Monthly Archives: March 2017

A Crown of Wishes Excerpt (Blog Tour)

Blog_Tour

Hi everyone! Can you believe the month is almost over? It basically flew by. Before it does though, A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi comes out. A Crown of Wishes is a companion novel for Chokshi’s amazing fantasy book, The Star-Touched Queen. This means, lucky for you, you don’t have to read TSTQ first, but I’m sure after reading ACOW, you’ll want to. I have the excerpt to share with you curtsey of St. Martin’s blog tour.

As always, here’s some information beforehand:

A_Crown_Of_WishesA Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

Published By: St. Martin’s Griffin on March 28th, 2017 (Today!!)

Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, Romance

Pages: 352

Goodreads Summary:

Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes—a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.

Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels.

Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

~Excerpt~

•» 2 «•

BURNING ROSES GAURI

The guards unbound my wrists and shoved me into a red room. I waited for them to go before pulling out a small silk bag of pearl dust I had swiped from the cosmetics table. I repeated the flimsy plan in my head:

Throw the dust in his eyes, gag him, steal his weapons.

If the Prince made a sound, I’d hold the dagger to his throat and hold him ransom. If he didn’t make a sound, I’d make him free me for his own life. I knew I couldn’t get far on my own, but most people could be bribed, and if bribery didn’t work, threats always did.

I was glad they hadn’t taken me to a throne room. The last time I was in a throne room, Skanda had ripped away my hopes for the king- dom and destroyed my future.

Arjun did not meet my eyes. And he refused to look up when his new bride and my best friend was hauled into the room. Nalini sank to her knees. Her gaze was frantic: leaping back and forth from me to Arjun and the dead on the ground.

Skanda’s knife was pressed to her throat, sharp and close enough that beads of blood welled onto her skin.

“I know what you want,” said Skanda.

I closed my eyes, shuttering the memory. I looked around the room, wondering which corner was the best position for attacking. At one end, a trellis of roses covered the wall. My chest tightened. I used to grow roses. One trellis for every victory. I had loved watching the blood red petals unfurl around thorns. Looking at them reminded me of my people’s love: red as life. A month before Skanda had me thrown over the Ujijain border, he had set them on fire in a drunken stupor. By the time I got there, it was too late. Every petal had curled and blackened.

“You think these flowers are tokens of Bharata’s love for you,” he had slurred. “I want you to see, little sister. I want  you to see just how easy it is for everything you plan and love and tend to go up in flames.”

I’ll never forget what burning roses look like. All those scarlet petals turning incandescent and furious. Like the last flare of the sun before an eclipse swallows it from the sky.

“You think they love you now, but it doesn’t last. You’re the rose. Not them. They are the flames. And you’ll never see how quickly you’ll catch fire until you’re engulfed. One step out of the line I draw, and they will set you on fire.”

I turned my back on the roses.

I chose a corner of the room, and then sank my teeth into the in- sides of my cheek. It was a habit I’d picked up on the eve of my first battle. Nerves had set my teeth chattering, so I brought out a mirror and glowered at myself. The glowering didn’t help, but I liked the way my face looked. The small movements made my cheekbones look as sharp as scimitars. And when I tightened my lips, I felt dangerous, as if I were hiding knives behind my teeth. Biting my cheeks became a battle tradition. Today I went into battle.

A door in the distance creaked. I ran through what I knew about the Prince of Ujijain. They called him the Fox Prince. And given the way some of the soldiers had jealously said his name, it didn’t seem like a name given because his face had animal features. He spent part of every year at an ashram where all the nobility sent their sons. Reputedly brilliant. Not good. Weak with weapons. Excellent. The guards were fond of retelling the story of his trial with the council. Prince Vikram had to submit to three tasks in order to be named heir of Ujijain—give the dead new life, hold a flame that never burns, and deliver the stron- gest weapon in the world. For the first task, he whittled a piece of bark into a knife, proving that even discarded things could be given new life in purpose. For the second task, he released a thousand jars of fireflies and held the small insects in his hand, proving that he could hold a flame that never burned. And for the last task, he said that he had poisoned the council. Desperate for the antidote, the

council named him heir. The Fox Prince then revealed that he had lied and proved how be- lief itself was the strongest weapon in the world.

I rolled my eyes every time I heard the tale. It sounded like some- thing that villagers with a restless imagination would spin beside a fire. I’d heard another rumor about him. Something about his par- entage. That he was an orphan who’d moved the Emperor to pity. But I doubted the vicious Emperor would be moved in such a way. The guards told me that the Emperor kept great beasts at his side that could tear the throat out of anyone who dared to cross him.

Footsteps shuffled down the hall. I clutched the silk bag of pearl dust. The Prince might be clever and eloquent, but you can’t talk your way out of death and I wasn’t going to give him a chance to speak. All my intelligence told me that he was no match for me. I’d have him on his knees and begging for his life in a matter of moments.

A final door opened.

The Fox Prince was

here.


The writing is gorgeous once again. I’m really interested in the main character who seems like a take-no-nonsense person, which I love. I can’t wait to see what else is going on in the book. I hope you check out The Star-Touched Queen and A Crown of Wishes.

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Three’s A Crowd (Wondrous Covers Wednesday)

Hey everyone. I decided to start up Wondrous Covers Wednesday after seeing a new cover a few weeks months ago. This post has been in my drafts forever and I figured I’d pull it out and finish it.

This week’s feature is dedicated to crowds, an introvert’s worst nightmare.

Just kidding.

Partly.

~One~

The_Rest_of_us_Just_Live_Here

The Rest Of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness – 

~My Thoughts~

I like the fade out effect that this cover has with almost all of the people on the cover. Not to mention, this book is supposed to glow in the dark, I’ve heard. They’re all just mostly ordinary people. The tagline here is absolutely everything, we’re not likely to be the “chosen ones” to save the world.

~Two~

The_Ones

The Ones by Daniel Sweren-Becker – 

~My Thoughts~

The Ones has a bit blurry effect going on. I kind of like it, but it kind of districts me from the actual main characters. I really like the tagline on the cover even if it seems a little in your face. I’d expect the “not” to be in bold rather than the reversal of what’s going on. The font color really pops which is nice, as far as I can see, it’s the only red on the cover.

~Three~

Here_We_Are_Now_Jasmine_Warga

Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga 

~My Thoughts~

And here is the new cover that inspired the theme. I think this cover is a good combination between the other two. It’s also my favorite one. Like The Ones, there’s the focus on the main characters who are in color. I’m not sure how I like the title font color. I feel it almost loses itself? I’m wondering if a darker blue would have been better. 

Other Covers With Crowds:

Finally, I had to include these two because they are perfect for this theme.

My True Love Gave To Me Anthology Summer_Days_And_Summer_Nights

One thing I like about these covers is how they really emphasize their titles with “Us”, “Ones” and “We”. I think it could’ve been easy for a couple of the covers to just feature the main characters, but they didn’t do that.


What do you think about crowds on covers? I think they have the chance of seeming too busy but for the most part, I felt all these cover designers did a good job.


All The Books On My Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday

Hi everyone. Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the ladies at The Broke and The Bookish, they come up with new lists for the book community to participate in almost every week. You can read more about that here.

I decided to make a list of the books coming out this Spring rather than general books I want to read. You would be surprised how complicated this actually was and not because of the books. I was trying to figure out what months were considered Spring. The fact that it’s freezing outside and feels like it could snow any minute didn’t help any.

After talking to friends, I decided to stick with the standard Spring dates which is March 20th-June 20th. I picked fifteen books that I’m dying to have. I have quite a few of these as eARCs so I need to get to reading!

Top_Fifteen_Books_On_My_Spring_TBR

~March~

Dead_Little_Mean_Girl

Dead Little Mean Girl by Eva Darrows

March 28th from Harlequin Teen

I love the idea of Dead Little Mean Girl because I believe it’s a deconstruction of the mean girl trope. It doesn’t hurt things that the character Quinn is a bit of a nod to Quinn on Daria.

~April~

What Girls Are Made Of by Elana K. Arnold

April 1st from Carolrhoda

I think when a person gets in a relationship, it can be easy to lose themselves inside it and forget who they are after. What Girls Are Made Of seems like it will be discussing what exactly this means and how you get back to it, I can’t wait to read.

Speak of Me As I Am by Sonia Belasco (eARC)

April 4th from Philomel Books

I like how Speak of Me As I Am is going to deal with grief and the way two teenagers grieve. The aspect of the main characters being in the play, Othello also attracts me to this book. Interestingly enough, like What Girls Are Made Of, Speak of Me As I Am will also show who people are when they are on their own. I think that’s important to know, especially when a relationship is possible.

Alex Approximately by Jenn Bennett (eARC)

April 4th from Simon Pulse 

This sounds like such a cute, light-hearted version of You’ve Got Mail, which is one of my favorite movies. I read the first few pages and I was so into them.

Letters To The Lost by Brigid Kemmerer (eARC)

April 4th from Bloomsbury

This is a sadder You’ve Got Mail-esque book. I’ve heard that Brigid Kemmerer is a really good author so not only do I have high hopes because of the plot, but also because of what I’ve heard.

Alex and Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa de la Cruz

April 11th from G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Don’t act surprised, this book needs to explanation. I love Hamilton, I love Alex and Eliza’s relationship, I need this book. I will never be satisfied until I read it.

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli (eARC)

April 11th from Balzer + Bray

I have to admit I have still not finished Simon, but I still remember how much I loved reading what I did read of it. It was such a well-written Contemporary that I have nothing but the highest expectations for Upside. I’m really wanting to read it because it features a girl who is fat and Jewish and yes. Need.

~May~

How To Make A Wish by Ashley Herring Blake (eARC)

May 2nd from HMH Books for Young Readers

I read Ashley Blake’s Suffer Love and I adored it the entire time. When I read a debut I love, I have to read the author’s next book, of course. How To Make A Wish sounds amazing with it’s hopefully deeper look into poverty and family dynamics. I love books with dysfunctional and/or unconventional upbringings and seeing how characters deal with that.

Noteworthy by Riley Redgate (eARC)

May 2nd from Amulet Books

This book, I saw someone call it basically She’s The Man meets Pitch Perfect. I love She’s The Man and really any fiction that follows the girl main character who has to pretend to be a guy. I haven’t seen Pitch Perfect, but I’ve seen Glee so I think it’s kind of close? We’ll call it kind of close! So basically, girl dresses up as guy and joins a singing group, um, yes please. It sounds exactly as Glee now that I think of it.

Minus the dressing up as a guy thing.

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy

May 9th from Balzer + Bray

Ramona Blue is Julie Murphy’s latest book. Following the success of Dumplin’, I knew I wanted to read this. I haven’t read either of Murphy’s previous books, though I do own them. I like how Ramona has a bigger responsibility than some teens and how she has to be the adult. That reminds me quite a bit of I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios. I can’t wait to see how Murphy deals with the sexual orientation in this book.

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord (eARC)

May 16th from Bloomsbury

I used to go to church camp and Youth Conferences in middle school and part of high school. I always looked forward to it. Well, mostly the youth conferences, to be honest. I love seeing books with characters dealing with faith and how the situations in their life affect that. Emery’s pretty much one to watch now as this is her fourth Contemporary. I am sad to say I have not read any of them yet, though I do own Open Road Summer, The Start of Me and You and yes, The Names They Gave Us.

The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich (eARC)

May 16th from Feiwel & Friends

This book totally deconstructs the love-triangle trope on its head and I am just here for it. Like, yes please. That’s really all I have to say because what else needs to be said?

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (eARC)

May 30th from Simon Pulse

I am trying to figure out how to phrase what’s in my head. I think arranged marriages are interesting. My first ‘experience’ with actually seeing an arranged marriage plot in fiction was with Degrassi. The characters in Degrassi were also indian. While they didn’t get married, they did meet each other. I’m interested in seeing Dimple and Rishi interact throughout the book.

I Believe In A Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

May 30th from Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (BYR) 

I wish I could say I love Korean Dramas but to be honest, I’ve only ever watched one. It was Autumn In My Heart and it broke my heart, I was in pieces. It was disturbing how much I still hurt from that drama. I’ve been meaning to watch more dramas but I just haven’t gotten around to it. Part of the reason is because I have to read subtitles and I already find it hard enough to read actual books. You see my problem then, yeah? Anyway, I am in love with this idea of this character studying Korean dramas and wanting to re-create her own sort of romance with that.

~June~

Bad_Romance

 

Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios

June  13th from Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

I fell in love with Heather’s last Contemporary, I’ll Meet You There in 2015. I loved how she dealt with hard topics. Thus I have faith she’ll be able to do justice for this story involving a girl who gets in an abusive relationship. 


Did any of these books make your Spring TBR? If not, what’s on your TBR? Have you read any of these books? Let me know in the comments!


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