Friday, August 18, 2017

Book Review: Hex Hall (Hex Hall #1) by Rachel Hawkins


Media Type: Audio Book
Title: Hex Hall
   *Series: Hex Hall #1
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Run Time: 7 hours 11 minutes
Release Date: June 29, 2012
Source: Library
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Content Screening: Mild Violence

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy paranormal reads that are on the lighter side.

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father—an elusive European warlock—only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tag-along ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.
So, this book had been sitting at the bottom of my TBR for just about forever. I'm rather ashamed to say that I actually received a galley of this way, WAY back when I started blogging and then it just never made it to the top of the list. I even own a paperback copy of this now, and I still ignored it. It wasn't until Hex Hall popped up on my audio book recommendations at the library that I really paid attention. Which is silly! Because I loved the Rebel Belle series by Hawkins. Still, I'm a little glad I waited. The audio was great, and this was just what I needed to listen to at the time. I had a ton of fun!

First off, I can't exactly say that Sophie Mercer's story is light. There are definitely sinister things happening at her school, and terrible fates do definitely befall some of her fellow classmates. However, I think what kept this buoyant was the fact that Sophie is just so easy to fall in love with. She's sweet, sassy, and pretty much the type of teen girl that I'd love to be friends with. Despite her situation, and the funk that it threatens to push her into, she keeps looking for the good. In other words, Sophie was real. Not overly sad, not overly excitable, just a Prodigium who really wanted to fit in and have a good school experience.

Even the "mean girls" in this book weren't over the top, which was nice. I know we all love to hate a good mean girl character, and Sophie's bullies aren't any exception to that rule. However it was nice to see that they also had some substance to them as well. I can safely say, without risk of spoilers, that I finally came to care about these girls in the end. It says a lot that I not only powered through this audio in a matter of days, but that I'm also eagerly waiting for the next book to hit my library app. I need to find out what happens next.

For keeping me smiling, and guessing, this book gets a big four stars from me. I needed something in the YA genre that wasn't full of swoon-worthy, brooding boys and this was just perfect. Highly recommended.




FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday (8/16/17)


So, I am actually drafting this post on a Saturday, which feels a little bit like cheating hahahaha. That doesn't change the fact that this is a book that I'm extremely excited for though! Things are settling back down to normal speed, thank goodness, and home life has gotten more calm. We're learning what things we can cut back a bit on, and what things we can make easier on ourselves so that there's more down time. I missed have down time.

Anyway, back to the book I'm excited for!


A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.

Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human.

What's more, she knows something most don't. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.
Goodreads | Amazon


I'm so ready for chillier weather, brooding boys, and haunting reads! In fact, starting in September, I'll be participating in a bingo game over on BookLikes! I can't wait to pick some great books and settle in. I think it's time for another King read as well!


What are you waiting on this week?

Friday, August 11, 2017

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Crescent Calling by Axelle Chandler

It's Friday! Wooooooooohooo. This week feels like the longest one I've had in a while, so what better way to kick off the weekend than an exciting new release to check out? Let's do this.


Crescent Calling
Axelle Chandler
(The Crescent Witch Chronicles #1)
Publication date: August 9th 2017
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Skye Williams is an ordinary woman, living an ordinary life.
Or so she thought.
When she receives news of her estranged mother’s death, she must go to Ireland to claim her inheritance, but when she arrives in the tiny village of Derrydun, she isn’t prepared for what she finds nestled amongst the rolling hills of the Emerald Isle.
Lumped with a funeral, her mother’s crystal shop, a moody goth girl for an employee, and a crumbling cottage with horrible floral curtains, selling up and getting out sounds like a great plan, but everything and everyone seems determined to keep her from going home.
Skye doesn’t want any part of her mother’s life or the people of Derrydun until she sees the hot Irishman she’s been crushing on turn into a fox.
More absurdly, he tells her her dead mother was a witch who battled evil fairies, there’s magical trees growing in the centre of the village, there’s a parallel universe where the fair folk live, and she’s meant to be the last defense of the magical peoples of Ireland.
Turns out Skye Williams was never an ordinary woman. Not by a long shot.
She’s the last Crescent Witch and has a destiny to fulfil.
Whether she likes it or not.
The Crescent Witch Chronicles is a series stuffed full of Irish charm, myth and mayhem. Come on an adventure fraught with danger and forbidden romance…and the ultimate battle to save magic before it’s gone forever.



That night, as Buddy kept me company, I fell asleep to the sound of wind howling through the trees outside. Plagued with dreams of wolves, I tossed and turned until I slipped into a deep slumber.
When dawn finally broke, I was covered in a thin sheen of sweat, and my head was stuffed with cotton wool. I’d slept but not really. A heavy burden was over my heart, and my body had become twisted in the quilt, my feet trapped.
Ugh, I was all hot and sticky. I kicked, trying to shift the uncomfortable weight and turned over, but it didn’t budge. Lifting my head, my eyes cracked open, sleep still clogging my head. That was when I saw a lump at the end of the bed. A very large, man-shaped lump.
Now completely awake, I screamed, scrambling up the bed. It was Boone. A very naked Boone.
He started, his head shooting up, and when he saw me, he rolled and fell off the end of the bed, hitting the floor with a thud. Scrambling to his feet, his face turned a deep shade of crimson.
“Oh, shit,” he cursed, covering his junk with his hands. “Oh, cac.”
Cac?” I yelled. “I’ll give you bloody Irish cac!
Grabbing the lamp on the bedside table, I pushed up onto my knees and swung it with all my might. The plug popped out of the wall, and the shade barely missed Boone’s face, but the cord came around and whipped him directly on his bare ass.
He howled in pain and retreated across the room.
Pervert!” I shrieked.
“Let me explain,” he said, holding up his hands and leaving nothing to the imagination.
“Explain? What’s there to explain?” I shouted, trying not to look at his you-know-what. “You were asleep on the end of my bed…naked!” I swung the lamp at him again, barely missing his head. “You’re still standing there. I can see your meat and two veg!
“Oh, cac,” he said again. “I didn’t mean for you to find out this way…”
“Find out what? That you’re a pervert, who sneaks into women’s homes butt naked?”




Axelle Chandler is an Australian Urban Fantasy author. She lives in the western suburbs of Melbourne dreaming up nail biting stories featuring bad-ass witches, hunky shape shifters and devious monsters. She likes chocolate, cat memes and video games. When she’s not writing, she likes to think of what she’s writing next.




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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Book Review: A Merchant in Oria by David Wiley


Media Type: Ebook
Title: A Merchant In Oria
Author: David Wiley
Publisher: OWS Ink, LLC.
Pages: Kindle; 42
Release Date: April 27, 2017
Source: Author
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Genre: Fantasy

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who are looking for novella length Fantasy that is very well done!

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon
Firion is a young merchant descended from generations of merchants. His first big break comes along when he sets out to trade with the wealthy dwarven kingdom of Oria. He has always dreamed of visiting this grand kingdom, having heard his father describe it in detail a hundred times while he was younger. But when Firion arrives in Oria, he is jarred by the details present that contradict with the image etched into his mind. Something dark and sinister seems to be afoot in Oria, but Firion knows he is no hero. He is just a simple merchant, and what can an ordinary person do in the face of danger and deception?

It's not often that I stumble on a novella length Fantasy novel, so you can imagine my delight when this one was offered to me for review. Even better, this turned out to be a novella that I honestly didn't want to end. David Wiley has managed to execute quite the story in A Merchant in Oria, and it's impressive even without the small amount of pages that he's done it in. I tell you, this is an author to watch.

Firion is a great character. I was stunned at how much I instantly liked him, and how well fleshed out he was as the novella sped by. With dreams of wealth, and filled youthful vigor, he sets out to Oria to make a name for himself. Little does Firion know that he's riding right into the middle of something rotten, and a mystery that is so much larger than himself. Watching him battle with his conscience and even grow a bit throughout this, was so much fun. I could not believe how well his character developed in such a short time.

Better still was the world building that spanned this novella. Instead of feeling flat and rushed, Oria and its surrounding cities grew in front me. If you haven't already caught on, there is a lot to love about how much attention to detail there is in such a short span of pages. Wiley brings lizard-men and dwarves into the picture, wraps them in magic and intrigue, and does it all effortlessly. This was a fun ride.

Truth be told, I was sad when this novella was over. I'd love to see more of Firion, and find out more about the family that he came from. This is so worth your time. Check out A Merchant in Oria. You won't be sorry.



FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Monday, August 7, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (8/7/17)


How is it possible that it's already August? Ack. I feel like this year is speeding by, and I'm barely hanging on by a thread. Reading and blogging have taken a back seat to other things lately, because if there's one thing I learned last year it's how to recognize when I needed to step back and chill. I've learned what the signs of oncoming depression look like, and I've gotten pretty okay at maneuvering myself out of the way. My days lately have been spent curling up in my new reading chair, embroidering, and devouring audio books. It actually been kind of nice.

My reading spark is starting to come back though, albeit a bit at a time. I picked up Roar again for the first time in a few weeks, and actually finished a few chapters. So fear not. I'll be back to my old self soon. I'm just not rushing it. Here's how Jessica's reading life looks now!




Did I mention that I'm addicted to audio books right now? I borrowed both A Study in Charlotte and Little Wrecks on the recommendation of our library website. It does this thing where, when you place a hold, it shows you other books you might like that are currently available. Props to that algorithm, because I loved both of these. I also finished Keltair's Ride, which was a Fantasy based erotic novel. Truth be told, it was better than I expected! I can't wait to review it for you.



As I mentioned, I picked up Roar again this weekend and actually fell into it. I'm so pleased! I've wanted to read it for a while, but I just wasn't feeling it. I'm also listening to Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins. It popped up as available on my library and it's been lingering on my wishlist forever. I felt like something on the lighter side, and I'm really enjoying it!




Finally, FINALLY, I'm getting into Uprooted. My reading friend asked me to do a buddy read, and I was worried I'd not be able to enjoy this yet. As it turns out, I am! As soon as I finished Roar, this is up next.


That's it for me! What are you reading this week?

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Book Blitz + Givewaway: Myths and Magic A Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection


Myths & Magic: A Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection
Publication date: August 22nd 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pre-Order MYTHS & MAGIC now and get BONUS GIFTS!
MYTHS & MAGIC sends you on a wild ride across universes where a safe return cannot be guaranteed.
Abolished magic returns to Earth. Telekinetic sorcerers, witches, and fairies discover their powers. Humans become cyborgs. Dragons prowl the depths of Iceland’s volcanoes.
All this and more is packed inside one boxed set overflowing with stories from today’s hottest USA Today and International Bestselling authors!
From dystopian thrillers to steampunk romance, from gothic fantasies to paranormal adventures, come journey with unlikely heroes, valiant shifters, rogue vampires, and even a sensual brujo. Dabble in scientific espionage, thwart scheming sorcerers, and challenge hordes of vengeful demons. And maybe fall in love…
If you’re ready for 21 exclusive full-length novels and novellas, including some BRAND NEW material, in a boxed set where vampires, shifters, ghosts, demons, and even Djinn haunt the pages, then fall into MYTHS & MAGIC, a collection of science fiction, fantasy, and a dash of paranormal romance that will take you to the edge of your imagination

BONUS GIFTS: The Myths and Magic authors are offering FREE gifts to everyone who pre-orders our boxed set. Don’t miss this amazing deal. $.99 pre-order gets you 21 full-length SF&F and paranormal tales in the boxed set, plus 15 FREE eBooks and an exclusive Myths and Magic coloring eBook. Here’s how you can claim these free gifts:
After pre-ordering your copy of Myths and Magic, head to http://www.subscribepage.com/mythsmagic, enter your e-mail address and your confirmation number (or the store name and date, since some vendors don’t have confirmation numbers). You’ll be sent to a “success” page that shows you all the book covers with links to the download sites and then you’ll receive a one-time courtesy e-mail with the download links as well.
Be sure to like the Myths and Magic Facebook page and join the authors on release day, August 22, 2017, for an all-day release party with tons of giveaways, including a loaded Kindle Fire!


MORE GIVEAWAYS:
Enter to win a KINDLE FIRE 7, a $25 Amazon gift card and more, courtesy of author Erin Richards: http://bit.ly/2t510WT
SUPER GIVEAWAY courtesy of author Anne Renwick:
http://www.annerenwick.com/super-giveaway/
Enter to win another KINDLE FIRE HD8 courtesy of author Bradon Nave: http://bit.ly/2unwclB

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