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Maria Hollis’ Lillac Town Birthday Games – General Quiz {Win Books!}

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Hi everyone and welcome to this exciting post I have for you today. Tomorrow, May 15, it’s Maria Hollis’ (the author the Lillac Town series) birthday and to celebrate this, Maria decided to host a few games on a few blogs, including mine, where you have a chance of winning ebooks of her books and just have lots of fun. Over on The Book Voyagers‘ blog, you can find out which character you are through a character quiz, find their blog post here. On Lisa The Bookworm’s blog, there is a game of word search and you can find that one here.

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You can find Maria Hollis’ books on Goodreads and Amazon. Find The Melody of You and Me on Goodreads here and Amazon here. Find The Paths We Choose on Goodreads here and Amazon here.

On my blog here today I have a general Lillac Town quiz for you all, with six questions all about the Lillac Town series and its characters. Down below are the questions.

  1. What books and/or authors are mentioned in The Melody of You and Me? (at least 4) (tip: Josie reads Filipino authors and f/f books)
  2. What is the full name of the four main characters from TMOYAM and TPWC? (tip: blog tours)
  3. What is the first sentence of The Paths We Choose? (tip: author’s Tumblr)
  4. Who are the protagonists of book 3?
  5. What instrument does Chris play?
  6. What’s the name of the bookstore where the girls work?

The idea is for you to send at least five answers to these questions to Maria’s email. The first five people to send the correct answers will win an ebook of hers of their choice. Since not everyone has read all of the books, there are a few tips to help you for a couple of the questions. You can also find a lot of the answers on Maria’s Tumblr, and if you have a hard time finding the answers there, you can also talk to her on her Twitter and she can give you additional tips over there. You can also search for the books on my blog since I have both reviewed and have lots of other Lillac Town blog posts as well. When you think you have the answers, send them to Maria’s email at lillactown@gmail.com.

If you have any more questions, don’t be afraid to contact Maria Hollis through any of her platforms. I know she would be more than happy to help you out in any way she can. She’s the sweetest so don’t be shy.

Good luck everyone! I hope you’ll have lots and lots of fun with these games. Also, don’t forget to go wish Maria a happy birthday tomorrow!

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Book Playlist for How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

Hey, galaxy travelers! Today I’m here with another book playlist for you guys and it’s one for the amazing book How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake. If you guys didn’t know this already, I’m in love with How to Make a Wish and if you want to you can read my review here. The story about Eva and Grace is one that will pull you and it will make you feel a wide range of emotions from beginning to end. If you want to listen to my interpretation of How to Make a Wish you can do so through my playlist.

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The playlist only has 10 songs and I worked really hard on finding the perfect ones (I redid this playlist about two times just to get it right). I really hope you’ll like the songs I chose. I tried to make the playlist take you on the same journey as the book does. I hope this playlist will give you similar feelings as the book did. If you haven’t read How to Make a Wish yet, you can add the book on Goodreads and buy the book on Amazon and Book Depository.  You can listen to my playlist down below or on Spotify and YouTube.

Will you be listening to the playlist? Have you read How to Make a Wish yet? What did you think of it?

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{THE SEAFARER’S KISS RELEASE DAY} ARC Review of The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember

HAPPY RELEASE DAY TO THE VERY ANTICIPATED THE SEAFARER’S KISS BY JULIA EMBER! 

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Today is the day, after my week long The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember Countdown the book is finally out in the world. If you haven’t pre-ordered the book before today, you can now buy the book at the purchase links I have linked below. I’m sure you guys will love this book, I know I did.

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The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember

Publication Date: May 4, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT and Mermaids

Rating: sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5

Selling points: Fat bisexual MC and a unique story that is a retelling of the Little Mermaid but with a darker twist.

Purchase here: Amazon | The Book Depository | Duet Books

Synopsis: Having long-wondered what lives beyond the ice shelf, nineteen-year-old mermaid Ersel learns of the life she wants when she rescues and befriends Ragna, a shield-maiden stranded on the mermen’s glacier. But when Ersel’s childhood friend and suitor catches them together, he gives Ersel a choice: say goodbye to Ragna or face justice at the hands of the glacier’s brutal king.

Determined to forge a different fate, Ersel seeks help from Loki. But such deals are never as one expects, and the outcome sees her exiled from the only home and protection she’s known. To save herself from perishing in the barren, underwater wasteland and be reunited with the human she’s come to love, Ersel must try to outsmart the God of Lies.

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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Thank you, Julia Ember, for my advanced reader copy of The Seafarer’s Kiss. I really appreciate the opportunity to read and review it.

The Seafarer’s Kiss is a breathtaking story about a mermaid and a human with Norse mythology and unforeseen plot twists woven into their story. This book will move readers that cannot get enough of magical, beautiful worlds and characters that are relatable in the way they are flawed and the way they grow. This is a book you need on your radar, as even though it has an incredible f/f love story the book focuses heavily on personal growth. The main character, Ersel, is a fat bisexual mermaid who goes through a lot of character development throughout the book and by the end of it still isn’t perfect (like none of us are). That is what makes her such a compelling character, and a protagonist you can truly feel for.

The world in The Seafarer’s Kiss is one that will mesmerize you, and how the mermaid culture and human culture is woven into the story will have you enjoying every single moment. We see the power balance between the mermaids, mermen, their leader, and the gods. Loki, the trickster god, plays a large part in the story, is genderfluid and uses they/them pronouns. Even though they are the villain in a lot of ways, you will still find yourself truly liking them for their unique personality and scheming ways. I also fell in love with the belugas, they were such a beautiful part of Ersel’s life, and I just really enjoyed reading their interactions with the other characters. This book is based on Norse mythology and is also a retelling of the Little Mermaid and the entire concept of the story makes you want it to never end in order to stay in the world forever.

The Seafarer’s Kiss is a story about breaking free, creating your own path and deciding who you want to be and what you are willing to do to get there. It explores how easy it is to make rash and irreversible decisions that can have catastrophic consequences, and how to deal with that afterward. Both Ersel, Havamal, and Ragna all made mistakes that they have to live with, at times they are selfish and mean, but that is what makes you truly remember these characters. They are flawed, and they fuck it up like the rest of us, but we see their journey of growing and dealing with their mistakes. This book and its characters show readers that making mistakes is okay, and though we cannot undo them, we can move forward and do differently next time.

The Seafarer’s Kiss is filled with strong and flawed women, who are so much more than just their love interest, and are all about personal growth and finding their own path in life. Throughout this book you will be rooting for the characters, hoping they are safe and that no harm is done to them as they fight their way through unforeseen obstacles. Reading the Seafarer’s Kiss felt a lot like being on a rollercoaster. I was screaming at some parts out of fear for the characters, and squealing out of joy at other parts where everything was just right. This is a book every reader needs on their radar this spring. Explore the world and its complexities with Ersel, Ragna, and Havamal and never look back.

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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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ARC Review of How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

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downloadHow to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

Publication Date: May 2, 2017

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers

Genres: Young Adult, LGBT, and Contemporary

Rating: sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5

Selling points: Bisexual representation, explores different kinds of grief and has an interracial relationship.

Purchase here: Amazon | The Book Depository

Synopsis: All seventeen year-old Grace Glasser wants is her own life. A normal life in which she sleeps in the same bed for longer than three months and doesn’t have to scrounge for spare change to make sure the electric bill is paid. Emotionally trapped by her unreliable mother, Maggie, and the tiny cape on which she lives, she focuses on her best friend, her upcoming audition for a top music school in New York, and surviving Maggie’s latest boyfriend—who happens to be Grace’s own ex-boyfriend’s father.

Her attempts to lay low until she graduates are disrupted when she meets Eva, a girl with her own share of ghosts she’s trying to outrun. Grief-stricken and lonely, Eva pulls Grace into midnight adventures and feelings Grace never planned on. When Eva tells Grace she likes girls, both of their worlds open up. But, united by loss, Eva also shares a connection with Maggie. As Grace’s mother spirals downward, both girls must figure out how to love and how to move on.

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Thank you, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, for my e-ARC of How to Make a Wish I received through Netgalley. I appreciate the opportunity to read and review this book early!

Trigger warning for parental neglect and emotional abuse, as well as implied sexual assault (one of the characters implies they were inappropriately touched at a bar, but the scene is not on the page).

How to Make a Wish surprised me, and had a lot of the aspects I want and crave in an excellent book. All of my friends who read this book early swore it was amazing and How to Make a Wish really delivered, and then some. This book has complex and fully fleshed characters that you will instantly fall in love with. I laughed, I cried (more like bawled like a baby) and was filled with utter joy because of this book, because of Grace’s bravery and Eva’s strength, and their shared love for each other. This book really is something special and I would recommend it to everyone who loves a young adult book that doesn’t shield away from the sad and messy parts of life, the beauty that exists between all of it and the complexity of loving someone and still knowing they’re not treating you right.

What really makes you fall in love with How to Make a Wish is the characters. We have the protagonist of the story, bisexual Grace Glasser, and her relationship with her mother, a mother who is reckless and acts like a child, making Grace the adult in the relationship. It was truly heartbreaking to see Grace deal with her mother, constantly being crushed by her expectations for things being better this time. Grace dreams of becoming a pianist, but even that dream seems impossible when her mother is completely dependent on Grace. However, there is also Luca, Grace’s best friend, and his mother and their support and love for Grace is endless and beautiful. Grace is basically a part of Luca’s family. Luca knows Grace likes no one else and he loves her so much, despite their ups and downs. Their friendship was one of my favorite parts of the book.

“But it was so easy. Up there, I didn’t belong to a messed-up mother. She wasn’t the grieving daughter. We were just Grace and Eva.”

Then we have Eva, biracial, gay and the love interest of the story, who moved to live with Luca’s family after her mother died unexpectedly. Eva had a hard time dealing with life without her mother, in a new place where nothing is the same, not even her love for ballet. I fell in love with Eva immediately, she is sarcastic and strong, and a character I think many will feel for. When Grace and Eva meet, there was an instant connection. Two lonely, motherless girls found comfort in spending summer nights together at the top of a lighthouse and before they knew it, it became something so much more than just two girls finding contentment in each other. I love Grace and Eva’s relationship because it’s so soft and tender, which is something I really miss in f/f relationships. There is something so incredibly heartwarming about the connection Eva and Grace has and I love how this book shows us the insecurities and complexities that exist with it.

“Then her whole hand slides across my whole hand, and our fingers are all mixed up, pale and dark, lavender on dark purple, wrapped over and around. The tree creaks ominously, but I don’t care. I forget about everything that came before this – every [pissed off] and jealous emotion I had from earlier tonight, gone.”

You can’t discuss How to Make a Wish without mentioning the writing. Blake truly draws you in with her use of words and imagery, and the voice of Grace is one that makes it impossible to put the book down. There are funny and sarcastic moments, sad and heartbreaking scenes, and everything in between, and Blake delivers in her execution. How to Make a Wish has amazing bisexual representation and a masturbation scene that needs to be celebrated since they are so rarely featured in YA books.

All in all, How to Make a Wish is a book you need to put on your radar this spring and summer. This book is so beautiful it hurts. You will fall in love with Grace, Eva, and Luca and see their struggles, their happy moments, and most importantly of all, their happy endings despite life not being easy or fair. This story is about grief, freedom and the complexity of love. How to Make a Wish is a magical mess of beauty, sadness, love, dreams and wishes and a book that deserves all of the praise in the world.

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Happy Release Day To The Paths We Choose (feat. Author’s Dream Cast)!

Happy Release Day to The Paths We Choose by Maria Hollis!

We have reached the end of this release week and this amazing and enchanting book about Lily and Mayte is finally out. To celebrate this amazing day with you guys I have Maria Hollis’ dream cast of the characters in her book. They are just amazing, and you have to check them out below. You can add The Paths We Choose on Goodreads here and buy it on Amazon here.

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First of all, we have the protagonist of The Paths We Choose, Lidiane “Lily” Monteiro Ferrari who is portrayed by Bárbara Ferreira. She is determined, organized and somewhat rude but loves her friends, her chosen family, more than anything. In The Paths We Choose you will see what happens after Lily and Mayte have a one-night stand at a party at Mayte and Chris’ shared apartment.

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Next up we have the love interest of the story, Mayte Eliza González who is Chris’ roommate (Chris is one of Lily’s close friends) and the fancast for her is Kristina Elise. Mayte is kind and cares deeply for others. She has an architect degree and loves to create art. She is moving to Florida to do her masters, which is why Lily and Mayte keep things very casual between them after their one-night stand.

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{The Paths We Choose Release Week} Interview with Author Maria Hollis

The Paths We Choose Release Week: Day Four – Interview with Maria Hollis

Hi everyone, there’s only one day left now until The Paths We Choose is out and free in the world. To celebrate this I have an interview with the author Maria Hollis as a part of the blog tour for her book. Check out the other blog posts for the tour here. I seriously love her answers to my questions and hope you will too. Exciting things are coming so I hope you’re ready. Now don’t forget to pre-order the book on Amazon here and to add it on Goodreads. To see my earlier posts for my The Paths We Choose Release Week feature, go here.

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1. What was your favorite part about writing The Paths We Choose?

So many things! This is definitely a story that felt so close to my heart. Writing about a Brazilian girl like me was such a nice experience. I could include little bits of things here and there that only Brazilian people would understand. There are so many books written by U.S. authors that just don’t get what being Latinx means so being able to bring all these different characters to talk about themselves was something I loved to do. And I hope to keep doing that in the next books.

The friendship between all the girls was also a really important thing. My friends have been my strength for such a long time and having a story like that is such a gift. We need more books with female friendships as the driving force of a story.

2. What do you feel is the biggest difference between The Melody of You and Me and The Paths We Choose? 

Writing The Paths We Choose made me a lot more self-conscious and nervous about other people’s reaction. I didn’t plan myself a lot for how The Melody of You and Me would look like for other people because I truly believed only a few of my friends would read it. My thought was “well, if I get 10 dollars out of this novella it’s a win already!”. Now I’m trying to change a bit to fit what a bigger range of readers want to read. The main plot will stay the same, that’s not changing. But receiving feedback from so many people is definitely helping me go a step further to make the characters and the story always better.

As to the story, I think TPWC brings a romance that is a bit less typical for the genre. There are a lot of stories where the couple falls deeply in love and they know this is the right thing to do and they’ll do everything for each other. I love that Lily and Mayte work so well as a couple but they aren’t sure of anything. And that sometimes the journey and experience of being with someone is already worth it.

3. Your books take place in a town called Lillac Town and I was wondering if we could get some more information about this town?

I created Lillac Town because I’ve never been in the U.S. so I couldn’t be completely accurate if I choose an actual city that exists. But also, because I never really like describing cities in my stories, not even when I’m writing about my own. It’s just a personal thing, I guess. It’s supposedly set in an imaginary area of Pennsylvania. In the text, I describe just a few things here and there because I feel that this isn’t that relevant for the stories I’m telling right now. How most people move there because of the University and the Callaway School of Music and Ballet. It has this small town feeling but its population is mainly students with a few family neighborhoods and commercial areas. I have a little map I created to know where each character lives. Maybe I’ll ask for a friend to make a better version of it and show it to the readers until the end of the series.

4. Lily and her friends every Wednesday evening have Girl’s Night, what are some of the things they have done in the name of Wednesday’s Girl’s Night?

Usually, they set up board games or watch movies together. I feel like there would be many discussions on what movie to choose since they have very different tastes. We have Anika who likes the typical romantic comedy, Hope’s a sci-fi enthusiastic and Lily’s bored by most movies. In the end, Karen probably chooses an indie LGBT+ movie that will make everyone happy. Cooking together, sharing things about their lives and cleaning the house are a few other things they do. Sometimes, if they’re feeling in the mood, they even go out to karaoke night. The idea is that they always do things together without the interruption of outsiders or partners. The next book will also have more things about the girls so I don’t want to give everything away in case I want to use it in the future.

5. What does the future look like for the Lillac Town series?

Well, by now most people know that Karen is the next POV. And if you read TPWC, you obviously know who’s her love interest. It’ll be an interesting book to write. What I can say right now is that there’s a very personal reason as to why Karen moved to the U.S. and we’re gonna go deep on that. She has a lot of sadness that she tries to hide with her charming personality.

Since the beginning, I decided that if TMOYAM did well enough I’d publish 4 novellas in the Lillac Town Series about women falling in love with other women in many different ways and I’m standing on this decision. I hope to get all of them out until 2018. It’ll be hard to say goodbye now that I feel so attached to all these characters but I think we’re all ready to start new adventures too! But for now, we still have more two love stories that I know people will love to read.

What did you think of the interview? Are you as excited as I am for the book to come out tomorrow?

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{The Paths We Choose Release Week} My Book Playlist

The Paths We Choose Release Week: Day Two – My Fanmade Book Playlist

Hi readers, and welcome to another post of my The Paths We Choose Release Week. It’s only three days left now until the book is released into the world and I couldn’t be more excited. If you missed it, yesterday I published my review of the book and you can read it here. However, today I have something else for you. My book playlist for The Paths We Choose. Seriously I had so much fun making this one, and I hope you guys will love it as much as I do. The playlist has 12 songs and can be listened to on both Spotify and YouTube. I hope you enjoy!

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If you haven’t added the book on Goodreads yet you can do so here. You can also pre-order the book on Amazon (which I really recommend since you’ll get it asap when it comes out) and that you can do here.

Will you be listening to my playlist? Do you plan on pre-ordering The Paths We Choose? I really think you should!

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{The Paths We Choose Release Week} ARC Review of The Paths We Choose by Maria Hollis

The Paths We Choose Release Week: Day One – My ARC Review

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Hi, readers and welcome to day one of my The Paths We Choose Release Week. There are four days left until The Paths We Choose is released into the world and to celebrate I’m releasing a fun new post every day until the book is out. Today I have my ARC review of the book, and as you might have suspected already, I absolutely loved this book.

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The Paths We Choose by M. Hollis

Publication Date: April 6, 2017

Genres: New Adult, LGBT, Contemporary and Romance

Rating: sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5

Selling points: Strong friendships, chosen family, and girls owning their sexuality.

Purchase here: Amazon

Synopsis: Lily Ferrari enjoys having control over every detail of her life. Ever since she left her parents’ house to gain her freedom, she decided to fully own her autonomy. But an unexpected visit from her little brother may change the path she chooses to follow.
Add to that a casual fling with the bright architect Mayte González, and Lily’s summer is turning out more interesting than she expected. It certainly beats the routine of working extra shifts at Johnson’s Bookstore.

A few weeks before her college life begins, Lily needs to figure out if she’s wrong about the past or if she should continue to protect her heart at all costs. Sometimes moving forward is only possible if you have the right people by your side.

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Thank you, Maria Hollis, for my advanced review copy of The Paths We Choose. I really appreciate the opportunity to read and review it early.

The Paths We Choose is amazing in its simplicity and grace. It shows us the story of two very different girls, Lily and Mayte, who after a one-night stand start a causal relationship before Mayte leaves for Florida to study her masters. This story is about two women proud of their sexuality and even if their agreement to only be friends with benefits is kept somewhat a secret they are not afraid to be open with what their relationship is, to a certain degree. This book is definitely one I would recommend if you love seeing girls supporting girls and just girls being proud of their sexuality. There is a strong sense of friendship and family, in the sense that family is not blood but instead it’s who you choose to love and stand by no matter what. What I love about Maria Hollis’s books is that she makes you feel as if you are a part of the girl gangs she portrays in her books and that you’re just as awesome and supported as they are. Her books are really positive and uplifting.

The book is told from the point of view of Lily who is non-straight but not comfortable with attaching a label to herself. I think it’s important to see that not taking a label is just as valid as choosing to have one and that no matter what you’re always a part of the LGBTQIA+ community. The most amazing part about Lily, though, is her personality. She is rude, feisty and the most organized out of her friendship group. She’s not afraid to speak her mind and that’s what’s so great about her. However, there is also a lot more to her than that which is why this book was a lot sadder than I expected. Not that I’d say The Paths We Choose is a sad book, but because what Lily went through is a reality for young adults all over the world. Nonetheless, the book shows us hope in the way that Lily has found herself a group of friends that are her family, her chosen family and girl gang. This book also explores what it means to be free, to be who you are and to find what it is you want to do with your life. This book is about girls who are driven and hardworking, they are badass women who survive and can do anything with the support of each other and the strength within themselves. This is something that I think should be celebrated.

“She has the freedom to be who she wants to be. Freedom to love herself without worrying whether other people accept her as she is.”

All in all, The Paths We Choose is a book with lots of hot scenes as well as amazing friendship and family moments that will make your heart squeal out of delight. There are even a few cheesy ship moments that had me fangirling a lot. I’m very weak for those. Maria Hollis knows exactly what to do to make you fall in love with a couple and make your heart sing. The ending was beautiful and realistic, and I love how we see that there is no instant “I love you” moment. Maria Hollis just keeps on impressing me with her work, and I can’t wait to see the rest of this series and her other future work. The Paths We Choose is a book I know many will come to love and enjoy just as I have.

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ARC Review of Assassins: Discord by Erica Cameron

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Assassins: Discord by Erica Cameron

Publication Date: September 5, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary and LGBT

Rating: sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5

Selling points: Badass and dangerous girls, girls kissing and explosions.

Purchase here: Amazon | The Book Depository 

Synopsis: Kindra’s moral compass has never pointed north, but that’s what happens when you’re raised as an assassin and a thief. At sixteen, she’s fantastic with a blade, an expert at slipping through the world unnoticed, and trapped in a life she didn’t chose. But nothing in her training prepares her for what happens when her father misses a target.

In the week-long aftermath, Kindra breaks rank for the first time in her life. She steals documents, starts questioning who their client is and why the target needs to die, botches a second hit on her father’s target, and is nearly killed. And that’s before she’s kidnapped by a green-eyed stranger connected to a part of her childhood she’d almost forgotten.

Kindra has to decide who to trust and which side of the battle to fight for. She has to do it fast and she has to be right, because the wrong choice will kill her just when she’s finally found something worth living for.

galaxyreview

Thank you Erica Cameron for my e-arc of Assassins: Discord!

Assassins: Discord is like those action movies you watch on TV where there’s guns, explosions and car chases. Only in this book there are more girls than guys. The girls are complex, the girls are kissing and they’re more badass than anyone else. In other words, this book is like those action movies you watch on TV, only a thousand times better. I love Assassins: Discord not only because it’s refreshing and features a storyline that isn’t that often explored in YA but because these teenage girls are flawed, they’re lethal and yet they are just that, teenagers with raw and complex emotions. I also love how inclusive this book is. There are bisexual, asexual, intersex and gay characters and some of them are also of color. Erica Cameron really nailed this book in every aspect there is, it’s sassy, it’s filled with action and once you finish it you’ll literally be begging for more (very much like I am, please when’s the next one coming out *grabby hands*).

“When her eyes focused, a familiar face hovered above hers. One that shouldn’t have been anywhere near here. “Baby, we’ve really got to stop meeting like this,” said a girl with dyed-black hair – her brown roots peeking through – and teasing moss-green eyes. A familiar endearment on the wrong tongue, and familiar eyes in the wrong face.”

Assassins: Discord had me laughing multiple times through the story and the wit, sarcasm and humor throughout this book is the greatest thing about it. It’s just so damn good. I love how there’s turns and twists from start to finish and the biggest one had me literally screaming. I suspected it for quite some time throughout the book but I was still shocked when it happened. Another thing that made Assassins: Discord so great is the character development. There’s a lot of it. We have complex characters, difficult relationships and a lot history that needs to be sorted out. All of the characters start at one point and end at another, with both relationships and dynamics shifting. Even though there’s a lot of action going on there’s also a lot that makes the characters drive the story forward. It’s the best of both worlds.

“They made it behind a huge tree. Kindra pushed Dru face-first to the forest floor, falling on top of her and covering her own ears with her hands, mouth open slightly to equalize the pressure she knew was coming. Less than two seconds later, the grenade exploded.”

I love the ship in this book and how their relationship develops. In the world they live, one filled with danger, death and uncertainty relationships are hard, especially for someone like Kindra. Her family has never been much of a family, they have always been more about the job and less about trust, warmth and security. To see how Kindra handles this, how she evolves and becomes better, but also stays true to herself is amazing. I love that Assassins: Discord’s main character is a bisexual who is not afraid to be who she is. I love that this book explores a relationship between two girls that are different in a lot of ways but are still drawn to each other and find something in each other they haven’t before.

“That seductive drawl was back, and Kindra shivered. She planned to die before ever admitting she found that sleepy accent ridiculously sexy.”

Assassins: Discord shows us that action filled books centered around girls – girls that are funny, girls that are sassy, girls that are dangerous and girls that kiss other girls – are the best kind of books. This book literally slays every male dominated book and movie ever created. I want more. I want more lethal girls, I want more girls that take risks and I want girls that evolve. Give me the sequel to Assassins: Discord and give it to me now!