A Rockstar Book Tour: Bright We Burn by Kiersten White – An Excerpt of the Forthcoming Novel


We met Lada as a child in And I Darken. She cut a bloody swath across the countryside and rose to power in Now I Rise. Now comes the final chapter in the life of one of the greatest conqueror’s in fiction…and history.

As sad as I am that this book is the end of a saga, I am so pleased to be sharing this post with everyone today. Lada’s journey has been an intense one to follow because, while inspired by historical events, it has become something all its own in the hands of Kiersten White.

I was meant to have an interview with Kiersten for this post, as per the schedule, but as schedules do, things change, so for time being, please enjoy an excerpt of Bright We Burn as The Hermit Librarian’s stop on this fabulous tour.

I’d like to extend a big thank you to Rockstar Book Tours for making this happen and for organizing such a fantastic tour. There’s a variety of posts to check out as well as a giveaway at the end, so be sure to check out the full tour schedule and the Rafflecopter link at the bottom of this post.


Bright We Burn_Final_1_5


Author: Kiersten White

Pub. Date: July 10, 2018

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 416

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonAudibleB&NiBooksTBD

Haunted by the sacrifices he made in Constantinople, Radu is called back to the new capital. Mehmed is building an empire, becoming the sultan his people need. But Mehmed has a secret: as emperor, he is more powerful than ever . . . and desperately lonely. Does this mean Radu can finally have more with Mehmed . . . and would he even want it?

Lada’s rule of absolute justice has created a Wallachia free of crime. But Lada won’t rest until everyone knows that her country’s borders are inviolable. Determined to send a message of defiance, she has the bodies of Mehmed’s peace envoy delivered to him, leaving Radu and Mehmed with no choice. If Lada is allowed to continue, only death will prosper. They must go to war against the girl prince.

But Mehmed knows that he loves her. He understands her. She must lose to him so he can keep her safe. Radu alone fears that they are underestimating his sister’s indomitable will. Only by destroying everything that came before–including her relationships–can Lada truly build the country she wants.

Claim the throne. Demand the crown. Rule the world.


An Excerpt of Bright We Burn


“If she continues to push on this, she will be killed.” Kumal lifted his hands as though weighing two choices. “I do not mean that as a threat. I mean it as truth. You have said yourself that she will never back down. Her actions threaten everyone in our empire. Instability creates cracks through which death seeps in. Our responsibility is to keep our people safe, and to address threats to their well-being. Radu, I know she is your sister, but if she will not compromise, this necessarily ends in her death.”


Radu felt a pressure behind his eyes like tears he would not release. Kumal was right. Lada was courting death, and would drag untold numbers down with her on her bloody journey. He had failed her before. He would not fail her this time. But to protect her, he would have to betray her. Betrayal was quickly becoming the only skill he had to offer anyone.


Radu nodded. “She will not compromise. When she comes to meet me—as she must, because I am her brother and it aggravates her that I have belonged to someone else these last years—I will bring her back here.”


“She will never come back,” Mara said.


“Not willingly.” Radu waited as his meaning sank in. “No,” Mehmed said. “I cannot make her a prisoner. Not like my father did. It would . . .” His voice broke as he trailed off.


“It would kill whatever love she has left for both of us.” Radu crossed the room and took Mehmed by the shoulders. He saw his own sadness and exhaustion reflected in his friend’s eyes. He hated this decision, even as he felt it was the right one. The only one. “Maybe, someday, we can fix it. But right now, people are dying because of her. Your people. Our people. Can we let them die because of our history with her?”


Mehmed’s eyes tracked back and forth, as though tracing potential futures. Doubtless he searched for one in which he might have Lada the way he wanted her. The future he was seeing did not revolve around Radu. “Bring her back,” Mehmed said. “Bring her home.”


Text copyright © 2018 by Kiersten Brazier. Published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York.


About the Author

Kiersten White

Kiersten White is the NYT bestselling author of the Paranormalcy trilogy, the Mind Games series, Illusions of Fate, The Chaos of Stars, In the Shadows with artist Jim Di Bartolo, and the upcoming historical reimagining, And I Darken. She has one tall husband and three small children and lives near the ocean, where her life is perfectly normal. Visit her at www.kierstenwhite.com.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads


Get to know Lada, Radu, & Mehmed in the first two books in the Conqueror’s Saga: And I Darken & Now I Rise.


And I Darken

Amazon  –  Barnes & Noble  –  Book Depository  –  Goodreads  –  Indiebound

Published: 28 June 2016

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Category: Historical Fiction/Young Adult


Now I Rise

Amazon  –  Barnes & Noble  –  Book Depository  –  Goodreads  –  Indiebound

Published: 27 June 2017

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Category: Historical Fiction/Young Adult




Rafflecopter Giveaway


Tour Schedule


Week One:

6/25/2018- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review- Books 1 & 2

6/26/2018- Pandora’s Books– Excerpt

6/27/2018- Two Chicks on Books– Interview

6/28/2018- Jena Brown Writes– Review

6/29/2018- The Hermit Librarian– Interview


Week Two:

7/2/2018- The Desert Bibliophile– Review

7/3/2018- PaperTrailYA– Review

7/4/2018- Wonder Struck– Review

7/5/2018- The Pages In-Between– Review

7/6/2018- Beware Of The Reader– Review


Week Three:

7/9/2018- Lisa Loves Literature Review

7/10/2018- Omg Books and More Books– Review

7/11/2018- Rhythmicbooktrovert– Review

7/12/2018- Wishful Endings– Review

7/13/2018- A Dream Within A Dream– Review


Week Four:

7/16/2018- The Clever Reader– Review

7/17/2018- Under the Book Cover– Review

7/18/2018- mall3tg1rl– Review

7/19/2018- The Book Nut– Review

7/20/2018- lori’s Little House of Reviews– Review






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Rockstar Book Tours Release Day Blitz: Mistake of Magic by Alex Lidell


Happy book birthday to Alex Lidell & MISTAKE OF MAGIC, book two in the Power of Five series. Now available on Amazon, free on Kindle Unlimited, I get to share some exciting release day content with you, including an excerpt from the birthday book itself and a giveaway!

If you’re new to Alex Lidell’s books, be sure to read all the info below. The release day blitz includes a giveaway for a signed copy of the book, notebook, & swag (Open US Only) and 3 eBooks of MISTAKE OF MAGIC (Open INT), courtesy of Alex and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.


About the Book:


mistake of magic cover

Title: MISTAKE OF MAGIC (Power of Five #2)
Author: Alex Lidell
Pub. Date: June 29, 2018
Publisher: Danger Bearing Press
Format: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 193
Find It: Goodreads, Amazon


Three trials stand between Lera and exile. Unless the training kills her first.

Quint magic has never chosen a human before, and the Elders Council is convinced Lera is a mistake.

When the quint refuses to be cleaved apart, the enraged elders give them a choice: exile from Lunos or demotion to the lowest of trainees. Subject again to the humiliations and deadly trials they endured centuries ago, the males now face a new challenge—training Lera to survive.

River, Shade, Coal, and Tye will do whatever it takes to keep Lera safe. But Lera will do whatever she must to keep them together—even if it means putting herself in mortal danger.


About Book One:



Author: Alex Lidell
Pub. Date: May 4, 2018
Publisher: Danger Bearing Press
Format: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 312
Find It: Goodreads, Amazon


Four elite fae warriors. One mortal female. A magical bond they can’t allow—or resist. 

Orphaned and sold to a harsh master, Lera’s life is about mucking stalls, avoiding her master’s advances, and steering clear of the mystical forest separating the mortal and fae worlds. Only fools venture into the immortal realms, and only dark rumors come out… Until four powerful fae warriors appear at Lera’s barn.

River, Coal, Tye, and Shade have waited a decade for their new fifth to be chosen, the wounds from their quint brother’s loss still raw. But the magic has played a cruel trick, bonding the four immortal warriors to… a female. A mortal female.

Distractingly beautiful and dangerously frail, Lera can only be one thing—a mistake. Yet as the males bring Lera back to the fae lands to sever the bond, they discover that she holds more power over their souls than is safe for anyone… especially for Lera herself.

Power of Five is a full-length reverse-harem fantasy novel. 


Excerpt from MISTAKE OF MAGIC:


Four hours and then we’ll be there. Asking the Elders Council to accept our oath as a quint. My chest tightens, nausea shifting my stomach. If the rest of the Elders Council is anything like Klarissa- the gorgeous, manipulative viper who tried to have me killed- then the five of us are walking into a predator’s open maw.
I’d expected that the decision to remain a quint would bring a calm finality with it. The knot on a braid’s end. It didn’t. If anything the knot is at the braid’s beginning, with the weave still to come. With snags to be untangled along the way. My head spins as Shade reluctantly sets me on my feet, the enormity of the past quarter hour hitting me as brightly as the light. What in the bloody stars have I done, swearing to be a warrior that I can never become? A shiver runs down my spine. What if we never leave the Citadel, the males trapped here like caged animals because of me?
My body begs me to defend it. Something inside me rises to answer the plea, the sensation so native that I know the something inside me is mine- and yet I’m just as certain that I’ve never felt it before. Don’t even know what it is.
It’s all for me, I realize. The males’ willingness to endure humiliations that should be hundreds of years behind them. To drop to their knees on the hard council floor and accept runes that trap them in a place they despise. My throat constricts, a sense of belonging, of fierce connection, filling my soul. I don’t know how I can ever repay the four warriors for the gift, but I will.


About the Author:


Alex Lidell is the Amazon Breakout Novel Awards finalist author of THE CADET OF TILDOR (Penguin, 2013). She is an avid horseback rider, a (bad) hockey player, and an ice-cream addict. Born in Russia, Alex learned English in elementary school, where a thoughtful librarian placed a copy of Tamora Pierce’s ALANNA in Alex’s hands. In addition to becoming the first English book Alex read for fun, ALANNA started Alex’s life long love for YA fantasy books.
Alex is represented by Leigh Feldman of Leigh Feldman Literary. She lives in Washington, DC.

Join Alex’s newsletter for news, bonus content and sneak peeks: www.subscribepage.com/TIDES

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon
Author Page | Book Bub | Instagram


Giveaway Details:


One (1) winner will win: a Signed copy of the book, notebook, & swag (US only)
Three (3) winners will each win an eBook of MISTAKE OF MAGIC (Open INT).
The giveaway will be open until July 17th at 12:00 a.m. EST.


Rafflecopter Giveaway






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Review: The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell


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Published: 18 July 2017

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Category: Fantasy/Young Adult/Science Fiction/Historical Fiction

Stop the Magician. Steal the book. Save the future.

In modern-day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic—the Mageus—live in the shadows, hiding who they are. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power—and often their lives.

Esta is a talented thief, and she’s been raised to steal magical artifacts from the sinister Order that created the Brink. With her innate ability to manipulate time, Esta can pilfer from the past, collecting these artifacts before the Order even realizes she’s there. And all of Esta’s training has been for one final job: traveling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book containing the secrets of the Order—and the Brink—before the Magician can destroy it and doom the Mageus to a hopeless future.

But Old New York is a dangerous world ruled by ruthless gangs and secret societies, a world where the very air crackles with magic. Nothing is as it seems, including the Magician himself. And for Esta to save her future, she may have to betray everyone in the past.

Rating: 5 Stars

Magic, magic in danger, Old New York, time travel…all story elements that piqued my interest.

Time travel is an amazing storytelling device. Sometimes it can be confusing, such as when potential paradoxes pop up or the varying ways timelines can change. While I was a bit thrown at first in The Last Magician, what with Esta’s timeline hopping ability being demonstrated early on and the early 1900’s being introduced via Dolph, I hit my stride quickly for which I was very thankful. After a couple of chapters time became easier to separate, people became easier to identify, that sort of thing.

One thing that I really liked that helped set up the kind of time travel we were dealing with in Maxwell’s book was that when Esta travels back to 1902, she has a newspaper clipping that she had concealed before travelling. Through the changes in it, we get the idea that the past is fluid and her actions are still affecting the future she’s hoping to return to. This had been alluded to by an earlier event, but it really strikes home for Esta when she travels back further than she ever has before.

I liked finding out the motivations of the cast. everyone’s motivations. Esta’s and Harte’s were, of course, the primary ones to advance the reader, but there is still a lot to be said for the others, such as Dolph, Jack, etc. Even those who’s purpose wasn’t quite glaringly vital to story line A still held up the supports of the novel well.

The different affinities were interesting to find out as well. Magic is so integral and there’s a very real fear about it disappearing forever, but there’s also not a 100% reliance on it. Esta, for example, was taught to be a thief without her magic before she learned to work her affinity into her work. Harte learned to use effects in his act, such as false thumbs to hide pins. One of the few things I would have liked to add to the book as an extra would’ve been a table at the end that listed everyone’s affinity because sometimes it became difficult to remember who could do what because they also had such amazing skills that weren’t magical at all.

The Magician as a character was another great character. So many assumptions, so many ideas had about this character and I had my suspicions about their identity. It was such an engaging thread to follow through the story, waiting to see when it would finally connect to all the others.

Lisa Maxwell found a great way to weave a long story (500 pages in my edition) into a pleasant, lose yourself in the pages way. It was almost heartbreaking to put this book down at the end, but reading it this long after publication means I don’t have to wait as long for book two, The Devil’s Thief, due out in October.

I’ve joined Lisa Maxwell’s street team for The Devil’s Thief, so be sure to check back for new material to be shared and news about this latest book in the Last Magician series.






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Harry Potter Thursday: Who was your favorite actor/actress in the movies?


Harry Potter Thursday is a meme of the week created and hosted by Uncorked Thoughts. Each week is a different question pertaining to the world of Harry Potter. You can find the questions here.



Richard Harris is, without a doubt, not only my favorite Dumbledore but also my favorite actor from the Harry Potter film franchise.

It was a sad event when I learned of his passing back around the time when Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was due to release in theaters. As I understand it, he never got to see the final film, which was even sadder. I thought that he embodied Dumbledore perfectly in the two films that he did get to do. His wise old wizard character was funny, endearing, and just so whimsical. I would have loved to see what Richard would have done with the character in the later movies, especially that scene in Goblet of Fire (you all know which one I’m TALKING ABOUT!!! *calmly*).

One of the funniest things I remember hearing about Richard Harris and his role was that he wasn’t going to take it until his daughter or granddaughter said that she would never talk to him again unless he did, she loved the books so much. *lol* What a man.

Who was your favorite actor or actress in the film series? Did you prefer Richard Harris or Michael Gambone as Dubmledore? Let me know in the comments below.






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Review: Pet Dad by Elanna Allen


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Published: 1 May 2018

Publisher: Dial Books

Category: Childrens/Picture Books

Plum wants a pet. Plum’s dad wants NO pets.

But Plum never takes no for an answer. So she gets the only pet she can: a pet dad. He loves playtime, tummy rubs, and scratches behind the ears.

But he won’t sit or fetch or chase. How will Plum train her perfect pet?

Hilariously relatable and with ultra-cute art, Pet Dad is perfect for kids who love or want pets–or who already have the perfect parents to make up for it.

Rating: 4 Stars

Plum is a young girl who wants a pet more than anything, a feeling that’s surely relatable to a lot of readers. However, her dad does NOT want a pet. What’s she to do? Use her dad as a stand-in!

The following story uses a series of beautiful illustrations to tell the story of how Plum plays with her dad as she would a pet. It’s not quite right, though, because her dad is not a pet. Plum has to learn what’s the right way to treat her dad and what’s better left to animals.

Plum’s clearly a young girl, so her ideas of how to play with a pet are sort of accurate but with some comical twists. The lessons she learns wrap up quickly in the last few pages and are somewhat skewed, but the feeling behind them is the important thing.

I liked the color palette used throughout the book. Not only were the illustrations attractive for both parent and child who are reading Pet Dad, but the flow of colors between Plum & her dad and the other characters (children, adults, ans their pets) was harmonious.

Another aspect I liked was the family dynamic. Plum and her father don’t look much alike. Plum’s mum appears in one picture in shadow, so it’s hard to say if there’s resemblance there other than their hair. I think that Plum is a biracial child, which was a good choice because not only does it benefit kids who look like Plum, but shows other children that there are kids who look different than them but play in similar ways.

Pet Dad is a sweet, nicely written story accompanied by an attractive art style that’s a good story for anytime but especially with Father’s Day coming up.






I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Hiatus Becomes Semi-Hiatus

Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive during the time I took off from blogging. It’s been a heck of a month. Things are still a bit uneasy (doctors still don’t have a clear answer), but I’m going to try to make a come back.

During my time off, I’ve been trying to get back to my previous workload and that isn’t really possible at this stage. However, I do miss blogging so what I’m going to try to do is come back slowly. Previously I had multiple reviews up in a week, plus the occasional Top 10 Tuesday, Waiting on Wednesday, or tag posts. That’s a bit much at this stage so I’ll be posting what I can as I’m able.

I hope everyone will continue to be as supportive as they’ve been in the past. I look forward to bringing you the same honest content I have in the past.

Thanks, all! 😀

Review: When the Letter Comes by Sara Fox


Amazon  –  Barnes & Noble  –  Goodreads

Published: 22 May 2018

Publisher: Book Smugglers Publishing

Category: Fantasy/Short Story/Young Adult/LGBT+ (trans mc, nonbinary secondary)

Henry believes that someday, something awesome will happen–everything will turn out all right and all her problems will disappear once her letter arrives, welcoming her to magic school. So even though puberty is already here with changes (like her voice deepening and hair growing in places she does not want), she also knows it’s only a matter of time. After all, hundreds of books have said so.

But when the letter finally comes on Henry’s thirteenth birthday, it is not addressed to her, but to her sister.

When The Letter Comes is a short story with a YA trans protagonist that embraces the experience of those left behind, who must find their own way in the world–magic or not.

Rating: 5 Stars

What happens to the children left behind, the ones not chosen? In When the Letter Comes, we get the story of Henry, a transgender girl who is desperate to step through a wardrobe, get a letter delivered by owl, anything to prove that the magic she’s always believed in is real. When the letter does comes, though, it is addressed to her younger sister rather than her.

This story really spoke to me because I remember what it was like, growing up and wanting something like that to happen. In my case, it was pretending to fall into a rabbit hole, wishing that Wonderland would appear one of those times. What happens when it never does, though? In Henry’s case, after the letter for her sister arrives, she starts leaving magic behind; or, at least trying to convince herself that she is.

Besides the question, the somewhat heartbreaking sadness at realizing you won’t be chosen & that chance is going elsewhere, of what to do in the face of all that, there was Henry’s story about figuring out who she was (i.e. transgender) and living her life as truthfully as possible. There’s some discomfort, some growing pains, a bit of awkwardness, all of which felt so good to read because Henry’s personal story was strongly present alongside the things we read about happening to her sister in the magical world and how it becomes a part of Henry’s world on the outside.

I was hoping that it would turn into a longer book and while it doesn’t, When the Letter Comes is a tremendously great example of a short story that builds up a fully realized world and manages to tell a complete story within its limited word count. Sara Fox is a new favorite author and I hope to read more of their work soon.






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