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Friday, July 29, 2016

Book Review- DAY ZERO by Kresley Cole

Title: DAY ZERO (The Arcana Chronicles Book 3.5)
Author: Kresley Cole
Release Date: August 1, 2016
Publisher: Valkyrie Press
Pages: 174
Format: Paperback, eBook
Source: eBook from the Author
Rating: Obsessed!!!!!!!!!!!
Arcana means secrets, and these Arcana Chronicles short stories from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole are filled with them. Experience firsthand the beginning of the end and behold the apocalypse through the eyes of characters you only thought you knew.

Ashes to ashes . . .
Evie Greene's story of the Flash is just one of many. All over the world, those connected in some way to the lethal Arcana game--like Death, Jack, and Fortune--must first survive a horrifying night of blood and screams.

We all fall down.
Some will have to grapple with new powers; all will be damned to a hellish new existence of plague, brutality, desolation, and cannibalism. Find out who they lost, why they endure, and what they sacrificed in order to live past Day Zero. . . .

I'm not normally a huge fan of novellas or companion guides which this book is, both actually. But damn I really loved getting a glimpse at all the Arcana and their attributes! As well as small snippets of their lives right before and as the apocalypse happened! I found myself liking characters I didn't really care for in previous books. And just give it up Kresley! Jack is the inactivated card lol also seeing Aric before the apocalypse just made me love him more!

I'm not going to go into detail in this review because everything would be too spoilery even little details would give stuff away. Just know that this is an amazing addition to the Arcana Chronicles that fans of the series need grab on release day and devour before ARCANA RISING comes out on August 15th! Thanks so much to Kresley for the review copy!

Haven't started the series yet? Now's a great time!

Blog Tour- THE BEAUTY OF DARKNESS by Mary E. Pearson A Post About the Map

I think by now everyone knows my love of high fantasy so I am stoked to be on this blog tour! I adore this series! I have Mary E. Pearson here with an awesome guest post about the map in the book! In my opinion it's not a proper high fantasy unless there's a map so I had to get the dish. 

Haven't heard of THE BEAUTY OF DARKNESS? Check it out!

Title: THE BEAUTY OF DARKNESS(The Remnant Chronicles: Book Three #3)
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Hardcover: 688 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) 
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, audiobook
Find it: Goodreads |Amazon | B&N | iBooks
Lia and Rafe have escaped Venda and the path before them is winding and dangerous - what will happen now? This third and final book in The Remnant Chronicles is not to be missed.

Bestselling author Mary E. Pearson's combination of intrigue, suspense, romance and action make this a riveting page turner for teens.

Now on to the post! I asked Mary..

QUESTION FOR MARY: Welcome back to Two Chicks on Books! You stopped by to speak about the map during the blog tour for KISS OF DECEPTION! So here's my question! Has the map changed at all and is it still how you pictured it in your head and if it's not how's it different?

Thanks for having me back Jaime!  No, the map hasn’t changed at all. I spent a long time working on it for the first book, and the details were fairly cemented in place, but I can give you a little trivia about the map. There are twelve kingdoms in all in the Remnant Chronicles: The three majors, Morrighan, Dalbreck, and Venda, and the nine Lesser Kingdoms, all seen on the map (pictured below):

1.     Gastineux
2.     Cortenai
3.     Candora
4.     Terquoi Tra
5.     Gitos
6.     Azentil
7.     Cruvas
8.     Reux Lau
9.     Eislandia

Wait a minute. Eislandia?  Where is that on the map? Well it is there, but you just can’t see it.  Eislandia was always one of the Lesser Kingdoms on my original map, but when the artwork for the map was finished, the designer still had to plop in the type to identify the various kingdoms and key places.  But there was the little issue of “congestion” when it came to one of the kingdoms, and that one was Eislandia.  See those “clouds” tucked between the words Morrighan and Tribe of Gaudrel? Right behind those clouds is the tiny kingdom of Eislandia.  I talked with designer and we agreed that there was just a bit too much happening in that one area to include another label, so it was left off.  It became the mystery kingdom lost in a cloud bank! But it was always there in my mind, and in The Beauty of Darkness, readers will hear it mentioned, so now they will know just where it is.

Another bit of trivia—many of the lesser kingdom names are derived from real places—bastardized versions of names, that is. I played with how a name might evolve over several centuries. So some of those names might bear some distant resemblance to real places.

And one last bit of trivia. Even though I had sent the designer the coats of arms I had created for the kingdoms, I wasn’t sure he would include them, so it was cool the way he fit them in, but those two awesome veiled figures at the bottom? Complete surprise. I was blown away. They are so beautiful and mysterious. I’m not sure what they represent--hidden truths and knowledge?  Or the goddess Isis and the secrets she holds? But I love them. What do you think they stand for?
Click on the map to enlarge

About Mary:

Mary E. Pearson is the award-winning author of The Jenna Fox Chronicles, The Miles Between, A Room on Lorelei, and Scribbler of Dreams.  She writes full-time from her home office in California where she lives with her husband and two golden retrievers.


July 23 - Adventures of A Book Junkie - "Kaden" 

July 24 - Bookiemoji - Response to annotated chapters 

July 25 - Step Into Fiction - "True Love" 

July 26 - Tales of A Ravenous Reader - "Rafe" + promo for Hicklebee's event

July 27 - Dark Faerie Tales - Fancasting

July 28 - Stuck In YA Books - Review of first chapters, comments on series as a whole + Giveaway!

July 29 - Two Chicks on Books - "The Map" 

July 30 - The Book Hookup - "Love Triangles"

July 31 - That Artsy Reader Girl - "World-Building"

August 1 - Jenuine Cupcakes - "Lia" 

August 2 - My Friends are Fiction - Review of first chapters, comments on series as a whole + Giveaway!

August 3 - Mundie Moms  - "The Covers"

August 4 - Eater of Books - Swoon Thursday Post 

August 5 - Belle of The Literati - "Love Triangles" 

Grab the books on the series!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Dying To Read (166)- THE VALIANT by Lesley Livingston

Hey y’all thanks for stopping by to see my Dying to Read post and of course as always I have to give credit to the lovely Jill over at Breaking the Spine for the Waiting on Wednesday Meme!

I love Lesley's books so it's no surprise that this is my WoW for the week! Also the cove was just revealed last week! I can't wait to read this!  

Author: Lesley Livingston
Release Date: February 14, 2017
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 288
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iBooks 
Lost to history, the story of the female gladiator has never been told. Until now.

Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king and the younger sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha. When Fallon was just a child, Sorcha was killed while defending their home from the armies of Julius Caesar.

On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is excited to follow in her sister's footsteps and earn her place in her father's war band. She never gets the chance.

Fallon is captured by ruthless brigands who sell her to an elite training school for female gladiators owned by none other than Julius Caesar himself. In a cruel twist of fate, the man who destroyed Fallon s family might be her only hope of survival. 
Now, Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries, deadly fights in and out of the arena, and perhaps the most dangerous threat of all: her irresistible feelings for Cai, a young Roman soldier and her sworn enemy.

A richly imagined fantasy for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Cinda Williams Chima, "The Valiant" recounts Fallon s gripping journey from fierce Celtic princess to legendary gladiator and darling of the Roman empire." 
So what do you think? Will you be adding this to your pile? What are you dying to read this week?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday (75)- My Top SIX Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do or Learn About After Reading Them

Hi thanks for stopping by!!! And welcome to my Top 10 Tuesday post! 

Thanks to the lovely ladies at The Broke And The Bookish for creating this weekly meme!

Here's this week's topic.

July 26: Top SIX Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do or Learn About After Reading Them 

This one is a tough one! I'll try to make 10 but doubtful.

1. Glass Blowing. I have been wanting to try this ever since I read The Study and Glass books by Maria V. Snyder!


2. Herbology and their uses for healing, etc. There are a ton of books I've read that have this in them but the most recent is CLANLESS book 2 in Jennifer Jenkins Nameless series!


3. Swordfighting. Ok with all the fantasy books I read there would be too many to name but here's a few An Ember in The Ashes Series by Sabaa Tahir, The Snow Like Ashes Series by Sara Raasch, The Court of Fives Series by Kate Elliott, & Blood of Gods and Royals Series by Eleanor Herman.


4. Driving a race car like Colten Tayler in Lucy D. Briand's MAGNETIC SHIFT. I love racing have always been a huge fan of NASCAR so I think this would be awesome!


5. Panning for gold like the characters in Rae Carson's The Gold Seer Trilogy. I already learned how to do this as a kid so I guess I should say I would like to re-learn this one. Plus I live in California and I know there's still some gold left in the hills :)

6. Cooking. Ok yeah I'm already a good cook but I can always improve and expand my recipe base. Some recent books that have made me hungry and want to expand my cooking knowledge are Martina Boone's The Heirs of Watson Island Series,  Cindy Pon's Serpentine Series, and Evelyn Skye's THE CROWN'S GAME. I even made Pinterest boards for Martina's and Evelyn's books! 

Ha! Ok I got 6 more than I thought!!!!

So what about you? What are some of your favorite books set outside of the US? And check back next week for my Ten Books I'd Buy Right This Second If Someone Handed Me A Fully Loaded Gift Card! 


Monday, July 25, 2016

Blog Tour- WAX by Gina Damico An Interview & Giveaway!

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on blog tour for WAX by Gina Damico!!! I have an interview with Gina to share with you today! And make sure to enter the awesome giveaway for a hardcover of the book! 

Haven't heard of WAX? Check it out!

Title: WAX
Author: Gina Damico
Pub. Date: August 2, 2016
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages: 368
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Paraffin, Vermont, is known the world over as home to the Grosholtz Candle Factory. But behind the sunny retail space bursting with overwhelming scents and homemade fudge, seventeen-year-old Poppy Palladino discovers something dark and unsettling: a back room filled with dozens of startlingly life-like wax sculptures, crafted by one very strange old lady. Poppy hightails it home, only to be shocked when one of the figures—a teenage boy who doesn’t seem to know what he is—jumps naked and screaming out of the trunk of her car. She tries to return him to the candle factory, but before she can, a fire destroys the mysterious workshop—and the old woman is nowhere to be seen.

With the help of the wax boy, who answers to the name Dud, Poppy resolves to find out who was behind the fire. But in the course of her investigation, she discovers that things in Paraffin aren’t always as they seem, that the Grosholtz Candle Factory isn’t as pure as its reputation—and that some of the townspeople she’s known her entire life may not be as human as they once were. In fact, they’re starting to look a little . . . waxy. Can Poppy and Dud extinguish the evil that's taking hold of their town before it’s too late?

Now on to the interview!

Hi Gina! First I want to say welcome to Two Chicks on Books! WAX sounds absolutely fantastic and I can’t wait to read it! And am so happy that you could stop by for a visit!

For the readers: can you tell us a little bit about WAX and the characters?

Poppy Palladino is a musical theater geek. She lands an audition on a popular reality show talent competitiononly to slip and fall and bleed all over the stage on national television. Returning back to her small hometown in Vermont, she yearns to separate herself from the humiliation, only to get wrapped up in a bullying war one that somehow leads to her sneaking into the back room of the creepy candle factory for which her town is famous. There, she meets a batty old woman who makes
very realistic wax sculptures too realistic, as Poppy later finds out, when a teenage wax boy jumps out of her car trunk, naked. He doesn’t know anything about the world or how to be a person, yet Poppy inadvertently adopts him, and long with the rest of Poppy’s theater crew, they begin to discover that not all is well in their town. In fact, its residents are starting to look a littlewaxy.

Is this a standalone or a series? And if it’s a series do you have a title for book 2 yet? And if it’s a standalone what are you working on next?

It’s a standalone. My next book is called WASTE OF SPACE, and it is the story of teen teenagers picked to be stuffed into a rocket ship, shot into space, and have the entire debacle taped as a reality show for a morally challenged television network. What could go wrong?

Were any of the characters in the book inspired by people from your real life?

No, but the Grosholtz Candle Factory is inspired by the flagship store of a real-life candle company. I won’t say which, but suffice it to say that it’s gigantic, over-the-top, and has to be seen to be believed. It has a room that snows. IT SNOWS. IN THE ROOM.

Who was your favorite character to write? What about your least favorite?

I really enjoyed writing Dud, because it was a challenge to try and see life through the eyes of someone who has suddenly been thrust into being at the age of 16ish, without the benefit (or curse) of a past or a childhood or any experience with the world at all. It opened up a lot of opportunity for humor, but was also a nice vehicle for the sort of childlike wonder that a lot of us lose as we grow up, especially during
our cynical teen years. And I don’t have any least favorite characters to write if I did, I wouldnt write them. Evil characters are fun. Mwahaha.

What is your favorite passage/scene in WAX?

The description of the Grosholtz candle factory was a blast to write, mostly because all I got to be as outrageous as I wanted. If Willy Wonka designed a candle store, what would it look like? This.

What kind of research did you have to do for the story?

Some historical research was necessary, although I can’t say too much about that because it gets a bit spoilery. The really fun research had to do with wax itself how candles are made, the chemistry of scents, how wax behaves when it burns, etc. Science forever!

Who is your ultimate book boyfriend?

Waldo. He shares my love of travel.

What inspired you to write YA?

For whatever reason, I remember my teen years more acutely than any other portion of my life, and lots of times I still feel like a teenager. It’s my most honest voice, so I like to play in that sandbox as much as I can. All the fun and drama and angst, with none of the zits. (Well, fewer zits.)

Lightening Round Questions

What are you reading right now? Or what do you have on your TBR that you’re dying to read?
Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War, by Mary Roach. She writes about science with the best sense of humor I’ve ever read, and if you’ve never picked up any of her books you must do so immediately.

What Hogwarts House would the Sorting Hat place you in?

Twitter or Facebook?

Favorite Superhero?
Captain Obvious

Favorite TV show?
Ya Heard? With Perd

Sweet or Salty?

Any Phobias?
Getting flung out, untethered, into the depths of space. Everyone laughed at this until Gravity came out and THE THREAT WAS PROVEN TO BE REAL.

Song you can’t get enough of right now?
More of an album than one song: the original Broadway cast recording of Urinetown, since I was just in a local production of it. If you haven’t seen it, you must do so immediately.

Fall Movie you’re most looking forward to?
*googles fall 2016 movies* - let’s see, uh Tyler Perrys Boo! A Madea Halloween, and Im looking forward to it because old timey movie marquees won’t have enough letters for the full title so they’re going to have to get creative. Rise to the challenge, movie nerds!

Thanks so much Gina for answering my questions! I can’t wait for everyone to read WAX!

Thank you for having me!

About Gina:
Gina Damico is the author of Croak, Scorch, and Rogue, the grim-reapers-gone-wild books of the Croak trilogy. She has also dabbled as a tour guide, transcriptionist, theater house manager, scenic artist, movie extra, office troll, retail monkey, yarn hawker and breadmonger. A native of Syracuse, New York, she now lives outside Boston with her husband, two cats, and one dog, and while she has never visited hell in person, she has spent countless waking hours at the Albany Regional Bus Terminal, which is pretty darn close. Visit her website at www.ginadami.co.

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a hardcover of WAX! US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Tour Schedule

Week One:
7/25/2016- Two Chicks on BooksInterview
7/26/2016- Eli to the nthReview
7/27/2016- BookHounds YAGuest Post
7/28/2016- Lisa Loves LiteratureReview
7/29/2016- The Cover ContessaInterview

Week Two:
8/1/2016- Here's to Happy EndingsReview
8/2/2016- Ohana ReadsGuest Post
8/3/2016- A Dream Within A Dream- Review
8/4/2016- YA Book MadnessInterview
8/5/2016- A Gingerly ReviewReview

Friday, July 22, 2016

Giveaway- POISON PRINCESS by Kresley Cole Signed!!!!!

I am so excited to be able to share this with you! With the novella and book 4 of The Arcana Chronicles coming out in August I have teamed up with Kresley Cole for a Giveaway! Kresley has signed FIVE copies of POISON PRINCESS for some lucky winners! Are you new to the series? Well this is a great way to start it and if you're already a fan who wouldn't want a signed edition for their bookshelves!

Haven't heard of POISON PRINCESS? Check it out!

Title: Poison Princess
Author: Kresley Cole
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole introduces The Arcana Chronicles, post-apocalyptic tales filled with riveting action, the dark mysticism of Tarot cards, and breathtaking romance.She could save the world—or destroy it.                                                                                                     Sixteen year old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.                                                                                                           But she can’t do either alone.                                                                                                                      With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?                                                                                                       Who can Evie trust?                                                                                                                                                As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side….
Here's a little snippet from POISON PRINCESS :)

“You’re not going in!”

In answer, he pulled his shirt over his head, revealing rigid planes of muscles. Yes, I’d caught glimpses of him shirtless before—but this was the first time I’d utterly lost my breath looking at him.

His face and his broad chest were still tanned, his eyes seeming to glow in the moonlight. That onyx rosary around his neck glinted with his movements.

He was stripping before my eyes, yet I couldn’t look away. I bit my bottom lip. 

Any minute I would turn my back. Any minute…

As he began to unbuckle his belt, his stomach muscles rippled.

I grew weak in the knees. Any minute—

When he reached his zipper, he cocked his head and met my gaze.

I was frozen, could do nothing but stare. He raised his eyebrows at me in challenge, his fingers inching his zipper down.

A second after I’d finally found the presence of mind to turn my back, I heard his belt buckle ping on the tile floor, the rustle of his dropped pants. Eyes wide, I snapped, “This is foolish, Jackson—“

In the space of a heartbeat, he’d snagged my pack off my back, looped an arm around my waist—and hauled us both into the pool.

Are you excited??? Here's the giveaway details!

5 winners will receive a signed copy of POISON PRINCESS, US Only!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Haven't read the other books in the series? Grab them now! And pre-order the books coming out in August!

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