Saturday, July 4, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #86

Happy 4th of July!!  I hope everyone is enjoying this wonderful holiday!
A weekly meme hosted by, Tynga's Reviews, that features the books we bought, borrowed, were gifted, and were given for review.
Our recap for the past two weeks!



WinterHaven Fun:
Guest Post: Lou Anders

 Here's what landed in our happy hands this week!

The Veil (Devil's Isle, #1) No Such Person Traffick (Tricks, #2) Firewalker (Worldwalker, #2) Dreamstrider The Devil's Engine: Hellraisers Tonight the Streets Are Ours Ink and Bone (The Great Library, #1) First & ThenThe Accident Season The Boy Most Likely To (My Life Next Door, #2) The Shadow Behind the Stars Daughters unto Devils Jubilee Manor (Landry Park, #2)
For Review:

Six Impossible Things

*Special thanks to NAL trade, Delacorte Press, Margaret K. McElderry Books, Feiwel & Friends, Roaring Brook Press, Farrar, Straus, & Giroux (BYR), NAL, Henry Holt and Co (BYR), Corgi Childrens, Dial Books, Atheneum, Harlequin Teen,  Novl, Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, Penguin*

That's it for us this week! I hope everyone had an amazing week as well! Leave me a link so I can see all your pretties!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Review: Gathering Frost by Kaitlyn Davis

Gathering Frost (Once Upon A Curse #1)by Kaitlyn Davis Published
February 17th 2015 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Will his kiss be enough to revive her frozen heart?
Once Upon A Time meets La Femme Nikita in GATHERING FROST, a dystopian romance from bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis that reimagines the classic fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty.
Jade was only a little girl when the earthquake struck. Before her eyes, half of New York City disappeared, replaced by a village that seemed torn out of a storybook. Horses and carriages. Cobblestone streets. A towering castle. And, above all, a queen with the magical ability to strip emotions away.
Ten years later and Jade has forgotten what it is to feel, to care...even to love. Working as a member of the queen's guard, she spends most of her time on the city wall staring at the crumbling skyscrapers of old New York. But everything changes when the queen's runaway son, Prince Asher, returns. Jade is tasked with an unusual mission--to let the Prince capture her, to make him trust her, and then to betray his secrets to the crown. In return, she'll earn her freedom. But life outside the queen's realm is more than Jade bargained for. Under Asher's relentless taunts, her blood begins to boil. Under his piercing gaze, her heart begins to flutter. And the more her icy soul begins to thaw, the more Jade comes to question everything she's ever known--and, more importantly, whose side she's really on.

My Thoughts

I was immediately intrigued when I was approached by Kaitlyn Davis to review her book Gathering Frost. Retellings are simply my cup of tea and the fact that this is a series with each book focusing on a different tale just tickles my fancy. Gathering Frost is loosely based on Sleeping Beauty and it quite an awesome take on it if I do say so myself. I never watched Le Femme Nikita but I think the blurb grossly undersells this book! There was so much good stuff here between the odd mixed time period setting to the multi dimensional characters.

Jade is the only female in the royal guard known as the Blackhearts, these are the guys who hunt down the heroes and Jade does her best to excel in every way. Jade is great character since she is very honest and knows that she doesn't have s heart of gold. The circumstances in which Jade comes into the queen service were quite unusual. The queen is really evil (most are aren't u they?) and has the ability to "freeze" once heart leaving them pretty much void of all emotion. Even though this was Jade's plight, her sense of self never quite left her and she still yearned to be free. Although it did quite upset me when she left her mother. The Queen of Kardenia is also one of those brilliant villains that has just enough humanity in them that you cant help but feel a bit of compassion towards them or their situation rather. I would actually love to see a story telling how she was cursed. Her son, Prince Asher was quite the gallant man, nothing like his mother. I love it when they have a sense of honor rivaling Jaime Frasiers'.

There romance was a slow kindle but was very sweet at the same time. I liked how he was the sole focus for Jade. He is a brave man to go up against his mother in the rebellion they are waging. He truly wants better for his people. The prose were also simple delightful. gathering a frost was told in s very vivid way and the simplest of phrases really carried a great amount of emotion. I appreciate writer who have this ability so very much. They can portray so much with saying so little. There were also plenty of twisty turns. It kept me on my toes for the majority of the book! I cannot wait to read the best book which is based on Beauty and the Beast called Withering Rose!! This will be a crowd pleaser for both the fairy tale lover and dystopian fan as well. This series is definitely a new favorite of mine.

4 Snowflakes

Thursday, July 2, 2015

ALA San Francisco June 2015 - Event Recap & Giveaway

Crystal and I (Arlene) are excited to share our adventures from this weekend’s annual ALA Convention that was held in San Francisco, CA. This is our third annual event attending together, and we had a blast hanging out all weekend. We’ve been book buddies for close to seven years, but unfortunately we live states away, so to be able to meet once a year and pick up right where we left off is always a treat.

Our weekend adventure started off on Friday, June 26th at the San Francisco International Airport where our planes landed within minutes of each other, so we met at baggage claim and quickly hurried off to grab our rental car and tour the lovely Financial District in San Francisco. The entire weekend included meeting with publishers and authors, finding cool diners to eat at, and touring the city during our downtime. If my walking app is anywhere near accurate, we averaged about 8 miles of walking a day!
Friday night was the grand opening of the exhibit floor, where we got the chance to talk to publishers and authors about up-and-coming releases and pick up some summer and fall Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs). The most advertised releases this year were Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, as well as Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley, which I was lucky to get a copy of each.
At this three day event, there were several authors we were excited to meet, including Suzanne Young, Erin Bowman, Virgina Boecker, & Amy Lukavics. (pictured below)
During our weekend adventure, Crystal and I, as well as a few fellow book bloggers gathered before the book convention opened to talk endlessly about our current and upcoming book reads. We were excited to hang out with Cristina from The Girl in the Pages, who was attending ALA for the first time. We also had a chance to chat with some librarians and repeat ALA attendees we’ve met previously. Some of the people we missed though were Hannah from The Irish Banana and Rachel from The Readers Den. We missed you! The morning book chats are my favorite part of the experience… every single time! However, this year we have a few other moments to share…

Funniest moments of the weekend… well really these are moments where Crystal felt it was okay to laugh at me…
Driving into the city and the crazy navigational app woman couldn’t decide what street I should turn right on… After a string of curse words, I just made a last minute decision and miraculously got us to Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf.

Practically falling and breaking my neck trying to maneuver my baggage through the terminal. I decided to rent an airport cart, load my baggage and make a run for Platform 9¾. I’m sure Crystal would have enjoyed seeing me crash into a wall… LOL

Most memorable moments of the weekend…
The death-defying cab ride from the convention to the hotel… We decided to use our rental car for the rest of the weekend.

The Pride Parade and celebration in the city made us feel like we were a part of history in the making.

A civilian dispute, which we were not a part of, happening across the street from Mel’s Diner where we were enjoying an early breakfast that ultimately resulted in an ambulance, two fire trucks and three cop cars arriving to the scene.

Overall, the entire weekend was a huge blast. We each got some exciting ARCs that were on our book wish list, so let me share that with you. As always, I targeted dystopia and contemporary books and Crystal went for weird and creepy. So here’s our list:

Crystal’s Stash
Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics
The Accident Season by Moria Fowley-Doyle
Slasher Girls & Monster Boys by April Genevieve Tucholke & others
Dreamstrider by Lindsay Smith

Arlene’s Stash
The Rose Society by Marie Lu
The Invisibles by Cecilia Galante
Soundless by Richelle Mead
Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon
Love Lies Beneath by Ellen Hopkins

We are both excited to read the books we were lucky enough to receive, so as we publish our reviews be sure to stop by for any ARC giveaways we post.  However, that won't stop us from offering a giveaway to our followers in the spirit of coming back from a great ALA book event. 
So be sure to enter for a chance to win a $15 shopping spree to either Amazon, B&N, or The Book Depository!  This giveaway is open to wherever TBD ships.
Good luck! 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Guest Post: Lou Anders

Today on Winterhaven Books I am so thrilled to have Lou Anders with us!  After finishing Nightborn, I found I was very curious about the elves Mr.Anders had created.  When I was offered the chance to pick a topic for him to answer I jumped at the chance and decided to involve his elves!  Here's what I asked...
Which group of Elves would you belong to, the Shadow Elves or the Oak Elves and why?
His answer is one of my favorites ever!  Take a look!

Would You Rather Be a Hammer or a Nail?

When Winter Haven Books asked me “Which group of elves would you belong to, the Dark Elves or the Wood Elves and why?”, I confess the first thing that came to mind is the Dr. Seuss book Would You Rather Be a Bullfrog? Writing as Theo. LeSieg, this is the book in which the good doctor asks the all-important question “Would you rather be a hammer or a nail?” Easily enough answered, but he goes on to ask about dogs and cats, smelly cheese, igloos and tents, and things get murky. And murky is how I feel now, having to choose between dark elves and wood elves. Well, to paraphrase Doctor Seuss, it’s time for us to think about important things like that.

On the vast continent of Katernia, in which the Thrones & Bones novels Frostborn and Nightborn are set, there are actually five major groups of elves. We meet two of them in Nightborn—the Svartálfar, the “dark elves” who live beneath the mountains of the icy land of Norrøngard, and the Wuduælfen, the “wood elves” who live in the forests and cities of the country of Nelenia (and elsewhere).
The dark elves are pale, with skin the color of a mushroom, but have dark hair and dark eyes. They don’t care for sunlight but they can see in pitch black. Right now, their city of Deep Shadow is run by a sort of secret police organization called the Underhand, a Gestapo-like organization that claims to have the people’s best interest at heart, but really, doesn’t have much heart at all. Deep Shadow is a pretty repressive place to live, and if you aren’t in the Underhand you aren’t having fun. But Deep Shadow does have some things going for it. It’s not a patriarchy. Unlike the human Norrønir, the men and women dark elves share equally in positions of power and authority.

One of the dark elves we meet in Nightborn is named Desstra. She’s a young student in training to join the Underhand. She’s very good at fighting with her darts, gas and sticky bombs, spider silk, and other tricks and traps. She’s one of my favorite creations, and I can see how being a dark elf ninja assassin like her would have its appeal. Also, I do have a deep and abiding love of caves, thanks to Adam West. On the one hand, choosing a dark elf could be cool, as long as you were the right dark elf.

On the other hand, the average wood elf generally has a better life. They are (obviously) wood dwellers, in such places as Fairshadow, a major city in the Blackfire Forest . They also live in the human-built cities of Nelenia, with a fairly large population residing in the city of Castlebriar. Unlike the sallow-skinned Svartálfar, the Wuduælfen complexion and hair mirrors the color of trees, ranging from a golden oak to rich mahagony and dark ebony. They drink in taverns, play songs, and live a much freer existence than their distant cousins.

As a child, I grew up spending long hours alone in the ravine behind our house. I would descend into it every day after school and stay until (and sometimes past) sunset, making up imaginary adventures as I explored the creek and the rocks and the trees. I might have started out as a kindred spirit to the Wuduælfen. But if you think this is sounding like a fairly straight forward “dark elf bad, wood elf good” split, you’d be hasty in that judgment. Because things in Katernia are a tad more ambiguous. At least where some wood elves are concerned.

Choosing between wood elves and dark elves isn’t easy, especially since I know what happens to them in Nightborn. Doctor Seuss knows it’s hard to make these kinds of choices. He tells us in Would You Rather Be a Bullfrog? that he couldn’t even decide between being a dog or a cat. So maybe I can be forgiven when I say I don’t have to decide. As the author of Thrones & Bones, I actually get to be a little bit of all of the characters! And in reading Thrones & Bones, so do you.

About the Author:
Lou Anders drew on a recent visit to Norway along with his adventures traveling across Europe in his teens and twenties to write Frostborn and Nightborn, combining those experiences with his love of globe-trotting adventure fiction and games (both tabletop and role- playing) However, he has yet to ride a wyvern. With the addition of characters Desstra and Tanthal, Anders hopes that his second book in the Thrones and Bones series will continue to appeal to boys and girls equally. Anders is the recipient of a Hugo Award for editing and a Chesley Award for art direction. He has published over five hundred articles and stories on science fiction and fantasy television and literature. A prolific speaker, Anders regularly attends writing conventions around the country. He and his family reside in Birmingham, Alabama. You can visit Anders online at and, on Facebook, on Tumblr, and on Twitter at @ThronesandBones and @LouAnders.

Frostborn (Thrones & Bones, #1) Nightborn (Thrones and Bones, #2)

Waiting on Wednesday - Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie

Welcome to Waiting On Wednesday here at

 Winterhaven Books!

This is a feature created by Jill at Breaking The Spine where we share some books we are anxiously awaiting.

This week's pick...

Burning Glass (Burning Glass #1) 
by Kathryn Purdie
Expected publication: March 1st 2016 by HarperCollins 

Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer. Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. One mistake, one small failure, will cost her own life and the lives of the few people left in the world who still trust her. But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, her feelings easily usurped, and she sometimes can’t decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself. As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray. BURNING GLASS is debut author Kathryn Purdie’s stunning tale of dangerous magic, heart-rending romance, and the hard-won courage it takes to let go.

My Thoughts

I joined a twitter chat (briefly) hosted by my good friends Kristen & Rachel. They were featuring a few newbies of 2016. Let me tell you EVERY SINGLE BOOK had me salivating so for the next few weeks I will be featuring them. This is at the top of my list. I love the idea of the Auraseer. People who can read other intentions/emotions. There is also some brother vs. brother in the royal court drama and I am all for that. I can't wait to see how the magical system plays out and what the world building is like. bring it on.