Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Sunday Post #61 - Drought

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer
It's a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things you received, share news about what is coming up on your blog for the week ahead, and more.

I'm already behind this morning.
It's been hot hot hot this week. We're in the middle of a drought right now so it's been very disappointing every time rain clouds show up and just blow over. It's so bad that even the trees in my yard are drooping from the heat. Summer is going to be miserable.
Lovebug and I have been setting up an educational center in the house that contains her picture books, activity books, and all of the hands on learning toys and games I've been putting together. It's been great for keeping her entertained at least.

New To My Shelves

I may have shared some of these before but I gathered up my newer books for an instagram post and here it is. Doesn't include any thrift store purchases. Top row are arcs & giveaway books, bottom left are all the books I've purchased recently, and bottom right are books for the toddler that I will be reviewing soon (yes, I'm behind.)

What You Might Have Missed
Like I said, I'm behind, so I didn't get much posted on the blog this week. Just a Can't Wait Wednesday

Recently Read

Currently Reading

What I'm Listening To
Olafur Arnalds - Particles (ft. Nanna Bryndis Hilmarsdottir)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday #10 - ROAR by Cora Carmack

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa @ Wishful Endings and spotlights the books we are excited about and have yet to read. This meme is based on Waiting on Wednesday which is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

I can't wait for... Roar by Cora Carmack

Expected Publication: June 13th, 2017
by Tor Teen

Goodreads Synopsis:
In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them. 
Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world's deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora's been groomed to be the perfect queen. She's intelligent and brave and honorable. But she's yet to show any trace of the magic she'll need to protect her people. 
To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora's mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He'll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace on night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks--storm magic. And the people selling it? They're not Stormlings. They're storm hunters. 
Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born with magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there is a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage. 
She might not have magic now but she can steal it if she's brave enough. 

Why I Can't Wait:
Can I just be repetitive and say that I just love fantasy and that is why this appeals to me? Haha. The storm magic sounds awesome, actually. I'm looking forward to that. The whole magic system sounds fascinating and I'm curious as to how one steals magic or sells it on the black market.
I've yet to see any reviews on this one yet so I'll be keeping an eye out to see if this really is something I'd be interested in. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Sunday Post #60 - Blogoversary, Earth Day, & More

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer
It's a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things you received, share news about what is coming up on your blog for the week ahead, and more.

Time for me to play catch up!
The past two weeks have been so full of birthdays and holidays. Between that and all the spring cleaning, gardening, and 'teaching' I've been doing, I haven't had a moment to blog (which probably isn't great considering that my blogoversary was last week and I have two giveaways open. I haven't had much time to get the word out.)
Easter was a lot of fun and we spent most of Earth Day in the garden planting seeds and watching the butterflies. We even made a bird feeder.  Most of my time is dedicated to my daughter these days so I don't have much time to read for myself but we spend a lot of time reading picture books and playing with fun learning toys.
I've also been writing a lot in my free time and have surpassed my goal for the month but my reading has suffered a lot from it. I'm hoping I can prioritize my time  better though to get more done next month. It's already rediculously hot so I have a feeling I'll be hiding inside a lot in the next few months for the rest of the year. 

New To My Shelves
I found the first 3 books in the Zom-B series for $1 at a Dollar Tree this past weekend! It's been too long since I read a good zombie novel.

What You Might Have Missed

My 4 year Blogoversary Giveaway Post

I shared Age of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan for my Can't Wait Wednesday this week. 

Coming Soon
Some overdue "Mommy Time" picture book reviews, mostly.

Recently Finished

Currently Reading

I know everyone loves these books but Feyre is so whiny and I'm not entirely digging it right now. 

Currently Watching
Anything and everything with dinosaurs. 
I finished Medici and started Strange Empire but haven't really had time to watch anything. 

What I'm Listening To
An Imaginal Space - Myths
Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday #9 - Age of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa @ Wishful Endings and spotlights the books we are excited about and have yet to read. This meme is based on Waiting on Wednesday which is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

I can't wait for... Age of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan

Expected Publication: June 20th, 2017
by Del Rey

Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhune make it all but impossible to unite against a common foe. And even if the clans can join forces, how will they defeat an enemy whose magical prowess makes the Fhrey indistinguishable from gods? 

The answer lies across the sea in a faraway land populated by a reclusive and dour race who feels nothing but disdain for both Fhrey and mankind. With time running out, Persephone leads the gifted young seer Suri, the Fhrey sorceress Arion, and a small band of misfits in a desperate search for aid--a quest that will take them into the darkest depths of Elan. There, an ancient adversary waits--an enemy as surprising as it is deadly.

Why I can't wait: 
This is the sequel to Age of Myth which I read in 2016 and freaking loved. It my first time reading this 'fantasy master' but I was blown away by his writing style, his worldbuilding skills, and his characters. Sullivan writes every single book in his series before publishing the first so you don't have to worry about plot holes or inconsistencies.
This series is set 3000 years before his previously written Riyria Chronicles and is about a man (aka Rhune) who murders a Fhrey whom Rhune's believe to be invincible. As the murderer flees for his life from the land of the Fhrey, he finds himself in the company of several interesting characters.
Seriously, I cannot wait to continue this series and read more by this author to ascertain my love for his books. 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

[CLOSED] 2017 Blogoversary Giveaway!!!

Today marks my FOUR year blogoversary and I am celebrating with a couple of giveaways!

Guys! 4 years is a long time in the blogging world!
*cue awkward laptop dance*

Blogging has been such a great outlet for me in my free time. I started this blog to share my reviews somewhere other than Goodreads and found an entire community of awesome people who share the same passion as I do. 
I don't have the prettiest blog and I struggle to keep up with blog posts, reviews, and returning comments these days,  but gosh I love it here and I love all of you for sharing this experience with me.

Seriously, thank you so much to all of you.
Thank you to my readers, old and new. I appreciate your comments and visits so much. 
Many, many thanks to the publishers and authors that I have had the chance to work with in the past year. If I could literally shower thank you hugs on all of you, especially those of you who keep coming back, I would.


I am giving away a paperback copy of middle-grade fantasy, 'Jorie and the Magic Stones' by A.H. Richardson and two adorable panda bear bookmarks that I designed, cut, and painted myself. 

The Rules and other such information:
1. Both giveaways will end at midnight on April 30th, 2017.
2. The winners will be notified by email a day or two after the giveaway ends. 
3. Must be at least 13 years old or have a parent or guardian's permission to enter.
4.Winning entries will be verified so please be honest.
5. Lazy Day Literature is not responsible for any lost, damaged, or stolen prizes.
6. Void where prohibited by law.

*2 winners*
Open Internationally

Jorie and the Magic Stones
*1 winner*

Good luck!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Book Review: The Dragon's Price by Bethany Wiggins

Title: The Dragon's Price
Author: Bethany Wiggins
Series: Transference #1
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 21, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Length: 304 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed

When two warring kingdoms unified against a deadly menace laying waste to both their lands, they had to make a choice: vow to marry their heirs to one another, or forfeit their lives to the dragon. 

Centuries later, everyone expects the sheltered princess Sorrowlynn to choose the barbarian prince over the fire-breathing beast--everyone, that is, except Sorrow, who is determined to control her own destiny or die trying.

As she is lowered into the dragon's chamber, she assumes her life is over until Golmarr, the young prince she just spurned, follows her with the hopes of being her hero and slaying the dragon. But the dragon has a different plan...

If the dragon wins, it will be freed from the spell that has bound it to the cave for centuries.  If Sorrow or Golmarr vanquish the dragon, the victor will gain its treasure and escape the cave beneath the mountain. But what exactly is the dragon hiding?

There are no safe havens for Sorrow or Golmarr--not even with each other--and the stakes couldn't be higher as they risk everything to protect their kingdom. 

My Thoughts: 
Sorrowlynn is the youngest Faodarian princess whom, approaching her 16th birthday, must agree to be married to an Antharian horse-lord prince or sacrifice herself to the fire-breathing dragon. Sorrowlynn, often known as Suicide Sorrow because she was fated at birth to die by her own hand, does not want to marry a barbaric horse-lord, despite that she thinks the youngest prince is quite handsome. In a fit of rage, she seals her fate by choosing the dragon and is lowered into it's cave. But Golmarr, the young prince, comes after her and together they find their way through the caves to the fire-breathing dragon.

My feelings on this book are a little complicated. On one hand I loved it and on the other I couldn't help but find so many little things that annoyed the crap out of me.
The story itself is kind of amazing. I loved most of the plot and worldbuilding and of course, the dragons. The two realms were at war so many hundreds of years ago but to bring their kingdoms together in peace, a wizard enslaved a dragon with a curse. One kingdom only has princes and the other kingdom only has princesses so they are forced to marry them. At least, the princess must agree to be offer herself to the horse-lord heir. The horse-lord doesn't necessarily have to accept, in which case a goat is sacrificed to the dragon and the princess gets to go home and marry whomever she wants.
Not only is there Faodarians and Antharians but there are also Trevonians and the Satari people, all with very different locations, cultures, and style of dress. I really enjoyed that these people were so different, even if Sorrowlynn was so very prejudiced about them at first. 

The dragons were my favorite part of the story, even though they were the antagonists. They have magic, speak telepathically, and even better, they absorb the knowledge of everyone they consume. And there are different types of dragons. Fire-dragons. Ice-dragons. Stone dragons. I especially can't wait to continue this series to read more about the dragons.

There's magic in this world but it is centralized to very rare witches and wizards and the dragons themselves so it isn't an all-consuming concept that needs to be explained. As much as I love magic systems, I loved that it was much more subtle here.

I have to be honest with you, though. The Dragon's Price might have an interesting plot, characters, and dragons, but this is a romance. I honestly cannot just call this fantasy. It's a fantasy romance. To be precise, it's basically insta-love. Of course, we have Sorrow here not wanting to be married to anyone but in just a single dance, she's practically in love with the barbarian prince, and vice versa. He sees a girl trying to escape by stealing his father's horse and he's into that. He claims her at the ceremony (how sexist is that?!) and she says, "Yeah, okay. I choose him, too," but it's too late because she's already chosen the dragon out loud, because teen angst... or something.
So the first half of the romance bothered me quite a bit. Sorrowlynn is all about propriety one moment but snuggling up to a complete stranger in the next. She contradicts herself quite often and I think I may have rolled my eyes more than necessary. I did warm to them though and after them being together nonstop for a week and after everything they'd been through together, I kind of understood the connection. Of course, just as we think something is going to come of it all, the end happens.

I didn't always like the writing style. I kept seeing little inconsistencies and flaws in the story and I felt like some of the character interactions and dialogue were irritating or worthy of more eye-rolls. One issue I had, for example, was that in most dragon sacrifice stories, the virgin is tied to a stake and the dragon comes out of a cave and eats her. In this, Sorrow has to enter the cave and basically walk for like a day through small tunnels to get to the dragon to be eaten. Because when you choose to be eaten by a dragon instead of being forced into marriage you also need to literally walk into the dragon's mouth.

Even with all the little things that I disliked, I still really enjoyed this story and knew I would continue with the sequel (when it comes out) before I was even finished with the book. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys fantasy romance.

My Rating: 4 stars

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Double Book Review: The Miserable Mill & The Austere Academy by Lemony Snicket (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

Title: The Miserable Mill
Author: Lemony Snicket
Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events #4
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. 
Publication Date: April 15, 2000
Genre: Children's Fiction
Length: 194 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed

Goodreads | Amazon |

Dear Reader, 
I hope, for your sake, that you have not chosen to read this book because you are in the mood for a pleasant experience. If this is the case, I advise you to put this book down instantaneously, because of all the books describing the unhappy lives of the Baudelaire orphans, The Miserable Mill might be the unhappiest yet. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are sent to Paltryville to work in a lumber mill, and they find disaster and misfortune lurking behind every log.
The pages of this book, I'm sorry to inform you, contain such unpleasantries as a giant pincher machine, a bad casserole, a man with a cloud of smoke where his head should be, a hypnotist, a terrible accident resulting in injury, and coupons. 

I have promised to write down the entire history of these three poor children, but you haven't, so if you prefer stories that are more heartwarming, please feel free to make another selection.
With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

My Thoughts: 
After yet another encounter with Count Olaf, the Baudelaire orphans are sent to 'Lucky Smells Lumbermill' where they are forced to work with dangerous machinery. Their caretaker, only known as Mr. Sir because his name is too hard to pronounce, is a man who smokes so profusely that you can't even see his face through the clouds of cigar smoke.
This 'faceless' character really builds the mystery and makes you wonder when and if Count Olaf will appear.
Of course, you can be sure he will eventually, but in the meantime, the children are trying to figure out why the foreman has it out for them and why the eye doctor down the street has the same eye on it's building that Count Olaf has on his ankle.

I honestly did not find this one to be as good as the first three books. I kind of understand why the movie adaptation only covered the first three books (from what I remember. It's been a while.)
I didn't enjoy the dilemma and thought it was even more far-fetched than usual. Thank goodness for the orphan's quick wit and ingenuity. They are always getting themselves out of sticky situations. 

My Rating: 3 stars

Title: The Austere Academy
Author: Lemony Snicket
Series: A Series of Unfortunate Event #5
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: August 31, 2000
Genre: Children's Fiction
Length: 221 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

Goodreads | Amazon

Dear Reader,

If you are looking for a story about cheerful youngsters spending a jolly time at boarding school, look elsewhere. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are intelligent and resourceful children, and you might expect that they would do very well at school. Don't. For the Baudelaires, school turns out to be another miserable episode in their unlucky lives.
Truth be told, within the chapters that make up this dreadful story, the children will face snapping crabs, strict punishments, dripping fungus, comprehensive exams, violin recitals, S.O.R.E, and the metric system. 

It is my solemn duty to stay up all night researching and writing the history of these three hapless youngsters, but you may be more comfortable getting a good night's sleep. In that case, you should probably choose some other book. 
With all due respect, 
Lemony Snicket

My Thoughts: 
Violet, Klaus, and Sonny, having no where else to go, are placed at a boarding school where they are forced to live in a shack that harbors pinching crabs and some sort of weird fungus instead of in the dorm rooms like the other children. Sonny, being too small to attend classes, is made to work as a secretary for the headmaster. And there are so many rediculous rules that many students end up without eating utensils or cups at lunch. Luckily, the Baudelaires meet the Quagmire triplets (which are actually only two children now) and they finally make friends. But the new coach, whom wears a turban and high-top converse shoes is determined to make their lives miserable. 
This was definitely a step up from The Miserable Mill. It had more interaction and it was really nice to see the kids make some friends, even if it is short lived. As usual, the adults are entirely rediculous and out to get the siblings and nothing good at all happens. Of course. But we are left hanging towards the end and now I'm eager to continue this series (perhaps after a short break.)

My Rating: 3 stars

Book Blast & Giveaway: A Real Life Fairytale by Jamie Brook Thompson


Cinderella: a REAL life fairytale If a dream is a wish your heart makes then Cindee Ellis is in major trouble. There’s no way Henry Christensen will ever notice her under all those oil stains and brake fluid splattered across her shirt. Unless—she’s dead wrong about him. Join her with this real life fairytale set in the small town of Silver Creek to find out how she’ll work her guts out to make her own happily ever after. 

Beauty and the Beast: a REAL life fairytale There's a tale as old as time of two people falling in love, but what happens when Belle won't have anything to do with it. Join her with this real life fairytale set in the small town of Silver Creek to find out how she’ll transform the town's beast into a handsome prince with her heart, not her beautician skills.   
The Frogg Princess: a REAL life fairytale Taya is almost there. Join her in this real-life fairytale, set in the small town of Silver Creek, as she plans to start a new life by opening a little restaurant. Only to find a few rude people that don’t seem to welcome her. But that doesn’t seem to bother Felix Frogg, a local police officer, and the love-at–first-sight reactions he keeps tossing her way. If Taya isn’t careful with the way her heart is softening towards Felix, she could be walking into a lifetime commitment of happily ever after that wasn’t in her plans.   
Cinderella: a REAL life fairytale “Hey, Cindee, before I forget. You have a real nice day.” I nod with about the blankest expression I’ve ever felt, and then he winks. HE LITERALLY WINKS! My eyes are as big as I can stretch them. Either Henry Christensen just did that on purpose, or he has something irritating his eye. I want to go with my first choice, but the second one seems more accurate. I’m the girl with no name, until just now, standing in a huge coat, so it’s gotta be the second choice, right? “Henry? Is that you?” Priscilla’s sticky-sweet voice interrupts. He doesn’t speak a word as he presses on the gas to slowly start backing up. “I’ll stop by the station to pick up the trucks in a while. Make sure you’re there,” he says before quickly pulling onto Main Street where everything disappears, except for the faint glow of his brake lights that blink three times. Is he saying goodbye? I know other girls back in high school had boys do this to them, but not me. NOT EVER. Not once did a boy tap his brake lights to me. I think I’ve died and gone to heaven. 

  Beauty and the Beast: a REAL life fairytale “Thank you for this.” I whisper into Adam’s ear. “For what?” He grins. “For being the kind of man that makes a woman believe there’s a God in heaven.” I nuzzle into his shoulder and close my eyes as the preacher asks us to pray. Once we finish, the rows of people begin to stand. I wipe under my eyes one more time just to make sure I don’t have mascara running down my face.   

  The Frogg Princess: a REAL life fairytale “You probably shouldn’t be with a girl like me. I could corrupt a boy like yourself,” I tease, trying to ease the heat flooding my face. How could I push myself on him? I’m cringing inside at being so stupid. “Nah, I’d happily go as far as you’d allow me,” he softly chuckles. “I just have a promise I made with my brother.” “A promise?” I narrow my eyes. “Yeah, we both agreed to wait for marriage.” I stifle a gasp. Is he for real?    

  Praise for the Book 
Five Stars: Couldn’t put this book down! This book has a way of not only making you feel what the characters are feeling, but it sucks you in where you don’t want to put it down, Not only have I read this book once, but I read it all over a second time. If you want to get lost for a few hours then I would highly recommend you read this book!! 
  Five Stars: Sooooo Good! I really enjoyed this novella. I was so happy with the ending. It was well written and kept my attention even when my Grandson interrupted for help on his homework. So happy he left the math worksheet at school. I will be looking for more of this author's work. Hope you enjoy this novella. 
  Five Stars: A clean romance book! Jamie Brook Thompson has got some mad writing skills! She has talent that can take you to another world for a few hours! I recommend this book to anyone who needs a good chic book (like a chic flick but in book form ;) ) to escape the real world for a bit! And who doesn't love cowboys?!

Author Jamie Brook Thompson 
 Jamie Brook Thompson is a small town girl that loves to tell a good story. She grew up as the daughter of a redneck farmer and hippie mother. Her entire life has been filled with duct tape and peace and love. She currently has 6 children, two dogs, and a handsome Prince of her very own! When she isn’t writing, you can find her out at her father’s ranch changing tires on tractors, working on motors that need repair, or adjusting carburetors on the family four wheelers to ride the high Utah desert. She’s a woman of many talents and trades, but the one she enjoys the most is writing stories to take readers into a world of hope—a world of clean romance!

$500 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway
Ends 5/3/17 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday #8 - The Black Witch by Laurie Forest

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa @ Wishful Endings and spotlights the books we are excited about and have yet to read. This meme is based on Waiting on Wednesday which is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

I can't wait for... The Black Witch by Laurie Forest

Expected Publication: May 2, 2017
 by Harlequin Teen

Goodreads Synopsis:
A Great Winged One will soon arise and cast his fearsome shadow upon the land. And just as Night slays Day, and Day slays Night, so also shall another Black Witch rise to meet him, her powers vast beyond imagining. 

So foretells the greatest prophecy of the Gardnerian mages. 
Carnissa Gardner, the last prophesied Black Witch, drove back the enemy forces and saved her people during the Realm War. Now a new evil is on the horizon, and her granddaughter, Elloren, is believed to be Carnissa's heir--but while she is the absolute image of her famous grandmother, Elloren is utterly devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above nearly all else. 

When she is granted the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an apothecary, Elloren is eager to join her brothers at the prestigious Verpax University and finally embrace a destiny of her own, free from the shadow of her grandmother's legacy. But she soon realizes that the University, which admits all manner of peoples--including the fire-wielding, winged Icarals, the sworn enemies of her people--is an even more treacherous place for the granddaughter of the Black Witch. 

Why I Can't Wait For It:
I originally wanted to read this just because of the title but now that we have a synopsis, I'm even more intrigued. A witch devoid of power? In a University full of people and creatures with powers? Sounds awesome to me! Hopefully my hopes aren't too high!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Prisoner of Ice and Snow Blog Tour & Giveaway

Hey there, Readers! Today I am participating in the Prisoner of Ice and Snow blog tour to celebrate the release of this amazing new debut middle-grade fantasy novel. You can read an excerpt below! 

About the Book
In a thrilling fantasy that's equal parts Prison Break and Frozen, Valor attempts the impossible--breaking her sister out of prison.

When Valor is arrested, she couldn't be happier. Demidova's prison for criminal children is exactly where she wants to be. Valor's sister Sasha is already serving a life sentence for stealing from the royal family and Valor is going to help her escape...from the inside.

Never mind that no one has escaped in three hundred years. Valor has a plan and resources most could only dream about. But she didn't count on having to outsmart both the guards and her fellow prisoners. If Valor's plan is to succeed, she'll need to make unlikely allies. And if the plan fails, she and Sasha could end up with fates worse than prison. 

This fresh and exciting middle-grade debut effortlessly melds an unforgettable protagonist, a breathless plot, and stunning world-building--and is impossible to put down.

 Amazon | Goodreads


"I'm not going to Tyur'ma," says Feliks. "It was just food I took. But I'll go back to being an apprentice and never steal anything again. I'll go back. I swear. Valor, if we go into that place, we don't come out again. I don't think--"
The Peacekeeper steps towards Feliks, shockingly fast for such a big man, and Feliks rushes forward, the whites of his eyes showing as he twists his head toward the stone steps. He's going to try to escape. And I know what Peacekeepers do to children who try to escape.
I lurch forward and snag Feliks with the chains between my wrists, holding on to him for everything I'm worth while he twists and buscks his thin body. It takes every bit of strength I have to stay on my feet. I can feel my shoulder bruising in the Peacekeeper's grip. 

"What are you doing?" Feliks hisses at me. Straw slips under my boots, but I don't let go.
"We're ready to go," I say to the Peacekeeper. Not that he needs my approval or permission. He stares at me, still completely impassive. I didn't expect him to be silent. But what is there to say, after all? We're going with him whether we like it or not, and if Feliks gets out of my grasp and tries to run, he'll be dead.
The Peacekeeper lets go of me suddenly, spins around and clamps iron onto Feliks's wrists, holding both of us by lengths of chain. Feliks wrenches himself away from me and says in a furious whisper, "I could have made it. Now I'm stuck, and it's all your fault." He's breathing hard, his clothes bunched around him.

I don't know what to say. He couldn't have made it. I don't think he could have, anyway. The Peacekeeper moves too fas; he's too strong. Feliks would be lying in the straw now, and I'd be leaving the palace dungeon alone. 
He's right, though--if he had any chance, it's gone, and it's my fault. I don't know why I grabbed him. I'm doing this for Sasha. I had it all planned, and I told myself a thousand times to stick to the plan. 
I stare at Feliks, who just stands there now, looking sullen. We're both wearing thick iron cuffs around our wrists. There's a longer chain between us that links us together, and yet another chain that connects to a spiked belt around the Peacekeeper's middle. I have no idea how he moved so fluidly, so fast. The chains ripple between us, heavy and cold.
"You will call me Peacekeeper Rurik," he says, and he walks forward swiftly, dragging both of us along behind him while the depth of his voice reverberates in my head. Feliks scowls at me as we're led up the stone steps. The Guards who lit the torches before are waiting. They surround us as we march so we see nothing of the palace, only feeling its warmth until the great doors open again before us.
We stand on the threshold, looking out on the deserted square. Outside it's dark, and it surprises me at first, but of course it's nighttime. Of course hours have been passing for everyone else while my whole life changed. I can never change it back now. 

I'm standing on the palace steps thinking about that, chained and surrounded by the Guards, when, through the gaps between the black uniforms around me, I catch a flash of blue and gold. Prince Anatol stands in front of the glass doors of the hothouse, staring at me.
I try to steel myself against his stare, tell myself that soon I'll be with Sasha, but heat floods my face anyway. Something about the way he looks at me makes me suddenly glad that we're leaving the palace. Soon I'll be at Tyur'ma, away from Anatol's cold, curious eyes. 

The Guards move forward as one, Peacekeeper Rurik with them, and Feliks and I are jerked out into the biting cold to Tyur'ma, where I'll be spending the next three years of my life, if I live that long. Or so they think. 

About the Author: 
Ruth Lauren lives in the West Midlands in England with her family and lots of cats. She likes chocolate, walking in the woods, cheese, orchids, going to the movies, and reading as many books as she can. She's been a teacher and working in lots of different offices, but she likes writing best. Prisoner of Ice and Snow is her debut novel. 


The Giveaway:

Open to US/Canada residents only.
No purchase necessary.
Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Top Ten Tuesday #102 - Most Unique Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Eight Most Unique Books I've Read

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - A magical circus that only comes around at night, with no warning. This one blew me away when I read it. 
The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Kelly Barnhill - There are elements in this book that are overly used in fantasy but this book in particular weaves all of those elements into one of the most beautiful and unique stories I've ever read. 
A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab - This series is amazing and so unique. There are four worlds, all of which are completely different except that each one has a London and only a couple of magicians in any of these worlds can pass through to visit the others. Plus, Kell's coat can turn into so many different coats depending on what he needs for what world. 

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick - This is such an amazing story that intertwines the actual history of the film director, George Melies, with a fictional story about an orphan boy named Hugo. It also has lots of illustrations and actual Melies images, such as the iconic 'Trip to the Moon' moon face with the bomb embedded in it's eye. 
Coraline by Neil Gaiman - This was the first Gaiman story I read and I've been hooked ever since. The idea of an 'other mother' with button eyes was so spooky. It's still one of my favorites and I haven't come across anything quite like it. 
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman - This is one of my all-time favorite books ever. I loved the idea of daemons, which are basically a part of our soul in animal form, that can speak to you and never leaves your side. Seriously, it's been 20 years and I still haven't found anything quite like this except for maybe Harry Potter.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff - Most unique formatting I've ever come across. Yes, Mark Z. Danielewski also has some unique formatting but I feel like this was done so much better. 
Sunborn Rising: Beneath the Fall by Aaron Safronoff - This was seriously amazing and so, so unique! It's set on a world that has a sun at it's center, surrounded by an ocean, with a network of gigantic trees floating on the ocean that host all sorts of social creatures. 

Have you read any of these? What are the most unique books you've read?

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Sunday Post #59 - Busy Days

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer
It's a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things you received, share news about what is coming up on your blog for the week ahead, and more.

Another week without reading much of anything at all. I don't want to call it a slump. I've just been busy with other things. 
I've been focused on spending more time with my toddler lately. We've been doing lots of reading, gardening, playing, dancing, and arts & crafts this past week with small organizational projects in between. In other words, more productive in the real world, less productive here. Taking an impromptu break when you already have a work pile isn't always a good idea but I needed a mental health week.
...And it's cold again. I'm not complaining though. I'm not really looking forward to Summer's sun. 


This week, I posted two picture book reviews. The first was Mr. Postmouse Takes A Trip by Marianne Dubuc and the second was The Dragon Hunters by James Russell.
I shared a Book Blast & Giveaway for A Strange Companion by Lisa Manterfield and I talked about why I can't wait for House of Furies by Madeleine Roux. Last but not least, I posted my book review for Prisoner of Ice and Snow by Ruth Lauren (keep an eye out for the blog tour and giveaway for in a couple of days.)

My blog anniversary is coming up this week and there will be giveaways! 



I'm still slowly making my way through this during nap time. It's already breaking my heart though. 

MVEJIMV - 'Fatigue'

Have a great week, readers!