Blog Tour: Drakon Unchained by NJ Walters Review + Giveaway!

Hello everyone!

Today I’m excited to be featuring a super fun fantasy romance that I recently enjoyed, plus a giveaway at the end. 😀 With that, let’s get started!

40801897Drakon Unchained
Author: NJ Walters
Series: Blood of the Drakon #5
Release Date: August 27, 2018
Publisher: Entangled Publishing: Amara
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

Synopsis:

Victoria Marshall is living a lie. She works for a member of the Knights of the Dragon, a secret society that traps and uses dragons for their own gain. As a child, she made an unlikely friend—a drakon. He went missing, and she’s spent the past twenty years searching for him. The only thing distracting her from her mission is Luther Henderson, her boss’s new head of security.

Luther is also living a lie. One, if discovered, could lead to a fate worse than death. He’s attracted to Victoria, but can’t fully trust her, doesn’t know if she’s truly innocent or a true member of the Knights. It’s not only his life at stake, but those of the people he loves.

As they’re thrust deeper into the dangerous dealings of the Knights, they each have to share their secrets in order to survive.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Series Review: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (In Prep for the Movie!!)

Image result for crazy rich asians

What a wild ride! Crazy Rich Asians was everything the blurb promised and more. There’s shockingly lavish descriptions, gossip that can go on for days, and ultimately excellent execution of the nuances of East/Southeast Asian culture. I was not disappointed by this series (I mean come on, I finished all three books in TWO DAYS the week before finals), and am even more excited to see the movie!! I’ll split this series review in three short parts for each three books, with no spoilers. And with that, a quote that made me laugh out loud because of how true it is:

“Why do we Chinese never learn? Every time we get mixed up with the West, everything falls apart.”

Continue reading

ARC Review: The Boyfriend Bracket by Kate Evangelista

35796027The Boyfriend Bracket
Author:Kate Evangelista
Release Date: June 18, 2018
Publisher: SwoonReads
Get it Here:Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Stella has had a hopeless crush on Will, her older brother’s best friend FOREVER, but now that Cam and Will have graduated and are going off to college, this year is her chance to really strike out on her own. Without her overprotective brother and his sidekick around to distract her, she can focus on having all the typical high school experiences that she’s always dreamed of—starting with finding a boyfriend! With the help of her best friend Franklin, she comes up with the perfect plan to have a boyfriend by Christmas: The Boyfriend Bracket.

Or it seems like the perfect plan…right up until Will starts showing up again. How is she supposed to find the perfect boyfriend when none of her dates measure up to the one boy she can never have?

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I wish I liked this book more than I did! The Boyfriend Bracket is all the fluff of a marshmallow, but nothing past the sugary-sweetness. The fact that it’s a bit over 200 pages doesn’t help either, giving only glimpses of character and relationship development. Over the course of these pages, Stella goes through almost her whole senior year of high school. It’s a huge time frame that passes by really quickly, making for a hastened pace that makes the glimpses mentioned above even more scarce. Nonetheless, it was an adorable read that romcom lovers should consider picking up!

Continue reading

ARC Review: The Sea King by CL Wilson (Weathermages of Mystral #2)

23496336The Sea King
Author: CL Wilson
Series: Weathermages of Mystral #2
Release Date: October 31, 2017
Publisher: Avon
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Winter King comes a breathtaking new tale of love and adventure set in the mystical land of Mystral…

He wasn’t supposed to choose her…

Seafaring prince Dilys Merimydion has been invited to court the three magical princesses of Summerlea. To eradicate the pirates threatening Calberna and to secure the power of the Sea Throne, Dilys vows to return home with a fierce warrior-queen as his bride. But politics has nothing to do with unexpected temptation.

She didn’t dare wed him…

A weathermage like her sisters, Gabriella Coruscate’s gentleness exemplifies the qualities of her season name, Summer. Yet her quiet poise conceals dangerous powers she cannot begin to wield. Better to live without excitement, she reasons, than risk her heart and lose control— until an irresistible Sealord jolts her awake with a thunderclap of raw desire.

Until evil threatens everything they hold dear…

When pirates kidnap Summer and her sisters, Dilys is in a desperate quest to save the woman he loves. Only by combining his command of the seas with the unleashed fury of Summer’s formidable gifts can they defeat their brutal enemies and claim the most priceless victory of all: true love.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Note: This is the companion sequel to The Winter King. However, this review will not have any major spoilers for the series.
Also: This book contains mature content (sexy times) and graphic violence. Please be aware!

After finishing The Winter King and thoroughly charmed by the sweet and powerful romance, as well as the expansive fantasy world that Wilson builds, I was instantly ready for the companion sequel. However, I wasn’t as enchanted with this sequel as I was with the first book. It was still a fairly good and diverting read – especially for a romance novel – but there were some things that just made it drag and felt slow for me. There is definitely a certain amount of cheesiness in the book that made me pause while reading, romantically and as a part of the world. Sometimes I’d squeal in second-hand embarrassment, and half the time I’d low-key enjoy it. Let’s just say I let this cheese slide because it helped develop the romance. Overall, I would recommend the first book over this one, although still recommend this one for readers who have already started the series. Continue reading

Monthly Wrap-Up: It Was An O-KAY October

october-wrap-up

Hey guys! Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve done a monthly wrap-up. I feel so bad because I had this drafted in the beginning of the month but then I blinked and suddenly we’re in the middle of the month already. The last one I did was in May (whoa), but I’m glad to be back! Summer was just really chaotic and starting school was basically death. Now that I have a normal routine starting again, it’s been easier to get back in my blogging schedule.

Continue reading

Book Review: The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You by Lily Anderson

26114524The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You
Author: Lily Anderson
Release Date: May 17, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Trixie Watson has two very important goals for senior year: to finally save enough to buy the set of Doctor Who figurines at the local comic books store, and to place third in her class and knock Ben West–and his horrendous new mustache that he spent all summer growing–down to number four.

Trixie will do anything to get her name ranked over Ben’s, including give up sleep and comic books–well, maybe not comic books–but definitely sleep. After all, the war of Watson v. West is as vicious as the Doctor v. Daleks and Browncoats v. Alliance combined, and it goes all the way back to the infamous monkey bars incident in the first grade. Over a decade later, it’s time to declare a champion once and for all.

The war is Trixie’s for the winning, until her best friend starts dating Ben’s best friend and the two are unceremoniously dumped together and told to play nice. Finding common ground is odious and tooth-pullingly-painful, but Trixie and Ben’s cautious truce slowly transforms into a fandom-based tentative friendship. When Trixie’s best friend gets expelled for cheating and Trixie cries foul play, however, they have to choose who to believe and which side they’re on–and they might not pick the same side.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

To say I enjoyed this book would be an understatement. Never have I read a contemporary YA book that really grasps the feelings I hold to my heart as this one did. The whole time I was reading, I was thinking “this book was made for me.” From the clever characters, to their wicked funny banter, to the truths that the author manages to insert about students – it was all an equation to create a book that I fell head over heels in love with.

Continue reading

Monthly Wrap-Up: What a Fab February

IMG_9850

HELLO MARCH! For some reason it’s still pretty chilly (well, as chilly as Florida can be haha) even though winter is over. Sorry for the semi-late monthly wrap-up! More details can be explained in the next section, but mainly I’ve been feeling like a bum because of a conference last weekend. NO WORRIES, because I have finally gotten back in the game and am commenting and drafting more posts as we speak! (or, as I type haha.) Without further ado, I give you One Way’s second wrap-up.

wrapup1

Okay so February was full of stress. I think my name is associated to stress, man. The other day I was saying in AP Lang how much I hate my life (but in the type of half-joking manner one does when one has tests and projects foisted upon one’s shoulders the period before) and my teacher goes “Don’t you say that every day?”

IT’S PRETTY BAD.

Luckily enough, I recently got an inspiration/motivation journal on sale from Michael’s to help me out on that. I’ve been lazy in writing it, but seeing it at least encourages me to be more positive.

On a fun note, I went to a Model UN conference last weekend, and am still recuperating from that. Basically we act as delegates to the UN and create resolutions for topics. So technically it’s still a lot of work, but fun work lol. We also met some Turkish students who were visiting America during the conference and they were interesting to talk to! My school won best delegation for the country of Cyprus (yay).

wrapup2

  •  A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro – A modern retelling of Sherlock Holmes, featuring his descendant Charlotte Holmes and her counterpart, Jamie Watson. The murder mystery is just intriguing from start to finish!
    4 stars
  • The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury – A freakin’ awesome retelling of Aladdin with a girl as the genie, a hot street rat, and a kickass princess. I seriously fell in love with not only the lovely atmosphere on this book, but the delightful characters as well. 
    5 stars
  • Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner – This stellar conclusion to the Starbound trilogy was just all the amazingness wrapped up in a book. The story of the characters draw to a close as we finally confront the mysterious things that plague our characters.
    5 stars
  • Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton – Desert setting, hot djinn, mysterious foreign strangers and a fierce girl who can shoot like no other – what more can a reader ask for? Definitely not to be missed out on.
    5 stars
  • The Skylighter by Becky Wallace – The sequel of The Storyspinner, this book starts straight from where we left off in terms of action as the groups of characters, narrating with numerous POV’s, figure out how exactly to save the place they live in. I miss the characters already in this one.
    5 stars
  • The Forbidden Orchid by Sharon Biggs Waller – Elodie joins her father to China during the time of the Opium wars on the hunt for a famed orchid that will save her family. Along the way, we see some a sweet romance and friendship develop, all while Elodie discovers who she truly wants to be.
    4 stars
  • Riders by Veronica Rossi – Although this was fun and fast-paced, I had an odd disconnect with the characters and how immature they acted. Gideon almost dies and wakes up to realize that he become a reincarnation of War, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.
    3 stars

I also reviewed these books on Happy Indulgence:

  • Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan – Featuring an intricate world featuring a made-up language that highlights the art of language and fully-developed characters that you can’t help but root for, this book now has a solid favorites place on my bookshelf.
    5 stars
  • The Shadow Queen by CJ Redwine – A Snow White retelling with all the greatest aspects of fantasy put in one book! While it had cliche elements, they were executed so nicely that this reader didn’t even care. AND I WANT MORE.
    4 stars
  • Forbidden by Kimberley Little Griffith – While the romance in this book was heavy, I enjoyed it because of the lovable characters of Kadesh and Jayden. The Mesopotamian setting of Babylon also made it a delightful read.
    4 stars
  • Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie – The main character Sonya could be a trifle annoying at times, but at least the plot was intricate and quick enough to keep me reading.
    3 stars

wrapup3

Swoon Thursday

  • Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie – “You are not a curse.” His brows lifted in earnestness. “You are a gift,” he said softly. “You are my gift. A savior to me.””
  • Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton – “His breath vibrated through me until I couldn’t feel anything anymore except want. More than want. Need.”

Discussion

  • 5 Popular Descriptions in YA Literature – In which I regale the different types of character descriptions that are SO POPULAR in young adult books. It’s like people without those features don’t exist as main characters.

Other

  • Book Graphics Request – In which I ask you guys to send me some suggestions for my next graphic. The release date will be a surprise!

As you can see, this month was just GRAND in terms of books reviewed. I didn’t even realize I had so many 4-5 stars posted until I listed all of them! How are you guys doing for the past month?

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Signature

Monthly Wrap-Up: Just a Jazzy January

janwrapup

Welcome to my first monthly wrap-up! Why not start with these as the new year sweeps by? January had its ups and downs, but the majority of the books I read were quite enjoyable. I also started cross-posting some reviews from Goodreads because I actually like some of the ramblings I post on there (lol).

wrapup1

As I said on Twitter, school basically lit a fire up my butt and is roasting me alive. I’m not even kidding. Each week I’m inundated with tests, and I have major projects (called Internal Assessments) that call for my attention. In class we don’t really do much, but then we get to tests and it’s like a bomb has been dropped. Thus, my peers and I have been teaching ourselves haha. My days are basically filled with school, extracurriculars, and books/blogging.

wrapup2

  • Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan – This was a dark, twisty retelling of Rapunzel. The romance was absolutely delightful, although I didn’t really learn much about the world.
    4 stars
  • Until We Meet Again by Renee Collins – Featuring a time-traveling romance, this one brought upon a bunch of feels. It also has a mystery to be solved and a bittersweet ending.
    3 stars
  • Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto – If you’re looking for a unique, western read, then definitely hit this one up. The western-magic fusion is just thrilling from beginning to end.
    4 stars
  • The Rose Society by Marie Lu – A solid sequel for the Young Elites trilogy. Adelina is spiraling into the darkness and no one is there to stop her… or is there?
    4 stars
  • The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry – Absolutely stunning debut that features a romance that spans time and space. Despite the beautiful writing, the ending left a bit to be desired.
    4 stars
  • This Love by Nazarea Andrews – I was so pissed at this NA featuring not only a student/teacher relationship (I could work with that), but a love interest that was still married. The moment I read that, I was ready to get out ASAP.
    DNF
  • Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire – This book was definitely a disaster, no doubt! The appalling writing and equally appalling romance makes me wonder why this is so popular.
    DNF
  • Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover – One of the ugliest romances I’ve ever read. The review is filled with gifs of people making gagging faces, which was mine while reading this one.
    1 star
  • The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson – If you haven’t picked up this trilogy, THEN THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU. Just kidding; I’d highly recommend you to check it out for your next fantasy read. I think it’s ruined all other fantasies for me.
    5 fantastic stars for all three books

I also reviewed these books on Happy Indulgence:

  • Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell – This dark twist of Peter Pan features a total swoon-inducing pirate love interest, but a weak-willed main character. It’s Neverland like you’ve never seen before!
    4 stars
  • Starflight by Melissa Landers – A SCIENCE FICTION READ THAT IS FANTASMIC. The characters were charming, the plot extremely exhilarating, and the setting just takes you outta this world.
    5 stars
  • These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas – Historical fiction that features a supernatural twist! The subtle romance and mystery plot makes it a fun read set in 18th century England.
    4 stars

wrapup3

 

Swoon Thursday

  • Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan – “He made me feel extraordinary and beautiful.”
  • The Shadow Queen by CJ Redwine – “Heat that had nothing to do with his dragon’s fire filled him, pressing against his chest like he’d swallowed the sun, and he couldn’t breathe without taking in her scent.”

Fanart Friday

Discussion

Blog Tours


That’s it for this month! You guys holding up okay so far in 2016? I’m so prepared for all the awesome books coming out in February!

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Signature

A Blogger’s Guide to Navigating Edelweiss

If you’ve been blogging for a couple of months, you probably know the existence of sites like Netgalley and Edelweiss that offer eARCs for review. Today I’m going to be taking a simple tour of Edelweiss and the basic need-to-know for navigating the site and getting what most of us bloggers want: eARCs!

Many people are usually confused on what’s going on in Edelweiss, and it’s because SO many things are happening! Booksellers use this site too, and I’m pretty sure I haven’t discovered even half its functions yet. It all adds up to spending a little time to discover the different aspects of the site.

This tutorial will be split into a couple of sections to make things easier.


Finding Review Copies

After making an account, the home page should more or less be likeew1

Like I said, lots of things are going on from the start. I never bother with catalogs and leave them to the people working in the bookselling industry. Instead, I automatically head over to the tab labeled “Review Copies.”

ew2

Here are the book that you can request from publishers! They give pretty much all the information you need for the book, and you can click on the title for the ones you’re interested in.

These books seem interesting, but I’m looking for the Young Adult section. After all, I mostly read and review Young Adult books. Simply filter your search under the “Refine By” tab. You can do it based on publisher, age, subject, and all that smooth jazz. Usually I go directly to the Young Adult category.

ew3

Oh yeah! That’s what I’m looking for.

Now that we’re here, we get to scroll through all the young adult books. To get more information on a title, you just have to click on the title. Don’t click on the picture, because it’ll just end up enlarging the cover. Which has happened to me one too many times.

So we’re on the book’s page! There’s a whole bunch of information here but I stick to the basics: summary under book details, author bio beneath that, and sometimes marketing campaigns listed to the side.

ew4

But we’re looking at the TOP RIGHT BUTTON. Yup, the one labeled “Request Digital RC.” Because if you haven’t figured it out, we will be pressing that for requests.

Say you aren’t interested in this book anymore though, so you go back a page to the search results and keep scrolling…

And scrolling…

And BAM there’s an eARC you really want!

ew5

There’s a familiar blue button to the upper right of the book info section that you can click to request it! No need to go through the hassle of clicking on the title and going to the info page. Maximum efficiency right here, folks.


ARC Requests

Navigating is only half the battle, though. Like Netgalley, Edelweiss makes you write a description about your blog and all that fun stuff. If you have a Netgalley account and are pretty proud of how you write your bio, copy and paste should just do the job!

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings has a pretty swell post on how to write your blog description, which I highly recommend you check out! When I first started blogging though, I never thought to use more resources. I pretty much wrote only two sentences, which consisted of:

“My name is Aila and I blog at https://onewayoranauthor.wordpress.com, where we review YA books. The site has 300 unique visitors per month and I review each ARC I receive to the best of my abilities.”

Surprisingly enough, I was still accepted by Harper Collins and a couple of other publishers! Since then, I’ve added a few sentences but I still keep it simple. (Especially since my blog stats are nothing to brag about.)

Don’t get discouraged if you get denied! Sometimes they’ll only put books on Edelweiss just for booksellers, and there are so many factors that publishers can take into consideration: previous reviews you’ve posted, how quick you requested the book, the current moon cycle, etc. (Not sure about the moon cycle one but who knows.)

ew6

For the additional message, I really don’t recommend the one I typed up in that screenshot. 😉 To maybe help your chances of getting accepted, you can talk about how much you want to read the book or if you’ve read other books in the series if it’s in one. Again, I’m not sure how these factors play into publishers accepting your request, but it’s always good to be safe than sorry.

Once you enter Submit, you pretty much hold your breath until you get accepted. Unless the publisher really likes you and auto-approves you- in that case, I am very jealous and in awe of your prowess.

The great thing about the description is that rather than copying/pasting it every time you request a book, Edelweiss saves it so you can use it again for the next book.


After Getting Accepted

After that tumultuous journey, you may get an email in the near future saying you’ve been accepted or denied! (Hopefully the former) If denied, then you always resend your request… But I’d advise to use that option sparringly.

When I get a mass acceptance, I just go back to the Edelweiss home page and through the tabs Review Copies >> Requests to check out the books I’ve requested.

ew7

The color coding is pretty simple. Blue for unknown, green for YAY, red for NAY. From here you can click on the title and download to your heart’s content!

ew8

DRC files can be read with Adobe Digital Editions on PCs or Macs, and Bluefire Reader on smartphones. Additionally, Edelweiss can send it to your Kindle email, which you can read via Kindle app. A little side note that the address kindle@abovethetreeline.com must be added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List on Amazon to do so.

Finally, don’t forget to post a review of the book to send to the publisher after reading! You can also go on the Search button and find some old books to publish reviews on- who knows, maybe it’ll up the chance of you getting accepted!

ew9

Would also not advise writing the kind of review I did haha.

Once you’re done writing the review, or copy/pasta-ing it from your blog, hit “Submit to Publisher” and “Save” and be proud of yourself.

You have made it through the labyrinth of Edelweiss.


This post was fairly, fairly simple and pretty much shows the minimum requirement you need to know about requesting eARCs on Edelweiss. The best way to learn, however, is to go to the site and spend 10-20 minutes clicking on things and seeing where they lead.

Like I said before, a lot of stuff I clicked on seem like filler content I would never use, so I just ignore those and skip to the steps above.

ew10

Thanks so much guys for sticking with me, and good luck requesting! ❤

SBPT #7 : Starting a Revolution

Current Hosts of:

If you want more info on this awesome tour check it out here! Basically every Sunday for the summer I’ll be spotlighting a blogger because there are too many cool people out there that YOU need to know about.

This week is Amber and Jessica from The Book Bratz, or you may know them as the lovely ladies who hosted this blog tour! I asked them to do the Which YA Revolution Should You Join quiz on Epic Reads, and here are their results:


Jessica got: Fighting for District 13 from The Hunger Games!
 
Amber got: Revolutionary Order of the Wicked!

Some of the questions of the quiz include:
  • Who would you want fighting alongside you in the revolution?
  • Where’s your revolution headquarters?
  • What’s your role in the revolution?
  • Pick a Tom Cruise. (lol)
  • What are you fighting for?
  • What will you miss from your old life?
You should try the quiz too and share your results!
I got revolting against the queen in Red Queen!
Now about the hosts of this delightful tour:
Just two teenage girls who go by the names of Amber and Jessica. Our hobbies include reading books and fangirling about them on the Internet. 🙂
Check them out on their blog, Twitter, and Goodreads!