New Self-Published eBooks: July 31- August 6

Hey, everyone!

Happy Harry Potter book release day! (And Happy Birthday, Harry!)

I went with a friend to Barnes and Noble and snatched up my copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child today and haven’t really come up for air since I got it. I’m on the final act and am trying to take a moment to breath and eat dinner lol

How about you guys? Have you been lucky enough to have time to get the book today? I feel like a kid again- just reading through the book in a single sitting while it rains and pours outside and the house is quiet with naps and the sound of the Harry Potter movie marathon in the background (I mean… it’s only fitting lol). Jay is under the weather, poor guy, so I’ve gotten him some medicine and he’s just sleeping the day away with the little kitties.

And good news, too, on the furball front! They’re basically inseparable now and I’ve even caught Mr. Meow cleaning Taco multiple times over the past two days. We have little cat trees that they like to sit on next to each other and watch the squirrels outside- it’s an amazing change from what it was a month and a half ago. We finally feel comfortable keeping them out all day together, but we still separate them while we are off at work or out of the house. They tend to get into tussles… Meow doesn’t know how to play yet lol

Well… I must admit… I really want to get back to reading The Cursed Child, so I am going to end this post a little bit short 🙂 I have an awesome TBR post coming up for you guys on Tuesday- I can’t wait to show you guys what books I have in store for August. I’ve gotten some fantastic suggestions that I want to review for you guys and genuinely can’t wait to get to reading them!

Here’s this week’s upcoming publications! Read on, my happy HP friends 🙂 Let me know how far you are in the book! Or do you plan on getting it? The whole screenplay format is a bit uncommon and I’m curious if you guys like the idea/like how it reads/have read any screenplays before.

Talk to you all soon!!!

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Wizards Quest Tales by D Glenn Casey available July 31, 2016

The Kamiri Born: Chronicles of Mehlis (#2) by DL Kramer available July 31, 2016

Mountain of Lies by Raquel Lyon available July 31, 2016

Lion Tamer by Lashell Collins available July 31, 2016

Soleil (#3) by Jacqueline Garlick available July 31, 2016

The Angel of Death by Elicia Hyder available July 31, 2016

Under the Weeping Tree by TN Davis available August 1, 2016

Heroes of Terisca (#2) by Natalie Miles available August 1, 2016

An Inconsequential Life (#2) by Ryan TA Campbell available August 1, 2016

Abnormal by EB Rockwell available August 1, 2016

Before (#2) by Samantha Gregory available August 1, 2016

The Book of Ominiue: Starborn by DM Barnham available August 1, 2016

Caught in the Ripples by S McPherson available August 1, 2016

Ciro Saga, Book One: Hunted by Kevin H Woodside available August 1, 2016

Daughter of the Red Planet by Kim Iverson available August 1, 2016

Disinhibition (#2) by MJ Carlson available August 1, 2016

Dre’s Legend (#3) by Wanda Corsaro available August 1, 2016

Blood Fire by NE Riggs available August 1, 2016

Broken by Josephine Templeton available August 1, 2016

The Broken God by Sabrina Flynn available August 1, 2016

Liberty by Alasdair Shaw available August 1, 2016

Worlds on Fire by Edward Punales available August 2, 2016

The Vanished World (#2) by Mark Knight available August 2, 2016

Midnight Sky (#2) by Amy Braun available August 2, 2016

Support Your Local Mosnter Hunter by Dennis Liggio available August 2, 2016

Outcast Journeys by Tracy Falbe available August 2, 2016

Claimed Undead by Lee Ayala available August 2, 2016

The Well Below the Valley by Katherine Lampe available August 2, 2016

The 24 Hourlies by Gaja J Kos available August 2, 2016

Torven by AJ Maguire available August 2, 2016

Beyond the Divide by SJ Callahan available August 2, 2016

Project Umschreiben: A Sparrow in Time by Wally Young available August 3, 2016

Marcii by Ross Turner available August 3, 2016

Two Percent Power: Delivering Justice by Brian Manning available August 3, 2016

Escalation (#2) by Olivia Rising available August 3, 2016

Cerulean Rust (#2) by William Jackson available August 3, 2016

Spirelli Paranormal Investigations by Kate Baray available August 3, 2016

Raindropt 2: No Place Like Gnome by Deena Byrne available August 4, 2016

Castaways of the Lost Star by C Litka available August 4, 2016

Deicide by Kathryn Andrews available August 5, 2016

Abominable by Alan Nayes available August 5, 2016

Allister’s Calling by Addison Sherell available August 5, 2016

Dead Highways: Regrets (#4) by Richard Brown available August 5, 2016

The Path of Peace by Mike Shelton available August 5, 2016

The Long Cold Ride by Jesse Gray available August 6, 2016

A God in Humaita by Joel Puga available August 6, 2016

The Harvest Moon by David Neth available August 6, 2016

The Ballerina’s Gift by Rachelle MN Shaw available August 6, 2016

 

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The Broken God by Sabrina Flynn available August 1, 2016

Sorceress of Atlanti by Philip Blood available August 1, 2016

Daughter of the Red Planet by Kim Iverson available August 1, 2016

Broken by Josephine Templeton available August 1, 2016

The 24 Hourlies by Gaja J Kos available August 2, 2016

I, Human (#5) by Vito Veii available August 2, 2016

Worlds on Fire by Edward Punales available August 2, 2016

Outcast Journeys by Tracy Falbe available August 2, 2016

Pirates by Paul Kater available August 2, 2016

The Well Below the Valley by Katherine Lampe available August 2, 2016

Spirelli Paranormal Investigations (#5) by Kate Baray available August 3, 2016

Dark Consort by Jay Erickson available August 3, 2016

To Earth and Back by William Boardman available August 4, 2016

Abominable by Alan Nayes available August 4, 2016

The First Soul by WJ Cherf available August 5, 2016

Collapsing Worlds by ML Steele available August 5, 2016

A God in Humaita by Joel Puga available August 6, 2016

 

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Daughter of the Red Planet by Kim Iverson available August 1, 2016

Broken by Josephine Templeton available August 1, 2016

Worlds on Fire by Edward Punales available August 2, 2016

I, Human (#5) by Vito Veii available August 2, 2016

The Well Below the Valley by Katherine Lampe available August 2, 2016

The 24 Hourlies by Gaja J Kos available August 2, 2016

Outcast Journeys by Tracy Falbe available August 2, 2016

Pirates by Paul Kater available August 2, 2016

Spirelli Paranormal Investigations (#5) by Kate Baray available August 3, 2016

Dare to Pair: Curry Chicken and Sauvignon Blanc

Hi my wino loving friends!

Spring is upon us and that, to me, heralds in the beautiful white wines and the soft roses from around the world. I’ve been craving crisp white wine since the sun started shining, and yet with the constant switch in weather, I feel like we’ve all been on our toes, wondering when summer is actually going to hit.

This sort of give and take, push and pull, of the seasons and the weather inspired me to find a very uncommon sort of wine pairing for you guys. Not only in food flavor, but also in wine choice.

This led me down a long, winding path to a favorite recipe inspired by an exotic find I stumbled upon at Whole Foods. With the harsh chill of the rain and the occasional shining sun, I decided to go for a Thai inspired dinner but wanted to make it somewhat easy and comforting in this gloomy season. So, with the help of the Hot For Food Blog (a great vegan couple who make some aMAzing recipes), I decided to make a curry chicken sandwich and, with its varied and intricate flavors, determined it would pair beautifully with a sauvignon blanc.

Now, I have to admit, I am not a sauvignon blanc fan. Sauvi’s are typically very crisp, light, and dry, and their flavor profiles can either range from grassy and sort of pungent to citrusy and tropical. I have an issue with this because I love American wines and sometimes tend to buy those more than the old world wines, but American sauvi’s are just so so citrusy and acidic. I have had a hard time pairing them with any foods that I personally enjoy… but this is probably due to the fact that I don’t even like drinking them on their own. They aren’t aged typically, and especially not in oak barrels (usually stainless steel if anything). I’m going to have to start venturing into French Sancerre and Loire whites (which are typically Sauvignon blanc)… Maybe that’ll be a good learning experience for us all 🙂 would you guys be interested in wine comparisons with food? Hmmmm….

However

I found this beautiful, organic and vegan-friendly, Las Mulas Sauvignon Blanc from Chile. Chile! I was so excited to find something that wasn’t American, was organic, and vegan. I have had a good run with New Zealand sauvignon blancs (Matua is a great brand, and their pinot noir is phenomenal), but I couldn’t stop myself when I discovered this Las Mulas wine.


Paired together, the spicy paprika and curry in the chicken tasted so good with the wine. I was so surprised! The wine was grassy and not at all citrusy (SUCCESS!), so it balanced the food perfectly. I also put sprouts on the sandwich and I think that gave the wine a nice little complement as well. And I’m so happy the curry was mixed in with vegan mayo, because that bit of creaminess completely negated any acidity in the wine. I kept the raisins out of the recipe (because I honestly don’t like them lol) and I think that’s a good idea when you drink something so, so dry. Keep your food in the same sweetness group as your wines, just an FYI. There’s a reason (amongst many) why ice wines are best with dessert and why chardonnays go great with salads.

I would absolutely recommend a nice, easy drinking afternoon, pretending it’s sunny out with your comfort food and your elegant sauvignon blanc.

Let’s just cross our fingers and have another sip, hoping summer gets here soon!

Recipe:

2.5 cups “chicken” (I used Tofurky chicken strips, but the Beyond Meat ones are way better!)

1/2 cup vegan mayo

1/2 cup celery

1/2 cup onion (I used this instead of raisins 😛 )

2 tsp olive oil

1 tsp curry

1/4 tsp paprika

salt and pepper to taste

Assemble with sprouts and tomato on thick whole grain bread. Serve with a glass of Las Mulas and enjoy 🙂

T5W: Unlikeable Characters

“How to Make Friends and Alienate People”

Oh wait… that’s not this week’s topic…

But I definitely think that’s what this week’s topic is going to do lol

People get possessive about their favorite and most hated characters. It becomes like a “love to hate” scenario in which it consumes you when you find a character that you just loathe. It’s even more fun when the character wasn’t written to be unlikeable, they just kinda are. You find that anti-personality that just speaks to you on some level and you immediately dislike them.

At least, that’s how I feel 😉

The following five characters were written as honest representations of a protagonist and weren’t written to make the audience dislike them… I honestly feel like some authors don’t expect their audiences to hate these characters so much, but just kind of go with it in a “that’s what I meant to do” kind of way.

Anyway, here are the top 5 characters that I find are the most unintentionally unlikeable characters in fantasy/fiction.

  1. Kvothe from The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
  2. Quintin from The Magicians by Lev Grossman
  3. Jake from The Silent Land by Graham Joyce
  4. Tally from Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
  5. Eragon from Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Now. I really hope we can stay friends.

Listing these characters isn’t a reflection of what I think of the book (though to be honest I dislike more than half of these books as it is), but just that I truly think that the characters weren’t written well, were weak characters, or were author wish fulfillment. Kvothe and Quintin are THE TWO most detested characters I’ve ever read and I can’t stand them. But that’s not being said that I haven’t finished their respective series- I like to know what I’m talking about when I say I dislike something.

Jake and Tally were just weak and unlikeable because of their character traits. Even in the later books, Tally has no personal contribution to anything- she just does what she has to do and is a miserable sack of anger the whole time she’s doing it. She really made the series more annoying than it already was (I love you Scott Westerfeld, but not this series). And Jake was redeemable by the end of this piece of horror/fiction, but he really really annoyed me. He was just genuinely a shitty person/partner/husband for the most part.

And Eragon… oh goodness… even before the poor movie came out I couldn’t stand his holier-than-thou attitude after the Elven transformation. In the fourth book he kind of realizes his faults, but he doesn’t do anything active to change it… I genuinely liked the rest of the characters more than I liked him. Even Saphira…

Ugh.

I just spent too much time focusing on “people” that I despise.

You know that feeling you get when you dwell on the bad things and toxic people in your life? I’m sitting in that pool of sallow sentiments and desperately need a pick-me-up. I’m going to go grab some chocolate and read Harry Potter.

Check out the Top 5 Wednesday Goodreads Group Page if you feel like checking out the awesome group of bloggers and booktubers who participate!

Until next time!

Live,

Morgan Paige

Debut Novel Review: Red Right Hand by Levi Black (RELEASED TODAY)

Hey all!

Red Right Hand is a novel debuting today! Written by Levi Black, this novel is an awesome, dark fantasy set in the Cthulu Mythos and follows the adventures of a wild female lead named Charlie. If you like deeply disturbing fight scenes/gore and quick-witted dialogue this is the novel for you.

 

I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. For more info on my Ratings, please look at the Rating Guide in the menu above.

 

Title: Red Right Hand

Author: Levi Black

Length: 304 pages

Published by: Tor Books

Summary: Charlie Tristan Moore isn’t a hero. She’s a survivor. On a night when her demons from the past are triggered, she arrives home to something even more harrowing-an attack by three monstrous skinhounds, creatures straight out of nightmares. She fights but is outmatched. Just as hope seems lost, in sweeps The Man In Black, a rescuer even more monstrous and unlikely, dressed in a long, dark coat that seems to have a life of its own and with a black-bladed sword held in his terrible, red right hand.

Her rescue comes at a cost. She must become his new Acolyte and embrace a dark magick she never knew she had inside her. To ensure she gives it her all, he takes her friend and possible love, Daniel, in thrall as a hostage to her obedience. The Man in Black, a Lovecraftian chaos god, claims to be battling his brethren gods, other horrors who are staging an incipient apocalypse. But is he truly the lesser of all evils or merely killing off the competition? Either way, will Charlie be strong enough to save herself, Daniel, and possibly the entire world?

Impression: Charlie, Charlotte to none, is a character so broken by her past that she is an aimless, hot-headed mess when she first comes into contact with The Man in Black. She radiates instability and recklessness, and slowly throughout the storyline the audience learns more about why she is the way that she is.

Stuck fighting for her (ex?) boyfriend Daniel’s life, she must also come to terms with the very real possibility that her own choices and decisions will hurt the family and loved ones she left behind. I liked reading this book from Charlie’s POV, mostly because it takes such a visceral story and makes it incredibly emotionally-charged. I swear- there are some truly nauseating scenes in this novel that Black makes even more disturbing through Charlie’s narration. It makes for some amazingly descriptive scenes that will leave you cringing and biting your knuckles.

The story is fast-paced and I really loved the nod to modern day pop culture and the Lovecraft Cthulu Mythos. I am such a sucker for Lovecraft. I’m glad that Black didn’t try to write in the style that Lovecraft did, too, and instead built his own world out of the Mythos. It did kind of irk me when the monsters weren’t exactly true to the cult classic. However, take that criticism with a grain of salt- that’s the uber nerd in me rearing its ugly head.

I’m going to give this novel 4 feather pens for its incredibly high quality of writing and sheer level of enjoyment throughout. There were a few loose ends that I wish had been tied up (minor spoiler– I just don’t understand how The Man in Black could evade Charlie’s roommates through the whole book… magick?). But there is a second installment to the series coming out, so maybe those roommates and Charlie’s elusive family will make an appearance. I’m quite interested in learning more about Jackson and Charlie’s mother… and of course, Daniel!

 

WARNING:

This novel does contain elements and themes about rape and surviving a sexual attack. If this is a trigger or a sensitive topic, please do not consider reading this novel.

 

Rating:

 

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New Self-Published eBooks: July 24-30

Hey friends!

I have a confession to make. I’m a huge horror fan, and I’ve never, until today, seen The Blair Witch Project

I am a huge fan of modern, classic, trashy, humorous, speculative, myth-based horror and haven’t even thought of this movie until my bf brought it up. I can’t BELIEVE what I was missing!

It was a total 90s throwback, and after growing up in Massachusetts in the middle of nowhere I couldn’t help but wish I had seen this when I was a teen. Instead of fan girling, I would have been scared out of my pants.

I’m on a total wilderness horror kick, too, which can be seen in the books I’m reading, stories I’m writing, and movies (apparently) I’m watching. I’ve been looking up a ton of localized mythology, too, like Scandinavian forest ghasts. Do you guys find this kind of genre scary? I know some people think it’s slow, but that’s the kind of terror that really appeals to your instincts 🌳🌔

There aren’t that many horror novels on this weeks list of new releases, but there are some good debut novels that have recently come out in-store. Let me know if you’re interested in hearing about the ones I’ve found!

Here we go 😊

Rise of the Dreamer by (#3) by L Higgins available July 24, 2016

Queen of Magic by Haley Nicole available July 25, 2016 

Betrayal Society Lost (#2) by Steven Bird available July 25, 2016

Red: The Untold Story by Angela M Hudson available July 25, 2016

A Faded Star by Michael Freeport available July 25, 2016

Allazar’s The Coursers: Daughter of the Flood by Chrishaun Keller-Hanna available July 25, 2016

The Salvager by Allen Donnelly available July 25, 2016

Kalla’s Symphony by Amber Morant available July 26, 2016

The Lunar Conspiracy by Albert C Kromer available July 26, 2016

Thunder Road by Sierra Dean available July 26, 2016

Nightingale Girl by MR Pritchard available July 26, 2016

Marking Territory (#2) by Daniel Potter available July 26, 2016

The Copernicus Deception (#15) by TR Harris available July 26, 2016

Innisgarbh by Rauri McCallion available July 27, 2016

Dragons Found by M Kay Lee available July 27, 2016 

Nyssa Glass and the Cutpurse Kid by HL Burke available July 27, 2016

Migration by Daniel David available July 28, 2016

Revolution in Time (#10) by Monique Martin available July 28, 2016

Zardoc: Castaway Island (#2) by Paco Jones available July 29, 2016

Maythorn’s Wish by Emily Larkin available July 29, 2016

Earth and Lunar Dreaming by CM Simpson available July 29, 2016

Planetfall by JA Sutherland available July 29, 2016

Stefan by Jocelynn Drake available July 29, 2016

Firefly of Immortality by Kasey Hill available July 29, 2016 

The Augmented (#5) by Peter James West available July 29, 2016

Dangerous Metal by Mariah Avix available July 29, 2016

Chosen by A Bernette available July 29, 2016

Sworn to War (#9) by Terah Edun available July 29, 2016

The Vorkian by Nirina Stone available July 30, 2016

Passage to Glory by JR Lawrence available July 30, 2016

Before I Shatter by Mandy Peterson available July 30, 2016

Wonderland by Emory R Frie available July 30, 2016

Warcaster by JC Staudt available July 30, 2016

Stormblaze by Kat Bonham available July 30, 2016

Insurrection (#3) by Arshad Ahsanuddin available July 30, 2016

Songs of the Osirian by Christopher D Abbott available July 30, 2016

Sorceress Rising (#2) by Lisa Blackwood available July 30, 2016

Hell or High Water (#3) by Hailey Edwards available July 30, 2016

The Randolph Family Saga (#3) by Patricia Leslie available July 27, 2016

Metafictional Metaphysics by Sandipan Datta available July 28, 2016

Death Blinks (#8) by Tamara Rose Blodgett available July 28, 2016

The Enemy you Know by Cate Dean available July 28, 2016

Gates to the Realm (#2) by Junko An available July 29, 2016

Zardoc: Castaway Island (#2) by Paco Jones available July 29, 2016

Earth and Lunar Dreaming by CM Simpson available July 29, 2016

The Augmented (#5) by Peter James West available July 29, 2016

Dangerous Metal by Mariah Avix available July 29, 2016

Warcaster by JC Staudt available July 30, 2016 

Insurrection (#3) by Arshad Ahsanuddin available July 30, 2016 

 

Earth and Lunar Dreaming by CM Simpson available July 29, 2016

The Augmented by Peter James West available July 29, 2016

Gates to the Realms: The Traveller by Junko An available July 29, 2016

Insurrection by Arshad Ahsanuddin available July 30, 2016

 

Vegan Food and Wine Pairing: Rose and Nicoise Salad

Hey, foodies!

So to break up the monotony of this hot summer weather, I decided to kind of go with the flow and find something light and refreshing to eat while I was relaxing with one of my Summer Reads. It was a hot, muggy day when I felt my stomach rumble and thought “Well, I’m only in the mood for a salad,” but I didn’t want a boring kind of thrown-together salad. Besides, salads are so easy to pair with wine (Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio are staples) and I wanted a bit of a challenge.

So I found this recipe over at Minimalist Baker called a Vegan Nicoise Salad. I’m a sucker for French recipes (it’s the francaise in me, I’m guessing) and was so, so excited to have something different to eat and plan for. I have never had butter lettuce, so this was actually a really fun recipe to make and the homemade dressing has become a household favorite.

I paired this with potato salad (instead of putting the potatoes on the salad itself) and made my guy some ribs. Together we ate with some glasses of Rosé from Charles and Charles. Enchante, if you please.

 The recipe for the salad was super easy:


1 Head Butter Lettuce

Nicoise Olives (I used Greek because for some reason my grocery store doesn’t carry Nicoise…???)

Cherry Tomatoes

Chickpeas (mashed with Dill, Maple Syrup, and Mustard… seriously, SO SO good!!! This is to replace the tuna in typical Nicoise salads)

Green Beans (boiled real quick to take out the rawness)

And the special Homemade dressing (click on the link above for the ingredients- it’s incredible)

 

I paired this with a Rosé thinking that maybe, just maybe, it’ll pair well with the chickpeas. Rosé’s go great with fish, so I thought- tuna is usually too strong for a Rosé, so it should work well with something milder but just as hearty (chickpeas), right?

Funnily enough, the Rosé paired best with the ribs that night. It’s sweet, strawberry flavors brought out the sweetness of the BBQ sauce. Paired with the salad, the wine had some good, light flavors to it, but the acidity in the dressing brought out the acidity in the wine. It made it kinda pucker-y which isn’t a good thing…

The wine, overall, was a beautiful, light, fruity wine that had a ton of flavor on its own. I would totally drink this wine again and make this salad again, but not pair them together. This salad would have paired better with a Chardonnay for sure- to cut that acidity and balance out the creamy butter lettuce. I really think that would have been a better pairing.

But, we live and learn! And I genuinely think you guys should try out the recipe on Minimalist Baker. They are an amazing power-couple running that site and they have some brilliant recipes.

Summer is the perfect time for Rosés, so I think I’ll try another pairing just to see what happens! What do you guys think? Are you guys super into these dinner recipes or do you want me to work on some dessert/dessert wine pairings, too?

And as always, until next time my reading winos!

Live,

Morgan Paige

Self-Published eBook Review: Genetic Drift by Martin Schulte

Hey everyone!

For those of you who love dystopian, futuristic worlds and scifi novels, boy do I have a review for you! This book review covers a recently self-published scifi novel full of aliens, futuristic body modification, telepathy, and military precision. If this kind of novel interests you, read on for a spoiler-free review of Genetic Drift!

 

This ARC was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest book review. All opinions are my own and are unbiased. For more information about the rating system, please see my Rating page.

 

Title: Genetic Drift

Author: Martin Schulte

Pages: 341

Platform: Kindle

Summary: An alien civilization, by virtue of its dying star, is forced to find a new planet. After 400,000 years, they locate Earth and begin to orbit. Are they friend or are they foe? The question is answered one night as life as we knot it is permanently changed. The survivors have to find a way to defend themselves from a superior alien force.

The aliens though, are not as they seem. Their bodies have been transformed by the same organism developed to endure the long voyage through space.

In order to turn the tides of war, the survivors must nravel the mystery of how this organism affexts its hosts and how to harness its power. One girl has lost nine months of her life but is saved from her captors. Can Madison find a way to use what is inside of her to stop the alien force? If she learns how to use her newfound abilities, she just might…

Impression: Martin Schulte is an author of ambitious scope and tackled a challenging universe when he set out to write Genetic Drift. Written with a large role of very dynamic and intriguing characters, Genetic Drift is an entertaining and enticing scifi novel. I found myself speeding through the pages in order to finish the story, because Schulte is incredibly adept at writing an intriguing and gripping plot.

The story is a fun one and is reminiscent of old-school science fiction. The story is very black-and-white: fight the bad guys! But, with the introduction of Maddie and her host nanocyte that has implanted in her brain, the story is given a delicate twist of morality- what is right and what is wrong? Who are the actual bad guys here?

I really felt like the plot was entertaining, the pacing was fantastic, and the incredibly strong traits (likable or not) of the characters were refreshing. This proves just how capable Schulte is at writing and how much potential he has in all of his future novels.

The singular thing that took away from reading this story was the choppy narrative. I feel like Schulte is on a brightly lit path to great writing now that he has this novel under his belt, because it took a few chapters until it felt like he was getting into the groove of his writing (it really gets going after page 27, Chapter: DAY ONE). However, the word choice got repetitious and there were a few plot holes that I just couldn’t look away from no matter how much I enjoyed his ability to hook the reader (for example, very minimal spoilers, I don’t understand why the nanocyte in Maddie’s brain was any different from the rest and why it was suddenly independent- the hive mind theme was such a great idea, but I feel like it kind of fell apart next to Maddie’s incredibly strong will and stubbornness).

As you guys know, I look for two things when I review: writing quality and enjoyment. This was one of the harder reviews I’ve ever had to do, because I was interested throughout all of the plot development, but the character inconsistencies, repetition, and the over explanation/telling not showing tendencies really made the story less immersive. Unfortunately, with these glaring problems I had to go with my gut and give this book 3 feather pens. It was really hard for me to decide because I feel like Schulte has a great future ahead of him, but the editor in me couldn’t get past some of the structural and thematic issues in the storytelling… and the fact that this detracts from the novel kind of solidified the decision.

I would recommend reading it, however, for those of you who love traditional, action-oriented and light-hearted scifi. I really think it’s a fun read if you take it at face value and just want something to read for entertainment for the weekend.

 

Pros Cons
Strong/Interesting Traits in Characters (none of them are meek or wishy-washy) Inconsistent Actions (I felt some of the characters acted against their personality)
Action-Packed Repetitive Word Choice
Great Use of Flashbacks Plot Holes

 

Rating:

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T5W: Most Recent Addition to Your Wishlist

Isn’t it true that every self-respecting reader has a HUGE wishlist going? I feel like every week I update my Goodreads to-be-read list to include new books friends and peers are suggesting… and, try as I might, I can’t read as fast as I collect.

This week’s T5W is just a nice, simple, straight-forward list of ONLY FIVE BOOKS on my wishlist. Agh 😀 Good thing Sam and Lainey specified it’s the most recent additions because dang I’d have a hard time listing out some gems for you guys lol

Here’s the most recent books I’ve added to my list that I can’t wait to see in my library!


1. The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis

This book came out at the very end of June and is written by the Managing Editor at Titan Books. Yeah. She’s got some impressive credentials and this is her debut novel! It seems creepy and intelligent and dark… UGH it just seems perfect for my tastes. This novel was also suggested to me by Scott Hawkins when I bothered the shit out of him on Twitter for causing a horrible book hangover with The Library at Mount Char. So, I’m hoping his recommendations are just as on par as his books!


2. Goldenhand by Garth Nix

I’m a fangirl. I can’t help it.

But seriously, I buy all of Nix’s books because I genuinely know I will love everything he writes, and this is the next installment in his mind-blowing Abhorsen series. So I can’t wait to get this on my shelf 😀


3. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling

So, of course need the new HP installation… what kind of wiz kid would I be if I didn’t creepily follow her every book publication?

I ordered the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay, but this book I actually have to go out and order still. It’s supposed to come out on Harry Potter’s birthday (July 31st for you No-Maj’s).

OOO speaking of which, have you guys done the Ilvermorny sorting test on Pottermore.com yet? I may make a post or something because I have an odd sort of kinship with this school- I grew up right down the street from Mount Greylock (the beautiful mountain that Ilvermorny was built on) and my brother still lives there. It’s a ebautiful place and I believe it’s the most perfect site for a magic school in America!


4. The Diviners #3 by Libba Bray

You’re right, this isn’t the real title, but I have no other information for you D:

I’ve been oh-so (im)patiently awaiting this release and also have taken to bothering poor Ms. Bray on social media. Just telling her how much I adore her books, of course… it’s done out of admiration, I swear.

But I seriously can’t wait to plop this next book on my book shelf and my bedside table and my desk and my desk at work and my dining room table… basically her books don’t leave my side.

This one was added more recently because she just started putting out more info on her social media. I JUST CAN’T WAIT!


5. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Woah, where did this come from?

Heh. Well, I just recently read The Virgin Suicides by Eugenides and though it wasn’t my favorite, it still read well and made me curious about his multiple-award winning novel, Middlesex. I have yet to pick it up, but it’s definitely on the list for next time I hit up the bookstore.

Have any of you guys read any of these or any of the books in their series’? I’d love to hear what you guys think about any of them- do you think The Cursed Child is going to be worthwhile? Is Middlesex as thought-provoking as all the reviews say it is? Please let me know what you guys think!

Until Next Time!

Live,

Morgan Paige

New Self-Published eBooks: July 17-23

Happy Sunday, everyone!

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend- I spent mine picking blueberries, writing, cleaning (ugh), and watching as the two kittehs become friends.

So, they’re almost there, which means our lives are almost back to normal, but it’s honestly the most hilarious thing watching them try to play together. Both want to spend time with the other, but dang does our older furball know nothing about being a cat. Pouncing? What is this nonsense? I can practically hear him thinking when the new guy leaps like a gazelle. And then they go running and hide from each other to play some more.

It’s not perfect, because it still devolves into hurt feelings after a while, but it’s definitely getting there.

I’m continuing with my story about the dream catchers, too, but I don’t really have much of an end goal. I have a plot, but how does it end? Usually I know how a story ends, but I feel like I’m approaching this universe as if it were a short story… but I definitely want to make it into something longer and more intricate.

I’m reading a couple more books right now and have an awesome book review planned this coming week- I love reading self-published books, and I really hope you guys are enjoying the self-published ebook reviews. It’s really fun for me to review, and I love getting the word out about these new authors. What kind of genres would you guys like me pursue? I have a lot of scifi in the works, but if I can get my hands on some fantasy and horror, would you guys be interested?

Here’s this weeks self-pubbed ebooks for your reading pleasure!

Until next time!

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TiTAN by MA Roman available July 17, 2016 

Nowhere by Joshua David available July 17, 2016

The Legend of Vanx Malic (#5-7) by MR Mathias available July 17, 2016

Mage Ascension by Christopher George available July 17, 2016

Surface Tension (#2 in the Siren Anthology) by SR Atkinson available July 17, 2016

All Starships Go to Heaven by Jonathan Eric Miller available July 17, 2016

The Extinction Switch (#3 in the Kato’s War series) by Andrew C Broderick available July 17, 2016

Finding Cade by Jessica Cassidy available July 17, 2016

Amethyst by Kayla Curry available July 18, 2016

Al Clark- Thera (#3) by Jonathan G Meyer available July 18, 2016

Magoonagoon by Ashley Hovater available July 19, 2016

Behind Our Walls by Chad A Clark available July 19, 2016

Cole the Sevens by DJ Morand available July 19, 2016

The Gettysburg Cipher by KR Eckert available July 19, 2016

Hope Reborn by Severine Wolf available July 19, 2016

The After Effect by Rose Shababy available July 19, 2016

Fractured Legacy by SJ Callahan available July 19, 2016

To Kill a Sorceror by Greg Mongraine available July 19, 2016 

Perdition by PM Drummon available July 19, 2016

Bastion Saturn by C Chase Harwood available July 19, 2016 

The Song of the Bharatas by Geetha Krishnan available July 20, 2016

Dragon: Desperate Measures by Samuel Bohon available July 20, 2016

Ability (#9 in the To Be Sinclair series) by Eva Caye available July 20, 2016

First Instance by David Gowey available July 20, 2016

Forever Hospital by Nerva Stein available July 20, 2016

Breaking Point by Vikki Romano available July 21, 2016

Thorn the Bounty Hunter by Brom Kearne available July 22, 2016

Sixth Prime by Dan O’Brien available July 22, 2016

Weeping Sky by Caoline Peckham available July 22, 2016

Depart the Darkness (#5 in the House of Bannerman series) by Melissa RL Simonin available July 22, 2016

Clash of Heroes by Craig Halloran available July 22, 2016

Whiskey and Angelfire by AA Chamberlynn available July 22, 2016

Hope: After it Happened by Devon C Ford available July 22, 2016

Children of the Wastes by JC Staudt available July 23, 2016

Leaving Lisa by Jackson Coppley available July 23, 2016

 

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Amethyst by Kayla Curry available July 18, 2016 

Reborn Hope by Severine Wolf available July 19, 2016

The After Effect by Rose Shababy available July 19, 2016

Light of the Sovereign by Nerlson Sack available July 20, 2016

The Naked Path by C Michelle Rodriguez available July 21, 2016 

Whiskey and Angelfire by AA Chamberlain available July 22, 2016

Children of the Wastes by JC Staudt available July 23, 2016

 

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Amethyst by Kayla Curry available July 18, 2016

Whiskey and Angelfire by AA Chamberlynn available July 22, 2016

Debut Book Review: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh (SPOILER-FREE)

Title: The Wrath and the Dawn

Author: Renee Ahdieh

Published by: GP Putnam’s Sons

Length: 388 Pages

Summary: Khalid Ibn al-Rashid is the boy-king, the Caliph of Khorasan, and rules with a monstrous sword. Every dawn, his new wife, the queen, is killed before the sunrise, and the land lives in fear of their mighty king.

Sharzhad al-Khayzuran is a girl who has experienced the hurt of the king’s ways, and after losing her best friend to the Caliph’s deadly ritual, she takes it upon herself to earn retribution for the death of her most treasured friend. Once married, Sharzhad finds that behind the king’s deadly façade is a secret that has been hidden from the kingdom, and despite the ache of revenge, she finds that there is more at stake than she had thought.

While her family hides from the soldiers tracking them and her father grows more powerful in hopes to help his daughter, Sharzhad learns that not only is there more in her heart than revenge, there is more to her power than her strength.

Impression: I was first drawn to this book because of its setting. I’ve been dying to get my hands on more Arabian-themed books, mostly because I am a complete sucker for stories about djinn and for warm, desolate desert settings. It was a bit of a leap for me to trust this story, however, because I am not a huge romance fan. If a book can’t stand on its own without the love story, I feel like it was somewhat of a waste of time… I might as well have read a teenager’s diary.

But, I’m so, so happy to say that this novel has substance to it that goes above and beyond just the romance. There’s magic, beautifully organic friendships, family loyalty, and politics to top it all off. I mean, it is heavily padded by the romance, but what’s so refreshing about it is that the couple, Khalid and Sharzhad, are some of the most intriguing characters I’ve ever read- even without the love story! Sharzhad is such a breath of fresh air, because not only is she confident and strong, but she’s distinctively sharp and intelligent. She can read people and situations, and I feel like a lot of authors who write confident female characters like to make them head-strong and stubborn. Sharzhad definitely has her flaws, but they are flaws that make her unique and fun to read- not annoying or restrictive.

This novel has great pacing- one that is fully appreciated for a romance/fantasy novel. There are no dull moments and even when Khalid and Sharzhad are building their relationship, it feels exciting and anticipatory. The side plots are beautifully wound together as well, and there is a huge diversity in character personalities that makes the story feel cohesive and real.

I wished that there was a bit more conflict while reading, however, especially in terms of their budding relationship- I felt like they came together a little too easily. However, I feel like this may be a result of my brainwashing by other novels- their relationship was organic and natural and they had the most important value in mind when they fell for each other: trust. And that, I believe, is a more important lesson to learn rather than conflict for the sake of conflict. Ahdieh writes poetically and is as engrossing an author as one could hope for. Her style is entirely seductive and is perfectly suited for The Wrath and the Dawn and honestly has broken the mold for me in terms of romance/fantasy novels. I can’t wait to read her next installment, The Rose and the Dagger, which luckily is out now (including some short stories on the Nook).

I’ve given the novel four stars as a great first debut novel. Fantasy lovers will be delighted when they see the many references to mythology and fairy tale favorites, and this will soon become an Arabian favorite in the years to come, I’m sure!

Rating:quill pen ink