My Fairytaleathon TBR

Guess what started today!!!

The Fairytaleathon has started!

And guess who has not posted her TBR yet?

That’s right, ME! How did you guess?!

 

Ok, so I am overdue for my TBR for this readathon, but I do have two excuses. First one is that it took me quite a while to define my list of books and Thank You God for the nice hosts of this event for posting their TBRs and I could “steal” some titles from them.  Second excuse is that I have a big TBR pile and I am struggling to get to all the books on my list for August and I’ve been doing a lot of reading! Anyway, a little bit of info about The Fairytaleathon.

This readathon is hosted by a group of wonderful, friendly and helpful people (I will link their channels below) and it is happening during all week (August 13th to August 20th). The purpose is to read as many retellings as possible and there are some fun challenges, as well as prizes:

Fairytaleathon challengesFairytaleathon prizes

I do advise to follow up on the fun on Twitter @aFairytaleathon where all the fun happens and if you want to know more about the lovely hosts, check out their BookTube channels:

Becky:  BookTube

Sam: BookTube

Jordan: BookTube

Alex: BookTube

Erica: BookTube

 Now, since I have some retellings on my shelves, this is the perfect opportunity for me to read them. I’ve purchased a couple also because they sounded so good when I listened to our hosts talking about them and … why not try and fulfill the challenges? My TBR looks like this:

  1. Par for Cinderella (Cinderella Romances #3) by Petie McCarty: This book was published just last month and it will help me fulfill the first challenge. Check it on Goodreads
  2. Geekerella by Ashley Poston: just in case I do not manage to get to book 3 in the Cinderella Romances series, I’m using my hard copy for Geekerella, also for challenge #1. Check it on Goodreads
  3. Cinderella Busted (Cinderella Romances #1) by Petie McCarty: Because I want to read the previous books in the series before moving to book 3. Check it on Goodreads
  4. Betting on Cinderella (Cinderella Romances #2) by Petie McCarty: reason stated at point 2.l Check it on Goodreads

Note: These 3 books from “Cinderella Romances” are a Cinderella retelling, just in case you’ve not figured it out from the title. All are e-books and copies were kindly provided by the author (perfect timing: a readathon AND summer romance!)

  1. Hunted by by Meagan Spooner: for the second challenge, I have chosen this book with its awesome cover! I love Beauty and the Beast and I am so thrilled to read this retelling! Check it on Goodreads
  2. An Enchantment of Ravens by by Margaret Rogerson: for challenge #3, I needed a book with faeries, so I was inspired by our hosts. Check it on Goodreads
  3. The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renee Ahdieh: for challenge #4, this a retelling of Arabian Nights (which I’ve never managed to finish) and it should be fun! Check it on Goodreads
  4. Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer: for challenge #5. Check it on Goodreads. And since we speak about Marissa Meyer, why not include:
  5. Heartless by Marissa Meyer: for my personal challenge and challenge #6. Check it on Goodreads
  6. Sea Witch by Sarah Henning: This is completing all my challenges and it is the group book. Check it on Goodreads

Note: Picture below includes my tablet, which has the e-books and audiobooks 🙂

Fayritaleathon 1

Ok, difficult question: With which of these books should I start?

(Half an hour later, after skimming the books….) I’ve decided on starting with “Geekerella”, mostly because it’s the shortest and has the funniest cover. Looks like a quick and fun read. Let’s see how it goes!

Fayritaleathon 2

Ok guys, it is already very late where I’m from and the Fairytaleathon has started for 21 hours already. I need to start reading and pronto! I have 9 books on my TBR, one is an audio and I am hoping to cover as much as possible during the week(end, especially), taking into account that I am back in the office this week. Let me know if you are planning to attend or if you have read any of these books, or if any of them sounds interesting to you. Until next time, have fun and read a lot!

 

 

 

 

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Series Review: Highland Brides of Skye

Passion
Highland Brides of Skye Book 1
by Tarah Scott and April Holthaus
Genre: Historical Romance
 
Over the years, many lasses have found refuge in the Scottish Highland’s
Glenwood Abbey. But for three young ladies, sanctuary becomes
servitude, with master puppeteer Malcom Donald using them in his plan
to rule the Isle of Skye. 
When a return trip home from a clan meeting ends in a bloodbath, Laird
Caeleb MacLeod begins his search for the clansman who betrayed them.
Little does he know he need look no further than his bed.
As the housekeeper for Laird Caeleb MacLeod, Gwendolyn is in a position
to learn many things important to her master, Malcom Donald, captain
to the Donald laird. Now she must choose between destroying the man
she loves and saving the sister being held hostage by Malcolm.
PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED AS TREASURES OF SKYE

My Review

Sometimes, I have my doubts when reading such short stories. At least, I am more exigent and always comparing length against the overall story. I was very pleased to see that “Passion” is well balanced when it comes to this. We have action and characters that are well created.

The reader is pushed directly into the story, in the middle of a battle. We don’t need character descriptions, we feel the strength and the power they emanate. Laird Caeleb MacLeod is leading his men with strength and determination. His weakness? Probably his heart through his love for Gwendolyn. We have betrayal, we have doubts and a very strong woman who is a spy!

I won’t get into the plot very much, as you’ll have to discover it line by line. I am sorry that we did not get to see the conclusion to the war between the clans, but I think it is included in another book by Tarah Scott. For now, 4 stars for book 1 in this series.

 
 
 
Redemption
Highland Brides of Skye Book 2
 
For years, master thief Helena Donald has lived at Glenwood Abbey and
submitted to Malcolm Donald’s bidding. Desperate to break free of
his control, Helena agrees to steal the MacLeod Faire Flag for
Malcolm for she intends to sell the flag and start a new life far
from Malcom. When Helena is caught in a blizzard, she prefers to die
in the cold wasteland rather than return to the abbey. 
Kaden MacLeod has chosen a solitary life in a cabin on the shore of Loch
Haven. But a woman’s scream during a raging snowstorm sends him
racing to rescue Helena from the frigid waters of the frozen loch.
When he learns that this beautiful young woman is about to commit the
same crime for which his father, Laird MacLeod, hung Kaden’s
younger brother, he’ll stop at nothing to prevent her from facing a
similar fate. 

My Review

“Redemption” brings us another strong leader and another strong woman. The same question arises: is the beautiful woman lost in the woods a friend or a foe of the MacLeods?

Kaden MacLeod has chosen a life of solitary in the depths of the wood, until one day when he saves Helena Donald’s life. I loved how the author put in balance Kaden’s life before and after his visitor and how his wisdom is put to test when deciding how to act when realizing Helena’s plan. In a way, they help each other and complement one another.

Same as in book 1, we have a lot of action and great characters. But out of all 3 books in the series, this one feels the most incomplete. I wanted to see what happens with the stolen flag and even the clan’s reaction when discovering the deed. But, I cannot give less than 4 stars, as it kept me right there with every page. And let’s not forget the well-adjusted pace to the short length. Loved it!

 
 
Deception
Highland Brides of Skye Book 3
 
Betrothed to Lady Allison, the granddaughter of the dying MacKenzie laird,
Jacob MacKinnon stands ready to do his duty and unite their two
clans. But enemies watch, and plan to prevent the uniting of those
two powers. 
After an attack on his betrothed’s carriage leaves only Lady Allison
alive, Jacob is determined to find her would-be killers. 
Linnae Donald is a lowly serving girl. How is she supposed to tell Laird
MacKenzie that the granddaughter he’s mistaken her for died when
their carriage was attacked?
She can’t break a dying man’s heart. Neither can she do what Jacob
MacKinnon asks and help him prevent a war by pretending to be Lady
Alison…and marrying him.
 

 My Review

My favorite, “Deception”, tells Jacob MacKinnon and Linnae Donald’s story. Jacob is supposed to marry Lady Allison, granddaughter of the MacKenzie laird. But an unfortunate event leaves Linnae as the only survivor of Lady Allisson’s carriage. Now Jacob is torn between lying to an old dying friend to ensure his peaceful departure from life or telling the truth.

Honor is the word that follows the events in this book. There are no silly complications, there are no naïve characters. We have a strong leader, an intelligent ruler and a woman trying to do right by her dead Lady. I loved how they came to appreciate one another, I loved Linnae’s devotion and I loved old MacKenzie’s plan!  This book made me smile and so much more!

I loved every page and again I loved the balance between plot and short length. 5 stars!

 

Series – Overall

All three books in “Highland Brides of Skye Series” have a relation. The women in these books are tight to the enemy clan and are sisters, each with an inclination to something (except Linnae, who proves to be the most amazing one). The author maintained the accent and behavior of the times and I loved that, even if it was a bit difficult to read some expressions.  This is a great series and if you are in the mood for something quick, pick these ones up!  I’ll have to check which book is the one that follows the clans ’story…

 
Best-selling author Tarah Scott
cut her teeth on authors such as Georgette Heyer, Zane Grey, and
Amanda Quick. Her favorite book is a Tale of Two Cities, with Gone
With the Wind as a close second. She writes modern classical romance,
and paranormal and romantic suspense. Tarah grew up in Texas and
currently resides in Westchester County, New York with her daughter.

 
 
April Holthaus is an Award-Winning Author for her Scottish Historical Romances. For
more than ten years, she has worked full time in the direct marketing
business, but developed a passion of historical romances through her
love of reading, history and genealogy. When she is not working or
writing, April loves to spend time with her family and traveling. 

 
 
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!
 
 
 

 

Audiobook Review: The Stigma Surrogate

Author: JT Lawrence

Narrator: Jean Ann Douglass

Length: 4 hours 1 minute

Publisher: Fire Finch Press⎮2018

Genre: Science Fiction

Series: When Tomorrow Calls, Book 0.5

Release date: Jul. 3, 2018

The Handmaid’s Tale meets Mr. Robot in this smart, sexy, cyberpunk thriller.

2021. A tribe of surrogates. A terror cult. A deal struck in desperation.

Keke is a biopunk journalist who won’t stop till she exposes the truth. Will her reckless ambition help the surrogates, or harm them?

Join Keke on her mission to uncover the biggest story she’s ever encountered. You’ll meet Jasmine and Marko and get pulled under with Kirsten, who’s on the cusp of her own nail-biting story.

Ready for your new pause-resisting addiction? Grab the prequella for the futuristic conspiracy thriller series When Tomorrow Calls now.

Buy Links

JT Lawrence is a bestselling Amazon author, playwright and bookdealer based in Parkview, Johannesburg. She is the mother of two small boys and a baby girl, and lives in a house with a red front door.

WebsiteTwitterFacebookAmazon

Narrator Bio

Jean Ann Douglass is an actor, playwright, producer, and voice artist living in Brooklyn, NY. She has recorded regional and national commercials, and numerous apps that assist kids learning how to read. She performs and co-creates work with Eric John Meyer for Human Head Performance Group, an internationally touring theater company. As a writer, her work will be seen at Underbelly at the Edinburgh Fringe this August.

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For its short length, this novella is quite complex, full of action and character development. Full of twists and complications, “The Stigma Surrogate” grabbed me from the very beginning.

A species on the verge of extinction, a virus, corporations trying to find solutions and a journalist caught between doing what’s right and going her job – this is what this book offers. Considering this is only the prequel to the actual story, I can tell you it is more that detailed and it shows a lot from our character’s personalities. The blurb is just a little of how explosive the things are in this book. I listened to the audiobook in just one sitting as I was so curious to see what’s going on. We also have a lot of diversity, with Keke being gay and all the action happening in a south African World.

The author has managed to create an incredible world with great and strong female characters. There is also a bit of alternation between text messaging and narration, which is quite welcomed. The descriptions take you right there with our journalists and their feelings are well captured.

I liked the narration as well, Jean Ann Douglass did a very good job. Although I would have wanted a little more of the voice acting, she did transmit the emotions and the mystery of some scenes.

All in all, I liked it and I cannot wait to see what happens in book 1 – 5 stars. Enjoy 🙂

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by JT Lawrence. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Giveaway

When Tomorrow Calls Giveaway: Audiobook & eBook Set

 

➜Sign up as a host here

 

Book Review: Flip The Beat

Flip the Beat
by Roxanne D. Howard
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance, Modern Day Fairy Tale, Romantic Comedy
Release Date: July 10th, 2018
 
 
Molly Ivers thinks she is falling for the opposite of Prince Charming, and
she knows she should give him up, but, oh, the temptation.
 
WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR
Molly Ivers thought she found Prince Charming, complete with a devilishly
sexy accent, and six months ago she gave into their undeniable
attraction. But the swarm of ever-present groupies was so not part of
the fairy tale. As much as it hurt her heart, she shut out rocker
Evan Castle.
Now, on the verge of finishing her graduate degree and moving to Paris—she
even hires a French life coach—Molly begins to realize Evan, who
hasn’t given up on her, might be the man of her dreams after all.
 
 
 

My Review

It’s my second time reading “Flip the Beat”. I’ve realized my opinion is almost the same, although now I do have a lot more things to comment on. My rating will not change much though.

The book brings us Molly and Evan. Two different people that decided to spend one night together. That night was a special one for Molly, since it was her first time. Since then, they have remained best friends, with no coming back to those events. All is well in the world until she is pushed into Evan’s arms once again. But will she be able to trust him, with Evan being a rock star and all that? That remains to be discovered by you guys!

I loved the pace of the story until chapter 6 or 7. Towards the end, the pace is growing and all the secrets are revealed all at once almost. That bothered me a little, but since this is a short story I can understand it. We have some very hot scenes there. The passion is screaming to be released between those two. Also, I liked how they complemented each other – where she is uncertain, he is well on his feet and knows exactly what she wants.

As for the characters, I liked them both. I liked Molly’s best friend as well, but I didn’t get the life coach aspect. That man didn’t do much, except for spending some money for her benefit. I think this character could have been better shaped.

All in all, I am giving 3.5 stars to “Flip the Beat”. Istill believe this is a good book, with funny moments and lots of hot moments. A quick read, perfect for summer. I hope you’ll enjoy it and have fun!

 
Roxanne D. Howard writes sizzling erotic romance with Boroughs Publishing
Group and The Wild Rose Press. She is a U.S. Army veteran, and a
Columbia College alumni. She loves to read poetry, classical
literature, and Stephen King. Also, she is an avid Star Wars fan,
musical theater nut, and marine biology geek. Roxanne resides in the
western U.S., and when she’s not writing, she enjoys spending quality
time with her husband, children, and furry companions. Roxanne loves
to hear from her readers, and encourages you to contact her via her
website and social media.
 
 
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!
 

 
 
 

 

Book Review: Hometown Girl Again

Hometown Girl Again
Hometown Series Book 5
by Kirsten Fullmer
Genre: Romance
 
How did I end up so broken? It’s a question Katherine can’t answer.
First, a surprise inheritance tipped her life upside-down, and now
her new RV park is a muddy mess of half-restored trailers. To make
matters worse, she’s falling for her first crush all over again.
The only thing she’s sure of at this point is a full-blown identity crisis. 
Alex came home after a life-threatening wound ended his Army career. Now
Katie is back too, and she’s building something called a glamping
park? He feels like he let her down years ago, can he make it up to
her now? Or are his own problems too much to handle?
Fate brought Katherine and Alex back to Smithville, and the town-folk want
to see them together again. Will the couple be able to cope with the
locals well-intentioned meddling, or did their chance at love
disappear a long time ago…
 
 
Other Books in the Series:
Hometown Girl at Heart
Hometown Series Book 1
Hometown Girl After All
Hometown Series Book 2
Hometown Girl Forever
Hometown Series Book 3
Christmas in Smithville
The Hometown Series Book 4
 

My Review

Coming home always brings back memories and sometimes we have the chance to do it all over again. That’s what happens to Katie and Alex. They have the chance to start something beautiful, but this means Alex will have to prove he’s here to stay and Katie has to make room for this old love into her heart and plans.

I loved the story very much. Even from the start, the characters’ honesty is very vivid. Katie is back in town to attend her uncle’s funeral. She is honest when it comes to her feelings towards her relatives and her surprise at seeing Alex is genuine. He, on the other hand, is struck with grief at loosing another comrade. Though his injury is keeping him away from army, he still feels it as part of his soul. When they finally meet, their hesitation is so palpable. Kirsten Fullmer did a wonderful job expressing their emotions and capturing every feeling in words.

So we have established that the romance and the characters were very well created. Except that, we see a woman trying to start a business and we see her put her mind to it. We have meddling people, the kind that will put their nose into other’s lives. But it makes the story fun and alive. I liked their “contribution” and it provides that small town feeling.

All in all, I liked this book quite a lot. The reason for not giving all my stars is that there were moments where the alternation between the points of view bothered me. We see too little of one character before moving to the next. Also, I keep wondering, if Alex wouldn’t have gotten hurt, had their love found its place again?  Enjoy 🙂

 
Kirsten grew up in the Western US and graduated from high school in
1984. She married soon there after and quickly built a family.
With three young children and number four on the way, she returned to
college in 1992. Her career as a draftsman included many settings
ranging from a steel fabrication shops to prestigious engineering
firms. Balancing family life with the workplace forced her to
become the queen of multitasking. In 2001, bored with the cubical
life, she moved on to teach drafting in technical college, then to
opening her own consulting firm teaching 3D engineering software. Due
to health problems, Kirsten retired in 2012 to travel with her
husband for his job. She now works writing romance novels and enjoys
spoiling her three grandchildren. Since 2017 Kirsten has lived and
worked full time in a 40′ travel trailer with her husband and her
little dog Bingo.
 
 
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
 
 
 

 

Book Depository Haul

Free Shipping on all Books at the Book Depository

I’ve been an affiliate for Book Depository for a few months now and I’ve just realized I have never posted a haul. Bummer!

If you did not know, Book Depository is an online bookstore that offers free worldwide delivery to more than 100 countries. Yes, I said FREE delivery! You can find there new releases, new editions or different editions of the books you love. I am in love with this page, I buy all my books from them and I am happy to see that I pay less than I would if buying them from other online stores or even my local ones. And the free delivery does help!

BookDepository Haul

I am sorry I have not posted the unboxing for each of these books, but I was so excited to check them out! Starting from the bottom up, here they are:

  • Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – buy it here
  • Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – buy it here
  • Geekerella by Ashley Poston – buy it here
  • Hunted by Meagan Spooner – buy it here
  • Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham – buy it here
  • Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham – buy it here
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer – buy it here
  • Falling Away by Penelope Douglas – buy it here

I’m waiting for two more packages, which I will unbox on Instagram (@lillysbookstagram) and Twitter(@lillysbooks), so be sure to follow me there as well.

As I was mentioning, I am a Book Depository affiliate, which means that if you decide on buying some books from their store using the link on the right sidebar, I would get a small commission. All the income I receive will go back to Book Depository at some point, as I will use it to buy more books.

Thank you very much for stopping by and talk to you soon in my next article!

 

August TBR (and To Do)

TBR banner

A new month with new plans! And believe me, it will be a great one. I have so many interesting things planned and so many books, I cannot wait to share them with you.

Ok, let’s reveal some of them. Main activity going on at the moment is buying a domain for my blog. Yes, it’s really happening and I am very excited for that. You will probably see some design changes here, but other than that, nothing much. I am planning to build a little bit of income that will support all the work put into my articles and you guys will have several ways to help out , should you choose to. More about that in a next article.

Also, I will be participating in two readathons – the Fairytaleathon (August 13th – August 20th) and TacklethatTBR (August 20th – September 2nd). I have some great books planned for each readathon, although my TBR is still under construction. I may not include the books in the list for August. Both events will be a god opportunity to read some of the books I have on my shelves (and kindle) for ages, so let’s see if I manage to complete each challenge and all the books. I might need to set some realistic targets though… huh…

As for the nonbookish activities happening, I am trying to finish crocheting my dress (you will see pictures on my Instagram account) and I need to finish a little blanket as a present for my best friend’s little angel. I’m not spoiling anything from her, as I know she is busy with her babies. I have 2 pillows that I need to finish sewing and I also need to start designing new ones. A lot of work, but happy to do it!

20180806_074729Photo description (because it’s funny): My lovely Singer Sewing Machine, part of a doily behind it, silly flowers, random pile of books + my tablet, the my main hooks and scissors for this month… and part of my balcony (ups)

Now let’s move on to the books currently on my TBR, I may add more, once I’ve defined my TBRs for the readathons:

  1. Uncanny Valley by C.A. Gray – already read and reviewed. You can check it out here
  2. In Flames by Jessica Jayne – already read and reviewed. You can check it out here
  3. Spellbound by E. E. Robens
  4. Flip The Beat by Roxanne D. Howard
  5. The Stigma Surrogate by J. T. Laurence
  6. Highland Brides of Skye Series by Tarah Scott (all three books in the series: Passion, Redemption and Deception)
  7. Up To No Good by Nicky Matthews
  8. Her Revolution by C. S. Hand
  9. Lady Guardians: Forgiven by Reana Malory
  10. The Hidden Truth by Janeen Swart
  11. Soul of Stone by Traci McDonald
  12. The Summer Sisters Series by Teresa Keefer (all three books in the series: Blessed Be, Threefold and Namaste)
  13. Liberty Landing by Gail Vida Hamburg
  14. Better Together by Crista McHugh
  15. The Secret Chord by Kathryn Guare
  16. Hometown Girl Again by Kirsten Fullmer
  17. Cinderella Romances Series by Petie McCarty (all three books in the series: Cinderella Busted, Betting on Cinderella and Par for Cinderella)
  18. Smith Pact Duo Series by Ja’Nese Dixon (all three books in the series: Yuki’s Luck, Asher’s Sonnet and Smith Surprise)
  19. The Enigma of a Widow by Linda Rae Sande
  20. Hot Pursuit by Kay Marie

I know, there are a lot of books here and almost all are part of blog tours. There is no chance I can get with not reading them. To my advantage, two are completed already, some are audiobooks and some are pretty short. Also, I still have one week away from the office and that means plenty of time for reading. The cold that I seem to have keeps me from within the walls of my home as well.

So, hoping everything goes according to plan, August will be full of bookish fun things and I hope you’ll be along for the ride. Thank you guys so much for your support and for reading my articles 🙂 have an amazing (bookish) time!