It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 10/14/19

This week is going to be a tiny book week. Netflix had me hooked this weekend.

What are you reading?

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The Vine Witch- Luanne G. Smith

43236277A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy of betrayal, vengeance, and self-discovery set in turn-of-the-century France.

For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley. Then the skill of divining harvests fell into ruin when sorcière Elena Boureanu was blindsided by a curse. Now, after breaking the spell that confined her to the shallows of a marshland and weakened her magic, Elena is struggling to return to her former life. And the vineyard she was destined to inherit is now in the possession of a handsome stranger.

Vigneron Jean-Paul Martel naively favors science over superstition, and he certainly doesn’t endorse the locals’ belief in witches. But Elena knows a hex when she sees one, and the vineyard is covered in them. To stay on and help the vines recover, she’ll have to hide her true identity, along with her plans for revenge against whoever stole seven winters of her life. And she won’t rest until she can defy the evil powers that are still a threat to herself, Jean-Paul, and the ancient vine-witch legacy in the rolling hills of the Chanceaux Valley.

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Resurrection Girls- Ava Morgyn

44174348Olivia Foster hasn’t felt alive since her little brother drowned in the backyard pool three years ago. Then Kara Hallas moves in across the street with her mother and grandmother, and Olivia is immediately drawn to these three generations of women. Kara is particularly intoxicating, so much so that Olivia not only comes to accept Kara’s morbid habit of writing to men on death row, she helps her do it. They sign their letters as the Resurrection Girls.

But as Kara’s friendship pulls Olivia out of the dark fog she’s been living in, Olivia realizes that a different kind of darkness taints the otherwise lively Hallas women—an impulse that is strange, magical, and possibly deadly.

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*ARC Review* In the Hall with the Knife by Diana Peterfreund

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Title: In the Hall with the Knife

Author: Diana Peterfreund

Publisher: Amulet Books

Release Date: October 8, 2019

Page Count: 304 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller

Summary:

A murderer could be around every corner in this thrilling YA trilogy based on the board game CLUE! 

When a storm strikes at Blackbrook Academy, an elite prep school nestled in the woods of Maine, a motley crew of students—including Beth “Peacock” Picach, Orchid McKee, Vaughn Green, Sam “Mustard” Maestor, Finn Plum, and Scarlet Mistry—are left stranded on campus with their headmaster. Hours later, his body is found in the conservatory and it’s very clear his death was no accident. With this group of students who are all hiding something, nothing is as it seems, and everyone has a motive for murder. Fans of the CLUE board game and cult classic film will delight in Diana Peterfreund’s modern reimagining of the brand, its characters, and the dark, magnificent old mansion with secrets hidden within its walls.

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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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My Review

In the Hall with the Knife is a Clue mystery fans will love filled with thrilling dialogue and intrigue. This first book is loaded with Easter eggs from the original movie and game and multiple mysteries outside of a murder. This book is not just about solving a murder: it’s also about determining who everyone can trust when everyone has something to hide.

I thought Peterfreund did a great job staying true to the movie and boardgame while also adding her own personal twists to the story. You get the original characters but here’s a twist: they’re teenagers at an elite boarding school who have to solve a murder with no real murder solving skills. But that easily proves difficult when all of them start to suspect one another. Orchid has a potentially deadly past she’s trying to keep buried. Peacock has a secret that could ruin her life and career. Vaughn is living a double life – and no one suspects that he is. Mustard just transferred to this boarding school with a reason he’s not quite ready to reveal. Plum is the golden boy, but being the golden boy comes at a cost. And Scarlet will do anything to succeed at this school – even go to drastic means to come out on top. And then someone turns up dead – someone that each of them has a motive for murdering. But the question is – who really murdered someone?

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One of my favorite aspects about this book is how Peterfreund revealed something about each character in each of their chapters. Each chapter is a different perspective, and every time something is revealed about that specific character. Some of the secrets I guessed but some I did not see coming. But I thought it was brilliant to reveal a secret in each chapter (and not all of them were outright revealed, some you had to read between the lines or put two and two together). It’s like tiny puzzle pieces fitting together over the length of this novel to create an almost complete puzzle. And with how the story ends, I’m suspecting even more character secrets will be revealed in the next book.

There are multiple point of views, as each of the main Clue characters has a voice, but I thought the chapters and voices really flowed well together. Though there isn’t quite a ton of romance, this first book sets the stage for potential romances between some characters in the next two books (and I’m rooting for two in particular!). It was great to see the characters start to rely on one another and trust their instincts and also develop some key life skills that they wouldn’t be able to learn in a classroom.

Overall, I thought this was a great book perfect for mystery genre fans and teens that are looking for a way to experience a classic board game in a new way. The killer was slightly easy to guess, but I still thought this was a fun and thrilling mystery read and I cannot wait to read the sequel. In the Hall with the Knife comes out next Tuesday, but you can preorder this fun book now!

My rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars

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*Saturday Spotlight* Fireborne by Rosaria Munda

Fireborne

Title: Fireborne

Author: Rosaria Munda

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Release Date: October 15, 2019

Page Count: 448 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dragons

Summary:

Game of Thrones meets Red Rising in a debut young adult fantasy that’s full of rivalry, romance… and dragons.

Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone—even the lowborn—a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders.

Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn’t be more different. Annie’s lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee’s aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet.

But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city.

With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he’s come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves . . . or step up to be the champion her city needs.

From debut author Rosaria Munda comes a gripping adventure that calls into question which matters most: the family you were born into, or the one you’ve chosen.

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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

Rosaria

Rosaria grew up in rural North Carolina, where she climbed trees, read Harry Potter fanfiction, and taught herself Latin. She studied political theory at Princeton and lives in Chicago with her husband and cat.

For book recs and updates, follow her on instagram: @rosariamunda

(Bio and photo provided from Goodreads)

*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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*Blog Tour + Giveaway* Glow of the Fireflies by Lindsey Duga

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Title: Glow of the Fireflies

Author: Lindsey Duga

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Release Date: October 1st 2019

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis:

Briony never planned to go back to the place she lost everything.

Firefly Valley, nestled deep within the Smoky Mountains, is better kept in her past. After an unexplained fire gave Briony amnesia, her mother disappeared and her dad moved them to Knoxville.

But now her grandmother needs a caretaker and Briony’s dad volunteers her to help. The moment she returns, her whole world shifts. She feels a magical connection to this valley, as if it’s literally part of her somehow.

And when she meets a hot guy who claims he was her childhood friend but now mysteriously keeps his distance, Briony starts piecing together her missing past…and discovers her mother didn’t leave to start a new life somewhere. She’s trapped in the hidden world within the valley.

Now, Briony will do whatever it takes to rescue her, even if it means standing up against dangerously powerful nature spirits. Even if it means giving up her first love.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 

iTunes | Kobo | Google Books 

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Author Information

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Lindsey Duga is a middle grade and young adult writer with a passion for fantasy, science fiction, and basically any genre that takes you away from the real world. She wrote her first novel in college while she was getting her bachelor’s in Mass Communication from Louisiana State University.

Other than writing and cuddling with her morkie puppy, Delphi, Lindsey loves catching up on the latest superhero TV show and practicing yoga.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram 

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My Review

Glow of the Fireflies is a fast-paced and character driven story. Briony wants to uncover the childhood she can no longer remember and also figure out why her mother left her and her father.

“Falling through the mist, I expected to feel wet, or at the very least, damp, but I stayed dry. I also expected to die.”

Briony is a strong and determined main character, especially after she goes back home to take care of her estranged grandmother and stumbles upon an impossible magic valley. A magical valley she feels deeply connected to. I really enjoyed watching her develop throughout this story; as she pieced her past together, she discovered a new part about herself, which really came full circle for her as a person. She knew there was always a part missing from her and that it was hidden in her past, so seeing Briony discover that was great.

One of my favorite parts of Glow of the Fireflies was the magical valley. I thought it was unique and wonderfully described. I knew that the valley would be a place I would definitely have to visit, if I could. The nature spirits in this valley were really cool; the imagination flowed off the pages and made me feel like this valley and the stunning spirits could really exist, and it makes me wish I had the ability to visit them. But I did feel like I was visiting the valley through Briony and Alder, which was a great reader experience.

“Maybe he was more like heat lightning. A storm off in the distance, where the thunder was too far to hear and the summer lightning would flash against high clouds on the horizon, illuminating the sky. He had all the mystery and wonder of a storm, but none of its destruction.”

Alder was such a great character. He’s thoughtful, protective, loving, and, of course, gorgeous. He was Briony’s closest childhood friend but now keeps his distance for unknown reasons. Alder was definitely part of some of my favorite scenes, especially when little pieces about who (and what) he is comes together. The connection between Briony and Alder felt natural and I really loved their shared moments

“It shouldn’t have hurt as bad as it had. Had I even loved her yet? Maybe not then, but I’d trusted her. Trusted her to be there for me, to help me navigate a world without memories, without a past. Without an identity. And she’d failed me.”

The relationship between Briony and her mom is fragile and almost nonexistent. Briony believes her mom left her behind to start a new life. But as Briony explores this magical valley with Alder, she comes across shocking and alarming news: her mom never wanted to leave her behind, but had to to keep her safe. And if Briony wants her mom back, she will have to go against gods and guardians to retrieve her spirit and body. But, of course, nothing is ever that easy. In order to save her mom, Briony will have to piece her past together and finally accept the person she has always been.

Overall, Lindsey Duga’s sophmore novel was beautiful and well-written. Duga does a great job of capturing character moments and describing intense and romantic scenes. If you like fast-paced books with a captivating fantasy element and dashing characters, then I recommend reading Glow of the Fireflies!

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Tour Schedule

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

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Giveaway

PRIZES:

Gold Prize (Grand Prize- US only)
Annotated Book
Amazon Gift Card $25
Commissioned Art Print
Catching Fireflies Soy Candle
Fireflies Key Chain

Two Silver Prizes (Runner-Up Prizes-US only)
Annotated Book
Amazon Gift Card $10

Commissioned Art Print (plus various swag)

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

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*Saturday Spotlight* Tarnished Are The Stars by Rosiee Thor

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Title: Tarnished Are the Stars

Author: Rosiee Thor

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: October 15, 2019

Page Count: 384 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, LGBT

Summary:

The Lunar Chronicles meets Rook in this queer #OwnVoices science-fantasy novel, perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer and Sharon Cameron.

A secret beats inside Anna Thatcher’s chest: an illegal clockwork heart. Anna works cog by cog — donning the moniker Technician — to supply black market medical technology to the sick and injured, against the Commissioner’s tyrannical laws.

Nathaniel Fremont, the Commissioner’s son, has never had to fear the law. Determined to earn his father’s respect, Nathaniel sets out to capture the Technician. But the more he learns about the outlaw, the more he questions whether his father’s elusive affection is worth chasing at all.

Their game of cat and mouse takes an abrupt turn when Eliza, a skilled assassin and spy, arrives. Her mission is to learn the Commissioner’s secrets at any cost — even if it means betraying her own heart.

When these uneasy allies discover the most dangerous secret of all, they must work together despite their differences and put an end to a deadly epidemic — before the Commissioner ends them first.

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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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Preorder Giveaway

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

Everyone who preorders Tarnished Are the Stars will receive the following:

  • TATS Bookmark (US Only)
  • One full set of double-sided printed character cards (US Only)
  • High-res digital character cards (US and International)
  • Deleted scene (US and International)

This preorder giveaway is open until October 15, 2019.

Does this preorder giveaway accept library requests? Yes!

Is this preorder international: Yes!

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 About the Author

Rosiee Thor

Rosiee Thor began her career as a storyteller by demanding that her mother listen as Rosiee told bedtime stories instead of the other way around. She lives in Oregon with a dog, two cats, and four complete sets of Harry Potter, which she loves so much, she once moved her mattress into the closet and slept there until she came out as queer. (Bio and photo provided from Goodreads)

*Saturday Spotlight* Crier’s War by Nina Varela

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Title: Crier’s War

Author: Nina Varela

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: October 1, 2019

Page Count: 448 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT

Summary:

After the War of Kinds ravaged the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, designed to be the playthings of royals, usurped their owners’ estates and bent the human race to their will.

Now Ayla, a human servant rising in the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging her family’s death…by killing the sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier.

Crier was Made to be beautiful, flawless, and to carry on her father’s legacy. But that was before her betrothal to the enigmatic Scyre Kinok, before she discovered her father isn’t the benevolent king she once admired, and most importantly, before she met Ayla.

Now, with growing human unrest across the land, pressures from a foreign queen, and an evil new leader on the rise, Crier and Ayla find there may be only one path to love: war.

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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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Preorder Giveaway

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

Everyone who preorders Crier’s War will receive the following: exclusive special coded letter with wax seal, exclusive Automa drawing, and a signed bookplate from the author. This preorder giveaway is open until October 1, 2019.

Does this preorder giveaway accept library requests? No

Is this preorder international: Yes!

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 About the Author

Nina

Nina Varela is a nationally awarded writer of screenplays and short fiction. She was born in New Orleans and raised on a hippie commune in Durham, North Carolina, where she spent most of her childhood playing in the Eno River, building faerie houses from moss and bark, and running barefoot through the woods. These days, Nina lives in Los Angeles with her writing partner and their tiny, ill-behaved dog. She tends to write stories about hard-won love and young people toppling the monarchy/patriarchy/whatever-archy. On a related note, she’s queer. On a less related note, she has strong feelings about hushpuppies and loves a good jambalaya. CRIER’S WAR is her first novel.

You can find Nina at any given coffee shop in the greater Los Angeles area, or at www.ninavarela.com. (Bio and photo provided from Goodreads)