Thursday, November 16, 2017

Blog Tour: The Speaker (Sea of Ink and Gold, #2) by Traci Chee (Review + Author Spotlight)

Title: The Speaker (Sea of Ink and Gold, #2) 
Author: Traci Chee  
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers 
Source: Publisher 
Published: November 7th, 2017 
Purchase: Amazon | B&N 

Summary: Having barely escaped the clutches of the Guard, Sefia and Archer are back on the run, slipping into the safety of the forest to tend to their wounds and plan their next move. Haunted by painful memories, Archer struggles to overcome the trauma of his past with the impressors, whose cruelty plagues him whenever he closes his eyes. But when Sefia and Archer happen upon a crew of impressors in the wilderness, Archer finally finds a way to combat his nightmares: by hunting impressors and freeing the boys they hold captive.

With Sefia’s help, Archer travels across the kingdom of Deliene rescuing boys while she continues to investigate the mysterious Book and secrets it contains. But the more battles they fight, the more fights Archer craves, until his thirst for violence threatens to transform him from the gentle boy Sefia knows to a grim warrior with a cruel destiny. As Sefia begins to unravel the threads that connect Archer’s fate to her parents’ betrayal of the Guard so long ago, she and Archer must figure out a way to subvert the Guard’s plans before they are ensnared in a war that will pit kingdom against kingdom, leaving their future and the safety of the entire world hanging in the balance. 

“Once there was, and one day there will be. This is the beginning of every story.” 

In September 2016, I opened The Reader by Traci Chee… and I fell in love. Lost in the pages of a book that pays tribute to all book lovers, I knew I was holding something incredibly special. It was my favorite read last year, and I am not exaggerating the countdown that began to this sequel. And I am thrilled to report that I fell just as in love with this beautiful continuation as I did the first. 

A sequel that not only meets readers’ expectations but surpasses them, The Speaker weaves magic and mystery, action and romance, heartbreak and hope. 

Temporarily safe, Sefia and Archer prepare for the next steps they must take to thwart the Guard’s plans. But when they stumble across a crew of impressors and the boys being held captive, a new plot unfolds. Key characters return for this stunning adventure, and incredible new characters are discovered along the way.  Where answers are found, more questions arise. Who will they trust? Who will betray them? Who will be lost? And who will fight harder than they’ve ever fought to keep the one they love? 

“It’s the same with stories as it is with people. They get better as they get older. 
But not every story is remembered, and not all people grow old.” 

The format of this book itself is a treasure with words that fade from the page, clues scattered among the chapters for the reader to piece together, and design elements that bring the story to life and make you feel as though you are living this journey right alongside Sefia and Archer as they fight for what they believe in. I implore you to get a physical copy of this series. Bibliophiles everywhere will want to make room on their shelves for these stunning books and the magic that lives inside them. 

“But this was more than just any book. This was the Book – infinite and full of magic – 
a record of everything that had ever been or would ever be, all the ages of history spelled out in fine black ink.” 

This story and Traci Chee’s unbelievable and gorgeous writing evoke every emotion. There are passages that warmed my heart, scenes that twisted my gut, moments that stole my breath, and quotes that embedded themselves in my soul. And the characters… the characters are ones who you feel you’ve known your whole life and you know you’ll never forget. 

“Are you with me?” 

“For always.” 

Whether you are a fan of romance, fantasy, mystery, or historical fiction – whether you’re a young adult, new adult, or seasoned adult… you want this series. “This is a book. You are the reader. Look closer. There’s magic here.” 

“Once there was, but it would not always be. This is the ending of every story.”  

Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

Traci Chee is the New York Times bestselling author of The Reader. An All-around word geek, she loves book arts and art books, poetry and paper crafts. She studied literature and creative writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and earned a master of arts degree from San Francisco State University. Traci grew up in a small town with more cows than people, and now feels most at home in the mountains, scaling switchbacks and happening upon hidden highland lakes. She lives in California with her fast-fast dog.

You can find Traci Chee online here: 
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

Be sure to visit for news, events, and fun extras like
playlists for Sea of Ink and Gold, excerpts, other writing, fan art, and more!

Praise for The Reader:

“I was spellbound from the first page. An utterly transportive tale of swashbucklers and sharpshooters, masterfully written. Traci Chee has penned a beautiful novel about the power of story, complete with a fantastic cast of characters and an expertly rendered fantasy landscape. This is a book you will not soon forget.”—Renée Ahdieh, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Wrath and the Dawn

★ “Deftly rendered in beautiful prose, narrated through three shifting time lines woven into an interconnected history of duty, honor, and magic. . . . This is a must-have for all those who value a good read with genuine character growth, mystery, unique world-building, adventure, unyielding bonds of loyalty, and pirates. . . . A fresh, diverse fantasy; highly recommended for fans of Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart and female-powered adventures.”—School Library Journal, starred review

★ “Commanding storytelling and vivid details, particularly of the magical process of reading, bring the story to life… the first of what promises to be an enchanting series.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

★ “Chee’s debut is an intricate, multilayered reading experience… An exploration of self-determination and the magic of the written word, Sefia’s story is an absorbing introduction to the Sea of Ink and Gold series.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review 

★ “With evocative language, fascinating world building, multifaceted characters, and a compelling plot, this is a series fantasy lovers will want to sink their teeth into.”—Booklist, starred review

“Most world-building shies away from tackling the question of literacy within fantasy cultures, but here it serves as the beating meta-heart.”—NPR 

"Those looking for complex fantasy will enjoy and look for the next installment."—School Library Connection 

An ALA Top Ten Best Fiction Pick – 2017
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year – 2016
Finalist for the 2016 Kirkus Prize
A Kirkus Best Book of the Year – 2016 
An NPR Best Book of the Year – 2016 
A Buzzfeed Best YA Book of the Year – 2016
A Bustle Best YA Book of the Year – 2016
Minnesota Public Radio Best YA Book of the Year – 2016
A Barnes & Noble Best Book of the Year – 2016
A 2016 Nerdy Book Club Award Winner
An ABA Indies Choice Honor Book – 2017


Week One
October 30 – Ex Libris – Review
October 31 – Bette’s Pages – Review with photos
November 1 – Never2Many2Read – Review
November 2 – ButtermyBooks – Review
November 3 – YA Wednesdays – Favorite Quotes
Week Two
November 6 – FlyLeaf Chronicles – Review
November 7 – The Fox’s Hideaway – Review
November 8 – In Wonderland – Review
November 9 – Book Reviews Express – Review
November 10 – Brianna Book Binding – Review
Week Three
November 13 – Readers Live A Thousand Lives – Excerpt and Review
November 14 – Good Choice Reading – Review with Photo
November 14 – Love Is Not a Triangle – Review
November 15 – Dazzled by Books – Review with bookish Candle
November 16 – A Belle’s Tales – review and Spotlight
November 17 – MelihYoutuber – Review
Week Four
November 20 – The Blonde Bookworm – Review
November 21 – Seeing Double in Neverland – Review
November 22 – Bookshelves and Paperbacks – “5 Reasons Why You should Read The Reader & The Speaker” with Moodboard
November 23 – Across the Words – Review
November 24 – Eastern Sunset Reads – Review

© at A Belle's Tales


Thursday, October 19, 2017

On My Shelf: Raising Stony Mayhall by Daryl Gregory

On My Shelf is an awesome feature hosted by Teresa at Readers Live A Thousand Lives that anyone can join. The idea is to spotlight a book from your TBR shelf; it's a fun way to discuss books with fellow bloggers and, with their help, decide which books are must-reads... and which ones can wait a while longer.

We're getting an early start to a long weekend so I'm posting my Friday post today.

I first saw this book on a must-read zombie list a few years ago. After reading this summary...

In 1968, after the first zombie outbreak, Wanda Mayhall and her three young daughters discover the body of a teenage mother during a snowstorm. Wrapped in the woman’s arms is a baby, stone-cold, not breathing, and without a pulse. But then his eyes open and look up at Wanda—and he begins to move.

The family hides the child—whom they name Stony—rather than turn him over to authorities that would destroy him. Against all scientific reason, the undead boy begins to grow. For years his adoptive mother and sisters manage to keep his existence a secret—until one terrifying night when Stony is forced to run and he learns that he is not the only living dead boy left in the world.

...I grabbed a copy for my shelf. It sounds like a perfect book for me!

Have you read Raising Stony Mayhall? What are your thoughts? 
Do I drop everything and start reading -- or put it back on my shelf for later?

Hope everyone has a great weekend! See you next week! 

© at A Belle's Tales


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #75: Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons, #2) by Marie Lu

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, previously hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine,
that showcases our most anticipated upcoming releases.

Title: Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons, #2) 
Author: Marie Lu 
Publisher: Random House 
Expected Publication: January 2nd, 2018 
Pre-order: Amazon | B&N 

Summary: Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.

One by one, the city's elites are being executed as their mansions' security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family's fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he's forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city's most brutal criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce's only hope.

In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.

So technically, I'm a Marvel girl, and Batman may not be my most favorite comic book character; but I am still incredibly excited for Marie Lu's Nightwalker. I think I'm going to love this book!

What book are you waiting to get your hands on?

© at A Belle's Tales


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

100 Words and a Quote

100 Words and a Quote is a feature in which I review books in exactly 100 words and share my favorite quote from each book. It’s fun, but it can also be challenging to make what I have to say fit that count. Well, I do love a good challenge. I do this for books when I can’t give much detail for fear of spoiling, for series finales, when I need to clean up my TBR, for novellas, and for those rare times when I just don’t have much to say about a book whether I loved it or not. Hope you enjoy my take on the (extra mini) mini-review. 

Title: Nowhere but Here 
Author: Renée Carlino
Publisher: Atria Books 
Published: May 5th, 2014
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Summary: A Chicago reporter in her mid-twenties unexpectedly finds love in Napa Valley when she’s assigned to spend a week with a famously reclusive genius.

Kate Corbin has lost her spark. From the outside, her life seems charmed. She has a handsome, long-term boyfriend and a budding journalism career at a popular Chicago newspaper. But in reality, her relationship is going nowhere, and she’s quickly losing motivation for what she once believed was her dream job. When her boyfriend dumps her unceremoniously, Kate loses all hope of finding love.

With no living family and few friends, Kate confides in her boss. Trusting that the hungry, ace reporter is buried somewhere deep inside, he gives Kate the opportunity to jumpstart her career. The assignment: to interview the famously reclusive R.J. Lawson, a wealthy tech genius who disappeared years ago but recently reemerged as a Napa Valley vintner. The week takes an unexpected turn, however, when Lawson refuses to divulge any information. Desperate for a lead, Kate turns to Jamie, a vineyard hand who shows her the romance of wine country—and stirs her aching heart. But his connection to Lawson is ambiguous, and when Jamie disappears before the end of the week, Kate is left to investigate another story: the truth behind the man who stole her heart.

USA TODAY bestselling author Renée Carlino explored love and heartbreak in her beautifully written debut Sweet Thing, and her newest novel does not disappoint. For fans of Colleen Hoover, K.A. Tucker, and Katja Millay, Nowhere But Here is a stirring and satisfying romance that you won’t want to put down.

This book is as intoxicating as the Estate Pinot Noir, and I’m tipsy over both the story and fantastic character, Jamie. It was easy to get lost in this book and the winery as well as to relate to Kate. I was drawing definite parallels between her background and mine. I found myself getting emotional at points in the book, but it was around 50% when I went from crying to laughing over a singed eyebrow and a foot-long. I love a book that can conjure up such contrasting emotions. A must-read for Carlino fans and lovers of sweet romances.

“...hold on to each other, and never let go.” 

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Title: Third Watch 
(Tracy Crosswhite, #0.5)
Author: Robert Dugoni
Publisher: Amazon 
Published: August 16th, 2015
Goodreads | Amazon 

Summary: Tracy Crosswhite’s ordinary night patrolling her Seattle beat becomes front page news when she responds to a domestic disturbance call that turns into a hostage crisis. 

In this prequel short story to Robert Dugoni’s #1 Kindle-bestselling novel, My Sister’s Grave, Tracy Crosswhite is a young patrol officer, paying her dues, keeping her head down, and hoping a solid record will get her promoted to detective. While years have passed since the disappearance of Tracy’s sister, the experience has made her one of the city’s most dedicated cops. 

Reporter Tevia Kushman is shadowing Tracy on a ride-along seeking to follow-up on a recent (and nasty) exposé about the Seattle PD’s treatment of female cops. Young and ambitious, Tevia is hoping for a juicy scoop on the gender politics of the PD, but may get a much bigger story than she bargained for… 

Neither woman expects a routine-sounding call to turn into something dangerous, until Tracy walks into a domestic dispute and finds herself looking down the barrel of a shot-gun. No stranger to high-pressure situations, Tracy must draw on more than just her academy training and lightning-fast shooting skills to find a way to talk down—or take out—the volatile man holding the gun. 

This forty-seven page short story is a prequel to my beloved Tracy Crosswhite series. This story takes place when Tracy is just a young patrol officer, years before she becomes the brilliant homicide detective she is now. It’s supposed to be a regular night of patrolling; but at 11:30 pm, only four hours into her shift, a call about a domestic disturbance takes a turn into something incredibly dangerous. The way Tracy handles everything is insight into the detective she’s going to become, and I loved getting this look back into the younger version of one of my favorite heroines.

“Veteran officers had told her that the crazies came out with the full moon, that it possessed some of them to behave in a manner they otherwise wouldn't.  It wasn't a full werewolf transformation, but personalities changed just the same.” 

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Title: Tower of Dawn 
(Throne of Glass, #6)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury 
Published: September 5th, 2017
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Summary: In the next installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, follow Chaol on his sweeping journey to a distant empire.

Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.

His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica—the stronghold of the southern continent's mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.

But what they discover in Antica will change them both—and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.

Empire of Storms was a brilliant installment in the Throne of Glass series, though there was one particular character I missed. But Tower of Dawn makes up for that absence with an incredible story, cluing us in on just what Chaol Westfall was up to during the events taking place in EoS. This story is genius and brings us fantastic new characters and a HUGE revelation! Action, suspense, and romance abound in these pages; and Chaol’s story reminds his fans just why we fell in love with this perfectly imperfect human finding his way in a world full of magic.

It was agony and despair and fear. It was joy and laughter and rest. It was life, all of it...” 

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★  

© at A Belle's Tales



Monday, October 16, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a great weekly meme now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It's where we share what we've just read, what we're currently reading, and what we're starting next. 

Previously read:

Currently reading:  

Up next: 

What are you reading this week? 
Hope you have a happy Monday! 

 © at A Belle's Tales