*Blog Tour + Giveaway* Shadow Frost by Coco Ma

Shadow Frost

Title: Shadow Frost

Author: Coco Ma

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing

Release Date: October 1st 2019

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis:

IN THE KINGDOM OF AXARIA, a darkness rises.

Some call it a monster, laying waste to the villagers and their homes. 

Some say it is an invulnerable demon summoned from the deepest abysses of the Immortal Realm. 

Many soldiers from the royal guard are sent out to hunt it down.

Not one has ever returned. 

When Asterin Faelenhart, Princess of Axaria and heir to the throne, discovers that she may hold the key to defeating the mysterious demon terrorizing her kingdom, she vows not to rest until the beast is slain. With the help of her friends and the powers she wields — though has yet to fully understand — Asterin sets out to complete a single task. The task that countless, trained soldiers have failed.

To kill it.

But as they hunt for the demon, they unearth a plot to assassinate the Princess herself instead. Asterin and her companions begin to wonder how much of their lives have been lies, especially when they realize that the center of the web of deceit might very well be themselves. With no one else to turn to, they are forced to decide just how much they are willing to sacrifice to protect the only world they have ever known.

That is, of course… if the demon doesn’t get to them first.

From young author Coco Ma comes a dazzling new tale of adventure, power, and betrayal, weaving together a stunning world of magic with a killer cast in an explosive, unforgettable debut.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 

Kobo | Google Books 

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Author Information

Coco Ma

Coco Ma is a Canadian-Chinese author and pianist. She wrote her first novel, Shadow Frost, at the age of 15. Since she began playing the piano at the age of five and a half, she has also performed on some of the world’s greatest concert stages and graduated with a pre-college diploma in piano performance from The Juilliard School in New York City. Currently, she studies at Yale University. When she isn’t practicing piano, writing, or studying, you might find her bingeing Netflix or eating cake. Lots of cake.

Follow Coco on Twitter @shadowfrost2019 and Instagram @CakeForCoco or visit her website at Coco-Ma.com!

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram 

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My Review

Before I even read the summary of Shadow Frost, I knew I had to read this book because of the cover (isn’t it absolutely gorgeous?!). And the written words behind this cover are just as beautiful. Coco Ma brings to the YA fantasy genre a fast-paced, epic adventure that teens across the world will love.

The magic system in Shadow Frost is unique and fits the story setting well. But the one thing I really liked the most about this book was the characters, especially Asterin. She’s head strong and caring and really wants to prove to her mother and kingdom that she is good enough to be Queen. I enjoyed the other characters part of the squad, as each character was different and brought a new personality and perspective to the story. I will admit I was not a big fan of the multiple point of views, but it made sense to have them.

Even though I was not a big fan of the multiple perspectives, it was a good way to learn about the characters’ backstories and history with Princess Asterin. One character is in love with Asterin, but Asterin is oblivious to it (which is, honestly, one of my favorite tropes), and it makes for fun interactions between the two. The characters in this story, though, are what sold this story for me, as I am a huge fan of character-driven stories.

I thought the writing and world building were beautiful. One aspect of fantasy books I love is the world building and Coco Ma did a wonderful job. The world was descriptive and felt like it was a world that should exist in the real world. It was, overall, a fun and beautiful read.

If you’re looking for a fantasy read with numerous plot twists, then definitely pick up Shadow Frost. It was twist after twist after twist and that grabbed my attention from the beginning and kept it until the last page. There were some twists I saw coming and saw that blew my mind.

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Pre-Order Campaign

Blackstone Publishing is giving away (1) signed bookplate, (1) Shadow Frost bookmark, (1) Shadow Frost button, and (1) Blackstone Publishing tote bag to the first 150 people pre-ordering SHADOW FROST (Before October 1st). Click on the image below to access the giveaway.

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Tour Schedule

Click the banner below to see the amazing book bloggers on this tour!

TOUR BANNER (3)

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Tour Giveaway

Prize: Win (1) of (2) Shadow Frost bundles:

-1 Hardcover copy of Shadow Frost

-1 Signed bookplate

-Shadow Frost swag (bookmark and button)

Giveaway Starts on: October 1st  2019

Giveaway Ends on: October 15th 2019

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Thank you, Fantastic Flying Book Club, for having us on this wonderful blog tour!

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*Saturday Spotlight* Shadow Frost by Coco Ma

Shadow Frost

Title: Shadow Frost

Author: Coco Ma

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing

Release Date: October 1, 2019

Page Count: 400 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary:

IN THE KINGDOM OF AXARIA, a darkness rises.

Some call it a monster, laying waste to the villagers and their homes.
Some say it is an invulnerable demon summoned from the deepest abysses of the Immortal Realm.
Many soldiers from the royal guard are sent out to hunt it down.

Not one has ever returned.

When Asterin Faelenhart, Princess of Axaria and heir to the throne, discovers that she may hold the key to defeating the mysterious demon terrorizing her kingdom, she vows not to rest until the beast is slain. With the help of her friends and the powers she wields — though has yet to fully understand — Asterin sets out to complete a single task. The task that countless, trained soldiers have failed.

To kill it.

But as they hunt for the demon, they unearth a plot to assassinate the Princess herself instead. Asterin and her companions begin to wonder how much of their lives have been lies, especially when they realize that the center of the web of deceit might very well be themselves. With no one else to turn to, they are forced to decide just how much they are willing to sacrifice to protect the only world they have ever known.

That is, of course… if the demon doesn’t get to them first.

From young author Coco Ma comes a dazzling new tale of adventure, power, and betrayal, weaving together a stunning world of magic with a killer cast in an explosive, unforgettable debut.

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Purchase Links

AMAZON  |  BARNES & NOBLE

INDIE BOUND

Please note: A Court of Coffee and Books receives a small commission for any purchases made through the links above. All commission earned goes toward supporting and maintaining this blog.

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 About the Author

Coco Ma

Coco Ma is a Canadian author and pianist. She wrote her first novel, Shadow Frost, at the age of 15, and since she began playing the piano at the age of five and a half, she has also performed on some of the world’s greatest concert stages and graduated with a pre-college diploma in piano performance from The Juilliard School in New York City. Currently, she studies at Yale University. When she isn’t practicing piano, writing, or studying, you might find her bingeing Netflix or eating cake. Lots of cake.

Follow Coco on Twitter @shadowfrost2019 and Instagram @CakeForCoco or visit her website at Coco-Ma.com! (Bio and photo provided from Goodreads)

Tips and Tricks for Attending YALLFest

Yallfest 2019

YALLFest is a little over a week away (November 8-9), which means it’s time to prepare for all the fun! I can’t believe YALLFest is almost here; I honestly feel like I’ve been preparing for months (which I have been) and it’s all coming up so fast! This is my fourth year attending YALLFest and along the way, I’ve learned some tips for attending YALLFest. These tips have helped me navigate (and survive) the crowds and all the bookish activities without having to stress. Well, at least not stress as much as the year before. If this is your first time going to YALLFest, or you’ve been before but would love some pointers, then check out my tips below!

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Tips and Tricks for Attending YALLFest

Bring water and food

Honestly, this is THE most important tip I can give you. It’s important to stay hydrated, especially when you will be standing in lines for most of the day. You will constantly be on the move and may not have time to stop for food or something to drink. So, always bring food with you, even if it is snacks. Trust me, having water and food with you will make your experience ten times better because 1) you won’t feel faint or nauseous and 2) you won’t be hangry. 🙂 I usually bring a refillable water bottle, a bottle of Gaterade, and several meal bars, along with some chips and crackers. I also have some chocolate or candy with me, in case I need a sugar fill. But no matter what, bring water and food! And even if you have to run back and forth to the water fountain, that’s okay! Everyone is super nice, so don’t be afraid to ask the person in front or behind you to save your spot while you go get water or food.

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Plan ahead – create a schedule

Every year, I create a schedule for Friday and Saturday and trust me, this goes a long way. This helps me stay on track and also remind me of the authors I really want to meet and the ARCs I want to try to grab. Below is a glimpse of my Friday schedule. It’s very small, but still important to have on the schedule because it reminds me what I have planned for the day.

Friday, November 8 Notes
Time Event Location Author(s) Why?
3:30 PM Fierce Friday John L. Dart Library Stephanie Garber Get books signed *Max 3 books

I try to stay very organized and even highlight the events that are at the top of my to-do list. As you can see, I label it by time, event, location, author(s), why I want to go to this event, and notes. When it comes to in-booth signings, I add an extra column for booth location and publisher. If there were multiple events going on at the same time (like on Saturday), I would highlight one event as the top event I want to go to and then try to attend the other events after that or if I won’t make it to my top event, I’ll go to my second option. Overall, having a schedule comes in handy. You may not stick with that schedule, but that’s okay; there’s nothing wrong with veering from your schedule, I just find it much easier to plan ahead!

With planning ahead, it’s also important to decide when you would like to line up for authors, panels, giveaways, etc.. The times below are what I have done in the past. It does not mean you need to do the same; but it’s usually what I recommend.

  • Authors: 30-120 minutes; this honestly depends on how popular the author is. For instance, Stephanie Garber’s signing line on Saturday (which is at 12:00 PM) will probably have people lining up around 10:00-10:15 AM because she’s a well-known author.
  • Panels: 30-60 minutes; this is an estimate, only because I did not attend any panels last year or the year before. But when I lined up for the YA Smackdown, I lined up about 40 minutes early, so I could get a good seat.
  • Giveaways: 30-120 minutes; this also depends on how popular the giveaway is. ARC drops will probably be more popular, so expect those lines to start early. For example, when Wicked Saints by Emily Duncan dropped at YALLFest last year, the line was insane and people lined up over an hour in advance. So, if you think the line for a specific giveaway is going to be long, you can always check in and see, or line up early. I’ll for sure be in line early for any giveaways I want, so just be prepared to line up early for these. However, please note: most booths will not let you line up early until they officially start the line. You can linger off to the side, just don’t make it look like you’re in line. Some booths ask that you don’t line up until 15-30 minutes before the giveaway, but then this could lead to potential issues and safety hazards because people will still line up early.

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Be realistic

YALLFest can get pretty crowded, so if you have two or more events/signings going on at the same time, chances are you will only make it to one, two if you’re lucky. The lines get long and if you are going solo, it won’t be easy running to and from signings, especially if they’re on opposite sides of each other. I’m not saying it isn’t doable (it definitely is), it just will not be as easy as someone who came with their parents or a group of friends. Depending on the author lines and locations, you may be able to see multiple authors within the hour. It really just depends on how long their lines are and if their locations are in the same vicinity or close by. Now, when it comes to ARC drops, chances of getting two different ARCs that drop at the same time are pretty slim. People line up 30 – 120 minutes in advance for ARC drops. So, what I advise doing is if there are two ARCs dropping at the same time, decide which one you really want to try to grab more and then you can always talk to someone at the booth to see if they have extras of the ARC drop you missed. But also don’t get upset if the answer is no and if you don’t get the ARC you want. These publishers are absolutely amazing and it truly is a blessing to have ARCs be handed out at YALLFest (and to have in general), so never take it for granted. Besides, you can always try trading on Twitter or a Facebook group. So, basically, just be realistic about your schedule and understand you may not make it to every event.

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Be friendly and courteous to others

This goes such a long way. Never treat the authors, volunteers, publishing staff, and attendees with anything but excitement, courtesy, and respect. The volunteers spend months putting this event together for everyone, and they deserve nothing but the utmost respect for all their hard work. And the same is said for the authors and publishing staff. They don’t have to be at the event, but they are, and that’s amazing. If an author can only sign three books, but you brought four, please don’t get upset. We’re lucky to have the authors attend. And if you’re in line for an ARC drop, but the publishers run out of ARCs before you get up to the table, still be friendly and understanding. I know it’s upsetting, but the publishers don’t need to bring ARCs; attendees are very lucky that they do. So no matter what the circumstances are, always be friendly to the workers, authors, publishers, and other attendees.

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Don’t be afraid to ask questions and/or for directions

YALLFest can, at times, be overwhelming. The venues are all over Charleston and sometimes it can get confusing, not knowing if you’re going in the right direction. Usually YALLFest will provide a map in the onsite guide (kind of like a newspaper), but if you don’t have a map, do not be afraid to approach a volunteer or an attendee. I had to do this a lot my first year because I was unfamiliar with the layout and trust me when I say that it definitely helped. Everyone was super nice and understanding. I asked questions like, “where is the Charleston Museum?; I can’t find the HMH booth, do you know where their booth is?; Do you by chance know where the closest bathroom is?” and so many more. So, even if this is out of your comfort zone, you can do it! It’s better to ask questions or for directions than to wander aimlessly, hoping you stumble upon the booth/author you’re looking for.

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Follow publishers on Social Media

Most of the publishers participating at YALLFest will have announced their schedules before the festival. However, some publishers announce some un-publicized booth drops, such as ARCs or swag items. I advise to follow the publishers on Twitter and even Instagram. The publishers are: HMH Teen, Underlined (Penguin Teen), Epic Reads (HarperCollins), Fierce Reads (Macmillan), Riveted (Simon Teen), NOVL (Little, Brown), Pique (Amulet Books), Blackstone Publishing, Disney Books, and I Read YA.

Also, most publishers will announce their schedules on Twitter, so I’d definitely give a follow beforehand. And I also recommend making a list on Twitter of the YALLFest publishers – this keeps all their tweets in one easy and accessible area.

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Make friends in line

Every year, I meet a ton of wonderful and friendly people in line. I still talk to friends I made at YALLFest and it’s honestly one of the best parts of the festival. Talk with people who look friendly in line or who are wearing really cool bookish-themed merchandise. Or anyone reading a book you have read or want to read. YALLFest is not just about meeting your favorite authors and getting books and swag. It’s also about meeting people who share the same love as you do for books. And that in itself is worth the whole trip. So, make friends and have fun. And side note: if you’re flying solo (like I am this year), then it’s always an added bonus to make friends in line, especially when you have to use the bathroom. 🙂 But also understand that not everyone in line is going to want to make conversation, and that’s okay. Either way, you’re bound to find some awesome people to talk to while you wait in lines!

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Dress accordingly

Always check the weather before you leave for YALLFest. My first year, I brought my fall jacket and a sweatshirt and I ended up having to carry both because the weather was in the 70s and sunny. I did not check the weather beforehand and I definitely wished I had. As of right now, it’s looking to be sunny on Friday and Saturdayand in the 70s (YAY!, now let’s just hope it stays that way). If it does end up raining, make sure to bring an umbrella or a poncho for yourself, and bring Ziploc bags to protect your books and swag. So, dress in what will keep you warm but is also comfortable. I also recommend wearing sneakers because a lot of walking and standing will be involved.

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Don’t over pack

I learned this lesson real fast. My first year of YALLFest, I brought two bins full of books to get signed, and I barely got any of those books signed. Lines were long, sidewalks were crowded, and I was extremely tired. Some authors I needed wristbands for and I waited in line for over an hour to get those. Most authors didn’t have wristbands, but their lines were still crazy long (which is awesome for the authors). I did my best to meet as many authors as I could, but I definitely over packed. If there’s a ton of authors you want to meet Saturday, make a schedule and understand that you may not meet all those authors. I know, it’s not the advice you want to hear. But if there’s two authors you want to meet that have signings at the same time, you are most likely going to have to pick just one. So don’t over pack with too many books; it will be a lot of carting around. Plus, you can buy pre-signed books at Blue Bicycle Books, so you don’t have to lug around bins of books! That definitely comes in handy! 🙂

And the most important tip…

Have fun!

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So, all in all, below are the shortened tips I recommend:

  1. Stay hydrated and bring food
  2. Plan ahead
  3. Set a realistic schedule
  4. Always be friendly
  5. Ask questions
  6. Follow the publishers on Twitter
  7. Make new friends!
  8. Dress for the weather (wear sneakers!)
  9. Pack light
  10. HAVE FUN! 🙂

I hope these tips help you with your YALLFest visit! And if you have any questions, ask me in the comments! I’ll also be walking around at YALLFest, so if you see me, come say hi! I’ll be posting constantly on my Instagram story (@acourtofcoffeeandbooksblog) and on Twitter (@BiblioStacks), so make sure to check there to see where I’ll be throughout the day! And I’m also hoping to have some goodies to hand out! I can’t wait to meet you all, and make sure to have a fun time at YALLFest!

nikole