book tag · Uncategorized

Seven deadly sins book tag

So I got tagged by the lovely Lucy-May over at Writing with Wolves. Go and check her answers out here.

Without further procrastination here are my answers.

Greed: what is the most expensive book you own? What is the least expensive?

At the moment i would have to say my most expensive is my hardcover copy of A Court of Wings and Ruin. I’ve been on a buying ban while living in the UK and this is one of the only books I bought.

My least expensive is the Lord of the Rings trilogy i got for £3 at the local op shop.

Gluttony: what book or books have you shamelessly devoured many times?

The All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness is one I’ve read over and over. I love it so much.

Sloth: what book or book series have you negelected out of sheer laziness?

The Darker Shade of Magic series by V.E. Schwab. I got the first one from my local library and loved it but I’m too lazy to get the others out and read them.

Pride: what book or books do you bring up when you want to sound like an intellectual reader?

It is very often a classic such as Pride & Prejudice or one of the historical non-fiction books I’ve read.

Lust: what attributes do you find most attractive in characters?

I am a sucker for the tall, dark and handsome type. However if they are tall, dark and dumb it turns me right off. 😂

Envy: what book/s would you most like to receive as a gift?

A leather bound, hardcover exceptionally beautiful set of Harry Potter ❤

Wrath: what author do you have a love/hate relationship with?

I don’t really have a specific author but I do wish that they wouldn’t take a bazillion years to finish a series (I’m looking at you George R. R. Martin!)

And there you go! If you would like to do the tag consider yourselves tagged and let me know in the comments what you think of my answers.

Lizbie x

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blog tour · Uncategorized

Blog Tour: Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope.

Hi everyone! I was really excited to be asked if I would like to be part of the blog tour for this great book.

Title: Song of Blood and Stone

Author: L. Penelope

Publisher: St Martin’s Press

Pages: 384

Published: 1st May 2018

About the book:

A treacherous, thrilling, epic fantasy about an outcast drawn into a war between two powerful rulers.

Orphaned and alone, Jasminda lives in a land where cold whispers of invasion and war linger on the wind. Jasminda herself is an outcast in her homeland of Elsira, where her gift of Earthsong is feared. When ruthless soldiers seek refuge in her isolated cabin, they bring with them a captive–an injured spy who threatens to steal her heart.

Jack’s mission behind enemy lines to prove that the Mantle between Elsira and Lagamiri is about to fall nearly cost him his life, but he is saved by the healing Song of a mysterious young woman. Now he must do whatever it takes to save Elsira and it’s people from the True Father and he needs Jasminda’s Earthsong to do it. They escape their ruthless captors and together they embark on a perilous journey to save Elsira and to uncover the secrets of The Queen Who Sleeps.

Thrust into a hostile society, Jasminda and Jack must rely on one another even as secrets jeopardize their bond. As an ancient evil gains power, Jasminda races to unlock a mystery that promises salvation.

The fates of two nations hang in the balance as Jasminda and Jack must choose between love and duty to fulfill their destinies and end the war.

I have here an exclusive excerpt for you.

☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

CHAPTER TWO

Jackal and Monkey stood at the edge of a wide canyon. Monkey asked, If I leap and make it to the other side, was that my destiny or merely my good luck?
Jackal replied, Our destiny can be taken in hand, molded, and shaped, while chance makes foolishness out of whatever attempts to control it. Does this make destiny the master of luck?
—collected folktales

Jack had found himself in a great many hopeless situations in his life, but this one was the grand champion—a twenty­ two­ year rec­ord for dire occurrences. He only hoped this wouldn’t be the last occurrence and sent up yet another prayer that he might live to see his twenty­third year.

The temperature had dropped precipitously. His spine was as­saulted by the rocky ground on which he lay, but really that was the least of his discomforts.
His vision had begun to swim about an hour ago, and so at first he thought the girl looming above him was a mirage. She peered down at his hiding spot behind a cluster of coarse shrubbery, her head cocked at an angle. Jack went to stand, years of breeding kick­ing in, his muscle memory offended at the idea of not standing in the presence of a lady, but apparently his muscles had forgotten the bullet currently lodged within them. And the girl was Lagrimari— not strictly a lady, but a woman nonetheless—and a beautiful one, he noticed as he squinted into the dying light. Wild, midnight curls floated carelessly around her head, and piercing dark eyes regarded him. Her dress was drab and tattered, but her smooth skin was a confectioner’s delight. His stomach growled. When was the last time he’d eaten?
Her presence meant he was still on the Lagrimari side of the mountain range bordering the two lands and had yet to cross the other, more powerful barrier keeping him from his home of Elsira: the Mantle.
The girl frowned down at him, taking in his bedraggled appear­ance. From his position lying on the ground, he tried his best to smooth his ripped uniform, the green fatigues of the Lagrimari army. Her confusion was apparent. Jack was obviously Elsiran; aside from his skin tone, the ginger hair and golden honey­colored eyes were a dead giveaway. And yet he wore the uniform of his enemy.
“Please don’t be scared,” he said in Lagrimari. Her brows rose toward her hairline as she scanned his supine and bloodied body. Well, that was rather a ridiculous thing to say. “I only meant that I mean you no harm. I . . .” He struggled with how to explain him­ self.

There were two possibilities. She could be a nationalist who would turn him in to the squad of soldiers currently combing the mountain for him, perhaps to gain favor with the government, or she could be like so many Lagrimari citizens, beaten down by the war with no real loyalty to their dictator or his thugs. If she was the former, he was already dead, so he took a chance with the truth.
“You see, I was undercover, spying from within the Lagrimari army. But now there are men looking for me, they’re not far, but . . .” He paused to take a breath; the effort of speaking was draining. He suspected he had several cracked or broken ribs in addition to the gunshot wound. His vision swirled again, and the girl turned into two. Two beautiful girls. If these were his last moments before traveling to the World After, then at least he had something pleas­ant to look at.
He blinked rapidly and took another strained breath. His mis­sion was not complete; he could not die yet. “Can you help me? Please. I’ve got to get back to Elsira.”
She stole an anxious glance skyward before kneeling next to him. Her cool hand moved to his forehead. The simple touch was soothing, and a wave of tension rolled of him.
“You must be delirious.” Her voice was rich, deeper than he’d expected. It eased the harsh consonants of the Lagrimari language, for the first time making it sound like something he could imagine being pleasant to listen to. She worked at the remaining buttons of his shirt, pulling the fabric apart to reveal his ruined chest. Her expression was appraising as she viewed the damage, then sat back on her haunches, pensive.
“It probably looks worse than it is,” he said. “I doubt that.”
Jack’s chuckle sounded deranged to his own ears, so it was no surprise that the girl looked at him askance. He winced—laughing was a bad idea at this point—and struggled for breath again. “The soldiers . . . they’re after me. I have to get back through the Mantle.”

“Shh,” she said, peering closely at him. “Hush all that foolish­ ness; you’re not in your right mind. Though I’ll admit, you speak Lagrimari surprisingly well. I’m not sure what happened to you, but you should save your strength.”
She closed her eyes, and suddenly his whole body grew warmer, lighter. The odd sensation of Earthsong pulsated through him. He had only experienced it once before, and it hadn’t been quite like this. The touch of her magic stroked him intimately, like a brush of fingers across his skin. The soft vibration cascaded over his entire body, leaving him feeling weightless.
He gasped, pulling in a breath, and it was very nearly an easy thing to accomplish. Tears pricked his eyes. “Sovereign bless you.”
Her expression was grave as she dug around in her bag. “It’s just a patch. You must have ticked someone off real good. It’d take quite a while to fix you up properly, and the storm’s coming. You need to find shelter.”
She retrieved a jar filled with a sweet­smelling substance and began spreading it over his wounds. The Earthsong had turned down the volume of his pain, and the cream soothed him even more.
“What is that?”
“Just a balm. Helps with burns, cuts.” Her hand paused for a moment. “Never gunshot wounds, but it’s worth a try.”
He laid his head back on the ground, closing his eyes to savor the ability to breathe deeply again. “A quick rest and I’ll be back on my way. Need to keep moving, though. Need to get back.”
“Back through the Mantle?” Her tone vibrated with skepticism. “And away from the Lagrimari soldiers chasing you?”
“Yes.” Her palm met his forehead again. She thought he was delusional. He wished he was. Wished the last few weeks had been nothing but the imaginings of an impaired mind.

☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

About the Author:

Leslye Penelope has been writing since she could hold a pen and loves getting lost in the worlds in her head. She is an award-winning author of new adult, fantasy, and paranormal romance. She lives in Maryland with her husband and their furry dependents: an eighty-pound lap dog and an aspiring feral cat.

☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek at the book and to read how much I enjoyed this book check out my review here – ARC Book Review: Song of Blood and Stone.

As always hit me up in the comments with any questions.

Lizbie x

Uncategorized

Non-Fiction reading goals

Before I start today’s post I would just like to say a quick hello to my new followers. My little blog has grown from 80 followers to 130 in a bit over 2 weeks and I’m just so happy that you guys are willing to read my ramblings!

❤❤❤THANK YOU ❤❤❤

Now onto today’s post. One of my reading goals this year was to try and read more non-fiction. My Goodreads goal is 150 and I figured that at least 10 of those could be non-fiction.

I do enjoy a good non-fiction book. Usually history related (thanks Mum 😉) but my main problem is that I’m often a mood reader and I will pick up a good read from the non-fiction section and read a bit of it, then I put it down and grab a relatively easier book and forget that I was even reading the other book. By then too I’ve forgotten a little of what I had read so I need a little recap. This has lead me to start taking notes so I can always remember what is happening.

The above picture contains a signed copy of Katherine Swynford by Alison Weir and I love it. If you ever want to read about the woman who loved the Duke of Lancaster and essentially is the ancestor of most royal lines in England – read this book.

History books are among my favourite reads and I really enjoy reading about how people lived and became who they are. Also I like to see what has changed since then and if I’m reading something about the same person but by two different authors it is intriguing to see the different conclusions that they come to and then draw your own conclusions. I tend to gravitate towards books about monarchs usually Tudors and Plantagenets but anything around that time period or anything from the World Wars. My Mum who got me into reading also got me into history and she is always encouraging me to expand my reading boundaries and try something new.

I also quite enjoy biographies as I really enjoy learning about my favourite celebrities or sports people and how they managed to get to where they are now. Some of these are also quite funny and it is interesting to get that insight into what happens behind the scenes.

Anyway if anyone has any suggestions in regards to some non-fiction reads please let me know.

Lizbie x

Book review · Uncategorized

ARC review: Song of Blood and Stone (Earthsinger Chronicles Book 1) by L. Penelope

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ebook. Here is my honest review.

Published: 1st May 2018

Pages: 384

From Goodreads:

A treacherous, thrilling, epic fantasy about an outcast drawn into a war between two powerful rulers.

Orphaned and alone, Jasminda lives in a land where cold whispers of invasion and war linger on the wind. Jasminda herself is an outcast in her homeland of Elsira, where her gift of Earthsong is feared. When ruthless soldiers seek refuge in her isolated cabin, they bring with them a captive–an injured spy who threatens to steal her heart.

Jack’s mission behind enemy lines to prove that the Mantle between Elsira and Lagamiri is about to fall nearly cost him his life, but he is saved by the healing Song of a mysterious young woman. Now he must do whatever it takes to save Elsira and it’s people from the True Father and he needs Jasminda’s Earthsong to do it. They escape their ruthless captors and together they embark on a perilous journey to save Elsira and to uncover the secrets of The Queen Who Sleeps.

Thrust into a hostile society, Jasminda and Jack must rely on one another even as secrets jeopardize their bond. As an ancient evil gains power, Jasminda races to unlock a mystery that promises salvation.

The fates of two nations hang in the balance as Jasminda and Jack must choose between love and duty to fulfill their destinies and end the war.

Where do even begin with this book. I loved it!! Now anyone who knows me and has read previous blog posts knows that I love a good fantasy novel and this is one I couldn’t pass up.

So what did I like about this book?

Starting at the beginning I really enjoyed the way it began with an almost casual use of magic and an unexpectes letter. The writing style used by L. Penelope is really enjoyable to read and it instantly draws you into the story. There are also different points of view used throughout the story allow you to get to know the different main characters and to see deeper into their motivations.

Now the characters, let’s begin with the most important Jasminda. Now she is a great character and I know how important it is for us to see diverse characters in published works. Jasminda is a POC (person of colour) and it is so good to see a strong female POC character. Now when you first meet her she seems so strong and full of magic, you later learn that there is more to her than expected. ( trying not to spoil anything here) She knows how to rely on herself and it’s her journey of learning to trust and accept help from others that shows her true character.

Jack is the other main character and he has some secrets that could change everything especially the trust built between them. He also is a strong character and while there is romance between him and Jasminda it is very natural between them even with the obstacles that inevitably come.

I also liked how the magic is different from what was expected. It is an unusual type of magic and you either are born with it or live without it. There is also a historical element used throught where you learn more about how the two country’s became separate and essentially where the magic came from.

The ending for me was unexpected as I thought the climax would go on for longer or that it would be dragged out a little more. So it was a pleasant surprise where it ended especially since it left me wanting more and wanting it now! I am really looking forward to more from this author and more in this series.

I rated it 4 stars out of 5. If i could give half ratings it would definitely be 4.5!

Any questions or if you have read this one yet feel free to drop it in the comments.

Lizbie x

Movies · Uncategorized

Love, Simon – my thoughts.

I am a regular moviegoer and I decided this week that after my birthday I deserved to go to the movies! I asked all my friends on twitter to decide for me and the winning movie was Love, Simon. Now I haven’t read the book that this is based off yet but I now plan to add it to my TBR.

From Google:
Everyone deserves a great love story, but for 17-year-old Simon Spier, it’s a little more complicated. He hasn’t told his family or friends that he’s gay, and he doesn’t know the identity of the anonymous classmate that he’s fallen for online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, terrifying and life-changing.

Now to what I think about this movie…….OMG!!! I really loved this movie. I walked out at the end with big red eyes after this movie damn near broke my heart. I nearly turned around and went back in to watch it again, I loved it that much.

It’s not just the story that I loved, but the way that Simon and his friends were portrayed. Nick Robinson played Simon with such heart, he really gave it everything he had. In fact Simon immerses in his world so well that you empathise with him and right at the end you are just willing him on to find his love story.

I really liked the supporting characters as well, Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel are his parents and Katherine Langford plays his best friend. ( she was in 13 Reasons Why) Also the character of Blue is well played out especially before you actually find out who he is. You find yourself looking so closely at the story to try and work out who it is.

Onto the more serious side of this movie, I really liked the way they portray how peer pressure and the urge to keep your secrets at all costs will make you do something you shouldn’t. Also how Simon ends up coming out. I’m not planning to spoil it for anyone but it broke my heart – it was about this time I found tears running down my face. I found that as the movie went on that I couldn’t do anything but sympathise with the story being told in front of me. I have never had to go through anything like Simon went through but I would hope that sometime in the near future that nobody will have to worry about coming out to their family and friends. That it will become as normal to be gay as it is to be straight.

The most important thing I think people can take away from this movie is empathy. This movie and book needs to be something that we all see and read. That we must make this world better for those that cannot speak out so that they can speak out.

I’m sorry if this got a bit heavier than what you were expecting but it felt important to me that I tell people how I feel. Please let me know what you think of the book and the movie. Or just any thoughts in general.

Lizbie x

book recommendations

The Illuminae series by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.

I’ve recently felt the need to make everyone aware of this series, so much so that I’ve been telling random people on the internet that they must read it and forcing my family and best friend to read the synopsis so they get interested.

Now for those of you who haven’t been subjected to my ranting about how good these books are here is what you should know.

This series is made up of three books. Illuminae, Gemina and Obsidio which has only been released this year. I have yet to read Obsidio as I’m on a book buying ban but it is at the very top of my list of books to buy. They are classed as Young Adult or New Adult but personally i feel they are an awesome mix of space opera, sci-fi, fantasy with a dash of romance as well.

I had heard alot of hype about this series on Instagram well before I read them and one thing that we all agree on is that there are some characters that you didn’t think you would be able to have sympathy for and others that blindside you with just how obsessed you become with them.

They are also written in a way that is completely different from what you are used to with illustrations and dossiers inserted throughout.

Here is the synopsis for Illuminae.

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Both Illuminae and Gemina were among my 5 star reads for last year and I’m fully expecting that once I read Obsidio it will become one of my top reads for this year! (Here is the link to my post about my top reads of last year. Top reads of 2017)

Now if that isn’t enough to get you to grab this series and at least the first chapter i urge you to jump online and check out other reviews of this amazing series.

Also let me know if you love them or hate them or simply want to let me know what I’m in for with book 3!

Lizbie x

Uncategorized

Finding my motivation.

So as some of you might of noticed I’ve been a bit off the grid lately especially in regards to my bookstagram page and here on my blog. In fact the only social media I have kept up with is twitter simply because it is so easy!

I decided to have a bit of a break simply because I’d just gone back to work after 3 weeks off and it was a bit hard to get back into the swing of things plus I was having a hard time finding the energy to take photos especially since I’m more of a take a photo a day rather than plan them in advance. (Something i need to work on!)

This past week I’ve been ignoring the stack of books I got from the library and my NetGalley ARCs to re-read a favourite series and this has finally gotten me in the mood to begin taking some pictures this weekend on my day off as long as the weather stays nice.

The Green Rider series by Kristen Britain is a fantasy series about a young girl Karigan who gets swept up into adventure and magic. I really love this series (and i recommend it to anyone who loves a good fantasy story) which is currently 6 books deep and counting. This got me out of my reading slump and back onto Instagram and motivated me to dive into my TBR as well.

I’ve also found a ton of new bloggers to follow on twitter and this has given me some inspiration to get back on here and back into writing my blog.

I’d like to say thank you to them even if they don’t know how they helped and drop by their blogs and give them a follow!

https://silverwolfreads.wordpress.com

https://horrorbookworm.wordpress.com

audiokilledthebookmark.com

https://nosestuckinabookblog.wordpress.com

These are just some of the blogs I’ve been following from twitter and they deserve so many followers 🙂

Well hopefully my rambling hasn’t put you off and if you have any tips on regaining motivation or any blog tips let me know. Now to get my motivation high for Camp Nanowrimo!

Lizbie x

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