Harley in the Sky Cover Art

Hey everyone, today I’m just giving you all some lovely cover art to look at that’s been revealed over the summer.

For those of you who don’t know I’m part of a few street teams, Nadine Brandes, Nicki Pau Preto’s for Heart of Flames, Aileen Erin, S. Usher Evans, and of course, Akemi Dawn Bowman for her amazing upcoming Harley in the Sky novel. You can check out the full list of her awesome street team, here.

When the cover was officially revealed, it was pretty awesome that Paste Magazine did the honours, and I’m going to go ahead and link you all to that, here.

FINALLY

Are you all ready?

I’m sure you’ve seen it on GoodReads but let’s just focus on it here and now in all its wonderfully beautiful glory.

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The full layout of it

 

Preorder Links

Blackwells| Amazon UK  | Google Books UKAmazon US | Barnes&Noble | Kobo | Apple Books | BooksAMillion | Target

 

Release Date

March 10, 2020

 

Add to your GoodReads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44329216-harley-in-the-sky

 

 

 

Ed Book Fest Day 3

Hey everyone!

So last night was my final day attending the Edinburgh International Book Festival. I’m now poor and more than that, I hate going around Edinburgh when it’s full-blown festival season.  [Road rage while walking is REAL for August in that city, folks]

Who did I go see?

The lovely Samantha Shannon again

AND

Holly Black!! [I have loved her books since I was like 15, which is half my life guys!]

Kirsty Logan did a great job panelling, asking questions and making sure that they were the sort of questions that could apply to both authors.

Also, I’m pretty sure there’s some conspiracy that makes all authors really super at reading out loud.

[In general, I sound like a really unimpressed chipmunk, so like, obviously my author dreams are out the window, but I digress.]

The authors were asked about how they do their worldbuilding to introduce the readers to their worlds.

Samantha starts us off with the answers, talking about it’s a balance as you have to avoid info-dumping but you still need to give a way for the readers to submerge into the world. There’s also the difference with Fantasy in that a lot of times you don’t need to understand the beginning of it, so as she read the book to her family who did not read a lot of the genre they had so many questions on the first page alone. This part cracked me up as she said they kept interrupting asking who the stranger in the sea was, why was he in the sea, and so forth. Seriously, my sides hurt from that panel.

Holly agreed on the info-dumping and that you have to try and not bring the story to a halt while explaining things to readers. The plot must go on!

When asked about their writings of female characters in the Fantasy genre, I mean we know that it’s still pretty male-dominated but the women are slowly taking over but Kirsty had them speaking about what it was like, did they make the conscious choice to have their female protagonists or did it come naturally.

Also as they discussed the fantasy genre and talked about the dominating protagonists of it, Kirsty Logan gave us this gem:

Pale, Male, and Stale.”

Such an accurate description of the genre.

Samantha Shannon wrote a book she wanted after watching Lord of the Rings, as we know Arwen is more prevalent and gets to be a badass in the movie versus in the books so when she read the books and was so disappointed, it spurred her to write the book she wanted to read.

Holly, on the other hand, said it was obviously a conscious choice to make female protagonists but it wasn’t one she did for any reasons other than…

I’m a lady, writing about ladies.”

And honestly, that’s fair enough, because that’s why I write female characters in my own hobby writing.

Holly then goes on to say she was about halfway through the book when she realized that the characters were almost all girls when reading The Priory of the Orange Tree. And her reaction was brilliant haha as was Samantha’s response of,

It’s because I tricked you by adding some men.”

They talk veered toward their discussion of characters, we went into the ‘strong female’ archetype and dissection of it with Samantha while Holly said she loved characters who make mistakes but of course for women characters, as they discuss ‘strong female character,’

Women [are] often punished for making mistakes.”

And it’s true, many times male characters do not face the same scrutiny and backlash that women characters do.

I won’t give you a rundown of everything but suffice to say we also covered retellings, their purposes depending on their reason of writing the retelling and their story origin ideas and processes. This includes writing a standalone compared to writing series books and diversity in characters.

And I think I’ll leave you all with these thoughts and end it here, for now, I will go into a post of my own about ‘strong female characters’ and diversity of characters and worlds another time built off this discussion!

Here are some pics of the books I had signed!

I was SO excited to have Holly Black sign these, and I LOVED that she was happy to see these editions and even complimented me on my upkeep of them despite having moved about 14x with them.

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This was my second time getting a book signed by Samantha Shannon so I brought along my charity shop find of The Bone Season and talked with her a little, mostly telling her I already had Priory signed and I accidentally dropped it on my foot and almost died. I wanted to be way more …normal while talking to her but it was like 10:15PM, I was barely coherent.

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We Hunt The Flame eARC Review

Another review, I know, I know, I promise guys, non-review posts are coming! I just want to get some of these out before the books are out there. [In this case, before it hits UK shelves]

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GoodReads:

People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. 

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.

Glossary & Pronunciation Guide

 

This book was built upon layers and layers of lush landscapes, history, and culture. This was a work we all needed to help diversify the pool of fantasy, and the writer’s style is strong and enchanting. I found myself really pulled into this world, there was such a darkness in the shadows and in the characters that I loved and I praise them for not being always good or always sure, they were not just morally grey as people so often are but conflicted and constantly striving to do right [or wrong/what they think is right] and that’s important in a YA fantasy. It’s not a quick light read but engrossing and dependent on the reader’s desire or ability to get lost in its words.

I would have rated it five stars but there were times where I felt the pacing was a bit skewered, not necessarily in the plot but within the love interests and their personal journies. That and I do feel like some parts stretched on, but honestly, that could easily be attributed to me being impatient while reading this because I really wanted to know how things were going to turn out. I will be waiting -impatiently of course- for the next book.

I did adore all the characters though and cannot wait to read the next book, their zumra was amazing and there was not one character I disliked in the book, not even the villain. Faizal did a great job creating these characters and such an enriching world.

The worldbuilding as I mentioned earlier was ‘lush’ and that would even be an understatement. There’s such a history and knowledge in her writing that it’s hard to believe these lands don’t actually exist and the journey of the characters is much like every good fantasy, one of adventure and for a noble cause, well in a way a noble cause. There are many trials for them all and bonding in a land that holds more power than anyone could imagine.

We Hunt the Flame switches between the POVs of Zafira and Nasir, and I’m hoping that we’ll get to know more about Kifah. She was by far my favorite character though, I loved them all and Altair was definitely a hoot!

On a whole there was little to no fault in this read for me, I give it four full cups of coffee

Thank you to NetGalley and PanMacMillan for an egalley in exchange for my honest review.

Little Book of Fairy Tales- Indiegogo Promo

Hey guys!

I got a good chunk of reading done this weekend and I can honestly say I’m pretty happy with most of what I’ve read and that the books have been unusually good for May and June thus far!

However! I’m here to talk you all about a pretty cool Indiegogo project brought toy by Dancing Bear Books

All Images and quoted information has been pulled directly from Dancing Bear Books Indiegogo Project Page which you can find a link for down below!

SO! None of this is mine, I’m just an exceedingly polite thief!

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Once Upon a Time…

Once upon a time, there were two girls. They sat in their living room and pondered the bookshelves and asked themselves where everyone was. Where were the characters from across seas and that spoke in different tongues, where were the princesses who loved princesses and lived happily ever after. 

About Dancing Bear Books

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Dancing Bear Books was founded by Lucy Rose and Kristel Buckley. Shocked and astounded by the lack of diversity in fantasy and fairytale work on their bookshelves, they founded the company to create an inclusive and magical place for readers and writers alike. 

Initially, we were going to self-fund this project but after reading such wonderful submissions, we believe that this project deserves more to really promote these fantastic writers and designers. We are still on the hunt to try to pack out this book with the best fairytale short stories around but we’ve received some really beautiful work. 

We want to fund the publishing of this book for a multitude of reasons, our main ethos when embarking on this quest is to give a voice to communities that don’t normally get them. We hope that we can support writers from diverse groups and platform diverse characters. 

When considering funding, there is quite a lot to consider. There are writers, editors, proofreaders, designers, typesetters to pay. There are print runs, marketing and events to consider. With your help, we can make this happen. 

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Why is funding this project important?

Well, let’s face it, out of all the genres I do think fantasy could use a bit more boost on diversity in all regards and I’m sure most of you all agree on that point which is why I’m writing this post. If I thought I was talking into the void, I’d just make an Instagram post. [Insert fake audience laughter here]

If you don’t believe me, listen to how passionate they sound discussing diversity in fairytales and fantasy:

There is such a lack of representation, particularly in fantasy and fairytale related fiction. We are particularly focusing on BAME and LGBT stories where we can and working to promote diverse protagonists. There is a real cry out for these stories and we can’t wait to be a part of building that diversity in the indie book scene. 

 

Where to Fund the project

Indiegogo: Little Book of Fairy Tales

 

Where to find Updates on the Project:

Twitter @Dancingbearbook

Facebook @Dancingbearbooks 

Instagram @Dancingbearbooks

 

There’s 11 days left on the funding, so go throw your money at them!

 

Bookending Spring 2019- Spring Releases

Today’s prompt is brought to you by Bookending Spring and today’s host, Jayati.  Click on her name to be taken to her Anticipated 2019 spring releases, she’s got some pretty good picks! And I’m excited to share mine! [Thank you to Sam & Clo for putting this event together!]

[Remember you may not want to do this prompt but that’s okay, you can still participate in the event, us hosts are just here to give prompts that you may use if you want! And I couldn’t help myself, I wanted to do this prompt and like every other. To find out how to join the event click on Sam’s name where you’ll be taken to her blog with the information you need!]

Spring 2019 Releases I am excited for!

  1. Serving the Servant: Remembering Kurt Cobain

    April 2, 2019
    This was one of my fave reads of 2019 so far and its book birthday is tomorrow!!!! If you’re a fan of Kurt of Cobain and Nirvana it’s worth a read even if you may not be a fan of Danny Goldberg. You can find my review linked in the title.
  2. Descendant of the Crane

    April 9, 2019
    It was pushed back by only a week but Descendant of the Crane is definitely worth the wait! I buddy read this with some amazing peeps in the blogosphere and it just blew my socks off. Another going on my list of 2019 faves. ❤ Joan He as also been so cool as to let the [intl preorder incentives keep on rolling, the bookmarks are all gone as I’ve said before but you’ll still receive 5 character cards though, click here.
  3. The City of Veils (Princess Vigilante #1)

    April 16, 2019
    FORGOT TO ADD THIS! I think it’s because I already pre-wrote the review and as I finished reading it, I was like ‘okay, book 2 now!’ This is the story of a woman who saves the city she loves at night, Batman style, saving people, no killing, cool gadgets, but now that she’s up to be Queen, logic says to hang up the mask, but, is she ready? And is the city ready to lose its night defender? I already know the answer to this, so go read so you can know the answer too. [My review for this will be up by Saturday the latest]
  4. Viper

    April 18, 2019
    I have to wait for this one and the rest until their release dates from here on out and they’re all linked to their GoodReads pages. I’m very excited about this one and let me just say the cover doesn’t hurt to look at. Wink wink. Nudge nudge.
  5. The Tiger at Midnight

    April 23, 2019
    Indian History and Hindu Mythology with an #OwnVoices author? Please, it didn’t take twisting my arm to get excited about this one. Not to mention there is an awesome [intl] preorder for this going on, and Swati Teerdhala has even extended the sale past the release date, until April 29! Click here to check it out.
  6. Aurora Rising

    May 7, 2019
    I’m sure you’ve seen some news about this one, causing websites to crash and people to wail and bemoan (let’s not get into that though lol) but, at the heart of all that is the reasoning that this is expected to be an out of this world book for 2019. Get it? Out of this world? This one also has a preorder incentive, an Illuminae prequel novella, this preorder is international but you have to read up carefully because it’s only available through certain sites, check it out here.
  7. We Hunt the Flame

    May 14, 2019
    I’ve been so excited to order this, I think it’s the third book I’ve attempted to preorder this year/ever. A woman, a hunter, disguised as a man, a ‘Prince of Death,’ and war under the surface, are just some of the small tidbits I’m offering up as to why. I’ve linked the GoodReads and not to mention another #OwnVoices book, how lucky are we in the book world for 2019?!
  8. Through the White Wood

    May 16, 2019 [U.K. Release Date]
    A young woman with a power to freeze things, but without the ability to keep it under control, she’s sentenced to the palace of Prince Kiev as punishment for the consequences of losing control of her powers. This was another that had a [intl] preorder incentive, and it’s available to you here if you order before midnight on April 9 [no clue what timezone for the midnight]. If you live in the USA then it’s coming your way April 9, 2019.
  9. Romanov

    May 30, 2019 [U.K. Release Date]
    I am a HUGE Romanov history buff/fangirl/aficionado so to hear this twist on history done just has YA fiction just has me HOOKED. It’s Anastasia in a whole new light and I can’t wait. But, I have to. If you’re in the USA you can get your hands on this May 7, 2019. There is a [intl] preorder incentive for this one, you get via e-mail the author’s exclusive annotated notes from some Romanov chapters and a downloadable recipe card from the book, click here to check it out.
  10. Not Your Backup (Sidekick Squad #3)

    May 30, 2019
    This is book 3 in the series so far, so if you’re interested, you may want to check out the other two, first! The diversity in this book is amazing, we have so many great books coming out that are definitely diverse but I’m glad to say this one really shows off LGBTQIA rep and it’s magnificent. Like the others this also offers a [intl] pre-order incentive and even better, you can still snag it even if you buy the ebook! Check it out here.

    And finally for me:

  11. Star Wars: Queen’s Shadow

    May 2, 2019
    Now the reason this is down here, is because it’s not a new release but it is new to paperback and it did just recently come out anyway, on March 5, 2019, to be exact. Nonetheless, I’m still excited for this book to reach my letterbox!

So there we have it, my anticipated spring 2019 releases. These are all books I’ve preordered and uh, I won’t be doing any charity shop hunting with this lot of books, I’ll be broke as a joke, no joke.