Friday, May 18, 2018

Release Day Blitz+ARC Review: "The Wild Heir" by Karina Halle


The Wild Heir AMAZON (1)

The Wild Heir by Karina Halle 
Publication Date: May 17th, 2018 
Genre: Contemporary Romance

At first glance I probably seem like any good-looking guy in their late twenties. I have an obscene amount of confidence, a tattooed body sculpted by the Nordic gods, and I love the ladies as much as they love me. If I’m not BASE jumping or car racing, I’m chasing other devious thrills with the woman of the week. And that’s fine if you’re the average single guy. But I'm not the average single guy. I’m Crown Prince Magnus of Norway and my latest scandal just landed my entire royal family in hot water. Now the only way the monarchy can save face is for me to smarten up – publicly. If I don’t, I’ll no longer be heir apparent to the throne. So it’s either I abdicate my future role as King or… I get married. To a blue-blooded stranger. 
Enter Princess Isabella of the tiny country of Liechtenstein. Quiet, intelligent, and uniquely beautiful, Ella doesn’t like this arrangement any more than I do and she’s not afraid to show it. She says I’m a womanizer, that I don’t take anything seriously, that my ego should be taken down a few pegs, and I think she aims to make me miserable for the rest of my life. But even as our arranged marriage becomes a war of wit and words, I’m determined to break through Ella’s prim and proper façade to find the wild, sexual and risk-taking woman underneath. I want to uncover the Queen inside her. The only question is – will she let me?

The Wild Heir is a standalone full-length royal romance.


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I received an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

I had loved Magnus ever since the Swedish Prince! I was very excited to get the chance to read his own story!
At first glance, you see a man who only loves a good time, yet has made royally big mistakes. So when the King and Queen force him to marry a princess, he is in for big trouble.
Now Ella, on the other hand, was an amazing character. Forced to live away from her country and with issues with her family, she is quite responsible, kind, and keeps Magnus on his toes. I loved their dialogue, banter and everything else.

I also loved the appearance of King Aksel! Seriously, the next book must be about him! And finally you can never get bored with a good book by Karina Halle; she is on my auto-read list for a reason.


Meet Karina: Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Dirty Angels and over 20 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.
Halle is represented by the Root Literary and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.

Connect with Karina: Facebook: 
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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Cover Reveal: "Cocktales Anthology" The Cocky Collective

                               cocky-final (2).jpg

Cocktales, a limited-release anthology of original, never before published material, from some of your favorite bestselling authors is coming May 26th!

Cocktales Anthology

Publishing Date: May 26th

Cover Designer: CD Reiss

Each story was specifically written for this anthology.
The goal of the Cocktales Anthology is to raise funds to fight against obstruction of creative expression. Specifically, what we believe are obstruction attempts through the trademarking of common (single) words for titicular use in books / or as a book series (eBooks, print, and audio).
Cocktales will only be available May 26th-August 26th.

Pre-order your copy today

Add to Goodreads

Contributing Authors Include

Nana Malone, USA Today Bestselling author - Foreword
Dylan Allen - 'Cocked and Loaded'
Jana Aston, NYT, WSJ, USA Today Bestselling author - 'Double Cocked'
Whitney Barbetti - 'Cocksure Grin'
Author Sawyer Bennett, NYT, WSJ, USA Today Bestselling author - 'A Wicked, Cocky Plan'
K.f. Breene, USA Today Bestselling author - 'Magical Cock and Bull'
Ruth Clampett, Amazon top 20 Bestselling Author - 'Don't Get Cocky'
L.H. Cosway, USA Today Bestselling author - 'Illusionist Seeks Neanderthal'
Mariah Dietz - 'Landmines'
Amy Daws, Amazon Top 25 Bestselling author - 'Cock and Balls'
BB Easton, Amazon Top 100 Bestselling author - 'Cocky BB: Two Boys, One Prom.'
Jaymin Eve, USA Today Bestselling author - 'The Cockier the Dragon, the Harder They Fall'
Emma Hart, NYT and USA Today Bestselling author - 'Tricky Bond'
Staci Hart, Amazon Top 10 Bestselling author - 'Cockamamie'
Jessica Hawkins, USA Today Bestselling author - 'Cocky Couture'
Julie Johnson Amazon Top 100 Bestselling author - 'Culinary Cock-Up'
Karpov Kinrade, USA Today Bestselling author - 'Crimson Cocktail'
Adriana Locke, USA Today Bestselling author - 'Swag'
Lex Martin, USA Today Bestselling author - 'Love & Hate at the Stallion Station'
Aly Martinez, USA Today Bestselling author - 'Going Down'
Katyi McGee - USA Today Bestselling author - 'Cocksure Co-Star'
Corinne Michaels, NYT, WSJ, USA Today Bestselling author - 'Cockblocked'
Liv Morris, USA Today Bestselling author - 'Getting It Up'
Red Phoenix, USA Today Bestselling author - 'Her Cocky Russian'
Daisy Prescott, USA Today Bestselling author - 'Confessions of a Cockblocked Wingman'
Jessica Prince - 'A Cocky Corruption Engagement'
Meghan Quinn, Amazon Top 20 Bestselling Author - 'Fight or Flight'
CD Reiss, NYT and USA Today Bestselling author - 'Cocky Capo'
Penny Reid, WSJ and USA Today Bestselling author - 'Beard and Hen'
Julie Richman, USA Today Bestselling author - 'The Color of Love'
Aleatha Romig, NYT, WSJ, USA Today Bestselling author - 'Aligned'
Kennedy Ryan, Top 40 Amazon Bestselling author - 'All'
Kylie Scott, NYT, WSJ, USA Today Bestselling author - 'Short Story with Mal and Anne from The Stage Dive Series'
Sierra Simone, USA Today Bestselling author - 'Until the Cock Crows'
Tara Sivec, USA Today Bestselling author - 'Chocolate and Cockup'
Kate Stewart, Amazon Top 30 Bestselling author - 'The Golden Sombrero'
Leia Stone, USA Today Bestselling author - 'Cocky Alpha'
Karla Sorensen - 'Tristan & Anna: A Bachelors of the Ridge short story'
Rachel Van Dyken, NYT, WSJ, USA Today Bestselling author - 'Cocky Mafia'
April White, Amazon Top 100 Bestselling author - 'Code of Conduct'


*ALL* net profits will be donated to:
Authors already impacted by creative-obstruction (10%), and Romance Writers of America (RWA) (90%) as a general donation intended for their Advocacy Fund.

*Disclaimer: This anthology is not being conducted on behalf of RWA, nor does RWA endorse this anthology or effort. They have, however, graciously agreed to accept the funds.

For more information, visit:

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Top 10 Tuesday: Books I Disliked/Hated but Am Really Glad I Read

This meme is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.
This week’s topic is Top Ten Tuesday #147: I don't usually hate books, despite the rare low rates I place them. So this list is not that big.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

ARC Review: "Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge" by Lisa Jensen

Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge by Lisa Jensen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

Filled with magic and fierce emotion, Lisa Jensen's multilayered novel will make you question all you think you know about beauty, beastliness, and happily ever after.

They say Château Beaumont is cursed. But servant-girl Lucie can’t believe such foolishness about handsome Jean-Loup Christian Henri LeNoir, Chevalier de Beaumont, master of the estate. But when the chevalier's cruelty is revealed, Lucie vows to see him suffer. A wisewoman grants her wish, with a spell that transforms Jean-Loup into monstrous-looking Beast, reflecting the monster he is inside. But Beast is nothing like the chevalier. Jean-Loup would never patiently tend his roses; Jean-Loup would never attempt poetry; Jean-Loup would never express remorse for the wrong done to Lucie. Gradually, Lucie realizes that Beast is an entirely different creature from the handsome chevalier, with a heart more human than Jean-Loup’s ever was. Lucie dares to hope that noble Beast has permanently replaced the cruel Jean-Loup — until an innocent beauty arrives at Beast’s château with the power to break the spell.



I received an e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Not only am I fan a hard-core fan of everything Beauty and the Beast related but also I enjoy books retelling the 'tale as old as time'. Lisa Jensen's second book of retelling characters from fairy tales deals with the Beast. If you haven't read her book "Alias Hook", do so. It's amazing!

So here's a trigger warning: there's a rape scene early in the book. Although I read the ARC, I do hope that there'll be a warning in the final copy.

Lucie is a poor village girl who becomes a chambermaid in JeanLoup mansion. I suspect that in historical times, the book takes place in the beginning of 19th century or so. There are lots of descriptions concerning the mansion, the servants and the life outside the mansion. And while Lucie at first has feelings for Jean-Loup Christian Henri LeNoir, Chevalier de Beaumont, they quickly shatter after that night.

Now here's a reaction that I have seen aggravating many readers. Lucie thought that it was her fault and she feels ashamed to the point of going to commit suicide. Let's backtrack. Pre-modern societies were harsh on women and especially women who lived in the countryside of the big European cities. In many occasions, a woman's honor was the only playing card she had and of course, there was no pill or condom. A woman raped had no word over the word of a man, even if he was in a higher class than her.

In a way, I understand Lucie's reaction, despite being wrong in today's thinking. That's why when she meets the mysterious old woman, she tells her that it wasn't her fault and absolves her from the blame. From there the magic happens and the Chevalier turns into the Beast. BUT, there is a wonderful plot twist here, that made me love the book in the end very much.

I'm just going to say that it's also for the fans who loved the Beast and not the Prince as much ;)

Recommended if you can bypass the trigger warning.

About the author:

I've painted pottery, sold movie tickets and books, drawn cartoons, and hand-crafted fabric dolls. Now I get to write full-time; the hours are flexible and there's no dress code. My movie reviews appear on Rotten Tomatoes. My novel, "Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge," comes out in July, 2018, from Candlewick. My historical/fantasy "Alias Hook," was published by Thomas Dunne Books in July, 2014. My historical pirate novel, "The Witch From the Sea," was published in 2001. 

Visit me on Facebook: 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Top 10 Tuesday: Books With My Favorite Color On the Cover

This meme is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.
This week’s topic is Top Ten Tuesday #146: In no particular order books that have my favorite colors on their cover!

And by far the best colors in the covers can be found in the Newsoul trilogy by Jodi Meadows! No cover similar to them has ever be made again!

Friday, May 4, 2018

Cover Reveal: "Unbreak my Heart" by Lauren Blakely

An angsty, emotional second chance romance, UNBREAK MY HEART is a complete standalone romance like you’ve never seen from #1 New York Times bestseller Lauren Blakely before. Filled with raw emotion, heartbreak, hope, and humor too, this story explores how to heal, how to live, and how to love. UNBREAK MY HEART will be available on all retailers on August 13, 2018!

AND HERE’S THE BIG DEAL: the preorder/release day price is only $2.99*! Grab it at this price while you can because the price will be going up after release day!

Kindle readers ~ Mark the release date, August 13, on your calendar for the live release! UNBREAK MY HEART will be $2.99 on release day only! Sign up for Lauren’s Live Release Alert Here:

*All prices listed in USD.

Cover Photography by Rafa Catala with model Mario Zabal.
Cover Design by Helen Williams.

About UNBREAK MY HEART(Coming 8/13/2018):

From #1 New York Times bestseller Lauren Blakely comes a new standalone romance as you’ve never seen her before. Filled with raw emotion, heartbreak, hope, and humor too, UNBREAK MY HEART explores how to heal, how to live, and how to love.

I didn't break her heart, and she didn't break mine -- we broke each other's.

I never stopped loving her, but time and distance played its cruel role in ripping us apart three years ago when she moved halfway around the world. Now after all those endless miles away, she's returned . . . but I'm not the guy I was before.

Beautiful, kind, and loving, she's the same -- my hope. The only one who can make a day better, who can make me feel again with one kiss, one touch, one night.

There's so much I have to put back in place now that I’m alone and on my own. Things I never wanted at the age of twenty-five. When I receive an unexpected letter that might hold the clues to everything I desperately need to understand about my family, I'm sure I have to follow it. But that means leaving her once more.

She says she'll come with me, and having her by my side will unbreak my heart . . . or destroy it.

That's the chance I have to take.



Amazon PB iBooks Kobo Nook Google Play

Kindle Preorder alert (via Lauren's newsletter)



UNBREAK MY HEART will be narrated by Joe Arden and Erin Mallon! Want to be the first to receive all of the latest UNBREAK MY HEART information, including when you can get your hands on the audio version? Sign up here for Lauren’s audio alert and get the details! ✦Lauren’s Audio Alert

    About Lauren Blakely: A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that's hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than 95 times, and she's sold more than 2.5 million books. In June she'll release PART-TIME LOVER, a sexy new standalone romance. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter!

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Newsletter ** Goodreads


Thursday, May 3, 2018

Cover Reveal: "Even Money" (All In Duet #1) by Alessandra Torre

Even Money
By Alessandra Torre
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Cover Design: Najla Qamber Designs


Sometimes it only takes a minute. A connection of eyes across a room, and everything changes.I was a cocktail waitress with a fondness for partying and meaningless sex. He owned half of Vegas, with the reputation to match.I should have turned away. Instead, I stepped closer.Then, the lies started. Rumors spread. Stalking commenced. And someone died.None of it stopped me from falling in love.

Preorder Links

Amazon Paperback:
Preorder on iBooks:
Add to Goodreads:
Add to Goodreads before May 15th and be automatically entered to win 1 of 4 $50 VISA Giftcards! >>

About Alessandra Torre

Alessandra Torre is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of fourteen novels. Her books focus on romance and suspense. Torre has been featured in such publications as Elle and Elle UK, as well as guest blogged for the Huffington Post and RT Book Reviews. She is also the Bedroom Blogger for

Connect with Alessandra

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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Reviews in Minor: Books I enjoyed in April!

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads

Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they'll find seven months after the invasion?

Meanwhile, Kady's cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza's ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha's past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.

With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.



The stunning ending to the ILLUMINAE files was piled up with an amazing plot, beloved and hated characters and a very, very satisfying, jaw-dropping ending!

Kady and co have to go back to Kerenza where the private soldiers of the evil company BeiTech have the remaining citizens under the martial law. The new characters Rhys and Asha, meanwhile, find themselves torn between love and duty while time is running out for everyone.

Literally, I was very anxious as I turned the pages and those two clocks were coming closer and closer to the end. Not to mention that they felt like ticking bombs. The story involves everyone and through the files, the pictures, and that amazing small comic I was actually wondering who was going to die. Because both authors have proved to be master geniuses when it comes to tearing your heart to pieces.

I didn't expect the ending AFTER the ending! WOW, I'd pay to have more books made just for THAT remaining character! ;)

About the authors:

Amie Kaufman is a New York Times, USA Today and internationally bestselling author of science fiction and fantasy. Her multi-award winning work has been published in over 35 countries, and is in development for film and TV. A couple of her career highlights so far include professional wolf-howling lessons, and working as a story consultant at NASA. You can sign up for her newsletter to see what she's working on, hear when she releases a new book, and be automatically entered for giveaways:

She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and her considerable library.

Jay Kristoff is the #1 international, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of THE NEVERNIGHT CHRONICLE, THE ILLUMINAE FILES and THE LOTUS WAR. He is the winner of five Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, has over half a million books in print and is published in over thirty five countries, most of which he has never visited. He is as surprised about all of this as you are. He is 6’7 and has approximately 12,000 days to live. 

He does not believe in happy endings.

Defy the Worlds by Claudia Gray
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads

This is the thrilling and romantic sequel to Defy the Stars from the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Lost Starsand Bloodline.

An outcast from her home -- Shunned after a trip through the galaxy with Abel, the most advanced cybernetic man ever created, Noemi Vidal dreams of traveling through the stars one more time. And when a deadly plague arrives on Genesis, Noemi gets her chance. As the only soldier to have ever left the planet, it will be up to her to save its people...if only she wasn't flying straight into a trap.

A fugitive from his fate -- On the run to avoid his depraved creator's clutches, Abel believes he's said good-bye to Noemi for the last time. After all, the entire universe stands between them...or so he thinks. When word reaches him of Noemi's capture by the very person he's trying to escape, Abel knows he must go to her, no matter the cost.

But capturing Noemi was only part of Burton Mansfield's master plan. In a race against time, Abel and Noemi will come together once more to discover a secret that could save the known worlds, or destroy them all.

In this thrilling and romantic sequel to Defy the Stars, bestselling author Claudia Gray asks us all to consider where--and with whom--we truly belong.



The sequel to "Defy the Stars" was one of my most anticipating of 2018. I knew that Claudia Gray was going to tear me up apart with her writing but I couldn't expect her to make me cry!

Abel and Noemi will have far more to deal with than their own feelings. Mansfield and the humans have created a secret project that will be 'revolutionary' on Earth, while the people of Genesis are in grave danger.

Noemi and Abel will have to team up again if they expect to stop everyone. And there's lots of action, amazing descriptions of planets and space-ship and also the POVs of Noemi and Abel. Despite being in the third POV, there is true emotion, realistic reactions and some good humor hidden in there.

The ending was horrible. And a cliffhanger. I really fear to see the next book.

About the author:

Claudia Gray is not my real name. I didn't choose a pseudonym because my real name is unpleasant (it isn't), because I'd always dreamed of calling myself this (I haven't) or even because I'm hiding from the remnants of that international diamond-smuggling cartel I smashed in 2003 (Interpol has taken care of them). In short, I took a pseudonym for no real reason whatsoever. Sometimes this is actually the best reason to do things.

I live in New Orleans. So far, in life, I've been a disc jockey, a lawyer, a journalist and an extremely bad waitress, just to name a few. I especially like to spend time traveling, hiking, reading and listening to music. More than anything else, I enjoy writing.

Circe by Madeline Miller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads

The daring, dazzling and highly anticipated follow-up to the New York Times bestseller The Song of Achilles

One of the Most Anticipated Books of 2018

"An epic spanning thousands of years that's also a keep-you-up-all-night page turner." - Ann Patchett

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child--not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power--the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language and page-turning suspense, Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man's world.



I had heard high praise for the "Song of Achilles" the first book by Madeline Miller. Yet I decided to begin with Circe. I have quite a big knowledge of Greek mythology, and I was very curious about this mythological figure who is just mentioned in Odyssey.

Beginning from her time of birth, Circe becomes a witness to the great mythological events as a witch-goddess; from Prometheus to the Minotaur and from Jason and Medea to Odysseus. I was very happy to see the accurate descriptions, how Circe's life was a true hardship, from her brothers and sister to her non-existent parents. Gods are truly vain, pitiful creatures.

But my surprise came after the end of Odysseus's arc of the story. Few know about the ancient poem which narrates what happens after the end of Odysseus's adventures and I was very happy to see Circe becoming a part of it and rediscovering the meaning of love and having a family again.

Truly a masterpiece, I praise Madeline's amazing writing and glorious depicture of the mythological Greek world.
And on a side note, I did listen to the audiobook of the "Song of Achilles". Let's just say that I became a puddle of tears.

About the author:

Madeline Miller was born in Boston and grew up in New York City and Philadelphia. She attended Brown University, where she earned her BA and MA in Classics. For the last ten years she has been teaching and tutoring Latin, Greek and Shakespeare to high school students. She has also studied at the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought, and in the Dramaturgy department at Yale School of Drama, where she focused on the adaptation of classical texts to modern forms. She currently lives in Cambridge, MA, where she teaches and writes. The Song of Achilles is her first novel.

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads

Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.



I truly enjoyed Leah's story! She is a fellow manga and anime lover, reads fanfiction and has a huge crush that almost went unrequited. Also, I got to see my beautiful sweethearts Simon and Bram!

There's a lot of drama in this book too. Despite Leah having a tight-knit of friends she still feels that sometimes she lacks in comparison to her friends. I do believe that she should be a little better to her mom though.

And there were moments where I laughed and felt sad for her because there are teens like Leah in the world who want to feel accepted and loved for who they really are, be it for their body or sexuality.

About the author:

Becky Albertalli is the author of the acclaimed novels Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (film: Love, Simon), The Upside of Unrequited, and Leah on the Offbeat. She is also the co-author of What If It's Us with Adam Silvera. A former clinical psychologist who specialized in working with children and teens, Becky lives with her family in Atlanta.

You can visit her online at

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads

New York Times Bestseller!

At once provocative, terrifying, and darkly subversive, Dread Nation is Justina Ireland's stunning vision of an America both foreign and familiar—a country on the brink, at the explosive crossroads where race, humanity, and survival meet.

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania—derailing the War Between the States and changing the nation forever.

In this new America, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Education Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead.

But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It's a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston's School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose.

But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. 

And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.



Imagine if America you knew mostly from "Gone with the Wind" actually got the zombie apocalypse. Because that's what happens in Dread Nation. While in the American Civil War, the dead rise and the war takes a different course as everyone now must fight the dead.

Jane is a black girl who under the Native and Negro Education Act, must attend a special school and become educated in all the fine ways a young lady must act; being polite and how to cut off zombie heads. And Jane is a tough girl who doesn't conform to her surroundings and doesn't hesitate to say so.

If I were by her side I'd high five her.

Because the story takes quite a fast turning of events, you get to see also many cruel sides of the human nature. Black and Native American people are treated almost like slaves, the children taken from the tribes are stripped away from their cultural heritage and become trained soldiers while girls like Jane become Attendants, the ones who protect the pretty little white ladies of the rich families.

And the sad part? There were scientists at the 18th-19th century who believed that black people and the Native Americans were different species or primitive ape who didn't develop quite well, so they had the right to civilize them. Search it, people, it's true.

While on the other hand there is almost no romance in this book, there are some indications that something will happen in the next book. I really can't wait to read it!

About the author:

Justina Ireland enjoys dark chocolate, dark humor, and is not too proud to admit that she’s still afraid of the dark. She lives with her husband, kid, and dog in Pennsylvania. She is the author of Vengeance Bound and Promise of Shadows.

Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads

The ancient land of Éirinn is mired in war. Ciara, Princess of Mide, has never known a time when Éirinn’s kingdoms were not battling for power, or Northmen were not plundering their shores.

The people of Mide have thankfully always been safe because of Ciara’s unearthly ability to control her enemies’ minds and actions. But lately, a mysterious crow has been appearing to Ciara, whispering warnings of an even darker threat. Although her clansmen dismiss her visions as pagan nonsense, Ciara fears this coming evil will destroy not just Éirinn, but the entire world.

Then the crow leads Ciara to Leif, a young Northman leader. Leif should be Ciara’s enemy, but when Ciara discovers that he, too, shares her prophetic visions, she knows he’s something more. Leif is mounting an impressive army, and with Ciara’s strength in battle the two might have a chance to save their world.

With evil rising around them, they’ll do what it takes to defend the land they love…even if it means making the greatest sacrifice of all.



An amazing story set in the medieval Britain where the Normans arrive! Filled with mythology, battles, treachery, and romance this book was a very nice surprise! I loved how Ciara and Leif began from enemies, then turned into allies and then they fell for each other.

I surely enjoyed seeing a young woman like Ciara being a warrior, defending her home and family, despite all the prejudice she received from her clansmen. There are many surprises in the book which I won't spoil but I do recommend it! It's a really good one!

About the author:

Once upon a time, Jessica Leake was a psychotherapist, but even though she loved her clients, she couldn't stop writing. She wrote and wrote until she got her first book published, and then she wrote some more. In between all that writing she had four beautiful and hilarious children with her husband (best friend and man she's known since high school; also hilarious), moved back to her adopted hometown of Greenville, SC, built a chicken coop, and got a bunch of chickens that poop breakfast every morning. She also has two dogs to keep the chickens in line. (The dogs made her write that last bit.)