Muse Monday #2

This week I got to get out of the house and spend some time with my friends! It was and always is such an encouragement to be able to do that. We had a super fun game night paired with delicious sushi!

Another thing that’s inspired and encouraged me this week is my ah-dohr-ahhble kittens. They’re two and a half weeks old and I love them so much. (pictures bc adorableness!!)

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Book Review: The Crown’s Fate

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Russia is on the brink of great change. Pasha’s coronation approaches, and Vika is now the Imperial Enchanter, but the role she once coveted may be more difficult—and dangerous—than she ever expected.
Pasha is grappling with his own problems—his legitimacy is in doubt, the girl he loves loathes him, and he believes his best friend is dead. When a challenger to the throne emerges—and with the magic in Russia growing rapidly—Pasha must do whatever it takes to keep his position and protect his kingdom.
For Nikolai, the ending of the Crown’s Game stung deeply. Although he just managed to escape death, Nikolai remains alone, a shadow hidden in a not-quite-real world of his own creation. But when he’s given a second chance at life—tied to a dark price—Nikolai must decide just how far he’s willing to go to return to the world.
With revolution on the rise, dangerous new magic rearing up, and a tsardom up for the taking, Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha must fight—or face the destruction of not only their world but also themselves.

From the moment I saw the cover for this book, I felt scared to read it. Legit scared. And the cover reflects what’s inside the book. While still a magical story like THE CROWN’S GAME, this book was much darker. The storyline, the characters, even some of the content was much darker. But it fits the story well. There’s the dark constriction on Vika’s ‘freedom’ as the imperial enchanter, the return of a certain someone, and just the overall feel of the story.
As with most reviews for sequels, this one is going to be hard to write. I want to flail and scream and die over everything that happens, but I can’t mention a lot of things without spoiling the first book, which I do not want to do!
I can say, however, that, like THE CROWN’S GAME, the characters are really a big focus in the book. They’re all fleshed out and 3-D. From our main characters to the smallest side character, each one shone in its own way and helped make the story the best it could be.
THE CROWN’S GAME is a story I loved because it was magical and delicious, from the baked treats featured, to the magical side of Russia we don’t see in history. I loved this book just as much, if more, but for such different reasons. While I cried only twice during my read of THE CROWN’S GAME, this book made me cry so many times. It’s definitely a much heavier story, and I will mention that it gets a little gruesome at moments, and there is like one slightly unnecessary time when a guy details a sexual encounter to his friends (not too detailed, just weird)
I also loved how Yuliana is a much more important character in this story than in THE CROWN’S GAME. She was definitely very ruthless, but it was something that was a little admirable. She definitely had a hand in the events of the first book, but in this one she just brought something to the story and she helped flesh out other characters.
Okay so here’s the amazing this about this book. Nobody is perfect. There’s a major character who I hat and love because she was so complex. There were times where I hated Pasha. But in the end, the characters still won me over.
There is a love triangle in the first book and while I avidly dislike love triangles, I really loved how this one came through in the book. I was definitely annoyed at points, but in the end… I probably wouldn’t love the book as much as I did if it didn’t have the love triangle.
Overall, this book was deliciously painful. I loved every second AND PLEASE LET THERE NOT BE A THIRD BOOK MY BABIES HAVE BEEN THROUGH ENOUGH SHEESH
(this book deserves so many more stars tbh, but here’s five)

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What’s your favorite sequel?

Favorites of the Month!

Hiiiii! JUNE STARTS TOMORROW LIKE WHAT EVEN. but let’s not freak out over how short months are like I usually do and let’s jump into the books that I ate and loved this month!

acowar_usI started out this month with ACOWAR (actually I reread ACOTAR and ACOMAF first but that’s a reread so shush) and y’all, this book. While I am mindful of the flaws it has, and there’s way too much sex, I still gave it five stars. The story and characters are so important to me that I couldn’t not rate it five stars. I cried so much but I love this. So much.

9780062484871_0895cThis book kind of blindsided me! I found the writing absolutely amazing and the characters so good. I kind of went into it knowing nothing, and while it was confusing in the first chapter, it really shaped up and I really loved it!

C6h2EjMWwAEnLk4I went into this book blind and it was so worth it. Because I knew nothing about it, I really was able to immerse myself in the story and also relate to the main character a lot more. It was an eye-opening, important read.

tcpcoverI loved this book the first time I read it, but this time it was so much better. It’s so fun and sad and soul destroying and perfect for your summer on or off of the beach!

Okay, your turn!

What are your favorite books that you read in May?

Muse Monday #1

The above tweet is the first of a long thread that you should hop over to Twitter and read, but it inspired me. It’s about how Christians view people who write fiction, and it’s so, so important to me. And this week, it’s what inspires me.

It inspires me that Aimee had the courage to speak out about it.
It inspires me that because she did I can know that I’m not the only one who thinks that.
It inspires me because this is something I’ve struggled with and while it’s not completely resolved in my mind, it’s the start of an answer to my questions.

What has inspired you this week?

(PSA: if this confuses you, hope over to my schedule page to know what this post is! https://thatbookgal.wordpress.com/my-blogging-schedule/)

Hiatus???

I’ve given this quite a bit of thought and I really don’t want to do it, but it’s better than just not having anything to post and apologizing. I’m going to be taking a hiatus for a few weeks, to read and get some reviews written and edit my schedule a little bit and just take some time for myself.

Thank you all for reading!

No Review??

you probably noticed I deviated from my schedule today and skipped posting a review! That’s just because I didn’t finish the book in time. I should have a review up Monday, but if not, I WILL have a Whatever Wednesday up and a review Friday! Thank you!!

PSSSST DON’T FORGET TO ENTER IN MY GIVEAWAYYYY (ends May 4) https://thatbookgal.wordpress.com/2017/04/17/book-review-giveaway-who-she-was/

and I will be hanging out in the comments, so comment there and check out my last post: https://thatbookgal.wordpress.com/2017/04/19/self-publishing/

Self Publishing?

Lately, a lot of my friends have been opting to self publish, some after a lot of querying and hard work, and some a month or two after they wrote the book. I feel like self publishing has a little bit of a bad rep in the book world, mostly because a lot of people consider it to be cheating, both because of the easy, quick publishing time, and because there’s no one really to make sure you’ve edited enough. So today I thought I’d go through some of the things you should do before self-publishing, and highlight some people who have done it successfully.

Here’s the skinny: If you’re going to self publish and you want your book to be read and appreciated, you’re going to need to put some money done. The truth of the matter is that nothing important is easy.

The first thing you’re going to need to look into is an editor. If you put your naked(unedited) manuscript out there, you will regret it. While I don’t have experience with hiring or finding an editor, there are tons of people who do, so ask around.
Beta readers are also a viable option, though they do tend to not catch as many important details as a professional editor would. The incentive of the beta reader is that they’re cheap, so you don’t have to put down a chunk of money for some much-needed insight.

INVEST IN A COVER DESIGNER. The first thing potential readers are going to see is your cover. People are already super wary of self published books, so your cover has got to win them over. I would suggest hiring a professional to design your cover, because, let’s be honest, not a lot of people fall in love with books whose covers were made with the Paint app on your Dell. I do want to give a tutorial sometime on designing your own cover and making it look professional, but for now, here’s my nugget of wisdom: hire a professional. the outcome will be so worth it.

Self promote like a crazy person. I know this kind of goes without saying, but books don’t sell themselves. Dance, scream, use smoke signals; just get that book out there. offer up e-copies to readers. Look into the pricing to get your book on sites like Netgalley and Edelweiss. It may not happen overnight, but it will pay off.

So now that I’ve talked about a few things you really should and probably need to do before you self publish, I’m going to talk about a few people who have self published or are in the process of doing so who done things on this list and it’s paying off for them.tcpcover

I’m ridiculously proud of Sierra and everything happening around this book. She announced that she was self publishing in September of 2016 and since then she has had 3,000 people marking her book “want to read” on Goodreads. The Color Project is publishing in July of 2017 (please correct me if I’m wrong! Thought it was November before but I think she changed it) This book is definitely amazing.

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I’m not going to talk about what this book is about, but the cover is stunning, the writing is impeccable, and the story is just so good. This is a prime example of self publishing done right!

 

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You’ve probably heard of this last one. It was self-published by booktubing coauthors Lindsay Cummings and Sasha Alsberg and not long after being released it reaching the New York Times Bestsellers list AND got picked up by a traditional publisher.

 

 

So after all this you’re probably wondering; am I for or against self publishing? If you do it right, I think it’s an amazing idea. Just don’t waste your debut if you’re not willing to put in hard work and money to make it possible.

So: self publishing… what are your thoughts? Do you agree with me? Are you for or against it?