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Diversity Spotlight Thursday #3

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Hi readers, and welcome to my third week of Diversity Spotlight Thursday that was created by Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks. The point of the meme is to every Thursday feature three books that follow these points,

  1. A diverse book you have read and enjoyed
  2. A diverse book that has already been released but you have not read
  3. A diverse book that has not yet been released

If you are interested in joining the meme, you can read the rules and see more of how the meme works here.

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A diverse book I’ve read and enjoyed

A diverse book I’ve read and enjoyed is Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw. This book is seriously so underrated. It’s about a Jewish girl with Puerto Rican heritage. She is a fanfiction writer and after her favorite show is canceled she starts writing fiction online about people in her life. Scarlett has the most amazing personality and she learns so much throughout this book. If you haven’t checked this contemporary YA book out yet, you really should. Find it on Goodreads and Amazon.

A diverse book released and on my TBR

A diverse book that’s been released but I haven’t read yet is The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli. This is one of my most anticipated reads of 2017 and though I already own the paperback I haven’t had time to read it yet. I have heard nothing but good things about this book and I love how inclusive and cute it seem to be. I can’t wait to devour it a hot summer day when I have some time over. You can find the book on Goodreads and Amazon.

A diverse book not yet released

A diverse book that is not yet released but I cannot wait to read is Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert. As soon as I read the synopsis for this one I knew I had to have, and I had to read it. It seems like a really complex story about a black bisexual Jewish girl named Suzette who is crushing on the same girl her brother is falling in love with. Based on everything I have read, this book is just as amazing as it looks. Find it on Goodreads and Amazon.

What diverse books have you read or am excited to read? Have you also made a Diversity Thursday post? If yes, link it to me!

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday #1

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Hi readers, I have decided to start the meme Diversity Spotlight Thursday that was created by Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks. I’ve seen it around a lot but never knew what it was, that has however now changed. The point of the meme is to every Thursday feature three books that follow these points,

  1. A diverse book you have read and enjoyed
  2. A diverse book that has already been released but you have not read
  3. A diverse book that has not yet been released

If you are interested in joining the meme, you can read the rules and see more of how the meme works here. It’s honestly just the best, and I’m excited to join.

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A diverse book I’ve read and enjoyed

A diverse book I’ve read and enjoyed is Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember. It’s a story about Mnemba, who works for her cousin’s safari business, and Kara who visits from a far away land with her father to study unicorns. These two girls grow closer through a wild journey filled with unicorns, mermaids and evil poachers trying to destroy what they hold dear. I love this book so much, it has badass and vulnerable girls who will do anything to protect each other and the unicorns. Find it on Goodreads and Amazon.

A diverse book released and on my TBR

A diverse book already released that I can’t wait to read is The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book, and it’s currently on the New York Times bestseller list and has been for weeks. The synopsis has completely lured me in and I can’t wait to read about Natasha’s and Daniel’s story and see where their lives take them. Have any of you guys read it? I just know I have a mighty need. Find the book on Goodreads and Amazon.

A diverse book not yet released

A diverse book that hasn’t been released yet that I have a mighty need for is I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo. Not only does the book have the most gorgeous and amazing cover, and a synopsis that has you begging for more. I mean a senior who tries to learn how to flirt and get a boyfriend with the help of k dramas is honestly just amazing. Also, the line “boat rescues, love triangles, and fake car crashes ensue” from the synopsis makes me even more curious and eager to read it. Find it on Goodreads and Amazon.

What diverse books have you read or am excited to read? Have you also made a Diversity Thursday post? If yes, link it to me!

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Five Days of Romance: Day 2 – Romantic Book Postcards

Welcome to my second day of Five Days of Romance! Today I have romantic and funny bookish postcards to share with you all. Save them, share them, and send them to your friends and loved ones. Just don’t claim them as your own when asked. I had so much fun making these, I love pick up lines and puns and whatnot, which is why this was so much fun. These postcards are perfect in time for Valentine’s Day on Tuesday.

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(inspired by Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember)

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(inspired by Infini by Krista & Becca Ritchie)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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My Very Best Reads of 2016

Hi everyone! My blogging game has been really off lately, but I’m back, and I’m going to try to keep it that way since I want to become more organized 2017. Even though this might be considered late, I wanted to share my favorite reads of 2016 because these books mean so much to me and I want everyone to read them. I thought about ranking the books, but honestly it’s impossible. My love for these books is great, and it can’t be compared book to book. Here are my favorite eight books of 2016, in the order of when I read them, first to last.

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These books have seriously made my year, and taught me so much about myself and life. They have enriched my year. I would recommend them in a heartbeat without looking back. If you don’t have these books on your radar I really recommend you change that, as I hope these books will give you as much joy as they have me. What were your favorite reads 2016? Any books you’d like to recommend me? I’d love to know!

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember

Publication Date: April 21, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy , Romance and LGBT

Rating: sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5

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.

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Thank you Julia Ember for my review copy of Unicorn Tracks!

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.

Book Blitz: Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember

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Hi guys! Today on this lovely Thursday Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember comes out and I couldn’t be more excited. It’s about unicorns, girls and other exciting things. Down below you can read an exclusive excerpt, see beautiful art and find all the links you could want. Are you as excited as I am for this book?

About The Book

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Unicorn Tracks

by Julia Ember
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: April 21st 2016
Harmony Ink Press

Summary from Goodreads:

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.

Add to Goodreads

Buy Links:

AmazonHarmony Ink Press

Art

Excerpt From The Book

When he reached the baobab tree, the unicorn looked around in confusion. The trance of the moonstone seemed to break with the humans closing in on him. He sniffed the horns around him, squealing and pawing the ground in distress. Three of the riders threw their ropes, catching him around the neck. As he struggled to back away, others advanced. Men taunted the stallion with their whips, making him kick and try to rear. When his feet lifted, they threw more ropes, circling the nooses around his powerful feet. As a group, they wrestled the unicorn to the ground, throwing themselves on top of him the moment his knees touched the grass.

Even with the weight of six on his back, and men all around holding ropes anchoring him to the ground, the stallion kept fighting. His eyes rolled back in his head, his legs thrashed and I could hear his screams from the cliff. I’d never heard a unicorn make a sound before, and hearing it now sent a chill through my entire body. His screams were different than a horse, higher in pitch, with a vibrating tremor that made him sound almost like a singer at the crescendo of a performance.

The leader of the group advanced on the now subdued unicorn, holding what looked like a handsaw. The stallion tried frantically to spear the man with his horn, but three of the followers held the animal’s head in place. Still he tried, snorting and staring his captor in the eye, silver-tipped horn poised like a sword toward the leader’s heart.

Kill him, I found myself praying. Fight them. Kill him and this will all be over.

 The saw began to tremble in the man’s hand as he swiped again and again across the base of the stallion’s horn. Fragments the size of fingernail clippings covered the earth like snow. Beside me, I felt Kara start to shake. Her whole frame quivered with silent sobs. The horn fell to the ground and all at once, the stallion quit struggling. The men climbed off him and loosened their hold on the ropes that bound him.

The group’s leader reached for one of the ropes around the unicorn’s neck. He turned and the stallion followed him, meek as an old broodmare. His eyes seemed to blink back a heavy sadness, the only echo of his proud battle song.

About The Author

julia ember

Originally from Chicago, Julia Ember now resides in Sunny Scotland where she learned to enjoy both haggis and black pudding. She spends her days working as a professional Book Nerd for a large book wholesaler, and her nights writing YA Romantic Fantasy novels.  She also spends an inordinate amount of time managing her growing city-based menagerie of pets with Harry Potter themed names.

A world traveller since childhood, Julia has now visited over 60 countries. Her travels inspire the fictional worlds she writes about and she populates those worlds with magic and monsters.

Author Links:

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