Thursday, September 29, 2016

Blog Tour ~ Review: The Learn by Tony Halker

Title: The Learn
Author: Tony Halker
Publication: September 29th 2016 by Clink Street Publishing

Genre: Historical Fiction
Purchase: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Foyles
Rating: 2/5

Blending reality, history and legend, about a time when women were considered as important as men, taking power in an oral society that worships the Goddess. A whole Celtic Druid world is laid out before us, incorporating beliefs, technology and the natural environment.

A Celtic boy, a beach scavenger, is pledged to the Learn, a life of endurance, a path to become sworn Druid: scholar and warrior. Young women and men progress, becoming Priests and Druidii. Friendship, affection, passion and care develop as novices mature, confidence emerging.

Seasonal battles of winter and summer bring rich festivals when seeds of men are taken by women in pleasure to prove fertility. Small damaged, hurt peoples on the margins of Celtic society blend in and out of vision.

At frontiers with Nature, dependent for everything on what the earth gives or takes, an emotional response to the natural environment defines who people are and the values they live by.

A lyrical novel resonating with modern readers through portrayal of character, language and history; arising from a landscape of today, yet centred in the Celtic Bronze Age of North Wales.

The one thing I really liked about The Learn was that in was set in North Wales during the Celtic Bronze Age. I love ancient history and would love to read more books that are set in that era so that part was the best for me.

But the setting alone wasn't enough to make me love this book. I just couldn't really connect with the characters and the story. The writing wasn't all that bad either but I can't say I loved it. Some events happening in this book were pretty interesting to read about, but again, it just wasn't enough for me. 

This isn't a very long book with only about 250 pages but some parts dragged quite a bit, which made it a whole lot less enjoyable. 

The Learn by Tony Halker was a bit of a shot in the dark for me. It sounded amazing and totally up my alley but I knew right from the start it could've either been a great read or a disappointing one. Unfortunately it ended up being the latter. But still I hope people will check out this book because it's really unique.

       About the Author:

       Website | Blog

Born in London, Tony Halker studied geology at Leeds University after which he worked as a geologist, travelling extensively overseas. Following an MBA at Cranfield School of Management, he became a manager in hi-tec business and later a businessman and entrepreneur. His writing is inspired by powerful natural landscapes and his interest in the people and technologies emerging from those hard places. His two daughters were born in North Wales. He lives with his wife there and in Hertfordshire.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday: Dollars by Pepper Winters

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that I'm eagerly anticipating.

Dollars by Pepper Winters
Dollars #2
Expected publication: October 2016

Dollars, the sequel to PENNIES releases soon! May 2017 is just a placement date until a confirmed release is announced.

“I should never have asked for a night with you. This would never have happened if I’d had more willpower.”

A thief met a possession and did what he did best. Now, he has to live with the consequences. Including the girl he claimed.

After the ending of Pennies, I'm so damn curious to see where the story is going next. Pepper Winters is probably the author I read the most books from every year. She releases books fairly quickly but it's not certain yet that this book is coming in October. Of course I hope it will but we'll see. Pepper is truly the queen of dark romance and Pennies was a personal favorite of mine, coming close to Tears of Tess. So yeah, can't wait for Dollars! :D

What book are you waiting for?
Leave me the link to your post so I can stop by!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday Madness: The Celts by Alice Roberts

Monday Madness is a bookish meme hosted by Bookfever & Booklover's Teaparty

You know that feeling when you feel like you are gonna go mad if you do not get a certain book right away, when you are obsessed and all you want is that one book and you will be happy? That is what Monday Madness is about. All those books you that drive you mad.

Pick a book. Talk about it- why do you want it? What has drawn you to it? Why is it making you mad with want for it.

The Celts by Alice Roberts
Published May 19th 2016 by Heron books

Alice Roberts goes in search of the Celts and their treasures in a narrative history to accompanying a new BBC series.

We know a lot about the Roman Empire. The Romans left monuments to their glories and written histories charting the exploits of their heroes. But there was another ancient people in Europe - feared warriors with chariots, iron swords, exquisite jewellery, swirling tattoos and strange rituals and beliefs. For hundreds of years Europe was theirs, not Rome's. They were our ancestors, and yet the scale of their achievements has largely been forgotten. They were the Celts.

Unlike the Romans they did not write their history, so the stories of many heroic Celtic men and women have been lost. And yet we can discover their deeds. . . you just have to know where to look.

From Denmark to Italy; Portugal to Turkey Alice Roberts takes us on a journey across Europe, revealing the remarkable story of the Celts: their real origins, how they lived and thrived, and their enduring modern legacy
Using ground-breaking linguistic research, in addition to the latest archaeology and genetics, Alice Roberts will explore how this remarkable and advanced culture grew from the fringes of the continent and humiliated the might of Rome.

The Celts accompanies a substantial BBC series presented by Alice Roberts and Neil Oliver, and showing in October 2015.

I saw the documentary of this with Alice Roberts and Neil Oliver recently, which I loved so much. And then found out there's also a book! So yeah, I kinda need this book. 

And as always don't forget to check out Christina's post! ♥

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday: Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that I'm eagerly anticipating.

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
Expected publication: April 4th 2017 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Juliet Young always writes 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 Declan nor Juliet knows that they're not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

It's still a long while before this book releases but it's one of my most highly anticipated releases of 2017. I've really enjoyed Brigid Kemmerer's other books so I'm pretty sure I'll love this one also. It sounds SO good! 

What book are you waiting for?
Leave me the link to your post so I can stop by!


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Review: Wendy Darling: Volume 2: Seas by Colleen Oakes

Title: Wendy Darling: Volume 2: Seas
Author: Colleen Oakes
September 20th 2016 by SparkPress

Genre: Young Adult ~ Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo

Rating: 3/5

From the author of Queen of Hearts comes the much anticipated sequel to Wendy Darling.

Wendy Darling: Seas finds Wendy and Michael aboard the dreaded Sudden Night, a dangerous behemoth sailed by the infamous Captain Hook and his blood-thirsty crew. In this exotic world of mermaids, spies and pirate-feuds, Wendy finds herself struggling to keep her family above the waves. Hunted by the twisted boy who once stole her heart and struggling to survive in the whimsical Neverland sea, returning home to London now seems like a distant dream - and the betrayals have just begun.

Will Wendy find shelter with Peter's greatest enemy, or is she a pawn in a much darker game, one that could forever alter not only her family's future, but also the soul of Neverland itself?

I felt basically the same way about Wendy Darling: Seas as I did with volume one, Wendy Darling: Stars. I liked it for sure, though some parts were a little tedious. I did like this book more than the first one, I must say. I also  thought the end was the best part of the whole book. And yet again the ending made me say holy crap out loud. 

This book is pretty much about Wendy trying to find her place on the ship the Sudden Night among Captain Hook and his frightening crew. But also about protecting her little brother Michael and finding out how Peter Pan got his powers and how she and Hook can defeat him. 

Wendy in general is a bit of a Mary Sue but I liked how she tranformed a little in a tougher version of herself while on board with the pirates. After all she went through with Peter in the first book, she had no other choice but to toughen up. 

Captain Hook was probably my newest favorite character. He was just like I expect Hook to be, ferocious and brutal but also had some goodness inside of him and also love. I also really liked Smee for some weird reason. 

As this book was more about the pirates, Peter wasn't much in it this time around. He was more in it towards the ending. And god, that ending... I hadn't seen it coming at all. Which is why I want the next book so very badly.

Overall, Wendy Darling: Seas by Colleen Oakes was pretty good. It had savage pirates, lethal mermaids, some unexpected twists and one hell of an ending. 

       About the Author:

Colleen Oakes is the author of books for both teens and adults, including The Elly in Bloom Series, The Queen of Hearts Saga (Harper Collins 2016) and The Wendy Darling Saga. She lives in North Denver with her husband and son and surrounds herself with the most lovely family and friends imaginable. When not writing or plotting new books, Colleen can be found swimming, traveling or totally immersing herself in nerdy pop culture. She currently at work on a standalone novel and another YA fairytale series. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Monday Madness: Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey

Monday Madness is a bookish meme hosted by Bookfever & Booklover's Teaparty

You know that feeling when you feel like you are gonna go mad if you do not get a certain book right away, when you are obsessed and all you want is that one book and you will be happy? That is what Monday Madness is about. All those books you that drive you mad.

Pick a book. Talk about it- why do you want it? What has drawn you to it? Why is it making you mad with want for it.

Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey
Expected publication: October 4th 2016 by Viking

An intellectual feast for fans of offbeat history, Ghostland takes readers on a road trip through some of the country's most infamously haunted places--and deep into the dark side of our history.

Colin Dickey is on the trail of America's ghosts. Crammed into old houses and hotels, abandoned prisons and empty hospitals, the spirits that linger continue to capture our collective imagination, but why? His own fascination piqued by a house hunt in Los Angeles that revealed derelict foreclosures and "zombie homes," Dickey embarks on a journey across the continental United States to decode and unpack the American history repressed in our most famous haunted places. Some have established reputations as "the most haunted mansion in America," or "the most haunted prison"; others, like the haunted Indian burial grounds in West Virginia, evoke memories from the past our collective nation tries to forget.
With boundless curiosity, Dickey conjures the dead by focusing on questions of the living--how do we, the living, deal with stories about ghosts, and how do we inhabit and move through spaces that have been deemed, for whatever reason, haunted? Paying attention not only to the true facts behind a ghost story, but also to the ways in which changes to those facts are made--and why those changes are made--Dickey paints a version of American history left out of the textbooks, one of things left undone, crimes left unsolved. Spellbinding, scary, and wickedly insightful, Ghostland discovers the past we're most afraid to speak of aloud in the bright light of day is the same past that tends to linger in the ghost stories we whisper in the dark.

This book doesn't release until October but it sounds right up my alley!
Offbeat History 
Haunted Places 

Yes to all! 

And as always don't forget to check out Christina's post! ♥

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Stacking The Shelves: September 17, 2016

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted @ Tynga's Reviews.

This week I got RoseBlood by A.G. Howard for review, which I really hadn't expected. So yay! I'm currently reading it but I'm not far in yet (so far it's really promising though!) I want to take my sweet time with it. But as a huge Phantom of the Opera fan I'm super excited to read more.
I also bought some really great kindle books. I already read Shine by Jodi Picoult. It's the prequel to her upcoming novel Great Small Things which I HAVE to get. Arrogant Bastard was free and the other books I all got for only 99c. I'm not sure they're all still at that price but they might be so be sure to check them out.

For Review:
RoseBlood by A.G. Howard

Anti Hero by Skye Warren

Shine by Jodi Picoult
The Summer Queen by Elizabeth Chadwick

Arrogant Bastard by Winter Renshaw

Also this happened...
My all-time favorite author replied to my tweet! *squeals*
It definitely made my day. ♥

Please leave me links to your book hauls so I can stop by! :)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Blog Tour ~ Review: The Last Messenger of Zitol by Chelsea Dyreng

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour of The Last Messenger of Zitol. I'm so glad I can finally share my love for this book. It was one of my top favorites of 2016. 

Title: The Last Messenger of Zitol 
Author: Chelsea Dyreng
Publication: September 13th 2016 by Cedar Fort, Inc.

Genre: Young Adult
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo
Rating: 5/5

“‘Messenger of Zitól,’ he said in a booming voice, even though the girl was standing right in front of him. ‘Ask the gods to grant us another year of rain and sun for our crops. Beg them to protect our great city. Thank the gods for their preservation of our traditions and culture!’ The Messenger’s face was composed, but Rishi could see the violent trembling of her hands. Then drums began again, quiet and slow.”
When Rishi is kidnapped and taken to Zitól, she faces an unthinkable future: she is to be sacrificed to appease the gods. To survive in this place, where greed, lust, and fear eclipse compassion, Rishi befriends the selfish and ignorant king, only to discover that he may not have the power to save her after all. In this gripping romance of ancient America, Rishi will have to help the king learn about restraint and true love if she wants to stay safe and alive.

This book is about Rishi who gets taken captive to the great city of Zitol, about which her grandfather used to tell her fantastic stories. Rishi gets chosen as the Messenger, which means she'll be sacrificed to the gods in a year. Her future seems really bleak until she meets Nadal, who is supposed to be the king of Zitol but is being shoved aside by the awful Speakers...

This was a rather unique story. I honestly haven't read anything quite like it. Although it was written in the point of view of Nadal, the story was actually all about Rishi and her sacrifice to remain true to her virtue, so this made for a very interesting narrative. I also thought the story carried a very powerful message.

I really liked the relationsip between Rishi and Nadal, especially how it grew from friendship into something more and changed Nadal into a better person than he was raised to be. I also adored the bond Rishi shared with her brothers.

The Last Messenger of Zitol was in one word: magnificent. It was well-written, I loved the setting of this fictional city in ancient Mexico and the two protagonists were wonderful to read about, especially the heroine of the story, Rishi. This book couldn't have been any more perfect. I loved it.

       About the Author:

       Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Chelsea Bagley Dyreng is the author of “The Cenote.” She was raised in Wyoming and Idaho and earned her BA at Brigham Young University. She worked for several years as a librarian before moving to North Carolina where she and her husband are raising five God-fearing, book-loving, adventure-seeking kids.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday: A Song of War: A Novel of Troy

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that I'm eagerly anticipating.

A Song of War: A Novel of Troy by Christian Cameron, Libbie Hawker, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, Stephanie Thornton, S.J.A Turney, Russell Whitfield and Glyn Iliffe (introduction)

Expected publication: October 18th 2016 by Knight Media, LLC

Troy: city of gold, gatekeeper of the east, haven of the god-born and the lucky, a city destined to last a thousand years. But the Fates have other plans—the Fates, and a woman named Helen. In the shadow of Troy's gates, all must be reborn in the greatest war of the ancient world: slaves and queens, heroes and cowards, seers and kings . . . and these are their stories.

A young princess and an embittered prince join forces to prevent a fatal elopement.

A tormented seeress challenges the gods themselves to save her city from the impending disaster.

A tragedy-haunted king battles private demons and envious rivals as the siege grinds on.

A captured slave girl seizes the reins of her future as two mighty heroes meet in an epic duel.

A grizzled archer and a desperate Amazon risk their lives to avenge their dead.

A trickster conceives the greatest trick of all.

A goddess' son battles to save the spirit of Troy even as the walls are breached in fire and blood.

Seven authors bring to life the epic tale of the Trojan War: its heroes, its villains, its survivors, its dead. Who will lie forgotten in the embers, and who will rise to shape the bloody dawn of a new age?

After the amazing stories of A Day of Fire (about Pompeii) and A Year of Ravens (about Boudica's rebellion) A Song of War comes. And I just can't wait for it to be released. I just love the way these books are written, each author telling a different story about different characters that makes up a whole story in the end. They really are some of the best historical novels I have read. So I'm pretty sure I'll love this one about Troy also. ♥

What book are you waiting for?
Leave me the link to your post so I can stop by!