It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 6/10/19

This week I’m going to finish up a book that I started yesterday, an arc that I’ve had for over a year, and some arcs that I received from the publisher.

What are you reading this week?

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Aurora Rising- Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman

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The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch:

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass tech-whiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into her squad leader, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

Nobody panic.

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Lock Every Door- Riley Sager

42368604No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story . . . until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.

Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s dark past and into the secrets kept within its walls. Her discovery that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing at the Bartholomew pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.

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A Curse So Dark and Lonely- Brigid Kemmerer

43204703Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

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The Science of Rick and Morty: The Unofficial Guide to Earth’s Stupidest Show- Matt Brady

43822486Explore the real science behind the Cartoon Network phenomenon Rick and Morty —one of television’s most irreverent, whip-smart, and darkly hilarious shows—and discover how close we are to Rick’s many experiments becoming a reality. 

Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty is one of the smartest (and most insane) shows on television. Genius alcoholic Rick Sanchez and his hapless grandson Morty have explored everything from particle physics to human augmentation and much more in their intergalactic adventures through the multiverse. With biting humor and plenty of nihilism, Rick and Morty employs cutting-edge scientific theories in every episode. But, outside of Rick’s garage laboratory, what are these theories truly about and what can they teach us about ourselves?

Blending biology, chemistry, and physics basics with accessible—and witty—prose, The Science of Rick and Morty equips you with the scientific foundation to thoroughly understand Rick’s experiments from the show, such as how we can use dark matter and energy, just what is intelligence hacking, and whether or not you can really control a cockroach’s nervous system with your tongue. Perfect for longtime and new fans of the show, this is the ultimate segue into discovering more about our complicated and fascinating universe.

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Blog Tour – By a Charm and a Curse by Jaime Questell

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Good morning, fellow book lovers! Today is a special day for two reasons. One, it’s my birthday, so hoorah! And two: I had the amazing opportunity to be a part of the By a Charm and a Curse by Jaime Questell blog tour! I wanted to share my birthday with a very wonderful read, one of my favorites of 2018, so being a part of this tour is definitely the highlight of today. I also had the chance to interview Jaime, which you can check out here.

By a Charm and a Curse is a fantastic read! So, check out the information on the book and author below, an excerpt, my review, and an awesome giveaway hosted by Entangled Teen and Jaime Questell!

Thank you Entangled Teen for the opportunity to be a part of this blog tour and for the chance to read By a Charm and a Curse early!


About By a Charm and a Curse:

CharmLe Grand’s Carnival Fantastic isn’t like other traveling circuses. It’s bound by a charm, held together by a centuries-old curse, that protects its members from ever growing older or getting hurt. Emmaline King is drawn to the circus like a moth to a flame…and unwittingly recruited into its folds by a mysterious teen boy whose kiss is as cold as ice.

Forced to travel through Texas as the new Girl in the Box, Emmaline is completely trapped. Breaking the curse seems like her only chance at freedom, but with no curse, there’s no charm, either—dooming everyone who calls the Carnival Fantastic home. Including the boy she’s afraid she’s falling for.

Everything—including his life—could end with just one kiss.

Buylinks: https://entangledpublishing.com/by-a-charm-and-a-curse.html


About Jaime Questell:

JaimeJAIME QUESTELL grew up in Houston, Texas, where she escaped the heat and humidity by diving into stacks of Baby Sitter’s Club and Sweet Valley High books. She has been a book seller (fair warning: book lovers who become book sellers will give half their paychecks right back to their employers), a professional knitter, a semi-professional baker, and now works as a graphic designer in addition to writing.

Author Links:

Author Website: jaimequestell.com

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jaimequestell/

Author Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jaimequestell

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15396319.Jaime_Questell

Newsletter: http://jaimequestell.com/events/


Excerpt from By a Charm and a Curse:

Leslie smiles at the girl with a mixture of pride and tentative hope. “It took us a few days to get Sidney set up somewhere else, and I’m sorry about that. But this wagon belongs to the occupant of the box.” Leslie strokes the side of the ladder that leads to the door. “What you’re going through is terrible, we know it is, though we can never truly understand. It’s a small comfort, but we want you to have a place that’s just your own, a place that you can use to escape.”

A weak, wobbly smile lifts the corners of the girl’s mouth as her gaze roves over the outside of the wagon, a shadow of the smile I saw the other night, when she was with her friend. I wonder what it would take to get her to smile for real.

“What about Sidney?”

“Sidney can make do.” Leslie’s smile broadens into a grin. “Have you seen the way he’s been eating? I wouldn’t be surprised to see him waddle out of the cook shack one of these mornings like Templeton the Rat.” She dangles a small copper key from the end of a length of faded red ribbon. “It’s like I said—the carnival owes the person in the box. This is the least we can do for you in return.”

The girl’s hand shakes as she reaches for the key, and she wraps her slender fingers around it tightly, as though she’s afraid of dropping it. I lose sight of her as she steps inside, and all I can do now is hope she likes the wagon.

I turn to head home and feel the sickening lurch as my foot lands in a slick patch of mud and whips out from beneath me. I throw out my arm. A flash of white-hot pain flares through my hand, but I manage to keep my footing. I step out of the mud that had nearly sent me sprawling on my ass, unsure as to how I even missed it in the first place. Then my hand begins to throb.

A gash runs diagonally across my palm. Blood wells from the wound, filling my cupped hand. The pain sets in, a deep pulsing starting in my palm and radiating up my arm. I glance over at the trailer and see a splash of red smeared along a sharp flap of metal. I must have sliced my hand on that as I tried to grab onto something to keep from slipping.

Falling on carnival grounds doesn’t happen; the charm sees to that. But my bloodied hand begs to differ.


My review: 

By a Charm and a Curse was a unique read and unlike anything I have read before. I feel like that is something very common people say a lot, but in this case, it is true. I’ve read quite a few carnival-themed books, but not once did I compare this beauty to them, and that’s because there is nothing to compare. The magical idea behind By a Charm and a Curse is wholly original and one that peaked my interest. I mean, a curse AND a charm involved in a carnival?! That’s definitely an attention grabber!

The curse, itself, is such an intriguing part of the story. I spent most of the book trying to figure out how the curse came to be and why this carnival was cursed. I was also very much captivated by the charm of the carnival. When I did find out why the curse and charm were created, I was not disappointed.

The two main characters, Emma and Ben, are what pull the story together. The dual narration gives the reader the wonderful opportunity to peek inside each character’s mind and see what it is really like to live with a cursed, yet charmed, carnival. And when things start going wrong in the carnival, the reader gets to see how Ben and Emma react to each incident.

The setting of this book was not just magical, but also captivating. I love the carnival setting and Jaime Questell does not fall short in describing the beautiful setting and landscape of each carnival night. She really goes into detail of the Girl in the Box and her role, while also giving the reader the chance to see the main attractions of the carnival. My favorite attraction was by far Gin and Whiskey’s (you’ll have to read the book to find out which attraction they performed 🙂 ). The pace of the novel was also steady and I did not get that feeling of anything being rushed.

The secondary characters—the carnival workers and performers—were fantastic and relatable and they felt so real. I felt like they were people who I would most definitely befriend. Well, I’d befriend almost all of them. There are some who are questionable and you will understand why when you read By a Charm and a Curse.  

By a Charm and a Curse is a novel I am so thankful I stumbled upon. This beautiful and intoxicating read kept me up late into the night and even had me reading some chapters when I should have been working. Everything about this book pulled to me and made me feel like I was actually there with the characters. I cannot wait to read Jaime Questell’s next work.

By a Charm and a Curse can be found at your local bookstore. I highly recommend this book!


And don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter giveaway for a By a Charm and a Curse swag pack! You can enter here

By A Charm and a Curse: An Interview with Jaime Questell

Good morning, awesome book lovers and book nerds! I hope everyone is having a wonderful week. I certainly am, and I am super excited to be hosting a wonderful author on our blog today!

I had the lucky opportunity to read an early copy of By a Charm and a Curse by Jaime Questell. It was a beautiful book about magic and love and what it takes to end a curse that protects those affected by it. I found Jaime’s debut novel to be refreshing and unique. This is definitely a book you are not going to want to miss, especially if you love carnivals and dark magic.


Here is the summary of By a Charm and a Curse, provided by Goodreads:

CharmLe Grand’s Carnival Fantastic isn’t like other traveling circuses. It’s bound by a charm, held together by a centuries-old curse, that protects its members from ever growing older or getting hurt. Emmaline King is drawn to the circus like a moth to a flame…and unwittingly recruited into its folds by a mysterious teen boy whose kiss is as cold as ice.

Forced to travel through Texas as the new Girl in the Box, Emmaline is completely trapped. Breaking the curse seems like her only chance at freedom, but with no curse, there’s no charm, either—dooming everyone who calls the Carnival Fantastic home. Including the boy she’s afraid she’s falling for. 

Everything—including his life—could end with just one kiss.

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Now doesn’t this book just sound AMAZING?! I definitely found it to be!

JaimeBut, anyway, on with the show (see what I did there)! Besides getting an early review copy of By a Charm and a Curse, I had the wonderful opportunity to interview the author of the novel, Jaime Questell. She was an absolute blast to get to know and I am very thankful to her, as well as her publicist, for letting me host her on the blog! And I find that this post is even more special because this is also my first ever interview hosted on the blog! I am super stoked for you all to get to know Jaime!

It’s time to draw the curtains aside and let the show begin!


  1. Have you always wanted to be an author? If not, what was your first dream job?

I always wanted to be a graphic designer, which is what I do now! I love it, it’s like solving puzzles with colors and shapes and text. Although, when I was younger, I was convinced I’d be a fashion designer.

  1. What was the hardest part of getting published for you?

Learning to not compare my process/reviews/expectations to my peers. It’s so hard to remember that everyone goes through struggles in the publishing industry, and just because they don’t talk about it, doesn’t mean they don’t have their own frustrations.

  1. What was your favorite part of the publishing process?

I won’t lie – I love getting ARCs. And getting to know my fellow debuts has been pretty awesome, too.

  1. Where did the inspiration come from for By a Charm and a Curse?

I had been listening to the Dresden Dolls song Coin-Operated Boy and had an image of a girl falling from a great height. That got me thinking, where did she fall from? And did she survive? What happened next? That turned into a short story, which my crit partners demanded I expand. That turned into CHARM!

  1. The curse in By a Charm and a Curse is unlike anything I’ve read! How did the idea for the curse come about?

It kind of emerged as a very warped version of the curse from Beauty and the Beast. But instead of cursing the other carnival employees and performers, I wanted to see what would happen if they benefited from the curse. How quickly would that warp them, and what would they do to keep the status quo?

(Side note: if you would like to read more about the curse, check out this post on Entangled Teen).

  1. Did you have By a Charm and a Curse mapped out before you started writing?

For the most part, I’m a huge plotter, but CHARM was just one of those things and it felt like my fingers knew what was happening almost before my brain did. It is the easiest thing I have ever written, and I hope something comes along to take that title from it!

  1. There is an array of characters in By a Charm and a Curse. Were any of those characters based on people you know?

Some have touches of people I know, and some are based on characters I like. Leslie and Lars are riffs on Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson. Gin and Whiskey have a touch of my own daughters in them. And Juliet loves food as much as I do.

  1. Who was your favorite character to write?

Whiskey has the best lines and was so much fun to write. I can’t help it – I always have a Whiskey-esque character in everything I write.

  1. Was there any specific chapter/scene you enjoyed writing the most?

I loved the scene in the gas station. It was so interesting to try to figure out what these characters, whose lives are so different from anything I’ve known, would do for fun. A gas station food fight felt very appropriate.

  1. What was it like writing in two different character perspectives?

In some ways it was harder, making sure their voices were different enough that a reader could know what chapter they were in without referencing the chapter pages, but in some ways it felt like a cheat! With two POVs, I could tell the reader things I needed them to know but that the character wouldn’t know, and it made things so much easier!

  1. If you were part of a charmed carnival, what act would you perform?

I really want to say that I’d do something graceful where I could wear a sparkly costume, like the lyra hoop, but I’m so uncoordinated. I’d probably be better off slinging cotton candy or corn dogs. 😀

  1. Were there any songs you had to listen to while writing?

Yes! Music is so helpful to me when writing. When I wrote Emma, I’d listen to this band Kitten, and when I wrote Ben, I’d listen to the Rubens. When I wanted to get the feel of the carnival, I’d listen to that Dresden Dolls song or a cover of Rock and Roll by Rasputina.

  1. As a Harry Potter fan, I have to ask: what is your Hogwarts’s House? 😊

Gryffindor! Though I think I have a touch of Slytherin, to be honest.

  1. If you could have your book turned into anything (movie, Broadway musical, dance number, etc.), what would it be?

I’d want CHARM to be one really well done season of TV. I feel like there’s more than could be fit into a movie, but not enough for multiple seasons. Though I wouldn’t say no to a movie!

  1. Any advise to writers and aspiring authors?

Self-care is so important. Whether that means taking breaks while drafting, reading to refuel your creative well, knowing when to take a step away from social media…because you can’t write when you feel like crap.

  1. Were there any books/authors that had inspiration on your work?

Too many! As I mentioned, I love Holly Black. I’m also inspired by Leigh Bardugo, Laini Taylor, Maggie Stievfater, Kelley Armstrong, Stephanie Garber, Lisa Maxwell, Zoraida Cordova…I could go on all day.

  1. What book(s) are you currently reading?

Umm, also too many! You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon; Nothing Left to Burn by Heather Ezell; and Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner. I’m also really exited to read The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert; Everless by SaraH Holland; Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke; and American Panda by Gloria Chao.


Thank you so much, Jaime, for stopping by and I had a great time getting the chance to interview you! Thank you to Entangled Teen and Jaime’s publicist for making this possible! It was an absolutely pleasure hosting you on the blog!

By a Charm and a Curse hits shelves February 6, 2018, so don’t forget to mark your calendar! If you love magic with a mix of romance, I’d definitely add By a Charm and a Curse to your Books-to-Buy list!

That’s all for today, everyone! Thank you again to the wonderful people at Entangled Teen!

♥Nikole