Saturday, November 30, 2019

Blog Tour + Review + Giveaway - Dangerous Alliance: An Austentacious Romance by Jennieke Cohen

 Find the tour schedule here.


Dangerous Alliance: An Austentacious Romance by Jennieke Cohen
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: December 3rd 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Romance, Fiction


The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Jane Austen in this witty, winking historical romance with a dash of mystery!

Lady Victoria Aston has everything she could want: an older sister happily wed, the future of her family estate secure, and ample opportunity to while her time away in the fields around her home.

But now Vicky must marry—or find herself and her family destitute. Armed only with the wisdom she has gained from her beloved novels by Jane Austen, she enters society’streacherous season.

Sadly, Miss Austen has little to say about Vicky’s exact circumstances: whether the roguish Mr. Carmichael is indeed a scoundrel, if her former best friend, Tom Sherborne, is out for her dowry or for her heart, or even how to fend offthe attentions of the foppish Mr. Silby, he of the unfortunate fashion sensibility.

Most unfortunately of all, Vicky’s books are silent on the topic of the mysterious accidents cropping up around her...ones that could prevent her from surviving until her wedding day.

Book Links:

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 iTunes | Kobo | Google Books 

*I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to HarperTeen and the Fantastic Flying Book Club*

Lady Victoria “Vicky” Aston is a big fan of Jane Austen’s novels and wishes her life could be like one.

However, Miss Austen’s novels can’t help Vicky when events lead to her needing to find a husband to save the family estate.

Her father’s business partner Mr. Carmichael is charming, but can he be trusted?

Is Tom Sherborne, Vicky’s childhood best friend and neighbour, only after Vicky’s dowry to pay off his family’s debts?

Vicky keeps finding herself involved in accidents that put her life at risk. Are they really accidents? Or does someone want Vicky dead?

The historical setting and mention of Jane Austen drew me to Dangerous Alliance, and the setting was my favourite thing about the book. I loved when the characters mentioned Jane Austen and her books. When they went to balls I felt like I was reading a Jane Austen novel.

I had mixed feelings about Vicky – there were times when I liked her and times when I found her annoying.

My favourite character was Althea, Vicky’s older sister, but I found Tom to be an interesting character. I felt sorry for them both.

The plot was good overall and I enjoyed the action and mystery element, but I did find my attention wandering once or twice.

The writing style took me a while to get into and there were a few actions that were repeated (Vicky pouting and Tom running a hand through his hair), but some of these may have been taken out of the final version of the book.

I’m a bit disappointed that I didn’t enjoy this more, but I did like it.

Overall, this was an enjoyable regency romp.

 About the Author

Jennieke Cohen (JEN-ih-kah CO-en) is used to people mispronouncing her name and tries to spare her fictional characters the same problem. Jennieke writes historical fiction for young adults inspired by real people and events because life is often stranger than fiction. She studied English history at Cambridge University and has a master’s degree in professional writing from the University of Southern California. Jennieke loves exploring new locales but always returns home to Northern California where the summers are hot, the winters are mild, and life is casual.

Author Links:

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Blog | Pinterest | Instagram

Tour-wide giveaway

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Friday, November 29, 2019

November Wrap-Up

*Contains spoilers for the FairyLoot November book*

Here's what I planned to read this in November . . .


I didn't read as much as I hoped this month, but still managed to get to a few books that I've been meaning to read for a long time.

Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman - hardback - 4/5 stars.
With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo - paperback - 3/5 stars - read my review here.
The Kingdom of Copper (The Daevabad Trilogy, #2) by S.A. Chakraborty - eARC - 4/5 stars - read my review here.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid - paperback - 3.5/5 stars.
Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen - eARC - 3/5 stars - review to come as part of the blog tour.

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 10 - paperback - 3.5/5 stars.
Archenemies (Renegades, #2) by Marissa Meyer - eARC - 3/5 stars.


 I technically only bought one book this month - the FairyLoot book. The others were all trades.

The FairyLoot book was A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy.

The books I got from trades were:
War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi
P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han 
Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han.


Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1) by Susan Dennard

What did you read this month?

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Can't-Wait Wednesday - The Whispers of War

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a feature hosted at Wishful Endings where people showcase an upcoming book they are looking forward to.

This week I am looking forward to . . .

Title: The Whispers of War
Author: Julia Kelly
Pages: 336
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: 14th January 2020

Blurb from Goodreads:

The start of World War II looms over three friends who struggle to remain loyal as one of them is threatened with internment by the British government, from the author of the “sweeping, stirring” (Kristin Harmel, internationally bestselling author of The Room on Rue Amélie) The Light Over London.

In August of 1939, as Britain watches the headlines in fear of another devastating war with Germany, three childhood friends must choose between friendship or country. Erstwhile socialite Nora is determined to find her place in the Home Office’s Air Raid Precautions Department, matchmaker Hazel tries to mask two closely guarded secrets with irrepressible optimism, and German expat Marie worries that she and her family might face imprisonment in an internment camp if war is declared. When Germany invades Poland and tensions on the home front rise, Marie is labeled an enemy alien, and the three friends find themselves fighting together to keep her free at any cost.

Featuring Julia Kelly’s signature “intricate, tender, and convincing” (Publishers Weekly) prose, The Whispers of War is a moving and unforgettable tale of the power of friendship and womanhood in the midst of conflict.

Why I'm Anticipating This Book:

I find books set in this time period really interesting and I enjoyed The Lights Over London by the author so I'm definitely planning to read this!
Plus how gorgeous is this cover?!


Friday, November 22, 2019

Blog Tour + Guest Post + Giveaway - A Constellation of Roses by Miranda Asebedo

Find the tour schedule here.

A Constellation of Roses by Miranda Asebedo
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: November 5th 2019
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary


Ever since her mother walked out, Trix McCabe has been determined to make it on her own. And with her near-magical gift for pulling valuables off unsuspecting strangers, Trix is confident she has what it takes to survive. Until she’s caught and given a choice: jail time, or go live with her long-lost family in the tiny town of Rocksaw, Kansas.

Trix doesn’t plan to stick around Rocksaw long, but there’s something special about her McCabe relatives that she is drawn to. Her aunt, Mia, bakes pies that seem tocure all ills. Her cousin, Ember, can tell a person’s deepest secret with the touch of a hand. And Trix’s great-aunt takes one look at Trix’s palm and tells her that if she doesn’t put down roots somewhere, she won’t have a future anywhere.

Before long, Trix feels like she might finally belong with this special group of women in this tiny town in Kansas. But when her past comes back to haunt her, she’ll have to decide whether to take a chance on this new life . . . or keep running from the one she’s always known.

With lovable and flawed characters, an evocative setting, and friendships to treasure, A Constellation of Roses is the perfect companion to Miranda Asebedo’s debut novel The Deepest Roots.

Book Links:

How to Make Your Characters Believable

When I start a story, I almost always begin with a main character that I love. Because if I’m going to spend the next year working with them, I want to absolutely adore this imaginary person. What makes a character lovable? For me, it’s being believable. A believable character has to have strengths and weaknesses, motivations, fears, and dreams. In short, a believable character needs a backstory. Anyone who’s read early drafts of my work will tell you how much I love backstory. A lot of it ends up getting cut in final versions, but it’s that backstory that really helps shape a character who is well-rounded. 
I start with a notebook. Then I divide it up into sections, a few pages for each character. I use these to keep track of character backstory, description, personal timelines, etc. It sounds pretty basic and low-tech, I know, but wait until you’re on page one hundred-ninety in your first draft and you can’t remember if a character has a scar on their right arm or their left. Then you’ll be glad you’ve written it down in an easy-to-find notebook, and you don’t have to sift through all those pages on the computer screen to find the last time you mentioned it. 

For each character, I answer the following questions in my notebook:

1. What does this character want most?
This is so important! You can write a whole book about a protagonist trying to reach their goal. What gets in their way? How do they deal with it? Trix, the protagonist from my sophomore novel, A Constellation of Roses, most wants to find a place where she belongs and feels safe. This drives a lot of her behavior, because the flip side of this is also her worst fear!

2. What does this character fear most?
Again, you can write a story just by answering this question. What happens when this character is forced to face their biggest fear? Can they overcome it? Trix’s worse fear is being abandoned again, so she has a habit of pushing people away when they get too close so that she doesn’t have to feel the pain of loss. Her fear ends up guiding a lot of her behavior.

3. What are this character’s interests/passions?
Everyone has interests, and this just helps build a character with some depth. Trix is an artist, so she’ll notice things like shading and lighting in a room, where another character wouldn’t notice those things at all.

4. What does the character look like?
Again, with the scar example! Trix’s big-dipper shaped scar is a huge part of the story, and I had to make sure it was always right.

5. What are the character’s mannerisms?
This is good for building a personality, but also so that you can go back through during revisions and make sure your character isn’t dramatically sighing or rolling their eyes two hundred times. For example, Trix loves to cross her arms, and her favorite word is “just.” I know, because I had to cut out both of those things in revisions!

6. Any important backstory dates?
This will help you maintain your timelines. Trix’s first love gets shot roughly eighteen months before the main story takes place, so I had to keep track of ages and dates and seasons whenever I was working on a flashback scene.

I hope these tricks help you work on your own believable characters. Happy writing!

About the Author

Miranda Asebedowas born and raised in rural Kansas with a love of fast cars, open skies, and books. She carried that love of books to college, where she got her B.A. and M.A. in English, with an emphasis in Creative Writing and Literature. A Seaton Fellowship recipient,her short fiction has appeared in Kansas Voices, Touchstone, and Midway Journal.

Miranda still lives on the prairie today with her husband, two kids, and two majestic bulldogs named Princess Jellybean and Captain Jack Wobbles. If Miranda's not writing or reading, she's most likely convinced everyone to load up in the family muscle car and hit the road.

Author Links:

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Instagram

 Tour-wide giveaway

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Photo credit to Alexis Bestwick

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Can't-Wait Wednesday - Trail of Lightning

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a feature hosted at Wishful Endings where people showcase an upcoming book they are looking forward to.

This week I am looking forward to . . .

Title: Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World, #1)
Author: Rebecca Roanhorse
Pages: 305
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Release Date: 28th November 2019

Blurb from Goodreads
While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters.
Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last best hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much more terrifying than anything she could imagine.

Maggie reluctantly enlists the aid of Kai Arviso, an unconventional medicine man, and together they travel the rez, unravelling clues from ancient legends, trading favours with tricksters, and battling dark witchcraft in a patchwork world of deteriorating technology.

As Maggie discovers the truth behind the killings, she will have to confront her past if she wants to survive.
Welcome to the Sixth World.

Why I'm Anticipating This Book:

A monster hunter + clues + dark magic + a reservation setting?
Sounds awesome!