Fangirl Friday: Leaf Peeping & Book Shimmies

Fall has definitely arrived here in the North Country! The leaves are changing colors, the air is crisp and fresh, I can wear my big comfy sweaters and, most importantly, I get to read by the wood stove all cozy and warm. Yup…fall is most definitely in the air up here in Northern New England and it could very well be my favorite of the four seasons.

Over the past few days I have been pulling over to the side of the road and snapping some shots of the foliage by my home, and thought I would share some of my faves for Fangirl Friday!

Foliage 2
Foliage 3

Foliage 4

Isn’t it all just so gorgeous? Crazy part is that this is only about 30% of peak…so we have a little longer to go before we hit prime leaf peeping season! It’s times like this that I really appreciate the beauty of where I live! We may not have Starbucks and Target, but there ARE some pretty spectacular views!

All this crisp air and gorgeous scenery got me thinking of the fall season in general and I how excited I am about the new releases coming in October. Why yes, my brain DOES always default to books! Even when taking in gorgeous scenery like above! I cannot tell you how many times I’ve looked at the mountains from my back deck and thought about Alina and Mal searching for last of Morozova’s amplifiers or how cute it would be if Levi and Cath took a road trip through New England during foliage season!

ANWAY…there are a ton of amazing October releases coming up soon, so I thought I’d share those I’ve personally heard the most buzz about. Maybe one of your most anticipated books is on this list too?
cover images source: goodreads

cover images source: goodreads

The Young Elites by Marie Lu / Snow Like Ashes by Sarah Raasch / Talon by Julie Kawaga
Atlantia by Allie Condie / Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios
Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin / In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken
A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray / Not In the Script by Amy Finnegan
My True Love Gave to Me / Famous In Love by Rebecca Serle
pssst…I kind of cheated and snuck in A Thousand Pieces of You! It comes out on November 4th but I’m soooo excited about it I just had to include it in the list above. I mean, it’s close enough to October right?
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Waiting on…Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows

Soooo, we come to that point in the year where we start looking forward to 2015 releases! Which, to me, seems so far away, but in reality the first crop of 1025 releases are less than 4 months away! Can you believe it! I have soooo many 2015 books I’m waiting on, but  a lot of them don’t have covers yet. Thankfully, The Orphan Queen does…and it’s a beauty! Here’s a little sneak peek but you can see the full cover in all of it’s glory at the end of this post!

source: goodreads

source: goodreads

The Orphan Queen falls right into my wheelhouse with its fantasy roots and a female heroine bucking the norm! I’m super intrigued by the fact that Wilhemina doesn’t become a victim of circumstance and takes control of her destiny! Young readers, both male and female, need to see more heroines like this and any book that presents its female MCs like this is a winner to me! I’m looking forward to see how Wil’s storyline plays out.

***

source: goodreads

source: goodreads

The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
Expected publication: 3/10/15 by Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 300 | Pre-order this book

Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

Top Ten Books I’ll Be Reading This Fall

Fall is in the air up here in New England (more on that in my Fangirl Friday post this Friday) and thanks to this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic, I’ve started thinking about what books I’d like to snuggle up on the couch and read. Fall is my most favorite time of year and reading is one of my most favorite past times, so it’s really a win-win situation.

Source: The Broke and The Bookish

Source: The Broke and The Bookish

My first seven picks are currently all stand-alone novels or book one of a series where no other books have been released. Some of the books below are releasing this fall/early winter and some have been around for a bit, but ALL of them are must-reads for me this fall!

cover source: goodreads

cover source: goodreads

Suspicion by Alexandra Monir / Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios
Landline by Rainbow Rowell / The Walled City by Ryan Graudin / Winterspell by Claire Legrand
Boomerang by Noelle August / Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

Technically, the next set of books brings the total for my list this week to 13, so I’m kinnnnd of cheating! BUT…they’re part of a series so I couldn’t just one. I’ve already read the first book in each of the Robin LaFever and Susan Dennard books, so I’m totally anxious to read the rest! When I was at the Sarah J. Maas booking signing a few weeks ago she was totally gushing over The Darkest Minds series, so I immeditely added it to my TBR…no questions asked!

cover source: goodreads

cover source: goodreads

The Darkest Minds and Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken
Dark Triumph and Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers
A Darkness Strange and Lovely and Strange and Ever After by Susan Dennard

Your turn friends….what’s on your Fall reading list?

 

Review: Salt and Storm by Kendall Kulper

source: goodreads

source: goodreads

Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper
Publication: 9/23/14 by Little Brown
Pages: 416 | Format: eGalley
Purchase this book

A sweeping historical romance about a witch who foresees her own murder–and the one boy who can help change her future.

Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island’s whalers safe at sea, but her mother has forced her into a magic-free world of proper manners and respectability. When Avery dreams she’s to be murdered, she knows time is running out to unlock her magic and save herself.

Avery finds an unexpected ally in a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane–a sailor with magic of his own, who moves Avery in ways she never expected. Becoming a witch might stop her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers her magic requires a sacrifice she never prepared for.

***

I was provided with an ARC of this title by Little Brown & NetGalley
in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to both for the opportunity!

I’ve spent much of my life in New England and have always been keenly aware of the role whaling played in the formation of this area. American whaling originated in New England, giving shape to its industry, way of life and history. So many stories and legends permeate this part of the country and the release of Salt & Storm adds a brand new fictional and mystical twist on the lore of New England whaling. I strongly encourage you to read the Author’s Note regarding her research and development of this book, it provides some fascinating insight.

I was so thrilled when I found out I was approved for an ARC of Salt & Storm because I had heard a lot of buzz about it right around the time of BookExpo America and fell in love with the synopsis (see above). I always find it exciting when a debut author comes on the scene and the description of Kendall Kulper’s very first YA novel had me immediately intrigued.

Salt & Storm was very different from the other YA novels I have read recently; it’s got this mystical quality about it and the world-building is so intense that I was deeply drawn into the story. Some people may feel that the book is slow-paced, and I cannot disagree with that. What I can say, is that the slow pace of the story really allows the reader to get inside the book and live in it. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a New England girl and I am intimately familiar with salty, island life in this area, but Kulper’s writing put me right there on Prince Island among the locals.

Avery Roe is the main character and she is faced with a difficult truth,  to carry on her family’s legacy is to put herself in the path of unrelenting danger and destruction. I really enjoyed the legacy of the women in Avery’s family and found that history to be so painful but fascinating. The relationship Avery has with both her mother and her grandmother formed the basis of her character and continued to shape her throughout the novel. Watching her navigate the intricacies of each really helped me as a reader to understand where Avery’s motivations came from and the decisions she needed to make.

The introduction of Tane into Avery’s life allows her to dream of a life beyond the confines she has known. He provides answers to questions that have been haunting her, and also a kindred spirit to lean on.  They are immediately drawn to each other and discover that their lives are intimately entwined in a way neither of them expected. I really enjoyed the dynamic between Tane and Avery. Many times it teetered between desperation and devotion, but in the end it results in a relationship that brought them both to a sacred place.

Salt & Storm is a beautifully written book that weaves a story so magical and dream-like that is echoed the way in which Kulper writes. This book is filled with gorgeous passages and it truly felt like I was reading someone’s dreams and that Kulper’s purpose in her writing was to weave a spell around her reader. If you enjoy historical fiction mixed with fantasty, and descriptive world-building then I strongly encourage you to give this one a read. It’s mesmerizing.

Love It

Fangirl Friday: Fall Television Premieres

You know what this week kicked off right? The start of the fall television premiere season! I always love when this time of year rolls around because, I’ll admit, I’m a big television junkie! When I’m not reading you can usually find me on the couch watching one of my favorite shows. The great thing is that my husband and I have very similar tastes in tv so it’s a family affair to snuggle up on the couch after dinner to watch a show or two.

Buzzfeed had a great article earlier this week that outlined all the premiere dates of a bunch of returning and new shows. I was so inspired by the article that I decided to share with you some of the shows I am most looking forward to!

New Girl on Fox – Tuesday at 9pm
Premiered September 16

Source: fox.com/new-girl

Source: fox.com/new-girl

Last season was kind of “MEH” in my opinion but I’m still hanging in there with New Girl and hoping they turn it back around this season. The dynamic between the characters is what keeps me coming back for more and its goofy sense of humor is right up my alley. I absolutely adore Schmidt!

Gotham on Fox – Monday at 8pm
Premieres September 22

source: facebook.com/GOTHAMonFOX

source: facebook.com/GOTHAMonFOX

I started seeing the promos for this show sometime this summer and I was immediately intrigued! I am a sucker for an origin story and am a big fan of the Christopher Nolan Batman franchise, so I’m eagerly anticipating this one. Let’s just hope it lives up to the hype.

Sleepy Hollow on Fox – Monday at 9pm
Premieres September 22

source: fox.com/sleepy-hollow

source: fox.com/sleepy-hollow

Sleepy Hollow is one of those shows that never comes to top of mind when rattling off my favorites, but it’s a solid contender for me. The storyline and premise are unique and interesting, and I’m not going to lie, Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) sure is nice to look at. I really enjoy the chemistry between him and Abbie, and it’s nice to have a male and female lead that don’t immediately end up in bed together.

Big Bang Theory on CBS – Monday at 8pm
Premieres September 22

source: cbs.com

source: cbs.com

For THE.LONGEST time I swore off this show, with the only reason being is that it’s filmed in front of a live audience and I typically HATE when laughter is included in the audio. My husband FINALLY convinced me to give it a try and now we watch re-runs pretty much every night. Yes, I still find the “laugh track” annoying, but I’m willing to forgive it because the show is just sooooo funny! Jim Parsons as Sheldon is one of the very best comedic performances on television today.

Once Upon a Time on ABC – Sunday at 8pm
Premieres September 28

source: facebook.com/onceABC

source: facebook.com/onceABC

Once Upon A Time was a verrrrry slow burn for me. I mean, so slow that I initially HATED it. I thought it was super cheesy and horrible acting, and after only a few episodes I totally gave up. My husband, for some reason, liked it so I would usually just mess around on Twitter while he watched it. But, at some point last season I started getting sucked in and became totally hooked. I don’t know…I guess the show just found its groove? Oh, and speaking of hooked, he maaaaay be one of the reasons I watch the show.

Reign on The CW – Thursday at 9pm
Premieres October 2

source: facebook.com/cwreign

source: facebook.com/cwreign

Oh Reign, you stole my heart last fall and totally ran away with it. This drama filled historical fiction was pretty much made for me with its steamy romance, dangerous intrigue and amazing costumes. The fact that Anne (of Green Gables) plays the evil queen makes it that much better.

Walking Dead on AMC – Sunday at 9pm
Premieres October 12

source: amctv.com

source: amctv.com

OMG….this show! The very first episode was soooo intense and my stomach was in knots the whole time. I’m still not sure why I continued to watch it, I’m normally not one for blood and gore. I guess the character development is what really drew me in. This show also suffered from some serious low points over the years and there were times when I considered not watching anymore, but I just keep coming back. The last season ended with a huge bang so I have high hopes for next season.

Top Chef on Bravo – Wednesday at 1opm
Premieres October 15

source: bravotv.com

source: bravotv.com

Top Chef makes me wish I’d gone to culinary school! The dishes these chefs create are seriously amazing and I’m always left feeling hungry at the end of each episode. I really enjoy the production quality too…they manage to make everything look sexy!

There you have it! My television schedule for this fall. Do you see any of your favorites listed? Are there any shows missing that I MUST watch? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Waiting on….Lion Heart by A.C. Guaghen

I realllllly wish I could remember who recommended the Scarlet series to me. Because then I could shower them with my undying affection and constant gratitude! Seriously, I will be forever grateful to the person who first told me to read these books, so if you’re out there please come forward. I feel like a fool for not remembering the person who changed my life forever! 😉

I was immediately sucked into the world and characters A.C. created, and absolutely devoured the first two books.  This re-telling of the Robin Hood legend is fresh, intriguing and SO  gooooood! Scarlet is smart, stubborn, strong and fierce…basically a bad ass! There were times when it was hard for me to like her, but I knew her darker qualities come from her haunted past and the realities she’s facing. Scarlet is one of the most complex characters I have read and for that alone she will always be one of my very favorite female MCs.

Lion Heart is the third installment in the Scarlet series by A.C. Gaughen, and its anticipated release date is (are you ready for this, cause I’m not) MAY 19, 2015!! WHYYYY!!!

source: goodreads

source: goodreads

At the time of this positing a synopsis for Lion Heart was not available, but gahhhh, that cover is seriously gorgeous! You can learn more about the series at A.C.’s blog! Honestly, all you really need to know is that the series is phenomenal and, if you haven’t already, you MUST read the first two books immediately! Fans of Sarah J. Maas, Rae Carson and Robin LaFevers will adore this series as well!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

 

 

Top Ten…Authors I’ve Only Read One Book From

Another Tuesday…another awesome Top Ten topic to tell you all about! I always look forward to Top Ten Tuesday because it gives me the opportunity to share all of my bookish love and learn about so many great books!

click for source

click for source

This week we’re all sharing the author’s we’ve only read one book from but we most definitely want to read more!

source: goodreads

source: goodreads

Something Real by Heather Demetrios: This debut novel is such a treasure and one of my favorite books I’ve read this year. Patrick Sheldon is the ultimate!

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers: ACCCK…world-building, historical fiction/fantasy at its best! Plus…ASSASSIN NUNS…need I say more?

source: goodreads

source: goodreads

Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller: Oh Alex, you make my heart go pitter-patter. Love this story of a young girl struggling to re-define everything she ever knew.

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales: My heart broke for Elise in the book but it also filled me with so much hope! A great coming of age story about an unlikely heroine.

source: goodreads

source: goodreads

Dare You To by Katie McGarry: Ohhh girlll, Katie McGarry knows how to write steamy romance. I loved the tension and build up of this one.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: What can I say about Outlander that hasn’t already been said! Jamie Fraser is the ULTIMATE book boyfriend and I’m disappointed in MYSELF that I haven’t read the other books.

source: goodreads

source: goodreads

Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin: This one releases October 7 but I was lucky enough to read an ARC and I LOVED it! I am a sucker for royal intrigue and romance, and the female MC has an amazing character progression. I cannot wait for the next book to see what happens to Sophie!

Salt and Storm by Kendall Kulper: Another upcoming release (9/23) that I am excited about. I’m currently about halfway through the ARC of Salt and Storm and the world building has seriously swept me away. Such a vivid and gorgeous tale of a young woman struggling to write her own history.

source: goodreads

source: goodreads

The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler: This book broke my heart and then put it back together again. If this book is any indication of the rest of Sarah Ockler’s books I really need to read them ASAP!

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard: One of my very faves of 2014! Everything about Something Strange and Deadly was perfect for me. The romance, the intrigue, the creep-factor…I LOVED it all! Definitely making room in my reading schedule soon for the other two books in this series!

Share your thoughts! Have you read any of the books and loved them? Do you see any of your favorites here?