heir of fire feat

Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Ma...

Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is ...

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Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth M...

Edinburgh, Scotland, 1844 Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined for a life carefully planned around Edin...

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Teaser + Giveaway: Summerfall by Cl...

If you haven't heard of WINTERSPELL by Claire Legrand, then I don't know what rock you've been living under, but it probably doesn't have an interne...

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Saturday Soundtrack: The Unfinished...

This week, we have the pleasure of having Adele Griffin, award-winning author who just released The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone, one of the most ...

Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Heir of Fire Topheir of fire

Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

I first heard about the Throne of Glass series at BEA 2012. A girl assassin who wears ball gowns and beats the boys? Sign me up! In 2013, I made sure I had got a copy of Crown of Midnight. I tore through that one too, and it destroyed me in the best way possible. This year, Sarah J. Maas is back with the third book in the bestselling series, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint.

Coming out of an absolutely huge shocker at the end of Crown of Midnight,  Celaena’s world is completely different. Twisted by grief, loss, and depression, this isn’t the same character we’ve come to know in the last two books. Unsurprisingly, something is missing after the events of the last book.

But Celaena’s grief and recovery aren’t the only elements of the book. We get a slew of new characters: A faerie warrior named Rowan, a general, a bad-ass Iron Teeth Witch named Manon, and the mysterious faerie queen. These characters along with a whole host of new threats take the series to a whole new level.

Throughout the course of Heir of Fire, Maas simultaneously expands the world of the book and deepens it, filling in parts of Celaena’s backstory we never knew about while strengthening her character through challenges she’s never had to face.

The scale of this book is so far beyond what I ever imagined when I first read Throne of Glass, and fans of the series will be thrilled with this latest installment. If this is what happens in book three, I can’t even picture how awesome the rest of the series is going to be. Oh, and for those of you worried that I haven’t mentioned Chaol or Dorian yet, don’t worry, your favorite prince and captain are still alive and causing trouble as always.

Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May

falconer headerEdinburgh, Scotland, 1844

Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined for a life carefully planned around Edinburgh’s social events – right up until a faery killed her mother.

Now it’s the 1844 winter season and Aileana slaughters faeries in secret, in between the endless round of parties, tea and balls. Armed with modified percussion pistols and explosives, she sheds her aristocratic facade every night to go hunting. She’s determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother, and to destroy any who prey on humans in the city’s many dark alleyways.

But the balance between high society and her private war is a delicate one, and as the fae infiltrate the ballroom and Aileana’s father returns home, she has decisions to make. How much is she willing to lose – and just how far will Aileana go for revenge?

I’ve been hearing a lot about The Falconer for a long time. I’ve heard that it was awesome, that there was romance, that it was a book I had to read, but I didn’t really know anything solid about it other than it being about a girl who kills Faeries.

And boy does this girl love to kill faeries.

The Falconer has a lot of very cool and surprising elements in it, the first being the Steampunk version of Scotland where the book is set. In this book there are such awesome things as automatic tea dispensers (I need this in my life), floating clockwork lanterns, and little mechanical spiders that will fix your wounds. I hadn’t known beforehand that the book was in anyway Steampunk, so it was a fun discovery–especially the organic way in which those elements blended with the story.

Second, is the integration of Scottish lore. There have been many books about faeries, but few specifically focused on Scotland. I thought that the world building surrounding the faeries was excellent, blending what some people might know of fairy lore with a spin that is wholly unique. Immortal, deadly, and completely inhuman. Faeries in the world are evil. Or are they? (can we talk about Kieran please?)

The Falconer is exactly the kind of fantasy adventure anyone would wish for. Violence, romance, and the fate of the world. Not to mention pixies, kisses, and flying machines. What else could you want in a book? As soon as I finished the last page I instantly wanted to read the sequel. So if you’re looking for a faerie fantasy to escape into, this one is a good choice.

Teaser + Giveaway: Summerfall by Claire Legrand

summerfall
If you haven’t heard of WINTERSPELL by Claire Legrand, then I don’t know what rock you’ve been living under, but it probably doesn’t have an internet connection.

Claire has knocked it out of the park with the creepy and the spooky in her previous two books, The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls and The Year of Shadows. And now, with WINTERSPELL, she takes on retelling a tale as old as time, The Nutcracker. Yes, The Nutcracker.

But even though you can’t sink your teeth into WINTERSPELL  until September 30th, there’s still a way you can start to get to know the story. Claire has released a nice little enovella, titled SUMMERFALL, to get your toes wet in this world of love and war.

Stick around until the end of the post to see an exclusive teaser from SUMMERFALL and to enter a giveaway for some awesome WINTERSPELL swag!

Until then, I’ll leave you with some sneak peeks of this soon-to-be-huge series!

Title: Summerfall (A Winterspell Novella)
Author: Claire Legrand
Release Date: August 26th, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | iBookstore

Rinka is a faery, passionate and powerful, determined to maintain the tenuous peace between faeries and humans.

Alban Somerhart is a human, a reluctant king trapped in an arranged marriage, desperate to prevent war.

Their love could save the kingdom of Cane… or shatter it forever.

In this captivating novella, prequel to the upcoming Winterspell, Claire Legrand weaves a story of magic, political intrigue, and forbidden love that sets the stage for the rise of a wicked queen and the journey of a human girl named Clara…


Title: Winterspell
Author: Claire Legrand
Release Date: September 30th, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books of Wonder (For Signed Copies!)
The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince… but what follows is not all sweetness and sugarplums.

New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor’s ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother’s murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.

Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.

Her home is destroyed, her father abducted–by beings distinctly nothuman. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they’re to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets–and a need she can’t define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won’t leave Cane unscathed–if she leaves at all.

Inspired by The Nutcracker, Winterspell is a dark, timeless fairy tale about love and war, longing and loneliness, and a girl who must learn to live without fear.

Are you reader for that teaser now?? I bet you are! Well, here it is!

SUMMERFALL teaser 16

Chilling and beautiful.

Now how about we talk prizes.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I know that was a lot to take in, but I trust you’re much better off now. Especially if you download SUMMERFALL to your ereader! You won’t regret it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Claire Legrand is the author of books for children and teens, including The Cavendish Home for Boys and GirlsThe Year of Shadows, the upcoming Winterspell, and its prequel,Summerfall. She is also one of the four authors of The Cabinet of Curiosities.

When not writing books, she can be found obsessing over DVD commentaries, going on long walks (or trying to go on long runs), and speaking with a poor English accent to random passersby. She thinks musicians and librarians are the loveliest of folks (having been each of those herself) and, while she loves living in central New Jersey, she dearly misses her big, brash, beautiful home state of Texas.

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Saturday Soundtrack: The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin

SS HeaderThis week, we have the pleasure of having Adele Griffin, award-winning author who just released The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone, one of the most unique and most brilliant books I’ve ever read. You truly can’t see how gorgeous this book is until you pick it up in the store. It’s an art piece in itself. When I asked Adele if she would like to share some of the music that inspired her new book, she didn’t hesitate to say “yes.” Listen to the songs and read what Adele has to say about each one. Take it away, Adele!

THE UNFINISHED LIFE OF ADDISON STONE is a novel about a troubled, brilliant young New York artist, now deceased. I told it as an oral history, fully illustrated with full-page art, plus photos, magazine and newspaper clippings, sketches, and candid snaps of Addison’s life. When I am actually writing, I can’t listen to music with lyrics because they get too deep in my head. But a lot of writing is not-writing, and I like listening to music when I think through a book– maybe while I’m walking my dog or on yet another coffee run.

At some point in revisions I heard the song Chandelier by Sia, which is one of those uncanny book-meets-playlist moments. Anyone who reads it will know. People are starting to send it to me so I want to give it a nod.

Addison was a gorgeous It girl, but she was also dark and complicated. I moved between voices I enjoyed, usually female, like Ellie Goulding or Florence and the Machine—whose voice is so Addison-y themed. I especially loved dreamy haunted Heavy in Your Arms.

Sometimes I listened to this strange song by Daniel Johnston, who is a big force of inspiration for me. Johnston is a songwriter and an artist. The recording of The Story of an Artist has been covered by M. Ward to sound really beautiful here:

but I love it most this way:

the weight of his lyrics: we don’t really like what you do / we don’t think anyone ever will/we think you have a problem / and this problem’s made you ill is so different when sung by Johnston himself, with all of his pain in them. Johnston’s fragile mental health is well-documented in the film: THE DEVIL AND DANIEL JOHNSTON, and I can feel the echo of that movie’s impact in Addison’s own character. The book released on August 12 and is in stores everywhere. Soho Press will have lots of “mini-documentary” footage coming soon. Keep up with everything Addison and find more clues at www.iamaddisonstone.com. Hope you enjoy!

sadaddy

An exclusive photo of Addison not printed in the book.

Johnston

An original piece of art by Daniel Johnston that I owns myself.

Big thank you to Adele Griffin for sharing a few songs of inspiration and a look behind the scenes at her process. I insist everyone go to their local bookshop and pick up a copy of this book and see how gorgeous it is. You won’t want to put it down!

What are some songs that inspire you when being creative?

Picture This: Big Cities, Little Beaches, and Kids of All Sizes

Little Elliot, Big City by Mike Curato
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
9/2/14 | $16.99

Amid the hustle and bustle of the big city, the big crowds and bigger buildings, Little Elliot leads a quiet life. In spite of the challenges he faces, Elliot finds many wonderful things to enjoy—like cupcakes! And when his problems seem insurmountable, Elliot discovers something even sweeter—a friend.

At some point, everyone feels a bit like little Elliot. Lost. Different. Helpless. But little Elliot loves living in such a big city even with all of its challenges because of the little things he finds. Even when others don’t notice him, he is able to find a friend who does. This beautifully illustrated story may be little but it has a BIG heart!

The Storm Whale by Benji Davis
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
9/30/14 | $16.99

Every day, in a house by the sea, a little boy watches his father leave for a long day’s work. The boy is lonely, until one night, a storm brings a very unexpected change.

This is a heartwarming story of the bond between the father and a son.

The first thing you’ll notice about this book is the stunning artwork by Davies. While simple in form, the structure gives way to wonderful detail in every corner of this book. On top of that, the story is a lovely tale of growing up, friendships, and the ability to let things go. To be honest, I just really want to frame pages from this book to hang on my walls.

Little Humans by Brandon Stanton
Farrar Straus Giroux
10/7/14 | $17.99

Little humans are brave and bold, creative and curious, stylish and sweet. They love their brothers and sisters, their moms and dads, and their friends. Each little human is perfectly unique. Just like you!

Street photographer and storyteller extraordinaire Brandon Stanton is the creator of the wildly popular blog “Humans of New York.” He is also the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Humans of New York. To create Little Humans, he used some of his favorite children’s photos from the blog, in addition to all-new exclusive portraits. The result is a hip, heartwarming ode to little humans everywhere.

After gaining widespread popularity for his blog and now book Humans of New York, photographer Brandon Stanton is back with a book for the little city dwellers. With beautiful photos of kids big and small, this story is one motivating children to do things bigger than themselves, to be strong, brave, smart, and playful. This is one book perfect for kids of all ages this holiday season.

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