Saturday, December 2, 2017

6th Blogoversary! 📚

Hi everyone! 


I can't believe it's been one month since I posted last. I never went this long without posting. I'm not back to blogging because I still don't feel up for it. But... I really wanted to do a quick post today because it's my 6th blogoversary today. I can't quite believe it's been six years since I created my blog and started doing this thing. I've met so many awesome people through blogging... fellow readers and bloggers, amazing authors, publishers. I'm super grateful to you all! ♥

Sadly enough I can't do a giveaway right now but maybe once I'm back to feeling good and healthy I'll do one to make up for lost time. 

And I also wanted to say that I miss everyone who has been commenting on my blog (you know who you are!) and I hope to chat with you all soon again. And as always you can always say hi to me on Twitter or Instagram.


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Blogging Break (Last Update)

Hi again, everyone.

I already posted two updates before but this will be the last one for now. I'm not doing so well at the moment. I've been to the hospital's ER twice in less than a week because I've been in too much pain but they haven't been able to help me much or figure out what's wrong. So I don't know when I'll be going back to blogging. Just wanted to let you all know this.

Xoxo

Stephanie

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Blogging Break Update

Writing this quick post on my phone. I went to the hospital tonight because I was in too much pain. They said I have a bladder infection so I won't be back to blogging just yet. Hopefully after I start taking the medication I'll feel better.

Miss you all!

Xoxo,
Stephanie

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Book Blitz: The Captain's Rebel by C.B. Halverson — Excerpt + Giveaway (INTL)



Hi everyone and welcome to the book blitz of The Captain's Rebel. I haven't read this book yet but when I read the synopsis I felt really drawn to it. It just sounds really amazing and steamy. It's only 99¢ for a limited time so be sure to grab it. I already did! Below you can find a giveaway to win a $25 Amazon gift card (open INTL) so definitely don't forget to enter .

{ Update: I still don't feel well enough to blog regularly but I'm gonna try to be back by monday. }




The Captain’s Rebel
C.B. Halverson
(Irish Heroines #1)
Published by: Entangled Publishing
Publication date: April 3rd 2017
Genres: Erotica, Historical, Romance

Land. Power. Influence. Mary O’Malley knows these are the only things that matter in her war-torn country. Determined to win back her ancestral home, she must embark on a journey across the Atlantic disguised as a cabin boy. But her ruse brings her under the control of a dangerous sea captain who demands from her the one thing she will never give—complete and total submission.
Captain Richard Grant runs a tight ship, and he didn’t claw his way up through the ranks of the Royal Navy to be undone by a headstrong Irish girl hell-bent on jeopardizing his mission and his crew. If she insists on dressing like a man, then she can take his punishments. He demands obedience, but his insatiable need for her leads to a complex game of sex, desire, and dominance not even he can control.
Awakened by the passion Grant stirs in her, Mary finds herself falling for the stern captain. But when her false identity leads to rumors of her spying for the French, she must choose between her love for Ireland and the man who commands her body—and her heart.
Only 99¢ for a limited time!

EXCERPT:
“What are you doing aboard my ship?”
I swallowed hard, my lip trembling as I fumbled for the words. I didn’t even know where to start, and my face burned as I tried to gather my thoughts. No matter how I told the story, it all seemed so ridiculous.
“Tell me!” he commanded.
“I’m searching for my fiancé.”
He took a step forward, his boots thudding hard on the floor. “Your fiancé.” He took another step, and I flinched. The ship rolled and tumbled beneath my feet, and I grasped onto the panels, my fingers digging into the polished oak planks.
“Are you mad?” His fists clenched at his sides, powerful and trembling.
“It would look that way, sir.” My eyes drilled into a tiny knot on the floor, willing myself to shrink in size so I could dive into it and scurry away like a little mouse. But his boots thundered forward, the small buckles making a sound like clinking chains.
“Are you in some sort of trouble? Is that it? Are you with child?” His voice softened, and I looked up, startled at the sudden change in his tone.
“No, sir.”

“Well, then?” he boomed.
I jumped, folding myself deeper into the corner of the room. What could I have possibly said to him in that moment? Telling Captain Grant that Johnny’s father had accused me of stealing, so I had to run away to consummate our marriage in order to clear my name and win back my homeland was perhaps not the best way to endear myself to him.
“There’s been…” I swallowed the lump in my throat. “There’s been trouble at home.”
Grant let out an exasperated sound, shaking his head and turning away with a curse. “You do understand you are aboard a ship with over seven hundred male sailors, correct? A woman has no place on a ship of the line bound for battle. I cannot guarantee your safety.”
“I know that, sir.”
“And due to the nature of our mission, I am in no position to turn us around.”
“Yes, sir.”
He shook his head, pacing the room. “You have endangered yourself and my men with your presence. I know officers who would hang you for treason against England for what you have done.”
“I suppose it’s a good thing I’m not English, then.” The words popped out before I could stop them, my latent nationalism waving a pitiful green flag in the dim light of the Captain’s chambers.
A muscle flickered in his jaw, and when he turned to me again, I nearly gasped at the rage in his bright eyes. All the blood drained from my face, and I bit my lip, willing my saucy tongue to hold still.
“You think this is some sort of game?” His eyes narrowed, and he pressed closer to me.
My courage fired back, and I straightened, raising my shoulders in a challenge.
His eyes flitted over me from head to toe, and he made a low sound in the back of his throat. “I should throw you overboard and let the fish eat at your rebel heart.”
“Better to die a rebel than live as a slave.”





Author Bio:
Colleen Halverson is a writer, educator, wife, and mother of two. She is the author of the Aisling Chronicles and writes erotic romance under the pen name C. B. Halverson. She lives in the Driftless area of Wisconsin.





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Monday, October 23, 2017

Blogging Break

Hi everyone! ♥

I just wanted to do a quick post to say that I'm taking an unexpected blogging break for at least a week. I've started feeling unwell since mid last week and it's bothering me enough that I just can't focus on my blog right now. I have a pretty busy weekend coming up and I just wanna take some rest and make sure I'm better by then. I also won't be commenting as much on people's blogs sadly enough but I will try to catch up on posts when I'm better again. 
I might return sooner or stay on a break longer depending on how I'll feel. I'll still be around a little bit on Twitter and Instagram if you wanna say hi or talk about books. :)

Thanks for understanding! 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Stacking The Shelves: October 21, 2017

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly bookish meme hosted @ Tynga's Reviews & Reading Reality.


Bought:
A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus by various authors
The Nutcracker Reimagined by various authors
Maverick by Karina Halle


This week was such a good week for new releases. I bought three new releases that I'm super happy with. 

As soon as I knew A Sea of Sorrow was coming I pre-ordered the book and it finally released this week. Of course I'm currently reading it. For those who don't know what the book is about here's a part of the synopsis: 'Six authors bring to life the epic tale of The Odyssey seen through the eyes of its shattered victims—the monsters, witches, lovers, and warriors whose lives were upended by the antics of the “man of many faces."'

The Nutcracker Reimagined looks to be amazing as well. It has some authors that I'm really excited to read their stories of. I hope I can read it when it's closer to christmas time or maybe a little before. It's still on sale for 99c if you wanna grab it as well.It's been ages, sadly enough, since I read a Karina Halle book but I knew I had to grab Maverick because it was also on sale for 99c (it's gone up in price now, though). And it's a standalone so yay!




Have you read any of these books or which ones do you think look interesting? Share your thoughts!

Have a great weekend, everyone! ♥


Friday, October 20, 2017

Blog Tour: The Murderer’s Maid by Erika Mailman — Spotlight + Giveaway (INTL)

Hello and welcome to the blog tour of The Murderer’s Maid by Erika Mailman. Today's post is a spotlight + there's also a giveaway that's open internationally to win a hardcover copy of The Murderer's Maid. So don't forget to scroll down and enter. ♥




The Murderer’s Maid by Erika Mailman
Publication Date: October 30, 2017
Bonhomie Press
Hardcover; ISBN-13: 978-0997066449
Genre: Fiction/Historical/Mystery


Bram Stoker Award finalist Erika Mailman brings the true story of the brutal murder of Lizzie Borden’s father and stepmother into new focus by adding a riveting contemporary narrative.

The Murderer’s Maid interweaves the stories of two women: one, the servant of infamous Lizzie Borden, and the other a modern-day barista fleeing from an attempt on her life.

Trapped by servitude and afraid for her own safety, Irish maid Bridget finds herself an unwilling witness to the tensions in the volatile Borden household. As Lizzie seethes with resentment, Bridget tries to perform her duties and keep her mouth shut.

Unknowingly connected to the legendary crime of a century ago, Brooke, the illegitimate daughter of an immigrant maid, struggles to conceal her identity and stay a jump ahead of the men who want to kill her. When she unexpectedly falls in love with Anthony, a local attorney, she has to decide whether to stop running and begin her life anew.

With historical detail and taut, modern storytelling, Erika Mailman writes a captivating novel about identity, choices, freedom, and murder. She offers readers a fresh perspective on the notorious crime and explores the trials of immigrants seeking a better life while facing down fear and oppression, today and throughout history. Intelligent and detailed, The Murderer’s Maid is a gripping read from beginning to bloody conclusion.

"A complex and riveting parallax view of domestic crimes, decades apart.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Erika Mailman writes a page turner of a thriller that will fascinate as well as terrify.” — Margaret Lane, New York Journal of Books

“Fascinating, mesmerizing, and so darkly atmospheric that you keep looking over your shoulder as you read.” ―Diana Gabaldon, internationally-bestselling author of the Outlander series

“The Murderer’s Maid is a fascinating and deeply chilling tale. Erika Mailman weaves a story that is by turns poignant, compelling, and murderously suspenseful.” ―Kathleen Kent, author of The Heretic’s Daughter



About the Author:
Erika Mailman is the author of The Witch’s Trinity, a San Francisco Chronicle Notable Book and Bram Stoker Award finalist, and Woman of Ill Fame, a Pushcart Press Editor’s Book Award nominee. She’s a Yaddo fellow and lives in Northern California with her family. 

For more information, please visit Erika Mailman’s
 website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 16
Review at Unabridged Chick
Feature at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, October 17
Interview at Unabridged Chick

Wednesday, October 18
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Thursday, October 19
Review & Excerpt at Books of All Kinds
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Friday, October 20
Spotlight at Bookfever {You're here! ♥}
Review at Once Upon A Book

Monday, October 23
Review at Poppy Coburn
Review at A Bookish Affair

Tuesday, October 24
Guest Post at A Bookish Affair
Feature at A Literary Vacation

Wednesday, October 25
Review at Back Porchervations
Feature at Must Read Faster

Thursday, October 26
Review at Linda’s Book Obsession

Friday, October 27
Review at What Cathy Read Next
Feature at The Reading Queen

Monday, October 30
Review at A Holland Reads

Tuesday, October 31
Review at The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, November 1
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Review at Books of a Shy Girl

Thursday, November 2
Review at Book Nerd

Friday, November 3
Review at T’s Stuff
Review at Just One More Chapter

Monday, November 6
Review at A Book Geek
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Tuesday, November 7
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Wednesday, November 8
Review at The True Book Addict


Giveaway!

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a hardcover copy of The Murderer’s Maid! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 8th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

The Murderer's Maid



Thursday, October 19, 2017

Review: Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

Title: Letters to the Lost
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publication: April 6th 2017 by Bloomsbury Children's 

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google Play | Kobo
Rating: 5/5

Juliet Young has always written letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither of them knows that they're not actually strangers. When real life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart. This emotional, compulsively-readable romance will sweep everyone off their feet.


Letters to the Lost ended up being my new favorite book by Brigid Kemmer. This is saying a lot because I don't read a lot of contemporary YA, it's just not a favorite genre of mine. And also before I read this amazing book her Elemental series was my favorite. So yeah, Letters to the Lost completely stole my heart!

Like I said I don't read a lot of contemporary YA but when I do it's most likely to be a pen pall romance, like this book. I don't know why but I love those type of romances most of all. But with this book I think it's extra special. 

I adored the main characters right away. I loved how Declan and Juliet first started writing each other letters and later on they switched to texting. I really had a soft spot for Declan because I could just feel how bad he felt inside with everything that happened to him. Don't get me wrong, I loved Juliet as well. Her story as well as Declan's was quite tragic but I don't know... there was just something about Declan that I connected with.

I was not surprised to see that there was also a really great cast of secondary characters because I'm used to that from a book by this author. But damn, I loved some of those characters so much. I'm probably not the only one who thought Rev was their favorite secondary character, right? I loved him so much and I can't wait to read his book, More Than We Can Tell. 

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer is not just a romance. There's so much more to it. There's family, there's friendship. Grief. Loss. The story was sweet and heartbreaking all at once. It was quite a rollercoaster for me. But I loved it all.  


About Brigid
BRIGID KEMMERER is the author of LETTERS TO THE LOST (Bloomsbury; April 4, 2017), a dark, contemporary Young Adult romance; THICKER THAN WATER (Kensington, December 29, 2015), a New Adult paranormal mystery with elements of romance; and the YALSA-nominated Elemental series of five Young Adult novels and three e-novellas which Kirkus Reviews calls “refreshingly human paranormal romance” and School Library Journal describes as “a new take on the supernatural genre.” She lives in the Baltimore area with her husband and four sons.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Most Eligible Bastard by Annika Martin

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. It's based on Waiting On Wednesday hosted at Breaking the Spine.


Most Eligible Bastard by Annika Martin
Expected publication: November 7th 2017 by Annika Martin

He’s a powerful billionaire CEO who built the family business into an empire. The money doesn’t matter to him, but the company is his life. And then his eccentric mother wills it all to her tiny dog.

I’m Vicky, the dog whisperer. (Not really, but that’s what my elderly neighbor always says.) When she dies, she surprises everybody by leaving a corporation worth billions to her dog, Smuckers. With me as his spokesperson.

Suddenly I go from running my Etsy store to sitting in an elegant Wall Street boardroom with Smuckers in my lap. And my neighbor’s son, Henry Locke, aka New York’s most eligible bachelor, glaring across the table at me.

Rumor has it Henry’s a business genius who’s as talented in the bedroom as he is in the boardroom. Sure, he’s gorgeous. Sex-in-a-seven-thousand dollar suit. But…

He’s arrogant and infuriating.
He refuses to listen to me when I insist I didn’t con his mother.
He thinks he can bully me, buy me off, control me, even seduce me.

Henry may have the women of Manhattan eating out of the palm of his hand, but I'm so over entitled rich guys who think they own the world.

No way will his wicked smile be charming ME out of my panties.

His wicked...devastating...impossible-to-resist smile.

Oh well, who needs panties anyway?

*** A sexy enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy standalone! ***


When I saw that Annika Martin is releasing a new book I added it to my wishlist right away. I was even more excited to learn that it'll be a romantic comedy. I love those. And it sounds like so much fun!



What do you think of this book? Let me know in the comments!


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Review: Darkness at the Edge of Town by Jennifer Harlow

Title: Darkness at the Edge of Town
Author: Jennifer Harlow
Series: Iris Ballard #2

Genre: Thriller
Publication: November 14th 2017 by Alibi

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo
Rating: 4/5

A complicated, charismatic forensic psychologist tries to rescue her brother from the clutches of a maniacal cult leader in this edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller from the author of Beautiful Maids All in a Row.

After catching an infamous serial killer, Dr. Iris Ballard has become a TV sensation. Exhausted from her appearances on the talk-show circuit, she’s looking forward to some quality time with Luke Hudson, her former FBI partner and on-again, off-again lover. The last thing Iris wants is to get pulled back to her dying Rust Belt hometown, but after the frantic call from her mother, she doesn’t have a choice.

Iris is a disgrace in Grey Mills, Pennsylvania, but her twin brother has gone and outdone her. Billy has abandoned his fiancée, drained their checking account, and quit his job to join a cult called the New Morning Movement. Expecting to find something sinister at play, Iris is eager to destroy the quixotic hold they have on her brother. And that means outwitting the cult’s cunning, sadistic founder, Mathias Morning.

Iris has logic and reason on her side. But Mathias doesn’t play by society’s rules. Just as Iris begins to lose hope, her investigation leads her to cross path with the DEA. And now she needs to save Billy’s life before they’re both caught in the crossfire.


Darkness at the Edge of Town is the second Iris Ballard thriller by Jennifer Harlow. I think I preferred the first book a little bit more but I still thought it was a great thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time.

This book felt more personal to Iris because it involved her twin brother Billy, who joined a cult and disappeared on his girlfriend Gia and his own family. To find her brother, Iris infiltrates the cult, which is not without its dangers, obviously. I really liked that this story involved a cult because it made for a nice change from the first book. I really dislike it when thrillers keep being the same theme with each book so it made everything pretty intriguing. 

I'm also glad to say that I also still am a big fan of Iris Ballard. She's one of my favorite heroines from this author's books. Iris is not a perfect person at all, but I totally love her sarcastic and witty side. I was also glad to see her relationship with Luke grow a bit more through the story, especially towards the end. I've been shipping them since the first book.

I have to admit that there wasn't as much suspense as there was in the first book. Don't get me wrong, there definitely was suspense but it wasn't on the same level as the first book, in my opinion. The writing was also really great, just like in the first book. Not that this was a big surprise to me becaue I've always loved the author's writing style.

Overall, Darkness at the Edge of Town by Jennifer Harlow is a thriller you definitely need to read. I really enjoyed the story, the characters and the eerie feel of the cult.  



You can read my review of the first Iris Ballard book, Beautiful Maids All in A Row here






About Jennifer:
Jennifer Harlow spent her restless childhood fighting with her three brothers and scaring the heck out of herself with horror movies and books. She grew up to earn a degree at the University of Virginia which she put to use as a radio DJ, crisis hotline volunteer, bookseller, lab assistant, wedding coordinator, and government investigator. Currently she calls Atlanta home but that restless itch is ever present. In her free time she continues to scare the beejepers out of herself watching scary movies and opening her credit card bills.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. It's based on Waiting On Wednesday hosted at Breaking the Spine.




Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi
Expected publication: March 6th 2018 by HarperCollins

The girl with the power to kill with a single touch now has the world in the palm of her hand.

Juliette and Warner’s story continues in the electrifying fourth installment of Tahereh Mafi’s New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series.

Juliette Ferrars thought she’d won. She took over Sector 45, was named the new Supreme Commander of North America, and now has Warner by her side. But when tragedy strikes, she must confront the darkness that dwells both around and inside her.

Who will she become in the face of adversity? Will she be able to control the power she wields, and use it for good?


I'm both excited and nervous for Restore Me. Excited because yay another Shatter Me book and more Warner! Nervous because as with every book it can be either good or bad. I really don't want this book to be disappointing. The cover is lovely, at least!




What do you think of this book? Let me know in the comments!


Monday, October 9, 2017

Review: Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Wonder Woman: Warbringer
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: DC Icons #1
Publication: August 31st 2017 by Penguin Books Ltd

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo | Book Depository

Rating: 3/5

She will become a legend but first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning...

Diana is desperate to prove herself to her warrior sisters. But when the opportunity comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law to save a mere mortal, Alia Keralis. With this single heroic act, Diana may have just doomed the world.

Alia is a Warbringer - a descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery. Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies, mortal and divine, determined to destroy or possess the Warbringer.

To save the world, they must stand side by side against the tide of war.


So... eh. I'm a bit disappointed with Wonder Woman: Warbringer. This book was so hyped and it's written by Leigh Bardugo (I love all her other books) so I had expected to totally love it but I obviously didn't. I feel like I missed something in it that everyone else did see. Did I like it? Yes, I did but I had expected more from the story and the characters. 

I actually really liked Diana. She was wonderful and I really enjoyed reading about her. I also liked all the mythology stuff, which is no surprise if you know me just a little bit. And the story in general was also pretty good, in my opinion. Honestly, I wish it had focused just a little bit more on Diana.

So with all of these possitive things why didn't I like this book more? Well, I actually couldn't give a damn about any of the other characters (aside from the Amazons). Alia, Nim, Theo, Jason... I just didn't care about them. Sure, they had their moments and I enjoyed their banter but other than that I was all "meh" about them. 

I do have to mention that the big plot twist was pretty good. I hadn't seen it coming at all and that's always a good thing for me. This character in particular took me by surprise in that way. I have to give some points for that. 

All in all, Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo was an okay read. Nothing spectacular and true, I was slightly disappointed but it had some good moments for sure and I adored Diana.  



About Leigh:
Leigh Bardugo is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of fantasy novels and the creator of the Grishaverse. With over one million copies sold, her Grishaverse spans the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, the Six of Crows Duology, and The Language of Thorns— with more to come. Her short stories can be found in multiple anthologies, including The Best of Tor.com and the Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy. Her other works include Wonder Woman: Warbringer, and the forthcoming Ninth House. Leigh was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Southern California, graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and even makeup and special effects. These days, she lives and writes in Los Angeles, where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads