First Lines Fridays: June 26

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?  If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above, and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

“I am going to tell you a story you already know. But listen carefully, because within it is one you have never heard before.”


Any guesses??



The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

I received The Kingdom of Back through OwlCrate a couple months ago. I can’t wait to read about the ‘forgotten Mozart’. Also, the cover is very beautiful!


Synopsis

Two siblings. Two brilliant talents. But only one Mozart.

Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish—to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she’ll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in 18th century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform only until she reaches a marriageable age—her tyrannical father has made that much clear.

And as Nannerl’s hope grows dimmer with each passing year, the talents of her beloved younger brother, Wolfgang, only seem to shine brighter. His brilliance begins to eclipse her own, until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true—but his help may cost her everything.

In her first work of historical fiction, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu spins a lush, lyrically-told story of music, magic, and the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister.


What are your thoughts on The Kingdom of Back? Feel free to share in the comments!


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Book Tour: Guild of Tokens by Jon Auerbach


Today is my stop in the ‘Guild of Tokens’ Book Tour! Many thanks to Storytellers on Tour for hosting and having me participate! Click on the banner above for links of the other fabulous contributors taking part!

Book Info

Guild of Tokens by Jon Auerbach
Publisher: Self Published
Length: 410 pages
Genre: (Unconventional) Urban Fantasy
Age Group: Adult
Release Date: June 25, 2019

Book Blurb

She wants to level up her humdrum existence. But her next quest could spell life or death.

Jen Jacobs’s nights are spent traversing a strange city finding hidden objects, slaying dragons, and tangling with a host of fellow adventurers. And her days are spent counting down the seconds until she can return to the grind and continue racking up tokens and leveling up.

Except Jen isn’t playing a video game.

It’s all real and happening right in New York City.

After a particularly harrowing quest pairs her up with Beatrice Taylor, a no-nonsense and ambitious mentor, Jen hopes she’s on the path to becoming a big-time player. But as she dives deeper into the game’s hidden agenda, she realizes Beatrice has her sights set on the Guild, the centuries-old organization that runs the Questing game. And the quests Jen loves are about to put both of them in grave danger.

Will Jen survive the game before powerful forces cut her real life short?

Guild of Tokens is a thrilling new twist on conventional urban fantasy. If you like determined heroines, gritty cityscapes, and vampire-free adventures, then you’ll love Jon Auerbach’s rollercoaster tale.

Print/Ebook:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound

In honor of the one-year anniversary of Guild of Tokens, Jon is discounting the book to $0.99/99p!

Audiobook:

Audible | Apple Books | Google Play | Nook | Kobo

Author Bio

Jon Auerbach’s love of fantasy began at the tender age of six, when his parents bought him the classic 1977 animated version of The Hobbit (the less said about the recent trilogy, the better). His passion for sci-fi developed from nights watching Star Trek: The Next Generation and from his dad’s old paperback copies of Foundation and I, Robot.

Jon writes in both genres and hopes to pass on his stories to the next generation, including his kids, who have their own copy of The Hobbit that they lovingly call “the Bilbo book.”

My Thoughts

**I received Guild of Tokens from Storytellers on Tour and Jon Auerbach, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions of this book are my own**

When I learned that this book was set in New York City, I immediately looked forward to an adventure! Jen is stuck in an mundane life, and is eager for an escape. Through random strangers she meets during her Questing adventures, Jen discovers a magical world within the grim, city streets! What was most intriguing about Guild of Tokens is the parallel reality revealed within the magical world.

Jen has the odds stacked against her in many instances, yet she finds a way to get out of complications. Jen feels very insecure in many group situations, yet she manages to thrive in the most complex scenarios. She forms a very unique bond with her mentor Beatrice, and learns so much about her secret life that she cares to admit! Their bond together form an entertaining element within the story.

I really appreciated reading Guild of Tokens, as it’s packed with adventures laid out within the streets of New York City. If you love finding a magical world within everyday life, then you’ll love this story!

Rating: 4/5 Stars

**Below are the Audiobook trailer and Chapter 1 for Guild of Tokens!**


**Click on the photo below to enter the Guild of Tokens Giveaway!**



What are your thoughts on Guild of Tokens? Feel free to share in the comments!




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Top 10 Tuesday: June 22

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. You can find the themes/dates for Top 10 Tuesday here.

Happy 10 years to Top 10 Tuesday! This week you can choose to: (a) put your own spin on a previous Top 10, or (b) complete a Top 10 you missed out on. I decided on Option (b), since I’m fairly new to posting Top 10 lists on my blog!

This Week’s Post

The Best Books I’ve Read During Each of the Last 10 Years

2010

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

Shanghai Girls was the first book by Lisa See I’ve read, and I fell in love with her work! Her Historical Fiction is so lovely! I can’t wait to absorb myself in her characters with every story she writes!

2011

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was a book recommended to me by my NYC poetry therapy circle. I’m so glad that I read this story! It’s such a lovely coming of age story.

2012

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

This is a wonderful supernatural horror between a vampire and a telepath. This was a 13 book series, but I think I stopped at book 6 or 7 (the one where Quinn disappeared). I really need to continue this series!

2013

Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey

I read Kushiel’s Dart during the summer of 2013. I needed some light reading to pass the time during the summer, and discovered this story through Felicia Day’s Vaginal Fantasy Romance Book Club on YouTube. It ran until 2018, but their list/videos are still listed if anyone wants to check it out!
While Kushiel’s Dart was a huge read (over a thousand pages!), it was a pretty good story!

2014

Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Z Brewer

The Vladimir Tod series was so addictive and emotional! It was exciting to read Vlad’s growth throughout the series!

2015

Nightbird by Alice Hoffman

This was such a captivating Middle Grade story filled with witchcraft, friendship, and a curse!

2016

It Takes a Witch by Heather Blake

Around this time, I began to branch out on reading genres. Mystery sounded like a interesting genre, and the topic of It Takes a Witch still leaned toward the supernatural, so I was immediately hooked!

2017

The Moonlit Garden by Corina Bowman

I received The Moonlit Garden through Amazon Kindle’s First Reads program. this was such a lovely Historical Romance!

2018

One Day in December by Josie Silver

This was such an emotional contemporary romance. A love story spread out over a decade!

2019

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I know that this book has mixed reactions within the bookish community, but I absolutely LOVED this story! I read Daisy Jones through Audiobook format, which made the story flow beautifully!

That’s my list of best books throughout the decade! I wonder what my fave will be for 2020…

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Book Blogger Hop: June 22

The Book Blogger Hop is a book meme hosted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer where you answer a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. This way you have a chance to check out other people’s blogs and gain new followers yourself.

This Week’s Question

Do you visit indie and/or used bookstores? Also, have you ever worked in any? (submitted by Kristin @ Lukten av Trykksverte)

I haven’t worked in a bookstore, but I always visit them! I frequent indie/used bookstores all the time!

My favorite local bookstores are The Book Garden in Frenchtown, NJ, Labyrinth Bookstore in Princeton, NJ & Doylestown Bookshop in Doylestown, PA!


Do you frequent indie/used bookstores? Feel free to share in the comments! I know that I adore them!


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May 2020 Book Haul

I realized today that I haven’t posted the book I received/purchased during May! It’s been such a chaotic couple weeks around the world!

Books Purchased

The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon

Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie

Books Received as Gifts

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Complimentary Copies for Review

Guild of Tokens by Jon Auerbach

Come Join the Murder by Hollie Rae Garcia

The CEO, the Puppy, and Me by Jennifer Faye

Into the Unbounded Night by Mitchell James Kaplan

Never Turn Back by Christopher Swann


Those are the books I received last month! What books did you order in May?

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In the Dark, Soft Earth by Frank Watson/NetGalley Mini Review

In the Dark, Soft Earth by Frank Watson
Publisher: Plum White Press
Genre: Poetry
Format: ebook
Length: 232 pages
Release Date: July 7, 2020

**I received a complimentary copy of ‘In the Dark, Soft Earth’ from NetGalley and Plum White Press, in exchange for an honest review**

My Thoughts

In the Dark, Soft Earth was a lovely collection of poetry. Frank Watson manages to create thoughtful imagery with his phrases, centering on life’s precious moments. The chapters (labeled as Books), categorizes the purity and essence of the human spirit. Watson’s poetry manages to capture raw emotions such as desire, longing and frustration. These are human emotions that everyone endures throughout life, and his poetry reflects such a vast array of feelings.

Along with reading stories, poetry is my usual go-to when guiding people people through their situations. A poem paints a picture of a given emotion and thought process. I feel that Watson’s work provides such a selection of prescriptive imagery in helping people identify with their experiences. I would definitely recommend In a Dark, Soft Earth to those searching to assist people through the written word!

Rating: 4/5 Stars


Synopsis

Dig into this delectable journey through the dark, sensual, and ravishing poetry of Frank Watson. Ruminate the searing to the sultry as you absorb this haunting lilt of burning carnality. The poems ignite rapid and surprising shifts in focus and perspective as they twist and turn your preconceptions, allowing the implications to linger in your thoughts.

Vignette verses explore the workings of love, nature, spirituality, and dreams with sprinklings of tarot symbolism and jazzy blues. Together these verses contemplate the subtle underpinnings of a soft earth.

What do you think of In the Dark, Soft Earth? Would you put this book in your TBR? Feel free to share in the comments!

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First Lines Friday: June 12

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?  If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above, and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

The book I’m choosing this week is becoming quite a comfort read! I try to take an hour out of my day for reading this enjoyable story:

“Alexa, play Drake.”
Releasing an intentionally loud, dramatic sigh, Samiah Brooks lolled her head toward the opened bathroom door and called out, “Don’t just tell it to play a certain artist, Denise. Tell it what song you want it to play.”



Any guesses??



The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon

I’m having a fun time exploring contemporary romance novels! I’m usually a fantasy story fan, but the contemporary genre is growing on me!

What books do you have for your First Lines Friday? Feel free to share!

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WWW Wednesday: June 3

WWW Wednesday was originally hosted by A Daily Rhythm, and now maintained by Taking on a World of Words.

There are three prompts for WWW Wednesday:
–What are you currently reading?
–What did you finish recently reading?
–What do you think you’ll read next?

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
We Hunt the Flame is a re-read for me, as part of a Readathon led by Star is All Booked Up&The Reading Book Fairy. I love reliving Zafira and Nasir’s story!

Heir of Ashes by Jina S. Bazzar
I just began reading the first couple chapters of Heir of Ashes. So far I’m really liking this supernatural story!

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Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi
I had some mixed feelings about this story! While I loved the New York City element about this tale, I felt a disconnect. I will share more about this book in my review!

The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon
I can’t to begin reading this story about friendship and unexpected romance!

Never Turn Back by Christopher Swann
I can’t wait to begin reading this thrilling tale!

How is your reading progress this week? Feel free to share!

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Top 10 Tuesday: Books That Give Off Summer Vibes

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. You can find the themes/dates for Top 10 Tuesday here.

This Week’s Theme: Books That Give Off Summer Vibes

A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow

A diverse story filled with mermaids and empowerment. My kind of book!

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Two competing writers trade author tips (and other secrets!) in Emily Henry’s light-hearted summer read!

Once Upon An Eid: Edited by S.K. Ali and Aisha Saeed

A collection of stories that highlight Eid, a joyous holiday that marks the end of Ramadan.

Honeybees and Frenemies by Kristi Wientge

Two former best friends spend the summer (reluctantly) working together, while competing for the coveted honey queen pagent!

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

A young girl attuned to the supernatural (and her ghostly best friend) embark on an adventure during summer vacation!

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

A riveting tale of twin sisters and the stunning secrets that are carried throughout the generations!

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner

Lots of surprises are in store for two friends at a crossroads while planning the wedding of the summer!

We Are the Wildcats by Siobhan Vivian

A young field hockey team goes out on a wild night of dares and secrets!

The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon

This hot summer read is filled with a close knit friendship and romance!

Lobizona by Romina Garber

I had to include ‘Lobizona’ in this list! I mean, a modern world blending with fantasy, the main character on an adventure to find her true origins. The perfect summer read!

What books bring on summer vibes for you? Feel free to share!

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June 2020 TBR

The days are finally getting longer and warmer!

We’re still living in a semi-lockdown here in New Jersey, so this means that I can spend these long summer hours reading some good stories!

The following are in my TBR list for June:

The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon
Purchased a copy from Book of the Month

Never Turn Back by Christopher Swann
Received digital ARC from NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books

Guild of Tokens by Jon Auerbach
Received complimentary digital copy from Storytellers on Tour

The CEO, the Puppy and Me by Jennifer Faye
Received complimentary copy for Prism Book Tours

Heir of Ashes by Jina S. Bazzar
Received complimentary digital copy from author

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
Purchased a copy from OwlCrate

What books are on your TBR pile this month? Feel free to share!

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