Nemesis and the Swan by Lindsay K. Bandy Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Release Date: October 27th 2020 Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Fiction, France
“But this is no place for sleeping. It’s a place for itching and stinking, waiting and remembering, hoping and praying.”
— Lindsay K. Bandy
From her prison cell in revolutionary Paris, nineteen-year-old aristocrat Hélène d’Aubign recalls the events that led her to choose between following in her parents’ unforgivable footsteps or abandoning the man she loves.
“Was anyone in Paris sleeping that night?”
— Lindsay K. Bandy
Despite her world of privilege, Hélène is inspired early on by the radical ideas of her progressive governess. Though her family tries to intervene, the seeds of revolution have already been planted in Hélène’s heart, as are the seeds of love from an unlikely friendship with a young jeweler’s apprentice. Hélène’s determination to find true love is as revolutionary as her attempt to unravel the truth behind a chilling set of eye-shaped brooches and the concealed murder that tore her family apart.
As violence erupts in Paris, Hélène is forced into hiding with her estranged family, where the tangled secrets of their past become entwined with her own. When she finally returns to the blood-stained streets of Paris, she finds everything-and everyone-very much changed. In a city where alliances shift overnight, no one knows who to trust. Faced with looming war, the mystery of her family’s past, and the man she loves near death, Hélène will soon will find out if doing one wrong thing will make everything right, or if it will simply push her closer to the guillotine.
“The child of murderers, liars, cheaters, lunatics, and thieves. Unwanted, forgotten, and never good enough. I belonged nowhere and to no one. There was no way out.”
What’s the best type of historical fiction? A historical fiction set in France during the Revolution of course! This book is an easy to read amazing look into the time period. It truly just drew me in and I didn’t want to put the book down for a minute. The writing and the story are just so beautiful and engaging.
“I was walking in a dream – a good one, for once.”
— Lindsay K. Bandy
This is one of those historical fiction stories that takes you back in time and plops you right into the middle of the streets. But it doesn’t fall into the trap of being a dry story or overly focusing on telling us the history. This is most definitely a story above all of that. And there are many tangled and shocking histories between the characters in these stories. I’d definitely say a lot of them fall into that morally grey category, so I of course took to them all immediately.
“I etch a line of my own: my first.”
— Lindsay K. Bandy
Paris will always hold a special place in my heart with me, so I automatically HAVE to read anything set in this beautiful city. Even if it wasn’t necessarily so beautiful during the revolution and maybe a bit more bloody than anything. But I truly enjoyed this one!
About the Author
Lindsay Bandy writes historical and contemporary young adult fiction as well as poetry. She lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with her husband, two daughters, and two cats, and currently serves as the co–regional advisor of the Eastern Pennsylvania region of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Today I’m excited to participate in the Bookstagram & Creative Blog Tour for The Key to Fear by Kristin Cast! The Key to Fear is the first book in a young adult dystopian trilogy publishing on October 13, 2020 from Blackstone Publishing!
About the Book
Title: The Key to Fear Author: Kristin Cast Series: The Key #1 Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Publishing Date: October 13th, 2020 Genres: YA Dystopian
No touching today for a healthy tomorrow.
For fifty years, the Key Corporation has defended humanity against a deadly virus that spreads through touch. Lovers don’t kiss, or even hold hands. Personal boundaries are valued above all. Break the laws, and you’ll face execution.
Elodie, a talented young nurse, believes in the mission of the Key and has never questioned the laws that control her life. But Elodie is forced to break the rules when she sets out in search of a terminal patient who goes missing while under her care.
From the outside, it seems like Aiden was given everything he could want from the Key—a purpose, an education, and a future. But Aiden knows more than he’s letting on, and the dark secrets he’s keeping could tear the Key’s strict society apart.
When Elodie and Aiden’s lives collide, the fallout will be devastating. What do you do when the brutal system that once kept you safe hunts you down? Run.
Kristin is a #1 New York Times and #1 USA Today bestselling author who was born on an Air Force base in Japan and grew up in Oklahoma where she explored everything from tattoo modeling to broadcast journalism. After battling addiction, Kristin made her way to the Pacific Northwest and landed in Portland. She rediscovered her passion for storytelling in the stacks at dusty bookstores and in rickety chairs in old coffeehouses. For as long as she can remember, Kristin’s been telling stories. Thankfully, she’s been writing them down since 2005.
Head over to my Instagram account where you can enter the Instagram tour-wide giveaway for another chance to win a copy of The Key To Fear + signed bookplate! There will be two winners. (Make sure to also check #TheKeyToFearMTMC hashtag for more tour posts!)
*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*
God Storm (Shadow Frost #2) by Coco Ma Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Release Date: October 20th 2020 Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
The only weapon I’ve become is my own.
Everything has a price.
Let’s see how many more doves you’ll kill before bedtime.
In the kingdom of Axaria, a darkness has fallen. After defeating the evil mother who summoned an immortal demon to kill her, newly coronated Queen Asterin Faelenhart should have every reason to celebrate. Her kingdom is safe, forbidden magic eradicated, and her friends are alive. Except Asterin’s triumph has come at a devastating cost – forced to choose between a lifelong friend and true love, she’s lost both. But the shadows in Axaria have begun to stir once again, and no one is more starved for vengeance than Asterin….
Yet it soon becomes clear that the shadows plaguing her kingdom are just the beginning. Another realm coexists with the mortal world – the beautiful, nightmarish Immortal Realm ruled by the wicked God of Shadow, King Eoin. When their paths entwine, Asterin realizes that Eoin possesses exactly what – and who – she seeks most. And the fates of all those that she holds dear – Orion, her missing Guardian; Luna, the friend she could not save; Harry, the demon who saved them all; and Quinlan, her beloved broken prince – ultimately rest in the god’s hands.
But in a world of magic, not everyone is always as they seem. When shocking discoveries threaten everything and everyone Asterin has sworn her life to protect, she won’t be the only person forced to make a choice…a choice that will change the mortal world forever.
And maybe even destroy it.
My life is yours. I vowed to protect your life with mine, and I will never forsake that promise.
Where do I even begin with this review? Because this book was just *muah* chefs kiss. It has delectable characters. Show stopping plot. And absolutely enthralling writing. So yeah, one could argue that I really really loved this book and I wouldn’t tell them they were wrong. I’d probably correct them and say that I’m actually obsessed with it.
Option the Second
1. Immediate death.
Can we just take a minute to discuss Coco Ma’s writing style? I know this is not necessarily about the book, but really it is. There are some books that I love because I fell in love with the worlds, and other books I love because they contain so many snarky characters for me to fawn over, but this book/series I love because of the writing. Every now and then I find an author that I immediately add to my favorites mental pile because the writing is so engrossing and meticulous and witty and I just salivate because it just lures me in and snares me.
Just because I’m not interested in sexual intimacy doesn’t mean I don’t understand what it means to love.
I actually find it so funny that I have grown to love this series so much because for the longest time I deprived myself of anything that had the words princess/prince/king/queen. Shockingly horrifying I know, but before I did this I went over the deep end on a binge of epic proportions of court related books that it needed to be done. And I’m really glad I had that palette cleanser because I’ve been able to go back now and really select the ones that I know will blow me away, much like God Storm did.
About the Author
Coco Ma is a Canadian author and pianist. At the age of fifteen, she wrote the first book of the Shadow Frost Trilogy and hasn’t looked back since. After learning the piano during her childhood, she has performed on some of the world’s greatest concert stages and graduated with a precollege diploma in piano performance from the Juilliard School in New York City. Currently, she studies at Yale University.
At this point, she wishes she could mention having a dog or a small dragon, except pets (and happiness, apparently) are tragically prohibited at her dormitories. When she isn’t writing, practicing piano, or wreaking havoc, you might find her bingeing Netflix or eating cake. Lots of cake.
I am a wreck, I am drowning, I need to be saved from myself.
Lira and Reyker have lost everything. Including each other.
Lira of Stone watched her home burn and her clan fall beneath the sword of the warlord known as the Dragon. She believes the man she loves, a warrior who defected from the Dragon s army, is dead. Alongside her exiled brother and his band of refugees, she will fight the forces that conquered her island. But the greatest danger may come from Lira herself with the blood of banished gods running through her veins, she s become a weapon, and no one is safe from the power of her wrath.
Reyker Lagorsson thought he was done being a Dragonman. That was before he saw Lira leap from a cliff and vanish into the sea. Determined to honor her memory by protecting her people, Reyker must feign loyalty to the warlord, undermine him at every turn, and seek alliances with renegade soldiers without succumbing to the battle-madness that threatens to possess him once more.
When the Fallen Ones offer Lira a chance to defeat the Dragon, her quest leads her to a place she never expected Iseneld, the warlord s homeland. Her journey into the heart of the Frozen Sun will put her on a collision course with Reyker, costing both of them more than they ever imagined, and leaving her with a terrible choice: to save their countries, she must forsake everything she loves.
Death’s second lesson was about many things. Patience. Desire.
Even though this is the second book in the series it didn’t leave out the action! Starting off where the first book ends we’re tossed right back into the thrill of everything going on. And as always, it’s still a brutal world in these pages. So, be prepared and grab yourself a bunch of caffeine because you won’t want to put this one down!
I wanted to stop him. To show him I could. To touch the man who thought himself untouchable.
I love how different and unique this world is. And even when we get backstories and world building the adventure continues to build. And the characters! Phew! I love me some morally grey characters and we have plenty in this story! Even the bad guy has me going, wellllllll, I mean *shrugs*. So be prepared for some more darker themes and all the fun that goes along with that!
This is the war. It is where we make our stand. Where we end his reign.
So, be prepared for this book. If you’re just as invested in these characters as I am you just need to be ready. And that’s all I’m going to say on that. But wow, I kind of need the next book ASAP but you know, I GUESS I’ll wait. It’s fine. Everything’s fine.
About the Author
Jill Criswell is a writer of Young Adult Historical Fantasy. She was born and raised in the swamps of northeastern Florida. She earned degrees in English and Psychology and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida. Her greatest passion, besides reading and writing, is traveling the world; she’s visited fifty countries across six continents, falling in love with places like Iceland, Namibia, and Cambodia. She works as a university English teacher and lives in South Carolina, near the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with her husband and daughter (who is named after a volcano in Iceland).
She wished she could see them fly, though all the different houses, because she longed for something new.
Four fates collide in this avian-inspired, epic fantasy retelling of Tristan and Isolde perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Sabaa Tahir, and Leigh Bardugo!
A princess longing to be free…
On the dawn of her courtship trials, Princess Lyana Aethionus knows she should be focused on winning her perfect mate, yet her thoughts wander to the open sky waiting at the edge of her floating kingdom. One final adventure calls. Upon fleeing the palace, the last thing she expects to find is a raven prince locked in a death match with a dragon.
A bastard aching to belong…
Reviled son of a dead king, Rafe would do anything for his beloved half-brother, Prince Lysander Taetanus, including posing as him in the upcoming courtship trials. When a dragon interrupts their secret exchange, he orders his studious sibling to run. After suffering a fatal blow, Rafe is saved by a beautiful dove who possesses forbidden magic, just like him.
Fate brought them together, now destiny will tear them apart…
Unknown to the world above, on the foggy sea ten thousand feet below, a young king fights a forgotten war. He believes Lyana is the queen prophesied to save the world, and with the help of his favored spy, hidden deep in the highest ranks of the dove royal house, he will stop at nothing to have her.
Three shocking betrayals. Two star-crossed lovers. One unforgettable journey. If you like fierce heroines, brooding heroes, forbidden romance, and action-packed magical adventures with twists you’ll never see coming, don’t miss The Raven and the Dove!
There would be no forgiveness. There would be no forgiving herself. But she’d come too far to turn back now.
So, the cover on this book. Can we just talk about that for a moment? Because it it just sooo pretty and needs some limelight! Soak it in! Ogle it! Ok, now I’m ready to do my review. This book was AMAZING! I had been feeling like I was getting into the reading slumps, so I was sad that this book was next on my reading list because I was afraid that was going to impact my read of it. NOPE! Within minutes of reading it I said, good, yes, smirky boy, I’m set and ready to read!
‘So, this is the infamous sky bridge?’ Rafe asked, crossing his arms. ‘I have to admit, I expected more.’
Let me also start off my review with: FLYING HUMANS! I have been missing (and in love) with books that combine wings and people since Maximum Ride. So, I was so excited when I found this book and realized my craving for this would be satiated. I also love how Davis seamlessly gave the characters heightened (or in some cases lessened) abilities based off of what their respective bird would be like. I mean you have doves, ravens, owls, and more! It’s so cool and unique!
Together they walked into the unknown.
As you can probably guess there’s some really awesome world building in this book! The story also starts with a bang and just keeps going! I never found myself bored and I am ready to continue this series and continue to learn more about our characters! Like, gimme book two asap please!
The pre-order price is $2.99 for the first week of on sale, and after that the price will increase to $3.99
“Game?” she asked. Her hands had stopped moving. They rested warmly in the hollow groove between his wings, palms half against his feathers and half against his back.
Rafe stole another glance over his shoulder. She was too entranced to see anything but the visions dancing through her head, the visions he’d spun. An almost childlike wonder was alive in her innocent, yearning gaze, igniting a spark in his own chest that he hadn’t felt in a very long time. Not since his parents had died. Not since he’d grown up too soon.
“We like to think of Taetanos as the god of fate, not of death,” Rafe said softly. The glaze in the girl’s eyes disappeared as she looked into his. “We call life a game, because we each have our own wants, our own desires—but he sees everything, he knows everything, and he leads us down our destined path. We fight back sometimes, we make moves, and so does he. On and on it goes until, in the end, he wins, like he always does. But still, we keep playing. What other choice do we have?”
Again, her fingers brushed his feathers, but she didn’t look away.
He couldn’t, even if he’d wanted to.
“What do you think this is?” She paused to swallow. “His move or yours?”
His, he silently answered. Definitely his.
Because Rafe ached to fly, to soar, to get out of the darkness and back to his brother, back to the role he was comfortable playing, back to the sidelines. But there was a weight in his chest keeping him there, keeping him still, keeping him so lost in the fire reflected in her eyes that he couldn’t find his way out even if he tried.
For a moment, he thought he could hear his god laughing.
Then he realized it wasn’t laughter, but the soft whistle of a bird call—a signal he recognized. His move. His life. His brother calling him back.
His head whipped to the side, pulled by the noise growing louder, coming not from his imagination but from the other side of the darkness. He opened his mouth to call out in response, when a hand covered his lips and an arm slid around his throat, stronger and more ferocious than he’d expected. Rafe froze as the icy edge of a blade pressed into his skin, instantly recognizing the kiss of steel. “Be silent,” the girl ordered. “Don’t say a word.”
About the Author
Kaitlyn Davis, a bestselling author with over a quarter of a million books sold, writes young adult fantasy novels under the name Kaitlyn Davis and contemporary romance novels under the name Kay Marie. Publisher’s Weekly has said, “Davis writes with confidence and poise,” while USA Today has recommended her work as “must-read romance.”
Always blessed with an overactive imagination, Kaitlyn has been writing ever since she picked up her first crayon and is overjoyed to share her work with the world. When she’s not daydreaming, typing stories, or getting lost in fictional worlds, Kaitlyn can be found playing fetch with her puppy, watching a little too much television, or spending time with her family. If you have any questions for her–about her books, about scheduling an event, or just in general–you may contact her at: KaitlynDavisBooks@gmail.com Sign up for Kaitlyn’s newsletter to stay up-to-date with all of her new releases and more!
Iphigenia Murphy by Sara Hosey Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Release Date: March 10th 2020 Genre: Young Adult
Running away from home hasn’t solved Iphigenia Murphy’s problems. In fact, it’s only a matter of time before they’ll catch up with her. Iffy is desperate to find her long-lost mother, and, so far, in spite of the need to forage for food and shelter and fend off an unending number of creeps, living in Queens’ Forest Park has felt safer than living at home. But as the summer days get shorter, it all threatens to fall apart.
A novel that explores the sustaining love of friendship, the kindness of strangers, and the indelible bond of family, Iphigenia Murphy captures the gritty side of 1992 Queens, the most diverse borough in New York City. Just like Iffy, the friends she makes in the park–Angel, a stray dog with the most ridiculous tail; Corinne, a young trans woman who is escaping her own abusive situation; and Anthony, a former foster kid from upstate whose parents are addicts–each seek a place where they feel at home. Whether fate or coincidence has brought them together, within this community of misfits Iffy can finally be herself, but she still has to face the effects of abandonment and abuse–and the possibility that she may be pregnant. During what turns out to be a remarkable journey to find her mother, will Iffy ultimately discover herself?
There are some girls that nobody looks for. Turns out, I was one of those girls. Just like my mother.
You have no idea how excited I have been about this 90s revival. You know, I say as I sit here typing under a brightly colored quilt in 90s baggy jeans and a graphic tee-shirt. There’s just something about revisiting my childhood that makes me happy. So OF COURSE I immediately HAD to read Iphigenia Murphy when I found out about it! I mean, a run away living in a tent in Queens? It’s just like this story was made from me (you know, I say again as I impatiently wait for more backpacking supplies to come in the mail).
Let me start off by saying I love the writing in this book! It’s brutally honest, which makes it so much more realistic. It truly feels like you’re reading about a teenager compared to all of those teenage characters who sound like mid-century poets. My only real complaint is that it took me like 30 tries before I (think) I got Iphigenia pronounced correctly. It’s a genius name, but boy what a mouthful!
This book covers some brutal topics, but they are very real issues in society. This takes me back to the honesty part I mentioned before. I find that I really love books that don’t skim around topics or try to sugar coat all of the nuances of life. This book features a diverse cast of characters that all miraculously seem to come together and show that life isn’t always the dream that you see in movies,.
About the Author
Sara Hosey holds a PhD in American literature from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and is an associate professor of English and women and gender studies at Nassau Community College. Her book, Home Is Where the Hurt Is: Media Depictions of Wives and Mothers (McFarland, 2019), looks at representations of the domestic in popular culture. Sara grew up in Queens and now lives in Sea Cliff, New York, with her partner and their children. She is working on a second novel.
For this particular giveaway, we have an exclusive Instagram. We are giving away an IPHIGENIA MURPHY bundle including: a hardcover of IPHIGENIA MURPHY by Sara Hosey, a bookmark, a button and a skateboard keychain (US Only). The giveaway will start on MARCH 4th 2020 and will finish on MARCH 18th 2020 (00:00 GMT+1).
▪︎Tag a friend (each friend will be an extra entry). ▪︎Share on your stories about the giveaway (remember to tag me @whatmakespatri and @theffbc) ▪︎Follow @michellesulk ▪︎Follow any other FFBC team member participating in the tour (let us know on the comment section who did you follow). Check everyone’s Instagram handles below: @l.m.durand @mybookishbliss @popthebutterfly @kaitplusbooks @love2dazzle @_.sleepydoe._ @_bookishaestha_ @gotgratitude5 @savingsinseconds
T&Cs & Disclaimers (TO INCLUDE IN THE COMMENTS SECTION): ▪︎Giveaway ends on MARCH 18th (00:00 GMT+1). 1 winner will be chosen on @theffbc. ▪︎Open to residents of US only
The winner will be announced after MARCH 20TH 2020 on our Instagram stories. ONLY 1 WINNER. OPEN US ONLY. The winner will be contacted via Instagram.
*I received an arc in exchange for an honest review*