Saturday, January 31, 2015

{Review/Giveaway/Gift w/Autographed Pre-Order!} ALL THAT BURNS by Ryan Graudin

Follow the Blog Tour for guest posts, reviews, and more!

Check out my review of the first book, ALL THAT GLOWS!

Keep reading for your chance to win an autographed copy of ALL THAT BURNS!

Ryan Graudin is doing a preorder special through her local indie Blue Bicycle Books. 

You can pre-order a signed copy of ALL THAT BURNS and get a free ALL THAT BURNS tea (a ginger plum flavored black tea). Don’t miss this special offer! 

Click here to pre-order a signed copy of ALL THAT BURNS!

(They'll probably also let you order a signed copy of ALL THAT GLOWS, but double-check! You won't get the special tea, but you WILL get a signed book!)

O P E N I N G   L I N E:

    ONCE UPON A TIME, THERE was a king who fell in love with a Faery.
    He gave her his heart and she gave him her immortality.
    Together they built a kingdom--of stone and magic and legend--and they lived happily there.
    But their happiness did not last forever. Nothing does, after all.
    In the shadows I watched and waited.
    The Faery's heart slipped away to another.
    The king's kingdom burned.
(pg 7, US e-ARC edition)

Without a doubt, Ryan Graudin has stepped it up a notch with her latest novel ALL THAT BURNS, the thrilling sequel to ALL THAT GLOWS. The book moves much faster than its predecessor, and I read it in one sitting. It cleared up everything I hoped it would and added more depth to the story. There was also a lot more action and adventure center around mythology and the return of dangerous magic, which really intrigued me.

The following summary has spoilers for Book I:

Emrys has made her decision and giving up immortality to stand at King Richard's side. Together, the two are working to bring mortals and the fae together. There are a lot of plans in place such as Lights-down to reduce reliance on technology and become more harmonious with the fae. But there are a lot of mortals uneasy with this decision who think the fae are monsters and want to wipe them out. When an ancient fae prisoner breaks free and goes missing, a dangerous game of cat and mouse begins. King Richard is kidnapped and his naysayers are quick to rise to power and shun the fae. Has Emrys given up her magic and immortality just to die now without accomplishing anything and receiving her Happily Ever After?

Okay, you're leaving the spoiler zone now! ^.~

I loved the way Arthurian legend played into ALL THAT BURNS. One of my issues--which I knew would be an issue going into the first book--is that I don't read many novels featuring fae. But myths and retellings? You know that's where my heart lies! I really liked the way the past wove itself into the present and came together. The mystery and intrigue kept me changing pages and wanting to know more. There's also the introduction of the Ad-hene, which, after a quick Google search, aren't original creations, but I'd never heard of them before and thought they were original and added intrigue to the plot. I also liked exploring the concept of faagailagh, the state Emrys is now in after giving up her immortality for Richard, comparable to Guinevere of legend, who became faagailagh for Richard. There were so many interesting elements that wove the story together and made it intriguing to me.

One of my issues with the first book was all the insta-love. ALL THAT BURNS takes place a while after ALL THAT GLOWS, so Richard and Emrys have had a chance to get to know each other better. They know what they're fighting for. Richard is kidnapped early on in the novel and isn't present much, so rather than a lot of lovey-dovey moments, readers have the chance to finally explore Emrys' mind. They see her rationale behind what she gave up, what she wants, how much she cares for Richard, her struggle with her decision. With Richard out of the picture for so much of the novel, there's also a large focus on Emrys and Richard's sister Princess Anabelle to save Richard, uncover dangerous plots, and be heroines. I loved seeing these two females take the spotlight.

I didn't find as many metaphors in ALL THAT GLOWS, which is an issue many readers have had with her books in the past. Her writing is tighter and Emrys is so much less whiny this time around. I really found myself connecting with her and blew through the novel much faster than I thought I would. ALL THAT BURNS was originally a stand-alone, but open-ended enough to leave room for a sequel. ALL THAT BURNS ends on the same note. There are a couple of threads that could be tugged open for a new story, but it's ended in a satisfying way. While with ALL THAT GLOWS, I wasn't immediately eager to move on to another book, I fell much harder for the world of ALL THAT BURNS, and if Graudin comes out with a third book in the series, I'll definitely be interested in reading it.

Read the first 82 pages of Book One, ALL THAT BURNS, 




Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: PG15 ( kissing; innuendo; mention of sex; nothing explicit shown, but heavy making out  )
Language: PG ( sexual innuendo )
Violence: PG13 ( Death through war; royal assassination )
Other:  ( underage drinking )
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I pretty much have the same thoughts on both covers:

I really like the title treatment. I want that fount. I love the slope of the A and the T and the way the B hooks into the R. Especially that hook. The bottom slopes into the author's name so nicely and makes it look like a curlique effect if you're not paying attention. So lovely!

The picture itself... *shrug* I wouldn't have known this was a fae novel looking at the cover. The coloring is nice and soft, and I like the blend of nature with the modern appearance of the girl, since that's all important in the novel, but it doesn't scream fae or fantasy to me.
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Ryan Graudin
Release Date: Feb. 10, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Received: For Review
Buy Links:
Amazon | B&N | iTunesBook DepositoryKobo

In this thrilling sequel to ALL THAT GLOWS, the worlds of magic and mortal are colliding as London celebrates its new king, marking an era of unity between the Faery realm and the human one. 

Emrys, the Faery guard to the British royal family, sacrificed her powers to be with King Richard, choosing love over immortality. But now, as Emrys struggles to navigate her place between the Faery queen’s court and London’s lavish galas, danger looms beyond the Thames.

When a prisoner with dark, strange magic breaks out of Queen Titania’s labyrinthine prison, endangering Emrys's king and sparking an uprising, Emrys must make the hardest decision of all.

Will she reclaim her magic to save Richard’s life and lose him forever? Or stay powerless as the kingdom goes down in flames? 

Author Ryan Graudin

My name is Ryan and I've been writing ever since I grabbed one of my dad's old tax ledgers and created this masterpiece: see image.

My writing has since improved, though my obsession with wolves has remained relatively the same (I even own a wolf-hybrid pup.) My childhood was a happy, sunny thing. I grew up on a steady diet of fairytales, salt-marshes, music and brothers who would re-enact Redwall battles with me in the back yard. I went to an artsy sort of high-school that allowed cello recitals in the hallways and impromptu poetry slams in the cafeteria. It was there I decided that writing was what I wanted to do more than anything.

I'm officially a grownup now (I suppose one must admit that once they turn 26). My diet still includes fairytales, salt-marshes and art, but there are a few new loves thrown in. A big one is travel. Pieces of my heart are scattered like breadcrumbs all over the globe--I've bartered them off for writing inspiration, so I suppose it's a fair trade.

When I'm not cramming my earthly belongings into a backpack and waiting in airport security lines, I'm doing one of the following: Writing YA novels, Photographing weddings with my husband, Making our little white cottage more homey, Playing with my wolf pup, Trying out Korean récipes, Haunting local coffee shops with my friends.


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Win (1) of (2) signed copies of ALL THAT BURNS by Ryan Graudin!

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Friday, January 30, 2015

{Exclusive Short Story+Review+Autographed Book Giveaway} TWIN ROSES [A Fairy Tale] by Sarah Cross and the final part of the tour-exclusive novella "Three Nights, Twelve Princesses, One Curse!"

Follow the Blog Tour for guest posts, reviews, and more!

Tour Schedule:
Week One:
1/19/2015- Two Chicks on BooksStory Post
1/20/2015- Crossroad ReviewsSpotlight Post
1/21/2015- Magical Urban Fantasy ReadsStory Post
1/22/2015- Bumbles and Fairy-TalesReview
1/23/2015- Tales of the Ravenous ReaderStory Post                                                                    

Week Two:
1/26/2015- Jump Into BooksReview
1/27/2015- Du LivreStory Post
1/28/2015- Head Stuck In A BookReview
1/29/2015- A Glass of WineStory Post
1/30/2015- A Backwards StoryStory Post and Review of the novella TWIN ROSES

The first book about the world of Beau Rivage,
is on sale for


as an ebook! 

What a great deal!!!

Today, you get a special treat...

I'm both reviewing the novella TWIN ROSES and sharing the final part in a new novella from Sarah Cross,
 "Three Nights, Twelve Princesses, One Curse,"
which is being shared exclusively through these tour stops.

Check out parts 1-5 here:

PART ONE - Two Chicks on Books
PART TWO - Magical Urban Fantasy Reads 
PART THREE - Tales of the Ravenous Reader 
PART FOUR - Du Livre 
PART FIVE - A Glass of Wine 
PART SIX - A Backwards Story 

And now, get ready to read the final part of
"Three Nights, Twelve Princesses, One Curse!"

And now, my review of TWIN ROSES!  

O P E N I N G   L I N E:

    TWIN ROSES CAFÉ WAS KNOWN by its two signature rose trees: white roses bloomed to the left of the door, red roses to the right. Inside, the floor was painted cherry red; the walls were white with a mural of black roses, castles, and crowned bears in silhouette. Vanilla cupcakes went on one side of the pastry case, red velvet on the other. There were crown-shaped sugar cookies, white chocolate and cranberry scones, lattes topped with foam roses.
    When you did a fairy-tale theme in Beau Rivage, you did it all the way.
    Ruby Ramble brewed coffee and chatted with customers while her twin sister, Pearl, mixed batter and shaped cookies in the kitchen. The sisters' curse had inspired the theme for their mother's café, and they were as much a part of the atmosphere as the decor. Ruby with her bright red lipstick, Pearl with the dusting of flour on her braided hair and dark brown skin. 
(pg. 6, US e-book edition)

I've previously reviewed the first novel set in Beau Rivage, KILL ME SOFTLY. as well as the brand-new companion novel TEAR YOU APART. In fact, you can enter a SECOND contest to win a signed copy of TYA for 3 more days! Enter again below for a second chance!

I've also reviewed the FREE online novella about Beau Rivage, AFTER THE BALL. The main characters from this one made a fun cameo!

Author Sarah Cross has also created some fun guest posts for Fairy Tale Fortnight and Splash into Summer that you can read now: The Fairy Tale Princess You Don't Want to Be, White as Snow, Red as Blood, Perfect for a Retelling (This one is about TEAR YOU APART!), Edible Mermaids: Ningyo and Rumiko Takahashi's Mermaid Saga

There can never be too many books set in the world of Beau Rivage. I feel very spoiled lately, because Sarah Cross came out with two new stories back to back. After reading KILL ME SOFTLY when it first came out, I found the free novella "After the Ball" on Cross' website. And then...nothing. Last month, Cross released a brand-new novella, "Twin Roses," and this month, a new full-length novel, TEAR YOU APART. During this blog tour, we've been given another new novella, which I'm lucky enough to share with you today (See above). I hope Cross continues to come out with new novels and novellas set in this world, even if she self-publishes them after this month's news that Egmont USA is closing its doors. (Especially Beauty and the Beast. I need one after all these hints!)

TWIN ROSES is the most traditional of all the Beau Rivage stories I've encountered so far. It alao has the least amount of darkness. It explores Happily Ever After, when curses work just as they should. But at the same time, it explores more nuanced themes, as I've come to expect from Cross. In the tale of Snow White and Rose Red, though both sisters befriend a bear (who is, in truth, a cursed prince), only one of the sisters, Snow White, can live Happily Ever After with him after the enchantment ends. Rose Red is granted the consolation prize of marrying the bear prince's brother. Both sisters become princesses and live Happily Ever After. But can it be Happily Ever After if only one sister wins her childhood friend's heart?

Pearl and Ruby Ramble are twins who share everything. Their mother trained them to always share, and there's nothing that doesn't belong to both of them, not even their childhood bear friend. But as they grow older and their fairy tale ending is upon them, there's one thing they can't share: The heart of a prince. Will the sisters let the promise of Happily Ever After come between them?

Cross gives readers Happily Ever After in the most traditional sense, while also exploring the hearts and desires of the secondary characters so often left behind in fairy tales. We never think twice about their wishes, and all of that is turned upside down. What is Happily Ever After? Is it more important than family?

If you're looking for a quick fairy tale read rooted in tradition and set in the enchanting world of Beau Rivage, TWIN ROSES won't disappointed. It can easily be read in one sitting, and there are nods to a few characters previously met in various other Beau Rivage stories (introduced in a spoiler-free way!). I also loved the idea of a themed café. I already wish Beau Rivage was a real place...but now I really do because I want to visit the Ramble family's amazing café! The atmosphere in this short story is lovely and imaginative.

I really love how every Beau Rivage story from Cross has new themes to explore, and digs into the truth behind Happily Ever After and whether or not the notion is sustainable in today's world. I can't wait to see what elements Cross introduces us to next! 

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: G ( Very tame! Mild touching  )
Language: --
Violence: G ( A mild scene with a dwarf getting into trouble )
Other:  --
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I like that the curly leaves and thorns were brought back from the KILL ME SOFTLY and TEAR YOU APART covers, which ties them all together and adds a pretty, fairy tale-esque touch to the cover. 

The inclusion of the two roses is very appropriate and works well for the story's contents.
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Sarah Cross
Release Date: December 9, 2014
Publisher: Egmont USA
Received: Purchased

A modern retelling of Snow White and Rose Red in the world of KILL ME SOFTLY and TEAR YOU APART for fans of Once Upon a Time and Maleficent.

Pearl and Ruby have always shared everything, including their Snow White and Rose Red curse. When they were little kids, that meant sharing Pop-Tarts and cartoons with Theo, the enchanted bear prince who came to visit them every winter, and then disappeared from their lives.

And at seventeen, sharing is still their way of life—clothes, double dates, part-time jobs at their mom’s cafe, Twin Roses.

And then the harbinger of the second half of their curse shows up—the annoying man who caused the bear prince to be cursed in the first place who they must help if their prince—their fated love—is to return to their lives in human form, and they’re ecstatic.

But the sisters forgot one little detail. There are two of them, and only one Theo. And now only one of the sisters can have the happy ending.

Author: Sarah Cross
Release Date: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Egmont USA

An edgy fairy tale retelling of Snow White set in the world of KILL ME SOFTLY for fans of Once Upon a Time and Grimm.

Faced with a possible loophole to her "Snow White" curse, Viv goes underground, literally, to find the prince who's fated to rescue her. But is life safe in the Underworld worth the price of sacrficing the love that might kill her? 

POP CULTURE CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF TWISTING FAIRY TALES: ABC's Once Upon a Time and NBC's Grimm continue to pull in high ratings. And with the anticipated Angelina Jolie Maleficent (2014), the film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods (2014), and Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella (2015), Hollywood is infected with fairy tale fever.

CAMEOS FROM FAVORITE CHARACTERS: Viv, who first appeared in KILL ME SOFTLY trailed by her brooding boy-toy Henley, takes center stage in this new Beau Rivage tale. Other familiar characters including Blue and Jewel are back to help her defy her destiny.

TEENS LOVE THIS FAIRY TALE WORLD: KILL ME SOFTLY was a 2013 YALSA Teens' Top 10. Readers have been clamoring for a sequel.

A FRESH TAKE ON THE FAMILIAR: Drawing on Snow White, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, and Rumpelstiltskin, TEAR YOU APART is very conscious of the way these stories have pervaded pop culture, twisting known tropes into an exciting new story that can stand on its own.

Author Sarah Cross

Sarah Cross is the author of the fairy tale novels KILL ME SOFTLY and TEAR YOU APART, the superhero novel DULL BOY, and the Wolverine comic "The Adamantium Diaries." She loves fairy tales, lowbrow art, secret identities and silence.


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Win (1) of TEN signed copies of TEAR YOU APART by Sarah Cross

US/Canada Only.

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