*Blog Tour + Giveaway: The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen

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Title: The Merciful Crow (The Merciful Crow #1)

Author: Margaret Owens

Publisher: Henry Holt

Release Date: July 30th 2019

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis:

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  |  KOBO |

GOOGLE BOOKS  |  iTUNES

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Author Information

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.)

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

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My Review

“Fie remembered the first time she’d held Phoenix fire. She hadn’t wanted to burn the world down; she’d wanted the world to know she could.”

The Merciful Crow is one of those YA dark fantasy books that you will remember. This book brings the fantasy genre to new heights, with incredible world building and memorable characters and with a romance that sparks right off the page. The Merciful Crow is easily one of my top reads of 2019.

Fie is part of the lowest caste in her world, known as Crow. She is a Crow-witch in training, someone with the ability to use magic of the other castes from their teeth. This world is built on a caste system, with each caste level named after a type of bird. The teeth from each caste give Fie the ability to use different types of magic. The higher caste levels have a birthright (which Crow does not) and everyone treats the Crows as if they’re not humans and don’t deserve to breathe the same air as them. The whole caste system was intriguing and it was sad, yet eye-opening, to see how Crows are treated.

Fie is thrown together with a prince and his attractive Hawk bodyguard when her father can no longer oversee the Oath sworn with the Phoenix prince. Now on the run from Vultures and others wanting to kill them, Fie must safely guide the prince to his allies. And on this journey, she starts to figure out exactly who she wants to be and what it means to be a Crow Chief and to follow your destiny.

“Look after your own. Crows had one rule. And she had to be a Crow Chief.”

Fie is an overall relatable character. One of the best things about The Merciful Crow is how Fie is captured between the words of the story. She’s just like anyone else in the world: she has wants that she can’t put before her own family because they don’t necessarily do anything for the needs of her crew. She’s also fiercely loyal to her family. My favorite thing about Fie, though, was her boldness. She easily speaks her mind and, though she is quite stubborn, her boldness creates a fun experience for the reader.

And then there’s the secondary characters, who Margaret Owen brings to life through the pages and gives all the characters the scenes they need for the readers to understand just who each character is and what their need in the story is. And that romance…WOAH. Margaret Owen sure knows how to write a blossoming romance. It was passionate and slow-burning and everything I look for in a romance. It’s honestly one of the best romances I’ve read in a while.

“I can do something better with my life than die.”

Margaret Owen is a talented storyteller who easily weaves together beautiful descriptive scenes and wholly original characters. The writing is different and unique from most YA fantasy books I’ve read, but I loved that. The writing has its own voice and, dang, is that voice captivating. I could not put this book down and when I had to, I could not get the story out of my head. And I’m not fully prepared to wait for the sequel because July 2020 is far away and my heart needs the sequel now.

The Merciful Crow captured my attention from the first line and refused to let go. It’s honestly difficult to put my love for this book into words because I don’t quite know the right words to say to do this book justice. The Merciful Crow was just so unique and fantastical and an overall mesmerizing story. It’s complex and engrossing and a fast-paced read. I will forever recommend this book.

If you’re looking for a dark and enthralling fantasy with captivating characters and solid writing and world building, then I highly recommend The Merciful Crow.

My overall review: 5 out of 5 stars

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Tour Schedule

Check out the other amazing bloggers on The Merciful Crow tour!tour banner (7)

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Giveaway

Prize: Win a final copy of The Merciful Crow + a book-themed make-up bag (US/CAN Only)

Starts: July 30th 2019

Ends: August 13th 2019

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

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*Cover Reveal* Of Salt & Stars- Seven Jane

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Click on the image above to see Jean Book Nerds Nerd Blast for Of Salt and Stars

Of Salt and Stars
By Seven Jane
Series: Havenwood Falls 
Genre: Dark fantasy
Release Date: May 24, 2019
Publisher: Ang’dora Productions

ABOUT HAVENWOOD FALLS
The Havenwood Falls Collective is the group of award-winning and USA Today bestselling authors writing in the Havenwood Falls shared world, a universe that includes four series in the paranormal fantasy genre. Our authors have been featured in USA Today, on Good Morning America, and in the Emmy’s Gifting Suite. Discover more about the Havenwood Falls world and see the full book list at www.HavenwoodFalls.com.Welcome to the secluded mountain town of Havenwood Falls, home to sexy men, strong women, and neighbors who bite. Discover supernatural mystery, thrills, and romance in a place where everyone has a deep, dark, and often deadly secret.

This is a stand-alone dark fantasy tale in the Havenwood Falls shared world. Havenwood Falls is a collaborative effort by multiple authors across multiple series all in the paranormal fantasy genre, allowing readers to discover new authors and stories to fall in love with. Each author brings a stand-alone plotline, so they can be read in any order.

You might also enjoy these Havenwood Falls books:

  • Forget You Not by Kristie Cook
  • Covetousness by Randi Cooley Wilson
  • Ink & Fire by R.K. Ryals
  • Nowhere to Hide by Belinda Boring
  • The Lurkers Within by Danielle Bannister

Books are released on a monthly basis.

Look for Havenwood Falls High, a Young Adult series; Legends of Havenwood Falls, a historical fantasy series; and Havenwood Falls Sin & Silk, the darker, sexier side of town.

Immerse yourself in the world of Havenwood Falls and stay up to date on news and announcements at www.HavenwoodFalls.com. Join our reader group, Havenwood Falls Book Club, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/HavenwoodFallsBookClub/

SYNOPSIS

Two women, one love, and a curse lurking in deep, dark waters

For as long as she can remember, Maris Heilen has been haunted by dreams of a beautiful woman beckoning to her from beneath the water. These dreams have been Maris’s only constant. She’s lived her life like a leaf caught in the rushing tide: no rules, no commitments, and no long-term lovers, either—just a string of broken hearts that have tried to anchor her unwilling heart to the earth. When her dreams take on a new sense of urgency following the mysterious death of her estranged father, Maris knows it’s time to uproot and keep moving, her soul pulled to the west, toward the water—toward her.

Instead, Maris finds herself drawn to a surreal little town high in the Colorado mountains, where she begins to believe her dream might be much closer to reality than she’d ever imagined. When she discovers her past is linked to a legend even more haunting than her dreams—and that the woman in them is not only real but in danger of being lost to an unfathomable darkness—Maris resolves to outshine the evil that has crept into a small corner of a forgotten forest in Havenwood Falls.

Giveaway!

– Winner will receive the Ultimate Havenwood Falls Swag (Mug, Tote, and Key Chain) 
– Winner will receive an E-Copy of THE ISLE OF GOLD and OF SALT AND STARS by Seven Jane.
Click on the image below to enter. Good luck!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Seven Jane is an author of dark fantasy and speculative fiction. Her debut novel, The Isle of Gold, was published by Black Spot Books in October 2018.

Seven is a member of The Author’s Guild and Women’s Fiction Writing Association. She writes a weekly column for WFWA‘s Industry News newsletter, and is a regular contributor to The Nerd Daily.

She is represented by Gandolfo Helin & Fountain Literary Management and supported by Smith Publicity.

 
PHOTO CONTENT FROM SEVEN JANE

WEBSITE: http://www.sevenjane.com/
TWITTER:
 @sevenjanewrites
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18030363.Seven_Jane
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/sevenjanewrites
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/sevenjanewrites/

Click on the image below to check out more about this blast and upcoming blog tours.

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*Blog Tour, Review, and Q&A* What the Woods Keep by Katya de Becerra

Thank you to Tale Out Loud for having A Court of Coffee and Books on this blog tour! I absolutely loved this book and I’m glad I am able to be part of this!

What the Woods Keep US CoverTITLE: What the Woods Keep

AUTHOR: Katya de Becerra

PUBLISH DATE: September 18th, 2018

PUBLISHER: Imprint/Macmillan

GENRE: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dark Fantasy

SYNOPSIS:

What the Woods Keep is the stunning debut of Katya de Becerra, who combines mystery, science fiction, and dark fantasy in a twisty story that will keep you mesmerized right up to the final page.

On her eighteenth birthday, Hayden inherits her childhood home―on the condition that she uncover its dark secrets.

Hayden tried to put the past behind her, and it worked. She’s getting ready for college, living in a Brooklyn apartment, and hanging out with her best friend and roommate Del. But now it’s all catching up with her: her mother’s mysterious disappearance a decade before, her father’s outlandish theories about a lost supernatural race, and Hayden’s own dark dreams of strange symbols and rituals in the Colorado woods where she grew up.

As soon as Hayden arrives at her hometown, her friend Del in tow, it begins: Neighbors whisper secrets about Hayden’s mother; the boy next door is now all grown-up in a very distracting way; and Hayden feels the trees calling to her. And among them, deep in the woods, Hayden will discover something incredible―something that threatens reality itself.

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Pre-Order Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1250124255?tag=macmillan-20

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-the-woods-keep-katya-de-becerra/1128980012?ean=9781250124258#/

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/What-Woods-Keep-Katya-De-Becerra/9781250124258

Books-A-Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/product/9781250124258

Indiebound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781250124258 

Author Information:

Katya de Beccera Author Photo (2)Katya de Becerra was born in Russia, studied in California, lived in Peru, and then stayed in Australia long enough to become a local. She was going to be an Egyptologist when she grew up, but instead she earned a PhD in Anthropology. What the Woods Keep is her first novel.

Author website: http://katyabecerra.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15140719.Katya_de_Becerra

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KatyaDeBecerra

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/katyadebecerra/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katyadebecerra/


My Review:

“There are terrible forces hiding in this town, in these woods, that we don’t understand and that are dangerous.”

This wonderfully dark atmospheric novel will keep you fixated on the world and Hayden’s journey. What the Woods Keep is an eerie novel that will make you question the daily noises you hear and the things you see and quite possibly your own sanity. This book gives a new meaning to uncanny and the obscure. I was pleasantly hooked to this haunting tale.

What the Woods Keep bends mystery, paranormal, and fantasy. It does so in wonderful fashion, equally sufficing all genres in one book. There’s also the sense of an unknown horror. I’m one of those people that loves the horror genre, along with all the genres listed above. I don’t read a lot of horror, but when I do, I’m usually engrossed in the novel or bored because I know how everything will play out. What the Woods Keep was in no way boring or predictable, but rather an edgy new addition to the YA genre.

The book starts off with the reader meeting Hayden, the main protagonist, and learning surprising aspects about her life, the main one being that her mom died in a rather suspicious way. Hayden finds out on her eighteenth birthday that she has inherited her old house, a Manor in Promise, Colorado, based on her Mom’s will. However, her Mom leaves her a set of cryptic conditions:

“My first condition is that Hayden goes to the Manor and looks for the gifts I left her. They’ll call to her. She needs to listen with her blood.

“My second condition is that Hayden uses my gifts to destroy my darkest secret – my hidden treasure, my heaviest burden.

My third and final condition is that Hayden trusts no one where my treasure is concerned, especially the ravens.”

Cryptic yet intriguing messages, all that immediately pique Hayden’s (and the reader’s) interest. From there, Hayden and her best friend, Del, take a trip to Promise, Colorado, hoping to find answers not just about her Mom, but also Hayden’s upbringing and why her own Father wants her to never return to Promise (and also to see Shannon, an old — and very good-looking — childhood friend).

“It’s springtime, but Promise seems frozen in an eternal fall, its spirit crushed by rain and wind. It’s wet and miserable, and yet this place feels right to me. As if, despite it being inhospitable and damp and glum, it wants me here — and I belong.”

Hayden knows there is something unusual going on in her old hometown, but she can’t quite pinpoint it. People stare at her as if they’ve seen a ghost. There’s a research facility collecting blood NOT for a traditional blood drive. And then there’s a few members of the town that have been waiting for Hayden’s arrival for quite some time. And even though a lot of red flags go off in Hayden’s head, she is determined to uncover her Mom’s death and buried secrets. She never once thought the paranormal beings, Nibelungs, would be linked to her Mom, nor to her, especially when she believes scientific theories can explain everything.

“For the first time I truly wonder if all of it — my recurring dream about the shadowy army, Mom’s clues, and Dad’s crackpot science — point toward an impossible truth.”

The atmosphere in this book is astounding and unlike most fictional towns. As the reader, you know something is just off when the town is first introduced. The only issue: you don’t know what. But the mysterious townsfolk and luring woods will draw you in and keep you guessing. Just how does everything connect? And how does Hayden and her Mom fit into all of this?

I was overall happy with this book. The ending was a little fast, but the book itself is a tantalizing read. Katya de Becerra weaves beautiful and breathtaking writing to bring to life this haunting and eerie read. With strong characters, mystery, and an undeniable pull to the world, you won’t want to put this book down.

What the Woods Keep hits shelves next Tuesday, September 18! Pre-order now and check out the cool pre-order campaign!

Thank you to the publisher and Tale Out Loud for the advanced e-copy in exchange for an honest review! Any quotes used are from the advanced e-copy and may not be in the final publication. 

My rating: 4.5 stars out of five stars

Read on for my wonderful interview with the author of What the Woods Keep, Kayta de Becerra!


Q&A with Katya de Becerra

Thank you so much, Katya, for stopping by on A Court of Coffee and Books! We are so excited to have you!

The idea for your novel is unique and very intriguing. Did you have to do any research for your novel? If so, were there any interesting facts you stumbled upon?

Thank you! I’m a total mythology buff, so it’s no surprise at all that my debut novel is mythology focused. Aside from myths, I researched physics and psychology to make the science in What The Woods Keep as realistic as possible (though it is still science fiction, emphasis on fiction!). In terms of interesting facts… The Dyatlov Pass Incident is perhaps the strangest. It remains the kind of enduring mystery that several generations of people obsess over. I actually learned about Dyatlov Pass from my mom! I thought she was describing something fictional to me until I looked it up myself and learned all the facts. I just knew then, it had to be in my book in some way!

What character would you want to be stranded on an island with?

From my book or any other? If former, then with Del (the bestie of Hayden, who is the protagonist of What The Woods Keep), because of her optimism and ingenuity. If latter, then Katniss Everdeen, because if anyone can find a way to save herself from a deserted island (I’m assuming it’s deserted?), it’s Katniss – and maybe I can tag along.

What is a quirky or unique habit you have?

It’s more a rule, but let’s cheat and call it a habit. No caffeine after 12pm. Or I won’t sleep at night. At all.

Of course I have to ask: what Hogwarts house would each of your main characters fall in?

Hayden thinks she’s Ravenclaw but probably more of a Hufflepuff. Del is definitely a Gryffindor, through and through. And Shannon is Hufflepuff disguised as Slytherin.

If you could have coffee or tea with any author (even if they have to be brought back from the dead), who would it be and why?

Leigh Bargudo, because she’s awesome.

If you could have your book made into anything (Broadway musical, TV show, movie, ballet dance, soap opera, etc.), which would you choose and why?

Probably a movie, the moody psychological maybe-horror kind. But ballet would be super awesome too, now that you’ve mentioned it.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Write what’s important to you. Don’t pay much attention to trends. Read a lot. Only accept critic/feedback from people you know and trust.


Don’t forget to enter the What the Woods Keep Giveaway!


Want to see the other blog stops on this tour? Check them out below!

What the Woods Keep Blog Tour Schedule