Harry Potter Crochet Kit

I received the Harry Potter Crochet Kit for review recently to check it out for your perfect Holiday Gift. Here is a little bit about the kit

Create your own magic and conjure up these adorable figures of "the boy who lived" and his friends. All the spells you need to make amigurumi dolls of Harry Potter and Dobby are included: yarn, stuffing, needle and thread, safety eye beads, and the special magic wand crochet hook! A 76-page instruction book gives step-by-step directions to make ten more magical models, and the full-color photo will ensure your projects turn out completely enchanting.

 I would have to say I immediately loved how adorable this kit just looks in the box. Look at all the cute characters you can make!! I was pretty excited about it.
So let's unbox and see what's inside! I love how clean the presentation is when you take it out of the box. It's not a just a jumble of the pieces all together. It's nicely set up inside.
The kit comes with enough materials to make Harry Potter and Dobby the House Elf. The best part is the the crochet hook is actually a wand.

So as far as crocheting and the kit is concerned. The book has very detailed information on what the different stitches are and abbrevations are associated with them. It has little pictures to show you how the stitch should look. The pattern for each character is also very well organized and clear in the book. For a beginner crocheter I thought the information is very clear. Again I love how clean this kit is, nothing confusing very organized. The only thing that I would think would be great to add is a link for a youtube video that shows you a few different stitches in action. Honestly it's easy enough to find a video that does show you but having it be associated with the kit. Overall I really love this kit, it's cute and the perfect gift for a crafty book lover in your life!

Dangerous Alliance by Jenniek Cohen

Title: Dangerous Alliance: An Austentacious Romance
Author: 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’s treacherous 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 off the 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.

I found Dangerous Alliance to be an enchanting story.

The thing I found about the book is that it felt like it has what I love about Regency Romance that I would typically read but in the YA setting. The book is both light but also deals with more serious issues. I also love when you read the Author Note (which I highly recommend when an Author has one) that she really studied about Divorce in this era. It was fascinating to have the actual history presented in this way where you are learning something while you read.

Besides dealing with divorce in this era, it also deals with abuse and the impact it has on someone through their life. It’s sad how the repercussions for such were very different back then.

Then of course there is the mystery surrounding poor Vicky and her family. Who would want to do them harm? It’s amazing to me that this story was able to pack so much in but still stay light hearted at times. I really enjoyed the story and the rhythm that the moving parts fit together.

I think what draws someone in to read Dangerous Alliance is the fact that the main character of Victoria is a great lover of Jane Austen’s novels. She often references them throughout the story and the different characters who she at times tries to emulate in real life. If you are a big fan of Austen it’s a lot of fun to have her go through the comparisons of her life to the stories.

I loved Vicky has a character, she probably has all of Austen mixed into her a little. She’s very strong, kind and understanding. She loves her family and will do anything for them.

We also get the perspective of Tom whose own story is also interesting. After struggling with the abuse of his Father and the legacy he left behind. He is trying to repair their families reputation and holdings. At times I was frustrated with him but you can also understand his view point.

It’s a mystery so you can’t say too much about all the characters because where is the fun in that. I really enjoyed the story and it’s that great read if you are looking for a stand alone and a fan of historical fiction.

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.

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Starts: 27th November 2019
Ends: 11th December 2019
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Crown of Oblivion by Julie Eshbaugh

Title: Crown of Oblivion
Author: Julie Eshbaugh
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: November 12th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Astrid is the surrogate for Princess Renya, which means she bears the physical punishment if Renya steps out of line. Astrid has no choice—she and her family are Outsiders, the lower class of people without magic and without citizenship.

But there is a way out of this life—competing in the deadly Race of Oblivion. To enter the race, an Outsider is administered the drug Oblivion, which wipes their memory clear of their past as they enter a new world with nothing to help them but a slip of paper bearing their name and the first clue. It’s not as simple as solving a puzzle, however—for a majority of the contestants, the race ends in death. But winning would mean not only freedom for Astrid, but citizenship and health care for her entire family. With a dying father to think of, Astrid is desperate to prevail.

From the beginning, the race is filled with twists and turns. One of them is Darius, a fellow racer Astrid meets but isn’t sure she can trust. Though they team up in the race, as Astrid’s memories begin to resurface, she remembers just who he was to her—a scorned foe who may want revenge. Astrid also starts to notice she has powers no Outsider should—which could help her win the race, but also make her a target if anyone finds out. With stakes that couldn’t be higher, Astrid must decide what is more important: risking her life to remember the mysteries of the past, or playing a cutthroat game in order to win her—and her family’s—freedom.

Crown of Oblivion is a fast-paced story with an MC that doesn’t fit into a perfect mold. I love that the story does indeed mainly focus on the race, that’s what we are here for.

I loved Astrid’s character. I found her very interesting and also the fact that I realized even though we read the prologue. Time passes, that as a reader we don’t experience, and we start at the race. So it took me a bit into the race to realize that I didn’t really know Astrid in the race. I knew the Astrid that was before her brother left. When people made comments about her, which I would get highly offended on her behalf, I realized I didn’t know what she was like before losing her memories. I also really liked that even though she is strong and resourceful she can’t magically just solve every riddle on her own. Sometimes she is like, I have no idea what that’s supposed to be. I loved that!! She is such a complicated and imperfect character. Some of her choices are made out of her desire to protect her family not necessarily because she wants to be a hero. Very interesting. I’d be curious how her decisions would have differed with her memories.

There are a lot of characters that surface around Astrid. Being that she doesn’t have her memories she has to piece together who they are and we do that with her. It's an interesting idea to think about that losing your memories except for you basic knowledge of life and life skills can shape you into this person that when you get your memories back you are not the same anymore. So we got to know the different parts of Astrid’s life in the same way she gets to know them again.

Renya is a character I’m very conflicted about. I don’t think she necessarily didn’t care about the fact that Astrid is her surrogate. That is too much of an easy answer. I think when she did things that cause Astrid to be whipped it wasn’t because she didn’t care it was more that she selfishly didn’t think about it. I know that sounds like the same thing but it’s not. It wouldn’t be the punishment for Renya if she didn’t care at all, it would not make sense. I think there would probably be thoughts like oh I won’t get caught it’s okay. It’s easy not to fear as much when you are not the one taking the brunt of the abuse. Astrid could be punished because Renya in the heat of emotions does or says something stupid. It’s a very complicated relationship and very complicated character.

There are many components to the world and I found it interesting. We see much of it through the race but not everything. We have a Monarchy, a rebellion and a group of people who are simply hiding out. This shapes the landscape. There is also a hierarchy of Outsider versus Citizen, which defines how the Monarchy works.

There is romance, sort of but I would consider it a slow burn. Astrid isn’t there to fall in love with anyone, she is there to gain her freedom.

I really enjoyed Crown of Oblivion.

Julie Eshbaugh is a YA writer and former filmmaker. She made two short films and then spent several years producing an online video series for teens which received several honors from the Webby Awards. Her new YA fantasy standalone, CROWN OF OBLIVION, is coming from HarperTeen November 2019. IVORY AND BONE (HarperTeen 2016) and OBSIDIAN AND STARS (HarperTeen 2017), her prehistoric fantasy duology, are out now. You can learn more about Julie’s writing escapades by visiting www.julieeshbaugh.com.

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Prize: Win a finished copy of CROWN OF OBLIVION by Julie Eshbaugh (US Only)

Starts: November 12th 2019
Ends: November 26th 2019
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Cover Reveal: Scammed by Kristen Simmons

In Kristen Simmons's young adult thriller Scammed, the stakes are higher. The cons are riskier. And nothing is what you think it is.
Brynn Hilder is living a life she never dreamed possible: She lives in a mansion, getting a top-rate education at Vale Hall. She has friends and an almost-boyfriend. Anything she wants, she can have.

The only catch? To stay in this life, she has to help the director of Vale Hall take down the bad guys of Sikawa City by collecting secrets and running cons.

Getting everything she wants and fighting evil doesn’t seem like such a bad deal. The thing is, she’s not so convinced anymore that Dr. Odin is really going after bad people after all. And the friends and almost-boyfriend that have made her life so different are all liars and con artists—so can she trust that any of it is real?

Welcome to Vale Hall, the school for aspiring con artists.
When Brynn Hilder is recruited to Vale, it seems like the elite academy is her chance to start over, away from her mom’s loser boyfriend and her rundown neighborhood. But she soon learns that Vale chooses students not so much for their scholastic talent as for their extracurricular activities, such as her time spent conning rich North Shore kids out of their extravagant allowances.

At first, Brynn jumps at the chance to help the school in its mission to rid the city of corrupt officials—because what could be better than giving entitled jerks what they deserve? But that’s before she meets her mark—a senator’s son—and before she discovers the school’s headmaster has secrets he’ll stop at nothing to protect. As the lines between right and wrong blur, Brynn begins to realize she’s in way over head.

Find Me Their Bones by Sara Wolf

Title: Find Me Their Bones
Author: Sara Wolf
Published: November 5th 2019 by Entangled: Teen

No one can save her.

In order to protect Prince Lucien d’Malvane’s heart, Zera had to betray him. Now, he hates the sight of her. Trapped in Cavanos as a prisoner of the king, she awaits the inevitable moment her witch severs their magical connection and finally ends her life.

But fate isn't ready to give her up just yet.

With freedom coming from the most unlikely of sources, Zera is given a second chance at life as a Heartless. But it comes with a terrible price. As the king mobilizes his army to march against the witches, Zera must tame an elusive and deadly valkerax trapped in the tunnels underneath the city if she wants to regain her humanity.

Winning over a bloodthirsty valkerax? Hard. Winning back her friends before war breaks out? A little harder.

But a Heartless winning back Prince Lucien’s heart?

The hardest thing she’s ever done.

Find Me Their Bones is the perfect sequel to Bring Me Their Hearts. Fast paced and heartbreaking, much like the first book. I couldn’t put it down.

Zera is such a great main character. Maybe because most of the time she has nothing to lose but she is so funny and witty. I love the way she banters herself around any situation. I also feel sad about the way she never gives herself a break. Even after everything she wants to protect the people she cares about but she finds herself in a position where trust is difficult.

Even though we get interactions with Lucien, Fione and Malachite. We aren’t with them enough to really know what they are doing. We spend more time with new characters like Varia, Yorl and
Evlorasin. Who I really enjoyed getting to know all of them. I hope to see some more of a couple of them in the future. Maybe not Varia. Not sure if I like Varia very much.

My poor heart when it comes to Zera and Lucien push and pull between one another. They were killing me, if only they could just sit and hash it out but not the easiest thing to do. I love them so much though separately and together but I of course want them to be together.

I loved the progression of the plot from the first book. War is closer than just on the horizon anymore and the race to stop it continues on. I felt like the story has been developed so well from first book into this sequel and now I can not wait for book 3. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to wait for it!!! I need to know. I won’t give anything away because there are so many moving parts that need to come together in their time but it is so fast paced you find yourself cruising the pages.

I loved Find Me Their Bones, I love Sara Wolf’s writing and I’m so excited for the next book.

The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah

Title: The Light at the Bottom of the World (The Light at the Bottom of the World #1)
Author: London Shah
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: October 29th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Hope had abandoned them to the wrath of all the waters.

At the end of the twenty-first century, the world has changed dramatically, but life continues one thousand feet below the ocean's surface. In Great Britain, sea creatures swim among the ruins of Big Ben and the Tower of London, and citizens waver between fear and hope; fear of what lurks in the abyss, and hope that humanity will soon discover a way to reclaim the Earth.

Meanwhile, sixteen-year-old Leyla McQueen has her own problems to deal with. Her father's been arrested, accused of taking advantage of victims of the Seasickness-a debilitating malaise that consumes people,often claiming their lives. But Leyla knows he's innocent, and all she's interested in is getting him back so that their lives can return to normal.

When she's picked to race in the action-packed London Submersible Marathon, Leyla gets the chance to secure his freedom; the Prime Minister promises the champion whatever their heart desires. The race takes an unexpected turn, though, and presents her with an opportunity she never wanted: Leyla must venture outside of London for the first time in her life, to find and rescue her father herself.

Now, she'll have to brave the unfathomable waters and defy a corrupt government determined to keep its secrets, all the while dealing with a secretive, hotheaded companion she never asked for in the first place. If she fails, or falls prey to her own fears, she risks capture-and her father might be lost forever.

The Light of the Bottom of the World, immediately fascinated me. What a cool concept. The world is remade by an event that raises the sea levels above the land levels. I can’t help it, I love stuff like this and what a unique idea for a dystopia type story.

The world is really interesting. A Submersed Great Britain and people who are dead set on holding onto the past as much as they can. It’s actually intriguing how hard they try to. There are people who are plagued with something called Seasickness. Which almost sounds like they miss the land. If they have been there for quite some time, I’m surprised they haven’t adjusted to living under the waters. This comes out more in the book about Seasickness and the cause of it. Also the world under water is just an interesting visual. When I first started doing Graphic Design so many moons ago. I used to love to take pictures of cities and make them appear submerged and under water for decades. With algae, oxidation and decay. Plus if you have ever looked at pictures of and studied Atlantis you get that same feeling with this story. I loved that London Shah goes into a lot of details about what the building and things look like. I also think it’s really interesting that her friends family owns hotels that emulate the “Old World” which is the time above land. If you think about it, we often have resorts and themes that emulate the deep sea. So it’s like flip flopping. A really great idea.

So there is a bunch of different action that keeps that pace moving. The Submersible Marathon, different battle scenes as Leyla travels the ocean to find her dad. There are actually times that I forgot they are underwater and not in space. Ha ha. So if you are a fan of Sci-fi, I think you would really enjoy this! Of course there are government secrets as well because what government doesn’t have secrets. It’s really interesting how the information unfolds because we still don’t know everything at the end of the book. So I’m really intrigued as to why the government has made some decisions and can’t wait to see if we find out in the next book.

So what I also love is that some of my Science questions are addressed. In theory there is not enough water on the planet to completely submerge all land under water. (side note: I also had a lot of questions about underwater volcanoes and new landforms but that had no relevance to the story.) So the reasons that everyone stays underwater is also woven into the book as we find out more about the surface and what’s left of it. Also as to what lead to them being underwater in the first place. I hate when a story just leaves stuff like that open ended, so I was so happy to see that included!!

I liked Leyla, even though at times she seemed really immature. I don’t think that necessarily is a bad thing, she’s a teenager who lost her dad. I think I would go to great lengths to get my dad back too even irrational great lengths. So I liked that she is not perfect and makes mistakes. I think that she is really strong and true to herself. I also think it’s crap that so much stuff is kept from her and so of course her reactions are what they are.

I also really like sotic Ari. He’s got his reasons for being the way he is too. I really like some of their interactions too. Especially because they approach obstacles in different ways.

I really enjoyed The Light at the Bottom of the World and can’t wait for the next book to see what happens. I really wish I could see pictures of the world. Someone do some artwork, I have no artistic ability. I would really love to see the submarine!! I need a blueprint!! Such an imaginative world.

Author London Shah is a British-born Muslim of Pashtun ethnicity. She has lived in Britain's capital city for most of her life via England's beautiful North. When she's not busy re-imagining the past, plotting an alternate present or dreaming up a surreal future, then she's most likely drinking copious amounts of tea, eating all the sweets and cakes, strolling through Richmond Park or along the Thames, getting lost on an evening in the city's older, darker alleyways—preferably just after it's rained—listening to punk rock, or losing herself in a fab SFF book or film. If she could have only one super power, it would be to breathe underwater. THE LIGHT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WORLD is her debut novel.

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Sisters of Shadow and Light by Sara B. Larson

Sisters of Shadow and Light (Sisters of Shadow and Light #1)
Author: Sara B. Larson
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: November 5th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

From the acclaimed author of DEFY, Sara B. Larson, SISTERS OF SHADOW AND LIGHT is a timeless and fantastical tale of sisterly love and powerful magic

"The night my sister was born, the stars died and were reborn in her eyes…".

Zuhra and Inara have grown up in the Citadel of the Paladins, an abandoned fortress where legendary, magical warriors once lived before disappearing from the world―including their Paladin father the night Inara was born.

On that same night, a massive, magical hedge grew and imprisoned them within the citadel. Inara inherited their father’s Paladin power; her eyes glow blue and she is able to make plants grow at unbelievable rates, but she has been trapped in her own mind because of a “roar” that drowns everything else out―leaving Zuhra virtually alone with their emotionally broken human mother.

For fifteen years they have lived, trapped in the citadel, with little contact from the outside world…until the day a stranger passes through the hedge, and everything changes.

Sisters of Light and Shadow is such a great read. I was so completely engrossed in the story and how intriguing the world is. The characters and emphasises on family were perfect.

I loved the magic system. What a cool idea to have the Paladins, these people from another world with magical powers. I loved how you have a basic knowledge of the lineage at the beginning of the story but we learn more about them as Zuhra and Inara learn more. Finding about how their power and channeling of magic actually works.

I love the relationships in the story. They are imperfect and complicated. Especially when it comes to Zuhra and Inara’s mother. Even with Sami, who when her history with the family comes to light throws a whole different perspective in. I’m not sure how to feel about their mom even though she is grieving a life lost but it doesn’t excuse her actions she takes towards her daughters. I did love the bond that Zuhra and Inara share, no matter the circumstances, they depend on one another. They accept each other with all their imperfections and they fight for one another, even if it means giving things up. They really have a great bond.

There is a little bit of romance but it really feels like the story stays focused on the bond of the sisters and understanding the world both inside and outside the Citadel. I think this book breaks the surface for the girls to find relationships but also leaves it to be more developed in the next book. Which I did appreciate. You have two people who have not had any contact with men of any kind in fifteen years. Of course what they think should happen and what does happen are two different things.

I loved the writing. I thought it was engaging and fast paced. I loved the story and how unique and intriguing it is. I loved a lot of things but I also do not want to say too much because I liked going into the story pretty much blind. I’m not sure I even read the synopsis besides when I did a while ago to see if I was interested. I like that the soul of this story is the sisters and their bond. I highly recommend it.

Sara B. Larson is the best-selling and critically acclaimed author of the YA fantasy DEFY trilogy (DEFY, IGNITE, and ENDURE) and the DARK BREAKS THE DAWN duology. Her next YA fantasy, SISTERS OF SHADOW AND LIGHT, comes out November 5th from Tor Teen. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t write books—although she now uses a computer instead of a Little Mermaid notebook. Sara lives in Utah with her husband, their four children, and their Maltese, Loki. She writes in brief snippets throughout the day and the quiet hours when most people are sleeping. Her husband claims she should have a degree in “the art of multitasking.” When she’s not mothering or writing, you can often find her at the gym repenting for her sugar addiction.

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Prize: Win (1) of (10) copy of SISTERS OF SHADOW & LIGHT by Sara B. Larson (US/CAN Only)

Starts: 30th November 2019
Ends: 13th November 2019

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Angel Mage by Garth Nix

Angel Mage
Author: Garth Nix
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release date: October 1, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

More than a century has passed since Liliath crept into the empty sarcophagus of Saint Marguerite, fleeing the Fall of Ystara. But she emerges from her magical sleep still beautiful, looking no more than nineteen, and once again renews her single-minded quest to be united with her lover, Palleniel, the archangel of Ystara.

A seemingly impossible quest, but Liliath is one of the greatest practitioners of angelic magic to have ever lived, summoning angels and forcing them to do her bidding.

Liliath knew that most of the inhabitants of Ystara died from the Ash Blood plague or were trans-formed into beastlings, and she herself led the survivors who fled into neighboring Sarance. Now she learns that angels shun the Ystaran’s descendants. If they are touched by angelic magic, their blood will turn to ash. They are known as Refusers, and can only live the most lowly lives.

But Liliath cares nothing for the descendants of her people, save how they can serve her. It is four young Sarancians who hold her interest: Simeon, a studious doctor-in-training; Henri, a dedicated for-tune hunter; Agnez, an adventurous musketeer cadet; and Dorotea, an icon-maker and scholar of an-gelic magic. They are the key to her quest.

The four feel a strange kinship from the moment they meet, but do not know why, or suspect their im-portance. All become pawns in Liliath’s grand scheme to fulfill her destiny and be united with the love of her life. No matter the cost to everyone else. . .

I enjoyed Angel Mage it definitely is a good traditional fantasy and has a lot of interesting elements.

For some reason when you start involving a lot of different Angels I start to get confused. The good thing about the world Garth Nix created is that each kingdom has a main angel and then the lesser angels fall underneath. So even though I couldn’t keep track of the lesser angels, it’s okay as long as I have the general idea of the Archangels. I thought it was interesting but I think I knew more about them then the kingdoms themselves. At the same time I loved the Icon magic. I’m really a fan of Icons in general because they used prominently in Russian churches. I loved how the making of them and performing magic with them is how mages connect with the Angels.

I like a book that incorporates a lot of characters. I always think it’s a lot of fun to have a band of characters adventuring together to reach a common goal. Unfortunately the only character that really stood out to me in the band of four was Dorotea. I felt like the other characters voices were overlapping each other a bit. I still liked them all and the story was enjoyable but that’s who stood out the most to me.

Lillath is one interestingly crazy mage. I felt like we got to know her really well and is just an interesting villain main character type of character. She was important to the plot, she wasn’t a random villain waiting in the wings and then coming and creating havoc. Things happened and could not happen without her. I liked her importance to the story. She’s also super scary.

The plot was interesting and all the little parts that go along with it.

It reads like a classic fantasy. So if you are itching for a classic fantasy I think that you will be happy with this story. Again I really liked how the magic system and the villian that is really part of the story.

Garth Nix has been a full-time writer since 2001, but has also worked as a literary agent, marketing consultant, book editor, book publicist, book sales representative, bookseller, and as a part-time sol-dier in the Australian Army Reserve.

Garth’s books include the Old Kingdom fantasy series, comprising Sabriel, Lirael; Abhorsen; Clariel and Goldenhand; SF novels Shade’s Children and A Confusion of Princes; and a Regency romance with magic, Newt’s Emerald. His novels for children include The Ragwitch; the six books of The Sev-enth Tower sequence; The Keys to the Kingdom series and others. He has co-written several books with Sean Williams, including the Troubletwisters series; Spirit Animals Book Three: Blood Ties; Have Sword, Will Travel; and the forthcoming sequel Let Sleeping Dragons Lie. A contributor to many an-thologies and magazines, Garth’s selected short fiction has been collected in Across the Wall and To Hold the Bridge.

More than five million copies of his books have been sold around the world, they have appeared on the bestseller lists of The New York Times, Publishers Weekly and USA Today and his work has been translated into 42 languages. His most recent book is Frogkisser! now being developed as a film by Twentieth Century Fox/Blue Sky Animation.

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Prize: 2 finished copies of Angel Mage by Garth Nix (USA)
Starts: 10/21/19
Ends: 10/31/19

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Tarnished are the Stars by Rosiee Thor

Tarnished Are the Stars
Author: Rosiee Thor
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: October 15th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, LGBT

The Lunar Chronicles meets Rook in this queer #OwnVoices science-fantasy novel, perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer and Sharon Cameron.

A secret beats inside Anna Thatcher's chest: an illegal clockwork heart. Anna works cog by cog -- donning the moniker Technician -- to supply black market medical technology to the sick and injured, against the Commissioner's tyrannical laws.

Nathaniel Fremont, the Commissioner's son, has never had to fear the law. Determined to earn his father's respect, Nathaniel sets out to capture the Technician. But the more he learns about the outlaw, the more he questions whether his father's elusive affection is worth chasing at all.

Their game of cat and mouse takes an abrupt turn when Eliza, a skilled assassin and spy, arrives. Her mission is to learn the Commissioner's secrets at any cost -- even if it means betraying her own heart.

When these uneasy allies discover the most dangerous secret of all, they must work together despite their differences and put an end to a deadly epidemic -- before the Commissioner ends them first.

Tarnished are the Stars mixes Sci-fi, politics and a little bit of space to make this an interesting little mystery. I loved that there are three different characters all seeking approval and finding themselves in different ways to make up their little crew.

I loved the motley crew that Nathaniel, Anna and Eliza make up. When I originally read their were three characters, I was kind of wondering how that would work. I ended up loving all three of them.

Nathaniel comes off as, I don’t want to say weak but he’s looking for validation. He’s suffered emotional and physical abuse from his father, yet he often blames himself for it. He feels like if he was just a little bit better his father would respect him. It’s terrible to read what he goes through and it’s interesting as the story unfolds how pieces fit together to make these characters who they are. Nathaniel finds himself through his friendship and the adventure that the plot gives him.

Anna is another interesting character because she is loving but she is often viewed as emotionally cold. I can relate to her in this respect because I was often described as emotionally dead. It doesn’t mean there isn’t feelings there. Anna has a lot of feelings and does love her family fiercely. It just doesn’t always come out the right way.

Eliza is looking for approval but in a little different way. She is ambitious and is looking to elevate herself in the eyes of the Queen. She’s looking to belong in a whole different way.

I really liked the plot. It wasn’t overly complicated but really enjoyable. We have a new Earth that is in the process of being Terraformed. The idea is to avoid tech that had destroyed the original Earth but without it, people will die. Why they need it becomes the mystery of the settlement versus the outside village, Mecan. As our crew uncovers truths, they find there is a lot more political and personal motivation than meets the eye.

It’s easy to say that when a book is shorter and two characters get together that it’s insta-love. I didn’t feel that way about Anna and Eliza at all. They have the normal initial attraction to one another when they first meet and then by working together they find the attraction go. I don’t think they are walking around acting like they can’t live without each other but I find that they see the potential for greater love down the line. I really liked how the relationship is presented and developing up to the end. Felt very natural.

I really enjoyed Tarnished are the Stars. I think it’s a great quick read that mixes just enough Sci-Fi to not be overwhelmly to someone who doesn’t normally read Sci-fi. I would hope that element would not deter someone from reading because it’s a great read.

Rosiee Thor began her career as a storyteller by demanding that her mother listen as Rosiee told bedtime stories instead of the other way around. She lives in Oregon with a dog, two cats, and four complete sets of Harry Potter, which she loves so much, she once moved her mattress into the closet and slept there until she came out as queer.

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Prize: Win a signed hardcopy of TARNISHED ARE THE STARS by Rosiee Thor (US Only)

Stars: 15th October 2019
Ends: 29th October 2019
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The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco

The Never Tilting World (The Never Tilting World #1)
Author: Rin Chupeco
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: October 15th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Frozen meets Mad Max in this epic teen fantasy duology bursting with star-crossed romance, immortal heroines, and elemental magic, perfect for fans of Furyborn.

Generations of twin goddesses have long ruled Aeon. But seventeen years ago, one sister’s betrayal defied an ancient prophecy and split their world in two. The planet ceased to spin, and a Great Abyss now divides two realms: one cloaked in perpetual night, the other scorched by an unrelenting sun.

While one sister rules Aranth—a frozen city surrounded by a storm-wracked sea —her twin inhabits the sand-locked Golden City. Each goddess has raised a daughter, and each keeps her own secrets about her sister’s betrayal.

But when shadowy forces begin to call their daughters, Odessa and Haidee, back to the site of the Breaking, the two young goddesses —along with a powerful healer from Aranth, and a mouthy desert scavenger —set out on separate journeys across treacherous wastelands, desperate to heal their broken world. No matter the sacrifice it demands.

I really liked The Never Tilting World but I”m also a big Rin Chupeco fan. I think you sometimes find authors whose writing is always a good fit for you and I felt like this is another story that drew me in and haunts me like her other books.

We have four perspectives in the book and I loved first of all how they are divided, and how they are entitled for each chapter. It made reading pretty seamless. Honestly if you liked characters more than others you could follow along one thread of the story. You’d probably be lost but you know to each their own. Anyway I thought it was well done and not confusing which can sometimes be a problem. It was very clear who each character was and their own individual depth.

Haidee is my favorite character. She’s so empathetic and quirky. Plus she loves has that whole awesome steampunk thing going for her. She reminds me of Rikku from Final Fantasy, who happens to be one of my favorite characters. So it wasn’t hard to bond with her. When we start getting towards the end, I was hoping she wasn’t THAT twin but then I’m like wait I should be rooting for both of them. Haidee is confident and truly believes in doing the right thing, for her people and the world. She wants to find a way to save everyone including creatures.

Now flipping to the other side of the world. I think my second favorite perspective is Lan. She is seriously just really awesome and mature. She suffers from PTSD from an incident that occurred to her team. She’s so strong though and she overcomes so much. Plus she’s just a kick butt leader that you can admire. Her genuine love for Odessa though is so sweet and enduring.

Arjun! I loved Arjun too. Maybe I can’t really choose between characters. He’s so funny from the beginning to the end. I love how he acts all hard and recluse but he’s just a softy. It comes out as he spends time with Haidee. It was fun to see him open with her. Especially with duloungs. Ha ha.

Odessa is someone I had mixed feelings about at times. Even though I knew some of her actions were because of the circumstances. I’m like don’t let this make her unlikable to you, her true heart is there still!! I liked how honest she is with her feelings about Lan. How she is ready to fight anyone that thinks they can stand in their way. She gives herself to her wholeheartedly.

I liked the plot a lot. The journey to the abyss from both sides of the world, I thought was clever. Let’s meet in the middle takes on a whole different meaning. There is definitely still a lot of mystery surrounding the breaking. We I got to the last page, I was like noooooooooooo. I need more. I like it because I’ve turning different scenarios over in my head. I think I liked Haidee’s journey more than Odessa’s. I”m not sure why though. It’s cool because they are both different experiences. Haidee and Arjun have to just rely on each other. Where Odessa in a bigger group, finds that not everyone's motives are clear.

I love stories/video games that have two worlds like this. Sometimes overlapping each other or two halves of a whole. So it didn’t surprise me how much I enjoyed this book.

Despite an unsettling resemblance to Japanese revenants, Rin always maintains her sense of hummus. Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. Dances like the neighbors are watching.

She is represented by Rebecca Podos of the Helen Rees Agency. She is also fond of speaking in the third person, and may as well finish this short bio in this manner. While she does not always get to check her Goodreads page, she does answer questions posed to her here as promptly as she is able to.

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Prize: Win a finished copy of THE NEVER TILTING WORLD by Rin Chupeco, character stickers and art prints for all four characters of the NEVER TILTING WORLD (INT)
Stars: 15th October a Rafflecopter giveaway
Ends: 29th October 2019
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The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy

The Memory Thief
Author: Lauren Mansy
Publisher: BLINK
Release date: October 1, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fanstasy

In the city of Craewick, memories reign. The power-obsessed ruler of the city, Madame, has cultivated a society in which memories are currency, citizens are divided by ability, and Gifted individuals can take memories from others through touch as they please.

Seventeen-year-old Etta Lark is desperate to live outside of the corrupt culture, but grapples with the guilt of an accident that has left her mother bedridden in the city’s asylum. When Madame threatens to put her mother up for auction, a Craewick practice in which a “criminal's" memories are sold to the highest bidder before being killed, Etta will do whatever it takes to save her. Even if it means rejoining the Shadows, the rebel group she swore off in the wake of the accident years earlier.

To prove her allegiance to the Shadows and rescue her mother, Etta must steal a memorized map of the Maze, a formidable prison created by the bloodthirsty ruler of a neighboring Realm. So she sets out on a journey in which she faces startling attacks, unexpected romance, and, above all, her own past in order to set things right in her world.

When I first started reading The Memory Thief, I was kind of wondering how a world like this was going to work. People trading and selling memories. Having them used as a commodity and kind of like a drug. It does work though and I ended up finding the world and characters very interesting.

There are the gifted and the ungifted. What unsettled me the most was the gifted called Sifters. They are able to mess with people’s minds through a single glance. The talents varying from there but in general they have to be transferred by touch. Like anything though, there is a series of checks and balances that try to keep like Madame becoming a power. Unfortunately she became a power. I thought it was very unique.

I liked Etta. She is someone who has had to make tough choices and has had to deal with the consequences. I think she did a lot of growing before we join her in the story but I think she continues to grow as the plot develops. She carries many burdens of what she has done with her and at one point she mentions the journey to forgiving herself has been long. There were things I didn’t one hundred percent understand her gifts. It has to do with the end of the story though and so I don’t want to give anything away. I just got the impression she had a gift similar to someone else but then it was like that other person was the only one who had it.

I liked Reid. I didn’t feel overly attached to him and because the romance is fast paced, I kind of wish they had more of a previous history. Like Etta and Bray, it would have convinced me more. Although I do people can fall for each other pretty quickly based off of surface attraction so I never rule that out.

I liked the plot. I thought it was interesting and the book is well written. As far as pacing goes, I thought the first half was really good. The end felt a little quick. It seemed like they were getting places a little faster than I was expecting. I did really like it thought and the whole idea of the story. I’m kind of like that person that gets mad when books are too long and gets mad when books are too short.

I liked The Memory Thief. I thought the concept of memory transfer as a ware was really unique. I liked the main character Etta and how she had to make some really tough choices. I also found the world interesting.

Lauren lives in the Chicago area, where she's spent years working with youth, from young children to high schoolers. When she’s not writing, Lauren is usually with her family or exploring the city to find the best deep dish pizza. The Memory Thief, which was inspired by Lauren's own journey with her mother, is her first novel.

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Prize: 1 finished copy of The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy + a poster and signed bookplate (USA only)
Starts: 10/14/19
Ends: 10/26/19

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Fireborne by Rosaria Munda

Title: Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle #1)
Author: Rosaria Munda
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 15th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dragons

Seraphina meets Red Rising in a debut young adult fantasy that's full of rivalry, romance... and dragons.

Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone—even the lowborn—a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders.

Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn’t be more different. Annie’s lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee’s aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet.

But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city.

With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he’s come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves . . . or step up to be the champion her city needs.

From debut author Rosaria Munda comes a gripping adventure that calls into question which matters most: the family you were born into, or the one you’ve chosen.

Fireborne takes the Dragons and combines them with the politics of the aftermath of revolution that reminds me of the Russian Revolution. The tone of the book for me was sad because hard choices have to be made but I felt the plot was interesting.

Collipolis was once run by families called Dragonlords but a revolution was led and the lords were overthrown. Put on house arrest until they were all put to death from the smallest child to the oldest adult. The families believed to be eradicated.

Rumors fly that some of the portions of families survived and fled to bide time to rise again. We begin the story with Annie and Lee. Lee who is one of those survivors, only as far as he knows. Growing up in an orphanage, Lee has to reconcile in himself the difference between the two reigns.

We get two perspectives. Both Lee and Annie’s. At first I actually didn’t like Annie that much. I didn’t really understand how she didn’t understand the situation she created with Duck. Also the way she would be hot and cold to Lee. As the story goes on though I do end up appreciating her character.

The character I liked the most was Lee though. This is someone who rides this crazy line and has to make hard choices. Where for Annie things are pretty clear. These people killed my family they are bad. Lee lives in this world that these people killed my family but was it justified. Could I kill my family for the greater good. I thought in the face of that he is very strong and has such a strong base character.

The plot is really interesting and it takes a look at what is to throw over a regime and try to find a new path. To make choices that are different or similar but better for the people. That evil can reside on both sides of the line. I did at times feel like I wish I had more Dragon time, maybe not necessarily in a tournament setting but outside. I’m not sure I felt any kind of special bond between a rider and their dragon. The politics seemed to take precedence. I did like all the characters and how they interacted with one another.

As far as romance. It’s there I guess but very light. I liked the flashbacks to the orphanage with Annie and Lee. There were times though I think I was rooting more for Crissa.

I enjoyed Fireborne and I’m really intrigued to see where the story takes us in the future. What waits for the nations and dragon riders over the horizon.

Rosaria grew up in rural North Carolina, where she climbed trees, read Harry Potter fanfiction, and taught herself Latin. She studied political theory at Princeton and lives in Chicago with her husband and cat.

For book recs and updates, follow her on instagram: @rosariamunda

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Prize: Win (1) of (2) copies of Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle #1) by Rosaria Munda (US/CAN Only)
Starts: 9th October 2019
Ends: 9th October 2019
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Crier's War by Nina Varela

Crier's War (Crier's War #1)
Author: Nina Varela
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: October 1st 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT

After the War of Kinds ravaged the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, designed to be the playthings of royals, usurped their owners’ estates and bent the human race to their will.

Now Ayla, a human servant rising in the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging her family’s death…by killing the sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier.

Crier was Made to be beautiful, flawless, and to carry on her father’s legacy. But that was before her betrothal to the enigmatic Scyre Kinok, before she discovered her father isn’t the benevolent king she once admired, and most importantly, before she met Ayla.

Now, with growing human unrest across the land, pressures from a foreign queen, and an evil new leader on the rise, Crier and Ayla find there may be only one path to love: war.

Crier’s War was a book that I was kind of up in the air about. Mostly because I have mixed feelings about books with any kind of Android/Automations along those lines. I really enjoyed this story, it was well done.

One of the things that surprised me that I got so into was the politics of the story. I was on the edge of my seat as each mystery was unfolded. As each political power was exposed for where their alliances fall. I couldn’t stop reading.

I loved Crier. I liked Ayla, but I really loved Crier. I didn’t think that I would be as inclined to bond with a Automae. Crier seems naive but it is because she is kind. She also can see things at more than face value. I think the way she is honest with herself is what makes her endearing.

Ayla is strong and resilient but she is also lost. I think that she hasn't found her full potential yet but I think when she is with Crier she finds herself. I think there are often times in the story where lines get blurred for Ayla and she's not always sure where she should fall.

The romance between Crier and Ayla is light but sweet. Not as strange as I would have thought, since Crier is automae. I kept thinking of Crier as a person not a machine and I think because we experience her perspective it makes her more human. Again the way she just openly enjoys Ayla’s company and doesn’t shy away from her feelings. Just really made me love her character. Plus I felt like the development between them was very organic.

There are tidbits of history mixed into the story. Which I absolutely loved. I also like when a story gives you background that way. It’s like you referencing a history book and saying ahh I see now how this is. I would love to read the history of the Automations and the war. Not sure why I was just so intrigued!!

I don’t want to give anything away but I really enjoyed this story. I think if you are weary of stories that involve Automation, AI and all that. You would enjoy this book. The way it presents it makes it easy to fall into.

Nina Varela is a nationally awarded writer of screenplays and short fiction. She was born in New Orleans and raised on a hippie commune in Durham, North Carolina, where she spent most of her childhood playing in the Eno River, building faerie houses from moss and bark, and running barefoot through the woods. These days, Nina lives in Los Angeles with her writing partner and their tiny, ill-behaved dog. She tends to write stories about hard-won love and young people toppling the monarchy/patriarchy/whatever-archy. On a related note, she’s queer. On a less related note, she has strong feelings about hushpuppies and loves a good jambalaya. CRIER’S WAR is her first novel.

You can find Nina at any given coffee shop in the greater Los Angeles area, or at www.ninavarela.com.

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The Last Dragon by James Riley Giveaway!

Title: The Last Dragon
(The Revenge of Magic #2)
Author: James Riley
Published: October 8th 2019 by Aladdin

Fort Fitzgerald is determined to uncover the truth, but a new student at school and the secrets he has to keep complicate matters in this second novel in a thrilling new series from the author of the New York Times bestselling Story Thieves!

Fort Fitzgerald can’t stop having nightmares about the day his father was taken from him in an attack on Washington, DC. In these dreams, an Old One, an evil beyond comprehension, demands the location of the last dragon. But other than some dragon skeletons dug up with the books of magic on Discovery Day, Fort has never seen a dragon before. Could there still be one left alive?

And weirdly, Fort’s not the only one at the Oppenheimer School having these nightmares. His new roommate, Gabriel, seems to know more than he’s letting on about this dragon as well. And why does everyone at the school seem to do whatever Gabriel says? What’s his secret?

Fort’s going to need the help of his friends Cyrus, Jia, and Rachel, if he’s going to have any chance of keeping the Old Ones from returning to Earth. Unless, the Old Ones offer something Fort could never turn down…

Perfect for fans of Dungeons and Dragons and Stranger Things, don’t miss THE LAST DRAGON (Aladdin | On Sale October 8, 2019): the second novel, which can be read as a standalone, in New York Times bestselling author James Riley’s thrilling new series The Revenge of Magic.

This Giveaway is US Only. You will win a copy of both the first and second book.

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Whispers of Shadow & Flame by L. Penelope

Whispers of Shadow & Flame (Earthsinger Chronicles #2)
Author: L. Penelope
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: October 1st 2019
Genre: Fantasy, Romance

The Mantle that separates the kingdoms of Elsira and Lagrimar is about to fall. And life will drastically change for both kingdoms.

Born with a deadly magic she cannot control, Kyara is forced to become an assassin. Known as the Poison Flame in the kingdom of Lagrimar, she is notorious and lethal, but secretly seeks freedom from both her untamed power and the blood spell that commands her. She is tasked with capturing the legendary rebel called the Shadowfox, but everything changes when she learns her target’s true identity.

Darvyn ol-Tahlyro may be the most powerful Earthsinger in generations, but guilt over those he couldn’t save tortures him daily. He isn’t sure he can trust the mysterious young woman who claims to need his help, but when he discovers Kyara can unlock the secrets of his past, he can’t stay away.

Kyara and Darvyn grapple with betrayal, old promises, and older prophecies—all while trying to stop a war. And when a new threat emerges, they must beat the odds to save both kingdoms.

Whispers of Shadow and Flame is another one of those books that you don’t hear a lot about but wonder why because it’s so good when you read it!

The writing in fantastic. There are moments that I would get confused but I’m starting to think it’s just me because it always ironed itself out. I really enjoyed the world building and characters. Also getting the different perspectives not just from who I considered the main characters.

I loved Kyara, even though she is the King’s assassin. It’s not by choice and she has managed to keep herself despite that. I know she doesn’t think so but she is so strong and kind and deserves more than she thinks she does.

Darvyn takes the weight of the world on his shoulders. Being the only person that can do what he can do, he feels like he needs to do everything. I think Kyara says it best when she mentions that nobody can be in two places at once. He takes on the guilt of every life lost even so. He is also so kind hearted.

I also really liked having Zeli, Unali and Tana’s side of the story as well. They were all characters that I really enjoyed.

The world of Whispers of Shadow and Flame really sucks you in. From it’s interesting magic system, to the history of the different houses (that reminded me of a zodiac) and the opressive monarchy that the people are fighting against. Such a great read.

Leslye Penelope has been writing since she could hold a pen and loves getting lost in the worlds in her head. She is an award-winning author of fantasy and paranormal romance.

She was born in the Bronx, just after the birth of hip hop, but left before she could acquire an accent. Equally left and right-brained, she studied Film at Howard University and minored in Computer Science. This led to a graduate degree in Multimedia and a career in website development. She's also an award-winning independent filmmaker, co-founded a literary magazine, and sometimes dreams in HTML.

Leslye lives in Maryland with her husband and their furry dependents. Sign up for new release information and giveaways on her website: http://www.lpenelope.com.

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Prize: Win (1) of (3) copies of Whispers of Shadow & Flame (Earthsinger Chronicles #2) by L. Penelope (US ONLY)
Starts: 1st October 2019
Ends: 15th October 2019
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