Book Events, Fiction, Local San Diego, Young Adult

Epic Reads Event at Barnes and Noble Mira Mesa September 2019

I’ve really been making an effort to go to more writing and book related events in the San Diego area. So I was stoked when Kristin Luna, my friend, neighbor, and fellow writer, sent me the details about an Epic Reads event happening at the Barnes & Noble in Mira Mesa. It sounded fun, was close by, and I saw Shelby Mahurin was going to be there (author of Serpent and Dove).

We’ve never been to an Epic Reads event so at first were a little confused how it worked, but the staff at Barnes & Noble Mira Mesa were really helpful and did a good job promoting the event. We stopped by the store early to buy our books (you needed to purchase a copy of one of the author’s books to get a wristband for the event) and were really impressed with all the in-store signage. One staff member (who may have been the manager) even came over to us as we were looking at the new release books to talk to us about the event and make sure we knew if we bought a book, we could get a wristband for the event. Same with the staff members at the register – everybody knew exactly what to do to promote this!

The night of the event I was surprised by how many people actually showed up. Because they set the event up in the center of the store where they sell the Nook readers, it was pretty cool because people who were just in the store shopping or hanging out at the Starbucks Cafe were able to see what was going on and learn about the cool event the bookstore put on. Starbucks even had a special drink menu to go along with each of the books (I did not try any sadly, but it was cool to see nonetheless).

The event itself was super fun. They divided everyone who attended into four groups and had the authors rotate in between. We got about fifteen to twenty minutes to ask questions of each author and all of them were so lovely and funny. We met Shelby Mahurin, author of Serpent and Dove, Rena Barron, author of Kingdom of Souls, Sara Raasch, author of the These Rebel Waves series, and Kendare Blake, author of the Three Dark Crowns series. Special shoutout to Sara for answering my question on Instagram about a book she mentioned during the event!

Sara Raasch
Kendare Blake
Rena Barron
Shelby Mahurin

Kristin and I asked a lot of writing/publishing related questions, but there was a good mix in the group between people who love, love, love to read and those who love to read and also want to be published authors. Our particular group was all women (I think), though there were some men there, too. Even though this event featured all authors writing in the Young Adult genre, there was a range of ages represented, including many teens which was fun to see.

After the author meet and greet, we had a chance to get our books signed by the authors and take pictures! I got my copy of Serphent and Dove signed by Shelby Mahurin and got a picture with her too!

Fiction, New Releases, Reviews

My Picks: 5 New Release Books for Fall 2019

A new season means new books! After browsing through several lists of fall 2019 releases, I picked the five new books for fall 2019 I’m most excited about:

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug-dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. In fact, by age twenty, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most prestigious universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. Their eight windowless “tombs” are the well-known haunts of the rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street’s biggest players. But their occult activities are more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive. They tamper with forbidden magic. They raise the dead. And, sometimes, they prey on the living.

Release Date: October 8th, 2019

I’ve been excited about this book since news of its publication broke. I follow Leigh Bardugo on Instagram so I’ve been hyped for this book for months. As it’s an adult novel and blurbed by Stephen King, I’m a little bit worried this book might be too scary for me – but not worried enough to be deterred by it. I just might not want to be home alone for awhile.

 

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

Release Date: September 3rd, 2019

I already talked about this book here when I named it my debut author pick for September. But I recently acquired a copy of the book AND got to meet the author during the Epic Reads book tour and let’s just say I’m even more stoked to dig into this one than I was before.

 

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

More than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid’s Tale, the theocratic regime of the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on power, but there are signs it is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, the lives of three radically different women converge, with potentially explosive results.
 
Two have grown up as part of the first generation to come of age in the new order. The testimonies of these two young women are joined by a third voice: a woman who wields power through the ruthless accumulation and deployment of secrets.
 
As Atwood unfolds The Testaments, she opens up the innermost workings of Gilead as each woman is forced to come to terms with who she is, and how far she will go for what she believes.

Release Date: September 10th, 2019

It’s been so long since I’ve read The Handmaid’s Tale, I’ll definitely need to read it again before digging into this one. But as a fan of Margaret Atwood and her dystopian futures, I’m excited to see how the story evolves in this sequel. I’m sure it will be every bit as haunting, chilling, and too-relevant as The Handmaid’s Tale. I haven’t yet watched the tv series yet – if you’ve watched it, leave me a comment below with what you think about it!

There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool

The Age of Darkness approaches.
Five lives stand in its way.
Who will stop it . . . or unleash it?

For generations, the Seven Prophets guided humanity. Using their visions of the future, they ended wars and united nations―until the day, one hundred years ago, when the Prophets disappeared.

All they left behind was one final, secret prophecy, foretelling an Age of Darkness and the birth of a new Prophet who could be the world’s salvation . . . or the cause of its destruction. With chaos on the horizon, five souls are set on a collision course:

A prince exiled from his kingdom.
A ruthless killer known as the Pale Hand.
A once-faithful leader torn between his duty and his heart.
A reckless gambler with the power to find anything or anyone.
And a dying girl on the verge of giving up.

One of them―or all of them―could break the world. Will they be savior or destroyer?

Release Date: September 3rd, 2019

Okay can we just talk about how epic the title is for a second? So awesome! And that description! The comp titles! I’m very excited about this one!

 

The Institute by Stephen King

In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”

In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.

Release Date: September 10th, 2019

This one sounds so good so I hope it veers towards the less scary end of Stephen King books like The Dark Tower series.

What new release book are you excited to dig into this fall?

Debut Novel Picks, Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult

Debut Novel Pick for September: Serpent and Dove

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

Starting a new series on the blog this month! Each month I’ll be sharing a new debut that catches my eye. This month I picked Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin.

I saw this book on Facebook of all things. There was a video promo that stopped my scroll and when I saw that Sarah J. Maas was blurbing it, I knew I wanted to look the book up.

And it sounds GREAT.

Somewhere I read that this world is inspired by 17th century France, which, sign me up. Also a forced marriage between a witch and a witch hunter who doesn’t know his wife is a witch? DRAMA. Then I scanned through some of the advance reviews on Goodreads and people are loving this book which makes me very excited. And that cover is just gorgeous.

Though I haven’t seen much hype elsewhere for it, I’m interested to see if this one starts popping up on bookstagram. I’m looking forward to getting a copy myself…though probably not right away as my book collection is a little bit out of control (but what else is new).

Serpent & Dove is scheduled to be released on September 3rd from HarperTeen.