The Storm Crow 🖤 Review + Giveaway + Video + Prologue

I’m a part of another gorgeous book tour thanks to the Fantastic Flying Book Club🖤

Don’t miss the giveaway—and the sneak peak prologue—at the end of this post!

The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

Publisher: SourcebooksFire
Release Date: July 9, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

SYNOPSIS

COVERIn the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life…until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything.

That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother’s death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost.

But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them.

Favorite Quotes

Video

Prologue

I was a storm.

Adrenaline ripped through my veins like lightning as I leaned close to the body of my Crow, preparing to execute a dive. Iyla’s warm, steady heat kept me grounded, even hundreds of feet in the air. Cold wind whipped tendrils of hair free from my braid, nipping at the skin around my goggles and stealing my breath.

The thin, well-worn saddle beneath me was nothing more than a strip of leather to bind stirrups to, the reins trailing from my hands to Iyla’s beak, an illusion of control—this ride depended on trust and mutual respect. Anything less, and no amount of leather would keep me seated on Iyla’s back.

Years of Estrel’s instructions raced through my mind: Keep your body low and tight in a dive. Give the reins slack. Keep your knees back so you don’t put pressure on the Crow’s wing joints. I knew it all like my own heartbeat.

I tucked close to Iyla’s body, and we dove.

Water misted my skin as Iyla’s Storm Crow magic split apart a cloud a second before we shot through it and plummeted toward the earth. My heart screamed into my throat, pure, unadulterated joy erupting through me with every passing moment. I held my breath as we fell, counting the seconds—we could only gain so much speed before Iyla’s wings wouldn’t be able to handle the strain of opening.

Fifteen, sixteen, seventeen…

We burst through the clouds, Aris spread out below us. The city was a blur as we dove, a sea of light and color fast approaching.

Twenty. I squeezed my knees, and Iyla’s wings snapped open like the slice of a blade, catching an updraft to send us sailing in a gentle arc. Lightning buzzed at the tips of Iyla’s wings as she let out a piercing call.

I sucked in a lungful of cold air and let it out in a laugh, the thrill of the dive resounding through me like a thunderclap. I craved that feeling like starved lungs craved air, letting it fill me until I felt impossibly alive.

We circled wide and low, descending the rest of the way until Iyla’s shadow blanketed the city streets.

Aris unfurled beneath us like a colorful map, dense with thick green foliage and spotted with wildflowers. People called up to us, waving from crowded streets as revelers prepared for the festival leading up to Negnoch, the city’s yearly hatch night. In a few hours, every single Crow from across the kingdom of Rhodaire would put on a masterful display of riding and magic, and the year’s Crows would be hatched.

One of them would be mine. Tonight, I would choose my own Crow and become a rider.

We dipped lower, children chasing Iyla’s shadow in the hopes of catching a stray feather to wish upon. This was my favorite part of flying. Even more than the thrill of diving or the magic of soaring through endless skies, I loved gliding peacefully above Aris, the wind brushing along my skin as the city passed below.

Even on the back of a stolen Crow. Well, not quite stolen. Iyla belonged to Estrel, my teacher and mother’s best friend, and while Estrel had let me ride Iyla alone before, she technically hadn’t given me permission to tonight.

Probably because I didn’t ask.

A gentle tug on the reins sent Iyla a little higher, and we fell in line over the crystal waters of the canal in the Rynthene Wing. To my left, Earth Crows helped work the fields, tilling land in huge swaths with the pulse of their magic. To my right, the fading sunlight glinted off an armored Battle Crow.

All over Aris, the Crows and riders integrated into the city’s inner workings would be finishing up the day’s tasks. Later, they’d join the military pouring in from Rhodaire’s outer reaches in preparation for the Sky Dance.

We followed the canal to the castle at the city’s heart. The giant, gray stone structure stretched into the sky, Delladon vines sprawling across its pale face like laugh lines. From each of the four sides of the central tower, a crescent-shaped landing platform jutted out, and I used the nearest one as a marker to veer Iyla right toward the royal rookery. It was a tall, circular tower with wide windows on the third floor for easy landing.

My nerves jittered. Landing was the hardest part, even with Estrel’s lessons branded into my mind.

Let the Crow do the work; it knows what it’s doing. Keep your weight back. Never dismount while a Crow’s folding its wings, or you risk straining the joints.

We glided easily through one of the rookery’s large, open windows, Iyla as practiced in this maneuver as breathing. Her wings flared back, sending straw swirling across the stone floor as her massive black claws reached out, taking hold of the nearest T-shaped perch. We fell to a standstill, her wings tucking in tight to her muscled form. She was almost reptilian with a lean, muscular body, the proportions a little longer, a little more limber than a normal bird.

I let out a whoop, grinning as I tugged down my goggles and swung off her back, throwing my arms around her. Her long neck straightened as she stiffened, but I’d learned long ago that she’d not only tolerate hugs but secretly liked them.

“Anthia!”

My excitement went cold at my mother’s sharp voice. A flurry of black wings filled the opposite window as her Battle Crow, Tyros, landed effortlessly on the perch across from Iyla, sending a gust of straw-filled wind into my face.

My mother swung down, stalking toward me with the smooth litheness of a jungle cat. With the setting sun at her back, she looked every inch the queen she was, the light making her brown skin and polished flying leathers gleam with an inner fire.

“What in Saint’s name do you think you’re doing?” she demanded.

“Um, talking to Iyla?” I offered. Lying had never been my strong suit. To her credit, the Crow let out a low caw, as if she were indeed part of the conversation.

My mother didn’t smile. I didn’t expect her to.

“Relax, Alandra.” Estrel emerged from the nearby staircase at my side, her long, dark curls bound in a thick braid like mine. “I gave her permission.”

The only person who could tell my mother to relax without getting eviscerated was Estrel, my aunt in every way but blood. They even looked like sisters, though my mother was taller and leaner. She and Estrel had grown up together, and I’d even heard a rumor Estrel’s sister and my mother had courted as teenagers.

My mother frowned, and I straightened beneath the sharpness of her steel-colored gaze. Her eyes always reminded me of knives, forever sculpting me in an endless quest for perfection.

“I executed a perfect dive,” I offered, as if my ability to perform riding techniques far more advanced than my seventeen years might soften her gaze.

It only made her eyes narrow. “Taking another rider’s Crow out for a joyride to perform dangerous maneuvers is not only foolish, it’s insulting.” I flinched. “If you want to prove yourself capable of being a leader among the riders, you can start by not disrespecting every rule and custom we live by.”

I refused to wilt beneath the heat of her words. “Well, maybe if you spent more than a waking second in my presence, I’d know the rules better.”

Estrel drew a sharp breath, but my mother went stiller than a Shadow Crow concealed in darkness. For a fraction of a second, I swore something pained flashed through her iron gaze, but it vanished quickly.

The circlet of silver feathers on her brow gleamed like molten starlight. “I expect you back here before the hatching.” She turned to Tyros, who leapt from his perch to the wide window ledge, a perfect tableau of strength against a backdrop of approaching night. With a grace I hadn’t yet mastered, she swung up into the saddle. Wings tucked in tight, Tyros leapt. They plummeted from view, gone for barely a breath before they soared up past the window, climbing into the darkening sky.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

KalynKalyn Josephson is a Technical Writer in Silicon Valley, which leaves room for too many bad puns about technically being a writer. She grew up in San Luis Obispo, CA, but now lives in the Bay Area with four awesome friends (because it’s the Bay and she’d like to be able to retire one day) and two black cats (who are more like a tiny dragon and an even tinier owl). When not writing YA Fantasy, she loves baking, reading, playing sports, and watching too many movies.

Check out Kalyn on her website or over on Goodreads, Twitter, and Instagram!

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Google Books | Barnes & Noble

GIVEAWAY

Enter the giveaway to win a copy of The Storm Crow!

  • Start Date: July 9, 2019
  • End Date: July 23, 2019

BOOK TOUR

Check out the rest of the stops along this blog tour!

Sea Witch Rising 🖤 Review + Giveaway + Playlist

I’m a part of another book tour thanks to the Fantastic Flying Book Club🖤

Don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this post!

Sea Witch Rising by Sarah Henning

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Retellings

Synopsis

book cover“The Little Mermaid” takes a twisted turn in this thrilling sequel to villainess origin story Sea Witch, as the forces of land and sea clash in an epic battle for freedom, redemption, and true love. 

Runa will not let her twin sister die. Alia traded her voice to the Sea Witch for a shot at happiness with a prince who doesn’t love her. And his rejection will literally kill her—unless Runa intervenes.

Under the sea, Evie craves her own freedom—but liberation from her role as Sea Witch will require an exchange she may not be willing to make. With their hearts’ desires at odds, what will Runa and Evie be willing to sacrifice to save their worlds? 

Told from alternating perspectives, this epic fairy tale retelling is a romantic and heart-wrenching story about the complications of sisterhood, the uncompromising nature of magic, and the cost of redemption.

Playlist

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

authorSarah Henning is a recovering journalist who has worked for the Palm Beach Post, Kansas City Star and Associated Press, among others. While in South Florida, Sarah lived and worked through five hurricanes, which gave her an extreme respect for the ocean. When not writing, she runs ultramarathons, hits the playground with her two kids and hangs out with her husband Justin, who doubles as her long-suffering IT department. Sarah lives in Lawrence, Kansas, which, despite being extremely far from the beach, happens to be pretty cool.

Check out Sarah on her website or over on Goodreads, Twitter, and Instagram!

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |iBooks | Book Depository | Google Books | Kobo

GIVEAWAY

Enter the giveaway to win a copy of Sea Witch Rising!

  • US only
  • Start Date: July 16, 2019
  • End Date: July 30, 2019

BLOG TOUR

Check out the rest of the stops along this blog tour!

Screen Queens 🖤 Giveaway

I’m a part of another book tour thanks to the Fantastic Flying Book Club🖤

Don’t miss my giveaway at the end of this post!

Screen Queens by Lori Goldstein

Publisher: Razorbill 
Release Date: June 11, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

SYNOPSIS

Screenshot 2019-05-28 at 20.11.12The Bold Type meets The Social Network when three girls vying for prestigious summer internships through a startup incubator program uncover the truth about what it means to succeed in the male-dominated world of tech.

This summer Silicon Valley is a girls’ club.

Three thousand applicants. An acceptance rate of two percent. A dream internship for the winning team. ValleyStart is the most prestigious high school tech incubator competition in the country. Lucy Katz, Maddie Li, and Delia Meyer have secured their spots. And they’ve come to win.

Meet the Screen Queens.

Lucy Katz was born and raised in Palo Alto, so tech, well, it runs in her blood. A social butterfly and CEO in-the-making, Lucy is ready to win and party.

East Coast designer, Maddie Li left her home and small business behind for a summer at ValleyStart. Maddie thinks she’s only there to bolster her graphic design portfolio, not to make friends.

Delia Meyer taught herself how to code on a hand-me-down computer in her tiny Midwestern town. Now, it’s time for the big leagues–ValleyStart–but super shy Delia isn’t sure if she can hack it (pun intended).

When the competition kicks off, Lucy, Maddie, and Delia realize just how challenging the next five weeks will be. As if there wasn’t enough pressure already, the girls learn that they would be the only all-female team to win ever. Add in one first love, a two-faced mentor, and an ex-boyfriend turned nemesis and things get…complicated.

Filled with humor, heart, and a whole lot of girl power, Screen Queens is perfect for fans of Morgan Matson, Jenny Han, and The Bold Type.

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |iBooks | Book Depository | Google Books | Kobo

GIVEAWAY

Enter the giveaway to win a copy of Screen Queens and two swag packs OR twenty paper doll character cards!

  • US only
  • Start Date: June 18, 2019
  • End Date: July 2, 2019

BLOG TOUR

Check out the rest of the stops along this blog tour!

Something Like Gravity 🖤 Giveaway

I’m a part of another fabulous, queer book tour—all thanks to the Fantastic Flying Book Club! 🖤

Don’t miss my giveaway at the end of this post!

Something Like Gravity by Amber Smith

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: June 18, 2019
Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, Young Adult, Romance

SYNOPSIS

Something Like Gravity jacketFor fans of Love, Simon and Eleanor and Park, a romantic and sweet novel about a transgender boy who falls in love for the first time—and how first love changes us all—from New York Times bestselling author Amber Smith.

Chris and Maia aren’t off to a great start.

A near-fatal car accident first brings them together, and their next encounters don’t fare much better. Chris’s good intentions backfire. Maia’s temper gets the best of her.

But they’re neighbors, at least for the summer, and despite their best efforts, they just can’t seem to stay away from each other.

The path forward isn’t easy. Chris has come out as transgender, but he’s still processing a frightening assault he survived the year before. Maia is grieving the loss of her older sister and trying to find her place in the world without her. Falling in love was the last thing on either of their minds.

But would it be so bad if it happened anyway?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

AUTHORAmber Smith is the New York Times bestselling author of the young adult novels The Way I Used to Be, The Last to Let Go, and Something Like Gravity. An advocate for increased awareness of gendered violence, as well as LGBTQ equality, she writes in the hope that her books can help to foster change and spark dialogue surrounding these issues. She grew up in Buffalo, New York, and now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her partner and their ever-growing family of rescued dogs and cats.

Check out Amber on her website or over on GoodreadsTwitterFacebook, and Instagram!

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |iBooks | Book Depository | Google Books

Book Playlist

GIVEAWAY

Enter the giveaway to win a copy of Something Like Gravity!

  • US only
  • Start Date: June 18, 2019
  • End Date: July 2, 2019

BLOG TOUR

Check out the rest of the stops along this blog tour!

ALL EYES ON US 🖤 REVIEW + GIVEAWAY

I had never read a young adult thriller and now, thanks to the Fantastic Flying Book Club, I have. Not to mention it has queer characters. 🖤

Don’t miss my giveaway at the end of this post!

All Eyes on Us by Kit Frick

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: June 4, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller

SYNOPSIS

44584622PRIVATE NUMBER: Wouldn’t you look better without a cheater on your arm?

AMANDA: Who is this?

The daughter of small town social climbers, Amanda Kelly is deeply invested in her boyfriend, real estate heir Carter Shaw. He’s kind, ambitious, the town golden boy—but he’s far from perfect. Because behind Amanda’s back, Carter is also dating Rosalie.

PRIVATE NUMBER: I’m watching you, Sweetheart.

ROSALIE: Who IS this?

Rosalie Bell is fighting to remain true to herself and her girlfriend—while concealing her identity from her Christian fundamentalist parents. After years spent in and out of conversion “therapy,” her own safety is her top priority. But maintaining a fake, straight relationship is killing her from the inside.

When an anonymous texter ropes Amanda and Rosalie into a bid to take Carter down, the girls become collateral damage—and unlikely allies in a fight to unmask their stalker before Private uproots their lives.

PRIVATE NUMBER: You shouldn’t have ignored me. Now look what you made me do…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kit Frick_© Carly Gaebe - Steadfast StudioKit Frick is a novelist, poet, and MacDowell Colony fellow. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, she studied creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and received her MFA from Syracuse University. When she isn’t putting complicated characters in impossible situations, Kit edits poetry and literary fiction for a small press, edits for private clients, and mentors emerging writers through Pitch Wars. She is the author of the young adult novels See All the StarsAll Eyes on Us (2019), and Windermere (2020), all from Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry Books, and the poetry collection A Small Rising Up in the Lungs (New American Press). Her fiction is represented by Erin Harris at Folio Literary Management / Folio Jr.

Check out Kit on her website or over on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |iBooks | Book Depository | Kobo| IndieBound

GIVEAWAY

Enter the giveaway to win a copy of All Eyes on Us!

  • US only
  • Start Date: June 10, 2019
  • End Date: June 18, 2019

BLOG TOUR

Check out the rest of the stops along this blog tour!

The Fever King 🖤 Review + Giveaway

I know I keep going on and on about The Fantastic Flying Book Club, but they are amazing.

Today they’re amazing because they gave me the opportunity to be a part of the blog tour for The Fever King by Victoria Lee. 

I actually heard about this book through Pitch Wars last year when I had entered my manuscript Sleeping Around. Victoria had entered this book, and I had talked to her on Twitter. 

So basically I was thrilled to join this tour and support Victoria. 🖤

And don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this post!

The Fever King (Feverwake #1) by Victoria Lee

Publisher: Skyscape
Release Date: March 1, 2019
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, LGBT

Synopsis

In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.

The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.

Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Victoria Lee grew up in Durham, North Carolina, where she spent twelve ascetic years as a vegetarian before discovering spicy chicken wings are, in fact, a delicacy. She’s been a state finalist competitive pianist, a hitchhiker, a pizza connoisseur, an EMT, an expat in China and Sweden, and a science doctoral student. She’s also a bit of a snob about fancy whisky.

Victoria writes early in the morning, then spends the rest of the day trying to impress her border collie puppy and make her experiments work.

She is represented by Holly Root and Taylor Haggerty at Root Literary.

Check out Victoria on her website or over on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!

REVIEW

Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Ahh. This book has so many things. 

The themes, the characters, the magic, the discourse on immigration. And I love me some bisexual representation. 

I had a hard time getting into the story at first. It’s a dystopian setting, and there was a lot of world building going on in the beginning. Once I got my head around the setting, though, I was hooked. 

I needed to get to the bottom of the politics. I needed to know who Noam could trust. And, per usual, I needed romance. 

There is something for everyone in this book, and I’m so looking forward to the rest of this new series. 🖤

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

GIVEAWAY

Enter the giveaway to win a copy of The Fever King!

  • Start Date: March 18, 2019
  • End Date: March 31, 2019
  • US Only

BOOK TOUR

Check out the rest of the stops along this blog tour!

The Waking Forest 🖤 Review + Giveaway

I’m a part of another book’s blog tour! 🖤

I hadn’t heard of The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees, but the moment I read the synopsis, I knew this book would be a book for me.

I wasn’t disappointed, to say the least. 🖤🖤🖤

Check out this spellbinding book, and don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this post!

The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees

Publisher: Delacorte
Release Date: March 12, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis

Pan’s Labyrinth meets The Hazel Wood in this novel about a girl with terrifying visions and a wish-granting witch whose lives collide in the most unexpected of ways.

 The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more–until she finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game.

 To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes. One night, a mysterious visitor arrives and asks her what she wishes for, but the Witch sends him away. And then the uninvited guest returns.

 The strangers are just the beginning. Something is stirring in the forest, and when Rhea’s and the Witch’s paths collide, a truth more treacherous and deadly than either could ever imagine surfaces. But how much are they willing to risk to survive?

About the Author

In between training in ballet and watching lots of Disney movies, Alyssa grew up writing stories starring her Beanie Babies. She earned a BA in English from Creighton University and an MFA in Fiction Writing from Columbia College Chicago. Currently she works as an assistant librarian in youth services at an awesome public library. She lives in the Chicagoland area with her husband and their two cats.

Check out Alyssa on her website or over on Goodreads, Twitter,  or Instagram!

Review

Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book. This book was breathtaking. It was magical and dark and ethereal and spellbinding. It was three enchanting stories converging into one. Ugh. My heart aches in the best of ways. 🖤

FAVORITE QUOTES

🖤 “I have many faces, and I want to wear them all.”

🖤 “I’m not a doctor, but I don’t think any of that is because of your magic. It sounds like anxiety. It sounds like you have panic attacks. And that’s nothing to be ashamed of. It doesn’t make you weak or not able to handle things.”

🖤 “She could exist without him, dance on her own, quite well, in fact–but it was he who brought her back around to herself, somehow. Transformed her line into a circle.”

🖤 “The burning scream inside you hurts less when you keep moving, keep going, keep reaching, in whatever way you can.”

🖤 “He is a wish I want to come true again and again and again.”

🖤 “Sometimes I feel like I’m trapped in the eye of a storm…Like I’m the only quiet, still thing in a world that won’t stop spinning.”

🖤 “I don’t know much, but I do know this: I am an inhale. And he–he is an exhale. And we will always be together, each of us right behind the other, linked, until the very last breath.”

🖤 “I know this is terrifying for you…But it will end. All things end, eventually. Even the very best of stories. And the worst of them too.”

🖤 “Beauty is poison to monsters…They love beauty, covet it, but they can’t have it.”

🖤 “Some dreams are dangerous, the ones you try the hardest to forget. Because then they grow gaunt and bladed, and will come back clawing up your throat.”

🖤 “Because my name is cradled in your bones. Because your heart sounds the same as mine. Because a sky is just unremarkable darkness without the stars. It’s empty.”

🖤 “Sometimes secrets are secret for a reason, because to know them will hurt us more than to keep them hidden.”

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | iBooks | IndieBound

GIVEAWAY

Enter the giveaway to win a signed copy of The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees!

  • Start Date: March 30, 2019
  • End Date: March 36, 2019
  • US Only

BOOK TOUR

Check out the rest of the stops along this blog tour!