Stacking the Shelves #30 (2/21/2015 & 2/28/2015)

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

For Review

Timothy Other: The Boy Who Climbed Marzipan MountainInto the Deep (Into the Deep, #1)A Time of Reckoning (The Golden Key Legacy, Book IV)

Into the Deep by Lauryn April
The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
A Time of Reckoning by AJ Nuest


I put myself on a book buying ban recently, but my in-laws were kind enough to give me a Barnes and Noble gift card for Christmas and I decided to use it this week.

Cress by Marissa Meyer*
The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

*I've already read and reviewed Cress (borrowed from the Library), but I HAD to purchase it because, my blog is in the acknowledgements!! This absolutely means the world to me! I will be purchasing all of the books in the Lunar Chronicles as soon as possible. 


Author: Arwen Elys Dayton
Publication: February 10, 2015
Source: Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Summary from Goodreads: Quin Kincaid has been put through years of brutal training for what she thinks is the noble purpose of becoming a revered ‘Seeker’.
Only when it’s too late does she discover she will be using her new-found knowledge and training to become an assassin. Quin's new role will take her around the globe, from a remote estate in Scotland to a bustling, futuristic Hong Kong where the past she thought she had escaped will finally catch up with her.

Rating: êêêê

I feel like the summary for this book does not do it justice. This book was an awesome mix of sci-fi and fantasy. The story was a bit complex at first, but before I knew it, I was drawn into this book and flying through it. I like the characters, and while it's not surprising that I enjoyed Quin, Shinobu and John, I was surprised by how much I liked Maud. All of the characters are well developed, including the secondary characters.

The world building is interesting. It takes place in our world but with the other element of the Seekers. The change of location was a little strange but enjoyable. The plot moves at an OK pace, there are times when it moves quickly and times where it slows down a bit.

The writing style was a bit strange, it is told from the point of view of an omniscient narrator and each chapter focuses on a different character. The switch between Quin, Shinobu, and John was inconsistent, in that a chapter focusing on Quin, would sometimes suddenly feel like it was focused on Shinobu or John.

I still want to know more about the history of the Seekers and the families in this book. It is clear that there is going to be a sequel and I am really excited for it.

Bright Fire (Blog Tour, Review, Interview)

Author: MJ Austin
Published: January 17, 2015
Source: Author in exchange for an honest review
Summary from Goodreads: Delfia thought she was a normal girl about to turn sixteen until her adoptive parents are murdered by creatures from the underworld. Her life gets thrown into chaos as she teams up with her best friend, a strange guy, and a prophetess. She soon discovers her biological father, Hades, ordered the attack on her and her family because a prophecy names her as the one to take him down. She must first complete a set of tasks to free Persephone, her mother, from the underworld and defeat Hades. Will she be reunited with her mother or will she get sucked into the underworld?

*Book is geared towards readers that liked Percy Jackson Series, Need Series, etc.*


Who is your favorite Greek Mythology character and why?
This is a very hard one. I would say right now my favorite greek mythology character is Hephaestus. Strange I know, but I love how he was given hardships and still became someone very important. Monster wise, I would say Gorgons (Medusa) because that's what my family calls me when I wake up. HaHa!

I love Greek Mythology and find the story of Hades and Persephone to be one of the most interesting ones. What made you to choose them as Delfia's parents?
When you are trying to write a novel, your biggest asset is the 'what makes you different' factor. I saw a bunch of books with Zeus and Poseidon as parents and i thought, what about Hades? Plus I love Persephone's story and thought writing around that would be fun, and it is. 

Is Delfia's name inspired by the city of Delphi? Where does her last name come from?
Wow I didn't even think of the angle with Delphi, that would have been interesting. I actually really liked the title Bright Fire and decided to look up names that matched it. I wanted to bring something that represented both Persephone and Hades. 

Terentia means guardian is Greek, how much research went into including details like that in the story?
This I did research for that purpose. I knew there had to be greek versions of everyday american things. It took hours upon hours, but it is totally worth it. I am still researching all the time. I loved mythology in school and now that I can appreciate it even more, it is so much fun to learn. I remembered the basics, but every time I research, something else in my writing just falls into place. It's amazing. 

What is the most interesting thing you learned while researching? 
Hmm. I am an education junkie so this is hard for me to answer. The most interesting thing would probably be that Zeus was kind of a floozy. I had no idea just how many offspring the guy had. It makes it hard to correlate people into the story without screwing up facts. I know fiction is subjective, but still. 

Lyla seems like a really great best friend, how did you go about writing and developing her character?
I wrote Lyla in the image of my best friend Jen Jen. Every author pulls from their life, after all that's where most of your experience comes from. You can't write it, if you don't know it. We did actually have Binge Nights as kids. And she is one of those perky blondes everyone takes for ditzy until she wows you with a smart comment and they are put in their place.

Rating: êê

I love this unique spin on the story of Persephone and Hades. It's clear that the author did a great deal of research prior to writing this story with the way she wove together small details. The story is written from the perspective of the main character Delfia, but the voice does not sound like a 16 year old girl, it sounds more like someone pretending to be a 16 year old. Delfia is not a well developed or likable character. I had two major issues with Delfia: insta-trust and insta-love. It also felt like the author was trying to overcompensate for the insta-love by drawing attention to and having Dell say things like she doesn't want to be the girl who falls for the savior, over and over again. The most consistent character is Lyla, she seems like a great friend. The plot moves at an OK pace, but there were a couple events that didn't really make sense and felt like they were included simply to move the story forward. The climax was resolved quickly and the resolution felt too easy. Overall, the book was OK - it has an awesome concept, but there is room for improvement.

About The  Auhor
M.J. Austin is the author of the Bright Fire series and NaNoWriMo 2014 winner. She has always found the world of fantasy preferable to the real world. She channels this love of mystical worlds and creatures into her writing. She is an avid reader and proud bookworm. She has a Master's Degree in Project Management, but her true passion is writing.
When she isn't working or writing she is diving into random projects as often as possible. She lives in Tennessee with three children, husband, and three dogs.
Author Links
BlogFacebook |TwitterGoodreadsAmazon Author Page

Lauryn April's Street Team

One of the unexpected perks of being a book blogger is the ability to connect with authors. I love this aspect of book blogging and it thrills me when authors make an effort to connect with their readers. Another fun aspect is belonging to an author's street team.

Basically, a street team is a group of fans that support an author. Street team members usually share an author's work via social media and word of mouth (which is what book bloggers do anyways!). Most street teams are low commitment, meaning you participate when you can. Plus, you get to interact with other bloggers.

Lauryn April, a YA and NA author, is currently building her street team and is looking for new members. She is the author of three books and is currently working on her fourth.

Lauryn's fourth book, Unearthed After Sunset, is a NA vampire story currently scheduled for Fall 2015.

Lauryn's street team members will have access to ARCs, swag and prizes. People who join her team will also get a FREE copy of one of the three books above, just for joining! 

If you are interested in joining Lauryn's street team, visit this link to learn more and fill out this Google Form.

A Wizard Rises

A Wizard Rises

Author: AJ Nuest
Series: The Golden Key Legacy #3
Publication: January 29, 2015
Source: Netgalley
Summary from Goodreads: The homecoming celebration held in honor of Princess Faedrah is fraught with perilous frustration. Her nightmares have returned thricefold and, to her horror, a horrendous blight has spread like a plague throughout the kingdom. Compounding her worries, Rhys’ arrival in her world has been welcomed with the exact horror-filled reaction she expected. Her beloved has been cast into the dungeons, and no amount of arguing with the king and queen will prove he’s her fated love.
Magical powers were supposed to be a gift, or so Rhys McEleod had always believed. Too bad the second he landed in Faedrah’s world the legacy he inherited slammed into his body like a weight. He’s got zero control and his constant visions of Faedrah fighting an evil entity aren’t helping. At least her parents made the right decision and stuck him away someplace safe. Until he can figure out his next move, prove himself an ally and uncover the clues to stopping Faedrah’s nightmares, he’s got no choice but to wait…and learn exactly what he’s become.

Rating: êêêê


This novella picks up right where that shocking cliffhanger in novella two left us. Unfortunately, I would have like to see more action here at the beginning, don't get me wrong the novella takes a running start, I just felt like there was room for a bit more action. My favorite part about this novella is that we get to see a new level of devotion between Faedrah and Rhys. You can literally feel their relationship getting stronger. The development of Rhys as a character is really interesting. This novella feels like the middle of a book, but it should given the fact that this is a series. The novella is fast paced and thank the nine AJ included one of her staples, a steamy scene that makes you envious. The ending is perfect, leaves you wanting more and yet felt like a clean breaking point.

Gathering Frost (Book Blitz, Giveaway, + Guest Post)

Gathering Frost (Once Upon A Curse #1)
by Kaitlyn Davis
Release Date: 02/17/15
Summary from Goodreads:Will his kiss be enough to revive her frozen heart?
Once Upon A Time meets La Femme Nikita in GATHERING FROST, a dystopian romance from bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis that reimagines the classic fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty.
Jade was only a little girl when the earthquake struck. Before her eyes, half of New York City disappeared, replaced by a village that seemed torn out of a storybook. Horses and carriages. Cobblestone streets. A towering castle. And, above all, a queen with the magical ability to strip emotions away.
Ten years later and Jade has forgotten what it is to feel, to care...even to love. Working as a member of the queen's guard, she spends most of her time on the city wall staring at the crumbling skyscrapers of old New York. But everything changes when the queen's runaway son, Prince Asher, returns. Jade is tasked with an unusual mission--to let the Prince capture her, to make him trust her, and then to betray his secrets to the crown. In return, she'll earn her freedom. But life outside the queen's realm is more than Jade bargained for. Under Asher's relentless taunts, her blood begins to boil. Under his piercing gaze, her heart begins to flutter. And the more her icy soul begins to thaw, the more Jade comes to question everything she's ever known--and, more importantly, whose side she's really on.

**This is a KDP select novel. $2.99 to buy or free on Kindle Unlimited!**

Guest Post

Five Ways My Sleeping Beauty Is Way Cooler Than The One We Grew Up With!

Okay, I have to start by admitting that I am totally Disney obsessed and think each princess is absolutely perfect in her own way! I may be partial to Belle and Ariel, but Sleeping Beauty is still a Disney classic I could rewatch again and again and again!

But when updating a fairy tale, a writer is allowed to take liberties—and take liberties I did! Jade, the sleeping beauty in my novel, is completely different than the Aurora we all know and love! She's tougher, more modern, and made for a post-apocalyptic world. So here are five ways I think my princess kicks some Disney ass :)

1) She's not in a spell-induced coma during the major action! Jade's curse isn't one of actual sleep—it's her heart that is cursed. It's frozen over and she's in an emotional sleep—unable to love, but still able to kick butt during the entirety of the novel!

2) No insta-love for our prince and princess! While Aurora and the prince met once upon a dream and fell in love during their first dance in the woods, Jade and Prince Asher don't start out quite so smoothly. He puts a gun to her head, she punches him in the face, he takes her captive, she tries to escape…you know, the usual!

3) She doesn't need a prince to fight her battles! Jade can slay her own dragons, thank you very much! She's independent and a fighter, and pulls off some pretty awesome actions scenes during the course of the novel!

4) No fairy gifts of beauty or song! Jade is just a plain old human, no extra magic-induced gifts or fairy friends! She has to rely on her own strength to overcome the battle ahead!

5) Character growth takes center stage! While princess Aurora pretty much remains her kind beautiful self from start, to curse induced sleep, to finish—Jade has a tough road to overcome and she changes a lot along the way, all for the better. And those are the characters I enjoy reading about the most!

So you might be wondering now, how is Jade like sleeping beauty at all? Well, you can read Gathering Frost and find out! But I will say this—they both wish for more with their lives, they both miss their families, they both have adventurous spirits, they both fall under an evil curse, and without giving too much away, true love's kiss might be involved a little bit too :)

About The  Auhor
I've always been a writer. I grew up duct taping my novels together, started writing complete manuscripts in high school and studied creative writing at Johns Hopkins University. Upon graduating, I decided it was finally time to actually give my dream career a chance. So, of course, I started writing a young adult paranormal romance series -- and no, I'm not jumping on the bandwagon. I've been a true paranormal supporter for my entire life! I blame my obsession almost completely on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, my all-time favorite television show. And, before you ask: Yes, I own every season... even the post WB ones! I especially challenge anyone to watch the first three seasons and not fall in love with Angel, securing a lifelong love of vampires! Other culprits of my paranormal obsession are some of my favorite authors: JK Rowling, Raymond Feist, Meg Cabot, Richelle Mead, Lynne Ewing and Tamora Pierce.

Author Links:


Book Blitz Organized by:

Sword (Book Blitz + Giveaway + Interview)

Sword by Amy Bai
Publication date: February 10th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Amazon | B&N
Synopsis:Sword shall guide the hands of men . . .
For over a thousand years the kingdom of Lardan has been at peace: isolated from the world, safe from the wars of its neighbors, slowly forgetting the wild and deadly magic of its origins. Now the deepest truths of the past and the darkest predictions for the future survive only in the verses of nursery rhymes.
For over a thousand years, some of Lardan’s fractious provinces have been biding their time.
Kyali Corwynall is the daughter of the Lord General, a child of one of the royal Houses, and the court’s only sword-wielding girl. She has known for all of her sixteen years what the future holds for her–politics and duty, the management of a House, and protecting her best friend, the princess and presumed heir to the throne. But one day an old nursery rhyme begins to come true, an ancient magic wakes, and the future changes for everyone. In the space of a single night her entire life unravels into violence and chaos. Now Kyali must find a way to master the magic her people have left behind, or watch her world–and her closest friends–fall to a war older than the kingdom itself.


What is your novel about?

Sword is a coming of age high fantasy about a girl pretty much at odds with everything, including and especially herself. It's set in a fictional kingdom called Lardan, one with a long history of magic and war, and a population so complacent they've forgotten that either one ever applied to them. They learn differently when history begins to repeat itself: there's an uprising, the kingdom is thrown into civil war, and the royal family, of which my main character Kyali is a satellite member, is murdered. Kyali, her brother, and the princess are forced into exile with a small army of refugees. Kyali was badly hurt during the uprising, and comes out of that a changed person; unfortunately for her she's now the only person with the training to command what is left of the army, and her friends need her.

Sword is her story, how she learns to deal with what happened to her without shutting out the people she loves, and with the responsibilities she has to shoulder now that the older generation is dead and the kingdom is overrun. It's about loyalty and love, fate and family and politics. It's also violent, occasionally sarcastic, and unabashedly sappy.

What inspired you to write the story?

I had a very sullen young woman with a battered old sword and no patience kicking my frontal lobe. As motivators go, it was a pretty good one.

--Ok, so that's a little dramatic, but really not too far from the truth (except the part about the frontal lobe, of course). Kyali Corwynall started out as a patchwork of some of my favorite characters from books like Robin McKinley's The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown, and Patricia McKillip's Cygnet, going all the way back to Barbara Helen Berger's Gwinna, which I read when I was seven. My brain is like cosmic flypaper: the stuff I like (or hate) sticks, accumulates, eventually acquires a gravitational field, and before I know it light's bending around it and I'm up at 3 am mainlining coffee and my keyboard's broken. Sword was like that. One day I had scattered pieces, and the next I had a character with layers, flaws, goals, scars, and a complicated history. Stories always start that way for me, no matter how cool my premise may be (or how cool I may think it is, anyway) --my characters inspire and drive it, start to finish.

Since your novel is medieval-influenced, can you tell us a bit about your researching journey?

Wow. How I'd love to give you a list of planned, organized steps I took. It would make me feel so much smarter!

But no. I stumbled into the research for Sword much like I did the story itself. I think my research began the moment I realized I had no idea how heavy a sword really was, or how hard it might be to wear armor and, you know, walk at the same time. I remember thinking writing fantasy would be easy (yes, feel free to laugh at me). It didn't take long before I realized it was very, very obvious when I didn't know what I was talking about. So I went from looking up Irish baby names online to running to the library after work to find the Focloir Scoile or The Book of the Sword. I eventually learned to restrain myself, because research can be a wonderful excuse for not writing when you're stuck-- but overall, it was great fun.

What's your best revision tip?

Remember basic dramatic structure when you're reading your draft(s). It definitely doesn't always apply, and definitely shouldn't always apply, but I've found it can be a great lens: I can look at the whole story, each subplot and character arc, each chapter, and each scene with that structure in mind, and I'll always find something to tweak. Or mangle. Or outright kill.

...Revision is a slightly violent process for me.

About The  Auhor 
Amy Bai has been, by order of neither chronology nor preference, a barista, a numbers-cruncher, a paper-pusher, and a farmhand. She likes thunderstorms, the enthusiasm of dogs, tall boots and long jackets, cinnamon basil, margaritas, and being surprised by the weirdness of her fellow humans. She lives in New England with her guitar-playing Russian husband and two very goofy sheepdogs.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Individual Blog Giveaway

The Rules:
Open Internationally
Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to reply before an alternate winner is picked
All entries must be made via Rafflecopter and are subject to verification
Follow the Yellow Book Road is not responsible for prizes that are lost or damaged in the mail

Blitz-Wide Giveaway

The Donor

The Donor, Parts 1-3

Author: Nikki Rae
Parts 1 - 3
Published: October 30th, 2014
Source: Netgalley
Summary from Goodreads: Casey Williams and her family are poor. Her parents work non-stop and so does she, just so they can keep the trailer roof from leaking. They’re getting by fine enough when the headaches start. Then there’s the nosebleeds. And the inevitable doctor’s bills.
Fortunately for Casey, there’s an exclusive, quick, and almost easy way to pay it all back before her parents even have to know.
All she has to do is give a man she’s never met whatever he wants from her body.
Inside or out.

Rating: êê

The first words that come to mind for this book are: lacking, undeveloped, and draft. From the summary, I knew that this book would be dark, but for subject matter so dark the book failed to give depth. The world building is poor <spoiler> the paranormal element took me by surprise and felt underdeveloped, like it was thrown in as a filler. <end spoiler> The characters fell flat for me; it was impossible to sympathize with them and their situations. The attempt at romance does not work, it's unbelievable.  The writing style, shifting between past and present, didn't work for me. It felt jolted and made it difficult to keep track. Ultimately, I think this book is too short for what the author was trying to do - it needs to be at least twice as long with several revisions.

Top Ten Tuesday #20 (2/3/2015)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at The Broke and Bookish, and this week's Top Ten is Top Ten YA Fantasy Books I can't Believe I Haven't Read.

YA Fantasy is my favorite genre, I just can't seem to get enough and this list proves that I still have so much to read!

Scarlet (Scarlet, #1)Poison Study (Study, #1)Seraphina (Seraphina, #1)
Scarlet by AC Gaughen
Poison Study by Maria Snyder
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1)Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1)City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)The Demon King (Seven Realms, #1)Born of Illusion (Born of Illusion, #1)
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
Born of Illusion by Teri Brown

Ruin and Rising

Ruin and Rising (The Grisha, #3)

Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha #3
Publication: June 17, 2014
Source: Purchased
Summary from Goodreads: The capital has fallen.The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.
Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.
Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.
Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

Rating: êêêêê

This about sums it up: 

OK, so I guess I should actually write a review.

This book took me by surprise. The layers and details that were beginning to weave together in book 2, combine beautifully. This book kept me on my toes; just when I thought I knew the direction that the book was heading, there would be a twist, and then it would happen again. The writing was excellent and the plot moved at an exceptional pace. The action was intense. I loved the ending, it was heart wrenching and crushed me at first, but as I continued to read and finished the epilogue, a feeling of rightness settled over me. The series feels complete and left me satisfied.

February 2015 Book Blog BINGO Link-Up

Welcome to the February Review and Progress Link-Up for the 2015 Book Blog BINGO Challenge. Before linking up, make sure you signed up for the challenge. Don't forget, you can update or change your goal at any time!

My Goal
A Double BINGO (2 traditional BINGOs in any direction)

My Progress

A book that takes place in a school: The School for Good and Evil
A book purchased in 2014: Shadow and Bone
The second book in a series: Siege and Storm
A book with magic or paranormal characters: Ruin and Rising

How is your challenge going? Share in the comments and link up your reviews here

Don't forget to enter my Blogoversary Giveaway!
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