Book Review: Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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About the book

My thoughts

I tried another audio book & this one was better as I have watched the Netflix show. If I zoned out with my imagination, I was able to catch back up with the narrator.

It is a great story with well developed characters and strong world building.

The MC, Alina starts off from humble beginnings. As an orphan from the war, she has grown up in the orphanage where she befriended Mal. Her and Mal have been inseparable ever since until his life’s in danger & Alina saves him… revealing her powers.

This is when Alina’s life takes a sudden change. Believed to be the Sun Summoner and the one that can bring down the terrible Dark Fold, she’s whisked off to train by the alluring Darkling and finds herself amongst the Grishas and part of a society she could only have dreamt of before. It doesn’t take long to realise the grass isn’t always greener and she is being used.

Alina & Mal come together towards the end of the book to figure out the truth and break free. Their bond was one of my favourite parts of the novel, although the Darkling parts and magic was lots of fun too.

Read it for found family, rags to riches, and magic.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Buy it from Amazon

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[kofi]

If you enjoyed this, you will like:

Book Review: How the King of Elfhame learned to Hate Stories by Holly Black

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About the book

My thoughts

For anyone that has read The Folk of Air series and needed more, this is it.

This book follows Cardan and starts off with him as a young Prince. The background is brilliant at explaining how he came to be the cruel prince. We learn about his childhood, his romance with Nicasia, and why he was drawn to Jude.

Early on Cardan is told a story. At the time I wondered why it was important and Holly didn’t disappoint by taking the story full circle.

I didn’t love this as much as the series. I didn’t connect with Cardan as well as I did Jude. It could be his character or that this was an audio book. Despite that, I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

Read it for more Folk of Air, backstory, and a satisfying ending.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

You can buy this book from:

Amazon: How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories (The Folk of the Air series): The perfect gift for fans of Fantasy Fiction https://amzn.eu/d/d2CXjrB

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[Kofi]

2023 First Quarter Check In

You can see the initial goals I set for 2023 by checking out my January post.

Today’s post is to look at what I have achieved during the first three months of the year (January to March) 2023.

Publishing

Sky Heart: Book 2 in the Soul Heart Series

It took me until end of March to finish the Developmental Edit which is longer than I had hoped but still good progress.

I have also finalised the cover for Sky Heart and waiting for Sky Heart to be closer to publishing to do a cover reveal.

Summer Heart: Prequel of Soul Heart series

I haven’t worked much on this during Quarter One. I have been distracted by a shiny new idea. I’m not too worried as Sky Heart was always the priority but I’d like to finish this at some point this year.

Public Appearances: I have booked two events.

May: Herts Book Festival. I will be there selling signed copies of Sky Heart.

June: Felixstowe Book Festival. I will be taking part on a panel for the Children’s events.

Other Stories: I gave some examples of some plot bunnies bouncing around in my head. However, none of these were the shiny new story I started writing during quarter one.

  • A YA LGBTQ Fantasy spin off from The Soul Heart series. It was supposed to be a horror inspired by slender man myths and Orochimaru from Naruto, but it’s not coming out as dark as I expected. It’s been fun to write.

Reading

6 out of 18 books: I set my Goodreads goal at 16 books and have read 6 books so far. I bought some ear pods and tried audio books again. I’m having more success, but, I still prefer the written word to the verbal word.

Reviews: All the books have a Goodreads review. I have posted reviews on my YouTube channel for four books so far and plan to do more.

Social Media [UPDATE]

Felixstowe Magazine: I have been fortunate enough to write for Felixstowe Magazine throughout 2022 and will continue in 2023. Check out my News page to discover the articles.

Website: I need to make sure my pages stay up-to-date. For example, whilst writing this I’ve found that “New Moon” is listed on my books page but hasn’t updated to the new title “Summer Heart”. This isn’t a biggie as I’m not marketing it yet, but I mustn’t lose sight of it.

I’m also not happy with my current host provider, Hostinger. I paid for 2 years, so I’m stuck with them for another year but in the autumn I need to check out other providers and prepare for a migration.

Ko-Fi: I have been posting more often to Ko-Fi and trying to post some content that can’t only be seen there by more followers. I am finding it hard to think of content to post each day.

[kofi]

YouTube: Despite the challenges affecting my life during the first quarter, I have managed to record, edit, and lost fortnightly to YouTube. This schedule is challenging for me but still achievable so I will keep this schedule.

Consistently Post: To keep the algorithm happy, I set the following schedule and included how I got on sticking to it:

  • Blog: Mon – This has been most Mon but I tend to forget something for the end of the month.
  • IG: Wed (more if I feel like it) – It’s been sporadic but has met the at least once a week quota.
  • Ko-Fi: Thu – I have posted each week, usually on a Thursday.
  • Twitter: Sun – I had a clear out of Followers on Twitters which improved my feed, but I don’t think I have posted intentionally to Twitter.
  • YT: Tue (fortnightly) – Yes. This has be challenging at time as I’ve had tech challenges like my video not uploading but I have persevered and kept up with it.
  • Newsletter: Every other month – Yes. I sent a newsletter in Jan, but not in Feb, and then again in Mar. I thought I’d messed up on this goal so it’s good I achieved it.

Followers: Eek, I was okay with no growth, but to lose followers was a shock. It’s so slight, I hadn’t even noticed. I wasn’t surprised that my TikTok count dropped as I deleted the app for a bit – I’m just not a fan and don’t trust them to respect my privacy.

I’m chuffed I have already beat my YouTube annual goal. This is encouraging as I am still trying to figure things out.

It’s good to see I am connecting with readers. I was surprised by this as I don’t always remember to post to BookBub & Litsy.

The authors that agreed to do The Author Diaries collab with me are still up for it but we still haven’t set down a time. In the meantime, I have been creating fortnightly content for my YouTube channel.

Reviews: Although I’ve had two people tell me they read and loved Ocean Heart, the review count has not increased.

Personal

Skincare routine: I got in a good routine and then got lazy again. I also treated myself to some Korean makeup. I used to love Korean makeup before I went organic. I got a cute foundation, highlighter, and bronzer.

Visit Jimmy’s Farm: I’m so disappointed that we haven’t been. It hasn’t been the best weather, cold and rainy. When it has been nice my husband had either been working or someone has a bad cold. Hopefully we will get to go during Q2.

Date Nights: My hubby’s best mate baby Sat so we could go watch Avatar together. This was right before I lost my job. Once I was unemployed my hubby and I went to lunch a few times when we was on his rest days.

If you enjoyed this, you will like:

Book Review: The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

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About the book

My thoughts

Jude is living with her Fae sister, with her fiery spirit in tact despite being exiled. This book starts out by showing how the Fae live in our world.

She is still angry with those that betrayed her, but when her twin sister comes begging for help Jude can provide, she can’t help but forgive her and accept the challenge.

Jude then has to continue to pretend to be her sister as she finds herself deep in enemy territory. If she is discovered, she knows she will be killed.

To get her out of danger is a rescue party of unexpected allies. Jude gets back to the kingdom and is recognised as the first human queen of Fae.

This progression is not welcomed by many, and different groups come to challenge them and put the prophecy to the test.

The King is cursed and the Queen must figure out how to save them all. Jude doesn’t disappoint and I got my HEA.

Read it for enemies to lovers, kingdoms and curses, and if you love a smart strong spirited female lead.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

You can buy this book from:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3F8Ddvy

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[Kofi]

Book Review: Fate of the Blue Moon by H. B. Lynn

This post contains affiliate links. Please check out my affiliate disclosure page for more information.

About the book

My thoughts

Ariana is a kickass character, literally. She reminded me a little of Faythe from Buffy. She’s not had an easy life and she trained in martial arts.

It turns out she is a blood born shifter. As she discovers a world she belongs to, she gets to learn about their abilities and their enemies.

This story is set in the modern world but still had a lot of world building to explain the shifters, and witches, etc. It’s very action packed, my only gripe was I wanted more romance.

Read it for a strong female lead, shifters, and lots of action & world building.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Get a copy from Amazon

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this, you will like:

Book Review: The Wicked King by Holly Black

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About the book

My thoughts

I loved this book. Jude has made a deal with the Fae king, to reign for a year and a day under her command. This still is not without danger and conflict.

The new king is not welcomed by all. The political alliances and lines drawn create all sorts of challenges. Even those within their own court have questionable loyalties. Secrets are uncovered in the Tower of the Forgotten.

The King has plenty of interest from potential Fae wives. The love hate passion between Jude and Cardan amps up. Is he just playing with her, or is there more to it.

In this book Jude is betrayed, she is kidnapped , she is tortured. She is finally returned and commanded to kill, but Jude of her own free will kills another.

There was this moment between the lovers when everything seemed so perfect – I had my HEA. Then Holly Black whipped it out of my feet in the last few pages and left me gasping for book 3!

Read it for enemies to lovers, fans of Fae, and if you love a smart strong spirited female lead.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

You can buy this book from:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3Fgbh9c

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[Kofi]

Book Review: What Are Friends For? by Sarah Sutton

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About the book

My thoughts

I’ve wanted to read this book for ages. As someone who is married to their best friend, I was attracted to this friends to lovers romance.

When the MC accidentally kisses her best friend instead of her crush it makes everything complicated and awkward. Her best friend has no idea it was her he kissed.

Sarah executes the set up in a believable way, and the emotions that follow are raw and real. All the characters are well developed with their own drives and challenges.

The chapter art is snowflakes, and this little touch makes sense once you’ve read the book. I loved the ending, and the book left me feeling warm and happy.

Read it for Friends to Lovers, a sweet romance, and a happy ending.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

You can buy this book from:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3EaqlGs

If you enjoyed this, check out this:

[Kofi]

Book Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

This post contains affiliate links. Please check out my affiliate disclosure page for more information.

About the book

My thoughts

Initially I gave this book five stars but then when I came to write my review it dropped to 4 stars, but it is almost 5 stars.

I loved the set up of this book, and the world building. All the characters are well thought out with their own desires and intentions, making them interesting and realistic.

The majority of the story is set in fairy land. The Fae are cruel to humans, especially Prince Cardan. This makes fairy school hard for Jude and her twin sisters who are mortal. With no magical abilities like their half Fae sister, they are constantly trying to prove their worth.

Jude is clever and ambitious. She is determined to get the Fae kind to see she’s not powerless and trains for the tournament to become a knight. But when a battle for the crown starts up, she sees her opportunity to turn the tables.

The plot, motives, and descriptions were amazing. For some reason I thought there would be romance. There is some romance that adds to the plot, but it was too brief for my tastes.

Read it for sisters and blended family, fans of Fae, and if you love a smart strong spirited female lead.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

You can buy this book from:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3UNQel8

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[Kofi]