2022 LGBT+ Reads We Are Excited For

New Books, New Beginnings, New Year Blog Hop!

This month’s post is all about new beginnings for the new year! I decided that making a list of some YA LGBT+ reads I am excited for would be a great start of the new year! I am glad I did, because I found some super cool finds! And don’t forget to check the bottom of the post for links to everyone else’s blog posts and to enter the giveaway!

For fans of Vampire Diaries and dark academia, two queer teen bloodsuckers at an elite vampire-only boarding school must go up against all of Vampirdom when they uncover a frightening conspiracy on campus.

Kat Finn and her mother can barely make ends meet living among humans. Like all vampires, they must drink Hema, an expensive synthetic blood substitute, to survive, as nearly all of humanity has been infected by a virus that’s fatal to vampires. Kat isn’t looking forward to an immortal life of barely scraping by, but when she learns she’s been accepted to the Harcote School, a prestigious prep school that’s secretly vampires-only, she knows her fortune is about to change.
 
Taylor Sanger has grown up in the wealthy vampire world, but she’s tired of its backward, conservative values—especially when it comes to sexuality, since she’s an out-and-proud lesbian. She only has to suffer through a two more years of Harcote before she’s free. But when she discovers her new roommate is Kat Finn, she’s horrified. Because she and Kat used to be best friends, a long time ago, and it didn’t end well.
 
When Taylor stumbles upon the dead body of a vampire, and Kat makes a shocking discovery in the school’s archives, the two realize that there are deep secrets at Harcote—secrets that link them to the most powerful figures in Vampirdom and to the synthetic blood they all rely on.

OMG! I am so excited for this one!!! Dark academia, vampires, and F/F??? I’m sooooo excited for this one! I’m excited for all of them, but this is my jam right here! We don’t get enough F/F rep, so I am glad we are seeing more in publishing. I am going to devour (pun intended) this book when it comes out.

PREORDER HERE

The Haunting of Hill House meets Knives Out in a bid for an inheritance that will leave Helen Vaughan either rich…or dead.

Helen Vaughan doesn’t know why she and her mother left their ancestral home at Harrowstone Hall, called Harrow, or why they haven’t spoken to their extended family since. So when her grandfather dies, she’s shocked to learn that he has left everything—the house, the grounds, and the money—to her. The inheritance comes with one condition: she must stay on the grounds of Harrow for one full year, or she’ll be left with nothing.

There is more at stake than money. For as long as she can remember, Harrow has haunted Helen’s dreams—and now those dreams have become a waking nightmare. Helen knows that if she is going to survive the year, she needs to uncover the secrets of Harrow. Why is the house built like a labyrinth? What is digging the holes that appear in the woods each night?And why does the house itself seem to be making her sick?

With each twisted revelation, Helen questions what she knows about Harrow, her family, and even herself. She no longer wonders if she wants to leave…but if she can.

Another dark mystery, this one also sounds really fun and dark. I am a big fan of Knives Out and I read The Haunting of Hill House when I was very little (need to read it again because I do not remember it). So if you are a fan of horror and mystery, this one sounds eerie! Be sure to add it to your list!

PREORDER HERE

A witchy, atmospheric lesbian contemporary romance set in Salem—from the acclaimed author of Fans of the Impossible Life. Perfect for fans of Nina LaCour and Becky Albertalli.

Seventeen-year-old Eleanor is the last person in Salem to believe in witchcraft—or think that her life could be transformed by mysterious forces. After losing her best friend and first love, Chloe, Eleanor has spent the past year in a haze, vowing to stay away from anything resembling romance.

But when a handwritten guide to tarot arrives in the mail at the witchy souvenir store where Eleanor works, it seems to bring with it the message that magic is about to enter her life. Cynical Eleanor is quick to dismiss this promise, until real-life witch Pix shows up with an unusual invitation. Inspired by the magic and mystery of the tarot, Eleanor decides to open herself up to Pix and her coven of witches, and even to the possibility of a new romance.

But Eleanor’s complicated history continues to haunt her. She will have to reckon with the old ghosts that threaten to destroy everything, even her chance at new love.

Improbable Magic for Cynical Witches is a romantic coming-of-age about learning to make peace with the past in order to accept the beauty of the present.

Another F/F that sounds beautiful and magical! This one caught my eye as someone who is of the witchy vibe and loves cute coming of age stories. I think this one will be a magical ride and heartwarming.

PREORDER HERE

For as long as Sigrid could remember, she’s wanted to become a mighty, fearless valkyrie. But without a winged mare, she’s a mere stable hand, left wondering who her parents were and why she’s so different. So when the Eye shows her a vision where she’s leading a valkyrie charge on the legendary eight-legged horse Sleipnir, she grabs the possibility of this greater destiny with both hands, refusing to let go. 

Too bad that the only one who can help her get there is Mariam, an enemy valkyrie who begrudgingly agrees to lead her to Helheim but who certainly can’t be trusted―even if she does make Sigrid more than a little flustered. As they cross the nine worlds, battling night elves, riding sea serpents, and hurtling into fire to learn the truth about Sigrid’s birthright, an unexpected but powerful bond forms. 

As her feelings for Mariam deepen into something fiery and undeniable, Fate has other plans for Sigrid. What happens when the one thing you think you were meant to do might end the nine worlds?

Can’t say no to anything Norse Mythology! I am hoping with more Loki franchise, that there will be a surge of Norse Mythology-based YA like this (and that an agent will pick up my own manuscript based on Norse Mythology). If you love all things valkyrie, Norse, and F/F, be sure to grab a copy!

PREORDER HERE

In Rosiee Thor’s lavish fantasy novel with a Jazz Age spark, a politically savvy teen must weigh her desire to climb the social ladder against her heart in a world where magic buys votes.

Flare is power.

With only a drop of flare, one can light the night sky with fireworks . . . or burn a building to the ground — and seventeen-year-old Ingrid Ellis wants her fair share.

Ingrid doesn’t have a family fortune, monetary or magical, but at least she has a plan: Rise to the top on the arm of Linden Holt, heir to a hefty political legacy and the largest fortune of flare in all of Candesce. Her only obstacle is Linden’s father who refuses to acknowledge her.

So when Senator Holt announces his run for president, Ingrid uses the situation to her advantage. She strikes a deal to spy on the senator’s opposition in exchange for his approval and the status she so desperately craves. But the longer Ingrid wears two masks, the more she questions where her true allegiances lie.

Will she stand with the Holts, or will she forge her own path?

Rosiee Thor is an amazing author! I’m excited for this book as it has some ace rep, which doesn’t get much rep often. It sounds beautiful and having read some of Thor’s work, I know it is going to spark!

PREORDER HERE

A ragtag band of misfits gets swept up in Holy Land politics in Travelers Along the Way by Aminah Mae Safi, a thrilling YA remix of the classic legend of Robin Hood.

Jerusalem, 1192.
 The Third Crusade rages on. Rahma al-Hud loyally followed her elder sister Zeena into the war over the Holy Land, but now that the Faranji invaders have gotten reinforcements from Richard the Lionheart, all she wants to do is get herself and her sister home alive.

But Zeena, a soldier of honor at heart, refuses to give up the fight while Jerusalem remains in danger of falling back into the hands of the false Queen Isabella. And so, Rahma has no choice but to take on one final mission with her sister.

On their journey to Jerusalem, Rahma and Zeena come across a motley collection of fellow travelers—including a kind-hearted Mongolian warrior, an eccentric Andalusian scientist, a frustratingly handsome spy with a connection to Rahma’s childhood, and an unfortunate English chaplain abandoned behind enemy lines. The teens all find solace, purpose and camaraderie—as well as a healthy bit of mischief—in each other’s company.

But their travels soon bring them into the orbit of Queen Isabella herself, whose plans to re-seize power in Jerusalem would only guarantee further war and strife in the Holy Land for years to come. And so it falls to the merry band of misfits to use every scrap of cunning and wit (and not a small amount of thievery) to foil the usurper queen and perhaps finally restore peace to the land.

As someone who loves Robin Hood, this remix sounds amazing! Another LGBT that sounds wonderful, with a great rep, and a fun cast of characters. I still need to read A CLASH OF STEEL, which is part of this classic remix series.

PREORDER HERE

A fascinating historical novel about Hilde, a former orphan, who experiences Berlin on the cusp of World War II and discovers her own voice and sexuality and finds a family when she gets a job at a cabaret, by award-winning author Kip Wilson

After her eighteenth birthday, Hilde, a former orphan in 1930s Berlin, goes out into the world to discover her place in it. But finding a job is hard, at least until she stumbles into Café Lila, a vibrant cabaret full of expressive customers—and Rosa, the club’s waitress and performer. As the café and all who work there embrace Hilde, and she embraces them in turn, she discovers her voice and her own blossoming feelings for Rosa. 

But Berlin is in turmoil. Between the elections, protests in the streets, and the beginning seeds of unrest in Café Lila itself, Hilde will have to decide what’s best for her future . . . and what it means to love a place on the cusp of war.

I saw this book when the cover was revealed and I am so excited that it will finally be coming out! I loved the series Babylon Berlin on Netflix (not for anyone under 18) and this book reminded me of one of the main characters. I think it is going to be a heart-wrenching read, and as any reader, I can’t wait!

PREORDER HERE

In this voice-driven young adult debut by Andrea Mosqueda, Maggie Gonzalez needs a date to her sister’s quinceañera – and fast.  

Growing up in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley, Maggie Gonzalez has always been a little messy, but she’s okay with that. After all, she has a great family, a goofy group of friends, a rocky romantic history, and dreams of being a music photographer. Tasked with picking an escort for her little sister’s quinceañera, Maggie has to face the truth: that her feelings about her friends—and her future—aren’t as simple as she’d once believed.

As Maggie’s search for the perfect escort continues, she’s forced to confront new (and old) feelings for three of her friends: Amanda, her best friend and first-ever crush; Matthew, her ex-boyfriend twice-over who refuses to stop flirting with her, and Dani, the new girl who has romantic baggage of her own. On top of this romantic disaster, she can’t stop thinking about the uncertainty of her own plans for the future and what that means for the people she loves.

As the weeks wind down and the boundaries between friendship and love become hazy, Maggie finds herself more and more confused with each photo. When her tried-and-true medium causes more chaos than calm, Maggie needs to figure out how to avoid certain disaster—or be brave enough to dive right into it, in Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster.

So glad to see some bisexual rep! This book sounds fun, full of love, coming of age, and a lot of real world feels. High school brings a lot of new feelings, and when feelings for friends change, it is always a hard decision. I am looking forward to this book!

PREORDER HERE

Max Remus couldn’t care less about finding his mate-unlike the rest of his fate-obsessed pack. He totally prefers hanging with his bestie, eating his dad’s steak sandwiches, and drawing in his trusty sketchbook.

But all that is about to change at the Blue Moon Festival-a summer camp where Elite Pack wolves go to find their mates. The festival is a right of passage for every teen werewolf, and this year’s festival will be one to howl home about. The alpha’s son, Jasper Apollo, is attending for the first time. 

When Max finds himself inexplicably linked with the exceptionally handsome but totally jerk-faced heir, he’s forced to grapple with the unexpected feelings clawing at his soul. 

If Max rejects his destiny, will fate’s bite be worse than its bark?

Netflix’s Young Royals meets Teen Wolf meets Twilight–the first instalment in a thrilling new series, The Alpha’s Son is a heart-wrenching Young Adult, Boys Love, wolf shifter romance; full of yearning, comedy, and adventure.

I guess we got to give werewolves some love too 😛 If you love werewolves, or wolves in general, and some M/M rep, this sounds like your type of book! I am pretty excited for this books as it sounds very heartwarming, a little different than most werewolf books, and a great read.

PREORDER HERE

Sixteen-year-old Dylan Highmark thought his winter was going to be full of boring shifts at the Dairy Queen, until he finds himself in love with a boy who’s literally too hot to handle.


Dylan has always wanted a boyfriend, but the suburbs surrounding Philadelphia do not have a lot in the way of options. Then, in walks Jordan, a completely normal (and undeniably cute) boy who also happens to run at a cool 110 degrees Fahrenheit. When the boys start spending time together, Dylan begins feeling all kinds of ways, and when he spikes a fever for two weeks and is suddenly coughing flames, he thinks he might be suffering from something more than just a crush. Jordan forces Dylan to keep his symptoms a secret. But as the pressure mounts and Dylan becomes distant with his closest friends and family, he pushes Jordan for answers. Jordan’s revelations of why he’s like this, where he came from, and who’s after him leaves Dylan realizing how much first love is truly out of this world. And if Earth supports life that breathes oxygen, then love can only keep Jordan and Dylan together for so long. 


THE TEMPERATURE OF ME AND YOU is the story of first love, and the lengths we’ll go to figure out our hearts. What starts as an electric, chance encounter at a Dairy Queen quickly evolves into a heated romance, a journey of trust and identity, and a ticking clock for survival.

I’m excited to see what surprises are in this book! It sounds a little like Superman (or maybe his son :P) in high school trying to keep his powers a secret. Is this going to be superheroes? Or will it be aliens? I don’t know, but I really want to find out!

PREORDER HERE

Sleeping Beauty meets Indiana Jones in this thrilling fairytale retelling for fans of Sorcery of Thornsand The Cruel Prince.

Fi is a bookish treasure hunter with a knack for ruins and riddles, who definitely doesn’t believe in true love.

Shane is a tough-as-dirt girl warrior from the north who likes cracking skulls, pretty girls, and doing things her own way.

Briar Rose is a prince under a sleeping curse, who’s been waiting a hundred years for the kiss that will wake him.

Cursed princes are nothing but ancient history to Fi—until she pricks her finger on a bone spindle while exploring a long-lost ruin. Now she’s stuck with the spirit of Briar Rose until she and Shane can break the century-old curse on his kingdom.

Dark magic, Witch Hunters, and bad exes all stand in her way—not to mention a mysterious witch who might wind up stealing Shane’s heart, along with whatever else she’s after. But nothing scares Fi more than the possibility of falling in love with Briar Rose.

Set in a lush world inspired by beloved fairytales, The Bone Spindle is a fast-paced young adult fantasy full of adventure, romance, found family, and snark.

Sleeping Beauty and Indiana Jones? Hello! This sounds like another great mix of legends with some bada** female characters! I am not sure who I am in book crush love with more yet, Fi or Shane… Can’t wait for this read and find out!

PREORDER HERE

Carry On meets Arthurian legend in this funny, subversive young adult fantasy about what happens after the chosen one wins the kingdom and has to get married to keep it…and to stay alive.

Arek hadn’t thought much about what would happen after he completed the prophecy that said he was destined to save the Kingdom of Ere from its evil ruler. So now that he’s finally managed to (somewhat clumsily) behead the evil king (turns out magical swords yanked from bogs don’t come pre-sharpened), he and his rag-tag group of quest companions are at a bit of a loss for what to do next. 

As a temporary safeguard, Arek’s best friend and mage, Matt, convinces him to assume the throne until the true heir can be rescued from her tower. Except that she’s dead. Now Arek is stuck as king, a role that comes with a magical catch: choose a spouse by your eighteenth birthday, or wither away into nothing.

With his eighteenth birthday only three months away, and only Matt in on the secret, Arek embarks on a desperate bid to find a spouse to save his life—starting with his quest companions. But his attempts at wooing his friends go painfully and hilariously wrong…until he discovers that love might have been in front of him all along.

As a fan of Carry On, and a lover of Arthurian Legends, this book also looks like a fun read! It sounds like a cute read and I can’t wait to see if he finds true love, and what fiascos will happen on the way.

PREORDER HERE

Check Out The Other Blog Posts For The New Year!

New Young Adult Books: What’s Coming in 2022? 

Resolutions and Reviews

New Year’s in the Slytherin Common Room: Celebrating the Most Ruthless & Ambitious Characters in YA

2022 LGBT Books We Are Excited For

New Beginnings No Matter the Season

New Year, New Reading Goals!

Bookish New Year Resolutions

Non-Resolutions (Unless You Were Born in January)

Eos: Goddess of New Beginnings

Spring Cleaning Your TBR Pile

My 2022 Reading Journal

The Best Fantasy & Sci-Fi Debut Books (YA & Adult)

YA characters who made their dreams come true

In case clicking the photo doesn’t work, click here to enter

$0.99 Sale! Daughter of Hades Complete Collection for less than a dollar!

Fall deep into the Underworld with this Amazon Best Selling YA Fantasy Series!

What would you do with the dichotomous power over life and death? For Chrys, apparently, it was to stay cooped up in the Underworld all her life. She wishes she could leave and see what the human world is all about, but her Father, Hades, would never allow it, as she was never supposed to be born. If Zeus found out, she would be sent straight to Tartarus. So she has stayed in Hades’ palace all her life, her only friends being a punk whom she convinced her father was a genius tutor, and a demigod who she may or may not have almost kissed (father would be so mad if he found out).

After a huge fight with her Mother, Persephone, Chrys decides she can’t take it anymore and has to travel to the human world, since her mother loves it so much more than her own husband. With her two best friends, Chrys travels through Oceanus and finds herself in London, England. Ready to experience what it was like to be human, Chrys decides they can stay for a couple of days before having to return. 

Nothing could go wrong in that short of time, right?

Contains all four books of Daughter of Hades Series

BUY HERE FOR ONLY $0.99!

Fans of Lore Olympus, Percy Jackson, and The Faerie Games will enjoy!

“I am so happy to be back with my beloved Greek gods and especially Hades.[…] The book is fun, full of surprises and really entertaining!” -Nadine Chucri, Amazon Review ★★★★★

Wow! This was one amazingly kickA book! The writing was just phenomenally excellent! The storyline was incredibly unique and had me completely enthralled from beginning to end! -Alex_K, Amazon Review ★★★★★

When I saw that this story was about Hades and Persephone and their struggle with their relationship and family I was hooked. And I am not disappointed. From the first chapter throughout the book I enjoyed this story. I felt for all the characters and the alternating storytelling from Chrys’s and Huntleys point of view kept me wanting reading more. So if you like Greek mythology this is definitely a book for you. Can’t wait for the next book in the series. -Maia Silverdagger, Amazon Review ★★★★

I love this & I can’t wait for more! -Barb VanderWel, Goodreads Review ★★★★★

BUY HERE FOR ONLY $0.99!

AND DON’T FORGET TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

Upload a receipt and get 20 entries to win a $100 gift card to your favorite bookstore (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Changing Hands, etc)! Other entries include sharing, following on social media, etc, so be sure to check it out!

ENTER HERE

Don’t forget to download the series for only $0.99 by clicking here!

Book Review of Rogue: Untouched by Alisa Kwitney

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Title: Rogue: Untouched: A Marvel Heroines Novel

Author: Alisa Kwitney

Review by: Dani Hoots

Genre: YA Fantasy/X-Men
 

Rating: 5/5

Buy Here

Back cover:

Rogue’s frightening new mutant powers keep her at arms-length from the world, but two strangers offer a chance to change her life forever, in this exhilarating Marvel Super Hero adventure

Young Rogue’s life is a mess: she’s on her own, working a terrible diner job and hiding from everyone. The powers she has started to develop are terrifying: when your first kiss almost kills the guy, it’s hard to trust anyone – even yourself. Then two people arrive in town who could change her life, and she finally gets a choice: try her luck with the big-haired billionaire who claims to be scouting for gifted interns, or trust the rakish Cajun gambler with the eerie red eyes. But these two aren’t the only ones interested in a mutant just coming into her powers. Rogue will have to master her abilities and decide her own fate – before someone else does.

*I received this book from Netgalley for an honest review

This book made me fall in love with X-Men and Rogue again. I grew up watching X-Men, Wolverine, and X-Men Evolution and got into comics when I was in college. I go in and out of reading comics due to their being so many storylines and they get confusing as to where to start from, but after reading this book, I wanted to start again. This book follows Anna Marie as she begins to develop her powers in a small town in Mississippi. She wants more than anything to get away and go to college—that is, until a dashing young gentleman comes to town. You guessed it—it was Remy aka “Gambit”. I was so excited when he cam in the book as he is one of my favorite characters. Now she is in the middle of whatever disaster he is running from. They figure out her powers together, and, of course, he has to try and kiss her since he can’t.

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I really enjoyed this book as we really got into the mind of Rogue and how she is figuring out her powers. In the comics, she seems very fickle sometimes, but this really dives in to what she is going through and how she is dealing with memories and everything. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves X-Men, Rogue, or Gambit.

~Dani

About Marvel Entertainment

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media for over eighty years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing, publishing, games, and digital media.

For more information visit marvel.com. © 2020 MARVEL

Book Review of Glimpsed by GF Miller + Q&A & Giveaway!

 

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Title: Glimpsed

Author: GF Miller

Review by: Dani Hoots

Genre: YA Fantasy
 

Rating: 5/5

Buy Here

Back cover:

Charity is a fairy godmother. She doesn’t wear a poofy dress or go around waving a wand, but she does make sure the deepest desires of the student population at Jack London High School come true. And she knows what they want even better than they do because she can glimpse their perfect futures.

 

But when Charity fulfills a glimpse that gets Vindhya crowned homecoming queen, it ends in disaster. Suddenly, every wish Charity has ever granted is called into question. Has she really been helping people? Where do these glimpses come from, anyway? What if she’s not getting the whole picture?

Making this existential crisis way worse is Noah—the adorkable and (in Charity’s opinion) diabolical ex of one of her past clients—who blames her for sabotaging his prom plans and claims her interventions are doing more harm than good. He demands that she stop granting wishes and help him get his girl back. At first, Charity has no choice but to play along. But soon, Noah becomes an unexpected ally in getting to the bottom of the glimpses. Before long, Charity dares to call him her friend…and even starts to wish he were something more. But can the fairy godmother ever get the happily ever after?

GLIMPSED follows Charity who helps others’ wishes come true, but isn’t sure how to deal with her own problems. She pushes people away, thinking that her duty is to others and feels pleasure making their wishes come true. But what if people’s wishes don’t turn out the way they wanted? And what if someone figures out her secret and begins to blackmail her?

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This story was a beautifully written rom-com that I couldn’t put down/stop listening too since I listened to the audiobook. Charity, although clearly flawed and doesn’t know how to let people in, is relatable. Being a teen is hard as there are a bunch of new experiences thrown her way, on top of her finding out she is like a fairy godmother. I enjoyed learning about her and watching her grow as she helps Noah, and Noah helps her.

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I really enjoyed the folklore surrounding Charity and how she is able to “glimpse” people’s wishes. I found it to be very original, but won’t spoil how it works. I liked the tie-ins to different fairy tales and how they were connected.

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All in all, if you like cute rom-coms with a hint of magic, this is a story for you! I can’t wait for GF Miller’s next book and hope she continues writing more! Scroll down to enter the giveaway and check out the Q&A with GF Miller!

~Dani

GIVEAWAY

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Enter for a chance to win the audiobooks GLIMPSED by G.F. Miller and ENDANGERED by Dani Hoots by clicking here! Giveaway ends 5/14/21!

GLIMPSED:

Charity is a high-school fairy godmother keeping her magic on the downlow and granting wishes like a boss. You want the bullies to give it a rest, a kiss from your secret crush, the lead in the school musical? Charity’s got your back. But when Charity sets up one Cindy with an epic prom date, she inadvertently ruins Noah’s life (or at least his prom). With Noah’s… uh… “help” Charity discovers that every wish she’s granted has had unintended consequences. To save everyone’s happily ever afters, Charity will have to figure out what’s gone wrong and reunite Noah with his true love. The problem is, she’s starting to wish she were the one Noah wanted.

ENDANGERED: 

Hidden in the Underworld all her life, Chrys, the daughter of Persephone and Hades, just wants to see what the mortal world is all about. She sneaks out with two of her best friends to have a little fun, but she doesn’t realize that perhaps her father made her stay hidden for a reason. Will she be able to make it back before Zeus and the other gods find her, or will she come face to face with her fate?

*United States & Canada only

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

Q&A With GF Miller!

Is Cinderella your favorite fairy tale, and if not, what is?

Growing up, my family had a gorgeously illustrated fairytale book. It was something from my mom’s childhood, and she was pretty precious with it. Like, we knew that she could have more kids, but she’d never get another copy of that book. Every chance I got, I’d look through it, though. Every page was a full-color work of art. It had the standard stories, like “Cinderella” and “Sleeping Beauty,” but also a couple of more off-beat ones. Like “Toads and Diamonds.” I think my favorite one was “Snow White and Rose Red.” It has nothing to do with the other Snow White… It’s about two sisters—and shockingly they’re both good people—who live with their mom (who’s ALSO not evil, if you can believe it) in a house in the woods. They walk in the woods a lot because I guess there wasn’t much to do for fun back then. And in the woods, they repeatedly help this grouchy dwarf out of sticky situations. But then something happens with a bear mauling the dwarf, but the sisters aren’t afraid of it (stupid or fearless? You be the judge.). Actually, they’re worried that the bear will be cold, so they take it home to live with them for the winter. And their mom is just cool with it. Then in the spring, the bear turns into a prince and—BAM, he has a brother!—and everybody gets married! The end! It’s so random and, I don’t know, I just like it.

 

What made you pick Star Trek for Noah to obsess over? Are you a Trekkie?

I can’t claim to be a hardcore Trekkie like Noah and his family are. But I do enjoy the Star Trek universe, and especially its fandom. Some of my favorite people have been Trekkies. I chose it because a lot of fandom—like Marvel and Star Wars—has become very mainstream. No amount of geeking out about it would really feel that dorky. It was important for Noah to be super dorky. So I wanted something a little more niche, but well-known enough that readers wouldn’t be completely lost.

What made you want to write this book?

Glimpsed was the book I wrote as a mental vacation after writing something very deep and heavy. I was exhausted from pouring myself into this difficult topic. So I said, “Okay, now I’m just going to make myself laugh.” I had so much fun writing Glimpsed. And I loved exploring—in a really whimsical way—the question of “What does it mean to truly help others? How do we engage with people who are struggling without imposing our own will on them or diminishing their dignity?”

 

Is this the first book you ever wrote, or do you have another story hidden in a drawer somewhere?

Glimpsed was my third completed novel-length manuscript. Every so often, I pull those first two out of the trunk and give them a cuddle. But I think if they are ever to be published, I’ll need a whole new pen name, because they aren’t “charming, sparkly rom-coms perfect for fans of Jenn Bennett.” So, my friends, be on the lookout for a searing interrogation of the American Dream by F. G. Mirell and a heart-pounding thriller by Georgina F. Moonmore.

 

Have you always wanted to write, or did you decide later on that you wanted to become an author?

Even though I was a voracious reader growing up, and even though I’ve been writing for fun and as a job for…ever… for some reason it never occurred to me that “author” could be a career path—until I started hanging out with authors and suddenly realized that regular people write books and sell them. As soon as that clicked, getting traditionally published became my goal.

 

What made you want to tell the fairy godmother’s POV instead of a Cindy’s?

It honestly never even occurred to me that I might want to tell anyone else’s story. Charity, the teen fairy godmother, came to me with her problems, so I started writing. It was fun because she has a lot going on, but in the first draft of the book, I wasn’t even sure if I liked Charity. She is very flawed. She can be so pushy and insensitive sometimes. Thankfully my editor at Simon & Schuster, Jessica Smith, did an incredible job of helping me discover Charity’s softer side and drawing that out. And now I can’t help but love her despite all her questionable decisions. I hope readers feel the same!

 

Do you write with music? If so, do you have any songs from your playlist you would like to share?

I get easily distracted by music, so I usually write in silence. But in-between writing sessions, I had some inspiration songs:

ME TOO by Meghan Trainor – This pretty much feels like it should be Charity’s anthem. The unapologetic self-confidence of the lyrics, the energetic vibe, the feeling that “everything is going my way”…that is totally Charity. She’s at the top of her game as a fairy godmother, and she knows it.

WHITE AND NERDY by Weird Al Yankovic (parody of RIDIN’ by Chamillionaire ft. Krayzie Bone) – Noah deserves an anthem too. And nothing could be more fitting than this comic twist on gangster rap. Noah is a total nerd, and he just owns it.

PROBLEM by Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea – Charity has so many issues to deal with—both her own and other people’s—throughout GLIMPSED. She is constantly hustling and putting out fires on the fly. The last thing this fairy godmother needs is an anti-wish zealot like Noah dogging her every move. If she could just get him off her case, she’d be singing, “I got 99 problems, but you won’t be one.” But, also, if she’s being honest, there’s a little part of her that’s starting to feel that first part of the song too: “Even though I hate ya, I wanna love ya.”

 

Lastly, do you have an inspiring words for writers who want to be published some day?

Yes! Here they are:

Don’t forget to have fun. Sometimes we take ourselves so seriously or get so caught up in the hard parts of the process that we lose the fun and joy of sitting down and creating a thing. If writing’s not joyful, why not become an electrician? There are literally a thousand other things you could do that would pay better. So if you’re going to be a writer, enjoy it. 

Book Review of Into the Heartless Wood by Joanna Ruth Meyer

 

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Title: Into the Heartless Wood

Author: Joanna Ruth Meyer

Review by: Dani Hoots

Genre: YA Fantasy
 

Rating: 5/5

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Back cover:

Epic, heartbreaking, and darkly atmospheric, Into the Heartless Wood is the story of impossible love between a monstrous tree siren and a boy who lives at the edge of her wood.

The forest is a dangerous place, where siren song lures men and women to their deaths. For centuries, a witch has harvested souls to feed the heartless tree, using its power to grow her domain.

When Owen Merrick is lured into the witch’s wood, one of her tree-siren daughters, Seren, saves his life instead of ending it. Every night, he climbs over the garden wall to see her, and every night her longing to become human deepens. But a shift in the stars foretells a dangerous curse, and Seren’s quest to become human will lead them into an ancient war raging between the witch and the king who is trying to stop her.

*I received this book from Netgalley for my honest review*

Joanna Ruth Meyer does it again! She magically crafts a story with enchanting prose, wonderful characters, and a beautiful plot. I fell in love with Owen and how he wanted to help his family, and yet is drawn to Seren, a tree siren who has saved his life. He knows better than to trust her, but he can’t help but wonder what she is truly about.

The prose for Seren is almost like poetry as she grows and learns more about the humans. She constantly is struggling on wanting to help Owen, but also her loyalty to her mother and sisters. Will she break tradition and help her new human friend, or will she succumb to fate?

The first book I read by Meyer was Echo North and I immediately fell in love with her writing style. This books follows the same style of weaving different folklore and fairytales, and yet being something completely different. I recommend it to anyone who loves YA fantasy!

~Dani

 

Book Review of Aspiring and Becoming by Astrid V.J.

 

Title: Aspiring (Book 1)

Author: Astrid VJ

Review by: Dani Hoots

Genre: YA Fantasy
 

Rating: 5/5

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Title: Becoming (Book 2)

Author: Astrid VJ

Review by: Dani Hoots

Genre: YA Fantasy
 

Rating: 5/5

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Back cover:

A coven of witches plots to overthrow a kingdom. One brave woman stands in their way.

At her mother’s death-bed, Elisabeth learns her mother’s illness is no accident and that her own life is in danger. Evil witches are plotting to take over the kingdom of Vendale. All alone, naive, and untrained, Elisabeth’s determination is all she has to confront her mother’s murderers as she discovers love at the same time. While Richard’s behaviour sends distracting mixed messages, Elisabeth finds herself stuck in limbo: she is treated like a child but is forced to make adult decisions. Meanwhile, the witches’ plot spins a fateful web around her.

Can Elisabeth succeed in the face of insurmountable odds?

*I am review book 1 and 2 together

Astrid did great in weaving the feeling of classic fairytales into her story for the modern reader. Elizabeth is a fun character who is relatable for anyone who has fallen in love, but then has to deal with her new powers and is given more responsibility than she ever thought possible. It definitely weaves in a few different class fairy tales from different areas of Europe, and I really liked that about it. Astrid writes very well and has a beautiful pose, although if you are looking for an action-packed story, this one might not be for you. This one is more lyrical and beautiful, versus other books in the genre.

The second book is great as it follows more of of the siblings’ tale. I really liked Edvard and his devotion to his sister, but felt we didn’t get enough of him in the last half of the book. Although the evil step-mother troupe is used a lot, it’s definitely a classic and is relatable to some people *cough-cough*. She was quite evil, but I found her believable as I have seen some pretty messed up families in my life because of step-parents. 

All in all, if you are looking for a beautiful prose that is based on fairy tales, I recommend these two books!

~Dani

 

Book Review of Embers by Sky Sommers

 

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Title: Embers

Author: Sky Sommers

Review by: Dani Hoots

Genre: YA Fantasy
 

Rating: 4/5

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Back cover:

A wolf cursed to be a horrible warning. A huntsman who hates to kill. His son loves red T-shirts and to roam the woods alone.

For failing to uphold her end of the bargain Ella’s “wicked” stepmother Grace now walks the world on four paws. Her husband Peter has become the village huntsman to save his wife from the villagers. And his son from his wife.

Will Grace remember who she is as she is drawn to the boy? Will she find her way back to Peter? And how exactly do you lift a Fairy Queen’s curse?

This adult retelling of Red Riding Hood weaves several classic fairytales together with a splash of darkness, can be read as a standalone novel and is aimed at an adult audience (heat level: mild). For those who wanted to know how Prince Charming’s parents got together, keep an eye out for a nested story of Belle and Beast.

*I received this book from the author for my honest review*

This is a very beautiful retelling or Red Riding Hood with a mix of other stories such Beauty and the Beast and Hansel and Gretel. It is told beautiful, just like classic fairy tale stories, but set as a modern tale. I loved how it was changed into a boy representing Red Riding Hood because he always liked wearing the color red, and how he accepted the wolf and wanted to befriend her. As some who tries to support wolf activism (I literally just got a ding from my email from Grand Canyon Wolves as I wrote that haha), I appreciate not making wolves be the bad guy. 

This is a continuation of a series, and I haven’t gotten a chance to read the first book, but one could easily read this as a standalone if they wanted to. The only problems I had were that sometimes it was a little hard to follow and I got confused what exactly the conflict was. All in all though, it is a great beach read, lazy summer afternoon read, or a read next to a fire (depending on where you live, it’s hot here). I recommend to anyone who enjoys fairy tales.

~Dani

 

Book Review of To Whatever End by Lindsey Frydman

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Title: To Whatever End

Author: Lindsey Frydman

Review by: Dani Hoots

Genre: YA Paranormal
 
Release Date: January 4th 2021

Rating: 4/5

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Back cover:

What if with every person you met, after just one touch, you have a vision of the last time you’ll see each other? Ever. Normally, these visions are innocent—two friends just drifting apart, a random stranger that brushed past you then never crossed your path again. 

But not today. 

When I accidentally touch him, within only moments of our first meeting, I’m bombarded by visions of his death. 

And from what I can see, I’m the reason he dies. 

Now I just need to figure out why, and how to stop this from happening. Because not only am I to blame, but his very last words to me are…I love you.

*I received this book from YA Bound Tours for my honest review*

I couldn’t put down this book! I read it all in one sitting as it was suspenseful, touching, and romantic. I really liked the main character Quinn as she is dealing with a curse that she isn’t allowed to talk about—seeing how a relationship will end. When she touches a person, she knows what kind of heartbreak is going to ensue, but she couldn’t imagine that it was because the boy she wanted to date was going to die.

From the first chapter, you wonder what she is going to do to try and save him, and you wondered if she was or if this was going to end sadly. I won’t spoil the ending, of course, but this entire book is definitely a read I will be recommending to those who like suspense. All the characters were interesting, and I really liked Griffin (the boy she has to save). I have been watching too much Avatar: The Last Airbender and totally just imagined him as Zuko the entire time, and that is what voice I heard in my head. Not complaining, just thought it was funny.

The only problems I had (and a problem I have while writing as well) is that there wasn’t very little interaction with other people that were supporting members or main characters. It seemed a little unrealistic or that there wasn’t anyone else in the town. There were instances where there should have been more people but it seemed silent. The other problem I had was there were some things that weren’t clarified and answered very well, but I don’t want to spoil what those were. All in all, I really enjoyed this book and will be checking out the author’s other novels!

 

~Dani

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lindsey frydman

About the AuthorLindsey has been writing since she was nine years old, when she discovered the awesomeness that is Harriet the Spy. Her books always include a romance, though sometimes there’s an added sci-fi or magical realism twist. She lives in Columbus, Ohio (where the weather is never quite right). Her BFA in Photography and Graphic Design has granted her a wide assortment of creative knowledge that serves as inspiration (and not much else). When she’s not crafting YA and NA stories, you’ll likely find her spending waaay too much time on Pinterest, playing a video game, singing show-tunes, or performing in a burlesque show—because she enjoys giving her introversion a worthy adversary. (Plus, it’s the closest to Broadway she’ll ever get.) Lindsey was a proud 2016 Pitch Wars Mentee and thoroughly adores being a part of the wonderful writing community. THE HEARTBEAT HYPOTHESIS is her debut novel.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lindseymf

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lindseyfrydmanauthor/

Book Review of A Curse of Roses by Diana Pinguicha

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Title: Curse of Roses

Author: Diana Pinguicha

Review by: Dani Hoots

Genre: YA Fantasy/Historical Fantasy/LGBTQ

Rating: 5/5

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Purchase links can be found HERE!

Back cover:

With just one touch, bread turns into roses. With just one bite, cheese turns into lilies.

There’s a famine plaguing the land, and Princess Yzabel is wasting food simply by trying to eat. Before she can even swallow, her magic—her curse—has turned her meal into a bouquet. She’s on the verge of starving, which only reminds her that the people of Portugal have been enduring the same pain.

If only it were possible to reverse her magic. Then she could turn flowers…into food.

Fatyan, a beautiful Enchanted Moura, is the only one who can help. But she is trapped by magical binds. She can teach Yzabel how to control her curse—if Yzabel sets her free with a kiss.

As the King of Portugal’s betrothed, Yzabel would be committing treason, but what good is a king if his country has starved to death?

With just one kiss, Fatyan is set free. And with just one kiss, Yzabel is yearning for more.

She’d sought out Fatyan to help her save the people. Now, loving her could mean Yzabel’s destruction.

Based on Portuguese legend, this #OwnVoices historical fantasy is an epic tale of mystery, magic, and making the impossible choice between love and duty…

*I received this book from YA Bound Tours for my honest review*

This was a remarkable story that was full of color, imagination, and history. Pinguicha did a great job in her research and making this story feel grounded in the past, yet still have a flare of fantasy. I was fascinated by how the MC had a curse that turned everything she ate into flowers. I couldn’t help to wonder how I would deal with such a curse as an herbalist. It wouldn’t be practical, but the first five minutes would be cool!

The LGBTQ aspect was great and made me really feel for the characters, especially given the time period. Pinguicha put a lot of thought on how to portray the characters in the era and I really respect and admire that in books. It is ignorant to think LGBTQ wasn’t prominent throughout the history and it seems like a lot of books ignore that fact. Yay representation!

All in all, I highly recommend this book!

~Dani

About the Author:

Born in the sunny lands of Portugal, Diana is a Computer Engineer graduate who currently calls Lisbon home. She can usually be found writing, painting, devouring extraordinary quantities of books and video games, or walking around with her bearded dragon, Norberta. She also has two cats, Sushi and Jubas, who would never forgive her if she didn’t mention them.

Her art can be found at http://pinguicha.deviantart.com.

Also publishes under Diana Pinguicha Connors.

Website: http://pinguicha.wordpress.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/pinguicha

Blog Tour Organized By:

Book Review of Abney Kelly and the Yuletide Shenanigans by SamiJo McQuiston

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title: Abney Kelly and the Yuletide Shenanigans

Series: Abney Kelly Series

Author: Samijo McQuiston

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating:5/5

Amazon/Barnes&Noble/Kobo

Back cover:

Abney Kelly seems like your typical thirteen-year-old trying to find her place in the world. She’s shy, awkward, has no friends, and is bullied constantly. However things are not always as they appear, after being pushed into a clover patch, a creature who says he’s her assigned guardian whisks her off to a school in Tìr na nÓg, called Yule.

Turns out she’s a Changeling, and it’s time she learns what that means. Between making new friends, discovering that all the monsters in her nightmares are real, and starting at a new school, Abney didn’t think life could get any harder as she splits her time between the human and Fae realms.

That is until her house matron warns them about Nicholas Kringle. He is stalking his prey throughout realms and collecting the hearts of those on his so-called nice list. At a New Year’s Eve party, Abney and her new gang use an Ouija board and discover that one of their friends is on Kringle’s list.

Determined to stop their friend’s death, Abney and company set off on a chilly adventure, to try to change fate, but only one thing is for certain… This year they’ll end up on the naughty list or die trying.

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*I received this book from YA Bound Tours for my honest review*

This was an amazing novel! I loved how McQuiston spun together Celtic, and other regions, myths together and created a world much like Hogwarts, if not better. I found it to be refreshingly original, yet still have that feel we are used to in magical schools. I really loved her take on the Santa, or St Nicolas, myth and how it played part in this story. 

Abney was a really nice character. It was great having a heroine one could relate to, and wasn’t boy crazy. I don’t mind having lots of love in stories, but having it not be the focus at all was very refreshing. I also loved the lgbtq representation in this book and her take on the two fairy queens. 

All in all, if you love a book with twists and turns, based off of mythology, has the feel of Harry Potter except with a girl MC and lgbt representation, this is definitely the book for you! Read an excerpt below!

~Dani

 

Enter the giveaway!

 

About the author:

SamiJo is a first-class shenanigator, decorated coddiwompler, narrator, and author of, The Abney Kelly series. She lives in Wyoming with her dog, two cats, and four chickens. She participates in tomfoolery frequently and plans to get into waggishness in the future. Vive La Pete! 

Website: https://www.vivelapete.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/SJMcQuiston

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ViveLaPete/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/s.j.mcquiston/?hl=en

 

Excerpt:

Chapter 6 The Story of Nicholas Kringle 

  

    A thick, stew-like fog encircled Oberon House. Th e Pucas were supposed
to be taking them to see the enormous Christmas tree in
the square, but there was no way to go out safely. If you stuck your
hand into the mist, it disappeared before your eyes, and in general, had
a strange-uneasy feel to it. Everyone was very content to stay in and help
decorate the house Christmas tree in the Ocean Room.
   The decorations were colorful and random; Agatha didn’t do
themes for her tree like Abney’s family did, but it was still fun, and everyone
chipped in. Blythe taught them to string popcorn, and Wilbur
and Snozbert were taking colored glass beads and morphing them into
different shapes and figures by request. It was like watching master glassblowers at work, but they never heated the marbles. Th ey were able to

manipulate them with their bare hands.
   “I love Christmas trees,” Abney said as she looked transfixed at the
glowing masterpiece.
   “It’s a Yule tree,” Feo said as she came in with a tray of sweet orange
tea and began pouring cups.
   “Is there a difference?” Abney asked curiously.
   “Oh, most definitely. Christmas trees are a pagan tradition you know,
taught to Fleetlings by the Fae,” Feo said carefully. “Anyway, the most important
difference is that a Yule tree is always a live tree. Fleetlings use
fake trees and all sorts of nonsense these days. They’ve forgotten the traditions
of old, but a Yule tree must be alive.”
   “I think it’s time for a story,” Agatha said from her armchair by the
fire. She took a deep drag from her hookah pipe through the black hole
in her neck. “Come closer, sugars, closer,” she bid them, and they all sat
on the floor near her feet. “You are all aware of the legend of The Santa
Claus?”
   “Everyone knows that one,” Zoey replied.
   “Ya, ya,” Domino agreed. “The dude who knows if you’re naughty or
nice. We all know how it goes.” Abney wasn’t sure why but she suddenly
felt edgy, and goosebumps rose on her arms.
   “That’s the one, honey,” Agatha agreed. “I suppose you know him as
a fat, jolly, man who passes out gifts?”
   “Every December the 25th,” Domino smiled.
   “That’s the version known to most Fleetlings,” Agatha continued.
   “But I’m going to tell you the real story. Heed my words. They are much
more paramount now than they have been in many years.” The teenagers
and Pucas moved closer to the fire, unconsciously wanting to chase away
the dark and its accompanying shadows.
   “This story starts out as all good tales do. Once upon a time, in a
faraway land, there lived a lonely king. Not just any king though, The
Winter King, Jack Frost, himself. Blythe, a little help please?” Agatha
breathed out. Blythe whispered a few words and blew them into
Agatha’s smoke. A sad man appeared in the escaping vapor, and the
story took to life as Agatha started to speak again, “He longed for a child
to love and fill his days with joy, but no maid could carry the child of the
frozen monarch. Frustrated and grief-stricken, he sought out the great
witch, Baba Yaga.
   “‘Grandmother,’ he begged. ‘I am alone and childless. Is there anything
you can do to help me? Is there a way for me to have a child?’ Baba
Yaga thought for a moment, looked deep into his heart, and knew he
was sincere. She decided to help The Winter King, but he must bring
her three things: Snow, from the coldest peak, coal from the deepest
mine, and a feather from the brightest Phoenix.
   “So The Winter King scoured the Earth until he had everything the
witch had asked for. First, Baba Yaga took the snow and patted it into
the shape of a girl, then she picked up the coal and wrapped the phoenix
feather around it, the coal ignited melting the feather into it. Finally, she
forced the coal into the snow girl where her heart would have been. The
winds picked up and whirled violently around them, but The Winter
King and Baba Yaga stood fast, and when the snow settled again, a small
pale girl stood before them. Her skin was blue, like a frozen glacier, and
her hair white as snow, with a hint of the Northern Lights about it. The
King loved her instantly, but as he reached for her, Baba Yaga stepped
between them.
   “‘Nothing is free, Winter King,’ she said. ‘A time will come when I
will ask you for a favor, and you must agree to do as I ask.’ The King,
being so close to his heart’s desire could do nothing but agree. Baba Yaga
released the girl to him with a warning.
   “‘She is snow and ice, but her heart is fire. She must never lose control
of her emotions. You must teach her to remain calm in even the
worst of storms. If she loses control, your daughter will melt and return
to the water from whence she came.’