Friday, February 26, 2016

Cover Reveal! An Unforgiveable Love Story by BL Berry

AnUnforgivableStoryEbook (1)
Cover Design: Najla Qamber
Love is patient.
Love is kind.
She wanted to forget her past.
He wanted to change the course of his future.
She was everything he never knew he needed.
He became her unexpected. Everything was perfect.
Until ...
One of Five ARC's for An Unforgivable Love Story
Direct Link:
Book Trailer
       Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00014]  
About the Author
BL Berry grew up telling lies. Eventually, those lies turned into elaborate stories and when she grew older she started writing them down. When she's not hiding behind her computer writing, you can find her spending time with her family or catching up on her favorite TV shows. Rumor has it she'll sleep when she's dead. Residing outside of Kansas City, she lives with her husband, two children and black pug. Each day her family thanks the makers of e-Readers, because without which they would be living amongst stacks and stacks of romance novels. Conversely, each day B.L. Berry thanks the makers of e-Readers for hiding her book-hoarding tendencies.
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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Coming Soon to Vise Library: Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie

The Vise Library is introducing books (in separate blog posts) that will be available in our catalog soon.  We were given the opportunity to read Burning Glass prior to its release in March.  Read below to find out what this book is about and to see what the Vise Library thought about it!

About the book:

Red Queen meets Shadow and Bone in a debut fantasy about a girl forced to use her gift for sensing—and absorbing—other people’s feelings to protect the empire from assassins. Steeped in intrigue and betrayal, Burning Glass captivates with heartrending romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s quest for redemption. 
In Riaznin, it’s considered an honor for Auraseers like Sonya—girls with a rare form of synesthesia—to serve as the emperor’s personal protector, constantly scanning for feelings of malice and bloodlust in the court. But Sonya would rather be free.
After the queen’s murder and a tragic accident, Sonya is hauled off to the palace to guard a charming yet volatile new ruler. But Sonya’s power is reckless and hard to control. She’s often carried away by the intense passion of others.
And when a growing rebellion forces Sonya to side with either the emperor who trusts her or his mysterious brother, the crown prince, Sonya realizes she may be the key to saving the empire—or its greatest threat.
Before we get to the insides of this book, can we please discuss how gorgeous the outside of it is?  It does have significance to the story, but again, STUNNING.  Anyways, to the actual story...Sonya has the power to feel people's moods and intentions.  However, she is not very good at this in the beginning, like at all.  However a great tragedy happens where she is the oldest auraseer in the empire and is called to serve the emperor with her gift.  She has a hard time meandering through court life and trying to hone her powers.  One mess up from her can mean the death of the emperor - or hers.  Meanwhile there is something mysterious going on with the emperor's brother, Anton, that she is determined to get to the bottom of the plot.  I will say at first I did have some difficulty understanding Sonya and her powers (that could totally be my fault) but I did thoroughly enjoy her journey of not only understanding other people's feelings but her own.  Sometimes she struggled with that fact that if her feelings were her own or if they belonged to someone else.  She eventually learns that she is capable of so much more than she ever realized and that empathy has a lot to do with that.  This book was a wonderful journey of watching Sonya become stronger and more aware of her growth.  I think this book is very relatable through Sonya's struggle.  You will keep guessing about certain characters and be heartbroken for others.  I loved this debut novel and loved the teaser for the next book (can I read that now, please).  Seriously, the story couldn't be more perfect!  Make sure you give this book a shot when it releases next week and it will be available in our Popular Collection!

Buy the book:

About the author:

My love of storytelling began as a young girl when my dad told me, in his own words, the story of To Kill a Mockingbird while we listened to the film score together. Enchanted, I began my own attempts at storytelling, which usually led to home video productions featuring my younger sister as the nerd or maid, while I reserved the role of the glamorous movie star or princess.
In high school, I focused on acting and won first place in monologues at a prestigious statewide Shakespearean competition. When I wasn’t on the stage, I spent my time composing sappy poetry and completing at least ten pages in my journal every night. My author dad edited my school papers and taught me the art of writing. I went on to study acting in college and at The Oxford School of Drama in England. (All that character analysis transferred nicely to writing!)
The writing bug bit me when I was in recovery from donating a kidney to my older brother. I found my old stash of short stories, and the inspiration for my first novel struck. I’ve been writing ever since.
A lover of art in all forms, I also enjoy singing and playing the guitar. My husband is equally artistic. We keep busy raising three rambunctious and creative children. (Taken from author's website)
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Friday, February 19, 2016

Coming to the Vise Library: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

The Vise Library is introducing books (in separate blog posts) that will be available in our catalog soon.  We were given the opportunity to read Rebel of the Sands prior to its release in March (thanks Penguin Teen, seriously).  Read below to find out what this book is about and to see what the Vise Library thought about it!

About the book:

“You will cheer for Amani the whole way as she escapes the bonds of oppression and finds her own power, and you will mark your calendar for the sequel.”—Rae Carson, bestselling author of the Fire & Thorns trilogy
Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic.  For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female.  

Amani Al’Hiza is all three.  She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead.

Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she’s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she’d gallop away on mythical horse—or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew. 

Rebel of the Sands reveals what happens when a dream deferred explodes—in the fires of rebellion, of romantic passion, and the all-consuming inferno of a girl finally, at long last, embracing her power.
I have been dying to read Rebel of the Sands since last year.  I can't tell you how happy I was to receive a copy of Hamilton's book!  I was almost willing to sell my soul to the library gods in order to get an advanced copy of this book (would that really have been so bad??)  It's always a little frightening to finally get your hands on a book that you have been anticipating for some time.  You just do not want to end up disappointed if the story does not rise to the occasion.  I was hoping this book would live up to the expectations I had for it.  Well it didn't. It actually surpassed them!  (See what I did there??)  I'm trying to think of the best way to describe this book in order to do it justice...and I just can't.  I will try though!  

This book is basically a western mixed up with genies (djinn) and magic.  However, the magic is not the normal three wishes kind.  Djinn are quite feared and hunted down.  The main character, Amani, is desperately trying to leave her desert town in order to get away from her awful relatives.  She meets a stranger who helps her do that (he has his own selfish reasons though).  They embark on an adventure together that involves jumping off trains, evil creatures that give you nightmares and uncovering unknown identities.  There are lots of ways that the djinn are woven into the story but I am afraid to give too much away where the main secrets slip out.  Just know that this book is very imaginative, exciting and leaves you wanting more (PLEASEEE).  I was pleasantly surprised that this book was not predictable and a few times I was completely caught off guard. This book is going to be a major hit, so make sure that you get your hands on our copy when it releases the beginning of next month!  I think a reread is going to be in store when I get my pre-ordered copy in my hands.  I can't wait to discover this book all over again.  Alwyn is going to be visiting the area the end of next month at Parnassus books if anyone wants to join me!  

Buy the book:
       Barnes and Noble
      Parnassus Books

About the author:

 Alwyn Hamilton was born in Toronto and spent her childhood bouncing between Europe and Canada until her parents settled in France. She grew up in a small town there, and attempted to read and write her way to new places, developing a weakness for fantasy and cross-dressing heroines. She left France for Cambridge University to study History of Art at King’s College, and then to London where she works for an auction house.
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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Book Review: Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor

Members of the Vise Library were selected to review Into the Dim.  We received a copy of Janet B. Taylor's book for an honest review.

About the book:

"Instantly engaging, constantly suspenseful, ultimately poignant and satisfying. Loved it!"--Diana Gabaldon, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Outlander series

When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. And she's alive, though currently trapped in the twelfth century, during the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Passing through the Dim, Hope enters a brutal medieval world of political intrigue, danger, and violence. A place where any serious interference could alter the very course of history. And when she meets a boy whose face is impossibly familiar, she must decide between her mission and her heart—both of which could leave Hope trapped in the past forever. 

Addictive, romantic, and rich with historical detail, Into the Dim is an Outlander for teens. 
I am loving all of the time travel books this year!  Each book is uniquely different and Taylor's Into the Dim is no exception.  This book starts off with the main character, Hope, attending the funeral of her mother (who supposedly died in an earthquake).  She is, of course, devastated but has been invited by her mother's sister, Lucinda (who Hope has never met), to visit in Scotland.  At first, Hope is apprehensive but decides to visit in order to get answers about her mom.  Hope soon discovers on her visit that her mother is not dead, but stuck in the 12th century.  Hope finds out that her mom is actually a time traveler (this book offers a scientific approach to the whole time traveling things and it feels believable!).  Lucinda needs Hope's help to bring her mom back to the present.  With the help of some new friends and a mysterious stranger, Hope's journey is anything but smooth.  This book is full of action, rival time travelers, mystery, and history.  I felt like I was in London right along with Hope as she was meandering her way through the time period.  Not only are you on adventure with this book, but discovering about real people and places at the same time.  I think readers are going to love how much fun is involved with this book.  I know I am already waiting for the sequel!   Make sure you check this book out when it releases next month (it will be available from our Popular Collection).  

You can read the first three chapters!

Buy the book:
       Barnes and Noble
      Parnassus Books

About the author:

Janet B. Taylor lives in such a small town in Arkansas that if you happen to sneeze when you pass by, you'll totally miss it. (Cause, you know, you can't sneeze with your eyes open. For real-try it-it's impossible.) She lives with her Prince Charming, their two hilarious sons, and Dorda the diabetic dog who won't win any beauty contests, but has a "really nice personality". Janet's debut, INTO THE DIM (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) is a YA Adventure/Time Travel, which comes out March 1st, 2016, with the sequel due in Spring 2017.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye

The Cumberland University Library has been given the opportunity to participate in a blog tour (The Tsar's Guard Parade) for the upcoming book The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye.  There are over 100 blogs participating in this event: Find the complete Tsar’s Guard Parade Schedule at Evelyn Skye’s website!

This book (there is more information about the book below) is set in Russia during Tsar Alexander I's reign (1801-1825).  Instead of simply reviewing the book and telling you how much we loved it (which we did and we can't wait for people to read this book!) we decided we'd give you a little information about the food that is mentioned in this book.  There are several Russian foods mentioned throughout the book.  We thought it would be interesting for you to know what these dishes look like so that you could have an idea in your head (and be drooling at the same time) as you read this book (it comes out in May!)  Here are just a few of the foods mentioned in the book (I don't know about you, but I suddenly got very hungry....):

 Blini w/ Strawberry Jam


Blanquette de veau


Kulich Easter Bread

Vatrushka Pastries


Borodinsky Bread (a favorite of Vika's father!)


Borscht Soup


Oreshki Cookies



Don't all of these look delicious?   I may have to try a few of these out!  I think my personal favorite is the Blini with the Easter Bread close behind it. We hope this gives a good visual for when you are navigating your way through this wonderful book.  Our copy will be available for check out when this book releases later this year.  We hope you enjoy this book and the wonderful backdrop of Russia (and the culture) as much as we did.  Anyone want to plan a trip to Russia????

About the book:

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see
through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in 
Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a 
powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test 
an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s 
most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off 
her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly  opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he 
can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the 
mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed 

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes 
dangerously clear . . . the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

Release Date: May 17th, 2016

Pages: 416

Publisher: Balzer+Bray

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

About the author:

Evelyn Skye was once offered a job by the C.I.A., she not-so-secretly wishes she was on 
"So You Think You Can Dance," and if you challenge her to a pizza-eating contest, she 
guarantees she will win. When she isn't writing, Evelyn can be found chasing her 
daughter on the playground or sitting on the couch, immersed in a good book and 
eating way too many cookies. THE CROWN'S GAME is her first novel. Evelyn can be 
found online at and on Twitter @EvelynSkyeYA.

To win an ARC of The Crown's Game enter the giveaway below!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Book Review: The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Members of the Vise Library were selected to review The Girl from Everywhere.  We received a copy of Heidi Heilig's book for an honest review.

About the book:

Heidi Heilig's debut teen fantasy sweeps from modern-day New York City, to nineteenth-century Hawaii, to places of myth and legend. Sixteen-year-old Nix has sailed across the globe and through centuries aboard her time-traveling father's ship. But when he gambles with her very existence, it all may be about to end. The Girl from Everywhere, the first of two books, blends fantasy, history, and a modern sensibility. Its witty, fast-paced dialogue, breathless adventure, multicultural cast, and enchanting romance will dazzle readers of Sabaa Tahir, Rae Carson, and Rachel Hartman.
Nix's life began in Honolulu in 1868. Since then she has traveled to mythic Scandinavia, a land from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, modern-day New York City, and many more places both real and imagined. As long as he has a map, Nix's father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place, any time. But now he's uncovered the one map he's always sought—1868 Honolulu, before Nix's mother died in childbirth. Nix's life—her entire existence—is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix's future, her dreams, her adventures . . . her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash, who's been part of their crew for two years. If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own.
This is not your average time travel book.  Heidi Heilig offers a unique approach to a well-explored concept.  Rudy's father, Slate, is a navigator of time travel.  However in order to travel he needs maps (and his ship the Temptation) that were written in the time period that he wants to visit. Ruby has grown up being on her father's ship where her father has spent her whole life looking for a specific year to travel to Hawaii.  Slate is hoping to save the love of his life, Ruby's mother.  Ruby is far from excited because she doesn't know how that affects her present or future.  Slate and his crew travel to Hawaii, but unbeknownst to them: the incorrect year.  They discover the map that they really need, but the cost may be too high.  This story involves a heist that mixes myth, legend and truth.  I loved how imaginative this story was and I can't wait to see how Ruby navigates her life in a future book!  This book comes out later this month, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled when it hits our Popular Collections shelf!!

Buy the book:
       Barnes and Noble
      Parnassus Books

About the author:

Heidi grew up in Hawaii where she rode horses and raised peacocks, and then she moved to New York City and grew up even more, as one tends to do. Her favorite thing, outside of writing, is travel, and she has haggled for rugs in Morocco, hiked the trails of the Ko'olau Valley, and huddled in a tent in Africa while lions roared in the dark.

She holds an MFA from New York University in Musical Theatre Writing, of all things, and she's written books and lyrics for shows including The Time Travelers Convention, Under Construction, and The Hole. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, her son and their pet snake.

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