Blogmas Day Eighteen: New to Me Authors 2021

Hello, bookworms! The last few years we’ve shared authors that we’ve read for the first time in that year and we’ve really enjoyed that. It’s fun to look back and see which authors we loved that were brand new to us this past year. So, this year we will be doing it again. Some of these are debut novels, but we’re going to be making a whole different post for 2021 debut authors, so if there are debut novels on here, they’re backlist titles.

Amanda’s New Authors

Sarah Gailey
Upright Women Wanted
When We Were Magic

Dahlia Adler
Cool for the Summer

Andrea Stewart
The Bone Shard Daughter
The Bone Shard Emperor

Hanna Alkaf
The Girl and the Ghost

Tessa Bailey
Fix Her Up
Love Her or Lose Her
Tools of Engagement

Holly Jackson
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder
Good Girl, Bad Blood

Akemi Dawn Bowman
The Infinity Courts
Summer Bird Blue

A.K. Larkwood
The Unspoken Name
The Thousand Eyes

Fonda Lee
Jade City
Jade War
Jade Legacy

Emily Lloyd-Jones
The Bone Houses

Simone St. James
The Sun Down Motel
The Broken Girls

Hafsah Faizal
We Hunt the Flame
We Free the Stars

Kameron Hurley
The Light Brigade

Tess Sharpe
Far From You
The Girls I’ve Been

Sarah Hogle
You Deserve Each Other
Twice Shy

Antonia’s New Authors

Elizabeth May
Seven Devils

Laura Lam
Seven Devils

Roshani Chokshi
Aru Shah and the End of Time
Aru Shah and the Song of Death
Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes
The Gilded Wolves

S.A. Chakraborty
The City of Brass

Micaiah Johnson
The Space Between Worlds

Maria V. Snyder
Poison Study

Adalyn Grace
All the Stars and Teeth

These are the authors that we read for the first time in 2021 and loved. These are all authors that we will absolutely be reading more books from in the future.

Who’s books did you read for the first time this year?

Blogmas Day Eleven: 10 Books I’d Gift to Fantasy Readers

Hello, lovelies! I was trying to think of some holiday bookish content that I could get excited about and I came up with what’s going to be a bit of a mini-series over the next week or so. Today I’m going to share some underrated fantasy books that you could give to that reader that’s already read everything. Basically, I’m writing this post for anyone buying for a fellow bookworm that reads a lot of the fantasy genre. These are all going to be books that I don’t often see anyone talk about, but that I really loved.

Middle Grade

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Paola Santiago and the River of Tears by Tehlor Kay Mejia
“Space-obsessed 12-year-old Paola Santiago and her two best friends, Emma and Dante, know the rule: Stay away from the river. It’s all they’ve heard since a schoolmate of theirs drowned a year ago. Pao is embarrassed to admit that she has been told to stay away for even longer than that, because her mother is constantly warning her about La Llorona, the wailing ghost woman who wanders the banks of the Gila at night, looking for young people to drag into its murky depths. Hating her mother’s humiliating superstitions and knowing that she and her friends would never venture into the water, Pao organizes a meet-up to test out her new telescope near the Gila, since it’s the best stargazing spot. But when Emma never arrives and Pao sees a shadowy figure in the reeds, it seems like maybe her mom was right. . . . Pao has always relied on hard science to make sense of the world, but to find her friend she will have to enter the world of her nightmares, which includes unnatural mist, mind-bending monsters, and relentless spirits controlled by a terrifying force that defies both logic and legend.”

Young Adult

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Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen
“In a world divided by meddlesome gods and treacherous oceans, only the Maarin possess the knowledge to cross the Endless Seas. But they have one mandate: East must never meet West.
A SAILOR WITH A WILL OF IRON. Teriana is the second mate of the Quincense and heir to the Maarin Triumvirate. Her people are born of the seas and the keepers of its secrets, but when her closest friend is forced into an unwanted betrothal, Teriana breaks her people’s mandate so her friend might escape—a choice with devastating consequences.
A SOLDIER WITH A SECRET. Marcus is the commander of the Thirty-Seventh, the notorious legion that has led the Celendor Empire to conquer the entire East. The legion is his family, but even they don’t know the truth he’s been hiding since childhood. It’s a secret he’ll do anything to protect, no matter how much it costs him – and the world.
A DANGEROUS QUEST. When an Empire senator discovers the existence of the Dark Shores, he captures Teriana’s crew and threatens to reveal Marcus’s secret unless they sail in pursuit of conquest, forcing the two into an unlikely—and unwilling—alliance. They unite for the sake of their families, but both must decide how far they are willing to go, and how much they are willing to sacrifice.”

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Ashlords by Scott Reintgen
“Every year since the Ashlords were gifted phoenix horses by their gods, they’ve raced them. First into battle, then on great hunts, and finally for the pure sport of seeing who rode the fastest. Centuries of blood and fire carved their competition into a more modern spectacle: The Races. Over the course of a multi-day event, elite riders from clashing cultures vie to be crowned champion. But the modern version of the sport requires more than good riding. Competitors must be skilled at creating and controlling phoenix horses made of ash and alchemy, which are summoned back to life each sunrise with uniquely crafted powers to cover impossible distances and challenges before bursting into flames at sunset. But good alchemy only matters if a rider knows how to defend their phoenix horse at night. Murder is outlawed, but breaking bones and poisoning ashes? That’s all legal and encouraged. In this year’s Races, eleven riders will compete, but three of them have more to lose than the rest–a champion’s daughter, a scholarship entrant, and a revolutionary’s son. Who will attain their own dream of glory? Or will they all flame out in defeat?”

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For the Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig
A young woman with a dangerous power she barely understands. A smuggler with secrets of his own. A country torn between a merciless colonial army, a terrifying tyrant, and a feared rebel leader. 
Jetta’s family is famed as the most talented troupe of shadow players in the land. With Jetta behind the scrim, their puppets seem to move without string or stick a trade secret, they say. In truth, Jetta can see the souls of the recently departed and bind them to the puppets with her blood. But the old ways are forbidden ever since the colonial army conquered their country, so Jetta must never show never tell. Her skill and fame are her family’s way to earn a spot aboard the royal ship to Aquitan, where shadow plays are the latest rage, and where rumor has it the Mad King has a spring that cures his ills. Because seeing spirits is not the only thing that plagues Jetta. But as rebellion seethes and as Jetta meets a young smuggler, she will face truths and decisions that she never imagined—and safety will never seem so far away.
Heidi Heilig creates a world inspired by Asian cultures and French colonialism.”

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The Black Veins by Aisha Monet
“In a world where magic thrives in secret city corners, a group of magicians embark on a road trip—and it’s the “no-love-interest”, found family adventure you’ve been searching for. Sixteen-year-old Blythe is one of seven Guardians: magicians powerful enough to cause worldwide panic with a snap of their fingers. But Blythe spends her days pouring latte art at her family’s coffee shop, so why should she care about having apocalyptic abilities? She’s given a reason when magician anarchists crash into said coffee shop and kidnap her family. Heartbroken but determined, Blythe knows she can’t save them alone. A war is brewing between two magician governments and tensions are too high. So, she packs up her family’s bright yellow Volkswagen, puts on a playlist, and embarks on a road trip across the United States to enlist the help of six strangers whose abilities are unparalleled—the other Guardians.”

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Spellhacker by M.K. England
“In Kyrkarta, magic—known as maz—was once a freely available natural resource. Then an earthquake released a magical plague, killing thousands and opening the door for a greedy corporation to make maz a commodity that’s tightly controlled—and, of course, outrageously expensive. Which is why Diz and her three best friends run a highly lucrative, highly illegal maz siphoning gig on the side. Their next job is supposed to be their last heist ever. But when their plan turns up a powerful new strain of maz that (literally) blows up in their faces, they’re driven to unravel a conspiracy at the very center of the spellplague—and possibly save the world. No pressure.”

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Belle Révolte by Linsey Miller
“Emilie des Marais is more at home holding scalpels than embroidery needles and is desperate to escape her noble roots to serve her country as a physician. But society dictates a noble lady cannot perform such gruesome work. Annette Boucher, overlooked and overworked by her family, wants more from life than her humble beginnings and is desperate to be trained in magic. So when a strange noble girl offers Annette the chance of a lifetime, she accepts. Emilie and Annette swap lives—Annette attends finishing school as a noble lady to be trained in the ways of divination, while Emilie enrolls to be a physician’s assistant, using her natural magical talent to save lives. But when their nation instigates a terrible war, Emilie and Annette come together to help the rebellion unearth the truth before it’s too late.”

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These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch
“Adeluna is a soldier. Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Argrid, a country ruled by religion. But adjusting to postwar life has not been easy. When an Argridian delegate vanishes during peace talks with Grace Loray’s new Council, Argrid demands brutal justice—but Lu suspects something more dangerous is at work. Devereux is a pirate. As one of the outlaws called stream raiders who run rampant on Grace Loray, he pirates the island’s magic plants and sells them on the black market. But after Argrid accuses raiders of the diplomat’s abduction, Vex becomes a target. An expert navigator, he agrees to help Lu find the Argridian—but the truth they uncover could be deadlier than any war. Benat is a heretic. The crown prince of Argrid, he harbors a secret obsession with Grace Loray’s forbidden magic. When Ben’s father, the king, gives him the shocking task of reversing Argrid’s fear of magic, Ben has to decide if one prince can change a devout country—or if he’s building his own pyre. As conspiracies arise, Lu, Vex, and Ben will have to decide who they really are . . . and what they are willing to become for peace.”

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The Scapegracers by Hannah Abigail Clarke
“An outcast teenage lesbian witch finds her coven and the friends she’s always hoped for hidden amongst the popular girls in her school, and performs some seriously badass magic in the process.”

Adult

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The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood
“What if you knew how and when you will die? Csorwe does. She will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice. On the day of her foretold death, however, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Csorwe leaves her home, her destiny, and her god to become the wizard’s loyal sword-hand — stealing, spying, and killing to help him reclaim his seat of power in the homeland from which he was exiled. But Csorwe and the wizard will soon learn – gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.”

These are some fantasy books that I absolutely loved, but don’t often see other readers talking about them. They also all have less than 5k ratings on GoodReads. So, if you have a friend that’s a fantasy lover, get them one of these highly underrated books this gifting season!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogmas Day Twenty-Nine: Books I DNF’d

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Hi, lovelies! I want to talk about making the choice to put down a book and never pick it up again. I’ve been DNF’ing books left and right this year and it’s such a freeing feeling. Being able to say, “I’m done with this book. I’m not enjoying it.” and then putting it in the unhaul pile, or returning it to the library unfinished and moving on to another book I’m more excited about reading is such a great feeling. It puts less pressure on me to read books I don’t like. So, here are all the books that I chose to DNF in 2019.

Enchantee by Gita Trelease

The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett

Unleashed by Diana Palmer

Henry V by William Shakespeare

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

For some reason I feel like I am forgetting some, but if I can’t remember them there’s probably a reason for that. Tell me in the comments if you DNF’d any books this year and what books they were!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Blogmas Day Twenty: Unfinished Series

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Hey, lovelies. Today I want to talk about series that I have yet to finish. I’m not going to be talking about series that are still releasing books, only the series that are completed and all books are published. I have managed to finish quite a few series that I’ve fallen behind on, but a readers job is never done.

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

I’ve only managed to read the first book in this series…twice. I keep meaning to pick up book two, but I just keep finding other books I’m more excited about. I’ll get to it hopefully in 2020 now that the whole series is finished.

Stream Raiders series by Sara Raasch

I read and loved the first book. So I thought I’d pick up book two immediately when it came out. I just didn’t though. I’m still hoping to get to it before the end of the year.

Tales of a New World by P.C. Cast

I absolutely adored books one and two, but need to reread them before being able to finish the series up with book three. It’s been too long for me to just jump into the finale.

The Conqueror’s Saga by Kiersten White

Again, I loved books one and two, but need to reread before being able to start book three to finish out the series. I hope to do this in 2020.

The Talon Series by Julie Kagawa

I may or may not end up DNFing this series. Antonia says the main character gets better and I love Kagawa’s writing. She tells incredible stories, so I do want to finish this one.

The Glittering Court trilogy by Richelle Mead

This is another series where I read and loved the first two, but want to reread them before reading the finale when it was finally published. But it’s not almost two years later and I have not reread or managed to pick up the third book.

Well, that’s all I have for this post. I’m impressed that there are not more on this list, but as I said above, I’ve spent quite a bit of time trying to get to the finales of series I’ve been slacking on finishing. Hopefully, I can get to all of these in 2020. What unfinished series are on your TBR list?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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