Sunday, 30 April 2017

Book Blitz | Giveaway: Davenport House: Debutante by Marie Silk


Davenport House Prequel: Debutante
Marie Silk
Publication date: April 21st 2017
Genres: Historical, Young Adult
The family saga begins in Debutante, a prequel to the best-selling Davenport House series. A life of luxury for the Davenports means drudgery for the servants on the grand country estate. This is their story in 1909 America, six years prior to the events of book one.
While her father is away on business, sixteen-year-old Mary Davenport feels confined and alone, despite her privileged life at the family’s mansion. As the day of Mary’s debutante ball draws near, the servants are conflicted by instructions from Mary’s mother to starve her until she fits into a gown that was made too small. Mary is also under pressure to act the part of society while being forbidden from seeing her only friend, the servant boy who works in the stable.
In a shantytown hours away, a young girl called Abigail is hired to sew a gown for a dressmaker’s wealthy patron. Abigail gives up her education in order to provide for her impoverished family. Neither she nor Mary is aware of how connected their futures are destined to become.
Special release price of 99¢!
AND: Each book in the series will be on sale for 99¢ between April 22-27!


Author Bio:
Marie Silk has enjoyed writing stories and plays since childhood. She lives with her family in the United States and travels the globe as often as life permits. She is an admirer of history, antiques, and architecture. Marie is the author of the best selling Davenport House family saga.

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Thursday, 27 April 2017

Blog Tour | Guest Post | Review: The Rise of the Dawnstar (The Avalonia Chronicles #2) by Farah Oomerbhoy



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Book Title: The Rise of the Dawnstar
Series: The Avalonia Chronicles, Book 2
Author Name: Farah Oomerbhoy
Genre: Fantasy
Age: Young Adult
Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-1-63489-934-5
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-63489-933-8
ASIN: B01N5T1NDB
Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing
Release date: April 24, 2017
Source: ebook (given by Netgalley)
Rate:



Summary:

Aurora Firedrake returns in the spellbinding sequel to The Last of the Firedrakes.
The seven kingdoms of Avalonia are crumbling and evil is spreading across the land like a plague. Queen Morgana is close to finding a way to open The Book of Abraxas and it’s only a matter of time until she uses the power trapped inside its pages to enslave the entire world.
With Avalonia growing more dangerous by the day, Aurora must travel through war-torn lands and deep into the heart of the fae kingdom of Elfi. Her goal is to find a legendary weapon infused with the last of the realm’s ancient magic—the only weapon in the world powerful enough to stop the queen.
Aurora might have survived her first battle against Morgana, but the true fight to save her kingdom and restore her throne has only just begun…

Review:
*The author provided this book in exchange for an honest review.*
The kingdoms of Avalonia are crumbling under Queen Morgana's rule. Her reign is one of fear and darkness. The kingdoms that haven't been conquered yet are starting to get weaker and to want to bow to her.
Aurora Firedrake is the long lost heir to the throne of Illiador and she has recently discovered that she possesses way more power than anyone ever suspected. She is a half-fae and half mage, a powerful combination of very powerful, and royal, bloodlines. The Princess starts a journey in order to stop Queen Morgana, er evil aunt, from opening The Book of Abraxas and using the power trapped inside its pages to enslave and doom the entire world.
In order to defeat the Queen, Aurora must master her powers and uncover truths that were buried long ago. She decides to travel to Elfi, her Grandmother's kingdom, the fae kingdom so that she can learn about her true gifts and just how far she can go.
Along this journey, she faces new and old dangers and she learns important lessons that stay carved in her heart for life. New friendships and enemies are made, but who will win?
I must start this review by stating that this book was definitely worth the wait! Even tough I advise you to re-read the previous instalment before diving into this book it was not hard to pick up the pace and the story just where I left it!
The magical kingdom of Avalonia is back and with it come many novelties! The world has changed due to what has come to happen, actions have consequences and this time they're not good. Things are dying and the environment itself helps you get into the mood this story requires.
We all love powerful heroines but Aurora Firedrake is different! She has flaws and she ends up recognising them, she is played by people with malicious intentions and she loves wholeheartedly. These characteristics only make her more real and more of an example of what a main character should be: not perfect, flawed, real.
Along her new travels, Aurora meets new realities and new people and I have to say that I was amazed by how much diversity there is in the world of Avalonia. There are good and bad people, there are manipulative people and people who love you. In the end, there is a balance.
I will not extend my review much further because I'm afraid I cannot reveal anything else without spoiling the end. What I can tell you is that this book will make your heart leap, it will make you cry, laugh and love and it will stay in your heart even after you have finished reading it.


An Inside Look Into the Kitchens of Brandorian Nobility: The Rise of the Dawnstar Tour (Guest Post)

In book 2 of The Avalonia Chronicles, The Rise of the Dawnstar, we visit the eastern kingdom of Brandor and the Red Citadel in the port city of Sanria, where the Pirate Prince lives.
The food in Brandor is different from that in the western lands, below is a traditional Brandorian menu. Enjoy!

1. Apricots stuffed with clotted cream and drizzled with honey

2. Hand filled feta and spinach pies

3. Creamy almond and garlic soup

4. Flatbreads stuffed with meat

5. Spiced lamb kebabs

6. Lemon and cardamom meatballs

7. Saffron rice with seafood

8. Rich clotted cream encased in a buttermilk cake and infused with orange blossom water.

9. Spiced Fig and honey pies

10. Rose and pistachio mini cakes

11. Rose petal mousse with pistachio crumb

12. Saffron ice cream infused with rose water and topped with pistachios


What is your favourite dish on this list? It is so hard to choose! 

About The Author:
Farah Oomerbhoy is the international bestselling author of The Avalonia Chronicles. Her first book, The Last of the Firedrakes, was originally published on Wattpad where it gained over two million reads and a Watty Award. Since publication, her debut has gone on to win a silver medal in IBPA’s Benjamin Franklin Awards and the Readers’ Favourite Book Awards, along with winning a finalist placement in the USA Best Book Awards. Farah loves the fantastical and magical and often dreams of living in Narnia, Neverland, or the Enchanted Forest. With a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Mumbai, Farah spends her creative time crafting magical worlds for young adults. She lives with her family in Mumbai, India. 



Giveaway! 
For each stop on tour, there will be a special number at the end of the post. Collect all the numbers, add them up, and enter to win one of three prizes! Once you have all the numbers you can enter the giveaway here: http://farahoomerbhoy.com/rise-dawnstar-now/

The giveaway closes on May 21st, 11:59pm Eastern US time.

My number is 29.

Good luck!
Grand Prize

Runner Up

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Book Blitz | Giveaway: Painting Sky by Rita Branches


Painting Sky
Rita Branches
(Painting Sky #1)
Publication date: April 25th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Nobody ever said life was easy…People pleaser, Jane Skylar wants nothing more than to earn her art degree, start her life, and bask in the bliss of living with her boyfriend.
But things don’t always go as planned…
Struggling with her creative side, Jane finds herself in turmoil, often confiding in her roommate – another, more talented art student, Keith Hale. Keith just so happens to be her boyfriend’s older, brooding brother. After a devastating breakup, Jane turns to Keith for comfort. But when the lines blur between roommate and lover, Jane’s life becomes more complicated than ever before.
When Keith’s past comes back to haunt him, their lives all get turned upside down, forcing the truth to surface. Now Jane must fight for what she wants–even if it hurts everyone she loves.
*It’s a Stand-alone*
EXCERPT:
The next towels were easier. I was getting colder and so tired that my eyes started to shut and I dozed off. When the towel on my stomach was removed, the breeze on my skin made me shiver and woke me up.
“Just one more time, and then we’ll check if the fever has lowered.” He changed the towels again. I had stopped feeling awkward about the lack of clothes a long time ago: maybe between the cold towel or the scared look on Keith’s face.
My shivering never stopped. After Keith took all the towels from my body, I just wanted to curl up and sleep. The sheets were wet, though, as well as my clothes. Keith left for a minute and I opened one eye to see him standing at the door, frowning.
“What is it now?”
“I can’t find any clean sheets,” he answered. I wasn’t feeling good enough today to do laundry, so the other set was dirty.
“Come on. Try sitting up.” Keith opened one of my drawers.
“What are you doing?” It was where I kept my underwear. He ignored my protests and took some black cotton panties and a matching tank top and placed them on the bed.
“I’ll be in the hallway. Call me when you’re done—unless you want my help.” His smirk was weak, but I knew he was trying to make me smile. I shooed him out of my room with a wave of my hand and took my time changing out of my clothes. My body hurt, especially my ribs.
“I’m coming in,” Keith warned, as soon as I pulled the tank top down. “Can you get up?” I obeyed him, unsure of why he wanted me to get up if I didn’t have any clean sheets to change the bed with. My bedroom swung around me and I had to sit back down again. I was too weak to stand. Keith sighed and put his arms under me. I stiffened instantly, not just at the gesture, but also at my lack of clothing. He picked me up and left my room.
“What are you doing?”
“What do you think? I’m taking you to my room. The sheets are clean, I haven’t slept there this week, and they are dry, at least.” He winked while pushing open his bedroom door with his shoulder. I had been in his room once or twice to bring him his clean clothes, but I’d never taken the time to look around. I wouldn’t do so this time, either, as the only light on was from the lamp on his bedside table.
The space was clean and tidy. I imagined all his clutter was in the attic, where he spent most of his time.
I whimpered against his cold sheets. “Come on, scoot over,” he said, as soon as he laid me down. I did what he asked and the next thing I felt was his warm body against mine. I gasped at the contact, but scooted back against his chest. I tried to ignore the chuckle that came from him, which shook my body slightly.
His hand came to rest on my stomach for a second before he pulled my tank top up. I was prepared to turn and punch him in the face when I realized what he was trying to do. He lifted his own shirt and hugged my bare back. I sighed, trying not to moan. For the second time tonight, I wasn’t cold, as his body was warmer than mine.
“Just so we’re clear, in the morning, we go back to not caring much for the other, right?” I asked, more to try and clear the air. I felt him tense before answering me with a weird shrug.
“I guess,” he mumbled.
“Why do you hate me?” I whispered.


Author Bio:
Rita Branches is an independent YA (young adult) author who enjoys spending every free moment (when she´s not reading) writing emotional stories. Visit: http://ritabranches.wordpress.com/

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Sunday, 23 April 2017

Happy World Book Day!

Today is World Book Day (well, at least in Portugal)! I love this day not only because all the bookstores have massive discounts but also because it is a celebration of what I love the most. It is a celebration of the authors, editors, publishers, illustrators and many other people that are involved in the process of publishing and putting books on shelves (or in people's hands).
I made a small list of things I love about books and the bookish community!

1. We can never stop reading books when we love them... Reading is almost as natural as breathing!
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2. We swoon over characters, we are amazed by the words in a book! We let the storytelling take the lead and sometimes we cry because things do not go our way.
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3. Books and stories make us happy! When a new and anticipated book (finally) comes out it is a party! When the couple we shipped starts dating/get's married /has children (/has sex/hot moments) we make a party! 

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4. All our reading makes us very knowledgeable! Even if our knowledge ends up being the geography of a fictional world. An example of this might be when you know exactly where everything is when you read a sequel/ re-read a book /book series you love.

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5. The majority of us dreams that one day we will e able to write so beautifully as the authors we most love and admire!

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6. You cannot recognise us by our looks we come in all shapes, sizes and colours. We also come in different styles. Do not judge people by their looks just as you should not judge a book by its cover.

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7. In the end we are a group of people who find love in reading and that would love that the whole world read more.

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Happy World Book Day!

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Cover Reveal: Beginner's Luck by Kate Clayborn


BEGINNER'S LUCK
by Kate Clayborn


Pub Date: 10/31/2017


When three friends impulsively buy a lottery ticket, they never suspect the many ways their lives will change—or that for each of them, love will be the biggest win of all.
Kit Averin is anything but a gambler. A scientist with a quiet, steady job at a university, Kit’s focus has always been maintaining the acceptable status quo. Being a sudden millionaire doesn’t change that, with one exception: the fixer-upper she plans to buy, her first and only real home. It’s more than enough to keep her busy, until an unsettlingly handsome, charming, and determined corporate recruiter shows up in her lab—and manages to work his way into her heart . . .
Ben Tucker is surprised to find that the scientist he wants for Beaumont Materials is a young woman—and a beautiful, sharp-witted one at that. Talking her into a big-money position with his firm is harder than he expects, but he’s willing to put in the time, especially when sticking around for the summer gives him a chance to reconnect with his dad. But the longer he stays, the more questions he has about his own future—and who might be in it.

What begins as a chilly rebuff soon heats up into an attraction neither Kit nor Ben can deny—and finding themselves lucky in love might just be priceless . . .

Buy Links:


Kate Clayborn lives in Virginia, where she's lucky enough to spend her days reading and talking about all kinds of great books. At home she's either writing, thinking about writing, or--during long walks around her fabulous neighborhood—making her handsome husband and sweet-faced dog listen to her talk about writing. 


Friday, 14 April 2017

The Reader Diaries #10 : A Break for Easter and Trying to Read


Hello, my lovely readers! Currently, I'm on a (very) small break from university in order to celebrate Easter this Sunday. Here in Portugal, where we have a strong Roman Catholic tradition, this is a very important celebration and because of that this Friday (14th of April) is a holiday and (obviously) Sunday is too.
Last week I finally received two of my three copies of The Norton Anthology of World Literature, which I plan to use as an aid to my literature classes. Honestly, I also think that if I want to be a serious "aspiring academic" in literature I have to do some extra reading in order to broaden my horizons. One of my lecturers told me this is one of the best anthologies that cover a wide span of literature and that it is perfect for some further reading as well as an aid for my class work  (*caughs* essays * caughs again*). This is quite an investment since the books are really expensive but I hope that this will be a worthy one. 
Pro tip for you: when you have to buy books for uni, go to Amazon and search the used section. In this section, you can find the book you want at a more reasonable price and in a readable (sometimes as new) condition.


Along with this, I have a lot of tests and assignments coming up! I find myself spending an increasing amount of time in the library studying. The other day I spent four and a half hours sitting down and revising Cultural Studies materials and was only reminded I had class by my Google Calendar. 
Sometimes is very difficult to keep track of time! There is so much stuff to do that I get lost in my tasks and end up working like a robot. The library is also a good place to sit down and read books for reviews. This happens because I can actually sit down put my kindle/book on the table and take notes on what I cannot forget to mention on the review post.
When you are surrounded by a bunch of people that are being productive it is easier to be productive. At least that is what I believe in. When I'm in a library full of professionals (or serious students) working I find myself in kind of a competition on who's studying more (not that they're aware of that).


When I cannot find the time to got to the library I try to use all the dead time I have to read what I need/want to read. I read on the train, on the bus, between classes, while I'm eating, while I'm brushing my teeth, before I go to bed... No this is not an addiction!
Having a book blog is something I love and it fulfils me but I have to admit that it is also very time consuming (especially when you have many many books to read and analyse for university). I have to find the time to sit down and read critically, which is something I'm getting better at. I also have to find the time to sit down and write, plan and format blog posts and also reply to emails and work on the blog's social media platforms. Blogging is not only writing, you have to find source material, original ideas and also cannot forget to cross post!
Pro tip: Always keep a notebook with you! Ideas appear in the most inconvenient time possible and having a small notebook to write down your ideas is key. I keep one in my school bag and one on my nightstand. You can also use your notepad app on your phone, but it isn't as fun.

One of the things that I have noticed that changed a lot since high school is studying in school breaks. Before I never even thought of studying when I was on break but now I know that doing work in advance will save me a lot of pain during the rest of the semester!
Now that I'm home, I'm trying to read and schedule some posts for the blog while also doing some work in advance and studying for my exams. While doing all of this is essential it is also crucial to understand that you need to get out of the house, absorb a little of sun and hang out with some friends. A balance is always needed so please always try to achieve it (believe me, that's how you avoid burn out).
To end all the rambling mess this blog post is I have some very very cool news! I'm now a Book Depository Affiliate! This is my way of trying to get some funding to get better source materials and resources to make this blog the best it can possibly be!
From now on, all of the links to Book Depository within the blog will have the affiliate link and with that, I will win a small commission on your order. You do not pay more because of this. 

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository
I hope you liked this post!
Love, Ana

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Book Tour | Giveaway: Blackburn Castle by R.C. Matthews


Blackburn Castle
Tortured Souls Series Book 2
by R.C. Matthews
Genre: Historical Romance, Paranormal
Victor Blackburn is living on borrowed time. An ancient curse violently claims the life of each Blackburn male on his twenty-seventh birthday. As his approaches, his only hope of survival is a witch who vanished long ago without a trace.Mercy Seymour eagerly counts down the days until the curse will claim Victor’s life. She watched him murder her mother, and only his death will free her of the hatred and anger she harbors.When fate throws them together in Devil’s Cove, desire simmers between the handsome pirate and the spirited barkeeper’s niece until they learn the truth about each other. Desperate for her cooperation, Victor spirits her away to Blackburn Castle in the Scottish Highlands, where forces of magic and mists from beyond the grave weaken her resolve, opening her eyes to the truth of the past.As Victor and Mercy unearth the fabled stones needed to break the curse, they discover that the only weapon powerful enough to destroy hate is love. But will they have to sacrifice their relationship to save what means the most to them?
RELEASE DATE of April 10, 2017
Devil's Cove
Tortured Souls Book 1
Shrouded in unspeakable horror and spoken of only in whispers, the abandoned Devil's Cove Manor lures Captain Devlin Limmerick and his unquenchable thirst for revenge to its doors. Feared as the Devil on the high seas, the pirate's desire to avenge his past is matched only by his hunger for the powerful young medium he has coerced to aid him in his nefarious quest.Blinded from youth and touched with an ability to communicate beyond the grave, Grace is both feared and revered by the uneasy town folk. Yet she is powerless against the unrest brewing within the manor walls and finds herself drawn to the Devil's darkness. Still, she refuses to sacrifice her soul to set Devlin's unspeakable plans in motion.But an evil lurks within these walls, and their very souls are in jeopardy. Grace's presence at the manor spurs inexplicable happenings, forcing Devlin to believe nothing is as dead as it seems - not even his heart. Plunged into the throes of passion and danger, they discover the only way out is to search deep within and summon the courage to believe in true love.
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Amazon * Goodreads
R.C. Matthews’ debut book entitled Little White Lies, was conceived in 1997 while living in Cologne, Germany. However, marriage, children and a day job that paid the bills put writing the book on the back burner until 2012 when she discovered the folder with her research in the basement while reorganising! Determined to finally realise her life-long dream of writing a book, R.C. Matthews spent 15 months writing on weekends to complete the manuscript.R.C. Matthews was raised in the Metro-Detroit area by deaf parents along with four siblings. She graduated from a liberal arts college with a B.A. in Accounting and German and continues to work as a certified public accountant. She enjoys travelling with her loving husband and children, reading, downhill skiing, and playing board games. Talisman and LIFE are high on the list of favourites at her home.R.C. Matthews is the author of contemporary and historical romances featuring bold, sassy heroines and magnetic alpha heroes. Warning! The chemistry between her characters is off the charts hot, so read at your own risk. She resides in the Midwest and is surrounded by men: her husband and three sons. During her free time, you'll find her watching The Walking Dead, reading a fabulous book or hanging out with her family.