The Whimsical Mama

<3 Such is the life of a stay at home mommy and Army wife (:

Waiting on Wednesday #76: Caraval by Stephanie Garber January 18, 2017

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Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

My pick of the week is:

*****UPDATE LATER*****

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Caraval (Untitled #1)

By: Stephanie Garber

Coming: 31 January 2017

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Summary:

Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game . . .

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

Then, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation to Caraval finally arrives. So, Tella enlists a mysterious sailor’s help to whisk Scarlett away to this year’s show. But as soon as the trio arrives, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nonetheless soon becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with her sister, with Legend, and with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

Why I’m excited:

 

Why I need you to be excited:

 

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Waiting on Wednesday #72: RoseBlood by A.G. Howard December 21, 2016

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Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

My pick of the week is:

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RoseBlood

By: A.G. Howard

Coming: 10 January 2017

Publisher: Amulet Books

Summary:

In this modern day spinoff of Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.

At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.

A. G. Howard brings the romantic storytelling that Splintered fans adore to France—and an entirely new world filled with lavish romance and intrigue—in a retelling inspired by a story that has captivated generations. Fans of both the Phantom of the Opera musical and novel, as well as YA retellings such as Marissa Meyer’s Cinder, will devour RoseBlood.

Why I’m excited:

I have long loved The Phantom of the Opera. I saw it on Broadway in 2005 and fell even deeper in love. When I heard that there was a new retelling coming out, I knew I would have to get my hands on it!

Why I need you to be excited:

I’ve heard great things about A.G. Howard’s Alice in Wonderland series, Splintered. If she has done great things with Alice in Wonderland, I can’t wait to see what she can do with The Phantom of the Opera!

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Waiting on Wednesday #70: Windwitch by Susan Dennard December 7, 2016

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Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

My pick of the week is:

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Windwitch (The Witchlands #2)

By: Susan Dennard

Coming: 3 January 2017

Publisher: Tor Teen

Summary:

The follow-up to New York Times bestselling Truthwitch, next in a breathtaking YA fantasy series hailed by Alexandra Bracken as “a world you will want to inhabit forever.”

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery,” a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In this follow-up to New York Times bestselling Truthwitch, a shadow man haunts the Nubrevnan streets, leaving corpses in his wake—and then raising those corpses from the dead. Windwitch continues the tale of Merik—cunning privateer, prince, and windwitch.

Why I’m excited:

I’m really intrigued by this new series by Susan Dennard. I haven’t read anything by her yet, but I think the first two books of The Witchlands series will be amazing.

Why I need you to be excited:

I’ve heard great things about Truthwitch and can’t wait to read it and the sequel!

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Waiting on Wednesday #57: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor September 7, 2016

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Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

My pick of the week is:

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Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1)

By: Laini Taylor

Coming: 27 September 2016

Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Summary:

Strange the Dreamer is the story of:

the aftermath of a war between gods and men
a mysterious city stripped of its name
a mythic hero with blood on his hands
a young librarian with a singular dream
a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep.

 

Why I’m excited:

I really enjoyed Laini Taylor’s first two books in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy (I still need to read the third book!) I’m really excited to read her new series.

Why I need you to be excited:

Laini Taylor has proved herself a powerful author and wordsmith. You know this is going to be a great new series.

 

Waiting on Wednesday #47: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab June 29, 2016

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Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

My pick of the week is:

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This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1)

By: Victoria Schwab

Coming: 5 July 2016

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Summary:
There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

Why I’m excited:

Victoria Schwab has secured her place on my automatic preorder/buy list, so it’s not surprising to find This Savage Song on my Waiting on Wednesday list. I’ve been intrigued by this book since Victoria started tweeting about her mysterious monster book. I’m always a glutton for a good fantasy, and it definitely sounds like This Savage Song will not disappoint!

Why I need you to be excited:

Victoria Schwab has proven time and again that she is a fantastic wordsmith. I’m super excited at the dawning of a new series by her and I think you should be too! I think this will be a very interesting book considering the world we live in where tragedies seem to be becoming a daily occurrence and it really feels like there are monsters all around us.

 

Waiting on Wednesday #46: And I Darken by Kiersten White June 22, 2016

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Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

My pick of the week is:

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And I Darken (The Conqueror’s Saga

By: Kiersten White

Coming: 28 June 2016

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Summary:


NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL.

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.

Why I’m excited:

Ha. Really? It’s historical. Gender bending Dracula? Yes, please! Also, it’s fantasy. GIVE IT TO ME NOW! I got so ridiculously excited when this book was announced. I don’t care if the vampire legend is pulled in or not. That will be an added bonus, but just the strict history of this is fascinating enough. I think it will be so incredible to take such a terrifying figure and transform him into an unsuspecting female role. Females can’t be vicious, right? Ha. WRONG. I would much rather get into a fight with a guy than a girl!

Why I need you to be excited:

Dracula. Enough said. I mean, really? Who doesn’t like the tale of Dracula? No? Well, skip this one then. You’ll regret it though. This. Is. Gonna. Be. AWESOME!

 

Non-Contemporary Young Adult Beach Reads June 20, 2016

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When I read Jamie’s post about non-contemporary young adult beach reads, I knew it was the perfect post for me to share my own recommendations. I’m not the biggest fan of contemporary reads. I do recommend Emery Lord and Jennifer Echols though if you are looking for good contemporary authors.

These are all quick reads. They aren’t heavily detailed in world building (no Tolkien style writing here!) but the character development is great.

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  1. The Wrath and the Dawn is a delicious quick historical fantasy. This is a retelling of Arabian Nights and Renee Ahdieh is a brilliant story teller. Just make sure you take the sequel, The Rose and the Dagger, with you!

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2. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a little heavier on the world building, but this trilogy is still a fantastic read. It’s always great to read about a badass girl who can take care of herself! Plus there’s a super steamy romance that’s perfect for beach reading. Don’t forget to take along The Winner’s Crime and The Winner’s Kiss.

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3. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. In my opinion, The Infernal Devices is the superior series in Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter realm. On audio or physical reading, this trilogy is a fantastic quick binge.

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4. Legend by Marie Lu. This was actually a beach read for me a few summers ago. I devoured Legend and Prodigy at the beach and it left me panting for Champion. This dystopian is a brilliant page turner.

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5. A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano is a middle grade novel, but that doesn’t take anything away from its brilliance. I devoured this read in one sitting, even though it wasn’t at the beach, but at home. I do think this would be a quick beach read though!

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6. The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter. I’m always a glutton for a good read involving Greek mythology. This series by Aimee Carter is a super quick binge that’s light, dark, and romantic all in one!

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7. Die for Me by Amy Plum. A swoony Frenchman? Yes, please! I adore Paris, so even visiting through reading is great. Throw in relaxing by the ocean and it’s PERFECTION.

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8. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. While I still need to read the last book, this is a fantastic fantasy. Plus it’ll make you want to ditch the beach and head to Prague!

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9. Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz. Yep. Melissa de la Cruz’s drama filled series with fallen angels as vampires series makes the list. The fantasy aspect is light and almost contemporary in presentation, it makes it a great, light beachy read.

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10. Waterfell by Amalie Howard. Alien mermaids? Colour me intrigued! What makes this such a great read for the beach is that it takes place at the beach! This is a light world building fantasy as it mostly takes place in San Diego. The realm of Waterfell is a super interesting idea though. Make sure you have Oceanborn to read too!

What are some of your favourite non-contemporary beach reads? Keep an eye out the next few weeks for more beach reading recommendations!

 

 

Waiting on Wednesday #45: The Vanishing Throne by Elizabeth May June 15, 2016

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Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

My pick of the week is:

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The Vanishing Throne (The Falconer Trilogy #2)

By: Elizabeth May

Coming: 21 June 2016 (US)/ 19 November 2015 (UK)

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Summary:

The second book in the Falconer trilogy is packed with surprises and suspense.

Aileana Kameron, the Falconer, disappeared through the portal that she was trying to close forever. Now she wakes up in the fae world, trapped and tortured by the evil Lonnrach. With the help of an unexpected ally, Aileana re-enters the human world, only to find everything irrevocably changed. Edinburgh has been destroyed, and the few human survivors are living in an uneasy truce with the fae, while both worlds are in danger of disappearing altogether. Aileana holds the key to saving both worlds, but in order to do so she must awaken her latent Falconer powers. And the price of doing that might be her life.

Rich with imaginative detail, action, fae lore, and romance, The Vanishing Throne is a thrilling sequel to The Falconer.

Why I’m excited:

I absolutely loved The Falconer when I read it. I featured it on Waiting on Wednesday and I have also posted a review. It was easily a favourite read of 2014. I was so excited about The Vanishing Throne and disappointed when the release dates were pushed back and so far apart as far as UK/US. It released back in November in the UK, but I just haven’t had a chance to get it yet. And with my lull in blogging and it coming out next week, I thought it would be the perfect feature! I can’t wait to do a reread and then read later this summer!

Why I need you to be excited:

I think this is as great under the radar fantasy. The Falconer was a quick read and though I hate them, it ended on a spectacular cliffhanger that leaves you panting for more! It’s going to be a fast paced ride of a second book!

 

Top Ten Tuesday #91: Mid-Late 2016 Anticipated Releases June 14, 2016

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Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Mid-Late 2016 Anticipated Releases (AKA What I currently have preordered for the rest of the year)

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  1. Catalyst: A Rogue One Story. I don’t know anything about it other than it plays into the new Star Wars movie. I preordered it on faith. Hoping it won’t disappoint!

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2. Gemina by Aime Kaufman & Jay Kristoff. Honestly, I still haven’t gotten to Illuminae, but I went ahead and preordered this on faith (plus to make the casualty list!) The idea of being written in file/report format fascinates me. I’ve just decided to wait til closer to October to binge both of the books.

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3. Iron Man: The Gauntlet by Eoin Colfer. I have to be honest again. I would MUCH rather one of my favourite authors be writing about Captain America or the Winter Soldier, but I am pretty excited for this book!

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4. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them The Original Screenplay by JK Rowling. Seriously? Have you seen my Harry Potter collection? Did you honestly think this wouldn’t make the list? I can’t wait for the movie!

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5. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, John Tiffany, & Jack Thorne. Surrounded by controversy to be sure. I’m in #TeamCanon. I fully take this as 100% continuation of the Harry Potter story. Yes, I’m disappointed I can’t make it to London to see it this summer, but they’re releasing the screenplay AND it will most likely tour/expand. I’m excited. I would also love to see this come out on video. #KeeptheSecrets

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6. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling (Illustrated edition). Wow. In 2007, I could have only dreamed that there would be THREE new Harry Potter books in one year. YES! Chamber of Secrets was my least favourite in the series, but I’m super excited to see the illustrations!

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7. Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas. I definitely have this preordered, but since I will have to reread the whole series to be ready, I’m kinda thinking I’ll wait on reading until the final book comes out. With so many incredible things to read, re-reads get harder and harder to work in with multiple books!

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8. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. I absolutely love the Grishaverse. I haven’t read Six of Crows yet cause I decided that I would preorder and then binge the duology together. Same reasons as above with Empire of Storms! I know they’re companion series, but I like the refresher!

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9. This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab. Let’s face it. She writes it, I read and buy it. (: The plot for this one sounds incredible. I only wish it would be out BEFORE I head to my first beach trip this summer. Ah, well. It’ll be a great thing to come home to though!

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10. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir. I’m actually currently reading this ARC thanks to Mary. It’s great so far and I’m pleased with my decision to preorder the first day it was up! I adored An Ember in the Ashes. It was easily a favourite of 2015! I’m excited to see where Elias an Laia’s story goes.

 

 

*ARC Review & Blog Tour* The Fulfillment by Erin Rhew October 22, 2015

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***I was granted permission to read this galley before publication by the author in exchange for an honest review and to participate in the author’s blog tour***

***mild spoilers may follow***


Rating:  4 stars
Pub date: 15 October 2015
Publisher: BookFish Books
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Format: ebook, eARC, provided by the author
Status: Book three of The Fulfillment Series

Summary:

Layla’s world tumbles out of control when she discovers the truth of her parentage and realizes the Prophecy—the one she upended her entire life to defend—is incomplete. When her new friends share the entire Prophecy, the revelations contained within it alter her destiny and challenge everything she and Wil believe in. Now, she must confront the Outlander queen to save the Ethereal kingdom while grappling with this new reality.

Tortured and imprisoned, Nash accepts his fate and offers the First Ones the one thing he has left to give: his life. In a desperate attempt to save the people he loves most, he surrenders himself to the Outlander queen and a destiny darker than he could have ever dreamed possible.

Wil, tormented by the consequences of his choices, realizes he may never be able to uphold his end of the Prophecy. His mistake casts a deep, foreboding shadow over his kingdom and those he loves, while its ripples threaten to shatter both the Prophecy and everything he and his family have sworn to protect.

In this epic conclusion, lives are lost, kingdoms clash, friendships are tested, and love and fate collide.

My thoughts:

Another year, another blog tour with Erin! (: It’s so hard to believe that The Fulfillment trilogy has come to an end. It has been one incredible ride and I am sorry to see these characters go! I may ramble for a bit because I just finished and I am at a loss for words. It happens almost every time I finish a series, you think I would be used to it by now! Haha.

My biggest regret with The Fulfillment was not rereading The Prophecy or The Outlanders again before jumping in. I just ran out of time. Life got crazy and cut into reading time! That being said, I KNOW it impacted my reading. There were things I couldn’t for the life of me remember. This was a (basically) one sitting read. I had to run and pick up Punk from pre-k, but I didn’t stop reading at all today. I had started, but got distracted, so I re-read today JUST IN CASE.

We pick back up right where we left off in The Outlanders. (I have to say the absolute best thing about this one was THERE COULD NOT BE A CLIFFHANGER!!! MWAHAHAHA!! Sorry… Erin drove me crazy with the first two and I have taken immense delight in the fact it couldn’t happen again). I am keeping my review major spoiler free, but a few minor ones might slip. I was so happy to be back in Erin’s world again. I’m not sure if it was everything not being 100% fresh or multiple “Mommy! I loves you!” from Bug this morning, but it took me a while to get going. Once I got settled in and things started to pop up in my memory, things just kept rolling and rolling.

I will give Erin major kudos. I had an idea of how things were going to play out (and I was right on most of it), but the way she had twists pop up are done well enough that it makes you question if your suspicions could possibly be right. There were a few, I’m gonna chuck my kindle across the room if this happens moments too. Not gonna lie.

This is so hard without going spoilery! This trilogy really has it all. Magic, romance, fighting. It’s everything you want in a fantasy series. Erin does a fantastic job answering every question that she has presented.

Where the POV were a bit chaotic for me in The Outlanders (my review), I felt in The Fulfillment, Erin was 110% on her game just like in The Prophecy (my review). This time around, each POV change, I felt connected and THERE. It’s been incredible to be able to see these characters grow.

Of the villains, I think The Fulfillment has the absolute best one. I am failing of thinking of the best way to describe how great this one is! (I’m afraid the name will be too spoilery). The next to last battle was my favourite. Even though there is another battle, I feel like that was the pinnacle. (I’m probably being dense and that IS the pinnacle haha).

It was really hard to see what happens to some of the characters. Other characters, it was all I could do to keep from bouncing up and down in the parent pickup car line. One death didn’t hit me as hard as I thought it would. In a way, it almost felt too convenient and that’s what kept it from getting a 5 star rating. I’m super sad to see these characters go. I’m so honoured that Erin allowed me the chance to be on all three tours. I do feel like a dolt because my review is late. (It’s been a week, folks. It’s been one heck of a week.)

It would be a lie to say everyone got their happily ever after, and I am perfectly okay with that. I like a little real life expectations in my reading. While everything IS tied up neatly with a bow at the end, a hint of the sadness from what the war cost can be felt and I think that’s well done and as it should be. The journey was a great one though! I don’t feel like Erin left anything unanswered. The Prophecy has been fulfilled. *ba dum shh* I totally wouldn’t say no to say, a novella or a few chapters of insight 10 years or so down the road. Just to check in. (;

I would definitely recommend The Fulfillment trilogy to fantasy and young adult fantasy readers. Just make sure you don’t have anything to do. Maybe pick a long weekend or holiday. It’s been an agonising wait between books! You’ll want to read them straight through if you’re anything like me! I’m also super stoked about Erin’s current WIP and I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll be able to be on that tour too!

About the Author

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Erin Rhew is an editor, a running coach, and the author of The Fulfillment Series. Since she picked up Morris the Moose Goes to School at age four, she has been infatuated with the written word. She went on to work as a grammar and writing tutor in college and is still teased by her family and friends for being a member of the “Grammar Police.”
A Southern girl by blood and birth, Erin now lives in a rainy pocket of the Pacific Northwest with the amazingly talented (and totally handsome) writer Deek Rhew and their “overly fluffy,” patient-as-a-saint writing assistant, a tabby cat named Trinity. She and Deek enjoy reading aloud to one another, running, lifting, boxing, eating chocolate, and writing side-by-side.

Find her online:
Twitter: @ErinRhewBooks
Facebook
Website

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