Crown Of Coral & Pearl Mara Rutherford: Spoiler Free Review

Hello, lovely people of the internet! I am back and of course, it’s a review post because your girl has been in a blogging slump and I can’t think of any creative post… So I shall stick to what I know shall we lol! Today we are reviewing Crown Of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford and I would like to thank Netgalley for providing the Earc to me! This book is set to be released on August 27th, 2019 and as always all opinions are my own.

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For generations, the princes of Ilara have married the most beautiful maidens from the ocean village of Varenia. But though every girl longs to be chosen as the next princess, the cost of becoming royalty is higher than any of them could ever imagine…

Nor once dreamed of seeing the wondrous wealth and beauty of Ilara, the kingdom that’s ruled her village for as long as anyone can remember. But when a childhood accident left her with a permanent scar, it became clear that her identical twin sister, Zadie, would likely be chosen to marry the Crown Prince—while Nor remained behind, unable to ever set foot on land.

Then Zadie is gravely injured, and Nor is sent to Ilara in her place. To Nor’s dismay, her future husband, Prince Ceren, is as forbidding and cold as his home—a castle carved into a mountain and devoid of sunlight. And as she grows closer to Ceren’s brother, the charming Prince Talin, Nor uncovers startling truths about a failing royal bloodline, a murdered queen… and a plot to destroy the home she was once so eager to leave.

In order to save her people, Nor must learn to negotiate the treacherous protocols of a court where lies reign and obsession rules. But discovering her own formidable strength may be the one move that costs her everything: the crown, Varenia, and Zadie.”

Okay so Nor she’s stubborn, a bit outgoing, and I will say for sure indecisive but none of these things are particularly bad. Nor grew up in a society where beauty is everything all the pressure is on how good a girl looks and if she’ll get chosen in the ceremony to hopefully become queen. Do I feel like there were points in this story that Nor’s thinking is just soooo everywhere….. Yes, yes I do lol I had moments with this book I was like omg girl please make up your mind lol like be on one side or another. I understand she was trying to figure things out but it was just a bit much for me. Her character development though was okayish it was there but it wasn’t like anything major but I do feel like she gained more confidence in herself, yes that counts for something. During the end of the book, I felt that’s when I truly connected to Nor because during the beginning she would talk about her twin so much I honestly confused their names especially when she got to the castle. Plus she was so caught up in acting as her sister so much she lost herself a bit, but then she remembered who she was and what she is capable of and to be honest that changed the game a little bit.

Nor and Zadie’s relationship was very sweet, cute and genuine you could see the twin sister love and I appreciated it so much. I believe this is also a first for me reading about twins and a fun fact the author is a triplet so I feel like that added to the story. I could tell that Nor would do anything for Zadie no matter what the cost and how it might alter her life. Personally, there were times where I felt like Nor loved Zadie more in a way that she was willing to take the extra mile for her at all times and I didn’t always feel like Zadie would do that for Nor. Which was at first a little odd for me but then I realized with their different personalities that I can see Nor more of the protector emotionally and physically for Zadie. Now I will say Nor did get jealous with things Zadie had going on her life and that’s all I’m going to say because anything else is kinda spoilery in my eyes, but what I will say is if you read the book you know what I mean. Like I said the love have each other is real I just question certain things that had happened between them.

I have nothing to say about any relationship in this book because I’m not sure if I really care about any of them lol. It’s not a bad thing but just for once the plot fascinated me more than the romance aspect, and we all know I am a hopeless romantic but in this one, it piqued my interest for a little bit but than after that not so much. I am a tad curious to see if it pans out well in the next book but it’s not something I am going to really look for.

Overall I am interested in the plot, the magic system, and how our leading lady is going to fix everything she stumbled upon. What I will say is that I hope it gets stronger in a sense that Mara’s writing evolves because I feel like the concept of this book is really great and it did give me very tiny Little Mermaid vibes. I do hope that this is a trilogy and not a duology because like I said I feel like this story outline is very promising. I did have my issues with this book though between how Zadie would act and there were points in the book it was not to exciting was happening, it was a lot of info-dumping, and the fact I got confused with the main characters name. Also, the ending was good but it was rushed in my eyes I felt like if it were done in a much slower paste it would’ve been perfect for me but everything happened to fast and kinda wrapped up a but to cleanly for a book that is supposed to have more to it. But like I said the magic aspect does intrigue me and what could happen that makes me wanna know. This book is the perfect example of the famous quote “The grass isn’t always greener on the other side” if you can handle a book that is slow-paced at times but has a unique magic system then I think you will enjoy this book. Overall I give this three stars not a bad three stars just an average, my curiosity is what makes me want to continue with the series. I hope you all have a great day and remember ❤ Always Love Your Books ❤

Crown Of Coral & Pear links

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/crown-of-coral-and-pearl-mara-rutherford/1129536113?ean=9781335090447&st=AFF&2sid=Goodreads,%20Inc_2227948_NA&sourceId=AFFGoodreads,%20Inc#/

https://www.bookdepository.com/Crown-of-Coral-and-Pearl-Mara-Rutherford/9781335090447

 

I’m Not Dying With You Gilly Segal/Kimberly Jones: Spoiler Free Review

I have returned from my semi unofficial hiatus lol! But seriously, in all honesty, it feels good to be writing a blog post again and the fact that it is a review makes it tens times better. This review will most likely be one of my longest and one that I really want to mention spoilers but as said in the title I will leave those out. But when my video review comes there will be a spoiler section like a big section lol. That’s enough rambling for now as tradition the synopsis first, then I will get into my personal thoughts, and lastly the ratings! Btw big shoutout too Netgalley for the eARC and then to myself for getting a physical ARC at Bookcon!

IMG_0644“Lena and Campbell aren’t friends.

Lena has her killer style, her awesome boyfriend, and a plan. She knows she’s going to make it big. Campbell, on the other hand, is just trying to keep her head down and get through the year at her new school.

When both girls attend the Friday-night football game, what neither expects is for everything to descend into sudden mass chaos. Chaos born from violence and hate. Chaos that unexpectedly throws them together.

They aren’t friends. They hardly understand the other’s point of view. But none of that matters when the city is up in flames, and they only have each other to rely on if they’re going to survive the night.”

Alright, so let’s start by discussing our two main characters Lena and Campbell we know from that start of all this that they don’t know each other and that their worlds are completely different. But these girls have similarities which I discovered very quickly is that they have stereotypical views towards each other without knowing each other. At first, I have mixed feelings about it because I am not a big fan of characters having those types of feelings towards another character without knowing them fully. But then coming to the realization that this book is meant to be real it’s meant to have characters that are like everyday people, that are flawed, and that these two characters have a lot of reactions that are very accurate and on point for what they experience in this one night.  Now do I agree with everything these girls do no not at all lol, but do I understand why they did certain things yes I do and to be honest some of the things they come across they handled very well. I am going to analyze and talk about both girls characteristics and personalities separately and then talk about there weird but funny partnership later.

Now Lena is portrayed as the popular girl in her school everyone knows her on a personal level or knows about her in some way shape or form, whether it’s because of her style or very outgoing personality! Now with this very outgoing personality, it does come with some pros and cons throughout this story. Lena is strong-willed and very determined which I love about her she doesn’t take no for an answer and sometimes that was a good thing and sometimes I wanted the girl to chill out! I’d be like why??? Especially when it came to her boyfriend Black….. I am not going to go into details about certain events that corresponded between her and him but at times I was really not a fan like at all…… Another thing that I noticed was her first initial reaction towards Campbell and how she prejudged her before getting to know her but I will talk more about that for both sides when I take about there partnership. Was she a very real character yes and I think that’s what I was grateful for in this book from the way she talked, the slang she used, her character demeanor as a whole reminded me of people I knew and even myself at times. Her realness is what made her the person she is as well as.

Onto Campbell is the new girl no one knows her, notices her or even tries to befriend her. At first, I feel for Campbell now one likes being the new girl or chooses that role but as the book goes on I detect certain things about her. To me at times she had a victims mindset with certain situations that go on in her life (not situations that happen with her and Lena), now I understand that some things are truly out of her control but that doesn’t mean you should always take defeat. But Campbell I will say she had points in this book where I was like YOU BETTER GO GIRL! Like I had very proud mom moments lol. Campbell also displays a character we don’t see a lot in YA books ( well for me at least) and that’s the character that hasn’t been exposed to a lot of diversity problems. There where certain moments in this book where it felt like she was kinda unaware of how bad police brutality and riots are. Which isn’t really a bad thing at all because those where her character traits that made her real, that was her realness because they’re people in the world like her.

Alright now, let us get into the meat and potatoes of both these girls but as a unit. This part I will be talking about the pros and cons I saw both characters display at one point or another in this book. Now for starters both of these girls had a few stereotypical views when it came to one another which was slightly uncomfortable at times but when you think about it this happens in real life every day. I love how the authors weren’t scared to portray this either. Another thing about our lovely girls is that there is character development but to me, it’s not the type that can be measured or something you can really weight out like in a normal YA book or in any book in that matter.  You can tell that both girls learned a lot and had valuable moments that made them think about themselves and to be honest, that is the best thing for a character is to just think about themselves not state that the learned a lot but at least know they though a lot. Now as a team I am going to give them a solid B+, do not get me wrong they kicked ass but on both sides, I just felt like they could have avoided a lot if one person stood up to the other in certain points whether it had been Campbell putting her foot down and taking the lead or Lena suggesting a different way to handle things. The last thing I will touch basis on has nothing to do with the characters but more with the authors, I WANTED THE BOOK TO BE LONGER!!!!!!!!! lol like I could’ve used another fifty or so pages not to say things didn’t wrap up neatly but I wanted more details like pleaseeeeeeeeee that’s all I ask I feel like I got an ending like I didn’t get THE MOMENT (once you read the book you will understand lol).

IMG_0643One thing I will say is that this book is not going to be for everyone it’s going to make you feel uncomfortable, it’s going to make you view certain things and situations in life differently, and that’s because this book is just going to be too real for some people to really understand. So my full rating is a three and a half stars I enjoyed this book I ate it up I appreciated the message but like I said I did want a little more to the ending and both of the characters made me really mad at some points lol! I hope you enjoyed this review it was a real hard one for me but we got it done lol! This book comes out August 6th, 2019, all the links to purchase it will be down below! I hope you have a great day and remember ❤ Always Love Your Books ❤

My Links

https://linktr.ee/jheart_lovesbooks

Where to buy “I’m Not Dying With You Tonight”

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1492678899/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1492678899&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/im-not-dying-with-you-tonight-gilly-segal/1130035704?ean=9781492678892&st=AFF&2sid=Goodreads,%20Inc_2227948_NA&sourceId=AFFGoodreads,%20Inc

https://www.bookdepository.com/Im-Not-Dying-with-You-Tonight-Gilly-Segal-Kimberly-Jones/9781492678892

 

Reni K Amayo Interview

Heyy – those were really fun questions – well done! Below are my responses. Let me know if you have any further questions! Looking forward to seeing the final piece. Oh, I’ve also attached some pics in case you wanted to use them 🙂

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Interview questions

Today I am interviewing Reni K Amayo on her debut Young Adult book, Daughters of Nri that is coming out October 1st, 2019!

Hello Reni, thank you so much for joining us on JheartLovesBooks. I am so excited to talk to you and ask you questions we as readers are just dying to know!

For starter,  what was your reaction when you found out you got your book deal? I know it’s probably in your top ten favorite memories you’ve experienced in your writing career thus far! Also, who were the first people you told? Did you throw a party, or tell your loved ones individually? As an aspiring author myself, I think being traditionally published is the all-time goal! How has your traditional publishing journey been thus far? Did you have a say in your cover design, does your publisher include you in details as far as swag packs, ARCs, and other fun unique things?

So my journey with publishing has not been typical at all, which honestly is basically the story of my life!

It all began with a conversation really. A conversation about how I wanted to get my book into the hands of readers, particularly black readers, who rarely get to see themselves portrayed in fantasy fiction.

I wasn’t too sure about going down the traditional publishing route, because I’m a major control freak and the book is so, so close to my heart. On the other hand, I wasn’t convinced about self-publishing because although it seemed cool, I really wanted to ensure that Daughters Of Nri had the best chance to meet industry standards and I didn’t feel as though I would be able to do that on my own. So I discussed it with a few of my more savvy friends, who introduced me to a bunch of people in publishing, investing and the corporate world – a number of these people were really interested in this dilemma, and soon enough a company was formed. That’s how Onwe Press, a black-owned, innovative independent publisher focused on diverse reads and giving more control to authors, was born! It’s crazy that Daughters Of Nri inspired such a cool, and much-needed organization – but it’s also amazing from a standpoint of an author because I get to be really involved with the delivery of my book from the onset.

I was lucky enough to have a huge say in how I wanted to the cover to look like. I was very specific about wanted to display two magical, beautiful black girls at the forefront. I wanted it to be a cover that I would have picked up in a library or bookstore and yelped with joy – because I finally picked up a book that was made for me. I was really lucky to have been given that opportunity and more! I’m also involved in the conversations about who gets the advanced copies of the book, again something that’s hugely important to me. I really feel as though POC book bloggers are often overlooked when it comes to these things, and I’m so excited about being involved in helping to overcome that!

 

The synopsis of your book is so intriguing! It’s black girl magic plus, ancient African gods, and twins separated at birth! What inspired all of these great things into Daughters of Nri?

Thank you! For so long, writing has been a secret hobby of mine, so hearing people get excited about Daughters Of Nri and its premise really warms me!

In terms of my inspiration, it’s really is an agglomeration of many things. Stories my dad told me about our ancestors, the legions of fantasy books I’ve read throughout my life, movies, and shows etc. I’m a huge fan of escapism through art, so I’ve consumed a lot of it in my life!  

Daughters Of Nri really started with me thinking about what my ancestors were doing before colonization. Every time I searched for black history, I would get back information on slavery or oppression, but I was searching for something more – I was searching for greatness, old magic…I just kept asking myself, who were my ancestors? What did they do? Who did they love? What did they despise? I began to dig a little in ancient African history and the little that I managed to find was amazing!

I loved learning about the wonderful accomplishments of my people and ancient Igbo mythology – I studied classical civilization at school so I’ve always been a mythology nerd, but learning about the ancient African gods was something else entirely.

Soon enough I began creating this magical world, completely drenched in magic and sisterhood. I have two wonderful sisters, so I really wanted to explore the nature of the sisterly relationship in the book – but I’m also a drama queen so I needed something epic to happen – the idea of two twins with an indestructible, magical bond separated by a cruel law, definitely fit into the epic category for me

We readers who are also writers know how hard it is just to finish the first draft, but now you are probably at, or getting close to copy edits and major deadlines! How is the writing experience been since you have an editor and deadlines to deal with?

I thrive off of deadlines and schedules! That’s really what kept me on track with my writing. I was desperate to finish the book, (mostly because I wanted to read it), so I would set myself a small, achievable word count that I wanted to get to each week. So that aspect of working with a professional editor wasn’t too much of a shock to me.

For me, the most notable thing about working with an editor is seeing how they break down the book and plot from a technical perspective. I’ve had beta readers look at the book before, and they come in from the perspective of a reader – a perspective that I’m very well versed with as an avid reader myself. An editor, however, discovers these wonderful little nuances about the structure of the book, the tone, the themes etc. It’s really interesting because you get to analyze a book that you’ve written – and I think the conversations that go back and forth around that are truly fascinating.

I as well as all of your followers on Instagram saw that you had a cover reveal brunch for your book! #authorgoals for life! Can you tell us all how that was planned out, little cool details and of course how the brunch went?

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The book cover launch brunch was so amazing! I literally still find myself smiling about it to this day!

My best friend and I were discussing the book cover launch, and we wanted it to something big and cool – because we were both so in love with the cover itself, we just wanted to get it out to everyone so that they could gush over too. My girls and I love a good brunch, and so it felt like an awesome way to get the book cover out.

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I’ve always made it explicitly clear that I wrote this book desperate for it to reach black girls, and so for the book cover launch, we invited a group of fabulous black women in London, who were all doing truly amazing things. #BlackGirlMagic was definitely the theme of the brunch, and it was such a beautiful experience for everyone involved. Our waitress, an amazingly sweet Brazilian woman was literally moved to tears because of all the mutual admiration and love in the room. Everyone was smiling and happy and so excited about Daughters Of Nri, and that was a magical moment.

 

I feel like I always ask this question but it’s one I’m always dying to know!; If your book was created into a movie who would your dream cast be and why?

Oh, this is tough! I don’t think I’ve come across an actress that fully embodies the nature of Sinai and Naala (the twin sisters in the book) in my mind, perhaps I never will! Saying that the closest I’ve come to is Ryan Destiny – I’m honestly in love with her. She’s so beautiful, but in an alluring way – her beauty runs deep and so she’s the first possible actress that comes to mind when I think of the twin goddesses.

I would faint if Viola Davis played  Meekulu, a wise and powerful cook in the Palace of Nri and one of my favorite characters in the whole book. Oh and Kofi Siriboe, he is breathtakingly gorgeous, but also seems to be genuinely sweet with a dash of ruthless intensity – which is perfect for Eni, another fave of mine.

 

We all daydream of the day where our only job is our dream job and that we work on our passion! Are you now a fulltime author or is that something that is in the works of happening in the near future?

Haha – no I’m not a full-time author yet. I think I need to see how the book does once it’s out before I completely abandon my stable salary!

Saying that though, I’m definitely in transition. I have a lot of commitments for Daughters Of Nri coming in the next few months, and luckily I’ve been able to negotiate some flexibility around work (working from home/part-time etc.)

I’m praying that the book garners enough support so that I’ll be able to take time out to fully commit to writing. The second book is already shaping up to be something extraordinary (if I do say so myself!), I just need to find the time to write it all down!

 

Everyday heroes and of course the heroes we may not know, but do look up, to still exist! Can you tell us some of your heroes?

Oh, I have so many heroes! My family and friendship groups are jam-packed with amazing people who constantly exceed expectations.

I’ve also been lucky enough to consume content from an arsenal of geniuses that have created breathtaking pieces of work. My forever number one has to be Shonda Rhimes, who I’m convinced is an actual goddess! Her body of work – her words have impacted so many people, including myself and that in itself is phenomenal. Then, of course, there’s Beyoncé, who is literally incomparable – I mean do I even have to say anything? She’s Beyoncé – The Beyoncé, it’s been such a blessing in itself to be able to witness her amazing journey. Oh, and of course, my forever fave, J.K. Rowling, who literally created a world that I, and millions of others, still cannot forget – that is pure genius.

Now my biggest question, I’m jumping straight to the point to is, will Daughters of Nri be a series or standalone???? I am praying you are allowed to answer this question, lol!

I am allowed – and the answer is YASSS (*cue in Oprah meme*)!

Haha, I love book series, particularly fantasy book series, so I absolutely had to write one. They allow you to really develop not only the characters over time but also the broader themes and concepts. I’m really excited about feeding things into the story slowly, so by the last book the reader is like Woah so this is what she was trying to say in the first book – mind blown! I personally love those moments myself, so creating them is another level of fun.

Our final question, the viewers and I will greatly appreciate is…  Is there any advice you can give to all aspiring writers who are trying to get to the finish line; whether it’s getting done with the first draft, or in the process of trying to get published?

So it’s advice that I’m sure everyone has heard before and it is simple: write. Just remove all the umms and ahhs, and all the extra nonsense and write the story. Discover your writing process, flesh it out and write. Even if it’s 100 words a day – if you stick to it, you’ll eventually have a fully-fledged book in your hand. Once you have that then this journey kicks up an extra gear. Now you can explore how you want your book to get out into the world, who you need to talk to, the steps that you need to take etc.. That part isn’t easy, but once you have the finished book – it’s literally like a key to the next level, without it you can’t move forward. So write the book, rewrite it, get friends and family to critique – and then work on getting it out into the world.

Oh and also – you’re a writer. Unpublished, published, book in progress, book done – you’re a writer, so act like it, and write 🙂

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Thank You again, Reni! I enjoyed having you on JheartLovesBooks, to not only get to know you better but of course to get some details on Daughters of Nri ( that will be released October 1 !)

Reni’s links

https://www.instagram.com/renikamayo/

https://www.onwepress.com/preorder

https://twitter.com/renikamayo

My Links

https://linktr.ee/jheart_lovesbooks

BookCon Day One Diary

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Happy Tuesday to all! I know my blog posting has been spotty lately and I do apologize I was working a lot because I took off for a vacation! As some of you who follow on Twitter, you already know what that vacation was for and of course by the title to you now lol! I went to BookCon 2019 my first BookCon ever and OMG I FREAKING LOVED IT! In this blog post, I will tell you how everything went to the best of my ability because I don’t think words can describe how much I loved it and how amazing it truly was for me! If you are more of a visual person I do have my day one vlog up and live on my channel here is the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzbUZ19tKls&t=35s I will also leave it down below! Also, this type of blog post is very new to me so have mercy on ya girl lol but I will do my best to not rant but to also fill you in with good detailing! DISCLAIMER I AM NOT BEING SPONSERED TO MENTION THESE PRODUCTS THESE ARE MY OWN OPINIONS!

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Okay so I am staying with my nana and she lives in Long Island so on the first day I did wake up semi-early because I knew we had to take the train and the subway! But what your girl did not know is that we had to take a bus as well lol which did eat up some time but I am not complaining, it was all a learning experience!  I had already figured out my outfit the night before I decided on a cute white crop top from H&M, stripped colorful flair out pants from Papaya, black booties from JustFab, I also wore a little tan cover up but I forgot where I got it from lol ( here is a picture of that!).  I don’t usually do my make up unless of special occasions, but of course I did for BookCon I was very self-conscious at first but at the end, I overall loved what I did and got many compliments on it! For my makeup, these are the products I used in order of putting it on my face( Aveeno moisturizer, IT CC+ Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream in the shade Rich Honey, Bare Minerals face color in the shade Warmth I use this as a bronzer, Eyeshadow palette The Saharan By Juvia’s its the pink one I know there are other colors of this palette lol, I used the colors Katsina, Jamila, and Wodaabe, I didn’t have highlight so I used my Peachy Nudes eyeshadow palette by RueBeauty in the shade Peach Pie on my nose to act as highlight and it worked lol, lastly my lips I used Almay in the shade Treat Yourself). For all you makeup bloggers/ Youtubers I don’t know how you do it lol that took me forever to apply on my face as well as type out what products I used lol!

After getting ready and quickly taking cute pics we were off to the train! I personally love the transportation in New York by far my favorite because riding the train and even the subway sometimes can be really peaceful or it’s just so lively! I live for a good adrenaline rush, I am not going to lie I was getting nervous with how late it was getting and the fact that I somewhat had an organized plan or so I thought lol! When we arrived it was around 11:30 I was so excited about getting my badge and being around people who feel the same love and appreciation I do when it comes to books! I am not going to lie I honestly teared up I had a smile on my face ear to ear because I finally made it after all the years I wanted to go and attend one of the biggest conventions for books I was finally there, and nothing in the world took that away from me. As soon as I stepped foot into BookCon you see the organized bookish chaos and personally I loved it, it felt like being in a city within a city! Now like I said before I had a plan but what I realized is that having a plan for something like this won’t always go exactly the way you want it. Usually, for me, I am not okay with that but for some reason, it didn’t bother me that I missed out on something the whole time I was personally just enjoying the atmosphere and living in the moment. But I did strategize I had my nana wait in lines while I was in another ( my advice for BookCon is BRING AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN, trust me you will thank me later lol).

Image-1 (1)While in a line by myself I made a friend ( also another thing I love about this convention everyone was very kind and friendly!) her name is Marie and we legit spent the whole day together! She was there with her mom, I was there with my nana it was legit a match made in heaven! We had such a great time just talking, standing in lines together, taking pictures, and just everything under the sun! I was really afraid when my nana and I  weren’t together that I would be the awkward shy looking person that looked terrified by herself! Thankfully that wasn’t the case we talked about books, what we wanna do as a living and just thing we enjoyed! We also encouraged each other with little things as far as handing out our business cards or just saying go for it when it came to wanting to talk to people we both admired!  Overall I loved meeting her and had such an amazing time spending the day with someone who is just as passionate as I am about books <3!

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Now I am just going to talk about all of the other lovely people I might at BookCon and how freaking unreal it was for your girl like OMG I’m still in shock! The first person I met was Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite authors of Dear Haiti, Love Alaine which comes out September 3 by the way ;). They were so nice and sweet and omg I can’t put into words how kind they are it was very inspirational talking to them and meeting a sister author duo of color all the things I love!  The next person I met who was just as equally sweet was Debbie Rigaud her book is Truly Madly Royally which comes out next month on the 30th! I only met her for a brief moment but was able to snap a pic with her and I noticed how our lip color favored one another lol! As most of you know I am a booktuber which means I watch booktube as well and you guys I met Hannah from a clockwork reader and Hailey from Hailey in bookland! Zoe wasn’t with them at the moment sadly but omg it was so cool they were sweet I mentioned to Hailey how me and my bf watch her channel together and how he actually finds what she has to say interesting and it keeps him captivated! Lol, she was very flattered and said thank you and I got a picture with the both of them which was also so surreal! 39C271E3-948F-425B-8848-311FD350849E The next person I met was intentional because I knew she had a booth and I wanted to meet her so bad and that is Kristen Martin Youtuber and Amazon bestselling author! We talked about her books, of course, her coaching style, and how amazing her hair looks! We took pics and I am featured in her vlog waving for a brief second was just really great meeting her and seeing that she has such great energy in person that she does in her videos. Now the last two people I met was purely out of luck and I just I honestly could not believe it! Ya”ll I met Nic Stone and Tochi Onyebuchi in person like in person! I was over by the Penguin Random House booth checking on something and at first, I saw Tochi I introduced myself, of course, I had to ask if he knew about any other ways to get Wargirl ARCs at BookCon ( sadly he did not) but then I told him about my blog post where I featured Wargirl! The first thing he said after that was “OMG THAT WAS YOU THANK YOU SO MUCH!” I nearly passed out he recognized my work and genuinely appreciated it! I gave him a business card because promo ASF lol but no he was just so nice about everything and ahhhhh I felt important and a little famous lol! So right as Tochi and I where talking, we spotted Nic he was waving at her trying to get her attention lol he legit said ” You see how brand new friends wanna act when they get big lol smh” I started laughing my butt off he truly is hilarious no lie! So after that, I like smiled and waved at Nic and she came up to me and said well Hi gorgeous and yet again your girl almost died lol, I said hello back we talked about her work and how it’s just truly inspiring and of course makeup she complimented my makeup yall the queen of slaying looks liked my makeup! I couldn’t help but gush, authors are truly amazing, genuine, chill ass people even in person!

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That is all of my day one in a nutshell basically! Like I said if you’re a more visual person I will leave my vlog of day one down below! Thank you so much for reading this and for supporting me! Also if you couldn’t attend BookCon, please do not feel left out or any less a part of the community it legit took me years to finally attend! I hope you all have a great day and remember ❤ Always Love Your Books ❤

My BookCon Day One Vlog

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzbUZ19tKls&t=35s

My Links

https://linktr.ee/jheart_lovesbooks

 

The Bone Charmer Breeana Shields: Spoiler Free Review

THE BONE CHARMER

As I am writing this it is 10:10 pm EST, I have just finished this book, I am very much IN MY FEELINGS and have a desire to write a full essay about this book, oh and I have work tomorrow at seven in the morning. So future me I am truly sorry but I know you’ll understand lol, I would like to thank the lovely people at Rockstar Book Tour for letting me in on the book tour for The Bone Charmer by Breeana Shields! I have a lot go on in my life and even though my review is late I will still be mentioning this great tour for providing me an E-ARC copy and will continue with my review! So let’s get started, as some of my old-time followers know I have reviewed a book by Breeana Shields before and it was actually her debut three years ago! It was Poisons Kiss and I will leave the links down below from my blog review and booktube review if you want to check it out:)! So long story short welcome back Breena! As we all know synopsis comes first, then my personal fangirly thoughts and lastly the Jheart ratings!

 

”  In Saskia’s world, bones are the source of all power. They tell the future, reveal the past, and expose secrets in the present. Each village has a designated seer who performs readings for the townsfolk, and in Midwood, the Bone Charmer is Saskia’s mother.

On the day of her kenning—a special bone reading that determines the apprenticeships of all seventeen-year-olds—Saskia’s worst fears come true. She receives an assignment to train as a Bone Charmer, like her mother, and even worse, a match-making reading that pairs her with Bram—a boy who has suspicious tattoos that hint of violence.

Saskia knows her mother saw multiple paths for her, yet chose one she knew Saskia wouldn’t want. Their argument leads to a fracture in one of the bones. Broken bones are always bad luck, but this particular set of bones have been infused with extra magic, and so the break has devastating consequences—Saskia’s future has split as well. Now she will live her two potential paths simultaneously. Only one future can survive. And Saskia’s life is in danger in both”

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Alright so Saskia was a likable character it just depended on which Saskia I was reading about and what she was getting into at times lol. She all around is a character that you understand her intentions but you just wanna scream at her because of the things she will get herself into. Though all of her reactions were caused by actions that were most of the time out of her control, it’s sorta like her hand was forced half the time. It’s like the old saying darned if you do darned if you don’t, which wasn’t fair at times because this whole book revolved around her future but what you learn in this story is that fate has the final say. When reading both paths of her life I think her character development was very spot on which I think Breeana is going to be very well known for because I felt the same way with her first main character in Poison’s Kiss. Breeana just knows how to time things very well with her main characters because, in my opinion, Saskia grew even though at times it was a hard pill to swallow. Now I will say I did favor one path more than another because ooooo somethings happened and my heart was completely invested in every part of it! I am not saying the other path wasn’t great the other one just hit different for me lol. But I will say there were times with Saskia I truly felt for her but then I remind myself she knows the bones choose the fate at the end but it’s the choices she makes that determine overall what happens to her. I know that doesn’t sound right but trust me when you read the book or have read it you understand where your girl is coming from.

I really do not know how I feel about the relationship situation throughout the WHOLE book, but I will say I like how it ended but sadly part of the book I was a little bit confused on where the romance was. ( I am a romance junkie I always have to look for it sorry NOT sorry) okay to be fair now thinking about it, I will say it has a slow burn romance and that certain things don’t make sense until about 25% into the book so I won’t say anything bad about it because of SPOILERS ASF!!!!!!! So I am going to talk about Saskia relationship with her mom rather than a romantic relationship. Even though this is a fantasy book the mother-daughter relationship between Saskia and Della felt real life like in a nutshell, all Della wants to do is protect Saskia but sometimes the women goes WAY to far and I am not overreacting. But to give her the benefit of the doubt all she wants to do is keep Saskia safe but that also led to Saskia not making her own choices and that lead to Saskia taking certain matters in her own hands when things should’ve been talked out better and would’ve ended better between them. They are both very stubborn characters and to be honest when the bumped heads it sorta reminded me of my relationship with my mom at times lol. So you should already know who side I was on the majority of the time lol #letmehaveasay # Imateenagerwithavoice! But you could clearly tell that they loved each other they are just so much alike that they clash and it’s hard for either of them to see the others point of view.

So I LOVED this plot, the world, and the magic element I think it was my favorite aspect of this book and I am more of a romance freak lol. But no Breeana made such a creative and innovative world that I couldn’t help but to fall in love with it! It was so interesting reading about how the magic works and how the whole world is set up around it I for sure had a perfect image on how everything was set up as well on how it looked. It was very new and fresh to me and I feel like this world can harvest more books and I personally want a five-book series lol. Also, neither paths felt like it outshined the other the paste each section had worked out very well at the end even though it made me HELLA in my feelings like I feel like this pain was intentional lol JK but seriously the ending had me on my head! Another thing Breeana is great at is writing villains readers will hate with all of their beings because the person who is the antagonist in this book is just dreadful like I just ooooo I have so many thoughts on a said person because they truly pissed me off. I kinda wish I did spoilers because these are the times I would be going off about everything lol but this gives you the opportunity to hear about a great book you should totally pick up!

Alrighty now to the ratings I overall give this book a four out five stars I did enjoy this book at some points it was hard to piece things together which isn’t a bad thing just had me a little confused which made it a bit challenging. But I do highly recommend this book and I hope and pray there is a second book and if there is I need it NOW!!!!  I am leaving all links down below about where to purchase this book, Breeana Shields, and the other links I talked about earlier! Thank you so much for the love and support and also if you are going to BookCon this year I’ll see you there! Have a great day and remember ❤ Always Love Your Books<3

About Breeana:

BreeanaShields

Breeana Shields is an author of fantasy novels for teens including The Bone Charmer, Poison’s Kiss, and Poison’s Cage. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in English.

When she’s not writing, Breeana loves reading, traveling, and playing board games with her extremely competitive family. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, her three children, and two adorable, but spoiled dogs.

 

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

Links To Poison’s Kiss

https://jheartlovesbook.wordpress.com/2017/01/10/posions-kiss-spoiler-free-review/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkFi6j27QgU&t=320s

My Links

https://linktr.ee/jheart_lovesbooks

Rockstar Book Tours

http://www.rockstarbooktours.com/

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a signed finished copy of THE BONE CHARMER, US Only.

Rafflecopter code:

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Rafflecopter Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2937/?

I Wanna Be Where You Are Kristina Forest: Spoiler Free Review

Happy Wednesday! I feel like today is the most popular day to blog, everyone seems to post amazing content, so I am going to join the bandwagon and share a review! Today I am reviewing ” I wanna be where you are” by Kristina Forest it comes out June 4th I got my hands on an ARC via a giveaway and I just devoured it! Let’s kick things off with the synopsis than go to my thoughts and ratings!

” When Chloe Pierce’s mom forbids her to apply for a spot at the dance conservatory of her dreams, she devises a secret plan to drive two hundred miles to the nearest audition. But Chloe hits her first-speed bump when her annoying neighbor Eli insists upon hitching a ride, threatening to tell Chloe’s mom if she leaves him and his smelly dog, Geezer, behind. So now Chloe’s chasing her ballet dreams down the east coast―two unwanted (but kinda cute) passengers in her car, butterflies in her stomach, and a really dope playlist on repeat.

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Filled with roadside hijinks, heart-stirring romance, and a few broken rules, I Wanna Be Where You Are is a YA debut perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sandhya Menon.”

Short synopsis yes but in my eyes, if they would’ve put more to it, the whole story would have been given away. I loved Chloe as the main character because she felt real to me, she was a teenage girl that had a dream and even though she was scared out of her mind she went for it. She had flaws and made mistakes through the story but with those mistakes she learned alot about herself and who she is as a person, the things she values. I loved that Chloe had dreams, like actual real-life dreams that she was passionate about that she had a love for, and I am happy that it had nothing to do with writing or reading. It is okay for fictional characters to have other hobbies that aren’t the same as the reader it makes them unique, and special. Chloe’s hobby and talent is that she was a gifted dancer, but she wasn’t a popular she was just a regular teenage girl that had a hobby and a few friends. My favorite part about the cast of characters is that they felt like real people everyday teenagers which made the story much more enjoyable to read. Her playlist is also bomb dot com like yes the girl has taste lol, the way Chloe talks about dancing and her future is truly inspiring to me and I think whoever reads it will feel the same way. All the characters have a passion for something they love it is displayed through the whole story, I love how Kristina writes these characters and the best part is that they look like me and my family members and that they go after their dreams no matter the cost even if the cost means a whole adventure lol.

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Now the relationship in this story at first seemed very predictable and common but reading more into it, the romance ended up surprising me more than I thought. Chloe and Eli have a very interesting story that is unraveled through this crazy road trip, you learn why they have some tension between them more about each of them and why they are the way they are. I am not saying Eli is the perfect book boyfriend but what I will say you will grow to like him and may end up rooting for him towards the end. Everybody’s flaws in this story are for a reason it has a purpose and I love how it is told and how no one is perfect and that everyone is dealing with something.  Now moving into the mother-daughter relationship which is very important to the story as a whole, Chloe and her mother have more of an actual relationship then I have seen in other YA contemporary books with the main character and a parent.  Which is great love that but what I also love is that they argue, they fight, they disagree, it is no secret to anyone that mother’s and daughter’s don’t see eye to eye especially during the teenage years.  Chloe and her mom’s relationship displays how during the teenage years it is rather difficult to let your child make their own decisions and let them grow up and make mistakes but still chase after their dreams. But also how it is hard as a teenager to decide what they want to do and to feel confident in themselves to do so. I am not going to lie I needed this book my senior year in high school and how Chloe reminds me of how I would feel some days leading up to major choices that will affect my future.

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I just loved this whole story I laughed, it taught me things, it made me feel better about my own dreams, just reading a book where the main character is a black ballerina it warms my heart! I just want every brown girl, every girl that has a dream, every girl that doubts that she can’t do it, and every girl that needs a boost of confidence to READ THIS BOOK! It’ll make you feel so much better well at least that’s what it did for me and I hope whoever reads this feels the same way. The plot, diversity, the love in this book is so worth the read and I can’t wait for it to be out in the world among the greats because there is no doubt in my mind that this book won’t do fabulous. As you can probably tell this book gets a five out of five stars, we only have less than two weeks for release day ( which is June 4th, all the pre-order links will be down below). Also as a treat, I will share the pictures I did myself to recreate the book cover! Well, I hope you all enjoyed me ranting about how much I love this book and thank you for all the love and support and remember ❤ Always Love Your Books<3

I Wanna Be Where You Are  links

https://www.amazon.com/Wanna-Be-Where-You-Are/dp/1250294886/ref=sr_1_1?adid=082VK13VJJCZTQYGWWCZ&campaign=211041&creative=374001&keywords=I+Wanna+Be+Where+You+Are&qid=1558550470&s=books&sr=1-1-catcorr

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/i-wanna-be-where-you-are-kristina-forest/1129098283?ean=9781250294883#/

https://www.bookdepository.com/I-Wanna-Be-Where-You-Are-Kristina-Forest/9781250294883?ref=grid-view&qid=1558550595200&sr=1-1

Kristina Forest Links

https://www.kristinaforest.com/

https://www.instagram.com/kristinaforest_/

https://twitter.com/KristinaForest

My Links

https://linktr.ee/jheart_lovesbooks

Tithe By Chani Lynn Feener: Cover Reveal!

Happy Saturday to all my name is JaNae and you’re at JheartLovesBooks! I know I normally don’t do an intro but I have a lot of new followers since we just hit 100! Thank you so much for following and reading my little section of the internet where I rant, swoon, and fangirl about books:). Today I am apart of a cover reveal for “Tithe” I am working with Chani Lynn Feener and her publishers on spreading the news about her book that is coming out this year! It is a YA urban fantasy that features dark fae ❤ <3, it is set to release on Halloween too, perfect timing if you ask me! I will leave the blurb down below and of course the beautiful cover!

“Cursed with the sight; torn between forbidden loves…
Arden Archer is cursed: she can see the Unseelie fae. It is a gift that sends the women of her family to an early grave. But there’s a way to break the curse: offer herself up as the Tithe. Every seven years, the faerie regents pit cursed humans against one another, offering salvation to both parties. 
This year, Arden is one of those human competitors–a Heartless–and with the help of Unseelie Mavek Midnight, she intends to win. That is, until Eskel arrives, unearthing secrets and planting doubt. Can Mavek be trusted? Is there more to the Tithe than what he’s told her? 
Torn between the forbidden Unseelie she’s loved and the new human boy with a dark past, Arden must discover the truth before All Saint’s Eve, or risk losing her soul to a beautiful monster.” 
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Just by reading it I am already hooked! But as a bookworm, I know how persuading a great cover truly is so let’s just cut to the chase and besides this is what you’re here for anyway lol! The gorgeous cover for Tithe by Chani Lynn Feener!

 

There it is in all its glory! I love the vibe it’s giving off and I can’t wait too read it. Also if you are a book reviewer and this book sounds like your cup of tea the review copies are coming in July! I will leave all the author links below:)! I hope you all enjoyed this I certainly did since this is my first time helping in a cover reveal! I will be posting a lot more these upcoming weeks, with a lot of surprises as well so keep a look out! Have a great day and remember ❤ Always Love Your Books<3
Authors Links
My Links

 

Plot, Romance, Characters, Diversity! Oh My!

Hello, book bloggers of the web! I am back with another blog post, I decided to take a break from doing a review with this one. Today I will be talking about what I personally look for in the books I read that determined whether or not I give it a high rating. I realized after going through the past couple of books I’ve completed that I have a certain way I rate books in certain genres. So I will be talking about contemporary, dystopian, and fantasy  ( all in the young adult category) and how I rate them what gives a book a certain edge to it. These are all my personal opinions of course and thought I would share with you how I go about things since I know sometimes I give high ratings to books I read. I hope you all find this interesting and let me know down below how you do your rating systems and the certain things you look for in a book!  IMG_7786

 

( I also use this template on my insta stories I do not have ownership of this template and all credit goes to its rightful owner 🙂 )

Before I start talking about a certain genre what I will say from the jump is that character development/Diversity(representation) is a key factor in all these genres I’m saying it now so I don’t sound repetitive and that you know its one of the things I look for in every book.

 

 

F2191412-4D02-4190-B98F-14904FAF9656Okay so the first genre I will be talking about is contemporary. I find this one of the hardest to rate because even though the characters aren’t real they go through real-life problems. Things we can actually relate too, but the first thing I critique in this genre is the personality of the main character, for example, is she/he relatable is what they’re going through in the story something they are trying to fix or make better. I love the main character that fights for what is right or whatever obstacle that is in the way they’re trying to take down, basically a contemporary character that doesn’t take No as an answer.  What I also look for in this genre is some sort of good friendship/family relationship, news flash ladies and gents, not all YA parents have to suck or put down their kids!  Why is that so popular? I love reading a YA contemporary when the parents are present in the main characters life in a POSITIVE way! Stop showing the youth and myself that parents don’t understand or they don’t get us because that is not always the case. I am not saying everything is sunshine and roses but please make it more realistic. Also, I do understand that there should be books that display parent abuse, parents that neglect their kids, single parents, and divorced ones because that is apart of life but it’s not always a bad thing. Lol sorry for that rant but family bonding in a contemporary book is very important to me. Good friends now this I love we all love a sidekick that we sometimes like more than the main character! They make the story better and they make our main character stronger in character development and emotionally! A well-written friendship is key especially girls whose best friends are girls so we can encourage one another and not put down each other! Next is DIVERSITY!!!!!! Everybody is not the same color, same gender, same religion, or identifies as straight! We all are unique and different and are stories deserve to be told, I love picking up a contemporary and finding out or discovering that a character is a different race, gender, religion or is Bisexual or gay! Plus good representation it’s amazing if a contemporary book is diverse but is it told correctly is a high key factor as well, because what is the point of having it in the book if it is not told correctly! Last but certainly not least is romance, okay so unfortunately at times contemporary is judged very harshly on the romantic relationship because most of the time it is the main plot point in the story. Now I love romance I am a hopeless romantic in just about everything, but I love a romance that is written well! Which means I am not a big fan of instant love ( the type where both the characters are already in love after only meeting once). Now before anyone says it yes I am a HUGE fan of the book The Sun Is Also A Star, but if you analyze the book while you’re reading it or afterward you understand that Nicola Yoon did not write an instant love at first sight story. Contemporary romance needs to feel real to me that it’s not just a walk in the part that there are hard parts and moments when things look like they won’t last. The feeling always has to be mutual, NO CHEATING under any circumstances, and great chemistry is a must I live for the sweet moments! Now if a contemporary has all of these aspects in it then I give it a high rating if it is laking int one way or another it does interfere with the reading experience and my overall feelings of the book.

 

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Dystopian is a challenging genre as well since some people deemed it a dead genre after our dystopian high from 2010-2015. But I still support the genre and have been reading it quite frequently, I am not going to lie when I read this genre I do get a bit nostalgic which is great but I have realized it has affected my reading experience and that I rate rather harshly. As of lately, I have realized that I often compare whatever dystopian I am reading to The Hunger Games, yes I know I shouldn’t but with certain books, it was very hard not too. I do believe after the amazing dystopian we have gotten in the earlier years that it is harder to rate books in that category because we are constantly reminded of our old favorites even when it is intentional. So one of the first things I look for is where does this world take place and how is it ran politically, Also why does it seem like that all dystopian books take place in a corrupted America?  I know it’s easy to write about since the country I live in makes a lot of poor choices but I know we aren’t the only ones lol, what I am saying I would appreciate it if we got a corrupted Brazil, Italy, and maybe even China just to spice things up a little bit! Is the world written well that is a key factor that I look for when I am rating does it have certain flair or edge to it, not just a common dystopian that features a forgotten wasteland. The main character now also very difficult because we usually get a female/male that is either only trying to protect themselves or themselves and a loved one (usually a little brother or sister). Which there is nothing wrong with that but can we get a story where the main character is already apart of the revolution and go from there. But I do understand a story needs a main plot but that’s what makes this genre so difficult to rate it feels like it all starts off the same and we only get something different when we hit the middle of the book. What dystopias usually score high in with me is character development! The main character usually goes through so much during the story that character development is usually very noticeable and very strong if written well it’s like we get a different person then we started off with.  That is what makes me determine if I want to continue you the series or not if I don’t see some growth in our main character I know I won’t pick up the next book because I don’t see them making any progress.  The last thing I look for in dystopian that affects how I rate the book is if we have a good villain or who is the head honcho as far as the government or political standpoint. Is this dictator one that is easy to hate, well written, and that I somewhat understand why they are causing all of these problems. Also, are they known in the story? Do I hear about them? In a nutshell, do they make their presence known throughout the story?  All of these are key factors for me as fas as a good antagonist because they are also the other half of this story! I will always have a soft spot for dystopian even if my rating system is strict lol!

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The last genre we will be discussing today is the ever so loved fantasy genre! Now, this is much easier in my eyes to rate sometimes because I know what I want to see in a fantasy, but do I always get it the answer is no……. No, I do not 😐 but with fantasy it’s tricky sometimes I overall love a book but then I think about the things I wish the book could have included. Diversity for one now we have come a long way and I feel like more YA fantasy books are showing a lot more than before! Which is great because like I have mentioned before NO ONE PERSON IS THE SAME! Plus it is okay to have different types of characters in a fantasy it doesn’t always have to be in contemporary. What I also look for and is apart about of my rating system is the magic element. Is it unique? Does everybody have magic? How are the main characters’ abilities different from everyone else’s in the story? Since the majority of fantasies have magic in it this is something I look for and enjoy reading about, when the magic in a book is displayed and explained its a key factor on how the fight scenes will go and how powerful our protagonist is. Another thing that is important to at least for me is the romance, the reason why I mention this in fantasy is that we usually get a love triangle trope or the bad/mysterious boy trope. Now we all know usually our main character has an attractive companion that usually joins him or her on their journey, I will say this is the hardest part to rate because usually, the relationship has some toxic or unhealthy points in the story. It is usually not intentionally like that but if you look at some relationships in fantasy realistically it is not always so pretty, but looking at it as a die hard hopeless romantic and considering the circumstances that are going on in the book it isn’t to horrible lol :P! The antagonist is always important in fantasy because this is the person causing all the mess and is, of course, the main problem for our protagonist. What I will give this genre credit for is that usually, we have some AMAZING side characters I love side characters they make the story better whether it’s with humor, the ride or die they have with the main character and of course their perspective!  Like yes, give me all the side characters and their amazing ways and side characters are usually the main characters best friend and I love a well-written friendship. Fantasies are usually trilogies or series so one of the things I look for is will the plot last until the end, will it keep me captivated enough to finish the whole thing! I personally would hate to waste time one a very lengthy series just to have the plot burn out towards the end, I am a firm believer of quality over quantity! Long story short I need diversity, a somewhat healthy and swoon-worthy romance, A GROWING MAIN CHARACTER, an antagonist that doesn’t know how to quit and good background info, a group of kick-ass side characters like yes I live for them, and lastly A PLOT THAT STAYS ALIVE THE WHOLE TIME!  These are the things I look for in a fantasy book, not too much right? Lol 😀

Well, I hope you enjoyed this blog post! I really did enjoy writing this and showing my perspective on what I look for in a book and how it affects the way I rate them! Let me know your thoughts on how you rate your books what do you think makes a good story in any of these genres? I hope you all have a great day and if your reading this when it is up Happy Mother’s Day ❤ and remember ❤ Always Love Your Books ❤

 

 

 

City Of Saints & Thieves: Spoiler Free Review

Hello,  long time no post! You see I can explain I went on this lovely girls weekend vacation to Disney which meant before that I had to work at my job for a week straight. So as you can probably assume your girl was very tired and was just itching for her vacation! But between all of the mass chaos and my wonderful weekend, I finished City Of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson! Which brings us here, as tradition goes synopsis first, my thoughts on the main character, love interest, and lastly ratings and last minutes thoughts! So let’s jump in it shall we:)!

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The more you see, the less you know.

In the shadows of Sangui City, there lives a girl who does not exist.

Tina and her mother first arrived in Kenya as refugees from Congo desperately searching for a better life. Trading the peril of their besieged village for the busy metropolis of Sangui, they can barely believe their luck when Tina’s mother finds work as a maid for the Greyhills, one of the city’s most illustrious families. But there’s a dark secret lurking behind the family’s immense fortune, and when Tina discovers her mother shot dead in Mr. Greyhill’s private study, she knows he pulled the trigger.

With revenge on her mind, Tina spends the next four years surviving the streets on her own, working as a master thief with the Goondas, Sangui City’s local gang. It’s a job with the Goondas that finally brings Tina back to the Greyhill estate, giving a long-awaited chance for vengeance. But once Tina returns to the lavish home, she’s overcome by memories of her painful past, and the girl who does not exist is caught red-handed, setting into motion a breathless and dangerous cascade of events that will expose not only the truth behind who killed Tina’s mother but even more harrowing secrets from Tina’s past that will change everything”

Tina is a character I didn’t think I would care for that much when I first started reading this book, but looking back and after finishing this book I just adore her in many ways. I did enjoy reading from her point of view from the start, I just didn’t think she would have good character development throughout the story. I was clearly wrong she grows so much through this journey, from start, to finish it’s like at the end she’s just a completely different version of herself.  When you start reading this book you understand and know exactly what Tina is after for and her plan and well if you’re like me or have the same reading mindset you don’t really disagree on what she wants to do. But as the book continues many things are put in question and well Tina realizes that everything isn’t so black and white as she thought it was.  The way she is somewhat forced to come to terms with things she discovers is why she had such amazing character development and I personally applaud Natalia for writing such great characters and giving Tina the development she needed.  If I have to choose certain characteristics to describe Tina it’s smart, sarcastic, has a very calm sense of humor, and she thinks like a thief.  She is the character you root for, cry for, and hope she gets everything she wants and deserves at the end of the story! She has made it on the list of my favorite main characters and I just overall love her for all her flaws and success she has.

As far as love goes in this book it is filled with it and no not the love you might think it is not suffocating us with romance. But the love that the characters have for each other is very real and you see it a lot throughout this book, as far as romance maybe Tina has a suitor maybe she doesn’t 😉 who am I to tell. Usually, I do dabble in the romance section of a book but I am going to switch it up for this book, I am going to talk about Tina’s friends/ family and the relationships she has between them. The relationship Tina has with her younger sister KiKi is very real, sweet, and pure you can tell she will kill and die for her sister. I loved reading those parts because as an older sister myself I feel everything she feels for her sister and the lengths she will go to protect her. Let’s talk about Tina and her best friend BoyBoy, I love BoyBoy as a character all of my heart just loves him, his heart and how funny he is! BoyBoy is for sure the best friend Tina and almost every main character has in there story! He encourages you, he understands your hurt and pain but expects you to grow from it not let it define you, he is also hilarious and I think he is either gay or very flamboyant ( I’m taking a guess because it is never really stated in the book, but there are hints of it in the story). Plus the type of person Tina is BoyBoy is the perfect sidekick she needs her polar opposite. Now there is another character I would like to mention but I do somewhat consider this character a bit of a spoiler in a way so we are not going to mention them. But what I will say that this certain person makes Tina questions a lot and as well as challenges her and I love every second of it. At first, I wasn’t very fond of said person but in the middle, they won me over and analyzing the relationship between the said person and Tina I can overall say in my opinion that it benefits her very well. I am not mentioning the mother-daughter relationship because of the fact I honestly can’t describe it without mentioning to much that happens in the story, all I can say is that she truly adored and loves her mother through all the ups and downs that happen.

I give this book five stars I love the plot, the characters, the deep meaning this book goes into as well. I was never bored reading this book there was something always going on and when Natalie was feeding us information it was never in a way that it felt like it was too much and it wasn’t a bore to me reading about the parts that we needed to know.  I also love how rich it was of culture it felt like I was in Kenya and Sangui City, I adore writing that makes me understand and feel the culture of where the book is taking place whether it is a real place or just fictional. You can tell Natalie did much research and took her time making a beautiful and heartfelt story. I also recommend reading the Authors note after finishing the book if you do decide to pick it up, it explains a lot and you see how everything just overall ties itself together.  I will be recommending this book for the rest of the year and after that, I am just fair warning all of you lol, but seriously if you’re looking for a great Young Adult thriller/mystery  City Of Saints & Thieves is for you! If you do end up reading or have already read it pleaseeeee tell me all your feels on it I love seeing other peoples points of views of books I have also read and enjoyed! I hope you all enjoy your day and this blog post and remember ❤ Always Love Your Books ❤

City Of Saints & Thieves links

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29995905-city-of-saints-thieves

https://www.amazon.com/City-Saints-Thieves-Natalie-Anderson/dp/0399547584/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=city+of+saints+and+thieves&qid=1556723002&s=books&sr=1-2

My links

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/47368363-janae

https://www.instagram.com/jheart_lovesbooks/

https://twitter.com/JHeartLuvsbooks

 

Interview: Amara Luciano Heirs Of Fate

Today I am interviewing Amara Luciano on her Young Adult book, Heirs of Fate, which came out April 16th, 2019!

Hello Amara, thank you so much for joining us on JheartLovesBooks. I am so excited to talk to you and ask questions that we as readers are just dying to know!

So excited to be here! Interviews are one of my favorite things to do as an author.

For starters, Heirs of Fate started as three separate ebook novellas, what made you want to put all three stories together to make one epic fantasy story?

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Honestly, it happened really organically. Which is just a fancy way of saying that linking up Bride of Dreams, Huntress and the Nightingale, and Storm Mistress was completely unplanned. I didn’t know these stories were set in the same world! But, as I started working on Huntress, I began to see Easter eggs pop up. The crossover between characters, timelines, and countries. Once that bridge solidified, there was really nothing else to do except tie up the loose threads I’d left in Heirs of Fate.

 

Some people think it’s hard to get traditionally published, but self-publishing is a whole different ball game! You and your sister not only self-published Heirs of Fate but own your own publishing company, that’s incredibly impressive! How has the process been, running a publishing company and self-publishing your own book?

 

Publishing, in general, is just a hard thing, and both traditional and indie publishing have their pros and cons. For us, we’re responsible for every little detail, which can be invigorating… and incredibly stressful! I talk about the difficulties of balancing the artist and the businesswoman with my friends and on social media, because some days it just feels impossible. But, Wonder Heart Books has always been about creating a positive platform for those without mirrors in media and so creating stories and putting them out there that fulfill this mission is BEYOND rewarding. There have been tears, frustrations, and so much joy. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Seeing people hold Heirs of Fate is just icing on the cake.

 

Writing and having deadlines is challenging on its own, but you basically had to take three stories and put them into one! How was that process overall, did you find it easier or more difficult?

 

So the stories themselves were already written by the end of 2018 and it was just a matter of overseeing the creation of putting together the paperback these last four months. Another challenge was the bonus short story at the back of the book, because I had to figure out a way to quickly introduce and tease some of the coming conflicts of book one. Again, we’re responsible for everything. Between Gabi’s artistry and me taking care of all the back and forth between us and the designer, the cover copy, the formatting, etc, etc, it took us a while to get here with a product we’re really happy with. Quality is EXTREMELY important to us, especially as indies, so we’ve done our best to render every little detail in the best possible version of itself.

 

I am very upset with myself for not living in New York because I missed the book launch (sigh)! Planning this event was probably so much fun, but so nerve racking at the same time! Can you tell us the details of how planning it went and the overall experience?

 

Well, I gotta give a huge shoutout to our publicist, Bethany, who made all the arrangements and got us our slot at Barnes & Noble in the Upper West Side. We’ve been in a little bit of a daze over it, but it’s been so much fun discussing what we could do with the signing. Mainly, we wanted to make sure that there was plenty of swag and a couple of giveaways! We recently designed special WHB book boxes and we decided to give one of those away as well as a mug from @creativeleighcrafts on Instagram. The main concern and responsibility we’ve had is promoting the signing as much as possible and I’m excited to see what the turnout is like!

 

I know that as of right now Wonder Heart Books is for your own works, but I think we all are curious to know if one day you will start publishing other peoples works as well?

 

Yes! Absolutely! We’re taking our time in that department, because there’s a lot of planning involved in taking that step. We want to be as careful as possible with other authors’ work, and ensure that publishing through us will give them not only a platform to benefit their careers but quality and experience that stands apart from other publishing houses. We do have an exciting project we’re going to announce this summer as a kind of test run for this avenue of our business… 😉

 

I am in love with the diversity and the beautiful representation that you are displaying on the cover of Heirs of Fate! What was the inspiration behind each story, and without spoilers, how did all the stories mesh with each other?  

 

Funnily enough, these novellas were actually supposed to be half their size and act as loose retellings of fairy tales I love. But that ship has basically sailed, though each story has a kernel of that original intention. They evolved on their own and definitely grew in length, and that might be why it became more and more obvious that they were part of this larger tapestry. There was just so much room within each to expand, and the more I wrote, the bigger the world became and began to take shape.

 

I know I am not just speaking for myself when I say I am a lover of a great series! Like who isn’t?! Will Heirs of Fate be a series we all grow to love and swoon over?  

 

YES! That’s probably the most exciting result of this really lengthy experiment. The novellas were supposed to be a way for Gabi and myself to test our mettle, as artists, as partners, as a company, and have since evolved into the backbone of a new series that will have a wider lens trained on the scope of the world, new characters, political machinations, and a lot of slow burn romance. 😉

 

I have been on Wonder Heart Books’ site many times and reading over the short paragraph that tells us what Wonder Heart Books is about, I am very curious to know; is this your full-time job, and if it isn’t, is it something you want for yourself in the near future?

 

I definitely want to be working on my writing full-time. Being a writer is my chosen career and owning Wonder Heart Books allows me to be a businesswoman and ferry for other artists, which I also love. Right now, I have a part-time job, and then dedicate much of my spare time to building momentum with Wonder Heart.

 

My all-time favorite question to ask all authors is….. If your book was turned into a movie who would your dream cast be and why?

 

I really don’t have casting ideas. I would hope for talented actors, many of whom would be PoC. But if Idris Elba or Jason Momoa wanted parts, I’m definitely not going to be the one to turn them out. In fact, I think I’d have to request we run lines together.

 

I am probably jumping the gun by asking this next question but I feel like I just have to know: are there going to be any more releases from you as an author or as Wonder Hearts Society as a publishing company this year?

 

The next big release for Wonder Heart Books is going to be book one of the Gods’ Fate series, which is partly set in the same timeline and world of Huntress and the Nightingale. We also want to collaborate with other authors on a smaller project before the year is out, but Bethany will have more details on that come May. Separate from Wonder Heart Books, I’d like to query in the traditional publishing space for a specific project… if I have the time to work on it with everything else going on.

 

Everyday heroes and of course the heroes we may not know, but do look up to, still, exist! Can you tell us some of your heroes and heroines?

 

My friends and family act as my personal heroes. They’ve all led interesting lives. They’re products of sometimes horrible environments, and yet they still strive to lead grounded, well-meaning, joyful lives. I’m also a big fan of quite a few sort-of strangers or clients or customers I’ve met who are survivors of some of the most awful points in history, like 9/11 or even WWII, or who have beaten back severe illnesses. Some of them have led colorful lives, globe-trotting and raising wonderful children, and they tell me of their lives with smiles on their faces despite all they’ve endured. They’re the ones who taught me there’s no such thing as a bad day or bad luck. Instead, it’s all about perception, compassion, endurance, and love.

 

Our final question, the viewers and I will greatly appreciate is…  Is there any advice you can give to all aspiring writers who are trying to get to the finish line; whether it’s getting done with the first draft, or in the process of trying to get published?

 

Treasure your beginnings. My hope is that if I keep saying it, people will begin to believe in the sanctity of their origin stories as creators. There is no time quite like when you’re first starting to hone your craft. You’re accountable to no one. Your imagination is unhindered by expectations outside your own. Anything truly is possible, so long as you’re willing to nurture those possibilities into genuine opportunities, which will always demand commitment and patience. And love.

 

This stage is unrepeatable. You’re writing is going to evolve. You will never again be the writer that you are now, so love yourself and how you’ve chosen to start. It’s the most exhilarating part of your journey.

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Thank you again, Amara! I enjoyed having you on JheartLovesBooks, to not only get to know you better but of course to get some details on Heirs of Fate ( that is already out!)

I had a blast! Thank you for having me.

I hope you all enjoyed this interview and that you check out Heirs of Fate! I will leave all links below from purchasing the book to following Amara/Wonder Heart Books and on her social media and of course mine! Have an awesome day and remember ❤ Always Love Your Books ❤

Recently featured in Unread Magazine for her “positive, creative, and inspiring” content, Amara Luciano is a smiley YA fiction author obsessed with tortuous endings, so much so her books are almost always about dark, magical misfits making really questionable decisions.

As the co-founder of an independent publishing company called Wonder Heart Books, she empowers writers and readers to seek out diverse narratives in fiction. She also shares muse magic and true tales for staying peacefully creative on her podcast called Love Your Fails, Win Your Magic.

She loves heart-ready smiles, chocolate anything, and people who win love by daylight. Her spirit animal: a Kara Danvers-Arthur Curry cross-mix. Her motivational mantra: “If I can see it in my heart, I can hold it in my hands,” à la Cara Alwill Leyba.

You can knock on her social media doors @amaraauthoress pretty much everywhere, but she likes Instagram best. Head on over; there’s always room by the bookshelves…

Purchase Heirs Of Fate: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1733503137/ref=ox_sc_act_title_4?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

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My Twitter: https://twitter.com/JHeartLuvsbooks

My Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/47368363-janae