Sunday, May 24, 2015

Stacking the Shelves {119}


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where we get to share the books we've bought, been gifted, or received for review!

How was everybody's week? Mine's been good! It looks like some good things are going to happen in the next couple of weeks, which I will share when they happen. OOH, and my fourth blogoversary is this Friday!! Get excited, I know I am!

For review:




THANK YOUUU to Thomas Nelson Books!! :D

Traded:


Enclave by Ann Aguirre
Horde (Enclave #3) by Ann Aguirre
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Question about Enclave, y'all. The cover is actually a sticker and the book seems to have been originally called Razorland. I reallyyy want to take the sticker off, but I'm kind of afraid to. Does anyone know what it looks like underneath??

Purchased:


Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

A recap of the week here on Paper Cuts:
Tuesday - Teaser Tuesday: Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine
Wednesday - Waiting on Wednesday: The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy #3) by Marie Rutkoski
Thursday - Blog Tour: The Artisans by Julie Reece {Review + Giveaway}
Friday - Blog Tour: Siren's Fury (Storm Siren #2) by Mary Weber {Review + Favorite Quotes + Playlist + Giveaway}
Saturday - Blog Tour: Hidden Huntress (Stolen Songbird #2) by Danielle L. Jensen {Guest Post + Giveaway}

Books I read this week:
The Artisans by Julie Reece
Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine
Siren's Fury (Storm Siren #2) by Mary Weber

I'm currently reading:
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

So that's been my week! Annnnd again, the commenting. I'm getting wayyy too behind. But it'll happen this week. I WILL MAKE IT HAPPEN. :) Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Blog Tour: Hidden Huntress (Stolen Songbird #2) by Danielle Jensen {Guest Post + Giveaway}

Y'ALL. I am so excited (like beyond excited, really) today to be a part of the blog tour for Hidden Huntress, the sequel to Danielle Jensen's debut Stolen Songbird, which was one of my favorite reads last year. Be sure to get your copy on June 2nd (or you'll have to answer to me!). I've got a guest post from Danielle about the inspiration behind Anaïs' character (Les Mis!!!) plus I'm hosting a giveaway so you can either start this fantastic series or continue it with me! Read on, y'all!


About Hidden Huntress:

Sometimes, one must accomplish the impossible.

Beneath the mountain, the king’s reign of tyranny is absolute; the one troll with the capacity to challenge him is imprisoned for treason. Cécile has escaped the darkness of Trollus, but she learns all too quickly that she is not beyond the reach of the king’s power. Or his manipulation.

Recovered from her injuries, she now lives with her mother in Trianon and graces the opera stage every night. But by day she searches for the witch who has eluded the trolls for five hundred years. Whether she succeeds or fails, the costs to those she cares about will be high.

To find Anushka, she must delve into magic that is both dark and deadly. But the witch is a clever creature. And Cécile might not just be the hunter. She might also be the hunted…
Pre-order the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository

Rachel here! I had read on Danielle's blog about how Prince Hal in Henry IV, Part I inspired a lot of Tristan's character in Stolen Songbird in the beginning--which intrigued me, of course--so when I had to come up with some topic suggestions for her guest post, I began to wonder if there was any other not-so-obvious inspiration for the book. And boy did Danielle deliver! Let's not listen to me anymore, here we go!

Of all the cast of The Malediction Trilogy, the character I get asked the most about is Anaïs. Readers write to me and say, “I hated Anaïs in the beginning, but by the end, I loved her.” So in the spirit of giving more of what readers want, I’m going to talk a bit about the inspiration behind her character, which was Éponine from Les Misérables (some aspects from the musical and some from the book).

I could write a whole paper on the similarities between the two and what it means that so many people connect with them, but my post is supposed to be short and sweet, so I’ll stick with a few. In Les Mis, Éponine is initially portrayed as a spoiled and mean little girl living with a certain amount of privilege and wealth, but when the plot picks up after many years have past, the viewer discovers she has suffered a fall from grace. Her family has lost their inn and they are now living an impoverished life in the city. Anaïs also experienced a fall from grace – she was betrothed to Tristan and was supposed to become queen, but lost everything when her sister’s hemophilia was discovered. It happens before the events of Stolen Songbird, but that loss, in combination with the abuse her sister suffered at the hand of her father as a result, changed Anaïs’s personality, stripping away the spoiled girl and leaving behind a much harder young woman in her place.

A big similarity, of course, is that both girls feel unrequited love for a revolutionary leader. The leader values them, but only as an ally and friend, and behaves as though he is oblivious to the depth of the girl’s feelings (Marius might be ignorant in truth, but Tristan is not unaware). Both girls are part of the revolution, but it is unclear to the viewer/reader whether the girl believes in the movement or if her actions are entirely motivated by love for the leader (I have another post in the tour where I talk about this!). Both Éponine and Anaïs are enlisted by the leader to help in their pursuit of another girl (Cossette and Cécile), and both make an attempt to sabotage the romance. Éponine fails to deliver Cossette’s note to Marius, and Anaïs helps Tristan smuggle Cécile out of Trollus with the belief she won’t come back.

The parallel that most people will think of is the martyr moment where both girls take a killing blow to protect the leader. Again, the reader/viewer is left somewhat in the dark as to why the girl takes this action. Is it solely to protect the man she loves? Or is there a greater purpose? Éponine gives Marius Cossette’s note as she is dying so that he might find the girl he loves, and Anaïs remains with the King so that Tristan can break Cécile out of Trollus in the hopes her grandmother can save her life. What this moment is to me, more than just the sacrifice of one life to save another, is the sacrifice of a hopeless love in the hope of saving a love that has a chance of thriving.

There are at least a dozen more points of similarity that I could talk about, but I’m pretty sure if you sit down to watch Les Misérables, you’ll be able to identify them yourself!

About the author:

Danielle was born and raised in Calgary, Canada. At the insistence of the left side of her brain, she graduated in 2003 from the University of Calgary with a bachelor’s degree in finance.

But the right side of her brain has ever been mutinous; and in 2010, it sent her back to school to complete an entirely impractical English literature degree at Mount Royal University and to pursue publication. Much to her satisfaction, the right side shows no sign of relinquishing its domination.
Find Danielle online: Website | Twitter | Facebook


Thank you SO much to Danielle for taking the time to write such an awesome post for us and to Angry Robot Books and the wonderful Penny for letting me be a part of the tour! 

And now for the giveaway! One winner will receive their choice of Stolen Songbird or Hidden Huntress, so you can start this wonderful series or continue it! INTERNATIONAL so long as The Book Depository ships to you! Get to entering, y'all!


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Friday, May 22, 2015

Blog Tour: Siren's Fury (Storm Siren #2) by Mary Weber {Review + Favorite Quotes + Playlist + Giveaway}


I'm so excited to be hosting a stop today on the blog tour for Siren's Fury, the sequel to Mary Weber's excellent Storm Siren! I've got a lot to share with y'all today, too. First up is my review, then I'll also have some of my favorite quotes from the book plus a playlist inspired by my reading experience! Then, of course, stick around for the end of the post to enter the tour-wide giveaway! Happy reading, y'all!


Release date: June 2, 2015
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pages: 352
Source: Publisher provided for review
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository | iTunes | Kobo
"I thrust my hand toward the sky as my voice begs the Elemental inside me to waken and rise. But it's no use. The curse I've spent my entire life abhorring—the thing I trained so hard to control—no longer exists."

Nym has saved Faelen only to discover that Draewulf stole everything she valued. Now he’s destroyed her Elemental storm-summoning ability as well.

When Nym sneaks off with a host of delegates to Bron, Lord Myles offers her the chance for a new kind of power and the whispered hope that it may do more than simply defeat the monster she loathes. But the secrets the Bron people have kept concealed, along with the horrors Draewulf has developed, may require more than simply harnessing a darker ability.

They may require who she is.

Set against the stark metallic backdrop of the Bron kingdom, Nym is faced with the chance to change the future.

Or was that Draewulf’s plan for her all along?
Excitement! A second book in a trilogy that truly never feels like a filler middle book! It's hard to accomplish, because we so want the denouement, but there's another book coming. But with Siren's Fury, there's no space between the ending of the first book and the first pages of this sequel. We pick up exactly where we left off and get to sprinting immediately. It's a feeling that never lets up.

In Storm Siren, Nym learned so much about her abilities and how to control them, but in Siren's Fury, she's faced with losing her powers. The moment she's finally coming to terms with them, and they're gone. She's always had some darkness, but I felt a lot more of that this time around. Nym is fighting tooth and nail to save Eogan and everyone she's come to care about along the way, but she's beginning to sacrifice too much of herself to do so. She's confronted with the idea that she might have to become what she's fighting in order to beat it, and seeing just how intoxicating unconditional power truly is. It's rather a different Nym, but still one who's wholly compelling and easy to root for, even when she's losing herself to the struggle.

What I especially loved is how much more complex the villainy is becoming. I can't spoil it, but it didn't feel like Draewulf had enough behind his actions in the first book. That's not the case here, and as Nym figures this out, her loving nature really comes out. There's this idea that even the worst of us are never truly lost, that a little bit of acceptance with go a long way, and I loved that it added nuance to Draewulf's character.

Siren's Fury was the strongest followup to Storm Siren I could have imagined. Heart-pounding action, high stakes, and evocative writing make for a fantastic sequel and only create for excitement for the final entry in the series.


About the author:

Mary Weber is a ridiculously uncoordinated girl plotting to take over make-believe worlds through books, handstands, and imaginary throwing knives. In her spare time, she feeds unicorns, sings 80’s hairband songs to her three muggle children, and ogles her husband who looks strikingly like Wolverine. They live in California, which is perfect for stalking L.A. bands, Joss Whedon, and the ocean. Her debut YA fantasy novel, STORM SIREN, is available now in bookstores and online, and SIREN'S FURY (book 2 in the trilogy) will be out June, 2015 from TN HarperCollins.

Favorite Quotes:


My body sizzles with the static sweeping through my blood as the siren inside that pushed back the airships, the siren that saved Faelen, flares through my Elemental veins.

-----

After I've used the bowl and finished washing my hands, I lean against the water basin and breath in, and, after a minute, look up to find a tiny mirrored reflection of a girl with sunken eyes and a face so gray I barely recognize it.

Nice. Even my appearance looks lost.

I turn to go, but apruptly that thought hits and nearly splays me out against the wall.

I am lost. 

I can't remember anything about me. I can't remember what I'm supposed to be aside from what Draewulf has taken.

I grip the bowl. Shaking. Horrified as the entirety of that realization sets in. I don't know who I am.

-----

A simultaneous ache and warmth hits my chest, and I swear my heart nearly splits open over this boy whose expression is still puckered in arrogant demand.

"Yes," I mutter. "And yes, I could've."

"A lot more? Then why didn't you?" His tone is insistent. Desperate.

"Just because you have power, doesn't mean you have the right to harm others with it. I did what I had to for defense, not damage."

-----

He smoothes his shirt just as an enormous horn sounds out above us, causing me to cover my ears and him to jump. He spins around and I follow suit to see land in the distance, just where the sun is peeking out along the purple-ribboned edge of storm clouds and horizon. Below it sits a city gleaming with red, orange, and pink reflections from the sun.

"Welcome to the beginning of your end," Draewulf snarls behind me.

-----

"Just because this world is on the verge of fear and death doesn't mean those have to overrun who you are in the midst of it, Myles."

Playlist:





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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Blog Tour: The Artisans by Julie Reece {Review + Giveaway}


Release date: May 12, 2015
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Publisher: Month9Books
Pages: 344
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided for review for tour
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository | Kobo
They say death can be beautiful. But after the death of her mother, seventeen-year-old Raven Weathersby gives up her dream of becoming a fashion designer, barely surviving life in the South Carolina lowlands.

To make ends meet, Raven works after school as a seamstress creating stunning works of fashion that often rival the great names of the day.

Instead of making things easier on the high school senior, her stepdad's drinking leads to a run in with the highly reclusive heir to the Maddox family fortune, Gideon Maddox.

But Raven's stepdad's drying out and in no condition to attend the meeting with Maddox. So Raven volunteers to take his place and offers to repay the debt in order to keep the only father she's ever known out of jail, or worse.

Gideon Maddox agrees, outlining an outrageous demand: Raven must live in his home for a year while she designs for Maddox Industries' clothing line, signing over her creative rights.

Her handsome young captor is arrogant and infuriating to the nth degree, and Raven can't imagine working for him, let alone sharing the same space for more than five minutes.

But nothing is ever as it seems. Is Gideon Maddox the monster the world believes him to be? And can he stand to let the young seamstress see him as he really is?
At this point, I've read s. fair number of Beauty and the Beast retellings. A lot. Sometimes they're good, and sometimes they're not. The Artisans solidly falls in the good camp. It's got a great Gothic feel, a heroine who is compassionate and strong, and a really fantastic setup that I simply loved. If this sounds like your kind of book, I'm willing to bet it is.

Raven is a talented young designer, but her family problems get in the way of what she wants to do. While the situation she's given with Gideon isn't ideal or what she wants, I loved the realism in that she couldn't help but be at least the tiniest bit relieved that so much had been taken off her shoulders. She hates that she has to give up her designs and send her step-father away, but she's lost so much of her childhood. I also liked that Rae is confronted by a lot of darkness over the course of the book, yet she retains so much hope. She's not perfect, but she's optimistic.

I was also fascinated by the setup of the story. For so much of the book, I was dying to know why the book was called the "Artisans", but I loved the ultimate payoff of that. While a lot of the plot was to be expected, it's something I didn't expect. But OH MY GOODNESS those creepy scenes were so good but so freaky. I don't often get weirded out by the scary moments in books, but these did it.

The Artisans was slow in pieces, but I definitely was so intrigued it was pretty easy to get through those quickly. It's a fascinating retelling and a compelling novel that I enjoyed.

About the author:

Born in Ohio, I lived next to my grandfather’s horse farm until the fourth grade. Summers were about riding, fishing and make-believe, while winter brought sledding and ice-skating on frozen ponds. Most of life was magical, but not all.
I struggled with multiple learning disabilities, did not excel in school. I spent much of my time looking out windows and daydreaming. In the fourth grade (with the help of one very nice teacher) I fought dyslexia for my right to read, like a prince fights a dragon in order to free the princess locked in a tower, and I won.

Afterwards, I read like a fiend. I invented stories where I could be the princess… or a gifted heroine from another world who kicked bad guy butt to win the heart of a charismatic hero. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? Later, I moved to Florida where I continued to fantasize about superpowers and monsters, fabricating stories (my mother called it lying) and sharing them with my friends.
Then I thought I’d write one down…

Hooked, I’ve been writing ever since. I write historical, contemporary, urban fantasy, adventure, and young adult romances. I love strong heroines, sweeping tales of mystery and epic adventure… which must include a really hot guy. My writing is proof you can work hard to overcome any obstacle. Don’t give up. I say, if you write, write on!


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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy #3) by Marie Rutkoski {94}

Title: The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy #3)
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Release date: March 1, 2016
War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it, with the East as his ally and the empire as his enemy. He’s finally managed to dismiss the memory of Kestrel, even if he can’t quite forget her. Kestrel turned into someone he could no longer recognize: someone who cared more for the empire than for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she cared for him. At least, that’s what he thinks.

But far north lies a work camp where Kestrel is a prisoner. Can she manage to escape before she loses herself? As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover unexpected roles in battle, terrible secrets, and a fragile hope. The world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and Kestrel and Arin are caught between. In a game like this, can anybody really win?



I have very little self control, y'all. I should be waiting to feature this till it's at least a little closer to publication, but I just can't help it!! It's so preeeetty and it sounds so goooood. Can you blame me? I waited a week, that's all I could do. :)

 So what are you guys waiting on this week? :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine {119}

Title: Of Metal and Wishes
Author: Sarah Fine
Release date: August 5, 2014
There are whispers of a ghost in the slaughterhouse where sixteen-year-old Wen assists her father in his medical clinic—a ghost who grants wishes to those who need them most. When one of the Noor, men hired as cheap factory labor, humiliates Wen, she makes an impulsive wish of her own, and the Ghost grants it. Brutally.

Guilt-ridden, Wen befriends the Noor, including their outspoken leader, a young man named Melik. At the same time, she is lured by the mystery of the Ghost and learns he has been watching her... for a very long time.

As deadly accidents fuel tensions within the factory, Wen must confront her growing feelings for Melik, who is enraged at the sadistic factory bosses and the prejudice faced by his people at the hand of Wen’s, and her need to appease the Ghost, who is determined to protect her against any threat—real or imagined. She must decide whom she can trust, because as her heart is torn, the factory is exploding around her... and she might go down with it.

My teaser, from p. 24 in the ARC:
I scoff, too angry to do anything else. "Careful of whom, exactly?" I gesture at the bolt of purple cloth, the bottle of rice wine, the package of salted fish, the carved letter opener--all offerings left in exchange for wishes. "Who is this Ghost, that people think he is worthy of their best things?"

Well. I'm officially obsessed with this book. I've actually finished, but just had to tease from it! Why didn't I read it as soon as I had a copy (months before it came out)? Who knows, but I'm dumb. Obviously. Loved, loved, loved,

I'll be visiting around and visiting back, so leave me links to your teasers! :) Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Stacking the Shelves {118}


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where we get to share the books we've bought, been gifted, or received for review!

How was everybody's week? Mine's been pretty good! Nothing too eventful, though, y'all. I'm obsessed with #booksfortrade on Twitter. Like actually obsessed. It's too much fun and I can't stop checking it. It's also a guilt-free way to get new books! Plus my ARCs I didn't know what to do with are now going to homes where someone really wants them. Warm fuzzies. :) 

For review:


The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes
The Witch Hunter by Virgina Boecker
Daughter of Dusk (Midnight Thief #2) by Livia Blackburne

A recap of the week here on Paper Cuts:
Tuesday - Teaser Tuesday: The Heir (The Selection #4) by Kiera Cass
Wednesday - Waiting on Wednesday: The Heartbeat Thief by AJ Krafton
Thursday - Review: Love Fortunes and Other Disasters by Kimberly Karalius
Friday - Have You Seen This?
Saturday - Blog Tour: Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt {Review + Favorite Quotes + Giveaway}

Books I read this week:
5 to 1 by Holly Bodger
The Heir (The Selection #4) by Kiera Cass
Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt

I'm currently reading:
The Artisans by Julie Reece

So that's been my week! That commenting that was supposed to happen....didn't happen. I seriously don't know what's wrong with me. Hopefully this afternoon? I've also got an abundance of blog tours this week--three!--which I'm pretty excited about. Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!