julia ember

ARC Review of The Tiger’s Watch by Julia Ember



The Tiger’s Watch by Julia Ember

Publication Date: August 22, 2017.

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press.

Genres: Fantasy and Young Adult.

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Purchase here: Amazon Book Depository | Harmony Ink Press

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Tashi has spent their life training as a inhabitor, a soldier who spies and kills using a bonded animal. When the capital falls after a brutal siege, Tashi flees to a remote monastery to hide. But the invading army turns the monastery into a hospital, and Tashi catches the eye of Xian, the regiment’s fearless young commander.

Tashi spies on Xian’s every move. In front of his men, Xian seems dangerous, even sadistic, but Tashi discovers a more vulnerable side of the enemy commander—a side that draws them to Xian.

When their spying unveils that everything they’ve been taught is a lie, Tashi faces an impossible choice: save their country or the boy they’re growing to love. Though Tashi grapples with their decision, their volatile bonded tiger doesn’t question her allegiances. Katala slaughters Xian’s soldiers, leading the enemy to hunt her. But an inhabitor’s bond to their animal is for life—if Katala dies, so will Tashi.


Thank you, Julia Ember and Harmony Ink Press, for my ARC of The Tiger’s Watch. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

As Julia Ember’s third published book, The Tiger’s Watch manages to still contain all the things I love about Ember’s work and continue to surprise me with new stories and concepts. The Tiger’s Watch is about Tashi, who is nonbinary, genderfluid, and uses they/them pronouns. Throughout the book, Tashi’s pronouns are respected and the few times someone uses the wrong pronouns for them, it’s immediately called out and corrected. The world we see in The Tiger’s Watch is filled with magic and culture, and Tashi among other selected are inhabitors: “As inhabitors, we all bonded with one animal at the age of eight, and our life force linked to theirs.” At first, the connection between Tashi and their golden tiger Katala reminded me of Sense8 with how they can enter each other’s minds and take over each other’s bodies. In their country, Tashi learned to become an inhabitor at an academy specifically meant for children, poor or orphaned, to be trained to become inhabitors and spies, with the ability to wield their unique magic.

Continue Reading ➞


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



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.


The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember

Publication Date: May 4, 2017.

Publisher: Duet Books.

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT, and Mermaids.

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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.


Thank you, Julia Ember, for my advanced reader’s copy of The Seafarer’s Kiss. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion.

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.


{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.


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!


(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.


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.


(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.


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.


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.


{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.



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? 


{THE SEAFARER’S KISS COUNTDOWN} Interview with Author Julia Ember

THE SEAFARER’S KISS COUNTDOWN: Three Days Left – Interview with Author Julia Ember

Hi readers, and welcome to my The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember countdown. It’s only three days left now until the release, and I’m sure you guys are as excited as I am for this book to be released into the world. Today I have an interview with Julia Ember, the author of the book. She answered a few questions about The Seafarer’s Kiss and what it’s like being a writer and reader. You don’t want to miss this.


1. What inspired you to write The Seafarer’s Kiss?

Well, I’ve always loved the story of The Little Mermaid. My mom likes to remind me now that when I was about three, I watched it continuously as my “go-to” film for about six months. The other part of my inspiration came from my postgraduate studies. I was a medievalist and as part of my study, I learned old English, studied both the Vikings and the Anglo-Saxons. I’ve always found the Vikings fascinating. If you read the original text of the Little Mermaid, it talks about her floating on an iceberg … I always thought that fit much better with the Northern sea, than the kind of tropical world portrayed by Disney. The title of the ‘Seafarer’ comes from an Anglo-Saxon poem called The Seafarer, which is about a sailor who is alone at sea. There is a very melancholy feel to the poem, and a kind of loneliness that I wanted to explore.

2. The Seafarer’s Kiss is your second published book, your debut book Unicorn Tracks came out last year, what was different this time around for you?

In a lot of ways, Seafarer’s Kiss was a much more personal book for me to write. Mnemba (the protagonist in Unicorn Tracks) is athletic and outdoorsy and brave. She loves animals and her work. She’s dedicated to the wildlife she tracks. She’s overall a much less morally grey character and she’s a lesbian rather than bisexual. Ersel is much more introverted. She’s fat and bi. She’s been an outcast. She has unpopular political beliefs. She sometimes acts before she thinks through all the ramifications. She’s so much like me that writing her at times was genuinely painful in a way that writing Unicorn Tracks never was.

I think part of that is also a question of authorial intent. When I wrote Unicorn Tracks, I wanted to write a fun, short novella about two girls falling in love on safari and save mythical creatures. It did evolve a bit beyond that, but that was the original impetus. With Seafarer’s Kiss, I really wanted to capture the tone and the emotions of the Anglo-Saxon Seafarer. It’s a much darker, deeper book. I think that has both come with improvements to my craft as a writer, experience and a different starting outlook to the project.

3. What was the hardest scene to write in The Seafarer’s Kiss?

I’m not sure that I could pinpoint a specific scene because so many scenes were written, then re-written, then scrapped and re-incorporated. However, I will say that the writing the dynamic between Ersel and Havamal was the hardest part of the book for me. Forgiveness has never come easily to me. Moving past huge conflict, hurt feelings, betrayals, to come out the other side with someone as friends, has never been something that I am good at. In real life, it causes me enormous stress and pain. I really felt that stress when I was writing the dynamic for Ersel. In Havamal, she has a best friend, who she was once in love with, who betrays her in almost unspeakable ways throughout the course of the book.

In the latter half of the novel, Havamal does his best to atone, and in order to do what is best for everyone else, Ersel has to work with him. She doesn’t forget what he did to her and in a sense, she never really forgives him, but she is able to put it aside and build a friendship with him again. It’s a different sort of friendship. Ersel acknowledges that the blind trust she had in him when they were kids is ruined. She realises ultimately that both of them have hurt people, made horrible mistakes and maybe it’s not fair of her to hold him to a higher standard than she holds herself. It was really difficult for me to capture the nuances of those changing feelings and the internal conflict that goes along with them.

4. As a writer, do you find you have time over to read?

Ha! With enormous difficulty, and yet I seem to read more and more books year on year. One of the best things for me are audiobooks. I love them because I can listen to them while I do things around the house, cooking or driving.

5. What are some of your favorite books that you feel everyone has to check out?

I have so many that I’ll just give a few from the last six months! I’ve recently read and DEVOURED:

What did you think of the answers? And have you pre-ordered The Seafarer’s Kiss yet? If not, let me show you where you can:

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.


Zodiac Recommendations #1 Aquarius Books

Hi everyone, and welcome to my 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 first week I have three book recommendations for Aquarius.


Since we are talking about Aquarius this week, I hope you’re embracing the air around you so that you can take in the element of the sign. Like every other zodiac sign, the Aquarius 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 Aquarius yourself or someone who knows an Aquarius, you’ll enjoy these book recommendations. May at least one of these books help you channel your inner Aquarius.


The books I’m recommending this week, in the name of Aquarius, are the following,

The books I’ve chosen are ones that I think celebrate Aquarius 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 Pisces.



Top Ten Tuesday #4 Top Ten All Time Favorite Diverse Books


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. If you want to read more about their blog feature and join the fun, you can do it here.

This week the theme for Top Ten Tuesday is Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Books Of X Genre. Even though this theme is almost like torture, picking favorites is really hard, this list just had to be made. However, I’m putting a twist on it. Instead of picking my all time favorite books in a specific genre I’m choosing my top ten favorite diverse books. These books have amazed me and mesmerized me. I want everyone to know of these books so they can read them too.



What books did you pick this week for Top Ten Tuesday? What genre did you pick? Or did you put a twist on the theme like I did?

Moody Book Monday #3 Time Capsule Edition


It’s universally agreed that Monday is the worst day of the week. We’d all rather just skip Monday and start the week on Tuesday. That’s why Book Babbles and Blues and Olivia Chanel clasped their hands together and created Moody Book Monday. Even though Mondays suck, books don’t and we can still make Monday a little better by blogging about our favorite bookish stuff. We will talk about our favorite recommendations, make lists and ramble away about things going on in the book world. However, there’s more: Moody Book Monday is also all about guest posts! So I, Amy, will be uploading my post on Olivia’s blog and vice versa and you can participate too. Hit up a collaboration exchange with your favorite blog, or if you want to join our little exchange, leave a comment or hit us up with an email. Let’s all try to make Monday a little better, yeah?

Hello Olivia’s readers!

I’m back once again and with a super fun MBM post, because this week we’re putting some books in a time capsule. Both me and Olivia have picked 5 books we want to put in this figurative time capsule to be opened in 25 years. This can be either books we absolutely love, books with a lesson or books that handle a certain topic that we want to see approached differently in 25 years (for example diversity in books). It wasn’t an easy quest picking 5 books I wanted to put in, but I managed! I found 5 books I really want to save and have people read them in 25 years. Or have me reread them and remember why I liked them so much. So without further ado: here are my 5 books I’m putting in the time capsule plus my reasons why.

  1. Addicted To You by Krista and Becca Ritchie. The reason I’m putting this one in the time capsule is because this book (the entire series really) deals with tough topics, like addictions and mental illness. And in this time, girls who suffer from sex addiction are treated like a slut which is so not okay. I hope that in 25 years that has changed for the better and, to quote Lily Calloway: “When girls sleep around—maybe they won’t be called sluts and whores. Maybe they’ll be treated like guys.” I’m very curious to take this book back out again in 25 years and see how much has changed and what people my age think of that book then.
  2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I picked this book purely because I really love the story. It’s beautifully written with an amazing setting and plot and characters that step right off the page. I’m putting this book in solely for the reason that I hope other people will read it and enjoy it too, because it’s just amazing.
  3. The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. If you didn’t know it yet; TWATD is one of my all time favorite duologies, so of course I would put the first book in to the time capsule. There are two things I really love about this book and are both reasons why I put them into the capsule. The first thing is the writing style. I absolutely adore the way this book is written and I have tons of quotes that make my heart flutter. The second thing is the setting: this book is set in the middle east and it also talks about their habits and traditions and I totally love that. I hope more YA books will go outside the US and I’m curious to see how this is in ten years time.
  4. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. There’s only one reason I’m putting this book in the time capsule and that is that I want to see how many Shadowhunters books Cassie has written by then. I just want to open the capsule, look at this book and think: “Ah, this is where it all begun.” And then look at all the books that have followed since then.
  5. Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember. This book I’m putting in for the same reason as The Wrath and The Dawn and also a little bit like Addicted To You: I want to see how much has changed in ten years. Unicorn Tracks is about two girls, one of color and one not, falling in love. And we don’t yet see that enough in YA, so I’m hoping when I pull this book out of the capsule in 25 years, there has been some major change.

So that concludes all the books I’m putting in my time capsule! Click here to read Olivia’s post on my blog and thanks so much for stopping by.

About The Blogger

Amy is a 20-year-old booknerd who spends her free time reading, writing and crocheting. She likes love stories, strong female characters and swoon worthy fictional boys. You can wake her up in the middle of the night for either chocolate or a vacation. Check out her blog here.

YA Fantasy Gets Social Media: Unicorn Tracks AU

Do any of you guys ever read a YA Fantasy book and wonder what the characters in it would do in our time and world? What social media accounts would they have? What would they post? Sometimes imagining your favorite fantasy characters in our world is just the best thing ever. That is why I came up with YA Fantasy Gets Social Media, where I create social media accounts for my favorite fictional characters from young adult fantasy books. I’m not sure how often I’ll do this but I do know that I loved making this post so I’ll definitely make more!

The first YA Fantasy to get social media is *insert super intense drumroll* Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember. This is by far one of my favorite reads this year. I’m just so in love with Mnemba and Kara, and of course all the magical creatures they encounter. I mean unicorns and mermaids, be right back while I just fangirl for a moment. If you need further convincing as to why you have to read this book, read my review here (I gave it five slices of cake) and add it on Goodreads.

Mnemba and Kara’s iMessage texts

If Mnemba and Kara lived in our time and world they’d both have iPhones (matching ones 0f course because goals) and they’d be all over each other with texts. Mnemba is usually busy during the day holding her guides and Kara must stay behind to do some much needed work with Tumelo in the office. However, when Mnemba gets a little reception in the wild she sometimes texts about the ridiculous things the tourists say. Kara is usually fast to respond, often with a joke and a reminder to stay alert, to which Mnemba replies that she’s the expert.

However, when they’ve been away from each other for a while the texts do get a little more heated and when they think no one is looking they are often found smiling at their phones because of something the other one has sent.

utimessage2  utimessage1

Mnemba and Kara’s Instagram accounts

After that I can see both Mnemba and Kara getting Instagram. I can imagine Mnemba uploading pictures of the quiet views she encounters during her guides. When she’s not too busy keeping the foreigners from getting eaten by animals she might even try to catch a picture of a Chimera just to show Oswe once again who’s the best of the best. When she’s not doing that, Mnemba is probably uploading pictures of her beautiful girlfriend Kara, her very own Chimera. Her favorite photos is always the ones where Kara looks at peace just soaking up the sunshine.


For Kara I can see her Instagram being filled with her research and lots and lots of pictures of the beasts she studies. Everything from unicorns, to river mermaids and griffins. However, a lot of pictures are really just of Michi and him growing up to become the beautiful unicorn he is. When Kara is not taking pictures of animals, she’s probably kissing her girlfriend and trying to sneak a picture or two while she’s still asleep in the morning.


Mnemba and Kara’s Twitter accounts

Twitter is something I think Kara would just love. It’d be the perfect tool for her to promote her book The Beasts of Nazwimbe and also Tumelo’s growing business. Mnemba claimed in the beginning that she sees no use of having a Twitter but after a lot of nagging by Kara, Mnemba just asked her to make an account for her. Mnemba mostly uses her Twitter to retweet all of Kara’s tweets and tell the world how intelligent and beautiful her girlfriend is.


Disclaimer: This Unicorn Tracks AU is purely made as a fun thing for me and is nothing official. These amazing characters belong to Julia Ember but the words are made up by me, not the author. The pictures belong to their respectful owners. 

That was it for YA Fantasy Unicorn Tracks Gets Social Media. I hope you thought this post was as fun to read as it was for me to make. I have also uploaded these pictures on my Tumblr so you can reblog it here if you’re also on there. Do you guys think Mnemba or Kara would get any other social media accounts? If yes, which ones?

If you haven’t read Unicorn Tracks yet I really recommend it, here are a few useful links for you. You can go to Julia Ember’s website here, add the book on Goodreads here or just buy it directly on Amazon here. You won’t regret it!

Review of Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember


UnicornTracks cover

Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember

Publication Date: April 21, 2016.

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press.

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, and LGBT.

Rating: 587264602.png587264602.png587264602.png587264602.png587264602.png

Selling points: Magical creatures such as unicorns and mermaids, girls loving other girls and girls saving the day.

Purchase here: Amazon | The Book Depository

Synopsis: After a savage attack drives her from her home, sixteen-year-old Mnemba finds a place in her cousin Tumelo’s successful safari business, where she quickly excels as a guide. Surrounding herself with nature and the mystical animals inhabiting the savannah not only allows Mnemba’s tracking skills to shine, it helps her to hide from the terrible memories that haunt her.

Mnemba is employed to guide Mr. Harving and his daughter, Kara, through the wilderness as they study unicorns. The young women are drawn to each other, despite that fact that Kara is betrothed. During their research, they discover a conspiracy by a group of poachers to capture the Unicorns and exploit their supernatural strength to build a railway. Together, they must find a way to protect the creatures Kara adores while resisting the love they know they can never indulge.


Thank you, Julia Ember, for my review copy of Unicorn Tracks. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember, I mean what do I even say? I’m absolutely in love with this piece of literature. It is a story rich in culture, magical creatures and girls. There is so much to appreciate and love about Unicorn Tracks, but most of all I love how it is a story about two girls who come from two very different places in the world with very different experiences. We have the main character Mnemba, a girl who has been through so much and who has so much depth. She is an amazing person with a huge heart. Then we have Kara Harving, a girl with a sparkling personality and wonder in her eyes.

“Miss Harving looked about my own age. Definitely younger than twenty, with fresh, blemish-free skin. She had a fuller-than-fashionable figure, with soft, doughy curves rather than the waifish slenderness I’d come to expect from ladies in Echalend. Her eyes were impossibly ice blue, and they looked into mine with an intensity and excitement in them that made me suddenly want to study my shoes.”

Unicorn Tracks is a story I fell in love with more and more for every page, it’s a short story and I love the way Julia Ember’s world is displayed. I can’t speak for if the culture is accurate because it is not mine to speak for but I can say that it was beautifully written. It is so vividly described, filled with magical creatures that all have their own history and origin.

“The horn itself held its shape, blackening without burning. But as we peered deeper into the fire, the lines of silver twisting around it unfurled. Starting from the wide base, a strip of pure silver filament unwound in a curled spiral. The glistening metal started to glow orange and red with heat, and suddenly, it exploded. The pieces hovered in the air around us, like stars suspended in midair. We watched them twinkle for a moment, before a low wind came and brushed heaven’s dust away.”

Kara and her father came to Nazwimbe to do research on Unicorns but what was supposed be a research adventure turned into a dangerous mission to save these creatures. The magical, kind and pure Unicorns were captured and tortured by a ruthless gang of poachers in order to use them and their supernatural power to build an illegal railway. However, with Kara’s immense love for the magical creatures and Mnemba’s growing feelings for Kara, they decided to do something about it and along the way were faced with numerous obstacles and dangers.

“I stared at the pebbles rolling under my toes, too afraid to look back up. Warmth rose up my neck. Try as I might to focus on the brown and gray stones, I couldn’t get the image of her form beneath the wet, clinging fabric out of my mind.”

However, as the lover of romance I am, the most compelling part of the story was seeing Mnemba and Kara develop deep feelings for each other. I love a good romantic story, and that is exactly what Unicorn Tracks is. A lot is standing in the way of Mnemba and Kara’s feelings for each other and their love but how they tackle their feelings, Mnemba’s tragic past and Kara’s betrothed waiting at home is a something you’ll be dying to read.

If you’re looking for a story filled with magical creatures, characters that are complex and girls loving girls then this is for you. This is a story that will make you wish there was more, more pages, more scenes between Kara and Mnemba and more of every magical being in the story.