Thursday, February 22, 2018

From the Den: January Edition

From the Den is a feature to showcase the books that I don't post reviews for on the blog, whether I liked them or not. I read so many books that never make it onto The Fox's Hideaway, so I wanted a feature where I could still tell y'all about them. :)

*****

I read 23 books in January. TWENTY. THREE. It helps that I'm competing with Val because it's making me read more. (Of course, there were many graphic novels and a few poetry books, but whatever. Still counts). Haha. But that also means a lot of books that I won't be reviewing in their own posts, so here we go!


Poetry
This didn't really do much for me? It was a collection of poetry about mental illness (specifically eating disorders), being a woman, and pain/heartbreak, but it was so short that it was lacking a cohesiveness to it. And it didn't feel finished.
Rating: 2.5 Paw Prints!


I liked this, but there didn't seem to a rhyme or reason to how the poems were set up. They were pretty, though. 

anger walks on one side of me.
love on the other.

even cleopatra was sometimes
just a human
weeping in her bedroom
begging for another queen
to lift
her burden.
Rating: 3 Paw Prints!


Badass Women of History
Gah, I love books like this. I knew about many of these women already, but it was fun to get more information, and also meet others whom I barely knew or knew nothing about. I love that it was about them and their achievements, and the way that they've all done things to change the face of society and the world. They were (and are) revolutionary. I want more books about powerful and amazing women being bad and breaking glass ceilings and living their lives fearlessly and passionately. HERE FOR IT.
Rating: 4 Paw Prints!


A Tale as Old as Time
I *finally* read this timeless tale, and I appreciated seeing where all the retellings of it originated. And this version of it made the experience even better! I LOVE illustrated books. But yeah, the second half of it was hard to push through, because it was basically just them telling how it all happened, and like it was between a good fairy and evil fairy? idk, but I was glad to see that some of the biggest elements of the Disney classic came from this (especially the theme of not judging people based on appearances), and it was definitely worth a read!
Rating: 3.5 Paw Prints!


What books did YOU read in January? Have you read any of these stories yet? If so, what did you think of them? Let's talk! :)

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Dauntless. Radical. Revolutionary.

Title: The Radical Element (A Tyranny of Petticoats, #2)
Author: edited by Jessica Spotswood
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Release Date: March 13th, 2018!
*Physical ARC kindly provided by Candlewick Press. Thank you so much!*

From Goodreads...
In an anthology of revolution and resistance, a sisterhood of YA writers shines a light on a century and a half of heroines on the margins and in the intersections.

To respect yourself, to love yourself—should not have to be a radical decision. And yet it remains as challenging for an American girl to make today as it was in 1927 on the steps of the Supreme Court. It's a decision that must be faced whether you're balancing on the tightrope of neurodivergence, finding your way as a second-generation immigrant, or facing down American racism even while loving America. And it's the only decision when you've weighed society's expectations and found them wanting. In The Radical Element, twelve of the most talented writers working in young adult literature today tell the stories of the girls of all colors and creeds standing up for themselves and their beliefs—whether that means secretly learning Hebrew in early Savannah, using the family magic to pass as white in 1920s Hollywood, or singing in a feminist punk band in 1980s Boston. And they're asking you to join them.


My Review!
Daughter of the Book by Dahlia Adler: Jewish history was not made of women who remained willfully ignorant in order to sew tablecloths. What I loved most about this one was that Rebekah loved her family's history. She loved learning about it, and she realized she wanted to teach it to other women, to help her community by educating all of those in it. It was not about her rebelling against her faith, but about her rebelling against the sexist idea that she can't study. That because she's a woman, her only place is keeping a kosher home and bearing children. I loved that she found her voice, and that she made a plan for herself. Simply lovely! 
Rating: 4 Paw Prints!


You're a Stranger Here by Mackenzi Lee: There are far, far better things ahead, Vilatte, than any that are behind us. This story is about the persecution of the early Mormons who tried to settle in America, only to be driven out time and time again by those who feared their religious ideals. It is relevant, and something that so many people have endured over the years because of their faith and beliefs, and I liked that Mackenzi shed light on it. It was a piece of a history that most wouldn't know about, and I really liked the story. It was about moving forward and following your heart and fighting for the things you care about.
Rating: 3.5 Paw Prints!


The Magician by Erin Bowman: I'm a person, not a thing you can sell. I was kind of sad over how it all went, but it still felt realistic. I was just sad for Ray; a stevedore who can't let anyone know she's a girl, someone without family, without even a full name. A rat, to everyone she meets. She just wanted a place to belong, someone in her corner. She had Mrs. Lowry, but it wasn't enough. So she set out to make her own mark on the world, and I was glad for that ending!

Rating: 3.5 Paw Prints!


Lady Firebrand by Megan Shepherd: I daresay if I was in trouble, I'd turn to the two of you before any English rogues. Oh, I ADORED this one. At the heart of the story is a strong, beautiful friendship between Pauline and Rose, two young women with different pasts but who have a common purpose. I love reading about female spies, so this was fabulous. And the fact that it was the two of them, who created a criminal and hid behind their masks of a Northerner with a physical disability and a freed black girl, to destroy the Confederacy? Even better. People always underestimate teen girls. And it's always their mistake.
Rating 4.5 Paw Prints!


Step Right Up by Jessica Spotswood: It never has been about running away. It's about running toward. I've never been a particular fan of the circus, but I really enjoyed this story. I loved Ruby; headstrong, fearless, brave. She never gave up, no matter what life threw her way or how much her home life hurt her. And when she fell, she always got right back up. She was a dreamer who went after what she wanted, even when she wasn't sure of the consequences. I admired her a lot, and I liked the circus aspect of this, especially how they were more family to Ruby than her own.
Rating: 4 Paw Prints!


Glamour by Anna-Marie McLemore: She had told no one why she wanted to become Grace Moran: because the world left so little room for Graciela Morena. And another because Anna's writing is too pretty, and her words too resonant: The price of getting everything she wanted would be everything she was. I loved everything about this story; it was the one I'd been waiting for. I loved Graciela and Sawyer, and how the two of them carved out spaces for themselves in a world that tried to bury them under glamour and taunts. It wasn't easy, and Graciela had to decide what her dream of being a star was worth losing. But it was beautiful, her journey, and I loved that she chose herself. And that ending was amazing! GAH. JUST. I LOVE THIS AUTHOR'S STORIES.
Rating: 5 Paw Prints!


Better for All the World by Marieke Nijkamp: We live in a world that measures people according to standards of desirability and undesirability. And I am undesirable. Ohhh, I loved this one! Carrie is not like a lot of people, and even today's society feels the same as the one back in 1927. Not much has changed. People with disabilities are still persecuted and challenged and slapped with labels that just treat them as unwanted. It is AWFUL. But I was glad for this, for Carrie, who stood up for herself and fought for a girl who had no one else, and who demanded the equal chance to chase her dreams. SUCH AMAZING.
Rating: 4.5 Paw Prints!


When the Moonlight Isn't Enough by Dhonielle Clayton: Before the war, moonlight used to taste like sugar and butter and fresh cream. Though I'm not always a fan of history with a splash of magic, this story worked for me. I loved how Emma's family history, and their power, was intertwined with WWII America. It was hard for Emma to choose between that or her own heart, to choose to turn away rather than help. But what did this country ever do for her or her parents? Why did it deserve more from someone it has hurt over and over again? It's a question she grapples with, and ultimately decides for herself what she wants to do. It was very good! And I love Dhonielle's writing.
Rating: 4 Paw Prints!


The Belle of the Ball by Sarvenaz Tash: I may be a daydreamer. But if I am, it's in the best way. It's in the way that lets me imagine better things than what's placed in front of me. It's in the way that makes me go after those things, no matter what or who stands in my way. I LOVED this one! I could relate so much to Rosemary's plight, given that I'm a writer myself. But I didn't have her obstacles, or a mother who told me not to chase my dream. I loved that she DID stand up for herself, and that she knew what she wanted, and that she didn't care what anyone else said about it. Also her and Tomas were adorable. So much goodness here.
Rating: 4.5 Paw Prints!


Land of the Sweet, Home of the Brave by Stacey Lee: My smile - Oba's smile - is hardly a Cupid's bow. More like a scythe, curved, and glinting with iron. Also, another because I can't not: Battle has been waged in this theater, and Lana Lau is still standing tall. I always, always love Stacey's stories and main characters. Lana was funny, brave, and full of love for her family. She didn't really care about winning the contest; she wanted to do it for her mom, who works too much and gets so little, and her father, who shows her what it means to laugh even when the world tries to smother you. So, so wonderful. I honestly would have read a whole book about Lana and her parents and sweet Maude.
Rating: 5 Paw Prints!


The Birth of Susi Go-Go by Meg Medina: I would have recognized you anywhere, mi vida. Oh, that ending gave me all the feels. I enjoyed this story; didn't love it, though. But I could understand and sympathize with Susana's thoughts and feelings, regarding wanting to live on America's society, rather than a past in Cuba she can't remember. She just wanted to be able to like and be who she wanted, even if her mother and father disapproved. I really liked it.
Rating: 3.5 Paw Prints!


Take Me With U by Sara Farizan: During that set, I was free to be whoever I wanted to be. Not Apollonia, not Amir's babysitter, not a self-conscious girl. I was bitchin' and so was my band. I adored this one. I adored Amir, the cutest little six-year-old. I adored Soheila; quiet, determined, lovely Soheila who needed to reconcile who she was with who she wanted to be, who missed home as much as she liked living in America and playing in this bitchin' rock band. The Ovarian Cysters were great, and I'm just so happy I loved this one given that I'm not big on the 80s. SO GOOD.
Rating: 4.5 Paw Prints!


Overall, I loved this anthology much more than the first one! Some favorite authors of mine, as well new-to-me authors that I'm definitely going to read more of. It was a feminist, diverse collection of stories set in the past about radical girls who took control of their lives and did not let society dictate their futures. SO FANTASTIC.

OVERALL RATING:
    

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

A Very Late Cover Reveal

It's a testament to how bad I am at blogging right now that I failed to post a cover reveal last week. WHOOPS. And while I could just brush it over, I don't want to. Both because I signed up (and I *never* not do what I said I'd do, it feels unprofessional and rude) and because it's for a favorite author of mine. It's been a long time since Brighton's published a new book (she's been co-writing saucy little novellas since last year, but that's it), so I'm SUPER stoked for this one! Anyway, without further ado, the cover!

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Coming March 19th!!

Willow Haven’s content. Okay, that’s a lie, but she has tried her damndest. Trouble is, it never sticks. Second oldest in a family her town was named after, she’s always felt the pressure. From the townspeople, from her sisters, but most of all from her daddy—the original Good Old Boy and Havenbrook’s reigning mayor. The only time she didn’t feel that stress had been those blissful months spent in the arms of the resident bad boy. The same one who broke her heart beyond repair when he left without a word.

Life hasn’t come easy for Finn Thomas. He’s had to claw and fight for everything he’s ever had—and truth be told, it hasn’t been much. He spent the first eighteen years of his life living so far from the wrong side of the tracks, he couldn’t even see them through his trailer window. The only thing that ever came easy for him and made his sorry ass happy was the one girl he loved with all his heart. And the one thing he had no choice but to leave behind.

When an opportunity arises to return to his tiny, southern hometown and open the first bar in a formerly dry county, he jumps at the chance. That won’t win him points with the mayor, who’s hell bent on making Finn’s life a nightmare for sullying his namesake. Too bad for Mayor Haven, Finn’s got his sights set on more than just the town, and this time he won’t be scared off quite so easily.


Pre-Order Today!
iBooks exclusive preorder:  https://apple.co/2EvS8TZ
If you preorder on iBooks, you will get a special edition with bonus content only available on iBooks. 


Meet Brighton:
Brighton Walsh spent nearly a decade as a professional photographer before deciding to take her storytelling in a different direction and reconnect with her first love: writing. When she’s not pounding away at the keyboard, she’s probably either reading or shopping—maybe even both at once. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and two children, and, yes, she considers forty degrees to be hoodie weather. Her home is the setting for frequent dance parties, Lego battles, and more laughter than she thought possible.

Connect with Brighton:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brightonwalshwrites

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Current Events in WIPs, Books, and TV

I was going to do my more personal checking in post, but I'm just not up for it at the moment, so I decided to do this one instead because I realized too that it'd been a long time since I've posted a current events. I haven't been doing so well on the blogging front, even though I've been reading A LOT (gotta keep up with my friend Val), but I'm getting through it. I've got my March Madness event coming up, a few blog tours, and reviews, but I'm not forcing posting. That never helps. So, it might be slow for the rest of the month, but I'm coming back swinging in March! :D


Since NaNo ended, I'd only written around 3,000 more words to my WIP. I took a break, but then I just never quite got back into it. Because I realized that a major plot point (my MC's relationship and breakup with her roommate) needed to go. It was so much a part of the first 50,000 words that a domino effect was going to happen. And I get SO discouraged and de-motivated when I see this and know things need to change, but I'm stuck on the idea of finishing a story first. So you know what? I decided to just fucking fix things before moving on, because I don't think I'm the type of writer who can do otherwise. And I need to do what works for *me* and no one else.

And it is WORKING. I'm using Scrivener because of course, and I've already rewritten the whole first chapter (and I'm nearly done with the second), thrown out the idea that my two MCs met before their freshman year of college, and have plans for the rest of the book. It's going to be not only stronger, but better after all of this. And then I can finally get back to where I stopped, and keep going. 

I've got a deadline for myself: the end of March. I'm giving myself three months (April-June) to send it off to people, get feedback, edit edit edit. And hopefully, it'll be ready to go once Pitch Wars starts again in August. I might not even enter. I won't know yet. But I needed an actual, concrete deadline because that seemed to work during NaNo. I won it, and now I can finish my first ever book. So this is also a post to keep me in line, to hold me accountable. LET'S DO THIS.


Like I said in the intro to this post, I've been reading *so much* lately. I'm already at 32 books and climbing. I'm competing with Val to see who can read the most books this year, and she is making me work for it. But it's been FUN. I'm reading more, but I *want* to do it. I'm not reviewing as fast as I'm reading, but oh well. That's not the point of it for me. It never has been. I try to at least write a small paragraph about everything, especially if it's a review copy, but I don't push myself into writing full reviews for all anymore. And I try not to let myself get too behind on them, but you know, it's hard. Haha. Anyway, I'm currently reading quite a few books right now.

*Furyborn (yes Val, still): fantasy is not holding my attention so well right now, so it's slow-going, but it's good!
*More Than We Can Tell: it hasn't grabbed me nearly like LTTL did, which is making me sad, but also I'm not liking Emma a whole lot 😬
*Beyond Addiction: I am LOVING this series.
*Alex, Approximately: it's free to read again on rivetedlit.com, so I'm gonna give it a second try this coming weekend
*Into the Drowning Deep: after hearing so much about it from Val, I was super curious. I'm 12% into it and omg I am INTRIGUED and can't wait to read more!

Always hoping to finish books on my weekends, so we'll see! 


I just finished catching up with Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which is the fucking BEST SHOW EVER. I love the humor, the characters, the relationships. I love how current and relevant it is, and especially recently, I've loved the depth to it. I'ts so, so good. I'm still catching up with Bob's Burgers, which makes me laugh a lot. Also. Louise is my favorite. I want to be her someday. I've been rewatching Legend of the Seeker, too, which is an all-time fave show of mine and something that I just love so much. 

I started a new show called 9-1-1 that focuses on first responders. It's decently good. It's not spectacular, but it's made me cry a few times already, and the episodes are very tone heavy and emotional. And the characters are pretty great! I'm not sold on all of them, but I truly enjoy what they're trying to do here. I also have a big watchlist now that I've got Hulu, so I might do a separate post about what's on it!


What have you been writing, reading, and watching lately? Are you a fan of BK99 too? Are you a writer who can't move forward when you know things need to get fixed behind you? Let's talk! :)

Monday, February 5, 2018

February 2018 Releases

Wow, we're already into February! It feels not quite possible. But I guess January did go by really fast for me because work got slammed. I'm hoping for a quieter month, so I can finish my NaNo story and read even more books. :D Anyway, here's a big batch of new releases for your viewing pleasure!
 
February 1st

February 6th

February 13th

February 20th

February 27th


I've already read: Daughter of the Siren Queen, which I enjoyed but not NEARLY as much as the first book.

From NetGalley/ALA: The Belles, which I grabbed when I was at annual last year and still haven't read. It's such a *huge* book that I haven't wanted to start it when I didn't have the time it needed. Also Tess of the Road and American Panda from NG. Since it's only the two, I REALLY hope to get to them this month!

My most anticipated: the All Out anthology! Queer historical stories from queer authors? FUCKING GIMME IT ALREADY. Also Heart of Iron because it's inspired by Anastasia, which is a faaaave of mine.


What February books are YOU most excited about? Did I miss any that should be on my radar? Let's talk! :)

Friday, February 2, 2018

Cover Reveal: The Secret Thief by Nina Lane


The Synopsis:
Behind his beautiful eyes
Lay a thousand secrets and lies.
But my own secrets are all laid bare
The twisted reality of a disgraceful affair.

I once deciphered the mysteries hidden in art
Then mistakes and desire tore me apart.

Now I'm shipwrecked at the end of the earth
Desperate again to prove my worth.

The lighthouse keeper is a stranger to me
Yet one night with him sets me free.

We find ourselves united by the stars above
Both of us needing the salvation of love.

Until our secrets and shame continue to build
And what was flourishing will soon be killed.



Sign-up for when the book is available: http://ninalane.com/newsletter 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Nina Lane writes hot, sexy romances about professors, bad boys, candy makers, and protective alpha males who find themselves consumed with love for one woman alone. Originally from California, Nina holds a PhD in Art History and an MA in Library and Information Studies, which means she loves both research and organization. She also enjoys traveling and thinks St. Petersburg, Russia is a city everyone should visit at least once. Although Nina would go back to college for another degree because she's that much of a bookworm and a perpetual student, she now lives the happy life of a full-time writer.