Posted in First Lines Fridays

First Lines Friday – January 17, 2020

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?  If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above, and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

If you’re using Twitter, don’t forget to use #FirstLinesFridays!

Here we go…


There is blood under my fingernails. I wonder how many of my people I’ve killed this time.


Can you guess what book this is from???

Read on to find out…

First Lines Fridays

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Blurb:

Fall in love, break the curse.

Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

Posted in book reviews

BOOK REVIEW: God of Manna by Daeus Lamb

BOOK REVIEW: God of Manna by Daeus LambGod of Manna by Daeus Lamb
Published by Independently Published on April 10, 2019
ISBN: 1093395915
Pages: 72
Source: the author
Goodreads
four-stars
Synopsis

The hideous God of Manna has taken away the soul of Mortristan's father. Now, it is Mortristan's doom to find what his father never could: something worth living for.But when Mortristan is forced to hunt an intruder in the God of Manna's paradise-city, he learns just how enslaved he is. As bad as life is with the God of Manna, it's impossible to live without him. Can Mortristan really sacrifice everything he has to find just one thing that's lasting?The God of Manna has reigned for millennia and he doesn't take rebellion lightly...The world needs a savior. And if Mortristan doesn't find a way of escape, he will too.God of Manna is a fairy tale that explores the human search for satisfaction in both its glories and disgrace.Buy your copy today to follow Mortristan as he battles to free himself from the God of Manna.


I received this book for free from the author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I’ve had God of Manna book on my TBR for a really long time now. I started to read it right after receiving it, but I wasn’t really in the mood for a book I had to put much thought into… Now I kinda wish I’d given it a chance because I ended up really enjoying the allegory in this story!

The crazy thing is, I wasn’t a big fan of the beginning. But it made me curious enough to keep reading – so right when I was thinking “I’m gonna DNF after one more page,” I ended up speeding through the rest of the book, unable to set it down.

This dystopian world is beautiful and ugly and full of dark secrets. Everyone is separated. Those lucky enough to live in the lush land of Elysigard care nothing for the people outside in the desolate wasteland, who work and toil to keep the God of Manna and the people of Elysigard happy. The world itself is a major player in the book.

The main character, Mortristan, is on a search for something his father never finds (or many of us, for that matter)… something that lasts. Mortristan’s journey changes him in ways he could never imagine. He doesn’t seem like a courageous or even all that caring of a person, but he ends up doing miraculous things. He overcomes the land, himself, and even defies the God of Manna.

And that ending…At the time I’m writing this, I finished the book two weeks ago and I’m still thinking about it!

If you enjoy high-concept, allegorical dystopian stories then this novella is definitely worth the read. My only real complaint (other than the slow start) is that I REALLY wish it wasn’t so short. God of Manna could easily be a full-length novel and I think it may have been even better if it was.

What do you think? Have you read God of Manna? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave me a comment below!

Follow me on Twitter.

four-stars
Posted in First Lines Fridays

First Lines Friday – January 10, 2020

First Lines Fridays
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First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?  If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above, and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

If you’re using Twitter, don’t forget to use #FirstLinesFridays!

Here we go…


I’m going to remember this day for the rest of my life, I thought to myself. This was the day that I could no longer remember the gentle caress of the Soussa winds when I closed my eyes. Instead, as I blinked back the tears, all I could feel was the oppressive heat of the tunnel that I was trapped in, and the bite of the unyielding rocks.


Read on to find out which book this extract is from…

First Lines Fridays

Dragon Connection by Ava Richardson.

Dragon Connection (The Stone Crown Series Book 1)

Blurb:

One crown can unite them—or destroy them all.

The three kingdoms lie splintered, their aging dragon riders content with stories of glorious battle victories. But a new evil creeps across the land. Inyene, a powerful noblewoman of the Northern Kingdom, plunders valuable resources to power mechanical dragons in her quest to gain a foothold in the Middle Kingdom. From there she will ascend the High Throne, once again uniting the realms under a single crown.

For the wearer of the Stone Crown can wield unlimited power—if it can be found.

Narissea has spent a quarter of her sixteen years slaving away in the mines, accused of a crime she didn’t commit. When word reaches her of the horrors assailing her village, Narissea knows she must act despite the risk. Already her arm is scarred with four brands signifying previous escape attempts. If she’s unsuccessful in her fifth, it will mean death.

But her life forever changes when she stumbles upon an injured dragon, discovers an ancient shrine, and learns the true purpose behind Lady Inyene’s mechanical abominations.

Now, Narissea has only one choice: gain Inyene’s trust and find a way to thwart her plans, even if it means sacrificing that which she desires most of all.

Her freedom.

This book contains violence.

My thoughts:

This is the first and only book I’ve read by Ava Richardson (so far). I grabbed it off of NetGalley mostly for the cover. I know, I know. You shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover… But I did. And I judged right! I’ll be posting a full review in a week or so, but for now I’ll just say… I NEED A DRAGON! WHY AREN’T DRAGONS A THING AND WHY CAN’T I HAVE ONE???

Follow me on Twitter.

Posted in book reviews, WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday – January 8, 2019

WWW Wednesday

Well, it’s a little later than I normally post, but better late than never, right??? It’s still Wednesday (at least here) so it’s time once again for WWW Wednesday ! WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.


Don’t know what WWW Wendesday is or how to participate??? All you need to do is answer the following three questions and link back to Taking on a World of Words, or you can put your answers in the comments on her blog! (You can also leave your link in my comments to be sure I don’t miss your post!)

The three WWW questions are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

So let’s get started, shall we?

What am I currently reading?

Dragon Connection (The Stone Crown Seri…

Dragon Connection by Ava Richardson. I am LOVING this book so far. I get nervous when picking up fantasy from authors I’ve never read before because you never know what you’re gonna get. I can be kinda picky about my dragons especially, but I can already tell I’m gonna be an Ava Richardson fan for a long time! Which is exciting because I’ve been looking for some more female fantasy authors to follow!

What did I recently finish reading?

Veritas

Veritas by Ariel Sabar. I ended up DNF ing this one. It was interesting but I just couldn’t get into it. Not sure if it was just my mood and it was the wrong time for me to be reading it or what. Just one of those cases where there was nothing wrong with the book itself, I just wasn’t the right reader for it.

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, …

City of Bones by Cassandra Claire. I felt like I was the only person in the book blogger world who hadn’t read this book yet. So I was super excited when I saw it’s the January book in the Book Hoarders United Group on Goodreads! I had a good idea I’d enjoy this series and I was right. I loved it! It was a good read to just tune out reality. It’s a super easy, quick read despite being 400+ pages.

What I’ll be reading next:

Posted in Audiobooks

AUDIOBOOK AVAILABLE: The Rose Diary by Curtis Maynard

AUDIOBOOK AVAILABLE: The Rose Diary by Curtis MaynardThe Rose Diary by Curtis Maynard
on March 26, 2019
Pages: 201
Goodreads
Synopsis

A young girl dies mysteriously from what can only be explained as a rare illness. Her younger sister finds a diary in her room that has never been written in. Day by day the book reveals a new writing that urges the young girl to investigate the death. From encounters to the writings, there is a story to be heard, a mystery to be solved.


The Rose Diary was one of the first novels I narrated. This may be why it’s near and dear to my heart…or, more likely, it’s because I got so attached to the characters that it was hard to end production on this story.

It’s a young adult paranormal mystery that begins with Jacky telling the story of the death of a boy who’s slightly older than herself, and her reaction to it. The event causes her to wonder about death in a way she never had or ever needed to before.

But then her sister, Sandra, dies from what turns out to be something more than just a childhood illness. And Jacky’s life is turned upside down as messages from the other side begin coming to her through her sisters diary.

Jacky must interrupt the vague messages in order to find out who is responsible for her sister’s death. But her only help is from her two best friends – one of which has abandoned her to hang out with the sister of a suspect!

Sound interesting? Listen to The Rose Diary now!!

The Rose Diary at Audible – US

The Rose Diary at Audible – UK

The Rose Diary at Audible – FR

The Rose Diary at Audible – DE

Posted in blogging

My Top 5 Blogging and Reading Goals for 2020

Not gonna lie, I’m a little afraid to write this post. Last year was the first time I’ve ever put a clear list of goals “on paper” and I achieved exactly… ZERO!!

In my defense, last year was a year of the unexpected. How’s that joke go…? If you wanna make God laugh, tell Him your plans? Well, God was doing some serious belly laughing at me in 2019!

When 2019 started, we were something similar to empty-nesters. My oldest daughter was away at college, my youngest was living with her father in another county, and it was just my husband and me in an eerily silent home, figuring out life without any kids begging for our attention 20+ hours of the day.

By the end of 2019 we had six kids – Four of which were under four years of age and I honestly can’t remember the last time it was quiet here for more than 5 minutes except for nap and bedtime!!

In the “calm” before our home became something resembling a 24-hour daycare, I set up my recording studio in a closet under our stairs and began earnestly working on my audiobook career. After the youngest four of our tribe moved in, I found myself with more work than I could handle and keeping up with my blog was impossible! Plus, I just didn’t feel like it.

Even thinking about writing a blog post began causing anxiety attacks. So, for the sake of my mental health and the general well-being of everyone around me, my online life became close to non-existent while we were all adjusting to a new “normal.”

It took quite some time, but I’ve figured out how to continue narrating and producing audiobooks amidst the chaos. Every day brings at least three unexpected twists, but I don’t think I’ve ever been happier…which, now that I’m thinking about it, is pretty freaking odd. I mean, I’m probably more stressed/worried on a regular basis, but in some ways I’m more calm and laidback and…well… Happy.

And that happiness has finally extended to a desire for my website as well. I’m feeling excited about connecting with other book lovers and sharing my life and thoughts with my online peeps again. Which is something I haven’t felt since I first started blogging a couple years ago.

But that’s not really the point of this post. The whole topic is supposed to be what I want to accomplish on my blog and combing through the pages of my TBR in 2020. Instead, I once again managed to create a whole other post within a post.

Moving on…

Here are my goals for 2020:

1. Read and review at least 52 books! I wasn’t able to get much reading accomplished last year. Even when I did, I didn’t have it in me to jump online and review them. But I pretty much transformed into a reading and knitting machine in the last month or so and I’m looking forward to continuing that throughout the year!

2. Post at least 5 times a week. I’ve managed to put together a blogging planner for January that includes a post every day except Sundays! Not sure if I’ll be able to keep up that level of planning and writing the entire year, but I feel like I’m off to a great start.

3. Reestablish links with other book bloggers. One of the best parts of talking about books online is that there are so many incredibly supportive people in the community. I’ve really missed that as my “real” life took me farther and farther away from my life online. I’m looking forward to connecting with everyone again!

4. Promote my audiobooks. So I’m pretty much the worst when it comes to self-promo and marketing. I don’t know if it’s because I hate talking about myself or that I worry too much about coming across as pushy or what, but everytime I think about mentioning I’ve narrated a new book, I literally get itchy! Like right now…my left arm feels like I’ve managed to get chicken pocks! Ugh.

Anyway, I plan on dedicating one post a week to talking about what I’m working on in my studio, what’s already out, and what I’m planning on doing next.

5. Giveaways!!! I only got to do one giveaway last year. It was so exciting and much more fun than I’d expected. I really want to do at least three in 2020, and more if possible!

So there you have it. My top 5 blogging/reading goals for the year 2020. What are your goals? If you’ve posted a 2020 goals post, leave me a link below so I can check them out!

Thanks for visiting and Happy New Year!