Monday, May 28, 2018

DAGGER'S SLEEP AND DISSOCIATE BLOG TOUR // book reviews + giveaways!


Hey, friends! Today is a very special day because this is the first blog tour I have ever participated in. And not only that, but it's a joint tour for the upcoming releases of two stupendous books by two stupendous authors: Dagger's Sleep by Tricia Mingerink and Dissociate (Allegiance #3) by Sarah Addison-Fox!

I was thrilled to be able to read these books, and I'm excited to review them here on the blog today! So let's leap into it, shall we?

EEEEEEEP. << That is how I feel right now. ^_^


~~~


~ABOUT DAGGER'S SLEEP~


A prince cursed to sleep.
A princess destined to wake him.
A kingdom determined to stop them.
High Prince Alexander has been cursed to a sleep like unto death, a curse that will end the line of the high kings and send the Seven Kingdoms of Tallahatchia into chaos. With his manservant to carry his luggage and his own superior intelligence to aid him, Alex sets off to find one of the Fae and end his curse one way or another.
A hundred years later, Princess Rosanna learns she is the princess destined by the Highest King to wake the legendary sleeping prince. With the help of the mysterious Daemyn Rand, can she find the courage to finish the quest as Tallahatchia wavers on the edge of war?
One curse connects them. A hundred years separate them. From the rushing rivers of Tallahatchia’s mountains to the hall of the Highest King himself, their quests will demand sacrifices neither of them could imagine.
Dagger’s Sleep is available for preorder on Amazon Kindle.



~MY REVIEW~


This is the best Sleeping Beauty retelling I have ever read. It has everything that makes a good retelling, plus so much more.

To be honest, as I started Dagger’s Sleep, I wasn't expecting to get my socks knocked off. I fully expected it to be good, but I wasn't sure it would be amazing.

Boy, was I in for a delightful surprise.

The first half of the book was REALLY good! The characters, the intrigue of the storyline, the beautiful and engaging writing style… Pretty much every aspect of the novel had me hooked. But from the 50% mark and onwards, that “really-good-ness” became UTTERLY BREATHTAKING AMAZINGNESS.

Wow, wow, wow. By the last page my heart felt battered by such emotion and epic-ness and… eeeeeep! I am honestly a major fangirl.


~ 5 TOP FAVORITES~


- Rosanna. This princess broke a lot of YA princess cliches I hadn't even truly realized were such big cliches. O_O It was suuuper nice and actually felt more realistic. And I just loved Rosanna - she was a strong but very likeable heroine. <3

- Prince Alexander. He had issues, but he was still a cinnamon roll. And his character arc… perfection.

- Daemyn Rand. A wonderful blend of mysteriousness, quietness, and overall INTRIGUINGNESS. (I don't think that's a word, but who cares? xD) As the story progressed, he only became more and more brilliantly complex.

- The romance. Slow-burning and tension-filled. Yes, yes, yesssss.

- The allegorical aspect of it. It was tastefully and beautifully done, subtle and epic like Narnia. The most epic part of the whole book, if you ask me.


~5/5 stars~

Yes, it was that good. It really was.




~ABOUT THE AUTHOR~

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Tricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn't writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country.
You can connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram, and her blog.






~~~

~ABOUT DISSOCIATE~





Freedom begins with finding the truth.
Amidst the turmoil caused by Smyth’s arrest, Celeste is stuck in limbo, stripped of her citizenship, with no choice but to flee to a peaceful Kyraenean hideaway with the tumultuous Amaya Mason.
When bounty hunters threaten the local orphanage, Celeste and Amaya must work together and fight. Even if it means risking what they cherish the most.
His plans in tatters, his career in jeopardy, Mick Haynes is forced to leave Kyraenea with the enigmatic Torrance Kyle, the agent he still can’t trust.
Torrance is good at lying, and even better at hiding his pain, but is he strong enough to deal with the consequences of betraying his own father?
Can Celeste accept the truth, accept her place in the Haynes family or will lies chain her to the past and destroy her chance at a new life?

Dissociate is available for sale on Amazon here. The first two books in the series Disowned and Dissemble are also available on Amazon.



~MY REVIEW~

The Allegiance series has so far been a wild ride of action, heartbreak, and romance. Dissociate is no exception. Throughout the book, I was pretty much either fangirl-giggling uncontrollably or taking deep breaths to calm the painful ache of emotion in my chest.

These characters, tho. <3 They are the highlight of this series and the lifebreath of this book. I’m telling ya, character-driven stories are the ones I fall in love with. The Haynes family, the Kyle family, and all their darling friends are like one big, happy, broken family that I feel a part of somehow. They squeeeeeeze my heart.

~5 TOP FAVORITES~

- Celeste. Her arc for each book has just been so well-done. She’s changed A LOT since the beginning of Disowned, and I especially loved how Etra touched her life in this one. <3

- Torrance Kyle. Okay, so this guy has problems. I won't deny that he grated on my nerves a few times, and outright scared me at others. But at the same time he’s complex. Deep. Broken. Somehow you just have to root for him with every fiber of your being, you know??

- Mick. The precious boy is learning and growing. :’) I love him. Especially him + Celeste, not going to lie. Which leads me to...

- The romance. Swoon-worthy and wonderful, both Torraya and Mickeste. Like I said earlier, they had me giggling at times and aching at others.

- The twists and turns. The plot perhaps wasn’t as solid as Dissemble’s, but there were an abundance of excellent twists and jerks in the storyline nevertheless that had me on the edge of my seat. O_o It also had its very stabby moments, so points for that!

I can't wait for the next book, eeeeeeek! (For some reason I used to think it was a trilogy, but I recently realized I was wrong. No idea why I came to that assumption, but hey... I ain't complainin'. xD)

~4.5/5 stars~
CAN'T WAIT FOR BOOK FOUR!!



~ABOUT THE AUTHOR~


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Sarah Addison-Fox is a New Zealand-born home-schooling mother of two who loves action-packed fantasy with strong heroines. She has an astonishing amount of nail polish, has all her creative writing credentials shoved in a drawer somewhere, and has a husband who, after 27 years, can still make her blush. When she’s not working on her Christian YA fantasy series',  she can be found fangirling on Goodreads or sending GIFs on Twitter.


You can connect with her on her website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


~GIVEAWAYS~

Yep, that's right! Sarah Addison-Fox and Tricia Mingerink have set up some paperback giveaways!

Sarah Addison-Fox is giving away a paperback set of the first three books in the Allegiance Series. The giveaway is open internationally where such giveaways are permitted and where Createspace ships. The books may or may not be signed depending on where the winner lives.

If the embedded Rafflecopter thingamabob below doesn't show up for you, HERE is the link.


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Tricia Mingerink is also giving away a paperback of Dagger’s Sleep! The giveaway is open internationally where such giveaways are permitted and where Createspace or the Book Depository ships. The book may or may not be signed depending on where the winner lives.

Again, if the thingie below decides it doesn't want to display, follow THIS LINK.




This is the last day of the blog tour, but be sure to check out the past tour stops. There are other reviews and some fun author interviews!



Blog Tour Schedule
Tuesday – May 22
Laura Grace – Author Interview
Reading Anyone – Book Review
Jaye L Knight – Book Spotlight
Quirky Faith – Book Reviews and Author Interview

Wednesday – May 23
Allyson Kennedy – Author Interview
Sam H. – Book Review
Addyson Huneke - Book Review and Author Interview
Ivie Brooks - Book Reviews

Thursday – May 24
Shantelle Mary - Book Review and Book Spotlight
Brie Donning - Book Review and Multi-Character Interview
Blooming with Books - Book Review and Author Interview
Julian Daventry - Book Review and Author Interview

Friday – May 25
Faith Thompson - Book Reviews and Author Interview
Hannah Gaudette - Author Interview
CM Williams - Book Review
Chloe Parker - Book Reviews

Saturday – May 26
JM Christian - Book Review and Multi-Character Interview
Abigail McKenna - Book Reviews
Liv Fisher - Author Interview
Book Wolf - Book Reviews and Author Interview
Liz Koetsier – Book Spotlight

Monday – May 28
Jessica Dowell - Book Review and Author Interview
Lila Kims - Book Reviews
Marie Elrich - Book Reviews
Faith Potts - Book Review and Book Spotlight

Facebook Festival begins 5PM EST May 24th through 9PM EST May 25th with special guest Serena Chase


A big thank you to Tricia and Sarah for allowing me to read their AMAZING books and feature them here on my blog! :)))

The Lord's Truly,

Monday, May 21, 2018

THE LILAH MUSIC CHALLENGE // aka lots of songs splattered everywhere


It's a long story.

I wasn't involved, but I witnessed it.


I'm sorry if that intro makes no sense, but I'll provide some links in a moment that will explain all. XD

Here are Mary Kate's guidelines for this challenge.

Not rules, GUIDELINES.



1. Link back to me, because I am queen of all. (*rolls eyes* Follow THIS LINK to visit the queen of all's blog. xD)

2. Or Link back to Lia's post, because it amuses me (Okay, we'll do that too. HERE is the post. For anyone who cares to be amused.)

3. Come and comment that you've done the tag so I can read it and laugh all over again. (I'll probably do this too, haha.)


4. Answer the questions. (Okay, fine. If I have to. But then again, this is just a guideline...)

5. Tag your friends so that they hate you. (Hmmm, this is interestingly worded. XD)



Let's get into this, then! I didn't want to link all of the songs in this post, but I wanted to link some of them. So that's why some are linked and some aren't. You guys can take a hint, can't you? ;)

*holds breath and plunges in*


1. One song on the radio that annoys you?

"Diamonds" by Hawk Nelson.

2. One song that you love and sing along to every time it comes on the radio 

I sang along to "Bleed The Same" by Mandisa in the car not too long ago. (btw, I can't sing)

3. Favorite and least favorite genre of music? 

Favorite: Uuuuh, pop? All kinds of pop, I guess.

Least favorite: Country. Can't stand it.

4. Last song you listened to? 

OH, THE IRONY. "Back Home" by Owl City, which is... country?? *gasps around the audience* Pop country, I guess? Or country pop? Whatever.

It's the only song I like that could be called country! No exaggeration there. *is still dying over the irony* XD

5. Song you've been listening to a lot? 

"Embers" by Owl City. <3

6. Favorite music video? 

The one for "The Lost Get Found" by Britt Nicole, maybe?



7. Are you listening to music right now? 

Yep.

8. Favorite romantic song? 

"Made For Me" by TobyMac. SO CUTE.

9. Last song you cried during? 


10. Last song that made you laugh? 

I don't know.

11. A song you like in a different language? 

"En La Calle" by GAWVI. It's in Spanish. XD

12. Favorite summer song? 

"I'll Remember This" by Chris Howland, perhaps? <3

13. Road trip song? 

"Ride" by Twenty One Pilots. It would make a good one...

14. Put yourself to sleep song? 

I don't listen to music at night. XD

15. While-you-read song? 

I don't do that. At least not the vast majority of the time.

16. While-you-study song? 

The entire "Life" Audiomachine album.

17. Last song on your playlist? 

Which playlist??

18. Song that makes you want to dance?

"Take A Broken Heart" by V. Rose (this singer needs more recognition; she's awesome!).
 
19. POWER SONG? 

Uuuh, "Fight Song" by Rachel Platten. XD

20. Instrumental song? 

"The Midnight Circus" by Audiomachine. YES, OF COURSE IT'S EPIC!!

21. A song with a color in it.... and do you love it or hate it? 

"Green Lights" by NF. Love it!
 
22. A song that means a lot to you right now? 

"Who You Say I Am" by Hillsong Worship.

23. Favorite Disney Song? 

"At Last I See the Light" from Tangled. All the Tangled songs, really.

24. Favorite Disney Love Song? 

See above. XD

25. Disney song you hate/dislike? 

"How Far I'll Go" from Moana. Just never clicked with it. I don't hate it, though.

26. Favorite Disney soundtrack as a whole? 

No clue. :P

27. Take your favorite season and make a playlist for it... it has to be at least 5 songs long 

Spring!!

Playlist:

"Dream" by Priscilla Ahn
"Bloom" by Moriah Peters
"Honey And The Bee" by Owl City
"Heaven Song" by Phil Wickham
"The Deep South" by Adam Young

28. You've heard of comfort food....what are your comfort songs?

"Hold On" by Tobymac
"By Your Side" by Tenth Avenue North
"Flawless" by MercyMe
And more...
 
29. Winter song that is not about Christmas OR a typical Christmas song? 

"The Tip of the Iceberg" by Owl City. Fits this PERFECTLY.

30. A song with food in it? 

"Cumbia" by GAWVI. One line about a burrito. (Btw, it's a really weird song. :P)

31. Music you listen to while cleaning your room? 

"The Run And Go" by Twenty One Pilots

32. Song for each of your top two favorite holidays?

Christmas: "Kiss Me, Babe, It's Christmastime" by Owl City

I don't know my second favorite holiday.
 
33. What movie/TV show theme songs can you sing? 

I think I know the Veggie Tales theme song pretty well. :D

34. Song not about relationships, boys, love or anything super serious or sad? 

"Shooting Star" by Owl City

35. A Folk Tune you like? 

"The Riddle Song" isn't bad. It's actually really creative.

36. Songs that always get stuck in your head...even if you only hear a line or two? 

Too many!

37. Workout Playlist?

I don't have one.
 
38. Wedding Playlist? 

Don't have one of those either.

39. Do you have a song that reminds you of one of your OTPs? (please not Reylo. *gag*) 

A lot, but... "Say It Now" by The Afters will forever be a perfect song for one of my OTPs in my fave series, The Ascendance Trilogy by Jennifer Nielsen. *HEART EYES* <3 <3 <3

40. A song that you feel different about after seeing the music video and whether you stopped liking it or not? 

"Deer in the Highlights" by Owl City. Sooooo weird. SO WEIRD. I still like the song, it's just... weirder now. Somehow. XD

 
41. A song you would recommend to everyone?

"O Come To The Altar" by Elevation Worship

42. A song you don't like telling people about so you can horde it and make it "your song"?

What do you think I'm going to do... TELL YOU??

43. A song that make you want to go out and do something crazy/adventurous?

"Gold" by Owl City

44. A song that is super catchy, but you don't like because you don't like the meaning behind the words or just don't like it?

"Love Yourself" by Justin Bieber. Thankfully, the last time I heard it was over the Walmart speakers MONTHS ago. (Annoying songs are always playing over some speaker in a public place. *rolls eyes*)

45. A song you listen to while pretending you're listening to someone talk?

Come on now, I'm not that naughty. :P

46. A children's song you like?

Veggie Tales theme song!!!

47. A lullaby you would sing to your own children

Well, NOT "Rockabye Baby." What kind of parent would put their baby in a tree?!

48. A song that is "your theme song"

"Beyond Me" by TobyMac is super relatable.

49. Favorite musician?

Owl City!!

50. Favorite book about a musician

Haven't read one...?

51. 5 favorite musicians and your favorite of their songs?

Owl City - "Wolf Bite"
Twenty One Pilots - "Trees"
NF - "Oh Lord"
TobyMac (big childhood favorite) - "Made To Love"
Britt Nicole (big childhood favorite) - "Walk On The Water"

Not in any particular order, except Owl City and TOP being at the top. I don't know if these are my five top favorites, but they are five of my top favorites.

52. Favorite music blog(s)?

There's a blog called killjoy that has a lot of music-y stuff in it. You guys should check it out!

53. An unknown/lesser known musician?

V. Rose!!! Seriously, look her up and become a fan ASAP. XD

54. Favorite radio station?

Spirit FM, I guess.

55. What musician do you listen to the most?

Owl City or Twenty One Pilots.

56. Rihanna or Beyoncé? (you can't say neither)

Beyonce has fewer songs that are marked "explicit" on Spotify, so I guess her.

Really, though, it's NEITHER.

57. Listen to a song by Justin Bieber (or any musician you really don't like) and write a paragraph long review on it?

I've already heard Justin Bieber songs! I've heard them over the Walmart speaker, I've heard them over the trampoline park speakers and the amusement park speakers. I've even heard them while traversing the slums of Honduras! (I kid you not, we were going house to house during our mission trip and I heard "Sorry" playing on a radio somewhere nearby. O_O)

58. Last musical you watched?

The Greatest Showman, I think.

59. Musical you've never watched but really want to?

The Phantom of the Opera.

60. If you could only pick one musical to see on Broadway, what would it be?

Dear Evan Hansen, I guess. *shrug*

61. Favorite musical score from a movie that is not a musical?

I like the Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children score A LOT, though I've never seen the movie.

62. Last musical you belted while walking around your house?

I don't belt musicals...

63. Song from your favorite musical that you hate/dislike?

"This Is Me" from The Greatest Showman. I don't dislike it, and it was certainly a powerful moment in the movie (<3 <3 <3). It's just my least favorite of the songs, I think.

64. Favorite song from the Greatest Showman soundtrack?

A Million Dreams!!!

65. Do you have any musical merch?

Nope.

~~~

Guess what?? You made it to the end! You stuck it out and read this entire post, all 65 questions! I APPLAUD YOU, FRIEND.

I'm not going to tag anyone, but if you want to take this on, feel free to steal it. You know the drill. ;)


Have you heard any of these songs?
Did you decide to listen to any of the ones I linked?
Let's talk about music in the comments!


The Lord's Truly,

Monday, May 14, 2018

8 Popular Classics I Still Haven't Read (but want to!)


I don't know if anybody noticed, but I missed posting last week.



Life has been rather crazy for me lately, though, so I think the teensy break was good for me. Now I'm back with more bookish ramblings, if that's okay with you. xD

Today I thought it might be fun to talk about some of the classic books weighing down my TBR. Such dense bundles of words can be intimidating sometimes, but I still want to read them. It's just that I don't know when I'll ever get around to it!

You wouldn't believe how little effort it was to put together a list of eight popular classics I STILL haven't read... but want to! There are quite a few, apparently. :P

Also, at the end of the post, I have a little vote thingie for you guys, so that'll be heaps of fun too! Let's get into it, shall we?



1. Persuasion by Jane Austen

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I've read and enjoyed several Jane Austen novels (namely Pride & Prejudice, Northanger Abbey, and Emma), but there are at least two more that I fully plan on picking up at some point: Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility. When I asked my mom which one I should read first - because I often need help with important decisions like this - she pondered for a moment and then said Persuasion.

I haven't even read the synopsis yet, so I have no idea what it's about, but I'm looking forward to it anyway. xD



2. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

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Some of you have already gotten onto me for being too afraid to pick up A Tale of Two Cities. xD Rest assured that I am no longer afraid, it's just that I don't know where to wedge this intimidating tome onto my TBR pile. Hopefully, I'll get around to it soon. Ish. Maybe.

I'm excited for it because it's set around/during the time of the French Revolution, including the Reign of Terror (I think). That was a terrible time, obviously, but I'm looking forward to reading another book set in this time period because one of my favorite classics of all time, The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy, is also set during the time of "Madame Guillotine."


3. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

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The whole concept of this story has always intrigued me, and I would love to sometime pick up the original novel. I've seen a cartoon twist or two (Scooby Doo? I can't remember. xD) but dude, I need the REAL DEAL.


4. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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I have heard many a good thing about this book. :D I think I'm going to have to read it for school pretty soon - before you gasp, just know that I had to read The Scarlet Pimpernel for school too and it still became a favorite! - so I'm looking forward to delving into Scout's story. The fact that I got it for Christmas only adds to my excitement. Just sitting on my shelf, waiting for me...


I want to read about Scout dressing up as a ham. (Yes, that's literally the only thing I know about this book. So what?? xD)


5. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie


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My mom grew up reading Agatha Christie, and she's told me multiple times in the past that I should read some of her books too. I confess that I never truly got interested until the trailer for the Murder on the Orient Express movie came out. Shameful, I know. xD

I'm not a huge fan of mysteries, but maaaaaan, I'm looking forward to reading this! (Any other books of hers that you would especially recommend?)


6. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte


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You may want to sit down for this. You see, Jane Eyre is currently... technically... a DNF of mine??

*ducks the flying tomatoes* xD

I started it as an audiobook, but lost interest after Jane arrived at Mr. Rochester's place. She hadn't even met Mr. Rochester yet. ;P (If I'm even remembering that correctly - my audiobook attempt was quite a while ago.)

Before you explode in your righteous anger, know this: I do intend to pick it up again! Eventually. I just don't think the audiobook was the right choice. I need to hold a gloriously musty-smelling print copy in my hands and soak in the words for myself. You know, with my EYEBALLS.

Yes, that's what I need.


7. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo


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I'm one of those people who doesn't pronounce this book's title the way it should be pronounced. I pronounce it like "less miz-rob-less." Go ahead and laugh. I mean... I'm laughing too. xD

The other day, in fact, a friend of mine said something about watching the Les Miserables movie, and for a second I didn't know what she was talking about because she was pronouncing it, you know, the right way.

I take Spanish, all right? Not French.


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8. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

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I actually have a (sort of) set-in-stone time that I plan to read this: Christmas! I've had this book in my possession, on my shelf, for YEARS, so I'd say it's about time I picked it up. And since I've read an abridged version and so am already pretty familiar with the basic story, it'll be all the more exciting to read the original!

Also, did you know that a new Little Women movie, set in modern day, is coming out?? It looks like it could be really good! Check out the trailer:





~HELP ME CHOOSE~


Here's where you guys come in! You see, I have determined that I'm going to shove aside some books from my more immediate TBR to make room for one of these classics. And how am I going to choose, you ask? Well, I want you to help me choose! Pick the book from the list above that you want me to read first (except Little Women and To Kill a Mockingbird) and include your vote when you comment below. "I vote for _______." << That sort of thing. xD Whichever book ends up with the most votes wins!

For your convenience, here is a list of your six vote options:

- Persuasion by Jane Austen
- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
- The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
- Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
- Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (Edit: Actually, forget about this one. A very considerate friend just reminded me in the comments of how FREAKISHLY LONG this book is [how did I forget??]. And I ain't ready for that kind of commitment. Maybe after college, idk. xD)

Only participate if you want to, of course! No pressure. And you don't have to have read any of the books to vote. There are absolutely no silly rules like that. :P

I don't know, I just thought this might be kind of fun (and helpful for indecisive me, lol!).


Let's chat!
Have you read any of the books on this list? (You probably have xD)
What are some of the classics on your TBR?
What is your favorite classic book of all time?


Can't wait to see your votes!


The Lord's truly,