Sunday, September 30, 2018

September Wrap-Up

How is it the end of September already?!

For the first time I had a monthly TBR and I mostly stuck to it!

These were the physical books I planned to read this month . . .

I actually read all but The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (although I'm currently reading A Sky Painted Gold so I technically haven't read it yet).


 Early Riser by Jasper Fforde - eARC - 4.5/5 stars - read my review here.
Butterfly: From Refugee to Olympian - My Story of Rescue, Hope, and Triumph by Yusra Mardini - eARC - 2.5/5 stars - read my review here.
Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians, #1) by Kevin Kwan - library copy - 2.5/5 stars.

 The Poppy War (The Poppy War, #1) by R. F. Kuang - eARC - 3/5 stars - read my review here.
The Island by M.A. Bennett - ARC - 3/5 stars - read my review here.
The Surface Breaks by Louise O'Neill - hardback - 3.5/5 stars.

 Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King, #1) by Tricia Levenseller - audiobook - 3.5/5 stars.
Song of Blood and Stone (Earthsinger Chronicles, #1) by L. Penelope - eARC - 2.5/5 stars - read my review here.


 To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo - signed, free copy from the Hot Key Books blogger brunch.

That's Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger - this was the book in the September Wildest Dreams subscription book box. See my unboxing here.

Aru Shah and the End of Time (Pandava Quartet, #1) by Roshani Chokshi - I got this from a book swap.

Vengeful (Villains, #2) by V.E. Schwab - limited edition signed pre-order. Soooo excited to read this!

Warcross (Warcross, #1) by Marie Lu - I got this from a book swap. 

Queen Victoria: Daughter, Wife, Mother, Widow by Lucy Worsley - pre-order.

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 9: Teenage Wasteland.


I've had a pretty good month:
I saw the Crazy Rich Asians film with the lovely Kate who blogs at Reading Through Infinity. I enjoyed the film more than the book and thought it was a very good adaptation.
I've started listening to audiobooks!
I want to (and need to) do more exercise and to motivate myself and do exercise for longer I decided to start listening to audibooks. 
Fingers crossed it works! : )
I went to my first event at a publishing house!
Yesterday (Saturday 29th September), Hot Key Books hosted a blogger brunch. Sebastien de Castell and Alexandra Christo were both there talking about their latest books. They read excerpts and answered questions. There was also a signing. I got a copy of To Kill A Kingdom (I've read it before but hadn't gotten around to buying a copy) and had it signed by Alexandra Christo who was lovely.
  From Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon - eARC.

A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood - paperback.
How was your month?

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Review - Song of Blood & Stone (Earthsinger Chronicles, #1) by L.Penelope

Title: Song of Blood & Stone (Earthsinger Chronicles, #1)
Author: L. Penelope
Pages: 384
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 1st May 2018

Blurb from Goodreads:

 A treacherous, thrilling, epic fantasy about an outcast drawn into a 
war between two powerful rulers. 

Orphaned and alone, Jasminda lives in a land where cold whispers of
 invasion and war linger on the wind. Jasminda herself is an outcast 
in her homeland of Elsira, where her gift of Earthsong is feared. 
When ruthless soldiers seek refuge in her isolated cabin, they bring 
with them a captive--an injured spy who threatens to steal her heart.

Jack's mission behind enemy lines to prove that the Mantle between 
Elsira and Lagrimar is about to fall nearly cost him his life, but he is 
saved by the healing Song of a mysterious young woman. Now he 
must do whatever it takes to save Elsira and its people from the True 
Father and he needs Jasminda's Earthsong to do it. They escape their 
vicious captors and together embark on a perilous journey to save 
Elsira and to uncover the secrets of The Queen Who Sleeps. 

Thrust into a hostile society, Jasminda and Jack must rely on one 
another even as secrets jeopardize their bond. As an ancient evil gains
 power, Jasminda races to unlock a mystery that promises salvation. 

The fates of two nations hang in thebalance as Jasminda and Jack 
must choose between love and duty to fulfill their destinies and end 
the war.


My Review:

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 
Thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley*

Jasminda lives alone on a farm she once shared with her parents and 
siblings. Judged because of the colour of her skin, Jasminda leads a 
lonely life.
That changes when a group of soldiers arrive at her cabin wanting 
shelter. With them is a captured spy, Jack, who was on a mission 
behind enemy lines gathering proof that Elsira and Lagrimar are on 
the brink of war, the magical barrier in-between the lands close to collapsing.
Jasminda has Earthsong magic, a power that Jack will need if he has 
any hope of defeating the True Father and awakening The Queen 
Who Sleeps.
Can Jack save Elsira?
Do Jasminda and Jack have a future together?

Song of Blood & Stone didn't go in the direction I was expecting, 
which isn't always a bad thing, but in this case it didn't work for me.
I liked both Jasminda and Jack. They were interesting characters.
I didn't mind the romance but I would have preferred more tension 
between the two of them. 
The plot started off well but then things went off track for me. I felt 
that the main focus of the storyline was forgotten or pushed to the 
The writing style was easy to follow but failed to keep my attention.
I'm disappointed I didn't enjoy this more.

Overall this was an okay but disappointing read.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Blog Tour + Guest Post + Giveaway - Dark Tomorrow by Jeremiah Franklin

Find the tour schedule here.


Dark Tomorrow by Jeremiah Franklin
Release Date: September 18, 2018
Publisher: Month9Books

When a deadly virus decimates the majority of Earth's population, 
16-year-old Sawyer Bradshaw finds he is both immune and alone
in a world that has descended into violent chaos. Armed with only 
his estranged father's shotgun, and an unrelenting desire to stay alive,
Sawyer discovers that he not only has an uncanny knack for cheating
 death, but also for taking lives. Still, it is not long before he meets 
his match in a fierce and cunning teenage girl named Sara and by her
 side Sawyer emerges as more than just a natural-born killer, but
also as a leader among men. Nevertheless, as quick as the young
 survivors fall desperately in love, they find themselves caught up in 
a series of conspiracies and twisted struggles for power, and they
soon realize that more often than not, love, betrayal, and death, tend 
to walk hand in hand.

 Purchase Links:

B&N | Kobo | TBD 

If I Knew Then What I Know Now About Writing

…I would have started writing full-length novels at a younger age. 
Not that I haven’t been writing my whole life, but when I was in 
my 20’s, and I first had some ideas about writing a novel, I 
sometimes felt that I did not have enough ‘life experience’ to truly
write a great story. Looking back, part of that was probably true, but 
my advice to anyone who loves to write is to not let anything hold 
you back. In my experience there are two sure ways to become a 
better writer—read everything you can and write like there is no 
Writing is like anything else that’s worth doing, it takes time and 
practice to get good at it, and I think that starting on the ‘write’ path 
at young age would be a huge advantage for any would-be author.

About the Author

Jeremiah Franklin is a former private investigator, arm-chair 
survivalist, and author of the Dark Tomorrow trilogy. When he is 
not creating thrilling post-apocalyptic worlds, or discussing himself in the third person, the author enjoys reading, staying active, and 
spending time outdoors with family and friends. He holds a 
Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, a Master’s Degree in Education, 
and several other certifications that no one really cares about.

Tour-wide giveaway