The Blood Orchid by Claire Warner

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Blood Orchid by Claire Warner has Melissa and Justin opening the story with the ending events of The Black Lotus. Marcus searches for and finds Melissa after discovering the death of their mother. He fights for her to go back home with him and then finally realizes that she can’t and is now dealing with the same curse as Justin. This book is genre bending and includes historical fiction plus all the mystery, suspense and paranormal fun of The Black Lotus, the first book in the Night Flower series. 4 stars for this supernatural young adult book with a touch of romance!

The Black Lotus by Claire Warner

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
The Black Lotus by Claire Warner is the first book in the Night Flower Series.  The opening of the book pulled me into the story with danger and intrigue. Melissa is experiencing memory loss and seems to have been kidnapped and she’s overhearing two people discuss her while they think she’s unconscious. She gradually recalls her circumstances and how she came to be in her current state. Then, the story jumps back to five months earlier. Melissa is attending her first social outing as a demure debutante. She meets all types of men, one she can’t get out of her mind, even though she’s been warned away from him, and has an altercation with another man who is extremely pushy. Her night didn’t fare very well in society’s standards. The man she can’t stop thinking about is Justin and, little does she know, he has a horrible curse that he’s trying to survive. As the story is told, the curse is revealed with the sorrow and dangers that go with it. This fantasy has mystery, suspense, romance and intrigue all wrapped together for an interesting supernatural book, 4 stars.

Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately by Alicia Cook

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately by Alicia Cook!

This book consists of poems labeled Track One through to Track Ninety-Two. Each poem is followed by a song the author was currently listening to when constructing the poem.

My favorite poem is Track Fourteen:

“Just because I don’t trust you
doesn’t mean I have trust issues.
Just because I won’t commit to you
doesn’t mean I have commitment issues.
Just because I watch what I eat
doesn’t mean I have body image issues.
Just because people have left my life
doesn’t mean I have abandonment issues.
Just because I yearn to grow and evolve
doesn’t mean I have identity issues.

I know exactly who the hell I am.”

That is a slam dunk of confidence and well being!

There are two sets of ninety two poems. The first set is each full poem with a coinciding song. The second set is a remix of each of the previous poems, in order, with specifically chosen words to create new, smaller poems with a different song that matches the remake better.

This book is full of healing poems that feel like a balm applied directly to your heart! I plan on purchasing this poetry book for the patrons at the high school library because I know several students who will appreciate the heartfelt words pouring into each poem. 5 stars!

Legion by Julie Kagawa

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for the opportunity to read and review the fourth book in the Talon Saga, Legion by Julie Kagawa!  This is a perfect addition to the already popular Talon, Rogue and Soldier books with just as much action, intrigue, romance and suspense!

Each of the books in the Talon Saga are told from a different character’s point of view. Talon is told in Ember’s point of view, Rogue is in Riley’s and Soldier is told in Garret’s point of view. Legion brings back all of the main characters and their points of view, including Dante’s. Dante is Ember’s brother and has been loyal to the dragon rule all  along because he believes he will be the dragon in power someday.  At first, he wanted to help his sister succeed and only cared about pleasing their instructors and taking care of her.  Then he had an epiphany about the position of power he could be in someday.  This changed his entire perspective. The strong, dynamic characters are worth cheering for while the tension builds in this addition to the Talon saga. I didn’t see the specific conflict coming and was shocked and appalled at the Elder Wyrm’s use for Ember Hill!  This book is as amazing as the rest of the series and is suspenseful and intriguing with new mysteries springing up and adding to the un-put-down-ability of the story. 5 stars for characters I love and the building anticipation!  I am already anxious for the fifth book in this series and I plan on a complete re-read when the entire series is complete!

The Takedown by Corrie Wang

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Disney Book Group for the opportunity to read and review The Takedown by Corrie Wang! The Takedown is a futuristic realistic fiction story dealing with the overwhelming use of social media and all of the issues that go along with it. Kyla is in the popular clique of the prep school she attends until someone shares a video on social media of Kyla being intimate with a teacher. The story is all about her innocence and trying to figure out who did the posting. She wants to get to the source and get rid of the video that has potentially scarred her reputation and future permanently. The story also involves forgiveness and introspection. 4.5 stars for the ability to give readers food for thought and for making it about a topic most people are interested in these days.

The Dragon’s Price by Bethany Wiggins

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Crown Books for the opportunity to read and review The Dragon’s Price by Bethany Wiggins! Sorrowlynn, Sorrow for short, is destined to die by her own hand and is awaiting the choice of a forced marriage or becoming a sacrifice for the fire dragon. Sorrowlynn meets the royalty of Andhar and is angered that she has to marry an heir from their kingdom. The young Prince Golmarr follows Sorrow when she’s lowered into the dragon’s cave to become the sacrifice because he wants to help her survive. Sorrow has been raised by an abusive father, her king, who whipped her violently and now she has white, puffy scars all over her legs. One of the reasons she was whipped was when Sorrow called the queen “mother”, even though the queen is Sorrow’s mother. She has felt completely alone and unloved her entire life except for the woman who helped take care of her. Golmarr and Sorrow live through and save each other from life threatening adventures while their relationship grows. Fantasy is my all-time favorite genre and The Dragon’s Price hit the spot! The first book in the Transference series had me diving into a world with dragons and princesses, loyalty and danger, love and kingdoms. I anxiously await the sequel! 5 stars! I appreciate the acknowledgements at the end of the book because Bethany Wiggins’ struggles with being backed by a publisher will give encouragement to aspiring authors everywhere.

Fate’s Keep by T. Rae Mitchell

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Original Mix Media for the opportunity to read and review Fate’s Keep by T. Rae Mitchell! In this sequel to Fate’s Journey, Fate is not going alone to the realm of the Book of Fables. Her father, Eustace, her best friend, Jess and her book fans are going along for the adventure. While Sithias was an interesting and entertaining creature in book one, Faurok takes the role in this story. It takes cleverness on the author’s part to create Faurok’s dialogue because he mixes words up to make new ones. Finn is on his own in the realm and he’s trying to figure out how to get to Fate and he is bound and determined to reach her. I was so happy when Sithias made an appearance in this story because I missed him and his fun personality and his extra s’s on his words! Fate is being pulled in several directions while her allies become enemies and her enemies become allies and her story doesn’t end in this book. There’s a third book entitled Fate’s War, which is a good thing because Fate’s Keep ends with a cliffhanger. 5 stars!

The Book of Greens by Jenn Louis

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Ten Speed Press for the opportunity to read and review The Book of Greens by Jenn Louis! The Book of Greens begins with a complete recipe list of vegetarian dishes, starters and snacks, salads and sides, soups; pastas, grains and dumplings ; fish and seafood; meaty mains; and drinks and sweets that are included in the book. Sections such as The Basics and How To Use This Book help get the most out of your greens. The section, Types of Greens in this book, lists the type, best method of cooking and specific greens to use in the recipes. A Seasonal Chart helps the reader know when certain greens will most likely be found for purchase. Bowls 101 shares four rules that will help in making great salads. The rules are “not all ingredients go together; ” don’t bog down your base green; less is more. There is also a rule for three components for a delicious bowl: flavor, texture and visual appeal. The system to make a delicious dish with greens follows these steps: 1-choose a base (type of green) 2-add variety (add veggies, fruit), 3-add texture (grains, nuts, popped corn, seeds or bread crumbs), 4-add protein (hard-boiled egg, cooked meat, beans), 5-add saltiness, 6- smooth it out with herbs, 7- sharpen it up and 8-dress it. Very detailed, color photos and an enormous selection of greens and the recipes to go with them. 5 stars.

True North by L.E. Sterling

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to Entangled Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review True North by L.E. Sterling! True North continues with the the mystery of Lucy and Margot. I still enjoy the relationship between Lucy and Jared and the story’s mystery is being chipped away in this second book of the series. I don’t want to give anything away, but what is happening to Margot is disturbing and horrific. The series does not end with this book and I think I will re- read the entire series, one book after the other, once it’s completed. 4 stars for a creative dystopian world and character building!

The Silver Thread by Emigh Cannaday (Audiobook Version)

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I received an advance reader copy and an audiobook and volunteered to review the story.
The Silver Thread audiobook has the same great voice actor as The Flame and the Arrow! Talvi and Annika come together again but they discover that love takes work and they seem to have a lot more to deal with while they are staying with her brother and their friends. Being married and realizing they need to rely on and and share with each other is difficult for both of them. At times, I became annoyed at Talvi and even Annika because they didn’t seem to be trying to care for and be there for each other. Finn is amazing and selfless and he and his father straighten Talvi out. I thought the punishment Ambrose set for Talvi was priceless, including the conversation Ambrose conducted with Talvi while he was digging, not realizing that Annika was there the whole time overhearing everything, just as Talvi’s father planned. The cliffhanger ending is intense! 5 stars for the wonderful, flowing writing of Emigh Cannaday and for her creative fantasy world, prophecies and all!