May 19, 2015

The Artisans Blog Tour Review & Giveaway!

About the Authors

Born in Ohio, I lived next to my grandfather’s horse farm until the fourth grade. Summers were about riding, fishing and make-believe, while winter brought sledding and ice-skating on frozen ponds. Most of life was magical, but not all.

I struggled with multiple learning disabilities, did not excel in school. I spent much of my time looking out windows and daydreaming. In the fourth grade (with the help of one very nice teacher) I fought dyslexia for my right to read, like a prince fights a dragon in order to free the princess locked in a tower, and I won.

Afterwards, I read like a fiend. I invented stories where I could be the princess… or a gifted heroine from another world who kicked bad guy butt to win the heart of a charismatic hero. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? Later, I moved to Florida where I continued to fantasize about superpowers and monsters, fabricating stories (my mother called it lying) and sharing them with my friends.

Then I thought I’d write one down…

Hooked, I’ve been writing ever since. I write historical, contemporary, urban fantasy, adventure, and young adult romances. I love strong heroines, sweeping tales of mystery and epic adventure… which must include a really hot guy. My writing is proof you can work hard to overcome any obstacle. Don’t give up. I say, if you write, write on!

☆ How to find Julie ☆

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About the Book

They say death can be beautiful. But after the death of her mother, seventeen-year-old Raven Weathersby gives up her dream of becoming a fashion designer, barely surviving life in the South Carolina lowlands.

To make ends meet, Raven works after school as a seamstress creating stunning works of fashion that often rival the great names of the day.

Instead of making things easier on the high school senior, her stepdad's drinking leads to a run in with the highly reclusive heir to the Maddox family fortune, Gideon Maddox.

But Raven's stepdad's drying out and in no condition to attend the meeting with Maddox. So Raven volunteers to take his place and offers to repay the debt in order to keep the only father she's ever known out of jail, or worse.

Gideon Maddox agrees, outlining an outrageous demand: Raven must live in his home for a year while she designs for Maddox Industries' clothing line, signing over her creative rights.

Her handsome young captor is arrogant and infuriating to the nth degree, and Raven can't imagine working for him, let alone sharing the same space for more than five minutes.

But nothing is ever as it seems. Is Gideon Maddox the monster the world believes him to be? And can he stand to let the young seamstress see him as he really is?

☆ Where to find The Artisans ☆
AmazonBarnes & NobleKoboThe Book Depository

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☆ Mindy's Review ☆

My rating

Story Elements

THE ARTISANS is a Beauty and the Beast retelling that takes place in an urban setting with a southern gothic feel to it. While reading, you get the sense that there is something paranormal involved, and many times I felt on edge as I got an eerie feeling while reading this intense story. But figuring out the paranormal element is part of the mystery to this story AND…OMG…it’s all so freaky!

The story primarily takes place at a “Victorian monstrosity” (Giddeon Maddox’s mansion)…a place where Raven Weathersby reluctantly agrees to live while designing clothing to pay off her alcoholic gambler-of-a-step-father’s debt.

Writing Style

I really like Julie Reece’s writing style and I felt like I was able to read THE ARTISANS really fast. Julie’s world building and character development were exceptionally compelling, so much so that she was able to connect me to the story while also compelling me to continue reading.


I can’t say that I always agreed with Raven’s actions, but I couldn’t help but really like her character. She would do anything for the people she loves. That’s why it’s so easy to understand the reason why she gave up her freedom for her stepfather. And, even though I’m not artistic, I would love to see someone put together some of the outfits she designs. They sound fantastic!

Maggie and Dane are the best-est friends anyone could hope to ask for. I love Maggie’s personality; she’s hilarious. And Dane is so caring and sweet that he seems to worry about and wants to take care of everyone.

Gideon is extremely mysterious! The intensity he portrays throughout the story is what keeps you on edge. I kept craving for him to appear on every page just so I could figure him out.

Final thought

I tried to be really cautious in this review to avoid spoilers, but I have to say that I’m obsessed with this book! I don’t think anyone could have prepared me for the story twists! And the romance is insanely intense! I can’t wait for everyone to experience this book because it is so freakin’ good!

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This is a tour hosted giveaway!
Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of The Artisans by Julie Reece (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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☆ The Tour ☆

Week One:
5/18/2015 Novel Novice – Guest Post
5/18/2015 The Mama Games – Review
5/19/2015 Magical Urban Fantasy Reads – Review
5/19/2015 The A P Book Club – Guest Post
5/20/2015 Jorie Loves A Story – Interview
5/20/2015 Book Hounds YA – Spotlight/Promo
5/21/2015 Paper Cuts – Review
5/21/2015 Two Chicks on Books – Guest Post
5/22/2015 Simple Wyrdings – Review
5/22/2015 The Page Unbound – Spotlight/Promo
5/23/2015 Bitches n Prose – Spotlight/Promo
5/23/2015 YA Chit Chat – Review
5/24/2015 Diana’s Book Reviews – Review

Week Two:
5/25/2015 We Do Write – Interview
5/26/2015 On Writing and Riding – Interview
5/27/2015 The Shadow Realm – Review
5/27/2015 Kimber Leigh Writes – Review
5/28/2015 A Thousand Words A Million Books – Review
5/28/2015 Reader Girls – Review
5/28/2015 Mundie Moms – Review
5/29/2015 Beauty and the Bookshelf – Guest Post
5/29/2015 Tale of the Ravenous Reader – Interview
5/30/2015 Wishful Endings – review
5/31/2015 A Book Addict’s Bookshelves – Guest Post
5/31/2015 Jennifer M. Eaton – Review

April 30, 2015

Countdown #BEA2015: Day 26 Featuring Virginia Boecker

In 26 days Nancy from Ravenous Reader and I will be facing the craziness and excitement of BEA! To celebrate, we’ve decided to do a countdown and share some of the authors we are excited to see, the books we hope to see, and the food we plan to eat…the works!

Today we are featuring Virginia Boecker.

About the Author

Virginia Boecker recently spent four years in London obsessing over English medieval history, which formed the basis of The Witch Hunter. She now lives in the Bay Area, California with her husband and spends her days writing, reading, running, and chasing around her two children and a dog named George.

In addition to English kings, nine-day queens, and Protestant princesses, her other obsessions include The Smiths, art museums, champagne, and Chapstick.

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About Her Book!

The magic and suspense of Graceling meet the political intrigue and unrest of Game of Thrones in this riveting fantasy debut.

Your greatest enemy isn't what you fight, but what you fear.

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king's best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she's accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake.

Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that's been laid upon him.

But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth's witch hunting past--if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she's thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.

Virginia Boecker weaves a riveting tale of magic, betrayal, and sacrifice in this unforgettable fantasy debut.

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BEA 2015

Virginia Boecker is scheduled for an Autographing Session on Wednesday, May 27th from 4:00 - 4:30 pm at Table 1.

April 29, 2015

Countdown #BEA2015: Day 27 Featuring Leigh Bardugo

In 27 days Nancy from Ravenous Reader and I will be facing the craziness and excitement of BEA! To celebrate, we’ve decided to do a countdown and share some of the authors we are excited to see, the books we hope to see, and the food we plan to eat…the works!

Today we are featuring Leigh Bardugo. Her books are awesome and we are more than excited to read her upcoming book!

About the Author

Leigh Bardugo is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Grisha Trilogy: Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, and Ruin and Rising. She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, and graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and most recently, makeup and special effects. These days, she’s lives and writes in Hollywood where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band. Her new book, Six of Crows, arrives fall 2015.

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Her First Book!

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life--a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy.

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Her Second Book!

Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can't outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling's game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

Siege and Storm is the second book in The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo.

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Her Third Book!

The capital has fallen. The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne. Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army. Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives. Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction--and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she's fighting for. Ruin and Rising is the thrilling final installment in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy.

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Coming Soon!

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price--and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...A convict with a thirst for revenge.A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.A runaway with a privileged past.A spy known as the Wraith.A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction-if they don't kill each other first.

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BEA 2015

Leigh Bardugo is scheduled for an Autographing Session on Friday, May 29th from 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM at Table 4.

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