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Book review: Malice by Heather Walter

| Gifted | YA fantasy |

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I have been wanting to find a Sleeping Beauty retelling and I am so glad DelRey reached out for me to take part in the book tour! I absolutely love retellings and specially when they have a darker more sinister take to them. Malice delivers a completely unique story that is loosely based on Sleeping Beauty, and at the same time with great LGBTQ+ representation.

One of my favorite elements of the story was being able to see the villain’s point of view, Alyce (also known as the Dark Grace) is very relatable with compelling motives that really got me to connect to her.

The beginning is a bit of a slow burn, where you mostly digest the setting and the entire magic system of the book. You can tell that the author put in a lot of work into the world-building to make the readers have a perfect visualization in their minds. The ending was unexpected and makes me wonder if there will be a sequel…

Thank you to the team at Penguin Books & Del Rey for gifting me a proof for review!

You can check out more about the book and the author here.

Book review: Heir of Vashaa by Celine Simpson

| Gifted | YA fantasy |

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was one of my highly anticipated reads of the year and it delivered! The author writes in such a beautiful descriptive way that I can visualize perfectly the settings, as well as comprehend exactly what feeling and emotion each character is going through. I specifically love how Celine describes nature through Terra’s eyes. The first half of the book is a bit slower, as Terra is finding her way out of captivity and regaining her strength, while Silas is in grief.

However the second half picks up and we come to understand exactly how powerful and important Terra truly is. Can I just say; YES YES YES, to the romance between Silas and Terra. I was smirking in glee at the sexy scenes (YES WE GET SOME!).

We also get to know some new characters like Dee, and we come to learn of an ancient and dark magic that is threating everything. I truly love the theory behind the elemental powers of the royals, it is my favorite aspect of the story and makes me want to grow vines from the ground too! I love how we also come to learn more about the lands beyond the undiscovered sea, the worldbuilding is excellent! The entire concept of the soulbound was really intriguing and I can’t wait to see the extent of this link in the next book!

You can check out more about the book and the author here.

Book review: The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni

| Gifted | YA fantasy |

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Prison Healer had my complete attention once I flipped the first page and saw Kiva’s code, I immediately went to translate the cover! I love the beautiful maps included, they are so detailed! Kiva has been a prisoner at Zalindov prison for 10 years, ever since she was captured as a child. She receives secret coded messages from her family, and hopes to one day be rescued. She learned how to survive by keeping her head low and eventually becoming the prison’s healer.

She is seen by the other prisoners’ as a traitor, since many who visit her infirmary do not survive, also because she is the prison’s carver, cutting into the skin of new arrivals to brand them with the prison’s mark.

 Don’t let her die. We are coming. 

I loved the other characters in the story! Specially Jaren and Tipp! Tipp is a spark of light in the darkness, and Jaren… well he is just amazing. The story reads with a very dark atmosphere that had my eyes glued to the pages! I loved the plot twists and specially that ending… I need the sequel asap!

You can check out more about the book and the author here.

North Street Book Prize – contest for self-published books

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As you guys know I often review books by self-published authors, also known as indie authors, to help promote and spread word about their books. More and more writers are choosing the path of self-publishing; this allows them to have complete freedom and control of the publishing process.

I was recently contacted by Winning Writers, a platform that creates resources for poets and writers, about an ongoing contest for self-published authors. This contest provides not only exposure to self-published works as well as some incredible prizes.

  1. Grand prize winner: $5,000 and a marketing analysis and one-hour phone consultation with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, a $300 credit at BookBaby, and 3 free ads in the Winning Writers newsletter (a $525 value).
  2. Top winner in each category: $1,000 and a marketing analysis and one-hour phone consultation with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, a $300 credit at BookBaby, and one free ad in the Winning Writers newsletter (a $175 value).
  3. A honorable mention in each category: $250,00.
  4. Published online excerpts from all entries that win a prize, along with critiques from the judges.

Various categories of self-published books may join the North Street Book Prize contest (Mainstream / Literary Fiction, Genre Fiction, Creative Nonfiction & Memoir, Poetry, Children’s Picture Book, Graphic Novel & Memoir, Art book) with no restriction of the publication date.

Fee per book entry: $65,00

Grand prize winner 2020

I will be supporting Winning Writers this upcoming months in spreading word about their contest and their work. The North Street Book Prize is recommended by the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), a designation for “contests which are organized for the benefit of the author rather than the profit of the organizer.” Are you a self-published author? To find more information on the North Book Prize contest for self-published works check out their website.

Book review: A Gallery of Mothers

| Gifted | YA fantasy |

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

A Gallery of mothers was a pleasant surprise, it is rare that a sequel is better than the first book but in this case it is! It is noticeable how much work the author has put into this sequel, specially with the development of the characters which has undoubtedly matured.

The alternating timelines between present and past gave us a deeper insight into the events that lead to the Threat Below.

The past was my favorite time-line as it helped me to understand the story and the creation of Mountain top. The book feels like watching an action movie, it flows in a gripping and fast paced manner. Many secrets, betrayals and morally gray characters are present which makes everything more captivating! We are constantly torn between which side to take as further events are unfolded.

Overall an adventurous novel full of plot twists and jaw dropping events! I look forward to more books from this author!

You can check out more about the book and the author here.