fantasy

ARC Review of Fragile Chaos by Amber R. Duell

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fragilechaos1.jpgFragile Chaos by Amber R. Duell

Publication Date: July 11, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Mythology, and Fantasy

Rating: sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5

Purchase here: Amazon

Synopsis: A GOD OF WAR SEEKING RESTORATION.

AN UNWILLING SACRIFICIAL BRIDE.

BETRAYAL THAT COULD DESTROY THEM BOTH.

“Every fiber of my being is woven from the rage of mortals.”

Theodric, the young God of War, has a talent for inciting conflict and bloodshed. After being stripped of his powers by his older brother, King of Gods, he sets out to instigate a mortal war to prove himself worthy of being restored to power.

“I loved Kisk once; it was my home… But that was before. This is now.”

Sixteen-year-old Cassia, like many in the modern era, believes gods and goddesses to be just a myth. Enemy to her country and an orphan of the war, she has no time for fairy tales. That’s until religious zealots from Theo’s sect offer her up as a sacrifice.

Can Cassia and Theo end the mortal war and return balance to the earth and heavens? Or, will their game of fate lead down a path of destruction, betrayal, and romance neither of them saw coming?

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Thank you so much, Amber R. Duell, for my eARC of Fragile Chaos and the chance to read and review your book early. I really appreciate the opportunity.

Fragile Chaos is a book I’m in love with and I’m so happy I had the opportunity to read this one early. It took me a while to get into the story but once I was in, there was no going back for me. The entire concept of Fragile Chaos intrigued me and while I was scared it wouldn’t deliver I can definitely say it did and then some. The story follows Theo, the God of War, and Cassia, a female sacrifice meant to become Theo’s bride. From their first scene, there is a clear connection between the two and the more you see of them, both individually and together, the more invested you become in their fates. If you are a fan of young adult books with strong mythical elements and romance that is fought for then Fragile Chaos is a must read.

“War is a captivating, magnetic disorder. And it’s mine. Only the God of War can decide when and how it ends, and right now I’m perfectly happy to let it rage on despite what my brother wants. He may be older, and the King of the Gods, but this is my decision.”

I love the mythology aspect of the story. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of Greek and Roman mythology. However, despite the similarities, the mythology present in Fragile Chaos is that of its own. In Fragile Chaos, there are six realms of the gods and goddesses and all of the gods are siblings. The siblings are Ebris, the King of the Gods; Drea, the Goddess of Life; Brisa, the Goddess of the Sea; Leander, the God of Death; Astra, the Goddess of Love, and lastly, Theodric, the God of War and the protagonist of the book. The thing about Fragile Chaos is that it feels new and different in comparison to a lot of other books I’ve read based on mythology. First of all, Fragile Chaos focuses on the God of War which I have never seen before. Moreover, the whole world that Amber R. Duell has created is intriguing, draws you in and makes you want to see more of it. I have always loved books that feature gods and goddesses and I’m really happy that Fragile Chaos managed to surprise me, which I didn’t think it’d do. Fragile Chaos is gritty and manages to keep you at the edge of your seat until the very end.

However, what made me really fall in love with Fragile Chaos is definitely the main characters. We have Theo, the God of War, who is misunderstood by his siblings and wants them to see him for who he is, and for them to trust his judgments. Then we have Cassia, who despite being all alone in the world is strong and never gives up without a fight. Both of them are headstrong and have a soft side to them not everyone gets to see and that is what makes them such interesting characters.

To see Theo and Cassia fall in love was seriously a pleasure. My heart was weak the entire time, especially during the moments when Theo turned soft in the presence of Cassia while at the same time everything was on fire between them. The tension between Theo and Cassia was electric, and their chemistry and the way they were around each other throughout the book will make you fangirl. Another aspect of their story that I love was the fact that their love didn’t come easy. They both struggled with their emotions for each other and that made their connection that much deeper in the end. Theo and Cassia made me root for them, fangirl over the way they looked at and thought about each other, and their kissing scenes had me squealing. I just love it when a book does that.

“She collides against my chest. My breathing hitches. Each place her body touches mine feels as if it’s exploding. I push her away, stepping back at the same time, and drag in a breath.”

The one aspect of the story I think could have been written differently is the way Cassia’s skin color is described. She is clearly a woman of color, especially based on the book’s cover. However, in the book her skin color is described as tan and bronze. Tan is a very ambiguous word. Anyone can be tan no matter if your skin color is pink, beige, brown and black etc. and that’s why I thought her skin color could have been described better and therefore clarified. Two quotes from the book that highlights this issue are the following,

A girl in an oversized khaki jacket is sitting at the edge of the firelight’s glow. Shadows flicker over her tan skin, dancing in time to the flames. She can’t be more than sixteen. “Last roll,” she says.

and

My skin is almost as bronze as hers, my hair just as black, and if it weren’t for my blue eyes, I could easily pass as a fellow islander.

All in all, Fragile Chaos is a great young adult book about six gods and goddesses and the world they are a part of, for better and for worse. This book will make you fangirl and root for the protagonists until the very end. Theo and Cassia’s story has its ups and downs, nothing is ever easy for them, but their chemistry is amazing and you will want them to end up together despite all their flaws. If you love a good young adult romance, mythology, and a story with high stakes then you definitely need to read Fragile Chaos by Amber R. Duell.

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Review of Gravity by Juliann Rich

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gravity1.jpgGravity by Juliann Rich

Publication Date: November 15, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, LGBT, Contemporary, and Sports

Rating: sliceofcake5sliceofcake5

Purchase here: Amazon | The Book Depository

Synopsis: A shot at Olympic gold in ski jumping. It’s a dream that has been the exclusive property of male athletes. Until now.

For seventeen-year-old Ellie Engebretsen, the 2011 decision to include women’s ski jumping in the Olympics is a game changer. She’d love to bring home the gold for her father, a former Olympic competitor whose dreams were blown along with his knees on an ill-timed landing. But can she defy the pull of gravity that draws her to Kate Moreau, her biggest competition and the girl of her dreams?

How can Ellie soar through the air when all she feels like doing is falling hard?

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Thank you, Bold Strokes Books and NetGalley, for my eARC of Gravity and the chance to read and review it!

I have very conflicted feelings about Gravity. My expectations were mixed, some of my friends loved this book and others did not. However, in the end, I feel like this book was a bit subpar. It was nothing special except for the fact that it’s about sports, in particular, ski jumping, which was the best part of this book. I’ll talk more about that after I’ll deal with my biggest issue of the book. To understand my issues with the book I’ll have to divulge on events that transpired in first third (or so) of the book. This book is about Ellie, whose father is a former ski jumper and who now trains Ellie to get ready for the Olympics. Ellie is gay and likes girls and up until the beginning of the book, Ellie was together with and in love with a girl named Blair. However, a couple of days before the book starts Ellie gets the following text, a text Blair was meant to send to Geoffrey (a guy also in the ski jumping circle of people).

“I promise I’ll break up with Ellie tonight, Geoffrey. I hate sneaking around as much as you do.”

What has happened is that Blair has been cheating on Ellie with Geoffrey. Naturally, Ellie is heartbroken and mad which I totally understand. Getting cheated on is the worst and it’s not wrong to feel bad about it. What I dislike about Ellie’s reaction though is 1) her biphobia and 2) the fact that she called Blair a bitch (not to her face, but still). The first part is a real problem for me because while Blair being unfaithful and sleeping with someone other than Ellie is wrong (because they were in a committed relationship) that does not give Ellie the right the “claim” that Blair is a straight girl. The sexuality of Blair is never actually mentioned but we learn throughout the book that the feelings Blair had for Ellie were still real. The parts I found to be biphobic were,

“She still can’t and it would be almost funny, the way her eyes rove around the room until her gaze settles on Jack’s ass, if it didn’t hurt so damn much that even her eyes are off limits to me. To people not in the know, it probably looks like Blair hasn’t given up girls for good. Not by a long shot. But Blair knows and I know, the deep red that spreads across her face has nothing to do with Jack’s glutes and everything to do with her guilt.”

And

“What’s there to understand? Your text was pretty clear. You got sick of me. Or it was all a lie and you never loved me. Or you wanted something Geoffrey had that I didn’t.” I spit that last one in her face, because it was always good between us, that part. Better than good.

And

“It was the type of torment I was willing to endure back then, but only for Blair Caldwell. One year of walking around with a hard-on will do that to an otherwise sane woman. It’ll make her drive through impassable conditions. It’ll make her pretend she loves being dragged into store after store. It’ll make her strip on command in order to try on obscenely overpriced jeans in cramped dressing rooms in front of the girl of her dreams—the supremely uninterested and presumably straight girl of her dreams.”

I’ll be honest, maybe I read too much into it, but to me, it felt really wrong of Ellie to talk about Blair in that way. Blair cheating and presumably being bisexual (she is coded as a bisexual), but being called a straight girl because she is with someone of the opposite sex at the moment, can be seen to feed into a lot of negative stereotypes.

Moreover, I don’t have a problem with swearing, but I’ll admit that a woman calling another woman bitch really rubs me the wrong way which is why I, for example, had a problem with the following sentence.

“My Blair, my girl, the bitch who leapt into his arms like it was the easiest thing in the world.”

There was also a moment when the word slutty was used and I’m not really a fan of women (or anyone else for that matter) slut-shaming other women.

“Most days, I’m scoping out tourists, but all I see are silly girls or pouty girls or slutty girls. No one who could interest me enough to take my mind off Blair for one second.”

Despite my issues with Gravity I still really found the last half of so enjoyable. The main pairing, with their relationship in a large part built on lies which later on got exposed, towards the end really found each other and the truth together with shared dreams. That was very sweet. I really wish though that Ellie hadn’t lied so much to Kate and dealt with a lot of situations differently but that might just be me. The most interesting part about Gravity is that fact that it’s women in ski jumping. There is a lot of interesting trivia both in the book and afterward which teaches you about the fact that ski jumping is really misogynistic (which is called out in the book by the characters) and I loved that topic. I also loved the part about female ski jumpers being allies despite them also being competitors because of the misogynistic nature of the sport. In the Author’s Note: The Real Heroes in the end of the book it says the following,

“Though the Olympic barrier has been breached, the struggle to find equal footing continues. Currently women ski jumpers are allowed to compete in one event while their male counterparts compete in three.”

I really hope and wish we get to see more books about women in ski jumping because the sports sounds so amazing and I love seeing women taking their rightful place where men have tried to keep them away for so long. Big thumbs up for that. All in all, my feelings are mixed and I cannot give this book more than 2.5 stars. If you love f/f romances and sports, I say you can give this book a go but definitely be aware of the issues that exist in the book.

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Friendship, Fiction, and Coming Out by Marie Landry {A Pride Month Guest Post}

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I started selectively coming out about eleven years ago. I pretty much always knew I wasn’t ‘straight’, but I didn’t know what to call myself, largely because I grew up in a time when calling someone ‘gay’ was considered the funniest/best insult by a lot of people, and I didn’t really know any labels beyond gay and lesbian. For a long time, I figured it would be a part of me I kept mostly to myself, but when I started dating a girl, I knew I needed the people closest to me to know about this side of my life and this important person I loved.

The first person I came out to was my friend Meghan. I don’t remember how I told her. I can’t remember the exact words. I honestly don’t even remember if I did it in person or on MSN Messenger (showing my age here, haha). What I do remember is one of the next times I saw her, she gave me a book: Bottle Rocket Hearts by Zoe Whittall. Meghan was always lending me books – books that often ended up being favourites, like The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo. When she gave me Bottle Rocket Hearts, a book about 18-year-old Eve, a French-Canadian lesbian, I was grateful, but I don’t think I got her true intentions. I was excited because the book is set in Canada and there are so few books set in my beloved homeland.

It wasn’t until a few years ago, as I found the LGBTQ+ community on Twitter and heard about people’s experiences with coming out that the significance of Meghan’s gift really hit me. It wasn’t just that she was giving me a book she thought I would like. It was her way of saying ‘I love you, I support you, I’m here for you’. I cried when I realized, and I still get teary at times when I think about it. She was the perfect first person to come out to; I couldn’t have asked for a better experience, or a better friend.

Meghan’s thoughtful gift got me thinking about what book I would give a friend who came out to me, or was newly out. I’ve read a lot of LGBTQ+ books, but there are a specific few that come to mind.

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Saturday Night Author Fever #5 with Aubrie Nixon

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Hi everyone and welcome to my interview series Saturday Night Author Fever, where I interview authors with a bit of a 70s music and diversity theme. I personally love 70s music, especially disco music, and sometimes on Friday nights when no one is looking you can find me dancing to classic 70s songs such as September, Bennie and the Jets and We Are Family. However, books are my true passion and because of this, I thought it would be a great idea to mix my two loves and start this interview series. The questions will be similar every week, but with a new author every time, and I hope you’ll enjoy the answers as much as I have. Now let’s get this party started!

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This Saturday Night we welcome Aubrie Nixon. Thank you so much for sitting down with me today in my galaxy of books.

Aubrie, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your books? What do you think about 70s music?

My name is Aubrie Nixon, and I am the author of the Age of Endings series. The first book in the series, Secret of Souls is due out this Fall and I am so excited! Its a dark fantasy about an assassin and her journey to bring balance back to her broken world. However she is the type who would rather burn it down. So, it’s definitely an interesting journey she goes on. To answer your question about 70s music, I love it! I often go on road trips with my grandma and we always have it on the 60s and 70s station.

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What To Read Summer of 2017 {Diverse Books Releasing In June, July & August 2017}

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Hey there, bookish people! Can you feel the summer vibes in the air? I certainly can. June is unofficially the beginning of summer here in Sweden and you know what’s just the best part about that? All of the free time, lovely weather and the big stack of amazing books you can *finally* devour. To celebrate all of this I thought I would write a blog post with all of the diverse books releasing this summer, in other words, all of the books releasing in June, July and August. There are so many of them and a lot of them are very anticipated reads for me. Do you have a book you’re dying to read this summer?

I’ve tried putting all of the diverse books I could find in this post, however, if I missed one please let me know so I can add it. The plan is to continuously update this post with any releases I might have missed. This summer is long and filled with so many diverse book releases. I can’t wait to read them all. In this list diverse books includes books with marginalized characters and books by marginalized authors, some who may not have diverse characters in their books.

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The books releasing in June are listed below in the order of their release date. All of the Goodreads pages will be linked together with where you can buy/pre-order the book if that option exists.

  • June 1 – The Story of Lizzy and Darcy by Grace Watson. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 2 – Mature Content by Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 5 – North to You by Tif Marcelo. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 6 – Everything All At Once by Katrina Leno. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 6 – Follow Me Back by A.V. Geiger. GoodreadsAmazon links.
  • June 6 – Perfect Ten by L. Philips. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 6 – Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 8 – Grrrls on the Side by Carrie Pack. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 13 – Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 13 – Saints and Misfits by S. K. Ali. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 13 – Want by Cindy Pon. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 27 – Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 27 – If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosiak. Add it on Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 27 – The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. Goodreads & Amazon links.

These are the diverse books set to be published in June. If I missed any, let me know so I can add them right away. If there is a title that doesn’t fit, let me know about that too.

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Now onto July. The books releasing in July are listed below in the order of their release date. All of the Goodreads pages will be linked together with where you can buy/pre-order the book if that option exists.

  • July 4 – The Tower of the Antilles by Achy Obejas. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 6 – After the Sunset by Lilah Suzanne. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 11 – Refuge by Dina Nayeri. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 11 – Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 11 – Fragile Chaos by Amber R. Duell. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 18 – The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 20 – Brush Strokes by E.S. Karlquist. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 25 – Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 25 – Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 25 – Lucky in Love by Kasie West. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 25 – The Gallery of Unfinished Girls by Lauren Karcz. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 25 – Solo by Kwame Alexander & Mary Rand Hess. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 25 – Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 26 – Walking on Knives by Maya Chhabra. Goodreads link.

These are the diverse books set to be published in July. If I missed any, let me know so I can add them right away. If there is a title that doesn’t fit, let me know about that too.

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Lastly, we have August. The books releasing in August are listed below in the order of their release date. All of the Goodreads pages will be linked together with where you can buy/pre-order the book if that option exists.

  • August 1 – New People by Danzy Senna. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 1 – Sour Heart: Stories by Jenny Zhang. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 3 – Absolutely, Almost, Perfect by Lissa Reed. Goodreads and Amazon links.
  • August 8 – Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 8 – The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 8 – The Authentics by Abdi Nazemian. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 8 – The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 15 – Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 15 – Home Fire: A Novel by Kamila Shamsie. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 17 – Blended Notes by Lilah Suzanne. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 22 – The Tiger’s Watch by Julia Ember. Goodreads link.
  • August 22 – The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 29 – Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney C. Stevens. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 29 – Starswept by Mary Fan. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 29 – You Don’t Know Me But I Know You by Rebecca Barrow. Goodreads & Amazon links.

These are the diverse books set to be published in August. If I missed any, let me know so I can add them right away. If there is a title that doesn’t fit, let me know about that too.

Disclaimer: I haven’t read all of these books so I cannot speak for the representation present in them. However, if you know that any of these books are problematic please let me know so I can delete them from this list.

Do you have a specific book release you’re excited about this summer? Do you know of one I missed?

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#BroodyBFF Challenge 1: Once Upon a Time a Main Character and her Brooding YA Hero met …

Hey everyone, today I have a special blog post for you all. I was chosen to be a part of the #BroodyBFF street team to promote @BroodingYAHero and his upcoming novel, Brooding YA Hero’s Guide to Achieving Main Character Status so today I have a Broody McHottiepants blog post for you. Expect a lot more blog posts about him and his book in the future. Today I’m gonna tell you the story of how I met this brooding YA hero.

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Once upon a time, a young girl* met a broody boy in a far away land where the birds are constantly tweeting and the sun is always shining. They call this land Twitterland. This girl would follow this broody boy everywhere and love all parts of him, even the more questionable ones.

This young girl would love this broody hero, get lost in his emerald green eyes and forget all of her old friends. He was her whole world. Friends, who? Family, what? It was the two of them against the world. Despite a second guy entering the picture, his allure tempting, in the end, the only guy in this young girl’s heart was Broody McHottiepants. He was the only YA Hero to ever steal her heart away.

Looking back, it all started a sunny fall day almost two** years ago. The young girl was strolling through a feed of tweets, deep in thought over how ordinary she was in comparison to all the other girls in the world. That’s when she first saw him, Broody McHottiepants, the boy about to become the hero to her heroine. A simple retweet, a loud laugh, and their fates were forever sealed. The click of the follow button that day would change their futures forever. Broody, with his bad boy vibes and heart only soft for one girl, was the key to this heroine’s character development. Together they would overthrow an evil force working against them while riding a ridiculously dangerous motorcycle, their chemistry like thunder on a dark summer night. This main character and her brooding YA hero would walk hand in hand towards their happily ever after, or so the story would like for you to believe, for now…

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*the girl was 19 years old, perhaps not that young after all. 

**or so she thinks. When it’s a story about true love, the epic kind where the clouds separate to make room for the sun, is accuracy really that important?

Now I’m sure you’re thinking, where can I find my very own Broody McHottiepants? Worry not, fellow protagonists, there is a @BroodingYAHero out there for everyone and you can follow him just like I did.


Brooding YA Hero’s Guide to Achieving Main Character Status by Carrie Ann DiRisio & Broody McHottiepants. Add on Goodreads.

Have you ever wished you could receive a little guidance from your favorite book boyfriend? Ever dreamed of being the Chosen One in a YA novel? Want to know all the secrets of surviving the dreaded plot twist?

Or maybe you’re just really confused about what “opal-tinted, luminous cerulean orbs” actually are?

Well, popular Twitter personality @broodingYAhero is here to help as he tackles the final frontier in his media dominance: writing a book. Join Broody McHottiepants as he attempts to pen Brooding YA Hero’s Guide to Achieving Main Character Status, a “self-help” guide (with activities–you always need activities) that lovingly pokes fun at the YA tropes that we roll our eyes at, but secretly love.

As his nefarious ex, Blondie DeMeani, attempts to thwart him at every turn, Broody overcomes to detail, among other topics, how to choose your genre, how to keep your love interest engaged (while maintaining lead character status), his secret formula for guaranteed love triangle success, and how to make sure you secure that sequel, all while keeping his hair perfectly coiffed and never breaking a sweat.


Have you met your @BroodingYAHero yet? If yes, how did you meet him?

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{THE SEAFARER’S KISS COUNTDOWN} Havamal’s Guide to the Northern Point for the Undersea Tourist

THE SEAFARER’S KISS COUNTDOWN: One Day Left – Guest Post by Author Julia Ember

Hi galaxy travelers, and welcome to the last day of my The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember Countdown. Today I have the most exciting thing for you, a guest post written by Julia Ember (the author of The Seafarer’s Kiss). The post is a guide for everything undersea tourists might need to know about the Northern Point, home to Ersel, Havamal and the other mermaids and mermen in The Seafarer’s Kiss. Havamal will be your guide so for all of you sea creatures out there, down below is Havamal’s Guide to the Northern Point for the Undersea Tourist.


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Welcome! As many of you know, due to a change in regime, we at Northern Point have recently become more accessible to other merclan travellers. My name is Havamal. I have lived in this glacier all my life and served as a King’s Guard, so it will be my pleasure to take you on this tour. To prepare you for your arrival, I’ve put together a brief guide:

(1) Food

At the North Point, your meal options will consist of several species of locally caught fish, crustaceans, ice algae and occasionally seabirds. We also use kelp for flavouring. North point is especially known for our delicious arctic cod and silverfin tuna.

We hunt as a group, using pearl-head spears and nets woven from kelp. All meals are eaten in the glacier’s central dining hall, located at the heart of the ice fortress.

Guests are encouraged to join the clan on hunts, but please be aware that any killing of mammals such as seals or whales is strictly prohibited. We have advanced communication which allows us to make trade deals and war agreements with the whales. They are friends not food!

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(2) Places to See

Beluga Bay

Part of an estuary where fresh water from the land flows into the sea, the Beluga Bay is home to several pods. The whales make their home here because the fresh water is warmer, leading to thinner ice on this part of the ice-shelf, and more abundant breathing holes. They are very friendly towards both merpeople and humans.

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Drowned Seafarer’s Wreck

With the number of icebergs we have near the North Point, there are an abundance of ships decorating our seabed. But the most impressive wreck is located almost directly underneath the merclan fortress. This titan was once a proud warship, rather than one of the small whaling vessels we commonly see. It has multiple rooms and chambers, all more or less untouched since it sank over a decade ago. When I was a young merman, this was one of my favourite places to explore.

Be careful though, lots of merpeople talk of hearing screams coming from the depths. We think it may be haunted.

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(3) Precautions

Ice Bears

In the water, most healthy merpeople can easily outswim and outmaneuver the ice bears. However, all of us must visit the surface to recharge our heating scales with sunlight. During your time on land, you must be exceptionally careful. These bears will wait beside beluga surfacing holes as well, hoping to snatch the unsuspecting from the water. While on land, we are especially vulnerable as we cannot quickly get back into the sea.

Should you encounter a polar bear while on the ice shelf, the best thing to do is heat your scales to as high a temperature as you can tolerate. Then, hit the bear with your tail. This will not kill the bear, but may incapacitate it long enough for you to reach the ocean.

Orcas

We have a tenuous alliance with the local orca pods. However, peace has not always been maintained. Sometimes, juvenile whales can become aggressive and violate the treaties. Their elders will usually bring them back into line quickly, but one should always approach these predators with respect and caution.

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What did you guys think of Havamal’s Tourist Guide of the Northern Point? Does it make you more excited to read The Seafarer’s Kiss? If you haven’t pre-ordered The Seafarer’s Kiss yet you can do so here:

You can pre-order The Seafarer’s Kiss on Amazon, The Book Depository or on Duet Books’ website. Add the book on Goodreads here.

About the Author

Julia Ember is a polyamorous, bisexual writer and native of Chicago who now resides in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Seafarer’s Kiss is her second novel and was influenced by her postgraduate work in medieval literature at The University of St. Andrews. Her first novel, Unicorn Tracks was published by Harmony Ink Press.

Connect with author Julia Ember at Julia-Ember.com, on Twitter @jules_chronicle, and on Facebook at facebook.com/juliaemberwrites.

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{THE SEAFARER’S KISS COUNTDOWN} The Seafarer’s Kiss Book Playlist

THE SEAFARER’S KISS COUNTDOWN: Two Days Left – The Seafarer’s Kiss Book Playlist

Hi readers, and welcome to another day of my The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember countdown. It’s only two days left now *queue dancing* and things are truly getting closer. Today I have a really fun post for you guys, a playlist inspired by The Seafarer’s Kiss made by yours truly. I love to make playlists for books. Trying to get the vibe right with the songs you pick out is enough to make you feel the essence of the book all over again.

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The playlist consists of 12 songs, and I’ve made sure that you can listen to it both on Spotify and Youtube. You can listen to it on Spotify here or Youtube here. You can pre-order The Seafarer’s Kiss on Amazon, The Book Depository or on Duet Books’ website. Add the book on Goodreads here.

About the Author

Julia Ember is a polyamorous, bisexual writer and native of Chicago who now resides in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Seafarer’s Kiss is her second novel and was influenced by her postgraduate work in medieval literature at The University of St. Andrews. Her first novel, Unicorn Tracks was published by Harmony Ink Press.

Connect with author Julia Ember at Julia-Ember.com, on Twitter @jules_chronicle, and on Facebook at facebook.com/juliaemberwrites.

Will you be listening to the playlist? Are you excited about The Seafarer’s Kiss? 

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ARC Review of A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

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acrownofwishes1.jpgA Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

Publication Date: March 28, 2017

Genres: Fantasy and Young Adult

Rating: sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5

Selling points: Lyrical writing, amazing and fleshed out characters and magical world.

Purchase here: Amazon | The Book Depository

Synopsis: Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes—a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.

Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels.

Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

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Thank you, St. Martin’s Griffin and Netgalley, for my advanced review copy of A Crown of Wishes!

A Crown of Wishes is a magical story that follows the Fox Prince and the Jewel of Bharata through a Tournament of Wishes with them seeking and fighting for their dreams and hopes. Roshani Chokshi with her lyrical writing has a way of pulling you in and making you feel every word on the page, every smell, touch, and feeling as if it were your own. If you love fantasy you are guaranteed to love this book, but even if fantasy is not what you usually read I know the writing and the characters in A Crown of Wishes will sweep you away like the wind.

“This was a fight. I would fight to win and fight to return. And that hope, to have something to fight for once more, grew wings inside me.”

Except for the writing, the characters are really what made me love A Crown of Wishes as much as I did. Vikram and Gauri are from enemy kingdoms and together have to fight in a Tournament of Wishes where everything is at stake: their dreams, hopes, and fears. Their journey will push them to their limits and take them to places they never saw coming, both in this magical new world, they are discovering and within themselves.

First of all, we have Vikram, a prince about to be king in name only in his kingdom Ujijain. He’s courageous, witty and charming, with lots of hope and faith in himself and his abilities. Gauri on the other hand, the Jewel of Bharata and the exiled princess, whom Vikram calls Beastly Girl is a mixture of sweet and vicious. You could say she is a series of contradictions but her flaws are so genuine and relatable you can do nothing but love her. She has grit in every bone of her body, but her heart and soul have a soft and tender side that comes out in painfully human moments. They are both forced to work together, having been mere enemies a few moments earlier, and through their journey, they get to know each other and learn to trust one another in ways they never saw coming. There is undeniable chemistry between Vikram and Gauri which is seen both in their most dangerous moments and the discreet moments just between the two of them. Another character I really fell in love with is Aasha, though she plays a much smaller part in the book than both Vikram and Gauri she truly captures your attention and makes you want to see more of her. She is curious and kind, and will always lend you a helping hand.

All in all, this amazing fantasy book deserves all of the praise in the world. I’m still awestruck by the writing and doubt anything I write in my review will ever do it justice. The lyrical writing we see in A Crown of Wishes is breathtaking and rare and will make you fall in love with every word you read. If you are looking for a book with a detailed and interesting plot with well-developed characters and beautiful writing then look no further. A Crown of Wishes is filled with culture and lush descriptions and is a must read Young Adult Fantasy book this spring.

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Zodiac Recommendations #3 Aries Books

Hi everyone, and welcome to my third week of Zodiac Book Recommendations. Every week I’m recommending books for one of the zodiac signs, starting with Aquarius and ending with Capricorn, after chronological order. This week I have three book recommendations for Aries.

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This week we are embracing fire, the element of the Aries, the one that they carry inside of them. Like every other zodiac sign, the Aries have their strengths and weaknesses, and with these qualities in mind I have tried to find suitable book recommendations. I hope that whoever you are, whether you are an Aries yourself or someone who knows an Aries, you’ll enjoy these book recommendations.

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For Aries I’m recommending the books below,

The books I’ve chosen are ones that I think celebrate Aries qualities in one way or another. I hope you’ll love these books, and maybe even find a new favorite. Check out my book recommendations for the other zodiac signs too. Next week I’m doing Taurussee previous recommendations here.

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