Book Releases I’m Anticipating in August 2019

I‘ve been ignoring my blog. I feel like I owe you guys some explanation and here it goes… Sometimes I can’t find the time to write and schedule posts, sometimes I’m too tired to but I’ve been posting daily on my Instagram. I’m not yet thinking about taking a permanent blog hiatus but I’ll definitely let you guys know if I do. I want to thank YOU so much for following me, liking and commenting on my posts! It means so much to me when I see people genuinely liking my content and makes me want to deliver more.

..And deliver I shall! For today, I’m bringing you my list of highly anticipated books of August. I have got thrillers, debut fantasies, romances and one YA recommendation for you! I will compile my list of literary fiction releases soon and will post it separately.

Book Releases I'm Anticipating in August 2019

First up are some fantasy releases I’m highly anticipating and I’ve already devoured one of the four! Can you guess what is the lucky book?

The Dragon Republic

The Dragon Republic by R. F. Kuang
Buy:
Book Depository | Wordery

“The searing follow-up to 2018’s most celebrated fantasy debut – THE POPPY WAR.”

In the aftermath of the Third Poppy War, shaman and warrior Rin is on the run: haunted by the atrocity she committed to end the war, addicted to opium, and hiding from the murderous commands of her vengeful god, the fiery Phoenix. Her only reason for living is to get revenge on the traitorous Empress who sold out Nikan to their enemies.
With no other options, Rin joins forces with the powerful Dragon Warlord, who has a plan to conquer Nikan, unseat the Empress, and create a new Republic. Rin throws herself into his war. After all, making war is all she knows how to do.
But the Empress is a more powerful foe than she appears, and the Dragon Warlord’s motivations are not as democratic as they seem. The more Rin learns, the more she fears her love for Nikan will drive her away from every ally and lead her to rely more and more on the Phoenix’s deadly power. Because there is nothing she won’t sacrifice for her country and her vengeance.

Beasts of the Frozen Sun

Beasts of the Frozen Sun(Frozen Sun Saga #1)by Jill Criswell

Book Depository | Wordery

Burn brightly. Love fiercely. For all else is dust.


Every child of Glasnith learns the last words of Aillira, the god-gifted mortal whose doomed love affair sparked a war of gods and men, and Lira of clan Stone knows the story better than most. As a descendant of Aillira and god-gifted in her own right, she has the power to read people’s souls, to see someone’s true essence with only a touch of her hand.
When a golden-haired warrior washes up on the shores of her homeland–one of the fearful marauders from the land of the Frozen Sun–Lira helps the wounded man instead of turning him in. After reading his soul, she realizes Reyker is different than his brethren who attack the coasts of Glasnith. He confides in her that he’s been cursed with what his people call battle-madness, forced to fight for the warlord known as the Dragon, a powerful tyrant determined to reignite the ancient war that Aillira started.
As Lira and Reyker form a bond forbidden by both their clans, the wrath of the Dragon falls upon them and all of Glasnith, and Lira finds herself facing the same tragic fate as her ancestor. The battle for Lira’s life, for Reyker’s soul, and for their peoples’ freedom has only just begun.

The First Girl Child by Amy Harmon

The First Girl Child by Amy Harmon

Book Depository | Wordery

“From ​the New York Times bestselling author comes a breathtaking fantasy of a cursed kingdom, warring clans, and unexpected salvation.”

Bayr of Saylok, bastard son of a powerful and jealous chieftain, is haunted by the curse once leveled by his dying mother. Bartered, abandoned, and rarely loved, she plagued the land with her words: From this day forward, there will be no daughters in Saylok.
Raised among the Keepers at Temple Hill, Bayr is gifted with inhuman strength. But he’s also blessed with an all-too-human heart that beats with one purpose: to protect Alba, the first girl child born in nearly two decades and the salvation for a country at risk.
Now the fate of Saylok lies with Alba and Bayr, whose bond grows deeper with every whisper of coming chaos. Charged with battling the enemies of their people, both within and without, Bayr is fueled further by the love of a girl who has defied the scourge of Saylok.
What Bayr and Alba don’t know is that they each threaten the king, a greedy man who built his throne on lies, murder, and betrayal. There is only one way to defend their land from the corruption that has overtaken it. By breaking the curse, they could defeat the king…but they could also destroy themselves.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.
Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?
When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

Now, let’s talk about my highly anticipated romance releases of this month…

Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life she only swipes right on her career—and the occasional hookup. The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules:
– Nude pics are by invitation only
– If someone stands you up, block them with extreme prejudice
– Protect your heart
Only there aren’t any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, former pro-football player Samson Lima. The sexy and seemingly sweet hunk woos her one magical night… and disappears.
Rhi thought she’d buried her hurt over Samson ghosting her, until he suddenly surfaces months later, still big, still beautiful—and in league with a business rival. He says he won’t fumble their second chance, but she’s wary. A temporary physical partnership is one thing, but a merger of hearts? Surely that’s too high a risk…

Mariana Zapata

The Best Thing by Mariana Zapata

 Wordery

Some things are easily forgiven. Other things… not so much.

Lenny DeMaio made herself a promise: she was done.
Done thinking about him.
Done worrying about him.
Done reaching out to a man who clearly didn’t want to be found.

Too bad no one gave Jonah Collins the memo.

Ehh..I know it’s not much of a list but I’m also anticipating Brazen and the Beast by Sarah Maclean and The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare!! This list should also include The First Girl Child by Amy Harmon, which I’ve included in my Fantasy list.

This will be the last “category” and it will be a mashup of thrillers and Young Adult

When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.

The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee (Young Adult, historical)

Book Depository | Wordery

By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady’s maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, “Dear Miss Sweetie.” When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society’s ills, but she’s not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender.

While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past and the parents who abandoned her as a baby. But when her efforts put her in the crosshairs of Atlanta’s most notorious criminal, Jo must decide whether she, a girl used to living in the shadows, is ready to step into the light.

Gifted musician Clemency Thompson is playing for tourists on the streets of southern France when she receives an urgent text message. Her childhood friend, Lucy, is demanding her immediate return to London.

It’s happening, says the message. The baby is back.
Libby Jones was only six months old when she became an orphan. Now twenty-five, she’s astounded to learn of an inheritance that will change her life. A gorgeous, dilapidated townhouse in one of London’s poshest neighborhoods has been held in a trust for her all these years. Now it’s hers.

As Libby investigates the story of her birth parents and the dark legacy of her new home, Clemency and Lucy are headed her way to uncover, and possibly protect, secrets of their own. What really happened in that rambling Chelsea mansion when they were children? And are they still at risk?

Thank you for reading this far! If you have read any of the books on my list or are anticipating any, then let me know!

Blog Tour | Review: Soul of the Sword( Shadow of the Fox #2) by Julie Kagawa

Blog Tour | Review: Soul of the Sword( Shadow of the Fox #2) by Julie Kagawa

Soul of the Sword( Shadow of the Fox #2) by Julie Kagawa

Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa

  • Publication Date: 25th June, 2019
  • Paperback: 464 pages     
  • Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
  • Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

THE TIME OF THE WISH APPROACHES… 

Yumeko the shapeshifter had one task: take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple and prevent the summoning of the great Kami Dragon. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, has escaped and possessed the samurai she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.

Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with Genno, the Master of Demons, to break his curse and set himself free. But Genno wishes to overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness. To do that he needs only one thing, the scroll Yumeko is hiding. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross again the entire empire will be thrown into chaos.

AND CHAOS WILL DARKEN AN EMPIRE.”

Should You read Soul of the Sword?

“This is why I don’t trust magic,” he muttered, leaning back against the tree. “Inanimate objects like swords and scrolls should not WANT to be found. They should not want anything.”

Did. You. See. the COVER?!?! Ohmygosh. I love the US one more than this cover I’ve featured(UK one), but you can’t deny that this one is pretty too! Anyway, I should warn you that there will be spoilers ahead if you’ve not read Shadow of the Fox and of course, there’s some physical violence in this book..so, proceed with caution.

Shadow of the Fox was all about traveling and it ended when Yumeko and Tatsumi reach their destination. Soul of the Sword is all about action and I’m here for it! There are multiple perspectives here too but I didn’t find it too difficult to follow this time. We see Yumeko and gang deciding about how to free Tatsumi from Hakaimono without destroying themselves in return. They’re also -still- trying to secure the piece of an ancient scroll, Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, away from the demons and people with nefarious intentions reach.  Hakaimono, in Tatsumi’s body, joins up with the Master of Demons to retrieve the scroll piece so he can use the wish to free himself from the cursed sword. Will Yumeko be able to save Tatsumi? or, will the entire empire be destroyed at the hands of Hakaimono?

The world-building was incredibly done and there are more monsters and mythical creatures in this book. Surprisingly, I grew to like the characters more and Yumeko is not a naive little half-kitsune anymore. Yumeko is still not adept at recognizing sarcasm so that makes for some pretty interesting conversations.

Reika: “It wouldn’t surprise me if one of us accidentally ‘tripped’ and stumbled off the path while following him.”

Yumeko: “Does that mean the Path will be very bumpy, or that Naganori-san will not help us if we do?”

I definitely expected a POV of Hakaimono and it was interesting, I dare say, being in his head. He’s described as the most powerful demons of all and while, it’s not comforting to read when he’s torturing Tatsumi, I must say I enjoyed reading his views and his struggles with Tatsumi. The pace was faster this time and the stakes were higher. There’s also the development of yet another romance and you won’t hear me complaining.

The twist ,in the end, was completely mind-boggling! I wasn’t expecting it to head in THAT direction, to say the least.

“I didn’t think Naganori’s Shadow magic would produce flowers and butterflies, unless they were black butterflies that ate your soul, which didn’t seem healthy at all.”

Overall, I recommend this book to you if you loved book one. This is much darker than the first book with action-packed scenes, characters you’ll love and an ending that will make you scream- in vain- for the third book.

Thanks to the publisher for including me on the blog tour and for gifting me a physical copy in exchange for an honest review.

VERDICT: 

About the Author:

Julie Kagawa

You can find more about Julie here

Blog Tour | Review: Soul of the Sword( Shadow of the Fox #2) by Julie Kagawa

Have you read Soul of the Sword? Did you like Shadow of the fox? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Blog Tour Schedule:

Blog Tour | Review: Soul of the Sword( Shadow of the Fox #2) by Julie Kagawa


Are you willing to loan your womb for a few months? | Review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos

Blog Tour | Shadow & Flame(Rime Chronicles #2) by Mindee Arnett

Blog Tour | Shadow & Flame(Rime Chronicles #2) by Mindee Arnett

About the Book: Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing   Publication Date: 7th May, 2019   Paperback: 326 Pages    Genre: Science fiction, Dystopia 
Goodreads   Buy:Book Depository | Wordery 

SYNOPSIS

Nestled in the Hudson Valley is a sumptuous retreat boasting every amenity: organic meals, private fitness trainers, daily massages–and all of it for free. In fact, you get paid big money–more than you’ve ever dreamed of–to spend a few seasons in this luxurious locale. The catch? For nine months, you belong to the Farm. You cannot leave the grounds; your every move is monitored. Your former life will seem a world away as you dedicate yourself to the all-consuming task of producing the perfect baby for your überwealthy clients.

Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines and a struggling single mother, is thrilled to make it through the highly competitive Host selection process at the Farm. But now pregnant, fragile, consumed with worry for her own young daughter’s well-being, Jane grows desperate to reconnect with her life outside. Yet she cannot leave the Farm or she will lose the life-changing fee she’ll receive on delivery–or worse.

Should You read The Farm by Joanne Ramos?

“You should not raise them to be too tender, like little lambs. Small lambs, soft lambs—they make the best meat; they are always devoured.”

In Joanne Ramos’ The Farm, we see women give up everything in their lives including their children, a relationship or a relative, to become surrogates for wealthy clients. They spend nine months in a gorgeous locale, The Farm, cared and pampered throughout their stay. They are paid monthly and receive a hefty bonus after successful delivery. Sounds like a place where dreams come true, for evryone? Well, you’re wrong. 

The story begins with Jane who’s looking for her cousin Ate in a hospital. Ate is a nurse- a baby nurse- to be specific and her age prevents her from earning a living as a baby nurse. Ate suggests Jane replace her because she needs the money as she’s a single mother who’s struggling to make ends meet. Unfortunately, she’s forced to leave because of an unfortunate incident at her job as a baby nurse. Soon, Jane finds hope in the promise of The Farm and leaves her baby in the care of her cousin, Ate. Again, what could go wrong? As it’ll turn out, a lot.

Next, we are introduced to Mae and then Reagan. Mae is the woman who designed the surrogacy program. Through Mae’s introduction, we get to know a bit about how the idea for the Farm came about and Mae’s latest client acquisition, a Chinese millionaire called Madame Deng, whose investment will bring millions to The Farm. Then, we meet Reagan, another potential host who unlike most other hosts is rich with an ivy league college degree.

Reagan laughs, surprising herself. It isn’t funny, but it is. It’s all completely ridiculous: three pregnant women carrying other people’s babies talking about second-trimester sex pangs and trying to guess which one of them harbours a billionaire’s fetus.

Let’s come back to Jane again. As Jane is selected as a host in the Farm, Jane becomes pregnant through artificial insemination. Jane follows the rules but soon trouble ensues when she is befriended by another host Lisa. After yet another unfortunate incident, Lisa is spared because of her clients but Jane is punished as Mae informs her that her daughter’s upcoming visit will be canceled. As Jane meets more Filipina hosts, she encounters someone who knows her cousin Ate and that shouldn’t have been a big deal ..but Jane discovers other things that lead to other troubles at The Farm. Now, why is Jane such a big deal in The Farm? What’s going on with Ate? Why has she and Reagan been allowed to meet their “real” clients yet?

Because in America you only have to know how to make money. Money buys everything else.” 

As you can probably guess from my explanation, Jane maybe presents the most throughout the entire story but there are multiple POVs. We hear from Ate, Mae, and Reagan. It’s not at all confusing but manages to give us a clear picture of The Farm, its purpose, and its implications. It did remind me a bit of The Handmaid’s Tale but it was unique on its own. Surrogacy isn’t new but in this story, it is like a currency..the hosts’ bodies(the surrogates) are commodities and they’re in a place where their every move is watched. There are lots of places where you’ll say “What the F*ck” without any hesitation. For example, Mae states that some clients look specifically for black or Asian hosts(even better if they’ve high IQ or are highly educated) while others will look for white and of course, an ivy league educated as if their wombs will magically transfer those qualities to the clients’ baby. There are also ethical issues at play here; for example, when a clients baby is genetically tested and found to have Trisomy-21(the gene for Down’s Syndrome), Mae and the head doctor discusses abortion and ways to protect the company…when the company’s policy to use their best efforts to ensure the wellbeing of the unborn child.

I read the second half of the book in one sitting and I was hooked into the plot which was getting terrifying with every chapter but the ending was a bit unexpected. I hoped to be shocked, gasp in horror..but no, I didn’t.

Overall, I highly recommend The Farm because it tackles important themes like racial inequality, immigration, motherhood, and freedom among other things. It is sharp, witty(at times) and controversial; all of which made this a wonderful debut and I can’t wait to read more of Joanne Ramos’ works.

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

VERDICT: 

About the Author: You can find Joanne Ramos here
A journey into the wonderful yet terrifying world of the unknown | ARC Review: Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen

What do you think? Will you ever be able to do what Jane, Reagan and other hosts did? Would you like to work in someplace similar to The Farm? If you plan to read The Farm by Joanne Ramos, then let me know in the comments below! As usual, if you have read it already, then let me know your thoughts below. 

Review | Cold and Deadly (Cold Justice: Crossfire #1)

Cold & deadly blog tour

SYNOPSIS: Hostage Negotiators can talk themselves out of anything—except falling in love.FBI Supervisory Special Agent Dominic Sheridan is an accomplished expert in the Crisis
Negotiation Unit. Practiced, professional, used to dealing with high-stake situations under tense conditions, Dominic is a master at manipulating people. Everyone, that is, but the headstrong rookie agent bent on destroying her fledgling career. As a child, Ava Kanas put her life on the line when the mob executed her father. Now someone has killed her mentor, the man who inspired her to become an FBI agent—and she’s the only one who recognizes it was anything but a tragic accident.
When another agent is murdered and Dominic nearly dies, it becomes obvious a serial killer is targeting the FBI.
Together Dominic and Ava search for clues in the investigation, all the while fighting a forbidden attraction that will complicate everything, especially when the predator sets their sights on Ava.


Amazon | B & N | Apple Books | Kobo | Goodreads

Review | Why Should you read Cold & Deadly ?

Cold & Deadly is the first book in the spin-off series of her Cold Justice books. Being a big fan of Toni Anderson’s books, I was delighted to review this book in advance( Well, obviously this review is not in advance per se but read on).

C & D starts off with a funeral. We see SSA Dominic Sheridan attending the funeral of a close colleague who had committed suicide or did he? Because rookie agent Ava Kanas think otherwise. Her suspicion is ignored by her superiors but soon the funeral is targeted by a shooter and an FBI agent dies in the shoot-out.

This is where Dominic begins to trust Ava’s intuition about his dead colleague’s death and what follows are a series of events that will leave you speechless and terrified at the same time.

What I liked about Cold & Deadly :

  • Plot: I mean it was marvelously written
  • Characters: Flawed characters. Ava and Dominic are both flawed in their own ways, though Ava is the better character out of the two. Also, we get to see some of the characters from the Cold Justice series.
  • Style of writing: Always loved Toni Anderson’s writing, so it wasn’t any surprise. She writes three POVs – the killer’s, Ava and Dominic’s
  • The show of Inequality in the bureau: I could have included this point in the Style of Writing paragraph but this deserves a one of its own. Cold & Deadly shows just how unfair the bureau(and most of the workspace) can be towards women. This is just my opinion. Ava was constantly targeted, since the beginning of the book and if she was a man, she would have been reprimanded and her faults forgotten. Ava -being a woman and a rookie- had to work twice as hard to gain her seniors’ trust and i loved that Toni Anderson wrote about that

What I didn’t :

  • I didn’t like Dominic. He may be a good Hostage negotiator but he was a cold character who had a “poor rich boy” persona and hated commitments. Even though he made a name for himself in the FBI despite having influential connections, some of his actions made me want to punch him. There was a point where Ava’s career was on the line and he was willing to use his friends’ connections but not his own -hypocritical much, Dom?
  • I didn’t like the romance. It didn’t somehow fit with the story.

Overall, If you’re a fan of her Cold Justice series, then I’d recommend that you pick this up. If you aren’t ,then I suggest reading the first book from her Cold Justice series and then decide for yourself.


Verdict: 3.75 out of 5 stars

Author:Toni Anderson is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, RITA® nominee, science nerd, professional tourist, dog lover, gardener, mom. Originally from a small town in England, Toni studied Marine Biology at University of Liverpool (B.Sc.) and University of St. Andrews (Ph.D.) with the intention she’d never be far from the ocean. Well, that plan backfired and she ended up in the Canadian prairies with her biology professor husband, two kids, a rescue dog, and two laid-back leopard geckos. Toni started writing while pregnant with her first child and never stopped. Her greatest achievements are mastering the Tokyo subway, climbing Ben Lomond, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, and surviving fourteen Winnipeg winters (fingers crossed). She loves to travel for research purposes and was lucky enough to visit the Strategic Information and Operations Center inside FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. in 2016, and she also got to shove another car off the road during pursuit training at the Writer’s Police Academy in Wisconsin. Watch out world!

Toni’s books have hit #1 in Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, and the Top 10 on Amazon, Kobo, and iBooks. Her novels have won many awards.

Website: http://www.toniandersonauthor.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/@toniannanderson

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/toniannanderson

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/toni_anderson_author/

  • Publication Date: 12th February 2019
  • ebook(ARC): 400 Pages
Cold and Deadly review post

My (revised) January TBR and other books I read

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If you have read my Christmas post then you know that I had posted a tentative January TBR there too…so why am I posting it again? Because I have changed my January TBR and in this post, you can read about my REVISED January TBR! Read on ……..

I am a mood reader so, besides the ARCs I receive, I usually pick up books on my whim….meaning, I buy or borrow them. This year, I treated myself with some Penguin Clothbound Classics but I am afraid to touch them with my bare hands. Here they are :

I have already read Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights so I have yet to read Villette and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

Now, without further delay, let’s us get into my January TBR and other books I read while ignoring my TBR >>>>

Continue reading “My (revised) January TBR and other books I read”