Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Book Tour/Giveaway!! The Amber Elixir, by Ariella Moon

Welcome to the Blog Tour for
The Amber Elixir, sponsored by
XPresso Book Tours!!

For my stop, I'm featuring a mini-review plus excerpt!
There's also a tour-wide giveaway!!

The Amber Elixir
(A Two Realms Novella, Volume 1)
Ariella Moon
Trade Paperback, 204 pages
Star Tribe Publishing
September 17, 2017
Digital Edition, 145 pages
Star Tribe Publishing
October 3, 2017
Arthurian Fiction, Fantasy, Mythology, 
Paranormal Fiction

Viviane, the new Lady of the Lake and High Priestess of Avalon, accepts a challenge from Merlin unaware her bold actions will have tragic consequences. Two of her priestesses are turned to stone. A forbidden love deserts her. Now alone, she has six young handmaidens to train and protect.

When Morgan le Fay demands assistance with a spell that could change the balance of power in the Two Realms, Viviane refuses her. But what if Morgan’s secret knowledge could restore the stone priestesses? Will an alliance prompt Viviane’s love to return? Or will the gamble cost her all she holds dear? 

This mini-review is of the excerpt below, and not of the entire book. I only do this kind of thing 
when I come across a book I REALLY want to read,
and that's DEFINITELY the case here!!

When I saw this book on the XPresso Book Tours site, I signed up RIGHT AWAY!! I ADORE the original tales of King Arthur, so ANY Arthurian retelling will ALWAYS make me sit up and take notice! This one sure sounds fascinating, too!
I love how the two characters in the excerpt below are presented. Their dialogue lets the reader know that all is not exactly well in Avalon, and the Lady of the Lake has had to deal with Merlin, who turns out to have been her teacher in the ways of spellcraft. Interestingly, they have been at odds with each other, and he has taken drastic measures to ensure Viviane never forgets who is the master....
These fascinating glimpses into the fabled world of King Arthur and Merlin make me eager to read more! And I am absolutely planning to do so!!

Glynis, a priestess of Avalon, Viviane’s handmaiden and more, shook her head. “All this because you stole Merlin’s spell book.”

“Merlin challenged me to steal the tome, remember? I bested him, and he retaliated by imprisoning me in ice!”

Glynis’s knuckles whitened as she tightened her grip on the cloth bundle she carried. “Challenged? We are no longer nine years old, nor Merlin eleven. He is King Arthur’s Mage now, and you are the Lady of the Lake. The time for childish games has long passed.”


“Merlin encased you in ice! You could have died.” Hurt and fury tinged Glynis’s words. “For all I knew, you had died.”

“Had I not cast a spell forward in time, and brought back the one person who could free me—”

“Lady Fenella paid a high price for helping you. We all did.”

“Glynis, I—” She stepped towards Glynis, but the priestess backed away, rocking the barge. Rebuffed, Viviane breathed in the cold acrid air then rubbed her arms inside her heavy cloak. In a softened voice she said, “My remorse knows no bounds.”

“You appear unharmed.” Glynis brushed back an errant lock of her pale blond hair. “Merlin’s spell must have protected you from the cold.”

“He cast it so I would suffer…just enough to remind me he is the master, and I, the apprentice.” The memory of Merlin’s cruel punishment—his betrayal—still shivered her core.

Glynis shook her head. “After three years of formal apprenticeship—”

“Each dark moon.”

“It has come to this. Why did Merlin imprison you here? Surely he knew your sanctuary would be ruined.”

“Spite. Revenge. Jealousy.” She frowned at the water’s unnatural green bloom.

“Mayhap.” Glynis’s eyebrows pinched together.

“’Tis the only explanation.” Viviane fumed.

“Merlin is impulsive, but he acts with purpose.” Glynis adjusted the sack. “Mayhap he wondered why you needed a sanctuary on another isle. Was Avalon not enough? Were your priestesses such disappointments, that even Avalon’s lake provided inadequate escape?”

Viviane stepped closer. “You never disappointed me.”

Glynis averted her gaze.

“No lessons, no rituals fully prepared me for becoming Lady of the Lake. I came to the sanctuary to remember my roots.” She frowned as she spied a scorched stump, the sad remains of an ancient pine she used to sit beneath. Viviane’s voice fell to a husky whisper. “I clung to the part of me that is still human.”

“But your one true desire had been to become a goddess—the Lady of the Lake.”

Viviane uttered a harsh laugh. “As usual, I had not fully thought through the consequences—such as outliving the people I love.”

Purchase Links
Print & Digital Editions
Amazon US/Amazon UK/Amazon CA
Barnes & Noble

Digital Edition Only
Barnes & Noble

Ariella Moon draws upon her experiences as a shaman to create magical Young Adult Fiction. Her Two Realms Trilogy is a medieval fantasy adventure series. The Teen Wytche Saga is a series of sweet contemporary paranormal romances.

Ariella spent her childhood searching for a magical wardrobe that would transport her to Narnia. Extreme math anxiety and taller students that mistook her for a leaning post marred her youth. Despite these horrors, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Davis. She lives a nearly normal life doting on her extraordinary daughter, two shamelessly spoiled dogs, and a media-shy dragon.


To access the complete tour schedule, just click on the banner below!

Can't Wait Wednesday No. 54: My Plain Jane, by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

Welcome to "Can't Wait Wednesday"!

This is a weekly event hosted by
Tressa @ Wishful Endings, and inspired by "Waiting On Wednesday", which used to be hosted by
 Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

For more information, please click HERE.

As in the previous meme, this one showcases future releases  we book  bloggers 
are eagerly anticipating!!
There's also a Linky widget, so participating blogs can link up!

Here's my choice for this week!

 My Plain Jane
(The Lady Janies, Book 2)
Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton,
Jodi Meadows
Hardcover, 464 pages
     June 26, 2018      
Classics Retellings, Fantasy,
Historical Fiction, Humor, Mystery, 
Paranormal Fiction, Romance,
Young Adult Fiction


 You may think you know the story. After a miserable childhood, penniless orphan Jane Eyre embarks on a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall. There, she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester. Despite their significant age gap (!) and his uneven temper (!!), they fall in love—and, Reader, she marries him. (!!!)

Or does she?

Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Brontë, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights.

Why I can't wait for this one!

OMG. OMG. OMG. I NEED to get this book and IMMERSE myself in this revisioning of my FAVORITE classic of ALL time!!!! 
I know, I know.....some purists out there will consider this to be literary sacrilege. But I just can't get enough of this particular story, because I just need my Jane Eyre fix!! (Yeah, I do need to reread the original.) I think that reading this will be a LOT of fun! Besides, that synopsis has made me VERY curious..... Just WHAT have these authors done with this immortal masterpiece? Inquiring minds (like mine!) want to know!!

This is the BESTSELLING first 
book in the series!!
Click on the cover for the 
Goodreads page!

Cynthia Hand is the New York Times bestselling author of several books for teens, including the Unearthly Trilogy, The Last Time We Say Goodbye, My Lady Jane (with fellow authors Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows), The Afterlife of Holly Chase, and the upcoming novel My Plain Jane (also with Ashton and Meadows). Before turning to writing for young adults, she studied literary fiction and earned both an M.F.A. and a Ph.D. in Fiction Writing. She currently resides in Boise, Idaho, with two cats, one crazy puppy, two kids, and an entourage of imaginary friends.

Because of two parents who were Greek myth geeks, I grew up thinking the latest fashion trends were inspired by Aphrodite, and a good conversational opener was, “So, which mythological character do you most resemble?” Despite these social shortcomings, I found a great husband who’s always my first reader. We live in Utah with our two young boys, who still have no idea why I'm at the computer all the time.

My debut book, Everneath, the first in the series of the same name, came out in 2012, followed by Neverfall, a novella (2012), Everbound (2013), and Evertrue (2014), .

I received a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Utah and a Master’s degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics.


Jodi Meadows wants to be a ferret when she grows up and she has no self-control when it comes to yarn, ink, or outer space. Still, she manages to write books. She is the author of the Incarnate Trilogy, the Orphan Queen Duology, and the Fallen Isles Trilogy (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen), as well as a coauthor of My Lady Jane, and the upcoming My Plain Jane (HarperTeen).


What do you think of my
choice this week? 
Please leave a comment and
let me know!


Friday, February 16, 2018

Book Blogger Hop No. 123: Acting Like a Favorite Character

Welcome to the Book Blogger Hop,
hosted by Billy @

For more information, and 
to find out the topic of next week's question, click HERE.

This Week's Question

Have you ever found yourself
acting like a favorite character
in a novel? If so, which one?

(Submitted  by Maria @ 

My Answer

In my case, it's not so much acting like a favorite character, as it is coming across literary characters whom I have been able to relate to because I already shared some character traits with them, or already acted in ways that were similar to them (or wanted to do so).

I remember wanting to act like Tom Sawyer, when I was around 10 or 11 years old. Those were my "tomboy days", and oh, how I wanted to do all the stuff Tom did, and to have a friend like Huck Finn, to share adventures with! Alas, there was no way I could even hope to have such adventures....

Another of my childhood literary heroes was Jo, from Little Women. In fact, I even strongly felt that we were somehow related, or should have been, because I felt and thought the way she did, most of the time.  I, too, wanted to be a writer, and act as decisively as she did. I, too, wanted to march off to war, and act as courageously as she did. (That was before I knew about the harsh realities of war. I am now a pacifist. Lol.) And, of course, I was into books, too.

Then there was "Scout" Finch, from To Kill A Mockingbird. I must have read that book around the age of 13. Needless to say, I greatly admired her! However, I seriously doubt that my parents would ever have tolerated me getting into any fights at school, even if it was to defend a sibling. Lol. She was definitely another kindred spirit, though.

Around the age of 18, I met Jane Eyre for the first time. I was not that much of a tomboy anymore, so I fell head over heels in love with Edward Rochester, and, of course, I wanted to BE Jane! I wanted to be as forthright as she was, as well as just as firmly determined not to give up my own self because of a man. However, I also wanted to experience a passionate, turbulent love relationship. I wanted to have a man fall for me as hard as Rochester fell for Jane. I wanted the best of both worlds -- being my own true self, as well as having that passionate relationship. And it would have to be a relationship of equals, too.

Several years later, there was Bella Swan, from The Twilight Saga. I'm pretty much of a klutz, as I don't have any talent for sports, just like Bella. (But I can walk without falling, most of the time, lol.) 

I could relate to this character quite well, as I did tend to be insecure, even though I was well into adulthood when I came across her. I also still had a tendency to swoon over a guy I happened to have a crush on, just like a teen! I actually enjoyed reading Bella's descriptions of Edward's perfect physical attributes, and how he looked like a sculpted Greek god. And when I came across the famous meadow scene, in the first book, Twilight, well, I just about thought I had died and gone to heaven....sigh.... That line about the lion falling in love with the lamb, well..... it just did me in!

Ah, but I also admired the Bella who, transformed into a vampire, became a formidable force in her world! She nearly single-handedly dealt with the evil Volturi clan herself, and joined Edward and the other Cullens in a fierce battle of wills with these horrible vampires! She was also very protective of her daughter, Renesmee.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention another more recent literary heroine -- Hermione Granger. Sometimes I wish that the Harry Potter series had been the Hermione Granger series..... Hermione is someone to greatly admire. She's very smart, very bookish, and yet, she can think on her feet in a pinch. Plus, she's loyal to her friends, and doesn't flinch from any adventure, joining in with Harry and Ron as much as she can. I think that she's definitely a role model for young (and not so young) girls! 

When I put on my Gryffindor robe and wave my illuminated HG wand around, I can almost BE Hermione. Watch out, Voldemort! You have to deal with ME if you want to get to Harry! Hah! (I can see myself saying this to a mean boss, pretending that the boss is Voldemort....hee, hee!) Wingardium leviosa!!

I think I can not only relate to all of these literary heroes/heroines, but also learn something from each. That's why they all resonate with me so much. It's their inner qualities I admire, and want to emulate. I think that they all also reflect different facets of my personality, although these facets are not as well-developed in me as they are in these characters. 

It would be interesting to actually pretend to be one of these characters for one day. I have never done this, to be honest. I'm sure many of the people I deal with every day would get a huge surprise! Lol.

What are your thoughts on
this topic?
If you're participating in this hop,
I'll go comment on your 
own BBH post.
If not, I will then comment on one 
of your blog posts!
Thanks for visiting!!!  

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday, No. 53: Love Scene, Take Two, by Alex Evansley

Welcome to "Can't Wait Wednesday"!

To all my readers and visitors, may you have a wonderful day full of love, smiles, and lots of happiness!! 

And, of course, I just had to feature a romance novel today!!

This is a weekly event hosted by
Tressa @ Wishful Endings, and inspired by "Waiting On Wednesday", which used to be hosted by
 Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

For more information, please click HERE.

As in the previous meme, this one showcases future releases  we book  bloggers 
are eagerly anticipating!!
There's also a Linky widget, so participating blogs can link up!

Here's my choice for this week!

 Love Scene, Take Two
Alex Evansley
Hardcover, 368 pages
Swoon Reads
     June 12, 2018      
Contemporary Romance,
Young Adult Fiction


 Teddy Sharp is kinda famous, and if his latest audition for the lead in the newest YA blockbuster works out, he’ll be REALLY famous. But even being kinda famous doesn’t keep your flights from being cancelled.

Stranded in a small North Carolina airport, he figures his weekend is ruined, until Bennett Caldwell, the author of the very book series he just auditioned for, takes pity on him and invites him to stay at her family’s lake house. Bennett is unlike any girl Teddy’s ever met before, and somehow they just seem to click. But the internet is full of juicy gossip about Teddy's last relationship… gossip that Bennett might not be prepared to handle.


Why I can't wait for this one!

This sure sounds like a SUPER cute romance novel that's PERFECT for a summer read, right by the seashore! (I would read it underneath a HUGE umbrella, too, because I'm definitely NOT a sun worshiper! Lol.)
I couldn't have picked anything BUT a romance novel today! This is a day for sighs and giggles, as you snuggle up to your significant other, or have fun club-hopping with your best friends! 
I love this plot! The rising movie star and the author! Star-struck romance, I'm pre-ordering you!!

Alex Evansley is a twenty-something-year-old writer from North Carolina. After earning a BA in Political Science from the University of South Carolina, she realized she wanted nothing to do with politics or becoming a lawyer, and decided to focus on writing stories instead. 

Her special talents include putting on workout clothes and not working out, sleeping during the day, losing socks, and procrastinating aforementioned stories. Love Scene, Take Two
 is her debut novel.

What do you think of my
choice this week? 
Please leave a comment and
let me know!