Quick word from our sponsor (…so, basically me):
It’s LAUNCH DAY for “The Story’s End (Book Seven of The Wilderhark Tales)”! Grab your e-copy (Kindle or Nook) or paperback (Amazon or CreateSpace), and join me for the first day of the fairytale novella series’ last hurrah – the Launch/Farewell Party happening NOW on Facebook. An event of story snippets and songs! An event of games and prizes! Most of all, an event for the readers and characters who came together beneath the boughs of Wilderhark Forest.
Once upon a time, the magical journey began. Now comes the Ever After.
…Also coming now, our regularly scheduled blog post.
Y’ever see a book cover that made your brain go, “Okay, I want to read you. …So wait, what are you about?” I’ve come across a few like that, in recent times. Shallow of me? Mayhap a little. But hey, if it leads me to a good story, how is that a bad thing?
Book #1: “Dreamstrider” by Lindsay Smith
Thoughts on the Cover: [Sur]really awesome.
Description from Goodreads: A high-concept, fantastical espionage novel set in a world where dreams are the ultimate form of political intelligence.
Livia is a dreamstrider. She can inhabit a subject’s body while they are sleeping and, for a short time, move around in their skin. She uses her talent to work as a spy for the Barstadt Empire. But her partner, Brandt, has lately become distant, and when Marez comes to join their team from a neighboring kingdom, he offers Livia the option of a life she had never dared to imagine. Livia knows of no other dreamstriders who have survived the pull of Nightmare. So only she understands the stakes when a plot against the Empire emerges that threatens to consume both the dreaming world and the waking one with misery and rage.
A richly conceived world full of political intrigue and fantastical dream sequences, at its heart Dreamstrider is about a girl who is struggling to live up to the potential before her.
Thoughts on That: Not sure how I’ll feel about the political angle, but everything else sounds potentially cool.
Book #2: “Rook” by Sharon Cameron
Thoughts on the Cover: Me likey the grayscale with a pop of red. Also the feathers. And whatever happened to Paris.
Description from Goodreads: History has a way of repeating itself. In the Sunken City that was once Paris, all who oppose the new revolution are being put to the blade. Except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a red-tipped rook feather left in their place. Is the mysterious Red Rook a savior of the innocent or a criminal?
Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy’s arranged marriage to the wealthy René Hasard is the last chance to save her family from ruin. But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to her doorstep, Sophia discovers that her fiancé is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she.
As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow higher, Sophia and René find themselves locked in a tantalizing game of cat and mouse.
Thoughts on That: A vigilante tale? One has high hopes. ^^
P.S.: Between this post’s drafting and its going live, I’ve actually read the book! Review to eventually follow.
Book #3: “Child of a Hidden Sea” by A.M. Dellamonica
Thoughts on the Cover: A dynamically-angled illustration of a dude and a child on a ship with…are those runes on the sails? What. Is not. To love?
Description from Goodreads: One minute, twenty-four-year-old Sophie Hansa is in a San Francisco alley trying to save the life of the aunt she has never known. The next, she finds herself flung into the warm and salty waters of an unfamiliar world. Glowing moths fall to the waves around her, and the sleek bodies of unseen fish glide against her submerged ankles.
The world is Stormwrack, a series of island nations with a variety of cultures and economies—and a language different from any Sophie has heard.
Sophie doesn’t know it yet, but she has just stepped into the middle of a political firestorm, and a conspiracy that could destroy a world she has just discovered… her world, where everyone seems to know who she is, and where she is forbidden to stay.
But Sophie is stubborn, and smart, and refuses to be cast adrift by people who don’t know her and yet wish her gone. With the help of a sister she has never known, and a ship captain who would rather she had never arrived, she must navigate the shoals of the highly charged politics of Stormwrack, and win the right to decide for herself whether she stays in this wondrous world . . . or is doomed to exile.
Thoughts on That: From San Francisco to some magical realm in the bat of an eye? Somebody hand me this book!
Book #4: “Some Kind of Happiness” by Claire Legrand
Thoughts on the Cover: FOREST! Forest with a center crown, meaning… fairytale stuff? Hoping so, since the only thing better than a forest is a forest full of extra magic!
Description from Goodreads: THINGS FINLEY HART DOESN’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT
• Her parents, who are having problems. (But they pretend like they’re not.)
• Being sent to her grandparents’ house for the summer.
• Never having met said grandparents.
• Her blue days—when life feels overwhelming, and it’s hard to keep her head up. (This happens a lot.)
Finley’s only retreat is the Everwood, a forest kingdom that exists in the pages of her notebook. Until she discovers the endless woods behind her grandparents’ house and realizes the Everwood is real—and holds more mysteries than she’d ever imagined, including a family of pirates that she isn’t allowed to talk to, trees covered in ash, and a strange old wizard living in a house made of bones.
With the help of her cousins, Finley sets out on a mission to save the dying Everwood and uncover its secrets. But as the mysteries pile up and the frightening sadness inside her grows, Finley realizes that if she wants to save the Everwood, she’ll first have to save herself.
Reality and fantasy collide in this powerful, heartfelt novel about family, depression, and the power of imagination, for fans of Counting by 7s and Bridge to Terabithia.
Thoughts on That: Yesssss, magic forest! Also depression, which is less fun, but… those blue days. I know them. So yeah, between the Everwood and the probable relatability, I could feasibly end up loving this.
Book #5: “Shadowshaper” by Daniel José Older
Thoughts on the Cover: Dem colors. And dat hair.
Description from Goodreads: Sierra Santiago was looking forward to a fun summer of making art, hanging out with her friends, and skating around Brooklyn. But then a weird zombie guy crashes the first party of the season. Sierra’s near-comatose abuelo begins to say “No importa” over and over. And when the graffiti murals in Bed-Stuy start to weep…. Well, something stranger than the usual New York mayhem is going on.
Sierra soon discovers a supernatural order called the Shadowshapers, who connect with spirits via paintings, music, and stories. Her grandfather once shared the order’s secrets with an anthropologist, Dr. Jonathan Wick, who turned the Caribbean magic to his own foul ends. Now Wick wants to become the ultimate Shadowshaper by killing all the others, one by one. With the help of her friends and the hot graffiti artist Robbie, Sierra must dodge Wick’s supernatural creations, harness her own Shadowshaping abilities, and save her family’s past, present, and future.
Thoughts on That: A little leery at the mention of zombies, but connection with spirits via art? I like the sound of that. This one could weird me out in a good way.