Now We Rise Blog Tour: The Pros and Cons of Being a Burner

I am so thrilled to be a part of the Now We Rise Blog Tour for CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE by Tomi Adeyemi. It is such an amazing book and the start to a series I cannot wait to continue reading. At well over 500 pages, the story goes so fast you’ll wish there were many, many more pages so it doesn’t have to end… or that the wait for the next installment won’t feel so long.

For my stop today I am writing about the pros and cons to being a Burner.

I discovered my magic (per the graphic below) and as part of the Iná clan, I am a Maji of Fire – a Burner – so I thought I would write about some of the pros and cons to being a diviner and having this particular ability.

If you want to discover your magic and share your results on social media be sure to tag #NowWeRise and #ChildrenOfBloodAndBone to be a part of the conversation.


The Pros and Cons of Being a Burner

While I’m sure there are many, many more positives and negatives to the ones I list below, here are just a few of the ones that stand out to me as being the most amazing and the most detrimental.

Pro: Awesome white hair. As a Burner (or any Diviner) you get this very identifiable, but seriously awesome white hair.

Con: Very identifiable awesome white hair. While the hair itself is awesome, it also serves to identify you as a Diviner. There’s no way to easily hide what you are with this very identifiable hair color. (This is a bad thing for many reasons – but for purposes of not being spoiler-y I will not say why.)

Pro: Bada** ability. Who doesn’t love those heroes and villains that can make and/or control fire? It’s wicked cool. You’re playing with fire. Literally.

Con: Bada** but temperamental ability. Things can go majorly wrong, very quickly when playing with fire. You can have the best of intentions when you start up that burn, but once things ignite, without the ability to douse the flames, things can get out of control fast.

Pro: It makes you a warrior. Having the ability to torch things makes you a warrior. It puts you in the fight. It means that you are integral to the battle. You can fight for your people. You can save lives.

Con: It makes you a warrior…even if you don’t want to be one. With this ability there is no sitting on the sidelines. You’re not a part of the second string when it comes to battle. With the ability to incinerate, you will always be in the thick of things.

Pro: You can melt stuff, cook stuff, keep warm. Forget about having to find two sticks to rub together to keep warm. You can just set your hands ablaze and there will be heat. No canned beans or cold food, you can always have a hot meal. And the ability to melt things? No padlock can keep you out anymore.

Con: An accidental melting, cooking, burning. How bummed would you be if you accidentally melted your favorite piece of jewelry? Or burned a favorite outfit, sofa, rug? A cold beverage isn’t quite the same if the ice is all melted. Unless you have absolute control over the magic, there is always the possibility of igniting, melting, or cooking something you didn’t mean to.

Pro: You are a destroyer. It is a powerful ability. Fire destroys, and with the magic of fire at your disposal you are a destroyer. Pretty. Freaking. Awesome.

Con: You are a destroyer. You’re not a healer. You can’t bring back someone from the dead. But you can destroy them and many others and with this ability you might just be asked to.

So, it seems most of the pros are also cons, at least to me. But it’s still an awesome ability – and one that won’t make you go a little nuts like being a Connector (wouldn’t want to hear all those voices in my head), being a Healer (wouldn’t want a passive ability and miss out on being a part of the fight), or being a Reaper (while awesome, I would not want to mess around with the spirits of the dead).


About CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE

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Title & Series: CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE (Legacy of Orisha #1)
Author: Tomi Adeyemi
Release date: March 6, 2018
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Pages: 544
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

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Description…

They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.

Now we rise.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.

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About Tomi Adeyemi

Tomi Adeyemi is a Nigerian-American writer and creative writing coach based in San Diego, California. After graduating Harvard University with an honors degree in English literature, she received a fellowship that allowed her to study West African mythology and culture in Salvador, Brazil. When she’s not working on her novels or watching Scandal, she can be found blogging and teaching creative writing to her 4,500 subscribers at tomiadeyemi.com. Her website has been named one of the 101 best websites for writers by Writer’s Digest.

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TO KILL A KINGDOM by Alexandra Christo Blog Tour Review

I am so excited to be a stop on the TO KILL A KINGDOM Blog Tour. From the moment I saw the cover and the tagline I was intrigued.

But when I read the description I knew Alexandra Christo’s TO KILL A KINGDOM was going to be one of those stories that I’d want to devour in a single sitting just to find out how everything ended – and it was. It was so completely unputdownable.

If you’d like to know what else I thought, my review follows below. If you haven’t yet heard of this book, which comes out next week on March 6th, check out the bookish details below. And if you’d like to connect with the author on social media, links to places you can find her online follow at the end of the post.


About TO KILL A KINGDOM

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Title: TO KILL A KINGDOM
Author: Alexandra Christo
Release date: March 6, 2018
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 352
Foramts: Hardcover, audio, eBook

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Description…

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most–a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen and or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby–it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good–But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

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Note: This review is based on an ARC and eARC received from the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book. A Kindle eCopy was purchased for my collection.


The Review

A multitude of battles and skirmishes, oceans of bloodthirsty creatures, a seemingly impossible quest, a golden prince, and a cold-hearted princess are just some of what make TO KILL A KINGDOM unputdownable. Powerful magic, vengeful and ruthless killers, deception, lies, betrayal, stolen hearts, and romance make it unforgettable.

The Sea Queen’s mandate that every siren must add a heart to her collection only once a year, on her birthday, must be followed. Even by her daughter, Princess Lira. But when the chance to steal a prince’s heart a few weeks early presents itself, she can’t resist.

She knew that breaking the rules might incite her mother’s wrath. But she never thought her actions would ultimately lead to the punishment her mother chose to inflict – one that turned her into her enemy, leaving her weak, vulnerable, and separated from her home.

Determined to impress the Sea Queen and prove just how valuable and clever and brutal she could be, Lira set her sights on the heart of the Midasan prince, Prince Elian. Even in human form she would show her mother that she was the Prince’s Bane and had no shred of humanity that would render her unworthy of reigning when the queen stepped down.

Prince Elian never wanted to take the throne and be forever trapped in Midas. He was only ever happy when at sea, hunting down the sirens that lured ships’ captains and crews to their deaths, and pursuing the siren known only as the Prince’s Bane.

When he learned of an object that had the power to destroy the Sea Queen and every last siren, he would do whatever it took to find it. Even if it meant trusting in fairytales. Even if it mean entering a soul-crushing bargain. Even if it meant relying on someone he knew he should never trust.

Alexandra Christo penned a most delightful, fierce, action-packed, vicious, captivating, and immensely entertaining tale. Her monsters are monstrous. Her heroes are deadly. Their adventures are enthralling. Their quest is formidable. The fights are savage. The romance is unlikely. The outcome is unpredictable.

And with one enemy in the dark, another filled with uncertainty, and two kingdoms on the line, TO KILL A KINGDOM is guaranteed to be a gripping, thrilling, and all-consuming, tentacle-filled read.

The Rating


About Alexandra Christo

Alexandra Christo decided to write books when she was four and her teacher told her she couldn’t be a fairy. She has a BA in Creative Writing and works as a copywriter in London, both of which make her sound more grown up than she feels. When she’s not busy making up stories, she can be found buying far too many cushions and organizing food crawls all over the city. Alexandra currently lives in Hertfordshire with an abundance of cacti (because they’re the only plants she can keep alive).Alexandra is the author of To Kill a Kingdom.

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A WRINKLE IN TIME Blog Tour: BECOMING MADELINE Review

A WRINKLE IN TIME was one of my Top 10 favorite reads as a child – and remains an all time favorite read of mine. So when I was invited to be a part of the tour to help celebrate the upcoming release of the film – which I cannot wait to see! – of course I had to participate.

And I was equal parts excited and anxious to read BECOMING MADELEINE, a biography about the author, written by her granddaughters. Excited because this would be the first book about Madeleine L’Engle I’d ever read and I’d finally get to know more about this author whose writing was such a huge part of my young life. Anxious because over the years many authors I’d worshipped had fallen from pedestals when I’d learned more about them and I didn’t want to learn that she’d despised her characters or wished she’d never created them at all.

But I settled in to read with a cup of tea for comfort (just in case) and with reading glasses – that weren’t a necessity way back when I first read A WRINKLE IN TIME, A WIND IN THE DOOR or A SWIFTLY TILTING PLANET. And I completely fell in love with this book – though I wished I had a box of tissue as that epilogue had me in tears.

If you’d like to know more about what I thought about this lovingly written “story,” my review follows below. If you’d like to visit the other stops on the tour, the schedule follows at the bottom of this post.

And if you’d like to join the conversation on social media, be sure to tag #AWrinkleInTime.


About BECOMING MADELEINE

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Title: BECOMING MADELEINE
Authors: Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Léna Roy
Release date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Pages: 176
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

Read an EXCERPT

Description…

This middle-grade biography explores the life and works of Madeleine L’Engle —written by her granddaughters.

This elegant and insightful biography of Madeleine L’Engle (1918–2007) was written by her granddaughters, Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Léna Roy. Using never-before-seen archival materials that include photographs, poems, letters, and journal entries from when Madeleine was a child until just after the publication of her classic, A Wrinkle in Time, her granddaughters weave together an in-depth and unique view of the famous writer. It is a story of overcoming obstacles—a lonely childhood, financial insecurity, and countless rejections of her writing—and eventual triumph. Becoming Madeleine will speak not only to fans of the icon’s work, but also to anyone interested in writing.

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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. A finished eCopy was purchased for my Kindle.


The Review

Filled with pictures and journal entries and correspondence to and from Madeleine L’Engle, BECOMING MADELEINE gives readers an intimate peek at this award-winning author’s life. It has just the right amount of depth to make the read substantial and interesting without being weighty, reveals more than enough about Madeleine to learn who she was at various points in her life, and includes a heartfelt and heartrending introduction and conclusion by the authors – Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Léna Roy, L’Engle’s granddaughters.

It is a captivating and delightful and inspirational read that shares pivotal moments in Madeleine’s life up to the moment when A WRINKLE IN TIME was accepted for publication. It tells of a girl who always had a passion for writing, who was determined and tenacious and ambitious, who was often socially awkward but who thrived nevertheless, who was confident yet shy, who was brave yet fearful, who was by no means perfect but who strived to be better, and who understood that who she was encompassed every version of herself.

BECOMING MADELEINE’s authors have penned a loving and respectful and incredibly endearing telling of the story of Madeleine’s life. They left in many of the hardships the author faced as a child, young, and not-so-young, adult. They shared her mistakes, her successes, her failures, her disappointments, her setbacks. They showed her journey as a writer – from poet, to novelist, to playwright, to published author – as well as the side trips that took her away from and brought her back to writing. And they allowed a glimpse into some of the more personal aspects of her and her family’s life.

Madeleine L’Engle’s biography can be enjoyed by readers of many ages. It is a quick read, that flows beautifully, even interspersed with images and other lovely distractions. It has more of a story-like quality than that of a typical biography, allowing readers to easily connect with and become charmed by Madeleine. It promises a happy ending, just like Madeline L’Engle wanted for her stories – although its epilogue, divulging just how cherished L’Engle was by her granddaughters, will tug on the heartstrings.

Whether a new or lifelong fan of author Madeleine L’Engle, BECOMING MADELEINE is a must, must, must.

The Rating


About the Authors

Charlotte Jones Voiklis is Madeleine L’Engle’s granddaughter and executor of her estate. She has written a biography, Becoming Madeleine, for middle grade readers with her sister, Léna Roy, coming out in February 2018. She wrote the afterword to the 50th Anniversary edition of A Wrinkle in Time, has also written and spoken of her grandmother’s work to a variety of audiences. With a PhD in Comparative Literature, Charlotte’s work experience includes teaching, fundraising, communications, and grant making. She is also a volunteer mediator in the New York City court system.

MADELEINE L’ENGLE’S WEBSITE | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

Léna Roy published her first novel, Edges (FSG), in late 2010. She is the Regional Manager for Writopia Lab in Westchester and Connecticut, and her writing was featured in the essay collection for middle school kids and their teachers Breakfast on Mars and 37 Other Essays to Devour: Your Favorite Authors Take on the Dreaded Essay Assignment. She lives in New York.

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The Tour Schedule

Review: WINNER TAKE ALL by Laurie Devore

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Title: WINNER TAKE ALL
Author: Laurie Devore
Release date: January 30, 2018
Publisher: Imprint
Pages: 336
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

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Descripton…

For Nell Becker, life is a competition she needs to win.
For Jackson Hart, everyone is a pawn in his own game.
They both have everything to lose.

Nell wants to succeed at everything—school, sports, life. And victory is sweeter when it means beating Jackson Hart, the rich, privileged, undisputed king of Cedar Woods Prep Academy. Yet no matter how hard she tries, Jackson is somehow one step ahead. They’re a match made in hell, but opposites do attract.

Drawn to each other by their rivalry, Nell and Jackson fall into a whirlwind romance that consumes everything in their lives. But when a devastating secret exposes their relationship as just another game, how far will Nell go to win?

Visceral and whip-smart, Laurie Devore’s Winner Take All paints an unflinching portrait of obsessive love, toxic competition, and the drive for perfection.

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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. A Kindle eCopy was purchased for my collection.


The Review

There is a lot to love about Laurie Devore’s WINNER TAKE ALL. It is an exciting, emotional roller coaster of a read. It sheds light on a number of issues – the disparity between the rich and those less fortunate and between women and men, boys and girls. It shows how striving to be the best is not always a good thing, and can cause one to lose sight of who they are and what’s really important. It has a strong, if flawed, heroine. And it has romance, and humor, and drama, and heartbreak.

Nell Becker wants to be the best. And she would be if Jackson Hart weren’t standing in her way. With his looks, his charm, his money, and his gender, everything comes easy to him. Which only makes Nell want to beat him all the more.

But in order to win she will have to do whatever it takes. Even if it means playing dirty and becoming someone she never thought she could be. And she will have to decide whether her reputation, her friendships, her health and her heart are worth destroying if that’s what it means to defeat her nemesis.

Author Laurie Devore packed a lot into her novel of rivalry gone awry. It wasn’t just a fiery but toxic romance. It wasn’t simply a story of secrets, lies, betrayal. There was much food for thought about economic and gender inequality, hypocrisy, infidelity, alcoholism, obsession, competition.

And while many of these issues were woven seamlessly into the story, there were a few instances where they felt inorganic or heavy-handed and it became more about the issue than the characters or the story itself.

The most interesting, intriguing, maddening, fascinating part of the story was the author’s choice of heroine. Nell is not the most likable of characters – to put it mildly – and isn’t the most obvious choice to be a paragon. At times her behavior is downright appalling. She’s driven, ultra competitive, judgmental, selfish, stubborn, reckless and arrogant. But she is strong – her mistakes and failures do not make her pitiable or turn her into a victim. She goes after what she wants – even if a bit too ruthlessly. She’s a fighter. And she does, eventually, learn from her mistakes – which, for some, might be too late for her to earn her redemption.

Whether you champion Nell or despise her, WINNER TAKE ALL is a compelling, thoroughly entertaining, and emotionally-charged read that sparks and sizzles and will keep readers riveted.

The Rating

A note about the cover: I have some major cover love for WINNER TAKE ALL – and not just because I did notice exactly which match is raised.


About Laurie Devore

Laurie Devore was born and raised in small town South Carolina and graduated from Clemson University. She now lives and works in Chicago, where she misses the charms and contradictions of the south every day. In her spare time, she reluctantly runs marathons, watches too much TV, and works a “y’all” into every conversation. She is the author of How to Break a Boy.

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BETWEEN THE BLADE AND THE HEART Blog Tour: Review, Excerpt + #Giveaway

As a huge fan of Author Amanda Hocking, I was thrilled to learn of her new book BETWEEN THE BLADE AND THE HEART and am stoked to be a part of the tour!

I also happen to love Norse mythology and think Valkyries are seriously awesome, so I couldn’t wait to read this first book in Amanda Hocking’s Valkyrie duology. And it was amazing. One of my favorites by the author. And I’m so glad the second book’s release isn’t too far away, because that ending…

So if you’d like to know what I think, my review follows below. I’m also sharing an excerpt from Chapter One if you want to meet Malin and get a peek into this incredible new world of mortals and immortals.

And if you’re in the U.S. and would like the chance to win a copy, check out the Rafflecopter below for details and to enter.


About BETWEEN THE BLADE AND THE HEART

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Title & Series: BETWEEN THE BLADE AND THE HEART (Valkyrie #1)
Author: Amanda Hocking
Release date: January 2, 2018
Publisher: Wednesday Books (Macmillan)
Pages: 336
Formats: Paperback, eBook

Description

When the fate of the world is at stake
Loyalties will be tested

Game of Thrones meets Blade Runner in this commanding new YA fantasy inspired by Norse Mythology from New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking.

As one of Odin’s Valkyries, Malin’s greatest responsibility is to slay immortals and return them to the underworld. But when she unearths a secret that could unravel the balance of all she knows, Malin along with her best friend and her ex-girlfriend must decide where their loyalties lie. And if helping the blue-eyed boy Asher enact his revenge is worth the risk—to the world and her heart.

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Note: This review is based on an eARC received by the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book. A finished copy was purchased for my Kindle.


The Review

BETWEEN THE BLADE AND THE HEART draws you in from its very first sentence and will keep you riveted until the story’s end. With an original and exciting world of mortals, immortals, and those somewhere in between, an interesting take on Norse myth, a fierce, flawed but immensely likable heroine, a dangerous pursuit, a question of fate versus free will, and an ending that will leave you desperately wishing for book two, it is a lightning-fast read that promises to be unputdownable.

Malin knew that the life of a Valkyrie wasn’t an easy one. Returning immortals to the underworld was challenging more often than not and even dangerous on occasion. It was also a lonely existence – the job didn’t allow for much time for friends, being hated or feared by immortals meant there weren’t many options for friends even if there was time, and not being able to fall in love made for a lot of empty and pointless relationships.

But still she couldn’t imagine becoming anything but a Valkyrie. It was in her blood. It was her destiny. She never felt more alive than when she was wielding her sword and sending the chosen immortal back to where they belonged.

She never questioned her orders. She never wondered how her assignments were chosen. She never hesitated to do her job and keep the balance. Not until things start to go wrong and she discovers that the person she trusts most has been keeping a dark secret that could change everything she believes in.

Amanda Hocking created a world that is imaginative, dark and dangerous, and utterly fascinating – where mortals and immortals live side-by-side, in a fragile balance enforced by the Valkyries. She chose a setting for the bulk of her story that is gritty and decaying and seedy and a little bit sexy. She introduced a wide variety of beings from Norse – and other – mythology and folklore.  And she gave readers characters who are captivating and intriguing and unusual and appealing.

BETWEEN THE BLADE AND THE HEART has action and romance and mystery and suspense. It has drama and heartbreak and humor and intrigue. It has heat. It has adventure. It has battles aplenty. And it has one adorable wolpertinger named Bowie. All of which make for an absolutely gripping and wildly entertaining must-read.

The Rating


About Amanda Hocking

Photo credit: Mariah Paaverud with Chimera Photography

Amanda Hocking is the author of over twenty young adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Trylle Trilogy and Kanin Chronicles. Her love of pop culture and all things paranormal influence her writing. She spends her time in Minnesota, taking care of her menagerie of pets and working on her next book.

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The Excerpt

Download (PDF, 64KB)


The Giveaway

Courtesy of the publisher…

A finished paperback copy of BETWEEN THE BLADE AND THE HEART – to ONE (1) winner – US only

  • Prizing provided by the publisher.
  • Giveaway is US only.
  • Must be 13 or older to enter.
  • Giveaway ends January 9th at 11:59 p.m.
  • Winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and contacted by email.
  • Winner has 72 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Enter in the Rafflecopter

a Rafflecopter giveaway


A Few Other Stops on the Tour

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