Blog Tour: Alex & Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa de la Cruz {Fan Art & Giveaway}

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blog Tour: Alex & Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa de la Cruz {Fan Art & Giveaway}Alex and Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa de la Cruz
on April 11th 2017
Genres: Historical, Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Witches of East End and The Descendants comes the love story of young Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler.

1777. Albany, New York.

As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New York, the Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters—Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival that of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball.

Still, she can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Though Alex has arrived as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers, he can’t believe his luck—as an orphan, and a bastard one at that—to be in such esteemed company. And when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.

In the pages of Alex and Eliza, #1 New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz brings to life the romance of young Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler.

LINKS to Purchase: Amazon | B&N | INDIEBOUND

I fell in love with Hamilton: An American Musical last year, along with half of the human population it seems, and since then have developed an unhealthy obsession with Hamilton-inspired fan art. So, when it came time for me to think up a topic for today’s post for the Alex and Eliza blog tour, I knew I had to share some of my all-time faves! Continue reading “Blog Tour: Alex & Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa de la Cruz {Fan Art & Giveaway}”

Sarah

Book Feels: Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Feels: Blackhearts by Nicole CastromanBlackhearts by Nicole Castroman
Published by Simon Pulse on February 9th 2016
Genres: Historical, Legends, Myths, Fables, Love & Romance
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.

Edward "Teach" Drummond, son of one of Bristol's richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There's just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.

Following her parents' deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she's stuck in England?

From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.

-a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases -
-a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases –

Blackhearts Continue reading “Book Feels: Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman”

four-stars
Sarah

Waiting on Wednesday: Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh

Waiting on Wednesday: Ivory and Bone by Julie EshbaughIvory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh
Published by HarperTeen on June 14th 2016
Genres: Ancient Civilizations, Family, Historical, Love & Romance
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

The only life seventeen-year-old Kol knows is hunting at the foot of the Great Ice with his brothers. But food is becoming scarce, and without another clan to align with, Kol, his family, and their entire group are facing an uncertain future.

Traveling from the south, Mya and her family arrive at Kol’s camp with a trail of hurt and loss behind them, and hope for a new beginning. When Kol meets Mya, her strength, independence, and beauty instantly captivate him, igniting a desire for much more than survival.

Then on a hunt, Kol makes a grave mistake that jeopardizes the relationship that he and Mya have only just started to build. Mya was guarded to begin with—and for good reason—but no apology or gesture is enough for her to forgive him. Soon after, another clan arrives on their shores. And when Mya spots Lo, a daughter of this new clan, her anger intensifies, adding to the already simmering tension between families. After befriending Lo, Kol learns of a dark history between Lo and Mya that is rooted in the tangle of their pasts.

When violence erupts, Kol is forced to choose between fighting alongside Mya or trusting Lo’s claims. And when things quickly turn deadly, it becomes clear that this was a war that one of them had been planning all along.

 - hosted by Breaking the Spine -
– hosted by Breaking the Spine –

I was obsessively following Heather Doss’ Twitter feed yesterday as she live tweeted from the sales conference where the Summer 2016 titles from our friends at HarperCollins were announced. Guys! There were so many amazing books! A historical fantasy set in Russia, a dark urban fantasy, a Red Queen (Alice in Wonderland) origin story, a new kick-ass heroine fantasy series and a fantasy meets contempoary mash-up! Seriously, just search #HCS16 on Twitter to get the details on these books and many more!

The one title that really grabbed my attention was Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh! Heather pitched it as a Clan of the Cave Bear comparison and I nearly fell out of my chair. I was totally obsessed with this movie when I was younger, which led me to reading the book. Yeah, it was probably a little too mature for me at the time…

Unknown Continue reading “Waiting on Wednesday: Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh”

Sarah

Book Feels: Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Feels: Vengeance Road by Erin BowmanVengeance Road by Erin Bowman
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on September 1st 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Historical, Love & Romance, Western, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

When Kate Thompson’s father is killed by the notorious Rose Riders for a mysterious journal that reveals the secret location of a gold mine, the eighteen-year-old disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers and justice. What she finds are devious strangers, dust storms, and a pair of brothers who refuse to quit riding in her shadow. But as Kate gets closer to the secrets about her family, she gets closer to the truth about herself and must decide if there's room for love in a heart so full of hate.      In the spirit of True Grit, the cutthroat days of the Wild West come to life for a new generation.   

VR

Continue reading “Book Feels: Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman”

four-stars
Sarah

Book Feels: Lion Heart by A.C. Gaughen

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Feels: Lion Heart by A.C. GaughenLion Heart by A.C. Gaughen
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on May 19th 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adaptations, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Historical, Love & Romance, Medieval, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

Scarlet has captured the hearts of readers as well as the heart of Robin Hood, and after ceaseless obstacles and countless threats, readers will finally find out the fate of the Lady Thief.Only the greatest loves can survive great danger. . . Imprisoned by Prince John for months, Scarlet finds herself a long way from Nottinghamshire. After a daring escape, she learns that King Richard's life is in jeopardy, and Eleanor of Aquitaine needs Scarlet's help to free him. For a lifelong thief, this newfound allegiance to the crown-her family-is a strange feeling.Scarlet knows that helping Eleanor will put her and those she loves back in Prince John's sights. Desperate not to risk anyone's life but her own, Scarlet formulates a plan to help save the king on her own. But fate-and her heart-won't allow her to stay away from Nottinghamshire for long. Even if Scarlet and Rob can together stop Prince John from going through with his dark plans for England, will their love be enough to save them once and for all?

-a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases -
-a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases –

LionHeart

WHAT I LOVED…

triangle border

The thing I loved so much about Lion Heart, is everything I love about the entire Scarlet series. It’s an exciting re-telling of the Robin Hood legend that immediately appealed to me, but what I really loved about this entire series is the true life historical facts and events that Gaughen wove into the story to make it an even more engaging and interesting. There was so much drama and political intrigue in Lion Heart and it was such a culmination of the first two books, that I couldn’t turn the pages quickly enough to find out how everything wrapped up. For those of you who have read Scarlet and particularly Lady Thief, you know how much this series can rip out your heart and stomp on it. I don’t think I have ever felt so gutted after reading a book as when I finished Lady Thief, so I was pretty nervous going into Lion Heart. I am so happy to say that Lion Heart wrapped up the series so beautifully and was the perfect mix of action and swoon, and was exactly what I was hoping for to end this epic tale. Continue reading “Book Feels: Lion Heart by A.C. Gaughen”

five-stars
Sarah

{BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY} Lion Heart by A.C. Gaughen

{BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY} Lion Heart by A.C. GaughenLion Heart by A.C. Gaughen
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on May 19th 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adaptations, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Historical, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

Scarlet has captured the hearts of readers as well as the heart of Robin Hood, and after ceaseless obstacles and countless threats, readers will finally find out the fate of the Lady Thief.

Imprisoned by Prince John for months, Scarlet finds herself a long way from Nottinghamshire. After a daring escape from the Prince's clutches, she learns that King Richard’s life is in jeopardy, and Eleanor of Aquitaine demands a service Scarlet can’t refuse: spy for her and help bring Richard home safe. But fate—and her heart—won’t allow her to stay away from Nottinghamshire for long, and together, Scarlet and Rob must stop Prince John from going through with his dark plans for England. They can not rest until he’s stopped, but will their love be enough to save them once and for all?

triangle border

I’m so thrilled to be a part of the blog tour for ‘Lion Heart’! The entire Scarlet series by A.C. Gaughen is an absolute favorite of mine and I love nothing more than sharing that with all of you! Look for a review on my blog sometime after I get back from BEA…it’s going to be filled with all sorts of gushing and fangirl goodness. Today, I’m sharing a really fantastic guest post from Annie, in which she shares her publishing journey. So often we read a book and take for granted how amazing it is, but do you ever take the time to think about what it took to make it so amazing! Well, Annie has some really great insights from her own publishing journey, and I’m so thankful she’s sharing them with us today. Take it away Annie… Continue reading “{BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY} Lion Heart by A.C. Gaughen”

Sarah

Release Day Blitz + Giveaway: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Release Day Blitz + Giveaway: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee AhdiehThe Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Published by PUTNAM CHILDREN on May 12th 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Ancient Civilizations, Historical, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 416
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend. She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

triangle border

I am so excited that THE WRATH AND THE DAWN by Renée Ahdieh releases today and that I get to share the news, along with a special introduction from Renée herself! If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Renée Ahdieh, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a signed copies of the book and some beautiful book inspired scarves, courtesy of Renée, Penguin Teen, and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post. Continue reading “Release Day Blitz + Giveaway: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh”

Sarah

Waiting on Wednesday: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Waiting on Wednesday: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee AhdiehThe Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Published by PUTNAM CHILDREN on May 12th 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Ancient Civilizations, General, Historical, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend. She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

waitingonwednesday
Hosted by Breaking the Spine

When I read the summary for this book my jaw practically dropped to the floor! The Wrath and the Dawn has my name written all over it! Historical fiction, romance, ancient civilizations, action and adventure. All of the things I love in some of my very favorite books!

giphy

So, this week I’ve chosen this May release as my Waiting on Wednesday selection! I can’t wait to dive into this book and discover a whole new world in what looks to be an amazing new series!

Is this book on YOUR radar? What you think of the summary? How about that cover? So stunning!
Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Sarah

Book Feels: The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick

Book Feels: The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus SedgwickThe Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick
Published by Macmillan on January 6th 2015
Genres: General, Historical, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-stars

Timeless, beautiful, and haunting, spirals connect the four episodes of The Ghosts of Heaven, the mesmerizing new novel from Printz Award winner Marcus Sedgwick. They are there in prehistory, when a girl picks up a charred stick and makes the first written signs; there tens of centuries later, hiding in the treacherous waters of Golden Beck that take Anna, who people call a witch; there in the halls of a Long Island hospital at the beginning of the 20th century, where a mad poet watches the oceans and knows the horrors it hides; and there in the far future, as an astronaut faces his destiny on the first spaceship sent from earth to colonize another world. Each of the characters in these mysterious linked stories embarks on a journey of discovery and survival; carried forward through the spiral of time, none will return to the same place.

I’ve never read a book quite like The Ghosts of Heaven and I definitely went outside of my comfort zone when I decided to pick this one up. The cover art and book summary were intriguing though, and I decided to give it a shot. As I’m writing this review it’s been a couple of weeks since I finished this book, and I still can’t say for certain what my thoughts and feelings are about it. All I know is that I still think about it from time to time and wonder what exactly it was all about. Which I suppose is the sign of a well-written book.

GhostsofHeaven

The Ghosts of Heaven is broken up into four separate short stories, that are distinct in tone and style from one another, but when put together as a collection, you can see the thread of commonality that runs through them all. In the introduction of the book the author explains that you can read the collection in order, or you can read in whatever order you’d like. I chose to read them in order because that’s just the kind of person I am. Even before I got into the first story, I was sucked in by the introduction. It was a beautifully written account of the beginning of the universe, and being the science geek that I am, I totally loved it. As a matter of fact, I would say it was my favorite part of the entire book.

As I mentioned, the book is broken into four very different sections. Part one is set during pre-historic times and focuses on a young girl trying to become a larger presence in her tribe. She knew there was something more to her existence. Along her journey she likely discovers the first form of written communication but because of certain circumstances she never gets the chance to share her knowledge. This portion of the book was written in verse and I really enjoyed how the writing really conveyed not only what, but also exactly how the character was thinking.

The second section focuses on a young woman who is trying to tap into the power passed down to her through her lineage. She’s faced with an extremely bleak set of circumstances and is continually trying to determine the source of the mysteries that surround her. This story was really depressing for me and I just couldn’t shake the bleakness of the main character’s situation.

The third story takes part during the turn of the 20th century and is set in an insane asylum. I found this story pretty creepy and there were times I felt so haunted by some of the characters. It’s the story of a doctor and his daughter who come to live in the building with its patients, and how they adjust to that life. As you get further in, you start to learn about one of the patients there who has an inexplicable knowledge of the doctor and his past. By the end the story takes on a little bit of a twist and I was actually pretty pleased with where it left me.

The last story is set some time in the distant future on a space station travelling to the far reaches of the galaxy in search of a new home for the human race. We follow one of the people on the ship and as the story progresses we learn along with him that things are not exactly what they seem to be on board. Out of all the stories in this book, the ending of this one really confused me. I’m still not certain I understand exactly what happened.

I did find the fact that each story had a common thread to be extremely compelling and intriguing. I liked how the author found ways to introduce that theme in each story in a distinct but cohesive way. Each time the theme popped up it was a lightbulb moment for me.

This book is beautifully written and the imagery and symbolism was amazing. Although I do have to admit that sometimes I didn’t quite get the symbolism and that frustrated me. Overall, I had a hard time connecting to this book, and that was my major disappointment with it. In my mind, you can have the most beautifully written words but if I can’t connect to them I’m left feeling like something fell short.

This book is certainly not going to appeal to everyone, but when all is said and done I decided to give it three stars. While I didn’t find a connection to any of the stories, I can still appreciate how well it was written and the value of the book as a whole. I would suggest giving it a try to see for yourself if it’s a book you enjoy. Then come back here and let me know what you think, as this book is sure to spark some lively discussions.

Many thanks to Brittany at Book Addicts Guide for allowing me to borrow her ARC! Her fabulous generosity in no way affected my review.

three-stars
Sarah

Book Feels: Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little

Book Feels: Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths LittleForbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little
Published by Harper Collins on November 4th 2014
Genres: Ancient Civilizations, Girls & Women, Historical, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

A sweeping, epic saga of romance and hardship, set against the dramatic backdrop of ancient Mesopotamia—perfect for fans of Cleopatra's Moon or the adult bestseller The Red Tent.In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden's tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden's turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe's leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family's position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden's heart.Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Handsome and mysterious, Kadesh fills Jayden's heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb's increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden's every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying.With a forbidden romance blossoming in her heart and her family's survival on the line, Jayden must finish the deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find true love for herself.

As a child I was always fascinated with ancient Middle East. I think it all started with my obsession with belly dancing and the colorful outfits with the sashes the jingle as the dancer sways her hips. But as I got older I started to appreciate the more intricate details of the culture. The ancient traditions and spellbinding customs, the deep rich colors found in the spices, flowing materials and intricate architecture. Even the romanticism of a wide open desert and all the adventure that awaits, completely appeals to my wanderlust. Needless to say, I was pretty psyched when I heard about forbidden.

Forbidden collage

The research that went into this book is clearly evident in the details and world-building of the story. The way the author builds the landscape, describes the social customs and religious beliefs…even the way she details the women’s dresses and jewelry, truly show what comittment she had to making sure that every little detail was just right. As a reader, I really appreciated that. It helped me to be more invested as I was reading and in turn, allowed me to enjoy the story more.

We meet Jayden and the girl has been through some rough stuff! I mean, imagine all the worst things that could happen to you and that’s pretty much what she’s been through. Everything seems to fall apart at once and I couldn’t help but feel immediate sympathy for her. Jayden goes through some serious range of emotions and reactions to what’s happening around her, and I can’t say I blame her. I’m hoping that she continues to grow more confident and strong in the subsequent books because for most of Forbidden I found myself wishing that she would stop being so wishy-washy. One minute she’s scared and timid, and then next minute she’s aggressive and head strong. Buuuut…given Jayden’s situation I think the author did a good job of allowing the character to grow into her strength and uncover what she’s truly made of. I appreciate that Jayden didn’t go from one extreme to the other in the blink of an eye. It made the her character’s progression more believable.

One aspect that didn’t quite click with me 100% was the romance. While, it certainly wasn’t insta-love, I don’t feel like I got enough back story as to HOW the romance developed. Sure, Kadesh is super swoony and gives Jayden the total opposite of what she’s forced into with Horeb, but part of me felt like she would have fallen in love with any guy who showed even the smallest bit of respect and affection. I really wanted to understand what it was that drew Jayden and Kadesh together. Don’t get me wrong, there were so many aspects of this romance that I was really drawn to…I just need a little more detail. Granted, the guy really did step up to the plate for a family of total strangers and became the leader they all needed, so I can’t really blame Jayden for falling for him…hard.

I also would have liked more development when it came to Kadesh’s back story as well, but I have a sneaking suspicion that we’ll learn more about his past in future books. He appears out of nowhere (literally) with this vague story about where he comes from and he’s immediately shrouded in mystery. What glimpses we do get of his past are super intriguing and I’m really hoping we get some more.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book for its detail, and I really felt as though I learned a bit more about ancient Mesopotamia. There aren’t many YA books out there that take place during this time period. According to The Age of YA timeline courtesy of Epic Reads, it’s actually one of the few books set during this time, 1759 BC to be exact. It made for a unique setting for a historical young adult novel and I’m now itching for more. I also enjoyed the story of Jayden and Kadesh and look forward to learning more about their pasts and how they are going to navigate their future together.

four-stars
Sarah