Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Rise of the Snake Goddess by Jenny Elder Moke Blog Tour + Giveaway + Curse of the Specter Queen Review!

Hi everyone! I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the RISE OF THE SNAKE GODDESS by Jenny Elder Moke Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my review of the first book in the series, Curse of the Specter Queen, and make sure to enter the giveaway! 

About the Book:

Title: RISE OF THE SNAKE GODDESS (Samantha Knox #2)

Author: Jenny Elder Moke

Pub. Date: June 7, 2022

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 320

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonKindle, AudibleB&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD, Bookshop.org

Samantha Knox is back for another adventure in this 1920s female-driven mystery-adventure series!

Sam Knox’s second adventure takes her to the island of Crete, just off the coast of Greece, where she discovers the ancient Snake Goddess’s golden girdle in the depths of a cave shrine that has been buried for decades. After having been belittled by her archaeology professor throughout her first college semester, Sam knows this triumph will prove her worth in the field, but before she can take credit for the find, the girdle is stolen and the island is hit with a series of earthquakes that don’t feel quite geological.

Soon Sam, Bennett and Jo are embroiled in a wild hunt―one that takes them to tiny island shops, a glamorous auction party and a near fiery death―to find the girdle before someone can use it to raise an ancient goddess from her slumber. The final battle features gryphons, a labyrinth, the minotaur of legend and lots of snakes. Lots.

Reviews:

"Another action-packed, romance and mythology filled mystery...Themes of wealth, power, and chauvinism are skillfully woven throughout the story while readers are provided with a cast of characters they will easily find themselves rooting for!"―School Library Connection

"Billed as the heir apparent to Indiana Jones, Samantha is a witty and wise adventurer, and it feels as though Moke is building towards an eventual greater purpose for her heroine."―Booklist

"Jenny Elder Moke has done it again! Witty banter, ancient mysteries, thrilling action, and a mix of clever and dubious characters will keep you up all night in book two of the Samantha Knox series. A fantastic adventure!"―Jennifer Lynn Alvarez, author of Lies Like Wildfire

"Sam’s response to misogyny and classism propels the book’s action but also, in the deft hands of the author, provides readers with insights into the complexities of identity, self-awareness, and right action. While never becoming preachy, the book also thoughtfully explores issues related to the ethics of the acquisition and ownership of antiquities...Another satisfying supernatural adventure featuring an intrepid solver of puzzles."―Kirkus Reviews

“Ahead of her time and a force to be reckoned with, Samantha Knox is the female Indiana Jones we've long been waiting for! You haven't lived until you've read a Samantha Knox novel.”―Jen Calonita, New York Times best-selling author of the A Twisted Tale series

 


 Penelope's Review of Curse of the Specter Queen

This is my first book by Jenny Elder Moke, so I wasn't sure what to expect but was interested in the comparisons to Indiana Jones, Mummy, and so on. I'm so glad I picked up this book, and am looking forward to reading the diving into the second!

Our main female lead is Samantha Knox, a young woman who takes comfort in the stacks of antique books lining the shelves of the bookshop she works in, after her father doesn't come home from the war. She's never ventured outside of her hometown of Clements but that all changes the day an old, damaged diary shows up at her shop. The ensuing adventure brings Sam out of her shell, taking her to Chicago, and then as far as Dublin! Sam was such a brilliant woman - I loved the way her minds worked, and her ability to crack codes like no other! It was exciting to see a female lead taking the reigns like this and solving the mysteries, with the help of her friends, Bennett and Jo.

Bennett was also a great character, more stoic and reserved than Sam, but a great addition to the trio nonetheless. I liked his steady, cool head and had a laugh at the banter between him and his sister, Jo. Jo was a fantastic addition to the story - she was funny, smart, and I liked her no-nonsense, confident take on the world. The three of them worked really well together, and each had a different role to play.

In terms of the story itself, I thought it was really fun to read through thought process in Sam's head as she tried to guess clue after clue to stop a curse from being called down on the world. Though the plot does slow down in some spots, the overall book is a really great read! There's a hint of romance throughout, but it's very slow burn! I have a feeling that will be brought a little more to the forefront in book 2. Overall, a fun read full of mystery, adventure, and intrigue - looking forward to reading the next book!

Rating: 4/5 Devils!



 

About  Jenny Elder Moke:

Jenny Elder Moke writes young adult fiction in an attempt to recapture the shining infinity of youth. Her debut novel, Hood, was a Junior Library Guild Selection, a Mayor's Book Club selection, and received critical acclaim.

When she is not writing, she’s gathering story ideas from her daily adventures with her two irredeemable rapscallions and honing her ninja skills as a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Jenny lives in Denver, CO with her husband and two children.

 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub



Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of RISE OF THE SNAKE GODDESS, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

6/1/2022

YABooksCentral

Excerpt

6/2/2022

@simplybeccamee

IG Review

6/3/2022

Just Another Teen Reading Books

Review/IG Post

6/4/2022

Review Thick And Thin

Review/IG Post

Week Two:

6/5/2022

A Court of Coffee and Books

Review/IG Post

6/6/2022

Karen Dee's Book Reviews

Review/IG Post

6/7/2022

Book-Keeping

Review/IG Post

6/8/2022

More Books Please blog

Review/IG Post

6/9/2022

Lisa Loves Literature

Review/IG Post

6/10/2022

@wraithreads

TikTok Review/IG Post

6/11/2022

DB’S Guide to the Galaxy

Review

Week Three:

6/12/2022

@drewsim12

IG Review/TikTiok Review

6/13/2022

Read With Serena

Review/IG Post

6/14/2022

@ReadsReaders

YouTube Review/IG Post/TikTok Post

6/15/2022

Star-Crossed Book Blog

Review/IG Post

6/16/2022

popthebutterfly

Review/IG Post/TikTok Post

6/17/2022

Fire and Ice

Review/IG Post

6/18/2022

@coffeesipsandreads

Review/IG Post

Week Four:

6/19/2022

beersbooksandboos

Review/IG Post/TikTok Post

6/20/2022

The Real World According To Sam

Review/IG Post

6/21/2022

@jacleomik33 The Page Ladies

IG Post Review

6/22/2022

The Reading Devil

Review/IG Post

6/23/2022

Emmiepooh2

IG Review

6/24/2022

The Girl Who Reads

Review/IG Post

6/25/2022

Lifestyle of Me

Review

Week Five:

6/26/2022

Two Points of Interest

Review

6/27/2022

The Momma Spot

Review/IG Post

6/28/2022

BookBriefs

Review/IG Post

6/29/2022

Library of Alexandria Archives

Review/IG Post

6/30/2022

onemused

Review/IG Post


Sunday, 19 June 2022

Ashes by M.K. Harkins Book Review + Blog Tour + Giveaway!

 

Hi everyone! I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the ASHES by M.K. Harkins Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

 About The Book:

Title: ASHES (Modern-Day Fairy Tale #1)

Author: M.K. Harkins

Pub. Date: June 1, 2022

Publisher: M.K. Harkins

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 303

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle

Read for FREE with a Kindle Unlimited Membership!

Not your typical Cinderella story…

If she thought college applications were complicated, just wait until she catches feelings for the newest celebrity in town.

Ashley Adams doesn’t have time for haters. Already too busy dealing with dead bodies after her stepmother purchased a mortuary, she is ready to put the lid on her judgmental peers and finally bury her high school experience. But her focus is shattered when a charming pop-star-turned-student needs her help evading his crazed fans.

The last place heartthrob Harry James wants to be is back in school. Sentenced to finish his senior year after a case of accidental arson, the singer longs to return to the stage. But he never expected to meet a girl who could see through the fame to the real person inside.

Surprised by the chemistry between them, Ashley is shocked when Harry gives her the cold shoulder. But with his publicist forbidding him from dating her, Harry must choose between fame or love.

Can Ashley and Harry survive the turmoil threatening to tear them apart?

Ashes is a fun and snarky standalone YA romance. If you like captivating characters, emotional twists and turns, Fairies and Cinderella retellings, then you’ll adore MK Harkins’ fast-paced tale.

*Recommended for readers 13+ (Some mild swearing and off-page violence)

Reviews:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐   "I'm no stranger to retellings of fairytales so my expectations were high. The story is beautifully written with a fresh and modern take on the characters, whilst retaining the true essence of the story."  Goodreads Reviewer
 
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "A delightful mix of finding love in the modern world, with a bit of Fairytale magic mixed in. I thought the novel was beautifully written. There really weren't any plot holes that led to confusion. The elements of a Cinderella retelling were masterfully placed, but not necessarily made the center of the story."  Goodreads Reviewer

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "What a great read! Everything about this book made me want to keep reading! From the great characters, great story line and a Cinderella twist!" NetGalley Reviewer 

 

 Penelope's Review

I absolutely adore Cinderella and all of the many wonderful retellings out there, so I was super excited to dive into this book and get a fresh take on one of my favorite stories! I like the idea of Prince Charming being a famous singer aka "Prince of Pop" (ha... clever lol). I'm happy to report that this was a cute, fun version of the story, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the series!

Ashley is our Cinderella, complete with an evil stepmother and two obnoxious stepsisters. The family owns a funeral home, and Ashley is in charge of hair and makeup on the dead people! While she may not be what you typically picture as Cinderella, I feel that it made the story stand out. Ashley is determined to graduate on time in order to get the trust her father left her to pay for college and get far away from her stepfamily. I admired her dedication to her goals, and the way she didn't let all of the obstacles her stepmother threw in front of her keep her from achieving her dreams. 

Harry is our Prince Charming, and I really liked his character, most of the time. He was sweet and charming (wink), and really liked Ashley from the moment he laid eyes on her. The fact that she's not like every other girl fawning over him is an added bonus! I will say that he could be a bit of a pushover at times, but I enjoyed his growth throughout the novel as he tried to figure himself out and what he wanted in life. 

In terms of plot, it gets a little wild at the end lol! But honestly, I don't go into fiction novels looking for "realistic" all of the time (otherwise I would pick up a non-fiction book lol!) so it didn't really bother me that it took some outrageous twists an turns - I thought it was fun! The writing style itself was alright - it felt just a little bit juvenile at times, but didn't hinder my opinion of the book too much. Overall, the book is a light-hearted read that's great for some impractical entertainment haha! It is part of a series, so look out for book 2 coming December 7th, 2022!

Rating: 3.5/5 Devils!



About M.K. Harkins:

MK has always been a voracious reader. After hitting a dry spell of reading material, she decided to write the kind of book she'd like to read. This resulted in the creation of her debut novel, Intentional. (Award for Best Sweet Romance - eFestival of Words- August 2014)

Unintentional, Breaking Braydon, Taking Tiffany and The Reader soon followed. MK's newest, Famous by Default, an Amazon Bestseller, was released March 2017. The follow-up to The Reader, The Jack, published 2018. Next up- A series of modern-day fairy tales. We'll start with a Cinderella story: Ashes

Subscribe to M.K.’s newsletter!

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

 

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of ASHES, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

6/1/2022

Sadie's Spotlight

Excerpt/IG Post

6/2/2022

BookHounds YA

Guest Post/IG Post

6/3/2022

Cherie Colyer

Guest Post

6/4/2022

Jenguerdy

IG Post

Week Two:

6/5/2022

BETTER_0FF_READ

IG & TikTok Post

6/6/2022

Review Thick And Thin

Review/IG Post

6/7/2022

YABooksCentral

Guest Post

6/8/2022

Two Chicks on Books

Guest Post

6/9/2022

@jaimerockstarbooktours

IG Post

6/10/2022

Book Sniffers Anonymous

Review/IG Post

6/11/2022

Living in a Bookworld

Excerpt

Week Three:

6/12/2022

@jacleomik33 The Page Ladies

Review/IG Post

6/13/2022

Karen Dee's Book Reviews

Review/IG Post

6/14/2022

beersbooksandboos

Review/IG Post

6/15/2022

@My.Bookish.Mind

IG Review

6/16/2022

@travelersguidetobooks

IG Review

6/17/2022

Lady Hawkeye

Excerpt/IG Post

6/18/2022

100 Pages A Day

Review/IG Post

Week Four:

6/19/2022

The Reading Devil

Review/IG Post

6/20/2022

@meetcuteromancebooks

Review/IG Post

6/21/2022

#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog

Spotlight

6/22/2022

The Momma Spot

Review/IG Post

6/23/2022

Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Review/IG Post

6/24/2022

More Books Please blog

Review/IG Post

6/25/2022

Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Review

Week Five:

6/26/2022

Emmiepooh2

Review/IG Post

6/27/2022

Fire and Ice

Review

6/28/2022

@enjoyingbooksagain

IG Review

6/29/2022

Nagma | TakeALookAtMyBookshelf

IG Review

6/30/2022

@allyluvsbooksalatte

Review/IG Post


Saturday, 18 June 2022

It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han Book Review!

 

Title: It's Not Summer Without You (Summer #2)
Author: Jenny Han
Publish Date: April 27th, 2010
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: Taken from my little sister's bookshelf!

Belly finds out what comes after falling in love in this follow-up to The Summer I Turned Pretty from the New York Times bestselling author of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (soon to be a major motion picture!), Jenny Han.

Can summer be truly summer without Cousins Beach?

It used to be that Belly counted the days until summer, until she was back at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah. But not this year. Not after Susannah got sick again and Conrad stopped caring. Everything that was right and good has fallen apart, leaving Belly wishing summer would never come.

But when Jeremiah calls saying Conrad has disappeared, Belly knows what she must do to make things right again. And it can only happen back at the beach house, the three of them together, the way things used to be. If this summer really and truly is the last summer, it should end the way it started—at Cousins Beach.

Penelope's Review

Belly's story continues in this second installment to the Summer trilogy! I absolutely ADORED the first book, so I dove right into the second one with high hopes! Happy to report that I was definitely NOT disappointed. 

Everything has changed. This book is so full of emotion, both happy and sad. Belly is starting to grow up, though she's still a bit immature. Again, her character stays true to her age and I was once again struck by how relatable she is! I loved getting to know her even more and going on such an emotional roller coaster alongside her lol! I don't know if I said this in my review of the first book but I am Team Conrad! Yes, yes I know he strings Belly along a bit but... I just get him! He's this tough, keep everything inside kind of guy but really he's a little mushball that's so helplessly in love! SWOON! When Conrad goes missing, Belly jumps at the chance to face him again and see where she stands. I loved this whole storyline honestly, despite missing Susanna like crazy! 

We also get to see some chapters in Jeremiah's point of view which was SUPER exciting! Despite being Team Conrad, I love Jeremiah's character! I think he's so fun and sweet and it was great getting to see into his head. My heart wishes for some Conrad POV but that's ok lol.

I still love Jenny Han's writing style - it's clean, simple, and relatable. She's really great with characters, and making them sound exactly like real kids. Overall, this was such a great addition to the series and I am both over the moon excited and sad to read the last book in the trilogy next!

Rating: 5/5 Devils!