• Most Anticipated Fall 2016 Releases

    I’ve gotten back into regular reading recently. It’s taken far too long for me to get to say that. For me, unfortunately, reading is one of those things that gets pushed to the back burner whenever I’m busy—and I’m essentially always busy.

    I only just got around to reading ELEANOR AND PARK and I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN and let me tell you, they were well worth the hype, and I wish I hadn’t waited so long to read them. (My biggest reason for not wanting to read them right away was that they’re both YA contemporary, which I’m not the biggest fan of, but I thoroughly enjoyed these books. Heck, I devoured them!)

    I want to make reading much more of a priority than it has been in the past. Part of that involves getting excited about new releases. And as it turns out, there are plenty of releases this fall to get excited about. I’ve seen a lot of fall-release buzz floating around the internet lately, and I wanted to join in. While this post will mostly be concerned with YA novels—as that’s what I write and therefore read the most of—this list is by no means exclusive. I’m sure I’ll add more to it as we go along. For now, though, here are some of the releases I’m the most excited for.

    Photo credit: Goodreads
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    As I Descended by Robin Talley (September 6)
    YA Fantasy

    Goodreads summary:

    Maria Lyon and Lily Boiten are their school’s ultimate power couple—even if no one knows it but them.

    Only one thing stands between them and their perfect future: campus superstar Delilah Dufrey.

    Golden child Delilah is a legend at the exclusive Acheron Academy, and the presumptive winner of the distinguished Cawdor Kingsley Prize. She runs the school, and if she chose, she could blow up Maria and Lily’s whole world with a pointed look, or a carefully placed word.

    But what Delilah doesn’t know is that Lily and Maria are willing to do anything—absolutely anything—to make their dreams come true. And the first step is unseating Delilah for the Kingsley Prize. The full scholarship, awarded to Maria, will lock in her attendance at Stanford―and four more years in a shared dorm room with Lily.

    Maria and Lily will stop at nothing to ensure their victory—including harnessing the dark power long rumored to be present on the former plantation that houses their school.

    But when feuds turn to fatalities, and madness begins to blur the distinction between what’s real and what is imagined, the girls must decide where they draw the line.

    From acclaimed author Robin Talley comes a Shakespeare-inspired story of revenge and redemption, where fair is foul, and foul is fair.

    Photo credit: Goodreads

    Into White by Randi Pink (September 13)
    YA Speculative Fiction

    Goodreads summary:

    Sixteen-year-old Latoya Williams, who is black, attends a mostly white high school in the Bible Belt. In a moment of desperation, she prays for the power to change her race and wakes up white.

    Photo credit: Goodreads

    Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig (October 4)
    YA Mystery

    Goodreads summary:

    Flynn’s girlfriend has disappeared. How can he uncover her secrets without revealing his own?

    Flynn’s girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking questions he can’t answer, and her friends are telling stories that don’t add up. All eyes are on Flynn—as January’s boyfriend, he must know something.

    But Flynn has a secret of his own. And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January’s disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.

    Photo credit: Goodreads

    Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown (YESTERDAY)
    YA Contemporary

    Goodreads Summary:

    Joanna Gordon has been out and proud for years, but when her popular radio evangelist father remarries and decides to move all three of them from Atlanta to the more conservative Rome, Georgia, he asks Jo to do the impossible: to lie low for the rest of her senior year. And Jo reluctantly agrees.

    Although it is (mostly) much easier for Jo to fit in as a straight girl, things get complicated when she meets Mary Carlson, the oh-so-tempting sister of her new friend at school. But Jo couldn’t possibly think of breaking her promise to her dad. Even if she’s starting to fall for the girl. Even if there’s a chance Mary Carlson might be interested in her, too. Right?

    Photo credit: Goodreads

    Marian by Ella Lyons (November 3) YA Fantasy

    Goodreads summary:

    When Marian Banner moves to the glittering city of Nottingham with her father, Sir Erik the Fortunate, her entire life changes. She is no longer allowed to run about the countryside in trousers and braids, climbing fences and shooting turkeys, but is thrust into a life of dresses and jewels and dancing lessons, none of which Marian is particularly pleased about. Her dark mood changes when she meets a tiny whip of a girl called Robin Hood. Robin is fierce and brave, and wants more than anything to become a knight, regardless of her gender. Together they explore the city, becoming fast friends along the way.

    As time passes, their friendship into something bigger and scarier and far more wonderful. But then Marian’s father is killed in service to the king and she catches the king’s eye.

    Can Robin save her one more? Or will Marian discover how to save herself?

  • Series Blitz: City of Legends by Cheyanne Young

    Cheyanne Young is one of the loveliest people on Twitter. She’s a writing tweep who has helped me so much with my own writing and publishing journey that I’m happy to give back to her in any way I can. When I heard the excellent news about her deal with Alloy, I was ecstatic! Today, I’m even more thrilled to participate in the series blitz for her upcoming City of Legends books. Check it out!


    Check out the promo event for all three books in Cheyanne Young’s YA superhero series and enter to the awesome giveaway.

    Series: City of Legends
    Publisher: Alloy Entertainment
    Release: February 2016
    Purchase series: Amazon
    Book One: City of Legends

    Maci Knight has grown up in the shadow of legends. Her father and her brother, Max, are Heroes, worshipped by humans and Supers alike for their strength and valor. All she’s ever wanted is to follow in their footsteps, to fight villains and protect humankind. But Maci has a secret—one that could change everything. 

    Maci had a twin sister who died the same day they were born. In their world, one twin is always good, while the other always eventually turns evil. There’s no way to tell which twin will go rogue . . . which means no one knows if Maci will suddenly become a villain. 


    The closer she gets to her eighteenth birthday, the more she has feelings she can’t control: Violence. Rage. Revenge. Maci wants to be a Hero. But she may not have a choice . . . 


    The first in a trilogy, City of Legends introduces a new superhero mythology and an unstoppable heroine.

    Purchase: Amazon

    ~EXCERPT~

    Crimson throws an arm over my shoulder, the scent of her cherry lip-gloss briefly overriding the stench of fish tanks. “So, Maci Knight . . . think you have what it takes to pass your Hero exam?”
    I know she’s not talking about the hours of training I’ve endured over the last decade and this last week of performing skill tests for the examiners to prove I’m ready. Crimson’s question goes deeper than that. She’s talking about the core of being a Hero. Placing my life on the line to save people I don’t even know. Throwing away the idea of a normal life, all to uphold an oath of protecting those who can’t protect themselves.
    The Hero Brigade is the most elite group on the planet. I meet her gaze and the corner of my mouth twists into a grin. “Hell yes.”
    BOOK TWO: The Valiant


    After the most vicious villain attack in centuries, Maci Knight is struggling to put the shattered pieces of her life back together. She survived, but barely, and her family will never be the same. The only good thing to come out of the attack is that the Elders have granted her probationary Hero status. Now she’s desperate to prove that she has what it takes to shine in the field.


    Maci gets her first chance when she’s called in to stop an illegal fighting ring where humans are battling to the death. But when she goes toe-to-toe with the fighters, she’s shocked to discover that even she can’t contain them. The humans are strong—supernaturally so. Maci knows that this is the work of the villain underground and is determined to put an end to it. But how do you fight an enemy who won’t show their face?


    In the second installment of the City of Legends trilogy, Maci Knight will find out what she’s truly made of.

    Purchase: Amazon
    ~EXCERPT~

    “Something strange is going on,” Katia says.
    “It’s almost like they have power,” I say.
    The two Heroes look at me like I’ve lost my mind. “They’re human, Maci,” Katia says. “They can’t have power.”
    “I know,” I say quickly, feeling the sudden need to defend my intelligence. But something about my words rings true. Even with dedicated strength training, humans are weak. If I hadn’t seen firsthand what happens when a Super and human breed, I would have suspected that these humans were some kind of half-Super. But this . . . well this, I don’t have an explanation for. And if we don’t figure it out and put a stop it, it could bring unsurmountable chaos into the human’s worldand ours.
    BOOK THREE: Empire Rising


    Eighteen years ago, Maci Knight’s family was destroyed when Aurora Falcon killed her mother. Now Aurora’s partner, Felix, has kidnapped Maci’s brother. For five long months, there’s been no sign of Max. His Codex is offline and she can’t feel even the slightest trace of his power. Maci refuses to give up hope, but when a new threat on King City emerges, Maci is ordered to abandon her search. 


    Somehow Felix has managed to do the unthinkable: repower all the villains that Central has depowered over the years. Now they’ve banded together to get revenge on the Supers who wronged them. What feels like an arduous mission becomes an opportunity when Maci realizes that if she can stop the villains, she can get them to lead her to Felix—and her brother. 



    In the action-packed conclusion of the City of Legends trilogy, Maci vows to save her city and bring her family back together—no matter the cost.

    Purchase: Amazon
    ~EXCERPT~

    Evan approaches and slides his hands around my waist. A chill goes through me at the feel of his touch and the familiar tingle of his power so close to mine. Heroes train hard to hone and strengthen their power more than any other Super, so it has a distinct and dominant feeling. Evan spent a few years in Hero training, but his power isn’t like that. It doesn’t burn like Crimson’s power when she’s in a frenzied fight, and it doesn’t intimidate like one of the older Heroes might. It encircles my body the same way his arms do, bringing me closer to him spiritually and physically.

    Desire courses through my veins. I grab his shoulders and lift up on my toes. Evan grips my waist and lifts me into the air. I close my eyes and kiss him. His lips taste salty and perfect. My fingers slide up through his dirty blonde hair. He deepens the kiss and I hold onto him as if I need his lips to stay alive. I want this moment to last forever. 




    Cheyanne YoungABOUT THE AUTHOR
    Cheyanne Young is a native Texan with a fear of cold weather and a coffee addiction that probably needs an intervention. She loves books, sarcasm, and collecting nail polish. After nearly a decade of working in engineering, Cheyanne now writes books for young adults and is the author of the City of Legends Trilogy. She doesn’t miss a cubicle one bit.
    Cheyanne lives near the beach with her daughter and husband, one spoiled rotten puppy, and a cat that is most likely plotting to take over the world.
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  • Cover Reveal: THE BUREAU OF TIME by Brett Michael Orr

    I’m so proud of all my writer friends. Lately, it seems like a lot of my favorites have been releasing/rereleasing books, and I couldn’t be happier. Today, I’m thrilled to participate in the cover reveal for The Bureau of Time by Brett Michael Orr. LOOK AT HOW PRETTY IT IS!
    bureau-of-time-cover-halfsize

    I’ve known Brett for a long time, and I’ve loved charting his progress on The Bureau of Time. I was even lucky enough to help him out as a beta reader! Brett is a talented writer and one of the most supportive people I know. He even helped out with the cover reveal for my novel Blood and Water. Keep reading to learn more about Brett’s exciting literary debut!

    The official blurb:

    You can not change fate.

    Cassandra Wright is a Timewalker – a teenager with a genetic mutation that allows her to manipulate the flow of time. But her inexplicable powers have made her a target for Adjusters – monstrous assassins from a parallel universe.

    Saved from almost certain death, Cassie is pulled into a secret agency sworn to defend our timeline against these threats: the Bureau of Temporal Integrity, Monitoring, and Execution. Cassie’s life soon becomes entwined with Shaun Briars – a reckless Timewalker with an alluring smile and dark suspicions about the Bureau itself.

    When Cassie and Shaun cross into the parallel universe, they discover a world in the grips of nuclear winter, with a new war threatening to spill over into our universe. With time running out, they must learn the true history of Timewalkers, confront the unforgivable crimes of their future selves, and defy their own fate to save two worlds.

    Join the Conversation: #TheBureauOfTime

    Isn’t that fantastic? I can’t wait to read this one! It’s debuting this year, so be sure to mark your calendars and add it to your TBR lists! You won’t be disappointed.

    THE BUREAU OF TIME is the debut YA SF/thriller novel from Brett Michael Orr, available early 2016 on all digital reading platforms, including Kindle, Kobo, iBookstore, and more. Stay up-to-date with The Bureau of Time by following @BrettMichaelOrr on Twitter!

    Tweet tweet:

    In a special post, @brianawrites shares the cover for @BrettMichaelOrr’s debut novel #TheBureauOfTime. Take a look! (Click to tweet)

  • Cover Reveal: DISSONANCE by Mariella Hunt

    I want to start today’s post off by wishing the wonderful Mariella Hunt a very happy birthday! She’s my writing buddy and one of my best Twitter friends, and she deserves nothing but happiness, this year and every year to come! In honor of Mariella’s birthday, I’m helping her make a very special announcement–here’s the beautiful new cover for her novel Dissonance!
    Cover Reveal: DISSONANCE by Mariella Hunt

    ISN’T IT GORGEOUS????? I am SO in love with this new cover! I haven’t read the novel yet, but with the rerelease, now seems like the perfect time to dive in! If you haven’t read it, well, you can feel free to join me!

    Here’s the synopsis:

    Fifteen-year-old singer Allie Grant lives crippled by her illness. Though kept in isolation, she’s never alone: A spirit named Song lurks in the silence of her bedroom.
    When Song reveals its dark nature on the night of her recital, the show ends in tragedy. Verging on death, Allie’s taken in by an uncle she’s never met. Julian claims to be a Muse with power over music and answers that’ll heal her.

    It isn’t long before Allie suspects her uncle has a secret that’ll change her very identity. But with days left to live, she might fade without learning the truth…like the finishing chord of a song.

    Ooh, doesn’t that sound intriguing? If you (like me) are interested in checking out some reviews and purchasing the book, you can do so via Amazon or Barnes & Noble.


    About the Author:

    Mariella Hunt writes faery tales from her bedroom/library in Boise, Idaho. She enjoys reading the classics and hopes to one day write like Charles Dickens (hey, a girl can dream.)
    Her first novel, Dissonance, was published independently in June of 2015.

     

    For more information about Mariella or her work, you can check out her blog and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

    Happy birthday, Mariella, and congrats on the fabulous cover!

    Tweet tweet:

    In honor of @mariellahunt’s birthday, see the new cover for her book DISSONANCE on @brianawrites blog. (Click to tweet)

  • I’m Selling Signed Paperbacks!

    It’s been almost a month since I released Blood and Waterand I still can’t thank you guys enough for your support, encouragement, and love. I feel like the writing community is just one big group hug lately. And since I’m so thankful for each and every one of you, I’d like to show my appreciation. You’ve asked, and I’ve answered. In honor of Small Business Saturday, and in an effort to put away a little more money for an apartment…
    I'm Selling Signed Paperbacks!

    That’s right! A surprising (to me, at least) amount of readers have expressed interest in owning a signed paperback, so I’ll be selling those now, just in time for the holidays! I’ve already ordered some copies to sign as soon as I get some orders in, and I can’t wait to get started!

    Now, I’m new to this whole process, but for now, this is how it’s going to work:

    • If you’d like a signed copy, the paperbacks themselves cost $9.99, with $5 to cover the shipping, for a total of $14.99.
    • If you already bought a paperback and have already received it, let me know on my contact form and say you’d like it signed. From there, I’ll tell you how to send it to me to sign. I’m asking for $5.00 to cover the cost of shipping.
    • If you haven’t purchased a copy from me, and you’d like a signed paperback, also let me know that in my contact form or via email. I’ll tell you what details I need and we can go from there.
    • If you want to just order a copy from Amazon, go right ahead–just know it won’t be signed and I will only get a small percentage of the royalties.
    • AND if you don’t want a paperback, signed or otherwise, but you want to help me out, you can also donate to support me directly (click the button/link on the page).

    There are a few kinks we’re going to have to iron out together, such as shipping timelines and whatnot, but just think of the whole thing as an adventure. (I know I am.) Like I said, I am SO EXCITED to offer signed paperbacks as an option for anyone who wants one. I will do my very best to make sure anyone who wants one will get one. You deserve much more than that, but for now, that’s all I can offer.

    Once again, THANK YOU to everyone who has supported me in my journey as a writer so far. I can’t wait for you all to see what I’ve got planned going forward!

    Tweet tweet:

    In the spirit of Small Business Saturday, author @brianawrites has an exciting announcement. (Click to tweet)

  • 7 Books I’ve Reread More Than Twice

    Some books are so good, they deserve a second look. For the most part, I only own books that I’ve reread at least once. They feel like an extension of my body somehow, like they’ve become a part of me that cannot be removed.
    For all the books I’ve reread, some are wonderful enough to reread more than twice. If you’re looking for a book recommendation, you’re in luck! Here are seven books I love that I’ve reread more than twice.

    7 Books I've Reread More Than Twice

    1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.

    2. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

    Winston Smith is a low-rung member of the Party, the ruling government of Oceania. He works in the Ministry of Truth, the Party’s propaganda arm, where he is in charge of revising history. He is but a small brick in the pyramid that is the Party, at the head of which stands Big Brother. Big Brother the infallible. Big Brother the all-powerful. In a totalitarian society, where individuality is suppressed and freedom of thought has its antithesis in the Thought Police, Winston finds respite in the company of Julia. Originality of thought awakens, love blossoms and hope is rekindled. But what they don’t know is that Big Brother is always watching…

    3. Phantom by Susan Kay

    This incredible portrait of Erik–the Phantom–recreates his entire life, from his survival as a child in a carnival freak show to his creative genius behind the Paris Opera House–and its labyrinthine world below–to his discovery of love.

    4. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

    Orphaned, penniless, Jacob Jankowski jumps a freight train in the dark, and in that instant, transforms his future. By morning, he’s landed a job with the Flying Squadron of the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. By nightfall, he’s in love. In an America made colourless by prohibition and the Depression, the circus is a refuge of sequins and sensuality. But behind the glamour lies a darker world, where both animals and men are dispensable. Where falling in love is the most dangerous act of all…

    5. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

    A literary sensation and runaway bestseller, this brilliant debut novel presents with seamless authenticity and exquisite lyricism the true confessions of one of Japan’s most celebrated geisha. In Memoirs of a Geisha, we enter a world where appearances are paramount; where a girl’s virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder; where women are trained to beguile the most powerful men; and where love is scorned as illusion. It is a unique and triumphant work of fiction – at once romantic, erotic, suspenseful – and completely unforgettable.

    6. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

    Libby Day was just seven years old when her evidence put her fifteen-year-old brother behind bars. Since then, she has been drifting. But when she is contacted by a group who are convinced of Ben’s innocence, Libby starts to ask questions she never dared to before. Was the voice she heard her brother’s? Ben was a misfit in their small town, but was he capable of murder? Are there secrets to uncover at the family farm or is Libby deluding herself because she wants her brother back? She begins to realise that everyone in her family had something to hide that day… especially Ben. Now, twenty-four years later, the truth is going to be even harder to find. Who did massacre the Day family?

    7. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

    The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady’s maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives–presenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.

    What do you think of these books? What are some books you’ve reread more than twice?

    Tweet tweet:

    Looking for a good read? @brianawrites shares seven books she’s reread more than twice. (Click to tweet)

  • 10 Great Quotes from The Great Gatsby

    flapper-girl
    In case you didn’t know (and quite frankly, I’d be shocked), my all-time favorite book is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I love it for many different reasons, including its lyrical style. Fitzgerald’s prose makes me weep. In honor of one of the novels that inspired me to become a writer, here are ten memorable quotes from the timeless classic.

    1. “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
    2. “And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”
    3. “I was within and without. Simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.”
    4. “In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.
      “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”
    5. “Can’t repeat the past?…Why of course you can!”
    6. “In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.”
    7. “They’re a rotten crowd’, I shouted across the lawn. ‘You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.”
    8. “No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.”
    9. “At his lips’ touch she blossomed like a flower and the incarnation was complete.”
    10. “So we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight.”

    I wish I could dump the whole book into this blog post. It was almost impossible for me to pick my top ten quotes from it. Fitzgerald’s ability to spin words into gold never ceases to amaze me – even after all these years, I still can’t get Gatsby out of my head.

    What are some great quotes from your favorite novel?

    It’s no secret that @brianawrites loves Gatsby. Check out some of her favorite quotes from the timeless classic. (Click to tweet)

  • Cover Reveal: DISSONANCE by Mariella Hunt

    Dissonance by Mariella Hunt
    I’ve been planning to do this cover reveal for a while now. One of my writing tweeps is releasing a book! The lovely Mariella Hunt is publishing her novel Dissonance soon, and I couldn’t be more excited!

    Here’s what the book is about:

    Fifteen-year-old Allie Grant lives crippled by her illness. Though kept in isolation, she’s never alone: A spirit named Song lurks in the silence of her bedroom.

    When Song reveals its dark nature on the night of her recital, the show ends in tragedy. Verging on death, Allie’s taken in by an uncle she’s never met.

    Julian claims to be a Muse with power over music and answers that’ll heal her. The cure she needs is rare, requiring of him a difficult sacrifice. Allie soon suspects her uncle has a secret that’ll turn her world around.

    But with days left to live, she might fade without learning the truth…like the finishing chord of a song.

    Ooooooh, intriguing! This novel sounds great for anyone who loves YA with a magical/urban fantasy twist. I can’t wait to give it a read and review it on the blog!

    Although Dissonance doesn’t have a set release date yet, it’s coming soon. Be the first to know when it’s released by following Mariella’s website and Facebook and Twitter accounts.

    About the author:

    Mariella Hunt is a writer with a strong love for coffee and guinea pigs. She likes using big words in everyday speech, and keeps journals of quotes from the greats. Most days you’ll find her on a well-loved armchair, reading–or working on one of her many projects. As she cannot stick to an outline, she rewrites way too much.

    How do you think this novel sounds? Are you planning to check it out once it goes live?

    Tweet tweet:

    .@brianawrites wants you to read DISSONANCE, a YA urban fantasy novel by @mariellahunt. #IndieBooksBeSeen (Click to tweet)

  • How to Read More Books for Free with BookBub

    Man Reading on a Tablet
    I’m addicted to the Internet.

    Most of the time, this is a problem. When I’m trying to write a blog post or get a chapter of my novel finished, the shiny lure of the World Wide Web is difficult to resist. There are so many things to click on and enjoy! If I stop for a second, I might miss something! Five more minutes on Twitter won’t hurt! You get the picture.

    Occasionally, however, I’ll find an Internet resource that aids me in my writing journey. Instead of a distraction, it becomes an integral part of my writing routine. I plan to cover some of these golden nuggets in a future post. For now, I want to share my most recent discovery: BookBub.

    I don’t like to spend money. I bet you don’t, either. If you’re reading this blog, though, I bet you like to read. Your biggest problem with reading is that books cost money. I feel you on that one, friend. It’s a terrible thing.

    Of course, you could always rent books from the library, but sometimes you might not feel like going out (like me). You want something to read that’s cheap, and you want it as soon as possible.

    That’s where BookBub comes in: just enter your email, tell the site which genres you like, and wait for book discounts to show up in your inbox. It really is that simple. The best part is that you don’t just get books you’ve never heard of for cheap – last week, I got The Body Electric by Beth Revis for free.

    What are you waiting for? Sign up for BookBub now and get serious about reading.

    *This is not a sponsored post. The thoughts and ideas expressed in this article represent the author’s personal opinions.

    What do you think about BookBub? What are your tips for reading on a budget?

    Tweet tweet:

    No money? No problem! @brianawrites shares a great resource for finding discounted ebooks. (Click to tweet)

  • Book Review: IRKADURA by Ksenia Anske

    little mouse in the palm of someone's hand
    Why did I wait so long to dive into this book? I held onto it for month before cracking it open to reveal the decadent darkness inside. All that time wasted. I could’ve loved this book sooner.

    Let’s get one thing straight: Ksenia Anske is brilliant. Really, she is. I read her novel ROSEHEAD in one sitting over the summer, and I read IRKADURA without stopping, too. I couldn’t put it down. Anske’s prose is dark and dreamy. She evokes a mood that is haunting yet real; scary yet sublime.

    And I loved every minute of it.

    This review is going to be short and sweet in an effort to avoid gushing.

    Plot Summary

    Irina Myshko is a sixteen-year-old Soviet girl who doesn’t speak. Why? She’s suffered decades of abuse at the hands (and other parts) of her mother’s boyfriends, and she’s been coping by escaping to an alternate reality. In this world, people’s true natures are revealed and they manifest themselves as animals.

    When Irina becomes pregnant, homeless, and penniless, she must figure out a way to survive in the world long enough to keep the impending madness at bay.

    The chapters are composed of short scenes that jump from one event to the next without wasting time. The pacing is fast, but not too fast. Also, there are no digressions. There weren’t any sections I wanted to skip. That’s the mark of an excellent story right there.

    My Thoughts

    This book unnerved me in the best way possible. I’ve heard a lot of good things about IRKADURA. All of them are true. The story is told from Irina’s POV, in first-person present tense. This style makes the plot much more immediate – as a reader, it felt like everything were actually happening to me.

    The events of the novel stick in your mind, as does the imagery Anske evokes. After finishing IRKADURA, I dreamed I was pregnant with a boar. Weird stuff, people. Weird, but good.

    It’s darker than my usual reading fare, believe it or not, but it’s an incredible novel. If you want to read something that will stay with you long after you’ve put it away, you might want to go out and buy IRKADURA.

    What did you think of IRKADURA? If you haven’t read it yet, how do you think it sounds?

    Tweet tweet:

    See why @brianawrites calls IRKADURA by @kseniaanske “haunting yet real; scary yet sublime.” (Click to tweet)