Blog Tour: Crude Ambition by Patricia Hunt Holmes


CRUDE AMBITION
by
Patricia Hunt Holmes

Categories: Mystery / Thriller / Women’s Fiction
Publisher: River Grove Books (Greenleaf Book Group)
Date of Publication: June 8, 2021
Number of Pages: 326

Scroll down for the giveaway!


  

A Texas Reckoning

In the early morning hours after a law firm recruiting party at a beachside house on Galveston Island, a female summer intern is found lying on the floor, bruised, bleeding and unconscious.  Four men and one young woman attorney who were staying at the house know something terrible happened. 

The woman attorney takes her to a hospital but the next day the intern disappears. All of them decide to keep silent, doing nothing about the incident in order to further their own career ambitions while the events of that night haunt the two women.  Time passes and then ten years later, crime and hubris bring the former intern back into their lives.  Only this time she has the power and the truth is finally brought to light, uprooting everyone’s plans. 

From the power centers of Houston law and oil to the fracking fields of South Texas to the Jersey Shore and Washington D.C., this story chronicles the struggles of two ambitious young women in their quest for legal success and justice. 

 

PRAISE FOR CRUDE AMBITION: 

“Crude Ambition is a great read.  It is an authentic look at big law in Houston and the Texas oil business.  Patricia Hunt Holmes weaves a story of ambition, greed, romance and revenge that kept me turning the pages until all the just desserts were served.” 

— Marc Grossberg, J.D., Author of The Best People: A Tale of Trials and Errors 

“In Crude Ambition, Patricia Hunt Holmes shows she knows Texas in the way Grisham knows Mississippi—politics, environment, strong men and strong women, egos, oil, arrogance, influence and hunger for power.  I don’t think anyone could have nailed it better.” 

— Bill Sarpalius, Former U.S. Congressman, Author of The Grand Duke of Boys’ Ranch  

CLICK TO ORDER ON:

This review is hard to begin because my brain is overwhelmed by how much I loved this book!  I may sound like a broken record, but once again, this was a 5 star hit out of the park!  This book is almost a twist on The Firm with a nefarious law firm, a dangerous clientele, and so much intrigue!  I particularly loved the strong female characters that were the focus of the action and the 1st person narrative style.  The author brings large set pieces and backdrops of Galveston, Houston hot spots, and the surrounding area to focus in the action. 

If I told you that this book has everything you want out of a good thriller, strong characters, intricate plot, fast moving action, a complementary setting, and oh so much drama, you should believe me!  It has all of this and more!  Carolyn and Laura are incredibly smart characters and the author has really put time into researching, understanding, and living in the world that she is writing!  The world of the oil business is a dirty one, with environmental issues, legal challenges, and so many unsavory characters.  I mean, how aptly named was Joe Bill? 

Being from an area that is similar and in a profession that can be dominated by the “boys club”, I relate to this book a little bit more than most.  Though it is a work of fiction, there is some truth to what happens in the story.  There are some MAJOR plot points that will have you on the edge of your seat, waiting for the next page turn.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend to those interested in thrillers, women’s fiction, intellectual stories, and heck, this could even be a beach read!  Just not at a Galveston beach house!

Thank you to the author and Lone Star Book Blog Tours for having me along on this tour!  This is a 5 out of 5 book for me and I am recommending it to all of my friends! 




Patricia Hunt Holmes spent 30 years as a public finance attorney with a large international law firm, specializing in nonprofit healthcare finance and rural electric cooperative finance. Consistently listed in Best Lawyers in America, Texas Super Lawyers, and Top Lawyers in Houston, she was a frequent speaker at national public finance and health care conferences. Patricia has also served on the faculty of the University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Tennessee, and University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. She has written and published in the fields of intellectual history and law.  

In addition to her legal career, Patricia has been a member and board member of several social service organizations throughout Houston, including the United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast Women’s Initiative, Dress for Success Houston, the University of Houston Women’s Studies Program, University of Houston Law Review Board of Directors, is a Trustee of the Houston Grand Opera, and Houston Justice for Our Neighbors. 

Patricia grew up in Egg Harbor City, New Jersey but has lived in Houston for over 40 years. She has two daughters, Hillary and Ashley, who have successful careers as an attorney and a geologist, and three adorable grandsons. She is an avid golfer and traveler.  

Patricia holds a BA in English and History, an MA in History, and a PhD in Russian and South Asian History with honors, all from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She received her J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center and was an editor on the Houston Law Review. 


Guest Post: Ramona Oliver, Author of Inclined Elders (On Tour Now!)


INCLINED ELDERS

BY RAMONA OLIVER

Publisher: BookBaby
Publication Date: July 24, 2020 
Pages: 246 Pages
Categories: Nonfiction / Positive Aging



Scroll for Giveaway!

THIS BOOK WILL BE INVALUABLE IF YOU: 

·     Have a desire to continue living a purposeful life, no matter what your age. 

·     Are interested in learning how to maintain a positive attitude from adulthood to elderhood. 

·    Want to learn how to create a living legacy and serve as a role model for future generations. 

 

WHY EMBRACE AN ATTITUDE OF INCLINE? 

For the first time in history we are not only living longer, everyone has an important choice to make: commit to a meaningful, purposeful life of “Incline” as we get older or believe that a new stage – one of steady “decline” – is inevitable. What is not helping is that in the media and society in general there continues the somewhat negative connotation surrounding the concept of aging. And while, at least not now, we cannot do anything about the chronological process of becoming 60, 70, 80 years and beyond, we can change the mindset for it. Embracing change and looking at life with a keener sense of curiosity will lead to living with increased courage to live life to its fullest. 

 

Inclined Elders is a call to action for you to opt for Incline. Not only for your personal fulfillment, but also to help fuel a social “legacy” that increases the number of positive older role models in everyday life. I have written this book to inspire, inform, and challenge you. By the time you reach the last page, I hope you will have made a new choice: to become an inspiring example of a life of Incline so our society relinquishes – once and for all – the notion that aging is synonymous with “decline,” “decrepit,” “senile,” and “over-the-hill.” 

 

In this book over 50 men and women ranging in age from 40 to 100 share their tips and techniques on how to live a life of Incline. Their strategies are supported by scientific evidence from the fields of Positive Psychology, Anthropology, and Sociology. 

 

WHO ARE INCLINED ELDERS? 

We are the women and men who have made a conscious choice to ignore society’s negative mindset of “decline” and “over-the-hill” as we age. Instead we embrace a positive mindset of continuing to Incline and climb ever upwards. 

 

Serving as vibrant role models, the Inclined Elders I spoke to for this book are leaving their own unique legacies of wisdom and inspiration for future generations. There needs to be more of us like them to effect real social change. So why not Incline too? There’s an amazing view from up here. Come with us and see for yourself. 

 

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Apple Books

*Paperback Use Coupon: AUG31PB 
*eBook Use Coupon: AUG31EB 


WHO ARE INCLINED ELDERS?

GUEST POST BY RAMONA OLIVER

We are the women and men who have made a conscious choice to ignore society’s negative mindset of “decline” and “over-the-hill” as we age. Instead, we embrace a positive mindset of continuing to Incline and climb ever upwards.

Why, you may ask? Because we intend to live a life of achievement, meaning, and purpose and not allow mere birthdays to get in the way. And an attitude of Incline will permit us—and you—to do this. While birthdays may be the accelerator for aging, don’t let them become the brakes that stop you from continuing to live a full and happy life.

The metaphor of a hill is an apt one to consider as you grapple with the concept of Inclining because hills are surely easier and more enjoyable to climb than steep, lofty mountains. And they still allow for inspiring discoveries and adventures. Some of their pathways may have twists and turns, and there may be the odd bump in the road, but it is important to continue the ascent. Why? Because the vistas on the trek upward are increasingly breathtaking and exhilarating. Inclined Elders know that there is no need to rush; it’s not a race. We take one step at a time so we can pause to smile at the waving wildflowers along the road.

Your attitude determines the potential for your altitude, so a shift in mindset is required, regardless of your age right now. As you awaken to each new day as an Inclined Elder, the sunrise will greet you with a symphony of color applauding your choice to Incline and climb the hill. You will continue to broaden your experience and deepen your joy of life.

This is what has happened for me and the people who shared their stories. Among the fifty plus people ranging in age from 40 to 100 that I spoke to for this book, those with a positive self-perception of aging maintain a more youthful image of themselves.

Serving as vibrant role models, the Inclined Elders I spoke to for this book are leaving their own unique legacies of wisdom and inspiration for future generations. There needs to be more of us like them to effect real social change. So why not Incline too? There’s an amazing view from up here. Come with us and see for yourself.

I look forward to seeing you on the path!

Ramona Oliver has long been a passionate educator with former roles as a human resource manager/director, career coach, and director of outreach for St. Edward’s University. As a human resource director for many years, she championed the professional development of employees. While serving as president of the Austin Human Resource Management Association, she led a team that designed, developed, and implemented an award-wining leadership program. In addition, she launched a workforce readiness committee that partnered with community organizations to implement workforce readiness initiatives. At St. Edward’s University, she promoted lifelong learning and the adult undergraduate and graduate programs to older adults in the Austin community. 

Ramona currently serves as an advocate of positive aging. Rather than accepting a mindset of decline, she is passionate about living life with an attitude of Incline. Ramona has been published on the Changing Aging website, offering posts with titles such as “Can We Please Stop Calling It Aging,” “What Are We Missing When We Settle for Life Stages?” and “Leave a Legacy and Live It Now!”  

Ramona is a recipient of a Book Excellence Award for her current book, INCLINED ELDERS: How to rebrand aging for self and society. It has been recognized for high-quality writing style, book design, and overall marketing appeal. 

She earned her Master of Business Administration from St. Edward’s University. Ramona lives in Austin, Texas where she enjoys practicing yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, and Nia and participating in various community groups. 

Website | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn 

Twitter | Amazon Author | Goodreads Author

 __________________________________________________________________________

GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!

FOUR WINNERS:
 2 winners: autographed copies of 
Inclined Elders. 
2 winners: Kindle copies of 
Inclined Elders.
Giveaway ends midnight, CDT, 7/17/21; US only.

GIVEAWAY 

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


Click here to visit the LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE TOUR PAGE
for direct links to each stop on the tour, updated daily. Or, visit the blogs directly: 

7/7/21

Notable Quotable

It’s Not All Gravy

7/7/21

Sneak Peek

The Page Unbound

7/8/21

Review

The Plain-Spoken Pen

7/8/21

BONUS Promo

LSBBT Blog

7/9/21

Author Interview

Chapter Break Book Blog

7/9/21

Review

Book Fidelity

7/10/21

Review

StoreyBook Reviews

7/11/21

Excerpt

All the Ups and Downs

7/12/21

Review

Jennie Reads

7/12/21

Character Interview

Librariel Book Adventures

7/13/21

Guest Post

Book Bustle

7/14/21

Review

Hall Ways Blog

7/14/21

Excerpt

That’s What She’s Reading

7/15/21

Scrapbook Page

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife

7/16/21

Review

Reading by Moonlight

7/16/21

Review

Forgotten Winds


 
Book Touring Services Provided by: 
 

Excerpt: The Love Note by Joanna Davidson Politano

THE LOVE NOTE
by
Joanna Davidson Politano
Genre: Christian / Historical Fiction / Romance
Publisher: Revell
Publication Date: October 20, 2020
Number of Pages: 400
Scroll down for the giveaway!
Focused on a career in medicine and not on romance, Willa Duvall is thrown slightly off course during the summer of 1859 when she discovers a never-opened love letter in a crack of her old writing desk. Compelled to find the passionate soul who penned it and the person who never received it, she takes a job as a nurse at the seaside estate of Crestwicke Manor. Everyone at Crestwicke has feelings—mostly negative ones—about the man who wrote the letter, but he seems to have disappeared. With plenty of enticing clues but few answers, Willa’s search becomes even more complicated when she misplaces the letter and it passes from person to person in the house, each finding a thrilling or disheartening message in its words. Laced with mysteries large and small, this romantic Victorian-era tale of love lost, love deferred, and love found is sure to delight.
CLICK TO PURCHASE

If you missed the first excerpt from The Love Note, please visit All the Ups and Downs.

The Love Note

by Joanna Davidson Politano

Chapter 1, Part Two

I recalled the girl’s mum clinging to that dear child, sobbing in messy relief. Even now I had a lump in my throat thinking about it. I wasn’t ready to stop having days like this. Not for any man in the world. I lifted my chin and looked directly into his handsome face. “I’m sorry, but I cannot accept your offer.”

He blinked. “You are refusing me?”

“Most apologetically, but firmly.” I was probably the only girl who would. Myles Cumberland was a squire’s son, well-educated and handsome to boot.

His neat mustache twitched. “After all the time we’ve spent together, I demand a reason.”

“As for the time together, my reason is simply that I enjoyed your company as another human being. As for the refusal . . . I cannot say.” How desperately I wished to, for the truth burned my tongue, but I restrained myself. There lay the problem with every failed courtship I’d ever experienced—the men had expected to lay claim to all I was, minus my brain. Female intelligence was an unwelcome intruder in every romance. But why? Why?

The music crescendoed and his voice grew loud. Urgent. “I must request that you tell me.”

I racked my brain, but found it overrun with patient data, clinical trials, and the periodic table, of all things. “We are not suited. Oil and water. Sodium and nitrogen.”

He frowned. “Sodium and . . . ?”

“Nitrogen is stable, and sodium would never react with it. In fact, sodium is stored—”

“In the queen’s English, please.”

I sighed. “There’s no combustion, no change to either element. They’re a terrible combination.” His eyes narrowed, and I pushed myself to land closer to the truth. “I do not have feelings for you that a wife should possess for her husband.”

“Perhaps I can change your mind.”

Not unless you can change yourself. I cut my thoughts short before they tumbled out of my mouth. “I’m sorry, but my answer is firm. I cannot marry you.”

He glared with the threat of argument in his eye.

Louder. Firmer. I collided into his arms as he stopped. “Myles, I do not love you.”

I froze in the sudden awareness that the music had ended—before I’d made my bold pronouncement. Chittering laughter and whisper filled the silence, and heat spidered up my face.

He stepped back and cleared his throat, voice low and private. “Well, now. It must be true, for you’ve ensured there are a hundred witnesses to verify your blatant lack of affection.”

“Myles, please don’t—”

“Good evening, Miss Duvall.” He bowed deeply. “Good evening, and goodbye.”

****

I escaped home and up to my attic room with a sickened heart, a biting conscience, and a burgundy-colored stain on my gown where I’d collided with someone’s drink. Fanny, our only maid, loosened the fastenings of my gown, then I dismissed her in a fit of agitation and pulled off the heavy gown myself. I had yet to face Father, who had buried himself deep in conversation at the reception. Hopefully the carriage had already returned for him so he wouldn’t be stranded long. I let down my hair, the great untamable mass of curls, and finished undressing.

Down to my chemise and stays, I donned a soft wrapper and shoved aside the notebooks and medical journals cluttering my desk. A little framed portrait smiled up at me and I leaned close to it. “Mama, I said no again.” I touched her face, forever preserved in the sepia-colored daguerreotype. It was a strange, rather starkly empty world when one’s mother was no longer in it, but here in this private attic dormer room, I felt traces of her. “I said no this morning to a doctor who tried to brush aside my concerns, and I saved a girl’s life. Then I said no to a man who wished to marry me . . . and I believe I saved my own.” I laid my cheek on the desk, tracing her gentle eyes. “Are you terribly disappointed?”

Her warm smile made it impossible to think she would be.

Yet the truth remained. I had a problem. Spinsterhood was setting in like a malignant disease, and I had an adverse reaction to the only remedy—marriage. I pulled out my lined notebook and fitted the last nib to my pen. It was time to address the illness, look for patterns, and determine an acceptable treatment.

The inevitable result of any friendship with the opposite gender seems to be, unequivocally, romance and matrimony—or a complete break. Therefore, the solution is that I must either give myself over to such a fate or end all friendships with the entire male population.

I recalled the bouncing lanterns of Lord Cumberland’s retreating carriage. Perhaps a lack of men in my life wouldn’t be terrible.

How anyone can find a remedy of any sort in—

The nib popped off my pen and went flying, rolling into the dark crevice on the left side of the desk. I attacked the little space with a hat pin, threading the nib out, and something crinkled as the nib inched out. I prodded deeper. A lovely vellum envelope appeared, still folded and sealed with wax, the corners softened by years. How long had it been there? I looked over the unmarked missive with delight, only hesitating a moment before breaking the seal and feasting on the lines meant for someone else.

Click here to read the entire first chapter of The Love Note!

Joanna Davidson Politano is the award-winning author of Lady Jayne Disappears and A Rumored Fortune. She loves tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives and is eager to hear anyone’s story.
She lives with her husband and their two kids in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan. You can find her at www.jdpstories.com.
———————————
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
ONE WINNER: Copy of The Love Note + $25 B&N Gift Card + Pack of 50 Love Notes Cards.
OCTOBER 27-NOVEMBER 6, 2020
(US ONLY)
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY,
or visit the blogs directly:

10/27/20

Book Trailer

Hall Ways Blog

10/27/20

Review

Jennifer Silverwood

10/28/20

Character Interview

Reading by Moonlight

10/29/20

Review

Rainy Days with Amanda

10/30/20

Top Five

Story Schmoozing Book Reviews

10/30/20

Review

Carpe Diem Chronicles

10/31/20

Excerpt 1

All the Ups and Downs

11/1/20

Excerpt 2

Book Bustle

11/2/20

Author Interview

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife

11/2/20

Review

The Clueless Gent

11/3/20

Guest Post

Max Knight

11/4/20

Top Eight List

Chapter Break Book Blog

11/4/20

Review

Missus Gonzo

11/5/20

Review

Jennie Reads

11/5/20

Review

StoreyBook Reviews

blog tour services provided by

#xpressotours Blog Tour: The Good For Nothings by Danielle Banas

The Good for Nothings
Danielle Banas
(Rogue Ethereal #6)
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: August 4th 2020
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

They’re only good at being bad.

Cora Saros is just trying her best to join the family business of theft and intergalactic smuggling. Unfortunately, she’s a total disaster.

After landing herself in prison following an attempted heist gone very wrong, she strikes a bargain with the prison warden: He’ll expunge her record if she brings back a long-lost treasure rumored to grant immortality.

Cora is skeptical, but with no other way out of prison (and back in her family’s good graces), she has no choice but to assemble a crew from her collection of misfit cellmates—a disgraced warrior from an alien planet; a cocky pirate who claims to have the largest ship in the galaxy; and a glitch-prone robot with a penchant for baking—and take off after the fabled prize.

But the ragtag group soon discovers that not only is the too-good-to-be-true treasure very real, but they’re also not the only crew on the hunt for it. And it’s definitely a prize worth killing for.

Whip-smart and utterly charming, this irreverent sci-fi adventure is perfect for fans of Guardians of the Galaxy, The Lunar Chronicles, and Firefly.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

What to say about this book?  It’s fantastic, for a start!  It really reminded me of a Pathfinder campaign I played in the Spring!  A quirky group of thieves, a heist gone wrong, and so many elements on fantasy and science fiction that I adore!  This is a quick read that is non-stop enjoyable and incredibly funny!  This book features well-rounded characters, reminiscent of Guardians of the Galaxy, a fast pacing, and a story line that will suck you in from page 1 and spit you out into the vacuum of space at the end!  This would absolutely make a great movie or Netflix series! 

I loved getting to go on this adventure with Cora, Elio, Anders, and Wren!  And what awesome character names!  They are loveable, flawed, quirky, and all the things I love about good characters.  They get into hijinks, trouble, and all kinds of mischief in this space adventure.  I feel like there is potential for more adventures with this group in the future and I can’t wait to find out more about them!

Danielle Banas is a great author and this was a wonderful book that I would recommend to anyone who loves space adventures with a misfit group or those that enjoy a good heist book, in space!  Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this book as part of the tour!  Thanks to Danielle Banas as well!


Author Bio:

Danielle Banas is the author of THE SUPERVILLAIN AND ME and THE GOOD FOR NOTHINGS. She earned a degree in communication from Robert Morris University, where she spent slightly too much time daydreaming about new characters instead of paying attention in class. When she isn’t writing, Danielle can be found loudly singing show tunes, spouting off Disney World trivia, and snuggling with her puppy. She lives in her hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter


GIVEAWAY!a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

XBTBanner1

Blog Tour: Undercover Goddess by Karen Cavalli with #rabtbooktours


Book 1 of the No Boundaries Trilogy

Fantasy

Date Published: July 24

Publisher: Blue Fortune Enterprises LLC, Lavender Press

photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

 In 2400 BCE Crete, 18-year-old Mave keeps the old spirituality alive, primarily through her clay chips and the symbolic images she paints on them, the original runes. She falls in love with Tear, a semi-divine being born both male and female, and finds an ally in Inna, a former holy prostitute kicked out of her communal home. The Gigante from the northern tribes marry the holy prostitutes then replace the Goddess of the temple with a Sun God who loves order and lighting bolts. Girls and women, formerly revered stand-ins for the Goddess and her creator, the cave-dwelling Ssha, either go underground with their beliefs or find a way to fit in the new culture. As it turns out the old ways of the Goddess had its flaws, and this creates the opportunity for the Gigante and their sun God to move in.

 


I am very excited that this book is going to be part of a trilogy! I found Undercover Goddess to be mythical, fantastical, and incredibly interesting! This is another very unique book with incredible world-building that is very well done! I love the matriarchal/Amazonian feel of the narrative and the cover is stunning! There are so many facets and interesting story lines in this book!

The plot and pacing were good! I’m excited for the next books in this series! I also enjoyed the character development of Mave. The variety and composition of the characters was so unique! It is really a great book! I will be looking forward to more novels from this author!

Thank you so much to the author and RABT Book Tours & PR for the opportunity to participate in this tour!

About the Author

Karen Cavalli, née Lound, writes fiction and non-fiction. Her work has been published online and in books. Her work has won awards including Outstanding Secondary Science Book. She is a graduate of Old Dominion University where she earned a B.A., and The University of Alabama’s MFA in Creative Writing Program where she studied with Margaret Atwood. She has worked in technology for over 10 years. She taught a writing course on the topic of psychological descent at the University of Minnesota and in North Carolina. Her work in technology has taken her to India and China and allowed her to work with individuals in Mexico, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and the emirate of Dubai. She loves her local Savage library and volunteers there. She can be contacted at kcgoodguide@gmail.com

 

Contact Links

Website

Goodreads

Pinterest

Instagram

LinkedIn

Amazon Author Page

Youtube

 

Purchase Links

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo



a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js
RABT Book Tours & PR

Review: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin

Author: Roseanne A. Brown

Published: June 2nd, 2020

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Number of Pages: 480 pages

Format: eBook

Source: Edelweiss+

Synopsis from Goodreads

The first in an fantasy duology inspired by West African folklore in which a grieving crown princess and a desperate refugee find themselves on a collision course to murder each other despite their growing attraction.

For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts Malik’s younger sister, Nadia, as payment into the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal—kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom.

But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic . . .

requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition.

When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death?

Brown, R. A. (2020). A Song of Wraiths and Ruin. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

My Review

Not only is this book based on folklore, which I am so here for, this story is reverberates through pop culture. I am so glad to see a book with a Black cast, kicking butt, taking names, and traveling through a beautiful narrative set in the city of Zarin. The imagery was breathtaking, sweeping descriptions of a huge city, a crowded refugee camp, and so much more!

The narrative style of two point of view characters is really popular in YA fiction right now, but I actually enjoyed it in this book! It isn’t always effective, but I felt like it checked the right boxes for me in this case! Malik and Karina are so well developed very early on in the book. The reader can feel Malik’s vulnerability, his longing for home, his desire to protect his family by any means necessary. Karina seems spoiled and self-serving, something that is typical of royalty, but there is an underlying desire to do what is right.

The pacing was highly effective and kept my attention throughout the entire book! The stakes are incredibly high, but the characters meet each challenge head on. There are so many fantastic twists and turn, you never know what will happen next.

Overall, I absolutely enjoyed A Song of Wraiths and Ruin! On sale June 2nd at your favorite retailer!

PURCHASE LINKS
AUTHOR SOCIAL LINKS

Can’t Wait Wednesday #2 – Shielded by KayLynn Flanders

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. These are normally books that have not come out yet!

Welcome to another Can’t Wait Wednesday! This week, I am featuring a new ARC for which I was just approved! I’ve read through the initial goodreads reviews, which can be so hit or miss, but I have high hopes! Some reviews said it has a basic plot and not a lot of depth. We will certainly see!

Shielded by KayLynn Flanders

Synonpsis from goodreads…

For fans of Sorcery of Thorns and Furyborn comes a thrilling new fantasy about a kingdom ravaged by war, and the princess who might be the key to saving not only those closest to her, but the kingdom itself, if she reveals the very secret that could destroy her.

The kingdom of Hálendi is in trouble. It’s losing the war at its borders, and rumors of a new, deadlier threat on the horizon have surfaced. Princess Jennesara knows her skills on the battlefield would make her an asset and wants to help, but her father has other plans.

As the second-born heir to the throne, Jenna lacks the firstborn’s–her brother’s–magical abilities, so the king promises her hand in marriage to the prince of neighboring Turia in exchange for resources Hálendi needs. Jenna must leave behind everything she has ever known if she is to give her people a chance at peace.

Only, on the journey to reach her betrothed and new home, the royal caravan is ambushed, and Jenna realizes the rumors were wrong–the new threat is worse than anyone imagined. Now Jenna must decide if revealing a dangerous secret is worth the cost before it’s too late–for her and for her entire kingdom.

Have you read this? Did you like it? What book are you excited to read?

Don’t forget to follow Book Bustle on social media!

Review: Curse of Blood and Shadow by J. M. Kearl

This is the first book in J. M. Kearl’s second series, Allied Kingdoms Academy.  Though the title denotes that this book would follow the traditional academy trope in YA books, but it is really a fantastic blend of Harry Potter, Throne of Glass, and a hint of teenage angst that manifests in the best way.  For fans of Middle Grade fiction, this also reminds me of the Magisterium series from Cassandra Clare and Holly Black. 

I absolutely enjoy the premise of this book – Vesteal is a princess with two fun friends and a dark secret.  Her parents, the King and Queen, send her to a brand new academy comprised of students from the three kingdoms.  What adventures await? What trouble could there be?  As the description says, this work has talking cats, star crossed lovers, royalty, teenagers trained to fight, and action packed into every chapter!
The author melds interesting characters with subtle wordplay to create beautifully developed world building and fun action sequences.  I loved Atticus and his cat network, he provided some fun sass to break the tension in some scenes.  I feel like the action and story really picked up pace about 1/3 of the way through the book. 

This book was a great read for me!  If you enjoy Holly Black, Lauren Kate, or Sarah J. Maas, you will LOVE this book!  I would definitely recommend this novel for anyone who loves magic, YA, and a great romance!

I found this to be a refreshing new release in YA fiction.  I can’t wait to see where the series takes these characters!  Curse of Blood and Shadow is out on April 7th!  Check out J. M. Kearl’s other works on Amazon!

J.M. Kearl is on goodreads and her website is https://jmkearl.com/.

I received an ARC from the author for an honest review of this novel.

PURCHASE LINKS
AUTHOR SOCIAL LINKS