Blitz | Blood of the Lily by S.D. Huston

Blood of the Lily
S.D. Huston
(Clash of Goddesses, #1)
Publication date: November 1st 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

This debut novel from S.D. Huston is a partial fairytale retelling of Snow White & Rose Red mashed up with Irish mythologies!

Triplet sisters, one dead, one kidnapped. A vengeful leprechaun and a scheming goddess. Can Lily save her last sister?

When sixteen-year-old sisters Lily and Rose take it upon themselves to aid a tiny man with a long beard in distress, he curses them into a world of trouble. Lily contends with the grief that lies behind her while trapped in a suffocating silent world of her own design, and she must now face the threat of what might lie ahead.

Whether she believes it or not, leprechauns are real, and in Lugh she has made an unfortunate enemy. Now the race is on to save Rose from the deranged whims of an unscrupulous faery and find out what, or who, is behind this mysterious turn of events. To find the answers, Lily must face the darkness that plagues her: both inside and out. On the grand stage of this world and the Otherworld, an adventure bursts forth so chaotic perhaps even Lily can’t silence it.

Weaving lore, light, and the lush beauty of the Irish language into the wintery landscape of a mystical Ireland around its 3rd century, Blood of the Lily brings to life a world where even the most fantastical places and creatures can be corrupted by the realities of life. This first book in the Clash of Goddesses series transports you into the enchanting and masterfully crafted Otherworld of Éire as one may only see in dreams. Start your journey today!

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“That’s a leprechaun!”

Lily raised a skeptical eyebrow at her sister Rose and her wild theory. Then she peered back through the interweaving branches of a blackthorn shrub. A leprechaun? No, just a very small man. But what was he doing in the middle of An Caorthann Coill, the Rowan Woods?

“It’s because of Samhain.” Rose’s voice was barely above a whisper, but excitement laced each word. She bounced on her heels where she crouched among the lower branches of a fern tree. “The veil between worlds must be open.”

A mid-morning sun sifted through the canopy of rowanberry trees, highlighting the small man in the clearing. Probably no more than two or three feet in height, he hopped up and down, back and forth.

What was wrong with him?

The sun did little to dispel the gathering cold, which had strengthened over the last few days. A couple of leaves, still untouched by the season’s cool breeze, tickled Lily’s nose, and she swiped at her face before sneezing.

Samhain, huh.

The celebration to welcome in the harvest and usher in the dark half of the year. Lily smirked. Some believed faeries existed and other nonsense, too. She blew hair out of her eyes.

Once, it had been her favorite time of year, but that was before . . .

She shook her head. She didn’t need the distraction.

“C’mon, Lil, you have to believe.”

In what? The stories their mother often told them about the Otherworld. Lily waved a hand and rolled her eyes. Just stories. That’s all they were, and since they were both sixteen years old, they should have grown past believing in such tales.

She knew from experience.

No good folk had saved Marigold, their other sister who had completed them as triplets. Now there was just the two of them.

Drawing in a breath and closing her eyes, she barely held back a grimace. When she opened them, Rose jutted her head toward the diminutive man, a crease deepening between her eyebrows.

His dark red coat glinted, finely embroidered in more gold than Lily had ever seen in her life. He yanked his head back, showing his beard stuck fast in the tree crevice of a fallen log. He muttered a string of curses as he pulled against the rough bark. His gray beard would have probably dragged on the ground, it was so long.

But what was the small man doing alone in the forest? For that matter, where did he come from? Lily heard of no one so small in any of the surrounding ráths or settlements.

These unanswered questions put her on guard. She didn’t like strange things with no answers. Her hands tensed into balled fists.

Rose continued to vibrate with excitement, the emotion bright in her blue eyes. “Can you communicate with him?”

Really? He’s a man. Not an animal.

“No, probably not,” Rose said. “Even if he’s a leprechaun, he’s still not a land animal.” She shrugged her shoulders without looking at her. “We should help him.”


Author Bio:

S.D. Huston grew up in several places across the United States, but now lives in Florida’s panhandle with her husband, her youngest son who is autistic, four cats, and one special Siberian Husky. Her oldest son is off serving the country in the U.S. Army.

She’s always had a love for the written word, asking for her first typewriter when she was nine years old (yes, a typewriter!). However, her multiple career paths meandered through seven years in the military, then working in administration, before completing her masters in Writing. She spent the next seven years teaching college English and Literature while also running her own business as a Writing Coach, helping students and writers all over the world.

Today she concentrates solely on her writing career and her family: human, furry, and faery!

S.D. Huston loves connecting with fans! Find her on her website (sdhuston.com) or YouTube (https://bit.ly/346WVpf).

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Blog Tour | You Can Go Your Own Way by Eric Smith | Review

A sweetly charming love story that leaves the reader with a lasting sense of hope.” —Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything and The Sun Is Also a Star

“The perfect novel to snuggle up with.” —Emily Henry, New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read

No one ever said love would be easy…but did they mention it would be freezing?


Adam Stillwater is in over his head. At least, that’s what his best friend would say. And his mom. And the guy who runs the hardware store down the street. But this pinball arcade is the only piece of his dad that Adam has left, and he’s determined to protect it from Philadelphia’s newest tech mogul, who wants to turn it into another one of his cold, lifeless gaming cafés.

Whitney Mitchell doesn’t know how she got here. Her parents split up. Her boyfriend dumped her. Her friends seem to have changed overnight. And now she’s spending her senior year running social media for her dad’s chain of super successful gaming cafés—which mostly consists of trading insults with that decrepit old pinball arcade across town.

But when a huge snowstorm hits, Adam and Whitney suddenly find themselves trapped inside the arcade. Cut off from their families, their worlds, and their responsibilities, the tension between them seems to melt away, leaving something else in its place. But what happens when the storm stops?

Buy Links | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million | IndieBound | BookShop.org | AppleBooks | Google Play

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I won’t lie, since Eric’s previous book Don’t Read the Comments was my favorite book of last year I’ve wanted to get my hands on pretty much anything he has a hand in writing. His writing style and the depth of his storytelling is something I really enjoy. There are no flat characters, everyone has a distinct personality to them. Adam and Whitney do have a couple well known tropes thrown at them (enemies to lovers and forced proximity) but it’s not done in a predictable way. They each have their own issues they need to deal with whether it be with family, grief or other complex issues – then they have their own relationship to work through.

In fact, this book has a huge emphasis on family, whether it be Adam still working through his grief for his father, or Whitney striving for any kind of attention from her father. Just like in Don’t Read the Comments, there are strong conversations on different family dynamics and roles.

At this point I will likely reach for anything Eric writes as I’ve loved everything so far. His writing and characters especially make the stories come to life and make you genuinely care about the outcome.

ERIC SMITH is an author and literary agent from Elizabeth, New Jersey. When he isn’t working on other people’s books, sometimes he tries to write his own. He enjoys pop punk, video games, and crying during every movie. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife and best friend, Nena, and their son, Langston. WWW.ERICSMITHROCKS.COM

Social Links | Author website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Happy reading!

Giveaway Reminder | Halloween Giveaway

Hey everyone! The Halloween giveaway is half over, so I wanted to put out a reminder in case you haven’t had the chance to enter yet!

Here are the details, one person will win a book of their choice up to $15 from Book Depository (or Amazon if the winner is in the US). This is available internationally as long as book depository ships to you. For the blog giveaway there are a number of ways to enter, for which I’ve set up a rafflecopter.

Click Here to Enter!

Now for the twitter part – I’m holding a second giveaway (for the same prize) on twitter! You can enter both giveaways, but there will be two separate winners. You can enter the twitter giveaway by retweeting the giveaway tweet AND following me on twitter (if you already follow that counts of course).

Both giveaways will end on 11/15 and I will contact the winners at that point.

Thanks so much and happy reading!

November | TBR and Reading Plans

Hey everyone! How is it already a week into November. Nanowrimo is in full swing, so there’s that. I’m already behind there but I have been writing every day, so there’s that. When it came to picking this month’s cards I was very much trying to go easy on myself, not just because of Nano but also because I would really like to make some progress on catching up on a number of things this month. Let’s get to the picks!

  • Two of Hearts – Fantasy
  • Five of Diamonds – YA
  • Jack of Spades – Under 300 pages
  • Two of Diamonds – Middle Grade
  • Three of Diamonds – Random Letter/Title (I)
  • Eight of Hearts – Random Letter/Author (T)

So like I said I went into this wanting to be kind to myself, so I took that theme seriously. For a fantasy I chose the seventh volume of the Buffy reboot comics. To be fair I’m kind of hate reading these right now, I want to give them a chance of course, but to me Buffy canon is the ultimate. I’m sure newcomers to the series would enjoy these new comics, but for me I keep hoping they redeem themselves.

For YA and under 300 pages I went with the next two volumes of Kamisama Kiss (19 and 20). Yes part of this was to go easy on myself, but this is also one of the series I want to finish this year and I’m so close (there are 25 volumes total) so I need to get through them.

For middle grade I chose the second book in the Crowns of Croswald series. It’s been a while since I read the first one and I definitely want to continue on with this series, so this was a good opportunity to do so.

I had a hard time finding a book that I wanted to read that started with an I, so this was an adventure. I finally settled on If Walls Could Talk, a cozy mystery I barely started a while ago when it was gifted to me. It ended up getting put down for no reason, so I’m glad to be getting to it.

I then got the shock of another random letter selection, this time for author name. Thankfully this can be either first or last name, so I selected Odsburg by Matt Tompkins.

So those are the picks for November! I know I’ll be able to get through the manga and graphic novel pretty quickly, but we’ll see what happens with the rest as well as the catching up I need to do! What is on everyone else’s TBRs?

Happy reading!

Book Lover’s Day Feature | Middle Grade Series from Simon and Schuster

Hello readers,

While we are in the midst of the fall season, spring will be here before you know it and as we “spring forward” I wanted to share with you the return of a selection of some incredible series from Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing in celebration of National Book Lovers Day today! Readers are due to revisit the fantasy world of Wilderlore, travel internationally with the beloved City Spies, time travel with the kids of Broadway, and hunt down witches. Excited to hear more? Check out the books below and don’t forget to add to your spring TBR!

The Weeping TideWILDERLORE: THE WEEPING TIDE by Amanda Foody

Publication: 2/1/22

In this exciting second book in the Wilderlore series, Barclay and his friends must save an island city from the Legendary Beast of the Sea. This series is perfect for fans of Nevermoor and How to Train Your Dragon.

Forbidden CityCITY SPIES: THE FORBIDDEN CITY by James Ponti

Publication: 2/1/22

In this third installment in the New York Times bestselling series from Edgar Award winner James Ponti, the young group of spies help a fellow agent in another international adventure perfect for fans of Spy School and Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls.

Boulevard of DreamsFEARLESS: BOULEVARD OF DREAMS by Mandy Gonzalez

Publication: 4/5/22

Better Nate than Ever meets Love Sugar Magic in this spooky second novel in the Fearless middle grade series from Hamilton and Broadway star Mandy Gonzalez about a group of young thespians who time travel back to 1950s Broadway.

THIRTEEN WITCHES: THE SEA OF ALWAYS by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Publication: 4/5/22

Perfect for fans of Newbery winner The Girl Who Drank the Moon, the adventurous and utterly relatable second book in the haunting and magical Thirteen Witches series from New York Times bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson follows Rosie as she hunts the remaining witches.

Happy reading!

Blog Tour | Just For the Holidays by Adriana Herrera | Review

She’s snowed in at Christmas…

with a man she must resist!

Casting director Perla Sambrano knows Gael Montez is the perfect actor for her new film project. As long as she forgets his oh-so-tempting allure and keeps her heart out of it. Because their chemistry’s no act and she needs to be careful…

The Montez men hurt the women they love. Or so Gael believes. Keeping things professional with Perla is the only way to protect her. Until a snowstorm strands them together, leading to an unplanned Christmas fling that lands them both on the naughty list!

Add Just For the Holidays… to your Goodreads!

Buy Just for the Holidays… by Adriana Herrera | Harlequin.com

Rating: 5 out of 5.

After getting to read the first book in this series, I knew I wanted to pick up the next book. I really enjoy Herrera’s writing style as it gives a great flow and pace and makes these short, enjoyable reads. This book does have a good number of cliches and tropes, but the core of the story is a second chance romance, which I felt was done well. The setting definitely made the story cozy and sweet and I really enjoyed how the characters interacted and how their relationship progressed. I will definitely be continuing this series as well as more of Herrera’s books.

Adriana Herrera was born and raised in the Caribbean, but for the last 15 years has let her job (and her spouse) take her all over the world. She loves writing stories about people who look and sound like her people, getting unapologetic happy endings. 

Connect with the Author | Website | Facebook | TwitterInstagram

Happy reading!

Blog Tour | A Delicious Dilemma by Sera Taino | Review

Different worlds collide in Sera Taino’s debut novel.

It’s hard to remain enemies when you’ve broken bread together

Val Navarro’s first mistake: going out dancing after a bad breakup when the chef should be focused on her family business. Her second mistake? Thinking the handsome, sensitive stranger she meets could be more than a rebound – until she discovers he’s Philip Wagner of Wagner Developments. His father’s company could shut down her Puerto Rican restaurant and unravel her tight-knit neighborhood. When Philip takes over negotiations, Val wants to believe he has good intentions. But is following her heart a recipe for disaster?

Add A Delicious Dilemma to your Goodreads!

Buy A Delicious Dilemma by Sera Taino | Harlequin.com

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’ve been really enjoying the titles I’ve read from Harlequin Special Edition lately and this one was no exception. It was a great example of an enemies to lovers that was done exceptionally well. I especially liked that Philip chose to be honest about who he was rather than lie about it.

If you like books that include food, then you should pick up this one. I loved the Val’s restaurant and the talk about food throughout the book. I felt like all the characters were really well rounded as well, with actual personalities and unique traits that make them stand apart.

I really enjoyed this book even though there were some moments where the pace was inconsistent, the relationships and story made up for those moments and pushed the story on.

Debut romance author Sera Taíno has been selected for Harlequin’s Romance Includes You Mentorship, an initiative launched in 2019 to reach out to diverse communities of writers and bring more own voices stories to romance readers. Her unpublished, #ownvoices novel, Incomparable, will be published with Harlequin Special Edition in 2021 as part of the mentorship initiative. When she is not writing, she can usually be found teaching, traveling, or wrangling her family.

Connect with the Author | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Happy reading!

Blog Tour | Twelve Dates of Christmas by Laurel Greer | Review

Can two rivals create mistletoe magic?

When a local wilderness lodge almost cancels its Twelve Days of Christmas festival, Emma Halloran leaps at the chance to convince the owners of her vision for the business. But Luke Emerson has his own plans—to keep the lodge in the family and protect his grandfather’s legacy. As they work together, Luke and Emma are increasingly drawn to each other. Can these utter opposites unite over their shared passion this Christmas?

Add Twelve Dates of Christmas to your Goodreads!

Twelve Dates of Christmas by Laurel Greer | Harlequin.com

Rating: 4 out of 5.

If you’re looking for a Christmas romance to get you in the holiday mood, this one definitely fits the bill. I loved the hate to love relationship, from their banter to their actual relationship and how they worked together. They both had their own goals, but it was great to see them come together.

I also really loved the setting and fell in love with the location created. I definitely see myself going back and reading the rest of the series. Thankfully this one can be read as a stand-alone without having read the other books.

Overall it was a super cute romance that was well paced and easy to devour in a single setting. It also is perfect to put you in the holiday mood!

Born and raised in a small Vancouver Island town, Laurel picked up her pen to write Julie Garwood fan-fiction during junior high English class. She hasn’t put it down since. Ever committed to the proper placement of the Canadian “eh,” she loves to write books with snapping sexual tension and second chances. She lives outside Vancouver with her law-talking husband and two daughters. At least half her diet is made up of tea. Find her at www.laurelgreer.com.

Connect with the Author | Website | Facebook | TwitterInstagram

Happy reading!

Blog Tour | Rogue Christmas Operation by Juno Rushdan | Review

He’ll sacrifice his safety

…for a woman who could completely upend his Christmas.  

After Gage Graham saves her from drowning, Hope Fischer revives, determined to learn the truth about her sister’s death. All she has to do is infiltrate a mysterious closed Virginia town and discover why the attractive—but secretive—Gage feels compelled to help her. Can she trust him? Will he risk being discovered by his former employer, the CIA, for a woman he just met? Neither will matter if a killer succeeds.

Add Rogue Christmas Operation to your Goodreads!

Buy Rogue Christmas Operation by Juno Rushdan | Harlequin.com

Rating: 4 out of 5.

If you’re looking for a fast paced and thrilling romantic suspense, this one definitely fits the bill. While the connection between Hope and Gage was pretty instant, it wasn’t instalove which was nice. Hope’s dishonesty was understandable but also kind of disappointing but other than that I really enjoyed both of them as characters. Since this was so fast paced and kept moving it was easy to consume in one sitting and a great time. I liked the two different lines of suspense and how they worked against Hope and Gage while also helping them grow closer. Since this is the first book in a series I would be excited to see what comes in the future to connect to this one.

Juno Rushdan draws from real-life inspiration as a former U.S. Air Force Intelligence Officer to craft sizzling romantic thrillers. However, you won’t find any classified leaks here. Her stories are pure fiction about kick-ass heroes and strong heroines fighting for their lives as well as their happily-ever-after.

Although Juno is a native New Yorker, wanderlust has taken her across the globe. Fortunately, she is blessed with a husband who shares her passion for travel, movies, and fantastic food. She’s visited more than twenty different countries and has lived in England and Germany. Her favorite destination for relaxation is the Amalfi Coast, Italy for its stunning seascape, cliffside lemon groves, terraced vineyards, amazing pasta, and to-die-for vino.

When she’s not writing, Juno loves spending time with her family. Exercise is not her favorite thing to do, but she squeezes some in since chocolate and red wine aren’t calorie-free.

She currently resides in Virginia with her supportive hubby, two dynamic children, and spoiled rescue dogs. Check her out on Instagram, Facebook or follow her on Twitter or BookBub. She loves to connect with readers!

Connect with the Author | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Happy reading!

Review | Tidesong by Wendy Xu

Sophie is a young witch whose mother and grandmother pressure her to attend the Royal Magic Academy–the best magic school in the realm–even though her magic is shaky at best. To train for her entrance exams, Sophie is sent to relatives she’s never met.

Cousin Sage and Great-Aunt Lan seem more interested in giving Sophie chores than in teaching her magic. Frustrated, Sophie attempts magic on her own, but the spell goes wrong, and she accidentally entangles her magic with the magic of a young water dragon named Lir.

Lir is trapped on land and can’t remember where he came from. Even so, he’s everything Sophie isn’t–beloved by Sophie’s family and skilled at magic. With his help, Sophie might just ace her entrance exams, but that means standing in the way of Lir’s attempts to regain his memories. Sophie knows what she’s doing is wrong, but without Lir’s help, can she prove herself?

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This graphic novel was an absolute delight to read – in it we follow Sophie, who is finally getting the opportunity to further her magic and possibly go to a famous magic school. She battles that little voice inside her head that tells her she’s a failure, while also trying to find her place and learn where she really lies in her family. When she meets Lir and learns about the consequences of actions things get a bit more complicated. I really loved the story as it unfolded and Sophie learned more about herself and about interacting with others. The artwork is very Ghibli-esque with an extra dash of cute and perfectly fit the story overall. The color palette had a softer feel to it which I felt was great for the seaside setting and the whimsy of the world.

Wendy Xu is a Brooklyn-based illustrator and comics artist with several upcoming graphic novels from HarperCollins. She is the co-creator of Mooncakes, a young adult fantasy graphic novel published in 2019 from Lion Forge Comics/Oni Press, which has been nominated for Hugo, Ignatz, and GoodReads Choice awards. Her work has been featured on Catapult, B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog, and Tor.com, among other places. Visit her online at www.artofwendyxu.com.

Make sure to check out Tidesong when it comes out on November 16th! Happy reading!