Mundie Moms

Friday, March 18, 2016

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton / Blog Tour: Book Review / Giveaway

Hello and welcome to today's blog tour for Alywn Hamilton's debut, REBEL OF THE SANDS! Check out my review and enter to win below! 


By: Alwyn Hamilton
Published by: Viking Books
Released on: March 8th, 2016
Series: Rebel of the Sands #1
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 4.5 stars - I Really Enjoyed It
* I received an arc from the publisher to review, in exchange for my honest review

She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there's nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can't wait to escape from.

Destined to wind up "wed or dead," Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she'd gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan's army, with a fugitive who's wanted for treason. And she'd never have predicted she'd fall in love with him...or that he'd help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.

A captivating debut, Rebel of the Sands has it all! It's an action packed read with rich world building, adventure, character chemistry that practically ignites the pages, magic, epic battles, fantasy, and a fascinating lore. Hamilton's debut is one that blends together Western, Middle East and Fantasy elements together beautifully. It's unlike any other story I've read before, and one I really enjoyed! 

I love it when a book has characters that are not only well written, but all have a purpose. Each character, whether they're a main one, or supporting one, all help bring this incredible story to life. I loved that whether they're a good or bad character, they each have a belief in something that is greater than themselves. Their belief in their cause drives to make the choices they do. I liked that there's a history and magic that runs so deep within some of the characters. Their abilities are part of what make the battle scenes epic. 

Amani is a character I really liked. She's a girl who's stuck in a society that wants to suppress who she is. She's not someone who will sit back and allow others to dictate or control who is she, and what she's able to do. She has courage, determination, and an inner fire that makes her restless, and willing to risk it out to escape her dead end town, regardless of the deadly consequences that she may face. There's a wildness in her I admired, and it's something that ties into her abilities, which I won't mention for the sake of spoilers. I really enjoyed the characters Amani meets after her journey. There's so much they teach her about who she is, and what she can do. 

The character chemistry in this book is one I loved! There's an irresistible pull between Armani and Jin. It's the kind that is both sigh worthy and maddening all at the same time. What these two have ignites the pages when they're together. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to see what would happen next between these two. There's so much that they've shared with each other, and so much they haven't, that puts them both in danger. I loved watching their relationship grow, and the untold secrets between them unravel. My word, I need more of these two! 

There are so many elements to this story that when combined, they all worked together perfectly to tell an unforgettable story. From the world building, to her characters and their dialogue, everything about Hamilton's story is captivating. The diverse world in which the characters live in is vividly detailed, and easily imagined. I loved that the world plays a role in the magic abilities some of the characters have. Speaking of magic, the battles that happen are epic. This book has a little bit of everything, but the magic, and fantasy were some of my favorites. 

Hamilton has come blazing into the YA book scene with this incredible debut. Her storytelling is amazing. Like the stories you'd except to be told around a campfire, that are rich with legend, and lore, and are passed one from generation to generation, this is a story that felt very much like that at it's heart. I need more of her books!! This debut is one I thoroughly enjoyed, and I'm looking forward to reading it's sequel! 


Thank you to Penguin Teen, I've got a copy of Rebel of the Sands to giveaway to one lucky winner! To enter, please fill out the form below. *US only

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Check out the next stop on the tour on Two Chicks on Books on Monday, 3/21/16.

THE PALADINS by Julie Reece / Cover Reveal / Excerpt / Giveaway

Welcome to today's cover reveal for Julie Reece's THE PALADINS, the second book in her The Artisans series, published by Month9Books. The book is set to be released on May 3, 2016. CHECK OUT THIS COVER, as well as the redesigned cover The Artisans below!

A Message From The Author:

Book covers are tricky things. My respect for cover artists has grown exponentially after entering the world of publishing. I learned the challenge of a good cover artist is to hint at the story beneath using a single image. They must create a picture that suggests to perspective readers what lies within those hundreds of pages—using nothing more than specific font and a few square inches of graphic design. It seems impossible, yet most of us agree that art evokes emotion. And when I saw my cover, I was overwhelmed.

The Paladins is dark. And this cover is dark. The story is a Gothic tale, mysterious and eerie. And while parts of this world are beautiful, beauty is often deceptive. You’re never quite sure if something lurks in the shadows, where the path you tread is leading, or even if what you see is real … until it’s too late. For me, the cover encompasses all those story elements. I hope you like it as much as I do.


By: Julie Reece
Published by: Month9Books
To Be Released on: May 3, 2016
Series: The Artisans #2
Pre-Order It From: Amazon | B&N | TBD | BAM | Kobo | Google Play Books | iBooks
Add it: Goodreads

The Artisan curse is broken. Souls trapped in a mysterious otherworld called The Void are finally released. Now, Raven Weathersby, Gideon Maddox, and Cole Wynter can finally move on with their lives...or so they thought. If the ancient magic is truly dead, then why are mystical fires plaguing Gideon at every turn? What accounts for Raven’s frightening visions of her dead mother? And who is the beautiful, tortured girl haunting Cole’s dreams?

Last year, a group of lonely teens sacrificed secrets, battled the supernatural, and faced their own demons to set one another free. Yet six months later, the heart of evil still beats within The Void. And the trio is forced to face the horrific truth: that their only way out is to go back in.

The Paladins completes this eerie YA Southern Gothic where loyalties are tested, love is challenged, and evil seeks them on the ultimate battlegrounds—in their minds, their souls, and their hearts. 

In case you missed it here's the redesigned cover for THE ARTISANS!


By: Julie Reece
Published by: Month9Books
Released on: May 12, 2015
Find it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks 
Add it to: Goodreads

They say death can be beautiful. But after the death of her mother, seventeen-year-old Raven Weathersby gives up her dream of becoming a fashion designer, barely surviving life in the South Carolina lowlands.

To make ends meet, Raven works after school as a seamstress creating stunning works of fashion that often rival the great names of the day.

Instead of making things easier on the high school senior, her stepdad's drinking leads to a run in with the highly reclusive heir to the Maddox family fortune, Gideon Maddox.

But Raven's stepdad's drying out and in no condition to attend the meeting with Maddox. So Raven volunteers to take his place and offers to repay the debt in order to keep the only father she's ever known out of jail, or worse.

Gideon Maddox agrees, outlining an outrageous demand: Raven must live in his home for a year while she designs for Maddox Industries' clothing line, signing over her creative rights.

Her handsome young captor is arrogant and infuriating to the nth degree, and Raven can't imagine working for him, let alone sharing the same space for more than five minutes.

But nothing is ever as it seems. Is Gideon Maddox the monster the world believes him to be? And can he stand to let the young seamstress see him as he really is?

READ AN EXCERPT / Part of Chapter 1

The Before

It’s been four years since I planted the fireworks in Gideon Maddox’s locker that burned a third of his face.
Four years since his father took revenge, trapping me with a spell that kept me prisoner in The Void.
Three months since the magic found me again.
Two months since my parents put me in therapy.
One day since my parents left for Paris on a month long business tour.
This morning, a mysterious girl no one else can see beckoned again from The Void.
Tonight, I’m standing on the balcony of my parent’s palatial home, buying an airline ticket back to the states—back to Maddox mansion—the heart of my nightmares.
People say the more things change the more they stay the same. I hate them for being right. I lived with the monsters in my prison until I thought I might go mad. Repentant of my past, I made peace with my fate, my eternity. Until the day I was freed, because a stranger had the courage to help.
This time someone needs me.
How can I doom a girl to a fate I barely escaped?
There’s only one answer.
I can’t.
Chapter One

A bottle-green fly hums, rubbing his tiny legs together as though he’s plotting something. The insect seems a dirty ornament on the shiny desk nameplate he sits upon. Gold on gold, the engraved letters read Navin Cahvan M.D. This is the third psychiatrist I’ve met in as many weeks. Part of my mother’s plan to fix me. Jumpy nerves, insomnia, nightmares about demons when I finally do fall sleep—these are her justifications. Everyone tries to shrink me like a cheap T-shirt in the dryer.
The tawny-skinned man across the desk folds his knotted fingers over his belly and stares. Dark eyes track my movements beneath two bushy white eyebrows. “Mr. Wynter?”
Right. He asked a question. The fly hums again, wings fluttering against his hairy back. My head pounds, my clothes scratch, eyes burn, and my ears are raw with the smallest sounds echoing deep inside.
When Dr. Cahvan shifts, the leather seat groans in protest. “I can help you. But you must tell me the truth.”
All I hear is Jack Nicholson screaming the line from A Few Good Men: “You can’t handle the truth!”
“Trust me, Cole. Tell me your secret thoughts.”
Trust you? Sure. I tell you what happened and you lock me away forever on meds that keep me drooling, while I play dominoes with people who see giant, pink rabbits. No thanks.
He leans forward. His fingers thread together as his hands rest on the desktop. He taps his thumbs together. “I assure you this is a safe place. I call it … the circle of trust.”
Give me a break. You want me to tell you how I was a mean, dangerous kid. Confess that because I tormented a crippled boy, his father used a magic camera to trap me in an alternate universe as punishment. Explain how I lived a half-life in the Maddox mansion for four years until Raven Weathersby rescued me. About how much I miss her and think about going back someday … Maybe I am insane.
“Let’s discuss something else.”
I find his suggestion amusing since I’ve barely said ten words in the past hour, and our time is almost up.
The good doctor shifts again. “Instead of talking about the past, why not speak of the present. How are you adjusting to life at home? I understand your parents had a welcome home party when you first arrived. How did that go?”
How do you think? “Swell.” I would have preferred stuffing my hand in a high-speed blender. A hundred people that I hadn’t seen since I was fifteen—and couldn’t care less to see again—showed up to shake my hand and recite all they’d ever read about amnesia, the lie Gideon made up to cover my absence. “I really just need some space.”
“And you got your wish, did you not? I understand your parents left town yesterday. How does being alone again so soon make you feel?”
Incredibly pissed. “They’ve always been busy people. I’m used to them traveling.” But I wasn’t. I thought with all the time apart, my parents might want to stick around a while. Be a family. Nope. Since appearances mean everything, they threw a party right away to show their friends and colleagues how fine I was. The powerful and highly regarded Mr. and Mrs. Wynter pulled out all the stops to prove their love for their long lost son: fine wine, catered dinner, china, crystal, even a string quartet. Yet, my father couldn’t keep the disappointment from his face any more than my mother could drown her misery in vodka.
Perhaps to appease their consciences, my folks hooked me up with doctors and provided for my physical needs before bailing. But a new car and an obscenely padded bank account wasn’t what I needed. So easily brushed aside again, I couldn’t help but wonder if parts of them were relieved when I’d disappeared four years ago.

Dr. Cahvan’s eyes narrow. “So, you remember your life up until your trip to the States?”


As a child, Julie’s summers were about horseback riding and fishing, while winter brought sledding and ice-skating on frozen ponds. Most of life was magical, but not all. She struggled with multiple learning disabilities, and spent much of her time gazing out windows and daydreaming. In the fourth grade (with the help of one very nice teacher) she fought dyslexia for her right to read and won.

Afterward, she invented stories where powerful heroines kicked bad-guy butt to win the hearts charismatic heroes. And then she wrote one down…

Writing ever since, Julie weaves southern gothic, contemporary, fantasy, and young adult
romances. She enjoys sweeping tales of mystery and epic adventure… which must include a really hot guy. Her writing is proof a dream and some hard work can overcome any obstacle.

Where you can find Julie: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


1 winner will receive an eBook of THE ARTISANS and an eGalley of THE PALADINS. International.

a Rafflecopter giveaway