Hood Academy – Blog Tour

 

 

hoodacademy

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GoodReads:
Will she follow the pack…or destroy them?
A dead mother. A violent father. A missing brother.
When Mia’s father is murdered, it’s her estranged uncle that comes to the rescue, but what he offers her in return for his help could be worse than the life she is leaving behind.
Taken to Hood Academy, a unique school deep in the forest, she discovers friendships, love, and the courage to stand on her own.
Mia takes the oath that seals her future as a werewolf hunter, but not everyone wants Mia to succeed.
Screams in the night. Secret rooms. Hidden letters. Mia becomes an important piece in a game she doesn’t want to play.
Loyalty, friendships, and family bonds are tested as Mia discovers her true identity, but will the truth set her free, or will it destroy her?

My Review

If you’re looking for something packed with action and werewolves, may I present to you ‘Hood Academy?’

Mia has had a rough life, the only one who ever seemed to be on her side was her brother but he left when she was a child and that meant Mia was stuck with their violent tempered father. A man changed after the death of his wife, unfortunately in the worst ways and habits.

This means that Mia is naturally wary of people, hard to trust others and always having to be at her toughest. After the death of her father though, she’s picked up by her Uncle and taken to a school he runs, Hood Academy. Her Uncle claims this is a school for gifted girls, but, not in the academic sense. They’re hunters.

Werewolf hunters.

The academy seemed awesome and I enjoyed learning about the girls and their curriculum and the history to this secret school.

One thing that annoyed me was that after the halfway point, because it’s actually two books in one, we do get reminded of past events in book one, but I didn’t realize this until after I finished reading, so, just know, this is actually two books, the two parts are the titles of the original two. There’s ‘Oath Breaker’ and ‘Oath Keeper.’

This actually makes so much more sense and I wish I had done a bit more research before getting annoyed haha as I read both books as one rather larger book.

Anyway, you get to see Mia go through some huge changes and not just to do with being a hunter, or the werewolves or even the academy but she learns to find her place in the world, to find her own ‘pack.’

There’s a great mentor, the answers to where her brother went, the truth of the werewolves and hunters and so many startling revelations about Mia and her life.

I think for me it may have been a little too much action at times which is why I gave this only 3 stars, I wanted more down time, to get to know Mia more as it felt like we were rushing through her development and the plot because there was so much to do.

But that could be exactly what makes this a four star/five star read for you!

If you like things like werewolves and YA you’ll enjoy this, I know I did. Also I would recommend this to fans of ‘Twilight’ or maybe ‘Vampire Academy,’ if you’re looking for a more compact read.

Anyway, three cups of coffee for me, this book was entertaining and if you divide it into two, they’re both quick reads and with a satisfying conclusion. A story of love, action, adventure, and of course, werewolves!

Thank you to BHC Press and NetGalley for a copy of this in exchange for my honest opinion.

 

About the Author

author

I’m a genre straddling English author of motivational self-help titles and young adult fantasy fiction. My sensible side writes non-fiction books to inspire you to survive and thrive, and my cheeky and playful side writes young adult fiction to remind you to nurture that inner teen.
My passions include history, visiting castles, eating pizza and obsessing over to-do lists.

Author Links

Website | Twitter | Facebook | GoodReads

Gravemaidens eARC Review

 

 

Gravemaidens (Gravemaidens, #1)

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GoodReads:
The start of a fierce fantasy duology about three maidens who are chosen for their land’s greatest honor…and one girl determined to save her sister from the grave.

In the walled city-state of Alu, Kammani wants nothing more than to become the accomplished healer her father used to be before her family was cast out of their privileged life in shame.

When Alu’s ruler falls deathly ill, Kammani’s beautiful little sister, Nanaea, is chosen as one of three sacred maidens to join him in the afterlife. It’s an honor. A tradition. And Nanaea believes it is her chance to live an even grander life than the one that was stolen from her.

But Kammani sees the selection for what it really is—a death sentence.

Desperate to save her sister, Kammani schemes her way into the palace to heal the ruler. There she discovers more danger lurking in the sand-stone corridors than she could have ever imagined and that her own life—and heart—are at stake. But Kammani will stop at nothing to dig up the palace’s buried secrets even if it means sacrificing everything…including herself.

Book Information:
Publisher: Delacorte Press/Random House
Pub Date: October 29, 2019
Formats: Hardback, Ebook, Audiobook
ISBN: 978-0-525-64782-9

Purchase Links

Amazon UK | Amazon US

[The purchase links above are Affiliated links, if you should purchase this book using one of those links then I will receive a small bit of money, but, this will cost nothing to you]

 

My Review

I finished my buddy read way quicker than I expected, I blame the author Kelly Coon for this. I was able to read the first eight chapters and have some semblance of self-control but after that, it was like I was gorging myself on cakes from the faerie realm, I could not put the book down.

Kammani was a really endearing protagonist, she had her faults, her passions, and the love for her family with her love of healing. And like any good big sister, she can be somewhat annoying and overbearing on her younger sister and brother.

Kammani wants to follow in the footsteps of her father, but the problem with that is that her Father has been just as tragically affected as the rest of the family and it has changed him.

I love that the characters were so real and flawed, no one was above making mistakes. There were so many moments where I was just holding my breath though because this is not only a great work of YA fantasy, it’s also got a murder mystery, AND YOU ALL KNOW HOW I LOVE MURDER MYSTERIES!

WHODUNNIT?!

This is mostly the question I was screeching through the novel.

Nanaea reminded me of how infuriating it can be to have sisters and though Kammani doesn’t always make the right choices, she makes them all out of love for Nanaea and her family. I loved getting to know more about both Nanaea and Kammani and the political intrigue in the palace made my dark little heart so happy! Not to mention the relationships that Kammani develops, the new friendships, well, it’s great and you really cheer on most of the characters, and there are times you’re just not sure who Kammani should trust.

Again….WHODUNNIT?

The fact that we’re not done with these characters is brilliant, the ending certainly had me lamenting the fact that I’ll have to wait to see what happens next.

Coon delightfully colors this vibrant world the characters live in, Alu just seems to come to life and jump right off the pages. She also doesn’t get too focused on small details, driving the plot and characters forward. \she also made me constantly hungry…seriously, where’s a damn honeycake when you need it??

Dagan was also a cute little cinnamon roll that I just wanted to protect half the time,m but the fact that he was always respectful of Kammani’s boundaries really made him such a great character, even when he thinks he’s pushed himself too far across a line, he’s quick to apologize and make amends as best he can.

[Disclosure: Nasu was my favorite, no regrets.]

I preordered this book because I mean, why wouldn’t I with a title like ‘Gravemaidens?’ But I’m super glad I did because I’ll be rereading this closer to the time of the second book’s release.

SO on that note, four massive cups of coffee from me for this amazing debut novel. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for a copy of this in exchange for my honest opinion!

 

About the Author

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Kelly Coon is a young adult author represented by Kari Sutherland of Bradford Lit, an editor for Blue Ocean Brain, a member of the Washington Post Talent Network, a former high school English teacher, and the author of two test prep guides, ACT STRATEGY SMART and ACE THE ACT.
Kelly was the test prep expert for About.com for seven years, and has been published with both Scholastic and MSN in the education arena. In the parenting realm, Kelly has been published in The Washington Post, Scary Mommy, ParentMap, Folks, and others sites, regaling tales of life in the trenches with her three boys. She adores giving female characters the chance to flex their muscles and use their brains, and wishes every story got the happy ending she’s living near Tampa with her sons, brilliant husband, and a rescue pup who will steal your sandwich. Gravemaidens is her debut novel.

Author Links

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

 

Foxfire, Wolfskin – Blog Tour

 

 

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Synopsis:
‘Part rally cry, part warning, part manifesto and all parts enchanting, Sharon Blackie’s Foxfire, Wolfskin is a deeply evocative and haunting collection. Humming with the strength of our immutable voices, each story sings with the transformation that is possible when women take agency of our lives. I want to press this powerful book into the hands of everyone I know and say, listen.’  Holly Ringland, author, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart
‘Sharon Blackie has wrought a new-old magic for our times: glorious, beautiful, passionate myths written for this critical moment in time. They show who we could have been, and they give us a glimpse of a world-that-could-be. There’s still time to make it happen.’ Manda Scott, author of the Boudicca series, and A Treachery of Spies
Charged with drama and beauty, this memorable collection by a master storyteller weaves a magical world of possibility and power from female myths of physical renewal, creation and change. It is an extraordinary immersion into the bodies and voices, mindscapes and landscapes, of the shape-shifting women of our native folklore.  We meet the Water Horse of the Isle of Lewis, the huldra, the Scandinavian supernatural forest-dweller, and Baba Yaga of Slavic folklore (but will she help you or kill you?) Here too is the Snow Queen; the wild bird-woman of the Sliabh Mis Mountains; Blodeuedd, the Welsh ‘flower-faced’ woman.  
Drawing on myth and fairy tales found across Europe – from Croatia to Sweden, Ireland to Russia – Sharon Blackie brings to life women’s remarkable ability to transform themselves in the face of seemingly impossible circumstances. These stories are about coming to terms with our animal natures, exploring the ways in which we might renegotiate our fractured relationship with the natural world, and uncovering the wildness – and wilderness – within.

Book Information:
Written by: Sharon Blackie
Published by: September Publishing
Published on: 2 October 2019
Price: £ 14.99
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781910463680

 

My Review

You ever get a book and just from the moment you hold it, you know you’re going to really enjoy it?

This was one for me. I love folklore and it’s clear that Blackie does as well, she takes these myths and tales and weaves them into stories greater than what we’d been given. To make the stories about women for women in a way.

How often have we’ve seen folklore show its fear of women? Oh, that’s not to say that there are no tales of courageous women, it’s just, more often than not you can find a plethora of stories where women are not praised for their strengths and kind hearts, but rather used as warnings.

Overall it was an amazing collection of 13 vibrant, touching, and surprisingly beautiful stories.

I loved all 13, we get to see a bit of Baba Yaga, Mad Mis, waterhorses, wolf versions of selkies, and so much more.

I think Mad Mis and Foxfire were both my favorites from the collection but there wasn’t one story I didn’t find enjoyable. [Though I mean, I can see why Baba Yaga did not particularly welcome that protagonist from her story, I almost half-wished she’d been frightened to death lol]

Women are allowed to be wild, they are allowed to feel to make choices that only men seemed to be able to make in the original tales. They have decided to take their lives in their own hands, to return to the earth and run through forests. And I thought that’s what made this book so beautiful.

Not to mention, this book is a great read for October, a bit of a spooky/witchy read just in time for Halloween. I loved it, five cups of coffee from me and my absolute adoration.

Thanks to Anne and September Publishing for a copy of this in exchange for my honest opinion as part of the blog tour.

 

The Illustrations

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About the Author

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Dr Sharon Blackie is a writer, mythologist and psychologist, and an internationally recognised teacher of the mythic imagination. Her bestselling book, If Women Rose Rooted, won a 2016 Nautilus award, and laid out a haunting heroine’s journey for every woman who finds power, inspiration and solace in the natural world.  She has an international following through her online communities, and the courses and workshops she offers through ‘The Hedge School’.  Her first novel, The Long Delirious Blue, was described by the Independent on Sunday as ‘hugely potent’. She lives in Connemara, Ireland. 

Author’s Website

Website

 

Author’s Other Works

Sharon Blackie’s titles available from September publishing:  The Enchanted Life (ISBN 978-1910463888, £14.99) and If Women Rose Rooted (978-1-912836-01-7, £8.99 paperback published August 2019)

 

The Rest of the Tour

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The Gilded King – Blog Tour

 

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Synopsis:
In the Blue, the world’s last city, all is not well.
Julia is stuck within its walls. She serves the nobility from a distance until she meets Lucas, a boy who believes in fairytales that Julia’s world can’t accommodate. The Blue is her prison, not her castle, and she’d escape into the trees if she didn’t know that contamination and death awaited humanity outside.
But not everyone in the Blue is human, and not everyone can be contained.
Beyond the city’s boundaries, in the wild forests of the Red, Cameron has precious little humanity left to lose. As he searches for a lost queen, he finds an enemy rising that he thought long dead. An enemy that the humans have forgotten how to fight.
One way or another, the walls of the Blue are coming down. The only question is what side you’ll be on when they do.

Purchase Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK

[Psssst, atm it’s free to get!]

 

My Review

Yay for a cool vampire story, it’s so rare for me to really get to enjoy vampire stories these days. Not for a lack of cool vampire stories, but because it’s hard to sift through the endless options of vampire books.

Not to mention this is a post-apocalyptic setting where vampires rule, and, they’re old enough to make ‘Interview with the Vampire’ jokes.

I love how mysterious the backstory of the world is in this book. There are prequels, but I think they aren’t necessary to read as Jaffrey does a pretty good job of setting up the world on her own. The story switches between Cameron and Julia’s POVs which is fun because they’re doing two completely different things, so it’s not just rehashing what you just read, though sometimes I wanted to shake my fist at Jaffrey because she’d just leave you hanging some chapters. *Glares* I see what you did there, Author.

There are these really awesome and terrifying things called Weepers, I won’t say what they are exactly to avoid spoilers, but another cool take on a monster.

Because of the almost two different stories, I found myself so intrigued and always wanting to know more, but, Jaffrey is clever and you can see the threads of the stories are interwoven even if Cameron and Julia aren’t tied to each other, there are events that they’re both connected to.

There’s love but it’s not overwhelming and there’s a good cast of characters, and I hope we get to know more about them in the next book(s), not to mention the way it’s left off, you just want to immediately jump into book 2!

Well-paced, fun characters, m/m flirting to make you go ‘awwwwwww,’ cool vampires, and political intrigue, plotting, and shenanigans.

Bring on book 2!!!!!!!!!

Thanks to WriteReads and Josie Jaffrey for a copy of this in exchange for my honest review as part of the tour! Four cups of coffee from me!

About the Author

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I live in Oxford, UK, with my husband and two cats (Sparky and Gussie), who graciously permit human cohabitation in return for regular feeding and cuddles. The resulting cat fluff makes it difficult for me to wear black, which is largely why I gave up being a goth. Although the cats are definitely worth it, I still miss my old wardrobe.

Author Links

Website | Patreon | Twitter

 

The Tour

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