Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Teaser Tuesday

*Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just flip through your current read to a random page -- or not -- and share two teaser quotes from somewhere on said page.*
This week my Teaser Tuesday quotes will be taken from my current read, THORN by Intisar Khanani.

Teaser #1:

“We all need our quiet, I think. We all have our unspoken wishes, hopes we cannot mention, choices we may yet regret.”
Teaser #2:
“I understand now more clearly than ever why neither my mother nor any of the courtiers took me seriously: my body does not lend itself to grandness. Valka, trying to look proud and above me, looks only petty and cross,”

Hunted meets The Wrath and the Dawn in this bold fairytale retelling—where court intrigue, false identities, and dark secrets will thrill fans of classic and contemporary fantasy alike.
Princess Alyrra has always longed to escape the confines of her royal life, but when her mother betroths her to a powerful prince in a distant kingdom, she has little hope for a better future.
Until Alyrra arrives at her new kingdom, where a mysterious sorceress robs her of both her identity and her role as princess—and Alyrra seizes on the opportunity to start a new life for herself as a goose girl. 
But as Alyrra uncovers dangerous secrets about her new world, including a threat to the prince himself, she knows she can’t remain silent forever. With the fate of the kingdom at stake, Alyrra is caught between two worlds, and ultimately must decide who she is and what she stands for.
Originally self-published as an ebook and now brought to life with completely revised text, Thorn also features an additional short story set in-world, The Bone Knife.
BUY LINK: Amazon


Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She first remembers seeing snow on a wintry street in Zurich, Switzerland, and vaguely recollects having breakfast with the orangutans at the Singapore Zoo when she was five. She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and two young daughters.

Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. To find out what Intisar is working on next, and connect with her online, visit www.booksbyintisar.com.

***Check out Intisar Khanani 's website for more information about her and THORNHERE

What teasers are you sharing this week?

Don't forget to tell me in the comments. You can also use #THORN on Twitter if you're reading it! 
Happy Reading!
Monday, September 28, 2020

New YA Releases : Week of September 28th

Here are some upcoming releases this week. Release dates sources: 
Barnes & Noble, Amazon, etc.

Are any of these on your Bookish Wishlist or Pre-Order cart? Which do you look most forward to?

Happy Reading!
Thursday, September 24, 2020

Review: Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Release DateApril 10, 2018

Pages: 435
Source: Audiobook


Vikings meets Frostblood in this romantic historical fantasy stand-alone from author Jessica Leake.
The ancient land of Éirinn is mired in war. Ciara, princess of Mide, has never known a time when Éirinn’s kingdoms were not battling for power, or Northmen were not plundering their shores.
The people of Mide have always been safe because of Ciara’s unearthly ability to control her enemies’ minds and actions. But lately a mysterious crow has been appearing to Ciara, whispering warnings of an even darker threat. Although her clansmen dismiss her visions as pagan nonsense, Ciara fears this coming evil will destroy not just Éirinn but the entire world.
Then the crow leads Ciara to Leif, a young Northman leader. Leif should be Ciara’s enemy, but when Ciara discovers that he, too, shares her prophetic visions, she knows he’s something more. Leif is mounting an impressive army, and with Ciara’s strength in battle, the two might have a chance to save their world.
With evil rising around them, they’ll do what it takes to defend the land they love...even if it means making the greatest sacrifice of all.
BUY LINKS: The Lit. Bar    |    Amazon




Her only hope is her greatest enemy.


I learned to hate the sea.


My favorite part of BEYOND A DARKENED SHORE's world-building was the Celtic and Norse elements lent to it. I loved the blend of mythical creatures, the specific terms used, the bloody violence, and the darker tone those elements gave to the story. As for the characters, they were my favorite part -- they were ineresting and well fleshed out. The pacing of the story was on beat with the plot. And the premise! A darker YA fantasy inspired by the perfect blend of Norse and Celtic mythology, war gods, supernatural monsters, forbidden love. How could anyone resist?
I learned to hate the sea. Not because it was unbearably cold, and not because I loathed swimming in its salty depths. I hated it because, in spite of its raw beauty, it brought death to our doorstep.  

Talk about an opening! I had to keep reading --er, listening.

Ciara is a Celtic princess of Mide, who is feared by her people and suffers from a great loss. When the sea washes in the Northmen -- Vikings-- to her home in the ancient land of Éirinn, she must fight her instinct and give up everything to become allies with the very enemy who have taken so much from her, in order to save her kingdom. For there are far greater threats than a mortal enemy.

Together, Ciara and her enemy, Leif, join together to save their lands from immortal cannibal giants. The story is fraught with tension, suspense, action, magic, and a sprinkling of romance as they set on the journey to defeat their common enemies. Through their trials and tribulations, they must learn to overcome their hatred of each other, how to accept love, master their abilities -- Ciara has some kickass magic--, and more.

It drives me wild when the protagonist’s family are shitheads and the BEYOND A DARKENED SHORE was no different. My heart ached for Ciara when her parents — all of them ...— shunned her. When her people shunned her because of her strange powers, even though it kept them and the kingdom safe. *hiss of frustration*

Demon, they called me in their minds. Changeling. Cursed. And every time I took hold of someone's mind, I wondered if perhaps they were right.

BEYOND A DARKENED SHORE didn't have the best romance I’ve read, but it was good. The connection between Leif and Ciara felt genuine. The development of their feelings for one another felt natural as the story progress. The banter between them was witty and gave me the feels. And I did love me some Leif. 

Ciara: “Who knew you Northmen were so delicate?”

Leif: “We’re as fragile as petals.”

I really had a good time with BEYOND A DARKENED SHORE and I recommend it to anyone willing to read it. In fact, I encourage them to.


CIARA: Ciara was fierce, brave, and selfless. She loved her family and her kingdom even though they didn’t love her back.

“We had challenged the gods and won.”

LEIF OLAFSSON: Leif was kind, respected, and accepting of Ciara even though they were born-enemies. He was also a great warrior with unmatched skills, I just wish we could've seen more of his dragon side -- shifter boys are the best.

"Leif was a Northman, an outsider, but he accepted me more than any of my own clan ever had."


  • Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
  • The Beholder by Anna Bright
  • Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller


Once upon a time, Jessica Leake was a psychotherapist, but even though she loved her clients, she couldn’t stop writing.

She wrote and wrote until she got her first book published, and then she wrote some more. In between all that writing she had four beautiful and hilarious children with her husband (best friend and man she’s known since high school; also hilarious), moved back to her adopted hometown of Greenville, SC, built a chicken coop, and got a bunch of chickens that poop breakfast every morning. She also has two dogs to keep the chickens in line. (The dogs made her write that last bit.)
Arcana and The Order of the Eternal Sun are available now, and Beyond a Darkened Shore, her YA debut from HarperTeen will be released in April 10, 2018.

***Check out Jessica Leake's website for more information about her and BEYOND A DARKENED SHOREHERE

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Wishlist Wednesday

*Wishlist Wednesday is where you show a book that has been on your wishlist/TBR list for a while*

GROWN by Tiffany D. Jackson

 Katherine Tegen Books 
Release Date: September 15, 2020 
Pages: 384


Award-winning author Tiffany D. Jackson delivers another riveting, ripped-from-the-headlines mystery that exposes horrific secrets hiding behind the limelight and embraces the power of a young woman’s voice.
When legendary R&B artist Korey Fields spots Enchanted Jones at an audition, her dreams of being a famous singer take flight. Until Enchanted wakes up with blood on her hands and zero memory of the previous night. Who killed Korey Fields?
Before there was a dead body, Enchanted’s dreams had turned into a nightmare. Because behind Korey’s charm and star power was a controlling dark side. Now he’s dead, the police are at the door, and all signs point to Enchanted.

BUY LINK: Amazon


Tiffany D. Jackson is a TV professional by day, novelist by night, awkward black girl 24/7. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Film from Howard University and her Master of Arts in Media Studies from The New School University. A Brooklyn native, she is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves most likely multitasking.

Want to see my entire Wishlist? Check it out on Amazon: Books I Dream About

Happy Reading!

Monday, September 21, 2020

New YA Releases : Week of September 21st

Here are some upcoming releases this week. Release dates sources: 
Barnes & Noble, Amazon, etc.

Are any of these on your Bookish Wishlist or Pre-Order cart? Which do you look most forward to?

Happy Reading!
Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Wishlist Wednesday

*Wishlist Wednesday is where you show a book that has been on your wishlist/TBR list for a while*


Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: November 17, 2020 
Pages: 464

The Story:

Perfect for fans of The Last Magician and Descendant of the Crane, this heart-stopping debut is an imaginative Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai, with rival gangs and a monster in the depths of the Huangpu River.
The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.
A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.
But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.
BUY LINK: Amazon


Chloe Gong is an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, double-majoring in English and International Relations. Born in Shanghai and raised in Auckland, New Zealand, she now lives at the top of a crumbling, ivory tower in Philadelphia (also known as student housing).

After devouring the entire YA section of her local library, she started writing her own novels at age 13 to keep herself entertained, and has been highly entertained ever since. Chloe has been known to mysteriously appear by chanting “Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s best plays and doesn’t deserve its slander in pop culture” into a mirror three times. You can follow her on Twitter @thechloegong or check out her website at www.thechloegong.com.

Want to see my entire Wishlist? Check it out on Amazon: Books I Dream About

Happy Reading!

Monday, September 14, 2020

New YA Releases : Week of September 14th

Here are some upcoming releases this week. Release dates sources: 
Barnes & Noble, Amazon, etc.

Are any of these on your Bookish Wishlist or Pre-Order cart? Which do you look most forward to?

Happy Reading!
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