Sunday, December 27, 2015

5 Star ARC HarperTeen Review: The Great Hunt (Wendy Higgins)

The Great HuntHardcover, 416 pages
Expected publication: March 8th 2016 Publisher: HarperTeen

Author: Wendy Higgins

Kill the beast. Win the girl.
A strange beast stirs fear in the kingdom of Lochlanach, terrorizing towns with its brutality and hunger. In an act of desperation, a proclamation is sent to all of Eurona—kill the creature and win the ultimate prize: the daughter of King Lochson’s hand in marriage.
Princess Aerity understands her duty to the kingdom though it pains her to imagine marrying a stranger. It would be foolish to set her sights on any particular man in the great hunt, but when a brooding local hunter, Paxton Seabolt, catches her attention, there’s no denying the unspoken lure between them…or his mysterious resentment.
Paxton is not keen on marriage. Nor does he care much for spoiled royals and their arcane laws. He’s determined to keep his focus on the task at hand—ridding the kingdom of the beast and protecting his family—yet Princess Aerity continues to challenge his notions with her unpredictability and charm. But as past secrets collide with present desires, dire choices threaten everything Paxton holds dear.
Inspired by the Grimm Brothers’ tale, “The Singing Bone,” New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins delivers a dark fantasy filled with rugged hunters, romantic tension, outlawed magic, and a princess willing to risk all to save her people. 

Wendy Higgins
Wendy Higgins is the USA Today and NY Times bestselling author of the SWEET EVIL series from HarperTeen, the high fantasy duology THE GREAT HUNT, and her independently published Irish Fantasy SEE ME.
After earning a Creative Writing degree from George Mason University and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Radford, Wendy taught high school English until achieving her dream job as a full-time writer.Wend lives on the Eastern Shore of Virginia with her husband, daughter, son, and little doggie Rue.               

"The truth of everything began to soak into her,  like rain, each drop speaking to her.....

A stranger.

A hunter.

Your husband. 

Overwhelmed, she turned and gathered her skirts, forcing her chin to remain up as she walked steadily from the High Hall."

Where do I start? Wendy Higgins is by far one of my most favorite authors that I have ever read. Her writing is beautiful, intricate, and holds my attention until the last page. Every book that she has ever written has just been phenomenal. I open the first page and literally cannot put the book down until the very last page. Another thing that makes me love Wendy Higgins so much is that she is all about her fans! She is a hands-on author that responds to reader questions and keeps in touch with all her fans thru her fan pages. I have such high respect for authors that show love to their fans!!! 

So when I saw that Wendy was coming out with a new duology....I literally screamed I was so happy!! and that cover??? I mean seriously?? What a perfect cover to reflect a high fantasy themed story. Absolutely love it. 

The Great Hunt is a high fantasy story with intense action scenes, swoon-worthy romance, and spell-binding magic intertwined into this exceptional story about a kingdom being attacked by a great beast that cannot be killed. The king of the lands has almost given up all hope of the beast being killed until he decides to offer a proclamation that whichever hunter kills the beast....will get the hand of his eldest daughter in marriage. Hunters come from all over to compete and kill the beast and win the hand of the beautiful Princess Aerity. 

"Its face was as ugly as a boar's. Tusks curled up around a dripping snout, 

sharp teeth shining. Its beady eyes eerily caught the moon's reflection. 

Everything about its stance and posture screamed feral. Deadly. Impossible."

One of my favorite parts about this book is that the story does not solely focus on one or two characters but yet several relationships are forming and they are all equally fascinating and mesmerizing. 

Although there are several relationships building within this story....Paxton and Aerity are my favorite. Aerity is so innocent and full of heart and love ....and Paxton has such a rough exterior with a protected heart and will let no one in. 

"Aerity was overwhelmed and could only cling to him, her eyes stinging with

emotion as she soaked in all he'd held back, all he'd tried to keep hidden. She 

hadn't been a fool after all---he'd felt this thing between them as much as she 


I absolutely loved the world-building..... the lush forests and surrounding waters that made me think of Ireland in the times of Kings and Queens. 

The Great Hunt is such a fascinating story filled with magic and breath-taking romance. There are people throughout the kingdom whom are called "the Lashed" because they have magical powers which make them dangerous in the eyes of the King. The people of the kingdom that are "lashed" have to keep themselves secret in order to live within the kingdom and not be exiled. 

The Great Hunt has it all......secrets, magic, royalty, betrayal, romance, and evil. I was completely and utterly obsessed with this book from the first page to the last. Wendy Higgins writing is so enthralling and beautifully written that I felt as though I was in the book living each moment with these fascinating characters!!! I cannot wait to get my hands on the conclusion and get all the answers to my questions!!!!

Where did this Beast come from? Who will kill him and win the Princess's hand? What are the secrets behind the mystery of the beast? Who will truly win Aerity's heart?

**The quotes from this book have been taken from an Advanced Reading Copy and are subject to change when the final book is printed. Please refer to the final, finished copy for exact quotes!**

**I want to say Thank You to Harper Teen for the opportunity to review this  book!!**

YA Reads Book Blitz, Excerpt, & Giveaway:

childrens horrible house n jane quackenbush book blitz banner

ChildrensHH Cover_5.25x8.indd
The Children’s Horrible House by N. Jane Quackenbush Published on November 10th, 2015 Published by Smashwords Edition Genre: Middlegrade Chapter Book Goodreads: Amazon: Smashwords: Holly Spinatsch, a curious and rebellious tomboy, was forewarned by her siblings that if she didn’t make her bed, she would be taken away to The Children’s Horrible House…and indeed she was. On her search for kinship in this seemingly haunted jail like mansion, she discovers a mystery lurking and breathing, crying out for discovery. However, when she and her friends attempt to solve the mystery, they are only left with more questions.   

N Jane Quackenbush
    N. Jane Quackenbush is a graduate of Palm Beach Atlantic University. She lives in a horrible house filled with mystery and fun in St. Augustine, Florida, a place she finds a lot of material by which she is inspired. Many places mentioned in her books are based on actual haunted buildings, star-filled planetariums and magical gardens deep within The Nation’s Oldest City. N. Jane Quackenbush has also written the following Children’s Picture Books: The Rocket Ship Bed Trip The Pirate Ship Bed Trip The Afternoon Moon and many more books in the works!   

It was still dark when we were let out in front of a huge flaming gate. Well, the gate wasn’t actually flaming, but on each side, a gas lantern was lit and with the smudges on my eternally foggy glasses, it made the gate appear ablaze. The shiny black metal not only reflected the flames, but it seemed to make the whole gate glow in unison with the flickering flames. A very tall brick wall covered in thorny bushes grew even higher than the wall, spreading out of sight in both directions. Major Whoopins punched in a code that opened the gates.
We proceeded down a long black driveway lined with spooky cowering trees offering a creepy welcome. Ahead I saw a building. Even though it was still not quite morning, the sun had started to peak over the horizon giving us just the right light to see. It was a three-story maroon colored mansion that looked like it could either be a haunted Victorian house or the fanciest jail ever constructed. I wasn’t sure. It looked like a jail because it had bars on the windows, but it also looked like a fancy house because it had white painted porches on the first two stories. The roof line was very steep and had a couple of chimney stacks. The front right side of the building had a square turret that made it look nice, but frightening. At the top of the turret, I noticed a bar-less window with lace curtains. As I stared, I felt someone staring back. A woman’s form moved from behind the curtain, and then she was gone.
“Who was that?” I asked, mostly to myself, but I guess Major Whoopins heard me because he answered me saying in a thick, gruff voice, “You’d best mind yo’ own bidness and you gonna git along just fine, ya’ hear?”
“Yes, sir!” I said hoping to stay on his good side. He gave me a reluctant smile but I saw it.
“See that door?” he asked. “You go on and git up there and wait fo’ Mr. Ree.”
Who was Mr. Ree? I wondered.

Friday, December 25, 2015

My Most Anticipated Books of 2016!!!!!!

I am so excited to be a part of this celebration again this year! I look forward to this every year and can't wait to share my choices with everyone!!! Each day the participating blogs will post their choices for the Top Ten theme for that day. Please make sure and check out all the participating blogs and their choices!!! 

My Most Anticipated Books of 2016

Riders (Riders, #1)

Burning Glass

Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2)

Wink Poppy Midnight

The Rose and the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn, #2)

The Impostor Queen (Untitled, #1)

The Last Harvest (Kim Liggett)

No Cover Available Yet

and my most anticipated book of 2016 so far 

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)

Top 10 of 2015

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Top Ten Best Book Boyfriends of 2015

I am so excited to be a part of this celebration again this year! I look forward to this every year and can't wait to share my choices with everyone!!! Each day the participating blogs will post their choices for the Top Ten theme for that day. Please make sure and check out all the participating blogs and their choices!!! 


Reign of Shadows (Sophie Jordan)


Reign of Shadows (Reign of Shadows, #1)

Persuasion (The Heirs of Watson Island, #2)

Blood and Salt (Blood and Salt, #1)

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)


Endure (Defy, #3)


The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4)

and my FAVORITE book boyfriend of 2015

Sweet Temptation (The Sweet Trilogy, #4)

Top 10 of 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Rockstar Book Tours Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: This Raging Light (Estelle Laure)

I am so excited that THIS RAGING LIGHT by Estelle Laure releases today and that I get to share the news!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Estelle Laure, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a finished copy of the book and a bottle of nail polish that matches the cover courtesy of Estelle, HMH, and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

Author: Estelle Laure
Release Date: December 22nd, 2015
Pages: 288
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
"A funny, poetic, big-hearted reminder that life can—and will—take us all by surprise.” —Jennifer E. Smith, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Can the best thing happen at the worst time?

Her dad went crazy. Her mom left town. She has bills to pay and a little sister to look after. Now is not the time for level-headed seventeen-year-old Lucille to fall in love. But love—messy, inconvenient love—is what she’s about to experience when she falls for Digby Jones, her best friend’s brother. With blazing longing that builds to a fever pitch, Estelle Laure’s soulful debut will keep readers hooked and hoping until the very last page.

Exclusive Excerpt:

When Wrenny and I roll up the hill to Eden’s house in Mom’s ancient Corolla, Digby and his dad, John, are outside playing basketball, and I want to get in the house as fast as possible,
because otherwise I might be trapped here all day, staring. I get a little twinge of something seeing a dad and his kid playing ball like dads and kids are supposed to. That’s a real
thing, and my hand wants to cover Wren’s face so she can’t see all that she is missing.
Which reminds me. “Wren.”
“Yeah?” She’s wiping at her shirt, reading a book on her lap, and she’s a little bit filthy, her hair greasy and knotty in spite of my efforts this morning. At some point the braids came out, and she’s reverted to wild.
“You know how Mom hasn’t been around lately?”
She stops. Tightens. “Yeah,” she says.
“Well, we don’t want anyone to know about that, okay?
Even Janie and Eden and Digby and John.”
“But Mom’s on vacation. She’s getting her head together. She’s coming back.”
“Okay, yes,” I say, “but still. We don’t want to tell anyone, because they might not understand that. They might get the wrong idea.”
“Like that she left us permanently?” There is so much more going on inside that Wrenny-head than I can ever know.
“Maybe, or at least for longer than she was supposed to.” I reach for the handle to the door because I can’t look at her. “Someone might think that.”
“She didn’t, though,” she says. “She’s Mom.”
“Of course she didn’t.” Lie.
“So who cares what anyone thinks?”
“Wren, just don’t, okay?”
“Some things are private.” I open the door, then lean back across and wipe uselessly at her shirt with my thumb. “Like Mom being on vacation. So, okay?”
“I said okay, okay?” She gets out and waits, stares at me like I’m the most aggravating person on earth. “Hey, Lu?”
“Yeah?” I say, bracing myself for what’s next.
“Your mama’s so fat, she left the house in high heels and came back in flip-flops.”
I would tell her that I hate her new obsession with fat jokes, but I’m not in the mood for any dawdling, so I half laugh and get moving. I want to get inside and quick because there’s also the other thing. And by “other” I mean what makes me sweat just standing here. And by “thing” I mean Digby, who I have known since I was seven but who lately makes a fumbling moronic moron out of me, a full-on halfwit. Ask me my name when I’m in his presence and I’m not likely to be able to tell you. I’d probably just say, “Lllll . . . lllllllu . . .” and you’d have to catch the drool running down my chin.
I know. It’s not at all attractive.
But really. Tall, sweaty, and not wearing a shirt, so the muscles are all right there for the watching. He doesn’t exactly glisten, on account of the fact that he’s whiter than white, that he tans by getting freckles so he’s covered in them now after a whole summer outside. But seeing his hair all plastered to his forehead, his body so long and lean, looping around his dad to get the ball into the hoop, I want to fall out of the car and onto my knees in the driveway, say Lord have mercy, hallelujah, write sonnets and paint him, and worship that one little curve where his neck meets his shoulder that is just so, so perfect.
He is beautiful.
Which is why when he says hi as I pass him, I barely raise a pinky in response. There are two main problems here, aside from the fact that he is Eden’s twin and that’s all kinds of weird.
One, he’s had the same girlfriend since the dawn of time. They’re pinned, she wears his jacket, their marriage certificate is practically already signed. Angels bless their freakin’ union. And two, if I ever did get a chance with him, like if he ever kissed me or something, I would die of implosion. I know I sound like a twelve-year-old mooning over some celebrity, and not the extremely self-possessed woman-tobe that I actually am, but something about him makes me lose my mind. Something about the way he moves, about his himness — it shatters me all the way down. So I hope he never does kiss me. That would be nothing but a disaster. No one needs to see me fall apart like that. Least of all him.
Actually, maybe least of all me.

Estelle Laure is a Vonnegut worshipper who believes in love and magic and the power of facing hard truths. She has a BA in Theater Arts from New Mexico State University and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and thinks everyone should have to wait tables or work in a kitchen at least once in their lives. She lives in Taos, New Mexico with her children.

Giveaway Details:
1 winner will receive a hardcover of THIS RAGING LIGHT and a bottle of Essie Nail Polish that matched the book cover. US Only.

Ends on December 31st at Midnight EST!

Top Ten Best YA Debuts of 2015

I am so excited to be a part of this celebration again this year! I look forward to this every year and can't wait to share my choices with everyone!!! Each day the participating blogs will post their choices for the Top Ten theme for that day. Please make sure and check out all the participating blogs and their choices!!! 


Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Blood and Salt (Blood and Salt, #1)


An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)

My Heart and Other Black Holes

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)

The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight, #1)

The Sin Eater’s Daughter (The Sin Eater’s Daughter, #1)

and my FAVORITE YA debut book of 2015

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)

Top 10 of 2015