#BOOKBLITZ : A Shifting of Stars by Kathy Kimbray @KathyKimbray

Hello Readers! Today I’m pleased to be part of the blitz tour for A Shifting of Stars by Kathy Kimbray, organized by YA Bound Book Tours. Please check out the book details in this post.

A Shifting of Stars by Kathy Kimbray
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: May 28th 2019

Summary:

A squandering emperor. A handsome stranger. A reluctant heroine. And the ancient magic that will capsize a kingdom.

Seventeen-year-old Meadow Sircha watched her mother die from the wilting sickness. Tormented by the knowledge that the emperor failed to import the medicine that would have saved her, she speaks out at a gathering of villagers, inciting them to boycott his prized gladiator tournament.

But doing so comes at a steep cost.

Arrested as punishment for her impulsive tongue, Meadow finds herself caught up in the kind of danger she’s always tried to avoid. After a chance meeting with an enigmatic boy, she’s propelled on a perilous trek across the outer lands. But she soon unearths a staggering secret: one that will shift her world—and the kingdom—forever.

Filled with longing and heart, surprise and wonder, A SHIFTING OF STARS is the first book in Kathy Kimbray’s gripping Of Stars trilogy.

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AMAZON LINK: https://tinyurl.com/y63j45kg

Excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE

I should not be here. I’m foreign to this village of broken rooftops and dull stone walls. I brush my fingers over a pillar. Its coldness burns my skin, makes me pause.

Go home.

The words sing loud like a taunt as moonlight slithers across my shoulders. The parchment digs like thorns in my palm. I imagine its shape, every fiber and ink blot.

Something moves near my feet and I jump. It’s just a rat, one of hordes from the city. They’ve grown bolder during these past few seasons, always darting out of alleys and running by arches, desperate—like us—to fill their bellies.

As it squeaks away, nails tapping in rhythm, I inspect the darkened street before me. Lamplight glows from a crooked post, but the shadows are still and the windows are empty. A leaf-strewn house looms in the distance, enticing me over the cobblestone ground. That house is the reason I’ve ventured so late into this weary part of town. Beside me, buildings cringe with moss. Walkways glisten with dirty puddles. Teetering balconies slouch from walls with garments strung between casements like cobwebs.

But that smell.

I halt to sniff the air. It wafts from the dwelling ahead of me. It winds from beneath its splintered panes—the pungent scent of broth and ale.

            I wish it were stew.

Saliva brims on my tongue at the thought of meat cooked with spices and oils. The last time venison passed my lips, my mother was alive, my father smiled, and the future stretched before us, unending. Those were the days of Emperor Komran, a king who lived and bled for his people. I barely remember the white of his beard or how he limped through the fields during harvest. And it’s the same with my mother. I’m losing her, too. The curve of her cheek. The shade of her tresses. When she died, we set her afloat in the Geynes, and I sat on the bank with my toes in the water, not wanting to break that connection to her.

It’s a year tonight.

My chest starts to cave, but I fight and I fight to be still, to not cry. At least the dead are not hungry, not in turmoil. They do not see what Centriet has become.

I urge my feet toward the house. Komran would never have driven me here. When he reigned, our streets were routinely swept, and fountains dotted the well-kept pavements.

And medicine was—

A loose stone clacks. Forgetting my thoughts, I dart to an alcove. Since Komran’s son became our emperor, soldiers lurk where you’d least expect them.

In the dark, I steady my breaths, in and out. Not that I’m breaking any laws—that I know of. I listen to the night: crickets chirping, a soft breeze, and the whinny of a horse that’s so indistinct, perhaps it’s from Sledloe, the next village over.

I wait longer, just to be safe. Many of the soldiers are kind, though not all. Father says they’ve been granted more powers, but that we won’t know what it means for a while.

I hate not knowing. Just like tonight. I hate not knowing what awaits in the house. When the street remains silent, I rejoin the road, but my ankles wobble when I try to walk.

So I jog.

It soothes my jangled nerves, and I reach the house, breathless and flushed. Planks board the four square windows; rust from the nails seeps into the woodgrain. The stones are all different sizes and shapes, charred by the remnants of a long-ago fire. Ivy clings to the rutted surface, its end pieces curling like ribbon from the door.

You should leave, Meadow.

But I raise my fist. All I need to do is knock. I’ve already abandoned my stonebrick at dusk without letting Father know where I have gone. The loss of my mother hits me anew—the pain a reminder of why I have come here. That I’ve come to move on, to at last let her go. Even though I’m not sure what that means anymore.

Or if I can.

“Are you here for the Gathering?”

The question shatters the bracing air. Someone’s behind me and I spin to face him, shrouding myself with my long dark hair. But I’m wrong. There are two. One’s tall and strapping. The other is smaller in every way. As they chance another step, I notice that they’re young—about my age, seventeen.

“Why I’m here is not your concern,” I say.

“We do beg your pardon,” the smaller boy says. He has a scar on his brow like a cutlass. And another on his forearm, dark as molasses. He gestures to the vacant street behind him. “Have you ever visited Yahres before?”

“Yes,” I say, though my words are false. It’s safer to make them believe I’m a local.

            “And your name?” asks the boy, but I shake my head at the same time his companion lets out a grunt.

            “Don’t bother,” he snaps. “We leave tomorrow.”

            The smaller boy nods, looking slightly embarrassed.

“We watched you for a bit,” he tells me.

“And what did you see?” I ask.

He smiles. One of his teeth is chipped. “We assumed you’d turn back many times.”

My pulse quickens at their presumption, especially since it’s mostly true. The slums of Yahres are outside the walls. My home lies inside in the village of Maytown. In Maytown we’re warned to always tread wisely in places like Yahres, Florian, and Sledloe. Perhaps that’s why I’d appeared so unsure. Yet neither of the pair looks remarkably dangerous.

“You proved us wrong,” the boy continues.

“No hard feelings,” I say.

He laughs. “Come inside with us.”

He holds out a hand, but I back away.

“Forgive me,” he says, withdrawing swiftly, color blotching his cheeks. “We lodge with the man who hosts these gatherings . . . and I noticed you had a parchment to read.”

“You saw?” I jolt, clutching it tightly, blood surging through my legs and arms. Since Mother’s passing, it happens quite often. My heart beats fast, and I need to run.

“You don’t have to read it,” he says.

I swallow.

“Although you can if you want to, of course. Unless you didn’t come here for the Gathering?”

“I doubt she’s here for anything else.”

It’s much too hard to read his expression, but the taller boy speaks with a dash of disdain. He sidesteps his friend with two no-nonsense strides.

“You don’t know my business,” I say.

“Oh, please.” He comes in close, reaching past me, and the scent of leather and steel is intense. It reminds me of sitting in my father’s workroom when he’s mending quivers for the elder archers. The boy raps on the door with his knuckles. Three times, then nothing. The way we’re supposed to. “Of course you’re here for the Gathering,” he says, as metal grinds and a peephole opens.

My need to bolt escalates.

“Get in. You’re the last,” says the face inside. The cumbersome timber shifts outward before us. It breaks the leaves and they flutter in spirals.

“After you,” the tall boy says.

The parchment feels like a stone in my hand. It dawns on me how stifled this is—this narrow black corridor, deep in the kingdom.

I brush the still-dangling leaves to one side. The passageway stretches a good twenty paces. I could perish in there and no one would find me.

“Are you waiting for something?”

“No,” I say.

Ignoring the boy, I stoop to enter, trying to focus my thoughts on the brickwork. The blocks have eroded from years of scuffing. They smell like lichen and tarnished copper. Light spills through the distant doorframe, and our guide clears his throat to urge us on. I double my pace, though the boys hang back. The weight of their presence behind me is strong.

About the Author

Kathy Kimbray is a YA author from Australia. She loves summer, dancing and dreaming up big ideas. A SHIFTING OF STARS is the first book in her thrilling new YA fantasy series.

Author Links:

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?’ is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organise yourself. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

Hello Reader! I hope you had wonderful week. Mine was fine. Nothing exciting. Only thing I’m excited about is I’m going home next week. And we have so many plans. I’m going to be super busy next whole week. In terms of reading, I read 2 NetGalley books. Now only 2 remained on NetGalley shelf. Can you believe my NetGalley ratio is 96% !!

LAST WEEK I READ-

CURRENTLY READING-

OVER THE WALL THEY CAME TO HUNT HUMANS. BUT NOW, A HUMAN’S GOING TO HUNT THEM. THIS GIRL’S NO ONE’S PREY.

In rural Wisconsin, an old stone wall is all that separates the world of magic from the world of man—a wall that keeps the shifters inside. When something gets out, people disappear. Completely.

Escaping from an abusive uncle, eighteen-year-old Charlotte is running away with her younger sister Anna. Together they board a bus. Little do they know that they’re bound for River Vine—a shrouded hinterland where dark magic devours and ancient shapeshifters feed, and where the seed of love sets root among the ashes of the dying.

Fallen Princeborn: Stolen is the first in a series of young-adult dark-fantasy novels by Jean Lee. Watch for book 2 in March 2019. Read Tales of the River Vine, a collection of free short stories based on the characters in the Fallen Princeborn omnibus.

NEXT THIS WEEK-

45308907

Jammu and Kashmir, 1987. In the hilly village of pathri Aali, where legends appear true, Aslam and ashwar, two young lovers, dream of marriage and of good things of life. But that is not to be. Unable to cope, Aslam leaves pathri Aali forever. Years later, as men migrate to Saudi Arabia for employment, pathri Aali is populated mostly by women and children. Soon they realize the mujahedeen, who guise themselves as their liberators, are the worst perpetrators, and misery seems inescapable. Ashwar refuses to be cowed down by this reign of terror and is determined not to let it devastate the once-peaceful village. The only one she can Bank on is aslam—and she calls out to him across the distance of time and space, to return and live up to the legends of their village. Snakes in the meadows is a saga of the onset of militancy, and the suffering and the resilience of pir panjal—the ‘and’ of Jammu and Kashmir.

WHAT ARE YOU READING THIS WEEK? HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THESE BOOKS BEFORE OR PLANNING TO READ IN FUTURE? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THEM??

Share your thoughts in the comment-box below.

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When Polly Met Olly by Zoe May

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When Polly Met Olly by Zoe May
Publication Date :
January 7th 2019
Publisher : HQ Digital
Read Date : May 26th 2019
Genre : Chick-Lit / Romance
Pages : 269
Stars : ★★★★  /5

Polly and Olly were never supposed to meet…
Polly might spend her days searching for eligible matches for her elite list of clients at her New York dating agency, but her own love life is starting to go up in smoke.

Even worse, she can’t stop thinking about the very person she’s meant to be setting her latest client up with… surely it can’t get any worse!

But then Polly bumps into oh-so-handsome Olly, who heads up a rival agency, and realizes that perhaps all really is fair in love and dating war… 

When Polly Met Olly was wonderfully written heartwarming and thought-provoking chick- lit and a lovely romance. Book was about not just love, romance but importance of compatibility, having substance in relationship; Following passion and not just following it but enjoying it; Being genuine and compassionate in profession; not letting down your own worth and not to let people disrespect you and your work.

This book had wonderful characters and character development.

Polly reminded me what it is like to have dream and putting efforts in achieving them, and how it can be disappointing sometime. She was compassionate, genuine and beautiful soul. She was smart, witty and good as a matchmaker and photographer and yet she learned something new in both of her work. She lacked confidence and she didn’t know her own worth until she met a person she was trying set her client up with. I liked her development, the way she finally achieved her dream. She was overall relatable and lovable person.

Olly was 20 years older than Polly. He and his life appeared all perfect and shiny on outside. He looked haughty, disrespectful and soulless who just understood business. But as I read more I could see how different he was inside. He didn’t know what love was and how phony his agency was until he met Polly. His development was mind-blowing. Not all can accept their fault so smoothly like Olly and I loved him for that.

Gabe, Polly’s roommate, was amazing friend. He worked as HR consultant during week and on Friday night he performed as Gabriella at a gay bar. I liked him from very beginning. He was fun to be around. I liked his views on his job and colleagues and loved what he said about enjoying our dream. Even his development was affecting.

Derek was amazing. I wish we all can get the boss like him- Compassionate, lively, warm and gentle, giving opportunities to staff and giving treats on small and big achievements. He had only Polly as staff but you know it’s just great to have boss like him even though wages are low.

Book started with Polly Wood, being interviewed as matchmaker at ‘To the Moon & Back’ dating agency by the founder of agency, Derek. A dream to be photographer with a degree was not working as she anticipated. And I could see why! Single for 3 years and apparently not good at dating, yet it didn’t affect in getting the job. Texting women on behalf of client and set a date for them was not what you call ‘honest and ethical’ but Polly had to pay bills. And that’s how fates worked on bringing Olly and Polly together. When Polly met Olly, competitor of Derek, the founder of The Elite Love Match agency, she couldn’t get him out of her mind. Everything about him seemed so perfect but was it really? Is this love or just the attraction she had with her previous dates?

Writing was remarkable. The plot was filled with wit, humor, romance and insight. It was narrated from Polly’s POV in her strong voice that touched the heart and made me brood over her experience and what she learned in the story. Setting was also great. I loved to read about dating agency, how it worked and how some can be phony and some real and genuine.

Polly’s dream of New York and photography, her dad and mother’ love story was lovely to read. Her disastrous previous dates were funny. What I loved most was I loved her relation with Derek, Gabe, and her friends.

I also loved the middle 20% of the book about Polly setting her clients up, chatting with them, having fun with friends and working on her photography dream. Another favorite thing was both Polly and Olly’s insightful thoughts, experience and development.

Both Polly and Olly were a matchmaker who were single and didn’t know what love is. As Polly started working as matchmaker she saw how people and love has turned categorical. There was no romance, no fun that she saw between her parents. She learned that two people didn’t have to have similar interest or look good together. They could be starkly opposite and still can be happy as a couple. She met some good and bad people during her job and got to know the real people behind their perfect appearance.

Some were so strict about their checklist that they miss out so many good and compatible match and true love. Olly was among those checklist type who made his own list and followed it as it worked best for him. But on meeting Polly, he realized love doesn’t happen that way. You need just have spark, it need to click right and need to have magical alchemy.  

Turns in the story and climax was surprising. I had my suspicion as he looked too perfect to be true but I couldn’t guess Olly’s flaw. I loved the way story took turn that turned out best for everyone. It was lovely happily-ever-after end.

Thing that made me hesitate from giving full star was, the actual Polly and Olly story or the real conversation between them started almost after 45% of the book. They met early in the book alright but it took time for them to actually come in touch. Oh and I wanted little more story before end or epilogue would have been great. I just didn’t want it to end there.

Overall, it was intriguing, lovely, witty chick-lit and romantic story of Polly and Olly that fan of this genre wouldn’t want to miss. I really enjoyed this and would love to read more books by Zoe May.

Book LinksGooadreads | Amazon |Publisher

*** Note: Many thanks to publisher for providing e-ARC via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. ***

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE BOOK AND MY REVIEW? HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK ALREADY OR ANY OTHER BOOK BY AUTHOR? ARE YOU GOING TO ADD IT TO TBR?

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An Impossible Thing Called Love by Belinda Missen

An Impossible Thing Called Love Paperback  by

An Impossible Thing Called Love by Belinda Missen
Publication Date
: November 18th 2018
Publisher : HQ Digital
Read Date : May 22, 2019
Genre : Chick-Lit / Romance
Pages : 384
Stars : ★★★★  /5

Don’t miss the new delightfully uplifting book from the author of A Recipe for Disaster!

A second chance at love…

When globe-trotting Emmy first fell for first-aider William on a freezing New Year’s Eve, she really believed that their love would go the distance.

But when she returns to Australia, her letters start to go unanswered and her emails bounce back unread, Emmy decides it’s time to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and start afresh in London.

So she’s shocked when William walks in on her very first day at her new job! Even worse, he’s hotter than ever. But why did he disappear for so long? What has he been hiding? And could this really be their second chance at falling in love…?

Perfect for fans of Carole Mathews, Mhairi McFarlane and Carrie Hope Fletcher.

Readers LOVE Belinda Missen:‘a captivating and compelling read I highly recommend!’
‘A delightfully funny, engaging and warm-hearted read’
‘the characters are brilliant, the setting is gorgeous and the writing is compelling
‘A pleasant. light funny read, well written and thought-provoking.’

An Impossible Thing Called Love was wonderful, feel good, witty and entertaining with heartwarming romance that revolved around the love story of Emmy and William. The book was about second chance to love, miscommunication, forgiveness, looking at your own mistake and behavior, and friendship.

Emmy was great throughout the book. I loved her lively and friendly nature. She was amazing friend and developed character with good conscience. I liked the way she accepted her mistake at the end.

William was charming, fun loving and utterly romantic. I loved him from Hogmanay to Hogmanay. What was best about him was he never brought his problems to work. No one could see how worst his personal life was. On outside he was happy, friendly, devoted to his work whom everybody loved. If I was in Emmy’s place I would have forgiven him before he even said sorry. 😉

From the very first chapter I loved the trio of Emmy, Heather and Josh that gave overview of how their friendship started, their characteristics and importance in Emmy’s life. Josh was hilarious. I knew I’m going to like him when I read about his make-up bag. Heather was great with her protective maternal nature. Emmy’s siblings were also good. I wish I could read more about them.

Craig was jerk, not in the beginning but later when he and Emmy moved to London.  I never liked him in Sydney as well. Maybe my love for William was more just like Emmy. His behavior was outrageous. I wouldn’t have tolerated it like Emmy did. But I loved her when she snapped and the way she saved her dignity.

I loved the plot and this heartwarming love story. I like stories that pastes a goofy smile on my face, makes me laugh, fall in love with characters and their life, and ache for more.

Book started with Emmy describing her wonderful experience of Europe trip and enjoying Hogmanay festival with her best friends Josh and Heather. But that unfortunately sidetracked by a punch on face! Good thing, it led her to a beautiful direction, she met handsome first aider, William. In just a day both felt connection. Ending the vacation with promise of staying in touch and heartwarming kiss both went back to their own life, own country and dream the impossible of seeing each other again. Switching from email to letters and gifts exchange, rambling their life they became best friends. 

What I didn’t expect was as fast the holiday fling started the sooner it ended. That too abruptly. Letters stopped coming from William. I was dying to know What happened to William? Why he stopped writing?

Emmy moved on in life after waiting more than a year. She started dating her classmate Craig who was nice. Both Emmy and Craig moved to London with new job, new relation sharing apartments with her best friends. Life was good what she didn’t anticipate was heartbreak, new and old friends, secrets and mystery of lost letters were awaiting to make her life complicated.  

It was first person narrative from Emmy’s POV who made me fall in love with her charming and delightful voice. Writing was amazing. It hooked me to story right from the beginning. It was easy, enticing and fun to read. All touristy places, streets, restaurants and food were wonderfully written. Whenever I travel I also make bucket list like Emmy and make sure I have enough days to cover all of them. I enjoyed conversation between characters specially those letters.

When Emmy and William met again and shared their disappointments, shouting, fighting, and giving the cold behavior, I had a theory what went wrong and why they didn’t receive each other’s letters. I was eager to find how right my hypothesis was. But I was so so wrong. I didn’t expect William having this big secret.

The communication gap and fear of losing friendship that resulted into secrets and heartbreak. I could feel Emmy’s disappointments and emotions for both William and Craig. I loved the way she handles situation with calm and composure. But she was also at fault for not telling the truth. It showed not to just blame others but look at our own behavior as well.

Twist and turns were surprising, unexpected. I loved William’s proposal and their trip just before climax. The development in story and climax was nicely written. I loved to see how Emmy and William finally resolved their issues and celebrated New Year in perfect happy ending.

That revelation of missing letters during the conversation was little confusing. I had to reread it. There were some moments I wanted to smack Emmy on the head. I mean why to tolerate nasty behavior of Craig, why couldn’t she forgive William and made things harder.

Overall, it was sweet, happily-ever-after, cozy and perfect vacation read, filled with humor and charming characters.

Author : Belinda Missen

Book Links

Goodreads Amazon | Publisher

*** Note: Many thanks to publisher for providing e-ARC via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. ***

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE BOOK AND MY REVIEW? HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK ALREADY OR ANY OTHER BOOK BY AUTHOR? ARE YOU GOING TO ADD IT TO TBR?

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#Pormo : Fallen Princeborn: Stolen by Jean Lee @jeanleesworld

Hello Readers! Today I’m going to shine a light on Fallen Princeborn: Stolen on this blog. It is the first in a series of young-adult dark-fantasy novels by Jean Lee. Please check out the book details below.

Book Details:

Title: Fallen Princeborn: Stolen Series
Title: Fallen Princeborn Book in the Series: 1
Author: Jean Lee
Publication Date: October 31, 2018
Audience: Young Adult, 14+ years old
Genre: Fiction / Fantasy / Dark Fantasy

Synopsis:

Desperate, they breached the Wall to hunt humans. But they made one critical mistake. They took her sister.

In rural Wisconsin, an old stone wall is all that separates the world of magic from the world of man—a wall that keeps the shapeshifters inside. When something gets out, people disappear. Completely.

Escaping from an abusive uncle, eighteen-year-old Charlotte runs away. She takes her bratty younger sister Anna with her, swearing to protect her. Their bus breaks down by a creepy old farm, and Anna is wiped from human memory.

But something inside Charlotte remembers. So she goes over the Wall in a frantic rescue attempt, accidentally awakening a once cruel but still dangerous prince, and gaining control of a powerful weapon, his magic dagger.

Charlotte’s only chance to save Anna hinges on her courage and an uneasy alliance with some of the very monsters that feed on humanity.

Welcome to River Vine, a shrouded hinterland where dark magic devours and ancient shifters feed.

Reviews:

“Fun, fast-paced fairy goodness.” —Peadar O’Guilin, author of The Call and The Invasion

Kirkus Reviews

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon: Paperback / e-book

About the Author: Jean Lee

Jean Lee is a Wisconsin born and bred writer excited to share her young-adult fiction with those who love to find other worlds hidden in the humdrum of everyday life. Her first novel, Fallen Princeborn: Stolen, debuted in November 2018, from Aionios Books. She also blogs regularly about the fiction, music, and landscapes that inspire her as a writer (jeanleesworld.com).

You can find Jean on her site, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram under the handle @jeanleesworld. #RiverVine #Princeborn

Watch for book 2 in March 2019. Read Tales of the River Vine, a collection of free short stories based on the characters in the Fallen Princeborn omnibus.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE BOOK? HAVE YOU READ IT ALREADY? ARE YOU GOING TO ADD IT TO TBR?

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