I finally started to read and blog again after not doing it for 3 years. I’m so happy that i met wonderful people online among all the chaos that 2020 has us go through. And I can’t wait to buddy read, take part in read alongs and challenges. I’m mentioning 4 in particular. The Debut author challenge run by booksofamber.com. I pledge to read 20 debuts. The second one is #CosmereConquest were participants will be reading all the books in the Cosmere. You can join in on the discord where there are spoiler free chapter areas. it’s hosted by Ben @Bensblurb . The following two are done by Alex at Spells and Spaceships – A fantasy and science fiction blog . The first a Witcher read along and The 2021 SFF Badge Collection. So freaking excited . With buddy reads through the year 🎉🎉🎉🎉
book clubs : @SorceryStardust February gideon , March luck of the shadows , april the unbroken , may winter’s orbit
Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for At the Fields of Fire and Blood by Crisyah! Thank you, Breakeven Books, for inviting me to do a spotlight for this tour.
About the book
Humanity set out to achieve Godhood and failed.
Their attempt left a ruined world behind, one touched by magic for the first time, but blighted by Heaven and Hell seeping into it. The ones who were left behind hide in great walled cities, caught in the throes of a timeless undeath, and almost completely decimated by the monsters set loose from the deepest abyss of their collective unconscious.
The Scions — warrior-mages who ate the fruit of hell and became possessed by fragments of God known as “Archons” — are the only ones who can fight these nightmares and cross the barriers between the worlds. They’re kept locked and isolated in abbeys, reared to protect the cities and their inhabitants. And, one day, to undertake the Pilgrimage, the mythical heroic journey through Heaven and Hell that will finally open the doors to Eden and grant humanity what it once sought and couldn’t grasp: eternal peace.
But, inside the walls of one of the abbeys, rebellion is brewing. Kayla, Joshua, Sarah, Matthew, Vivien and Darren tire of their captivity and plot to gain back their freedom and find answers to the mysteries of their dying world.
Yet it’s not only monsters that stand in their way. Some humans will fight for secrets to remain hidden, while others don’t wish to see the scales of power they’ve so carefully balanced tip. The Scions will have to follow in their ancestors’ footsteps and attain what their predecessors couldn’t to succeed: kill the Godhead and become gods themselves.
About the Author: Crisyah is a Portugese, queer, neurodiverse writer who left traditional publishing behind in order to be able to write about characters like herself with no limitations.
Raised on a steady and varied diet of horror movies and epic fantasy, JRPGs and anime, her first big project was a horror mahou shoujo starring her middle school classmates as the heroines. It’s no wonder her current series, At the End of the World, is a gothic fantasy Soulsborne and Madoka Magica mash-up.
You can find her on Twitter @crisyahwrites, yelling about videogames, BTS and her giant, fluffy cats.
Today, I’m happy to take part in the blog tour for Your Career Your Business by Gina Cajucom! Thank you Breakeven Books for inviting me to do a spotlight for this tour!
About the Book: This self-help book is about managing careers and managing self through self-coaching. It is NOT a book about job search strategies or techniques. It is not about doing a job interview or presenting yourself well. It is not about what you’re doing wrong and what you can do about it. Instead, the book is a reflective companion about you and your work life. It is about finding the power within you and using it to coach yourself to success.
It is a self-coaching book that goes through the journey of reflections that clarifies what’s essential in the hope of helping you to manage your career better. Managing a career is much like growing a business. The entrepreneurship aspect is not apparent until you get self-employed and need to create your opportunities, which is quite comparable to a job search. If you’re reading this book, you might be seeking fulfillment, or satisfaction at work or recognition of one’s talent being unused or potential still to develop. On the other hand, you might be ambitious and strategic and would like to position yourself for bigger things.
Whether you’re stuck and looking to jump-start your career or doing well but want to fast-track it or feeling unfulfilled and looking for clarity in your work life, you can coach yourself to success. The book presents self-coaching opportunities to enable forward movement, especially when there’s a sense of being stuck in career development.
It’s a primer that engages the reader to act and do something. It’s a call to action.
It’s a self-coaching book that uses reflective questions or inquiries. It invites you to reflect upon, dig deep, and increase self-awareness and self-empowerment.
The language is short and straightforward but still refers to sources when necessary and available.
This primer hopes to speak from the voice of a friend and a perspective of a coach.
Your Career Your Business is a self-help handbook that you can read over time, hoping that you will take the time to stop and reflect upon the inquiries at specific points. You will see the rationale for the book and who might benefit from reading it, and how in the Introduction. Hopefully, you can identify yourself as the book’s subject and set aside time for reflection using the questions in every chapter.
The first chapter illustrates how thinking over your career can be solution-focused instead of problemcentric. Taking the former perspective opens up possibilities, while the latter can be self-defeating. The second chapter introduces the idea that you can coach yourself to success by focusing on your best hope, amplifying what is important, looking back at past achievements proving your strengths and moving forward with small doable steps.
A paradigm shift presented in Chapter Three needs to happen to reclaim your ability to take charge and control your future. Chapter Four will show how taking charge of your career is necessary for responding to environmental shifts and the changing workplace. Then, as presented in Chapter Five, these developments call for an ability to reinvent yourself and your career when necessary. Finally, it speaks of how changes in the past point to the possible significant shifts in the future.
The book emphasizes that your career is your business, so nobody will if you don’t take charge of it. Through time, career management and development have shifted from the employer to the employee. So how should you manage your career? Chapter Six presents the parallel process of managing a business and managing a career, while Chapter Seven explains how strategies can be intentional or emergent in some cases. Like a business, careers can develop with the goal of continuous growth. Chapter Eight presents how careers can grow very similar to how a business can grow and thrive over time.
Chapters Nine and Ten ask the reader to look inwardly to reflect on how their purpose and mission play a role in making career decisions and how the search for a resonant career can veer one toward one direction instead of another. The search for authenticity, meaning, and passion could influence career choices. These are some of the best predictors of fulfillment.
Chapter Eleven is a call to action reiterating how managing oneself and personal leadership can engender commitment to career success by listening to your own voice. The inquiries serve that purpose. If you reflect upon the questions and listens to your authentic inner voice, it could open up some possibilities that you don’t see being drowned out by the day-to-day busyness of life.
Some debts you cannot repay, even if you live forever…
Seasoned imperial officer Marcus Sempronius Gracchus leads the 9th Roman Legion into a bloody battle against a fierce barbarian rival. It’s a battle he won’t survive.
When he awakens three days later, clawing his way from a shallow grave, Marcus must face the reality of his new existence. He cannot be killed–but that won’t stop him from dying time and again over the next 2,000 years.
Meanwhile, others like Marcus plan to bring the world crashing to its knees. Can he prevent the inevitable and find redemption?
“An extraordinary idea extraordinarily well-told. Greenwood has a special talent for creating believable characters in a believably realized historic setting.”—Ron Miller, Hugo Award-winning Author
About the Author
B.K. Greenwood lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and wolfpack of 4 rescue dogs. He loves to travel and has incorporated his experiences into his writing. B.K. enjoys works of fiction and nonfiction, with a heavy emphasis on history, adventure, and classics. His passion for history is on display in his debut novel, The Last Roman: Exile.
Healers: Secrets of the Academy L. L. Smith Published January 21, 2021 Amazon | Goodreads
About Healers: Secrets of the Academy The students of SalVaneerie Academy face a gruesome end at the hands of Shadow Knights! This army of mysterious and hollow Knights close in from the Dark Forest surrounding their campus. Healers, Warriors, and Brains must band together to repel these Shadow Knights and uncover their peculiar origins. Will Nicole amass enough friends to repel the attack? Will Hunter be able to overcome his performance anxiety? Will Theodore be able to discover the truth he seeks? Find out, inside!
Map of the Academy
I adore maps in books My reading experience improves a lot when reading, go back and forth looking up the places that are mentioned. The art of mapmaking should be celebrated more. And the one above is pretty , pretty cool.
L L Smith: small-town living and music binging. Self published two books deep and counting. He’s ready to share some laughs, gasps, and tears with reader folk from all walks of life!
Healers: Secrets of the Academy Tour Stops
Here are the other stops on the Healers: Secrets of the Academy blog tour through Breakeven Books. Lots of these stops are Booktubers, so if you’ve been thinking about finding new bookish channels to follow, be sure to check them out!
I’m so late with this tag cause IcthusBookCorner tagged me last month *hides* . 10 questions in total . Here I go
The Last Book I Gave Up On
Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft. I’m a kind and gentle person and I don’t know how I would react in a war setting but I found the lead character be to naïve and to trusting. I had a trouble taking her side when arguing with her commander/ ex girlfriend. I was siding with the gf. Maybe i’ll finish it in the future but that’s not in the near future.
The Last Book I Reread
I have two books for this question. One i’m currently re reading and one i read last October. I forgot how terrifying a character in The Riverman by Aaron Starmer is, they are constantly on the page, being annoying and that the reveal happens. 😨😨. I’m currently reading Night Shine by Tessa Gratton . It reads like a ghibli movie and was pitched as a queerer Howl’s moving castle. Very imaginative . SAPPHIC AND GENDERFLUID AS FUCK. GIMME THE MONSTROUS QUEERS. I highly recommend both.
The Last Book I Bought
I can’t buy books cause financial issues and online stores don’t have the the function to use our currency. But the last book I was gifted was Destroy all monsters by Sam J Miller. I adore his work and this title has mental health , queerness and is speculative. This usual for him. So excited
The Last Book I Said I Read But Didn’t
Oliver Twist. Dickens overwrites and I could not stand it anymore. I put it aside and read recaps and analyses online for my high school English classes . Sorry not sorry.
Last Book I Wrote in the Margins of
I’m very finicky with how my books should look like and i try my best to keep them not looking used. I would never 😅. I do hate the yellowing of pages though.
Last Book That I Had Signed
Captain Moxley and the Embers of the Empire by Dan Hanks. It’s an 70 or 80s style actioner fighting Nazis , monsters and rescuing a kidnapped sister. It’s all that silly fun in book form with a female lead. My copy is personalized and Dan has such a fun online presence.
Last Book I Lost
I lend my signed Enchanted by Alethea Kontis Arc to a family member and she never returned it 😥😥
Last Book I Had To Replace
I still have to replace Enchanted but the hardback version is now priced at $35 on bookdepo, it was $17 when it was published in 2012. 😭😭😭😭😭 That’s to steep of a price for a book i’ve already read.
Last Book I Argued Over
I don’t argue over books. I avoid discourse online and I pretend I don’t see it 😁🤣🤣
Last Book You Pre-Ordered
The last pre order I was gifted is The Midnight Girls by Alicia Jasinska. I loved her debut – The Dark Tide. Both books are Sapphic YA Fantasy. The Midnight Girls has
Coming of age as a Fat brown girl in a white Connecticut suburb is hard. Harder when your whole life is on fire, though.
Charlie Vega is a lot of things. Smart. Funny. Artistic. Ambitious. Fat.
People sometimes have a problem with that last one. Especially her mom. Charlie wants a good relationship with her body, but it’s hard, and her mom leaving a billion weight loss shakes on her dresser doesn’t help. The world and everyone in it have ideas about what she should look like: thinner, lighter, slimmer-faced, straighter-haired. Be smaller. Be whiter. Be quieter.
But there’s one person who’s always in Charlie’s corner: her best friend Amelia. Slim. Popular. Athletic. Totally dope. So when Charlie starts a tentative relationship with cute classmate Brian, the first worthwhile guy to notice her, everything is perfect until she learns one thing–he asked Amelia out first. So is she his second choice or what? Does he even really see her? UGHHH. Everything is now officially a MESS.
A sensitive, funny, and painful coming-of-age story with a wry voice and tons of chisme, Fat Chance, Charlie Vega tackles our relationships to our parents, our bodies, our cultures, and ourselves.
My thoughts: Charlie Vega is our titular lead. Her personality jumps from the page. She’s smart, funny, artistic and a go getter. She and her mom. It’s about a plus size young woman of color navigating through life. It deals with with being brown in a white neighborhood. Maldonado did a great job fleshing out Charlie and her relations with other people. People at work, school and at home. This title touches on diet culture and how mothers can love their daughters and be toxic at the same time. Heads up on that. I And I’m glad that there wasn’t a situation were suddenly everything is okay because that kind of relationship really can’t easily be “fixed”.
I love how the romance and Charlie’s friendship had equal importance. It has an HEA and a non white interracial couple, heck yeah.
I recommend Fat chance, Charlie Vega for the lead alone. She truly is the MAIN CHARACTER. Living her MC life and i say this with lots of love. I know that many will fall in love with her
Crystal Maldonado is a young adult author with a lot of feelings. Her debut novel, FAT CHANCE, CHARLIE VEGA (Holiday House), will be released on Feb. 2, 2021.
By day, she is a social media manager working in higher ed, and by night, a writer who loves Beyoncé, shopping, the internet, and being extra.
She lives in western Massachusetts with her husband, daughter, and dog.
Synopsis: 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…
A curse of roses is an F/F own voices retelling of a Portuguese story ( Miracle of the roses). It’s a Portuguese historical fantasy. It follows Yzabel of Aragon. She’s something unique whenever Yzabel touched food it turns into flowers. She takes it on her self to change this conduit to change flowers in to food. There a food scarcity in the land as a result of a famine .And as soon to be queen Yzabel sees it as her duty to help her people. But this action as queen is not allowed . With the help of Fatyan, magical being freed with a kiss , Yzabel sets out to help her people to matter the cost
The line of turning food into flor is the reason I wanted it. I knew of the Midas touch but this was something entirely new to me. And all the reviews online are correct this book deserves the love and praise. It needs more attention. I often start reviews with talking about the characters but i had to start with Pinguicha as a writer. Wow does she write pretty and beautiful like the flowers that Yzabel creates. The lush description of food and flowers. The feeling of the town when you read her words. Truly beautiful. This world has a soft magic system and it will please readers in search of that. What happens go with it! This book is for those want reads that go slower, to see the characters interact and to spend time with the ladies. Both Yzabel and Fatyan are fully fleshed out , smart, interesting characters. Even though these CW- internalized homophobia
– religious-based self-harm
– religious and magic-based disordered eating
– the patriarchy
are seen and mentioned , this book has lightness at parts. After requesting and reading the CW I was a bit scared cause I have religious- based discomfort , being such a household but I liked how she handled it and she did it well.
And if like animal companions , Yzabel’s Alentejo Mastiff is so cute. Google pictures right after if this breed is new to you, So cute. If you like soft , caring historical fantasy with two lovely ladies in love, I highly suggest A curse of roses.
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.
Erik at @BreakevenBooks on twitter and Youtube created a week ago. It was such fun to watch and then I saw The Pewter Wolf blog it , so i thought I’d join in the fun. I found Erik’s channel through a random May wrap up. Dunno how or what I typed in the search engine but I’m so glad I did. Erik is delight to watch, so creative and kind. You feel calm whenever you watch a vid. I immediately watch when a video is uploaded, every Monday and Thursday. The tag is down below and my answers to it. I really had to think long and hard lol.
I’ve Got A Bone To Pick With You: Name a book that was good until it wasn’t… (you were enjoying it and then it ended up disappointing you).
I don’t remember the title of this book . Funny it’s about cats and it’s the first answer to tag inspired by dogs. This book is a fantasy and I borrowed it from the library in middle school. Fun fact , my mom is a retired youth librarian. I like cats and i chose it because of it. But the talking magical cats were to mean to the stable boy. And i don’t remember the rest lol.
Welcome Home: Name a book or series that gives you the warm feelings of home.
The Night circus and Narnia come to mind. I would love to be part of that circus as a costumer or act. Morgenstern’s writing is so magical and I’m convinced that she is of the magical kind herself, giving us mortals a mere glimpse of that world. And Narnia of all the warm fuzzies reading that series, I’ve have my favorites.
Ruffin It: Name a book that has a journey or travel element to it.
Yells MÉLUSINE book one of Doctrine of Labyrinths by Sarah Monette. Melusine is set in the fantasy world of Meduse, it tells the story of the adventures of Felix Harrowgate, a gay wizard, and his half-brother Mildmay the Fox, a former assassin. Both brothers have baggage and their not the kindest at times but I’ve a soft spot for them. Sigh , Felix stop being so selfish lol . The world feels very Italian, Mediterranean. I’m chosing this title for my answer because 2/3 of Melusine is travelling fantasy book where the brothers meet folk , travelling with them and they depart, at least 3 times. I’m a huge champion for this book and series and more people need to read it . It’s such an underrated adult high fantasy
Marking Your Territory: Name a book or series that you will always stand by no matter what!
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. I was a non fiction reader going into my teens and shiver was the first YA I read at age 17. I missed the twilight boat and I have Shiver to thank for my love of YA. In fact Sam was my first book boyfriend. That guitar playing wolfboy.
Diggin Holes: A book that had some hidden secrets or had a big plot twist uncovered.
This one was the most difficulty with. The mood , my feelings and my love for a book remains whenever I’m done with it. I forget plot twists and plot in general. This is the opposite with movies. I re read The Riverman by Aaron Starmer this year. I knew i disliked that character but I was surprised for the 2nd time at that reveal. It’s a dark middle grade portal fantasy
Stand By Me: Name a book or series that portrayed a very loyal friendship between its characters.
Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko shines here with its brilliant dazzling colors. Platonic and Romantic love have equal weight in this story and the 13 would die for each other, their friendship is immense. Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi to a lesser extend, Perry and Roar ‘s friendship gives me warmth.
Tug of War: A book you have very mixed feelings about.
Books that are 3 stars. I’d liked them, will recommend them in general but they wont be my first picks. This year those were Mayhem by Estelle Laure, The Mall by Megan McCafferty and Belle Révolte by Linsey Miller.
TREATS!: A book that you are super excited about and will reward yourself by reading it.
Oh lordy. Do I have a couple. Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz. International Dragon sports !!. Winter, White and Wicked by Shannon Dittemore . Mad max Fury road x frozen. I’m in. And lastly The Blade Between by Sam J. Miller . A queer Horror gentrification novel with a gay photographer as lead.
Synopsis: Thea Hope longs to be an alchemist out of the shadow of her famous mother. The two of them are close to creating the legendary Philosopher’s Stone—whose properties include immortality and can turn any metal into gold—but just when the promise of the Stone’s riches is in their grasp, Thea’s mother destroys the Stone in a sudden fit of violent madness.
While combing through her mother’s notes, Thea learns that there’s a curse on the Stone that causes anyone who tries to make it to lose their sanity. With the threat of the French Revolution looming, Thea is sent to Oxford for her safety, to live with the father who doesn’t know she exists.
But in Oxford, there are alchemists after the Stone who don’t believe Thea’s warning about the curse—instead, they’ll stop at nothing to steal Thea’s knowledge of how to create the Stone. But Thea can only run for so long, and soon she will have to choose: create the Stone and sacrifice her sanity, or let the people she loves die.
2020 has to be year of the cold and standoff ish mother in YA. Funnily enough all encountered in fantasy this reading year. Difficult and nuanced motherly figures, Thea Hope is the daughter of such figure, She’s the daughter of a famous alchemist who looms over her. A Golden Fury is about Thea Hope, a young alchemist, who has the knowledge to make the Philosopher’s Stone. Before finishing the Philosopher’s Stone her mother goes mad and smashes their work. Because of this and escaping her mother’s anger she travels to find her beau, Will, and to make the stone before anyone else does.
Cohoe really focused on the scientific side of SFF in A Golden Fury. The alchemy was more science based than magic based. It was all puzzle for Thea and her cohort to find out. Managing temperatures and putting in the right ingredients at the right time. Science is a real puzzle, figuring out the elements instead of cardboard pieces. It was great to see the fictional scientific methods and scenes in the lab where Thea looked at Arabic texts for instructions. The magic system was different and it’s great to see different interpretations of alchemy. Cohoe really blended the alchemy in a historical setting. this book nailed the historical setting pretty darn well. Set in the backdrop of a weakened France before the revolution.
I really enjoyed the plot and I was engrossed in it from the start to the end It had a great pace and was action-packed. Cohoe used the slower parts to her advantage were she used of knowledge of the half magic – half science practice to build the world. Bit by bit. I had to page at both paces in the story, eager to see what happened next. Cohoe’s lines and phrasing is a delight to read and roll of the tongue or in my case the mental version of that.
And lastly a book is nothing without its characters. If you don’t care the characters no matter how creative or beautiful the writing, I can’t care. But you do care for Thea, how she’s treated by the people around her. Get mad how the men in her life don’t trust her or see her ingenuity. Loving Dominic so much how truly cares for her and wants the best for her. No one was that good or all that bad. Even our quick-witted lead Thea who could be selfish and have an ego at times. I loved how deeply flawed she and others were.
People that love Historical fiction where magic doesn’t over power the story. Where the SF of SFF comes to play and a story with a flawed but human girl tries to be recognized for her talents. They for surely will enjoy A Golden Fury.
About the author
Samantha Cohoe writes historically-inspired young adult fantasy. She was raised in San Luis Obispo,
California, where she enjoyed an idyllic childhood of beach trips, omnivorous reading, and writing stories brimming with adverbs. She currently lives in Denver with her family and divides her time among teaching Latin, mothering, writing, reading, and deleting adverbs. A Golden Fury is her debut novel.