First Lines Friday #9

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?  If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above, and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

If you’re using Twitter, don’t forget to use #FirstLinesFridays!


Hello, reader!

We’ve arrived at another Friday and I, for one, am super excited! This probably has a lot to do with the fact that, as of 3:30 pm EST, I will be on vacation! I’m looking forward to a week of relaxation and hanging out with the family. Before I go into full relaxation-mode, though, it’s time for First Lines Friday. Today’s selection is something I recently picked up to try and tackle my Netgalley backlist. I’m loving it so far and I think the opening lines will definitely capture your attention! Let’s see if you can guess what book I’m talking about from just a few lines and a couple of hints.


The Line(s):

“Today he would become a god. His mother had told him so.
‘Drink this,’ she said, handing him a cup. The cup was long and thin and filled with a pale creamy liquid. When he sniffed it, he smelled the orange flowers that grew in looping tendrils outside his window, the ones with the honey centers. But he also smelled the earthy sweetness of the bell-shaped flowers she cultivated in her courtyard garden, the one he was never allowed to play in. And he knew there were thinks he could not smell in the drink, secret things, things that came from the bag his mother wore around her neck, that whitened the tips of her fingers and his own tongue.”


The Hints:

This is an adult fantasy that features multiple POVs.

The color of the cover and part of the title share a name.

The author has previously written both young adult and middle grade novels.


The Reveal:

Click the cover to be taken to the Goodreads page

Goodreads Synopsis

The first book in the Between Earth and Sky trilogy, inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas and woven into a tale of celestial prophecies, political intrigue, and forbidden magic.

A god will return
When the earth and sky converge
Under the black sun

In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world.

Meanwhile, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters around her as easily as it can warp a man’s mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, Serapio, is a young man, blind, scarred, and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain.”


As I mentioned, I’ve already started reading this book in an effort to knock some novels off of my Netgalley backlist. I’m so glad I requested it because I’m absolutely loving this story! There are certain POVs I prefer more than others (Xiala has my whole heart) but this has been thoroughly enjoyable, so far, and I can’t wait to continue!

Did those first few lines capture your attention? Did they make you want to read the rest of the story? Let me know in the comments!

And, as always, happy reading!

Blog Tour: The Lore of Prometheus by Graham Austin-King

Hello, reader!

It’s my stop today for the blog tour of the winner of BBNYA 2020! We’ve finally gotten around to the book that nabbed the number one spot: The Lore of Prometheus by Graham Austin-King. As a panelist, I never got a chance to read the excerpt or the full book during the judging, so I snagged a chance to be a part of the tour! I had to know what everyone was raving about. The FOMO was real, y’all!

But, before I get to the tour post, what is BBNYA? BBNYA (Book Blogger Novel of the Year Award) is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors. If you are an author and wish to learn more about the 2021 BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website (https://www.bbnya.com/) or our Twitter account, @BBNYA_Official. If you would like to sign-up and enter your book, you can find the BBNYA 2021 AUTHOR SIGN UP FORM HERE. Please make sure to carefully read our terms and conditions before entering. 

BBNYA is brought to you in association with the Folio Society (If you love beautiful books you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group TheWriteReads.  I received this book to read and review as part of the BBNYA 2020 competition organized by the @The_WriteReads tours team. I want to thank them so much for sending me a free copy of the e-book so I could participate in the awards! All opinions are my own, unbiased, and completely honest.

Now, let’s get to the post!


Synopsis


“John Carver has three rules: Don’t drink in the daytime, don’t gamble when the luck has gone, and don’t talk to the dead people who come to visit.

It has been almost five years since the incident in Kabul. Since the magic stirred within him and the stories began. Fleeing the army, running from the whispers, the guilt, and the fear he was losing his mind, Carver fell into addiction, dragging himself through life one day at a time.

Desperation has pulled him back to Afghanistan, back to the heat, the dust, and the truth he worked so hard to avoid. But there are others, obsessed with power and forbidden magics, who will stop at nothing to learn the truth of his gifts. Abducted and chained, Carver must break more than his own rules if he is to harness this power and survive.”

Book Details


  • Author: Graham Austin-King
  • Publisher: Fallen Leaf Press
  • Publication date: November 30th, 2018
  • Genre: Fantasy/Urban Fantasy/Military Thriller
  • Age group: Adult
  • Content/Trigger Warnings: To see a full list of this books possible content and trigger warnings, check out it’s page on BookTriggerWarnings.com

Book Links

Bookshop::TBD::B&N::Amazon::
Goodreads

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ARC Review: Fireborne by Rosaria Munda

Title: Fireborne

Author: Rosaria Munda

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Source: e-ARC (Netgalley)

Content/Trigger Warnings: Violence, war, fire, gore

Rating: ★★★★

Book Links:

Bookshop::TBD::B&N::Amazon::Goodreads

One Sentence Synopsis

Annie and Lee are both orphans growing up in a country rebuilding itself after a bloody revolution who are both rising stars in the new regimes dragonriding corps, but must face issues from their past to be able to move forward.

Favorite Quote

“They watch us kneel, they see the back of our heads, and they think we’ve given in. They don’t realize you can think from your knees just as well as from your feet.”

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Blog Tour: Fid’s Crusade by David H. Reiss

Hello, reader!

Look at me posting three days in a row. And with three blog tours no less! I will admit that I’m most excited about this one as I’ll be talking about my favorite book I read as a BBNYA panelist in 2020. It’s a superhero story that focuses on a supervillain who isn’t all he seems to be. I’m talking about Fid’s Crusade by David H. Reiss! Spoiler alert: I loved this book and I’m so excited that it won second place in last year’s BBNYA competition!

But, before I get to the tour post, what is BBNYA? BBNYA (Book Blogger Novel of the Year Award) is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors. If you are an author and wish to learn more about the 2021 BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website (https://www.bbnya.com/) or our Twitter account, @BBNYA_Official. If you would like to sign-up and enter your book, you can find the BBNYA 2021 AUTHOR SIGN UP FORM HERE. Please make sure to carefully read our terms and conditions before entering. 

BBNYA is brought to you in association with the Folio Society (If you love beautiful books you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group TheWriteReads.  I received this book to read and review as part of the BBNYA 2020 competition organized by the @The_WriteReads tours team. I want to thank them so much for sending me a free copy of the e-book so I could participate in the awards! All opinions are my own, unbiased, and completely honest.

Alright, let’s dive in!


Synopsis


“Rage, grief and guilt have fueled Doctor Fid’s endless quest to punish the unworthy and he has left a long trail of blood and misery in his wake. For more than two decades, the sight of the villain’s powered armor has struck fear into the hearts of hero and civilian alike! But when a personal tragedy motivates Doctor Fid to investigate a crime, he uncovers a plot so heinous that even he is taken aback.

Haunted by painful memories and profound guilt, the veteran supervillain must race against time if he is to have any hope of confronting the approaching threat. Every battle takes its toll…but the stakes are too high for retreat to be an option.

In the end, it may take a villain to save the world from those entrusted with the world’s protection.

Winner of the “Science-Fiction / Fantasy / Horror” category in the 2018 Publishers Weekly BookLife Prize, and IndieBRAG medallion honoree”

Book Details


  • Author: David H. Reiss
  • Series: The Chronicles of Fid #1
  • Publication date: April 3rd, 2018
  • Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction
  • Age group: Adult
  • Content/Trigger Warnings: Superhero violence, blood, child death, gore

Book Links

Bookshop::TBD::B&N::Amazon::
Goodreads

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Blog Tour: Karolina Dalca, Dark Eyes

Hello, reader!

I have another The Writes Reads blog tour for y’all today! This time, I’ll be talking about a paranormal fantasy that has vampires, werewolves, and a heroine in a whole mess of trouble. I’m talking about Karolina Dalca, Dark Eyes by M.R. Noble! I want to thank both Dave @ The Write Reads and the author for providing me with a physical copy of the book in exchange for my participation with this tour. It is always much appreciated!

Now, let’s get to the tour post!


Synopsis


“Blindsided by an attack that destroys her home and blamed for murder, Karolina Dalca, a half-vampire, escapes, only to plunge into the magical societies from which she was sheltered.

Betrayed by those around her, she abandons her dreams of becoming an investigator and flees, trusting only herself. Her police internship would never prove more useful. Hoofing it through the wilderness, she makes it to her university dorm, disheveled but delightfully deflowered.

Enter a full vampire: one wielding dark magic and a ride out of Canada. A fugitive from the law, Karo complies with his demands to escape, unsure whether his requests are bewitched. She vows to clear her name and avenge her mother’s death, but Karo’s family secrets aren’t so easily left behind.”

Book Details


  • Author: M.R. Noble
  • Series: Karolina Dalca #1
  • Publisher: Wild Rose Press
  • Publication date: December 16th, 2020
  • Genre: Paranormal Fantasy/Romance
  • Age group: Young Adult
  • Content/Trigger Warnings: Blood, gore, human trafficking, sex, violence

Book Links

Bookshop::TBD::B&N::Amazon::
Goodreads

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First Lines Friday #8

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?  If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above, and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

If you’re using Twitter, don’t forget to use #FirstLinesFridays!


Hello, reader!

It’s Friday! I would be more excited about that if I didn’t have to work this weekend, but what can ya do? Either way, I am excited to share with you my pick for First Lines Fridays! I have a lot of exciting books on my TBR for April, but this is probably the one I’m the most excited to read. I’m participating in #NetgalleyApril with a few bookish friends so I can try and clean up my backlog. This book happens to be one of the ones I need to read and I can’t wait to pick it up! See if you can guess what it is from the first few lines and a couple of hints 😉


The Line(s):

Today is the Ritual of Purity.
The thought nervously circles in my head as I hurry toward the barn, gathering my cloak to ward of the cold.


The Hints:

This is a YA fantasy that was just released this year.

The cover is absolutely gorgeous 😍

It has some pretty heavy topics, so definitely check trigger warnings!


The Reveal:

Click the cover to be taken to the Goodreads page

Goodreads Synopsis

“Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself.”


Just look at this beauty! I can’t wait to finally crack it open and read what I’ve heard so many people rave about.

Did those first few lines capture your attention? Did they make you want to read the rest of the story? Let me know in the comments!

And, as always, happy reading!

Blog Tour: The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey

Hello, reader!

I’m back with another BBNYA blog tour hosted by @TheWriteReads and sponsered by The Folio Society! This time, I’ll be delving into a young adult fantasy by a well-known indie author that involves a post-apocalyptic setting, a mysterious disease, and vampires! I’m talking about the first book in the Sovereign series, The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey. This is one of the books I didn’t get to read as a BBNYA panelist last year, but I was definitely intrigued when it won 4th place!

But, before I get to the tour post, what is BBNYA? BBNYA (Book Blogger Novel of the Year Award) is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors. If you are an author and wish to learn more about the 2021 BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website (https://www.bbnya.com/) or our Twitter account, @BBNYA_Official. If you would like to sign-up and enter your book, you can find the BBNYA 2021 AUTHOR SIGN UP FORM HERE. Please make sure to carefully read our terms and conditions before entering. 

BBNYA is brought to you in association with the Folio Society (If you love beautiful books you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group TheWriteReads.  I received this book to read and review as part of the BBNYA 2020 competition organized by the @The_WriteReads tours team. I want to thank them so much for sending me a free copy of the e-book so I could participate in the awards! All opinions are my own, unbiased, and completely honest.

Now let’s dive in!


Synopsis


“In the Blue, the world’s last city, all is not well.

Julia is stuck within its walls. She serves the nobility from a distance until she meets Lucas, a boy who believes in fairytales that Julia’s world can’t accommodate. The Blue is her prison, not her castle, and she’d escape into the trees if she didn’t know that contamination and death awaited humanity outside.

But not everyone in the Blue is human, and not everyone can be contained.

Beyond the city’s boundaries, in the wild forests of the Red, Cameron has precious little humanity left to lose. As he searches for a lost queen, he finds an enemy rising that he thought long dead. An enemy that the humans have forgotten how to fight.

One way or another, the walls of the Blue are coming down. The only question is what side you’ll be on when they do.”

Book Details


  • Author: Josie Jaffrey
  • Series: Sovereign #1
  • Publisher: Silver Sun Books
  • Publication date: June 25th, 2018
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Age group: Young Adult
  • Content/Trigger Warnings: Blood, physical abuse, abusive relationship, gore, slavery, violence

Book Links

Bookshop::TBD::B&N::Amazon::
Goodreads

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Blog Tour: Marrow Charm by Kristin Jacques

Hello, reader!

Today, I’m bringing you a special blog tour post. Last year, I was a panelist for a wonderful new award called the Book Blogger Novel of the Year Award (BBNYA)! BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors. I was lucky enough to read a great array of indie books, from fantasy to thrillers and more! One of the books I got to read and absolutely loved was Marrow Charm by Kristin Jacques, which ended up winning 6th place. I’m not at all surprised that this book made it to the finals because it was incredible! Of course, I received this book to read and review as part of the BBNYA 2020 competition organized by the @The_WriteReads tours team. I want to thank them so much for sending me a free copy of the e-book so I could participate in the awards! All opinions are my own, unbiased, and completely honest.

Before we talk about the book, though, here’s a bit more about BBNYA. If you are an author and wish to learn more about the 2021 BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website (https://www.bbnya.com/) or our Twitter account, @BBNYA_Official. If you would like to sign-up and enter your book, you can find the BBNYA 2021 AUTHOR SIGN UP FORM HERE. Please make sure to carefully read our terms and conditions before entering. 

If you are a book blogger or reviewer, you can apply to be part of BBNYA 2021 by filling out this form (also remember to read the terms and conditions before signing up)!  BBNYA is brought to you in association with the Folio Society (If you love beautiful books you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group TheWriteReads.

Alright, on to the post!


Synopsis


“Azure ‘Azzy’ Brimvine lives in a world decimated by magic, where humans have retreated underground from the overwhelming dangers of the surface. But Below is no safer than Above.

Magic borne plagues continue to eat away at the remaining human cities, a sickness that doesn’t merely kill, but creates aberrations from the stricken: people twisted by magic into something dark, dangerous, and powerful. It is an existence of fear and constant dread. When Azzy’s brother, Armin, is infected and cast out into the Above, she sets out after him, determined to be there for him no matter what he becomes.

The world Above is full of monsters, both wild and cunning, some more human than Azzy was led to believe. Armin is captured and bound for the Auction block of Avergard, a ruthless city of inhuman lords and twisted creatures. To reach him, Azzy must brave the perils of the Above and the chaotic life forms created by the Gate. To reach him, she must find allies and forge new bonds in this broken world.

And Azzy must reach him, before Armin’s new power is used to open the Gate once more.”

Book Details


  • Author: Kristin Jacques
  • Series: The Gate Cycle #1
  • Publisher: The Parliament House
  • Publication date: October 1st, 2019
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Age group: Young Adult
  • Content/Trigger Warnings: Violence, slavery, blood, gore, animal cruelty

Book Links

Bookshop::TBD::B&N::Amazon::Goodreads

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Blog Tour: Wings of Ebony by J. Elle

Hello, reader!

I’ve just been on a roll with great fantasy reads, lately, and today, I’m excited to talk to you about yet another one! Wings of Ebony by J. Elle is a book that first popped on my radar last year when I saw the magnificent color. When I discovered it was a new YA fantasy that features Black Girl Magic, I knew I was going to read it. That’s why I was so excited to be offered a spot on the book tour being run by Caffeine Book Tours! There are, of course, many other wonderful bloggers, bookstagrammers, and Booktubers on this tour. If you’d like to see the schedule and check out their content, click here.

Before we get more into my tour stop post, I want to thank Caffeine Book Tours and the publisher, Simon & Schuster, for providing me with a free e-ARC in exchange for my participation in this tour. It is, as always, very much appreciated!

Alright, now let’s talk about this fascinating book!


Synopsis


“‘Make a way out of no way’ is just the way of life for Rue. But when her mother is shot dead on her doorstep, life for her and her younger sister changes forever. Rue’s taken from her neighborhood by the father she never knew, forced to leave her little sister behind, and whisked away to Ghizon—a hidden island of magic wielders.

Rue is the only half-god, half-human there, where leaders protect their magical powers at all costs and thrive on human suffering. Miserable and desperate to see her sister on the anniversary of their mother’s death, Rue breaks Ghizon’s sacred Do Not Leave Law and returns to Houston, only to discover that Black kids are being forced into crime and violence. And her sister, Tasha, is in danger of falling sway to the very forces that claimed their mother’s life.

Worse still, evidence mounts that the evil plaguing East Row is the same one that lurks in Ghizon—an evil that will stop at nothing until it has stolen everything from her and everyone she loves. Rue must embrace her true identity and wield the full magnitude of her ancestors’ power to save her neighborhood before the gods burn it to the ground.”

Book Details


  • Author: J. Elle
  • Series: Wings of Ebony #1
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: January 26th, 2021
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Age group: Young Adult
  • Cover artist: Taj Francis
  • Content/Trigger warnings: Representations of gun violence (not graphic), reference to drugs, reference to murder, reference to genocide, on-page racism, violence

Book Links

Bookshop::TBD::B&N::Amazon::Goodreads

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Blog Tour: Of Silver and Shadow by Jennifer Gruenke

Hello, reader!

Today on the blog, I’m bringing you another tour post! This tour is being run by TBR & Beyond Tours and, when I read the synopsis for this book, I knew I wanted in. I’ll be talking about a new YA fantasy with rebels, princes, and magic called Of Silver and Shadow by Jennifer Gruenke. And, not for nothing, but the cover is absolutely gorgeous! Of course, I’m not the only stop on this fabulous tour. There are tons of wonderful book bloggers and bookstgrammers participating! If you’d like to see who and check out their posts, click here to see the full schedule.

Before I continue, I want to thank TBR & Beyond Tours, the publisher, Flux, and Netgalley for providing me with a free e-ARC in exchange for my participation with this tour and an honest review. I always appreciate it!

And now, let’s talk about the book!


Synopsis


“Ren Kolins is a silver wielder—a dangerous thing to be in the kingdom of Erdis, where magic has been outlawed for a century. Ren is just trying to survive, sticking to a life of petty thievery, card games, and pit fighting to get by. But when a wealthy rebel leader discovers her secret, he offers her a fortune to join his revolution. The caveat: she won’t see a single coin until they overthrow the King.

Behind the castle walls, a brutal group of warriors known as the King’s Children is engaged in a competition: the first to find the rebel leader will be made King’s Fang, the right hand of the King of Erdis. And Adley Farre is hunting down the rebels one by one, torturing her way to Ren and the rebel leader, and the coveted King’s Fang title.

But time is running out for all of them, including the youngest Prince of Erdis, who finds himself pulled into the rebellion. Political tensions have reached a boiling point, and Ren and the rebels must take the throne before war breaks out.”

Book Details


  • Author: Jennifer Gruenke
  • Publisher: Flux
  • Publication date: February 16th, 2021
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Age group: Young Adult
  • Content/Trigger warnings: Torture (on page), gore, violence

Book Links

Indiebound::Indigo::TBD::B&N::Amazon:: Goodreads

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