Monday, July 30, 2018

GIRL AT THE GRAVE by Teri Bailey Black

Rating: A
Release Date: 8/7/18
A mother hanged for murder.
A daughter left to pick up the pieces of their crumbling estate.
Can she clear her family’s name if it means facing her own dark past?

Valentine has spent years trying to outrun her mother's legacy. But small towns have long memories, and when a new string of murders occurs, all signs point to the daughter of a murderer. 

Only one person believes Valentine is innocent—Rowan Blackshaw, the son of the man her mother killed all those years ago. Valentine vows to find the real killer, but when she finally uncovers the horrifying truth, she must choose to face her own dark secrets, even if it means losing Rowan in the end.

Early Libba Bray meets Stalking Jack the Ripper and William Ritter’s Jackaby series in this richly atmospheric Gothic tale of murder and romance in 1850s New England.

Debut author Teri Bailey Black unearths the long-buried secrets of a small New England town in this richly atmospheric Gothic tale of murder, guilt, redemption, and finding love where least expected.

My thoughts on the book:
Girl at the Grave had a lot going on, from the plot to the characters' lives to the underlying themes of the story, this book had a lot to unpack. I could not put this book down. The characters were strong and well developed, the plot was intriguing and complex, the romance was equal parts frustrating and sweet, and the feminist critique of 1850s US society was really thought-provoking. Through these characters and their messed up lives, Black showed what it was really like to be a woman in the 1850s, and it wasn't pretty. This is a novel that should be added to every US history course and US literature course because it allows the reader to feel what women went through in the 1850s. Feeling what life was like for women will teach students more than a memorized timeline and some names and dates ever could. 

Valentine is an extremely resilient leading lady. She is especially strong for the time period in which she lives. She doesn't completely ignore social conventions, and she's aware of what is "proper," but she stays true to herself. I really love how she puts her own dreams first and does what she thinks is right, regardless of the consequences. Rowan is also a fantastic love interest. I really liked him a lot, and he was a great match for Valentine. Sam was a jerk, and I really didn't like him at all. Something tells me the apple didn't fall far from the tree with him. I'm pretty sure he would have turned into his dad if given the chance. The secondary characters were also extremely interesting and complex. They each had their own set of motivations and values, so they felt real. This made the story that much more interesting. 

The plot was extremely layered, and there was a lot going on. First of all, I thought every single person in town guilty of the murders at least once before I figured out who the culprit was. There was so much going on, that I felt like I was in a constant state of "wtf" the entire time I read the novel, and I couldn't put the book down because I had to figure out what was actually going on. Additionally, this book addresses some important aspects of how limited women's roles were in society in the 1850s and provides a feminist critique of how harsh the world was for women back then. I really appreciated that. The only aspect of the book that I didn't like was the love triangle. I absolutely loved the ending and the decisions made by Valentine. 

Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a really good and thought-provoking YA historical fiction novel. I promise you'll fly through the pages and be left with tons to think about once the book is complete. 

Friday, July 27, 2018

CLANDESTINE by Hannah Rials Blog Tour!

Note from Amber:
I am super excited to host Hannah's books on my blog this week! She's a local author for me. Maryville is a suburb of Knoxville, where I live and go to school. Thank you for sharing your beautiful books with the world, Hannah!

Clandestine (Ascension #2)

by Hannah Rials
Genre: YA Paranormal
Release Date: July 2018
Aletha Press

    Cheyenne Lane never believed it could come to this—imprisoned by her own family, who are plotting to overthrow the Vampire Council. Ripped away from the happiness of her summer romance and friendship in New Orleans, Cheyenne is forced to begin her education at Clandestine, the secret Deuxsang University, one year early.
    She is guarded constantly, separated from her best friend Anne, and desperate for any word from Eli and the witches. Meanwhile, her cousin Lilith has discovered that Cheyenne possesses all four vampiric abilities—unheard of for a Deuxsang—and intends to use her in the Ascending’s rebellious scheme.

     At 17, Cheyenne finds herself the center of a centuries-old conspiracy involving the vampires, Deuxsang, and witches, and everyone is telling her who she should trust and what she should do. Her head is too full of voices and opinions, and it’s time for Cheyenne to make up her own mind.

     Is she ready to step into the role she was made for? Who can she trust? Who is her friend and who is her enemy? Is she really a born leader? All questions that only she can answer. As the information and scenario gets more confusing, she knows she must listen to her intuition if she is going to shift the truth from all the lies.
Buy Links:

Hannah's favorite quote from the book:
“If you fail, you'll wish you'd never been made.”

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

ARROWHEART by Rebecca Sky Blog Tour!

About the Book:
Author: Rebecca Sky
Pub. Date: June 14, 2018
Publisher: Hodder
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 384
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonTBD

Kiss the boys and make them cry...

The gods are gone. 
The people have forgotten them. 
But sixteen-year-old Rachel Patel can't forget - the gods control her life, or more specifically, her love life.

Being a Hedoness, one of a strong group of women descended from Greek God Eros, makes true love impossible for Rachel. She wields the power of that magical golden arrow, and with it, the promise to take the will of any boy she kisses. But the last thing Rachel wants is to force someone to love her . . .

When seventeen-year-old Benjamin Blake's disappearance links back to the Hedonesses, Rachel's world collides with his, and her biggest fear becomes a terrifying reality. She's falling for him - a messy, magnetic, arrow-over-feet type of fall.

Rachel distances herself, struggling to resist the growing attraction, but when he gives up his dream to help her evade arrest, distance becomes an insurmountable task. With the police hot on their trail, Rachel soon realizes there are darker forces hunting them - a group of mortals recruited by the gods who will stop at nothing to preserve the power of the Hedonesses - not to mention Eros himself, who is desperate to reverse the curse . . .

Rachel must learn to do what no Hedoness has done before - to resist her gift - or she'll turn the person she's grown to love into a shadow of himself ... for ever.

Guest Post:

Hi everyone!
I’m stoked to be here and share this excerpt of my debut novel Arrowheart: which is about the strong female descendants of Greek God Eros who have the power to take the will of any boy they kiss…dun dun dun… check it out and read through to the bottom for your chance to win an Owlcrate subscription box and your very own blue Arrowheart lipstick.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

MISTAKE OF MAGIC by Alex Lidell Blog Tour!

Title: MISTAKE OF MAGIC (Power Of Five #2)
Author: Alex Lidell
Pub. Date: June 29, 2018
Publisher: Danger Bearing Press
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 193
Find it: GoodreadsAmazon


Three trials stand between Lera and exile. Unless the training kills her first.

Quint magic has never chosen a human before, and the Elders Council is convinced Lera is a mistake. 

When the quint refuses to be cleaved apart, the enraged elders give them a choice: exile from Lunos or demotion to the lowest of trainees. Subject again to the humiliations and deadly trials they endured centuries ago, the males now face a new challenge—training Lera to survive. 

River, Shade, Coal, and Tye will do whatever it takes to keep Lera safe. But Lera will do whatever she must to keep them together—even if it means putting herself in mortal danger.


I press my cheek into Shade’s palm and he pulls me against him, his silky hair brushing his shoulder as he bows his head over mine. The smell of damp earth and rain fills my lungs, and my heart quickens in spite of itself, my hands rising to rest on Shade’s taut hips. The yellow of his eyes shines in the sunlight, the bit of black in the center swallowing both the light and my thoughts. I wonder what those eyes see when they look at me from a wolf’s body.

About Book 1:

Author: Alex Lidell
Pub. Date: May 4, 2018
Publisher: Danger Bearing Press
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 312
Find it: GoodreadsAmazon

Four elite fae warriors. One mortal female. A magical bond they can’t allow—or resist. 

Orphaned and sold to a harsh master, Lera’s life is about mucking stalls, avoiding her master’s advances, and steering clear of the mystical forest separating the mortal and fae worlds. Only fools venture into the immortal realms, and only dark rumors come out... Until four powerful fae warriors appear at Lera’s barn. 

River, Coal, Tye, and Shade have waited a decade for their new fifth to be chosen, the wounds from their quint brother’s loss still raw. But the magic has played a cruel trick, bonding the four immortal warriors to... a female. A mortal female. 

Distractingly beautiful and dangerously frail, Lera can only be one thing—a mistake. Yet as the males bring Lera back to the fae lands to sever the bond, they discover that she holds more power over their souls than is safe for anyone... especially for Lera herself. 

Power of Five is a full-length reverse-harem fantasy novel. 

About Alex:

Alex Lidell is the Amazon Breakout Novel Awards finalist author of THE CADET OF TILDOR (Penguin, 2013). She is an avid horseback rider, a (bad) hockey player, and an ice-cream addict. Born in Russia, Alex learned English in elementary school, where a thoughtful librarian placed a copy of Tamora Pierce’s ALANNA in Alex’s hands. In addition to becoming the first English book Alex read for fun, ALANNA started Alex’s life long love for YA fantasy books. Alex is represented by Leigh Feldman of Leigh Feldman Literary. She lives in Washington, DC.

Join Alex's newsletter for news, bonus content and sneak peeks: 


Giveaway Details:

1 winner will win a Signed copy of the book, notebook, & swag, US Only.

3 winners will win an eBook of MISTAKE OF MAGIC, International.