Thursday, May 23, 2019

Review: Sunwise by Helen Steadman

Title: Sunwise
Author: Helen Steadman
Publication: April 1st 2019 by Impress Books
Genre: Historical Fiction
Purchase it on: Amazon | Barnes & Nobles | Book Depository | Kobo | Wordery
Rating: 4/5

When Jane’s lover, Tom, returns from the navy to find her unhappily married to his betrayer, Jane is caught in an impossible situation. Still reeling from the loss of her mother at the hands of the witch-finder John Sharpe, Jane has no choice but to continue her dangerous work as a healer while keeping her young daughter safe. But, as Tom searches for a way for him and Jane to be together, the witch-finder is still at large. Filled with vengeance, John will stop at nothing in his quest to rid England of the scourge of witchcraft.
Inspired by true events, Sunwise tells the story of one woman’s struggle for survival in a hostile and superstitious world.

I'm going to jump right in and say that Sunwise had me totally hooked. I barely put the book down and because of that I read it in only one day. I'll be honest, though... this story broke my heart but only books that really touch me have the power to do this and Sunwise was one of them. 

Sunwise is the sequel to Widdershins, which I read almost exactly two years ago. I loved both books but I gotta say I think I liked this sequel a little bit more. It's always great when a sequel trumps the first book. My favorite part of it was definitely the writing. It was amazingly written! I absolutely couldn't get enough of it. I was practically inhaling it word for word. 

Story wise I wasn't left disappointed either. I don't want to give away too much as to what happens. It's kind of hard to relay it, especially since I don't want to spoil the first book for those who haven't read it yet either. What I will say is that I could feel the desperation and fear of the superstitious times of the 17th century. Especially with the chapters in the point of view of John Sharpe, the witch-finder. This again attests to how well this book was written. 

I also highly enjoyed Jane's point of view. I felt bad for her because she was in a situation that wasn't her fault and didn't deserve. I loved her for being such a good person, always trying to help other women and I was so rooting for her and Tom to make things work somehow. I'm not going to say if they do or don't because again I don't want to spoil things for other readers. What I can say is that I didn't expect the ending at all. It was a bit shocking but even so I thought it was definitely gripping the way it ended.

Sunwise by Helen Steadman was a well-written and raw story inspired by true events. If you're a fan of spellbinding historical fiction, then this is the book for you. I loved it and would recommend it for sure.  


About the author:
Helen Steadman lives in the foothills of the North Pennines, and she particularly enjoys researching and writing about the history of the north east of England. Following her MA in creative writing at Manchester Met, Helen is now completing a PhD in English at the University of Aberdeen. When she s not studying or writing, Helen critiques, edits and proofreads other writers work, and she is a professional member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram




Monday, May 20, 2019

Blog Tour: Concerto by Skye Warren — Review + Excerpt


"Intriguing, dark and flirting with taboo, this sexy read left me wanting more!" --Lynda Aicher, USA Today bestselling author

Concerto, the highly anticipated second book in the North Security Series from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren, is available now!



Title: Concerto
Author: Skye Warren
Series: North Security #2

Publication: May 14, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Purchase it on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Rating: 5/5

The spotlight lands on Samantha Brooks. Years of practice build to the opening night of a global tour. She plays her heart out, but there are darker forces underneath the stage.

There are eyes watching from the wings.

Liam North fights to keep her safe with every weapon he owns. She’s his greatest pride—and his greatest weakness. The danger comes from somewhere no one expected. Betrayal threatens to destroy everything he’s built. His business. His family. His life.

When the curtain falls, only one of them will be left standing.

“Swoon-worthy, forbidden, and sexy, Liam North is my new obsession.” – New York Times bestselling author Claire Contreras

"Skye Warren has crafted a gripping, sensual, and intense story that left me breathless.” – USA Today bestselling author Nikki Sloane

After finishing this book I had this intense feeling of happiness. This wasn't because I was glad I had finished reading but because I enjoyed it so much. It's been a long time since I had this feeing and that truly made me happy. A book like Concerto is exactly why I love reading.

Just like with the first book I loved that once again music played a big part in the story. This also made me realize I really enjoy books that are about or involve music in some way. There was so much more of everything more in Concerto than there was in the first book. More music, more action, more secrets and way more smoking hot sexual tension between Samantha and Liam. 

I literally cannot stop swooning over Liam. He is the epitome of a sexy brooding hero. I love him so much. And I love him with Samantha. I'm also very happy that were lots of sensual moments between them. Way more than there were in the first book. I was not left feeling disappointed in that area. I also thought that this book had a darker feel to it. There wasn't neccesarily anything explicitly dark that happened but it was just a feeling I had and I, of course, loved that. The stakes were definitely raised.

Another thing I loved were all the new characters that were introduced in this book. I just want books about ALL OF THEM. They were all super interesting to get to know even as secondary character. I really hope that the author will at least write a book for Josh and Bethany. I want to know more about the both of them. We already met Josh in the previous book, he's one of Liam's brothers but he intrigues me so freaking much. He has a couple of chapters in his point of view and let's just say that I need more of that.

I'm aware that I say this about every new Skye Warren book that I read but this one might be my new favorite of hers. As much as I loved Overture, the first book in the trilogy, this amazing sequel really kicked it up a notch. I don't give out five stars easily to a lot of books but Concerto definitely deserved it. 


Download your copy today!
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/ConcertoSW
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2HWGDWg

Excerpt:

One day I had been a man with a death wish—and the next I was responsible for a twelve-year-old girl. And then she grew up into a beautiful woman. At every turn she’s been a surprise. I touch my fingers to her temple and stroke her cheek. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life it’s that everything will change. Don’t worry about your future. Do this because you love it, right now. Play. Compose. Perform. Sometimes all you have is right now.” My hand trails down her jaw, until the backs of my fingers rest against her throat. Her vocal cords vibrate as she speaks. Ripples of pleasure and pain resound through my body. “I’m not performing right now,” she whispers. I have her tucked into the ivy, as deep as she can go. I’m blocking her with my body—keeping her within reach, keeping everyone else away. It’s the only way I’ve ever been able to breathe. A knot forms in my throat. “What do you want?” Right now. The words move between us like the cool night breeze. It shouldn’t be possible for her to live up to the image in my head, the perfection that I’ve been imagining every goddamn night. Except it doesn’t even do her justice. She’s living breathing perfection. Somehow, I’m leaning close. Is it only me who wants this? Her breath brushes over my lips. What do you want? I asked her. “This,” she whispers, and then she closes the centimeters between us. Four weeks. That’s how long I’ve been apart from her. It might as well have been four years. A lifetime of silence. The moment her lips touch mine I’m suffused with music, thousands of notes that she’s played for me, a million heartbeats. By the time she pulls back I’m breathing hard. I can run a marathon barely breaking a sweat. Being near this woman is enough to break my body into pieces.


Start the series with OVERTURE
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/Overture
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2ANRUDX
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2GMaxMv

About Skye Warren
Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance such as the Endgame trilogy. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, sweet dogs, and evil cat.

Connect with Skye
Stay up to date with Skye Warren by signing up for her mailing list:



Saturday, May 18, 2019

Stacking The Shelves: May 18, 2019

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



Won:
Watercolor bookmarks from Whitnee (bookwhit) on Instagram. 
They're so beautifully made. I love these bookmarks! ♥

Won:
We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal. 
I won this book from Erin Stewart on Twitter

Bought:
Finale by Stephanie Garber.
I've been so excited for this book and now I'm currently reading it!


Bought:
The Swedish Prince by Karina Halle



Thursday, May 16, 2019

Blog Tour: Realm by Alexandrea Weis — Guest Post + Giveaway (INTL)




Realm
Alexandrea Weis 
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: May 14th 2019
Genres: Historical, Young Adult

Based on a true story.
When her homeland is conquered by the mighty Alexander the Great, Roxana—the daughter of a mere chieftain—is torn from her simple life and thrown into a world of war and intrigue.
Terrified, the sixteen-year-old girl of renowned beauty is brought before the greatest ruler the world has ever known. Her life is in his hands; her future his to decide.
Without formal education or noble blood, Roxana is chosen by the Greek conqueror to be his bride. Soon she comes to know profound happiness and unyielding desire in her warrior’s arms.
However, being the king’s consort comes at a heavy price. To survive her husband’s treacherous kingdom, she must endure continuous warfare, deadly plots, jealous rivals, victory-hungry generals, and the stigma of being a barbarian. Persian blood will keep her from claiming the grandest title of all—queen—but her reign will seal the fate of an empire.
History tells his story. This is hers.


Guest post:

Where did the inspiration to write about Roxana and Alexander the Great came from?

I’ve been fascinated with Alexander the Great since the age of six when I first heard his name in the classroom. Since that time, I read everything I could, but it wasn’t until I got to high school, and had access to the classical books in the library (this was years before the Internet and computers), when I learned about Roxana. She was one sentence in an entire book about him. I was floored. Who was this woman that a man of twenty-eight, King of all Persia and Greece had married? I believed there should be a novel devoted to her, and promised one day I would write it. Thus, I began my quest to learn everything I could about Roxana. I spent years combing through books about Alexander, and the first thing I would do is check the index to see how much was dedicated to her. It became an obsession. History, up until a few years ago, had been recorded by men. These men never believed she was significant. But she was a sixteen-year-old daughter of a governor with no title and no royal blood, yet he married her before all others. In addition, he never sent her off to live in the royal palace for wives at Susa, as would have been the custom. Instead, he took her with him to India and the ends of the world at that time. She was with him when he died in Babylon, and bore his only legitimate heir. Now, being a woman, I could read between the lines of what male historians had reported—he loved her. Many Renaissance paintings depict their marriage and romance. Stories were devoted to them but were forgotten in the modern era. I wanted to resurrect the love story I felt lost to time. A general and king such as Alexander would never have bothered with a woman of Roxana’s low birth unless she had been exceptional. I always wondered what she had that attracted him. I wanted to recreate that woman, and their life together, to give her a voice. In a time when women are working to build a strong future, I felt her story was important. We can never understand where we are going unless we first appreciate how far we have come.


Author Bio:
Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, PhD, is a multi-award-winning author of over twenty-seven novels, a screenwriter, ICU Nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable. A member of the Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers Association, Weis writes mystery, suspense, thrillers, horror, crime fiction, and romance. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans where she is a permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and rescues orphaned and injured animals.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Release Blitz: Concerto by Skye Warren



"Intriguing, dark and flirting with taboo, this sexy read left me wanting more!" --Lynda Aicher, USA Today bestselling author

Concerto, the highly anticipated second book in the North Security Series from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren, is available now!

Concerto.jpg

The spotlight lands on Samantha Brooks. Years of practice build to the opening night of a global tour. She plays her heart out, but there are darker forces underneath the stage.
There are eyes watching from the wings.
Liam North fights to keep her safe with every weapon he owns. She’s his greatest pride—and his greatest weakness. The danger comes from somewhere no one expected. Betrayal threatens to destroy everything he’s built. His business. His family. His life.
When the curtain falls, only one of them will be left standing.
Concerto - AN.jpg
Download your copy today!
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/ConcertoSW
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2HWGDWg
Start the series with OVERTURE
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/Overture
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2ANRUDX
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2GMaxMv
About Skye Warren
Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance such as the Endgame trilogy. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, sweet dogs, and evil cat.
Connect with Skye
Stay up to date with Skye Warren by signing up for her mailing list:


Saturday, May 11, 2019

Stacking The Shelves: May 11, 2019

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


I won this book on Twitter from Serena Kaylor. It's such a beautiful cover. I hope I can read it soon. My bunny Apollo seems to like it too. ♥

Won:
Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff


Bought:
Bad Saint by Monica James

For Review:
Concerto by Skye Warren


Thursday, May 9, 2019

Review: Anne Boleyn: A Life From Beginning to End by Hourly History

Title: Anne Boleyn: A Life From Beginning to End
Author: Hourly History
Publication: April 22nd 2019
Genre: Nonfiction, History
Purchase it on: Amazon
Rating: 2/5

Anne Boleyn is most likely the best-known of Henry VIII’s six wives; she is also the most controversial. History has represented Anne as either a whore or a martyr. The true story, however, is far more complex.

Inside you will read about...
✓ Early Life as a Lady-in-waiting
✓ The King’s Great Matter
✓ Anne Ascends the Throne
✓ Another Birth, Another Tragedy
✓ Trial and Execution
And much more!

Henry VIII of England pursued Anne Boleyn for seven years while he was battling for an annulment from his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Catherine had failed to provide Henry with a male heir to the throne, so the king looked to Catherine’s maid of honor, Anne Boleyn, to secure his Tudor lineage. When Anne also failed to give birth to a son, her fate was sealed. She was charged with multiple counts of adultery during a trial everyone agreed was a sham. Found guilty, Anne Boleyn was beheaded immediately afterward and placed in an unmarked grave. Her death served to reveal the true horror dispensed to wives who displeased their royal husbands.

I've always had an interest since I was little in the time where this book is set (late 15th century up to mid 16th century) It was such a fascinating time with a lot of change in England and the world in general so I didn't really hesistate to read this short book. I can't say I was a super fan of it but I did enjoy it a little bit at least.

I've always felt so sorry for Anne Boleyn. Henry VIII was clearly obsessed with her, so much even that his disagreement with the Pope (over getting his marriage to Catherine of Aragon annulled) led to appointing himself the Supreme Head of the Church of England and dissolve convents and monasteries, among other things. And when she couldn't produce a male heir for him (she had a daughter with him who would eventually be known as Elizabeth I of England and reign for 44 years) he just wanted her out of the way. It's crazy really. 

I would say that this book is an okay read for those who don't know a lot about the life of Anne Boleyn and want to dive into everything surrounding her life and death. I'm sure some of those readers can learn the basics about her, not only about Anne but also about Henry VIII and general facts about life in that era. I think we can all agree that the House of Tudor was interesting to say the least.

If you know a lot already about Anne Boleyn I wouldn't necessarily recommend this book because it didn't go that deep into her life and I basically already knew most of the things stated in the book. I also thought the tone of the book was a bit judgy towards the women. And with this I mean not only Anne but also the women that surrounded her and Henry VIII but of course that's just my personal opinion. There were also some typos that I really couldn't overlook like for example it would say Harry instead of Henry. That's a pretty big mistake, I'd say. So that's also a part of why my rating is lower than it usually is. 


5 interesting facts:

  • All traces of Anne's existence were removed; no letters or contemporary paintings remain.
  • Anne's guilty verdict and execution happened so quickly that even she was surprised to be taken from her jail cell one morning and escorted to the gallows.
  • Anne Boleyn's birth date is unrecorded but she is believed to have been born around 1505.
  • Fifty thousand people were executed during the reign of Henry VIII.
  • The day following Anne's execution, Henry married his third wife, Jane Seymour.

Some pictures related to Anne Boleyn

Late Elizabethan portrait, possibly derived from a lost original of 1533–36

Anne's sister Mary Boleyn

An early-20th-century painting of Anne Boleyn, depicting her deer hunting with the King

Catherine of Aragon



Check out my other Hourly History reviews:




Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Cover Reveal: Cruel by Trisha Wolfe


Cruel
Trisha Wolfe
(A Necrosis of the Mind Duet, #1)
Publication date: October 8th 2019
Genres: Adult, Psychological Thriller, Romantic Thriller

I was born a psychopath. But he made me a killer.
Revenge is a lucrative business, and for Blakely Vaughn, it’s more than just profitable, it’s fun. Until it becomes personal.
Alex Chambers has a secret life—one he’s worked hard to conceal from a judgmental world.
Blakely and Alex have one thing in common: the desire to make Royce Travers suffer.
A quest to avenge an innocent victim sparks a dark and deadly obsession, where a dangerous union of cruel minds raises the question: How far is too far?



Author Bio:
USA Today bestselling romantic thriller author Trisha Wolfe. From an early age, Trisha Wolfe dreamed up imaginary worlds and characters and was accused of talking to herself. Today, she lives in South Carolina with her family and writes full time, using her imaginary worlds as an excuse to continue talking to herself.
For more information on Trisha Wolfe and her works, please visit: TrishaWolfe.com
To be the first to hear about new releases and sale events, sign up for Trisha Wolfe's Newsletter: http://bit.ly/1rXTKI7

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Monday, May 6, 2019

The Fowl Twins UK & US Cover Reveal — Which one should I buy?


Last week we finally got the cover reveal for both the UK and US edition of The Fowl Twins by Eoin Colfer, which releases on November 5th. This book is my highest anticipated book of this year and I was obviously very excited to finally see the cover. It's been 8 years since the last Artemis Fowl book released so I'm very excited to read this book about Artemis' younger brothers, Myles and Beckett. So far we know it's going there are going to be two books but I'm hoping that it'll turn into a trilogy or more eventually.


The covers:
UK (left) & US (right)

One week after their eleventh birthday, the Fowl twins--scientist Myles, and Beckett, the force of nature--are left in the care of house security (NANNI) for a single night. In that time they befriend a troll who has clawed his way through the earth's crust to the surface. Unfortunately for the troll, he is being chased by a nefarious nobleman and an interrogating nun, who both need the magical creature for their own gain, as well as a fairy-in-training who has been assigned to protect him. The boys and their new troll best friend escape and go on the run. Along the way they get shot at, kidnapped, buried, arrested, threatened, killed (temporarily), and discover that the strongest bond in the world is not the one forged by covalent electrons in adjacent atoms, but the one that exists between a pair of twins.
Pre-order on:
Amazon 
Book Depository (UK cover)
Book Depository (US cover)
--


So which cover do you think I should buy? I'm in love with both covers but I'm leaning more towards the UK one. I like that it says "criminal genius runs in the family" and of course I can't wait for November!


Saturday, May 4, 2019

Stacking The Shelves: May 4, 2019

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



I just received one book this week but it's one I've been looking forward to for a while. It's set in the 17th century, inspired by true events and the sequel to Widdershins.

Received from publisher:
Sunwise by Helen Steadman