*Saturday Spotlight* House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

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Title: House of Salt and Sorrows

Author: Erin A. Craig

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Release Date: August 6, 2019

Page Count: 416 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings

Summary:

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

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Purchase Links

AMAZON  |  BARNES & NOBLE

BOOK DEPOSITORY  |  INDIE BOUND

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 About the Author

Erin

Erin A. Craig has always loved telling stories.

After getting her B.F.A. from the University of Michigan, in Theatre Design and Production, she stage managed tragic operas with hunchbacks, séances, and murderous clowns, then decided she wanted to write books that were just as spooky.

An avid reader, a decent quilter, rabid basketball fan, and collector of typewriters, Erin makes her home in Memphis, TN with her husband and daughter.

She is represented by Sarah Landis at Sterling Lord Literistic. (Bio and photo provided from Goodreads)

*Saturday Spotlight* The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen

MercifulCrowTitle: The Merciful Crow

Author: Margaret Owen

Publisher: Henry Holt

Release Date: July 30, 2019

Page Count: 384 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary:

A future chieftain

Fie abides by one rule: look after your own. Her Crow caste of undertakers and mercy-killers takes more abuse than coin, but when they’re called to collect royal dead, she’s hoping they’ll find the payout of a lifetime.

A fugitive prince

When Crown Prince Jasimir turns out to have faked his death, Fie’s ready to cut her losses—and perhaps his throat. But he offers a wager that she can’t refuse: protect him from a ruthless queen, and he’ll protect the Crows when he reigns.

A too-cunning bodyguard

Hawk warrior Tavin has always put Jas’s life before his, magically assuming the prince’s appearance and shadowing his every step. But what happens when Tavin begins to want something to call his own?

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Purchase Links

AMAZON  |  BARNES & NOBLE

BOOK DEPOSITORY  |  INDIE BOUND

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Preorder Giveaway

Margaret has an amazing preorder giveaway going on, so check it out here!

All US preorders of The Merciful Crow will receive 3 beautiful character cards, 4 stickers, a signed bookplate, and a double-sided bookmark. The artwork is gorgeous! This preorder giveaway is open until July 1, 2019.

Does this preorder giveaway accept library requests? Yes! All library requests and international orders will receive digital swag: a lock screen for each of the character cards and an exclusive wallpaper!

Merciful Crow The

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 About the Author

Margaret Owen

Born and raised at the end of the Oregon Trail, Margaret Owen spent her childhood haunting the halls of Powell’s Books. After earning her degree in Japanese, her love of espresso called her north to Seattle, where she worked in everything from thrift stores to presidential campaigns. The common thread between every job can be summed up as: lessons were learned.

She now spends her days wrestling disgruntled characters onto the page, and negotiating a long-term hostage situation with her two monstrous cats. (There is surprisingly little difference between the two.) (Bio and photo provided from Goodreads)

*Blog Tour + Giveaway* Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

SpintheDawnTitle: Spin the Dawn(The Blood of Stars #1)

Author: Elizabeth Lim

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Release Date: July 9th 2019

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis:

Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renée Ahdieh.

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Purchase Links

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Author Information

ElizabethElizabeth Lim grew up on a hearty staple of fairy tales, myths, and songs. Her passion for storytelling began around age 10, when she started writing fanfics for Sailor Moon, Sweet Valley, and Star Wars, and posted them online to discover, “Wow, people actually read my stuff. And that’s kinda cool!” But after one of her teachers told her she had “too much voice” in her essays, Elizabeth took a break from creative writing to focus on not flunking English.

Over the years, Elizabeth became a film and video game composer, and even went so far as to get a doctorate in music composition. But she always missed writing, and turned to penning stories when she needed a breather from grad school. One day, she decided to write and finish a novel — for kicks, at first, then things became serious — and she hasn’t looked back since.

Elizabeth loves classic film scores, books with a good romance, food (she currently has a soft spot for arepas and Ethiopian food), the color turquoise, overcast skies, English muffins, cycling, and baking. She lives in New York City with her husband.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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My Review

“All legends have a spark of truth. Sometimes more than a spark.”

Spin the Dawn is one of those wonderfully crafted tales that weaves self-discovery, love, and adventure into a beautifully written story. I won’t lie, I had high expectations going into this book and let me tell you, Spin the Dawn exceeded all those expectations. Elizabeth Lim has created a spectacular tale rich with culture and magic and strength, and Spin the Dawn has become one of my top reads of 2019.

Spin the Dawn is not just a journey; it’s about falling in love, believing in yourself, and following your dreams. This book is filled with heart and courage and spirit; Elizabeth Lim poured her soul into this story and it’s a magnificent story. The characters are well-developed and the world-building is breathtaking and illustrious.

Maia was born with courage in her blood and magic in her soul. Her spirit and her courageous heart spill out through the words in Spin the Dawn. She defies the impossibilities that deem to hold her back; she, ultimately, proves those who wish to see her fail wrong. She proves to herself that she can accomplish anything she puts her mind to.

Maia easily became a protagonist I loved. She’s true to herself and true to her word: she wants to win this competition without the help of her magical scissors and win solely based on her extraordinary skills. This doesn’t mean she never uses the scissors; on the contrary, they become very prominent further into the book; magic becomes prominent. And even better, Maia’s strength really takes charge in this story, especially when she must do the impossible. Her love for her family and her craft is what sets her apart from everyone else; she wants to prove to the world that a woman can be a tailor and just as talented as a man in the craft. Her spirit is really what made this story what it is: her will to fight and her unwavering belief in herself is what made me love this story so much. And, of course, Edan.

Edan is the emperor’s imperial enchanter, and quite a charmer, if I might add. His relationship with Maia is one of my favorites. Their feelings for each other don’t just grow overnight; it takes a whole journey but nonetheless, their beautiful love story blossoms into something magical. Edan is such a bashful love interest that I easily fell in love with his character. Elizabeth Lim brought us readers a beautiful relationship with chemistry and charm and because of how well-written this relationship is, I could not imagine Spin the Dawn being what it is without their love.

Elizabeth Lim crafts a story with beautiful prose, unending heart, and spectacular magic. Her writing brings to a life a story that will captivate the hearts of all readers. The Chinese culture mixed with shimmering magic and a blossoming romance truly make this story charming. Spin the Dawn is definitely a book I highly recommend and a beautiful fantasy you will not want to miss.

Overall rating: 5 stars

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Tour Schedule

Check out all the amazing bloggers on the Spin the Dawn tour!

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Giveaway

PRIZE: 1 copy of SPIN THE DAWN per blog hosting the book for the tour (US ONLY)

Stars: July 7, 2019

Ends: July 16, 2019maxresdefault

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

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Young Adult Book Debuts of July 2019

Every bookworm knows that every month is filled with some amazing book releases (sometimes so many that it’s hard to keep count!). And every month consists of at least one debut book/author. July is no different. Check out the young adult debut books coming out this month below!

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SandDancerTitle: Sand Dancer

Author: Trudie Skies

Publisher: Uproar Books

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary: 

Only monsters summon fire by magic. It’s a sin against the sun god and a crime against the king. The punishment is death.

But when sixteen-year-old Mina discovers fire magic runs in her family’s blood, it’s just the beginning of the secrets her father has been keeping from her. When her father is murdered, this half-starved peasant girl finds herself on the run—pursued across the desert by the soldiers and guards of the noble Houses. To survive, she knows she’ll have to abandon her past and learn the way of the sword. But only boys are allowed to carry a blade. There’s only one solution…

Disguised as a young nobleman, Mina must make a new life for herself in the heart of her enemies. But she knows she can’t keep up the masquerade forever. With time running out, which will she choose to find—the truth or revenge?

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Purchase Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  

Book Depository  |  Indie Bound

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BeckoningShadowTitle: The Beckoning Shadow

Author: Katharyn Blair

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary:

Vesper Montgomery can summon your worst fear and turn it into a reality—but she’s learned the hard way that it’s an addicting and dangerous power. One wrong move and you could hurt someone you love.

But when she earns a spot in the Tournament of the Unraveling, where competitors battle it out for a chance to rewrite the past, Vesper finally has a shot to reverse the mistakes that have changed her forever. She turns to Sam Hardy, a former MMA fighter who’s also carrying a tragedy he desperately wants to undo. However, helping heal Sam’s heart will mean breaking her own, and the competition forces her to master her powers—powers she has been terrified of since they destroyed her life.

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Purchase Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble 

Book Depository  |  Indie Bound

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SpintheDawnTitle: Spin the Dawn

Author: Elizabeth Lim

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary:

Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

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Purchase Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Book Depository  |  Indie Bound

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StormTitle: The Storm Crow

Author: Kalyn Josephson

Publisher: SourcebooksFire

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary:

In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life…until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything.

That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother’s death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost.

But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them.

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Purchase Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Book Depository  |  Indie Bound

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WilderTitle: Wilder Girls

Author: Rory Power

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Genres: Young Adult, Horror, Mystery, LGBT

Summary: 

It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

——
Please see author’s website for trigger and content warnings.

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Purchase Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Book Depository  |  Indie Bound

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BeforeIDisappearTitle: Before I Disappear

Author: Danielle Stinson

Publisher: Feiwel Friends

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary:

Rose Montgomery parks her family’s trailer in Fort Glory, Oregon with one goal: to carve out a new life for herself and her little brother, Charlie. They need a fresh start for their family, and she thinks she’s finally found it in a town where nobody knows them.

But Rose’s plans come crashing down when, in an instant, Fort Glory disappears and every person in town vanishes into thin air—including Charlie.

Rose and four other teens become trapped in the Fold, a patch of woods caught halfway between the real world and the lost town. In the Fold, a mysterious force suspends the laws of physics, and everyone’s inner darkness has the power to kill.

To survive the Fold, Rose must unravel the clues Charlie sends her from the missing town. And Rose has to find Charlie soon—or he’ll be gone forever.

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Purchase Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Book Depository  |  Indie Bound

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ShattertheSkyTitle: Shatter the Sky

Author: Rebecca Kim Wells

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT

Summary:

Raised among the ruins of a conquered mountain nation, Maren dreams only of sharing a quiet life with her girlfriend Kaia—until the day Kaia is abducted by the Aurati, prophetic agents of the emperor, and forced to join their ranks. Desperate to save her, Maren hatches a plan to steal one of the emperor’s coveted dragons and storm the Aurati stronghold.

If Maren is to have any hope of succeeding, she must become an apprentice to the Aromatory—the emperor’s mysterious dragon trainer. But Maren is unprepared for the dangerous secrets she uncovers: rumors of a lost prince, a brewing rebellion, and a prophecy that threatens to shatter the empire itself. Not to mention the strange dreams she’s been having about a beast deep underground…

With time running out, can Maren survive long enough to rescue Kaia from impending death? Or could it be that Maren is destined for something greater than she could have ever imagined?

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Purchase Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Book Depository  |  Indie Bound

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MercifulCrowTitle: The Merciful Crow

Author: Margaret Owen

Publisher: Henry Holt

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary: 

A future chieftain

Fie abides by one rule: look after your own. Her Crow caste of undertakers and mercy-killers takes more abuse than coin, but when they’re called to collect royal dead, she’s hoping they’ll find the payout of a lifetime.

A fugitive prince

When Crown Prince Jasimir turns out to have faked his death, Fie’s ready to cut her losses—and perhaps his throat. But he offers a wager that she can’t refuse: protect him from a ruthless queen, and he’ll protect the Crows when he reigns.

A too-cunning bodyguard

Hawk warrior Tavin has always put Jas’s life before his, magically assuming the prince’s appearance and shadowing his every step. But what happens when Tavin begins to want something to call his own?

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Purchase Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Book Depository  |  Indie Bound

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See a July YA debut book missing? Let us know in the comments and we will add it to our list! 🙂

*Saturday Spotlight* Wilder Girls by Rory Power

Wilder.jpgTitle: Wilder Girls

Author: Rory Power

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Release Date: July 9, 2019

Page Count: 368 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Horror, Mystery, LGBT

Summary:

It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

——
Please see author’s website for trigger and content warnings.

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Preorder Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Book Depository  |  Indie Bound

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 About the Author

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Rory Power grew up in New England, where she lives and works as a crime fiction editor and story consultant for TV adaptation. She received a Masters in Prose Fiction from the University of East Anglia, and thinks fondly of her time there, partially because she learned a lot but mostly because there were a ton of bunnies on campus.

She is represented by Daisy Parente at Lutyens & Rubinstein and Kim Witherspoon at InkWell Management. (Bio and photo provided from Goodreads)

Arc review: the Beautiful by Renee ahdieh

Finally a new Renee ahdieh book! And we’re getting vampires or so they say.

Going into this book excited. Starts off with a girl named celine traveling from Paris to New Orleans for a new life in 1872. Going in you don’t really know what she is trying to leave. But finally in this fabulous city, Renee makes the perfect city with all its luxury’s and words that make it sound amazing. So the pace is quite nice getting glimpse of the city with starting to add some side characters and get to explore more of Celine’s personality. Starts off shy but also very coy and more tough than you think. As story goes along it was nice to see her nervous and scared but didn’t stop her even after people tried make her scared and such. After though this point in story after get to learn New Orleans and it’s way and just sounds like the life and learning it’s chain of command who has you thinking who it is. Story goes really stagnant by this point with the story and by time book even starts to pick up the book is at 65-70% thru. And don’t really learn what anyone is to my eye. Soo I was let down to this regard and hardly any “vampires” if want to call them that.

Side character plots:

Some of side characters introduced are poops and odette who show majority of story.

These character plots some were good some not. Pippa at first seems to be a great side character and the friend to lean thru the story, and had a good character plot going but for some odd reasoning gets put way to back burner. Which don’t understand as much I felt should of been a tad more.

Odette on the other hand she is shown early and enjoyed her big time. She is wicked charm but also can handle her own. She doesn’t have as much story plot behind her but fixture thru the story line. And can hope she can get more stuff In book 2 and see how she became who she was to original story.

So overal after first part I couldn’t wait to finish the book if renee could of made the middle better I think I could of liked it more.

Plot: 3/5

Pacing: 1/5

Characters story plot: 3/5

Cover rating: 3.5/5 (I think pirates more)

Overall rating: 2.75/5

Good reads Monday

Finally back from bea/ bookcon and getting into back of things. But this week on my hole in tbr list that’s been sitting and want to read that needs attention is. A retelling. Way way back when I used to not want to read retellings since will mess up my idea of the story well let’s say geekerella and a court of thorns and roses changed that. So at the time everyone was talking this book and added it but never read. But slowly making thru this authors retellings. Author is cj redwine so her first retelling she did was

Read the rest of the worlds and they are amazing!!

Have you read this book??

What is your fav retelling

And have you ever read this author before??