Monday, June 20, 2016

Blog Tour: And I Darken by Kiersten White

 Today on WinterHaven Books I am participating in the blog tour for And I Darken by Kiersten White!

And I DarkenAnd I Darken by Kiersten White
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: June 28th, 2016
Purchase: Amazon

And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.
My thoughts:
I absolutely love this!  I've seen a few books where there has been a gender swap, but this one did it so right and in such a way that I honestly think I prefer this version.

Kiersten White has definitely found her niche with this story.  I really enjoyed her previous series, Mind Games, but this one really grabbed me and pulled me in.  The story was really fun and something I didn't expect.  This has been compared to Game of Thrones, but I think this is actually pretty different.  I can see a few comparisons like the brutal world that Lada lives in, but for the most part the stories aren't all that similar and And I Darken definitely stands out on its own without the comparison.  I think people will be shocked at how dark this is, but they will love it just as I did.

Lada was a great character and I loved how strong she was.  I have to say what she went through was heartbreaking.  She didn't deserve what happened to her and it was just because she was a girl.  Not cool!  I loved how fierce she was though and how she overcame her hardships.  She used that hate and turned it into strength and man was she dark and awesome!  I love books and characters like this!

I think my favorite thing about this was the setting and history that White has woven into the story. It was truly brilliant and pulled me into the story so much more than just the overall plot.  Don't get me wrong I loved the plot (except the love triangle. That I loathe but I can forgive the author since I love her and I have hope it will be a quick triangle.)  but I loved the setting.  It was rich and vivid and totally showed Whites creativity off!

I have said before that this is the year of the fantasy books and And I Darken is definitely one to add to your list for this year!  It was amazing and I can't wait for the sequel!!

4 snowflakes

About Kiersten White
KIERSTEN WHITE is the New York Times bestselling author of the Paranormalcy trilogy; the dark thrillers Mind Games and Perfect Lies; The Chaos of Stars; and Illusions of Fate. She also coauthored In the Shadows with Jim Di Bartolo. She lives with her family near the ocean in San Diego, which, in spite of its perfection, spurs her to dream of faraway places and even further away times. Visit Kiersten online at and follow @kierstenwhite on Twitter.

Don't for get to visit the official And I Darken website!
CLAIM THE THRONE. Visit to order now!

Check out the other amazing blogs on the tour!
Monday, May 30th through Friday, July 8th (Mondays through Fridays)

Monday, May 30th: Icey Books, Review
Tuesday, May 31st: Bookiemoji, Guest Post (Character Profiles)
Wednesday, June 1st: Seeing Double in Neverland, Review
Thursday, June 2nd: Alexa Loves Books, Playlist Post
Friday, June 3rd: Awesome Book Nut, Review

Monday, June 6th: Jessabella Reads, Review
Tuesday, June 7th: The Eater of Books!, Top Five Roundup
Wednesday, June 8th: Across the Words, Review
Thursday, June 9th: Pandora’s Books, Sneak Peek for Book Two
Friday, June 10th: Tales of the Ravenous Reader, Review

Monday, June 13th: A Midsummer Night's Read, Review
Tuesday, June 14th: The Irish Banana Review, Top 10 Guest Post
Wednesday, June 15th: Stories & Sweeties, Review
Thursday, June 16th: Jenuine Cupcakes, Author Mystery Guest Post
Friday, June 17th: The Soul Sisters, Review

Monday, June 20th: Winterhaven Books, Review
Tuesday, June 21st: Two Chicks on Books, Q&A (4-6 questions)
Wednesday: June 22nd: The Book Swarm, Review
Thursday, June 23rd: Read. Sleep. Repeat., Top Five Fantasy Books Kiersten Loves to Re-Read
Friday, June 24th: Please Feed The Bookworm, Review

Monday, June 27th: Comfort Books, Review
Tuesday, June 28th: Fitshun, Q&A
Wednesday, June 29th: Addicted Readers,Review
Thursday, June 30th: Lindsay Cummings, Movie Casting Post
Friday, July 1st: Rabid Reads, Review

Monday, July 4th: Reading Teen, Review
Tuesday, July 5th: YA Bibliophile, Guest Post (Trip to Romania)
Wednesday, July 6th: Carina’s Books, Review
Thursday, July 7th: Mundie Moms, Author Mystery Guest Post
Friday, July 8thMy Friends Are Fiction, Surprise Post!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Summer Book Bundle Giveaway

It's summer time!! Do you have your summer books ready?

Well if you don't, WinterHaven Books is excited to get one lucky follower started.  Today we are giving away a bundle of books that will be sure to keep you busy this summer.
For one lucky WinterHaven follower, we are offering a box of TWELVE books

So here is what the lucky winner will receive!!
ARC Paperback of Daughter of Dusk by Livia Blackburne
ARC Paperback of Joyride by Anna Banks
ARC Paperback of One by Sarah Crossan
ARC Paperback of Punch Like a Girl by Karen Krossing
Signed ARC Paperback of Hotel Ruby by Suzanne Yound
ARC Paperback of Beyond Clueless by Linas Alsenas
ARC Paperback of Everything Everything Nicola Yoon
ARC Paperback of Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles
ARC Paperback of Are You Still There by Sarah Lynn Scheerger
ARC Paperback of Diary of a Haunting by M. Verano
Hardcover Book of Truewitch by Susan Dennard
Hardcover Book of City of Savages by Lee Kelly

To qualify to win, you must fill out the rafflecopter AND leave a comment on this post. Let us know what you plan to read this summer. :) Because of the number of books I'll be shipping, I can only afford to ship domestic. So for this giveaway, it is open to US Residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Blog Tour: Review: Burn by Paula Weston

Today I'm participating in the blog tour for one my favorite authors!  Paula Weston is amazing and I am so excited to join in her blog tour for the last installment of The Rephaim series, Burn!

Burn (The Rephaim, #4)Burn (The Rephaim, #4) by Paula Weston
Publisher: Tundra Books
Release Date: June 7th, 2016
Purchase: Amazon
Suddenly, Gaby remembers everything.
For a year she believe she was a backpacker chilling out in Pandanus Beach. Working at the library. Getting over the accident that killed her twin brother.

Then Rafa came to find her and Gaby discovered her true identity as Gabe: one of the Rephaim. Over a hundred years old. Half angel, half human, all demon-smiting badass and hopelessly attracted to the infuriating Rafa.

Now she knows who faked her memories, and how—and why it's all hurtling towards a massive showdown between the forces of heaven and hell.

More importantly, she remembers why she's spent the last ten years wanting to seriously damage Rafa.

My Thoughts:
I hate finishing a series.  I have avoided most if not all series enders with the exception of this one and the only reason why I read it was because I love Paula and I wanted to join her blog tour.  The reason why I hate reading the dreaded last book isn't because I think I'll be disappointed it's because I just don't want to walk away from these characters that I've spent so much time with.  It's like leaving a friend and I just can't do it!  Well I made myself read Burn, and it was everything I could have ever hoped for and so much more and I am left wanting more!!!   Simply put his book is EVERYTHING!

Burn starts off with Gaby remembering what happened ten years ago.  I loved how Paula wove in the past with the present and she let Gaby feel those memories.  I can't imagine how hard it would be to relive everything you had lost and I think Gaby was a super strong character for handling it the way she did.  The whole book was actually quite moving because we get to see how Gaby's friendships shifted after the fall out with Rafa and I think seeing what Gaby went through gave her readers a better understanding of her.  Gaby will forever be in my top favorite heroines of all time.

The story is just brilliant.  I have said that with each and every installment and this last one doesn't disappoint at all. It was filled with so many twists and turns and I just loved every minute of it!  Paula Weston is a genius and I have to say this series is by far the best angel/demon series I have ever read and I can guarantee nothing will ever come close to it.  Yes that is a bold statement but I mean it with every fiber of my being.  The Rephaim series is pure perfection and is amazeballs!!

I have to say that I loved Gaby, Jude, and Rafa.  I appreciated that The author kept the drama to a minimum between them when things went down.  I don't like a lot of angst so it was nice to see 90% of that kept in the past.  I like that Gaby let things go and lived in the moment.  Like I said pure perfection and that includes these characters!

I will say the ending was AWESOME!  I loved that twist and I found that last chapter hilarious!  This is why I want more!  I honestly can't praise this whole series enough and I want so much more!  The ending was left sort of open and well I am really hoping Paula revisits these characters.  I think there's WAY more story left that could be told.  As it stands though I think this set of stories concluded very nicely and I have no complaints whatsoever.  It was a brilliant story and Paula PLEASE write more!

Blizzard read as always with Ms. Weston!

Other books in The Rephaim series
Shadows (The Rephaim, #1) Haze (The Rephaim, #2) Shimmer (The Rephaim, #3)

About Paula
 Paula Weston lives in Brisbane with her husband, a retired greyhound and a moody cockatiel. Burn is book four in The Rephaim series after Shadows, Haze and Shimmer.
Website / Twitter / Goodreads

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Interview: A.J. Hartley

 Today I have the amazing
1. How did you come up with this intriguing story line?
The core ideas actually shifted a number of times as I worked on the book. At one stage there were more fantasy elements, at another (very early on) the hero was a boy. I think a lot of the world of the story came together as I planned and went on a trip to South Africa and Swaziland. But in a broader sense, I feel like the book has elements of stories and genres I’ve been working with all my life and that they intersected here—mystery, fantasy, adventure, Victoriana and social issues. At the beginning I think I was thinking of what became Steeplejack as two different books, one a fantasy, the other a fairly realist and more “literary” mystery, and then I realized that the two could be woven together to make something that felt (to me, at least) new and compelling.

2. This is the first book I've ever read where the main character is a steeplejack, how did you come up with that idea?
Steeplejacks were still a part of the world I grew up in, since I was raised in Lancashire, a place that still had a lot of old Victorian factory chimneys which had to be maintained or taken down. I live in Charlotte, NC, now, and the first idea came from spotting an old and abandoned factory chimney which had a bush growing out of the top. It got me thinking about steeplejacks in general and I quickly came up with something very like the cover art for the book! I didn’t have a story idea yet, but I could see this character (a boy at that time) scaling one of those chimneys, and I loved the visual drama of the thing.

3. Which character was the hardest to write?
Hmmm. Tricky. Since the story is told in first person, everyone is mediated by Ang, the protagonist, so I guess it has to be her. In fact I didn’t consciously feel great difficulty writing her because I intuitively felt like I understood her, but I needed to modulate my sense of how she would think of her situation and the people around her because her social situation is not mine: I’m living in the twenty first century, I’m, white and I’m male. She is much younger than me, female, effectively Victorian and of an embattled racial group. All of those things had to be navigated very carefully and I relied on input from other readers to make sure I was getting it right.

4. What was your favorite scene to write?
I like the opening scene of the book because it does so much in terms of presenting the core issues, the world, the key character and the looming mystery, but other more action driven scenes (like the one at the opera house) were fun too. And anything involving Dahria is fun because she’s funny. To me, at least

5. Can you share what you are currently working on?
I’ve just finished the first draft of the second book in this series, but I’m also working on another multibook YA series called Cathedrals of Glass, which is part of my partnership with Tom DeLonge (of Blink 182/Angels and Airwaves) which I think of as Lord of the Flies meets Alien 

 A.J., thank you so much for stopping by!  Steeplejack was a definite 2016 favorite of mine and I cannot wait for the sequel!  I am also VERY intrigued with Cathedrals of Glass!  It definitely sounds like my kinda book and well I'm a huge Blink 182 fan so having Tom DeLonge on the project with you is an added bonus!  So excited!

Find A.J.
Steeplejack (Alternative Detective, #1)Steeplejack by

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Blog Tour Guest Post by Catherine Egan

Today on WinterHaven Books we have the amazing Catherine Egan with us!  She is stopping by to tell us a little bit about her writing space!

When we moved into our current apartment almost four years ago, I decided I wanted a dedicated writing space, something I’d never really had before. I couldn’t claim a whole room of my own, but we bought a little table and a nice ergonomic chair and set it all up in a corner of the living room. My writing nook!

I can’t remember now if I ever wrote at that table, sitting in that chair. We quickly ran out of bookshelf space (and space for more bookshelves) so the table looks like this:

And we ran out of coat-rack space / space to put things in general, so the chair usually looks like this:

My writing nook became instead the Corner of Piled Up Stuff, and I write every weekday morning at the kitchen table. The kitchen is actually the biggest and tidiest room in our apartment. I am near the snacks and the coffee. The table is next to the window – not that the view is so tremendous, unless I want to spy on the neighbors (who wisely keep their blinds closed), but I like the light. So my writing space looks like this:

“stickers on computer courtesy of my kids”

And while I haven’t lit it yet – I am saving it for a Writing Crisis – I keep this votive candle my awesome sister-in- law sent me on the table as well:

The physical space is less important to me than creating the right mental space for writing. While I used to have to write whenever and however I could, I cherish the routine I have now. I drop the kids off at school, and the ten-minute walk home is enough to clear my mind from the morning rush and get my head back into the story. Back home, I leave the breakfast dishes in the sink and make a huge mug of coffee, thinking about where I left off the day before, what needs to happen, what is or isn’t working. Then I sit down at the kitchen table with the coffee and a slab of
dark chocolate, open my computer, and begin.

 Thanks so much for sharing your writing space Catherine!  It looks really comforting and I LOVE the votive candle! 

About Catherine:
CATHERINE EGAN grew up in Vancouver, Canada. Since then, she has lived on a volcanic island in Japan (which erupted while she was there and sent her hurtling straight into the arms of her now-husband), in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Beijing, on an oil rig in the middle of Bohai Bay, then in New Jersey, and now in New Haven, Connecticut. She is currently occupied with writing books and fighting dragon armies with her warrior children. You can read more about her at Follow her on Twitter at

Julia VanishesJulia Vanishes by Catherine Egan
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 7th, 2016
Purchase: Amazon 
Julia has the unusual ability to be…unseen. Not invisible, exactly. Just beyond most people’s senses.

It’s a dangerous trait in a city that has banned all forms of magic and drowns witches in public Cleansings. But it’s a useful trait for a thief and a spy. And Julia has learned—crime pays.

Her latest job is paying very well indeed. Julia is posing as a housemaid in the grand house of Mrs. Och, where an odd assortment of characters live and work: A disgraced professor who sends her to fetch parcels containing bullets, spiders, and poison. An aristocratic houseguest who is locked in the basement each night. And a mysterious young woman who is clearly in hiding—though from what or whom?

Worse, Julia suspects that there’s a connection between these people and the killer leaving a trail of bodies across the frozen city.

The more she learns, the more she wants to be done with this unnatural job. To go back to the safety of her friends and fellow thieves. But Julia is entangled in a struggle between forces more powerful than she’d ever imagined. Escape will come at a terrible price.

Giveaway time!  
One lucky reader will receive their very own copy of Julia Vanishes!
Open to US residents only.
Hosted by the publisher