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    SERAFINA AND THE SPLINTERED HEART Blog Tour: Review

    I am thrilled to be today’s stop on the SERAFINA AND THE SPLINTERED HEART Blog Tour. This is such a wonderful series with delightful characters, exciting adventures, gripping mysteries, a fascinating setting, and positive messages, told in a way that both entertains and educates. With each book, the story becomes a bit more detailed, the characters more complex, the challenges more difficult, making for an unputdownable series that will be enjoyed by readers of most ages.

    For my stop today I will be sharing my thoughts on this third book in the series, SERAFINA AND THE SPLINTERED HEART. Though they might be rather cryptic as there are a number of spoiler-y things that happen right from the start that I don’t wish to reveal.

    If you’d like to know more about any of the books in the series, the details are below – along with links to excerpts. And if you’d like to follow along with the tour, the schedule follows at the bottom of this post.


    About SERAFINA AND THE SPLINTERED HEART

    Add to Goodreads

    Title & Series: SERAFINA AND THE SPLINTERED HEART (Serafina #3)
    Author: Robert Beatty
    Release date: July 4, 2017
    Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
    Pages: 368
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Read an EXCERPT

    Description…

    The storms are coming…. 

    Something has happened to Serafina. She has awoken into a darkness she does not understand, scarred from a terrible battle, only to find that life at Biltmore Estate has changed in unimaginable ways. Old friends do unthinkable things and enemies seem all around.

    A mysterious threat moves towards Biltmore, a force without a name, bringing with it violent storms and flooding that stands to uproot everything in its path. Serafina must uncover the truth about what has happened to her and find a way to harness her strange new powers before it’s too late.

    With only days to achieve the impossible, Serafina fights to reclaim herself as the Guardian of Biltmore, friend of Braeden, daughter of her Pa, and heroine of the Blue Ridge Mountains and all the folk and creatures that call it home.

    In the epic third installment of Robert Beatty’s #1 bestselling series, Serafina takes her rightful place among literary champions as she battles fiercely to defend all she loves and become everything that she is meant to be.

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    NOTE: This review is based on a finished copy received from the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book. A Kindle eCopy was pre-ordered for my collection.


    The Review

    SERAFINA AND THE SPLINTERED HEART is the suspenseful, thrilling, nail-biting, and action-filled third installment in an amazing and interesting and unputdownable series set at the end of the 19th century on and around the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, about a rather unique young girl who serves as the estate’s resident rat catcher, protector, and mystery solver. Gripping from page one to the very end, this third book in the series offers a jaw-dropping surprise, an unexpected ally, a seemingly unbeatable foe, a difficult challenge to overcome, a number of problems to solve, and an epic battle. It is an electrifying and tension-filled and utterly enthralling read.

    Picking up not too long after the events that left Serafina battle-scarred and unsure of her ability to distinguish good guys from bad guys, the Biltmore Estate and its residents once again need her to be their protector, an old enemy needs her assistance, and Braeden just needs his friend. But if she can’t find a way out of her current predicament, she won’t be of any help to anyone.

    With a dark force drawing nearer, growing ever more powerful, leaving destruction in its wake, Serafina doesn’t have much time to figure out who or what it is and how to stop it, let alone find a solution to her own problem. She’ll have to believe in herself, trust her instincts, and rely on her friends and their abilities if there’s to be any chance at success.

    Robert Beatty takes his story to the next level in SERAFINA AND THE SPLINTERED HEART. It has more substance, more complex problems and ideas, and more complicated characters and relationships. The writing is more advanced than that of its predecessor. The author presents even more things to think about. Each of the main characters has grown and changed and become more aware of who they are.

    Things wrap up nicely at the end of the tale, but the road there promises to be exciting and nerve-wracking and fraught with danger for Serafina and Braeden and Waysa. And with a shocking beginning, a couple of mysteries, a new kind of dark magic, and another chance to explore the Biltmore Estate, it is an enchanting and riveting must read installment.

    The Rating


    The Trailer


    About Robert Beatty

    Robert Beatty is the author of the #1 New York Times best selling Serafina series published by Disney Hyperion, a spooky mystery-thriller about a brave and unusual girl who lives secretly in the basement of the grand Biltmore Estate.

    Serafina and the Black Cloak was a #1 New York Times best seller, has been on the list for more than 59 weeks, and won the prestigious 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize. The second book in the series, Serafina and the Twisted Staff, became a #1 New York Times best seller in the first week of its launch and earned a “Starred Review” from Kirkus Reviews, which said, “Even better than its predecessor, a sequel that delivers nonstop thrills from beginning to end.” Enjoyed by both young readers and adults, the books are being taught in over a thousand classrooms nationwide. The third book in the Serafina series comes out in July 2017.

    Robert Beatty lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina with his wife and three daughters, who help create and refine his stories. He loves to explore Biltmore Estate and the darkened forest trails where his novels take place. He writes full-time now, but in his past lives, Robert was one of the early pioneers of cloud computing, the founder/CEO of Plex Systems, the co-founder of Beatty Robotics, and the chairman/CTO of Narrative Magazine. In 2007, he was named an Entrepreneur of the Year.

    WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS


    Other Books in the Series

    Add to Goodreads

    Title & Series: SERAFINA AND THE BLACK CLOAK (Serafina #1)
    Author: Robert Beatty
    Release date: July 14, 2015
    Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
    Pages: 304
    Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

    Read an EXCERPT

    Description…

    “Never go into the deep parts of the forest, for there are many dangers there, and they will ensnare your soul.”

    Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of the Biltmore estate. There’s plenty to explore in her grand home, although she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa, the estate’s maintenance man, have secretly lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember.

    But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows who the culprit is:a terrifying man in a black cloak who stalks Biltmore’s corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of the Biltmore’s owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak’s true identity…before all of the children vanish one by one.

    Serafina’s hunt leads her into the very forest that she has been taught to fear. There she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic, one that is bound to her own identity. In order to save the children of Biltmore, Serafina must seek the answers that will unlock the puzzle of her past.

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    Add to Goodreads

    Title & Series: SERAFINA AND THE TWISTED STAFF (Serafina #2)
    Author: Robert Beatty
    Release date: July 12, 2016
    Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
    Pages: 384
    Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

    Read an EXCERPT

    Description…

    Serafina’s defeat of the Man in the Black Cloak has brought her out of the shadows and into the daylight realm of her home, Biltmore Estate. Every night she visits her mother in the forest, eager to learn the ways of the catamount. But Serafina finds herself caught between her two worlds: she’s too wild for Biltmore’s beautifully dressed ladies and formal customs, and too human to fully join her kin.

    Late one night, Serafina encounters a strange and terrifying figure in the forest, and is attacked by the vicious wolfhounds that seem to be under his control. Even worse, she’s convinced that the stranger was not alone, that he has sent his accomplice into Biltmore in disguise.

    Someone is wreaking havoc at the estate. A mysterious series of attacks test Serafina’s role as Biltmore’s protector, culminating in a tragedy that tears Serafina’s best friend and only ally, Braeden Vanderbilt, from her side. Heartbroken, she flees.

    Deep in the forest, Serafina comes face-to-face with the evil infecting Biltmore—and discovers its reach is far greater than she’d ever imagined. All the humans and creatures of the Blue Ridge Mountains are in terrible danger. For Serafina to defeat this new evil before it engulfs her beloved home, she must search deep inside herself and embrace the destiny that has always awaited her.

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    The Tour Schedule

    Week One

    Week Two

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    Top 10 of 2016 {Reminder}

    Hey everyone!

    Just wanted to post a reminder that the Top 10 of 2016 starts on Monday, December 26th!  If you haven’t signed up yet, there’s still time. You can sign up by CLICKING HERE.

    If you’ve already signed up, there are still a few days left to get your posts ready. So that you don’t have to check the original post, here’s the schedule of posts and dates.


    The Schedule

    Monday, December 26th

    • Best Books I’ve Read in 2016 (Doesn’t have to be released in 2016, just a book you’ve read in 2016)

    Tuesday, December 27th

    • Best Book Covers of 2016 (MUST be a book released in 2016. Would be best if it’s a book you’ve READ in 2016, but it’s not required)

    Wednesday, December 28th

    • Best ________ of 2016 (Reader’s/Blogger’s choice. Please fill in the blank with ONE of these topics – Villains, Contemporaries, Dual POV’s, Novellas, Adult titles, New Adult titles, Love Triangles, Couples, Bad Boys or Debuts. REMEMBER: this list MUST be from books you’ve READ in 2016)

    Thursday, December 29th

    • Best Book Boyfriends/Girlfriends of 2016 (MUST be from a book released in 2016 and from a book you’ve READ in 2016)

    Friday, December 30th

    • Top 10 Books I’m looking forward to in 2017. (This list should be comprised ONLY of books releasing in 2017)

    How you do these posts/lists is totally up to you. What books, covers and characters you pick are all your own.

    The only rule to follow is posting the topics on the dates we’ve provided.

    All the other rules can be found in the sign-up post HERE.

    I hope everyone has an awesome time participating in the Top 10 of 2016 and I can’t wait to check out your posts next week.

    Share

    PASSENGER Blog Tour: Interview with Alexandra Bracken + Giveaway

    Passenger

    I’m not sure which I’m more excited about – that PASSENGER releases in just one week or that I’m today’s stop on the tour and have an awesome interview with Author Alexandra Bracken to share. Luckily I don’t have to choose.

    If you haven’t yet had the chance to add PASSENGER to your TBR pile, to your bookish pre-orders, to your “most wanted” book list, now’s the time. This book is EPIC and AMAZING and so, so, so very AWESOME. And it’s totally a must read now kind of book if you love traveling through time and embarking upon incredible journeys with characters you adore.

    Of course, if you haven’t yet had the chance to read the description for PASSENGER, it follows below.

    And if you’d like to know how Alexandra Bracken describes PASSENGER, or find out what her most favorite part of and most challenging aspect to writing this gorgeous and riveting book were, or get a tiny teaser of what can be expected in the sequel, and more, be sure to check out the Q&A, which follows just after the book trailer.

    There is also a tour-wide giveaway for a few copies of PASSENGER. Just enter in the Rafflecopter for a chance to win.


    About PASSENGER

    PassengerCover

    Add to Goodreads

    Title & Series: PASSENGER (Passenger #1)
    Author: Alexandra Bracken
    Release date: January 5, 2016
    Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
    Pages: 496
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Description…

    passage, n.
    i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
    ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
    iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

    In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

    Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

    Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever.

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    The Book Trailer


    The Interview

    Q&A with Alexandra Bracken

    Q. How would you describe PASSENGER in 25 words or less?

    A time travel treasure hunt that spans centuries and continents! Also, kissing!

    Q. Who was your favorite character to write in PASSENGER and why were they a favorite?

    I don’t think I could pick a favorite between Nicholas and Etta! They’re both so alike despite the major, major differences in their upbringings. I had a blast writing these little moments where their values and knowledge from their respective centuries bumped up against each other and they had to sort through that. Etta has a really warm, lively voice to write in and is never down for long (my pirate!), and Nicholas is just so sharp and funny, but has this passionate poet’s heart beating in his chest. Those 18th century men have a way with words!

    Q. What was the most challenging aspect to writing PASSENGER?

    Oooh good question! I think it was the time travel itself, to be honest—I was about to put my head through the wall multiple times because it seemed like every “solution” I had for a time travel paradox just created a new one.  If you’re not careful, you can basically go around in circles trying to explain why something is or isn’t a problem and that really bogs the story down. I’m glad I ultimately chose to make my time travel system be more magic-based than science-based so there was some logical wiggle room, but maaaan. Though stuff to sort through.

    Q. What was your favorite aspect about writing PASSENGER?

    I loved the adventure of it! I’m living vicariously through both Nicholas and Etta and picking locations and time periods that I’ve always been very interested in. As you guys will see, it also has a very different tone from the darkness of The Darkest Minds, which I don’t think is a bad thing—the difference there made everything feel very fresh to me. Oh! And I really just loved meeting all of these characters for the first time and getting to know them.

    Q. If you could take a journey to any time and any place where and when would you go? And why?

    I would love to take a peek into the future. Spoilers, I know, but still! I’m such a worrywart, I’d love to know what was coming to help prepare myself.  (And, yes, I’m definitely the kind of person that reads the Wiki entry to see how a movie ends before I watch it and I still read the last line of a book before the first. I am a monster.)

    Q. What most surprised you when writing PASSENGER – something the characters did or said, a plot twist or turn, an unexpected destination? (Feel free to be cryptic if spoiler-y.)

    Yes! All along I’d been planning on setting the finale of the story in Petra, Jordan—an absolutely beautiful location that you guys will probably recognize from its many appearances in films. I thought it would be incredibly scenic, but… um, logistically there was no way for the characters to reach Petra in time from where they’d started by camel or horse, so I picked a new and equally lovely location… which is now in seriously danger of being destroyed due to what’s happening in modern times. (Hopefully that wasn’t too spoiler-y!) 

    On the character side, Sophia—another traveler about Etta’s age who’s grown up in this world—went through some serious changes when I went through edits. She began as a sweet-as-sugar best friend type that, I realized (to my horror) wasn’t really serving any other purpose other than to serve Etta’s character. I always want to depict strong female friendships, but here I felt it was more important to create a strong relationship, or at least a strong dynamic. Sophia and Etta now serve as foils to one another. I’m really pleased that Sophia being exposed to Etta’s modern feminism (which Sophia has sadly been denied because time travelers are awful prigs about gender roles) helps inspire her own action and growth.

    Q. What can readers expect from WAYFARER – more action, new destinations, new secrets uncovered, new characters?

    A little bit of all of that! The end of PASSENGER sets up two parallel journeys, which means you do get to see more time periods and meet a whole host of new characters, including those involved with the mysterious group, the Thorns, and Li Min, a traveler mercenary for hire who is a freaking delight and a half. Etta learns quite a bit more about the blank space that’s been her father’s side of the family, too! The aspect I’m most excited about, though, is that I finally get to play a bit with alternate history. 


    About Alexandra Bracken

    Alexandra Bracken HD 2

    Alexandra Bracken was born and raised in Arizona, but moved east to study at the College of William & Mary in Virginia. She now writes full time and can be found hard at work on her next novel in a charming apartment overflowing with books. You can visit her online at www.alexandrabracken.com or on Twitter (@alexbracken).

    WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | TUMBLR | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTERESTGOODREADS


    The Giveaway

    There is a tour-wide giveaway for…

    • THREE (3) winners will receive a finished copy of PASSENGER – US only

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    The Tour Schedule

    Week One

    Week Two

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    Cover Reveal: UNHOOKED by Lisa Maxell + Giveaway

    cover-revealPURP_darkenessI am super excited to be a part of the cover reveal for Lisa Maxwell’s upcoming novel UNHOOKED, which releases this February.

    I love this cover – of course I am partial to covers with ships – as it totally evokes a harrowing journey to Neverland… even if the Neverland in UNHOOKED is far cry from the version we’re familiar with. There’s something magical about it, but also dark and tempestuous, and having read the description I think it is a perfect fit for this story.

    If you haven’t yet heard of UNHOOKED, be sure to check out the description below. and if you’d like the chance to win an ARC along with some other awesome books, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

    But first, scroll down to check out this gorgeous cover, which just so happens to fit perfectly with the color scheme I’ve been sporting on the blog for the past few days – “stormy seas.”

    And then let me know what you think about UNHOOKED’s cover…


    The Cover Revealed

    unhooked-final

    Add to Goodreads

    Title: UNHOOKED
    Author: Lisa Maxwell
    Release date: February 2, 2016
    Publisher: Simon Pulse
    Pages: 352
    Formats: Hardcover, eBook

    Description…

    From “talented wordsmith” (Publishers Weekly) Lisa Maxwell comes a lush, atmospheric fantasy novel filled with twists and turns about a girl who is kidnapped and brought to an island inhabited by fairies, a roguish ship captain, and bloodthirsty beasts.

    For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home. Her mother believes they are being hunted by brutal monsters, and those delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. Gwen’s only saving grace is that her best friend, Olivia, is with her for the summer.

    But shortly after their arrival, the girls are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and dragged to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey. And Gwen begins to realize that maybe her mother isn’t so crazy after all…

    Gwen discovers that this new world she inhabits is called Neverland, but it’s nothing like the Neverland you’ve heard about in stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through your fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and tries to find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the captivating pirate who promises to keep her safe.

    Caught in the ultimate battle between good and evil, with time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to finally face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But can she save Neverland without losing herself?

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    About Lisa Maxwell

    Lisa+Dunick-Outdoors-15-Edit

    Lisa Maxwell is the author of Sweet Unrest, Gathering Deep (Flux, Fall 2015) and Unhooked (Simon Pulse, Spring 2016). When she’s not writing books, she’s an English professor at a local college. She lives near DC with her very patient husband and two not-so patient boys.

    WEBSITE | TWITTER | TUMBLR | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | GOODREADS


    The Giveaway

    As a thank you to the lovely authors who blurbed UNHOOKED, Lisa is giving away…

    • ONE (1) winner will receive Sara Raasch’s books, Snow Like Ashes & Ice Like Fire; Ellen Oh’s books, Prophecy & Warrior; Christina Farley’s books, Silvern & Brazen; AND an ARC of Unhooked! – US Only

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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    FALLING KINGDOMS Series Promo: My Favorite Kingdoms + Giveaway

    FallingKingdoms-CoverImage-2

    I have owned every single one of the three currently available Falling Kingdoms books since their respective release dates but have only recently had the chance to embark upon the adventure. And all I can say is, “What have I been waiting for?”

    Because… OH. MY. GOSH. I am in LOVE with this series!!!!!

    I fell in love from the very first line in FALLING KINGDOMS:

    She’d never killed before tonight.

    Talk about great first lines. It was instalove for me. And that love has grown exponentially as I’ve continued to read.

    I will be all caught up by the time my pre-order copy of FROZEN TIDES downloads to my Kindle on December 15th. Of course that means I’ll have to suffer the agonizing wait for the final two books in the series. But it will be so worth the wait.

    If you haven’t yet had the chance to discover this seriously amazing series, you can check it out on PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE and on GOODREADS or visit the series WEBSITE.

    Details on each of the books in the series are also below. And there are also links to connect with the author.


    My Favorite Kingdoms

    For this promo post in anticipation of FROZEN TIDES’ release we were asked to talk about which kingdom(s), region(s), or world(s) we would conquer, rule, or live in as a merchant. Here are just a few.

    Kingdoms/Worlds I’d Conquer

    The Winter Realm – a.k.a. The Unseelie Court from Julie Kagawa’s IRON FEY series. The Unseelie have always been the most interesting of the fae and I would love to take Queen Mab’s place and rule in her stead. And, hey, someone has to take Queen Mab down, why not me?

    The Kingdom of Spring – one of the kingdoms from Sara Raasch’s SNOW LIKE ASHES series. Spring has caused so much trouble for the Winterians. I’d love to conquer it just ensure that its former king does not try to take power again.

    Kingdoms/Worlds I’d Rule

    Auranos – from Morgan Rhodes’ FALLING KINGDOMS series. While I might change my mind as I continue my journey with these books, I’d love to rule the kingdom that has the most resources and best climate. And yes they have enemies. But I’d like to think I’d have been a smarter and more fair ruler and thus avoided some of the enmity.

    Cane – from WINTERSPELL by Claire Legrand. It was and could be again a beautiful and magical place. I suppose first I’d have to have taken it from Anise, but I wouldn’t just want to conquer, I’d definitely want to rule this land.

    Kingdoms/Worlds I’d Live In

    Lothlórien – one of the Elven kingdoms from LORD OF THE RINGS by J.R.R. Tolkein. Though I’d be happy to have lived in any of the Elven kingdoms, even though they fell eventually.

    Gilead – from THE DARK TOWER series by Stephen King. This is not a kingdom. But this world that Roland lived in is one I would have loved to have lived in. It, too, fell. But living there when Roland did would have been amazing.

    ***

    Of course I’d love to live in almost all of the fictional faerie worlds I’ve read about and even be ruler of one or two – Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series comes to mind. I’d live in any of those faerie courts.

    I would love to conquer the more evil kingdoms and vanquish their rulers in any of the fantasy novels I’ve read – Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes series, Rae Carson’s Fire & Thorns series, Josephine Angelini’s Worldwalker trilogy.

    And I’d love to visit any number of worlds or kingdoms, even if I were forced to be just a merchant – The Elemental Trilogy by Sherry Thomas, The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, and the Defiance series by C.J. Redwine.

    How about you?

    What are your favorite worlds or kingdoms? Would you want to be a ruler, risking your life at every moment to keep your kingdom safe? Or would you prefer to visit or live in one of the kingdoms you’re most curious about? Or are you all about conquering kingdoms to increase your power or to oust an unjust ruler?


    Pre-order FROZEN TIDES

    Frozen_Tides

    Add to Goodreads

    Title & Series: FROZEN TIDES (Falling Kingdoms #4)
    Author: Morgan Rhodes
    Release date: December 15, 2015
    Publisher: Razorbill
    Pages: 432
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Description…

    The plans are laid and the players are determined…but nothing can prepare these unlikely warriors for what the elemental gods of Mytica have in store. 

    CLEO: Reeling after a shocking realization about Magnus, Princess Cleo must cast aside her feelings and look toward her kingdom with the eyes of a queen.

    MAGNUS: The steely prince of Limeros is once again torn between love and duty, leaving him wondering whether he’s strong enough to rule his people.

    LUCIA: Heartbroken and blind with fury, the betrayed sorceress allies with the awoken Fire god, who also seeks revenge.

    JONAS: The defeated rebel leader reunites with Princess Cleo, only to become a pawn in the dangerous hunt for the elusive Kindred.

    KING GAIUS: A desperate King of Blood flees Mytica and sails to Kraeshia, where he attempts to ally with the famously brutal emperor across the Silver Sea.

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    About Morgan Rhodes

    Morgan_Rhodes

    Morgan Rhodes lives in Ontario, Canada. As a child, she always wanted to be a princess—the kind that knows how to wield a sharp sword to help save both kingdoms and princes from fire-breathing dragons and dark wizards. Instead, she became a writer, which is just as good and much less dangerous. Along with writing, Morgan enjoys photography, travel, and reality TV, and is an extremely picky yet voracious reader of all kinds of books. Under another pen name, she’s a nationally bestselling author of many paranormal novels. Falling Kingdoms is her first high fantasy.

    WEBSITE | TWITTER | TUMBLR | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE | AMAZONGOODREADS


    About FALLING KINGDOMS

    Falling_Kingdoms

    Add to Goodreads

    Title & Series: FALLING KINGDOMS (Falling Kingdoms #1)
    Author: Morgan Rhodes
    Release date: December 11, 2012
    Publisher: Razorbill
    Pages: 432
    Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

    Read an EXCERPT

    Description…

    War brought them together. Love will tear them apart.

    Princess Cleo of Mytica confronts violence for the first time in her life when a shocking murder sets her kingdom on a path to collapse. Once a privileged royal, Cleo must now summon the strength to survive in this new world and fight for her rightful place as Queen.

    The King of Limeros’s son, Magnus, must plan each footstep with shrewd, sharp guile if he is to earn his powerful father’s trust, while his sister, Lucia, discovers a terrifying secret about her heritage that will change everything.

    Rebellious Jonas lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

    Witches, if found, are put to death, and Watchers, immortal beings who take the shape of hawks to visit the human world, have been almost entirely forgotten. A vicious power struggle quickly escalates to war, and these four young people collide against each other and the rise of elementia, the magic that can topple kingdoms and crown a ruler in the same day.

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    The Falling Kingdoms Trailer


    About REBEL SPRING

    Rebel_Spring

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    Title & Series: REBEL SPRING (Falling Kingdoms #3)
    Author: Morgan Rhodes
    Release date: December 3, 2013
    Publisher: Razorbill
    Pages: 416
    Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

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    Description…

    War brought them together. Love will tear them apart.

    Auranos has been conquered and the three kingdoms—Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia—are now unwillingly united as one country called Mytica. But alluring, dangerous magic still beckons, and with it the chance to rule not just Mytica, but the world. . . .

    • CLEO is now a prisoner in her own palace, forced to be an ambassador for Mytica as the evil King Gaius lies to her people
    • MAGNUS stands to eventually inherit the new kingdom but is still obsessed with his feelings for his adopted sister, Lucia
    • LUCIA is haunted by the deadly outcome of her breathtaking display of magic that allowed her father to capture the kingdoms
    • JONAS watches at the palace gates, a troop of rebels behind him, waiting for him to tell them how he plans to overtake King Gaius

    When Gaius announces that a road is to be built into the Forbidden Mountains, formally linking all of Mytica together, he sets off a chain of cataclysmic events that will forever change the face of this land.

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    About GATHERING DARKNESS

    Gathering_Darkness

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    Title & Series: GATHERING DARKNESS (Falling Kingdoms #3)
    Author: Morgan Rhodes
    Release date: December 9, 2014
    Publisher: Razorbill
    Pages: 432
    Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

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    Description…

    War brought them together. Love will tear them apart.

    Alliances form across Mytica and beyond as royals and rebels alike race to hunt down the Kindred—the four elemental crystals that give their owners god-like power. The stakes have never been higher for Magnus and Cleo, who are brought together by a life or death decision that will lock their fates and change the course of the kingdom forever.

    THE REBELS forge ahead. Princess Cleo slays with sweetness—and a secret that might control Lucia’s magic—as she and vengeful Jonaslead the hunt for the all-powerful Kindred.

    THE KRAESHIANS join the fray. Ashur and Amara, the royal siblings from the vast kingdom across the Silver Sea, prove to be just as ruthless as they are charming as they manipulate their way to victory.

    THE WATCHERS follow Melenia out of the Sanctuary. They ally, in the flesh, with King Gaius, who vows to use Lucia’s powers to unveil the Kindred.

    And which side will Prince Magnus choose, now that everyone he’s been betrayed by everyone he’s ever loved?

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    The Giveaway

    There is a promo-wide giveaway that runs from Oct. 26-Nov.27 for…

    • A SIGNED set of FALLING KINGDOMS, REBEL SPRING, and GATHERING DARKNESS by Morgan Rhodes to THREE (3) winners – US only

    ***Rafflecopter hosted by and prizing courtesy of the publisher***

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    TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

    TTSAY

    I am so unbelievably thrilled to be today’s stop on the TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU Blog Tour. I am crazy in love with this series and I cannot wait for everyone to get the chance to read this sequel. Just one more day and the wait will be over… well, until you devour this book and start the countdown for the next book in the series.

    And I cannot even begin to express just how awesome this next installment in the series is… which made it impossible to write a review that conveys anything even remotely close to how I felt about it. But I had to say something instead of getting all tongue-tied like I did with the first book in the series, as my stop on the tour is a review stop.

    If you’d like to know what I somewhat incoherently thought about this book, my review is below. If you haven’t yet heard about this series, be sure to check out the description for A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU. It is a series NOT to be missed.

    And if you’d like the chance to win a signed set of the two books, enter in the Rafflecopter.


    About TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU

    Ten-Thousand-Skies

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    Title & Series: TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU (Firebird #2)
    Author: Claudia Gray
    Release date: November 3, 2015
    Publisher: HarperTeen
    Pages: 432
    Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

    Description…

    Ever since she used the Firebird, her parents’ invention, to cross into alternate dimensions, Marguerite has caught the attention of enemies who will do anything to force her into helping them dominate the multiverse—even hurting the people she loves. She resists until her boyfriend, Paul, is attacked and his consciousness scattered across multiple dimensions.

    Marguerite has no choice but to search for each splinter of Paul’s soul. The hunt sends her racing through a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each world brings Marguerite one step closer to rescuing Paul. But with each trial she faces, she begins to question the destiny she thought they shared.

    The second book in the Firebird trilogy, Ten Thousand Skies Above You features Claudia Gray’s lush, romantic language and smart, exciting action, and will have readers clamoring for the next book.

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    NOTE: This review is based on an ARC received from the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.


    The Review

    TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU is a brilliant and amazing and riveting read. It is packed full of action, suspense, surprises, twists and turns. It will break your heart, then mend it, only to break it once more. It is the epitome of an epic adventure that spans multiple universes, that allows for an infinite number of outcomes, and that introduces a number of different versions of the characters readers have come to know and love or hate.

    It is intense. It is thrilling. The endless possibilities are mind-boggling. The alternate dimensions are fascinating. The love story is heartrending. The ending is jaw-dropping.

    When Paul doesn’t return from his trip into one of the other dimensions where he’d gone to try and find a way to help Theo, Marguerite is willing to do whatever it takes to find him and bring him back. Even if it means defying her parents and giving their enemy, Wyatt Conley, whatever he wants in exchange for Paul’s return.

    With Paul’s soul splintered into four pieces and hidden across multiple universes, she’ll be forced to hurt and betray different versions of herself, her family, and those she cares most about, she’ll have to put herself at risk in each dimension to find him, and she’ll have to put her trust in Theo, if she has any hope of saving him.

    Whatever she has to do, whatever guilt she’ll have to deal with, will be worth it. Because she could live with the fact that she helped Wyatt and the Triad, but she couldn’t live with herself if she didn’t try to rescue Paul.

    Claudia Gray is the master of the multiverse. Her parallel worlds are so well-crafted. The different versions of her characters are interesting and intriguing. The way she makes their lives intertwine is captivating and exciting.

    In this sequel, the author turns everything on its ear, making readers question their beliefs about who is good or bad, who is right or wrong, who they love and hate, who should end up with whom. She puts readers on an emotional roller coaster that will leave them breathless. And she takes them on a journey that is gripping, devastating, shocking, and tension-filled.

    TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU is imaginative and expansive and rich with detail. The pace is non-stop. The surprises keep on coming. The build-up to the finish is electrifying. It is a sequel that surpasses its predecessor, that is so creative and so incredible, and that readers won’t be able to put down for a second, for a moment. It is a story that can’t be called anything less than phenomenal.

    The Rating

    06

    Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.


    About Claudia Gray

    ClaudiaGray

    Claudia Gray is a pseudonym. I would like to say that I chose another name so that no one would ever learn the links between my shadowy, dramatic past and the explosive secrets revealed through my characters. This would be a lie. In truth, I took a pseudonym simply because I thought it would be fun to choose my own name. (And it is.)

    I write novels full-time, absolutely love it, and hope to be able to do this forever. My home is in New Orleans, is more than 100 years old, and is painted purple. In my free time I read, travel, hike, cook and listen to music. You can keep up with my latest releases, thoughts on writing and various pop-culture musings via TwitterTumblrPinterestGoodReadsInstagram or (of course) my own home page.

    If you want to contact me, you can email me here, but your best bet is probably to Tweet me. I don’t do follows on Twitter, but I follow everyone back on Tumblr, Pinterest and GoodReads.

    WEBSITE | TWITTER | TUMBLR | BLOG | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | WATTPADGOODREADS


    Other Books in the Series

    A-Thousand-Pieces

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    Title & Series: A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU (Firebird #1)
    Author: Claudia Gray
    Release date: November 4, 2014
    Publisher: HarperTeen
    Pages: 368
    Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

    Description…

    Every Day meets Cloud Atlas in this heart-racing, space- and time-bending, epic new trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray.

    Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

    Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

    A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.

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    The Giveaway

    There is a tour-wide giveaway for…

    • ONE (1) winner will receive SIGNED finished copies of A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU and TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU – US ONLY

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    The Tour Schedule

    Week One

    Week Two

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    Review: HOW TO BE BRAVE

    How to Be Brave

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    Title: HOW TO BE BRAVE
    Author: E. Katherine Kottaras
    Release date: November 3, 2015
    Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
    Pages: 288
    Formats: Hardcover, eBook

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    Description…

    Georgia has always lived life on the sidelines: uncomfortable with her weight, awkward, never been kissed, terrified of failing.

    Then her mom dies and her world is turned upside down. But instead of getting lost in her pain, she decides to enjoy life while she still can by truly living for the first time. She makes a list of ways to be brave-all the things she’s always wanted to do but has been too afraid to try: learn to draw, try out for cheerleading, cut class, ask him out, kiss him, see what happens from there.

    But she’s about to discover that life doesn’t always go according to plan. Sometimes friendships fall apart and love breaks your heart. But in the process, you realize you’re stronger than you ever imagined…
    This fearless, big-hearted, deeply moving book will make you laugh, cry, and inspire you to be brave.

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    NOTE: This review is based on an eARC received by the publicity agency via NetGalley in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.


    The Review

    HOW TO BE BRAVE is a mix of sad and sweet and heartwarming and empowering. It has an interesting and refreshingly different narrative that weaves these wonderful and important pieces of the main character’s life – memories, thoughts, feelings – into the main storyline. It introduces characters who feel authentic, experiences that feel believable, and emotions that feel real and relatable. It is a quick and engaging read that reinforces a positive and important message – to live one’s life bravely.

    Georgia Askeridis has been struggling to find a way to to live her life without her mother in it. Her mother was the heart of the family. She was the bridge between her and her father. She was her strength, her courage, her happiness, her best friend. And her death left a huge void.

    She wouldn’t be there to at the start of senior year to give her advice. She wouldn’t be there to help keep the family business afloat. She wouldn’t be there to make the holidays bearable, or see her graduate, or help her figure out what she wanted to do with her life. She wouldn’t be there for any of it.

    But before she’d gone, she had given Georgia one directive – to live life, to do everything, to be brave. And even if it was scary or risky or embarrassing or felt impossible, she was going to try.

    Author E. Katherine Kottaras wrote a story that was moving and genuine, sometimes funny, sometimes heartrending, sometimes delightful, sometimes thoughtful. She created a character to tell her story who wasn’t always easy to like or connect with but who was sympathetic and whose feelings and actions were understandable given her circumstances.

    Georgia was at times angry, insecure, self-deprecating, judgmental. But she did strive to be better, to be positive, to grow, to be the brave person her mother wanted her to be but wasn’t able to be herself.

    HOW TO BE BRAVE spans the course of Georgia’s final year in high school and reads very much like a slice of life with an ending that’s left open for all sorts of possibilities. It is bittersweet. It is uplifting and inspiring. It will make you smile, and laugh, and cry. And it will make you want to find your own way to be brave.

    The Rating

    04


    About E. Katherine Kottaras

    E Katherine Kottaras

    E. Katherine Kottaras is originally from Chicago, but now she writes and teaches in the Los Angeles area. She holds an M.A. in English from the University of California, Irvine and teaches writing and literature at Pasadena City College. She is at her happiest when she is either 1) at the playground with her husband and daughter and their wonderful community of friends, 2) breathing deeply in a full handstand, or 3) writing.

    Her debut YA contemporary novel, HOW TO BE BRAVE, is forthcoming from St. Martin’s Press (November 3, 2015). Her second book is tentatively set for a 2016 release.

    WEBSITE | TWITTER | TUMBLR | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

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