Friday, April 12, 2019

Prism Book Tour: Through the White Wood by Jessica Leake + GIVEAWAY!

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 7:00 AM 0 comments
On Tour with Prism Book Tours
Through the White Wood
By Jessica Leake Young Adult Historical Fantasy
Hardcover & ebook, 416 Pages April 9th 2019 by HarperTeen The Bear and the Nightingale meets Frostblood in this romantic historical fantasy from the author of Beyond a Darkened Shore. When Katya loses control of her power to freeze, her villagers banish her to the palace of the terrifying Prince Sasha in Kiev. Expecting punishment, she is surprised to find instead that Sasha is just like her—with the ability to summon fire. Sasha offers Katya friendship and the chance to embrace her power rather than fear it. But outside the walls of Kiev, Sasha’s enemies are organizing an army of people bent on taking over the entire world. Together, Katya’s and Sasha’s powers are a fearsome weapon. But as their enemies draw nearer, will fire and frost be enough to save the world? Or will Katya and Sasha lose everything they hold dear? Inspired by Russian mythology, this lushly romantic, intensely imaginative, and fiercely dramatic story is about learning to fight for yourself, even when the world is falling down around you.
Other Books in the Series
Beyond a Darkened Shore
By Jessica Leake Young Adult Historical Fantasy
Hardcover & ebook, 384 Pages April 10th 2018 by HarperTeen
The ancient land of Éirinn is mired in war. Ciara, princess of Mide, has never known a time when Éirinn’s kingdoms were not battling for power, or Northmen were not plundering their shores. The people of Mide have always been safe because of Ciara’s unearthly ability to control her enemies’ minds and actions. But lately a mysterious crow has been appearing to Ciara, whispering warnings of an even darker threat. Although her clansmen dismiss her visions as pagan nonsense, Ciara fears this coming evil will destroy not just Éirinn but the entire world. Then the crow leads Ciara to Leif, a young Northman leader. Leif should be Ciara’s enemy, but when Ciara discovers that he, too, shares her prophetic visions, she knows he’s something more. Leif is mounting an impressive army, and with Ciara’s strength in battle, the two might have a chance to save their world. With evil rising around them, they’ll do what it takes to defend the land they love...even if it means making the greatest sacrifice of all. Praise for the Book "Beyond a Darkened Shore is thrilling and romantic. This is a must-read for lovers of fantasy, mythology, and folklore." - Kody KeplingerNew York Times bestselling author of The DUFF and Run “With undead armies, flesh-eating spirit horses, and a powerful heroine, fantasy, romance, and historical-fiction readers will have a great time.” - Booklist “While Morrigan and Odin are terrifying, raven-haired Ciara is the star. Beautiful, strong, and independent, she is the perfect warrior princess. Epic historical fantasy filled with deadly creatures, simmering romance, and nonstop action.” - Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Jessica Leake is the author of Beyond a Darkened Shore as well as the adult novels Arcana and The Order of the Eternal Sun. She lives in South Carolina with her husband, four young children, lots of chickens, and two dogs who keep everyone in line. Visit her at
Tour Schedule
Tour Giveaway
2 winners will receive a copy of Through the White Wood (US only) 1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally) Ends April 17th a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Title: Through the White Wood
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Author: Jessica Leake
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication: April 9th 2019
Cover Rating: 5/5
Reading format: Provided ARC

Through the White Wood by Jessica Leake is the brilliantly told story of Katya and Sasha, an orphaned village girl and a prince. Katya was forced out of her home when the ice powers that she has got out of hand(I personally think it was well warranted). Her village contacts the prince and they think she is in for a brutal punishment. Little do they know, the prince might actually NEED Katya.

I worked with Jessica on her first book, Beyond a Darkened Shore, and I completely loved that book so when I was given the opportunity it to review Through the White Wood for a blog tour I knew I had to do it. And after reading this book I can say I am absolutely adding her to my auto-buy author's list. The author writes very vivid and beautiful stories with such amazing characters and worlds that it's impossible to not fall in love. 

I thoroughly enjoyed all of the characters in this book, even the not so nice ones. My favorite character has to be Elation, Katya's Eagle guardian/friend. If there is ever an animal friend like that in a book then they are normally going to be my favorite character. The relationship they had was so beautiful. I also think the dynamic that Sasha and Katya had was pretty great. The prince's kingdom was about to be in a big war and he needed her but she kind of needed him too and they both helped each other a lot. 

This story was Russian inspired and while I knew what most of the words meant, I was very grateful for the glossary in the back of the book because there were a few that I had not previously been exposed to in my other readings of Russian tales.  

I would just like to add as a little side note that the back of the book has a little blurby thing that says "The Bear and the Nightingale meets Frostblood..." and I have never felt the urge to read two books more in my entire life than after reading this book and hearing that those books might be similar to this amazing story. 

In the end, I am so grateful that I got to physically read this book. I have been stuck on audiobooks for months and felt my love of picking up and reading a physical book was slipping away but this story, world and the characters helped remind me how amazing it is to read a story and have your own voice in your head, not an audiobook narrator. If you get the chance, please look into this amazing author and give her beautiful books a shot!

Overall, I gave this book 4.5/5 stars. 

Thursday, April 11, 2019

REPOST: Author Spotlight: Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake + Interview

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM 0 comments

Once upon a time, Jessica Leake was a psychotherapist, but even though she loved her clients, she couldn't stop writing. She wrote and wrote until she got her first book published, and then she wrote some more. In between all that writing she had four beautiful and hilarious children with her husband (best friend and man she's known since high school; also hilarious), moved back to her adopted hometown of Greenville, SC, built a chicken coop, and got a bunch of chickens that poop breakfast every morning. She also has two dogs to keep the chickens in line. (The dogs made her write that last bit.)

Title: Beyond a Darkened Shore
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Author: Jessica Leake
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication: April 10th 2017
Cover Rating: 5/5
Reading format: Provided Hardback

Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake is the story of Ciara and Leif. They must save their world from demise while forming an alliance together. But this alliance won't be so easy considering Leif's people have been attacking Ciara's for years. But they make it work because one wants revenge while the other wants to protect their family. Also... VIKINGS!!!!

Ciara is the princess, and heir to the throne, of Mide. She has a unique ability that makes her extremely deadly in combat. Her father pretty much allows her to run things while he is away because of this power. But Ciara is feared by all of her clansmen because of her power even though she only uses it to keep them all safe. When Ciara starts getting visions about her people being wiped out by a murderous race of giants, she has to make a decision, stay and be obedient to her father, or leave and team up with her enemy in order to defeat this threat.

Lief is a Northman. He is meant to be this big brute that kills everything in his path but he had to pay a price in order to get his inhuman strength. Leif's group attack Ciara's home and he ends up captured and held as Ciara's prisoner. She just wants to question him about what happened to her father's group but things end up a lot more... complicated and Leif and Ciara end up fleeing her home to go after these giants.

Once they leave on their journey, so many things go wrong and they run into some interesting creatures and roadblocks along the way. This book is FILLED with mythology and I absolutely loved it. There is also a little bit of romance that I waited so long for. Someone please tell me it's okay to swoon over the big, scary brute that can kill people with his bare hands.

This story is extremely fast paced and very well written. The author organized everything and paced everything so beautifully. There is romance, that is expected and VERY welcome(I WAITED FOREVER!!) and the main character is this really amazing female lead. I would say this book has all the qualities most people look for when they are searching for a great YA Fantasy read. The author did an amazing job crafting this world and her characters.

In the end, this book surprised me so much with how amazing it was. I actually had FUN reading this story and I enjoyed the characters immensely. The ending was pretty clean cut but I am so hoping there will be more in this world. At the moment, this is just a stand-alone but the world this author build is so fantastic and inclusive that I just want to stay here forever.

Overall, I gave the book 5/5 stars.

1) Where did the inspiration for Beyond a Darkened Shore come from? 
I’ve always loved anything to do with Ireland, and I knew I wanted to do something with Celtic mythology, so as I was researching periods of time in Irish history, I learned that there was a time when Vikings were playing a large part in Irish history. They were not only raiding the coasts of Ireland but had even taken over one of their major ports (Dublin). In some cases, they were intermarrying with the Celts, in a fascinating blend of cultures. I was like: Celtic mythology AND Norse mythology/Vikings?? Sign me up!

2) Do you think the Young Adult genre is important for young readers?
Absolutely. As someone who grew up without a lot of young adult book options, and so was reading full-on romance novels + Dean Koontz in middle school, I think YA books are so, so important. Why? Because then you can read about things you’re actually dealing with. Even in the fantasy genre, you might not be actively dealing with fighting off Vikings from raiding your castle, but you might be dealing with not knowing how you fit in or who you want to be, or even with parents who don’t seem to understand you. I like that YA is a safe and fun way to explore those things. 

3) Are you a coffee or a tea person?
Both! Coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon ☺. 

4) Who are some of your favorite Young Adult authors?
In no particular order (just taken from looking at my Goodreads books, lol): Leigh Bardugo, Sabaa Tahir, Robin McKinley, Roshani Chokshi, Holly Black, Sarah J. Maas, and Mary Pearson. 

5) Are you currently working on any new books?
Yes! Next up is THROUGH THE WHITE WOOD, which will be released in Winter 2019 from HarperTeen, and it’s set in 11th century Russia. It’s like FROSTBLOOD meets THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE because it has elemental powers, Russian folklore, and a fairy-tale feel. 

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