being quite shocked. Chrysalis was an interesting addition to this story, but I felt that he was terribly mistreated. Yes, he was made of wraith and he often acted without considering the consequences, but I thought that Wilhelmina could have been a little nicer to him. It felt like she either ignored him or yelled at him. 

“Sometimes we hate others for the things we hate in ourselves”

I loved that Meadows finally took us to Aecor. After all the hype around this country, it was great to be there; I just wish there was more time spent exploring it and getting to know the culture.  

I also found that the first ½ of the book was rather slow. It felt like they spent a lot of time talking about the problems and not doing too much to fix them. Despite this, I did still enjoy the book overall and would love to read some more by Jodi Meadows.  

Lastly, this was a clean read. There was no profanity or sexual content. 

“Reasons we should get married:
Because I love you.
We both look good in black boots.
I spent some time without you, and I didn’t like it.
You make me happy.
I make you laugh.
I like the way you fight.
You see through my masks.
I really love you.
You love me, too. (Though you’ve mostly said this while yelling, so perhaps I should have double-checked.)
Army of tiny vigilantes. (I have name ideas.)
Various political reasons that make sense but don’t fit with the theme of this list.
I’m holding your handwriting hostage. You can have it back when you say yes.”

Until next time!

Animals Waving Bye 14 | Animals, Cute animals, Baby sea otters
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!

Animals Waving Bye 14 | Animals, Cute animals, Baby sea otters
Uncategorized

Court of Bittern Thorn by Kay L Moody

This was an enchanting start to Kay L Moody’s new series The Fae of Bitter Thorn. The protagonist, Elora was a brave and talented mortal who loved her family deeply and did not allow the tricks and glamours of the Faerie realm to sway her. Although, sometimes she did not make the most intelligent decisions (like when she took the red ribbon off) and it frustrated me a little that she wasn’t more careful upon entering Faerie. As for Prince Brannick, I cannot say he was my favourite. My opinion of him definitely improved as the story went along, but I found that he was rather full of himself and his appearance was too perfect. I don’t know about you, but it really bugs me when the male love interest is absolutely gorgeous. It’s just unrealistic and rather cliche. 

One of my favourite things about this book was the world of Faerie that Moody created. I loved all of the sprites and brownies and the different faerie courts. It was fun to join Elora as she explored this realm and as she, in a way, fell in love with it. While the writing was good, I cannot say that I was captivated by it. Although, that could be my personal opinion of enjoying colourful and flower writing styles. 

Lastly, this was a clean read which was lovely. I always enjoy a book more when it excludes profanity and sexual content. 

Thank you to Book Sirens for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Have a happy and spooky Halloween my friends!

Happy Halloween GIFs | Tenor

my writing

Top 10 Quotes from Beautiful Beast

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

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!

Book Reviews

RoseBlood by A.G. Howard

Let’s begin with something positive, shall we? I simply adore the Phantom of the Opera. Yes, I will be the first to admit that the story is a little strange with the Phantom’s insane obsession over Christine. But the music is absolutely divine! So needless to say, I was intrigued by the promise of a book based on the famous story. 

phantom of the opera christine daae gif | Phantom of the opera, Christine  daae, Opera ghost

Firstly, I was not expecting it to involve vampires. Perhaps if I had dome some more thorough research, I would have discovered this before, but I didn’t, it came as a surprise when it was first stated. 

Second, let’s talk about our main character Rune. While I thought her twisted talent was interesting and could lead the story down various roads, I cannot say Rune was the most intelligent protagonist. Who lets themselves be blindfolded and escorted in a hearse to some off the charts club? Even if she was desperate for answers, this felt a little extreme. 

Thirdly, there was simply way too much explaining at the beginning. The first two chapters are spent with Rune in the limo and the reader primarily gets her thoughts the whole time. I felt like I was plowing through the words rather than being transported by them. 

But I’ve gone on long enough, I will leave it at this. Unfortunately, I do not recommend this book.

Goodbye for now!

the phantom of the opera phantom of the opera gif | Phantom of the opera,  Phantom, Opera ghost
my writing

Beautiful Beast is Now Live

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Hi friends! I know you’re probably getting sick of me posting about my book, but this one is important because… BEAUTIFUL BEAST is now live on Amazon! I am so excited about this! I can’t believe that after everything it’s actually up there for the world to read.

If you haven’t read the blurb yet, here it is.

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.

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Also, here are the Amazon and Goodreads links. If you would like to read some reviews, then visit Goodreads. 🙂

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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!