Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves:Review

About the Book:

Title: Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves 

Author: Meg Long

Publisher: Wednesday Books 

Release Date: January 11, 2022

Pages: 368

Genre: YA Sci-Fi, YA Fantasy, YA Dystopian 

Synopsis:

After angering a local gangster, seventeen-year-old Sena Korhosen must flee with her prize fighting wolf, Iska, in tow. A team of scientists offer to pay her way off her frozen planet on one condition: she gets them to the finish line of the planet’s infamous sled race. Though Sena always swore she’d never race after it claimed both her mothers’ lives, it’s now her only option.71MEgT4MabL

But the tundra is a treacherous place, and as the race unfolds and their lives are threatened at every turn, Sena starts to question her own abilities. She must discover whether she’s strong enough to survive the wild – whether she and Iska together are strong enough to get them all out alive.

A captivating debut about survival, found family, and the bond between a girl and a wolf that delivers a fresh twist on classic survival stories and frontier myths. 

 

 

 

 

Review:

4

*I received an e-arc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

A solid debut from Meg Long. This was fun from start to finish. It’s perfect for fans of sci-fi/dystopian stories, and anyone with a sense of adventure. 

Seventeen-year-old Sena has been coping with the grief of losing her mothers and has been pick pocketing to try to buy her way off her frozen planet of Tundar. After upsetting a local gang boss, Sena finds that she must flee with a wounded fighting wolf, as their lives depend on it. A team of scientists offer her a way off of Tundar on the condition that she gets them to the finish line of the planet’s infamous sled race. Sena never wanted to race as it had claimed her mother’s lives, but she sees no other option, so she accepts their offer. 

The tundra where the race takes place is extremely treacherous, and their lives are threatened at every turn along the way. Sena begins to question her abilities and if she’s strong enough to do this. She must do everything she can, along with the wolf, to get them out of the race alive.

Sena is a great protagonist as she is definitely stubborn and headstrong. I loved watching her relationship with Iska, the wolf evolve through the story. I also like how the story explored the impact of exploiting natural resources and colonialism. 

A great wintry read, perfect for this time of year! Be sure to check this one out. 

About the Author:

Meg originally wanted to be a spy. Instead she somehow found herself teaching overseas in China and Malaysia before ending up in Colorado, where it snows entirely too much.ecvqqsh7vrvit5m8g5odo3d2pt._SY600_

She taught middle and high school for eight years before jumping into the tech industry as a content designer. Her debut novel, COLD THE NIGHT, FAST THE WOLVES, will be released in 2022 from Wednesday Books. She was a Pitch Wars mentee in 2018 and a mentor in 2020-21.

When not reading or writing, she’s kicking things at her Muay Thai gym with her boyfriend, playing video games, or obsessing over Sailor Moon fanart.

Fun Facts: Meg likes Oxford commas, bossing her Roomba around, and people-watching at airports.

A Spell of Rowans: Review

About the Book:

Title: A Spell of Rowans

Author: Byrd Nash

Publisher: Rook and Castle Press

Release Date: October 26, 2021

Pages: 308

Genre: Adult Fantasy, Adult Contemporary 

Synopsis:

Raised by a narcissistic mother, the Rowan children’s magical talents were twisted to fit her needs. When Rachel dies, her children must confront the past to have a future.a-spell-of-rowans

Rachel Rowan could sniff out secrets and her antique shop, Rosemary Thyme, was a front to torment the residents of Grimsby. When she dies, her children are faced with the deadly fallout of blackmail, murder, and magic.

Victoria, whose empathic talent knows everyone’s hidden feelings; Philippa, whose glamour can bewitch; and Liam, the brother who touches objects to reveal their secrets, all find themselves in danger.

When her autistic brother is arrested, Vic needs to discover the truth to set him free.

A successful art restorer in the big city, Vic’s made a career of ignoring her past and hiding her strange powers. But with Rachel’s death, she must gamble away her secrets to face down forces determined to destroy her and her siblings.

And that hometown boy she dumped way back? He’s in Grimsby, and knows the truth about her.
 

Review:

5

*I received an e-arc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

I’ve read and enjoyed a few of Byrd Nash’s books, but this one is definitely a new favorite! I didn’t really read a synopsis before starting this one, and just dove in. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved it.

Some tragic events drove Victoria “Vic” Rowan from home about 15 years ago. She’s been living in the big city all these years as an art restorer, ignoring her past, and hiding her powers. With the death of her mother, she’s forced to return back to her hometown of Grimsby. Her sister Phillipa, the obedient daughter, had been caring for their sickly mother. Their brother Liam had been forced to stay in town.

Rachel Rowan, the mother of the three siblings was narcissistic and abusive, and used her children’s magical talents for her own needs. Rachel could sniff out secrets, and used her antiques shop, Rosemary Thyme to torture the residents in town. Upon her passing, her children face the fallout of blackmail, murder, and magic. They must confront the past in order to have any kind of future.

Vic is an empath and knows everyone’s hidden feelings; Phillipa has glamour that can bewitch; and Liam can touch objects and reveal their secrets. Liam is arrested, and Vic needs to discover the truth, to help her autistic brother. She also must confront the boy she dumped when she fled town, as he’s back in Grimsby and seems to know the truth about her.

I really enjoyed these characters and the small town setting. As grownups, they must come to grips with the abuse they faced as children, and also with their special abilities. They just want everything to be “normal” now that their mother is dead, but one mystery leads to another, and they find themselves in a conundrum. You may think that you have it all figured out, but there are some great plot twists.

I highly recommend this book for fans of fantasy, magical realism, and mysteries. A great story about family, love, and forgiveness. Please note the following trigger warnings: discussion of child abuse and trauma, an assault scene, and suicide.

About the Author:

Spinning tales of subtle magic with unexpected twists, Byrd writes the book you need, not the one you expected.19182817

As one reviewer wrote: “When I get a Byrd story, I know I’m in good hands.”

Whether it is a Doppelgänger who was once a medieval knight now working in college administration, or an updated Red Riding Hood escaping a post-WWI wolf pack, her characters all feel real.

That Celtic goddess at the pet store? She’s someone you know. A medieval queen fleeing an abusive marriage? You experience her pain and triumph.

With a B.A. in journalism, she’s worked in the writing field for over thirty-five years. Her hobbies include reading, nature hikes, photography, and traveling when she has the money. She seldom has the money.

She is married, with two adult children who never read her books. Byrd has cats which makes her a legit author.
 

A Rush of Wings: Review

About the Book:

Title: A Rush of Wings

Author: Laura E. Weymouth

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Release Date: November 16, 2021

Pages: 320

Genre: YA Fantasy, YA Retelling

Synopsis:

Rowenna Winthrop has always known there’s magic within her. But though she hears voices on the wind and possesses unusual talents, her mother Mairead believes Rowenna lacks discipline, and refuses to teach her the craft that keeps their Scottish village safe. When Mairead dies a sinister death, it seems Rowenna’s one chance to grow into her power has passed. Then, on a fateful, storm-tossed night, Rowenna rescues a handsome stranger named Gawen from a shipwreck, and her mother miraculously returns from the dead. Or so it appears. 51RtPh7J7xL._SX337_BO1,204,203,200_

This resurrected Mairead is nothing like the old one: to hide her new and monstrous nature, she turns Rowenna’s brothers and Gawen into swans and robs Rowenna of her voice. Forced to flee, Rowenna travels to the city of Inverness to find a way to break the curse. But monsters take many forms, and in Inverness Rowenna is soon caught in a web of strangers who want to use her raw magic for their own gain. If she wishes to save herself and the people she loves most, Rowenna will have to take her fate into her own hands, and unlock the power that has evaded her for so long.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review:

5

 

*I received an e-arc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

A beautifully written and soul-stirring YA Fantasy, that is a retelling of the Wild Swans by Hans Christian Andersen set in beautiful Scotland. I loved how Laura took bits of the original story and interweaved Scottish folklore. It was so fascinating to me, and I found myself looking up stories online. 

Rowenna Winthrop knows that she has magic, as she hears voices on the wind and has some peculiar talents. Her mother Mairead however, feels that Rowenna lacks discipline and each time she asks her mother to teach her her craft to keep their village safe, she is denied. Rowenna fears that she may have lost the opportunity to learn her craft after her mother dies a sudden and rather mysterious death. Rowenna and her father and brothers find themselves consumed with grief and just surviving. One ill-fated stormy night, Rowenna rescues a stranger named Gawen from a shipwreck, and her mother miraculously appears to have returned from the dead. All is not as it seems. 

The resurrected Mairead is not like Rowenna’s mother at all. To hide her true identity, she turns Rowenna’s brothers and Gawen into swans, and robs Rowenna of her voice. The boys return to their human forms only at night, and Rowenna can speak only at night as well. She is forced to leave home quickly, and travels to Inverness with her brothers and Gawen to try and find a way to break the curse. She discovers that monsters take many forms, and that there are those who would take her magic for their own gain. In order to save herself and those she loves most in the world, Rowenna must take matters into her own hands, and unlock the magic within herself that has always been there.

Rowenna is such an amazing character that I absolutely adored. She is fiercely loyal and protective of her family, and will do anything to help them, even if it means hurting herself in the process. I loved watching her grow throughout the story. She had so much self-doubt and felt that she didn’t fit in, and that there was only darkness inside her. Rowenna perseveres and finds that along with the darkness, there is light and that she is enough, just as she is. 

I really loved this story and I hope that everyone picks this one up! The writing is just so descriptive and I felt as though I were transported to the Highlands. Perfect for fans of folklore, fairytale retellings, and Scotland! 

 

About the Author:

Laura Weymouth is a Canadian living in America, and the sixth consecutive generation of her family to immigrate from one country to another. Born and raised in the Niagara region of Ontario, she now lives at the edge of the woods in western New York, along with her husband, two wild-hearted daughters, and an ever-expanding menagerie of animal friends. She is represented by the inimitable Lauren Spieller of TriadaUS. 16706932

Within These Wicked Walls: Review

About the Book:

Title: Within These Wicked Walls 

Author: Lauren Blackwood

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Release Date: October 19, 2021

Pages: 336

Genre: YA Fantasy, YA Retelling 

Synopsis:

What the heart desires, the house destroys… A1CIOXJ616L

Andromeda is a debtera—an exorcist hired to cleanse households of the Evil Eye. When a handsome young heir named Magnus Rochester reaches out to hire her, Andromeda quickly realizes this is a job like no other, with horrifying manifestations at every turn, and that Magnus is hiding far more than she has been trained for. Death is the most likely outcome if she stays, but leaving Magnus to live out his curse alone isn’t an option. Evil may roam the castle’s halls, but so does a burning desire.

Kiersten White meets Tomi Adeyemi in this Ethiopian-inspired debut fantasy retelling of Jane Eyre.

 

 

 

 

Review:

4

* I received an e-arc from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

A solid debut for Lauren Blackwood! I really enjoyed this fantasy and loosely based Jane Eyre retelling, which was quite fast paced and kept me intrigued by the magical elements and Ethiopian mythology.

Andromeda or “Andi” is a debtera, an exorcist hired to cleanse households of the Evil Eye. She is so desperate for a job, that she takes an offer from the young heir Magnus Rochester to cleanse his house, which is something much bigger than she has dealt with before. She quickly realizes upon arriving at the castle that she is in way over her head. There are lots of horrifying manifestations at every turn, and Magnus has been hiding more than she has been trained for. She begins to understand that death is the most likely outcome if she stays in the castle, but leaving Magnus to live out his curse alone is not an option. He has begun to worm his way into her heart.

Andi is a great main character. She is strong and determined, loyal and passionate, despite her rough upbringing. Andi has a complex relationship with Jember, her father figure in the book and I like how this was explored. There was also some romance in the book which I enjoyed, but I like that it wasn’t the main focus of the story. It was more about Andi working on cleansing the house.

I definitely recommend this one, and I think it’s perfect for fall! Just the right amount of spooky.

About the Author:

Lauren Blackwood is a Jamaican American New Yorker living in Virginia who writes Romance-heavy Fantasy for most ages. When not writing, she’s a PTA and violinist who really doesn’t know how to settle on one career field. Within These Wicked Walls is her debut novel. 20175761

Vespertine: Review

About the Book:

Title: Vespertine

Author: Margaret Rogerson 

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Release Date: October 5, 2021

Pages: 400

Genre: YA Fantasy 

Synopsis:

The dead of Loraille do not rest. 41jan1VC5bL

Artemisia is training to be a Gray Sister, a nun who cleanses the bodies of the deceased so that their souls can pass on; otherwise, they will rise as spirits with a ravenous hunger for the living. She would rather deal with the dead than the living, who trade whispers about her scarred hands and troubled past.

When her convent is attacked by possessed soldiers, Artemisia defends it by awakening an ancient spirit bound to a saint’s relic. It is a revenant, a malevolent being that threatens to possess her the moment she drops her guard. Wielding its extraordinary power almost consumes her—but death has come to Loraille, and only a vespertine, a priestess trained to wield a high relic, has any chance of stopping it. With all knowledge of vespertines lost to time, Artemisia turns to the last remaining expert for help: the revenant itself.

As she unravels a sinister mystery of saints, secrets, and dark magic, her bond with the revenant grows. And when a hidden evil begins to surface, she discovers that facing this enemy might require her to betray everything she has been taught to believe—if the revenant doesn’t betray her first.

Review:

4

* I received an e-arc from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

I loved Sorcery of Thorns, so I was super excited to read Vespertine! It did not disappoint, and it’s the perfect fall read. Rogerson’s writing is so spooky and atmospheric and her world building is fabulous! I was quite fascinated from the beginning in this well paced, dark fantasy. 

Artemesia is training to be a nun as she has been blessed with the sight, and this leaves her vulnerable to being possessed by spirits. Her job is to cleanse the bodies of the deceased so that their souls can pass on from this world. If the nuns do no perform this ritual, the souls will rise starving for the living. Artemesia finds that she would rather deal with the dead than the living, as she has a troubled past.

When Artemesia’s convent is attacked by possessed soldiers, she is forced to defend the convent the only way she knows how, by awakening an ancient spirit that is bound to a saint’s relic. It is a revenant, a powerful being that threatens to possess her the moment she puts her guard down. Brandishing the revenant’s power almost completely overtakes her, but death has come to Loraille, and only a vespertine, a priestess that is trained to wield a relic, has any chance of stopping it. All the knowledge of vespertines has been lost over the years, and Artemesia must turn to the revenant itself for help if she has any chance of saving Loraille at all.

I think my favorite part of this book was the unlikely relationship that develops between Artemesia and the revenant. I thoroughly enjoyed their banter back and forth. The revenant is super sassy, and I love sass in my fictional characters! There is also good anxiety and PTSD rep in this book which I really appreciated. I could really relate to Artemesia as I am quite introverted myself.

Overall, a book I really enjoyed! I look forward to Rogerson’s next book, and I hope to read her first book soon as well. 

 

About the Author:

Margaret writes fantasy for young adult readers. She lives near Cincinnati, Ohio, and when she’s not reading or writing she enjoys drawing, watching documentaries, making pudding, gaming, and exploring the outdoors in search of toads and mushrooms. 15455603

Crown of Cinders (Wings of Fury #2): Review

About the Book:

Title: Crown of Cinders 

Author: Emily R. King

Publisher: 47 North 

Release Date: October 5, 2021

Pages: 267

Genre: NA Fantasy 

Synopsis:

Althea’s head is still spinning from her discovery that she’s Hera, daughter of Cronus, the terrible Titan king. After Althea failed to cast Cronus down into the deepest pit of Tartarus, the king calls upon his powerful allies, the elder Titans who reign supreme over the heavens, earth, and seas. To force Althea to surrender, the elder Titans rain down wrath upon the mortal world with earthquakes, famine, pestilence, hurricanes, and all manner of destruction. Lukas, Althea’s friend and confidant, hides her and her godly siblings, but they can’t run forever. She must recruit allies from the younger Titans before the afflicted mortals turn them into Cronus in exchange for peace.91RXb41xheL

Poseidon and Hades are also in hiding. Althea sets out to find her brothers, but hunting them down without getting caught and persuading them to stand against their all-powerful father will be next to impossible. Althea has a lot to learn about
her newly restored crown and Titaness powers. She must divide heaven and earth to protect her mortal home and friends and unite her brothers and sisters in the war to end all wars.

 

Review:

5

*I received an e-arc from Netgalley and the author in exchange for an honest review*

This review may contain spoilers for the first book, Wings of Fury.

After reading Wings of Fury, I was so ready for this sequel! I wound up enjoying it even more than the first book. If you’ve read and enjoyed the first book, you’re going to love this one!

Althea still can’t quite come to grips with the fact that she’s Hera, daughter of Cronus, the abominable Titan king. After Althea failed in casting Cronus down into the deepest pit of Tartarus, he calls upon his powerful allies to come against her. In order to force Althea to surrender, the elder Titans strike the mortal world with earthquakes, famine, pestilence, hurricanes, etc. Althea and her siblings have been hiding, but alas they can’t hide forever, and they begin recruiting the younger Titans to their cause. They hope to win them to their side, before the mortals who are suffering turn them over to Cronus to gain peace.

Poseidon and Hades have also been in hiding, and Althea goes on a quest to find her brothers. Tracking them down, and getting them to take her side might prove to be impossible. She finds she has much to learn about her crown and her Titaness powers. She is determined to do all that she can to protect her mortal home and friends, and unite her brothers and sisters in the war to end all wars.

A series perfect for fans of mythology, fierce female characters, action and adventure. I am hoping for another book in the series after that ending! I loved these characters so much and would love more in this world.

About the Author:

Emily R. King is a reader of everything and a writer of fantasy. Born in Canada and raised in the USA, she has perfected the use of “eh” and “y’all” and uses both interchangeably. Shark advocate, consumer of gummy bears, and islander at heart, Emily’s greatest interests are her four children. She’s a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and an active participant in her local writers’ community. She lives in Northern Utah with her family and their cantankerous cat. download (20)

Wings of Fury (Wings of Fury, #1): Review

About the Book:

Title: Wings of Fury

Author: Emily R. King

Publisher: 47 North 

Release Date: March 21, 2021 

Pages: 296

Genre: NA Fantasy 

Synopsis:

My mother told me that men would speak about the Golden Age as a time of peace and happiness for all… However, the women of our age would tell a very different story…53344063

Cronus, God of Gods, whose inheritance is the world. Among his possessions: women, imprisoned and fated to serve. The strong-minded Althea Lambros controls her own fate and lives to honor her dying mother’s plea to protect her two sisters at all costs. Althea’s journey toward crushing the tyranny has begun. It is a destiny foretold by the Fates. And she is following their visions.

On the southern isle of Crete, hidden among mortal women who have fled the Titans, is the Boy God, son of Cronus and believed dead. He shares Althea’s destiny to vanquish the Almighty—fate willing. Because Cronus has caught wind of the plot. He’s amassing his own forces against Althea’s righteous rebellion and all those who will no longer surrender or run. There will be war. If she’s to survive to write their history, the indomitable Althea must soar higher than any god.

Review:

4

Such an interesting take on the origins of the Greek gods! Perfect for fans of mythology and feminist tales, this story has an intriguing plot and cast of characters. This was my first book by this author, and I am excited for the upcoming sequel.

Cronus is the god of gods and he rules the world. His many possessions include women, who are imprisoned and destined to serve him. Althea Lambros is a fierce, female character who controls her own fate. She vows to honor her mother’s dying wish to protect her sisters at all costs. Althea begins her journey to bring down the tyranny that has begun, as foretold by the Fates as she follows their visions.

On the southern isle of Crete, the boy god, son of Cronus, who is believed to be dead, is hidden among mortal women escaping the Titans. The boy god shares Althea’s destiny to annihilate the Almighty. Cronus hears of the plot and begins amassing a force against Althea and the rebels who no longer want to run. War is coming, and Althea must soar higher than a god to write their history.

I really enjoyed this story and seeing women take the helm! Add this one to your TBR!

About the Author:

Emily R. King is a reader of everything and a writer of fantasy. Born in Canada and raised in the USA, she has perfected the use of “eh” and “y’all” and uses both interchangeably. Shark advocate, consumer of gummy bears, and islander at heart, Emily’s greatest interests are her four children. She’s a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and an active participant in her local writers’ community. She lives in Northern Utah with her family and their cantankerous cat.download (20)

Stalking Shadows: Review

About the Book:

Title: Stalking Shadows 

Author: Cyla Panin

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams Books 

Release Date: September 14, 2021

Pages: 391

Genre: YA Fantasy 

Synopsis:

A gothic YA fantasy debut about a young woman striving to break her sister’s curse and stop the killing in her small French town 9781419752650_s3

Seventeen-year-old Marie mixes perfumes to sell on market day in her small eighteenth-century French town. She wants to make enough to save a dowry for her sister, Ama, in hopes of Ama marrying well and Marie living in the level of freedom afforded only to spinster aunts. But her perfumes are more than sweet scents in cheap, cut-glass bottles: A certain few are laced with death. Marie laces the perfume delicately—not with poison but with a hint of honeysuckle she’s trained her sister to respond to. Marie marks her victim, and Ama attacks. But she doesn’t attack as a girl. She kills as a beast.

Marking Ama’s victims controls the damage to keep suspicion at bay. But when a young boy turns up dead one morning, Marie is forced to acknowledge she might be losing control of Ama. And if she can’t control her, she’ll have to cure her. Marie knows the only place she’ll find the cure is in the mansion where Ama was cursed in the first place, home of Lord Sebastien LeClaire. But once she gets into the mansion, she discovers dark secrets hidden away—secrets of the curse, of Lord Sebastien . . . and of herself.

Review:

4

*I received an e-arc from the author and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

I love historical fiction, as well as Beauty and the Beast retellings, so I had a feeling that I would really enjoy this book. My assumptions were correct! The setting was gothic and very atmospheric and I loved being immersed into this world.

Marie mixes perfumes that she sells on market day in her small French town. Her hope is that she makes enough money to make sure her and her sister Ama are well taken care of in the years to come, as their father is absent most of the time. Her perfumes are more than simple wares to sell however, as some of them are laced with death. Maries laces a few not with poison, but with the scent of honeysuckle that she has trained her sister to respond too. Marie marks her victim, and then Ama attacks, not as a girl, but as a beast which she transforms into every full moon.

Marking the victims for Ama helps to control her, and keep suspicions away. A young boy in the village turns up dead, and Marie realizes she may be losing control over her sister. Marie knows she must find a cure, and she looks to the place where Ama was cursed in the first place, the home of Lord Sebastien. Once she gets to the Lord’s mansion, Marie begins to form a fondness for him and his younger brother, Lucien. Things are not as straightforward as she thought they were, and there are dark and sinister things happening in her village and the woods surrounding it.

I really enjoyed Marie’s journey as she’s definitely a morally grey character, and she makes some questionable choices. She is passionately loyal to her sister and is often selfless, putting her own needs and wants aside to help her. 

If you like stories with twists and turns, slow burn romance, atmospheric settings, and sisterhood, I think you would really enjoy this one. A strong debut from Cyla Panin! I can’t wait to read more from her. Stalking Shadows is available now, so be sure to pick it up or request from your local library. 

 

 

 

About the Author:

Cyla Panin is an MG and YA writer who prefers to look at the world through a dusting of magic. After spending most of her childhood wanting to escape into the wonderful worlds her favourite authors created, she’s now using her own words to craft magical places. When not writing, Cyla can be found playing dinosaurs with her two young boys, watching swashbuckling and/or period TV shows with her husband, and, of course, reading.20394507

Her YA fantasy debut, STALKING SHADOWS is a gothic, feminist fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast. To protect her sister, Marie laces perfumes with honeysuckle to mark victims for Ama to hunt when she transforms into a beast at night. But when a child in their town is killed, Marie is forced to acknowledge that she might be losing control of Ama—and must instead find a cure for this curse. It will be published by Amulet/Abrams in fall 2021.

Long Story Short: Cover Reveal

Copy of Copy of Copy of Cover reveal!

Synopsis:

Beatrice Quinn has spent sixteen very serious years studying to get into Oxford University. Homeschooled and a whiz at statistics, Beatrice knows that she belongs at Oxford, where she will finally find people who understand her. She thought the hardest part would be getting in, not convincing her parents to let her go. They’ve put a halt to her plans until she can prove she’s able to make friends with people her own age and function in social situations. Their solution: Shakespearean theater camp and a detailed list of teenage milestones to check off. She has six weeks to show her parents she can pull off the role of “normal” teenager and won’t spend the rest of her life hiding in a library. 

Unfortunately, hearts and hormones don’t follow any rules, and there is no textbook for teenage interactions. When she’s adopted by a group of eclectic theater kids, and immediately makes an enemy of the gorgeous, popular son of the camp founders, she realizes that relationships are trickier than calculus. As the summer draws to an end, and with Oxford on the line, this girl genius stumbles through illicit parties, double dog dares, and more than your fair share of Shakespeare. But before the final curtain falls, will she still feel like Oxford alone is enough?

Serena Kaylor’s debut, Long Story Short, is a fun rom-com with a whole lot of heart about friendship, first love, and learning to take a chance on yourself.

Cover Art Credit:

Art Direction: Kerri Resnick (@soverykerri on Twitter and @kerriresnick on IG)

Illustrator: Katie Smith (@_katiesmith_illustration_ on IG)

Katie’s Website: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Ksmithillustration

Long Story Short

LINKS:

Macmillan.com book page: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250818416

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09CNFJGV5

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/long-story-short-serena-kaylor/1139985503

Books-A-Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/product/9781250818416

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781250818416

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57034751-long-story-short

Goodreads Short URL: https://bit.ly/LongStoryShortGR

 

About the Author:

Serena Kaylor likes to write about that first flush of summer love, whispered conversations at midnight, and endings happy enough to make your toes curl. She grew up running wild as a changeling through North Carolina swamps, and as an adult, has wandered from libraries into medicine. When she’s not writing, she can be found experimenting in her kitchen, wallpapering any blank surface, and hugging every dog that will let her. Long Story Short is her debut novel. 

Website: https://seeserenawrite.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SerenaKaylor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/serena.kaylor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21177166.Serena_Kaylor Serena Kaylor (1)

Lakesedge (World at the Lakes Edge #1): Review

About the Book:

Title: Lakesedge 

Author: Lyndall Clipstone 

Publisher: Henry Holt & Co. (BYR)

Release Date: September 28, 2021

Pages: 384

Genre: YA Fantasy 

Synopsis:

A lush gothic fantasy about monsters and magic, set on the banks of a cursed lake. Perfect for fans of Naomi Novik and Brigid Kemmerer.918XDtHt8kL

There are monsters in the world.

When Violeta Graceling arrives at haunted Lakesedge estate, she expects to find a monster. She knows the terrifying rumors about Rowan Sylvanan, who drowned his entire family when he was a boy. But neither the estate nor the monster are what they seem.

There are monsters in the woods.

As Leta falls for Rowan, she discovers he is bound to the Lord Under, the sinister death god lurking in the black waters of the lake. A creature to whom Leta is inexplicably drawn…

There’s a monster in the shadows, and now it knows my name.

Now, to save Rowan—and herself—Leta must confront the darkness in her past, including unraveling the mystery of her connection to the Lord Under. 

Review:

 

 

5

*I received an e-arc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

This book was everything I had hoped it would be and more! It’s darkly seductive, lush, gothic, mysterious, romantic, magical, and utterly bewitching. I can’t believe this is the author’s debut, as it was that amazing! 

Violeta Graceling (Leta) and her brother Arien are orphans that have been taken in by a woman who lives near the edge of the forest.  Arien begins showing signs of dark magic, and Leta has been desperately trying to protect him. When the young Lord of the Lakesedge estate, named Rowan, comes to their town to collect the tithe, he takes them in to mentor Arien. Lakesedge is a mystifying old estate that is rumored to be cursed and haunted by a monster of the lake. Rowan urgently needs Arien’s help to control the darkness, known as the corruption, from taking over. Leta longs to know what secrets Rowan has been keeping. She discovers that the estate and the monster aren’t what they seem.

As Leta begins to fall for Rowan, she finds that he is bound to the Lord Under, the death god that lurks in the dark waters of the lake. Leta soon finds herself unexplainably drawn to this sinister creature. 

To save herself and Rowan, Leta needs to confront her past which includes a connection to the Lord Under. 

Just wanted to mention that the author has posted some content warnings for readers that you might want to check before reading this book. 

I need book two like now, and every edition of this book! Please add this one to your TBR, preorder and request from your local library. Perfect read for the fall, with all its spooky vibes! Coming September 28, 2021. 

 

About the Author:

Lyndall Clipstone writes YA Gothic about monsters and the girls who like to kiss them. A former youth librarian, she has a Bachelors in Creative Writing and a Graduate Diploma in Library and Information Management. She is represented by Jill Grinberg at Jill Grinberg Literary Management.

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