Blog Tour: Black Dawn

Black Dawn
Mallory McCartney
Published by: Clean Reads Publishing
Publication date: February 14th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Young Adult

The end of an Empire. The rise of a Queen.”

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life that is until two mysterious, and dare I say handsome soldiers show up at her apartment doorstep and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Coming from the magical and ravaged world of Kiero, Emory is brought back not realizing that both men are darkly woven in her past. Discovering she is the long lost heir to the Royal Line Emory is thrown into Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne. With both lives clashing Emory uncovers hidden secrets from her past, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.

Some things are better left in the shadows.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

 

Author Bio:

Mallory McCartney currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband and their two dachshunds Link and Lola. Black Dawn is her debut novel, the first in a series. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found dog grooming, book shopping and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Excerpt:

She turned around and quickly froze. A thick silence pressed into every crevice of the room, making her hair stand on end. Shadows danced in front of her, the flames casting figures on every wall. At twenty-one, she was old enough to recognize when she had a horrible gut feeling about a situation. This was one of those times. She crept down the hallway, her palms clammy. Lightning flared outside once more, and that’s when she saw him, standing in the semi-darkness. At the end of her long hallway stood a man, his golden eyes glinting as he stepped toward her. How he had gotten into her apartment, she had no idea. Her door was always locked, and she lived on the third floor. Her back slammed into the wall behind her as she choked on a scream. That’s when she acted, running back into the kitchen and grabbing an assortment of pans and pots. She wasn’t going down without a fight. Running back into the hallway, she launched each makeshift weapon with full force. The man lurched toward her, his face becoming clearer in the candlelight. Her blood ran cold because she knew his face better than anyone—he had haunted her every waking nightmare for as long as she could remember. His handsome features softened as he looked at her. Panic and anger licked her heart, and she was about to tell him exactly where to shove it when her tongue started to feel thick and her world tilted in a tailspin. In the half shadows, as her body crumpled to the floor, the man reached out to her, whispering, “Em” so softly, it was as if he hardly dared breathe her name aloud. His voice was the last thing she heard before the darkness took her.

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Review: All the Stars Left Behind

All the Stars Left Behind

by Ashley Graham

(This is a series, but I can’t find any info about it)

Source: Netgalley – Thank you Entangled Teen for the opportunity to read this book. Receiving this book for free in exchange for a review in no way affected my opinion of this book.

Stars: 3.5 out of 5

Description:

Relocating to Arctic Norway would put a freeze on anyone’s social life. For Leda Lindgren, with her crutches and a chip on her shoulder the size of her former Manhattan home, the frozen tundra is just as boring as it sounds. Until she meets her uncle’s gorgeous employee.

Unfortunately, no matter how smoking hot the guy is, Roar comes with secrets as unnerving as his moving tattoos. And Leda doesn’t trust him.

Roar shouldn’t be drawn to the moody human girl with eyes that leave him weak in the knees. But when Leda gets shot by one of his enemies and survives, Roar finally understands why he’s drawn to her: Leda is exactly what he was sent to Earth to find. A weapon of immense power capable of saving his planet.

She just doesn’t know it yet.

Review:

I read this book a while ago, but I had to stop and thinking about it before I could decide how I felt about it. There are a lot of issues that are dealt with like insta-love, not knowing who you are, transgender, loss of a loved one, physical disabilities, and many other things. There was a lot that I liked, but a lot I didn’t like at the same time.  Let’s dig into it.

What I liked:

  • The alien side characters were complex. Interesting with their quirks and personalities.  There was clearly a lot of time spent behind the scenes making them into what they were and the book was better for it.
  • I like how Leda was not perfect. I like that she had physical disability that left it so she had a strong personality that wasn’t going to let that stop her, but at the same time she would occasionally worry about being imperfect and how it would make her feel real.
  • Aliens are just awesome.
  • I loved some of the tech they had. It wasn’t so technical that I couldn’t follow it, but was still cool.

What I didn’t like:

  • Insta-love. Now, it has a purpose here so I can’t totally hate on it, but it wasn’t may favorite either. I just feel like it’s an over done topic. Even though there’s insta-love for a reason, they could have developed the romance a lot more to make it more enjoyable. Gave time for the characters to get to know each other outside of their intense feelings.
  • The description gives too much I think. It describes the book into the second half of the story which is frustrating. I want enough to be enticed, but not so much I know so much.
  • I wish the villains were better developed. I think I would have hated them more if there was more information about them upfront.
  • Was the cover white washed? I’m not sure, so maybe this is nothing, but Leda is described twice as having darker skin and the cover she looks like the same color as Roar, though in its defence, it’s hard to tell with the purple overlay.
  • Also needing to be developed was some of the information that Roar knew. Something would happen and then he would be like, oh the Elders told me something to do with this before. Surprise how it’s different. If we would have had more foreshadowing, this would have made a greater impact.
  • Sometimes things were confusing and I felt the need to reread so I could understand it better. Maybe it was me? But it was frustrating whatever it was.

While I’d say this book isn’t bad, in fact there were parts that were quite enjoyable, it wasn’t one of my favorites. It’s still worth reading if you like sci-fi romances with insta-love. I think if you go into aware of the problems, it’s easier to like.

Have you read this book? What’d you think? If you haven’t read this book, does this sound like something you’d enjoy reading?

Review: Dragonwatch

Dragonwatch

Fablehaven Adventure #1

by Brandon Mull

Source: Hardback sent from an anonymous person. If it was you–THANK YOU!!!

Stars: 5 out of 5

Warning: This series will make more sense if you first read the Fablehaven series

Description:

In the hidden dragon sanctuary of Wyrmroost, Celebrant the Just, King of the Dragons, plots his revenge. He has long seen the sanctuaries as prisons, and he wants nothing more than to overthrow his captors and return the world to the Age of Dragons, when he and his kind ruled and reigned without borders. The time has come to break free and reclaim his power.

No one person is capable of stopping Celebrant and his dragon horde. It will take the ancient order of Dragonwatch to gather again if there is any chance of saving the world from destruction. In ancient times, Dragonwatch was a group of wizards, enchantresses, dragon slayers, and others who originally confined the majority of dragons into sanctuaries. But nearly all of the original Dragonwatch members are gone, and so the wizard Agad reaches out to Grandpa Sorenson for help.

As Kendra and Seth confront this new danger, they must draw upon all their skills, talents, and knowledge as only they have the ability to function together as a powerful dragon tamer. Together they must battle against forces with superior supernatural powers and breathtaking magical abilities.

How will the epic dragon showdown end? Will dragons overthrow humans and change the world as we know it?

My Review:

So excited that someone sent this to our family! We’ve loved it so much. It came at a perfect time. We were just reading the last book in the Fablehaven series when this arrived at our doorstep–signed!!! So cool. I enjoyed reading it aloud to my children.

What I liked:

  • Kendra is still my favorite main character. She’s just so real. She wants to do what’s good and right, but she’s scared. Doesn’t matter though, she’ll step up and do what needs done. I just love her.
  • Dragons. Need I say more?
  • Knox is so annoying. I like it though. Fits right in, lol.
  • Tess is sweet. I love how she’s obsessed with fairies and is convinced about them even though she doesn’t know the “bugs” actually are them.
  • Like most of the other Fablehaven books, this one is full of adventure keeping us wanting to read more and more instead of just the one chapter a day we usually read aloud with my kids.

What I didn’t like:

  • Seth still needs to use his brain more, but he’s doing better than he used to. I have hope for him in the future that he’ll be able to use his extreme ideas for good instead of stupidity. He did have some good moments in this book. There’s a lot of hope for him.
  • Grandma and Grandpa Larsen never say how they explained to their nonFablehaven family how they came back from the dead. I would have liked to know how they managed that one.
  • I wish Bracken was in the story more. I understand why he wasn’t, but I missed him.
  • I also missed some of the other characters from the last series that didn’t show up in this book. That’s alright. We got to meet some cool new ones.

Although this is kind of a middle grade novel, it’s definitely bordering on YA. One of the main characters is 15 and has an almost boyfriend. I think YA topics are bound to start coming up.

Needless to say, both I and my children loved this book. We are sad we have to wait for other ones to come out, but know it will be worth the wait. This is a great book for anyone that’s read the Fablehaven series. And if you haven’t read it yet, you should pick it up if you like fantasy/adventure books.

Review: Cage of Darkness

Cage of Darkness

Reign of Secrets #2

by Jennifer Anne Davis

Source: Purchased eBook

Stars: 4 out of 5

Warning: May contain spoilers if you haven’t read the first book!

Description:

While traveling to Fren, Allyssa and Odar are hijacked by a ruthless assassin who divulges a stunning secret that changes everything.

Trying to come to terms with this newfound revelation, Allyssa is taken to Russek and delivered into the hands of a malicious and twisted royal family. She finds herself an unwilling pawn in a risky political game that will either end with her death or the annihilation of her beloved kingdom. Unsure of where the lies end and the truth begins, she must survive the brutal family and escape the fortified castle, all the while coming to grips with her feelings for Odar.

In a kingdom filled with darkness, Allyssa enters a game where one wrong move means death, secrets hide around each corner, and it will take every ounce of cunning she has to survive.

My Review:

It’s hard to think about how I feel about this book. It’s complicated. The last quarter had me feeling all sorts of emotions. It was very well done. The rest of it was good too, but not as good as the first book or ending.

“She’d always played the part of the dedicated princess. The Russek court was no different. Allyssa was just playing a different part in the game this time. And this was one game she couldn’t lose.”

What I liked:

  • Allyssa is tough as steel in this book. Sure, she was tough in the last book, but in this one she has to face some horrendous things that would leave most people weak and giving up, but she resolves to stick up to what she knows is right no matter how hard it is.
  • Kerdan was a fascinating character in both good and bad ways. I wasn’t surprised with what happened with him in end, but still really enjoyed his character throughout the novel.
  • There’s a lot of angst in this book, which I really enjoyed. I liked following all the action and plot along as it went.
  • Soma. Gak! He’s such a bad character in a great way. He made me feel like I needed to take a shower. Poor Allyssa having to deal with him.
  • Russek has some good world building. It’s different than what Allyssa is used to and made for a cold read.
  • Not gonna lie. I cried. Always a sign of a well written book.

What I didn’t like:

  • Prince Odar. Sad to say. I really liked him in the first book, but this time around, he’s not around much. And then how he acts at the end of the book, just gah! Couldn’t take it.
  • For the series being named Reign of Secrets, there wasn’t much secret to me. The twists were all expected. I suppose they were secret to Allyssa, but I found it an easy guess. Maybe I was just really in tune with the book? I know others said they thought it was surprising, so…?

“The crown used to feel heavy—like a cage tying her to her destiny. Now, without it, she felt naked and yearned for the one thing she’d fought so hard to break free from.”

This book goes by its title and is really dark. Torture and violence. Just an FYI.

While I didn’t like this book as much as the first, I still loved this book so hard. It’s an awesome, gritty book that left me feeling gutted–in a good way. I can’t wait for November for the third book in the series. I would highly recommend this series for anyone that likes YA fantasy that turns a little gritty.

Review: Cage of Deceit

Cage of Deceit

Reign of Secrets #1

by Jennifer Anne Davis

Source: Bought ebook

Stars: 4.5 our of 5

Description:

Sixteen-year-old Allyssa appears to be the ideal princess of Emperion–she’s beautiful, elegant, and refined. She spends her days locked in a suffocating cage, otherwise known as the royal court. But at night, Allyssa uses her secret persona–that of a vigilante–to hunt down criminals and help her people firsthand.

Unfortunately, her nightly escapades will have to wait because the citizens of Emperion may need saving from something much bigger than common criminals. War is encroaching on their kingdom and in order to protect her people, Allyssa may have to sacrifice her heart. Forced to entertain an alliance through marriage with a handsome prince from a neighboring kingdom, she finds herself feeling even more stifled than before. To make matters worse, the prince has stuck his nosy squire, Jarvik, to watch her every move.

Jarvik is infuriating, bossy and unfortunately, the only person she can turn to when she unveils a heinous plot. Together, the unlikely pair will have to work together to stop an enemy that everyone thought was long gone, one with the power to destroy her family and the people of Emperion. Now the cage Allyssa so longed to break free from might just be the one thing she has to fight to keep intact. In order to save her kingdom, she will have to sacrifice her freedom, her heart, and maybe even her life.

Review:

First, I fell in love with the cover, then I read the synopsis and knew I wanted to read this book. I’m sure glad that I did. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Warning: It ends in a cliffhanger. No HEA for this book, but there are more to come.

“I’m afraid you’re locked in this cage of deceit with me. When you break free, you’re going to hate me.”

Things I liked:

  • Allyssa is a great character. She’s strong and has room to grow. I really liked following her story along the way. There were a few times when I felt like she kept complaining about being in her “cage” too much, but it got the point across. She’s a tough chick that’s willing to do what’s right even when it’s hard to do.
  • Grevik is awesome. I wish there was more of him in the book. He is a great friend. And I so want to say more, but–my lips are sealed!
  • Jarvik. Oh Jarvik. He’s surly and ornery in all the right ways.
  • Allyssa’s parents were interesting characters. I want to go back and read their stories now after reading this book. They took really good care of their daughter, keeping her feelings in mind and loving her.
  • The romance is a slow building burn that I totally feel for and was rooting on the entire time.
  • After the initial beginning, it’s fast paced and kept me glued the entire time. I finished it in one sitting and am anxious for more!

Things I didn’t like:

  • It took a little bit to get in to. It ended up being fine because what you learn in the beginning makes a difference down the road, but it was still a little slow moving at first.
  • The big twist at the end of the book, I had it guessed right off the bat. Usually, this bugs me, but with this book, it was interesting to see what was going on knowing what I did.
  • There were a couple conversations that got started but never finished. I couldn’t figure out a good reason for it other than as a plot device. If something is that important, you don’t let things get in the way of telling your daughter/girl you love. Nuh-uh. You say what you gotta.

“She was a princess, elegant, refined, and all that the position implied. At least, that was she kept telling herself. Because, truth be told, she hated being stuck in this cage, playing this game.”

Despite the difficulty, I think I managed to stay spoiler free, lol. Seriously, there’s so much I want to talk about but can’t without ruining it for someone. So go read the book so I can! I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys YA fantasy.

Review: Prince of the Moon

Prince of the Moon

Stella and Sol #2

by Kimberly Loth

Source: Purchased eBook

Stars: 3.5 out of 5

Description:

Zwaantie enters Stella with only one goal—find Phoenix and run away. Only she discovers that Phoenix has disappeared—without her.

Stella is unlike anything Zwaantie has ever experienced. From the bright lights to the moving pictures, it’s all overwhelming. The moment she steps foot in the country she wants only one thing—to go home.

Her plans go awry when Leo reveals to her the real reason he needs to marry her—to thwart an awful prophecy and save his sister’s baby from the flesh eating monsters. Not only that, but the Voice has somehow followed her into Stella and wants her dead. She can’t go home.

Trapped in a world where her every move is on display, engaged to a man she doesn’t love, and with death around every corner, Zwaantie seeks solace in newfound friends and magic she never believed possible.

Will Zwaantie rise as the powerful princess she should be and do the right thing or will she forsake all for her own happiness?

My Review:

I liked this book, just not as much as I hoped I would. There were some good things, but there were some things that I had a problem with. Maybe it was just me though.

A little warning for those of you who are concerned about sexual content. This book doesn’t have anything graphic in it, but there are repeated talks of premarital sex and multiple partners.

Things I liked:

  • The world-building is awesome! I loved it so much. Especially compared to Sol, Stella was a fascinating mix of always night and magic. It was well done.
  • This will contradict a point I have below, but at one point Zwaantie was really strong. She took charge and made things happen that possibly saved two lives. I just wish she could have been more like this through the rest of the book.
  • Sage is a really cool character. I wish we actually got to see her kick some butt like I know she can. She’s a little quirky which is always fun to see, but she cares too which I like about her.
  • The vipers were a nice touch. I liked the development of them in the book. They would totally freak me out in real life, lol!

Things I didn’t like:

  • Zwaantie was a little whiny in this book. She was always talking about what she didn’t like and what she couldn’t have. Now, I know she was coming from a hard situation, but I just wanted her to be like, this sucks–now what am I going to do about it? I wanted her to face the hardness and take it on instead of mostly complaining about it.
  • Like the last book, it’s a little short. I was expecting it this time so it didn’t bother me as much, but I still wanted more descriptions to make the story longer.
  • Twists weren’t very twisty. I saw them coming so, yeah. Never a happy thing.
  • The romance was lacking. I wanted more and from a different source than it came from. I guess I’m all right with where it’s going, but it’s kind of hard when it’s thrown in book two with no warning in book one as to what direction it’s going to take.
  • All the deaths/missing persons happens from afar. I would have liked to have seen it up close so we could be more invested in it.
  • The end was very abrupt. I should have guessed it from the last book, but it’s really annoying having it cut off out of no where.

Despite my problems with the book, I’m eager for the next book which comes out in May. I think it will be better than this one if several of my guesses about where it’s headed are correct. There’s enough invested in the story that I want to know more. I just hope Zwaantie is ready to be a strong character. I would recommend this book to anyone who read the first books and wants to continue the series, or for YA Fantasy lovers that want some quick reads to pick up the first book and then this one.

Have you read this book? What did you think? Do you have plans to start the series?

Top Ten Tuesday: May 2, 2017

First of all, for those who haven’t seen, I’m currently running a giveaway. Yay! Enter for your chance to win three amazing YA books about a fairytale retelling from the fairy godmother’s perspective during modern day. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Now for another Top Ten Tuesday! It’s hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. You can find questions on their blog if you want to follow along.

This week is: Cover Theme Freebie

The freebie pick was really hard for me. There’s so many directions you could go with one. Finally, I decided to highlight: Covers of Royalty Fantasy Books

I’ve been in a big fantasy mood lately if you can’t tell. Royalty is one of my favorite type of characters to read about. Combine the two and I’m one happy girl. Now, these aren’t necessarily book covers that I love, but books I’ve read and enjoyed. In no particular order, here we go!

First Light by Michelle Paige Holmes

This one has such a pretty cover! It’s soft but eye catching. It’s been a while since I read it, but I just remember adoring the story.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

I love this series! It has everything I want in a book. A girl who starts out soft, but because strong, not just physically stronger, but mentally and emotionally stronger. The story kept me engaged through all three books.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

I know, a middle grade book, I and don’t usually read those, but this one is an exception. I first read it a long, long time ago. Maybe high school? In any case, it’s been a while. But I feel in love with it. It’s such a good twist on Cinderella, a girl that has to obey every order she’s given. It’s SO good!

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Do I even need to explain myself with this one? I will anyway 😉

It’s got “Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True Love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest Ladies. Snakes. Spiders… Pain. Death. Brave men. Cowardly men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles.”

It’s one of the most quotable books ever. I just love it! Sure, it’s not a perfect book, but it’s still one of my favorites.

Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith

Another book that’s been a while since I read. Technically, two books combine into one. In any case, they’re rock! They are ones I should go back and reread sometime soon.

The Seer and the Sword by Victoria Hanley

This list is making me realize how many books I love that I haven’t read in a while. Maybe I need a reread-a-thon, lol.  This book had so much that I love in a book. It was a great read! A fiery princess with a good love interest.

Cage of Deceit by Jennifer Anne Davis

This is one of my recent reads (review on Thursday!). Details will come then, but I loved it! So much fierce girl in action. Definitely worth a read if you like YA fantasy.

Third Daughter by Susan Kay Quinn

This series was an interesting one. A fantasy based on India, this princess starts off naive and grows so much. Her love interest is swoony and full of adventure. Check out this part of the blurb: “This Bollywood-style royal romance takes you to an alternate East Indian world filled with skyships, saber duels, and lots of royal intrigue.

Sounds awesome, right!?!

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

A book with a witty protagonist, the entire series is one that’s worth reading. A good combination of things that I enjoy reading.

The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine

If you can’t tell, I love Gail Carson Levine’s books. Even though she writes middle grade, which I usually avoid, I thoroughly enjoy her stories. This was the first one of hers I ever read, and I happened to read it out loud with my college roommate. It was a blast. So many things I love about this book. It makes me cry every time I read it.


And that’s my list. I’m so excited to see what everyone else did with their covers!

Link up & I’ll stop on by!

Book Beginnings: April 28, 2017

Another Friday is here. Hooray!!! I love weekends, and this one is no exception. I can’t wait to relax and maybe enjoy a book. What do you plan on reading this weekend?

For those who haven’t seen it yet, I’m running a giveaway where you can win three ebooks that I adore! The entrants are currently low, so here’s a great chance to win some excellent reads.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now, on to Book Beginnings! I think this is such a fun meme with a chance to find cool new reads.

Book Beginnings is hosted by Rose City Reader. Every Friday share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.


“The day my life changed forever began as any other. Mother and I argued. But this time it was different. Our disagreement wasn’t about my slouching or lack of refined speech; it wasn’t even about my penchant for running across our fields with wild abandon.

We fought over a box of silver that had appeared–seemingly out of nowhere–on our kitchen table. We were nearly starving, and Mother was hoarding silver.”

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And this week’s book is:

First Light by Michelle Paige Holmes

Description:

Seventeen-year-old Adrielle doesn’t believe in magic; she merely possesses it, though no one has ever mentioned that her unusual gifts—exceptional speed, a flair for fire, and an intimate knowledge of flora—aren’t things she was born with. When Adrielle starts a fire that burns down the family home, she must deal with both her grief and her siblings’ hurtful rejection.

While journeying to far away Tallinyne, in search of her older, estranged sister—the only relative who might take her in—Adrielle is separated from her escort when the carriage is beset by thieves. Alone, she is thrust into a dangerous and unfamiliar world where she encounters fairies and gypsies, a wild boar, a drunk cook, and an evil queen whose curse is sweeping death across the land. Adrielle also finds love, falling hard for a kind, funny, handsome—and completely unavailable prince.

From the glowing pearls tucked beneath her mattress and keeping her awake at night, to Queen Nadamaris’s curse that seems to thwart Adrielle’s every effort, Adrielle struggles to navigate a world of magic she never imagined, where people she knows and loves are not always what they appear to be. With the glowing pearls—and her fondest desire—within her grasp, she is forced to make a choice no girl should ever have to—satisfying her own heart or saving the kingdom.


I love the opening to this book. I think it’s intriguing. It made me want to know more about the book. I’ve actually already read this book and thoroughly enjoyed it!

What do you think of the beginning of this book? Would you read it?

Review: Fablehaven Series

Fablehaven

The Complete Series

by Brandon Mull

5 out of 5 stars

Source: Hardback from the Library

Description:

Series includes Fablehaven, Rise of the Evening Star, Grip of the Shadow Plague, Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary, and Keys to the Demon Prison.

Review:

It’s taken a while to get through this entire series, mostly because I read it out loud to my kids. I don’t usually take to MG books, but these are one of the few exceptions. I thoroughly enjoyed joining on the adventures with Kendra and Seth.

“Being butchered by monkeys is pretty low on my list of ways to go.”

What I liked:

  • Kendra. She’s a good main character. I like how she’s uncertain about things and nervous to try scary things, but does them anyway. She’s brave in a very real way.
  • The action. Once it gets going, it’s a ride that takes you on a great journey that I always found myself wanting more of.
  • Brandon Mull does a great job with details. There’s things in earlier books that tie into later books perfectly. I love how they all come together.
  • The characters have depth, not just the main characters, Kendra and Seth, but the other characters too. There’s a lot to them, sometimes more than you would guess.
  • The magical creatures are awesome! A lot of them are familiar in some way or another, but they’re made perfectly for this series.
  • The fourth and fifth books are my favorite! They are incredibly good! Even though the fifth book is gigantic, it’s hard to put down. My kids were always asking for “one more chapter.”
  • After the first book, it’s a fast moving series. You’re constantly jumping from one adventure to the next in a very real, good way.

What I didn’t like:

  • The first book is a little slow, but worth plowing through to get to the other books.
  • Seth’s stupidity drove me nuts! I was always groaning over his choices. Of course, without some of his choices, the plot wouldn’t be what it is. Despite that, I hope in the new Fablehaven Adventure series he’s a little less rash.
  • That it ended. lol! Really though, I’m so excited that he decided to write a follow up series because I enjoyed this one so much. Just wish I didn’t have to wait so long between releases of them all.

“Was life like that? You could look ahead to the future or back at the past, but the present moved too quickly to absorb.”

I really enjoyed this series, and my kids did as well. It was one we could easily enjoy together. I highly recommend this book to people who love fantasy. Whether or not you’re a middle grade reader or not, I think you’ll find something to enjoy about this series.

Have you read any books in this series? What did you think? Do you plan to read any books in the series? Do you usually like MG novels?

Interview & Giveaway: Emma Savant

Interview

I’m thrilled to be doing my first interview with the incredible Emma Savant. She is the author of the Glimmers series. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly suggest it. You can read my review of the first book HERE, second book HERE, and third book HERE. This is one of my favorite series! I hope you enjoy the interview, and look below for a giveaway.

1. For someone who hasn’t read any of your Glimmers books, can you describe what they’re like?

The Glimmers series follows a teenage faerie godmother, Olivia, through her internship at Portland’s premier faerie godparenting agency. When her supervisor ends up on the hospital after a flying pumpkin accident, Olivia ends up taking on a new client: Elle, a feisty Cinderella archetype who wants nothing to do with the enchanted prom and Prince Charming that have been assigned to her.

Readers have described the Glimmers books as “witty,” “fresh,” and “realistic.” That last adjective delights me, as the Glimmers books are elbows-deep in magic wands, backfiring spells, hidden palaces, and other accoutrements of enchantment. I’m thrilled people find the characters and stories relatable, even with all the magic!

I can attest that it’s definitely relatable, even though there’s magic. I loved the world that you’ve created.

2. Where did you get the idea for the Glimmers series?

My husband and I moved to Oregon a few years ago. One day, we were driving over one of the many bridges that spans the Willamette River in Portland—Marquam Bridge, I think it was—and I looked over the water and had the distinct thought, “There are mermaids in that water.” I looked out at the skyscrapers that make up the Portland skyline, glittering dull silver in the filtered sunshine, and instantly, I knew there was a secret world of faeries and magicians hidden in rooms and glamoured buildings all throughout the city.

I’d been playing with this modern fairy tale idea for a long time and had started many iterations of stories that combined magical tropes with modern elements, but this was the first time the world I was trying to create crystallized. I got home and started writing, and the first Glimmers novel was finished within a year.

That’s awesome. I love how you created the story from real life. If only there really were mermaids in that water!

3. There are currently three novels and a novella in the Glimmers series, are you planning on writing more books? If so, can you give us a hint what they’re about and when they’ll be released?

The next book in the Glimmers series is set to release sometime this summer, assuming the characters behave themselves and don’t go off on the kind of adventures that require lots of editing. It’s an adult novel that follows a new protagonist: Dior Miller, a Glimmering pop star whose new manager promises to spin her dreams of stardom into gold—for a price. It’s a loose retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, and the villain has been utterly creepy to write.

Oooh, that sounds delectable. I love creepy villains! Can’t wait for it. I’ll cross my fingers the characters behave themselves.

4. What did you edit out of your any of your Glimmers series?

I plot tightly, so there wasn’t a lot to take out. Glimmers of Scales, the second book in the series, ended up requiring more editing than I expected, but that mostly involved rearranging scenes and adding words to be sure character motivations were as clear as I needed them to be. The supporting character Imogen’s journey in that novel is particularly complex and takes place mostly offstage, so clarifying that as much as I could within the constraints of the story was important. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my editor for helping me find and patch all the gaps in Imogen’s character development, because it made for a much stronger book.

That makes a lot of sense after having read the books. Thank goodness for editor’s!

5. If you could tell your younger writer self anything, what would it be?

Write. It’s the advice I think most writers would tell their younger selves—“Write every day!”—but it really is the best I’ve ever come across. A lot of beginning writers, myself included, are full of junk: melodramatic scenes, one-liners that aren’t as clever as they seem, plots that seem original at first but turn out to be horrible cliches. Once you get all that out of your way, which can take thousands upon thousands of words, you’re ready to really start writing—and after all that practice, you have the tools and judgment you need to turn those melodramatic scenes into great ones, and those cliche plots into stories that will keep your readers turning the page.

Of course, I’m still a work in progress as a writer, and my stories don’t always come out exactly as I hope. That’s where a good editor comes in!

That’s such great advice, and I think is so true. Future writers, take note!

6. How many unpublished and half-finished novels do you have?

Dozens. I finished something like six novels before I published the first Glimmers book, and have at least that many half-finished books that got abandoned when I wrote myself into a corner. Out of all of those, there are three stories I’d like to eventually rewrite and publish.

Fascinating! It’s crazy to think of how much work went on behind the scenes before you even got to this series. I hope you are able to rewrite and publish those three stories someday.

7. What is your favorite childhood book?

I was obsessed with Little Women as a child; something about the way Alcott described that domestic world of hard work and womanhood resonated deeply with kid me. Went back and re-read it in adulthood and found myself not nearly as entranced as I’d been at age nine, but that’s probably true about most things I liked at age nine. I also was (and am) crazy about the Harry Potter books; I read the first one thirty-five times before I stopped counting, and I can still recite the first page or two from memory. Rowling’s ability to create an environment in my head that feels more real than the physical world amazes me.

Oh, yes, Little Women is such a classic. It’s funny how things aren’t the same as when when were were kids. Except Harry Potter. Those books are transcendent I think. I can’t believe you read the first one so many times though. That is excellent!

8. What would you like to tell your readers?

I think it is so freaking cool that you’re reading my books, and it’s such an honor that you’ve chosen to spend your time in the Glimmering world. If you want to be the first to hear about any new books that come out, subscribe to my newsletter. I hope you enjoy these stories as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them!

Thank you so much for being here to share your love of books with us!

Giveaway Time!!!

One winner will receive an ecopy of the whole Glimmers trilogy!

A huge thanks to Emma Savant for being willing to provide these books!

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