Blog Tour: An Excerpt of Star-Touched Stories by Roshani Chokshi

Hey everyone! I can’t believe how long it’s been since I have been on here. Too long! But no worries, I have plans to getting back into this and it starts with some really awesome.

Today I am bringing you an excerpt from Star-Touched Stories by Roshani Chokshi! How exciting right?!

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Before I dive in with the excerpt, let’s talk a little bit about the world you are about to dive in to. If you haven’t read the Star-Touched series then you need to know just how crazy good they are. Chokshi writes an amazingly GORGEOUS world that I fell in love with instantly. Seriously, she has a talent for making the world come alive and describing even something that I may think of as mundane in an incredibly way. If you haven’t read her books you really need to. They are filled with mystery, swoons, shock, and characters that you are bound to connect to in some way.

Star-Touched Stories are just that, stories set in the Star- Touched world. The book features three stories within this world that are bound to capture your interest, especially if you are in love with the series as I was.

So, without further ado…here is a little excerpt. I must say, after reading it myself I really can’t wait to continue on…

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DEATH

I stood outside the home, watching as the light beaded and dripped down the length of the Tapestry thread. I waited. There was never any rush. Not for me at least.

The light dangled from the end of the string, clinging and reluctant. A passing wind stirred the ends of the thread, teasing out strands of memory. The memories plumed into the air, releasing the scent of a life lived in love. One by one, the memories unraveled— a pillow shared by two heads bent close in secrecy, a frayed blanket kept inside an eternally empty cradle, a table that sagged from the weight of uncertain feasts. Happiness stolen from the edges of sorrow.

I stepped over the threshold.

The lights in the hut extinguished. Shadows slipped off the walls to gather around my feet. Inside the hut, someone had propped up a stingy fire. Cinnamon scented the air. Past the dusty vestibule, rows upon rows of bay leaves hung from the ceiling. Strange runes scratched into small animal bones and ivory hairpins lay in carefully constructed patterns. I laughed. Someone had tried to ward me away. But there was no
door that didn’t open to me.

At the far corner of the house huddled two people. A man in the arms of a woman. Old age had blessed him, yet for all his gnarled veins and silver-streaked hair, the woman cradled him as if he were a child. He murmured softly into the crook of her neck. I watched them. She wasn’t crying.

The woman looked up . . . and saw me.

How refreshing.

“Greetings, Dharma Raja,” said the woman in a clear voice.

I took in the bay leaves and bone pins. “You were expecting me, I take it.”

“Yes,” she said, hanging her head. “I regret that I cannot serve you any food or drink or treat you as a guest in our home.”

“Don’t let it trouble you,” I said, waving my hand. “I am rarely a guest. Merely an inevitable occurrence.”

Her husband did not stir in her arms. His breath had grown soft. While the woman had kept her eyes trained on me, I had taken away his pain, siphoned it bit by bit. I was in a generous mood.

“You have come for him.”

“As I will for you, one day. I could tell you the hour, if
you wish it.”

“No.”

I shrugged. “Very well.”

She clutched him tighter. Her hands trembled. I knew she could feel his life unspooling. She may have seen me, but she did not see his life pooling beneath him.

“May I ask something of you, Dharma Raja?”

“You may.”

But I need not honor it. 

“We always wished to leave this life together.”

“I cannot change your appointed time, even if I wished.”

She closed her eyes. “Then may I request, instead, that you not let him pass to the next life until I may join him there?”

Now this was interesting. I sank backward into the air, and an onyx throne swirled up to meet me. I tilted my head, watching her. “Why? I haven’t weighed your life yet. What if you were far more honorable than your husband in this life? I could pour your soul into the mold of a princess blessed with beauty and intellect, riches and wonders. I could add silver to your heart and fortify you from any heartbreak. I could give you a life worthy of legends.”

She shook her head. “I would rather have him.”

“You’d rather have him, and whatever life that entails?” I leaned forward, eyeing the dingy room.

Her eyes flashed. “Yes.”

“He may not even come back as a human. Believe me. I’ve remade emperors into cockroaches and cockroaches into kings. You seem like a reasonably intelligent woman. Would you truly like to keep house for a bug?”

She lifted her chin. “I would be his mate in any form.”

A curious emotion prickled my skin, nudging the back of my thoughts. My hands tightened on the shadow throne. Before I could stop myself, the question flew from me:

“Why? ”

“Because I love him,” said the woman. “I would prefer any life with him than any life without him. Even the deities know love to the point that they will chase their counterpart through thousands of lifetimes. Surely you, oh Dharma Raja,
understand how extraor- dinary love can be?”

I knew very well what could come of love. I had seen it. Been cursed by it. Even now, I thought of her. The way she ran away and left a shadow in her place. Love was extraordinary.

Extraordinarily spiteful.

Extraordinarily blind.

Extraordinarily misleading.

“Bold words,” I said.

“They do not move you?”

I shrugged. “You may appeal and supplicate and wheedle as you wish, but I have heard every excuse and plea and sputter, and my heart has never been moved.”

The woman bowed her head. She gathered her husband to her chest. Her wedding bangles clanked together, breaking the silence. When I left, custom dictated that she must remove those wedding ornaments. Widows did not wear such bracelets. I had not consid- ered until now that the sound itself was a thing near death. And that chime—gold  against gold—struck me far louder than any keening. In the echoes, I heard something hollow. And lonely.

I dropped the noose. It slid through the man’s skin, noiseless as silk. Life had left him. All that was left was his soul.

You never forget what it’s like to withdraw a soul. It is an unclasping. Sometimes a soul is tough and hard, surrounded by sinews of memories gone brittle with age. Sometimes a soul is soft and bursting like wind-fallen fruit, all bruised tenderness and stale hope. And sometimes a soul is an ethereal shard of light. As if the force of its life is a scorching thing.

This soul belonged to light.

When the woman looked down, she knew that her husband was gone. The thing she cradled was nothing more than meat soon to spoil. Tears slid down her wrinkled cheeks.

“Come now,” I said, standing from the throne. “I have taken husbands when their wives still wore the henna from their wedding. I consider you lucky.”

“I beg of you,” she said. “Don’t let him move on without me. He would have asked the same.”

I swung the soul into a satchel and the light faded. I headed for the door, more out of formality than anything else. If I wanted, I could’ve disappeared right then and there.

“Please. What would you do for someone you loved?”

I stopped short. “I can’t say I’ve had the pleasure of that provocation.”

“You love no one?” she asked, her eyebrows rising
in disbelief.

“I love myself. Does that count?” And then I left.

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And there you have it. This book is released to the public on August 7th. Make sure to get out there and get yourself a copy!

About Roshani Chokshi

Roshani Chokshi CREDIT Aman SharmaRoshani Chokshi is the New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen and A CROWN OF WISHES. Her middle grade debut, ARU SHAH AND THE END OF TIME, released April 3, 2018 from Disney/Rick Riordan Presents. Her next young adult novel, THE GILDED WOLVES, is slated for Winter 2019. Chokshi’s work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Shimmer, and Book Smugglers. She was a finalist in the 2016 Andre Norton Award and the Locus Top Ten for Best First Novel. Her short story, “The Star Maiden,” was longlisted for the British Fantasy Science Award.

Author Website |  Pre-order book

 

emily

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Let’s talk about…Over Raging Tides by Jennifer Ellision

35900323The pirate crew of the Lady Luck lives by many rules, but chief among them is this: they do not allow men on board. 

That’s a rule that quartermaster Grace Porter is willing to break when a shipwrecked young nobleman offers her information of an omniscient map, stolen from his warship by an enemy vessel. Until now, the map was only the stuff of legend… but with its help, Grace may finally be able to hunt down the Mordgris, the sea monsters who stole her mother away from her.
Unfortunately, some members of her crew have other plans…
To find the map and face the Mordgris, Grace will have to confront her past, put the Luck between warring nations, and uncover treachery aboard the ship. And ultimately, her revenge and the destruction of the Mordgris will come at a hefty price: the betrayal of her crew.
Grace promised them they wouldn’t regret this.
She just isn’t sure that she won’t.

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Immediate reactions upon finishing:

This was such a fun read! I haven’t really read a lot of pirate books, so I was pretty excited to dive into this world of female pirates as they kick butt across the seas. I found this book super to be really quick to get in to and was filled with an adventure that I had definitely wanted to read.

Here are my top 3 reasons to read this book.

  1. AWESOME main character! I absolutely loved Grace. She was brave, strong, and just slightly imperfect. Sometimes she hesitated when I felt that I would also hesitate. She didn’t see everything that was going on in front of her, but she continued on anyway. She fought for what she believed in and was willing to do anything to get the people that she loved most back to her. I feel like she is a main character than any reader could look up to.
  2. Lady Pirates on an adventure! It’s pretty awesome to read a book about kick butt women taking on the seas. Nothing like laughing at the myth that women on a ship are bad luck and instead filling a ship with all women. There was adventure and surprises while on board the Luck as one would expect, and they kept me continuing on with the story. This book had some of the typical pirate story points, but I don’t think I could ever get sick of that. I love a good pirate story (even if I mostly watch movies and shows about pirates). This book made me need more pirate books!
  3. A nice break from reality! I have had a lot going on lately, and I found this story to be fun and exactly what I needed to take a temporary vacation from what was going on. I could definitely feel myself on the ship with the pirates and could see the story playing out. I felt that it helped me relax more, and I think that’s definitely a possibility for anyone that might pick up this book.

If you are look for a quick, fun, lady pirate adventure book then look no further! It could be a nice distraction, and I definitely think you need to meet Grace!

emily

Let’s Talk About….Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

sky in the deepOND ELDR. BREATHE FIRE.

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield — her brother, fighting with the enemy — the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

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3.5 OUT OF 5 STARS

Definitely a good debut novel from Adrienne Young. I have to say I wasn’t shouting over the moon at the end of this novel but I did enjoy it for what it was, a good kick-ass viking female book. I don’t think I could really call this a fantasy novel as it really didn’t have much to do with fantasy in my opinion but as far as a historical fiction, it was really good.
The parts I liked about the book: It had a simplistic approach which I really liked. Nowadays a lot of authors, especially in young adult, want to try to make these complicated books where you can’t keep everything straight. Sky in the Deep was straight forward and the story was easy to follow, along with the characters. The characters were interesting and I really ended up loving certain characters at the end that I thought I would hate at the beginning. It also is a thought provoking book. If you grew up learning to hate a certain group of people, is it possible to change your outlook or thoughts about them.
The parts I didn’t like about the book: There really wasn’t much world building at the beginning of the book. I had a hard time understanding at first why the Aska and Riki were fighting. There wasn’t really a backdrop for the story, it pretty much went into the fighting and Eelyn being captured. I also wish there was more info on the histories of the tribes other than that one story about Sigr and Thora.

Again, overall, a great debut novel for Adrienne Young and I would definitely pick up another one of her books.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an eARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

arika

If We Were Having Tea (4)

20638302_10210095186557818_268576923072112750_nI have seen this post many times over at Jamie’s page (The Perpetual Page Turner) and have always wanted to give it a shot. I think it’s fun, personable, and a great way to kind of get to know one another. So, with it being a new year I thought why not give it a shot? But there will be a bit of a difference…we won’t be having coffee. Instead I will be having tea.

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If we were having tea…

  • I would tell you that I am going strong with this whole War and Peace thing. Have been working hard to get one chapter read a day and I think I’m still caught up. In the car I am listening to Dread Nation by Justina Ireland, and I just started the book Over Raging Tides by Jennifer Ellision. What are you reading or listening to lately?
  • I would tell you that I started my half marathon training officially. It starts slow, so the thought of having to run 13.1 miles in a few months is BEYOND me, but I’m going to push through and get it done. Feeling pretty motivated. Do you have any events coming up that are motivating you?
  • I would tell you that the weather has FINALLY improved. We had a blizzard in the middle of April that basically shut down EVERYTHING, but since then…no snow. The temps have reached my comfort zone, the sun has been coming out, and that has made me pretty happy in general. How has the weather been treating you?
  • I would tell you that I still have the massive itch to travel further than what I seem to know. It was a year ago right now that I was in California, and I am just itching to get out of this place and see something new. Does not help that my friend and my husband are off to New York City, a place I would love to see but seem to be missing out on this year. A little frustrating, but oh well. I have a list of places I want to go, and I am going to try to get there. Have any travel plans coming up?
  • I would tell you that I am doing my best with this blogging thing. I’m really hoping that May is my month, though it hasn’t started off great. But I have to remember, the weather is warming up and I am going to be able to be out and about doing more things more often. I love summer, so the fact that that is coming up should also help, as well as knowing that I will be getting a break from my job which should help me refocus on things. How are you handling this new month?
  • I would tell you that I am on the job hunt. I have been feeling incredibly unhappy with where I’m at, and I’m really the only one stopping myself. So I’m back at it. I feel like my motivation is fresh and I’m ready to try what I can to make my situations better. Do you have any job hunting advice?
  • I would tell you that I have a busy summer coming up, or at least a busy June. Weddings and travel have really taken over my first month of summer, and I’m not even mad. I’m so tired of feeling stuck here, so I’m hoping some of this will help kick it. Do you have anything you’re looking forward to this summer?
  • I would tell you that I did, indeed, see Infinity War. I will only say that I have feelings, and I did not expect to leave with feelings. I don’t like that I left with feelings. But I enjoyed it and I am looking forward to having a fresh batch of movies come out this summer. Any summer movies that you are looking forward to?

emily

Words We Read (4)

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Words We Read is a feature that we created to share various book quotes we read that really mean a lot to us. For more information and past posts you can head over here.

Wow. Haven’t done this one in a long time. But man, I am super excited and super motivated to get it going again.

I have read a lot of books with words that hit me just right, especially lately. With words that touch me and make me think about my own life and the things currently happening in it. Sometimes they come from a book that blows me away, other times they come from a book that I didn’t fall head over heels in love with. Even in those instances where I like it but don’t adore it I find that I can take something away from the book. Today, it comes from one of those books.

I read the book Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner recently. Though this book really hit on some things that I think we need to talk about more, I just fall in love with it. I felt pretty meh towards it, no feelings one way or the other. But the writing…oh the writing had it’s moments where it just hit me and I had to stop and think about it. So today, I share a quote from this book, because it really had me thinking. And this is a solid reminder that just because you aren’t in love with the book doesn’t mean that it has nothing to offer you. There’s a difference between a bad book and book that you enjoyed but didn’t love.

So…the quote that I found that I could not stop thinking about…

“For the most part, you don’t hold the people you love in your heart because they rescued you from drowning or pulled you from a burning house. Mostly you hold them in your heart because they save you, in a million quiet and perfect ways, from being alone.”

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What’s a book that you’ve read lately that has a quote that really stuck with you?

emily

I’ve Gotta Say Something…

Hey all! Long time no talk.

Yep, I know. I’ve been pretty silent on here. And honestly, that’s why I’m about to issue an apology to each and every one of you, but probably to myself as well.

I’m sorry this blog hasn’t been as active as I had wanted it to be. I have gone down a spiral of craziness in the past couple of months. I’ve had some personal stuff going on that I don’t really want to go into for all the world to read, but with all of that my motivation to do this just lessened. I’ve been in a not so good place this year. The year that I had wanted it to be, the year that I try new things and let go a lot easier…yea, hasn’t been happening. I’ve let myself get buried under my own emotions, stress, and feelings of general helplessness and have found that I haven’t really enjoyed anything. I can’t say I’ve tried to enjoy anything either, so that’s very much on me.

The truth is, this blog has always been an outlet for me. I avoided it because I didn’t want to drag it down with my own personal issues, so instead I have been letting it sit because I “haven’t had time.” I’m sorry, but that’s been bullshit. I’ve been in my own pity party for months and I am so sick of it. I’m so tired of feeling this whole “woe is me” thing. I definitely suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, and this never-ending winter we seem to have going on here doesn’t seem to be helping (just spent the last 3 days digging myself out post blizzard and I bet I will have to pick up the shovel again tomorrow at some point). I have been the worst at letting it get to me and I am so tired of it.

But the thing is, I’m not sure what to do to stop it. I’ve let myself get so into this downward spiral that I can’t seem to pull myself out. So, little by little I am trying. Here’s what I have done so far…

  • I continue to workout 3-5 times a week. Endorphins are good right?
  • I signed up for a half marathon in August. I may be trudging through it the way winter seems to be going, but I did it. Training will keep me moving and it’s a goal to meet. And you best believe I am going to meet it.
  • I applied for a job that terrified me. Well, the application terrified me. I worked my butt off and put myself out there to get references and honestly, it was terrifying. Unfortunately I got that fabulous rejection I was expecting, but I’m trying not to let that get me down and to help me move forward.
  • I’m making plans with my husband. Not just saying that we should do something, but actually making plans. A lot of our plans have fallen through due to money, timing, etc…but these should hold up. I hope. Because I definitely need this.
  • I’m working on getting myself on here more. This apology is just one step. I’m hoping that I can come at you with more on this blog. I have things I want to blog about, I just haven’t sat myself down to actually do it. That’s gotta change.
  • I’m journaling. This terrifies me because I feel like there’s a right and wrong way to journal, but the more I looked into it (because that’s how I am) I realized how stupid that was. A journal is so personal to you and there’s no template. It’s for you. For your growth. So I found some prompts to help me get my wheels turning, and it’s been so helpful. I found one that is supposed to help with stress relief and oh my gosh, each day the prompts have made me laugh (like the one day I felt like my entire life was falling apart and the prompt was to write what was going well in your life. Hilarious. I cried while laughing).

I am taking this one step at a time, one day at a time. But I know I can be better. I know I can do better. And I’m sorry I’ve been so silent on here. Please know I take this apology oh so seriously, and really do plan to kick it into gear. I miss this. I really really do.

So now, I have to know….what do you do to get yourself out of a slump like this? Activites? Mantras? Helpful books? In the land where winter doesn’t seem to want to end and the sun refuses to shine I find I am definitely in need of some tips.

Thanks for bearing with me through this all. I promise I’ll be coming back. I will.

emily

Adios 28!

Guess what guys….IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!!

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I was asked at work if I was turning 29 for the 3rd time and I gave them that awkward look and said…uhm no this is the 1st time. So yes, I am 29 today and have been thinking about where the past year of my life went and where the next year might take me.

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In my 28th year of life I…

  • Read a lot. Seriously. Even with reading slumps I was able to crush it. My reading tastes have been changing, which has been both fun and frustrating. Learning to roll with it and take it as it comes.
  • Saw the Pacific Ocean! I went to visit my sister out in California for her grad school graduation. While there I tried lots of different foods, wandered around, saw Pawnee City Hall, soaked up some rays at the beach (before the clouds came and it actually got a little cool), hiked the Hollywood sign, and was just a tourist in general. It was so much fun.
  • I ran! I never thought that I would run. Ever. My shin splints have been terrible in the past and I had a doctor legitimately tell me to not run because they were near stress fractures. I was getting frustrated, not necessarily because I wanted to run long distances but because I didn’t like that I wasn’t able to. That and my husband and friend were doing so much running and I just felt useless. With the right shoes and the right training I have been able to run some 5ks, and have done way better than I had anticipated.
  • I have taken in local sports. No, not the Packers. Forget that. Never happening. But I did get to go to some more local baseball games and hockey games. It’s been a lot of fun exploring this area more and seeing what it has to offer.
  • I went to Northern Minnesota for Thanksgiving. And when I say Northern Minnesota I basically mean Canada. We spent some time up there with my husband’s family. Was a pretty good time.
  • I went further into my Christmas spirit and made my own gingerbread houses for fun. The night itself was a little interesting, but it was fun and I do have some good memories from that evening.
  • I went to my first ever show! Last weekend I was able to see Les Miserables and it was gorgeous and I cried. So wonderful, despite the woman sitting next to me that seemed to try everything she could to ruin it.
  • I found time to dedicate to my health. Once I made the switch I honestly have been shocked at how much better my life has been. I have more energy. I’m happier (mostly). I love being active. Who woulda thunk it?
  • I had many adventures with my husband and close friend. Camping, sporting events, trying new restaurants, movie nights…we’ve had many a good time this past year. So so fortunate to have them in my life.
  • I had the best sandwich in the world. Seriously. It was delicious. And I figured it would be much appreciated if I listed it as one of the highlights of my 28th year of life.

 

So, what’s to come before I turn 30!? (eep! I turn 30! I’ve been waiting my whole life for my golden birthday!):

  • READ! Obviously I am going to try my best to read all the things I can get my hands on. And try to get on here more. I am a slacker, and that’s gotta change.
  • Bucket list concert. I AM GOING TO SEE JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE IN SEPTEMBER! I am incredibly excited!
  • Half Marathon. Yes, you read that correctly. I signed up for my first ever half marathon. I am terrified. I am excited. I am all over the place with this one, but I think it’ll be good. My goal? Finish the race.
  • Chicago weekend. My husband and I will be taking a mini-vacation in the Chicago area since we really don’t live that far away. I’m getting pretty excited. I honestly can’t remember the last time it’s been a getaway for just the two of us.
  • More shows! The Lion King will be performed her beginning of next year and I am ready to sell a kidney for tickets. In general I really did enjoy watching a show live (no shocker there, I just never had the chance) so I am really hoping that I can make this one work.
  • Travel. I want to travel. I honestly find I have the travel bug. I went to California last year, so I am hoping to find somewhere to go this year. I am also hopeful that my husband can come with me. It just seems to never work out that way.

Obviously that’s not all that I want to do over the next year. Some are more personal goals. Some are things I don’t want to talk about until they actually happen. But I am really wanting to make this next year awesome. I have ideas. I have plans. And I am going to make it happen.

So here it is. Let’s do this 29!

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emily

 

If We Were Having Tea (3)

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I have seen this post many times over at Jamie’s page (The Perpetual Page Turner) and have always wanted to give it a shot. I think it’s fun, personable, and a great way to kind of get to know one another. So, with it being a new year I thought why not give it a shot? But there will be a bit of a difference…we won’t be having coffee. Instead I will be having tea.

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If we were having tea…

  • I would tell you I am still rocking that chapter of War and Peace each day. I have been SLOWLY reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X, which is very good but definitely something I am taking my time with. Other than that I am not really reading a lot, which is too bad. What are you reading?
  • I would tell you I ran my first race of the year. It went pretty well, even though it was a low key race. I ran the fastest I ever have and I had a really great time. The weather was awesome too, so that helps. Do you have any races or events coming up?giphy
  • I would tell you that I just signed up for my first ever half marathon! AHHHHHHH! I am both excited and terrified because I never in a million years thought I would run even a 5k and now I’m signed up to run an extra 10 miles after that. It’s one of my goals for this year and I have plenty of time to train for it. How are your 2018 goals coming?
  • I would tell you that I am struggling with a co-worker at work. In general, this person is kind of creepy and is lacking a lot of social cues. I am trying SO SO hard to be polite and kind, but it’s becoming work. I honestly can’t handle it. Should be noted his creepiness is probably not intentional, and I am trying SO hard to not cause any more drama in a department that has had a rough year. What do you do when you are struggling with a coworker?tenor
  • I would tell you that I am STILL struggling with this whole blogging thing. Life has been stressful and I am definitely letting it get in the way. But I am trying. I have a list of ideas, I just need to sit and actually crank some stuff out (besides this post…but honestly…I love this post). How do you get back into routines?
  • I would tell you how excited I am for the weather to FINALLY be warming up. It hasn’t been a snowy winter here, but it seems that after it melts and warms up we get dumped on all over again. I am really tired of scraping off my car and am in need of more outdoor activities! Are you looking forward to the weather warming up?giphy1
  • I would tell you that I am counting down the days til spring break. My big plans…LIBRARY BOOKS! I plan on spending my days reading because I can’t really afford to go anywhere. I am pretty excited. Do you have any breaks coming up with big plans?
  • I would tell you that I’m off to the theater this weekend! I am so excited to take in my first ever show, and the fact that it’s Les Miserables is even better. Have you been to a show (and which ones if you have)?92ea265ce3eefd3719b31fdf73be921f

That’s all I have for today. Until next tea time all!

emily

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My Spring TBR

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Hey everyone! I had taken a little hiatus from Top Ten Tuesday but now I am back! (yay! Yipee!! *thrown confetti*) Life has been busy but I missed doing this list every Tuesday and decided to hop back into it this week. With Easter almost upon us, (already have been eating those delicious peanut butter eggs) that means spring is in the air and time to figure out our TBR for this coming season! So here is a list of ten books I want to read this spring!

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir |  Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo | Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young | Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas | Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff | Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff | The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden | Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith | Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens | The Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

arika

3 Reasons to Read: Reign the Earth by A. C. Gaughen

Reign the EarthShalia is a proud daughter of the desert, but after years of devastating war with the adjoining kingdom, her people are desperate for peace. Willing to trade her freedom to ensure the safety of her family, Shalia becomes Queen of the Bonelands.

But she soon learns that her husband, Calix, is motivated only by his desire to exterminate the Elementae—mystical people who can control earth, wind, air, and fire. Even more unsettling are Shalia’s feelings for her husband’s brother, which unleash a power over the earth she never knew she possessed—a power that could get her killed. As rumors of a rebellion against Calix spread, Shalia must choose between the last chance for peace and her own future as an Elementae.

This intense, richly drawn high-fantasy by the author of Scarletwill hold readers spellbound.

Add to your Goodreads | Buy the Book | About the Author

5/5 Stars ★★★

First reactions after finishing this book:

applause

girl power

i want more gif

Wow, just wow! I’ve been waiting for awhile for another book by A.C. Gaughen and this book definitely didn’t disappoint. There is just something about Gaughen’s writing that I just love and she just pulls me into her stories. I was hooked in the first chapter and loved the journey that we started with Shalia. So here are my 3 reasons why you need to read this awesome book!

  1. Strong female character: I really enjoyed Shalia and her personality. I felt connected with her on a personal level in that she is a women who wants peace and likes to be involved in the peace making. She wasn’t one to sit back and let events unfold. She wanted to be there on the front lines helping her people, whether they were a part of the desert or her new country. Shalia was, I feel, like a lot of women today who are strong and amazing but still have doubts on the inside. She would question herself on things (especially with some of the darker topics of this book) where we as women know its wrong but think that things will change. I thought that Gaughen showed real character growth with Shalia on that side of the story.
  2. Magic: I really love stories with elemental magic. There is just something about earth, wind, water and fire magic that appeals to me. I feel that Gaughen did an amazing job of explaining how the magic worked for Shalia and other Elementae and it wasn’t just there. Some books it seems that they throw the magic into the story without actually thinking it through. But the elemental magic here was so beautifully interwoven with Shalia and her story that I almost wish I was an Elementae too.
  3. Journey: While this book is just the start of the journey for Shalia, I feel that these first steps are just the beginning in what is going to be a wild story. The journey here is not only a physical journey for Shalia but also an emotional one. Moving away from family and the only people she has known in her life can’t be easy. But she also is experiencing marriage and taking an emotional journey that in the end is a darker one than I expected at first when I started the book. It is an important story to be told especially in today’s times but I think Gaughen did a great job taking us through the good and bad times of Shalia’s journey of finding peace for her people and herself.

Overall I gave this book 5/5 stars for a great start to what I am sure will be an awesome series about one women’s journey to find peace for her family, friends, and her people, no matter if they are like her or not. I definitely recommend picking this book up for sure! Such a good read and one that you will fly through!

arika

Emily here! I also read this book and I have a few things to add about this FANTASTIC book. My star rating is the same as Arika’s, and my reactions are definitely similar (because I am so ready for more)! This is the first fantasy in a long time that I picked up and found myself completely entranced with the world. Should be no shock that AC Gaughen was the one to help me find some much needed fantasy (FAVORITE AUTHOR ALERT). So, what 3 reasons would I give you for reading this book…

  1. A story about an overcomer. Shalia is not dealt an easy hand. She is forced into a marriage to a man she doesn’t know and she finds herself in some tough situations. People try to take advantage of her, they knock her down, they abuse her. As the Queen she is a target constantly, and all the while trying to do something for this land she knows nothing about. Her body changes, her mind changes, everything changes and honestly…I would be overwhelmed. Even with all of these issues she continues to fight her fight. She doesn’t let these issues drag her down and keep her away from her goals and her purpose. She is the overcomer I needed to read about.
  2. Girl Power! Ok, let’s be real…Shalia is kind of a badass. As I have already said, she doesn’t let her life drag her down. But the strength and courage that she shows when she faces challenges…unreal. This doesn’t mean that you never see her slip or falter. This doesn’t mean that you don’t see her doubt. It means that you see her take those feelings and use it for a better purpose. She is strong. She is courageous. She is a fighter for her people. She never ever forgets what truly matters.
  3. A fantastic world with some dark truths. I was head over heels in love with this world. When I was reading it I was going through some things (and still am going through said things) and it was the escape I needed. I was transported to the Bonelands and beyond. I was among these people. I swam in the lake, I ran through the desert. It was a world I truly fell in love with. This doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have bad moments. Oh my gosh there are so many real world moments in here (abuse, etc) that I was not expecting at all. Many times this book took a turn much darker than I was anticipating. But because of the main character, because of her support, I continued to believe in this world and to fall for it.

All in all, I loved this story. I don’t know what it is about Gaughen’s writing that gets me, but she so does and I was immediately there and never wanting to leave. If you are looking for another strong ass female to add to your TBR, make it Shalia. Get lost in this world just like we did.

emily