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Thursday, 31 August 2017

Illumicrate. August Unboxing

Disclaim: I'm not a rep for Illumicrate or have any connection with it. I'm promoting it of my own free will.

Yesterday, I received my second Illumicrate -after a long calls to my country's delivery mail company who had sent it to only God knows where- and since it is such a fabulous and surprising box, I decided to share the August's box unboxing here on my blog.

What did I discover inside this little box full of surprises?


  • Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo, exclusive edition for Illumicrate with red sprayed edges, and an exclusive pin.
  • The Red Church tea by T-ology.
  •  Shakespeare zip bag, artwork by Miss Phi.
  • Wisdom journal, desgined by Hey Atlas Creative. The quote is from The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.
  • Alethiometer Coaster, artwork by Hannah Hitchman Art.
  • Sticky bookmarks and book money jar from Blossom Books. 

Look at all these amazing bookish items. *.* I'm completely in love with the sticky bookmarks and the zip bag. And, yes, I'm also in love with the book. Although I'm idolize Leigh Bardugo's writing and worldbuilding, I did not pre-ordered Wonder Woman: Warbringer. 🙊 But, in my defence, I did suspect it was going to be Illumicrate's August book. I'm going to cherish this book until my very last breath -I shouldn't be so dramatic, but this exclusive edition is gorgeous. Red sprayed edges? *.*

Inside it, I also found some EXTRAS. One of them was a ARC! *fangirling because I got my hands on an ARC*


  • Three bookmarks (Ringer, After the Fire and The Bear and the Nightingale).
  • Four Moxie badges. Female Empowerment! 👊 
  • An exclusive advanced reader copy of Nyxia by Scott Reintgen with bookmark. I confess I never heard of this book, but it sounds so good that I've do dive into it ASAP.
This is the second physical ARC I receive (the first was also thanks to Illumicrate). As any bookworm, I couldn't be more excited to get my hands on it. I always feel jealous when people show off their ARCs -or the review copies publishers send them. I've contacted some publishers in hope I could enter the "ARCs club", but with no luck. It does let me down -it makes me feel average when everything I do is never good enough to get noticed... Well, let me move on from this gloomy rambling. After all, Illumicrate is here to brighten up our days. 🌞 

Veredict: If you have never ordered an Illumicrate, I one hundred percent recommend you to do it. Not does it offers exclusive items and editions for its subscribers, but it also contains ARCs and signed books (the book that came in May's box was signed by the author). And, Daphne, the business owner, is a sweetheart. 💓  
Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Waiting on Wednesday. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns


"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
This week on WoW is Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao. Talking once again about ARCs: I'm jealous of everyone who received one. I tried so hard to get my hands on one, but living outside US means it is impossible (it really annoys me that International readers don't have a chance - although publishers will say "no" to our money. I'm sorry, I didn't want to seem so bitter). Returning to the novel... I've never read a retelling focused on the story of the Evil Queen of the tale Snow White. And, this one has a East Asian twist. I just can't wait for it. The book will be released on October 10th.



Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
"An East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl's quest to become Empress--and the darkness she must unleash to achieve her destiny.

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng's majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins--sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.
"
From Goodreads

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Cover Reveal. A Reaper at the Gates



 The cover and title of the third novel in Ember in the Ashes has been revealed. I'm so excited for this novel! This is my favourite ongoing series. However, I must confess I'm not really that fond of A Reaper at the Gates cover (or maybe I just loved the other covers too much; they were so eerie and mysterious). And, once again, the covers for this series have changed in - publishers really need to stop doing that. I do love this series, but my wallet does not like the idea of buying the first two books again so that they all look perfect together. You can see the new cover art for An Ember in the Ashes and A Torch Against the Night here.

EDIT: I know there has been a lot of discussion in the book community towards this cover. People are being told they are racists for not liking it. I'm not racist, it's great to see POC characters on a cover (even though, the blonde girl is at the centre). But I much prefer the previous covers, as many other people do, and that does not make anyone racist. A few days ago, I shared my thoughts on how this world fights hate and hate, how open-minded people are those who are always ready to judge. It's so sad seeing this happening in the book community...

A Reaper at the Gates is expected to be released on April 10th 2018.

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
"Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger. 
The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion—even at the cost of his humanity."
Sunday, 13 August 2017

Bout of Books 20. Sign Up, Goals, Progress & Wrap Up


"The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 21st and runs through Sunday, August 27th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 20 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team"
Because life was chaotic back in May, I sadly missed Bout of Books 19. I completely forgot about it. 😭 But I'm back for Bout Books 20! Hopefully, I will be able to read a lot more than I did in my last read-a-thon (last time I was very busy with uni; however, I'm not sure I won't busy again by the end of August) and tackle down my TBR.

Good luck to everyone who's joining. 🙂

My goals for Bout of Books 20 Read-a-Thon are:
  1. To read every day 50 pages;
  2. To participate in two challenges;
  3. To update my progress every day.
PROGRESS

August 21st

Pages read today: 62 pages of Flame in the Mist 
Books read today: Flame in the Mist
Books finished: --
Total of pages read: 62 pages
Challenge: Introduce Yourself #insixwords


August 22nd

Pages read today: 50 pages of Flame in the Mist
Books read today: Flame in the Mist
Books finished: --
Total of pages read: 112
Challenge: Synopsis Rewrite. For this challenge, all you have to do is rewrite the synopsis of a book from another character's point of view.

Gabriel is dead.

His wings were stolen.

He is stuck with a human - a human to whom he owns his life.

It's been six weeks since Raffe and his kind descended to the modern world and brought the apocalypse. After having his wings ripped by a demon, Raffe finds himself travelling with a human teenager towards the angels' stronghold in San Francisco in hope to be whole again - and to discover a conspiracy that will forever change the angelic order.

  
August 23rd

Pages read today: 50 pages of Flame in the Mist
Books read today: Flame in the Mist
Books finished: --
Total of pages read: 162 pages
Challenge: Book Spine Rainbow. Take a selection of your favourite book spines to make a rainbow!

I was not lazy this time. I just didn't have light to take the photo. So, here it is my rainbow bookshelf.

From my Instagram account

August 24th

Pages read today: 50 pages of Flame in the Mist
Books read today: Flame in the Mist
Books finished: --
Total of pages read: 222 pages
Challenge: If You Like Thuis, Try That

If you like strong female characters, you should try these books:


Ps. Can someone recommend me books with angels/monsters/demons? You would have my eternal gratitude. 💓

August 25th

Pages read today: 143 pages of Flame in the Mist
Books read today: Flame in the Mist
Books finished: --
Total of pages read: 365 pages
Challenge: Leave a Book Review.

August 26th

Pages read today: 105 pages of Starflight
Books read today: Starflight
Books finished: Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
Total of pages read: 470 pages
Challenge(s): Love to Hate. Who's the character you LOVE to HATE?


I love to hate the Commandant from An Ember in the Ashes. I hate Keris for everything she did - and does - to Laia and her son, Elias. She is vicious and unfeeling (she abandoned her own son to die). I didn't expect to hate a lot more after reading A Torch Against the Night, but I do - how did she dare to hurt Elias the way she did? 😠  

August 27th

Pages read today: 151 pages of Starflight & 40 pages of Empress of a Thousand Skies
Books read today: Starflight & Empress of a Thousand Skies
Books finished: Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh; Starflight by Melissa Landers
Total of pages read: 661 pages

WRAP-UP

Although I didn't read as much as I wanted to (my personal best in BoB has been five books), I met all of my goals. I read two enjoyable books -Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh and Starflight by Melissa Landers- and I started reading Empress of a Thousand Skies.

How many books did you tackle down? How many pages did you read? Is you TBR pile shorter?

I hope to see everyone on the next Bout of Books -which sadly will only be hosted in 2018. 😢
Thursday, 10 August 2017
BLAZE PUBLISHING. Update

These last months I've been an awful rep for Blaze Publishing because uni took all my time (they will be slimming down their reps in a few days and I probably won't make it). However, today in this post, I'll be making an update on the latests news and releases (and future releases) of Blaze Publishing.


The Unseen by Jacob Devlin (released on 9th May)

The sequel of The Carver, a novel based on Wonderland, was released last May. Here it is a sneak peek:
"A misty shadow materialized in front of Crescenzo, and when the full body appeared, Crescenzo had to squint to be sure he perceived it correctly. It had the right shape and height, the right spiky hair, but everything else was wrong: a foggy black shape clad in leather that seemed to be evaporating without really disappearing. Crescenzo’s blood went ice cold."
And another because I know one is not enough:
"Slowly, Madame Esme forced herself to turn around and confront the woman. “Avoria,” she whispered.
“Is that how you address a queen?” Avoria droned. “Really, Esmeralda, I’d assumed better of you."
Paintbrush by Hannah Bucchin (released on 11th July)

I think you should read this interview with the Bucchin - Book Release Day Special: Interview with Debut Author, Hannah Bucchin. It is a really interesting interview. Also, here is it a sneak peak of the book:
"She breezes past me, striding up the rocky mountain path at a surprisingly fast pace. “You can’t lie to me, Mitchell Morrison. I know you too well.” I quicken my pace to match hers, following her dark bobbing ponytail up the mountain, and it occurs to me that she might be right."
The Underground by Case Maynard (to be published on 12th September 2017)

This novel is the sequel of The Surrender - if you have not read it yet, you should. I'll be joining the Read Along run by Blaze Publishing in September. And, here it is afew more sneak peaks because I know how important they are for a bookworm:
"They’ve been quick to tell me the deaths of John William, Ann, and Ramsey were not my fault. But I know better. My running from the Mills cost our friends their lives, and my heart is certain of it."

"Oliver’s eyes are full of some emotion I can’t quite place as he watches me. We both nearly died fighting for our freedom in the southeast. Can we do it and succeed again? Fate may not like being tested repeatedly."
Shadow Rising by Audrey Grey (to be published on 14th November 2017)

You can see here the cover reveal of the sequel of Shadow Fall. These novels have some of the most beautiful covers I've ever seen (and you all know how much I love a pretty cover).

Of Silver and Stars by T. A. Chan (to be published on 16th October 2018)

I'm very excited for this book. The cover is yet to be released but as a Rep I received a little sneak peak and I can tell you that the colours scheme is gorgeous. 
 
Running Giveaways

To celebrate the release of The Underground, Blaze Publishing is giving away Children of Eden by Joey Graceffa. You can enter to win here. Don't forget to tell your friends since the more your friends enter, the more entries you get.

I think this is all for now. Have a great Thursday bookdragons! 😄
Monday, 7 August 2017

READING CHALLENGE | THE READING QUEST

The Reading Quest is a reading challenge hosted by @Read at Midnight and it will take place between Sunday 13th August to Sunday 10th September, 2017.
"The basic mechanics of the reading challenge is simple: it’s based on a bingo board (termed The Quest Board for our purposes), each square on the board represents a stage (or reading prompt) you must complete. There is one crucial variation, the path you take on the bingo board is entirely dependent on your chosen Character Class. For the Character Class selection, you have the following 4 Options: Knight, Bard, Rogue and Mage. All characters will start off with 10 Experience Points (EXP)."
For my first quest, I decided to choose the Mage. I'm not sure if I will be able to do the other quests, but with the Mage I'll be able to tackle down my ever-growing TBR pile.
"MAGE: As wielders of spells and witchcraft, these players will conjure and summon their way through the First Down path on the quest. Their tomes contain magic and whispers of alternate lands."
Character Art created by CW @Read, Think, Ponde
How to Increase Experience/Health Points

For each finished book: +10 EXP
For each finished graphic novel/manga: +5 EXP
Books written by a marginalised author: +20 EXP
For finishing quest: +50 EXP
For every additional quest: +30 EXP

Level up: Every +50 EXP.

Every 10 pages +1 HP
Tweeting #TheReadingQuest: +1 HP (max. +20)
Photos #TheReadingQuest: +1 HP (max. +20)


Books I'm Planning to Read:

A book with a one world title: Starflight
A book that contains magic: The Bone Witch
A book based on mythology: Flame in the Mist
A book set in a different world: Empress of a Thousand Skies
The first book of a series: Broken Sky

Multiplayer, buddy read a book: The Surrendered

Update

EXP: +120 EXP
HP: +222 HP
Level: 3
Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Waiting on Wednesday. The Language of Thorns


"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
This week on WoW is The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo. As I mentioned before, Bardugo became one of my favourite authors after reading Six of Crows last year. Also, I love fairy and folk tales. So, without a doubt, I cannot wait to get my hands on this novel. I'm so jealous of everyone who were able to get themselves an ARC - in case you've already read it, what did you think of it? No spoilers, please. The book will be released on September 26h



Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
"Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid's voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy's bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.
"
From Goodreads